KNOWING THE ESSENCE OF GOD’S WORD
Now let us see the essence of God’s Word in a simple way. If we want to know God’s Word, we must know the essence of God’s Word. The Word of God is the Bible. Its essence is:
The Divine Breath
God’s Word is God’s breathing out (2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible is God’s breathing out; that is, it is the breath breathed out by God. The Bible is God’s breathing. To God it is a matter of breathing out; to us it is a matter of breathing in. Through God’s breathing out and our breathing in, God’s word enters into us and becomes our life and life supply. Therefore, when we read the Bible, we must understand that the Bible is not merely black words on white paper, but it is the breathing out of God. It is full of spiritual breath. Therefore, we must not only understand the Bible with our mind, but we also must contact the word of the Bible with our spirit. Whenever we read the Bible we come to contact God.
The Spiritual Milk
The Bible is the spiritual milk. In 1 Peter 2:2 Peter said that we need to be like newborn babes desiring the guileless milk of the Word. In the Word of God there is the element of milk. This is also implied in Hebrews 5:12, which says, “You…have become those who have need of milk and not of solid food.” God’s Word is our spiritual breath; therefore, we must breathe it in. God’s Word is also our milk; hence, we must drink it. We must desire the guileless milk of the Word.
The Bread of Life
God’s Word is our bread of life, our food of life. This is indicated in Matthew 4:4, a word out of the Lord’s mouth and a quote of Deuteronomy 8:3: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” Therefore, whenever we read the Bible, we must breathe in the spiritual air, that is, the Spirit of God. We also must drink the spiritual milk and eat the bread of life, which is the Lord Himself.
Spirit and Life
The Word of the Lord is spirit and life. In John 6:63 the Lord Jesus said, “The words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life.”
The Word is God. The consummation of the Word is Christ Himself, because Christ is the Word of God. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God.” This Word became flesh, and His name is Jesus Christ. Ultimately, the word in the Bible is God Himself. It is the embodiment of God Himself. This does not mean that we consider the words in black and white as the living God. What we mean is that the words in black and white contain God Himself. This God is Christ; He is our bread of life. This Christ is also the Spirit, who becomes our spiritual milk and our spiritual breath.
Therefore, when we come to read the Bible and learn to understand the Bible, we must have the attitude that the Bible is different from the textbooks in the schools. They are merely black words on white paper, simply a matter of knowledge. The essence of God’s Word, however, is the breathing out of God, God’s spiritual breath. God’s Word is also the spiritual milk and the bread of life. It is spirit and life, and it is even God Himself. Therefore, we need to understand God’s Word and also enter into the essence of God’s Word.
We human beings are created; we have a body, a soul with thoughts, emotions, desires, and intentions, and a spirit. God cannot simply be the Spirit and enter into our spirit; this is too intangible and impossible for us to understand. Therefore, God has worked in a wonderful way. He has given us both the Bible and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is contained within the Bible, and the Bible is carried within the Holy Spirit. They are mutually in one another; hence, the two are inseparable.
When we read the Bible, we touch the Spirit. When we touch the Spirit, the Bible is there as our practical support. We not only breathe in the spiritual breath, drink the spiritual drink, eat the spiritual food, and receive the Spirit and life, but we also have the clear Word to be our support, to satisfy our thinking and our thoughts. Here we can see the wonderful work of God. Not only do we have the Holy Spirit, but we also have the Bible. We cannot separate the two. If we read the Lord’s Word daily, the Lord’s Word will enter into us. Then we will know it and understand it.
(The Full Knowledge of the Word of God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)