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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 22

The Man Upon The Throne Governs Everything (continued)

The Energies and Goings of God

Now we come back to Ezekiel. In this book, as we have already said, we see the energies and goings of God. This first vision is a representation of that. Look at the symbols that are used. Firstly, "burning fire" - who can stand before the burning fire? When the fire begins to sweep across the earth, no one can stop it. Fire is irresistible. And then, "flashing lightning" - it is like a great electric storm here. It is a terrible thing. Who can stand before the great electric storm? You cannot resist that, you cannot sweep that aside. In this book, you have all the symbols of tremendous energy, and all this is connected with the movement of God, for it was that Throne that conquered in the long run!

I say that the great consciousness of the Church at the beginning was that Jesus is on the Throne. satan is not on the throne, Caesar is not on the throne - JESUS IS ON THE THRONE! The Church moved forward in the energy of that great fact! Its appeal was to the Throne, and it prayed in confidence because it knew that He  was on the Throne! You remember one instance of that - they were in a time of great opposition, the rulers had risen up against them; and the Church gathered together for prayer, and in their prayer they quoted the Second Psalm. You know what is in the Second Psalm: "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing. The kings of the earth set themselves, are gathered together, against the Lord, and against His anointed ... He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall have them in derision ... I have declared the decree.  I have set My Holy One upon My holy hill of Zion." And then the kings and the rulers are appealed to: You had better kiss the Son lest He be angry." You can see that that was what they used in prayer in the Book of the Acts (4:25, 26). What confidence it shows that they had in that Throne and in that Man on it! They prayed on that basis! They preached on that basis! They sang on that basis!

Yes, they were a singing people. Listen to two men singing. Where is the singing coming from? It is coming from a prison! There are two men who have been beaten and bruised, and they have been cast into an inner dungeon. Their feet had been made fast with chains, and they are singing. How could they sing in such a situation? Only because they knew and believed that Jesus was on the Throne! Their song was a song of faith and confidence; and in a few minutes there was a great earthquake, and all the doors were opened and their chains fell off. Jesus is on the Throne, and they sang because of that!

They suffered because of that! Yes, they suffered very much, but the strength to suffer came from their consciousness that Jesus was on the Throne. And they died on that basis! Stephen is dying, and he says, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing [yes, Jesus "standing". Christ "sits" on the right hand of God on His Throne but as Stephen was about to die for Him, Christ was "standing"] on the right hand of God." That was his testimony, he died on that basis.

We have only come to the beginning of this great vision, but I am sure you see that this book has a message for our time. But I cannot close without reminding you of this - all this had to do with the preparation of a man for his ministry. If Ezekiel had not seen that, he would never have been able to fulfill his ministry. Everything in his ministry came from that first vision. We must see the meaning of this. There must be that which grips us as it gripped him. The thing that grips us must be "JESUS IS LORD, JESUS IS ON THE THRONE; therefore, I can go on. I can meet the difficulties, I can suffer, I can die, I can pray, and I can sing!"

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 23 -"The Throne Is Moving In Relation to the Divine Purpose")

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