THE WONDERFUL SPIRIT AS THE KEY TO EVERYTHING
We need to see this vision. We need to see that the Triune God, the almighty God, who is Jehovah—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, has become our all and has been wrought into us. Today He is in our spirit. The key to everything is found in this wonderful Spirit who is in our created and regenerated spirit and who has become one spirit with our spirit. This is the key and the starting point. If we do not turn to our spirit and pray out of our spirit, our prayers will be improper. If we do not enter into the mingled spirit and love others out of the mingled spirit, our love will be worthless. Anything that is not of the spirit is of the flesh and will not yield the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of life will not confirm anything that is of the flesh.
We should forget about old religion. Having morning watch is worthless and praying is useless if we are not in the spirit. It is possible that our prayers have been in cooperation with Satan, that our morning watch has been infiltrated by Satan, and that even our service as an elder has been for Satan. This is not to say that we have brought idols into the church or have brought the brothers into sin. On the contrary, we may be very pious and diligent in leading the saints to have morning watch, to endeavor in this practice, and to endeavor in reading the Word. However, we may not realize that Satan has infiltrated all these things. There is only one place that Satan cannot invade—our spirit.
May the Lord be merciful to every one of us and grant us the heavenly vision. Do not think that merely being zealous and serving God is sufficient. Saul of Tarsus was also zealous and also served God, yet he was under the authority of Satan. His service to God, his zeal, and his keeping of the law were all under Satan’s authority. Can we say that our zeal, our having morning watch, and our endeavoring in doing many things are not under Satan’s authority? Whether or not we are under Satan’s authority is not determined by the things we do. Rather, it is determined by whether we are in the spirit or in the flesh. Do we have morning watch in our natural being or in our spirit? If we have morning watch in our natural being, then even though we may rise at 5:30 A.M., our morning watch can be utilized by Satan. However, if we have morning watch in the spirit, there will be a different flavor.
We need to turn to our spirit. Being holy, victorious, or freed from sin is not what matters. The only thing that matters is that we live in the spirit where the Lord dwells.
CARING FOR NOTHING OTHER THAN LIVING IN THE SPIRIT
In the history of Christianity there have been many doctrinal teachings on matters such as bearing the cross, dealing with the flesh, pursuing holiness, living a victorious life, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. However, if we calmly and objectively read through the New Testament, then we would see that the crucial point of the New Testament is ultimately to be in the spirit. The book of Romans presents a general outline of the Christian life and the church life. Although chapter six mentions the cross, chapter six is not the end of the book. Chapter eight repeatedly mentions the spirit. Chapter six directly refers to the cross only once (v. 6), but chapter eight mentions the spirit over twenty times. Galatians also mentions the cross. However, Galatians also says, “Walk by the Spirit and you shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh” (5:16). If we attempt to deal with the flesh and crucify it while neglecting to be in the spirit, then the more we try to crucify the flesh, the more alive it will become. It is clear from Galatians that if we walk in the Spirit, we shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh. If we walk by the Spirit, we will be crucified without trying to be crucified, and we will be holy without trying to be holy. We will be victorious without trying to be victorious, we will love others without trying to love them, and we will have light without trying to obtain it. This is possible because the all-inclusive Spirit dwells in our spirit and has become one spirit with our spirit.
Today we all need to see this heavenly vision. If we see this, we will no longer care about being holy, being victorious, bearing the cross, and various other matters. We will care only to live in the spirit. In addition, if we live by the spirit, we should also walk by the spirit. As long as we walk in the spirit, nothing is impossible. However, if we do not walk in the spirit and try to crucify ourselves by exercising our will, then the more we try to crucify ourselves, the more alive we will be. If we practice dealing with the world by ourselves, then the more we try, the more we will love the world.
We should look to the Lord to have mercy on us and to open our eyes that we may see a heavenly vision. We need to see that the great God—Jehovah, the One who is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and who is also the Lord Jesus, the Redeemer, the Creator, and the Holy Spirit—is the all-inclusive Spirit who dwells in our spirit and is being mingled with our spirit as one spirit. This is where we should live and walk today. This should not be our performance but our daily living. We should live our daily life in the spirit. We should not be concerned with knowing what humility is or what love is. Neither should we be concerned with knowing what patience is, what submission is, what zeal is, what worship is, or what prayer is. We should not be concerned with anything other than living in the spirit. We should walk in the spirit day by day, simply being in harmony with our Lord and one with Him in the spirit. We should have our life, nature, living, and walk with our Lord. We do not need to know what prayer is or what to pray about. We do not need to know what gospel preaching is or what kind of gospel to preach. We do not need to know what it means to love our wife or to submit to our husband. Neither do we need to know what it means to be humble or patient. All these words and phrases are expressions used by moralists. The only thing we need to know is that the God and Savior whom we love is the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit who is dwelling in our spirit and has become one spirit with our spirit. We are joined to Him, and He is our life, our living, and our walk. He and we are one.
HAVING EVERYTHING BY LIVING IN THE SPIRIT
If the Lord is merciful to open your eyes and show you this matter, your entire Christian life will have a great turn. We should all read the Bible again. Ultimately, the entire Bible requires only one thing of us—to walk according to the mingled spirit, which is the all-inclusive Spirit mingled with our regenerated spirit. First Corinthians 6:17 tells us, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” If our disposition is manifested, this proves that we are not in spirit. If we criticize and judge carelessly, this also proves that we are not in spirit. If we gossip freely, always hold on to our opinions, or insist on our views, then we are not in spirit. If we insist on having morning watch while others are not having morning watch, we are not in spirit. Then what does it mean to be in spirit? To be in spirit is simply to be in spirit, and to not be in spirit is simply to not be in spirit. We need to see that the reality of all spiritual things is in the spirit. The church itself is in the spirit, the building of the church is in the spirit, and the eternal testimony of the church is in the spirit. This is the hinge, the secret, and the key to our Christian life and our church life.
In the New Testament nearly no other item is mentioned more than the spirit. The New Testament speaks of the Spirit and the Spirit of life. It also mentions our regenerated spirit, and even more, it speaks of the spirit that is the mingling of the Spirit with our spirit. The New Testament repeatedly refers to this spirit. Nearly every book speaks about this spirit. Revelation, the last book of the Bible, especially shows us that we need to be in this spirit (1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10). We must see that today in the church we also need to emphasize the spirit. The more we speak about other things, the more deadened and empty we will be, and the more others will not want to listen. The age we are in today is the age of the spirit, an age in which there is the flow of the spirit.
May the Lord be merciful to us that our eyes may be opened to see the spirit. I have seen many different things in Christianity. I was with the Brethren assembly for seven and a half years, I have been with the Pentecostal movement, and I have been in the line of the inner life. I know with assurance that there is no other way besides this. This is the Lord’s way today. Only in the spirit can we enter into the riches of the Lord, and only in the spirit can we be delivered from everything outside of the Lord. May the Lord have mercy on us that we would all see this spirit.
(Living in the Spirit, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)