Early this morning (December 31, 2014) I was awakened with the words “Time is running out,” giving me the distinct impression that time is short! As I pondered the meaning of these words, the parable of the ten virgins was brought presently to mind; and with it came an urgent yet reassuring sense of our need to have our lamps filled and brightly burning.
This message was reassuring in that as I prayed for understanding and wisdom regarding it, I was told “Time is of the essence.” Along with this word I received the distinct impression that there is time, though short, to take action, to fill our lamps and let them shine forth in this dark world.
The oil that is to fill our lamps (lives) is the Holy Ghost, whom Jesus referred to as the Comforter and as the Spirit of truth. The light that is to shine forth from our lives is the light of Jesus Christ, a light which is to come from our Lord’s own countenance dwelling within us.
The question facing us at this time is this, have we received His image in our countenances? If the answer is yes, our lives will shine forth the fruit of His Spirit. If it is no, our lives will continue to be marred by the works of the flesh.
In practical terms, we are to live through Jesus Christ unto doing good works, meaning the works which Jesus did in His ministry.
Even as Jesus went about doing good, we, as His workmanship, are to do the same. For as He has said, “ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do, that shall ye also do.” Meaning we are to bring forth the same fruit which He brought forth as fruit of His Spirit abiding in us as we abide in Him as the True Vine.
Matthew 5:16-18 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Therefore, let your light so shine before this world, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
John 15:5-8 I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
John 15:10-14 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In an earlier post on this website, Why prayer, a more complete discussion was given on how we are filled with the oil (anointing) of our Lord’s Spirit through prayer. Briefly stated, the Lord bestows His love upon us to strengthen us and inspire us for meeting the challenges and opportunities of each day. And He does this through the gift of His Spirit, the abiding gift of His love which we receive through prayer.
Jude 1:20,21 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Here again Jesus is our example. Recall how He was praying when the Holy Ghost came upon Him after He was baptized of John in the Jordan River.
Luke 3:28-29 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also came unto John; and being baptized of him, and praying, the heaven was opened; and the Holy Ghost descended, in bodily shape like a dove, upon him; and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.
And as reaffirmed in scriptures revealed in these latter days, we receive the Spirit of the Lord through prayer.
D&C 42:5b …and the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith, and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.
D&C 63:16a Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit, and in this there is no condemnation; and ye receive the Spirit through prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation.
These and other scriptures were again impressed upon my thoughts as I prayerfully considered the meaning of the words which were so clearly and distinctly spoken into my soul this morning, time is running out. Examples of faithful souls, who have gone on before us, like the disciples of Jesus Christ, were also brought to mind. Of them in it is written:
III Nephi 9:10-15 And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken – nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken – behold, they knelt again, and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus, and they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them. And when they had thus prayed, they went down unto the water’s edge, and the multitude followed them. And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water, and was baptized. And he came up out of the water, and began to baptize. And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen. And it came to pass when they were all baptized, and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. And behold, they were encircled about as if it were fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and do bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven, and did minister unto them.
Do we have this same desire? Is the Holy Ghost that which we desire most? If it is, if we hunger and thirst after righteousness, we will indeed be filled with the Holy Ghost according to the words of Christ. However, if this is not our desire, to be filled with the Holy Ghost, we will not and cannot be prepared for what is now coming upon the world. Nor will we be ready to meet the Lord, for without holiness we cannot see the Lord.
This is a crucial time and a crucial matter, i.e. of being filled with the Holy Spirit of our Lord. It is the main emphasis that came with the message I received this morning, and I urge you with all my soul to read and reread the whole book of First John. In essence, the key to receiving the Holy Ghost is receiving the love of the truth, otherwise we will be deceived. Remember, the Holy Ghost is the Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, who assures of us our hope for truth and thereby instills in us faith toward God. As it is written, in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
To be continued…