Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Anointed for Burial

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

Some years ago I read a book called, 'Anointed for Burial.' The book describes the miraculous work that God did by the Holy Spirit in Cambodia, just before the destructive work of the communist Khmer Rouge. Many of the Christians, who were converted in the revival, were slaughtered by the communists. The author of the book asked the Lord as to why He poured out His Holy Spirit just before the nation was destroyed. God's reply to the author was that they were "anointed for burial."

A similar thing happened in Rwanda. Just prior to the 1994 massed slaughter of Tutsis and moderate Hutus by Hutu rebels, there was a massive revival in Rwanda.

The passage above refers to the ministry of Jesus, casting out demons amongst the Jews. However, after the Jewish leaders delivered the Saviour to be crucified, the demons that had been wandering around the desert regions of Palestine, returned to Jerusalem, and the last state of the Jewish people was far worse than the first. According to Josephus, the extremities of degradation to which the Jews had fallen in the years of the Jewish wars, leading up to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 were nothing short of "demonic." How do we know that Jesus was referring to the terminal generation of Jews? We know because He said, "this generation." Jesus was speaking to a generation of Jews, in His day, and the word "this" was referring to the people He was speaking to.

We can learn from this. Although Jesus was speaking to His own generation through this story, its principle can be applied to any generation that satisfies the same conditions. Great revival accompanied with miracles (healing of the sick, casting out of demons, raising of the dead, and so on), without corresponding reformation and institutional restructuring according to the Law of God, may often simply be "an anointing for burial."

Remember, Jesus said:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" (Matthew 7: 13-23)

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