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Spirit of truth V

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Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave even though the Lord had said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” [1 Kings 19.11-13]

See that Elijah was not prepared to obey the Lord and move out of the cave immediately until the fury of the Lord had passed and the Lord had calmed down to a whisper, even though the command to Elijah was to go out and stand in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord was about to pass by.

The Lord wanted Elijah to go out and witness the fury of the Lord… a fury that was being vented by the Lord because Elijah had run off at the first sight of the cloud and had not waited for Him.  For the cloud that appeared over the sea, no larger than a man’s hand, was none other than the Lord Himself approaching Mount Carmel to meet with Elijah… but Elijah ran after Ahab.  And the Lord was furious because of Elijah’s absence.  The Lord wanted Elijah to see the Lord’s fury.  He wanted Elijah to stand with the Lord to watch the Lord unleash His anger.  And what an anger… a wind that tore mountains apart and shattered the rocks!  Now compare that with the wind that drew the crowds to the house where the disciples had been praying in Acts 2.

At Elijah’s time, the Lord the Holy Spirit was angry and indeed furious, and He displayed the truth of His anger.  Imagine what would have happened in Jerusalem had the Lord come in the manner that He did come to Elijah.

Elijah was a man of the God under the law, and the disciples were men and women of God under the grace of Jesus.  If ever you wondered what a difference Jesus made in the way God relates to men, the difference in the ways the Holy Spirit the Lord appeared in 1 Kings 19 and Acts 2 tells it all.  If you ever wondered what value the grace of Jesus is, you are looking at it.

The Word of the Lord, that is Jesus, came to Elijah in the cave while He was yet the Word, telling Elijah to go out to stand in the presence of the Lord, that is the Father, on the mountain, for the Lord the Holy Spirit was about to pass by.  But because Elijah was not covered by the blood of Jesus but only the blood of animals, the Lord the Holy Spirit displayed His true anger towards Elijah’s actions, even though He controlled Himself enough to speak to Elijah in a whisper.

However, we will never know the true anger that the Holy Spirit had towards the eleven for delaying His arrival until Pentecost day and for disobeying Jesus.  For the grace poured out through Jesus had muted for the Lord, even a display of His anger and displeasure.  He did not make a show of what He truly felt, as He did almost a thousand years ago.

Elijah is to the Old Testament what the eleven are to the New Testament.  Elijah was no ordinary ‘person’ of God.  He had been used to do miracles over and over again, and he had called fire down from Heaven.  The eleven likewise had seen and done just as much, if not more than Elijah.  If the Lord can be angry with Elijah’s behaviour, then He can also be rightly angry, if not angrier, with the eleven.  Yet He never displayed this anger on Pentecost day.

When you look at the two scenarios, you will see that the self control the Lord displayed in calming Himself down so that He spoke with a whisper was multiplied infinitely when He came on Pentecost day.  At Mount Horeb, the Lord displayed His real feelings about the situation ruined by Elijah.  At Jerusalem, He could not and He would not.  Why?  Because of Jesus.  That is the power and the effect of Jesus, and the difference He has made to God the Father and the Holy Spirit in Their relationship with men, especially with men of God.

He could not come angry, for if He did, He would not have been a Spirit of truth; He would just be venting His own anger against the apostles, Jesus’ servants.  He had to still work for the glory and honour of the One who sent Him, and displaying the anger would only bring dishonour to Jesus.  So He came, assembling the people with the sound of a wind blowing – a whistle – and then as tongues of flame on the apostles, splitting open their mountain of unbelief and shattering their hearts of rocks so that what Jesus gave His life for would be launched – the church.

That is why the disbelief, the disobedience and the delay caused by the eleven during the forty days that Jesus remained on Earth after His resurrection have never been a topic taught, discussed or spoken of in seminaries, bible colleges or churches.  Yet the evidence of it all has been plainly set out in the four gospels from the day the Bible was assembled.  Others may have seen this before us, but none has been permitted to shout it from the rooftops.

After two millenniums, this truth has been unleashed by the Lord, and if it be unleashed, then will His anger also be unleashed?

To come as the Spirit of grace to the eleven who did not listen, did not believe and did not obey maintained the honour to the Lord in front of the enemies of the Lord two thousand years ago.  But now that the command has been restored and there are men and women who have returned to listening to Jesus, who do believe for His return, and who obey as servants waiting into the night for the Master’s return, He can unveil Himself and be the Spirit of truth that He wants to be… with an honest display of His displeasure.

And what are we to do, elect?  It is simply this:  Do not do what Elijah did.

For the Word of the Lord told Elijah to go out to stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord so that he could see the Lord pass by.  Elijah did not obey the Word of the Lord, but waited until the wind had passed by, the earthquake had gone and the fire had died down.  Then when he heard the calm gentle whisper of the Lord, he went out.

What the Lord needs from us is to obey the Word of the Lord and go out and stand in the presence of the Lord to watch the Lord pass by, even if it is to watch mountains being torn apart and rocks being shattered by His wind and the fire breaking out.

Like Elijah who was refreshed by angels to finish his journey, so we have been refreshed time and again by the Lord as the Spirit of grace.  So now let us go out and stand before Him and watch Him manifest as the Spirit of truth.  Let Him manifest as the Spirit of truth.  Let us draw near to Him for His anger and His fury, as we have drawn near for His grace… for then we can dispense His anger and His fury after we have received them ourselves.

Indeed, should He ask us that same question, “What are you doing here?” [1 Kings 19.9] let us cry out to Him that we are here so that He can be the Spirit of truth as He was sent to be.

Hr. Ed Kwan

Copyright Information:  NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION [NIV]  All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide.  www.zondervan.com

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