The Relationship Between the Cup and the Scattered Fire (continued)
The Cup Needed for the Fire (continued)
And it rests upon, not only our oneness with Him, but our oneness IN Him. Souls will not be saved while there is disruption in the instrument; souls will not be saved while there is divisions among those who are seeking their salvation. The work will not grow and expand and enlarge if satan is allowed a place to divide the people of God. Christ Himself has pointed to the established law; we cannot get away from it. We may try, make our efforts, do all that we can, but they are just not getting there. What is the matter? The matter is, that there is sin somewhere, or there is division somewhere. There is some circling around people, or making parties; and we are simply destroying our own work if it is like that.
You see, this is corporate - it is the Church that the Apostle is talking about and writing to. He is speaking about the Church again and again in these Corinthian letters. 'When you come together as the assembly, as the Church ...' This fellowship in the cup, for the scattering of the fire, is a corporate matter.
We need to ask ourselves: Have we a right to have the Table, to have the cup? Have we the ground for this? We have got to get our basis, our foundation right, before we can have anything else. It would be lovely to go on with the scattering of the fire, to see the thing working out on the side of the glory and power. Yes, we would like to be caught up in that; but we have got to get our basis right, and the basis is the cup.
There is no doubt that the ruin of the Church's testimony and ministry is so often resultant from either or both of these two things: either a contradiction to the cup right in its midst, or else an avoidance of the cup - trying not to face the cup and accept the involvement in the sufferings. We will have a good time, and make everything like that; but the cup - no! The ruination of testimony and ministry comes as much by avoiding the cup as by contradicting it. But the cup is there; it has to be taken.
I think those two disciples were a little frivolous. How profoundly and terribly right the Lord was when He said: "You know not what you ask." 'We are able,' they said. 'Very well, you shall.' The first one of those was the prototype martyr of the New Testament. We shall think about him perhaps later. He drank the cup. Herod killed James with the sword. 'You shall ... you shall...' This is something very real. Nevertheless, we shall see that it worked out for the furtherance of the Gospel.
If our attitude to the cup is right, the other will follow. It will follow quite naturally, quite spontaneously. The cup leads to the scattered fire; the scattered fire waits for the cup. 'He took the cup and gave it to them and said ..."Take... drink... drink y all of it."
Let us ask the Lord just how this word applies, where it applies, what it means. May He give us grace to receive it!
(continued with # 6 - (The Conflict of the Ages)