THE NEW COVENANT - God's Promises and Facts
Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

B. Childress
May 9 2008 08:00AM

In God's Word there are some portions which speak of the responsibilities that God requires of man and other portions
which speak of the grace that God bestows on man.  In other words, there are those portions which speak of God's
requirements and those which speak of God's grace.  For example, there are many commandments, laws, and
teachings which are indications that God wants man to bear responsibility.  These are God's requirements for man.  On
the other hand, there are spiritual blessings in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:3), and the inheritance which is
incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us (I Peter 1:14).  These are the things
which God delights to give to us and which He has accomplished for us; this is the grace which God has bestowed upon

God's Word in the aspect of grace may be summed up into three categories: (1) the promises of God to us, (2) the facts
which God has accomplished for us, and (3) the covenants which God has made with man which He Himself will
definitely fulfill.  God's promises are different from God's facts.  God's promises and God's facts are also different from
God's covenants.  God's covenants include God's promises and God's facts.        


Now let us see what is meant by God's promises.  A promise is different from a fact.  Promise is related to the future,
while fact is related to the past.  Promise is something to be done, while fact is something already done.  Promise means
that God will do something for man, while fact means that God has already done something for man.  Promise means if
you do such and such, then I will do such and such.  Fact means that God loves us and knowing our impotence, has
accomplished something for us.  Many of the promises are conditional.  If we fulfill the conditions, we shall receive what
has been promised.  Facts do not require our supplication.  We only need to see that the facts are facts and believe
them as such.

Some examples will help to show the difference between promise and fact.  For example, the Lord Jesus comforted the
disciples by saying, "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me...for I go to prepare a place for
you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself" (John 14:1-3).  This is a
promise.  It became a fact when the Lord came again as the Spirit.

Later, the Lord told the disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not
come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you" (John 16:7).  This is a promise.  This promise became a fact on the day of
the Lord’s resurrection when He breathed into His disciples and said to them "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:19-22).

Again, the Lord Jesus told His disciples, "And behold, I send forth the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the
city, until ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).  This is a promise within a promise.  On the day of
Pentecost the Holy Spirit came (Acts 2:1-4).  At that time this promise became a fact.  However, this promise was
conditional; that is the disciples had to tarry in the city.

Let us use another illustration to show the difference between promise and fact.  Suppose A and B were friends.  A
became sick and unable to work; neither did he have money to buy the things which he needed.  B loved A and told him,
"Tomorrow morning I will come to do your work and bring you some money to buy the things you need."  This was B's
promise to A.  The next morning B did come to A's house to do the work and also to give him some money to buy the
things needed.  This means that B's promise to A has become a fact.  If A believed B's promise, that is, if he believed
B's word to be reliable, he would have hope and rest from the day the promise was given, and on the following day he
would have the practical enjoyment of it.

Principles concerning the Promises of God

God's Word shows us several principles concerning His promises.  Here are some examples:

(1)  "Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may be well with you, and that
you may live long on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2-3).  This promise is
conditional.  Not everyone will be well and live long.  
If a person does not fulfill the condition mentioned here, he will not receive the promised blessing of well-being and long

(2)  "Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established" (2 Chronicles 1:9).  The word "established"
may also be rendered "
fulfilled."  This means that we need to ask God to fulfill His promise; that is, the promise requires
prayer in order that it may be fulfilled (I Kings 8:56).  

(3)  "After the number of the days in which ye spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, shall ye bear
your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my alienation [margin, the revoking of my promise]" (Numbers 14:
34).  This means that if a man is unfaithful towards God's promise and does not fulfill the conditions accompanying it,
the promise
may be revoked.  For example, of all the children of Israel who came out of Egypt, only Caleb and Joshua
entered into Canaan.  The rest died in the wilderness (Numbers 26:65).  This shows that God revoked His promise to
those unfaithful ones.  As for Jacob and Joseph, although they died in Egypt, they were buried in Canaan.  Because
they were faithful to God even unto death, God did not revoke His promise (Genesis 46:3-4; 49:29-32; 50:12-13, 24-25;
Joshua 24:32).

(4)  "For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he should be the heir of the world, but
through the righteousness of faith.  For if the heirs are of the law, faith has been made void, and the promise made of
none effect" (Romans 4:13-14).  This means that if a man apart from God acts by the strength of his flesh or adds
something to the promise, it is possible that the promise may become of none effect.

(5)  "And these all, having obtained testimony through their faith, did not obtain the promise, God having in view
something better concerning us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect" (Hebrews 11:39-40).  And, "for you
have need of endurance in order that, having done the will of God, you may receive the promise" (Hebrews 10:36).  
This means that we
must endure until a certain time, and then we will obtain what God has promised.

From these Scriptures we see the following four (4) principles concerning God's promises:  (1)  God's promise requires
our prayer that it may be fulfilled; (2)  If God's promise is conditional - man must fulfill His condition in order to obtain the
promise; otherwise the promise may be revoked; (3)  If, apart from God's promise, man uses the strength of his flesh to
act or to add something, the promise may become of none effect; (4)  God's promises are fulfilled in God's time.

How God's Promise is Accomplished in Us

How can God's promise be accomplished in us?  Every time we see a promise in God's Word we must really pray.  We
must pray until the Spirit of God is so stirred in us that we feel deeply that this promise is intended of God for us.  If
there is no condition attached to this promise, we can immediately exercise our faith to receive it, believing that God will
act according to His promise and accomplish in us what He has promised.  We can immediately praise and thank God.  If
the promise has certain conditions, we need to fulfill the conditions.  Then we come to God through prayer and ask Him
to act according to His faithfulness and righteousness and fulfill His promise in us.  When we have prayed to the extent
that faith rises up in us, we need pray no longer.  We can begin to praise and thank God.  Then, before long, we shall
see that God's promise is really being fulfilled in us.

(1)  In a certain place there were several sisters who at the beginning of each year were in the habit of asking God to
give them a promise to sustain them for the year.  One of the sisters felt that she was weak and told the Lord of her
situation.  The Lord gave her this word, " you-ward is not weak, but is powerful in you" (II Corinthians 13:3).  
When she received such a word, she became strong.  Another sister was prone to worry; whenever she considered the
past or the future, she was fearful.  She too told the Lord about her situation, and the Lord gave her this promise,
saying, "Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10).  The five occurrences of "I" and the three
occurrences of "will" in this verse of the Word of God caused her on one hand to bow down and worship, and on the
other hand to be so joyful that she praised the Lord even with tears.  Later, when she encountered difficulties and trials,
she read this word back to God and even read it to herself. God's Word really established her, helped her, and upheld
her through many years.

Among these sisters were many similar stories. The promises which God gave to each of them were exactly suited to
their need.  They sincerely asked for God's promise and obtained it.  At the end of the year, when they recounted the
Lord's grace, they could testify that within the year God's promise had truly comforted and sustained them many times.

(2)  Another child of God, due to the need of her living, asked the Lord to give her a promise.  One day she read this
word: "Let your way of life be without love of money, being satisfied with your circumstances; for He has said, I will by no
means cease to uphold you, neither by any means will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).  These words surprised her and at
the same time made her glad.  This promise is conditional:  we must be without covetousness, and we must be content
with such things as we have; then we will not be deserted or forsaken by the Lord.  She said, "Amen and amen!" to this
promise.  In the past twenty years since that time, on the one hand she has maintained the principle of not eating
without working (II Thessalonians 3:10); on the other hand the Lord has truly caused the handful of flour in her barrel
and the little oil in her container not to be exhausted or lacking.  The Lord has not deserted her nor forsaken her.

(3)  There is the case of another sister who had been sick for many years.  While she was very much in despair she
recalled Romans 8:13: ”For if you live according to the flesh, you are about to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death
the practices of the body, you will live."  This gave her a new turn.  She dealt with what needed to be dealt with
according to the Lord's light.  However, she still remained ill in body.  Then one day she prayed, "Lord, if Romans 8:13
is the word You have given me, I ask You to grant me another promise."  Then she confessed her weakness and her
unbelief.  At this time, deep within her, there seemed to be such words: God is not a man; He will not lie."  She did not
know whether such words were found in the Scriptures.  Then, looking into a concordance, she discovered that in
Number 23:19 there were truly such words: "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should
repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?  Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"  With this her heart
was filled with joy and her mouth with praises.  Consequently, God also caused her illness to depart.

(4)  There were some children of God who at a certain stage of their spiritual life were brought into the experience of
Psalm 66.  On the one hand it seemed as though, "Thou broughtest us into the net; thou layedst a sore burden upon
our loins.  Thou didst cause men to ride over our heads"  (verses 11-12). But on the other hand God also gave them
the promise: "We went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place" (verse 12).  This
comforted and established them.

(5)  There have been several children of God who have been encompassed by trials.  Every time they prayed there was
the following promise which comforted and established them:  "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can
bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make
also the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

(6)  A certain servant of the Lord was in a very heavy trial; it seemed that a great mountain loomed before him.  He had
climbed this mountain to the point of exhaustion; he had climbed to the extent of despair; he had climbed to the place
where it seemed that there was very little left in him to look to God.  The words, "unto this present hour" and "until now"
(I Corinthians 4:11,13) brought him over this high mountain.  "Unto this present hour" he was still being considered the
filth of the world, the very refuse of all things; but he was still able to stand "until now."  Time tests man, but God's
promises enable man to pass through the test of time and remain standing "unto this present hour" and "until now."

(7)  There have been some children of God, who when being tossed by the waves, cried unto the Lord.  The Lord's
word to them was, "Have courage; it is I; do not fear" (Matthew 14:24,27).  At this promise their troubled heart was
immediately calmed.  The waves could never bring them to the bottom of the sea.

Therefore, concerning God's promises we need to praise Him that they cannot be done away; every word will be
established.  Faith never asks for evidence, for whatever God says, He will do.  Though heaven and earth may be
consumed and the mountains and hills fall, he who believes in the Lord shall see His words fulfilled.


Concerning God's facts, although we cannot find the word facts in the Scriptures, yet in God's work we find many
accomplished facts.  In others words, facts are God's accomplished work.

Facts Are the Accomplished Works

In the Old Testament God promised that the Lord Jesus would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).  Then, "when the
fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, come of a woman, come under law, that He might redeem those under
law, that we might receive the sonship" (Galatians 4:4-5).  Thus, the promise in Isaiah that "a virgin shall conceive and
bear a son" has come true, has become a fact.  The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus is also a fact.  He offered Himself once
for all and accomplished eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).  Since this is a fact, no one need ask the Lord to die again
for us and redeem us from our sins.

The coming of the Holy Spirit is also a fact forever accomplished.  Since this is so, no one need ask again for the Holy
Spirit to come.  (This refers to the
fact of the coming of the Holy Spirit, not to the individual experience of the coming of
the Holy Spirit.)

Moreover, God has accomplished many other things through Christ.  The Scriptures reveal that all things pertaining to
life and godliness have been accomplished in Christ.  For example, Ephesians 1:3 says, "Who hath blessed us with
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."  Verse 4 continues with the words, "Even as...," and this
sentence lasts until verse 14, according to the original text.  Hence, we see that all the things mentioned in these verses
are all the spiritual blessings referred to in verse 3.  This also explains II Peter 1:3: "Seeing that his divine power hath
granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness."  All these are in Christ.  They are facts which have
already been accomplished.

With regard to God's promises, if we do not ask concerning them, or if we do not fulfill the conditions, we may not obtain
them; the promises may become void as far as we are concerned.  But concerning God's facts, even though we do not
ask, He will fulfill them in us.  They are facts; therefore, we do not need to ask concerning them.  (This refers to God's
facts themselves, not to our individual experiences.)

God has never asked us to do anything in order to obtain His facts.  All He requires is that we simply believe.  There
may be a delay with God's promise, but God's facts can never be late.  We can never say that we have received God's
facts and then say that we need to wait a few years for God to give them to us.  What God has accomplished and what
He has already given to us in Christ can never be postponed to some future time.  If God delays His giving to us, it is a
contradiction to fact.

Consider two examples. In Ephesians 2:4-6 we read: "But God, being rich in mercy because of His great love with which
He loved us, even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ...and raised us up together and
seated us together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus."  There are three "withs" and two "mades" in this verse.  Are the
things mentioned here God's promises or God's facts?  God's Word tells us that these are all facts.  It is God who made
us alive together with Christ, and it is God who has raised us up with Christ.  These are all accomplished facts.  Since
this is so, we ought to praise and thank God.  We ought to take an attitude towards Satan that we have been raised up
together and that we have ascended together with Christ.  We should not take an attitude of hope that we may be
raised up or that we may ascend.  Our attitude should be one which indicates that we
have been raised up, that we have
ascended.  We must know that there is not one of the Lord's people who has not received a life of resurrection and
ascension.  If we consider that this life can only be obtained by our asking for it, we do not know what God has
accomplished.  God has given us in Christ all that pertains to life and godliness.  We do not need to ask; we only need
to claim.  Hallelujah, this glorious fact, this accomplished fact, this fact which Christ has accomplished, has been given to
us by God in Christ!

The second example is found in Romans 6:6 which says, "Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him
that the body of sin might be made of none effect, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves."  This verse shows us
three things:  (1) sin, (2)   the old man, and (3) the body of sin.  Sin is that very nature of sin which rules in us  (Romans
6:14; 7:17).  The old man is our self which likes to listen to sin.  The body of sin is our body which is the puppet of sin.  
Our body is that which actually commits sins.  Sin rules in us and by the old man controls our body to make it commit
sins.  The old man represents all that is of Adam and inclines toward sin.  It is this old man which listens to sin and
directs the body to commit sin.  Perhaps some will think that in order for man not to sin, the root of sin must be plucked
out.  Others may think that for man not to sin, he must painstakingly suppress his body.  These are men's thoughts;
what God has done is completely different.  God did not deal with the root of sin; neither did He deal with our body.  
What He dealt with was our old man.  "Our old man has been crucified on the cross, in like manner our old man
crucified with Him.  This is a fact.  It is a fact which God has accomplished in Christ.

The phrase, "that the body of sin might be made of none effect" may also be rendered, "that the body of sin may
become unemployed." Because our old man has been crucified with Christ, the body of sin has become unemployed.  
Although the nature of sin is still present and active and still comes to tempt us, the old man who has been utilized by sin
has been crucified with Christ.  Therefore, sin can no longer be our master; we have been freed from sin.  However,
someone may look at himself and think that because he is still weak and still sins, he needs to ask God again to give
him grace, and to work again to root out sin, that he may be delivered from sin.  Someone else may think that Christ has
been crucified, but that
his old man has not been crucified.  He may therefore ask God to crucify his old man.  The
result is that the more he asks God to crucify his old man, the more his old man seems to be active, exercising dominion
over him.  What is the reason for this?  It is because some are only acquainted with God's promise but do not know
God's fact. Perhaps they take God's fact as God's promise, treating God's fact in the same way they treat His promises.  
God says that their old man has been crucified with Christ, but they think that God's promise is that He
will crucify their
old man.  Therefore, they continue to ask God to crucify their old man.  Whenever they commit sin, they feel that their
old man has not been crucified, and they ask God once again to crucify their old man.  Whenever they fall into
temptation, they think that their old man has not been completely dealt with by God.  For this reason they feel they need
to ask God to deal with their old man. They do not know the fact that their old man has been crucified with Christ, that
this is an accomplished fact and is different from a promise.  Therefore, they continue to beg.  The result is that they
make no progress, only continuing to cry out, "O wretched man that I am!"  (Romans 7:24).

We must realize that Romans 6:6 is a basic experience for every one who belongs to the Lord.  We must ask the Spirit
of the Lord to give us the revelation so that we may see that our old man has been crucified with Christ.  Then, based
upon the Word of God, we will be able to believe that we are dead indeed to sin (Romans 6:11).  Although at times the
temptation will come and cause us to feel that our old man is not dead, still we believe what God has accomplished more
than we believe our feeling and experience.  Once we see that the fact is a fact, the experience will spontaneously
follow.  However, we need to realize that it is not because we believe that God's fact becomes real, but because God's
is real, therefore, we believe.

Faith means that since God says our old man has been crucified with Christ, we also say that our old man has been
crucified with Christ.  It is a fact that our old man has been crucified, a fact which God has accomplished in Christ.  God
cannot do any more than He has already done.  We cannot do any more than believe that God's Word is true.  
Therefore, what is needed is not for us to ask God to do something, but for us to believe what God has already done.  
Whenever we believe God's facts, the experience automatically follows.  Fact, faith, and experience - this is the order
which God has ordained.  This great principle in the spiritual life must be remembered.

Some Principles concerning God's Facts

From what we have seen in the previous examples there are the following principles:

(1)  We need to discover what God's fact is.  For this, revelation from the Holy Spirit is necessary.

(2)  Once we see what God's fact is, we need to hold on to God's Word and believe that we are just as God's Word
says.  We need to believe that just as God's fact says, so we are.

(3)  We need by faith on one hand to praise God that we are this way; on the other hand we need to act and manifest
that we are such.

(4)  Whenever temptation or trial comes to us, we must believe that God's Word and His fact are more dependable than
our feelings.  We need only to fully believe God's Word; then God will be responsible to give us the experience.  If we
pay attention to our experience first, we shall fail and not have any experience.  Our responsibility is to believe God's
fact; God's responsibility is to grant us the experience.  If we believe God's fact, our spiritual life will grow every day.

(5)  Fact requires our faith, for faith is the only way by which the fact may be realized in our experience.  God's fact is in
Christ; therefore, we must be in Christ in order to enjoy the fact which God has accomplished in Christ.  When we are
united with Christ, we shall experience the fact which God has accomplished in Christ.  We must remember that when we
were saved, we were united with Christ and were put into Christ (I Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3).  But
many, though they are in Christ, do not abide in Christ.  Since they do not stand by faith upon the position which God
has given them in Christ, they lose the effect which God's fact has toward them.  Therefore, though we are already in
Christ, We also need to abide in Christ.  By this means, God's fact will become our experience and will continue to be
manifested through us.

The Need of Seeing

We have mentioned repeatedly that God's fact is something which He has already accomplished and that we do not
need to ask Him to do anything.  However, if we have not seen God's fact as fact, we need to ask God to give us
revelation, to give us light, that we may see.  It is the spirit of wisdom and revelation that will cause us to know
(Ephesians 1:17-18).  We can ask for such a spirit.  What we ask for is the vision.  We do not ask that God will do that
very thing again, but that He may show us that He has already accomplished that thing.  We must be clear about this

Following are some further examples to clarify this matter.

(1)  A sister, before she had seen the fact of being in Christ, thought that she had to exercise her own effort to work
herself into Christ, yet she did not know how to do it.  One day upon hearing the word, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus
"  (I Corinthians 1:30), she saw in her inner being that God had already put her into Christ and that she did not need to
work herself in anymore.

(2)  Some children of God, before seeing the fact that "our old man has been crucified with Christ," either used their own
effort to crucify their old man, or asked God to do it.  The result was that the more they tried to crucify their old man, the
more lively the old man seemed to be.  The more they asked God to crucify their old man, the more confused they
became.  Then one day God opened their eyes and revealed to them that He had already crucified their old man  with
Christ.  At that time they realized how foolish their action and prayer had been.  

(3)  A certain sister was not clear that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is already a fact.  One night she closed her door
and read Acts 2.  While reading this portion of the Word, she asked God to give her a revelation.  God opened her eyes
and showed her three things in this chapter: (a)  that Christ has been exalted to the right hand of God, and having
received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, has poured down the Holy Spirit (verse 33); (b)  God has made
Him both Lord and Christ (verse 36); (c)  this promise of receiving the Holy Spirit is for the Israelites and for their
children, and also for those who are afar off (verse 39).  She saw that it is a fact that the Holy Spirit has been poured
out.  Since she was one who had repented and had been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, she was included in
those who were "afar off."  She realized, therefore, that she had a part in the promise, that is, that she had a part in
what is mentioned in verse 38, "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."  When she saw this, she was full of joy and
could not cease to praise the Lord.

Therefore, we strongly emphasize again that concerning God's fact we do not need to ask God to do that thing again;
we need only ask God to show us that He has already done that thing. We need not ask God to put us now into Christ,
but we do need to ask God to show us that He has already put us into Christ.  We do not need to ask God to crucify our
old man, but we do need to ask God to show us that He has crucified us with Christ.  Neither are we asking God to pour
down the Holy Spirit from the heavens; rather, we are asking God to show us that the Holy Spirit has already been
poured down. (In Acts 1:13-14, we read that the Apostles with several women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with
His brothers, continued steadfastly in prayer with one accord.  Acts 2:1 says that on the day of Pentecost the disciples
were all together in one place, because at that time the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out.  But Acts 8:15-17
clearly shows that Peter and John prayed for the Samaritans who had believed in the Lord, and laid hands upon them
that they might receive the Holy Spirit.  They did not pray for the Holy Spirit to be poured out from heaven.  The
outpouring of the Holy Spirit from heaven is a fact, while the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon individuals is an

We do need to ask God to show us that His facts are facts.  Whenever we have the inner revelation, we can
spontaneously believe and then spontaneously have the experience.  We say again that we may indeed inquire of God,
but what we need to ask Him for is the enlightening of our eyes to give us revelation and light that we may really see
something concerning God's facts.


We have mentioned the contrast between God's promise and God's fact.  Now let us summarize the basic difference
between God's fact and God's promise.  In the Scriptures, promise is the word spoken by God before the thing
happens, while fact is the word spoken by God after the thing has happened.  We must receive God's promise with our
faith, while we must not only receive God's fact with our faith, but also enjoy what God has accomplished.  Therefore,
when we read God's Word, one of the most important things is to differentiate which is God's promise and which is
God's fact.  Whenever we come to a place which speaks of God's grace, telling us how God has done something for us,
we need to ask whether this is a promise or a fact.  If it is a promise and has some conditions, we need to fulfill the
conditions and then really pray until God gives us assurance within to know that this promise is for us.  Then quite
naturally we shall have faith, and we shall know that God has heard our prayer.  We shall spontaneously praise God.  
Although God's promise has yet to be fulfilled, still, because of the fact that you have faith, it seems that very thing is
already in your hand.  But if it is a fact, then you may immediately exercise faith and praise God, saying, "O God, yes, it
is so!"  You can believe it is really so, and then act accordingly.  By doing this you will prove your faith.

There are, however, a few points of which we need to be reminded:

(1)  Before we ask God for His promise, we must first deal with our impure heart.  Those who are full of confusing
thoughts or are too emotional will very likely consider that this is God's promise for them, or that is God's promise for
them.  Yesterday there was a promise, today there is another promise.  To them, obtaining God's promises is like
drawing from a lottery, taking one lot after another.  Nine times out of ten such promises are undependable and might
be deceiving.  (This does not mean that God's promises are not dependable, but that what such people consider to be
God's promise is something they themselves have conceived,
not something which God has given to them.)  If those
who have natural inclinations or hardness of will subjectively use what they have remembered of God's Word in their
mind, or if they use those words of God which suit their moods, or explain God's Word in their subjective way and treat
these as God's promises, their "promises" will usually be undependable.  The result is that they will become
disappointed, even doubtful of God's Word.  Therefore, before we ask for God's promise, we need to ask Him to
enlighten our heart that we may know our heart.  We need to ask God to purify our heart.  We also need to ask God to
grant us grace, making us willing to lay down our selves so that we may quietly look unto Him.  Then if God gives us a
promise, we shall be spontaneously and clearly impressed from the deepest part of our heart.

(2)  After receiving God's promise we need to make use of it.  Charles Spurgeon once said, "O believer, I beseech you
do not treat God's promises as if they were curiosities for a museum; but use them as everyday sources of comfort.  
Trust the Lord whenever your time of need comes on."  These are words of experience.

(3)  Those who really have a promise from God usually behave and act in a peaceful and stable way, as if the promise
had come true.  For example, when Paul was zealous for the work at Corinth, the Lord spoke to him in a vision:  "Be not
afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee."  After this, he
dwelt there a year and six months (Acts 18:9-11).  On another occasion when Paul was on the way to Rome and ran into
danger at sea, he could stand among those who were with him in the ship and say, "Be of good cheer: for I believe God,
that it shall be even so as it hath been spoken unto me."  He not only believed God's promise, but also used God's
promise as a promise and a comfort to others.  "And when he had said this, and had taken bread, he gave thanks to
God in the presence of all; and he brake it, and began to eat."  This was Paul's manner and action after he believed
God's promise.  Such manner gave those with him a deep impression.  The result was that "they were all of good cheer,
and themselves also took food"  (Acts 27:23-25, 35-36).

A saint has said that every promise of God is built upon
four pillars:  God's justice, God's holiness, God's grace,
and God's truth
.  God's justice will not suffer Him to be faithless; God's holiness will not suffer Him to deceive; God's
grace will not suffer Him to forget; and God's truth will not suffer Him to change.  Another saint has said that though the
promise tarry, it can never come too late.  These are all words of experience from those who know God.

The Psalmist said, "Remember the word unto thy servant, wherein thou hast made me to hope" (Psalm 119:49, lit.).  
This is a most powerful prayer.  God's promise gives us a living hope.  Hallelujah!

(4)  Once we have seen God's fact, our faith must continue to look at God's fact, counting the fact as fact.  Whenever
we have a failure, we need to discover the reason for the failure.  We need to condemn both the reason for failure and
the act of failing.  If due to our own failure we become doubtful concerning God's fact, even denying God's fact, this
proves that we have
an evil heart of unbelief towards God's fact (Hebrews 3:12).  At this point we need to ask God to
remove the evil heart of unbelief.

If we hold fast the beginning of the assurance firm to the end, we have become partners of Christ  (Hebrews 3:14).


The New Covenant, by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, Copyright 1981, Living Stream Ministry.