The Revelation of the Mystery, by Witness Lee


To print a book or a newspaper, one needs not only a printing plate but also good paper. Suppose you have made a printing plate. If you then try to print something on a piece of glass or on a piece of marble, it will be very difficult. Only when you use a proper sheet of paper will the ink be immediately absorbed and the print will come out clearly. What kind of “paper” is used for the reprint of the Spirit? The “paper” is our spirit! Our mind is like a piece of marble. If you try to understand the spiritual things and the things pertaining to the church with your mind, it is like trying to print a newspaper on marble. It is very difficult, and there is no absorption. Neither can you use your emotion, cleverness, zeal, or good intention to understand spiritual matters. None of these ways will do. For more than forty years I have been observing a group of zealous people. The more zealous they are, the more God has no way in them. Their heart for the church is so good that it is beyond reproach, yet their understanding of the church is so darkened that they hardly know the church. In short, to allow the Spirit to reprint Himself in us, we must be in spirit.


There are several passages in Ephesians that mention the phrase in spirit. Ephesians 3:5 says that the church as the mystery of Christ has now been revealed in spirit. Within you and me is a mystery that is not known to others. What is this mystery? This mystery is that the Spirit is doing a work of reprinting in our spirit. The Spirit is reprinting the rich Christ and the mysterious God. Such a reprint cannot be touched by the human mind, human wisdom, or human emotion. Only when we are in our spirit can the church as a mystery be revealed to us. This mystery is something altogether in spirit. Thus, we must be in spirit to receive this revelation.

Ephesians 1:17 says that we need a spirit of wisdom and revelation. A spirit of revelation is for seeing, whereas a spirit of wisdom is for understanding. For example, suppose there is a machine that had been covered and kept secret but has now been unveiled and exhibited. This is revelation. However, one may examine it for a long time and still be puzzled as to its use or purpose. One may have the revelation but not the wisdom, and one may have the seeing but not the understanding. Hence, we all need to pray, “O Lord, give us a spirit that can both see and understand.” To be in spirit is to be in a spirit of wisdom and revelation. You and I have a spirit within, but this spirit needs to be strengthened and enlightened by the Spirit of God that it may be able to see and understand.


The church as God’s building, God’s house, and God’s dwelling place is in our spirit. Ephesians 2:22 says, “In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” We may say that God dwells in us, but strictly speaking, He does not dwell in our mind or in our emotions but in our spirit. We may say that we are being built together in the church. However, the building is not in our mind but in our spirit. Our mind is wild, like an unbridled horse. Perhaps someone would say to me, “Brother Lee, I am absolutely one with you.” Regardless of who he might be, I would not believe him or listen to him, because it is useless for someone to merely say that he is one with me. Being in the mind is not useful, but being in the spirit is useful. If you were truly in spirit, you would be one with me without having to say it. Therefore, our being built together as God’s dwelling place can take place only in our spirit. We all have some amount of experience of this. Many times we have opinions, but once we are in spirit, the opinions are gone, and there is no problem. Once we are in spirit, there is the building and the oneness.


In Ephesians 3:16 the apostle prayed, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man.” We need to be strengthened, not in our mind or in our joy, anger, sorrow, or delight but in our spirit, in our inner man. Do not be strong in your mind, will, and emotion. Rather, be strong in spirit. We all need to be strengthened in spirit.

(The Revelation of the Mystery, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)