Weekly Ministry (July 26 – Aug 1, 2021)

HWMR – Vital Factors for the Recovery of the Church Life (Week 5)

The Factor of the Genuine One Accord

Key Point – The one accord refers to the harmony in our inner being, in our mind and will.

Acts 1:14 These all continued steadfastly with one accord in prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

In Matthew 18:19 the Greek word sumphoneo is used to signify the one accord. It means “to be in harmony, or accord” and refers to the harmonious sound of musical instruments or voices….The one accord, or the harmony of inward feeling among the believers, becomes like a melody, like music….When we have the one accord, in the eyes of God we become a melody to Him. We become a poem not merely in writing but in sound, in voice, in melody….Such a one accord is the nucleus of the oneness. In other words, oneness is like a nut, and the one accord is like the kernel of that nut. In Acts 1:14 another Greek word, homothumadon, is used to signify the one accord. This word is from homo, “same,” and thumos, “mind, will, purpose (soul, heart).” The word denotes a harmony of inward feeling in one’s entire being of inward feeling in one’s entire being. (CWWL, 1991-1992, vol. 3, “Fellowship concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups,” p. 430)

In the book of Acts the one hundred twenty prayed together in one mind, in the same mind, in the same will with the same purpose around and within the soul and the heart. Whenever we pray, we surely should exercise our spirit, but we also should be in the same mind and the same will with the same purpose around and within our soul and heart. This means that our entire being is involved. After the Lord’s ascension the one hundred twenty became the kind of persons who were in one mind, in one will, with one purpose around their soul and heart. For them to be in one accord meant that their entire beings were one. No other book of the Bible uses the word for one accord as much as Acts. The one accord is the key and the life pulse of prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. You may pray much, seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and acquire a lot of knowledge from the Word, yet if you are short of the one accord, you cannot see the blessing. (CWWL, 1986, vol. 1, “Elders’ Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord’s Move,” pp. 75-78)

Life-study of Colossians (Message 25)

Christ Versus Mysticism

Col. 2:18 Let no one defraud you by judging you unworthy of your prize, in self-chosen lowliness and the worship of the angels, dwelling on the things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by his mind set on the flesh,

Col. 2:19 And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.

Speaking of those described in 2:18, Paul goes on to say in verse 19, “And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, by means of the joints and bands being supplied and knit together, grows with the growth of God.” The heresy of angel worship distracted the saints from holding Christ as the Head. God’s economy is to head up all things in Christ through His Body, the church, thereby to make Christ the center of all things. The device of the subtle one is to carry the saints away and to cause the Body to collapse. The heresy at Colosse caused the saints to be severed from the Head. This damaged the Body. Paul’s revelation was to uplift Christ and to safeguard and build up the Body. We need to be preserved in Christ for the church life. Then we shall be protected from curious visions and from anything abnormal.

If we are not preserved in Christ, the religious element in our being may give rise to many strange things. Our fallen nature with our reprobate mind is one with the evil one. The evil spirits can still have contact with our reprobate mind. The fallen mind is continually committing fornication with the evil spirits. This causes various kinds of evil things to be transmitted into us, things that may cause us to act in an abnormal manner, even to pray, sing, or praise in strange ways. For this reason, as the Bible says, we need a sober mind, a mind renewed according to the image of the One who created us (3:10). If we have such a renewed mind, we shall be preserved in Christ and enjoy Him in the church life. The main reason Paul wrote the book of Colossians was to rescue the saints from fraud and to preserve them in Christ for the proper church life.

To be preserved in Christ for the church life is to hold Him as the Head, out from whom the Body grows with the growth of God. To grow is a matter of life, which is God Himself. As the Body of Christ, the church should not be deprived of Christ, who is the embodiment of God as the source of life. By holding Christ, the church grows with the growth of God, with the increase of God as life.

This growth takes place “by means of the joints and bands being supplied and knit together.” Joints are for the supply of the Body, whereas bands are for knitting together the members of the Body. In the church some members are joints and others are bands. By means of the joints and bands, the Body grows. This indicates that we cannot grow with the growth of God individualistically. We need to be in the church. Thus, Paul’s aim in this book is to preserve us in Christ for the church life.

Life-study of Colossians (Message 26)

The Experience of Christ’s Death Versus Ascetism

Col. 2:20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances:

Col. 2:23 Such things indeed have a reputation of wisdom in self-imposed worship and lowliness and severe treatment of the body, but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

As those who have the one Person and the one way, we do not need regulations about where to place our shoes. When we go to bed at night, however, we should pass through the cross. This means that no matter what we have done during the day or what has happened to us, the cross takes care of everything. Suppose in the afternoon you are made unhappy in some way by your wife or husband. At bedtime you need to apply the cross to your feeling of unhappiness. If you do this, the feeling of unhappiness will disappear. This indicates that our way is the cross, not asceticism or any severe treatment of the self. Realizing that we have already died in Christ, we should go to bed at night with a consciousness of the cross. If we practice going to bed through the cross, lying down with the realization that we have died in Christ, the next morning we shall wake up in resurrection as a new person. We not only have Christ, the unique Person who is versus all things; we also have the cross, the unique way, which is versus all other ways.

Because we have Christ and the cross, there is no place for self-imposed humility. There is no need for us to train ourselves to be humble. I have observed, both in the Orient and in the West, that the most proud people are those who have learned to practice a form of humility. We need not learn such practices. Rather, we should simply take the unique way of the cross.

Driving down the street can be a reminder of the way of the cross. As we drive, we come to many intersections. Have you realized that every intersection is a cross? Some of these crosses may be large and others may be small, but they are all crosses. Only by passing through many crosses can we get to our destination. Speaking of spiritual experience, we also must pass through many crosses before we can reach the New Jerusalem. Just as we cannot travel very far geographically without crossing an intersection, so we cannot progress spiritually without passing through the cross. Only when we arrive at the New Jerusalem shall we cease to pass through the cross, for by that time all the negative things will have been eliminated. Until we come to the New Jerusalem, we need to pass through the cross day by day in our walk with the Lord.

I can testify that it is a healthy spiritual practice to pass through the cross every night when we go to bed. By applying the cross at the end of each day, I rest very well during the night. At bedtime we need to apply the cross to every problem and to every negative, natural, or sinful thing. We may pray, “Lord, I want all these things to pass through the cross. I do not want to go to sleep with any natural, sinful, negative, or worldly element that has not been dealt with. When I go to bed, Lord, I want to be a person who has been crossed out.” We need to be those who pass through one cross after another. I encourage you to daily pass through the intersection of the cross.

Because we have Christ as the unique Person and the cross as the unique way, we do not need asceticism. Furthermore, we do not even need to make up our minds with respect to certain things. Such a practice does not work. What we need to do is simply lie down through the cross at night, have a restful sleep, and then rise up in the morning in resurrection. Praise the Lord that the experience of Christ’s death is versus asceticism!