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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

God's Spiritual House # 20

The Exaltation of the Lord Jesus

The first with which we were concerned was that this spiritual house of God exists for the purpose of setting forth, proclaiming, manifesting the exaltation of the Lord Jesus as God's Son, the exaltation of the Lord Jesus to the throne of the Father. It is for that the Church exists, and it is for that we exist if we are of the house of God. But that is not just a truth, a doctrine to be proclaimed. That is not just a part of the Church's creed - "Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high." That is not just one of our convictions, as we say. That is something which has to constitute us spiritually and has to be expressed by means of life. The exaltation of the Lord Jesus is, before and above all other things, a matter of life. It was when He was exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high, it was when God made Him both Lord and Christ, it was when He was actually seated at God's right hand, far above all rule and authority, principalities and powers, that the Holy Spirit came out from His presence and made that which was in Heaven, a spiritual reality in the Church; and that reality was marked and demonstrated and proved and evidenced by the mighty power of His ascended life. We have to be spiritually constituted on the basis of Christ's exaltation. That is to say, within us something has to be done that brings about in us a living spiritual oneness with the exaltation, the Lordship, the supremacy of Jesus Christ. It is not to remain something outside of us, however true it is.

We have to be that in fact; and, as we have pointed out, the impact of the early believers upon this world, upon those around them wherever they were, was the impact of the fact, not the doctrine, not the teaching, not merely the statement, but the fact that Jesus Christ was exalted. That came home upon the situation because that fact has its supreme significance in the spiritual realm, and we know quite well that all that is visible, all that is here on this sentient creation, has behind it a spiritual order.

Never has that been more clearly manifested and demonstrated than in the present world situation. There is a spiritual order of things which is driving on, mastering, manipulating everything. It is, as many have been saying for the past months, satanic in its background. The exaltation of the Lord Jesus finds its first registration there, and it is not until the registration is made there that it is not until the registration is made there that the foreground is really affected. To arrest men, to arrest a course of things, to bring the yoke down upon situations, to harness developments in the seen, you have to get behind and register some superior reality against those forces that are creating these things.

Now, that is spirituality. The Apostle Paul said much about this sort of thing, and we have his language by which he expressed this reality. For example, "the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4). He did not actually use the word, but it is quite clear that he meant that the weapons of our warfare are spiritual, getting behind the situation: and you know what he was dealing with at the moment when he used those words. Here were Corinthians who were seeking  the advantages of natural wisdom, natural leaning, the wisdom and the power of this world, in order to give them position, influence, standing. They were carnal in their quest for carnal weapons by which to gain ascendency in this world.  That lead the Apostle to that great discourse on the foolishness and the weakness of this world's wisdom and this world's strength, and he said that, to overcome this world, you want something more than this world's weapons, this world's men. To overcome the carnal, you must have something more than carnal weapons, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God. In other words, they are spiritual. For our wrestling is not against flesh, and blood in the form of wisdom and worldly power, "but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12).

Therefore our weapons must be spiritual, and spirituality means fundamentally the ability to get behind the seen, the tangible, to the unseen, the invisible, the intangible powers of evil, and to register your superiority there: and that superiority is the exaltation of the Lord Jesus far above all rule and authority and principality and power. That is a spiritual thing.

The house of God is a spiritual house for that spiritual purpose, namely, to bring home Christ's ascendency in a spiritual way against spiritual forces. Then the instrumentalities of those evil spiritual forces will in turn come under arrest. It is no use going directly at things. You must strike at the cause of things, and then the things themselves will, according to God's purpose and intention, either be destroyed, or be brought under arrest or limitation, just as the Lord intends. It is not the Lord's thought to stop wars altogether just yet, nor much else that is going on in an evil way, but there is such a thing as limiting things to the purpose of God; and I do feel, and appeal to you as the Lord's children, that we ought to be engaged in this spiritual registration of the authority and supremacy of the Lord Jesus in the unseen, in the background of present world situations, with the object of limiting things to God's purpose.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 21)

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