All things, as I have said, spring from that, begin there. Life itself begins in reality when Jesus is absolute Lord within. We do not come into the fullness of blessing when Jesus is not more than Saviour. The fullness of the blessing is known when He is Lord and has everything within us under His feet, submitting to Him. It is the way of blessing. You see, all the blessing that God meant for man, the fullness that was to be man's inheritance, was lost because satan, seeking to usurp the place of God's Son as Lord, by his propaganda worked subtly and made man believe that he would lose everything by remaining in subjection to God. "Why not be as God yourself?" said he. In other words, Why have a life limited by being subject to God and dependent upon Him! Along that line, man lost all the fullness, and now all the fullness comes back by being absolutely subject to God's Son, and submitting to Him in all things. That was the great lie of satan, and this is why satan does not like Jesus Christ being Lord, and why he so strongly contends against any ministry that has in view that object, of bringing the Lord Jesus into His rightful place as supreme Lord in God's house. It is because by that his lie is exposed and the work which he achieved through his lie undone.
The whole question is that of the universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, and it is that which is coming out today as never before in the history of this world as the supreme issue. Who is going to be Lord in God's universe? Who is going to have world dominion? The enemy is still seeking to reach that end through man along the line of the lie, and we have never before known of his method being so tremendously, so universally and so insidiously employed - the lie! So much so, that for months past, this world has rocked on this question. Who can be trusted? Who can be believed? Who is speaking the truth? What man can you have confidence in? There has spread over the earth such an atmosphere of discrediting by lies that men almost look at those of their own household and wonder whether they can be trusted. That is a terrible reality in many lands. They dare not open their lips within the most limited circle, because truth faileth, trustworthiness has been smitten almost to the ground. The lie, the propaganda of lies, and all, mark you, with this one end in view, namely, to get a grip on the dominion of this world. That is satan's work behind what we see going on, and when Jesus Christ comes into His place as absolute Lord in you and in me, something results which declares that satan has been defeated, the lie is exposed.
The truth is that subjection to Jesus Christ is NOT a miserable life as a vessel. It is a life of triumph, a life of victory, a life of glory, a life of fullness. it is the blinding work of the enemy with men, to make them think that to belong to the Lord, to have the Lord in their lives, means they are going to lose all that is worthwhile, and be shut down, and all the time be poor cringing creatures, hardly able to lift their heads up, going about as beggars. That is satan's lie. The Old Testament brings it out here so clearly that, when all things were subject to, submitting themselves to, God's appointed king, it was a time of fullness such as the people had never known; and so it is when Jesus is Lord within as in Heaven.
In those days, following that great day of Pentecost, the Church knew something of the liberation, enlargement, enrichment, glory, power and fullness, and it all sprang from the fact that Jesus was Lord. They lived upon that ground and in the appreciation of that great fact. Life commenced there, testimony commenced there and commences there, and all our service for the Lord should spring out of this. There is no true service that does not spring out from this fact of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. you see, every revival or great spiritual renewal has been by the Lord coming back into His place. Go again over the Old Testament, and you have instance after instance when the Lord was brought back into His place - it was a wonderful time. Think, for instance, of the days of Hezekiah, of Josiah, when the Lord was given His place anew in a wonderful way. They came back to re-enthrone the Lord as Lord in their midst in an utter and full way, and they were great days. If you pass your eye over history, you see that all real spiritual awakenings - call them revivals or renewals - have circled around this one thing, that the Lord was brought back into His place. He was given His place as absolute Lord, and people went down before Him. That was the secret of it, and it is like that.
What is true in history, true in the wider way, is true in the individual life. So much of our trouble, our declension, our spiritual weakness and failure, is because He is NOT Lord. We are thankful to know Him as Saviour, we believe that He is in Heaven glorified, but there is a good deal of controversy within us on points. It all amounts to this one issue, namely, the utterness of His Lordship within, and, when those matters and controversies are settled, we find a new uprising of life. You can always have a little revival in your own heart on any one point where the Lord has a controversy with you. Test it. It may be only one point, but you know that one thing is holding you up. You have to get clear on that one thing, and when at last you go down with that thing under the Lord and put it under His feet, you have a little revival in your own heart and you come out with new life, new testimony, new release. Spread that over all things, and the kingdom has come. It is just like that.
(continued with # 3 - "The Cross and the Lordship of Christ")