"I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."Mark 1:8(NASB)
The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. Dear children, this is the last hour. (1 John 2:17,18 NIV)
Over wide stretches of the earth the people of God are being driven, scattered, having everything outward taken. The question is: Why does the Lord allow it? Why is it so, if the Lord is wise, and almighty, and gracious? It is to discover how much the Heavenly Christ is to His people, and how much they depend upon the earthly order of things, even the Christian order.
“That which was from the beginning.... Little children, it is the last hour... the one who does the will of God lives for ever”. Do you see the link? If at the end, at the last hour, it is as it was from the beginning, then it will abide for ever, but if it has become something else, it will go. This whole question of heavenly relationship with the Lord is a tremendously searching one, the fact that Christ has transferred everything to heaven and that nothing less than a life in heavenly union with Him will stand the test at any time. We will ask the Lord that He will take this — if it really is the truth — and search us. It may be that some of us will find comfort, because we shall see this is exactly what the Lord is doing with us. Why isolation? Why the testings? Why the loneliness in spiritual life? To save us from things unto Himself, even Christian things, so that God’s end that Christ may be all and in all shall be reached; not things, but Christ; not Christianity, but Christ; not Christian work, but Christ.
He knows our frame. § He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. § I … will refine them as silver is refined. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, “This is My people”; and each one will say, “The Lord is my God.”
Moses said to the Lord, “… I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You …” And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” § He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way … Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. § Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. § I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. § The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
If (since) ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above” (Col. 3:1).
Our Father may cripple our earthly standing in order to strengthen our spiritual state, but He will never detract from our spiritual state in order to enhance our worldly standing. Never.
“The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). “It is not only that the Lord Jesus is the object of my heart, but I find that the One I love has made me the object of His heart! A great day for the soul. People are ready to say how they love Him, but how far can they say that they are conscious of His love for them; that they so prize it, that it is the greatest secret of their heart? “When the Lord Jesus’ love is before you, you find this love is drawing you from darkness to light.
He begins by showing His desire for your spiritual advancement, and not by advancing you in earthly position. It is beautiful to see that the work of true love is to set aside darkness, or whatever would interfere with association; and therefore it is not esteemed as it ought to be, because we are looking for something on earth, and the tendency is to judge of His love by earthly gifts and favors down here.” -J.B.S.
“Most growing believers rightly maintain that all must come from the Lord; but instead of taking their actual position of being dwellers in heaven, and coming from there to earth, they 177 only look up to heaven for help as to their walk on earth; and their thoughts and labors are always influenced and dictated by the state and order of things on earth, and instead of seeking the mind of the Lord as learned in heaven, they are occupied with the blessings of man on earth.” -J.B.S.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:2, 3).
Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).
When we rely upon and cater to the old man, that ground produces "the works of the flesh" (Gal. 5:1921). But as we abide in the risen Lord Jesus, that new ground of our position, His life will be manifested in "the fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22, 23).
"God's Word declares that we are dead indeed unto sin,' but nowhere does it say that we are dead in ourselves. We shall look in vain within to find death there. We have died to sin; not in ourselves, but in Christ,' and our death with Him is as sure as His death, and since we died with Him it is impossible for His death to be certain and ours uncertain.
"We were crucified with Him because we were in Him (Gal. 2:20). We are raised in Him (Eph. 2:6); we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10); we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him (Eph. 1:3); the entire work regarding us is not done in us but in the Lord Jesus - the Father has done all in His Son. If you stand on the ground of what the Lord Jesus is (abide), you will find in your growth that all that is true of Him is becoming true of you; but if you remain on the ground of what you are in yourself, you will find that all that is true of the old man is true of you in life and walk."
"The purpose of Paul, in Romans Six, is to show how completely the believer is identified with the Lord Jesus when He died unto sin.' To enter fully into the meaning of that death is to see that He has emancipated us from any further dealings with our old master, sin. The believer is privileged thus to take his position in the risen Lord Jesus, who is now alive unto God.' From that ground he is henceforth to regard sin." -E.H.
"Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free" (Gal. 5:1).
“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake.” Colossians 1:24
We make calls out of our own spiritual consecration, but when we get right with God He brushes all these aside, and rivets us with a pain that is terrific to one thing we never dreamed of, and for one radiant flashing moment we see what He is after, and we say - "Here am I, send me."
This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.
I wonder what kind of finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you, and you have been like a marble and escaped? You are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you, the wine would have been remarkably bitter. To be a sacramental personality means that the elements of the natural life are presenced by God as they are broken providentially in His service. We have to be adjusted into God before we can be broken bread in His hands. Keep right with God and let Him do what He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness.. to bear witness about the light, that all might believe – through Him.
Abraham is a highly esteemed prophet, who is honoured as the great father of faith, and rightly so for when called he trusted God and it was credited as righteousness. Moses was the great prophet, who is held in honour by the religions of the world, and rightly so, for He was the one who gave God’s perfect Law to the people of Israel.
But John the Baptist is the greatest of all the prophets that have been sent by God, for he was witness to the perfect Word.. witness to the Light – witness to Grace. Grace and truth came by Jesus, the light of the world, and John testified of Him. John was sent to witness of Christ – the light to men, Who was full of grace and truth.
John, whose name means: God is gracious, bore witness of Jesus: God is salvation. John was to point to the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. John was a witness to the grace of God – that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. John was sent as a moon to reflect the Son – the only true Light of the world.
Though acknowledged by the Lord Jesus as the greatest of all men born of women. John was the one who testified that he must decrease – but Christ must increase. John was not the Light, but he witnessed about the true and only Light of God. John did not bring Grace, but he was to testify of the One Who was full of Grace. John could not forgive sins, but pointed to the Messiah, the only Sacrifice for sin.
But the Baptist was not the only man called ‘John’ that witnessed of the grace of God. The beloved disciple wrote his gospel of John soread more
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me?
I am in the Father, and the Father in me. The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
John 14: 10
This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me? This disciple had been with the Lord Jesus for three years. He had seen His beautiful life.. he had felt His gentle touch.. he has witnessed His strength and His kindness and he had been an eye-witness to the works of power and the words of wisdom.
Surely after such a length of time this disciple should have known His Lord? Surely after such intimacy he should have had a greater awareness of Who He was? How this must have saddened the heart of the Saviour to say to him: “hast thou not known Me?” Yet Jesus had to tell him that he did not really know Him at all.
How could Philip have been with the Lord so long and yet not KNOW Him? How was this possible? What a word of warning to each of us to examine our own walk with the Lord. What a caution of us to take note of our spiritual journey with Jesus. What a lesson to find we can walk a long time with the Lord and not KNOW Him.. not really KNOW Him – not know Him as intimately as He desires us to know Him.
Jesus loved Philip with a godly love that is impossible to understand. Jesus commanded His disciples to Love one another as I have loved you, and yet His gentle reproof to this precious disciple was: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?”
Philip KNEW the man,read more