2015 ITEROF Message Eight


The Crucial Points of the Major Items of the Lord’s Recovery Today

Message Eight  

The Local Ground of the Church

Opening Word of the Prophesying Meeting 

Reading the verses in each day.

Reading the main points in the outlines.

Pray-reading the verses:

Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea—Rev. 1:11.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is / For brothers to dwell in unity! …Like the dew of Hermon / That came down upon the mountains of Zion. / For there Jehovah commanded the blessing:/ Life forever—Psa. 133:1-3.

Word of Appetizer

The church must have a ground. What do we mean by the ground?

The ground is where something is placed. The church is real, concrete, great, and weighty. In order for the church to be expressed in the universe, it must be on a site. This site is its ground. Without a ground, speaking of the church is vanity because there is no way for the church to be displayed. In order for the church to be displayed, there must be a ground.

Spiritual Burden

The local ground of the church is basically the unique oneness of the Body of Christ practiced in the local churches. The Body is universal, and this universal Body has only one expression in a city.

In the Lord’s recovery, we take the lead to stand on the unique ground of the church, the genuine ground of oneness.

Concluding Word of the Prophesying Meeting

The Revelation of the Truth

In order to know the church, we must recognize the ground of the church.

The local ground of the church is basically the unique oneness of the Body of Christ practiced in the local churches.

According to the divine revelation in the New Testament, the church ground is constituted of three crucial elements: the oneness of the Spirit, the unique ground of the locality, and the reality of the Spirit of oneness.

We need to see that the ground of the church, the genuine ground of oneness, is intrinsically related to life.

The Experience of Life

Psa. 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is / For brothers to dwell in unity!

The eternal life of God is commanded by God as a blessing to those who dwell together in oneness in the church life. Life is the essence of oneness; without life, there can be no oneness.

Practice and Application

In the Lord’s recovery, we take the lead to stand on the unique ground of the church, the genuine ground of oneness.

One city with only one church. The jurisdiction of a local church should cover the whole city in which the church is located; it should not be greater or lesser than the boundary of the city. We need to realize that the church today must be in oneness and must be built on the ground of oneness.

Using Key Verses to Have a Bird’s-Eye View over the Whole Outline

Key Verses (1)

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it—Matt. 16:18.

To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place…—1 Cor. 1:2.

The Ground of the Church, the Foundation of the Church, the Condition of a Local Church

I. In order to know the church, we must recognize the ground of the church.

II. We need to know the difference between the ground of the church and the foundation of the church; the foundation is the lowest part of a building; the ground is the base, the site, where the building is placed.

III. The ground is much more important to a local church than its condition:

Condition is relative and may change, but the ground is absolute and cannot be altered.

Whether a church is proper, or genuine, does not depend on the condition of the church but on the ground of the church.

Key Verses (2)

Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea—Rev. 1:11.

Being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace—Eph. 4:3.

The Unique Oneness of the Body of Christ;

IV. The Church Ground Is Constituted of Three Crucial ElementsIV. The local ground of the church is basically the unique oneness of the Body of Christ practiced in the local churches:

The Body is universal, and this universal Body has only one expression in a city; thus, there should be only one church in a city.

V. According to the divine revelation in the New Testament, the church ground is constituted of three crucial elements:

A. The unique oneness of the universal Body of Christ is called “the oneness of the Spirit”.

B. The unique ground of the locality in which a local church is established and exists.

C. The reality of the Spirit of oneness, that is, the reality of the Spirit.

Key Verses (3)

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity!—Psa. 133:1.

Like the dew of Hermon that came down upon the mountains of Zion. For there Jehovah commanded the blessing: life forever—3.

The Ground of the Church, the Genuine Ground of Oneness;
The Unique Ground of the Church, the Genuine Ground of Oneness

VI. We need to see that the ground of the church, the genuine ground of oneness, is intrinsically related to life:

The eternal life of God is commanded by God as a blessing to those who dwell together in oneness in the church life.

Life is the essence of oneness; without life, there can be no oneness.

The only way that oneness can be maintained is by life, in life, and with life.

VII. In the Lord’s recovery, we take the lead to stand on the unique ground of the church, the genuine ground of oneness.

Prophesying Topics—Twelve Topics per Week

D1

T1  The ground of the church is the key to knowing the church (Matt. 16:18; 18:17)

(Please explain that in order to know the church, we must recognize the ground of the church.)

T2  The ground of the church is much more important than its condition. (1 Cor. 1:2, 11-13) (Refer to Outline III. A-C)

(Please explain that if the ground is not correct, the church is improper no matter how good and spiritual its condition is.)

D2

T1  The ground of the church and the foundation of the church (1 Cor. 1:2; 3:10)

(Please explain that the difference between the ground of the church and the foundation of the church.)

T2  The ground of oneness is the ground of locality (Eph. 4:4; 1 Cor. 12:27) (Refer to Outline IV. A-C)

(Please explain that the local ground of the church is the unique oneness of the Body of Christ practiced in the local churches.)

D3

T1  The unique oneness of the universal Body of Christ (Eph. 4:3)

(Please explain what the first element of the constitution of the church ground is.)

T2  The unique ground of locality of a local church (Rev. 1:11)

(Please explain what the second element of the constitution of the church ground is.)

D4

T1  The church has two aspects: the universal and the local (Matt. 16:18; Acts 8:1; 13:1)

(Please explain that the churches are established in different cities by taking a city as the boundary and ground of each local church.)

T2  The reality of the Spirit (1 John 5:6)

(Please explain what the third element of the constitution of the church ground is.)

D5

T1  The genuine ground of oneness of the church is intrinsically related to life (Psa. 133:1, 3)

(Please explain that the eternal life of God is commanded by God as a blessing to those who dwell together in oneness in the church life.)

T2  Life is the essence of oneness (John 10:10b, 16b)

(Please explain that the only way that oneness can be maintained is by life, in life, and with life.)

D6

T1  Choosing to take the narrow way of the cross and to stand on the ground of oneness (Acts 13:1)

(Please use your experience to explain that returning to the ground of oneness would cause many to lose their position, name, reputation, or popularity.)

T2  Oneness is the very ground of the church (Rev. 1:11, footnote 2)

(Please explain that the practice of the church life in the early days was the practice of having one city with only one church.)

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