Quote for Today
“A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant”
“A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant”
“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love”
Benard of Clairvaux
“And the eyes of them both were opened,
and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together,
and made themselves aprons”
Knowledge for the sake of knowledge alone will leave the soul in misery. The tree of knowledge produced nothing but a sense of self, nakedness and separation from God. The knowledge of good as well as evil left the soul of man empty and wanting a place to hide from God. In his lost state man stepped into the horror of religion in an attempt to cover himself with the withering leaves of his own choosing.
“For I determined not to know any thing among you,
save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
1 Corinthians 2:2
It is in Christ alone that we are freed from the bondage of self and all of its misery. It is as our lives are hid in Him that the fig leaves and folly of religion are abandoned in exchange for His wonder and glory. The frailty of mortal man must be clothed with the majesty of His Eternal Life. It is in Him that the All of heaven speak of His glory with no thought of self.
Envy, strife, lust, jealously and sin evaporate in the Holy Seeing of Him. The Knowledge of the good as well as the evil in the hearts of men is what drove the nails into Him who is the Tree of Life.
How sad it is to see His own forsake their walk with Him for the fig leaves of teachings and knowledge; knowing things about Him without the being in Him.
“”…and much people followed him, and thronged him… When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?“
– Mark 5:25-30
Many throng Him, but few touch Him. It is not from our knowledge about Him that virtue flows and grace abounds. It is in the touching of Him by living faith that Christ is known and His Glory seen.
“But the woman fearing and trembling,
knowing what was done in her,
came and fell down before him…”
“And Adam knew Eve his wife;
and she conceived…”
Travail is the fruit of conception. While many may know the teachings and scriptures of God’s Word the travail of the mystery is lacking. Conception is the fruit of relationship; deep, intimate relationship. It is a sharing that goes beyond the casual relationship, beyond the confines of religious prayer meetings and Sunday services. It is an affair of the heart where intimacy and love is known between the Bride and the Bridegroom. While a man may have many friends and acquaintances, there is something far deeper and more profound in the relationship with his wife. From that intimacy we see conception, travail and the birth of something new. There is the wonder of a new creation, a separate being which is the expression of the love shared. This natural expression is simply the revelation of something deeper, purer and holy in God’s wisdom (Ephesians 5:31-32) concerning His purposes in the earth.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary:
for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb,
and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS”
This purpose is for all who have received Him into their lives; the bringing forth of the Son in all of His Glory, humility, grace and wisdom. Just as a woman cannot conceive by her own will so it is in the Spirit. Conception is the fruit and wonder of relationship. It is not of the work of men but the result of intimacy with God in the Spirit. Those who do not know the stirring and moving of God deep within their hearts will never experience the conception and travail of His Spirit. While many are content with the forms and appearances of religion there is something deep at work within those who have conceived of the wonder of “another life” growing within the womb of their spirit.
Mary’s life was the means of the very incarnation of God. In the wisdom and glory of God, by means of the Holy Spirit, “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”. In like manner that same transaction between God and man has been occurring for centuries in those who yield to the purpose and Lordship of the Holy Spirit. The expression of every individual will be in proportion to the depth of relationship between them and their God. What each of us do with the sowers seed, the given talents and the “pounds” spoken of in the parables, determines the fruit of our lives. The interaction between every believer and God is not determined by what one knows but by how one loves and obeys Him.
It is on the basis and the very essence of His Life within us (conception) that we are being born again as His nature is imparted and augmented in the human heart. This is the interaction of God in man. It is not the result of someone uttering a prescribed prayer or statement; it is the result of receiving the very person of Christ Himself into the human heart.
“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name”
The power to become sons is on the basis of receiving Him. The human egg within a woman must receive the life of the man in order for conception to occur. This is the Holy Truth of His Life within us. May God open our eyes to the miracle and wonder of His birth within us. It is “not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit” that these things are true.
The validity of conception is revealed by the changes wrought within the life of a believer because of another life living within. Religious conformity will never accomplish the revolutionary power of change that only comes by the transforming life of the Son.
“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”
Religion is about conforming to a teaching or a prescribed mode of behavior. Living truth is about transformation whereby we are changed from the fallen Adam into the “express image” of God Himself.
The power and truth of this is portrayed in the heavens concerning this day. The Bride of Christ is with child, crying out and travailing in birth, in pain, to bring forth this Holy expression in the earth (Romans 8:19-23). Those of His Bride know this travail. The religious cannot understand such things for it can only be known through the impelling force of being with child.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered”
(To be continued in Part Two)
Contained within the Greek language are differing words for knowledge and love. The word for Philosophy comes from two Greek words (φίλος- philos) and (σοφία-sophia). Philos is one of three main Greek words for Love; agape, philos, and eros. Each speak to a realm or a sphere of love. Eros is a love which proceeds from the flesh and in turn loves fleshly things. Philo is a love which originates from the soul; it speaks of friendship and affection and when combined with (σοφία-sophia) we end up with the word philosophy: man’s love for wisdom and knowledge. (In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil over the tree of life). Agape is a love which is of the Spirit, it is a pure love for it is God’s Love. It is a love that proceeds from Him, given and offered to all to love God with every fiber of their beings.
“…because they received not the love (agape) of the truth,
that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie”
2 Thessalonians 2:10-11
Those who are His have received a love (agape) of the truth; they can no longer abide or be content with mere information and teachings. To them who are called, Truth is a Life; it is nothing less than Jesus Himself. It is no longer something to hold in the intellect but something that must be known experientially within the regions of their own heart. In the reception of this Love of Him, men and women are captured by the beauty, the wisdom and the Glory of God of which Jesus is the “express image” (Hebrews 1:3) and in whom the “fullness of the Godhead dwells”. It is in Him we behold the sum and the substance of the Father. It is in Him that all the mystery of God Himself is hidden and it is in coming to know Him that we are changed from one glory into another! How can we be satisfied with anything other than Christ living, dwelling and reigning within our hearts? Why meddle in the vain philosophy of religion as the Scribes and the Pharisees of old who, knowing the word in the intellect could not see Him in the Spirit? They could not see Him nor hear Him in the Words of Life that He spoke. When men and women do not passionately desire to see Him in the midst of our gatherings, in the secret places of our hearts, and to see the fulness of Him in our brothers and sisters, then know that philosophy has replaced the agape of the truth.
Truth must be revealed in the power of God to live righteously in Christ. Religion and philosophy are expressed in the mere appearance of a thing rather than the substance of a thing. The two are not compatible and it is to such Paul speaks in his admonition to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:5). The Day of separation is upon us, and may the Lord quicken our hearts to seek out in Him the power and the glory to walk “worthy” of Him in this hour (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
“Beware lest any man spoil you
through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men,
after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth
all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”
“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
We live in a day of information overload with data available at the click of a finger. This data, transferable at incredible speeds, can be accessed from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. A whole Bible translation can be downloaded in less than a minute. One would think if ever there was a day where men could know God surely this is would be that day. Yet there has never been a day of greater darkness upon the world. The Word itself testifies of this day…
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book, even to the time of the end:
many shall run to and fro,
and knowledge shall be increased”
We read here that “even to the time of the end” Daniel’s words are shut up and the book sealed (ready to be revealed in these days Ephesians 3:5) while men run from place to place and knowledge is increased. Knowledge will never pry open the mysteries of God. Men in their pursuit of knowledge will never access those Holy places of Divine Revelation and Understanding. We have seen endless books written about such things but with the passage of time they are often found futile and obsolete. Time itself is the verification of all truth. Men peering into the pages of the sacred scriptures (without an eternal view) will always seek to bend truth to the moment in which they live to support their agendas. God will not reveal His ways to such. The Greeks sought God by wisdom and the Jews through religious works and miraculous signs (1 Corinthians 1:22). Our world is now filled with a multitude of religions and Christian sects comprised to varying degrees of the mixture of these two carnal ways; an effort to conciliate the unfulfilled cry within their hearts and the search for value and meaning.
“…the world by wisdom knew not God”
1 Corinthians 1:21
The discovery of God’s ways is out of reach to the carnal man. It is not to be found in the accumulation of data, nor in the religious works of men, nor in the “running to and fro” of men to conferences, teachers and sages. For Truth is a person (Jesus said “I am the Truth”) not a teaching or doctrine (John 14:6). He is the living TRUTH, (1Timothy 2:5) Eternal, Just and True and His ways are past finding out. Truth is, in all reality, the life of Jesus living within man. The measure of truth within a man is revealed in the life that he lives!
“Ye shall know the truth
and the truth will make you free”
No amount of teaching or the accumulation of data will set a man free from himself and the world around Him. No more than a man by jumping with all of his strength can free himself from the law of gravity. It takes a power and a life to so invade a man as to effect such a radical change from within that men are able to know this freedom of which Jesus spoke. This power is found in only One and His name is Jesus. It is in Him that men “move and have their being” (the Greek here is literally “are”). It is to this end “that all creation is groaning and travailing” (Romans 8:19-23). Through man’s disobedience, enticed by the promise of eating of the tree of knowledge, the Book of Life was sealed and man became subject to the “law of sin and death”. The sealing of this Book was in accordance to the law of Righteousness just as a man who disobeys earthly laws is subject to imprisonment and loss of liberty. This Book of Life was sealed in heavenly places out of the reach of fallen man.
When John saw the “sealed book” in heaven he wept for there was no man who was worthy to open it!
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne
a book written within and on the backside,
sealed with seven seals
And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?
And no man in heaven, nor in earth,
neither under the earth, was able to open the book,
neither to look thereon
And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
This Book of Life was sealed through man’s disobedience and the only way for it to be opened was by a Man whose obedience was perfect and complete. While John wept over the “sealed book” an Elder spoke to him…
“Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof.
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.
And he came
and took the book
out of the right hand of Him
that sat upon the throne”
We must pause here and give all Glory to Jesus for He has prevailed! He came and took the Book out of the Hand of God Almighty and opened it on our behalf! The reason we have life is because He overcame and in the ministration of His Life into us we are also to overcome. His desire is to bring forth a people who will rule and reign with Him; not on the basis of a teaching but because of the operation of His Life within us producing and bringing forth His Victory in our own experience.
“And when he had taken the book,
the four beasts and four and twenty elders
fell down before the Lamb,
having every one of them harps,
and golden vials full of odours,
which are the prayers of saints.
And they sung a new song, saying,
Thou art worthy to take the book,
and to open the seals thereof:
for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood
out of every kindred, and tongue,
and people, and nation”
The drama of this transaction being played out in the heavens resulted in all of heaven worshipping and glorifying Jesus, the Lamb of God! The scriptures declare “Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” We see here the fruit and reward of His Obedience and Suffering. Shall we not in this hour find in Him the strength, virtue and ability to overcome the trials in our day? Knowing this on a doctrinal level is not sufficient to impart the ability to abide in these living truths. Jesus said that the “words He speaks are Spirit and Life”. As such they can only be received by a heart which is compliant to His Will and abiding in His Spirit.
“And we are his witnesses of these things;
and so is also the Holy Ghost,
whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
The depth of our receiving of His Holy Spirit is determined by our obedience and the yielding of our lives to His Will. The reason for the Holy Spirit being sent into this world is to guide us into all truth. He has come to lead us into the very life of Jesus by a new and living way. It is by way of relationship; taking His Yoke upon us, learning of Him and following and abiding within Him. These are not intellectual concepts but a discipline and a surrender of our will to His. The discovery of His Ways will not be by the efforts of men trampling through His Word with carnal wisdom but rather by a heart which has been broken and acknowledges its own condition.
“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
We live in a day in which few “tremble” at His Word. To believe His Word and obey it is not only unpopular but scorned in those who would uphold it in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation”. Men who do not tremble at His word treat it as a historical document, a book of instructions and good sayings, a source of religious sermons and quotations. Men who see His Word as Holy, walk carefully through its sacred pages with a desire to be instructed, comforted, reproved and made right by its ministration. The heart that finds its sole source of hope and salvation in His Word seeks to grow into a life of yielding to it. It is to such that the Word becomes living and vibrant. It is they who see the face of God in His glory and hear the voices of the prophets in its substance (Acts 13:27).
Those who tremble at His word gaze upon it with awe and wonder. They approach it in prayer and with reverence.
“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
What a beautiful picture this is of Ruth who, though not belonging to the House of Israel, an outcast by the Law, her husband dead and therefore in need of someone to redeem her portion in the earth, came in to Boaz (who had the right of redemption by virtue of marriage to an Israelite) softly (not upon the grounds of a right but upon the grounds of mercy); uncovered His feet (desiring to learn of His Way); and laid herself down (resting from her own works) to rest in His. Boaz means “In Him who is strength” (in the Hebrew) rises upon her behalf to redeem her inheritance. This same Moabite woman became a part of the very lineage of Christ. So it is that those who walk softly, and with contrite hearts, seek to lay themselves down in His presence and uncover His ways will so find themselves with a redeemed inheritance in Him!
”I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
that ye stir not up, nor awake my love,
till he please”
Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5
“He that goeth forth and weepeth,
bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him”
Those who sow precious seed, and carry with it the burden of the Word of the Lord, have this promise…they “shall doubtless come again with rejoicing”. The mere teaching of the word without the tears and burden of the Spirit will never touch the joy of such things. The weeping must precede the rejoicing; the sowing must precede the reaping. To sow in faith one must see by faith the ONE who is the SEED itself. The sowing is carried out for the Glory of the ONE who is to receive all praise and honor. Our reaping will be according to our sowing and our tears. The desire to communicate the Life of the SON unto His own must be the impetus and purpose of all ministrations. The words that HE speaks they are “spirit and they are life”. So too we must come into union with HIM who is the source of all good things; without HIM there is no life or purpose. The desire to see God’s people arise and walk must be the mere echo of the TRUE Shepherd who has laid down HIS LIFE for US! If we are touching HIS LIFE that will become the pulse of our own.
We have too long tarried at the tree of knowledge speaking of things about God; discourse after discourse, sermon after sermon, without change and without the rising up of God’s people. Fruit is the corresponding revelation to that which is sowed. We need not look very far to see the issue of the hour. Where there is no breaking forth of the people of God there is a priesthood that has ministered the Word without the Spirit. We live in a generation that desires to hear only good things, smooth things, and words that encourage without accountability. The LOVE of TRUTH has hit such lows that even the people of God refuse to receive admonition and reproof. They have become settled on their lees, comfortable and ignorant of the hour that is about to break. The storm is about to break and the Spirit of God is speaking “who will tell them”. Reproof and admonition is not about our pride it is about truth. Truth ministered in such a way that it will MAKE ME TRUE from the inside out. The true sowing of the Spirit is to bring about a harvest unto HIM. It is about presenting HIS people as a chaste virgin unto Christ. It is not about US, our little fellowship, our church or whatever. It is about us being able to be pure in thought, word and deed. This purity of heart is the lens through which we are able to SEE God (Matthew 5:8).
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they refused HIM who is true, they refused to be gathered under the wings of His protection, they chose religion over truth and they perished in the greatest genocide the human race has known up until now.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thou that killest the prophets,
and stonest them which are sent unto thee,
how often would I have gathered
thy children together,
even as a hen gathereth
her chickens under her wings,
and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you
Desolation is the result of rejecting the Word of the Lord. Even in this hour, while it is yet DAY, may the true ministers of the Lord “weep between the porch and the Altar, saying spare Thy people…”. These prayers and the demonstration of such a heart can only come from the lives of those who KNOW HIS HEART. Those who are still trying to build up “their” own church, fellowship or ministry will never touch the CRY of HIS SPIRIT for HIS House and HIS inheritance. We see the revelation of the true elders in the heavens casting their crowns (their accomplishments) away at the name of Jesus, worshipping HIM who is worthy of all praise and adoration. Self has been set aside. The desire for the praise of our brethren is meaningless for there has been a touching of His heart and glimpses of a GLORY which is utterly transcendent. It is to this end we sow and weep knowing that we will “DOUBTLESS come again with rejoicing” bringing our sheaves and laying them at HIS feet!
“Unto HIM be glory in the church
by Christ Jesus throughout all ages,
world without end
“What is truth?”
This is such a profound and penetrating question stemming from the brief encounter of a Roman governor of Judea with Jesus the Christ. Pilate’s question, though in most respects more rhetorical than honest, still echoes the eternal cry within man, “What is Truth?” His question was in response to the reply of Jesus in the preceding verse…
“To this end was I born,
and for this cause came I into the world
that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”
In light of the general condition of much of the church today this is a most disturbing statement. Jesus in speaking of truth, and those who are of the truth, reveals it primarily as a relationship rather than an intellectual commodity. “Everyone that is of the truth HEARS my voice”! Our land is filled with teachings, sermons and didactical dissertations. Debates over scriptural interpretations, and the nuances of men’s understandings, have contributed to a carnal denominational system with the result that many no longer understand what TRUTH is. Much of the teaching today is purely informational, filled with scriptural facts to support OUR belief system, OUR statement of faith and to reinforce OUR standing in God. The Book of Acts is taught from a historical perspective. We have our charts and theoretical ideas on end time events. We love to hear the latest teachings on “deeper” things in the scriptures and we talk of the “rhema” word. We sit and talk esoterically of concepts that tantalize the mind and tickle the ears but are left bereft of any actual doing. These things become spiritual narcotics that render the believer empty of the works of Faith* and the revelation of the Living Christ.
In EVERY letter to the Church in the Book of Revelation Jesus speaks the same thing…
“I know thy works…”
REVELATION 2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:1. 8, 15
He is not interested in our words per se (1Corinthians 4:20). He knows that our works reveal our faith (James 2:20 & 26). If they who are of the TRUTH hear His Voice, then they who are of the Truth must also be those who DO the truth. To hear His Voice means that HE is communicating HIS WILL to us. If Faith comes by hearing then it must be that to hear HIS voice culminates in our DOING of HIS good pleasure. Growth and development in the realm of light comes in our doing of truth.
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light”
The pathway of life is through the medium of DOING. Truth by its very nature must produce HIS LIFE in the one who is OF the truth. For in the hearing of HIS WORD HIS LIFE and substance is communicated into the heart of the one to whom it is spoken. HIS WORD is not a sermon it is in reality HIS VERY SELF, not bits of information but the very life of HIMSELF who is the LIFE.
“…the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life”
We think that by knowing all the scriptures concerning a certain subject that we have the truth of that particular thing. We fail to realize that truth is a life not a subject. All Christendom can quote John 3:16, but there are those who have turned the world upside down when they have touched the heartbeat of that wondrous LOVE. It is one thing to hold a scripture in our intellect, it is another to be radically transformed by the power of the ONE of whom it speaks. It is in hearing HIS voice and responding to that living truth that we become expressions of His heart and Life.
“Truth lies in character.
Christ did not simply speak the truth;
he was Truth—truth through and through,
for truth is a thing not of words but a life and being”
Frederick William Robertson (1816–1853)
* Note: Paul states that we are not saved by works but we are saved UNTO good works (Ephesians 2:8-9) where the works are not the basis of our salvation; they are the revelation and the result of HIS LIFE in us.