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Series: Renewal of the Mind; Finished Works
Sun am 14 September 2014 – Kobus Swart
Ps. 23:7; (Matt. 1:15-17); 1 Cor. 12:12; 2 Cor. 5:16-17; John 19:30; Eph. 4:15; Rom. 6:11;
Heb. 10:10; (Rom. 8:1-2, 19); Matt. 25:41; 1 Cor. 12:27; Heb. 11:39-40; 1 Thess. 5:23;
(1 Cor. 9:24); (Ezek. 37:7-10); John 4:34-38; 2 Pet. 3:12; Ps. 42:7; Isa. 30:18; Rev. 10:6
The preceding Word will not impact your life unless it penetrates your heart and changes your mindset; otherwise it will go in one ear out the other and you leave unchanged. It has to be an encounter with truth, with the Word of God.
In this Word, we will shed further light on what is meant by the “finished works” of Jesus. The last words coming from His lips were: “It is finished” (John 19:30). It means it is complete; nothing to be added except our obedience, our engagement with it. We must have a head-on encounter with that truth or else we will still have a problem in the way we think about ourselves. Paul said, “Reckon yourself dead” (Rom. 6:11). Reckoning takes place in our mind. If I keep making room for the old Adam, he will gladly be there. We should be delivered from a sin consciousness, which means my thinking should not dwell on sin. The more you focus on something the more you keep it alive. If you have a problem with some weakness in your character, the more you focus on it, the more you keep it alive. I do not want sin consciousness to rule my thinking. I want new creation consciousness; I have been set free so there is therefore no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of life is stronger than the Law of sin and death (Rom.8:1-2).
Paul was the first apostle who decoded the mystery of the Christ. All the other apostles who walked with Jesus kept referring to Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (2 Cor. 5:16). We look at the corporate that Paul clearly defined. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it (1 Cor. 12:27). We have to get this mindset right. Your identity is linked to the corporate.
We can look at this from another angle. This 42nd generation is a finishing generation. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect (Heb. 11:39-40). This Scripture has been true for every generation, and everybody in a particular generation could say “That is us”, but there is going to be a final generation. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:23).There is a final generation who will go from this life into eternal life without dying.
There is another way of looking at the corporate Christ. Paul talks about the one (corporate) Man running the race and crossing the finishing line(1 Cor. 9:24). We are completing a race that was started by those before us. The baton has been passed from one generation (as in a relay race) to the next. We have to be faithful, we cannot drop the baton. It happened in church history several times and God had to start again. Take the baton and run and when your time is over, give it to the next runner, the next generation, so that the corporate Man can win the race.
God is waiting for us; Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting. When I look at the Church, they are waiting … for another revival? Is there a way in which a generation can participate with God and hasten the day? Yes! But it is not going to be one man individually, nor one church nor one nation; it is vested in the corporate. That is why it is so critical for bone to find bone, until this ‘giant’ comes together. This corporate man is the ‘giant’ in Ezekiel 37:7-10.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish (complete or finish) His work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:34-38). Jesus said, “I was sent to do His will and to bring to an end, to complete, to perfect His Work”. This must have taken place at the time of the Feast of Pentecost. It was four months to the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus said, Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? The Feast of Tabernacles was known as the feast of harvest. Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Do not look at the date of the Feast of Tabernacles. After the fulfillment of Passover (crucifixion) and Pentecost (outpouring of the Holy Spirit), we do not read again about the Feast of Tabernacles. He was saying, “Forget your calendar, the time is now.” We have to change our mind regarding setting dates. This is the challenge of the finishing generation.
Can the Church delay things? If we are going to be passive and wait for another revival or sign in the sky, generation after generation will pass. “The fields are white for harvest”. Fathers of the faith, apostles and prophets have labored though the generations; we are going to reap where we did not labour (John 4:38).
All creation is in travail awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19). That is the manifestation of the Son in the sons. Until then nothing is going to advance. Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat (2 Pet. 3:12). How do we hasten the day? It is a longing; deep calls to deep (Ps. 42:7).
There is also a longing in the heart of the Father. Therefore there should be a longing in our hearts. Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him (Isa. 30:18). We are so distracted by so many things that we are missing the point. Our minds are occupied, anxious about material things. And swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there will be delay no longer (Rev. 10:6). Time will be no more; there will be no more delays. That is something God and the heavens are waiting for.