SLAYING RELIGION WITH THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
Now let us go further to see a supplementary point, a point concerning spiritual warfare. In spiritual warfare we need to put on the whole armor of God, and the last two items in the armor of God are the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6 says that we need to receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit by means of all prayer and petition (vv. 17-18a). We must know that the helmet is for protection, and the sword is for slaying the enemy. These two items are very meaningful. On the one hand, we need protection, and on the other hand, we need to kill the enemy. In this message we will not say too much concerning the aspect of protection. When we are in our localities, we should say, “O Lord, put the helmet of salvation on us. Do not let Satan shoot the darts of natural concepts and of religious thoughts into our minds. O Lord, control our thoughts and our thinking. Preserve our minds.” Our focus in this message is on the sword of the Spirit. The sword of the Spirit is for slaying. Several Bible translations indicate that the sword refers to the word of God. However, according to the Greek grammatical construction, the sword here is not the word of God but the Spirit. The Spirit is the sword, and the Spirit is also the word of God. In John 6 the Lord says, “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (v. 63b). The word is the Spirit. Ephesians 6 reverses the order and says the Spirit is the word of God.
We must see that the word of God is the Spirit of God. You cannot separate the word of God from the Spirit of God. When I speak forth God’s word, what goes out from me is the word, but it is the Spirit who enters into you. When the word is spoken again by you, it is the word, but when it enters into others, it is the Spirit again. The word is the Spirit, and the Spirit is the word. The two are one. What I speak here is the word, but what enters into you is the Spirit. The Spirit is the word, and the word is the Spirit. Thus, this word is not doctrine or knowledge. The Lord told us that His words are spirit. God’s Spirit comes forth, and when we touch Him, He is the word. The Spirit is God’s word.
In Ephesians 6 God’s word is not for supplying but for killing, because it is the sword. What then does it kill? It kills anything that is contrary to God’s vision. We are in a warfare. Anything that is contrary to the vision of God, the fullness of Christ, and the great power within us has to be slain. Do not tolerate it but slay it. You may have been trained and may have seen visions, but some of the other saints may still be in the old way. What shall you do? You need to kill. Do not kill the brothers and sisters, but kill the old way, kill the religious way, and kill the unwillingness to stand.
Perhaps two months after reading this, someone will come to you and speak some persuasive words, saying, “Look at your church here. There is neither speaking in tongues nor healing. What are you doing here?” Let me ask you, What shall you do? On the one hand, you need to stand, and on the other hand, you need to slay. Is this being too wild? It is not. Do you have to be polite to the enemy? We must stand and slay! As to ourselves, we need to stand, and as to the enemy, we need to slay.
YOUNG PEOPLE NEEDING TO BEAR THE SPIRITUAL BURDEN OF THE CHURCH
Let us talk about our family affairs and consider our family. Generally speaking, the churches everywhere, including the church in Taipei and the churches in Southeast Asia, are about the same—they all have some older ones and some younger ones. Most of the older ones are over sixty years of age. Those whom we refer to as younger ones are actually not that young. In our family tradition, everyone is considered a child until he is thirty-five years of age. If our family tradition had been changed ten or more years ago, today many of you would already be the core members of our family, because many of you are over twenty-three years old. According to the law of this country, twenty years old is considered the legal adult age. In the past our family tradition neglected this matter, so today many who are over twenty-two still behave like children who have no sense of responsibility toward their own family and who roam around freely outside.
Therefore, let us consider our family affairs. Is the church in your locality your home? Since we all would say that it is, since the fathers and mothers here are rather old now, and since the times have also changed, what shall we do? We need to reform. We should not revolt, but we should reform. How do we do this? The responsibility to do this is upon the young people. Every one of you should stand and slay. However, you must be careful. Do not kill your fathers and mothers or anyone else. Kill religion, and kill the old things. This killing is not fleshly but spiritual. In Ephesians 6 the sword used for killing the enemy is not the sword of the flesh but the sword of the Spirit. Your spirit must be strong, your spirit must be praying, and your spirit must execute the heavenly authority. Sometimes the older brothers and sisters, out of a good heart and intention, may propose to invite a preacher. By doing this, they unconsciously bring in religion. You do not need to oppose, but you need to stand in spirit. Do not slay the old ones who are the parents, and do not kill their proposals. Kill the enemy. In the meetings you need to pray in spirit and stand in spirit. You also need to rise up and share something one after another, sharing something that is fresh and full of supply. This will be like dropping a great number of bombs to completely demolish the old religion. This is the way to reform the church. None of the older ones in our home are our enemies. They all are our lovely parents. They love us, but it is not easy for them to get rid of their old concepts. Do not argue with them, because the more you argue, the more you will give room to the devil. Do not argue, and do not make a sound. Simply wait for the right time and then strike. If everyone stands up to release Christ and minister His riches, the older ones will say, “This meeting is really fresh! No wonder Brother Lee keeps declaring that this is really wonderful!” This will show that they have seen something. I believe that if you do this for half a year, your reformation will be a success.
Young brothers and sisters, the Lord’s recovery is our big family, and you are its life pulse. These messages have a relaxed and easy manner, but I tell you, on my heart I bear a very heavy burden. All the churches, from Taipei to Indonesia in Southeast Asia, are too old. On the one hand, we thank the Lord that the churches are solidly for the Lord’s recovery and for the Lord’s unique ground. They are truly stable with regard to these matters. On the other hand, they are indeed too old. What then shall we do? I have considered this matter very much. If I go and speak these things again to the older brothers, they will nod their heads and receive my words. Their hearts may be more than willing to turn to a new situation, but their strength is lacking. Let me give you an illustration. I lack musical talent. Although I can select and call out hymns, when it comes to singing, I am like a person who can say but cannot do. When I was young, I was able to learn a little by humming the melody of a song a few times, but today not only can I not sing the new hymns, I cannot even manage to sing the old hymns. I am not the only one who is like this. All the older saints are about the same. If you do not believe me, let me ask four older brothers to sing for you. You will see that their singing is too poor. In this matter of singing, we who are older are hopeless. Even if you threaten to break us, crush us, and make hamburgers out of us, we still will not be able to sing well. However, if I were to ask four young people to sing for you, you would see how good their singing is. We who are older cannot sing. Regardless of how hard you press us, we cannot produce any oil. This is a clear illustration showing that the older ones should yield to the able ones, the young people. The older ones can stand behind them to supervise. They are our next generation, so we should turn our home over to them and let them take care of it. We should just stand on the side to watch. The young people have the vitality and are aggressive, yet they are not experienced. The older ones are more experienced, so they can watch on the side and render some help.
Therefore, from now on everyone must be clear that the housekeeping is the responsibility of the young people. Young people, you really need to go before the Lord and receive this burden from Him. I worship the Lord because your generation is made up of people who are in their twenties. Your generation is the cream of our family, and from now on you are the core of this big family. The future of this family completely hinges on you. Today in our home we still have the old fathers, old mothers, big brothers, and big sisters, so we do not need you to be responsible for many of the regular chores. What we expect of you is that on the spiritual side and in the meetings you would receive the baton. In the meetings you should not be proud, but you also do not need to be polite. You need to stand in spirit and bear the responsibility.
GIVING YOUR ALL TO AFFORD THE LORD A WAY
Does the Lord have a way to prepare His bride in today’s Roman Catholic Church? The answer to this question is altogether a negative. It is impossible for Him to do this there. Can the Lord find a way to prepare His bride in today’s Protestant churches? This is also impossible. Can the Lord find a way to prepare His bride in today’s free groups? This is also impossible. Then where can the Lord go? By the Lord’s mercy, it seems that He has a way in the Lord’s recovery. If He still cannot find a way here, He will be forced to find another way. However, according to the situation today, and according to the prophecies, the time will not be delayed. Hence, I am convinced that today the Lord has a way in the church. He is preparing His bride here, and here He will usher in His coming again.
Therefore, young brothers and sisters, you must influence all the churches on the whole island of Taiwan and all those in Southeast Asia as well. This is not a light matter. I hope that you will take this matter seriously to the Lord and receive the burden from His hand. I cannot give you the commission. I can only fellowship frankly with you according to the real situation and according to what I sense and know. I believe now you all are clear. May the Lord be gracious to you that every one of you will receive a sweet burden within. I would like to tell you that if I had one hundred lives, I feel it would be worthwhile to give them all for this way. I have been on this way for forty years, and I have never regretted it. Even up to this day I still feel glorious that I can be on this way. I repeat, if I had a hundred lives, I would lay every one of them on this way. May the Lord be merciful to us!
(The Revelation of the Mystery, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)