The Deeper Meaning of Pentecost
Pentecost in its outworking - or the presence of the Holy Spirit here - will mean that those in whom the Spirit operates and has His way will never be able to rest short of God's full thought for themselves or for others. They will be deeply exercised and burdened and will be drawn into the travail of Christ, to fill up that which is lacking of His sufferings for His Body's sake which is the Church. This man (or woman) in Christ is a marked man, he is marked from heaven as one whose whole heart is taken up with this great concern that what is there should be found here: that what is true of Christ, the Man in the glory, should be more fully expressed here in this new man, the Church, the Body. That is an operation of the Holy Spirit; and if you tell me that the Holy Spirit is having His way, and yet there is complacency with things that are not according to Christ, I say that is a contradiction; it cannot be. If you are perfectly satisfied with things as they are in yourself or in other believers, and have no real concern that there should be a full conformity to the image of Christ and that the whole Body should be brought to the measure of the stature of a man in Christ, the Spirit of God is not doing His work in you. Pentecost in its deeper meaning will produce that. The very fact that so soon after His advent the Church moved out as by Divine urge to seek the members of the Body and then to bring them into full conformity is proof positive that the Spirit of God is seeking to perfect a Body, a manhood, according to that Man Who has been revealed as in the glory.
The Lord is very greatly concerned about spiritual measure, although His people are not so concerned; and ... Christ, the Man in fullness, is coming down to be like a measuring rod beside His Church, and to say, This is where you are not true, and you must adjust; this is where you have excesses, and they must go; this is where you have deficiencies, and they must be made good. It is the Spirit of God at work all the time to see to it that in all details we are according to Christ, the Spirit of God working in relation to that perfect measure that is in heaven, the measure for this Body, for this collective man, in all its parts.
The Man in the glory, being at God's right hand exalted, established, settled, is the assured realization of God's end. The Spirit of sonship has come, not to try and do something, not with a hope that it may be; He has come in all the sovereignty of that One there, and it is going to be ...
There is a Man in the glory; the Spirit of God has come and has entered into us with just one object - to make all things abound toward the reproducing of that Man in us, in measure individually, and in the collective measure of the individuals in one glorified Body, Christ corporate.
The God Who Raises the Dead
Death is the thing which pronounces an end. Whenever you and I say, This is the end, we are finished! - we have succumbed to death. That is the verdict of death, for death always says that. The Church should never believe in ends - that is to capitulate to death. Although a thousand times in ourselves we might feel the end has come, in the very experience which brings us to that place God has invested a new realization that in Him that finality is cancelled out. We should never expect an end until God says, That is the end! ... God is trying to bring us to the place where we stop expecting what the devil is constantly offering through circumstances - death, an end, limitation. God is all the time thinking of increase, enlargement ... God allows very deep and hard and painful things - things which bring us in ourselves really to the point of giving um, where we pass the verdict of death upon ourselves. He allows them with this object, that - however much we may have known and proved the truth in our earlier experience - He may bring us yet a stage further into the power and good of it, that God raiseth the dead. If He does that, then there is hope for anybody and for anything.
Again and again in the course of our history, we shall be at the place where there is no hope but in "God Who raiseth the dead" (2 Corinthians 1:9) if there is to be any future at all. We shall come there in our own soul life - that we are at an end of our resources, mind, heart, and will. We may come ofttimes in our very physical life to the place where, if God does not do something, it is an end. We shall come there in the work of God - where everything seems to declare that this is the finish of the work, there is nothing more possible; but now is the occasion for the God Who raises the dead, the God of promise, the God of Isaac, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(continued with # 6)