THE ESSENCE AND SPHERE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT BEING THE SPIRIT
The Old Testament speaks of Christ by way of allegories and types. Although this makes it easy for people to comprehend, they still cannot easily have a full understanding. A picture is always better than a thousand words. When we look at the pictures in the Old Testament, we can right away understand their apparent, superficial, and literal side. However, unless the Lord opens the understanding of our mind, we really cannot understand the intrinsic, deep, and essential significance contained in them. As we have seen, the Old Testament speaks about Christ with types in six major categories: human beings, animals, plants, minerals, offerings, and foods. The New Testament continues by speaking of Christ altogether in plain words. In speaking about Christ, the New Testament does not mainly use types, such as human beings, animals, plants, minerals, offerings, and foods. Instead, it speaks of Christ as the Spirit. In the New Testament, Christ is presented altogether with the Spirit as the center, the element, and the sphere. Hence, the Spirit is the essence, the factor, of the New Testament. The New Testament opens with a revelation showing us that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit even when he was in his mother’s womb, and then his mother and father were also filled with the Holy Spirit. Then it goes on to show that Jesus was altogether conceived and born through the Holy Spirit’s entering into humanity. He was One who had humanity with divinity and who lived on the earth for thirty-three and a half years, died on the cross, and resurrected, through which He brought humanity into divinity. In resurrection He became such a wonderful One, One who is divinity in humanity and humanity in divinity.
The Lord Being the Spirit
First Corinthians 15:45b says, “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” The last Adam is the One who brought divinity into humanity. Then through death and resurrection He brought humanity into divinity, and He became the life-giving Spirit. Most Christians dare not touch this verse because it does not fit in with their theology and tradition. In a certain part of Christianity, the Father is pictured as an old father sitting down, the Son as a young man standing beside Him, and the Holy Spirit as a dove soaring in the air. This picture represents the Trinity in today’s Christianity. The Scriptures, however, indicate that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not separate. When the Son came, the Father came with Him (John 8:16, 29; 16:32). Moreover, the conception of the Son was of the Holy Spirit; He was begotten by divinity entering into humanity. When the Son came out for His ministry, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as His power. Then, through His death and resurrection He brought humanity into divinity. He is such a mysterious and marvelous One. After passing through these mysterious and marvelous processes, He became the life-giving Spirit. The apostle Paul saw such a revelation clearly and boldly declared, “The Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17). This means that Christ in resurrection is not only the life-giving Spirit but also “the Spirit.”
The Spirit Coming into Existence after a Process
In creation there was only the Spirit of God (Gen. 1:2). In the Old Testament, in God’s relationship with man and in His dealings with man, there was the Spirit of Jehovah (Judg. 3:10). In the beginning of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit came to carry out the work for the preaching of the New Testament gospel. First, He prepared a forerunner, John the Baptist, and then He entered into the womb of a virgin to bring divinity into humanity, thereby producing a God-man. This God-man lived a human life in His humanity mingled with divinity for thirty years. Afterward, when He came out for His ministry, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him to anoint Him. However, in John 7 we are told that the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. This means that at that time the Lord Jesus had not yet died and resurrected. Eventually, He passed through death and resurrection and brought humanity into divinity. Thus, His entire being is divinity in humanity and humanity in divinity. Such a One became the life-giving Spirit. This life-giving Spirit is all-inclusive, having divinity, humanity, human living with divinity in humanity, the all-inclusive death, the effectiveness of the redemption accomplished on the cross, the all-overcoming resurrection, and the power of resurrection. All these elements are in the life-giving Spirit. This Spirit is all-inclusive, yet His title is very simple—the Spirit.
(Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Church, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)