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Thursday, January 1, 2015

God's Reactions to Man's Defections # 24

The Testimony of the Blood (continued)

There is nothing which satan fears so terribly and contests so fiercely as a true and living testimony concerning the Blood of the Lord Jesus: not a teaching, doctrine, creed or phraseology, but that which is wrought out in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is therefore necessary for us to seek to recognize this fact, to understand, as far as we can, why it is so, and to know our position of victory because of the Blood. Unto this three-fold apprehension we shall begin at the ultimate issue of the testimony, which is -

The Divine Seed in Prosperity and Sovereignty

It is this that satan cannot bear to contemplate, and against which he is bitterly set, because it represents a menace to his kingdom at every point.

There is a very great significance attached to the introduction of the Book of Exodus with "the names of the sons of Israel", who came into Egypt. The title "sons of Israel" represents their dignity as sons of "a prince of God." They came into Egypt and were in great prosperity and strength, while yet a separate and unabsorbed people. This dignity, prosperity and power came to be regarded as a distinct peril to the king of Egypt, and he projected a plan for humbling them, bringing them into bondage and making them rather to contribute to his own prosperity and power.

Thus Exodus presents, firstly, God's mind concerning the princely dignity and spiritual prosperity and ascendency of the "sons"; then the activity and object of the adversary concerning them; and finally the Divine thought and intention established in the realm of "far above all rule and authority" in virtue of the shed blood of chapter 12. So then, sonship and sovereignty are the two factors present throughout. Sonship is the basic principle. Sovereignty is the issue involved in the conflict. The Blood is the instrument by which both are established. "These are the names of the sons of 'the prince' of God" ... is the introduction. "Let My Son go, that he may serve Me", is the challenge to Pharaoh; and "Thou hast refused ... behold, I will slay thy son", is the sovereign factor at issue (Exodus 4:23).

Now these elements are carried forward throughout all the Scriptures. It does not matter where you look: that which lies behind all the conflicts in the history of the people of God concerns the existence of a Divine seed in prosperity and power - spiritually - and the factor which is mainly involved is that of the Altar and the Blood. Everything hangs on that. This all heads up and finds its supreme expression in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. As with Moses typically, so with Him anti-typically, there was the recognition of the One through Whom this Divine seed would be constituted in its "authority ... over all the power of the enemy" (Luke 10:19). So from birth a "dead set" was made for His destruction - not only by direct onslaught, but by subtle subterfuge to get Him to act upon a level of self by which the Divine protection would be forfeited.

The point at which we meet this whole matter of the testimony of the Blood is with - 

An Elect In Bondage

There is abundant Scripture to show what was the original thought and intention of God for His spiritual seed, and this is a very important matter for the apprehension of the Lord's people. But what particularly concerns us now is its realization. It is not a little impressive that of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament at least twenty-one have to do with the bringing of the Lord's children into their right spiritual place. And how many of them are directly concerned with the matter of the actual or threatening loss of spiritual prosperity and ascendency through some form of bondage. There is a bondage of iniquity, of sin and sins, of the Law, of tradition, of fear, of the flesh, of the carnal mind, of reason, of the righteousness of the flesh, the wisdom of the flesh, the 'spirituality' of the flesh, and many other forms of bondage. The bonds of satan are very numerous, and he suits the kind to the case. A prince in chains, a member of the seed royal in servile oppression, is a pitiable sight, and this is what the devil delights in. The "man-child", whether individual as in Moses and Christ (Exodus 1 and Matthew 2), or corporate as in Revelation 12, is the object of the dragon's venom. This is the Divine seed.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 25)

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