The Mystery of Christ, by Watchman Nee


In the case of Paul’s conversion we have a further illustration of the laying on of hands. Acts 9 shows us two characteristics of the revelation that Paul received at the time of his conversion. When the Lord appeared to Paul on the way to Damascus, He showed him that persecuting the believers was the same as persecuting Him (vv. 3-5). The Lord asked, "Why are you persecuting Me?" He did not ask, "Why are you persecuting those who believe in Me?" Paul asked, "Who are You, Lord?" The Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you persecute." The Lord showed Paul that he was persecuting the Head when he was persecuting the members of the Body. When you damage any member of the Body, you damage the Head. Every sin that offends the Body offends the Head. Every believer of the Lord is one with the Lord. This is the oneness of the Head with the Body. Paul was the first one who saw the Body of Christ. The day that the Lord revealed Himself was the day that Paul saw the Body.

After this high revelation, the Lord charged him to go into the city, and there it would be told to him what he must do (v. 6). This was also a revelation of the Body. After such a high revelation, the Lord did not speak to him directly; rather, He committed him to the Body. On the day Paul was saved, the Lord showed him the principle of the Body. Three days later the Lord sent a small disciple by the name of Ananias to lay hands on him, and Ananias said to him, "Saul, brother, the Lord has sent me—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road on which you were coming—so that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit" (v. 17). Ananias was just an ordinary brother. We know nothing about his history before or after this event. When he was sent by the Lord to Saul, he said, "Saul, brother." This ushered Saul into the Body of Christ, filled him with the Holy Spirit, and brought him under the anointing.


Matthew 18:15-16 is not about whether a person is right or wrong. It is not even about whether a person feels that he is right or wrong. It is about the testimony of two or three brothers. If they say that you are wrong, you are wrong. Therefore, when other brothers say that you are wrong, and you do not feel that you are wrong, you should take their judgment and believe in them more than in yourself. If two or three brothers stand in the name of the Lord and say something to you, you should listen to them.

In the church there are four groups of people representing the Body. They are: (1) the apostles, (2) the elders, (3) those whom the Lord has specially chosen, and (4) two or three believers who deny themselves and who have come under the Lord’s name. These four groups of people represent the church. If we are wrong, the Lord will send a believer to us to speak to us about it. If we do not listen to the word of one believer, he will tell two or three other believers. If we still do not listen to their word, we should receive help from the elders. We cannot have any independent actions. For problems that cannot be solved, we should consult the apostles. They are designated by the Lord to represent the Body. We cannot overlook the Body, and we cannot overlook the representatives of the Body. May the Lord grant us the revelation of the Body so that we can submit to Christ the Head as well as to the representatives of the Body.

(The Mystery of Christ, Chapter 9, by Watchman Nee)