If we go on with God,
the Cross leads us immediately to the House of God. The
Cross opens the way to the House of God, and the House of
God depends for its full meaning upon whether the Cross
has done its work.
A great many people
think that the Church, the House of God - or whatever you
may term it - is a doctrine, a part of a system of
Christian truth. Have you thought that? Well, let me say
that you are wrong. What is the House of God? We may
first name a number of things which it is not.
The House of God is not
a part of a system of Christian truth or teaching. It is
not a congregation with religious services. It is not a
Christian society with a membership. It is not a
religious association for religious purposes. Yet these
are the ideas that are in so many minds when we speak of
the House of God. People think of it as a place where
religious observances are carried out, or as a society
set up for religious purposes. The House of God is the
spiritual relatedness of believers. "For by one
Spirit are we all baptized into one Body..." (1
Corinthians 12:13). That is the House of God... a
But it is more. The
House of God is the recognized and active relatedness of
believers. It is not a nebulous thing. It is not an
abstract idea. The spiritual relatedness of believers is
very wonderful, but there must be a recognition of it;
and that relatedness must be made an active thing. That
is the House of God.
Then the House of God
represents a greater measure of Christ than is possible
to any number of separate individuals. Separate
individuals can never come to the Lord's fulness. It will
necessitate all the believers for the Lord's fulness to
be entered into; but to come to it, believers must needs
be in a relatedness... and that, an active relatedness.
That is very practical. Any life that is a free lance -
that is independent and detached - will be limited, even
though there may be belief in the spiritual relatedness
of all believers. This thing has to become practical - an
actual working thing. Fellowship is essential to fulness.
We know that is why the
enemy has never ceased trying to scatter the Lord's
people - to divide, subdivide, and divide again. He is
always after that, because he knows that actual
relatedness is the way to the fulness of Christ - the way
in which what Christ is in heaven becomes expressed here
on the earth.
relatedness after a practical sort is an important thing
on the earth, and it cannot be repudiated. We cannot,
without robbing the Lord of something, pass it off as
something which has irreparably broken down and can never
again find an expression. Not at all. The Lord has not
taken that attitude. That represents surrender to the
devil - the devil's triumph amongst the Lord's people.
Actual relatedness, which involves persistent fellowship,
is the way of heavenly fulness. That is the House of God,
the heavenly fellowship of born-anew children of God here
on this earth.
You see that a feature
of the House of God is fellowship - actual fellowship.
Given that, another feature arises and becomes
manifest... and that is Life. Oh, what Life there is in
fellowship. The Life of the Lord - His risen Life - is
manifested in fellowship, and that is a feature of the
House of God. And is not the House of God, the Body of
Christ, intended to be the expression in a corporate way
of the fact that Christ is alive - is risen?
Then Life leads to
light... and in the fellowship of the Lord's people there
is a ground for the Lord to communicate the knowledge of
Himself in a way that He cannot do to isolated
individuals; that is, if they are isolated by their own
fault. We are not talking just now about that
geographical isolation which cannot be avoided, but we
are dealing with spiritual isolation, spiritual
separateness. The Lord reveals Himself in the midst of
His people in His greater fulnesses.
Thus the House of God
is a very practical thing, bringing us on the way to
heavenly fulness; and we have to recognize that we are
under a great responsibility for what the House of God
represents in the matter of spiritual fellowship. It is
the place where the personal is put out and we no longer
live unto ourselves, but unto one another - unto Christ
and for Christ - in order that there may be an increase
First published in "A Witness and A
Testimony" magazine, Mar-Apr 1937, Vol 15-2