The Spirit in the Epistles, by Witness Lee


There are nine main points concerning the Spirit covered in the entire book of Ephesians. The first main point gives us the overall subject matter.

In whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Him also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory. (1:13-14)

Here the Holy Spirit is a noun with a particular construction in Greek. The word Holy is a particularly emphasized word, which is impossible to translate directly not only into Chinese but also into English. According to the original meaning, the proper rendering for the Holy Spirit here should be the Spirit the Holy. You were sealed with the Spirit the Holy, who is also the pledge of our inheritance.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption. (4:30)

The two passages above give us the overall subject matter—the Holy Spirit of God is in us as the seal and the pledge. When we believed in Christ, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit. As long as we truly believe in Christ, this Spirit will surely be impressed as a seal in us. Today in Christianity there is a wrong teaching that is intimidating. Whenever certain ones meet a person, they ask, “Have you received the Holy Spirit?” After being asked such a question, many become confused and are not clear whether they have received the Holy Spirit. However, Ephesians 1:13-14 says that since we have believed, we have received. As long as we have believed, surely we have received. We have received the Holy Spirit as the seal; we have been sealed to show that we are God’s inheritance. The Holy Spirit is also the pledge, guaranteeing that God belongs to us. The seal attests that we belong to God, whereas the pledge guarantees that God belongs to us. From the day we believed in the Lord, God has put His Spirit in us, impressed His Spirit in us, as a seal, attesting that we are God’s, and as a pledge, guaranteeing that God is ours. From then on, we have become God’s inheritance, and God has become our portion. For us to be God’s inheritance requires the seal of God upon us; for God to be our portion requires a pledge. In Greek the word for pledge has numerous meanings. It means “guarantee,” “sample,” or “foretaste.” The Holy Spirit is in us as our foretaste of God. The Holy Spirit’s being so sweet in us tells us that God is so sweet to us. This is a sample, a foretaste, and a guarantee, guaranteeing that God belongs to us.

In Ephesians only these two portions mention “the Spirit the Holy.” Other places also mention the spirit, but often as “spirit,” referring to the mingled spirit as the mingling of the Spirit of God with our spirit, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:17: “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” In this one spirit there is the Spirit of God, and there is also our spirit. This may be compared to tea water. The tea is in the water, and the water is in the tea. If you say it is tea, that is correct; if you say it is water, that is also correct. But to describe it in a more detailed way, you may say it is “tea-water”; actually, the two are mingled as one. The Spirit of God may be likened to tea, and our spirit may be likened to water. When the Spirit of God is mingled with our spirit, the two spirits then become one spirit. This is the spirit referred to in Romans 8 and in Ephesians numerous times.

Ephesians shows us that this sealing and pledging Spirit is doing a work in us which consists of eight points: first, revealing; second, uniting; third, building; fourth, strengthening; fifth, renewing; sixth, filling; seventh, fighting; and eighth, praying. These are covered in the six chapters of Ephesians.


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. (1:17)

This revealing Spirit is the Spirit who is joined with our spirit as one spirit. It is in this spirit that we know the Lord.

This Spirit enables us to see and comprehend the plan which God formulated in eternity, the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies which He has given to us, the power which He has manifested in Christ, the hope of His calling to the saints, the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power toward the believers. All these spiritual matters require the Spirit’s revelation.

The mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in spirit. (3:4b-5)

God’s revelation to us today is in the Spirit. The first function of this Spirit in us is to reveal. He reveals the mystery of God, the acts of God, the riches of Christ, and the spiritual things. Many times we listen to messages, read spiritual books, and study the Bible by our mind, so there is no revelation. If we would close our eyes, call back our mind, return to our spirit, and linger a little while in our spirit, we would be enlightened within, and we would be able to see and have revelation. This is the function of revealing manifested by this Spirit. Many times we reason, debate, and discuss concerning the mystery of God and the matter of the church, yet the more we discuss, the more confused we are, and the more we cannot agree with one another. This is because we are in our mind. If we would abandon our mind, our reasoning, reject our emotion, and turn our whole being back to our spirit and remain in our spirit for a while, everything would be clear. Sometimes we need to pray, and once we pray, we become clear. For this reason, many times we should pray instead of debate. When we pray, we get into the spirit, and in the spirit we are illuminated.

(The Spirit in the Epistles, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)