The Building Work of God, by Witness Lee

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Now let us look at another point. The wall not only is like God and expresses God, it is also a boundary. Everything inside this wall is the New Jerusalem, and everything outside this wall is not the New Jerusalem. In other words, everything inside this wall is God’s building, and everything outside this wall is not God’s building. Please remember that the church has a boundary. This boundary of the church comes as a result of the children of God being constituted. The more you allow God to constitute you, the more you will have the wall, the boundary, in you. The wall is not there originally; it has to be built up. This building up is God’s constituting. Therefore, the more God builds and constitutes in you, the more you have the separation, the boundary.

One time a brother said to me, “Brother Lee, someone said that among us there is a wall, that we are always separated from others.” I said, “Brother, do you consider this a strange thing? I am not afraid that others say that we have a wall; rather, I am afraid that our wall is not high enough.” Do you know how high the wall of the New Jerusalem is? The Bible tells us that its height is one hundred and forty-four cubits. One cubit is about one and a half feet, so one hundred and forty-four cubits is about two hundred and twenty feet high. Brothers and sisters, what the enemy hates the most is our wall. When Nehemiah returned from the captivity to rebuild the holy city, the thing that the enemy tried his utmost to destroy was the wall of the city. What a pity that today many Christians do not have a wall. The same is true even with many churches. A wall is a boundary. To have a boundary is to have a separation. If in the church a great number of the saints have been built together, there will be a high wall, and there will be a clear boundary between the church and the world. In the church it will be easy to distinguish what belongs to God from what belongs to man, what is heavenly from what is earthly, and what is of the new creation from what is of the old creation. Moreover, these things are not distinguished by teaching but by building. I believe that you understand these words. If you want God to have the building in the church, you need to see that there is a boundary here, and this boundary comes out of God’s mingling and constituting. If God is mingled with us and constituted into us, immediately we will have a boundary for separation.

Let me use watching movies as an illustration. I know that many brothers and sisters cannot overcome in this matter. It is a topic for debate among many Christians in many places in the world. Those who are in favor would say, “What is wrong with going to the movies? There are many good films. These films not only increase our knowledge and broaden our views, but they are also full of educational significance and are helpful in building up human virtues. Therefore, watching movies is not necessarily bad.” However, we have to see that being a Christian is not simply a question of distinguishing between good and bad. Being a Christian is a question of whether or not God’s boundary is drawn in us, and this boundary is absolutely not drawn by teaching and regulation. If we post several commandments at the entrance of the meeting hall, and one of them says that we may not watch movies, this does not mean that we then have a boundary. We know that this kind of regulation is useless. Regulation cannot cause a person to be separated. But one thing is for sure: after you are saved, if you allow God to do some building work in you, and if you allow the Holy Spirit to do some constituting work in you, then a wall will be built up as a separating line in you, and you will instantly see that movies are separated from you forever. Today you may argue with me by giving me many reasons, but one day when God puts a little pressure on you, and when He does a small amount of constituting work in you, squeezing you a couple of times, then from that day onward movies will be separated from you.

Therefore, this is altogether not a question of good or bad; it is a question of nature. We must ask, “Is this of the New Jerusalem? Or is it of Babylon?” Today with some Christians the movie theater and the meeting hall are about the same. Such a Christian comes to the meeting hall in the morning and then goes to the movie theater in the afternoon. With this kind of brother or sister surely there is no wall, no boundary. You may argue, “I did not watch a bad film. I watched a film that admonishes people to honor their parents, and I felt that it was quite helpful.” There is no need, however, to argue about this. When the Holy Spirit presses and constitutes you a little within, and when He pierces you a couple of times, immediately you will have a wall, a boundary. You will know what is of the lake of fire and what is of the New Jerusalem. Everything that is of Babylon and everything that is of corruption will be kept from coming into you.

This is not only true with individual believers; it is also true with the church as a whole. On many occasions brothers and sisters try to introduce the things of the world into the church. Like the worldly people, they may think that these things are quite good. But according to the same principle, in the church it is not a question of good or bad; it is a question of nature, a question of whether or not God is in something. I would like to ask you, when you went to watch even the best movie, could you say that God was in you, that God was with you, and that He was sitting there with you? For sure, you would not be able to say this. Not only so, frankly speaking, if you watch a movie, you will not be able to have proper prayer for at least a week. I know what I am talking about. Check with your experience. After you watch a movie, can you pray as usual? It will take at least seven days before some of the impression in you can be washed away. I am not even referring to a bad movie. If you watch a bad movie, you will not be able to wash it away for your entire life. That dirty impression will be stamped into your mind continually, and it will always reappear whenever you pray.

I repeat, this is not a question of good or bad; rather, it is a question of whether or not God is in it, a question of whether or not God is mingled in it. My brothers and sisters, may we all be those who have a wall. Both the saints individually and the church corporately must be serious to accept God’s building work, so that we may have a high, solid, and transparent wall.

(The Building Work of God, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)