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)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Presence of the Lord and the sign of His Presence, part 1 in a 2 part series

   "Much confusion of thought has arisen from calling the Parousia the second coming of Christ. It is not the coming or advent of Christ, but the presence of Christ. It is that stage in His self manifestation which consists in His becoming and being present. The promise given to the early Christians was "the promise of His presence." (II Peter iii: 4.) In the midst of the fiery trials by which they were beset they were enjoined "to be patient until the presence of the Lord." (Jas. v: 7.) They were to abound in self-denying service knowing that the presence of the Lord was at hand. (Jas. v: 3.) Their hearts were to be strengthened and comforted by the assurance of "the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ." (II Peter i: 16.) They were constantly to strive that "spirit and soul and body" might be "preserved entire, without blame at the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Thess. v: 12.) They were to abide in Christ that when He was made manifest they might "have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His presence." (I John ii: 28.) The object upon which all their interest centered was the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and their gathering together unto Him. (II Thess. ii: i.)
    The presence of Christ, once a hope, is now a blessed reality. "The Coming One," has come. And yet there are those who raise the question, "If Christ were to come to Chicago, or to Paris, or to London, what would happen?" Why that hypothetical "if"? Christ is in these great focal centers of the world's life. Of that there are many infallible proofs. He walks the streets of our modern cities just as truly as he walked the streets of ancient Jerusalem. He weeps over their sins and rejoices over their virtues. The hope, the only hope of any city is that Christ is in it, the healer of its woes, the redresser of its wrongs, the efficient power of its regeneration.
    Care must be taken, however, to distinguish between the presence of Christ and the sign of His presence. The presence is unseen and spiritual, the sign was outward and visible. When the disciples asked the Lord, "What shall be the sign of thy presence?" He answered, "As the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth unto the west, so shall also the presence of the Son of Man be." The early Christians lived in the shadow of a great catastrophe. A day of fiery tribulation was impending. A storm cloud was gathering which was about to burst in a deluge of wrath. The skies were growing murky. There was deathless stillness in the air. The dreaded event for which all men waited in silence came when in desolating judgment Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jewish nationality extinguished, the Mosaic system abolished, the entire theocratic kingdom completely destroyed. These sweeping changes were not identical with, but coincident attestations of the presence of Christ. They constituted the sign of His presence. They marked the introduction of a new epoch designated "the age of regeneration—the age of the kingdom." The sign of the presence, and the presence itself, belong to two distinct classes of phenomena; the one was palpable to the senses, the other transcends the sphere of sense-perception. In the one case these were "wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth beneath," in the other, wonders in the spiritual world, and signs in the inner kingdom of the human spirit."

- James Mann Campbell (The Indwelling Christ, pgs. 116-118)

*Re-post from 7/22/15

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