In Matthew 4:4 the Lord Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” Here we see that the word that proceeds out of the mouth of God is our real food. This indicates that the Bible is not only for life-imparting but also for nourishing. When you teach the Bible to others, you should nourish them. I hope that all the young ones in your class will have the sense that they are not only being taught but also being nourished. Whether or not they are nourished through your teaching depends on you.
The instructors in today’s seminaries may claim that they are teaching the Bible to their students. Yet most seminary students are being starved to death. They receive no nourishment, because their instructors teach the Bible in a wrong way. They teach the Bible in the same way as instructors in secular schools teach subjects such as geography, history, science, and mathematics. Thus, there is no nourishment. Our way of teaching must be different. When we teach the Scriptures to the young people in the Summer School of Truth, we must nourish the students with the life-supply, with words that proceed out of God’s mouth.
We all need to be living persons, those who are living channels with the words of God proceeding out through us. God’s word proceeds out through God’s mouth, and we should let it proceed also out through us as a channel. When in the meetings a certain brother reads the Bible or teaches from the Bible, we do not receive any nourishment, but when another brother does the same thing, we are nourished. The reason for the difference is that the first brother read or spoke without any spirit, but the second brother read or spoke with much spirit. The principle is the same in your teaching a class in the Summer School of Truth. Your teaching must be in spirit and must be with spirit. As you are teaching, you need to be a living channel out through which the word of God is proceeding. If you are such a living channel, then the students in your class will receive spiritual food for their nourishment.
Let us now turn to Ephesians 6:17. Here Paul charges us to receive “the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God.” When I was a young Christian, I did not understand how the word of God could be a sword. I understood what it means to be enlightened by the Bible, for by reading the Bible I was enlightened. To some extent, by the Bible I was also rebuked, corrected, and instructed to be right with God and man. But I did not know how the Bible could become a sword, an offensive weapon to deal with the enemy. To understand this requires spiritual experience.
It is common for Christians to be enlightened, rebuked, corrected, and instructed by the Bible, but not many experience the word of the Bible as a sword that kills the enemy. The reason for this lack of experience is that we may receive the word of the Bible for teaching, rebuke, correction, and instruction without touching the Spirit. Even unbelievers may be enlightened by what they read in the Scriptures. Also, they may be rebuked, corrected, and instructed by what the Bible says concerning honor, love, humility, and honesty. However, in their reading of the Scriptures there is nothing of the Spirit. However, if we would take the word of the Bible as a sword for fighting the enemy, we must touch the Bible in a way that is full of the Spirit.
According to Paul’s word in Ephesians 6:17, the word of God is the sword not directly but indirectly. Paul speaks of “the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God.” Here we have indirectness. The sword is not the word directly. Rather, the sword is the Spirit directly, and then the Spirit is the word. This indicates that if we would deal with the enemy Satan, the Bible must become the Spirit. Without the Spirit it may be possible for us to teach from the Bible that the young people should honor their parents and ask for forgiveness for what they have done wrong. But if we would use the word of the Bible as a sword to kill the enemy, in our experience the word must be the Spirit.
(Teachers' Training, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)