Basic Lessons on Service, by Witness Lee


In Exodus 30:31 and 32 the Lord charged Moses not to anoint any flesh with the holy anointing oil. The holy anointing oil, the compound ointment, signifies the consummated and compound Spirit. This indicates clearly that the compound Spirit is absolutely not for the flesh. When we are living and acting in the flesh, we are through with the compound Spirit, the all-inclusive, consummated, life-giving Spirit. Because the Spirit has nothing to do with our flesh, we have to be in our spirit. This is a serious matter. Eventually, the ultimate consummation of the Triune God is the consummated, all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit. If we are through with Him, we are through with God. Therefore, we must condemn the flesh to the uttermost because it has no share in the all-inclusive Spirit.


Now we want to see thirteen things belonging to the flesh.

A. Vainglory

In Galatians 5:26 Paul said, "Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another." Everything that is considered as a glory today, such as having a position or a name, is vain. It is vainglory. We should not seek for man’s glory today. The real glory is the coming glory of God. Whatever is considered as a glory today is vainglory.

B. Outward Show

In Galatians 6:12 Paul spoke of those who desire to make a good show, an outward show, in the flesh. People like to make a show of whatever they are, whatever they have, and whatever they can do. Such an outward show belongs to the flesh. Whenever you like to make a show, you have to condemn it. To say this is easy, but in our natural being we make an outward show all the time. Whenever we want to make an outward show, that is fleshly. Of course, this has much to do with vainglory.

C. Ambition for Leadership

It is also absolutely fleshly to be ambitious for leadership (Matt. 20:20-27).

D. Self-confidence

It is very difficult not to have self-confidence. If we did not have self-confidence, our will might be weak. But we have to realize that self-confidence is fleshly.

(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)