Christ versus Religionby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The Lord Jesus was so simple. Concerning the work of the Lord, He said simply, “Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” That is all. Our work must be like this. We must simplify our work as much as possible. We must focus in our work upon this one point—putting people into the Triune God. This is the meaning of the word baptize. It means to put people into something. To baptize them with water means to put them into the water. Likewise, what we must do today is simply to put people into the Triune God. Our work today should be so simple. Regardless of what teaching or message we use, as long as people are put into the Triune God, that is quite sufficient. Christianity performs a multitude of activities, but they keep people outside of God. They speak about the Triune God, but the end product is that people never get into Him. Our job today is just to bring people into God, to put people into God.
This conference was so short because the Lord’s presence was with them. He said, “Behold, I am with you all the days.” There was no need for Him to tell them so many things. Whatever they needed the next day, He would let them know. Whatever they needed the day after that, He would also let them know. Whatever they needed in the first century, He was with them to tell them, and whatever they needed in the second century, He was also with them to tell them. There was no need for Him to dictate many things in detail. His presence is everything. He said to them in effect, “My authority is better than money, and My presence is better than all kinds of creeds and regulations.”
Many people in the past have asked us concerning two things. One is the matter of money. “In what way do you raise funds? Please tell us the secret. Do you have someone backing you in your work? Are there some millionaires supporting you?” I have replied, “We have many backing us—many poor people. We have very few who are rich.” When they insist on knowing where the money comes from, I can only answer, “You don’t know, and I don’t know either. I never learned how to raise money. We never even talk about it.” Then they speak about the second matter: “We know that you don’t have any organization, but you must have some kind of regulations and rules. What are they?” But the fact is we do not have any regulations and rules. These two things are in the religious mind all the time—how to raise money, and how to formulate a creed in writing. But here the Lord Jesus also mentions two things: (1) All authority has been given to Him. We must go forth with His authority. (2) He is with us all the days until the consummation of this age. That is sufficient. What we have today are: (1) the authority of Jesus, and (2) the presence of Jesus. Hallelujah! We do not have financial resources, and we do not have creeds, but we have something much better—the Lord’s authority and the Lord’s very presence.
I want to tell you today that I appreciate the presence of the Lord Jesus much more than the Bible. In the early years after I was saved, I cannot tell you how much I loved my Bible. I loved that book dearly, but I must honestly say that at that time I had little appreciation of the Lord’s presence. I appreciated His Word, the Bible, but I did not so greatly appreciate His presence. I must tell you that today I still appreciate the Bible. In fact, I must say that I appreciate it even more than I did in those first seven years. But I appreciate much more the living presence of the living Lord. He said, “Behold, I am with you all the days.” That is good enough. That is wonderfully sufficient. What else could we want? What else do we need but the authority of the Lord and the presence of the living Christ?
In the new move of the Lord in this new age, there is no regulation, organization, or creed. Forget about that. The Lord never even said that we must keep all the commandments of the Old Testament. He only said that we must teach the people what He has commanded us in a living way. We must say again that in this new age with the Lord’s new move, there is no need of any kind of organization, system, or regulation. What we need is altogether dependent upon the Lord’s presence. “Behold, I am with you all the days.”
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