THE RECOVERY BEING SMALL IN SCALE BUT RIGHT IN PRINCIPLE
Here we can see a principle. The rebuilt temple was wonderful, but in scale it was smaller than the original one. This was why Ezra tells us that at the time the foundation was laid some were shouting, but some were weeping (Ezra 3:10-13). Some were shouting for joy that the foundation was laid, but some were weeping because of the smaller scale. There was no comparison; the original house was great, but the rebuilt one was smaller. Regardless of the scale, however, the principle is the same. Do not think that in His recovery the Lord will have something great in size, in scale. The Lord will have something small in scale but in the proper principle.
In the church in Jerusalem three thousand were saved in one day and became one. Today we may have only thirty, eighty, or one hundred. However, the principle is the same; we are one. For centuries people have said it is impossible to have oneness among Christians, but today the Lord has worked it out. It is possible. One hundred, two hundred, and even one thousand different Christians among us with different backgrounds are all one.
TODAY’S JERUSALEM BEING OUR HUMAN SPIRIT
We must come back to Jerusalem, but what is today’s Jerusalem? First, in the ancient times Jerusalem was the place where God’s dwelling place, His habitation, was. Second, Jerusalem was the unique center of the oneness of God’s people. It is by Jerusalem that all the people of God were united.
Today’s Jerusalem is our human spirit. Ephesians 2:22 tells us that God’s dwelling, God’s habitation, is in our spirit. Likewise, the genuine oneness is in our spirit. When we are in our mind, we are divided, but when we forget about our mind and return to our spirit, we are one. If you stay in your mind, you are divided from me, and if I stay in my mind, I am divided from you. Therefore, let us forget about our mind and turn to the spirit; then we all will be one. The more we talk and discuss, the more we are in the mind and the more we are divided. Let us forget about discussing. Let us say, “O Lord Jesus.” Let us pray and praise together. By doing this, we are immediately in the spirit, and when we are in the spirit, we are one. This shows us that Jerusalem today is our human spirit.
This can also be proved by John 4. In John 4 the Samaritan woman spoke to the Lord Jesus about the place of worship, whether it was in Jerusalem or Samaria, but the Lord Jesus told her that the age had changed. Now worship is not in Jerusalem but in spirit (John 4:19-24). By this we can see that today’s Jerusalem is our human spirit. If you come to me to discuss with your mind, we two will be divided. But if we would forget our mind, turn to our spirit, and say, “Amen,” we will be one. The more we exercise our mind to argue, the more we are divided. Sometimes I am afraid to talk to certain brothers and sisters, because in talking frankly we may exercise our mind, and after ten minutes we may argue. In the church life we should not talk in this way. Rather, we must learn to say, “O Lord Jesus. Amen.” After the meetings when we all arrive home, we should all say, “Amen,” in this way. Then everyone will rejoice. Our Jerusalem today is in our spirit, so we must return to our spirit.
The reason why there are differing denominations is that many people in them are in the mind. Many in the denominations are in the mind, and many in all the different free groups are also in the mind. Therefore, we should not argue with them. Argument gets us nowhere. Simply try to touch the spirit and say, “O Lord,” together with them. We should never try to convince people by our concepts. We cannot convince others in this way. Rather, we must give up our concept and pray, saying, “O Lord,” with people. Help them to turn to the spirit. This is what we need today.
(Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)