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The Spirit of the Word: Part 3

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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”– Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”– Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing

We have recently received these additional “Letters of Truth” from the “Lettersoftruth.com website.  As previously stated in the Prinzing introduction we are blessed in receiving these writings as we know  their presentation took time and dedication. They shall not fall into the abyss of archival  silence. At the present time I am not aware of the dates each letter was published and due to this lack of knowledge  I  have placed  the writings in alpha order for simplicity purposes.  In your reading order please by led by the Spirit, who leads all into all truth. 


No. 1

A GOD OF VICTORIES
 

“Blessed be the Lord, our saving God, who daily bears the burden of our life; God is for us a God of victories…” (Psalm 68:19-20, Moffatt).

“Blessed be the Lord now and ever, the God who bears our burdens, and wins us the victory.  Our God is a God of deliverance …”
(The Knox translation)

        Oftentimes we find it helpful to give emphasis to the fact that God goes with us through our valley experiences, our dark night of the soul, the travail given to us to be exercised thereby.  We often need to be reminded that He does impart peace in the midst of the storm.  That He walks with us through every–trial and situation.  That “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them.” (Isaiah 63:9).  And we see Him as the Author and the Finisher of our faith.  The negatives can become so oppressive, so brutal, so difficult betimes, that we feel we are crying out from a deep pit, “Lord save me.” And then we hear Him again, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).  “Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3). Truly He is our saving God!  Yet it is also written, “You have not, because you ask not.” (James 4:2).  “Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”(John 16:24).  Herein is an open invitation– to come– to ask– and let Him be our victory.

The K.J. version reads, “Who daily loadeth us with benefits.”
While Moffatt gives, “Who daily bears the burden of our life.”
Amplified, “Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day.”
Young’s Literal, “Blessed is the Lord, day by day He layeth on us.”

        Loadeth us– bear our burdens– carry us– lay it on us– this is certainly an active involvement of God, the Creator, with His creation.  Nor is it an off again on again working of His grace– but daily, day by day, on-going and abundant, He both carries us, and our burdens, plus laying on us those blessing/benefits which meet every need, and demonstrate yet again that He is our saving God.
        We find a happening recorded in 2 Kings 25:27-30, which serves as a parable for us, with a tremendous message of hope.  Under the disciplinary action of God, Jehoiachin, king of Judah, was placed into captivity for 37 years. (And you thought your processing was going on a long time?) But in time the Lord did work a process of deliverance and victory for him, and he was brought out of prison and given “a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” Not only a provision unending, but ministered in such a way that it can be LIVED, USED, ENJOYED moment by moment.  “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” (John 1:16).  Fulness is wonderful-­but it must then be applied to each need, step by step, moment by moment, a daily rate.  Note the word “rate” from the Hebrew “dabar”, meaning: a word. “For ever, O Lord, YOUR WORD (dabar) is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89).  There is a DAILY WORD, a present truth, an ever-fresh quickening that is continuous– never stale, never old, it shall sustain through all ages.
        “After this manner therefore pray … Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:9, 11).  Whether we read it from the Old Testament, or the New, the point is the same, it is a day by day dependency upon our Lord.  God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help– in time of need, yes, but also in times when the sun shines warm, the dew lies moist on our land, and our cup runs over with joy and praise to our God.
       The Psalmist did not hesitate to speak of “the dark side” of happenings in his life– saying, “I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears, Mine eye is consumed because of grief.” (Psalm 6:6-7).  He often cried out for the God of victories to intervene and turn his life around, and then he would speak of the positive mercy of the Lord as freely as he had spoken of the negatives.  The sorrow would not last– “In His favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).  “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: You maintain my lot.  The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yes, I have a goodly heritage.  I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel.” (Psalm 16:5-7).  He knew that all the “swimming in tears” would give way to the shouts of rejoicing because his God was the God of victories, and “Salvation belongs unto the Lord.” (Psalm 3:8).  Praise His wonderful name!
        Yes, He is the God of salvation/victory– our saving God!  Furthermore, “He is the propitiation (the mercyseat) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2).  When we speak of our saving God it needs to be in the context of “for the whole world.” His is not a partial victory, but it will ultimately reach every man– for “In Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order.” (1 Cor. 15:22-23).  There are dimensions of victory in Him beyond comprehension.
        Marvelous indeed are the mercies of our God!  But the discrimination, the intolerance, the bigotry of religion is appalling.  How often do men pray, “Lord, bless those that are a part of our group, our family, our favored few.” Furthermore, if they are not a part of our denomination, etc. just let hell enlarge her borders and take them in, while God reserves a place in heaven for us, His chosen ones.  But in contrast to this selfish view, we find that Jesus said we are to be like our heavenly Father, for He “is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” And we need to be “merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36).  “He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45).  Full well He knows how the evil man will react to this sun and rain– it only causes the weeds, thorns, briers to grow yet the more, for the time being.  But He sends His blessings just the same, knowing that in due time He will deal “BY FIRE” with this negative realm, and thus, purging the evil from man, He will see a positive response brought forth to His glory and praise.
        How precious are the words of the Psalmist, “You have received gifts for men.” (Psalm 68:18).  No wonder He can “daily load us with benefits.” He is freely fulfilling the will of His Father, and “God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.” (John 3:34-35).  He knows the will of the Father, He is merciful as His Father.  Without partiality shares the gifts which He has received from the Father– and opens His arms ever wider to draw to Himself His groaning creation. So let us shout aloud with the Psalmist, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Ps. 103:2).
        Then there is a startling statement given– Not only has He received gifts for men, but they are “for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” (Psalm 68:18).  The list is getting longer– He reaches out to include the evil, the unjust, the unthankful, AND THE REBELLIOUS.  It is an outreach of love that HE would give gifts to the rebellious, change their lives, purify and cleanse, so that He would be able to dwell with them.  Who but such a merciful God would declare “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Cor. 6:16).  Yes, there must, and will be holiness.  But the bottom line of truth here is that our God is a saving God.  And whatever processings are necessary, He is more than equal to the challenge– He has gifts that will transform, change from glory to glory– do whatever He must to reconcile all men, and bring forth a new creation in righteousness.
        Paul spoke of his life before Christ came in, as being a time when he “was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, – And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” Furthermore, he added, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:13-15).  When it comes to the mercy and grace of God, there is no limit in Him who is a God of victories.  Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound, and HE is ever ready to share His gifts with the chiefest of sinners.
        “For the rebellious also.” one of the main Hebrew words translated as “rebellious” is “meri” meaning; to be bitter, bespeaking of a very negative attitude, unpleasant, stubbornly resistant.  While the Hebrew word used in Psalm 68:18 is “sarar” meaning: to turn aside or away, a casting off all restraint, unruly, obstinate.  “We have turned every one to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6).  Israel was a stiffnecked and stubborn people, that sought to go their own way.  In turning away from the Lord, their rebellion took them down a very negative path.  How often have men turned aside from the will of God, and yet found that God had plans for them also, and His goodness abounds toward them, ultimately to totally transform them into His image.
        “The word of the Lord came unto Jonah,” to take a message to the city of Nineveh, “and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me.” “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1:1-3).  How quickly Jonah was ready to turn aside from the will of God because he did not approve of God being kind to this exceedingly wicked city.  It took a heavy hand of discipline to bring Jonah to the place where he would accept mercy and grace for Nineveh, but finally he was able to say “Salvation is of the Lord,” (Jonah 2:9), and embrace the fact that God’s grace is “For the rebellious also.”
        Interesting that the Hebrew word “sarar, rebellious,” is  used of an untamed cow.  “For Israel slides back as a backsliding heifer.”  (Hosea 4:16).
        Deuteronomy uses it of a rebellious son who refuses to submit to his parents. (Deut. 21:18).
        The Psalmist desired that “They might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.” (Psalm 78:8).
        Jeremiah said, “But this people have a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.” (Jer. 5:23).
        Proverbs 7:11 refers to a woman who has cast off restraint, and indulges in lusts.  “She is loud and stubborn; her feet abides not in her house.”
        Many and varied are the portrayals of the rebellious.  But our God, who is a saving God, has gifts for even these, and He gives and gives– O, what a foreshadowing of grace.  And, for sure, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” (Lam. 3:22).
        Then, one other point comes loud and clear in this scripture.  “He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.” (Psalm 68:20).  The issues, literally, “the out-goings.” Here is salvation, deliverance, that staggers the mind.  To go into death is one thing– but to come out is quite another matter.  When David’s child died, he said, “Can I bring him back again?  I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23).  This has long been the prevalent attitude among men– we can go into death, but where are the out-goings?  “Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.” Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
        Jesus challenged Martha with the statement, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
        The timing is solely in the hand of our God, our Saviour.  We need not take unto ourselves the responsibility for the “out-goings from death.” Suffice it to know that betimes we feel we are on the edge of THIS VICTORY– and we shall emerge out of the death realm, and into His more abundant life.  Need we think it strange that there could be more and more raising from the dead and being clothed with His life?  ‘”O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? – But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:55, 57).
        Unto God belong the issues from death.  What more can we say?  In the hour of midnight darkness there is little hope for life and light, but when the sun’s rays begin to illumine the eastern sky, we rejoice in the new day that draws near.  Praise God, there is a new day on the horizon!


My beloved is coming to meet with me, as deep calls unto deep,
And He rides through the heavens in majesty, this rendezvous to keep.
The wheels of His chariot so silently turn, the mortal cannot hear,
But praise the Lord, by the Spirit I know,He must be very near.
Now the long night is o’er and the shadows flee,
the morn is breaking fair,
O, arouse from thy slumber and hasten now,
His coming to prepare.
He’s the One whom my heart has been waiting for,
This One with thorn­scarred brow,
And praise the Lord, by the Spirit I know,
before Him all shall bow.
Now lift up your heads, O ye gates, and the King of glory shall come in, Lo,
He bringeth salvation for every man, to put away all sin.
The hope of the ages is manifest in Jesus Christ our King,
And the transformation shall be complete, by the grace that He doth bring.

        There were some vital questions asked of Job, as God challenged him, probing deep into his unconscious realm of memory, and while we have neither space nor time to examine all the questions, in line with our subject here we note this one– “Have the gates of death been opened unto you? or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death.” (Job 38:17).  As we have already noted, mankind is prone to view the gates of death as only opening one way, namely that we go into the death realm, but few think in terms of the gates opening up to release the prisoners of death on the other side of the gate.  Our God of victories, God of salvation, is able to say, “I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.” (Revelation 1:18).  Once death came as an enemy, but we see that IN CHRIST, through Christ, our God makes death overcome itself, and give way to life.  Only God could do something as marvelous as this!  And through the death that was wrought in Christ we see that HE conquered, and has the KEY to the gate, and when He swings it open, none can close it.  When He closes it, none can open it.  To Job it was a difficult question– “Have the gates of death been opened unto you?” But with the Spirit of illumination the Psalmist says, “Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death.” There is an OUT-GOING.  Jesus Christ has led captivity captive– the whole creation now belongs to Him, and any time He opens the gate, none can restrain from issuing forth that which HE declares is released.  And none can hold back that which He determines must dwell for a time in the land of the shadow of death.
        “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2).  How bold is this prophetic message– the God of victories controls the out-goings from death, and He is invading the darkness, the land of the shadow of death, “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” (Isaiah 42:7).  Without a doubt this is fulfilled in Christ, HE IS THE LIGHT that penetrates the darkness, He holds the key to the unlocking of the prison house.  He is the God of our salvation!  And amazing and far beyond our comprehension, He extends this promise to include a people whom He has redeemed, and states, “I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles (nations), that you may be My salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6).  Brought into union with Him, to be overcomers in Him, there is coming a day when life shall flow through His people, and with Him they shall share in the release of HIS LIFE until the world shall question– What manner of men are these, His life-givers?
        Again we hear from the Psalmist, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, You that lift me up from the gates of death.” (Psalm 9:13).  His eye was on the One that could lift him up from the gates of death.  And betimes people are still lifted up from the gates of death– preserved, kept by the power of God, and for this we truly praise Him.  But an even greater victory goes beyond an escape from death– to live on a few more years– and that is the resurrection life that we shall experience– entering into His total salvation.  Praise God!
        What Jesus Christ experienced in Himself, He now purposes to make experiential in every man.  He shall reign until all enemies are under His feet, and every man individually delivered from death, and brought forth into the newness of His life.  His overcoming shall be our overcoming as He brings forth the victory, and works it into us, to His glory and praise.
        Jesus brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel.  Here is a fact seldom considered– Incorruption makes death an impossibility!  The wages of sin is death, but if there be no sin, there are no wages to be reaped.  It is self-evident that whatever cannot be corrupted cannot die.  Paul writes that Christ is made unto us “righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30).  Thus when we are clothed with HIS HOLINESS to be pure as He is pure, we shall know the joy of incorruption.  We shall find that the gates of death are truly opened unto us.  We find that the word “opened” used in Job 38:17, is the Hebrew word “galah” meaning: to be revealed, discovered, uncovered.  There are some tremendous revelations to be received by God’s people, as He DISCOVERS for us the very foundations, and thus UNCOVERS those things which have been kept secret for so long.
        Heretofore our prayer has always been for deliverance BACK from the gates of death.  But God would show us the way through, as an open gate, into the fulness of His life that yet awaits us.  Deliverance ministries, as they have been called, sought to bring back from death those that were about to die.  “They draw near unto the gates of death.  Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saves them out of their distresses.  He sent His Word and healed them.” (Psalm 107:19-20).  Thank God for any respite from pain and suffering–“He heals all your dis-eases.” (Psalm 103:3).  But the time comes when we begin to ponder something more.  Is God only going to heal and patch up the old creation, or bring us into the NEW?  We do thank the Lord for “cures today and tomorrow,” (Luke 13:32), for we cannot go through all these trials and tribulations which are appointed for our processing, if we are physically dead.  He has appointed a time of travail “to be exercised in it,” (Eccl. 3:10), but not to live for ever in this corruptible body.  Rather, He will “change our vile body (i.e. body of humiliation), that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” (Philippians 3:21).
        To be IN CHRIST a new creation means that old things will pass away, and in His time and purpose all things will become new.  We cannot bring that hour to ourselves, but He can bring us to that hour!  We would not ask for a rapturous escapism, but we would have the gates of death uncovered, walk through them, and come out on the other side to live in the very fulness of His life, complete in Him.  Do not be mistaken, one does not get rid of death just by taking “a positive attitude” that doesn’t talk about death.  Mental ignoring is not overcoming it.  But remember, “our God is the God of salvation,” and He has the KEY, and He will hold us steady until He has finished His inworking in us, and then what glories shall be ours.
        The battle of life and death is going on in our minds these days.  How easy it is to compromise our thoughts, and how difficult it is betimes to bring every thought into obedience of the truth.  Yet Jesus conquered this battle, and now, HE IN US is conquering again.  Not by the might and power of the flesh, but BY HIS SPIRIT we shall emerge overcomers in Him.
        Truly we are in preparation for His making all things new, and there will be an uncovering of the gates of death, that we might become partakers of His more abundant life.  This changing process will be consummated at the climactic appearing of Jesus Christ, for HE has the KEY, and will bring to light our new life and incorruptibility.  All of the processings of present time, with their travail, their birth-pangs, are being used to bring us to that hour.  And if so be that this is not the time He has appointed, and we do go into the grave, then we rest in the surety of that out-resurrection, for “them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him,” (1 Thess. 4:14).  There shall be a resurrection OUT FROM AMONG THE DEAD.  They shall emerge with Him, to see His kingdom established in righteousness upon the earth.  May these truths continue to be quickened within.  “He will swallow up death in victory.” (Isaiah 25:8).  Our God is a God of victories! 


It was by grace that He did taste of death for every man.
It was by grace that He laid waste the prince of evil’s clan.
The gates of death so long concealed, Christ Jesus has the key
To open wide the way revealed, deliver you and me.
To be in Christ a creature new, old things shall pass away,
Out of the tomb, as fresh as dew, to live in His new day.
The end of darkness is the light, forever it shall shine,
So also, ending death’s black night, is His true life divine.
As He arose, so we shall rise, and share the Father’s throne,
To overcome– receive the prize prepared for us, His own.
The shadows flee, He opes the gate, lift up your head and sing,
So long we’ve lingered, had to wait, till He this joy will bring.

  ______________________________________________
(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”– Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”– Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 2

A PURIFYING HOPE
 

        “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.  And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure.”  (1 John 3:1-3).
            We are admonished to “Buy the truth, and sell it not.” (Prov. 23:23).  As I pondered this one day, in my thoughts came the question, What is truth?  And the answer was right there, “Your Word is truth.” (John 17:17).  So then the question came, “What is the Word?  And the Spirit spoke into my thoughts─”The Word is the REVEALED WILL OF GOD, anointed and made internally yours.” We need more than “just words” from a black bound volume– for “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor. 3:6).  So when the Spirit of God quickens a word in your heart, that becomes HIS WORD TO YOU for that day.  It does not have to be formed into “King James Version” vocabulary, but when HE speaks, receive it, and let it work in you more of His purpose.
        Now, our “text verse” begins, “Behold…” The word is plural, behold you, ALL OF YOU!  Let us all ponder together on His special love bestowed on us.
        “WHAT MANNER…” The Greek is “potapos” meaning: of what sort or kind, and it holds within it the thought of being foreign to those around.  For sure, the love of God is of a KIND that is utterly foreign to the world, though among believers it is becoming a little more familiar.  “Agape”─ a love that is self-sacrificial and unconditional, freely giving without a thought of any return.  No wonder the world questions “What manner of love is this?”
        It is the same word that is used of our Lord, in Matthew 8:27, when they asked, “WHAT MANNER of man is this?” He was so extremely different from all other men, in His word, and in His deed; in His authority, and in His power; that they could only stand in awe, and ask, “What manner of man is this?” In the midst of the storm, He could stand up in the boat, and command the storm to abate, which it did, and left them asking, “What manner of man is this?” He could speak words of love and compassion, tenderness and care, coupled with a firm authority; He could cause the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the dead to rise up again, until they said, “WHAT MANNER of man is this?” He is utterly foreign to the natural realm.  They could not understand Him with their carnal mind.
      “What manner of love the Father has bestowed…” Bestowed─ the word is “didomi,” in the perfect tense, and thus speaks of giving something to someone, so that the gift becomes a permanent possession.  The unconditional love that He imparts to us becomes eternally ours, nothing can take it away from us, not even our sins and short-comings.  “God so loved the world that HE GAVE…” And there is nothing that can ever diminish or take away what He has bestowed.  You might fashion your own little world of unbelief, but that does not change God’s action and love toward us.  “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13).
        Paul confirms this word which John gives, and states, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39).

        What love He has bestowed upon us, “that we should be called…” Not just in the sense that the “divine call” is placed upon us, but literally, TO GIVE A NAME TO, to be NAMED.  “Called the sons (children) of God.” Thus HE SHARES WITH US OF HIS IDENTITY.  He names us, acknowledges us to be His own children─ a part of the family of God, so that we share in His identity.
        I remember many years ago, when the Doctor carried a little baby down the hallway, placed him on a blanket at the Nurse’s station, and said to me, “Here is your boy, count his fingers and toes, etc. he is all there.” And I looked at the baby, and said, “That is Daniel Prinzing,” and he immediately was identified as being of the Prinzing lineage.  He was NAMED─ given an identity, and he belonged to us.
        The very moment we receive the SEED OF GOD’S LIFE into us, and He bestows His love upon us as a permanent possession, naming us as His children, we are immediately identified as being of the God-lineage.
        Long ago God said to Israel, “The Lord has avouched (guaranteed, affirmed) you this day to be His peculiar people, as He has promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; And to make you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, AND IN NAME, and in honor; and that you may BE A HOLY PEOPLE unto the Lord your God, as He has spoken.”(Deut. 26:18-19).
        “AND IN NAME.” The name speaks of the nature and character of a person.  In that our God is so marvelously great, He has many names, each revealing to us another facet of His nature and character, etc.  We ascribe unto Him many titles: He is Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, etc.  Then we have all the compound names of Jehovah─ as our Healer, our Banner, our Righteousness, our Provider, our Defender etc.  All of these names and titles help us to identify Him to us.  But now He states that He will make a people high above all nations “IN NAME.” He is ready to share His identity with humanity─ it is utterly awesome and amazing!
        “God at the first did visit the nations, to take out of them A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME.” (Acts 15:14).  And the call goes forth, “Bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by My name: for I have created him for My glory.” (Isaiah 43:6-7).
        No wonder we read, “Therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not.” Obviously, if they do not know Him, neither will they know anyone called by His name.  And Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:16).  The more you lose your world-identity, and take on the new creation identity in Christ, the less you fit into this world.  Your citizenship is in another realm─ the heavenly, and this is a realm that is utterly foreign to the world.  Indeed, it is quite foreign to a lot of religious realms too, for they actually know Him not.
       “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord,… and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you.” (Matt. 7:22-23).  Know─ the Greek word is “ginosko” meaning: to know by experience.  To have an intimate understanding and knowledge of another, based upon experience with them.  When you have a deep communion with one, sharing the secrets of their heart, you come to know the nature and character of a person.  This is far more than merely sharing surface opinions, like “it’s a nice day,” or, “looks like it might rain,” “let’s go for a cup of coffee and chat a bit.” That’s not coming to KNOW a person.  But when you walk with them through deep trials, share their grief and joy, and become vulnerable because you are openly exposing your inner self to them─ then you get to really know someone.
        When you KNOW HIM by experience, in the intimate knowledge of His love, of His grace, of His mercy, and He reveals to you an understanding of His plan and purpose, then other people can impute to Him all sorts of strange ideas of what “God is like,” with doctrines that deny Him as He truly IS, and you can simply say to them, “You do not KNOW Him!  He is nothing like you say.  You charge Him with false motives and gross distortions of His character.”
        When there is nothing in common, no intelligent appreciation for the same things, no mutual understanding of things, then we are AS FOREIGNERS, of a different breed, a species that they cannot relate to, and they will look at you, and simply say, “I don’t know you.” You are a stranger.
       Certainly HIS NATURE is foreign to the world, and as it becomes our nature also, we are to them as “pilgrims and strangers.” But, John writes, “Now are we the sons (Greek, children) of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be.  It is not yet made manifest!  This WHAT suggests something unspeakable, contained in the likeness of God.  There are marvels in Him which are yet to be revealed, beyond all we can ask or think.  “We don’t know what we shall become in the future.  We only know that, IF REALITY WERE TO BREAK THROUGH, we should reflect His likeness, for we should see Him as He really is!” (Phillips translation).
        Ah, no man can tell you today the real WHAT─ what we shall be.  There are various speculations─ where revelation ends, speculations begin─ but the mind of man cannot conceive THE WHAT of God.  He is so ALL GOD, and we are yet so human, that except for the small glimpses He gives of Himself to us, we do not know what we shall become.  But this much we do know, BECAUSE WE ARE HIS CHILDREN, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM.  And when reality breaks through, “Then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12).
       “And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3).  What a hope we have IN HIM, and it challenges us, it energizes us, it woos us onward towards purity, even as He is pure.

        Purify─ to cleanse, make clean, and very akin to the word holy, holiness.  It is HIS STATE OF BEING─ HE IS pure!  It is an attribute of God by which He maintains the integrity of His whole nature.  He is HOLY, He is WHOLE.  He is ETERNALLY COMPLETE, never one part missing.  We are so fragmented-­but the promise remains, “Whenever that which is complete comes, that which is incomplete and fragmentary will be done away.” (1 Cor. 13:10, Wuest).
        What hope we have in Paul’s prayer, “That you may be FILLED through all your being unto all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 3:19, Amp.) AMEN!
        Now, just a brief thought from a cognate word study (words of the same or similar nature).  In the 11th century they used the word “HAIL.” If you drop the “i” you have HAL, or HOL.  Literally saying, “how are you? or, howls your health?” Bespeaking of physical well-being.  If you take this word HOL and place a w in front, and an e after, you have our present day word, WHOLE, as to our mental soundness.  And when you take the word HOL and add a y, you have the word HOLY, which refers to our spiritual state of being.  How is your physical well-being?  He is our life!  “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal body by His Spirit that dwells in you.” (Rom. 8:11).  How is the wholeness of your mental state?  Ah, “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7).  And how is your spiritual state?  He processes us “that we might be partakers of His holiness.” (Heb. 12:10).
       Yes, HE IS OUR HEALTH, OUR WHOLENESS, AND OUR HOLINESS.  This is not something we try to make happen, but it is the outflow of His life in us.  The Spirit is the Source of life.  It is not a “mind-control-thing.” It is not mind over matter, as we try to work out whatever it is we need.  We are HIS workmanship, and He works in us whatever is needed in every dimension.  It is a principle of genetics.  YOU SHALL BE HOLY, BECAUSE YOUR FATHER IS HOLY.
His character traits are to be found in you─ holiness is guaranteed!
        Holiness is not something we set about to do, but it is what we are IN HIM, BECAUSE of what HE IS!  We are in the process of BEING BORN AGAIN, and while it does not yet appear what we shall BE, when He has finished His working in us, “like ones to Him we shall be.” (Wuest).  It is not our self-effort, it is WHAT HE IS that counts.  Holiness is hereditary.  Phillips makes this very clear: “The man who is God’s son does not practice sin, for God’s nature is in him, for good, AND SUCH A HEREDITY IS INCAPABLE OF SIN.” (1 John 3:9).  God’s nature within a people!  What a tremendous hope in Him!
       King James Version: “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for HIS SEED remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is BORN OF GOD.”
       What manner of love is this, to make us His sons?  Born again, partakers of the divine nature, by genetic heredity we shall possess HIS SEED OF LIFE in true holiness.  This is far different than the erroneous doctrine that some teach on our being “adopted into the family of God.” Men take the natural happenings of our day, and try to build a spiritual truth on it, and they err.  They say that God is going about gathering to Himself these children of men, carnal-minded creatures that we are, and He adopts us, places us in His family, and we are now to be called by His name─ notwithstanding that they all still have the same old nature and character of the flesh.  If you adopt into your natural family a child of another culture, etc. you will find many things in their nature that are far different from your own.  It is because they have a “different father” and his nature is being revealed.
        God is not calling us “sons” if we have been begotten by the spirit of the world.  He calls us HIS SONS WHEN WE ARE BEGOTTEN OF HIM─ and born of His Spirit, possessing His character and nature.  Paul does speak of receiving “the Spirit of adoption,” (Rom. 8:15), so what does he mean?  We note that the word “adoption” comes from a Greek word that means: placement as a son.  It does not mean that orphaned children, begotten by other fathers, having other natures, are suddenly accepted into a family, as our present day way of adoption goes.  Rather, the Word is clear, “That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” (Gal. 4:1-2).  When he has been fully trained and developed, disciplined and grown, then the father specifically PLACES HIM IN THE POSITION OF A SON with all the rights and privileges of maturity.  He was begotten by the father, he had the father’s nature, but he needed to GROW UP.  He was not a bastard, he did not have some other man’s lineage in him, but though he was born AN HEIR, he could not exercise the rights of that position until placed there by the father.  A vital part of our hope is this PLACEMENT AS A SON.  His children are generated by His Spirit, and all have His nature.
        Christendom proposes an amalgamation of the children of all the  religious fathers (denominations, etc.), to make them one big happy  family, supposedly called “the family of God,”  Then they wonder why    they are not happy when they come together─ all of different natures, different cultures, birthed by these different spirits, and they cannot harmonize with each other.  They fight and split over all these inner characteristics which are but expressions of their religious lineage. Only as each of us are BORN FROM ABOVE, with our heavenly Father’s nature, can we come together─ because of our ONENESS IN/WITH HIM.  If you are ONE WITH CHRIST you cannot be far from others who are also one with Him.
        It is when HIS SEED (nature, essence) is in us, that we are rightly His.  Thank God for this personal ministration of His Spirit as HE PLANTS His seed in each of us, so that which is “born of God” has the heredity of the Father, and as they are nurtured, processed, matured, they will show forth His image and likeness─ expressing HIS righteousness, His love, etc.
        Let there daily be a submission, a yielding to His INDWELLING, for IN HIM we have our hope for the ultimate fulness of the NEW BIRTH PROCESS. “It pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me …” (Gal. 1:15-16).  Methinks that in the final analysis, when we stand before God, He will have one major question to ask of us─ “HOW MUCH OF MY SON IS IN YOU?” He would reveal His Son (in all His image, likeness, nature) in and through us to His glory and praise.
        The question is not, how much have you done?  How many have you converted to some theology?  For looking past all the peripheral involvements, and at the heart of the matter He will look to see HIMSELF reproduced in you!  In that day, may He also be able to say, “These are My sons in whom I am well pleased,” for it will be the Christ-life manifested in each one.
        “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  By His great mercy we have been BORN ANEW TO A LIFE OF HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3, Moffatt).
        Blessed─ eulogetos: to speak well of, celebrate with praises.  It comes from the same root as our English word “eulogy.” Often a eulogy is given at a funeral─ when one would speak well of the one who has died.  From the person’s life they draw out the good points, and offer these praises to honor the deceased.  Or, at the end of one’s career they have a testimonial dinner and say good things.  But with God it is different, He does not have to wait to see what good things might evolve, of which a eulogy might be made.  But HE CAN SPEAK THE GOOD WORD, and then proceed to fulfill it.  He can give the eulogy beforehand, and guarantee that it will come to pass, because HE will be the One who works it all into you.  He speaks the plans He has for you, and then He sets about to fulfill every detail in you.
        Now, Peter writes, “Blessed be the God….” We can speak well of Him, we celebrate Him and His goodness, for HE has brought us INTO A LIFE OF HOPE, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Based upon this security of HIS LIFE, we now have tremendous hope for our own well-being.  Considering that it was the compelling constraint in the merciful heart of God that purposed our redemption─ we have hope for a TOTAL NEW BIRTH, into His fulness.
        Our hope, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, are linked together. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (1 Cor. 15:19-20).
       All that we are BECOMING is BECAUSE OF HIM─ based upon His life freely given into us.  It is BECAUSE He lives, that we shall live also.  And His resurrection─ His being the firstfruit from the dead─ becomes the basis of our hope for the same resurrection life.  Firstfruit is a PROMISE, for it assures us there is a glorious harvest to follow.  HE opened the gates of death and arose triumphant.  IN HIS RESURRECTION lies the hope of all creation.  “For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order.” (1 Cor. 15:22-23).

        The Adamic nature is unto death.  “By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12).  But IN CHRIST is life, and “by the righteousness of One (Jesus Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (v. 18).  Thus, IN HIM SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE!
        So it is─ He has bestowed His love upon us, named us as His own, and proceeds to work out in us all that He has purposed for us.  We would GROW UP INTO HIM.  “And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3).
        All of our HOPE is set on Him, rests on Him─ His work, His grace, His love, His finishing our faith.  We are not our own purifiers.  “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).  “It is God which works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13).  It signifies that WE YIELD OUR WILL TO HIS WILL.  Therefore, the man who purifies himself has his hope resting upon God.  This very fact implies a will to purify himself, not out of, nor independent of, this hope, but ever stirred up by his hope, he does “Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14).  The will within us to press on, IS GOD’S WILL working in us.  HE also empowers us to give ourselves to His purification.  Thus in utter dependence upon the holy Spirit, we shun the evil, and choose the good─ choose to walk in the way He has set before us, choose to yield ourselves in daily surrender to Him, and this works to our purification.
        “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren.” (1 Peter 1:22).  Read the phrases in a reverse order─ THROUGH THE SPIRIT, by His enablement, OBEYING THE TRUTH as He reveals it to us, YOU PURIFY YOUR SOULS.  Active daily obedience to the truth works its own purification.  What a marvelous working of God!
       Jesus said, “If you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU free.” (John 8:31-32).  The transforming power is in the truth─ and HE disciplines us, prepares us to receive the truth, and as it works in us, we are “Changed into the same image from one degree of glory to another ACCORDING AS THIS CHANGE OF EXPRESSION PROCEEDS FROM THE LORD, the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18 Wuest)

       “That HE might sanctify and cleanse with the washing of water BY THE WORD.” (Eph. 5:26).  And also, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).  Wrought through the Spirit, along with the Word, and the continually cleansing of the blood, PURIFICATION IS TAKING PLACE, and we are made partakers of His holiness, yes, and of HIS WHOLENESS.
        Since it does not yet appear what we shall be when this transformation is complete, therefore daily OUR HOPE stirs us up to follow on.  “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Rom. 8:24-25).  Truly, “We through the Spirit WAIT FOR THE HOPE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS by faith.” (Gal. 5:5).  It well behooves us to “Gird up the loins of our mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 1:13).  Hope to the end─ hope right into the RESULT of His inworking. O the wonder of it all, God’s redemption process in man.  We praise HIM!

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(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”– Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”– Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 3

A RELEASE FOR THE CAPTIVES
 

“He opened the book and found the place where these words are written-­

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor:
He has sent Me to proclaim RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty them that are bruised,
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Luke 4:17-19, Phillips


        How often have we read these words and felt that inner stirring of His Spirit bringing hope, blessing, and assurance of our victory in Christ.  Again and again this Word has been preached, and confirmed with signs following─healings, miracles, people set free from habits, chains of passion, emotional and mental bands, etc.  Yet just as often we find ourselves singing a chorus that expresses a deep longing and desire─

“Set my spirit free, that I might worship Thee,
Set my spirit free, that I might praise Thy name,
Let all bondage go, and let deliverance flow,
Set my spirit free to worship Thee.

        While we rejoice in the many tremendous workings of God, the revelation of truth, the inworkings of grace, going from strength to strength in Him, yet there remains that consciousness that we are yet captives─waiting for the “redemption (i.e. loosing away) of the purchased possession…” (Eph. 1:14). For as Paul expressed it so well, we find that it is an on-going process of release.  “Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.” (2 Cor. 1:10).  We have been, we are being, and we are yet to be fully set free─ released from all the “bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21).
        This “has been” and “yet to be” release of the captives is also found in Psalm 126:1-2, “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.  Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord has done great things for them.” What rejoicing, what singing, when God works a new degree of deliverance for us─ and we give testimony, “The Lord has done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” (verse 3).
        Yet the work is not finished within, for the very next verse the Psalmist prays, “Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.” We need a further loosing─ more of the progressive unfolding mercies of God.
        “As the streams in the south.” Here is an interesting analogy, and the interpretation seems to be two-fold: first is the thought that the streams of the south would dry up during the heat of the summer, then periodical rains would come and again fill the channels.  Likewise, our “times of refreshing (which) come from the presence of the Lord,” (Acts 3:19), work in us degrees of deliverance, followed by other times of testing and dryness, hence the many cycles which we pass through.
        But another scholar gives a different view, that “in the south” spoke of the hill-country of Judaea where the streams are turned about in their beds between the rocks and the gorges.  This, too, finds an application in our experience, with all the twists and turns, we often find ourselves between the rocks and in narrow passageways─ but all of this being used to further His work in us, bringing self to an end, that His life might flow out.  The releases are many and varied, but they are truly HIS HANDIWORK.  Praise God!
        Then the Psalmist gives the positive assurance of victory, regardless of how difficult any phase of our processing might be.  Verses 5-6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” While the Psalm primarily alludes to a temporal release which Israel experienced, yet it represents the blessed effect of spiritual redemption, and that glorious “nevertheless afterwards” when we enjoy “the peaceable fruit of righteousness,” (Heb. 12:11), the fullness of His life.
        “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.  For He has looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem; when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.” (Psalm 102:18-20).
        It is a glorious truth that  “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Him.” (Ps. 22:27).  “TO SERVE HIM with one consent.” (Zephaniah 3:9).  And thus shall “the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ (anointed ones); and He shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15).  All shall know Him, all shall SERVE HIM, from the least to the greatest.  Blessed be the Lord!  And to bring about this desired victory there is an outworking of REDEMPTION─ a loosing of every man from bondage of sin, into the new creation life in Christ Jesus.  It is a work which has begun IN A REMNANT FIRSTFRUITS, and ultimately reaches out to all mankind.
        There are those prisoners which are groaning now.  And there is a threefold aspect to this groaning.  “For we know that the whole creation GROANS and travails in pain together until now.” – “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves GROAN within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” But then the Word also tells us that “The Spirit also helps our infirmities: … (and) the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with GROANINGS which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:22-23, 26).  For God has so identified Himself with His creation, and in participation with us in all that we are going through, that He JOINS US IN OUR GROANINGS, that we might reach out for that ultimate liberation which He purposes for all creation.
        It was God who “has concluded them all in unbelief, (or, literally, shut them all up together) that He might have mercy upon all.” (Romans 11:32).  First He makes us all captives, shut up in unbelief, and then in His own sovereign way and purpose, “The Lord looses the prisoners: the Lord opens the eyes of the blind: the Lord raises them that are bowed down: the Lord loves the righteous.” (Psalm 146:7-8).
    This He promised: “He shall speak peace unto the heathen: and His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” That covers the whole of them that have been shut up in unbelief.  Then the promise goes on, “AS FOR YOU ALSO, by the blood of your covenant I have sent forth your prisoners out of the pit where there is no water.  Turn you to the strong hold, YOU PRISONERS OF HOPE: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto you.” (Zechariah 9:10-12).
        As for you also─ now we zero in for the individual that has been apprehended for present inworkings of grace.  Not only have we shared in that more universal captivity─ subjection to vanity, and all of the other more general frustrations of futility, there is also a company who are rightly called “PRISONERS OF HOPE.” When God quickens to you a revelation that you are to be redeemed, a release into the glorious liberty of God, then you’ll find that you become GRIPPED BY A HOPE.  “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for that we do not see, then with patience we wait for it.” (Romans 8:24-25).  So, having received a revelation of this REDEMPTION TO COME, we now become “prisoners of that hope,” and are held in its vision, to await the time of its consummation.
        Now this we perceive, that FIRST He works the release INTO US, and then He will give us a ministry whereby He works through us to deliver others.  As we have often stated, “The message, and the messenger, must become one.” Out of our innermost being will flow the message of truth which we have become.  We’ll share out of an experiential reality.  We, who have been as prisoners of hope, will ultimately be fully LOOSED INTO ITS REALITY, and then shall we share in the ministry of loosing other prisoners. That “in you shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8).
        “Thus says the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; THAT YOU MAY SAY TO THE PRISONERS, GO FORTH; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.” (Isaiah 49:8-9).
        This much also is true, just to remove the bond is not enough, there needs to be an impartation of His life and blessing to enable them to walk on with God.  Even with the “in part” measures of his time, Peter said to the lame man, “Silver and gold I do not have, BUT WHAT I DO HAVE I GIVE YOU:…” (Acts 3:6), and the prisoner was loosed, and invigorated, “And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Yes, it was “IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST,” it was FAITH IN HIS NAME, and it was a life-force of spiritual dimensions that supplied the strength to rise and walk.  How we long to IMPART THIS LIFE!
        In Psalm 116:16 we read, “You have loosed my bonds.” The Hebrew word here is “pathach” and means: to open.  God knows how to OPEN UP every fetter and set us free.  We might groan under the circumstance which has us hemmed in, the difficulties which bind us tight, but only HE can open up the way for us to come forth.  And we are learning that there is a vast difference between escapism, and overcoming.  Much of our LOOSING is the result of HIS ENABLING US TO OVERCOME─ and then the victory is sure.  Escapism says, “I am in trouble, pray me out of it.” But the overcomer says, “I am in a very tight place, pray that He give me GRACE FOR OVERCOMING.” For now we desire that every loosing─ every OPENING be of His direction, His outworking, so that we might be found to His praise, overcoming as He overcame.  Not so as to escape out of a situation, but so as to COME THROUGH with His victory, by the enablement of His Spirit.  HE alone is the looser of our bonds.
        The Greek word “apoluo” means: to loose off, or away, and from the     same root word comes the word “redemption.” There is another Greek word for “redeem” which means: to buy back.  But the thought is clear, not only is there a price to be paid to redeem─ “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ…” (1 Peter 1:18-19), but, once the price has been paid, THERE NEEDS TO BE THIS ACTION OF LOOSING, setting free, making experiential that which has been paid for.  Jesus said to the “woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. – Woman, you are LOOSED from your infirmity.” This Word produced AN ACTION, “immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” (Luke 13:11-13).  All of the price-paying is of little value if it does not PRODUCE A CHANGE, a loosing from the bondage of whatever made us captive.
        Paul writes, we have been “SEALED with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance UNTIL THE REDEMPTION of the purchased possession.” (Eph. 1:14).  “SEALED unto the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30)
        There is an appointed DAY OF LOOSING─ when all of that which has been working in us by degrees shall be climaxed in a total REDEMPTION.  We have been BOUGHT BY HIM, but He has left us here, subjected to the bondage of vanity, the tyranny of change and decay, the futility and frustration that characterizes this present kosmos (arrangement).  We are IN the world, but NOT OF IT.  We do not belong to the world, we belong to Him, “You are not your own.  For you are bought with a price.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  Yet we wait for that complete LOOSING AWAY from this entire world system.  However, we are SEALED unto that day.  He has placed His mark upon us, signifying His ownership, and guaranteeing the fact that “IN THAT DAY” we shall be loosed.  It is His INDWELLING SPIRIT, the earnest of our inheritance in Christ, that now witnesses to us that the promise given shall be consummated in HIS due time.  The APPOINTED DAY is sure─ and what a loosing that will be!
        We find a happening recorded in 2 Kings 25:27-30, which serves as a parable for the outworking LOOSING OF THE PRISONER which He would work in us.  There are seven distinct blessings mentioned that are wrought in the loosing.
        “And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison.”
        Under the disciplinary action of God, Jehoiachin was brought low and placed into captivity for 37 years─ and you thought your processing was going on a long time?  We’ll not delve into the historical record, suffice it to say that Evilmerodach, son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, was moved by God to have compassion, and so brought about these blessings in Jehoiachin’s life.
        Note the phrase, “DID LIFT UP THE HEAD,” for it is more than just a play on words, it bespeaks the first step of working in our loosing, namely, a real deliverance from “prison mentality.” IT IS A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE, OF MIND.  We have thought bondage, captivity, for so long, that we need a LIFTING UP of our head.  “Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.  But You, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory, AND THE LIFTER UP OF MY HEAD.  I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill.” (Psalm 3:2-4).
        Ps. 27:6, “Now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me.” No longer thinking the same negative thoughts that the enemy thinks, my head is lifted, my attitudes are raised to a higher realm, and I am no longer conscious of the doom and gloom.  God is  purging out the prison mentality and revealing a life of freedom in the liberty of His Spirit.  Thoughts of redemption─ of being loosed into the fulness of His life.  Nor are we even devil-conscious any more, for our eyes are becoming single to the Lord.  “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).  When our head is lifted up we no longer see the secondary causes, for we see HIM as the FIRST CAUSE of all that touches our life.  This is the beginning of a LOOSING that goes far beyond words─ it must be experienced to be rightly known.  And the verse goes on, “Therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.”
        How beautifully this is illustrated in Paul and Silas, (Acts 16:25), after having been cast into prison, at midnight they “prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Long before they were literally, physically set free, they were FREE IN HEART AND MIND, and sang praises to God, rejoicing in the liberty of His Spirit which could not be restrained by prison wall, chains, stocks, etc.  Nor were they worried about what the other prisoners might think─ they sang loud enough to be HEARD─ there was a confession to be made, and they made it in prayer and song.  Not having a prison mentality─ the FREEDOM WITHIN was their prelude to freedom without.
        Luke 21:26, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Fear has torment, literally, a RESTRAINT─ like shackles upon the soul.  Cannot move, cannot act, bound in chains more real than those of iron.  Prisoners of fear! But when God LIFTS OUR HEAD we no longer look only on things coming upon the earth, for our eyes are “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 21).  God-conscious, mercy-conscious, means freedom in Him!
        Yes, we are still captives to this world’s system─ paying rising tax bills and enduring all the stress of our times.  The natural outlook is not very pleasant.  But we do not have to have tax-servant, earth-burden mentality.  For “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19).  Therefore, “Set your affection (Greek, MIND) on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2).  “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Eph. 4:23).
        A christed mind is loosed from all poverty-consciousness, devil-consciousness, stress-consciousness, because it is loosed from the negativity of the low realm of the flesh.
        2 Kings 25:28, “AND HE SPOKE KINDLY UNTO HIM.” Not only is our head to be lifted up, but immediately there is a different message given to us, for HE SPEAKS KINDLY.  Not a message of hurt, hell-fire, punishment, doom, because He is the Author of GOOD NEWS─ the gospel of our salvation.  Of Him it is written, “Never man spoke like this Man.” (John 7:46).  He says, “Neither do I condemn you.” (John 8:11).  And He said, “As My Father has sent Me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21).  And, “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17).  So the question is rightly asked: If you come condemning, who sent you?  Not the Father, nor the Son, for they do not condemn, they will speak kindly.  If God ever sends you to a prisoner, to say to him, “be loosed,” there will not be any hint of condemnation in your message, only His grace.  “Not imputing their trespasses unto them; (for He) has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:19).  No more will we make people sin-conscious.  Rather, “Comfort yes, comfort My people!” says your God.  Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned.” (Isaiah 40:1-2).  Hallelujah!
        It is a KINDLY WORD, a GOOD message.  “─who proclaims peace; who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation; who says to Zion, Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7).  Truly we need our HEAD LIFTED UP, before we can speak kindly, speak of victory, of salvation, of His life for all!
        “AND SET HIS THRONE ABOVE THE THRONE OF THE KINGS  THAT WERE WITH HIM IN  BABYLON.” With a higher vision, and higher message, it follows there is a higher position─ ABOVE ALL BABYLONISH CONFUSION.  Because “He has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ.” (Eph. 2:6).  And there “sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Rom. 6:14).  For to the OVERCOMERS “Will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Rev. 3:21).  This is not speaking of a literal throne, but of a realm of dominion, power and authority, of victory.  Thus “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ (anointed ones) …” (Rev. 11:15).
        In the lifting up of our heads, He is also beginning to impart a vision of SHARING THE THRONE, of becoming “kings and priests unto our God.” To where we are free IN the circumstances─ as Paul said, “I have come to learn, in the circumstances in which I am placed, to be independent of these and self-sufficient.” (Phil. 4:11, Wuest).  “Self-sufficient in the sufficiency of Christ.” (Amp.) That is another degree of loosing even in our now, as we LIVE IN, WITH, BY His Spirit, and self-flesh-sin, etc. do not have any dominion over us─ for we have been given a throne above our enemies.
        “AND CHANGED HIS PRISON GARMENTS.” “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed (be a disembodied spirit), but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2 Cor. 5:2-4).  Gone will be the filthy garments of our own self-righteousness, for “He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” (Isa. 61:10).  And with the spiritual garments in place, it follows, “He shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body…” (Phil. 3:21).
        “AND HE DID EAT BREAD CONTINUALLY BEFORE HIM ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE.” How marvelously does He “prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” (Ps. 23:5).  For He said, “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20).  Here is a communion that exceeds all the fellowship we have known heretofore.  It is a covenant relationship and sharing together─ as we pour out our hearts before Him, and He also reveals to us of the secrets of His heart.  Bread continually─ O wonderful and bountiful supply.  For, “I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.  I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.” (Psalm 132:15-16).
        “HIS ALLOWANCE WAS A CONTINUAL ALLOWANCE GIVEN HIM OF THE KING.” All that He would ever need─ continual, on-going─ total sufficiency in the Christ.
        “A DAILY RATE FOR EVERY DAY, all the days of his life.” Not only provision unending, “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” (John 1:16), but it shall be ministered to us in such a way that it can be LIVED, used, enjoyed moment by moment.  Fulness is wonderful─ but it must then be applied to each need─ step by step, moment by moment, a daily rate.  But note this word “rate” for the Hebrew word is “dabarl, meaning: a word.  “For ever, O Lord, Your WORD (dabar) is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89).  There is a DAILY WORD, a present truth, ever fresh quickening that is continuous; it is never stale, never old, thus it shall sustain us through all ages.
        O may God lift up our head from the prison mentality of negativism, while He speaks kindly to us His GOOD NEWS, raising us up into the new position in the heavenlies, changing our garments into His own righteousness, bringing us into that on-going communion, and sharing of His fulness, so that day by day we live to His glory and praise.  What a release for the captive, and may we even now, however “in part” begin to taste of its reality. Amen.         

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(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”– Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”– Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing

No. 4

CHOSEN FROM THE BEGINNING


“We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
(2 Thess. 2:13).

     The word “beginning,” from the Greek “arche” literally means: beginning, or origin, the person or thing that commences, the first in a series.
        Clearly it is written, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in His own order; Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” (I Cor. 15:22-23).  There is no doubt concerning the totality of salvation for every man─whatever was affected by death through Adam, shall be MADE ALIVE THROUGH CHRIST.  The triumph of Christ is far greater than the sin of Adam.  But the point that is before us is that of TIMING─with “every man in his own order.” There is DIVINE ORDER in this NEW CREATION that is being brought forth, as God gathers one by one a people unto Himself.  From Calvary until this present time, God has been working in what is rightly termed “HIS FIRSTFRUITS.” We who are living at the ending of this age (web ed. note: which still could be a long ways away) are still being drawn into this “firstfruits order.” But never forget, the firstfruits of a harvest are the PROMISE that all the rest of the harvest will follow in its time.
        In Ephesians 1:12 Paul makes mention of those who were chosen right at the beginning of the early church era, “That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.” These are rightly called God’s FIRST TRUSTERS!  And He is still apprehending His “first trusters” as He gathers to Himself a remnant, the firstfruits of His new creation order.  There is a unique working of the Spirit in the FIRSTFRUITS, because God, with them, is blazing a trail for all the rest of creation to follow, every man in his own order, rank, time.  Obviously we, of today, cannot bear the distinction of being the “first of the first trusters,” but we are privileged to be a part of the FIRSTFRUIT ORDER, and as such do share in the process of first trusting─as God calls us out from among our family, kindred, etc.  Called out of the world, called out of religious Babylon.  And we share in that “aloneness” that belongs to the first trusters─being misunderstood by all those around us.  Romans 11:5 remains applicable for our day, “Even so then at this present time also there is a REMNANT according to the election of grace.” You wonder why you have this intense hunger and desire for God, when all around you people are interested only in the things of the world?  It is because GOD HAS CHOSEN YOU TO BE NUMBERED WITH THE FIRST TRUSTERS.  He would have you to become a vessel of His grace through whom He can show forth His mercies in the ages to come, while He draws all men unto Himself.
        Psalmist declared, “Great peace have they that love Your law, and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165).  Literally, it could read, “They shall have no stumblingblock.” Those who LOVE THE TRUTH, who FULLY TRUST IN HIM, will never be offended at what He does, why He does it, when He does it– for their whole desire is to worship Him, knowing that all His ways are perfect. When Jesus began to share some of the profound truths concerning His being the Living Bread which came down from heaven, and that it was necessary for them to “eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood,” there were many who could not comprehend the spiritual truth He was speaking, and they said unto Him, “This is a HARD SAYING; who can hear it?  When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, DOES THIS OFFEND YOU?” (John 6:60-61).  They were stumbling at the Word.  They could hear it with their ears but not with their heart-understanding, and so they were offended by it.  How we pray that the holy Spirit would quicken His truth TO OUR HEARTS, cause it to become LIFE IN OUR SPIRIT.  And especially when it comes to the truths of DIVINE SELECTIVITY─ so that it will not offend us.  Rather, we see the mercy and grace of God manifested therein.
        In writing to the Romans, Paul uses the nation of Israel as illustrative of God’s selection, and how it was to them that God first gave “the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises … and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came.” As he viewed the condition of his people, stated that “I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.” For to them much had been given, but at first glance it appeared to be so ineffectual.  Or was it?
        How often we have heard preachers say that God’s whole experiment with Israel was a failure.  They are wrong on two counts─ God never fails, and this was not just an “experiment” with Israel to see what would or would not work, GOD WAS SPECIFICALLY WORKING OUT A PURPOSE, and He was successful in all that He was doing.  Reading on in Romans 9, verse 6 says, “Not as though the word of God has taken none effect.” It just takes spiritual eyesight to see what God was working out.  Men often look to the natural for that which has a spiritual fulfillment.  Viewing conditions after the flesh is always discouraging.  One can read of how God brought them out of Egypt, supernaturally sustained them so their clothes did not wear out, there was none sick among them, they were fed and kept by the power of God, and yet a whole generation died in the wilderness.  Immediately we have to remind ourselves, “NOT AS THOUGH THE WORD OF GOD HAS TAKEN NONE EFFECT.” How can we say that?  Because there were two men, Joshua and Caleb, that survived the wilderness processing, and they were able to go in and possess the land, leading a whole new generation with them.  Two is the number of witness, and thus did God BEAR WITNESS that He could fulfill His purpose.
        Finally Israel is established as a nation, and they run through cycle after cycle of serving God, and then backsliding to serve idols.  Eventually God wrote them a bill of divorcement and sent them off into captivity.  Ah, is this all a failure?  NO!  Always HIS WORD had taken effect in a remnant, an election by grace─ keeping to Himself a people through whom CHRIST could come, and be born after the seed of Abraham.  And so Paul begins to unfold his understanding of the whole thing.
        First of all he states, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be called.  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:6-8).
        God’s purpose had not gone awry.  In His divine selectivity He apprehended those who were born, not of the flesh, but OF THE PROMISE.  Jesus gave the clear application, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6).  Being of the natural does not qualify for the Spirit.  And so Paul first uses Abraham’s two sons for illustration.  Ishmael stands in type for those born of the flesh, and Isaac stands in type for the children of the promise, “For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.” (v. 9).
        Both Ishmael and Isaac could claim Abraham as their father.  But it is not what we receive from our earthly fathers and mothers that assures us of our place IN GOD.  Even Abraham’s intercession, when he “said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before You!” (Gen. 17:18), did not alter God’s purpose.  The choice was not to be made by Abraham, IT WAS RETAINED BY GOD.  Abraham could have bawled and squalled all night long but it would not have changed the WILL OF GOD in the matter.  The prayer that prevails is the prayer that is an utterance of the Divine Will.  That’s why we must depend on the Spirit to be our Helper.  “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27).  THANK GOD for this divine help with our praying.
        Then Paul’s argument goes on, “And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.” (Rom. 9:10-11).
        First we noted the selection of a son of Abraham by one woman, Sarah, and a rejection of his son by another woman, Hagar.  Sarah’s son was born because of the promise of God, and divine enablement, for the deadness of her womb precluded just the natural.  Hagar’s son was simply born of the flesh, and therefore rejected as fulfilling God’s purpose.
        But when it comes to Isaac’s two sons, they are both born of the same woman and yet again there is a selection/rejection made.  There was a different destiny appointed for each of the twins.  ONLY DIVINE SELECTION constituted the true and valid succession, not the bodily descent.  The only ground on which a twin could have been preferred was that of priority of birth, and this, too, was disregarded, for the elder was rejected, and the younger one was chosen.
        Having laid out these considerations, Paul then begins to press home the truth.  This divine selection was made, with “The children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND, not of works, but of Him that calls.” (v. 11)
        Here we would insert a special thought, for Paul’s teaching offers a strong point against the speculation of what is called “reincarnation.” According to such teaching, emphasis is given to the law of karma: The whole ethical consequence of one’s acts considered as fixing one’s lot in the future existence.  Thus each succeeding life dependent upon the actions of the previous life, for a man’s works alone determines his future.  If such a theory were true, a righteous selection would have to take into account all previous actions to enhance or hinder what was to follow.  We reject this teaching─ it nullifies the grace and purpose and divine selection of God. (web ed. note: Even if reincarnation were true, God would have no problem sovereignly working through it all).
        In the CHOOSING of Jacob over Esau, there were no previous works, good or evil, it was all DIVINE choosing.  “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” (v. 13).
        We must make note of this word “hate” for it is not taken in the absolute sense, inasmuch as “God so loved the world,” (John 3:16) and this leaves none out.  “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, 4. but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2).  He loves all!  Used here, the word “hate” is given in contrast to “love”, it does not retain its original meaning of a literal hatred, but of a lesser degree of love.  God cannot be said to hate anyone.
        Jesus said, “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26).  Yet Paul states, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh.”(Eph. 5:29).  Is there a contradiction here?  No!  Jesus truly explained it when He said, “He that loves father or mother MORE THAN ME is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. 10:37).
        Our attachment to objects should bear a proportion to their intrinsic value, then all our love to creatures would be as nothing COMPARED TO WHAT WE OWE OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.  We are to love Him MORE than anything else.
        Thus, in effect, “Jacob have I loved─ selected for this specific purpose, and Esau have I hated─ or rejected for this specific call.” Yet God’s eternal love for Esau is revealed, since “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob AND ESAU concerning things to come.” (Heb. 11:20).  Esau is NOT, nor ever has been a type of the “unsaved eternally lost,” though this is erroneously taught by some.  Esau was still his father’s son, and received a BLESSING, but there was a different purpose for his life.  It was not an eternal rejection from salvation, but from a specific call.  But, we repeat, he did receive his own blessings.  In fact, on that occasion when Jacob was returning home, and met up with Esau, and offered him a big present to try and court his favor again, “Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” (Gen. 33:9).  Two points: there was an acknowledging of BROTHERSHIP, and he also had been blessed till he had no lack.  Esau was not excluded from the family, nor from the blessings.  Praise God!
        Paul then anticipates the question, and so he goes on: “What shall we say then?  Is there unrighteousness with God?  God forbid.” (v. 14).  God is not capricious, moved by a whim, a fancy, impulsive, erratic, wantonly changing His mind.  He has a glorious plan being worked out through the ages.  “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15:18).
        Yes, beloved friend, God knew and planned from the beginning when He would call YOU!  With rare wisdom and wise design He executes His plan, according “to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Eph. 1:11).  What love and mercy that He would include us in His plan NOW, drawing us to Himself to be among His “FIRST TRUSTERS” of the new creation species.
        Paul goes on: “For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (v. 15).
        This quote is taken from God’s answer to Moses in connection to his prayer for a general forgiveness of the people (which was refused), and his own personal request to behold God’s glory (which was granted).  Concerning the former we read, “Whosoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book. – In the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.” (Ex. 32:33-34).  Though the judgment was postponed, it was not canceled, Israel would eventually have to face up to their sins.  And concerning Moses more personal request, God appointed a place where his glory would pass by, “And I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by: and I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen.” (Ex. 33:22-23).
        But there is some vital truths tucked in all of this─ Man does not dictate to God what should be done, nor how to do it, it is all according  to His sown sovereign will.  God says in effect, “I will do what I will do, I will work what I will work, and no man shall disannul it.” Indeed, “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:- For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24, 27).
        “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” The first “I will have mercy” is a future indicative, predicting a future event, bespeaking that God has much mercy in reserve to be revealed at the proper time.  Under the first covenant of the Mosaic law there was little mercy, but God foresaw a time coming when He would establish a new covenant, and it would be based upon mercy─sovereign grace.  God “is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).  “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4).  But as previously stated, it is “EVERY MAN IN HIS OWN ORDER,” and so the “FIRST TRUSTERS” receive mercy now, and others will come in their own appointed time.  But the end is secure, for He will consummate His purpose in the fulness of time, and “gather together in one all things in Christ.” (Eph. 1:10).
        The second “I will have mercy” emphasizes the absolute sovereignty of God in the disposition of His mercy.  THE WILL OF GOD is the prominent factor!
        “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” This assertion gives emphasis that it is a GIFT, of His own free grace, not because of some merit of Moses’ service.  “So likewise, when you shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, WE ARE UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10).  Surely there is nothing wherein we can boast─ all our labors, all our talents─ “without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).  Methinks far too often we get the idea that God owes us something─we have fasted, prayed, taught Sunday School, been faithful to attend every time the church door opened─surely we have piled up our “brownie points,” which we can collect on one of these days.  What nonsense!  All that we have, we have received by His grace.  All that we have done, we have done through His enablement.  To God alone be the glory and praise.
        Furthermore, He desires our worship, and our committal to Him, to be without strings.  We love Him because of WHO HE IS, not just for what He will do for us.  Ours is a reciprocal love, returned to Him be cause He first loved us.  We can only give back what He has given to us!
        Moses asked to see God’s glory, and God had compassion on Him, and granted His request.  Truly, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23).  We receive mercy because He is merciful. dare say, it is our unworthiness which makes us candidates for His grace.  It is our need, our lack, our unloveliness, which provides Him an arena to show forth such grace and mercy that we are awed by His goodness and love.
        The Hebrew young men said it well, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O King.  BUT IF NOT, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18).
        Herein is a worship and committal that pleases God.  Yes, we believe He can deliver us, and our faith is that He will.  BUT IF NOT─ should God have a higher plan, a different course for us to take, a purpose that we are not aware of─ BUT IF NOT─ if He chooses NOT to heal me, if He chooses NOT to answer my prayer my way, then let it be clear, WE WILL SERVE HIM ANYWAY, we will not turn aside after any other gods.  No hunger strikes, no demanding and commanding God out of our carnality, just that flow of worship and our acceptance of all that He does, to praise Him IN and FOR all things.  Amen?
        “So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but OF GOD that shows mercy.” (Romans 9:16).  It is not a question of human will and human effort, but of GOD’S MERCY.  Furthermore, Paul writes, Pharaoh, as well as Moses, can be quoted to give an example.  “For the scripture says unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.  Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens.” (Romans 9:17-18).
        “For the scripture says…”   There is an element of tirelessness in the utterance.  If the Word ever spoke at all, IT CONTINUES TO SPEAK, it has never been struck dumb.  When the SPIRIT QUICKENS, these truths become LIFE within.  The Word is relevant to our day and time, it is not only historical it is very PRESENT-TENSE, for God dwells in the eternal now of  I AM.
        GOD’S PURPOSE, nothing else, explains why we have the hardened heart of Pharaoh, and the abundant mercy on Moses.  Negative, or positive, to have mercy, or to harden, it all witnesses TO HIM, for the outworking of His will.  CHOSEN BY GOD for His purpose, “And to make His power known” He has “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” Then Paul brings it right down to his own life, and us─ “And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He has before prepared unto glory, EVEN US, WHOM HE HAS CALLED, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” (Romans 9:22-24).
        Having laid out a clear argument for the sovereignty of God in all of His divine selectivity, choosing vessels for this purpose and that, then Paul brings it down to the personal application─EVEN US─we have been called by God, to become His “FIRST TRUSTERS,” for “God has from the beginning CHOSEN YOU to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” (2 Thess. 2:13).
        To Jeremiah He said, “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1:5).  And what was his response?  “Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.”
        SO WHAT?  This was not a factor to be considered, God said, “I HAVE PUT MY WORDS IN YOUR MOUTH.” In effect, “I selected you, and I AM THE SUFFICIENCY.” What words of encouragement this becomes for us─when we feel so weak, helpless, as the least of all saints─but our nothingness is not the issue, it is HIS WILL AND HIS POWER as He enables us to walk out His plan for our life.
        “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ: according as HE HAS CHOSEN US in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Eph. 1:3-4).
        The Amplified reads: “He chose us─actually picked us out for Himself as His own─in Christ before the foundation of the world…”  Such love, such mercy, such GRACE, that He would choose us EVEN NOW.  We have not wherein to boast, there is no elitism in this understanding, all that we are, or ever shall be IS IN HIM─when we are IN HIM, we share in His life, but without this UNION WITH CHRIST we are nothing.  Truly, the more we fellowship with Christ, the more we find that HE IS OUR LIFE, and outside of Him there is nothing to be desired.  How the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.  Chosen by God to be a part of His firstfruits of the new creation species─to Him alone be all glory and praise.  Amen!

_________________________________________________
(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”– Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”– Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 5

CONTINUALLY TRANSFORMED
 

        “Yes, indeed, I certainly do count everything as loss compared with the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For His sake I have lost everything, and value it all as mere refuse, in order to gain Christ and be actually in union with Him, not having a supposed right standing with God which depends on my doing what the law commands, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the real right standing with God which originates from Him and rests on real faith.  Yes, I long to come to know Him; that is, the power of His resurrection and so to share with Him His sufferings as to be CONTINUOUSLY TRANSFORMED by His death, in the hope of attaining, in some measure, the resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead.” (Philippians 3:8-11, Williams translation).

        We have chosen this particular translation, by Charles B. Williams, because of its unique wording which so beautifully becomes the foundation for the truths which we would share.  To count everything as loss compared with THE PRICELESS PRIVILEGE OF KNOWING HIM!  To have in Christ A RIGHT STANDING that depends not on our doing, but IT ORIGINATES FROM HIM.  Hence the vital need to BE FOUND IN UNION WITH HIM.
        A tremendous transition is being wrought within us by the Spirit of God, as He leads us OUT OF OUR OWN SELF-WORKS, AND INTO HIS WORKS.  “For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).
        Christendom has long promoted a doctrine of the Old Covenant order, based upon an “IF and THEN” arrangement.  IF you do such and such, THEN you will be blessed by God.  Eat your spinach, then you may have your dessert.  But in the operation of the New Covenant, it is based upon a BECAUSE of Christ, THEREFORE we have life, therefore we have victory, to His praise.
        The “IF and THEN” is replaced by a “BECAUSE and THEREFORE.” How vastly superior is the NEW over the old.  The “if” was dependent upon “us,” but the “because” is dependent upon HIM.  As we have repeatedly stated these past few years, the arrangement of the New Covenant is that GOD MAKES THE PROMISE BOTH FOR HIMSELF AND FOR US, saying, “I will … and you shall.” Of His “I WILL” we are certain– His Word is true.  The immutability of His counsel was revealed long ago to Abraham, when He gave him a promise “and confirmed it by an oath.” (Heb. 6:17).  Literally, “He interposed Himself,” He placed Himself as the Guarantee of the promise.  And now the “you shall” is wondrously certain, BECAUSE He makes the promise that “we shall.” He takes full responsibility for our part, and assures its victory by imparting His holy Spirit to dwell within us– to live out that which He has purposed.  HE is the Guarantee for our “shall.” Today our very system of belief is being challenged: do I truly believe that HE is my life?          Am I in UNION WITH HIM, so that it is “no more I, but Christ lives in me?” All of the BECAUSE is found IN HIM, hence the necessity that we also be found in Him.  “Without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
        In 2 Chronicles 6:26-27, Solomon prayed, “When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against You; YET IF they pray toward this place, and confess Your name, and turn from their sin, when You afflict them; THEN HEAR from heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, and of Your people Israel, when You have taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and SEND RAIN upon Your land.”
        So God answers, “IF My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN WILL I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
        As long as any man is living by the “IF” and “THEN” principle, as found in these scripture passages, he is living in the OLD TESTAMENT ORDER, where the emphasis is placed FIRST UPON OUR DOING, and then upon GOD’S RESPONSE.  IF you will pray, fast, seek My face, repent, turn from your evil– do all these things, THEN WILL I hear, forgive, and bless, sending you the rain.  So again and again we have taken our stand upon this promise/arrangement, and we set ourselves to go through all the religious exercises which we know to do, and we expect that having done our part, now God will do His.
        “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: and he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while you be with Him: and IF you seek Him, HE WILL be found by you; IF you forsake Him, HE WILL forsake you.” (2 Chron. 15:1-2).
        So Israel moved under the “IF” and “THEN.” When their IF/action was right with God, His THEN/response was beneficial towards them.  But when their IF/action was negative towards God, it followed that His THEN/response was negative toward them.  So the promises were conditional upon their proper IF/action.  This is found again and again in the Old Testament.
        Isaiah 58 gives a long record of the IF/action, the things which they were to do in the kind of a FAST that God had desired of them, which if obeyed, “THEN shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rearward.  THEN shall you call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am.” (v. 8-9).
        And the list goes on, “IF you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and IF you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; THEN shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noon day.” (v. 9-10).
        One more verse, Zech. 3:7, “IF you will walk in My ways, and IF you will keep My charge, THEN you shall also judge My house, and shall also keep my courts, and I WILL give you places to walk among these that stand by.”
        Over and over again Christendom has searched out all the IF promises, tried to fulfill their requirements, in hope that the THEN of God would be their portion.  And God in His great mercy has often responded to that “level” of faith, blessing those that sought Him, showing His mercy again and again.  But total victory has never been ours– because we were in the realm of the “in part,” hoping that the THEN/response of God would honor our IF/action.
        How we praise God for God’s promise of a whole NEW ORDER, which is not based upon man’s doing, but UPON GOD’S GRACE, with all the initiative action being on His part.  The BECAUSE is in Him, He is the First Cause of all that is to follow, and it is not an “iffy” working at all, it is SURE.
        With precious prophetic insight, Isaiah records, “I AM found of them that sought Me not: I said, BEHOLD ME, unto a nation that was not called by My name …” (Isaiah 65:1).
        Romans 9:26 affirms this, “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”
        How marvelous!  The initiative becomes TOTALLY HIS!  No longer is it limited to an “IF” and “THEN,” but BECAUSE GOD, in His great mercy and love, reaches out to draw to Himself a people that weren’t even looking for Him.  Indeed, they didn’t even know there was such a God to look for.  Blind to spiritual reality, living in the darkness of self-will, they were unable to latch on to some “IF/action” that would bring them a “THEN GOD/RESPONSE” for they are without hope, without God in this world.  Yet suddenly, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2).  That, my beloved friend, IS GRACE!  The sovereign grace of God!
        Jesus also clearly affirmed this, saying, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw him…” (John 6:44).  Now we have a true BECAUSE BECAUSE GOD!  Then follows the “THEREFORE we come unto Him.” Our coming was initiated by God– HIS DRAWING, His wooing, His love to us-ward.  When He draws, you will come, for “Who has resisted His will?” (Rom. 9:26)
        Furthermore, the Word yet stands, “In (with, by) Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order (rank, time).” (1 Cor. 15:22-23).  It all originates in Christ, not out of our works.  Thus we need to get OUT OF ourselves, and INTO HIM.  To be found in Him!  Or, as Williams translates it so beautifully, “IN UNION WITH HIM.” This is a UNION, a ONENESS which is God-wrought as He receives us into Himself, to become ONE IN HIS LIFE.
        The promise remains, “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Cor. 15:49).  For we are being “Changed into the same image from glory to glory, even AS BY the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18).  Wuest Expanded gives, “ACCORDING as this change of expression PROCEEDS FROM THE LORD, the Spirit.” The change comes from Him, we cannot change ourselves.  Jesus very pointedly asked, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matthew 6:27).  Men may try their “do-it-yourself-improvement” exercises, but they are useless as pertains to spiritual transformation.  Only what PROCEEDS FROM THE LORD will produce the metamorphosis needed in each of us.  The chorus goes …

  “Only Christ can transform me into the image of the Son,
   Only He can take this helpless life and make it all His own,
   Only He can open wide the gates of Heaven’s grace and glory,
   And cause my blinded eyes to see the wonders of His love.”

        We love the challenge of the verse, Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection…”
        First note the word “leaving,” for it is a strong word in the Greek, and speaks of an utter forsaking, a separation– leaving as behind and done with, in order to go on to another thing.  The act of abandoning is the prerequisite to that of going on. One cannot go on without being separated from that to which we have been attached.
        And what are we to leave?  “The principles of the doctrine of Christ.” The word “principles” is the Greek word for “beginning,” and could perhaps be called the elementary stages.  Taken in context with the preceding chapters of contrasting the old covenant order, with the new covenant order, we have a clear reference for the need to LEAVE THE TYPES AND SHADOWS, which are as an elementary word concerning Christ, that we might be carried along into a deeper understanding of His reality.  The writer had already expressed his frustration concerning their “need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Heb. 5:12).  Our first glimpse into some of these truths, as we see HIM concealed in all the types, shadows, symbols, signs, etc. is most thrilling, and for the time, satisfying, as a babe is satisfied with its milk– but the time comes when we need to GROW UP INTO HIM WHO IS THE HEAD, and leave behind the old “IF and THEN” order, and come into the reality of the NEW COVENANT ARRANGEMENT, where it is GOD WORKING IN YOU, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
        Next, we note the words, “let us go on,” from the Greek word “phero” which means: to carry or bear on.” It speaks of being acted upon by some outside agent.  We do not CARRY ourselves, any more than we can pick ourselves up by our own bootstraps.  One could properly translate this as, “Let us be carried along.” HE who initiated the action, first in calling us out, must also BEAR US ALONG and bring His work in us to a successful conclusion at His appointed time.  This CARRYING US ON BY GOD is beautifully illustrated in the life of Israel, when God said to them, “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I BARE YOU on eagle’s wings, and brought you unto Myself.” (Exodus 19:4).  While it is true they had to walk out the path that God set before them, yet it is even more true that HE SUPPLIED ALL THE PROVISION FOR THE JOURNEY, sustaining them, keeping them, yes, BEARING THEM day by day, else they would never have survived the journey.  So again we see the BECAUSE BECAUSE HE CARRIES US THEREFORE we shall go on.
        Then we come to Hebrews 6:3, for, though we are challenged to LEAVE behind all the elementary, first stage message found in signs and symbols, and be borne along into new testament reality, yet he says, “And this will we do, IF GOD PERMIT.” For the fact is, God may not permit a going on into deeper revelation, for there is a peril in a carnal reception of higher truth.  “He that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation (or, a processing of correction, judgment) to himself.” (1 Cor. 11:29).  There is a peril in trying to go on, if we are not prepared to do so, qualified to receive added revelation.  GOD KNOWS THIS!  So while we might stand at the gate and cry for more revelation, He holds us there until we have been inwardly purged from that carnality which would mis-use the truth for our own destruction.  Truth in unsanctified vessels often causes much harm.  Thus, it is no wonder HE RESERVES THE RIGHT FOR OUR PROGRESSION, and it is as He works within and prepares us, that we are permitted to GO ON─”According as this change of expression proceeds from the Lord, the Spirit.” What love, what mercy, what grace is revealed in His tender care for each of us.
        Truly, HE must purge us, stripping away all of the old, that He might bring us into the new.  He is not applying a coating of the new to cover the old.  If you try to write a new message over a previously written one, you end up with total confusion, and cannot rightly read either message.  “No man also sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up takes away from the old, and the rent is made worse.  And no man puts new wine into old bottles: else the new wine burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.” (Mark 2:21-22).  That is a strong word!  It verifies what the writer to the Hebrews brought out─ there must be an abandoning of the former, to be borne along into the new─and it is GOD’S INWORKING ALL THE WAY.  He knows the speed at which He can do the work in us, and, praise God, “GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will not suffer you to be tempted (tested) above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (I Cor. 10:13).  It may be that betimes we are sure we cannot endure another stroke of processing, but HE KNOWS THAT HIS LIFE IN YOU IS EQUAL TO THE INWORKING, and so it is that BY HIS GRACE we are brought through, carried along to perfection.
        In order to be CONTINUOUSLY TRANSFORMED, changed from glory to glory, it is essential that we “die out” to one realm, that we might rise up in the new.  The transformation, metamorphosis, is a process best typified by the worm that becomes encased in a cocoon, and ultimately emerges a butterfly. it requires a DEATH to one existence, to come alive in the new.  Some would like to skip part of the processing─ and just attach some butterfly wings to the old worm and forget the “cocoon” stage of the process, for that is too confining, too dark, too death working.  But it is when “we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, (that) we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Rom. 6:5).  You cannot have the latter without the former.  The cross precedes the resurrection!
        One who is DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS, cannot die “to” them, but he must first be “made alive,” and then, having received power from the inflow of the Christ-life, he goes through the PROCESS OF DYING TO SELF.  HE must enable us to take up our cross daily, and follow Him.  Many who clamor for LIFE refuse this process, for it is to them that STRAIGHT GATE, and they cannot enter.
        Paul prayed to go through the process enough so as─ “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection out from among the dead.” (Phil. 3:11).  Note the word “attain,” from the Greek “katantao” meaning: to arrive; but it is made more intensive with the preposition “kata” that means: DOWN.  In effect, he is saying, “That I may come down low enough that I might come up in the resurrection out from among the dead.”
        There is a COMING DOWN LOW ENOUGH─ which is a conformity to His death.  “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you THROUGH HIS POVERTY might be rich.” Paul writes in 2 Cor. 8:9.  Many prefer to write their own translation, causing it to read, “That we through His riches, His abundance, His prosperity, His life, His power, might be rich.” They desire a transfer of His RICHES into their account without their sharing in His poverty.
        We cannot firstly relate to Him in respect to His riches, but we certainly are learning to relate to Him in His poverty.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3).  How poor?  “I can of mine own self do nothing.” (John 5:30).  “In His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation? for His life is taken from the earth.” (Acts 8:33).  There is an identification with Him in this depth of poverty, where we know that IN OURSELVES WE ARE NOTHING, being stripped of all gifts and graces, of all confidence in the flesh, so that we know that without Him there is no life─ thus, “I am crucified with Christ.” So complete will be this inworking, that it will bring an end to all of the old creation order, and then BECAUSE OF HIS INFLOW OF LIFE we shall rise up, a new creation─ even a “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:13).
        It is written of our Lord, “Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, was heard in that He feared (literally, for His piety, His reverence).” (Hebrews 5:7).
        Note: He was saved “FROM” death.  There are two Greek words for “from.” One is “apo” meaning: from the edge of; and the other, “ek” meaning: out from within.  Here it is “ek”, OUT OF.  He went DOWN INTO DEATH and was saved out of it by the resurrection.  He did by the grace of God taste death for every man.” It was not just a fragmentary, symbolical involvement─ but HE EXPERIENCED IT TO THE FULL, and came out of it “conquering and to conquer.”
        Isaiah 53:9, “He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His deaths.” The Hebrew text gives the word “death” in plural form, intensifying the force and the dimensions.  But whatever the vast scope of death might be, HE CONQUERED, and rose again, to be Lord both of the dead and the living.  And it is now IN HIM that we shall find our fulness of life.  The power of His resurrection shall work in us, continuously transforming us, until we are totally one in His image, likeness, and nature.  Praise God!
        Now it is all BECAUSE OF CHRIST THEREFORE we shall live and do.  “BECAUSE I live, (THEREFORE) you shall live also.” (John 14:19).
        To Adam was the proclamation given, Hebrew text, “Dying you shall die.” (Gen. 2:17).  And the whole process of death works until the physical body is laid in the grave.  Now JESUS REVERSES THE PROCESS, changing us from glory to glory─ in a continuous transformation until we are complete in Him.  And as in Him, so also in us, it was by death that He conquered death and destroyed all the ultimate harvest of death.  For now it is BY DYING to self, sin, the world, etc. that we conquer those realms, and then BECAUSE OF HIS LIFE we rise up─ going “from strength to strength, (until) every one of them in Zion appears before God.” (Psalm 84:7).
        It is one thing to preach CHRIST CRUCIFIED, and our identification and conformity to His deaths; but it is something else to declare CHRIST RISEN, HIS HEADSHIP, and our identification with Him in these realms of glory.  For “It is in Him that all the fulness of Deity continues to live embodied, and THROUGH UNION WITH HIM you too are filled with it.” (Col. 2:9-10, Williams)
        BECAUSE OF CHRIST THEREFORE─ yet how little we know of this “THEREFORE.”
        It is “according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved.  IN WHOM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”(Eph. 1:5-7). IN WHOM BECAUSE OF─ the riches of His grace─ no more “if” and “then,” because our own self-works are nullified, ended, dealt with by the cross.  Now it is all IN HIM and BY HIM.  All that we have is IN HIM, and only in the measure that we are also IN HIM do we enjoy the fulness of this life, glory, blessing, victory, etc.
        “Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matt. 13:45-46).  In our surrender to Him we offer up ALL the gifts and graces, the blessings, the goodly pearls that we have bought─ and they were goodly pearls, and every one cost a price, yet now because we desire that ONE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE we are ready to offer up all of these goodly pearls, that we might obtain that ONE PEARL.  How great that price is in every individual life, only God knows; and what to you is that certain special pearl, only God knows; but ONENESS IN OUR LORD, UNION WITH THE FATHER, to become IN HIM a life-giving spirit, is certainly a pearl of great price─ indeed, it will cost you your all.  And yet we read “In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is LESS THAN NOTHING compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us.” (Rom. 8:18, Phillips).  All the PRICE─ the inworkings of the cross, etc. are not to be compared with the glory, for they are less than nothing.  It is not what we have paid, but BECAUSE OF HIM because of His grace, THEREFORE─ and now we are being continuously transformed, to receive of His THEREFORE! Amen!

  _________________________________________________                              
(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”     Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 6

DESTINED TO FLY

“And I saw another angel (messenger) FLY in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him…” (Rev.14:6  7).

        A messenger with a message – a message based upon revelation and experience which produces a relationship with our Lord.  The usual approach is emphasis upon what we get out of the relationship – what God can do for us.  And, it is true, we can rightly say with the Psalmist, “The Lord is the portion of MINE inheritance and of MY CUP: You maintain MY LOT.” (Ps. 16:5).
        Mine inheritance, my cup, my lot ─ spirit, soul, and body, every need to be met by His bountiful grace.  As goes the chorus of a beautiful hymn:

“All that I want is in Jesus, He satisfies, joy He supplies,
Life would be worthless without Him, all things in Jesus I find.”


        But the Word also bears out another point, and that is, “The LORD’S PORTION is His people; Jacob is the lot of HIS INHERITANCE.” (Deut. 32:9).  Yes, we have an inheritance in the Lord, but He also has one in us.  No wonder Paul asked in his prayer, that “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of HIS INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS.” (Eph.1:18).
        The hope of His calling relates to us, and it is a high, holy, heavenly calling that He has given to us.  But then there is HIS PART ─ The Lord has a PORTION, a PEOPLE, an INHERITANCE.  And somehow, viewing a people of God, Paul takes the words, “the riches of the glory” and connects them to “HIS INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS.” His glory expanded in a people, this is an awesome thing.  To say “riches of the glory” and connect it to what we have in Christ would be understandable, for RICHES AND GLORY abound in Him.  But to say “riches of the glory” and connect it to a people, something that He has in us, is quite another matter.  Yet there are riches that redound to His praise, in a people who have BECOME His inheritance.  And we do read, “This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.” (Isa. 43:21).  God has a vital interest in a people – personally chosen and prepared to show forth HIS praise.  In order for God to have this PORTION, He must needs create, form, process – He must BE THE AUTHOR as well as the FINISHER.  Yet it shall be said, “Your people also shall be all righteous: … the work of MY HANDS, that I may be glorified.” (Isa. 60:21).
        So God goes looking for a people– “True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: FOR THE FATHER SEEKS such to worship Him.” (John 4:23).  Certainly He knows exactly where we are, not a sparrow falls to the ground without His knowing and participation.  But God has a DESIRE for true worshippers, and He seeks out those whom He can transform into a people after His own heart.  And He knows exactly where to look!
        “HE FOUND him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; HE LED him about, HE INSTRUCTED him, HE KEPT him as the apple of His eye.” (Deut. 32:10).  FOUND… LED… INSTRUCTED … KEPT… His ways do not change.  Man always wants the END/VICTORY without all the processing to get there.  But there is no escaping His ways and inworkings, though they certainly do not need to be feared – for His love governs every step.  Bless His name!
        HE FOUND US!  To be found is an acknowledgment that we were LOST.  Wandered off in the pursuits of self-will, we lost our way, and knew not where nor how to find our Shepherd again.  But “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).  Praise God, HE FINDS US!
        Yet often we think in terms of finding Him.  We say with Job, “Oh that I knew where I might find Him! That I might come even to His seat.  Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: On the left hand, where He does work, but I cannot behold Him: He hides Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him: But He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:3,8-10).  Job could not find God, but God was not lost.  He had simply withdrawn a consciousness of His presence, and Job knew not which way to turn to find Him, hence the need to just settle down and let God accomplish what He wills through it all.  Yet Job was persuaded that God knew right where he was at – and once he had been fully tried (tested), he would come forth as gold.  It is unique that God can continue HIS HANDIWORK IN US even though we are not aware of His being there, and suddenly, when our eyes are opened to see, we know He has been there all the time.  How marvelous!
        “By night on my bed I sought Him whom my soul loves: I sought Him, but I found Him not. (So she got up, and said) I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek Him whom my soul loves: I sought Him, but I found Him not.” (Song of Solomon 3:1-2).  Then she met up with the watchmen, so she asked them, “Have you seen Him whom my soul loves?” But they had no answers for her.  It was when she had gotten past the watchmen, that we read, “It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found Him whom my soul loves: I held Him, and would not let Him go.” But the processing was far from over and a couple of chapters later in the record, she was out looking for Him again.  “I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called Him, but He gave me no answer.  The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” (chapter 5, verses 6-7).
        Watchmen have often prefigured “the clergy,” and I dare say, many watchmen have been found smiting and wounding – yet God has often used this smiting to cause people to flee from religious Babylon, and alone in the wilderness they seek after God.  It happens so often, we will not try to illustrate or give examples.  But here is one out searching for her Beloved.  She was not satisfied to be a part of a harem of man’s religious system, but she sought for that One her heart responded to.  She had been awakened, and now she could sleep no longer, but filled with such longing and desire, she went out to look for Him.  Yet when the watchmen found her, they supposed she was but another “street woman of the night,” and so they smote her, totally misunderstood why she was out there.  And rather than covering her from public exposure, they ripped off her veil, putting her to open shame and chagrin.  They heard not the deep cry within her as she would yearn for the reality of her true Lover.  She could not find Him, but HE would find her.
        Yes, they will smite you!  Why don’t you belong to some church?  Why are you not under some man’s covering?  The allegations are hurled, and you are labeled a rebel, undisciplined, unsubmissive, etc.  They will accuse you of being one of the unclean “street walkers.” You tell them you are seeking for reality.  You are not a church tramp– indeed, you are not a tramp at all, but you are in the throes of the dark night of the soul, seeking Him who alone can be your Help.  And the watchmen have no satisfying answer─ they cannot tell you where to find Him.  BUT HE IS NOT LOST, He has but hidden Himself from you for a season, while the fire of desire burns its purifying flame– and all the debris of self is purged out, so that your union with Him might be pure.
        Paul told the Athenians─GOD “determined the times before appointed, the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord, IF HAPLY they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for IN HIM we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:26-28).  To find Him, when He is not lost, it means that we are at His mercy to reveal Himself as He wills.  But it WORKS IN US to seek after Him.  Thus the Word declares, “You shall seek Me, and find Me, when you have searched for me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, says the Lord.” (Jer.29:13-14)
        This is a very interesting qualifying phrase: “search with all your heart.” This is an INWORKING indeed.  For it means that all the debris of self must be rooted out, confessed, repented of, and little by little, line upon line, there is an inner cleansing, until it can be said that we desire Him WITH ALL OUR HEART.  And then HE will be found of us─dwelling within us!
        Well did the prophet state, “I AM FOUND of them that sought Me not: I said, Behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name.” (Isa. 65:1).  And Paul picks it up, “Esaias is very bold, and says, I WAS FOUND OF THEM THAT SOUGHT ME NOT; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me.” (Rom. 10:20).  This is truly divine grace in action.
        Yes, we need to “Seek   the Lord while He may be found, call   upon Him while He is near.” (Isa. 55:6). When you feel an inner stirring, then give yourself to seeking Him, let it be a “season of refreshing” of the presence of the Lord.  You can long for Him, as the hart pants after the water brook, but you cannot force His manifestation.  However, you can keep your heart open and prepared for Him when He draws you to Himself.  “No man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw him.” (John 6:44)
        HE FINDS US, He causes us to become conscious of His presence.  And with the Psalmist we pray, “CAUSE me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning, for in You do I trust: CAUSE me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto You.” (Ps. 143:8).  HE is truly the First Cause of all causes, and it is a sovereign act of His grace that He causes us to draw nigh unto Him, while HE draws nigh unto us─ yes, while HE FINDS US.
        Having FOUND us, He then begins to LEAD us, and this is a process indeed, for it is difficult to lead men, they naturally despise leadership, to go their own way.  Sometimes He must let us run our own way for a time, until we “see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the Lord your God…” (Jer. 2:19).  But through it all, we shall discover that “HE LED HIM ABOUT.” Literally─ to TURN or bring round about, to convert.  This is a process, not an instantaneous happening.  But He says to Israel, “You shall remember all the way the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, to prove you, to know what was in your heart.” (Deut. 8:2).  HIS LEADING is not without purpose, for He takes us through situations which reveal us to ourselves, to know what is in our heart, and to purge and cleanse until all redounds to His praise.


Nor is it an easy route, verse 15 says, “Who led you through that great
and terrible wilderness, fiery serpents, scorpions, and drought.” All the
difficulties, obstacles, adversaries to deal with, have been arranged by
Divine purpose, to prove us, as He gradually transforms us into His image.

        Again, in another place, He says to His people, “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight.  These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Isa. 42:16).  How often have we heard people quote Joshua 3:4, “You have not passed this way heretofore.” And this is very true─for it is a route determined by God Himself, a way we know not, in paths that are newly marked out.  Often we would like to escape from the wilderness, and from the dark.  Yet we note that before we have the miracle of darkness turned to light, there has to be a time of darkness, when reality of His life/light is hidden from us.  Nor is there any indication of how long the darkness prevails.  Likewise, it does not elaborate on how crooked the path may be, nor how long it remains crooked.  While this is true for all of us, yet HE WALKS WITH US TO BRING US ROUND ABOUT, and His purpose in us shall be fulfilled.  We will not concentrate on the darkness, nor how crooked things are─ negatives that they be─ but we will focus our eyes upon Him who is with us, and wait for the infusion of His light, and the crooked to be made straight, bless His name.
        It is also said of His people, “So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.” (Deut. 32:12).  What strange gods we have lugged around through the years.  No doubt this is why He needed to lead us via crooked paths, so that some of the strange gods get scraped off as we go around corners, some are disposed of as we squeeze through tight places.  Others are cast aside when we find they are a burden, and no help.  But when HE has finished─there will be no strange gods among us.  Even Peter needed a bit of help along this line, when on the mount of transfiguration, as he saw Moses and Elijah appear, he was ready to build three tabernacles, and God had to speak, “This is My beloved Son: hear Him.  And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.” (Mark 9:7-8).  Even “saints” are not to be given prominence when Christ alone is to be seen.  THE LORD ALONE IS LEADING US─follow Him.
        Not only is it GOD ALONE, no other gods included, but also it is ALONE WITH GOD, because it is an INTERNAL LEADING.  Were there any outward attractions, a pillar of fire to be seen for miles around, we’d have a crowd right soon, with fun, food, and fellowship to celebrate this togetherness with a pillar of fire.  But because it is so personal, so intimate─with Christ dwelling in you, there is an aloneness, even though you are a member of His precious CORPORATE BODY.  He is working out the same principles, speaking the same truths in each of us, but doing it, ALTOGETHER, one at a time.
        More and more we find the prayer of the Psalmist echoed in our own prayer, “LEAD me in Your truth.” (Ps. 25:5).  “LEAD ME in a plain path.” (Ps. 27:11).  Led in truth─this goes far beyond the commandments of men, with all their doubts and fantasies.  But in the simplicity of the Gospel, we surrender to our Lord, and daily find that HE leads.  A plain path─ literally, a level place.  The heights and depths are all in Christ, and He can set us “upon my high places.” (Ps. 18:33).  But the promise is also given, “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:5-6).  A plain path speaks of excellent visibility─no obstacles to distort the vision, every flesh-built kingdom removed, the exalted will of man dealt with by Hi cross, and the rough ways made smooth.  Surely this fulfills the word of the prophet, “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for the redeemed; the wayfaring men, yes, the simple ones and fools, shall not err in it and lose their way.” (Isa. 35:8, Amplified).
        Rotherham translation includes the statement, “But He Himself shall be one of them, traveling the road.” “For the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward.” (Isa. 52:12).  The margin gives, “He will gather you up.” What leading!  When we become weary with the way, He not only goes before us, but He comes behind us to gather us up and help us with our going.  And it is written, “He will gather together in one all things in Christ.” (Eph. 1:10).  When He leads there are no loose ends dragging around─ HE GATHERS UP ALL THE FRAGMENTS. (see Mark 8:19-20).
         He found us, He leads us, HE INSTRUCTS US!  The Hebrew word is “bin” and means: to cause to understand.
        Understanding─the Hebrew sense of the word bespeaks of comprehension and agreement, resulting in harmony of purpose.
        “I will instruct you and teach the in the way which you shall go.” (Psalm 32:8).  Here the word for “instruct” is “sakal” and means: to cause to act wisely.  How we need HIS INSTRUCTION until we are able to understand His ways and workings, and can act wisely in our going.
        “Be   not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle.” (Ps.32:9). A horse requires bit and bridle, because, while it has intelligence, it does not have understanding─here we are going, why we are going, what the time frame is, what speed is required to get there, etc.  So we have to constantly give signals to keep the horse on course.
        Hence Paul’s prayer, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened…” How desperately we need TO UNDERSTAND.  “He made known His ways unto Moses,” (Ps. 103:7).  That is more than just passing along the information that we are taking such and such a route, but it includes the intricate details of where to go, what to do, and how to respond to all the happenings along the way.  We want more than just to see His acts─ manifestations ─but we want to know the power behind the explosion, the purpose and plan, and where we fit into that glorious plan.  Instruction makes clear GOD’S WAY, and it requires a submissive hearkening─a yielding to His will and way.  “Take fast hold on instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is your life.” (Prov. 4:14).  Thank God, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God.” (John 6:45).  DIVINE INSTRUCTION that leads into life!
        Herein is another expression of His grace─ “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, TEACHING US that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:11-12).  I dare say, what grace will teach will be far different than what is learned from the traditions of men.  It is a standard of perfection and holiness that far exceeds anything man can prescribe─ but in the INSTRUCTION comes the enablement.  And so we find, as already noted in Isaiah 35:8, that it shall be called THE WAY OF HOLINESS.  Who can walk it?  The holy ones!  Everyone that is taught by God, led by God, and yes, who are KEPT BY GOD to be “holy; for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16).  HE WALKS THE HOLY WAY with all His travelers!
        Found─led─instructed─AND KEPT.  The Hebrew word is “natsar” meaning: to keep, watch, reserve, preserve.  Truly, we are “KEPT by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Pet. 1:5).  Not only does GRACE TEACH US, but GRACE ALSO KEEPS US until the day of full redemption and change.  Indeed, “He is able to KEEP you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 24).  And we can say with assurance, “The Lord is your Keeper.” (Ps. 121:5)
        Why this four-fold process─found, led, instructed, and kept?  Because our God is preparing us to be able to carry the everlasting gospel─ to declare it IN PURITY.  A pure messenger with a pure message!
        Then comes an interesting analogy.  For after it is stated that, “He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deut. 32:10), then there is inserted this very illustrative verse─ “As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bearing them on her wings: so the Lord did lead…” (verse 11-12).
        Consider the eagle’s nest─sticks and thorns are the basic material; then it is covered with dry grass and down.  It is a solid, comfortable place for the new eaglets.  But when they have grown and it is time to learn to fly, changes are in order.  As with the parent eagle, so also GOD STIRS UP THE NEST.  Little do we know what forms our own nest till He begins to pull out the padding of our comfort zone.  You were born to fly, not just to remain snuggled in a nest.  The parent eagle would flutter its wings, creating a wind to cause the down and grass to be blown away─and the eaglet sits on sticks and thorns.  The eagle spreads her wings, and the eaglet says “that looks better than the sticks,” and climbs aboard.  As it was growing, how often did the eaglet stand on the edge of the nest and flap its little wings, proud of its growth, and the appearance of its feathers.  But little does the eaglet know what now lies ahead, for the parent begins to fly, and the eaglet hangs on for dear life.  Suddenly the eagle does a maneuver that causes the eaglet to be shaken loose, and out there in the vast sky it begins to fall─and begins to flap its own wings, desperately trying to keep from being dashed on the rocks below.  In mercy the parent swoops down and comes under the eaglet, and once more it is safe on the eagle.  Mounting high, again the eaglet is shaken loose, the whole process is repeated, while the bird learns to fly.  It has to learn to fly, that is it’s destiny.
        “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut. 33:27).  How often, when we felt we were free─falling to a certain destruction, have we suddenly found His strong arm underneath to bear us up. “They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” (Isa. 40:31).  And in due time we will FLY WITH A MESSAGE, not repeated by rote as a parrot, but out of a state of being, that which we have experienced IN HIM, we share truth.
        Back to our opening text verse─we declare, “FEAR GOD.” He finds us, and we would give Him reverence.  Give glory, respect, honor, for HE IS LEADING ON.  The HOUR OF JUDGMENT is come─it is INSTRUCTION time, with all of the necessary corrections, as men learn to walk His way.  And they all will be KEPT, to become His worshippers.  Thus we find a parallel between our own time of processing and development, and the message that we will declare to all mankind.  Experiencing Him, and receiving divine revelation, there shall be an outworking of His purpose which shall redound to His praise.
        What a contrast between messengers that fly through the midst of heaven, and these earth-self-centered ministries that abound around us.  Man wants to be seen, but GOD’S MESSENGERS will continually cry out, “FEAR GOD, give glory to Him.” With all of our heart we would exalt Him, for as HE is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. (see John 12:32).  And we will recognize that the hour of judgment is instruction time, positive and purposeful, “When His judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will LEARN righteousness.” (Isa. 26:9).  And then shall we all, fro the depths of our being, WORSHIP God─kept, sustained by His eternal life. 

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(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”     Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 7

FROM EMPTINESS TO FULNESS

“What is man, that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him?  For You have made him to lack a little from God.” (Psalm 8:4-5, The Interlinear Bible).

The King James Version reads, “For You have made him a little lower than the angels.” For the phrase “made a little lower” the Hebrew text reads, “made to lack,” and the word “angels” here is the Hebrew word “elohim,” meaning: God, or gods.  Thus the correctness of the Interlinear translation.

        Once we were contained in the bosom of God.  HE IS “the Father of Spirits,” (Hebrews 12:9), “And forms the spirit of man within him.” (Zech. 12:1).  So that we have come from God is an established FACT─ that we also are to return into Him is a FACT─ “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. ─ For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.  To Him be glory for ever! amen.” (Romans 11:36, Amp.) It is in this interim, from the time we came out of God, and our returning back into Him again, that we are being fully PROCESSED.  Through it all God is gaining something for Himself, and for us; a glory acquired through the fall and restoration, which shall redound to His praise, and for our good.
        “By faith we understand that the worlds (during the successive ages) were framed─fashioned, put in order and equipped for their intended purpose─by the word of God.” (Heb. 11:3, Amp.) God has a purpose being wrought out through this appointed time, and He has fitted the time element for the accomplishment of that purpose.  Hence we can say with the Psalmist, “My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:15).  And this “plan of the ages which He made in the anointed Jesus our Lord,” (Eph. 3:11, Rotherham), includes all of His creation─ every individual─as “IN (with, by) Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order (rank, time).” (1 Cor. 15:22-23)
        In His rare wisdom and wise design, God LOWERED US, MADE US TO LACK from the realm of His fulness, so that we could be processed, tested, tried, and built up again into a new creation in Him.  “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has wounded, and He will bind us up.” (Hosea 6:1).  It is His sovereign handiwork─ not devil caused, though He may use Satan as a tool in its working─ but it is ALL HIS PLAN AND PURPOSE.  “To us there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him.  However there is not in every man that knowledge.”  (1 Corinthians 8:6-7).  Yet it is a precious inworking of grace to come into the knowledge that there is but ONE God─in control of all things.
        However, being MADE TO LACK is but one phase of this outworking, for we read in Ezekiel 36:11, “And I will settle you after your old estates, AND WILL DO BETTER UNTO YOU THAN AT YOUR BEGINNINGS; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” While this promise was given to Israel, for a specific out­working in them, yet it also reveals the plan of God for all His creation, for such is the working of God, in harmony with His mercy and grace.  As He did for Job when He gave him “twice as much as he had before. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.” (Job 42:10, 12).
        It is a principle found in all of God’s dealings, that He sows the seed of gain in loss itself, so that ultimately He has not only worked all things together INTO GOOD, but MORE GOOD─for He is totally victorious!  Thus in the process of the interplay of good and evil, when the purpose is finished and all evil has been overcome, everything restored back unto the Father again, the glory inherent in the beginning, and the glory acquired by this outworking purpose, shall combine and shine out with greater effulgence, and He shall be magnified.  All loss is temporary, all gain is age-abiding.         “For thus says the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in vain (void), He formed it to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:18).
        When God created the heavens, and formed the earth, initially He did not create them VOID.  “In the BEGINNINGS God…” (the Hebrew is plural).  Out of the life and glory that streamed from Himself, HE FORMED─ “I form the LIGHT, and create darkness: I make PEACE, and create evil.” (Isa. 45:7).  The sequence is properly given─ FIRST CAME THE LIGHT, then followed the darkness.  It could not be reversed, you cannot create darkness, and out of it FORM THE LIGHT.  Light comes first, and then you can lower the vibration of light until it appears as darkness.  But the principle was LIGHT.  Likewise, HE MAKES PEACE─ that comes first, and afterwards there can be the disruption of peace, so that you have evil.  If evil were the initial beginning, then whatever was formed afterwards, no matter how good it may be for a time, if it were restored to its beginning, it would be evil again.  But evil is not eternal, it is temporary.  PEACE has the eternal principle in it, so that whatever the chaos that follows, when everything is restored to its original state, it is once more PEACE.  GOD’S LIFE IS THE ORIGINAL, out of which all else is created, and when all is restored to its beginning, it will be the fulness of HIS LIFE.  All evil is perverted good!  That is why you can take that which has been perverted, restore it to its original state, and gain the final victory of GOOD.  Praise His name!
        So God formed the LIGHT.  God, as to His substance, is Spirit; as to His nature, He is love; as to His state of being, He is one; as to His energy force, He is a consuming fire; and as to His manifestation, GOD IS LIGHT.  Whatever God first created, when He brought forth the heaven and the earth, we know it was good, it was not created void.  Then followed a time of chaos, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” (Gen. 1:2).  When God would begin the work of restoration the first thing He does is again express Himself as LIGHT.  “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Likewise in our own individual state of being, when we have our “understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God…” (Eph. 4:18), the first thing God does for us is to SHINE HIS LIGHT upon our pathway.  Beautifully this is seen in the life of Saul (Paul), when “suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven.” (Acts 9:3).  Our experience may not be as dramatic as his, but it is only as the LIGHT OF GOD’S TRUTH is revealed to us, do we begin to see, to believe into Him as our Lord and Saviour.  How precious are the moments when the first rays of His light begin to penetrate our darkened soul.
        “So the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7).  The Hebrew word here for “soul” is “nephesh” and literally means: a breathing one.  Obviously─ God breathed into man the breath of life, and so he began to breathe.  Praise God, when HE breathes into us, we cannot do anything else but breathe!  When He quickens us by His Spirit, we live!  When He writes His laws upon our heart, we do them.  Since God had just created man a body out of the dust of the earth, when life was breathed into him, he began to live and breathe, with consciousness on this earth plane.  But how different it was from that realm of pure spirit, where he had been contained in the bosom of God.  No wonder it is often spoken of as a fall, which actually, we find, was threefold.
        First, our spirit was lowered, made to lack from the full realm of Elohim, from the realm of God.  That is why, sensing our lack in ourselves, we are quick to join our spirit to other spirits, to try and fill up that which is lacking.  We join our spirit to the spirit of the world, or to the spirit of another man, or, if God draws us, we are joined again unto the Lord, in one spirit with Him.  All other spirit energies will never be enough to satisfy us─ only in Christ do we find a fulness that completely satisfies.
        Second, the soul realm fell into the realm of “I will.” Turning from its oneness with the will of God, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” (Isa. 53:6).  In this expression of SELF we find we have fallen from that blessed identity of being found in Him.
        And thirdly, the body was subjected to the gross materialism of this earth realm.  “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope.” (Rom. 8:20), hope that ultimately He shall “change our vile body (body of humiliation), that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body…” (Phil. 3:21).
        WHO is responsible for this lowering, falling, subjection?  “YOU turn man to destruction; and say, Return, you children of men.” (Psalm 90:3).  God retains full responsibility for having turned man unto this destruction, (Hebrew, BRUISING).  Isaiah confirms this, when he asks, “O Lord, why have YOU made us to err from Your ways, and hardened our heart from Your fear?” (Isaiah 63:17).  Thank God for promises, such as when He said to Israel, “And you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord.” (Ezekiel 14:23).  We may not understand all of His CAUSES now, but when we see the finished work, we shall know, and we shall bow low to praise Him, worship Him for all His ways.  In all of our contact with evil, and ultimately overcoming it by His grace, He will have worked a wonder, be glorified thereby, and we will be blessed.
        One of the most vivid illustrations of our LACK, our emptiness, our coming far short, is in Luke 21:2,4. They saw “A certain poor widow putting in two mites … of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” She was not enabled for abundant giving, but she suffered a great deficiency, to the extent that in casting in her two mites, she gave all the living that she had, leaving her totally spent. (I know there are other real lessons in this record, of how in the spirit of her giving, out of her poverty she was giving far more than all the rich men that might have cast in large sums of money, but for now we want to use it as a type of extreme lack─ a lack which everyone without Christ experiences deeply).  So much has He made us subject to vanity─ emptiness─ a void, that in ourselves we have nothing.  Yea, though we were a millionaire, and gave all of our money to feed the poor, it would be but as “two mites”, it would never solve the world’s hunger.  Momentarily it might feed a few, but it would not be contributing anything resulting in a permanent solution.  ONLY GOD HAS THE RESOURCES FOR PERMANENT VICTORY─ total restoration in His life.
        How man struggles with his “two mites,” to change things.  We try to fight  the war on drugs, combat the inroads of poverty, help stem the tide of abuse, etc.  We raise taxes and dump billions more into the bottomless pit of need, and very little is affected.  What we lack is that SUPERNATURAL ABILITY to change all the negatives into positives, change the darkness into light, the chaos into peace, the evil into good.  Yet we play games ‘with our “two mites” and try to con ourselves into believing that our good works will make a lasting difference.  Certainly we praise God for one tear that is wiped away, one pain that is alleviated, one sorrow that is eased, etc. but in our present deficiency our “two mites” do not accomplish very much.  Though I dare say, we ought not to hold on to our “two mites” just because they won’t accomplish much.  In the same spirit as the woman who gave her all, we will also GIVE ALL to Him, knowing that HE is able to multiply the seed sown, and to take the “five loaves and two small fish” and feed the multitudes.  As the saying goes, “Even little is MUCH when God is in it.”
        Then we note the LACK in the religious world, with its many institutions, finding again a fulfillment of Revelation 3:17, “You say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Sure, they think they are rich─ able to build mega-churches costing millions.  They have the musical talent, the ingenuity for programs of many kinds, leadership on all levels, technology and all the latest equipment.  But the power which transforms lives, a vision of God’s eternal purpose, intimate communion with the Father─ of all these, and much more, there is a great lack.  Poor and miserable, naked and blind─ religious Babylon carries on until the Day when God has decreed she will utterly fail. (They could also consider themselves Spiritually ‘rich’ and not be so [web ed.]).  Yet even so, it is written that “Babylon is a golden cup in the hand of the Lord,” and in spite of her own deficiency, in His mercy HE continues to touch lives.  Again we praise God for every sick body healed, every word of comfort and encouragement given, and every heart that is drawn to the Lord.  But what GOD is doing in His using of Babylon, does not change her ultimate end.
        Peter writes that we need to “ADD to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity,” and then states, “But he that LACKS these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fail.” (2 Peter 1:9-10).
        James also addresses our LACK, stating, “If any of you LACK wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering…” (James 1:5-6)
        “From where then does wisdom come? and where is the place of understanding?  Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air, Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.  GOD UNDERSTANDS THE WAY, AND HE KNOWS THE PLACE.” (Job 28:20-23).
        We lack wisdom, GOD KNOWS THE WAY, HE KNOWS THE PLACE, indeed, of our Lord Jesus Christ it is written, “IN HIM all the treasures of divine wisdom, (of comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), and all the riches of spiritual knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden.” (Col. 2:3, Amp.) “Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30).
        Reading on in Job 28, it tells of the wisdom of God, and how He finds the way for the wind, the water, and lightning.  He illustrates it with these things that are all around us, and if you learn the ways of these, you will also have found the way to receive wisdom.  To make a way for the wind, He creates a vacuum, A REAL LACK, a low pressure area, then the wind moves into it, till it builds up a high pressure area.  The way for water to flow is for it to find its way to the LOWEST DEPTH.  The way for lightning, as science proves, is along the line of greatest weakness.  Wherever this weakness is, the electrical charges flash across.  It takes an emptiness, a lack, a weakness, and lowliness─ and then all of these things find their way to fill the need.  And if we would learn some of the operational ways of the wisdom of God, we’ll find that it is in the acknowledgment of our need, our nothingness, and a turning to the Lord for HIS SUFFICIENCY and grace that we are prepared to receive of His wisdom.  “And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, (awesome reverence, acknowledging our need of His help), that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28).
        It has been said that the barrenness of Sarah’s womb was her greatest asset, for this provided an arena for the power of God to work a miracle.
        A certain widow woman, with two sons, cried unto Elisha for help, as the creditor was coming to take her two sons for bondmen.  And for a solution to the problem, he said to her, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, of all your neighbors, EMPTY VESSELS; do not borrow just a few…” (2 Kings 4:3).  While she knew it not at the time, the more empty vessels she gathered, the greater would be her riches when God multiplied the oil to fill them.  The greater the vacuum, the greater the fulness when HE fills up the empty space.  We shun the emptiness, the immense cavity He creates in us, because we forget that this becomes the arena for the tremendous inflow of His fulness.
        How Naomi illustrates this─ Naomi returned to Bethlehem, after living for ten years in Moab, and said to her friends, upon her return, “The Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.  I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty.” (Ruth 1:20-21).  She had gone out with her husband, and two sons, but all three men had died in Moab, now she returned with only one daughter-in-law, Ruth, the Moabitess.  WHY HAS HE STRIPPED ME SO? Because God has a purpose so much greater than you ever dreamed of, as He fulfills His plan for your life.  So next Ruth went out to glean in the fields, and in due time had an encounter with Boaz, who said to her, “DO NOT GO EMPTY- HANDED to your mother in law.” (Ruth 3:17), so he gave her six measures of barley, (which added to the measure she gleaned in the field, would make seven measures─ number of completeness).  In due time, Boaz and Ruth were married, had a son named Obed, who was the grandfather of David, king of Israel.  Little did Naomi know what the future would hold as God stripped her of her husband and sons, yet He also purposed kings on her horizon.
        Over and over again the principle is laid out for us in the Word.  God has purposed to MAKE US TO LACK, to experience the depths of spiritual poverty, etc. that He in turn might fill us with Himself─ till we hunger and thirst no more.
        Then we begin to see a glimpse of change.  Peter and John are on their way into the temple at the hour of prayer, and a lame man is sitting there, asking alms of them.  “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6).  As to the natural there is still nothing to rely on or to boast about─ “silver and gold I do not have,” but when it comes to the spiritual side, WE HAVE SOMETHING─ “but what I do have…” What do you have?  A faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His name.  Yea, “Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him?” (James 2:5).  Well could Peter and John ask, “Why look so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” It was not what they had in themselves, but what they had IN CHRIST. Faith (HIS faith in them [web ed.]) brought them INTO HIM─ and it was “His name through faith in His name has made this man strong.” What we have is not independent from Christ!  Never our power, never our holiness, silver and gold have I none, and spirituality of myself have I none, yet it is out of this nothingness of myself, that I can share the blessings of HIMSELF.  For, “He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness… – for when I am weak, them am I strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
        All that we have is IN CHRIST, and it is while we are DWELLING IN HIM that we have these tremendous riches which are in Him.  If ever we truly understand this, we will take our eyes off of man, and keep them single unto our Lord.  IN HIM all fulness is pleased to dwell, and it is our UNION WITH HIM that brings us into such fulness.
        ” For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9).  We thought we would be “rich through His riches,” but the truth is, we are made rich “THROUGH HIS POVERTY.” He laid aside all of His riches, and partook of humanity’s poverty, and it is on this dimension, this common ground of poverty, where “I can of mine own self do nothing,” that we are prepared to share of His riches.  As the wind blows into the low pressure area, the water flows into the lowland, the lightning flashes across the weak place, etc. so also we bow low to acknowledge that in ourselves we are nothing, and we cry out to HIM who is everything, and then HE MOVES INTO OUR VACUUM and fills us with Himself. Oh, the wisdom of His way!
        History has well recorded the fact that sudden wealth is a detriment to a man, for he is unprepared to handle it.  But those who have started out with NOTHING, and slowly worked their way upward, learning how to handle the gain as it came to them, will not squander nor waste their riches when they are increased.  IF they forget their beginning of poverty, and begin to boast in their riches─ they have already lost.  Likewise, when the power of God begins to move through us, and we forget that it is solely because of the GRACE OF GOD, we also will have to go back and learn the basics again─ that it is “through His poverty” that we are enriched by Him.  “I am what I am by the grace of God!” (I Cor. 15:10).
        Fascinating to read, “He stretches out the north OVER THE EMPTY PLACE.” (Job 26:7).  Having found a VOID, He prepares to fill it.  “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, IS MOUNT ZION, ON THE SIDES OF THE NORTH, the city of the great King.” (Ps. 48:2).  Zion is more than just a geographical location, it is a PEOPLE in whom He shall dwell forever.
        In view of all our strippings, emptiness, longings for more of Him, how precious are the promises He has given, speaking of His Zion company, “I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.  I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.” (Psalm 132:15-16).
        “And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries which I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, NEITHER SHALL THEY BE LACKING, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:3-4).
        “That you may really come to know ─ practically, through experience for yourselves ─ the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge (without experience); that you may be filled through all your being unto all the fulness of God – that is, may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and BECOME A BODY WHOLLY FILLED AND FLOODED WITH GOD HIMSELF!” (Ephesians 3:19, Amplified).  Thus shall our God fill up the empty place!

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(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”     Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


NO 9

LONGING FOR THE MANIFEST
PRESENCE OF GOD
 

“The deer is panting for the stream, and, O God, I pant for You.  I am athirst for God, the living God; when shall I reach God’s presence?”
(Psalm 42:1-2, Moffatt).

        The Hebrew word is “arag” used three times in the Old Testament, twice it is given as “pant,” in the above verse, and once as “cry” in Joel 1:20.  “The beasts of the field cry also unto You.” The word properly expresses the cry of the deer.  It means more than to breathe quickly, for it speaks of a desperate cry-sound emitted, a prayer, as it were, from the animal.  David draws from this illustration to describe his own DEEP LONGING after God─ for he, too, has a thirst which is not being satisfied.  Indeed, the situations around him only aggravate his condition.  Surrounded by heathen that taunted him with the insulting inquiry─ “Where is your God?” And as if that wasn’t enough, his desires were quickened by the recollection of former enjoyments, when “I remembered … I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.” (Ps. 42:4).  Such blessings!  Shouting and praising God all the way.  But now there is nothing.  No revival atmosphere to keep one hyped up.  Instead of encouragement there is only a “put down,” a mockery of what we believe.  But all of this has served a specific plan of God─ it whetted his thirst for Divine Reality, and from deep within the cry arose─ “When shall I reach God’s presence?”
        “Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.” (Jer. 33:3).  Call─ The Hebrew is “qara” and means: to call, to name.  TO CRY OUT, we understand, but there is a precious thought in this other meaning of the same word, to name, give a name to.  In this case it would be specifically addressing God, knowing He alone has the answer to our need and heart-cry.  The Psalmist addressed Him as “The Living God.” This was in contradistinction to all the gods of the heathen around him, made of wood or stone─ totally lifeless.  So, they might taunt him, “Where is your God,” for they understood not the Spirit realm, but David knew he was calling upon the “LIVING GOD,” and his deep heart-cry was for entrance into the manifested presence of this Living God.
        Now, in Jeremiah 33:3 we have the promise, “Call unto Me, and I will answer you,” furthermore, “I will show…” SHOW─ nagad, to put, or place before you.  The answer is not an illusion, God produces the goods─ to place before us the reality which our heart has been crying for─ the substance of His glory.  “Show you great and mighty things.” MIGHTY─ batsar, to cut off, fence, thus it bespeaks of “hidden things.” It speaks of those things which are unattainable by natural man, which have been so fortified and made inaccessible to the carnal man that they are, metaphorically speaking, “hard to be understood.” “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God …” (1 Cor. 2:14).
        How marvelous therefore is this promise─ that now as we call out unto the Living God, He is able to quench our thirst, and show us “great and mighty things, WHICH YOU KNOW NOT.” If they were known unto us, they would not be “fenced,” they would not be secret, they would not require the holy Spirit to reveal them unto us.  But with Paul we cry out, “O the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out.” (Rom. 11:33).  Truly, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.  BUT GOD HAS REVEALED THEM UNTO US BY HIS SPIRIT…” (1 Cor. 2:9-10).  The thirsty man cries out, and God hears, and SHOWS, unfolds to his understanding, truth which only the Spirit of God can reveal.
        So the heart PANTS─ cries out, yes, calls from deep within─ “deep calls unto deep,” (Ps. 42:7).  The deep of our need calls out to the deep of His sufficiency.  The deep of our emptiness calls out to the deep of His fulness.  But more than that, it is the DEEP OF MAN, i.e. the spirit of man, that is crying out for THE SPIRIT (DEEP) OF GOD.  Out of His own substance, spirit, God “forms the spirit of man within him.” (Zech.12:1). Having, come from God, who is our home, this inner cry for reality will never be satisfied until we are returned into UNION WITH HIM.  We have within us a cry for God, but it is equally true that the Deep of God is calling out for us─ to return unto Him, to find our joy and peace in Him alone.  His Spirit calls to our spirit, and our spirit calls (yearns) for His Spirit.  It is indeed a “deep calling unto deep.” And the Psalmist makes it very specific, he is PANTING─ praying─ athirst for the presence of God.
        “When shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:2).  This is very interesting, for in another place David states, “Where shall I go from Your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, You are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” (Ps. 139:7-10).  Simply stated, there is no place you can go, but God IS THERE.
        God affirms this, in Jeremiah 23:23-24, “Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off?  Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? says the Lord.  Do not I fill heaven and earth? says the Lord.” The omnipresence of God is a FACT!  He is everywhere!  “He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:27-28).
        But David was athirst for far more than just the general knowledge of God’s omnipresence, he yearned for HIS MANIFEST PRESENCE.  This is more than just His abiding presence that fills the universe, it is a manifestation of God in increased awareness, consciousness of Him, in varying degrees, until we ultimately see Him face to face.  We know that He promised, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5).  And “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for YOU ARE WITH ME; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4).  Concerning the Lord as his Shepherd being with him, he had no doubt, and for the provisions along the way, he was most grateful─ even to have “Your rod (scepter), and Your staff (holy Word)” to be his protection and support.  But there is no indication of a special MANIFEST PRESENCE above and beyond the normal realm of the Lord abiding with him.
        We also praise God for the undergirding of His Word─ and like David, we can “encourage ourselves in the Lord our God.” (1 Sam. 30:6).  We draw out of His Word those promises which strengthen and help us to walk on.  We “Speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:19).  We tell ourselves, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted in me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” (Ps. 42:5).  We need constant reminding of the fact that HE IS WITH US!  Of special personal blessing is the little chorus:

“This is holy ground, we’re standing on holy ground,
For the Lord is present, and where He is is holy. (repeated).

        He is present, but we do not always feel Him there, so then we rely on His Rod and Staff to comfort us, tell us so, and in many and various ways find that He ministers to our need, and strengthens us to press on.
        We read, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27).  And having received Him into our life, being filled with His Spirit, we know He is there─ but it is far more in the REALM OF ABIDING PRESENCE, than in having a specific visitation─ making Himself known in experiential reality.  Yes, we would maintain a POSITIVE CONFESSION, and we would stimulate, encourage, and urge one another to press on in this overcoming walk, but we shall not claim to have come into a new awareness of His presence, as if we possessed something beyond the “common salvation” experienced by His people today.
        We do not know just how God chose to manifest His presence in the garden of Eden, but this we read, “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (Gen. 3:8).  Obviously this was more than just knowing of the omnipresence of God, there was some kind of a manifestation of which they were very conscious, and from which they hoped to hide themselves.  They did not escape Him, He came to them and talked with them, but now His presence had become a more awesome and fearful thing to them, because of their inward sense of guilt and condemnation.
        And we read that “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Gen. 4:16)
        There was a level of awareness and communication which Cain left behind as he went out to pursue his own way.  Paul would word it this way: “Having no hope, and without God in the world… ─ Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God…” (Eph. 2:12, and 4:18).  It is not God cut off from man, but in a certain sense, it is man separated from God.
        Once Jacob wrestled with a man all night long, and finally prevailed, and “Jacob called the name of the place, Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen. 32:20).  This was not the highest order of expression, of the unapproachable light of God, but it was such that Jacob knew he had been in touch with God in a very real way.  Perhaps we cannot grasp the full extent of the awesomeness of that hour, when Jacob came to the realization of WHO he was wrestling with, but it was with a certainty of conviction that he names the place “Peniel”, meaning: “the face of God.” He felt it was a direct face-to-face confrontation with his God.
        No doubt about it, the greatest manifestation to date, was when Jesus came, “EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US.” Jesus said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9).  He knew He was the visible expression of the Father, though He was veiled in the creaturely form of His own creation.  There were brief moments when certain individuals also came to know who He was, though for the most part, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” (John 1:10).  “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2:8).  Thus WHO HE WAS was concealed more than revealed.
        “I am athirst for God, the living God; when shall I reach God’s presence?” (Ps. 42:2, Moffatt).  How this surges within us as a prayer for our Lord!
        I have read so often through the years, reading it to the Lord with tears, “Then shall call upon Me, and you shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you.  And you shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, says the Lord…” (Jer. 29:12-14).  How does one search with all their heart?  Pilgrimages to a special place, a deeper-life conference, etc. have not brought answers.  The Psalmist knew all about keeping “holy day” and shouts of joy and praise and jubilant celebration, but that did not answer it for him.  “Deep was still calling unto deep.”         We thrill to the truths of, and with all creatures wait for, “the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19).  But on a deeper level, with a much more intense desire, we yearn for the MANIFESTED PRESENCE OF GOD HIMSELF.  It is a thirst which HE has placed within us, which He alone can satisfy.  The prophet Isaiah knew it─ and he prayed─ “Oh that You would rend the heavens, that You would come down, that the mountains might flow down at Your presence…” (Isa. 64:1).  It is not going to take vast effort and program of religious institutions to subdue the kingdoms of this world, and cause them to become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.” (Rev. 11:15).  All it will take is an increased awareness of His presence, and the nations will bow before Him.  When He “pours out His Spirit upon all flesh,” (Joel 2:28), and “all flesh shall see the salvation of God,” (Luke 3:6), there will be transformations and changes which stagger the mind with their scope and victory─ for HE IS LORD!
        We know He is here WITH us now─ volumes could be written on His WITHNESS, if one could coin such a word.  “When you pass through the waters, I will be WITH you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” (Isa. 43:2-3).  WITH YOU!  Through it all He is WITH YOU!  This is the unique characteristic of our God.  His with-ness with His people specifically, and yes, with all His creation generally speaking.
        He said to Moses, “My presence shall go with you.” (Ex. 33:14).  It was such an awesome journey, leading a whole nation on a trek to their promised land, that Moses said unto the Lord, “If Your presence go not with me, carry us not up here.” (v. 15).  But the mark of distinction that was upon Israel was that their GOD WAS WITH THEM. A LIVING GOD that dwelt with them, and journeyed with them all the way.  “Is it not in that You go with us? so shall we be separated, I and Your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” (v. 16).  Moses desperately counted on this WITH-NESS of God, for without Him going before, the challenge was formidable.
        And there was an on-going witness that God was WITH them, for “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light: to go by day and night.” (Ex. 13:21).  And while God gave them this manifestation of His presence with them, yet it was not that MANIFESTED PRESENCE of which we speak.  Likewise we have seen the Lord bless, heal, provide, quicken, in so many ways, and our heart overflows with praise for all that He does/is doing, but this is not that experiential reality that our heart is longing for.  Thank God for every touch of His Spirit upon mankind─ but there is more, much more.
        We speak of a “hands on situation,” meaning it is something wherein we are directly involved.  And truly we have many times seen GOD’S HAND directly involved in working out a problem, meeting a need. etc.  And yet there was no specific awareness of an increased vibration of His presence with us.
        The Hebrew word for “presence” is “panim” meaning: face, countenance.  This FACE-TO-FACEDNESS speaks of an intimate, personal encounter where He shines into our life of His glory and immanence.  Paul experienced a measure of this, when “suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven.” (Acts 9:3).  It was an awesome encounter, and it transformed his life. it is with the understanding gained by Paul’s experience, that the verse in Isaiah 9:2 takes on special meaning.  “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined.” Where the light of His presence shines, the darkness is dissipated, and death is abolished.
        The prophet Habakkuk prays, and states, “God came … His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.  And His brightness was as the light; He had horns coming out of His hand (margin: bright beams out of His side): and there was the hiding of His power.” (Hab. 3:3-4).  Wow! what a manifestation─ when GOD COMES!  Lights flashing, power displayed, with transformations and changes taking place beyond all that we can imagine.
        Paul also confirms the same, speaking of the wicked being revealed, “Whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thess. 2:8).  Literally, the Greek word is “parousia,” and means: presence, a being alongside.  How often have we yearned for a deeper consciousness of His presence, and wondered where we could find─ how we could approach unto─ His presence.  But it is not just our coming to Him, but HIS COMING TO US, for HIS is the presence desired.
        There are several Greek words that have all been translated as “coming” or appearing, and each has its own facet of meaning.  We have neither time nor space to do a broader study on this, we briefly share these definitions.
        Paul writes of “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13).  Appearing-­epiphaneia, from the Greek verb epiphaino, meaning, to shine upon, bring to light, become visible to the sight, thus, to appear.
        Then we also read, “Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:7-8).  Here the Greek word for “coming” is apokalupsis, from the verb apokalupto, meaning, to uncover or unveil, hence, revelation.
        And, in 1 Thess. 5:23, “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And now we have the Greek word “parousia,” meaning: presence, a being alongside.
        A close study of all the usage of these words in Bible passages readily bears out the fact that they do not infer any mystical, invisible, secret coming for the purpose of a “rapturing away.” Nor is there any limitation to “spiritual realms” which would exclude visible bodily manifestations of our Lord.  Nor must we limit all comings to literal body manifestations.  Far better to be prepared to receive Him however He should come unto us, be it as a shining Light, or a revelation of Him in His glorious body.  However, the point at hand is that we GREATLY LONG FOR EXPERIENTIAL REALITY AS HE MANIFESTS HIS PRESENCE TO US.  And there is promise that HE SHALL COME.
        John writes, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come.” (Rev. 1:4).  Which is to come, literally, the Greek text reads, “He who is coming, or, The Coming One.” That He has come, we know, that in Spirit He is here now, we know, but there is also promise for more─ for HE IS “The Coming One.” There shall be the manifestation of His presence─ enriching, satisfying our thirst, filling up the vast empty spaces within, until we overflow with His life and victory.
        David endured the insults and taunting of the heathen, “Where is your God.” And Peter writes of how in our day they shall ask, “Where is the promise of His presence?” (2 Peter 3:4, Young’s Literal).
        For a wise and glorious purpose He has hid as it were His face from us.  We are not without His benevolent care─ His abiding omnipresence is with us, but what processings are needed so that we might be fully purged and ready to receive Him.  “That no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Cor. 1:29) Indeed, that is why the whole inworking of our redemption is by the GRACE of God, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:9).  But, “He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Eph. 1:4), and it is to this end that He continues to discipline and cleanse us.  And, thank God, “He is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 24).
        So we have it, not only is HE COMING TO US, but He is also preparing us to COME TO HIM.  “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You; in whose heart are the highways to Zion.  Passing through the valley of weeping they make it a place of springs; – They go from strength to strength increasing in victorious power; each one of them appears before God in Zion.” (Psalm 84:5-7).  Some journey!  Right on down through the valley of weeping, but it is a purifying, cleansing time, and as the song goes, “He washed my eyes with tears that I might see …. But it is also a silent miracle time, for HE takes all the weeping/tears and gathers them up to become a place of springs.  And when all the inworkings of grace have met HIS specifications, “they appear before God in Zion.” They have come to Him, He has come to them─ a joyous “nevertheless afterwards” which “yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” (Heb. 12:11).
        Then shall we bear witness to the reality that “You will show me the path of life: IN YOUR PRESENCE is fulness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ps. 16:11).
        With Paul we pray, for you, and for ourselves, “That you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fulness of God – that is, may have the richest measure of THE DIVINE PRESENCE, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.” (Eph. 3:19, Amplified).  Thank God for the vision set before us, in His time we shall be fully satisfied. Amen!
        “I thirst,” said He upon the cross, what awesome words are these That He the Living Fountain cried, His Father’s will to please.


For tested in all points, as we, He shared our deep desire─
To be restored from whence He came, yet agonies transpire.

His thirst was fully satisfied, travail birthed victories rare,
And now His life He freely gives, that we His joy might share.

So pants my soul for Thee, O God, Thy presence to embrace,
Athirst for that which man can’t give, inworkings of Thy grace.

When shall I come into the place where fulness is revealed?
Experience Thy reality, Thy face no more concealed?

I thirst, I drink, and find in Thee sufficient for my day,
But how I long for You to come and “presence” all my way.

  _________________________________________________                              
(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”     Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 10

HE SHALL FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH

“Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

        Jesus had just spoken a parable “to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” It involved a widow woman that came to an unjust judge and beseeched him to “Avenge me of mine adversary.” The judge was a cold, hard-hearted man that “feared not God, neither regarded man,” but he was concerned about his own well-being, and lest the woman would trouble him by continuously coming to him with her request, he avenged her.  Then Jesus gave his own punchline application, “AND SHALL NOT GOD AVENGE HIS OWN ELECT, which cry day and night unto him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.” (verses 7-8).
        The parable is quite self-explanatory.  The need for continued prayer.  The assurance that there is an answer.  And that on-going prayer is exonerated.
        “AND SHALL NOT GOD…” Not out of a selfish motive, like the judge, but BY REASON OF HIS LOVE AND GRACE, out of His righteous character, how much more does He answer the prayer of His people.
        It reminds us of another comparison Jesus gave in his sermon on the mount, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (Matt. 7:11).
        HOW MUCH MORE?  The question is not defining an equation, but emphasizing a point─ if we, in our sinful humanity, would give good gifts; if we, as the unjust judge, with impure, selfish motives, will act on another’s behalf, then HOW MUCH MORE shall our all-righteous Father hold the benefit of men before Him, to accomplish that which results in our good.
        Though He “BEAR LONG” WITH US.  This “bearing long” also bespeaks a vital thought.  The Greek word is “makrothumeo” meaning: to suffer long, TO BE PATIENT.  “The husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has LONG PATIENCE for it…” (James 5:7).  He is WAITING for this PROCESS TO WORK IN US, to bring about that desired growth, surrender, dedication, etc. until finally we come to HIS TIMING.  But we are also assured that “He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained (Jesus).” (Acts 17:31).  He has appointed a day─ appointed, literally, TO SET, TO PLACE.  Beloved friend, OUR GOD HAS SCHEDULED (PLACED) INTO HIS PURPOSE OF THE AGES the day of our redemption, thus the totality of our salvation is secure.  For this cause we can have confidence to “pray without ceasing,” and know that the victory shall be ours in due time.  There is a “bear long” time, while we let patience have her perfect work in us, but when that hour of HIS TIMING has come, then it is “SUDDENLY!” “He shall avenge us speedily.” “And the Lord, Whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, Whom you delight in: behold, HE SHALL COME, says the Lord of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1).  The process may be very long, but the climax is accomplished speedily.
        Then Jesus makes the additional statement, “Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth.” All our life we have heard this read with negative connotation.  Perilous times will come, the love of many will wax cold, there will be a great falling away─ and pulling these phrases out of their context, and using them to support negative ideas and carnal concepts, they proceed to ask, “Will there be any faith left?” With the implication being, the devil will have won the final victory, and God will only be able to salvage a few pitiful souls and rapture them out of here, before the final devastation encompasses the whole earth.
        But now the holy Spirit challenges us to read this statement again, not as a question, but AS A PROMISE.  Nevertheless─ the Greek word is “plen” and means: “MOREOVER, or, BUT YET,” while certain translators have given it as: “indeed, really.” Not only will GOD AVENGE HIS ELECT, but MOREOVER, let Me add the thought, THERE WILL BE FAITH FOUND ON THE EARTH WHEN I COME.  “When the Son of man comes, He shall find faith on the earth,” is a much clearer rendering. In spite of HOW LONG the waiting continues, there will be those who do not give up with their CONTINUOUS PRAYING.  They believe He will come on the scene and fulfill all that is needed for our total salvation, body, soul, and spirit.
        God will avenge His elect!  God has always had HIS ELECT!  “Even so at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:5).  The elect are HIS FAITHFUL ONES!  “Called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14).  They are faith-full.  Not only are they steady in their believing, but they are, shall we say, FULL of faith.  They have gone through the good fight of faith, through the trial of their faith, etc. and they have proven to be IN THE FAITH, living by the faith of the Son of God.
        Jesus was not asking if there would be any faith found on earth when He came again─ HE KNEW THERE WOULD BE, for HE was/is “the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” He was simply reaffirming THE PROMISE that regardless of how intensive the struggle, how long the wait, etc. still men and women would hold steady in believing, and in due time reap the reward.  So the point is clearly taken─ KEEP ON PRAYING, and faint not.  There is a crying out for Him DAY AND NIGHT, continuously.  It is the on-going cry of the heart of those who seek after God.  And He does watch over His elect.  HE WILL COME AGAIN!  And MOREOVER, He will find faith on the earth when He comes!  Praise God for those who are diligently seeking Him.
        In view of all the foregoing, Paul’s admonition is very timely for us in this day─ “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
        God once said of the people of Israel, “They are a very forward (perverse) generation, in whom is no faith.” (Deut. 32:20), and Jesus expressed this same thought, saying, “O faithless and perverse generation.” (Matt. 17:17).  What an indictment, to be FAITHLESS, when He is looking for the FAITHFUL.
        Surely it is apparent to all that this world is facing and enduring situations which are severely trying all men, thus there is an imperative need to have a solid foundation upon which to stand, being rooted and grounded in Christ, that we might not only survive the storms, but also  become a TOWER OF REFUGE for others.  Events are on the horizon which will stagger the mind with their scope and intensity, yet God’s prepared ones shall stand serene, PERFECTED IN FAITH, and able to meet every crisis with the sufficiency of Christ.  True, it has taken much inworking of the WAY OF THE CROSS, with many separations, loneliness, battles of the mind, deep soul-searching, and all the things that accompany such a processing, but through it all there is emerging a people who KNOW THEIR GOD, and they shall be to His praise.
        It is FAITH, given by the grace of God, which is to be the undergirding of every child of God, bringing us into that REST wherein we have ceased from our own carnal-directed labors, that we might be led by His Spirit.  Truly, “the just shall live by His faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4).
        It is not our intention to just point out the elementary rudiments of faith but to emphasize that we must “KNOW IN WHOM WE HAVE BELIEVED,” if we are going to come through the shakings and remain unshaken.  Indeed, the intense pressures of the day are revealing the strength and quality of our faith.  Peter writes, it is the “trial of your faith,” that is much more precious than gold which has stood the test of the fire, and when such faith meets the test and stands approved, then shall we “be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7).
        Faith presupposes a divine revelation upon which to base its future action.  We read how, “BY FAITH Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear (carefully, devoutly), prepared an ark to the saving of his house.” (Heb. 11:7).  In our haste to simplify we sometimes leave out the vital qualifications─ “By faith Noah built an ark.” That is true, but his faith was based upon the DIRECT WORD OF GOD.  This is clearly seen when we read the phrase, “BEING WARNED OF GOD OF THINGS NOT SEEN AS YET.”
        WARNED OF GOD─ “And GOD SAID unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  Make an ark…” (Genesis 6:13-14)
        Yes, Noah had to BELIEVE and ACT upon the Word of God.  No, there had never been a need for an “ark” before this, and there was no way that he could have conceived in his own mind what a down-pour of rain was coming.  Nor had he ever seen an “ark” before this, so that he had an example to follow.  But he did have something to base all of his action upon─ and that was A DIRECT WORD FROM GOD.  He believed God!  That is where faith came in─ he gave himself to this Word, committed all his energies to obeying that Word, and it resulted in his ultimate preservation through the flood.  BY FAITH, by steadfastly committing himself to believing and obeying the Word, the ark was built, and the purpose of God was fulfilled.  So the question is rightly asked, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15).
        Difficult to believe in One of whom you have never heard.  And difficult to hear a word that remains unspoken, whether by God or man.  Furthermore, it is exceedingly difficult to declare a word when God has not given it to us, nor sent us.  We have seen and heard enough of “man sent ministries.” They prattle on with their creeds and doctrines, but there is no life nor change brought about.  One cannot place faith in their word, because it doesn’t hold up.  Religious drivel about escapism raptures, or carnal-minded ideas of heaven, do not offer a solid basis upon which to stand to face the daily onslaught of negative forces.  It requires a clear-cut “THUS SAYS THE LORD” if we are to stand fast, unmovable, unceasingly committed to Him, knowing that what He has promised us shall be fulfilled in His time.  Overcoming is not bouncing around in a skip and a hop like a jackrabbit.  It means there is a SOLID UNDERGIRDING upon which we firmly remain─ steadfastly believing until we have COME OVER every obstacle.  THANK GOD, there is a progressive revelation that is vital for the days ahead, and “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the called-out (churches).” (Rev. 3:6).
        There must of necessity be a people of faith in every generation.  Jesus said that at His coming they would be present.  “He shall find faith on the earth.” For, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that HE IS A REWARDER of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6).  There are those “In whom He is well pleased.” They prove their faith by DILIGENTLY seeking Him, just as the widow woman continuously beseeched the judge.
        It is in our continuously COMING TO HIM, praying, worshipping, communing, walking on, desiring His life, yes, requiring the abiding of His Spirit within us, that we manifest that we do believe in Him.  Jesus admonished His disciples to “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22).  Literally, the Greek text reads, “Have the faith OF God.” GOD-IMPARTED FAITH comes when HE speaks His Word into our being.  And if we receive it, inherent in His Word is the faith for believing it.  Not just a mental reception, but a heart acknowledgment that it is true, and for us, and we give ourselves to it.
        John writes that we are to have CONTINUOUS FELLOWSHIP with our Lord.  “if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” (1 John 1:7).  In his “Word Studies in the Greek,” Wuest points out that “The words ‘one with another’ are a translation of a preposition and a reciprocal pronoun in the Greek text.” It bespeaks the fact that not only do we have fellowship with God, but He reciprocates in having fellowship with us.  There is a WALKING IN THE LIGHT, yes, IN THE ANOINTING, where we continuously come to the throne of grace to find help in the time of need, where we continuously offer up our praise and worship, where we continuously rest upon the foundational substratum of HIS WORD.  All of this reveals our faith in God─ and, yes, the operation of HIS FAITH in us.
        “It is of faith, that it might be by grace…” (Romans 4:16).  FAITH WORKS, but faith does not come “by works.” Faith believes into the GRACE of God, and GRACE does the works.  Thus the Scriptures speak of the REST wherein we have ceased from our own labors, and BELIEVE INTO HIS!  “Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE ON HIM whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29).  Challenged to believe on Him, they immediately countered, “What sign do You show then, that we may see, and believe You? What work will You do?” Like all carnal men they wanted it brought down to the earthy level where they could discern by their five senses, touch, taste, smell, hear, see.  But FAITH THAT PLEASES GOD is not of the flesh, it is of the Spirit.  “For with the heart man believes into righteousness.” (Rom. 10:10).  And while faith can believe for things to be seen, faith does not come from the seeing.  “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” (Eccl. 1:8).  It is the Spirit that quickens, illumines within, causing faith to rise up and we believe into Him.  In spirit and in truth, the Father seeks such to worship Him.
        If the fulfillment of the promise was dependent upon our works, the Lord knows that we would never reap the promise.  But it is GRACE THROUGH FAITH that makes it sure unto all men.  All of our works must be the resultant action of BELIEVING INTO HIM, and receiving His enablement─ and so it is truly, “Not by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT, says the Lord of hosts.” The energizing is His, and the direction is His, and we but become “laborers together with God,” as we believe into Him and He fulfills His plan and purpose.  Without Him we can do nothing!  So what is our work?  It is to believe on Him─ and then HE DOES THE WORKS!

“Lord, You will ordain peace for us: for You also have done all our works in us.” (Isaiah 26:12).

        The Lord gives a promise, imparting a divine revelation that this certain thing is for us, and then the days, months, years go by and we don’t see the least bit of outward evidence of its fulfillment─ in fact, it may even appear to be going in the opposite direction, with conditions deteriorating instead of improving.  We are stripped of all the gifts and graces we once felt we possessed.  Desperately our flesh would reach out and try to help hasten that promise to fulfillment, but there is nothing that man can do.  Yet the Word was given, He planted the revelation deep within, and now you can only HOLD STEADY─ grounded on that Word, and believing God until.  Your very vision and truth will try you to inmost core!  “Until the time that his word came (i.e. word of his release from prison): THE WORD OF THE LORD TRIED HIM.” (Psalm 105:19).  How interesting!  The very WORD that caused FAITH to take hold in us, is also the WORD that will try us, and put that faith to a test.  His Word will both quicken and purify.  Truth revealed and experienced is HEAT as well as LIGHT.  How we need it to warm and purify the heart, as well as give light to our reason.  And then we will continue to believe, even though we see not.  We will not bow beneath the weight of time, and seek for another way to fulfill the promise.  Praise: God, HE SHALL FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH WHEN HE COMES!
        “And we desire that every one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that you not be slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb. 6:11-12).
        “There is a path which no fowl knows, and which the vulture’s eye has not seen: the lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.” (Job 28:7-8).  As followers of them who ultimately inherited their promises, so we walk this new way, in the pathway of faith, BELIEVING THAT WE SHALL ALSO ULTIMATELY POSSESS OUR VICTORIES.

O path of faith that knows no end, and feareth not storms that impend, 
But stretches onward, upward still, into the fulness of God’s will.

To take thy step not knowing where, a going out─ new realms to share,
With minds untroubled by the way, nor fretting at the length of day.

O path that pierces the unknown, how glorious are thy mysteries shown
Unto the one who dares to walk the path where lions never stalk.

The vulture’s eye has neler beheld this way divine─ unparalleled,
For holiness shall undergird the entrance through the living Word.

Thy avenues are all unseen, yet glistening with a dewdrop’s sheen,
So rare a path thou cannot find by walking with a carnal mind.

‘Tis not by fancy, world of dream, for things are not all as they seem,
The path of faith is solid, sure─ an upward way that shall endure.

Each step is measured by His love, and linked unto His throne above,
And they who take its way shall be enthralled with pure reality.

        Truly, faith can move with God through the realms unseen, knowing that the unseen is more stable, sure, real, than all that the carnal imaginations of man can produce.  So Paul writes, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18).
        To the eye of faith the invisible realm is solid and sure.  By faith Moses “endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27).  And though the pressures and processings are many, we can declare the truth we believe, as did Paul.  “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; WE ALSO BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK.” (2 Cor. 4:13).  This does not mean that we run around blabbing all of God’s secrets, nor speaking out of turn.  But when it is time to declare the truth─ we believe, and therefore declare it, to His glory and praise.
        But there is one more point to be touched upon, in our assurance that there will be FAITH ON THE EARTH WHEN HE COMES.  Jesus taught, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing shall be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20).  Again the approach by many is concerning the “size” of the mustard seed, and that if you have just a wee little bit of faith you can do great things.  But Jesus was not speaking of the quantity but of the QUALITY of faith.  What KIND of faith does a mustard seed have?
        “A grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: but when it is sown, IT GROWS UP, and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches; so that the birds of the air may nest under it’s shade. (Mark 4:31, 32)
        What is the QUALITY of faith in a mustard seed─ it is the KIND THAT GROWS.  It may start out exceedingly small, but it grows into a great thing.  Jesus spoke to those who had “little faith.” “Why are you fearful, you of little faith.” (Matt. 8:26).  And He spoke to those who had great faith.  “O woman, great is your faith.” (Matt. 15:28).  But again, the issue is not the amount of faith, quantity-wise, but of the QUALITY─ faith that reaches out to lay hold of the reality of God.  It is strengthened and increased as it is also tested and tried.  It is believing that matures into a KNOWING.  THE FAITH OF GOD, which shall be FOUND ON THE EARTH, in a people who have been duly processed, is a faith that PLEASES GOD, and shall inherit the promises.
        How often have we, like the disciples of old, said to our Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Matt. 17:5).  And immediately find that He has plunged us into circumstances and situations which tested every ounce of faith that we had.  But the wonder of it all is to see how this DIVINE INWORKING increases our faith with every obstacle overcome.  Rest assured, beloved friend, God knows exactly what He is doing in His purpose of the ages, and there is a bringing forth of a FAITH PEOPLE that KNOW IN WHOM THEY HAVE BELIEVED, and they shall show forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness, into His marvelous light.
        How precious is the “Gospel of Christ: – for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17).  Tucked in this verse are volumes of truth for our pondering, but let it be said─ God is bringing forth a people of whom it is written, “Your people also shall be all righteous.” (Isa. 60:21), for, as Paul also concurs, we are to be “made the righteousness of God IN HIM.” (2 Cor. 5:21).  Thus, as the GOSPEL WORKS IN US, going from faith to faith, growing, expanding, developing, maturing, it shall reveal that GOD HAS HIS ELECT, HIS FAITH PEOPLE on the earth.  They are being prepared to inherit the kingdom, and see the establishment of His righteousness upon the earth, for they, too, shall bear after their own kind, even as our Lord is birthing them.  Into His image and likeness we come, and praise God, He shall be glorified.  THE JUST, His justified ones, clothed with His righteousness, shall LIVE and WALK BY FAITH.  How glorious is this handiwork of our God!

  _________________________________________________                              
(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”     Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 10

HE SHALL FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH

“Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

        Jesus had just spoken a parable “to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” It involved a widow woman that came to an unjust judge and beseeched him to “Avenge me of mine adversary.” The judge was a cold, hard-hearted man that “feared not God, neither regarded man,” but he was concerned about his own well-being, and lest the woman would trouble him by continuously coming to him with her request, he avenged her.  Then Jesus gave his own punchline application, “AND SHALL NOT GOD AVENGE HIS OWN ELECT, which cry day and night unto him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.” (verses 7-8).
        The parable is quite self-explanatory.  The need for continued prayer.  The assurance that there is an answer.  And that on-going prayer is exonerated.
        “AND SHALL NOT GOD…” Not out of a selfish motive, like the judge, but BY REASON OF HIS LOVE AND GRACE, out of His righteous character, how much more does He answer the prayer of His people.
        It reminds us of another comparison Jesus gave in his sermon on the mount, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (Matt. 7:11).
        HOW MUCH MORE?  The question is not defining an equation, but emphasizing a point─ if we, in our sinful humanity, would give good gifts; if we, as the unjust judge, with impure, selfish motives, will act on another’s behalf, then HOW MUCH MORE shall our all-righteous Father hold the benefit of men before Him, to accomplish that which results in our good.
        Though He “BEAR LONG” WITH US.  This “bearing long” also bespeaks a vital thought.  The Greek word is “makrothumeo” meaning: to suffer long, TO BE PATIENT.  “The husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has LONG PATIENCE for it…” (James 5:7).  He is WAITING for this PROCESS TO WORK IN US, to bring about that desired growth, surrender, dedication, etc. until finally we come to HIS TIMING.  But we are also assured that “He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained (Jesus).” (Acts 17:31).  He has appointed a day─ appointed, literally, TO SET, TO PLACE.  Beloved friend, OUR GOD HAS SCHEDULED (PLACED) INTO HIS PURPOSE OF THE AGES the day of our redemption, thus the totality of our salvation is secure.  For this cause we can have confidence to “pray without ceasing,” and know that the victory shall be ours in due time.  There is a “bear long” time, while we let patience have her perfect work in us, but when that hour of HIS TIMING has come, then it is “SUDDENLY!” “He shall avenge us speedily.” “And the Lord, Whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, Whom you delight in: behold, HE SHALL COME, says the Lord of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1).  The process may be very long, but the climax is accomplished speedily.
        Then Jesus makes the additional statement, “Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth.” All our life we have heard this read with negative connotation.  Perilous times will come, the love of many will wax cold, there will be a great falling away─ and pulling these phrases out of their context, and using them to support negative ideas and carnal concepts, they proceed to ask, “Will there be any faith left?” With the implication being, the devil will have won the final victory, and God will only be able to salvage a few pitiful souls and rapture them out of here, before the final devastation encompasses the whole earth.
        But now the holy Spirit challenges us to read this statement again, not as a question, but AS A PROMISE.  Nevertheless─ the Greek word is “plen” and means: “MOREOVER, or, BUT YET,” while certain translators have given it as: “indeed, really.” Not only will GOD AVENGE HIS ELECT, but MOREOVER, let Me add the thought, THERE WILL BE FAITH FOUND ON THE EARTH WHEN I COME.  “When the Son of man comes, He shall find faith on the earth,” is a much clearer rendering. In spite of HOW LONG the waiting continues, there will be those who do not give up with their CONTINUOUS PRAYING.  They believe He will come on the scene and fulfill all that is needed for our total salvation, body, soul, and spirit.
        God will avenge His elect!  God has always had HIS ELECT!  “Even so at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:5).  The elect are HIS FAITHFUL ONES!  “Called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14).  They are faith-full.  Not only are they steady in their believing, but they are, shall we say, FULL of faith.  They have gone through the good fight of faith, through the trial of their faith, etc. and they have proven to be IN THE FAITH, living by the faith of the Son of God.
        Jesus was not asking if there would be any faith found on earth when He came again─ HE KNEW THERE WOULD BE, for HE was/is “the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” He was simply reaffirming THE PROMISE that regardless of how intensive the struggle, how long the wait, etc. still men and women would hold steady in believing, and in due time reap the reward.  So the point is clearly taken─ KEEP ON PRAYING, and faint not.  There is a crying out for Him DAY AND NIGHT, continuously.  It is the on-going cry of the heart of those who seek after God.  And He does watch over His elect.  HE WILL COME AGAIN!  And MOREOVER, He will find faith on the earth when He comes!  Praise God for those who are diligently seeking Him.
        In view of all the foregoing, Paul’s admonition is very timely for us in this day─ “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
        God once said of the people of Israel, “They are a very forward (perverse) generation, in whom is no faith.” (Deut. 32:20), and Jesus expressed this same thought, saying, “O faithless and perverse generation.” (Matt. 17:17).  What an indictment, to be FAITHLESS, when He is looking for the FAITHFUL.
        Surely it is apparent to all that this world is facing and enduring situations which are severely trying all men, thus there is an imperative need to have a solid foundation upon which to stand, being rooted and grounded in Christ, that we might not only survive the storms, but also  become a TOWER OF REFUGE for others.  Events are on the horizon which will stagger the mind with their scope and intensity, yet God’s prepared ones shall stand serene, PERFECTED IN FAITH, and able to meet every crisis with the sufficiency of Christ.  True, it has taken much inworking of the WAY OF THE CROSS, with many separations, loneliness, battles of the mind, deep soul-searching, and all the things that accompany such a processing, but through it all there is emerging a people who KNOW THEIR GOD, and they shall be to His praise.
        It is FAITH, given by the grace of God, which is to be the undergirding of every child of God, bringing us into that REST wherein we have ceased from our own carnal-directed labors, that we might be led by His Spirit.  Truly, “the just shall live by His faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4).
        It is not our intention to just point out the elementary rudiments of faith but to emphasize that we must “KNOW IN WHOM WE HAVE BELIEVED,” if we are going to come through the shakings and remain unshaken.  Indeed, the intense pressures of the day are revealing the strength and quality of our faith.  Peter writes, it is the “trial of your faith,” that is much more precious than gold which has stood the test of the fire, and when such faith meets the test and stands approved, then shall we “be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7).
        Faith presupposes a divine revelation upon which to base its future action.  We read how, “BY FAITH Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear (carefully, devoutly), prepared an ark to the saving of his house.” (Heb. 11:7).  In our haste to simplify we sometimes leave out the vital qualifications─ “By faith Noah built an ark.” That is true, but his faith was based upon the DIRECT WORD OF GOD.  This is clearly seen when we read the phrase, “BEING WARNED OF GOD OF THINGS NOT SEEN AS YET.”
        WARNED OF GOD─ “And GOD SAID unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  Make an ark…” (Genesis 6:13-14)
        Yes, Noah had to BELIEVE and ACT upon the Word of God.  No, there had never been a need for an “ark” before this, and there was no way that he could have conceived in his own mind what a down-pour of rain was coming.  Nor had he ever seen an “ark” before this, so that he had an example to follow.  But he did have something to base all of his action upon─ and that was A DIRECT WORD FROM GOD.  He believed God!  That is where faith came in─ he gave himself to this Word, committed all his energies to obeying that Word, and it resulted in his ultimate preservation through the flood.  BY FAITH, by steadfastly committing himself to believing and obeying the Word, the ark was built, and the purpose of God was fulfilled.  So the question is rightly asked, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15).
        Difficult to believe in One of whom you have never heard.  And difficult to hear a word that remains unspoken, whether by God or man.  Furthermore, it is exceedingly difficult to declare a word when God has not given it to us, nor sent us.  We have seen and heard enough of “man sent ministries.” They prattle on with their creeds and doctrines, but there is no life nor change brought about.  One cannot place faith in their word, because it doesn’t hold up.  Religious drivel about escapism raptures, or carnal-minded ideas of heaven, do not offer a solid basis upon which to stand to face the daily onslaught of negative forces.  It requires a clear-cut “THUS SAYS THE LORD” if we are to stand fast, unmovable, unceasingly committed to Him, knowing that what He has promised us shall be fulfilled in His time.  Overcoming is not bouncing around in a skip and a hop like a jackrabbit.  It means there is a SOLID UNDERGIRDING upon which we firmly remain─ steadfastly believing until we have COME OVER every obstacle.  THANK GOD, there is a progressive revelation that is vital for the days ahead, and “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the called-out (churches).” (Rev. 3:6).
        There must of necessity be a people of faith in every generation.  Jesus said that at His coming they would be present.  “He shall find faith on the earth.” For, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that HE IS A REWARDER of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6).  There are those “In whom He is well pleased.” They prove their faith by DILIGENTLY seeking Him, just as the widow woman continuously beseeched the judge.
        It is in our continuously COMING TO HIM, praying, worshipping, communing, walking on, desiring His life, yes, requiring the abiding of His Spirit within us, that we manifest that we do believe in Him.  Jesus admonished His disciples to “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22).  Literally, the Greek text reads, “Have the faith OF God.” GOD-IMPARTED FAITH comes when HE speaks His Word into our being.  And if we receive it, inherent in His Word is the faith for believing it.  Not just a mental reception, but a heart acknowledgment that it is true, and for us, and we give ourselves to it.
        John writes that we are to have CONTINUOUS FELLOWSHIP with our Lord.  “if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” (1 John 1:7).  In his “Word Studies in the Greek,” Wuest points out that “The words ‘one with another’ are a translation of a preposition and a reciprocal pronoun in the Greek text.” It bespeaks the fact that not only do we have fellowship with God, but He reciprocates in having fellowship with us.  There is a WALKING IN THE LIGHT, yes, IN THE ANOINTING, where we continuously come to the throne of grace to find help in the time of need, where we continuously offer up our praise and worship, where we continuously rest upon the foundational substratum of HIS WORD.  All of this reveals our faith in God─ and, yes, the operation of HIS FAITH in us.
        “It is of faith, that it might be by grace…” (Romans 4:16).  FAITH WORKS, but faith does not come “by works.” Faith believes into the GRACE of God, and GRACE does the works.  Thus the Scriptures speak of the REST wherein we have ceased from our own labors, and BELIEVE INTO HIS!  “Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE ON HIM whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29).  Challenged to believe on Him, they immediately countered, “What sign do You show then, that we may see, and believe You? What work will You do?” Like all carnal men they wanted it brought down to the earthy level where they could discern by their five senses, touch, taste, smell, hear, see.  But FAITH THAT PLEASES GOD is not of the flesh, it is of the Spirit.  “For with the heart man believes into righteousness.” (Rom. 10:10).  And while faith can believe for things to be seen, faith does not come from the seeing.  “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” (Eccl. 1:8).  It is the Spirit that quickens, illumines within, causing faith to rise up and we believe into Him.  In spirit and in truth, the Father seeks such to worship Him.
        If the fulfillment of the promise was dependent upon our works, the Lord knows that we would never reap the promise.  But it is GRACE THROUGH FAITH that makes it sure unto all men.  All of our works must be the resultant action of BELIEVING INTO HIM, and receiving His enablement─ and so it is truly, “Not by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT, says the Lord of hosts.” The energizing is His, and the direction is His, and we but become “laborers together with God,” as we believe into Him and He fulfills His plan and purpose.  Without Him we can do nothing!  So what is our work?  It is to believe on Him─ and then HE DOES THE WORKS!

“Lord, You will ordain peace for us: for You also have done all our works in us.” (Isaiah 26:12).

        The Lord gives a promise, imparting a divine revelation that this certain thing is for us, and then the days, months, years go by and we don’t see the least bit of outward evidence of its fulfillment─ in fact, it may even appear to be going in the opposite direction, with conditions deteriorating instead of improving.  We are stripped of all the gifts and graces we once felt we possessed.  Desperately our flesh would reach out and try to help hasten that promise to fulfillment, but there is nothing that man can do.  Yet the Word was given, He planted the revelation deep within, and now you can only HOLD STEADY─ grounded on that Word, and believing God until.  Your very vision and truth will try you to inmost core!  “Until the time that his word came (i.e. word of his release from prison): THE WORD OF THE LORD TRIED HIM.” (Psalm 105:19).  How interesting!  The very WORD that caused FAITH to take hold in us, is also the WORD that will try us, and put that faith to a test.  His Word will both quicken and purify.  Truth revealed and experienced is HEAT as well as LIGHT.  How we need it to warm and purify the heart, as well as give light to our reason.  And then we will continue to believe, even though we see not.  We will not bow beneath the weight of time, and seek for another way to fulfill the promise.  Praise: God, HE SHALL FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH WHEN HE COMES!
        “And we desire that every one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that you not be slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb. 6:11-12).
        “There is a path which no fowl knows, and which the vulture’s eye has not seen: the lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.” (Job 28:7-8).  As followers of them who ultimately inherited their promises, so we walk this new way, in the pathway of faith, BELIEVING THAT WE SHALL ALSO ULTIMATELY POSSESS OUR VICTORIES.

O path of faith that knows no end, and feareth not storms that impend, 
But stretches onward, upward still, into the fulness of God’s will.

To take thy step not knowing where, a going out─ new realms to share,
With minds untroubled by the way, nor fretting at the length of day.

O path that pierces the unknown, how glorious are thy mysteries shown
Unto the one who dares to walk the path where lions never stalk.

The vulture’s eye has neler beheld this way divine─ unparalleled,
For holiness shall undergird the entrance through the living Word.

Thy avenues are all unseen, yet glistening with a dewdrop’s sheen,
So rare a path thou cannot find by walking with a carnal mind.

‘Tis not by fancy, world of dream, for things are not all as they seem,
The path of faith is solid, sure─ an upward way that shall endure.

Each step is measured by His love, and linked unto His throne above,
And they who take its way shall be enthralled with pure reality.

        Truly, faith can move with God through the realms unseen, knowing that the unseen is more stable, sure, real, than all that the carnal imaginations of man can produce.  So Paul writes, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18).
        To the eye of faith the invisible realm is solid and sure.  By faith Moses “endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27).  And though the pressures and processings are many, we can declare the truth we believe, as did Paul.  “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; WE ALSO BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK.” (2 Cor. 4:13).  This does not mean that we run around blabbing all of God’s secrets, nor speaking out of turn.  But when it is time to declare the truth─ we believe, and therefore declare it, to His glory and praise.
        But there is one more point to be touched upon, in our assurance that there will be FAITH ON THE EARTH WHEN HE COMES.  Jesus taught, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing shall be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20).  Again the approach by many is concerning the “size” of the mustard seed, and that if you have just a wee little bit of faith you can do great things.  But Jesus was not speaking of the quantity but of the QUALITY of faith.  What KIND of faith does a mustard seed have?
        “A grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: but when it is sown, IT GROWS UP, and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches; so that the birds of the air may nest under it’s shade. (Mark 4:31, 32)
        What is the QUALITY of faith in a mustard seed─ it is the KIND THAT GROWS.  It may start out exceedingly small, but it grows into a great thing.  Jesus spoke to those who had “little faith.” “Why are you fearful, you of little faith.” (Matt. 8:26).  And He spoke to those who had great faith.  “O woman, great is your faith.” (Matt. 15:28).  But again, the issue is not the amount of faith, quantity-wise, but of the QUALITY─ faith that reaches out to lay hold of the reality of God.  It is strengthened and increased as it is also tested and tried.  It is believing that matures into a KNOWING.  THE FAITH OF GOD, which shall be FOUND ON THE EARTH, in a people who have been duly processed, is a faith that PLEASES GOD, and shall inherit the promises.
        How often have we, like the disciples of old, said to our Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Matt. 17:5).  And immediately find that He has plunged us into circumstances and situations which tested every ounce of faith that we had.  But the wonder of it all is to see how this DIVINE INWORKING increases our faith with every obstacle overcome.  Rest assured, beloved friend, God knows exactly what He is doing in His purpose of the ages, and there is a bringing forth of a FAITH PEOPLE that KNOW IN WHOM THEY HAVE BELIEVED, and they shall show forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness, into His marvelous light.
        How precious is the “Gospel of Christ: – for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17).  Tucked in this verse are volumes of truth for our pondering, but let it be said─ God is bringing forth a people of whom it is written, “Your people also shall be all righteous.” (Isa. 60:21), for, as Paul also concurs, we are to be “made the righteousness of God IN HIM.” (2 Cor. 5:21).  Thus, as the GOSPEL WORKS IN US, going from faith to faith, growing, expanding, developing, maturing, it shall reveal that GOD HAS HIS ELECT, HIS FAITH PEOPLE on the earth.  They are being prepared to inherit the kingdom, and see the establishment of His righteousness upon the earth, for they, too, shall bear after their own kind, even as our Lord is birthing them.  Into His image and likeness we come, and praise God, He shall be glorified.  THE JUST, His justified ones, clothed with His righteousness, shall LIVE and WALK BY FAITH.  How glorious is this handiwork of our God!

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(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 11

I WILL DWELL IN THEM

        “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I WILL DWELL IN THEM, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:17-18).

Two special choruses to add their emphasis:

    “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true,
    With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary far You.”

    “For I was born to be Thy dwelling place,
     A home for the presence of the Lord,
     O let my life now be separated unto Thee,
     That I might be what I was born to be.”

        The ultimate goal of God’s purpose being wrought out through the ages, is to have A PEOPLE WITH WHOM, IN WHOM TO DWELL.  He is preparing man, both individually and corporately, to be in HIS OWN IMAGE, so that in them He might tabernacle Himself, to share fellowship─ have pleasure in intimate communion.  He was ALL GOD in Himself, but when He has finished His purpose, He shall be GOD ALL IN ALL, having brought forth a people in whom He might dwell.  Or, as the Amplified translation gives for 1 Cor. 15:28, “So that God may be all in all─ that is, be everything to everyone, supreme, THE INDWELLING AND CONTROLLING FACTOR OF LIFE.”
        There is a revelation of HIS WILL AND MIND in what HE DOES.  He speaks very loudly in His action, His works.  And when He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26), in this very working He was giving us a revelation of His will and purpose.  He does not always draw pictures, post a diagram/blueprint on the wall.  He does not always speak verbally.  But you can WATCH WHAT HE DOES and begin to understand what is in His mind.
        In fact, Jesus once said to the Jews who had taken up stones to stone Him, when they could not receive some of His spoken words.  “Though you don’t believe Me, BELIEVE THE WORKS: that you may know, and believe…” (John 10:38).
        Again, He stated, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He does, these also the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19).
        Thus all His works were a revelation of the Father’s will toward mankind.  If we understand HIS WORKS, we also KNOW WHAT IS IN THE HEART OF GOD for His creation.
        WHY does He work to bring forth man in His own image?  The ultimate answer, TO DWELL IN!  A place where He can PRESENCE HIMSELF without controversy.
        Paul wrote, Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.”
        What controversy─ the flesh against the Spirit, Spirit against the flesh.  Yet, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).  There must be harmony─ “For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? – And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Cor. 6:14, 16).  Such controversy!  No wonder Jesus prayed, “That they all may be ONE; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be ONE in us.” (John 17:23).  And what purging is necessary to bring about this oneness, ending all the discord in us.
        In the garden of Eden, Genesis 3 tells us, HE WAS THERE.  He did not have to call to man until man had sinned, but He presented Himself and they were sharing precious fellowship.  Then man sinned─ how? by turning to his own way, thus introducing controversy─ man’s will against God’s will.  “All we like sheep have gone astray; WE HAVE TURNED EVERY ONE TO HIS OWN WAY.” we read in Isaiah 53:6.  Having gone his own way, turning from God, then God called to Adam, saying, “Where are you?” If Adam had answered according to the vernacular of today, he would have said, “I was off doing my own thing.” And his own thing was in contra-distinction to the will of God.  So from that moment on fellowship was broken.  Spontaneous fellowship ended, and thereafter was intermittent, limited, coming far short of God’s plan.
        All the way through the Old Testament we trace the on-again, off-again, way of fellowship.  Betimes men seeking God, betimes going their own way.  Thus Acts 3:19 speaks of those “Times of refreshing that come from the presence of the Lord.” Cycles of quickening and awareness of His presence, and then cycles of dryness and emptiness, when we not only wonder where God is, but even IF God is.  Ah, there is far too much controversy─ of the carnal mind against the Spirit, and we find the need to “Cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)

Genesis 28:16-17, “Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.”

“And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place!  This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”


        All he had there was a stone for a pillow, and an open sky for a covering, and he said the place was “the house of God,” because by a dream he was made aware that “THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE.” But as soon as he was aware that GOD WAS THERE, he called it a DREADFUL PLACE. why?  Because there was too much controversy in Jacob to be able to enjoy God’s presence.  All the discord was in Jacob, and there would be a long processing needed to change him.  So Jacob went on his way, came to Laban, his mother’s brother, and there he served for many years.  Finally, having gained his wives, children, and possessions, it was time to return to his father’s house.  And on the way of his return we come to that happening where “There wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” (Gen. 32:24).  Still working out the controversy that was in Jacob.  For Jacob was a conniver, a schemer, as he sought to fulfill his own purpose and self-interest.  But at last he came face to face with One who could over-power him.  And finally his name was changed, from Jacob─ supplanter, deceiver─ to Israel, which literally means: GOD RULES.  Finally there was a subduing, to end the controversy, as GOD PREVAILED OVER HIM, and Jacob became surrendered to God’s inworkings.
        In due time God brought Israel up out of Egypt, stating, “They shall know that I AM the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, THAT I MAY DWELL AMONG THEM: I AM the Lord their God.” (Ex. 29:46).
        What was the purpose in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt?  THAT I MAY DWELL AMONG THEM!  To have a people with whom to share communion.  Yet forty years of wandering in the wilderness did not get Egypt out of them.
        “You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN YOUR HEART, whether you would keep His commandments, or no.” (Deut. 8:2).  And the wilderness processing’s revealed there was far too much controversy in them─ their heart so often turned away from God.
        No wonder John writes, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).  Thus He leads us through all these experiences to prove what is actually in our own heart.  True, HE ALREADY KNOWS, but we don’t, for “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: WHO CAN KNOW IT?  I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins…” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  And it is in these many processings that we learn what we are on the inside.  He searches out, and exposes to us the many things in us which are CONTRARY to His holiness.  Then we repent, and He graciously cleanses us from all unrighteousness, until we can become ONE IN HIM.
        So God said to Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Ex. 25:8) The word “sanctuary” comes from a Hebrew word that means “place set apart.” WHAT A BEGINNING.  It was necessary for them to SET APART a little place of dirt, for His place of dwelling, but this is only an interim thing, for when He has finished with this whole plan, He will have SET APART A PEOPLE FOR HIMSELF.
        But we learn that Israel had too much of Egypt’s god in them, along with all their own self-will and rebellion, so God said, “I will not go up in the midst of you; for you are a stiff-necked people: lest I consume you in the way. So Moses took the tabernacle, AND PITCHED IT WITHOUT THE CAMP, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation.  And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the Tabernacle of the congregation, WHICH WAS WITHOUT THE CAMP.” (Exodus 33:3, 7).
        What a commentary on the state of the people, that even though God had brought them up out of Egypt, so “THAT I MIGHT DWELL AMONG THEM,” yet there was so much controversy in them, that they had to just SET APART A PLACE OUTSIDE THE CAMP for Him, where they might go and find Him.  Had He stayed in the camp He would have CONSUMED THEM IN THE WAY, for “Our God is a consuming fire,” consuming all that is not one in His holiness.
        “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, SUFFERED WITHOUT THE GATE.  Let us go forth therefore unto Him WITHOUT THE CAMP, bearing His reproach.” (Hebrews 13:12-13).  He also had to go without the camp─ and He did it for us, so that no longer do we have to go to a place, but hereafter we GO FORTH UNTO HIM.  True, it may also mean that we “leave the camp,” to be separated unto Him, but in our GOING ON TO PERFECTION, He truly goes with us all the way, till we shall BE FOUND IN HIM.  Bless His name.
        Yet to this day the mentality remains in Christendom, that if they want to seek the Lord, feel close to the Lord, they think they must seek out some “cathedral” i.e. commonly called “a church.” And they think they will find God IN A PLACE, a set apart patch of dirt with a steepled building on it, and if they join that congregation, surely God is there.  So long as it is “a tabernacle of the congregation,” religious─ plenty of ceremony─ they hope that they will find peace.  But often there is as much inner controversy in “that place” as there is “in them,” and with all the mixture of self, soulishness, ego-parade, kingdom-building, etc. they come to realize that the reality they desire is not there.  Ah, little do they know that GOD HAS MOVED OUT OF THAT PLACE, saying, as He did long ago, “your house is left unto you desolate.”
        Amos wrote of how God, “Caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city,” and it really set the people to running to find water.  “So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have you not returned unto Me, says the Lord.” (Amos 4:7-8).  Today people will search out convention and conference from city to city, hoping for that refreshing that satisfies.  But it is NOT in going to a place, a meeting, it is in RETURNING UNTO THE LORD.  And HE can be found right where you are, when your heart is turned toward Him.  True, He can bless in gatherings, when they are of His appointment, and HE draws you there, but it is because YOU HAVE TURNED ASIDE TO SEEK HIM, not because it is any certain place.  This is a very valid point to consider.
        Moses was busy taking care of sheep on the backside of the desert, when GOD CAME TO HIM WHERE HE WAS.  “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” (Exodus 3:2-3).  There could have been many other distractions─ some sheep that needed attention right now, but MOSES TURNED ASIDE TO SEE.  That is the lesson we all need to learn.  How often during the day might He appear to us in various ways─ and we do well at that moment to TURN ASIDE, take time to worship Him, offering our praise and thanksgiving, listen for His voice, and receive from His Spirit that which refreshes the inner man.
        The types and symbols all hold their message for us, as God applies it to US. And there is another dimension before us.  God once said to Abraham, father of the FAITHFUL, “Lift up now your eyes, and LOOK FROM THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE…” (Gen. 13:14).  God told him to look northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, and that He would give it all to him, so that HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF IT RIGHT WHERE HE WAS.
        In this very place where you are, these very circumstances which surround you, LOOK UP, FOR I AM WITH YOU RIGHT THERE─ you can worship Me right there, you can receive revelation right there─ YOU CAN BECOME MY DWELLING PLACE RIGHT THERE!  LOOK UP in the midst of your trials and situations, to SEE THAT GOD IS THERE, and He will give all these things to you─ turning the sorrow into joy, the evil into good, the night into day, for He says, “ALL THINGS ARE YOURS; Whether… the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours. (BECAUSE YOU ARE HIS).” (1 Cor. 3:21-22).  Praise His wonderful name!
        Yes, there “has been” a going out─ to leave all else behind, that He might become first and foremost in our life, and there may be many more cycles of inworking of this until we are complete in Him.  But there comes a time, when we are so inwrought with His grace, that, in many ways, “we shall go no more out.” (Rev. 3:12).  We begin to DWELL IN GOD, and His Spirit dwells in us, and in each day, in each situation, we can LOOK UP, for He is there!
        Then John adds, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have no doubt continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (I John 2:19).  When your life and walk before God is pure, then whoever is not in agreement with HIS LIFE IN YOU will have to leave, for the controversy is in them, and they cannot fellowship with you.  Had they stayed with you, HIS FIRE WOULD HAVE CONSUMED THEM.  They have to leave until such a time as God has processed them into oneness with Himself, and then they will be one with you also, as you are one in Him.
        Leviticus 26:1, “You shall make you NO IDOLS NOR GRAVEN IMAGE, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall you set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I AM the Lord your God.” Then He repeats the promise, verses 11-12, “And I will set My tabernacle among you: and My soul shall not abhor you.  And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be My people.”
        When will God FULLY DWELL IN YOU!  When there are no more idols in you.  As long as we have room for IDOLS within, God does not permanently tabernacle in us.  Yes, He will visit you, to give you a sense of His presence to sustain you through all the purification processings, but to be FILLED WITH HIS FULNESS, means that all else has been purged out─ no more idols.  This theme is woven all through the Scriptures, that NO IDOLS will share space in His dwelling place.
        John was certainly a beloved disciple, and He wrote precious truth concerning the love of God─ “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God.” (1 John 3:1).  It was John who wrote on the ultimate glory of the new birth, that “whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (3:9).  It was John who wrote that “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (4:4).  And we could recite many more profound truths which he shared.  Yet when he had finished all of these marvelous teachings─ principles that we have barely scratched the surface of all these many years of meditating on them─ how does he end his writings, summing up the message as a father-figure who loves his children and would leave them a final word of utmost importance?  As an apostolic command that should be held constantly before us?  What does he say, (1 John 5:20-21), “We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, THAT WE MAY KNOW HIM THAT IS TRUE, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ.  This is the true God, and eternal life.  Little children, KEEP YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS. amen.”
        The final instruction, “the last word to ring in our heart and mind,” after all the deep, profound truths which he had written, he seals it with the utmost challenge, first and foremost, above all else, KEEP YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS.  Why?  Because God will not tabernacle Himself permanently in us, as long as there are any other gods within us.
        Any substitute will separate us from Him that is True!  Any substitute will keep us from the fulness of the life that is in Him!  Whatever captures your attention, to draw you away from SINGLENESS UNTO CHRIST, is idolatry; yes, it is literally “anti-christ.” The Greek word for “anti” means: over against, or, instead of.  It is INSTEAD OF CHRIST, it is anti-christ!  If it is anti-christ, it is a form of idolatry.  There is so much of this world that would seek to captivate us, and draw us away from Him.
        “Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thess. 2:4).  That’s the man of sin, the old adamic nature, the carnal mind, and whatever else we allow to usurp His Lordship.
        “What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” NONE!  That is why he goes on to write, “Wherefore come out from among them, AND BE SEPARATE.” No more does He desire just a patch of dirt on which to pitch His tent, nor is He interested in buildings, however splendid and ornate they might be. Now He has gone beyond separate, sacred acres of soil, beyond holy temples built by man’s hand, and HE DESIRES A SEPARATE PEOPLE─ called out from the world, and CALLED UNTO HIMSELF.
        Then it reads on, “And touch not the unclean!” The Greek word for “touch” is “haptomai” meaning: to attach oneself to, or literally, TO KINDLE.  The same word is used in John 20:17, when Jesus appeared unto Mary right after His resurrection, and she was so overjoyed to see Him, she would reach out to embrace Him, but He said─ “TOUCH Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father…”
        Kindle me not─ do not light any fire of desire in me that would turn me away from my goal.  And in this moment, our Lord did not want any human love, sentiment, temperament to defile Him.  Sure, He understood how she felt, and He had singled her out for a special appearance, but there was to be no “earthy contact” until He had been SEALED IN to the higher realm.  He was about to ascend to His Father, to present Himself pure and blameless, as the FIRSTBORN OF THE NEW CREATION.  Later, after He had appeared to His Father, he would return to His disciples, passing through the door while it was yet closed, and calming their fears with a “Peace be unto you,” He would say to Thomas, “TOUCH ME!” “Reach your finger here, and behold My hands; and reach your hand here and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27).  But Mary had seen Him between the grave and the throne, and so He said to her, “Touch Me not.” For He must ascend to the Father and SEAL IN the redemption victory, untouched by any thing, or anyone on this earth plane.
        Now, we likewise, have been CALLED OUT FROM AMONG THE DEAD, called out of the carnal realm, and we are ascending to our Father, being quickened by His Spirit, and being raised to sit with Him in the heavenlies.  A new life has begun to work in us, and our challenge is─ DON’T LET ANYTHING OF THIS WORLD KINDLE IN YOU A STRANGE FIRE OF DESIRE, thus introducing controversy in us again.  We are headed for the realms of glory promised to the overcomer, to sit with Him in His throne, and He must “present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 24).
        So often the world would like to kindle a fire in us.  Religious Babylon tries so hard to TOUCH THE ELECT WITH AN UNCLEAN THING.  We mean no offense, and if GOD has called you to any task, place, work, etc. give obedience and leave the rest of it to His outworking.  We speak for a general application, not an individual relating.  Christendom tries so hard to kindle in men and women a desire to run for political office, to correct the injustices of the world.  Many start out with good motives─ and then the world kindles a strange fire of desire for power, control, compromise, etc. and the vessel is defiled, and they find there is an IDOL in their temple.  There are many financial involvements that likewise can turn one away from a pure walk.  A credit-card entanglement that “sells your soul to the company store.” And the religious part of Babylon would try so hard to kindle a fire in the direction of need-centered ministries, until the NEED becomes the IDOL in place of the will of God.  Certainly THE WILL OF GOD is our only ministry.
        More and more we understand that word, “When your eye is single, your whole body also is full of light (Luke 11:34).  Surrendered totally to HIS LORDSHIP, there is a singleness of purpose, to become HIS DWELLING PLACE.
        “That you may be filled through all your being unto all the fulness of God – that is, may have the richest measure of the DIVINE PRESENCE, and become a body WHOLLY FILLED and flooded with God Himself.” (Eph. 3:19, Amplified).  Praise God, this prayer shall be realized, and we SHALL become His dwelling place, not just in part, not just intermittently, but in fulness for ever!

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(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 12

I WILL WALK IN THEM

“For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, AND WALK IN THEM; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16).

“He shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign, till He has put all enemies under His feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).

“I will dwell in them, AND WALK IN THEM.” Wuest translation gives, “I will dwell in them in fellowship with them as in a home, AND I WILL LIVE MY LIFE IN AND THROUGH THEM.”

        There is an INDWELLING promised, which goes far beyond our present experience.  It bespeaks of when all inner controversy has been resolved, and we are ONE IN HIS WILL, so that HE might be “AT HOME” in us, to freely share communion, unrestricted, unhindered by anything that would be contrary.  We have a glimpse of this blessing in Romans 8:11.  “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead DWELL IN YOU, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that DWELLS IN YOU.” We pray that this becomes a reality in each of us─ that Christ would be so AT HOME in us, that He would permanently PRESENCE Himself in us─ to become the indwelling, controlling factor of our life, TO LIVE HIS LIFE IN AND THROUGH US.  Bless His wonderful name!
        Not only to DWELL within, but also TO WALK IN US.  The word “walk” as used here comes from the Greek word “peripateo.” We note the two parts, “peri” meaning: through, all over, or around; and “pateo” meaning: to trample, or to tread down or underfoot.  This bespeaks of His leaving HIS IMPRINT EVERY WHERE HE WALKS IN US, and thus, the outliving of His life through us.
        “And they heard the voice of the Lord God WALKING in the garden in the cool of the day.” (Gen. 3:8).  He was there to fellowship with them.  He would share of HIS LIFE, leaving the imprint of Himself wherever He went.  But He did not want to WALK ALONE, He desired to walk with man─ sharing together.  Yet Amos 3:3 asks the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” So, if God is going to WALK IN US and live His life through us, it means that we have come to an AGREEMENT─ to be one IN and WITH His will and purpose.  No more self-will in contradistinction to His will, but there is TOTAL AGREEMENT.  Matt, 18:19, “If two of you agree …” And there the Greek word is “sumphoneo” literally meaning: ONE SOUND.  It is the word from which we get our English word “symphony.” PERFECT HARMONY, without a discordant note of any kind, for all is blended together into one sound. That is the kind of agreement we need if we are to walk together with Him.
        Long ago God spoke to Israel, saying, “If you walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them… I WILL WALK AMONG YOU, and will be your God, and you shall be My people.”
(Lev. 26:3,12).  He gave them His Word, and if they were in agreement with that Word, to obey it, then they could WALK TOGETHER WITH GOD, in harmony and blessing.  However, He went on to state, (verse 21), “And if you walk contrary unto Me, and will not hearken unto Me… then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.” Self-will rebelling against His Word brings in controversy─ and sets man against God, and God against man.  A discordant sound bringing friction and unhappiness, and must be thoroughly dealt with.
        Deut. 23:14.  “For the Lord your God WALKS IN THE MIDST OF YOUR CAMP, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore your camp shall be holy: that He see no unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.” The preceding verse gave the instruction on how to keep the camp clean, stating, “You shall have a paddle upon your weapon; and it shall be, when you will ease yourself abroad, you shall dig there, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you.” Illustrative as it might be, there is a tremendous truth set forth.  All refuse of self, flesh, is to be COVERED, not flaunted before others.  LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SIN.  And all of this “airing” of the sins of those who stumble and fall, makes for UNCLEANNESS in the camp, and God cannot walk with us until it is ALL COVERED.  May God ever help us to keep our personal camp (heart) clean before Him─ that He might walk in us, to ever deliver us from all evil.
        In 2 Samuel 7:6, when David had proposed to build God an house, God sent the prophet Nathan to him, saying, “Since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, I have but walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.” It was a temporary arrangement.  He moved among them, He blessed them, and He punished them, by turn, but there was no real permanency.  It was an off-again, on-again relationship, and most definitely needed a change of order.
        Jesus brought to light that NEW ORDER when He said, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOREVER; even the Spirit of Truth; – for He dwells with you, and SHALL BE IN YOU.” (John 16:16-17).
        Herein is the arrangement of the new covenant, wherein God makes promise both for Himself, and for us, saying, “I WILL… and YOU SHALL…” In the old covenant, God gave His promise, and the people gave theirs.  There was no problem with God keeping His part, but the people constantly failed to live up to their promise.  So in due time God brought forth a BETTER way, established upon BETTER promises─ for He makes the promise for both Himself and for us.  Again, we say, there is no problem with God keeping His part of the promise.  But then He goes on to state, “Now I will dwell in them, walk in them, live out My life through them, thus I will keep man’s part also.” That is the wonder and blessing of the new covenant.  HE COMES IN, NOT AS A GUEST, BUT AS KING, TO REIGN WITHIN US.
        No more will He “pitch His tent among them,” and so to have fellowship with God we have to go “visit His house.” Even though some of us could say with the Psalmist, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1).  But that verse fades into history when YOU BECOME the house of the Lord.
        He is to REIGN within us!  The Greek word is “basileuo” meaning: to rule, be a king, or to reign; but it goes back to the root “basis” which means: TO WALK.  It speaks of the foundation of power on which all else stands.
        This gives a whole new meaning to the battle with the serpent, and God’s promise, “The Seed shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise HIS HEEL.” (Gen. 3:15).  The adversary would strike a blow at the kingdom-dominion-rule of Christ.  It would bruise His heel.  And it did “Please the Lord to bruise Him.” (Isaiah 53:10).

        “Him, being delivered by the deliberate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” (Acts 2:23).

        “For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He lives by the power of God.” (2 Corinthians 13:4).

        “For the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

        IN HIS HUMANITY He became weary, tired, sad; was spit upon, was beaten, as His HEEL was bruised.  The sorrow, the grief, the pain─ it was all there!

        But He went on to BRUISE THE SERPENT’S HEAD─ “Having spoiled (to strip off, unclothe) principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it (literally, IN HIMSELF).” (Colossians 2:15).

        When He finished SPOILING the adversary, He took away all the authority or power or usurped dominion that he had, and NOW CHRIST ALONE “has the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev. 1:18).  “That through death He might destroy (disannul, render inactive) him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb. 2:14).  Satan did not have power OVER death, but he had a kingdom of darkness, of which death is the realm.  Whatever usurped form of dominion he had over the human race, was in the form of death.  And now that is broken, and Christ alone has the keys of death and hell.  And in His victory, Christ has power OVER death─ and can make ALIVE again.  This was something that Satan could never do.  The thief comes to kill and destroy, but he can never give life.  But CHRIST IS A LIFE-GIVER! amen!
        “IN HIMSELF.” The entire victory was first wrought IN CHRIST.  “The prince of this world comes, and has nothing in Me.” (John 14:30).  HE IS LORD, and all other powers are now subject to Him─ and that is why “The Son must reign until all enemies are put under His feet.” They are UNDER, IN HIM, but now they must be UNDER HIS FEET IN US.  So while we do not yet see all things put under our feet (in union with Him), we do “SEE JESUS … crowned with glory and honor.” (Heb. 2:9).  And when He has finished WALKING IN US, He will have “brought many sons unto glory.” Bless His name!
        “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you,” God promises Joshua (1:3).  It was a promise of dominion, power, authority, to rule over all that territory wherever he might walk.  And now this can be transferred to a greater than Joshua, for it is our Lord Jesus Christ that is WALKING─ REIGNING─ progressively manifesting His authority and His ability, bring all enemies under His feet IN US, and ultimately in all mankind.
        One of the early Church fathers, Gregory of Nyssa (380 A.D.) gives the thought: “When it is said that God’s enemies shall be subjected to God… this meant that the power of evil shall be taken away, and they who, on account of their disobedience, were called God’s enemies, shall by subjection, BE MADE GOD’S FRIENDS.  When then all who once were God’s enemies, shall have been made His footstool (because they shall receive in themselves the Divine Imprint), when death shall have been destroyed; in the subjection of all, which is not servile humility, but immortality and blessedness …” then total victory is HIS!
        What a victory!  All His enemies made His friends, and each to receive in themselves the DIVINE IMPRINT.  That is the victory of HIS WALKING!
        This brings a new depth of meaning to Song of Solomon 2:8, “The voice of my Beloved!  Behold, He comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.” The greater the mountain, the harder He stamps, for “Every mountain and hill shall be brought low… And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:5-6).  It matters not how high man had built his mountain, when Christ places HIS FOOT upon it, it shall be brought low─ subdued, but it shall also BEAR HIS DIVINE IMPRINT, and come into His life and victory.
        The universality of this is awe-inspiring.  “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15).
        But the subject at hand is not how all “the kingdoms of this world” are to be subdued, but what is happening in us?  “I WILL WALK IN THEM.” And truly “The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: … first begin at us ….” (1 Pet. 4:17).  People are ever looking to see if the judgments are falling upon the world, but that’s not where they are to BEGIN.  It starts IN US!  He is reigning now─ walking in us now.  We have been CALLED OUT, separated unto Him─ to be the arena of His walking now!
        The question is: what dominions, powers, kingdoms are within us?  All the senses of the flesh, all the realms of the soul─ so much that needs to be brought into subjection to Him.  Bastions of self-will, fortifications of intellectual reasoning, high towers of imagination, “Bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5).
        For a beautiful illustration of the “OPERATION OF HIS FOOT,” Proverbs 21:1.  “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it where ever He will.”
        Note the phrase, “rivers of water.” The Hebrew is: palgey mayim.  Mayim is the word for “water”, but “palgey” means: divisions of, and the word is used of any small artificial channel.  The term is used in reference to the eastern garden which was divided by the little channels which distributed the water to each area.  The main channel was filled with water from the spring, fountain, well, or whatever, and then directed through the channels by the simple MOVEMENT OF THE FOOT.
        (Personally, for many years I had a garden that I irrigated, using one main channel through which the water flowed, and then with a hoe I opened up every little channel (trench) that ran alongside of each row of vegetables.  Had I wanted to use my foot (and get it muddy) I could have actually caused the water to flow into the various rows by the action of my foot.)
        Deuteronomy 11:10.  God promised Israel, “The land which you go in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt from which you came out, where you sow your seed, AND WATERS IT WITH YOUR FOOT, as a garden of herbs.”
        By the simple movement of the foot the gardener could dam up one little stream, or by a similar movement release the water in another channel.  Now the wise man wrote, JUST AS EASILY THE KING’S HEART IS TURNED ABOUT BY THE LORD, “where ever He wills.” HIS FOOT RULES!  He is walking in us, and with just the slightest movement, He changes the whole course of our life.
        In the book of Esther we read of a beautiful example of this.  Haman had built some special gallows upon which he had determined to have Mordecai hung, but before it could be carried out, we read, “On that night could not the king sleep…” (Esther 6:1).  So next the king must have something to help entertain him through the sleepless night, and he calls for them to bring “the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.” In the process they came to the account of how two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the doors, had conspired to lay hands on the king.  Mordecai reported the treacherous scheme, and thus stopped it.  Then the king inquired what had been done to honor Mordecai for this, and they said, “nothing.” So the next morning Haman, being out in the court, was called in to help advise the king “What shall be done unto the man whom the king delights to honor?” Self-centered as he was, and thinking that the king meant to honor him, Haman described what he would like to have done.  Once the plan was all laid out, the king said to Haman, “Make haste… and do so to Mordecai.” Thus Haman had to arrange for a special honor for the very man he hated, and was plotting to murder.
        “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord…” Just one SLEEPLESS NIGHT, and the king’s heart is turned─ changing the whole course of history, and the ultimate outcome of the whole working is that the law of the Medes and Persians is reversed, and Israel is delivered out of the hand of the one that would have destroyed them all.
        Again, we read of how Darius set over his kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, to serve over the whole kingdom, and over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first.  All the princes were jealous, and sought for an occasion against him.  Finding no fault, they realized that it would only be “concerning the law of his God.” So they persuaded the king to issue a decree that no one could ask a “petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of the king,” and the disobedient to be cast into a den of lions.  The king did so.  Daniel continued praying to his God.  The king had to fulfill his own decree and into the lion’s den went Daniel.  Then what happens to the king?  He goes to his palace, passes the night fasting, with no music, no entertainment─NO SLEEP.  God was moving HIS foot─REIGNING OVER ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES!  Daniel was preserved, the accusers were cast into the lion’s den, and the king issues a new decree─ “That in every dominion of my kingdom men TREMBLE AND FEAR BEFORE THE GOD OF DANIEL.” (Daniel 6:26).
        Do you think this is a hard thing for God to do, to move His foot?  As the rivers of water, as the little channels turned in their courses by a foot, so is “the king’s heart in the hand of the Lord… He turns it where ever He will.” The king has one sleepless night, and the whole direction of events is changed.  Glorious is the IMPRINT OF HIS FOOT walking in us.
        You have your day planned, your week planned, your vacation planned, etc. and you think it is all in order, and God moves HIS FOOT just a wee bit, and everything is changed─ out of your control, and INTO HIS.  Hallelujah!  Thank God for His inworkings, and may He continue to WALK IN US, until we can cry out, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME, bless His holy name.” (Psalm 103:1).  He walks, He runs, He leaps, HE REIGNS in us, until everything within is under His feet, one in His will, bearing His imprint.  Thus, THE SON MUST REIGN UNTIL….It is most significant that there are three Psalms that begin, “The Lord reigns…” and every one ends up speaking of HOLINESS.

Psalm 93:1, 5. “The Lord reigns… Holiness becomes Your house, O Lord, forever.”

Psalm 97:1, 12.  “The Lord reigns… Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.”

Psalm 99:1, 9. “The Lord reigns… Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.”        

        How could it be otherwise?  Wherever He reigns, there will be holiness!
        Indeed, where God reigns, righteousness abounds.  For, “When Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9).  Judgments are but one more manifestation of HIS WALKING.
        Surely, right now, it is the INSIDE of the cup that He is dealing with.  He had some very strong words for the scribes and Pharisees.  “For you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” (Matthew 23:25).  One might be quite adorned with religiosity, and on the outside have all the appearances of being clean, and yet within be filled with all sorts of corruption─ anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, self-centeredness. etc.  How we need the Lord to begin HIS WALK through the length and breadth of our “interior” until everything within us can truly cry “HOLY.”
        The question was asked of Jerusalem, “How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?” (Jeremiah 4:14).  And truly we find God has some amazing ways to tread upon our vain thoughts, to dis-lodge them, remove them, that He might place HIS THOUGHTS within us.
        “Righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit,” (Rom. 14:17), are the blessings of the KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN US.         Yet Paul also knew the need for HIS RULE to be within.  And once wrote of how “our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, WITHIN WERE FEARS.” (2 Cor. 7:5).  It was the INNER STATE that made the outward so much more difficult to face.  When He is ruling within us, and we are filled internally with His joy and peace, and yes, with His righteousness, then we are much more fortified to face the many pressures of the day.  But if there are negatives within, they me as traitors to our peace─ and it is so hard to face the outward conflicts.
        Surely we have all faced many “inward fears” for our finances, it was fear for our physical health, or that we were losing our mind, or that the family situations would worsen, the kids would divorce, or get into serious trouble, and the list is endless of FEARS WITHIN.  You wake up in the middle of the night, and the cold fear gnaws at you.  THEN GOD COMES AND TREADS ON THAT FEAR, and turns that very fear into an imprint of hope.  What a miracle of conversion!  So He gives you songs in the night.
        Precious indeed is the drawing of the holy Spirit, to separate us unto Himself, that He might even now, BY HIS SPIRIT, dwell in us, and begin to WALK IN US─ ruling and reigning until all our inner enemies are under His feet.  Praise God, “The Lord in the midst of you is mighty.” (Zeph. 3:17).  He who WALKS WITHIN is greater than all outward circumstances.  Therefore, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail; and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
        How can I be so joyful in the midst of such conditions?  BECAUSE HE REIGNS!  HE IS WALKING WITHIN─ for “You are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My People.” He may come leaping, or just skipping, but everywhere He moves it will bring forth the out-living of HIS LIFE.  “Thank you, Father, for such love to us-ward.  You have begun a good work within, and You will bring it to a successful conclusion, that we might be a people to your praise.  WALK─ REIGN WITHIN until we are filled with You, one in your will, and all the inner enemies are as ashes under your feet.” Amen!

  _________________________________________________                              
(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”     Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 13

IN HIM LIFE, FOR A LIGHT

“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:4-5).

        There is an earnest prayer that is rising from the heart of God’s people in these days, and knowing that His Spirit searches all things, including what is in the heart of man, we are persuaded that our desires are open before Him.  How we long for that free flow of the Spirit of life to satisfy the thirst within.  Yea, that we might have a deeper heart to heart, spirit to spirit communion with our God, as He opens our understanding to the truths which are so vital for these times.  How thankful we are that He can lead us far beyond the confines of our human comprehension, and open up to our inner man the vision of divine reality.  In His own unique way He brings our thoughts and imaginations into conformity to His will and purpose.  How we pray for a break-through, beyond all the barriers which have held us in limbo, in dimensions of emptiness, waiting for His time and season of refreshing.  Verily, “He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in…” (Deut. 6:23).  Called out of the world, called out of religious Babylon, called out of self with its own will and way, to be brought into the FELLOWSHIP OF THE SON─ to partake of Him, be BROUGHT IN─ TO BE FOUND IN HIM─ the unlimited expanses of His love, where we might walk that path which the vulture’s eye has not seen, bringing us into His glory.  May He lift us up from the low way of religion, into the HIGH way of His Spirit.  “If by the holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25, Amp.) Amen!
        It is to be noted that LIGHT IS A RESULT, but LIFE IS THE VERY ESSENCE AND FIRST CAUSE OF LIGHT.  “In Him was LIFE; and the LIFE was the LIGHT of men.” He did not say that the “light” was the “life.” There are those who think that because they have a little light, that they have arrived into life, but this is not so.  Whether you have light, or darkness, you can still have LIFE.  You might react differently to the darkness, than you do towards the light, but you still have life.  Walking in light you might do many things, while in the darkness you rest and wait for the light to dawn again.  Birds soar into the heavens in the light of day, while they fold their wings and sleep in the dark of the night─ but they have LIFE regardless of night or day.  As early dawn begins to lighten the world, they stir and begin to chirp, sing, responding to the light, but they possessed LIFE all through the night, else they would not be able to react to the dawning of the day.  How we need this basic understanding, that HIS LIFE ABIDES WITHIN, whether we are walking in the light, or silently waiting out the dark night of testing and trial.  And it is because HE IS THE INNER LIFE, that in due time He will cause His light to shine upon our pathway again.
        Isaiah 45:7, God says, “I form the light, and create darkness.” The ETERNAL LIVING GOD─ WHO IS LIFE, then brings forth an expression of Himself, in the form of light.  Note also, that the sequence is most correct, He first forms the LIGHT, and afterwards creates darkness─ lowering the vibration of light, until all is dark.  When He restores back to its first form, we have LIGHT again.  Were it the other way, that darkness was the first form, then followed by an expression of light, every time you restored back to the FIRST FORM, you would have darkness again.  But HE BEGINS WITH LIGHT ─ and all restoration back to the beginning, means a return to the light!

        Genesis 1:3, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

        The FIRST CAUSE is LIFE─ and GOD IS THAT LIFE-SOURCE.  Any return unto the Lord means a return unto LIFE.  For years the Spirit has dealt with us about “death to self, and the way of the cross,” “laying down our own life,” etc. all of which is so essential, and so true, “for he that is dead, is freed from sin,” (Romans 6:7), yet there is a need for BALANCE, lest we become utterly frustrated, and only death- conscious, and so it reads on, “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also LIVE WITH HIM.” (v.8) Furthermore, Jesus declared, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:32), even though He is declared to be “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” For, Paul wrote, to be “absent from the body” (Greek, to be away from one’s people) meant that he would “be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8), and to be WITH GOD, IS TO BE IN THE REALM OF LIFE.  We do not fully KNOW HIM while we are passing through the death-process.  In fact, often we are far more conscious of our selves, and our dying, than we are of God, and His life.  But it follows, HE has the keys of death and hell, and after He has used these to work His purpose in us, then we shall also rise to walk in the newness of HIS LIFE.
        This also is an established fact, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, WE ARE THE LORD’S.  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Rom. 14:8-9).
        Let it be clear─ “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1).  “Behold, ALL SOULS ARE MINE.” (Ezekiel 18:4).  When we confess HIS LORDSHIP, we include this truth that He is LORD both of the dead, and the living.  And because HE IS LORD OVER ALL, and because He is LIFE, therefore “IN, (with, by) Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22), even though it be “every man in his own order.” To return unto God, is to return unto LIFE!
        Under the ministration of the old covenant, death was very prominent.  “The soul that sins, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4).  Furthermore, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23).  “And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12).  Condemnation unto death!  And because the vast majority of Christen-dom still think in terms of the old covenant─ condemnation, and death, they view death as an enemy.  Negative powers long used death to destroy.  And the devil has long used the fear of death to bring men into bondage.  But, Jesus taught, “When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace: BUT WHEN A STRONGER THAN HE SHALL COME UPON HIM, AND OVERCOME HIM, he takes from him all his armour wherein he trusted…” (Luke 11:21-22).  Jesus is that One who is “stronger than he.” HE HAS OVERCOME, “Having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it (or, in Himself).” (Col. 2:15).  It was through His own death that He conquered, “that through death He might destroy (make of none effect) him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15).  And now, AS LORD both of the dead and the living, He says, “Fear not, I am the First and the Last: I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:17-18).
        HE WHO IS LIFE holds the key of death! Now HE uses the death- process to accomplish His own purposes, and so we need to DIE OUT to self and sin, to come alive unto God.  But, in-as-much as we already were DEAD in all of our trespasses and sins, it becomes self-evident that we cannot DIE TO SIN till first we have received a measure of His life, to enable us to walk out this death process.  Only that which is alive can die.  What is dead cannot die.  Preachers wax eloquent telling sinners to die to their sin, but they are already dead IN their sin, how then can they die to it?  Not until first there is an impartation of HIS NEW CREATION LIFE, can one begin to die out to the old realms of self, sin, etc.
        Indeed, it requires the ANOINTING OF HIS SPIRIT to enable us to walk out all the way of the cross, etc.  Even though Jesus was FULLY ANOINTED, “For God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him,” (John 3:34), yet to serve as an example for us, shortly before He faced the cross, “Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” (John 12:3).  When some became indignant about this, and thought it to be a waste, Jesus answered, “In that she has poured this ointment on My body, SHE DID IT FOR MY BURIAL.” (Matt. 26:12).  How we all need this ANOINTING FOR BURIAL─ the inflow of His Spirit to enable us to face all the way of the cross, and A BURIAL─ so that the old is laid to rest, to be seen no more, that we might then rise up to walk in the newness of His life.  Not until we have tasted of the reality of HIS LIFE can we begin to die out to the world, to self, etc.  Thank God, He does give us power to lay our life down, and then power to take up a new life in Him.
        Significant that Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).  And methinks there is a PROCESS WROUGHT between receiving life, and receiving it more abundantly.  We first receive a measure of His life─ AN ANOINTING FOR BURIAL, and after that inworking, we come into His MORE ABUNDANT (resurrection) life.  I have yet to meet one who lives in the “more abundant.” But we constantly meet those who have received His life and are now in the process of dying out to self, to their own will, etc.  But, this is a prelude to the greater, and far beyond all that we can ask or think, is this life yet to be received.
        Even Paul acknowledged, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14).
        May He truly become the central supremacy of our life.  LORD OF ALL within!
        Now, though betimes it seems that its vibration is very low, very dim, it is also self-evident that wherever there is any degree of light, there has to be LIFE undergirding, and from which the light proceeds.  Since HIS LIFE is the light of men, then wherever we find HIS LIGHT, we’ll also find His life.  Even when the light is very dim, and there seems to be more shadows falling across our path, than beams of light, nevertheless, LIFE IS THERE-and because it is there, “A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory.” And so He will nourish it, encourage it, add thereto until a life comes forth that is to His glory and praise.  It is this truth we would now pursue as we ponder the Scriptures.
        “Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM THE LIGHT of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have THE LIGHT OF LIFE.” (John 8:12).  So again the principle is clear, the light is OF the LIFE─ life is the cause, light is the outward manifesta-tion.  And if we are following Him, it is a pre-requisite that we have HIS LIFE to do so, as we cannot rightly follow the Lord by our own self-life, self-efforts, etc.
        “For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should FOLLOW HIS STEPS (literally, in His footprints, i.e. His exact walk).” (1 Peter 2:21).  This is not speaking of the literal footprint on the shores of Galilee.  But of that same SPIRIT, a conformity to His image, expression of His nature, coming INTO HIM until we both possess Him, and are possessed by Him─ “and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” (Galatians 2:20).

        How clearly John writes it, “He that HAS the Son has life.” (1 John 5:12)

        Therefore the question is: HOW MUCH do we have the SON?  For in the measure we possess Him, we possess life, and its following result, LIGHT.  “He that has the Son HAS…” Has life, has light, has all that he needs!  No wonder we read that “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18).  We receive of His life and it becomes a light upon our pathway, we walk on in that light and it leads us into greater measures of His life, which in turn increases our light─ thus ever onward, ever expanding, we are “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18)
        In reference to John the Baptist, “He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.” (John 5:35).  They would rejoice in “his” light, even reflect the same for a while, but they refused to pay the price for THE LIFE out of which his light came.  It happens over and over again─ people will find a “live group,” and gather in to rejoice in its “light” for a season, but if they refuse to receive of the LIFE SOURCE, in time that light will turn to darkness in them, and they will go wandering off to find another “live” group.  They want the light of that group, but they will not lay down their own life, to receive HIS LIFE, And thus the whole thing turns dark and dead for them.  You cannot long live in the light of a borrowed revelation, you must have that PERSONAL QUICKENING OF HIS LIFE, so that the light becomes your own to walk in.  Rejoicing in another’s light will not sustain you through your own dark night of the soul.  Seasonal rejoicing─ reveling in another’s light─ does not make for stability, and a positive growth in Christ.  We need to come into contact with the SAME LIFE SOURCE, to receive the same inner anointing, if we are going to continue walking on in the light.
        A note of caution would be in order here.  There are times when people are willing to “rejoice in your light,” though it be not their own, and because you long for fellowship, you impute to them light they do not possess.  They speak your terminology, talk of how great the light is─ but with no INNER LIFE of their own, in time they will turn from you, to seek another light to excite them for a time.  You wonder what happened─ if they had light, why did they fall away?  Ah, they were seasonally rejoicing in your light.
        The more we HAVE THE SON within, the more “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14).  But the purpose of our being “lights” is to point them to HIM who is THE LIFE SOURCE, that they might receive His life and have this light in themselves.  This takes on tremendous challenge for us, since it becomes evident that before we can BE LIGHTS, we must have HIS LIFE.  And in view of the fact that we are still being made conformable to His death, and sharing the fellowship of His sufferings, we can see why, as yet, there has been no great light to illumine the world.  THE LIGHTS ARE STILL BEING PREPARED─ prepared by daily partaking/receiving of His life.
        Of our Lord it was written, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” (Matthew 4:16).  We know this is true of Christ.  Nor would we in any way take away from His glory.  But I dare say, what was true of our Lord, shall also be fulfilled in His corporate body, as we become “lights” in the world.  However, since it is HIS LIFE which is the cause for our light, then “WITHOUT HIM WE CAN DO NOTHING.” We borrow from His analogy of the vine.  He said, “Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.” (John 15:4).
        So we paraphrase, “Abide in Me, and I in you.  You cannot shine of yourself.  Except you possess My life, you have no light.  Therefore abide in Me.”
        Our TRUE LIFE, the REAL life, is found in Christ.  This Paul writes, “For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:3-4).  Your manifestation “as a light” is concurrent with His appearing.  “If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified TOGETHER.” (Rom. 8:17).  There has to be this TOGETHERNESS, since apart from Him we are nothing.  The LIFE is in Him, and it is ours as long as we are IN HIM.  Any time we seek “to shine” apart from Him, we would be like a falling star that fades into the darkness.  Our light is drawn from His life!  Only as He appears, can we appear with Him in glory.  The world may well be looking for the manifestation of the sons (lights), but those who are sons, growing up into Him who is the Head, they are looking for the appearing of THE SON, for all of their glorification is in togetherness with Him.  Hallelujah!
        No wonder He has been purging and purifying His people so that no longer do we look upon men, as the bright star on our horizon, nor even look upon our own shining, (we grow so weary of people speaking of ‘my ministry’), but we would look only “unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” For “when your eye is single, your whole body also is full of light.” I dare say, it requires a lot of His processing to bring us to the state of having A single eye, to see only HIM.  People talk about seeing “Christ” in one another─ and that is true to a point, but it is very easy to start seeing the person, instead of the Christ─ and then we start to exalt the person.  It’s because we have not yet come to that “single eye” dimension in Christ.  Surely all the shadows and twilight zones have to disappear when He becomes the central supremacy of our life─ and His life becomes the light of men.
        Job 33:29-30, “Lo, all these things works God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.” ALL THESE THINGS works God─ indeed, working them all “together into good.” Beloved friend, whatever God allows into your life, is being used for a purpose─ that it might be another instrument in His hand, to bring back your soul from the pit, that you might be enlightened with the light of the living.  There is nothing overtaken you, but He is in control, “working all things after the counsel of His own will,” (Eph. 1:11), into our good, and for His ultimate praise.  We are to be ENLIGHTENED, quickened with the light of the living─ LIGHT that emanates out of HIS LIFE.
        How marvelous!  There is not a “death experience” of any kind appointed to us, that has not already been undergirded by the purpose of God to bring us into more of His life.  For, “I have ordained a lamp for Mine anointed,” (Psalm 132:17).  But since there cannot be light without His life, it is self-evident that HE HAS ORDAINED MORE OF HIS LIFE FOR YOU at the end of every dark tunnel (pit) that He causes you to go through.
        Nor do we have to try and live by past experience─ like when Job recounted his yesterday, “When His candle shined upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness.” (Job 29:3).  Once he had the light shining upon his way, but now it is all dark and unknown.  Ah, he was yet to learn the reality of the promise spoken of by Isaiah (51:4), “I will make My judgment to rest for a light of the people.” Job may have thought that the judgment of God had only extinguished his light, but actually God was preparing Him for an even GREATER LIGHT, a double portion─ the more abundant.
        Now, since His judgments are purposed to bring forth LIGHT, “when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Isaiah 26:9), it also becomes self-evident that there has to be LIFE IN HIS JUDGMENTS.  They certainly cannot bring forth light, if there be no life.  So, judgments are to do more than bring you to the light, to an understanding of God’s ways, but when you follow up that BEAM OF LIGHT, you are brought right INTO HIS LIFE.  The effect leads you to the Cause.  Who ever, in Christendom, has taught that HIS JUDGMENTS ARE UNTO LIFE?  They all view the judgments of God as negative, bringing death.  How far man has drifted from the truth.  The Psalmist knew differently, and said, “For I have hoped in Your judgments.” (Ps. 119:43).  Again, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; THAT I MIGHT LEARN Your statutes.” (verse 71).
        Learning bespeaks of illumination, received understanding─ and this is the outworking purpose of His judgments.  They rest for a light.  Significant that the Hebrew word used here for “rest” is “raga” meaning: to cause to give rest, to give quietness.  But three times it has been translated as “divide” in the phrase, “He divided the sea when the waves roar.” When the strong winds blow, mixing with the waves of the sea, there is a turbulence, and a roar.  When all is divided, separating the wind from the water, all is quiet again, calm, serene.  “The wicked are like a troubled sea, driven and tossed…” Motivated by the lusts of the flesh, agitated by self-will, etc. there is a restless roar.  When His judgments come into our life, they separate, winnow, sift, shake─ and we LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Coming into His light, and LIFE, and then all is at peace.  What a wondrous working of God!
        All of our present process of BECOMING is to ultimately result in a STATE OF BEING, when we become HIS LIFE PERSONIFIED, and then, possessing His life we too become the light for men.  Since a result bears witness to the cause, then our shining as His lights, bears witness that HE is our LIFE.  The light does not bear witness to how great is the lamp/vessel, but to the fact that there is His generative life bringing forth this manifestation.  The witness is TO HIM, just as Jesus constantly bore witness to the Father.  With this fact established, we then see the blessedness of the promise, “I will also give you for a light to the nations, that you may be MY salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6).  We are not saving men unto ourselves─ it is HIS salvation, and it is a bringing HIM to all men.
        Then it can be said, “Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you.,, (Isa. 60:1-2).  To say “your light is come,” is to also say “YOUR LIFE is come.” For HIS LIFE is the light of men.  And not until the GLORY OF THE LORD is risen upon us, can we manifest its victory in the earth.  Evermore He has the pre-eminence in all things!  Thank God for every ray of light penetrating our darkness, for His light is leading us into HIS LIFE─ till all within us redounds to His praise. amen!

_________________________________________________                                
(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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The Spirit of the Word
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”     Jesus
                                                                    “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”     Paul


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“Letters of Truth” (2)

by Ray and Doris Prinzing


No. 14

IT IS TIME TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

“Jesus answered and said, – Are you able to drink of the cup that I drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?  They say unto Him, We are able.  And He said unto them, You shall drink indeed of My cup…” (Matthew 20:22-23).

        One of the metaphors for SHARING AN EXPERIENCE is to “drink the cup,” for it speaks of intimate and personal participation.

        The first time the word “cup” is mentioned in the Scripture, is Gen. 40:11.  Pharaoh had become angry with his butler and had him cast into prison where Joseph was kept.  One night he had a dream, which, the next morning, he related to Joseph.  The dream concerned how he had squeezed some grapes into a cup which he then gave to Pharaoh.  Joseph interpreted the dream for him, that in three days he would be restored to his place as butler again.  The butler was the CUP-BEARER, and it was his lot to pour some from the cup into his own hand, and drink it to make sure it was not poisoned.  Such sharing was extremely intimate, a personal participation of LIFE, OR DEATH.  Thus “drinking the cup” bespeaks of the closeness of sharing with another.
        We do find that there are both negative and positive aspects given in the Word concerning the cup.  We’ll touch first upon the negative.  And read in Jeremiah 51:7, “Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that has made all the earth drunken.” While in Revelation 17:4, we pick it up again, speaking of the great whore, “Having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.”
        A golden cup.  “Golden” bespeaks of things of intrinsic value, or, spiritual things.  There is no doubt that religious Babylon has held in her hand a golden cup─ treasures of truth, spiritual enrichments, revivals, times of divine visitation, but she has also mixed in of her own abominations, gross manifestations of the flesh, idolatry, carnality, spiritual adultery, whatever filthiness can be mentioned, it is found in that cup, and then it was given to men to drink, until all the earth has become drunken with this awful mixture of flesh and spirit.
        Again this is noted in Daniel 5:2-3, as Belshazzar “commanded to bring the silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple, (and they) drank wine in them.” They would take hold of the cup and place in it their own wine, and dishonor the true by mixing it with the false.  As the spirit of man is joined to the spirit of the world, the spirit of self­aggrandizement, stroking their own ego, yet all the time claim to be doing it for the Lord.  It’s Babylon─ CONFUSION─ taking the things of intrinsic value, the songs of Zion, the quickened Word, the precious blood of Christ, the anointing of the Spirit, and mixing it all up with the frivolity of the flesh, equating loudness as the anointing, emotional outbursts are thought to be spirit-movings, and it is amazing how many are ready to drink from this cup─ to become drunken with spiritual fornication, party time mixing of the holy with the profane.  Yet the Word speaks loud and clear, “You can not drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you cannot partake of the Lord’s table, and the table of devils.” (1 Cor. 10:21).  Participation in BABYLON’S CUP must end!
        Though we have mentioned it before, it bears repeating here.  It borders on the brink of blasphemy, that when a child of God is in conversation/prayer with the Almighty, King of the Universe, He who is high and lifted up, with His Spirit overshadowing, that in the middle of their prayer, without even a change of breath, suddenly they begin to talk to the devil, commanding him to do this or that, as they bind the devil, etc. thus turning their attention away from God, to do lip-service to the devil.  In the moment of intimacy with the Almighty is not the time to start having a conversation with devils, for you cannot be GOD-CONSCIOUS and devil-conscious at the same time.  Such mixture is utter confusion, it is trying to drink of the Lord’s cup, and the cup of devils, at the same time.  It is out of order, it is a shame, a dishonoring of God.  Certainly there is a proper casting out of devils, taking authority over the adversary, etc. but it is NOT , while having an intimate communion with God.  Enough said on the subject.
        Psalm 11:6, “Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of THEIR CUP.” Ah, what bitter ingredients compose this cup.  Though seemingly negative, it has a very positive ending.  Revelation 21:8, bears witness: “But the fearful, and unbelievers, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: which is the second death.”
        This is the portion of their cup─ fire and brimstone.  Brimstone (sulphur) defines the character of the fire.  The Greek word is “theion” from the same root as “theos” meaning “DIVINE.” We find that sulphur was considered as divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, to ward off contagion, and used to fumigate, consecrate to a deity.  Thus it speaks of divine purification.
        Ah, what a cup the wicked shall have to drink─ BECAUSE GOD HAS PURPOSED TO PURIFY EVERY ONE.  And in view of the stench of their wickedness, He would do well to fumigate them, before He enfolds them to Himself.  It is a cup that also contains a tempest─ vitally needed to bring man to the end of himself, and to cry out unto God.  Remember Jonah, in rebellion to the will of God, went off to sea, and the Lord caused “a mighty tempest in the sea.. then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god.” (Jonah 1:4-5).  It took even more than a tempest to get Jonah to cry out, but in due time he did, as he said, “out of the belly of hell cried I.” (2:2).  And God heard his cry, and worked a deliverance for him.  Praise His name!
        “For IN THE HAND OF THE LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He pours out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out and drink.” (Psalm 75:8).
        The point before us right now is that the cup is ENTIRELY IN THE HAND, and AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE LORD.  He remains personally involved in all earth’s judgments, chastisements, and purification of the wicked, ALL is measured out in justice, to correct, to end all evil.  It may seem that ALL HELL HAS BROKEN LOOSE, but He is there.  The cup is in His hand, and that is why “If I make my bed in hell, behold, YOU ARE THERE.” (Ps. 139:8).  How we need to remember that there is no place where God is not present.  Paul made this clear in his message on Mars’ hill, saying, “If haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, THOUGH HE BE NOT FAR FROM EVERY ONE OF US: FOR IN HIM we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your poets have said, For we are also His offspring.” (Acts 17:27-28).
        There is a cosmic energy that the world draws from─ but they know not its Source.  Certainly it is not the same as the INDWELLING CHRIST that the believer draws from.  Nevertheless, God is mindful of men, even if they are not mindful of Him.  He said that not even a sparrow shall “fall on the ground without your Father.” (Matt. 10:29).  Not only is He cognizant of the whole of His creation, but He is a daily participator in all their way.
        Ezekiel 23:33, speaks of the “Cup of astonishment and desolation.”
        Astonishment─ Hebrew “shammah” meaning: RUIN, from “shamen”, TO STUN, devastate, stupefy.  It speaks of being at a loss to know what to do.  A total bafflement.  Lots of people drinking from this cup these days─ it seems like a mass participation─ at their wit’s end, without any recourse on what to do.  Daily they are stunned with the happenings, and all their hopes for answers are demolished as their leaders also know not how to contend with the ruin─ the collapse of morals, the futility of their many programs to try and stabilize the nation and give a semblance of hope.
        Furthermore, “Neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink.” (Jer. 16:7).  There is a walking with God, when you are truly led by the Spirit of God, when you will withhold the cup of consolation from an individual, lest you interfere with God’s processing in that life.  I dare say, the correction must be complete and final, and we do well not to try and change a situation that God has set up for a disciplinary action.  The more we are led by His Spirit, the more we will know when to extend the cup of consolation, and when to just stand by in prayer for grace for them while God deepens His work in that individual, situation, etc.
        In soulish sentiment and temperament we have betimes tried to bail out a person from their processing.  But now we are reminded of the words of the wise man, “He that is surety (guarantor) for a stranger shall suffer for it: and he that hates suretyship is sure.” (Prov. 11:15).  And again, “A man void of understanding strikes hands, and becomes surety.” (Prov. 17:18).  To strike hands, in present day, to seal a promise with a handshake.  How we need to be careful about how we bail another out of a trial, or we become liable for their debts, etc.  Does this mean that we become calloused and cold-hearted towards these people?  NO!  “A brother was born for the day of adversity.” Not to bail you out, but to squeeze down in with you to help you bear it─ not escape it, but bear it through to overcoming.  Methinks it is easier to try and pray somebody out of a trial, than to stand by and help them through it.  But God is producing His overcomers!
        How beautifully Jesus demonstrated that there is a realm where we are not “need” conscious, but only conscious of the will of God.  Truly, the will of God is to be our only ministry, to do only those things we see our Father do.  Oh, to be fully led by the Spirit of God day by day.
        “Thus says your Lord the Lord, and Your God that pleads the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of your hand the CUP OF TREMBLING, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; YOU SHALL NO MORE DRINK IT AGAIN.” (Isa. 51:22).  Trembling─ literally, A REELING.  Blow after blow has come upon you, and before you can regain your balance you are hit again.  Job knew what it was to drink deeply from this cup.  There came a messenger to him saying the Sabeans came and killed some servants, and took away the oxen and asses.  “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and  said…. And while he was yet speaking, there came also another and said … While he was yet speaking, there came also another and said…” (Job 1:14­18).  It was report after report of devastation─ the cup of trembling was certainly overflowing.  Just about the time you think you are starting to recover from a trial, there comes a more severe happening─ until you are reeling─ the cup of trembling often seems to be overflowing.
        But don’t forget, THE CUP REMAINS IN THE LORD’S HAND, and “There has no temptation (testing) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13).  HE knows how many blows you can endure, and He sets the boundaries, saying, “Thus far, and no farther.” We may drink very deep from the cup of trembling, but the end remains secure in our God.
        “You shall no more drink it again.” One thing about the inworkings of God, they accomplish what He purposes, and do not have to be repeated over and over again─ we are not on a wheel of nature that goes round and round.  When He has finished with the cup of trembling, THAT’S IT.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11).  God foresees a time when the purgings, cleansing, subduing, judgment corrections, times of astonishment and desolation all shall end, and there shall be a new cup to drink─ then “I WILL TAKE THE CUP OF SALVATION, and call upon the name of the Lord.” (Ps. 116:13.)
        All the intimate personal sharings of the cup of Babylon, of fire and brimstone, of the energy forces of God set in motion for correction─ it all gets replaced with THE CUP OF SALVATION─ as He shares of His life, His joy, His peace, His righteousness.  Indeed, then shall we also declare with Psalmist, “THE LORD is the portion of my inheritance and OF MY CUP.” (Ps. 16:5). Praise His wonderful name.
        The second time we read of the cup in the life of Joseph is in Genesis 44.  Joseph has long been recognized as a special type of Christ, as well as the firstfruit company that blazes the trail into the fulness of redemption.  Joseph had a coat of many colors (pieces), signifying a continual adding of piece to piece was needed to make his coat complete.  Christ had a seamless robe, because He was totally righteous, and nothing needed to be added unto Him, “For God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” (John 3:34).
        Then we note that both were sold for pieces of silver─ Joseph for twenty pieces (Gen. 37:28); Jesus for thirty pieces (Matt. 27:9).  The typology is beautiful.  Redemption money for a male, under the Mosaic law, would be half a shekel, or literally, 10 gerahs. (Ex. 30:13).  In a sense Joseph was sold for a double portion amount, body and soul; but Christ was sold for a triple amount, to cover all three dimensions of body, soul, and spirit.
        We also note that both were sold by a Judas, (The name Judas in the New Testament corresponds to the name Judah in the Old Testament.) Joseph’s path led to a prison, and Christ’s path took Him to the greater prison­house, the grave.  It was the king’s decree that liberated Joseph, and it was God’s resurrection power that raised Christ.  Having viewed a few contrasts and certain similarities, we now come to the SILVER CUP from which he drank.  Tremendous things are involved in drinking from this cup.
        When the famine became severe in the land, Joseph’s brethren went down into Egypt to buy corn.  And since Pharaoh had appointed Joseph to be head over all Egypt, and especially over all the storehouses, though they knew not that it was Joseph in charge, his brethren came to him to buy corn.  And having arranged a series of events, Joseph said to his servant, “Put my cup, THE SILVER CUP, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest.” (Gen. 44:2).
        So, verse 12, “The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.” The name  Benjamin  means: son of the right hand.  Thus, prophetically speaking, those who are called to “sonship” will intimately share of His redemption, will be drinking from the silver cup, as a part of the firstfruits of the new creation species.  “Every man in his own order.”
(1 Cor. 15:23). We desire to DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP OF REDEMPTION, and so we say with the Psalmist, “I will take the cup of salvation… the Lord is the portion of my cup.” There is an intimate relationship for those who are of THE ORDER OF THE SILVER CUP.
        One more qualification is noted in this record, Gen. 44:17, “The man in whose hand the cup is found, HE SHALL BE MY SERVANT.” Those who share the cup with Christ will lose all their grandiose ambitions of building kingdoms for themselves, and they will bow low to worship and to serve Him.  Their life will be poured out─ giving all in servitude to the Master’s will.  We read in Rev. 3:21, “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne.” But when you have gone through all the processings spoken of in this book, all the horses riding within, the many woes, the trumpets, the vials, etc.  DIVINE INWORKINGS PURPOSED TO BRING FORTH A TRUE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST IN US, you finally come to Rev. 22:3, “And His servants shall serve Him.” Many would like to drink from the silver cup, if it means sharing a position of power and glory, but becoming a servant unto the nations is a different matter.  Furthermore, “No man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God.  So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an high priest; but He that says unto Him, You are My Son, today have I begotten You.” (Heb. 5:4-5).
        “Are you able to drink the cup?” They answered, “We are able.” Yet when the soldiers came on the scene, Peter was quick to rise up with his sword, and Jesus said unto him, “Peter, put up your sword into the sheath: THE CUP WHICH MY FATHER HAS GIVEN ME, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11).  It was a cup of suffering and pouring out of His life─ and He was ready to drink deeply of that cup─ a silver cup it was, but oh, what was in that cup!
        In Matt. 26:27, “He took the cup, AND GAVE THANKS, and gave it to them, saying, DRINK all of it.” When you drink from the Lord’s cup, and it happens to be filled with “The fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death,” (Phil. 3:10), can you GIVE THANKS for the cup?
        How joyously we sing, “With a heart of thanksgiving, I will bless You, O Lord.” We shout and praise Him, drinking from the cup of blessing.  Then we drink again and find it to be the fellowship of His suffering, and I do wonder if we are as quick to THANK HIM for the cup?  Yet Paul also wrote, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:16).  Jesus was willing to share the cup, He gave it to them, and said, “Drink all of it.” Share with Me in a relationship that is intimate and awesome─ but which also requires total surrender-­”Not my will, but Yours, be done.” It is a giving up of our own self-life, that HIS LIFE might fill us and then flow out of us to bless others.  In drinking of the cup He demonstrated total surrender to the Father’s will, and doing so with a THANKFUL HEART.  “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess. 5:18).  And again, “Giving thanks always FOR all things unto God…” (Eph. 5:20).  IN, AND FOR all things─ taking the cup and GIVING THANKS.
        Yes, we’ll weep, tears will flow like a river, for, as the songwriter gave it, “He washed mine eyes with tears, that I might see…” And yet deep in our heart we can praise, worship, and thank Him for the blessed SILVER CUP.  Jesus knew this, in His humanity He prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from Me:” (but in His Spirit He prayed on,) “nevertheless not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt. 26:39).  We know all the humanity side of things, but thank God, we are also partaking of the spirit realm
        We need not list again all the sufferings of Joseph (the type), nor do we  need to examine again all the sufferings of Christ.  But we would point  out that if we drink of His cup, we will say with Paul, “Who now  rejoice  in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the  afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake.” (Col. 1:24).  These  sufferings are NOT HIS ATONEMENT SUFFERING, THAT  IS FINISHED!  But as part of th e humiliation, suffering for righteousness sake, saints of all ages can drink of this cup, and it is vitally related to God’s purpose.  We suffer with Him, and we shall reign with Him.  As God incorporated the night with the light and called it a DAY, so He incorporates suffering with the joy and glory of victory.  The glories of redemption cause us to worship and praise Him with a holy awe.  But vitally linked to this victory was HIS suffering.  And as OVERCOMERS IN/WITH CHRIST we sup with Him, and sip of His cup of suffering, as well as to drink deeply of His resurrection life.
        O, blessed silver cup!  The travail, the suffering, the pain and agony will seem but as a dream of the night, for the joy that comes in the morning as we share in the fulness of redemption, and His more abundant life.  Truly, “Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Tim. 1:10).  GOOD NEWS─ as a cup of cold water to the thirsty, or of wine to the faint, so also THE LORD is our SOURCE of exultation and refreshment, our true cup of blessing.
        “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Merciful Father and the All-Comforting God, who comforts me in every sorrow I have, so that I can comfort people who are in sorrow with the comfort with which I am comforted of God.  For just as my sufferings for Christ are running over the cup, so THROUGH CHRIST MY COMFORT IS RUNNING OVER TOO.” (2 Cor. 1:3-5, Williams translation). 
        How often we see our suffering running over the cup─ overflowing with astonishment, with trembling, with fiery trials, etc. and yet, praise God, drinking of HIS CUP OF SALVATION, we truly find that HIS COMFORTS ALSO RUN OVER THE CUP!  “You anoint my head with oil; and my cup runs over.” (Psalm 23:5).  How precious is our Redeemer, and in the sharing of the silver cup of redemption, unlimited grace is ours!

I have drunk from the cup of Babylon─ confusion surely did reign,
I’ve watched them mix the spirit with flesh and the holy with the profane.

As a golden cup in the hand of God, with a purpose to fulfill,
How strange is the place religion has found within His sovereign will.

I’ve drunk from the cup of astonishment, and brought to my own wit’s end,
Yet learned that when self has been crucified, in Him all joys transcend.

Fire and brimstone are found in the cup He places within my hand,
Cleansing and purging until the blest day on His Mount Zion we stand.

I have drunk from the cup of trembling, as trials kept pressing in,
His waves and His billows swept over me, testing my hope with chagrin.

I would drink from the cup of salvation, from my Lord’s own silver cup,
He’s the portion that brings satisfaction, with Him I daily would sup.

Though there’s fellowship with His suffering, conforming us to His death,
In the sharing of sacred communion, find He’s our life and breath.

I have drunk from His blest consolation, comfort He freely has giv’n,
And found after judgment’s correction that hell was replaced by His heav’n.

Let us drink deep from our God’s silver cup, redemption purchased for thee,
And when the dark night of the soul is o’er, we’ll share in His jubilee.

(1) Prinzing, Ray and Doris “Letters of Truth”  Boise, Idaho 83705, P.O. Box 5822


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