But Lord first I must do this thing. My lad let the dead bury the dead, if you want to live follow me

There is much to say to those who sleep.

Those we yearn to begin we weep.

How long left till the dark do us part.

The Lord has risen we are never apart.

Let evil be evil, let good do good.

Who we follow, testifies our heart.

My God, My God rescue us before late.

Our enemies surround, with so much hate.

Our only hope is you O’Lord, the giver of life which is our light.

May you thresh the fields to separate the blight.

Come now O’Lord your kingdom is Here, alway from near are you to cup our tears.

May our prayers always-be for those that are lost.

May You have mercy O’Lord on all that the devil has tossed.

Our Father Yahweh, we cry to you.

Abba Father may we always worship all that is You.

Our God. Our God You who is the Sovereign

Come O Now that we may sing Yea Yah! As do the Robins.

Amen

Counting the Cost

Mount Precipice Isreal

Please allow me to say this, There are certain subjects, aspects and views within the church that are so sensitive in nature, that bringing them up and voicing any kind of opinion or concern about them, even in love, could land us on the sidewalk standing alone or receiving the proverbial toss over the mountainside of mount precipice. This is the way of upholding truth in discipleship. We need not fear; We are not alone in our journey of manifesting all truth on Earth as it is in the heavens. In our sufferings the Lords promise toward us is that His Word and His Spirit will not return to Him void. In our sufferings in obedience He will prevail.

In my fellowship here in New Hampshire. I was having a question within me that wanted to come out. So I asked a few dear friends there aspect of the scripture I had question too. However The Spirit had his way in directly changing the topic at large. What I inquired about was almost immediately changed into one most sensitive and I was hesitant to engage in conversation for fear of an offense given or received. I made it through without compromising my relationship with the Lord because I did as he does. My prayer in contemplation this week has lead me down the path of Love in discernment. In the acts of discipleship we are becoming closer in Agape toward all. Thanks be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus the anointed with all the children of the Kingdom of the beloved Son.

I may yet find myself on the sidewalk. However I will never be alone, and this I know.

I would like now to share with you my findings in discovery.

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Retaining Holiness within and upon sensitive Matters

The issue of homosexuality according to scripture.

Leviticus 18:22

Romans 1:26,27  Natural order rhetoric 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

1 Timothy 1:9-11

How did Paul understand homosexuality, and how did he view homosexual orientation and action as defined in the New Testament letters? The Natural Order rhetoric

 

Paul’s approach to homosexuality and homosexual acts reflects the assumption he shares with other Jews of his time, that all people are heterosexual because God created humans male and female (Gen 1:27). Feeling or acting otherwise is unnatural and against God’s intent, an abomination Leviticus taught was worthy of death (Lev 18:20; Lev 20:13; see Rom 1:32). Paul typically focuses not just on the act of sinning but on sin as a state of being. Accordingly, he condemns the action involved in same-sex relations, namely, for males, anal intercourse, but he goes behind it to what he sees as the state of being which produces it. Thus, Paul argues that a perverted response to God led to people having a perverted response to each other, in particular, having passions towards their own sex. Paul’s concern is not just pederasty but also consensual sex (Rom 1:27). He probably saw intense passions producing the perversion. Like other Jews of the time, Paul extended this to lesbian relations (Rom 1:26). Although some scholars suggest that “unnatural” (Greek para physin) relations concerns birth control or nonprocreative heterosexual intercourse, the context suggests that Paul is talking about same-sex sexual relationships between women (Rom 1:26). In Paul’s world, for a man to take a passive (female) role or a woman to take an active (male) role was unnatural and shameful. Paul’s contemporary, the Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, shared Plato’s argument that same-sex relationships were unnatural because they wasted semen and would depopulate cities. On this detail Paul is silent, but he shares Philo’s view that such relationships are unnatural because God made people only male or female.

The Four Basic Views

Most Christians fall into one of four groups regarding these verses, depending on how they address two questions. The first we’ve named directly at several points already: Do the passages refer to anything like the phenomena of life-long, monogamous or mutually consensual same-gendered relationships that we know of today? (It’s worth noting that the word “homosexual” was not present in the ancient world but was instead invented in the 19th century.) The second issue we’ve only alluded to: Whether or not the passages refer to the phenomenon we are describing today, are we bound to ethical determinations made by persons living in vastly different cultures and times and whose understanding of the world and of God’s activity was shaped and limited by their own cultural viewpoints.

Depending on how you answer those two critical questions, you will likely fall into one of four groups.

  • 1. The passages in question refer to homosexual practice in all times and cultures and so universally prohibit such practice.
  • 2. The passages do not refer to homosexuality as we know it today and so cannot be seen as prohibiting it. Other passages therefore need to inform our discussions about sexuality in general and homosexual relationships in particular.
  • 3. The passages may or may not refer to homosexuality as we know it, but they — and the larger witness of Scripture — imply a view of nature and creation that supports sexual relationship and union only between man and woman, and so homosexual practice is prohibited.
  • 4. The passages may or may not refer to homosexuality as we know it, but they — and all of Scripture — are conditioned by the cultural and historical realities of the authors and so offer an incomplete and insufficient understanding of creation and nature and so cannot be used to prohibit homosexual practice today. Rather, one needs to read the larger biblical witness to discern God’s hopes for caring, mutually supportive relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

As is often the case, one’s larger theological or ideological commitments greatly influence how one reads these seven verses. The first and third positions, for instance, reflect a more conservative view and make it difficult to find anything but condemnation in the Bible for homosexual practice. The second and forth, in contrast, invite a more progressive interpretation of the verses in common and open the way to supporting homosexual relationships as several major mainline church bodies have done.

For those Christians who look to the Bible for moral guidance, two additional questions may be worth considering. First, do you see yourself represented fairly in one of the four groups above? Second, can you imagine that someone holding one of the other three positions is also a faithful Christian who loves God and neighbor and searches the Scripture for guidance in these matters, even if that difference puts you at odds on this matter? How professing Christians answer these questions will greatly determine future discourse on these matters and, more importantly, how they interact with persons who are gay or lesbian.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)

“The eyes of your heart enlightened…” discerning love. Love is as far removed from blindness as heaven from earth. “Love is blind”? No – not true love. The fact is that true love sees everything, but transcends everything. The love of Christ for His disciples was not blind love that did not know His men, love that was duped, deceived, misled, but eventually found out that they were not the men He thought they were. No, “He… knew what was in man” (John 2:24). His love saw everything and could tell them beforehand exactly what they would do; but love persisted in face of it all. Love is a great seeing thing.

If you are consumed with a burning love for the Lord, you will be very quick of scent as to what is doubtful and questionable. You will not need to be frequently and continuously told when a thing is not right. No, love for the Lord will bring you quickly to see and to sense there is something that needs to be adjusted. You may not know what it is at the time, but you have a sense that all is not well. Love will do it. All the instruction in the world will not bring you to it. You may have the Word of God brought to you on all such points, and you might even say, “All right, because you say so, because it is in the Bible, I will do it, I will be obedient.” Do you think that is good enough? Such a thing has never come to you through the eyes of your heart. But, mark you, if this love, this discerning love, has really filled your heart by all the intelligence of the Holy Spirit indwelling you, you will sense it without being told; or if it should be brought to you from the Word, that within you will say, “Yes, I know that is right, the Lord tells me that is right.” Do you not think that is the kind of Christian that is needed, and what the Lord needs at the end? That is what He has had in mind from the beginning and He calls that first love that is quick of scent to see what needs to be cut off or added, what adjustments are necessary, and does accordingly. You do not have to follow round and say, “Please do this; have you never taken note that you might be helpful in this way?” You do not have to do that where there is devotion, love watchful all the time, aliveness, alertness, perception, readiness to do without being all the time told to do it. Real devotion to the Lord is something that far outreaches legality. First love is discerning love.

Even in a case of definitive and obvious sin. The Lord always acted in Love, taking neither side, but always acting in truth, mercy and rightfully dividing the Word.

John 8:1-12    but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

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Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the Head. (Ephesians 4:15 ESV)

Things may be taking a new and different shape, but the purpose of God is the same. We may be presented with His vision in new and further-on aspects, but it is only what He originally meant. Can we adjust? Can we leave “the things that are behind”? Without raising any questions as to the right or wrong of what has been, can we “go on” and “grow up,” “attain”? God-given vision makes men of prayer. This is almost too obvious when we remember the men of the Bible. It was vision that got them away from the trivial and petty. It requires vision to get prayer on to the major lines and to make it real travail. What a bound and range those prophets had in prayer! But what immense issues were precipitated. It is not our vision for God, but His vision in us that will be dynamic, and that will determine value.

I cannot conclude without pointing out that what could be voluntary with much gain has often to be made compulsory with much loss. This is because we do not stand back from time to time and in detachment and waiting upon the Lord give Him an opportunity of enlarging vision. Many a work which has mightily served the Lord and been a great spiritual testimony has lost its former glory, purity, and impact because it has become a “Work,” a “Movement,” an Organization, and its ramifications and responsibilities have become such as to completely rule out any such “retreat” with God, where that work is put back and a real openness to the Lord for anything else, more or other, is enquired after. The Lord might send prophetic vision by ministry to lead into His fuller meanings if there was a way for it, but we are too busy. What tragedy is related to such preoccupation!

“My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to accomplish His work.” John 4:31-34

In that statement of our Lord Jesus there are three things implied. Firstly: the Lord Jesus has a secret source of strength. “I have meat to eat that ye know not”.

Secondly: There is a link between the will of God and LIFE. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.” We remember that at this time the Lord Jesus was hungry and very faint. He sat down at the well weary from His journey. When the disciples came back from the town where they had bought food, they found Him remarkably revived. They thought that somebody had brought Him some food. But the Lord explained to them that the renewal of His life had come from doing His Father’s will. That shows a close connection between the doing of the will of God and ‘Life’.

Thirdly: The link between this is a divine purpose and the fulfilment of it. “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to accomplish His work”. The Father’s will represented a divine purpose, and the Lord Jesus says that He was linked with that purpose. To accomplish that divine purpose was a greater satisfaction to Him than earthly things. We can say that He found His Life in doing the will of God.

Therefore, an important factor for us is that obedience is the way to God’s fullness. It was so in the case of the Lord Jesus. When He said: “For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholds the Son, and believeth on Him, should have eternal life”, it clearly shows that union with Christ, according to God’s will, means Life for us. Thus God’s will is in vital relationship and oneness with the Son.

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So I too must Love all unconditionally……This is the Way , the Truth and the Life of the True Believer.

I am called to Love and in this Love I respect the lifestyles and choices of all peoples. If asked of me what my hope is, then may I always be ready to share in the Joys of freedom my Lord has given and willing to give to all for the asking.

 

 

I would like to acknowledge reverend T. Austin Sparks for his contribution to this post.

 

When You get too Here, Stay Here.

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Philadelphia literally means “Brotherly Love” and this is the Jesus Way. The only way into the Kingdom of the Beloved Son. If you find this place within yourself and yourself within this place you have arrived and are now A Church of the Living God.

A Tabernacle made of Earthen clay made precious by God to hold treasures beyond the here and now. Who is the Church? We are the Church. Believe, Receive, Become, Be

Revelation 3:7-13 King James Version (KJV)

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

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Getting Your Eye Where God’s Eye Is

It is a wonderful thing to recognize that the Lord’s glory became imparted to Moses by reason of that which became the common object of their eyes. What the Lord was looking at, Moses was looking at, and as they both looked at it together they shared the same glory. When does the Lord’s own face light up with glory? When is the Father’s face full of glory? When He looks upon the Lord Jesus. The tabernacle was only the Lord Jesus in a representation, and it was the Lord Jesus in all His Mediatorial, Priestly Person and work gathered up in a great system, but it was the person of the Lord Jesus as relating to man’s fellowship with God—the place, the sphere where God and man come into oneness, where God can, without sacrificing His holiness, have fellowship with man and where man can, without being consumed by the very holiness of God, have fellowship with God. From Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, with a central-most reality of the mercy seat, He will speak with you face to face.

God has set forth Christ as a propitiation. God sees beyond the pattern to the reality, His Son, and it was Christ Who was in the eye of the Father in all His wonderful, mediatorial work to bring men nigh to God and God nigh to man. When that is in the eye of God, His face is full of glory, and when we get what is in His eye, we partake of the glory of the shining face of God.

Simply, it just means that when we are occupied with the Lord Jesus in all that He is from the Father to us and to the Father for us, when we are occupied with Him, then we know the shining face. Be occupied with anything else and you lose the shining face. Be occupied with yourself and your own spiritual life and condition, so that you are always self-analyzing, and it will not be long before you have lost the shining face.

Keep your eye upon Jesus and you will know the secret of the shining face. Look around on things as they are in the world and you will lose it. The secret of the shining face is to get God’s thought about the Lord Jesus, to get your eye where God’s eye is. That is tremendously important.

T.Austin Sparks

Too Wake Up in the Millennial Reign, Here and Now!

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I asked why it must be this way. He replied, “Because evil cannot live forever my son.”

To set your Mind, Soul, Body on the heavenly calling once and for all. You may suddenly wake up and find yourself in the Reign of the Kingdom of God in Power and Mercies. This is truth, I lie not. The gate is open, the feast is prepared, the wedding party is gathered awaiting your arrival. The time is Now, It was from the time of Yeshua’s visitation in His ministry, and always is Now.

Kairos is the appointed time for God to act. It is that special time we spend with our Father learning all that is in Him intimately. It is that time when He knows we are ready to walk out of this world in Truth and in Spirit, receiving the full restoration (Salvation) which is promised, into the Kingdom of the Beloved Son. Wake up! Again I say, it is Hi time to smell the coffee and wake up into your appointed time. The Millennial Reign with the New Jerusalem within you on Earth Now.

Oh! You Saints, You who are the Beloved, it is time to rise and shine for our salvation is at hand, our first Love is here. We need only to wake up, let go and desire the things of Yahweh and His Word Eternal, over all that is temporal and fallen.

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The following are my daily devotional readings by Austin-Sparks, put together in sequence for your edification.

He came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, What are you doing here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:9 NLT)
“You have no business to be here” – that is what it means. Yes, prophets and apostles could make mistakes, and they did; but there is this about it – because they had seen, and were utterly abandoned to that which they had seen of the Lord’s mind, the Lord was abundantly able to come in on their mistakes and sovereignly overrule them and teach His servants something more of Himself and His ways. Now, you never find that with people who are indefinite. The indefinite people, those who are not meaning business, who are not abandoned, never do learn anything of the Lord. It is the people who commit themselves, who let go and go right out in the direction of whatever measure of light the Lord has given them, who, on the one hand, find their mistakes – the mistakes of their very zeal – taken hold of by Divine sovereignty and overruled; and, on the other hand, are taught by the Lord through their very mistakes what His thoughts are, how He does things, and how He does not do them. If we are going to wait in indefiniteness and uncertainty and do nothing until we know it all, we shall learn nothing.

Have you not noticed that it is the men and women whose hearts are aflame for God, who have seen something truly from the Lord and have been mightily gripped by what they have seen, who are the people that are learning? The Lord is teaching them; He does not allow their blunders and their mistakes to engulf them in destruction. He sovereignly overrules, and in the long run they are able to say, “Well, I made some awful blunders, but the Lord marvelously took hold of them and turned them to good account.” To be like this, with vision which gathers up our whole being and masters us, provides the Lord with the ground for looking after us even when we make mistakes – because His interests are at stake, His interests and not our own are the concern of our heart. The prophets and the apostles learned to know the Lord in wonderful ways by their very mistakes, for they were the mistakes, not of their own stubborn self-will, but of a real passion for God and for what He had shown them as to His purpose.

Very often the whole mounting avalanche of Divine working in our lives—an avalanche built up as silently and slowly as the added snowflakes in the Alps—just waits to move with power and overwhelming for that final—yet all-inclusive—act of committal. We wait; we think, wrestle, contemplate, analyze, go round-and-round; we reason and argue; we recognize that there is nothing else for it, and even say so; we even come to the point when the matter is settled in our conviction and acceptance, and we think that we are over the hedge, but nothing happens, nothing eventuates. Why is it? The Lord knows more than we do about the deceitfulness of our hearts. A covenant has two sides, and in the Old Testament two sacrifices were connected with a covenant; one representing God, the other the offeror; both were killed and the two parties to the covenant were represented as passing between the two (See Abraham in Gen. 15). There has to be a slaying of something on our side! In other words, God is waiting until we have burned our boats behind us. Though we may have approached the shore of His will and way for us, there will be nothing from God’s side while our boats are just left on the shore so that, if things don’t go quite as we expect, we still can retreat. That boat is an evidence of doubt or reservation. It must be burned, so that—whatever the consequence—we have no alternatives.

The young believer will not grow unless he or she makes a committal in testimony, so letting others know where they stand. The law holds good in every stage of development and progress. If policy governs, or fear, of how such a step will affect our prospects, or any consideration which conflicts with what we know in our deepest hearts is the way indicated for us—for us—those things are boats or bridges representing a false “Safety-first” policy. As when the bleating lambs were preserved by Saul—the finger of God will point to them and say, What mean those boats? God will wait for the full and final capitulation without a reservation, and to defer is only to be involved in confusion, and either becoming a misfit, having missed God’s first best, or losing out altogether.

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One of the reasons why Christians who have been active settled down too soon was the spirit of the world getting in amongst them. What is the spirit of the world? It is the spirit of: ‘Have a good time! Let us have a good time! Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’ The people of Israel looked at the world around them and, if I understand it rightly, they said: ‘These people do not have all the hard time that we do. Our life is a life of continual battle. They do not know so much about that, but they believe in having a good time.’ I think that is how it was at this particular time. Instead of fighting the world they made friends with the world. They made the world their friends, and so they did not finish the work. Compromise is a dangerous thing to the inheritance! Trying to be on good terms with the world and having an easy time will result in our losing a large part of the inheritance.

In the history of the Israelites we find that God did not give up the battle against the enemy, and that whenever the people took up the battle and turned again on to the Lord’s side to fight the enemy, they found the Lord waiting for them. So we have the story of Deborah, the story of Gideon – and dare I mention Samson? However, although Samson was a poor sort of man, if only the Lord gets a poor chance, He will take it. You may not think much of Samson, but do you think better of yourself? We are all poor creatures! We have all been discouraged, we have all been tempted to give up, we have all stopped too soon, we have all been weary in well-doing; but take the sword of the Spirit again! Take up the battle again, and you will find the Lord is ready and waiting for you.

Gideon, Deborah, Samson, and all the others – but I think there is one who is better than them all. Do you remember that beautiful little Book of Ruth? Everybody is charmed with that book! What a lovely book of spiritual recovery it is! What a picture of the Lord’s patience, the Lord’s readiness to take advantage of every opportunity! How does that book begin? “And it came to pass in the days when the judges judged…” The Book of Ruth was in the times of the Judges, which until then was the most terrible time in history of Israel, but God was ready to change the whole picture. There are the two different pictures: the Judges and Ruth, but both were in the same period. Do you see what I am trying to say?

You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. (1 Peter 2:9)
“You are a holy nation,” a nation separated from this world unto God. New birth means that, oh, that was made clear too all right there at the beginning how utter this thing is. The Lord Jesus left people in no doubt about this; a cleavage utter and absolute. He would take risks with people, you would probably say: “Oh, why put them off, why run the risk of offending them, why discourage them saying ‘except, except, except’ all the time?” Ah, He was taking all the risks necessary about this because the reality, the awful reality of this: you CANNOT, you cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven while you cling to this kingdom inimical to God, in any way…. How much the New Testament has to say about this, a walk in holiness that is separate unto God in heart, in spirit, in life, from this world. And if we knew it, a very large degree of our education, our spiritual education and our discipline in the Christian life under the hand of the HOLY Spirit, has to do with those things in us which are mixed up….

The Lord calls for distinctiveness of life and testimony, real distinctiveness of life and testimony. Is our life, dear friends, is your life and my life in this world in our connections and associations and so on, quite distinct, no mistaking to what realm we belong, to Whom we belong? No mistaking it? Or are we mixed in, compromising, keeping on good terms with this world and its people under the devil’s hand? If so, we stand to lose terribly…. Is there something quite distinctive about our lives that says that man, that woman, that young man, that young woman is utter for God, there’s no doubt about it, you see it all the time, they are utter for God; they are not playing at things, there’s no compromise with them. Now this sounds hard, but it’s necessary. Do you see what’s involved? Dear friends, the secret of power is holiness! It is. The secret of power is holiness. If our lives are powerless it may be due to this lack somewhere, somehow, of this utterness for God, this separation unto God, of some kind of compromise somehow, somewhere, with the prince of this world who’s robbing us of our spiritual power and vitality on his own ground. The secret of power is holiness; whatever you forget, remember that!

From time to time people who began their Christian life with zeal seem to come to a place of losing steam. This has happened all too often in the past. What was the effect of people stopping too soon in their spiritual tracks? It was the loss of vision. They only saw the things that were near and lost sight of God’s eternal purpose. They lost sight of what Paul calls the “prize of the on-high calling” (Philippians 3:14). Now this sounds like a contradiction, but they lost sight of the things that are not seen! You say: ‘What do you mean by that? That is nonsense! How can you see the things that are not seen?’ Paul says: “The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). They lost sight of the things which are eternal because they were looking too much at the things which are seen. They lost the heavenly vision for they became satisfied too soon. It was all good so far, but the good became the enemy of the best.

The first thing that happened, then, was the loss of the heavenly vision. It works both ways. If we lose the heavenly vision we settle down too soon. If we settle down too soon we lose the heavenly vision. And what do we mean by settling down too soon? We mean: losing the warring spirit. In the Book of Judges the Philistines resorted to a very subtle strategy: they took all the weapons of war away from Israel, and all that they had left was one file to sharpen their agricultural instruments, so that every farmer in Israel had to take a journey to the blacksmith to sharpen his farm instruments. All the sharp instruments had been taken away and the spirit of war was undermined. The Philistines had made it impossible for Israel to fight and you know that there is a very big Philistine about! The strategy of this great enemy of the inheritance is to take the fighting spirit out of us. Oh, what a lot of mischief the Philistines have done to Christians! What about our prayer life? Yes, we ask the Lord for a hundred and one things, but we do not battle through to victory on some situation. There is some life in terrible bondage, there is some servant of the Lord having a hard time, and there are many other calls for battle, but where are the prayer groups who take up these issues and will not give up until they are settled? The warring spirit has gone out from so much of the Church. That is a clever strategy of the devil! Lose the spirit of spiritual battle and you will stop short of finishing the work.

One of the most common causes of spiritual stultification is fixedness. It is peculiarly common in the realm where Christian truth has been reduced to a fixed form, order, system, and creed. The doctrines of Christianity are such and such; so many. The accepted and established ideas of Christian service and methods are so-and-so. Peter had his fixed position as to Jews and Gentiles, and, because of it, came perilously near missing the larger purpose of God, and presented the Lord with a real battleground in his Christianity. It has so very largely resolved itself into a finality of position, which results in a closed door to fuller revelation as to what God means by His Word. The fact is, that God only gives us enough light to get us to take the next step, but when that step has been taken, we are in the way of being shown that much more was meant by the Lord than He showed then. The first expectations of many servants of the Lord in the Bible, expectations resultant from something said by the Lord to them, were later seen to have been not all that He really meant, but there was something more, and perhaps other than they thought.

Can anyone really dispute that full light very often means a shedding of things and ideas that we thought were of God? Is it not true that, as we go on, we find that certain leadings of the Lord were tactical, intended to get us to a certain place where alone we could learn of a greater necessity? There is very much of this kind of thing in relation to both doctrine, practice, and service—its nature and ways, and while Divine principles will never change to all eternity, the clothing of those principles may vary and change with both dispensations and generations and stages of our own lives.

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In all this—while Truth remains unalterable—the only way to grow is to be adjustable and not static and fixed. Do your religious traditions bind you in such a way that you are not free to move with God? If He sees this to be so, He may not give you the light necessary to enlargement. But if He sees that, although you may be in a comparatively false position, your heart is really set on His fullness at any cost, He may present you with light which will test your adjustableness severely. See the case of the disciples of John the Baptist transferring their discipleship to Christ. See the case of Peter and what happened in the home of Cornelius. See also the case of Apollos in Acts 18:24–28, as also the disciples mentioned earlier in that chapter.

You may have the life of the two and a half tribes if you so desire, but you will never come into the governmental position, the meaning of the throne. What is more, the former will always prove to have been less than what God purposes, and the knowledge of it must sooner or later find us out. Was it not in that very connection the Lord’s servant said, “… be sure your sin will find you out.” That is not to say, ‘Be sure your sin will be found out.’ It will find you out. What is the meaning of that? Sometime or other you will come to say: ‘Well, I was a fool! I might have had far more than I have. God intended me to have it. This that I have is proving, after all, to be much less than what God called me unto.’ You will exclaim, just as Saul exclaimed, ‘I have played the fool!’ That is your sin finding you out. It is bound to come to that, to the recognition that God purposed much more than we, because of the conflict and the suffering involved, were prepared to accept.

However, the Lord will have a company in governmental fellowship with Himself. He will sift, and sift again, but He will have that company; and it is for us to recognize the fact that He has made that known to us. That is a matter of importance. Just pigeon-hole all the questions and problems that arise about others who have not had it made known to them, and face the fact that He has made it known to us. As Sovereign, God can do as He likes about these matters. He has made known to some (not to us alone) in the earth what is His full end, and the making of it known has constituted His call, His voice. When God has made known to us His mind we are left at once with a great responsibility; but I think, if we did but know it, we are even then in a peculiarly blessed position, although it does not always look like it.

Come out of her, My people, so that you don’t participate in her sins and also suffer from her diseases. (Revelation 18:4 ISV)
What is the spiritual life in the matter of worship? Oh, it is not ecclesiastical architecture, it is not vestments, it is not ordinances, and it is not rites. They pass out with Calvary; the perpetuating of anything like that is a contradiction of Calvary. See where we are today. The maintenance of that sort of thing is because of a failure to perceive what the Lord Jesus has brought in…. Why, then, perpetuate a thing which God has dismissed in the Cross and, by keeping to the lower, fail to reach the higher? Do you see where things are astray today? I know how sweeping this is, but all this has to do with worship. Now note that when there is a failure to recognize the spiritual meaning of all this and to enter into it… and a maintaining of the old thing… you are still on a soul level, and you are open to deception; the whole thing may be a ghastly deception. And how does that deception work? In this way: that so many good Christian people are absolutely in bondage to a traditional system which is cutting clean across Divine revelation for them. It is their traditional system which is simply barring the way to spiritual revelation, whereas the Cross of the Lord Jesus represents the liberty in the spirit for God to lead into the fullness of His Life and Light.

That is the whole purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews. It was for that very purpose. Here were a people that had received light concerning the true nature of fellowship with God in Christ – that the Lord Jesus had taken the place of the Temple and the priesthood and the sacrifices and the ordinances… and even the Sabbath. Now it is no longer a matter of form, ceremony, external rites, buildings, priests, sacrifices; it is all Christ. They had seen that. The writer had called upon them to go outside the religious, formal, historic, traditional camp, and that brought persecution, ostracism, isolation, loneliness, and all manner of things. The official religious people made it very hard for them because of that. The price to be paid for what is truly spiritual and heavenly was… and is… great, and they were dangerously in peril of going back to the old thing. The Letter to the Hebrews was written just to save them from that peril and to tell them more fully about the great change that had come about in the Cross – the work of the Lord Jesus… to tell them that one system, the earthly representation, had passed and the other, the heavenly reality, had come in…. To know the Lord in Life, we must be free from the grave clothes of outward systems. Why, then, perpetuate a system? The Lord Jesus put all that away in His Cross; it is all gone.

I have told you all this so that you may find your peace in Me. You will find trouble in the world – but, never lose heart, I have conquered the world! (John 16:33 Phillips)
When the spiritual stands to confront the merely formal, traditional, nominal and “natural,” then there is going to be trouble. This is not now merely the reaction from the world: it is the reaction from religion. I would go further, and say it may be the reaction from Christianity. There is a very great difference between formal, traditional, nominal, “natural” Christianity, on the one side, and spiritual Christianity, on the other; a great deal of difference. So much so, that this also becomes a battlefield – the battlefield of a lot of trouble.

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Leave formalism alone, and everything will go on quite quietly. Leave traditionalism alone – that is, the set order of things as it has always been; that framework of things as it has been constituted and set up and established by man; that Christianity which is the fixed, accepted system of things – and you will escape a great deal of trouble. But seek to bring in a truly spiritual order of things, and trouble arises at once. And YOU are the trouble maker! The truth is that the trouble lies in the existing condition, the situation, the state; but it is only brought out by your action. And so spiritual men and women, and spiritual ministry, are called “trouble makers,” because the two things cannot go on together. That is where Israel was. They had the traditions, they had the oracles, they had the ordinances, they had the testimonies; they had the forms, they had the system – they had it all; but, in the days of the prophets, there was ever this vast gap between the “externals” and “internals” of life in relation with God. The heart is far removed from the lips. The spiritual reality is not found in the formal. You may have it all – but then bring in the truly spiritual meaning of things, and trouble begins in that very realm. It is the trouble which arises when what is external and traditional comes into conflict with something which is truly spiritual.

My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine. (Matthew 26:39 NLT)
We must face the fact and we must seek help from God always to bear in mind that we are going to have a path of suffering if we are in fellowship with the Lord Jesus…. There has to come a point when we sit down and do some calculating and come to a definite conclusion on this matter – that, although very often we may not be able to see that our suffering is because of our relationship to Him (the sufferings are so manifold and diverse, and very often they look as though they have no relationship at all with our Christian life) at the same time, whether we can discern it or not; the fact remains that the pathway of the child of God, of the fellow of Jesus Christ, is the pathway of suffering. I say, postponement or delay in settling that matter keeps us all the time in that state of hoping and waiting for it to be different, and, because the difference does not come, getting downcast and feeling that all is wrong and that the Lord is against us and all that sort of thing, thus giving all the ground that the enemy wants for destroying our testimony. The very first thing to remember when we take this cup is that while we are taking it as the cup of salvation, while we are remembering the atonement which is in the Blood, and all the wonderful redemption which is ours because of that Blood, the cup does also speak to us of fellowship with His suffering….
Yes, there is something which is going up to His praise and glory as Christ is being formed through the fires of adversity and suffering. It is fellowship with Him in His sufferings, after all, if it is bringing about more Christlikeness. So our first thing is to reckon with this and get it settled. What are you expecting, what are you waiting for, what are you concerned about, what are you pleading and praying for? If you are praying for full and final deliverance from adversity and suffering and difficulty and all that sort of thing, let me tell you your prayer will never be answered. Forms of suffering may change, but in some form or another we are going on to the end in a way of adversity. Satan is not going to become our friend while we are friends of Jesus Christ. The kingdom of Satan is not going to rally to our support while we belong to the kingdom which is opposed to his. Let us settle that. It will get us free, perhaps, from this entanglement.

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20
What is the declaration contained within that statement? The essence of the utterance is this: There is a life which is not man’s natural life, which is not original human life, but is a peculiar, particular, unique life; it is the life of God Himself. That very life of God, eternal, incorruptible, indestructible, divine life, is the life which it is the Lord’s will for every one of His children to possess. There the whole of the Christian life has its beginning, its spring. What is the Gospel? What is the Christian life? It is not Judaism taking on the title of Christianity. It is not Christianity taking hold of Judaism. It is the possessing of God’s own divine life. Anything short of that is not the Gospel! Paul here says that this life is the very foundation and basis of a true Christian experience, and it means this: It is no longer I, but Christ living in me.
That is set right over against Judaism, which was all external, outward. This is inward. “Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live…” Well, Paul, how did you become possessed of that life? In what way did you come into that great reality of Christ living in you? “I have been crucified with Christ!” What did that mean, Paul? That meant that Judaism had to go: I was steeped in Judaism, far more than any other of my brethren, the apostles, Jews as they were. I excelled in my zeal for the Jewish faith; but when I saw the Lord Jesus, and when I saw the meaning of Christ crucified, that which had been my very life (Judaism) became as nothing. He became my life, and that other ceased to have any meaning for me! Paul is here setting the life of Judaism, which is no life, over against the life of the indwelling Christ, which is the life.

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What is it to be a Christian? It is to receive God’s very life in Christ into the innermost place in our being. “Christ liveth in me, and that life which I now live…” You cannot substitute that. There is nothing which can take the place of that. And yet there are those who think that if they go to meetings, and keep up their religious forms and observances, it is all well. It is not all well! That is the devil’s lie! Any religious system which is a substitute for the indwelling Christ is an accursed thing, by reason of its very effect.

There is no safe place, apart from the constant application of the principle of the Cross. Safety absolutely demands it. Nothing is safe in our hands. The more the Lord blesses, the more peril there is. The greatest peril comes when the Lord begins to use us…. It is a most perilous thing to be entrusted with Divine riches, so far as our flesh is concerned. The only safe place is where the Cross is still at work, touching all that is ourselves, touching all our independence of action.

Take all these Apostles – take Peter, a man who would act so independently, who liked to do things on his own and do what he wanted to do. We find it cropping up constantly. He is the man who acts without stopping to ask anybody. We have no hint that he ever got into fellowship with his brother disciples and said, “I am thinking of doing so and so; I would very much like you to pray with me about it, and to tell me what you think; I have no intention of going on unless there is one mind among us.” Peter never did that sort of thing. He got an idea, and off he went. The Lord summed him up very well when He said: “When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not” (John 21:18). That was Peter before the Cross was in-wrought in him. But see him afterwards… “Peter and John,” “Peter and John,” “Peter and John.” Well, they are moving together now, there is relatedness. Is it an acknowledgment that Peter felt his need of cooperation and fellowship, that he had seen the perils and disasters into which independent action led him, even when his intentions and motives were of the best? These are just glimpses of how the Cross touches us in our impulsive, independent nature, our self-will, our self-strength. The Cross has to deal with all that to make things safe for God, and to keep us moving in the way of increasing knowledge of the Lord, which, as we have said, lies behind all our value to the Lord, all our usefulness, all our service.

It is important to remember that death is not only a law or a principle. It is that; but the Scriptures constantly make clear that behind the thing there is a person. Back of death is he “that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. Conybeare translates that: “the lord of death”. The great battle which took place at the exodus of Israel from Egypt was really a battle between Jehovah and “all the gods of Egypt” (Exodus 12:12), which gods were but the spiritual hierarchy of him who had ever made it his aim to be “like the Most High”, and had assumed the role of “the god of this world”. A right understanding of that story would make very clear that it was a conflict between the Lord of life and the lord of death, and that the Hebrews were only translated out of the kingdom of darkness and the authority of death because a lamb had shed its blood, and through death had figuratively destroyed him that had the power of death.
This was fulfilled at Calvary, for on the Cross Christ drew on Himself the whole hierarchy of evil, and went down under it to the bottommost reach of its domain, and then, by reason of the life which could not be holden of death, He stripped off principalities and powers, broke through, and rose their Conqueror. It was in resurrection far above all rule and authority that He became the Firstborn from the dead, the first and inclusive One of all who should be identified with Him.

Let us point out that after His resurrection our Lord was, because of the peculiar nature of His resurrection state, no longer subject to natural limitations. Time and space now had no control of Him. This principle abides, and it applies now. When there is a living in the values and energy of resurrection life we are children of eternity and of the universe. Prayer touches the ends of the earth, and the significance of our being and doing is of universal and eternal dimensions: there are no limitations.

So then, beloved of God, the natural life is no longer a criterion; whether it be strong or weak matters not. Its weakness does not carry a handicap. We are called to live and serve only in His life, which is the only efficient and sure one. What is true of the Head must be true of the members. What is true of the Vine must be true of the branches. What is true of the last Adam must be true of every member of His race. “Planted together in the likeness of his resurrection”, said the apostle (Romans 6:5), and he prayed that it might be more and more experimental: “that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). That should be the prayer of every true Spirit-led servant of Christ.

Outward Separation from the World

The inward separation had its outward effect or outworking in separation from the world, and no one will think for a moment that I mean physical separation from the world. No, He was here right in it, in its throng and press, in its affairs, with everything pressing upon Him; never seeking to live the life of a hermit, detached from the world, but right in it and yet while rubbing shoulder to shoulder with the world, having all the contacts of this world in every form, there was a distinctiveness about Him. He was not a part of it, but apart from it, a wonderful outward separation. While being able to talk with the grossest and the most defiled and the people most involved in this world, He was yet by no means a part of their system, their order, their way of life, but outwardly separate from the world.

The most unhappy people in this world are Christians who try to have both worlds. It is my experience that if you want to find a miserable Christian, you must find what is called ‘a worldly Christian’, one in whom a constant civil war goes on between two kingdoms. Yes, a Christian in this world, trying to get something out of this world is a miserable creature. I used to illustrate it by the old border battles between Scotland and England. The people who lived in the border country never had a day’s rest all their lives. One day it would be the overrunning from one side, the next day from the other side, and these poor people on the border line had the most miserable existence possible. It is like that. You try to live on a border-line – or border-land Christian life – and you will be a miserable person, without rest or peace or joy or anything else. You will never know exactly where you are, who is your master, which way you are going, to whom you belong. It is a miserable existence.

The Lord Jesus was not like that. He was on one side and absolutely on one side. The border line was a very wide one for Him. Indeed, there was no border line. He was attached to heaven, and He maintained that attachment. You and I, if we are going to know glory now and glory afterward, will have to be on the same ground as He was in this matter – no compromise with the world; in it, having to do our work here, having to meet people here, having to be friendly in a way, yet not one with their nature, their realm, their way. It is a difficult thing – not as easy to do as to say – it works out in many practical ways. The point is that Christ was wholly for God, and because of that, His Father was the Father of glory, and the Spirit of glory rested upon Him, and the Father could give Him glory.

Amen

Special thanks to Austin-Sparks.Net- Open Windows

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Follow Not by Appearances, Act Not for Appearances sake

 

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I have been going through manifold temptations and attacks from all sides these later days. Have I remained completely faithful? No, in my doubt the Lord alone has carried me and remained faithful with the lessons I’ve learned, The things I do know for sure. Jesus is risen in Life and that Yeshua is Lord of lords.

My only redeeming quality that I can observe in myself, is that I won’t give up. That would be for me crawling back into the proverbial grave I was brought out of by the Lord. It is true, that if the Lord be with us than who can truly be against us. Who can bring a charge against one of Gods elect. Is it not the Lord who justifies or condemns. Yea, rather he give grace to the so called condemned, to win sons and daughters over for eternity. Is love and mercy part of the manifold gift and wisdom of grace which is truly Agape. Yes, I do believe so. I am convinced that were we faulted his strength alone is manifested. That he will bring us forward and around in grace to the next hard lesson in what true love is. He died so that we may live to see another day and to experience the fullness of what it means to be a child of God growing into a Son of the Living God.

These last few miles of my journey are the toughest, but I am beginning to see that in the tribulations I am suffering, it is for all of you, my forever family in Jesus.

My evidence is the life of Paul through Jesus my Saviour

It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

I believe that the greatest virtue in the eyes of God is faithfulness; it embraces everything. Faithfulness is after God’s own heart. Take a passing glance at this steward – Paul the Apostle. “Demas forsook me…”; (2 Tim. 4:10); “…all that are in Asia turned away from me…” (2 Tim. 1:15). Look at him when everything which would inspire to faithfulness is breaking down. He is left practically alone. He has more enemies than ever. And now the tragedy, the pathos is that so many of his enemies are those to whom he has been most used. While there were enemies without it was not so difficult, but now the very people for whom he has spent himself have become his enemies. But there is no thought, no hint, no suggestion of giving up. His word is, “…faithful unto death….” This steward was faithful. You cannot say that, when he died, the situation outwardly testified to tremendous success. It did not look like that at all. Paul’s life was not vindicated up to the hilt. No! He died largely a lonely man, but faithful, “…it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” But what enrichment of others may follow from the meeting of that requirement, costly as it is. Paul is not dead! I only hope that Paul knows of all that has sprung from his ministry, all that his ministry means to us. The Lord has met us through His servant, and we never, never get to the depths or anywhere near the bottom of the fullness of Christ that has come through Paul. We shall go on, and, if we live twice or three times the length of our present life, we shall still be making discoveries of what we owe to Paul’s faithfulness as a steward. That has been going on century after century.

That is faithful stewardship, and although the steward may be called away from his earthly stewardship, the stewardship goes on. Faithfulness is always rewarded beyond our wildest dreams. May the Lord maintain us in faithfulness, even though that faithfulness may sometimes involve us in an appearance of utter failure. The Lord make us good stewards. Austin Sparks

When the train has left the station and the Lord moves from the mercy seat to the judgment seat it is where we are at that will be the deciding factor for our eternal life. We must act as if there is no time to waste and settle once and for all the question of our choice. We have already made the choice of who we will follow. Its up to us to figure out the why and to move on to our destiny or fate. Amen

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