SUFFERING WITH THE LORD TODAY,
REIGNING WITH HIM ON THAT DAY
First Samuel says that David was the anointed king (16:13). Jonathan was a good friend of David; the two of them were one in heart. If Jonathan had followed David, he could have become the chief minister. Yet he returned to Saul. David was in the forest, yet Jonathan was in the palace. This was wrong. He returned to the palace too soon. If he had followed David, how wonderful the palace would have been to him later! Today we are afraid of suffering. The Lord will surely be the King on earth one day. The question is whether or not you are willing to follow Him.
BEING CRUCIFIED WITH THE LORD AND
BEARING THE CROSS
Brother Witness Lee: When Satan’s rebellious life and nature entered into man’s flesh, man’s flesh became Satan’s armor. God sent Christ to come and put on the human flesh also. The Lord dealt with Satan through putting on the human flesh. Within man’s flesh, there is Satan. Every fleshly person has Satan working within him. Hence, as long as man is in the flesh, he offends God. The most wonderful thing today is that, although Satan entered into man’s flesh, Christ also put on the human flesh. Nevertheless, Christ did not have any of the satanic nature in Him. The Chinese have a saying: "One has to venture into the tiger’s den before he can catch the cub." This is like a situation where a robber has climbed into a house, and the policeman has to go inside the house to catch the robber. Hebrews 2:14 says that Christ through death destroyed the one who has the might of death. In His flesh, Christ destroyed the dwelling of Satan through the cross. This is why the cross of Christ stripped Satan naked.
Today in order for us to oppose Satan, we have to remain on the ground of the cross. If we do not stand on the ground of the cross, Satan will be able to do many things. How can we remain on the ground of the cross? There are two things concerning the cross that are quite important to a Christian. The first is that we are crucified with the Lord on the cross. The second is that we have to bear the cross.
Being Crucified with Christ
We have been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). We have to see that not only has the Lord died for us; we have died with Him also. Why do we have to die? It is because we have already been condemned to death; we do not deserve to live on this earth.
Bearing the Cross—
Remaining on the Ground of the Cross
To bear the cross means that we remain on the ground of the cross. Baptism signifies our crucifixion with the Lord. However, after baptism, have we walked away from the cross? Whenever we walk away from the cross, we are setting the cross aside, and we are not abiding in the cross. The distinctiveness of Christ’s salvation lies in the death. The distinctiveness of our experience of salvation lies also in the death. Death is the way of the Christian salvation. Not only do we testify on the day of baptism that we are dead; we have to allow the death of the cross to continually work in us moment by moment. On the one hand, we were crucified with Christ. On the other hand, we bear the cross, and the cross becomes the place in which we remain. To bear the cross does not mean to wear a golden cross or a wooden cross. To bear the cross means that we remain in the cross, and we continue to stand on the ground of the cross.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 62, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)