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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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Fellowship of His Son #8   T. Austin Sparks

Started Jul-15 by PAULFROMNYS; 151 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   

A Demand for Changing Position

What of Abram? "Get thee out." A change of position, a change of course. And in every other case, a change of position. With Isaiah it was a change from the earthly, the earthly kingdom, the earthly Uzziah, the earthly glory, the earthly expectation, to a heavenly one. "I saw the Lord, high and lifted up..." - a heavenly position now, for Isaiah. It's like that: a change of position.

I do want to say to you, dear friends, that if all this may be true in the initial encounter at the beginning of the Christian life, it is that, that is the great involvement at the beginning: a change of position. This fellowship with God's Son does not begin and end there. It goes on right through our lives. And will you believe me when I say to you, if you have been going on with the Lord for sixty or more years, you will still have encounters with the Lord which involve this: involve a change of position. We are up against that all the time: I am. After all this history, and how many, many times I have had to change position. Change position! I had thought my position was quite sound, right and true. I was convinced of it, and while it may have been in measure true, because in the sovereignty of God I was there. I came to discover that that was not all that fellowship with God's Son meant and it involved some very big changes of position.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   You are wondering what I am talking about? I wonder how I can illustrate it? Well, you know, I was a minister, a fully accredited minister of two denominations at the same time, and two of the biggest denominations in the country; fully accredited. I wonder if I'd better say this? Sometimes, you know, it's necessary in order to get such a thing as you have in this country, what is it called - cheap railway travel for ministers - what do you call that? To have your credentials! They ask you, "Well, you say you're a minister. Are you a minister? Really? Have you got credentials?" Well, I've been in the habit when I've come to this country, all through these years since the first time in 1925, to just throw into my case my certificate of credentials that I was, at one time, on the accredited list of these two denominations and I've got my certificate in my bag today. I thought perhaps... like Paul using his Roman citizenship... Is that all wrong? You'll know why I hesitated to say this now. But don't argue. There it was and I knew that the Lord led me into that connection, the denominational ministerial position. I know He did and I know why now, I didn't then, I knew He did because it was simply marvellous how it all happened; wonderful!

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   As a little boy I used to be taken by my mother to another part of London, to some meetings. And walking to the place of the meetings we passed a very big imposing building which was a Congregational Church, as it was called. I looked at that, and I said to myself, "It must be a tremendous thing to be the minister of a place like that..." it was at the other extreme end of London from where I lived at that time. And that was the church I went to as the minister! And how it happened was just, well, like that! What I'm saying is that I know that that was of God and I know He did it that I might have an insight, a thorough insight into the whole of that system. So that I would understand it and know all that "ministerialism" is, and all that "churchianity" is, all that the whole system of organized Christianity is; because I got an insight that is unusual.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   

Strangely enough, I have preached in some of the most important churches in London, including that of Dr. Campbell Morgan's and many others like that. I got thorough insight into the whole thing! It's tremendously valuable to have it from the inside - to know it through and through, to get its measure; and then the Lord just as deliberately took me right out of the whole thing, out of the whole system. Whereas in those days I wore the canonicals and all the rest, I'm in, what am I in? A tropical jacket! Now, you see what I mean?

And I look back, and I say: if that was really not God's thought concerning His Church (and it isn't) if that is not what we have in the New Testament as the Body of Christ, the heavenly Body of Christ, why did the Lord lead me in? "Just to show you the difference. Don't you know? You know and you can talk now out of knowledge! You haven't got a theory about churches and ministries and ministers and all that sort of thing: you know from the inside how far that will take you and how far it will leave you." And it's so after many years of it. See what I mean? I am illustrating.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   

Don't take this up and begin to say, "Well, then, I must leave my denominational church." No, that's not the point. The point is what God does with you. And my point is that as we go on with God, we come more and more to know the meaning of fellowship with His Son, these demands to change position are repeated and continued, and we haven't got to the end yet. I don't know what the next one is for me, if there is another one, but I am having today, to date, to change position.

I don't know how many of you do receive the little magazine that we edit, it goes out over the world, but if any of you do have it, in the September number you'll see what I mean by changing position. Perhaps I'll come back to that presently. [Probably in reference to the article published in September 1969: The Essential Newness of the New Creation]

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   

Over this whole matter the call goes on: "Come follow! Come follow. Come follow, where I go thou knowest not now, thou shalt know afterwards. The explanation and the vindication will come, but follow!" it was a crisis of position. It's the call with its involvement unto all that God has at the end. It may be that some of you are going to find this crisis this week, you've got to change position, change course. You come up against this, that you are as sure as anyone can be that you are right today, and then tomorrow you have a question about it.

Oh, how many men I have known in the course of my long life in that whole realm of things, and it's been a very wide realm, from far east to far west, through all the years in close touch with the whole of the thing, how many men, dear men, dear men who God has used, have I known to come to a crisis like this, which required a change of position, and they have said, "No" - gone away very sorrowful because they had great possessions.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   I remember one such man with a very honoured name, you would know the name perhaps, greatly used of the Lord, occupying a position of influence in the Anglican Church. And he got hold of a book of mine: "The Centrality and Universality of The Cross." And he read it, and he said to me, "I want to talk to you". We went to lunch and got talking. He said, "I read your book. I know you are right. I know you're right, I know that it represents a tremendous challenge to my position. It involves everything for me." He paused, then he said, "I can't. No. I cannot. I have found a place that I'm in a good post to preach out of, and I think that I had better stay there." What happened? The name faded out, the position faded out - he just went on and lost. Oh, what a tremendous thing he might have had, not by coming and accepting this book or anything like that, you see, but because God had met him with a challenge!

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   I was in India on one occasion at Bangalore. We were having the Lord's table and right in the front there were two fine, young Indian men, fine specimens of men they were; upright, and looked clean and so forth. And the Lord's table, and the loaf was brought and the cup. And I paused and I said, "Do you know what this means? This means everything for the Lord. You are taking these symbols of the Lord and saying He only and altogether is your life, your days, your future, your everything." They looked very serious. And one nodded his head "Yes" and took. I went to the other, I presented, he looked and passed; good-bye. The Lord met, one said "yes:" the other said, "I can't - it's too costly." I don't know, I can't tell you the issues in their history, but there it was, like that.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   

And so, any encounter with the Lord does involve this: change of position. It did with Abraham. It did with Moses. It did with David. It did with Isaiah. It did with the apostles. It did with Paul. And it's like that right on to the end. Don't think you've reached the end or that your present position is final. That's the trouble, isn't it?

Oh, be careful on any matter whatsoever of thinking and saying that you have got the final answer, that your position is it, that there is no more to it. People are saying today in groups that they, they, they have got "the truth". And my word - what a history has followed such a position. No. There are some things about which we can be quite sure of the Lord, of our salvation, and so on, but our knowledge of the Lord's ways - no, we have got to go on, hearing the call, hearing the call: a change of position and a change of object.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jul-15

   

Object... you could follow that into the life of the men mentioned, the object for which they were living, as illustrated by Isaiah. A change of object - what is your object? What is your object? What has you? Well, what a radical thing this was with the apostle Paul and the apostles, the earthly kingdom: "Wilt Thou at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?" The object? The earthly kingdom and their place in it, of course. "On the right hand and on the left, when Thou comest into Thy kingdom." This kingdom concept, it proved to be utterly false, and afterward, they had to have a revolution as to the object for which they were living and working.

I did want so much to say something about the purpose of the fellowship, all this is on the way, would you suffer me a few minutes longer? Because this really is what I want to get at; and I think probably it will be all that is necessary this week, where I am concerned.

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