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Now one has said this is the basis of everything. You have received a new Life; it is a brand new one such as you knew nothing of before. It is so absolutely fresh to us that in most things we are utter strangers to it in all its laws and workings; so that we now in a new life have got to learn everything over again from the beginning. We are babes - "Except ye become as babes ye cannot enter into the realm of the heavens." You cannot enter the Life of the Heavenly Man without beginning all over again. In the first place you have got to know all over again how to live by a new Life, and not by an old one which is called life, but which God calls "Death," and you will discover if you are really going on with the Lord in His own power, He will teach you that your life is utterly incapable of meeting the requirements of a Heavenly Life; that in no phase or resource of our own natural life can we rise to the demands of a Heavenly Life, and the Lord will all the time be smiting our life, and saying to us, no, you cannot attain unto this in your own resource, this thing can only be done by this new Life. Some of us who have so much of this old life - it is so strong in us - have to be very badly broken all the while in that realm and shown in a very drastic way that this can only be done by His Life, and it will be utterly fatal for us to attempt to do it otherwise. It will be fatal to all the purpose of God in us and through us if our life tries to get in there to do it. It is His Risen Life which is the accomplishing, the achieving, the executive principle of this new realm, and oh, it is so new.
That is where you start, and you will find the Lord works that out. If your life gets up and tries to intrude into the realm of things heavenly, the things of God, you will get smitten, and you will go down. You will discover the Lord simply brings you back to where you were, and you have to start all over again. That is the history of Christendom; it is the history of multitudes of those who profess to be the Lord's people, and everything has got to be learned all over again from babyhood. You have to learn how to walk in this Life and according to this Life, and the baby learning to walk just takes one step at a time - it may be in too much of a hurry with sometimes a tumble and much reaching out to cling on to something. It is learning to walk, finding its feet. It is just where we are in this thing, it is all so new, but we are learning how "to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," and we are learning by the law of this Life.
I do not want to be guilty of underrating your intelligence, but I wonder if you are able to see how this works; how this Life operates to dictate to you in the simplest things, the most commonplace things. You are about to say something, and if really you did listen inside you would hear something, not in word, but in feeling saying, "steady, careful now"; but then you say it. You did not give heed to that Life principle - what is the result? Well, a mess, and you know it; and when you come to sit down and reflect upon it you say, "really I did have a check inside, if only I had listened." It is "the law of the Spirit of Life" trying to "make you free from that law of sin and death." But you see you have learned now, and next time you listen. So in deed, so in methods; and the remarkable thing is that things you never for one moment had any shade of a doubt as to whether they were right and proper come into a realm of question. That is quite all right, you are moving on, you are discovering things, you are in a new world altogether. Things which were to the highest moral sense of the natural man quite correct, come into doubt now you have come into another realm so much higher. You see, you are learning how to walk by a new law of Life. And, beloved, listen, you may have accepted some system from without of laws for daily life, but the Life dictates what you should do, and what you should not do. You have this thing inside which is saying all the time, "yes," and "no"; "you may," and "you may not," and what we have to learn is to walk by that - the Life. And we learn very often by violating it, as we discover by its violation, death, and we have to have in that a hand to hand tussle with the Lord's enemy, with the death which has resulted from the resisting of that very, very sensitive still small voice of Life within. Of course, it is the Holy Spirit in all His intelligence working by the law of Life, because this is "the law of the Spirit of Life." The Spirit of Life in intelligence is not an abstract influence of some kind that is given unto us, it is the Holy Ghost Himself resident within, but His law is Life, and when the Holy Spirit is against the thing, there is death, and that is how we know.
Now we want to get right back here at the beginning. I have not got past that stage; here I make lots of blunders, and when I sit down and think it over, I know that I was warned, if only I had paused and waited and listened a little longer inside. But we are learning to talk all over again. Then we have to learn to TALK in newness of Life. You remember the word of the wise man "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue." You remember what James says, "The tongue is a little member, but see how great a forest is kindled by this little fire. A ship is a mighty thing, but see how mighty a ship a little rudder can turn," and he says "You can tame any beast in creation, but the tongue can no man tame." "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue." And what we need is Resurrection tongues! Oh, the death streams that go out through our talk, our conversation, our criticism, our talking people over; no bad intention, but just talking them over - death; and you know it. And after a little bit of that you know things have gone wrong; you have dropped down somewhere, and your spiritual life has been checked, blighted, and you have got to have a real good time with the Lord to be able to breathe freely again. You are learning all over again how to talk life. The Lord wants to make us talk in life, instead of death; to cut off by this life the stream of death. You cannot do it until you get life, more life to overcome the deadly poison of talk. You begin there, and don't let anybody think that the Lord will be able to use them with a message of life out to the world until they have learned how to speak in the ordinary way of life, according to life. Your testimony in the gospel, in spoken ministry, beloved, will be based upon this, that He hath touched your lips. "I am a man of unclean lips," and that testimony in that ministry will be completely crippled, paralysed, if in the ordinary conversation of life there is not this principle of Life at work controlling the death. Well, the Lord must teach us that.
I can see that more and more clearly we have got to learn how, by the Spirit, to refuse to discuss people, criticise people, talk people over. With some it is a greater besetment than with others, but with all of us there is a need for this hold of life over death in our lips. We learn to talk all over afresh, we stutter and splutter to begin with and put things wrongly, but we learn by this inward law that says all the time "you know you ought not to have said that." If only you had waited, you knew there was something that would have stopped you from saying it. There is this all the time - to live - to walk - to talk - to know.
We are learning a new knowledge according to the heavenly wisdom. One need not stay to speak about that at length, but we have got to come to know things all over afresh from a heavenly standpoint, and our natural wisdom as an expression of our natural life and resource, can never get us through on spiritual matters. You come up against some of the simplest spiritual matters, matters of God, and you will find your most highly and fully developed natural wisdom and knowledge cannot stand you in stead. You are beaten, you cannot handle this thing, and it is only a simple spiritual problem. You cannot get through with any resource of natural understanding, and you come to see that there is something behind these familiar admonitions of the Word - "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding." There is a big truth there, that your understanding can never get you through on spiritual matters, and that though we may have all knowledge according to this world, we simply fall right short of the simplest Divine knowledge, the gift of wisdom and revelation. It is a new knowledge. You can break that up into its many phases.
We know we cannot do things now as we used to do them, we have come to see that our works for the Lord are not necessarily the works of the Lord; that our multitude of activities in the Name of the Lord with the very best of motives and the purest of desires do not accomplish the end of God. We do not get through, we are beaten; we have gone out to do the Lord's work instead of coming to the place where He can do His own work through us. A big difference, a mighty difference! Beloved, unless the Lord does every bit of the work it will never be done, and the Lord's end will never be accomplished. And that is why the Lord has to tie us up sooner or later so that our own work - that is - our works for the Lord come to an end, and we recognise that it is death.