For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.Hebrews 10:1(NASB)
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son. (Hebrews 1:1,2 NIV)
What was the tragedy of the old Israel? Of course, the tragedy of the old Israel, finally, is their dismissal. Their dismissal: “The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” That happened! and it stands today. The kingdom of heaven taken away – not for that Israel, but for another! The tragedy of Israel is that they are dismissed from the dispensation, or the dispensational movement of God. This has lasted for two thousand years. How many more years we do not know, probably, not so long, but you leave that alone.
Here I am going to upset a lot of you: you leave Israel alone for the time being. You will only get into terrible confusion if you get down on this earth with an earth touch in these things.... You see, you go on like that and it leads to confusion if you come down onto this earth. Leave it alone and see what God is doing, and God is doing a spiritual thing, not a temporal thing. I could take an hour to enlarge upon that last phrase, “not a temporal thing.” Do you see, in the sovereign activities of God, that now He is confounding and confusing and breaking down all temporal representations of His heavenly kingdom?! Men are trying to set up local churches after New Testament order. You have never had more confusion in local churches than you have today. They are trying to set up things, constitute things, Christian movements, Christian institutions, Christian organizations, and they are all in confusion and do not know what to do with one another. You may think that is an exaggeration, but you see what I mean? – God is breathing upon every temporal representation in order to have a spiritual expression of Christ! That is the heart of what we are saying, and that is what is here.... This new Israel is so much greater than the old because Christ, this Messiah, is so much greater than their conception of a Messiah... I am talking about the greatness of this One Who is introduced in Hebrews: “God, ...hath at the end of these days spoken in His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of...” an exclusive party? – No, “of all things.” That is Paul’s great word all the way through: “all things, ...all things, ...all things,” and in the end, “to sum up all things in Christ.” And if I need to safeguard, I am not talking about universalism. I am talking about God’s ultimate realm and sphere where it will be nothing but Christ.
The love of the Spirit. § The Helper, the Holy Spirit. § In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.
We know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. § Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. § I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. § The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.
Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you. § My beloved had turned away and was gone. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. § I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him. § Have you not brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the Lord your God when He led you in the way?
He arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. § I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect (mature), establish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Pet. 5:10).
At first, the old nature hides from us. Then, we try to hide from it. But when we begin to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we are able to face up to the awful facts concerning the old man and his condemnation at the Cross. As the Holy Spirit reveals the old man (Col. 3:9), we count upon death; as He reveals the new man (Col. 3:10), we count upon life (Rom. 6:11).
"The believer, at the opening of his course, never knows his own heart; indeed, he could not bear the full knowledge of it; he would be overwhelmed thereby. The Lord leads us not by the way of the Philistines lest we should see war, and so be plunged into despair. But He graciously leads us by a circuitous route, in order that our apprehension of His grace may keep pace with our growing self-knowledge." -C.H.M.
"It was not for nothing that God let Satan loose upon His dear servant, Job. God loved Job with a perfect love; a love that could take account of everything, and, looking below the surface, could see the deep moral roots in the heart of His servant - roots which Job had never seen, and, therefore, never judged. What a mercy to have to do with such a God! to be in the hands of One who will spare no pains in order to subdue everything in us which is contrary to Himself, and to bring out in us His own blessed image!"
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1 Pet. 5:6, 7).
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Revelation 1:17
It may be that like the apostle John you know Jesus Christ intimately, when suddenly He appears with no familiar characteristic at all, and the only thing you can do is to fall at His feet as dead. There are times when God cannot reveal Himself in any other way than in His majesty, and it is the awfulness of the vision which brings you to the delight of despair; if you are ever to be raised up, it must be by the hand of God.
"He laid His right hand upon me." In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that "underneath are the everlasting arms," full of sustaining and comfort and strength. When once His touch comes, nothing at all can cast you into fear again. In the midst of all His ascended glory the Lord Jesus comes to speak to an insignificant disciple, and to say - "Fear not." His tenderness is ineffably sweet. Do I know Him like that?
Watch some of the things that strike despair. There is despair in which there is no delight, no horizon, no hope of anything brighter; but the delight of despair comes when I know that "in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing." I delight to know that there is that in me which must fall prostrate before God when He manifests Himself, and if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me until I get to the limit of the possible.
The natural man has no spiritual discernment, which is given from God’s Spirit. The spiritual man does have spiritual discernment. The spiritual man walks in spirit and in truth – he has the mind of Christ. But what of the carnal believer – born again but not spiritual? What of the Christian whose spiritual growth is stunted due to carnality?
Paul says this to the carnal Corinthian Christians: “and I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people, but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food, for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able – for you are still carnal. For where there is envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” 1Cor 2:14
How should we live the Christian life? Once the the natural man is born from above, he should live as a spiritual man. The one taken from the old creation, should forever live as a new creation. The one that was “of your father the devil”, at once should live as a child of God. BUT… There is an inevitable ‘but’ in the life of every Christian. There is an inevitable ‘but’ in your life and in mine. There is a half way house – an obstacle to overcome – and it all depends on self-will.
The intermediate position is the one of carnality.. one governed by the flesh. Paul speaks to the Corinthian Christians as ‘”carnal” – as babes in Christ. They had received the supernatural birth but were carnal and still “walking as men”. A newborn babe must grow and a child must develop into a man, and so too the Christian. A babe in Christ must grow into spiritual maturity. But the carnal man is a fleshly believer. The carnal believer is one that remains a babe in Christ.
One evidence of carnalityread more
My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
It is good to praise the Lord. It is good to sing praises to the God of our Salvation, for His countless blessings. It is becoming for the creature to offer praise to the Creator. The heavens declare the glory of God and they also sing for joy. The hills of the field clap their hands and the mountains burst into glorious song. Surely it is the inclination and deep desire of the saints to praise the Lord. Assuredly it is the delight and joy of the believer to praise his Saviour. It is good to give thanks and to praise Thy name, O Lord – for praise is comely. Psa.147:1
Such worship extols and lifts up the Saviour and it satisfies His heart. Such songs of glory are a sacrifice of praise that so delights the Lord. The believers’ sacrifice of praise is the fruit of his lips that acknowledge His name. Thanks and praise to the Lord satisfies the heart of God. Thanks and praise to Him are a tree of life.. to both the speaker and to the listener. Thanks and praise is a great healing river, in the heart of the one who offers praise. They are a river of life that touches and cleanses every deepest need in man’s soul.
I once experienced deep pain and hurt that tore my heart apart. My heart was broken, my soul was lacerated. I was utterly bereft and in deep anguish. My voice was as broken as my heart. My speech was raspy.. and not one note of song could pass from my throat. Through a mist of tears I started to whisper praises as best as I could.. and little by little through nine seemingly endless long months, my voice returned. I first lifted my aching heart and my breaking voice in a Sacrifice of Praise.. and the deep, depressiveread more