The Holy Spirit And Fellowship Between Christians Who Are Apart
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 23 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Meet The Holy Spirit)
I John 1:3, 7, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
According to this passage, especially the words of verse 3, there appears to be a fellowship that believers can enjoy even though they are absent from the other. John is writing to some believers who are many miles away and he speaks in verse 3 the words, "that ye also may have fellowship with us." He implies there is a fellowship in the Spirit even across the miles. This same thing is implied in Philippians 1:3-5, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until NOW." Notice in verse 5 the words, "for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until NOW." Paul was several hundred miles from these people, and yet he said that they had fellowship continually from the first day until that very moment. Something is implied here, that if two people walk in the Spirit, they can have fellowship with each other across the miles.
Would a computer have more power than Christian fellowship? A person can punch a keyboard in a small city 2,000 miles from Chicago and get information from a central office in Chicago. Is it not possible for our Lord to give us a fellowship with each other even though we are separated by the miles? Again, I must confess that I do not completely understand this, but I do know that I feel extremely close to people that I seldom see. Some of the dearest friends that I have live hundreds of miles away and yet I feel that I know them very well. Perhaps this is the meaning of the words, "fellowship of the Spirit," found in Philippians 2:1, "If there be therefore any consolation if Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies."
How then would this fellowship be available? First and foremost, it comes through prayer. Hebrews 4;16, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." If I in Hammond, Indiana, come to the throne of God in prayer, if a friend of mine on the west coast comes at the same moment to the throne of grace, are we not appearing at the same time at the throne of grace? We must understand that the Holy Spirit is everywhere, but when we pray, our spirit is carried by the Holy Spirit to the throne of grace where the Father sits, for the Father is NOT everywhere. So if tow believers arrive at the throne of grace at the same time and fellowship with the same Father through the same Spirit, are they not extremely close together? When our spirit goes to the Father and is carried there by the Holy Spirit, we arrive at the throne of grace. Hebrews 9:8, "The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing."
Perhaps there is something to this thing of two people agreeing to pray at the same time in order that they may feel closer to each other. Me thinks it would not be sacrilege for a husband and wife who are separated by the miles to pray at the same time, thereby arriving at the throne of grace simultaneously. Perhaps a wife could say to the Heavenly Father at the appointed time, "Tell my husband that I love him." I think the Father would do that, don't you? The same could be true for families who have servicemen away from home, for parents who are many miles away from their children in college. It could even be a wonderful way of fellowship for young married couples, if the man works long hours or has to have two jobs in order to support the family.
Revelation 4:4, "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." This verse teaches us that our saved, departed loved ones are at the throne of God. Is there not then a sweet fellowship that we could have with them as we appear before the throne? Oh, `its true that we cannot talk to them, and I'm not advocating such foolishness as having a séance, but there is, I think, some sweet kind of communion we can have with them and feel toward them because they are near the throne where the Holy Spirit carries us when we pray in the Spirit. There is a certain unity that we can have with believers on earth and believers in Heaven if we walk in the Spirit. Ephesians 4:3, "Endeavoring to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." What a comfort and what a peace this can afford to those who are separated from loved ones who are on earth or who are in Heaven! Would it be wrong for a son to pray in the Spirit, and as the Spirit takes him to the throne of grace for him to say, "Father, tell my mother I love her." We sing the song, "Tell Mother I'll Be There." Certainly this does not do an injustice to the Scriptures.
Though no one has explored all there is to know about the subject, it nevertheless is true to some degree and in some way that people who are led by the Spirit, who pray in the Spirit and who wok in the Spirit (especially those who do the same work) can know a fellowship that deepens their love for each other, even though they are separated by miles or space.
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