The Elders' Management of the Church, by Witness Lee


To be in resurrection means that all of our actions have to pass through the cross. Suppose you need to announce something to the brothers and sisters; you must first put this matter to the death of the cross, to test it and to filter it. Many times, after such filtering, there may be nothing left to say. Originally, you may be one who would say whatever there is to say. This is to be in the natural realm. It is not in resurrection. Now when you filter what you are going to say, along with all your thoughts, intentions, motives, and goals, through the death of the cross, you are filtering out everything natural. Only that which is left after the testing of the cross can be presented. If you do this, you are speaking in resurrection.

For example, two brothers from the same district may be having an argument. You are one of the elders there, and you feel that you should go to visit the two of them. But you cannot go so quickly. You have to ask yourself if the thought of visiting the brothers is in the natural realm or in resurrection. You have to put the matter through the death of the cross to test it; you have to allow the death of the cross to filter it. Many times, after such filtering, not much is left. Although you are aware of the fact that the two are arguing, there is nothing in you that is in resurrection, and as a result you cannot go to see them.

Many times we feel that there are people we need to visit, things we have to say, matters we have to take care of, and opinions we have to express. But after the test of the cross, these things are all gone; there is no more need to see the person, to say the words, to deal with the matters, or to express the opinions. We feel that there is no more need to do all these things because they are all seen as being natural. Sometimes we will find out that they are not merely natural, but fleshly as well. They are our own inclinations and preferences. None of these can pass the test of the cross. Once these things meet the cross, they are through. When the world says that a person has to think twice before he acts, it means that he has to consider the pros and cons, and to consider if the matter is suitable or not. Such is not the case with us here. Every time you need to do something in the church, to express some attitude, or to voice some opinion, you have to take the principle of the cross. You must first place these things in the death of the cross and test them to see if they can stand the cross.

Even in giving a message, you need to be tested by the cross. Some messages are through once they are tested by the cross. You may discover that your messages are something entirely of another realm; they are natural, fleshly, and even fleshy. They are things east of the river Jordan, and they are not in resurrection. Hence, for those things that we are not sure whether they have passed through the cross, it is better for us not to do them. Anything we do or say must pass through the test of the cross. Only those things that have passed through the cross are in resurrection.

(The Elders' Management of the Church, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)