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Thursday, November 21, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 24

"I Was in the Spirit ... and Heard"

We began this by sharing that the Lord had given a word from His Word; and that word was, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Revelation 2:7). The Lord chose the apostle John to write these inspired words, and in Revelation 1:10 we find him writing: "I was in the Spirit on [in] the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, 'Write in a Book what you see (implies the spiritual eye), an send it to the seven churches ...' " (Revelation 1:10, 11).

John's words give us the key to hearing "what the Spirit saith unto the churches," for John said: "I was in the Spirit... and I heard." And we must be "in the Spirit" if we are to hear what "the Spirit saith." Then after John had fallen at the feet of the Resurrected Lord, after John completes the letters to the seven churches, after he writes for the seventh time, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." After this, John saw that heaven's door was open. He saw a door set open in heaven, a door that was already opened. This indicates that the door, that the Way into God's Presence had at one time been closed. But now the door is open, and it is open because of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this door will forevermore be open to all who are in Christ: "Having therefore, brethren, boldness [confidence] to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us ..." (Hebrews 10:19, 20).

Therefore, as John moved in the good of the shed blood of his Lord, he "heard" that same Voice (1:10), the Voice of many waters, the Voice of the Resurrected Lord which flows to every one of His Own whether they are in a high place or at a low place spiritually. John heard "the Voice" which was like the sound of a trumpet, the trumpet which in God's Word always calls His people together for a greater Revelation of Himself, or for war; and in John's case, and for those to whom "The Book" was to be sent, it was for both.

Then John says, "And immediately I was in the Spirit." Now we all know that no Christian is "in the Spirit" all of the time, for Christ is the only One Who perfectly lived a life "in the Spirit." However, when it says that John was immediately "in the Spirit," it does not mean that John was so much out of the control of the Spirit that it was an effort for him, spiritually, to again become "in the Spirit." No, when John says, "immediately I was in the Spirit," this means that whatever John was doing at the time, whether it was hard labor in the rock quarries on the Isle of Patmos, or doing something else, he was living in the reality of the shed blood of Christ. Thus, when the Holy Spirit moved, John was, as a spontaneous result of his life in Christ, "in the Spirit."

Dear ones, whether we are having an Isle of Patmos experience, or whether we are just living our daily life before the Lord, we should come to a place in the Lord that we do not have to make an effort to get "in the Spirit." We should be living our lives in the good of all that Christ accomplished, so that when the Spirit moves, we become "in the Spirit." Consequently, we will be able to say like John, "immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a Throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the Throne ..." John was "in the Spirit," and with the eye of the Spirit John beheld the realm where all things are being worked out (energized) after the counsel of God's will.

John was "in the Spirit" and he beheld the mighty workings of the Throne (Revelation 4 and 5).

"In the Spirit" he beheld the One that sat on the Throne.

"In the Spirit" he beheld that in the midst of the Throne "stood a Lamb as it had been slain" - he beheld the Lamb that hath prevailed to open "the Book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."

"In the Spirit" he beheld, in the midst of the Throne, the seven Spirits of God - the sevenfoldness of the Holy Spirit, he beheld the Omnipotent power and energy of God's Spirit at work in the midst of the Throne.

"In the Spirit" he beheld, in the middle of the mighty workings of the Throne, the prayers of the saints - the intercession of those devoted to the Lord.

Revelation 1:9 and 10 tells us that John was on the Isle of Patmos, and that he was "in the Spirit on [in] the Lord's Day." Notice the Greek says, "in the Lord's Day," and it means that the Lord possessed the Day. It is speaking of the Supreme Realm of the Lord's Throne. This does not refer to a day set aside by the people of God for worship and rest. No, the Romans would not have allowed this because John was on the Isle of Patmos, and he was there because of the Word o God, and the Testimony of Jesus; and the Romans would have considered him a criminal. No, this was "in the Lord's Day!" This was, and is, and ever shall be the supreme, sovereign Day of God's Throne, and John was "in the Spirit on [in] the Lord's Day."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 25)

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