Living in the Spirit, by Witness Lee


We should not treat this matter as a doctrine. Rather, we should all receive a real impression. We want to see a mysterious vision in the Gospel of John. What is a vision, and what is a revelation? If I were to cover my face with a veil, you would be unable to see my face. Thus, there would be no revelation. Revelation is like the removing of the veil to expose my face. However, if there was revelation but no light or sight, you still would be unable to see my face. You would know that something has been revealed, but you would not know what that thing was. If there was light here and you also had sight, then upon removing the veil, you would immediately see my face. My face would be a vision to you. A vision is a scene that is uncommon or extraordinary.

The Gospel of John is a book of revelation. However, we need the light to shine on the revelation, and we also need the sight to see. Therefore, we need to look to the Lord. The revelation of the Gospel of John has been opened. However, we still need the Lord’s shining, and we also need the Lord to give us spiritual sight that we may see the scene in this book and receive a vision.

The Gospel of John is about God, who is the Creator of all things. The purpose of this book is to show how this God works Himself into man. How does God accomplish this? The best way for us to take something into us is by eating it. Does God then need to divide Himself into tiny pieces? Initially there was no way for us to eat God, because as the Creator, God is mysterious, incomprehensible, great, and glorious. If He came to us as the Creator, we would fall down in fear and trembling. Therefore, the Gospel of John reveals that first the Word was God: “In the beginning was the Word,…and the Word was God” (1:1). What are words for? Words are for expression and explanation. In the book of John, the mysterious and hidden God is expressed as the Word. As the Word, Christ speaks forth and expresses the mysterious and hidden God. If someone does not know God, he only needs to come to Christ, who is the explanation of God. Second, God became flesh, a man (v. 14). The great and glorious God became a man so that men could draw near to Him without fear. Third, this God in the flesh was the Lamb. Man is sinful, but God is holy, and God cannot contact anything that has sin. Hence, as the Lamb of God He carried our sins to the cross and dealt with them there. On the cross He accomplished redemption by the shedding of His blood, and then He was buried. Then, something wonderful transpired, something that had never occurred in human history. After His burial He resurrected, and in His resurrection He still had a human body, but He also became the Spirit. Then He came to where the disciples were, and even though the doors were shut, He entered without knocking on the door and without anyone opening the door for Him. Actually, He did not even enter the room; He simply came and stood in their midst (20:19). His mysterious body was simply beyond our comprehension. As He was standing in the midst of the disciples, He did not preach to them or give them a teaching. Instead, He breathed into them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (v. 22). In this way He entered into them. God entered into the disciples to become one with them. The two—God and man, man and God—became one, having one life and one living. Through the Spirit, God can live in man, and man can live by God.

The Gospel of John clearly tells us that God is Spirit (4:24). Because He is Spirit, He can enter into man. Long before He entered into man, He prepared a spirit for man. Man has a spirit within him. This book tells us that the spirit within man needs regeneration (3:6). It needs to be regenerated with God as the Divine Spirit. In this way the Divine Spirit can be begotten in the spirit of man. Not only so, this book tells us that this God as the mysterious One is not only our life but also our bread of life (6:35). Hence, we can eat Him and take Him into us. However, we do not eat Him in the same way we eat bread. The Lord said, “It is the Spirit who gives life;…the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (v. 63). This means that we need to receive the Lord’s words with our spirit. Then we will have Him, and He will be the life within us. Eventually He said that those who eat Him will live because of Him (v. 57). We do not live by ourselves but by the Spirit whom we have received.

We must see what kind of book the Gospel of John is. It shows us that after going through the process of incarnation, death, and resurrection, God became the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit. All we need to do is exercise our spirit to receive Him. Then He enters into our spirit to be mingled with us as one spirit. He becomes our life and life supply, and we live by Him. The two—He and we, we and He—have one life, one living, and one walk.

(Living in the Spirit, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)