"Woe to the worthless shepherd Who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm And on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered And his right eye will be blind."Zechariah 11:17(NASB)
The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The state of the natural man is the circumstance into which all humanity is born. The innocence of babyhood and the dreams of childhood are tainted with sin. There is none good no not even one, for all have sinned and all fall short. The man born of earthly parentage has his roots in the earthly generations, and all roots reach back to the one man Adam, who was of the earth – earthly. For by one man sin entered the world, and by one man came death upon all.
We live in a world where God is despised and yet man seeks after spiritual wisdom! We inhabit a sphere where man has subsumed the role of God and all has become relative! A world where my wisdom is wise for me and your wisdom is wise for you – an epoch when humanity wears a necklace of pride – as they seek to right all wrongs! An era of insanity, as natural man plans humanities next move – on the chessboard of life: but God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. 1Cor.3:19 And a young child, brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord has greater wisdom, than the anti-theist minds of the world’s ministers, who so love to play “god“.
Why? Why should this be so? – because God has ordained this to be so. God has confounded the wisdom of the wise – but he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. 1Peter.2:6. The natural man has rejected Christ and remains dead in trespasses and sins. The unsaved man today, whether Jew or Greek lacks spiritual understanding. The things of God and the Spirit of God, are foolish folly to him, nor can he know them. The one dead in trespasses and sins has noread more
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: em>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, ot 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: em>God, ...hath at the end of these days spoken in His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of...an exclusive party? No, em>of all things.That is Paul great word all the way through: em>all things, ...all things, ...all things,and in the end, em>to sum up all things in Christ.And if I need to safeguard, I am not talking about universalism. I am talking about God 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.
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