Robert Doecke - Gospel Meeting - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia - 2016

In Luke 2, we read of Simeon and he got a revelation and he received the Christ. As a result, he received peace 25:35, “And behold there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon and the same man was just in devout waiting for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed, 'Don’t do him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death for he had seen the Lord Christ.' And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents bought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law. Then take he Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 'Lord now lettest Thou, Thy servant, depart in peace according to Thy word; for mine eyes hast seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people, Israel.' And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken to Him. 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; yea thy sword shall pierce true thy own soul also that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'”

 

The first thing we notice with Simeon, his name means hearkening or heeding and hearkening is more than hearing, it is responding. It says the eyes of the Lord goes to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong to those whose hearts are perfect towards Him. As His eye goes over the earth, He is examining hearts. Today He is examining hearts in this meeting more than anything else. He is trying to sort out if He can speak to your heart and whether He can deal with your heart. It was written no treasure and no pleasure will make you happy long and the heart is a part always that makes you right or wrong. We realise how much stems from the heart and that is one of the reasons why Solomon said, 'Keep thy heart with all diligence because out of it is the issues of life,' and there are a lot of issues of life. Forgiveness is an issue of life and that is why forgiveness has to come from the heart and the eye of the Lord is examining hearts.

 

Simeon had an ear to hear and a heart to respond. He was a just man and he was waiting for the consolation of Israel. A lot of people are waiting and some are waiting for the ship to come home or their shares to go up or their team to win the premiership and a lot of waiting going on. It is very mundane and shallow and this was a different waiting. It was waiting for the scripture to be fulfilled and he read the scripture. When you read the scripture, do you wait and do you pray? Do you want the scripture fulfilled in your own heart and mind?

 

We heard yesterday about Peter trying to defend Jesus and he drew his sword and Jesus said, "I could called 12 legions of angels and how then will the scripture be fulfilled?" It is great to read of the different times Jesus fulfilled the scripture. When Jesus was on the cross and it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back and He realised there was one more scripture to be fulfilled and in His agony He said, "I thirst." You could hardly understand the dryness, the wretchedness, the agony and He could have thought, "I have fulfilled enough without fulfilling that final bit." When He came to the cross initially, they tried to give Him something to dull the pain, and He pushed it away. Jesus wanted to taste all the pain of that death and Jesus said, "I thirst" so the scripture could be fulfilled.


Sometimes you look in the scripture and you think it is only a little thing and we will slide past that. One young lady talked to me on a certain line and she was quite troubled and I showed her the scripture and she said, "If that is in the scripture, I will do it." This man was conscious of the scripture and he wanted it fulfilled in his own life.

 

What happened next was the spirit came to him and revealed to him that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord Christ. God is willing that none should perish and if there is anything God is wanting is that everyone will see Christ before they see death. From that point, that man came face-to-face with Jesus and that is what it was all about, men and women that hear the Gospel and they can track it back through the years and say the hand of God was in this all to bring about meeting with Jesus. It says he came into the temple to do the custom of the law and it says he took him up in his arms and blessed God and then he said, "Let Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word and my eyes have seen Thy salvation."

 

Just imagine if he took a little child that was only 30 or 40 days old and went out to the wise and the prudent and the Pharisees and said, "This is God’s salvation," and they would track it back and see that He was born to Joseph and Mary and just in a little Manger and they would say that would not be God’s salvation. I liked a poem and it goes like this:

 

I sought to find the Christ of God within the palace fair;

I sought my Lord amongst the great, but, ah, He was not there.

I came to Bethlehem, and in that lowly town

Before the Babe of peasant maid, I laid my proud will down.

 

I sought to find a cleansing stream to wash away my sin;

But crystal brook or ocean deep still left me foul within.

I came to Calvary, and ’neath that lonely Tree

I found a River flowing deep that washed and set me free.

 

Oh, come, proud heart, to Bethlehem, for thou wilt find Him there.

God’s answer to the pride of men: A little child so fair.

Oh, come to Calvary with all thy load of sin;

The Christ of God is waiting there to wash thee clean within.

 

I dare say there were lots of other babies there and bought in according to the custom of the law. How come he didn’t think, "It was this one or that one?" We know that God’s way is a revealed way and a revealed truth and Jesus said to His disciples, "Who do man say the Son of Man is?" They came up with lots of views and they were only views and Jesus was wondering if they had a real vision and revelation. Then Jesus asked, "Who do you say?" Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God." Jesus said, "Blessed are thou, Simon. Flesh and blood hath not revealed this to thee." This has not come by education, this has not come by explanation, and this has come by revelation.


Jesus said, "Upon this rock, I will found My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." If men and women get the revelation, they will see this is the way and this is the Christ and this is the very thing that Simeon got that day. It was by revelation and there was no one there to explain it to him, but God showed it to him. It says he took Him up in his arms. When people take up the life of a little baby, do they hang on to other things and whatever they had, they would have put down to receive this precious priceless life into his possession? When parents pick up a little child, they put everything and anything down?


Paul said, "What things are gain to me I count but lost." Those I count but loss for Christ and I counted them as nothing that I may win Christ. He just got to the stage where he knew nothing mattered but having Jesus, Christ in you, the hope of glory. John said, "He who hath the Son hath life, and he who hath not the Son hath not life." Jesus makes all the difference and in every experience, Jesus makes a difference. Peter wondered why Jesus asked him to launch out into the deep. Peter said, "We have toiled all the night and taken nothing." What is the point, so to speak? He did not realise Jesus made the difference. Jesus was in his ship and Jesus will always make the difference.


You will notice that Simeon took Jesus up in his hands and you notice the plural. There is something nice about doing things with both hands and it speaks of whole heartedness. In the Eastern Nations, they will always give you something with both hands and you’re expected to receive it with both hands. Otherwise, it is almost an offence. I think of the Lord presenting Christ to us wholeheartedly with both hands. God likes to see men and women put everything down and see the price of this priceless life. It’s a very good study in the scripture just to see things that are done with both hands.


We were hearing this morning about Jacob and the ladder. Some people in God’s ways speak about the narrow way and being hard and the problem is they are not holding on with both hands. They are trying to carry a lot of other clutter with them and if you’re trying get up a ladder holding on to other things and you know you make it unsafe for yourself. If we are really earnest about things, there are many things we will not hold on to. That wrestle with Jacob was a life and death wrestle and do you think he was holding onto anything else? In the wrestle, he was holding on with both hands because it was so vital to get the victory so he could be an overcomer and face up to Esau.


Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless You bless me." You can see how he was holding on with both hands and his thigh was touched and the sinews shrank. What I get out of that message is from that day forward and once he had dealings with God and came face-to-face with Him and had that wrestle and from then on, he could not keep in step with others because God had dealt with him and touched the flesh so his step was altered. When we really get down to business, our step will be altered and He makes a difference when dealing with us.


When those people came through the wilderness journey and some of the comments that were made to them and those that cleave unto the Lord were alive and every one of you this day. He said, "You that held on with both hands and you that did not take things lightly." So easy to hold on loosely to what we should hold on to tightly and so easy to hold on tightly to what we should hold on to loosely. You that did cling unto the Lord and it’s a matter of life and death to be wholehearted and to take hold with both hands and that is exactly what this man Simeon did that day.


Then he said, "Let thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word." I am sure if you look back to your beginning, the peace flooded into your soul when you accepted Christ. I can remember peace, and I also remember the peace I got when I settled about work. It was just a trauma for some years and we do not give in that easy. There was a hymn picked at the gospel meeting and it seemed to be picked every second meeting, “The angels are listing for the yes that will set you free.” I knew it was for no one else except me, and then I got peace when I submitted. And I often think of that verse it says, "Let the peace of God rule within your heart, let it be the deciding factor." When we make peace with God, it will make all the difference.


It says that Simeon blessed them and he 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; yea thy sword shall pierce true thy own soul also that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." I read a book once the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and you read about the rise and fall of various nations. I suppose someone will write about the rise and fall of the Clintons and the rise and fall of Donald Trump and that is just the way it goes in this world, there is a rise and then there is a fall. He says, "This child was set for a fall and the rising of many in Israel." Out in the world it is always a rise and then the fall, but in the kingdom of God it is a fall and then arise.


Matthew 21:42-44, “Jesus said unto them, 'Did ye never read in the Scriptures the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner; this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes. Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder.'” Everyone that falls on the stone and is willing to be broken has a future, and there is a falling and the rising again and rising again to walk in the newness of life, rising to one day stand around the throne of God because they are willing to fall and that is the difference.


I was reading in Revelation 6 about those that were calling that the mountains and the rocks would hide them. It says, "Who will be able to stand?" You read a few verses on and there was a great multitude standing around the throne. How were they standing? Because in life, they were willing to bow and fall and then they could stand for all eternity and other people were never willing to fall so when the day came, they could not stand. The corn of wheat has to fall so it can rise again and then there is the reaping and it could never come without the fall.


When Jesus spoke to the disciples about who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus could see a problem there and He put a little child in the midst. Jesus said, "Lest you become converted as a little child, you will in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven, unless you are willing to fall and become as a little child." That is why we come back to the little child so often, and there is something beautiful about a little child and they have lots of needs. Never be ashamed of feeling your need, that is part of a little child and people that have not got the Spirit never feel their need. There is a need of cleansing and a need of comfort and there are lots of needs. When the Lord’s children fall, they do not fall very far and when you are an adult and you fall, you come down with a thump.


Little children heal easy and in the adults, the healing is so slow. A a little child never looks down on anyone, and we would like to have the spirit of a little child and always looks up to people. Little children hate darkness and they do not like to be alone and little children love to hear the same story. We are sometimes in a home and little children love us to read to them and it is a story they have heard before and their mother says, "I have read that to them 50 times." You see people that have lost the spirit of a little child and they say, "It is the same old thing." They want something airy fairy and something with a bit of wisdom and they get away from the simplicity of the gospel, because they have got away from the spirit of a little child.


I think of Naaman and he walked away in a rage and he said, "Are there better rivers than the river of Jordan?" His servants gave him a little word in season. They said, "If he had said to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather wash and be clean?" Take on the spirit of a little child and just fit in. He fitted in and the miracle happened in his life. It would never have come in any other way, but coming down to the place of a little child and fitting in. When I think of all the nations that rise and fall in this world and for God’s people if they are to get anywhere, it has to be a fall to rise again. May we learn from this little story lessons will help us on the road to salvation. Amen