V. TOGETHER WITH CHRIST, DEALING WITH THE ENEMY
Another issue of one who is full of the stature of Christ is that of dealing, together with Christ, with the enemy. To deal with the enemy is to fight the warfare. However, we should not use the term “warfare” here, because it does not convey the meaning of full maturity in life. When we are really full of the stature of Christ and our life has attained unto full maturity, our spiritual warfare is over. Then we are seated far above all in a victorious position and need only to deal with the enemy.
It was in the same process that the Lord Jesus fought the battle. From the time of His temptation at the beginning of His ministry, He continually fought with Satan. But when He ascended to the throne, He ceased fighting. Nevertheless, He continues to deal with the enemy, until eventually he will be subdued beneath His feet and become His footstool (Heb. 1:13). When we attain to the stage of dealing, together with Christ, with the enemy, it is proof that our life has attained to its highest peak.
For a victorious one, there is no need to fight. All he needs to do is to be situated in a certain place; then all the robbers and prowlers will disappear completely, daring no more to act foolishly or do evil. His awe-inspiring reputation has been gained through much warfare in the past. This example explains the principle of Christ in dealing with the enemy. If neither Christ nor His name were in this universe today, imagine how much more violent Satan would be! It is simply because Christ is dealing with the enemy today that wherever the name of Christ is lifted up, the enemy flees and the power of darkness vanishes.
Sometimes we see the same condition in the church or in the work. As long as there are one or more who have a deeper life, trouble can hardly arise in the church or in the work. Once those persons leave, however, many problems arise. This is because they are in authority dealing, together with Christ, with the enemy. Their presence there subdues the enemy. It is as if there were no need for dealing, but in reality their presence is the dealing. Therefore, dealing with the enemy is superior to fighting the warfare.
When the life of a Christian reaches this stage, every part of his being comes to maturity. He is waiting to be raptured to enter into glory with Christ. The Bible uses the reaping of the harvest to illustrate the rapture of the saints. When the harvest is ripe, it is ready to be reaped. Therefore, we should not view the matter of rapture merely as prophecy. Rapture is a matter of life. As the life of the church or the life of the saints grows and matures continuously in Christ, at a certain stage it becomes fully ripened and, in the sight of the Lord, is ready to be reaped from the field of the world into the barn of heaven. This occurs at the time of the Lord’s return, the time of the rapture of the church (Rev. 14). When we are raptured, we will be brought by the Lord into His glory to enjoy the glory with Him. Thus, the purpose of God’s salvation is fulfilled.
Therefore, when the life experience of a Christian attains to the full stature of Christ, it has reached the climax. He shares the same position with Christ, and he reigns and deals with the enemy together with Christ. His whole being is filled with the element of Christ. Aside from the fact that the body has not yet been transfigured into the body of glory, all else has reached its highest or final point. The life experience of a saint in Christ thus comes to a conclusion. Other than waiting to be raptured and entering into glory, there is nothing else left to be desired.
(The Experience of Life, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)