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)

Friday, March 25, 2016

For the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified

*Re-post from 07/04/14

"That the abundant life that He came to bestow is administered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus Himself expressly declared when on the last day of the feast of tabernacles He stood in the temple, and cried, saying: "If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the Scripture has said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.  This spake He of the Spirit which they that believe on Him were to receive, for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John vii. 37)  The explanatory note here added by John to the words of Jesus makes it clear that the inflowing and outflowing life of the believer was looked upon as connected in the mind of Jesus with the coming of the promised Spirit.  The correct rendering of John's statement is that "the Holy Spirit was not yet."  What does he mean?  The Holy Spirit was not yet "come in," says Alford; the Holy Spirit was not yet "here," says Luther; the Holy Spirit was not yet "present," says Meyer.  There is no denial of the essential existence of the Holy Spirit, nor of His presence in Jesus, nor of His agency in the Old Testament.  It is not meant that before this time He was not present in any measure, but that before this time He was not present in the fullness of His overflowing power. Pentecost was not, as Augustine puts it, "the birthday of the Holy Spirit"; it was rather the day of His majority, the day when He entered into possession of His inheritance.  His bright prophetic foreglow had tipped with light the solitary mountain peaks, illuminating a soul here and there; now an unsetting sun had arisen from behind the horizon, flooding the world with light.  Even before the days of Noah, when He strove with the antediluvians, the Spirit of God had been coming into touch with human hearts, giving earnests of coming blessing; but these preliminary movings upon the children of men were but the hidings of His power, and are not to be spoken of in comparison with what took place at Pentecost when the Spirit was "shed forth abundantly."  The reason given why "the Holy Spirit was not yet," is, "because that Jesus was not yet glorified."  Until glorified, until His mediatorial work was completed by His ascension into glory, this new efflux of the Spirit's life-giving power could not take place.  The Spirit's coming was to be conditioned upon the Savior's going; the Spirit's outpouring was to be the proof that He had vanquished death and had ascended to His native heaven.  Until Jesus was glorified the Spirit could not be present in the particular form referred to, as the Spirit of the glorified Christ, abiding in the heart of the believer as an upspringing fountain of life.  He could not give to men the life-giving water until it was furnished by Christ, and it could not be furnished by Christ until He was glorified.  Since the completion of the earthly work of Christ the Spirit operates upon men in a new way; He reaches them by a new road; He pours His life into them along a new channel.  By presenting to them "the things of Christ" He influences them as He never could do before.  That Christ should be prominent in their thoughts, that they should consciously draw their spiritual life from Him, is as the Spirit would have it; for when Christ is received He is received, and working through Christ He gains an abiding and controlling influence in their lives."

-James Mann Campbell (After Pentecost, What? pp. 82-84)

I know I have said this about other books before, but this book is so important.  Mr. Campbell was able, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, to express clearly in words what the Lord is stirring in our hearts that most of us are not able to put into words!  This is a VERY important work.

You can purchase a printed copy of this work here.

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