The Building Work of God, by Witness Lee

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This is the condition of Christianity today. In any of the larger cities on earth you can see a number of Christian organizations and a great number of Christians. Not only are there nominal Christians, but there are also many genuinely saved Christians and even many who love the Lord and pursue after the Lord. However, if you have the vision, if you have seen what God wants to have in eternity, you will sigh and say, “Today on the earth it is hard to find a church which has been built up! It is hard to see a group of Christians who are being built up in a locality as a spiritual house in which God can dwell!”

I have had this experience of sighing before, but I have to confess that my feeling then was not deep enough. Now, after traveling abroad as the Lord led me to do and after having some contact with God’s children from place to place, amazingly this feeling became deeper and deeper within me. Every time I arrived at a certain place, the Holy Spirit seemed to say, “Look at the situation of Christianity here! Look at the condition of the Christians here! You see people who are saved, who love the Lord, who pursue after the Lord, who live for the Lord, and who pay attention to being spiritual, but can you see a dwelling place here in which I can rest? Is there a group of believers who have been built up into a spiritual house?” At a certain place the Holy Spirit even asked me, “Can you see two saved persons here who are truly being built together?” When I was faced with such a question within, I could only sadly answer the Lord, “No, Lord!” I also said to the Lord, “There is Christianity here, and there are Christians here. There are those who love You, those who pursue You, and those who pay attention to being spiritual, but I cannot see two persons who are built together.”

Forgive me for describing to you a little bit of the situation of one place. After I arrived there, a brother invited another brother and me to dinner. While we were eating, I observed that the two of them were really humble, gentle, and loving toward each other. The host brother treated us very well and showed us much love, and the brother who was invited with me was very polite. Both of them were quite cheerful. However, after the dinner when we sat down to have some conversation, I noticed that these two persons seemed to be on the two opposite poles of the earth: one was on the North Pole while the other was on the South Pole. They simply could not agree on anything. The one on the North Pole tried to pull me to the North Pole, while the one on the South Pole wanted to draw me to the South Pole. Both of them wanted me to agree with their respective opinions. I felt very awkward. Since I could not play politics with them, I just kept silent, saying nothing for or against either side. Later when the brother who was the guest had left, the host brother said to me, “Brother Lee, you do not know this person. You see that he seems very spiritual when he talks, but his hidden condition is very poor.” Then he went on to tell me many stories about that brother. A few days later I saw the other brother who had been the guest. As soon as he saw me, he said, “Brother Lee, the other day when the three of us were together, it was not so easy for me to speak, but now that I am with you alone, I have a few words to tell you. Oh, that person is really bad!” Then he went on to tell me many things about that brother. A few days later the second brother invited the other brother and me for dinner. When they were together, they were again so polite and gentle. One said, “I am really not good.” The other one said, “Brother Lee, this brother’s condition before the Lord is wonderful.” When I saw the situation, I was disgusted within me. I said in my heart, “You are altogether leprous! On the previous occasion when you invited me for dinner, I did not know you and your real inner condition, so I did not feel too bad. But now the leprosy within you has become manifest. You criticize each other, and you are unhappy with each other. Yet today you put on a show for this occasion. On the surface this one commends that one, and that one compliments this one, but you both feel entirely different within. This is altogether a pretense. This is leprosy. God has absolutely no way among you, and He will not be able to have any building among you!” Therefore, since that time I have had a very deep feeling: “Where is God’s dwelling place? Where can we find two persons who are built together?”

(The Building Work of God, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)