Head Gives Authority, Members Have Fellowship
The use of the body lies in fellowship. The first body principle is that of authority, the second principle is that of fellowship. The supply of coordination is based on the supply of authority and the supply of fellowship. What comes from the Head is authority, what comes from the body members is fellowship. The Head gives authority that we may have order in the body—that is to say, order in the church. Further, though, within the members there is mutual fellowship. These are the two fundamental principles of body life.
—CW, 111: 17-18, 56-7, 59-60, 148
The ground of the Church is quite an important matter. For the Lord has truly shown in the Scriptures that the Church has a definite ground. I would suppose all the brethren know that the blessing of God is in the Church, that God’s Spirit is in the Church, that God’s light is in the Church, and that especially the life of our Lord Jesus is in the Church. Though we usually pay attention to the Lord’s life being in us individuals, His life is in fact in the Church. Since God has deposited so many spiritual things in the Church, it is evident that she becomes an important issue. . . . Whether the place I am in is a church forms a most serious personal challenge for each one of us to consider.
We must see clearly before God that many spiritual things are in the Church, not upon individuals. The word of the Lord is plain yet wonderful: “upon this rock I will build my church.” And the outcome will be, added the Lord, that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16.18b). In other words, this promise is given to the Church, it is not given to individuals. How often in the Christian life it is hard individually to resist, but when the Church arises, Satan is defeated. I surmise that in these years there has not been a lack of personal blessings, but such are nonetheless rather limited. Only in the Church are the blessings unlimited and abundant. Hence, as a person walks outside of the Church the presence of God as well as the blessings he receives become circumscribed. He will not be able to touch many things in God. Pardon me for speaking frankly, but within the last ten years I have noticed that the people who do not know the Church are unable to keep that which they had had before but gradually lose out; whereas those who know the Church keep on growing and find the riches of the Head as their richness.