The Fifth Day – Life In Abundance

Click here for day 4

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarmers having a soul of life; and let the birds fly over the earth, on the face of the expanse of the heavens.”
Genesis 1:20 (LITV)

The life of God must begin its reign in the heart of the creature – in the earth which has passed through water and the Spirit. We saw by the third day that such is the case, on which day life sprang up to be observed: rooted from the ground below and reaching heavenward, bearing fruit and perpetuating its own kind through the giving over of its own precious seed once more to the ground. For it is in dying to the things of earth held precious that more and even greater things are able to be sown unto reaping.

Yet that is still not the end of maturity for the making of the new creature in Christ; it turns out only to be the furnishing for that which is yet to follow. The earth (or for our purposes here, the heart) which has given itself to the bearing of good fruit welcomes the inner radiance of Christ and the rule of His light in all seasons (day four), capacitating His new creation to host deeper and higher expressions of God’s life.

And God created the great sea animals, and all that creeps, having a living soul, which swarmed the waters, according to its kind; and every bird with wing according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:21 (LITV)

“…having a soul of life… ..having a living soul…” – This is the stage where the various expressions of the Life of God within the creature begin to take on a life all their own. The uniqueness of God’s manifold wisdom in each life is meant to so thrive. The expressions of life which grace the waters are not bound to the surface of them, though at times they may dance between the waters and the air, welcoming the onlooker to search out the depths. And they which grace the heavens in their flight are not continually bound to the surface of the earth, though they often rest near it to establish their dwelling and to multiply their kind. That is to say, where the Life of God is truly at work, it should with maturity become observable in a plurality of expressions; from the hights of heaven’s most glad worship to the depths of the most burdened intercession.

These new expressions of Life in God’s creation are of a higher and more glorious form than the aforementioned plants and trees. They in fact utilize those things simply as their food and as the furnishings of their abode. The good fruit of the ground becomes sustenance for the living creatures in the air and waters, just as the fruitful obedience of Christ to His Father was His daily bread. For the Life which bears the fruit of the Spirit through the creature becomes bread accessible unto others; and in so becoming, its vessel in turn is fed by feeding. What a glorious cycle to be caught up in! Give the Life of God, and you shall receive it in abundance! This descibes not a “karmic” principle by which to gain, but the ongoing sustenance of a selfless living creature unto the glory of He alone who raises it up. This is the evidence of the word of God at last finding freedom enough within us to begin evidencing itself as that unbound word which it truly is.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas; and let the birds multiply in the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning the fifth day.
Genesis 1:22-23 (LITV)

There must, by obedience to every command of the Spirit, develop a harmonious melody of free and spontaneous Life within the creature; each part properly complimenting the other as every wonderful decree of God sets its rhythm. The whole of the new creature cannot operate with perfection where any one of its parts is absent or broken in function – this applies both to an individual child of God as well as to the body of Christ. The body is either built up or torn down according to the obedience of the parts, and likewise the parts are either edified or torn down according to the obedience of the whole. By this, the whole is made fit for the King of Glory to fully enter in: the very Son of God, unto whose image the conformity of the redeemed is predestined. And shall the elect continue giving themselves over to that perfect will of God? Before us this choice continually lies.

As Peter wrote to those of like precious faith:

The Lord of the promise is not slow, as some deem slowness, but is long-suffering toward us (the church), not having purposed any of us (the church) to perish, but all of us (the church) to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up. Then all these being about to be dissolved, what sort ought you (the church) to be in holy behavior and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, through which the heavens having been set afire will be dissolved; and burning, the elements will melt?
2 Peter 3:9-12 (LITV)

CONTINUED IN PART SIX

The Fourth Day – Children Of Light

Click here for day 3

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.
Genesis 1:14-15

Prior to the formation of these lights within the heavens of the creation, the express light of God began overtaking its inner darkness from without. This is good for a season; but light shining from outside cannot reveal much to the eyes of the creature regarding the seasons, nor effectively convey the signs of the times. Such light from without indeed begins a good work, even unto the bearing of some fruit (see previous post); yet there must become an undying flame of the light shining from within, by whose guidance a good witness is truly obtained.

Christ Jesus came to us at first as a light from without – Emmanuel, God with us: external to men. This was necessary so that He might initiate the process of our conformity unto His image; but it was also necessary that He went back to the Father, so that we might now receive the gift of God’s mystery: “which is Christ IN you, the hope of glory.” Without the indwelling of the Son within, there is no continuation of His making us evermore His own. Men who have only teaching from without, and even a perfect example before them, still can only passively observe; they cannot become with these alone. There must be that excellent law of the Spirit of Life at work; for that Life is the Light of men.

Because it is God who said, “OUT OF darkness Light shall shine,” who shone in our hearts to give the brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure IN earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not from us…
2 Corinthians 4:6-7

The Light of the world now begins to take definite shape “IN the expanse of the heavens” as the Sun of Righteousness. This is the same expanse created on the second day, all contained within the created order – or for our purposes here, within the creature. This formation of light is the preperation for God’s Life to not only bring forth tender shoots or stately trees of the ground, but also to be found freely moving upon its earth and soaring in the midst of its heavens. (Again we see that each day is dawned upon with the intent of preparing for the wondrous work of the next.)

And God made the two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars.
Genesis 1:16

The day is seen in the rising light of the Daystar of Christ Jesus’ indwelling; and the night remains in places where His light is only yet dimly reflected. The day of the creature is now defined by the express shining of His indwelling Spirit in the expanse He made between the waters, all beckoning up the fruit of our ground and keeping watch upon every matter within reach of His rays. And even the night of the creature is continually encroached upon by the Light of its world through the reflective nature of the lesser light; and with the Light embraced, the Day of the Lord is draws ever the more at hand, when “night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Rev 22:5)

“…and the stars.” – Not only does the moon reflect the sun’s rays into the night, but now also the Light of Life shines in from fellow vessels, appearing as stars in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, bearing witness to the Truth through a realm devoid of light and substance. These also provide an additional measure of guidance in the traversing of our own earth and waters in the night seasons; and they cause us to marvel at the boundless wonders of the Almighty who placed them in His own heaven, calling them out each by name to the praise of His glory.

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
Psalm 19:2

“And let them be for signs…” – His children are for signs and wonders in Israel (Isa 8:18). Every faithful conduit of God’s light, both from within and without the new creature, serves to confirm His will and speak His word in season and to reveal the way which pleases Him as steadfast markers in an expanse blackened by sin; as voices in the desert ever preparing the way of the Lord. Behold, He cometh!

And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
Genesis 1:17-19

“…to rule over the day and over the night…” – This stage of God’s work within us characterized by Light shining forth from within gives way to His very present and active rule: the law of His Light becoming an inescapable operative principle. Up until this fouth day, God has illuminated, divided, and disciplined waters; He has established ground, and even borne some good fruit in us with relatively low responsibility on our part. But a good Father desires His children to take what light has been given thus far and continually use it to discover what more He has hidden away in the deposit entrusted to them.

“…and to separate the light from the darkness.” – A child of God is one being marked by the growing distinction between light and darkness. Our response to the piercing, the reflecting, and the guiding of His light will determine how much more we become made in His image; for the eye that is not single to this one purpose of God in Christ has left the creature full of great darkness. His children are those of Light, of the Day; they are to remain walking as such. The wise are not content to rest upon the good of yesterday as today’s assurance, for it cannot sustain what God has prepared further in advance; but the reward of today inspires hunger for tomorrow’s blessed obedience. There remains yet room within the heights and depths of the creature to be filled with all manner of His Life, and that in abundance.

All is seen by the Day of the Lord appearing in the heart.
– Francis Howgill

CONTINIUED IN PART FIVE

The Second Day – Deep Calls To Deep

Click here for day 1

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.
Genesis 1:6-7

Once His illuminating work has found a footing in His creation, there is a new depth of division which the Word of God brings forth in it. On the first day of creation, we see the Spirit of God brooding over the surface of the waters – and we might even say striving and groaning for the creation to manifest the form which He intends for it. So it is with ourselves in Christ.

Our Potter begins with a lump of clay, formless and void, under darkness. There is depth of water, yet not a revealed purpose for it: not a river to flow in, not a sun to reflect majesty. Then there is light. And in His light, we shall now truly see light, and more still. For not only have waters once darkened and obscured in a mass of mixture now been exposed by the pure light of God Himself, but the Spirit which once hovered over them now sends His rays into the depths by the word of God’s mouth unto to the dividing of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It is here in the continued shining of His light that the dividing of waters from waters begins to take place. Here, not only is discerned light and darkness upon the suface of the creature; but now more importantly even the depths within this new creation are spiritually discerned.

Natural men are not comfortable with such discernment: they want neither to discern nor to be discerned. Both edges of that sword are equally inconvenient to man’s facáde of peace with God. But the true peace of God is holy, so that the same word of the Lord which creates whatever is good also by necessity divides the good from whatever is contrary. Therefore, if we shall maintain and grow in the peace of God, we must submit ourselves to the more unpleasant surgeries of our Great Physician. Those without the faithful wounds of His word are not His friends. But those who have truly walked in some degree of God’s light are quickly confronted with the revelation of the great expanse between their own waters and His waters resident within this new creation.

And God called the expanse “Heavens” (plural in the Greek, ie: the skies). And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
Genesis 1:8

His pure waters must be discerned from our own waters lest we deceive ourselves in every matter: this is why He divides them by His word, “let there be an expanse;” therefore we find a distinct choice to either walk after the flesh (our waters) or after the Spirit (His waters). But those who are not divided by His word are filled with mixture, for there is no sword of division within them to so judge between what is of God and what is of self. The separation of waters is a confirmation of His work in us.

The separation of these waters is discernment for the conscience. Here we discover all the more “the exceeding sinfulness of sin;” for in the seperation of His waters, by which our sense of holiness increases, our conscience of sin is thereby sharpened. We find the depth within us of law of sin and death we must daily contend with: the gravity by which our own waters remain bound to earth. Conversely, His waters within us are unbound, above the expanse of the heavens; but of our own strength we are unable to access their invaluable resources. It becomes increasingly obvious that there are greater depths of Him with which our present depths cry out to meet; and we begin to see how much higher above our ways and thoughts are His own, “even as the heavens are higher than the earth.” We long to plunge into His waters, to live out of His fountain rather than our own – that His wellspring of eternal life would become our own in Him, that the voice of HIS many waters would be the sound poured out through each of His own.

Deep calls to deep at the roar of YOUR waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your waves have gone over me.
Psalm 42:7

We must discover in our present earthly experience that glorious Law of the Spirit of Life which makes us free from the law of sin and death. It is here in the revelation of the divided waters that obedience becomes of particular importance to the new creature; for by the drawing up of God’s waters above its own, the creature has begun to sense its great need to follow the upward draw of Lord’s current in order to remain flowing in it. The call unto His own ever remains, “Come up hither.” The new creature which submits itself to the word continues discovering the evidence of even greater depths in God far above its present experiential knowledge; thirsting always to drink deeper of that eternal spring so that even the waters of earth below might be made conformable to the word of His mouth, “Peace, be still.”

CONTINUED IN PART THREE

Fear & Holiness

The fear of God is the crucible in which those who earnestly seek Him and His ways are perfected in holiness.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10

Most teachers of men today boast of a “wisdom” which, in its true practice, exists utterly apart from a real and tangible fear of the living God; and they speak of an “understanding” which could never stand under the scrutiny of the light of His holiness. If only they could behold the sight of the living creatures before the throne, who, though they are perpetually in His immediate presence, have nothing to express except to cover their eyes and feet and cry, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!” But would this people take such things to heart, even if they saw them with their waking eyes? Would they see that to fear Him is no evil thing, but it is rather to have the fountain of life; and that by walking the fear of Him they are delivered from the snares of death (Prov 14:27)?

What dread we ought to have in this late hour for the lack of the knowledge of the holy! What fear and trembling ought to overtake the heart of any who would claim to know the Lord, He who now speaks of great and dreadful things coming upon the assembly of His people! What zeal for obedience and righteousness ought to consume them, for the spirit of repentance and of weeping over their desolate state! O, that they would behold the horror of their iniquity, and turn, and cry out for the purging and purifying fires of the Lord’s altar to fall upon them and consume all that offends HIM!

“For it is more profitable to you that one of your members should perish
rather than all your body be thrown into Hell.”

Yet who will ask of the Lord to reveal the hidden things of darkness and expose their sins before Him, knowing that in His light no man can hide the unfruitful works of darkness? For only in His light shall we see light for ourselves; for their cannot be a holy people consecrated unto God unless all the ways of filthiness, dishonesty, and strife are put away, and the hearts turned away from stubborn rebellion to faithful obedience, and the spirit of a flaunting prostitute changed for the spirit of a devoted bride.

O that there would be such a heart in them, that they would fear Me,
and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them,
and with their children for ever!”
Deuteronomy 5:29

There is an unholy “gospel” in the land, which hates the exposure of sin, which passes over the bonds of wickedness so that the unrighteous are justified to remain in them. A man is told that to sin willfully without recompense is to be free in the in the grace of God. Not a more vile and soul-damning lie has ever been published from the gates of hell!

For the scriptures declare, By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” (Prov 16:6) A gospel with no power to purge a man of iniquity is a gospel devoid of mercy and truth. A gospel which does not invoke the fear of the Lord is a gospel which does not challenge the presence of evil. The gospel of which Paul was not ashamed is a gospel not worthy to be ashamed of! For it is not the gospel of the lawless, to whom Jesus will say “Depart from Me.. I never knew you;” but rather it is the glorious gospel of God which reconciles men unto HIM by conforming them to the image of His Son!

And of the victory found in this gospel of the new covenant, the apostle Paul could say,
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death…” (Rom 8:2)
Now every law has a lawgiver, and every lawgiver is the arbiter of the judgements according to it. And if our Lawgiver has even provided the very means by which the righteous requirement of His law might be fulfilled in us, “how then will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”

The true gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation: it is the impartation not only of forgiveness of sins past, but also of freedom from the very power of sin and of deliverance from evil, that we might serve the Father in heaven and walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called; so that to the powers both in heaven and on earth, the manifold wisdom of God might be shown through the redeemed, who are the pure and spotless bride of His Beloved Son (Eph 3:10). THIS is the victory in which Christ triumphed over sin, death, and all the power of the enemy.
Therefore “let everyone who is called by the name of the Lord depart from iniquity,” and let soberness of mind be cultivated in us all, waiting upon the voice of He who says to the meek, “Come.”

Ezekiel was given an ear to the council of God when the Lord commanded His angels that those who wept and sighed for the abominations done in their city were to be marked, so that they might be spared when those without His mark were slain by the angels. And to the ones carrying out the slaughter of the profane He commanded, “begin at my sanctuary.” (Read Ezekiel ch 8-9)

It is into such a day that I am convinced we are now quickly moving. While abominations are being tolerated in the midst of those who claim to be His people, and most of that which calls itself the house of the Lord is truly the greatest spiritual whore upon the earth, who now is found weeping and sighing before Him? Who is found bearing the heaviness of the burden of His heart, interceding on behalf of the people, repenting for their sins and calling them out of Babylon, that He might relent and show mercy to them? The scriptures say, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” (2 Chr 16:9) He sees all that is done in secret, whether good or evil. He discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart. He knows whether this one is righteous or that one wicked, and He shall repay every one according to their deeds, that they may eat the fruit of their ways. “The Lord knows those who are His.” He is preparing to mark His own and to cleanse HIS house of that which does not belong.

It is not a working of man’s arm, but rather of God’s hand.

Therefore let yourself be judged only by the word of Christ, truly obeying His call, knowing that the love of this present world and the lusts thereof are the bondage of one not fearing God. For the world does not fear Him, nor do those who are ensnared in its lusts; but the one who fears Him and obeys the word of the Spirit of Christ is the one who truly loves Him. Those who fear the Lord need fear no other, for the Spirit He has given is “of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” For if, in the fear of God, you have died with Christ and thereby abide in His love, your soul shall live, and you have also overtaken “the second death” (which is the lake of fire – Rev 20:14).

And if anyone rejoices in the truth, let them be found living in the piercing light of His word, which expels the darkness both within and without; that in the fear of God we may have fellowship as we walk in His light, in which we remain cleansed (1 John 1:7).

This is the judgment: that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.
(John 3:17-21)

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:2