“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
– John 14:25-27
This topic has been rolling around in my head for a long time. Maybe, I don’t have it figured out yet, but I am ready to put things down on paper. Note: This blog site is titled “Thoughts from…”
Detractors from other religions call Christianity a polytheistic religion, because we believe in the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Spirit).
I was challenged once when I pondered, out loud, if the one of the 24 elders that told the Apostle John to calm down (Revelation 5:5) was John himself. “Where did that idea originate?!” Of course, the other guy was trying to stamp it out as heresy, but I have pondered the world outside time and space enough to know that anything is possible, even meeting yourself. If John could not meet himself, why were there not 24 chairs, but only 23 elders?
We baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We do a lot in our liturgy that accentuates the three persons of God. Yet, we believe in one God. How can that be?
Let’s ponder the time-space continuum that we are trapped in. Let’s slip through the veil for just a second. Okay, less than a second, because we’ll slip back at the same point that we left, no matter how long we’ve been gone. If your mind isn’t blown yet, you may continue.
Since none of us know what the other side of the veil looks like, I propose that it looks like a library. You see a bunch of books spread out over a large table. Why this way of looking at it? My wife had a dream where she was outside time and saw her life in an array of scrapbooks, but the photographs were movie clips. Yet, she was not allowed to open one of the volumes. Ask her when you see her. She can remember the volume number. I think that volume was her future. Once we are outside of time, all our life is on display. In fact, all time is on display if God wants us to see it. We are outside of time. We are in a different world with different rules. Two rules that don’t apply there are: not being stuck in time and not being stuck in space. That’s an easy one. If you are outside of time and space, you are no longer limited by either of them.
That Is us looking at our life, but let’s look at God. God is a spirit. Yet, God became man in the form of Jesus. But, Jesus was and is before time began and is when time ends. God created ‘man’ in God’s image. The key thing there is the creation of the soul, but would not God, in a human form as Jesus, be the model in which God, the Father, uses to fashion Adam? Jesus is not necessarily another God, but a manifestation in physical form of God in the spirit form. Many believe that there were many Christophanies in the Old Testament, appearances of God in human form. If an angel appears, the angel will not allow the human to worship them or call them ‘Lord.’ In Genesis 18, Abraham is visited by three visitors. One of the visitors is referred to by Abraham as ‘Lord.’ How could an infinite God come to earth without becoming two gods? How could Jesus be born of a virgin without becoming two gods? God is fully outside the time-space continuum. He enters time in human form, yet He remains outside time, where He is not limited by time or space.
Our reality is, for example, we take a vacation to Florida. When we come back two weeks later, we pick up the mail. We’ve lost two weeks. But we are trapped by time and space. God takes a one-day trip to visit, and argue with, Abraham. Or God takes 30+ years to grow up, have a ministry, and die for our sins. But He was in ‘heaven’ all along, because the Father is outside time and space while Jesus, the physical manifestation of God, is temporarily trapped in time and space. Jesus doesn’t get back home and have to go to the post office to restart mail delivery. If you are lost by now, continue on. I haven’t mentioned the Holy Spirit yet.
Roughly fifty days after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, about ten days after the ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles with great power. The Scripture above says the ‘Advocate.’ I used those verses, because Jesus mentions Himself, God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit in one sentence. The Holy Spirit has several names, but He gives us power; He counsels us; and He guides us on our journey of faith.
The Holy Spirit is a spiritual presence of God on this side of the veil. He is here with us. He is within us. We receive Him when we let Jesus into our hearts. Because God is infinite, when you cut a hunk of ‘God’s spirit’ off and you place it into new-believer ‘Sally’ (name at random), how much of God is left on the other side of the veil? God is infinite, thus there is an infinite supply of God left. Okay, maybe the only ones left following this are mathematicians, scientists, and engineers, people who have dealt with thinking about the concept of infinite. But that is the problem.
We trap ourselves in time. We trap ourselves in space. We hear of an infinite universe, but we cannot picture anything beyond the stars. In fact, the stars are too far away for most of us. We feel comfortable with what we see. We want a god that is within our realm of understanding. That makes us comfortable. We may have comfort, but we neither have God nor do we have salvation.
What we get when we choose the real God is a God that is outside our comfort zone. He must be. He is the beginning. He is the end. He is infinite. Only then can He set the world in motion so that He could appear in human form as a baby, grow to manhood, and save us from our sins, while still reigning supreme outside time and space. While Jesus walked on earth, the Father was counting the hairs on everyone’s heads from heaven. He also dwells within each of us who believe and trust in Him, without losing any of His power to reign the universe from outside time and space. Not being bound by time and space means He has infinite time to deal with each of us.
And to think that He did this, and continues to do this, for those who call upon Him. What infinite Love He must have to love something whose entire life is less than a speck of time when contemplating eternity and whose size is less than a speck of space when contemplating the universe.
Soli Deo Gloria. Glory to God Alone.