The Genuine Ground of Oneness, by Witness Lee

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Nothing is more satisfying than the ground of oneness. For the Old Testament saints the thought of coming into the courts of the Lord’s house stirred holy and godly aspirations within them. Many of the psalms illustrate this. These psalms are filled with aspirations of holiness, godliness, piety, and the presence of the Lord. In fact, even the thought of the house of God aroused such aspirations.


The presence of God is very much related to the ground of oneness. Before I came into the church life, I truly loved the Lord. However, I did not have much enjoyment of His presence. But when I came into the church life in a practical way, I began to enjoy the Lord’s presence day by day. Even during the course of a very demanding job, I had the enjoyment of His presence. According to my experience, I can testify that participating in the church life makes a tremendous difference in our Christian life.

Many of us can give a similar testimony. Before we came to the church, we were in Babylon. We loved the Lord and we sought the Lord, but we did not have much enjoyment of His presence. However, after we came into the church life, various holy desires and aspirations were aroused within us. More than ever before, we aspired to be in the Lord’s presence. This is the spontaneous result of returning to the ground of oneness, to the unique place of God’s choice. When God’s people returned to Jerusalem, all the positive things that had been lost during their captivity in Babylon were restored. All the sacred, godly, heavenly things spontaneously returned. It has been the same with us in the Lord’s recovery today.


Psalm 126:1 says, "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing." God’s returned people were filled with laughter and rejoicing because all the positive things had been restored. Before they returned to Jerusalem, however, they did not have such an enjoyment. But after they returned, they enjoyed so many excellent things that it seemed to them like a dream.

Isaiah 35:10 and 51:11, verses that are very similar, also speak of the joy of God’s returned people. These verses declare that "the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head." The fact that this matter is repeated shows its importance, for anything in the Bible that is repeated is of special significance. During Isaiah’s time, the Babylonian captivity had not yet occurred. Nevertheless, Isaiah spoke about the gladness, the enjoyment, of God’s salvation of His ransomed people. He foresaw the joy of the returned captives. I do not believe that Solomon and his contemporaries were as joyful as Zerubbabel, Joshua the priest, Ezra, and all the others who had returned to Jerusalem from captivity. They experienced much more of the joy of God’s salvation than Solomon did. For this reason, the writer of Psalm 126 declared that they were like them who dream.

(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)