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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 23

In His redemption, Christ purchased for us certain rights.  To us they are the free gifts of God's mercy, utterly undeserved by us. To Him they are simply the fulfillment of a covenant whose condition He has met, and whose promises He is entitled to claim to the full.

These rights we share with Him. While in one sense, we ourselves have no rights as sinners to anything but punishment and banishment, in union with Him we are entitled to all that He has purchased by His righteousness and blood. We may come to God and claim from His justice and faithfulness all the worth of our Saviour's atonement.

Suppose that one of my friends was to go to a leading business and order for me a large and valuable bill of goods. Then he would send me word that the goods were paid for and that I was requested to go and select the full amount of the deposit.

There would be no modesty in my hesitating to take the very best quality of goods. There would be no kindness to my friend in acting before the clerks of that store as if I was a pauper and receiving a gratuity. My most becoming course would be to act with manly independence and claim the full measure of my friends' purchase.

From my friend it may have been a gift, but for the business house it is a purchase, and fully paid and involving on my part every right of simple justice.

Exactly so, Christ has purchased for us a complete salvation, and paid for it to the full. In His name, we may come and buy wine and milk, the choicest blessings, without money and without price. We buy without money, because He has paid the price. Yet we buy in the sense of making it absolutely our own.

When we fully realize that we do this by fully standing with Christ in all His rights, we enter into the perfect love that casts our fear. No longer do we hold back, like the prodigal, in the servant's place. Prodigals, indeed, we are, but we have become, in our Elder Brother, more than sons and daughters. Let us draw near, therefore, in full assurance and with fearless confidence, and dwell in the Father's house in perfect love.

Children of God 

In His Sonship, we become children of God.  "I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (John 20:17). Our heavenly sonship is not natural. We are not children of God by virtue of creation, as angels are and Adam was, but through the new birth, initially, which makes us partakers of the divine nature, and, still more, through our personal union with the Lord Jesus Christ, who so comes into us and dwells in us that we partake of His own relation to the Father, and are the children of God, even as He is. This is especially true after we enter into the deeper life of abiding in Christ, and receive the full baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There are two terms used for children in the New Testament. One, "teknon", meaning a child; the other, "buios", meaning a son in the most exclusive sense in which the term can be used. Jesus is never called "teknon", but always "buios" - never a child of God, but always the Son of God; tat is, the only begotten and well-beloved Son.

Now, we are called "tekna", in the Scriptures; that is, the children of God. After a certain point in our experience, the careful student of the original Scriptures will not fail to notice that the higher word for sonship - the word that exclusively belongs to Jesus - is also given to those who have received Jesus to abide in them. United to Him, they have come into His own very place with the Father, and are the sons of God in the very same sense that He is. Wonderful, glorious place! - that as He is, so are we also!

Even as the wife is received in the husband's home, we are wedded to Him and inherit His high prerogative.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 34)

What We Could Not Do For Ourselves

"I have finished the work thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4)

The work of salvation was something that Christ Himself had to do, and He could therefore speak of it as being done. "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Now I want to put that in the form of a negative like this: The Lord Jesus Christ did not come into this world to tell us what we have to do; He came Himself to do something for us that we could never do for ourselves. These negatives are all so essential, because there are people who believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, but if you ask them what He came into this world to do, their answer will be that He came to tel us what we must do ourselves. Or they talk about good works and say that if we do this or that, we will make ourselves Christian and make ourselves right with God. No! Our Lord says here, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

The truth that we have to take hold of is that which is emphasized here, and the best way to understand it is to consider what it was He did, and, too, what He was doing beforehand. He came to do certain things Himself, and we are saved by what Christ has done for us, and not by what He tells us to do. The work of salvation is His work and His doing, and He came specifically to do it; and here, in these words, He looks ahead, as it were, to His death on the Cross, as well as back to what He has already done. Under the shadow of the Cross, He reviews the whole work, and He is able to say, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." "I have completed it." So a very good way of testing whether we have a right or wrong way of looking at salvation is to ask ourselves whether we see Christian salvation as something that is exclusively and entirely the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Thought to Ponder: Christ came to do something for us that we could never do for ourselves.

~Martyn Lloyd-Jones~

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 22

He hung upon the Cross in our name, and His dying has as effectually settled all the claims of God's law against us as if we had been executed for our own crimes and had already passed through all the pains and penalties of hell. How can we help loving such a Friend? What will we fear when He Himself has taken our very sins? It is only as we realize this fully that we will live in the perfect love that casts out all fear.

As He is in His Resurrection, so are we in this world.  For we are not only dead with Him, but we also live with Him. The life we now live is not the same as our past. The saved man is no longer himself. He is dead, and the man who lives in his stead is a new man in Christ Jesus. He can truly say: "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). It is not the same man. Your old sins are regarded as the sins of another. You are even as He. God recognizes not the old man, but the Christ in you, and receives you as He does His own beloved Son. Why then should you be afraid? Only realize your unity with Him, and His perfect love will cast out all fear.

As He is in his acceptance by the Father, so are we also in this world.  For, "he has freely given us [His glorious grace] in the One he loves" (Ephesians 1:6), or, literally, in the Son of His love. That is to say, we are accepted even as the Son of His love is. We are as dear as the Son of His love is. The word "accepted" means received with complacency and delight- God is pleased with us for Jesus' sake, even as He is with Christ Himself.

A Scottish shepherd had a ewe that had lost her lamb, while another lamb was motherless. Vainly he tried to make the lambless mother accept the motherless lamb. She would have nothing to do with it, but pushed it rudely from her with cruel and heartbroken anger, because it only reminded hr of the one she had lost.

At length a sudden solution occurred to him. He took the skin of the dead lamb and with it he covered the living one. Then he brought it to the offended mother. Instantly her whole manner changed to the tenderest affection. She welcomed the lamb with a mother's tenderness, caressed it, washed it, fed it from her bosom and treated it as if it were the very lamb she had lost.

So He has made us accepted in the Beloved. So He receives us even as His own dear Son.

We Are One With Him

In His ascension glory we are one with Him.  His ascension was not for Himself. He has sat down at the right hand of God, far above all principality and power, and every name that is named, not for Himself, but for us. He is there as our Head, we are here as His body. He has taken His seat there in our names, and written our names on the places prepared for us.

Just as you have sometimes gone into some great assembly and held not your own seat, but also the seats which you have reserved for your friends until they should come, so Jesus is sitting for us on high and holding our places until we go. "He is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18); "which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way" (Ephesians 1:23). God always thinks of us as if we were there. Let us think of ourselves and live as in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

~ A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 23)

God's Will and Ours

"Thy will be done" (Matthew 26:42)

It is the high prerogative of God that everything in heaven and earth is to be done according to His will and as the fulfillment of His desires. When He made man in His image it was, above all, that his desires were to be in perfect accord with the desires of God - that we are to feel and wish just as God. In human flesh man was to be the embodiment and fulfillment of God's desires.

When God created mankind with the power of willing and choosing what he should be, He limited Himself in the exercise of His will. And when man had fallen and yielded himself to the will of God's enemy, God in His infinite love set about the great work of winning man back to make the desires of God his own. As in God so in man, desire is the great moving power. And just as man had yielded himself to a life of desire after the things of the earth and the flesh, God had to redeem him and to educate him into a life of harmony with Himself. His one aim was that man's desire should be in perfect accord with His own.

The great step in this direction was when the Son of the Father came into this world to reproduce the Divine desires in His human nature and in His prayer to yield Himself up to the perfect fulfillment of all that wished and willed. The Son, as Man, said in agony and blood, "Thy will be done," and made the surrender even to being forsaken of God, that the power that had deceived man might be conquered and deliverance procured. It was in the wonderful and complete harmony between the Father and the Son when the Son said, "Thy will of love be done," that the great redemption was accomplished.

And this is now the great work of appropriating that redemption that believers have to say, first of all for themselves and then in lives devoted to intercession for others: "Thy will be done in heaven as on earth." As we plead for the Church - its ministers and its missionaries, its strong Christians or heathen, we have the privilege of knowing that we are pleading for what God wills and that through our prayers His will  is to be done on earth as in heaven.

Our Heavenly Father, "Thy will be done in heaven as on earth." Amen

~Andrew Murray~

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 21

During the French War of 1870, a train was carrying military dispatches from Metz to the headquarters of the French army. The Germans had just captured Metz, and were marching rapidly to cut off the French army. It was necessary that the dispatches should reach the post within an hour. The distance was 60 or 70 miles. The road was rough; the train consisted of a single coach and locomotive. The speed was like a whirlwind, and the passengers, consisting of the wife and child of the engineer, the bearer of the dispatches and a newspaper correspondent, were hurled around in the dashing, rushing train, like sailors in a frightful storm.

To say that they were alarmed would be little, for they were in imminent and deadly peril. Every moment threatened to pitch the furious train over some embankment or bridge. Rolling from side to side, leaping at times in the air, rushing, roaring on past stations, everything made way for this whirlwind of desperate speed and energy. The few people inside held their breath in dismay, and often cried out with terror as they dashed along. But there was one person on that car, the little child of the engineer, who knew nothing of their fears. Happy as a bird amid all the excitement around her, she laughed aloud in  childish glee and merriment as often as the train would give some wild lurch and hurl her over a seat. When they looked at her in wonder, and her mother asked her if she was not afraid, she looked up and answered: "Why, my father is at the engine!"

A little later the engineer came through the car to cheer up his trembling wife. As he entered with great drops of sweat rolling down his soot-stained face, the little girl leaped into his arms and laid her head upon his bosom, as happy and peaceful as if she was lying on her little bed at home. What a picture of the perfect love that casts out fear! What a lesson for the children of the Heavenly Father!

Look at your little, lisping babe putting his hand in yours and letting you lead him where you, and learn to trust and love the Father who cannot err, forget or fail. This is the remedy for every fear - the fear of man, the fear of yourself, the fear of satan, the fear of death, the fear of falling, the fear of the future. Only love Him and rest in His love, and you will dwell safely and be quiet from the fear of evil.

What a life ours would be if we were fully saved from our fears! How many of our worst troubles are those that never come! God give us the perfect love that casts out fear!

The Secret of His Love

"Because in this world we are like him" (1 John 4:17). This  love is the fruit of faith. It is the blossom that grows on the fair tree of trust. Its roots are in the very heart of Jesus. Its life is nourished by His very life and love. It is as we realize what He is to us and what we are to Him, that we enter into the fullness of His love.

There is no stronger statement anywhere in God's Word of our intimate and absolute union with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It does not mean that some day we shall be like Him, but here, and now, as He is, so are we in this world.

We are one with Him in His death. His death was our death, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died" (2 Corinthians 5:14)

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 22)

Faith Must Rest in the Adequacy of Christ

"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Corinthians 1:25)

Science and philosophy are more arrogant and bigoted than religion could ever possibly be, and still they try to brand evangelical Christians as bigots.

But I have never taken my Bible and gone into the laboratory and tried to tell the scientist how to conduct his experiments, and I would thank him if he didn't bring his test tube into the holy place and tell me how to conduct mine!

The scientist has nothing he can tell me about Jesus Christ our Lord. There is nothing he can add, and I do not need to appeal to him.

Studying the philosophers may clarify my thinking and may help me broaden my outlook, but it is not necessary to my salvation. I have studied Plato and the rest of them from the time I was knee-high to a rubber worker in Akron, Ohio. But I have never found that Plato added anything, finally, to what Jesus Christ has said.

You know what Jesus said: "I am the Light that lighteth every man. I am the Bread that feedeth every man. I am the One who came from the heart of the Father, and I am the Eternal Word which was in the beginning with God, and which was and is God, and that's who I am."

So, we are assured in the Word that it is Jesus only and He is enough! It is not Jesus plus a lot of other religions. It is not Jesus plus a lot of other philosophies. He is the Eternal Word, and so we must listen to Him!

~A. W. Tozer~

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 20

Live By the Moment

We must not live by long intervals, but by the breath and by the moment.  Each instant must be dedicated and presented to God, a ceaseless sacrifice, and each breath be poured into His bosom and received back from His being.

We must learn to recover instantly from failure by frank confession and prompt faith and recommittal. It is possible to catch ourselves before we have really fallen. God does not count it a fall if we do not yield to it. Unseen hands are ever near to bear us up even when we dash our foot against a stone. The remedy is found even before the danger has become effectual.

There is provision for every failure in the blessed promise, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). There is something higher and better than this, the grace that is able to keep us from stumbling, and check us even before the fall is accomplished. So He is willing to keep us even as the apple of the eye, reminded of the danger before it has become fatal, and instinctively closing the eyelids against its intrusion.

Let us remember that the whole spirit, soul and body must be trained to abide in Christ. The life He gives us is not a self-contained endowment but a link of dependence, and every part of our beings must continually draw its replenishment and nature from our living Head, and thus be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Even as He

John, the apostle of love, gives us a picture of perfect love, and its source in perfect faith and union with the Lord Jesus Christ. For this is the force of the passage: "Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him" (1 John 4:17). It is the full realization of our oneness with Jesus that gives us perfect love.

We are sitting at the feet of the greatest teacher of love. We are leaning from him who himself leaned on the Master's breast, and learned all He knew of love from the living touch of His heart.

Perfect Love

It is evident that the love he refers to is our love to God. The phrase, "Perfect love drives out all fear" (1 John 4:18), explains what he means by perfect love. It is a love that has no doubt or dread in it, but leans confidently on the bosom of the Lord, trusts in the darkest hours with unfaltering confidence. Even in the day of judgment it will stand with boldness amid the tumult and the wreck of a dissolving world, and claim its place in the friendship of the Judge who sits upon the throne.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 21)

Listening for God's Voice

"But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (Matthew 6:6)

Imagine yourself standing in the middle of a full auditorium, with thousands of people surrounding you. If every person there was speaking at the same time, would it be possible to hear any individual in the great crowd? More than likely, you would never be able to distinguish one voice from another.

This same principle holds true for our prayer lives. In our normal, everyday lives, we are surrounded by countless voices in need of our attention. Our children cry for it, our employers demand it, and our loved ones yearn for it. With all of these calls, it it any wonder that God's voice sometimes seems so muffled or distant?

Effective meditation demands seclusion. If we do not make an effort to find a moment or two to escape the demands of our daily lives, then our ability to hear God's voice will be weakened.

Jesus was well aware of this need for isolation. In teaching the disciples how to pray, Jesus told them to go into their rooms and close the door behind them. He knew that it was vital to take a break from the demands of life in order to truly commune with the Father.

The modern world works against this need, however. Mobile phones, email, and other technological advances have brought us the blessing - and the curse - of constant communication.

As some point today, turn off the television, cell phone, and computer, and simply listen for His voice. Your schedule will not surrender time easily, so make a decision to claim a block of time for the Lord.

~Charles Stanley~

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 19

Lying like John in His bosom, let us each reckon ourselves to be the disciple whom Jesus loved. Like Enoch, let us claim by faith the testimony that we please God, and looking up with confidence we shall find His responsive smile and benediction. The true secret of pleasing God is to trust Him, believe in His love for us, be artless children and count ourselves beloved of God.

Reasonable and Gentle Standard

Let us remember that God's will for us is not a hard and impossible task but a reasonable, practicable and gentle standard. He is not continually frowning upon us because we cannot reach some astonishing height, or imitate some prodigy of martyrdom and service, but He expects of us a simple, faithful life in the quiet sphere which He has assigned to us. We are truly blameless in His sight when we are following, moment by moment, His perfect will in life's duties as they meet us.

He adapts the standard of duty according to our circumstances and ability. The parent expects less of the lisping child than the teacher does of the older student or the employer does of the full grown man. God knows our strength, and His "yoke is easy and  His burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). Therefore, let us not reprove ourselves because we have not yet reached some ideal that, by and by, we shall have attained to. Are we meeting His will today and saying yes to His claims as the moments pass? Then, indeed, we are blameless in His sight.

At the same time, let us not allow this comfort to allure us to a false extreme. If, on the other hand, God is pressing us forward by His Spirit to higher reaches, let us not be content with less, for  we shall not be blameless unless we press forward that we may apprehend all for which we are apprehended of Christ Jesus. With many of us, God is not finding fault for actual disobedience, perhaps, but for shortcoming and a too easy contentment with past attainments. The great question is: Are we obedient to the voice of His Spirit as He calls us onward, step by step?

Implicit Obedience

Implicit obedience to every voice of God and every conviction of duty is essential to a blameless life.  One moment's hesitation to obey, one act of willful disobedience, will plunge us into darkness, cause withdrawal of His conscious presence from the heart, and leave the soul disarmed and exposed to temptation and sin. Those who have become wholly sanctified have given up the right of self-will and disobedience forever. It is not to be thought of even for a moment that we should hesitate to say yes to His every voice. True, we may not know His voice at all times, but in such cases He will always give us time. When w are convicted of His will and convinced of His way for us, there is no alternative but obedience or a fearful fall and a complete loss of the divine communion. 

We must preserve ceaseless communion with God, and abide in the spirit of prayer and fellowship through the Holy Spirit. The interruption of our communion for an hour might lose a step. That lost step might lead us from the pathway of His perfect will and the fellowship of His presence for days to come, or, at least, leave us a step behind, and therefore not blameless.

We must maintain a quiet spirit. It should be free from the turmoil and agitation of anxious care and inward strife, and still enough to always hear His voice. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). This is the soul's defense if we would be preserved blameless. Therefore let the peace of God rule in your hearts, and regard with apprehension and alarm even a moment's interruption of your quietness and inward rest.

We must jealously guard our hearts and thoughts. We should not feel ourselves at liberty to drift into the current of all the imaginations that are ever ready to sweep through the brain, and the idle words in which even Christian people are always ready to involve us. If you are walking closely with God and watching for His voice, you will be quickly conscious of a constraint, a weight upon your mind, a repression upon your heart, a deep tender sense of God's anxiety for His child - the mother calling her little birdlings to her soft wing from the place of peril. Truly "He that guards his lips guards his soul" (Proverbs 13:3). These outward gates are places of danger, and the path of safety is a hidden one.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 20)

Intercession in the Plan of Redemption

"O Thou that hears prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come" (Psalm 65:2)

When God gave the world into the power of man, made in His own image, who should rule over it as a viceroy under Him, it was His plan that Adam should do nothing but with God and through God, and God Himself would do all His work in the world through Adam. Adam was in very deed to be the owner, master, and ruler of the earth. When sin entered the world, Adam's power was proved to be a terrible reality, for through him the earth with the whole race of man was brought under the curse of sin.

When God made the plan of redemption, His object was to restore man to the place from which he had fallen. God chose His servants of old who, through the power of intercession, could ask what they would, and it should be given them. When Christ became man, it was that, as man, both on earth and in heaven, He might intercede for man. And before He left the world, He imparted this right of intercession to His disciples in the seven-fold promise of the Farewell Discourse (John 15-17), that whatsoever they should ask, He would do for them. God's intense longing to bless seems in some sense to be graciously limited by His dependence on the intercession that rises from the earth. He seeks to rouse the spirit of intercession that He may be able to bestow His blessing on mankind. God regards intercession as the highest expression of the people's readiness to receive and to yield themselves wholly to the working of His almighty power.

Christians need to realize this as their true nobility and their only power with God - the right to claim and expect that God will hear their prayer. It is  only as God's children begin to see what intercession means in regard to God's Kingdom that they will realize how solemn their responsibility is.

Each individual believer will be let to see that God waits for him to take his part. He will feel in very truth that the highest, the most blessed, the mightiest of all human instrumentalities for the fulfillment of the petition, "as in heaven, so on earth", is the intercession that rises day and night, pleading with God for the power of Heaven to be sent down into the hearts of men. Oh that God might burn into our hearts this one thought.

~Andrew Murray~

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 18

There is a most beautiful incident related in the annals of the early Church by Mrs. Jamieson. A holy and exceedingly beautiful maiden in Antioch become the object of the sinful passion of a heathen nobleman. Unable to win her affection, he employed a magician to throw over her a fatal spell and win her in the toils of his snare. The magician himself became enamored of the fair girl, and sold himself to the devil on condition that he should be given power to captivate her with unholy passion. He began to apply all his arts, and throw over her mind the fascinating spell o his own imaginations. Suddenly the poor girl found herself, like a charmed bird, possessed by feelings and apparently by passions to which she had always been a stranger. Her pure heart was horrified by constant visions from which her whole being recoiled, and yet it seemed to her that she must herself be polluted and degraded. She began to lose all hope and to stand on the verge of a despair which was impelling her to throw herself away in hopeless abandonment to the power that possessed her.

In this condition of mind she went to see her bishop. This good man, with quick discernment, immediately pointed out to her that these influences and feelings were not from her own heart at all, but spells from the will of another. Their only power consisted in her fears and her recognition of them as her own. If she would stand firm in her will, refusing in the name of the Lord to acknowledge them as her thoughts, and disdaining either to fear them or for a moment to consent to them, their power would be wholly broken.

Unutterably comforted by this wise counsel, she returned to her home and set her face, in the strength of Christ, against these allurements of evil, and immediately she found them broken. Soon the magician became conscious that his power was ended and came to her in deep contrition, confessing his sin and asking her forgiveness and her prayers. It is said that afterwards he yielded himself to the Lord, having been convicted by the triumph of the grace of Christ through a pure and trusting will.

This little incident tells the whole story. Let us never reckon any temptation to be our own sin, by stand steadfast in our purpose, and God will give us the victory.

Reckon ourselves dead

Let us continually reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin. We should detach our spirits from every evil thing that touches them, tell the devil that these are his children, not ours. Those temptations he lays at our doors, refuse to acknowledge any relationship with them. Keep the hatches down, and as long as they do not get into the hold of our little vessel we can sail on not fearing the worst. As we so reckon, Christ will reckon, and make the reckoning true for us.

Let us reckon Christ to be in us and recognize Him as the indwelling Life and Keeper of our spirit, soul and body. It is a great principle that where we recognize God, there God will meet us. Recognize Him in the heavens and He will meet us in the heavens. Recognize Him by our side and He will speak to us from beside us. Recognize Him in our inmost heart and He will meet us there. Let us trust Him as a faithful Keeper. Let us set the Lord always before us, and say with the psalmist: 'Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken" (Psalm 16:8).

Let us abide in the love of Christ. Let us persuade ourselves that He loves us infinitely and perfectly, delights in us continually, and is wholly committed to us to carry us through and fulfill in us all the good pleasure of His will. Let us not think that we must wring from Him, by hard constraint and persuasion, the blessings which our faith compels. Rather He has set His heart on our highest good and is working out for us, in His loving purpose, all that we can receive of blessing.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 19)

How Spiritual Power Is Lost

"[Samuel] did not know that the Lord had left him" (Judges 16:20)

Any discussion of the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the power that results from it would be incomplete if attention were not called to how spiritual power may be lost.

God withdraws His power from men when they go back on their separation (Numbers 6:2; Judges 16:20).  There was a day when Samson turned his back utterly upon the world and its ambitions, its spirit, its purposes. He separated himself to God, and God honored him with the anointing of His Spirit. But if the world recaptures his heart, the Lord leaves him.

Power is lost through the incoming of sin. King Saul wrought a great victory for God (1 Samuel 11:6, 11), but then disobeyed (1 Samuel 13:13-14; 15:3-23), and God withdrew His favor and His power. Saul's history is mirrored in many lives of people whom God has once used. Sin has crept in, and the power of God has been withdrawn.

Power is lost through self-indulgence. The person who would have God's power must lead a life of self-denial. There are many things that are not sinful in the ordinary understanding of the word "sin", but which hinder spirituality and rob men of power. The gratification of the flesh and fullness of the Spirit d not mix (Galatians 5:17).

Power is lost through greed for money. It was through this that Judas Iscariot fell from the original apostolic company, and it is the love of money that is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). How often have people once know what spiritual power was, abut money began to come, and little by little it took possession. Even when money is accumulated honestly, the love of it can absorb a person and shut the Spirit out.

Power is lost through pride. How often has a person become puffed up because God has given him power and used him, and God has been forced to set him aside as a proud man (1 Peter 5:5).

Power is lost through neglect of prayer and the Word of God. God's power is always linked to prayer and God's Word. How quickly do we run dry through their neglect. Let us return always to spend time on our faces before God.

Heavenly Father, help me to guard this marvelous gift of Your Holy Spirit. Even in this I will fail if I am left on my own. Whether it's carelessness with sin or a desire for self-indulgence or something else, keep my heart true to You. Amen

~R. A. Torrey~

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 17

Conditions on which God's keeping depends

All God's promises are linked with certain attitudes on our part. It is the willing mind and the surrendered heart that are assured of God's protection and grace. "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning" (1 John 3};6). That which is committed to Him is able to keep.

The principle of spiritual perseverance has never been better stated than in Samuel's language to Saul 3,000 years ago: "If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God - good" (1 Samuel 12:14).

More particularly is that true if we would be preserved blameless.

Let us expect to be preserved.  If we go out anticipating failure we will have it. At the least, we shall never know certainly but that the next temptation we meet is the one in which we are to fall. As the chain is never stronger than its weakest link, we will be sure to fall.

It is the prestige of an army that secures its victory. It is the quickening assurance that it has never been defeated that carries it irresistibly against the foe.

Let us also expect to be tempted.  Most persons, after a step of faith, are looking for sunny skies and unruffled seas. When they meet a storm and tempest they are filled with astonishment and perplexity. But this is just what we must expect to meet if we have received anything of the Lord.

The best token of His presence is the adversary's defiance, and the more real our blessing, the more certainly will it be challenged. It is a good thing to go out looking for the worst, and if it comes we are not surprised. But if our path is smooth and our way is unopposed, it is all the more delightful, because it comes as a glad surprise.

Let us, however, completely understand what we mean by temptation. You, especially, who have stepped out with the assurance that you have died to self and sin, may be greatly amazed to find yourself assailed with a tempest of thoughts and feelings that seem to come wholly from within. These will cause you to say, "Why, I thought I was dead, but I seem to be alive."

This is the time to remember that temptation has power to penetrate our inmost being with thoughts and feelings that seem to be our own, but are really the instigations of the evil one. We wrestle with principalities and powers.  That is to say, they twine themselves around us as wrestlers do about the limbs of their opponents, until they seem to be a part of ourselves. This is the essence of temptation. We are almost constrained to conclude that the evil is within ourselves, and that we are not cleansed and sanctified as we had believed. Do not wonder if you are assailed with temptation that comes to you in the most subtle forms, the most insinuating feelings, the most plausible insinuations, and apparently through your inmost being and nature.

Temptation alone is not sin

Temptation is not sin unless it be accompanied with the consent of your will. There may seem to be even the inclination, and yet the real choice of your spirit is fixed immovably against it. God regards it simply as a solicitation, and credits you with an obedience all the more pleasing to Him because the temptation was so strong.

We little know how evil can find access to a pure nature. It seems to incorporate itself with our thoughts and feelings, while at the same time we resist and overcome it. We remain as pure as the sea fowl that emerges from the water without a single drop remaining upon its burnished wing, or as the harp string, which may be struck by a rude and clumsy hand and gives forth a discordant sound, not from any defect of the harp, but because of the hand that touches it. But let the master's hand play upon it and it is a fountain of melody and a chord of exquisite delight.

The truth is that these inner thoughts and suggestions of evil do not spring from our own spirits at all if truly sanctified, but are the voices of the tempter. We must learn to discriminate between his suggestions and our choices, and declare: "I do not accept! I do not consent! I am not responsible! I will not sin! I reckon myself still dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 18)

Experiencing the Holy Spirit # 48

In a preceding chapter we have seen that surrender may be carried out at once as a while. Let us not merely thing of this, but actually do it. Yes, this very day, let the call of Christ be the power of a surrender that will be immediate, complete, and everlasting.

The All of The Spirit

The all of God and the all of Christ demand as a necessary consequence the all of the Spirit. It is the work of the Spirit to glorify the Son as dwelling in us and by Him to reveal the Father. How can He do this if He Himself is not all and does not penetrate all with His own power? To be filled with the Spirit, to let the Spirit have all, is indispensable to a true, healthful Christian life.

It is a source of great loss in the life of Christiandom today that the truth is not discerned that the Three-One God must have all. Even the professing Christian often makes it his very first aim to find out what he is and what he desires, what pleases him and makes him happy. Then he brings in God in the second place to secure this happiness. The claim of God is not the primary or main consideration. He does not discern that God must have him at His disposal even in the most trivial details of his life to manifest His divine glory in him. He is not aware that this entire filling with the will and the operation of God would prove to be his highest happiness. He does not know that the very same Christ, who once lived on the earth entirely surrendered to the will of the Father, is prepared to abide and work in like manner in his heart and life now. It is on this account that he can never fully comprehend how necessary it is that the Spirit must be all and must fill him completely.

If these thought have had any influence with you, allow yourself to be brought to the acknowledgment that the Spirit must be all in you. Say from the heart: "I am not at liberty to make any, even the least exception - the Spirit must have all." Then add to this confession the simple thought that Christ has come to restore the all of God, and the Spirit is given to reveal the all of Christ within us. Remember that the love of the Father is eagerly longing to secure again His own supreme place with us. Then your heart will be filled with the sure confidence that the Father actually gives you the fullness of the Spirit.

The All of Faith

"All things are possible to him that believeth." "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). The preceding sections of this chapter have taught us to understand why it is that faith is all. It is because man is nothing and has nothing good in his except the capacity for receiving God . When he becomes a believer, that which God reveals becomes of itself a heavenly light that illumines him. He sees then what God is prepared to be for him, and he keeps his soul silent before God and open to God. He gives God the opportunity of working all by the Spirit. The more unceasingly and undividedly he believes, the more fully can the all of God  and Christ prevail and work in him.

The all of faith: How little it is understood in the Church that the one and only thing I have to do is to keep my soul open before God that He may be free to work in me. That faith as the willing acceptance and expectation of God's working receives all and can achieve all. Every glance at my own impotence or sin, every glance at the promise of God and His power to fulfill it, must arouse me to the gladness of faith that God is able to work all.

Let such a faith look on Christ today and move you to make renunciation of every known sin and receive Him as One who purifies you. Oh that faith might receive the all of Christ and take Him with all that He is! Oh that your faith might see that the all of the Spirit is your rightful heritage and that your hope is sure that the full blessing has been bestowed on you by God Himself!

If the all of God, the all of Christ, and the all of the Spirit is so immeasurable, if the dominion and power of the terrible all of sin is so unlimited, if the all of your surrender to God and your decision to live wholly for Him is so real, then let your faith in what God will do for you be also unlimited. "He that believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).

There is something that can be done today. As the Holy Spirit says: "To day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart" (Psalm 95:7). Today you may receive Christ as One who purifies, baptizes, and fills you with the Spirit.

Yes, today you may surrender your whole being to Him to be forever wholly under the mastery of the Spirit. Today you may acknowledge and appropriate the all of the Spirit as your personal possession. Today you may submit to the requirement of the all of faith and begin to live only and wholly in the faith of what Christ will do in you through the Spirit.

This you may do; this you ought to do. Kneel down at the mercy seat and do it. Read once more the earlier chapter with its directions as to what Christ is prepared to do and surrender yourself this very hour as an empty vessel to be filled with the Spirit. In His own time, God will certainly accomplish it in you.

There is also something, however, that He on His part is prepared to do. Today he is ready to give you the assurance that He accepts your surrender and to seal on your heart the conviction that the fullness of the Spirit belongs to you. Wait on Him to give you this today!

The all of God summons you. The all of sin summons you. The all of Christ summons you. The all of the surrender that Jesus requires summons you. The all of the Spirit, His indispensableness and His glory, summons you. The all of faith summons you. Come and let the love of God conquer you. Come and let the glorious salvation master you. Do not back away from the glorious tidings that the triune God is prepared to be your all. Be silent and listen to it until your soul becomes constrained to give the answer. "Even in me God will be all." Take Christ anew today as One who has given His life that God may be all. Yield your life for this supreme end. God will fill you also with His Holy Spirit.

~Andrew Murray~

(The End)

Refillings with the Holy Spirit

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18)

In Acts 2:4 we read: "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit." This was the fulfillment of Acts 1:5: "But in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." One of those mentioned by name as being filled with the Spirit was Peter. In Acts 4:8 we read: "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them..." Here Peter experienced a new filling with the Spirit. Again, in verse 31 we read: "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly." Peter was named as one of this group, so we see that Peter experienced a THIRD filling with the Holy Spirit.

It is evident that it is not sufficient that a person is once baptized with the Holy Spirit. As new needs of service arise, there must be new fillings with the Spirit. The failure to realize this has led to sad and serious results in many believers' service. For each new service for Christ that is to be performed, for each new soul that is to be dealt with, for each new day and each new need of Christian life and service, we should definitely seek a new filling with the Holy Spirit.

I do not deny that there is an anointing that abides (1 John 2:27), nor the permanency of the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives. I simply assert with clear and abundant Scripture proof, to say nothing of proof from experience and observation, that this gift must not be neglected (1 Timothy 4:14), but rather kindled anew or stirred in a flame (2 Timothy 1:6), and that repeated fillings with the Holy Spirit are necessary to continuance and increase of power.

While some may debate whether these new fillings with the Holy Spirit should be called fresh baptisms, it would seem wisest to follow the uniform biblical usage and speak of the experience that succeed the first baptism with the Holy Spirit as being "filled with the Holy Spirit."

Dear Holy Spirit, it is true that I need you for every new day and for every person and every situation I encounter. You know my weaknesses as well as my strengths, and that on my own I have nothing of spiritual life to give. Fill me again and again. Amen

~R. A. Torrey~

Conformed to the Truth

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2)

Yesterday we were reminded that God speaks to us so that we may be conformed to His truth and communicate His message to others. But what does it mean to be conformed to the truth?

We are provided with an answer in Romans 12:1-2. The passage may be divided into three interrelated goals for the believer to pursue: Present your body as a living sacrifice; do not be conformed to the world; be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Being a living sacrifice, we are told, is our spiritual service of worship to God. No longer must we give burnt offerings. Instead, we are to live in a way that glorifies God.

Not conforming to the world means that we should not live according to, or be negatively influences by, the standard of our secular environment.

Transformation is a continual process that happens from the inside out. Our minds should be constantly renewed or refreshed by a new way of thinking - replacing our selfish wants with desires to serve and obey God.

A final thought is given in verse 2. We must change so that we "may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

God has clearly communicated these goals to you. Where are you in this important process: presentation, conformity, or transformation?

Lord, my mind is Yours. Take it and reconstruct it so that my whole person can be reshaped into the person whom You intended me to be. Amen

~Charles Stanley~

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 16

This is Paul's meaning when he declares that "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5:10). And so, in Romans 8, he declares: "Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (verse 34). And then comes the shout, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35).

The blood of Christ secures our preservation. For John declares, "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin" (1 John 1:7).

The old ordinance of the red heifer, in Number 19, is a beautiful type of Christ's cleansing power. The ashes were preserved and mixed with water, and used as a water of separation, sprinkled upon the unclean, and separating from defilement which had been contracted after the cleansing. It did not refer to the original cleansing, but to the taint that came from the touch of the dead.

We, though wholly separated from evil and dedicated to God, constantly come into contact with evil, and incur defilement from the elements that surround us on every hand. We need constantly, like the washing of the disciples' feet or the bathing every morning of the flower cup in the crystal dewdrop, a fresh application of His blood.

If you ask what the blood means, the answer, perhaps, is a double one. It is the fresh application of His atoning sacrifice by faith and it is an appropriation of His life to our beings, for the blood is the life. The blood of Jesus is His risen and divine life imparted to us by the in breathing of of the Holy Spirit and the absorbing power of a living faith. His pure life filling us expels all evil, and continually renews and refreshes our entire being, keeping us ever clean and pure, even as the fresh oil in the lamp maintains the flame, or as the running stream washes and keeps the pebble that lies at the sandy bottom pure.

The abiding presence of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are God's chief sources of preservation for His trusting people.  It is He who keeps and He keeps from within. "And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezekiel 36:27); "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit" (John 15:5); "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning" (1 John 3:6); "The Lord watches over you" (Psalm 121:5); "The Lord will keep you from all harm" (Psalm 121:7). Another verse that clearly talks of this abiding presence is First John 3:9; "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God". The presence of Jesus comes between us and every temptation, and meets the adversary with vigilant discernment, rejection and victory.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 17)

Is Your Mind Stayed on God?

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You" (Isaiah 26:3)

Is your mind stayed on God or is it starved? Starvation of the mind, caused by neglect, is one of the chief sources of exhaustion and weakness in a servant's life. If you have never used your mind to place yourself before God begin to do it now. There is no reason to wait for God to come to you. You must turn your thoughts and your eyes away from the face of idols and look to Him and be saved (Isaiah 45:22).

Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to be "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ ... " (2 Corinthians 10:5). This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. When you have thoughts and ideas that are worthy of credit to God, learn to compare and associate them with all that happens in nature - the rising and the setting of the sun, the shining of the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons. You will begin to see that your thoughts are from God as well, and your mind will no longer be at the mercy of your impulsive thinking, but will always be used in service to God.

"We have sinned with our fathers ... [and] ... did not remember ..." (Psalm 106:6-7). Then prod your memory and wake up immediately. Don't say to yourself, "But God is not talking to me right now." He ought to be. Remember whose you are and whom you serve. Encourage yourself to remember, and your affection for God will increase tenfold. Your mind will no longer be starved, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.

~Oswald Chambers~

Experiencing the Holy Spirit # 47

The all of sin:  Some small measure of the knowledge of this fact was necessary even at the time of conversion. This, however, was still very imperfect. If a Christian is to make progress and become fully convinced of the necessity of being filled with the Spirit, his eyes must be opened to the extent in which sin dominates overs everything within him.

Everything in him is tainted with sin, and therefore the omnipotence of God must take in hand the renewal of everything by the Holy Spirit. Man is utterly impotent to that which is good in the highest sense. He can do more of what is good than what the Spirit actually works in him at any moment. He learns also to see the all of sin just as distinctly in the world around him. Everything must be sacrificed and given over to death.

All of God must expel the all of sin. God must again live wholly and entirely within us and continually take the place which sin unsurped. He that desires this change will rightly understand and desire the fullness of the Spirit, and as he believes will certainly receive it.

The All of Christ

The Son is the revelation of the Father: the all of God is exhibited to our view and made accessible to us in the Son.  On this account the all of Christ is just as necessary and infinite as that of God. Christ is God come upon the earth to undo the all of sin, to win back and restore in man the lost all of God. To this end we must know thoroughly the all of Christ.

The idea which most believing disciples have of the all of Christ is that He alone does everything in the atonement and the forgiveness of sin. This is indeed the glorious beginning of His redemptive work, but still only the beginning. God has given Christ Himself desires to be our life and strength, the indweller of our heart, who animates that heart and makes it what it ought to be before God. To know the all of Christ and to understand how Christ if prepared to be everything in us is the secret of true sanctification. He who discerns the will of God in this principle and yields himself to its operation has found the pathway to the full blessing of Pentecost.

The All of Christ: Acknowledge this in humble joyful thanksgiving. Confess that everything has been given by God in Him. Receive with firm confidence the fact that Christ is all and the promise that he will work all, yet, all in you. Consent from the heart that this must be so and confirm it by laying everything at His feet and offering it up to Him. The two things go together: let Him be and do all; let Him reign and rule over all. Let there be nothing in which He does not rule and operate. It is not impossible for yo to accomplish this change. Let Him be everything; let Him have everything in order that by His almighty energy He may fill everything with Himself.

The All of Surrender

Leave all, sell all, forsake all; that was the Lord's requirement when He was here on earth. The requirement is still in force. The chief hindrance of the Christian life is that, because men do not believe that Christ is all, they consequently never think of the necessity of giving Him all.

Everything must be given to Him, because everything is under sin. He cannot cleanse and keep a thing when it is not so yielded up to Him that He can take full possession of it and fill it.  All must be given up to Him, because He alone can bring the all of God to its rightful supremacy within us.

The All of Surrender: It is because Christians are so ignorant of this requirement that all their praying and hearing avail so little. If you are really prepared to turn to God for the fullness of the Spirit and to have your heart purified and kept pure, then be assured that it is your blessed privilege to regard and deal with everything - everything that you have to strive for or do as given up to Him. The all of surrender will be the measure
of your experience of the all of Christ.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 48 and last in article)


"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24)

The seventh and last step, in some respect the simplest of all and yet to many the most difficult, is faith. God's most positive and unqualified promises must be appropriated by faith. "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord" (James 1:6-7). Unless we believe the promise and confidently expect God to do what He has so definitely promised to do, our prayer will bring no result. Here is where countless seekers fail: they do not confidently expect the blessing.

But there is a faith that goes beyond expectation, a faith that just puts out its hand and takes the very thing it asks of God - "believe that you have received it". This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him' (1 John 5:14). In our In our definite prayer for the Holy Spirit, there is no question as to whether it is the will of God, and therefore we know that He hears our request. Therefore, I know that I have the baptism with the Holy Spirit based upon my simple faith in the Word of God.

Deal with yourself in this matter of the baptism of the Holy Spirit just as you deal with the matter of an assurance of salvation. Based on the Word of God that if we believe in Jesus Christ we have eternal life, whether we feel it or not, so the Holy Spirit. Be sure you have met the conditions, and then simply ask, claim and act. Whether or not any experience follows, rest assured that there will be some manifestation of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7), but every manifestation of the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the New Testament was in new power in service for God, not in power for feelings.

Dear Father, so much of this comes back to grasping for feelings and hoping for a certain type of experience. I release all that and stand before You with nothing but Your promise. It is Your will to fill me with the Spirit, and I have received Him as a gift by faith. I await the way You desire to manifest it in my life, but I anticipate my service to You. Amen.

~R. A. Torrey~

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 15

Preserved Blameless

It is one thing for the ship to weigh her anchor and spread he spotless canvas to the breeze, and sail away with pennants flying and hearts and hopes beating high with expectation. It is another thing to meet the howling tempest and the angry sea and to enter the distant port. The first experience many - perhaps most of us - have begun, but what will the issues be? And what promises do we have for the voyage and the haven? How will all this seem tomorrow, and tomorrow, and six months from now, when the practical tests of life will have proved our theories and measured the real living power of our principles of life and action?

We have been sanctified wholly: how shall we be preserved blameless? Thank God, there is the same provision for both, and to both the closing promise applies: "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Let us look at God's provision for His consecrated people and the conditions on which these promises depend.

The Promise of Our Preservation

We find it in the Old Testament benediction: "The Lord bless you and keep you" (Numbers 6:24). We find it again and again in the psalms and prophets: "The Lord watches over you" (Psalm 121:5); "The Lord will keep you from all harm" (Psalm 121:7); "The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore" (Psalm 121:8). Even to poor, vacillating Jacob He swears, "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you" (Genesis 28:15). Of His vineyard He declares: "I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it" (Isaiah 27:3). "He will guard the feet of his saints" (1 Samuel 2:9). Hannah sings in her song of triumph. And even in our halting, David declares that "though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand" (Psalm 37:24).

For those who abide in closer fellowship, Isaiah declares, "you will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you" (Isaiah 26:3). This was also the Saviour's prayer before He left the disciples: "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one" (John 17:11); "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one" (John 17:15).

Peter declares that we "through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). Paul tells that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). And Jude dedicated his Epistle "To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:1 and closes with a doxology to Him who is "able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy" (Jude 1:24). The apostle Paul open his last Epistle with the triumphant confession: "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12), and closes with the yet bolder declaration, and "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom" (2 Timothy 4:18). Such then, are some of the promises of God's preserving grace.

The Provision Made for Our Preservation 

It is made in the atonement of Christ. "Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" (Hebrews 10:14). The death of Christ has purchased our complete and final salvation if we are wholly yielded to Him and do not willfully take ourselves out of His hands and renounce His grace and faithfulness.

It is continued by the intercession of Christ. "Therefore he is able to save completely [or, as is in the margin, forever] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25). It is because He always lives to intercede that they are kept; because He lives we shall live also.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 16)

Walking a Tightrope Between Two Kingdoms

"For I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29)

We who follow Christ are aware of the fact that we inhabit at once two worlds, the spiritual and the natural.

As children of Adam we do live our lives on earth subject to the limitations of the flesh and the weaknesses and ills to which human nature is heir.

In the sharp contrast to this is our life in the Spirit. There we enjoy a higher kind of life; we are children of God. We possess heavenly status and enjoy intimate fellowship with Christ.

This tends to divide our total life into two departments, as we unconsciously recognize two sets of actions, the so-called secular acts and the sacred.

This is, of course, the old "secret-secular' antithesis and most Christians are caught in its trap. Walking the tightrope between two kingdoms they find no peace in either.

Actually, the sacred-secular dilemma has no foundation in the New Testament. Without doubt a more perfect understanding of Christian truth will deliver us from it.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our perfect example and He lived no divided life. God accepted the offering of His total life and made no distinction between act and act. "I do always the things that please Him,: was His brief summary of His own life as related to the Father.

We are called upon to exercise an aggressive faith, in which we offer all our acts to God and believe that he accepts them. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there!

~A. W. Tozer~

Experiencing the Holy Spirit # 46

The Key to the Secret

"Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28)

When we speak of entire consecration, we are frequently asked what the precise distinction is between the ordinary doctrine of sanctification and the preaching of that gracious which has begun to prevail in the Church in recent years. One answer that may be given is that the distinction lies solely in the little word "all". That word is the key to the secret. The ordinary method of proclaiming the necessity of holiness is true as far as it goes, but sufficient emphasis is not laid on this one point of the "all".

Why then is the fullness of the Spirit not more widely enjoyed. That little word "all" suggests the explanation. As long as the "all" of God, of sin, of Christ, of surrender, the soul cannot enjoy all that God would have it be.

Let us consider the full Pentecostal blessing from this standpoint. Do this in a spirit of humble waiting on God and with the prayer that He would make us, by His Spirit, feel where the evil lies and what the remedy is. Then we will be ready to give up everything in order to receive nothing less than everything.

The All of God

The answer lies in the very being and nature of God that He Himself must be all. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. As God, He is the life of everything. Everything that exists serves as a means for the manifestation of the goodness, wisdom, and power of God in His direct and continuing operation.

Sin consists in nothing but this, that man determined to be something and would not allow God to be everything. The redemption of Jesus has no other aim than that God should again become everything in our heart and life. In the end, even the Son will be subjected to the Father that God may be all in all. Nothing less than this is what redemption is to secure. Christ Himself has shown in His life what it means to be nothing and to allow God to be everything. As He once lived on the earth, so does He still live in the hearts of His people. According to the measure in which they receive the truth that God is all will the fullness of the blessing be able to find its way into their life.

The all of God: This is what we must seek. In His will, His honor, and His power. He must be everything for us. There should be no movement of our time, no word of our lips, no movement of our heart, or no satisfying of the needs of our physical lie, that is not the expression of the will, glory, and power of God. Only the man who discerns this and consents to it can rightly understand what the fullness of the Spirit must effect and why it is necessary that we should forsake everything if we desire to obtain it. God must be not merely something, not merely much, but literally all.

The All of Sin

What is sin? It is the absence or separation from God. Where man is guided by his own will, his own honor, or his own power; where the will, the honor, and the operation of God are not manifested, sin must be at work. Sin is death and misery because it is a turning away from God to the creature.

Sin is in no sense a thing that may exist in man along with other things that are good. No, as God was once everything, so has sin in fallen man become everything. It now dominates and penetrates his whole being, even as God should have been allowed to do. His nature in every part of it is corrupt. We still have our natural existence in God. All is in sin and under the influence of sin.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 47)

Believing Prayer

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13)

The sixth step toward the baptism with the Holy Spirit is to simply ask God for it. Ask God definitely for the definite blessing. With the first five steps behind you, believing prayer is to be offered for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is sincerely contended by some that we should not pray for the Holy Spirit. The line of reasoning is that the Holy Spirit was given to the church at Pentecost as an abiding gift, so why pray for what you have already received? While it is true that the Holy Spirit was given to the church as a whole at Pentecost, each individual must still appropriate the gift for himself, and God's way of appropriation is prayer!

But it is argued still further that every believer has the Holy Spirit, and this is certainly true. "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ" (Romans 8:9). But as we have already seen, it is quite possible to have some of the Spirit's presence and work in the heart and yet come short of that special fullness and work known in the Bible as the anointing with the Holy Spirit. Besides, we have the plain, unquestionable utterance of Jesus Christ that we are to ask Him for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). We also have the accounts of Acts 4:31 and 8:14-17, where those who prayed for the Holy Spirit did indeed receive the Holy Spirit.

Against all inferences is this clear teaching of the Word of God, by precept and example, that the Holy Spirit is given in answer to prayer. It was so at Pentecost; it has been so since. Those whom I have met who give most evidence of the Spirit's presence and power in their lives and work believe in praying for the Holy Spirit. It has been the author's unspeakable privilege to pray with many ministers and Christian workers for this great blessing, and later to learn from them of the new power that had come into their service, none other than the power of the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, in the simplest expression of my heart that I know possible,  I ask You to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. I bring nothing but my request to you and my faith that You will indeed work in me. Thank you and Amen

~R. A. Torrey~