Archive for December, 2007


(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!


(Jeremiah 1:4-10)

Before the mother of Jeremiah had brought him forth–before he had been conceived–God laid His hand upon the Prophet Jeremiah; for we read, “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee.” “I called thee Mine in a special way.” He uses an instrumentality to get from little circles out to wider circles, that the whole community may be brought back to God. And immediately after the fourth verse, we read, “I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.” A prophet represents God–is in God’s place to us, and by his calling as prophet is constituted a messenger for God. To be sanctified is to be in God’s hand for silence and waiting, for acting and suffering, or for whatever commission God may be pleased to use you.

The Lord, who has created us in Christ and for Christ, has from all eternity predestinated us to be in Christ; what He does in time He has seen before–from eternity. Before we were conceived, the Lord knew for what special purpose He would use us in our earthly life after He had brought us into the knowledge of redemption and into the consciousness that we are sanctified ones, and that the existence which we try to make our best of–to make beautiful and useful–is not for us. Rather are we a people called to be ministers of the Holy One–of the household of God–in which each one has his own place to minister unto Him and to show forth the praise of His Name.

It may be a ministry to break down, to pluck up, to destroy and over-throw. How often the Lord is obliged to throw down, pluck up, and destroy and overthrow before anything for eternity can be created in us–builded and planted. How long He had to overthrow our building and planting, pluck up our gardens, and destroy our fields; but it was our own building and planting, and it could not last. Whether it be preaching or a most devoted life, which is not in the consciousness of a sanctified life–from Him and through Him and of Him–it simply magnifies us. If He cannot accept our planting and our gardens, He comes with storms to waste our flowers and destroy our plantings.

We find, as we go through the Old Testament, that these glorious ministers–Moses and Elisha, Isaiah and Jeremiah–all foreshadow that other One whom the Father had sanctified before He was conceived by the Holy Ghost in Mary’s womb. Have you ever pondered over that glorious word of our Saviour in John, chapter 10, verse 36? “…say ye of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world…?”

“Sanctified and sent into the world”–in these words the Lord Jesus sums up the teaching of Psalm 40 and Hebrews 10:10: “Lo, here am I”–words spoken by Christ before He came into the world. As the Lord had sanctified Jeremiah before his birth, so the moment came when the Father looked at the Son, the moment to go down to accomplish the ministry which no angel or archangel could accomplish–the ministry foreseen in the Father’s heart from eternity, when the Son was foreordained as the Lamb slain in the Father’s heart; the ministry of carrying out that for which He stood at the side of the Father when He created man. (I have no passage just now, but you find it in the Holy Scripture as you go deeper.) God would not have created man, with the dreadful possibility that he might fall, had not the Guarantee or Security, the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, stood at His side. And now in time came the moment when the Father looked at the Son, and the Son answered, “Here am I; send Me.” He whom the Father had sanctified and sent into the world undertook a mission for which all the missions of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses, and Elisha had only been foreshadowings and preparations–mere shadows. So He said, “Yes, Father, here I am; send Me.” That is to be sanctified: Whom the Father sanctified.

What a unique mission–to redeem the lost world by the shedding of His own Blood on Calvary (No fallen man could know what it means to be separated from God, having separated Himself by sin and transgression)! Jesus sanctified Himself in order to make us sanctified ones in a sense and bearing and meaning deeper than Jeremiah, for through Christ revealed we reach deeper into the Godhead than any Old Testament prophet could reach–even into oneness with the Son and the Father, into oneness with God.

There is in John 17, verse 19, another word of His about sanctification–“And for their sakes I (the Holy One, the Pure One, who did not need to be cleansed from anything) sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” Through sanctifying Himself, He was enabled to make of us sanctified ones. He brought us back into the proprietorship of God and into the use of God–back to God from human hopes and planting and building.

May we not better understand what it meant for Jesus–this wonderful One–to sanctify Himself, when we sum up that which took place before He said this word, “I sanctify Myself for them–for their sakes–that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” The truth is a solemn living for His Father; for blessing or curse, to exist for God: “To do Thy will is My pleasure, even if it be Thy will to go down to Gethsemane and the Cross; I delight to do Thy will.”

Do you not recognize, in the entire life of Jesus, one unique purpose and guiding thought? “I come to do thy will, Father”; and He kept faithful to that thought with which He came. There was not a moment in the life of our Saviour in which He had any other preoccupation than to please the Father and to do His will. There was not one interruption in His inward life and most hidden standing before His Father–in His silence or His speaking, in His doing or His resting; there was but one thread–one guiding thread–all through: “Here I am to please the Father.” And more than once during His earthly service and ministry–in the solemn and critical hours of His life–the Heaven opened and the Voice said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Well, brothers and sisters, “cursed” ones, yet delivered from the curse forever through Christ’s having been made a curse for us and now made to be the beloved of the Father in the Son–Christ has done this and has said this: “I sanctify Myself to make of them sanctified ones.” He did it to make of us a people like the dew of the morning–a people of free will, devoted to execute the will of God in households, in a hidden spot, in public ministry, or whenever and however and wherever God may be pleased.

You know the purpose for which the three thousand received the Holy Ghost: it was to do God’s pleasure and to know God’s will; not to walk in the twilight, but to know–through the Spirit of the Son and the Father and through looking into the face of the Father–what would please Him; to know always, in every peculiar surrounding and circumstance, in every hour of life, in complications and difficult hours and sorrowful hours, His will.

The Father never failed to let His Son know what pleased Him; and devoted ones, consciously sanctified ones, who exist for God and for God alone, He never fails to let know what may please Him. It may be difficult for a while to know; there may come critical moments in which we hesitate. But from knowledge to knowledge, growing nearer to the heart of the Father and knowing Him better through every critical hour through which He makes us pass, we may with a keener eye grasp what is pleasing and what is not pleasing to the Father. Christ lived His life of thirty-three years to bring our lives into that glorious reign of light–to make them to be lives of holiness (that comes afterwards–the normal proof); but it means being a people who know and glory in the fact–most simply–that they exist for God and that they may be sanctified in the truth.

Take an example from the continent from which I came–an example from some servant of the Emperor, such as his coachman. Ask him, when he is driving for the Emperor, to guide you here or there. He would laugh in your face! The Emperor claims him; and even if the first general in Germany were to claim his service, he would only laugh. He has been called out from ordinary service–sanctified–to serve the Emperor. There is glory even upon such people; they cannot be bribed. The coachman is “sanctified” to the Emperor; there is glory in it.

Oh, the glory upon us poor, miserable sinners, who had been serving sin and ourselves–the very essence of wickedness–now to be forgiven and redeemed and sanctified for God!


(Isaiah 64; Philippians 2:12; Hebrews 2:14)

There is a deep problem which finds its solution only as we draw nearer and nearer into God’s full Word, never hanging on one side or the other. There is a waiting, and there is a stirring up to lay hold of God. Isaiah declared, on the one hand, “God worketh for him that waiteth for Him”; then almost immediately, on the other hand, the prophet proclaimed, “And there is none that calleth upon Thy Name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee.”

I am sure that no human formula can explain the relationship between waiting and laying hold. The two must have a place. Wherever there is spiritual life, there may be–there will be–times in which you are stirred up by the Spirit of God to stir yourself up to lay hold of God; and there will be those times in which the same Spirit, seven-fold in His working, says, “Quiet…Quiet…Wait.” This is not some kind of a vague waiting, but a definite waiting which is not quietism or soulish contemplation but Life, and Life more abundant; waiting and more patient waiting, that results in laying hold upon Him more definitely from day to day.

Through the Holy Spirit learn at the feet of Jesus to recognize when and how to wait, and when and how to lay hold upon God and His Word and step out. We may be sure that we will always have an inadequate notion of anything we have not yet realized in our personal experience; therefore through waiting we learn to wait. Through waiting on God, God takes hold of us, and a waiting upon God which would not enable Him to take hold of us as never before would not be a waiting in the lines of Life and of the Spirit of God.

It is a wonderful meeting together of very different things when the Apostle says in the second chapter of the letter to the Philippians: “As ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

The Spirit of God takes of the things of Christ–of His humility, of His death, of His redemption–and opens them up and gives them. So He works, showing Christ and opening our eyes at the same time. The Lord Jesus died for us, and it is God the Holy Spirit who works in us and opens the Treasury of Christ.

Now we are to work out our own salvation with Divine fear and Divine trembling, as we follow carefully the Spirit of God when unfolding treasure after treasure enclosed in our redemption from the curse. Whatever our special natural tendency of character may be, against which we have fought long without result, the Spirit says to us, “Look closer to Christ and know what He has done for thee. He has delivered thee from the fear of death; He has made everything new. There is nothing in thy blood, in thy nerves, in any part of thy physical or mental constitution, from which the Blood of Christ might not deliver.”

There is purification–not only pardon, but purification, cleansing, deliverance–in the Blood of Christ, when you do not any more grieve the Holy Ghost by disobedience–by limiting the Holy Ghost to your past experience or to other Christians who have made no better progress than yourself. Step out in the Holy Ghost; take your Bible, with the Spirit of God as your Teacher, and as one passage corroborates another you will find new glories.

So because God is working in us both to will and to do, and because He has made us willing to go forward, let us believe the promise of His Word, which will free us from whatever may displease the heart of the Father and bring us into conformity to the Image of Christ–one feature of the old natural character after another giving way to the character of the new Image of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ became obedient unto death, humbling Himself even to the death of the Cross–shrinking from no step up to the Cross; and through His death He has delivered us from the fear of dying, which involves the fear of going low and the tendency to go high. There is in each one of us who is not fully delivered by the Spirit of God from the self-life a tendency to keep his own life, which is fear of death and which is manifested in a constant anxiety about his own life–a spirit which says, “Don’t touch me too near.” But through His death Christ abolished, or made powerless, him that had the power of death; He has made powerless the devil and has delivered us who all our lifetime had been under the fear of “dying.”

It is a new word, which the Spirit alone can open before our eyes. Let us give the Holy Spirit henceforth freedom to work–to work out in us to will and to do, to make us willing to go down, willing to go low, willing to disappear. Let us be ambitious to be a people whom He can guide from glory to glory, from humility to humility; and ultimately, in His time, He can use as His servants and workers.

“Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” instead of trying to overrule one the other. Be all of one mind, in lowliness of spirit, doing nothing for vainglory but counting each other better than himself.

How can one ever attain such a thing? The Holy Spirit takes the things of Christ–His lowliness, His humility–and performs in us the very things which have been the life of Christ. He was obedient and humbled himself down to the Cross in order that on the Cross it might be done forever. Is our pride and our self-consciousness, our thinking ourselves higher than others, gone? Yet He has done this. The Holy Spirit has now the Treasury out of which He takes for every human life. Whoever has seen the heavenly vision of Christ’s death knows by the Spirit of God that Christ died not only to make expiation for our pride and wickedness, but to open the way by which the Spirit of God may now take of the things of Christ and live out His Life in us from the alpha to the omega–every letter of that Divine Alphabet.

Who will ascend to Heaven; who will reach to such high things? Ah, Christ came down just to bring Heaven down to earth. He went down to the deepest depth and up to the highest height, and He offered Himself to the disposal of the Holy Spirit that He might take Divine things and make them realities in us.

Remember what I have said of a connection–not a human formula, but a connection, or relationship–between waiting and laying hold. The Spirit takes of the things of God and makes them real. Then we no more say, “Who can attain so high?” Heavenly realities come down nearer and nearer, and the Holy Ghost makes us understand that the solemn hour has come when the waiting is to give place to the laying hold. Not to lay hold in holy moments which no human arm could manufacture and bring out–not to lay hold when the Lord draws near–would be a deep grieving of the Holy Ghost. You would afterward wait years before you would be able to lay hold on the Lord’s arm–on the Lord’s redemption–and be able to step out from the shallow waters in which the Lord Jesus Christ had not been glorified in your life as He should have been.

The very capital sin which we are forbidden to do is to grieve the Holy Spirit. Yet, according to Isaiah 63:10, that is just the sin which Israel committed: “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore, He was turned to be their enemy.”

Deeper and deeper, as I go into Scripture, grows the conviction that the reason the Lord has not yet come is that the Church of God has done this very thing which the Apostle forbade it to do when he wrote: “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption.” The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ has grieved the Holy Spirit, and there are children of God who have not even yet come to see that they can and must live without grieving the Holy Spirit. There are children in human life who would do anything rather than grieve their mother’s heart; and is it a light thing to grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom you have been sealed for the day of redemption? And the day of redemption, which lies in the future of the Church, is the day of the coming of Christ and of the redemption of our bodies.

There are dear Christian people, I know, who think that Christ will come after some date which the Father may have fixed, regardless of the state of the Church at that moment. I think rather that the Lord would wait a thousand years before bringing to an end Church life, if the Body of Christ has not really come into conformity with the Son of God; and the waiting creation would wait in vain for “the manifestation of the sons of God” as long as it would be a manifestation of shame and self, instead of a manifestation of hidden glory worked out in the lives of people who would do anything rather than grieve the Holy Spirit.

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!



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.