Living in the Spirit, by Witness Lee


If we would read the last section of 1 John chapter five again, we would understand its real significance. Verse 18 says, “We know that everyone who is begotten of God does not sin, but he who has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the evil one does not touch him.” Everyone who is begotten of God refers not to the entire being of a regenerated believer but to his regenerated spirit. In this entire universe God has drawn a line around one thing—our spirit. I am convinced that God has done such a thing. God has set a limit for Satan, saying, “Satan, this is off limits to you! Do not transgress this boundary!”

We can see this principle in the book of Job. God permitted Satan to do this and that, yet He also set a boundary and forbade Satan from going beyond it. If we would carefully read the New Testament and also check with our experience, we would see that God has indeed drawn a boundary. The evil one cannot touch man’s regenerated spirit. First John states very clearly that “he who has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the evil one does not touch him.” As long as we remain in our regenerated spirit, we will be kept, and Satan will have no way in us. This does not mean that Satan will not try to use any of his schemes. On the contrary, he will try every possible way, but in the end he will have no way. Therefore, once we get into our spirit, we can say, “Satan, think of another way! Do you have any other ways?” Then Satan would say, “I have lost. I have exhausted all my ways. I would have a way if you were in your soul. I would have a way if you were in your mind. I would have many ways if you were in your flesh. But once you turn to your spirit, I have no way. I cannot harm you. I cannot touch you.”

Verse 19 says, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the evil one.” The whole world is like a fish lying on a chopping block, about to be cut up by the chef as he wishes. Only our regenerated spirit is not under Satan’s hand. Besides this, everything else, including our flesh, our mind, our emotion, and our will, are all under Satan’s hand.

Verse 20 says, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we might know Him who is true.” Him who is true refers to the Triune God, the all-inclusive Christ, and the all-inclusive Spirit. To know this One is to have real understanding. Although the professors and the people with doctorate degrees have the knowledge in the world, many will not come to receive the Lord Jesus. Thus, they do not have the real understanding. We, however, have the real understanding. Verse 20 continues, “We are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” Notice that this verse does not say, “He is.” It says, “This is.” The word this refers to this particular matter, circumstance, or situation, which is the true God and eternal life. There is only one thing in the whole universe that is real—the real God and eternal life.

(Living in the Spirit, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)