The Discerning of the One Body
In closing this chapter, Witness Lee expounds 1 Corinthians 11:29 concerning the crucial need for the believers to discern the Body of Christ:
My fourth burden in this chapter is the discerning of the one Body. First Corinthians 11:29 says that we need to discern the Body. Moreover, it says that if we do not discern the Body, we will suffer some kind of discipline by the Lord.
The first item we need to discern is the bread on the Lords table. The bread on the Lords table should be a symbol not only of the Lords physical body, but also of the Lords mystical Body, which is universally one (Eph. 4:4). Although we may take the Lords table in many different cities around the globe, we all are taking just one bread, because the bread we partake of is a symbol of Christs mystical Body, which is universally one. Thus, 1 Corinthians 10:17 says, We who are many are one bread, one Body; for we all partake of the one bread.
Any bread on the Lords table that does not signify the Lords one universal Body but the body of a certain sect is divisive. The denomination in which I grew up in mainland China had their communion at regular intervals of time. Each time they made a strong announcement that whoever was not a member of that denomination had to leave the premises. The bread that they partook of was not a symbol of the Body of Christ; it was a symbol of the sect of that denomination. We should not partake of that kind of bread, that kind of communion, or that kind of table. We should not have any share in it; it is a sign of a sect.
If we partake of such a divisive table without discernment, we participate in a division, which is condemned by the apostle (1 Cor. 11:29-30). Some who have recently left us to form divisions are taking the Lords table. They have told people that they are simply a group meeting that is having the Lords table. Should these group meetings be considered as proper and genuine meetings of the local churches? If a proper, genuine group meeting has the Lords table, that table will be the table of a local church, with the bread as a symbol of the entire Body of Christ. That is a practice that keeps the oneness of the Body. Suppose, however, that we have a group of believers who originally were meeting with the church, but because of certain reasons, they left the church and keep themselves separate from the church, without having any fellowship with the church. Suppose, further, that these believers have what they call the Lords table. Such a table immediately becomes a symbol of division, a symbol of a sect. Hence, 1 Corinthians 11:29 charges us to discern. When we partake of any bread on a table that is called the Lords table, we must discern carefully whether that bread signifies the universal Body of Christ, without division, or not. If it does not, we should not partake of it. If we do not discern, and partake of such a thing, this is condemned by the apostle, that is, by the Lord (132-133).
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