Hi good folks,
Before I share my post let me say I'm going to take a sabbatical of sorts for about a month. I don't get here that often so it may not mean much but I guess I know y'all a little by now. I'm a moderator at another forum and I'll be looking in there but am going to try and refrain from posting. By way of personal info, my oldest brother passed away Mon in Gulfport, Miss from mouth cancer. His childhood brothers and sisters had been there with him for 10 days but everyone simply had to come back to work and we had to leave on Sat. But he was with his wife (who lost her first husband to cancer about 23 years ago)and his two step daughters who doted on him very much. One of those step daughters and her husband are strong believers and helped my brother pray during these months and he prayed with me concerning Christ there in the hospital. I'm somewhat astonished at the peace I have although I know I'm sad somewhere on the inside. If you seriously need the Lord and pray to Him I guarantee you He will respond to you. Be assured of that. Praise His high and holy name! Meanwhile, I am going to take about a month and process things and try however feebly to get back in touch with the Lord's voice and thoughts which we can lose in the hustle and bustle. He sure has been good to me through all this.
Meanwhile, I ran across the following exchange between two believers and I thought I would like to share this at sermonindex. If they have showed up or been shared before now then I am sorry and didn't know. I am a little acquainted with the one doing the responding and I shared some of his comments before in the post "The pride of belief versus the humility of faith." I believe he is one of the voices that has been prepared in obscurity. Like the person who received them and shared them I was rather intrigued by his thoughts. Perhaps nobody else will be. But I just offer them for what they are worth. The charismatics which I am one of seem maybe if not entirely at the head of the line then seem to have been near the forefornt of deception in the last decades and we need to get it right. If these comments don't contain the spirit of the [i]truly prophetic[/i] then I don't know what does. But that is my opinion. Again, I just offer them not for debate or conflict but just for what they may be worth to someone. I'll be looking in once in a while. This God we serve is good. I'll sign off here instead of after the comments. Thanks.
The Standard of Love
17 03 2008
The following is an email I received today. It is in response to a question from someone about the reality of deception. Why are blood bought Christians so susceptible to deception? The answer is brilliant. I had to read it three times to get a feel for what he was talking about. Take the time to pour over it, its profound.
I believe the answer lies in our ignorance of the standard. That ignorance makes place for every other kind of deception and the works of the flesh. The reason that the standard is so well known and yet so desperately unknown is because it is so familiar. The standard is, of course, the love of God. And the reason that standard is a mystery above all other mysteries, though best known of all, and rare above all rarities, though most of all celebrated and acknowledged, is underscored in my reference to by the common idiom of course, which means the natural or expected order of things; naturally.
The great standard that is most in front of us is also most hidden from us. If we knew that standard, and the complete divine rejection of its absence, we would tremble. If we knew how impossible this kind of love is with man, we would despair of any kind of works righteousness based on human resolve to fulfill lofty, even biblical ideals. If we knew that to be destitute of this love, disqualifies utterly every other form of power and knowledge, and that heaven or hell is in the balance. If we knew and were by the Spirit made to feel THAT, then we could flee to Christ in a way we had never fled for shelter from the wrath to come. We simply do not know or imagine how far one may proceed in knowledge and even true spiritual power and remain short short short (see Mt 7:21; 1Cor 13). Break through the density of THIS veil and all will become clear and proportional to divine substance and reality. No knowledge of any mystery save the knowledge of God as shown forth in what scripture calls the mystery of the faith can avail to add one cubit to our stature.
That mystery is not just the fact or theology of the cross, it is the way of the cross, that the only way up is down, and that any doctrine or mystery that doesnt serve towards bringing us into the humanly impossible love of God is less than useless, yea, even the truest truth is made itself to be our greatest snare. Our glory is not in being right, which can be the worst form of idolatry, our glory is being made like Him by pure gift, by grace that is indeed amazing. When we look at others as the ones in need, weve not yet known our own destitution, which is to know is our only hope (to whom much is forgiven
), because God must refuse to work cooperatively with life in the formation of His Son in us. He is jealous to work only with death, a death that He alone can bring to every false dependency, because He is jealous that He be known, and only known, as the God who raises the dead. He is not the God that helps those that help themselves, which is the God of humanism.
I think of Jesus forgiving His enemies on the cross, of Stephan praying for his murders while stones were crushing his bones, and most mysterious of all, of Pauls astonishing willingness to be accursed for his brethren. In the wonderful words of Fanny Crosby, I scarce can take it in. This is the standard; there is no other. Only that love that is born not of the will of the flesh or of man counts for anything, as Paul says nothing counts but a new creation! This is the only proof of any pudding. Without this, all else is not only useless, it is worse than useless, because when even true truth becomes a source of identity or pride, God is pledged to resist the proud. This is why so many gifted servants shipwreck. Truth itself becomes a false support and the reed of Egypt. I dare not trust the sweetest frame.
When He might have named so many highly esteemed gifts and graces, it was the love that believers would have to one another that Jesus commends as the one (only) test by which the world will know, as this alone instructs the principalities as well. Why do I add only. Simply because when this is in its place, there is no danger that all else will not follow, though not without fierce opposition, which is the evidence of reality. But I submit that the love that Jesus has in mind is not of such kind that can as well fulfilled by Synagogue or Mosque as by Church. It is a miracle love that comes not but by resurrection. It is the sacrifice that is salted with fire (divine testing). It is formed through the Spirits travail (death in us so that life in you). It is impossible with man, as it is a resurrection phenomenon. It takes no aid from man; it is gift. It is that tender thing that springs out of the dry ground that only God may receive the glory. It is the one sure evidence of true regeneration, as its absence is a token of eternal loss or Hell itself (see Mk 9:42-50). This is why relationships, especially within the body, represent so much more than our hard hearts can conceive concerning the testimony of God in the earth and before angels. We should have Nehemiahs tears concerning what stands for the testimony of God in the earth. This love is the very the test of the reality of our profession; there is no other. The glory and vindication of God in Christ is inextricably bound to this.
So where does this leave us? See, its no more the self styled remnant boasting in its rectitude or knowledge, or charismatic gifts of power jover the Babylonish church system (a brother just reminded me that the Pharisees consuming passion was to be right), but its the divine rejection of everything that does not answer to the standard of the one thing needful, namely, the love of God in Christ. The question, but a church of what kind? now becomes but by a love of what kind?
The church that is healthy is that church that rejoices with trembling, that church that after a great awakening concerning its hitherto un-felt destitution, can now speak of its comfort and security in Christs righteousness alone, albeit without loss of the abiding urgency to remain continually in flight from the wrath to come, seeing now that this wrath is justly poured out on all that is destitute of this peculiar kind of love, which is THE one sure evidence of resurrection life. So talk of grace and free justification, but what comfort is any doctrine that does not conform us to this love? We must be careful that we do not turn those doctrines meant to serve in the formation of this love into its replacement, which is a dangerous false comfort. This is the church of Edwards, Bunyan, and Spurgeon and that great cloud of unnamed immortals, seeking only mercy and a hiding place from the wrath to come, never ceasing to tremble at the Word all their lives. This is why we look to ourselves lest we fail of such a grace as sustained the church in ages past. No other church has, or ever shall overcome than that church that has been overcoming in every age. Who is he that overcomes? That which is born of God overcomes! Why? Because it is born of God! The Seed remains in it; but what a rare seed and what a straight gate!
In affectionate friendship.