I am shocked…”Shocked!” I say, over the number of believers who have never been introduced to the Spirit of God. Given this lack of introduction, consequently he is either passed over or mistaken for someone else.
If you turn on your way back machine and journey to the age of etiquette and manners, you might find that it was often considered base or rude to speak to someone without first being introduced. So, for any of you who lack introduction, allow me to now extend the courtesy. Perhaps you shall become the best of friends.
Scripturally he is found in and under a substantial amount of guises and titles. He is referred to as the right hand. Thus we are told not to let the left hand (the natural), know what the right hand is doing. When it says that Christ is seated at the right hand of God the implication is a lot greater than his position at the dinner table.
He is referred to as the dwelling of God. There is a common misunderstanding of Paul’s statement that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is not, as is often thought, that you are a temple that the Spirit inhabits. Rather it is that you have become a temple of Spirit that God inhabits, as God inhabits Spirit (see the blog post The Place of Power ).
He is referred to as the fig. The fig was a symbol of the temple in Jerusalem, which makes sense, as the temple of God and the fig are both the Spirit. Christ says that the greening of the fig is a sign that change is upon the earth. This is the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon all flesh as spoken of by Joel. To understand why Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves, remember that the fig is the Spirit.
He is referred to as the angel of the Lord. When Manoah sees this angel he says, “We shall certainly die, for we have seen God.” It is said that the only sin that cannot be forgiven is blasphemy against the Spirit of God. Exodus 23 says, “I am sending an angel before you…do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin, since my name is in him.” This angel was the Spirit of God.
He is referred to as the Lord of Hosts. The angel who announced the birth of Christ is this same Spirit, the head of the heavenly host that appeared with him. The Israelites enter Canaan after the Exodus, and Joshua meets a man who has been called the pre-incarnate Christ. Leaving aside the question of what pre-incarnate would mean to someone who says, “I Am,” we have already seen that it is the Spirit who was sent ahead of the Israelites. Additionally, this man calls himself, “The captain of the host of the Lord.”
A similar assumption dogs the book of Daniel. Because Daniel has formerly been visited by the angel Gabriel, it is assumed that the visitor in chapter 10 is also Gabriel. But it is not. He is the Spirit of God. Notice how he brings a vision of Christ to Daniel that parallels the vision he brings to John in the first chapter of Revelation. Also, note how he becomes one of three as he speaks to Daniel, something that should please any Trinitarian.
An interesting aside. We read that this Spirit was engaged in warfare with the prince of Persia before meeting Daniel. He says when he leaves Daniel he will return to that battle, then when it is over he will meet the prince of Greece. Many see these as territorial spirits, who must be fought when their airspace is invaded. I think this is a little thin. The Persian empire followed the Chaldaean empire of Daniel’s time, and the Grecian empire followed the Persian. I think what we see here is not a battle over space, but over time. They are warring over history.
Of the seeming impenetrable scales of the beast that is time, this is an excellent spot to lever open a crack and take a peek.