This book, the Spiritual Sea is written as the previous five books, in this series ‘The Line’, in diary form. After ‘A Room with a View’ was completed, Yvonne and I headed for the sea-house for some hard work, renovating and adding onto the old place. I picked up the book ‘The Spiritual Man’ by Watchman Nee and I thought, as an afterthought, I would be adding to ‘A Room with a View’ while building in Natal. However, the book was simply impossible to read. I could not concentrate for more than half a page at a time. It seemed that I would be sleepy after only a few lines. Putting it down to being tired, I would try again the next day with the same results. This cannot be happening I thought, and set out to underline each word I could understand with pencil. After which I would take a walk around the house and then reread the same lines again, lining it with pen this time and then found the meaning was completely different from the previous pencilled understanding. This experience forced me to take the matter of the book to the Lord who immediately explained that the way to understanding of this book was through the tabernacle. This changed my attitude toward the book and I would approached the book with more care, but after a while I would feel my mind could not take it in, it seemed cloaked, and this would force me back to the Lord’s leading, who explained that there were a few things we must discuss. I was of course at fault and had to rededicate my life to God all over again; then I had to learn how to listen with the Spirit and not the intellect, and leant that I was not spending as much time listening and seeing in the garden as before. I am relating these details for your own scrutiny of your personal relationship with the Lord. You know, we are so busy working for the Lord’s things; we do not get to the Lord of the things.
Watchman Nee is a Chinaman; if you have read the previous books you will know how a Chinaman called Francis Coo kick started this series ‘The Line’.
In The Line’s first painting it is the cross beam of the cross that divides between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness and to the far right there is the sword of the angel at exactly that same height, and if one draws this line the heads of all the figures involved are above the line.
This is where the spiritual division is, between the spirit and the soul. (Figure 1)
God has given the revelation of how to divide the spirit and the soul of man to Nee, who made it his business to study this important spiritual action by studying the works of people like Madam Guyon, F.B Meyer, G.H. Morrison, Jessie Pen-Lewis and Evan Roberts.
His book ‘The Spiritual Man’ was written June 25 1928, the work was of course edited by an Englishman of the time and is to say the least; the most difficult work I have ever read. After a while, I noticed that I could understand the man if I drew ‘The Short Sword’ pictures while reading his explanations of the spirit and soul. It was with great relieve that I was amazed to see that his experience of the spiritual realm was very much alike to that of my own. Lately I had been feeling lonely, and felt that I could do with the company of somebody who had seen the spiritual realm the way I did. I was thinking that I should get into the company of different theologians but I had tried that before, and was not going to go there again.
After talking to some people that read Nee’s book I came to the conclusion that his work is considered deep and people that do read it, (if they really did) feel regenerated and enlightened but still fall back into old thoughts. Let me be recorded as saying that I have heard the old preachers preach some of Nee’s words but have not heard it preached lately.
Things like: “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me” and teachings that says that going to the doctor is not the way for the believer. Unfortunately, Watchman Nee did not receive the full revelation of the tabernacle and therefore there is a lot of talk about how we must be disciplined and capable of keeping our own minds. We however cannot keep our minds nor could Adam and Eve and this is why we must understand the cross.
For this reason, let us begin this study by recapping on the tabernacle in chapter 1.
For refreshment of the readers mind, I am quickly listing a few words that are frequently used for the ‘mind’ or the ‘place above the line in which we live with God’ if you prefer it to be explained like that we can even call it the ‘imagination’ or all of the following words:
Jesus is the Gardener and only He can explain Christ crucified. In the beginning we start at the cross, we enter through the cross like a child, and in time He teaches us to die as He did, and to realise the full implications of Calvary. The tabernacle designed by God in the wilderness was the place where God’s presence was, and He spoke on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. The priest, when sacrificing walked into the Outer Court and faced the sacrifice immediately when he entered.
When I draw the plan of the tabernacle, it looks like this. (Figure 1, and from above Figure 2)
And when I draw an outline of a person on the tabernacle (as in figure 3) we realize that after the crucifixion we are the tabernacle of God and are His dwelling place. Where the mind is, is the Holy of Holies and it is this dividing veil that was torn and now we have full access to the Holy of Holies. Also note that the mind is now in the shape of the rising sun.
Noah built a three storey ark, and the ark saved the animals as well as himself and his family from the flood.
Thinking about it I realized that the temple Ezekiel talks of also has three storeys, and if we are God’s temple, we also have three storeys. Please consider my picture in figure 4.
When I place the mountain in the Holy Place, this Second Storey or mountain area becomes the captivity of mount Zion (Ps 126:1), because it is in the middle of the top and bottom ‘storey’s’, we grow up into the Holy of Holies from here, we must climb the mountain. (We all know by now that the mountain represents the hard times in life. The mountain can be seen in Figure 5.)
Moses fetched the law on top of the Mountain of Sinai, thus the minds of these Old Testament people were held by the law.
Noah most certainly lived in the top story from where he fed the beast within. (Figure 6)
Is this not also our story? We should live above and stay above but we feed the beast within. How else will they stay alive? Well our mission is that the sea within us shall become the Dead Sea.
Noah was saved to the top of the mountain.
George H. Morrison: “It was on a mountain that Abraham prepared to offer Isaac and that men received the Law of Moses, and from a mountainside the law of Christ. The bitterest conflict between Elijah and the prophets of Baal was on Mount Carmel. John was on a great mountain when he saw the New Jerusalem descend; and on a mountain occurred the transfiguration.
It was the very love of God that sent Moses and Elijah to the mount. For Moses and Elijah were the past. They were the spirits of the law and prophecy. Now the past hands on its work to Jesus. All that the law had vainly striven to do, and all that prophecy had seen afar, was to be crowned on Calvary.”
Another interesting point is that God spoke out of the cloud:
Mark 9:7: “And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.”
1 Cor 10:1: “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;”
1 Cor 10:2: “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”
But they never touched the water for they were baptized into Moses.
Heb 12:1: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
The weight of sin is surely a clouded conscience, and the past that comes into the mind. It is only the cross that handles this sin.
1 Th 4:17: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (chill) and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
A heavenly lifestyle right here on earth while we are seated with Christ in heavenly places.
Well, we know this is true, even children know this is true but why do we not get all the things we need if God is living in us? Surely, God is good and then we should have all things we have need of, seeing that we are His dwelling place. Yes, this is correct, then there must be a reason why God cannot supply our needs. This is what this book aims to answer.
Warning: If you the reader are serious about finding out the answer to this question, be prepared for emotional upheavals as never before in your life.