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  • Title:

    The Mingling of God and Man

    Summary:

    A short article showing the basis for the teaching of the mingling of God and man in both the Old and New Testaments and how mingling is the most appropriate word to describe the relationship of the divine and human natures in Christ.

    The Mingling of God and Man

    The material on this page was written in the 1970s to respond to the criticisms of Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and the original “Bible Answer Man.” CRI has since withdrawn those criticisms and reversed its earlier conclusions (see “A Brief History of the Relationship between the Local Churches and the Christian Research Institute”). The text of this article is published here for the historical record, for the important points of truth it addresses, and because CRI’s criticisms, although withdrawn, are still repeated by others.

    From: Answers to the “Bible Answer Man” (Vol. 1)

    6. THE TRUTH CONCERNING THE MINGLING

    Since the speaker at Melodyland is confused concerning the proper understanding of the mingling as taught by Witness Lee and the local churches, we take this opportunity to relate the scriptural and historical points concerning mingling.

    Mingling Seen in the Type of the Offerings of the Old Testament

    Firstly, the truths in the New Testament, being spiritual and abstract, are often pictured by the types in the Old Testament. Concerning the testimony of the Old Testament, the type that portrays Christ mingled in His humanity and divinity is the meal or meat offering in Leviticus 2:1-16. Specifically, the one verse that uniquely brings together the humanity and divinity of Christ is Leviticus 2:4: “And when thou offerest an oblation of a meal-offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil” (ASV). Here two substances, fine flour and oil, which in type depict the humanity and divinity of Christ, are united in the most wondrous relationship. The word selected by the Holy Spirit to denote the mode of that relationship is mingled.

    Mingling Communicated Clearly in Verses of the New Testament

    Secondly, the testimony of the New Testament concerning the mystery of the mingling of man with God is expressed in 1 Timothy 3:16 which declares that God manifest in the flesh is a great mystery. The New Testament, however, does not attempt to explain how the divinity and humanity of Christ are interrelated. Although no word is supplied in the pages of the New Testament to describe this mysterious inner relationship, the facts of the mystery are clearly presented: Christ is truly God and truly man, yet He is one Person. The Old Testament type of the “fine flour mingled with oil” portrays the facts of the New Testament revelation, and both type and facts must be held as a great mystery.

    Also, in 1 Corinthians 6:17 the fact of a believer’s spirit being mingled with the Holy Spirit is clearly stated: “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” How could man’s spirit be one spirit with the Holy Spirit without being mingled? Let the speaker answer and describe the nature of this oneness of spirit with the Lord.

    “Mingled” Being the Proper Term to Describe this Wondrous Mystery

    The relationship between the humanity and divinity of Christ is a divine mystery which cannot be fully explained or understood by man. To utter this mystery the Word of God in Leviticus 2:4 uses the term “mingled.” Early in church history this term was used in a proper sense by the church fathers, but in the fifth century it became associated with heresy and its proper meaning was damaged. In the ensuing church councils and creeds, non-scriptural and substitute terms were introduced. Consequently, the scriptural term received a wrong connotation and was lost to the common language of the church.

    However, despite the historical and traditional problem concerning the term mingle as it describes the relationship of the humanity and divinity of Christ, the Word of God and the actual testimonies of several of the church fathers, reformers, and evangelical writers confirm the use of the term mingled as the unique scriptural term to convey and utter this mystery.

    Copyright © 1994 Living Stream, Anaheim, CA, USA. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission.

    Categories:
    1970s Responses, Responses, Walter Martin