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Saturday, December 28, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 58

The Victory of the Cross of Christ (continued)

The Herods were descendants of the Edomites, which traces them back to Esau the firstborn son of Isaac. In the scripture, Esau was given the name Edom when he sold his birthright to Jacob for a meal of lentil pottage (Genesis 25:30-32; 32:3). Esau allowed the desire of his natural man to rule him, and he "despised his birthright"; he gave up his inheritance in the Lord, the Promise that God made to Abraham, in order to satisfy his natural man. Later he became very bitter when he realized Jacob had tricked him so that he might gain the birthright. Jacob was wrong in his way of accomplishing this, but right in his desire for the Lord. Nevertheless, the Lord would deal with Jacob until His Way, the way of the Cross, became Jacob's way. But we do not want to miss the point, Esau had a compromising, fornicating [idolatrous], bitter spirit, and the Bible makes it clear that he passed it on to his descendants (Hebrews 12:15-17; Numbers 20:18-21; 1 Samuel 14:47; etc.) This bitter, compromising murderous spirit, reached full fruition in the Herods, and as the New Testament opens, the Herods were kings in Israel. And the Holy Spirit records that the Herods directed their murdering spirits against Christ and against those who are His.

Christ said, "Beware ... of the leaven of Herod" (Mark 8:15). The Lord was not speaking of doctrine or teaching. No! He was warning His disciples, both then and now, that allowing the natural man to rule in our lives is like leaven, and it will ultimately give satan the ground he needs to bring forth that which is of the antichrist, that which is against Christ and His fullness. In Esau's natural man was a root of bitterness, and when he allowed his natural man to rule his life this bitterness fermented like leaven, and the Bible says: "A little leaven leaventh the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9). The Edomites and the Herods were the result of Esau allowing his natural man to rule; and bitterness was the result. Bitterness is an attribute of satan, and even the  smallest amount of bitterness gives satan the ground he needs to produce that which is of the antichrist, that which is against Christ. No wonder the Holy Spirit is grieved when we allow bitterness to have a place in our lives (Ephesians 4:30-32). Ephesians 4:32 tells us that there is only one way to deal with bitterness, and that is "forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 59)

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