THE HOLY GHOST: THE VICAR OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
THE POPE OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT THE VICAR OF JESUS CHRIST, THE HOLY GHOST IS THE ONE AND ONLY SOVEREIGN VICAR. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is a grand theme in the Holy Scripture. His activity is evident in the first chapter of Genesis as He broods upon the chaotic emptiness. “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.” (Genesis 1:2) At that moment, as the Word was spoken, the world, as we know it, was created. What He did in the First Testament is greatly evident to us now, yet His person was hidden from the Jewish eye. Jesus clearly changed that in His ministry and promised a highly visible role for the Holy Spirit in the Second (New) Testament.
Our risen Lord had only ascended back to the Father ten days when that promised role of Spirit possession exploded in Jerusalem at the Feast of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was clearly the power of God birthing the visible church. He was that “rushing mighty wind” blowing upon one hundred and twenty awaiting vessels in the upper room. In such a humble place occupied by humble men and women, the kingdom of God had appeared. The Holy Spirit had moved His epicenter from the throne in heaven to the church body on earth. The world would never be the same.
The Holy Ghost did not come to represent Himself or to exalt His person in any form or fashion. Jesus Christ had clearly promised that the Holy Spirit would not speak of Himself, or for Himself, but totally for the one He came to represent. He was sent to be the “Vicar” of the crucified Lord in all His triumphant redemption and resurrection. The “Vicar” of Jesus Christ had come to possess the church with the same anointing that He had possessed Jesus Christ at John’s baptism. The Scripture teaches us that the Holy Spirit descended on Christ in the form of a dove and then led Him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The Lord Jesus then returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit and began His mighty works. Jesus was filled with the Holy Ghost without measure. He is the ultimate model of a Spirit-possessed life.
Let’s establish from Scripture that the Holy Spirit never speaks of Himself. As the Lord begins to teach about the Holy Spirit’s ministry, He starts with a promise, “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. 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. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:16-21)
Notice these terms, “He shall give you another Comforter” followed by, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” He is actually saying that the Holy Spirit’s baptism is Himself coming to you by the person of the Spirit. Then He says, “At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me and I in you.” In other words He would be at the Father’s right hand in triumphant power and in us by Holy Ghost power all at the same time. He ends this breathtaking passage by saying, “he that loveth me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to Him.” By the Holy Spirit He reveals or manifests Himself to us individually and to His body the church.
Again the Lord said in the great discourse on the Holy Spirit, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” (John 15:26) In chapter 16, He enlarges that statement, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:12-14)
The Holy Spirit: The Vicar Of Our Lord
Jesus is at the Father’s right hand. He said, “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:39) “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:23-24) Our Lord was very careful to warn us of those that would claim that He had appeared or would appear as a confirmation of their genuineness. There is a growing interest in religious phenomena and many individuals are superstitiously attached to such events. The warning by our Lord that men would say, “Lo, here is Christ or there,” has never been needed as urgently as today. Any kind of esoteric appearance assumed to be Jesus is to be rejected without question. People are claiming healing and other spiritual results from a variety of special revelations, visions, and angelic manifestations, etc. The Bible warns us to beware of all such claims. Everything of a spiritual nature is to be judged by the plain sense of Holy Scripture.
The Holy Ghost, and He alone, is the Vicar of Jesus Christ. Not angels, not Marian appearances, nor special revelations or emotional physical manifestations; but the Holy Spirit is our teacher and our Doorkeeper into His marvelous fullness. Why should we ever assume to need anything beyond the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit? He is very God and the right arm of the Heavenly Father. He is present in the believer’s temple and in Christ’s Body, the church, to manifest every fullness of Jesus Christ and His redemptive graces.
The believer will have an exploding fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ when the Holy Spirit has the above kind of Sovereign right to rule. The flesh life has been put under the mastery of the Spirit life and He is manifesting the life of the resurrected Lord visibly to all. The Holy Spirit does not come to induce barking, roaring, twisting, and a multitude of other strange emotions. He comes to magnify Jesus Christ and He can only do that when we provide the skin-tent to His glory.
The Holy Ghost is the Vicar of Jesus Christ. He represents and reveals everything Jesus is in Himself into the life of the yielded believer. To allow Him to do less is to quench the Spirit. Apostle Paul warns us in I Thessalonians to, “Quench not the Spirit.” (I Thessalonians 5:19) To the Ephesians, he stated, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30) It is evident that the Holy Spirit is a person who can be “quenched,” “grieved,” “resisted,” or otherwise hindered from doing what He by His very nature has come to do. Again, we have a confused idea of what grieving or quenching Him is all about. Our skin tent has become His tabernacle, His place to manifest the glory of Jesus Christ and if we refuse that revelation, we are guilty of resisting His very reason for dwelling in us.
The Holy Spirit is the Vicar or Representative. If you will do the following things, He will come in power into your life. Cast yourself wholly upon the Words of God. Devour the Scripture with the appetite of a dying man; believe and obey its every word liberally and with delight. Make Jesus Christ the Lord of all your will and desires. Seek Him. Do not seek the Holy Spirit, seek Jesus Christ. Hunger and thirst after the Word and after Jesus, forsaking all sin by the cleansing of His Blood and walk after Him with a true heart.