THE PILLAR AND BASE OF THE TRUTH
Besides being called the house of the living God, the church is also called the pillar and base of the truth. Here Paul alluded to the Mediterranean architecture of his day. The ancient buildings were designed to be supported by strong pillars or columns, which were placed on a base. The pillars held up the whole structure. The church is both the base and the pillar that bears the truth. It is not the elders but the church—every member—that bears this responsibility. This is why it is important for you young people to be well built up in the church. You must realize that the meetings are not for your entertainment but for your edification, your building up, so that you will have the discernment of the truth and will resist any lie which may be brought in.
One reason the United States is so strong is because of the respect given to the Constitution. Even the president must conform to it. What other country could peacefully depose a president for his disregard of the law of the land? As the pillar and base of the truth, the church must exercise the same vigilance to see that no falsehood, no evil, and no hierarchy contradicting the headship of Christ, can be brought in. This is the responsibility of all the members.
The Epistle to the Philippians opens with this verse: “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (1:1). Please notice the little word “with.” It indicates that the church’s major component is the saints; the elders and deacons are like attachments. By the choice of word in this verse the Holy Spirit would further impress us that the headship is Christ’s alone. The responsibility to uphold the truth belongs to the whole church, not just to the elders or deacons.
This is a need in the church today. We must learn the truth and how to defend it. Otherwise, the church will have no future. All of us must bear responsibility to know and practice the truth.
These are the two main matters concerning our behavior in the house of God: respecting the headship of Christ and knowing, keeping, and defending the truth.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)