The Rule of the Heavens (continued)
Luke is the Gospel of grace and Luke finishes up in Jerusalem. That is grace - grace to those who have rejected the Lord Jesus. Matthew sets Jerusalem aside ago goes to the mountain in Galilee. Sovereignty is no longer vested in Jerusalem, but is now vested in the Lord Jesus. "All authority is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" - that principle is running all the way through - transcendency, elevation, ascendency, sovereignty all vested in the Person of the Lord Jesus.
Now, then, Matthew begins with the principle that it is what is seen in heaven that governs, and ends with all authority vested in the Person of the Lord Jesus, and in between, the instrument of administration is introduced. It is most significant that the Church comes into Matthew. In chapter 16 we read, "on this rock will I build My Church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it." Sovereignty is related to the Church, so that the instrument of administration and this sovereignty of the heavens in the Person of the Lord Jesus are so bound up that the gates of hades shall not prevail against them. Then the Lord begins to speak about the authority of the Church - "whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in the heavens and whatsoever shall be loosed on earth shall be loosed in the heavens." This is the authority of Christ in the Church.
When we come to grasp mentally some truth about the Lord Jesus it is one thing, but when you come by revelation of the Holy Spirit experimentally into the things of Christ you come into a strong position of ascendency - of being above all government. There is all the difference between taking a truth, sound orthodox and Scriptural as it is, and giving it out as truth, and having had revealed in your heart the inner meaning of that truth and giving it out. Take two men: one takes something of the Word of God and gives it as a message. No fault can be found in it, it is sound doctrine, but there is something missing. Another man takes exactly the same truth and gives forth the message and as he gives it forth you are conscious of life - something that reaches you. One message was just as true as the other, but one was speaking out of the Bible as a Book, and the other out of revelation of the Scripture given to his heart by the Holy Spirit. The latter had not sat down and prepared a sermon that was sound, but had gone with the Word of God on his knees and waiting before the Lord until truth had been revealed to his heart from an open heaven.
There are plenty of fine preachers but they are not feeding, not building up, not nourishing and satisfying: not channels of life, there is no sense of the heavens coming in. It is the heavens that do rule and you have got to see what is in the heavens. You will remember Ezekiel being taken by an angel around the temple in Jerusalem with a measuring reed, and it has just got to be like that if we are to have a ministry like that. How can we show what is according to God until we have had it shown to us? There must be that counterpart where the Holy Spirit shows us things according to God by revelation. Not something extra to Scripture by way of revelation, but what is in the Scripture that we cannot see until the Holy Spirit opens it up - taking us around and showing us just as the angel showed Ezekiel. That is what the Holy Spirit has come for, because the temple is only a type of Christ, and it is the Spirit revealing Christ, "shall take of mine and show it unto you" - "He shall lead you into all truth." It is the revelation of things according to God's mind that brings you into the place of spiritual authority and ascendency (John 16:13-15).
(continued with # 26)