15th of December
A new era started on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was poured out. We are now talking about the beginning of the Church. This was prophesied by Joel and will last until Jesus returns for His bride. I will also write about Jesus as a prophet and some others functioning in the gap between the old and the new era.
John the Baptist is probably the most known one. He was a forerunner of Jesus. He was supposed to prepare His coming to this earth. To-day we have many prophets who are preparing for His second coming. Some people say that John the Baptist was Elijah and refers to the last verses of The old Testament that goes like this: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” In Luke 1 we read that the angel Gabriel says to the priest Zacharias that he would become the father of John and that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. He would function in the spirit and power of Elijah. There is no doubt about the fact that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophesy from Isaiah 40:3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness; Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God” Other places we read that the paths should be made straight. John announced repentance in the desert of Judah. People came to get baptized while they were confessing their sins. John said that he baptized them with water unto repentance, but He Who came after him, would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. When Jesus came to John to get baptized, John refused since he thought that he wasn’t worthy of that. Jesus should baptize him and not the other way around. The Jesus said to John: “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”(Matt.3:15). Then John baptized Jesus and when He came out of the water, the Spirit descended like a dove and God said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
John the Baptist was strict to talk against sin and that caused his death at the end. John had spoken to Herod the tetrarch about his relationship to his brother’s wife. When he had his birthday, he wanted to be entertained by the daughter of Herodias and he was so pleased that he said that she could have whatever she wanted. Her mother had prompted her to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter and so it was.(Matt.14)it is a very sad story, but it shows that the honesty of a prophet can cost him his life. It will not always cost you your life, but in many cases persecution and unfortunately both within and outside the walls of the church.
I will now mention two people that were in the temple the day that Jesus was circumcised. One was the man Simeon. He was waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. He was driven by the Spirit into the temple and when he saw Jesus, he took him up in his arm and blessed god and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” He continues to say to Mary, the mother of Jesus: “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign which will be spoken against(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”(Luke 2:29-35)There was also a woman, the prophetess Anna. She was very old, but she served in the temple night and day with fasting and praying. She was also praising God and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Jesus had many tasks and He functioned in different ministries, but also as a prophet. The Muslims can accept Him as a prophet, but not as the Savior. You can go with me to the letter to the Hebrews and the first two verses. We read: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. God spoke through Jesus when He was on this earth. To-day He speaks through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said clearly that He only said and did what the Father told Him to do. Jesus therefore spent a lot of time together with the Father. Every prophet has to spend a lot of time together with the one they represent. That goes for the living God as well as any other gods. Jesus could operate in any of the fivefold ministries and in any of the gifts of the Spirit. He could change between prophesying and teaching. He often spoke by using parables. He had to explain them to His disciples. Jesus prophesied about His death and His resurrection, but the disciples didn’t want to accept that. He also prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times, but Peter refused, but unfortunately did so. What Jesus prophesies will always happen.
Revelations will often be connected to a prophet. We remember when Jesus revealed to a woman of Samaria that she has had five men and the man she had now, was not her husband. Then she said: “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” (John 4:19) Jesus explained a little later to her that He was more than a prophet, He was Messiah.
Jesus explained to His disciples that it was good for them that He was leaving them since He then would send them the Spokesman. If He would remain on earth, the Holy Spirit would stay with the Father. A spokesman speaks on behalf of someone else. The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Deity and He speaks on behalf of God. Jesus could only be at one place at a time and it took a long time to move from one place to another without the means of transport that we have to-day. The Holy Spirit isn’t limited in the same way. If you call on Him in Africa or in Europe at the same time, He comes to both places.
You can go with me to John 16. Jesus is teaching about the Holy Spirit. He says in the 13th verse that the Spirit is called the Spirit of truth and when He comes, He will guide us in all truth. He will not speak from His own authority, but what He hears. He will also tell us the things to come. Jesus continues to say that the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus and take of what is His and declare it to us. We can read in some previous verses that the Holy Spirit should convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. We charismatic Christians will often forget that this is an important task for the Holy Spirit. We want the Holy Spirit to give us some emotional experiences. He is not sent to us for that purpose even if we sometimes get an emotional experience as a bonus.
Jesus said to His disciples just before He ascended to Heaven. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The Holy Spirit came ten days after the Ascension of Jesus and a new era started. Pentecost is therefore the birthday of the Church, not your local one, but the universal.
We are in a few days celebrating another important birthday, the birthday of Jesus.
LET THIS CHRISTMAS BE A SPIRIT-FILLED ONE WITH JESUS IN THE CENTRE.
BLESSED CHRISTMAS SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!