With the help of my friend and technical supporter, Mark Hultgren, we have been able to get this blog back to its original content with improved functionality.

As a result, you can find the entire content of Pastor Stockmayer’s treatise called “Devoted” now posted here on the site.  The first selection begins at the bottom  of the first page and subsequent selections are then added as you go up the pages since they are posted in chronological order.  Scroll to the bottom of the first page and click on “Older Entries” to get to the first page.  The first selection is also seen at the top of the opening page since I reposted it more recently (to “entice” you 🙂  )

Now that the blog is once again properly functional new postings will be made periodically so be sure to sign up in the form at the right to receive notifications of updates when they occur.

 

Thank you for reading; we hope it blesses and benefits you!

 

Jon

First Posted December 9th, 2007

Welcome to the first of several serials presented by Three Brothers Books.

This posting is the first in a series of messages by Pastor Otto Stockmayer.

My Dad, George A. Moreshead, (Three Brothers) collected these in a volume called Sanctified Ones.

We will reproduce these selections here on the blog.

The eventual intent is to make them available under one cover in a document by the same title. Enjoy this first selection!

************

“DEVOTED”

I have on my heart to show you, as far as God has revealed it to me, what sanctification means in its elementary, primary sense. If a building does not rise higher and higher, and come to its consummation, there is failure in the foundation. And it may be good to see a little to the foundation–to the elementary great lines in the life of Christ, as they are traced and shown in the Old Testament. The Lord Jesus, by sanctifying Himself, has made us to be sanctified ones; and the root meaning of the word sanctification shows it to be not the end, but the beginning. He sanctified Himself that we might be sanctified ones: “We are sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ once for all.” The offering of the body of Jesus Christ makes us to be sanctified ones, a people who belong no more to ourselves but to Him.

We have no right to exist but for Him. No movement, no power, no breath, no intelligence, no spirit, no mouth belong to us; we have no liberty to use anything in any part of our being but for God. We have been purchased for God through the Blood of the Son, that everything from which sin has been eliminated might be brought back to God; and if there is in your life, your household, your married life, your public or private life, that which does not yet proclaim the glory of God and is not yielded to His majesty, it is sin. He died that they who live may live by Him and exist for Him.

I think, insofar as I have light, that God had a high and definite purpose in creating man and bringing him upon this earth: that man, created after the Image of God–a creation which had never been before, might ultimately cast out from this world “the prince of this world.” This seems to me to have been His plan. Through trusting the will of his God and Father, Adam would have not only silenced Satan but himself taken the place God had given him–the ruling place on the earth. By obedience to God and trust in God, he would have cast out the devil forever from any claim upon the globe; but instead, through not trusting the word of God and not trusting the love of God, Adam fell, and thus opened the way for a larger dominion of the devil than ever.

Sin developed. The Flood could do nothing. Immediately after the Flood, sin came in in a new form and in a hideous way.

The moment came when God called Abraham and took him out of the nations to be a plant through whom–and through his seed–all nations might be blessed; He purposed that from this center Satan might be thrown out. But Israel–Abraham’s seed–fell. Then came the Son of God to bring everything back to God–He who stood in the background, or rather in the foreground, when God created Adam, as God’s Guarantee. If the ground has been cursed, it is only because Jesus stood beside God, ready to become–in the fulfillment of times–a curse. The whole world–the whole earth, good and bad–would have been irretrievably cursed if He had not stood before God to be made a curse on the Tree.

Everything which is not Christ comes under the curse, and anything in our lives, in our hearts, or in our households–anything which does not mean Christ, which does not raise the cry, “Crown Him King”–must be found out. In every department in which Christ has not yet ruled, or is not yet able to rule, Christ must come in; He must possess the whole life. What the first Adam could not bring back to God, the second Adam must; it belongs to us and our obedience to the Holy Ghost to show that Christ is able to conquer everything–every beating of our hearts, every movement of our will–and bring all back to God: to make us to be sanctified ones. This is not a certain degree of sanctification, understood in some fleshly, human way; it simply means that we belong to God–only to God. By His offering He made us to be sanctified ones–those who are brought back to God, over whom God has every right; and insofar as we understand by the Spirit of God the meaning of the offering of the body of Jesus Christ on the Cross, sin no longer has any claim to us.

The fact that everything which returns not to God is cursed and devoted to destruction comes out in chapter 6 of Joshua more clearly than anywhere else in the Old Testament. This chapter brings us to the culminating point in the history of Israel. Forty years before, everything was ready for Israel: the land was ready, and the inhabitants were ready for judgment and destruction. We notice in Genesis 15 that in speaking to Abraham about the future of Israel and their going down to Egypt, the Lord says, “In the fourth generation they shall come hither again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.”

When God sent Moses, it was the full time. Israel had been long enough under the yoke and the frightful burden imposed upon them by the Egyptians, but those four generations in slavery were needful for Israel. They had to be trained for the Holy Land through servitude, that they might know afterwards what it would mean to serve the living God and to be devoted to Him in all respects. But those four generations were also needful for the Amorites; just as Israel needed to ripen for the Holy Land, so the Amorites needed to ripen for judgment and destruction when their iniquity should be full. The moment when Israel should take their land was the moment of the judgment and destruction of the old inhabitants. Everything must go to its full manifestation–to the last end: holiness to God on the part of Israel, and iniquity and sin on the part of the Amorites.

The more we understand our high calling and take our true standing in the world as sanctified ones, the more rapidly the world will ripen in its iniquity. Two things ripen, the one calling the ripening of the other. Through our holiness and the fullness of our testimony, the world ripens for destruction; and through the ripening of the world we are constrained to wake to our true calling and hasten our conformity to the Image of Christ. The whole creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God, and the ripening of the Amorites of the world around us calls to remembrance our calling in this world: to be witnesses in this world, to show what the sacrifice of Jesus Christ means, and to show that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross has the power to transform us into sanctified ones.

Chapter 6 of Joshua is one of the most difficult, if not impossible, chapters to be translated literally. Notice–by way of getting deeper into the inner meaning of the chapter–that in several places the word accursed is translated devoted:

“And the city shall be devoted, even it and all that is therein, to the Lord….”
“But as for you, only keep yourselves from the devoted thing, lest when ye have devoted it, ye take of the devoted thing; so would ye make the camp of Israel devoted and trouble it.”

“And they devoted all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass with the edge of the sword.”

“And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein; only the silver and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron they put into the treasury of the House of the Lord.”

God could not burn silver and iron, things which stand the fire; these came back to God’s treasury to be used in His temple.

In consecration meetings you have said [to the Lord], “My body, soul, and spirit belong to Thee.” Then you take of the devoted thing and use it for your own wicked life, your pleasure and satisfaction, taking from the altar that which has been devoted to the living God. “So would ye make the camp of Israel devoted,” says the Revised Version. By taking off the altar that which you have put upon the altar, you devote that which is holy to destruction. So it was with Ananias and Sapphira: they kept back part for themselves. The sins must be brought to the light and judged; otherwise there is no power–spiritual power–to bring other things to the light, and there is an interruption of the flowing of the Life-blood of Christ.

You remember the last word in the history of King Belshazzar, when he was judged in the night with the writing on the wall: “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem” (and which had been respected to that moment) “that the king, his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the House of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth the fingers of a man’s hand.”

He was ripe for judgment. That was the last straw: to take holy things that had come from the temple in Jerusalem–and which his forefathers had respected–things which had been consecrated to Jehovah, and use them for his wives and concubines! In the same night judgment came.

We are to go back into the treasury, into the possession of God–that which Christ has purchased back for God, and to proclaim through the world and the Church that we are Christians through the Blood of the Lamb; all back to the altar–silver, gold, iron, and whatever can stand destruction–all must go into the treasury for the Lord’s personal use. And if God be pleased to appear in the midst of us and reveal any bit of silver or gold–any bit of our life, in speaking or doing–which is not practically consecrated to the Lord, we should see to it that we are truly consecrated ones. Everything which fire could not destroy, like gold, silver, or iron, is to be brought into the Sanctuary forever and ever–withdrawn from any use for human purpose. That is the word: withdrawn–our members, tone, brain, finger, arm, intelligence.

All these glorious things had what final end? “To the end that we should be (that we should exist, live, move) unto the praise of His glory.” That is our right existence–created and redeemed for Him! As such, we are brought to a higher state than man knew before the Fall; for Redemption brings us not back where we had been before the Fall, but bestows upon man the honor of being in Christ a new creation–a higher state than before the Fall. In the light of this fact, read again your Bible; it will be like a new key, so that you will then no more read it in an emotional way, but to be strengthened and established in your high calling to suffer, to walk, and to live for Him. And then our poor little personalities will disappear from the horizon of others, and from our own horizon; for insofar as the glories–the eternal glories–get real before our mind, other things get unreal and lose their power.

Now, friends, to exist unto the praise of His glory means to be sanctified–sanctified vessels, brought into the Sanctuary. Whatever the Lord takes hold upon and calls and acknowledges as His own is by that very fact sanctified unto God. O, let us be pure. Perhaps this life on the altar is not yet homelike for some of us; perhaps some of us still have a fear of living on the altar. But such a life–a sanctified and consecrated life–is the only normal life.

Oh, my friends, it simply means that all we are and all we have are at God’s disposal. Sanctified ones–not those with a certain degree of holiness, but sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ. Before you speak of any progress of sanctification, know the basis: you are sanctified ones; and it does not mean stealing away and taking back from the altar that which has been brought back to God; but it means, through the Blood of Christ, being devoted to God for His exclusive, personal use.

How often the sin of Israel is committed in Christian life, when certain things–portions of our life purchased and sanctified for God–are taken back from the altar and used for our personal life. God said later on: “I cannot, and I will not, be with you if you take away the devoted thing.” You may cry, you may pray, you may do what you will, but until you find out the devoted thing and bring back to God not yourselves only, but the thing which belongs to Him, it cannot prosper and you cannot prosper.

Everything hangs on that one point–that in the innermost center true consecrated ones learn to live on the altar with all they have and all they are. Home life is the altar of God; even the swallow found her nest and her resting-place there (Psalm 84:3). It is best for homesickness. We hasten homeward to the altar of God, to the place which Calvary has opened for us–to the life in God, through God, and for God through the power of the Blood, and the Word, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Another “Repeat” – First Published November 20th, 2007:

I have been blessed to find an article that you all may appreciate!

Go here and enjoy:

The Deepest Freedom

Blessings,

Jon

As part of the “New Beginnings” we are posting some content that was posted previously and lost in the transition. Here is the first:

A Call to Purity (of Thinking)

Originally published November 20th, 2007

“Purity” is a HUGE word in the Christian world. It is something to which we all attain. It is a level of behavior to which all serious believers strive to attain. Usually it is related to sexual behavior, though it also has implications to finances and most other aspects of life.

However, I am not talking about a purity of behavior. That is important and understood.

I am talking about something more basic, something upon which the outward appearance of behavior is based. I am talking about a purity not just of mind, where our thoughts are pure, but of MINDSET. By this I mean that part of us that is our “programming”, the part of us that controls everything else about which we think, do, and say.

Let me tell you a story to try to explain it.

I was raised in a Christian family and from an early age was a believer, at least in mind and intent. In high school I had the unfathomable privilege of sitting under the teaching of my Dad as he rigorously instructed us in the principles of Mary McDonough’s God’s Plan of Redemption. (Available at the website and should, in my opinion, be the first book given – and taught – a new believer right after he gets his Bible!) So I was well grounded in Christian belief. Following college I taught in two Christian schools, spent two years in the US Navy on active duty, and two years in a graduate school program. So I had lots of experience in life under my belt from “both sides of the street” so to speak.

Then I put foot inside a medical school classroom. From the VERY FIRST day I knew something was amiss. Something was not right. I could not come up with a word to describe accurately my knowing. Medical school was not particularly “immoral”, at least no more and probably less so than some of the other places I had been to date. Nor was it “moral”. It made choices based not on God’s Law, or righteousness, or even human sanctity at times. It was a law unto itself. So I used the word “amoral” to describe my feeling, knowing it wasn’t accurate or adequate, but knowing that was all I had at the time.

Seven years later, having completed medical school and a three year residency, I was beginning a private practice. A dear friend sent me a book titled Confessions of a Medical Heretic. In it, the author, a pediatrician who grew up in the Jewish faith, likened medicine to a religious system. He pointed out that every religious system has certain components:

Temple
Priest
Vestments
Sacraments
Rituals
Pronouncements
Tools

To clarify the point, in Medicine they are as follows (you can likely figure out most):

Temple – Hospital
Priest – Doctor
Vestments – White coat, nurses’ uniforms, etc.
Sacraments – History taking, Diagnosis
Rituals – Physical Exam, Tests
Pronouncements – “You have <disease>” or “you have 6 months to live”
Tools – Stethoscopes, Xray machines, Blood tests, etc.

Imagine my little brain whirling as the lights all of a sudden came on in a blaze! I finally understood and could articulate what was wrong all those years I had been in medicine! I had been in a different religious culture and hadn’t known it!! I was worshiping at an altar different than the one I had come to love as a child, different than the one which paid homage to the One True God, and didn’t know it!!! And at the same time I was remaining true in my beliefs about God, going to church, fellowshiping with fellow believers, etc. But my mind was being trained in a system in antithesis to that of Loving Father.

I was “pure” of thinking and acting, but I DID NOT have Purity of Thought.

Please excuse my personal example. Now let me get more personal with you. What religious system are you in?

Let me list a few (I apologize ahead of time if I tread on some toes or feelings here).

Education
Law
Marketing
Business
Church, including the churches of Christianity
Medicine, of course

I would suggest to you that each of these have their own religious components as outlined above, making them each a religious system. If we are trained in them, we have been trained to be priests in the various religions.

Now, am I saying that we should get out of all of these (all of life, then) and go hide somewhere to be pure?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

We are called to be in these fields of endeavor, redemptively.

But here is the point.

We need to be AWARE of the religious nature of each of these. Our call is to be disciples of the ONE and ONLY TRUE YAHWEH and His Son, YESHUA. We are not called to be priests of some other religion.  Being aware of the difference gives us the power and  freedom to disengage from one and follow the other when the necessity to do so arises. It gives us proper perspective and makes the choice easier to follow God when it comes to choices of that nature. It keeps us aligned with heavenly values and insights. It will make us Education Heretics, Law Heretics, Business Heretics, Marketing Heretics, Heretics in general. Some of us may find that a difficult place in which to be.

However, it will give us a Purity of Thinking!

May Loving Father be Honored and Blessed in that!

Blessings,

Jon

Welcome back to the blog for Three Brothers Books!

It has been quite some time since we have been posting to this blog – sorry about that.

No excuses.

Just time to begin again.

New name to reflect the intent and purpose. Similar look, keeping with the Book theme.

Still reminding you of the various books available through the site but also adding material

and information as it becomes available. The original Three Brothers have all gone on to be

with their Lord, whom they loved deeply and followed devotedly, but there is a lot of previously

unpublished material left behind. Occasionally we find similar writings that we hope to add

as well.

This time we are getting some help with the technical aspects so things should work better,

look better and generally be more “user friendly” for you.

Hopefully the blog content will be more helpful as well. Be sure to leave comments and feedback to let us know how we are doing in that department!

To stay in touch and aware of new posts and information use the subscription form in the column

to the right and sign up for notifications. I promise your email is to be used ONLY for letting you know of new posts.

 

Thanks for being a part of the Three Brothers Books community!

 

Blessings,

Jon

THE CHANGED PROGRAM

(Mark 6:30-40)

When the disciples had completed the mission of preaching, healing, and casting out demons, they returned to the One who had sent them out.  We read that the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus.  If we have been standing before the Lord while working, the Lord will draw us back to be alone with Him as quickly as possible before men can come in and break our communion with God.  Then the Lord can lift us up and encourage us if we have been broken down, or He can humble us and bring us back into the right attitude if there has been any tendency to self-exaltation.  He can put all things right and make us ready for another and better service.

The disciples, upon their return to Jesus, “told Him all things, whatsoever they had done and whatsoever they had taught,” in order that He might have the opportunity of correcting them and putting right everything concerning the things they had done and had spoken.  By confiding in Jesus, we can go from blessing to blessing, and not come to a point–as so often happens among Christians–when the Lord is obliged, because of our self-seeking, to stop the blessing, the fruits having gone beyond what the tree is able to bear.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile.”  It was now time to rest, and Jesus felt that it was time to have His disciples with Him, for there were so many people coming and going that they did not have any leisure time in which to eat.  They needed to be alone with Him.  And let us be very careful, if the Lord shows us in our daily work that it is His desire for us to be alone with Him, not to have this silent intercourse with Him shortened;  very careful, also, to see whether it is He who calls us away, or only man and seeming duty.

And they went away in the boat to a desert place apart.”  This was the Lord’s program.  The disciples needed to be alone, and He chose the other side of the lake, an uninhabited region, so that they had every chance, humanly speaking, to be alone.

But then the people came in:  “And the people saw them going, and many knew them, and they ran together there on foot from all the cities and outwent them.”  But behind the people was the living Father, who came in to change the program of the Son, so that the promise which He had laid before them–that they should have the Master for themselves–was not carried out but postponed.

When Jesus “came forth and saw a great multitude,” He got angry?  He was disappointed?  He called His disciples to go to the boat to move to another place, leaving the thousands of people?  No;  the Lord knew no such thing as disappointment…and still less, anger;  He knew only one thing–His Father’s heart:  “Well, Father, if Thou dost know they can bear it, the disciples will have their time when Thou art pleased.”  When He saw the multitude, He had compassion on them “because they were as sheep not having a shepherd;  and He began to teach them many things.”  He did not say, “Oh, I cannot preach to you now;  My disciples need rest.”  No;  He looked to His Father, just as He did when the afflicted woman and Jairus, the father of a dying child, stood before Him at the same time and He left Jairus in that dreadful moment because He discerned the hand of His Father in the woman’s need.

The day which the disciples had expected to be a quiet day with their God was fuller than any other day.  That is what I call a program open before God.  With our programs, let us be ready to let the Lord our God come in and change them as He pleases.

Finally the disciples came seeking their portion according to His promise, saying, “The place is desert, and the day is now far spent;  send (the people) away, that they may go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves somewhat to eat.”  I do not know whether their cry was really for the multitudes or whether they were weary and wished to be alone with their Lord, but the Lord was not yet too weary to bless and to help:  “He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat.”

They were to be blessed, not in the way they had expected, but in becoming in a new way a channel between the Lord and the multitudes, and in taking out of His mighty hand bread for the multitudes.  We never lose anything when we permit our God to change our programs.  Let them keep open that the Lord may take everything in His hand from morning until evening.

So we read further on that Jesus took the five loaves and the two fishes that were turned over to Him and, “looking up to Heaven, He blessed and He brake the loaves;  and He gave to the disciples to set before them;  and the two fishes divided He among them all.  And they all ate and were filled.”

How could this be?  I do not know, and you do not know, but we read that He is still able to do beyond what we are able to ask or think, when we leave our programs open before Him, conscious of our nothingness and His power.

At last the day ended, the passing hours filled in quite a different way from what the disciples had expected in the morning, and different from the way the Master Himself had led them to hope.  The Lord saw that the moment had come to send them before Him “unto the other side” of the lake.  Perhaps the disciples were tempted to say, “It is good to be here;  let us build tabernacles.”  “But He constrained His disciples to enter into the boat…while He (sent) the multitude away.”

They had been anxious to be alone with the Lord earlier in the day and had asked Him to send the multitude away, but He had said, “Give ye them to eat.”  Then at the end of the day He sent the disciples away before the other people;  instead of a day alone with Him, they were to have a lonely night on the sea without Him–a night that they would never forget.

Let us trust the Lord, our Shepherd, and He will strengthen our hearts that we may glorify Him by trust–by going on with Him through storm and tempest, through grief of heart, and through whatever experiences He may be pleased to lead us–in order that we may glorify the Father and that our life may be the place in which He may manifest Himself to others and make Himself to be known to the world.

GUIDANCE IN PERPLEXITIES

(Mark 5:21-43)

One of the difficulties which we meet in our Christian life, a difficulty which threatens sometimes to become a perplexity, is the so-called conflict of duties. When at the same moment different duties or different calls meet us, we cannot at once discern what God means, or discriminate as to what is most urgent–what must be done first and what can wait to be done later. Insofar as we have any choice of our own, preferring to go here rather than to go there–to have one service rather than another–we are not sanctified ones unto God, at His disposal for Him to use our moments and choose between duties and calls. As long as our wishes and our heart’s desires are not resting on the heart of the Father, even for our dearest ones, we are sure to go astray by going rather to help the one who is nearest to our heart than to help another–someone for whom the Lord would have our time and our help just now through ministering, it may be, in money or in counsel.

As long as we do not realize and carry out the attitude of consecrated ones, who cannot, and will no more, dispose of their life power, just so long God cannot lead us. Our will must be His even about our own children; we cannot save them, and sometimes we wrong them by helping them before the time. Many children have been wronged by their parents because they unwisely gave help in a certain period in the life of the child when he needed to be alone in order, perhaps, to profit by painful experience. To help another before the time is to anticipate God’s time, and everything is a failure. One distinctive feature of the consecrated one is that he can afford to leave his dearest ones in the hand of God.

At one point in the life of the Lord, there was a most solemn conflict of duties. He was by the sea, with a great multitude gathered around Him. Among this multitude was a ruler of the synagogue, a man of position among the Jews, named Jairus, who fell at His feet in deep anxiety of heart. He was in such perplexity because his own child was dying; he had to have help from the Master, the only One in the world who could help. He pled with Him, “My daughter is at the point of death; I pray Thee to come and lay Thy hands on her that she may be made whole and live.” Jesus went with the man, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.

Now comes this word. There was in the region a dear woman who had suffered for twelve years from an issue of blood. She had done what she could–she had suffered many things from many physicians and had spent all her money–but “was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.” This woman heard of that Man called Jesus, concerning whom strange things were reported.

The woman in her distress–not being able to get any help but rather growing worse–heard the strange things about Jesus’ healing, helping, and saving everyone, scattering help and salvation and health and hope and whatever was needed, and she took it to heart. It was not for her a mere sermon such as is customarily heard about the Bible; it touched her life. She was going down to the grave, growing worse and worse, but she took courage when she heard these things; and she came.

Picture the situation, please. He was thronged; it was not easy for a weak, feeble, sick woman to get into His presence, but she succeeded. The Heavenly Father had met her already when Jesus, only after the Life-power had gone out of Him, became conscious that someone had touched Him in a peculiar way. He knew not who it was, but as the Sanctified One, the Son in touch with His Father’s heart, He knew one thing–He knew that something had gone forth and that something had been done by the Father which must not be half done; He knew that He could not let this woman go. It was cruel, humanly speaking, to call her back before the whole town, after she had been secretly healed by faith. And furthermore, Jesus knew the gravity of the situation: here was the trembling father whose daughter was at the very point of death.

Jesus left this poor father, with a child in a dying condition, and dealt with a woman. People might have asked how Jesus could have been so hard. He could have dealt with that woman at another time; let Him go first to the most urgent case–to the father who pleads.

Our Saviour was the Sanctified One. Even before coming into the world, He had been sanctified by the Father–set aside, chosen from eternity–for the special work given Him to do; and even before He came to earth, He sanctified Himself to the Father, saying, “Father, here I am; send Me, and I will go down and become the Brother of the lowest ones to save them.”

The Sanctified One, the Man who exists for God and only for God, was led by God. I can always see in spirit my dear, holy, blessed Saviour looking up to His Father for direction in such circumstances. He was the Man of whom Isaiah speaks in his prophecy: “The Lord God hath given Me the tongue of them that are being taught”–not the tongue of a teacher but (the original language means) the tongue of a disciple–“that I may know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.” My God “wakeneth My ear to hear as a disciple”–as One who is being taught, listening to His Word, and does not go on through the day by His own program and His own wisdom, as He thinks best, but lives by God’s program the whole day, from morning until evening. He never said His own words; what He taught, He taught not from Himself but as He was led by the Father. It was thus that He lived on earth among people who were as sheep going astray, each one making the best of his time for his family and others. But He could afford to be understood by no one; in fact, He had to go up to the Cross contrary to the desires of the whole company of the apostles–they were all opposed to His taking the pathway of suffering.

The moment we no longer have a will of our own and desire only to do the will of our Father, we will be His seed, bearing His character; we will be His people, living for Him, His seed springing up; a people of whose time and money God is able to dispose, and a people, it may be, understood by no one.

On earth Jesus could not do two things at the same time; He could not at the same time deal with that woman and be in the house of Jairus. Today it is all changed; it is as if each one of us were the only one in the universe to be helped by Him. Every time one of us truly cries out from his heart to the Lord, it will be as if He had nothing to do except help him, as if He were in the world only for him, and as if He were forgetting Jairus and everything else just because he came to Him; take this in!

The woman hesitated at first to come. The disciples said, “The multitude thronged Thee.” Thronged, and yet only one touch of faith! But this woman, out of all the throng, had got a portion–half her portion–and she was to have the whole portion, as the Father said to His Son. She must confess; she must stand forth! Poor woman, we would have said. But she had to stand forth and give glory to God in order that the Lord Jesus might put His seal upon this healing. At last she came; she could not help it–she had to come to receive the seal of her healing. The plague might have come back afterward, but it is another thing when one stands forth and gives God the glory. Blushing and trembling, knowing what had been done for her, she came, fell down before Him, told Him all, and gave Him glory; and He was thus enabled to put the Divine seal upon His Father’s work: “Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” That is the secret–not only healed but made whole.

Each one has his own trial. The woman had her trial until she could touch Him. Jairus had to go through the deep trial occasioned by this woman’s interruption. Never get angry with anyone who cries for help for himself. The Lord hears the cry of the one and hears the cry of the other, and there is time for help for each one in His time.
Indeed, “while He yet spake,” the deputation from the synagogue ruler’s house came, “saying, Thy daughter is dead; why troublest thou the Teacher any further?” Such are not easy moments, friends. Some of us–perhaps myself–might have asked, “Father, was I mistaken, now that she has died?” “Was I mistaken to give all this time to the woman instead of coming back afterward from Jairus’ house to seek her out?” “But Jesus”–not noting and not moved by the word spoken by the deputation, because through His Father’s command He had given His time and heart to the woman–“saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not; only believe.”

That is the attitude and the majesty of a sanctified one, led by his Father in the directions and into situations which at the moment nobody can understand but which–when really the work of God–will afterward, in due time, be owned, by all that have correct knowledge of the situation, as the only true thing that could be done at the time. That is the glory of a purchased one–purchased and saved from the power of human opinion. In this situation with the woman and Jairus, Jesus was not only thronged in a bodily way, but had He not been standing before God alone, He would have been pressed in spirit by the thought: What will the people say if the daughter dies and I keep the poor father waiting?

Leave it with God to justify you before the universe in His own time, at the coming of our Saviour, when He will manifest the secrets of hearts and the reasons and circumstances by which you have been acting in human life. Only in this way could Jesus Christ live a life in which no minute was wasted nor applied in a false direction, a life in which those with eyes to see could see God in everything. “He who sees Me, sees the Father,” He said Himself. He acted not by Himself, but by the Father’s direction.

And that is our heritage: to have been purchased not to act by the pressure of human opinion, human love, or human ideas of duty–even of our dearest ones–the moment the Father gives contrary directions; to show that we are really standing before God and that nothing–not even the dying daughter–can throw us out of line of the direction of the Spirit of God and of being led and guided by the Father’s eyes.

Moments such as this moment in which Jesus found Himself with Jairus on one side and the woman on the other come into the life of every Christian. That is what I mean by conflict of duties: inability to do two things at the same moment. How much such moments can become to us! At these times, let us trust the heart of the Father in Heaven, who lifts the current of the clouds and storm, who sends the sunshine and rain; who, while one would have sunshine and another, rain–one person needing one thing and another, some other thing–sends what is needed for each one in His own time.

Learn to look to your Heavenly Father when you do not know what to do, and do not obey the impulse of your own heart; you might wrong yourself and those whom you run to help. We must be able to go through moments in which we are forbidden to help others until the situation ripens and it is His hour to come in; we would have spoiled the situation if we had tried to help before the time. Others must first go through certain inward experiences in order that God may find them out and in order that the trial through which they go may bring forth fruit in their lives; then He uses you or me or another–no matter whom. But He needs people who understand their God, who can wait, and who can go away from everyone at His bidding. He needs people who are sanctified unto Himself, at His disposal, whose eyes and ears and mind are turned toward Him–people who are learning from Him Divine wisdom, even through the conflicts of human life, and learning by the very conflicts to go deeper into eternal silence and into the rest of soul which believes in God’s love even when things seem hard.

NIGHT-WALKERS AND DAY-WALKERS

(Luke 2:40-51; John 11)

It is on my heart to go closer with you into the subject of sanctification, and how could we do it better–and in a way more sure–than to see how the Lord Jesus, from His earliest childhood up to the last day of His life, carried out the attitude taken in eternity by the call of the Father–the attitude of a Sanctified One: “He whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,” the One–the only One–all the days and all the minutes of whose lifetime, from the earliest awakening of consciousness up to the last breath on Calvary, the Father was sure of having for Himself. To redeem the world, God needed a man whose ear was always open to Him, someone whose ear could never be dulled by the noise of the world, or by blame or flattery of man; a man whose eyes would always be turned toward the Father and whose ear would hear nothing which did not come from God. For God so to have one’s ear–that is being sanctified, set apart, living out an existence in God’s hand from the beginning to the end; but freely given, as the Son gives to the Father. From the moment when the Father called Him, He did not regard anyone, not even His mother; yet He was the most obedient son that had ever lived on earth.

The portion of Luke is the only New Testament passage which gives us a glimpse of the childhood of our blessed Saviour. This Scripture discloses the fact that at this point His mother was unfaithful to the heavenly vision, and unfaithful to what she knew of the Divine origin of her Son; and He had to reprove her. He knew, even at the age of twelve years, how to be faithful to His mother as a sinner and to reprove her, and yet immediately to take up again the attitude of a respectful Son. What an example to children who have to obey parents in whom they see faults!

This story opens up the early life of the Child Jesus. He had been subject in everything to His mother and His step-father and His brothers from the first awakening of consciousness throughout His first twelve years. But it is evident from His question, “How is it that ye sought Me? Did ye not know that I must be in My Father’s House?” that they had ground to know that when the moment came suddenly for Him to have an opportunity of hearing of God and of His Word, this was the spot where the Child ought to be sought.

“Did ye not know?”–Did I ever, from the first awakening of My understanding, lose one occasion to hear the Word of My Father, His Holy Scriptures?

He was begotten by the Holy Ghost; and being begotten by the Holy Ghost–by the very act–involves dependence upon Scripture as His daily food. The Spirit of God and the Word of God cannot be separated; you have as much of the Holy Ghost–not as you have read written or printed texts–but as you have taken in the Word of God in the substance of your life. This Child never listened to the Word of God without taking it into the innermost substance of His being, drinking it as a child drinks its mother’s milk. As a child is drawn to the breast of his mother, so this Child was drawn toward the Word of God. Had He lost even one occasion in all these years?

Mary, go back to that moment, years before, when He went for the first time to the synagogue. Did He have to be inquired for or sought for when that hour came? “Did you not know?”

Had you no eyes, Mother? Had you no memory? You knew about the process of My first coming forth, even though it was hidden behind the veil. Did you not see these holy things springing up? Where were your eyes and your ears, Mother, that you could for one moment think I ought to be sought among the relatives and kinsmen when the hour was opened for Me?

At the age of twelve years, the Boy had to be taken to Jerusalem to the feast. He had learned all He could from the teachers of Nazareth; He had exhausted all other sources of knowledge. He knew that His glorious moment had come. Where else than in the Temple would He be likely to be looked for? Did Mary not know that He was always to be found in the things of His Father? He was always to be found as a sanctified One. The Boy, long before the age of twelve years, had come to know His Father without any revelation from Mary. He could not be elsewhere.

His questions astonished the doctors–the old, gray-headed scribes; and if His spirit and mind had already to such an extent been opened by the Spirit of God as to astonish these old men, it was because from early childhood knowledge and experience had been kept in equal balance in His life. He was in the things of His Father, and He learned to see things from His Father’s point of view. He was sanctified to His Father, He was set apart, chosen, by the Father from eternity to be the Lamb of God. He did not wait until He was twelve years old to manifest the Lamb-life. A boy could not have brothers and sisters, step-father and mother, without having opportunities to live out the Lamb-life–to take the place of the wrong one when He was right; to suffer, to be slain, without complaint. In living with His brothers and sisters, who were seeking their own life, He exercised the Lamb-life. As a Boy He was sanctified unto His Father, and He probably had wonderful glimpses of light into His own mission.

Of course I cannot go with you through the entire life of our blessed Saviour, but I now take the closing period as recorded in the eleventh chapter of John; and I look to the Lord that He may open your eyes to see the things which are written in this Scripture. What you find here may stand out as a question: What does it mean to walk in the night, and what does it mean to walk in the day?

There are night-walkers and there are day-walkers. If you take the portion of Scripture as a whole, the distinction will spring out very clearly and definitely. I may first sum it up in one word: to walk in the day is to carry out through the whole being the attitude of a sanctified one; and again–to give the key to the chapter–to walk in the night is to shrink back from the place in which they would stone you and to go to the place where you feel at home without direction from on high, following the drawing of your heart and avoiding trying circumstances.

The sisters in Bethany sent their simple message: “Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick”; they were quite sure He would not need to be called twice–He would come at once–but He did not come.

There was, I am quite sure, at that moment–as throughout the whole life of Christ–a looking into the Father’s face to know what He would say about this matter, instead of a running to help the poor sisters. He had been received so kindly in that home, where–if anywhere on earth–He felt at home, but the truly sanctified one never follows the drawing of his own heart with reference even to the nearest and dearest, but rather says, “Father, what wilt Thou have me to do?”

“When Jesus heard it, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby.'” These words He said through the Father; He did nothing by His own will or personal decision. Then in order that we may not be mistaken, it says immediately, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. When, therefore, He heard that he was sick, He abode….” Not, “He went”; but “He abode.” He had His direction from the Father, and He could afford not to be understood by His nearest and dearest. No man, no home, was nearer to Him than Bethany; to leave two sisters in such a situation with a dying brother–to be able to help and not to go–proved Him to be a sanctified One! In the first moment He did not understand but just obeyed; then the Father gave the clue.

“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. When, therefore, …” What would follow if He loved them? Therefore He went? No; He went not. For the very reason that they were so near and dear to Jesus, He had to be anxious that the full will of God should be fulfilled in Bethany, not only for the Father’s sake but for His beloved ones’ sake. No matter whether they would personally understand Him, or what they would think of Him, He loved them so truly that He could afford to be misunderstood in order that the Father’s will might be fulfilled in that home and the Father’s glory manifested in a way that it could not have been manifested had the Lord gone before to end the trial.

Oh, let us never interfere between our loved ones and the Father; otherwise we love them in the flesh and spoil them–we are not sanctified ones. Others must know, by our going or not going, that we are sanctified ones.

Now this is the first distinctive characteristic of the day-walker–the one who walks in the day. It is not to go, so long as the Lord does not permit you to go, to the place to which your heart is drawn because of a tender love that suffers with the suffering ones; but to leave them restfully in the hands of God that He might carry out His purposes in their lives, not minding whether they understand now or later on when they will thank you for having been true in the time when they thought you hard and lacking tenderness.

The first characteristic is not to go where your heart draws, and the other characteristic follows immediately afterwards in the story. The trial had gone on, and after two days the Father lifted the cloud and opened the way. Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.” They answered, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again?”

You must go where you expect to be stoned! How is this? The sanctified one can refrain from going to Bethany, and the sanctified one can afford to be stoned if it should be necessary. The need of the nearest ones is no determining reason to go to Bethany so long as the Father has not opened the way; and the stones waiting in Jerusalem are no reason not to go to Judea when you are sanctified. When sanctified–and knowing you are sanctified and belong to God, and God only has the right to you–you are sure that the Spirit will guide you and lead you straight. Circumstances can no longer keep you back and the suffering and agony of others cannot determine your coming; then the Spirit can reach you, and you prove to be sons of light and day-walkers; not going to Bethany before the time, and being ready to go to Judea and the waiting stones at the very moment that the Father makes a movement of His hand in that direction. That is to walk in the day!

And this, my beloved friends, is His will: to fulfil a full day-walk of twelve hours. “Hath the day not twelve hours?” No power of sickness, no power of death, can take us away before our day-walk be fulfilled, if we walk in the daylight–in the lines in which Jesus walked in Bethany and in Judea with regard to Lazarus and his sisters and the stones of Jerusalem.

That is the freedom of the servant of Jehovah. That is to be sanctified to God. That is in a practical way to be set apart–by none to be held, by none to be freed. There is only one thing in view: never to miss the will and pleasure of the Father, and to grow up day by day into better and quicker understanding of what God the Father means by stillness of will and stillness of heart–not the heart of a stoic, without tenderness; but a loving, and perhaps a bleeding, heart. I say this is the way to fulfil a full day-walk.

The day, the Lord said, has twelve hours. He stood in the eleventh hour of His day-walk, at the opening of the twelfth; the Lazarus incident was just the stepping from the eleventh into the twelfth hour. His whole day-walk would have been prolonged and turned into a false direction if He had not waited for His Father’s hour in regard to Bethany–if He had not been able to leave the sisters without comfort and to let Lazarus die (and He knew he was dying). You know your Bible as well as I know mine, and you have only to look carefully to see that the resurrection of Lazarus was the determining point in the attitude of the Scribes and Pharisees toward Him: now this is enough; He must die. It would have been a prolonging of His day-walk if He had not gone to Bethany–and gone just when He did. The raising of Lazarus was the last drop to make the waters overflow: He must die; His day is finished.

No man can shorten the day-walk of one who lives and walks in the day. How many day-walks are prolonged, and how many others are shortened before their time! Not so with Jesus; He simply followed the Father. There was no unnecessary prolonging of suffering; the work was done. The last obedience was in regard to Bethany. This was the signal for the Pharisees: this is enough.

Well, brethren, may these glimpses help you to understand what it means to be sanctified of the Father and to the Father, and may you come to know that every clear shining of Light has loosening and binding power; it loosens us from many things which held us back. We have to do with the Lord, not with the Jews or with circumstances; not even with Mary and Martha. Never play with Light. Light is given to kill us and to quicken us again into new life–to loosen us from any fear of circumstances or of what man may say of us.

The Lord never gives us Light in the one hand without giving us in the other hand a cord; for every bit of Light, new cords of love are present to bind us to His heart and to His altar. As sanctified ones, all things are bound to His altar. Every trial, victoriously overcome, is another cord binding us to the horns of the altar–to the altar of the Father and to the Saviour, with cords no power of flesh nor hell nor men can break. As conquered ones, we are bound to the triumphal chariot of our Saviour, who gives us strength to go the way He leads alone.

It is written of Christ that He “through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish unto God….” I do not know if there is another place in our Bible where the Spirit of God is spoken of as the Eternal Spirit. Of course He is the Eternal Spirit; but why is His Name so called here, and only here? The answer came to me with power. Christ was obedient unto death through the Spirit; He was enabled through the Spirit of God, with whom He had been baptized, to go this way. If He needed the Spirit of God for His ministry of teaching, He needed the Spirit of God for that awful ministry of offering Himself unto God on the Cross. It was through the Spirit of God that He made such an offering; and where the Breaker has broken through, there is a way open for His own to break through behind Him. The Spirit through whom He broke through was stronger than any Peter or any angel or any devil; they were all impotent to prevent Him from going this way. If He did this, and the Spirit through whom He did it is the Eternal Spirit, then the Spirit who brought my Saviour through brings me through. He is the same today; He opened the way and left behind Him an open door. It is a pathway of power: to suffer, to be slain, to love others, to die, to seek not our own life. The pathway is open; He has given us His Eternal Spirit, that through the Spirit we may go the same way and be sanctified ones day and night.

I find so many Christians who cry after the Holy Ghost and who do not believe, day by day and hour by hour, in the Holy Ghost–the Eternal Spirit–to go along whatever pathway of humbling, of suffering, or of crucifixion that the Lord may be pleased to lead them. He never opens before us any pathway of self-denial or crucifixion, in any way or degree, but that the Spirit stands with Christ–one with Him–on His bidding to open the way, to lead us there, and to strengthen us.

Follow Him, never shrinking back from any ministry or any humbling to which He leads in His own season and in His own time, when you are able. Fear to shrink back; fear with a holy trembling to stop short. The whole creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God who are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

And thus far our glorious Redeemer has opened the way. Will you go?

We would like to take a moment to wish everyone a Wonder-Full New Year.

May it be one in which you find more Love, more Intimacy, more of the Heart of Loving Father than ever before!

Here is also a reminder:

  • God has put within us a New Heart, a Heart of Flesh instead of Stone, a Good Heart.
  • Because of the work of Jesus we live in a Redeemed world. There is indeed brokenness in and around us, but the bottom line is redemption for those who believe.

In the Grace of Father,

Journey well this year!

 Jon
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HARD QUESTIONS

(I Kings 10:1-13)

We still speak of sanctification and sanctified ones. The Queen of Sheba had hard questions upon her heart. In every condition and platform and situation of human life–for the mother, the father, the teacher, the pupil, the workman, and in whatever sphere of life man may be occupied–there arise, sooner or later, hard questions which claim a solution; and man is discouraged and despondent when the solution is not found.

The Queen was an intelligent woman who had a heart for her people. Those who have no heart for others do not know what hard questions are, but those who would help us and are true ministers in their own place meet hard questions. Nobody could help her; nobody near to her country had taken things so much to heart as this queen. When she heard of the fame of the far away Solomon and of his wisdom, there rose as a star in the night on her horizon the suggestion: May not this man be the one who will bring light on the hard questions?

What did she find? Something far above that which she had ever seen. Before this she had never found answers for her hard questions; now she found answers above and beyond what she would have asked or thought, because she came to a man who was a type of Christ.

The reason which drew my attention to this portion of Holy Scripture is that the queen found there sanctified ones, who attracted her attention after Solomon had answered her personal questions. “Solomon told her all her questions; there was not anything hid from the king which he told her not.” When her heart was lightened and burden-free, then she looked around: “And when the Queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built and the food of his table and the sitting of his servants”–for she was a queen, an intelligent woman who was accustomed to have an eye on everything in her own palace–when she saw the apparel even of his cupbearers, and servants, she found in everything wisdom beyond that which she had expected. All these things made such an impression upon her that she had no more spirit; it was more than she could bear.

Have we ever gone through such an experience? Oh, let us learn together from this queen to come nearer to Him who is more than Solomon to know His wisdom. Behind every dark question and hard question of your life there is hidden Divine wisdom; behind the deepest, darkest questions there is hidden wonderful new light. These dark questions have just been thrust upon our pathway that we may draw deeper and nearer into that deeper wisdom which is in Christ; all wisdom is hid in Him. The problems in our life and the hard passages in Scripture will all find their proper solution as we go a step deeper into Christ, the Eternal Wisdom. Hard questions that yesterday threatened to make us break down are meant to lead us deeper into the knowledge of Jesus Christ and into a purer atmosphere; that which once threatened to cover our horizon with darkness now opens a new horizon of light and glory.

Then the queen stopped in her amazement to look at his sanctified ones. Like all great personages such as kings and emperors, Solomon had those who stood continually before him in his service; they were sanctified. I mean that they had been taken out of the duties of daily life; they performed no longer the ordinary engagements of this life. They had to do nothing but satisfy the king and keep at his post. She saw the whole line of ministering ones who stood as servants continually before him. From time to time the king called for one and another to minister, and they went at his bidding. They never complained when they had to stand; they learned, little by little, that there was something higher than to run out to accomplish the desire of the king; it was to be permitted to stand and listen to the endless treasures of the wisdom of King Solomon without ever getting weary.

I say they did not complain when they had to stand day after day at his disposal. Let our time be filled, when the Lord has no special command for us, with listening the whole day, that we may better execute tomorrow the commission of the King than we could otherwise do. Let us be thankful if He keeps some days as silent days; thankful, too, if He fills our days from the earliest morning to the latest night with ministry. But the condition of such full days is that the day before we used our time to meet God and to get ready for whatever service he may commit to His sanctified ones, who hear His wisdom when standing before Him and then get new wisdom in the very fulfilment of His commission. If you use fully the time of sitting before God and keep looking deeper into the Divine wisdom of His Holy Book, then you will find wisdom–hidden wisdom–unfolding before your eyes in the hardest commission the Lord may give you. It is just an impossibility to do things in your own wisdom and strength, but He will constrain you to keep ministering before God as sanctified ones who have gone only at His command, who stand back at His command, and who listen to His command.

Sanctified ones do not live and spend their strength and days according to their own counsels and programs; they get their programs from the King day by day. They learn, standing before Him, to get deeper into knowledge and acquaintance with Him, and so again He is able to commit to them harder commissions than before. As sanctified ones, living before the King and for the King and through the King, they know their Lord better and better; they go from knowledge to knowledge in holy hours of profitable intercourse with Him and in intense work at His command.

Let us be careful to walk according to the light that we may have today and let us go on for years with a hard question, if necessary. There are tendencies in our flesh, in our mind, and in our brain that are very difficult to get over in the spiritual world. So we move deeper and deeper into the Cross, closer and closer into touch through the Spirit with every member of the Body of Christ, going deeper and deeper into the Divine work of God. Thus the Lord prepares us for the last realization–the last application of the highest things that He has made ready–even victory over death!

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