Messages to the Trainees in Fall 1990, by Witness Lee


The Bible, however, has much to say about the human spirit. Each chapter in Ephesians has at least one phrase related to the human spirit. Ephesians 1:17 says, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him." "Spirit" here does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to the regenerated human spirit indwelt by the Spirit of God. Ephesians 2:22 says, "In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit," and 3:5 says that God’s New Testament economy was "revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in spirit." Ephesians 4:23 says, "And are being renewed in the spirit of your mind." Ephesians 5:18 says, "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled in spirit." Many versions, including the King James Version, interpret "spirit" in Ephesians 5:18 as the Holy Spirit. This is not correct since the first part of this verse serves as a modifier for the second. The first clause says "Do not be drunk with wine," implying a part of our being, our body. Therefore, the second clause should read, "but be filled in spirit," in another part of our being. Finally, Ephesians 6:18 says, "By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit." It is impossible to understand the book of Ephesians without knowing the human spirit.


We all must realize that the most crucial part of our being is our spirit. Many times our fellowship and contact with the saints help us to realize that we are still in our flesh and our soul—our mind, emotion, and will. We have to learn to always live not in our flesh or in our soul but in our spirit. When we are angry with someone, we are often in our flesh. Then when we realize that we should be nice to them, we act like gentlemen and talk very thoughtfully with much logic. This is to talk, live, and behave ourselves in the soul. Neither living in the flesh nor living in the soul count before God. The book of 1 Corinthians reveals three kinds of persons: the fleshly man, the soulish man, and the spiritual man. In 1 Corinthians 1—3 Paul condemns division because division is in the flesh (1:10, 11; 3:3). Paul further tells us that we should not walk in the soul (2:14). We should be neither fleshly men nor soulish men. Rather, we should be spiritual, walking in our spirit (2:11-13, 15). To be proper Christians, we must know that the Lord Jesus today as the embodiment of the Triune God is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17) indwelling our spirit and mingled with our spirit as one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).

A number of those among us who have been saved for a short time realize that they have a human spirit and that the divine Spirit indwells their human spirit. However, some may begin to wonder how the great Lord as the Spirit can dwell in their human spirit. If it were not for the word of the Bible, they might even doubt that they have such a spirit. However, even though they believe the Bible, they may wonder why they never feel that they have a spirit or that the Lord Jesus as the Spirit indwells their spirit. We should not try to prove that we have a spirit and that Christ as the Spirit indwells our spirit. These two spirits can only be realized by faith. The more we believe, the more we experience the two spirits.

Many of us have learned that we have the indwelling Spirit and the outpoured Spirit. We realize that when we go to preach the gospel, we need the outpoured Spirit as the power from on high. Therefore, we often pray to receive this power because we think that the more we pray, the more we have the power. It is true that the more we pray before we go to preach the gospel, the more power we will have. However, the more we try to feel that we have the Spirit, the more the Spirit eludes us.

Some may ask, "If the divine Spirit and the human spirit are substantial, how can it be that I do not have any feeling that they are within me?" There are many invisible parts to our being, such as our psychological heart. Our mind, emotion, will, and conscience are all invisible, but we believe that we have them. Likewise, we have a human life within us, but we cannot see it. We can see so many parts of our body, but we cannot see our life. If one does not examine himself, he still has the human life, but if he opens himself up to find his human life, he will lose it. Life is a substance; it is substantial, but it is not visible. In the same way, the divine Spirit and our human spirit are invisible, but we believe that we have them.

(Messages to the Trainees in Fall 1990, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)