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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 #21   T. Austin Sparks

Started Nov-5 by PAULFROMNYS; 29 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-5

   

The self-hood broken, broken vessels for heavenly eternal fulness.

The Cross is necessary for our breaking. It is not a pleasant note, I know, but in all faithfulness it must be said. This is the Lord's word to you: that if you are not broken by the Cross, if you have not gone through an experience of real brokenness under the hand of God, all that the Lord means in you and through you will still be suspended, it will be impossible. If the Cross means one thing, it does mean that the Cross is the way to the glory and to heavenly fulness. It is the way of an inward breaking. Let me be very precise, because I know of different kinds of brokenness. I know the brokenness of disappointments, of disappointed hopes and expectations, but the kind of brokenness I am talking about is the brokenness of the self-hood, the strength of Self that holds its position and holds its ground and that will not let go. That is the kind of brokenness. This self-strength, whether it be intellectual and mental or whether it be emotional or whether it be in the will, that strength of the natural life has got to be broken as truly as the sinew of Jacob's thigh had to be touched and withered. Something like that has to happen in us that we carry through the rest of our days. God has done something in the realm of our self-hood and we are broken men and women so far as self-sufficiency, self-assertiveness, self-confidence and every other form of Self is concerned. It must be. With all that had happened, these happenings in Jerusalem of which they spoke, there was still a question as to whether there was real inward brokenness, whether it was not something more superficial than that in relation to things.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-5

   

With all that had happened, these happenings in Jerusalem of which they spoke, there was still a question as to whether there was real inward brokenness, whether it was not something more superficial than that in relation to things.

Then again, there was a tradition, there was an inheritance, there was an association with God's things and there was all that the Scriptures held. They had got it. The Lord assumes here that they had got it. He was not talking to men who did not know the Bible. He was talking to men who knew the Bible and had all that the Scriptures held. And, in the case of some of them, there was all that three years and more of association with Christ represented. There was all that: a tradition, a great tradition, a wonderful tradition, a religious tradition, the oracles and the promises and the inheritance... all that. There was all the content of a large Bible knowledge, and then in addition there was this personal association with Jesus Himself spreading over a time, where they heard what He said, all that He said. They saw what He did, and yet with all that there was a vital something lacking. Is that not the upshot of it? They had all that long tradition, all that volume of Scriptures, and they had all that this personal contact with Jesus meant, and yet there was that something so vital lacking, that all that they had did not carry them through this tremendous upheaval or stand them in stead through this ordeal and save them in the day of the testing. So with all that they had, there was a vital something lacking. You do not need me to say that that is so often true. There is the great tradition, the great Christian tradition, there is the great inheritance from those who have gone before and handed it down, and there is some kind of an association with Christ and yet for many there is the lack of this vital something.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-5

   

and yet for many there is the lack of this vital something.

The value of everything is its livingness. The value of the Scriptures is not that we know our Bibles and can handle our Bibles and can give addresses, wonderful addresses, from our Bibles, and that we can quote Scripture fully and accurately and all that sort of thing. It is not that we bear the name of associates of Christ, Christians, not that we have this great inheritance and tradition. It is the livingness of it all which is proving itself in all ways; that this risen Life of Christ should prove itself. They just had not got that, and, having all the rest, it did not amount to anything when put to the test. That is a strong thing to say, it is a searching thing to say. You have the Christian tradition and a great deal of Christian teaching, perhaps you know your Bibles very well, or think you do, perhaps you have many advantages in your associations, but the question arises. Not, Do you know it all, have you got it all, all the teaching, the truth, the Bible knowledge, the association, and that you are at all the meetings and you have heard it for years and years past and your association with it has been very close. That is not it. You can have all that and yet you yourself not be marked by this vital something that you become a vital factor in the whole thing. You are still a passenger, perhaps a parasite; not really in the good of it yourself. Let us be frank about it. We must face this as a personal matter.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-5

   

We must face this as a personal matter.

Resurrection the Answer

The answer is in the resurrection. That is the answer to these men, and it is the answer to us. What I mean by that is not the historic fact or a part of the Christian creed. I mean that resurrection is a vital principle as well as an historic fact. It is something which precedes and continues as a mighty force to be known, experienced and expressed continually right through to the end. That is the resurrection and the answer is there. That is, that resurrection is not to be only something that happened with Jesus, but it is something that has happened in us and taken place inside of us. There is a counterpart of that by His risen Life imparted, that we have been raised together with Him. And that is not just doctrine either. That is real, that is vital truth and something to happen in us as well as in Jerusalem so many years ago. It is not just history and tradition, it is experience. Someone, being asked the question - What does history teach us? - answered, History teaches us that history teaches us nothing! And that is very true. The history of past wars, what has it taught us, what is it teaching us? "History teaches us that history teaches us nothing." And it can be like that with Christian doctrine for all practical purposes and outworkings. It may still be the great facts of history unrelated to our present life, and that will not do. We have not only to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but we have got to be alive ourselves with Him in that resurrection and on that ground.

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From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-5

   

We have not only to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but we have got to be alive ourselves with Him in that resurrection and on that ground.

The Touch of the Lord to Open Inner Eyes

You notice that something happened, and this was the happening upon which all the happenings waited. In the first part of the story as to the men, it is put as though it did just happen. In the later part of the story with those in Jerusalem, it is by His own act. And I believe that both are the same, that the fact that their eyes were holden that they should not know Him, was a divine act. Therefore, if they did behold Him suddenly, it was a divine act. In the second case later in Jerusalem it says, "Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures." The point is that there must be a definite, precise touch of the living Lord upon our inner eyes. All the rest that we may possess of which I have been speaking will be latent and inoperative and unavailing until that something has happened in us which is contained in this: that their eyes were opened. And then He opened their minds, that touch of the Spirit of the living Lord upon inner eyes which opens a new world, gave them a new Bible, but it was the old Bible come to life. They never knew what a Bible they had; it was a new world altogether.

They were like people who had never seen suddenly being given their sight. It was a touch of the new creation Life which brought an entirely new world into view. It was like that. We are all darkened, we are all blind, whatever our basis as to our associations and our traditions and our inheritance and our study. We are all blind until He touches us with the power of resurrection and we see. That is a thing that no preacher can explain or define. That is a thing that no one who has the experience can make others understand. One man born blind had sight given to him and they tried to get him to explain, to define, to give some account. The poor fellow was hard put to it, and at last said, 'I don't know', "one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see" (John 9:25). That is all there is to it. It is the wonder, the inexplicable wonder of just seeing, of getting an open heaven, a faculty comes into life which removes the dome from over your head, and from that time you are in the good of a seeing which makes all the difference.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-5

   

That is very simple, but I am perfectly certain that this has an application far beyond what many of us might allow. I know many who have a vast and wonderful Bible knowledge, better than I have by a long way, and who have a wonderful tradition and background and upbringing and inheritance and know all the truth and can put you right on any point, but I know that I do not meet the touch of Life. It is all so cold, so exact, it is so icily correct. It does not minister Life and release.

You see, we can go a long way with that sort of thing and just not see. Of course, we do not know that we are not seeing and that is the trouble. But oh, the point is that here are facts true to life and every one of us ought really to be very honest about this, and our honesty may have to take us to the point where, believing with all our might that we know and see, we hold it before the Lord that it may possibly be that we are not seeing after all, with that meekness which is always before the Lord, even though we may have assurance about some things. 'Lord, if I am wrong, and there is every possibility of my not being absolutely right on all points, keep me checked up. Do not let me think I am right always, that my position over against everybody else's is a right one'. Oh, God deliver us from the ever present possibility of not being right when we think most surely we are! It is something not to make us uncertain in life, but it is something to keep us before the Lord ever open to new light, for when we close the case in finality, that is the day of our doom. "The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His word". Openness, meekness and the ever present possibility of there being revelation that will just make all the difference, even to us.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Nov-5

   

 Openness, meekness and the ever present possibility of there being revelation that will just make all the difference, even to us.

Oh, this breaking work of the Cross, this opening up work of the Cross... this touch of the Spirit of the risen Lord upon us inwardly which brings new vistas into view, and makes us children of a new creation, seeing all things anew! Unless something like that is true of us, or becomes true of us if it is not already, all our teaching is in vain. These messages will not mean anything. Will you have a very humble dealing with the Lord? Do not let any dislike of the way it is put or dislike for the person who puts it or any argumentativeness come in and cloud the issue. The Lord is wanting something with you and for you. Do not let any prejudice or suspicion or anything like that rob you. Be very humble, down before the Lord if it is like this. 'I have been quite sure of my position, I have withstood all others about my position, yet I may be wrong.' There is no one incapable of being wrong. You have a dealing like that with the Lord so that He has His opportunity to get you into the place, or more fully into the place, of adjustment to all that wonderful going on afterwards that we find when this work of brokenness and of mending was accomplished in these men.

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