The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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In this compound ointment we have the Triune God signified by the numbers one and three and humanity signified by the number four. We also have the death of Christ, the effectiveness of Christ’s death, the resurrection of Christ, and the flavor of the power of Christ’s resurrection. This compound ointment is a picture of today’s compound Spirit. Before the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Spirit of God was not a compound. He had merely divinity, nothing else. But after the Lord’s resurrection, this Spirit of God has been compounded with humanity, with the death of Christ, with the resurrection of Christ, with the effectiveness of Christ’s death, and with the effectiveness of His resurrection. This all has been compounded into one ointment which today is the Spirit of Christ. Before Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit of God was in existence, but not the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Christ came into existence immediately after the Lord’s resurrection. After Jesus had been crucified and resurrected, the compound Spirit came into being. In other words, on the day of Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit of God became the Spirit of Christ. In the Spirit of Christ there are many items: divinity, humanity, the effectiveness of Christ’s death, and the power of Christ’s resurrection.


One day in 1954, as I was speaking to the church in Hong Kong, I shared a word about reckoning ourselves dead. I told the people that in the past I had done a great deal of reckoning, but that the more I reckoned myself dead, the more alive I was. If we would not reckon ourselves dead, the self would probably be dormant. But as soon as we try to reckon ourselves to be dead, the dormant self is awakened. Thus, our reckoning did not help us, although it did help to arouse our dormant self. I told those in that meeting that it is not a matter of reckoning, because the genuine effectiveness of the death of Christ today is in the Spirit. The death of Christ can be realized only when we are in the Spirit. If we are not in the Spirit, reckoning will not work, no matter how earnestly we do it. The effectiveness of the death of Christ is not in our reckoning; it is in the all-inclusive Spirit.

Many Christians have been helped by Brother Nee’s book, The Normal Christian Life. In this book Brother Nee has a chapter on reckoning. However, the messages in this book were given in Brother Nee’s early ministry. At that time, he told people to reckon themselves dead. Later, however, in one of his messages he said strongly that the death in Christ in Romans 6 can be experienced only in the Spirit in Romans 8. If we do not have Romans 8, we cannot experience Romans 6. He pointed out that the fact of having been crucified with Christ in Romans 6 can be experienced only by the Spirit in Romans 8. I can confirm this by my experience.

The effectiveness of Christ’s death is in the Spirit. This Spirit is like an all-inclusive dose of medicine. Some medicines are all-inclusive, containing some elements that nourish us and other elements that kill germs. The all-inclusive Spirit is an all-inclusive dose. If we take in this all-inclusive Spirit, it will heal us, no matter what our illness is. Within this Spirit is the nourishing element and the killing element. The killing power of the death of Christ today is in the all-inclusive Spirit.

Although, according to my experience, I began to speak this in 1954, I did not have the light on this matter from the Bible. One day as I was considering Exodus 30 the light came. I saw that myrrh, which signifies the death of Christ, was compounded into the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ today is no longer merely the oil; it is the ointment. We do not have simply oil, but a compound ointment. In the simple olive oil there was just one item—divinity—but in the compound ointment there are many items including divinity, humanity, death, and resurrection. All the things of Christ, all that He passed through, and all that He has obtained and attained have been compounded together here into this all-inclusive Spirit. The Bible says, "The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45, Gk.). This means that all of the Triune God plus humanity, the death of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ have been compounded into this life-giving Spirit. Thus, the life-giving Spirit is a compound Spirit. In this life-giving Spirit we have divinity, humanity, the effectiveness of the death of Christ, and the power of the resurrection of Christ.

By your experience you can testify that when the life-giving Spirit moves in you, on the one hand, you are nourished, but, on the other hand, something within you is killed. Does not the life-giving Spirit kill something within you? Certainly it does. Perhaps a certain husband is exchanging words with his wife. This exchange of words must be killed. The only thing that can kill it is the effectiveness of Christ’s death in the life-giving Spirit. In the life-giving Spirit there is the killing power. Sisters, have you not experienced such a killing of your temper many times? If you asked me this question, I would say that my self is killed nearly all day long. My stubborn self needs to be killed again and again.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)