Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Church, by Witness Lee


After I was saved, I enjoyed reading spiritual books and magazines, especially the writings by Brother Watchman Nee. In two of his books, The Normal Christian Life and The Overcoming Life, based on Romans 6, Brother Nee said that every Christian should know how to reckon (v. 11). For example, we should reckon that we have been crucified with Christ. At that time, although my mind was clear, regardless of how much I tried to reckon, it did not work. According to time, Christ was crucified two thousand years ago, while I was born two thousand years after Him. How can I be crucified with Him? Moreover, according to space, He was born in the land of Judea, while I born in China in the Far East. Again, how can I be crucified with Him? Brother A. B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, wrote a hymn with a chorus that says, “Let us reckon, reckon, reckon, / Let us reckon, rather than feel; / Let us be true to the reck’ning, / And He will make it real” (Hymns, #692). Since this is based upon the Bible, I accepted this doctrine, and I tried my best to reckon. However, regardless of how much I tried, it did not work. Without reckoning, I was better off; the more I reckoned, the worse off I was. Without reckoning, it seemed that my natural self was dead, but once I began to reckon, it became alive and everything went wrong. Later, Brother Nee added a word saying that the reckoning in Romans 6 must be done along with the experience in Romans 8. Romans 6 merely gives us the fact, whereas Romans 8 brings us into the experience.

Romans 8:13 says, “For if you live according to the flesh, you must die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live.” This verse tells us clearly that it is not that we can reckon ourselves to death, but that by the Spirit we put to death the practices of the body. How do we do this by the Spirit? It is by calling on the name of the Lord. We simply need to call on the Lord. Then our spirit is stirred up and executes the Lord’s death within us. Christ in us is the Spirit, who contains the element of His death with its effectiveness. Therefore, the Lord’s death is in the Spirit, not in our reckoning. For this reason, after his speaking in Romans 6, Paul spoke about being according to the spirit, walking according to the spirit, and being led by the Spirit of God (8:4-5, 14). It is only by the Spirit that we can put to death the practices of the body. If the Lord were not the Spirit, He could not come into us, and His death would have nothing to do with us. The Lord passed through the processes of death and resurrection to become the life-giving Spirit. In this Spirit are the elements of the Lord Himself, His death, and His resurrection. Since the Lord is the Spirit, He can come into us, and all His riches can be subjectively experienced and enjoyed by us. The Lord is the Spirit as the reality of all spiritual things.


When the Trinity is referred to in the beginning of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, the Spirit is called “the seven Spirits who are before His throne” (1:4). The seven Spirits are moving and speaking in the church today. At the beginning of each of the seven epistles in Revelation chapters two and three, it is the Lord who speaks, but at the end of each epistle, it is the Spirit who speaks to the churches. This indicates that the Lord who speaks is the Spirit, even the seven Spirits. Revelation 22:17 says, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come!” This shows us that the Spirit, who is Christ as the Bridegroom, and His bride sound the call together.

In the Gospel of John, the Spirit is likened to the Son’s breath. In John 20:22, the Son breathed into the disciples and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This indicates that the breath breathed out by the Son was the Holy Spirit. In Revelation, the seven Spirits are the eyes of Christ as the Lamb. Breath is for living and denotes man’s essence, whereas eyes are for moving and denote man’s activities. In other words, the breathing of breath is for the essential aspect, whereas the eyes’ observing and shining are for the economical aspect. In the Gospels the Spirit is the breath, while in Revelation the Spirit is the eyes.


Whether essentially or economically, the Spirit cannot be separated from the Son. In the essential aspect, the Spirit is the Son’s breath, while in the economical aspect, the aspect for moving, the Spirit is the Son’s eyes. Likewise, we can neither divide the Son from the Father nor divide the Father from the Spirit. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are absolutely undivided and indivisible; these three are one. Isaiah 9:6 says that the Son is called the eternal Father, and 2 Corinthians 3:17 says that the Son is the Spirit. Hence, these three are one. Regardless of which one we experience, we experience all three.


There is a way to experience the Triune God. Ephesians 2:18 says, “For through Him [Christ] we both have access in one Spirit unto the Father.” We cannot experience the Father directly; we must come to the Father in the all-inclusive Spirit through the Son. Therefore, the Gospels reveal that we need to believe in the Son. To believe in the Son is to receive the Son. The Son, who is the Spirit, enters into us by our receiving Him. As a result, we have access to the Father to experience God and His riches. This is the sequence of experiencing the Triune God, not three kinds of experiences but one experience in three aspects. We need to have a subjective and rich experience of this kind.

(Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Church, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)