The Genuine Ground of Oneness, by Witness Lee

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It is crucial for us to see that the oneness among God’s children is preserved by life and light. It is not maintained through doctrine, organization, or maneuvering. We thank the Lord that in His recovery we have light and life. Firstly, we are enlightened through the Lord’s speaking. Then we receive the supply of life. Eventually, however, the life brings in more light. Actually, we enjoy the cycle of light and life, and life and light. The more light we have, the more life we enjoy; the more life we enjoy, the more light we receive. Light, life, and oneness go together. The more light, the more life; the more life, the more oneness; and the more oneness, the more light. This cycle of light, life, and oneness preserves the oneness.

However, we lose the oneness whenever we are in darkness and death. Darkness brings in death, and death causes detachment. But when we repent and confess to the Lord, we are cleansed by the precious blood. The cleansing of the blood is always related to the shining of light (1 John 1:7). As we are cleansed by the blood under the shining of light, we once again experience life. According to our experience, we can testify that the life, light, and blood in 1 John chapter one also function as a cycle that keeps us in the oneness. But when we are in darkness, we lose the oneness, for we lose the proper ground of the church. The result is death and detachment. Once again we see that the essence of the oneness is life and light. The oneness is in life, with light, and on the proper ground.


Life and light are also the essence of the oneness of the new city, the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21 and 22 speak of this new city. In chapter twenty-one we mainly see the matter of light, whereas in chapter twenty-two we primarily have the matter of life. Revelation 21:23 says, "And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb." In the New Jerusalem there will be no need of natural light because the city will be enlightened by the glory of the Triune God. The city will be illumined by the shining of God Himself. Furthermore, as the next verse says, "The nations shall walk by its light" (v. 24). This reminds us of Isaiah 2:5: "O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord." Light preserves oneness and rules out disorder. The light in the New Jerusalem will control, rule, guide, and keep everything in order. Hence, it will preserve the oneness.

Revelation 22:1 and 2 say, "And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life." The river of water of life flows out of the throne of God and of the Lamb to supply the city. The water of life here is a symbol of God in Christ as the Spirit flowing Himself into His redeemed people to be their life and life supply. In Revelation 22:1 the water of life is a river proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb to supply and saturate the entire New Jerusalem. In this way the city will be filled with the divine life to express God in His glory of life.

As verse 2 says, the tree of life grows "on this side and on that side of the river." The one tree of life growing on the two sides of the river signifies that the tree of life is a vine, spreading and proceeding along the flow of the water of life for God’s people to receive and enjoy. For eternity, God’s redeemed people will enjoy Christ as the tree of life as their eternal portion (Rev. 22:14, 19). As the tree of life, Christ is the life supply available along the flow of the Spirit as the water of life. Where the Spirit flows, there the life supply of Christ is found. By the water of life and by the tree of life, the new city will be richly supplied for eternity. Through this abundant supply of life the oneness of the New Jerusalem will be forever maintained. It will not be possible for there to be any division. The light will shine throughout the city, and the life will water and supply the city. This life and light will eliminate the possibility of division. Even the nations that surround the new city will be one. At that time, all things in heaven and on earth will be headed up in Christ (Eph. 1:10). This will be the ultimate, universal, and eternal oneness. As we have pointed out again and again, this oneness will be kept and preserved in life and with light.

All the churches in the Lord’s recovery must be in life and under the shining of light. By the shining of the light and through the watering and supplying of the life, we are one. There is no need for us to make arrangements or to organize anything. The essence of our oneness is not organization—it is life and light. May we all be deeply impressed with the fact that oneness can be prevailing and can be preserved only by life and light.

(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)