Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to Hebrews 3. This chapter opens in this way: “Wherefore, holy brothers, partakers of a heavenly calling.” I like these two titles—holy brothers and partakers of a heavenly calling. No other book in the New Testament calls us holy brothers. The title holy brothers implies two main points—that we are holy and that we are brothers. We are not only brothers but holy brothers. Do you dare to say that you are a holy brother? The writer of this book could not call us holy brothers until he had covered so many of the qualifications concerning both Christ and us in the first two chapters. By the time he reaches the third chapter, he is able to call us holy brothers. Through His death and resurrection Christ has made us His brothers. Originally, we were sinners, death victims, prisoners, and captives. Praise Him that His death has made propitiation for our sins and has released us from the slavery of death. In His resurrection we were produced as His brothers. So now we can be called holy brothers. In chapter two we see that the brothers brought forth in the Lord’s resurrection are in the process of being sanctified. Therefore, we are holy brothers. We are not merely sinlessly perfect; we are divinely holy.
In 1:9 we see our relationship with God’s anointed One. That verse, which is addressed to Christ, says, “Your God has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy above Your partners.” The King James Version renders the Greek word for partners as “companions.” But a partner is better than a companion. We may be companions without being partners, but if we are partners, we certainly are companions. In God’s economy, Christ is the One whom God has appointed to accomplish His plan, and we are Christ’s partners in the divine interest. He was anointed by God, and we share His anointing for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Christ is the Heir appointed by God, and in 1:9 we see that this appointed Heir has been anointed. The anointing confirms the appointment. Firstly, God appointed the Son and then He anointed Him. As Christ’s partners we all partake of His anointing. We are partners of God’s anointed One and we share His anointing. This is a part of the gospel. It is included in the full gospel. Many people talk about the full gospel. The full gospel includes our partnership with Christ. This wonderful item is included in the full gospel. We all need to see that we are partners of Christ and that we share in His anointing. Because of this, by the time we reach 3:1, we have all that we need to be holy brothers. We have the standing, the qualifications, the reality, the life, the nature, the source, and all that we need. We are now the holy brothers.
If you knew that you were such a holy brother, what would you do? Would you still smoke cigarettes? Whenever I see a brother smoking cigarettes, my whole being goes down. I say to myself, “Oh brother, you have just sold your birthright for a cheaper price than Esau did.” How can a holy brother still smoke cigarettes? Although we have no regulations or legality, we do have our majesty. We are not only holy; we are majestic. Consider our position; we are the brothers of the Firstborn Son of God and we are the partners of God’s anointed One. This is not a small thing. If you were a brother of the president of the United States, you would be very proud and have a certain amount of majesty. But whose brother are you? You are a brother of the Firstborn Son of God and a partner of God’s anointed One for the fulfilling of God’s plan. Smoking is an insult to God’s anointed One. Yes, the Bible never says that you should not smoke, and the New Testament is not a book of laws but a book of holy brothers. Nevertheless, I believe that if the Lord would open your eyes and impress you with this marvelous item in the full gospel, you would be another person. You would be more than open for our High Priest to minister Himself into you. This would change your taste. Never again would cigarettes be tasteful to you.
Such a vision would change our preaching of the gospel. Today the preaching of the gospel is too low. As we preach the gospel, we should not only tell people that they are sinners, that they are condemned, and that they are going to perish. We have to preach the gospel in a much higher way, telling people that God is calling them to believe in His Firstborn Son that they might become His brothers, even His partners in fulfilling God’s eternal plan.
There is the need for such preaching today. I hope that some of the young brothers will be burdened to do this kind of preaching. I do not want to hear the preaching of the gospel with the same old tune that tells people that they are sinners and are going to hell. This is not wrong, but it is too low. We need to preach the gospel from Hebrews 3:1, telling the sinners how they can be converted and transformed into holy brothers. If the young people preach this gospel, many of their schoolmates will be attracted.
More than thirty-nine years ago, when I was still young, I stayed for a while in Peking, the old capital of China. In Peking there was an outstanding hospital that was sponsored and supplied by the Rockefeller Foundation called Peking Union Medical College. It was a great hospital with the highest standard. Many of the nurses who worked in that hospital were caught for the church, and some of the doctors were also caught by the higher preaching of the gospel. They were all on fire. We need this kind of preaching today.
I am burdened because I have seen something higher. I want to see people get something better. We should not preach the gospel in a low way. What is the center, the high point of the gospel? Is it to take a poor sinner, sprinkle some drops of blood on him, and send him to heaven? Do you think that God’s gospel only does this much? No, it is much higher than this. God’s gospel is to make people holy brothers. This is not my concept; it is the concept revealed in the book of Hebrews. In His resurrection, Christ has made all of us His brothers and He has come into us to declare the Father to us. Now, as the Sanctifier, He is qualified to perform the sanctifying work that makes us holy. We are His holy brothers and His partners, sharing His anointing for the fulfilling of God’s plan. Is this not in the Bible? Is it not the good news? The world needs to hear these glad tidings. Many thoughtful people in the leading universities throughout the country are wondering about the meaning of human life. So many are asking themselves, “What is the purpose of life? What will happen after my graduation?” No one in the universities can tell them. We must go and tell them the real meaning of life. Go and tell them that they can be the holy brothers of the Firstborn Son of God. If the Lord delays His coming back, I hope that after a few years this kind of preaching will be prevailing in all the universities in the United States.
The United States, Europe, and all the leading countries need to hear the higher preaching of such a full gospel, the gospel that produces holy brothers of the Firstborn Son of God. If the young people will take up this burden and go to the campuses preaching this gospel, a good number of thoughtful young people will be caught. They will be satisfied. I hope that many of you reading this message will make a deal with the Lord, telling Him that you are willing to be burdened for the preaching of the high gospel. If you are burdened to preach the high gospel, I believe that the Lord will honor your preaching. “Lord, we need more young preachers, more preachers of the fullest gospel!”
Before we go on, I would like to have some fellowship with the young people. I have been fully captured by the Lord and I know what I am doing here. I have seen the vision. In the whole universe there is nothing higher than this. I am doing the most glorious work among the humankind, and you all must do the same thing. This is why I do not care for the department stores—they are too low. I would never trade what I have in my hands for anything in the world. What I have is too high and too glorious. Today’s world needs a crusade with the preaching of the highest and fullest gospel.
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