The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ, by Witness Lee

Having the Divine Person

I am burdened to point out the intrinsic element and essence of the Body of Christ in the book of Ephesians. In chapter one of Ephesians, the Body of Christ is the coming out, the issue, of God’s impartation and transmission. In chapter two the church as the Body of Christ is the new man (v. 15). For the church as the Body of Christ there is the need of life, but for the new man there is the need of life plus the person. A body has life, but a man has life plus the person. Thus, the church is not only the Body which has the divine life but also the new man who has God as his person. To the Body, God is life; to the man, God is a person. Within us there is not only the divine nature, the divine life, the divine element, and the divine essence, but also the divine person. We have a person in us.

Created by Christ

In the whole universe, there are only two men. One is the old man, and the other is the new man. The old man is the man in Adam, and the new man is the man in Christ. We believers are not the man in Adam, but the man in Christ. Now I would like to ask how this could be. How could we become a new man? In Ephesians 2 we are told definitely that Christ created the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers, the two, into one new man (v. 15).

Before we were put into Christ, we were all old men. We need to realize that in Adam we are six thousand years old. We are as old as Adam. When Adam lived in the garden, we were there. When Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we ate it also. We are not only old; we are ancient. We are "antiques." But in Christ, all these antiques were chosen by God. He has chosen all of us antiques, and He marked us out. Then Christ came to accomplish the Father’s purpose, and He put all these antiques in Himself, using these antiques as materials and creating them, Jews and Gentiles, in Himself into one new man.

We need to see how Christ created us. He put all of us antiques into Himself. First, He brought us, all the antiques, to the cross to cross us out, to crucify us, to terminate us. As the old creation, we all have been crossed out by Christ on the cross. Through His cross He has annulled, abolished, all the differences among the antiques. The ordinances, the forms or ways of living and worship, divided the Jews and Gentiles. One Jewish lady told me that if a kitchen utensil had been used for eating pork, she could smell the pork on that utensil even if it had been washed. Religious Jews, of course, do not eat pork, but the Gentiles eat pork and many of them are a constitution of pork. Then how could the Jews and the Gentiles be one? The ordinances in the Old Testament law made this, humanly speaking, an impossibility. But Christ on the cross has not only abolished the ordinances concerning pork; He has also terminated all the people who eat pork and all the people who hate pork. All Jews and Gentiles have been terminated. All ordinances have been abolished. In the church life we have people of five colors among us—white, black, yellow, brown, and red. However, we are still one. We are one because we have been terminated. Christ has terminated us on the cross. This was done within Him as the element.

(The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)