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lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Holy City



THE PRACTICAL NATURE OF DIVINE LIFE
I want to say here, quite emphatically, that life is a very practical thing. That is true of natural life. We know what a tremendous thing it is to fight for someone’s life. All the vast resources of medical supply and surgical care are concentrated into this one issue, and that vast realm of activity is concentrated upon this one thing - life. Everything and anything to save life. It may be just a little life in some poor body, but all the resources of medical science and care will be employed just to save that bit of life. What a tremendous amount is bound up with this matter of life! When that life has gone all the activity and energy and concern ceases.

This matter of life can make us very busy. I expect most of you have heard of the great missionary David Livingstone, and some years ago I was associated with a great movement for the celebration of the centenary of his birth. You know, for nearly a whole year we were busy, almost night and day, making the arrangements. We took the greatest hall in London, got the Archbishop of Canterbury to promise to preside, we had a special oratorio composed, and had special biographies of David Livingstone written. My word, we had to work hard! One day the man with whom I was working said to me: ’Old David Livingstone is not dead! He is still knocking us all out by his vitality!’

Well, you see, life is a very practical thing. Electricity is a very practical thing. You do not need that I should demonstrate that! If you want proof of that, just unscrew the lamp, pull down the switch and put your thumb on the point. If you did that to the lamp over there, the next moment you would be sitting in another corner and you would be believing in the practical aspect of electricity!

Now all that is only to come to our point. If all that is true of natural life, how much more true it must be of Divine life! Divine life is immensely practical. It is not just something which we receive; it is a power in us. The Apostle Paul said one of his very great things about this: ”Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20) - ’Exceeding’ ... ’Exceeding abundantly... ’Exceeding abundantly above’ ... ’Exceeding abundantly above all... according to the power that worketh in us.’ It is the power of this Divine life by the Holy Spirit.



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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/24 1:12Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Holy City



THE LIMITING OF DIVINE LIFE
Now we have been seeing that this city, in every part, is an expression of the Divine nature, and that is brought down to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. Where there is anything contrary to the Divine nature, that is death and not life. Recall some of the features of this city.
We said that it was clear as crystal. You can see right through it - there is no dark thing. It says that it is like transparent gold. That is only a symbolism for absolute honesty, absolute truth, and absolute purity of mind, and where there is anything that is not absolutely honest and true and transparent, there is not life. If you were to try to deceive me, or someone else, or I tried to deceive you, that would seriously limit the Divine life in us. If we as Christians are not absolutely honest in our business, we are working against the life of God in us. If our Christianity is only a profession and not a reality, there is no life in it. I think I need not labour that any more. This place where God is is completely free from everything that is dark and dishonest. There are several things in the Bible which are said to be an abomination to God. We pointed out that the lie is an abomination to Him, and the Bible says that pride is an abomination, too. It says: ”The proud he (the Lord) knoweth afar off” (Psalm 138:6). Pride cannot come near to God. What is pride? It is making believe something that is not true.

Let us look at another thing about this city. A city, ideally, is the symbol of order. In a true city everything is in proper order, and everything that is governed by it is put into order. God is a God of order. Disorder is contrary to His nature. Whether it be in the personal life, or whether it be in the home, or whether it be in the church, or wherever it may be, disorder is contrary to the nature of God. Disorder is lawlessness, and all lawlessness has come from Satan. Satan is called the ’Prince of this world’ (John 14:30). Now, look at the world! There is only one word to explain the world situation, and that is CHAOS. More and more, and ever more chaos is coming over this world. The prince of this world is making for disorder everywhere in his world. In the realm of Divine life things are ordered if that life is having its way, for it is Divine life that will bring order into your personal life. When I see a disorderly life, a life in which you cannot see any real order, then I have to say: ’Divine life is suffering in that person’. When there is disorder in a company of the Lord’s people we know quite well that the life is limited. We have to say: ’When I go there, amongst those people, I do not come away feeling renewed in my life.’ When things are in Divine order, then you always feel life.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/24 2:29Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
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 Re: The Holy City



THE FRUITFULNESS OF DIVINE LIFE
Just two other things about this life. Divine life is always fruitful. You see, this tree is planted by the river of the water of life, and it bears all manner of fruit. It does not matter whether it is seventy, eighty or a hundred years old, it bears fruit every month. You have never seen a natural tree do that! It just means that fruit goes on and on and on. Divine life never grows old. What does that mean? You are saying: ‘Well, what do you mean by fruit?’ Life is influence. Somehow or other this water of life has an influence upon its surroundings, and that influence is seen in green leaves and much fruit - you have to say: ‘Well, that water is having a great influence on this whole area!’ If we really have this life in us, our lives will be influential. They will have an effect upon what is around us.

THE PLACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN OUR LIVES
The last thing for this time. The city is the seat of government, and you notice that the river of the water of life flows from out of the throne, so it is the throne that produces everything. You know what that means! It is the throne of God and of the Lamb. In a word, it means the absolute lordship of Jesus Christ. Right at the very centre of everything is the government of Jesus Christ, in virtue of His Cross, and as the Lamb. All the other things will depend entirely upon the place that Jesus Christ has, and will depend entirely upon how much we are committed to Him. If we are WHOLLY committed to the Lord and He is ALTOGETHER Lord, then the life will flow and all these things that we have said about life will be true in us. It will be the testimony to absolute committal to Jesus Christ.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/24 8:24Profile
lwpray
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Posts: 3318
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 Re: The Holy City



THE HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM
by T. Austin-Sparks


Chapter 10 - The Greatness of God’s Grace in Jesus Christ

Reading: Psalm 51
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star” (Revelation 22:16).

I think it is a very wonderful thing that the Bible almost finishes with a word about David, and I think that you will agree with me. Here, right at the end, our Lord is saying: “I Jesus... am the root and the offspring of David.” ‘As the root, David came from Me. As the offspring I came from David.’ That is why the Lord here calls Himself by the simple name of Jesus. He says: “I Jesus have sent mine angel.” Now the Apostles and New Testament teachers very rarely used that name, for they almost always spoke of Him as the LORD Jesus, or Jesus Christ our Lord. It was very rare for them just to use His name ‘Jesus’, because that was the name before His resurrection and exaltation. ‘Jesus’ was the name of His humiliation, the name of the One who died for us, the One who was made sin in our place. ‘Jesus’ was the name of the Saviour: “Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). ‘Jesus’ was the name of the One who “humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). And here, right at the end of everything, He says: “I Jesus” - “I Jesus... am the root and offspring of David.”

David! That name brings back many things to us. David was the greatest king that Israel ever had, but what was his greatness based upon? We have read that Psalm, but did you notice the inscription at the head of it? Here it is:
“A Psalm of David:
when Nathan the prophet came unto him,
after he had gone in to Bath-sheba.”

This Psalm is one of the most terrible things in the Bible! It is the Psalm of a man whose heart is broken because of his sin and because of the terrible nature of it. Do you remember the story?
There was a man named Uriah and he had a very beautiful wife. At a time when Israel went out to battle David, instead of going out with his forces, went up on to the housetop, and from there he saw this very beautiful woman. His passions rose within him and he said: ‘I must have that woman! She is already married to Uriah, but I must have her somehow.’ So he said to his captains: ‘I want you to put Uriah in the front rank of the army and then go forward to meet the enemy. Then, when the enemy attacks, let the army fall back and leave Uriah alone.’ That is what they did and, of course, the plan succeeded. Uriah was killed, and then David’s captains came back and said: ‘Uriah is dead.’ David sent to Uriah’s wife, Bath-sheba, and said: ‘Uriah is dead. Come and be my wife.’ So David got Bath-sheba, as he had planned, but the Lord said to Nathan, the prophet: ‘Go to David and tell him a parable of a poor man who had but one sheep, and of another man who had many sheep, but this man who had the many sheep stole the one little sheep belonging to the poor man.’ And as David listened to the story his wrath rose within him and he said: ‘The man who would do a thing like that is worthy of death. He shall die!’ And Nathan said: ‘Thou art the man!’ David had committed murder by planning to do so, and, do you know, by doing that he had put himself right outside side of all the Lord’s sacrifices for sin. The laws of God through Moses had provided for a sacrifice for every other kind of sin. There was even a sacrifice for the man who killed somebody by accident, for the man who did kill somebody but had never intended to do so, but for the man who thought it out and planned it, then carried it out, there was no sacrifice. That was called ‘blood-guiltiness’, and there was no sacrifice provided by God for that. Such a man might bring his offerings, his sacrifice and his burnt offerings, but God would take no pleasure in them, and that is where David was in Psalm 51:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness... Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin... My sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight... Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow... Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me... Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation... Thou delightest not in sacrifice; else would I give it: thou hast no pleasure in burnt offering.”
David is saying: ‘I have not anything that I can offer. I have put myself outside of all God’s provision. My condition is absolutely hopeless, but for one thing, and that one thing is Thy grace.’


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/24 10:29Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Holy City



Do you think now that it is a wonderful thing that the Bible ends with: “I am the root and offspring of David”? To put that in another way, the Bible ends by saying that God’s grace is greater than the greatest sin, and is sufficient for the man who has no hope. I think it is a wonderful thing that after this God did make David so great, so that his name is one of the greatest names in history.
Solomon was the second son of that woman Bath-sheba, and the very name ‘Solomon’ means for us the greatest glory in the Bible. Jesus Himself will acknowledge that. He spoke of “even Solomon in all his glory” (Matthew 6:29), but “a greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42). First of all, you have this wonderful greatness of Solomon from a man who had sinned like David. How can you explain that? It is explained because a “greater than Solomon is here”. In what way is Jesus greater than Solomon? Because He will take someone who has gone to the deepest depths of sin and raise them to the highest place in glory. That is greatness indeed! It is the greatness of the grace of God which has been brought to us in Jesus.
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches.” What is the greatest testimony of Jesus in the Church? It is what Paul calls ”the exceeding riches of his grace” (Ephesians 2:7).
So we end our studies in Revelation upon this very high and glorious note. Jesus says: ”I am... the root and offspring of DAVID”. Fancy Jesus associating Himself with David! That is grace indeed!
But remember that there was something in David. ‘If there is no sacrifice provided by Moses for my sin, there is a sacrifice provided by Jesus.’ David said: “Thou delightest not in sacrifice... thou hast no pleasure in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
The message speaks for itself. It is too great, too wonderful for words! How great is the grace of God in Jesus Christ! And the way into that grace is not by any works that we can do, nor by any offering that we can make. It is by a broken and a contrite heart that comes to the cross of Jesus and sees there God’s sacrifice for sin which no other sacrifice can put away.
And so we sing:
“Plenteous grace with Thee is found;
Grace to cover all my sin.”


END


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/24 15:52Profile
MarkOne
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Joined: 2004/9/24
Posts: 76


 Re:

I have been reading all night.
My first contact with this web event.
Immensely pleased.
Immensely blessed.
Mark

 2004/9/25 3:36Profile
MarkOne
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Joined: 2004/9/24
Posts: 76


 Re:

What were your impressions while reading this piece?
Mark

 2004/9/25 11:56Profile
ANewInHim
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Joined: 2005/12/16
Posts: 54


 Re:



I have posted the writing’s of lwpray, so that you would see how through the depth of T. Austin Sparks, the writer was able to search deep within himself and produce such a wealth of inspirational teaching on the The Holy City.

Was, the writer merely copying and posting text? Deep calls unto Deep!

Several questions arose yesterday pertaining to leadership, Let not your questions, the questions that rest upon your heart reach the anointed of the Lord, for this my friend is sin. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------


What will you render unto the Lord? TRUTH! God is searching for a people that will speak what thus says the Lord, and not merely what he/she would have to say, but What God would have you to say or post. What will you render unto the Lord, even if it hurts?

 2008/6/5 13:54Profile





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