The Rule of the Heavens (continued)
The Universality of the New Birth (continued)
When there is a genuine new birth, when really the Spirit of sonship comes in, that is the beginning of a history of terrific conflict between heaven and hell in that spirit. The unborn ones cannot know that conflict. Those in the flesh do not believe in a personal devil, but that is is own indictment and carries with it a very great significance. The object of hell is to destroy what is begotten of God, for, when spiritual maturity comes in hell has lost its power. So in the early days the enemy would seek to destroy that which is of God.
There is satanic consciousness back of this world system, and it recognizes that if what is of God comes in and gets the upper hand, that system is going out. And the natural man in the religious world hates what is of the Spirit of God. You bring purely spiritual, heavenly things into the religious world as it is today, with all its assumed reverence, with all its outward forms, and you set p a conflict at once. The natural man who has come in there is sporting himself in the limelight, where he is in evidence, and the natural man will not have a purely spiritual thing, he will fight it. That is what happened in the life of the Lord Jesus. It was the religious world that withstood Him most. There is all the difference of two worlds between religion and true spirituality.
How important is the recognition of the range and content and fullness of all this. We have got to come in to the fullness of every detail of the Lord Jesus and the meaning of the new birth. It is not enough to say, "I am born again." The Lord wants to bring us to see what the new birth is, its essence, its reality. I am quite sure that most of the trouble, the weakness, the defeat of Christianity is to be explained along the line of Christians not having recognized the meaning of Christianity.
It would be impossible for anyone to have an adequate conception of the new birth and continue one bit in the world. The "worldly Christians" is a contradiction in terms. It is a difference of being of the earth and being of the heavens. You could not possibly have any voluntary, happy oneness of spirit with anything that is in this world system whatever and have any real conception of the new birth experimentally. And yet, see what you have today - Christians who do not see any contradiction in being saved and in having half their life in the world, taken up with the things of the world. It is a contradiction in the very essence of the new being, and until you get some conception of the new birth you will not get that which is wholly according to God. The enemy has through this world system still got a hold over what is supposed to represent God and makes it a denial, and he is holding this up and saying, "That is what is supposed to be of the Lord."
But it only wants the eyes to be opened to see the nature of the new birth. It has in it the power of heaven to shatter this whole world system. The new birth has the power to destroy it, and it will be destroyed in the manifestation of the sons of God because it will be Christ manifested in His Church. So you see what we need is that the Lord shall open our eyes to these fundamental, foundational things such as the new birth.
(continued with # 20)