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Friday, October 25, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 10

"And When the Day of Pentecost was Fully Come" (continued)

Therefore, when the Lord Jesus, the True Lamb of God went into the temple that Passover season just as He was beginning His earthly journey that would ultimately lead Him to His Cross, He knew full well the evil origin and the ultimate goal behind the merchandising that was corrupting the House of God! He knew full well whose corrupting influence had turned the Feasts of the Lord into the feasts of the Jews. And He was stirred to His very depths: "The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up." And with consuming passions and jealousy for His Father's House, "He drove them all out ... and said: "... make not My Father's House an House of merchandise." And, fellow-warriors, "let us hear what the Spirit saith, "for our Lord's Words not only fell on the ears of the merchandisers, and on the ears of the religious leaders, but these Words registered upon the iniquitous heart of satan. And from that time forward, the deadly battle to stop God's Purpose in The Christ intensified, as satan moved to inspire the religious and political leaders of God's people to do their all to stop The Christ of God from fulfilling all that God had sent Him to accomplish - a deadly battle that would result in the crucifixion of our Lord.

But no matter what the enemy does, God's Purpose can never be stopped, it always proceeds exactly as God planned it would before the foundation of the world. God's True Passover had come, and in Him was "no fault at all" (John 18:38; 19:4, 6). Hence, all that satan inspired against Christ, whether it came through a priest or a scribe or a Pharisee or a Judas, only worked to further God's plan exactly as "It is Written." Now, beloved, we know that most of the religious leaders, and most of the  people, did not hear nor heed the Words of our Lord Jesus when He drove out the merchandisers from His Father's House. They did not have "an ear to hear what the Spirit saith" (Matthew 13:14, 15), they continued in their evil merchandising; for if we look ahead to that last Passover season mentioned in the Word of God, we will find that our Lord again drove out the merchandisers from the temple because they had made the house of God "a den of thieves" instead of "the house of prayer" (Matthew 21:10-16).

However, even though the majority of the religious leaders did not hear Him nor recognize Him, and this is still true today, God was ever on the move bringing about all that He intended in and through and unto Christ. If we look closely at all that took place during the Passover season that is mentioned in John 2:13-17, we will find that in the midst of all the corruption that was taking place in the temple, there was another man, a man of the Pharisees, a ruler of the Jews, a man who must have truly witnessed and heard much of what Jesus had done and said that day when He drove out the merchandisers. And this man's name was Nicodemus (John 3:1-21).

Thus, it was after the Lord Jesus had cleansed the temple, during this same Passover season, that Nicodemus "came to Jesus by night" and said: "Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him." Nicodemus said, "we know," so there must have been  others who knew deep within themselves that this was "The Christ." And the Word says, Jesus answered him, it says that Jesus responded to his question. Now, if we examine John 3:2, we will find that Nicodemus had not asked our Lord a question but the Word of God says, that Jesus answered his question. We find our answer to this in John 2:25. Remember, in the original writings there are no chapter divisions or verses, chapters and verses have been supplied by scholars of the Bible to help us in our study of God's Word. Therefore, in John 2:25, we find that Jesus "needed not that any should testify of man for He knew what was in man." And many times He manifested this knowing in the way He answered them.

Consequently our Lord knew that, although Nicodemus had not voiced a question, there was a question in his heart. The Lord knew what was in Nicodemus' heart just as He knew what was in the hearts of the Jews when, after He had driven out the merchandisers, they asked Him: "What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?" And Jesus knowing that they had murder in their hearts toward Him, answered their question accordingly: "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up ... but He spake of the Temple of His body."

The Jews who asked Him this question had murder in their hearts, but Jesus knew that Nicodemus had something else in his; He knew that Nicodemus was saying in his heart: "Rabbi, Teacher, Master, I come to Thee that You may teach me the way of salvation." And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee ... ye must born again - ye must be born from above" (John 3:1-7).

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 11)

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