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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 56

A River That Could Not Be Passed Over: The Fullness of the Spirit (continued)

The River (The Holy Spirit) Makes All Things New (continued)

If you study Ezekiel forty-seven, you will see that there is no situation for which these waters are not equal. And yet one must make a reservation in that statement. It says later in the chapter that there is something that will not be healed but will be given over to salt. There is such a thing as resisting the Holy Spirit. Judas did not come into the good of the day of the Spirit; and that is in the New Testament, this possibility of sinning against the Holy Spirit. Where that is deliberately and persistently done, then there is not Life but death. But provided there is no deliberate and conscious refusal of the Spirit, the Spirit is equal to every situation. How great is the Spirit, He is altogether incomprehensible!

The prophet said it was a river that could not be passed through. This is something that is altogether impossible to cope with. How true that is in Acts two. The coming of the Spirit is likened to a mighty, rushing wind. The Spirit came like that on the Day of Pentecost. This thing cannot be managed by man. You cannot bring the Holy Spirit within the compass of your ability. Ezekiel said: "a river that could not be passed over." This is too much for man. Oh, that we knew the Spirit like this! And yet in principle, this is what the Spirit does. He refuses to be tied up to our human systems and our human measure. He refuses  to be limited to our natural man. He refuses to be limited to our traditions and our prejudices. That is what we find in the Book of Acts. The Holy Spirit is too much for the people of Jerusalem. He is too much for Peter, and all Peter's prejudices. He is too much for Herod the king. He is too much for everything that gets in His Way - a River that you cannot control!

Now for the Spirit to be like that, to be expressing Himself in that way, two things are necessary; and this is a very true principle. There will only be this fullness and power of the Spirit if these two things exist. The first is the absolute authority of the Throne, that is, the absolute authority of the Man in the Throne. We have said again and again that the Man in the Throne governs everything. Everything in the whole Book comes under The Man in the Throne. In the Book of Acts, we see the Man in the Throne governing everything. It is the absolute Lordship and Headship of Jesus Christ.

Now God will not give His Spirit in fullness and in power to something that does not correspond to His Mind. So this thing is essential: the Man governing in the House. Therefore, what this increasing measure says to us is this: the Lord never desires to leave His people ankle deep in the Spirit. It is not the Lord's Will that we should have the Spirit and Life just up to our ankles, neither is it His desire that we shall have the Spirit up to our knees, nor yet up to our loins. The Lord's desire is fullness, waters to swim in, but waters that are too much for us.

Of course, this is rather a terrible situation. I think that you might detect in Ezekiel that he was a bit frightened. To him, this was a terrible situation, and  when it gets like this, of course, it is terrible. We want to keep our feet on sure ground. We do not want to be swept off our feet; the Church wants to have its feet on this earth, to be quite sure of its ground. Well, you know what that means spiritually, but the Lord's thought is that we should be swept right off our feet, that we should be carried out into depths for which we have no measure. Let us thing about that. There are two little words here, "a river that could not be pass through." There is the great "could not" of the Spirit. That "could not" stands over all human capacity.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 57)

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