Life-Study of Deuteronomyby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Before we begin to consider the rehearsal of the law, I would like to speak a word concerning the Divine Trinity, which is the basis for the revelation in the Bible.
Concerning the Divine Trinity, there is in the Bible an important principle. This principle is that anything related to the Father, who is the source, is onefold; anything related to the Son, who is the course, is twofold; and anything related to the Spirit, who is the flow, the consummation, the totality, of the Triune God, is threefold. When God's salvation or any of His attributes reaches us, it reaches us in a threefold way because this reaching involves the three of the Divine Trinitythe Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
To understand this principle we need to consider how the Triune God reaches us. The Father reaches us in the Son as the Spirit. The Father is in the Son, and the Son reaches us as the Spirit. This means that when the Spirit reaches us, the Father and the Son also reach us. The Gospel of John reveals that when the Father sent the Son, the Son did not come by Himself but came with the Father (John 8:29; 16:32b). Furthermore, when the Son sent the Spirit, He sent the Spirit as Himself (John 15:26; 14:26). Thus, when the Spirit comes, the Father and the Son also come. This is the Triune God reaching us as the Spirit.
Any attribute is onefold with the Father, twofold with the Son, and threefold with the Spirit. Love is God's greatest attribute. With the Father love is onefold, with the Son it is twofold, and with the Spirit it is threefold. We see this threefoldness in 2 Corinthians 13:14, which says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." Love is the source of grace, and grace is the coming forth, the expression, of love. The fellowship is the transmission of the grace which is the embodiment of love. The love of God is in the grace of Christ, and the grace of Christ with the love of God is transmitted in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. From this we see that when something of the Triune God reaches us, it comes to us in a threefold way.
Although the book of Deuteronomy often uses the expression "Jehovah your God," it does not explicitly mention Christ or the Spirit. However, in this book there are synonyms of Christ. These synonyms are the word, the law, the commandments, the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments (the ordinances). Because all these are things spoken by God, in totality they are the word. The law, the commandments, the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments are all the word, and the word is Christ. In Romans 10 Paul interprets the word in Deuteronomy as Christ, referring in verse 8 to "the word of the faith." We may think that the word in Deuteronomy is the word of the law, but Paul regards it as the word of the faith. The commandments, the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments are the word, and the word is the word of faith.
Since all these are synonyms of Christ, as we are reading Deuteronomy we may want to replace them with the word Christ. To keep the law is to keep Christ. To love the commandment is to love Christ. To receive the testimonies and judgments is to receive Christ.
We have pointed out that Deuteronomy does not speak of the Spirit. However, Paul's interpretation in Romans 10 implies the Spirit; it implies that the Christ whom he is describing is the Spirit. Paul says, "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (v. 8). To be in our mouth and in our heart, this word, which is Christ, must be the Spirit.
In his interpretation of Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Paul presents a wonderful description of Christ as the incarnated, crucified, and resurrected One. Christ is the One who came down from the heavens in incarnation; thus, there is no need for anyone to ascend to the heavens to bring Him down. Christ is also the One who came out of the abyss, out of Hades, in resurrection; thus, there is no need for anyone to descend into the abyss to bring Him up. Where is the Christ who came down from the heavens in incarnation and who came up from the abyss in resurrection, and what kind of Christ is He today? This Christ is in our mouth and in our heart, for He is now the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). This is the biblical Christ, the Christ unveiled in the interpretation of Deuteronomy in Romans 10.
The Christ unveiled in Deuteronomy and Romans is the very God who became incarnated as a man. This One was crucified and resurrected, and in resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit, who is the air for us to breathe by calling upon Him. He is everywhere, waiting for people to call upon Him. Romans 10:12 tells us that He is "rich to all who call upon Him." When we first call, we receive Him as life. As we continue to call upon the name of the Lord, He becomes our life supply, our strength, and our everything.
If we have the understanding concerning the Christ found in Romans 10, we will come to the book of Deuteronomy in a new way. We will regard Deuteronomy as an extract of the entire Bible. I hope that we all will have such an understanding as we now begin to consider the rehearsal of the law in 5:1-21.
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