Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, by Witness Lee

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The anointing that abides in us teaches us concerning all things. God’s teaching, God’s revealing, is by His anointing, not by a clear word. This anointing is God Himself, and it is God’s work by Himself and with Himself. The result of the anointing is that God is mingled with us. The more God anoints us, the more His element is mingled with us. After a month of being anointed, the problem that troubles a brother is gone, and the anointing is mingled with him. He becomes a painted man. The paint is still the paint with its color and odor, but now the paint is in the form of a man. God’s glory, splendor, and His divine “color” and “odor” still remain divine, but now they are in a human form. If we study the books written by the apostle Paul, we can see that they are full of the divine color, odor, and splendor but in a human form, that is, in the Pauline form. It is the same with the writings of Peter. There is the same divine splendor, glory, essence, nature, color, and odor, but it is in a Petrine form.

By the mercy of the Lord, I want to impress you with this word: The anointing teaches you. The anointing is the teaching. If I can impress you with this, it will change your Christian life. God teaches not by a clear word, strictly speaking, but by anointing. If we say that God does teach by speaking, it must be that this speaking is actually the anointing. Today God’s teaching and speaking are the anointing. In your experience have you ever heard a clear word from the Lord in English letters, using the ABCs? I have been a Christian for more than forty years, but I never heard such a speaking. Some may say that they have heard this kind of word, but that is dangerous. To hear a clear word like one from someone outside of us is very dangerous, and to hear a clear voice inside of us may mean that we are mentally ill. I know at least four persons who told me that for a long time they heard a voice within speak certain clear words and names. I told them that this may mean they are mentally troubled. God does not speak to people in this way, especially today in the New Testament time.

In 1922 or 1923, a brother said that whenever he prayed in his room, there was a voice in the corner of the ceiling speaking to him. He was not the only one who heard this; a number of Christians went there and also heard it, including a medical doctor with whom I stayed for many years in Manila. One of these brothers came to Brother Watchman Nee with this account. Brother Nee told him that according to 1 John 4, we should not believe every spirit, but prove the spirits. Brother Nee instructed them to ask the spirit that was speaking whether or not he confessed that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God who came in incarnation. The next time the voice came, they asked the spirit if he confessed that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. The spirit replied by telling them to read 1 Corinthians 13 concerning love. The brothers were happy and referred this again to Brother Nee. However, he reminded them that the Lord said, “But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no; for anything more than these is of the evil one” (Matt. 5:37). He told them to go back to ask the spirit definitely, not in a neutral way. The next time they asked the spirit, the spirit said that Jesus is accursed. That was the last time; from that time on, the spirit never came again. Just by this one event, many young ones learned the lesson and received the help. At that time there was the tendency to be influenced by the Pentecostal movement, but this event was the main reason why the young brothers from the very start were delivered from this influence. They became frightened, at least careful, concerning these things, and they learned to prove the spirits.

The New Testament principle is that God’s speaking to us is not in clear words but by painting. The inner anointing is the teaching. Read 1 John 2:27 again and underline His anointing teaches you concerning all things. This verse is not the ministry of God’s word at the beginning of the New Testament. John’s ministry was the mending ministry, the recovering ministry. Something had gone too far, to an extreme, and it needed recovery. In the recovery, in the mending, the main item is the fellowship of life and the anointing of God within us. We all must learn the anointing, the spiritual, divine painting within us. God speaks, teaches, and reveals by painting.

In the Scriptures do we have the words Los Angeles, San Francisco, UCLA, USC, and MIT? These are not in the Scriptures. In this sense, the anointing teaches more than the Scriptures. If God spoke all these things in the way of clear letters, we would need a whole library to store our Bible. There would be thousands of volumes in the Scriptures. However, we have just what is in the Bible. That is good enough, because today God speaks by the anointing; He reveals by painting. If we ask concerning red or yellow, God will simply paint, and we may see that He actually likes green. We see this not in English letters or in Chinese characters but by the “color.” This is the way of God’s anointing.

(Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)