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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 29

"If Anyone Has An Ear, Let Him Hear - Here Is Wisdom" (continued)

Let us remember that each time the Lord Jesus Christ speaks these Words, "if anyone has an ear, let him hear," a great season of peril is at hand, "for the strategic, epochal season is imminent" (Revelation 1:3). This means that God is moving to bring forth a greater increase in Christ, and His archenemy, that ancient serpent, called the devil, and satan, is moving to stop it. Therefore, when Christ speaks these Words, a time of great tribulation is threatening: a time of pressures from evils, a time of pressures from afflictions, a time of pressures from distresses.

Fifteen times the Lord gives the command, "if anyone has an ear, let him hear"; and the final time He gives this command in Revelation 13:9, it sums up and confirms what is behind the other fourteen. This is because this final command was given in conjunction with the command to "calculate at once" the number of the beast. Therefore, each time this command was given in the gospels, and in the Book of Revelation, and each time the Holy Spirit quickens this command to us, the antichrist spirit of satan was, and is, at work behind the scene. That old serpent was, and is, at work to add to or to take away from all that Christ is; he was, and is, at work to add to or take away from all that Christ accomplished.

Since the instant satan had the iniquitous thought in his heart, "I will make myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14), he has used every deceptive way he could to usurp the position of Christ, the reality of Christ, in the hearts of God's people. Hence, we are both commanded and warned, that we must "calculate at once" the number of the beast. So how do we calculate, count, compute the number of the beast? - "And the number of it is six hundred and sixty-six." (Nestle Greek Interliner). In Revelation 12:1, 17:5, if we stay with the context of these scriptures, and its figurative language, one thing begins to stand out above all the other evil things that the dragon, that ancient serpent, called the devil, and satan, the one who is the father of "the lie," is moving to counterfeit the True Lamb of God, and the Work He Accomplished.

Consequently, the dragon anoints his own messiah, he gives this beast his power, and his throne, and he gives this wild beast great authority. Now we must keep in mind that the dragon, that ancient serpent, called the devil, and satan, has deceived the whole world, the adamic race (Revelation 12:9). Therefore, this counterfeit of the True Lamb of God is not primarily directed toward the world, the world is already deceived, and being deceived; but this wild beast, this counterfeit lamb, has always been, and is, directed toward deceiving the people of God. And what is this great deception? It is that this wild beast attempts to take away from, or add to, the Finished Work of Christ. Beloved, if something is counterfeit it is not easily discerned. To counterfeit something is the highest degree of imitation: it is false, but it has the appearance of truth and it appears to be real; it is an imitation of something with a goal to deceive or defraud. Remember what satan first said in his heart: "I will exalt my throne above the Most High" - "I will be like (imitate) the Most High," I will do all I can to resemble and appear to be the Most High. In other words, the goal of satan's evil heart is to counterfeit the Most High. And who is the Most High? Christ has ascended far above all the Heavens, He is Enthroned far above all (Ephesians 1:19; 4:10).

This is why the command of the Lord Jesus, "If anyone has an ear, let him hear," is given in conjunction with this grave warning: "Here is Wisdom." He who has understanding, let him calculate at once the number of the wild beast, for it is the number of a man [or] of man; and the number of it is six hundred and sixty-six. And in speaking of those who had gotten the victory over the beast, Revelation 15:2 tells us it is "the number of the name of it." (666).

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 30)

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