Friday, March 27, 2015
Could You Please Pass The Salt And Pepper
Today's study is another amazing meaty spiritual meal for the mature in Christ.
Babes in Christ are also invited to this steaming hot sumptuous meal that is being freely set before you.
You will learn that all authority and all things are found in Christ.
And that through the Holy Spirit, will be given to you who come to His feast and dine at His table!
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death works in us, but life in you.
II Corinthians 4:8-12
We need to understand two things here.
There are ways in which the history of Christ- everything that happened to Him- must become very real to us.
When His experiences are just a human history, we fall into the dead traditions that have plagued the Christian churches for many years.
The history of Jesus is made real to us when it is brought forward from the past by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will make His experiences real to us so that they become a present reality.
Without the reality, there remains a deadness which follows the line of theology where things that Christ went through are very vivid in the mind and the historical Christ is very real.
We do not actually follow that line of theology.
We are concerned about the experiences of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, becoming real to us as we identify ourselves with them.
The experiences of Christ must be an operative real experience within us.
Otherwise, we have tradition without present experience.
Then we would be trying to reach back to identify with the tradition.
That is not enough for us.
The Holy Spirit has to take what was real in the life of Jesus Christ and cause it to become real with us now.
Unless we can identify ourselves with the life of Christ in the present reality, it has no meaning for us at all.
In our walk with God we have rejected just an historical position in our religion and in our faith.
We have come to believe that it must be real to us now.
The life of Christ has to be something that we can experience and live.
It has to be a present reality.
And because of that, by the work of the Holy Spirit, we can believe in the extension and the expansion of that reality in the future.
The reason many churches do not believe in miracles is that their faith is based entirely on the history of Christ, not on the present experience.
They believe the Bible from cover to cover- historically.
They believe that it really happened, but they do not believe that it is happening now.
I believe it is to happen now.
Hebrews 13:8 tells us, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.
We have to believe that!
He is real for us today.
We believe in the history of His life; but as we identify with that history, we believe it is being continuously brought forward from the past- not as a tradition or a history, but as a very present reality and an experience in our lives.
We read in the Scripture that death is working in us.
That is true, because in the experience that we have, we are actually moving in two directions: we are believing for crucifixion and for creation.
We are believing that death has to work in us.
We are constantly being delivered over to death, for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
We believe that the history of Jesus has to be real.
We have to identify with His death so that there can now be a death working within us.
Unless there is a death working in us, everything in this walk with God is hopeless.
If the self-life is not dying out because of the crucifixion of Christ working in us, there is no reality in this at all.
We go along, singing in the Spirit, having a wonderful time in worship, but one day we wake up to the fact that the self-life is alive, and the walk with the Lord is not working.
The Holy Spirit comes to make the past real to us, as well as to identify us with the future.
We must see that.
The walk has to be related to the past- not the past traditions, but the past history of Jesus- so that in our lives we can have the reality of being crucified with Christ and being risen with Christ.
Unless there is a working of death in us, there is nothing.
You have to believe that the lust of the flesh can die.
You must believe that the greed and selfishness can die.
You must believe that the whole carnal way of human thinking can die.
You do not reach out with a supreme confidence that you can accomplish something by the discipline of the flesh, but you reach back to what Jesus was and what He did, and you literally believe that the Holy Spirit makes that alive in your life now.
We are carrying in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ in order that the life of Christ can be manifested in us.
There can be no new creation without the crucifixion.
Unless there is the dying of the flesh life, there cannot be the creation of the Christ life and nature coming forth in us.
We must never forget this, lest we begin to reach in and try to discipline and work things out, becoming a great movement, but failing completely.
It is all based upon this death and life from the past working in us, as well as the future being made real to us.
In John 16:7-15, we read what the Lord told His disciples concerning the Holy Spirit, "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
And He , when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me."
Here, you see, He goes back into the past.
Everything has to go back to the history of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit must make it real.
There are people who say that Jesus was a good man, that He was a good teacher; but that is not enough.
You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came as the incarnate Son of God in the Flesh.
It begins because the Holy Spirit comes to convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.
This is the whole basis of it.
"And concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold me."
There is no awareness of sin, and there is no awareness of righteousness apart from the coming of Christ.
When Christ came, He was One who knew sin.
You cannot believe in righteousness unless you believe that God made Him to be sin for you, in order that you might become the righteousness of God in Him.
You would have nothing if the Lord Jesus Christ had not come upon this earth.
The Holy Spirit has to make this real to you.
Frequently we are asked whether we really believe the Bible as the fundamentalists do.
We actually believe it much more. because we not only have to start in the past and believe the history of it and that it all happened then, but we have to believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
We do not have any present, and we do not have any future, unless we have Him in our past.
So we reach back and we believe.
"Concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now"
(which indicates a present limitation the disciples had).
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth"
( notice that: He will guide you into all the truth!);
"for He will not speak on His own initiatives, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come"
(That is the future.)
"He shall glorify Me; for He shall talk of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.
All things the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you."
Let me paraphrase this passage for you.
The Holy Spirit comes and gives us all the truth.
What is the truth?
The Holy Spirit reveals to us the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ- how He suffered, how He died, how He rose again, how the Father committed all things into His hand.
The Holy Spirit reveals His commission, His mighty victory and exaltation.
We have nothing until we see that.
Anything that has much value or anything that can be transacted, whether in the spirit realm or in the financial realm, must have a basis.
We know that right now we are facing many difficulties in the financial realm.
Since 1964 there have been no silver certificates to support our currency.
No longer is there a claim that it can be redeemed for silver, and certainly not for gold.
In spite of our being a wealthy nation, there is not enough money in Fort Knox to cover our currency or our outstanding commitments abroad.
So here we are, in a rather precarious situation.
The Federal Reserve System releases many millions of dollars to try to make a little looser money, but this only aids in creating more inflation.
Inflation has become the big problem, and it will continue to be a problem all over the world because there is nothing of value behind the money any-longer.
A similar situation exists today in many churches.
Nothing is happening because there is nothing behind what they do.
There is no spiritual gold, no spiritual silver.
The Holy Spirit has to show us all things that the Father has are Christ's.
All authority in heaven and in earth is His.
We must see what the Holy Spirit is making real in the history of Jesus so that He shines as the great source of all spiritual wealth.
In Him lie all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
In Jesus Christ is all authority in heaven and in earth.
The Holy Spirit must make this real to us first.
Until we see Him as Lord, as the mighty exalted One in whose hand is everything, in whom there is no lack, we cannot see Him in our present position.
The Holy Spirit takes that which was provided a little more than nineteen hundred years ago and makes it real.
He planned it in eternity past, executed it in the fullness of time, and now He says, "All authority in heaven and earth are Mine. Go ye therefore" ( Matthew 28:18,19 ).
The Holy spirit works with us constantly to bring forth that authority.
And so we cast out devils and do other things in His name.
Why do most churches fail to move in this?
Because they do not accept that supreme, absolute authority of Christ.
The Holy Spirit's present mission is to bring forth Christ's authority in the believer.
In John 16:7, the King James version says, ...It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
He is going to take all of this and make it real to us.
The Holy Spirit is given to us to make all of the historical facts of Jesus' life a present enrichment and experience for us.
But it does not end there; it is projected then into the truth.
He will show us things to come.
...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
( notice the past tense; hath prepared )
for them that love Him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
I Corinthians 2:9,10,12.
The Spirit brings that history out of the past, making it a part of our present, projecting us into the unbelievable future that Christ has provided.
Oh, the marvelous work of the Holy Spirit!
How precious, how wonderful it is for us to be led by the Spirit of God.
Without this, we do not have the walk with God.
The walk has to be based upon reading the Word, seeing who Christ is and what He has provided for us.
Then we must understand that He has given us the Holy Spirit to bring us into the same identical experiences with Christ, to enrich us in Him, to show us the things to come, and then to open the door to the unlimited future.
May God enrich your walk with Him, by making the reality of His Son Jesus Christ a present living Savior, born anew in your heart this Christmas by the Holy Spirit.