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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 26

The Authority Is Invested In the Man on the Throne

As you know, this first section in chapters one through three deals with the preparation of the Lord's servant for his ministry.  So far we have considered firstly the prophet in himself and then the opened heaven, and then we have gone on with the visions of God. And we still have a little to say about the first vision. We have considered the Chariot-Throne of the Lord, and we have considered the four living ones. There are just two other aspects for our consideration. The first of those two is the wheels. That section is in Ezekiel one, verses fifteen through twenty-one. You have read this so that we need not go over it together. There are several aspects or characteristics of the wheels, and I think they can be set down as five things.

First of all, wheels are symbols of movement, they signify mobility. And then the wheels here speak of directness. Thirdly, they begin upon the earth and then they are lifted up from the earth and then they seem to touch the earth again at different times. In their movement they seem to come back to the earth from time to time. Then fourthly these wheels are full of eyes. All around the wheels there are eyes. And in the fifth place, the Spirit of life is in the wheels. I think just to mention those things is to indicate their teaching. We need not spend a lot of time upon each point, but we will just go over them again with one or two remarks.

Wheels Represent Mobility

Number one: the wheels represent mobility. That suggests two things. Firstly, God is on the move. We are here in the presence of the movements of the Chariot-Throne of God. In the second place, God demands absolute liberty for movement. He requires complete freedom for His movements. If you are not quite sure of what I mean by that, you have only to remember that you are really dealing with what is in the Book of the Acts in this book of Ezekiel. And when we speak of the Book of the Acts, we understand that we are speaking about the whole New Testament. We are going to have to see that in more detail presently. But when we come to the Book of the Acts, we find these two things: "the Throne is on the move." There is no doubt about it that "the Man on the Throne is moving." We can see the goings of the Lord in the Book of the Acts. That is not a stationary book. He is not a Lord Who is standing still. He is on the move.

But the second thing is the Lord demands liberty to move. That liberty of movement must be recognized and accepted. We remember Peter and the house of Cornelius. That vision that Peter had on the housetop is always present in our minds. The Lord is on the move from Israel to the Gentiles, from Jerusalem to the regions beyond. That is what we have in Ezekiel. But Peter would stop the movement of the Lord - he would say, "Not so, Lord." But the Lord will not have that arresting hand of tradition. The Lord will not have the arresting hand of prejudice. This was a tremendous crisis for Peter, and this was the nature of  the crisis. The Lord was saying in effect to Peter, "Peter, I am going on. Are you going with Me?" If you are not going with Me, it makes no difference. You just stay behind. But if you are going with Me, you have got to give Me perfect liberty of movement. Your mind must not interfere with My movement. Your religious traditions must not interfere with My movement. Your prejudice must not interfere with My movement."

The Lord is on the move, and He demands absolute freedom of movement. That is what is here in the wheels at the very first. God is moving, and God claims the right to keep on moving. There is a very great deal bound up with that. We must remember that God is always moving toward His Eternal End. And we must put nothing in the way of the Lord. Again and again the Lord may come up against things in us, our mind about things, or even our past experiences, our ideas that we know all about it. The Lord says: "I have still yet more light and truth to break forth from the Word. You have not yet come to the end of all My movements. There is far more in front than there is behind, and you must give Me perfect liberty to go on."

Now you must think about that, because that is not only the first thing, but that is the foundation of everything. This Chariot-Throne of the Lord rests upon wheels. it rests upon the principle that God is a God of movement and demands liberty for His movement.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 27 - "Wheels Speak of Directness")

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