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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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Started Sep-12 by PAULFROMNYS; 126 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-12

   

Pioneers of the Heavenly Way

by T. Austin-Sparks

 

Chapter 4 - Moses

 

 

Reading: Hebrews 11:24-27, 13, 16.

God has one great desire - to have what may be termed a 'a people of His best'. Until He has such a people, He will never be wholly satisfied. There may be those who will accept His 'second-best' - for He surely often allows a second-best - but only a people set on His very best will truly satisfy His own heart. But since the attainment unto His best is a matter fraught with conflict and cost and discipline, and much that is utterly contrary to the whole course of nature, it is not everybody - indeed, it is but a comparative few - who will go on with Him to His best. This is seen in all the Scriptures, and there are some out-standing illustrations of it. They are found in every dispensation.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-12

   For example, whilst we are not to say that the generation which perished in the wilderness, which had been brought out in virtue of precious blood and by initial faith - for "by faith they passed through the Red Sea" (Hebrews 11:29) - whilst we are not to say that that generation represents ultimate and final loss of salvation, it is nevertheless clear that they lost God's full thought for them, and it was a great and grievous loss, always held up in the Scriptures as an example of tragedy, failure and disappointment. We are not to say that the greater number of those who went into exile in Babylon, in Chaldea, and never returned, were lost eternally to God's salvation. But we do know that the minority came back, and in coming back fulfilled the true intention of God, and are represented as those of whom particularly He is not ashamed. For the others, in the wilderness and in Babylon, there is sense in which God is ashamed; for these, not so. And thus it is in every dispensation. The call continues, and it is being sounded here to the people of God to be satisfied with no second-best.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-12

   

But, as we have said, this is not only a call to us to attain. This is a call to a people to pioneer this way for others - for so many of the Lord's people do not know the heavenly way. Strangely enough, though born from above, they do not know the heavenly way. We will not bring in all the proofs of this, but it is true, and perhaps many of us have been like that for a period of our Christian life. It was very largely an earthly thing. Our activities were very earthbound, in a Christian way. Then there came a time of crisis, when we entered into the meaning of an open heaven and were lifted on to an entirely new level of spiritual life and began to learn heavenly things in a new way. These are facts, and all those who are called of God into this heavenly way are not only moving in it with regard to their own spiritual measure, but are called to pioneer the way for those who do not know, even of the Lord's people. That does not mean to preach to them about a heavenly way, to have a special interpretation of Scripture, some doctrine or phraseology. It means that they are called to be in the good of it, to be there, and by what they themselves know and experience to be able to help others up from the lower levels of spiritual life.

So we are going to look again at this matter of pioneering the heavenly way, centring our thoughts upon another great pioneer - Moses. There are, of course, many other features of his life besides pioneering, but I think that this really goes to the very centre of the significance of Moses - this fact that he was the pioneer of a heavenly way.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-12

   If we look at the life of Moses from an earthly standpoint, we see very much that speaks of disappointment and of failure and of tragedy: for, although, for eighty years - eighty long, trying, testing years of discipline and suffering - he walked the heavenly way or learned the heavenly way, neither he nor the people that he brought out of Egypt entered into the land. That sounds like disappointment, and indeed tragedy. I can never read that record of Moses pleading with God to let him go in, and God's full, final, conclusive refusal, without being deeply stirred. It is a touching thing.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-12

   

You see, of these people who were constituted a nation by the hand of Moses, who instrumentally owed their existence as a nation to him, not only did that first generation not go into the land and inherit, but their whole history ever since has been one of tragedy. There have been bright spots and periods in that history; there have been times of glory; but, taking their history as a whole up to this day, remembering how much they talk about Moses, what they attribute to Moses, how they are always appealing to Moses, it has been a most disappointing history. I repeat: from certain standpoints, the life of Moses bears much that speaks of failure and disappointment and tragedy. But the very fact of his own life and the nature of its termination, the very fact of the generation that perished in the wilderness, the very fact of the nation all through the ages failing and disappointing, is the one most conclusive argument for another aspect, namely, the Divine truth of the heavenly. They are asserting in a most emphatic way that, if this is all, down here, then it is a poor thing: that there must be some other way than this, there must be some other sequel to this, this is not all. No, there is another standpoint from which to view it - there is the heavenly standpoint, where heaven interprets and governs everything.

Well, let us look at Moses. Firstly, Moses himself and his training. Secondly, Israel under his leadership.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-13

   

(1) MOSES' TRAINING

(a) SOVEREIGN APPREHENDING

We begin with himself and his training. We are not beginning with his birth. We begin where we read of him in the letter to the Hebrews - Moses in Egypt; and here we are once more met by something that has come up repeatedly in these meditations - that inborn sense of destiny. You cannot get away from it. When you are dealing with God's full purpose and when you are dealing with the work, the service, the ministry, the pioneering in relation thereto, that is always the point at which you have to begin; and it is always there - this deep-down sense of a Divine, sovereign apprehending for something.

Here is this man in Egypt. He is surrounded by all that Egypt has, and students of history know that the glory and the glamour of Egypt were no small thing in Moses' day. He was surrounded by it all. The writer here speaks of "the pleasures of Egypt". Its pleasures, its amenities, its scholarship, its education: all its privileges, right up to the very house of the king - everything was at the command and disposal of Moses. He was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22), and he had all the "pleasures" of Egypt to his hand. That was no small thing. Do you say that was nothing to throw away? It was a mighty 'all' of this world - but this sense of destiny made it as nothing. Although enjoying it all, as far as he could enjoy it, there was a shadow over his enjoyment all the time; there was a something inside that withheld him from becoming finally content with it. There was within him a sense of restless discontent and dissatisfaction, which really was a working in him of God's unwillingness to be satisfied with anything short of His full purpose. Moses may not have been able to explain or define this strange urge, but it made him know that the 'all' of Egypt was by no means God's all, and that Egypt could never answer to this call and pull from above and beyond.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-13

   

Now, that is not exaggeration, and those are not just words. That is Scripture, and that is very testing. For such as are called into the way of God's full thought, His highest and His best, it will be like that. It does not matter what there may be of popularity, worldly position, success, means and resources - everything to hand: if we are truly called according to His purpose, we shall be restless in it all, dissatisfied, and feel, 'After all, is it worth it? There is something more than this.' Test your hearts by that. That is no fiction; that is fact.

It may be that that fact lies behind your very reading of these words today. You could have much in this world if you liked to lay yourself out for it. You could have a way in the world and its pleasures, and other things, if you really went for it. Yes, and perhaps you could get acceptance and position even in the religious world, but to you it has become second-rate. There is something in you - you may not be defining it, perhaps you could not write down what it is - but you know there is something, and unless you discover that something, arrive at that something, life will be a disappointment, for there is a mockery in everything else. If that is true in your case, it is a very hopeful thing, it is a marvellous thing: heaven has come down to lay hold of you in relation to all its meaning. Of course, if you have not got this sense, you will be pleased with all sorts of things less than that, and you will be out for them. But, mark you, if you can be like that, it is a very terrible indictment, for it means that somehow, where you are concerned, that mighty heavenly apprehending has failed.

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