The Issues of Love
A Position of Power and Authority
Thyatira - seduced and corrupted, calling for uncompromising love. What is the issue of that uncompromising love? "He that overcometh, and he that keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron." Here we are touching a tremendous principle. Do not materialize that for the moment and picture yourself somewhere as a reigning monarch over the nations of this earth, and that sort of thing. That is not what I am getting at. It is the principle that matters. Here you see, when love triumphs over that state of compromise and mixture and confusion and entangling of contrary things, and comes right out into an uncompromising place of victory, you are in a position of tremendous ascendancy of power to govern. Test it the other way. You find a compromised life, a mixed-up life, a life with contraries all entangled; some of the world, some true Christianity; some flesh, some Spirit, things which ought never to be brought together. Will you tell me that such a life has any power in it, any authority, any power of ruling and reigning? Not at all! Was it not just in that connection that the devil through Balaam seduced the corrupted Israel, to bring Israel down from their high place as the ruling nation among the nations,to rob them of their spiritual government, to make them broken among the nations, when God had said, "The Lord will make thee the head, and not the tail" (Deut. 28:13)? That is the principle here. Love, uncompromising love, brings into a position of power, of authority. You will never pray through so that God comes in and does things if your life is compromised, if there is any kind of double life going on. You may pray until you cannot pray any more, and the Lord will not come in, you will not govern in prayer if the life is mixed up. Love, which brings us out into an absolutely clear, pure, transparent place before God, means we are put into a position of great spiritual power. What that may be afterward we are not going to stop to say. I merely indicate it. The Church is going to rule in the heavenlies in the ages to come and in the Letter to the Ephesians, were the revelation of the Church and of its eternal calling and vocation is presented to us most fully, love is the triumphant note - "... to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18, 19). That is set there in relation to the Church. The Church is to come to that place. There are big issues bound up with this matter of love, both that of spiritual power and ascendancy now, and afterward, throughout the ages to come that of governing in the heavenlies, when the Church will take the place occupied now by the evil principalities and powers, the world rulers of this darkness. That is no small vocation. It depends on first love. Such is the lesson of Ephesus and of Thyatira. Right at the heart is love, first love, full love, and the outcome of that is authority over the nations.
Our Name Confessed in Heaven
Then comes Sardis; and, because of its indefiniteness, the call for distinguishing love, the love that marks you out; not only that you are marked out by love, but love marks you out. Do you think that is a distinctions without a difference? Not so. When you come here to this distinguishing love, what is the word to that church? "He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels." Is this not distinguishing love, love leading to distinction? - white garments, and his name confessed before the Father and the holy angels. maybe I can help you by a very ordinary illustration. I have a brother who is an engineer, and I went to see him the other day and found him in his office behind his engineering works where some sixty men, all experts, were busy mostly on government work. I talked with him for some time, and, being an opportunist, and remembering hat there was something I needed done to my car, I said, "I have a little trouble with my car; I wonder if you can do something about it?" He came downstairs to look at the car, and then said to one man, "Put that on the lift." He then sent for his chief expert on that side of things, and when he arrived said to him, "This is my brother; if ever he brings his car in here, see to it, please, and see that the job is done properly." "This is my brother" - and the whole sixty men and all the works were at my command! Everything there could be centered in my interest at that moment. "I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels." "I will say, 'This is my brother' " - and all heaven will be interested. Love, honor in heaven; our names confessed and honored in heave, when love distinguishes us. Oh, we try to curry favor and get service and help and status by being important before men, by putting on airs, by making demands, by being something big. That is the way in which men try to get recognition. But here it says that love is the distinguishing thing in heaven. It is love that makes you a distinguished person there. It is love that will bring you before the Father and the holy angels as one to be taken account of; and that is an issue for now, not only for hereafter. Oh, if only we have this love, the Father will take account of us. "This is My beloved." The holy angels will take account and put themselves at our service as beloved of the Father. It will be because we are not only located in the Son of His love, but in heart-fellowship with what that love means, that we are marked out by heaven.
(continued with # 5 - "Spiritual Significance")