Practical Lessons on the Experience of Lifeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The soul and spirit must be separated, divided, by the living word of God. James 1:21 says, “Putting away all filthiness and the abundance of malice, receive in meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” The Greek word implanted implies that there is a seed planted in us. God’s word is a living seed planted in us. It is by receiving this implanted word in meekness that our soul is saved. This verse does not say that our spirit is saved in this way. Verse 18 says, “He brought us forth by the word of truth, purposing that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” God has already brought us forth, begotten us, that is, regenerated us, with His word. Regeneration took place in our spirit, but after we are regenerated, we need to be transformed in our soul. In verse 18 the spirit is regenerated, and in verse 21 the soul is saved. After being regenerated, we still need our soul to be saved.
Some may ask what our soul is saved from. Verse 15 of chapter 3 says, “This wisdom is not that which descends from above, but is earthly, soulish, demonic.” This verse uses three adjectives: earthly, soulish, and demonic. This indicates that the soul is earthly and demonic, related to the demons. That is why the soul needs to be saved. Our spirit was deadened and dormant, so our spirit needs to be made alive, regenerated. Our soul, however, is fallen, demon-like, and earthly, so it needs to be saved. I would ask you to keep all these verses in your memory. If you will spend more time to read them and pray about them, the Holy Spirit will give you a clear vision of the inner life.
We all must remember that we are fallen people. To be fallen is not a small matter. The fall was due to Satan; by the fall Satan worked himself into us. Satan was originally outside of us, but by the fall he worked himself into us, and now he is within us. According to Romans 7, something dwells in the sinful body that is powerful and evil (vv. 17-20). This is not just sin but personified Sin, with a capital S. This Sin reigns like a king and has dominion in us. Verse 20 says, “If what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.” This is similar to Galatians 2:20, which says, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2 says that Christ lives in us, but Romans 7 says that Sin dwells in us. Personified Sin is powerful and evilly alive. This is the satanic nature and life, even Satan himself, because by the fall Satan worked himself into human beings.
However, this is not all. The history of the human race is a history of the fall, but one day, after four thousand years of this history, the Lord Jesus came to man. While He was on the earth, He met many people. What was their situation and condition? According to the four Gospels, these persons were both learned and unlearned, strong and weak, but if we have the view of the Spirit, we can see that they all were under the fall. Therefore, the Lord came to save them from the fall. One day while I was considering the record of the Gospels, the Lord showed me that the thousands of people whom the Lord met can be placed into several categories, or classes. One class was the people possessed by demons. This is a matter of the body; people who are possessed by demons are possessed in their body. Another class comprises those whose mind, whose mentality, was taken over by Satan, the evil spirit. Many people whom the Lord met were possessed by demons, but most were taken over by Satan in their minds.
The learned ones—the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, priests, and lawyers—were all very thoughtful, clever people. They were not possessed by demons in their body. However, they were not free or independent. They were taken over by Satan. In what part of their being were they taken over? It was in their mind. Therefore, when John the Baptist came, the first word he proclaimed was “repent.” To repent is to change the mind, or turn the mind. The first step fallen people must take in order to contact God and have a godly, right relationship with Him is to turn their mind.
The situation on the earth is the same today. Almost everyone is either possessed by demons in their body or taken over by Satan in their mind. Many professors, scientists, and holders of doctoral degrees are one hundred percent in the mentality. They think they are the most clever people. They suppose that they are free. They are not superstitious and believe that they have nothing to do with God or with any kind of spirit. However, they are not free. Unconsciously, their mind is taken over by the enemy.
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