In 2:22 we see that the church is God’s dwelling place. God’s Spirit dwells in our spirit. Therefore, the dwelling place of God is in our spirit. When we are not in our spirit, we do not have the church as God’s dwelling place in a practical way. But whenever we turn to our spirit, we sense that God has a dwelling place in our spirit. This dwelling place is for God’s rest.
Finally, in chapter six we see that the church is a warrior to defeat God’s enemy, the Devil. In order to fight the spiritual warfare, we need both the power of the Lord and also the whole armor of God. The church is a corporate warrior, and the believers are parts of this unique warrior. We must fight the spiritual warfare in the Body, not individually.
In his subtlety, Satan will allow Christians to do things that are scriptural and spiritual, as long as they do not have the Body or the new man. Most Christians do not even realize that the church is the new man, a corporate man. They may speak a little regarding the church as the Bride of Christ or as God’s family, but they have no concept that the church is God’s present kingdom or God’s dwelling place.
Not only is the church the Body, the new man, the Bride, the family, the kingdom, and the dwelling place; the church is also the warrior to fight against God’s enemy. God’s enemy, Satan, is terrified of such a church. Satan is not afraid of individualistic Christians, not even if they number in the thousands. But whenever the believers come together as the church in the aspect of the Body and in these other aspects, Satan trembles. By the church in these seven aspects Christ is expressed, the Father has rest, and the enemy is defeated. May we all see the vision that the church is not a matter of individual holiness or spirituality. On the contrary, it is a matter of being built up together as the Body, the new man, the Bride, the family, the kingdom, the dwelling place, and the warrior. As such a church, we defeat the enemy and prepare the way for the Lord Jesus to come back.
Can you find these seven aspects of the church in Christianity? Concerning the church, Christianity has missed the mark. We in the Lord’s recovery are not here merely for soul-winning, for Bible study, or for spirituality. We are here for the expression of the Body on earth. We are also here to be the new man and the Bride.
At present, Christ is preparing us to be His Bride. One day the wedding will come. That will be the fulfillment of Revelation 19. As we are preparing for that day, we are the church in the aspects of the family, the kingdom, the dwelling place, and the warrior. Praise the Lord that we are His family! When we came into the church life, we had the sense that we had come home. Furthermore, the church is God’s kingdom, for here we are under God’s authority. Moreover, as God’s warrior we are fighting against His enemy. We are here for the Body, the new man, the Bride, the family, the kingdom, and the warrior.
A message given by Witness Lee in Los Angeles, California, February, 1973
(Seven Aspects of the Church, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)