Abraham—Called by God, by Witness Lee

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The children of God who do not abide in the Lord as the anointing teaches will be put to shame at the Lord’s coming back (1 John 2:27-28). We who are in the Lord’s recovery know what is the inner teaching of the inward anointing. But do we abide in the Lord according to the teaching of the living anointing within us? First John 2:27 and 28 charge us to abide in the Lord according to the anointing. For example, if you are about to go shopping and the anointing says no, will you say, “Amen, Lord”? If you do, that is good. However, if you say, “Lord, I won’t buy anything bad,” the Lord may say, “I don’t care whether you buy something good or bad. Don’t go.” We should simply say, “Amen, Lord, I’m just abiding in You according to Your teaching of the inward anointing.” We all need to abide in the Lord in this way.

If we do not abide in the Lord according to the anointing, we shall “be put to shame from Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). To feel shameful is one thing; to be put to shame is another. This verse is not saying that we shall feel shameful, but that we shall “be put to shame.” Notice that, according to the Greek, it does not say, like the King James Version, “before Him” but “from Him.” The Greek preposition here is apo, which means “away from.” If we abide in the Lord according to the anointing, when He appears, we shall have confidence, assurance, boldness, and peace and not be put away from Him. Literally, the Greek words translated “at His coming” mean “in His presence.” The Greek word for presence is parousia, which includes the meaning of coming. We may have His coming and yet not be in His presence. For example, the President of the United States may come to Anaheim tonight, but only a few people will enter into his presence, that is, into his parousia. The Lord Jesus will come, but will you be worthy to be in His presence? If you live in a worldly way, loving the world and making the Lord the last in your life, how could you be brought into His presence when He comes? We must abide in the Lord according to the inward anointing so that we may have confidence, boldness, and assurance before Him in His presence at His appearing and not be put to shame away from Him.

At His appearing, the Lord will deal with His believers. If His believers follow Him today in the way of abiding in Him according to the inward anointing, they will then have peace, boldness, assurance, and confidence and will be brought into His parousia, into His presence. If they do not abide in Him today, at His appearing, they will be put to shame away from Him. To be put to shame away from Him must mean to be put to the third place, the place which is neither the field for the fulfilling of God’s purpose, nor the dunghill in the lake of fire. It is the place of shame outside His presence. A believer who is put to shame away from Him is not lost. He is still a saved person, but he must suffer being put to shame. That being put to shame will be for him a dealing and a discipline; it will be the chastisement exercised by the sovereign Lord over His defeated believers. This matter is quite clear and is very serious.


The believers who do not watch for the Lord’s coming back and live a proper life will suffer shame (Rev. 16:15). In Revelation 16:15 the Lord tells us to keep our garments. In the Bible, a garment always signifies what we are in our walk and living. We must have a clean walk, and our spiritual garment must be pure, white, and approved by God. We must watch for the Lord’s coming and keep our garments pure. If we live such a clean life, we shall have no nakedness when He comes and men will not see our shame. This verse also says that the Lord is coming as a thief. He will not come as a visitor announcing His arrival ahead of time. When we do not think that the thief will come, he comes. I have been told that thieves often come about three or four o’clock in the morning, at the time when people are deeply asleep. We need to be sober and watching. Otherwise, the Lord will come as a thief and our nakedness will be exposed. Once again, this tells us that there is the possibility that a saved person may be put to shame at the Lord’s coming back.


God’s people who do not live and walk according to His way, that is, according to His economy, will come short of the fulfillment of His purpose and be put to shame. As we have seen, this is the significance of the pillar of salt. Do not take this merely as a Bible study, but as a warning for us all. Even we who are in the Lord’s recovery cannot afford to be loose or indifferent. We must be sober and consider the situation to be quite serious. We need to have a life and walk that fulfills God’s purpose. Then at the Lord’s appearing we shall be in His parousia and not be cast out to the third place, the place of shame. V

(Abraham—Called by God, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)