who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been exiled with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled.Esther 2:6(NASB)
He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV)
I believe we need a new understanding of the spiritual pilgrimage of the Lord Jesus. We think that because He was God’s Son, and because of what He was, His way was less difficult than ours. He had certain powers that we have not. He had a nature that we have not. We cannot understand the mystery of One such as He being subjected to trials and difficulties and adversities, and being tested to breaking-point, where it called for the intervention of heaven to get Him through. He was brought there; He was brought to the point more than once where even He would not have gone through, had not heaven intervened and angels ministered to Him. You say: "I have never had that experience." Ah, but you have. You may never have actually seen angels coming to minister to you, but there is no believer who has gone this way, who has gone any distance, but knows in his heart, “But for God and Heaven, I would not be here today.” My own testimony is that it has required the intervention of heaven, more than once, to save me from succumbing.
But what is true of ourselves was far more true of Him. We do not understand this mystery, but He had a spiritual pilgrimage, with far deeper testings and tryings than ever you or I need, or have, or will have. Yes, “in all points like as we” it is true; but, for Him, with greater acuteness than for us. Through it all He has been perfected – “made perfect.” “Though He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and having been made perfect (i.e. having been made complete) He became... the author of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:8,9), “eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12). He has reached the end of the road of perfection for us. And He is the guarantee that God can do it in us! That is the point. He is there like the ‘title deeds’ for faith; the guarantee and the certainty that God, having got Him there, can get anybody there. He can get you and me there at the end. He can make perfect His work in us.
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. § Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. § Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
As long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. § Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today … then you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.”
Is not the Lord your God with you? And has He not given you rest?
Not being weak in faith, [Abraham] did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. § Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? § If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. § Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? § Look at the birds of the air … your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? § Why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not … remember the five loaves of the five thousand?
My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus" (Heb. 10:19).
The written Word is meant to reveal the Living Word, not to hide Him. Many know prophecy better than the Prophet. Our Father gave us His written Word that we might know His Son, not only as Saviour but as our very Life. "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17).
"The knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is the basis of the believer's life. That is, it underlies our very relationship with God; it underlies all our growth in grace; it underlies every fragment of our service. There is nothing which comes within the compass of the life of the Christian which does not depend upon the knowledge of the Lord Jesus." -T. A-S.
"Heart acquaintance with Christ is the secret of spiritual growth. One may know all the truths of the Bible, and yet be practically ignorant of the person of the Lord Jesus. It is possible to go back into the world with acquaintance with the scriptures, but it is virtually impossible to return thither with the scriptural acquaintance of Christ in the heart."
"The believer should have but one object: knowing Christ has laid hold of him for glory, his heart is running after Him. He is to have no other object, though he may have many things to do. The Lord Jesus is in all' believers as the power of life, and He is all' as the object of that life. He is all and in all' (Col. 3:11). And, all to Him I owe.'"
"Having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Heb. 10:21, 22).
“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” John 13:17
If you do not cut the moorings, God will have to break them by a storm and send you out. Launch all on God, go out on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and you will get your eyes open. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the smooth waters just inside the harbour bar, full of delight, but always moored; you have to get out through the harbour bar into the great deeps of God and begin to know for yourself, begin to have spiritual discernment.
When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more. Revise where you have become stodgy spiritually, and you will find it goes back to a point where there was something you knew you should do, but you did not do it because there seemed no immediate call to, and now you have no perception, no discernment; at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of spiritually self-possessed. It is a dangerous thing to refuse to go on knowing.
The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you work up occasions to sacrifice your self; ardour is mistaken for discernment. It is easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfil your spiritual destiny, which is stated in Romans 12:1-2. It is a great deal better to fulfil the purpose of God in your life by discerning His will than to perform great acts of self-sacrifice. "To obey is better than sacrifice." Beware of harking back to what you were once when God wants you to be something you have never been. "If any man will do . . . he shall know."
Once upon Eternity….
…there was God.
Before time was created there was God, only God and nothing but God. Before space was shaped or stars were formed, God alone existed. Before the universe was fashioned and its laws were enforced there was God, alone. Before functions were designed and principles established there was nothing.. save the Eternal tri-unity of Love.
Once upon Eternity – before the worlds were founded there was nothing at all – nothing, except infinite non-existence of matter or material. No angels, no principalities, no powers, no heavenly places. No atoms; no elementary particles; no molecules; no modules; no electrons; no quarks. No sound, no smell, no heat, no light, no dark, no colour, no peace, no evil, nothing. Nothing: nothing but God.
Nothing, but the Trinitarian, relational Oneness of the Triune Godhead. Nothing, save the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isa.45:7. Nothing, except God, in the mystery of the three Persons: Thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, I dwell in the high and holy place. Thus saith the Lord: whose name is Holy – in the high and holy place is where I dwell. Isaiah 53:17
Oh Christian – consider the enormity of these statements. Meditate on the majesty of this proclamation. Deliberate on the glories of theses declarations. Gaze in astonishment at this awesome order. Contemplate the beloved Son of God’s Love in the bosom of the tender Father. Consider Divinity, receiving and reciprocating Divine Love. Ponder on Love’s embrace, in all its unutterable purity and ardour – caressed by the gracious Spirit of Love.
Right back, before the foundations of all, there is timeless eternity. Long before aught had been spoken into being.. environed in the sublime euphoria of Relational Godliness.. immersed in the sparkling ecstasy of celestial Joy.. bathed in the pure essence of divine Life, divine Light and divine Love – rightread more
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1 Corinthians 12:27
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12
The Lord Jesus was the personal, physical presence of the perfect person on earth. His life’s walk established the basis and nature of His permanent work among men. His cross effected that which made it possible for humanity to gain the same plane. His death, resurrection and ascension resulted in a substitution – the exchange of the individual body of the Lord for the corporate Body of Christ.
Thus “the Church, which is His Body” was brought into being. Thus His Body, the Church became the abiding instrument of His world-incarnation. There is no other ‘Church’ that God the Father acknowledges as Christ’s ‘Body’. There is no other ‘Body’ that the Lord almighty accepts as ‘His Church’.
The Church which is His Body is the only physical representation of God on earth today, and God has chosen the Church, In Him, before the foundation of the world.” While the Lord Jesus was on earth we read many stories of His life and His work. He walked and ate, He slept and prayed, He sang and He glorified God in His body. He taught and was tempted, He healed and He helped and He worshiped – He worshiped the Lord His God in His body.
The word ‘Body’ is no metaphor – it is no figure of speech – no allegorical symbol. Members of His Body on earth today are relationally joined to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Body on earth is Christ’s relational attachment to the world. The Church is the Lord’s connecting link to the physical world. The Church is His eyes and ears; His hands and His feet; His heart and His life… just as our own physical bodies stand in relation to ourread more