The Year of the Lord’s Favor (or ‘The Most Basic Appologesis for Pentecostalism You’ve Never Read’)

We live in the year of the Lord’s favor.

This is the day, even as it was proclaimed by Christ that He was sent to ‘…preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’  (Luke 4:19)

This is the time in which the free gift of salvation has been extended, and offered to all men.  All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

From the time of Christ’s ascension, until His return with the final judgment is the year of God’s favor.

When Christ proclaimed – at the outset of His ministry – the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, he was declaring the attributes and aspects of His own ministry.  The proclamation was not merely for the days of His ministry in which He walked the earth, but unto the time of His second coming.  The year of the Lord’s favor is (as described by Jesus) marked by:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to…

1)    The Spirit freely given to men for the works of God’s service

‘…preach the gospel to the poor…’

2)    The preaching of the gospel is to go to the ends of the earth

‘…he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted…’

3)    Men are to be freed from their own hurt and brokenness

‘…to preach deliverance to the captives…’

4)    Men are to be redeemed from the dominion of Satan, and delivered from fear of death

‘…and recovering of sight to the blind…’

5)    We are to have our eyes opened to the Kingdom of Righteousness (chiefly its’ King: the Christ)

‘…to set at liberty them that are bruised.’

6)    Healing to those who have been harmed, or damaged under the reign of the evil one

And finally, ‘To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’

7)    Proclaiming the time-frame in which this great deliverance is given today.

You see there are seven things, which marks the completion of this great ministry of Christ, which is still taking place today, and will take place until His return, which marks a new era, an era in which deliverance will no longer be needed because ‘the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God… … for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev 21:3&4)

When Christ walked the earth He fully exemplified the above described ministry; the complete ministry needed for humanity today.  Now that He has ascended, he left this ministry to the church, His body – to complete it until His return.

The mighty day of Pentecost was the first part of this ministry, for as it is written: ‘…it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh…’

Yet there is for many a question as to when this Ministry of the Spirit – first exemplified in Christ, later entrusted to the whole church – would end.  We need go no further than the account, itself, in Acts 2:17-21 Peter explains the conditions and time-frame laid down by the prophet Joel: ‘In the LAST DAYS… …I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh… your sons and daughters… …on my servants and handmaidens I will pour out IN THOSE DAYS of my Spirit… AND I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath; blood and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon to blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass that whosever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

According to the above mentioned passage, this outpouring is allotted for a certain number of days, a certain span of time.  That span is to end with what?  ‘Blood, fire and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood BEFORE that great and notable day of the Lord…’

These are all signs of the end of the age.  The ‘day of the Lord,’ even since the Old Testament prophecies refer to the final judgment of God.  The age we are in will end at the return of Christ, and the judgment of the living and the dead.  During this span between Christs’ ascension and his return: ‘whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

It is the year of the Lord’s favor.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me BECAUSE…

In these days God has granted us His great salvation.  He is also freely pouring out of His Spirit upon all flesh, upon whosever will call on the name of the Lord.  WHO is it for?  As according to Peter on the day of Pentecost: ‘Repent and be baptized EVERY ONE OF YOU in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and YE shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto YOU, and to YOUR CHILDREN, and TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF, even AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL.’

There is a reason, and a purpose for this age.  There is a reason for for this giving of His Spirit.

Jesus was crucified during the feast of Passover as the sacrifice whose blood saves us from sin.  Why was the Holy Spirit given at the feast of Pentecost?

The feast of Pentecost was the feast of HARVEST.  It represents the ingathering of the harvest of souls to Christ.

We must remember that Jesus’ life and ministry was as a seed.  He said so Himself: ‘The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.’  (John 12:23 & 24)

Jesus, Himself, was the seed of the Church.  Christ was planted in the earth and a new, supernatural crop was the fruit of that.

The events of the book of Acts represent the growth of the planted seed of the person of Jesus Christ.  Consider the Gospels the seed, and the planting of that seed; consider the book of Acts the growth of that single seed into the beginning of the first seeds’ (Jesus’) harvest.

In the Gospels we see, largely, one man – Jesus Christ – performing the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit.  We see this lone figure doing the works of God in fullness.  A single representative of God in the earth was performing all of those points he described in Luke 4:18&19.

In the book of Acts, after the Holy Spirit came upon the believers what do we see?  We see the same works that Jesus did on a wide scale.  Now it was not just a single man doing the works of God in the world but the whole church – all of God’s redeemed possession began to work these same works.

Indeed it was during the ministry of Paul that the believers began to be called ‘Christians,’ which means ‘little Christ.’  They were so called because they were doing the things that Christ did.

They preached the Gospel to the poor, they healed the broken hearted, preached deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, they set at liberty them that were bruised, and they preached the acceptable year of the Lord.  (Luke 4:18 & 19)

Furthermore, they did not merely have the message of these things, but the same power, and outward manifestations of them that Jesus had.  They healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, cast out devils, opened the eyes of the blind.  Everything that Jesus did in his life was the seed which began to blossom and bear fruit in the lives of the church.

Consider the Gospels the seed, and every following book of the New Testament the fruit of that seed – the book of Acts revealing the first fruits.

Jesus was the seed, the Holy Spirit is the new, resurrection life born within each Christian heart.  Christ came to give us life, and life MORE ABUNDANT.  As it is written: ‘If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him.’ (2 Tim 2:11)

What is the abundance of the Holy Spirit’s power in your life?  Are you saved?  Do you have that deposit of the Holy Spirit?  Praise God!  But that is not enough.

Jesus came to give us life MORE ABUNDANT.  ‘He that believeth in me out of his belly shall flow RIVERS of LIVING WATER!’ (John 7:38) and what does the next verse say?  39 But this spake he of THE SPIRIT, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

Jesus was planted as a seed in the earth, the Holy Spirit is resurrection life miraculously sprung to life in the believer.  But this miraculous new growth requires that the death of Christ first take place in our hearts.  Those who call on His name – who repent and are baptized, (that is – those who die with Him) have that seed planted within their hearts, and the new growth of the Holy Spirit springing up within them; it has the power to spring up into everlasting life.

Just as the nature of a seed is to die so that new life can be born, it was also the nature of Jesus Christ – as the inception of all things – to die so that you and I could be born again, and spring up in new life – new GROWTH.

Salvation is the first step, the first springing up of life.  From that point we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  We are to be literally Baptized in the Holy Ghost, until the fullness of Christ’s ministry and power manifestation is pouring out of us.

Of course the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost; Pentecost was the celebration of HARVEST.

We are in the year of the Lord’s favor.  This is the time of HARVEST.  We are living in the age of the HARVEST – the age of Pentecost.

One day – the day of Christ’s return the earth will be reaped and the Lord of the Harvest will claim the fruits of the earth, and will burn up the tares and the weeds.  That which has not been born again with this supernatural new life of the Holy Spirit will be cast into the lake of fire.  It is dead, and exists as not anything but weeds unfit for the following age of Christ’s reign, having rejected His inception and development in the earth.

Yet this age we live in is the year of the Lord’s favor.  All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

In this Pentecostal age – the year of the Lord’s favor – the church is supposed to become equipped by God for the harvest, just as the twelve were equipped (remember Jesus life and ministry was the seed.)

The saints and apostles who had received the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts were the first-fruits of the harvest.  First fruits are the earliest of the ripened fruit which come before the fullness of the harvest.

The year of the Lord’s favor, this Pentecostal age will endure until the return of ChristThe outpouring of the Holy Spirit in these biblical proportions and manifestations is for the church today, and until the Master comes back in power and judgment.  Though many will attack me for teaching this, the entire New Testament confirms it.  In fact there is only one scripture which I have heard anyone use to counter this Truth.  Ironically that scripture, too, teaches the very opposite of what many who use it seem to think that it implies.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Those who claim that the biblical power and manifestations are not for today will teach that this passage means that once the full canon of scripture is completed, there will be no need for the Power and manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the same biblical proportions and manifestations.

‘…where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled… …but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.’

But is the completion of the canon of scripture what Paul is talking about in this passage?  He says that ‘…now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’

Does the completion of the canon of scripture fulfill this statement?  Do we see Jesus face to face?  Do we know FULLY?  Or know all things in FULLNESS?  Isn’t it clear that even in these verses Paul is talking about the return of the Christ, when the church will be caught up with Him, will be clothed with immortality, will be made to rule with Him?

Simply because the whole of scripture has been compiled you don’t know everything.  You don’t even know the fullness of what is Written yet.  Do you see Christ face to face?  Have you been completed?

Paul declared that: ‘…if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.’ (1 Cor 8:2)  If this verse of scripture applies today, then it negates the idea that Paul’s speaking of perfect knowledge, which he wrote about later in the same book – 1 Cor. 13 – applies today (and vice versa).

The gifts of the Spirit which he says will pass away, what is their purpose?  What is prophecy for?  And the gift of tongues?

These are for proclaiming the truth, and the goodness of God, are they not?  If evangelism is still a valid ministry in the earth, then so are these gifts.  There are still those who have not been redeemed, there are still those who are perishing in their sins.  The WORK OF GOD IS NOT COMPLETE, how then can we expect that ‘completeness has come’?

No, this passage does not refer to the completion of the biblical canon, it clearly refers to the same point of time that Peter spoke of on the day of Pentecost, the coming of the Great and Notable day of the Lord – the final day of Harvest: the return of Christ.

On that day there will no longer be a need for people to preach the Gospel to the poor, or to heal the broken hearted, or to bring deliverance to the captives, or recovering of sight to the blind, or to set at liberty them that are bruised – Christ will make all things new via the complete and final redemption of His purchased possession, the church.

‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: FOR THE FORMER THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY.’  (Rev 21:4)

There will no longer be a need for tongues or prophecy, for everyone who remains of this world will have complete, and full access to God.  The Harvest will be complete and we will live and reign with Him forever more.

In this day, there is a need for ministry, all the ministry of God, and everyone can have access to God’s blessing in this time.  That is the blessing, and the curse of this age – it remains sin-tainted, full of wickedness, and strife; ‘…the whole world lieth in wickedness’ (1John 5:19), but we can be redeemed, and redeem the time!  ALL THOSE WHO CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED: YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOR.

Read the passage again in that context:

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Those passages which speak of the end of the gifts, power, and manifestation of the Spirit, refer to the coming age, not the one we are living in now.

This is the year of the Lord’s favor, the year of Pentecost.

You and I must be equipped, as Christ was, to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.  TO PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.

Perhaps if we can begin to see the ideal of God’s will, we will begin to see our need.  Then we can grow into what things He has called us to.

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3 thoughts on “The Year of the Lord’s Favor (or ‘The Most Basic Appologesis for Pentecostalism You’ve Never Read’)

  1. Pingback: What Spiritual Gifts Can I Have? – pnuematicrain

  2. Pingback: Would that All God’s People Were Prophets – pnuematicrain

  3. Pingback: WHERE is the Israel of God? ‘Know ye not, ye are His Temple?’ – pnuematicrain

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