The One New Man, by Witness Lee


However, this is still in the realm of doctrine. To have the practice of the new man we must know who Christ is and where Christ is. Christ today is the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17) and He is in our spirit (Rom. 8:16; 2 Tim. 4:22). The life-giving Spirit, Christ, is now in our spirit, and these two spirits mingle together to form the spirit of the mind (Eph. 4:23). Ephesians 4:23 says that we are being renewed in the spirit of our mind. Our minds are being renewed through our realization that Christ as the life-giving Spirit is mingled with our human spirit.

It is uncommon today to hear a message concerning the mingled spirit or on being renewed in the spirit of the mind. Some who have never heard of the mingled spirit may teach that it is sufficient for us to read the Bible, win souls, and glorify God by our good behavior. However, Ephesians 4:23 is vital and crucial to us. The key to putting off the old man (4:22) and putting on the new man (4:24) is in being renewed in the spirit of our mind.

Brothers who live together could not always be happy with each other. In 1935 I was placed with some other co-workers who stayed together with me. After only two or three hours I became unhappy with one of them. Although I would have reacted in a wrong way, the Spirit within constrained me. Even when I was unable to be pleasant, the Spirit within me was able. We do have such a wonderful Spirit in our spirit. We are all one only because Christ as the life-giving Spirit is in our spirit. We love Him and we live by Him. When we live by Him, we are happy with all the brothers. After this incident, I praised the Lord and gave Him all the thanks for these wonderful co-workers. They all became lovely and pleasant to me because I was in the spirit.

It is in the spirit that we are one, and it is in the spirit that we are in the new man. The Lord desires to show His lovers that He does not care that we have anything but Himself. He is our life, He is our person, and He is the life-giving Spirit indwelling our spirit. What He wants is that we would live by Him. In this we will have the oneness. In every nation there will be so many small groups living together by Christ. These will be the local churches which are composed into the new man. When the new man is brought into full existence, we will not speak of the differences between the churches or of the jurisdiction and autonomy of the local churches. At that time we will all be living Christ. Only Christ will be among us and only Christ will be manifested.

If you go to Brazil, you will see Christ. If you go to Britain, you will see Christ. If you go to Italy, France, Japan, China, Korea, or the Philippines, you will see nothing but Christ. There will be no need to say that we all are one—Christ will be each one of us. Christ is with you, Christ is with me, Christ is with every believer, and Christ is with every local church. There will be no need to merely speak about oneness. We will simply live out Christ. This will be the ultimate church life, a universal new man living out Christ. This will conclude this age, usher in the kingdom, and bring Christ back. Eventually this new man will become the loving bride to Christ. Some will take the ecumenical way, tolerating each other amidst many differences, but at the same time the Lord will be working out everything to gain the new man. All the saints in many countries throughout the world will speak the same thing (1 Cor. 1:10), the unique Christ. We will only speak Christ because we will be living Him out. He is our life, and He is our person. He is the life-giving Spirit within our spirit, and all the time, in everything, we are turning to our spirit and growing into this unique Christ.

What is here in the Lord’s recovery is nothing but Christ, and this Christ is all and in all. You cannot be an individual believer, and you cannot keep your local church separate from all the others. Today is the day to have a new man constituted with all the local churches, including all the saints as one in Christ, who is all and in all. This vision will rescue us from all things other than Christ. If you have seen this vision, you will count all things as refuse compared with Christ (Phil. 3:8). You could not care for anything other than Christ. As we all live Him out, we will see the perfection of the new man on the earth.

(The One New Man, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)