The Holy Ghost and his Relationship to Man Part I
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow, 1st Peter 1:11.
It used to be a truism among older preachers that "in the Old Testament the holy Spirit came upon a person, but in the New Testament he comes inside of the person". These men were hampered by a training that told them that the King James Bible was subject to error. Having no final authority, they clung to doctrines that made sense to them in certain contexts and ignored verses that seemed to rattle their understanding.
To their credit, most of those men did a fine job as pastors and preachers in an age when the overwhelming proofs of the King James Bible that we enjoy today were not as available. I think that the spirit of the following verse can well apply to the ministry of today as compared to then; And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent, Acts 17: 30. We now have confidence in a bible that can never contradict itself in its proper context, and by knowing that, we can pursue the truth with a greater accuracy.
Those men had picked up that errant tidbit by misreading John 14.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
If that had been the only verse on the subject, their supposition that prior to Pentecost, the Spirit abode on men but that after Pentecost, he abode in men would work quite well. The rest of the context as well as many many contrary verses blows that theory to pieces. Jesus himself explained what he meant. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you, John 14:18. Is Jesus saying that he is the Holy Ghost (as the Jesus only heresy teaches)? Not at all.
Keep in mind, John Chapter 14 is where Jesus reveals to Philip that; If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him, John 14:7. Ten verses later he also reveals himself to be one with the Holy Ghost. How can that be? As usual, the Apostle Paul does his job of explaining these things to us; For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians 2:9.
Jesus Christ is his own person. Jesus is the Lord. He is eternal. He created all things. In his obedience to the Father, and empowered by the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ who has always existed, was manifest in the flesh. Paul tells us that the Father made a choice about the flesh in which the person of Jehovah God should reside; For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, Colossians 1:19. The spirit and the soul of Jesus Christ are eternal God, his flesh is composed of the entirety of the Godhead, so much so that to see Jesus was to see the Father. To be with Jesus was to be with the Comforter who is a distinctly different person.
That the flesh of Jesus Christ is God is irrefutable. Just read 1st John 1:1; That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. John did not handle his spirit or his soul, he handled his flesh. That flesh was from the beginning. In the beginning was the word, John 1:1. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, John 1:14. God the Father made the choice that eternal God, Jehovah God should be born on this earth in a body that was by the Father's choice to be the entire Godhead bodily.
It is important to remember that the title, Son of God belongs to the flesh of Jesus Christ, not to his soul or spirit. God took the genetic line of King David in the egg of a virgin and seeded it with God himself. In his obedience to the Father, Jehovah abode in that flesh for the suffering of death.
That should explain Isaiah's reference to the Maker of Jesus Christ; Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me, Isaiah 45:11. The flesh of Jesus Christ was made, but it was made out of the Godhead. It is so much God that when it lay dead in a tomb, Peter described it as the Holy One; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption, Acts 2:27.
If that body had lain in the grave for two thousand years it would never have seen corruption. As the psalmist said; When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell, Psalms 27:2. When corruption itself with its maggots and vermin came to devour that body laying in the tomb, they stumbled and fell.
All of this was depicted in the burnt offering when a poor man could bring a turtledove to the priest; And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar, Leviticus 1:15. That was a picture of the poor sinner bringing the only offering that he could afford. The Godhead was torn asunder at the cross, his blood purchased the church (Acts 20:28), and then the soul of Jesus Christ was made an offering for sin, Isaiah 53:10.
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us, 1st John 3:16. God laid down his life for us. God died. Death in the bible is never oblivion. Death is always separation. When a person physically dies, his spirit is separated from his body. When Adam died spiritually, he became separate from God. Jesus Christ died two deaths. He yielded his spirit to the Father and his body died, but when the Godhead was torn asunder and his soul was separated from the Father and from the Holy Ghost, he died spiritually. Adam died two deaths. Jesus Christ died two deaths.
How well Charles Wesley understood all of this!
And can it be that I should gain
An int'rest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Suffice it to say, that in the Holy Ghost's relationship to man, he once abode in the flesh of Jesus Christ and was with the Apostles in that form. He was promised to them in another capacity.