Life-Study of Galatiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The most crucial and mysterious matter revealed in the Bible is that God’s ultimate intention is to work Himself into His chosen people. God’s desire to work Himself into our being is the focal point of the divine revelation in the Scriptures. Because this matter is so mysterious, it is hidden in the Scriptures, although it is not altogether hidden. On the one hand, it is indeed a mystery; on the other hand, it is a mystery that has been revealed in the Bible.
Throughout the centuries, Christians have not seen this matter clearly. Most readers of the Bible have paid their attention to many things other than this crucial and mysterious point in the divine revelation. We admit that it is not easy to see this crucial point in the Bible. Just as a person’s physical life is mysterious and hidden within him, so it is with the matter of God’s intention to work Himself into His chosen people. It is hidden in the Word. Life is the most vital element in a person’s being. But who can analyze it or adequately explain it? With the Bible, as with a human being, there are many things that are outward and easily identified. But there is also a hidden element, which we may call the life factor in the Scriptures. We may say that this life factor is Christ or the Spirit. However, the life factor in the Bible is actually God’s intention to work Himself into us. This is the kernel of the Bible.
Many theologians and Bible teachers have not seen the kernel of the Bible. In their writings they speak of many other things, but they do not mention this basic life factor. They have not pointed out definitely and particularly that according to the divine revelation in the Bible, God’s intention is to work Himself into us. This is the reason that in the Lord’s recovery we have given message after message on this point. Even after hundreds of messages have been given on the subject of God’s intention, I still do not have the confidence that all the saints have an adequate understanding of it or that they have all truly seen it. I can testify that the vision of God’s eternal intention has never been more clear to me than it is now. Throughout the years, this vision has become crystal clear. God’s intention truly is to work Himself into us.
God has given us two great gifts by which He works Himself into us—the Spirit and the Word. These gifts are actually God Himself. God is the Spirit, and God is also the Word. The Gospel of John is a book which clearly reveals God, the Spirit, and the Word. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” According to John 1:14, the Word, God Himself, became flesh. Eventually, this incarnate Word was crucified, and after His resurrection He, the last Adam, became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). The Gospel of John also links the Word to the Spirit. “It is the Spirit Who gives life,” the Lord Jesus said in John 6:63, and, “the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life.” God is life, the Spirit is life, and the Word is life. According to the Gospel of John, these three are one. God is the Word, the Word is the Spirit, and the Spirit is God.
If you consider church history, you will see that throughout the centuries two great tragedies have taken place, one related to the Word and the other related to the Spirit. God’s intention is that the Bible be used to impart Himself as life into His chosen people. But many Christian teachers have neglected this proper use of the Bible and have taken the Bible only as a book of knowledge, not as a book of life for the divine impartation. Different opinions and interpretations of the Bible have led to controversy and debate. Many of these debates have been centered on Christology, the theological study of Christ’s Person. In their argument about the Person of Christ, some of the great teachers, including certain church fathers, neglected the living Person of Christ. They paid more attention to Christology than to Christ Himself. God’s intention is that the Bible should be the tree of life, but in their use of the Bible, certain teachers turned it into the tree of knowledge. First they brought themselves into death, and then they spread death in the church.
Today there is still controversy among Christians about many matters in the Bible. Take baptism as an example. Who can count how many divisions have been caused by differing opinions about baptism? There has been argument about the kind of water used, about the way people are put into the water, and about the name in which people are baptized. What a tragedy that the Word has been used in such a way as to become a factor of division! It has been used to divide Christians into thousands of groups. However, the Bible itself is not to blame for this. The blame rests with those who pay attention to knowledge, but neglect the living Person.
The second tragedy to occur in the history of the church concerns the Spirit. Concerning the Bible and its interpretation, there has been division, whereas concerning the Spirit there has been confusion. Because of this confusion, many fundamental Christians do not even want to hear about the Spirit. Some are actually frightened by any mention of the Spirit, regarding the Spirit as something too mysterious to talk about. What a tragedy is this neglect of the Spirit!
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