Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,Titus 1:1(NASB)
The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. (Daniel 11:32)
After the Cross, all the fullness of the Divine power was released upon the world through those who had been brought into absolute oneness with the Lord by that Cross. That is the peculiar kind of knowledge which means the release of such forces and such powers upon the world situation as are unknown by the great world systems. First, let us remember that this knowledge of God is by revelation. We can never get this knowledge of God merely by reading, by listening, by attending meetings.... You may understand it all by mental apprehension, know the terms and the verses, and use them but what about the dynamic of this thing? What does our personal presence in a situation mean? Does it mean that there is the going out of a power which cannot be accounted for on any human basis whatever, but which is a greater force than the forces that are represented by world organizations, world methods, world resources? It is a most important question. Is this thing alive, or have we merely got a little more mental apprehension of it through conferences? Do we know God in this thing by reason of a personal inward revelation on the subject?
Secondly, it comes by the way of pain. You get a thing revealed to you as truth, perhaps something about the Cross of Christ, or victory over Satan, and you think you know it, and you say, "This is beautiful!" And you begin to talk about it, and it is not very long before something happens your circumstances are touched. Now you go down with this truth, down into the vortex of awful agony, right down to the gates of hell, your being is upheaved right from the very bottom, and all the time there is the question "Will that truth hold good?" Is it going to work? And when you have got down as far as you can go, the flesh elements and the self elements have been dealt with, and you grimly hold on to the Lord in this matter of victory then it comes out, you have tested it right to the very bottom of your being that thing has become you, and then you can go to others in their grim conflict and their darkness, and say, "I know I know this thing, and I know God is faithful, I know the victory." You have got a mighty emphasis on your knowledge, it is a thing about which you have no doubt, because you have gone down into the depths with it, and proved it down there, and by the very pain the thing has been proved.
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. § Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. § You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Indeed a greater than Solomon is here. § Prince of Peace.
Scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. § Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. § The love of Christ … passes knowledge.
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. § In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. § The unsearchable riches of Christ. § Of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
My son, do not think lightly of the Lord's discipline, and do not faint when he corrects you" (Heb. 12:6, Wey.).
Most of us sought to avoid our natural father's discipline, when he sought to administer it. And most of us seek to avoid our heavenly Father's discipline, until we finally learn that "He does it for our certain good, in order that we may become sharers in His own holy character" (Heb. 12:10, Wey.).
"There is an idea that often troubles people, namely, that God always wants to bring us down when He chastens us. When He corrects a man it is not that He may bring him down, but that He may lift him up. He says, Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time' (1 Peter 5:6). I discipline my child in order that I may exalt him morally."
"Our Father purges us on the principle of we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake.' In service you are sure to find some kind of pressure on you. "It may be on your body, and often is; or it may be persecution; but you will hardly ever have a fruitful field of service before you, unless you are crippled for it. He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.'"
"We come to feel our need, and often attempt independently to supply it by our own means; the Lord must confound us in the attempt; but having done so, He leads in dependence to find and acquire an inconceivably greater answer to our wishes than even that which we prescribed for ourselves. The prodigal only sought sustenance' from the citizen in the far country,' but back in his father's house he found not bread merely, but abounding welcome and a fatted calf."
"For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines: and he scourges every son whom he acknowledges" (Heb. 12:6, Wey.).
“I indeed baptize you with water . . but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire." ” Matthew 3:11
Have I ever come to a place in my experience where I can say - "I indeed - but He"? Until that moment does come, I will never know what the baptism of the Holy Ghost means. I indeed am at an end, I cannot do a thing: but He begins just there - He does the things no one else can ever do. Am I prepared for His coming? Jesus cannot come as long as there is anything in the way either of goodness or badness. When He comes am I prepared for Him to drag into the light every wrong thing I have done? It is just there that He comes. Wherever I know I am unclean, He will put His feet; wherever I think I am clean, He will withdraw them.
Repentance does not bring a sense of sin, but a sense of unutterable unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am utterly helpless; I know all through me that I am not worthy even to bear His shoes. Have I repented like that? Or is there a lingering suggestion of standing up for myself? The reason God cannot come into my life is because I am not through into repentance.
"He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire." John does not speak of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. "He shall baptize you." The only conscious experience those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost ever have is a sense of absolute unworthiness.
I indeed was this and that; but He came, and a marvellous thing happened. Get to the margin where He does everything.
The kingdom will be the LORD’s.
The prophets foretold of the coming Messiah King, Who would destroy the enemies of Israel, sit on the throne of His father David – and deliver His people from their sins. Both Mary in her humble song of praise and Zacharias in his glorious benediction rejoiced that the many prophecies of their coming Messiah were soon to be realised. Mary rejoiced in God my Saviour, Who would reside in her womb for nine months and Zacharias announced deliverance from their enemies and rescue from all who hated them, for God had raised up a horn of Salvation in the house of His servant David.
Both prophets and angels longed to look into God’s plan of Salvation, which He purposed in His eternal council chambers – whereby He would save His people, Israel. But in His wisdom men and angels only saw through a glass darkly. As they peered into a distant future they saw but one mountain peak of deliverance – when streams would rejoice and valleys sing and the earth would be filled with the glory of God…. the time when the kingdom of our God and of His Christ would be established. It would be a time of great joy and much rejoicing, for Israel’s enemies would be put to flight and she would be elevated to become the head and not the tail of the nations.
It was Obadiah who announced a blistering message of judgement on the nation of Edom but his warning message to these descendants of Esau concluded with a beautiful promise of a Saviour (Who is Christ the Lord) – Who would come to Zion. The Deliverer would judge the people of Esau – but the kingdom shall be for the Lord.
Both Mary and Zacharias must have anticipated that the birth of the Saviour would immediately usher in the glorious reign of the Messiah and the promised millennial kingdom, which the entire nation of Israel had been anticipating for manyread more
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth”
What thoughts cross your mind as you consider laying down your life for another? Almost certainly the first consideration is death – your own physical death. Perhaps it’s the thought of a raging battle-field or risks like those at Dunkirk.. Maybe protecting a loved one or a threatened stranger needing your gallant sanctuary – and death of this mortal body so another can live, truly shows great character and love.
In the case of John 15:13 our thoughts immediately fly to the Lord Jesus. He died on the cross, uttering the words: “it is finished“, so that we might live. But take a closer look at the deeper meaning of this greatest of all love: “For their sakes, I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth” John 17:19
Laying down of that precious life was more than forgoing His physical life alone, it encompassed a note of total surrender of every aspect of human life and existence. He sacrificed His entire holy life to the Father – “Thy will .. be done“, Luke 22:42 – but He did it for our sake: “for their sakes I sanctify myself.” John 17:19 He did it for you and He did it for me. Christ demonstrated throughout His whole life, what true submission to God means.
Think about it…. He laid down the thing that most of us cling to unrelentingly. He subjugated His entire being to the will of the Father… completely – total temporal subjection, utter spiritual and sensual subordination: “I do nothing of myself, but as my Father has taught me I speak these things.” John 8:28. What a challenge to each of us – to see the willing submission of the Lord Jesus. I wonder, do you thus submit toread more