GOD THE FATHER
by adetunji ABIONA
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Just as our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world to testify about the Father, so did the Holy Spirit. Knowledge of the Father is the peak of all knowledge and we will know that the end is truly near when we find more and more people talking to us about the Father (John 17:3). None of the Old Testament prophets knew the Father; neither did any of Godís angels (John 1:18). Knowledge had not yet mature during the days of the prophets and many of them looked forward eagerly to seeing the days of the New Testament when the Father will be made known to mankind. This is because knowledge of the Father was meant to be unveiled by the divine redemption story which was yet to be concluded as at the Old Testament days (John 8:56).
In the beginning, the Father sent His Son into the world to extend His love to all of creation, especially man- this was how that great story began. However, He did not send Him into the world alone but sent His Holy Spirit with Him. Both the Son and Spirit are God and are equal with one another but the Father is greater and was the One who sent Them (John 14:28). This simple fact tells us the first thing about the Fatherís identity;
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHO WAS NEVER SENT BY ANYONE, BUT WHO HAS SENT HIS SON AND HOLY SPIRIT INTO THE WORLD.
The Father lives in Heaven and it was from this lofty abode that He sent His Son and Holy Spirit into the world. On arriving in the world, the Son created the heavens and the earth according to Godís command and with the power of the Holy Spirit who was with Him (John 1:1-2). The Heaven where the Father dwells is a higher Heaven than the ones the Son created. Angels were created by the Son of God and they live in heaven but none of them had ever seen Heaven and none of them knew the Father (John 3:13). This takes us to the second point;
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHOM NO MAN OR ANGEL HAS EVER SEEN AND WHO LIVES IN THE HEAVEN THAT IS HIGHER THAN ALL HEAVENS WHICH NO CREATURE HAS EVER BEEN TO
The Father sent the Son and Holy Spirit into the world but gave the Son to be the God of heaven and earth (Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1). Both Son and Holy Spirit came from the Father. But He Himself was not given by anyone neither did He receive His Deity from anyone.
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHO GAVE THE SON AND HOLY SPIRIT TO BE THE GOD OF HEAVENS AND EARTH- I.E. THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE
There is little in all the Old Testament that tells us about the Father. Prophets heard the voice of the Son and some heard the Holy Spirit but none of them ever heard the voice of the Father. He never spoke personally to any of them, neither was He revealed to them. Patriarchs of Old saw the Son of God but none of them ever saw the Father. One of the main reasons why the Son came to the world was to tell man about the Father and this is because no one actually knew Him among the men of the Old Testament (John 1:18). Another point;
THE FATHER IS THE GOD THAT OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS LONGED TO KNOW BUT WHO THEY COULD NOT
When the Father sent both the Son and Holy Spirit into the world, He made them equal with one another. The Spirit was not greater than the Son, neither was the Son greater than the Spirit. Both of them were God and equal with one another, but the Father is greater. This takes us to another point;
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHO MADE THE SON AND HOLY SPIRIT EQUAL WITH ONE ANOTHER BUT WHO HIMSELF IS EQUAL WITH NO ONE
Please note that the prophets never saw the Spirit of the Father, but when they encountered Him they called Him God because of the brightness of His appearance and great power He exuded; but when they saw the Son (who they actually saw and touched) they called Him Lord because of the look of a lamb He has. But more interesting are those instances where the prophets saw the Son in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. They became bewildered and didnít know what to call Him. They could see that it was the Lord but now He carried so much power that they were afraid to even look at Him; whereas they had earlier touch Him with their hands. They could have called Him Lord, but they wanted to explain the difference. That same challenge faces the reader of the bible as He finds it difficult to differentiate, for example, between the God Moses saw and spoke with face to face and the God he saw later on Mount Sinai and was trembling with fear. The God we see most times in the Old Testament scriptures speaking to and appearing to the patriarchs is not the Father but the Son and Holy Spirit who were given to the world since the beginning. But there was a secret that even the angels did not know about the Holy Spirit. If the devil knew that secret, he wouldnít have fallen for the trap the Lord set for him neither would he have committed that shameful sin that led to his great fall.
When Christ came into the world to die for the sins of mankind, He let go of the equality which He had with the Holy Spirit and became as mere man (Philippians 2:6-8). On earth, He took the form of a man and allowed the Holy Spirit to be both God and Father to Him so that He would be the first son of the Spirit in fulfillment of prophecy. After the Son gave His life on the cross, resurrected and ascended to glory; it was now time for the Holy Spirit to fulfill His part in a bit to glorify the Father. After, the Son was restored back into eternal glory, the Spirit also forsook the lofty position and equality which He had with the Son and came to dwell in the heart of man. Now the Holy Spirit recognizes the Son as His God and Father, and He allows the Son to send Him into the heart of any man He wills (John 15:26, John 20:22).
In summary, when on earth, the Son called the Holy Spirit father and now that He is in Heaven, the Holy Spirit calls Him father. In other words, the Son bowed to the Lordship of the Holy Spirit when He came to earth while the Spirit now in turn also bows to the Lordship of the Son, so that the Father can remain the only God who has not bowed to anyone but who God the Son, Holy Spirit and the entire creation bow to. This is a vital point;
THE FATHER IS THE ONLY GOD WHO HAS NEITHER GIVEN UP HIS POSITION NOR SUBMITTED HIMSELF TO THE LORDSHIP OF ANOTHER
The Spirit and the Son came from the Father in the beginning and are the only ones who have ever seen Him. Their aim however is to tell the world about the Father- who He is, His will, where He dwells (i.e. Heaven), what He wants from the world and who He has sent (John 17:3). In obedience to the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit told the world who they were (i.e. the Ones whom the Father had sent) but they didnít come to testify about themselves (John 16:13). Both Son and Holy Spirit have continued to testify of the Father even till today.
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHOM THE SON AND HOLY SPIRIT TESTIFY ABOUT
Before the world began, the Father wished to have sons who will also be like the only begotten Son and with whom He can share His nature. This was the desire of the Father prior to the beginning, and this was why He sent the Son and Spirit into the world- to help achieve this great purpose. However, for reasons that we cannot discuss under this topic, the Father had to slay the Son because that was the only way His purpose to extend His love to the world can be achieved. Though the world was yet to be created and there was yet to be sin, the Father slew the Son for the sake of mankind. It was a very painful process, but the Father Himself slew His Son whom He loves because of the world that was yet to be created (Isaiah 53:10).
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHO LOVED THE WORLD SO MUCH THAT HE, BY HIS OWN HANDS, SLEW HIS SON, WHOM HE LOVES, IN ORDER TO EXTEND HIS LOVE TO THE WORLD EVEN BEFORE IT WAS CREATED.
After the Father had slain His Only Son, the Son became as a lamb that had been wounded and His outward look was marred (Isaiah 53:2). He no longer possessed the bright look and fearful appearance which He shared with the Father before being slain. In this form, the Son will be able to teach the world everything about the Father- His love, lowliness, compassion, holiness, wisdom, purposes, plans, His Abode and great kingdom; but He will not be able to show them the exceeding greatness of the Fatherís power and the overwhelming brightness of His glory, because these were forcefully taken from Him when He was Slain. Therefore, the Father did not send the Son into the world alone but gave His Holy Spirit to Him (note: the Spirit was not slain). Besides the world will not listen to Him nor regard His as God if they donít see that the brightness of Godís glory and His exceeding great power was with Him. But note that though, the Father sent both Son and Holy Spirit into the world, He made sure that the Holy Spirit remained a spirit but committed all things into the hands of the Son (John 3:34-35).
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHO GAVE HIS SPIRIT WITHOUT MEASURE TO THE SON AND COMMITTED ALL THINGS INTO HIS HANDS
However, it must be noted that the Father did not give His Spirit to the Son as a force which He wields whenever He wills, neither did the Father give His Holy Spirit to the Son as a sub-ordinate but He gave the Spirit to Him as an equal, a help meet, a friend, comforter and companion. The Son does not command the Spirit neither does He use Him; rather, the Spirit loves the Son and does whatever He wills. All through the Old Testament and even till date, the Spirit in obedience to the Father remains spirit but continually glorifies the Son and the Father who has sent Him. And there was never a time the Spirit forsook the Son, except at that time on the cross of Calvary. For the first time and only time, the Holy Spirit forsook His first begotten so that the Father may remain the only true Father who has never and will never forsake the Son. Please note that when we talk about the Holy Spirit, we are talking about the Spirit of power. The Holy Spirit is the fullness of the power and glory of God. He had to forsake the Son on the cross of Calvary so that the true Father of the Son might be made known. On the cross and to the amazement of men and angels, the Spirit for the first time did not appear to fight for the Son- He did not even come to comfort Him (Matthew 27:46). Words cannot describe the great pain and sorrow in the heart of the Spirit as He turned away in order to allow the Son, whom He loves, to suffer and even die in the hands of sinful men. Ah! He could have turned them to dust in a twinkling of an eye, but He did not.
THE FATHER IS THE GOD WHO THE HOLY SPIRIT SOUGHT TO GLORIFY WHEN HE FORSOOK THE SON ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY
The Son and Holy Spirit did all that They did in order to make the Father known to mankind and with what was done on the cross of Calvary, the Father was fully satisfied with His Son and accepted Him back to Himself (John 17:1-8). After resurrection, the Son ascended into glory, not to the heavens of the angels, but to the Heaven that is far above all heavens where the Father dwells and from where He came in the beginning. The Son is now sited at the right hand of the Father.
THE FATHER IS THE GOD AT WHOSE RIGHT HAND THE SON NOW SITS IN THE HEAVEN THAT IS FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS.
Since the Son has revealed the Father to mankind and has made us right with Him, man can now pray to the Father as God. This was not possible in the Old Testament but now we can call to the Father and He will answer us because we know Him and He also knows us. All thanks to the Son of God. We now pray to the Father in the name of the Son and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts (John 16:23-28).
THE FATHER IS THE GOD TO WHOM WE DIRECT OUR PRAYERS WHEN WE PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS, THE SON AND THROUGH THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT.
All the things mentioned about the Father above were made known to us because the Son of God came to the world to glorify the Father. Since He was able to glorify the Father, He was accepted into Heaven and made to sit at the right hand of Majesty while this knowledge becomes ours (John 17:4-8). However, there are lots that we cannot understand yet about the Father and Son until the Holy Spirit performs His own part (John 16:12-14). The New Testament dispensation in which we live now is the time in which the Spirit must reveal Himself to the world and testify to us about both the Father and the Son. The Son has glorified the Father, now is time that the Holy Spirit would glorify both the Father and the Son.
However, there is a challenge. Of course the only challenge of the New Testament dispensation is the Antichrist. The Holy Spirit being the dove would not force Himself on man who has gone lusting after another spirit. It is not possible to serve two masters and we know that God cannot share His glory with another. The Holy Spirit therefore cannot really fulfill His ministry under this awkward condition but has been waiting patiently for the time when the temple will be rebuilt and daily sacrifice will return.
When the beast is dethroned and the Holy Spirit is enthroned in our hearts, then He shall tell us wonderful things about the Father and the Son. Only then shall the end come. The only reason why the end has not come is because we are still waiting for the time when the Holy Ghost will also look up to the Father, just like the Son did, and say ĎI have glorified you upon the earthÖ (John 17:1-9)
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