THE LORD’S RECOVERY BEING THE RECOVERY OF THE ONENESS OF THE BODY
The Lord’s recovery today is mainly a recovery of the oneness of the Body. It is not a recovery of a certain truth or of a certain doctrine; the Lord’s recovery today is a recovery of this oneness in Christ. Hence, if we see this vision, this revelation, then we will not have any arguments about anything. You will not say that you disagree with foot-washing, neither will I say that I disagree with head covering. These both will become topics of little significance. You need to see that we both have been baptized into Christ and that in this baptism our old creation, our natural being, and our former person have all been buried and put off. Today we are living in Christ and by Christ. We are one here, and nothing can touch us. We are one not only with Christ, but we are also one with one another in Christ. We are not one in anything outside of Christ; we are one in Christ. We are one not because we all have the same doctrine or opinion. No, we are one because we all are in Christ. Our mentality, our thoughts, and our opinions may be different, but by the Lord’s grace we all must deny these differences. Are you for head covering? You must tell the Lord, “O Lord, I let head covering go!” Are you for foot-washing? You must tell the Lord, “O Lord, I let foot-washing go!” In the same principle, do you like to pursue spirituality? I hope you will also have the boldness to tell the Lord, “O Lord, I will let even spirituality go! I want to live in this ‘oneness.’ What I need is not head covering, foot-washing, holiness, or spirituality; I care only for this ‘oneness,’ this one Body.”
When I was between the ages of twenty and twenty-five, I read a little of the Bible, gained some knowledge of the Bible, and was very particular about biblical doctrines. I tried to do everything according to the biblical doctrines. At that time, I saw some people who took the Lord’s supper by cutting up pieces of bread, and I condemned them greatly. Moreover, whenever I met someone, I would always ask how he was baptized. Was it by sprinkling or by immersion? If it was by sprinkling, I would say that was not right; it had to be by immersion. I ask you, Was it right for me to do that? It is hard to answer. From the standpoint of doctrines, it was right because we all need to be scriptural. Please remember, however, that from the standpoint of the Body, it was wrong. Why? Even if we have only a few words of argument concerning sprinkling and immersion, the Body is divided. Gradually, by the Lord’s grace, I came to know that sprinkling is not a main issue. This is not to say that today I agree with sprinkling but to say that this is not an important point. The important thing is that someone is in Christ and that he lives in Christ. Today we must abandon the doctrinal disputes of the last four hundred years since Luther’s Reformation.
I would say a little more on this. In 1968 among us there were numerous times when many brothers and sisters jumped into the water to be buried. When news of this went out, there were rumors that I was speaking heresy, teaching multiple baptisms. Actually, I myself did not get buried because I did not feel that there was any oldness in me that needed to be buried. I did expect from the beginning that the opposers would oppose this; however, this is not my point. My point is that whether you have been baptized once or twice, regardless of how many times you have been baptized, if you are still living by your natural life, if you are still you, then your baptism is not effectual. As long as you still live by your natural life, there is no value in getting baptized or in not getting baptized; it is worthless to be baptized once and likewise worthless to be baptized many times. The entire matter does not rest upon this kind of issue. Today in the Lord’s recovery we all must be delivered from doctrinal arguments. If you are still stuck in these matters, it proves that you have not yet seen what the Body is.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that you should not be baptized, nor am I saying that when you are baptized it is all right for you to be baptized by sprinkling. I would say absolutely that according to the Bible you should be baptized by immersion, but you should not consider this a major topic. I have seen that some people are very particular about baptism. Some say you must be baptized forward, while others say you must be baptized sideways. If we are still paying attention to these methods of baptism, it proves that our eyes are darkened and we have not seen the light. These things do not matter; what matters is that you are a person living in Christ and not living according to your natural person. If you are living in Christ, whether you are baptized forward, backward, or sideways is all right. Some people would argue with me and say, “Since this is the case, then we do not need to be baptized.” This also is too much, because the Bible clearly tells us, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Baptism is necessary, but when we baptize, we do not need to be so particular in letter about the ways of baptism. Therefore, you should never argue. This is true about any matter.
(One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)