The Testimony and Its Vessel Unto the Time of the End
They That Honor God, God will Honor
We are concentrating upon this particular thought, that in relation to His heavenly testimony, the testimony concerning His Son Jesus Christ, God has constituted and appointed a vessel, an instrument here in the midst of the Gentile world powers, and that from that vessel or instrument the government of the heavens in this world unto the Lord's end is expressed. The Church is that instrument. Inasmuch as the Church as a whole is not in line with God's purpose, vitally cooperating, and spiritually in a position to exercise that Divine and heavenly authority, God is securing for Himself a remnant, a body within, an overcomer company in which, and through which the laws and principles of this heavenly government are established and put into operation. We are here because it is in that connection that the Spirit is speaking, and we want to hear what the Spirit saith. So far as we are concerned, and all those to whom we may have a ministry, with whom we may have any spiritual influence, that we and they should come fully, livingly, vitally, energetically into oneness with God's purpose unto the time of the end.
Now we begin to see that that instrument, that vessel, functions by reason of certain very clearly defined laws. It has to be in a spiritual and moral position and relationship to the Lord. It does not function mechanically or automatically. It may be an elect vessel, and it may have been foreknown and foreordained before the foundation of the world, God may have foreknown every member of it, and yet running alongside all the eternal counsels of God, and the sovereignty of God, there is always spiritual and moral responsibility; and while it is difficult to relate and reconcile those two things, nevertheless they are equally true that even an elect vessel can never fulfill the object of its predestination, its foreordination, only insofar as it corresponds with the spiritual and moral principles which God has laid down for its effectiveness.
Chapter one of the Book of Daniel, as we have seen, introduces the basic principle of spiritual effectiveness. I am very anxious that this shall not go over your heads or that you should in any measure feel that a great deal of truth on a broad scale is being given out, but rather that you should see that this does apply to you personally and individually, that everyone is, in God's thought and desire and will, related to this testimony and to this vessel of the testimony unto the time of the end. That you individually with a personal responsibility and anointing, and in relation to others of the children of God are really called into fellowship with the government of the heavens in the earth concerning God's purpose for the age. You and I are really solemnly called into that, just as truly as ever Daniel was in that, you and I are in that, for Daniel is only a type and representation. He typifies and represents that which we have in the letter to the Ephesians, which reaches on to us, embraces us, calls us in; and beloved, if ever you read the sixth chapter, or the first chapter of the letter to the Ephesians and feel that that in any way applies to you, that you can stand in there, you can lay claim to that, that it embraces you, well, you are in effect standing in the place of Daniel and his three friends.
Now if Daniel and his three friends represented something of tremendously solemn significance and importance to heaven in their day, and to hell, and to the nations of this world, you and I occupy that position of spiritual importance to God. And while that may sound very lofty, it may sound very much above you. If only you could read your own spiritual history in the light of heaven - that is, if you have got a spiritual history, if you are really going on with God spiritually, if you are alive unto the Lord - if you could read your own spiritual history in the light of heaven you would be reading the Book of Daniel and the Letter to the Ephesians in your own life. You would be able to see that the same things are operative in your experience spiritually as were there, and are there. So I want this thing to come right home to us very definitely and draw us in, every one of us.
(continued with # 49 - (The Basic Principle of Spiritual Effectiveness)