The "Word" Passages
The "Word" passages refer to those verses in John's account of the Last Supper that contain or refer to words. Allow me to requote John 14:7-10:
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Note the very interesting transition in verse 10, where Jesus starts with speaking about "works", but transitions from the works of the Father within him to the words that he spoke.
Most people, reading this passage, would not think a second thought about it, but this happens to be the basis of how Symbiotic Christianity works. Although we do not know the exact details to the extent of duplicating it ourselves mechanically, we know that "words" that are "heard" within the mind are actually thoughts generated by neurons being stimulated by neurotransmitters and electric discharges across synapses, and which are perceived by the Inner Man. When the Holy Spirit suppresses a thought or generates a thought, He does so by miraculously interacting with brain chemistry and electric currents. This "work" affects neurotransmitters and electric discharges. If these chemical and electric interactions create the same thought patterns that occur when we recall a memory of someone speaking to us, then that same memory is faithfully reproduced.
It is by this same mechanism that the Father "spoke" to Jesus: Here is John 12:48-49
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
It is by this same mechanism that the Trinity speaks "words" that we hear. In what had to have been under very memorable circumstances, the synoptic gospels (Matthew 10:19, Mark 13:11, and Luke 12:11-12) all report the following words of Jesus:
11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:11-12)
John does not cite his version of this verse because he has a more encompassing definition of what is happening. This comes from John 14:24-26.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
The process by which what happens in verse 24 is identical to that which the Holy Spirit does in verse 26. That is, the Holy Spirit both teaches all things and brings all things to their rememberance (especially what Jesus had said) by working within the mind of the believer by generating thoughts within the mind that the Inner Man perceives as words.
Note that this working of the Holy Spirit within the mind that generates thoughts interpreted as words is characteristic of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus desired to communicate with men after his ascension, he exclusively used visions that took over the visual system. The only seeming contradiction is illustrative of the very real problems inherent in this communication process. Here is Acts 16:6-11
6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.
Verses 6 and 7 recount two attempts by Paul and his companions to enter areas into which they presumed that the Spirit was leading them, only to be blocked. This is known as "God opening and shutting doors", and is regarded in some circles as an optimal method for determining the Will of God for unfathomable and incomprehensible reasons known only to God the Holy Spirit, who was privy to the circumstances of their generation but whose words (generated to express a contrary opinion) were not allowed to get in edge-wise. In the end, the Spirit gave a "vision" that uttered the words that I am sure he was speaking, but which Paul, for equally unfathomable and incomprehensible reasons, did not allow himself to entertain. The combination of "vision" and word established the validity of words previously submitted but disregarded. They proceeded to Greece, eventually arrived at Philippi, and founded one of the most trouble-free churches known in the New Testament epistles.
I put "vision" in quotes, because the circumstances of the "vision" do not classify it as a vision. A "vision" not involving Jesus Christ that takes place at night which confirms a word being generated by the Spirit, but not heeded, is not actually a vision but a dream. Doubtless, the avoidance of the actual word was intended to not lend credence to the belief that God always speaks to men via dreams, which seems to be a belief universally afflicting the spiritually immature of all ages and all cultures, and which Luke was doubtless taking pains to avoid activating or endorsing. We will discuss the problems inherent in hearing the words that Jesus promised we would hear from him via the Holy Spirit when we start Stage 2, but I will remark on one here, which arises from the phenomenon of cogeneration. I have written before about the vigorous dislike of the Holy Spirit to be confused with demons. One aspect of demon possession that the Holy Spirit goes out of His way NOT to emulate is the totality of mental possession. The full taking-over of the consciousness of the man with the consequential erasure of all volition and choice is characteristic of demon possession. This is so abhorrent to the Spirit of Liberty that the accusation that He does the same in any specific case is regarded as the unforgiveable sin of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. To preserve human will and the ability to freely choose, the Spirit opts to "cogenerate" thoughts. These thoughts are mixed in with the thoughts of the Heart, and it is the duty of the redeemed Inner Man to learn to distinguish between the two and to always "select" to obey those thoughts identifiable as the Holy Spirit's.
Because righteousness does not bring inerrancy, the process of classifying thoughts is still prone to error. It appears that when correct identification of thoughts is absolutely necessary, the Holy Spirit resorts to taking over the vision system so that the words heard while the vision is being shown can be correctly identified as coming from the Holy Spirit. In this case, because Paul was used to visions being visions of Jesus, the Spirit opted to work by generating thoughts that created a "vision" while Paul was asleep so that it was not mistaken as a vision from Jesus. While people may have great problems with God taking over their vision system while they are awake, there is a general acceptance of God giving "night visions" that generates visual imagery (dreams) while asleep. Dreams are generally uncontrollable by the Inner Man, so there is little objection to God stepping in and influencing what is otherwise uncontrollable. Even then, we see the hand of the Holy Spirit in Paul's "night vision": the main message is communicated by spoken words coming from the image of the Macedonian. The imagery does not replace the words. Rather, the imagery is used to "validate" the words being spoken, serving as a "marker" that can be used to properly classify the words/thoughts as being from God.
This issue of hearing thought words is much more fundamental than it first appears. It actually was the basis for the very first battle Jesus fought against the forces of darkness.
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