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Book messages «Holy Word for Morning Revival, The: Topics for New Believers, Vol. 1»
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My readings

  Week 6 — Day 1

Scripture reading

  1 Cor. 12:12  For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.

  Col. 2:19  …Holding the Head, out from whom all the Body…grows with the growth of God.

The Body of Christ

The Body of Christ being the expression of Christ

  The New Testament tells us emphatically that the church is the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12).110 The function of the Body is to be the full expression of Christ. We cannot manifest our personality through any one member of our body — the ears, mouth, eyes, hands, or feet — alone. Similarly, Christ cannot manifest His personality through any one member of His Body. It takes His whole Body to manifest Him.…Today He is revealing Himself through the church. This is the corporate Christ. Formerly, Christ was expressed individually; now He is expressed corporately.111 Thus, not only is the Head Christ, but also the Body is Christ. First Corinthians 12:12…clearly tells us that the Body is Christ.112 All the believers of Christ are organically united with Him and constituted of His life and element to become His Body, an organism, to express Him. Hence, He is not only the Head, but also the Body. As our physical body has many members yet is one, so is this Christ.113

The Body growing with the growth of God

  If we have the light from the clear revelation in the New Testament, we shall see that the church is…a living organism, the Body, with Christ as the unique Head.114 In [Colossians] 2:19 Paul speaks of “holding the Head.…” Holding the Head is equal to abiding in Christ. Of course, to hold the Head implies that we are not detached, or severed, from Him.…To hold the Head is to remain in Christ without any insulation between us and Him.

  The words out from whom in verse 19 indicate that something is coming out from the Head to cause the Body to grow. The growth of the Body depends on what comes out of Christ as the Head, just as the growth of a plant depends on what comes into the plant from the soil. If a plant does not absorb nutrients from the soil, the plant cannot grow. Likewise, if we do not receive what comes out from Christ as the Head, the Body cannot grow. Holding the Head is, therefore, equal to being rooted in Christ [2:7] as the soil.

  [Furthermore], in 2:19 Paul says that the Body “grows with the growth of God.”115 In Himself God does not need to grow; He is altogether complete and perfect. But in us, He needs to grow. The measure of Christ in us is too short, and the quantity is too little. We need more Christ. We need God to be increased within us.116

  Now we must go on to ask in what way God gives the growth.…God gives the growth by giving Himself to us in a very subjective way. Since God gives growth in this way, we need to take time to absorb Him.…Our contact with the Lord should not be rushed. If we are in a hurry, we shall not be able to absorb much of His riches. We need to allow adequate time for prayer.117 If we would grow, we need to get into the Word, feed on the Word, and exercise our spirit to pray and to receive the Lord each day.118 Every morning we need to take an adequate amount of time to absorb the Lord. Although even ten minutes is good, it is best to spend thirty minutes to enjoy Him at the start of each new day. If you spend thirty minutes to absorb the Lord and to enjoy Him in the morning, you will not be bothered by negative things during the day. The “flies” and “scorpions” will not pester you, for the elements in the soil will repel them.119 Do not spend so much time in your mind, emotion, and will, but spend more time in your spirit to adore the Lord, to praise Him, to offer thanks to Him, and to speak to Him freely.120 Forget your situation, your condition, your failures, and your weaknesses and simply take time to enjoy the Lord.… Let us…open ourselves to the Lord, exercising our spirit to say, “O Lord Jesus, I love You.…Lord, I give myself to You. I give You my heart and everything concerning this day.”121

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 6 — Day 2

Scripture reading

  Eph. 4:15-16  But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ, out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.

Building up the Body of Christ by the growth in life

  The church as the Body of Christ is absolutely a matter of life.…The Body of Christ is not a doctrine; it is a realm. It is not a teaching, but a life.122 This life is the divine life, the life of the Triune God.…The building up of the Body of Christ altogether depends upon our growth in this wonderful life.123

  The growth of the Body of Christ is through the members growing into the Head, Christ, in all things by holding to truth in love (Eph. 4:15).124 The word truth in verse 15 denotes that which is real. In this universe the real things, the true things, are Christ and the church. Only by speaking concerning Christ with the church do we actually handle the truth. This means that although we may refrain from telling lies, we still may not be speaking the truth.…Anything apart from Christ with the church is a vanity and a falsehood.…The book of Ecclesiastes says that all is vanity (1:2).…Day by day, we may talk about many things. But if we do not speak concerning Christ and the church, we are handling vanity; we are not handling the truth.125 In God’s sight, whenever we speak something that is not necessary, whether it is good or bad, that is gossiping. The biblical term for gossip is idle words (Matt. 12:36). Idle words are words that we do not need to speak. An idle word is a non-working word, an inoperative word, having no positive function, useless, unprofitable, unfruitful, and barren.126 [In Ephesians 4:15] Paul tells us that we must grow up into the Head in all things.…According to my experience, the most difficult matter in which to grow up into Christ, the Head, is in our talking. Psalm 141:3 says, “Set a watch, O Jehovah, before my mouth; / Keep the door of my lips.” Because it is so hard for us to control our speaking, we should make this our prayer also.127 We should speak those things that bring us into contact with Christ and that build us up as the Body of Christ.128

  We do not need to conduct ourselves in a certain way because we are forced to do so by outward regulations. We need to grow to the extent that we are in Christ.129 Some of the sisters spend a great deal of time to style their hair, and yet they say that they do not have time for morning revival. This shows that they need to grow up into Christ in combing their hair.130 We need to grow until we reach the level of being in Christ in all things — in shopping, in buying a pair of shoes, in spending our money, and even in choosing a pair of eyeglasses.131

  First, all the saints have to grow up into the Head in all things.132 [Then] out from the Head in whom we have grown we have nourishment, as indicated by the word supply [Eph. 4:16]. Through the supply which comes out from the Head, the Body grows and builds itself up in love.133 Paul emphasized our need to grow.134 If we do not grow, there can be no building.135 [Furthermore], this growth is caused by the Body being joined together through the rich supply of the joints and being knit together through the operation of each part.136 The joints are the specially gifted members of the Body, such as the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds and teachers (v. 11). The parts are all the members of the Body. Through these two kinds of members the entire Body is joined together and knit together for the building.137 For the joining of the joints and for the knitting of each one part, we need to minister, to dispense, the rich supply to all the joints and to each one part. By this rich supply of Christ, all the members of the Body will get the nourishment with which they will grow in life [issuing in the building up of the Body].138

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 6 — Day 3

Scripture reading

  1 Cor. 14:3  But he who prophesies speaks building up and encouragement and consolation to men.

  4  …He who prophesies builds up the church.

  31  For you can all prophesy one by one that all may learn and all may be encouraged.

Building up the Body of Christ by prophesying

  The enjoyment of Christ develops the believers’ spiritual gifts through the growth in life.139 First Corinthians 14 stresses that the top gift, the gift that excels all other gifts, developed by our enjoyment of Christ is prophesying [v. 12].140 This is the excelling gift because it builds up the church (14:4b-5).141 Without prophesying, there is no possibility of building up the Body of Christ.142

  To prophesy in 1 Corinthians 14 is not in the sense of foretelling or predicting. To prophesy is to speak for the Lord, and in our speaking for the Lord, we have to speak forth the Lord and speak the Lord into others. To prophesy is to dispense the very Christ whom we have experienced into others.143 [That it does not denote foretelling or predicting] is proven by the words building up, encouragement, and consolation in verse 3; by the words convicted and examined in verse 24; and by the words all may learn and all may be encouraged in verse 31. Speaking the Lord into people builds them up, encourages them, and consoles them. When we speak for the Lord, others are convicted and judged. The fact that all may learn and all may be encouraged also shows that this is not predicting but speaking for the Lord.144

  The apostle Paul taught that we all can prophesy (1 Cor. 14:31).145 This verse is one of the clearest verses in the entire Bible. It says that all the believers have the capacity to prophesy. Capacity denotes an ability by birth.…[Nevertheless], many saints among us may feel that all can prophesy except them. However, there are no exceptions. We may not be eloquent, but we can still prophesy.…The Lord wants all of us to speak.146 To build up the organic Body of Christ, all of us need to speak.147

  In order to prophesy, there are a few things which are indispensable. First, we must love the Lord and have fellowship with Him. We must live before the Lord and be a person who is joined to Him as one. Second, we must spend the effort to learn the truth. We need to read much of the Bible and the spiritual publications.…Third, we must be flexible, walking according to the Spirit, and receiving instant and fresh inspiration all the time. Fourth, we should learn to have a heavenly, enlarged view, to know Christ and the church, and not to have our own opinions or view, but to have the view of God.…Fifth, we should be prepared to prophesy in our daily life.148

The consciousness of the Body

  In the church life, we should learn to have the consciousness of the Body.…Some Christians are like butterflies; they act independently. Others are like bees; they live and move together. The butterfly flies from flower to flower, going its own sweet way; but the bee works for the hive. The butterfly lives and works individually, but the bee has a body-consciousness. We should all be like bees, having the consciousness of the Body so that we can live together with other members in the Body of Christ. Wherever there is Body-revelation, there is Body-consciousness, and wherever there is Body-consciousness, individual thought and action are automatically ruled out. Seeing Christ results in deliverance from sin; seeing the Body results in deliverance from individualism.…It is not a matter of changing our attitude or conduct; revelation does the work. We cannot enter the realm of the Body by anything other than seeing. A real inward seeing settles the whole problem.149

  The real significance is that we have become the members of the Body of Christ, possessing the same one life and needing one another.…Therefore, whatever we do must be in the Body, joined to the Body, and regulated by the Body, because we are one Body.150

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 6 — Day 4

Scripture reading

  Matt. 18:20  For where there are two or three gathered into My name, there am I in their midst.

  Rev. 1:10  I was in spirit on the Lord’s Day…

The meeting life

  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not abandoning our own assembling together.”151 [One characteristic of the life of God we believers have received] is to flock together, to meet together.…The Bible says that we are not only the Lord’s sheep, but even more, His flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2).152 Our Christian life is not like the life of a butterfly, which does well on its own; our life is like the sheep’s life, requiring that we flock together and live a meeting life. Consequently, we need to meet. The meetings are crucial to us, and we should not forsake them.153

  The basic principle of the meetings of the church is that the meetings are a gathering of the believers by the Lord into His name [Matt. 18:20].…In gathering us together in His name, the Lord rescues us from all kinds of worldly and earthly distractions and occupations.…We especially need to be brought out of the self.…For every church meeting we need the Lord to bring us out of everything other than Himself and to gather us together into His name.154

The seven categories of gathering

  According to the New Testament, there are [only seven kinds of gatherings of the church.] These categories include the gathering for the Lord’s table [the bread-breaking meeting (Matt. 26:26-30; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 20:7a; 1 Cor. 11:20, 23-26; 10:16-17, 21)], the gathering for prayer [Matt. 18:19-20; Acts 1:14; 4:31; 12:5, 12], the gathering for edification by exercising the spiritual gifts [1 Cor. 14:26-32], the gathering for reading the Word of God [Acts 15:30-31; Col. 4:16], the gathering for listening to messages [Acts 20:7b], the gathering for preaching the gospel [2:14, 40-41; 5:42], and the gathering for fellowship regarding God’s move [14:27].155

Consecrating the first day of the week to the Lord

  The Lord has purposely set aside one day out of the week and has called it the Lord’s Day.156 We need to say a little word here about the difference between the Lord’s Day and Sunday. Sunday is a heathen, idolatrous term adopted by Catholicism and maintained by our tradition. Actually, it is idolatrous to say a day belongs to the sun. The Bible refers to this day as the first day of the week. Revelation 1:10 calls this day “the Lord’s Day.”

  Today the whole world takes Sunday not mainly for worship but for pleasures, for sports, and for all kinds of entertainment. This is more evil than idol worship, but this tide has flooded many Christians.…We, however, should consider the first day of the week as a day for the Lord.157 The Bible emphasizes three things that we should do on the first day of the week: [First, we should exult and rejoice, because it is the day of the Lord’s resurrection, the day Jehovah has made (Psa. 118:24). Second, we should gather together to break bread in remembrance of the Lord (Acts 20:7a; 1 Cor. 11:23-25). Third, according to 1 Corinthians 16:1-2], on the first day of every week, every one should offer to the Lord according to his income.…On one hand, we remember how the Lord gave Himself for us, and on the other hand, we also have to give to the Lord on this day.… Offering material goods to the Lord on His day is something that we should start practicing the moment we believe.…We should…tell the Lord, “Lord, You have given to me richly. Lord, I bring to You what I have gained and offer it to You.” You have to fix the amount that you will set aside. If you have much, you should offer more. If you have less, you can offer less.

  This day is not our day; this day is the Lord’s Day. This time is not ours; this time is the Lord’s.…We hope that new brothers and sisters will pay attention to the Lord’s Day from the very beginning. Consecrate the first day of the week to the Lord and say to Him, “This is Your day.”…If we do this, we will see God’s blessing being showered abundantly upon the church.158

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 6 — Day 5

Scripture reading

  Exo. 5:1  And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Let My people go that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.

  1 Cor. 14:26  What then, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

The called-out assembly

  In the Bible the church is first called the assembly [Matt. 16:18; 18:17].…The Greek word translated church in these verses is ekklesia, composed of two words: ek, out, and kaleo, called.…Hence, according to the literal sense of the word, the church is the assembly of those called out of the world by God.159

  When did God’s people begin to meet together?…In all of the fifty chapters of Genesis there is no meeting, no assembly.…But when you come to the second book of the Bible, Exodus, there was the meeting of God’s people. In Exodus when God’s salvation was brought in, right away there was the demand of the assembly of God’s people.

A feast unto the Lord

  Of course, according to the appearance of the wording in Exodus, you couldn’t find a word like assembly. Yet when God called Moses and sent him to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, He spoke in this way: “And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Let My people go that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness” (5:1). My people is collective; it is not just one person. This is a collective people. Moses was to tell Pharaoh to let God’s people go to hold a feast unto Him. You have to realize that the thought of assembling, the thought of gathering, is implied in this word feast.160

  A rich feast is composed not only of one dish. The more courses of food there are and the more variety there is, the richer the feast is.…Such a feast is a real enjoyment, and a rich meeting should be just like this. Each saint should bring a different “dish.” Our meetings need to be a real feast to both God and man.161

  This meeting in mutuality may be compared to the feast of tabernacles in ancient times. In that feast the children of Israel brought the produce of the good land, which they reaped from their labor on the land, to the feast and offered it to the Lord for His enjoyment and for mutual participation in fellowship with the Lord and with one another.162

  The good land typifies Christ. Today Christ is the good land to us, so we must labor on Him. The rain, the sunshine, the air, and the fertile soil come from the grace of God, but we need to labor to till the ground, sow the seed, and take care of the harvest. This is to cooperate with God’s grace. We need to pray and deal with many things. We need to learn how to trust in the Lord, abide in Him, fellowship with Him, and deal with Him and be dealt with by Him. This is a spiritual labor, not human struggling; it is not human effort but a spiritual coordination with the Lord. Day by day we all must learn to live in this way. Then we will know Christ in a practical way and experience Him in our spirit, and when we come to the meetings, we will have something of Christ.163 First Corinthians 14:26 does tell us that whenever we come together, each one should have something.…Now the Lord wants us to enter into the full reality of such a wonderful meeting life.

The goal of our meeting — to exhibit Christ

  The goal of our meeting is to exhibit Christ, and the Christian meeting is an exhibition of the Christian daily life. The Christian daily life is just Christ. Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21a). Christ must be our daily life, and our meeting is an exhibition, a display, of our daily life. The center of this display is Christ Himself. Whatever we pray, speak, or sing must be with Christ as the center.164

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 6 — Day 6

Scripture reading

  Acts 2:46  And day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord…and breaking bread from house to house, they partook of their food with exultation and simplicity of heart.

  Heb. 10:24-25  And let us consider one another so as to incite one another to love and good works, not abandoning our own assembling together…but exhorting one another…

God’s ordained way for Christian meetings

  God’s ordained way for Christian meetings is165 first to meet from house to house (Acts 2:46; 5:42). Acts 2:46 tells us that the believers broke bread “from house to house,” and 5:42 says that “from house to house, they did not cease teaching and announcing the gospel of Jesus as the Christ.”…The Greek indicates that they met according to houses, which means that every house had a meeting.166 Thus, the New Testament indicates that each one of us should have a meeting in our home. Of course, these home meetings should not be just with our own family; they should also include others. [Second], the New Testament also shows us that in addition to having the group meetings in the homes, the entire church should also come together in one place (1 Cor. 14:23).167 In the beginning of the church life [in Acts]…the larger gatherings were needed, but the larger gatherings were not a daily need. The daily need was the group meetings.168 Thus, the church should have regular separate home meetings and should gather together in one place as the need arises.169 However, we need to see that the group meetings are more basic.170 The big meetings can attract the people, but only the small meetings can build people up.…The small meetings are the foundation of the building of the church; this is an unshakable law. If we do not keep this law, we will not have any building.171 [Hence], the group meetings are the “lifeline,” the “pulse,” of our church life.172

  The group meeting is eighty percent of the church life, and the church life is a life in the Body. In our physical body, it is impossible for a problem in one member to be hidden from all the other members. The circulation of life in our body carries the feeling in one member to all the members. Thus, we should not hide our problems from the other members in the church life.173 In saying this, I do not mean that we should open everything to others without restriction.… But we do need to learn to open our ordinary, daily matters to our fellow believers. Without the proper opening of ourselves to one another, it is difficult to practice the group meetings.174

  Among all the meetings in the church life, no other meeting is as intimate, as practical, and as all-inclusive as the group meeting. It includes fellowship, interceding, mutual care, and shepherding.175 Furthermore, if we do not have these things, it is difficult to have the mutual teaching through asking and answering questions.176 For the perfecting of the saints, there is the need of teaching in the group meetings, and in the group meetings all are teachers.177 Everyone is both a teacher and a learner.178

  The scriptural basis for the group meetings is in Hebrews 10:24 and 25.179 In these verses there are three crucial words: consider, incite, and exhort[ing].…To consider one another implies to remember, to have a sincere, loving concern for one another. It implies that the saints are in our heart.180 [Verse 24 goes on to say] we must also incite them, stir them up. They might become cold. If so, we have to fan the fire for them.181 Good works here refers to giving something to others freely or doing something freely for others. To give a financial gift or to care for a sick brother is a good work. There is the need for many such good works in the Body. We need to incite one another to love and to this kind of good work. Verse 25 also says that we are to exhort one another.182 You exhort me and I exhort you; you learn and I also learn.…According to this portion of the Word, we must [consider], incite, and exhort one another mutually.183

  Enlightenment and inspiration:


Hymns, #824

  1. The Church is Christ’s own Body,

  The Father’s dwelling-place,

  The gathering of the called ones,

  God blended with man’s race;

  Elect before creation,

  Redeemed by Calv’ry’s death,

  Her character and standing

  Of heaven, not of earth.


  2. New man of new creation,

  Born through her risen Lord,

  Baptized in God the Spirit,

  Made holy by His Word;

  Christ is her life and content,

  Himself her glorious Head;

  She has ascended with Him

  O’er all her foes to tread.


  3. Christ is her one foundation,

  None other man may lay;

  All that she has, as Christ, is

  Divine in every way;

  Her members through the Spirit

  Their death on Calv’ry own;

  They’re built in resurrection —

  Gold, silver, precious stone.


  4. One God, one Lord, one Spirit —

  Her elements all one —

  One faith, one hope, one baptism,

  One Body in the Son;

  The Triune God is in her,

  One Body members own,

  By faith they are united,

  In hope of glory shown.


  5. From every tribe and nation

  Do all the members come,

  Regardless of their classes

  United to be one.

  No high there is, nor lowly,

  No Jew, nor Gentile clan,

  No free, nor slave, nor master,

  But Christ, the “one new man.”


  6. One Body universal,

  One in each place expressed;

  Locality of dwelling

  Her only ground possessed;

  Administration local,

  Each answ’ring to the Lord;

  Communion universal,

  Upheld in one accord.


  7. Her local gatherings model

  The New Jerusalem;

  Its aspects and its details

  Must show in all of them.

  Christ is the Lamp that shineth,

  With God within, the Light;

  They are the lampstands bearing

  His glorious Image bright.

Hymns, #864

  1. Whene’er we meet with Christ endued,

  The surplus of His plenitude

  We offer unto God as food,

  And thus exhibit Christ.


  Let us exhibit Christ,

  Let us exhibit Christ;

  We’ll bring His surplus to the church

  And thus exhibit Christ.


  2. In Christ we live, by Christ we fight,

  On Christ we labor day and night,

  And with His surplus we unite

  To thus exhibit Christ.


  3. Our life and all we are and do

  Is Christ Himself, the substance true,

  That every time we meet anew

  We may exhibit Christ.


  4. In meetings Christ to God we bear

  And Christ with one another share,

  And Christ with God enjoying there,

  We thus exhibit Christ.


  5. The risen Christ to God we bring,

  And Christ ascended offering,

  God’s satisfaction answering,

  We thus exhibit Christ.


  6. The center and reality,

  The atmosphere and ministry,

  Of all our meetings is that we

  May thus exhibit Christ.


  7. The testimony and the prayer,

  And all the fellowship we share,

  The exercise of gifts, whate’er,

  Should just exhibit Christ.


  8. The Father we would glorify,

  Exalting Christ the Son, thereby

  The meeting’s purpose satisfy

  That we exhibit Christ.

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