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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Stewardship of the Mystery # 67

The Heavenly Man and the Word of God (continued)

A Reiteration of the Divine Purpose - The Principle of Incarnation (continued)

The receiving of the Word of God by the Old Testament prophets is described by the Hebrew verb "hayah", which means "happened." Thus the literal rendering of the Hebrew is, The word of the Lord "happened" unto so and so. In our translation this is expressed by the word "came:" The word of the Lord "came" to so and so. It is an event, not just a verbal utterance. That is how it has to be through us to others. That is why the Lord said, "...the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life." (John 6:63). There is an event with His words, not always in the immediate consciousness of those spoken to, but, as we have already pointed out, something is done, and it will come to light one day. Upon that everything is destiny hangs. God speaks, and something is effected one way or the other. Thus the Word of God is not merely a saying, a speech, it is an event.

The full value is given to the Word of God when it is incorporated in a body. That is, of course, patent in the case of the Lord Jesus Himself. The full value of the Scriptures was reached when they were incorporated in Him personally, when it could be said, "And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us ... full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

The Word of God and A Living Assembly

On the corporate side there is something to be recognized which is perhaps may occasion difficulty for the moment, but which is nevertheless true, and something that must be taken into account, and be remembered, that the Word of the Lord in a living assembly has special value and power. If you have not seen that mentally, and recognized that as a truth, possibly you have known it as an experience, as a fact. In a living assembly of the Lord's people, with the Word of the Lord in the midst, what power that Word has, and what value. But how unprofitable it is to try to preach the Word in the midst of an assembly that is not living, but dead and dry. It may be the Word of the Lord, and, so far as the preacher is concerned, it may be in the power of the Holy Spirit, but of how little profit it is. When you get an assembly really alive unto the Lord, a body throbbing with life, what value, what power, what fruit there is in the Word. It was true in the case of the Lord Jesus. There you have a living One, with the Word of God in Him, and you see how, so far as He was concerned, the Word was spirit and life. The Word had special value in Him, because in His was life.

That is a true principle in relation to the Heavenly Man, as corporately set forth. You have there a living body, with the Lord's life and the Lord's Word in the midst, running, having free course, and being glorified. On the outer fringe of that company there may be the unsaved, and others who are not alive to the Spirit, but the fact that the Lord has a nucleus of living ones in the midst gives to the Word something of value, which makes it far more powerful, far more effective, than where this is not the case. This is a thing that those who minister in the Spirit know all about in experience. If the Word is ministered in a fairly large company, not very far advanced, and not having learned the language of the Spirit, and anything is said very much beyond early simplicities, they look at you almost open-mouthed, and think you are talking a strange language. But when the Word has been released and there have been two or three who are alive to the Word, it has taken on power, and these people, although not perhaps  understanding the terminology, have become alive to something. Some of you when preaching may have looked around the congregation to find one cooperating spirit, and the Word has found release. If there is a nucleus in the midst of a realm of death, or comparative death, the Word of God has a special value by reason of a Holy Spirit actuated unit. It is there that we have to see the importance of being alive unto the Lord for the ministry.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 68)

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