Sunday, September 21, 2008

Experience His Presence

Many attempts have been made to define the term “GOD” which among our ancestors signified a person of Divine Being. As to the word itself, it is pure Anglo-Saxon. A general definition of this great person to which the term “God” has been ascribed, as far as human words dare attempt, one may be thus given: He is the eternal, independent, and self-existent Creator: He is the substance of all that exist and by His word all things are created and hold together (See Hebrews 11:3 and Colossians 1:17).

He is Deity---a Person of Divine Being: He is the indestructible, invincible, eternal Holy Supreme Being having no beginning of days or end of life---He is life: He is the one and only God and eternal power: He is the absolute authority: He is an infinite omnipresent soul; an absolute sovereign intellect embodied in an invisible Spirit (Hebrews 11:6). He is a Being whose purposes and actions spring from Himself, without foreign motive or influence: He who is absolute in dominion, the most pure, the most simple, and most spiritual of all essences is also an infinite fountain of love, mercy and grace toward His creatures:

He is infinitely true, and holy---He cannot lie, He cannot deceive or be deceived: infinitely perfect; and eternally self-sufficient, needing nothing that He has created or formed: Inconceivable in His mode of existence, and indescribable in His essence; known fully only to Himself, because an infinite mind can be fully apprehended only by itself. God is a Being who, from His infinite wisdom and knowledge, cannot error, and who, from His infinite goodness can do nothing but what is eternally just, right, and kind.

His glory is likened unto radiant light penetrating His creation with His healing love, mercy, grace, and peace. The fact that all He created still exist today is evidence that He is a fountain of infinite benevolence and beneficence toward His creatures.

He is the unfaltering rightness, the unwavering straightness and the steadfast perfection by which all else is measured. He is the foundation Rock and His Word is the corner stone of His eternal kingdom. God’s word is the exact expression of His love and thoughts of His invisible soul. His Son Yeshua (Jesus), The Word of God in human form, is the ultimate manifestation of the invisible God and Father of all creation.

By faith and the witness of all that exist in its perfect design we conclude our God IS and that He is sacred, holy and divine. His existence is declared in the first verse of His Holy Scriptures.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

(Genesis 1:1 NASU)

The original word in this opening verse of the Holy Book that is rendered God, which is singular, is the Hebrew word ‘Elohim, and it is the plural form of ‘El, or ‘Eloah, and has long been supposed by many language and Bible scholars to imply a plurality of Persons in the divine nature. The name “Elohim” also expresses the might of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

“Trinity” is a word not found in Scripture but is a descriptive term use in connection with the name Elohim and many writings in the New Testament, and is used by many to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. The propositions involved in the doctrine are these:

  1. That God is one, and that there is but one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1st Kings 8:60; Isaiah 44:6; Mark 12:29,32; John 10:30).
  2. That the Father is God but yet is a distinct divine Person, distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  3. That Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the Word of God, is of God, from God and truly is God, and yet is a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit.
  4. That the Holy Spirit is of God, from God and is God, and yet is also a distinct divine Person.

This doctrine seems to imply something like a fusion---a fusion of three distinct persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in an inseparable union.

A brief example of the work of each distinct Person of the Godhead can be found in Genesis 1:2-3; the Spirit of God was moving or hovering over the surface of the waters as God the Father spoke and His Word (Son) went out bringing forth light by the power of the Spirit. And again in Luke 1:26-55, the angel Gabriel did as God the Father had commanded him and he spoke the word of God to Mary---Mary believed and the Holy Spirit (the Power of the Most High) overshadowed her and the Promised Child was conceived in Mary’s womb.

And God became flesh:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

(John 1:1-5 NASU)

“Word,” as used in the English translation of verse 1 and 14 of John’s gospel is translated from the Greek word “Logos.” In verse 1 of chapter 1 quoted above we see “Logos” (The Word) as being the person of God. The meaning of “word” is simply a statement of or an expression of thought. Many believe the term “Logos” should not have been translated “word,” for much is lost in the translation. Every name of the Savior of the world is descriptive of some excellence in His person, nature, or work; “word” falls short of that.

The epithet Logos also signifies thought, a word spoken and speech, but it extends to include eloquence, doctrine, reason, or the faculty of reasoning and is very properly applied to Him, who is the true light to every man who comes into the world, (John 1:9); who is the fountain of all wisdom; who gives being, life, light, knowledge, and reason, to all men; who has declared God unto mankind; who is the manifestation of God the Father; who spoke by the prophets, for the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy, (Revelation 19:10); who has illustrated life and immortality by His Gospel, (2nd Timothy 1:10); and who has fully made manifest the deep mysteries which lay hidden in the bosom of the invisible God from all eternity (John 1:18).

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

(John 1:14 NASU)

The use of the word “flesh” here, in the above verse, is evidently used to denote “man” (see Matthew 16:17; 19:5; 24:22; Luke 3:6; Romans 1:3; 9:5). The “Word” was made “man.” This is commonly expressed by saying that He became “incarnate.” When we say that a being becomes “incarnate,” we mean that one of a higher order than man, and of a different nature, assume the appearance of man or have become man. Here it is meant that “the Word,” whom John had just stated in verse 1 was God, became a man, therefore it can be said that God “was made flesh.”

For it is written,

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, GOD WITH US.”

(Matthew 1:23 NASU)

And Joseph did as he was commanded,

“----And he called His name Jesus,” (Yeshua)

(Matthew 1:25ff NASU)

Also see Luke 1:31. Thus it can also be said that God was made flesh and His name is Yeshua (Jesus).

Here we must explain our use of the name Yeshua. Our Lord was born Hebrew and our Heavenly Father gave Him the Hebrew name “Yeshua,” meaning, “He shall save His people.” The name “Jesus” is a transliteration by Gentiles, thus it is a Gentile name. We have come to prefer the name Yeshua because it is the name His Father gave Him, but we have no objection to the name Jesus either. So please understand that when we speak of Yeshua we are speaking of the One who is also called Jesus.

The Apostle Paul writes of Him saying,

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities —all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

(Colossians 1:15-20 NASU)

In the Book to the Hebrews we find these words,

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.”

(Hebrews 1:3-4 NASU)

Again the Apostle Paul writes of Him saying,

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”

(Colossians 2:9 NASU)

This is the great and central doctrine that is to be maintained about Yeshua, that all the fullness of the Deity (Godhead, KJV) dwells in Him. Every system of worship, which denies this, is a denial of the incarnation; and we are especially to be on guard against everything that would attempt to undermine this. Almost all heresy has begun by some form of denial of the great central truth of the incarnation of the Son of God (1st John 4:2-3).

The Apostle John records the following event,

“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ 9 Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me’?”

(John 14:8-10 NASU)

The word “Father” in these passages seems to be used with reference to the divine nature, or to God represented as a Father, and not particularly to the distinction in the Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The idea is that God, AS God, or as a Father, had been manifested in the incarnation, the works, and the teachings of Yeshua, so that they who had seen and heard Him by the Spirit might be said to have had a real view of the nature of God, the very nature that would cause them, from a heart of love, to affectionately call Him Father.

No doubt Philip was referring to some outward and visible manifestation of God that he might see him through his flesh eyes. God had manifested Himself in various ways to the prophets and saints of old, and Philip simply stated that if some such manifestation should be made to them they would be satisfied. But over the period of our Lord’s ministry such evidence had been abundantly supplied in His miracles and teaching, and that should have been enough to satisfy them. But apparently Philip had not yet received the revelation by the Spirit that the Father was in Yeshua and Yeshua was in the Father.

When Yeshua says, “has seen the Father,” He does not refer to the essence or substance of God, for He is invisible, and in that respect no man has seen God at any time (John 1:18). What is meant when it is said that God is seen, is that some manifestation of Him has been made, or some such exhibition as that we may learn His character, His will, and His plans. In this case it cannot mean that he that had seen Yeshua with the natural eyes had in the same sense seen God; but he that had seen, through the eyes of the Spirit, His miracles and His transfiguration-and by the ears of the Spirit had heard His doctrines and studied His character---had full evidence of His divine mission, and of the will and purpose of the Father in sending Him. The knowledge gained through the Spirit of the Son was itself, of course, the knowledge of the Father. There was such an intimate union in their nature and design that he who, by the Spirit, understood the one understood also the other and has had a revelation by the Holy Spirit of the Father and has seen Him, not with eyes of flesh, but through the eyes of the same Spirit.

If it was only by revelation through the Spirit that those who looked upon, touched and walked with our Lord knew Him as the Son of God how much more is it so of us who have not seen Him (Matthew 16:13-17)?

My dear brothers and sisters the lesson taught here is that we can only see things in the spirit realm through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. With each revelation given to us by the Spirit of God of our Lord and Savior we get a glimpse of the invisible God and it is through this personal relationship with Him that we walk in the way of salvation. To deny the work of the Holy Spirit is to reject the true knowledge of the Father and the Son.

After our Lord’s death, burial and resurrection He appeared to Thomas and he declared of Him, “my Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

Upon His pending departure our Lord command His disciples saying,

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

(Matthew 28:19 NASU)

On the Day of Pentecost Peter exhorted the people saying,

“Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the of name Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NASU)

Did Peter disobey his Lord by commanding the people to be baptized in the name of Yeshua (Jesus)? Of course not!! He knew the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit was summed up in the name of Yeshua the Messiah.

Thus the Holy Spirit has taught us from the Holy Scriptures that Yeshua is the word of God; He is the image and glory of God; and He is Immanuel, God with us. He is God in the image of man; and He is man in the image of God; and, in Him, God and man are one.

Such is the God of the Bible, but how vastly different from the God of most human creeds and apprehensions!

In the preceding pages we have endeavored to point out the greatness and the magnificent beautify of our God, Creator and Savior, and the oneness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the pages that follow we will endeavor to show through Holy Scripture how that greatness, magnificent beautify and oneness extends from heaven to earth to be one with man.

Oneness and the promise of the Spirit:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

(John 14:15 NASU)

Love motivates faithfulness and obedience. Therefore faithfulness and humble obedience is an expression of love. This is the only proper evidence of love to Yeshua, for mere profession is no proof of love; but that love for Him which leads us to seek to know and do all His will, to love each other, to deny ourselves while sacrificing to serve others and to keep our faith and trust in Him through trials, perils and tribulations without faltering is true attachment and oneness with Him; love is the “perfect bond of unity (Colossians 3:14).”

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;.

(John 14:16 NASU)

When Yeshua says, “I will ask the Father,” apparently He is speaking of a time after His crucifixion, after having made atonement for the sin of the world, that He would become the Mediator between God and man; and through His mediation and intercession shall all the blessings of grace and glory be acquired.

The Greek word parakleeton used here not only signifies a comforter, but also an advocate, a defender of a cause, a counselor, patron, and mediator. Yeshua is so termed by the Apostle John is the book of 1st John 2:1, where the common translation renders the word advocate. Yeshua is thus called, because He is represented as transacting the concerns of our souls with God; and for this cause, He tells us, he goes unto the Father (John 14:12). The Holy Spirit is also called an advocate, because He transacts the cause of God and The Messiah with us, explains to us the nature and importance of the great atonement, shows the necessity of it, counsels us to receive it, instructs us how to lay hold on it, vindicates our claim to it, and makes intercessions in us with unutterable groaning. In fact, all that Yeshua was while with His disciples so is the Holy Spirit with those who believe in His name.

As the death and atonement of Yeshua will be necessary to man until the conclusion of the world, so the work of the Holy Spirit must be continued among men until the end of time: therefore says Yeshua, he shall continue with you “forever,” teaching, comforting, advising, defending, and interceding for you and for all His followers to the end of time.

“that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and WILL BE IN YOU.

(John 14:17 NASU)

The Holy Spirit, whose essential work is to manifest, vindicate, and apply the truth is thus called the Spirit of Truth. The Gospel of Yeshua, taught and revealed only by the Holy Spirit, is Gods truth; it exposes falsity, removes error, and teaches the knowledge of the true God-shows the way to Him, saves from vanity and illusive hopes, and establishes genuine joy in the souls of those who believe; His truth is the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).

By the world, the Apostle means those who are influenced by the lustful desires of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the boastful pride of life (1st John 2:16). Now these cannot receive the Spirit of Truth, because they do not have spiritual eyes to see Him, have no spiritual discernment and they attend to nothing but the dictates of their corrupt passions and affections, and will accept no influence but what can be an object of their senses. The word of God requires a heart that is empty. A heart filled with earthly projects, carnal interests, ambition, thoughts of becoming rich in worldly goods, and with the love of the luxuries and pleasures of life is not fit to receive the word of truth.

from many of these ungodly men spring all the hostile and indifferent religions of the world. While affirming the existence of God they deny all validity of revelation. In these debase and corrupt religions men of corrupt minds seek God; but in their vein religion He is not to be found; and therefore, they become infidels and atheists worshiping false gods and denying the living God. God, in the operation of His hands, and in the influences of His Spirit, is found everywhere except in the perverted passions of men.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

(John 14:18 NASU)

Here we see the oneness principle. To receive the promised Spirit is to receive the presence of the Father and the Son; to reject the Spirit is to reject their presence also.

“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.”

(John 14:19 NASU)

The world can no longer see Him because He is not in bodily form but we can see Him by way of revelation; and because He lives we live also. We who believe in His resurrection are resurrected with Him for we are one with Him in His death, burial, resurrection and eternal life.


(John 14:20 NASU)

When He says, “In that day” He speaks of the day of His resurrection and in His resurrection is solid proof of His oneness with the Father and that He lives in us by way of the Spirit and by love and faith we live in Him.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

(John 14:21 NASU)

Promise of the Spirit fulfilled: Read Acts 2:

“Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself’.”

(Acts 2:38-39 NASU)

Here the Apostle Peter reaffirms the promise of the Holy Spirit for those who come to Yeshua by way of faith and repentance and are baptized in His name. The gift of the Holy Spirit here means, all generations until the promised day of His return that come to Yeshua shall partake of the influences of the Holy Spirit as may be needful for comfort, peace, and sanctification. It is also the work of the Spirit to bring the love of God into the heart of man, to give spiritual gifts for the edification of the Church, to enlighten, to give peace, to give spiritual strength to overcome sin and to give evidence that the soul is born again. And this is the evidence of His presence: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24).

The work of the Holy Spirit is to be manifested outwardly in the mortal body.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

(Romans 8:11 NASU)

It seems apparent that this verse does not refer to the resurrection of the dead. It is referring to the body, subject to carnal desires and sinful tendencies; by nature under the reign of death, and therefore mortal; that is, subject to death. The sense is, that under the power of the word of God, by the influence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the entire man will be made alive in the service of God. Even the corrupt, carnal, and mortal body, so long spiritually dead under the dominion of sin, shall be made alive and recovered to the service of God. This also is the work of the Spirit that dwells in us; because that Spirit has restored life to our souls, abides with us with His purifying influence, and because the design and tendency of His indwelling is to purify the entire man, and restore all to God. The born again in our bodies as well as in our spirits become sacred. For even the body, the seat of evil passions and desires shall be cleansed and made alive in the service of God.

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

(1st John 4:4 NASU)

The term “them” refers to the false prophets or teachers who collectively constitute antichrist. The born again are of family of God; we have embraced His truth and drunk of His Spirit; we are His children and we have overcome the false prophets and teachers because He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world.

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

(1st John 5:4-5 NASU)

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2nd Corinthians 5:17-20 NASU).”

Mystery revealed:

“Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY.”

(Col 1:25-27 NASU)

Found in the above verses of Scripture is the central theme of this writing. We desire to impress the reader with the greatness of our Creator, His majestic beauty, His love, mercy and grace, His glorious power and authority and the righteousness of His Being in order that we might realize who He is that indwells us. The whole design of the Gospel is to put men in possession of the Spirit and power of Yeshua, to make them partakers of the divine nature, and thus prepare them for an eternal inseparable union with his Heavenly Father. Yeshua, by the Spirit, is among men and in the born again, to convict of sin, to convert, enlighten, quicken, purify, and refine us, to inspire to love, faith and hope---and this He does by dwelling in us. He is likened unto leaven hidden in a lump of dough that soon leavens the whole lump.

This present and indwelling Messiah is the hope of glory; for no man could rationally hope for glory who has not been forgiven of his sins, and whose sin nature is not done away with; and none can be cleansed and forgiven but through the shed blood of our Lord on His cross; and none can have glorification but through the indwelling, sanctifying Spirit of Yeshua.

We must realize and cherish the indwelling of our Almighty God and the power and authority of His presence in this hour; for it is in the oneness we have in Him by faith that will sustain us through the trials that lie ahead for the church; He is our fortress. It is of most importance that we have the revelation that our Lord dwells in us, but it is just as important to have the revelation that we ARE IN HIM.

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born, or You did give birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

(Psalms 90:1-2)

Truly, it humbles and strengthens the soul of those who love Him to know this great Heavenly Father dwells with and in His chosen people to comfort, guide and protect from all harm. He is the Guardian of our souls!!! Experience His presence!!



James C Sanford

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