Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing messages of this Life-study of the Gospel of Mark, we have seen that the Lord’s disciples followed Him from the beginning of His ministry. The Lord brought them on step by step wherever He went. He even brought them with Him into His death and resurrection. This means that the disciples passed through the processes through which the Slave-Savior passed.
By passing through the Lord’s death and resurrection His disciples became His continuation. This continuation is unveiled in the book of Acts. We have pointed out that in chapter one of Acts the disciples are the Lord’s continuation, following Him to live a life according to God’s New Testament economy.
We have also seen that in the book of Acts there are two aspects of the Spirit—the essential aspect and the economical aspect. The Spirit of God, who is now the Spirit of Jesus and even the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is both essential and economical. The essential Spirit is for our spiritual being, and the economical Spirit is for our work. As believers, we have a spiritual being, a spiritual person, and this is of the essential Spirit. We also carry out a spiritual work, and this work is of the economical Spirit. Therefore, for our spiritual being we have the essential Spirit, and for our work to carry out God’s economy we have the economical Spirit.
In this message and in the following message we shall consider the consummation of a life that is fully according to and for God’s New Testament economy. This consummation is fully unveiled in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation.
Before we come to the consummation of God’s New Testament economy, I would like to present a brief view of the entire New Testament. For this, I would ask you to study the chart printed on pages 586-587 of this message. The chart is entitled “God’s New Testament Economy.” This chart actually presents a view of the contents of the New Testament.
Many Christians would arrange the twenty-seven books of the New Testament into three sections: the books of history—the four Gospels and the book of Acts; the Epistles, from Romans through Jude; and the book of Revelation. However, recently, through the Life-study of Mark, we saw that there is another way to divide the New Testament into sections. This way of dividing the books of the New Testament is related to the living Person of the Lord Jesus, because the entire New Testament is concerned with this living Person, who is the embodiment of the Triune God. According to this way of arranging the New Testament into sections, we also have three sections: the four Gospels, the book of Acts through the Epistle of Jude, and the book of Revelation.
What is revealed in the first section, the section that covers the four Gospels? The Gospels reveal the Son. When the Son came, He did not come alone; rather, He came with the Father. The Gospel of John in particular tells us that when the Son came to earth, He came with the Father (John 8:29). This was the reason that the Son said that He was not alone, for the Father was always with Him (John 16:32). The Son even said that He was in the Father and that the Father was in Him (John 14:10). This is a matter not only of the coexistence of the Father and the Son, but of the coinherence of the Father and the Son.
The four Gospels also reveal that the Son came by the Spirit. He was conceived and born of the Spirit essentially. Concerning this, Matthew 1:18 says that Mary was “with child of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20 goes on to record the word of the angel of the Lord to Joseph: “Fear not to take Mary your wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Furthermore, in Luke 1:35 the angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; wherefore also the holy thing which is born will be called, Son of God.” At the age of thirty, the Spirit descended upon the Lord Jesus economically, and He was anointed with the Spirit for His ministry (Luke 3:21-23).
The Lord Jesus was conceived of the Spirit and born of the Spirit essentially. For this reason, He had the divine essence, which He received from the Holy Spirit, and the human essence, which He received from the virgin Mary. Hence, He was born the God-man, the One who was the complete God and a perfect man. When at the age of thirty He came forth to minister, the Spirit of God descended upon Him not essentially but economically. Therefore, as the Lord Jesus was ministering on earth, He lived by the essential Spirit and ministered by the economical Spirit. This is the reason we say that in the Gospels the Son came by the Spirit. He came by the Spirit who is both the essential Spirit and the economical Spirit.
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