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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 #18   T. Austin Sparks

Started Nov-1 by PAULFROMNYS; 24 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-1

   

Isaac

Isaac - we have said much about Isaac in relation to this very thing, but once more we must recall the complete impossibility of Isaac having a being at all on any natural ground. There was no accounting for Isaac apart from the God of resurrection, apart from a Life that is more than a natural life and is different from a natural life. His being was because of the working of that other Life figuratively. And then the great central and inclusive event of his life which, as we said the other day, is the explanation of Isaac altogether, for there is not much else in his life that is of account, very little indeed that matters very much. He just came into this world and went out as representing one thing - a resurrection from the dead. The God of hope represented by the lifetime of one man with just that one thing - His resurrection Life.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-1

   

Jacob

Through his life there were various points at different times when, but for the intervention of God, Jacob would have gone out and would have carried on no testimony, but there at the end is the cumulative testimony. Jacob and his sons have become involved in a worldwide famine and the prospect is no prospect at all for life, and in this wonderful sovereignty of the God of hope, as Joseph said - "God did send me before you to preserve life" (Gen. 45:5) - God working. When Jacob has come to very old age and death is descending upon him and upon his family to blot out the continuance of this testimony, God is acting sovereignly.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-1

   

Joseph

And how sovereignly did God act in the life of Joseph! We have seen that, just for one thing, that the testimony should not be blotted out, that it should be carried forward, that the God of hope should be the God of His people. I think we need not stay with Joseph. We have seen how that man went far down into death, death brought upon him by evil brethren and by evil men and by the evil powers behind all. And if ever a man's situation spoke of hopelessness, I think Joseph's did at one time. In the dungeon and forgotten, his soul entered into iron and he was tried by the word of God. It does seem a hopeless situation, but it is one of those romances of this God of hope. He, by this sovereign intervention, is rescued and is delivered.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-1

   

Israel in Egypt

We pass on from the individuals again to the corporate, to Israel in Egypt. We used the phrase that it sometimes seems as though the forces of evil get the people of God in a trap with no way out, and surely that is how it seemed with the children of Israel after the death of Joseph in Egypt - as though they had been caught in a trap and there was no way out, and there they are. How often the word 'bondage' is used about their situation. All the way afterwards whenever their time in Egypt was referred to, it was always referred to as the 'house of bondage'. They were captives, and, as though the Lord goes out of His way to accentuate the reality of their bondage, nine plagues, nine mighty judgments upon Egypt failed to release them. Truly this is a death house. Yes, and then at last death, and they are only delivered from death by a very definite and specific act of God. The house of bondage is plundered, the God of Life destroys the power of death which held them there. The end of the story of their time in Egypt is just the glorious declaration of Life triumphing over death, of a mighty resurrection as from the dead. There it is. Israel in Egypt, the testimony of Life, the God of hope over against a very terrible state of despair.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-1

   

Israel at the Red Sea

The Red Sea - what a situation. They themselves were in terror that night. They knew that if for a moment that strong east wind were to subside, that was the end of them as a nation and they would be overwhelmed. Death was like two mighty walls on either side, and death was behind in the pursuing Egyptians. The Red Sea was a scene of death, but the God of resurrection got them to the other side.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-1

   

Israel in the Wilderness

See how the testimony is being kept alive all the way against death, and yet when they got into the wilderness and had had their good sing about their deliverance, all too soon, almost immediately after that very singing of praises it seems, they turned to their murmuring and to their grumbling. They came to Marah and found the waters bitter and they murmured. This was another threat of death, for, if God did not again do something, it was death for the whole nation. He intervened at Marah, He gave them sweet water for bitter and saved them alive. Soon after it is the question of food. How are they going to be provided for in the wilderness? And God sends them manna out of heaven. You know what the Lord Jesus makes of that: He links it with Himself as the Bread of Life from heaven. It is Life in a scene of death, Life in a wilderness where no one can live, except miraculously.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-1

   

They come to Rephidim. Again it is a question of life and water for life, and the rock is smitten, and they are saved again. It is one long succession of interventions of God in terms of Life against death. God is fighting out this battle. They come to Sinai. You know what happens at Sinai, when Moses goes into the mount to receive the testimony, and, after being there so long, the people's patience having worn thin, he comes down. And here is the noise of singing and shouting and dancing, and the terrible disclosure of the calf and alliance with that whole kingdom of iniquity which is under judgment and death, and this certainly means death for the nation. Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Whoso is on the Lord's side, let him come unto me". And all the sons of Levi went over to him. You remember what Malachi says about that right at the end of the Old Testament. "My covenant was with (Levi) of life and peace" (Mal. 2:5), and Malachi dates it back to that very incident. The covenant was made with Levi, the covenant of life and peace, when Levi separated themselves from this iniquity and the nation was saved. God intervened, Life triumphed over this sinister breaking in of death - Life again.

We remember the murmuring against God and against Moses, and then the fiery serpents, the nation being mown down by this very symbol of sin and death, the embodiment of sin and death, the serpent. Then the elevation of the brazen serpent, the look of faith and the situation saved. For all who will look, it is Life again triumphing over death. And you know what the Lord Jesus made of that as to Himself. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).

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