THE STARTING POINT OF THE WORK BEING
THE ONENESS OF THE BODY
The starting point of the work in Antioch was the sending forth of two or three men. However, if workers are sent out by the work, the question of organization may come in. When we are having our gathering this time, brothers from different localities have come on their own accord. Such a kind of gathering is not a product of organizations, teachings, or doctrines. It is a product of the Body’s need. There is only one Body. What is manifested in all the places is the same life. This life is the reality of this Body. The work is produced out of this reality. This is the Lord’s standard. If we compare our work with the Lord’s standard, we will see that we have surely come short. The Lord has shown us today that individual works can never come up to the standard of the Body. If we do not see this, but insist instead on our individual works, we will face a stone wall. All works that are not the issue of the Body life will sooner or later hit a stone wall. The Lord will lead us to the point where we have to take the way of the Body. He will lead us to the point where we will not be able to go on or even to live if we do not take the way of the Body. If a man falls into the river, surely he will cry out for help. In the same way, the Lord will force us to cry out for help and for rescue out of our individual works. This is the starting point of the work. The starting point of the work is the oneness of the Body.
The electricity that comes from the power plant is one, yet the places where it shines are many. Although it shines in many places, the electricity in these many places is under the control of the same power plant. Today, the works in all the localities should be under the fellowship of the one Body. No place should set up its own bunker or defense line. Today, we should express the life of the Body in the different localities. If we make the churches in our localities little kingdoms and territories bounded by their own "turfs," we are wrong.
THE TWO LINES OF THE WORK
In the Bible, there are only two groups of workers. Other than these two groups, God did not have His eyes on any other institution of Christian work. These two groups of workers are the group from Jerusalem and the group from Antioch. In addition to these two groups, there were other workers. For example, the book of Philippians mentions some others who preached Christ (Phil. 1:15-17). Yet the Lord did not pay much attention to these ones; He only paid attention to the workers from Jerusalem and those from Antioch. Since the Bible pays little attention to these other ones, we pay little attention to them also. The Lord emphatically placed in the Bible two lines composed of two groups of workers, the line of Paul and the line of Peter. For this reason, we have to be clear about these two lines.
ORGANIZATION BEING THE RESULT
OF THE LACK OF LIFE
The reason there are headquarters is that there is the lack of life. Once life is lacking, organization comes in. In the Body of Christ, organization is the heaviest burden. When a person is healthy, he does not feel the weight of his body. Once a person is ill, he feels the weight of his body. The more a person is ill, the heavier his body is to him. When a person dies, his body becomes the heaviest. It becomes so heavy that he has to be lifted up by others. When there is life, the body is a body. When life is gone, the body becomes a corpse. In the same principle, without life, headquarters appear. Once life is gone, there is the need for an organization to come in to arrange everything. As long as there is life in the Body of Christ, it will not be a problem even if this Body becomes very large. This is like saying that as long as there is life in the human body, a person does not feel the weight of this body no matter how heavy and big this body becomes. But as soon as this body becomes a corpse, it will become very difficult to lift it.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 44, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)