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Monday, July 14, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 20

The Man Upon the Throne Governs Everything (continued)

The last thing in these prophecies is the city. We know that the last thing in the Bible is the city, and there is the river flowing out of the city; but it flows from the Throne of God and the Lamb. Jesus at last is in His full place, and the city is the vessel of His fullness, and that fullness goes out as from the city to all the nations. All this is here in type and symbol in the prophecies of Ezekiel. Have I answered our first question? - "Has this book a message for the present dispensation?" I think we can now see that it has, but our point just now is that all this is governed by The Man in the Throne.

We see two things about that, for God to have His Christ in heaven is a very great thing. I would have you think much about that! What a great thing it is for God to have His Christ in heaven! That could occupy us for a long time. We are told by Paul that God exercised the exceeding greatness of His power to bring Christ there. That meant that every other power n this universe had to be overcome to get Christ there.It is a very great thing to God to have Christ in heaven! And then, secondly, it is a very great thing for the people of God that Christ is in heaven!

Judgment Comes From the Throne of Christ

Now let us come back to what we were saying a minute or two ago. All judgment comes from the Throne of Christ, and He is judging His people and the nations from His Throne. You notice that judgment begins with the people of God in the prophecies of Ezekiel. That brings us to the beginning of the Book of Revelation. It is the churches which are first judged by the Lord Jesus in glory. It is a principle with God "that judgment must begin at the House of God." Of course, that is necessary for the very character of God. Supposing God were to judge the world, and then the world could point to Christians and say, "But look at them, look what a contradiction they are; and, yet, You let them go on. You come and judge us but You do not judge your Own people." That would be all wrong. So as a matter of principle, "judgment must begin at the House of God." We, as the Lord's people, must come under the judgment of that Throne.

Let me take great care to explain what that means. I have said it more than once already. You see, it is a kind of Man that is in that Throne, and God judges everything according to the character of that Man. That is what you have at the beginning of the Book of Revelation. You have a full-sized portrait of the Lord Jesus at the beginning of that book. His Person and His Appearance are described in detail. He presents Himself like that to the churches; and then it is as though the Holy Spirit was saying, "I am going to judge you according to that Man." So the message to every church is: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says." The Holy Spirit's work is all related to Christ. You know that as a great New Testament truth. Now the challenge to the churches is "How do you measure up to that Man? How does your life, your character, and your work answer to that Man?"

The Man is the basis of the judgment. The churches are judged according to The Man; that is the meaning of judgment - the measuring line of God is His Son. The question is always "How do we measure up to Christ?" That is the meaning of judgment. When the Church has been judged, then God turns to the nations. That is what we have in Ezekiel, and that is what we have in the Book of the Revelation. All judgment of the people of God and of the nations is according to The Man.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 21 - "The Recovery of the Testimony of Jesus")

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