Life-Study of Numbersby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message I would like to give a word concerning the divine provisions revealed in chapters six through nine.
Numbers 5:1 through 9:14 is a section which may be considered an insertion in the record about the formation of the army. This insertion includes two kinds of mattersGod's requirement and God's provision. First we have God's requirement and then we have His provision. Chapters five and six may be considered God's requirement, which includes different dealings, a testing, and the highest requirement of the Nazarite. All these are God's requirements over His redeemed people in order to form them into His army. Chapters seven and eight and the first part of chapter nine may be considered the divine provision.
Let us now consider the items which are included in God's provision.
The first item of the divine provision in these chapters is the ointment for the anointing of the tabernacle and all its furnishings and the altar with all its utensils (7:1). The ointment typifies the consummated Triune God after passing through all the processes. In the entire Bible this ointment is one of the greatest provisions God has prepared for His redeemed.
By the time of Numbers 7, the tabernacle and the altar had been built up by God through His people and belonged to God. But without being anointed, the tabernacle and the altar were still separate from God Himself, having nothing to do with God's life, God's nature, or anything God had accomplished, obtained, and attained.
For us to be anointed means that the processed Triune God is put into us and upon us, even mingled with us. We may use the painting of a wooden article as an illustration. After several coats of paint have been applied to the article, it becomes fully one with the paint. The article may be wooden, but after it is painted, we no longer see the wood; instead, we see the nature, the essence, the element, the character, the appearance, the color, and the expression of the paint, for the paint has been applied to the wooden article and has become one with it. For us to be anointed by God means that we are "painted" with Him, that God Himself is put in us and on us.
After the making of the tabernacle and the altar, God came in to "paint" these two items with an ointment, a type of Himself not as the original God but as the consummated God. In eternity past God was altogether perfect, but He was not completed. He had the divine nature but not the human nature. However, according to His intention, in the coming eternity He, the very God, will be a God not only with the divine nature but also with the human nature. Because in eternity past, God was not completed, He needed to come into time, a bridge between the two eternities, to pass through many processes in order to be completed.
Before God became a man, He came to Abraham in Genesis 18 in the form of a man. Approximately two years ago, a certain denominational journal recognized that this one who came to Abraham was Jesus. God came and spoke to Abraham like a friend. Abraham served the Lord a meal, and He ate it. The very God ate the food served to Him by Abraham. Also, Abraham brought Him water, and He washed His feet. When the Lord was leaving, He did not leave quickly. Accompanying Him, Abraham walked with Him and saw Him off. Abraham did not pray to this man but talked to Him as a friend. According to Genesis 18, God appeared to Abraham in the form of a man long before He became incarnated. Things like this concerning the Lord's person we cannot comprehend.
In the evening of the day of His resurrection, the Lord Jesus came back to His disciples in a physical body (Luke 24:37-43; John 20:19-29). Without the opening of any door, He suddenly stood in their midst (John 20:19). "They were startled and became frightened and thought they beheld a spirit" (Luke 24:37). The Lord said to them, "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you behold Me having" (v. 39). After speaking this word, "He showed them His hands and His feet" (v. 40). Then He asked them if they had anything to eat, and when they handed Him part of a broiled fish, "He took it and ate before them" (vv. 41-43). Our limited mind cannot comprehend how the Lord Jesus, with a body of flesh and bones, could suddenly come into a room where the doors were shut. This is the wonderful person of Christ.
In eternity past God did not have a physical body. He needed to go through some processes to get Himself consummated so that He could be completed. He was already perfect, but He wanted to be not only perfect but also processed in order to be completed. He did not want to be merely God for eternity; He wanted to be a God-man. In eternity past He was God, but He was not a God-man. Therefore, in time He has gone through many processes in order to be consummated and completed.
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