Answers to Correspondents: Christ's Presence

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9. Q.-In the correspondence on the presence of the Holy Spirit, &c., in the April number of "Words of Faith," it is stated by X., page 102, that Christ's presence among the disciples, after resurrection and before ascension, is the same that we have now, where the two or three are gathered to His name, and hence a corporeal, and not a spiritual, presence, and in the latter character differing from the presence of the Holy Ghost, which is, of course, spiritual. Is this correct? And does not Christ's ascension, as the glorified Man to His Father's right hand and throne, make it impossible for Him to be present corporeally elsewhere than in the glory; and therefore that His presence among His gathered saints now is a spiritual, and not a corporeal, presence?
Further, in page 104, I understand Z. to insist upon the free and independent action of the Holy Spirit in the assembly, quite apart from the state of the brother who may be the channel. Would it not, therefore, be wrong to deny that a brother, known to be in a bad state of soul, might nevertheless minister the word, or give out a hymn, in the power of the Spirit? C. E. H. W.
A.-Undoubtedly Christ is bodily, or corporeally, in heaven, and only present spiritually with His saints when gathered to His name. The ascension to heaven makes the difference as to the manner of His presence with His people now, as in contrast with what it was just after His resurrection. Still, He is personally present. This is plainly taught in Z.'s letter, page 107.
The action of the Holy Ghost is free and sovereign. He acts by whom He chooses, and the state of the vessel has nothing to say to this; and therefore it is quite possible, though not usual, that he might use a brother "in a bad state of soul" to act in the assembly. The guard is, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." (See 1 Thess. 5:20, 2120Despise not prophesyings. 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:20‑21).) c. w.
10. Referring to your reply to "C. E. S." in the April No. (query 7) I think some fresh light is thrown on the use of the Lord's official title "Christ," contrasted with His personal title "Jesus," by Philip (Acts 8:5,355Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. (Acts 8:5)
35Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (Acts 8:35)
), by noting the verbs employed.
In the first case it was κηρύσσω "to herald;" in the latter it was εὐαγγελίξω, "to evangelize," or "bring good-tidings." The choice of these words is very beautiful and suited in each case.
"To herald Christ" would embrace all of Him, which He will do in grace and salvation, or in judgment. "To evangelize Jesus" would only embrace His Person and grace, as the One who was called that name by the angel (Matt. 1); because "he would save his people from their sins"-the One who was before the Ethiopian in a special way from reading Isa. 53.
This is, to my mind, the reason of the change of the name in the two passages. I think too that the use of the verbs generally, in the New Testament, shows us that when the thought of judgment is connected with the preaching of Christ, κηρύσσω is used, as in Acts 10:4242And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. (Acts 10:42), which is a striking example, coupled with verse 36, where κηρύσσω is used as "preaching peace" only through Him. Other examples can be adduced. F. G. P.
We a little doubt whether the suggested use of Κηρύσσς, as in contrast with that of εἰαγγελίξω can be borne out by its general use in the New Testament. Κηρύσσω means "to announce publicly" or "to herald;" while εὐαγγελίξω gives in addition the subject matter of what is announced. We find κηρύσσω frequently used in connection with "the gospel," when no question of judgment comes in. (Compare, amongst other instances, Matt. 16:1313When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (Matthew 16:13); Luke 4:18,19; 8:118The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18‑19)
1And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, (Luke 8:1)
; Rom. 10:15; 115And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:15) Cor. 1:23, 15:1; 2 Cor. 1:99But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: (2 Corinthians 1:9); Gal. 2:22And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. (Galatians 2:2); 1 Thess. 2:1919For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (1 Thessalonians 2:19).) As to the case in point, Acts 8:55Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. (Acts 8:5), it could scarcely have been the preaching of Christ in connection with judgment that produced "great joy in that city." We would remark, too, that while in the main εὐαγγελίξω, is connected with
11. I do not like the paper in the "Words of Faith " for April by " X., Y., Z." I do not think it is the truth, and some of the expressions are far from reverent or worthy of the things of God. I write to you, beloved brother, because I know I am not alone in this judgment. You will be the best judge of the way to rectify this. E. F.
As several others have written to us with reference to some of the expressions used in X.'s second letter we insert E. F.'s letter in order to say a few words on the subject for the sake of all our readers. Though the expressions in question are peculiar and graphic, and perhaps not the happiest that might have been used to convey the thought in the mind, we did not regard them as either "irreverent " or "profane;" while from the knowledge we have of the writer we are quite sure he meant nothing of the kind, and will be grieved to learn that they have had this appearance, or been a cause of stumbling to any. Still, we desire to hear what the Lord's voice to us is in the matter, and to express regret for any want of godly discernment and care in inserting them in our pages. The importance of the subject, and the belief that many needed help on the question raised, led us to publish the correspondence. We firmly believe the true doctrine as to it has been fully and clearly given in "Z.'s" first letter, and we remark, too, that it does not appear to have struck him that the expressions in " X.'s" letter were really improper. As many inquiries have come to us as to who the several writers are, we feel free to say that "Y," is "C. W.," and "Z." (the writer of the fourth and sixth letters) is "J. N. D.," while "X." is not "F. W. G." C. W.