Developing our Organic Function as Members and Prophesying to Build up the Church

1 Cor. 14:31 For you can all prophesy one by one that all may learn and all may be encouraged.As we are being perfected in the group meetings we should all pursue and desire prophesying, speaking and listening in mutuality, for the stirring up of the spiritual organic function of the members of the Body for the building up of the Body.

The church is an organism, the mingling of God and man, produced by the processed Triune God in His Divine Trinity.

The Triune God went through a process to become first a man and then a life-giving Spirit, so that He can dispense Himself into man and gain the church, the organism of the Triune God, the Body of Christ.

The issue of God’s dispensing is the Body of Christ, the church. The church is not something organizational but an organism constituted with God and man being mingled together.

For us to build up the church we need to grow in the divine life, not focus merely on works or anything outwardly. The more we focus on the life of God within us, the more we grow in life, and the more we allow the life of God to flow, the more the Body of Christ will be built up, and all the movements and actions will be led and promoted by the divine life that operates within us.

Furthermore, we need to be perfected by the gifted members of the Body so that we may function in our measure for the building up of the Body.

The Lord wants to recover the spiritual organic function of all the members of the Body of Christ, for when all members function the Body is built up, the bride is prepared, and the Lord can return.

The Lord as the Head of the Body is constantly transmitting Himself into all the members of the Body, and He has also ordained some gifted members to perfect the saints so that the perfected saints would build up the Body of Christ directly (Eph. 4:16).

The Lord Jesus Himself did this; He didn’t just preach the gospel and teach people concerning the kingdom of God, but He also chose some to disciple by just being with them and perfecting them. At the end of His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus had one hundred and twenty that were His followers, who were willing to pray in one accord for God’s will to be done.

Similarly, Paul didn’t just preach the gospel but he also perfected the saints so that the saints may grow in life and develop their spiritual organic function for the building up of the Body of Christ. In the meetings and from house to house, Paul admonished the saints even with tears, that they may grow up and be built up.

In our small group meetings there should be a perfecting work going on, for all the saints to be perfected and develop their spiritual organic function, so that all may desire earnestly to prophesy for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.

Earnestly Desiring to Prophesy by Speaking for the Lord for the Building up of the Church

1 Cor. 14:1 Pursue love, and desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 1 Cor. 14:3 But he who prophesies speaks building up and encouragement and consolation to men.Following the recovery of the revelation in Eph. 4:11-16 the Lord needs to recover the revelation in 1 Cor. 14, that is, the Lord needs to recover prophesying.

Many times when believers hear the word prophesying they think of predicting the future, but the real meaning of prophesying is to speak for the Lord, to speak the Lord forth, and to supply others with Christ for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.

Prophesying is not the function of a few gifted members of the Body, but as Paul said in 1 Cor. 14:31, when we come together in the meetings of the church, we all can prophesy one by one. We all can prophesy – prophesying is universal, and every member of the Body needs to be perfected in his organic function to prophesy for the building up of the church.

When we all prophesy in the meetings of the church, all may learn and all may be encouraged.

We should pursue love, desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but we should especially desire to prophesy, that is, speak for the Lord, speak the Lord into others, and supply Christ to those around us.

But how can we prophesy if we are not filled with the life of God, constituted with the word of God, and have a proper daily living?

Prophesying is the highest function of a member in the Body, and for us to prophesy in the proper meetings of the genuine church life, we need to first be regenerated, then be nourished and cherished in our homes by the saints, be perfected by mutual teaching and fellowship in the group meetings, and we need to develop our spiritual organic function to prophesy in the church meetings for the building up of the Body.

For example, a child cannot just write essays – he first needs to learn to write, compose sentences, express himself properly, and then he can write an essay.

After we gain new ones, we must first have home meetings to nourish them and cherish them, then we should bring them to the small group meetings where we have the mutual teaching and learning of the truth and the pursuit of the growth in life.

The saints who are perfected by the gifts should pursue and desire prophesying, speaking for the Lord, speaking forth the Lord, and supplying others with the Lord, that the church may be built (1 Cor. 14:1, 3-5). This kind of prophesying that is for the building up of the church and that excels over all other gifts is a matter of speaking and listening in mutuality (vv. 12, 24, 31). This kind of prophesying that is full of speaking and listening in mutuality stirs up the spiritual organic function of the members of the Body of Christ; it edifies and builds up the church (v. 4b; cf. Matt. 16:18). The Genuine Church Life (2017 Thanksgiving Conference), outline 5Then, they will spontaneously desire to prophesy in the church meetings for the building up of the church. Whenever we speak the word of God based on our experience of life and the knowledge of the truth, the result is prophesying.

The saints who are perfected by the gifts should pursue and desire prophesying, speaking for the Lord, speaking forth the Lord, and supplying others with the Lord, so that the church may be built (1 Cor. 14:1, 3-5).

This kind of prophesying that is for the building up of the church and that excels over all other gifts is a matter of speaking and listening in mutuality.

Prophesying doesn’t mean we teach everyone, but that we exercise our spiritual organic function to speak for the Lord based on our experience of Him and knowledge of the Word, and at the same time we listen to what others also speak, so that we may learn from them and be edified.

May the Lord recover our organic function in the Body, and may we no longer sit passively in the meetings of the church but earnestly desire to prophesy for the Lord to be supplied to others for their growth in life, for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.

Lord Jesus, we open to Your perfecting through the gifted members in the Body so that our spiritual organic function would be developed. Oh Lord, keep us in the genuine church life in the proper meetings of the church, being cherished and nourished in the homes, being perfected and taught in the group meetings, and desiring earnestly to prophesy for the building up of the Body. Lord, we want to stay in Your Word and experience You as life so that we may speak for the Lord, speak forth the Lord, and supply Christ as life to others in the meetings of the church.

Developing our Organic Function and Ability as Members to Build up the Body of Christ

The scriptural way to meet and to serve is able to develop the organic function and ability of the members of Christ and is able to build up the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:12, 16)....After we are perfected by the gifted persons, we have to function....As long as you are one part among the many parts of the Body of Christ, you also have a measure of ability, a measure of function. If we all do our duty to function in the Body, there will be an operation in the measure of each one part. This operation will cause the growth of the Body for its building up. Witness Lee, The Scriptural Way to Meet and to Serve for the Building Up of the Body of Christ, ch. 7The traditional way to meet in Christianity annuls the function of the members of the Body of Christ and promotes “one man speaking while the other are listening”.

However, the scriptural way to meet and serve is able to develop the spiritual organic function and ability of the members of the Body of Christ and is able to build up the Body of Christ (see Eph. 4:12, 16).

The Head of the Body has given some gifts to the Body; the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds and teachers are given by the Head NOT to replace the members of the Body and function to the extreme, but to perfect the members that each one’s organic function would be brought out and manifested for the building up of the church.

There are some joints of the rich supply in the Body of Christ who function to perfect the other members so that each member of the Body would develop the spiritual organic function and ability to build up the Body.

We may not know what is our function in the Body, but as we are being perfected by the gifted members, we spontaneously function in our measure for the building up of the Body.

If we all do our duty to function in the Body, there will be an operation in the measure of each one part, and this will cause the growth of the Body for the building up of the Body.

As we meet in the proper meetings of the church in the genuine church life, we all need to exercise our organic function to speak, serve, testify, and supply life to others; when everyone renders his portion in the Body, there will be a rich building up.

The Body is not built up by good speakers or great evangelists who hold large meetings and bring many to the Lord or stir up people.

The Body of Christ is built up organically by each member being perfected and functioning in his measure; as long as each part of the Body grows in life and its organic function is manifested, the Body of Christ grows and is built up.

We all have to endeavor to have proper meetings in which we drop the old way of meeting and meet in the God-ordained way with each member functioning.

For this to happen we need to take care of our daily life: we daily need to enjoy Christ, seek to experience Christ, grow in life, let Christ make His home in our heart, and open our homes to the saints to visit us, nourish us, perfect us, and shepherd us.

The crux of the God-ordained way is to stir up the spiritual organic function of every member of the Body; we need to try our best to stir up the function of all the saints – the new saints, the young saints, the older saints, the brothers and the sisters, all saints!

Lord Jesus, we want to cooperate with You for the developing of our spiritual organic function and ability as members of Christ to build up the Body of Christ. We no longer want to simply sit and listen in the meeting: we want to function in our measure by being perfected by the gifted members to build up the Body of Christ. Lord, amen, release the spiritual organic function of all the members of Your Body, so that all members would function in their measure for the building up of Your organic Body!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ricky Acosta for this week, and portions from, Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1987, vol. 3, “The Scriptural Way to Meet and to Serve for the Building Up of the Body of Christ,” ch. 7, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Genuine Church Life (2017 Thanksgiving Conference), week 5, The Scriptural Way to Meet and to Serve for the Building Up of the Body of Christ.
  • Hymns on this topic:
    # We must ever preach the gospel, / Learning how to prophesy / For the building of the Body, / Thus the Lord to glorify. (Song on, We must ever preach the gospel)
    # As members of the Body / Christ we would manifest, / Each learning how to function / His fulness to express; / We would not be spectators / But each as members move, / None bringing death or damage / But each our profit prove. (Hymns #867)
    # Thus we must be built together, / In position minister; / For the basis of our service / Is the body character. / In our ministry and service, / From the Body, our supply; / If detached and isolated, / Out of function we will die. (Hymns #913)
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About aGodMan

Hi there, I am Stefan Misaras, and I live and work in London (UK), meeting with the church in London. I love the Lord Jesus, His Word, the ministry of the age, and the saints. Enjoy the Lord!
PS. My personal website is StefanMisaras.com.