“CHRIST IN YOU”
In my early Christian years I loved the Lord, but I was not taught about Christ being in me. Instead, I was given considerable instruction in prophecy. I learned the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 and of the four beasts in Daniel 7. With all my studying and instruction, however, I was never taught “this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Words cannot express what a revelation it was to me when I realized this mystery. Christ in me!
Even today some Christians oppose this. During my recent visit to Taipei, I was preaching from Romans that we are vessels having God Himself as our content (9:23). I later heard that a traveling evangelist who was listening protested, asking how such a big God could possibly fit into such a small container as man. How pitiful that a preacher could be so ignorant! Does the Bible from which he preaches not say that Christ is in us? Is the Lord Jesus not bigger than we? The Bible clearly states that this big Christ is contained in us small human beings.
Of course, we cannot explain how this could be. It is a mystery. Even in the natural realm there are many things for which we have no explanation. We know the facts, but not the whys. We can utilize electricity, for example, but why it works as it does we do not know. How the great God can fit into His small creature is a puzzle, but we know that this is the case because the Bible tells us so. I have spent many years mining the Bible to dig out its riches, seeking to find the answers.
A young, married sister once interrupted my speaking in a meeting to ask how we could abide in the Lord and the Lord abide in us. I told her to hold her question, that I would come to it later. I then continued my speaking on this matter of Christ as the all-inclusive Spirit. The word spirit in Greek, I said, is the same as the word for air. To say that the Lord is the Spirit of life is to say that He is the breath of life. I then addressed myself to her. “Sister, you are now abiding in the air, and the air is abiding in you. Otherwise, you would not be alive. Because the Lord Jesus is the breath of life, we are in Him just as we are in the fresh air. The air that is in us is like the Lord Himself in us.”
The Lord Jesus can be in us because in resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). Were He not the Spirit, He could not abide in us. “Now the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17)!
THE SPIRIT IN REVELATION
There are some mysterious verses in Revelation about the Spirit. In 1:4 John greets the seven churches which are in Asia: “Grace to you and peace from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is coming, and from the seven Spirits Who are before His throne.” Who or what are these seven Spirits? They are the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne (4:5). They are the seven eyes of the Lamb (5:6).
These seven Spirits are surely the one Spirit, the Holy Spirit. How then can there be seven? When the book of Revelation was written, the churches were degraded and in darkness. With the churches in such a low condition, the Spirit needed to be intensified sevenfold. The lampstand in the tabernacle had seven lamps (Exo. 25:37). The amount of light we need from a lamp depends on how dark it is. We may have a lamp at home with a three-way bulb. If we are reading, we may turn it on all the way so as to get the most light. On the other hand, if it is early evening, we may get enough light turning it only once. In Revelation the churches were too weak and too dark; the light was not enough. It needed to be intensified. This intensified light is the seven Spirits.
The traditional view of the Trinity breaks down when confronted with seven Spirits and the seven eyes of the Lamb. If the Godhead is categorized into three separate and distinct Persons, what can we do with this description of the Spirit of God in Revelation? Christ, the second Person, is the Lamb, but His seven eyes are the seven Spirits, the third Person. The Holy Spirit here is the eyes of Christ. Can we think of a person’s eyes as other than himself? If we are hit in the eye, have we ourselves not been hit? Are we one person and our eyes another? Theology’s explanation of the Trinity comes from mental exercise; it cannot stand the test of practical experience. In our experience the Holy Spirit is indeed the eyes of Christ.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 24, by Witness Lee)