A VIRGIN TO CHRIST
Paul told the Corinthians, “I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2). All of the saints, especially the brothers, need to realize that they are a part of the virgin to Christ. Before the Lord and to the Lord we have to consider ourselves as females. We have to love the Lord just like a virgin loves her husband. A brother may be a husband, but to Christ he is a part of His wife. All the believers are the virgins, regardless of whether they are brothers or sisters (S. S. 1:3). We all are virgins and are a part of the corporate virgin to Christ. If you behave yourself as a man before Christ, this is wrong. If you do this, you insult the Lord’s headship; you have to behave yourself as a virgin before the Lord. Not many brothers have the consideration that although they are men, they are a virgin to Christ. Paul betrothed the believers as a chaste, pure virgin to Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul said, “I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your thoughts would be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity toward Christ.” As a virgin we need to be pure and single, or simple. Simplicity refers to the believers’ single-hearted loyalty, single-minded faithfulness, toward Christ. For yourself as a virgin, you need to be pure. For your husband, you need to be simple. Divorces are the issue of complexity. If the wives kept themselves in simplicity regarding their husbands, there would be no divorce. Once a woman gets married, she should be so simple regarding her husband. But many wives are seduced and tempted away from simplicity into complexity. A wife may consider her husband and realize that he is not so well educated. But when she looks at another man, she realizes that he is more educated. The more she compares her husband to other men, the more she realizes that he is not as good as them in certain aspects. In the past the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, and the same serpent is still deceiving so many Eves.
The apostles ministered Christ to people in a simple way. Their teachings concerning Christ were very simple. Even Christ presented Himself in a simple way. In the Gospel of John He said that He is the door (10:1), the vine tree (15:1), and the bread of life (6:48). The apostle Paul ministered Christ to others in a simple way, presenting Christ to them as their unique Husband. But some of the preachers during that time came to preach Christ in a complicated way. This is why Paul referred to those who preached “another Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4). Because some were preaching Christ not in the way of simplicity but in the way of complexity, Paul was concerned for the Corinthians that their thoughts might be seduced or corrupted from the simplicity toward Christ. In the beginning God presented the tree of life to Adam and Eve in a very simple way (Gen. 2:9). Then the seducer, the tempter, the serpent, caused Eve to become complicated. With the tree of life there is only one element—life. The tree of life is simple, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil with the element of death is complicated.
To follow the Lord, to walk in the spirit, to live in the Holy of Holies, we need to be so simple. Some came to me advising me not to teach others in such a simple way. They advised me to open people’s eyes to see so many different kinds of teachings. When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Bible tells us that “the eyes of both of them were opened” (Gen. 3:7). The serpent even told Eve, “God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil” (v. 5). The eyes of Eve were really opened, showing us that it is better to have our eyes closed unto the simplicity toward Christ. We should have the attitude that we do not know anything except the simplicity concerning Christ being our Savior, our Lord, our life, our Husband, and our everything, concerning the church as the unique expression of Christ, and concerning the practice of the church life on the unique ground of oneness. This is so simple.
All of the different teachings, differing from the apostles’ teaching centered upon Christ and the church, cause much complexity. This is why Paul urged Timothy to charge certain ones not to teach different things (1 Tim. 1:3). Many Christians do not know which direction to take because one “spiritual” person says one thing, and another “spiritual” person says another thing. The many different teachings in today’s Christianity cause seeking Christians to wonder who is right. We need to learn to be somewhat foolish in our simplicity toward Christ. When I first began to travel to minister the word in mainland China, I had a traveling library. One small suitcase was for my clothes, and a large trunk contained my books. The more I traveled for the Lord and in the Lord, however, the more books I dropped. Eventually, I traveled with only one book in my hand—the Bible. I liked to be so foolishly simple toward Christ.
We need to learn to close our ears to the different teachings. Second Timothy 4:3-4 says, “The time will come when they will not tolerate the healthy teaching; but according to their own lusts they will heap up to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they will turn away their ear from the truth and will be turned aside to myths.” The itching ear is the ear that seeks pleasing speaking for its own pleasure. The itching and turned-away ear is the main factor of the worsening decline in the churches. We should not have an itching ear, heaping up to ourselves teachers. Our eyes and ears need to be closed unto the simplicity toward Christ. We need to be in the spirit, standing on the genuine ground of oneness, following the Lord in a simple way as a virgin.
Once a woman marries a man, she should have no other considerations regarding her husband. She should only know that he is her husband and that he is the best among the best. She should be foolishly satisfied with her husband and blindly convinced that he is the best man for her. She should have the attitude that no other husband is as good as hers on the entire earth. If a woman is so simple in this way, she will have a sweet marriage life. The divorce rate is very high because the women today are not so simple toward their husbands. In like manner, we need to be simple toward Christ. We need to be blindly and foolishly satisfied with Him alone. We should not know anything but Christ and have the attitude that nothing is as good as Christ. He is the best, and we just love Him. For us there is only one tree—the tree of life. We would not consider the other tree with its complications.
Whenever we consider another husband other than Christ, we are out of the Holy of Holies, out of the spirit. Whenever we consider taking another way to practice the church besides the way revealed in the holy Word, we are out of the spirit. The more that we go on in the church life pursuing our dear Lord Jesus “blindly,” the more we will be in the spirit, in the presence of the Lord, in the Holy of Holies, and the more we will be built up together with all the saints. When we have some consideration as to whether or not the practice of the church life revealed in the Bible is right, we are immediately in the wilderness and out of the spirit. We are in the soul, in the Holy Place, and out of the Holy of Holies, out of the land of Canaan. We are still wandering in the wilderness.
Some who took the way of the Lord’s recovery had a good start, but at a certain point their minds, their thoughts, were corrupted from the simplicity and the purity toward Christ. The serpent came to them in the form of a question mark in the same way that he came to Eve. The serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say, You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” (Gen. 3:1). When we allow the serpent to put a question mark in us concerning what God has said, we are seduced, we are beguiled, and we are immediately out of the spirit. We need to learn to be so simple with Christ. To follow the Lord, we have to be simple. Paul was jealous over the believers with a jealousy of God that they would be so simple toward Christ as their one Husband.
We need to keep in mind the eight aspects we have covered of a person who is living in the spirit, in the Holy of Holies: a captive, a letter, a mirror, a vessel, an ambassador, a co-worker, a temple, and a virgin. As a captive you need to be captured, as a letter you need to be written, as a mirror you need to be unveiled, as a vessel you need to be broken, as an ambassador you need to be wholly for His interest and under His authority, as a co-worker you need to be bound, as a temple you need to be separated to perfect holiness in the fear of God, and as a virgin you need to be so simple. Learn to be simple; then you will be kept in the spirit.
(Autobiography of a Person in the Spirit, An, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)