Even though the majority of God’s people fail to carry out God’s purpose, again and again throughout the ages God came in to have a recovery; He works in the principle of the remnant, and only those who see God’s purpose and give themselves to fulfill His purpose are part of what God is doing in that age.
For example, there are many more Jewish people living in the USA than in Israel, but when the temple will be rebuilt (which will happen soon!), it is the Jewish people in Israel that will play a major part in it.
In the church life in the Lord’s recovery today we are not more “special” than other people, neither are we more “spiritual” than other believers; we simply have been shown mercy by the Lord, we have seen a vision of His economy, and the truth has been unveiled to us – and we are here.
We today need to practice to walk in the truth of the heavenly vision of God’s economy, aim for the mark of God’s economy, and strive to fulfill the goal of God’s economy. This is all on the positive side.
On the negative side, however, we need to stay away from death and division. The church life is not “perfect” – we are not here in a “spiritual utopia”; sometimes there may be some negative speaking, divisive opinion, and spreading of death, and we need to stay away from death and division.
In Leviticus the priests were commanded to stay away from any form of death (whether wild, mild, or creeping death) and to quarantine any leprous person until he’s cleansed.
May the Lord shine on us and may we be on guard against any division, evil speaking, or negative things, so that we may stay away from death and division, and we may be in life, be persons of life, enjoy life, experience life, and impart life to others for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Warning: Stay Away from Death and Reject any Division to Remain in the Flow of Life!
When there’s a storm in the church life or when there’s negative talking and gossip we should learn to stay out of death; we shouldn’t try to “understand what’s going on” and “be smart” and discern who did what, but we should simply choose to stay in life and away from death.
As believers in Christ we are regenerated people, men who have the divine life in them; we need to exercise to enjoy the divine life, live by the divine life, and minister the divine life to others.
When we don’t exercise the divine life in the church life, we may end up doing things, talking, gossiping, and asking questions in the name of “fellowship” – but without the flow of the divine life.
Genuine fellowship is the flow and the mutual imparting of life. I minister life to you, and you return life to me, and in this life current there is the real fellowship….Everything in the church must be in the nature of life, with the content of life, and in the imparting of life….Our work, speaking, fellowship, service, ministry, message, Bible study, and prayer must be in the flow and imparting of life. (Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1973-1974, vol. 2, “The Normal Way of Fruit-bearing and Shepherding for the Building Up of the Church,” p. 549)
We must stay away from any kind of death and be swallowed up by Christ as life! In the church life we should do everything in the nature of life, with the content of life, and in the flow and imparting of life.
Any death should be swallowed up by enjoying Christ as life (2 Cor. 5:4), there should be life flowing among us as we exercise our spirit to drink and flow the life-giving Spirit (John 7:38), and even when we see others sinning a sin not unto death, we should pray for them and give life to them (1 John 5:16).
As for those who make divisions, the Bible tells us that we should turn away from them (Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10; 1 Cor. 1:13). Even if a close relative or a saint we are intimately fellowshipping with is a division-maker, we should stay away from them.
In the Old Testament God gave clear instructions concerning the quarantine the leprous ones; they were supposed not to be cast away but to be separated for a period of time so that the rest of God’s people would not be contaminated, and then there were regular checks to see whether the leprosy was healed (see Num. 12; Lev. 13-14). Once the leprosy was healed, the fellowship with the rest of God’s people was restored.
In the church life we should reject any kind of division and stand against any wind of teaching and any spreading of spiritual death (Eph. 4:14; 2 Tim. 2:16-17). When others make divisions and cause the saints to stumble, being contrary to the teaching of the economy of God, we should mark them and turn away from them (see Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10).
We shouldn’t try to be smart about it and argue with the dissenting ones to “bring them back on the right path”; we should simply stay in life, enjoy life, flow life, and impart life to others, and we should stay away from those making divisions and bring in death.
Lord Jesus, swallow any death in us by Your divine life. Keep us in life in everything we do and say in the church life. Lord, may everything in the church be in the nature of life, with the content of life, and in the imparting of life! We choose to stay away from death, gossip, and negative talk, and we choose to enjoy You and minister You as life! Lord, we want to reject any division, stand against any wind of teaching and spreading of spiritual death, and turn away from those who make divisions! Amen, Lord, keep us enjoying the divine life in the church life for the carrying out of the economy of God!
Deal with our Listening with the Lord’s Precious Blood and by Having Positive Listening
In Leviticus we se that, the first thing we as God’s priests need to deal with is our listening; when the priests (and later the cleansed lepers) were sanctified, the blood was applied to their right ear, their right thumb, and their right toe, signifying that our moving (our feet) and working (our hands) are always under the direction of our hearing (see Lev. 8:23-24; 14:14-17).
We need to be sanctified unto the Lord, and this means that we should not be separated from sin only but also from death. First, our listening needs to be sanctified; what we listen to, the type of speaking we give an ear to, affects our doing and our working.
If we don’t take care of our hearing but give ear to negative speaking, our deeds and our work will be affected in a negative way. But if the church would stop hearing negative things and the saints would be in life, enjoying life, and ministering life, then the church will be very healthy and living. The church that is the weakest and most deadened is the one full of criticism, gossip, and reasoning.
Others may tell us negative things or may come to gossip, but we can choose whether to listen or not. We need to ask ourselves, What kind of things are we willing to hear?
On the one hand, because we often hear unclean things, we need to wash our ears with the blood of Christ, applying the blood to our listening and our memory that any unhealthy and contagious things would be removed. After the blood washes us, the anointing of the Spirit is there, and we will forget the negative things and focus on the positive things of God’s economy.
On the other hand, we need to have a “positive listening”, placing ourselves under the hearing of the word of God again and again. If we listen to God’s word from morning to evening, we will not have an ear to listen to any negative speaking; this will saturate us with God’s life and make us persons of life who stay away from any death.
May we be those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is speaking to the churches (Rev. 2:7), and may we have an ear attuned to the Lord’s voice to hear Him, follow Him, and do what He says in us (John 10:3-5, 16, 27; Song of Songs 2:8, 14). Positive listening rescues us and keeps us from negative listening, and choosing daily to hear the word of God will keep us in the path of life for the fulfillment of God’s economy in the church life.
On the one hand, we need to apply the blood of Christ to our listening, and on the other hand we need to cooperate with the Lord to actively read the word of God, listen to the healthy teaching of God’s economy, and be infused with the Lord through the hearing of faith; this will make us a healthy believer realizing the recovery of the Lord for the carrying out of the economy of God.
Lord Jesus, cleanse us with Your blood not only from sin but also from any negative listening so that the negative things we heard would not remain in our mind. May Your anointing follow Your cleansing to bring more God into us and keep us in the way of life. Lord, we want to take care of our listening, being sanctified in what we listen to and who we listen to so that our moving and our working would be under the influence of a positive listening. Lord, we choose to place ourselves under the positive listening of the healthy teaching of God’s economy and give no ear to any negative speaking!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Andrew Yu’s sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of Leviticus, msgs. 22, 29-30, 37 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Crucial Points of the Major Items of the Lord’s Recovery Today (ITERO 2015 fall), week 1 / msg 1, The Recovery of the Economy of God.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
# When I first believed, and His life I received, / The seed was sown into me. / Now this seed must grow, and this zoe life flow / As on to maturity. / Am I a person of life? / Do I experience life? / Does my living bear the issues of life? / Good trees bear good fruit; / Healthy plant, healthy root; / Oh Lord! The ground in my heart! (Song on being a person of life)
# Master, speak! and make me ready, / When Thy voice is truly heard, / With obedience glad and steady, / Still to follow every word / I am listening, Lord, for Thee: / Master, speak, oh, speak to me! (Hymns #808)
# Where the sprinkling of the blood is, / There the ointment doth remain; / Man in touch with God thus bringing, / These the fellowship maintain. (Hymns #265)