The Nature of God & The Role of the Holy Spirit
An understanding of calculus is built on an understanding of algebra and trigonometry first. So it is, with God's word. To gain greater understanding we must first gain a better understanding of more basic truths and no truth is more basic for the Christian to understand, than the truth about who God is. Interestingly, the major Christian denominations agree on the three major characteristics describing God, but get into many disagreements, when applying that knowledge to the realities of life. Stay with me, as I briefly describe the three major characteristics of God, and you will better understand why knowing a little about the nature of God is very important.
Godís nature allows him to be everywhere at once (Omnipresent). He is and was the God of heaven and at the same time is and was Jesus. To be both persons, he had to be in more than one place at a time. That was no problem because he is omnipresent. To become a man he also made use of his other characteristics of omnipotence and omniscience and assumed the form of a man and was born of a virgin. We know that this took a power and knowledge far beyond that of his creation, but God was able to do this, because he is all-powerful (Omnipotent) and possesses all knowledge (Omniscient). These qualities give God abilities far beyond those possessed by mankind, but mankind, using only his natural thought processes, and not really believing that God is who the bible says he is, saw Jesus then and now as only a man.
Itís easy to put God in our own little box if we are not careful. When we do this we miss the truth. Instead, we should allow the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to us within the framework of what the bible says. The supernatural characteristics of God are fully manifested in each of the three personalities of the Trinity throughout the bible. Because the Holy Spirit is God and can be in more than one place at a time, it is completely possible for him to have been one with Jesus and at the same time to have manifested himself in his own separate personality, and descend on Jesus when He was baptized by John. The three characteristics of God that allowed Him to accomplish this feat are completely consistent with the description of God in the bible. While the Body of Christ generally agrees on the three basic characteristics of God, it seems to be very confused when applying this knowledge.
This great truth of the three being one is also consistent with what the bible teaches us about the life of Christ. God was able to do such a good job of being in more than one place at a time, in assuming the form of a man, that the world saw Jesus as a man. Indeed, he was man, but he was also God. However, the world never saw God in him because they were blinded by their own iniquities. Jesus said, ďIf you have seen me you have seen the Father.Ē (Jhn. 14:9) This was and is unthinkable to the carnal mind of mankind because the carnal mind judges by earthly standards. It continually tries to reduce God down to its shabby state, rather than accepting him for who he really is. If Jesus were not one with the Father when he walked on earth, as a man, then he would have lied when he said, ďIf you have seen me you have seen the FatherĒ. It is impossible for something or someone to be one with another, and still not be a part of the very thing that it or he is one with. The bible would be contradicting itself when it says there is one God, (Mal. 2:10)(Mar. 12:32)(1 Co. 8:6) if God were really three completely separate entities.
Here is an example that has helped me to understand this truth. Compare the three personalities of God to the roles you and I must perform in our own life. We, as human beings, are usually called upon to perform more than one roll in life. In my roll as a father, I must perform actions that are very different from the roll I am called upon to perform in my professional career. When I am with people that need my professional services, I am still my childrenís father, but I do not assume the roll of father while I am with people who need my professional services. However, I can still say to people who are using my services, ďIf you have seen me, you have seen my childrenís father and that statement would be true.Ē So it is with God. However, the characteristics assumed by each of the personalities of the Trinity are much more pronounced, than the differing rolls played by you and me, as mere mortals. The difference between my role playing and God's roll playing is this. God can do anything and I canít. He can assume more than one form at a time and have each be in different locations at the same instant. He can assume the incarnation of a man (Jesus Christ) and still be sitting on the throne in Heaven as the Father God without diminishing his powers in the least.
Since He is one God, we receive the Holy Spirit and the Father in our spirit when we receive Christ's spirit through the second birth, but we do not receive the active personality and roll of the Holy Spirit, working to empower us in our soul (mind, will, emotions) until we yield to that personality as a born again believer. When we, as believers decide to come to God and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then He is ready to manifest the personality of the Holy Spirit to us, in us and through us. We must take that second step. That step toward God is the second most important step in our lives. The first most important step is salvation. When we are born again, we receive the forgiveness, justification, grace and restoration afforded us by the personality of Jesus Christ. When we then humble ourselves to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit, He will make use of his supernatural power, to empower us first to become free from the bondage of the devil and secondly to lead us into and through his will for our life empowering us to win the battles of life that he wants us to fight and win.
However, the personality of the Holy Spirit will never violate our will. Although he lives within us in our spirit, he will never manifest his awesome power and personality until we humble ourselves before him. Jesus humbled himself, when he was baptized by John. Our Lord, who already possessed the power of the God Head, submitted to God's minister, John and the Holy Spirit at the Jordon, to set an example for us. Until we actively submit to the infilling of the Holy Spirit in our soul, by a conscious effort, giving him permission to take complete control of our life, we cannot experience the fullness of the relationship God intended for us to have with him. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us into the very understanding necessary to promote this relationship. As a doctor presents his roll as a doctor to people, only when they are willing to engage that roll, so does our all powerful God, in a much greater way, manifest himself in the personality of the Holy Spirit, to fulfill the role of deliverer, mentor and comforter, when we choose to yield to Him.
How do I know this is the way it works? I know because the Bible says it works this way. Jesus said he would send the Comforter to us after he left to go to the Father. (Jhn. 14:26, 15:26, 16:7) The bible is very clear about this. When he had risen, for the first time, he addressed his followers as brethren indicating that he had finished the work required to make them a part of the family of God. In other words, they had at this point received the gift of salvation. If they had not received this gift then Jesus would not have referred to them as brethren. (Mat. 28:10) However, they did not receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit until later. The bible is very clear about this also. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told his disciples to wait in the city of Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4,5) Later, when they were assembled in one accord in the upper room of a house in Jerusalem it happened just as Jesus said it would happen. They were endued with power from on high. (Acts 2:1,4)
Secondly, I know this is true because I have experienced it myself. I have walked with the anointing of the Holy Spirit in my own life and realize that there is no way I would have had any deliverance from Satan's foothold or received other victories in my life, had I not received the Holy Spiritís anointing when I was eleven years old. Sadly, I have another witness to the truth of what I am saying. I have witnessed the lack of fruit and the stunted grow in the lives of every Christian who has not yielded to the Holy Spirit.
The key to obtaining this important gift that God has made available for us is humility and submission. When we yield to the Holy Spirit, he places his anointing on us, evidenced by speaking in tongues. However, there is greater evidence than speaking in tongues. That evidence is manifested by a spiritual anointing, that gives us power over every weapon formed against us, which is very necessary if we are to enter into the ministry God has planned for our lives. Without the anointing that comes from yielding to the Holy Spirit, we are destined to wander around in a vast spiritual wilderness all the days of our lives, spent here on earth.
We are still Godís children and he will still provide for us, but we will never know the taste of victory that comes from the great battles to be fought and won in the very eye of Godís will and purpose for our lives. As his spiritually challenged children lacking the power and knowledge which comes from the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we will never possess the where-with-all to enter into this dangerous place known as The Promised Land in the biblical analogy.
The bible makes it clear, that the three personalities of the Trinity have existed together, equally as one God, forever. However, here in this world in the short time God gives us to promote his will as his beloved church, I would like to urgently impress upon the Christian reader the importance of allowing the work of the Holy Spirit to take place in his or her life. Many in the Body of Christ today have rejected Him without realizing they have done so, due to a lack of knowledge. Many others have done so, because they are deceived by false teaching. The great problem in rejecting the Holy Spiritís anointing is that he is the very one who opens the eyes of our understanding and leads us into all truth. I pray that He will anoint these words I am writing because many who read this may be blinded to what I am trying to say, without the very anointing that is required for that understanding to take place.