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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"That Which Is Born of the Spirit" # 16

The Rule of the Heavens (continued)

The Meaning of "Heavens" (continued)

Paul is a great example. He was peculiarly related to the heavens. When on the road to Damascus the heavens were opened and he heard the voice of the Lord. Later he again had a heavenly revelation; then again he was caught up into the third heaven, and how much he has to say about the heavenlies!  He was a wonderful example of emancipation from the limitations of earth.

Take him nationally. If this were the only thing it would be a miracle of miracles. Here is that rabid Jew and Judaizer - and there is no more radical a fundamentalist on earth today. See what he will do for Jewish tradition and interest. He stands at nothing and flings to the wind every fine sensibility. He had received authority to cast into prison all who were of this way, men or women, there is no fine feeling - he is utterly radical. Here is a young man whose face has been seen to look up into heavenly glory and from his lips were heard the words, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God," but Saul of Tarsus crushed down all that because of his Jewish blood (Acts 7:56). He was a man like that, but see him afterward an apostle to the Gentiles. See him withstanding Peter because he went in to eat and drink with the Gentiles, but when the Jews were come down he withdrew himself - "I withstood him to the face ..." This is the man who will write about the church. It is a heavenly revelation, nothing less, that will change a man like this. It was he who later wrote "where there can be neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female ..." where nothing that is of earth has any place. Yet today there are spiritual people still on that low level - there has been no loss of earthly distinctions, no vision of one Body. You and I are not Britishers and other nationalities - we are citizens of heaven and you are not knowing me after the flesh but after the spirit. If there is that, then there is one spirit - sonship. We find our common ground there. Unity of the Spirit is oneness of the Spirit - that is universality - the heavens are ruling. From God's standpoint they do rule.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 17)

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