The Constitution and the Building Up of the Body of Christ, by Witness Lee


A. By Leavening the Initial Church

Satan’s corruption of the church began with his leavening the initial church, typified by the two wave-loaves offered to God on the day of Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-17). Leviticus 23 says that on the day of Pentecost, God requested His people to offer two leavened loaves, not unleavened loaves. That indicates that from the first day the church was established, the church was already impure. This was confirmed by the sinful case of Ananias and Sapphira in deceiving God the Spirit (Acts 5:1-11) and the case of the murmuring concerning the overlooking of the daily dispensing to the widows (Acts 6:1).

B. By Leavening the Church in Corinth

Satan also corrupted the church by leavening the church in Corinth with the gross sin of fornication (1 Cor. 5:1-8).

C. By Leavening the Church with Different Teachings Other Than the Economy of God

Satan’s corrupting work is also by leavening the church with different teachings other than the teaching of the economy of God. Paul exhorted Timothy to remain at Ephesus to charge certain ones not to teach different things other than the economy of God (1 Tim. 1:3-4). This tells us that even in the early days among the churches different teachings were being taught. Different teachings create divisions. Because there are hundreds of different teachings today, there are also hundreds of different groups, different divisions. This is a kind of leavening to divide the Body of Christ.

D. By Leavening the Entire Meal
through a Woman

Satan’s corruption is portrayed in Matthew 13:33, which speaks of the leavening of the entire meal (fine flour made of the grains of wheat) through a woman (the Catholic Church as the false prophetess Jezebel—Rev. 2:20). This means that the Catholic Church itself is a false prophetess.

E. By Leavening the Early Church
with Judaism, Gnosticism, and Asceticism

Satan worked to leaven the early church with Judaism in Sabbath keeping (Col. 2:16); in circumcision practice (Acts 15:1-2; Gal. 6:15); in the so-called holy diet (Acts 11:2-3; Gal. 2:12-13); and in traditions (Gal. 1:14). He also leavened the early church with Gnosticism (Col. 2:8) and asceticism (Col. 2:20-23). These "isms" were leaven by which the church was corrupted.

(The Constitution and the Building Up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)