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The Heavenly Calling, Conduct and Conflict of the Church by T. Austin-Sparks

eph 1

The Heavenly Calling, Conduct and Conflict of the Church
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 1 – The Calling

We turn to the letter to the Ephesians, not for an exposition of the letter in any detailed sense, but for the message of the Lord, and at the outset I specially want to underline a phrase which occurs some five times in this letter.

“…Has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

“…He raised Him from the dead, and made Him to sit at his right hand in the heavenlies…” (Eph. 1:20).

“…Raised us up with Him, and made us to sit with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).

“…That now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenlies might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph. 3:10).

“Our wrestling is… against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies” (Eph. 6:12).

So the message is that concerning the heavenly calling, conduct and conflict of the church.

The calling covers the first three chapters, and is that to which the apostle refers in Ephesians 4:1: “I therefore beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called”. The calling is that of which he has been writing up to that point.

The conduct goes on with Ephesians 4 as far as Ephesians 6:9.

Then the conflict comes in at Ephesians 6:10.

These three things represent a revelation – a calling is a revelation; an exhortation in relation to the revelation, and then finally a challenge by the powers of evil to the revelation, the calling, and the conduct of the church.

This letter to the Ephesians, so-called, (which we must always remember was an encyclical letter, that is, it was sent to a considerable number of churches in Asia) is a grand summary of all the Divine thoughts from eternity to eternity. It reveals the greatest things that have ever been disclosed by God to man. They are the things which are gathered into the small compass of this letter.

Here we have, for instance, the unveiling of God’s comprehensive eternal intentions, getting behind His acts, going further back than history into the very spring and fountain-head of all the doings of God. There we have the intentions of God from the very beginning. Then we have briefly, but very forcefully shown, the place of His Son in those eternal intentions. Further, we are made by this letter to understand the meaning of the cross, that is, the death, the resurrection, the ascension and the exaltation of Christ in relation to those intentions of God. Finally we have set forth the place, the nature, the vocation and the destiny of the church as the Body of Christ. These are not small things, but immense things crowded, as we have said, into a small compass of words, but everybody who has read this letter knows quite well that the outstanding characteristic of what is called “Ephesians” is the superlative element. The apostle in this letter more than anywhere else, is found to be moving in the superlative realm. We know some of his great superlatives: “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever” (Eph. 3:20-21). That is superlative language, but only a specimen of what is in this letter.

Now, the one thing which governs all that in this letter, is that everything has to be apprehended in the light of God’s eternal purpose. That is, nothing is merely personal, nothing is merely for the moment, and nothing is just a thing in itself. Everything is related, and is related to the eternal purpose and what the apostle takes pains to emphasise is that everything has got to be apprehended in that way. The saints have got to take hold of everything in the light of the eternal purpose; every detail has got to be set in that light, seen in that light, and acted upon in that light, and there are many details. That all-governing purpose of God embraces all the details of our lives as God’s people, and there is nothing in His mind which can be or may be regarded by us as lying outside of a relationship to His purpose, as lying outside that realm where it can affect that purpose or be affected by that purpose. We shall see that later when we come to speak of the conduct of the church which, as you know, has to deal with many things in the ordinary life of believers.

What is that all-governing purpose in the light of which everything in our lives has got to be apprehended? Well, briefly, and this has to be very much enlarged as we go forward, briefly, it is this – a reigning and governing one new Man in Christ. Christ and His members are here set forth as the one new Man, the collective Christ, and what is true of Him is true of His members, and the purpose purposed concerning the Christ is here seen to be concerning Him as Head over all things to the church which is His Body, and the Body, the members therefore, are called, chosen in Him unto the very purpose which God has eternally determined concerning Him, the Son. The purpose is one in the Head and the members, in the Son and in the sons. And the purpose is reigning, governmental administration in God’s universe in heaven and in earth. That is the calling in brief, that is the eternal purpose. That is no small thing to contemplate. You and I would never dare to contemplate a thing like that, if God had not revealed it to be His eternal intention – not just His thought, but His intention – and, mark you, not just the fruit of His grace, but the intention of His will – grace comes in afterwards. It is going to be. You and I may or may not be in it according to our response to God, but it will be. He will have a corporate Christ; He will have a Head and members in oneness who will govern this universe in heaven and on earth. Grace finds us in that, but before grace, is the counsel of His will. Everything is settled finally in the will of God. Well, that purpose sees that eventually – a Body, of which Christ is Head, in governmental authority in God’s universe. This is the calling.

But then, you see, when you have recognised what the calling is, you have to come nearer and see that this is a present, as well as future, expression; that this has to come to realisation in a way and in a measure now, and it is not something only for a coming age, or the ages of the ages. We are in the operation of God’s eternal counsels now. We are in the realm of the fulfilling of His will now, and we are now in the line of the spiritual accomplishment of that purpose.

These various matters mentioned in this letter to the Ephesians are dealt with more fully in themselves in other parts of the New Testament. There they relate to phases and stages of the Christian life and spiritual history. In the book of the Acts we have a large revelation of the Holy Spirit and His activities as in a general way, mainly in relation to the church as His instrument. In the letter to the Romans and the letter to the Galatians, we have a special emphasis upon the cross; that is, the cross related to certain special things in spiritual life. In the letter to the Corinthians we have resurrection brought out in a very full way, and so in Colossians we have ascension, the meaning of Christ’s ascension, underlined and stressed. In Philippians we have the exaltation of Christ – “God highly exalted Him, and gave unto Him the name which is above every name”. So, in the other parts of the New Testament, you have things mentioned specifically in relation to certain spiritual stages and phases of experience.

But in the letter to the Ephesians, you have all of these brought together in relation to the eternal purpose, the purpose of God concerning Christ and His Body, and all with one object in view – that is, administration. I use that as one of several alternatives. In one translation, the word is “stewardship”. In another, it is “dispensation”. It is the same word in the Greek, and simply means or refers to the administration of a household, the dispensation or arrangement, the scheme of things which obtains as governing everything for the time being. We speak of a regime. One person comes in to take over control and administration in an establishment and under their regime certain things obtain. You may, under their regime, do certain things and you may not do certain things. It is the present form of government. Another person comes along and takes their place and, under the new regime, an entirely new order is set up. That is the meaning of the word “stewardship” here. It is that form of government which obtains for the time being, and in this letter you have to place in the time being the ages of the ages. That will be the time being. Unto the ages of the ages there will be an administration and that administration will be in the hands of Christ and His members as one Body.

It is administration, then, which is in view here and which lies behind this phrase – “in the heavenlies”. Let me go back a step and repeat. It is in the light of that that everything here has got to be apprehended. That is, we have got to see the cross in the light of administration, every aspect of the cross: the death of Christ, in the light of administration; the resurrection of Christ in the light of administration; the ascension of Christ, the exaltation of Christ, all in the light of administration, and the point is this – not only that they are related to that, but you and I have got to lay hold of them in relation to that. That is, we have got to come into the good of these things in the light of the purpose of them, which is administration. If you like to change the word “administration” for the larger definition and say that everything, the death, the resurrection, the ascension and the exaltation of Christ, have to be made good in our experience in order that we may reign – that is what it means – having a life in ascendancy with Christ in a spiritual way.

Now, the keyword of this letter is the word “together” – a most interesting word, I think, in the Greek language. Here, in this letter alone, we are seen to be –

Gathered together (Eph. 1:10, A.V.).

Quickened together (Eph. 2:5, A.V.).

Raised together (Eph. 2:6, A.V.).

Seated together (Eph. 2:6, A.V.).

Framed together (Eph. 2:21).

Built together (Eph. 2:22).

It is this ‘together-ness’ which is the key, and the ‘together-ness’ is twofold.

It is ‘together-ness’ in Christ, and it is ‘together-ness’ with one another as His Body. It is an identity of experience with Christ on the part of the church. What is true of Christ is true of His members in every phase of His experience, and nothing is apart or a thing in itself.

Then the unique feature of this letter is this phrase – “in the heavenlies”, showing exactly where and what all this is, this ‘together-ness’ and this purpose and all that is the common life of the members with the Head. We shall come back to that again later. Of course, this does not mean in heaven in the full and final sense in which we use the phrase “in heaven”. Here it is referring to a sphere or realm where Christ is –  heavenly in nature, heavenly in privilege, heavenly in function. But even this is seen in this letter to be divided into two parts. He is seen to be far above all rule and authority, all principality and power, seated in the heavens, and we are seen to be there in Him. But later we find another ‘heavenlies’ in which principalities and powers, and world rulers of this darkness and hosts of wicked spirits are found. They are not the same, identical realm, but they are both called ‘heavens’. If we were to recognise the difference we would understand the nature of our vocation and conflict perhaps a little better. That remains for our further consideration of the conflict aspect of things.

May I just say here in passing that the great effort of the adversary is to get us down into his heavenlies and out of our heavenlies. Our heavenlies is “seated in Christ far above all rule and authority”. His heavenlies is a lower realm than that, and his effort is always to try and get us down into his own realm, to bring us into his realm of things. It is always the downward pull or enticement – in some way to dislodge the church from its spiritual position, and if that means anything, it means this, that you and I have got to recognise and maintain our position as superior to those evil principalities and powers. Acknowledge for a moment that his position is equal to ours and his power is equal to ours and we are done; hence he will demonstrate in such a way as to make us, if he can, accept his “superior” power.

You will notice that men of faith, in both Old and New Testaments, when there has been a great demonstration of an undoubtedly mighty enemy, have very quietly, in the secret place, maintained their place of absolute tranquillity, and that has been the secret of their victory. Hezekiah, when there is a demonstration going on round about on the part of the hosts beleaguering, says, “Answer not a word, keep quiet, don’t argue, don’t debate, don’t answer back, keep quiet”, and into the sanctuary Hezekiah goes and spreads the matter before the Lord. Well, it is victory, deliverance. The demonstration was not taken on. Whenever the enemy has been able to create panic by his demonstration, the panic itself has been his victory. It has been a ‘walkover’ after that. “Stand still“, says the Lord to Israel on the shores of the Red Sea, “stand still and see…”. And perhaps that is what the apostle meant when, in the matter of the conflict, he says three times – “Stand… stand… stand“. It is a mighty thing to stand before the terrific onrush, seething demonstration, churning up, disturbing, when everything shouts of the power and fury of the enemy. That is the time in which to stand. That will be borne out and our ascendancy will be mainly based upon our ability just to stand. “See that ye be not shaken”, for to be shaken is to be lost. Well, all that came out of dividing between the heavenlies, seeing the upper heavenlies of our position, and the lower heavenlies in which our conflict takes place.

In the heavenlies“. What does that term really mean? What is it intended to mean to believers in the heavenlies? I think so few of the Lord’s people have grasped the significance and value of that phrase. It is so abstract, so unreal, so remote. ‘In the heavenlies’ – very few people have any real interest in that – it must be outside of practical life! We are going to see, before we are through, that it is not outside of practical life by any means. Some of us know that already. But, in a word, what does this phrase mean to believers? It means this, that what is now true of Christ as Head and Representative, is to be of full avail and account to His members. He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He has sat down on the throne in the heavenlies, which means that He possesses complete administration and authority. It has been given to Him in heaven and in earth. He, as Head, has been filled with all God’s fulness for administration, which means that all the resources of God are at His disposal for His administrative work. That is what it means: “Has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ”. God has filled Him as Head with every necessary resource for His heavenly administration.

Now all that is true of Him as Head. And we cannot entertain the thought, the idea, of a head without a body. Headship just involves the body; it means, it implies, the body. There is no sense in talking about a head without conceiving of a body. No, as Head and as Representative (for He is there in a representative capacity), all that is true of Him thus is available to His members and is to their account. That is what it means to be ‘in the heavenlies’. What does it matter whether we are here on the earth in the flesh or there, if all that is true of Him is as much for our account here as it would be if we were there? It does not matter. We are in the heavenlies in that sense, that all that is true of Him is available to us, but remember – not for our use, not to be made a personal thing at all, notto be applied to peculiar and particular circumstances as such, but in the light of the purpose. And we shall only find resources which are ours in Christ being made effectual as we come into line with the purpose. And what is the purpose again? It is the expression of His supreme Headship in the church, through the church, or is the manifestation of His Lordship in this universe by the church. It is the glory of God in the church by Christ Jesus. As we come into line with the purpose, that we are called of God in union with Christ to govern, then we find our resources.

If you and I are going to seek the riches of Christ for some little personal Christian life and some little bit of personal Christian work, something that is quite a private affair, something that is ours and of interest to us, something down here on this earth that we want to get going, preserve, develop – we are not going to find the Lord comes in in fulness along that line at all. That is why there are so many struggling, but ever-defeated Christians, and that is why there is such a poor sort of church here; ineffective. It is trying to live on far too low a level with far too small a vision. If you and I and the Lord’s people were to come to see the tremendous significance of the calling – administration in Christ in this universe, spiritual authority in Christ over the evil powers which rule this universe, and now that, back of flesh and blood, back of things seen, there is the throne which we share in a practical way spiritually, then we would discover what our riches are, what our ‘every spiritual blessing’ is.

Some of us never really discovered the greater fulnesses of Christ until we came to see that we are not Christians just to live a good life more or less, we are not here just to do this or that or something else for the Lord of what we call ‘Christian service’, but when the Lord revealed to us that we had a heavenly vocation back of all things and that our real significance was not in the realm of things seen, but it was back there behind things seen, it was then that we came to see our riches, our wealth, the greater fulnesses of Christ, our resources, and this is what the church needs today. Speaking in general terms, the church is fighting a losing battle. It is in weakness and defeat. There is very little reigning on the part of the church now.

Hence the Lord would speak to us at this time and show us that it is a higher spiritual level that is wanted. It is another realm of things that is needed. It is that which is meant by ‘the heavenlies in Christ’, which is, let me repeat, the availability, the accessibility, the effectiveness, of all that is true concerning Him now for the church in a spiritual way against all the spiritual enemies of Christ and the church. That is our calling. It is the upward calling, the heavenly calling.

Oh that the Lord would give us the ear within to hear in these days that call anew, and that, as the result, there may be a registration upon those forces of evil of the impact of that throne through the church, and on our part a new knowledge that we are not intended to be a crushed, trampled-down church hardly able to hold its own, wriggling and writhing under the heel of the adversary. On the contrary we are called to the place where that initial thing concerning the Head has to be made good in the church. “He shall bruise thy head” and “God shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly”. That is what we are called to. We never forget that dear old apostle had a way of putting that. Whenever we come to that, his words come back to us where he represents the Lord Jesus as saying to His Bride, “Come, My spouse, and put your heel where I have put Mine”. Well, that is a graphic way of putting it, but that is what it means, that we have to occupy the place that Christ occupies so far as the powers of evil are concerned, for the administration of this universe.

The Lord strengthen us unto that!

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Taming the Wild Horse


Thanks to Pamela for permission to share this teaching!

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Taming the Wild Horse

By Pamela Mcdonald

Sep 8, 2018 at 7:32 PM

Today while lying here thinking about taking a nap I couldn’t clear my mind. I kept thinking about the work of the Holy Spirit and the LORD Jesus. As I had just drifted off to sleep I was interrupted a few times by Kathryn coming in my room, asking questions or looking for things. I kept my cool and even hushed any thought of aggravation that tried to enter my mind. Then closing my eyes the YouTube music of Christian Saxophone instrumentals would freeze, then the phone rang. It was a mirage of interruptions and I was still trying to keep my composure and just relax.

I laid back down and something I had said Tuesday to someone came in my mind.

The LORD looks at me like a wild horse that needs tamed.”

Then in my spirit, I heard, “study what it is like to tame a wild horse compared to your walk with Christ.”

Now mind you I am still wanting to nap, so I thought, I will look that up when I wake up. Immediately the study I did yesterday for someone, came flooding in my mind about grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit. I quickly sat up and began to search out taming wild horses. What I have discovered is amazing and a huge eye opener when I look at myself and my walk with Christ.

A wild horse is “meeked” when tamed, and I do not believe that is worded by accident. Being meek is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and to get a better understanding of what that word means go to the Strong’s Concordance not the Webster Dictionary.

Strong’s Concordance

praus: mild, gentle

Original Word: πραΰς, πραεῖα, πραΰ
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: praus
Phonetic Spelling: (prah-ooce’)
Short Definition: mild, gentle
Definition: mild, gentle.

HELPS Word-studies

Cognate: 4239 praýs (also listed as 4239a/praupathia in NASdictionary) – meek. See 4236 (praótēs).

This difficult-to-translate root (pra-) means more than “meek.”Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.

[The English term “meek” often lacks this blend – i.e. of gentleness(reserve) and strength.]

This same Greek word “praus” is used when taming a wild animal.

In the New Testament language of Koine Greek the word for humble was ‘praus’. Borrowed from the military, praus related to horse training. The Grecian army would find the wildest horses in the mountains and bring them to be broken in. After months of training, they sorted themselves into categories: some were discarded, some broken and made useful for burden bearing, some were useful for ordinary duty and the fewest of all graduated as war horses. When a horse passed the conditioning required for a war horse, its state was described as ‘praus’. The war horse had ‘power under authority’ or ‘strength under control’. A war horse never ceased to be determined, strong and passionate. However, it learned to bring its nature under discipline. It gave up being wild, unruly, out of control and rebellious. A war horse learned to bring that nature under control. It would now respond to the slightest touch of the rider, stand in the face of canon fire, thunder into battle and stop at a whisper.” Robert I Holmes of Storm-Harvest Ministries

A wild horse never loses its passion it is born with, nor does it lose its strength, but instead learns how to control itself under the authority of its trainer. The horse must learn to trust the trainer.

When a trainer begins training a wild horse, they must show themselves to be trustworthy. A trainer will get the attention of the horse to look his way, when he is sure it is looking at him he will be as calm as possible to show the horse he is not a threat. He will also extend his arm out gently and slowly, so the horse can get used to his scent. When the horse looks away he will scare it making it run away keeping his distance. The trainer will do this several times teaching the horse when it looks at the trainer there is calm when it looks away it gets scared. This causes the horse to trust the trainer and eventually allowing the trainer to approach the horse.

A horse must always feel safe with the trainer. When the trust is established the horse will do whatever the trainer asks of it, because there has been established a level of trust. The horse will be transformed from a wild horse doing as it desires, and become a tamed horse doing what the trainer desires. The horse does not become weak in this process but becomes meeked which is not weakness. The horse now has its power under authority, and its strength under control. A trainer that is consistent and faithful will have the ultimate companion and a bond will be very strong between them.

A horse was created to run, and boy do wild horses enjoy running in open fields and meadows. Even the trained horses enjoy the freedom of running, because that is how God created them. Therefore, we place bits and bridles on them to help control that urge to take off. If a horse is walking in the woods where there is moss covered rocks, tree branches, and big logs, the rider needs to use the reigns to keep the horse from running and possibly slipping and injuring themselves. A horse that is injured would be hard to get out of the depths of the woods and would probably end in destruction to the animal. When the opening of the woods appears, and the open field is in view the horse will take off at full run to enjoy running freely.

When we come to the LORD and are born again we are a new creation in Christ, yet there are things that remain in us that need to be tamed. It does not mean we are not truly born again, it means we need to be reigned in like a wild horse and be tamed, learning not to lean on our own self anymore but to lean on Him.

I am a very passionate person when it comes to the LORD and His Word. At times I sadly allow my passions and zeal to run away from me, and get argumentative, harsh, all the while trying to tell people that Jesus is love and is forgiving! Well, that doesn’t get received very well with an unbridled passion.

I am like a wild horse taking off at full speed and the LORD is using the Holy Spirit to tame me. I can only be of limited use to the LORD in my wild and untamed stage in my life right now, and the LORD is showing me it is time to “let go and let God.” While breaking me during this time of taming, I must let go of my own ways, self-will, being headstrong, selfish and unpredictable. By doing so I will embrace His Will, obedience, allow the Holy Spirit to bridle my tongue and be fit for the Master’s use. My walk in Him will be strengthened and faith will increase as I submit myself to Him. I have been that horse taking off in full speed in the woods and have stumbled and injured myself. But thankfully the LORD did not let destruction overtake me and helped me up leading me to an open field to run for a while.

My passion will not fade during this time but will be harnessed in a Godly manner instead. By allowing the Holy Spirit to be my guide, where He tells me to go I will go, when He tells me to stand still I will stand still.

It sometimes varies the amount of time this will take considering we are all different. Some people are fully trusting and embrace this quickly, while some like myself have been hurt often and been betrayed, so it has taken a bit longer. Even though I am not relying and trusting on another person but on God Himself, believe it or not it is hard to simply let go of my will and follow His Will which is perfect.

But He has been showing me in prayer, through His Word and other Believers He alone can be trusted and He is faithful.

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The Breaking of the Waters (Re-publishing)

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by Joanne Panettieri

For the past several days in prayer I have been hearing the Holy Spirit saying “Breakthrough, breakthrough, breakthrough”!

This brought to my remembrance the story of King David when he defeated the Philistines:

 2 Samuel 5: 17:   When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold.  18  Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim;  19 so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

The term “Baal Perazim” literally means Baal “the owner or lord” of the perets, “breaking forth or breach” or literally the “Lord of the Breakthrough”. We use the term “breach” in English as a noun in referring to a “breach in the law”, a “breach of contract” or a “breaking of the law”. As a verb it means “to make a gap in and break through” as in “there is a breach in the wall”. David saying “as the waters break out” is a term referring to a child coming forth from the birth canal and is a reference to birthing and new life.

“During pregnancy, your baby is surrounded and cushioned by a fluid-filled membranous sac called the amniotic sac. Typically, at the beginning of or during labor your membranes will rupture — also known as your water breaking.” 1

This same term is used in Genesis 38 when we look at the story of Tamar and Judah.

Genesis 38: 27  When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 28  As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” 29  But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.   30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.

In the story of Tamar we find out that her husband, the son of Judah, dies. Judah then gives her his second son as a husband to have children in his brother’s name, as a kinsman redeemer. He refuses to impregnate her and the Lord also kills him. Tamar is then left to live as a widow, while she waits for Judah’s third son. When Tamar releases that Judah is not going to give her his third son to bring forth a child in her husband’s name, she seduces Judah and becomes pregnant with twins.

When the midwife says “So this is how you have broken out” she uses the same word “perets” that David used in referring to the Lord of the Breakthrough, because God was giving  him victory over his enemies.

Tamar, a barren woman, impregnates herself by Judah, whose name means “praise”. She then gives birth to twins, a double portion. The first one she names “Perez” or breakthrough. The second one Zerah, which means “to rise”, “come forth” or “to shine”.

This same word in verb form is zerach and is used in Isaiah 60: 1 referring to the glory of the Lord “rising” or “coming forth”.

Isaiah 60:

1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

2 See, darkness covers the earth

and thick darkness is over the peoples,

but the Lord rises upon you

and his glory appears over you.

As I write this today, it is the first day of the 3 part Feast of Tabernacles. The first part of that feast is called “Yom Teruah” or the “Day of Shouting” and the “Feast of Trumpets”. The blowing of the trumpets is a call to attention, to remind the people that the day of atonement, or repentance, is near. For the Christian, this is a reminder that we are to stay in a constant state of repentance before God. We can shout the victory because of the complete atonement that we have by the blood of Jesus.

During the Feast of Tabernacles there was also a breaking forth of water in the Temple. This was known as the “water libation ceremony” and it took place at on the 8th or “great day” of the feast. In Hebrew it was called Nissuch Ha-Mayim. During this ceremony the priests would bring a procession to the pool of Siloam (living water) and fill golden pitchers with water, which were then poured out on the altar in the temple as the priests and congregation recited the “Hallel”  or praise Psalms 113 – 118,  giving thanks and reminding God of his promises. It was at this juncture we read in John 7:

 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

The “rivers of living water” are the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which breaks out through the believer as the water of life, and is an essential part of the new birth.

The Feasts of the Lord are holy convocations and were required to be attended by all the males in Israel. They are all connected through water. In Passover we pass though the waters of baptism, and go from death to life. In Pentecost we are filled with the water of the Spirit, as Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4 “whoever drinks of this water will never thirst”. And in Tabernacles the water of the spirit breaks forth from out of us into the world to bring forth the harvest. Let us always strive to keep the eternal feasts of the Lord in our daily lives!

Leviticus 23: 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

1 Cor 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of
malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

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ABSOLUTE SURRENDER by Andrew Murray

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“And Ben=hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben=hadad; Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine and all that I have.”—1 Kings 20:1-4.

What Ben hadad asked was absolute surrender; and what Ahab gave was what was asked of him— absolute surrender. I want to use these words: “My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have,” as the words of absolute surrender with which every child of God ought to yield himself to his Father. We have heard it before, but we need to hear it very definitely—the condition of God’s blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands. Praise God! if our hearts are willing for that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessing God will bestow.

Absolute surrender—let me tell you where I got those words. I used them myself often, and you have heard them numberless times. But in Scotland once I was in a company where we were talking about the condition of Christ’s Church, and what the great need of the Church and of believers is; and there was in our company a godly worker who has much to do in training workers, and I asked him what he would say was the great need of the Church, and the message that ought to be preached. He answered very quietly and simply and determinedly:

Absolute surrender to God is the one thing.”

The words struck me as never before. And that man began to tell how, in the workers with whom he had to deal, he finds that if they are sound on that point, even though they be backward, they are willing to be taught and helped, and they always improve; whereas others who are not sound there very often go back and leave the work. The condition for obtaining God’s full blessing is absolute surrender to Him.

And now, I desire by God’s grace to give to you this message—that your God in heaven answers the prayers which you have offered for blessing on yourselves and for blessing on those around you by this one demand: Are you willing to surrender yourselves absolutely into His hands? What is our answer to be? God knows there are hundreds of hearts who have said it, and there are hundreds more who long to say it but hardly dare to do so. And there are hearts who have said it, but who have yet miserably failed, and who feel themselves condemned because they did not find the secret of the power to live that life. May God have a word for all!

Let me say, first of all,

GOD CLAIMS IT FROM US.

Yes, it has its foundation in the very nature of God. God cannot do otherwise. Who is God? He is the Fountain of life, the only Source of existence and power and goodness, and throughout the universe there is nothing good but what God works. God has created the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the flowers, and the trees, and the grass; and are they not all absolutely surrendered to God? Do they not allow God to work in them just what He pleases? When God clothes the lily with its beauty, is it not yielded up, surrendered, given over to God as He works in it its beauty? And God’s redeemed children, oh, can you think that God can work His work if there is only half or a part of them surrendered? God cannot do it. God is life, and love, and blessing, and power, and infinite beauty, and God delights to communicate Himself to every child who is prepared to receive Him; but ah! this one want of absolute surrender is just the thing that hinders God. And now He comes, and as God He claims it.

You know in daily life what absolute surrender is. You know that everything has to be given up to its special, definite object and service. I have a pen in my pocket, and that pen is absolutely surrendered to the one work of writing, and that pen must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write properly with it. If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. This coat is absolutely given up to me to cover my body. This building is entirely given up to religious services. And now, do you expect that in your immortal being, in the divine nature that you have received by regeneration, God can work His work, every day and every hour, unless you are entirely given up to Him? God cannot. The temple of Solomon was absolutely surrendered to God when it was dedicated to Him. And every one of us is a temple of God, in which God will dwell and work mightily on one condition—absolute surrender to Him. God claims it, God is worthy of it, and without it God cannot work His blessed work in us.

But secondly, God not only claims it, but

GOD WILL WORK IT HIMSELF.

I am sure there is many a heart that says: “Ah, but that absolute surrender implies so much!” Someone says: “Oh, I have passed through so much trial and suffering, and there is so much of the self=life still remaining, and I dare not face the entire giving of it up, because I know it will cause so much trouble and agony.”

Alas! alas! that God’s children have such thoughts of Him, such cruel thoughts. Oh, I come to you with a message, fearful and anxious one. God does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength, or by the power of your will; God is willing to work it in you. Do we not read: “It is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure “? And that is what we should seek for—to go on our faces before God, until our hearts learn to believe that the everlasting God Himself will come in to turn out what is wrong, to conquer what is evil, and to work what is well-pleasing in His blessed sight. God Himself will work it in you.

Look at the men in the Old Testament, like Abraham. Do you think it was by accident that God found that man, the father of the faithful and the friend of God, and that it was Abraham himself, apart from God, who had such faith and such obedience and such devotion? You know it is Not so. God raised him up and prepared him as an instrument for His glory.

Did not God Bay to Pharaoh: “For this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power”?

And if God said that of him, will not God say it far more of every child of His?

Oh, I want to encourage you, and I want you to cast away every fear. Come with that feeble desire; and if there is the fear which says: “Oh, my desire is not strong enough, I am not willing for everything that may come, I do not feel bold enough to say I can conquer everything”—I pray you, learn to know and trust your God now. Say: “My God, I am willing that Thou shouldst make me willing.” If there is anything holding you back, or any sacrifice you are afraid of making, come to God now, and prove how gracious your God is, and be not afraid that He will command from you what He will not bestow.

God comes and offers to work this absolute surrender in you. All these searchings and hungerings and longings that are in your heart, I tell you they are the drawings of the divine magnet, Christ Jesus. He lived a life of absolute surrender, He has got possession of you, He is living in your heart by His Holy Spirit. You have hindered and hindered Him terribly, but He desires to help you to get hold of Him entirely. And He comes and draws you now by His message and words. Will you not come and trust God to work in you that absolute surrender to Himself? Yes, blessed be God, He can do it and He will do it.

The third ‘thought. God not only claims it and works it, but

GOD ACCEPTS IT WHEN WE BRING IT TO HIM.

God works it in the secret of our heart, God urges us by the hidden power of His Holy Spirit to come and speak it out, and we have to bring and to yield to Him that absolute surrender. But remember, when you come and bring God that absolute surrender, it may, as far as your feelings or your consciousness go, be a thing of great imperfection, and you may doubt and hesitate and say: “Is it absolute?”

But, oh, remember there was once a man to whom Christ had said: .

“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

And his heart was afraid, and he cried out:

“Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.”

That was a faith that triumphed over the devil, and the evil spirit was cast out. And if you come and say: “Lord, I yield myself in absolute surrender to my God,” even though it be with a trembling heart and with the consciousness: “I do not feel the power, I do not feel the determination, I do not feel the assurance,” it will succeed. Be not afraid, but come just as you are, and even in the midst of your trembling the power of the Holy Ghost will work.

Have you never yet learned the lesson that the Holy Ghost works with mighty power while on the human side everything appears feeble? Look at the Lord Jesus Christ in Gethsemane. We read that He, “through the Eternal Spirit,” offered Himself a sacrifice unto God. The Almighty Spirit of God was enabling Him to do it. And yet what agony and fear and exceeding sorrow came over Him, and how He prayed! Externally you can see no sign of the mighty power of the Spirit, but the Spirit of God was there. And even so, while you are feeble and fighting and trembling, in faith in the hidden work of God’s Spirit do not fear, but yield yourself.

And when you do yield yourself in absolute surrender, let it be in the faith that God does now accept of it. That is the great point, and that is what we so often miss:—that believers should be thus occupied with God in this matter of surrender. I pray you, be occupied with God. We want to get help, every one of us, so that in our daily life God shall be clearer to us, God shall have the right place, and be “all in all.” And if we are to have that through life, let us begin now and look away from ourselves, and look up to God. Let each believe,—while I, a poor worm on earth and a trembling child of God, full of failure and sin and fear, bow here, and no one knows what passes through my heart, and while I in simplicity say, O God, I accept Thy terms; I have pleaded for blessing on myself and others, I have accepted Thy terms of absolute surrender—while your heart says that in deep silence, remember there is a God present that takes note of it, and writes it down in His book, and there is a God present who at that very moment takes possession of you. You may not feel it, you may not realize it, but God takes possession if you will trust Him.

A fourth thought. God not only claims it, and works it, and accepts it when I bring it, but

GOD MAINTAINS IT.

That is the great difficulty with many. People say: “I have often been stirred at a meeting, or at a convention, and I have consecrated myself to God, but it has passed away. I know it may last for a week or for a month, but away it fades, and after a time it is all gone.”

But listen! It is because you do not believe what I am now going to tell you and remind you of. When God has begun the work of absolute surrender in you, and when God has accepted your surrender, then God holds Himself bound to care for it and to keep it. Will you believe that?

In this matter of surrender there are two, God and I—I a worm, God the everlasting and omnipotent Jehovah. Worm, will you be afraid to trust yourself to this mighty God now? God is willing. Do you not believe that He can keep you continually, day by day, and moment by moment?

Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above.

If God allows the sun to shine upon you moment by moment, without intermission, will not God let His life shine upon you every moment? And why have you not experienced it? Because you have not trusted God for it, and you do not surrender yourself absolutely to God in that trust.

A life of absolute surrender has its difficulties. I do not deny that. Yea, it has something far more than difficulties; it is a life that with men is absolutely impossible. But by the grace of God, by the power of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, it is a life to which we are destined, and a life that is possible for us, praise God! Let us believe that God will maintain it.

Some of you read recently the words of that aged saint who, on his ninetieth birthday, told of all God’s goodness to him-I mean George Muller. What did he say he believed to be the secret of his happiness, and of all the blessing with which God had visited him? He said he believed there were two reasons. The one was that he had been enabled by grace to maintain a good conscience before God day by day; the other was, that he was a lover of God’s Word. Ah, yes, a good conscience in unfeigned obedience to God day by day, and fellowship with God every day in His Word, and prayer—that is a life of absolute surrender.

Such a life has two sides—on the one side, absolute surrender to work what God wants you to do on the other side, to let God work what He wants to do.

First, to do what God wants you to do.

Give up yourselves absolutely to the will of God. You know something of that will; not enough, far from all. But say absolutely to the Lord God: “By Thy grace I desire to do Thy will in everything, every moment of every day.” Say: “Lord God, not a word upon my tongue but for Thy glory, not a movement of my temper but for Thy glory, not anaffection of love or hate in my heart but for Thy glory, and according to Thy blessed will.”‘

Someone says: “Do you think that possible?”

I ask, What has God promised you, and what can God do to fill a vessel absolutely surrendered to Him? Oh, God wants to bless you in a way beyond what you expect. From the beginning ear hath not heard, neither hath the eye seen, what God hath prepared for them that wait for Him. God has prepared unheard=of things you never can think of; blessings much more wonderful than you can imagine, more mighty than you can conceive. They are divine blessings. Oh, say now:

“I give myself absolutely to God, to His will, to do only what God wants.”

It is God who will enable you to carry out the surrender.

And, on the other side, come and say: “I give myself absolutely to God, to let Him work in me to will and to do of His good pleasure, as He has promised to do.”

Yes, the living God wants to work in His children in a way that we cannot understand, but that God’s Word has revealed, and He wants to work in us every moment of the day. God is willing to maintain our life. Only let our absolute surrender be one of simple, childlike, and unbounded trust.

The last thought. This absolute surrender to God

WILL WONDERFULLY BLESS US.

What Ahab said to his enemy, King Ben=hadad,— “My lord, O king, according to thy word I am thine, and all that I have”—shall we not say to our God and loving Father? If we do say it, God’s blessing will come upon us. God wants us to be separate from the world; we are called to come out from the world that hates God. Come out for God, and say: “Lord, anything for Thee.” If you say that with prayer, and speak that into God’s ear, He will accept it, and He will teach you what it means.

I say again, God will bless you. You have been praying for blessing. But do remember, there must be absolute surrender. At every tea=table you see it. Why is tea poured into that cup? Because it is empty, and given up for the tea. But put ink, or vinegar, or wine into it, and will they pour the tea into the vessel? And can God fill you, can God bless you if you are not absolutely surrendered to Him? He cannot. Let us believe God has wonderful blessings for us, if we will but stand up for God, and say, be it with a trembling “will, yet with a believing heart:

“O God, I accept Thy demands. I am thine and all that I have. Absolute surrender is what my soul yields to Thee by divine grace.”

You may not have such strong and clear feelings of deliverance as you would desire to have, but humble yourselves in His sight, and acknowledge that you have grieved the Holy Spirit by your self=will, self=confidence, and self=effort. Bow humbly before Him in the confession of that, and ask him to break the heart and to bring you into the dust before Him. Then, as you bow before Him, just accept God’s teaching that in your flesh “there dwelleth no good thing,” and that nothing will help you except another life which must come in. You must deny selfonce for all. Denying self must every moment be the power of your life, and then Christ will come in and take possession of you.

When was Peter delivered? When was the change accomplished? The change began with Peter weeping, and the Holy Ghost came down and filled his heart.

God the Father loves to give us the power of the Spirit. We have the Spirit of God dwelling within us. We come to God confessing that, and praising God for it; and yet confessing how we have grieved the Spirit. And then we bow our knees to the Father to ask that He would strengthen us with all might by the Spirit in the inner man, and that He would fill us with His mighty power. And as the Spirit reveals Christ to us, Christ comes to live in our hearts for ever, and the self=life is cast out.

Let us bow before God in humiliation, and in that humiliation confess before Him the state of the whole Church. No words can tell the sad state of the Church of Christ on earth. I wish I had words to speak what I sometimes feel about it. Just think of the Christians around you. I do not speak of nominal Christians, or of professing Christians, but I speak of hundreds and thousands of honest, earnest Christians who are not living a life in the power of God or to His glory. So little power, so little devotion or consecration to God, so little conception of the truth that a Christian is a man utterly surrendered to God’s will! Oh, we want to confess the sins of God’s people around us, and to humble ourselves. We are members of that sickly body, and the sickliness of the body will hinder us, and break us down, unless we come to God, and in confession separate ourselves from partnership with worldliness, with coldness towards each other, unless we give up ourselves to be entirely and wholly for God.

How much Christian work is being done in the spirit of the flesh, and in the power of self! How much work, day by day, in which human energy— our will and our thoughts about the work—is continually manifested, and in which there is but little of waiting upon God, and upon the power of the Holy Ghost! Let us make confession. But as we confess the state of the Church and the feebleness and sinfulness of work for God among us, let us come back to ourselves. Who is there who truly longs to be delivered from the power of the self=life, who truly acknowledges that it is the power of self and the flesh, and who is willing to cast all at the feet of Christ? ‘There is deliverance.

I heard of one who had been an earnest Christian, and who spoke about the ” cruel ” thought of separation and death. But you do not think that, do you? What are we to think of separation and death? This:—Death was the path to glory for Christ. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross. The cross was the birthplace of His everlasting glory. Do you love Christ? Do you long to be in Christ, and not like Him? Let death be to you the most desirable thing on earth; death to self, and fellowship with Christ. Separation—do you think it a hard thing to be called to be entirely free from the world, and by that separation to be united to God and His love, by separation to become prepared for living and walking with God every day? Surely one ought to say:

“Anything to bring me to separation, to death, for a life of full fellowship with God and Christ.”

Oh! come and cast this self=life and flesh=life at the feet of Jesus. Then trust Him. Do not worry yourselves with trying to understand all about it, but come in the living faith that Christ will come into you with the power of His death and the power of His life; and then the Holy Spirit will bring the whole Christ—Christ crucified and Christ risen and living in glory—into your heart.

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Incense Prayer by Leo Fenton

the-altar-of-incense

 

Introduction To The Altar of Incense

The Kingdom Dimension Of Prayer.

The Priesthood Ministry!

Part of the Next Restoration

 

January 10, 2017

Jesus said” I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one can come to the Father except through Me”.

We can interpret that as another cliche or we can see the reality of what He said. Was Jesus saying there are three unfolding revelations of him that lead us to the Father? Is Jesus, the Way, the same understanding as Jesus the Truth. Is Jesus, the Truth, the same understanding as Jesus, the Life? Is Jesus the LIFE the same revelation of Jesus, our Great High Priest?

Those who have studied the scriptures know there are various and diverse revelations of Jesus Christ that are higher and different than the revelation of His birth in Israel.

He may first be seen as the baby king and later as The Savior. Or as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. He may be seen as the Son of Man and also as the Son of God, who is the first of many sons of God that He will bring to Glory. Some understand Him as the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit or as the Healer. He may later be seen as The Lord of highest authority who must be obeyed. He may be seen as the Lord of all lords and The King of all kings. Or the ONE To whom every knee must bow. He may be seen as the captain of the hosts of the armies of God or as the Coming King! Or, as the revelation of Christ Jesus who is our functioning Great High Priest who sits at the Right Hand of God, the Almighty! Each of these represents an unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ. Rarely, would anyone receive a complete revelation of Jesus at his conversion experience. The Revelation for this study is this;

He is the Only way to the Father.

Many of these otherwise confusing statements are brought to light in the Tabernacle of Moses. In the tabernacle of Moses, the three revelations of Christ can be seen within the three veils that separate the worshiper from the manifested presence of God, who dwells over the Ark of the Covenant and ABOVE the Mercy Seat and BETWEEN the Two Cherubim. For example; according to the “gospel of salvation” all three veils are removed and as soon as our sins are forgiven we are seated with Jesus, on His Throne! However, what is revealed in scripture is not even close to that.

The general presence of God was in the entire tabernacle but there was the specific place of God’s presence in the Most Holy Place. There was no open access to the Most Holy Place, behind the third veil, during the Old Covenant period. Only the consecrated high priest [who was Aaron or the son of Aaron and of Aaron’s priestly order] had access to the Holy Place, behind the second veil and NO ONE had access to the Most Holy Place and that was limited to the High priest!

That access was only once a year on the Day of Atonement.

Any Israelite, who was not circumcised or have a sacrifice for his sins, had no access even to the Outer Court, behind the first veil. Three separate revelations of God are seen in the three separate divisions of the tabernacle. These three are identified by their separate sources of light by which they were illuminated. Each of the three partitions, that form the three divisions, required different light sources! Natural light from the sun, moon and stars illuminated the Outer Court. The gold lampstand, with it’s pure oil and it’s seven mounted lamps of gold, illuminated the Holy Place. The manifested presence of God, the glory of God, illuminated the Most Holy Place. These three sections also speak of these three revelation of Christ Jesus. The First, as our all inclusive Savior! The second as our great active and functioning High Priest, building His Church! The Third as our King Eternal, currently building a Kingdom of Priests! The Most Holy Place also is the revelation of the Father and the Location of His Manifested Presence. In other words the Tabernacle exposes multiple Revelations of many Eternal Things!

Light speaks to us of revelation but Light and Life are linked together in John 1. Three levels of light indicate three levels of unfolding revelation of God, and possibly three levels of Eternal Life. The curtains or veils speak two things. First, stay out. Second, with proper preparation, you may enter. In the tabernacle of Moses, the third veil said, there is NO Access under the Old Covenant!

HEB 9:8 The Holy Spirit {is} signifying this, that the way into the holiest

(Most Holy Place) has not yet been disclosed, while the first tabernacle is still standing.

Christ Jesus, by His sacrifice on Calvary, opened up our access to the Most Holy Place. Why? That SACRIFICE and His blood introduced us to a completely New Covenant that was NOTHING like or subject to the Old Covenant! Ignorance of the New Covenant and the Promises of God are the source of the current ignorance and the powerlessness in the visible church!

Of course, in this study, we are not speaking of access to the physical Tabernacle, the one on earth, which no longer exists, but the access to Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle of God in the Eternal Heaven. In other words, to the New Jerusalem.

The first veil then speaks to us of Jesus the Way. The second veil speaks to us of Jesus the Truth. The third veil speaks to us of Jesus the Life. Once we have the revelation that Jesus is the only way— and there is and never will be any other Way to the Father— it leads us to a deeper acceptance and a more complete repentance. Since the Third Veil was only TORN, from top to bottom, when Jesus gave up His life, this torn veil represents HIS LIFE!

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, 52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised—.

But, brother, what has that to do with us since we are “already saved.” We need to see that “salvation” is not one experience but a process including several foundational experiences, However, forgiveness of sins is the first in our salvation experiences!

Then, by faith, we may need to “return” to the altar of Calvary and find a much deeper repentance because of our primary ignorance. For example; Our High Priest insisted upon a continuous and deeper repentance in Revelation 2 and 3!

We are not suggesting that we did not have our sins forgiven by the blood of Jesus when we first came to our Savior. However, each succeeding step in our foundational experiences has added to our understanding and revelation Christ Jesus, the Way! The succeeding Foundations mean ; the removal of old garments, then into the death in the Laver (baptism), to the new Garments of Resurrection, to the Anointing by the Holy Spirit, to the giving of ourselves in a total Consecration to God and to His Purpose and up to the Second Veil . Each “Genuine Experience” contributes to an unfolding revelation of ” Jesus The Way”. There are seven such steps in the Outer Court. It is this last Outer Court revelation of Jesus Christ, the Way, that leads us to becoming a Full Consecration Offering.

My point is this; In the first (earthly) Tabernacle, {the Type and Shadow) the consecration offering was the last thing the priests did before entering into the Holy Place to BEGIN their ministry. Their first ministry was to God, to become His Minister in behalf of and toward the people of Israel!

All that is just the introduction to this study in which we are essentially interested in the Incense and the Altar of Incense! We will not just focus upon the “items” but more upon the “ministry.” Why? That is because the Holly Place Life and Priesthood Ministry will be the Next Restoration. This “ministry” will primarily be Toward God! In other words, a complete renovation of ministry methodology!

Exo_29:44 “And I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister as priests to Me.

Exo_30:30 “And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me.

Exo_40:15 and you shall anoint them even as you have anointed their father, that they may minister as priests to Me; and their anointing shall qualify them for a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”

That they may minister as priests to Me will be our emphasis in this study of the Incense and the Incense Altar. Why? Incense Prayer is primarily FOR GOD and to further His Purpose.

The Lampstand, the Lamps (the Seven Spirits of God) and the Table of Showbread and the Showbread ministry are covered in other studies of the Tabernacle of Moses which is a COPY of the Tabernacle of God, which is the Ultimate Reality!

However the foundations for all the Holy Place ministries, which we are guessing must be restored, must begin with the second veil which we have identified as the Veil of TRUTH. This Begins with our revelation of Jesus Christ who IS TRUTH. It is not just that Jesus preached to us a message that was “true,” He, Himself, is ultimate and absolute TRUTH. In the world and too often in the church, truth is relative.

Current Truth is somewhat like doctrines that vary from church to church. In some churches baptism is essential while in others baptism is considered as a Jewish ritual (a ritual washing) that provides nothing in our experience as Christians. In some churches the Loed’s Table or the communion service is practiced each Sunday while in others, the communion is considered as a Jewish ritual of Passover that was done away with at Calvary. That kind of truth is popular but is not stable or Absolute so it is relative. The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s absolute TRUTH.

People have a lot of foolish doctrines that only get straightened out when they get the Revelation of God’s absolute TRUTH.In my opinion, that only happens when we approach the Second Veil. For example;

Isaiah prophesied with power for five chapters. Then he saw the Lord. When he saw the Lord he was devastated and was finished as a prophet of God because he saw the reality of himself and the uncleanness of his own lips. With that revelation of ultimate truth, Isaiah saw his own need for cleansing. In other words; Ultimate TRUTH revealed the lie that was in Isaiah and in his ministry. Of course this revelation of God brought Isaiah to the place where God could correct the problem and to continue to use him as God’s prophet. We could say that Isaiah 9, and his future ministry as a prophet of God, was the result of the Isaiah 6. With that “uncleanness” could he have continued his ministry as a prophet? NO! However, many of us still try today. This is NOT a matter of sin but of uncleanness and requires a different dimension of repentance.

This example reveals the nature of TRUTH in our personal experience. It not only reveals the truth about Jesus but it reveals the truth about ourselves. A normal revelation of the truth about Jesus puffs us up and makes us proud. We want to write books about our experience and get on the talk show circuit. However the true revelation of Jesus brings to us the true revelation of ourselves. Another realm of repentance, that doesn’t puff us up, but humiliates.

That “second Veil” Truth devastates and humiliates us but it brings a new balance into our lives for a Holy Place Priesthood function. Anyone who sees himself in the light of Jesus Christ can never be the same again. Anyone who has seen Jesus Christ and has not seen his own uncleanness and foulness, hasn’t see the Exalted and Glorified Christ of scripture. When John the Revelator saw Jesus in Revelation 1, he fell like a dead man. That is normal! However, this cannot be taught as another doctrine or can it be experienced as a new study. This is a Holy Place experience that BEGINS at the Second Veil, which has not been TORN.

REV 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,

From this we can see the second veil can be a very dramatic and devastating experience. Some people have the mistaken idea they can just stroll through the second veil and on through the third veil because the third veil is torn from top to bottom and Jesus has made the way for us. Remember, the “torn” third veil is still part of the New Covenant Experience!

Whatever the condition of the third veil, the veil of truth still confronts us with Ultimate TRUTH. First, the truth about Jesus, and then, the truth about ourselves, which is the result of the TRUTH about Christ Jesus. The devastating part for us is when we see ourselves in the light of Jesus Christ, the Ultimate and Eternal Truth.

The Holy Place life and ministry, and each successive experience, produces a progressing revelation of Jesus Christ. Whenever we see Him, in His different revelations in the Book of Revelation, we should also see ourselves in that progressing Light. In the Holy Place, there is the Pure Gold Lampstand, The Gold Lamps, the Golden Oil, AND the Special Illumination from the Seven Spirits of God. Then the Wood Table covered with Gold on all sides! This “TABLE” held the Special Showbread which the Priests ate. Then the Gold Altar for the burning of Incense. This is a WOOD TABLE that is covered on all sides with Pure Gold! However, this Essential Table was for the specific purpose of burning this detailed and specific Incense. Burning any other incense on this altar invited disaster.

Not only do each of these items of furniture represent a Holy Place Life and Ministry function but each of these items represents a clear revelation of Jesus Christ, our High Priest, taken from among men to mediate the New Covenant! It is in this Holy Place that ( I am guessing) we will understand that HE IS absolute TRUTH.

Most everyone, who has eyes to see, has seen the extreme superficiality that is in the church today. So much that is passed off as Christianity is just cosmetic. An outward form but inwardly shallow, full of spots and wrinkles. When we compare the visible church today with the Church He is in the process of Building – The Lampstand Church of Pure Gold, holding and manifesting the Seven Spirits of God, illuminating a Priesthood ministry, we should see the visible church today, is frivolous, lukewarm, casual, impractical and insignificant. In so many ways, the visible church today is just, plainly speaking, irrelevant. This is also the world’s criticism and the evaluation in much of the media. It is just not seen as force to be reckoned with.

The contrast is this; Jesus said he would build His church and it would be a force to be reckoned with. What then has gone wrong?

If we could see the preparation of the church {for a Holy Place Ministry} from the picture, the type and the shadow from the Tabernacle of Moses and the Preparation of the Priests, it will give us some insight of what God intended for the church, which is His body. This Church He is Building is pictured as the PURE GOLD LAMPSTAND. Our Great High Priest is pictured as personally rebuking, correcting, threatening and teaching the Seven Churches of Asia in Revelation 2 and 3. Why? He is revealing to them the advancement to the NEXT dimension of Pillars, Throne and Authority over the nations.

REV 1:20 “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. One church in each geographical location is represented by one lampstand. REV 2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

Jesus is the one who is walking among the Seven Golden Lampstand Churches who knows what is happening in thoes churches and every Lampstand church in every age!

REV 2:5 ‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place– unless you repent.

From this it is clear that if Jesus removed the lampstand from the church at Ephesus, the Holy Place Life and Ministry would go into darkness.

Since the “darkness” is obvious in the visible church, is it possible that is what has happened, over the church age, in the visible church?

But, brother, why are you concerned since we are “already Saved?”

It is clear that the church at Ephesus was “already saved” , as was the other six churches, but now, in the Holy Place dimension, {following preparation} this is NOT about forgiveness of sins but about God’s Eternal Purpose!

Our continuing thesis is this; God has called ALL of us to be a Kingdom of Priests. It was the “priests duty” to keep the lampstand full of oil and the wicks trimmed.

Praying that God would keep the lamps full of Oil and burning brightly, to illuminate the Holy Place, was, is, and will be, a BIG WASTE OF TIME? Why? That duty is given to the priests! This ignorance is demonstrated in most “prayer meetings.”

Here is a Scriptural example:

Eli and his sons let the lampstand go out, the Holy Place went into darkness. The

Holy Place ministry stopped. No Showbread could be set out and no Incense could be offered.

It was just a short time until the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant. The Glory of God departed from the Tabernacle.

If the Lampstand is the church and the Lampstand is removed, the church, in the Holy Place dimension of the Seven Spirits of God, is in darkness and can no longer be a church. However, the visible church, like Eli and his sons, may not recognize that NOTHING was happening in the Tent of Meeting. Why? The Lampstand had gone out and the Ark of the Covenant was GONE from the Tabernacle! No Incense was burning! This was the situation for about 60 years but the priests were still performing their duties at the bronze altar of sacrifice and continuing the other Outer Court rituals.

Today, it seems normal to continue to hold “church services” Sunday after Sunday even if “the Lampstand is gone out and the Ark of the Covenant ” is missing!

It should be obvious that if the “ARK” is gone, the whole religious ritual will be superficial, shallow and mostly cosmetic and just more theater. Today, it seems, most of the visible church has no idea that anything is wrong. Why? The ministries are not aware so no one is concerned.

The main point in what I want to share about the Lampstand Church is it is not in the Outer Court. There is no Lampstand in the Outer Court. The Fullness of the Seven Spirits of God ONLY function and provide illumination in the Holy Place. Looking for the Seven Spirits of God in the Outer Court is a big waste of time. Why? There is NO fullness there! That is the place of the Down-payment of the Spirit dimension.

God has only designed one place for the Lampstand Church to function and that is Beyond the Second Veil and in the Holy Place. If there is such a thing as a counterfeit church, it would have to be in the Outer Court. It is just not possible for a superficial church to be in the Holy Place where Our High Priest is building His Church. There is no such thing as a superficial Lampstand Church made out of plastic, wood, bricks or be cast in plaster or even made of brass. What God recognizes is a PURE GOLD Lampstand Church, hammered out of one piece of gold.

Our conclusion from this type is this: It cannot be Jesus Christ who has built this aberration, casual and superficial visible church, therefore, what we see must be the work of uninformed men.

The Lampstand Church will have passed through all the unfolding revelations and experiences of “Jesus the Way” and will have been confronted with Jesus Christ the Lord, the Ultimate Truth and our King / High Priest. Since the Lampstand is made of pure gold, it is apparent the church must have experienced the process of refining the gold ore, to remove everything from the dirt realm! This requires the work of fire and requires that all the dross be removed. Why? What is required for His Church is PURE GOLD!

This process BEGINS at the Consecration Offering. Why?

That is where all hypocrisy, carnality, casualness, superficiality and religious trappings are removed. What was only cosmetic for theater is transformed into real Christianity and made transparent by the fire consuming the Sacrifice, the Whole Burnt Offering! The church that Jesus builds, which is a power to be reckoned with, will be A PURE GOLD LAMPSTAND CHURCH. We should not confuse what we see in the visible realm with what Jesus is building in the Holy Place.

The “ministry” in the Holy Place is not revealed by one item of furniture or by two but is revealed by a combination AND the function of all three. Regularly refueling the Lampstand Church, being Illuminated by the Seven Spirits of God, setting out and maintaining the Table of Showbread and eating regularly from the Showbread, continuously maintaining the fire and the Incense upon the Altar of Incense is the RESPONSIBILITY of the Active and Corporate Priesthood Ministry.

This is only presented as an INTRODUCTION to the Ministry of Prayer and the burning of INCENSE. Hopefully, The next study will be clearer about the Incense, the Fire and the Incense Altar.

It should be clear that I am NOT presenting this as “from my experience” but just from the TYPE revealed within the Tabernacle of Moses!

I have never been able to burn the real incense! What is my excuse? This is reserved for Priests after the Order of Melchizedek! What I am writing is ONLY doctrine!

I believe this “doctrine” of burning incense is true and real but beyond my present experience! What is the purpose of this document then?

This is part of the NEXT restoration and certainly must be the Experience of the Lampstand Church that He is Building

 

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Psalm 46 “God is Our Refuge” Inspirational Scripture Art Print

 Beautiful art print and motivational Bible Verse reading! Never forget that He alone is our refuge!

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The Responsibility of Hearing the Word of the Lord 

hear-word-of-god-and-obey-it
by T. Austin-Sparks

“I will destine you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but ye did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not.” Isaiah 65:12.

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them.” Hebrews 2:1.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me… He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches… He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come quickly. Amen: come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. 3:20,22; 22:20.

The Lord is constantly coming to His people. He comes to them every time that there is a living Word from Him. This familiar passage in Revelation 3 is impressive when you note that the knock, the voice, the ear and “the Spirit saith” are all one. “I knock”; and if you listen, it is not a tapping but a Voice, a Voice that could only be heard by the inner ear because it is the Voice of the Spirit and what the Spirit says is all one language. “My knock is My voice and My voice is what the Spirit says”, and that requires an inner ear giving heed to what the Spirit says, so that every time a living Word comes, the Lord has come, and coming in His Word by His Spirit, He comes expecting a response. 

There is a practical issue bound with every drawing near of the Lord in His Word and it is only as that issue is taken up definitely that the real meaning of the Lord’s drawing near is entered into and secured. The Lord may be there in His Word, the Spirit may be there speaking by that Word, the Word of the Lord bringing the Lord near may visit us, may be with us; and all that may be wonderfully true, as true as ever it was in those days of which it is written “The word of the Lord came by the mouth of” this one and that one, as true as ever it was true as a prophet said “Thus saith the Lord”. It may be just as true as that today, and yet at the same time result in nothing; that is, so far as the Lord’s purpose and intention is concerned. That is always the peril which lies alongside of a Word of the Lord coming, that it may, after all, result in nothing so far as that which the Lord intended is concerned.

“Herein is My Father glorified that ye bear much fruit…” not that ye know much truth, that ye hear many expositions of the Word, that the Word of the Lord indeed has come to you, but “Herein… much fruit”. And that can only be as we recognise the issue bound up with the Word and definitely lay hold of it. The response which the Lord expects when He comes in His Word is the response of Life, not merely of assent, agreement or pleasure. We have from Him the parable of the sower, a fourfold response from the Lord being present with His Word, for He is the sower, and the seed is the Word. The Lord is present with His Word, and He is sowing in expectation, and His expectation is disappointed very largely, whenever there is any kind of response to Him other than the response of real fruit, and that is taking hold of the issue into the heart. That is the very core of the parable, it is taking it into the heart; I think I can say: taking it to heart. There may be some kind of reaction that is not the response the Lord is seeking. He wants a heart response, not in emotion, but in fruit: that which becomes the embodiment of the Life that is in the Word which He brings so that the Word, having the Life, being planted in our hearts, means that that Word expresses itself in a living way in us. Such is the response which the Lord is seeking every time He comes to us in His Word. 

The apostle said to Timothy, “Give thyself wholly unto them that thy progress may be manifest to all”; “the things thou hast heard and received of me, give thyself wholly unto them”. As you give yourself wholly to them, the fruit, the progress, shall be seen of all. That is the only way to spiritual progress and it is the only response which satisfies the Lord. That is the response which He is seeking. Therefore it means utterness as well as immediacy.

Another peril is always present when the Lord comes with His Word. It is somehow indefinitely in the mind to postpone the issue. If it is not a deliberate postponement – for very few perhaps do that – it is a postponement all the same, for every failure to take hold and follow up is a postponement.

I do feel that there is much room with the Lord’s people as a whole for immediate transaction on the basis of every word which comes to us which we have any reason to believe is the Lord’s. This is the way of fruitfulness, this is the way of progress, this is the way of enlargement. I am sure you are concerned very much about the matter of spiritual growth, advancement, progress. I am sure you, in your own life with the Lord, often ask Him for spiritual increase in you, progress, that you might go on, that you might come to maturity. I am sure there is much in your prayer in that direction. Now, may I suggest to you a way in which you may co-operate with the Lord in answering such prayer? It is that you make a practice, whenever the Word of the Lord has come, of going immediately and dealing with the Lord on that matter, with the practical issue bound up with that Word. If you wait until tomorrow you will get into that vicious course that there will be another message presented and the last one has simply gone past, and so you go on. 

Each message is intended to have an issue, but it becomes an accumulation of messages, of words, with the weeks and months and years, and the great responsibility being piled up inasmuch as we are going to be judged by the Word. “The word that I have spoken unto you, it shall judge you” (John 12:48). The piling up of a great responsibility, because for some reason or other – not deliberately, not intentionally – we never square immediately to the practical issue bound up with the Word. If you will at once give yourself wholly for an application to the Word as well as of the Word, your progress will be seen of all. Here is a man or a woman who deals with God at once upon any issue raised by His Word. God takes that one on wonderfully; it is honest thoroughgoing dealing with the Lord immediately. The Lord is a Lord who requires prompt response. If you like to go through the Word, you will see what is bound up with a prompt response to the Lord. The blessing of the Lord is there. You will see the trouble that is bound up with the postponement, the increased difficulty, and you will see the loss that eventually comes when the thing is passed: “Because I called and ye did not answer”. “Behold… I knock, if any man will hear My voice” – what the Spirit says. That is speaking to the Church, as you know, not to the unsaved; it may be true there, but this word was a word to the Church.

It is only my purpose to help towards the end which I am always trying to keep in view for myself and for you: how can we come to that maturity, to that growth, to that enlargement? The Lord puts His finger upon this point and just hedges it about and says, “Now I want immediate and definite response in action, a transaction with Me on the issue that is raised by this word”. If we would do that every time instead of letting it go, and would beware of all those things which are ever waiting to dissipate God’s Word when He has drawn near in His Word, we should grow. You need not move out of your seat before someone will talk to you about something of tomorrow or the past, something which has nothing whatever to do with what the Lord has just been saying. You have only to get to the door and find yourself in general conversation. That kind of fellowship may be good and I am not in any way against the real fellowship of the Lord’s people, for it is a great help to be able to meet and talk; but beware because no sooner is the Word spoken than it is snatched away and for all practical purposes it might be as though it had never been spoken. That could never be if we immediately got down before the Lord and said, “Now Lord, there is a practical issue bound up with this and that issue has got to be possessed!” That is the way of growth. Bear the Word. As I say, it is only to help towards the end which we have in view. 

There is a great value in immediacy, and that response of course will call for utterness for the Lord. Such a response will test our utterness. If anybody really does have the Word of the Lord, seriously and immediately we must get before the Lord about it, meaning business; not just attending meetings and listening to addresses, but out for the Lord, bringing up this question: “What is it that the Lord has said? How does that apply to me? What is the Lord after in me concerning that? I may see it or I may not, but that is not the point. The point is, Lord is there something there that I do not see? Is there something You are trying to say to me and I am not yet alive to it?” How often, sometimes afterwards, we have seen that the Lord said something at a certain time and really it touched upon something in our lives, but at the time we did not see it. Now we see how that was fitted for our case. If we had gone to the Lord, might we not have seen it? That is utterness for the Lord in our response to His Word. There must be a taking hold and a keeping hold until the thing is settled, until it is established, because it is possible even to have exercise over a Word, to follow the point of the Word, to feel the weight of it and feel it getting into us and touching us and then for it to fade. We felt it and we always look back and say, “Yes that was a word that came to us; we felt something in that word; it moved us!” But we have to say that it fell short of the actual issue. What we have to do is to take hold and to keep hold. Has the Lord said something to us? Are we holding on to that until the matter is secured and established and the Lord has got that in us?

Note that word in Hebrews 2: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we heard, lest haply we drift away from them.” I have often pointed out that that word has behind it the picture of a man in the boat taking up his moorings. There is a current running and he comes up on his moorings, reaches out with his boat hook, takes his moorings on his boat hook, but he does it carelessly; he does it without all his attention bent upon it. The tide is running fast, the current is strong, and he has not given the more earnest heed and before he knows what has happened, he has slipped his moorings inadvertently and is drifting away. He had them, he came into touch with them, they were on his hook, and he lost them. It is so often like that. The Word of the Lord comes; we make contact, we even would say we have got it, but where is it after a bit? After a while, what about it? “Therefore… give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest haply we drift away from them.” That is the kind of response that the Lord is seeking all the time.

Now, it would never be right to leave things there without another word. Such a response to the Lord which He is seeking will always be costly. The Lord will see to that. The things of the Lord are not had cheaply; God’s purpose is a costly purpose and any fresh movement in relation thereto will be costly. You know that Hebrews 13:13 is the summary of the practical issues of going on. The exhortation throughout the letter is “Go on”. The summary is this: “Let us therefore go to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” That is what we are going to get for going on. Down here that is just what you are going to get if you go on. It all looks so glorious to go on, all that we are going on to is wonderful. We can romance about the eternal purpose and reigning and having dominion. Yes, but the present side of that is outside the camp bearing His reproach. There is a cost attached to going on with the Lord. There will be a cost bound up with every step. It will make demands; it will only be men of faith who will go on. That is what drives it in. It is that which makes it ours and makes it a part of us.

The Lord comes looking for response; the Word demands it and everything hangs upon it. There is nothing so established that it cannot be set aside by God if it ceases to respond to His purpose. “I… will remove thy lampstand out of its place, except…” (Rev. 2:5). God planted those churches in Asia, those lampstands; He blessed them, He used them; they were vessels of testimony; and then there came the crisis in which God said, “That which I have planted, that which I have blessed, that which was the work of My Spirit, and had My Spirit in it, I will move it out of its place”. There is a sense in which we are always on trial for our life and the nature of the trial is this: immediate response to every visitation of the Lord in His Word. “If any man will hear…”.

Edited and supplied by the Golden Candlestick Trust.

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