The last four letters of the word ‘FINISHED’ are ‘shed’. Taking that as a word together, we do need to realize, in finishing our work, we need shed some things.
SHEDDING THE FILTHY GARMENTS...
The ‘apron of leaves’ that mankind first tried to use, needed to be shed. In the beginning days of the Adamic race, God put a ‘coat of skins’ on them.
"the Lord God made a coat of skins, and clothed them’.
Blood had to be shed to cover man, because the aura glory that once clothed mankind was gone after sin brought the fall, the body needed clothes to cover it. The aprons of leaves was not sufficient. Blood needed shed, so that a death brought a covering. Insufficient were the apron of leaves that they had tried to use to cover themselves.
Adam’s sin was willful, for Adam was ‘not deceived’ as was Eve.
1 Timothy 2:14 (KJV)
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Adam knew what God had commanded, and willfully rebelled against that rule of God. This sin reflected upon the goodness of God. Adam’s sin was a breach of the law of God. This was spiritual suicide, that Adam did in his sin.
Adam’s sin brought evil upon others. Mankind had changed from being innocent to being a failure. The ‘eyes were opened’ and man immediately sensed and saw the change. God’s desire to re-clothe man, and man’s attempt to re-clothe themselves, shows the recognition of the change.
Mankind became totally depraved of any goodness that would replace the innocence and righteousness that they once had. The original righteousness was corrupted and instead of an inclination to do right and good, mankind has since has the inclination toward evil. Total depravity refers to man’s total inability to restore he Creator/creature relationship without God’s help.
Joshua, the high priest, needed to shed his filthy garments.
Zechariah 3:1-7 (KJV)
1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
Joshua was the High Priest at the time of the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon. In this fifth vision, Zechariah sees Joshua standing before "the Angel of the Lord", and "Satan" was also there.
This vision is predominantly one depicting the last day battle of Satan to corrupt, or keep destitute, the priesthood. God is showing in this vision, the change of the priesthood of the last days in spiritual revival.
The shedding of the filthy garments and the placing of clean raiment upon Joshua - represents the revival of the priesthood ministry in the last days.
In this vision, Christ Jesus is seen as the advocate of the priesthood, and Satan is seen resisting the priesthood, and Christ's ministry to them.
In the church age, there is no "clergy" and "laity" in God's eyes. He has called all Christians to be the "priesthood." Every saint is to be spiritually clothed in priestly garb. Just as the priesthood of the Old Testament stood between the sinner and God, the saints of today are the intercessors, the evangelists, and the witness between the sinner and God. Into the Holy of Holies, the Old Testament High Priest could enter to make intercession before the presence of God once a year. In the New Testament, the veil has been rent, and all believers may boldly enter into the very Divine Presence of God.
The devil is present in this age to oppose the Christian's evangelistic and intercessory role in the world. We battle and resist this evil devil. We are all like "brands plucked out of the fire... (3:2). In other words, we are barely saved from destruction ourselves. We are charged with leading others away from the destruction from which we have been saved.
Christ is our advocate, and He is the One Who for us rebukes the devil.
"And He shewed me Joshua, the High Priest, standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at His right hand to resist Him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee."
We, the priesthood of the last days, are to be given clean garments. This indicates a revival of the last days. The church is desperately in need of a revival. During this finished period, we should be shedding the filthy spiritual garments, and put on the spiritual garments.
"And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment."
Many in the church of today, do not want to see the vile sins of the church. They will defend their denomination, their local congregation, their own selves... and deny the hypocrisy, the spiritual abuse, the heresy, and the existence of false prophets. The Lord is not unaware of the sins of the churches, and the world can easily see the sins, too. Only, the church itself is in the state of denial. Filthy garments have not all been shed. Some are still wearing their own righteousness, which are like filthy rags.
A "fair mitre" will be given the revived priesthood. This is the turban that the High Priest wore. This represented the priest's right to act as judge for the Lord, and point out sin and its punishment to the world. For us to effectively preach, teach, and prophesy, we need revival first.
JESUS SHED MUCH WHEN HE CAME TO EARTH TO LIVE AMONG US.
THE KENOSIS OF JESUS
Philippians 2:5-8 (KJV)
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The Kenosis of Christ, is a term that comes from the Greek word ‘kenoo (G2758), meaning "to empty out, to drain." When it says ‘made Himself of no reputation’, it is the word ‘kenoo’, meaning He emptied Himself, He drained out of Himself many things.
This is hard for us to do, and yet, we are sent into this world with the same mission, with the same calling as Jesus had. If we do not ‘empty ourselves’,
if we do not shed the filthy garments we wear spiritually, then we are not following in the mission to which we are called.
What did Christ shed?
It was not His divine nature, for He is God for all eternity (Mic. 5:1-2; Jn. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8-11).
Jesus was One of the Trinity, manifest in flesh during His life on earth (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Mt. 1:18-25; Jn. 1:1-2,14; 1Tim. 3:16).
Christ emptied Himself of:
1. Jesus emptied, temporarily, Himself from His equality with God. He put Himself into total subjection to Another One of the Trinity. We too need to realize we are totally in subjection to the Lord Jesus, and not His boss, but ‘followers’ and disciples of Him.
(Philippians 2:6-7; John. 14:28; I Corinthians. 11:3)
2. Jesus emptied Himself of His eternal, holy, pure, all powerful body, to take human-form. We still await our ‘redeemed body’. We have been made eternal spiritually, but we are in a human body that still suffers pain, weakness, and is slowly dying. We have human body frailties, till the ‘adoption’ of the body at the rapture/resurrection.
(Romans 8, Philippians 2:6-8; 3:21; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke. 1:35; John. 1:14; Lk. 24:37-40; Zechariah 13:6; Galatians 4:4)
3. Jesus emptied Himself of the glory, honor, praise, worship that He had with the Father in heaven. We too will find ‘hatred’ not love from the world, we will not be ‘reverenced’ but rather we will be despised if we stay with our real mission.
(John. 12:23; 17:5; Matthew 16:27; Philippians 2:5-11)
4. Jesus emptied Himself of His authority in heaven and in earth. He had that returned after the resurrection. We will someday ‘rule and reign’ with Jesus, but right now, we are not in ‘authority’ over this world, but we have, as Jesus, ‘authority’ over the devil, and can resist him and make him flee. (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:20-23; I Peter. 3:22)
5. Jesus emptied Himself of His divine attributes and outward powers that He had in heaven. He had no power to do miracles until His anointing with the Spirit, at the time when the ‘Dove’ rested upon His head. We too have no power in ourselves. It is the power of the Spirit that does miracles through us.
(John 2:11; 3:34; Isaiah 11:1-2; 42:1-7; 61:1-2; Luke 3:21-22; 4:16-21; Matthew 12:28; Acts 10:38).
Jesus attributed all His works, doctrines, powers, to His Father. Jesus limited Himself to simple human status, to being only an Agent of God, and as One using only the authority delegated from God through the Spirit. We are told to follow in His steps. That was a lot of ‘shedding’.
Peter 2:21-25 (KJV)
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Jesus was tempted by sin, resisted and did not yield to that temptation, to prove that in human form, in human weakness, mankind, even we, can also resist temptation with the aid of the Spirit of God.
Isaiah, in Isaiah 7:14-16, says the Messiah would be born without knowledge to know to refuse evil and choose good. Jesus was limited, emptied of all, so that the Spirit of God had to teach Him wisdom, show Him understanding, illustrate to Him counsel, anoint Him with might, reveal to Him knowledge, and help Him learn the fear and reverence of the Lord.
Isaiah 7:14-16 (KJV)
14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
Jesus ‘emptied Himself’, He shed His claim to authority, came as a servant, gave up a throne, all for us... and showed us by illustration, how to live a human life. We too must shed much. We are not here to be glorified by man, to be adored and adulated. We are here to preach the good news, and to share Jesus with this world.
Isaiah 50:4-9 (KJV)
4 The Lord GOD hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned.
5 The Lord GOD hath opened Mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
6 I gave my back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and spitting.
7 For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8 He is near that justifieth Me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to Me.
9 Behold, the Lord GOD will help Me; who is he that shall condemn Me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
Jesus was born without the tongue of the learned, without knowing how to speak a word in season to help any soul, and would be wakened day by day to increase in knowledge and wisdom. We are born that way too. We have to learn to minister, we need to learn from the Spirit of God, like unto how Jesus did after He had emptied Himself.
We start out empty, having shed the prestige, and glory from mankind. We start when Jesus came after He had emptied Himself. We are limited as a baby, to grow in body, in soul, in spirit, to learn grace, wisdom, stature, and grow in favor with God. Jesus did not possess, nor claim the stature and powers of God, for Himself, but used the powers of God through the Spirit. So must we do that.
Too many want to be ‘little gods’, and want to claim to have powers in themselves. We have One, the Comforter, Who is with us to do miracles, but we are not deity. Jesus emptied Himself of all that to show us how to have a miraculous life, though we are only human.
Jesus promised all believers power to do the works that He did. We have the same powers that He had, we are to do His works, and even mightier works, though still emptied of any personal power of our own. (Matthew 10:1-20; 16:18; 18:18; Luke 10; 24:49; Mark 16:15-20; John 14:12-15; Acts 1:4-8).
Jesus humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Our road leads to a cross too. He came to bear the sins of the world, we still are concerned about those sins, if we are on the same road as Christ Jesus, and walking with Christ Jesus.
THE WALK WITH JESUS IS FAR MORE CLOSE,
AFTER WE HAVE SHED HUMAN DESIRES.
Too many in ministry think they are there to be honored. We shall be, but not here. If we get honor here, it is due to not preaching the right message. The honor Jesus received, after all this merciful emptying, was a crown of thorns, a bloody robe, nails in His hands and feet.
Do we think the world has changed? Or have we tried to change? We have love for the world, like Jesus came with love for sinful mankind. We love enough to preach what they need to hear. Yet, what they need to hear is not wanted, not desired by them, and they reject it with hatred and violence. The message in these last days is going to be hated more than ever. The enemy will make these days to be ‘perilous times’, but we need not fear. We are on a hated road, but we are walking with Jesus, headed to our heavenly home, where much will be given to us, for walking this ‘empty’ life. We SHED much, but are truly in fellowship as we FINISH the race.