THE GROUND OF ONENESS UTTERLY LOST
All the divisions in Christianity are elevations that involve either lust or ambition. Division opens the way for every evil thing to come in. Consider the evil Jeroboam did. He made two calves of gold and set one in Bethel and the other in Dan. He also made a house on high places and made priests of the high places from among all sorts of people. He "ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar." All these points can be applied to today’s Christianity. For example, only genuine believers who have the life of Christ, who love the Lord, and who know the Word should be priests. But many of the ministers in Christianity today do not even believe that Christ is the Son of God. Furthermore, in Christianity there are many festivals, such as Christmas and Easter, that have been ordained and established by man. Furthermore, just as the children of Israel were eventually led into captivity and underwent a complete loss of the ground of oneness, so Christians today have been carried off to Babylon. The ground of oneness has not only been damaged; it has been utterly lost. Very few Christians have any idea of what the ground of oneness is. Who cares for the genuine oneness today? It is rare to find Christians who care about it. Generations ago, the genuine oneness of the believers in Christ was lost. For this reason the situation of today’s Christianity is altogether Babylonian. Although some may talk about oneness, this is not the genuine oneness revealed in the Scriptures. When we speak of the ground of oneness, hardly anyone can understand our language. To most Christians, the language of oneness is a foreign tongue.
A RECOVERY OF ALL POSITIVE THINGS
The Old Testament reveals not only the damage and loss of the ground of oneness, but also the recovery and testimony of this ground. Jeremiah prophesied that after seventy years of captivity in Babylon, the Lord would bring the people back to the good land. Jeremiah 29:10 says, "For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place." Ezra 1:1 refers to this prophesy of Jeremiah. Here we are told that in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus so that he made a proclamation throughout his kingdom regarding the building of the house of God in Jerusalem. This took place "that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled." This indicates that the return to Jerusalem was not initiated by man. According to the clear record of the Bible, it was initiated by God Himself.
When God’s people were in Babylon, they did not offer sacrifice to Him there. Nowhere are we told that in Babylon they offered the burnt offering every morning and evening. No doubt, men like Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah prayed, but they did not have the ground to offer sacrifice to God. In Babylon there was no altar. Without an altar, it was impossible for them to offer anything to God. Moreover, in Babylon God’s people could not observe the yearly feasts. What a pitiful situation! Babylon was a good place for fasting, but not for feasting. It was suitable for weeping, but not for rejoicing. Psalm 137:1 says, "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion." When the ground of oneness was lost, nearly everything else was lost also. God’s people lost the riches of the good land, the altar, and the feasts. Only at the chosen place in Mount Zion could they enjoy all these marvelous things.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)