中文

B.M.

International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones
March 30–April 1, 2012
Anaheim, U.S.A.
&
Training for Elders and Responsible Ones
in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
April 20–22, 2012
Subang Jaya, Malaysia

TAKING THE LEAD AS ELDERS AND RESPONSIBLE ONES

      The Lord in His sovereignty spoke to 1,600 brothers from all over the six continents who attended the International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones in Anaheim, USA last 30 March till 1 April on "Taking the Lead as Elders and Responsible Ones." Three weeks later, a similar training was held in Subang Jaya for the elders and responsible ones from the churches in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, attended by approximately 290 saints.

      The entire burden of the training this time revolved in the matter of elders in the church exercising their leadership to be a pattern which all the believers should honor and follow. First Peter 5:2-3 says, "Shepherd the flock of God among you, overseeing not under compulsion but willingly, according to God not by seeking gain through base means but eagerly; nor as lording it over your allotments but by becoming patterns of the flock." The elders and responsible ones ought to function by taking the lead to be patterns, not exercising lordship over the believers. They should present themselves as a pattern of good works in all things that the believers may follow.

      The Lord Jesus Himself is our unique pattern. In carrying out God's New Testament ministry, the Lord Jesus never did anything out of Himself (John 5:19). He did not do His own work (John 4:34; 17:4). He did not speak His own word (John 14:10, 24). He did everything not by His own will (John 5:30), and He did not seek His own glory (John 7:18). He cared only to live because of the Father for the Father's glory. Praise the Lord for such a One in us who lived by enjoying the Father as the richest grace and the sweetest love. In developing this burden of taking the lead to be patterns, eight messages were released as covered below in a concise manner.

Message 1—Taking the Lead to Be Patterns and
to Love the Lord with the First Love

      The brothers should take the lead to be patterns to love the Lord with the first love, the best love, giving the Lord the preeminence, the first place, in all things and being constrained by His love to regard and take Him as everything in their life. This is and should be the foundation of the service in the church life. Revelation chapter 2 clearly revealed that the leaving of the first love toward the Lord is the source of and main reason for the failure of the church throughout the ages. If we do not repent and do the first works, we will lose the testimony of the Lord, and the lampstand will be removed from us. What a sober word from the Lord. May we be the lover of Jesus, having a personal, affectionate, private, and spiritual relationship with the Lord by continually coming to Him to contact Him, take Him, receive Him, taste Him, and to enjoy Him. Through such a love for the Lord, we enthrone Him as the ruler and decider of everything in our life (Col. 2:19).

Message 2—Taking the Lead to Experience Life

      Every church today needs the things of life the most. The church is the result of life and life is the content of the church. Therefore, we must take the lead to experience this life. Life is nothing else but God in Christ as the Spirit flowing out to be enjoyed by man and to please and satisfy man. God's life is in us today and desires to be lived out of us.

      Nevertheless we need to realize the obstacles that God's life encounter in us which include the darkness of our human concept, hypocrisy, rebellion and our natural capability. Our person with our mind, will, and emotion which cannot cooperate with, and even contradict with our spirit also become a hindrance for the living out of God's life. Since God's life has come into us and mingle with us, we need to cooperate with Him to deal with all the obstacles. The one solution is to pass through the cross and let the cross break us. The way of life is the way of death. When there is the death of Christ operating in us, there is the way for the life of Christ to come out us. Amen.

Message 3—Taking the Lead to Minister Life

      We should also take the lead to minister the eternal life in us that we have enjoyed to other members of the Body. Such a ministry of life will build up the church and keep us in oneness. It is in such a way that the nature of the Lord's recovery is being kept. However this way is costly as it is produced in us by the working of the cross. The more we die with Christ in this way, the more His resurrection power will be manifested in us and the more we have the riches of life to minister to others. This is the work of the apostles, the real work of the new covenant ministry. Today God is seeking those who are willing to stand in the place of death in order that the church may find the way of life.

Message 4-Taking the Lead to Prophesy for the Building up of the Church as the Organic Body of Christ

      For the building up of the church as the organic Body of Christ, there is the need of elders and responsible ones taking the lead to prophesy, taking Christ as a pattern of the Prophet to speak forth God and to prophesy many things concerning God's economy. Prophesying is the greatest of all gifts which builds up the church (1 Cor. 14:4b, 5). Even as Moses uttered a longing for all of Jehovah's people to be prophets to speak for God, Paul desired that all God's New Testament believers would prophesy (1 Cor. 14:31). Praise the Lord! The Lord's recovery is recovering towards everyone prophesying according to the practice in 1 Corinthians 14 for the building up of the church as the organic Body of Christ. This would practically remove the "custom of the nations" which is one man speaking with the rest listening, and release the organic function of each one.

      Our responsibility is to remind all the saints starting from ourselves that all the believers have the capacity to prophesy. This capacity is in the divine life, which the believers possess and enjoy and which needs to increase within them so that this capacity may be developed. To do so we need to love the Lord, to be saturated and constituted with His word, to walk according to the Spirit and to receive instant inspiration, to have a heavenly, divine view to know Christ and the church and to speak with revelation, using fresh expressions and utterance.

Message 5—Taking the Lead to Be a Man of Prayer

      The need is great for us to learn from the Lord to be a man of prayer. The example of prayer given by the Lord in Matthew 6:9-13 is a pattern which cares first for God's name, God's kingdom, and God's will, and second, forour need in the matters of our daily supply, ourfailures before God and our relationship with others, and deliverance from the evil one and from evil things. This pattern of prayer concludes with the kingdom people's recognizing and praising reverently that the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong to the Father forever.

      In Matthew 14:19, the Lord also trained us to learn from Him in the performing of the miracle of feeding five thousand people. We need to look up to heaven, acknowledging that our Father in heaven is our source. Thus we trust only in Him, seeking His will that the Father may be glorified. After performing the miracle, the Lord went up to the mountain privately to pray. This is the intrinsic, deeper lesson of life that we need to learn.

Message 6—Taking the Lead to Know the Body and to Keep the Principles of the Body

      In this training the brothers were urged to take the lead to know the Body. We were helped to see that all the problems of the church today are due to ignorance concerning the Body of Christ. For this reason, we should desperately ask the Father to grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation that we may know the Body in life and in practice.

      We need to know the Body in life. The Body of Christ is formed by Christ as life in us; this life mingles with us to become the Body of Christ. Our experience of life and the growth in life will result in our knowing the Body in life. Only after we have dealt with our flesh, the self, and the natural constitution can we know the Body of Christ. Furthermore we also need to know the Body in practice whereby a local church is an expression of the Body of Christ in a particular locality.

      The brothers reminded us that we should take the lead to keep the principles of the Body, one of which is the divine fellowship. The divine fellowship is the reality of living in the Body of Christ. This is our urgent need so that the Lord would gain the Body in practicality.

Message 7—Taking the Lead to Stand on the Unique Ground of the Church,
to Be under the Limitation of the Body of Christ,
and to Be Body-conscious in One Accord

      It is extremely crucial for us to take the lead to stand on the unique ground of the church which is the practice of the church life in the early days. As indicated in Acts 8:1; 13:1; and Revelation 1:11, the practice was one church for one city, one city with only one church. When we meet on this genuine ground of oneness, there are four characteristics that require our attention: First, the people of God should always be one. Second, the unique name into which God's people should gather is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Third, in our meeting for the worship of God, we must exercise our spirit and do everything in the spirit. Fourth, in our worship of God we must have a genuine application of the cross.

      As those standing on the ground of oneness, we must take the lead to be under the limitation of the Body of Christ, that is to be limited by the other members, not going beyond our measure. We should move and act according to how much God has measured to us, staying within the limits of God's ruling. For the Lord's move in His recovery both locally and universally, we must take the lead to be Body-conscious in one accord.

Message 8—Taking the Lead to Work with the Lord for the Body

      These words were very timely and refreshing. First we need to realize that our work with the Lord is for His Body, not for our personal interest. God's central work is to work Himself in Christ into His chosen people, making Himself one with them for the Body of Christ. We can work with the Lord for the Body through our prayer and perfect the saints unto the work.

      If we would work with the Lord for the Body, we need to become Shulammite, one who is qualified to work with the Beloved. As Christ's duplication through the processes of transformation and conformation, we share in the work of the Lord not by working for the Lord but to work with the Lord for the Body. In the midst of the Lord's work, we give Him our love (Mark 12:30). May our love to the Lord remain fresh and be counted as first work. Therefore, my beloved brothers, may we be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58).

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