Christ versus Religionby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
At the end of both Matthew and John we see a further matter which is quite significant. At the end of Matthew, Jesus met with His disciples in a place appointed by Him, a mountaintop. Mountains in the Bible always signify something higher with authority for God’s kingdom. This is why the Lord Jesus, on the mountain appointed by Him, told His disciples that all authority both in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. In so saying, He passed on this authority to His disciples and said unto them, “Go therefore.” The word therefore means that the authority which has been given to Him has now been given to us, and with this authority we are told to go and disciple the nations. This is not merely the preaching of the gospel but an exercise and execution of the authority given to the Lord Jesus both in heaven and on earth. It is not the propagating of a low-standard gospel, delivering people from hell and bringing them to heaven, but a discipling of the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Triune God. Many times while referring to certain people, we say, “They have the name, but they do not have the reality.” In our human concept we separate the name from the reality. But in the Bible the name is the reality. To baptize people into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit means to baptize them into the reality of the Triune God. That is our commission. We must disciple the heathen (the word nations can be translated “heathen”) and put them into the reality of the all-inclusive God. The issue then will eventually be the kingdom of the heavens; and in the kingdom, as priests, we must teach them to observe all that He has commanded us—this is to teach them how to be citizens of the heavenly kingdom. Then the Lord Jesus says in effect that since the kingdom of the heavens is among us, He will be with us all the days until the consummation of the age.
The risen Christ today is on this earth in a way to commission us with His authority, that we may bear the responsibility to disciple the heathen and put them into the reality of the Triune God. Thus, the kingdom of the heavens is established on this earth. Then we have the assurance that this Jesus, this God-man, this Redeemer, this risen One, this all-inclusive Christ, is with us.
You see how far removed this is from religion. Do you really believe that such a Christ is with you today? If so, you will be more than excited and burdened with His commission. We all need to be beside ourselves with this—so much so that we can go into the streets and lay hold of people, telling them, “Friends, you must realize that Jesus is with me, the resurrected Christ is with me, the Christ who holds all authority both in heaven and on earth.” Have you ever been so crazy? I am afraid that you are too religious and dumb. If you have Christ with you, how can you be so silent?
In Matthew 28 it was the disciples who preceded the Lord Jesus to the mountain. “The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus directed them” (v. 16). They went to the mountain where the Lord Jesus had directed them, and eventually the Lord came. It was not the Lord who was waiting for them, but they who were waiting for the Lord. They were really high at that time.
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