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Monday, October 13, 2014

"That Which Is Born of the Spirit" # 9

The Heavens Do Rule  (continued)

Symbols of Spiritual Ascendency (continued)

2. Heavens

Seventy-five times the "Heavens" are mentioned in Matthew's Gospel, which is the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven - the rule or the sovereignty of the heavens.

The heavens are seen ruling at the birth of the Lord of Glory, the star seen in the East was the one star which ruled the heavens at that time, and was governing things on the earth: bringing Wisdom from the East to worship at the feet of the Lord Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem. The heavens are sovereignty ruling in relation to the coming of the Son, for the "Greater than Solomon" is here; and a new day has dawned for the world with the coming of Jesus Christ. "The East" signifies the dawning of a new day. Herod tried to break in, but the heavens ruled. That one star was ruling in the heavens and governing things on earth, at that time it was THE STAR in the heavens.

3. Angels

Take another heavenly aspect of this Gospel: seventeen times "angels" come into this book. Angels are related to the administrative government of God in relation to "heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:13-14). "An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it" (Matthew 28:2). One angel in resurrection sovereignty. One angel was quite sufficient for world governments and all hell's force and counsels; Oh! the comfort and assurance this brings; yes, here is seen the rule of the heavens nullifying both hell's might and earth's greatest government, for Rome at that time was the chief world government, so representative of all the governments of the world. It is blessed to know that all sovereignty and authority are in the hands of the Lord Jesus, and angels are an administrative government of God in relation to the "Heirs of Salvation." And in Matthew we have "one" angel in relation to the government of the Lord Jesus in the nations: what strength and power this implies.

In Mark - "And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting ... arrayed in a white robe"; here we have purity, service in relation to the whole creation on the basis of holiness: an angel in administrative government in the matter of moral character; holiness as to a whole creation (Mark 16:5).

Luke - "Behold two men stood by them in dazzling apparel ... why seek ye the Living among the dead?" Two angels, two men. Two in scriptures is the number of witness: testimony in adequate measure to the whole race of men. A full witness and testimony to be born to the race of mankind concerning the sovereignty and government of the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:2-5).

John - "Two angels sitting one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain." John's Gospel has peculiarly the emphasis on Love. "God so loved the world." In love He gave His Son to be the sinbearer and to carry away the sin of the world. What is there above the LOVE of GOD? These angels are in attitude of repose in that love of God, for the love of God has triumphed. When you have got a true appreciation of that love of God, then you can sit and are able to rest. It is a testimony of His love to the world, a reposing in the love of God; and that love as manifested in the sending of His Son and in the raising of Him from the dead. A heavenly intervention in relation to the sovereignty of His love in the nations. The angels are busy in administrative government in relation to the love of God (John 20:11, 12).

All these heavenly elements are related to the Lord Jesus and His Church in His sovereignty among the nations: sovereignty into which we have been brought by a living relationship and experience. God's order is never isolated units. He called and sent His disciples forth two by two; two being the testimony to the Church as a representative number: we have got to recognize "Body" principles and spiritually understand and faithfully observe God's own order: for if you act in independence you take yourself out from under the covering of the Sovereign Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus - "God gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church which is His body" (Ephesians 1:22). Throne prayer is a matter of the Church, and it is absolutely necessary as you go out into the nations with the Testimony of the Gospel of the Sovereignty to have the covering of that Throne-prayer in the Body of Christ, if there is to be realized the end of God, the impact of the Sovereignty upon the kingdom of satan; it has got to be a going forth not as isolated, saved individuals, but in a right spiritual relationship to the Head and members - ONE BODY.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 10)

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