Posts Tagged ‘Sanctified’


(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?


(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.