Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the last message we said that our Christ is subjectively objective. What does this mean? This is a very exciting matter. One night, in 1968, a brother said to me, “Brother Lee, in the whole U.S.A., the preachers, pastors, and ministers have been telling people for years to look to the Lord who is in heaven. But since coming to this country, you have been telling people to turn to their spirit to meet with the Lord. This is absolutely different. It seems that there are two directions.” Yes, there are undoubtedly these two directions. As we pointed out in the last message, the Lord today is no longer here on earth but is on the throne in heaven. There is no doubt about this. But if the Lord were only on the throne in heaven, how could the people on earth have Him as their life? If He were only in heaven, He would be too far away from us for us to have Him as our life and our daily life supply. How can the Lord, who is in fact objective, become subjective to us in our daily life? This is the problem.
The secret to the answer to this question is in the book of Hebrews. This secret in the book of Hebrews is in 4:12, which speaks of the dividing of soul and spirit. It seems that the writer introduces this point suddenly for no apparent reason. Chapter four deals with the Sabbath rest. Doctrinally speaking, there is apparently no relationship between the Sabbath rest and our human spirit. The Sabbath rest is the Sabbath rest, and our human spirit is our human spirit. These two things seem to be far removed from one another. But 4:14 goes on to say that we have “a great High Priest Who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,” and verse 16 tells us to “come forward with boldness to the throne of grace.” Our great High Priest is on the throne in heaven. How can we touch Him? How can we experience Him?
The writer of Hebrews tells us to “come forward.” I need to say a word about this phrase. It is used several times in Hebrews: “come forward to the throne of grace” (4:16); “come forward to the Holy of Holies (10:22); ”come forward to God” (7:25; 11:6). We need to come forward to three things: to the Holy of Holies, to the throne of grace, and to God Himself. Do not shrink backward—come forward. In Greek, the words “come forward” are one word. Most versions render it either as approach, draw near, or come near. According to the best Greek lexicon, however, the primary meaning of this word is come forward.
We need to understand the background of the book of Hebrews. As we have already seen clearly, the recipients of this book, the Hebrew believers, were in danger of shrinking back. They were staggering and hesitating, and the book of Hebrews was written to encourage them to come forward. The writer did not tell them to go forward but to come forward. This means that the writer was in a particular place and that he wanted his readers to come forward to the place where he was. So he told them to come forward to the Holy of Holies, to the throne of grace, and to God. Where is God? He is on the throne of grace. Where is the throne of grace? It is in the Holy of Holies. At the time of the writing of this book, the writer was there in the Holy of Holies, calling the Hebrew brothers to come forward.
At this point we have a problem. Where are the Holy of Holies and the throne of grace? According to our experience, we would say that they are joined to our spirit. If they, the Holy of Holies and the throne of grace, are joined to our spirit, then undoubtedly God must be in our spirit, because God is on the throne of grace. As long as the Holy of Holies and the throne of grace are joined to our spirit, God must be in our spirit.
If you were to ask many Christians where the Holy of Holies and the throne of grace are, they would say that they are in heaven. There is a strong ground in the Bible for saying this. Doctrinally speaking, it is absolutely correct to say this. Nevertheless, we need to ask this question: If the throne of grace is in heaven and we are on earth, how can we come forward to it? Is there any way for us who are on earth today to touch the throne of grace in heaven? According to their theology, many Christians have no way to touch the throne of grace today. The throne of grace is far away from them. The Holy of Holies in heaven is also far away. Yes, doctrinally speaking, the Holy of Holies and the throne of grace undoubtedly are in heaven. Since we all are on the earth, how can we enter the Holy of Holies and touch the throne of grace today? And today Christ is also on the throne in heaven objectively. How can this objective Christ be our subjective experience? According to the objective teachings, there is no way.
The Bible speaks of a place called Bethel, the house of God (Gen. 28:19). In this place there is the ladder joining earth and heaven (Gen. 28:12), and on this ladder the angels of God are ascending and descending. This indicates that the ladder joins earth to heaven and heaven to earth. Between earth and heaven there is a great deal of traffic, as indicated by the angels’ ascending and descending. This traffic is not found in any place on earth except in one special place—Bethel, the house of God.
We may use electricity as an illustration of the traffic between earth and heaven. An electrical power plant may be far away from your home, but between your home and the power plant there is the traffic of electricity. Wires bring the electricity from the power plant into your home. Likewise, there is traffic between earth and heaven. Christ is the ladder that affords this traffic. Upon this ladder there is much ascending and descending, much going and coming. This ladder is in the house of God.
All of this, however, is still doctrinal. Where is the house of God on earth today? After studying the Bible for many years, I eventually found out that today Bethel, the house of God, is in our spirit. Ephesians 2:22 (Gk.) says that we “are being builded together into an habitation of God in spirit.” The church today is the habitation of God, the house of God, and this is in our spirit. When we, the church people, all meet together in our spirit, the house of God, Bethel, is here. Immediately, that very place is joined to heaven, for there is a ladder joining earth to heaven and bringing heaven down to earth. Spontaneously, we have traffic between earth and heaven. However, whenever we get out of our spirit and into our mind or emotions, Bethel disappears. Where is Bethel today? It is in our spirit. Since Bethel, God’s house, is in our spirit, our spirit is the very place where Christ, the heavenly ladder, joins us to heaven and brings heaven to us. According to this revelation and according to our experience, we may boldly say that the Holy of Holies and the throne of grace are joined to our spirit.
This is why the writer of Hebrews told us in 4:12 that firstly we must experience the dividing of our spirit from our soul and that, following this, we can come forward to the Holy of Holies, to the throne of grace, and to the very God who is on the throne of grace in the Holy of Holies. The secret of this experience is the dividing of soul and spirit.
Is Christ objective to us? Yes, He is, in fact, objective. Nevertheless, in experience, He is subjectively objective to us. In fact, He is objective because He is there in heaven. But we do not need to go to heaven in order to experience Him. While we are on earth today, we may experience in our spirit the Christ who is in heaven. Christ is objective, but our experience of Christ is subjective. We have the subjective experience of the objective Christ. How can the objective Christ be transmitted into our subjective experience? By the heavenly ladder that joins us to heaven and brings heaven to us. How can the objective electricity far away in the power plant become the subjective application of electricity in our homes? By the wires that carry the current of electricity from the power plant to our homes. In fact, the electricity is objectively in the power plant, but in application, it is subjectively present in our homes. In like manner, we can subjectively experience the objective Christ. While we are on earth, we can experience the Christ who is in heaven. This is wonderful. Day by day, I experience the very Christ who is in heaven. Though He is objective, in my experience He is subjective.
Where is Christ today? This question cannot be answered in such a simple way. We must say that, in fact, Christ is objectively in the heavens, but, in our experience, He is subjectively in our spirit. In this way, the objective Christ in heaven becomes our subjective experience in our spirit. In the last message we saw that we need to be on the second floor of the experience of Christ. Where is this second floor? It is joined to our spirit. Because this second floor is joined to our spirit, we must turn to our spirit to experience the very Christ who is in heaven.
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