The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, by Witness Lee

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After I was enlightened of the Lord concerning the Father’s house in John 14, I began to understand John 16:16-24. I was further enlightened to see the meaning of the Lord’s word here concerning the man born into the world. I began to see that, according to Acts 13:33, the Lord Jesus was begotten in resurrection to be the Son of God with respect to His humanity. The Lord’s resurrection, therefore, was a birth. This means that when Christ was resurrected, He was born.

In the past I had wondered why it was necessary for Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, to be born, begotten, in resurrection as the Son of God. I wondered why Christ, who was already the only begotten Son, had to be born to be God’s Son in resurrection. In eternity He was the only begotten Son of God. Then in the incarnation He was born of Mary, and in resurrection He had another birth. I was enlightened to see that when Christ was born of Mary, He was born as a man, and His humanity had nothing to do with God’s sonship. In other words, strictly speaking, the human part of Jesus was not the Son of God, but was the Son of Man. Therefore, it was necessary for the human part of the Lord Jesus to be born into the divine sonship through resurrection. How glad I was to see that although Jesus Christ was born of Mary as a man, as a man it was necessary for Him to be born into the divine sonship through resurrection. Hence, Christ’s resurrection was a new birth for Him. He was already the only begotten Son of God before His incarnation. Then through incarnation He was born to be a man. Now in resurrection He was born to be the firstborn Son of God. Furthermore, Christ’s being the firstborn Son of God implies that He has many brothers (Rom. 8:29) I also began to realize that the birth that took place through Christ’s resurrection involved the birth not only of an individual but of a group, a group that includes the firstborn Son and the many sons of God. This means that through one birth, one delivery, many sons were brought forth.

We should not think that Christ as the firstborn Son was born in His resurrection and that all His brothers, the many sons of God, have been born gradually during the centuries following His resurrection. We should not think that Peter was born at one time, Paul at another time, and each of us at a much later time. No, we were all born to be sons of God in the resurrection of Christ. This is the reason 1 Peter 1:3 says that we have been regenerated through the resurrection of Christ. Praise the Lord that when Christ was resurrected we were regenerated! All the believers, including the early apostles and those who will be the last to believe in the Lord, were regenerated together. We all were brought forth by means of a single universal delivery. In Christ’s resurrection millions of God’s sons were born. Therefore, the Lord’s word concerning the man born in 16:21 includes Himself as the firstborn Son and all the believers as the many sons.

In John 16:16 the Lord said to His disciples, “A little while and you shall behold Me no longer, and again a little while and you shall see Me.” The following verse indicates that the disciples did not understand what the Lord was saying: “Some of His disciples said then to one another, What is this that He says to us, A little while and you shall not behold Me, and again a little while and you shall see Me; and, Because I go to the Father?” Then the disciples went on to say, “What is this that He says, A little while? We do not know what He is talking about” (v. 18). Realizing that they wanted to question Him further, the Lord went on to say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. When a woman gives birth she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she brings forth the child, she no longer remembers the affliction because of the joy that a man has been born into the world” (vv. 20-21).

(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 47, by Witness Lee)