From Joshua 3's preparations for crossing the Jordan, with some notes in italics -
After three days, the officers went through the middle of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of Yahweh your God’s covenant, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then leave your place, and follow it.” As many as 2 million people will then rise suddenly, grab their personal belongings, assemble their families, and physically follow the representatives and the representation of the way of the (Old) Covenant. You and I are called to rise each day, abandon our belongings and Self, lead the way for our families, and physically follow the One who is Himself the Way of the New Covenant.
“Yet there shall be a space between you and the ark, about two thousand cubits by measure. Don’t come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before.” And, here, it’s impossible for me to overstate how much there’s NOT a “space between” you and Jesus as you’ll follow Him with your day today! Perhaps that perception is the greatest pitfall in the Modern Church. We individually exist as if we’re following a distant external deity named Jesus; we try to “walk with Him” as if we’re separated by more than 2,000 cubits – in fact, by 2,000 years.
Wrong and wrong.
The purpose of Jesus’ Ascension was that, by taking the throne at the right hand of the Father, He might bestow on us – within us – the promised Holy Spirit and, by that Spirit, He Himself. Our opportunity now – that glorious truth we call “Abiding in Him” (John 15) – is well described if we’ll only slightly change Joshua’s officers’ words to the assembled Israelites:
“Yet there shall be no space between you and Me; I will actually live within you. Come near to Me; that you may know the way of the One who is the Way; for I have already passed this way before.”
"I beg you, as those whom I love, to live in this world as strangers and “temporary residents”, to keep clear of the desires of your lower natures, for they are always at war with your souls. Your conduct among the surrounding peoples in your different countries should always be good and right, so that although they may in the usual way slander you as evil-doers yet when disasters come, they may glorify God when they see how well you conduct yourselves." 1 Peter 2:11,12
To get to the crux of these two verses, we have to go back to one word in the first sentence - in the Greek, ὡς: "as" - "Beloved, I exhort you as strangers and exiles..."
I think we think that, as followers of Jesus, we have to actively withdraw from the world, ie. make ourselves as if strangers and exiles. But Peter is saying, no, as followers of Jesus, you are already strangers and exiles: you already don't quite belong.
But where do we not belong?
Well, obviously, amidst the broken ways of the world, amidst its "slanders" and absurdities. But where else? Amidst "the desires of your lower natures," ie. in the way of the flesh within: we are exiled from even part of ourselves.
That is at the heart of what Jesus meant when He said to His friends: "It is the Spirit which gives life. The flesh will not help you." (John 6:63) And that's why we must give our greatest attentions to the ways of the Holy Spirit; otherwise we'll always be sitting on the sidelines of every battle, both in and around us.
"So brace up your minds, and, as those who know what they are doing, rest the full weight of your hopes on the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ reveals himself. Live as obedient children before God. Don’t let your character be molded by the desires of your ignorant days, but be holy in every department of your lives, for the one who has called you is himself holy. The scripture says: ‘Be holy, for I am holy.'" 1 Peter 1:13-16
Which, with those last words, we can begin to register as another of those scriptural impossibilities unless we consider, here, the context of what's just been said. In the third sentence, what are we told not to do? "Don't let your character be molded by the desires of your ignorant days..." Which, if it sounds familiar, almost perfectly echoes Romans 12:2 - "Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold..."
So how are we to avoid these "wrong moldings" of our lives and character? Well, let's read the remainder of Romans 12:2 - "...but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” Which accords perfectly with the ending of our section in 1 Peter: "...but be holy in every department of your lives, for the one who has called you is himself holy. The scripture says: ‘Be holy, for I am holy.'"
So, since the One who lives within us is righteous and holy, the writer of a plan for our lives that is good, it is daily submission to Him that defeats the cookie-cutter moldings that this world is after for each of us. Or to put it another way: Our lives will be molded, one way or the other: but the choice is, really, truly, in our hands and hearts which way that goes...
“It takes many differing instruments to make up a symphony. We must let the Spirit pull out all the stops and play every key of our personalities. We must be utterly ourselves. We must be natural. But we must also remember that we need other Spirit-played instruments to complement and complete our partial tones. The one who most differs from us may have most to give us. The Spirit comes not to uniform us but to unify us.”
E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of Every Road
“He ‘breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”’ (John 20:22). This was the beginning of Pentecost, but not its fullness. It is from the lips of Jesus that we must ever receive the fullness of the Comforter, even as His very breath. He waits to breathe on each of us, as often as He touches us, the fresh anointing of the very same Spirit who dwelt in Him and who comes to us colored, softened, sweetened by His indwelling in the blessed Jesus and as the very Spirit of Jesus. This is our power, and this power we must receive by appropriating faith.”
A.B. Simpson, The Christ of the Forty Days
Trying to "reason our way to God" is asking the infinite immensity of all He is to squeeze into the limited finite housing of our mind and mental processes. An honest reasoning has to be prepared to allow one's mind to open out into that immensity: out where the mysteries lives in His glory. And that's precisely what we're invited to do as recipients of the Holy Spirit.
Joshua spoke to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh [before crossing the Jordan], saying, “Remember the word which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, saying, ‘Yahweh your God gives you rest, and will give you this land. Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock, shall live in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan; but you shall pass over before your brothers armed, all the mighty men of valor, and shall help them until Yahweh has given your brothers rest, as he has given you, and they have also possessed the land which Yahweh your God gives them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession, and possess it, which Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.’”
They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we listened to Moses in all things, so will we listen to you. Only may Yahweh your God be with you, as he was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your commandment, and doesn’t listen to your words in all that you command him shall himself be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:12-18
I think these men of “the Reubenites, Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh” provide a perfect picture of how we’re meant to understand our place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Each of us, everyday, is in the vanguard of the Kingdom – “passing before our brothers” and sisters – called to be “mighty” in “valor” – “strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6) – and we’re meant to help all people find their “rest” in “possessing” the Kingdom. But, in order to do all this, we must likewise turn and face the Commander who leads our every step, who is the Way, and answer just like they once did:
“All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us, Jesus, we will go. Just as the Early Church showed us how to listen to you in all things, so will we listen to you today. Only may your Holy Spirit be with us in ever greater measure, as he was with you while you walked among us. We’re going to love the ones who rebel against your Way, the ones who don’t listen to your words, and, by your love, save them from death. Only be Strength and Courage within us, Jesus.”
“The man who has been taught by the Holy Spirit will be a seer rather than a scholar. The difference is that the scholar sees and the seer sees through; and that is a mighty difference indeed.”
A.W. Tozer, Man - The Dwelling Place of God
"Beasts, birds, reptiles and all kinds of sea-creatures can be, and in fact are, tamed by man, but no one can tame the human tongue. It is an evil always liable to break out, and the poison it spreads is deadly. We use the tongue to bless our Father, God, and we use the same tongue to curse our fellow-men, who are all created in God’s likeness. Blessing and curses come out of the same mouth — surely, my brothers, this is the sort of thing that never ought to happen! Have you ever known a spring to give sweet and bitter water simultaneously? Have you ever seen a fig-tree with a crop of olives, or seen figs growing on a vine? It is just as impossible for a spring to give fresh and salt water at the same time." James 3:7-12
James really gives the best of teaching-metaphors throughout Chapter 3, because they say what they say and yet there's even more behind them...
Think, for a moment, about the nature of a freshwater, sweetwater spring: how would you describe how it "works"? It comes from deep inside the earth; it's cool; it's clean; it's fresh; it brings life and refreshment to them that drink from it. And why can't it bring up bitter water alongside the sweet? Well, because that would mean that the source itself had been tainted; that something was wrong down at its essence; that it no longer is what it was.
And how about the fig tree and the olive tree: what can we learn from looking at their example? Personally, I would say that we see two distinct types of trees, with their own fundamental identities; yet both must source their life from soil, roots, air and water; both will be noted for the quality of their fruit.
So, with both the examples of the waters and the trees, James is not only teaching us about incongruity between fresh- and bitterwater, fig- and olive-trees, he is also pointing our minds and hearts to consider the essence of those things, the inner hidden life from which they spring and grow.
And now listen to James' brother get going on the same tack: “It is impossible for a good tree to produce bad fruit — as impossible as it is for a bad tree to produce good fruit. Do not men know what a tree is by its fruit? You cannot pick figs from briars, or gather a bunch of grapes from a blackberry bush! A good man produces good things from the good stored up in his heart, and a bad man produce evil things from his own stores of evil. For a man’s words will always express what has been treasured in his heart.” (Luke 6:43-45)
Friends, our words are the portal to get a real, true glimpse of what our real, true inner life is like. "For a man’s words will always express what has been treasured in his heart." If our inner life is all caught up in the great adventure of abiding in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, then we'll find our words are becoming His sort of words. It's our relish over the Kingdom of Heaven taking over the landscape of our heart that changes the outflow of our speech: don't forget it!
Truly, gloriously, to Abide in Him alters the very essence of our being!
Then Philip began, and using this scripture as a starting point, he told the eunuch the good news about Jesus. As they proceeded along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, here is some water; is there any reason why I should not be baptized now?” And he gave orders for the carriage to stop. Then both of them went down to the water and Philip baptized the eunuch... (Acts 8:35-38)
Isn’t the whole narrative of this man’s salvation a thrill and a joy? He was riding back from a probably painful worship trip to Jerusalem (being, after all, "unclean" because of his condition), confused by a scripture, when he looks out the window of his carriage and sees a man jogging alongside. For his part, Philip had been going about his day when, by the voice of an angel and the Holy Spirit, he was sent out on this slightly absurd adventure.
This is the joyous way of the wonderful God we serve!
And the before-and-after qualities of this scene remind me of Paul’s glorious descriptions of the befores-and-afters of our own salvation:
“To you, who were spiritually dead all the time that you drifted along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living, and obeyed its unseen ruler (who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God), to you Christ has given life! We all lived like that in the past, and followed the impulses and imaginations of our evil nature, being in fact under the wrath of God by nature, like everyone else. But even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ — it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved — and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with him in Christ in the Heavens…” (Ephesians 2)
Thank you, Jesus!
As we launch into this New Year and make all kinds of personal resolutions about what we'd like to do and be within it, here's a little reminder to keep in front of ourselves all year long:
You and I are part of a Kingdom that cannot die because we follow a King who cannot be kept dead. May we take up an indomitable spirit all throughout this year, living by His Spirit, so that all the world may know.
The eleven went to the hill-side in Galilee where Jesus had arranged to meet them, and when they had seen him they worshipped him, though some of them were doubtful. But Jesus came and spoke these words to them, "All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. You, then, are to go and make disciples of all the nations and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you and, remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the world." (Matthew 28:16-20)
* * * * *
On one occasion, while he was eating a meal with them, he emphasized that they were not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “You have already heard me speak about this,” he said, “for John used to baptize with water, but before many days are passed you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
This naturally brought them all together, and they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
To this he replied, “You cannot know times and dates which have been fixed by the Father’s sole authority. But you are to be given power when the Holy Spirit has come to you. You will be witnesses to me, not only in Jerusalem, not only throughout Judea, not only in Samaria, but to the very ends of the earth!”
When he had said these words he was lifted up before their eyes till a cloud hid him from their sight… (Acts 1:4-9)
* * * * *
“Great expectations are the proof of great love.”
- Honore de Balzac, The Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
Then Jesus, knowing intuitively that his disciples were complaining about what he had just said, went on, “Is this too much for you? Then what would happen if you were to see the Son of Man going up to the place where he was before? It is the Spirit which gives life. The flesh will not help you. The things which I have told you are spiritual and are life. But some of you will not believe me.”
For Jesus knew from the beginning which of his followers did not trust him and who was the man who would betray him. Then he added, “This is why I said to you, ‘No one can come to me unless my Father puts it into his heart to come.’”
As a consequence of this, many of his disciples withdrew and no longer followed him. (John 6:61-66)
It’s important to note that this whole epilogue to John 6 is addressed specifically to actual disciples of His, not just some curious crowd. It is to us, in essence, that He turns His eyes and says these words:
“Is this too much for you? Then what would happen if you were to see the Son of Man going up to the place where he was before? It is the Spirit which gives life. The flesh will not help you. The things which I have told you are spiritual and are life. But some of you will not believe me.”
Friends, you and I must believe Him. We must ever want more, never less, of the presence of the Living One. May our hearts come to know and experience that yearning that eventually overtook the heart of the Apostle Paul: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith -- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3)
Yet to know “the power of his resurrection,” to be able to grasp – as Jesus mentions – the glory of His Ascension, we cannot lean upon our own understanding, our flesh, for, again, they will not help us. Only the Spirit can give life – only the words of Jesus are spirit – so may we allow Him to do His work of teaching us to follow. May we allow His flesh and blood, living right now within us, to do their work in leading us along His perfect Way.
Now after the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, Yahweh spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go across this Jordan, you, and all these people, to the land which I am giving to them, even to the children of Israel. I have given you every place that the sole of your foot will tread on, as I told Moses. From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you…” Joshua 1:1-5
Imagine being Joshua and standing upon the brow of a hill, looking into Canaan, with the voice of the Lord speaking whisperingly in your ear, like this. That morning you’d awoken with fear and anxiety about leading His people; now, at sunset, He is narrating the glories of your eternal possession, even as He shows it to you. Perhaps He even lengthened Joshua’s sights in order to see these lengths and breadths of the land He was set to give to his people. But can you feel the power of the Presence that had inhabited the cloud-by-day and the fire-by-night, as He's leaning over Joshua to point the way?
Abraham could certainly relate – both to the Presence and the precise words used:
“The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, ‘Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.’” (Genesis 13)
“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates — the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.’” (Genesis 15)
For us, it is our own knowledge that He never “fails nor forsakes us,” our remembrance that He’s never “failed nor forsook us,” and our belief that He never will in the future “fail nor forsake us” that gives us the ability – today – to arise, to go, to take, to tread, and to be dauntless in His leading and presence. Immediately, here, as we’re reading the opening words of the 24 chapters that make up the Book of Joshua, we must lift our gaze to examine the steadfast face of Yeshua, our Savior, our Leader, Jesus. For we’re only as good for His service as the measure to which we believe He is good; we must stand intimately with Him, today, as Joshua once stood breath-to-breath with Yahweh.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom, of hope, of joy, of courage, of knowledge, of comfort, of counsel, and of power. No matter what our life (or this next New Year) throws at us, we mustn't fall back on our own thoughts or emotions; we must make use of, and become increasingly totally dependent upon, the Spirit of God as our best and only source for the wisdom, hope, joy, courage, knowledge, comfort, counsel and power of Heaven itself.
Let's live up to our privileges, my brothers and sisters, both today and over these holidays!
"This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“In every man there are two hemispheres of light and dark, two worlds discrete, two countries of his soul’s adventure. And one of these is the dark land, the other half of his heart’s home, the unvisited domain of his father’s earth. And this is the land he knows the best. It is the earth unvisited – and it is his, as nothing he has seen can ever be. It is the world intangible that he has never touched – yet more his own than something he has owned forever.” Thomas Wolfe, The Web and the Rock
Clearing Winter Storm, Ansel Adams
“Thus I stretch out my arms to my Savior, who, after being foretold for four thousand years, came on earth to die and suffer for me at the time and in the circumstances foretold. By his grace I peaceably await death, in the hope of being eternally united to him, and meanwhile I live joyfully, whether in the blessings which he is pleased to bestow on me or in the afflictions he sends me for my own good and taught me how to endure by example." (Blaise Pascal, Pensees)
"Yes, and I shall go on being very happy, for I know that what is happening will be for the good of my own soul, thanks to your prayers and the resources of the spirit of Jesus Christ. It all accords with my own earnest wishes and hopes, which are that I should never be in any way ashamed, but that now, as always, I should honor Christ with the utmost boldness by the way I live, whether that means I am to face death or to go on living. For living to me means simply 'Christ,' and if I die I should merely gain more of him." (Philippians 1:18b-21)
"Now what use is it, my brothers, for a man to say he 'has faith' if his actions do not correspond with it? Could that sort of faith save anyone’s soul?" (James 2:14)
And without reading any further into the famous "faith & works" section of James' letter, we have to stop right there, because THAT'S THE WHOLE QUESTION FOR US. The question of faith and works has everything to do with what we believe really happens because of "faith" at the level of the individual soul. Or let me put it to you this way: There was a real living person named Jesus, a man from Nazareth in Israel, who lived 2,000 years ago, in the midst of the Roman Empire.
Now what does that have to do with your soul?
(Insert you and I having coffee or talking on the phone this week, right here, because I'd really like to hear you answer that question.)
I think the reason we get into so many arguments and confusions about the "faith & works" question is because we don't really know what we actually believe about "faith." The true Christian faith - at least the one the first believers lived and died for - is that repentance and belief lead not only to salvation, but also to Jesus now living His life inside of you. And imagine questioning whether Jesus Himself would be able to show works and actions like... Himself! I truly dare us to have His presence inside us and to try and stop Him!
Really, the "faith & works" question should be a moot point for us, if we really believe the things we say we believe about Jesus, our soul, and the work of the Holy Spirit. (And I'd encourage you to read the rest of James 2 through the lens of His indwelling: it changes the whole scope of the argument entirely.)
"The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence. On our part there must be surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work it is to show us the Father and the Son. If we co-operate with Him in loving obedience God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face."
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
"No one had anything to gain in those [early] days from being a Christian; indeed, there was a strong chance that the Christian would lose security and property, and even life itself. Yet, reflected in the pages of [the NT] Letters, both men and women are exhibiting superb courage and are growing, as naturally as fruit upon a tree, those qualities of the spirit of which the world is so lamentably short. To my mind we are forced to the conclusion that something is at work here far above and beyond normal human experience, which can only be explained if we accept what the New Testament itself claims; that is, that ordinary men and women had become, through the power of Christ, sons and daughters of God."
J.B. Phillips, New Testament Christianity
A simple reminder/prayer for today:
Holy Spirit, you are with Him right now and in me. Please tell me what He says for this moment.
"The gospel provides, among other things, two utter necessities for human living: a static norm and a progressive ideal. In presenting the character of Christ, fixed in history, it provides an anchoring place for our minds and keeps them from going adrift in every passing wind of modern speculation and tendency. But it goes further: in its teaching concerning the Holy Spirit it provides a progressive dynamic that is capable of infinite adaptation to a growing life. The Spirit ‘guides us into all truth.’ Hence the Spirit is forever unfolding what was infolded in the person of Christ and is forever applying it to changing conditions. The gospel has, therefore, about it a sense of newness, of surprise, of eternal freshness. He who lives under the sway of the Spirit lives under a perpetual dawn. A surprise awaits him around every corner. Vistas open everywhere. He knows in the inmost depths of his being that what he has cannot be outgrown, for he knows that he possesses, not a set of dead truths, but the very Spirit of truth. The gospel will, therefore, never be out-known nor out-grown. The Spirit is its principle and power of rejuvenation.”
E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of Every Road
"Do not be swept off your feet by various peculiar teachings. Spiritual stability depends on the grace of God, and not on rules of diet — which after all have not spiritually benefited those who have made a speciality of that kind of thing. We have an Altar from which those who still serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. When the blood of animals was presented as a sin-offering by the High Priest in the sanctuary, their bodies were burned outside the precincts of the camp. That is why Jesus, when he sanctified men by the shedding of his own blood, suffered and died outside the city gates. Let us go out to him, then, beyond the boundaries of the camp, proudly bearing his 'disgrace.'" Hebrews 13:9-13
Like so much of what we've seen throughout Hebrews, these few verses have hidden deep depths of goodness and richness for us to enjoy. There's also a kind of rhetorical elegance here. Have any of you ever heard the term "chiasmus" before? It's a figure of speech that turns in on itself in the arrangement A-B-B-A; the most famous example of which is probably JFK's, "Ask not what your country (A) can do for you (B), ask what you (B) can do for your country(A)." These kind of expressions stick with us because they tend to pull us in, and sort of enwrap us in their logic...
That's what happening here in Hebrews 13:9-13. As it now pertains to the priesthood of believers over against the old Hebraic systems of the priests:
"Grace is not to be found through our food and our location, it is by His food and His location that we are invited into His grace."
In the Old Covenant, the priests sought and maintained grace by the careful keeping of meal and meat offerings in the cloistered confines of holy sequestered spaces not open to the common man. In the New Covenant, by feasting upon Jesus, by going outside the religious camp, we encounter His grace, even while "sharing in his disgrace," and show His availability to everyone we meet.
That's why - all along - the writer of Hebrews has been saying, "Don't let the Way of Jesus get under its own systems" - because that had been Judaism and it was no longer the way. The engine of this thing is now the Holy Spirit and He is miles ahead of our best human-religious systems and plans. All this happens outside of safe churchly spaces and at the pace of the Spirit, not our pace. And may we never forget that!
“In the course of our Lord’s interactions with His disciples on earth He spared no pains to teach and train them, to renew and sanctify them. In most respects, however, they remained just what they were. The reason was that up to this point He was ever still nothing more than an external Christ who stood outside of them and from without sought to work upon them by His word and His personal influence. With the advent of Pentecost this condition was entirely changed. In the Holy Spirit He came down as the inward, indwelling Christ, to become in the very innermost recesses of their being the life of their life. This is what He Himself had promised in the words: 'I will not leave you orphans: I will come unto you. In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.' This was the source of all the other blessings that came with Pentecost. Jesus Christ, the Crucified, the Glorified, the Lord from heaven, came in spiritual power, by the Spirit, to impart to them that ever-abiding presence of their Lord that had been promised to them; and that indeed in a way that was at once most intimate, all powerful, and wholly divine: by the indwelling which makes Him in truth their life (1 John xiv. 18, 20). Him whom they had had in the flesh, living with them on earth, they now received by the Spirit in His heavenly glory within them. Instead of an outward Jesus near them, they now obtained the inward Jesus within them.”
Andrew Murray, The Full Blessing of Pentecost