Chapter 4 was a slightly shorter chapter in which Watchman Nee has one major topic - the separation of the Christian to God, away from the world. Here are some of the points he made in this chapter:
1. "Separation to God, separation from the world, is the first principle of Christian living." The rest of the chapter seems to amplify and explain this idea.
2. In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John had a divine revelation of two contrasting cities of destination for man: Babylon, the "great city" of immorality and sins (Rev. 18), and Jerusalem, the "holy city" as a bride for her husband (Rev. 21). These two cities are of "irreconcilable extremes"; John saw them by revelation; once we see that Jerusalem, "we shall never be the same."
3. The New Jerusalem had, to John, noticeable tall walls. They are for separation, so as to guard what is holy of God and having His glory, and keep out any aspect of Babylon. Similarly, holiness in us is what is of God, set apart for Christ; the second we let go of that holiness we go to Babylon.
4. We must have walls to keep out Satan (but never to keep away fellow Christians). Eden had no walls, so Satan entered; now in Christ we have our own Eden with walls which exclude Satan.
5. In 1 John 2:16 John identified all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world. Pride from what the world acclaims, even small successes, is of the Satanic system, and must be acknowledged as sinful. Pride always erodes our relationship with God since it is the pride of life and not praise of God.
6. We cannot escape the world by running away in supposed abstinence from worldly things. But deliverance from the world begins with seeing its ultimate death sentence, under judgment from the Lord. Nee used the understandable example of a bank that is going to be closed losing all of its deposits and customers; we should view the world as that bank is viewed.
In the third chapter of this book, Nee develops his ideas about baptism, its symbolic meaning and its importance in salvation in Jesus Christ. Here are some of the prominent points in this chapter:
1. Nee points out that at the end of Mark's Gospel, Jesus sequences faith, then baptism, then salvation. Nee believes this sequence is important, and that there is "baptismal salvation."
2. God's gifts to man seem to be given to overcome contrasting evils; for example, justification is given for condemnation, eternal life for death, forgiveness for sinfulness. So the gift of salvation must also be for some opposing evil, but what?
3. The author proposes that there is a triad of "dark forces" which oppose the three divine Persons: flesh vs. the Holy Spirit, Satan vs. Christ, and the "kosmos" (world) vs. God the Creator.
Thus Satan's system "usurped" God's creation, leaving man to face two opposing systems: the order of Christ's dominion, or the order of Satan's.
4. Salvation then is the overcoming of, the exiting from, the whole, God-defiant "kosmos." That "kosmos" includes not only fleshly sins, but the entire system of human activity, even the very best cultural, social and political standards, ways and "ideologies." That also means religions and the worldly Christian "church." These are referred to as powered by natural man at Satan's inspiration.
5. The role of baptism then can never be considered to be "of small concern." Nee refers to 1 Peter 3:20-22 in showing the symbolic role of baptism in moving a believer from the "kosmos" into the domain of Christ.
The second chapter of Love Not The World had a little different writing style than the first, without quite as many succinct points. But here is my summary of some of the contents:
1. While openly sinful activities and topics are readily ascribed to Satanic influence, other arenas of the "world," such as the sciences and the arts, may seem in man's mind to be free of that influence. That is part of Satan's contrived, more subtle (and more powerful) enticement. "He opposes God by means of every worldly thing" (p. 23). Can we accept that?
2. But Jesus said that all of the "world" was under judgment, and John wrote that "the whole 'world' lies in the evil one" (1 John 5:19). None of the "world" is any less condemned than the other.
3. As an example of things of the "world" versus things of the Spirit, Nee points out that in the "world" human parents produce human children of like kind, but Christian parents cannot produce Christian children in the "world". The latter act requires the ongoing and active work of God.
4. The "world" is that "which can continue apart from divine activity." In its nature the "world" "moves in a direction contrary to the will of God" (p. 24).
5. Most of the rest of the chapter deals with specific examples of the trend for all activities in the "world" to move away from God, such as the government of Old Testament Israel, altruistic endeavors like charities, church-initiated businesses and medicine, and industries like agriculture, engineering and publishing. Away from God these may still provide value to man in the "world."
6. To stay as living entities, churches must have constant "impartation" from God, or die.
7. Man is delivered from Satanic influence in the "world" only by God's work of mercy, redemption and salvation, not by man's own attempts at consecration of self to things of God.
8. So the natural tendency of all things in the "world" is to move toward Satan and away from God. We must be on guard constantly to avoid getting caught up in Satan's snares and "lose the liberty that is yours as a child of God" (p.31). We must also ask ourselves as we touch things of the "world," are we inadvertently helping Satan construct his kingdom, a kingdom he thinks will own everything at the end of the world?
The first chapter of Love Not The World (and remember that this book was a compilation of different messages given by Watchman Nee through the years) serves as an introduction to the New Testament (NT) concept of "world". There were these basic points, liberally supported by Scriptural citations:
1. In John's Gospel there was the loss of hope of Messianic military conquest of the "world," but a new hope that Jesus' death and resurrection would draw men away from the "world."
2. The NT key word for "world" was the Greek "kosmos," which meant either 'a harmonious arrangement' or 'an adornment,' and consisted of three different elements:
a. The material earth or universe,
b. The inhabitants of that world, or the whole of men alienated to God and hostile to Christ,
c. Worldly affairs, such as goods, riches, pleasures, advantages, endowments.
John liked the word "kosmos," accounting for almost half of all of the NT uses of the word.
3. The "world" is an orderly arrangement with harmonious functioning, a planned system.
4. Two key features of this system are: it's hostile to God, and there is a mind behind it.
5. Satan, the "world" system's mind and ruler, has been judged by Jesus and is to eventually be "cast out." But Satan is preparing the "world" for the conquest of his antichrist.
6. The "world" came into being after the fall of Adam and Eve, and is Satan's domain; the "world" will be supplanted by Jesus' Kingdom when He returns.
7. All of our society, business and functioning on earth is in the "kosmos." The "world" uses seductively the tools and technology of man, and actively seeks us out, even at the Church.
8. Finally, there are two questions one must ask when moving, living and encountering in the "world":
a. How does this affect my relationship with God and Jesus Christ?
b. Is this of God, or is it of the "world"? That is the one conflict of the universe.
Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen and began writing in the same year. Throughout the nearly thirty years of his ministry, Watchman Nee was clearly manifested as a unique gift from the Lord to His Body for His move in this age. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith; he remained in prison until his death in 1972. His words remain an abundant source of spiritual revelation and supply to Christians throughout the world.
Love Not The World
Please join us as Harv facilitates a chapter by chapter tour through this challenging book. You may read the book online by clicking on the "Link To Ebook" button below or purchase the book from CLC Publications or Amazon, etc.
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