LIVING AND MOVING BY THE PRESENT GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The book of Acts shows us that none of the disciples did anything according to rules, regulations, or orders. They did not live or act by organization or directions from man. Neither did they live or act according to knowledge or doctrine. Even the more, they did not live according to tradition or anything old. In this book of twenty-eight chapters, there is no record that the believers acted, lived, worked, walked, or did things according to regulations, rules, organization, man’s orders, doctrines, knowledge, tradition, or anything old. Rather, they lived, acted, worked, and did things according to the present guidance of the Holy Spirit. Every day they lived and moved according to the living guidance of the Holy Spirit; that is, they lived by this living One.
The disciples did not have such a thing as Christianity. They even may have not known the term sanctification, although they had the fact of sanctification. Today, however, we may have regulations, rules, organization, man’s orders, doctrine, knowledge, traditions, and old matters, but we may not have the present, living, and fresh guidance of the Holy Spirit. We cannot have the living guidance of the Holy Spirit merely by learning doctrines. Let us forget about what we know and abandon those old things. We must have the present, living, fresh, new, up-to-date guidance from the living Lord.
Many people are still too much under the influence of the old, traditional teachings of Christianity, and they hold on to their rules, regulations, doctrines, and knowledge. Sometimes people do not agree with our messages, but I do not argue with them; arguing never works. I simply say, “If you would humble yourself before the Lord, you will see what we are speaking.” It is not a matter of agreeing or not agreeing; it is a matter of seeing. Do not exercise your mind merely to agree, and do not consider everything according to rules, regulations, organization, and old doctrine and knowledge. Rather, you must see something in a deeper way.
Recently, a brother showed our hymnal to a certain missionary. When that missionary looked into the table of contents, he asked, “Do you have a category for songs about heaven?” This exemplifies how much we have been influenced by the traditional teachings, such as the traditional teaching of going to heaven. We do not know how much we have been deceived by such traditional teachings. We certainly believe that there is a heaven and that the Lord Jesus today is in the heavens, but there is no verse telling us that after we die we will go to heaven, as is taught in the traditional way. Many people pay their attention to the deceitful, traditional teachings, but they neglect the most central matters of the revelation of the Scriptures.
DENYING OURSELVES AND LIVING BY CHRIST
The book of Acts presents a picture showing us that all the members of Christ are completely one with Him. Inwardly we must be filled with Him, outwardly we must be clothed with Him, and every day we must live, walk, work, and do things not by ourselves but one hundred percent by Him. We do not live by ourselves but by Him. At all times we must reject ourselves, deny ourselves, and repudiate ourselves, and we must depend on Him for our living, doing, walking, working, and everything. We should not care for the traditions, and we should not be affected by what people say about us, whether they criticize or appreciate us. We should not fear man’s “face of clay.” Rather, we must take care of one thing only: We must take Christ as our life and depend on Him.
As living members of Christ, we are filled with Him within and clothed with Him without. We do not live by ourselves or for ourselves; we live by Him and for Him, and in everything we depend on Him. If we live in this way, we will be in the “twenty-ninth chapter” of Acts. We will be in the flow of the Spirit. We should forget lesser matters, such as speaking in tongues and healings and simply be filled with Christ and clothed with Christ. We must reckon ourselves as dead and depend on Him for everything. If we need healing or a certain gift, we will receive it at the right time. However, the main point is not the gift but to take Christ as everything to us and to depend on Him. We must have a clear vision that we are Christ’s members who are filled with Him within and clothed with Him without. We are baptized in Him, and now we are learning to take Him as our life and depend on Him for everything. This is the proper way for us to take.
(General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 1: The Gospels and the Acts, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)