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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 Testimony of the Christ #10   T. Austin Sparks

Started Oct-24 by PAULFROMNYS; 57 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-24

   

Elijah

Elijah was not in the same category at all, and yet in the same position or in the same peril. This man who had so gloriously upheld the testimony, a prophet of the Lord's testimony of Life over death, and here he is away... having cast himself down. Here is the man who had proclaimed Life and who had practised Life, in whom and in whose ministry this testimony of conquering Life had been demonstrated. If there was one man in the Old Testament you would expect never to talk in this way: 'Take away my life, it is no good', that man was Elijah. But there he is. 'It is no good, Lord, take away my life'. Here is another aspect of the same peril.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-24

   

'It is no good, Lord, take away my life'. Here is another aspect of the same peril.

Oh, we do not blame Elijah, do not for one moment read into anything I am saying any reproach of Elijah. If anybody is to be reproached for this very thing, it is the one speaking to you. Yes, after all, sometimes the pressure becomes so intense that we wonder if it is worth going on. Here is the man who, under the tremendous onrush of the evil forces, has lost heart, become discouraged, become afraid of the future, and has allowed himself to yield to that pressure known to you and to me so well. 'Get out of it all, get away from it all, run away.' Have you never felt you want to run away? But suppose I said to you, "What are you running away from? Why are you where you are? Now then, declare it!" That is the thing that pulls us up, when we begin to explain, even to ourselves, to say nothing of going and telling the Lord, but explain to ourselves our own position. You see what I mean. How many of us have felt this drive to run away for a few days, to do something to get some relief, to get out - and when we have got there we have found we had better get back as soon as we can, we are out of the way of Life, for, however much the pressure, that is the place of the testimony of Life and here it is death.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-24

   

How many of us have felt this drive to run away for a few days, to do something to get some relief, to get out - and when we have got there we have found we had better get back as soon as we can, we are out of the way of Life, for, however much the pressure, that is the place of the testimony of Life and here it is death.

Poor Elijah - did he gain anything by running away? No, not at all. Yes, discouragement, disheartenment, perhaps disappointment, perhaps fear of the future, the awful drive of the enemy to get us out... and the Lord uses those tactics with His servants of which we were speaking. He says, 'Now then, explain yourself! Explain your position, and why you are in that position', and as we begin to tell Him our mournful story, we find there is not much in our story, it does not hold water after all. There is something even in our telling of our tale that does not satisfy our own hearts, and then, when we come to know the Lord's facts, we find that we were all wrong. 'I have yet seven thousand in Israel which have not bowed the knee to Baal, your position is utterly false, it is not true'. Where are you and why are you there so far as this mighty thing of His Life is concerned?

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-24

   

John

Those two men on the Emmaus road are quite conspicuous instances of this very thing, but let us pass on to John. What a different story with John. Adam was in a lovely garden and was out of touch with the testimony. John was in a horrible island, in Patmos, and was in the testimony. It is not your environment that settles the issue, it is not circumstances. You may be in Paradise, if there is such a place on this earth, and be out of the testimony of Life. You may be banished by men, by the great arch-enemy, to Patmos, and be right in the good of Life. John had his pen in his hand, and presently he will be writing - think of it, where he was, his situation, his position - he will be writing about the river of the water of Life and the Tree of Life, and how many times in the book of Revelation does that word 'Life' occur! It is all living.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-24

   

The word 'Life' is scattered over the whole of that book, and it is the final great issue. And it is a man who is one of Nero's exiles and banished ones who is writing that. His relationship to the testimony calls for no reproach. I think there is some glory about his introduction when he says, "I was in the isle that is called Patmos". It is not - 'Oh, I was in the isle called Patmos, having an awful time...' "I was in the isle that is called Patmos" and all that that meant "for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus". Some of you may be complaining about your situation, your circumstances, your surroundings, your association. You are saying, 'I cannot know anything about this testimony in my position. I do not expect there to be any real manifestation of this Life triumphant over death in my home, in my business, in my surroundings.' Well, go to John and go to Rev. 1:9 again, and hear this man triumphantly singing in the midst of such a situation. Read it again in the light of all that which he was saying.

Life Today

Now, you see, this divides itself into two things. Are you where you are in the will of God, or out of the will of God? That decides it. Adam was where he was out of the will of God. Elijah was where he was out of the will of God, and it was death. John was where he was in the will of God, a difficult situation, but it was in the will of God, and it was Life. If you are in the will of God, no matter what the situation is, it can be Life. If you are out of the will of God, though you might be in a most glorious garden on this earth, it is not Life, it is death. That, of course, applies first of all to your own spiritual position, where you are spiritually, and then it relates to your relationships where you are. Are you in or are you out?

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-24

   

You can see in every case that I have instanced the tremendous force of that sinister power behind. There was that testimony represented and symbolised in the garden, and lurking in the vicinity of that testimony is this untrue, this evil one, and he is against that testimony. He sees (and it is all so highly symbolical) he sees that if that man ever becomes a partaker of incorruptible Life, he has forever lost his chance with that man. The only thing to do is to get in between that man and his partaking of that eternal Life, and with Adam his method was deception. He deceived him, and deceived him out of his birthright, deceived him out of what God intended. But it was the enemy, this enemy who from then on all the way through has been set against only one thing, in a thousand ways, but one thing, which is this that God intended.

Through Jezebel it is the same enemy after Elijah. She is in a spiritual relationship with the evil powers, and the evil powers through Jezebel brought this pressure, this terrible pressure and drive upon the prophet, and he for a little while succumbed to it. The enemy's drive is always very much more difficult to resist when you are tired. Oh, tiredness is an awful thing in the spiritual realm, what opportunities it provides for the enemy. Always be alive to reactions. Well, there it was, but it was the enemy. And the enemy's method with this man was not so much to deceive him and get him out of position, but it was by any means to detract, to draw away, to get out. You know the enemy is very often busy like that in the method of detracting so that you find yourself out of touch. If I may just say here, I do not think I have ever known a conference quite like this one for that very thing. It seems to me that the enemy has been trying to detract from this conference; draw away, drive away, keep out, in any way to bring about a sense of looseness, disintegration, loss of cohesion, a scattering, for very many reasons, drawing off or driving off. That is how it was. Whatever was the method, the means and the object was to get this man out of his place, out of the place where he ought to be, away from where he ought to be, and, being away from where he ought to be, he left the place of Life, the place of the testimony.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-24

   

It is the enemy, and there is no question about it, with John through that fiend Nero. The evil forces were seeking to destroy this man because he represented this testimony of the Lord. But because he stayed in the will of God and he did not capitulate to his circumstances and say, 'It is impossible for me to go on with my ministry here, it is impossible for me to stand my ground here, it is impossible for me to talk about Life in this situation', because he refused any such position, and there, though so difficult and humanly impossible, he stood his ground for the testimony, the enemy was vanquished. All his destroying power was brought to nought, and for all these centuries we have this marvellous book and John's ministry.

The upshot of this is that it is the Lord's testimony that has to determine our position - not things, not people, not arguments, not seemings, not the hard time, the difficult situation, but the Lord's testimony of Life has to dictate where we shall be. Oh, take that as something to be applied in every connection: your position determined and dictated by the Lord's testimony of Life.

There is a battle, of course. You will not be able to be there easily. Of course there will be everything that will make it difficult for you, nevertheless you are not being governed by those things, nor by your own interests. You are being governed by this - where does the testimony of the Lord in Life require that I shall be? - that is where I will be, by His grace. 'Where art thou?' What are you doing here? What is this conversation of yours? Why are you talking like this? Why are you in this state? Explain it! - and perhaps the very defining and explaining will be the first big step back to recovery and open the door for the Lord if we will be honest and not excuse ourselves. I think that is the word the Lord wants to say at this moment. It is apparent everywhere. We can go on after that, but it is very necessary for us to face the practical issue. You hear all about it, but then the challenge is - where am I regarding it? Here I am, and why am I here? Oh, how I would like to press that and apply that in many ways. Why are you where you are? Can you really give a reason for being in your position, your present connection, association and state? Have you a reason for it? Do you have to say, 'I do not know why I am here. I think perhaps it is the right thing to do, the right place, but I really could not tell you'. That is not good enough. We can never meet the enemy's opposition and pressure unless we have a reason and a good ground. The Lord give us that.

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