Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, by Witness Lee

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[We have all received the all-inclusive Christ as the good land (Col. 1:12). It is a land flowing with milk and honey. In our daily life we should experience this rich Christ all the time. When we come together we should present this Christ whom we have experienced and offer Him to God to be His food. Then we can all enjoy this Christ together as our enjoyment. If you were to enter into Jerusalem during one of the feasts of the children of Israel, you would have seen the temple surrounded by all kinds of produce of the good land. This is truly an exhibition. It is an exhibition before God of all the produce that the children of Israel harvested.

The way of meeting as revealed in the Bible is not like today’s Christian worship services. The way of worship services in Christianity is completely natural and religious. It is a product of habits and traditions. As it takes doctors to handle sickness, and lawyers to handle legal disputes, so some assume that it takes pastors to handle Christian worship. They consider preaching to be the job of the pastors; the rest have nothing to do but listen. The Lord’s way for us is not like this. He wants us to gather together to exhibit Christ.]


A. Meeting to Break Bread

Acts 20:7 says, “And on the first day of the week, when we gathered together to break bread.’’ [To break bread is to eat the Lord’s supper, remembering the Lord who died for us (1 Cor. 11:20, 23-25). This should be the first kind of regular meeting for us who have been redeemed by the Lord’s death.]

B. Meeting to Pray

In Matthew 18:19-20 the Lord says, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything, whatever they may ask, it shall come to them from My Father who is in the heavens. For where two or three are gathered together.’’ [Here the Lord is speaking concerning the prayer of a meeting. This kind of prayer is more powerful than the prayer of an individual, being able to bind on earth what has been bound in heaven, and to loose on earth what has been loosed in heaven (Matt. 18:18).] Acts 1:14 says, “These all were persevering with one accord in prayer, together with the women.’’ [Here again, the prayer of a meeting is mentioned. It was this prayer that brought in the blessing of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.] Then in Acts 4:24-31 it is recorded, “And when they heard this, they lifted up their voice with one accord to God and said. And as they were beseeching, the place in which they were gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God with boldness.’’ [It says here that in those days when the disciples were under persecution, they met together to pray with one accord. That kind of prayer caused them to be filled outwardly with the Holy Spirit and to speak the word of God with boldness.] The Bible also says, “Prayer was being made fervently by the church to God concerning him’’ (Acts 12:5); “where [the house of Mary] a considerable number were assembled together praying’’ (12:12). [On the day when Peter was imprisoned, the church prayed fervently for him, and a considerable number were assembled together in a sister’s house, praying for him specifically. That prayer caused God to perform a great miracle, delivering Peter out of prison.]

C. Meeting to Exercise the Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.’’ [The meeting mentioned here is for the exercise of spiritual gifts and for mutual building up. In this kind of meeting, there should not be a special person doing a specific thing, but everyone should exercise the spiritual gifts: one has a psalm, one has a teaching, one has a revelation, one does this, and another does that. Each one may participate with the goal of building up and edifying others.]

D. Meeting to Read the Word

Acts 15:30-31 says, “And having gathered the multitude together, they handed them the letter [written by the apostles and the elders in Jerusalem]. And when they read it, they rejoiced at the consolation.’’ [Here it says that when Paul and his companions arrived in Antioch, they gathered the saints together to read to them the letter written by the apostles and the elders in Jerusalem under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Hence, we may also need to meet together occasionally to read the word of God in the Bible.]

E. Meeting to Listen to Messages

Acts 20:7 says, “When we gathered together…Paul discoursed with them, about to go forth on the next day.’’ [On that day, the believers in Troas met together to listen to Paul discoursing with them concerning the spiritual things of God, that they might be edified and established. Therefore, sometimes we should also meet to listen to spiritual messages spoken for God by the Lord’s minister of the word that we may be edified and established.]

(Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)