Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 2:13 the apostle John writes a very simple word to the young children, those believers who are very young in the divine life: “I write to you, young children, because you have known the Father.” In verses 18 through 27 John writes a much longer word to the young children in order to confirm what he has already written to them. On the positive side, this further word is concerned with the anointing; on the negative side, it is concerned with the antichrists. In verse 18 John says, “Young children, it is the last hour, and even as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come; whereby we know that it is the last hour.” The words “young children” here refer to the young children in verse 13 as the third class of the recipients of this Epistle. Verses 18 through 27 emphasize the knowledge in life (vv. 20-21) and strengthen the word, “because you have known the Father,” spoken to the young children in verse 13.
In verse 20 John speaks to the young children concerning the anointing: “And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.” The anointing is the moving and working of the indwelling compound Spirit, which is fully typified by the anointing oil, the compound ointment, in Exodus 30:23-25 (see Life-study of Exodus, Messages 157-163). This all-inclusive life-giving Spirit from the Holy One entered into us at the time of our regeneration and abides in us forever (v. 27). It is by this Spirit that the young children have known the Father (v. 13) and know the truth (v. 21).
John’s word to the young children concerning the anointing has much to do with their growth in life. John’s word here also indicates that all the saints in the church life need to receive the teaching of the anointing.
If you read verses 18 through 27 carefully, you will see that the teaching of the anointing is mainly a matter of teaching us the mystery of the Trinity. For years, I have been giving messages on the teaching of the anointing. In those messages I emphasized the fact that the anointing teaches us concerning all things, that is, concerning everything in our daily Christian life. In this message I would like to consider the teaching of the anointing in the more restricted sense of the anointing teaching us all things concerning the Trinity. In other words, in this message I am concerned not with the broader application of the principle, but with the proper interpretation of the teaching of the anointing according to the context of these verses. The more I consider these verses in context, the more assurance I have that it is absolutely accurate to say that the teaching of the anointing concerns the things of the Trinity.
We have seen that the anointing is the moving of the all-inclusive, compound, life-giving Spirit, who is the processed Triune God. This Spirit is the fulfillment of the type of the compound ointment revealed in Exodus 30. In this compound ointment there are a number of different elements which are the ingredients of the ointment. Just as paint may have a number of different elements, so the anointing Spirit also has different elements. These elements include the processed Triune God and His activities. The Triune God has passed through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. These are the steps in His activity. All these steps have become elements of the compound, life-giving Spirit. Therefore, the anointing Spirit is actually a compound of the Triune God and His activities. The anointing Spirit includes divinity and humanity, the divine nature and the human nature. Such a compound Spirit includes incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. All these are elements of the compound Spirit typified by the compound ointment in Exodus 30.
The anointing is actually the moving of the ointment, and the ointment is a compound. Oil, however, is not a compound, for it contains a single element. The compound ointment, on the contrary, contains a number of different elements. In the compound Spirit we have the Father, the Son, the Spirit, divinity, humanity, incarnation, human living, the effectiveness of Christ’s death, the power of His resurrection, and His ascension. The anointing is the moving of this compound Spirit with all His elements. Only this anointing, only the moving of this compound Spirit, can teach us the Triune God.
Paint is the best illustration of the compound ointment. What is the best way to know the elements of a particular paint? The best way is to buy a can of that paint and apply some paint to a piece of furniture. By applying the paint, you will be taught concerning the elements of the paint. This means that only the paint itself can teach you what the paint is. Apart from the paint there is no way for you to learn about the elements of the paint. In a similar way, it is by applying Himself to us as the “paint” that the compound Spirit teaches us concerning the Triune God and His activities. We also may say that the elements of the compound Spirit teach us the various matters concerning the Triune God and His activities. The anointing Spirit is the composition of the Triune God with all His activities, and now this compound Spirit teaches us concerning the things of the Trinity.
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