"The Rule of the Heavens" (continued)
There is a great need today that there should be the rule of the Heavens. But the Holy Spirit has got to do it, and we have got to come to recognize the fact that what we see in organized Christianity is not it. The spiritual people of God are more and more feeling separated from the old system of Christianity and churches and ecclesiastical systems. People are recognizing a deep dissatisfaction with what has held the ground for so long, and there is a cry for spiritual reality. Many sermons are clever and full of mental ability, but they are starvation to the spirit. There is all the activity, but it is not spiritual life, and I believe the Lord is going to show us the nature of the thing that is in the heavens. The thing that man has brought down on the earth and taken up and perpetuated is only at best a poor imitation of things in the heavens, but in a very large realm it is a caricature of heavenly things.
Man has taken hold of heavenly things and brought them down to earth and made them earthly things. That is where things all went wrong at the beginning. At the first, things were of the Spirit. The people gathered in their homes or anywhere. It was not the place. It was not the ministry. It was the Lord, and they were circled around Him. But then the day came when they said, "We must have public buildings," and then the architecture became a factor, and so things developed, and they became something of the earth for men to take note of. They wanted men to be attracted, and that was the first step in one of the greatest perils that has overtaken the church: for prestige, recognition, the world to be attracted; there the result that you get the mixed multitudes in the Church. If you can attach some big names to it, you can attract the people, and one of the devil's greatest measures has been popularizing the church. The preeminent thing is lost, that the church and Christ is a mystery to the natural man and that it is no use to expect the natural man to appreciate it. The church is essentially a spiritual thing according to the mind of God. What really governs everything is God's conception of things, not ours. And if we are going on with the Lord there is going to be a whole system of change and we are going more and more to view things from the heavenly standpoint. You have got to get into the heavenly system to get heavenly results.
The Meaning of "Heavens"
In speaking of the "rule of the heavens" the word "heavens" is uppermost in our thought and we want to understand something of the symbolic meaning of the heavens in the Scripture. The first thing represented by the heavens in Scripture is universality. If you will trace through you will always find they represent universality - the all-pervading, all-encompassing, all-including universality of the heavens. They bound everything. Everything that there is is inside the heavens - no matter what planet you visit the heavens will be outside. It is a universal principle in the very thought of the heavens. It is there that you begin to understand the spiritual order.
That universality is bound up with the Lord Jesus and the Lord Jesus is bound up with it. He is the heavenly One, the heavenly Man, the heavenly Lord. How constantly was He reemphasizing that fact on earth, "I came out from heaven" - "ye are of the earth, I am from heaven." And the use of the word "heaven" or "heavens" by His lips is full of tremendous significance because He is the representative One of all that pertains unto God. This principle represents that which pertains unto God as absolutely universal.
(continued with # 14)