Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee

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A. Not Living by the Spirit

What is the reason for God’s children not being transparent? Here are three or four problems. Within every saved person’s spirit, there is the life of God. The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord (Prov. 20:27); it allows God to shine forth, in the same way that the light bulb allows electricity to shine forth. All the lights are concentrated in man’s spirit. If a man does not live in the spirit after he is saved, but instead lives outside the spirit, and if while he is living, he does not live by the spirit, he will not have the light, and he will not be transparent. To live outside the spirit is to live in darkness. A saved person should learn before God to live in the spirit. Today, many people live by many things outside the spirit. For example, when a person prays, his words may be very beautiful, and the words may sound right, but what he says may not be transparent. A person’s real prayer should not be one with beautiful words only. A person’s real prayer should be one that is uttered from the spirit. The same is true with our preaching. Some words are indeed pleasant, but you do not have the sense that they are transparent. Only words that issue from the spirit are transparent. Once you live in the spirit, you become a transparent person.

B. Remaining in the Soul

What are the things aside from the spirit? They are the soul, the flesh, sin, and the world. The soul is outside the spirit, and the flesh is outside the soul. Sin is outside the flesh, and the world is outside sin. These few circles have the spirit as the center, with each circle spreading outward. At present, our biggest problem is our soul. Our soul frustrates us from becoming transparent. The soul is closest to the spirit. Hence, if the soul is wrong and is off, it will be difficult for the spirit to become shining. For this reason, our soul needs to be dealt with and to be cleansed. If a man’s heart is wrong, he will forever be in darkness and be veiled within. If a man drops the world, casts aside his sins, deals with his flesh, and turns his heart to the Lord, he will be able to see. The Lord’s word says that those who are pure in heart will see God (Matt. 5:8).

Many believers ought to be shining within. Yet they do not have the light within and are not shining. The reason for this is that they still remain in the soul. Our soul is of three parts, which are the mind, the emotion, and the will. Today, although many believers have dropped the world, cast away their sins, and dealt with the flesh, they have not lived in the spirit. Instead they live in their mind. When they read the Bible, pray, or listen to messages, they will nod their heads, receive everything, and approve everything. But while they are nodding their heads, they never turn to their spirit. The last few days I have read many consecration slips, and I have given many messages. The brothers and sisters passed on these slips to me one after another. Yet when they wrote, they wrote in their mind, and I had to exercise my mind to read them. In the end, they only gave me a headache. At a certain point, I was wishing that I could take a pen and cross out all these slips.

(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 77, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)