Have Simeon’s Holy Hankering

Much is happening that touches upon futuristic Holy Bible prophecy. Hopefully Israel will soon receive its greatest blessing after it goes through its darkest hour, and we can learn how to be ready from a Jew who lived over 2,000 years ago.

It was just over two millenia ago that Simeon, a devout Jew, was impressed by the Holy Spirit to go to the Temple. Luke, by the Holy Spirit, recorded the following about the incident (Luke 2:21-35):

And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the Law of

the Lord, "Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"),
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."
25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,
28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.
34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against
35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." 

There is very much here, especially in the light of history and current events. However, for this message we will be concentrating on verse 25 where we will see two major directives for us to follow.

I. Be Receptive

Simeon means “hearkening, listening.” Millenia before this, Jacob's wife Leah called her second son Simeon because she realized God heard her plea. God had hearkened. But hearkening, listening goes both ways. We should hear God. To do that, let Christ make you just, and in loving response be devout {1}.

Like many devout Jews of Israel, Simeon had a great desire, a hankering, to see the Consolation of Israel. Looking at the word used for "waiting," I feel it was a special hankering. Of all the words the Holy Spirit could have directed Luke to use {2} this one is the only one that carries the idea of receptiveness in heart and in action, and describes Simeon's holy hankering, his holy desire. James Strong {3} states the word may mean the following:
1) to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self 
1a) to admit one, receive one into intercourse and companionship 
1b) to receive one (coming from some place) 
1c) to accept (not to reject) a thing offered 
2) to expect: the fulfilment of promises 

The Need For The Consolation

Why was consolation needed to be received? Man’s sin prevented loving fellowship with God and placed mankind into a realm of disobedience upon which God’s wrath abides.  Though he was about to hold the Christ Child, Simeon had already listened to God and had received Christ within. He believed and trusted in God like his ancestor Abraham had.

After Adam and Eve sinned God, in rebuking the Serpent, declared that the seed of the woman would one day come and crush the head of the Serpent. After declaring judgments upon the woman and the man YHVH God clothed them with animal skins. Though the Holy Scriptures specifically do not say it, it is very probable that YHVH told them about His future redemptive work, that remission of sins and salvation would only come by His blood, and then slew an animal in front of them as an illustration, although this was also most likely how they learned what a proper sacrifice was.

However, down through the years the foundational purpose of the Messiah was blurred and later developed to the point that His only objective would be to bring political salvation. However, the Holy Scriptures reveal that spiritual redemption was most needed. Christ, Messiah, will save those who truly trust Him from self, sin, the Father’s wrath, the second death, hell and the lake of fire.

Because Simeon put his faith in God and followed through he enjoyed true peace between himself and God. That is a taste of the peace and knowledge of God that will be throughout the earth when Christ returns. It will be an aspect of God’s consolation that will be enjoyed by Israel and the world.

Before The Consolation Of Israel

The world chooses, including Israel, to stay in darkness, and the night comes when no man can work (John 9:4). That night will include a time when the Beast will rule on earth and the False Prophet will cause everyone to receive the mark without which no one can buy or sell (Revelation 13). The man of sin will sit in the Temple (2 Thessalonians 2:3), causing the abomination of desolation mentioned in Daniel (Daniel 11:31, 12:11) and declared by Christ that the main fulfillment is yet to come {4} (Matthew 24:15).

When Christ indicated that it was yet to come He also indicated that the abomination that causes desolation to come will be worse than the one that occurred over a century and a half before He was born in Bethlehem. William Menzies {5} writes that at that time Antiochus failed in his attempt to invade Egypt so on the way back home he went through Judea and vented his rage on Jerusalem killing 40,000 people. “His mad objective seemed to be convert or kill," writes Menzies. He continued, "Severe laws were swiftly decreed, . . .  The observance of the Sabbath, circumcision, even possessing the Hebrew Scriptures were made punishable by death. Jewish worship was outlawed, and pagan altars were erected in cities and hamlets throughout Judea.”

The Temple was sacked and an idol was erected on the altar in honor of Zeus. On December 25, 168 BC Antiochus offered a sow on the altar to the pagan deity. This was an abomination that caused desolation.

Things began to change when, in a village called Modin a few miles northwest of Jerusalem, the Syrian commissioner arrived to enforce the public sacrifice to pagan gods. Menzies says, “When one of the local citizens stepped to the altar to comply, the aged Jewish priest Matthias, in a burst of passionate zeal, killed both the temporizing Jew and the government agent and proceeded to breakdown the pagan altar.”

Matthias and his five sons fled to the Judean wilderness. His family was joined by others in destroying pagan altars by night. Matthias died and his third son, Judas, became leader of the revolt, and was eventually nicknamed Maccabeus, “the Hammer.” After a time a truce was made. Three years after being desecrated, the Temple was cleansed and rededicated.

However {6}, according to Talmudic tradition, there was very little oil left to light the menorah in the Temple, and the menorah had to give light throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil for it to burn one day. However, God performed a miracle so that the menorah burned for eight days, giving enough time to prepare more oil. Hanukkah commemorates this miracle.
 
Hanukkah 2016 fell on what many call Christmas. Hanukkah is sometimes called the festival of lights and we all know that Christmas is celebrated by many with an abundance of lights. This can remind us that Christ is the Light of the world. And I am sure you would agree, light is better than darkness! And notice Simeon said (v.32) by the Spirit that the Christ Child was "a Light of revelation to the Gentiles."

The Final Consolation Of Israel

Just as Simeon was waiting for, and receiving from, Christ, the Consolation of Israel, those who are born again in Christ and believe that Holy Bible prophecy will be literally fulfilled expect the return of Christ to rule on earth for 1,000 years. But if Holy Bible prophecy is literally fulfilled then there is a facet of it that must occur before Christ physically rules on earth. There needs to be a Temple again. As of the time of writing this article (December 23, 2016) there is no Temple-- yet. Keep in mind that many back around 1930 would say there is no Israel, but Israel was back on the map in 1948.

2015 saw the last of four blood moons that fell on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014 and 2015. Such occurrences have happened a number of times over the centuries and each


occurrence either preceded or was followed by something that affected Israel. So, after the last blood moon in 2015 the next year saw the unexpected rise of Donald Trump to become the next President Of The United States. Trump somehow defeated all other Republican contenders that many felt would be fit to be President. Trump won Pennsylvania by somewhat a slim margin-- and many Amish, a group that for the most part a half century ago would not even think of voting, had voted. Against almost every poll, Trump won the election.

Keeping in mind the four blood moons that were just mentioned that signal something big {7} would happen to Israel, President-elect Trump has stated his desire to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I cannot recall any U.S. President saying that. On December 20, 2016 Reuters reported that Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, issued an impassioned endorsement of President-elect Donald Trump's promise to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a move that would mark a break with longstanding U.S. foreign policy.

What about the Temple? A video report from Revelation In The News {9} indicated that shortly after Mr. Trump was elected that the Sanhedrin asked Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin of Russia to somehow help get the Temple rebuilt. Once again, this occurred in the same year on which Hanukkah falls on Christmas. Also keep in mind that May 2018 will be the 70th anniversary of the re-establishment of Israel.

One more thing about Mr. Trump. This occurred just hours before I sent this article to the online publisher. It was reported that Mr. Trump said the following: "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." A little later, and probably after some complained about the first statement, he responds via Twitter, "Let it be an arms race because we will outmatch them at every pass & outlast them all". Joel 3 speaks of the coming of Armageddon. Joel 3:10 states, "Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, "I am a mighty man."."

There are many more things that could be mentioned: ISIS, Iran, and so on, but it is very evident something is brewing and it is imperative we be ready. It appears that the Great Tribulation is about to come. It is designed to bring the remaining Jews to Christ --- the Consolation of Israel. Armageddon concludes the Great Tribulation and the Age of The Gentiles. The remaining Jews will surrender and commit to Jesus Christ. A beautiful prophetic picture of them receiving their Consolation can be read in Zechariah chapters 12 to 14.

So at the time this article was written it appears very likely that the Beast and False Prophet will soon arise and exert their power on earth. Those who do not truly have Christ, the Consolation of Israel, will be forced to receive a mark in order to buy and sell. When the Temple is rebuilt there will be the main and final abomination that causes desolation. But, in the end, Christ will return at Armageddon, and in sincere repentance Israel will receive their Consolation. 

II. Be Ready (be like Simeon)

While the precise details of futuristic Holy Bible prophecy remain unclear, one thing is not unclear: Be ready. Be ready by being justified by God, as Simeon was. "By God" is the controlling thought here. We cannot be justified before God on our own. Consider Psalm 130:3-4, "If You, YHVH, should mark iniquities, O Lord who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared."

The only way to be truly just before God is to be saved by Him. Salvation, however, is not based upon loving whim, but upon the fact that Christ paid the penalty for our sins. Each of us deserve the full wrath of God. We must confess to God that we are sinners and place our full trust in Christ. We must surrender our life to Him and receive the life of Christ, letting Him grow in us.

Note that by the Holy Spirit Simeon said (30-31), "My eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples." Salvation included providing the Way in which we should live to please God. Everything Christ did becomes resident in a person's heart when they receive Him as their Savior. Many do not understand how Christ could have been God, yet at the same time say He could do nothing unless directed by the Father. That is the point. That is how one is to live to please God. When someone surrenders to Christ they are crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20). The verse shows they no longer live in a sense, but Christ lives through them, pleasing the Father by His moral goodness and obedience.

By the Holy Spirit Luke describes Simeon as devout. The word used by the Spirit means . . . 
1) taking hold well 
1a) carefully and surely 
1b) cautiously 
2) reverencing God, pious, religious 

Like Abraham and others mentioned in Hebrews 11 Simeon had faith and his faith produced godly character and action. He remained true to God at all times, publicly and privately. Do not just make a commitment to Christ-- BE committed.

Simeon was also ready because he was receptive to the Holy Spirit: "the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple." If we are truly saved we too are to be directed by the Holy Spirit, and not by instinct, impulse, self will, self desire and whatever else is not of God. Let us live by the will of God as revealed in His written Word and spoken Word.

Notes:

{1} Please read "To Hear The Voice of God" at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/hear-voice-god .

{2} Vine, W. E.: An Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words (Flemming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, NJ : 1966) Vol. 4 pp193-4

{3} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{4} That is, at the time of the writing of this article.

{5} Menzies, William W.: Understanding The Times Of Christ (The Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO.: 1969), pp. 12-13

{6} From Judaism 101 at http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday7.htm .

{7} In respectful fun, I would like to write Mr. Trump might say "something yuge" and something so "yuge" that "it will make your head spin."

{8} From http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-idUSKBN14A06I?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

{9} Revelation In The News video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp7OBPYwLWs .
 
This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by January 23, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M434 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 24-12-2016 47 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Humankind is constantly changing, led on by events and technical evolution; differences in mentalities appear, revealing how ill-adapted are ancient structures to new situations. Watching all of the US electron and all that led up to it, I was not surprised that Trump actually won. It was a great possibility. There is a saying in my country that when the United States sneezes, we catch a cold. Let see how much we are going to be affected by the new leadership of America.
    reply 0
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