Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Church, by Witness Lee


The processed and consummated Spirit, who is within us today, is our unique need. Often we have a natural concept, thinking that if we love the Lord, we need to be taught more through His oracle to know how to be proper parents, children, husbands, or wives and how to speak to others with a proper tone and attitude. Yes, in the Bible there are proverbs and ethical maxims for our daily living, such as husbands needing to love their wives and wives needing to be subject to their husbands. Nevertheless, the kernel of the Bible is the Triune God. What is spoken of mainly in the Bible is that the Triune God went through a process that He might work Himself into us to be our life, element, and substance, thereby living in us and being expressed through us.

In the record of John chapter three, a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus, who was a man of the Pharisees, the moralists among the Jews, felt that men needed more teachings. Therefore, he came to seek the Lord Jesus, saying, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher” (v. 2). This is exactly our condition. Like Nicodemus, we are filled with religious concepts. We may wish that the Lord’s holy words could teach us, as the words of Confucius, Mencius, and Wang Yang-ming of China did, concerning how to develop our “bright virtue” that we may behave as moral men and gentlemen. However, this is not the essence of the Bible. The center and the essence of the Bible are the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; the all-inclusive Christ; and the consummated Spirit.

For this reason, I have a heavy burden within. I have discovered that many among us are still old and are still what they used to be. Our real need is to experience the Spirit in our daily living. Family matters that cannot be resolved, environments that give us difficulties, and brothers and sisters who are intolerable are not the real problems. The real problem is that we do not know the Spirit. Circumstances are not our problems; not knowing how to experience Christ is our real problem. God has never promised us a smooth environment that we may sail smoothly from the earth to heaven and from this age all the way into the kingdom age. Human beings will always have problems. However, the difference between Christians and unbelievers is that we Christians can still rejoice in our afflictions and not be anxious. Actually, it is not that we can rejoice; rather, it is the Spirit in us who rejoices. To have a life that is anxious for nothing but always rejoicing, we need to experience Christ and know the Spirit. The Spirit is our only need.

Many people consider that the Spirit is too abstract. We thank the Lord that He has given us the Bible, which is very precious. Its essence and sphere are Christ, and this Christ of whom it speaks eventually became the Spirit. Therefore, the Spirit is not abstract. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit.” This means that the Spirit is in us and speaks together with us. Revelation 2:7 says, “The Spirit says to the churches,” and 22:17 says, “The Spirit and the bride say.” The Spirit is the speaking Spirit. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said, “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). This indicates that the Lord’s words, the Lord’s Spirit, and the Lord Himself are one and can never be separated. Today we should not learn ethics and morality or study the Lord’s words in a natural way. We should learn only one thing; that is, we should daily exercise our spirit to pray-read the words of the Lord and take in the rich supply from Him, because His words are spirit and are life. Dear brothers and sisters, we should not read the Bible with our mind. Whenever we come to the Lord’s word, we should open up our entire being and exercise our spirit to draw from the riches of the Spirit in the Bible. If we pray-read the word of God in this way, every word of the Bible becomes spirit and life to us. Then we can realize that the Spirit is definitely speaking in us. The speaking Spirit who dwells in us will lead us through every circumstance to encounter every person, event, and matter and deal with every problem. The speaking Spirit is our only need.

Today this speaking Spirit is Christ. To know Christ, we need to earnestly study the six major categories of types in the Old Testament—human beings, animals, plants, minerals, offerings, and foods. These types are very rich. How blessed we are today! We have already received all these riches in reality. The elements of the reality of all the types are in the Spirit, and the Spirit transfuses and dispenses all these riches into us through the Lord’s words. Therefore, day by day we need to eat the Lord’s words and receive the Spirit’s dispensing. This is like breathing, drinking, and eating, which are things that we do not once for all but day by day and moment by moment. Furthermore, we also need to exercise our spirit and release our spirit before the Lord regularly for our cooperation with the Lord. Thus, our spiritual life will be healthy and will continually grow in a normal way.

(Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Church, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)