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Saturday, November 30, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 33

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

Remember, as Christ gives us the command to calculate at once the number of the name of the beast, He first says, "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding ..." Thus, in calculating the number of the name of the beast, whose name is "blasphemy," Wisdom and understanding are irrevocably linked. The word "understanding" is sometimes translated "mind" in our Bibles; however, the Greek word "nous" has a much fuller meaning than our words "understanding" and "mind."

In Revelation 13:18 and 17:9, the words "understanding" or "mind" indicate thought, reasoning, perception, mind and understanding; thus, as it is used in these scriptures, "understanding" is  "the thought and the reasoning that takes place in the mind, which leads to understanding," and this "understanding" is the outcome of Christ being "made unto us Wisdom." And Christ is made unto us Wisdom because of the Work He accomplished upon His Cross.

The first time this word "understanding" (nouse) is used in the New Testament confirms that this "understanding" is only possible through the work of the Cross. In Luke, chapter 24, we find many of the wondrous things that took place immediately following the Cross, and the Resurrection of Christ; and in Luke 24:25, we find that Christ opened [fully opened, opened effectually, thoroughly opened] the "understanding" of His followers so that they might understand the scriptures concerning Himself.

Beloved, when the Lord appeared to these disciples He found those who had been devastated by His Cross; all their hopes, ambitions, and future plans had died with Him. Thus, His Cross had begun to do its work in their lives. And what was the result of this devastating work of His Cross: He opened their "understanding" concerning Himself. It is because of ALL that Christ accomplished upon His Cross, that Christ is made unto us Wisdom; and it is because of the work of the Cross in our lives that He opens our "understanding" concerning Himself. And in the measure that we "progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him," in the measure that we recognize, perceive, and have "understanding of the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly," in that measure we will have "understanding" of that which is antichrist. In other words, in the measure that we come to know Christ in Fullness through the work of the Cross in our lives, that is the measure we will be enabled by the Holy Spirit to "understanding" that which is according to Christ, and that which is not according to Christ.

Therefore, we see that the Cross is the essential factor, if we are going to be able to "count" the number of the beast; and the Holy Spirit draws our attention to this again when He uses the word "count" in Revelation 13:18. The word calculate or "count" means "to compute, to reckon, to calculate"; however, in order to understand what the Holy Spirit means when He tells us to calculate, we need to grasp what the Holy Spirit had in mind when He used the word "count" in relation to discerning that which is antichrist. As far as we can determine, the Holy Spirit only uses this exact word for "count" one other time in the New Testament, and that is in Luke 14:28. In Luke 14:27-29, we find the real significance of the word "count", for the word "count" is irrevocably linked with those who take up the cross and follow the Lord.

So by using the word "count" or "calculate" in Revelation 13:18, the Holy Spirit indicates that there is great cost in calculating the number of the beast; and in Revelation 15:2 and 20:4, we find this confirmed, because those who overcome the beast laid down their lives, denied their self and followed Christ [lost sight of their self and their own interest], and if need by, they laid down their very physical lives, and they did this "because of the Word of God and because of the Testimony of Jesus."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 34 - "Let Him That Hath Understanding Calculate At Once ..." )

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