One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, by Witness Lee

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Moreover, I would like to say that in the Lord’s economy there is no evolution; evolution is of the devil. In the Lord’s economy, however, there is transformation. The Lord Jesus, who is the all-inclusive Spirit, can transform people. Christianity cannot transform anyone. Religion can only teach people, adorn them, and do a cosmetic work on them. As far as human society is concerned, religion is good. However, the Lord’s economy is not a matter of religion but a matter of the living Spirit. The all-inclusive Christ as the life-giving Spirit has come into us. He does not come to “beautify our faces”; rather, He comes to transform us.

According to the Bible, God’s economy is transformation. How are we transformed? It is not through teachings but by our Lord who accomplished everything by His death and resurrection. He accomplished whatever He needed, and He accomplished whatever we needed; He accomplished everything that both God and man needed. Then He became the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit. The Spirit gets into anyone who calls on the Lord’s name, and then He operates and works in him in many ways to transform him. The Lord truly can transform people; this is something I have experienced myself. We are of different nationalities with different customs and different backgrounds. The reason we can become one new man is that the Lord has done a transformation work in us. The Lord truly transforms us. Even with the highest doctrines none of us can change ourselves.

When I first went to America, the Lord gave me the wisdom to see that I was not going there to sell my “Chinese goods,” but that I was going to supply Christ to people. Therefore, I did not speak doctrines to them. I preached what I had experienced and supplied them with what I myself had eaten. On the one hand, I supplied them with Christ, and on the other hand, I ate the Christ whom I supplied. This Christ transformed me inwardly, and He also transformed them inwardly. Therefore, it was easy for us to be blended together. This is not to say that I have been Americanized, but that I have been “Christized,” and they also have been “Christized.” This is not a matter of mere wisdom; this is a matter of transformation.

Not only are the Chinese and the Americans different, but even the northern Chinese and the southern Chinese have many differences. In 1933 when I went from northern China to Shanghai, Brother Nee and the co-workers called a special meeting for me. After the messages many people came to fellowship with me. They spoke the Shanghai dialect, and I could not understand them at all. Nevertheless, whether or not I could understand, I talked with them. In the end they understood me, and I understood them because Christ was in them and in me. Although we could not understand the dialect very well, we really knew what we were talking about, so it was easy for us to become the new man and speak the same thing. Today we also are speaking about the new man.

Today we all must see that this is not merely a conference of all the continents in which we decide what we all will speak about from now on. Absolutely not. Instead, it is a matter of all of us seeing that the Lord is our life and our person. The Lord today wants to show Satan that He can produce the one new man out of every tongue and people from among the nations. It is not an outward teaching or an outward movement, but it is He Himself within us as life and as our person. We all receive Him and grow up into Him in all things, and then the whole Body is joined and knit together out from Him.

Dear brothers and sisters, perhaps you would ask me, “Is there anything in the first few verses in Ephesians 4 that speaks about transformation?” No, there is nothing, but if you go on to verse 23, there is something about transformation. We grow up into Him, and then come out from Him; this is transformation. No one can grow into Christ and come out from Christ without being transformed. Only by holding to truth in love and growing up into the Head, Christ, in all things can the entire Body be joined and knit together out from Him. When we are joined and knit together, we are transformed. The Chinese brothers will be the same as the brothers from Ghana; the brothers from all the different countries will have been transformed to be the same. I absolutely believe this. When we are all transformed, all the cultures, backgrounds, customs, and languages will be swallowed up by Christ. This is the glory of Christ. A brother from Ghana, Africa will speak, sing, fellowship, and praise with a brother from Germany; this is the glory of Christ. I believe that this word is a prophecy of what will happen in the next ten years.

In ten years you will see that many people speaking many different languages will be able to fellowship, praise, and proclaim the Lord’s holy name together. At this time only a few brothers have come from Africa, but I certainly believe that one day hundreds and even thousands will come together. When we grow up into Christ in all things, the entire Body will be joined and knit together out from Him. When we grow up into Him and come out from Him, then we will be completely in Him and not in ourselves. In ourselves we have no way. Furthermore, not to mention the Chinese and the Americans, even you who are from the same island and from the same home cannot be one. Out from yourselves there is no way to be joined and knit together, but when we grow up into Him and come out from Him, we are easily joined and knit together. You and I and all must grow up into Him, pass through Him, and come out from Him; then there will be this new man.

(One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)