THE CYCLE OF LIFE
The fellowship of life is life itself flowing, and this flowing life is God the Father and God the Son in God the Spirit—the very Triune God Himself. Now we must see the way the current flows and the way to maintain this flow. First John 1:5-7 says, “And this is the message which we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and are not practicing the truth; but if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.” These verses were written by the apostle through his experience, and they can be apprehended only by our experience. To have fellowship with God means that we are in the current with God, and because God is light, to truly be in the fellowship with God means that we are in the light. To be sure, when we have fellowship with God who is light, we are in the light, and while we are in the light, we have fellowship with one another.
At that very moment the blood of Jesus is applied to us because while we are in the fellowship and in the light, we sense our sins. In the light we see the wrongdoings, mistakes, and trespasses which we have committed. Even though we Christians are regenerated and saved, we are still in the old nature, and we still walk and live in this world. Therefore, many times we are defiled. It is when we are in the fellowship that we have the light, and in the light and under the light we see how sinful and defiled we are. It is at this time that we spontaneously confess and apply the blood of the Lord Jesus for our cleansing.
The more we are in the light, the more we see our faults and defilement; and the more we apply the blood of the Lord Jesus, the more we are cleansed. This cleansing keeps us more and more in the fellowship. Then, the more we are in the fellowship, the more light we see; the more light we see, the more we realize our sins, faults, and defilement; and the more we apply the blood of the Lord, the more cleansing we receive. Following this, we are in the fellowship, we are in the light, we realize our defilement, we apply the Lord Jesus’ blood, and we receive the cleansing. We all have this experience.
After the cleansing, the sprinkling, of the blood, we have the anointing of the Spirit. First John 2:27 says, “And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you.” In the Old Testament type, the anointing of the oil always follows the sprinkling of the blood. This is why in this Epistle the blood is mentioned first, and in the second chapter there is the anointing. The anointing always follows the cleansing of the blood, and the cleansing of the blood always brings in the anointing.
This is a cycle in our experience. When we are in the fellowship, we have the light. When we are in the light, we realize our sins. When we realize our sins, we apply the cleansing of the Lord’s blood. When we apply, enjoy, and experience the cleansing of the blood, we have more anointing. Then the anointing brings us more into fellowship, the fellowship brings us more into the light, and the light causes us to see more of our defilement. Then we apply the blood more, we have more anointing, and we have more fellowship. Fellowship, light, realization of sin, cleansing, and anointing are a cycle. A car travels by the turning of its wheels, cycle after cycle. In the same way, a Christian grows by cycle after cycle of fellowship, light, realization of sin, the cleansing of the blood, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Fellowship brings more light, more light brings more realization of defilement, more realization brings more cleansing of the blood, more cleansing brings in more anointing, and more anointing brings more fellowship. This cycle is the way to always keep and maintain the fellowship of life. Many positive things will result from this fellowship.
Sometimes we do not sense our wrongdoings because we are careless, but if we would pay attention to the inner fellowship, the fellowship will bring in light. Then in the light we will realize our wrongdoings and defilements. A brother may quarrel and fight and still not sense that he is wrong, but if he would quietly pay attention to the inner fellowship and have a little contact with the Lord, he will be in the light. In the light he will sense that he is wrong in his attitude, motive, intention, word, and even tone of voice. Then he will say, “O Lord, forgive me. I am wrong. Cleanse me, Lord.” Following this cleansing, he has a fresher and stronger anointing, and in the stronger anointing he has deeper fellowship. In the deeper fellowship he has stronger light, and in the stronger light he realizes something further. The Lord may take him back to the previous year, and the brother will confess, “O Lord, forgive me. Last year on a certain day I was wrong with a certain person.” Then after confessing and applying the cleansing of the blood, he has more anointing and is more in the fellowship. He senses that the Lord is so dear, pleasant, and sweet because he is much more in the fellowship than he has ever been.
Following this, the brother will have deeper light and deeper realization. Then the Lord may take him back three years. The Lord will “dig” within him, and he will sense something further. He may say, “Oh, I am so sinful. I never thought I was so sinful.” After confessing and applying the blood, he receives more anointing, and the Lord may bring him back ten years to catch him, check him, and dig in him some more. This is the way to grow more deeply in the Lord, and this is the way to go on day by day, just as the wheels of a car go on cycle by cycle.
(Basic Principles of the Experience of Life, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)