THE INNER LAW BEING FOR REGULATION, AND THE ANOINTING BEING FOR GUIDANCE
In the New Testament there are two passages that tell us that there is no need for others to teach us. Hebrews 8:11 is one, speaking of the inner law. The other is 1 John 2:27, which speaks of the inner anointing. In the Old Testament times there were the law and the prophets. The Jews themselves referred to the Old Testament as “the law and the prophets.” This means that in the ancient times the people of God had two factors to guide them. The law was the first factor, and the prophets were the second. There was a difference between the regulation of the law and the guidance of the prophets. The regulation of the law was according to the attributes of God. Therefore, it could not change. For any person it was the same, and in any place and time it was the same. You have to love others, and everyone else has to love others also. In the morning you have to love, and at night you have to love; yesterday you had to love, and today you still have to love. Both in this city and in another city you still have to love. There is no need to seek the Lord’s guidance as to whether or not we should love a person, because this is something according to God’s nature. This is the regulation of the law.
The function of the prophets, however, was for guidance. From the regulation of the law we cannot know whether or not to marry a certain person, unless, of course, the marriage breaks the law; then the regulation comes. Again, we cannot find in the regulation of the law whether or not to go to a certain place and do certain things. Therefore, the law was for regulation, and the prophets were for guidance. In the same way, we have the law of life within as the regulation, and we also have the anointing of the Holy Spirit within as the guidance.
There is no need, for example, to seek guidance whether or not to cut our hair in a peculiar way, because the nature of God, the holiness of God, within us regulates us. We know that it is not right for a child of God to cut his hair in a peculiar way. There is no need to seek guidance, because of the inner regulation. But as to which barber shop to go to, or whether to let a brother cut our hair, is a matter of the inner anointing, not something of the inner law. The inner regulating law does not work in this matter. The law is the regulation according to the unchangeable nature and attributes of God, while the anointing is the guidance according to the move of God, which is very changeable. The move of God may let Peter go to a certain place but will not let Paul go to that place. The attributes of God never change, but the moving of God changes all the time. Therefore, as far as the attributes of God are concerned, we need the regulation, but as far as the move of God is concerned, we need the guidance. The regulation comes from the inner law, and the guidance comes from the inner anointing.
Whether or not a sister should go shopping is a matter of the guidance of the inner anointing. However, when she gets to a department store and tries to choose a dress, the inner regulating may come to her. Just as the people in the ancient times had the law in letters and the prophets, we have the inner anointing as the prophet and the inner regulating, the law of life, as the law. Again I say, the law relates to what God is, and the anointing relates to what God does. The law relates to God’s nature, while the anointing relates to God’s moving, God’s actions. With God’s move and actions, we need the guidance; there is no certain regulation. But with God’s nature and attributes, there is never any change; therefore, we have the regulation.
KNOWING LIFE IN A PRACTICAL WAY
The three things we have spoken about—the fellowship of life, the sense of life, and the law of life—are matters of the spiritual life. This spiritual life is in our spirit. In our spirit there are three functions—fellowship, intuition, and the conscience. The three matters of life correspond with the three functions of our spirit. The fellowship of life, of course, is a matter of fellowship, and it is related to the fellowship of the spirit. The sense of life is a matter of the inner knowledge, and this inner knowledge is related to the intuition of the spirit. The law of life is a matter of regulation, and this regulation is related to the conscience of the spirit. We need to learn these things in a practical way in our experience. Then we will know life in a practical way, and we will be able to help people to experience Christ as life in the spirit.
After we are saved, we have an inner sense from the light of life, the law of life, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Christ living within us, and God working and energizing within us. The life within us enlightens us as the light, the life regulates us as the law, the Holy Spirit anoints us, Christ lives in us, and God works within us. These five items always give us a certain inner consciousness, a certain feeling. Moreover, the fellowship of life, the sense of life, and the law of life are related one to another. In order to keep the fellowship with the Lord, we have to take care of the inner sense, and in order to take care of the inner sense, to be sure, we must go along with the inner law. To break the law of life means that we cast off the sense of life, and to cast off the sense of life means that we damage the fellowship of life. The main thing is to take care of the law of life. It is when we take care of the law of life that we have harmony with the sense of life, and when we have harmony with the sense of life, we keep the fellowship with the Lord. Then everything with us is right in the presence of God.
The main point is the law of life. The whole Christian life and walk hinges on the law of life, the inner regulating. Oh, this is so important! I am afraid that not many Christians walk day by day by being regulated within. We have to learn to be regulated by the inner law. Then God will be God to us, and we will be a people to Him. We will have fellowship with God in harmony with our inner sense, because we are always going along with the law of life. I hope you will do some homework concerning these matters and fellowship with two or three others. Then you can put them into practice and learn more, and you will know the way of life. Many times when I hear people talking about the inner life, I shake my head, realizing that it is just talk; they do not know what the inner life means. If we do not know the law of life, the sense of life, and the fellowship of life, we do not know the inner life. We may know it in terms, in letter, in word, on paper, and in knowledge and teaching, but we do not know it in practicality. In practicality we need to know the law of life with the sense of life and the fellowship of life. This is very important, but we are not used to these things, so we need more practice.
(Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)