Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Spirit of Prophecy

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. PSALM 22:1,13-18
The Psalm above was written by David moved by the Spirit of God. This Psalm is quoted or alluded to in the New Testament 15 times. Psalm 22 was written a thousand years before it's fulfillment. When pondering this fact, I am reminded of some verses in 2 Peter which state, For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 1 Peter 1:16,19-21
When Jesus approached Jerusalem on the donkey, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation. Luke 41-44. The literal fulfillment of this prophecy happened in AD 70, 37 years after this prophesy was spoken. If only you had known this day, what would bring you peace but now it has been hidden from your eyes.
Christ, who is our peace, became sin for sinners. He was both fully God and fully man, so that His sacrifice rendered perfect and final. In the book of Hebrews, Paul gives us this sobering warning. How much more severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of GRACE. Hebrews 10: 29. And later on, Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. Hebrews 10:35. Our confidence is in Christ finished work on the cross. The only way we can come before the Father is through the Son. The only way we stand before the Father is because of Christ's work not our works. We insult the Spirit of Grace when we fail to believe that everything we need we already have in Christ. When we think His love for us is dependent on what we do. Grace is His descending one way love. We regard His blood as unclean when we doubt that His sacrifice was sufficient for our sins. We render His blood unclean when we reject the truth of Hebrews 10:17, And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. When we think, "Surely, He didn't mean all my sins." or again, "His death was enough to get me into the Kingdom but I must do more try harder to stay in the Kingdom." We not only insult the Spirit of grace but we render His sacrifice unclean, insufficient for salvation. When we focus on His work for us and not our works our hearts desire will be to love others as He has loved us. He will change us from the inside/out when we place our trust and peace in Him.
We throw away our confidence when we turn inward and focus on ourselves. The Law has now been written on our hearts and placed on our minds. We are fully aware of our inadequacies as what used to be external has now entered in and has become internal. We are fully aware of our inability to change our hearts. This struggle we try and cover up by placing more importance on our outward behavior. Our performance, our justification, our need to be right and in control. We throw away our confidence when we fail to believe that in Christ everything we need we already have so we don't need to go out and get anything. We submit ourselves again to a yoke of slavery, when we want to add to "it is finished." His perfection renders us perfect, His sacrifice, once and for all. For when God looks upon us, He sees His perfect Son within us. If you are in Christ, then Christ is in you. God will never cast you out for to cast you out would mean He would cast out His Son because His Son is now in you. I stand confident before the Father because of Christ's performance for me and His love working in me and through me.
Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart as when they provoked me. Hebrews 3:8
Are we failing to recognize the time of our visitation? We have the prophetic word made sure and yet are we still rebelling against His glorious presence? While we are in the favorable year of the Lord, we have the opportunity to surrender to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to be the Lord of our lives. For more on the favorable year of the Lord, see One Vision, Two Comings. He is calling us to turn from our self to Himself. He is calling us to trust in His sacrifice on our behalf and stop trying to reach Him through hollow and deceptive philosophies, through human effort, through the basic principles of this world. He wants us to surrender even the darkest areas of our heart to Him, allowing His light to penetrate through the dark regions of our unbelief and self sufficiency.
Jesus' spent His last hours of life in fellowship with His disciples and in prayer. He spent His last day speaking about the things to come and what would be the signs of His second coming. As we celebrate Christ's death and resurrection, may we reflect on His words, they did not recognizethe time of their visitation. He came down and dwelled among them. He became that which He created and not just to live a sinless life but to die a criminal's death. His provisions for you are perfect and His sacrifice final. He is the only one who can save us from our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He is our Passover Lamb who is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. Revelation 5:12

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