Examples of judgment (6)

Examples of judgment (6)

  Date:June 25, 1948

Testimony by brother C. L.

  I was born into a non-Christian family. At the age of seventeen I heard the gospel and knew that I was a sinner destined for hell. I called on the Lord’s name and prayed to Him. After I prayed I felt relieved. The next day I dealt with my sins. When I was twenty-one years old, I had a spiritual turn, and I consecrated myself to the Lord. I sold my possessions, including my wedding ring, and gave up everything to follow the Lord. In 1942 I left the denominations and began to meet with brothers and sisters on the ground of the local church. I have two questions: How does a man know whether his inner man and outer man are separated? How can we submit to authority?

Brother Nee’s comment

The breaking of man

  Our brother is a person who can easily accept God’s breaking. A broken man will find that his mind, emotion, and will are changed. He will become different from his original natural constitution. A broken man is open to God. God can easily come in, and his spirit can easily come out. For the spirit to be released means that others can touch our very being. How can we tell when the inner man and outer man are separated from each other? There are three signs to indicate this separation. First, when the two are separate, it is easy for others to touch the inner man. Second, the mind, emotion, and will are all broken. They are no longer hardened but flow freely. Third, it is easy to release the inner man. It is hard to point out mistakes to an unbroken man; it is hard for him to accept them as fact. We have to wait until he is well disposed before he will nod his head and agree with us. Some people have experienced much chastisement, yet they are not changed inwardly. A broken man, however, easily receives others’ words. He is easily touched. If a man boasts that he is not easily influenced by others, it means that he is not very broken at all.

  However, being broken has nothing to do with introspection. Introspection is damaging. If my mind is obsessed with thoughts about my pulse and breathing, I am surely sick. It is useless for a man to constantly condemn himself for not being broken. A man only needs to be concerned with one thing — whether or not he has humbled himself under the mighty hand of God, submitting to God’s ordering in the environment. That is his business. The way he is broken is not his business. Others know whether or not he is broken, and the church also knows. The knowledge of the degree of our brokenness belongs to the church, not to us. Those who are always engaged in introspection are mainly unbroken. Introspection is very unhealthy. It is our job to pray for breaking. But it is the Lord’s job to decide which way to break us.

Submission to authority

  Let me say a word about the matter of authority: In speaking for God, a worker of the Lord should not ask others to listen to him. He is merely God’s mouthpiece. If others listen to him, they are listening to God. If they do not listen, they are ignoring God. We pity those who have never touched authority; they are wild and untamed. If a man has never fallen on his face before God, what good does it do if others listen to him? If a man has touched God’s authority, he will no longer be wild. A man must see that no offense to authority is greater than an offense to God’s authority. Rebellion to authority is lawlessness. There are two sins in this world which God hates: lawlessness and uncleanness. Uncleanness comes from lawlessness. Lawlessness is the root of all sin. In the past we saw the sin of uncleanness, but we did not see the sin of lawlessness. But God hates the sin of lawlessness more than the sin of uncleanness. Submission to authority is the most urgent thing that we need to see today. Breaking deals with us as individuals, whereas submission deals with our relationship with God.

Rich in thoughts

  As far as you are concerned, your power of inference is sufficient and quick. But your thoughts still need to be enriched. Inference has to do with the breadth of one’s thought, while thoughts has to do with the depth. A worker must be rich in thoughts, not rich in inference. You have the adequate power of inference to be a minister of God’s word, but you still need to be enriched in your thoughts.

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