I. IN THE PROMISES
The divine economy and the divine dispensing are seen in the promises of God’s anticipated redemption and salvation.
A. In the Promise of the Seed of the Woman—
the Son Born of a Virgin
The first promise is the promise of the seed of the woman, who was the son born of a virgin (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14). The promise of the seed of the woman was given immediately after Adam’s fall. After that, God remained silent for thirty-three hundred years. He then used Isaiah to repeat His earlier promise given in Genesis 3:15. In Genesis God promised that the seed of the woman would come, but in Isaiah 7:14 He said that a virgin would conceive and bring forth a son. This son brought forth would be the real seed promised by God in Genesis 3:15. Between these two promises, for thirty-three centuries man fell through four successive steps until he had fallen to the uttermost, into idolatry, at Babel (see Life-study of Genesis, Messages Eighteen through Thirty-six).
1. Referring to the Incarnated Christ
The promise of the seed of the woman refers to the incarnated Christ (Matt. 1:16; Gal. 4:4). Mary, a female descendant of King David, became the mother of the promised Christ and the mother of the seed of the woman. Galatians 4:4 says that Christ was ``born of a woman.’’
2. Implying the Complete God Becoming
a Perfect Man through the Dispensing
of Himself into Humanity
Christ as the seed of the woman implies that the complete God became a perfect man through the dispensing of Himself into humanity (John 1:1, 14; Matt. 1:23). God’s incarnation was a dispensing. In eternity past, God remained in Himself. But at one point He made a counsel not to remain in Himself any longer. He desired to bring His divinity into humanity, and He prophesied concerning His desire in Genesis 3:15. However, this promise was not fulfilled until Mary conceived in Matthew 1. Because He was very patient, our God was silent for four thousand years.
At the time of the Lord’s incarnation, God did not come to visit man as He had done with Adam. This time He entered into the womb of a virgin, remained there for nine months, and was born of her to be a God-man. As a man, He is Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23), God with us. Through incarnation God dispensed Himself into humanity. From the day of His incarnation, God no longer remained only in His divinity. He now remains in both divinity and humanity. The incarnation of Christ was the dispensing of God Himself into humanity. Christ is a real man, a perfect man, yet within Him is also the complete God. Hence, He is the God-man.
(The Central Line of the Divine Revelation, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)