Abiding in the Lord to Enjoy His Life, by Witness Lee


Hymns, #551 is a Pentecostal hymn. In the last century, a group of Christians felt that Christianity was too dead and deadening and that it had fallen into rituals and letters and was short of the Spirit and life. From their study of the Word they saw that at the apostles’ time, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon people. Therefore, a group of Christians in England began to pray and seek for the Holy Spirit. They testified that they prayed to such an extent that they also received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This was the start of the Pentecostal movement.

The Pentecostal movement developed and spread to the United States in the beginning of the twentieth century. It first prevailed in Massachusetts and then continued on to the West until it reached the Los Angeles area. At the same time, a group of Christians in a certain place in Pennsylvania on the East Coast claimed that they had received the so-called gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thus, based on the account in Exodus 15, they called the place where they were Elim (v. 27), indicating that they were not dry but rather full of the living water. Those who met there wrote this hymn. Then in 1934 this song spread to China and reached our hands. In October of the same year, Brother Watchman Nee had an Overcomers’ Conference in Hangchow. Because this hymn could stir up our spirit very much, he asked me to translate the chorus into Chinese, and we sang it in the meetings.

In 1963 and 1964, when we were preparing the English hymnal, we selected the entire hymn. Then in 1966 and 1967, when we were recompiling the Chinese hymnal, we translated the entire hymn into Chinese. The first stanza of this hymn says,

I’ve believed the true report,
Hallelujah to the Lamb!
I have passed the outer court,
O glory be to God!
I am all on Jesus’ side,
On the altar sanctified,
To the world and sin I’ve died,
Hallelujah to the Lamb!

The third stanza says,

I have passed the outer veil,
Hallelujah to the Lamb! Which did once God’s light conceal,
O glory be to God!
But the blood has brought me in
To God’s holiness so clean,
Where there’s death to self and sin,
Hallelujah to the Lamb!

The outer court here typifies the world. Here it says that we should forsake the world instead of remaining in it. We need to be sanctified on the altar so that we can pass from the outer court through the first veil into the Holy Place, where there is the showbread table as our divine and all-inclusive supply.

The fourth stanza says,

I’m within the holiest pale,
Hallelujah to the Lamb!
I have passed the inner veil,
O glory be to God!
I am sanctified to God
By the power of the blood,
Now the Lord is my abode,
Hallelujah to the Lamb!

The inner veil typifies our self, the fallen man, and the flesh of sin put on by the Lord Jesus (Rom. 8:3). When the Lord Jesus was crucified and died, the veil of the temple was split in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51). This indicates that when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, our fallen man, our natural man, was also crucified there. This abolished our self, which is what separates us from God, in order that we may have an open way into the Holy of Holies to contact and enjoy God. Thus, not only God dwells in the Holy of Holies, but we also dwell in the Holy of Holies.

Stanza two says,

I’m a king and priest to God,
Hallelujah to the Lamb!
By the cleansing of the blood,
O glory be to God!
By the Spirit’s pow’r and light,
I am living day and night,
In the holiest place so bright,
Hallelujah to the Lamb!

This is a description of “dwelling in the Holiest Place and living within the veil.”

According to our Christian experience, the Holy of Holies today refers to our spirit. First Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Today we are God’s temple. The temple of God has three parts: the outer court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. First Thessalonians 5:23 says that as the temple of God we also have three parts: body, soul, and spirit. The body, which is the outward appearance, typifies the outer court; the soul, which is within the body, typifies the Holy Place; and the spirit, which is enveloped by the soul, typifies the Holy of Holies.

Only the saved ones can be the temple of God, because the temple of God is the dwelling place of God, the place in which God dwells. The unsaved ones do not have God dwelling in them; hence, they are not the temple of God. We all have God’s indwelling. Today He is the Spirit dwelling in our spirit. In the Old Testament God dwelt in the Holy of Holies of the temple. In the New Testament God also dwells in the Holy of Holies—our spirit. Therefore, Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit.” This proves that God dwells in our spirit.

Today this God who is above all dwells in our spirit! This is tremendous. If the President wanted to come and stay in our home, we would all be surprised to receive such a great honor and would treat him as a distinguished guest. How much greater God is than the President, yet He comes to dwell in our spirit! How wonderful this is! When God dwells in us, our spirit becomes the Holy of Holies. Because the presence of God is in the Holy of Holies, the throne of grace is there. The throne of grace indicates the presence of God, which is God Himself. God comes into our spirit to give grace to us.

(Abiding in the Lord to Enjoy His Life, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)