Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 13: The Spiritual Man (2), by Watchman Nee


In our fellowship with God, a spirit of wisdom and revelation is indispensable. "That...the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him" (Eph. 1:17). At the time of our regeneration we received a new spirit; however, many of the functions of the spirit are not manifested and remain concealed inside the spirit. Therefore, the apostle prayed that the regenerated Ephesian believers would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they could really know God in their intuition. Whether this spirit of wisdom and revelation is a hidden potential within the believers’ spirit, which is enlightened by God through prayer, or whether it is some fresh wisdom and revelation, which comes from the Holy Spirit being added into the believers’ spirit, the fact remains that a spirit of wisdom and revelation is indispensable in a believer’s fellowship with God. It is also a fact that believers can receive this spirit through prayer.

Although our intuition can fellowship with God, it needs wisdom and revelation. We need wisdom to know what comes from God and what comes from us. We need wisdom to recognize the counterfeits and attacks of the enemy. We need wisdom to deal with people. In numerous matters we surely need God’s wisdom in order not to err. How foolish we are! How hard it is to do everything according to God’s will! God wants to give us wisdom; He does not give it to our mind, but He gives us a spirit of wisdom so that we can have wisdom in our spirit. God wants us to have wisdom through our intuition. He will guide us to the pathway of wisdom through intuition. Our mind may still be foolish, but there is much wisdom in our intuition. It often seems that our wisdom is useless, but inside us there is a gradual feeling which brings wisdom along with it. Wisdom and revelation are tightly connected. This is because all God’s revelations are revelations of wisdom. If we live only according to our nature, we will never be able to fathom anything of God by our thoughts. When we are in our flesh, whatever we have is just darkness. God and the things of God can never be fathomed by our minds. Even when our spirit is alive, we would still live in darkness if we did not have the revelation of the Holy Spirit. When our spirit is alive, there is a possibility for our spirit to receive the revelation of God. It does not mean that the spirit alone can do anything independently.

In our fellowship with God, He often gives us revelation, and we should often ask God for revelation. A spirit of revelation means God’s revelation in spirit. Therefore, the phrase "spirit of wisdom and revelation" merely indicates where God gives us revelation and wisdom. Sudden thoughts are not a spirit of revelation. A spirit of revelation is God’s operation in our spirit to the extent that we know His intention through our intuition. All of the fellowship that we have with God takes place only in our spirit and nowhere else.

Having a spirit of wisdom and revelation gives us "the full knowledge of Him." Only when we receive God’s revelation in our spirit can we really know Him. All other words are superficial, imaginary, shallow, and, therefore, false. We often speak of God’s virtues, including His holiness, righteousness, kindness, love, etc. It seems that through our thoughts alone, we can speak of these virtues and know these virtues of God. But this knowledge is not like seeing through a window; rather, it is like trying to see through a stone wall. When a believer receives God’s revelation of His holiness, he knows that God dwells in the light and is unapproachable by natural and sinful men. He finds out how inferior, dirty, and unclean he is in comparison. There should be many among us who have had this kind of experience. We should make the comparison to see if the holiness of God in our heart which we receive from God’s revelation is the same as the holiness of God which is spoken by men without revelation. The words used may be the same. But for those with revelation, it seems that there is so much more significance to the words that they speak. Their whole being is in their speaking. This is the spirit of revelation we have mentioned. Only by receiving revelation in our spirit do we really know God. It is the same with many doctrines in the Bible. Many times we understand teachings in our mind and know that they are important, but God gradually reveals these words to us in our spirit. Then it seems as if we have a different emphasis when we preach the same words again. Only knowledge that comes from revelation is real knowledge; everything else is just the activity of the mind.

If we seek for many things concerning God outwardly and do not acquire these things through revelation, they do not move us and do not move others. Only the revelation that is in our spirit has any spiritual usefulness. Proper fellowship with God is receiving God’s revelation in our spirit. It is true that God’s revelations are not frequent, but how frequently do we wait and pray for God’s revelation? If we are constantly busy, how can we be guided just by revelation? Actually, if we are willing to give God the opportunity, we will have revelation frequently. The apostle’s living is a testimony to this fact.

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 13: The Spiritual Man (2), Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)