THE INCARNATION OF THE DEFINED GOD
I hope that after reading this message you will be able to tell others how the tabernacle and the offerings have their fulfillment in the Gospel of John. Regarding this matter, we should not speak according to our imagination or natural intelligence. We should speak according to what is revealed in the Gospel of John. In John chapter one we first have God defined, explained, and expressed by the Word. The Word is the definition of God. Hence, the Word is the defined God. This defined God, the Logos, became the tabernacle. This means that the type of the tabernacle in the Old Testament was fulfilled by the defined God coming to mingle Himself with man in the flesh. Let us be impressed that the defined God becoming incarnate to mingle Himself with humanity is the fulfillment of the type of the tabernacle. In simple words, we may say that the tabernacle has been fulfilled by the defined God in His incarnation.
A number of songs and hymns have been written on the birth of Christ. One well-known hymn, written by Charles Wesley, opens with the words, “Hark, the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.” Like so many others, this hymn is a praise concerning the birth of Jesus mainly according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. But where can you find a hymn that is a praise concerning Christ’s incarnation and birth written according to the revelation in the Gospel of John? It is easier to write hymns according to what is written in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, because these Gospels are not so mysterious. But because the incarnation of the defined God as presented in John is very mysterious, it is difficult to write a hymn on this subject. Nevertheless, I would encourage some of the saints to try to compose a hymn on the incarnation of the defined God.
In traditional Christian teachings the matter of the incarnation of the defined God to become the tabernacle, God’s dwelling place, has been neglected. The reason for this neglect is that a matter such as this is mysterious. How we thank the Lord that, in His mercy, He has revealed this mystery to us!
A DOVE ON A LAMB
Today we have the reality of the tabernacle and the reality of all the offerings by means of which we may enter into the incarnated God. Many Christians have not seen how this dear One, the One who became the tabernacle and who is all the offerings, has also become the dove, the life-giving Spirit. But in John 1 we see a dove on a Lamb, the heavenly dove upon a Lamb on earth. This Lamb of God is all the offerings. This dove is the life-giving Spirit who has regenerated us, who is now transforming us into stones, and who is also building us up into the house of God. This house is the Bethel that brings heaven to earth and joins earth to heaven. This is the fulfillment of the tabernacle and the offerings.
Chapter one of John is the introduction to the entire Gospel of John. The remaining twenty chapters are filled with details showing how this One is the tabernacle and how He is the sin offering, the trespass offering, the meal offering, the burnt offering, and, eventually, the peace offering. In particular, in chapter fourteen we see how this One becomes the life-giving Spirit. First, as the Lamb of God, Christ is all the offerings. Then according to what is revealed in chapter fourteen, through death and resurrection He becomes the life-giving Spirit.
In John 14:16 and 17 the Lord Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever; even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you.” The very He who is the Spirit of reality in verse 17 becomes the very I who is the Lord Himself in verse 18. This means that after His resurrection the Lord became the Spirit of reality. First Corinthians 15:45 confirms this. In dealing with the matter of resurrection, this verse says, “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”
Therefore, when the Spirit of reality comes to be in us, the Lord Himself comes to dwell in us, for He has become the life-giving Spirit. Now, through the life-imparting and transforming work of the Spirit, all those who believe in Christ can be transformed from Simons to Peters and thereby become stones to be built up into the house of God, God’s dwelling place on earth.
As we will consider the following twenty chapters in the Gospel of John, we shall see the details concerning the six items that form the extract of chapter one: the Word, the tabernacle, the Lamb of God, the dove, the stone, and the house of God.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)