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The Latent Power of the Soul by Watchman Nee

The Latent Power of the Soul by Watchman Nee



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Published by: cambridge0307 on Nov 27, 2009
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The Latent Power of the Soul
by Watchman Nee
1--The Latent Power of the Soul2--The Christian and Psychic Force3--Spirit Force vs. Psychic Force
When in 1924 I first called the attention of God's children to the dividing of spirit and soul, manywell-disposed brethren thought of it as merely a dispute over words having no great significance.What they failed to see was that our conflict is not concerned with word but with that which liesbehind. The spirit and the soul are two totally different organs: one belongs to God, while theother belongs to man. By whatever names one may call them, they are completely distinct insubstance. The peril of the believer is to confuse the spirit for the soul and the soul for the spirit,and so be deceived into accepting, the counterfeit of' evil spirits to the unsettling of' God's work.This series of articles had originally been intended to be written immediately following thecompletion (in 1928) of The Spiritual Man. But because of physical weakness and the heavyburden of other service, I was only able to have them published in last year's issues of Revivalmagazine. In response to the request of its readers, I now put forth this booklet.The greatest advantage in knowing the difference between spirit and soul is in perceiving thelatent power of the soul and in understanding its falsification of the power of the Holy Spirit.Such knowledge is not theoretical but practical in helping people to walk in God's way.Just last night I was reading what F. B. Meyer once said in a meeting shortly before his earthlydeparture. Here is a section of it: "This is an amazing fact that never has there been so muchspiritualism outside the church of Christ as is found today . . . Is it not factual that in the lowerpart of our human nature the stimulation of the soul is quite prevailing? Nowadays theatmosphere is so charged with the commotion of all kinds of counterfeit that the Lord seems tobe calling the church to come to a higher ground."* Today's situation is perilous. May we "proveall things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thess. 5.21). Amen.Watchman Nee March 8, 1933
Chapter 1 --The Latent Power of the Soul
And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandiseany more; merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stone, and pearls . . . and cattle, andsheep, and merchandise of horses and chariots and slaves (Gr.bodies); and souls of men. (Rev.18.11-13) Please note here that in this passage the list of merchandise commences with gold andsilver and ends with souls of men. Gold and silver, horses and chariots are all naturalcommodities which can be bartered. Even slaves can be bartered or traded-yet this is a trading inhuman bodies. Further, though, is an exchanging of the souls of men as merchandise.So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that whichis spiritual. (1 Cor. 15.45,46)And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathof life; and man became a living soul. (Gen. 2.7)Over the past two years I have felt strongly the need of giving such a message as will now begiven. It is a message both intricate and profound. It will not be easy for the speaker to speak norfor the hearers to understand. For this reason, I did not insert this message into Part Three of TheSpiritual Man.* Yet I have always felt I should give it, especially after having read various booksand magazines and having had contact to a certain extent with the people of this world. I sensehow precious is the truth we are privileged to know. In view of the current situation and tendencyof the church as well as of the world, we are constrained to share what is given to us. Otherwisewe will be hiding the lamp under a bushel.What I would mention in the message for our consideration today concerns spiritual warfare andits relation to the end of this age. Now for the sake of those who have not read The SpiritualMan, I will briefly touch on the trilogy of spirit, soul, and body.Trilogy of Spirit, Soul, and Body"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2.7). This refers to the humanbody. "And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." This describes how God gave spirit toman; it was Adam's spirit. So man's body was formed of the dust of the ground, and man's spiritwas given to him by God. "And man became a living soul." After the breath of life had enteredinto his nostrils man became a living soul. The spirit, the soul, and the body are three separateentities. "May your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire" (1 Thess. 5.23. The spirit isGod-given; the soul is a living soul; and the body is God-formed.According to common understanding the soul is our personality. When the spirit and the bodywere joined, man became a living soul. The characteristic of the angels is spirit and that of thelower animals such as beasts is flesh. We humans have both spirit and body; but ourcharacteristic is neither spirit nor body but soul. We have a living soul. Hence the Bible callsman soul. For example, when Jacob went down into Egypt with his family, the Scriptures tell us

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