The Ultimate Meaning of the Cross (continued)
A Spiritual Position Above the Earth
Secondly, the need is for believers as so related occupying a spiritual position above this earth; being here, and yet with a vast gap spiritually between them and what is here - and that includes what is here on this earth religiously, just as much as in other ways; it is possible to be religiously on and of the earth, in a religious way touching the earth. You understand that when I say "touching the earth" I am not talking about touching the ground physically, but touching that realm in which a curse resides. There is a spiritual feature and factor - it has been cursed. Is that too strong? We could spend an hour or two in showing how true that is. The mark of the curse is just this, that it does not matter how far men seem to advance and develop and produce and achieve; running alongside of every advance, and keeping pace with everything that is called progress, every achievement, every invention, every production, there is the element of a curse which will turn that against man for his own undoing. The very thing that he discovers, invents, produces, for the good of the world, turns out for the world's destruction. In the day in which we live we are faced with the fullest development of that principle of the curse that has been known in the history of this universe. When men make such a marvelous discovery and achieve such a marvelous thing that in a split second they can wipe out tens of thousands of people from the earth with one experiment, what are they going to do when they let loose the developed thing? Invention? Progress? Oh no, there is a curse attached to everything in this creation. Man's understanding is found in his own ingenuity. But that is a very intense and strong aspect and expression of this principle. This earthliness has become very refined in many respects; very religious; but still earthly, still something tied down here with its expectations, hopes and enterprises all here. It is not necessary, I think, to follow that unpleasant line very much further.
But to return to this second fragment of the general presentation - we are thinking of believers living in a conscious, spiritual relationship which is the fruit of the Cross, occupying a spiritual position above this earth, and who are concerned with earthly things only so far as those things relate to higher interests, heavenly purposes. They are a people living in the realm described in that unique phrase of the Apostle Paul "in the heavenlies in Christ"; a heavenly people; which means much more, of course, than we are saying at the moment.
(continued with # 5 - (Ever-Increasing Spiritual Fullness)