Lesson 10 – The Mingled Spirit
THE DEFINITION OF “MINGLE”
Some Bible students and even some Bible teachers have failed to understand the matter of mingling. In ancient times there was a debate regarding the mingling of the divine essence and the human essence in the Person of the Lord Jesus. Some who misunderstood this mingling said that it caused a third nature to be produced, something which is neither divine nor human. To say that with respect to the Lord Jesus the mingling of the divine essence and the human essence produced a third nature, a nature that is neither fully human nor divine, is heretical. However, we wish to make it clear that this is not our understanding of the word “mingle.” We agree with the first definition of this word given in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary: mingle—“to combine or join (one thing with another, or two or more things together), especially so that the original elements are distinguishable in the combination.” According to this definition, when two or more things are mingled together, their original natures are not lost but remain distinguishable.We may use tea as an illustration of mingling. When tea is mingled with water to make a beverage, neither the essence of tea nor the essence of water is lost. Instead, both essences remain. These two essences mingle together to produce a beverage, but they do not produce a third nature, something which is neither tea nor water.
THE MINGLING AS TYPES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
There is a mystery revealed in the Scriptures that we can never comprehend fully. This mystery, which is revealed to us throughout the entire Bible, is the mingling of God with man. Among Christians today the term mingling, particularly as it relates to the mingling of God with man, is rarely used. This term was adopted from Leviticus 2:4, which says, “And when you present an offering of a meal offering baked in the oven, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened cakes mingled with oil or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.” In the Scriptures oil signifies the Holy Spirit of God, and fine flour signifies the human nature—particularly that of Christ. Hence, in Leviticus 2:4 we see the mingling of the Holy Spirit with the human nature. This is the mingling of God with man.
JESUS CHRIST BEING THE MINGLING OF GOD WITH MAN
Jesus Christ is the mingling of God with man. When He was on this earth, He was both man and God—He was the God-man. Even today, He is both a genuine man and the very God. God cannot be separated from Him. Once tea is mingled with water, wherever the water is, the tea is also. Just as tea is mingled with water, so also God is mingled with humanity in Christ. Wherever Christ is, God is as well. Stephen’s word in Acts 7 proves that even after His ascension into heaven, the Lord Jesus is not only God but also a man: “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (v. 56). There is a man in the heavens who is the embodiment of God. Before Christ was born in Bethlehem, God and man were separate. At the incarnation, however, God and man were joined as one in Christ. God is no longer merely God—He in Christ is mingled with man. It is here that the belief of Christians differs from the Jewish belief. According to the Jews, God is merely God (Elohim); Christians believe that this God is not only God but also God incarnated to be a man. Like the Jews, we believe that God is the Creator and the Lord. But unlike them, we believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord. The Lord God and the Lord Jesus are not two Lords but one. Christ Jesus the Lord is the Creator God incarnated to be mingled with man. The Lord Jesus Christ is a man who, on the day of His ascension, was exalted to heaven and established by God to be the Lord. Acts 2:36 says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.” If Christ were merely God, there would be no need in the Bible for such a verse. However, since Christ is a mingling of God and man, He in His humanity needed to be made the Lord and Christ.
Our Savior was conceived of the divine essence and born of the human essence. Therefore, He is a Person with two essences—the divine and the human—mingled together without a third nature being produced. Although the Lord has two essences, He is still a single complete Person, One who is both God and man.
BELIEVERS BEING THE MINGLING OF GOD WITH MEN
One of the greatest verses in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 6:17, says, “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” The implications of this verse are marvelous and far-reaching. We, the believers, are one spirit with the Lord. How tremendous! This implies that we are in Him and that He is in us. It also implies that we and He have been mingled, blended organically, to become one in life. To be one spirit with the Lord implies that we and He are a living entity. We simply do not have words to explain the significance of this verse. To say that we are one spirit with the Lord definitely does not mean that we are deified. However, it certainly does imply the mingling of divinity with humanity.
The word translated spirit in Romans 8:4, and in several other verses in Romans 8, presents a problem to translators. It is hard to decide whether to regard spirit as referring to the Holy Spirit and capitalize it, or to consider that it is the human spirit and not capitalize it. The spirit here refers to the mingled spirit, our spirit mingled with the Holy Spirit. We need another size letter to denote this, neither a capital letter nor a small one! These two spirits, the divine and the human, have become one (1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:22; 2 Cor. 3:17).
The relationship between God and man in its highest aspect is one of mingling. Indeed, God’s intention and desire is to mingle Himself with us. However, this thought may be rather difficult for us to realize. According to our natural thought, God is God and man is man—He is our Creator and we are His creatures. We have always believed that we as God’s creatures could only worship, serve, and fear Him. Unless we have received revelation, we have perhaps never had the thought that God mingles Himself with man. While it is true that the Scriptures speak concerning the worship of God, many people are preoccupied with this matter according to their natural concept. If we read the Scriptures carefully without any human concepts or ideas about the nature of our fellowship with God, we will realize that God’s intention has much more to do with our being mingled with Him than it does with our outwardly worshipping Him.