Part 3 | Chapter 2: The Experience of Soulish Believers

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Note: These are the notes I wrote down as I read through this book. Sometimes the notes are a word-for-word transcription from the book. Other times it’s my paraphrase of what was written. These notes are not intended to fully explain what Watchman Nee wrote. If something is confusing or requires more clarity, you can reference this book for more information.

Soulish Believers

Regeneration did not destroy our souls. Nor is the cross designed to destroy our souls. Our souls vary from person to person, are uniquely created, and are meant to serve our spirit empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The life of soulish believers will vary from person to person since our souls are uniquely created.

Soulish believers are overly curious. For example, they study end-time prophecy out of curiosity.

Spiritual Christians seek the experience of being one with God. Soulish ones desire explanations and understanding in their mind.

Soulish like to argue and reason.

Soulish think knowing mentally is possessing experientially. This is a big deception.

Soulish believers hold tenaciously to their minute opinions. They are dogmatic about their opinions.

Soulish believers are moved easily. One minute they’re excited and happy. Next, they’re despondent and sad.

Soulish live by the feelings of joy or sorrow. They are characterized by constant change because they are governed by their emotions.

Soulish believers are also over sensitive. Everything is aimed at them. They are easily angered and hurt.  They easily become intimate, relying on affections.

Soulish believers make self the center and consider themselves special with a little progress.

They grasp God’s grace for their own boasting. Gifts, talents, and blessings are used to promote self.

They equate “encounters” with maturity and spirituality.

Soulish believers have numerous sentimental experiences that deem them more spiritual.

Spiritual life is by faith not by feeling.

The soulish are easily influenced inwardly by the environment around them. In joyful surroundings, they are joyful. In sorrowful ones, they are sad.

The soulish thrive on sensation. The Lord allows them to experience His presence before spiritual maturity.  But this doesn’t equate to maturity.

The soulish don’t understand that we walk by faith and not by feeling. When God’s presence is withdrawn, the soulish think their spiritual life is gone.

Soulish believers are talkative. They are goaded into endless discussions by their excited emotions. They lack self-control in speech. When conversation gains momentum, they can’t stop talking. The result is a loss of peace, arguments, loss of love, criticism, judgment, and course jesting.

The soulish are long on spiritual knowledge but short on experience.

The soulish condemn others but don’t correct themselves. They easily see the soulish thoughts and acts in others but not in themselves.

Their acquisition of knowledge leads to judgment of others while not correcting themselves.

The soulish are very critical. They use their soulical capacity to receive knowledge but they lack spiritual capacity to be humble.

Christians who thrive on the soul life are very proud. Why? Self is the center.

The Works of Soulish Believers

The soulish outwork everyone.

They are most active, zealous, and willing. They don’t labor because they have received God’s order. They labor because they have the zeal and capacity to do so.

The soulish don’t have the time to wait or the heart to trust. They don’t seek God’s will.

They labor according to their ideas, with a mind teeming with schemes and plans.

Their labor chiefly depends upon feelings.

When the soulish “feel” that they have failed—though not true—they quit. The soulish are easily discouraged.

Bryan Kessler