Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Churchby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
On the evening of the day of His resurrection, the Lord breathed into the disciples. His breathing was the Spirit’s coming and the Father’s giving. With respect to the Son, it was a breathing; with respect to the Spirit, it was a coming; and with respect to the Father, it was a giving. When the Son breathed in this way, the Father’s giving of the Holy Spirit was accomplished, and the Holy Spirit’s coming was fulfilled. Once the Holy Spirit had been received into the disciples, He began to operate. When the Holy Spirit operated, the disciples had an inward sense, and they understood the words that the Lord had spoken to them on the night that He was betrayed, because the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of reality, entered into them and guided them into the subjective experience of the Lord (John 14:17).
The Spirit of reality as the other Comforter came into the disciples and led them to realize what the Lord had said: “I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (v. 20). First, the disciples realized what the Lord had said in chapter 14 about His being in the Father (vv. 10-11). Through the Holy Spirit they knew that the Lord was truly in the Father. Then they also realized what the Lord had said in chapter 15 concerning their abiding in Him and His abiding in them (vv. 4-5). Through the Holy Spirit they knew that they were in the Lord and that the Lord was in them. Thus, they knew all these things because of this Spirit. This is why the disciples had to wait until that day before they could understand the three items spoken of in John 14:20. It was in that day that the Spirit of reality, who had been promised by the Son, entered into the disciples. When the Spirit entered into them, the disciples knew that what the Son had spoken on the night of His betrayal concerning His being in the Father was true. Moreover, they knew that what the Lord had spoken in chapter 15 concerning their abiding in the Son and His abiding in them was also true.
Now we must go a step further to ask how it was that once the Spirit entered into them, the disciples knew the three items mentioned in John 14:20. How do we know that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all in us? John 14:26 says that the Father sends the Holy Spirit in the Son’s name, and 15:26 says that the Son sends the Holy Spirit from the Father and with the Father. When the Spirit comes, the Father also comes; that is, the Spirit comes with the Father. Furthermore, the Father being in the Son’s name is His being in the Son; hence, when the Father comes, the Son comes also. When the Holy Spirit comes, the Father comes, and the Son also comes. This shows us that the coming of the Holy Spirit is the coming of the Triune God.
John 14:26 says that the Father sends the Spirit, and 15:26 says that the Son sends the Spirit. In actuality, how many senders are there? Moreover, in 14:23 the Lord said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.” When we love the Son, our love also involves the Father. Not only so, when we love the Son, the Father and the Son come to us and abide with us. What does this all mean? The answer to all these questions is in verse 20, which says that the Son is in the Father, we are in the Son, and the Son is in us. However, we still need the Holy Spirit to come and teach us before we can understand this.
John 14:26 speaks of “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name.” This means that the Father is the Sender, and the Spirit is the sent One. Yet the Father is in the Son and with the Son. This proves that the Father and the Son are one and that the Father’s sending is the Son’s sending. Thus, 15:26 says that the Holy Spirit, whom the Son sends from the Father, is the Spirit of reality, who proceeds from the Father. This is to say that the Son sends the Holy Spirit from the Father and with the Father. The Holy Spirit is related to the Father in that He comes from the Father and with the Father. This means that the Spirit and the Father are one. When we put these two verses together, we can see that when the Holy Spirit comes, He comes with the Father, who is in the Son and with the Son. Thus, when the Holy Spirit comes, not only the Father comes but also the Son comes. In other words, the coming of the Holy Spirit is the coming of the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. When the Lord breathed into the disciples on the evening of the day of His resurrection, He breathed the Holy Spirit into them, and when the Holy Spirit entered into them, both the Father and Son were also in them. The result was that in the disciples’ experience they realized that not only the Spirit but also the Father was in them. In this way they realized that the Son was in the Father, they were also in the Son, and the Son was in them.
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