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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 #23   T. Austin Sparks

Started 11/7/21 by PAULFROMNYS; 33 views.
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5. Everything of an Organic Nature

The next law is that everything has to be of an organic nature. Progress has got to be always organic and not by legal control. That legal control, that is always putting the strait-jacket of 'Thou shalt' and 'Thou shalt not' on people, always tying them up with law and the bondage of law, the driving force being the imposition of some system or systematized religious conception. Over against that, the law here is progress by the organic principle of Life. "Ye were running well; who hindered you...?" (Gal. 5:7). 'You have stopped going on - why? Because you have come under the awful bondage of law'. "I am perplexed about you", "I am again in travail till Christ be fully formed in you" (Gal. 4:20,19). How will that be? By the principle of Life. What the apostle means there, as he makes clear, is that when the Lord is sovereign within, you will not have to be told what you should do; you will know. That is a better kind of Christianity. You will know how you ought to dress and how not to, you will know whether you ought to use make-believe or not! The Spirit of Life in you will begin to tell you lots of things. You will not need the law to come along and say, 'That is wrong.' You will know, Life will do it, and you will make progress. If people begin to lay the law down to you, you will begin to resist, and you will stop spiritual progress. That is not the way. Progress is on the organic principle of Life, and that is the law here.

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6. A Heavenly Life No Touch with Earth

The next thing that is brought so clearly to view is this: that this church and everyone who comprises this church, must keep off earthly ground and must not attach themselves or itself to this earth; must not touch this earth in a spiritual way. You will not misunderstand me. I am not speaking literally and physically. I am talking of inwardly, spiritually, of having an inward link and association with this cursed earth, and it is cursed and it is in death. You touch it and you know, or you ought to know, that it is death to touch it, and you shrink back. That terrible reaction in a truly spiritual person and a truly spiritual company of the Lord's people, that shrinking back when you touch a certain realm is tremendously real. And that is exactly the whole meaning of the letter to the Ephesians - in the heavenlies in Christ. Do not touch things here and should you touch them you ought to realize that you have touched death and at once flee from it for what it is. The law of a heavenly Life and heavenly relationship and everything in heaven, is the only way to overcome this world. Physically and in your soul you have got to touch this earth, this cursed earth now and you are up against that curse. At almost every turn, you feel the death of it, feel what a downgrade there is in it, what a resistance... how hard it is to live, to make progress or to get anything moving there. It is truly under the curse and the only way to live here at all in this world and overcome the world is to have a Life in heaven and to stay there. Come down and you are beaten. Come down and you are defeated.

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7. Suffering that Others May Come into the Good

And now the last thing I am going to say is this - the outworking of this. "I John for the testimony of Jesus... was in the isle that is called Patmos", "John to the seven churches". See what that is. That is suffering for the testimony, resulting in the far reach. I am in Thessalonians now. The letters to the Thessalonians have two major notes. The suffering of these people... how much the apostle spoke about their sufferings. Evidently the Thessalonian church suffered much. "The same sufferings" he says, "which you have seen in your brethren in Judea are accomplished in you." What suffering! Ah, but "from you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith to God-ward is gone forth" (1 Thess. 1:8). "They are speaking of you everywhere, of your faith, I need not to say anything, they are all talking about your faith." Suffering and a far reach. Life through the winepress for others. The testimony is that. We suffer for the testimony's sake: others derive the benefit. "Death works in us, but life in you" (2 Cor. 4:12). That is it.

The test of the testimony is just how decentralised we are in our influence and value. Oh, this turning in on ourselves, turning in on our own spiritual life, nursing ourselves, watching our own spiritual changes and alternations, the rise and fall of temperature... and it is death. Is it not strange that suffering usually makes people occupied with themselves, but the Thessalonians were just the opposite? They had all this suffering and everybody else was getting blessing! They were delivered from Self, even through suffering, and the testimony of Life was going out.

These are seven laws of the testimony, briefly, imperfectly, insufficiently stated. But they come back here.

"I for the testimony".

"I for the testimony" - Jesus absolute Lord.

"I for the testimony" - then I am out of the picture.

"I for the testimony" - then all things by the Spirit.

"I for the testimony" - seeing Him by revelation of the Spirit within.

"I for the testimony" - cut off from any voluntary association and touch with this cursed earth and maintaining a heavenly life.

"I for the testimony" - suffering that others may come into the good.

Those are the laws of the testimony. Now, are you going to write your name in? Are you going to have that phrase - the testimony of Jesus - to justify you having a name? "I John" and... what name is it? Your name... "for the testimony of Jesus", and this is how it is to work out, and you may be quite sure that if the first thing is true, all the rest will be true. You see in the book of the Acts that the first thing was true. Jesus was Lord, and all the things that I have said just followed, and it will be like that. Absolute Lordship... and the rest comes about spontaneously.

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   That concludes this booklet through TAS.