Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, by Witness Lee


How could this divine Being, who is pure, holy, and righteous, be one with us? We are fallen, sinful, corrupted, and condemned. Between the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two chapters of Revelation, there is a long record. During this interval in time, God passed through a process.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they were in fear of the judgment to which God would sentence them. When God came seeking Adam, however, His way was to ask Adam, and then Eve, some questions. Rather than take direct responsibility for his wrongdoing, Adam passed the blame off on Eve and also on God. If God had not given him that woman, Adam implied, this problem would not have arisen. It was the woman who had given him the fruit to eat. Yes, he had eaten it, and that was wrong, no doubt; but the source of his disobedience, Adam maintained, was firstly God and then his wife. Without rebuking, God then turned to Eve and asked, “What is this that thou hast done?” (Gen. 3:13). Eve followed Adam’s tactic and passed the blame on to the serpent. By inference, she was also blaming God, who had created the serpent. Without arguing or condemning, God turned to the serpent, who was given no opportunity to explain. He was cursed and told, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (v. 15). As the man and his wife stood there trembling, expecting to hear themselves sentenced to death, they heard God say that the woman’s seed would bruise the serpent’s head. Eve would live! Adam believed the gospel and therefore “called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (v. 20). Instead of death, there would be seed of this woman which would bruise the serpent’s head. This is the gospel, which Adam heard from the mouth of God and believed.

The record continues, covering many years of history, until we come to Isaiah, where we have another reference to the seed of the woman. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). The seed would be a son, yet he would be called “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). Isaiah further describes Him in 9:6, where he tells us that the child born is the mighty God and the son given is the everlasting Father. What wonderful Person can this be? Some seven hundred years later, Mary, a virgin, conceived a child of the Holy Spirit, thus fulfilling these prophecies in Genesis and Isaiah. This wonderful One is Jesus, Jehovah the Savior, God with us!

God was now in human form. He was dwelling with man. At this point, however, God could not yet abide in man. Immanuel had to take another step. This He did by passing through death and entering into resurrection. At this juncture He changed from the flesh to the Spirit. “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45, Gk.).


Consider what has been added to God by this process through which He passed. Besides His divinity, He has now been compounded with humanity, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. Years ago I saw this. Then one day, while I was reading Exodus 30, the Lord enlightened me that the anointing ointment precisely portrays this now-compounded Spirit. Olive oil, which is commonly recognized as being a type of the Holy Spirit, is not the only ingredient of the anointing ointment. Four spices are compounded with it. The anointing ointment is made up of olive oil, myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, and cassia. This is the Old Testament picture of the processed and compounded God.

Not much more is said about the anointing until we come to 1 John 2. This passage clearly refers to Exodus 30. Biblical scholars have not been all that clear about the significance of this compound ointment.

As I did in the previous message, I would like to speak further on the numbers given us in relation to the ointment. Four, the number of spices, stands for the creature, while three, the number of times that five hundred occurs, speaks of the Trinity. The number four speaks of Christ’s humanity, without which He could not have entered into death. He was crucified in the flesh and thus destroyed the Devil who has the power of death (Heb. 2:14).

When we put four and three together, we get either seven or twelve, depending on whether we add or multiply. At the beginning of Revelation there are the seven churches. At the end there is the New Jerusalem, whose characteristic number is twelve. There are twelve foundations, twelve gates, and twelve apostles (Rev. 21:12,14), for example. The city has four sides with three gates on each side. When we are first saved, our number is four plus three, or seven. Eventually the numbers will be multiplied instead of added, and our new number will be twelve.

These four spices are blended with a hin of olive oil (Exo. 30:23-25). Four plus one speaks of responsibility. Four represents the creature, while one reminds us of God the Creator. Thus, God and man are brought together, like the four fingers of our hand and our one thumb.

I trust we can see how full and rich a picture is given us in the anointing ointment. All we need is included in this processed, compounded God. To stay in Romans 6 and reckon ourselves dead with Christ is not effective. According to our experience, such reckoning is vain. Brother Nee once said that Romans 6 can only be realized and experienced in Romans 8. What is found in Romans 8? It is the all-inclusive Spirit—the Spirit of life, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, His Spirit who indwells us, the Spirit Himself. If we walk according to this indwelling Spirit, who is the compounded God, and have our mind set upon Him, we shall enjoy life, peace, victory, and holiness. All that this compound Spirit contains—divinity, the proper humanity, the death of Christ, and His resurrection—will be our portion.

(Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)