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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 47

Christ Is the Great Spiritual Order (continued)

Notice in chapter forty, verse four: "... The Man said unto me,

Son of man,
behold with thine eyes,
and with thine ears,
set thine heart upon
all that I shall shew thee ...
(Son of man),
declare all that thou seest
to the house of Israel."

Notice these words: "behold, hear, set thy heart, declare." Then, if you go over to chapter forty-three in verse ten, you have another part of the instructions: "Shew the House to the House of Israel." Now let us think about that for a minute.

Before we can present anything to other people, we ourselves must first know what we are going to present. The instructions to the prophet were very particular:  "Behold with thine eyes, hear with thine ears, and so on - i.e., give very careful attention to this whole matter!" You must have a very clearly defined apprehension of what you are going to show to the people. You yourselves must see this object. We ask again, what is that object? What is the answer to this whole vision? In the first place, undoubtedly the answer is found in the Incarnation. The Incarnation is the key to everything here.

First of all, in the Incarnation we have the Righteous Man, the Man according to God, and He is the standard and the measure of everything. "He is made unto us righteousness from God." You will remember that was said at a time when things were out of order in the Church, things were not according to the Lord's Mind, and so the apostle said about Jesus, He is made unto us Righteousness. Everything in the Church has got to be measured according to Christ; that is, according to God's standard as present in His Son. He is the Righteous One. God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness in the Man Whom He has appointed. Jesus said that the Father had given Him authority to execute judgment because He was the Son of Man. Here is the Man of brass. The Son of Man is the Righteous One, and He is God's standard of measurement. God measures everything by Him. We shall have to come back to that again later on, but we just note the meaning of the Man of Brass and His measuring rod.

You remember that the natural man had intruded into the church at Corinth. The apostle had to speak to Corinth much about the natural man, the carnal man. He pointed out that this natural man, carnal man, had no place in the realm of the things of the Spirit. This "man receiveth not the things of the Spirit ... neither can he know them." And that is what this Man of brass is doing. He is saying that only the man according to Christ can behold and see and hear. Only the spiritual man can come into this realm of the things of the Spirit. I say that the natural and carnal man had intruded into the church at Corinth, and you see the method by which the apostle fought to put that right. He said, "I determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." Paul brought in this Righteous Man to correct the things that were unrighteous. By bringing in the Righteous Man, he put out the unrighteous man. By bringing in the Man of the Spirit, he put out the man of the flesh. That is exactly the meaning of this Man of brass with His measuring rod, so that first of all the object in view is Christ. Ge us governing everything.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 48)

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