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  1. It’s God’s care to “work in us” (Phl 2:13), and the believer’s care to “walk in His Spirit” (because we “live in His Spirit - Gal 5:25), via Him “conforming” our minds and hearts to be as His Son’s (1Jo 4:17) by His Holy Spirit (Eph 3:16) through the implanting of a new nature (“new man”) that is “after” the Lord Jesus’ nature (Col 3:10), thereby being made “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pe 1:4). Hence we do not conform ourselves but are “to be conformed.” We do not change ourselves but “are changed” (Rom 8:29). Those who are “born again” eventually, without fail, manifest (in their lifestyle or walk) all these godly virtues and blessings, as we continue “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2). The renting of the Temple veil was the renting of the Lord Jesus’ body and demonstrates not only the nullification of the sin nature’s damnation (Ro 8:1) and dominion (Ro 6:14) in believers, but is also the provision of establishing eternal fellowship with the Father. “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” (Heb 10:10 – NLT). . . by a new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Heb 10:20). His death did not establish new life but firstly, the judgement of our sin, so His resurrection could establish our new life in Him and the Father, through Their Holy Spirit! NC Glorious Gaze The Lord Jesus in glory is set before us as the object to which we are to be conformed. We are told that the Father has predestinated us “to be to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). John likewise alludes to the fact when he says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know the when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1Jhn 3:2). But it is Paul who brings out this truth in its most definite form. Writing to the Corinthians, and contrasting the ministry of righteousness with the ministry of condemnation, and being led to state the full and blessed place into which believers are now brought, he says, “We all, with open (i.e. unveiled) face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Cor 3:18). He refers to Exodus 34, where we read Moses was compelled to put a veil upon his face to conceal the glory that lingered there (after he had come down from the Mount, where he had been with the Lord forty days and forty nights), because Aaron and all the children of Israel “were afraid to come near him.” “And (till) Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord, to speak with Him, he took the veil off, until he came out” (Ex 34:34, 35). Only Moses went in, under that dispensation, before the Lord with unveiled face; but now we all—all believers—with open (unveiled) face behold the glory of the Lord. The truth then is, that all who are in the Christian place and position are set down in the light, as God is in the light (1Jo 1:7), and there they behold with unveiled face the glory of the Lord. Christ in glory is the object on which they gaze (it’s gazing or “looking unto Jesus” in the Word of God that conforms and changes—by the Spirit – e.g. Jam 1:23, 24; thus the more the Word exposure the more the change in our walk of what we already are in Christ—NC). This was shown, albeit in an extraordinary way, in the death of Stephen. “He, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). This scene is significant from the fact that now the heavens are opened for every believer, and that he therefore, by faith, without a veil, with nothing between, sees the glorified Lord Jesus at the right hand of the Father. For upon the death of Christ the veil was rent (renting of His body—NC), expressive of the fact that the atonement He made by His death was accepted by the Father as a full and complete answer to all the claims of His holiness, so that He could now come forth in all His grace and love to meet the sinner, and bring him, through faith in the Savior, unto Himself, to dwell in His own immediate presence, in the Holiest of All. Such is the place and position of every saint of God! A caution, however, may be needed. It is undoubtedly true that this place belongs to every believer; but it is another, and indeed, a most momentous question, whether we are occupying it (walking in it by the same principle as “living” and also “walking in the Spirit” - Gal 5:25—NC). We are brought into it according to the efficacy of the work of the Lord Jesus, and through His death, resurrection and ascension; and it is thus our blessed privilege to be ever occupied with Him as our Object. The Father would have us thus occupied; for He would have us share His own delight in gazing upon the face of Him who has retrieved His glory by becoming “obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.” Are we then, occupying the place into which we have been brought by the grace of our Father, and having fellowship with Himself as to the Object of His own heart? Perhaps there is no greater loss at the present time than knowing the full truth of our position without seeking to answer to it practically (in our lifestyle—NC). It should, therefore, be a very solemn matter of inquiry with us whether we maintain the attitude of Stephen; whether our faces, like his, are ever turned to the glory of the Lord. But the marvelous thing is, that the Lord Jesus we thus behold as our Object, is the model to which we are to be conformed (we are forever conformed to Jesus’ place of innocence at rebirth, so it’s always our “walk” which is unceasingly being conformed—NC). The Father, according to the purpose of is infinite grace, and delighting to mark His appreciation of the work of His Son, will have us to be like Him Who He has glorified. Even now we can say, “As He is (guiltless—NC), so are we in this world” (1Jo 4:17); that is, our acceptance even now while in this scene, is as perfect as His at the right hand of the Father. But the time will come when we shall be fashioned after His own likeness, when even these poor bodies of ours shall also be conformed to the likeness of His glorious body” (Phl 3:21). {Note of interest: There is a scientific law implies that mass can neither be created nor destroyed, although it may be rearranged in space, or the entities associated with it may be changed in form. Thus, God takes all the mass of our first body, from wherever all of it has been separated to in existence, and “changes” it - 1Co 15:51; God “redeems” our old body – Rom 8:23, but not our old nature, and are given a new nature, which presently indwells us, and at the resurrection will eternally remain to be our only nature—NC.} How then, we may inquire, is this change wrought out in us? This same Scripture gives the answer—“We . . . beholding the glory of the Lord are changed . . . by the Spirit of the Lord.” While on the one hand the Lord Jesus in glory is the model to which we are conformed, beholding Him, there is on the other, instrumentality in the power of the Spirit by which it is effected. How simple! We behold and are changed—changed into the same image from glory to glory—for it is a gradual process (e.g. in our walk, not our redeemed position—NC), as by the Spirit of the Lord. We receive the impress of the One on Whom we look; the rays of the glory of His face falling on us, penetrate in and transform us morally into the likeness of our Lord (God fully transforms us at rebirth, and is inevitably [Rom 11:29] manifested in our walk—NC). Herein lies our responsibility and privilege. The object is before us; before Him we stand with unveiled face, and it is divine power alone that can mold us into His likeness; but the activity of that power—through the Spirit—the Father has been pleased to connect with our beholding. Who then, would not ever stand before Him, catching every ray of glory that shines from such an Object, in the earnest desire to obtain growing conformity to Him on Whom we gaze? But it should be remembered that it is only growing likeness we obtain even by such a process. Full conformity “waits” (Rom 8:23), as John teaches, for the moment when “we shall see Him as He is.” There is no perfection here (concerning ourselves personally, due to the old man and old body—NC), since the Father’s standard of holiness is His Son in glory, and He will never rest until we are perfect according to it. May we keep our eyes ever upon the Object, that we may daily grow in resemblance to Him to Whom we are to be fully conformed. It is not only that the Lord Jesus is a Savior suited to our needs, but He is One who is suited to the heart of the Father—the Man after His own heart; and the Father would have us prize Him according to His own thoughts of His value and preciousness, to enter into, and to rejoice with Him in, His appreciation to the worth of Him who gave up all for the Father’s glory. As He is our Object now, so He will be throughout eternity. We shall ever be with the Lord. He Himself (not just through the Holy Spirit as now—NC) will be with us, the Lamb that was slain; then as now, the Man—for He will nevermore lay aside the humanity He has assumed; and then He will fill our gaze and our hearts, perfectly and completely. What an infinite study to trace out and contemplate His varied and manifold excellencies! We shall hear His voice, and oh how we shall hang to every word that falls from His lips. All that we see and hear will but fill our souls with ineffable delight, and our ceaseless joy (nothing to ever interrupt—NC) will be to lie at His feet in adoration and praise. Lord, in anticipation of the time, turn our eyes from all that might obscure Thee from our present view, and Thyself attract and occupy us altogether! - Edward Dennett (1831-1914)
  2. Hi and God bless! History has shown up until the present that the majority of all nations have remained unsaved, and this is evidence that the majority of mankind will perish (Mat 7:13).
  3. Note to viewer: Hope everyone is using the daily devotional from MJS because it contains all of the same teachings as the articles I share. God be blessed! http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/ “Putting off the old man” involves that which it does, not that which it is. Believers cannot put of the old man itself, but do, “by the Spirit” put off its “deeds” and “conversations” (Col 3:9; Eph 4:22). This is possible because the old man, or sin nature, is restrained (but not removed) on the Cross (“is crucified” – Rom 6:6) due to our being “crucified with Christ.” NC “Crucified With Christ” The believer is now before the Father, not in the man who was under judgement (old man; sin nature—NC), but in the Man who has glorified Him in bearing the judgment, and consequently, there is not a cloud between his soul and the Father, because the man who caused the distance has been condemned in judgement. Often a believer though tasting of peace with God, when he finds the working of sin in him tries to correct it as if he could alter himself (old self—NC), overlooking the great and stupendous fact that the Father Himself has removed the man (nullified the dominion of “the old man” – Rom 6:14—NC) in judgement in the death of His own Son. Thus if a believer is really at peace with God it is because his “old man has been crucified with Christ,” and altogether set aside in the judgement of the Cross. If he were clear as to the fact of our old man being crucified with Christ, instead of trying to correct himself (i.e. crucify old man by self—NC), he would look to the Lord Jesus to set him free from the intrusion of the flesh: “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” What becomes us now is to have the Lord Jesus before us, and not the correction of the old man (by self—NC). The snare of trying to improve oneself is very common, and it is important to see that, however well-meaning it may be, it is really denial that our old man has been crucified, and a revival (continued ignorance—NC) of that which has been set aside in the Cross. It is plain that if we are clear of the old man we have no man before us but the risen Lord Jesus Christ. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin”; and the more sensible you are of how ready the flesh is to intrude, the more you are cast upon Him. It is inconceivable that one could have any just apprehension of God’s grace, and yet continue to expect anything from the flesh or in any way to deal with it (referring to the nature itself and not its works, which we are given to deal with in our walk, because we are crucified—NC). It shows how little the revelation of His grace is really accepted in its greatness; because if I know that God Himself has in the Cross removed from His sight the man (old man—NC) who offended, how gladly I should accept His grace! What fruitless sorrow has one known for months and years in the attempt to improve oneself, until wearied out we cry, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death” (not the physical body but the “body of sin” with its “members” (Rom 6:6; Col 3:5)? Then we find there is only one relief, and that is found where we ought to have sought it at first: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Nothing can be more certain for the believer than that one man is judicially gone in judgement, and that the Lord Jesus alone remains. When I have put on Christ—the best robe—which is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Not only does the blessed Father see me on this ground, one from which He never can change or be diverted, but I now, by the Spirit of God see myself (new self or new nature—NC) on that ground and I can only say, not only our “old man is crucified,” but “I have been crucified”; and if I have been crucified, how can I refer to myself in any sense (concerning self-crucifixion, which is impossible—NC)? If we observe the history of Christians, we see them trying to improve themselves—their tempers and their evil tendencies, plainly showing they do not truly believe (or misunderstand—NC) in the absolute and simple revelation that “our old man is crucified with Him.” There is nothing of deeper importance at the commencement of our Christian life than that we should accept, with some apprehension of its greatness, that the man that was under judgment is removed from the eye of God in judgment. We have to ponder in order to realize the magnitude of it, and when we do believe it is the truth, another thing of equal importance is made known to us—that not only is the old man completely removed (concerning its guilt and rein—NC) from the eye of the God, but that by the Holy Spirit we are in Christ a new creation by the power of God. If we keep these two things together we have a great start; one man is gone in judgment and another has been brought in, and this is established to us by the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. Thus we enter on our new history. Properly, we are not occupied with the flesh (sin nature—NC); though the flesh is still in us (Rom 7:17, 20) we “are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” (Rom 8:9); and our attention is largely given to walking in the Spirit. We have now a new exercise, even to sow to the Spirit. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (the victory is in the absence of willing to sin - Heb 10:26—NC). This shows us how intent our eye must be on the risen Lord Jesus; we have nothing to do with that man that has been judged, and the more we realize this the happier we are—judicially freed of the one and by the Spirit of God established in the Other. Everything we do now is done with reference to the Lord Jesus; and not only is “the body for the Lord” (1Co 6:13), but “he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” We are to act according to His pleasure in the very management of our bodies. It is remarkable that Romans 12:1, 2 refers to the body; “Present your bodies a living sacrifice . . . be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” But in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “we all beholding the glory of the Lord—are transformed”; it is the same word (transformed) as in Romans 12:2, and is only used twice in Scripture in reference to us—once as to the physical body, and secondly as to what is imparted to us—what is received from Christ; we are “transformed according to the same image.” This might be called the exercise of our daily life; our history here is not merely seeking to glorify Him in our bodies, but we should be growing in moral correspondence to Himself, and that by association with Himself; so that the two great truths we started with would be confirmed to us more and more every day—the old man gone from the eye of God and from our eye, and we are new creations established in the Lord Jesus Christ by the ministry of the Spirit of Christ. - J B Stoney
  4. The fact of possessing certain attributes (e.g. “fruit of the Spirit”) of God does not establish the use of them, only potential for such. Though at rebirth, saints possess “all that pertains to life and godliness” (2Pe 1:3), it is only that which is properly learned and understood in time that will be applied in the walk; and it is true to His Word (Phl 2:13), that every genuine believer (if here long enough) will eventually be given and taught of God to “walk in (after) the Spirit.” This mostly involves understanding godly truths that pertain to spiritual growth in the Lord Jesus’ “image,” which reveals to us the comprehension of them enough to apply them in our lives—of course, by the blessed Spirit. If there be that urgency of desiring to walk in the love of God toward all, then the entire course will reflect that of “pleasing” God (Phl 2:13). NC Fact-fostered Experience To judge oneself (1Co 11:31) is often necessary and useful, but if that produces distrust toward God (results in self-condemnation—NC), then it is evil—the spirit of legalism is there, and the heart of the Father is judged (conflicts with “no condemnation”—NC) according to what we find in our own heart—a sad way, if we desire to know Him. The law says, Love; it is a righteous demand. But of the Gospel, the Lord Jesus Himself says, “God so loved,” and from this the new life, and the power to conquer sin flow. The demand of love does not produce love, and the demand for holiness does not make holy. But also the fact that we have new life, does not give liberty—desire for holiness, no doubt, but not strength for liberty. Redemption provides for us first of all liberty, placing us before the Father, justified and accepted in the Beloved (Christ); the conscience is purified, and we recognize the love that is in our Father, justified and accepted in the question of the dominion of sin, and if we are not clear as to redemption, liberty in the soul is lost. This is what remains to be settled, in part, in your soul. You speak of having practically (in practice—NC) done with self, and of holding it for dead. But it is with this latter truth that you must begin, and that as crucified with Christ. “Ye are dead” (Col 3:3). Faith recognizes this truth, and the experience which precedes is but the means of bringing us to discover that we do not succeed in delivering ourselves, nor in the dying. We must reckon (realize—NC) ourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God. Experience is useful to make us feel the need of a deliverer—our own weakness. When we have made the discovery of it, we come to know that God in sending His son, has “condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3). There is no acceptance of sin in the flesh (i.e. “in the evil nature; not the physical body but the old man—NC). We learn that is has been condemned, but in the Cross of Christ, that matter being settled by that sovereign grace; sin which tormented us has been judged. Then having been judged in the Cross, we have the right to hold ourselves for dead to sin; the practical carrying out of it (the walk—NC) comes afterwards—as a result. God says, “Ye are dead”—“crucified with Christ.” I accept it, quite convinced that good does not exist in me (old me—NC), and I reckon it of myself to have died (old man’s damnation and dominion nullified in the believer—NC). Then, after that I bear, more or less faithfully, in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus (2Co 4:10); but it is a consequence—an important consequence—for our fellowship depends upon it. But it is also important to look constantly to the Lord Jesus, and to the love of the Father, because that encourages the soul. There is positive goodness in Him, strength also that He exercises on our behalf, but by looking to Him we are enlightened. It is not only that our condition is improved, but the grace that is in Him above all that we are, is revealed to the heart, and we know where strength is, and what the grace is on which we can count. If you are tempted and tried, look to Him; little by little you will become accustomed to believe in His goodness, though it be necessary to recur constantly; but the eye directed to Him via the Word makes Him known to the heart. Looking to Him delivers us from ourselves (old selves, against which we constantly “put off”—NC), is what excludes that thought of self, and sanctifying us much more in a practical way—we grow. “We all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Co 3:18). - J N Darby
  5. Redemption (salvation, rebirth, etc.) is not something one can grow in, for its operation exists only in a single degree, i.e. one soul cannot be more saved than another. Thus the sole difference between those reborn lies within the maturity of understanding and application of all that Scripture and the Spirit of God teaches. To know by Spirit-given faith (Gal 5:22) the efficacy of Christ’s expiation for sin is to manifest in one’s lifestyle (walk) evidence of being forgiven by our loving Father. This manifests “union” with Him, but “fellowship” with Him involves a progression from mere union, as forgiveness is but the beginning of learning the love of God via obedience of His “Word of Truth” (2Co 6:7; Eph 1:13; 2Ti 2:15; Jas 1:18). NC Proceed To Progress Is it not a strange, humbling and prevalent fact that so few Christians should understand their own Christianity? Yet it is true that there are many saints in the Lord Jesus who know more about the Jews than they do about their own Christianity. Pay close heed to this, lest it be your own case. It is always the truth most important to us that the devil tries to hide away from us, and turn us bitterly from it. Nor is it only the bad thing that he perverts, to hinder our blessing. For many true believers are kept back because they refuse to look for more than the forgiveness of their sins through the Gospel. Now therein is God’s righteousness revealed by and to faith (Rom 1:17); therein the sinner owns the riches of God’s grace to his soul: but to stop there is altogether unworthy. So many saints of God fall into this snare at the present moment, that it is well to see to it that we ourselves escape it. What is the good of occupying ourselves with what does not promote our Father’s glory? Let us seek in all integrity to judge ourselves. Let us zealously seek to be taught by the Spirit (1Co 2:13). Let our eyes be fixed on the Lord Jesus that we may be filled with fervor of spirit, and purpose of heart, simple and thoroughgoing. The question for our faith and practice is the attitude that our Father assumed toward us, and our relation to Him while the Lord Jesus is above on His own right hand. How is the answer to this great truth to be carried out on the earth in the heart and way of those who believe? Must it not be through faith “working by love” (Gal 5:6)? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). It was His God and Father that raised the Lord Jesus from among the dead, and gave Him glory, that our faith and hope should be in God, His Father and our Father, His God and our God (Jhn 20:17). As in the rest of the New Testament it is not just the God of Abraham, etc.; but here, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is no longer just the revelation of the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. You naturally become more or less of a Jew in this case, and your heart cannot then rise higher than “the promises made to the fathers” (Rom 15:8 – I believe the patriarchal promises relate primarily with inheriting the new earth, e.g. Psa 25:13; 37:9; 37:11, 22; 82:8; Isa 49:8; Mat 5:5—NC). Hence so many believers now, like the Reformers and the Puritans in former days, talk of grasping the promises. This is to ignore and lower the privileges of the Gospel and of the Church. It loses sight of the Lord Jesus Christ in heavenly glory, after the work of the Cross. Every Christian ought to understand and appreciate the total difference (I would say chiefly between those inheriting the New Heaven and those inheriting the New Earth—NC). Therefore, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Tim 2:15). - Wm Kelly (1821 – 1906)
  6. (Thankful to be back after a short food-threat that forced my family to temporarily move most of our things. It appears that we will not return to our residence until July, which is when the threat should expire. Thank You God! NC) Man’s only contribution to Christianity is to the naming its title. All that it is in content has its origin and operation solely in the Lord Jesus. It must be a separate system, unlike any that will ever be, in order that it, and He in it, can provide the only available source as an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Heb 6:19). NC Originally and Eternally Heavenly Two efforts of the Enemy are characteristic of the present day, and go along together with the humanizing (Jesus had a human body but not the human nature—NC) of the Lord Jesus, and the giving a worldly character to Christianity (Christianity is that which is only from Christ and has nothing from man, but to man—NC). This leads to multifarious forms of human religiousness and of earthly organization, having little or nothing in common but this, that they exhibit practical departure from heavenly principles and grievous independence of the Divine Persons. It is therefore of no little moment that we should recognize that Christianity in its vary essence is as heavenly as He who constitutes it. Many are they who accept its divine authorship have never adequately apprehended it to be an absolutely heavenly thing, in an earthly locale. But practically we find that the less it is apprehended as heavenly, the less also will its divine aspect be before the soul. For this we may safely predict, that it is impossible to understand its character and its scope, unless in its origin, in its essence, in its operation and in its end, it is seen to be altogether a heavenly product for a heavenly purpose. Outside a very small circle, how rarely do we meet a saint who understands his parentage, and occupies according to God, his present portion! How contracted and how erroneous are the commonly-prevailing thoughts of what Christianity is. How little it is accepted as the reflection of a heavenly Christ in a heavenly people redeemed from the earth, who are here only for Himself and looking for translation at His coming. “The first man of the earth, earthly” had been running his carnal and material course for forty centuries here below, before “the Second Man” paid a visit of three and thirty years to the same scene, have been sent into it in grace to “the first.” As man, He was, He is, “the heavenly,” and by this title is contrasted with “the earthly.” In God’s reckoning He was “second Man,” for all before, God counts as one; and He was “last Adam,” for there could be no more after. But more than this He was “from (or out of) heaven” as the first was “out of the earth, made of dust.” Refused and cut off from the earth, having nothing, He is now the risen Man in the glory of God, and alike in incarnation and in resurrection is He “the heavenly”—there, now and eternally! Further, as is He “the heavenly, such also are the heavenly (ones)” (1Cor 15:48). What is now before us is a matter of race, and as to this we are born of God, are “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pe 1:4). The One “who lived, who died, who lives again,” has redeemed unto Himself a chosen race of which, as the risen Man He is the glorified federal Head, and this Word—“As the heavenly, such also are the heavenly”—so constitutes Christianity in its very essence. Every bit of it which is a genuine thing before God, expresses in word or in deed, the cardinal truth that man is in the glory of God, and God is glorified thereby. One who was once visible upon the earth, “in likeness of sinful flesh” (sinful flesh; not the body but appearance of the sinful nature, for the body is not sinful, though is used sinfully - Rom 8:3—NC), sits now in a glorified, but no less real, positive human body in the Father’s throne. From the glory of God, from the throne of the Father, and in the risen exalted Man who fills heaven with His peerless presence, Christianity has its origin; and in the power of the Holy Spirit alone, it has its activities in so far as they are according to God. “When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right had of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3)—marks its starting-point, both as to time and place. It is thus “the heavenly” gone back to heaven—man in the glory of God—in whom it takes its rise; and it is this fact—the parent truth of Christianity, which imparts to it its distinctive character. It is a divine thing as He is divine; it is heavenly as He is heavenly. - R Beacon MJS excerpt (bookmark link for daily reading) for MAY 17: “There is a great difference between a foe, and; defeated foe. A conquered enemy can be put to valuable use in the hands of the victor, and that is exactly what God is doing with that old serpent. Satan is allowed to sift, and try the believer; he is used of God as a winnowing machine to clear away the chaff in us.” – MJS http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/ Correction on last article. Not “food” but "flood threat," which some have suspected I meant. God be blessed!
  7. When anyone reborn in Christ is asked how they are doing, they can always reply (should they desire, even if in tears) “I couldn’t be doing better!” “How’s that so you may ask?” The blessed answer is that regardless of your situation, you are never without the Father (Jhn 14:23)—in the “life” of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:4)—via Their Holy Spirit (Jhn 14:16). The more God works this in our hearts and minds, the greater we will possess Their peace and love with all around us, which ever leads us to remember to wait on God in complete trust and patience at all times! NC The Perfect Work Of Patience “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience” (Col 1:11). I shall find plenty of difficulties in the way, and temptations of all kinds—possibly death, as has often been the case in some countries; but we are strengthened with all might. There is the strength! I have been brought into close relationship and fellowship with my Father, and there I get this power. Unto what? “Unto all patience” (myself, I find that patience is the primary indicator concerning the degree of maturity in our faith, because “patience” is the place where we “possess” our “soul” - Luk 21:19—NC). This sounds a poor thing, but you will find it is just what tries you. “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jam 1:4). Are you always patient? Do you not want divine power for it? I many want right setting in the church, or in the Lord’s work, or in a thousand things; but I must have patience (not so much to show we are exercising it but that God is working it in our souls, ever increasing our trust, i.e. faith—NC). I must wait on God. I can take things meekly and quietly with others; and then if that is the case, my life is in full display before the Father, and there is enjoyment in Him. I enter into all this blessedness and not merely “made meet,” but “giving thanks” (Col 1:12), because I am ever in the positive blessed enjoyment of it all. When I am walking in patience of heart and longsuffering, my soul is with the Father. I get the blessed enjoyment of what He is, and I grow in the knowledge of Him. “To him that hath shall be given” (Mat 13:12). If I am honest, I say, “I do not know what His will is”; perhaps there is something in myself that I have not yet detected. Here I have all these exercises; but it is in the sense of the divine favor resting upon me with the consciousness of a child of God. The more a child is with his father, and delights in him, of course the better he will grow up understanding what his father likes. It is so with us before our heavenly Father. “Strengthened with all patience.” You will find there is nothing that tests the strength of your soul like waiting for your Father. We think we must do things that we think right; we must learn rather to wait. Take Saul, for example in 1Sam 13 (cf. 11-14—NC). He ought to have waited, and said I can do nothing. We have but a little while to go through the wilderness, but it is always with the Father! Now, beloved, I only ask—and earnestly ask you—is your soul free with your Father, reconciled to Him? Are you in His presence in virtue of the Cross? There I have perfect righteousness against sin; and I find peace and rest, not merely rest but God’s rest. For He rests in His Son, and in the blessedness of all those He has brought nigh in His Beloved. The Lord give you to see the position where He has brought you (union now and forever—NC), and in the consciousness of your fellowship with the Father, to set forth, and to “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10). If you look to your Father and get into His holy presence, do you realize perfect liberty with Him? Poor unworthy creatures we certainly are in ourselves (and in the light I see more how worthless I am in myself); But my Father “spared not His own Son” on my behalf (Rom 8:32). There is no doubt or cloud as to that which He is for our souls, because it has been perfectly revealed to us in the Word of God, as it has been proven in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself on the Cross. - F G Patterson Viewers who like these type of materials will find Miles J Stanford’s daily devotional an integral part of these spiritual growth teachings, as they directly complement one another, being from like authors (circa 1700’s-1800’s). Below is the link to retain and an excerpt from his daily devotional “None But The Hungry Heart”: “We are all of us prone to forget the weighty fact that ‘God trieth the righteous.’ ‘He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous’ (Ps. 11:5; Job 36:7). We are in His hands, and under His eye continually. We are the objects of His deep, tender, and unchanging love; but we are also the subjects of His wise moral government. His dealings with us are varied. They are sometimes preventive; sometimes corrective; always instructive.” – C H Mackintosh (1820-1896) http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  8. Appreciate your input Brother Will!
  9. Myself, I couldn't see God operating or performing in any way other than from and in His omniscience, unless I'm not understanding you. I could be misunderstanding you here, but true, God never adjusts or changes what He knows He's going to do, thus He knew He would have to condemn those whom He knew will choose their own way. I think the issue is that He knew what He was going to do because He knew what we would choose. Omniscience is the most difficult attribute of God to understand, but it answers more about Him than anything else, IMO.
  10. Hi Will and God bless your Family and work on this site! Interesting, but my reasoning is that the time and labors of those who will never choose to believe are but a chronological testimony of their inevitable perishing, because there's nothing in-between concerning omniscience. It's always an either/or issue, for there is no happenstance within foreknowledge, but only with non-omniscient beings (which of course includes all beings but God).
  11. It's during the lulls in our life (which will always come and go) that we learn most from what God is always going to teach us next! God bless and thanks!
  12. Only He who has created foreknows the direction which all choose to travel, which from the point of incarnation is a constant, and never changes! He knows “the end from the beginning“ (Isa 46:10) of all things and therefore knows if our direction of travel will always be either toward Him or away from Him. One might have the understanding that we can at times traverse toward God and then away from Him or even back again toward Him, but this would conflict with the reasoning that since one’s end will be apart from God, there is only one direction that can to be traveled. It doesn’t matter which way we think we are traveling, if our overall desire isn’t always to move towards God—who is forever blessed above all!
  13. Appreciated the compliment M, and God bless! Thank you for your reply and comment! God bless!
  14. There are three things of the greatest importance in Christianity: 1) the Cross; 2) the calling of God: 3) the condition which qualifies believers to enter into divine things. It is easy to see that man as lost in Adam must be set aside if blessing is to come in from God; but it is not so easy to see that all those faculties which makes man great—wisdom, intelligence, prudence, power, etc.—tend to keep him in darkness and ignorance of God. Man, with all that makes him great as well as all that makes him corrupt, had to be set aside in death, in order to clear the ground for God’s thoughts of blessing to come to pass in Christ. This is the meaning of the Cross. Man’s mind, when active (i.e. the natural reasoning of the believer—NC), carries him steadily away from God. A man may have a great intellect, but if he trusts it in divine things it will be his ruin. Man’s mind can compass many natural things, but it is always wrong in its conclusions about divine things. When man’s mind begins to work, different schools of opinion arise at once (1Cor 1:12). Man becomes prominent instead of God. It is not so much the truth that attracts people, but the ability with which it is presented. So that if a man can speak well, and unfold things in a clear and masterly style—if he can put things in a pithy and pointed way—people like to hear him. It is not the truth that attracts them, but the man. Nay, it often happens that the less truth a man has the more popular he is. Paul came to Corinth and preached Christ as the crucified One. If God’s Son had to come into death for man, where is all man’s greatness? It is all seen as being under death as the judgment of God. Man with all the things that are, and which make him great, must be set aside. Death has come upon him in the death of Christ. The preaching of the Cross is the power of God to those who are being saved: it is God’s power for present deliverance from the whole world (earthly—NC) system, and from all the principle which characterize the present age. Paul preached not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be emptied of meaning (1Co 1:17). If he had gone to Corinth in all the maturity and splendor of his natural abilities, and displayed those abilities in connection with his service, he would no doubt have made a great impression. They would have thought him a wonderful man. But he would not thus display himself. To do so would be to empty the Cross of its meaning. In 1 Corinthians 1:18 we see two classes. To one class the preaching of the Cross is foolishness; to the other class it is the power of God. If men love the present system of things and the principles that are characteristic of this age, they must regard the Word of the Cross as foolishness, because it makes nothing of all the things which to them are of value and importance. But such are perishing. Their life is in a system of things which is utterly doomed. The world, with all its political, educational and social schemes, is under the judgment of God. Then we are “in Christ Jesus.” Every thought of God in relation to the heavenly blessing of man is established in Christ Jesus. God has called us into that blessing, and that we may learn the whole way He has taken to reveal Himself, and to give effect to His counsels and purposes, He has made Christ Jesus to be unto us wisdom. We see in Him how God has brought to pass His own eternal thoughts in spite of sin, Satan’s power and death. When every possible thing had come in to hinder God’s purpose of blessings, He has shown Himself to be infinitely greater than all the power of evil. He has triumphed over that power, and has removed every obstacle that seemed to stand in the way of His purpose. Think of all the wisdom that has come out in this! Think of the incarnation, the Cross, the resurrection and ascension. Who can fathom the depths of the divine wisdom which comes out in all this, and which is now set forth for us in Christ Jesus? He is, indeed, the great lesson-book of divine wisdom. Then He is also “made unto us righteousness, holiness and redemption (1Co 1:30). We cannot go into these blessed things in detail now, but they show the completeness of our blessing in Christ Jesus. In conclusion we might consider a few words on 1 Corinthians 2, where we see that if the believer is to become acquainted with the things of the Spirit of God he must be spiritual. This is the indispensable condition of spiritual growth and intelligence. We apprehend natural things by the natural mind, but the things of the Spirit of God are spiritually discerned. There are four things stated here: 1) that God has revealed things by His Spirit; 2) that those things are known by the Spirit; 3) that they have been communicated in words “which the Holy Spirit teaches” (1Co 2:13); 4) that they are spiritually discerned. But if we are to discern those blessed things we must be spiritual (1Co 2:14, 15; Col 1:9). Paul was not able to speak of many of God’s things to the Corinthians on account of their carnal condition; they were not spiritual (1Co 3:1), and therefore not competent to enter into those things. It is as though he said to them, “I have wonderful things to say to you—wonderful treasures to unfold—as soon as you are ready for them.” The Spirit has been given to form us in new tastes, and in a new power of apprehension so that we may be able to discern divine things. If we do not grieve Him there can be no doubt He will thus form us for the apprehension of God’s blessed things. The way which the Spirit takes is by bringing us into moral accord with the Word of the Cross. The religious world is busy today emptying the Cross of all its divine meaning. But the Spirit would give our souls an ever deepening apprehension of the true significance of the Cross, and He would bring us into accord with it, and maintain us in accord with it. A believer who is really in accord with the Cross—that is, self-judged and separate from the world (1Co 11:31, 32)—will be unhindered in his apprehension of the things of the Spirit of God. He will be spiritual. But a man who is not in accord with the Cross is carnal, and will walk accordingly. He will be wanting in any true apprehension of spiritual things. Everything that God has prepared for us, and freely given to us, is worthy of Himself, and His things are worthy of our hearts’ earnest pursuit, and constant consideration. If we accept salvation by the Cross from man and this world, we shall be enriched in the knowledge of God’s things. But if we want to live in the present system of things we shall most certainly miss the present enjoyment of our true heavenly position, i.e., the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. With such an alternative presented, would any true Christian hesitate for a moment as to the decision of his heart? - C A Coates (1862-1945)
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