Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The central thought of the whole Bible is that God wants to have many sons for His expression. In order to accomplish this, God must firstly have a model, a prototype. This prototype is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. When Christ came the first time, He came as the Only Begotten Son of God. As the Only Begotten Son of God, He became a genuine man in the flesh. Although He was a real man with the human nature, He was still the Only Begotten Son of God. When He was on earth, He often called Himself either the Son of God or the Son of Man (John 10:36; 5:25; 1:51; Matt. 8:20). When the demons met the Lord Jesus, they addressed Him as the Son of God (Matt. 8:29), but He commanded them not to say this. The Lord seemed to be saying, “You demons, the followers of the Devil, must realize that I am here as the Son of Man. I have come as a man in the flesh to deal with the Devil and with you.” It was by His death in the flesh that Christ destroyed the Devil (Heb. 2:14). Therefore, the Devil and all the demons were afraid of Him as the Son of Man. When the Devil tempted the Lord in the wilderness, he said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matt. 4:3). The Lord Jesus replied, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). The Lord seemed to be saying, “Satan, you must know that I am here not as the Son of God, but as the very man promised in the book of Genesis. I have come as a man to bruise your head.”
In today’s Christianity there are the so-called modernists. In ancient times there were the ancient modernists, called the Sadducees, who believed neither in angels, nor in demons, nor in resurrection (Acts 23:8). Today’s modernists are followers of those Sadducees. The Sadducees, along with the Pharisees, thought of the Lord Jesus simply as a Jew whose parents were Mary and Joseph. When Jesus came to such a person, He always stressed that He was the Son of God (John 5:17-18, 25). While the demons are afraid of Jesus being the Son of Man, the modernists, under the inspiration of the Devil, do not confess that He is the Son of God. Once the demons admit that Jesus is the Son of Man they are destroyed, and once a man confesses that Jesus is the Son of God he is saved (John 20:31). Who is Jesus? He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. To us, He is the Son of God, and to the enemy, He is the Son of Man.
Recently, two young men, aged eighteen and twenty-one, came to me with an argumentative spirit, saying, “John 3:16 says that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God, and Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. How can you say that the Only Begotten became the Firstborn? This means that Jesus has changed. But the Bible says that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Before His incarnation, Christ was only the Son of God; He was not a man. Was not His incarnation a great change? According to the Greek, John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh.” This certainly indicates a change. If Christ had never had such a change, we would still be in a pitiful situation. If He had not become a man but had forever remained only as the Son of God with divinity, how could we have been saved? Christ has changed. He changed from being just the Son of God into a man. Consider the Lord’s incarnation. Before His incarnation, He was the Son of God, and He did not have the human nature. He was solely, singly, and absolutely the divine Son of God, having only divinity. He had no flesh and blood. But by His incarnation He changed radically. In making this radical change, He did not put off His divinity. No, keeping His divinity, He took on humanity. Hence, in His incarnation, He had divinity plus humanity. Many Christians today have only been taught that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God. They have never learned that this Only Begotten Son has become the Firstborn Son.
John 1:14 says that the Word became flesh, and 1 Corinthians 15:45 says that the last Adam became the life-giving Spirit. Here in 1 Corinthians 15:45 we have another “became.” Firstly, Christ was the Son of God. In His incarnation He became flesh, and then, as a man in the flesh, He became the life-giving Spirit. We believe John 1:14 which says that the Word became flesh, and we believe 1 Corinthians 15:45 which says that the last Adam became the life-giving Spirit. I have been condemned as a heretic for saying that Jesus became the Spirit. According to their old, traditional teaching of the Trinity, the opposers say that the Father is the Father, the Son is the Son, and the Spirit is the Spirit. But now they are troubled, for 1 Corinthians 15:45 says that Christ became the life-giving Spirit. How many Spirits are there? There is only one. Is Christ the Son or the Spirit? He is both the Son and the Spirit and also the man. This does not mean that when Christ became the man He was no longer the Son of God, nor that when He became the Spirit He was no longer the man and the Son of God. He is all-inclusive.
Suppose you have a glass of pure water. When you add tea into it, you do not eliminate the water, do you? When you add milk, you still have the water and the tea. The water, the tea, and the milk make an all-inclusive drink. When we drink the water, we drink the tea and the milk. Basically, this drink is plain water, but it has been enriched with the elements of tea and milk. Who is Jesus today? He is the life-giving Spirit who includes divinity and humanity. Our Savior today is not the same as He was before the incarnation, nor the same as He was when He was on earth. Before His incarnation, He was purely divine, having no human element. When He was born of Mary in the manger at Bethlehem, He was mingled with humanity and put on human nature. While He was on earth, He was both divine and human. Being the Son of God and the Son of Man, He was both God and man. By His resurrection, He became the life-giving Spirit. This absolutely does not mean that He is no longer the Son of God nor the Son of Man; it means that as the Son of God He has brought the Son of Man into the Spirit.
When I was young, I was only taught that the man Jesus Christ was the Son of God. I was never told that through resurrection this wonderful God-man became the life-giving Spirit. I was only told that He died on the cross for our sins, resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven where He is now sitting as the Savior who is living, mighty, and able to save us to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25). But, being a thoughtful young man, I wondered how Jesus could save me to the uttermost. I said to myself, “How can this be? He is sitting on the throne in heaven far away from me, and I am here on earth far away from Him. How can He save me to the uttermost?” Although I tried to solve this problem, I could not do it. Undoubtedly, Jesus is now sitting on the throne in heaven. How then can He save us to the uttermost? He can do it because He is not only in heaven but also in our spirit. This wonderful One is in heaven and in our spirit at the same time. I have often used the illustration of electricity. The electricity which we use in our homes is also in the power plant. The same one electricity is in both places at the same time.
Christ is the life-giving Spirit. Within this life-giving Spirit there is the powerful, indestructible divinity, and there is also the proper, uplifted humanity. No humanity is as right and proper as the humanity of Jesus. Both this wonderful divinity and this uplifted humanity are now in the Spirit, just like both the tea and the milk are in the water. When we drink the water, we get the tea and the milk, and when we call on the name of the Lord Jesus, who is the life-giving Spirit, we get His divinity and humanity.
God’s way is firstly to have a prototype, a model. This prototype is God the Son who came to be a man. This man, the embodiment of God, lived on earth for thirty-three and a half years, tasting and passing through all the sufferings of human life. Then He went to the cross and died. Through His death, the old creation was terminated, the problem of sin was solved, and all the enemies and adversaries of God were destroyed. His death on the cross was an all-inclusive death accomplishing everything for God’s economy. But this was not the end, for He was resurrected with His divinity and humanity. His divinity was expressed, manifested in full, in His resurrection, and His humanity was transformed from a physical form into a spiritual form. This is very mysterious, and no human words can explain it. After His resurrection, He became such a wonderful One. I cannot adequately explain all the aspects of this wonderful Person. In this wonderful Person, who today is our Savior, we have the eternal, powerful, unlimited divinity; the uplifted, transformed humanity; the proper human living; the all-inclusive death that solved the problem of sin, defeated the enemy, and terminated the old creation; and the resurrection. How much we have in Him! He now expresses God in the proper humanity. Sin is under His feet, Satan has been defeated, and the old creation has been terminated. This is the prototype, the model of the expression of God.
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