Scripture Notes



Isaiah 63:11.

The key to the expression, "He that put His holy Spirit within him," is found, we judge, in Haggai. There we read, "According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my Spirit remaineth among you," etc. (Chap. 2:5.) It is not a question, therefore, of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in individual believers; for, as we know from other scriptures, this could not be until after Jesus was glorified. (See John 7:39; Acts 2:4, etc.) If, indeed, the context in Isaiah be carefully examined, it will be readily perceived that the prophet is speaking, not of individuals, but of the Jewish people corporately. What we gather then, in combination with the passage from Haggai is, that God, after the redemption of His people out of Egypt, ever wrought in the midst of Israel with the power and influences of His Spirit; so also, undoubtedly, in the hearts of His saints, as all the desires for, and yearnings after, His presence and blessing, which are recorded in the Psalms and Prophets, abundantly testify. But the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit is distinctive of Christianity; and, as far as revealed, will never be repeated in the age to come, that is, in the period of the kingdom during the thousand years.


Matthew 28:9; John 20:17.

It is in the difference in the two gospels that the apparent discrepancy (as objectors love to term it) between these two scriptures is to be explained. It lies on the surface of Matthew, as the most superficial reader of the first three chapters may see, that Christ is here presented as the Messiah. The last chapter is in entire keeping with this leading feature. There is consequently no ascension; but, risen from the dead, He arranges to meet the believing remnant in Galilee; and when there He announces, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." Thereon He commissions His disciples to go and teach all nations, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." All, therefore, is in view of the kingdom. It is thus as the risen Messiah, risen but on earth, that He greeted the two Marys, as they departed from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, and permitted them to hold Him by the feet, as they worshipped Him. In John's gospel it is wholly different, as the message He gives to Mary Magdalene shows. Here everything is connected with heaven. Indeed, He forbids her to touch Him, on the ground of His not having yet ascended to His Father. There it is His ascension and His new place in heaven, now as Man, though ever the Son, which He has in view. The message not only confirms this interpretation, but also reveals the association, in virtue of His glorious death and resurrection, of His people with Himself in His own relationship and place. About to ascend to His Father, He would have His "brethren" know that henceforward their place and relationship were as His  - heavenly; His Father was now their Father, and His God their God. Mary needed to learn this lesson, for her thoughts had evidently not yet gone beyond having Christ back again on earth; and hence she was told to touch Him not. But the time would soon come when she would understand that, in her heavenly association with her blessed Lord, she possessed Him in an infinitely more intimate way than she could have done had He only come back to her as the risen Messiah. How plainly it all teaches that Christianity is entirely heavenly!