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Thursday, April 24, 2014

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 2

"If Anyone Has an Ear, let Him Hear" (Revelation 3:22)

The at-oneness of Christ and the Holy Spirit becomes even clearer as we realize that this serious command of the Lord Jesus Christ is used in the closing of each of these seven letters to the churches. Revelation 1:4 tells us that these letters, as well as the whole Book of Revelation, are from the Godhead - they are "from Him [God the Father] Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come" - they are "from the seven Spirits of God Which are before His Throne" [the sevenfoldness of the Holy Spirit] - they are "from Jesus Christ, Who is the Faithful Witness, and the First Begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth." Therefore, beloved, The Voice of the Lord Jesus Christ is The Voice of the Spirit, and The Voice of the Spirit is The Voice of God: "These things saith He ... he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

In the beginning words of the Book of Revelation, the redeemed are called upon to "read" and to "hear" and to "keep" those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand (Revelation 1:3). In the Expanded Translation of the New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, the force and clarity of these words come to light as the Resurrected Lord begins to show His own that which must shortly come to pass:

"Spiritually prosperous is he who reads in the worship assembly of the local church and spiritually prosperous are those who hear the words of this prophecy and observe the things which in it have been written and are on record, for the strategic, epochal season is imminent."

"For the time is at hand." The strategic, epochal season is imminent. There is great gravity behind these words because a great season of peril is at hand, a time of great tribulation is threatening - a time of pressures from evils, a time or pressures from afflictions, a time of pressures from distresses. And, beloved, it is a "time" that all the redeemed must face and endure because the Book of Revelation is a book of that "which is, and of that which was, and of that which is to come" (Revelation 1:8). So whether it was in the "time" when John was commissioned to write these words, or whether it is now in our "time", or whether it is in the "time" which is to come, the strategic, epochal season is imminent.

Hence, the Lord instructs those whom He loves of the time of peril that is at hand. This is why there is such a great sense of urgency behind the charge He issues unto the churches, for the strategic, epochal season is imminent, and the Lord's orders are clear: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." The Amplified Bible is even stronger: "He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Holy Spirit says to the assemblies (the churches)."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 3)

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