A Sign Spoken AgainstBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 12/15/2019
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Luke 2:34-35 KJV
1. A Sign Spoken Against.
a. These words were spoken by the aged Simeon, as he held the long-promised Savior in his arms.
b. 30 years elapsed—and prophecy was fulfilled.
c. Jesus Christ stood—in manhood—in the synagogue in Nazareth, with the scroll of the book of Isaiah in His hand (Isaiah 61:1-2).
d. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me... this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:18-21).
e. As He continued, “No prophet is accepted in his own country” (Luke 4:24), they became enraged and forced Him out of town, intending to throw Him off the side of the hill (Luke 4:28-30).
f. He became a sign spoken against—that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed.
g. It is so with every servant of God; whose ministry is indeed with power.
2. Genuine Revival.
a. Genuine revival will shine a light on sin and disobedience, and the thoughts of hearts will be revealed.
b. God will offend the mind to reveal the heart.
c. Why do some oppose the work, or the move, of God?
e. The mighty operation of the Spirit will always uncover, and draw forth into the open, the antagonism of the natural, or carnal mind, which is enmity against God.
f. Romans 8:7 AMPC — [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.
g. Sin and disobedience.
h. People were offended by Jesus because of their own disobedience to the Word of God (1 Peter 2:7-8).
i. Hard hearts and unbelief (Hebrews 3:7-10 and 19).
j. Hebrews 4:2 KJV — For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
l. 1 Corinthians 14:38 KJV — But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
m. People are ignorant of the move of God through lack of information or understanding—or because they have chosen to ignore what the Word and the Spirit are saying.
a. People make excuses, and blame others, for why they oppose the move of God.
b. Finding fault: Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devils by the devil.
c. Pride: They were offended because He mixed with the “common people.”
d. Fear of losing control, or influence: They were offended because the people left them to follow after Jesus.
e. Abusing God’s goodness: Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).
f. Don’t stop doing what is right, just because someone else had wrong motives.
g. Excesses: Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20-22).
h. Drought and floods: The abundance of rain is good, not bad; even if it may sometimes cause a flood.
4. Fighting God.
a. Skeptics, cynics, and Pharisees.
b. There are always people who appear to desire revival—until it comes.
c. And then bitterly oppose it, because they didn’t come in the way they anticipated.
d. Perhaps the instrument God used, or the channel through which the blessing flowed, was not what their convictions had led them to expect.
e. People are offended because God uses someone whom they feel is “unqualified.”
f. People look to see an “Eliab,” or an “Abinadab,” chosen for a great work—but the Lord, who looks on the heart, chose David (1 Samuel 16:6-13).
g. People are offended because the move of God is taking place through a church, or denomination, other than their own.
h. Preconceived ideas.
i. People think they know what God would or wouldn’t do.
j. When they see something contrary to their expectations, or something they’ve never seen before, they become angry, or alarmed.
k. The Jews rejected their Messiah— because He did not fit into their plans—in the same way people today reject revival.
l. Acts 7:51 KJV — Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
m. Rebellion: Do not be rebellious against God.
n. Let God conduct His business in the way that pleases Him.
o. The respected teacher, Gamaliel, advised the other Pharisees: “Now in the present case let me say to you, stand off (withdraw) from these men and let them alone. For if this doctrine or purpose or undertaking or movement is of human origin, it will fail (be overthrown and come to nothing); But if it is of God, you will not be able to stop or overthrow or destroy them; you might even be found fighting against God!” (Acts 5:38-39 AMPC)
5. God is Still Moving.
a. Some warn from Matthew 24:24 that Satan’s agents are going to deceive by signs and wonders.
b. Is the Lord then to withhold His power and so give the devil the monopoly in the realm of the supernatural?
c. Moses and Aaron versus the magicians of Egypt (Exodus 7:9-12).
d. 1 John 4:4 KJV — Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
e. Luke 10:19 KJV — Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
f. Psalm 145:11 KJV — They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.
g. Psalm 111:2 AMPC — The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all those who have delight in them.