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1977 (3) About Holy Spirit, part 1
The Church’s Teaching About the Holy Spirit Part 1 by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky (+1936)
Metropolitan Antony wrote this article in the 1920’s, shortly after he left the Crimea and joined the Russian emigration. Religious feelings and strivings were coming to life again among Russians at that time under the influence of the afflictions they had undergone. At this time Vladika Antony considered it essential to elucidate the Church’s teaching about the Holy Spirit. This article was originally published by the American YMCA Press in Paris, but the edition is now extremely rare.1
The workings of the Holy Spirit, as described here by this twentieth century Church Father in accordance with the true, traditional Orthodox teaching, will be seen to be very different from the delusions of the contemporary “charismatic movement”.
Misunderstandings. The Holy Spirit’s contact with the soul. The sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit. The sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the world. Gifts of the Spirit – wisdom. Gradualness in acquiring the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Disobedience to the Church a sign of delusion. The gift of tongues. The Comforter. Warnings against delusion. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Distinguishing spirits of delusion from gifts of the Holy Spirit. Characteristics of grace.
AT THE PRESENT TIME many completely untrained writers and thinkers have acquired an itch for theologizing about the most abstruse and abstract questions. They all want to say something new and profound, and, in addition to that, to hint at how unsatisfactory the Church’s teaching is, although they simply do not know it, or, at any rate, do not understand it.
On the other hand, blasphemies against the Church are being spread about which are equally based on ignorance, but are even presumptuous and high sounding, although of an opposite character. These mutually opposed reproaches to our theology are particularly in evidence in relation to its teaching about the Holy Spirit. Thus L. N. Tolstoy reproaches the Orthodox Faith and Church for spreading the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which is “abstract and irrelevant to life”, to the detriment of the wise and relevant teachings of Jesus Christ, which are expounded in the Gospels.
Those who raise the first type of objections are dissatisfied with the brevity and lack of clarity in the Church’s teaching about the Holy Spirit, and Tolstoy is dissatisfied from the opposite point of view. Both of these false teachings agree, however, that the Church’s present teaching on the Holy Spirit is abstract and lifeless.
However false and uninformed all these statements about the Holy Church may be, still they are not far from the bitter truth where contemporary textbook theology is concerned. This theology, it is true, remains in perfect harmony with the Church’s teaching from a formal point of view, but it has lost the moral side of her dogmas and in particular, of the dogma of the Holy Spirit.
It is true that even the Church Fathers do not always disclose this aspect of the holy dogmas, or else do so in passing and very rarely, but their immediate task in most of their theological tracts was a polemical one – they were trying to protect the true doctrine from heresies by means of a precise exegesis of the letter of the biblical texts, especially of those upon which the cunning heretics sought to base their false doctrine. The ancient fathers and theologians expounded the moral height and beauty of the divine teaching chiefly in their poetry, in the Church’s prayers and hymns, and in poetic Church homilies.
Unfortunately, these creations of Christian genius drew less attention on the part of the medieval scholastics who, alas, determined the direction, spirit and content of contemporary theological science. Only in the last few decades has theology begun to free itself from their ways, but of course not without deviations, under the influence of the contemporary decadence which is penetrating all areas of art and of learning. We have already said that the representatives of this trend lack the most primitive erudition, i.e. they simply do not know the Holy Bible. This is why all their attempts to say something elevated and wise, about the Holy Spirit in particular, are doomed to failure and remain vain endeavors just as much as did the attempts of a woman writer who lived more than a hundred years ago, Georges Sand (or “Mrs. Yegor Zand”, as one Russian wit called her)3. She said that before the beginning of our era was the kingdom of God the Father, then with the new era came the more elevated teaching of God the Son, and in the future will come the most perfect life and teaching of the Holy Spirit. The endeavors of our contemporary decadents amount to almost the same thing.
But with all its vagueness as well as other considerably worse characteristics, which at times bring it close to blasphemy and khlystism4, this literature is in this instance somewhat closer to the truth than Tolstoyan nihilism, which has tried to define our Church doctrine of the Holy Spirit as an exchange of the moral meaning of our religion for a mystical one. Making such a distinction is also the fruit of ignorance and, even more so, of evil will, of malicious prejudice.
On the contrary, the very fact that the Third Person of the All-Holy Trinity is called the Holy Spirit shows that the Church’s thought and feeling, beginning with the writers of Holy Scripture and even with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, combined the very highest moral attainments with this dogma, concentrating their holiest hopes and longings in it. The Savior, the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church generally said little about the metaphysical properties of God, and still less about the metaphysical properties of the Holy Spirit, but they said much, and clearly, about the actions of the Holy Spirit, especially in the New Testament, just as they already spoke of the actions of the Word of God, or Son of God, in the Old Testament.
The Holy Spirit’s Contact with the Soul
We will try to trace the teaching of Christ the Savior and of the whole New Testament about the actions of the Holy Spirit in the world and in the human soul. First, however, we will point out that according to the biblical teaching His action in the Church of Christ is not hazy and purely mystical, but a vital contact, which shakes and renders compunctionate the soul not only of the individual, but also of a society, of the whole Church.
The service for Holy Pentecost, and in particular the kneeling prayer by St. Basil the Great, is full of just such a depiction of the Holy Spirit and not infrequently prefers to use the word “Spirit”, or “Holy Spirit” in place of the word “God”. St. John of Damascus composed a completely original service to the Holy Spirit, or Paraclete. This has not become part of our Church services, but it leaves a mighty impression on the reader’s soul through the power of the images gathered in it. Still, we shall limit ourselves to citing three classical stikhiri from the vespers and matins of Pentecost.
“The Holy Spirit giveth all things, poureth forth prophecies, perfecteth priests, hath taught wisdom to the unlearned, shown forth fishermen as theologians and gathered together the entire assembly of the Church. O Comforter, of one essence and one throne with the Father and the Son, glory to Thee!”
“The Holy Spirit ever was and is and shall be: He neither beginneth nor ceaseth to be, but is ever ordered and numbered with the Father and the Son: life and life-creator: light and giver of light, goodness and source of bounties: through Whom the Father becometh known and the Son is glorified and known by all; one power, one order, one worship, of the Holy Trinity.”
“The Holy Spirit is light and life and a living mental fount: the Spirit of wisdom, Spirit of understanding, good, righteous, intelligent, dominating and cleansing sins: God and Creator of gods, fire proceeding from fire: speaking, acting and distributing gifts, by Whom all the Prophets and divine apostles and martyrs were crowned. O strange vision, fire is divided for the bestowing of gifts!”
Motovilov’s reminiscences about Saint Seraphim expound Saint Seraphim’s teaching about salvation as a constant acquisition of the grace of the Holy Spirit and the inner communion of our soul with Him. (It is true that these reminiscences have not been verified, but our literature has taken an interest in them in recent years and they have even been translated into Serbian by Bishop Nicholas Velimirovich).
A living perception of the actions of the Holy Spirit in the human heart is completely foreign to people who are not interested in the teaching of faith. But the Holy Gospels present things differently – especially the Gospel of St. John.
Nevertheless, you can convince yourself from the other Gospels as well that the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of the faithful becomes so closely akin to their souls, that it is not easy to distinguish the fruits of the natural thoughts of the soul from the voice of the Holy Spirit. Here are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Mt. 10:19-20; Mk. 13:11; cf. Lk. 12:12 and 21:15).
While giving directions about marriage, divorces and virginity, St. Paul bears witness that the life of the Holy Spirit is intimately united in the preacher’s heart with his own soul. In one place he says, “I command, yet not I, but the Lord”, and in another “. . . speak I, not the Lord”; however, he concludes his commands and his personal advice with the words, “and I think that I have the Spirit of God” (I Cor. 7:10, 12, 40). ---- Believing as we do that the Spirit of God is close to the Christian soul in this way, we begin our prayers and, indeed, every serious task, with an invocation of the Holy Spirit: “come and abide in us, and cleanse us from all impurity”.
Our souls are so readily accessible to the Divine Spirit, that in many places where the New and Old Testaments and Church Fathers use the words “Spirit”, “in the Spirit”, “they were filled with the Holy Spirit”, it is difficult to tell whether it is the Hypostasis of the Holy Spirit that is understood, or simply that the person is inspired by grace. “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be dearth throughout all the world” (Acts 11:28). It is so difficult to distinguish the descent of the Hypostasis of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the chosen from their natural enlightenment by truth that many investigators, for example, find no references at all to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament (although the word “Holy Spirit” is encountered there very frequently. This applies especially to Protestants, who reject the so-called “uncanonical” books of the Bible and therefore do not recognize the clearest statement by Solomon on the Holy Trinity: “And Thy counsel who hath known, except Thou give wisdom, and send Thy Holy Spirit from above?” (Wisd. 9:17). --- Incidentally, it is regrettable that so far the most important statement from the Old Testament about the Holy Trinity has not been introduced into our educational and scholarly courses; alas, these are almost all plagiarized from Protestant and Latin ones.
The Sanctifying Action of the Holy Spirit
However, it is certainly not always that the voice and thought of the Divine Spirit are as it were united with the thoughts and words of the preacher of the Divine Revelation: on the contrary, sometimes they oppose him. Thus, St. Paul and his co-workers “were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word of God in Asia. After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not” (Acts 16:6-7). From the words that follow we know that the inspirations of the Holy Spirit are sometimes unexpected. “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him saying, Come over into Macedonia and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them” (Acts 16:9-10). Statements like this (and many others) banish any suspicion that autosuggestion was mistaken for the voice of the Holy Spirit. This also becomes evident, of course, from accounts such as the one about the appearance of Jesus Christ to Mary Magdalene, who did not immediately recognize Him. Many quotations can be cited from both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible in support of these considerations, but we will leave this to the readers themselves. --- Our task is to indicate, as far as we can, the grace-filled actions of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian, of the Church and of the world.
The very fact that the Third Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Holy Spirit points to His sanctifying power (or power to make holy). Despite the slanders of contemporary atheists, not only are the actions of the Holy Spirit recognized to be not divorced from the Christian’s moral struggle, but on the contrary, this struggle is linked very closely to the influence of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Moral struggles attract the Holy Spirit to a man’s soul and, to the same extent, an evil will drives Him away from us. Here are the words of the Wise One: “For into a malicious soul Wisdom shall not enter: nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin. For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in” (Wisdom of Solomon 1:4-5). Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, or “sin unto death”, according to the explanation of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (VIII, 75), is a conscious, hardened opposition to the truth, “because the Spirit is truth” (1 Jn. 5:6). He is also called the Spirit of truth (τό πυευμα άληυείας) in the Lord’s parting talk with His disciples and in the Church’s prayer5(Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).
And so the Holy Spirit is communicated to people preeminently in the realm of moral, ethical experiences; herein lies one of the basic reasons why purely religious dispositions, struggles and activities can in no way be divorced from moral ones, from the Christian’s ceaseless warfare with the evil will present in fallen man, or from his strivings towards moral perfection. Indeed, it is this latter which comprises the Christian’s principal vocation, the final aim of his life and activity.
Even so, the activity of the Holy Spirit through the hearts of men branches out into considerably varied phenomena, although God’s main gift to the soul of a person who strives towards Him remains one and the same – the sanctification of the soul of each individual, and through it, of the whole of Christian society, and even of human society in general. The essence of our prayers is precisely an invocation of God’s help in our moral warfare with sin, or an invocation of the Holy Spirit, which the Heavenly Father will not refuse us. The following words of Christ assure us of this: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him” (Lk. 11:13).
We have pointed out the central and principal part of our attitude towards God and our own souls; now we will also point out its diversifications and consequences: some of them concern the manifestations of the gracious gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life of society, others concern their manifestation in the grace-filled disposition of the human soul as this disposition is gradually developed – in its spiritual growth. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (I Cor. 12:4, 7-8, 10-11).
Here we should recall once again that the teaching of Christ and the Church does not divorce one side of life from another, but conceives of them indivisibly: the more Christ’s struggler is filled with the Holy Spirit in the quiet and depths of his heart, the bolder he will be among people and the more convincing will his words be, in this sense the Lord convinced His apostles that, in the future, the fact that the Holy Spirit will be close to them will have more significance for their cause than the presence of Christ the Savior Himself among them: “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you” (Jn. 16:7). --- Even earlier the Lord had pointed out to the Evangelist John the intimate connection between His redemptive sufferings and the coming of the Holy Spirit. --- “If any man thirst,” cried the Lord, “let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn. 7:37-39). Of course, this logical connection between Christ’s departure for His sufferings and ascension into heaven, and the descent of the Holy Spirit, must not be thought of as naively and crudely as it is in some textbooks of dogmatics, which understand here not Jesus Christ’s departure for His passion, but only His ascension into Heaven, and sending down the Holy Spirit from there --- as if He were sending down the Holy Spirit from there --- as if He were sending it down physically. What is really being spoken of here is the enlightenment and sanctification of humanity, and of the faithful in particular, by Christ’s sufferings, and of the sealing of this enlightenment by the descent of the Holy Spirit.
Christ’s disciples were not strangers to the first-fruits of the Spirit even before this (Jn. 20:22 and Rm. 8:23)6 and therefore were able to have a presentiment of those unspeakable good things, that irreplaceable blessedness which they would be granted when they received the fullness of gifts on the day of Pentecost. This is why they were not saddened by an outward separation from their Teacher on the day of His ascension, but, after watching His ascent with triumphant expressions on their faces, they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Lk 24:52), awaiting only the promised second baptism by the Holy Spirit, “not many days hence” (Acts l:5) --- waiting until they would “be endued with power from on high” (Lk. 24:49).
Until this fiftieth day (Pentecost) Christ was with them and before them, but now He will be in them through the Holy Spirit, Who has sanctified and enlightened them. This is why St. Paul said, “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20). --- However, we promised first of all to clarify the action of the Holy Spirit in the life of society, of the Church community; the participation of His power, of His divine person in that warfare of good with evil, of faith with unbelief and resistance to God, in which the life of the world passes and will pass until the very end. While foretelling how the Holy Spirit would be sent down, the Lord Himself referred briefly to the fact that the Comforter will remain with His followers forever and recall to them everything about which Christ had spoken to them (Jn. 14:17 and 26). Then He soon went on to clarify His actions in the world --- in a world hostile to Christ and His disciples. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (Jn. 16:8-11). These words are not immediately comprehensible to the reader, just as they were not to the people who first heard them --- this is evident from what Christ said next (vv. 12, 13).
The Sanctifying Action of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the World
It is essential to pause on these words. Although Christ the Savior Himself gives a certain amount of explanation, even so this is not enough for us to understand them, and it needs to be supplemented. --- In what way does the Holy Spirit reprove the world? Who is this world? Obviously it is the world hostile to Christ and the society of His preachers and to His followers in general. --- In what sense did the Spirit reprove it of the sin of unbelief in Christ? In the sense, of course, that unbelief was put to shame and without answer and could only oppose the preaching of Christ’s disciples with crude violence, but not with any real objection. This was expressed with special force in the account of St. Stephen’s martyrdom. His enemies “were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake” (Acts 6:10). They slandered him and dragged him off to the Sanhedrin court, where two witnesses were required by law; but on this occasion it was false witnesses and slanderers who came forward, and when Stephen made a long speech in defense, in which he confessed that he was a true Jew and upholder of the Law, then “all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15). But at the end of his speech, when he started to reprove them with the fact that they had always opposed the Holy Spirit --- as their fathers did, so did they (7:51) --- then “they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed their teeth against him” (v. 54) --- a phenomenon which always reveals impotent malice. Forgetting that a trial (Deut. 13:14) and witnesses (Deut. 19:15-19) were required, they set upon Stephen and stoned him, thereby making themselves legally responsible7 (John 18:31) for taking the law into their own hands, since in their outburst of malice they had left material evidence at the feet of the young man Saul (v. 58).
Stephen’s reproof of the Sanhedrin was the first occasion when our Savior’s prediction was fulfilled that the Holy Spirit would reprove the world of the sin of unbelief. The word “world” refers, as we have said, to established customs, popular opinion and the direction of government activity. Before the Holy Spirit descended, all this was subject to reproof only from the Savior Himself; afterwards, however, public opinion shifted in favor of His followers, and the world was reproved as being unjust and Christ’s enemies began to fear that the people would stone them (Acts 2:47; 4:21 and 5:26).
The second reproof was “of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more”. What does this signify? It is a prediction of the pagans’ and Jews’ continual slander against the Teacher of the Christians --- that He was executed and died, and was consequently a “deceiver” (Mt. 27:63). --- However, inspired by the Comforter, the apostles will withstand this slander and teach the truth about His resurrection and ascension to His enemies, the grave-guards, so boldly, that His truth will convert their hearts to Him. Before the Holy Spirit came, the apostles did not even believe the evidence of their own eyes and hands that the Lord had risen, but after the Holy Spirit descended they began their preaching with an affirmation of His resurrection from the dead and immediately converted 3,000, then 5,000 people (Acts 2:24-34 and 3:15-21). We could cite not a few other passages from the Acts and Epistles from which it is evident that one of the most important subjects of the apostles’ preaching is the truth that Christ is not visible, not because He had died and been buried, but because He rose from the dead and departed to His Father in glory into heaven, which has received Him “until the times” (Acts 3:21). This is that righteousness whereby the Spirit of God is to reprove and teach the world.
The third reproof of the world by the Holy Spirit is “of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged.” It is clear that this refers to Satan; even the Jews contemporary to the Lord called him the prince of the devils (Mt. 9:34, etc.), and St. Paul called him the prince “of the powers of the air acting in the sons of resistance.” The condemnation of the prince of devils, as the master of the theomachistic8 world, was thereby also a condemnation of the world itself, since this is a force that is always hostile to Christ. This condemnation was conditional upon the Lord’s resolve to take redemptive sufferings upon Himself. The Lord finally determined such an end for Himself after His talk with the Greeks (and solemn witness from heaven).9 According to Eusebius of Caesarea, the Greeks had given Him a letter from the King of Edessa informing Him that His enemies had resolved to kill Him. Then it was that the Lord exclaimed, “Now is the judgement of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (Jn. 12:31-32). --- And so the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the hearts of the apostles with courage, will put this world and its prince to shame forever, as He has given glory to the idea of voluntary sufferings in place of the abasement which the people of the world, walking in the will of its prince, thought it to be. Through the preaching of Christ’s passion the Holy Spirit will increase His glory and put the world and its prince to shame.
Even without reference to a mystical interpretation of Christ’s sacrifice, we see how the prince of this world, or spirit of this world, proud and hostile to His preaching and in particular to the first of His beatitudes, is condemned and rejected, and all human concepts are turned upside down by the Cross of Christ: that which seemed shameful and pitiful to the sons of error became holy and elevated in the eyes of the faithful, and vice versa. This is the meaning of the apostle’s words: “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are saved, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (I Cor. 1:23-24). This teaching was expounded in the Beatitudes and the Savior’s other talks, but it became evident and powerful through the event of His voluntary abasement, suffering and death, and became accessible through the holy apostles’ bold preaching about them. This is the sense in which the prince of this world was conquered by the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who opened the minds and lips of the apostles to preach these new truths, and spurred on hosts of martyrs to imitate them. “Thy martyrs, O Christ, in their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from Thee, our God: possessing Thy might they put down the tormentors and crushed the demons’ impotent darings.”10 Thus the Holy Spirit preserved them as victors over the prince of this world and his servants: “The warriors of Christ have put aside the fear of kings and tyrants”, and so on.
At this point we could have concluded --- or rather, put a halt to our elucidation of the workings of the Holy Spirit in social and Church life. We have already spoken of how the Holy Spirit participates in the life of the Church by reproving the world; however, in order that things should be clearly understood, it is essential to point out that in the holy Book of Acts His positive participation in the life of the Church is also depicted as specific and direct, and is also called the consolation of the Holy Spirit. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort (consolation) of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied” (Acts 9:31). “The Lord added daily to the Church such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Those like our sectarians who lay claim to imaginary gifts of the Holy Spirit, and, dreaming that they possess them, despise obedience to the Church and do not wish to submit to Her guidance, should pay particular attention to these last words.
The Apostle Paul spoke more than anyone about this extremely close correlation between the work of preaching and the Divine Person of the Holy Spirit: “I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (I Cor. 15:10), and again: “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (I Cor. 2:4) --- as was also the case with St. Stephen’s speech (Acts 6-10).
(To be concluded.)
1) Introductory paragraph by Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky), author and editor of the 17-volume Life and Teaching of Blessed Metropolitan Antony. This article is translated from Vol. II of this series, entitled The Moral Idea of the Most Important Christian Dogmas, Montreal 1963, p. 179.
2) These sub-headings have been inserted by the translator. The author covers many vital topics, but not in a very systematic way, and we hope these headings may help the reader to orient himself.
3) The contemporary reader may find it hard to share the “Russian wit’s” sense of humor, but we preserve this remark as in the original.
4) The Khlysti were a flagellant sect. They held ordinary services with readings from the Bible, etc; but the secret meetings, held at night for the initiated, progressed from readings and hymns to dances inducing hysteria and trances, and ended in a general sexual orgy, at which both natural and un-natural sexual acts were committed. The word “Khlyst”, which literally means “whip”, was also understood as a corruption of “Christ”, for the members of the sect considered themselves to be “Christs”, and their leader, “God”.
5) i.e., the prayer “O Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of the truth . . .”
6) Jn. 20:22 (After Christ’s Resurrection): “He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” Rm. 8:22-23: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves . . . “
7) “The Jews therefore said unto (Pilate) --- It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.”
8) Theomachistic: opposed to God, waring with God.