Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
At the beginning of this message I would like to give a further word on the way of the cross. For this, I would ask you to consult the diagram on the last page of the message.
In eternity past God existed alone. Then, in time, He created all things. At a certain point in history, this creating God, the Creator of all, became a man. This crucial step is called incarnation. By means of incarnation, God put on man with all of creation, for man is the head of creation. The Lord Jesus, God incarnate, lived on earth for thirty-three and a half years. When He was crucified, all creation was crucified with Him. This means that not only did Christ go to the cross, but the very man God had put on Himself with the entire creation went to the cross with Him. Therefore, Christ’s death on the cross was an all-inclusive crucifixion. After His crucifixion, Christ was buried in a tomb. The man and the creation which were crucified with Christ were also buried in that tomb. After three days, Christ arose from the dead in His resurrection. Through resurrection and in resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit. Furthermore, in His ascension to the third heaven, He was crowned and became the Head and the Lord over all. Then He descended upon His Body as the all-inclusive Spirit.
Because God, after completing the work of creation, passed through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and descension, we may speak of Him as the processed God. The diagram portrays the process through which He has passed. Through incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, He has become the life-giving Spirit. After ascending to the third heaven, where He was enthroned and crowned, and where He was made the Head and Lord of all, He descended upon the church, His Body. In His descension, He is the all-inclusive Spirit. This all-inclusive Spirit has come upon God’s elect, who make up the church.
When Christ was incarnated and born in the manger in Bethlehem, He put humanity on Himself. This humanity included us and all of creation as well. Hence, even before we were born, Christ put us on Himself. As Christ passed through human living, we passed through it with Him. Furthermore, when He went to the cross and was crucified, we were crucified with Him. Then we were buried with Him in the tomb. In fact, all of creation was buried there. Thus, Christ’s tomb was an all-inclusive tomb. We have also resurrected and ascended with Christ. Now, even while we are participating in the church life, we are sitting with Him in the heavenlies. On the one hand, we are in the church on earth; on the other hand, we are in Christ in the heavenlies. There is a great deal of traffic between the heavens and the church, traffic that moves faster than the speed of light. Actually, to refer to such traffic is to speak from a human point of view. From God’s point of view, the heavens and the church are one. Therefore, to be in the church is to be in the heavens.
We also need to point out that the all-inclusive Spirit is the reality of the compound ointment described in Exodus 30. As the compound ointment, the Spirit no longer includes only the Spirit of God typified by the olive oil, but also the aspects of Christ’s death and resurrection typified by the spices. After the olive oil had been blended with the spices, the oil became a compound, an ointment. Formerly the olive oil was of one essence, one element. But after it had been compounded with the spices, other elements had been added to it. The ointment produced by compounding olive oil with the four spices signifies the all-inclusive Spirit.
In eternity past the Spirit of God existed with just one element, the element of divinity. But at the time of Christ’s incarnation, God put on humanity. During Christ’s thirty-three and a half years of human living on earth, more was added to the divine element. Furthermore, through His crucifixion, the essence of His all-inclusive, effective death was added to Him. The same was true of His resurrection. As Christ took these crucial steps, God was processed and compounded with humanity. Just as the olive oil was blended with the spices to be a type, the Spirit of God was blended with the effectiveness and sweetness of Christ’s death and with the effectiveness and power of His resurrection. Therefore, our God is now the processed God who descends as the all-inclusive Spirit upon His chosen people and enters into them to make them the church.
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