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Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Holy Spirit's Biography of Christ 15   T. Austin Sparks

Started Sep-10 by PAULFROMNYS; 55 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-10

   

LIFE FOR OUR VOCATION

In the first temptation Jesus is in physical weakness through lack of food, and this is a question of His very life. Satan comes to Him in His weakness and says: 'If what was said at the Jordan be true, and You are the Son of God, command these stones that they may be made bread.' What did Jesus answer? "It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-10

   The first thing about this life-bread is that it is a different kind of life from natural life. That is what is hidden in this first temptation. There is a great deal of difference between natural life and Divine life. I think we should notice that the Lord Jesus, in quoting that Scripture from Deuteronomy 8, quoted it correctly. Presently Satan is going to quote the Scriptures, but he is going to do so incorrectly, and that is one of his ways. He takes up Divine things and gives them a twist. In quoting that Scripture the Lord said: "Man shall not live by bread alone." He did not say: 'You do not need any natural bread.' There are certain kinds of Christians today, and have always been through the ages, who think that they are very spiritual because they starve themselves. They fast as much as they can, usually looking very miserable. They are always very finicky about their food - and they think that is being very spiritual! But the Lord does not say that that is what we are to do. He says that there is the natural bread, but that is not the only thing, for there is a bread which is much more important, and that is the TRUE bread. That is quite different. How men are trying to fulfil the work of God on natural grounds! Their resources are natural resources which are produced by themselves and the Lord says: 'No!' There is all the difference between the earthly and heavenly worlds, between natural life and Divine life. But that life is not only different; it is something extra. It is not bread only, but something more than that, something extra to the natural. You may have your breakfast in the morning - and there is nothing wrong in having a breakfast, or any other meal - but if you think that you are going to do the work of God on a good breakfast, you make a mistake. Do you see what I mean? This is something extra to the natural, something much more than anything that natural food can give us. It is the great Divine extra.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-10

   You see, we are repeating the life of Christ, and I can give you examples from His life. Just take one: His meeting with the woman of Samaria. The Lord Jesus, being wearied with His journeys, sat on the well and sent His disciples into the city to buy bread. Then the woman came from the city, and you know the conversation they had and how the whole of the life of the Lord Jesus was poured out to that woman like living water. As He spoke of heavenly things, as He gave to that woman the heavenly secrets, and as He spoke about the heavenly life, deeper than that well and more eternal than the water of that well, although it was Jacob's Well, all His weariness went and He was a renewed Man. The disciples came back to Him with their loaves and said: 'Master, eat.' Then they looked at Him. 'Has anyone given Him bread to eat? What has happened to Him? Why, He is a new man and He does not want our bread.' You see, He had been talking about life, and it is no use talking about life if you are not an example of it. He said: "I have meat to eat that you know not.... My meat is to do the will of him that sent me" (John 4:32,34). Think about that for a little and remember that you are dealing with these eternal principles. This is the EXTRA bread, which is more than the natural.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-10

   I'd add here that fasting in Christ is good, very good, but fasting in self is worthless at best.  I think that is a good approach to what scripture says in Romans 14:14  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

   There is obviously no fornication, idolatry, or any such thing IN CHRIST JESUS.  So it is good to say that whatever is in Christ is good, and whatever is not, is not good.  Probably the best example of this is normal human friendships.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-10

   Some of us who minister a great deal find that when we face new ministry we often feel very weary, and naturally the question is: 'Can we do it? Can we get through that long conference?' But when we get to the end of the conference we have new life. It really IS like that. The fact is that when tomorrow night comes and this conference is over, I shall have just as much in hand as I have given all the week - and we shall want another week! Well, I am not an example, but I am trying to enunciate the principle: "Not by bread alone, but..." This is one of those very many occasions when those two words are put one against another - "Not... but..."

There is one other thing: This Divine life is a matter of faith. The Lord Jesus said: "By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Well, there is the word in writing in the Bible, but do you think it is enough for it to be the Word of God, written in the Bible? No, you have got to lay hold of it by faith, and we have to lay hold of this life by faith. You remember the woman who came to the Lord Jesus in the crowd and said: "If only I could touch the hem of his garment I would be made whole", and although the multitude was pressing on Him, there was no one else in that multitude who received that life. It was that woman's hand of faith, and the Lord Jesus said: "Thy faith hath made thee whole." LAYING HOLD of the word of life by faith is something that we must ever do. Paul says: "Lay HOLD on eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:12), for it is there. Really exercise faith about it.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-10

   These things may seem very simple to you, but they are very important and real.

The passage that the Lord Jesus used in answering Satan is from Deuteronomy 8:2 and 3, and you need to look at the setting of it. It is at the end of the forty years in the wilderness, and says: "Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble thee, to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know, that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live."

What have we here? The people are not going into the wilderness now, for they are going over Jordan into the land, but there is a history behind them. For forty years God has proved that there is a life other than the natural. Do you not think that that is a good thing? You might say to me: 'You are talking about this Divine life, but PROVE it.' Well, I can give you more than forty years - but no, I am not talking about myself. I am talking about the history of the Church, and that is two thousand years. Has the Church continued through these many centuries by its own strength? Has the Church been in many a wilderness? Has there been much starvation? Yes, again and again the Church has been in a terrible wilderness, with death all around, and with nothing in this world to support it. It could have died again and again, but it has not died. It is alive today, and there is a great history of the Lord's Divine support. And what is true of the Church is true of the history of many a believer. Many of you could say: 'If it had been left to me I would have been dead today. My very survival is a testimony to something supernatural.' Is that true? Oh, yes, it is true, and it has to be true to the end.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-10

   So here we have a history behind what the Lord Jesus is saying, and He is able to put the strong proof of history into His words when He answers Satan.

Now the Lord Jesus is in a wilderness, but what is He going to have to meet in the next three and a half years? I do not think that Satan is going to stop at anything to kill the testimony of Divine life in Jesus. Again and again he makes an attack upon His life in every possible way in order to quench the testimony of Jesus, but He goes through. He lives, and He lives today, for that Divine life has triumphed over everything.

That biography has to be written in your heart and in mine. We are in a wilderness - or do you think that your Christian life is the Garden of Eden, with everything so lovely and with everything in the world that you can want? Is that how it is with you? Well, of course, it is very nice here at Hilterfingen, but you know quite well that you have to go back. You may feel like Peter: "Let us build three tabernacles and stay in Hilterfingen for the rest of our lives!", but it may rain next week, and, even if it does not, you know you have to go back to your difficult situation. That may be very much like a spiritual wilderness, but you have this great truth: there is a Divine life, which is a different life, an extra life, and you can live by that life wherever you are.

I suppose there are few more difficult situations than those in which our dear brother Watchman Nee has been for eighteen years. As far as we know, he is alive, and I believe that his spiritual testimony is still alive - and that is a miracle. We may not have his experience, but we may know the wilderness, and God CAN prepare a table in the wilderness.

The point, then, of the first temptation was this: Would the Lord Jesus use His own powers to save His own life, or would He depend upon God? Later on He will say: "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 10:39), and that is the principle. Satan has failed on that ground, so he is going to change his position, for he is not giving up yet.

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