The Retrospective Feature (continued)
Christ's Knowledge Spiritual, Not Academic (continued)
"Remember Jesus Christ." There is a source and a kind of knowledge, by which we can be got through, which all this world's princes of knowledge do not possess. It is a "kind" of knowledge. I want to enlarge upon that later, but I am making the statement here. Unless we have this kind of knowledge, this spiritual understanding, this spiritual knowledge, this spiritual understanding, this spiritual intelligence - this intelligence which is different, which is other, this mind which is the mind of Christ - we are not going to negotiate these spiritual corners in Christian life and experience and in the work of God. We need understanding more than the best understanding more than the crisis. How are we going to negotiate this situation? It may be that you are facing such things. You are exercised; you are wondering - How are we going to get around this, how are we going to get through this? Well, there is a kind of knowledge, a kind of understanding, a kind of spiritual intelligence, available to the child of God, that will get us through. That is very true in experience and in history. If we have not known the Lord at certain times, where should we have been? Our knowledge of the Lord saved us. And many times our knowledge of spiritual principles has saved, our knowledge of how God does things has been a tremendous standby in times of need.
Yes, remember Jesus Christ. He had a knowledge which was more than all the knowledge of this world, and different: it was that which He had by the Spirit. These letters are themselves proof positive of this. Here is the new situation arising, and the big question is, How is the Church going to get through this crisis without disaster, without calamity? Well, the letters are just full of a knowledge, are they not, which meets the need: it is the knowledge of Christ. Do you know that Christ is mentioned twelve times in each of these letters? They are very brief letters; you can read them through in a few minutes, both of them; and Christ is referred to 24 times. When you get any word dominant like that, it surely gives a clue to what it is all about. Paul here is coming back with Christ: it is Christ, it is Christ - He is the One upon Whom we should draw.
Christ's Influence Spiritual, Not Psychic
So much, then, for the matter of His knowledge. A word about His "influence". It is indisputable that He had an immense influence. His presence always made itself felt. He could not be anywhere without it being known that He was there. Without any need for Him to speak, things began to come out; His presence was a powerful presence. That does not need proving or enlarging upon. This mysterious influence and impact - what is it? Some people, of course, have tried to explain it psychologically: that He had a powerful psychic effect upon people. They have summed it all up in the phrase, 'a tremendously strong personality'. Well, they may thing that if they like, but that is NOT the answer. His influence, His impact, was something other than the psychic, something other than just a strong personality. It was essentially "spiritual." Evil spirits recognized His presence - demons cried out in His presence. This is not psychic; there are actual entities and intelligences. It is a registration upon the spiritual world.
(continued with # 56)