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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 Testimony of the Christ #6   T. Austin Sparks

Started Oct-21 by PAULFROMNYS; 70 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-21

   

Chapter 3 - Some Links of Testimony

 

"And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself... And he said unto them, These are My words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning Me" (Luke 24:27,44).

In the previous chapter, after making much preparation and laying a foundation, we were launched into this discourse of the Lord in all the Scriptures - Moses, the prophets and the psalms - concerning Himself. I may repeat that, having no record of how He did it and what He selected from the whole of the Old Testament, we are not able to follow Him exactly in what He said, but knowing unto what end He used all the Scriptures, we have our clue. We know what the Scriptures have to say in relation to that end and are justified, with the still fuller light that we do have in the New Testament, in following His example and using His principle of interpretation. So, without claiming that this is what the Lord actually said, we may take up these Scriptures and say that this is actually what He was getting at.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-21

   

Let me say again, the thing in all this with which we are occupied and concerned is the criterion of the Christ. Criterion means the proof, the test, that by which anything or anyone is verified, that which gives authority. It is that by which anything or anyone is proved to be this or that which either they claim to be or is said to be true of them. The criterion of the Christ is one thing and one thing only. It is the whole question of Life. Life is the issue all the way through the Scriptures. Who is going to settle that issue? Who is going to establish that supreme matter? There is no greater matter than Life. That is the thing about which we are concerned. I do not mean just living so many years on this earth, but Life in all that God means by Life, that for which we were created, the great purpose and destiny of our being for time and for eternity; the answer to that in our very constitution, that cry, that sigh, that demand, that without which life is an enigma and a mockery - who will settle that? Is there anyone who will claim to do that? That becomes the criterion by which they are judged. They stand or fall by that, how they answer that, how they meet that. That is the test, and that is the thing that is before us - the criterion of the Christ - Life in all God's meaning of Life.

Now, we have said that the Cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus are the focal point of that issue. Everything converges upon that two-sided matter - the death and the resurrection. And all the Scriptures gather to that, lead on to that and point to that - the issue of Life through death and resurrection.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-21

   In order to understand what we are going to follow, we have to recognize this, that the death of the Lord Jesus was a representative and inclusive death. It was not just the crucifixion of a man, whoever that man may have been. It was not just the crucifixion of the Son of God, not just men doing away with Him. He was representative and He gathered into Himself all men, so that His death, in God's eyes, was the death of all men. That is no new truth to most of you, but it is necessary to reaffirm that. His resurrection is representative also of all who will accept by faith the meaning of His death and resurrection. So we have to say, Why did He have to die? Certainly not for His own sins, certainly not because of Himself. He had to die, if He became representative and substitute, He had to die because of us - and oh, how much follows that! And that is what we are going to look at. It is that which, beginning with Moses and going through the prophets and the psalms, leads right to His Cross, what it was to which He had to die, and how all that was indicated, typified, suggested, in a long line of those who took up and carried on this testimony. For the Old Testament is full of representations of this testimony and they are all gathered up in Him. No one representation in the Old Testament is more than fragmentary, but they are mounting up, they are piling up, until He, in representation and as far as any representation (that is, any type or figure) could be, is complete from the Old Testament and He gathers it all into Himself.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-21

   

Adam

Well, let us begin to explain that, to show how that was. It would be difficult, I think, for the Lord Jesus to have begun at Moses, by which is meant the writings of Moses, the first books of the Bible. It would have been difficult for Him (being what He consciously knew Himself to be, that is, the second man, the last Adam as Paul calls Him) to begin without referring to Adam, because it was there that the door was opened to everything to which He had to close it. The Cross He knew was the great closure of a door that had been opened that ought never to have been opened. Adam opened the door and through sin, death entered. Paul argues that all out in his letter to the Romans. Death entered through sin. The first Adam was responsible for the coming in of this terrible thing which was the cause of all the conflict and all the misery and all the suffering and all the wreckage and the ruin of the ages, and which had to be taken up by the Lord Jesus and answered, dealt with and settled.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-21

   The word to Adam was "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). And he ate thereof, and he surely died. His ordinary, natural, bodily life went on for some considerable time afterwards, but he was a dead man. The apostle uses a phrase like this - "dead while she lives" (1 Tim. 5:6). A dead man. Yes, the sentence of death was there, the seeds of death were there, corruption had entered in and corruption would work itself out. But the real nature of that death was severance from the source of real Life, God's Life, severance from God. He died that day most truly, for that is death. If death is the closing of heaven and the enclosing of God, that man can never get to Him, then that was death. And I say a thing I have often said, that to come to a full consciousness of that is death indeed. Death in its most awful character is to wake up to the fact that you are God-forsaken and there is no way to God, the way is closed. Only partly is man conscious of that, and his consciousness of that is only accentuated when he tries on his own account to get to God. He is not so conscious of it while he gets on independently of God, as he thinks. But let him try and get to God, let anyone try to get to God except through Jesus Christ, and see how successful they are. And should they be trying out of the direst distress and necessity, then they begin to realise something of what death is - no way in your extremity. Thank God, that need never be the experience of anyone. But that is what happened, all that was involved. The Fall was not just falling into some fault, failure or sin. It was falling out of God and out of heaven.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-21

   

So He must, in order to have got at the meaning of this necessitated Cross through which He had just passed, He must, I think, have said something about Adam and death and pointed to the Cross in the light of what Adam had done and what Adam had lost and what Adam had let in. Not in the words that I have used, ten thousand times better, but the same idea. He began at Moses, and I think He must have commenced with Adam, seeing that He knew that He was the last Adam to undo all that the first Adam had allowed.

Whether or not He followed the course that I am now going to follow actually need not worry us. We are getting at that which comprised the necessity for and nature of His Cross and resurrection, and so we find that from that point where Adam let death in, the conflict was joined, the battle was joined. God did not just leave death to hold the field. Thank God He did not; He did not abandon His creation to death, He did not wash His hands of the world and man and throw it aside. No, He would not let death have undisputed sway and control, and so He commenced the challenge to that state of things and to death, and instituted a testimony against it, a testimony against death, which testimony was to be carried on by successive witnesses all pointing to Him: the final, perfect, all-inclusive Witness. John calls Him that - "the faithful witness" (Rev. 1:5), the inclusive one. God instituted this progressive testimony as a challenge to the undisputed sway of death and it commenced immediately.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-21

   Now when we come to this word Moses, the law of Moses, we find that this testimony is set forth in three different ways. Firstly, in men as individuals; secondly in a nation, Israel; and thirdly in things as types. The first five books of the Bible are made up of those three things: representative men, individuals; a nation, Israel; and typical things or things as types. And all immediately and directly having their existence, having their being, in relation to this one matter. In every one of them in some way this battle was being fought out, this challenge was being presented. Let me say again that in not one of them was it in any fulness, but each one in some way, some part represented why Christ had to die.

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