Let There Be Life – W.E. Smith

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (John 15:1)

One day a farmer went out into his orchard, eager that his apple trees would bring forth many apples. He had his notebook, and a lesson plan, and walked among the trees.

“Today, my dear trees we are going to learn about fruit, what it is, what it looks like and how to bring forth a bountiful supply of fruit. Please turn to page 12 in your text books….”

Then one of the younger trees interrupted the farmer….

“But master, we are trees and you as a good husbandman have cared much for us, planting us in good soil, keeping the birds and insects away, pruning our branches… we need no instruction on how to bear fruit, for this is what we are, and the life that flows through us up from our roots to each branch will most certainly bring forth fruit. Please be patient and in time you will see our many branches filled with life-giving fruit.”

“But…” interrupted the farmer, “we must labor, we must be diligent to ensure that we most perfectly understand how all of this works, we must study and learn all there is to know about fruit. I thought if we met every Wednesday and… “

“We do enjoy your company master and of course you are always welcome to walk among us and to care for us, but in the matter of fruit all that has been done is all that needs to be done. Life will take care of the rest; do you not see this?”

So the farmer went back into the house confused, His father had always taught him that there was more required, that a good farmer had to do this and do that, and to actively participate in the life of the orchard.”

Dear ones, the propagation, the maintenance, the perpetuation, the stimulation of life – these are grand subjects indeed. Yet in the end, life just is, and all bounty is bound up in the seed. And inside the seed is a germ, the smallest essence of life in which all that comes forth is marvelously coded and defined.

IN THE NEW CREATION, THIS GERM IS NONE OTHER THAN JESUS CHRIST!

The soil is the desert of this world.

This precious seed has been planted in the desert of this world, and all life in the new creation springs up from this one seed.

He alone is the genesis of the new creation, the originating and animating principle of all life therein.

This seed fell from the Father’s hand (He had only one seed in His bag for this is all that was required) and in the very midst of the dragon it fell to the hard, cold, ground of this fallen, cursed world.

This Tree, this Vine has been growing ever since, and it will continue to grow until its roots, and vines and branches and fruit fill all the earth, indeed perhaps more.

As you begin your day today, consider what you are, what you are attached to, what you are part of – then rest superfluously in the revelation that His fruit will come, His life will flow through you, His love will supplant everything in time. Resist any teaching or any teacher who tries to make fruit-bearing some kind of religious exertion or effort.

Let life happen. Just get out of its way. Pray His Spirit will be Your life today.

Yes you and I are housed in broken bodies and broken minds and hearts, and these will manifest from time to time. But what is really important is the life within, this new life within each of us.

Be careful of assuming that the more knowledge you have, the more life you will have, the more fruit. (Remember the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil”)

Be equally careful of thinking that toil, labor, self-discipline (call it what you will) have an active part to play in the new creation of God. It doesn’t. Pray the Spirit will impart a fuller revelation of rest (the sabbath) and fruitfulness. These to the fleshly mind seem incompatible to each other, but we must remember that the Father and the Lord are always working. This does not require that we are always working as well.

Walk out among the trees and the plants and consider how peaceful they look. It is a sabbath all around certainly but much life is springing forth. This, dear ones, is how the Father works. He speaks forth life by His generative word. Then He allows it to come forth.

The very first and last scene in the Bible is a garden (not a school, not a temple, not a church).

And there are trees (vines) all through the Scriptures.

Our Lord often used the living things of nature to convey profound truths having to do with spiritual life and death, and how the Father is working and how He is working.

There is not seven steps to more life, or twelve principles of the abundant life – THERE IS ONLY LIFE! THE TREE OF LIFE! THE TRUE VINE!

So first be very certain that He alone is now your life.

Then once you are sure, enjoy it, choose it, praise Him for it, thank Him for it, move freely in it, wait for it, contemplate it certainly, experience it, allow its fullness, allow the Father to prune and protect this life to bring it to even greater fullness.

Lord, please let this be so as it is Your will and pleasure. Amen

The Call and Message of John

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make straight paths for him.

Every valley shall be filled in,

every mountain and hill made low.

The crooked roads shall become straight,

the rough ways smooth.

And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” (Luke 3)

Some spiritual insights to be drawn from this familiar passage -

  • This passage is I believe intensely prophetic of the Lord’s call to His own at the end – the two witnesses will fulfill this call (in the spirit of Elijah) to straightness and return to the Lord.
  • John stood outside the nation; they came to him in the area of the Jordan river; the Jordan pictures the division between life and death; a crossing over; a coming into the true life and testimony of the Lord; baptism pictures a forsaking resulting in a changed life; a new kind of life (a separating of soul and spirit; the difference between a merely religious life and a truly spiritual life)
  • Everything about John stood against the desolate spiritual condition of the people – his words, his dress, his diet, his base of operations – in both his person, lifestyle, and message he represented the Lord’s bitter displeasure with His own; the ones He redeemed from Egypt so long ago. The prophet and the prophet’s message were one; John appeared only when this was so, when the Lord had prepared His chosen vessel; a weakened instrument duly fitted for the times and His purpose
  • The message of repentance is not preached to the lost but to the Lord’s own found people – John is a prophet not an evangelist, in a time when all is crooked, when the proud are exalted and the humble are laid low; everything is inverted, upside down, contrary to the Lord purpose and intent (note: salvation is not an end in itself, but a means for the Lord to achieve His purpose; is all your thought and confidence on your own salvation (personal interest in other words) or the grander and eternal purpose of God?). Strongholds exist that are generations old and deep, The enemy energizes them and sustains the people in their blindness and religious pride – traditions, doctrines, assumptions, false teaching, a crossless, small “c” christianity, etc.
  • John (and his small remnant company of disciples – some of whom followed the Lord later) is alone – he is a remnant of one crying in the wilderness – “Who warned you…?” – no one, which was why he was there – where were all the teachers, the guides, the leaders, the shepherds, the priests? All hopelessly corrupted from top to bottom; all the political and religious leaders blinded by worldly power and greed and temporal cares; the people content in their lives as slaves to Rome (the world); they were not seeking the Lord’s kingdom but a safe and secure and comfortable place in the world. Religious power had lied down with political power – think Roman Empire, British Empire, American Empire,  etc. The virgin had become the harlot, full of adultery and fornication, and she is riding (straddling) the filthy beast
  • There is a “we are rich and need of nothing” aspect in the people – “We have Abraham…”. ” I am saved by faith alone” says the modern believer, “who are you to tell me the Lord is not pleased, not satisfied; that I will be judged? I go to church, we send thousand of missionaries to the third world; we support the local food bank, the homeless, we are a bible-believing church…. “
  • “brood of vipers” – read: “children of Satan” – I see no way to soften this – fearful are His judgments (see the curses in Deuteronomy promised to His own people and fulfilled to both houses to the awful letter. “Oh but in this time of grace the Lord will not judge His own people” – OH really?)
  • It is a time just prior to the wrath of the Lord coming (AD 70, when all fell, the temple, the city, the land, everything they trusted in)
  • The Lord is looking for fruitfulness, the real evidence of salvation; A tree that bears no fruit is useless and must come down. This is inevitable – it is not a question of if but when. This whole “christian thing” we see in the world today cannot stand in the end. Jesus Himself is weeping over the very state of it – but soon His tears will give way to righteous indignation and action!
  • “God’s salvation” seems to be the Lord Himself in His coming – for us this is very soon in His second advent in judgment to claim all that is His to claim – His bride, then the throne of the world
  • John’s message is “Turn! – turn back to the Lord, back to truth and reality, back to what is real and authentic, live the life, come out of the falseness, the deadness, the fruitlessness”
  • We see later, when the Lord Himself walked on the scene how many beggars, lepers, orphans, sinners and widows went uncared for by this “religious” people – they had failed the test, for this is how the Lord sums up whether His life is really in us – it is very practical – the very ones who are most impacted by the curse of sin and death – the fatherless, the widows, the orphans, the poor and needy – these are his measuring rods – think deeply on this my brothers, think very deeply on this, for this hard word may stir some of you in ways never known before. Our Lord touched the ones he helped. He looked into their eyes; the Father led them to each one personally, many of whom followed Him afterwards
  • Honesty, integrity, uprightness, separateness (spiritually) from strongholds of falseness and hypocrisy
  • Materialism, greed, love of money in the service of Mammon – covered over with swooning choruses of “We love you Jesus” in great halls every Sunday”
  • It is the charge of adultery and sexual perversion that finally ends John’s ministry – this is most insightful, as we consider the state we are in right now – the beast rising, the harlot pruning herself, the love of pleasure and ease and comfort; we must also consider that John in some degree glimpsed (in the spirit) the divine mystery that the One coming after Him would be the “Bridegroom” and that the summing up of all things in Him would involve the marriage of the Lamb and the bringing forth of a bride (taken out of His body) worthy of Him
  • John was beheaded, as will be the two witnesses – this represents a rejection of the Lord Himself, the cutting off of the head; the separating of the head from the body, which is really Satan’s intent – that the One New Man in Christ will not walk on this earth in the full expression of the life of God

Consider loved ones, consider well, this word, for the times we are in will find us out, what we are made of, whether we will company with John beyond the river, or remain at the gate of the city. Let our hearts cry out and let our prayers rise up for all those who have been taken captive by the enemy to do his will; all those who are blind and complacent and overly confident in this day of reckoning.

Ask yourself this – if one such as John was to rise up in this day and venture into one of so many churches in the world today – what would become of him? “Oh but we are not like Israel in the days of Pontious Pilate?” Oh Really?

Ask the Lord what it means today spiritually for us to wear camel hair and to be content with locusts and honey? Harshness, bitterness mixed with sweet, a standing against the strongholds, a vow of spiritual separation supported by a life of purity, integrity, contrition. To see is everything! And to hear what the Lord is saying to us! Oh Lord, this is our heart cry and prayer in these dark days, when all seems fallen, mixed, compromised, superficial, soulish and deep, deep into the lives and hearts of those who claim your salvation.

Come Lord Jesus Come!

It is You alone we love!

What Do You Mean, Jesus Wasn’t a Christian? – by Michael Donahoe

Jesus wasn’t a Christian? How can you say such a thing?

Especially here in the USA, when we think of Jesus we think of Christianity. Actually Christianity is just another religion. Jesus didn’t come to start a religion. Men started calling those who followed Christ as Christians, but in our modern era, Christianity is thought of as a religion more than it is a lifestyle of following Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t belong to any particular religion. He loves and accepts people no matter what they believe. He came to show the love of the Father to the human race, not start a new religion for people to fall in line and follow.

If we mean Christian as being a follower of Christ, then there is nothing wrong with using this word to describe our fellowship with Him. If we use Christian as a sense of belonging to a particular church, following a particular doctrine and set of rules, then I would rather not have anything to do with that term.

Jesus is the Son of God, and He loves all people. He doesn’t see Muslims, Jews, Christians or any religion. He loves people. He sees people who need the love and acceptance of God. The only way people are going to come to true fellowship with God is through Christ…not Christianity.

It’s time we stop looking to the organized world of religion as our way of becoming acceptable and pleasing to God. We need to look to Christ and allow Him to live through us and let Him love all those we meet each day. Stop demanding that people come to follow your doctrine, your rules, your beliefs and accept people as they are. Show the love of Christ to them and let God work in them the way He sees fit.

We are never going to completely agree with each other on doctrine and religion. Only through Christ and the love He gives will we be able to love and accept others. Let us be known by the true sense of the meaning of Christian, being someone who is doing the works of Jesus, and letting Him reign as Lord of lords and King of kings.

The Wine of Her Fornication – W.E. Smith

Dear ones -

A drunken man has no discernment. All is haze and confusion. And this is a serious business. Notice the following passages -

“Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, ‘Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between the holy and the unholy, and between the clean and the unclean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.’” (Lev. 10:8-11)

“Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and the unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” (Ez. 22:26)

“No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court…and they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Ez. 44:21-23)

Now notice this relating to our very day -

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Rev. 17:1-3)

Babylon, at its heart, represents confusion and mixture, where the holy is not distinguished from the unholy. All is worked in together. Tares and wheat, leaven and meal. Babylon is a quasi-religious system where all is mixed together, the natural and the spiritual. And those who are drunken cannot discern the difference; their eyes simply do not see it. They have no spiritual clarity. It has gone long beyond understanding. The “Lie” has worked itself into them deeply, into their heart, their desire; their lives. You cannot convince them otherwise for they are wedded to Babylon and all she represents. Her uncleanness runs far too deep. Like the harlot who cannot merely change her clothes to become other than she is. Her fornication refers to her unholy communion (becoming one spiritual body) with the powers of the world, the political, the economic, anywhere and everywhere the enemy has principalities and strognholds.

The product of the harlot’s illicit union with the world is “the wine of her fornication.” This wine is the intoxicating influence of the mixture of this religious system. The mixed system does not try to sort out the things of God from those not of God. It mixes them all together into one confusing mass. This mixture influences all people on the earth in the realm of religion. All people, including genuine Christians, are put into a stupor, being unable to discern the pure truth concerning knowing, serving and following God. They are influenced by the teachings, and the natural and worldly philosophies, ways and practices of this religious system, Babylon. As a result, people cannot distinguish between the holy and the unholy. (Tom Finley)

The harlot is. perhaps, the very woman who has hidden the leaven in the meal.

Next notice how Austin-Sparks suggests this will only lead to trouble for those attempting to stand outside of this confusion, this mixture -

I have told you all this so that you may find your peace in Me. You will find trouble in the world – but, never lose heart, I have conquered the world! (John 16:33 Phillips)

When the spiritual stands to confront the merely formal, traditional, nominal and “natural,” then there is going to be trouble. This is not now merely the reaction from the world: it is the reaction from religion. I would go further, and say it may be the reaction from Christianity. There is a very great difference between formal, traditional, nominal, “natural” Christianity, on the one side, and spiritual Christianity, on the other; a great deal of difference. So much so, that this also becomes a battlefield – the battlefield of a lot of trouble.

Leave formalism alone, and everything will go on quite quietly. Leave traditionalism alone – that is, the set order of things as it has always been; that framework of things as it has been constituted and set up and established by man; that Christianity which is the fixed, accepted system of things – and you will escape a great deal of trouble. But seek to bring in a truly spiritual order of things, and trouble arises at once. And YOU are the trouble maker! The truth is that the trouble lies in the existing condition, the situation, the state; but it is only brought out by your action. And so spiritual men and women, and spiritual ministry, are called “trouble makers,” because the two things cannot go on together. That is where Israel was. They had the traditions, they had the oracles, they had the ordinances, they had the testimonies; they had the forms, they had the system – they had it all; but, in the days of the prophets, there was ever this vast gap between the “externals” and “internals” of life in relation with God. The heart is far removed from the lips. The spiritual reality is not found in the formal. You may have it all – but then bring in the truly spiritual meaning of things, and trouble begins in that very realm. It is the trouble which arises when what is external and traditional comes into conflict with something which is truly spiritual.

They tolerate us now, but the animus will be loosed soon, the restrainer will be removed, the locusts will swarm out of the pit. And then where does that leave us dear ones, all those who seek the true, the holy, the clean, the pure?

Where are you in your heart? Whose side are you on really? Is there mixture in your life? Are you intoxicated like the priests who brought unholy fire into the temple of the Lord? What do you tolerate, or reason away? What is the Lord Jesus to you anyway, deep down where spirit touches bone and life is revealed for what it truly is?

The time is at an end, and Babylon is rising dear saints. A new epoch is upon us. Babylon is not so much a place but a condition, a delusion appreciated only by those who are drunk with the wine of the harlot’s fornication. It stands for everything opposed to the Kingdom of our God, and her King! Once the seduction begins, it will grow increasingly difficult to resist, as every man knows all too well.

Do we have eyes clear and sound to see such things? Are we drinking the pure water of the Word, and leaning in to hear the Masters voice? Is the Spirit groaning within us in unspeakable ways, in a language only God knows?

Where then are those who will stand apart? Where are those who will resist the seductive wiles of this harlot and the beast she rides? Where are those who love their Lord beyond everything and anything this world has or represents?

Dear saints, it is all under water – America, the nations, the world system – the Lord of All Judgment has declared it, and although He will never flood this earth again, He will bring His fire, oh yes, He will bring down His holy, cleansing flame, to extinguish the chaff.

And so I ask again – where are you? Where are you right now at this very moment?

Dear ones, I appeal to the life of Jesus Christ within you – Choose life, choose Him, Choose the Holy One! Flee Babylon, for her gates are never high enough for the Lord of All Light!

No Place for Any Other First – W.E. Smith

Dear saints – It is with some fascination that I contemplate what men try so creatively, so ingeniously to do for the Lord. It is as though we don’t trust Him, or somehow feel we can do things better in terms of bringing about the fullest expression of spiritual body life. I absolutely relish this description by Sparks here of what really transpired shortly after He ascended -

“While there was some initial testimony, the Apostles did not formulate in conference an enterprise, a mission, with all the related arrangements and organization. The new Life forced off the old leaves and dressed the new organism with a new vesture from within. The might, energy and urge of the Holy Spirit within produced a Way and an order, un-thought-of, unintended by them, and always to their own surprise. What was happening was really that Christ was taking form within them, individually and corporately, by new birth and growth. The believers and the companies were becoming an expression of Christ.”

Now if I may speak quite frankly, such a thing positively scares the life out of many believers, especially those who feel that everything of Christ must be branded, named, organized, systematized, collectivized, boxed, replicated, scheduled, itemized, etc.

Where I wonder in what Sparks has described is there a place for one such as Diotrephes, who loves to be first, over others, standing apart, in some place of self-importance?

I dare say that such Nicolaitans create these unnatural religious mechanisms so that they can control them, lord over them and derive no small degree of stature and importance from them – all in the name of Christ, all for Him ostensibly.

“THESE THINGS I HATE!”

…said the Master.

Rather than step back and glory in what the Lord through His Spirit was doing back then, we rather pull a verse out of the Book of Acts and create a system, a methodology from it – oh what a wonderful idea.

“They met in homes” – Oh so the pattern for church is to meet only and always in homes.

“The church in this city.” – Oh so we must organize city churches with spiritual headship over each jurisdiction.

“They all sold what they had…” oh so we are to give all of our resources to a centralized church body and have them manage and distribute it as they deem suitable.

Dear saints, what is so delicious, so marvelously impressive about the Book of Acts, is not only these things specifically, but that the wind was blowing, and that these saints allowed themselves to be swept up and away in its moving. Nothing of men, All from the Lord. Attempting, even with the very best of intentions, to replicate, simulate or return to the various particulars of what happened HAVE AND WILL FAIL EVERY TIME!

This book is a book not of patterns and templates, but of free-flowing life. It is the most un-religious book ever written.

May we open all of our doors, tears down all of our walls, open all of our windows – and simply let the mighty wind of the Spirit bring forth life into our fellowship and union with one another in the Lord. May we lay down all pride and lust for power and control. May we learn from John in his first letter which speaks of real heaven-blown fellowship and oneness in the LIGHT, LIFE and LOVE of God.

May He breathe on these words as they pass through your day today… amen

**************************

From TAS -

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you. (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)

It is a seeing of the immense significance of Jesus in the eternal and universal order. With the Apostles that seeing was subsequent to the days of physical association. During the forty days after His resurrection it was like the dawning of a new day. First, those intimations, as when the uncertain light just passes over the heavens. Then more steady and certain rays, leading to the Day of Pentecost, when the sun appeared in full glory over the horizon dispelling the last shadow of uncertainty. On that day they saw Him as by an opened heaven. The mystery of the past was dispelled. The Bible lay open like a new book. They saw Him in the light of eternity. They began to see that, while He was the glorified, personal, Son of God, He was Himself the embodiment of a great, a vast heavenly and spiritual order and system. This seeing was absolutely revolutionary. It was a crisis out of which a new world and a new creation was born. True to this fundamental principle, all that vast revelation, which has come down the centuries from and through the Apostle Paul took its rise from that crisis described by him as “It pleased God… to reveal His Son in me” (Gal. 1:16). “I received it… by revelation of Jesus Christ” (vs. 12). All the implicates were in the crisis; the full content was a progressive and ever-growing revelation.

While there was some initial testimony, the Apostles did not formulate in conference an enterprise, a mission, with all the related arrangements and organization. The new Life forced off the old leaves and dressed the new organism with a new vesture from within. The might, energy and urge of the Holy Spirit within produced a Way and an order, un-thought-of, unintended by them, and always to their own surprise. What was happening was really that Christ was taking form within them, individually and corporately, by new birth and growth. The believers and the companies were becoming an expression of Christ.

A Declaration of Dependence

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:29)

Freedom. Independence. Self-actualization. Self-fulfillment. These seem so very American don’t they. A proudful boast that has been packaged in shiny boxes for all the world even. To be a “free spirit” is considered by many to be the ultimate fulfillment of life, of gratification. Modern marketing is literally saturated with such themes and messages. The modern gospel has followed suit to the ruin of so many blood-bought souls. The scope of this ruinous lie is so extensive it is hard not to be seduced by such a sweet, seductive, syrupy message. It drips from everything today, even from many church signs unfortunately.

But what does the Spirit say about such things. How is fullness and fulfillment actually achieved? I am sure you all know the answer all too well – Nothing less or other than the utter, total, unconditional surrender and abandonment to the yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlimited, unqualified dependence upon Him. In everything. For everything. Forsaking all that comes from within ourselves and serves ourselves, that we might live and move and derive our very life in Him alone.

Dear ones, it is no wonder the modern church has practically no idea who Timothy Austin-Sparks is or what poured forth from the spirit of this man for almost a century. For his was an emphasis of all from Christ, all for Christ.

I truly love this phrase – “But a life of dependence upon God can be a life of continual romance. It is there that we make discoveries which are a constant wonder.”

Dear saints – do you really, ultimately wish to know the Lord, to learn from Him, and in doing so to find rest for your weary soul (this is a rest not just from sin but from religious toil it should be said) – then do this one simple, beautiful thing – bow your head and your heart, empty your soul, and then step peacefully, meekly into His yoke. Just do it! And then taste and see that how good the Lord truly is. This is all He asks. This is His gracious invitation given with such meekness and lowliness of heart for all those so wearied in this world. Lord, may we each just do this now, by You. For You. Only for You.

From TAS -

In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:9,10 NLT)

Oh, those subtle suggestions that are ever being whispered in our ears, that if we give up this and that we are going to lose, and life is going to be poorer, and we are going to be narrowed down until we have nothing left. It is a lie! That is the thing that is countering God’s great thought for us. God’s thought for us is that One, no less than His Son Jesus Christ, in Whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form, should be our fullness. All the fullness of God in Christ for us! You never attain to that by rejecting Him. Life must be much less than it need be if you are not going all the way with the Lord; and what obtains in the matter of our consecration to the Lord, our entire and complete abandonment to Him in our life and our complete cut with all that is not of the Lord, obtains in the realm of service. This flesh loves to sport itself in Christian work, and tells us that if we are going to be dependent upon the Lord we are going to have an anxious time. But a life of dependence upon God can be a life of continual romance. It is there that we make discoveries which are a constant wonder.

You may be nearly dead one minute and in the next the Lord gives you something to do and you are very much alive, dependent upon Him for every breath you breathe. But thus you come to know the Lord. Then after that experience you are just as helpless and dead again for a while, but you remember that the Lord did something. Then He does it again; and so life becomes a romance; yet no one would ever guess you were depending on the Lord for your very breath. It is a very blessed thing to know the Lord is doing it, when you could not do it at all; it is, humanly, naturally, impossible, but the Lord is doing it!

By T. Austin-Sparks from: Christ – All, and In All

Is He All?

Dear saints – as the days and hours of this age draw to a tumultuous close, as the wheels of this broken cart called the world wobble and begin to fall away, as the apostasy among named christianity becomes ever more entrenched and “birds” have made a permanent home in its branches (Matt 13:32), as sides are being drawn, and hearts are being tested through tremendous fires and afflictions among His own – can we say with pure and sincere hearts that “He is all”? That He is now our very life? That we live and move and exist, no longer in ourselves, but in Him? That we see through His eyes alone, and that His purpose, and His glory, and His kingdom is what animates us in all we do? Has there been a registration and occupation of His life within us? Do we even comprehend in the spirit what this means?

No He did not come to make you or me a better person; to clean us up and dress us up and set us on our feet again to face the world.

From T.A. Sparks -

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

Christ is not a second personality or power, to come along to reinforce us, to vivify us, to strengthen us, for us to use in life and in service, and that He should make us something. That is not the thought, and that is not the angle of Scripture at all. And yet, how almost universally, perhaps largely unconsciously, that is what is happening. Christians are wanting to be made something, even as Christians; and Christian workers and the Lord’s servants are, though perhaps unwittingly, wanting to be made something as workers; and they want Christ to reinforce them, come behind them, and make them something as His servants and in His service.

That whole system of things is diametrically opposed to the truth. The truth is that Christ shall be All, and that we decrease that He may increase; that He should be the primary Personality, and that the impact and registration of any life and any service should not be: “What a good man he was!” or “What a good woman she is!” or “What a fine worker!” but: “What a presence of Christ! What a testimony to Christ! What an expression of Christ! What a sense of Christ! What a reality of Christ!”Are our hearts set upon God having that which is wholly of Himself? That means “I” crucified! No longer I, but Christ! And that means that Christ in us is the basis of our conformity to His image, until we partake with Him of His own nature – pure gold. It is something to face seriously before Him. It brings to us a challenge, but surely it also brings to us a glorious possibility! What Christ is can be made good in us!

Where did Saul go; what happened to that man way back then? What became of that pharisee of pharisees? Gone. All gone! Crucified, then subsumed into the one called the Christ. Not new and improved, not a shiny new man, not a rehabilitated “Saul” (he could never use this name again for it was forever gone, like Abram and Jacob) – No and never for this is NOT what the Word teaches at all. It is in fact what 99% of all christian theology teaches perhaps, but it is not what is being offered to man in the Scriptures.

So let us stop looking to ourselves, even the hope or promise of what we can be if Christ is “added” to us or some such thing. We are nothing and can never be. He must be All. He must be Everything! He must be the First and the Last and all in between. He is the first letter, the alpha, and the last letter, the omega. He is the author and finisher, the starting line and the finish line, He is the heart, the lungs, the head, and we are drawn up into His life never the other way around. Oh how we so often want Him, and pray that He would become part of our lives, that He might supplement us, strengthen us, enable us, etc. Yet the Word says we are to become part of His Life! That indeed the Father sees us as part of Him! That He is now our very life!

There is a vast difference between -

“Strengthen me Oh Lord” and “Be Thou my Strength Oh Lord”,

…between -

“Make me righteous and holy” and “Be Thou my Righteousness and my Holiness”.

Oh that we would grant us a new kind of mirror where our reflection is now and only the Living Christ.

Dear ones, we really do not need to fully comprehend how all of this works for it to be made so. To experience Him as our life will reveal itself in living reality, not theology or doctrine or concepts. “Taste and see” says the Lord. “Come to Me that you may have life”. He must become our Living Reality. Grace and Truth (Living, Self-Revealing Reality) came through Jesus Christ and is offered to each one of us, if we come as little children to receive it by faith and trust. The essence of the abiding life is “shared existence”; it is a union, an integration, a spiritual symbiosis of sorts but it is far deeper than any words can define. “Abide in Me and I in you”. As the dust is dissolved in the Living Water, we too must dissolve in Him. Let us just say simply “amen” (so be it Lord, I truly don’t understand it but I trust you, so be it) and then receive with meekness and rich gratitude the engrafted Word.

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