RECENT NEWS FROM YI LIN, KIANGSU PROVINCE
To the brothers and sisters who pray to the Lord
with a pure heart:
The co-workers in northern Kiangsu have decided that we will organize some sisters’ work beginning April 4. Miss Chin Hsin Lai will teach the sisters to sing some hymns, learn a few characters, and study the Bible. The work will last for a month, and it will be in Yi Lin. Any sister in fellowship with us in northern Kiangsu who could receive this easy curriculum was invited to the meetings. More than thirty have already registered. We will offer hospitality for most of them. We hope the brothers and sisters praying for us will ask that the Lord’s riches fill up every lack. At the end of the sisters’ work, we plan to continue with a conference. It will begin on May 7 and will be for the edification of the responsible brothers and sisters in northern Kiangsu and the testimony of oneness among the co-workers. It will last for about ten days and will also be held in Yi Lin. About one hundred brothers and sisters who meet in the Lord’s name in northern Kiangsu are expected to attend this conference. We need two things. First, we are asking the Lord to give us a large place for a dormitory, and second, He needs to give us a place to meet. The house in which we meet in Yi Lin can only hold one hundred people. Every Lord’s Day, it is so full that some have to sit outside! Now with the addition of those from other localities, we will have no way to seat people! For this reason, we ask the brothers and sisters to pray much to the Lord for an open way so that we can rent a large building and not be hampered by problems in the location. Please also ask the Lord to remove all the frustrations and attacks of the enemy. May the Lord accomplish His will through His promises so that we can give glory to Him for eternity. Amen. May the love of the Lord be with you all.
The bondslave of Christ,
April 5, 1934
ANSWER TO BROTHER HSIEH TIEN EN
(This is a continuation from Issue No. 4.)
Question: Regarding the matter of the table meeting.
Answer: There are two aspects to the matter of the table meeting. On the one hand, we remember the Lord and fellowship with the Lord; on the other hand, the believers have fellowship with one another. The Lord’s supper spoken of in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 is for the remembrance of the Lord and for fellowship with Him. The table spoken of in 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 is for the believers to have fellowship with one another. To partake of the Lord’s supper is to remember the Lord; to break the bread is to have fellowship among the brothers and sisters. The table meeting is not only for the remembrance of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:24-25) but also for mutual fellowship (Acts 2:42). Hence, when we have the table meeting, we should pay attention to at least three matters:
(1) We cannot break bread with unbelievers. Only those who have received the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior and who have believed that the Lord’s body was given for them can remember the Lord. This is because the Lord said, "This is My body which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19). Whomever the Lord’s body was given for can remember the Lord and fellowship with Him. Only those who can say, "He loved me and gave Himself up for me," can remember the Lord and fellowship with Him. Furthermore, the table meeting is the fellowship of the brothers and sisters. Believers and unbelievers cannot have fellowship (2 Cor. 6:14-15). We cannot have fellowship with the so-called modernists. We not only are prohibited from having fellowship with them, but we cannot even greet them. "For he who says to him, Rejoice, shares in his evil works" (2 John 10-11).
(2) If a person is a believer, but still has the sins of 1 Corinthians 5:11, we cannot break bread with him. We should not fellowship with him, but also "with such a one [we should] not even...eat." A person does not need to have all six of these sins. If he has only one of them, we may not fellowship with him, because 1 Corinthians 5:11 says "or" and not "and."
(3) When we go to a place to take the table we should first discern what the objects displayed before us represent. "But let a man prove himself, and in this way let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not discern the body" (1 Cor. 11:28-29). We should discern whether or not what is displayed before us represents "the body." "The body" refers, on the one hand, to the Lord’s own body, and on the other hand, to the Body of Christ—the entire church. We must prove and discern whether the bread before us:
A.Refers to the Lord’s body given for us. We remember the Lord and fellowship with Him through His death which is displayed through the bread and the cup. It is not eating and drinking in an ordinary way.
B.Refers to the Body of Christ, including all the believers, or whether it refers only to a portion of the believers in a certain denomination. We must see the testimony of the oneness of the Body with all the believers through the bread on the table before us. The breaking of the bread shows us our salvation. The completeness of the bread shows us our oneness (1 Cor. 10:17). We partake of the Lord’s table (v. 21). The Lord’s table is for the fellowship of all His children. A denominational table is only for the fellowship of those in that denomination. The Lord’s table is the testimony of the oneness of the Body of Christ. The table of the denominations is the testimony of division. To partake of the table of "division" is not to partake of "the Lord’s supper." It is "not for the better but for the worse" (11:17-20).
Therefore, we cannot take the table with unbelievers and those believers with the sins of 1 Corinthians 5:11. We may not partake of the tables of denominations either. "Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord" (11:27).
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)