The Experience of Christ as Life for the Building Up of the Church, by Witness Lee


My intention in sharing this is that we would have a full scope of the revelation in God’s writings. This full scope impresses into us that God’s intention is to have a bride. God’s intention is to have the Body, the church, as the counterpart of Christ. How can God accomplish His purpose? The first two chapters of the Bible show us how.

God put His created man in front of the tree of life. Actually, God is putting all of humanity in front of the tree of life. The tree of life is the Triune God, the incarnated God realized as the Spirit. God’s intention is for men to open up their mouths to call on the Lord (Rom. 10:12-13). Then the tree of life will get into them. When you receive the Lord Jesus, you receive the tree of life. After the tree of life gets into you, there is a living river flowing within you and a spring of water within you gushing up all the time (John 4:14).

By this flowing of the living river, the precious materials will be produced. This means that by the tree of life with the flowing river, we men of clay, of dust, will be transformed into gold, pearls, and precious stones. We are the worthless dust, the clay, but we have some amount of gold within us. Praise the Lord that the gold within us is being increased all the time and the dust is being reduced. Regardless of how dusty we are, we all will eventually become gold, pearls, and precious stones.

These precious materials are not individualistic pieces. All of them are built up together into a corporate entity. At the end of Genesis 2, the rib is built into one bride. In Revelation 21 and 22 the gold, pearls, and precious stones are built together as one city, one bride, the consummation of the church. I hope we can see this picture from the Bible concerning how the church comes into being.

Many Christian leaders and teachers have a wrong concept. They think that the more doctrines they give people, the more the church will be built up, but this is not true. Actually, the more doctrines you give people, the more divisions and sects you will create. Doctrines divide. If you insist on your doctrine, and I insist on mine, we will be divided into two groups with two opinions. The church does not come into being by doctrines. The church comes out of life. It is a life entity. May the Lord have mercy on us. We must be brought into the full realization of life. The church can come into being only by life.

(The Experience of Christ as Life for the Building Up of the Church, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)