Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 079-098)by Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Acts 16:7 says, “When they had come down to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” The interchangeable use of the Spirit of Jesus with the Holy Spirit in Acts 16:6 reveals that the Spirit of Jesus is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a general title of the Spirit of God in the New Testament. The Spirit of Jesus is a particular expression concerning the Spirit of God and refers to the Spirit of the incarnated Savior who, as Jesus in His humanity, passed through human living and death on the cross. This indicates that in the Spirit of Jesus there is not only the divine element of God but also the human element and the elements of His human living and His suffering of death as well. Such an all-inclusive Spirit was needed by Paul in his preaching ministry, a ministry of suffering among human beings and for human beings in the human life.
Just as the Spirit of Christ is the reality of Christ, so the Spirit of Jesus is the reality of Jesus. If we do not have the Spirit of Jesus, Jesus will not be real to us. But today Jesus is real to us because we have the Spirit of Jesus as the reality, the realization, of Jesus.
In Philippians 1:19 Paul says, “I know that for me this shall turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the Spirit mentioned in John 7:39. This is not merely the Spirit of God before the Lord’s incarnation but the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit with divinity, after the Lord’s resurrection, compounded with the Lord’s incarnation (humanity), human living under the cross, crucifixion, and resurrection. The holy anointing ointment in Exodus 30:23-25, a compound of olive oil with four kinds of spices, was a full type of this compound Spirit of God, who is now the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Here the Spirit is not the Spirit of Jesus as in Acts 16:7, nor the Spirit of Christ as in Romans 8:9, but the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is mainly for the Lord’s humanity and human living; the Spirit of Christ is mainly for the Lord’s resurrection. To experience the Lord’s humanity we need the Spirit of Jesus. To experience the power of the Lord’s resurrection we need the Spirit of Christ. In his suffering Paul experienced both the Lord’s suffering in His humanity and the Lord’s resurrection. Hence, to Paul the Spirit was the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the compound, all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit of the Triune God. Such a Spirit has and even is the bountiful supply for a person like Paul who was experiencing and enjoying Christ in His human living and resurrection. Eventually, this compound Spirit of Jesus Christ becomes the seven Spirits of God, who are the seven lamps of fire before His throne to carry out His administration on earth for the accomplishment of His economy with the church, and who are the seven eyes of the Lamb for the transfusing of all that He is into the church (Rev. 1:4; 4:5; 5:6).
Because the Spirit of Jesus has particular reference to the Lord’s suffering, and the Spirit of Christ, to His resurrection, the Spirit of Jesus Christ is related to both suffering and resurrection. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of the Jesus who lived a life of suffering on earth and of the Christ who is now in resurrection. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the reality of the One who lived on earth in humanity and of the One who resurrected from among the dead and who is now both in the heavens and dwelling in the believers and who will be the center of God’s economy for eternity. The reality of such a Jesus and such a Christ is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament the Spirit is also called the Lord Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18). The title “the Lord Spirit” may be considered a compound title like the Father God and the Lord Christ. This expression proves strongly that the Lord Christ is the Spirit and the Spirit is the Lord Christ.
After His resurrection and in His resurrection the Lord became the pneumatic Christ. The pneumatic Christ is identical to the Spirit. This is why 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “The Lord is the Spirit.” Today in resurrection the very Christ, our Lord, is identical to the Spirit who gives life. The Lord, the pneumatic Christ, is the Spirit, and the all-inclusive, life-giving, compound, processed, and consummated Spirit is actually the Lord Himself. Hence, there is no way to divide the Lord from the Spirit or to separate the Lord from the Spirit, for the Lord and the Spirit are one. Therefore, the Spirit is even called the Lord Spirit.
Second Corinthians 3:3 says, “Being manifested that you are a letter of Christ ministered by us, inscribed not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” The Spirit of the living God is the reality of the living God. How do we know that God is living? We know that God is living because we have the Spirit as the reality of the living God. Since we have the Spirit of the living God, we have the living God in His reality.
When Paul says that the apostles inscribed a letter with the Spirit of the living God, this does not mean that the Spirit of the living God is only the Spirit and not God Himself. No, the Spirit of the living God is God. The living God here is the Triune God, the One who has passed through the process of incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection and has now been consummated in the life-giving, life-imparting, and life-dispensing Spirit. With this Spirit the apostles inscribed upon the saints to make them a letter of Christ written by them.
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