Ephesians 4:4 says, "One Body and one Spirit." The Spirit is the essence and the reality of the Body. In doctrine, it may not seem so good to say that the Spirit is the Body, but in actuality the Spirit is the Body. If you are proud, the Spirit is absent, so the Body is not here. If you are opinionated, the Body cannot be here either, because your opinions are enemies to the Spirit.
Just because a group of believers are meeting in your locality, it does not mean that the Body is there. Today on this earth, there are many Christian groups. You may have the thought that your local church has nothing to do with other churches and should not be in any connection with other churches. This thought isolates your local church, making it no longer a part of the Body of Christ. The Body is unique in the whole universe. There may be thousands of local churches, but there is still just one Body. All the local churches are the one, unique universal church, the one Body of Christ.
Furthermore, all the local churches possess the same one Spirit. The Spirit is uniquely one. There is no local Spirit; there is no local Christ; there is no local God; and there is no local Bible. Moreover, the apostles’ teaching is not local, and the apostles’ fellowship is not local (Acts 2:42). All the basic things for the Body are not local. Some of the business affairs may be merely local matters, but we need to realize that all the local churches are the one, unique universal church, and they all have the same one Spirit. In this light we need to reconsider our present understanding of the church. Our understanding of the church may be unbalanced.
(Further Consideration of the Eldership, the Region of Work, and the Care for the Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)