Spiritual Anticipation; Expectancy; Luke 21:25-28
March 1, 2014

C. R. Oliver

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March 1, 2014

Spiritual Anticipation
Luke 21:25-28

'And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.' NKJV


Perhaps no Bible reference summarizes the subject of spiritual anticipation more, or reveals its parameters better, than the one quoted above. Clearly there are two groups on earth expecting different outcomes from the same set of events.

The unredeemed become more fearful, dreading the unfolding of events chronicled somewhere in their corporate psyche. Whether by native intuition or from some other source of information, they know in the depth of their being these events are significant and open the flood gates for the end times. Creation begins to groan for the revealing of the Sons of God and expresses those birth pangs throughout the universe (sun, moon, stars). Governments, void of wisdom and full of filth and ignomy, show signs of coming apart at the seams, both in their abilities to govern and to maintain their economies. Together the nations and creation simultaneously produce problems and situations which are beyond the control of human power. The result of such tumult on all sides is anticipation of THE END. "Men's hearts failing" means more than heart attacks; it speaks to the "faint of heart," for everything is coming unglued and nothing is for sure or "nailed down." The landsliding avalanche of issues is greater than the framework of society. Doom, despair and misery are everywhere and no one stands up to assure them; no hope is proffered them ... only a certain fatalism akin to the days of Noah.

Opposite this group are the redeemed of the Lord, who, when they hear the first creaking in the ship of State, break out in a smile. As times worsen and neighbors begin to show concern and as the partying crowds suddenly become aware something is gravely wrong and massive change has come to their doorstep, the redeemed break out into laughter. When the sun, moon, stars manifest their glory in obeisance to the Lord's coming (Though these signs are distant in outer space), just at that point, the more personal events of the roaring sea come into play and the crowds of saints go wild because they know "their redemption draws nigh." Hilarious singing and confident testimony, like Paul from the jail at Philippi, break out in homes and businesses for now a different kind of rejoicing is heard in the village streets. The redeemed know what comes next on the schedule.

He, who has been anticipated (expected), is about to arrive!

God's people should be the most expectant, joyful, people on earth. Their song in the night is about to be turned to rejoicing in the morning. Moment by moment they draw closer to the King, and "this old world will soon see who is boss." Already, as the signs increase, expectancy sharpens and intensifies.

(Alas, many in the church currently react to world news as those having no hope. Perhaps it is time for a return of the old timey "repent now" message which moves toward an altar call. Such are greatly needed. [Even though a pastor recently announced, "The days of that kind of preaching are over."])

Unhappily, there is a third group made up of those who have once walked with the Sons of God, but now have made themselves candidates for fear and trembling:.
Hebrews 10:26-31
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. And again, 'The LORD will judge His people.' 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
However, to that wonderful group who fellowship in the flame, there pours out of the heart of God literally hundreds of Scriptures encouraging His saints to hold fast to their hope--because it will bring a reward.
Hebrews 10:22-23
2 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Colossians 1:23
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,

Romans 8:24-25
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. In a time when the media blasts the world's dire conditions continuously, and the internet carries more and more of casualty and hideous circumstance, we are told to tighten our grip on our hope and the promises of God. No generation before has been bombarded with such graphic pictures, within an instant, from the far reaches of the earth. Never have the "propagandizers" had such a field day with the emotions and the minds of millions, spewing their spin and misinformation and erroneous interpretation of muddled facts, than today. (Similarly, the sword rattling of the Roman Empire threatened the sanity of ancient occupied areas with such overwhelming power that Simon told the saints they must deal with such through the power of their expectancy in Jesus. Peter addressed the saints of the Diaspora [whether by Jewish religious persecution or Roman repressive action] with hope, as they were scattered and off times alone and living in timidity or under duress.)
Although the following is a lengthy passage, read it intently and examine its underlying message.
1 Peter 1:1-16

To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls.
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into.
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
"Hold on to Holiness and expect the drawing near of your redemption!" What a great message for today's believers! Yet, pulpits have become re-broadcasters of news sources, while "prophets" produce page and video of awful judgment and desperate times ahead. Often the pulpit has become the destroyer of hope.

The "rapture" preacher dismisses the whole spectrum with the flip of his wrist and says, "Fear not, we will be 'out'a here in a flash.'" BUT, the pressures of the days leading up to the coming of our Lord are graphically shown to be "saint tolerant." Simon said, "Rest your Hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you."

(Note: Across the world there should be training classes for pastors to help them encourage their parishioners to "hold fast." Our expectation is not in an event, but in our Lord!)

Paul, in his defense before the courts, said it this way:
Acts 24:13-15
13 Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15 I have hope in God ...
"Hope" carries with it Divine Spiritual Expectancy along with Anticipation that God will come on the scene.
HOPE: NT:1680 elpis (el-pece'); from a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence: KJV - faith, hope. (Note: sometimes the KJV translates elpis as hope and sometimes faith.)
Look now at the Old Testament counter part of this definition:
yachal (yaw-chal'); a primitive root; to wait; by implication, to be patient, hope:
KJV - (cause to, have, make to) hope, be pained, stay, tarry, trust, wait.
Just like Paul declared his reliance on expectant hope, so did David in the Old Testament.
Psalms 71:13, 14
13 Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more
In the I Peter passage cited above, Simon ended his treatise on hope by emphasizing holiness. Those who "have this hope" continually purify themselves according to the following passage:
I John 3:2,3
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
In a day when headlines read, "Praise the Lord and pass the beer," followed by an article showing how many Christians are relaxing their beliefs in reference to alcohol, sex, abortion or church unity, a gauge arises. Purity becomes the barometer used to determine the sincerity of one's hope.
1 John 2:28-3:1
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 3:21-23 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight
Notice: in the two passages in John's epistle he uses the word "confidence" rather than "hope."
NT:3954 parrhesia (par-rhay-see'-ah); from NT:3956 and a derivative of NT:4483; all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication, assurance: (In order to continue in hope, one must have assurance in his heart-which is the faith part of Hope: this is believing for the unseen as though it had already appeared!) The Bible engenders our confidence level!
The writer of Hebrews concurs with the witness of John. He cites Moses as one who embraced the word of God in confidence and hope. Notice the huge "if" clause in v. 6, v.14, below. (Baptists deplore "if" clauses.)
Hebrews 3:4-6
4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 3:14-15
14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

Hebrews 10:35-36
5 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise
Paul maintains the whole of the Bible was written in order to keep hope before us, in us and surrounding us. Sunday worship should be a resounding affirmation of the hope within us. Our singing, praise, preaching and testimony ought to sound like "one voice." (Alas, many times it doesn't! Too many fail the "if" test.)
Romans 15:4-6
4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
All Scripture is given to embolden the saints in Faith, Hope and Love. However, an element of "saint power" is also in the mix.
Jeremiah 17:7-8
7 'Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,'

Zechariah 9:12-13
12 Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.
13 For I have bent Judah, My bow,
Fitted the bow with Ephraim,
And raised up your sons, O Zion,
Against your sons, O Greece,
And made you like the sword of a mighty man."
Yes, let us all be "prisoners of hope!" Let us return to the stronghold! Let us be restored double! Let us be on the cutting edge, like the sword of a mighty man! Let us be like the tree planted by the waters-strong, positioned, supplied, nourished! Let us, with confidence, withstand the elements around us! It is time to be an emboldened people of Hope!
2 Corinthians 3:11-12
11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech
The Psalmist was bold in his trust in the "word of God!" Covering many of the passages in the Psalms there is repetition of his reliance upon the Word. Perhaps it is time for the saints to sound out to the world our repeated testimony about our blessed Hope.
Psalms 119:49-50
Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life

Psalms 119:114
114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.

Psalms 130:5-8
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
As our expectancy level rises, along with our expression of the hope within, we join the masses of saints who have gone before us and we identify with those found in Scripture. Our own identity changes, and we are more likely to be in fellowship with Paul than our next door neighbor. We join into the inheritance of the saints and become co-workers with those who throughout history have stood in faith.
1 Corinthians 9:10-12
For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
We may connect more with Abraham than we do a local group. We may have more in common with Peter and Paul or Daniel than we do our pew associates.
Romans 4:16-22
To those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17(as it is written, 'I have made you a father of many nations') in the presence of Him whom he believed - God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
Our Patriarch, Abraham, became a living example of confidence toward God. (Ah, that is what is needed in our congregations---testimonies about our hope in Him. Lost to the crowds of "churchies" are those bold affirmations of faith-called testimonies. "Churchies" are weak in faith and must be mentored by those who have great confidence toward God.

"Churchies" need to be taught that hope is given by the Spirit. They need to be taught that hope carries with it a wide spectrum of aspects, such as righteousness, grace and power. Unless someone demonstrates these factors in their life, the life of the church will remain dormant and lukewarm.
Romans 15:13
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
Hope, in action, leads us to greater awareness of our spiritual life. Somehow, we are transformed into realms of the Divine that lead us to obtain for ourselves these greater elements of grace. These elements are unreachable in any other way. Literally, we are transformed by the Spirit to become the embodiment of expectancy!

It is now time to look at the qualities produced by Hope generated through the Spirit.
Galatians 5:5-6
... we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith

Ephesians 1:17-19
18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,

Colossians 1:26-27
but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory<.

1 Thessalonians 5:8
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

Titus 1:2-3
... in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching.

Hebrews 6:18-20
by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Our High Priest has ushered in to us a better hope and better covenant than Abraham!
Hebrews 7:19, the bringing in of a better hope.
Hebrews 7:22, by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

1 Peter 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Hebrews 3:6
... but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end

Titus 2:12-15
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:23
3 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,

Ephesians 4:4-6
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Heb 6:11-12
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promise
The times we are living in have an aire of expectancy in them. The whole world is filled with a sense of mass change, and because of this flux, we are going to be called upon to give witness to the hope within us.
1 Peter 3:14-17
4 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. 'And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.' 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed


Allow these final wrap up words to rest in your Spirit. What God gives as Rhema to you personally will come to pass. Let those items build a fortress of expectancy within you. First, let Webster's definition soak into your spiritual domain.
Anticipate: to realize or feel beforehand, foretaste or foresee
To expect; look forward to; to perform an action before another has had time to act
To answer a question before it is made
To forestall or nullify by taking countermeasures in advance
To consider or mention before the proper time
To foreshadow the creation of
Anticipation: realization in advance/intuition
Foreknowledge or prescience
Think about your anticipation of these promises:
Waiting the return of Christ
Anticipating answers to prayer through faith
Power / More than conquerors
Open doors that no one can shut
Think about how through history the people of faith anticipated things promised:
Abraham and Sarah
Expectancy of Mary and Elizabeth, Zechariah and Joseph
Simeon and Anna
Expectancy of the Holy ghost upon them in the upper room
The hallmark of the early church and the disciples was anticipation of great power to be upon their activities and words.
Consider the end time factors to be reckoned with today
Earth groanings for the revealing of the sons of god
World negative expectancy ... never so high as today ( ie: Jericho, anticipated the invasion and victory of Israel)
The Promise of: "Greater things will ye do" and how this will manifest in your life. ...


Hebrews 10:23
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)

Rom 8:24-25
4 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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