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Monday, November 17, 2014

The Rule of the Heavens # 43

Hell's Hatred of the Vessel of Testimony (continued)

This is a spiritual principle, a spiritual truth, and the point that I am seeking to get at is this, beloved; there has got to be something in our relationship to heaven and God's specific purpose which makes possible the manifestation of that mighty, devil-conquering life in us. We have got to know the power of His resurrection. That is essential to the vessel of the testimony at the end time, unto the end, to get through to the end: it means that we must be that in which the power of His resurrection is manifested. That is not merely an obligation; that is a privilege. It is a costly privilege, but that is what the Lord needs.

I am always so glad of that correspondence between Paul and his Lord, that when the Lord came to die He said: "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from My Father" (John 10:17-18). When the Apostle Paul came to the end he did not say: 'No I am going to be taken hold of and they are going to kill me, and I shall not be able to help myself.' He quietly, serenely announced: "The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:6-7). There is no surrendering to fate in that. There is mo capitulating to the hands of men in that. There is, as it were, a quiet, deliberate walking out in the recognition that the Lord's time had come and not man's. Now there is a correspondence between Paul and his Master, but note, Paul is in representation the vessel of the testimony in this age. The testimony of Jesus was peculiarly placed within that vessel in a representative way. We have often said Paul personally embodied all the special revelation which was entrusted to him; he became a personal sign of that revelation. The truth which was committed to him from heaven had a specific outworking in his own life and experience because he had got to represent the Church in this age in himself as the vessel of its unveiling, and the issue of the Church in this age is the expression in fullness, of the power of Christ's resurrection as triumphant over death in translation, not by the grave but by the air.

"Oh, joy! oh, delight! should we go without dying;
No sickness, no sadness, no dread, and no crying."

We have sung that: that is the prospect for the Church; that is the glorious possibility, No! that is the certainty, as the final issue. But that represents that death is robbed finally of its power, that the power of His resurrection is manifested in eluding the grave and depriving death of its object. That is Enoch. But Paul represented that, and his last utterances are: "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection"; yes, true: "and the fellowship of His sufferings" (Philippians 3:10), that is Daniel and the others. "The power of His resurrection" not as something just at the beginning of his Christian life and walk, but something at the end. And not as  something merely to deliver him with all others in a general resurrection from the grave, but in a specific out-resurrection from among the dead. That is the testimony of the Church, a vessel for that. Paul represented that specific thing for the Church in this age. Daniel continued and Daniel stands in his lot at the end. Have you grasped the principle that is implied in that? A wonderful thing. But beloved, you and I are called even now - though we may die, we may go by the grave - yet now, at this end time, you and I are called to be a part of that vessel in which the power of His resurrection is manifested, that the murderous plottings of hell are eluded, are overcome, and that the murderer who comes out to destroy before the Lord's purposes are accomplished shall be baffled by the power of His resurrection in us. When we ought to have been dead a dozen times we are still alive. Yes, the Lord wants an adequate vessel for that, not one, two or three scattered here an there, but an adequate vessel for that; and He is seeking that. In relation to that we are here. You and I must not accept death until the Lord tells us the time has come. If we do we open the door for the enemy to triumph. (Many of you do not understand that. If you do not, do not worry about it, but ask the Lord to give you the essential thing of what we are saying.) Now that all comes out of that statement: "Daniel continued." Daniel stands at the end. The vessel is there when all has been done to see that the vessel should not be there. The testimony is there - goes on unto the end. But we have to see something more about such a vessel.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 44 - (The Nature of the Vessel's Present Ascendency)


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