HWMR – MEETING GOD’S NEED AND PRESENT NEEDS IN THE LORD’S RECOVERY (Week 3)
The Need to Develop Our Faith in the Lord and Our Love for Him
Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything nor uncircumcision, but faith avails, operating through love.
Love issues out of such a wonderful faith and enables us to live out all the riches of the Triune God in Christ with those who have believed into Christ with us, that the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—may have a glorious expression….Love is for experiencing, enjoying, and living out the immeasurably rich Triune God. Faith is for the believers to be joined to the Triune God, who is everything to them; love is for the believers to minister and transmit the Triune God to their fellow believers so that, in such a wonderful and powerful faith, all the believers may love one another with divine, transcendent love and live a corporate life in Christ. In this way the Body of Christ is realized and the processed Triune God is expressed today on the earth in the all-inclusive Christ through the immeasurable life-giving Spirit.[Faith and love] are the rich grace given to us in Christ by the Triune God (1 Tim. 1:14), not only to be the motivating power and expression of our spiritual life but also to become our breastplate (1 Thes. 5:8), which covers and protects the vital parts of our being. It is by such faith that we receive and enjoy the divine life that is revealed and ministered to us in the entire Gospel of John (John 3:16, 36), and it is by such love that we love the Lord and those who belong to Him (John 21:15-17; 13:34-35). Such faith and love are connected and go together: love comes from faith, and faith operates and works through love (Gal. 5:6). Love with faith enables us to love our Lord in incorruptibility so that we may have an overcoming church life (Eph. 6:23-24) for the fulfillment of God’s New Testament economy in Christ for the church. Therefore, it is in this faith that we are well pleasing to God (Heb. 11:6) and in this love that we are blessed of the Lord (1 Cor. 16:22). May this love with this faith be to the brothers from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 6:23). (Titus 3:15, footnote 1)
I appreciate that all of us love the Lord’s recovery. If we did not love the recovery, we would not be here. But we need to see that in the seven epistles to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, the first dealing of the Lord is concerning the recovery of the first love (2:4). Do we love Him? Surely we do. But do we give Him the preeminence, the first place, in all things? To give the Lord the first place in all things is to love Him with the first love, the best love. In order to give Him the preeminence, we must be willing to be adjusted, to be broken, to be made nothing, so that the Lord can have a way in us, through us, and among us for the building up of His organic Body. (CWWL, 1991-1992, vol. 3, “Fellowship concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups,” p. 462)
Life-study of Galatians (Message 3)
God’s Son Versus Man’s Religion
Gal. 1:14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries in my race, being more abundantly a zealot for the traditions of my fathers.
Gal. 1:15 But when it pleased God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,
We have pointed out that Paul’s Epistles were written according to God’s revelation. But we also need to see that a very high degree of intelligence was required to interpret this revelation and to express it in words. Others may receive such a revelation, but, unlike Paul, they may not have the ability to understand it and to convey it in language. We have seen that Paul, a highly educated person, was a leading religionist. According to his darkened mentality, nothing could compare to Judaism with its law, Scriptures, priestly service, and traditions. As one who always pursued what he thought was best, he was wholly given to these things. He despised the followers of Jesus; he considered that they were merely following an insignificant Nazarene, whereas he was zealous for the traditions of his fathers. But one day, when it pleased God the Father, the living Person of the Son of God was revealed in him. When this Person appeared to him, he fell to the ground and spontaneously called, “Who art thou, Lord?” (Acts 9:5). Immediately the Lord replied, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” According to the darkened understanding of Saul of Tarsus, Jesus had been buried in a tomb, and His disciples had stolen His body and hidden it somewhere. But now Saul was shocked to realize that Jesus was living, was speaking from the heavens, and was being revealed to him. From the time this living Person was revealed in Saul, the veil was taken away and Saul’s keen mind was enlightened with respect to the Son of God. Henceforth, he cared for this Person and no longer cared for religion or tradition.
Though we have a good deal of knowledge of Bible doctrine, our burden is not to minister doctrine; it is to minister the living Son of God as the embodiment of the processed Triune God realized as the life-giving Spirit. We should not treasure anything, including our Bible knowledge or spiritual experience and attainments, in place of this living Person. Daily and hourly, we need to experience this living Person. The church is the Body of this Person, His practical and living expression.
Because this living Person is everything to us, there is no need for us to seek mere holiness, spirituality, victory, love, or submission. As the embodiment of the Triune God realized as the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit, He is within us to be whatever we need. In a forthcoming message we shall see that this One is now living in us. What we lack is not holiness or victory—it is this living Person. He is versus everything. Without Him, everything is a tradition made either by others or by ourselves. May we all see that today this living Person is versus all things.
Apart from Christ, the living Person of the Son of God, whatever we have is religion. For example, a brother may love his wife. But if he loves her apart from Christ, even this is religious. The same is true of sisters who submit to their husbands apart from Christ. This kind of submission is religious and traditional. I have known some Chinese wives who were submissive simply because they were submissive by nature. Before they were saved, they were submissive. After they became Christians, they became good, submissive, Christian wives. But this kind of submission has nothing to do with Christ. It is the expression of Chinese tradition, not of the living Person of the Son of God.
Before I received a vision of the living Person, I was one who kept many traditions. But one day it pleased God to reveal His Son in me. Now I know that this living Person is the embodiment of the processed, all-inclusive Triune God realized in my spirit as the life-giving Spirit. In my spirit I enjoy Him, experience Him, partake of His riches, and live Him. To be a Christian is to be one who is occupied with the living Person, not with religion. Judaism is a religion formed by man in dead letters with vain traditions. But the Son of God is life, the uncreated, eternal life of God. For our experience and enjoyment, this One is the all-inclusive Spirit with the divine reality (John 1:14; 14:6). I do not want anything to do with religion—I want this living Person. Which do you choose—man’s religion or the living Person of God’s Son?
Life-study of Galatians (message 4)
The Revelation of God’s Son in Us
Gal. 1:16 To reveal His Son in me that I might announce Him as the gospel among the Gentiles, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood,
If we would receive the revelation of the Son of God, we need to drop our concepts. Every concept, whether spiritual or carnal, is a veil. I have spent many years groping in my search to learn how to have revelation. Eventually I discovered that to have revelation we need to drop our concepts.
God today is shining everywhere. This age of grace is an age of light. God is shining, and the Bible is shining also. The Bible is full of light, and it has been printed in hundreds of languages. Moreover, the all-inclusive Spirit moving on earth is full of grace. But although the Bible is shining and the Spirit is moving, many still do not receive revelation. The reason is that they hold to certain concepts and are veiled by these concepts. As you contact people from various nationalities, you will find that all of them are strong in their concepts. This is also true among us in the Lord’s recovery. On the one hand, I worship the Lord for all the growth and improvement among us. On the other hand, I realize that many veils still remain. These veils are the concepts that blind us.
With respect to receiving revelation, there is no problem on God’s side. On His side everything is ready. The problem is altogether on our side. We need to drop the veils, that is, to drop our concepts. It is important for us to pray, “Lord, help me to drop everything that is a veil.” If you hold on to your concepts while reading the Bible, you will be like the ancient Jews who had a veil on their mind whenever the Scriptures were read. But if you drop your concepts as you read the Word, you will read it with an unveiled face. Then the light will shine into you subjectively.
I was born into Christianity, and from childhood I heard about Christ. However, I was not saved until I was nineteen years old. I knew about Jesus, and I was in favor of Christianity. But I was not saved until the Son of God was revealed in me. One day, when I was nineteen, God shined into me, and I received a revelation of the Lord Jesus. At that time I began to have direct personal contact with Him and to know Him as a living Person. I touched Him, and I was touched by Him. Between Him and me there was a living transaction, a living contact. We all need a direct, personal, living contact with the living Person of the Son of God.
Today many of us earnestly desire to live Christ. But to live Christ we need revelation. As we have pointed out again and again, the only way revelation can come to us is if we drop our concepts. We also need to pray, “Lord, I trust in You to defeat the god of this age. Apart from You, I do not worship anything. Lord, I turn my heart to You, and I drop all my concepts. I don’t want to worship anyone other than You.” If you pray in this way, the light will shine, and you will receive revelation. If you drop your concepts and turn your heart to the Lord, the veils will be taken away, and the god of this age will have no ground in your being.
The light is here, and it is shining. Our problem is that our heart is turned away to many other things, and therefore we are covered with layer upon layer of veils. This enables the god of this age to have ground in us. As a result, our thoughts are darkened, blinded, and hardened, and we cannot receive revelation, even though we may read the Bible and listen to messages. Oh, how we need revelation!