TO LIVE OUT THE REALITY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
As the new creation, we should not live in the old creation. If we live in the old creation, we are not in resurrection but in our natural man. Once we live in the Triune God, in Christ, and in the consummated Spirit, we are in resurrection. This is a life that lives out the reality of the Body of Christ. Today, in general, people have the term “the Body of Christ,” yet very few know what the Body of Christ refers to. The Brethren teaching says that the church is the Body of Christ. This is literally according to Ephesians 1:23: “Which [the church] is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.” But what is the Body of Christ? The Brethren did not have a clear explanation.
Based on his knowledge of the Bible and his own experience, Brother Watchman Nee spoke a word which probably had never been spoken by anyone else. He said, “The Spirit is the reality of resurrection.” When we live in this resurrection, what we live out is the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is the issue of the God-man life lived out by all those who believe in and belong to the Lord as the new man. Only such a God-man living is Christ. In our daily life we should speak and do things in resurrection. If we are not in resurrection, we are not the Body of Christ; rather, we are natural. We may live and walk in a proper manner, but if we do not live out the reality of Christ, we are not in the Spirit or in the reality of resurrection; hence, we are without the reality of the Body of Christ. This touches something very high. If we have not seen this, we have not seen the Body of Christ.
Where is the Body of Christ? Some say that the Body of Christ is universal and appears in different localities. This explanation is still a doctrine, even a good doctrine, but it has not yet touched the reality. Where is the Body of Christ? The Body of Christ is in resurrection, and this resurrection is first, the Triune God; second, the pneumatic Christ; and third, the all-inclusive Spirit. The Body of Christ is in the Triune God, in the pneumatic Christ, in the all-inclusive Spirit, and in resurrection. Hence, when we live out a situation of resurrection, that is the manifestation of the Body of Christ. Using this as the yardstick for measuring, can you find the Body of Christ? You need to be careful in your daily life to see whether you speak and act in resurrection or in your natural man. If you are not in resurrection, whatever you say is not in resurrection. If you say something that is not nice, it is not in resurrection; if you say something nice, neither is it in resurrection. Then what shall you do? You know what to do only by being on the cross. When you are going to talk about something, are you on the cross? If you are on the cross, you are in resurrection.
LIVING IN RESURRECTION TO BRING FORTH A GENUINE REVIVAL
If we live in resurrection, this will become an unprecedented revival among all the Christ-pursuing God-men today. It will be a genuine revival brought forth from within us. It will also be an unprecedented revival, a revival that has never occurred in the two-thousand-year history of the church. I believe that before the Lord comes back, there will be such a final revival. What is this revival? It is the corporate living of the overcomers; it is also the reality of the Body of Christ. This revival does not necessarily refer to the preaching of the gospel with enthusiasm to bring people to salvation; this revival is the corporate living of the overcomers in resurrection.
A REVIVAL AS THE MEANS FOR THE LORD TO CLOSE THIS AGE
This revival will be the means for the Lord to close this age and bring in His kingdom age. This age is really coming to a close. Look at the development in the world situation. The nation of Israel has been restored, and Jerusalem has been returned to the Israelites. Hence, this age should be ended. But it seems that the Lord still has no way to close this age. The reason that the Lord still has not closed this age is that He is still waiting for the overcomers. He is waiting for a group of overcomers to live in His Body in resurrection to be the means for Him to usher in His kingdom age.
In Luke 18:8 the Lord said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” This means that when the Son of Man comes, He will be looking for the overcomers on the earth, a group of people living in faith, but can He find them? If you answer, “He can,” then this age can be closed for the Lord to come back. However, no one today can say this. I often ask myself solemnly and even ask the Lord with weeping, “O Lord, am I Your overcomer today?” I dare not say that I am not, but I am afraid that I am not, because I still do certain things in my natural man and not in resurrection, and I still do certain things not by faith but by myself.
Recently, we said that to have faith is to believe that God is and I am not. Hebrews 11:6 says, “He who comes forward to God must believe that He is.” Today the people in the world, even Christians, and even the leading co-workers among us, mostly act and behave by believing that they themselves are. You can seldom see a brother who shows, in his attitude and expression, that he does not believe that he is but believes that only God is. A person who does not believe that he is but believes that only God is, is the Lord’s overcomer. With this as a measuring yardstick, I tell the Lord, “Lord, in the last part of the journey of my human life, may I receive Your mercy and grace to be one of Your overcomers.” Without such a group of overcomers, how can the Lord close this age? The Lord has spent six thousand years to work on the earth. In the Adamic age the Lord did not find this group of overcomers. Then generation after generation through the age of the law, He was not able to find these overcomers. Likewise, in the church age He cannot find this group of overcomers in Christianity. It is only in His recovery that He can find a small number of overcomers. In Revelation 14 we see that even though many have been saved, the overcomers number only 144,000. May the Lord have mercy on us to make us the overcomers in the present age for Him to close this age and bring in His kingdom age.
(A General Outline of God's Economy and the Proper Living of a God-Man, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)