so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.1 Corinthians 2:5(NASB)
The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. (Numbers 23:9)
Not reckoned among the nations. Oh, that is glorious! That puts Israel not only apart from the nations, but on top of the nations. Now, if there has been one thing which Satan has ever tried to do with the people of God in all ages, it has been to get them reckoned among the nations. I speak solemnly and carefully. Right at the very heart of Christendom as we have it today is the desire to be recognized. Recognition! Everything that organized Christianity does is to gain recognition. What are all these churches? I mean, in this instance, all these elaborate and imposing buildings. They are to gain recognition. They are in order to be reckoned something. To what end is all the procedure, the advertisement, and the much else besides? It is in order to get recognition, to be accredited here on this earth, to be reckoned. Yes, that is Satan's triumph. That is where spiritual power has gone out. That is where the Church has ceased to be something to be reckoned with up there. It has, in spirit, come down here, to be reckoned among the nations. If only Satan can get the people of God into a position where they are taken up by this world, written up by this world, made something of by this world, he has triumphed and pulled the Church down out of its heavenly place and made it an earthly thing. That is the principle right through the Old Testament. That too is seen to be the trouble in the Revelation. God will not have it. Satan's success is along that line. He has pulled the Church out of the heavens. Somewhere he has made it touch earth, form a link in some way with earth.
What we have just said does touch us in so many ways, yes, in countless things, this question of being reckoned among the nations in principle, this coming down from the heavenly position. The Lord never meant His Church on this earth to be something that would be taken up by this world, to be something that would be reckoned among the things of this world, recognized and accredited by this world. What He meant, and what obtained when things were right, was that the world itself could not bear the presence of the Church, did not want it. That is the power of the Church to testify against the world.
The way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest. § Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh … let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. § Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed. § Through Him we … have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Barak said to [Deborah], “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” … On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan. § Gideon … feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, [so] he did it by night … So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said … Let me test, I pray.” … And God did so.
You have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. § Who has despised the day of small things?
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly. § “Increase our faith.” § I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon. His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:10).
The Holy Spirit creates within us a hatred for the old nature, and a hunger for the new nature. Without a rejection of the old, there cannot be a projection of the new.
"I want a testimony that delivers me from the things I am occupied about in myself when I am suffering from them. I get it from God's gift that is perfect. I am accepted in the Beloved' (Eph. 1:6). You say, There is something about myself I cannot get over. Remember, the testimony of the Spirit in us is the contrary of the testimony of the Spirit to us. In me, He takes notice of every fault that is not righteousness; but the testimony to us is, Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more' (Heb. 8:12)."
"If we make morality our standard, we will be sure to fall below what we purpose. Whatever we put before us as our criterion, there will be always a falling short. If we have the Lord Jesus Christ risen and in heaven as our Object, we shall prove the power of His resurrection, not only in lifting us up when we are conscious of our exceeding short-comings, but in strengthening us to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus' (Phil. 3:14)."
"The Word of God teaches me union, but the Person of Christ brings out all that I derive from union with Him. The Word is always my authority for my position, but acquaintance with the Person confirms and manifests my position."
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord" (Eph 6:10)
“And Peter … walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid.” Matthew 14:29-30
The wind was actually boisterous, the waves were actually high, but Peter did not see them at first. He did not reckon with them, he simply recognized his Lord and stepped out in recognition of Him, and walked on the water. Then he began to reckon with the actual things, and down he went instantly. Why could not our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves as well as on the top of them? Neither could be done saving by recognition of the Lord Jesus.
We step right out on God over some things, then self-consideration enters in and down we go. If you are recognizing your Lord, you have no business with where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are, but immediately you look at them you are overwhelmed, you cannot recognize Jesus, and the rebuke comes: "Wherefore didst thou doubt?" Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on Him.
If you debate for a second when God has spoken, it is all up. Never begin to say - "Well, I wonder if He did speak?" Be reckless immediately, fling it all out on Him. You do not know when His voice will come, but whenever the realization of God comes in the faintest way imaginable, recklessly abandon. It is only by abandonment that you recognize Him. You will only realize His voice more clearly by recklessness.
And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord”
What glorious words were sung in the heart of little Mary that glorious day. No wonder her heart sang. No wonder her soul magnified the Lord her God.
The gate into the garden where Adam “walked with God,” had been slammed. Yet, at the closed, guarded gate of Eden, a wonderful promise had been given. A Saviour would be sent, and that One would be the seed of the women. And down through the long years, each young woman dared to hope that she… O, that she might be that favoured one, through whom the Saviour would be born. Young hearts must have burned with expectant hope, with each newborn babe.
Years came and years went. Centuries passed and generations of disappointed hearts saw their hopes fade. To some, it must have become a whisper of a forgotten hope – a myth of yore! To the many, the glorious promise had reduced to an almost forgotten dream. To the few, it was expected… anticipated. To the small, tiny, declining remnant alone, that hope remained truly alive. Oh, how much like those waned, failed hopes of believers in this day and age. How similar to the way the promises of His return has been dismissed today – faded like the morning mist.. evaporated like a dry, dusty, desert puddle. How indistinguishable from the apathetic body that awaits Christ’s glorious appearing.
How lost, forgotten and misunderstood is the truth of His soon and mysterious return. How insignificant, misrepresented, twisted and ignored is the return of our sweet Lord Jesus. How sad that His return for His precious chase virgin has become so meaningless. How blinded are the eyes of believers who focus on the unreality of today.. at the expense of securing His promise in their hearts – instead of His anticipated arrival – and our wise spiritual preparation. 'Hope deferred makes the heart sick…..' we read in Proverbs 13:12. Aread more
For years the ping-pong argument of who wrote Hebrews has raged to and fro. Was it Paul who wrote it or was it someone else.. and if so who could it be? That’s the question that’s stumped many a theologian. But who cares, and what does it matter? Yet this is just one small area in Christendom’s realm that deflects one's attention. This is one of a myriad of subjects that looks away from Jesus to the 'urgent.' This debate is one of ‘pressing titivations’ that deflect us from our real focus – Jesus. What idiots these men are to debate such insignificant and unimportant issues, when God is speaking within the sacred pages of this inspired letter.
In Luke 24 we read:- Oh fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken… to take on board all that God’s Word says and reveals. But how frequently today the urgent is sought out at the expense of the important. How often, in these days, is the intriguing preferred before the bedrock of truth.. and how often Christians can’t see the wood for the trees in their area of ‘expertise.’ And yet within the pages of this one epistle are instructions of immense proportion. Hebrews contains information that has eternal consequences in the life of the saved.
This letter spells out in bold warning strokes, the consequences of unpreparedness. It tolls like a cautionary alarm bell to those ignoring the call to faithful preparation. It waves a frantic red flag in the faces of all who ignore its vital message. The religious state of those, to whom Hebrews was written, was far from satisfactory. Some were ‘slothful‘. Some were 'not giving earnest heed,' in a life that was feeble. Some had back-slidden, while others neglected sanctification – yielding to the flesh. Some were in huge danger of falling short of the promises, and still more sinned wilfully. Some drew back to perdition, and many just gave up their faith in Jesus.