THE WORD BECOMING FLESH AND TABERNACLING AMONG US
John 1:1 and 2 say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” In the beginning, that is, in eternity past, the Word that defined God, explained God, and revealed God, was with God. He was with God before the foundation of the world. Then one day He became a man. In John 1:14, the Word became flesh. The translation “was made” in the King James Version is not correct. The proper rendering of the Greek word is “became.” The Greek word here indicates a strong step related to having a new beginning. In eternity Christ, the living Word, was God without humanity. But through incarnation He took a strong step to have a new beginning. He became a man.
John 1:14 says that the Word not only became flesh but also tabernacled among us. In this verse there are two predicates: became and tabernacled. The story recorded in the four Gospels is a story of God incarnate tabernacling among us. The word “tabernacling” covers the four Gospels.
CHRIST CRUCIFIED AS THE LAMB OF GOD
Toward the end of the record in the Gospels, the Lord Jesus went to the cross to die for our redemption. He died as the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36). Therefore, in the four Gospels we see Christ as the tabernacle, and at the end of the Gospels we see Him crucified as the Lamb of God.
THE HEAVENLY DOVE
After accomplishing redemption as the Lamb, Christ was resurrected and came as the Dove, as the life-giving Spirit. The Dove is actually Christ Himself in another form. First Corinthians 15:45 says that the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. This verse points to another new beginning, also indicated by the word “became.” When the Word became flesh, that was a new beginning. When in resurrection Christ became the life-giving Spirit, that was another new beginning. Now Christ is with us as the Dove. In John 20 and 21 we see Him as the Dove.
In Acts and in the Epistles we have the record of the heavenly Dove, the Dove out of heaven. As the Lamb Christ walked upon the earth, but as the Dove He soars in the air. This soaring Dove descends upon us. When we lay our hand upon the Lamb, the Dove descends upon us. Now what we have is not the Lamb and the Dove, but the Lamb with the Dove. The Dove does not stand beside the Lamb. Rather, the Dove rests upon the Lamb. The Dove descends upon the Lamb and abides upon the Lamb. Therefore, the Dove and the Lamb are one. This Dove-Lamb is a single entity with two parts, the Lamb, the first part, and the Dove, the second part. As the Lamb He is the Redeemer; as the Dove He is the life-giver.
LIVING STONES FOR A SPIRITUAL HOUSE
In the Epistles we see the transforming work of the Dove to make us stones. In the Epistles many stones are produced. The issue of these stones is the building up of a spiritual house. As Peter says, we are living stones being built up a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5). This spiritual house will consummate in the New Jerusalem.
In this message we have seen a sketch of the whole New Testament. First we have the Word, the living Word with the written Word. Then we have the tabernacling of the incarnated Word among us. This tabernacling of the Word is described in detail in the four Gospels. At the end of the Gospels we see that the Lamb was crucified for our redemption. In resurrection the Lamb became the Dove. In the book of Acts and in the Epistles, we see Christ as the Dove. Furthermore, in the Epistles we see that the believers are transformed into stones and that all these stones are being built up together to be a spiritual house which consummates in the new Jerusalem. This is God’s economy. This is the central lane of God’s operation revealed in the Bible.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)