3. The Law of the Ultimate Purpose
Pass on hurriedly to John 12:21-24. The Greeks inquired for Him saying, "Sir, we would see Jesus." His response to the inquiry is "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified ... Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die," etc. Perhaps there is no more familiar passage to us than that - a corn of wheat issuing in the resurrection body; the Son of man thus glorified; the triumph of Christ over death in a bodily form. It is true that in an isolated capacity, and apart altogether from others, He triumphed personally over death, but that is not the only method of God to demonstrate the fact. The fact of His triumph over death is also in a corporate resurrection body with all the members sharing that Resurrection Life. That is the testimony to the fact that He has risen; that is also an instrument by which it is to be proved to the universe that He is alive from the dead.
The law of the ultimate purpose is here seen: Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die...
The sign of the ultimate purpose. The security of the ultimate purpose. The law of the ultimate purpose. What does all that amount to? LIFE THROUGH DEATH.
Now we are so familiar with this truth that it hardly needs further emphasis or words; but let it be said as we pass on, that everything, to the most minute detail, which relates to that ultimate purpose of God has to be born in the power of His Resurrection. Oh, how we are tested upon that! A relationship - and the Lord calls upon you to let that relationship go. The Cross and your position relative to the Lord Jesus costs you that, and that is to go down into death. Relationships are all tested down there; and then what is of God comes back, it must survive. What is not of God we become quite content to do without. We come up in the Victory of His Life.
If a thing has been sown of God in the grave of the Lord Jesus, it rises in the power of a Life that cannot see death and corruption; it will come up, but this time on a higher level. That is the history of many a personal experience. What happened? We have been baptized into death since then, all of us, aye, and we have been baptized into hell, for all hell seems to have been let loose upon this thing, and we pass through the darkness, the bitter agony, and the spiritual antagonisms to a point of almost intolerable pressure. Where are we? We are coming up, and praise God, we are higher than ever.
This is the continual order, the cycle of the law of this progress of the ultimate purpose. I think the Church will be baptized into a deeper death, just before the Lord comes, than ever it has known before, and then it will go higher than ever; it will not be able to get any higher, for it will bound to the utmost heights. This is the law of the ultimate purpose which is wrought out in individual lives in every relationship, in everything. It results in this, that you do not come back to the single plane, you come back to the multiple plane - increase - the one corn changed to the many, all sharing one Life.
(continued with # 4 - (4. The Basis of the Ultimate Purpose)