THE CONTENT OF THE TRAINING—THE GROWTH IN LIFE AND THE PRACTICE OF THE NEW WAY
In this term of training, I do not have the burden to release any new vision as I have done in special meetings and conferences in the past. I will just sit down to converse with you concerning two main things: the growth in life and the practice of the new way. According to spiritual sequence, life should be first and the new way second, but according to my burden, the new way should be first. I will spend sixteen hours, one hour each week, to talk to you about the new way. The new way has been misunderstood, rejected, and even, to some extent, slandered. Some have said that the full-time training in Taipei was a “Hagar” and that all the ones baptized through door-knocking were “Ishmaels.” This is a very serious, evil slander. So I must spend some time to give sixteen talks about the new way.
I will speak four times each week concerning these two things, dealing with them in different ways. Related to the matter of life, what I will talk with you about is the experience of life and the growth in life. Concerning the new way, we will spend some time to look into the new way, and we will also talk about the exercise of the new way. Even though I have released quite a number of messages in the past four and a half years about the new way, there is still the need of some deeper insight concerning the new way.
ONLY THE ETERNAL LIFE OF GOD IS LIFE
Perhaps most of you have read the book entitled The Experience of Life. The messages contained in that book were given in 1953 and 1954 and printed two or three years later. So this book has been among us for many years. However, today, though I may refer to that book, I will not speak according to that book. Rather, I will talk to you according to your situation.
What is life? Or who is life? According to the Scriptures, in the whole universe, there is only one life. All the other lives may be considered “non-life” because they are temporal lives. There are many different kinds of life, such as that of the mosquitos, termites, ants, wolves, dogs, and tigers. There are also different categories of life, such as the vegetable life and the animal life. The highest of all these created lives is the human life. Yet, all of these lives, including the human life, are temporal.
Only one life exists without beginning and without ending. Only one life is the source of life, the substance of life, the element of life, and the factor of life. This life is called the eternal life. This life is eternal, not only in time, but also in source, in substance, in element, and in factor. Eternal means unlimited and unrestricted. This eternal life is not bound, limited, or restricted in time, in source, in substance, in element, or in factor. In every aspect and in every regard, this life is unlimited and unrestricted. This life is eternal in every way. The Bible tells us that when we believed into the Lord Jesus, we received such an eternal life (John 3:16).
Many Christians do not understand the term eternal life. Have you ever heard that this eternal life is eternal not only in time but also in quality, substance, element, factor, and even in its source? With all the other lives, the created lives, there are some restrictions. For instance, we have strength, but our strength is limited. We have might, power, and ability, but we are limited in each one of these things. We are very limited in our might, our power, and our strength. We as human beings have more strength, power, and ability than any other created life; yet our strength, power, and ability are all with some restriction and limitation. We may be able to endure, but regardless how long we can endure, our endurance is limited. God’s endurance, however, is not limited. Only one life, the eternal life, is unlimited in every way. This eternal life is not only of God but is the very God Himself.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)