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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Discipline Unto Prayer # 17

"Gather My Saints Together"

Psalm 50:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Hebrews 10:25

In all of the above passages there is this one common factor, that an end-time movement and feature is dominant. It must be remembered  that the Psalms themselves represent what remains when a history of outward things as to the general instrumentality has ended in failure. The history of Israel in its first great phase closed with the Book of "Kings" in a calamitous and shameful way. Weakness, paralysis, declension, reproach, characterized the instrument in general. But out of that history now so concluded the Psalms are carried forward, and they represent what has spiritually been gained and is permanent. This is preeminently a personal, inward, spiritual knowledge of the Lord gained through experience. That is why they always reach the heart and never fail to touch experience at every point. To them the saints have turned in times of deep experience. They are the ministry of experience to experience, the only ministry which is permanent. The end-time instrument will always be that which inwardly knows the Lord in a deep and living way through history fraught with much experience of the heights and depths. What David gave to the Chief Musician for the wind instruments and the stringed instruments touches the highest and deepest note of a mortal's knowledge of God. Worship, Salvation, Sorrow, Appeal, Victory, Battle, Faith, Hope, Glory, Instruction, are all great themes interwoven with the mass of matters touched, but the point is that all came in real life; He passed through it all. It is this, and this alone, which can serve the Lord when what He first raised up has failed Him as a public instrument. So the Lord would take pains to secure this, and this may explain much of the suffering and sorrow through which He takes His chosen vessels.

It does not need pointing out that, in the other two passages with which we commenced, the end-time is in view; they definitely state it.

There is a further common feature, however, which is more particularly the subject before us. They all definitely  refer to gathering together as something related to the end-time. The Day is drawing nigh, therefore there is to be a  "so much the more" assembling together. The Lord is coming, and there is a gathering to Him.

A history of a religious system which sprang out of something which the Lord raided up in the first place has ended in weakness, chaos and shame. Therefore, there is to be a re-gathering to the Lord of His saints.

Before we deal with the nature of this end-time gathering, we must get clearly in view those that are concerned in it. The passage in the Psalms would embrace and include those referred to in the other two passages.

"My Saints ... Those That Have Made A Covenant With Me by Sacrifice"

It need hardly be remarked that when all has been said and done through type, symbol and figure, the covenant means an entering into what the Lord Jesus has done by His shed Blood. It is an appreciation and apprehension of Him in His great work by the Cross. The Lord, by His Blood, has made a "New Covenant" by sacrifice, and we, His spiritual people, have entered into that covenant and set our hand to it. Christ as "the mediator of a new covenant" stands for both parties, for a covenant requires two parties. On one side He is God, "The Son of God;" on the other side He is Man, "Son of Man." In Christ we are made the humanity side of the covenant, and by taking our place by faith in Him we enter into the covenant. Just as, in Christ, God has come out to us in a great committal, so also - as in the case of Christ - we in Him go out to God in a like utter committal. The Blood seals the covenant, that is, makes us wholly the Lord's, and the Lord wholly ours.

If we see the meaning of "a covenant by sacrifice" then we shall see who it is that will be in this gathering  together. It will certainly be only those to whom the Lord is everything, to whom He is all and in all; and those who are all for the Lord without a reservation, a personal interest, or anything that is less or other than Himself. Spiritual oneness is only possible on this basis.

The Lord's word to Abraham in the day of covenant was, "Now I know that thou fearest God." Malachi's end-time word was "Then they that eared the Lord ..." The fear of the Lord is an utter abandonment to Him at any cost; His will being supreme, claiming and obtaining the measure of a whole burnt offering.

~T. Austin-Sparks~ 

(continued with # 18 - (The Nature of the Gathering Together)


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