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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 46

Christ Is the Great Spiritual Order

Yesterday we took a general view of this House which was shown to Ezekiel. Today we shall consider it more in detail. We are going to return to chapter forty, verses three and four:

And He brought me thither, and, behold, there was a Man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in His hand, and a measuring reed; and He stood in the gate. And the Man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.

So we take another look at this Man of brass. You will remember that we noticed that the feet of the cherubims were of brass, and the feet of the Lord Jesus in the first chapter of the Revelation were of brass; and we said that brass in the Bible is a symbol of righteous judgment. This Man of brass stands at the gate, and that means that there is no way in for the unrighteous man. The man of the flesh cannot enter this gate. Thee is no place for the flesh in this House. It is only the Righteous Man who may come in here, and everything is going to be measured by the Righteous Man.

Let us take a look at the two instruments of measurement, and we note that there are two instruments of  measurement. There is firstly the line of flax, and no measurement is given unto it. We are not told how long that line was, but we do know that it was used for the greater measurement. When we come later to the river in chapter forty-seven, it is not the rod but the line that is the instrument of measurement; and we find that that river becomes too deep for man. I think this clearly corresponds to what Paul said in the Letter to the Ephesians. There he spoke of "the love of Christ, which passes knowledge." We are here in the presence of something that is far greater than human measurement. If this Man does represent the Holy Spirit, as we have said, there is no measuring the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is without measure. But within that great fullness, thee is the rod of measurement. There is that which brings the great fullness down to particular matters. So we have this measuring rod. There are two ways of measuring. One is what we may call the "measureless" Measure, the Measure that has no limit. That is the great fullness of the Spirit. The other is that which is brought down to things in everyday life. This rod was used for all the details of the House. Now I do not think it necessary to stay with that. We only note that there are two means of measuring. One, there is the great fullness of Christ; the other is that that fullness is brought down to the details of the House of God. I will just leave that with you because thee is a lot in that.

We must remember this, that when we think of the fullness of the Spirit, or the fullness of Christ, we must not forget that that is going to be brought down to the details of our life. That is made perfectly clear in the Letter to the Ephesians. The first three chapters relate to the great fullness of Christ, that Unmeasured Fullness. Chapter four begins in this way: "I ... beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called ..." And then all the details are mentioned, husbands, and wives, wives and husbands, masters and servants, servants and masters, children and parents, parents and children. You see, the Measuring Rod has come down to everyday life. We must not think in these great terms without realizing that the Lord is going to apply His measure to every detail. It is so easy to have these great ideas about the fullness of Christ, and to neglect the details. Every little thing must be measured by the same Spirit that measures the fullness of Christ. We must see that.

So here in Ezekiel is this Man. Let that "Man" represent the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is speaking about the vast fullness of the Life which flows out, and that same Holy Spirit comes to these very small details. It is the same Spirit, and, while He speaks of the greatness, He also points to the details. I do not think that there would be any value in our looking at the measurements of the rod. So we just pass on to the instructions that were given to the prophet.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 47)

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