Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Monday, September 29, 2014

Standing For The Rights Of GOD

We have said that the ministry of the prophets consisted of leading the people back to the thoughts of God. It was a ministry amongst the people of God. It was about the rights of God in His house.

Let us return once more to Elijah, and let us note how things started. It starts with the Lord saying to Elijah: “Go, show thyself unto Ahab!” (1 Kings 18:1).

Three and a half years earlier He had said: “Hide thyself!”  (1 Kings 17:3). The prophet had therefore hidden himself all this time until then.

But now the word was: “Go, show thyself unto Ahab!”. He stands face to face with Ahab. We remind ourselves about what Ahab said on that occasion: Art thou he that troubleth Israel? (1 Kings 18:17).

People that stand without reserve for the rights of God will always be considered as enemies by those who reject the thoughts of God.

There is the point of view of Elijah, and the one of Ahab. Ahab, who says: “You, the troubler of Israel.” Or Elijah who can reply: “It is not I that have brought Israel into trouble, but you” (1 Kings 18:18).

Where did the trouble come from in reality?

Did it come from the side of those that wanted things the way that God wanted them?

Did it not come from the side of those that denied God His rights?

Those that do not want to go the full way with the Lord, who do not have the thoughts of God at heart, they are really His enemies.

On which side do we want to stand?

That is the real question. That is what it is about.

We know how Elijah expressed himself in reference to his own life:  I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: (1 Kings 19:14).

Elijah has a clear picture of what God wants.

He can also see through to recognize what does not correspond to God’s thought.

But he himself stands outside of these matters. He is not entangled with the exterior. That is why he is able to be at God’s disposal.

His devotion includes the willingness to pay the full price necessary for a full restoration of the testimony of God.

Consequently, such witnesses will be fought as enemies.

Wherever a religious system has come to reign, it will always be held against them that it is they who bring the people of God into confusion. This is what makes the ministry so difficult. This is what makes the ministry so costly.

But behind all of this was Baal. Elijah was not against Israel. It was a blinded nation. Baal stood behind it.

The forces of darkness were working in the idolatry into which Israel had surrendered itself.

Israel was so deceived that it thought it was doing right in its idolatry. This is the highest level of deception, not seeing that everything one does, also that which is sincerely intended, actually serves the devil.

The prophet’s disagreement is not in the first place with Israel. His battle is with the whole spiritual system into which Israel is entangled.

Religious people would not even rebel against the ministry of the prophet, if the enemy did not instigate them. So they become instruments of the devil.

But the prophet is ready to encounter this. He is misunderstood, he is slandered and seen as an enemy; he is marked as the one who troubles Israel.

But he has a vision. He does not serve himself. He knows that his standpoint leaves no room for personal ambition.

But he has seen God. He is connected to God. And in the special standing which he has with God, the difference between the godly and the human has been revealed to him.

With this vision he has become prepared to carry the cost that the service of God demands.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, September 28, 2014

This Is To Follow The Lamb Wherever He Goes

These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Revelation 14:4

A believer follows the Lamb TRULY, without hypocrisy. 

Many follow the Lamb, as beggars follow a rich man...only for his money. 

They prize the wages of religion above the works of religion!

Joh 6:26  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Oh, beloved, God abhors a hypocrite more than a Sodomite!

Hell is provided on purpose for hypocrites.

Mat 24:51  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

My beloved, following the Lamb fully, is to have the heart fixed and resolved for God.

Psa 63:8  My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. 

Psa 42:1  To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 

Psa 42:2  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

A believer follows the Lamb CONSTANTLY, without apostasy. A true believer never stops following the Lamb.

He does not follow the Lamb wherever He goes who follows the Lamb earnestly for a while but afterwards forsakes Him, when the storm arises! 

Since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. 

When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word he quickly falls away!

He does not follow the Lamb wherever He goes who follows the Lamb in some things, and the Beast in other things! 

They worshiped the Lord but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.

He does not follow the Lamb wherever He goes who follows the Lord in a dull heavy manner, and lukewarm temper.

Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Oh! this is not following the Lamb!

Those who follow the Lamb...abide in the Lamb, and cleave to the Lamb, and continue constantly in the Lamb's ways, unto the end of their days.

Job 17:9  The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. 

The righteous man follows the Lamb wherever He goes.

Hos 6:3  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.  

This is to follow the Lamb wherever He goes:
1. Speedily
2. Sincerely
3. Whole-heartedly
4. Zealously
5. Humbly
6. Cheerfully
7. Diligently
8. Constantly
9. Faithfully
10. Supremely

~William Dyer~

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Work Of The Lamb

It is eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12). That is the name of it. It is the timeless Cross because the purpose is eternal. 

We are brought, then, right into the presence of the timeless Cross and the eternal purpose.

This introductory designation, the Lamb, is tremendously impressive when you see that already, before anything has happened, Christ is called the Lamb. 

Christ is the Lamb; and His being called the Lamb before all that terrible tragedy and havoc had taken place, itself indicates the full nature of the work to be done. 

The LAMB — the title is an implication. It implies just what will have to be done. 

We are in the presence of a tremendous thing, if only it would break upon us. 

There is that vast purpose of God which, in its realization, is to obtain throughout all the ages of ages to come and to give character to His universe. 

Then there is this terrible, terrible sin, which is so utterly contrary, the disruption of everything through these present ages:

And then you say that it is a Lamb that is going to put all that right — what do you mean?

Why, you want something more than a Lamb for that! You must have a very limited grasp of the situation if you say a lamb can put it all right!

But that is just what the Bible does say, with a significance beyond our comprehension. 

Because, you see, as we have said just now, it indicates the nature of the work to be done, which is entire and utter reversing of the nature and constitution of things as they are now.

Will anybody look at the world today and man’s ideas of running it, and say that it is just like a lamb?

You see how absurd that sounds, how ridiculous. Anything and everything but the Lamb is in the present constitution of things. 

Everything that is a complete antithesis of the Lamb pervades this order of things, in its very constitution. 

You see the point. The whole constitution has got to be changed. 

Another constitution needs to be given to this universe and it must be the constitution of the Lamb.

Yes, this universe has got to be reconstituted upon the basis of the Lamb-nature, and the wonderful thing is that all these tremendous forces-these simply terrific forces, in this universe, of iniquity, evil, wickedness, sin, hatred and malice-all these forces are gathered up, and the Bible tells how a Lamb can deal with the whole thing.

There is something here which is a mystery.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Triumph Of The Lamb

In the book of the Revelation there is the book sealed, and the apostle says:

Rev 5:4  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 

Rev 5:5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 

Rev 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Always remember that in the twenty-nine occurrences of the word “Lamb” in the book of the Revelation, it is always the diminutive, “a little Lamb”. “Behold, A LITTLE LAMB hath prevailed”. Strange contradiction! The Lion, the Lamb identical!

The Lamb is the Lion in strength in prevailing; yet a lamb is the very symbol of weakness. Nothing would speak more of weakness than a little lamb; you would not want to put much weight upon a little lamb.

But look at what it says in this book about the little Lamb. 

These terrific forces make war with the Lamb and the Lamb shall overcome them (Rev. 17:14). 

You could believe that, perhaps, of the Lion; but the LAMB shall overcome them — weakness and might in one object. 

Yieldedness as a lamb to the slaughter, no resistance; and authority. They flee before the face of the Lamb. Strange contradiction: subjection, submission, and dominion.

Dominion given to the Lamb — to the LAMB.

Meekness: what do you mean by meekness? No standing up for personal rights, no seeking of self-vindication. 

But what about this wrath of the Lamb? It is terrible. There is a mystic infinite power in the Lamb which is not to be accounted for on any natural ground at all.

Take the natural aspect, and you have everything that speaks of weakness and helplessness, submission and meekness. But there is a mystic something about this Lamb that is not natural, it is divine.

All the mighty forces of God’s heavenly universe are bound up with, centered in and expressed through this yieldedness, this weakness, this meekness, this submission.

That is not just a statement. That is a fact, a thing that can be put to the test by any Christian, and many of you know quite well that it is a working principle.

When you have sought the grace of the Lord Jesus to suffer wrong rather than do wrong, to accept joyfully the spoiling of your goods, to restrain natural heat and wrath and reaction and to hand things over to the Lord, you have seen the Lord do things that none of your wrath and none of your strength could have done.

You have known the Lord to come in then, when you have let go and have got out of the way. That is the way. That is not natural. 

No, our constitution is not the Lamb constitution at all. We know that quite well. 

But when God reconstitutes according to the Lamb, the ground is prepared and the way is opened for the exercise of infinite power; for something that is not natural, something that can only be said to be the Lord.

See this Lamb, led to the slaughter, opening not His mouth. Behold Him in His yieldedness to the will of God and see whether God has vindicated that nature. Has He? God has indeed vindicated that.

~ T. Austin Sparks ~

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

IF we want to know anything about kings and kingdoms, there is one book in the Old Testament which is full of those words, and that is the Book of Daniel.

There are a number of chapters in that book which are narrative and tell us what happened, and it is about those chapters, particularly chapters two to six, we shall be speaking. 

They cover a lot of ground; and if you will read them over again you will find, I believe, that they are all connected.


Chapter 2 brings before us in a graphic way that of which the verse in Colossians reminds us: there are only two kingdoms. 

You remember that Daniel and his friends prayed, and God gave revelation in answer to that prayer. 

That revelation was that there is an earthly kingdom the image of various metals and that there is a heavenly kingdom. 

I expect Nebuchadnezzar felt rather pleased to find himself in the center of the vision "Thou art the head of gold".

But has it ever occurred to you that Daniel and his three friends saw where they were in that vision? They were not in the image, for God has delivered us from that dominion and what a dominion it is! 

Do not become too interested in the different kingdoms on the earth and what they represent, for you may lose sight of the fact that there is only one kingdom.

The nations may come and go, the metals may change, but there is only one kingdom.

Daniel and his friends may have prayed that the Lord would remove Nebuchadnezzar, but if He had done so, the kingdom would go on and how we have found that, even in our day!

One tyranny departs only to make way for another.

There is really only one kingdom...the Colossus of man's making fixed upon the earth, and one day to be destroyed.

You notice that when the last expression of the kingdom is destroyed, then, and not till then, the whole image will fall, for it stands as one and God has delivered us from that!

Then there is another kingdom. Nothing much is said about it; nothing of the appearance, the constitution, the shape, the form and the expression of it, as there is in the case of the earthly kingdom.

It cannot be described, for it is heavenly. All that can be said is that it comes out of a mountain and the most important thing... man never made it: "Made without hands." 

The God of heaven has a kingdom in preparation which is hidden from view now. So far as earthly grandeur, size, dimension and appearance are concerned it is nothing to be compared with the earthly kingdom, but one day it is to be revealed as God's answer -- the kingdom of His dear Son.

And Daniel and his friends realized that they belonged to that kingdom, and Colossians 1:13 tells us that we are to realize that we do not belong to the one kingdom, but to that other.

Of course, this does not mean that Daniel and his friends had nothing to do with anyone or anything in Babylon, for they did. 

They had names given them, and you will see that they were called by those Babylonish names, but when Daniel and his friends got together to pray, they did not call one another Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; they used their real names. 

There was a fellowship of life that belonged to the other world, the world of their birth and of God's purpose. 

But they bore these Babylonish names apparently without protest and answered to them. They lived and worked in [10/11] Babylon and to the outward eye they appeared to have a part in the ordinary life. 

Take note of that, for the real difference is not outward, but inward.


So, when we come into chapter 3, we find that though Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego worked and lived in Babylon, when it came to a spiritual issue they were men who had no heart relationship at all with that other kingdom.

And what happened to them? That is the development of the story!

What does happen if we repudiate and refuse this kingdom of darkness, not in some outward way but in an inward heart attitude? 

Well, you know that in chapter 3 we have the story of the fiery furnace, heated "seven times more than it was wont to be heated". 

He hath delivered us from the kingdom of darkness...but as soon as we, in a really living way, take up our place in this world as those who are delivered from the kingdom of darkness, we shall find that kingdom of darkness challenging us.

No one is permitted to live in Babylon and in heart be separate from Babylon without knowing the spiritual strength of evil which is behind Babylon.

And let me say in passing, and by the way, that of the various nations and cities in the Bible that speak of the power of the god of this world, Babylon is one which speaks of the world from a religious point of view.

However, that is the issue. "Delivered from the kingdom of darkness" sounds beautiful when we sing it in a hymn, and it is nice when we have a vision of what is the glorious end of that other kingdom, but we are in a fools' paradise if we think we are going on singing about it, studying it and talking about it until it comes.

No! We are going to be faced immediately with the challenge as to our own heart separation from this thing, and the furnace will be heated seven times. 

Perhaps that explains some of our experiences for which there is no other explanation. 

Why is the furnace heated seven times? Because in a new way, by His grace, we have laid hold of the fact that He has delivered us from this dominion of darkness.

It does not sound like deliverance, but it is Satan's reaction to our position of faith about our deliverance.


Is there an alternative? Is there not another way?

Yes, there is another way, and if we go on into Daniel 4 we will find that other way, for this chapter is about the man who was not delivered...indeed, he was bound up with the earthly kingdom.

It is a long chapter, and is the story of the man who did the opposite of what these three men did. They repudiated Babylon. He gloried in it. They were put into the fiery furnace. 

He was the emperor on the throne...but was he? Not for long! God challenged him.

The three men were challenged by the devil, but Nebuchadnezzar was challenged by God.

The three men had the fiery furnace heated seven times. 

Nebuchadnezzar, you will notice if you read this chapter, had God's judgments on him seven times. There is the alternative. 

But now, while for the moment we feel that the position of the three men in the fiery furnace is a dreadful one and that it is a hard way to repudiate the spirit of this world, when we read Chapter 4 we find that there is a harder way.

For, while we may come up against the devil if we are true to God, we come up against God if we have any real heart relationship and affiliation with the kingdom of this world. 

God seems to have loved Nebuchadnezzar. He took pains with him, and in His mercy the king was not destroyed but was brought to his senses; but it is a very bitter, painful, humiliating experience to be brought to our senses by God.

There are only two kingdoms, but those two kingdoms are very real. 

We have the stark alternatives, the extremes, in chapters 3 and 4: the extreme of those who are true to God...for them it is the fiery furnace.

And the extreme of the man whose heart has the spirit of Babylon, and he is brought low seven times by the mighty hand of God.

Those are extremes, but they are put for us in that extreme form so that we may appreciate the principle, and the principle is this: to belong to the one kingdom is to meet the devil, but to belong to the other is to meet the Lord.

Well, we will come back to the young men in the fiery furnace, and we find that they are all right, after all. Indeed, it was the most wonderful experience of their lives. They were not burned, but were brought through, for they had the blessed, living Son of God with them in their trial.

So we see that the vision of the heavenly kingdom always brings its challenge, but if we will stand firm and say, as they did: 'He has delivered us from this dominion and what happens to us is His concern, not ours', the Lord will take that stand with us.

On the one hand, then, there is a man taking the easy way  but God is against him. 

On the other hand there are three men being true to their vision and taking the hard way, and though it means a fiery furnace, God is with them. [11/12]


Now we have chapters v and vi of Daniel. Of course, when the events in chapter vi took place it was very many years after the vision had been received.

Daniel was an old man now, but the challenge goes on all through the years.

The vision must be adhered to right to the end, and this time the issue is not so much whether Daniel will repudiate Babylon, the kingdom of this earth, but whether he will hold fast to the heavenly kingdom. 

The expression of that heavenly kingdom, as he knew it, was Jerusalem; and there is always an expression here on earth of the heavenly kingdom.

The Lord will always bring our vision down to terms of practical matters~things, places and people.

Daniel is not left saying all through his life: 'I live in Babylon but I do not belong there. One day I shall go to the kingdom that I belong to somewhere in the heavens, somewhere in the skies.'

No, he has brought to him the challenge of the earthly expression of that heavenly kingdom, and the question of whether he will be true to his vision, even if the lions' den is the alternative.

Daniel had his windows opened to Jerusalem. He took no notice of the great image and had no heart for Babylon. He looked only at the heavenly kingdom, and all his heart was for God. 

Well, said the devil, we will see. The lions' den for you if you take that position!


Let us leave Daniel in the lions' den for a moment and go back to chapter v~the story of Belshazzar and the writing on the wall. 

He did the opposite thing to Daniel, just as Nebuchadnezzar had done the opposite from the three young men. They repudiated the image; Nebuchadnezzar embraced it.

Daniel loved the holy things of God; Belshazzar despised them. 

I would suppose that the Lord somehow or other in a manner of speaking gets used to men's sinfulness, for he did not judge Belshazzar because of the drunkenness, the foulness, the debauchery and the horrible atmosphere of his court. 

At that time all that did not bring out God's judgment, though it will do one day; but there was one thing that did bring out His judgments, and swiftly. 

There were holy vessels that belonged to the house of God in Babylon, and in the midst of all the riot and feasting Belshazzar, in his drunken insolence, called for those holy vessels, despising what was of God.

We know what happened~the hand that wrote upon the wall the sentence: "Weighed in the balances and found wanting thy kingdom taken from thee."

Once again let me say that though it is hard to be Daniel holding to the heavenly vision and facing the lions' den, it is not easier to take the opposite course and despise the heavenly Jerusalem.

Here again, you say, it is an extreme case. Yes, these are all extreme cases, but we have to apply to ourselves the issue in whatever degree it may come to us.

We may not be as proud as Nebuchadnezzar, but if we have the pride of Nebuchadnezzar in our hearts, God will have to meet it and humble it.

We may not be as dissolute as Belshazzar, but if, having known something of the heavenly kingdom of the Son of God's love into which He has called us, we regard that as a small thing, if we push that away into a corner of our lives, if we allow the things of earth, the praise of men, the interests of this life, to crowd that out, we are doing in essence what Belshazzar did... defiling the holy things of God. 

And the writing on the wall says: 'That is how you lose the kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar, thy kingdom is taken from thee. Belshazzar, weighed in the balances and found wanting, thy kingdom is taken from thee.'


We come back to Daniel in the lions' den and find that the lions did not eat him after all. The Lord was with him. 

He hath delivered us from the dominion of darkness, and that does not only mean when we are walking on the streets of Babylon. 

It means, thank God! that when we are in the fiery furnace we are still delivered, because it is not merely a deliverance from, but a deliverance unto~"translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love". 

Thus Daniel and his friends can not only take the kingdom into Babylon, but they can take the kingdom into the fiery furnace and quench it (the furnace) by the presence of the Lord. 

And they are delivered even in the lions' den, sharing in the heavenly kingdom even there.


We have, then, five chapters of the Book of Daniel, and each chapter brings a picture with a spiritual principle in it.

They are governed by chapter 2 a picture of the two kingdoms and then tell us of what happened in ordinary, practical life to men, who were just as we are, in relation to those two kingdoms. 

Two of the men failed to appreciate the true implication of these things. In [12/13] two cases, with the other four, the revelation that had come to them transformed their whole lives. 

They did not only think about it, or talk about it. When it came to practical matters, they lived it and, what is more, when the devil sought to quench them, they proved it.

What greater proof of the kingdom of heaven in power is there than that experience of the men in the fiery furnace?

That is not what we think of when we read Colossians 1:13! We think of the issue when we are brought out and put on the Throne. That is a nice kingdom! We never think that it will be a fiery furnace heated seven times.

The devil says to you: 'It is all wrong! Everything is wrong! That vision did not mean anything.

God says to you: 'Keep steady! I am with you.' That is the kingdom when it is in Babylon. 

That is how it works: when you are in the lions' den you are not alone. 

When I was a boy I used to sing: "Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone."

I have no doubt that Daniel felt alone, but he did not stand alone. God sent an angel.

But the Lord will do better than an angel for you...He will be with you Himself.

So let us take courage! The issues of these two kingdoms are fierce, and constant, and will go on right through to the end.

But if we will stand firm we shall see, not only our deliverance from the kingdom of this world, but its overthrow; we shall not only see the prospect of the coming of the kingdom, but we shall share in the glory of His appearing.

He hath delivered us -- let us be sure of it!

He hath translated us -- let us give God thanks for it!

~Harry Foster~

Friday, September 19, 2014

Nothing Too Hard For GOD!

Jer 32:17  Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

There is nothing too hard for God to EFFECT.

I know that You can do everything. "Is anything too hard for Me, says the Lord?"

He does according to His will among the armies of Heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth.

He works all things after the counsel of His own will.

Nothing is too hard for change in providence, however it may appear improbable, or impossible to us.

He could bring water out of the flinty rock. He could supply quail to satisfy the wants, and gratify the lusts of His people in the desert. 

He could feed Elijah for twelve months by ravens, and for two years and a half more by a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in the widow's cruse. 

He could inundate Samaria with plenty in the midst of famine and fearful desolation.

If He wills it . . .the fire shall not burn the three Hebrew youth, nor the lions injure Daniel, nor death hold Lazarus in the tomb.
What He has done He can do; for He is immutable. And if necessary for the glory of His name He will do it, for He will not allow His name to be polluted.


Providence is simply God at work

At work for the accomplishment of His decrees,  the fulfillment of His promises, the manifestation of His character, and the present and eternal welfare of His people.

He can give whatever we need,  do whatever we need, and
glorify Himself in giving to us, and working for us!

~James Smith~

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

He Has The Kingdom By Letting Go

Deu 8:2  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

There is no question that Isaac was given of God to Abraham; he was a perfect miracle, impossible unless God had given him. 

And then we read, "God did prove Abraham." Abraham... gave him up and he got him back; got him back with a whole kingdom....

He has the kingdom by letting go...the foreshadowing of this Son of God Who let go. 

You see, it is intensely practical. Oh, how can this be? By getting yourself out of the picture! 

That is why it cannot be because self is in the picture! 

Self-will, self-interest, self-realization; that is the kingdom of Satan, and God is not going to give you His kingdom on that ground....

This is practical. I have to be quite sure that I am not in this, that some secret ambition of mine, some motive of mine, is not at work.

Oh, how subtle are our hearts! You and I perhaps are ready to be utterly for the Lord. We mean well, and we mean it thoroughly.

We would sing really with our hearts and with our voices at full strength, 'None of self, and all of Thee,' and we would mean it, and there would be no uncertainty so far as we are concerned. 

And yet God knows that we are all the time defeated in our very sincerity by secret motives, and nothing but a test position can prove whether we actually mean it. 

So He brings us to a test – to a prospect, and then a disappointment. 

How do we react? Is our sorrow, our pain, for the Lord or for ourselves?

Are we disappointed, or is it really only the Lord for Whom we are concerned and we are not in it at all? 

You see what I mean...a test situation to find out after all whether it is 'None of self, and all of Thee.'

We can never discover it except in practical ways along the line of very practical testings. 

The Lord knows it all right, but it is not enough that He knows it.

You see, in order for us to come in, we have to come in intelligently and cooperatively. That is the point of every test. 

The Lord could do a thing with a stroke, it could happen mechanically. But we are in a moral world, and God acts towards man on moral ground. 

Man has a will that constitutes him a morally responsible person, and so he must exercise his will in cooperation with God.

~T. Austin Sparks ~

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How Crowns Are Lost-The Danger Of Compromise

But now, how are crowns lost?  

Well, of course, in many ways, and one can only draw upon the experience of temptation and what has been not only felt, but seen in one's own experience and in the lives of others as to how crowns are lost as well as how crowns are won.

I think one of the ways in which crowns are more frequently lost perhaps than any other is by compromise, keeping strictly, of course, to the spirit of the word.

I am thinking of this great master of crowns, Paul, and if there was one thing about Paul more than another thing, it was this, that he was a man of no compromise.

Compromise, you know, has many forms and many shades and it can be found under many very good names.

For instance, what a lot of compromise is hidden behind that phrase "broadmindedness". 

Broadmindedness is one of those great big trees spreading in all directions and great dimensions, and any bird of heaven can find a home in that tree, Compromise.

It means calling things by other names than their true names.

You know how, in the world, they cover up evil by wonderful phrases. 

The whole terrible iniquity of gambling in horse-racing, for instance, is covered up by the great and noble business of preserving a noble breed of horse, and that is the way in which all this iniquity ruined lives by the millions, devastated homes, hungry children - passes as something noble. 

We have got to be careful that we call things by their right name, and especially the younger people have got to be careful. 

You get out in the world and you know what the world thinks about Christians and Christianity, and then the temptation at once is in some way to be broad, not to be too particular, too singular and different from everybody else - be broad-minded!

That broad-mindedness is the curse of compromise which has robbed many a young Christian of his or her crown for all eternity.

We are not going, of course, to go to a wrong extreme, you understand that, in the other direction, but let us be careful.

Compromise has many forms, but the essence of it where Christians are concerned is an ashamedness of Jesus.

Oh, let us call it by its right name - ashamed of Jesus! That is the right name for it. Call it anything else and it comes down to that. 

"Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in his own glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26): 

Crown gone, Jesus ashamed of us. Why? We were ashamed of Jesus, but we would not call it that. 

We would call it by some name of compromise, broad-mindedness, being all things to all men - the wrong application of a right principle.

Oh yes, crowns are lost like that, but I do urge upon you, especially my younger friends, this word - "that no one take thy crown", have no compromise, no letting go for anything whatever; no advantage that you can gain by any form or degree of compromise can ever bring you that which will deliver you from terrible shame and remorse in the day of Jesus Christ. 

Well, compromise is one thing and I say it works out in so many ways and it has so many connections with it.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Death Of The Wicked

The wicked and the righteous live a different life, and die a different death.

Have not my eyes beheld the melancholy scene? one hastening into the unseen world, unprepared and thoughtless.

But perhaps he may sleep on in carnal security, until, stripped of flesh, he plunges into the raging flames!

Have not my eyes seen a dying person, (me thinks I see him still,) tossing and tumbling under the gnawing pangs of some acute disease: sleep debarred from his eyes, on whose lids sat the shadow of death, calling often, and in a melting manner, for help from his physician...but in vain?

Every power is invaded, every part besieged as death denies a moment's respite from the war.

Yet we hear not one word of his eternal state, of his immortal soul; nor one request for mercy, from God as reconciled in his Son.

When he was in health, the world was all his concern. As he desired he lived; and as he lived he died.

As the tree grows, so it falls. Then may I live to God and die in God: grow to grace and fall to glory!

Friends and spectators are very much concerned to see him writhing under the agonies of death, and sympathize with every groan; but for the most part look no further, nor pity his soul which is in shortly to fall into the hands of the living God!

But the combat is increased, the attack is visibly more stout, and strength to resist is sensibly decayed.

His friends, careful but too late, call for prayer now as if God could be forced into friendship with the man, at his last moments, who has been all his life his foe; or heaven won for him who never sought for it himself.

At length, amidst insupportable agonies, he yields up the spirit, and is no more.

Attending friends pour out their sorrows in a flood of tears, yet are not a little glad to see his suffering body lie at rest.

And then they dress his stiffening limbs and his lifeless clay.

They are willingly ignorant of the state of his soul and gladly hope the best.

But will you talk deceitfully for mercy, to the injury of adorable justice?

At death, shall heaven be his possession who would not have a gift of it upon earth?

Shall he dwell with God in eternity who walked contrary to God in time, nor repented at death?

All is hushed, and those concerned are quiet again: the tears dry up, as they refuse to look beyond the grave.

But my imagination follows him. They say...Forbear, presumptuous thought, and mind your own concerns!

Ah! I must peep into eternity, and, through the telescope of Scripture, see him brought before the judgement, and found to have lived and died without Christ!

Oh! his fearful doom! Vengeance awakes against him, the vengeance of eternal fire, and he is thrown into the flaming gulf of hell, where deep he sinks, below my venturous thought.

His friends refresh themselves, and comfort one another, until they recover their usual mirth and jest: but not a drop of water to cool his scorched tongue!

The ensuing night shall partly repay the watching and wakeful nights they have had about their friend: but his eyes shall never shut but keep open with ghastly stare, looking for the wrath, however much he feels which is still "the wrath to come."

Their sorrow gradually abates but his anguish is ever on the increase.

Our remembrance of him rots into oblivion, as his clay crumbles into corruption...but God's wrath never forgets its prey; God's vengeance never forgets to afflict.

Still my sympathy would penetrate the dark abyss, and look with pity on my damned acquaintance.

Poor soul! where is all your usual mirth and merry jests?

Are they now forever fled, and your uninterrupted exercise unceasing howlings, and unavailing complaints?

Now you are where sympathy avails you not, where pity cannot enter.

This is no purgatory through which you shall one time or other leave; it is your final doom, your fixed eternal state!

My troubled thoughts are weary among the shriekings of the damned, nor longer can abide among these shades of horror.

Yes, now I am not bound to sympathize with the eternal, irreconcilable enemies of Jehovah and the Lamb.

The day of grace is past, the hour of mercy over: sin is finished, and has brought forth eternal death; despair is final, enmity consummate, and the breach is wide as the sea of eternity! Who can heal it?

Let me turn, then, my voice unto the sons of men. A few moments, and your state, like his, is fixed!

Will you, then, adventure not only to sport but to sin away your time, which is so precious, and in which you are to secure a happy eternity?

There are no offers of salvation beyond the grave! There is no godly repentance in the pit!

Now your misery has the heavenly balm of God's mercy; but there your misery shall not, even in its longest duration and highest degree, excite God's mercy...but rather awake his fiercer wrath.

While in your agonies you blaspheme the awful avenger, who in the destruction of 'mercy-despisers 'shall rest satisfied.

Then give your eyes no sleep, nor slumber to your eye-lids, until you find a dwelling in your heart for God, and a chamber in his promise, a saving interest in his Son for your soul that you may be hidden in the day of wrath, and in the desolation that shall surely come.

~James Meikle~

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Am I Like Jesus Or Not?

John 13:4-5 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 

Serving is not an easy lesson to learn. But it is a lesson which we must learn if ever we would become like our Master. 

Jesus did not come to be served but to serve

He served to the uttermost, just as He loved to the uttermost. Any service that needed to be done for another He did as naturally and as simply as He breathed! 

He loved people, and was interested in them and was ready always to be helpful to them.

It never mattered what the service was, whether it was the saving of a soul, the curing of a grievous sickness, or washing feet. 

He did the least service as graciously and as divinely as the greatest!

The washing of feet was the lowliest service any man could do for another. It was the work of the lowliest slave.

Yet Jesus without hesitation, did this service for His own disciples. Thus He taught them that nothing anyone may ever need to have done by another is unfit for the holiest hands.

We begin to be like Christ only when we begin to love others enough to serve them, regardless of the lowliness of the particular service.

One day a stranger entered an artist's studio in Milan. The artist was working on a painting of the head of Christ and appeared to take no notice of the stranger.

At last he broke the silence, looked at the man and asked, "Sir, does it look like Jesus or not?"

There is no surer test of the genuineness of Christian life than in this matter of serving others.

In serving others, we should inquire, "Am I like Jesus — or not?"   

We are too careful of our dignity.  

When we see the Son of God washing His disciples' feet we should be ashamed ever to ask whether anything another may need to have done is too menial for us to do.

A king may do the lowliest kindness to the poorest peasant in his realm and his honor will only be enhanced by it.

John 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 

~J. R. Miller~

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Are You Treading The Way Which The Saints Of GOD Have Ever Trod ?

Isa 40:4  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

If in your road heavenward, no valley ever sank before you; if no mountain and hill ever rose up in sight; if you encountered no crooked path through the dense woods; and no rough places, with many a rolling stone and many a thorny briar in the tangled forest, it would not seem that you were treading the way which the saints of God have ever trod, nor would it appear as if you needed special help from the sanctuary, or any peculiar power to be put forth for your help and deliverance. 

But being in this path, and that by God's own appointment, and finding right before your eyes valleys of deep depression which you cannot raise up; mountains and hills of difficulty that you cannot lay low; crooked things which you cannot straighten; and rough places which you cannot make smooth; you are compelled, from felt necessity, to look for help from above.

These perplexing difficulties, then, are the very things that make yours a case for the gospel, yours a state of mind to which salvation by grace is thoroughly adapted, yours the very condition of soul to which the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is altogether suitable.

So that if you could at the present moment view these trials with spiritual eyes, and feel that they were all appointed by unerring wisdom and eternal love, and were designed for the good of your soul, you would rather bless God that your pathway was so cast in providence and grace that you had now a valley, now a mountain, now a crook, and now a thorn.

And even as regards the present experience of your soul, you would feel that these very difficulties in the road were all productive of so many errands to the throne--that they all called upon you, as with so many speaking voices, to beg of the Lord that he would manifest himself in love to your heart.

We all desire ease; we love a smooth path. We would like to be carried to heaven in a palanquin; to enjoy every comfort that earth can give or heart desire, and then, dying without a pang of body or mind, find ourselves safe in heaven. But that is not God's way.

The word of truth, the sufferings of Christ, and the universal experience of the saints, all testify against the path of ease; all testify for the path of trial.

They all proclaim, as with one united voice, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,"--and this is the way of ease and of that prosperity which destroys fools.

Pro 1:32  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

But "strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life,"--and this is the path of suffering and sorrow.

~J. C. Philpot~

Friday, September 5, 2014

Surely Something Must Be Amiss With The Scales!

Lev 19:36  Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Weights, and scales, and measures were to be all according to the standard of justice.

Surely no Christian will need to be reminded of this in his business, for if justice were banished from all the world beside it should find a shelter in true Christian hearts!

There are, however, other scales and balances which weigh moral and spiritual things and these often need examining. 

We will call in the Judge right now.

Those scales in which we weigh our own and other men's characters are they quite accurate?

Do we not turn our own ounces of goodness into pounds; and other people's pounds of excellence into ounces?

See to just weights and measures here, Christian!

Those scales in which we measure our trials and troubles are they according to standard?

Paul, who had far more to suffer than we have...called his afflictions light. 

Yet we often consider our afflictions to be heavy! Surely something must be amiss with the scales! 

We must see to this matter, lest we get reported to the court above, for unjust dealing!

Those scales with which we measure our beliefs are they quite fair? 

The precepts and doctrines should have the same weight with us as the promises-no more and no less! 

With many, one scale or the other is unfairly weighted.

It is a grand matter to give just measure in God's truths. 

Christian, be careful here!

Those scales in which we estimate our obligations and responsibilities look rather small. 

When a rich man gives no more to the cause of God, than the poor contribute is that an honest weight, an honest measure, a just balance?

Reader, we might lengthen the list but we prefer to leave it as your day's work to find out and destroy all unjust scales, balances, weights, and measures!

~Charles Spurgeon~

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Will any, or will I, pretend to teach the Most High knowledge, seeing he is excellent in all his working, and perfect in all his ways?

Then, since I cannot direct him, why am not I submissive to his disposal?

Can I predict events, or foresee futurities? No! How then can I promise myself serenity from a cloudless sky? or fear storms from an obscured heaven? when, as to the first, the gathering meteors may suspend an unexpected shadow before the sun; or, as to the second, the gathered clouds may scatter, and let the welcome beams refresh the weary world.

So, Lord, as from present appearances, future contingencies cannot be discerned—it is my duty, and shall be my study, to be WHOLLY, FULLY, and FOREVER, at your disposal, to whom all your works, all my purposes, and all my wanderings, are known from the beginning!

O! how the Christian should glory in God's choosing for him the lot of his inheritance, and be content with that condition which Heaven accounts best for him, though not the grandest or greatest; nor the richest or happiest; nor that state he most desires.

I am not my own—for I am bought with a price, and dearly paid for too!

Would it not be too daring for me to instruct God how to decorate the heavens, how to set the sun, station the moon, place the poles, plant the stars, and guide the wandering planets?

Now, I am as much his by right, (yes, in the ties of love, more,) and as much at his disposal, as any of these his other creatures; and if I cannot complain of his conduct with these, why quarrel at his providences toward me?

Another thing which ought to encourage to submission, is, that God's way is not only equitable in itself, but profitable for his people.

For the latter end of the righteous is peace; and the end of the Lord is always gracious to his afflicted ones—who chooses them in the furnace of affliction, brings light out of darkness, order out of confusion, real good out of seeming evil; and, finally, brings through fire and water to a place of eternal glory!

~James Meikle~


Monday, September 1, 2014

It Has Been Granted To You To Suffer For Him.

God runs a costly school, for many of His lessons are learned through tears. 

Richard Baxter, the seventeenth-century Puritan preacher, once said, “O God, I thank You for the discipline I have endured in this body for fifty-eight years.”And he certainly is not the only person who has turned trouble into triumph.

Soon the school of our heavenly Father will close for us, for the end of the school term is closer every day. 

May we never run from a difficult lesson or flinch from the rod of discipline.

Richer will be our crown, and sweeter will heaven be, if we cheerfully endure to the end.Then we will graduate in glory.

~Theodore L. Cuyler~

The world’s finest china is fired in ovens at least three times, and some many more. 

Dresden china is always fired three times. Why is it forced to endure such intense heat? Shouldn’t once or twice be enough? No, it is necessary to fire the china three times so the gold, crimson, and other colors are brighter, more beautiful, and permanently attached.

We are fashioned after the same principle.The human trials of life are burned into us numerous times, and through God’s grace, beautiful colors are formed in us and made to shine forever.

~Cortland Myers~

Earth’s fairest flowers grow not on sunny plain, But where some vast upheaval tore in twain The smiling land.

After the whirlwind’s devastating blast, and molten lava fire, and ashes fall, God’s still small voice breathes healing over all.

From broken rocks and fern-clad chasms deep, Flow living waters as from hearts that weep,

There in the afterglow soft dews distill And angels tend God’s plants when night falls still, And the Beloved passing by the way Will gather lilies at the break of day.