THE WAY TO LAY THE FOUNDATION
The oneness, the priesthood, the kingship, and the altar are the preparation for laying the foundation. According to typology, this foundation is nothing but Christ. They laid Christ as their foundation. They did not care for anything but Christ, and we must be the same. We do not care for prophesying, we do not care for healing, we do not care for speaking in tongues, and we do not care for foot-washing or head-covering. We do not care for anything but Christ. Our foundation is nothing but Christ. Yes, we take the ground of the church, but we are not for the ground. The ground is for the foundation, and the foundation is Christ and Christ alone.
Pray-reading is not our foundation. Pray-reading is a means to lay the foundation. Pray-reading is a means to build. We thank the Lord that in the past years we have seen much building by pray-reading. Pray-reading truly builds, but it is not the foundation. Our foundation is Christ alone.
How do we lay the foundation? The foundation is laid by praising and shouting. “And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because He is good, for His mercy endureth forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chiefs of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: so that people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off” (Ezra 3:10-13).
If we are going to another place, we do not need to teach or preach so much. We must simply go there and shout and praise concerning Christ. If we go there to praise Christ, I believe there will be a firm foundation laid.
Why do we have to follow the old way? We come to the meetings and sit waiting for someone to call a hymn. Then we all sing. Why do we follow this old way? Where is the scriptural ground for this way? Why do we have to have a message in all our meetings? Why do we not have a shouting meeting? I shout to you and you shout to me, “Brothers, Christ is my life! Christ is Victor!” Then another will shout, “Yes, Christ is Victor!” But we should not make this another way. We must be so new and living. I have the deep conviction that the Lord is going to tear down the old way. I do not think the old way of preaching will be so prevailing. There must be something new.
How did they lay the foundation? By shouting and praising. When Christianity is going to build a church building, they have a certain kind of celebration to lay the foundation. They sing a hymn, and the pastor will read a portion of the Word. Then another will give a message. This is the old and dead way, the way with no life. That is not Christ as the foundation. If they declare Christ as the foundation, everyone will shout, “Hallelujah!”
Look at the record in Ezra. Some shouted and some wept. There was no order. If you go to the cemetery, there is no need for you to tell those who are there to stay in order. They are already orderly because they are dead and buried. If we are living, it is rather difficult to keep a strict order. We all know that according to history, the Hebrew people were so religious, but according to this record, there was not much religion. They came together as one man. Is this religious? They put everything on the altar to be burned. And when they laid the foundation, they shouted and wept so much that they could not discern who was shouting and who was weeping. Is this religious?
When we get back to the proper ground, we must pray that such a foundation will be laid. Do not call a meeting and say, “Brothers, please open to 1 Corinthians 3:11. We must all know that the unique foundation is Christ.” This is dead teaching! You are right, but you are deadly right. In the Lord’s recovery, we do not need this kind of dead teaching. When we come back, we must come back shouting, praising, and full of Christ without any teaching. This will be wonderful.
Not long ago while traveling, I had a three-hour layover in a certain place where there was a local church. Two brothers met me at the airport and we had some fellowship. They told me that a brother from their place had gone to Los Angeles and stayed for three weeks. When he came back, the first time he came to the meeting, he shouted, “Hallelujah!” Everyone in the meeting knew that this brother had returned from Los Angeles. They had not seen him, but they heard his “Hallelujah!” He was so bubbling. This was really good. But if this brother had come back to teach them to shout “Hallelujah!” the way they do it in Los Angeles, this would be wrong. He would just be asking people to shout in a dead way. It is not a matter of imitating, but of being filled with Christ. When we lay Christ as the foundation, we are so happy we shout “Hallelujah!” We have no other foundation but Christ. We do not care for this, we do not care for that—we only care for Christ. This is the unique foundation of the house of God. We have seen it, and we are in it. Praise the Lord!
(The Recovery of God's House and God's City, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)