Every child of God, indwelt by the Holy Ghost, is a member of the "one body," which is formed by "one Spirit." The body cannot be broken or divided, for it is formed by divine power; but the manifestation of the one body and one Spirit has utterly failed, hence the present confusion in Christendom.
We are enjoined to practically act out the membership of "one body," and the activity of "one Spirit" leads to it; but we are never told to keep the unity of the body, but "the unity of the Spirit." The Holy Spirit is the power for everything that is according to God; and He orders through the Word everything as to our private walk, and as to our collective action on assembly ground.
If THE LORD speaks to His assemblies, He bids us "hear what the Spirit saith;" and as there is one Spirit, and He dwells in the assembly on earth, He bids every individual to hear what the Spirit saith to every assembly. "He that bath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the assemblies." (Rev. 2, 3.) The Lord therefore calls on every member of the "one body" to hear what He saith about every assembly. If every member of the "one body" heard therefore what the Spirit saith unto the assemblies, and acted on it, the Spirit's unity would be kept. But all members of the "one body" do not hear, and, it may be, do not care to hear, what the Spirit saith. Is it not clear then that those who do hear must act in faithfulness to the Lord, and, however sorrowfully, separate from those who do not hear what the Spirit saith? For we are commanded at all costs to keep the Spirit's unity in the bond of peace. How else could it be fully kept?
An evil might break out in some part of the world among those who, in these last days, are gathered on the ground of God's assembly of a character hitherto unknown. What should the faithful do? It (the evil) may be in a place a thousand miles off, or more; but can we be indifferent to it? Impossible, if we believe in "one Spirit" dwelling in the Church or assembly. Would not such at once make the Lord their refuge, and turn to "the word of His grace"? Does not the Spirit lead true hearts in this way? Well, the Lord saith, "Hear what the Spirit saith." And such would soon find that the Spirit exposes and rebukes it as unholy, as contrary to the truth, and unsuited to Him who is the Holy and the True. Those who look only to men must go wrong; those only can have the Lord's mind who wait on Him and honour the Holy Ghost.
1. the Spirit's unity must be according to holiness or separation from evil; for He is a HOLY Spirit.
2. It must be according to the truth (and we know who said, "Thy word is truth"); for the Spirit is truth, and He guides into all the truth.
3. The path of the Spirit must certainly have in view the honour and glory of "the Son;" for Jesus said, "He shall glorify me." Happy are those who look above men's heads, and amid, it may be, much failure "hear what the Spirit saith."
4. Those who oppose the action of the "one Spirit" in any measure, or for any reason, seriously dishonour the Lord, grieve the Holy Spirit whereby they are sealed, damage their own souls, perhaps mislead others, mar the testimony of God, and fall under His rebuke.
May all who read these lines look unto Him who is able to keep us from falling; and may our cry be, "Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe." H. H. Snell.