Compound Spirit, The (tract)by
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
For eternity God has existed as the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Matt. 28:19). He is the Triune God. Far beyond our ability to comprehend how He can be so, God is at the same time both one (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4) and three. Because He is the eternal God, He is unchanging in His essence and person. Yet mysteriously He has become a man, and as a man, He passed through death and entered into resurrection (1 Cor 15:3-4). This wonderful God-man is the Lord Jesus Christ.
According to the Scriptures, when the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, He rose to become the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). This does not destroy the distinction between God the Son and God the Spirit, but it does indicate that after Christ’s resurrection the Spirit bears and communicates this glorious God-man to us. Before Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit of God possessed the divine nature only; but after Christ’s resurrection, both His divinity and humanity have been compounded into the life-giving Spirit. This life-giving Spirit dispenses to man not just the divine life of God but also the glorified humanity of Jesus. This life is everything that we fallen human beings need, for it is the life of the eternal God and of the perfect, uplifted man. Now what Christ is, is available to man through the compound, life-giving Spirit, and what has been compounded into this Spirit is the essence of God’s good news to man.
The life-giving Spirit has been compounded with all the elements of the glorious Christ. There is an excellent illustration of this compound Spirit in the Old Testament book of Exodus. When God instructed Moses to build a tabernacle for His worship in the wilderness, He told him to prepare a compound ointment for anointing the tabernacle, its furnishings, and all the serving priests. This unique ointment typifies the compound Spirit. In preparing this ointment, Moses took one hin (approximately equal to one gallon) of pure olive oil and compounded into it the following four spices: 500 shekels (a shekel is approximately half an ounce) of myrrh, 250 shekels of cinnamon, 250 shekels of calamus, and 500 shekels of cassia. These amounts and these spices are very significant. In the Bible olive oil signifies the Spirit of God, and the one hin indicates that there is one God with His divine nature. The amounts of spices used compose three units of 500 shekels each, the second unit being made up of the 250 shekels of cinnamon and the 250 shekels of calamus; these three units typify God in His Trinity. Hence, this ointment typifies the Spirit as the realization of the one Triune God. The Second of the Trinity, God the Son, was incarnated to be a man, and as a man, He was crucified on the cross. His death is intimated in this unique ointment because the second unit of 500 shekels, representing the Second of the Trinity, is split into two parts of 250 shekels each; the Lord Jesus was “split” on the cross when He was crucified.
The four spices in this ointment are full of significance concerning the humanity of the Lord Jesus, which has been compounded into the Spirit. The first spice, myrrh, was used in the ancient world as a painkiller, to reduce the suffering of death, and for burial, once death had occurred. When the Lord Jesus was being crucified, the soldiers attempted to alleviate His pain with myrrh, but He would not take it (Mark 15:23); and when He died, His friends used a myrrh mixture to prepare His body for burial. Myrrh, then, denotes the precious death of Christ. The second spice, cinnamon, is a sweet and aromatic spice. As an ingredient of the compound ointment, it signifies the effectiveness of Christ’s death, the “aroma” of His death in our living. Calamus, the third spice, was derived from a type of reed that shot up in marshes or muddy areas. This is a type of the resurrection of Christ, who rose up from man’s “muddy” condition, from the realm of death. The final spice is cassia, which, like cinnamon, is sweet and aromatic. It was used in the ancient world as a repellent to drive away snakes and insects. This corresponds to the power of Christ’s resurrection, which repels Satan and all the negative elements in the universe.
For our human condition, our greatest needs are the death and resurrection of Christ. Regardless of our philosophies concerning man, each of us as individuals must admit that we are riddled with imperfections and faults. These are what the Bible calls our sins. We sin against God, against our fellow human beings, and even against our very selves. No one can escape the sad fact that we are prone to these failures. In our natural state, to live is to sin, and our sinfulness does not stop until we die. As horrid as it may sound, death is the only solution to our fallen condition. Fortunately, this is why Christ died on the cross. His death gained us the forgiveness of our sins (Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor. 15:3), and the fact of His death, typified by the myrrh, is applied to us by the compound Spirit. We must be thankful to the Lord that our sins are forgiven and that this forgiveness, acquired through Christ’s death, is applied to us by the Spirit. But we should not miss the additional provision of His death which has also been compounded into the Spirit. Because of the “aroma,” or the effectiveness, of His death, typified by the cinnamon, we can experience His death daily and die to sin (1 Pet. 2:24).
Further, we can enjoy His resurrection and the power of His resurrection through the compound Spirit. The New Testament teaches that when Christ rose from the grave, He also resurrected all who believe in Him. His resurrection was all-inclusive in that it included all the believers. The reality of this spiritual fact is applied to us by the compound Spirit, which contains the resurrection of Christ, as typified by the calamus. But the Spirit applies not merely the fact of Christ’s resurrection but also the power of it, as typified by the cassia. The fact of Christ’s resurrection makes fallen sinners His believers, for, as the apostle Peter says, we were regenerated through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Pet. 1:3). But the power of His resurrection is for our daily Christian life, that through it we may overcome all the negative elements in us and in our environment. The apostle Paul expressed his desire to know this power: “To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10).
Christ is wonderfully the eternal, complete God and the glorified, perfect man. Marvelously He passed through death and entered into resurrection to become the life-giving Spirit, and in this Spirit are His death and resurrection. But even more germane to our human experience, the effectiveness of His death and the power of His resurrection are contained in this Spirit as well. All the negative elements in our being, things that we cannot deny, can be put to death through the effectiveness of Christ’s death in this Spirit. And all the positive divine attributes and human virtues of Christ Jesus the Lord can be applied to us by this Spirit as resurrection power in our daily living. When the compound Spirit is applied to us, we die to the fallen human condition and become alive in Christ to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).
The Spirit is available to all who repent of their sinful condition and believe in Christ. When we believe in Christ, the Spirit enters us, bearing all that Christ is to us, including the preciousness of His death, the effectiveness of His death, the preciousness of His resurrection, and the power of His resurrection. This compound Spirit meets our most basic need.
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