Christ versus Religionby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Following the Lord’s reference to Jonah, He spoke of Solomon. According to historical sequence, Solomon preceded Jonah. But here, according to spiritual sequence, Jonah precedes Solomon. What Jonah typifies of the Lord Jesus comes first; what Solomon typifies of the Lord Jesus follows. Jonah typifies Christ as the resurrected One; Solomon typifies Christ as the One in resurrection with wisdom to accomplish God’s eternal purpose, to build up God’s house, the temple, and to rule over God’s kingdom. Our Christ is first today’s Jonah and second today’s Solomon. He is the resurrected One, and He is the One in resurrection with wisdom to build God’s house and rule over God’s kingdom, thus accomplishing God’s economy. What we need is not signs or miraculous things, but the resurrected Christ as our resurrection life to build up God’s house, to fulfill God’s purpose, and to accomplish God’s economy.
I am really happy with the Lord’s grace shown in the church in Los Angeles. Some dear ones have come to our meetings and after staying for some time have made the following comment: “It is really strange—you people do not speak in tongues, yet your meetings are more living than the meetings of those who speak in tongues.” They never believed that people who do not speak in tongues could have such living meetings. One dear one who made such an observation in Los Angeles also made the same observation in the church in Houston. “Even we who speak in tongues,” he said, “do not have such meetings.” The Lord Jesus never cares for any forms, ways, or traditions—the Lord Jesus only cares for Himself.
Now the age of the doctrines and gifts is over. We do not mean that today we do not have the doctrines or the gifts. We all know that the Lord’s recovery began with Martin Luther. The unique item of the Lord’s recovery at that time was the matter of justification by faith. We can say now—and I believe we are all clear concerning this—that the age of the recovery of justification by faith is over. This does not mean that we do not need justification by faith. Following Martin Luther, the matter of sanctification by faith was also recovered. If you read the history of the Lord’s recovery, you will realize that at a certain period many of the Lord’s servants, including John Wesley, paid their full attention to the matter of holiness. The matter of sanctification, or holiness, was fully recovered. A little later, the matter of the inner life was also recovered. These are all various stages or ages of the Lord’s recovery. The first stage of His recovery was that of justification by faith. This was followed by item after item, age after age. It was at the end of the last century and the beginning of this century that the Pentecostal experience was also recovered. It is difficult to trace its origin: some say it began with the Welsh revival in 1903 and 1904; others say it began earlier than this. In any case, the Lord accomplished a definite recovery through the so-called Pentecostal movement. To some, the term Pentecostal does not have a good connotation. But it is a scriptural term, a good term; it is something of the Lord’s recovery. In that recovery there were undoubtedly many genuine miraculous manifestations. But we all must realize that just as the stage of justification by faith is over, so also is the age of the recovery of the Pentecostal movement over. This does not mean, however, that we do not need the Pentecostal experience or the things related to it. What we mean is that the Lord is going on to accomplish a further recovery—a recovery of Christ, the Spirit, and the church life. This is the age of such a recovery.
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