Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the past ten messages we have seen clearly from the holy Word that God's eternal purpose is to express Himself through man and to commit His authority to man that man may exercise His dominion on the earth. We have also seen that God's way to fulfill His purpose is by life. As the first step in the accomplishment of His purpose, God created mankind in a very specific way, forming them as vessels to contain Himself, not as instruments to work for Him. Romans 9 declares definitely that God made man out of clay as vessels of mercy unto honor and glory to contain God Himself. Thus, God created man with a special organthe human spirit. We should never forget Zechariah 12:1 which says that God stretched forth the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him. In this universe three things are necessary for the fulfillment of God's purpose: the heavens, the earth, and the spirit of man. Our spirit is extremely important; it is just as vital for the accomplishment of God's purpose as are the heavens and the earth. Although the spirit of man is not spacious as the heavens or large as the earth, it is nevertheless the most crucial aspect of our being.
Job 32:8 says, "There is a spirit in man." Everyone knows that man has a heart, mind, will, and conscience, but few people realize that man has a spirit. By this we do not mean the Holy Spirit of God; we refer to the human spirit of man. We have such an organ created by God.
Consider the organs of our physical body: we have hearing organs, seeing organs, smelling, tasting, and touching organs. With my eyes I can see many different colors. If I were blind, I would be unable to substantiate the existence of these colors. Although colors would continue to exist, I would have no way to substantiate them, for a certain object can only be substantiated by the organ specifically designed for that purpose. As I am speaking, your ears substantiate the sound of my voice. If you had no ears, it would seem as if my voice did not exist. The same is true for our sense of smell. Although there may be a fragrant aroma in this room, we need the sense of smell to substantiate it.
God has not only created our physical organs, but also our psychological organs. How can we verify the existence of thought? We substantiate thought by the function of our mind. Likewise, by the emotional organ of joy in our soul, we can sense happiness. We substantiate the existence of thought and joy by the appropriate psychological organs in our soul.
In addition to our physical and psychological organs, God has created a spiritual organthe human spirit. Although it is difficult to understand our spirit, we can know something about it through the function of our conscience. Although few people understand the human spirit, everybody knows the meaning of conscience. According to the Bible, the conscience is the main organ of our human spirit. Where is our conscience located? It is not easy to determine. In fact, it is also difficult to locate our emotion, mind, and heart. Actually, we have two hearts, a physical heart and a psychological heart. It is easy to locate our physical heart, but difficult to find our psychological heart. We cannot deny that we have such a heart, but we are unable to locate it. The same is true for our conscience. Although we are unable to locate it, we know it exists because it constantly accuses or excuses us. Our conscience continually protests against our reasoning and our emotions. For example, some young people in school are tempted to steal when they think of others as being rich and having everything and of themselves as poor. Thus, they decide to steal from others, making some flimsy excuse to justify their action. The mind agrees, the emotions approve, and the will decides. However, as the young person is about to steal something, his conscience protests, "Don't do this; it is not right." Even if he should ignore the feeling of his conscience and steal something, the voice of his conscience will condemn him for many days. This inner voice is not from the mind, emotion, or heart; it is from the conscience, and the conscience is the main part of our spirit.
Now we must relate this to a very important matter about God. What is God? God is a spiritual substance. In John 4:24 Jesus says that God is Spirit. This table next to me is made of wood; wood is its substance. Likewise, God is Spirit; the substance of the divine being of God is Spirit. The organ by which we can substantiate such a divine being is our human spirit. If we try to experience God without exercising our spirit, it will be like attempting to substantiate colors without exercising our sight. If we use the wrong organ, it is impossible to substantiate God. We praise God that in His creation He formed a spirit within us. Since we were made as vessels to contain God, we do need our spirit as the proper receiver.
The receiver in our physical body is our stomach. If we had a mouth without a stomach, it would be impossible to receive food for the supply of the whole body. The stomach is not only a receiver but also a digestive organ which assimilates food and dispenses it into the blood cells. Eventually, the substance of the digested and assimilated food becomes our very organic tissues. God has the intention of dispensing Himself into us. How can He do this? He does it by being food to us. The Lord Jesus Himself told us that He came as the bread of life (John 6:35). He also said, "He who eats Me shall also live because of Me" (John 6:57). This means that Jesus is not only our Savior, Redeemer, and life, but also our life supply. He is the bread of life. God desires to dispense Himself into us by being food for us to receive. What organ do we use to take God into us? Our human spirit.
We need to pray. Praying is not simply asking God to do things for us. This understanding of prayer is too shallow. Prayer is breathing. Whenever we pray, "O Father in heaven," or call, "O Lord Jesus," that is breathing. As we breathe, we take breath into us. Likewise, whenever we pray to God by exercising our spirit, we receive His divine being into our spirit. Within our spirit we contain Him and, in a sense, we assimilate Him and dispense His divine elements into our whole being. In this way God comes into us as life. As human beings, we were made by God in a very specific manner: we were made as vessels with a receiver, our human spirit. This was the first step God took to accomplish His purpose.
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