Take another earthly expression of this spiritual background of things. Do you not see, beloved, that over there there is no room whatever for a second thought or a second mind? Anybody through the last seven years who has had another thought, another mind, a second idea, has been eliminated. You may not there have two minds. You have got to subjugate your mind to this other ind, this dominating mind. You must not have an opinion, you must not reason, you must not speak in any way that cuts across the prevailing mind, the mind of the dictator. There is no room for anything that is second. It is one. satan knows the almost infinite value of oneness, and that is a secret of progress, of success; a ruthless, murderous elimination of every second voice, to have only one voice, one mind, one will, dominating all others. Dare you think otherwise? Dare you have a mind of your own? Well, have it, but make very sure that you never let it be known. That is the regime, and what power thee is for the object in view!
Well now, that is an earthly expression of a spiritual system. Bring that into the realm of the Church. Why is the Church paralyzed, weakened, help us? Why can it not go forward terrible as an army with banners? Because there has been this disintegrating work secretly going on within its borders, so that suspicion is the order of the day. I suggest to you that, for the sake of the overthrow of the satanic kingdom which is to be brought about by and through the Church in union with its Head, its Lord, in glory, for the sake of that and unto the end, you and I should make the opposite our positive course. Let us not be for ever suspiciously asking, what is wrong? What is doubtful? What is unsafe here? but positively. What is there of Christ in this? On that I fasten! What do you see or sense of the Lord Jesus in this matter? With that I engage, I cooperate. Oh, if we would only take that as our positive course, satan would soon be losing ground, the Church would soon be losing ground, the Church would soon be coming up a glorious Church. One thing which characterized the Church at its beginning was oneness. They spoke the same things, they were all of one mind and one heart, and what ground the enemy lost! But, as soon as the enemy began his secret "fifth column" work of propagating internal doubts, suspicions, prejudices, he very soon brought the Church down out of that realm of reigning life and scattered its power.
Oh, we must pray the Lord that the one Christ, the one Spirit, shall be in the ascendant in us! We shall not be living either upon the ground of what we are naturally - for we shall always be affected by what we are naturally, but upon the ground of what there is of Christ in one another; neither let us be dwelling upon the ground of possible error, possible false teaching, and possibility of it being there all the time and almost looking for that more than anything else. Oh, we must trust the Lord about this matter! I do believe, beloved, that the safest way, the way of our protection from error, is to go on with the Lord. Our position must be - I am going on with the Lord where I find the Lord, and I am going to trust the Lord in the matter of error, and, as we walk with the Lord, we shall sense, without looking for it, where the error is, and we shall be warned by the Spirit, we shall know. We must move on the positive basis, that of the Lord Himself, and that is glory in the Church, when it is the Lord. "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
We know quite well, in simple ways, that this is true. We meet one another, we have never met before. We discover very quickly by our spiritual sense that we belong to the Lord, and then we have a very blessed time simply on that ground. We flow together because we are the Lord's, and, if only we stood there, we would go on having a blessed time, but presently we begin to discuss some doctrine and find we do not agree. All the glory goes out, the fellowship breaks down. Oh, the Lord hold us into Himself!
Now, I am saying this spiritual house in Christ, and all that is not Christ has got to be kept in its own place, and we have got to seek to remain on the basis of Christ as in us and as in one another, and this is the glory of God, that we should be to the glory of His grace. That is where it begins - His grace. It seems to me, it has seemed to me through the years, (I do not know whether I am right in doctrine now or not, it is a forgivable mistake if it is error), but it has seemed to me through the years very often that the Lord Himself has taken pains to keep me on the basis of grace, and by that I mean He has so often let me know in experience that, but for His grace, I am a lost man in experience, not a doctrine, not as truth.
Oh, today, it would be a bad thing for me if it were not for the grace of God! Yes, to appeal even today to the Blood, to the grace of God, because of that precious Blood, today, after so many years of knowing the Lord! Yes, it is grace today, and it is that that brings glory to God, allowing us to know how base, how foul, we are, and letting us know that that makes no difference to Him because of the Blood. That is glory to God. I do not know what the deepest note in your heart is today, but that is the deepest note in my own heart after these years. Ah, it is the grace of God that is the glory of my heart, the glory of His grace. He is glorified by our recognition of His grace and our abiding on the basis of His grace. The glory is soon taken away from the Lord when we get on to any other ground, what we are and can do and what we are doing.
(continued with # 9)