Christ in His Excellency, by Witness Lee


Second, the riches of Christ are all that He is. The phrase all that Christ is sounds a little peculiar. Can we not simply say that the riches of Christ are all that is Christ’s? If you say it this way, the meaning is different. For example, I could say, “All that is Brother Lee’s.” You would think of Brother Lee’s hymn book, Bible, shoes, socks, tie, suit, hair, and so on. Thus, “all that is Brother Lee’s” emphasizes what he has, what he possesses, not what he is. In the same way, if we say “all that is Christ’s” instead of “all that Christ is,” then we would think that all that is Christ’s refers to His greatness, His superiority, and so on. We would not think of all these items as the riches of Christ. What Christ is does not refer to what He has; the emphasis of what Christ is, is on His being.

When you watch one or two year-old children, you can see that they really enjoy their mothers. If you give a little girl a huge diamond, she may not want it, but she definitely will want her dear mother. As long as her mother is there, she does not care about diamonds. You can see that she wants what her mother is, not what her mother has. We Christians often do not know what being is; we only understand what possessions are. If the Lord were to give us a big house and the best European car and then allow us to go to heaven after we die, we would think that we have enjoyed all that is Christ’s. Actually, even if we have enjoyed all these things, we still will not have touched the edges of Christ. See how pitiful we Christians are! We are worse than little children. Little children know how to enjoy their mothers; this is not acquired from teaching but received from birth. When we are regenerated, we also have an innate capacity to enjoy Christ, and we simply like to enjoy the Lord Himself. However, after being saved, because we received improper teachings and influences, we began to long for things other than Christ and to forget Christ Himself completely.

Therefore, when we were raised up by the Lord sixty years ago in China, the work was very difficult in the beginning. We saw this vision and truly received the revelation, but our vocabulary and expressions could not be found in the dictionary; they were all coined by us after intense laboring. The emphasis of the riches of Christ is not on what Christ has but on what He is. Little children do not care one bit for what their mothers have; they only care for their mothers. We love the Lord, and we should love Him thoroughly and absolutely like little children. If the Lord allows us to be sick, we still want Him; if the Lord makes us strong, we still want Him. In woe or blessing, death or life, in nothing shall we be ashamed. Our goal is to gain Christ and to magnify Him.

John 16:13-15 says, “But when He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all the reality….He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will declare it to you. All that the Father has is Mine; for this reason I have said that He receives of Mine and will declare it to you.” It says here that when the Spirit of reality comes, He will guide us into all the reality. The Lord Jesus is the tabernacle, the Lamb of God, and the Redeemer. How can these objective matters become subjective, practical experiences to us? We must wait for the Spirit of reality to come. When the Spirit comes, the reality comes. Thus, the reality of the tabernacle is the Spirit, and the reality of the Lamb of God is also the Spirit. All that Christ is, is the Spirit. When this Spirit of reality comes, He glorifies Christ. How does He glorify Him? By making all that Christ is real to the believers.

The second part of verse 14 continues, saying, “He will receive of Mine and will declare it to you.” This means that the Spirit of reality will declare to us all the riches which He has received of Christ, that is, all that the Lord Jesus is. The Greek word for declare, or disclose, means to put on display. The Spirit of reality does not merely tell us everything that Christ is, but He also puts everything on display in front of us. All that is put on display is all that Christ is. He is the Lamb, the door, the way, the reality, the life, the resurrection, the embodiment of God, and so on. All that He is, is too many items to count. When the Spirit of reality comes, He displays in us all the items of what Christ is.

Verse 15 says, “All that the Father has is Mine.” This shows us that all that the Father has is received by the Son and becomes the Son’s. Furthermore, whatever the Son receives, He gives it to the Spirit. Therefore, the Spirit displays to us what He has received from the Son, which is what the Son has received from the Father, in order that we may understand. Stanza 3 of Hymns, #501 says,

All things of the Father are Thine; All Thou art in Spirit is mine; The Spirit makes Thee real to me, That Thou experienced might be.

This stanza was written with the words of John 16. All things of God the Father belong to Christ the Son and are received by Christ the Son. After they have been received by Christ the Son, they become all that Christ the Son is. Then all that Christ the Son is, is given to the Spirit. Moreover, this Spirit enters into our spirit as the reality of all that Christ is to make Christ our experience.

(Christ in His Excellency, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)