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Friday, November 29, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 32

He That Hath Understanding, Let Him Calculate the Number of the Beast

So we see that satan's primary goal is to counterfeit the True Lamb of God, and the work He has accomplished. This is blasphemy. We have seen that the name of the beast, that the name of that which is antichrist, is blasphemy: "And upon his [the beast's] heads the name of blasphemy" (Revelation 13:1). And we have been given the command: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count [at once] the number of the beast [the number of the name of it]: for it is the number of a man [or of man]; and his (its) number is six hundred and sixty-six - 666" (Revelation 13:18; Revelation 15:2).

The Lord introduces this command by stating, "Here is Wisdom"; and these three words indicate that calculating the number of the name of the beast, the number of that which is antichrist, will be difficult, but not impossible. Then the Lord commands, "Let him that hath understanding count"; and in linking the words, "Wisdom" and "understanding," the Lord is revealing those, the overcomers, who are enabled by the Holy Spirit to calculate the number of the beast. He reveals those who will know that which is truly of Christ, and who will know that which is antichrist.

In the Book of Revelation, the word "wisdom" is used four times, Revelation 5:12; 7:12; 13:18; 17:9. Two times "wisdom" is attributed unto the Lamb, and unto God, and two times it is used in the discernment of that which is antichrist. In Revelation 5:12 and 7:12, we find all those who dwell in the heavenly realm, and all those who, throughout the ages, have come out of great tribulation, worshiping, honoring and adoring the Lamb of God, which hath prevailed: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing" (5:12).

Then in Revelation 13:18, and in 17:9, "wisdom" is used in connection with "understanding" the number of the name of the beast, it is used in "understanding" that which is antichrist. It is important to see that in both of these scriptures, "wisdom" and "understanding" are designedly linked by the Holy Spirit, for here is the key to our being able to calculate the number of the beast. First of all, we know that Christ is the Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24; Proverbs 8:14-22); and we know that "by His [God's] doing you [we] are in Christ Jesus, Who [because we are in Him] became to us Wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30). So just as we can do nothing to earn our redemption, we can also do nothing to earn, or learn, the Wisdom of God; for Wisdom is a gift from God, it is a gift of His grace which is given to us, and energized in us, by the Holy Spirit Himself. The wisdom of God is as vast  and as full as Christ Himself; but for now, we want to look at two of the very important reasons that Christ "became to us Wisdom from God."

1. Ephesians 1:17 tells us that we have been granted a spirit of wisdom and revelation, we have been granted "The Wisdom that is from above" (James 3:17), in order that we may thoroughly, accurately, and intimately know Christ, that we may have a full knowledge of Christ, and of that which is according to Christ: "[for I always pray] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation - of insight into mysteries and secrets - in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him".

2. Then, we also find that Christ "became to us Wisdom from God" in order that we might fully understand that which is antichrist, that which is against Christ, that which is not according to Christ: "Here is Wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count [at once] the number of the best [the number of the name of it]; for it is the number of a man [or of man]; and its number is six hundred and sixty-six - 666" (Revelation 13:18; 15:2).

Beloved, since "Christ Jesus ... is made unto us Wisdom," why is it that so many Christians do not have an adequate apprehension of Christ? And why is it that so many Christians do not discern nor have understanding of that which is antichrist?

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 33)

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