THE SPIRIT OF JESUS
Many Christians talk about the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God. But have they ever heard of the Spirit of Jesus? In the whole Bible, only one verse uses this phrase, and the King James Version does not have it. The proper translation of Acts 16:6-7 is this: “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not.” Many Christians have never heard that the Spirit of God today is also the Spirit of a man. This is because the Spirit today is not only the Spirit of God, but also the Spirit of Jesus. The name Jesus is not a divine title, but the name of a man. Today the Spirit is not only the Spirit of God, but also the Spirit of Jesus. The Spirit of God has only one element, the divinity of the divine nature. But the Spirit of Jesus has another element, the humanity of Jesus. In this Spirit there is divinity as well as humanity. He is the Spirit of God for He has divinity in Him, and He is also the Spirit of Jesus because humanity is also within Him.
I would now like to quote a few sentences from chapter five of The Spirit of Christ by Andrew Murray, entitled, “The Spirit of the Glorified Jesus.” He says, “From His nature, as it was glorified in the resurrection and ascension, His Spirit came forth as the Spirit of His human life, glorified into the union with the Divine, to make us partakers of all that He had personally wrought out and acquired, of Himself and His glorified life. And in virtue of His having perfected in Himself a new holy human nature on our behalf, He could now communicate what previously had no existence—a life at once human and Divine. And the Holy Spirit could come down as the Spirit of the God-man—most really the Spirit of God, and yet as truly the spirit of man.”
Today the Spirit of Jesus is not only the Spirit of divinity, but also the Spirit of humanity. When we were first saved, we only experienced Him as the divine Spirit with His divinity. But as we grow, we begin to experience Him not only as the Spirit of divinity, but also as the Spirit of humanity. It is in the Spirit of humanity that there is the uniting bar. As the Spirit of divinity, He is the ring that seals us, but as the Spirit of humanity, He is the bar that unites us in the ring.
THE UPLIFTED HUMAN VIRTUES
For the standing up of the church life, we need the humanity of Jesus, and for the uniting, we also need the humanity of Jesus. I have never before seen so clearly why the Apostle Paul put all of these human virtues in Ephesians 4:2-3. He mentions lowliness or humility, meekness or gentleness, longsuffering, and bearing with one another in love. All these are human virtues, and they are all required for keeping the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. They are all related to the oneness of the Spirit. It is not the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God that is mentioned here, but the Spirit, which is the Spirit of man or the Spirit of humanity. He is indeed the Spirit of God, but here He is the Spirit of humanity.
We need another illustration in order to be more clear. Suppose there are two brothers who were sick. One had cancer three years ago, and the Lord healed him. The other almost died of a certain disease, but the Lord delivered him. Both of them received a miraculous healing from the Lord. But do you believe these two brothers could ever be united as one because of these miracles? I am afraid that the more they speak about their miracles, the more they will be divided. They need to call: “O Lord Jesus, You are so lowly; You are so meek; You were such a man on this earth. And now, Lord Jesus, You are this man in me. O Lord Jesus, O Lord Jesus!” If these two brothers will learn to call on the Lord in this way, spontaneously they will be one. This experience of the Spirit is the uniting bar, and within the bar is the acacia wood, the humanity of Jesus. The more they talk about their miracles, the more individualistic they will become. But the more they masticate the humanity of the Lord Jesus, the more they will be spontaneously one with each other and with others.
Today the Lord Jesus is the Spirit of humanity; He is the Spirit of a man. His humanity is in the Holy Spirit, just as His divinity is in the Holy Spirit. We all have the golden rings, but we still cannot be one. We need the uniting bars, the Spirit of the man, Jesus. The mighty power of Jesus is in His divinity, but lowliness, meekness, and all His human virtues are in His humanity. It is only by these human virtues that we can keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace.
I must repeat again that lowliness, meekness, and gentleness are not virtues of divinity, but virtues of humanity. Longsuffering and bearing with one another in love are also human virtues. All of these are in the Spirit of a man. Jesus has uplifted the human nature. Now there is something in the universe which never existed before His resurrection—the new uplifted human nature of Jesus! This humanity is now an element of the Spirit of Jesus. If we call on His name and feed upon Him, all the virtues of this uplifted human nature will be ours. Then we will be united by His humanity. Only by these experiences can we keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We do not need to pay so much attention to miracles or to having a victorious life, but we do need to enjoy Jesus as a man. The more we masticate Jesus as a man, the more we will enjoy all the virtues of His humanity. Then the Spirit will become the uniting bars among us. Regardless of how much the brothers take advantage of us, we will make allowances. We are just so willing to bear with one another in love. This is not something of the divine virtues, but of the human virtues. It is by this kind of life that we are spontaneously one. We are united by the bars of acacia wood overlaid with gold.
FIVE BARS IN THREE LAYERS
Now we must come back to the five bars which are in three layers on each side of the tabernacle. The number five in the Bible is always composed of four plus one. If we look at our hand, we will see four fingers and one thumb. We never count our fingers three plus two, but always four plus one. If we had three fingers and two thumbs, it would be rather awkward. Moreover, if we had all fingers or all thumbs, it would be worse. God’s creation is marvelous. How could anyone say that there is no God? The best designer could not design a hand in such a way. Four in the Bible stands for the creatures; there are four living creatures in Revelation 4:6. One in the Bible signifies the one God. So four plus one means man plus God. We did not have God before we were saved, but now that we are regenerated, we are man plus God. The number five means God plus man to bear responsibility. These five bars are not just for appearance. They are arranged in such a way that they hold the boards together. They bear such a responsibility.
These five bars are in three layers. This signifies resurrection. The Lord Jesus was resurrected on the third day. We are man plus God, but in resurrection. It is not in the natural disposition, but in resurrection. Furthermore, there are not only three layers of bars, but also three sides to the tabernacle. This signifies the Triune God. Hence, we have man plus God in resurrection with the three Persons of the Triune God. This is how we are united. All forty-eight boards in the tabernacle were united in this way. Since we are the boards today, we must be fully united by taking the humanity of Jesus in resurrection with the Triune God.
The main factor of the uniting power in the church life is the acacia wood within the gold. The unity comes from the humanity of Jesus. Today this humanity is in the Spirit. When we have this Spirit, we have the humanity of Jesus, the resurrection, and the Triune God. All of these matters are related to the humanity of Jesus. If we simply enjoy His humanity, we will have the resurrection with the Triune God. May we look to the Lord that all of these things may be put into practice in our daily lives.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)