HEAVENLY LIGHT SHINING ON THE WRITTEN WORD
The difference between a newspaper and television is that with the newspaper there is no light, only printed letters, but with television light and electricity are required. Through light and electricity the vision is televised into us.
Now we can understand that, in the Bible, truth refers to the shining of the light. The Bible contains many doctrines. However, when light from the Father in the heavens shines upon the words in the Bible, these words immediately become truth to us. First we have the doctrine in printed letters, and then the heavenly light shines upon the words of the Bible to show us the truth. Many read the verses about Christ dying for sinners merely as a newspaper report; they have nothing more than a doctrine about the death of Christ. But when, by the mercy of God, the light shines on these verses, they see the truth of Christ’s death and are saved. Once they had the doctrine; now they have the vision and the reality.
Reality is the realization of what is real. The way to have such a realization of spiritual things is by heavenly television. Therefore, truth in the Bible can be compared to today’s television.
There are a great many facts in the Bible. However, it is not adequate merely to read about these facts. By reading you receive doctrine, information, or news. Along with this, you need the heavenly light to shine upon the facts. When the light shines, the doctrine is immediately changed into truth. In this way you realize the real thing, the reality. Therefore, to know the truth we first need the facts and then the light that televises the vision of the facts into our being.
According to the Bible, the Spirit is called the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of reality (John 14:17). The Spirit of reality is the heavenly electricity by which spiritual things are televised into our being. The Bible also says that the Lord’s word is truth (17:17). All the spiritual facts are contained in the Word and conveyed by it. Christ is our holiness, Christ died for our sins, Christ is our life, the church is the Body of Christ, Christ is the Head of the church—all these are facts contained in the Bible. However, without the enlightenment from the divine electricity, these facts are mere doctrines. But when the Spirit shines upon these facts recorded and conveyed in the Bible, they become truth, reality.
Christ, His person, His redemptive work, and all His accomplishments are facts contained in and conveyed by the Word. The Spirit seeks the opportunity to shine upon the Word. When He does so, we receive the truth. In knowing the truth, we thus have the facts, the Word, and the Spirit. The incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension have all been accomplished. The wonderful Christ who is God and man is now the life-giving Spirit. These are facts, and not even Satan can deny them. We have not only the facts but the fact-conveying Word. Furthermore, we have the Spirit. If we have the Word without the Spirit, we will not have the vision. This means that we will not have the truth, because the truth comes only when the Spirit shines. If we read the Word without the shining of the Spirit, we may have doctrine or news reports but not the truth, the reality, or the vision. Thank the Lord that the shining Spirit is always within us. Whenever we open ourselves to Him, the light shines. As the light shines on the Word, certain things stand out and make a deep impression upon us. This is the truth, the vision transmitted by the heavenly television.
THE SHORTAGE OF THE TRUTH
In the last chapter I pointed out that among us the foundation of life has been firmly laid. This foundation is unshakable. However, we have been short of the light of the truth. Doctrinally speaking, we have all had knowledge concerning the headship of Christ, hierarchy, the ground of the church, and the constitution of the church. But what we had was mainly the newspaper report, not the televised vision. Thus, when a hierarchy was strongly formed and began to assume its evil power in certain places, hardly anyone was aware of it. If we had been under the televised vision concerning hierarchy and concerning the headship of Christ, someone would have immediately spoken out against this, pointing out that such a hierarchy is an insult to the headship of Christ. Because there was such a lack of the vision, there was no practice of the truth. Instead of the shining of the light, there was thick darkness.
PRACTICING THE TRUTH
Although by the Lord’s mercy we have had the foundation of life, we have not had the adequate shining of the light. This made it possible for someone to claim that he had been charged to administrate all the churches. But such an administrator is a pope, and we have no such thing in the Lord’s recovery. Throughout the years that the Lord’s recovery has been in this country, I have always been cautious regarding the exercise of authority. According to the truth, every local church has its own jurisdiction and administration. No church or person can administrate the affairs of all the churches. Nevertheless, someone void of the truth claimed to be the administrator over all the churches. The fact that so many could receive his word shows either that they did not know the truth or that they were not practicing it.
We must not accept anything contrary to the truth, no matter who says it. Even if the apostle Paul were to speak differently from the truth in the New Testament, we should refuse to accept his word. Rather, we should say, “Paul, when you wrote the Epistles, you were right with God. But now that you are speaking something different, you are like the Peter who was rebuked by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 16.” We should not allow anyone, not even the apostle Paul, to deceive us. Because we have been lacking in the shining of the light, the undermining of the ministry became more and more evident, and an attempt was made to change the nature of the Lord’s recovery. While this was going on, if a brother had stood up for the truth, he would have been a hero in practicing the truth. From now on, every church in the Lord’s recovery must be the pillar and base of the truth. Furthermore, every church must be a police station, and every saint must be an active, functioning policeman, knowing the truth and practicing the truth.
Suppose a certain brother, much used of the Lord in His recovery, stands up in a meeting and demands that the saints worship him. Immediately, someone, even a teenage sister, should tell him to stop speaking and say, “We cannot receive this man’s evil speaking because he is making himself an idol and asking us to worship him. In the past he has been a help to the Lord’s recovery, but now his speaking is the speaking of Satan. I love the Lord, I love the recovery, and I love this brother. But I am under the shining of the heavenly light, and I have received the truth that we must not worship anyone, even the one who has helped us the most. Such a thing is not according to the truth but according to the falsehood of Satan.”