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)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The coming of the Spirit was the spiritual coming of Christ, part 3 of 8

    "At the hour of parting Jesus had said, " Now
ye have sorrow, but I will see you again, and
your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man
taketh from you." For the pang of parting there
was to be an overpayment of delight when in the
coming of the Spirit the absent Lord was to re-
turn. He would see His disciples again, al-
though they would not see Him. His unseen
presence would be known as the presence of a
concealed magnet is known by the steel which
it attracts to itself; or as the presence of the ver-
nal sun is known by the underground roots that
feel the thrill of his life-giving touch. In His
presence, unseen but not unfelt, there would be
fullness of joy; joy which no man could take
away, unless he took away the living, loving,
personal Christ, of whose presence that joy was
the effluence. Into participation of that abiding
joy which comes from the abiding presence of
the Lord all Christians are called. Christ has
kept His tryst; He has come again as He said,
and He has come to stay. His promise to be with
His disciples is fulfilled in the Holy Spirit. By
the Holy Spirit His presence is made real and
continual. "Joy to the world, the Lord is come!"
— come to live in the heart of the believer, come
to fill the world with His life. In His gracious 
presence all who have dwelt in the chilling dark- 
ness of hope deferred may forever sun their 
souls.
    In the return of Christ in the Spirit is found 
the explanation of His departure from earth and 
His ascension to heaven. We can sympathize 
with the perplexity of the Indian chief who, 
when present at a religious gathering, asked, "Did 
you ever see the Great Spirit or His Son? You 
said that His Son came down from heaven, and 
dwelt among the white men, and that He went up 
again. What did He go up for? Red Cloud wants 
to find out." Many besides "Red Cloud" seem not 
to have found out the reason why Christ tore 
Himself away from His disciples, and went up 
to His native heaven. The only satisfactory 
answer that can be given is that He went up that 
He might come down again; He went up in one 
form that He might come down in another and 
better form; He ascended out of the weakness 
of the flesh that He might descend in the power 
of the Spirit; He went away that He might, 
on His return, get nearer to His people than He 
had ever been before. Scripture always traces 
an intimate connection between His departure 
and ascension and the descent of the Spirit. On 
the day of Pentecost Peter exclaimed, "Being 
exalted, He hath shed forth this which ye now 
see and hear." As the Roman emperors caused 
perfume to be rained down upon the people 
through the silken awning of the amphitheater, 
the ascended Christ hath shed forth the Holy 
Spirit upon the world like a shower of fragrant 
rain. And blessed be God, we are now under the 
shower!"

- James Mann Campbell ( After Pentecost, What?, pgs. 19-21)

*Re-post from 07/14/15

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