The direction of the Lord’s move today is the building up of the Body of Christ; God’s economy is to produce a Body for His Son, for the Body of Christ fulfills God’s desire to have an expression and this Body destroys Satan.
The Body of Christ is the organism of the processed and consummated Triune God; it is the enlarged Christ, Christ the Head together with all His believers who have His life and nature.
The building up of the Body of Christ is what is on God’s heart today, because when the Body is built up, the bride is prepared, and the Lord as the Bridegroom can return to rapture His bride, and then there are three and a half years until this age will close and the age of the kingdom will come in.
The enemy, Satan, has many tactics and stratagems to delay the building up of the Body of Christ, so that the Lord would delay His return. We need to see what is in the Lord’s heart today, be one with Him in His heart’s desire, and give ourselves to the Lord for the building up of the organic Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is Christ Himself: Christ as the Head and Christ in all the believers; the Body is built up with Himself as the life-giving Spirit, who is the essence and reality of the Body.
The Body of Christ is a divine constitution of the Triune God with the believers in Christ; “One Body and One Spirit” – shows us that the essence of the Body is the Spirit.
The Body of Christ is four-in-one: the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and man are being blended and built together to become the Body of Christ, the corporate expression and representation of God on earth.
This involves the fact that God joined Himself to man to unite God with man in life, mingle God and man in nature, and even cause man to dwell in God and God to dwell in man, to produce and constitute the Body of Christ which consummates in the New Jerusalem.
The Body of Christ today and the New Jerusalem as the consummation is a matter of divinity constituted into humanity to be man’s dwelling place, and of humanity built into divinity to be God’s dwelling place, for God to be expressed in man and through man.
The Work of the Triune God and the Ministry of the New Covenant is to Build up the Body of Christ
If we see that God’s desire and goal in this age is to build up the Body of Christ to express Him and represent Him, there will be in us a desire to be part of this glorious expression and in seeing the enemy destroyed.
God’s intention in creating man is fulfilled in the Body of Christ; when the Body is built up, God will have a corporate expression and His authority will be exercised in the Body. The work of the Triune God today in us is to produce and build up the Body of Christ (see Eph. 3:16-21; Rom. 8:11; 12:4-5).
However, the Lord can’t have the Body corporately unless He has the reality of the Body worked into us personally. If we don’t have any reality personally, we can’t have the Body corporately.
The work of the Triune God in us all the time is to produce and build up the Body of Christ; for this He saved us, He is making His home in our heart, and He is imparting life to every part of our being – spirit, soul, and body.
Only the Lord knows what is going on in each one of us, but the result is that we would live in the Body, for the Body, through the Body, and do everything in the Body.
The ministry of the new covenant is for the producing of the Body of Christ; without the new covenant ministry, there’s no possibility to bring forth the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-27; 2 Cor. 3:6, 8-9; 4:1; 5:18). We need to be in the ministry of the new covenant, receive it, digest it, assimilate it, and let it permeate and saturate us, so that God’s goal would become our goal, and we would live and breathe for the building up of the Body of Christ.
The Lord must bring us on, and the ministry is helping us to realize how much God desires to build up the church as His Body. On our part, we need to have a revival and renewal of our appreciation and appropriating of the ministry little by little, day by day.
When Christ was put to death on the cross, He was fulfilling the type of Adam being put to sleep so that God would build Eve, his counterpart; when Christ resurrected, the church was produced and built up from His element and was presented to Him as His counterpart.
He endured the suffering and death of the cross because of the joy set before Him: He died to bring forth the church, and today He lives to intercede and shepherd us so that the church as the Body of Christ may be built up.
The Body of Christ is the expression of Christ, just as our body expresses our person; in the built-up Body, Christ can be expressed and manifested.
The Body of Christ is also for the destruction of God’s enemy; God wants to deal with Satan, but He won’t do it directly – He wants to deal with Satan through His redeemed people. Therefore, the built-up Body of Christ cooperates with God to destroy Satan.
In Revelation we see that, on the one hand, the overcomers will become the New Jerusalem, and on the other hand, the overcomers will be one with Christ to deal with Satan. When the Lord gets a built-up Body of Christ, He will have His expression and His enemy will be dealt with.
Lord Jesus, work Yourself into us a little more today for the building up of the Body of Christ. Bring us into the reality of the Body of Christ so that You may gain Your expression and representation on earth. May we have a renewed appreciation of the ministry of the new covenant so that we may be in it and allow it to saturate our being, so that Your heart’s desire would become our heart’s desire. Lord, we are here for the desire of Your heart, the building up of the Body of Christ!
Knowing and Caring for the Body of Christ, the Intrinsic Significance of the Church
The intrinsic significance of the church is the Body of Christ; the deepest and most essential aspect of the church is the Body. If there’s no reality of the Body of Christ in a local church, if no one in a local church knows the Body and cares for the Body, that church has no meaning or significance.
We need to be governed by the vision of the Body of Christ as we live the Christian life and the church life. We must proclaim the gospel, establish local churches, perfect the saints, and function for the building up of the church, but all these needs to be governed by the vision of the Body.
The Lord will return when the bride is ready, and the bride is ready when the Body is built up; we need to let the Lord have the Body of Christ by being exercised, open, responsive, consecrated, and burdened before the Lord.
All the problems in the church today are due to the ignorance concerning the Body; the biggest problem – even the unique problem – is not knowing the Body, not caring for the Body, and not honoring the Body.
We need to have a spirit of wisdom and understanding in the full knowledge of God’s will so that we may know the Body and care for the Body (Eph. 1:17-23; 1 Cor. 12:24-27). We shouldn’t trust our subjective feeling but be open to the Lord and allow the Body to correct us and adjust us.
May our work bring forth the Body of Christ, and may our shepherding be for the building up of the Body. May our family life be the Body life, and may the Lord implant in us a holy desperation to know the Body and pray for ourselves and for the saints to know the Body, care for the Body, and honor the Body.
To know the Body is the proper recovery of the Lord; what the Lord desires to recover today is the Body of Christ and the lost oneness of the Body (Eph. 1:23; 4:4). For this, He has to do so many things: He has to save men, nourish believers, perfect them, establish them, and build them up.
The goal of all that God does in this age is to build up the Body of Christ. We need to pray that the Lord would make our heart a duplication of His heart in every possible way, and we will realize that in His heart there’s an unfathomable longing for a counterpart.
When He was on the cross, bearing the shame, He was looking forward to the joy set before Him, which was the church for which He gave Himself up.
We need to touch God’s desire, be one with His desire, and have the flame of Jehovah burning in us for the Lord’s desire to gain the Body of Christ.
The Lord’s recovery is the building up of the Body of Christ and the recovery of the oneness of the Body; we need to present ourselves to the Lord, allow Him to work in us, and we will burn with the divine fire for the desire of God’s heart, the building up of the Body of Christ.
Lord Jesus, as far as it depends on us, we will let You have the desire of your heart by letting You have Your way in us. Lord, You must have the Body of Christ, the intrinsic significance of the church. Make our heart a duplication of Your heart in every possible way, so that we may know the Body, care for the Body, and honor the Body. Lord, we present ourselves to You so that You may work on us and make us those who know the Body and live in the reality of the Body of Christ today in the local churches!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ron K. for this week, and portions from, The Problems Causing the Turmoils in the Church Life, ch. 3; (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Direction of the Lord’s Move (2016 Thanksgiving Conference), msg. 1 (week 1), The Intrinsic Building Up of the Organic Body of Christ (1) – Governed by a Vision of the Universal Body of Christ as the Goal of God’s Economy.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Lord, to know Thee as the Body, / Is my desperate need today, / Oh, to see Thee in Thy members, / ’Tis for this I long and pray. / No more just to know Thy headship / In an individual way, / But to see Thee incarnated, / As the Body-Christ, I pray. (Hymns #1225)
# Serve and work within the Body, / This the Lord doth signify; / For His purpose is the Body, / And with it we must comply. (Hymns #913)
# Now we know the purpose of our God, / Visible the mystery became: / Christ, the church, together now we see, / And together put the enemy to shame. (Hymns #1232)