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)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Presence of Christ and the manifestation of His Presence, part 2 in a 2 part series

    "Equally important is it to distinguish between the presence of Christ and the revelation or manifestation of His presence. The presence is an experience, the manifestation of the presence is a hope; in the presence we are to rejoice; for the manifestation of the presence we are to wait; the presence is something which is now being realized inwardly to the believer; the manifestation of the presence is something which is to take place outwardly at the end of this world-age. There are four words in which the successive stages of the self-revelation of Christ are set forth, namely, erchomai, which means "to come," or to "approach"; parousia, which means "the presence," that is, the condition of being present, which is the result of the coming; apokalupsis, which means "the uncovering," or "unveiling" of the Christ, who, although present, is concealed from view, and epiphaneia, which means "the manifestation," resulting from the unveiling. With hearts elate the Christians of the apostolic age stood waiting for the revelation (the unveiling) of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor. i: 7.) This ought to be the attitude of the church of to-day. She ought to keep looking forward to "the day when the Son of Man shall be revealed." (Luke xvii: 30.) She ought to anticipate the time when "his glory shall be revealed." (I Peter iv: 13.) She ought to rejoice in the time when the Lord Jesus "shall slay the lawless one" with the breath of His mouth and bring him to naught by the manifestation of His presence. (II Thess. ii: 8.) She ought "to love his manifestation." (II Tim. iv: 1.) She ought to keep looking for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus ii: 13.)
    It is clear that the thing for which we are to seek in the present, is not increased faith in the Lord's coming, but a fuller realization of His personal presence. The Lord, who in His incarnation was visibly manifested to the senses, is now spiritually manifested to faith. His coming in the flesh was a temporary act, His presence in the Spirit is a permanent condition. He is always with us, but, alas, we are not always with Him. We dare not deny His presence; we ignore it. A fresh anointing of the eyes of the soul is needed, that with increased capacity to apprehend the spiritual we may come to clearer and larger conceptions of the ever-present Christ, who patiently waits upon the growth of our power to see and receive Him.
    It is equally clear that the thing for which we are to look in the future is not the visible return, but the visible manifestation of our ever-present Lord. We are to look for a time of uncovering, a time of unveiling, a time when our loving Lord and conquering King shall emerge from behind the clouds that now hide Him from our longing eyes; a time when He who is now present shall make His presence openly manifest; a time when all His former weakness and humiliation shall be forgotten in the bright display of His victorious power and regal glory; a time when the meek and lowly Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with the angels of His power, in the blood-red flash of judgment, to execute vengeance upon His enemies and to openly declare and firmly establish His kingly rule over men.
    The air palpitates with his presence. The veil grows thinner. Soon it will be rent asunder. With tremulous awe we await the outward manifestation of the glory of the hidden King, who is now enthroned in every holy heart. While rejoicing in His glorious and growing presence, we face the future rejoicing in hope, "looking earnestly for our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be revealed to sight." With no diminished sense of the presence of that Blessed One from whom our eyes are holden, and "whom the heavens must receive until the restitution of all things spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began," we watch and wait for the time when the full and final epiphany of His glory shall break upon the world's enraptured vision, ever praying, "Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!" and ever laying to heart the word of admonishment, "Now, little children, abide in Him, that when He shall be manifested we may have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His presence." "

- James Mann Campbell (The Indwelling Christ, pgs. 119-122)

*Re-post from 7/23/15

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