WHY NOT REJOIN CHRISTIANITY?
We cannot go back because of the Lord’s desire. At the end of the first century, He said, “Behold, I come quickly” (Rev. 22:12). Why has He still not come? He does not yet have what He wants. He is after a Body to express Him and a dear Bride to satisfy His heart. Do you think the Body and the Bride can be found among today’s divisions and confusions? How could the Bride be prepared there? The Lord must have something other than Christianity, apart from its denominations, if He is to have His Body built and His Bride prepared.
Do you see that the Lord is out to recover His church from confusion and division, back to Himself and back to oneness? In the early years of the Lord’s recovery in this country, from 1962 to, say, 1973, those of us who were part of it can testify that among us there was no confusion and no division. Originally, there was only Christ. What life, peace, and enjoyment there were in those years!
SIGNS OF CONTAMINATION
Have you sensed something amiss in the Lord’s recovery these last few years? I fear the old history is being repeated. Some other factors besides Christ have come in. It is damaging to accept others’ concepts and opinions. Anything other than Christ, even something as good as Judaism, Greek philosophy, or the study of Christ, is a factor of confusion. If we would preserve the Lord’s recovery from contamination, we must turn away from our concepts and come back simply to Christ.
What is a concept? It is hard not to offend when we deal with this matter, because our concepts are highly regarded by us. Here are two concepts being spread among the saints: attending the meetings regularly is religious; going early to the meetings is legal. Whether such concepts are right or wrong is not at issue. But as long as you hold and preach them, you cause division. You bring in confusion. If the saints want to come to the meetings early, they have the freedom. If some want to come later, let them. Why bother the saints with your concepts? You create barriers and destroy the peace.
Consider what has happened to you since you began paying attention to concepts. Is your enjoyment of Christ greater now? If you are quiet before the Lord, I believe you will sense that since being diverted from Him to concern about which meetings to attend and what time to come, your enjoyment of Christ has been less.
THE CONTENT OF THE RECOVERY
It is not too late to come back and say, “Lord, for Your sake I drop my concepts, whether they are good or bad, useful or useless. I want only to go along with You, Your church, Your recovery, and all the saints. You are the first and the last; You are everything. Whatever concept I have, I would put it aside.” Let us all look to Him for grace that we may be brought back. The content of the Lord’s recovery is only Christ, nothing else.
He as our life is the material of which the church is built.
THE STANDING OF THE CHURCH
Besides the material for a building, you also need ground on which to build.
There was a gentleman in China who was having a house constructed. Unbeknownst to him, a portion of it was being erected on his neighbor’s property. That neighbor bided his time till the house was finished, then went to the gentleman and told him about the house’s improper location. Here was a house designed and built exactly according to its owner’s plan, yet he lost it because it was on the wrong ground.
The ground or standing of the Lord’s recovery is the genuine oneness.
I have heard of some forming a little group in their locality and meeting by themselves. They decide together, on the basis of some kind of feeling, which church meetings they will attend. The other church meetings they do not attend. Is this keeping the oneness? Is Christ divided? Do you come only to meetings which suit your taste? Can the church be built according to your individual or group preference?
The church is built upon oneness. Anything other than Christ, however much we treasure it, we leave outside, because bringing in something besides Him will cause division. There will be no confusion and no division if we have regard for only these two things: Christ as life and the oneness. The church is not built upon a style of meeting nor upon aggressive people.
Dear ones, as you love the Lord and His recovery, be willing to drop any concept about how to meet. Some may shout, some may sleep, but you just enjoy the Lord and praise Him no matter how foreign the meeting is to your taste.
This is the recovery of Christ upon the oneness. Such a vision will keep us on a straight course.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)