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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 54

The Victory of the Cross of Christ (continued)

In Revelation 13:1-8, the Lord is telling those of us who desire to be overcomers that the dragon, that old serpent, called the devil, and satan, has given the beast, whose name is "blasphemy," the power "to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." This does not have reference to our salvation, for those whose names are in the Lamb's book of Life have eternal life. However, as we have calculated the number of this name of this blasphemous beast throughout the Word, we have seen that a Christian can be overcome when he allows his natural man to rule in his life. We have seen that when we, as Christians, allow the strength of our natural man to govern our lives, we give the devil the ground he needs to further his antichrist activities. "If anyone has an ear (a spiritual ear), let him hear." We are not to be overcome, we are to be overcomers!

The Word of God makes it clear that those redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb are to be overcomers, they are not to be overcome by satan and his antichrist tactics.

"And they overcame him [that old serpent, called the devil, and satan], because of the Blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death" (Revelation 12:11).

"And I saw ... them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand ... and sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb ..." (Revelation 15:2, 3).

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded because of the witness [the testimony] of Jesus, and because of the Word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be My Son" (Revelation 21:7).

So it is clear that we are supposed to be overcomers, and the key to our being, and continuing to be, overcomers is in the words which follow the Holy Spirit's declaration of satan's doom: "Here is the patience [the endurance] and the faith of the saints" (Revelation 13:10). And these  words lead us again to Revelation 1:9, where John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is writing these words to us: "I, John, your brother and companion - sharer and participator - with you in the tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance [which are] in Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9).

So in Revelation 13:10, we have "the patience [the endurance] and "the faith" of the saints; and in Revelation 1:9, we have "the tribulation" and "the kingdom" and "the patience" which are in Jesus. We have long contemplated these inspired words: I am your brother and companion in the Tribulation, in the Kingdom, and in the Patience which are in Jesus. We know that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3, 14), but what  does it mean when the Word speaks of The Tribulation, The Kingdom and The Patience (Endurance) which are in Jesus?

Throughout the Word, the Holy Spirit intertwines "the patience" and "the faith" of the saints, with "the tribulation" and "the Kingdom" and "the Patience" which are in Jesus. In Acts 14:22, we are exhorted "to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God." Romans 8:17 declares that we are joint-heirs with Christ, "if we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him". First Peter 4:13 tells us: "but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing". Second Timothy 2:12 clearly states, "If we endure (with Him is implied), we shall also reign with Him". However, in order to find the fullest meaning of the statement made to the overcomers in Revelation 13:10, "Here is the patience [the endurance] and the faith of the saints," we have to consider Hebrews 12:1 and 2 -

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 55)

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