HWMR – KNOWING THE TRUTH, BEING ABSOLUTE FOR THE TRUTH, AND PROCLAIMING THE TRUTH IN THE PRESENT EVIL AGE (Week 3)
Being Constituted with the Truth and Being Absolute for the Way of the Truth and the Propagation of the Truth for the Consummation of the Divine Economy
1 Tim. 4:6 If you lay these things before the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, being nourished with the words of the faith and of the good teaching which you have closely followed.
You must dive into the Recovery Version with the footnotes and the Life-study messages. It is not an easy task to be built up in the truth. You must study the text and every footnote. If possible, it is helpful to take care of the cross references. Then you need to study the Life-study messages. You need to get into these messages not like you are reading a newspaper or a reference book. You must consider the text of the Recovery Version with the footnotes and the Life-study messages as a textbook. Because this is my work, I know the nature of it. I am fellowshipping this with you to let you know the way our publications were written. If you merely read them in a light way, you cannot get into them. You must study them as a textbook.
If you merely read the Life-studies, you will receive only a temporary nourishment. That will become only a kind of inspiration to you. An inspiration is like a vapor in the air. When what we read becomes a truth in our being, this nourishment remains forever. What I have received is not all the time inspiration, like a vapor. What I have received from the Lord is always the solid truth, so it remains in me, nourishing me all the time. You must have the truth. The only way for the truth to get into you is through your mentality. Then it remains in your memory. If you do not understand, the truth cannot get into you….If the truth gets into your memory, it becomes a constant and long-term nourishment. Then you have an accumulation of the truth, and you are a person continually under the constant nourishment. You will then know how to present the truth to others, not merely to inspire them or to stir them up but to make them solid and constituted with the truth.
While the issue of nourishment is forever, the nourishment itself remains only temporarily. Once the truth has been constituted into someone, however, it will remain there forever, and its remaining is its supply. Our need for the long run is this kind of education with the truth, which is really something solid, living, and existing. We need this. Do not expect to have an overnight success, which is like a factory making artificial flowers. Overnight you can produce many flowers, but in a genuine nursery or garden it takes time to grow flowers….You may have the thought that within two years a great number of people will be added to the church. Most of these people, however, may be empty. This is mushrooming. We must take care of the church in a way of growing gradually by life and by truth. (CWWL, 1984, vol. 2, “Elders’ Training, Book 3: The Way to Carry Out the Vision,” pp. 312-313, 336)
Life-study of Colossians (Message 63)
The Peace of Christ Arbitrating in Our Heart
Col. 3:15 And let the peace of Christ arbitrate in your hearts, to which also you were called in one Body; and be thankful.
For the peace of Christ to arbitrate in our hearts, it must rule in us. It must be enthroned as the ruler and decider. I believe you all have experienced that Someone has been enthroned in you to rule you and make the final decisions. Let us take as an example a brother who is offended by one of the elders. In my early ministry, I would have encouraged the offended brother to love the elder and not to be offended by him. However, from experience I learned that the more I did this, the more the offended one accused me of taking sides with the elder. Eventually I learned that the best thing is simply to pray that the Lord will have mercy on the brother who has been offended. In His mercy, the Lord will come to him and cause him to set his mind on the things above so that once again he can experience the divine transmission which gives rise to the arbitrating peace of Christ. Then, ruled by the peace of Christ, the brother will admit that even though the elder might have been wrong, he himself was wrong to a greater degree. Immediately he will confess to the Lord, receive grace, and have love for that elder. Through the arbitration of the peace of Christ, our problems are solved, and the friction between the saints disappears. Then the church life is preserved, and the new man is maintained in a practical way.
The church life as the life of the new man is preserved not by mere teachings, but by setting our mind on the things above and allowing the heavenly transmission to impart the divine element into us. Then we shall have the renewing of the new man and experience the peace of Christ ruling within us. The peace of Christ is actually Christ Himself in a particular aspect. Hence, the arbitrating of the peace of Christ is Christ working within us to exercise His rule over us, to speak the last word, and to make the final decision. In the case of the brother offended by the elder, Christ’s word is to love that elder, to seek him out for fellowship, and to enjoy the Lord with him. This is Christ enthroned as peace ruling, deciding, and uttering the last word.
In order to have a proper Christian walk and preserve the church life, we need the arbitrating peace of Christ. Otherwise, there will be no way for friction to be dissolved. Only the heavenly Christ, the One who is interceding, ministering, and administrating, can solve our problems and resolve the friction. If a brother and his wife set their mind on Christ in the heavens, they will experience the divine transmission. Then the peace of Christ will arbitrate in them.
In meeting after meeting and in message after message, we desire to minister Christ to the saints. As the saints see the revelation of Christ and experience the arbitrating peace of Christ, the church life will be preserved in freshness.
When the peace of Christ is enthroned in our hearts to be the unique umpire within us, we shall have peace with God vertically and with the saints horizontally. We praise the Lord that we are enjoying peace, and in this peace the church life as the new man is preserved! As the peace of Christ presides in our hearts, the renewing of the new man takes place continually. If we stay under the ruling of the enthroned peace of Christ, we shall not offend others or damage them. Rather, by the Lord’s grace and with His peace, we shall minister life to others. The oneness in a local church and among the churches is not maintained by human endeavoring. It is maintained only by the arbitrating peace of Christ. The management and maintenance of the Lord’s recovery are not our responsibility. All the churches and the recovery as a whole are under the arbitrating peace of Christ. In us Christ is the supplying grace and the arbitrating peace.
Life-study of Colossians (Message 64)
The Word of Christ Inhabiting Us
Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.
In 3:16 Paul charges us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. The Greek word rendered dwell means to be in a house, to inhabit. This indicates that the word of Christ should be able to make its home in us.
If a certain place is to become our home, we must have the freedom to make all necessary arrangements. If we want to keep a certain item, we may do so. But if we want to throw something else away, we are free to do that as well. If we do not have this kind of freedom, it is not possible for us to make that place our home. In like manner, if the word of Christ is to make its home in us, we must give it the full liberty, freedom, and right. We need to pray, “Lord, I offer my whole being to You and Your word. I give You access to every part of my inner being. Lord, make my inner being a home for Yourself and Your word.”
We all must confess that many times the Lord’s word has come to us, but we did not give it adequate room within us. Instead, we limited the word of God and restricted it. Sometimes we do receive God’s word, but we do not give it the freedom to make its home in us. Let me ask you, in your experience is the word of Christ first, or are you first? I do not believe that anyone can say that first place is always given to God’s word. Sometimes we may give preeminence to the word of Christ and allow it to be first. However, much more often we ourselves are first. In a secret way we keep the first place for the self. Outwardly we may act as if the first place is reserved for the word of God. But secretly the first place is for us.
Suppose you are reading Matthew 19:16-22, where the Lord Jesus tells the young man to sell all that he has, give to the poor, and follow Him. As you read this portion of Scripture, the Lord may tell you to give away certain things. That would be a test of what is first—the self or the word of God. Many of us have learned from experience how difficult it is for us to give first place to the word of God. For this, we need the Lord’s grace. We need to turn to the Lord and say, “Lord, I cannot do this, but, Lord, You can. Lord, I trust in You for this.”
We need the arbitrating peace of Christ to preserve us in oneness that the Lord may speak to us. Then we need to give first place to the word of God. If we do this, we shall experience the functions of the word of God: enlightening, nourishing, quenching our thirst, strengthening, washing, building, perfecting, and edifying. What benefit we receive from the word of God!
In 3:16 Paul speaks of “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.” This indicates that when we are filled with the word of God, we should be filled with joy. If we receive God’s word and yet have no joy, something must be wrong. When we receive the word of God, we actually receive the Spirit. Receiving the Spirit should stir us up and cause us to be joyful and to sing.