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Discernment  «
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Wednesday, 8 September 2004
Value of Prophecy
Now Playing: Do we want to understand the mind of God ?
Topic: Discernment
"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy"

There is often in believers the desire to look into prophecy as an academic pursuit. This verse, if understood, would preserve from such a sterile approach. To relate all of prophecy to Jesus warms the heart. I understand the verse is one of those in the Word which is reciprocal. That is, it could also be read: "The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus."

Everything in the purposes of God, present or future, is connected with the glory of His well-beloved Son! That is what makes the understanding of the prophetic scriptures of such importance to the believer.

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"I Daniel understood by books . . . and I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes; and I made my confession, and said, "O Lord, the great and dreadful God . . . We have sinned, and have commited iniquity . . ." Daniel 9.2-5

God shows us here, as W Kelly puts it in his "Lectures on Daniel", "the spirit proper for understanding prophecy." Daniel read in Jeremiah a prediction concerning the return of Israel to the land. Does he go immediately to the people to tell them the good news? No, he draws near to God. Faith draws into the presence of God the one who understands His mind or will in a matter.

Kelly says further: "If the study of prophecy does not tend to give us a deeper sense of the failure of God's people upon the earth, . . . we lose one of its most important practical uses. It is because of the absence of this feeling that prophetic research is generally so unprofitable. It is made more a question of dates and countries, of popes and kings; whereas God did not give it to exercise people's wits, but to be the _expression of His own mind touching their moral condition; so that whatever trials and judgments are portrayed there, they should be taken up by the heart, and felt to be the hand of God upon His people because of their sins."

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 September 2004 12:57 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 July 2004
Gift vs. Godliness
Now Playing: Are we acting in His strength, or our own wisdom ?
Topic: Discernment
A third expression constantly occurs in these chapters: "The Spirit of Jehovah came upon him" (Judges 13: 25; Judges 14: 6, 19; Judges 15: 14). When we see these words we may be sure that the conflict is entirely according to God and without mixture.

We likewise may achieve such victories, not by being dependent upon a temporary action of the Holy Spirit coming upon us from without, but because we have, in virtue of redemption, been sealed by the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of power. Nevertheless, it is important to remark that we cannot estimate the moral worth of a man of God by the greatness of his gift. Nowhere in the Scripture do we find a stronger man than Samson, nor one weaker morally.

The New Testament gives us a similar example in the Assembly at Corinth, which came behind in no gift of power, and yet permitted every sort of moral evil in their midst. Samson was a Nazarite, upon whom the Spirit of God often came, but he was also a man whose heart had never been judged, and so his state was not in keeping with the gift he exercised.

Not once, from the beginning to the end of his career, did he hesitate following the path of his lusts; going, without a struggle, wherever his heart led him. Notwithstanding the power of the Spirit, he was a carnal man. When he visited his wife with a kid, his kindness was carnal; when the world proposed giving him another woman, which he did not care for, in exchange for the one he so earnestly desired, his anger was carnal.

Yet thus it ever is that the world treats us, to our loss and shame, when we have desired anything from it. That which it gives, after so many fine promises, has no value to the child of God, and cannot satisfy him. In the matter of the three hundred foxes, the Spirit of Jehovah did not come upon him, for, as I have already said, his anger was carnal. He wanted to "do a displeasure" to the Philistines, by attacking them in their outward circumstances; and, with a view to this, resorted to a device which does not at all seem to be according to the mind of God. The enraged Philistines went up and burnt his wife, who was their accomplice, and her father.

Meditations on Judges, H L Rossier

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:09 PM EDT
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