Life-Study of Deuteronomyby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The nine crucial points in the book of Deuteronomy covered in the foregoing message reveal three persons: God, man, and Christ as the word. In these nine points God is manifested, man is exposed, and Christ is presented.
According to this book, with God there are love, righteousness, faithfulness, and blessing. God has a heart, hands, a mouth, and eyes. God's heart is loving, His hands are righteous, and His mouth is faithful. Whatever proceeds out of the mouth of God will be fulfilled. God's eyes are either for blessing or for cursing. This is the God revealed not only in Deuteronomy but throughout the entire Bible.
Concerning man, Deuteronomy reveals that man is nothing. We are nothing, we have nothing, and we can do nothing. How, then, could the loving, righteous, faithful, and blessing God expect that we could do something for Him? God does not have such an expectation. As the wise God, He knows that we love ourselves and that we are righteous in our own careless way and for our own benefit. If we think something is for us, we may practice it. This is our kind of righteousness. Furthermore, if we are faithful, we are faithful only in our own interests. Finally, instead of blessing others or giving to others, we like to receive. Therefore, it would be ridiculous to think that this kind of person can carry out God's eternal purpose or fulfill His economy.
The crucial points of the book of Deuteronomy are also the crucial points of Paul's epistles. Paul's writings also manifest God as the One who is loving, righteous, and faithful and as the God of blessing. Moreover, Paul's writings reveal that in ourselves we are nothing.
If Deuteronomy only revealed God as the loving, righteous, faithful, and blessing One and us as those who are nothing, have nothing, and can do nothing, our situation would be hopeless. Deuteronomy, however, also reveals Christ as the word. We cannot do anything for God, but we can receive the word as our life and life supply.
The loving, righteous, faithful, and blessing God does not want us to do something for Him. He knows that we are nothing, that we have nothing, and that we can do nothing. His economy, His way, is not to allow us to do something by ourselves but to have us do everything with Christ, by Christ, through Christ, and in Christ. Christ is our life and life supply; therefore, daily we need to feed on Him. Christ is also our faithfulness and the body, the substance, of all our necessities (Col. 2:17). For our supply, Christ is the word, and continually we need to contact Him in the Word and by the Word.
Do you know what the Bible is? The Bible is not merely a book of history, stories, and teachings. The Bible is the embodiment of Christ. Whatever Christ is and has and whatever Christ has done, is doing, will do, and can do are embodied in the Bible. To read the Bible, therefore, is to participate in Christ. Since the Bible is God's breath, God's exhaling, the best way to study the Bible is to breathe it, to inhale it. Let us learn to inhale the breath of the Triune God in the holy Word!
We should not think that the word is distant, and we should not ask who will ascend to heaven to bring the word down or who will go across the sea to bring the word to us (Deut. 30:11-13; Rom. 10:6-7). The word is very nearit is in our mouth and in our heart (Deut. 30:14; Rom. 10:8).
Christ as the word has already come down in His incarnation, and He has already come out of the abyss, out of Hades, in His resurrection. In resurrection He has become the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) as the breath for us to breathe. This means that He is not only the word but also the Spirit. When we receive His word, we receive the Spirit, for the words He speaks to us are spirit and life (John 6:63).
Learn to inhale the breath of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. If we breathe the processed Triune God, the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Spirit will be with us (2 Cor. 13:14).
When we take the word by inhaling the Bible, we will be able to do in Christ what we cannot do in ourselves. Consider what Paul says in the book of Philippians, which is a deuteronomy, a respeaking, of Moses' words. In Philippians 4:13 Paul could declare, "I can do all things in Him who empowers me." These "things" are itemized in verse 8, where Paul says, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is righteous, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is well-spoken of, if there is any virtue and if any praise, take account of these things." Before Paul was in Christ, he could not do any of these things. But in Christ, the One who empowered him, he could do them all. This can also be our experience today. If we would have this experience, we need to enjoy the Divine Trinity by inhaling the Bible, the embodiment of Christ.
Now that we have seen that the crucial points in Deuteronomy manifest God, expose man, and present Christ, let us go on to consider the matter of the review of the past.
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