III. THE SPIRIT WAS NOT YET
BEFORE CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
John 7:39 reveals that the Spirit was not yet before Christ’s resurrection. The King James Version in John 7:39 says that the Spirit was not yet "given." The word given is in italics, meaning that it is not there in the original Greek text. The original Greek says, "The Spirit was not yet." The Spirit of God was there from the beginning (Gen. 1:1-2), but at the time the Lord Jesus spoke in John 7, the Spirit as the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9), the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19), was not yet, because the Lord had not yet been glorified.
According to John 7:39, the Spirit was not yet, "because Jesus had not yet been glorified." This indicates that the glorification of Jesus has everything to do with the Spirit’s existence. According to Luke 24:26, Jesus was glorified when He was resurrected. Christ’s resurrection, which was His glorification, was like the blooming of a flower. When a flower blooms, that is its resurrection and also its glorification. Christ’s resurrection was Christ’s "blooming," and that blooming was His glorification.
John 7:39 indicates clearly that before Christ’s resurrection the Spirit was not yet. The Spirit of God was there, the Spirit of Jehovah was there, and even the Holy Spirit was there. From the conceptions of John the Baptist and Christ, the term the Holy Spirit began to be used. But when Christ came out to minister, the Bible tells us that before His resurrection, His glorification, "the Spirit was not yet."
The Spirit is the main subject in John 14—16. The Lord said that He would ask the Father to send the disciples another Comforter, who is the Spirit of reality (John 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:13). The Lord’s speaking in John 14—16 was in the evening He was arrested. The next day He was crucified, and after three days He was resurrected. In resurrection He became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). In the evening of the day of His resurrection, He came back to the disciples, breathed into them, and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22). At that time "the Spirit" as the Spirit of reality began to exist. This is clearly recorded in the New Testament, but in Christianity no one has paid attention to this except Andrew Murray.
Andrew Murray, in the fifth chapter of his book entitled The Spirit of Christ, speaks of the Spirit of the glorified Jesus, the Spirit of the incarnated, crucified, and glorified Christ. In eternity past Christ was God; He was divine; He was altogether not human. The human element was not in Him in eternity past. He had only one unique element, that is, His divinity. But when He became incarnated, He picked up the flesh, that is, humanity. In His incarnation He became a God-man. This means He became One with two natures—the divine nature and the human nature. As God He has divinity; as man He has humanity. After His incarnation He is a person with two elements: the divine element, God, and the human element, man. Thus, He is the God-man with two natures, divine and human. He possesses both divinity and humanity.
While He was living on this earth, He was called Jesus. Before His resurrection, He was divine, but His humanity was not divine and spiritual. Jesus’ body of flesh before His resurrection was not glorious, divine, spiritual, attractive, marvelous, splendorous, majestic, or excellent. Rather, according to Isaiah 53, Jesus was a person who was very lowly, with no attractiveness, no beauty, no comeliness (vv. 2-3; 52:14). But within His earthen vessel, within His humanity, there was God, who is divine. His divinity was concealed in His humanity. His divine Being was altogether contained in the earthen vessel of His humanity. Thus, His human part, in the thirty-three and a half years of His human living, was not divine, was not glorious.
(The Christian Life, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)