“When the Spirit of truth comes…He will bring Me glory”
Greetings once more friends! It is the time of year when Christians observe Pentecost to picture a new civilization Jesus came to institute and grow its citizenry and people. Hence, Pentecost is an important day for Christians.
Pentecost By Emeltet – Own work (Wiki Commons)
It is important because on this day Jesus delivered on His promise to send them the Helper from His Father in heaven. The Helper is the third Person of the Trinity, Herald* the Holy Spirit. This Helper would give them something they sorely lacked as a group – a power that was not human, but divine that would fill every need in their lives to carry out the will of God for them. Shortly before His death on the cross, Jesus promised, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit was a promise fulfilled.
According to the Book of Acts, on that memorable day that would be forever etched in the annals of Christian history, the disciples and believers rose up from being a wimpy, discouraged, and scared group of people, to the most courageous, articulate, and inspired band of followers ever witnessed by the people of the day. As they were gathered together for Pentecost, there appeared tongues of fire that rest on each of them. “All were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Act.2:4) People from many nations were gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost and heard them speak in their respective language and dialect.
They were astonished witnesses to the awesome power of God. The crowd was perplexed and wondered, while sensing there was something special and out-of-the-ordinary here. Some thought it had something to do with consuming too much wine. As they pondered about what it could possibly mean, Peter rose up and addressed their enquiring minds by expounding Jesus to them, “Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles,” he began. And “everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles” (Act.2:22, 43). Yes, they performed supernatural feats, miraculous healing, and works of wonder as the Spirit empowered them so they can magnify Jesus.
But more than just merely giving the disciples their enabling power, the Spirit came to inaugurate a new civilization. A civilization that can only be manifested to mankind by a new form of humanity – the glorious divine/human Jesus in heaven. Let us see how this picture unfolds.
What were the people witnessing here? Clearly, they saw the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit moving in their midst. But remember, the Spirit will not and cannot act on His own. He is hypostatically unified to Jesus and the Father in one Triune Godhead in heaven. Author Jon Tal Murphree says this of the nature of God and the divine pattern of the Triune Life,* “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg,29, The Trinity and Human Personality). The truth of the Trinity is that God is ONE God who exists in three Persons – the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20; 2 Cor.13:14; Eph.4:4-6; Jud.1:20-21; 1 Pet.1:1-2)
The act of one is always the act of all three, and the act of three is forever the act of one God. This is what divine Love looks like – they give their all for each other as co-eternal, co-equal, and equally divine Being. The Bible tells us, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Then it is also true that ‘Love is God.’ Love is more than a verb, it is a noun which identifies who God is. Love defines God’s relational oneness in His Tri-Personal Being, and with His creation. The same Love (nature of God) is poured into our hearts by the Spirit’s presence in us and makes us one with Him. Paul said, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). Yet, each Person reflect their separate personalities: the Father reflects His fatherhood, the Son His brotherhood with humans and His role of Savior and High Priest, and the Spirit His friendship (Advocate) who reflects God’s Love and act of sanctification in believers. (John 17:1, Rom.8:15-16, Luk.12:32; Heb.2:11, 4:15; Rom.5:5; 1 Pet.1:2) Murphree says, “Diversity is required for relationships. Relational oneness implies that separate persons relate to one another.” (Pg.26) The human personality, each with its own distinctive gift and type is fashioned after the diversity of the Tri-Personal Being of God who created humans in His own likeness. (Gen.1:26-27)
Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)
So the Spirit (Love), was not reflecting Himself though His Personality was undeniable, but someone else in the Trinity. If the three Persons of the Triune Godhead are hypostatically unified in their one Being of Love (and they are One), it is impossible for any one to act independently from the other two. Hence, the modus operandi of the Godhead is, “The act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One.” Murphree says, “Each one constantly has perfect access to the other’s complete thoughts and feelings. Each is utterly transparent to the others…Each occupies the other’s personalities…Intimacy is complete as these separate persons have relational oneness.” Fallen humans (“Adamic humanity”) do not know how to live in this Trinitarian fashion, it has to come by revelation of His divine Triune nature. And that is what Jesus came to do, to reveal the Father and the Holy Spirit to humanity. (John 10:30; John 14:15-17)
So, who was the Spirit reflecting to the first believers on that momentous Pentecost day? Jesus, of course! Not the Spirit – He was the empowering and endowing agent who manifested Jesus to the believers. Since Jesus is the one within the triune Godhead who had taken upon himself the human form and glorified it, the Spirit is ‘automatically’ made part of humanity by His union with Jesus (divine/human form) and the Father. And the way it is done is the Spirit joins Himself to believers through faith in Jesus and repentance before God. (Act.2:38) Paul said, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). Thus, man is given the awesome privilege through Jesus and by the Spirit’s Love and power to enter and participate in the “Triune Life”** of God.
When Peter stood up to speak to the people, he witnessed and attested to the name and Person of Jesus, not the Spirit, though it was the Spirit who gave Peter the utterance to preach with conviction and power, and work many wonders and miracles. Jesus explained to the disciples about the role of the Spirit, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring Me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me. All that belongs to the Father is Mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from Me” (John 16:13-15).
This passage gives us an object lesson on how God’s Love works within an organically unified personhood of His Tri-Personal Being. We see this interrelated and unified principle occurring in everything God creates in nature and the universe. Nothing exists or behaves in isolation or solitary fashion except for the survival of something else which depends upon it. For all of life exists interdependently as a copy of God’s mutually dependent and unified divine nature who created everything. For example, in nature there are biomes and ecosystems which exist symbiotically with other biomes and ecosystems to produce a single expression we call life upon this earth we call the ‘blue marble.’ This is true also with human personalities and human relations, but we are always being dragged away by invisible forces to live an opposite image of God’s Love to one that is selfish and solitary that’s opposed to His outgoing and mutual (triune) divine mode.
Can we begin to see our God-given personalities not as points of difference to provoke conflict, but is inspired from a divine source where personalities originate, and as blessed recipients we are miraculously brought together and weaved into a tapestry of Love so humanity and God may live together for eternity? (1 Pet. 2:5) Yes, all the energy of our uniqueness (personality) is gravitating towards that common end, like all of creation points to the Creator. (Psa.66:4, 145:10. all of Psa.148) Our predominant difference is we have been given ‘independent’ minds to make a deliberate choice to behave in that mutually beneficial way. The human mind was fashioned after the mind of the Triune God, unlike beasts which behave by inbuilt instincts. The goal is to make our minds ‘inter-dependent’ with God and our fellow humans with Love at its core, like God is in His Tri-Personal Being.
Ultimately, anything which exists outside of the divine Being and energy (Love) cannot be sustained, just as nothing unholy or profane can endure in God’s presence and realm. So, we seek to enhance each other’s purpose for we’re all part and parcel of the same destiny to become unified to the body of Jesus’ new humanity. (1 Cor. 12:12-14, 27) Paul makes this abundantly clear, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church” (Eph.5:29). The “church” is the collective term for all true believers who form the new humanity of Jesus. (1 Cor.12:27-28; Col.1:18; Rom.12:4-5; Eph.1:22) This is the manner in which the Tri-Personal Being of God Loves and live for each other.
Philip, one of the disciples, failing to grasp the basic trinitarian reality of Jesus’ nature, asked Him to show them the Father. Jesus answered without hesitancy, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you? (John 14:9, NLT). Yes, Love is completely transparent where each occupy one another in complete giving of themselves to each other. So, Jesus lives to reflect the Father fulfilling His calling as Savior. That is the divine Love pattern of the Triune Life.** Now, taking that as our cue, it is logical to conclude that as believers we reflect Jesus in our walk, not ourselves, but who we are (our purpose) in Him, just as Jesus reflects the Father and who He was in His plan of salvation for man. (John 3:16) And the role of the Spirit is to articulate to humans the reality of Jesus in His glorified humanity, and each of our individual role in God’s calling and purpose. In other words, the Spirit personifies Jesus in the believer.
Dove, Symbol of Love and The Holy Spirit (By Sh1019 – File: Gezi.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org)
In the final analysis, the proof of true Christianity is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer, for it is He (Spirit) who unifies man to the Triune God and empower the believer to live the Triune Life.** Calling oneself a Christian by name alone does not qualify a person as one. Paul said, “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9). What Paul is saying is we still stand condemned in our fallen humanity until we are joined to the Triune Being of God by the Spirit’s enabling power through faith in Jesus. Jesus Himself said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37-39). Yes, they exist contemporaneously in their unified Being, much like Jesus’ new humanity in the believer is the riverbed and the Spirit stand for the living waters flowing in and through it. It is impossible to separate the two – the riverbed and the living waters is a single entity. You can say the Spirit is the Christian’s seal making believers God’s children and followers of Christ. (Eph.1:13-14)
Let’s see how this happens: by His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus, as the second Person of the Trinity, gave birth to and ushered in His and our new glorified humanity within the trinitarian Being of God. Because the divine triune nature is such that each of the three Persons occupy each other in a single Godhead, by association the Father and the Spirit automatically joins themselves to human believers by virtue of Jesus glorified divine/human form. I have called Jesus’ glorified human form our “Immanuel humanity.” This new humanity of Jesus comes by renewal through spiritual birth as He explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:3, 5-8) The day of Pentecost inaugurates that beautiful and marvelous truth in humanity. (Act.2:1-4)
Here is what Pentecost reveals to us. From that day forward a new form of humanity was ushered upon our earth. Born out of the power and divine Love of the Spirit to replace the spirit of fear and powerlessness of the devil. (Rom.5:5; Col.2:15; Heb.2:14-15, NLT) By ‘humanity’ I mean a new civilization. A civilization populated by Jesus’ followers who are endowed with Jesus’ new humanity, of which He is its sovereign ruler. Now, let us ask how Pentecost relates with the believer as the Spirit interacts in Love with the person. Pentecost is the demarcation of two humanities (civilizations) that has existed upon this earth: first, there is the fallen corrupt humanity of Adam, I call the “Adamic humanity.” (Rom.5:12; 2 Cor.11:3) Second, there is new glorified humanity of Jesus, the “Immanuel humanity.” (Rom.5:18-21; 1 Cor.15:22; Isa.7:14) The first fallen humanity was fathered by the devil. (John 8:44) But who will manifest and most importantly personalize and embody the new humanity in the life of the believer? The answer is Jesus Himself by the power of the Spirit. Believers stand redeemed in His new humanity, while unbelievers stand convicted and condemned in the old corrupt humanity of the first Adam. (1 Cor.15:45)
Jesus’ Glorified New Humanity (Altar Picture of Risen Christ, Wiki Commons)
Just as taking the label of a Christian does not make one a true follower of Jesus, likewise attempting to live the Christian life in the body of the fallen and corrupt “Adamic humanity” cannot give birth nor make one a true believer. True conversion takes place only by the Spirit manifesting the new glorious humanity of Jesus in man. How does the Spirit relate with the corrupt “Adamic humanity?” He guides the believer into crucifying him on the cross of Jesus. Paul makes this plain, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, (“Adamic humanity”) yet I live, but not I, but Christ lives in me, (“Immanuel humanity”) and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, (Spirit manifests Jesus’ living faith) who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, my emphasis) The Spirit goes on and give the believer the power of His Love to carry Jesus’ cross daily to deny and destroy the “Adamic humanity” permanently. (Matt.16:24)
So, when Pentecost came and the disciples were displaying all the power, wonder, and miraculous signs before the people, who were they reflecting? Jesus, the Son of God, who now lives in His divine/human form in heaven! The Spirit was empowering the believer and personifying Jesus’ glorified “Immanuel humanity” in them. Jesus is the leader of God’s new civilization (humanity) who brings and shares with mankind His new glorious divine/human triune Being. He now sits at the right hand of the Father, performing His mediating role as our High Priest so man may live in His glorious form continuously. (Heb.3:1; 4:14-16)
Jesus Christ the incarnate Son of God is the template of what humanity was really predestined to be by existing as the temple of the Holy Spirit. And all of mankind await His return to be resurrected to immortality in the likeness of the new glorified humanity of Jesus. Listen, “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn (of new humanity made immortal) among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29, emphasis added; also 1 Cor.15:50-58)
May the reality of the Spirit’s sanctifying power be yours this Pentecost and manifest the new humanity of Jesus on which we stand redeemed.
You may read more about Jesus’ new humanity at http://bulamanriver.net/9718. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on email@example.com.
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”** in the personhood of Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity.” Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
*Herald: the name I affectionately call the Holy Spirit in my personal and intimate relationship with Him
**Triune Life: means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional life with the Triune God (“Immanuel humanity”), as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself (“Adamic humanity”). It means God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lives and walks in you. Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took His new redeemed humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of God’s Love through His Spirit in us. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit (Love) within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036
*** Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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