The Central Thought of God, by Witness Lee


After Satan came in, he brought in many items. First, Satan brought sin and death to us (Rom. 5:12). Following this, he constituted sinful man. The man created by God was pure, but after the fall, man was injected with Satan, so man became sinful and was constituted a sinner (5:19a). Furthermore, he brought in the world, the human life in human society. Do you realize that human society is a world under Satan? The world is a satanic system. The Greek word for world, kosmos, simply means a system. The enemy, Satan, systematized the human race with the human society. When you come into human society, there are many systems systematizing you. Education is a system; marriage is also a system. However, this does not mean that education and marriage are wrong. Rather, marriage has been utilized by the enemy as a system to systematize people. You need to get married, but do not be systematized. You may ask what the difference is between marriage and the system of marriage. If you consider the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca, you will be able to see the difference. Isaac married Rebecca; that was all. It was so simple. Today, however, there is a system of marriage. When people are married, they come not only into marriage but also into the system of marriage. Isaac came into marriage, but he was not systematized by marriage. I do not say that you should not marry. On the contrary, I have said that you need to be increased. However, you should not be systematized by anything of the human life.

All things of the proper human life are of God, but all these proper things have been utilized by the enemy as systems to systematize people. Hence, the human life systematized by the enemy simply becomes a world, a system. People have no liberty, no freedom, to serve God because they are so systematized. This does not mean that the young people should not go to school. Rather, I encourage you to go to school. However, do not be systematized by your degree, even by your Ph.D. Likewise, you must use money, but do not be systematized by it. You also need to clothe yourself. This is something ordained by God, but the enemy has utilized the matter of clothing to systematize people. Many worldly people do not have the freedom, the liberty, to serve the Lord simply because they have been systematized by their clothing. Some people spend hours in dressing themselves, but they would not spend one minute to read the Word. They spend many hours to go shopping for their clothing, but they do not come to the meetings. They serve clothing, but they do not serve God. To dress ourselves is not something of the world, but to be systematized by dressing is absolutely something of the world. That is something worldly.

Therefore, we see that with Satan sin came in, death came in, sinners were constituted, and a world was formed, organized, and systematized. In addition, there is the kingdom of darkness, that is, the kingdom of Satan with the rulers, the authorities, the world-rulers of this darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies (Eph. 6:12). All these things are related to Satan. This is a satanic group consisting of six items: Satan, sin, death, sinners, the systematized world, and the kingdom of darkness. On the negative side, these are the matters that the Scriptures are concerned with. By the cross the Lord put the enemy, Satan, to death (Heb. 2:14). He also died as the One who was made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), and He died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). All sins are the fruits of sin. Thus, on the cross He solved the problem of sin with its sins. Not only so, the Lord tasted death on the cross (Heb. 2:9) and thus solved the problem of death. Furthermore, on the cross the Lord has crucified the sinful man. Galatians 2:20a says that we have been crucified with Him, and Romans 6:6 says that our old man has been crucified with Christ. Then, what about the world? The world has also been judged by the Lord on the cross (John 12:31; Gal. 6:14b). When man was put to death on the cross, Satan, who was within man, was also put to death, and the world which belongs to Satan was judged on the cross. Moreover, according to Colossians 2:15, the kingdom of darkness with the rulers and authorities was stripped off by Christ on the cross. Thus, it is only by the cross that the Lord has dealt with and is still dealing with this satanic group of items.

By this summary you should be clear what the central thought of God is. The central thought of God is not merely to put away sins, to forgive sins, or to save and deliver us. The central thought of God is that Christ has to be wrought into us, and we have to be built up together with others as the Body, which is the corporate expression of God in Christ, to be a spiritual building, the New Jerusalem. This is the central thought, and it is the direction, the goal, the aim, toward which God is working.

(The Central Thought of God, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)