THE TWO SPIRITS IN EPHESIANS 6
“And receive the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). According to the Greek grammar, the word “which” in this verse refers to Spirit, not to sword. The Spirit, then, is the word of God. This corresponds with the Lord’s word in John 6:63, “The words which I have spoken unto you are spirit.” There is a sense, then, in which the Word is the Spirit and the Spirit is the Word.
You may feel that much of what we have covered in this message about the Spirit is too abstract. When we speak of the Word, however, you have something down-to-earth which you can grasp. The Lord today is the Spirit; He is also embodied in His Word. The Lord, the Spirit, and the Word are all one. We need all three, because it is through the Word and the Spirit that the Lord is realized by us.
If the Lord Jesus were not the Spirit, we could not realize Him. Nor could we realize Him if we did not have a spirit. As the Spirit, He indwells and mingles with our spirit, making us both one. Yet the matter of the Spirit is mysterious.
It is the Word which makes these abstractions real to us. Whenever we come to the Bible with a proper spirit, reading, praying, and receiving it, this Word getting into us becomes the Spirit. What we read and receive is the Word; what comes into us is the Spirit. As long as we receive the Word into our spirit, it becomes spirit and life. If we take the Word only into our mind, however, it is merely a thought or some knowledge.
How can we be sure that we are receiving the Word into our spirit? The next verse, Ephesians 6:18, gives us the way: “By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.” We must pray, but not for our affairs. Pray to receive the Word as the Spirit. Day by day, unceasingly, use the Word to pray for the Spirit. Such prayer will make the mystery real to you in your life.
THE TWO SPIRITS IN PHILIPPIANS
The Spirit of Jesus Christ
Paul told the Philippians that whatever sufferings or persecutions he underwent, “I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19, Gk.). Notice the term that is used for the Spirit here. Paul said his afflictions would become a salvation to him by the bountiful supply of the Spirit, but not the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of Jesus, or the Spirit of Christ. It was by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus Christ? He is the processed God. He passed through creation, incarnation, human life, and death. He has entered into resurrection and ascension. The processed God as a term is not found in the Bible; nor is the word Trinity. But the facts are clearly stated in the Bible.
What is the bountiful supply of this Spirit? It is the realization of the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8). The riches are objective, but they are experienced subjectively as this supply. It was because of this Spirit’s supplying, supporting, and sustaining him that Paul could say, “Christ shall be magnified in my body” (Phil. 1:20).
Fellowship in Spirit
Besides the bountiful supply of the Spirit, there is also the need for the fellowship in spirit (Phil. 2:1, Gk.). Our spirit is necessary for taking in the supply God has made available. The Spirit supplies the food, and our spirit supplies the mouth and the stomach! Day by day we exercise our spirit to fellowship with Him and with one another. Such vertical and horizontal fellowship is the eating. In my speaking I am eating; in your listening you are eating. When the meeting is over, we all feel full. This is the fellowship, the enjoyment of the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)