Spiritual Increase Related to the Throne and the Glory of the Lord
Firstly, it does mean that the deepening of spiritual life, as i is called, or any other terms used for the same thing, is not a matter which is just to issue in our fuller blessing. So often people will bring it right down that to that level of fuller blessing, and we are very often tempted even there, in the time of fire and adversity, to react to this whole thing by saying, Well, if I have heaven, why need I trouble about this, and why should I go through all this? Here are plenty of people just very happy and contented; they are saved and they know they are saved, and here am I who have sought to go on with God, and I am having the most awful time. It seems to me that I have got the worst of the bargain, by wanting to go right on with God!
If we look at it like that, purely from the personal point of view of blessing, we have missed our way, and we shall get into difficulties; because, as we have always sought to point out, when you come out of this spiritual infancy into the School of sonship, you graduate from what is personal as to your own interest and blessing into what is for the Lord and not for you. From that time forward the whole motive is, not what I am going to get, but what God is going to get.. That is Ephesians. "That ye may know what is... the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." Not what I am going to get now: that will follow, that will be all right, the Lord will be faithful; but it is something else.
We have come into the school on the basis of God's eternal purpose, and God's eternal purpose does not begin and end when He has got us born again. God's eternal purpose is only reached when He has got us in the throne. Thus it is the Lord, for the Lord, and what the Lord is after that is the one consideration. It will be glory for me, but that is not the motive of it now. It is this great purpose with which we are called; that is what is governing everything, and it is in the terms of the throne.
So the transition from infancy to the School of sonship, being a very painful thing, and fraught with all sorts of difficulties, beings us nevertheless into relation with that which has been in God's mind from before the world was where we are concerned. Chosen in Christ Jesus "that we should be to the praise of his glory." All the dealings of the Lord with us in this school have that throne in view.
World Dominion the Pressing Issue of the Hour
What I want to say with special emphasis now is that this matter, as I see and feel it - and I leave it to you to judge whether there is any truth in this - is most fitting in relation to what is happening in the world today. It does seem to me that this is a time when this issue is put in a way in which it has never been put before; that is, the issue of the dominion of this world, the issue of antichrist, is so patent. it is the control and domination of this inhabited earth, and everything connected with this fresh drive to that end is to set aside God and His Christ. It is an evil thing, and it does not need a spiritually minded preacher of the truth to discern that; for many of our leaders of the state today have seen it and are using these words. How far they see, we do not know. But they are seeing that all that Christianity stands for is at stake. They are saying, 'This is a satanic thing!' And they are using the very phrase - antichrist. It is discerned by men as to what the nature of things is, and we are able, in a special way as enlightened by the Lord, to see what the end of this is. It is the most far-reaching and terrible bid for the throne of this world that has been known. That is what lies behind it and that is what is in view.
Therefore I say that this word is most fit for a time like this, and I am asking myself and I ask you prayerfully to consider whether there must not come something in the nature of a summons to the people of God to recognize this fact, with reference to their calling, namely, that they have to get behind that which is behind the present situation, and that the saints must take the kingdom spiritually now, in a spiritual way, in order that they may come to the place of the throne for the age to come.
We here perhaps - though let us not think too highly of ourselves, more highly than we ought to think - but it may be that our little gathering here with all its earthly insignificance has yet a significance which is very far reaching, seeing that we are here in the audience chamber of God concerning this great matter of the dominion of this world. In a small way, it affects us very seriously. I ask you to pray about this, very earnestly and continually that there might be a movement of God's Spirit within the circle of His own people in a new way, to produce this man child that overcomes and takes the throne. It is quite clear, from Revelation 2 and 3, that all do not come to that position, and equally so from all these exhortations and warnings about Israel missing the goal in the wilderness, falling by the way, as warnings to the Church to beware of the same calamity. "Today if ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts". I wonder if any of us have a hardened heart, not against the Lord in a general way, but against this.
You harden by using special terms. Oh, how people have sought to close the door by sticking labels on! Get rid of terms. Call it Selective Rapture if you like; I do not call it that. Call it Overcomer Testimony, if you like. It makes little difference, if you mean by that, that is an interpretation, that is a peculiar teaching! Well, that is a hardening of the heart. What if this should happen to be true! We have to look this thing square in the eyes. Is there any possibility that this is true? If there is, it is a tremendous thing; the biggest issue in the history of this world is bound up with it, nothing less than the dominion, the throne. I suggest to you that there is a good deal today which would lead us to open the door of possibilities, to suppositions.
(continued with # 31)