SPEAKING FOR THE LORD ONE BY ONE
AND DOING ALL THINGS BECOMINGLY AND IN ORDER
Now that we have seen something concerning our standing as the church according to the divine revelation, we need to see the church life in God’s economy. The unique God has a unique economy, and in this divine economy God produced the church. The church is the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23), the organism of the Triune God, and this organism is the expression, the manifestation, of the invisible Triune God. The church is also God’s house (1 Tim. 3:15-16). God’s house is not only His dwelling place but also His family, His folks. This house is also His kingdom, where He administrates and rules (Matt. 16:18-19; Rom. 14:17).
Today’s Christianity is full of organization, but the church as the living Body of Christ is the organism of the Triune God. According to Revelation 3:1 the church in Sardis as a prefigure of the Protestant church has a name that she is living, but she is dead. Death is more defiling before God than sin (Lev. 11:24-25; Num. 6:6-7, 9). We have to be careful that we do not become like a corpse, with no life and no livingness. A local church should be living and full of life. This is why I encourage all the saints to speak for the Lord. The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees the right of free speech to everyone. In a sense, all the denominations take away the saints’ first civil right because of their clergy-laity system. No one is allowed to speak except the clergy.
When we exercise our civil right to speak for the Lord, we should not exercise it in a wild way but in a proper way. In 1 Corinthians 14:40 Paul says that in the church meetings, "all things must be done becomingly and in order." I am happy to see the young people among us excited and released, but their speaking when they are too excited can be like thunder. Suppose that the heavens thundered all the time. No one would be able to live in such an environment. It is all right for the young people to make a joyful noise for a short period of time, but this should not be prolonged. When we shout and speak, we must learn to shout and speak orderly. We all have to learn how to function in a proper way for the building up of the church.
Yes, we all can prophesy, but our prophesying in the meeting should not be disorderly because Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:31 that we can all prophesy "one by one." We should not forget that it is "one by one," not three by five. When someone is speaking in a meeting, we have to wait until he is finished before we speak. We have to keep the principle of "one by one."
In the church meetings, all things should be done becomingly and in order. If you are going to shout in a meeting, you have to learn how to shout becomingly and in order. Even in an athletic contest, there are some rules which need to be kept. If we are going to be "crazy," excited, in the meetings, we have to be excited orderly.
We may think that when we are orderly, we cannot be excited and that when we are excited, we cannot be orderly. This shows that there is the need of a proper order in our meetings. We Christians are not rioters. We may be excited, but we are excited in an orderly way. When someone is prophesying, I should wait for him to finish before I speak. To keep the principle of speaking one by one is to be excited becomingly.
Sometimes the young people may be too active and too noisy, whereas the older saints may be too retired. If the young people are functioning too much, the older saints should have the realization that it is now their turn to function. In the church life, we need saints of all ages for the Lord’s testimony. When there is a blending of the functioning of the saints of all ages, this is "music." When the young people function in a very loud and excited way, this is not music. With music there is a variation in sound, that is, in tone, rhythm, speed, and accent. If the young people are functioning in an over-excited way, the older saints should then take the lead to say something for the Lord, to speak forth Christ. Then our meeting will be full of "music."
(The Satanic Chaos in the Old Creation and the Divine Economy for the New Creation, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)