Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adopting A Christian Life

A Lost Impact

We are going to be occupied with the meaning of Christ. Before we come immediately into touch with that matter, there are a few preliminary words that I want to say, and they have to do with something of which we are all conscious, a matter which is troubling, I think I can say, the majority of real Christians. It is the matter of the lost impact of Christ, of the Gospel, of Christianity. We are suffering from a handicap, and that handicap is tradition.

Christianity has become that - a tradition so largely, something handed down from generation to generation. It has become a theology, a set of doctrines, of statements about God, about Christ, about the Holy Spirit, and many other things, and as such it has passed very largely into the mental realm - a thing to be worked out in thought, a matter of reason. It has also become a great mystical cult. It has passed into the realm of art, and music, so that you can accept Christianity on that basis and be a Christian along that line, and yet that it shall stand completely out of relation to your inner life. Think of all that goes to make up Christianity as it is known today, of the external, the soulish appreciation; and it has no impact. There is the great need, surely, - and this is what we are seeking to come to at this time.

The great need is to get back to the real meaning of Christ, so that a new impact may come upon ourselves, and there shall come a new impact upon the world through us.


Monday, January 10, 2011

A Heavenly Order Not An Earthly System

Now, if I were talking to people who were responsible in the matter of Church building, that would be a very profitable matter with which to stay for a little while; but it just amounts to this for us. We take the Acts and the Epistles as setting forth the technique of the Church and churches and adopt it as a crystallized system of practice, order, form, teaching, and the weakness in the whole position is just this, that that is something as in itself, and the Lord Jesus has been missed and lost. I wonder if you detect what I mean by that? You see, the Holy Spirit's way is to take Christ and open up Christ to the heart, and show that Christ is a heavenly order; not that the Epistles set forth as a manual a heavenly order, but that Christ is that order, and everything in the matter of order has to be kept immediately in relation to the living Person. If it becomes some thing, then it becomes an earthly system; and you can make out of the Epistles a hundred different earthly systems all built upon the Epistles. They will be made to support any number of different systems, different interpretations, represented by Christian orders here, and the reason is that they have been divorced from the Person.

If only we keep close to Him who is the sum of all truth, and move with Him and learn Him, we shall know the course of things. We shall know what is imminent. We shall have in our heart whisperings of preparation. The best Advent preparation is to know the Lord. I am not saying that there is nothing in prophecy: don't misunderstand me. But I do know that there are multitudes of people who are simply engrossed in prophecy as a thing whose spiritual life counts for nothing, who really have no deep inward walk with the Lord. We have seen it so often.


Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Light Is Growing


What is the purpose of God? What is God's end? And I think it can be put in one way amongst others. We can say that God's purpose is that there shall come a time when He has a vessel in which and through which His glory shines forth to this universe. We see that intimated in the case of new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, having the glory of God, her light like unto a stone most precious, as it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal. "Having the glory of God!" That is the end which God has in view for a people; to be, in a spiritual sense, to His universe of spiritual intelligences what the sun is to this universe; that the very nations shall walk in the light thereof, no need of sun, no need of moon, for there is no night; and that is only saying that God wills to have a people full of light, "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God." That is the end, and God begins to move toward that end immediately a child of His is born from above; for that very birth, a new birth from above, is the scattering of the darkness and the breaking in of the light.

All along our way in the School of Christ, the Holy Spirit is engaged upon this one thing, to lead us more and more into the light, "of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ", that it shall be true in our case that "the path of the just is as the shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (mid-day) (Prov 4:18) Many people have thought—and, thinking so, have been disappointed—that that means it is going to get easier and easier, brighter and brighter, the more cheerful as we go on. But it does not work out that way. I do not see it to be true in the circumstances and outward condition of saints anywhere at any time. For them the path does not become brighter and brighter outwardly. But if we are really moving under the Spirit's government, we can say with the strongest affirmation, that in an inward way the light is growing. The path is growing brighter and brighter; we are seeing and seeing and seeing. That is God's purpose; until the time comes when there is no darkness at all, and no shadow at all, and no mist at all, but all is light, perfect light: we see not through a glass darkly, but face to face, we know even as we are known. That is God's purpose put in a certain way. Does that interest you? Are you concerned with that?

And that has a crisis and is also a process in spiritual life with a glorious climax in rapture. What I am especially concerned with now is the process.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

Open Our Eyes Lord

2 Kings 6:8-18 Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel; and he counseled with his servants saying, "In such and such a place shall be my camp."The man of God sent word to the king of Israel saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there." The king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; thus he warned him, so that he guarded himself there, more than once or twice. Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?" One of his servants said, "No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom." So he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him." And it was told him, saying, "Behold, he is in Dothan." He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see " And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, "Strike this people with blindness, I pray." So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

I grow so weary of allowing myself as well as those around me of settling for an ingrained defiant and rebellious mind set that dismisses the ultimate reality that is mine in Christ Jesus! The world (especially those from Missouri) has a deeply imbedded philosophy that says; “Show me and I’ll believe you”, or, “seeing, is believing.”
What is not possible with the natural minded man is trying to see by believing first ergo, then seeing, or as the scriptures point out, “That's why only someone who has God's Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesn't have God's Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish.”
Speaking of “spiritual blessings” this is in my opinion one of the chief corner stones of all that is ours, but apart from the Father by his spirit opening the eyes of our heart, we will whine, debate, bitch and grip about the unfairness to much of what we call life and living.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

A great portion of our brother Paul’s commissioning was spelled out as follows, “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an K)">(inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
I believe operative within each of His redeemed ones, my fellow siblings in Christ awaits to be seen, revealed as it was to Paul this One who continues to open our blinded eyes in order to displace (expel) the darkness that rules over the hearts and minds of those we are being like wise sent to.
This is the first part, the second is forth coming.


Now that which was born of the flesh has gone; in resurrection it is that which is born of the Spirit, the spiritual man. That is you in resurrection with the Lord Jesus! And what is true of the death and resurrection, is true of the exaltation, that when He was exalted YOU WERE EXALTED in Him at the right hand of the Majesty on High. Have we grasped that Christ's being there is our being there in representation? That is not just some objective truth, but is made real by reason of His ascended life being now within us, and the Holy Spirit having created the living link between Him in heaven and ourselves as here. The fact that He is above all says that we in Him are also above all.

You say: "That may be true theoretically, doctrinally true, and I do not dispute what is said, but that is not true in my case." That is not the Lord's fault! It is because we have not learned to live on the basis of His resurrection life. We have still tried to live a Christian life on the basis of our own life, and that can never come to the Throne. People who are trying to be Christians by effort, by endeavor of their own, are always far from reaching the Throne. They are the playthings of all the forces which are antagonistic to Christ. But when we know the secret of living on His life by the Holy Spirit, we know in a growing, a progressive way, that it is true that He is not there apart from us, but that there is a union between Him in dominion and ourselves in the power of His Own life. Resurrection life is in itself the very life of Christ in dominion. Whenever resurrection life in us has its way, it brings us into dominion. Whenever there is a working of His life freely in us, it puts us in a place of ascendancy, it lifts us above, it is spiritual power and dominion.