The Universal Christ

"The resurrection gives us a Christ who is spiritually present; the Holy Spirit gives us a Christ who is universally present. By the coming of the Holy Spirit the risen Christ is made omnipresent, and the whole process of revelation here and now completed. Nothing higher can be looked for until the veil is dropped on the other side. Momentous consequences follow the acceptance of this truth. If the age of the Spirit under which we are now living marks the final outgoing of God to man; if the God who is manifested in Christ is every-where present in the Spirit; if through the medium-ship of the Spirit he dwells in the inner sanctuary of the soul; if he is not only with man, but in man; if through the Holy Spirit his presence within the soul is realized as the presence of Christ, then the time foretold by Jesus has come when temples and shrines are no longer indispensable, when every man has immediate access to God as the Father, and when every humble receptive soul may become "an habitation of God in the Spirit." "
- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, p. 89)

The New Covenant Gift of the Spirit

"Let us recall the three considerations that have been
mentioned. First, that our Lord Himself in His Divine-human nature was on earth, and is now in heaven, possessed of the fulness of the Spirit, and this in such a manner that the Spirit entered into all He was in the one sphere, and enters into all He is in the other. Secondly, that the Spirit given us by our Lord in His glorified condition is His own Spirit in the most definite and particular meaning of the words. Thirdly, that when the Spirit is bestowed upon us He must be made inwardly and experimentally ours, entering into all that we are in a manner similar to that in which He entered into all that Jesus was and is. Let us fix these three points distinctly in our minds, and it will follow that the Spirit promised as the chief gift of the New Covenant is pervaded by human as well as Divine elements. As the Spirit of the exalted and glorified Lord, He is not the Third Person of the Trinity in His absolute and metaphysical existence, but that Person as He is mediated through the Son, who is human as well as Divine. It is on this particular aspect of His being that He diffuses Himself through the members of Christ's body, and abides in them. Only as human, entering into and coalescing with what is human, can He be also our Spirit dwelling in a living and real way within us."
- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, p. 189)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Christ is here to reign, part 5 of 7

   "There are those who, looking abroad upon the
increasing conflict between good and evil, estimate
that the two forces are so evenly balanced as to
preclude the possibility of any great measure of
progress. It almost seems to them as if the con-
flict which is now on must end in a drawn battle.
Their gloomy forebodings come from not seeing 
the invisible Leader who is at the head of the forces 
of good, and is pushing them on to certain victory. 
    Others, glowingly optimistic, see not only victory 
for the right, but they see it close at hand. The 
world which they look upon is growing steadily 
better. It has within itself the power of recupera- 
tion. Only give it a little time and it is well able 
to overcome all alien forces, and to work out its 
own salvation. 
    Others regard the present order of things as 
doomed to failure. They believe that the world 
is growing worse. They have no hope of victory 
from the forces that are at present in operation, 
and which are at the command of the church. They 
do not think that Christ is making much headway. 
What he is gaining at one point he is more than 
losing at another. They even hold that it is not 
the mission of the church to convert the world, and 
that hence all her well-meaning efforts to compass 
this result must of necessity prove abortive. They 
are looking forward to a general collapse. And 
when things have come to the worst the absent 
Christ will return to begin his millennial reign. 
This pessimistic view they regard as conclusively 
established by the Lord's words, "When the Son 
of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" 
(Luke 18. 8) — words which have no reference 
whatever to the final issue of the struggle between 
good and evil in the present gospel age, but to what 
might happen at the close of the Jewish age. Jesus 
merely raises the question as to whether in the 
days of trouble which were fast approaching his 
disciples would hold fast to him; or whether, in 
spite of the promise that he would "avenge them 
speedily," the faith of many might not fail. The 
assumption drawn from these words, that things are 
to go from bad to worse, until, at the final coming 
of Christ, faith will be practically extinct, is with- 
out the slightest foundation. 
    There are others who take a medium view of 
things. They believe in the final victory of the 
right. They hold, with Professor Drummond, that 
"the whole tone of the Bible when it speaks of the 
final results of the world's history, is of jubilee 
and triumph, never of sorrow and despondency." 
They believe, with John Bunyan, that "there will 
come a time when Antichrist will be a matter of 
history, when saints will speak of how he grew 
and spread, and how he was consumed by the 
breath of the Lord's mouth, and destroyed by the 
brightness of his coming." Yet they do not believe 
that the goal is to be reached at a single bound, 
or that the path of human progress will describe 
a straight line. Obstacles many and great will have 
to be surmounted. The conflict of the human will 
with the divine purpose, out of which have grown 
the tragedies of the ages, will continue. Retro- 
grade movements will take place, but they will 
be only temporary. Upheavals will take place, but 
they will usher in a higher stage of living. With 
travail throes the new age will be born. Christ 
will be ultimately victorious. He will gain supreme 
control of all things: "For he must reign, till he 
hath put all his enemies under his feet" (i Cor. 15. 25)." 

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 189-192)

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