Much has been written about the Holy Ghost. There are doctrinal essays with scriptural references to the many roles he is called upon to play. But not much is known about him personally though we are expected to develop through the revelations provided by him, to come to know God the Father and Jesus Christ, the other two members of the Godhead. And though it may not be as critical to come to know the Holy Ghost, as it is, and well may be, to come to know the other two members of the Godhead, it is only through a personal spiritual relationship with the Holy Ghost that we come to have God in our lives and become one with God.
It is for this reason, the reason that we do develop a personal relationship with this comforter as the third memeber of the Godhead, that I feel prone to further explore who the Holy Ghost is. Perhaps much of which I feel prone to devulge is but mere speculation of perception, perhaps not. You will have to be that judge. I begin with the preexistence where it is where we all were and there had our beginnings as spirit children of God our Father of Spirits though we had always existed as intelligence.
There were a number of such roles of performance to perform. Adam or Michael and his wife Eve would be called upon to lead the way of us all from the realm of our first estate into the mortal realm of exprience and testing which was called our second estate. Adam/Michael's role was a most critical role to be performed and Adam would become the Father of all living. Others would be called to perform other such great roles for the benefit of Father's children. It would seem that the greatest was to be performed by the Savior of mankind.
It is only the Savior's preexistence appointment that we have much direct scriptural reference to. Yet we suppose that all the critical roles to be played were so selected and forordained in the preexisitant realm. Jeremiah was told the following which we commonly apply to all prophets and those that were so selected to perform high performances in the preexistent realm.
With such understanding of foreordinations and selections made, we turn now to one such position of performance not commonly consistered. Christ was the first born of God the Father in the spirit. But there was another brother of high position and greatness in the preexistent world who would also be called upon and ordained to perform one of the greatest and most crucial roles of them all. And the is the role of God's Messenger to man, God's witnessing comforter by whom even the processes of the operations of the powers of God would be bestowed upon man. And that is the role of the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost.
Like Jehovah and each of us, he also was a spirit child of God. And he could therefore, like Jesus Christ and Adam, perform required performances for those who would be coming to inhabit this second estate as the mortal children of God. And like many who were so selected, the role of his selected determined when it was that he would fulfill his own mortallity. Adam or Michael was to be the first of all men to come and dwell in this second estate of mortality. Jesus Christ would come in the meridian of time. But because of the very esential role to be played by the Holy Ghost for all the rest of mankind, he would need to remain a spirit until all else who would have need of his role to be fulfilled had come into this second estate. Thus the Holy Ghost would be of the last who would come into the second estate in order to obtain his body of flesh and bone, which one day, when all others have passed through and no longer need his performances which require him to remain a spirit, the Holy Ghost will indeed also obtian a body of flesh and bone at that time.
Now the spirit looks much the same as we do. And they are made of material and matter just as we. The matter they are composed of is of a different nature which allows them to perform in a possession nature in which we cannot. But there are advantages to a body of flesh and bone which a spirit does not have. But a temporal mortal body of flesh and bone is at the disadvantage that this body will die while the spirit will not. Thus the Holy Ghost does have a body, a spirit body and it can perform functions which an unembodied spirit can perform and when coupled with the power of God, that is a very powerful combination indeed. In fact, accepting Christ as the creator, we come to understand just how powerful such combination can be, because was but a Godly empowered spirit when he so perform as the creator.
Thus we come to understand that we have two great and grand brothers in whom the powers of our salvation are set in the hands of. There is Christ who acts as our saving redeemer and the Holy Ghost who will remain as a Godly empowered spirit for the benefit of enfluencing us in the direction of salvation throughout our second estate entitlement to receive such witness, comfort, spiritual aid, and assistance in all that they Holy Ghost does perform and the gifts which come from that source, the third member of the Godhead. And while the Christ was the one who suffered the atonement, the Holy Ghost had a very intracute part to play in that performance. To what extent, will be set out in the remainder of this discussion.
The 'gift of the Holy Ghost' is given and received by the performance of a priesthood ordinance of the laying on of hands after the time of baptism. It is given to such 'new members' of Christ's kingdom on earth known as 'Christ's Church' as an additional helf and strength of the attending presence of the Holy Ghost is one's life at all times to guide, protect, comfort and care for one who is now a member of the community of Christ, that is Christ's followers and particularly peculiar people. And as long as one is open to and worthy of that ever present companionship of the Holy Ghost, thereby shutting him out, the Holy Ghost is always attendant to the needs of that person and he will provide that person a number of such spiritual blessings including a direct commuicative line to God by that ever presence of the Holy Spirit.
This 'communicative' role betwen heaven and earth, between God and man is usefully in a number of applications. One of the prime methods of communication with God is by prayer. And though men pray properly to God before having the gift of the Holy Ghost, it is by the use of the Holy Ghost powers that pray may be inhanced. When the Holy Ghost attends someone's prays, a person may pray in accordance with the 'power' and even 'authority' of the Holy Spirit. Often we pray according to what we ourselves precieve that we may want or desire of God. But when one prayers by, in and through the power of the Holy Ghost, what one prays may become even the very will of God force of that prayer.
Prayer is not the only communicative method by which the Holy Ghost does work. As the workings of inspiration, whether by the 'still small voice' of spiritual guidance, or by actual voice, or even by the attending power of presence allowing visitations, the revelations of God to man may enter into one's life. The Holy Ghost man give unto man's understand, wisdom and knowledge that which can be the 'spirit revelationary source of testimony' and may give the assuracne unto a person as to what is the truth
The Priesthood it self is the power of God given unto man to act in the name of God. But man is not merely left to exercise that power haphazardly. The communicated directing presences in man from God as to what God would have him do is entrusted to the presence of the Holy Ghost which was given unto that man at the time of his baptism as the gift of the Holy Ghost.
There are also many further enhancing heavenly related performance effected by the Holy Ghost. One simple one might be having given to you what to say. And they might occur in preparing a lesson, a talk for church, or even just in times of important daily conversation.
Another might be in receiving promptings of the spirit of what to do and what not to do and even when to do something. Often in times of danger people may be propted to to such as move a car or wagon in days past out of harms way. Even for personal benefit and keep one from harm. Often are told accounts of the wisperings of the spirit as to to do or not to do something such as not to take that train, boat or train to avoid harm.
This heavenly performances lap over into that which is groups as the gifts of the spirit. For there are any number of ways and blessing, which the Holy Ghost may work to the benefit of man.
Even down to various details of ordinance and principle performance, did the life of the Savior set the way before us. He was baptized by one who was in authority to do so 'for thus it fulfilled all righteousness' to do so. The same way we must communicate with God the Father, Christ did communicate. The same method of opperation of the power of God being exercised by man was complied with by Jesus Christ as must be complied with by any who use such power here upon the earth.
Thus, like us, He received of the Holy Ghost and it abode with him. The presence of God the Father in his life was received by way of this required mode of operation. He learned and progressed line upon line and precept upon precept as was open to his mind and being by that very meadium of the Holy Shirit of God, the Holy Ghost, which we all must use. And ever the powers of God, which had been foreordained upon him, were still to be exercised by man, even Christ, upon this earth in connection with and under the influence of the Holy Spirit of revelation and priesthood power conveyance, the Holy Ghost.
And just as when an elder of the priesthood today bestows and administers to the ordinances and powers of the priesthood feels that power of that presence flow through him, so did the Savior feel of that same surge throuh his being. Thus when the women who had the issue for 9 years touch the hem of his garment in the midst of the Savior being thronged by the multitude of followers in the street, he did feel that virtue flow from him as the power of the power of God did flow by way of the Holy Ghost from himself into healing the women. Her faith had drawn it through him.
And just as we are expected to live our lives in a manner that we can house the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, operate under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, receive of the inspriation of the Spirit of God and to operate God's power upon his guiding presence, so did the Savior so perform. That is the way it is done. Christ was the example in every way. Christ's life is the example we are to follow, for he did live by the spirit and receive of the Father's presence by way of God's Holy Messenger, Christ did operate and function under the same laws and principles that we all must also operate under here upon this earth. Therefore the Holy Ghost was his constant companion just as we are taught to strive for such in our lives. And Christ did operation by and through the self same powers from God in the same fashion which we all must operate.
This is not to take away from the Messiah in attributing too much to the Holy Ghost, it is simply the very nature of how things in God's Kindom and this Second Estate are to work, even for Jesus Christ. Christ was and is the Messiah. Christ is and was the chosen and anointed Son of God. And coming to know and understand Christ is to come and understand how it is that we are to follow Christ's example in working with the powers of heaven. And that is in concert with that third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost.
Having this understanding of the role of the Holy Ghost as the third member of the Godhead, not only helps to understand how we are so connected in this second estate realm with our Father who is in Heaven. And though Jesus was and is the second member of the Godhead, set to perform the vicarious atonement for the benefit of mankind, it also becomes important in understanding Christ our example, the ways and means that even he did operate by while he was here in this second estate and had to thus connect with the powers of Heaven and the Father by the means of that third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost.
Once we have this understanding of relationship, God in Heavn, Man upon earth, and the connecting power processed by the Holy Ghost, we can then proceed to further appreciate and place ourselves in order so that we can proper function within the bondries which God has set. Now the Holy Ghost is not God the Father. The Holy Ghost is not Jehovah who is Jesus Christ. The roles set out for the Holy Ghost are very specific and they are not the same as those of the Redeemer and Savior of the World. Though all three memebers of the Godhead do function togehter and are of one accord, they have their various roles to fulfill.
God the Father is that exalted being who has already passed through the first and second estate to his exalted postion as the Father. God the Father, in the process of eternal progression and procreation, fathered the spirits of all who pertain to this kingdom and process which we are a part of. Jehovah and another noble and great spirit, his brother spirit, were called, ordained and set forth by the father to function with God the Father as the Godhead, the first presidency of heaven, if you will. Both Jehovah and his brother were a part of the first estate as were all the rest of us, and as such they could perform in concert with the opperation of that estate and the second estate of the Plan of the Father for bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. God the Father, by ordinaion did so set out the powers of these two brothers of highest position.
It may be sad that we do not know the actual name of this third member of the Godhead, but it is just as well for we are to call upon God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. And if we knew the appropriate name of this third member of the Godhead, we may well be tempted to call upon him by his name and thus confuse the proper order of things. Let me just call him by the name of one of the many roles he plays. Let me call him Elias, not to be confused with Elias the earthly prophet, nor Elijah, nor John the Baptist, nor Jesus Christ or any other who may be called by this 'office name' of being the fore running messenger of God. But by the mere fact that the Holy Ghost does work in the very role of being God's messenger, and all men of earth who do perform in the office of Elias can only so fulfill their position by the powers of the Father as conveyed in conjuction with the spirit and presence of influence of the Holy Spirit, therefore, in my consideration Elias is a most appropriate title for such an unnamed member of the Godhead and the roles he does play.
Now hopefully be understand the role played by the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost, and how he did and does work in concert witht he mission of Jesus Christ.
There is one preimenent matter to understand in the process of the atonement, that is the suffering for the sins of the world. And that is, the suffering done in the garden of Gethsemene is where Christ took upon himself the sins of the world, suffered for them and prevailed. And while the crusifixion does play a role in the fulfillment of bring salvation and resurrection unto the world, and an ordeal of emence human physical suffering, it was not at the level of the divine suffering level that the garden's suffering was. In the very words of the Savior, he states the following regarding his ordeal in Gethsemene.
Somewhere between the nearly serene solemn solitary artist's figure of Christ all alone in Gethsemene and the image of Christ being fully supported and dependent upon the 'attending angel of comfort' lies the truth of the Messiah and his relationship to the Holy Ghost. Christ had to suffer the sins of the world unaided as a one for one Christ for Adam, and the Messiah for the sins of the entire world. Even so, Christ desired the moral support and witness of his three chief apostles, Peter, James and John.
Peter was to be the first acting head of the Church, representing God the Father in the symbolic triad relationship of the first presidency to the Godhead. And James and John where the two brothers of that earthly parallel triad just as Jesus and his brother were the completing threesome of the heavenly model of the Godhead. John the beloved would have likely been the brothers associated with Jesus the beloved son of the Father, though whether John was more like Christ or the Holy Ghost, that Christ related best to him, we do not know.
Who was that attending angel? Some suggest that he was sent to be present to give our Lord added help, aid and strength in facing and taking on the ordeal of the suffering of the atonement for the sins of the world. I would suggest a much different senario. Some suggest that the angel might well be Gabriel who did declare I ask one question. Who is it that we turn to for comfort when sore trials are upon us? Perhaps we don't even fully under that process or perhaps the truth of the answer is justifyable whether fully understood or simply understood. We state that we turn to God and our Lord Jesus Christ for added strength to carry on in times of such trial. And that is good and true and well. But before we come to that simpliest of answers, for our discussion, let's ask one more question. Who is the 'comforter'?
The role of the Holy Ghost is the comforter. He is God's personal messenger. He is the one who brings us to the comfort of God's presence. God the Father has an exalted body of flesh and bones and while his power of presence fills the universe, God the Father as a finite physical and spiritual combined exalted being, can of himself only be personally in one place at one time. Therefore it is only by the presence of the 'Spirit of Ghost' as the Holy Ghost is, that we can feel and personally partake of the presence of God. The Holy Ghost can enter in unto us and permiate our being with the power, presence and influence of God. He is God's Messenger. He is the Comforter.
Now when the Savior was in Gethsemene and the three chief appostle where falling into sleep, who logically was there to give the Savior help, aid, and comfort. If the Savior had bestowed upon him the Holy Ghost who abode with him, would there be a need to send another presence or personage to further be of aid and assistance? Thus I humbly submit that there was no call for an additional presence of another angel to be of assistance, the Holy Ghost was already there. And for one of the very rare occasions, he was going to make a visable appearance.
The Holy Ghost, whose role is to abide within a person as their constant companion, was going to of necessity step out of his traditional role of constant inner companion for one very crucial reason. And that reason was that Jesus Christ was going to have to suffer for and take upon himself the sins of the world alone without that inner aiding supporting comfort which the presence of the Holy Ghost does provide. Now the Holy Ghost was not going to remove himself far from the Savior's side. He was going to stand by the Savior's side. But that was all he could do for Jesus that is Joshua, for Jehovah is Salvation and none else. And Christ had to suffer the ordeal unaided by any sustaining power of God, which the Holy Ghost could normally have provided by his inner presence.
You see, the suffering for sin, the suffering of the damned, is not so suffered while having any spiritual aid and assistance from heaven. So even was Christ's suffering, The Spirit had withdrawn and stepped back a pace so that Jesus, which is to say Jehovah, might bring salvation by so suffering for our sins. So there it is. It's my best understanding. The angel which Luke reports as standing by the Savior during his ordeal of Gethsemene was not there providing some sort of inner personal strength of aid from heaven at all, quite the opposite. The angel which stood by the Savior was the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, the Comforter, who out of necessity had to remove himself from attending the Savior personally in his role as the Spirit of God. And he had to step back from that role of inner strength so that the Lord Jesus Christ did suffer alone, of himself and none other, for the sins of the world. And that is the Godly suffering that Jesus had to take upon himself. The suffering he warns us against in calling us to repentance. It is that same level of suffering for sin without any heavenly aid that any sinner who does never repeat has to take upon themselves and suffer for sin without God's assistence if they continue to reject Christ and does not repent.
Thus taken together as the beginning and ending points of the Lord's suffering, the two artist's depictions could well set out the Savior's night in Gethsemene.
That wounderous night of fearful pain.
The first attempt came up short,
to find some witness of support.
The second as well did but strike
shrinking fear through his veins,
And when the Holy Ghost withdrew
to leave the Lord alone,
Abba, Thy well be done.
The third attempt was followed through
And blood from every pore was spilt—
clothes of white now turned red
the winepress alone was tread.
Complete, the Spirit's comfort did return
and held him fast within a brother's tender arms.
The strength of God was again—the Savior of Mankind.*
First we should first set out that God the Father was the already exalted being, the father of our spirits, who is operating upon that advanced realm beyond the first and second estates in the eternities. As such, God the Fahter by the powers of procreation and eternal progression was able to so produce and father the spirits of whom we are. And just as children 'may' grow up and become as their father, so may we in the process of our maturation become as our Father, God the Eternal Father.
Jesus Christ, known as Jehovah was God the Father's first born in the spirit. He was the 'firstborn' son of the 'firstborn' right. The Holy Ghost, which is but his assigned Godhead role, was another such high born son. Perhaps he is the seond born, but we do not know this to be fact. Surfice it to be stated that he was one of the greatest and noble one and he was who the Father did select to his Godhead first presidency to fulfill the position of the third member of that Godhead, the Holy Ghost.
Now just as any such organized first presidency, both Jehovah and the Holy Ghost have their roles and assignments to perform. And just as the first councelor of such a presidency has the power and authority to act for and in behalf of the President in the absence of such President, so has Jehovah been given the power to had for and in behalf of the Father. This has been refered to as Divine Investiture or in another sense, having the Power of Attorney.
Now God the Fahter, being an exalted resurrected personage of flesh and bone, is only able to be in one place at one time. But is presence of influence can be felt throughout by those who come within the realms of his powers. Jehovah has been given the powers to act for God the Father in all things pertaking unto this creation. Thus Jehovah can be look to as being the same as the Father, being the Father's leaal representative to man.
Now the Holy Ghost is God's Messenger or third memeber of the Godhead, the second councelor if you will. When the first councelor is acting for and in behalf of the Father, the second councelor come under the direct jurisdiction of the first councelor as though he were God the Father. In this sense, Jehovah can be look to as the Father and the Holy Ghost can be look at as his messenger. Of course in the most formal sense, when the full presidency is present and operating, the Holy Ghost come under and is the Messenger of the Father. But whether it be by the mouth of the Father or the Son accting as the Father, it is the same and the Holy Ghost acts accordingly.
When Jesus Christ was upon the earth, in this second estate, the Godhead in Heaven could be look upon as momentarily vacant the first councelor. And in that situation, it was well understood that God the Father was the Father operating our of heaven and the Holy Ghost was clearly that connecting Elias between Heaven and Earth who was connecting the presence of the Father in Heaven to the Son on Earth.
When Christ as Jehovah operated in the Old Testament, he frequantely took on the role of the Father and acted and spoke accordingly as though he were His Fahter though acting for the Fahter. Yet many of the prophets came to understand this relationship and that they were dealing with the coming Savior and Lord. Even King David cites a psalm which states 'the Lord of my Lord' indicating that whatever the source of that psalm did understand that the Lord God Jehovah had his LORD, God the Eternal Father, even Elohim.
This knowledge and understanding has been lost to most all Jewish understanding even to the point today that most do not look forth to the 'coming' Messiah to be the Son of God nor even of such divine nature. Now this was not true of all the Jews of Jesus day, when they still did look for and seek after the divine Messiah, the Son of God. And thus the Old Testament in its many compilations of added commentary and manipulated translations into the most current and latest considered thought upon the matter, have lost such distinction between the LORD as God the Father Elohim, and the Lord a Jehovah, the Son of God.
+ But one need only to consider the very meaning of the name Jesus or Joshua or Jehoshua, the Old Testament same name. Jehoshua means Jehovah is Salvation. And this was the name placed upon Jehovah in the preexistence when he was selected, called and ordained to the postion as second member of the Godhead. Jehovah's mission was to bring about Salvation, thus Jehovah was given the name and title of Jehoshua/Joshua/Jesus before the Father in the preexistence. This event, when properly understood is recorded in Zechariah chapter 3. But that's another story. The fact is when Gabriel, who is the same as Noah, commanded Mary to call his name Jesus, it was more in the line that his name is Jesus and he is to be called by his rightful name of who he is of the position of 'Jehovah is Salvation' or Jehoshua as selected adn ordained to be in the preexistant council of heaven held before God the Father.. .
Distinguishing Between Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost
Son of God:
Savior & Redeemer:
The Great High Priest of the Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God:
As the Only Path and Way to God, in Jesus Resides the Fulness of the Powers of the Godhead Bodily:
Revelator: The Spirit of Revelation is the Holy Ghost.
Spirit of God:
Source of Testimony:
As Moved Upon
D&C 68:3; D&C 124:88; Moses 6:8 Priesthood Operated Under Guidance of Holy Ghost
While such a table may be helpful in distinguishing that which pertains to Christ or the Holy Ghost, the truth is that much may actually over lap. At times that which is calle the Spirit of Christ may act and be manifest in the same manner and purpose as that of the Holy Ghost. Remember as Christ is the only way given for man to come unto God, all these rights and powers do reside in the Lord bodily. Not that he is one and the same combined sigular being of 3 gods in one. But that Jesus has the right and authrotiy to act in the stead of not only the Father in all things, but he may also act for and in the behave of the Holy Ghost as well. All power is bestowed in Christ to enable him to do so. And it is only logical that such would be given unto him, for he hold the prime place of standing between man and God.
That particular witness of the Holy Ghost that is a sure witness is a personal witness of the visitation of the Savior Jesus Christ himself being given unto a man by the power of the Holy Ghost with a full revealed understanding of who Jesus is. For it is only by the power of the Holy Ghost that a man may bear and survive the presence of God and his glory.
*(Note: While sleeping before the day of August 9, 2003, I experienced a dream. Many of the details I've lost in waking. But a portion of the events I do recall. I found myself in the presence of Christ. And somewhat like the picture I came across the next day of the 9th, I was held fast within his arms, my head upon his chest. This page with open verse poem 'Clothes of White' I did write and begin to prepare the day of the 9th.)
rev. 25 December 2015