Messages Given to the Working Saints, by Witness Lee


In the New Testament, there is the thought that we can breathe God in. For example, in 2 Timothy 3:16 where the Apostle Paul was talking about the origin of the Bible, he said that the Bible is God-breathed. This indicates that when we are reading God’s Word, God is breathing out toward us; He breathes out and we breathe in. Not only so, but in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the word for “spirit” in Hebrew and Greek has a three-fold meaning: spirit, wind, and breath. The Lord said in John 3:6, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Verse 8 also says, “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” The wind in this verse and the Spirit in verse 6 are the same word in Greek.

Genesis 2:7 shows us that when God created Adam, He used the dust of the ground to form the shape of a body and then breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and he became a living person with a spirit. When we come to John 20, after the Lord died and resurrected, He appeared to the disciples and breathed into them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (v. 22). From this we can see that the Bible, from the Old Testament to the New, has the thought that God is breath to us.

However, this is not the religious thought concerning God. The religionists consider God as someone great and unlimited; they only take God as an object of worship, as someone supreme and grand. We human beings are low and have no way to contact God; God is someone far away from us. But the revelation of the Bible shows us that God to us is a matter of breath; this matter is also of the Spirit. Romans 10:8 says that this resurrected Christ has become the living Word, being near to us, even in our mouth and in our heart. Just consider a little. If our great God is not breath, how can He be in our mouth, and how can He enter into our heart? Today many people have a wrong view of God and misunderstand God, thinking that God is so great that He is unapproachable. In John 4 the Lord Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman about the matter of worshipping God. The woman said, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men should worship.” Jesus told her that God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in spirit and in reality (vv. 20-24). Therefore, for us to worship God is to contact God the Spirit in our human spirit.

You may say that we have already heard a lot of this kind of teaching in the Lord’s recovery, but unconsciously these things seem to have vanished in our living. This is because we have been too deeply influenced by the traditional religious thinking that God is too great, too solemn, and too majestic. Although there is nothing wrong with this aspect, God is also practical; He is breath. He breathes out, and we breathe in; this breathing in and breathing out is life. Hymn #255 speaks specifically about this. Because the writer of the hymn had such an appreciation and experience of the Lord, he said in the chorus, “I am breathing out my sorrow, breathing out my sin; I am breathing, breathing, breathing, all Thy fulness in.” This kind of hymn is indeed profound; merely singing it will cause us to be cleansed and be washed from all the spots and wrinkles in our lives. Today if we can learn the secret—to come to the Lord to breathe Him in, to call on Him from deep within, to breathe in this breath of life of the Lord—then our spiritual life will surely be healthy.

(Messages Given to the Working Saints, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)