A Devotion for 25 September 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17 (KJV)
A cardinal phrase in our traditional Doxology reads, “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, Amen.” It pleased God to have His only Begotten right beside when the worlds were made, and not only the Son, but the Holy Spirit. The Triune God was present at the beginning of the Creation of the World, as well as at the beginning of the Creation of the Kingdom of God in Christ. You may wonder what it is that I mean by that? Patience, friend, and I will explain.
As I have explained numerous times before, the Word for God in Genesis One is Elohim. Elohim has a very curious application which English cannot match. Eloah (אלה) means God, (see Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” but Elohim is the plural for that Word; however, it is, in its application, a plural/singular Word meaning the Triune God – Three in One.
God the Father was present at the beginning, and so was God the Son: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4, 14 (KJV)
We can all acknowledge this truth of which we are commonly reminded with each study of John 1; however, what of the spirit of God? Was He not present at the Creation of the World? Was He not present at the beginning of the new World after the Deluge? And was He not present at the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven when Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Yes, all three were present at that baptism. The only Begotten Son was present with John to be baptized; the Spirit of God came down from Heaven as a Dove over the river waters; and God the Father spoke from Heaven, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Let’s examine the Holy spirit of God at the beginning of the old Creation: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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.”
It is interesting to note that each cardinal point of the Holy Spirit’s presence in Genesis and Matthew 3:16 occurs over the waters – in the beginning the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters; at the end of the flood I believe the Spirit of God is symbolized in the dove that was twice released before finding the new creation to be drying of water. In both case the Dove flew out over the waters of the flood. The first time symbolizes (in my consideration) the old world that was dead – the dove found no place to set its foot. The second time, the dove found returned with evidence of LIFE! That is the new Eternal Life made available in Christ:
“6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. 10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.” Genesis 8:6-12 (KJV) The third time, the Dove did not return. It had yet to return in general application until the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ.
The Spirit of God did speak to the prophets in old time to impart the Word of God in prophecy and Truth. This is how we received the Word of God. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:20-21 (KJV)
The Holy Spirit has always been the instrument of God to awaken men and women to the glorious truth of the Gospel – not just in the New Testament Church, but also the New. But in our day, we need no priestly intercessor for Christ is our High Priest and He is our Advocate with the Father. The Holy Spirit will never speak of Himself – that is not His Divine purpose. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to forever point us to Christ! Any other claim by modern-day pulpit brigands is false. The Holy spirit will not inform us of some infamous reputation of another believer in times past. He will not teach us some new thing that is not written in the Word. He will make the Word clear to our understanding and remind us of all that is written in the Word at the time most needful.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 (KJV)
The Holy spirit, as in the beginning, brings order out of the chaotic waters of life. He is our Comforter. He has not changed from the very beginning. He saw Hagar weeping in the Wilderness. He saw the short fellow, Zacchaeus, hustling to get up the sycamore tree. He saw the Woman at the Well with desponding heart come to meet a Stranger there, and left knowing the King of Glory. He saw the poor wretched woman dragged half-clothed by men who sought her terrible death to the only Source of her Salvation – the Lord Jesus Christ.
He sees you and me, friend, as we move about and have our being in mundane matters, and in those of great import. If you take the time to read His Word, He will open your eyes to many wonderful truths that you never imagined could be possible. Just as He did at the beginning, He follows in the order of the Triune God to create Light to our eyes – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 (KJV) The Holy Spirit is the oil that makes our Lamps light, and the Light itself to point the Way.
“This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” 1 John 5:6-8 (KJV)
There is neither any division of truth, nor power, nor of purpose in the Triune God. And He is unchanging in purpose and intent – the same yesterday, today, and forever! That same spirit that moved upon the waters of the old world is the same that broods over the waters of your heart.