IDENTIFICATION WITH THE CHURCH
Brother Yu Cheng-hwa asked: Is this identification the result of the work of the Holy Spirit? Why do we not say that we should be identified with the Head, but rather that we should be identified with the Body?
Submission to the Discipline of the Holy Spirit
Bringing In Identification
Brother Nee answered: Identification is not a oneness of the will. For example, if the feeling within me is different from yours, we will not be the same no matter how much we try to talk things over with one another. Water is water, and wine is wine. One does not see the water turned into wine every day. Whenever we do not submit to the discipline of the Holy Spirit through our circumstances, we will fall behind in the matter of identification. When a platoon of soldiers is marching along, and one of them disobeys the captain, he will automatically become out of step with the rest of the platoon.
With Christians there is no such thing as circumstances; there is only the discipline of the Holy Spirit. Today, the Lord has given us His Spirit. Everything around us is under His sovereign arrangement, and nothing is a coincidence. What the Holy Spirit is doing within us matches what He has sovereignly arranged outside of us. The discipline of the Holy Spirit is for our good (Rom. 8:27-28). Whatever He sees that we need, He arranges those things outside of us. If a man does not submit himself to the discipline of the Holy Spirit, he will come into conflict with the brothers. If he is not under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, surely there is no possibility of identification, and surely he will not be able to identify himself with the Body.
Identification with the Head Being Mystical, whereas Identification with the Body
The believers’ identification with the Head is a doctrine that has been preached for years, but we have to say that the result is quite abstract. For example, I consecrate myself to the Lord today. Tomorrow, I may take back my consecration, and nobody will know anything about it. This is mystical. Today, everything mystical has to be turned into something practical. Once something is turned from a mystical one to a practical one, it will not be so easy to dispense with the matter any longer. For example, if a person has consecrated himself in a practical way, it will not be easy for him to take back his consecration anymore. If he does, everyone will see that this brother has drawn back.
We have to realize that the oneness of the Body is something that is visible; it is not empty talk. In fact, if we are identified with the Head, we will surely be identified with the Body. When a person identifies himself with the Body, he is identifying himself with the Head. This is something visible and measurable. John said that if a man cannot love the brothers whom he has seen, he cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20). It is impossible to have two persons submitting to the Head, yet fighting with one another. I would rather declare that I am submitting to the Body than to declare in a falsely spiritual way that I have no problem with the Head and that I am submitting to the Head.
To Be Identified with the Head
without Being Identified with the Body
Being to Live in Deceit
Today, everywhere we see men living in deceit. These ones should learn to go along with the church. If you go along with the church, you will be blessed. If a man identifies himself with the Body, he will surely be identified with the Head. But if a man says that he is identified with the Head, yet does not identify himself with the Body, he is living in deceit.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 78, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)