said, "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 for ever; 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" (John 14:15-17). Jesus said that He would send another Comforter to comfort His people after His departure. If He is the comforter, why did he say he would send another? Was He speaking of Himself?
Christ’s discourse in John 14-16 is many times misunderstood, particularly what He said about the Holy Spirit. Christ told His disciples that His Father will send them “another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (14:16), then He told them, “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father” (16:16). Why did He say those words if He was going to send someone else? He spoke in the third person, for He returned in Spirit form to them.
Apostles understood this, hence Paul would say, our “Lord is that Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17). He is able to comfort us in all our temptations because He was tempted just like us: “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour [comfort] them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). It is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Because Jesus has suffered being tempted, and comes to us in a different way than He ever did before, He can truly be called, “another Comforter.” Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you” (John 14:18).
The Holy Spirit was to come and convict the world of sin. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). “Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:26). It is Jesus, after His resurrection, who comes to us to turn us from sin. Jesus Christ is that Comforter who knows what we are going through because He has been there Himself; the Comforter is not a different third Individual of the Godhead.
Some may immediately say, ‘Jesus called the Comforter ‘he,’ therefore he must be someone else.’ It was common in Christ’s day to speak of oneself in the third person. You find this style of writing throughout the New Testament. In (John 5:19-22), Jesus spoke of Himself in the third person. And so, Christ refers the Spirit of His very person as ‘he.’
Speaking to His disciples, pointing to a future day, Christ said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:18-20).
Even though the disciples were alive while Jesus spoke to them, His words were “because I live, ye shall live also.” That the life they live will be His life.
In these words Jesus was not referring to a mere physical or probationary life which everyone possesses. Neither was He referring to a life that only begins after our resurrection. He was referring to them obtaining a special kind of life, or a state of being, that is dependent on His resurrection and coming to them. According to Jesus’ words in that dialogue (John 14: 12-20), this state of being, or life, was to be available on the day when He comes to them and lives in them. He was referring to a life that begins on this earth in our mortal flesh upon receiving the Comforter.
It is equally important to understand that this Spirit/life Jesus referred to would not be received by everyone. Only those who “see him”, “know him” and have a relationship with Him will receive it. Notice the words in verse 17 “the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him”. Those in the world do not have and cannot receive this comforter.
Breath of life
This tells us that the Spirit of truth, comforter or new life the followers of Jesus were promised to receive is not the same as the “breath of life” every living thing has. Caiaphas, for example, was alive at Pentecost when the apostles received the promise from the Father. He had the breath of life in him, but did not receive the Spirit of God as the comforter in him.
All living things, whether it be man, or animal, or even Satan himself, are upheld by the power of God or by the same creative word of God (Hebrews 1:3, 2 Peter 3:5-7). They have the breath of life in them, but it is not the same as the indwelling spirit of God or the Comforter Jesus promised to send. The spirit of God or the Comforter is not in Satan. The upholding power of God is keeping Satan alive, but it is not the same as the Comforter or presence of God. It is important to differentiate between the power of God in nature and the presence of God.
Think about it this way, when Adam was created, he was imbued with the spirit of God and he was alive. When he sinned, he lost the spirit of God yet he remained alive. In both cases, Adam possessed the breath of life, yet he did not have the spirit in both cases. Notice the following verses:
Ephesians 2:12 “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”
Ephesians 4:18 “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”
“without Christ” = “Alienated from the life of God” = “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).
We can clearly see that some do not have Christ, do not have God, and do not have the life/spirit of God. Physical life is not evidence that the spirit of God or the life of God is in the person. It only proves that the power of God is upholding that person; but as we saw earlier, the upholding power of God is not the indwelling spirit of God.
Was not yet
From what Jesus said in John 14:12-20 it is obvious that even the apostles at the time Jesus spoke those words did not have the comforter dwelling IN them as of yet. Jesus said “for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you”, “I will come to you”, “I will send Him unto you.”
As a matter of fact, John tells us few chapters earlier:
John 7:38-39: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.).”
Jesus was talking about something that was not yet given because He was not yet glorified. Yes the word “given” is added, but the meaning is very clearly implied in the text. “The spirit was not yet because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Therefore, the spirit will not come until Jesus is glorified. In John 16 Jesus says the same thing in different words:
John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you 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.”
According to Jesus the Comforter is “the Spirit of truth” or “the Holy Spirit” (John 14:17, 26), about which John said “was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified”. Both Jesus and John said the same thing.
Therefore, this new quality/state of life promised to the believer is intrinsically linked with the impartation of the Comforter or Spirit of truth. In addition, the impartation of the Holy Spirit is dependent on Jesus’ glorification (John 7:38-39). Keep in mind that Spirit means life (Luke 8:55 refers to the resurrected girl’s life as her spirit: “And her spirit came again;” Luke 23:46 refers to Jesus giving up life on the cross as giving up His spirit: “He gave up the ghost;” Acts 7:59 refers to Stephen giving up his life as his spirit: “Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”).
An eternal life
What quality of life was Jesus referring to when He said “ye shall live also”? The Bible says “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life...” (John 3:36 [See also John 5:24; 6:40,47; 10:27-28].
When Jesus said “because I live ye shall live also”, He was referring to possessing eternal life, which on this side of the cross, is a quality of life or a state of being that was made available in Christ after the glorification (more on this below). That is why John could write later and admonish the followers of Christ to “know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
Having said the above, in order to understand this reality better, let us consider the following questions:
1. Do we literally receive something from outside of us called the comforter/ spirit / life or is it just a metaphor? Is it something we simply produce or form in our lives?
2. What or who is this life or spirit?
3. How is all this related to Christ’s resurrection, glorification and His coming to us? And is it a Divine-Human Spirit?
4. Do we literally have Jesus Christ dwelling in the believer? Moreover, is there a difference between literal and physical?
1. Do we literally receive something from outside of us called the comforter/ spirit or life or is it just a metaphor?
Let us consider a couple of examples. The first is Pentecost:
Prior to the outpouring of the Spirit, Jesus told the disciples to “wait for the promise of the Father… For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4-5).
Up till that time, they have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit yet. Few days later, on the day of Pentecost, we read:
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2-4).
It is important not to miss the point being portrayed. Jesus told them to “wait” for the promise, and that they “shall” be baptized. Jesus was referring to something they did not have as of yet. That is why He told them to wait for it.
On Pentecost, God demonstrated the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a physical and visible manner for few reasons one of which is for us to understand that these people received something they did not have before. They received something from outside of them.
Some would like to say that the Holy Spirit is formed or produced within the heart by reading the word of God because it contains the Spirit in it. In other words, the word of God is the seed that is in us, and when we believe it, we activate this seed and manifest or produce the life of Christ / Holy Spirit within. Many verses are shared to prove that the Spirit is in the word. Although I am not negating the fact that the Word of God is an avenue to receive the Spirit, I would like to highlight that all the apostles had the word of God before Pentecost. They all believed the word and studied the word, but Jesus told them “wait for the promise of the Father, … ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
The point is, if the spirit is produced or formed in our hearts by reading and believing the word of God, then how come the disciples needed to wait until Pentecost to receive it? How come Jesus said that if He does not go away the comforter will not come, and why did John say that the spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified?
It is rather obvious that this spirit or comforter Jesus spoke about was dependent on Him being glorified more than on the apostles reading and believing. Yes, of course unless a person believes he will not receive, but simply reading and believing before the glorification did not result in them receiving the promised Comforter until after the glorification.
Another story is in Acts 19:
Acts 19:2-6 “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. ….When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Here we see these 12 disciples receiving something they did not have before. These “disciples” have read the word of God and by faith believed it, yet they “have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost”. Why wasn’t the Holy Spirit formed or produced within them? It is rather clear that they received the spirit from outside in. It was not something formed from within; rather it was something imparted from outside upon Paul laying his hands.
Now why is the point being emphasised? It is because it is important for us to understand that when Jesus said the comforter will be in you, He meant that we will literally receive something we did not have before. Something or someone will come from the outside in. This was clearly demonstrated on Pentecost and in Acts 19.
Whoever the comforter is, according to Jesus He was dwelling WITH them at that time, and was promised to be IN them (John 14:17). Regarding the comforter, Jesus said he will “come unto you”, “I will send him unto you”, “when he is come” (John 16:7-8).
This is not the language used of something produced in the heart, rather of a Person who dwells with and in the people. It describe something sent to you and will come to you from outside in.
In other words, before He is sent, regardless how much faith and belief and knowledge of the scripture the disciples had, they could not receive the Comforter because he had not been sent yet.
So the answer to our question is yes, we do literally receive something we did not have before. We do receive “the Holy Spirit” from the outside in. The Bible says we “are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). This is not a metaphor. It is a reality. We literally receive the spirit of God into our hearts. Our bodies are the temple of God where He will dwell through His Spirit.
Having established the above, the next question we need to address is:
2. What or who is this Spirit?
Again, note that the bible is very clear on the identity of the Spirit. Below is a table of comparison taken from John 14.
Notice the similarity between what Jesus said about Himself and about the Comforter:
|"the world seeth me no more" (verse 19).
||The world "seeth him not" (verse 17).
|"but ye see me" (v 19).
||"but ye know him" (v 17).
|Jesus was with them at that time
||"he dwelleth with you" (verse 17).
|"I in you" (verse 20).
||"shall be in you" (v 17).
|"I will come to you" (verse 18).
||"give you another comforter" (verse 16).
|"Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19).
||"he may abide with you forever" (verse 16).
It is clear that Jesus was talking about Himself in the third person.
In John 14:26 Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name…” and in Galatians 4:6 Paul says, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” The comforter whom the Father will send is none other than the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Is the spirit of Jesus a different person than Jesus Himself? Absolutely not! The spirit of Jesus is Jesus Himself (see Mark 2:8, 8:12, Luke 23:46). It is His own life; it is the nonphysical, non-tangible aspect of Him. Just like your spirit is who you are on the inside, in the same way Christ’s spirit is who He is (1 Corinthians 2:11).
Therefore, when the Bible says that God will send us the spirit of His Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6), it means that Jesus Himself will come into our hearts. That is exactly what Jesus said in John 14 “I in you”. Paul understood this (see (Galatians 2:20).
Moreover, according to Paul, there is one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, and then he said that the Lord, or Jesus Christ, is that Spirit. He also says that Jesus, the second Adam, was made a life giving spirit (1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Paul’s writings clearly teach us that the Holy Spirit or the comforter is Jesus Himself in the Spirit form.
Paul also tells us that “your body is the temple of the Holy spirit which is in you” And then He says: “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you” (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 13:5).
These verses are very clear. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of Christ Himself. When we receive Christ we in actual fact receive His own life. The only reason we receive His life is because we receive Him (1 John 3:11-13).
When Jesus told the disciples "Because I live, you shall live also” He was telling them that time will come very soon when I will dwell in you and I will live in you; you will live my life. Notice these verses:
•"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:26-27).
•"Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
•"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me …." (Galatians 2:20).
•"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" (Ephesians 3:17).
•"Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5).
•"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (Romans 8:10).
This brings us to the third question:
3. How is all this related to Christ’s resurrection, glorification and His coming to us?
Why could the spirit not be given or the comforter could not come until Jesus was glorified? In 1 Peter 1:10-11 we are told that “the spirit of Christ” was in the prophets of old, yet John said the spirit was not yet. Are these verses contradictory?
In order to solve this problem some have interpreted John’s words to mean that the spirit was not yet given in this measure before. But this is not what John said. He said it was not yet because Jesus was not yet glorified. Jesus Himself said, “if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you...”
In other words, before the glorification, the spirit could not be given. Yet the bible says the spirit of Christ was in the prophets of Old!
In order to harmonise these verses we must understand what spirit or life John was talking about. This particular spirit is intrinsically linked to the glorification; and the glorification is linked to the incarnation. Notice Jesus’ prayer in John 17. This was not long before the crucifixion:
"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:4-5).
Where did Jesus glorify the Father? “On the earth” He also said “I finished the work you gave me to do.” Because Jesus glorified the Father on earth, and finished His work on earth, He is asking the Father to glorify Him with “thine own self”.
As one of us (human being), He finished the work God gave Him to do on earth. Hence, as one of us, as a human being He is asking the Father to glorify Him with His own self. Yes, He was 100% divine, but He was 100% human at the same time. As a Divine-human Being, He is asking the Father to glorify Him.
It is important to understand that the life Jesus lived on earth, the life He is asking the Father to glorify never existed prior to the incarnation. The humanity of Christ and the experience He went through as a human being never existed before. Many miss the point that in the incarnation Jesus took upon Himself a nature and an experience He never had before (see Hebrews 2:10, 14-18; 5:7-10). It was the Divine-Human Jesus, with His Divine Human life/spirit, who was asking the Father to glorify Him. In this sense John said, “the spirit was not yet”.
The life Jesus lived in Humanity, the Divine Human life, was not given yet because it was not yet glorified. That is why Jesus said, unless I go to the Father, the Comforter will not come.
The humanity of Christ is the key in the impartation of the Comforter. This comforter has been where I am, He knows what it means to be human, He knows what it means to be tempted and tried. The Bible says, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).
This is one of the reasons why Jesus had to go through humanity before He can impart the Comforter. Without the humanity of Christ there would be no Comforter as the One promised by Jesus and sent by the Father.
Upon reading the above, some will object saying ‘The Spirit is completely divine with no humanity whatsoever in it.’ In doing so, they try to maintain their belief that ‘nothing new was given on Pentecost and that the Cross brought nothing new’. In denying the human experience or element of the spirit, they maintain that ‘Christ gained nothing new, and could impart to us on this side of the cross nothing new. Hence the spirit the apostles received on Pentecost is the same as the one they had before, the only difference is the quantity, not the quality’.
However, this reasoning makes the words of Jesus in John 16:7 and the words of John in John 7:38-39 meaningless. It also contradicts what we saw in the words of Jesus to the disciples in Acts 1, and in the example of the 12 disciples, whom Paul laid hands on. It also diminishes the importance of the incarnation and destroys the work Jesus accomplished through it.
If all this is not enough to convince the reader of the Divine-Human spirit, then consider these words:
"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:45-48).
Why did Paul use the term “last Adam”? As we all know, names have meaning behind them. Sometimes the authors in the bible use the terms “Lamb of God” (God’s sacrifice), Christ (the anointed One), Jesus (Saviour), Michael (One like God), or “the man Christ Jesus” (highlighting Christ’s humanity), …etc. each time there is something being highlighted in the name used (or at least in many cases). Why is Paul using the titles “last Adam”, “second man” in here?
One of the reasons is that He is highlighting the humanity of Christ just like he did in 1 Timothy 2:5.
The reason for bringing this point is because of Paul’s words: “the last Adam was made a quickening spirit”. The last Adam, or the second Man was made a life giving spirit. In other words, Paul was saying the human or the man Christ Jesus, who was 100% divine at the same time, was made a spirit! Jesus, the Divine-human Person, became a life giving spirit.
If the Comforter that comes to us does not encompass the humanity of Christ, then the above verse becomes meaningless. For Christ to comfort me He had to go through what I have been through. He had to become human, one with me. It is His victorious experience and life as a Man that comforts the sinner (see Hebrews 2:17-18).
With the correct understanding of who was asking for glorification, we can appreciate more what happened on Pentecost. After His resurrection, ascension to heaven and return (John 20: 17-19), Jesus breathed on the disciples saying, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22).
This was just a sample of what was soon to follow. The full glorification of Christ had not taken place yet, although the sacrifice of Christ and life was accepted by the Father. This was not the complete outpouring Christ referred to, that was still to follow later (Luke 24:49).
On the day of Pentecost, Jesus, the Divine-Human Person, was glorified, He was anointed with the oil of gladness as the High Priest of His people (Hebrews 1:8-9). As a Divine Human Being, Jesus was anointed with the Spirit of God. Not that He did not have the spirit before, but this simply refers to the glorification of this Divine Human life through which Jesus accomplished the work of God on earth. This was the glorification John referred to (John 7:39).
Notice how Peter relates this account in his first sermon:
Acts 2:32-33 “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.”
Notice also how Paul brings it all together in the following text:
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; [during His humanity or incarnation] And being made perfect, [or having qualified because of what He accomplished], he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; [He became the author, or source of eternal salvation/life] Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 5:8-10) [inserted notes are added].
Christ’s glorification, Priesthood and the impartation of the Comforter were dependent on His incarnation and resurrection. Because of His humanity, He qualified to become our High Priest which took place at His anointing or glorification (Hebrews 2:17; 5:1; 8:3). Now, as our High Priest, He ministers His own Divine-Human eternal life, which never existed before, to those who obey Him or believe on His name. This Divine-Human eternal life is known as the Comforter. It is none other than the Spirit of Christ sent by the Father.
That is why Jesus said “if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7). This explains why John said “the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39).
The Divine-human life of Jesus is the key to understand these passages. It is this life, which was tempted and gained the victory, that is being imparted to the believer on this side of the cross (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).
This very life, which is available to us today, is our eternal life. Remember, Jesus Christ Himself is our life (Colossians 3:4 “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory;” John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”); hence when we receive Him, we receive His life, which is our eternal life.
Eternal life is inseparable from Jesus, the Author of this life. It is not something we receive outside of Christ. He is our life and Righteousness (see 1 Corinthians 1:30; Jeremiah 23:5-6). Eternal life and righteousness is found in a Person, Jesus Christ (John 1:4 “In him was life; and the life was the light of men”). By receiving Him you receive life and Righteousness. We are “complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10). Notice what John said:
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11-12).
With this verse, we reach our final question:
4. Does Jesus Christ literally dwell in the believer? Is there a difference between literal and physical?
The word of God says that life is in the Son, it also says that He that hath the Son has life (1 John 5:11-12). The focus is on having Jesus. The scriptures as we saw earlier clearly presents to us that Jesus Christ Himself is in us. Of course, He is not in us on a physical level; He is in us on a spiritual level. The bible says that Jesus was made a Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). It also says that God sent the spirit of His Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6). The Bible also equates the spirit of Jesus / Comforter with Jesus Himself (Romans 8:9-10; 2 Corinthians 3:17). Therefore, we cannot deny what the scriptures says that Christ Himself is in us (Colossians 1:26-27; 1 John 4:4, Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Romans 8:10).
If Christ Himself is not in me, then I cannot be one life with Him, I am not joined unto Him, and I have no gospel or a plan of salvation (1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit”).
If He is not in me, then I have no righteousness or life because righteousness and eternal life is not found in words, thoughts, minds, actions, works, ideas, impressions, powers, influences or anything one can add to the list. Neither is it found in a spirit or life that is not Jesus Himself. Eternal life and righteousness is found only in Jesus Christ our Lord (1 John 5:11 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”). You receive life and righteousness by receiving the Person Jesus Christ.
This is very important to understand. It was so serious that the apostle John equated denying the indwelling of Christ in the believer with the spirit of Antichrist. As far as he was concerned, every spirit that denies the truth that Jesus Christ is come today to dwell in our mortal flesh is not of God. We read these:
1 John 3:24-4:4: “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
2 John 7: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
2 Corinthians 4:10-11: “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
Literally not physically
In closing, one matter must be clarified. By saying ‘Christ literally dwells in us’, it does not mean ‘Christ physically dwells in us’. It should be understood that there is a difference between literal and physical. For example, when people at the days of Jesus were possessed by a demon, there was literally a demon inside of them that needed to be cast out. Jesus cast out many demons out of many people. A spirit came out of the possessed man and went into the pigs. It was a literal spirit but not a physical spirit.
Jesus said, “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). So, Christ’s own Spirit divested of flesh and bones dwells our flesh.
In the same way, it should be understood that Jesus literally, not physically, dwells in the believer. He, Jesus, was made a life giving spirit, which according to Him, “hath not flesh and bones”. In this way, Jesus can literally dwell in the believer. He is with us and in us always but without His physical or bodily form (Matthew 28:20; John 14:17-18).
So, let us put all this together.
•Jesus said when He is glorified, He will come unto His people.
•They will receive something or someone they did not have before.
•They will receive the Divine-Human eternal life that never existed before.
•This Divine-Human life will be eternal life unto those who receive it.
•This eternal life is in a Person, Jesus Christ Himself.
•We receive this eternal life and righteousness by receiving a Person who is eternal life and righteousness.
•Hence Jesus Christ Himself literally, not physically, dwells in the believer.
•Because of the glorification, He that dwelt WITH them could be IN them.
•When we have Him, we have all things for we are complete in Him.