A Primary Object of Present Divine Need (continued)
The Realm Where the Vessel Functions Supremely
Now do you recognize this, that this vessel is for a heavenly testimony, preeminently and supremely in a spiritual realm against spiritual forces? No amount of religious tradition can enable us to function there. There is nothing that we can bring in traditionally, however good it might be religiously, that can count for anything against principalities and powers, the spiritual forces of evil. Good upbringing may be good, but as such, if it falls short of a personal inward revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, it cannot meet this situation. This is what Paul declares in his very being; that history is closed, he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, he was everything that was splendid in that history, but not it is closed; he has come into another realm, he is no longer of the earthly system, he is now of the heavenly system, and none of that counts here. Read the account of it again in Acts 9. See it in full swing as he sets out for Damascus. He sets out for Damascus because there is nothing more to do at Jerusalem. Now because the thing has been successful in Jerusalem, he must find new quarters for carrying out this devastating work, and so Damascus is the next center for this, and you see him in the full strength of his old system starting out for that. Before he reaches Damascus he is on the ground in face to face dealings with Jesus of Nazareth. The two things that arise there are "I" and "Thou." Yes, Jesus of Nazareth has got him alone, he is alone with Jesus of Nazareth, "And he trembling and astonished said, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" "... and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand." Tell me that is not the closing of a history, the shutting up of one regime effectively! Isn't that a new situation, a new history? Isn't that beginning in a new realm? Yes, but that represents a principle.
That is the way; it may be violent for some of us, it may be progressive but revolutionary and not so immediately cataclysmic and violent for others, but the same principle holds. We can carry nothing over of our relationship to the old creation, to the old earth. The severance in God's mind and though is utter, is absolute. For ever after that the enemy's main maneuver and tactic will be to bring about some kind of contact with that. Typically that always was so, and spiritually it always is so. Pass your eyes over the Old Testament in the types and you will see that wherever you have a type of that which is linked with heaven, for heaven's purposes, you will find the persistent effort of the enemy in that case to bring about some kind of contact, link, or bridge, with his own kingdom, in order to destroy the ministry of that instrument.
Noah comes out on to a new earth in touch with the heavens, an instrument for God's testimony to a new heavenly order. It is not long before the contact is made between Noah and that which destroys the testimony in him and mars him as a vessel. Abram, called out of the world, so to speak, linked with the heavens, tempted down into Egypt, guilty of duplicity, robbed of his spiritual position and power. Isaac! Oh surely Isaac did not make a mistake, that beautiful outstanding representation of resurrection life! Isaac grows to be an old man and because he has come as an old man to think too much of his natural appetite he brings about that unhappy situation between his two sons. Yes, he loses his spiritual perception, and you notice there is confusion in his action at the end in blessing. He is acting as though his spiritual discernment and understanding have gone from him, and in the blessing of his two sons he is not a man alive to the situation: and mark you, it is because the natural appetites along the food line had got too strong a hold on him. Interpreted spiritually, you see how the flesh spoils everything, even in an Isaac; in the end it spoils the testimony of a faith life. Jacob has made his contacts with the other system and before ever he can come to Bethel and bring in the testimony to the House of God he has to see his family; "Put away the strange gods that are among you." But what are strange gods doing in the house of Jacob? Yes, the devil is there all the time, very often. Joseph! Perhaps a happier situation, but the devil tried it in the house of Potiphar's wife. Yes, the devil knew that he, as a type, was coming to the throne, was a marked man, and the devil laid a trap for him and sought to bring about that thing which would have forever wrecked his testimony and set him at variance with heaven, robbed him of heaven's upholding. It is there, you see, the sinister hand. Moss - the same thing. Israel coming in relation to the heavenlies - Achan; one link with the other system to pull all Israel right out of their heavenly position. So with Israel's history from then onward. Balaam may not curse, but he ensnares, all with this purpose of getting a contact between the heavenly people and a system from which they had been cut off by the Lord, in order to rob them of their testimony and spoil them as a vessel. That is the type through and through.
Come into the New Testament; spiritually that holds good, and the one thing the Lord puts right at the commencement, which He seeks to brings us to recognize, which He labors in our experience, seeks continuously to drive home to us, is, that the very commencement of our relationship to the heavenlies is a vessel of the testimony of Jesus presupposes that we have left a history behind, closed; the history of the old creation, the "old man." That nature is set aside, the natural man is put out, whether he be a good natural man, as men would call him, or a bad natural man; a religious natural man or an irreligious natural man.
(continued with # 61 - (Disastrous Contradiction)