NOT NEEDING HELP FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCES BUT NEEDING TO TURN TO OUR SPIRIT
We do not need the brothers and sisters to help us put off the old man. Ephesians only says that we should put off the old man and put on the new man. When we helped others in the past, we may not have been absolutely pure to the extent that the element of Christianity had been completely purged out of us. Sometimes the help we render to people can change in nature without our realizing it. I used to say that our wives and our children help us to be dealt with. Today, however, I hope we can see that we do not necessarily need these ones. The reason why these ones are often necessary is because we often force the Lord to the point where He has no alternative but to use these ones to help us. Let us use the disciplining of students as an illustration. Most students do not need to be disciplined every day. A student who does not study unless he is disciplined is a bad student. A good student or a good child does not need discipline.
We need to see that because Ephesians speaks from the heavens, there is no need for help from the circumstances on the earth. In Ephesians the shining, enlightenment, and revelation all come from the heavens. Thus, there is little need for earthly help. God’s grace is so sufficient that there is no need to have a great deal of outward help from the circumstances. If we need such help, it is because of our weakness and dullness. Therefore, we must not receive the words concerning being broken and being dealt with according to our natural concept. Such words are usually received in a way that is too natural. Whether or not you have a wife, and whether or not you have the circumstances, you need to always put off the old man and put on the new.
To put on the new man is to turn to our spirit. It does not matter how the brothers and sisters treat us. We simply need to turn to our spirit. Then we will not need the help from the outward circumstances because we will be constantly turning to our spirit. The church is the new man, and this new man is in our spirit.
Because we have not clearly seen this positive vision nor sufficiently received this positive light, there have been many teachings, even among us, that lean toward the natural concept. It is easy for people to agree with teachings that lean toward the natural concept, but it is not so easy for them to accept a teaching that has been purely released from the heavens as light or a vision. Today we must realize that we do not necessarily need the outward circumstances. All that matters is that we put off the old man, put on the new, and live in our spirit.
On the day of Pentecost when Peter stood up to give a message, he was completely beside himself. Later, after healing the lame man, he spoke to the people at the portico called Solomon’s, saying, “Men of Israel,…you denied the holy and righteous One;…and the Author of life you killed…” (Acts 3:11-15). If I had been there on that day, I would not have let Peter go. I would have interrupted him right on the spot, saying, “Peter, do you remember what you did a few weeks ago? You denied the Lord three times in one night, and now you still have the audacity to speak?” Peter stood there that day to speak as if nothing had happened, as if he had not failed before. How could he do that? He could do that because he had put on the new man. He had put off the Peter who had rejected the Lord and had put on the new man. Everything is all right when we turn to our spirit. We are not a civic organization discussing character cultivation and behavior improvement. We need to turn to our spirit and live in our spirit. We must look to the Lord that the churches would not remain old but would remove all the oldness and become altogether new.
(The Revelation of the Mystery, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)