The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, by Witness Lee


To understand the Spirit’s work in applying Christ’s accomplishments, let us consider how the Spirit is gradually revealed throughout the Scriptures.

The Spirit of God

The first time the Spirit of God is mentioned is in Genesis 1:2. This is God the Spirit in His creation. The Spirit of God brooded over the death waters for God’s creation.

The Spirit of Jehovah

After creating man, God remained intimately involved with him. In His relationship with man God’s title is Jehovah. This is why in the Old Testament the Spirit of God is usually called the Spirit of Jehovah. The Spirit of Jehovah came upon certain people. This indicates that the Spirit of Jehovah has to do with God’s reaching of man (Judg. 3:10; Ezek. 11:5). The main titles used for the Spirit of God in the Old Testament are the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jehovah.

The Holy Spirit

At the incarnation the Spirit of God was called the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35). Andrew Murray in his masterpiece, The Spirit of Christ, points out that the divine title, the Holy Spirit, is not used in the Old Testament. In Psalm 51:11 and in Isaiah 63:10-11 the "Holy Spirit" should be translated "the Spirit of holiness." It was when the time came to prepare the way for Christ’s coming and to prepare a human body for Him to initiate the New Testament dispensation, that the term the "Holy Spirit" came into use (Luke 1:15, 35).

The Spirit
Being Not Yet

Now we come to a very hard point. In John 7:37-38 the Lord Jesus cried, "If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." Then in verse 39 John explains that the Lord spoke this "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." John does not say the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jehovah, or the Holy Spirit, but "the Spirit." He further says that when Jesus was crying out to the people, "the Spirit was not yet." The King James Version says, "the Spirit was not yet given," but the word "given" is inserted; it is not in the Greek text. The Spirit of God was in Genesis 1, and the Spirit of Jehovah came upon the prophets in the Old Testament. Why, then, in John 7 was the Spirit "not yet"?

Andrew Murray in his book The Spirit of Christ indicates that before Christ’s glorification, that is, before His resurrection (Luke 24:26), the Spirit of God had only divinity. But when Christ was resurrected, the Spirit of God became the Spirit of the glorified Jesus. If He were still only the Spirit of God, He would have only the divine element. Murray’s word implies that the Spirit, in becoming the Spirit of the glorified Jesus following Christ’s resurrection, now has the element of humanity.

(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)