Rivers of living water
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow 2rivers of living water.
Note 7:382 The rivers of living water are the many flows of the different aspects of life (cf. Rom. 15:30; 1 Thes. 1:6; 2 Thes. 2:13; Gal. 5:22-23), originating from the one unique river of water of life (Rev. 22:1), which is God’s Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2).
Resting in the Lord’s service
Whenever we are at a point where it is unclear how the Lord would lead us on in our lives, it is so important, more than ever before, to just rest and enjoy Him. If we are not enjoying Him in peace, then we will always be confused about where He is leading us, because we will be seeking God’s will as a thing to do or as a place to go, rather than as a Person to join ourselves to and follow. God never puts upon us more than we can bear, so if we feel overloaded, especially with “serving the Lord”, then we should be careful to...read more
The jubilee is only for captives
Here’s an excerpt from the Life-Study of Luke message 12 (page 98):
A person who has not lost anything would not look forward to the year of jubilee. In fact, to such a one, the jubilee might be a suffering. But the one who has lost everything, including his land and himself, would surely look forward to the year of jubilee. When the year of jubilee came, he would rejoice at being released and recovering the right to his portion of the land.
The experience of jubilee is only for those who realize that they are captives of sin, of the world and of Satan:
Every fallen human being has lost the right to enjoy God as the tree of life and the right to enjoy Christ as the good land. Furthermore, every fallen one has sold himself to sin, the world, and Satan. In Romans 7:14 Paul said of himself, “I am fleshly, sold under sin.” Even Paul had become a slave to sin.
Only this realization makes the New Testament jubilee, the age of grace, a real joy and jubilation to us. Lord, make me daily so conscious of the burden of my sin, that I might daily by so thankful and joyful in the release that You have proclaimed over me.read more
Following the Lamb inwardly
This past weekend I attended the 2008 Thanksgiving Weekend Conference in Toronto. One of the messages was titled, “Being Intensified to Be the Overcomers Who Follow the Lamb Wherever He May Go for the Consummation of the New Jerusalem.” I was particularly touched by the following points:
- “Before the Lord’s crucifixion the disciples followed Him in an outward way; now, after His resurrection, we follow Him in an outward way, because in resurrection Christ has become the life-giving Spirit dwelling in our spirit, and we follow Him in our spirit.”
- Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
The cross is the will of God. To do God’s will in this sense is to put aside your own preference and follow the Lamb.
- Being led by the Spirit in Romans 8:14 depends on the following points from the preceding verses:
- The Spirit’s indwelling (8:9,11).
- Putting to death the practices of the flesh (8:13).
- The Spirit gving life to the mind, the spirit, and the body (8:6,10,11).
A normal life of enjoying the Lord
Today, I was really cherished by this portion from Messages Given to the Working Saints, by Witness Lee, chapter 4, page 41: Afterwards in my studies, I came in contact with missionaries from whom I learned English and had more opportunity to know the Lord. After my graduation, the Lord caused my living to be not too poor nor too rich, but just right for serving the Lord. Because I knew English, I could know the Bible in a more convenient way, even making footnotes to the Bible, and expounding the truths. Nevertheless, I did not know English...read more
Gleanings from Deuteronomy
Today I finished Deuteronomy in my Bible plan for this year. Here are a few fresh, striking points from my reading of this book:
Deu 9:12 Then Jehovah said to me, Arise, go down quickly from here, for your people, whom you have brought out of Egypt, have spoiled themselves; they have turned aside quickly from the way that I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten image.
20 And Jehovah was very angry with Aaron, enough to destroy him. But I prayed also for Aaron at that time.
I had always wondered why Aaron was spared, and even permitted to continue as the high priest, when he had been so involved in such a gross sin. Now I realize it was specifically because of Moses’ intercession.
Deu 12:5 But to the place which Jehovah your God will choose out of all your tribes to put His name, to His habitation, shall you seek, and there shall you go.
6 And there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices and your tithes and the heave offering of your hand and your vows and your freewill offerings and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock;
7 And there you shall eat before Jehovah your God, and you and your households shall rejoice in all your undertakings, in which Jehovah your God has blessed you.
8 You shall not do according to all that we do here today, each man doing all that is right in his own eyes;
9 For until now you have not come to the rest and to the inheritance that Jehovah your God is giving you.
These verses show that God permitted His people to sacrifice to Him whenever and wherever while they were still wandering in the desert. But when He brought them into the good land where they had real enjoyment, then He enforced His real desire that they only sacrifice to Him in the unique place of His choosing. In the same way, God does not burden Christians today with His command to meet only on the ground of oneness while they are still “wandering in the desert,” living a Christian life in their souls. He first brings us to know, experience and abide in the enjoyment of the all-inclusive Christ (our good land today). Only when we are dwelling in Christ in such a way does God bring us on to see that His heart’s desire is that this Christ be enjoyed in the place of His choosing—the unique ground of oneness. The corollary of this is that it is impossible to practice the unique ground of oneness without first abiding in Christ as our all-inclusive good land.
Butter and honey
Praise the Lord for His grace day by day. I’ve been musing for a long time over Isa 7:14-15, concerning enjoying the Lord as the heavenly butter and the heavenly honey, our rich grace and sweet love that empower us to choose the good and refuse the evil. In brother Nee’s article (Collected Works of Watchman Nee, volume 17, pp. 111-120), it seems that all the examples he gave were of Jesus rejecting standing upon His uplifted position as the Son of God, choosing rather to stand on His lowly position as the Son of Man. I read today...read more
Real work versus idleness
In my daily Bible reading yesterday (I was catching up in Exodus), I was struck by a sharp contrast between how Satan and the world counts what is valuable work versus idleness, and how God counts it:
Exo 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Let My people go that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.
2 But Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah that I should listen to His voice to let Israel go? I do not know Jehovah, and I also will not let Israel go.
8 And the quota of the bricks which they made previously, you shall still place upon them; you shall not diminish any of it, for they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
Pharaoh, signifying Satan ruling God’s people with his tyrranical world system, considers that when we take time to meet together and enjoy the Lord, we are idle in relation to the building up of his world system. This is in sharp contrast to what God considers productive work versus idleness:read more
An eternal redemption
Heb 9:12 And not through the ablood of goats and calves but through His bown blood, centered donce for all into the eHoly of Holies, 1obtaining an feternal 2redemption.
13 For if the ablood of goats and bulls and the bashes of a heifer csprinkling those who are 1defiled sanctify to the purity of the flesh,
14 How much more will the 1ablood of Christ, who through the 2eternal Spirit boffered Himself cwithout blemish to God, purify our 3dconscience from 4edead works to fserve the 5gliving God?
As I was pray-reading Heb 9:12 and reading the Holy Word for Morning Revival on it this morning, I saw much more clearly than ever that the eternal efficacy of Jesus’ redemption is guaranteed by the fact that He has the Spirit of divinity in Him. As a real and genuine man, He could provide real and genuine human blood to pay for the sins of men. But if He were merely a man, then His blood would be like the blood of one goat, which could only cover the sins of one man up to that point. Maybe being perfect human blood, it could truly expitate–pay for–the sins of one man, not just cover it. But then it would only be the sins of one man up to the point of the man’s repentance. Sins after that would require fresh sacrifices:read more
The Spirit of Jesus in Act 16
In my Bible reading of Acts 16 this morning, I enjoyed seeing that Acts 16 shows Paul experiencing the Spirit of Jesus in the following ways:
- The Spirit of Jesus is the consummated, compound Spirit applying to us the human living of Jesus, in particular His experiences of suffering and crucifixion. I believe it also very much includes Jesus being the Son of Man, a human being not doing things by Himself but doing things only by the Father.
- In Act 16:6-7, Paul experienced the Spirit of Jesus restricting him from going to Asia or Bithynia. The Man Jesus is restricted; He does not go wherever He wants; He only goes where the Father leads Him. Thus, Paul experienced the Spirit as his restriction to not go where God was not going.
New Testament Grace
Grace is often defined as “unmerited favour.” This is certainly true, but this definition is not complete. You could say that this is an Old Testament definition of grace–that God smiles on undeserving people with His favour. However, Joh 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and reality came through Jesus Christ.Here, we see that in the time of Moses, there was not the grace and reality that existed when Jesus Christ appeared. (Actually, “came” in Joh 1:17 is “come into being” in the...read more