Scripture Reading: Heb. 10:25; Matt. 18:20; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 14:23, 26
I. CORPORATE GRACE BEING FOUND IN THE MEETING
God's Word says, "Not abandoning our own assembling together" (Heb. 10:25). Why should we not abandon the assembling together? Because God dispenses His grace to us through the assembling together. God's grace to man can be divided into two categories—personal and corporate. God gives us not only personal grace but also corporate grace. This corporate grace can be found only in the assembling together or the meetings.
We have already spoken of the subject of prayer. One can learn to pray by himself at home; there is no doubt that God listens to such prayers. God listens to individual prayers. However, there is another kind of prayer. In order for this other kind of prayer to be answered, it must be prayed in the meetings, in the principle of two or three asking together in the Lord's name. If a person tries to do this alone, he will not get any answer. Many great matters must be prayed over in the meetings before God will answer. They must be brought to the prayer meeting before we see them come to pass. God's corporate grace comes to man only through the meetings. You may think that it is sufficient for a man to pray alone and that he can seek God's mercy by himself. But the experience of many people tells us that individual prayers alone will not work. It seems that unless two or three people pray, or all the brothers and sisters come together to pray, God will not answer. Therefore, we have two kinds of answers to prayers: One is answer to individual prayers, and the other is answer to assembly prayers. If we do not meet with others, some prayers will not be answered.
We have also spoken of reading the Bible. Of course, God will give us individual grace when we read the Bible. However, some portions of the Word cannot be opened up by one person alone. God gives light when we meet, when we assemble ourselves together. In such a meeting, some brothers may be led to open up a particular portion of the Word. There may not be any speaking concerning that particular portion of the Word, yet the fact that everyone is assembled together gives God the opportunity to shed His light. Many brothers and sisters can testify that they understand more of God's Word in the meeting than when they study it individually. Many times in the meeting, God opens up one portion of the Word through another portion of the Word. As one person speaks on one passage, light shines on another passage. In this way more light is unveiled, and we receive grace in a corporate way.
If we do not meet with others, the most we can have is individual grace; we will miss a great part of the corporate grace. God will only give us corporate grace in the meeting. If we do not meet with others, we will not receive this grace. This is why the Bible charges us not to abandon our assembling together.
Excerpt from The Collected Works of Watchman Nee Set 3 Vol.48: Messages for Building Up New Believers (1), Chapter 12