Life-Study of Numbersby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In chapter twenty of Numbers there are two lines: the line of life and the line of the types. In this message I would like to give a word concerning the types.
According to the typology in this portion of the Word, water signifies the Spirit of life, or the life in the Spirit. Since the divine life and the divine Spirit are one, the water here signifies both life and the Spirit. The problem in Numbers 20 was due to the lack of the Spirit of life. This indicates that whenever God's people are short of the Spirit of life, they will have trouble. Most of the problems in the church life are caused by the shortage of the Spirit of life. If we have such a shortage, we will either blame others or contend with God.
In Numbers 20 we are shown the way to receive the Spirit of life. In verse 8 God said to Moses, "Take the rod, and gather the assembly, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes that it may yield its water." God's word to Moses indicates that we need to apply the death of Christ to our present situation. To "take the rod" is to apply the death of Christ to ourselves. In Exodus 17 the rod was used to smite, to strike, the rock. There, the rod was in the hand of Moses, who represented the law. Christ was smitten by the law; He was cleft in order that the Spirit of life might flow out of Him. Since the rock had already been smitten in Exodus 17, there was no need for it to be smitten again in Numbers 20. Christ, typified by the rock, should be crucified only once. In striking the rock a second time, Moses made a serious mistake. This act was against God's economy. In God's economy Christ should not be crucified more than once.
In 1 Corinthians 10:4 Paul, speaking of the children of Israel, says, "They drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ." This reveals that Christ has been crucified to become the rock which follows His people. We may say that He is the "following rock." This means that He is the life-giving Spirit, who is always with us to supply us with the water of life. Christ was crucified under the rod of the law, and now He is the following rock, the life-giving Spirit.
In order to meet our need for the Spirit of life, we should not ask Christ to be crucified again for us. We should simply take up the rod; that is, we should apply Christ's death to our situation. When we do this, we will experience the crucified Christ, the Christ who is emphatically presented by Paul in 1 Corinthians. For instance, in this epistle Paul says, "I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and this One crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). Paul's word indicates that he took the rod, the death of Christ, and applied it to the Corinthians so that through Christ's death they could receive the Spirit.
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