The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
What comes to mind when we think of the Holy Ghost? Is it something akin to the impersonal ‘FORCE’ of Star Wars fable? Is it an indistinct and ghostly figure floating aloft on our field of troubles? Or is it a personal representative of the Godhead in and through which the electrical current of God is facilitated in its flow through Creation and each individual who can know His presence?
The ‘beginning’ was quite a long time ago in human reckoning. It is near impossible for our small minds to even conceive of a moment when there was no world, no stars, no sun. It is a major challenge for us to conceive of a distant nothingness in which there was no TIME, for in the emptiness of space, where no events occur, there is no scale of time. It is even difficult for us to realize that there was a time when we, ourselves, did not exist in the ‘Space-Time Continuun.’
Of course, in a sense, we did indeed exist, for God knew us before He laid the foundations of the world. He knew us because He had already provided for our persons in the determinant factors of life and DNA. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6) Please note carefully verse 6 how we came to be accepted in Christ – “He (God the Father) hath MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED (the Lord Jesus Christ). You will note that it was the Sovereign choice of God to make “us accepted in the Beloved” and not works or merit of our own.
The Holy Ghost is considered to be the Third Person of the Godhead. He has existed from eternity past to eternity future – never a time when the Holy Ghost did not exist with God the Father, and God the Son. And, yes, the Holy Ghost was present at the Dawn of Creation to execute the power of God in forming the dry land, dividing the seas and the heavens, casting the stars and other heavenly bodies into their allotted orbits, and in creating every living thing by the Word of God’s mouth. Of course, the Spirit did not act in isolation of the other Persons of the Godhead – One purpose, One intent, and One cause. “In the beginning, God the Father.” “In the beginning, the SPIRIT of God moved upon the face of the waters.” And “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4) We know that Word to be our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are many and varied manifestations of the Holy Spirit of God. An old and wonderful negro spiritual proclaims, “The Lord, He calls me. He calls me by the Thunder. The trumpet sounds within my soul!” With what simple beauty did the poor negro slaves understand the workings of the Holy Spirit under the hot suns of the old South! And we can see that simple beauty expressed throughout Holy Scriptures.
Let us consider just a few means by which the Holy Spirit of God manifests Himself to us:
- RAIN: Life-giving rains are symbols of the grace of God showering down on His people and even those without the covenant. But those same rains can also shower down in outpours of judgment as they did when the Fountains of the Deep were broken up in the days of Noah. But the soft and gentle rains of spring on cultivated fields are so lovingly expressive of the manner in which the Holy Ghost moves in our lives to bless us. Those rains that fall on the parched earth after a drought of great duration also are as drops of refreshing waters on the parched lips of our souls.
- DEW: And there is also refreshing waters that fall unseen to our naked eyes in the early morning dews which distil on the roses ere the sun’s rays have kissed them. These are all comparable examples of the blessing of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our days.
- WIND: What of the winds that blow in many a direction. From whence do the cooling winds of summer come, and to whence do they go? Is this not a perfect example of the moving of the Holy Ghost as described by our Lord Jesus Christ to Nicodemus? “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) Every one that is born of the Spirit is born by the discreet love and passion of God. These did not command the winds of the Holy Ghost. God our Father commanded thus, and it was so.
- THE SEAL: When I lived in Asia, I found it expedient to acquire a personal seal by which I signed civilian documents. It was, and is, the custom in many Asian countries just as it was at the time of Christ, and even the founding of these United States. Our nation has a Great Seal of authority that symbolizes its power in all of its transactions. The Seal of God is that which is administered in our souls by the Holy Ghost. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) I need not tell you how you will know if that seal is in place in your heart. The Holy Ghost will bear witness to your own Spirit of that sealing. And where is that seal to be made? “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Revelations 9:4) Now, if you are using a corrupt Bible versions, such as the ESV or NIV, you may read that the seal is ‘ON’ the forehead; but that is a deception. Nothing external to our souls will decide our destiny – the seal is in the frontal lobe of our brains where resides the seat of reason, judgment, and decision.
- FIRE: Fire symbolizes purification and sanctification. Fiery trials will come into the lives of all devoted Christians. Satan will do all in his power to divert you from the straight and narrow Way. He cares less if you deviant only slightly from that path as long as you are not ON it. “2But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:2-3). In fact, God Himself is a consuming fire to either purify the metal, or to burn the chaff! “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29) – see also Deut 4:24 and 9:3. Note how we are to worship God in reverence in Hebrews 12:29. In how many of our churches today will you find worshipful reverence instead of godless entertainment? (see also, Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, and John 1:33)
- OIL: Oil provides light for the soul in finding the Way and the Truth. We must not only maintain our lamps trimmed, but our lamp basins full of oil. The Holy Spirit provides the oil of light for our souls, lubrication for our service, and healing for our hurts. The oil of life flows throw the vine to give life to the fruit. The Oil of the Spirit makes us glad even in times of tribulation and turmoil. The anointing with Oil sets apart for service by aid of the Holy Ghost bringing to our remembrance all things written in God’s Word concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.
- THE DOVE: The dove has its abode above us. It is a creature clean in nature, gentle, a thing of beauty, spotless in white, swift in flight, constant in love, careful of its food, and a bird of sacrifice. It never kills or maims another, but is always a symbol of peace. This is the Holy Spirit symbolized in many of its characteristics.
- THE WHISPERED VOICE: Have you ever desired to do something that seemed questionable as to its righteous intent; and when you did, there was, deep in your soul, a still, small voice that uttered without sound the warning: that is wrong? The Holy Spirit dwells in the elect soul. And it speaks in unheard whispers. It spoke in that manner to Elijah in the wilderness: “10And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:10-12)
Have you, friend heard that Voice; and have you obeyed in all cases?