THE LORD’S MOST THOROUGH DEALING
When we go to the place of God’s choice, we experience the Lord’s most thorough dealing with us. We are forced to be one with our brothers in Christ. Sometimes we may not desire to see a certain brother. Although we may attend the meetings of the church, we may try our best to avoid him. If we seek to avoid the presence of a certain brother, we shall not be able to enjoy the top portion of Christ. We need to be thoroughly subdued. We should pray, "Lord, have mercy on me so that I may be right with my brother. I want to have no problem with him and to enjoy being in his presence." This illustrates the fact that when we come to the place of God’s choice, we are dealt with by Him to the uttermost.
Suppose one Israelite had a problem with another and as a result did everything possible to avoid him. However, three times a year all the Israelite males were required to go up to Jerusalem. Those who refused were to be cut off from the fellowship of God’s people. Eventually, any problem between the Israelites had to be settled. Otherwise, there would have been no way for them to come together in oneness on Mount Zion to worship God. As they ascended Mount Zion, the Israelites had to chant the words of Psalm 133: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in oneness" (Heb.). Therefore, the unique place of God’s choice preserved the oneness of His people. As long as the children of Israel followed God’s choice, they had no alternative except to be one.
The situation is altogether different among Christians today. If one believer is not happy with another, he can simply go to a different place of worship. Most Christians regard themselves as free to choose a place to satisfy their own appetites. For this reason, among most Christians there is no subduing. But if we do not abuse God’s grace but are fully subdued by coming to the place of His choice, the oneness will be preserved. No matter what kind of disposition we may have, we need to be subdued by coming to the place of God’s choice. Otherwise, we shall be cut off from the fellowship of the people of God. If we are subdued in this way, we shall be preserved in the proper oneness.
THE PLACE WHERE THE LORD
HAS PUT HIS NAME
Now we come to the matter of how to discern the place of God’s choice. The first principle is that the place chosen by God must not have any name other than the name of God and Christ. Any place that has a name other than the name of Christ is not the place chosen by God. In Deuteronomy 12 God charged the people to destroy all the places with all the names. No name was allowed to remain. However, the unique place of God’s choice was the place where the Lord put His own name. Hence, the place to which we are to go is the unique place where the Lord has put His name. For this reason, as we meet together in the church, we meet only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 18 the Lord Jesus speaks of us being gathered together into His name. Whenever we come together, we must come into His name. We should not adopt such denominational names as Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or Baptist. All those names must be destroyed.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)