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
The Epistle of 1 John is composed of three main sections: the fellowship of the divine life (1:1—2:11), the teaching of the divine anointing (2:12-27), and the virtues of the divine birth (2:28—5:21). In the foregoing messages we have covered the first section of this Epistle and the first basic matter revealed in this book—the fellowship of the divine life. In this message we come to the second section and to the second basic matter—the teaching of the divine anointing.
The fellowship of the divine life is divine and mysterious. However, the divine anointing is even more mysterious. It is very difficult to give an adequate definition of the divine anointing. The anointing is the function of the all-inclusive, compound, life-giving Spirit, who is the processed Triune God. In this definition we can see the different elements, or ingredients, of the anointing. The anointing is the function, the moving, of the compound ointment.
The first mention of the anointing in the Bible is in Exodus 30. In that chapter we have a revelation of the compound ointment that was used to anoint the tabernacle and the priesthood.
In principle, John’s writings are based on what is written in the Old Testament. For example, in his Gospel John uses the word “tabernacled” in 1:14 and the phrase “Lamb of God” in 1:29. Furthermore, John 1:51 refers to Jacob’s dream about the heavenly ladder at Bethel. Moreover, many of the signs in the book of Revelation can be found in the Old Testament. In the same principle, John’s first Epistle is based on the Old Testament. In keeping with this principle, the word “anointing” used by John in chapter two refers to the ointment in Exodus 30. In the Life-study of Exodus, Messages 157-163, we considered the basic elements of the compound ointment and the measure of these elements. The ointment in Exodus 30 is a full type of the all-inclusive, compound, life-giving Spirit, who is the processed Triune God. The anointing is actually the function, the moving, of such a Spirit.
The anointing is very mysterious, but it is also real and experiential. Instead of using the noun “ointment,” John uses the verbal noun “anointing.” This word refers to the moving of the all-inclusive Spirit within us. If we carefully read 2:12-27, we shall realize that the anointing is actually the personification of the all-inclusive, compound, life-giving Spirit, who is the processed Triune God.
First John 2:12-27 is a section concerning the Divine Trinity according to the believers’ growth in life. In these verses the Trinity is covered in a very positive and meaningful way. But if we do not have a spiritual and heavenly view of these verses, we shall not see that the Trinity is covered here. The teaching of the divine anointing concerns the Divine Trinity, but this teaching is according to our growth in life. This means that the more we grow in life, the more we shall be concerned with the Trinity.
The entire New Testament is structured with the Trinity. In Ephesians, for example, every chapter is structured with the Trinity. Second Corinthians 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” This verse at the very end of 2 Corinthians indicates that the whole book of 2 Corinthians is concerned with the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. We also see the Trinity in the book of Revelation: “Grace to you and peace from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is coming, and from the seven Spirits Who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth” (1:4b-5a). Here we see that the mysterious book of Revelation opens with the Trinity, for in this book also the Trinity is the basic structure.
I wish to emphasize the fact that the Divine Trinity is the basic structure of the entire revelation in the Bible. If the Divine Trinity were removed from the Scriptures, there would not be any reality of the divine revelation in the Scriptures.
In 1 John only sixteen verses are devoted to the mysterious, all-inclusive, compound anointing (2:12-27). If we study these verses carefully and get into the depths of them, we shall see that the Divine Trinity is here, and that the Trinity is covered according to the growth in life of the believers.
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