PAULFROMNYS

Bible talk

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.

  • 1689
    MEMBERS
  • 50392
    MESSAGES
  • 0
    POSTS TODAY

Discussions

The Ten Days Prior to Pentecost   T. Austin Sparks

Started Aug-19 by PAULFROMNYS; 115 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

The Ten Days Prior to Pentecost
by T. Austin-Sparks

Edited and supplied by the Golden Candlestick Trust.

Reading: Acts 1:1-9.

I have been trying to get into that period between the ascension of the Lord and the descent of the Holy Spirit, between the ascension and Pentecost, to enter into something of what was taking place in these apostles. For here we have a definitely defined period which undoubtedly had its place and its character in the whole course of the movements of God, these ten days from the fortieth to the fiftieth day, the day of Pentecost. Of course, there is a very great deal of teaching in the realm of type and symbol as to the fifty days and the firstfruits of the harvest, but I am not going to touch upon that at present. It is these ten days in particular which I feel hold something of very great value for us.

In reply toRe: msg 1
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

We know, of course, that forty days is the number of probation under testing all the way through the Old Testament and New Testament - a period of trial. When Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights, Israel were being sorely tried by his absence and they broke down under the trial. We know that the Lord Jesus was being put to it, in extreme severity, during the forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. We know of various other periods of that length; it was probation and testing under Divinely appointed conditions. But the ten days following upon the forty had their particular and peculiar meaning.

Ten the Number of Responsibility

Ten is the number of responsibility where those concerned have to take the weight of things themselves, in a sense. So these ten days after the ascension were a time in which, in a sense, things passed to the apostles. Up to that time, in the three and a half years of the Lord's earthly pre-crucifixion life, things were very largely almost entirely with Him. There was very little responsibility where they were concerned. In the forty days after His resurrection, again it was so much with Him, the initiative was with Him. He was appearing, He was going. Everything seemed to be entirely resting with Him. There was very little responsibility where they were concerned. But now, on His ascension and during these ten days, the responsibility passed to them. That is, they are called upon to face the situation, they are called upon to do something about it. They are left, and in a sense - not in the absolute sense that the Lord has forsaken them and that they have no longer any Lord - but in a sense now it is up to them, the matter rests with them.

In reply toRe: msg 2
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

The point is, what are they going to do about it? They could do one of two things. They could go back. He has gone, all that phase of things has passed. They are left, and they could just go back if they chose. Or they could go on. It is a strange situation; they have never had to face anything like this before. It is a position with which they had never before been confronted; altogether new. Are they going on? That is the challenge of the ten days - what would they do about it?

Now, it is at that point that we can ask some questions. They may, so far as these men were concerned, be imaginary questions, but so far as the Lord's people are concerned, they are not imaginary, they are questions which arise out of actual experience and spiritual history.

In reply toRe: msg 3
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

Our Attitude in the Face of the Inexplicable

First of all, these men might have been overwhelmed by the mystery of everything. The whole thing might have been to them a tremendous mystery. That does not need to be broken up and explained. You have only got to think a little of all that had gone before and then of all that eventuated in the Cross, and then of all this strange unearthly kind of thing during the forty days, and now this going up. It could constitute a tremendous mystery to entirely defeat all their powers of comprehension and understanding and definition, and in the presence of the mystery, the strangeness, the unearthliness, the exception - unheard of experiences - they could have said, "This is all beyond us, we cannot cope with this!" They could have been paralysed by the mystery of it all and done nothing; or, as I have said, they could have said, "Let us get back to our simple, practical, everyday life of boats and nets and so on". Whether that ever did happen in their case or not, I cannot prove, but I am perfectly certain that there will be one, or more than one, in this room who understands that, for these are realms into which the Lord launches us, depths beyond us into which He precipitates us, the things which are incapable of being explained and defined by human wit and ingenuity and wisdom, the experiences which are not natural.

In reply toRe: msg 4
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

Yes, the mystery of a life off this earth with the Lord can bring us to a standstill, to bewilderment, where there could be a reaction of: "Let us get back to simple, practical realms of things where everything is straightforward, this is all too much beyond us!" Do you know anything about that? What are you going to do about it? That is the question of the ten days in the presence of complete defeat of all natural powers to cope with these heavenly things - proved defeat, defeat which has really brought to a standstill - for that is where they were. It presents a very real challenge as to what we are going to do about it. Are we going on, or are we going to say, "It is too much, too big, too inexplicable: let us come down to simplicities and practicalities."

Well, if you follow through with these epistles, you will find that that is where their whole future life is going to be lived, and things are not going to become simpler in the natural sense, they are going to be forced into ever deeper waters. This very Peter is going to find himself in new depths where he has never fished before when he is confronted with the house of Cornelius and the sheet let down from heaven. The Church is going that way. It will never be able to cope with what God is doing. It will never be able to comprehend God or to explain God.

In reply toRe: msg 5
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

It will never be able to comprehend God or to explain God.

God will always be inexplicable, past finding out. They may come to glory in that, as Paul did when he said, "How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past tracing out!" (Rom. 11:33). That was the glory of the Church later, but God's ways involve very severe testing at times. Here, right at the beginning, before they were allowed to move out and become active and have a lot of engrossing activity to smooth over the thing (for we can make activity a means of just glossing over or shelving problems) before they were allowed to touch the work, they had to face this question: what are you going to do about it? That may or may not have been actually present to their minds, but it is undoubtedly inherent in the ten days of passing over to them in a very real sense the responsibility, and I take it that that was at least partly included in the Lord's saying, "Wait, until...".

In reply toRe: msg 6
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

The Possibility of a Too-Cautious Attitude

Then again, they might very well at that point when He left them have been seized by a great caution when they found themselves left to themselves and on their own. They might have become extremely cautious, "Well, you know, we did take a step before, we left all and followed Him, but we made a terrible hash of it. And just remember what a mess we made of it all, how it finished up when He was crucified and He was with us then, He has gone now; might we not make an even worse mess without Him, being left on our own?" And when you think of what they had to face, what they had to meet, all that organised antagonism to Him and His Name and to all related to Him, and He was not with them now, He has gone, it was no small proposition that confronted them.

In reply toRe: msg 7
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-19

   

And so they might have become very cautious in the light of past experience and in the light of the greatness of the situation which was before them, and the consciousness of their own limitations and weakness having been forced upon them. And the question arose again, "What are you going to do about it? Are you going to be very cautious, very careful, not commit yourself or let yourself go? How far do you capitulate or have reserves and go carefully?" That is undoubtedly something that might well have arisen for them. I think it would have in my case if I had been there with the same experience, the experience of past failure, terrible failure, so far as we ourselves are concerned, failure for which we could never forgive ourselves, that terrible breakdown and that terrible hash made of the thing under what seemed to be the most favourable conditions with Him present.

Now that we have made one mess, we will be very careful not to make another, and we will not capitulate, we will not let go, we will just hold ourselves very much in, and be very careful and become marked by a certain reserve. You may say that would be very commendable, quite a right thing. But, in the light of the situation into which they were moving, in the light of their calling, such caution, such reserve, would be unbelief, would be a positive lack of faith. So we find that they got through their time of the ten days and they were not by any means characterised by caution in this sense of feeling their way in a kind of 'pussyfoot' manner, not putting their feet down lest they might make a mistake. They are men who have committed themselves, they are in it up to the eyes for good or bad, there is no doubt about it.

TOP