John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
“God is a Spirit” in the original Greek is “God is Spirit.” God is omnipresent and cannot be confined to a limited locality. Also, the word “Spirit” is emphatic. So it could just as easily be read “Spirit is God.” David understood His omnipresence and spoke of it in the Psalms. Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. Psalm 139:7-8.
John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because
I go to the Father.
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.
God is Spirit. And now Jesus says that He is going to the Father. That does not mean that He is going a certain distance up in the sky; He is going to Spirit. God the Father is Spirit. So He is going to Spirit. He is returning, you might say, to the glory that He had before the world was.
The Lord Jesus Christ is Spirit. And that is how we should know Him. Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. II Corinthians 5:16. Too many Christians only want to know Him after the flesh. Consequently, very few know Him after the Spirit. For example, there is much emphasis placed on His return as an individual, but very little is said about His spiritual return (His parousia). When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. II Thessalonians 1:10, 12.
John 14:2, 3 I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
In John 16:7 Jesus said, It is expedient for you that I go away. Why was it expedient for us that Jesus return to His former glory of Spirit? He was preparing a place for us. He went to God the Father (Spirit) and opened the way for us to function in the realm of Spirit, too. When He said, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also, He was not talking about a physical return in the future. A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father. John 16:16.
Jesus said that knowing Him was eternal life. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3. But as long as Christians are trying to relate to Him after the flesh (as Jesus the Nazarene), they will not know Him. We must learn to know Him after the Spirit.
Even the twelve disciples had difficulty in learning to know Him spiritually. Always seeing Him in the flesh made it hard to really know Him. As late as the fourteenth chapter of John, they still didn’t understand. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou knot known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. John 14:8-9.
John 6:62-63 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Where He was before was not a distance in miles or light-years away. It was a change in realms: transference from the natural realm to the spirit realm. By ascending He did not really leave us; thus He said, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). After His ascension the disciples could not relate to Him in the natural flesh realm anymore. He was only available in the spirit realm. So they had to know Him and relate to Him in the spirit. And that is the way it is for us; we only have access to know Him after the spirit. He has closed the door to a fleshly relationship.
Then Jesus said, It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing. A relationship with the Lord can only be quickened in the spirit; it will not come alive on the flesh realm. Reality is only found in the spirit realm; the flesh realm or soul realm profits nothing.
Paul said that he served God with His spirit (Romans 1:9). The only access we have to the Lord is in the spirit with our spirit. You cannot find the Lord on the natural realm; you cannot find Him on the soul realm! He is Spirit! You will have to learn how to function in the realm of spirit; like Paul, you will have to learn how to serve Him with your spirit. Many Christians worship their religion; many worship a concept or a mental image of the Lord, but very few worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). God is Spirit! Learn to know Him with your spirit!
Copyright © 2004 by Henry DuBose