COMPLETE AND COMPLETED
Now we come to a very important matter that requires careful attention. Before the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the Trinity was not completed. I do not say that the Trinity was not perfect or that the Trinity was not complete. I am saying that the Trinity was not completed before Christ’s resurrection. Some may be bothered by such a statement and say, “Isn’t God eternally complete? How, then, can you say that the Trinity was not completed until after the resurrection of Christ?” To such questions we would reply that, on the one hand, God is complete. But, on the other hand, before the Lord’s resurrection His Trinity was not completed. To be complete is one thing, and to be completed is another thing.
Let us try to give an illustration of the difference between being complete and being completed. In this illustration we may refer to the recently finished meeting hall in Stuttgart, Germany. Suppose you were to ask the brothers in Stuttgart if their meeting hall is complete. In their answer, the brothers should say, “Yes, according to the blueprint, our meeting hall is complete. This building has everything we need. However, according to the building process, the meeting hall has not yet been completed. We plan to have a complete building, but the entire building has not yet been completed, for certain parts of the building still need more work.” We may say, then, that there is a complete building but not yet a completed building.
The Completed Spirit
In the Gospel of John there is a verse that points out that, before the resurrection of Christ, the Trinity was complete but not completed. John 7:39 says, “But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” What does it mean to say that “the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified”? In chapter seven of John, the Lord Jesus was still in the flesh; He was not yet in glory, that is, not yet in resurrection. Because He was not yet resurrected, the Spirit was not yet. Of course, the Spirit of God existed from the very beginning (Gen. 1:1-2), but the Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7), the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9), and the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19), was “not yet” until the Lord was glorified in resurrection. After His resurrection, the Spirit of God became the Spirit of the incarnated, crucified, and resurrected Jesus Christ. This involves the matter of process.
In Genesis 1:2 we have the Spirit of God. The only element in the Spirit of God is the divine essence. But after the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the Spirit became the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ. When the Spirit of God was just the Spirit of God, the only element in the Spirit was the divine essence. But when the Spirit of God became the Spirit of Jesus, the essence of humanity was added.
Let us use tea as an illustration of how the essence of humanity has been added to the Spirit of God so that this Spirit is now the Spirit of Jesus. In order to make tea, a tea bag is placed in water. We may say that the result is tea-water. Suppose milk and sugar are now added to this cup of tea. First there was plain water. Then after the tea was added, there was tea-water. After milk and sugar are added, we have milk-sugar-tea-water. In a similar way, with the Spirit of God we have only the divine essence. But the Spirit has become the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This means that other elements—humanity, crucifixion, and resurrection—have been added to the Spirit of God. Before the Lord’s resurrection, this Spirit, the Spirit including humanity, crucifixion, and resurrection, was not yet. We may say that the Spirit, although complete, was not yet completed. But after Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit was completed. Then the Spirit of God became the all-inclusive Spirit. This all-inclusive Spirit includes divinity, humanity, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection.
We need to see that the only element in the Spirit of God was divinity. But when the Spirit of God became the Spirit of Jesus Christ, other elements were added to the Spirit of God. The Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus Christ now includes the elements of divinity, humanity, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. Now that the Spirit includes these elements, we may say that the Spirit has been completed.
Suppose you ask for a cup of tea with milk and sugar. If you are served a cup of tea without milk and sugar, you would say that your cup of tea has not been completed. But when you add milk and sugar to the tea, your drink will be completed, for the necessary elements have been added to it. This is an illustration of the Spirit becoming completed. Just as the drink you requested was not yet because milk and sugar had not been added to it, so the Spirit was not yet until Christ had been resurrected and the necessary elements of crucifixion and resurrection had been added to the Spirit. Today we cannot say that the Spirit is “not yet,” because the Spirit has been completed.
Although the Trinity was complete, one of the Three— the Spirit—was not completed before the Lord’s resurrection. Because the Spirit was not completed, the Spirit was not yet until the Lord was glorified. When the Lord Jesus was glorified, the element of resurrection was added to the Spirit. Then the Spirit was completed. Now the Spirit is not only complete—the Spirit is also completed. Therefore, after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus could speak clearly and definitely concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 41, by Witness Lee)