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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37521
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Who has listened to the feature sermon? - Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Austin-Sparks


It would be great to get a discuss going on sharing aspects of what you learnt from the featured message: Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Austin-Sparks

Feel free to share your thoughts there and also leave a comment on the sermon and listen to it here if you have not heard it:

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/5/3 16:06Profile

Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States

 Re: Who has listened to the feature sermon? - Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Aus

I have listened to it.
Anything that I have read or listened to by Austin T. Sparks thus far has always totally encouraged and enlightened my vision of who the Lord is in fuller understanding. I have not read anything yet that I did not come away not glad I read it.

As far as the message goes...If we are offended in Him at any one point, are we really even fully consecrated? Are we whole-hearted? I would think not.
It seems being offended in Him is like being double-minded and unstable.

1Pe_1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Great message!


 2012/5/3 17:33Profile

Joined: 2006/7/5
Posts: 640

 Re: Who has listened to the feature sermon? - Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Aus

I listened to it some years ago. I remember it as a sermon that had a very positive effect on my life. I'm giving it another listen to refresh my memory of the sermon.

SI Moderator - Jeremy Hulsey

 2012/5/3 17:49Profile

  Who has listened to the feature sermon? - Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Aus

It would be great to get a discuss going on sharing aspects of what you learnt from the featured message: Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Austin-Spark.

Having listened to this then elderly brother. Several different threads of what a meaning might be in the hearing rather than what may have been 'intended' to be heard, follow on.

Elijah and Elisha:

Thought about Elijah's words to Elisha regarding the three places Elijah was sent by the Lord. I wondered whether Elijah himself was the focus of the scripture given, and whether Elijah's word to Elisha reflected the possibility that Elijah was compelled to speak as he did, because the word given him, didn't include 'bring Elisha with you'. I asked myself was this an exacting obedience of Elijah, s part, which necessarily excluded Elisha, but which didn't 'reject' him. Perhaps as Mr Spark explained. Elisha had to make his own response.

The man

Thought about Mr Spark's age and his delivery and to what extent 'for that time 1959' was it emphatic, 'having an effect' to the condition of those who were hearing him at that time. Emphasis of speech being at the root of this thought and whether he was settled with simplicity, trusting the Lord.

John the Baptist

Thought whether John 'stumbled'. Or was stumbled by his circumstance of imprisonment. Did he expect to continue on? Though as a servant 'unworthy?' But present with the Lord! Was it at that point that Christ's ultimate rejection by Israel, took on a more real outworking? So that John, became 'not' Elijah, and therefore must now pass out of Israel through death? Elijah still being therefore promised today...preceding Christ's return.

The Prophets

Thought about the first prophet rightly discerned Elijah's soon parting and told Elisha. No seeming contention. Elisha knew also. How the second prophet similarly spoke with the same effect, and word of Elisha. The 50 prophets 'withstood'. Thought about how they also being true prophets knew the certainty of events, but appear to have gathered themselves for an effect.

The only part which seems certain to me is that Mr Spark wasn't speaking so as 'to have an effect'. It seems as though he was 'trusting' for an effect. Very profound given the endless natural mind's desire to create effects.

I will have to listen again to understand or answer to myself the threads made in my thinking. Wonderful gift of a man.


 2012/5/3 18:45

Joined: 2010/11/20
Posts: 1398

 Re: Who has listened to the feature sermon? - Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Au

I just wanted to encourage you Brother Greg, that I usually try to listen to the featured sermons. I couldn't get into this one though - I had trouble with the accent or the tone of his voice or something. After the comments posted here though I might give it another try...maybe my mind was just having trouble focusing on that particular day. THANK YOU for everything you feature - I am most always very blessed!

 2012/5/3 22:05Profile

Joined: 2010/10/26
Posts: 236


In a sentence, it made me begin to square-up with the idea that I can never bring a case against God - no matter how unfair my circumstances. I can never take offense at God for not acting in my favour even when I am innocent.

It frustrates me somewhat. I can do all the right things; live right, pray, fast, live in peace with my neighbour as far as is possible. . .and yet, still, when I suffer, I can't then blame God. . .I can't take offense at Him if He chooses not to deliver me from the pain and suffering following RIGHTEOUSNESS.

It makes me think of Job who was righteous and yet would not curse God.. .it makes me think of the brother of the prodigal son who DID take offense. . .

In a way, it makes me think of myself as utterly disposable before God. .. if I should never receive restitution for the sins done against me, if I should never know the closeness I seek with God, I have no place to tell the Potter He should have done things differently. . .

It hurts a lot. I think it hurts pride and a self-righteous notion of justice as seen from the clay's eyes. . .

 2012/5/4 12:12Profile

Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States


Brother you bring up the prodigal son who did take offense..

This is a great message Sandeep Poonen expounds on that even further...

Just a side note bar...:) enjoy


 2012/5/4 12:14Profile

  Who has listened to the feature sermon? - Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Aus

Having listened to Mr Sparks teaching "Blessedness of the Unoffended", once more, it is an encouragement to me. It spoke to me in a manner which is easily overlooked, but in which manner, all who experience the reality of knowing God, yet living in this world; know daily. We are discouraged sometimes by what we see in the world, but more by what we see in our own lives and in those who love the Lord as well. Not just by what we do to ourselves, but also by what is done to us by those who are called, and by what we do to others. At times it really does seem as if the Lord hasn't been looking out for us. Or we stumble and we feel offended because we imagine that God in His Righteous demand in our lives, will now overlook us.

I think that for some saints it is easier than for others. Perhaps God's Righteous demand in our lives to walk uprightly, confidently bearing witness to Christ is a measure of His calling in our own personal lives. I ask myself the question. Wherein lies confidence? In the calling of God, or in obedience?

It makes me think of Paul's admonition not to allow ones own liberty of God's calling in ones own life to become a stumbling block to others who also have God's calling in their lives, but may not have the same liberty. The Lord is ever merciful.


 2012/5/7 7:19

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2007
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Who has listened to the feature sermon? - Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Aus

I listened to the sermon the other day. I wonder if there is anyone who has not as some point been tempted to be offended at God or at His word. Matthew says that when persecutions come for the word sake, those who have no root in themselves are offended. It simply means that they give up on the word and say, "Well, I guess it does not work." I have battled with this temptation at times. In each case I have focused on the faithfulness of God and repented of my offense.

When John's disciples asked whether Jesus was the Messiah, He did not answer them for some time. Instead He went about fulfilling what scripture said of Him. Then He quoted scripture to them and sent them away. "Go tell John what you have seen of Me fulfilling the word."

God's word is true and He is faithful. We need to be firmly rooted and grounded in the word of God. We need to be unshakeable and unmovable with our feet firmly planted on the strong foundation of the Word of God.

This is why it is so important that we turn off the things of the world that feed us with doubts and thoughts that are against the word of God and turn on the things that continually feed us the word of God.


 2012/5/16 13:42Profile


Below is a great piece on this by a dear friend and brother of mine who has lost much for the cause of Christ in His life, so he writes from no mere theory...........

Are We Offended in Him?
by W.E. Smith

Blessed is the one who is not offended by Me. (Matthew 11:6 ESV)

The Word of God does take account of the possibility of our being offended with Him. It does not say anywhere that that possibility should never arise and will never arise. The Lord has no where said that we shall never have any occasion for being offended with Him. He HAS indicated that there will be PLENTY of opportunity for so stumbling at Him, falling over Him, coming down because of Him – if you like: crashing because of Him. There will be plenty of occasion or opportunity for doing so. He has never said that it will never be so. It is as well for us to recognize that.

The Lord sent no word of rebuke to poor John the Baptist in the prison when he was perilously near to being offended with the Lord because of his situation. The Lord was not hard on John because of his question. He might, had He been another, have said, “But John, did you not point Me out as the Lamb of God? Did you not proclaim Me as the One, the Messiah? Haven’t you preached about Me to multitudes? Have you not made the strongest declarations and affirmations as to what you believed about Me? And here you’re asking a fundamental question about Me. John, what’s gone wrong with you?” No, nothing like that. The Lord knows our frame, that we are dust. And the Lord, I’m saying, takes account of this ever present possibility, in our weakness, of being offended with Him. But He does attach to this matter a particular blessedness if we don’t crash over the Stumbling Block of His ways with us, “AND blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me.” (TAS)

Dear ones - the Lord never minces words does He? He never pretends things are different than they really are? There is a spirit-scraping-bone honesty about everything He did and said while on this earth. He desires truth in the inner-most being, deep down, and unlike religious men and the church by and large today, He is satisfied with nothing less.

I dare say we should be wary of any follower of His who never struggles with the Lord, never grapples with Him and His violent move on their life and heart. All is song and happiness, in other words. All is buttoned-up pretense. Then where, I dare say, is the offense of the cross; where is the blood and sweat pouring out from their old man, where is the authentic disciple experience of life rising up out of death in them? Where is the dislocated hip from such a violent encounter with the Lord? Are we offended when we come across a saint who walks with a limp because he has contended heartfully and violently with the Lord? Why is this? Why has this faith become incapable of dealing with things on such a deeper level, such an honest level? Can we grow from milk to meat, from childhood to maturity with anything less I ask? Why are we so quick to judge, when the Word exhorts us against such things?

Why no hard and bitter questions for Him? Like John, we are only men, only so much like Jacob, yes becoming sons of God, but still mostly just men. "Are you really the promised Christ?" "Why do you sleep Lord when the storm rages all around us and we are consumed?"

It is the cross that is so offensive to the flesh in man, and to this modern testimony of the Lord on this earth. They will have none of it it seems. No self-denial, no loss, no affliction, so-self-emptying, no bruising, no narrow way, no sore affliction, no rejection, no betrayal, no false accusations, no hatred from this world and its god. "GET AWAY FROM ME SATAN!" is how our Lord thinks of such a cross-less pursuit of Him. It is offensive to Him and His Father and so it should be to us.

Yet this is the path to the increase of Christ is it not? This is where His life comes from and how it increases in us. "Unless it dies..." says the Word. Not by more study, more church, more religion, more fellowship with always-happy, water-spider christians, dancing on the surface of life but never plunging into the depths. Does even this word offend you? Does it sound wrong or twisted to you? Perhaps we can go around the Red Sea rather than through it. Perhaps we can build a golden bridge across the Jordan, rather than get our ankles wet. Perhaps we can take up a sword or do anything else in our power to keep death and hell from knocking at the door. Perhaps we can slay Saul so that he will stop hunting us down. Perhaps the baker or the butler will put in a good word for us to get us out of this pit.

I know my friends, how hard this is, how deep these things must go. I know how lonely is this path into His very heart, once so many others have abandoned this narrow way back to the Father's love. I know what it is like to want to sing His praises when only hard questions will come out. I know what it is like to be so blinded by tears that you cant see Him in the storm.

The Lord minced no words in such matters and so how can we? Will He find (the) faith on the earth among His own when He returns? No, because the true faith, the true call has become so offensive to so many in this pleasure-loving generation, who associate Him with the "good life", and the affirmation of everything this world has to offer. The modern church has become little more than a country club serving up psycho-social milk and pabulum to babes who are always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. The milk goes down easy and it is warm in their mouths, no chewing required, no effort, nothing to really digest and become flesh in them.

No, no our Lord in His great love never soft-balled anything to us. He never floated any pitches, or sugar-coated just how serious these matters of life and death really are. Modern-day come as you are, stay as you are, leave as you are preachers do certainly, but our Great Teacher never need, and never will.

My encouragement to all those presently striving with the Lord is don't let go of Him until He blesses (wounds) you. Don't let go. Cling to Him out of a tenacious love. Don't lose heart. Don't listen to those who try to convince you that you are "of little faith", or somehow outside of His will and blessing. Real faith, the faith that will endure until the end, is a faith that is forged in these private struggles with Him and His way. Don't give up on Him, don't relinquish your grip on his heart. Love so often, if it is really a love that has gone down deep into a man - it must be tried and tested. It must yearn for Him, it must strive to know Him, all of Him, all that He is and has gone through for us. It is a love than knows death and silence and confusion - yet it clings to Him, to even a piece of His clothing if that is all you can get hold of.

And stop pretending with one another. Stop holding back your questions and difficulties. The only real fellowship in the spirit we can hope to have is the fellowship in His sufferings. As you see the day approaching (and my friends, it is approaching) encourage others to endure, those who are dying daily to the things of the old man and this world. Hold one another, embrace each others pain and confusion, weep with one another, and let your tears run down together to wash the feet of our Lord. As you watch painfully as beloved brothers and sisters are being emptied and poured out to all the things of the flesh and the world, weep with them, pray with them, ache with them, join with them, minister strength to them as another member of the body. Don't preach! Don't judge! Don't try to explain it all away! Don't be like Job's well-meaning but useless friends! It is, after all, just the Cross doing what it is intended to do. It is the Word becoming flesh in that man before your very eyes. It is newness of life rising up out of death, it is, in the end - the only way home.

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life!"

If this way, and truth and life offends you, then turn back now - stop pretending with yourself, God and everyone else! For when the final shaking comes, all that is false, all that is loosely attached, will fall away.

I encourage all of you, and love you and I do understand, truly I do

 2012/5/16 14:05

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