Universal Aspect

2. Revealed by the Apostle Paul in the Epistles (House of God, Body of Christ, Bride, New Man)

In A Brief Presentation of the Lord’s Recovery, Witness Lee addresses the apostles' description of the church in their Epistles:

The church is the church of God (1 Cor. 10:32), chosen and predestinated by God the Father (Eph. 1:3-6), redeemed by God the Son (Eph. 1:7-12), and sealed by God the Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14)....The church is the Body of Christ, the fullness of the One who fills all in all (Eph. 1:23), as His expression, united organically to the resurrected, ascended, and transmitting Head (Eph. 1:19-22)....The church is the fullness of Christ, and it is also the fullness of the processed Triune God (Eph. 3:14-19), filled with the riches of Christ and with the immeasurable Christ (Eph. 3:8b, 17-19a)....The church is filled with Christ Himself and with the riches of Christ. Such a church is the fullness of the processed Triune God....The church is the counterpart of Christ, as Eve was to Adam (Gen. 2:21-23), as His increase (John 3:29-30), a glorious church, holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:27)....The church is the new man created in Christ, through His cross, with the Jewish and Gentile believers (Eph. 2:14-16)....The church is the mingling of the processed Triune God with the believers (Eph. 4:3-6), being built up as the organic Body of Christ by the gifted members (every joint of the rich supply) and by each functioning part through the growth in life (Eph. 4:11-13, 15-16)....The church is the house of God (Eph. 2:19b; 1 Tim. 3:15), the habitation of God in our spirit (Eph. 2:22)....The church exists universally as the unique universal church (Eph. 1:22-23), but it is expressed locally as many local churches (Rev. 1:4a, 11).

(Witness Lee, Brief Presentation, 25-27)

In The Crucial Points of the Major Items of the Lord’s Recovery Today, Witness Lee further discusses several aspects of the church:

According to the revelation and pattern of the New Testament, the church is the gathering of the believers in Christ who have been called out from the world by God. Such a gathering is considered, on the one hand, the house of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15) for Him to dwell in and to carry out His will according to His desire and for His pleasure, and, on the other hand, the organic Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23) for Him to have a counterpart in the organic union with Him for His expression. This church is the new man as God’s new creation (Col. 3:10; Gal. 6:15). Such a church, as both the house of God and the Body of Christ, is universally one to appear and be expressed on the earth in many localities as many local churches.

(Witness Lee, Crucial Points, 19)

3. Miscellaneous Aspects (e.g., the Wineskin)

Commenting on Matthew 9:17, Witness Lee examines another aspect of the church, that of the new wineskin:

New wine is to be put into fresh wineskins. According to the Lord’s word in verse 17, if we put new wine into fresh wineskins, “both are preserved.'' The Greek word rendered fresh here is kainos, which means new in nature, quality, or form; unaccustomed, unused; hence, fresh. The fresh wineskins signify the church life in the local churches as the container of the new wine, which is Christ Himself as the exciting life. The believers are built into the church, and the church is expressed through the local churches in which they live. The believers are regenerated persons constituting the Body of Christ to be the church (Rom. 12:5; Eph. 1:22-23). This Body of Christ as His fullness is also called “the Christ'' (1 Cor. 12:12), the corporate Christ. The individual Christ is the new wine, the exciting life inwardly, and the corporate Christ is the fresh wineskin, the container to hold the new wine outwardly. We need to experience and enjoy Christ as the Forgiver, the Physician, the Bridegroom, the new garment, and the new wine that we may be the fresh wineskin to contain Him.

(Witness Lee, Conclusion, 2787)

Witness Lee remarks on the New Testament believers' experience of becoming a drink offering to God for the church:

We have pointed out that a drunkard’s only interest is wine. His mind is constantly preoccupied with thoughts of wine. Even his dreams are dreams of wine. We must be like this about the church, the house of God. Besides Bethel [the house of God], we should have no other interest....At Bethel, we who are interested only in the house of God spontaneously become a drink offering....According to Romans 16:3-5, Aquila and Priscilla were such people. This couple was absolute for the local churches. Their only interest was the church, and they were willing to be martyred for it. They risked their necks for the Apostle Paul and for the churches. Because Aquila and Priscilla risked their necks for the churches and were interested only in the churches, they were undoubtedly a drink offering; they were ready to be poured out....We need to offer Christ daily as our basic offerings. At the same time we must have something to match these offerings. The matching offering comes from our experience of the basic offerings. The more the basic offerings make us one with Christ, the more we become the matching offering, the drink offering. After we have come to this point, we are fully assured that we are at Bethel.

(Witness Lee, LS of Genesis, 1150-1152)












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