THE ADAMIC RACE,
THE ABRAHAMIC RACE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH,
THE ABRAHAMIC RACE ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT, AND THE OVERCOMING RACE
In the first ten and a half chapters of Genesis, God was dealing with man as the Adamic race. But after these chapters of the Bible, God shifted to another group of people. This second group of people is composed of the descendants of one father, Abraham. God shifted from the Adamic race to the Abrahamic race. God’s dealing with the Abrahamic race occupies nearly the entire Old Testament, from partway through Genesis 11 to the end of Malachi. The Old Testament covers the race of Adam and the physical descendants of Abraham. Both were a failure to God, but God could never be disappointed. He is the almighty One and the faithful One. He has the capacity to fulfill His faithfulness to keep His economy.
In the New Testament economy, God had a serious, vital shift to another group of people. He shifted from Abraham’s descendants according to the flesh to Abraham’s descendants according to the Spirit. The book of Genesis tells us that Abraham had two kinds of descendants, who were likened to the dust of the earth (13:16) and the stars of heaven (15:5). His earthly descendants are as the dust of the earth, and we, the New Testament believers as His heavenly descendants, are as the stars of heaven. The Jews by their natural birth all belong to the physical descendants of Abraham. Then all the believers in Christ, regardless of their race, are the spiritual descendants of Abraham (Gal. 3:7, 29). Regretfully, however, most of the spiritual descendants of Abraham also fail God. Then to whom can God go in order to carry out His purpose?
At the beginning of the last book of the Bible, the Lord Jesus as the High Priest walking among the golden lampstands gives a call to another group of people, the overcomers. In Revelation 2 and 3, He says "to him who overcomes" seven times (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). This is a sevenfold call to us, His believers, the spiritual descendants of our great father, Abraham. Christ calls out seven times for the overcomers.
The overcomers are the fourth race. The first race was Adamic, the second race was Abrahamic according to the flesh, and the third race was still Abrahamic, but according to the Spirit. However, even the spiritual Abrahamic race becomes a failure. Humanly speaking, it is quite disappointing, but divinely speaking, our God can never be shaken or disappointed. He is God! Regardless of what happens, He is still standing. Not only is He standing, but also He is the One who sat enthroned at the flood and who sits as King forever (Psa. 29:10). Because He is such a One, He produces another race, the top race, the super race, the race above all the races. This last race is the overcoming race!
From the time of Adam to the time of Abraham was exactly two thousand years. After the first two thousand years of human history, God shifted from the race of Adam to the race of Abraham. From the time of Abraham to the time of Christ was another two thousand years. Now we are here in the New Testament. The New Testament age is approaching two thousand years of history. Thus, there have been two thousand years for the Adamic race, two thousand years for the Abrahamic race according to the flesh, and almost two thousand years for the Abrahamic race according to the Spirit. What the Lord needs is the race of overcomers to conquer all the satanic chaos and triumph in the divine economy.
The book of Revelation is a book on the overcomers. The overcoming race in this book begins from Revelation 4 and continues through Revelation 22. The overcoming race brings in the success to God for His economy. We need to consider where we are today. Are we in Genesis 1—10 in the Adamic race, in the remainder of the Old Testament in the Abrahamic race according to the flesh, or in the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation 3, in the Abrahamic race according to the Spirit? We may say that we are in the New Testament, but this in itself is not adequate. We must be in the last nineteen chapters of the Bible, from Revelation 4 through 22, from the throne to the New Jerusalem.
We need to be those who belong to the overcoming race. If someone were to ask us what kind of people we are, we should be able to say, "I belong to a race of which you do not know. I belong to the race of the overcomers." According to God’s economy, there are only four races on this earth—the race of Adam, the race of Abraham according to the flesh, the race of Abraham according to the Spirit, and the race of the overcomers. We should declare by faith that we belong to the race of the overcomers.
(The Satanic Chaos in the Old Creation and the Divine Economy for the New Creation, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)