Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

12 of My Favorite Witness Lee Quotes from the Recovery Version

12 Favorite Witness Lee Quotes

I love the Bible!  I also love books that help me to know its deeper meaning and the wonderful Person of Jesus Christ revealed on its pages.

The most helpful book I’ve found to help me know the hidden treasures in the Bible is the Holy Bible Recovery Version with footnotes by Witness Lee.

In this post I’ll present twelve of my favorite Witness Lee quotes from the Recovery Version footnotes. I hope these quotes will help you to love the Lord Jesus and His word much more. I also hope that they will stir up your hunger to dig into God’s word daily with this awesome tool.

12 of my favorite Witness Lee quotes

1. Concerning the Bible being the Word of God

The Scripture, the word of God, is the breathing out of God. God’s speaking is God’s breathing out. Hence, His word is spirit (John 6:63), or breath. Thus, the Scripture is the embodiment of God as the Spirit. The Spirit is therefore the very essence, the substance, of the Scripture, just as phosphorus is the essential substance in matches. We must strike the Spirit of the Scripture with our spirit to catch the divine fire.”2 Tim. 3:16, note 2

This quote reminds me that when we come to the Bible we need to not only use our mind to understand its teaching, but use our spirit to “strike the Spirit of the Scripture.” It is only in this way that we “catch the divine fire.”

The best way I know to do this is to receive God’s word by means of prayer, that is, to pray with the words of the Scripture until we contact the One who is it’s essence (John 5:39-40). For more help on this point check out my post on 12 Tips on How to Pray-read the Word of God to be Spiritually Nourished.

2. Concerning the Divine Trinity—the Father, Son and Spirit

In the dispensing of Himself into us, God is triune. He is one, yet He is three — the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Son is the embodiment and expression of the Father (vv. 7-11), and the Spirit is the reality and realization of the Son (vv. 17-20)…this Triune God — the Father in the Son and the Son as the Spirit — dispenses Himself into us to be our portion that we may enjoy Him as our everything in His Divine Trinity.”—John 14:7, note 1

I’m so glad that God is not triune (three-one) to confuse us, but to dispense Himself into us to be our portion for our enjoyment!

3. Concerning the eternal economy of God 

God’s economy in faith is His household economy, His household administration…, which is to dispense Himself in Christ into His chosen people that He may have a house to express Himself, which house is the church (3:15), the Body of Christ.”—1 Tim. 1:4, note 3

I like this quote because it reminds me that God’s economy is to dispense Himself into us so that He can have a family, a household and so that Christ can gain His Body to express Him. To carry out this economy is only in the sphere of faith. The more we contact the Lord in His word, the more we are infused with Him as our faith (Rom. 10:17).

4. Concerning the wonderful Person of Christ

“The wonderful Jesus, who is enthroned in heaven and crowned with glory and honor (2:9), is the greatest attraction in the universe. He is like an immense magnet, drawing all His seekers to Him. It is by being attracted by His charming beauty that we look away from all things other than Him. Without such a charming object, how could we look away from so many distracting things on this earth?”—Heb. 12:2, note 2.

I like this quote because it reminds me that it is the wonderful Jesus Himself who is the “immense magnet” in this universe. It is only by being attracted by His charming beauty that we can be look away from all the distracting things other than Him. May we daily grasp the time to behold the Lord Jesus in God’s word so that we can reflect Him to others in our daily lives (2 Cor. 3:18).

5. Concerning the effective work of Christ

“For the accomplishing of God’s eternal purpose, He took two steps. First, He took the step of incarnation to become a man in the flesh (1:14), to be the Lamb of God to accomplish redemption for man (1:29), to declare God to man (1:18), and to manifest the Father to His believers (14:9-11). Second, He took the step of death and resurrection to be transfigured into the Spirit that He might impart Himself into His believers as their life and their everything, and that He might bring forth many sons of God, His many brothers, for the building of His Body, the church, the habitation of God, to express the Triune God for eternity.”—John 20:22, note 1.

I like this Witness Lee quote because it shows us the two steps Christ passed through, not only to  save us from God’s condemnation, but to give us God’s eternal life so that we may become His sons to fulfill His purpose of building up Christ’s Body, the church, as His dwelling place to express Him.

6. Concerning the eternal, divine life

What then is this eternal life? This quote gives a clear understanding of what eternal life is:

“Lit., the life the eternal. This life denotes the divine spiritual life, not the human soulish life or the physical life…Eternal denotes not only duration of time, which is everlasting, without end, but also quality, which is absolutely perfect and complete, without any shortage or defect. Such an expression emphasizes the eternal nature of the divine life, the life of the eternal God. The apostles saw this eternal life and testified and reported it to people. Their experience was not of any doctrine but of Christ, the Son of God, as the eternal life, and their testimony and preaching were not of theology or biblical knowledge but of such a solid life.”—1 John 1:2, note 3

Have you received eternal life? You receive this eternal life when you believe into the Lord Jesus. My post, How do you believe into Jesus Christ? will show you how.

7. Concerning God’s creation of man with three parts

“…Man is of three parts: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit as our inmost part is the inner organ, possessing God-consciousness, that we may contact God (John 4:24; Rom. 1:9). The soul is our very self (cf. Matt. 16:26; Luke 9:25), a medium between our spirit and our body, possessing self-consciousness, that we may have our personality. The body as our external part is the outer organ, possessing world-consciousness, that we may contact the material world. The body contains the soul, and the soul is the vessel that contains the spirit. In the spirit, God as the Spirit dwells; in the soul, our self dwells; and in the body, the physical senses dwell…“—1 Thes, 5:23, note 5

I like this quote because it clearly reveals how God made us with three parts—spirit, soul and body—in order to contact God, receive God and eventually express God. You may also want to read my post, “What is difference between the soul and spirit of man?

8. Concerning the vitality of the gospel of Jesus Christ

“Christ’s death for our sins, His burial for our termination, and His resurrection for our germination with life, which were according to the prophecies of the Old Testament (Isa. 53:5-8, 10-12; Psa. 22:14-18; Dan. 9:26; Isa. 53:9; Psa. 16:9-10; Hosea 6:2), are the basic items among the first things of the gospel. The last of these items is the most vital in the gospel, for it is the positive aspect of the gospel in that it imparts life to us that we may obtain life and live Christ.”—1 Cor. 15:3, note 1

I like this Witness Lee quote because it points out that the gospel is not just about Jesus dying to take away our sins, but about Christ resurrecting from the dead so that He can impart His life to us that we might live Him (Phil 1:21).

9. Concerning salvation by faith

Faith has an object, and it issues from its object. This object is Jesus, who is God incarnate. When man hears Him, knows Him, appreciates Him, and treasures Him, He causes faith to be generated in man, enabling man to believe in Him….if man believes in Him, he is righteous to the uttermost before God, and God reckons this faith as his righteousness. At the same time, this faith brings its object, that is, this One who is God incarnate, into those who believe in Him.—Rom 3:22, note 1

I like this quote because it tells us that we don’t need to try to have faith. We just need to appreciate the Lord Jesus, the object of our faith. As we hear Him, know Him, appreciate Him and treasure Him, He causes faith to be generated in us. Let’s spend time to appreciate this wonderful Lord Jesus every day!

10. Concerning the living of the believers

But, how should we live as believers after receiving Christ? This Witness Lee quote is so simple and so releasing:

As we have received Christ, we should walk in Him. Here to walk is to live, to act, to behave, and to have our being. We should walk, live, and act in Christ that we may enjoy His riches, just as the children of Israel lived in the good land, enjoying all its rich produce. The good land today is Christ as the all-inclusive Spirit (Gal. 3:14), who dwells in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22; Rom. 8:16) to be our enjoyment. To walk according to this Spirit (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:16) is the central and crucial point in the New Testament.”Col. 2:6, note 2

Just like we don’t need to try to have faith, neither do we need to try to live like a Christian should. Instead we should allow Christ to live His life in us, walking according to His Spirit who dwells in our spirit (Rom. 8:4)!

11. Concerning the Church

“As revealed in v. 8, the church is produced from the unsearchable riches of Christ. When God’s chosen people partake of and enjoy the riches of Christ, they are constituted with those riches to be the church, through which God’s multifarious wisdom is made known to the angelic rulers and authorities in the heavenlies. Hence, the church is God’s wise exhibition of all that Christ is.“—Eph. 3:10, note 3

I love this Witness Lee quote because it points out that the church is produced from our enjoyment of the riches of Christ. For the church to fulfill its function of exhibiting Christ, we need to daily enjoy Christ as our real food, real drink and real breath.

12. Concerning the New Jerusalem, the ultimate consummation

Finally, what is the eternal destiny of all God’s chosen and redeemed people? Is it merely to go to heaven when we die?  The final chapters of the Bible reveals something more—the New Jerusalem.  But what is the New Jerusalem?

The New Jerusalem is a living composition of all the saints redeemed by God throughout all generations. It is the bride of Christ as His counterpart (John 3:29) and the holy city of God as His habitation, His tabernacle (v. 3)As the bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem comes out of Christ, her Husband, and becomes His counterpart, just as Eve came out of Adam, her husband, and became his counterpart (Gen. 2:21-24). She is prepared by participating in the riches of the life and nature of Christ. As the holy city of God, she is wholly sanctified unto God and fully saturated with God’s holy nature to be His habitation.”Rev. 21:2, note 1

I really enjoy this Witness Lee quote because it reminds me that we need not wait for heaven but can daily enjoy being prepared as Christ’s bride by participating in the riches of His life and nature through His bountiful Spirit and rich word.

If you’ve enjoyed a quote from this post please share it in a comment. If you have your own favorite quote by Witness Lee I hope that you’d  also take a moment to share it.


All quotes in this post were taken from the Holy Bible Recovery Version, copyright by Living Stream Ministry. The Recovery Version footnotes are all prepared by Witness Lee. Bibles for America gives away the New Testament Recovery Version for free. You can order your free copy here (in USA).

The following post by Bibles for America, 7 Excellent Witness Lee Quotes, draws from some of Witness Lee’s books that you can also get for free on their bfa.org website.

In addition, here are a couple posts on Witness Lee quotes that you may want to check out:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

21 Replies

  1. Joe Putnam

    My favorite footnote is Hebrews 12:2 note 2. It says: “The wonderful Jesus, who is enthroned in heaven and crowned with glory and honor (2:9), is the greatest attraction in the universe. He is like an immense magnet, drawing all His seekers to Him. It is by being attracted by His charming beauty that we look away from all things other than Him. Without such a charming object, how could we look away from so many distracting things on this earth?”

    1. Tom Smith

      Joe, I really like that note also because it causes me to gaze steadfastly on Christ. This earth is full of troubling things to distract us and bring us down. But when we look at Him, we’re lifted out of our condition. We need to be reminded every day to look away to Jesus! Thanks for the confirming comment.

  2. Jura

    Amen! This is so rich and so enjoyable! Thank you brother for posting.

    1. Tom Smith


      Glad you enjoyed the post. I hope that many more readers of this post will discover how enjoyable reading the Bible can be when you find Christ and see God’s plan in His word. The Recovery Version footnotes are a real opener, pointing us to riches of Christ in God’s word so that we can be nourished by them.

  3. Niraj

    Thanks Tom for bringing these “gems” to the surface for us.

  4. Jordan Secligen

    If we have daily enjoyment in contacting the Lord in His word we will be able to live a proper christian life with the concept to live Christ by eating and drinking Him in our entire life and not be distracted to other things but only care to love Him and be in the church meetings.

    1. Deborah Wang

      Amen! And “we touch God Himself when we touch the spirit of the Bible. It’s is not only a matter of being in God’s presence, but a matter of touching God Himself. When you touch the spirit of the Bible, you touch God Himself. Why is this so? Because the Bible is the breathing out of God Himself. it is God breathing Himself out through the words.”

      This is so real that we can daily experience. How wonderful this is!

      “Within this breathing there is the element of God.” “There is no element of God in any other word, whereas there is the element of God in the word of the Bible.”

      Praise Him!!!!!

  5. It is hard to say which quote I like best. Here is one from Romans 4:25 which I like very much and quoted recently (https://newjerusalem12.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/christ-in-us-is-always-acceptable-to-god/):
    The death of Christ has fulfilled and fully satisfied God’s righteous requirements; hence, we are justified by God through His death (3:24). His resurrection proves that God’s requirements were satisfied by His death for us, that we are justified by God because of His death, and that in Him, the resurrected One, we are accepted before God. Furthermore, as the resurrected One, He is in us to live for us a life that can be justified by God and is always acceptable to God.

    1. Tom Smith

      Don, I like the light from this note that being raised for our justification is not merely something objective. As the last line of the note you quoted says, “Furthermore, as the resurrected One, He is in us to live for us a life that can be justified by God and is always acceptable to God.” Christ’s being raised is not just the objective proof that God accepted His redemptive work. It is subjectively that He as the resurrected, He i One might come into us to live a life that can be justified by God. Lord, live in us such a life that is always acceptable to God.

  6. Deborah Wang

    I recently came to this verse and footnote in the RCV, and I enjoyed it very much. Col 2:8 says, “Beware that no one carries you off as spoil through his philosophy and empty deceit.” The footnote says, “If we have a clear vision of Christ as the center of God’s economy, no one will be able to delude us.” Wow. “If we take Christ as life, hold Him as the head of the Body, know Him as the mystery of God, experience Him as the hope of glory, and walk in Him as the all-inclusive Spirit, we will not be deceived by anything or anyone.” Hallelujah!!

    1. Tom Smith

      I like your referenced Witness Lee quote from footnote 1 on Col. 2:4, especially the part that says, “If we have a clear vision of Christ as the center of God’s economy, no one will be able to delude us.” I response to such a note it’s good to pray, Lord grant me such a clear vision of Christ as the center of God’s economy that no one could delude me or distract me from You as the center.”
      Thanks for sharing this very helpful note.

  7. Fred Northrup

    Praise the Lord for the life, the divine life, the eternal life contained in the Bible. So many footnotes in the Recovery Version are rich in content, profound in insight, and impart life to the loving seekers of the Lord. One example is Titus 3:15 footnote 1. Greet those who love us in faith. “Faith, referring to the subjective faith, the act of our believing, which brings us into an organic union with the Lord….”

    1. Tom Smith


      Great choice! Titus 3:15 footnote 1, on the relationship between faith and love is a real classic, as are 2 Cor. 13:14, footnote 1 on the Triune God for our enjoyment and 1 John 1:6, footnote 6 on the divine truth. Unfortunately, these footnotes are so extensive in their revelation of the truth that it is difficult to give them an adequate review in such a list post. Possibly we can consider them one at a time in some coming posts. Thanks for your confirming comment.

  8. Julie Cagle

    Thanks for this rich post, Tom. I also really enjoy footnote 2 on Hebrews 12:2. This wonderful Jesus is drawing us to look away from all our feelings, thoughts, circumstances and concepts to Him! He is so sweet, dear and pleasant.

    1. Tom Smith


      Yes, Hebrews 12:2, with note 2 really strengthens our appreciation for the preciousness of Christ. It takes the focus of our Christian life off ourselves and puts it where it belongs–on Christ Himself. Only He can live the Christian life. The only way we can avoid discouragement and complete the Christian race is to “look away unto Jesus.” He finished the course victoriously and now He is encouraging us to follow Him faithfully to reach the goal. Let’s look away to Him! Thanks for the confirming comment.

  9. June

    draw us Lord Jesus,,, and we will run after you …

  10. June

    I have enjoyed reading these ‘favourite Witness Lee quotes’ as they provide a healthy pattern for preparing prophesies. They are succinct, enlightening and living. Thank you and thank You Lord

    1. Tom Smith

      June, glad you enjoyed the post. like you said, I also find the footnotes to be succinct, enlightening and living. Thank the Lord for such a helpful resource and tool for being filled with the divine truth and for presenting it to others—both in Christian meetings and in our daily contact with people. Thanks for your confirming comment.

    1. Tom Smith

      Phil, I also enjoy footnote 3 on 1 Cor. 2:9. It really gives us the key to entering into deep and intimate union with God—loving the Lord. Like Mary who lovingly sought the Lord at the garden tomb. She didn’t just discover the fact of the resurrection of Jesus. She received the resurrected Christ’s personal appearing and word to her. What a reward to the Lord’s lovers!

      May we not just be the Lord’s believers but His loving seekers—those with whom “He becomes everything to us and we are one with Him practically in our daily life,” so that we “have the closest and most intimate fellowship with God,” and “are able to enter into His heart and apprehend all its secrets.” Thanks for this excellent addition.

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