Ministry Excerpt: The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John

Even though you may hear many messages on life, you still may not be deeply impressed that you need Christ as your daily life supply. This is the reason we have been studying the Bible together in the way of life and giving messages that are called Life-study messages. The burden in these messages is to point out that the Bible is not merely for teaching – the Bible is for life and life supply. We should not come to the Bible merely to seek teachings concerning commandments and regulations. Because the Bible is for life and life supply, we should come to it for food. The food we enjoy through the Word is the Lord Jesus Himself as the bread of life.
The crucial point [in John 6] is that even though we may not be sick, blind, lame, or withered, we still are hungry. All those around the pool were sick [5:2-3], but those around the seas were hungry [6:1, 5-6]. The problem of those in Galilee was not impotence – their problem was the lack of food. They did not have anything to fill their hungry.

Humanly speaking, most people are not sick, but everyone needs food. The number of people going to supermarkets to buy food is far greater than the number of those in hospitals. Even though the majority of people are not sick, everyone has the need of food. Spiritually speaking, everyone is hungry. All those around the worldly, satanic, sea, represented by the sea in Galilee, are hungry. The reason everyone is hungry is that all of them are short of Christ. If we do not have Christ, we will be hungry. This is the most important sign we need to see in chapter 6 of the Gospel of John.

We do not realise how blind we have been concerning our need. Throughout the generations and the centuries human beings have been blind. Because of their blindness, they turn to religion with its ordinances, regulations, and rituals. People do not simply have any idea of what they really need. They do not know that they are short of Christ as their food. We do not need religion, and we do not need regulations and rituals. We need Christ to be our spiritual food.

Really good point in the ministry, as part of today’s Holy Word for Morning Revival. Especially enjoyed the second paragraph in the excerpt above. Even though I type this at night, I’m reminded how our fundamental need, beyond being healed, is that we need to be fed. And what better way than to feed on Christ as the heavenly bread, Christ as the bread of God, Christ as the bread of life, Christ as the living bread, and Christ as the true bread? [rhetorical question – for there is nothing far better! :D]

Ministry Excerpt: Life-study of Exodus

Many believers lack the weight of spiritual authority simply because they have not utterly dealt with their peculiarities. Culture, opinions, peculiarities, and habits are all hiding places of the flesh, and these damage our spiritual life. Because we spare the good aspects of the flesh, these aspects consume our kingship, our authority. As those who have been in the Lord for many years and who love Him and seek Him, we should have considerable spiritual weight. We should be filled with the kingship, with divine authority.

If we would follow the Lord’s word to utterly destroy the flesh, we shall have the kingship and shall be in God’s kingdom. But if we fail to carry out His word to destroy Amalek, we shall cut ourselves off from God’s authority and become joined to the demons and to the idols of vanity.

O Lord, do deliver us from our flesh, with all its culture, opinions, peculiarities and habits! May we be those who eat and drink of Christ as our life supply, pray with the interceeding Christ, and put to death the flesh with the fighting Spirit.

Ministry Excerpt: Life-study of Exodus

Do not think that because you have been saved a long time and have had certain spiritual experiences, your flesh can no longer become prevailing. It is a fact that if our prayer ceases, our flesh will spontaneously show itself to be the same as that of unbelievers… The flesh cannot be influenced, changed, or improved, even after you have been a Christian for many decades. If your prayer ceases, your flesh will be the same today as it was before you were saved. Because the flesh does not change or improve, we need to pray without ceasing.

O Lord! Do remind us to keep praying all the time, every moment of each day, that we wouldn’t revert back to our flesh! Since the flesh is the expression of the old man… May we deny the flesh and put on the new man, who is Christ!

Ministry Excerpt: Pharaoh and the Egyptians Having Been Subdued by God

I enjoyed the following passages this morning, and have included bold and italics as points of emphasis.

“The children of Israel did not make their exodus from Egypt of their own accord or by their own power. If they had been left to themselves, they never could have come out of Egypt. The exodus was accomplished by the saving God. Firstly, God subdued Pharaoh, the one who had usurped the children of Israel, and then He subdued all the Egyptians (12:29-33). As we apply this principle to our experience, we see that God comes in to subdue Satan, everything and everyone that stands with Satan, and also our environment. When the children of Israel made their exodus from Egypt, the whole environment was subdued by God. Everything was set for the children of Israel to leave Egypt. Even if they had wanted to remain in Egypt, the environment would not have allowed them to remain. They had no choice except to leave.

According to the picture in the book of Exodus, God’s salvation includes the aspect of the Passover and the aspect of the exodus. It was easy for God’s people to observe the Passover, but it was not easy for them to have an exodus. The difficulty lay in the fact that the exodus required a suitable environment. Suppose the situation in Egypt did not allow God’s people to leave. How then could they have made their exodus? It would have been impossible. The exodus required a thorough subduing of the environment. Israel’s exodus was the result of a long struggle between Moses and Pharaoh. It was preceded by twelve negotiations with ten plagues. This indicates that it is not easy for God to deliver His chosen people from the usurping hand of Satan and from the world. All genuine Christians have experienced the Passover, but only a small minority of believers have experienced the exodus. The reason for this is that certain aspects of their environment have not yet been subdued.

If our environment has not been subdued, we may have the Passover, but not the exodus. Perhaps your wife, husband, or relatives need to be subdued. When some hear that their environment must be subdued, they may be discouraged and want to give up. However, not even the matter of giving up depends on us; it depends wholly on the Lord. Instead of giving up, we should cooperate with Him. To be rescued from the usurping hand of Satan and from the world, we need God’s hand to subdue our environment.

In this record we are told twice that “by strength of hand” the Lord brought the children of Israel out of Egypt (13:3, 14). God’s people were saved not only by the blood of the Passover lamb, but also by the hand of God. The blood saved them from God’s righteous judgment, but the hand saved them from Pharoah’s usurpation. It is the same with us today. Through Christ as our Passover we are saved from God’s judgment, but by God’s subduing hand we are saved from Satan and the world.

The blood saved them from God’s righteous judgment, but the hand saved them from Pharoah’s usurpation. It is the same with us today. Through Christ as our Passover we are saved from God’s judgment, but by God’s subduing hand we are saved from Satan and the world.”

– excerpt from Life-study of Exodus, message 26: Israel’s Exodus from Egypt

Ministry Excerpt: The Corporate Thornbush

A summary of my enjoyment of this week’s Holy Word for Morning Revival, the message on The Corporate Thornbush, related to the recent Winter Training on the Crystallisation study on the book of Exodus.

We realise that, at best, we are just a thornbush. Nevertheless, the great I Am, the God of resurrection, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, dwells within us, and we enjoy Him. Individually we are a thornbush, and together we are a corporate thornbush burning with the God of resurrection. This is a picture of the church life today.

– Life-study of Exodus

Ministry Portions

The following are taken from the church in Irvine’s web page, which is turn is from Living Stream Ministry. Enjoy!

COMPLETING THE WORD OF GOD

We have pointed out that Paul’s intention in the book of Colossians is to complete the word of God. This was his main purpose in writing this Epistle. In 1:25 and 26 Paul says, “I became a minister according to the stewardship of God, which was given to me for you, to complete the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations, but now has been manifested to His saints.” These verses indicate that the word of God completed by Paul is the mystery now manifested to the saints. Furthermore, according to verse 27, this mystery is Christ in us, the hope of glory. The goal of this mystery is to produce the church.

At the time the book of Colossians was written, Judaism had been in existence for centuries, and the church had come into being. Nevertheless, even though the church had come into being, the word of God had not yet been completed. Paul was troubled by the situation at Colosse. The Jewish and Gentile believers were neglecting Christ and the church; they were focusing their attention on such things as Judaistic observances and heathen philosophy. Many people, Jews and Christians alike, claimed to know God and to worship Him. However, Christ was being neglected and the genuine church life was being set aside. Therefore, Paul wrote the Epistle to the Colossians in order to complete the word of God.

In principle, the situation today is the same as that in Colosse at the time Paul wrote to the Colossians. Judaism and Christianity have been on earth for centuries. Although the Jews have the Old Testament and the Christians have the entire Bible, very few people truly are experiencing Christ for the proper church life. Christ is still neglected, and the church life is still ignored. Hence, there is still the need for the word of God to be completed in a practical way.

What is the completion of the word of God, the completion of the divine revelation? In simple terms, to complete the word of God is to experience Christ subjectively and to enjoy Him in our daily living so that the proper church life may come forth to express God. This revelation is the completion of the word of God.

Christians today are involved in many different kinds of work for the Lord. But where is the experience of Christ, and where is the practice of the church life? Paul knew that neither Judaism nor any other religion could fulfill the desire of God’s heart. God’s desire is to have the church life produced through His people’s personal experience of Christ. God wants an organism, the Body of Christ, brought forth through the experience of Christ. At the time of Paul, there were many Jews and a good number of Christians as well. But as Paul considered the situation, he could have asked, “Where is the experience of Christ, and where is the church to fulfill the desire of God’s heart?” We should ask the same questions today.

EXPERIENCING CHRIST

We need to admit that we ourselves are short of the experience of Christ. We have been enlightened to see that God does not want anything other than Christ for the church life. However, in our experience we are still short of Christ. This means that, in a very practical sense, we also are short of the completion of the word of God. We lack Christ for the producing of the church. We know that only one thing matters—Christ for the church. However, we are still short of Christ. Before we can minister Christ to others, we need to minister Him to ourselves. In order to do this, we need to spend more time pray-reading and fellowshipping concerning the book of Colossians. If we do this, we shall begin to experience the riches of Christ contained in this book. Then we shall begin to have the adequate experience of Christ for the proper church life.

Because the Colossians did not have the adequate experience of Christ for the church life, things other than Christ crept into the church. It is the same among Christians today. God’s people have some knowledge of the Bible, and they know God to a certain degree. But very few experience Christ as the life giving Spirit in a living and practical way in their daily life. It is crucial that we have the practical experience of Christ revealed in Colossians. We need to daily enjoy the preeminent and all-inclusive Christ who is the constituent of the new man. We all need to pray to have more real and living experience of Christ daily. If we experience Christ in our daily life, we shall have more to share of Christ in the meetings of the church. Eventually, the church life will be enriched through our experience of Christ.

THE PROBLEM OF CULTURE

The problem in Colosse was not sinfulness, as in Corinth; it was culture. Asceticism and philosophy are two of the leading products of culture. Uncultured people are wild, altogether without any form of asceticism. Furthermore, those of a low culture do not have philosophy. The more cultured people are, the more highly developed their philosophy is. The Greeks are strong in philosophy, whereas the Jews are known for their religious observances. Most religious observances are related to the putting down of the flesh and to the suppression of the self. The church in Colosse was composed of both Greeks and Jews. With the Greeks the problem was philosophy, but with the Jews the problem was religious practices. This indicates that various cultural practices had invaded the church life and pervaded it.

In 3:10 and 11 Paul says that in the new man “there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all and in all.” To say that there is no room for Greek and Jew means that there is no room for philosophy and for religious observances. If you compare Colossians 3:11 with parallel passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Galatians 3:28, you will find that only in Colossians does Paul mention barbarian and Scythian. The Colossian believers devoted much attention to matters of culture and did not want to be like barbarians or Scythians. Hence, Paul pointed out that in the church as the new man, there is no room for either the cultured or the uncultured. There is no place for philosophy, asceticism, or observances. In the new man Christ is all and in all. The new man is constituted of Christ, not with any element of culture.

The Colossians were not sinful like some of those in Corinth. However, the believers in Colosse replaced Christ, the constituent of the  new man, with various aspects of culture. Some treasured philosophy, whereas others treasured religious observances. These things were allowed to come into the church life as substitutes for Christ. But in the new man there is room for nothing other than Christ.

Life-Study of Colossians, Message 32