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“For through Him… by one Spirit”

“For through Him… by one Spirit”

By Paul Chung

Ephesians 2:18 reads, "For THROUGH HIM we both have access BY ONE SPIRIT unto the Father."

QUESTION: Who is "HIM" that we need to go through? And who or what is this “ONE SPIRIT" by which we may find access to the Father?

Let’s take a look at a few verses prior to identify who is “Him” through whom we ought to find access to the Father.

Ephesians 2:13-17 "But now in CHRIST JESUS ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For HE is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in HIS flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that HE might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”

We find that the antecedent of "Him" in Ephesians 2:18 is none other than Christ Jesus and no mention of anyone else. Thus, it is THROUGH CHRIST, “by one spirit” that we have access to the Father.

Jesus affirms this elsewhere, when He said, “No one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME.” — John 14:6

If there happens to be another individual by whom we must go through, John would have mentioned it and the text would read, “No one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME and ANOTHER BEING.”

Thus “except through Me” should preclude anyone else.

But we are told in Ephesians 2:18 that it is also "by one spirit" that we find access to the Father. Does this mean that this “one spirit” is another individual who is entirely different than Christ?

Qualifications of a Mediator between God and Man

If this “one spirit” is to be understood to mean someone else (aka "God The Holy Spirit") in addition to Christ, it would contradict Inspiration for that would make two individuals acting as mediators between the Father and men:

1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

“No middle-man comes between the sinner and Christ.”
— Signs of the Times, June 28, 1899

Let us consider a few statements of Inspiration below:

“Why Only One Mediator - Jesus alone could give security to God; for He was equal to God. HE ALONE COULD BE A MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN; FOR HE POSSESSED DIVINITY AND HUMANITY.” (The Review and Herald, April 3, 1894). 7BC 914.7

ONLY THROUGH A MEDIATOR WHO WAS EQUAL WITH GOD, possessed of attributes that would dignify, and declare him worthy to treat with the infinite God in man’s behalf, and also represent God to a fallen world. MAN’S SUBSTITUTE AND SURETY MUST HAVE MAN’S NATURE, A CONNECTION WITH HUMAN FAMILY WHOM HE WAS TO REPRESENT, AND AS GOD’S AMBASSADOR, HE MUST PARTAKE OF THE DIVINE NATURE, HAVE A CONNECTION WITH THE INFINITE, in order to manifest God to the world, and be a mediator between God and man. {1SM 257.1}

THIS QUALIFICATIONS WERE FOUND ALONE IN CHRIST. CLOTHING HIS DIVINITY WITH HUMANITY, He came to earth to be called the Son of man and the Son of God. He was the surety for man, the ambassador for God—the surety for man to satisfy by His righteousness in man’s behalf the demands of the law, and the representative of God to make manifest His character to a fallen race. {1SM 257.2}

Note: According to the Pen of Inspiration, in order for anyone to qualify as a Mediator (or an intercessor) between God and man, special conditions must be met. The “mediator” must be “equal with God” but also must possess divinity as well as humanity, in order to link humanity with God; Mediator had “to be equal with God” and be “made in the likeness of men:” (Phil 2:6) “THAT He might be a merciful and faithful high priest…” (Hebrew 2:17); and we are told that these qualifications “were found alone in Christ;” Jesus, being equal with God earned His right to become our mediator by having bound Himself to humanity. These qualifications precludes anyone else to assume the role of a mediator. If this is the case, then one must answer the question, how does “God the Holy Spirit” (if we are to believe that He is an entirely separate individual) fits into this narrative? How can “God the Holy Spirit” (who is wholly divine and have not partaken humanity-according to trinitarian teaching) mediate or intercede on behalf of man, when He does not meet the qualifications?

Lord is that Spirit

The Bible say, But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE LORD Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and WE BY HIM. 1Cor. 8:6.

The Bible also says, "Now the LORD IS THAT SPIRIT: and where the SPIRIT OF THE LORD is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

If "ONE LORD is Jesus Christ, then the spirit of the Lord is "THAT SPIRIT."

What does the Spirit of Prophecy say:

"We have ONLY ONE CHANNEL OF APPROACH TO GOD. Our prayers can come to him THROUGH ONE NAME ONLY,—THAT OF THE LORD JESUS OUR ADVOCATE. HIS SPIRIT MUST INSPIRE OUR PETITIONS. No strange fire was to be used in the censers that were waved before God in the sanctuary. So the Lord himself must kindle in our hearts the burning desire, if our prayers are acceptable to him. The Holy Spirit within must make intercessions for us, WITH GROANINGS THAT CANNOT BE UTTERED." (Review & Herald, February 9, 1897, par. 10)

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Rom 8:26)

"Paul says, “The Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know <not> what things we should pray for as we ought.” “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” [Romans 8:26, 27.] {Ms15-1894.25}
If we come to God and pray for things that are not in accordance with the will of God, then what? Then He that searcheth the hearts and trieth the reins of the children of men, translates that prayer into the very things that we need to ask God to give us. I loathe myself. I would clothe myself in sackcloth and ashes and cry, “Unclean, unclean.” [Leviticus 13:45.] THE ONLY CLEANNESS THAT I CAN HAVE IS THAT WHICH IS IN JESUS CHRIST. HE TAKES MY PRAYER AND OFFERS IT TO GOD, and if I make a mistake, and ask for the things that are not best, my prayer is translated into the very things that I should have and want. {Ms15-1894.26}

Note: According to the trinitarian teaching, the “spirit” in the above passage (Rom 8:26) has been attributed to a divine being called, “God the Holy Spirit,” who intercedes on our behalf as another individual in addition to Christ. But in light of the Spirit of Prophecy, it is Christ’s very own Spirit that takes my prayer and offers it to God “with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

"Christ understands the needs of the world, and THROUGH HIM ALONE can the Father supply them. He is thirsting to give the needy souls the water of life freely. Christ is thirsting for the recognition of those for whom he left the courts of heaven, his honor, his glory, his royal throne, his high command. He is thirsting for the love, the cooperation that must be given him as their personal Saviour. He would have them come unto him, taking hold of his grace by faith, partaking of him, the Living Water. {ST April 22, 1897, par. 10}

“Christ represented the Father to the world, and He represents before God the chosen ones in whom He has restored the moral image of God. They are His heritage. To them He says, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." No man, "knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father, but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." No priest, no religionist, can reveal the Father to any son or daughter of Adam. Men have ONLY ONE ADVOCATE [παράκλητος paraklētos "COMFORTER"], ONE INTERCESSOR, who is able to pardon transgression. Shall not our hearts swell with gratitude to Him who gave Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins? Think deeply upon the love that the Father has manifested in our behalf, the love that He has expressed for us. we cannot measure this love; for measurement the is none. Can we measure infinity? We can only point to Calvary, to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” {BEcho, May 1, 1899 par. 7} (bracket supplied by me)

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an ADVOCATE [παράκλητος paraklētos "COMFORTER"] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" — 1John 2:1 (bracket supplied by me)

Did you catch that? If there is just “ONE ADVOCATE” and if Christ is that ADVOCATE then there cannot be another. Please note, the word “advocate” in 1 John 2:1 is παράκλητος (paraklētos) in Greek which by the way is the very same word translated as "COMFORTER" in John 14:16, 26; John 15:26 and John 16:7, all written by the same author.

Through Christ alone can man find access to God

“God forbears for a time the full execution of the sentence of death pronounced upon man. Satan flattered himself that he had forever broken the link between Heaven and earth. But in this he was greatly mistaken and disappointed. The Father had given over the world into the hands of his Son for him to redeem from the curse and the disgrace of Adam's failure and fall. THROUGH CHRIST ALONE CAN MAN NOW FIND ACCESS TO GOD. AND THROUGH CHRIST ALONE WILL THE LORD HOLD COMMUNICATION WITH MAN.” (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, 24th February, 1874, Redemption No. 1')

“After the transgression of Adam, THE LORD SPOKE NO LONGER DIRECTLY WITH MAN; the human race WAS GIVEN INTO THE HANDS OF CHRIST, and ALL COMMUNICATION CAME THROUGH HIM TO THE WORLD.” (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, November 28, 1893, ‘Christ as Teacher’)

“After the transgression of Adam, GOD NO LONGER COMMUNICATED DIRECTLY WITH MAN; EARTH WAS SEPARATED, as it were, from the continent of heaven: BUT Jesus was made our substitute, our surety, that HE MIGHT BRING US BACK TO THE FATHER....” (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, 10th June 1890, ‘Conditions for obtaining eternal riches’) 

“In all these revelations of the divine presence the glory of God was manifested through Christ. Not alone at the Saviour's advent, but through all the ages after the Fall and the promise of redemption, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. Christ was the foundation and center of the sacrificial system in both the patriarchal and the Jewish age. Since the sin of our first parents there has been NO DIRECT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. The Father has GIVEN THE WORLD INTO THE HANDS OF CHRIST, that THROUGH HIS MEDIATORIAL WORK He may redeem man and vindicate the authority and holiness of the law of God. ALL THE COMMUNION BETWEEN HEAVEN AND THE FALLEN RACE HAS BEEN THROUGH CHRIST. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. They looked for salvation through man’s Substitute and Surety. These holy men of old held communion with the Saviour who was to come to our world in human flesh; and some of them talked with Christ AND HEAVENLY ANGELS FACE TO FACE.” {PP 366.1}

“The transgression of that law had caused a fearful separation between God and man. To Adam in his innocence was granted communion, direct, free, and happy, with his Maker. After his transgression, GOD WOULD COMMUNICATE TO MAN THROUGH CHRIST AND ANGELS.” (Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, 30th January 1879, ‘The great controversy: The plan of salvation’) {SR 50.3}

“Up to the time of man's rebellion against the government of God, there had been free communion between God and man. But the sin of Adam and Eve separated earth from heaven, SO THAT MAN COULD NOT HAVE COMMUNION WITH HIS MAKER.” (Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, page 184, ‘Jacob’s flight and exile’)

“Up to the time of man's rebellion against the government of God, there had been free communion between God and man. But the sin of Adam and Eve separated earth from heaven, so that man could not have communion with his Maker. Yet the world was not left in solitary hopelessness. THE LADDER REPRESENTS JESUS, —>THE APPOINTED MEDIUM OF COMMUNICATION. <— HAD HE NOT WITH HIS OWN MERITS BRIDGE THE GULF THAT SIN HAD MADE, THE MINISTERING ANGELS COULD HAVE HELD NO COMMUNION WITH FALLEN MAN. Christ connects man in his weakness and helplessness with the source of infinite power.” PP 184.2

Note: If Jesus is the “appointed medium of communication,” along with the help of angels, why would another divine being ( aka “God the Holy Spirit” according to trinity), without any merit, take the place of Jesus? Suffice to say, Jesus is the ladder that connects man to heaven, not someone else.

Summary

“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency,”
— Ellen G. White, 14MR 84.3

“The Lord is soon to come. We want that complete and perfect understanding which the Lord alone can give. It is not safe to catch the spirit from another. We want the HOLY SPIRIT, which is JESUS CHRIST. If we commune with God, we shall have strength and grace and efficiency.” — (Letter to Prescott W.W. E.G. White, Lt66, April 10, 1894)

“but it is the leaven of the SPIRIT of JESUS CHRIST, which is sent down from heaven, called the HOLY GHOST, and that Spirit affects the heart and the character.” — (E.G. White, Ms36-1891)

Jesus is our only mediator and intercessor for He is the only one who qualify as One who is equal with God and yet have bound Himself with our human nature. It is His own Spirit (not another being) that intercedes on our behalf. The corporeal personality (in bodily/visible form) of Christ intercedes before the Father in the heavenly sanctuary and yet He is ever present with us through His own Spirit interceding and mediating on our behalf. It is by this “one spirit” through which we may find access to the Father.