THE STRATEGIC POINT
With man the most important part is the spirit because the spirit of man is the center of his being, and this center is the very spot where God comes into man (John 3:6; 2 Tim. 4:22; Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 6:17). This is the strategic point. If we miss this point, we miss the mark. Although electricity has been installed into a building, there is one crucial spot—the switch. The receiver of a radio is the strategic spot where the radio waves come in. In like manner, the very central spot where God comes into man is the spirit of man.
THE SPIRIT OF ALL MANKIND
Job 12:10 mentions the life of every living thing and the breath of all flesh of man. The King James Version says “the breath of all mankind” because the word ruach can mean “breath” as well as “spirit.” Darby’s translation renders it as “the spirit of all flesh of man.” The American Standard Version renders it as “the breath of all mankind” in the text, but in the note it says “our spirit, the spirit of man.”
All the other living things just have a soul; they do not have a spirit. Only we human beings have a spirit. A dog has a soul, but a dog does not have a spirit. A monkey is quite clever because a monkey has a soul, but a monkey does not have a spirit. Have you ever seen some little monkeys put up a shrine with an idol and worship it? Throughout history there has never been such a thing. No animal has ever worshipped something, but all human beings, whether cultured or barbarian, worship something because they have a worshipping spirit. There is a spirit within man that makes him special. A dog does not have this. A cat does not have this. Only we human beings have such a spirit.
Job 12:10 says that in God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath [spirit] of all flesh of man. All the living things have a soul, but we, the human beings, have not only a soul but also a spirit. We are absolutely different. In this matter we totally disagree with Darwin. We are different from the monkeys. The monkeys just have a soul, but we have a spirit.
THE GOD OF THE SPIRITS
In Numbers 16:22 and 27:16 God is the God of the spirits of all flesh. All flesh means fallen mankind. We all became and still are the flesh, but praise the Lord, within the flesh we have a spirit. The Lord God is not the God of the flesh; He is the God of the spirits. So if we are going to know God, to contact God, and to deal with God, if we are going to take God as our life, we have to know our spirit because God is the God of our spirit.
THE SPIRITS OF THE PROPHETS
Revelation 22:6 tells us that the Lord is the God of the spirits of the prophets. In addition, 1 Corinthians 14:32 says, “The spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.” The spirits of prophets refers not to the Holy Spirit, but to the human spirits of the prophets. When I was a young Christian, I was taught that with the prophets of God there is always the need of the Holy Spirit. I was never told that with the prophets of God there is also the human spirit.
On God’s side there is the divine Spirit, the Spirit of God. On our side there is the human spirit. When these two spirits meet one with another, there is a divine “deal.” We have such a divine deal by having God as the divine Spirit and our human spirit meet one with another. In dealing with God, the human spirit is just as important as the divine Spirit. Without the divine Spirit there is no way for us to contact God. In the same principle, without the human spirit there is no means, no organ, for us to contact God.
We all have to know that we have such a spirit. If you are going to be a good medical doctor, you must spend a long time studying the body. If we are going to be proper Christians, we must study the spirit.
In Romans Paul says, “I serve [God] in my spirit” (1:9). The very God whom Paul served, he served in his spirit. Do not think that my spirit is just a New Testament term. Psalm 77:3 says, “I remember God, and I moan; / I complain, and my spirit faints.” Also, verse 6 says, “I remember my song in the night; / I muse with my own heart, and my spirit carefully searches.”
My spirit is not just a New Testament term but also an Old Testament term. When the psalmist remembered God and considered all the troubles, his spirit fainted. He mused with his heart, and his spirit carefully searched. Brothers and sisters, have you ever exercised your spirit? Have you ever used your spirit? Do you have this kind of experience?
(Our Human Spirit, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)