Monday, 11 May 2009

God's Provision for the Church Age

I think most Christians will know the verse and have quoted it in prayer at one time or another. When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. Is 59:19 NKJV It is an encouraging verse and we do well to consider it in times of trial in particular. One of the problems which such great verses is that they become easily detached from their roots. If we put this verse back into its context it is an even greater encouragement. Is 59:16-21

It is a messianic prophecy which speaks of Christ's work as a warrior. It predicts total victory and assures that even in the most overwhelming tsunami of conflict Christ himself will be the standard or ensign that the Spirit erects against the foe. The purpose of the standard in ancient times was as a rallying point. In the time of the greatest danger we are to rally to our great Captain and put ourselves under his spoken command.

God then declares a sure covenant with his people which is dependent on Christ himself. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. Is 59:20-21 I have gone for the old KJV as it identifies Christ so plainly by using the singular pronoun 'thee'. God's covenant with his people is possible because of something which is true of Christ and the thing that is true is that God has anointed him with the Spirit and put his words into his mouth. In the time of the greatest conflict the Spirit of the Lord will contend against the enemy through that anointed Man who has the word of God in his mouth.

Deliverance and guidance in our time of peril comes from the living word of God who stands his ground against every attack. It comes not from adherence to sound doctrine or from a fresh organisation but from Christ speaking in the midst of his people. This is not just the Bible although he may well use the Bible; this is 'the word of his grace which is able to build you up and give you and inheritance among the sanctified'. Acts 20:32

And this word will be in the mouths of his 'seed' and his 'seed's seed'. This is a promise that as long as the church lasts God will speak his word into our contexts and bring deliverance. In the face of statistics and predictions of the last downwards spirals of evangelicalism we will be tempted to find our solutions; better this or more of that. God's solution to two millennia of trials has always been the same when the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a Standard against him; Christ himself, the anointed messenger of the covenant, and those who have his 'seed' in them will be the agents of God's deliverance. From the early days of conflict the apostle John's confidence still echoes this same truth; But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 1John 2:27

If you would like to sing along with this go to...
The Spirit's Standard

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