The Mystery of Christ, by Watchman Nee


In the Old Testament men had God’s word—the law. In the New Testament, men also have God’s word. But if this word does not have the Spirit’s anointing behind it, it is also a law. The Lord Jesus presented God’s word, but that word was spirit and life. The apostles also presented God’s word, and that word was also spirit and life. But when the Pharisees presented God’s word, there was no anointing of the Spirit, and that word became dead laws. Many people practice baptism, the laying on of hands, and head covering merely according to the instructions of the Bible. These things are the law to them. If a man acts merely according to the letter of the Bible, he is a disciple of Moses and not a Christian. A Christian has the Lord’s anointing on him. In the Body of Christ, there is no law; there is only the Lord’s anointing. Hence, in order for us to live in the Body of Christ, we have to walk according to the Spirit’s anointing, not according to the letter of the law. We must do everything according to the anointing of the Spirit. This is walking according to the teaching of the Spirit.


How do we receive the anointing? Psalm 133 is the key passage in the Old Testament concerning the anointing. We should realize that Psalms 120 through 134 are songs of ascent. These are the songs the Israelites sang three times a year when they ascended from different places to meet the Lord in Zion in Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God. Although all the songs are different, they have one thing in common—they are all ascending songs. The people did not talk about economics, education, warfare, or politics. Their hearts were toward Zion, toward God, and they were going upward. Psalm 133:1 says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is/For brothers to dwell in unity!" This dwelling in unity is corporate; there is no barrier or separation. They have cast aside their disunity, jealousy, and hatred. This is like the fine oil that was poured on Aaron’s head that ran down upon the beard to the hem of his garments. In this condition, they receive God’s anointing. When the oil flows down, those who are under the head will spontaneously receive the oil. Psalm 133 is equivalent to Ephesians 4. When we are in the Body and are diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit, we have the anointing of the Spirit. We have to come under the Head, and we have to live in the Body before we can receive the anointing. Many people do not receive any leading because they are not standing in the right place. They are not under the Head and have not submitted themselves to the authority of the Head. Neither are they in the Body. In order for us to receive the anointing, we must submit to the Head and live in the Body.

The believers’ fellowship is based on Christ. We can fellowship with one another because Christ is the life of the Body and the Head of the Body. At the same time, the enjoyment of this fellowship is the Holy Spirit. The more we live in the fellowship of the Body, the more we enjoy the anointing of the Spirit. But there is a condition to this: We have to allow the cross to deal with our flesh and our natural life in a thorough way. Whether or not a believer can enjoy this fellowship depends on whether he has dealt with his natural life. Our natural flesh only deserves to die; it only deserves to be in ashes, to be on the cross. We cannot think by ourselves; we are not qualified to propose anything by ourselves. We must allow Christ to have the absolute sovereignty over everything. We must allow Him to be the Lord in an absolute way. If our natural life is dealt with by the cross and if we submit to the headship of Christ and live the Body life, we will have the Spirit’s anointing and enjoy the fellowship of the Body.

(The Mystery of Christ, Chapter 7, by Watchman Nee)