Imagine that you received a letter from your father, detailing what he had envisioned for you in particular detail – everything he planned and arranged for you. Yet, this letter remained sealed, unopened, and the details remained unknown to you. In the absence of the knowledge of its contents, you may live your life outside of your father’s will, desire or purpose. In a similar way, we may say that the Bible, God’s “letter” to His children, remains to many a hidden, misunderstood declaration of His plan for us. Sadly, much of God’s word, especially His desire for man in full, has been lost to tradition and teachings that have misguided man for centuries.
If one desires to be faithful to God and His word, surely the original intent of the Bible would be preferable to man’s teachings. In the Bible’s own detail of the history of man, many instances show that even God’s chosen people left God’s original intent and went their own way, desiring to worship outside of God’s will. From Adam to Cain to those that built Babel – even to those at the time of the Apostle Paul’s New Testament ministry – time after time, man has taken “his way,” rather than God’s.
Thus, over time, many of the truths of the Bible had become lost or hidden; therefore there is a need for God to regain or recover these truths. What did God desire for His New Testament believers? How could His believers touch the truths in the Bible and live according to God’s will, not just by man’s teachings? Thankfully, after history’s Dark Ages, when the Bible was closed to most of the world, Martin Luther was used by God to “recover” the truth, long-buried by tradition – that man is justified by faith alone, not according to “works” or indulgences, or any of the like. Luther’s break with the Catholic church tradition was not only a great schism in world and church history but was also a key event in the Lord recovering His truth and the church.
Over time, the Lord used many chosen vessels to recover other aspects of the truth and practice: Count Zinzendorf and the Moravian Brethren recovered truths such as the corporate church life, meeting in oneness and living by the interpreted Word. Such beloved believers through the centuries as: Madame Guyon, Brother Lawrence, Father Fenelon, Ruth Paxson and others saw the “inner life” and how to live in the spirit and in the presence of God. Countless brothers in Christ saw various aspects of what the Lord had recovered, and brought these practices to others.
Today, the Lord has continued this recovery work, using some latter-day believers – such as Watchman Nee and his-worker Witness Lee – to unlock these truths and bring seeking ones (such as ourselves) back to His original intent for man. Hallelujah that God has a recovery work, and that we may participate! This recovery is not a “name” or a movement, and is not to be confused with “recovery” from addiction, as is sometimes used. This recovery belongs to the Lord Himself, and is being carried out by God Himself; thus, it is the Lord’s recovery – to bring us (His believers) back to the lost, hidden things in the Bible. Such a recovery is with God’s true purpose in mind, for He desires that man would live a life of enjoying and expressing God. Did you ever see this before? Man would be re-born and receive a continual dispensing of God Himself daily, not just worship Him religiously, outwardly or passively.
One of the most blessed and primary recovered truths that we see today is that man was created with a human spirit. This human spirit is the dwelling place of God in us, (Romans 8:9-10, 2 Tim. 4:22) the deepest part of our being. As the Lord Jesus Himself pointed out to the Samaritan woman, those who worship must worship “in spirit and truthfulness” (John 4:23-24). Not only has our human spirit been regenerated, it has even become “life”, as shown in Romans 8:10. What a revelation this would be to each believer, to see that God desires such a goal for us!
In these days, as we gather locally with other believers, we touch the same reality as those depicted in Acts 2:42, 46. We meet day by day, corporately and from house to house, continuing steadfastly in the teaching, the fellowship of the apostles, in one accord, in the breaking of bread and in prayers. What a blessing to live and meet according to what God speaks in His Word! We rejoice that in these days, the once-hidden and lost truths and practices intended by God – in His “letter to us”, the Bible – have been recovered, and that we may meet in simplicity to also participate in this recovery work. [guest post, bro. David]