Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), by Watchman Nee

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This anointing also teaches us to deal with people.

We should not criticize a person, but we should definitely know him in order to learn how to associate with him or help him. The common way to accomplish this is to examine a person by observing and studying him. But even this can often lead us the wrong way. We do not say that this is absolutely useless, but it is only secondary. A pure spirit usually brings the right discernment. Some of us can remember that as children, we could often make very accurate assertions about people we saw. A long time has passed, and our knowledge, experience, and power of observation have all increased, yet our ability to know people does not seem any better than before. At that time we did not know why we made those assertions; something seemed to be in our heart, but we could not utter it with our mouth. Time has passed, and everything has changed. Now the facts have proven that our "feeling" was correct. We did not make those assertions through drawn out investigations and inquiries; nor could we even give any evidence or reason for our assertions. This is the work of a pure intuition even though it is still natural. Nevertheless, the Lord wants us to regard the things of God in the same way. Our spirit should be converted, and we must become as little children. Only then will we have the clear knowledge from God.

Let us look at the life of the Lord Jesus. "And immediately Jesus, knowing fully in His spirit that they were reasoning this way within themselves, said to them..." (Mark 2:8). This verse shows us the operation of intuition. It does not say that the Lord Jesus had a thought or feeling in His heart, nor does it say that the Holy Spirit told Him so. The faculty of His spirit demonstrated its perfect ability. The sense of the spirit in the man Jesus Christ was very pure, sharp, and exalted; He knew in His spirit the reasonings of the surrounding people. He then spoke to them according to what He had perceived in His intuition. This should be the normal spiritual life of every spiritual person. The Holy Spirit dwells in our spirit; He enables our spirit to be fully operative and full of the power of knowledge. In this way, He regulates our whole being. Just as the human spirit of the Lord Jesus was working when He was on the earth, our spirit should be working through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.


The knowledge of things through the intuition is what the Bible calls revelation. Revelation means nothing less than the Holy Spirit revealing the reality of a matter in a believer’s spirit and causing him to know such a matter. There is only one kind of knowledge, concerning either the Bible or God, that is worthwhile: it is the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit in our spirit. God does not explain what He is to man’s intellect all at once, neither can man know God all at once through his intellect. No matter how wise a man’s intellect is, and no matter how much he understands about God, his understanding is always veiled. He can only make inferences with his intellect about the things behind the veil; he does not see the actual things behind the veil. He has not yet "seen," so he can only "understand" and not "know." If Christianity is not a revelation—a personal revelation—it is worth nothing at all. Everyone who believes in God must receive His revelation in his spirit; otherwise, he will believe in nothing more than human wisdom, ideals, and words, and not in God Himself. This kind of faith will not stand in times of temptation.

Revelation is not a vision, a voice from heaven, a dream, or an external power which shakes one’s body. All these may happen to a person without him receiving any revelation. Revelation is something in the intuition; it is quiet, neither slow nor quick; it appears to be a voice and yet not a voice. Many people call themselves Christians, yet what they believe in is just human philosophies, ethics, articles of truth, or some supernatural occurrences. Believing these things will not bring about a new birth; it will not give a person a new spirit. Although these kind of "Christians" are very numerous today, their spiritual usefulness is altogether nil. God gives grace to all those who have accepted Christ and causes them to see in their spirit the reality of the spiritual realm as if a veil has been removed from before them. Subsequently, what they know is far deeper than what they understood in their mind. The things they understood and perceived in the past seem to have a new meaning. Everything is transparent and known for certain because they have "seen" it in the spirit. "We speak that which we know and testify of that which we have seen" (John 3:11). This is Christianity. Intellectual pursuit will never save people; only revelation in the spirit will grant men genuine knowledge of God.

(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 19, by Watchman Nee)