Oneness, Nature, Life, & Essence of the Local ChurchOneness, Nature, Life, & Essence of the Local Church

Additional Quotes about the Local Church by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee

Because the church is the organic Body of Christ, it can have nothing to do with organization. If something is wrong in our physical body, it is healed organically. The body is an organism. It cannot be touched or dealt with in an organizational way. The church is an organism. The church is not only the Body of Christ but also the new man. Just as the life within our physical body takes care of sicknesses, the life within the Body of Christ can take care of any problem. If there are some problems in a local church, it is best if we keep our hands off of these problems and leave them to Christ, the heavenly doctor. He is the life in the Body. We need to let the life in the Body work within the Body. Our own doing apart from this life is organization, and this will not help the Body but damage the Body.

(Witness Lee, History of the Church, 14)

On the contrary, we must oppose organization. Nevertheless, all the churches, as part of the unique Body on earth, must be one in spirit, in life, and in testimony.

(Witness Lee, Spirit and the Body, 186-187)

Locality is the divinely-appointed ground for the division of the Church, because it is the only inevitable division. Every barrier between all believers in the world is avoidable, except this one. As long as believers remain in the flesh they cannot exist apart from their dwelling places; therefore, the churches which consist of such believers cannot but be restricted by their dwellings. Geographical distinctions are natural, not arbitrary, and it is simply because the physical limitations of the children of God make geographical divisions inevitable, that God has ordained that His Church be divided into churches on the ground of locality. Such division is scriptural, and all other divisions are carnal. Any division of the children of God other than geographical implies not merely a division of sphere, but a division of nature. Local division is the only division which does not touch the life of the Church.

(Watchman Nee, Collected Works, Set 2, Vol. 30, 82)

The content of the church is the pneumatic Christ. Great teachers in early church history used such a term. It means that Christ is identical to the pneuma, to the Spirit. We cannot explain this, yet it is a fact. Today you and I are living Christ. Christ is not only our inner life, but also our outward living. Paul said, “To me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21a). We live Christ. He is not merely the objective Christ sitting on the throne; this Christ who is on the throne at the right hand of God simultaneously is within us.
How can Christ be on the throne in the heavens and also be within us? Romans 8:34 tells us clearly that Christ is at the right hand of God, but verse 10 of the same chapter says “Christ is in you.” In the same chapter, one verse tells us that Christ is in the heavens and another verse tells us that Christ is in us.
Electricity provides us with a good illustration of how this can be. The light in a room comes from electricity. This electricity is at the same time in the power plant and in the room. There is a current of electricity. This current connects the power plant to the building. Similarly, Christ is “electrical,” pneumatic. There is a current from the throne of God to our spirit. Hallelujah! Our spirits are all connected to the heavenly throne, just as the lights in a room are all connected to the power plant by the inner current of electricity. The current of electricity is simply the electricity itself. The current is the electricity in motion. The moving electricity is the current. Christ is the moving pneuma. This moving current is called by John in his first Epistle the fellowship (1 John 1:3). The fellowship is the current of Christ. Christ is circulating, moving. We are short of the human utterance to describe something so mysterious and profound. Electricity, however, can help us illustrate such a mysterious, abstract matter. Our Christ is the current of electricity. Our Christ is the blood circulation in His Body. He is the very fellowship between God and us and among all God’s children. The current is the pneumatic Christ, and this pneumatic Christ is the very content of the church. Christ, who is the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), is always moving to impart Himself into us. The purpose of electric current is to impart electricity into the bulbs so that they might all express the light of electricity. This pneumatic Christ is moving within us for the purpose of imparting Himself into us that we may express His life. We all have been baptized in Him, and now we are drinking Him (1 Cor. 12:13).

(Witness Lee, Basic Revelation, 69-70)

Then the life of Christ organically is the completion of God’s salvation for the producing and building up of the organic Body of Christ expressed as the local churches.

(Witness Lee, CS of Romans, 91)















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