The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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Since we are in the Lord’s recovery and are practicing the Body life, we must be clear concerning what we are. We are definitely not a division. Furthermore, we have no divisions among us. The church in Corinth was not a division, and they were not a sect. However, sorry to say, there were divisions among them. We need to be careful about this. We in the Lord’s recovery are not a division. But it is possible that in a local church there may be divisions. Some may speak one thing, and others may speak something different; yet they are all in the same locality. This is division. For example, the brothers in a certain place are standing on the ground of unity. Thus, they are not a division. But it is possible that there could be division among them. They may not be in harmony, and there may be different factions among them. Some may hold to one opinion, and others may cling to a different opinion. Perhaps you do not consider this a division. Although it may not yet be an actual division, it is something very close to division. At least such things are the seeds of division. Therefore, we all must be honest before the Lord. We should not be a division, and we should not have any divisions among us. We must chase away every shadow of division and dig out any seeds of division. The Lord’s recovery is mainly a recovery of the oneness. If we are still a division or have divisions among us, we are no longer in the Lord’s recovery. As long as we are involved in division, we cannot be in the Lord’s recovery. Rather, we are part of the repetition of the history of Christianity. This is a serious matter. If we lose our harmony, our genuine oneness, we lose the recovery.


In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul says that if there are divisions among us, then in our coming together for the Lord’s table, we come together not for the better, but for the worse (1 Cor. 11:17). First Corinthians 11:20 says, "When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper." We may attend the Lord’s table without discerning the Body (1 Cor. 11:29). Anyone who eats and drinks at the Lord’s table without discerning the Body eats and drinks judgment to himself (1 Cor. 11:29, Gk.). This, of course, is not a profit, but a loss. Whenever we come to the Lord’s table, we must discern the Body. In 1 Corinthians 11:29 the Body does not denote the Lord’s physical body that was crucified on the cross, but His mystical Body. At the Lord’s table the body has two aspects. One aspect denotes the Lord’s physical body, and the other denotes the mystical Body of Christ. We all need to discern Christ’s mystical Body. Whenever we touch the loaf at the Lord’s table, we must realize that the loaf denotes this unique Body. Because the loaf denotes the mystical Body, there should be no divisions among us. If we are still involved in division, yet we partake of the loaf, it will not be a profit to us, but a loss. Every time we come to the Lord’s table we must examine ourselves and ask, "Am I divisive? If I am, I should refrain from partaking of the Lord’s table. If I partake of the Lord’s table when I am involved in something divisive, it will not be a profit to me. I will not come to the table for the better [profit], but for the worse [loss]." This is an extremely serious matter.

Never consider division an insignificant thing. We must take the Lord’s table in a reverent way and in fear, lest we touch the Lord’s Body without discernment. We need to discern that what we are about to partake of is the unique Body of Christ. In this unique Body there must not be any division. If I am not involved in division, then I shall have the peace and a clear conscience to touch the Lord’s Body. May this matter be made clear to all the churches.

The Lord’s recovery is neither a movement nor a division. Those of every age must be together in harmony. We are not a division, and there are no divisions among us. Rather, we are the testimony of the one Body and the one Spirit. Whenever we come to the Lord’s table, we declare to the whole universe that we are one, that we have come out of division and that there are no divisions among us. When we touch the one loaf, which signifies the unique Body of Christ in the universe, we must have the witness in our conscience that we are not involved in division. If we do not have a clear conscience regarding division when we touch the Lord’s table, we shall suffer, for we shall eat and drink without discerning the Body. This will not be profitable to us. May the Lord have mercy upon us that whenever we come to the Lord’s table, we shall exercise our conscience to determine whether or not we are involved in something divisive.

Because today is a day of confusion and division, we must discern what group of Christians is the genuine testimony of the one Body. Then we ourselves must be certain not to have any seed of division or source of division among us. If there is no division among us, our conscience will be clear, and we shall bear a strong testimony of the Lord’s Body to the universe. Then the Lord’s blessing will be upon us.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)