An Uplifted Soul (5)
To have a balanced view
of how God imparts His
divine nature into us,
we need to consider
the type of
the meal offering
In the previous Note we considered the wood being overlaid with the gold in the tabernacle; the wood of course signifies the human nature, and the gold, the divine nature. The wood being overlaid with the gold signifies that even when the human and divine natures are combined, first in the person of Christ and then in the believers, they remain distinct.
However, if we only had this type in the Old Testament, it could leave us with the wrong impression, namely, that the two natures were not actually mingled together in the person of Christ, or in the believers; we might instead feel that the divine nature remains separate from the human nature, perhaps only covering it. This would not be accurate.
So, to have a balanced understanding of this matter, we need to consider another type of Christ in the Old Testament, namely, the meal offering. This was one of the five basic offerings God prescribed for the children of Israel in Leviticus. He told Moses:
“If you bring as an offering a grain offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed [“mingled”; Darby, ASV, RcV] with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.”
— Leviticus 2:4, NKJV
Of course, each of the five offerings in Leviticus typifies Christ in a particular way. However, while all the other offerings mainly show us different aspects of the death of Christ, and how we apply His death in our experience, the meal offering typifies Christ in His wonderful humanity. We know this because, in the New Testament, He Himself tells us,
“The bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
— John 6:33
So, the meal offering typifies Christ as our real “bread of God.”
In this offering, the fine flour signifies the human nature of Christ, while the oil, as it does throughout the Bible, signifies the Spirit, which includes the divine nature. Thus, what the meal offering shows us is just how thoroughly the human and divine natures, like the flour and the oil, are “mingled” together in the person of Christ, and in His believers, to the point they can no longer be separated.
To be clear, though, even in the meal offering, the distinct characteristics of the flour and the oil can still be distinguished, just as they would be if we were to make a batch of biscuits ourselves. This again shows us that, in the mingling of divinity and humanity in the person of Christ, “the individual characteristics of the two natures remained distinct; the two natures did not intermix to form a third nature,” as Witness Lee states (RcV, John 1:14, Footnote #2).
On the one hand, the wood being overlaid with gold in the tabernacle emphasizes how the human and divine natures remain distinct, even as they are combined. On the other hand, the meal offering emphasizes just how thoroughly the two natures are mingled together, to the point they can no longer be separated, though even then they remain distinct in terms of their characteristics.
If we see both of these Old Testament pictures of the mingling of divinity with humanity, we will have a balanced view of what it means to say that today, God is imparting His divine nature into the believers (2 Pet. 1:4), so that our human nature is being uplifted with the divine nature.
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— 10 October 2023 —