VII. THROUGH FIRE
A. All Meal Offerings Being through Fire on the Altar
All meal offerings, whether baked in an oven, roasted on a griddle, or fried in a pan, are through fire on the altar (Lev. 2:4-9). This signifies that Christ in His humanity offered to God as food has gone through fire. When we touch the meal offering, we touch the testing fire.
B. The Burning Fire Signifying the Consuming God, Not for Judgment but for Acceptance
The burning fire in Leviticus 2 signifies the consuming God, not for judgment but for acceptance. The portion of the meal offering that was offered to God as God’s food for His satisfaction was burned, that is, consumed by fire. This was God’s acceptance, not His judgment. This signifies that God has accepted Christ as His satisfying food. God accepts the meal offering by consuming it through fire.
VIII. MINGLED WITH OIL
“When you bring a meal offering baked in an oven as an offering, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. And if your offering is a meal offering on the griddle, it shall be of fine flour mingled with oil, unleavened” (Lev. 2:4 and 5). This mingling with oil signifies that Christ’s humanity is mingled with the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18b). This mingling also signifies that Christ’s human nature is mingled with God’s divine nature; hence, He is a God-man. Christ is a person who is absolutely mingled with God. His humanity is mingled with God, mingled with the Spirit, for the Spirit is in His very being. Therefore, when we touch Christ, we touch the Spirit.
In relation to the mingling in Leviticus 2, let us consider Psalm 92:10b. “I shall be anointed with fresh oil.” In Darby’s New Translation a note on the word anointed says “strictly, ‘mingled.’” Furthermore, Darby’s note on the word mingled in Leviticus 2:4 says: “‘Mixed,’ ‘mingled,’ is the sense of the word. In Ps. 92:10 it is not merely anointed as consecration, but his whole system is invigorated and strengthened by it: it formed his strength; hence it is ‘fresh oil’ there.” This mingling, therefore, causes one’s inward parts and elements to be vigorous and strong.
In the early part of the Christian era, there was much debate about the matter of the mingling of divinity with humanity. Some theologians thought that to speak of being mingled with God implied the belief that a person could become God, the belief that a human being could be uplifted to such an extent that he was deified. Those who had this kind of understanding of the teaching concerning mingling condemned this teaching. Eventually, theologians did not dare to use the word mingle or to teach concerning the mingling of humanity and divinity.
Why, then, are we so bold as to use this term today? We speak of mingling because there is such a revelation in the Bible. Our teaching concerning the divine mingling with humanity is based on the New Testament revelation and is also confirmed by the Old Testament types.
According to the type, the picture, in Leviticus 2, the meal offering is made basically of fine flour and oil. Verse 4 speaks of “fine flour mingled with oil.” Oil denotes divinity, and fine flour denotes Christ’s humanity. The mingling of the fine flour with the oil indicates that through the divine mingling Christ’s humanity has been uplifted to the highest standard.
In Galatians 2:20 Paul says, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” In Philippians 1:21 he says, “For to me to live is Christ.” Paul was not only mingled with Christ—Paul was Christ. When some hear this, they may argue and accuse me of twisting Paul’s word. They may say, “Paul did not tell us that he was Christ. He merely said that Christ lived in him and that for him to live was Christ. To live Christ is one thing, and to be Christ is another.” To this I would reply, “How can one live another person without being that person? How could Paul live Christ if he were not Christ?”
While Paul was on the road to Damascus, the Lord Jesus asked him, “Why are you persecuting Me?” and He went on to say, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:4-5). Paul thought that he was persecuting only Stephen and other disciples; he had no realization that he was actually persecuting Christ. The Lord, however, regards His disciples as part of Him. The “Me” in Acts 9:4 is thus a corporate person including the Lord Jesus and all the believers. All the believers are one with Christ, not one merely in combination or in union but one in mingling.
Because the Lord Jesus is God incarnated to be a man, He is a God-man. Do you think that His divinity can be separated from His humanity, or that, apart from any mingling, His divinity and humanity are merely united to make Him a God-man? If there were no mingling, how could He live as a God-man? Christ’s divinity is mingled with His humanity. However, this mingling of divinity and humanity surely has not produced a third element, something that is neither divine nor human. To say that with respect to the Lord Jesus the mingling of the divine nature with the human nature produced a third nature, a nature that is neither fully divine nor fully human, is heretical. This certainly is not our understanding of the word mingle. We agree with the definition in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary: mingle—“to bring or combine together or with something else so that the components remain distinguishable in the combination.” In such a mingling of two elements, the elements remain distinct, and there is not the producing of a third element.
Christ is both the complete God and the perfect man, possessing the divine nature and the human nature distinctly, without a third nature being produced. This is revealed in the New Testament, and it is portrayed by the type in Leviticus 2. In this type, mingling is clearly depicted: the oil is mingled with the fine flour, and the fine flour is mingled with the oil. Although these two elements are mingled, the essence of each element remains distinct, and a third element is not produced. This is the correct understanding of mingling.
The excellency of Christ, who is our meal offering, is in both His divinity and His humanity. With respect to His divinity, Christ has the divine attributes, and these divine attributes are expressed through, with, and in His human virtues. For this reason He is ethical and moral in a higher standard than all human beings. What He is as God with the divine attributes is added to what He is as man with the human virtues. This is the excellence of Jesus Christ, an excellence which is the produce of the mingling of divinity and humanity.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)