Since Paul’s day, so very much of Christian activity has been the furthering of a movement, the propagating of a teaching, and the furthering of the interests of an institution. It is not a movement, nor to establish a movement in the Earth and to get followers, adherents, members, support. It is not an institution, even though we might call that institution the church. The church has no existence in the thought of God apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ, and it is judged according to the measure in which Christ the Son of God’s love is in evidence by its existence.
Let us be careful what we mean when we speak about “the testimony”. We may have in our minds some arrangement of truth, and that truth couched in certain phraseology, form of words, and thus speak about “the testimony”; it is not the testimony in that sense. It is not a denomination, and it is not a “non-denomination”, and it is not an “inter-denomination”. It is not Christianity. It is not “the work” – oh, we are always talking about “the work”: “How is the work getting on?” – We are giving ourselves to the work, we are interested in the work, we are out in the work. It is not a mission. It is Christ! “…That I might preach Him.” If that had remained central and preeminent, all these horrible disintegrating jealousies would never have had a chance. All the wretched mess that exists in the organization of Christianity today would never have come about. It is because something specific in itself, a movement, a mission, a teaching, a testimony, a fellowship, has taken the place of Christ. People have gone out to further that, to project that, to establish that. It would not be confessed; nevertheless it is true, that today it is not so much Christ that is our work.
Now beloved, an inward revelation is the cure of all that. Am I saying too hard a thing, too sweeping a thing? [There is] the existence of all that represents the absence of an adequate inward revelation of Christ. If Christ the Son of God’s love is central and supreme in the heart of the believer, so much else goes down – it must go down. Controversies with God will divide, but those artificial things, those things resultant from man’s activity and his projecting of himself, insinuating of himself into the interests of God, those things cannot abide where there is an adequate inward revelation of the Lord Jesus; they cannot be.