When I was a boy I used to think on certain great people I admired… and secretly wished I could be. It’s been a while, and I can’t remember now who was on my list. Except for two. I remember two. Superman was one. I used to wish I could be Superman. To have that superhuman strength, and, wow, to be able to fly… Wouldn’t that be something! I knew of course that Superman wasn’t real, and I could not be Superman. But I liked to imagine being Superman and astonishing all my friends.
The other one I remember was—and I can never forget this one—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I knew He was real. At least I had been taught He was real, and it never entered my mind to doubt it back then (that came later). I would think on Him and… none of my thoughts about Superman contained the same sense of… of reverence, of awe… that thinking on the Son of God did.
And I would think… the Son of… God? He is the Son… of God? And I would be deeply disappointed. For I knew I could not be Him. And it didn’t seem fair to me. Why did He get to be the Son of God and I had to live such an ordinary life? Why did He get to be the Son of God, and not me?
It wasn’t till many years later that I discovered the most wonderful truth. If I couldn’t be the Son of God Himself… I could be one with Him.
I was sitting at my kitchen table in Burmis one day; this was after I’d had to quit my job because of my affliction. By this time I’d come to know the Son of God was real, had known this for many years. And I was going through the Gospel of John verse by verse, and Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament on the book of John, and at the same time reading George Warnock’s book Crowned With Oil, in which he goes through a portion of the book of John verse by verse (John Chapters 14-17). It seems this is my lot; I don’t get revelations the way some people do—with the Lord revealing things to them in dreams and visions and other awesome ways that I envy; it seems my lot is to have to plug away at reading the Bible earnestly seeking to open my heart to the Lord.
And so, I was reading these books, along with the Gospel of John… verse by verse. I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary; I was just doing over again what I love to do—labouring in the word.
And I came to John Chapter 14. And I came to verse 15.
If ye love Me, keep My commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
And then I read verse 18.
I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.
And suddenly… I saw!
This is a passage of Scripture I had read countless times; it had also been ministered to me many times. But now suddenly… my eyes were opened… and I saw!
I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.
The Paraclete, the Spirit of truth in you and me… it means that the Son of God Himself is here in you and me!
This is utterly astonishing. The Spirit of truth here in the earth is one with the Son of God in Heaven.
I tell you, this revolutionized my whole thinking. My Bible, even after many years of reading it, became a brand new book to me. Light had dawned, and as it shone upon my Bible, I was able to read familiar passages in an entirely new light.
Like Psalm 22, for example.
I will declare Thy Name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.
How does the Son of God praise the Father in the midst of the congregation—but by the Holy Spirit in you and me? The Son of God Himself is in the midst of congregation—because of the Holy Spirit in you and me.
What a wonder. It is true, brothers and sisters, it’s really true: because of the Holy Spirit in us, we are the very body of Christ (1 Cor. 12.13). Our Head is in Heaven; we in the earth are one with Him—one body—because of the Holy Spirit.
We are the temple of God because the Holy Spirit dwelleth in us (1 Cor. 3.16).
He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit (1 Cor. 6.17).
Jesus had been telling His disciples He was about to leave them, He was going away, and it grieved them deeply to hear this. But He told them this was actually a better plan than if He were to stay.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you (better for you, more profitable, to your advantage) that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send Him unto you… (Jn. 16.7).
We are inclined to think this cannot be right. Surely it would be better for that Man who walked the earth two thousand years ago to be still here with us. For if we had Jesus still with us He could continue to do the wonders He did back then; we would have His perfect input into every difficult situation we face; we would have His protection; He would resolve all our troubles… He would be able to speak the perfect word of God just as He did back then; He would be able to continue bearing witness to the truth just as faithfully and perfectly as He did back then.
The point is, with the Holy Spirit we still have this! For in the Holy Spirit, Christ Himself is still with us!
I will not leave you orphans; I am coming to you.
The Holy Spirit is able to manifest as perfect a witness to the truth as the Son of God Himself did.
But there is One Thing more we have in the Paraclete that we would not have if Jesus Himself were still here in the flesh. Because of this wondrous Advocate not just with us, but now in us, we too share the same relationship with the Father that Jesus the Son of God did… which the disciples back then did not have. Truly, it was better for them—and for us—that He went away.
He told them He was leaving them… and coming back to them again (Jn. 14.28). He told them He was going to the Father, and therefore they would not see Him. That’s understandable enough. Why would they see Him not? Because He was going to the Father.
But then this enigma. Because He was going to the Father, they would see Him. Why would they see Him again? Because He was going to the Father.
He was going to the Father, and would send to them the Promise of the Father—the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth. And in this One, He Himself would be in them. And so He said:
Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more, but ye see Me: because I live ye shall live also (Jn. 14.19).
And He said:
At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (Jn. 14.20).
What day? The day of the coming of the Comforter, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit… because of whose coming Jesus Christ Himself is with us—even in us! Oh, the wonder of this! Whatever is yet to come with regard to the revelation of Jesus Christ, oh, let us not miss out on the fullness of this revelation—that Jesus Christ in Heaven is with us, even in us… because of the Holy Spirit in us!
Jesus Christ the Son of God in Heaven… and the Holy Spirit here in the earth in us… they are one.
…I know what you’re thinking—that because of the Holy Spirit in me, I too am a son of God now. Yes, and I am growing up into Him in all things, into His very image and likeness. What a wonder. My boyhood wish has been realized after all. To think that a loving God had prepared such wonder for a wondering boy… it is too much. I too get to be a son of God.
…But I tell you what is more meaningful… if that’s possible. It’s the realization that the Holy Spirit in me that makes me a son of God… is one with the Son of God in Heaven. It’s this that leaves me with my mouth open.
Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!