In the Lord’s recovery today we need to have a mutual trust. We all must believe one another. You must believe me, and I must believe you. If one of the churches is cautious about the other churches, that church is abnormal and unhealthy.
In the past, I was greatly influenced by the Brethren. Every one among them was an expert at being cautious. The Brethren were afraid that someone would desire to be a pope. Some of the brothers who feared that others might become a pope might have been the ones most ambitious to become a pope. We all need to receive mercy to drop this concept of a pope, a concept that may cause us to be sectarian, even in the Lord’s recovery. There is no need to be concerned about someone becoming a pope. Instead, let us take care of our spirit and be concerned with how much we release our spirit.
There is just one Body in the entire universe. All the churches must be one Body. But I do not mean that they should be organized to be one Body. If the church in Cleveland is afraid of being touched by the church in New York, I would wonder what kind of church there is in Cleveland. It would certainly be abnormal. If I am afraid that the person sitting next to me will steal my watch, I must have some kind of problem. I encourage you all to be at peace and to open your church to the other churches. Do not keep the church in your pocket as a pocket version of the church. The church is of Christ, of God, and of the saints (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 11:16; 14:33). It is not a church of you or me. Nevertheless, some desire to turn the church into a pocket church. In the past I saw this a number of times. In every instance those who tried this failed, for the saints would not agree with such a thing. Every saint desires to be in a church that is an open church, a church that is of God, of Christ, and of the saints. Every local church must be open.
Do not keep the church in secret. Rather, keep it open and welcome all the saints who visit you. When they visit you, bring them into the inner chamber. It is not sufficient even to bring them into the living room; you must also bring them into the secret chamber. I can boast for the brothers in Anaheim that nothing there is kept secret. If you come to Anaheim, you will find that everything from the skin to the innermost being of the church is open to you. Nothing is in our pocket.
I am familiar with the diseases in the Body. I know the damage caused by the hidden germs. For this reason, I have been burdened to pass on this healing word to the Body. Not only the elders, but also all the young ones, should be clear that the Lord’s recovery is to bring us back to one Body and one Spirit. We do not have organization or division; and we do not have confusion, control, or a pocket version of the church. All the churches must be open, and all must be one Body. But there is no organization, no confusion, and no control. Rather, there is one Body. Moreover, no one should keep the church in his pocket. On the contrary, everything must be public, everything must be for the saints, everything must be in the Spirit, and everything must be for the one Body. Remember, the Lord’s recovery is to bring us back to the one Body with the one Spirit.
(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)