THINGS OPPOSING GOD’S EXPRESSION
Today four negative things oppose God’s expression: human culture, religion, ethics, and tradition. God created man to enjoy Him. God was man’s portion, but in the fall man fell away from God and lost God, so man turned to his own invention, human culture. Humanly speaking, culture is not bad, yet it is a replacement of God. God should be everything to man—his pleasure, his satisfaction, his protection. But man lost God, and man turned away from God to something else, human culture. Then in human culture, man discovered that he needs God. So in the human culture another item was invented, religion. In human culture there is an invention concerning the worship of God. As long as you are in the human race you worship something. Man was created to worship God. Whether people worship rightly or wrongly they have the need to worship something. This was discovered by human culture, and the invention of religion came in.
Furthermore, man likes to be right and to be good because God created something in man’s nature that is good. Of course, according to our fallen nature, there is another tendency to do evil things, but according to God’s created nature there is a tendency to do good. So through all the generations ethics and morality have been promoted. In China, Confucius was the greatest promoter of ethics.
From the culture, religion, and ethics a lot of tradition came out. Many of the traditions are not bad. But all these things—culture, religion, ethics, and tradition—are four layers upon your eyes to veil you from seeing Christ as God’s expression. It is hard to convince the Chinese people to believe in Christ because Confucius’ ethical teachings have become a thick veil upon the Chinese eyes. Likewise, the Jewish religion has become a thick veil preventing the Jews from believing in the Lord Jesus. They consider that they have the typical religion, a religion founded by Moses according to the Holy Scriptures. When the Lord Jesus was on the earth, for the last three and a half years He was opposed by the Jews mainly due to Judaism. By reading John 9 you can realize that the Pharisees thought of themselves as disciples of Moses. They had their inherited religion which was so typical, so right, and so holy, yet the Lord Jesus indicated that they were blind (vv. 39-41). Judaism had become a thick veil to them.
Today if you talk to people who are in the Catholic Church you will realize that Catholicism is a thick veil upon their eyes. One brother who was an altar boy in the Catholic Church got saved while he was in high school. He was so happy, and he went back to tell his parents and grandparents that he had the Lord Jesus. They pointed to the pictures of Jesus on their walls and told him that they had had Jesus for generations. They had Jesus in the kitchen. They had Jesus in the bedroom. They had Jesus everywhere, but not within them! Surely Jesus does not like to be hung upon the wall or carved or painted. The Lord Jesus wants to be within you, in your spirit. The Lord Jesus is not an idol, nor is He an image. The Lord Jesus today is on the throne in the heavens as the Lord of all and as the Head over all things, yet at the same time He is a living Spirit who can enter into our spirit.
(Concerning the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)