Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

The Progressive Issue of “Holding to Truth”—Four Great Pillars

The four pillars—truth, life, the church, and the gospel

Truth, life, the church and the gospel are the four great pillars in the Lord’s recovery today. (Recovery, in this context, refers to a return to God’s original intention from the beginning, by the shining of His light.)

Since this blog stresses “holding to truth” you might say that this post reveals both the importance of the truth and the issue of “holding to truth.”  That is, we’re not “holding to truth” merely for  the increase of spiritual knowledge,  personal growth or victory. Rather, by actively holding to truth—the first pillar in the Lord’s recovery—we’ll be brought into the divine life, the church as Christ’s organic Body, and the preaching of the high gospel.

So in this post, I’ll present a vision of these four pillars which should impress you with the progressive issue of “holding to truth”—experiencing the divine life, becoming the church—Christ’s organic Body, and spreading the high gospel.

The first great pillar—the divine truth

The truth is the first great pillar in the recovery of the Lord today. The first thing God does in carrying out His purpose is to reveal Himself by His speaking (Heb. 1:1). His word is the word of the truth (John 17:17; Eph. 1:13) that conveys the reality of all the divine things revealed in the Bible. I am impressed with six practical points concerning this pillar of truth:

  1. First, since the divine truth is revealed in God’s word, we need to love the Word dearly, like the seeking psalmists (Psalm 119:97), and get into it daily, like the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11).
  2. Second, we need to see the need for the proper interpretation of the Scriptures; to this end, I can highly recommend the Holy Bible Recovery Version with the footnotes and its companion exposition, Life-study of the Bible. I’ve been reading and studying the Bible with the help of these “openers,” and I can say that my positive appreciation for God’s Word has greatly increased by using them—Luke 24:27-32; Acts 8:29-31.
  3. Third, we need to be absolute for the truth, stand  in the truth, and not compromise the truth. This was the aged apostle John’s greatest joy— to hear that his children were walking in the truth—2 John 3-4.
  4. Fourth, we need to realize that the standard of the recovery depends on the standard of the truth we put out; we should never lower the standard of the truth or dumb it down, rather we should learn to present the high truths  in a clear way such that others can grasp them. That’s exactly what I’m endeavoring to do through this blog.
  5. Fifth, we need to realize that the kind of church we build depends on the kind of truth we teach and see the desperate need for the living truth to produce and build it up the church—1 Tim. 3:15.
  6. Sixth, we need to have the truth wrought into us and constituted into our being; when we have the truth wrought into us we will have a constant long-term nourishment; may we all be encouraged to get into the truth and muse on the truth. For example, my last post on the “Double Cure” really was a nourishment to me giving me a deeper appreciation for the “blood and water”  that flowed from Christ’s pierced side.

The second great pillar—the divine life

Truth and life are both Christ (John 14:6), but in two aspects—truth is the outward explanation and life is the inward content. I’m impressed with three points concerning the pillar of life:

  1. In order to experience the Lord as life, we must know the truth; the experience of the Lord as life is contained in the Lord as the truth.
  2. Life is the Triune God Himself—the Father as the source or fountain of life, the Son as the embodiment of life and the Spirit as the flow of life—dispensing Himself into us and living in us—Jer. 2:13; John 1:4a; 7:37-39.
  3. Life is the way to fulfill God’s purpose; we should faithfully get into the truth with a view to experiencing Christ as truth and life with the aspiration that our whole being will be saturated with life before we meet the Lord—Gen. 1:26; 2:9; Rev. 22:1-2; 21:10-11.

The third great pillar—the church, Christ’s organic Body

The church as the organic Body of Christ is the issue of our experience of the Lord as truth and life. Enjoying the divine truth brings us into the experience of the divine life, and once we have life, we become the church. According to 1 Timothy 3:15-16, the church is three things:

  1. It’s the house of the living God; as the issue of our enjoyment of the Lord as truth and life, we become the church of the “living” God—living, moving and working together with Him (v. 15). We need to experience His life to be His living church.
  2. It’s also the pillar and base of the truth; when we’re constituted with the Lord as the truth, we corporately become the supporting pillar and holding base of such a divine truth (v. 15).
  3. It’s the corporate manifestation of God in the flesh; By enjoying truth and experiencing life, we become God’s enlarged corporate expression; a corporate God-man (v. 16).

The fourth great pillar—the gospel

The divine truth brings us into the experience of the divine life. Then our enjoyment of the Lord as truth and life issue in the church. Finally, the church has the commission to preach the high gospel to the world (Mark 16:15). The Lord’s recovery has been given the purest, highest and most complete gospel—a gospel that includes all the truths in the Bible. Concerning this high gospel, I am impressed with four points:

  1. The real gospel preaching is the speaking of the divine truth; the truth is the gospel (Eph. 1:13) and our speaking of the truth is our preaching of the gospel.
  2. For the preaching of the high gospel, we need to pursue the knowledge of the truth, studying the truth to the extent that we can expound it; this is to preach the high gospel.
  3.  The commission of the church today is to preach this high gospel, the content of which is the divine truth.
  4. We have the tremendous responsibility to announce the truth throughout the inhabited earth. May the Lord grant us all such a sense of commission.

This post was inspired by a summary of the book Truth, Life, the Church, and the Gospel— The Four Great Pillars in the Lord’s Recovery by Witness Lee given in the first message of the Fall 2011,  International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones (You can read the book online at www.ministrybooks.org.)

You can also read more about these four pillars at: http://agodman.wordpress.com/

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

12 Replies

  1. I was impressed with the same point of the progressive nature of these four pillars. Truth, life, the church, and the gospel are not four separate things, but one should lead to the other. Our study of the truth should result in life; if not, we must question whether we are partaking of the tree of life, as God intended, or still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Lord said, You search the Scriptures… but you do not come to Me that you may have life. (John 5:39-40). Oh Lord, we come to you!

    And if we are receiving and dispensing life, we are surely building the church (Col. 2:19).

    I was especially impressed with the matter of speaking all the truths in the Bible as the gospel. In the book you mention that was the source material of the ITERO conference, Witness Lee says, If we only talk about [the gospel of] peace and prosperity, people will not be happy because they will not be satisfied. However, if we preach those four great truths, people will be appreciative because these truths will match their inner condition… providing them the highest answers to the true meaning of life. We need to speak the high truths, the truths hidden in the Bible, to fulfill our commission. Your previous post on “The Double Cure” is one example.

  2. It seems unavoidable to view something from one’s own perspective. An object can only be viewed from one point of reference at a time. Some features are always more prominent to an observer than others.

    As I listened to this message from the recent ITERO, I remembered that my perspective is that of a young adult. This message was spoken to elders, responsible ones, older brothers who are shepherding the flock of God. They are bearing the responsibility of the churches in which they live and serve. Yet, I just had my 28th birthday. I’m decidedly young in the company of such brothers.

    But I’m still burdened. I want to encourage the growth of the brothers and sisters in my church. What can I do as a young adult?

    Being a young adult, my measure is not the same as the older brothers. I can’t exhort the saints the way they can. So how can I discharge my burden to see the saints perfected while staying within my measure?


    Prayer is within my measure. I can pray for the saints and pray for the church. But in what way? How should I pray for them?

    Pray according to the four pillars.

    The Truth
    First, pray that they would be constituted with the truth. This is the beginning. Whatever the shortage that we see in our church life, the starting point to a recovery is the truth. We must pray that the saints would be brought on in the truth. This is prerequisite.

    Secondly, pray that the truth become a life supply to the saints. In their inner life, in their daily life, and in the meeting life, the truth can supply them. This will uplift their experience of Christ as life. They will grow, and they will be channels of supply to others.

    The Church
    Third, pray for the church. Pray that the church would be built up. The church must mature so that it is an appropriate counterpart for Christ. The church matures through increasing in truth and life, not by the increase of organizational efficiency and membership counts.

    The Gospel
    The contents of the gospel is the truth. Speaking the gospel is synonymous with speaking the truth. If the saints are going to spread the gospel, they must be constituted with the truth. They have to grow in life. They also need a burden to see the church grow. The gospel is the last thing we should pray for. If we pray for all the previous things, God will have a foundation to completely answer our prayer for the spread of the gospel in our city and on the earth.

    Pray according to the four pillars.

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