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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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All things in Christ #118   T. Austin Sparks

Started May-3 by PAULFROMNYS; 61 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   

Authority in Christ

"And he gave some apostles..." (It does not say "to be" apostles). Then we need to know what the apostle represents as a measure of Christ. What is his value in bringing the fulness of Christ by way of the Body, the Church, the corporate Heavenly Man? It is impressive to recognise that the apostle stands first on account of the value associated with the apostle. What are apostles? There is one word which expresses the meaning of apostles, and that word is "authority". Authority comes first.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   We know that grammatically speaking the word means "one sent". But look again to see its signification in the Word of God. Take the word wherever you find it and see what is in it. Look, for example, at the parable of the householder who planted a vineyard. He sent unto them his servants to receive of the fruit. They came with his authority, and the wicked husbandmen, in slaying the servants, wholly repudiated the master's authority. You see the application to Israel there is so piercing. The point of the parable is that they were refusing to acknowledge the authority of God in Christ. When the owner of the vineyard comes himself to deal with the situation he will miserably destroy the husbandmen. On what ground will he do this? Because he did not get his own personal gratification in the fruits? No! Because they had refused to recognise his authority in his son - "...he sent unto them his son..." Wherever you find the "sent" of the Lord, you find the authority of the Lord. That is an apostle.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   As you carefully consider the matter of apostleship, you will see that everything that constituted an apostle represented what made for authority. An apostle was a specially constituted servant of the Lord. There was a very rigid law governing apostleship, that an apostle must have seen the Lord in resurrection. He could not be an apostle if the Lord had not appeared unto him, for he had not had firsthand knowledge of the risen Lord. That firsthand knowledge of the risen Lord invested him with an authority. It was a matter of the Lord having Himself appeared unto him.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   If you turn to the letter to the Hebrews you will find that the Lord Jesus is spoken of as God's Apostle and High Priest. The very phrase at once carries us back in thought to the writings of Moses, and we mark how it combines what God has set forth in Moses and Aaron respectively. Moses as the apostle, and Aaron as the high priest, represent two aspects of the Lord Jesus. Moses represents authority. From the beginning of God's using of Moses, right to the end, Moses represented the authority of God. The rod which was Moses' rod, became the rod of God, and by that rod the authority of God was displayed. The authority of God was so much vested in him that God was able to say to him, regarding Aaron, "...thou shalt be to him as God" (Ex. 4:16).

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   We see later how that worked out. When there were those who tried to displace Moses, or tried to take an equal place with him, see how the authority found expression. Moses never had to fight for his position. When the dispute arose touching his position, being the meekest of men, he just said to the Lord, in effect: Lord, am I here by Your authority, or am I not? Have I grasped this position? Have I sought authority, or have You put me here with it? I count on You to let it be known whether my position is of my own taking, or whether of Your appointing. The Lord called the people to the door of the tabernacle and took up the case of Moses, and you know what happened. It was because of what he represented as an apostle.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore..." (Matt. 28:18). Thus an apostle is one who stands in Divine authority for the setting up, and the carrying on, of the Divine testimony. You can see that in Moses. The Lord appeared unto Moses and spake with him face to face. No one else came into that realm. Even though they came up into the Mount, they did not come into exactly the same place as Moses. It was with Moses that the Lord communed and spake as a man speaks to his friend, face to face. Then for ever after, the one thing that governs Israel is this: "...as the Lord spake unto Moses..."

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   

At the end of the constituting of the tabernacle, there is a whole chapter in which some seven or eight times this one phrase occurs: "...as the Lord commanded Moses." It speaks of authoritative government by what had come through Moses, God's apostle. Well, in that authority he set up the testimony, and maintained it; the authority was his to that end.

Or, again, take the Apostle Paul, who perhaps above all others stands out as an apostle, and you see that his commission and his authority was, first of all, for the setting up of the testimony everywhere, and then for the maintaining of the testimony. He says to the Corinthians that, if he comes to them in the authority that he has received, it will go ill with some of them, because he is invested with this authority to maintain the testimony in purity.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   Now what does this say to us? It is the Lord! This is the factor of Christ's heavenly authority in the corporate Heavenly Man. That may be administered through individuals. The point is that it is a feature of the Heavenly Man, and is active in the Church. We are face to face with the fact that Christ in His heavenly authority is in the Church for the setting up of His testimony, and the maintaining of it. Where the Lord's testimony is by the Holy Ghost, there the authority of the Lord is, and people have to reckon with that.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   Of course, while we have to take these things to heart in our own personal lives, we are saying them as to those who have to instruct others. As the Lord's servants, you cannot have too clear a recognition of how definite is this operation of the authority of Christ in His Body. None can anywhere come into relationship with that corporate expression of Christ, which is constituted by the Holy Ghost, without becoming responsible for the Lord's testimony which is there, and if you violate it you suffer. You cannot just attach yourself, and escape the implications. If you make a  breach of the testimony, of the oneness of the Body of Christ, when you have been brought into real touch with it, and do not put that right, you will die. You may die physically. You may have a tragic end. You will undoubtedly go through sufferings and chastening; because you have not become a member of a movement, something merely of man; you have come into the place where the custodianship of eternal purpose is invested in the Holy Ghost working in the spirit of apostleship, and the authority of Christ is there. This is the precise meaning of those searching words in the first letter to the Corinthians: "For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep." - "not discerning the Lord 's body" (1 Cor. 11:30). You have come into a realm where things are not to be taken as mere doctrine, as an organisation, as something of man with which you can do as you like; you have come to the place where the authority of Christ is an operating reality. It is a terrible thing to get into the house of God if you are not of a mind to become suitably conformed.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

May-3

   That is one side, and a terrible side. But there is another side that makes for heart rest and assurance for those who carry extra responsibility in the house of God, where it is possible to say: 'Well, we have not to bear the full responsibility that properly is in the hands of the Holy Ghost, in the authority of Christ, to meet that which is contrary to the truth, and to the law of the house of God.' We need not be anxious, in that sense, because it is our responsibility. The heavenly Lord has put a functioning of His authority in the Church. There may be a disputing of that authority in the vessel. Hell may dispute, as at Philippi, or at Ephesus, or many another place, and may show its hand in vehement antagonism and resistance. But what is the issue? Every time the authority of Christ triumphs.

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