The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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Take the illustration of makeup. Some women with a pale complexion put makeup on their faces to beautify themselves. This is not transformation. Rather, this is like the work of a mortician in beautifying a corpse. Many of us were in the "mortuaries" of religion for years, where hired "morticians" attempted to beautify our faces every Sunday. I used to be in that kind of situation, and I myself did the work of such a "mortician." The Lord’s economy is absolutely different from this. We do not care whether or not your complexion is pale; it may even be greenish or grey. No matter what your color is, we would like to feed you with something nourishing. When the rich nourishment of the food gets into you, it will discharge the old things and create a new condition within you. Because my wife serves me nutritious meals, there is no paleness or greenness in my complexion. She never puts makeup on my face to give me such a healthy complexion. The food I eat does not directly cause my face to shine; it indirectly causes it to shine through the process of metabolism. The new, rich, nourishing element gets into my fibers, discharges the old element, and gives me a new constitution. This is just what spiritual transformation does.

The saints in the Lord’s recovery do not have outward correction, but they have a certain amount of inward transformation. How encouraged and happy I am to see the transformation, the metabolic change, taking place in the brothers and sisters! Although I may be tired from the work of the ministry, I am eager to work to supply you more nourishment when I think about how you are being transformed. Many can testify that in my ministry I never correct others. Instead of correcting them, I supply them with rich nourishment. This nourishing element is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When Christ as the nourishing element is ministered into our being, this element causes a metabolic change that transforms us. Even if you have been undergoing this process of transformation for just a few years, you would find it difficult to return to your old life even if you wanted to. After you have experienced transformation, it is impossible to be the same. Although you may try to go back to the sinful, worldly things you used to do, you will not be able to eradicate or undo the work of transformation. Not even the most effective detergent can wash it away. You may wash away makeup, but you cannot wash away the transformation that has taken place deep within you. In fact, the more you try to eliminate it, the more manifest it becomes. It will remain for eternity. This process of transformation will continue and increase until the day of redemption, when we are fully transformed into Christ’s image.


In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we see the matter of transformation: "But we all, with unveiled face beholding and reflecting, as a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit" (Gk.). The image into which we are being transformed is the image of the Lord. Transformation into the image of the Lord is from glory to glory, that is, from one stage of glory to another, from one degree of glory to another degree of glory. Whenever I come to this matter of transformation, my inner being leaps, and I am very happy. I am happy to know that you all are undergoing the process of transformation from one stage of glory to another. A year from now many of us will be in a higher stage of glory than we are today. This is the result of the transforming work of the Lord Spirit.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)