Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, by Witness Lee


No doubt many of you have to some extent experienced this, even though you may not have identified it as such. Before vitamins were discovered, people still got the benefit of them by eating the proper foods, even though they did not know what it was in the food that kept them healthy. Similarly, when we take in this Spirit by setting our mind upon Him, by walking according to Him, by staying attached to Him, we experience His salvation. God’s central thought in His economy is to work Himself into us. This He is doing, firstly by having been processed, and secondly by anointing us with Himself, the anointed One.


What God is doing is not mainly for you individually. After the anointing ointment was compounded, Moses was told to anoint the tabernacle with its vessels and Aaron and his sons for the priesthood (Exo. 30:26-30). In the Old Testament the tabernacle and the priesthood were two different matters. In the New Testament, however, these two are one. “Ye also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5, Gk.). The spiritual house and the priesthood are the same. It is upon this that the anointing comes, rather than being for the individual.

Psalm 133 gives us a beautiful picture of this. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments” (vv. 1-2). Aaron was a type of Christ; his body was a type of the Body of Christ, the church. The ointment running down from the head over the whole body right down to the skirts depicts the brethren dwelling together in unity.

The anointing, then, is for the Body. If you notice the context of the verses on the anointing in 1 John 2, you will see that such is the case here as well as in Psalm 133. The anointing in the church life made a distinction between those who were true believers and those who were of antichrist.

If you have ever been out of the church life for a while, you may recall that during that time you experienced very little, if any, of the anointing. Yes, you still had the Spirit, but you lacked the ointment running down. On the other hand, as you sit in a meeting, you often have the sense of something running down through you. The message may not be eloquent. The meeting may not seem exciting. The sharing may be weak. You may not understand what is being said. You may even be annoyed with the way the meeting is going. Nonetheless, the ointment is running down over you. Time after time, as you attend the meetings, you will experience this anointing. The result will be a gradual change in you. Some of the divine essence is being added to you. Be sure you come to the meetings! God will be wrought into you! Even if you sit there sullenly disagreeing, the anointing will reach you and work a change in your being. Such is the wonderful anointing upon the Body that you experience in the church life.

You may hear a marvelous speaker and greatly enjoy his eloquence. After the meeting is over, however, your inner sense is that you have not received anything. In a church meeting, in contrast, those who share may be slow and grammatically incorrect. You may tire of hearing the same thing repeated over and over. You may think the meeting lasts too long. In spite of all this, the compound Spirit is being added into your being! Praise the Lord for His anointing in the church life!

(Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)