Christ versus Religion, by Witness Lee

More excerpts from this title...


Jesus said to the women, "Go tell my brethren" (v. 10). This is a new term—"my brethren." Religious people always consider that we are at most the servants of the Lord, or to use a more intimate term, the children of the Lord. But the, Lord Jesus Himself referred to us as His brethren. This is a feature of the new age. Jesus is our Brother, and we are His brethren. That day they were going to meet their Brother. They were not going, in a sense, to meet their Lord and Master, but their very Brother. Have you ever praised the Lord in this way? Have you ever said, "Lord, how we praise You that You are our Brother"? I fear that if you go into any kind of Christian service today and praise the Lord Jesus in this way, you will be promptly quenched and charged with irreverence. Hallelujah, Jesus called us His brethren! He has the life of the Father, and we too have the life of the Father. We are no more just His disciples, no more merely His servants, but His very brothers. What He is, we are; and what we are, He is. He is the Son of God, and we are the sons of God. He is our Brother, and we are His brethren. We are going to the brothers’ meetings. It is really good.


Immediately after the discovery of the resurrected Christ, those religious people exercised their power. "Behold, some of the guard came into the city, and told unto the chief priests all the things that were come to pass. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave much money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and rid you of care. So they took the money, and did as they were taught..." (vv. 11-15). By money and with money you can do everything. They exercised their power to bribe the people. Money is the power of today’s religion. But notice what the Lord Jesus said to His disciples. He did not say, "All gold and silver have been given into my hand. Go ye therefore!" He did not say, "Those religious people have a lot of money. but I have more." No! He said, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore..." (vv. 18-19). He said in effect, "Go with this. Don’t go with money. Go with my authority." What a shame that in today’s Christianity so many talk continually of money. Day by day on the radio, at the close of every religious broadcast, there is a plea for money. Christ is versus religion. Christ is versus money. Christ does not care for money, and neither should His church.


Naturally and religiously speaking, we would think that if the Lord Jesus would have a meeting on the mountain in Galilee following His resurrection, that meeting must be a considerably long meeting with a message covering several chapters in the Bible. After His resurrection, we know, He was going to ascend to the heavens, and we would think that He must pass on many instructions and regulations for His disciples to follow in His absence. We may think that He should dictate to them the charters, creeds, doctrinal statements, conditions for appointing elders and selecting deacons, and how to set up the local churches, etc., etc. I would think the Lord Jesus would need to schedule a three-week conference with His disciples. But to our amazement, instead of a three-week conference, there is a three-verse conference, and it is recorded in Matthew 28:18-20. "Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the completion of the age" (Greek). This was the first conference following the resurrection of Christ. This was the first church conference.

(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)