EXERCISING AUTHORITY TOWARD DEMONS
AND NOT TOWARD PEOPLE
I have noticed that the attitude of policemen in this country is always good. I have been in this country at least twice before, and now I have been here for more than three years. I never saw a policeman in this country who was not humble, polite, meek, and lovely. However, behind this loveliness there is the authority. We should exercise the Lord’s authority to deal with the demons, not with people. Rather, we have to exercise love, humility, kindness, and loveliness to deal with people. In our heart and in our realization we do say, “I am here with authority,” but in our attitude with people we have to be very nice. We should not say to them, “I am one sent from the heavenly Jerusalem.” This is wrong. The humbler, the nicer, and the kinder we are, the better.
To the devil and the demons we are not polite; we are very strong. However, to people we have to be kind. If we are too strong toward people, we will be utilized by the enemy. We must learn the subtle wiles of the enemy and learn how to deal with the situation. We should be strong with the enemy but kind with people.
SPEAKING THE WORD AS THE LIVING SPIRIT
Romans 10:6 through 8 says, “The righteousness which is out of faith speaks in this way, ‘Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?’ that is, to bring Christ down; or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the word of the faith which we proclaim.” Verses 6 and 7 speak of Christ, but in verse 8 the subject changes to “the word.” The word that we preach is the word in the preacher’s mouth, but here it says that the word that we preach is in the mouth of the listener, and not only in his mouth but also in his heart. What is this word? Is this merely a doctrine? We have to realize that the word mentioned here is the very Spirit. If we compare this verse to John 6:63, we can see that the word that the Lord speaks is spirit and life. If the word spoken by the Lord were not spirit, how could it enter into the heart of the listeners? This is the reason that while we are preaching the word in a living way, this living word becomes the Spirit in the hearts of the listeners. We can never separate the Lord’s word from the Spirit. The Spirit and the word are always two in one. While we are speaking the word, the Holy Spirit mingles Himself with the word. Then when the word arrives in the hearts of the listeners, it becomes the living Spirit. If we read these few verses in Romans 10 again and again, we will realize that the word mentioned in verse 8 is not a doctrine but is something living. In the previous verses it refers to Christ, but all of a sudden in this verse it changes from Christ to the word.
Therefore, when we go to preach, we need to teach people a little, but we should not do too much teaching. We must not have the feeling that we are going to teach people. Rather, we need to have the assurance that the Lord is with us, and His living Spirit is mingled with our word. When we speak, we need the living faith that our word is a word full of the Spirit. For this reason, we have to learn not to speak the teaching of religion. We must learn to speak something about Christ, the living One. We are not ministering mere doctrines as a religion; we are ministering the living Christ to people. Of course, there is no need to declare to people that we are doing this, but we have to do it in a proper way, learning the proper way to speak. Regardless of which way we contact people, the goal, the aim, is to minister Christ to them, to bring them to realize that what they need is Christ Himself, the living One.
According to Romans 10:6 through 8, while we are preaching Christ, this kind of preaching becomes the living Spirit. We have to tell people that Christ today is all-inclusive. God is in Him, and man is in Him. We should not be afraid that they cannot understand this. Sometimes they can understand it better than we do. Recently, some brothers went out to preach the gospel, telling people about the Body of Christ, God’s economy, and the spirit, soul, and body. Those whom they spoke to were able to receive it. This is our gospel. We must have the assurance that we are ministering Christ to people, and this Christ whom we minister to others is the all-inclusive One. Not only is He the Savior and the Redeemer, but He is also the Head, the Lord, and the One on the throne with glory and authority.
In a living way we must tell people about Christ. We should not preach the old gospel. If we preach a living Christ, the Holy Spirit will honor our preaching, and the word that we speak will become the Spirit and life to others. Our word will become the word in their heart and in their mouth. Then we can point out to them that Christ is now in their heart and in their mouth because today Christ is in the Spirit and He is the Spirit. We may give them the illustration of electricity and radio waves. When the word is spoken at the radio station, it becomes radio waves that bring the word to every part of the earth. In this sense it becomes a living word. We may tell people, “Now I am speaking in the Spirit, and the Spirit is like electricity. My word is in the Spirit, so it is in you, in your heart, as the living Spirit who also is Christ. What you need now is simply to believe in Him and say to Him, ‘Lord Jesus.’ If you will open your mouth to call Jesus the Lord, you will be saved.” Then we can read them 1 Corinthians 12:3, which says, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking in the Spirit of God says, Jesus is accursed; and no one can say, Jesus is Lord! except in the Holy Spirit.” If a person says, “O Lord Jesus!” this means that the Holy Spirit is moving within him.
There is no need to go out to teach people. We simply should go to make people genuine Christians in this way. We can do it very quickly. In one minute a person can be converted. We can say, “I am speaking for Christ, and I am speaking in Christ. Now Christ is in you. Would you say, ‘Lord Jesus’?” If the person does this, he will be saved. This depends on the faith that we exercise. If we go to a person and exercise our faith to such an extent, the Holy Spirit will honor it. Then we will see a real conversion, a real change in life in this man. There will be a real moving within him. That is the start of the work of the Holy Spirit. He will love the Lord, he will love the Scriptures, he will love to contact genuine Christians, and he will love to come to the meetings. This will prove that he has been saved. That he does not know much doctrine does not mean anything. We should not give him too much doctrine. Rather, we should help him in a living way.
Moreover, we should try not to argue with people, saying, “Sir, do you believe there is a God?” This opens the door for the enemy to come in to argue. It opens the door for argument and closes the door for believing. There is the fact, so there is no need to argue. There is God; there is no doubt about this. Whether or not someone acknowledges that there is a God, everyone believes deep within that there is a God. Therefore, we should simply speak something in a living way about Christ. Just a few words are sufficient. Then the person we speak with will pray, “O Lord Jesus.” That is good enough. Once a person calls Jesus the Lord, he is saved. We should simply tell people to call Him the Lord.
We should also help the person to realize that Christ is everywhere. Christ is omnipresent, because He is in the Spirit and He is the Spirit today. He is like electricity and like the air. Wherever we are, electricity is there and the air is there. The way to receive Him is simply by saying “Lord Jesus.” Whenever a person opens his or her mouth to say, “Lord Jesus,” we have to say, “Hallelujah, praise the Lord! Here is a soul gained through me.”
As a second step, we must tell this person that we are sinful and that we have to confess our sins. Then he will say, “Lord Jesus, I am sinful,” and we can help him to see that all his sins were put on Jesus when He was crucified. We can give him the gospel in this way. Many times we have to give someone the gospel after he calls on the Lord Jesus. This can be compared to bringing him to America and then showing him the things in America. We need not tell him the things about America while he is still outside of it. We can bring him to America and say, “Look, here is Los Angeles; you are right here.” We must bring him into Christ and then tell him the things in Christ. Brothers, go and try to do this. These are some shortcuts for the preaching of the gospel.
(Preaching the Gospel in the Way of Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)