The Genuine Ground of Oneness, by Witness Lee

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Before coming into the church life, most of us worshipped in places typified by the mountains, hills, and green trees (Deut. 12:2). These were places where pagans worshipped idols. Today idols can be found both in Catholicism and in the Protestant denominations. Some Christians may agree that there is idolatry in Catholicism, but they may insist that there are no idols to be found in the denominations. Remember the word of Moses in Deuteronomy 12:3 about destroying the names. Every denomination has a name other than the name of Christ. For example, the Lutheran denomination adopts the name of Luther. In principle, to have a name other than the name of Christ is to set up an idol. Those in the denominations may argue that such names are not idols, but simply means used to designate them as groups of Christians. However, to use a name in this way can be compared to a married woman taking a name of a man other than her husband. Such a practice is deplorable! Idols are found virtually everywhere in today’s Christianity, for in so many places there is a name other than the name of Christ. Often a chapel or another building used for religious purposes is erected in the name of a certain person. In principle, this is an idol. We should have only one name—the name of Jesus Christ.

According to the type in Deuteronomy 12:3, we must destroy all the places and all the names. Furthermore, every pagan practice that has been adopted by Christianity must be eliminated. There is no room for such things in the church. The book The Two Babylons proves that Catholicism has assimilated many elements of paganism. For example, Christmas and Easter both have a pagan origin. Aspects of paganism are found not only in Catholicism, but even in many of the denominations. Spiritually speaking, we must destroy all the places, images, and names. For this reason, there can be no reconciliation between the Lord’s recovery and the denominations with their high mountains, hills, and trees for the worship of idols. Furthermore, we ourselves must be careful not to have any mountains, hills, or trees. We should have only Christ and only the unique place chosen by God for keeping oneness.


If we see that we must destroy all other places and go to the unique place chosen by God, we can proceed to see a number of other points revealed in Deuteronomy 12. Firstly, we must learn how to fear God by going only to the place of His choice. Deuteronomy 14:23 says, "And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always." To go to the place of God’s choice is to fear God. But to have the freedom to make our own choice of a worship center is not to fear God. Rather, it is to satisfy our lust.

Before you came into the church life, you may have traveled from one denomination to another. You went from place to place to satisfy your own desires or taste. To do this is not to fear God in a proper way. If we fear Him, we shall come to the unique place He has chosen.

God does not allow us the freedom to choose the place of worship. In this matter we must fear Him and simply come to the place of His choice. If we exercise the right to make our own choice, we follow the way of the heathen, the way of the nations. According to Deuteronomy 12, the children of Israel were to destroy all the places where the pagans worshipped their idols. In principle, we must do the same thing when we come to the church life. The choice of the place of worship is altogether the Lord’s; it is not a matter of our preference. If we act according to our preference, we indulge our lust, for we satisfy our own desire regarding the place of worship. To behave in this way is to be like a woman who becomes involved with a man other than her husband. This is fornication. Just as a woman is limited to one man in marriage, so we are limited to the one place of God’s choice as far as the corporate worship of God is concerned. We all must learn to fear the Lord our God. With respect to Christian meetings, we must fear God and do only what is according to His choice. God commands us to destroy all other worship centers and to go only to the place chosen by Him.

(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)