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The church of God which is in Leeds!

October 31st, 2016 Categories: reporting... 1 comment

Yesterday, 400 saints from across the UK gathered together for the first Lord’s table of the church in Leeds!

It was good to be reminded that every believer in Christ is part of the church, both universally and locally, regardless of where they meet or how they may identify themselves. However, it is significant that 30-40 brothers and sisters in Leeds are making a stand to meet simply as the church* in Leeds, not taking any name other than that of the Lord, and not having any other ground other than the unique ground of the oneness. And we also stand with them!

*Important note: not ‘the only church’ in Leeds, but ‘only the church’ in Leeds.

The first Lord’s table of the church in Leeds

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The Lord’s table was truly glorious. How marvelous to remember the Lord at His table, to praise Him for who He is and for what He has done! Our Lord Jesus died for us and shed His blood to redeem us and to bring us back to God! He also imparted His life to us so that now we are the many members of His one Body, and the many sons of God! Now God is also our Father! Hallelujah, let us praise Him!

I enjoyed singing with my heart to the Lord during the Lord’s table, and recorded some of the hymns of worship to the Father. I thought I’d share the recordings with you so you also can sing along!

Note: In the first recording, we were singing the stanzas in reverse order, and the second recording starts with the chorus.

 1  We bless Thee, God and Father,
We joy before Thy face;
Beyond dark death for ever,
We share Thy Son’s blest place.
He lives a Man before Thee,
In cloudless light above,
In Thine unbounded favor,
Thine everlasting love.

2  His Father and our Father,
His God and ours Thou art;
And He is Thy Beloved,
The gladness of Thy heart.
We’re His, in joy He brings us
To share His part and place,
To know Thy love and favor,
The shining of Thy face.

3  Thy love that now enfolds us
Can ne’er wax cold or dim;
In Him that love doth center,
And we are loved in Him.
In Him Thy love and glory
Find their eternal rest;
The many sons — His brethren —
In Him, how near, how blest!

 1  Glory, glory to the Father!
Glory, glory to the Son!
Glory, glory to the Spirit!
Glory to the Three in One!

Let us praise Him! Let us praise Him!
Praise our God, the Three in One!
Give Him glory; give Him glory!
Wondrous things for us our God hath done!

2  Praise the Father who has purposed!
Praise the Son who all has done!
Praise the Spirit who transmitteth!
Praise the Three who work as one!

The testimony of the saints in Leeds

After the Lord’s table, we heard testimonies from the brothers and sisters who have been in Leeds since 2002, and who began to meet together in 2006. We may wonder why it took 10 years for the lampstand to be established in Leeds, but it was the Lord’s timing, and He has been the faithful One in the saints during all this time. I was especially encouraged by these things:

  • Overcoming being busy: Most of the saints in Leeds migrated from China and work hard in Chinese takeaways and restaurants in order to support their families. They would finish work very late at night, after midnight, but because they had a heart for the Lord, that was when they would would meet together for fellowship and prayer! In more recent years, the saints have been meeting faithfully on a Lord’s day, to sing and praise the Lord, although without breaking bread as the church in Leeds. In recent months, two bilingual families moved to Leeds, and the saints who finish work late at night have still given their morning times to meet together.
  • Overcoming the language barrier: It is not easy to learn a new language when you are older, and this is especially the case if you work in an environment where you can use your mother tongue. But the saints realised that they live in Leeds, an English-speaking city, in an English-speaking country, and so the testimony of the Lord in this city should not be only Chinese-speaking. Their children are speaking English in school and even have British accents, but the older saints have also been working hard to learn English (and many shared their testimonies in English), and they have pursued the fellowship with the English-speaking saints. And on the other side, the English-speaking saints in Leeds have realised the Lord put them into a situation where they needed to not only be friendly towards Chinese-speaking saints, but to learn to fellowship together, and this is what they have been doing! In the church there is no British nor Chinese, but Christ is all and in all!
  • Being shepherded by all the churches: When the saints in other parts of the UK became aware that there were brothers and sisters meeting in Leeds, they began to visit, and were very faithful to do so over the years. One brother from Cambridge visited Leeds every week for two years. He was English-speaking, so a bilingual brother from Birmingham would come in order to translate. When the translating brother was not available to come, the brothers used the speaker phone to call someone to translate for them over the phone so they could still fellowship! Saints from London have been visiting every month, and saints from Nottingham also been visiting frequently. Many saints have had Leeds on their heart. The saints in Leeds testified that over the past 10 years, they have been greatly nourished and supplied, and have grown in the Lord through the faithful visitation of the saints.
  • Pursuing the fellowship of the Body: The saints in Leeds have been active to fellowship with the localities near to them, even if they could only join fellowship times for a morning and then had to travel back to Leeds to work in the afternoon and evening. They would also travel to London to join the conferences and blending times. The saints in Leeds could have decided at any time to meet as the church in Leeds and begin to break bread; there is no regulation or external control regarding this. But the saints took the way of opening to the fellowship in the Body and even of being limited by the feeling in the Body. With this comes the sweet one accord and the Lord’s blessing. This really was a exemplified by the fact that around 360 saints travelled from the north and south (literally) of the UK to join the saints in Leeds for just a few hours. For some saints, this would have been a 5-6 hour drive, each way – but what a joy to participate in this move of the Lord through His Body!
  • Bearing fruit: Finally, I was touched and impressed that even though the saints have been waiting for the establishing of the church in Leeds for the past ten years, they have nevertheless been enjoying the church life, and even with the language barrier, they have not been idle in contacting those the Lord placed around them. This was evidenced by the saints who testified that they have come to know the Lord and begun meeting in the past few years! The saints have also been caring for their 50 children and young people, and have begun to labour with the university students. And this was all before – but one brother shared that there is a difference between before and after – now the saints are committed, and now everything they do will be for the church!

An encouragement for us

From all these points, I am encouraged that we really have no excuse.

  • We often say we are too busy, but really we will give our time and energy for what we consider to be important to us (Matthew 26:7-13).
  • We may say something is inconvenient or even impossible, but our culture and our background need to be put on the cross (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11), and nothing is impossible with the Lord (Matthew 19:26).
  • We may think that we can make it on our own or that no one else can help us, but we need to realise we are not individual Christians and that the supply is in the Body (Romans 12:5; Ephesians 4:16; Philippians 1:19).
  • And we may think that it is ok to be passive and just wait until the situation is ‘right’, but the people who know their God will show strength and take action (Daniel 11:32)!

 

Finally, all that remains to be said is:

To the church of God which is in Leeds, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:2 (paraphrased)

Praise the Lord for a bright, shining, golden lampstand as the testimony of Jesus in Leeds! May the church in Leeds hasten the Lord’s return!



  1. October 31st, 2016 at 10:51 | #1

    Thanks Sis for the sharing!

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