When the Apostle John, by the Spirit, sees a door open in heaven, he is ushered into the very presence of God, the angels, angelic beings, elders, and the host of the redeemed. There he beholds the Father seated on the throne of heaven, and then, the slain Lamb of God standing before Him. In the book of Revelation, chapter 5, a remarkable thing occurs. There comes a moment when John sees a book in the hand of the Father. The Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah who has overcome, comes and takes the book out of the hand of the Father. All the host of heaven bow down before the Lamb, declaring His worthiness…and His alone, to be able to take that book. Now, what is the significance of this act? And how does it apply to us?
In John’s gospel, before Christ was crucified, He told His disciples that He would “…pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” (Jn. 14:16) The significance of this prayer, and answer to it, was that the disciples, who KNEW the presence of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of truth…), dwelling WITH them, would come to know the miracle of His indwelling: “… and shall be IN you.” (v.17) In John 15:26, we find that: “…when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me.” The Lord Jesus makes it ever so clear that it is necessary for Him to die, and be raised from the dead, in order to send the Holy Spirit, not only to dwell WITH believers, but to INDWELL them. (“Christ IN you, the hope of glory.”) What does this have to do with this vision that John had of the moment that the risen Christ took the book? Let’s look in Acts 2 to begin to find out.
When Pentecost came, and the effects of it were so powerfully seen, Peter stands up and declares that the out pouring of the Spirit, according to Joel’s prophecy, has occurred. “I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.” (Joel 2:28-32) Between the day of Pentecost when all of this occurred, through the history of the church (…I speak of the living body of Christ, body of believers…), until this very day, the power and potential of that out pouring has been made available to all men. When Jesus rises to take that book in the kingdom of heaven, a book that is sealed with the seals of judgement, we see the redeemed of all ages before the throne declaring, “…Thou hast redeemed us out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Rev. 5:9) It seems that the period of the Spirit’s out pouring, what theologians call the “Age of Grace,” has come to an end, for judgement is about to be released on the earth. How does this affect us?
We are most certainly in what Scripture calls, “last days,” (the “last days” began at Pentecost), the days of the “out pouring” of the Spirit. We have been, as evidenced by Pentecost, blessed with every blessing in Jesus Christ, having been made complete in Him, having received everything that pertains to life and godliness. The “out pouring” of the Spirit, or rather, the fullness of the Spirit, is ours IF we will trust the Lord for it. That “fullness” primarily means His control, for “…where the Spirit of the Lord is (…where the Spirit is Lord…), there is liberty. The promises concerning the blessing of the Spirit of truth are enormous: 1. He will abide with you forever (Jn. 14:16), 2. “(He)…shall be IN you.”(v.17), 3. “…He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (v.26), 4. “…He shall testify of Me…and you also shall bear witness.” (15:26-27), 5. “…He will guide you into all truth…He will show you things to come.” (16:13), 6. “…He shall glorify Me…” (v.14) Do we trust the Lord Jesus for the Holy Spirit to BE all this to us, for His sake and glory? Are we trusting Him for all that He desires to give and to accomplish in our hearts, and through our lives?
Dear Father, time and opportunity are gracious gifts from You. Give us grace to grasp the enormity of our privilege, blessing, and responsibility, especially because You did not spare Your Son for us, but in giving Him, you gave all, and gave us all in Him. Meet us today in a new and fresh way, to trust You, to specifically believe you for the full out working of Your purposes in and through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.