PAULFROMNYS

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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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Looking for that city #!   Bible discussions/belief

Started Aug-23 by PAULFROMNYS; 308 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-23

   Hey Fred, and any others given to looking for that city whose builder and architect is GOD.  I've been going through T. Austin Sparks books in order from, 1929 to 1971, in the TAS section, and am currently up to 1931.  This has been primarily devotional for me, but always loved fellowship around the thoughts presented therein.  I addressed this to you Fred because I recently came into possession of booklet entitled: Pioneers of the Heavenly Way written in 1953.  I believe it will be very edifying to us in our mutual desire for what we see in scripture as believers assembling together.  I'm going to cut and paste it here for any comment, and I hope it will be the blessing I believe it will be.

In reply toRe: msg 1
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-23

   

Pioneers of the Heavenly Way

by T. Austin-Sparks

 

Chapter 1 - The Fact and Nature of the Heavenly Way

 

 

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things make it manifest that they are seeking after a country of their own. And if indeed they had been mindful of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:13-16).

Some time before these messages were given, desiring to be quiet and away from many things, I went down into the country with my heart very much to the Lord for His word. In the early hours of the morning it seemed as though the heavens opened and everything became alive: it all opened up wonderfully, and centred in one phrase - 'Pioneers of the Heavenly Way'. That really does sum up the verses that we have just read, and, while we are going to think and perhaps say much about the heavenly way, it is this matter of pioneering the heavenly way that will be our main concern. It is necessary, to begin with, for us to consider to some extent the heavenly way itself, but I repeat that it is this whole tremendous business of pioneering that way that I believe to be the main concern of the Lord, and hence of ourselves, at this time.

In reply toRe: msg 2
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-23

THE EARTH RELATED TO HEAVEN

The Bible begins with the heavens: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" - not 'the earth and the heavens'; the heavens come firstThe Bible closes with the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. 21:2); and, just as heaven stands at the beginning and at the end, so everything in between, in the Word of God, from the beginning to the end, is from heaven and to heaven. As it is in the natural realm, so it is in the spiritual. The heavens govern the earth and the earthly, and the earthly has to answer to the heavenly. It is the heavens, it is heaven, that is ultimate: everything has to be in the light of heaven, to answer to heaven, to come out from heaven. That is the sum of the Word of God, the whole content of the Scriptures.

This world, this earth, is not unrelated and alone. However important it may be in the Divine scheme of things - and certainly it is an object of great heavenly concern; perhaps the greatest things in the universe have taken place on this earth: God has come here in flesh, has lived here, has given Himself for this world; the great drama of eternal counsels has to do with this earth - nevertheless it is not apart, alone, it is related to heaven, and all its significance is by reason of that relationship. It takes its significance and importance from being related to something greater than itself - to heaven.

The Bible teaches that God is located in heaven. "God is in heaven" (Eccles. 5:2): that is the declaration. It teaches that there is a system, an order, in heaven, which is the true one and which is the ultimate one. In the end, it will be the reproduction of a heavenly order upon this earth which will be the consummation of all the counsels of God. Christ came down from heaven and returned to heaven. The Christian, as a child of God, is born from heaven and has his life centred in heaven, and the life of the child of God will be consummated in heaven. The Church, that masterpiece of God, is of heavenly origin, of heavenly calling, and of heavenly destiny. In all these things, and in many others, "the heavens do rule" (Dan. 4:26). This great factor of heaven governs everything.

In reply toRe: msg 3
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-23

   

CHILDREN OF GOD RELATED TO HEAVEN

As for ourselves, if we are children of God our whole education and history is related to heaven. That is one of the matters we must follow out presently in greater detail; but let it be said, and let it at once be recognised, that our whole history and education as children of God is related to heaven - and by that I do not mean simply that we are going to heaven. We are related to the kingdom of the heavens, by birth, by sustenance and by eternal vocation. All our education, I have said, is related to heaven. All that you and I have to learn is as to how it is done in heaven; as to what the Lord meant when He said, "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth" (Matt. 6:10) - a great comprehensive fragment covering all the education of the child of God, for that prayer begins with "Our Father who art in heaven". For as things are in heaven, so they must be here; but a whole lifetime of education, deep and drastic training, is involved in conformity to heaven.

The Bible of the Christians in New Testament times was the Old Testament. When we read in the New Testament, as we so often do, about the Scriptures - "that the Scriptures might be fulfilled", "as it is written in the Scriptures", and so on - it was the Old Testament that was referred to. The Old Testament was the only Scripture, the only Bible, of the first Christians, the Christians of the first decades. They had not got our New Testament. For them the Old Testament was the Bible, and it was continuously drawn upon, referred to, taken up and used in order to exemplify the spiritual experience of Christians. This letter to the Hebrews, from which we quoted at the outset, is just that. From beginning to end it is packed with the Old Testament; the Old Testament is being unceasingly used to illustrate and set forth the meaning of the spiritual life of the New Testament Christian.

In reply toRe: msg 4
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-23

   

A PILGRIMAGE RELATED TO HEAVEN

And what we find in the Old Testament is a pilgrimage, all the way through: a pilgrimage in relation to heaven. Let us step right back to the beginning. You see, the Divine intention in creation was that such a harmony should obtain between heaven and earth that God could be here in this world in pleasure, in happiness, in rest, just as much as He could be in His heaven. He made it for His pleasure, He made it for Himself, He made it that He might come and go in perfect satisfaction and rest and joy. The first picture is of God being pleased to come to the world which He had created. He made it, it was His work, and we are told that when He had made it He entered into His rest. His rest was found in being here in His creation.

Ah, but since the tragedy of the fall, heaven and earth have lost their harmony; they are now at variance. This world is in conflict with heaven. Everything here on this earth has been changed. So far as the world is concerned, God has no pleasure in being in it or coming to it. His presence here is in testimony, not in fullness - in testimony that this is His rightful place, in testimony to the fact that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof" (Ps. 24:1), in testimony that He made it for His own pleasure. But God is here only in testimony, in token. He must have that testimony, but He is not now here in fullness. In a very real sense and in a very large degree, God is outside of this world, and there is conflict between heaven and the world; and even while there is testimony here, that very testimony is here and not here. It is outside. The very vessel of the testimony of God's presence is something that does not belong here. Here it has no dwelling; here it has no city. It is 'in', but not 'of'. It is a stranger in this world. So it has been since the fall.

Now the whole history of Divinely apprehended instruments for that testimony, whether they be individual or whether they be corporate, is the history of spiritual pioneering in relation to heaven. Have you grasped that? Let me repeat it. The whole history of vessels Divinely chosen and apprehended for the testimony of God, whether they be individual or corporate, is the history of pioneers breaking a way, cleaving a way through, doing something which was new so far as this world was concerned, breaking fresh ground, making fresh discoveries in relation to heaven; pioneers of a heavenly realm. How much history is gathered into a statement like that!

In reply toRe: msg 5
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-23

   

FOR PILGRIMS THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY IS IN HEAVEN

Let us look at one or two of the features of this pioneering vocation. First of all, those who are called from heaven, apprehended by heaven, to serve the heavenly purpose, find that their centre of gravity has been inwardly and spiritually changed and transferred from this world to heaven. Inside there is a deep-seated sense that we do not belong here, that this world is not our resting-place, that this is not our home and this is not our centre of gravity; we are not drawn to it inwardly. Within the spirit of the pioneer there is this sense of conflict with what is here, of being at variance with it and unable to accept it. I repeat: inwardly and spiritually, the centre of gravity has been transferred from this world to heaven. It is an inborn consciousness, and it is the first thing in this heavenly calling, the first effect, the first result of our calling from on high. We are going to come back to that again later on.

And we can test by this. Of course, it is true of the simplest child of God. The first consciousness of one born, truly born, from above, is that the centre of gravity has changed. Somehow or other, inwardly, we have moved from one world to another. Somehow or other, that to which we have hitherto been related by nature no longer holds us: it is no longer our world. Put it how we will, that is the consciousness, and unless it is so there is something very doubtful about any profession of faith in the Lord Jesus. And this inborn sense of a new centre of gravity has to grow and grow and grow and make it more and more impossible for us to accept this world in any way. Again I say, it is a test of our spiritual progress, of our pilgrimage and our advance in it. But that is elementary after all.

In reply toRe: msg 6
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-23

   

THE HEAVENLY REALM UNKNOWN TO US BY NATURE

Again, that other realm, the consciousness of which has come into our hearts, the gravitation toward which has commenced in our spirits, is an entirely unknown world to us by nature. To nature it is another realm altogether - different, unfamiliar, unexplored. It does not matter how many have gone on before us, it does not matter how many there are who have started on this way and gone a long way in it: for every individual it is an altogether new world and it can only be known by experience. We may derive values from the experience of others, and thank God for all those values, but with all their experiences they cannot get us one step further on that way. For us it is new, utterly new, and strange. We have to learn everything about it from the beginning.

That makes pioneering - what pioneering always is - a lonely way. No one can hand down to us a heritage. We have to obtain our own in that world, strange and unknown as it is; demanding basically a new constitution according to that world, with capacities that are not possessed by nature. No man by searching can find out God (Job 11:7); we have not the capacity. It must be born in us from heaven. We have got to make the discovery for ourselves of everything. We have to discover God for ourselves, in every detail of His willing relationship to the human heart.

Light may come through testimony, light may come through the Scriptures, help may come through counsel, inspiration may come to us from those who have ploughed through and gone ahead, but in the last analysis we have got to possess our own spiritual plot in the heavenly country, subdue it, cultivate it and exploit it. You know that is true; that you are going that way in the spiritual life. You are having to find out for yourself. Oh, how we long for somebody to be able to pick us up and put us through on the good of their experience! The Lord never allows that. If really and truly we are on the heavenly road - if we have not just started and sat down or given up: if we are moving on the heavenly road, we are all pioneers. There will be values in it which others will come into because we have pioneered, but there is a sense in which every one, no matter how far behind, has got to make discoveries for himself, and it is best so. Ultimately, there is nothing second-hand in the spiritual life.

Fred (fnorthrup)

From: Fred (fnorthrup)

Aug-24

TAS said:

His presence here is in testimony, not in fullness - in testimony that this is His rightful place, in testimony to the fact that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof" (Ps. 24:1), in testimony that He made it for His own pleasure.

We have a saying among us: "While religious people are dreaming of going to heaven, God is dreaming of coming to earth." In a sense, Jacob's dream in Genesis 28 is God's dream. The gate of heaven is opened, and the house of God is built on the earth.

I was wondering how you brothers understand these two verses in Hebrews.

1. Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

World here is in Greek: ο?κουμ?νη oikoume´ne¯; gen. oikoume´ne¯s, fem. noun from oike´o¯ (G3611), to dwell, abide, meaning the inhabited earth.

2. Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

In 1:6 He brought the Firstborn, Jesus in resurrection into the inhabited earth. In 2:5, He speaks of the inhabited earth to come, which is subjected not only to the Firstborn, but the may sons, those whom He is not ashamed to call brothers.

How do you understand this in light of the prevailing Christian tradition that all saved people go to heaven. What is "the coming inhabited earth"?

PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   Amen, GOD made us for a deeply important reason to Him = the fellowship of His LOVE.  Life in self and from self could in no way respond properly.  So separated from Him((but not His plans to restore)) we went.  Then after making clear all that was involved GOD sent His only Begotten as the only way, truth, and life that dwells eternally with Him, and offered same to any truly desiring.  The substance of our response and the response of all from Adam on will be determined perfectly at the final judgment of GOD. 

Fred (fnorthrup)

From: Fred (fnorthrup)

Aug-24

PAULFROMNYS said:

 Amen, GOD made us for a deeply important reason to Him

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

The word "world" here is different than the word in Hebrews 1:6 and 2:5. Here it means a period of time, and age. So this verse refers to "this age" and "the age to come." Hebrews 1 and 2 refer to "the inhabited earth" and "the coming inhabited earth."

These verses definitely say that there is a present age, a present inhabited earth, and a coming age, and age after this one, which includes a coming inhabited earth.

You cannot call this heaven because it includes the earth, and you could not call it eternal, because there is time involved. If it is not eternal and not heaven, then what is this coming age in which the inhabited earth is subjected to the sons of God?

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