From Spiritual Gifts,
I believe the Lord would be very pleased in His leadings, this morning, to take us to first chapter of Second Peter again, that we may see what the mind of the Lord is concerning us in that chapter. I will read from the first verse:
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:1-8
I believe the Lord wants us to know our inheritance this morning. You know there is such a thing as having something left to you. For instance, many people make wills, and they leave testators to carry out their wills. When the person is dead, very often those people, who have had the property left to them, never get it, because of unfaithful stewards, who have been left in charge.
But there is one will that has been left, and He who made the whole will is our Lord Jesus Christ. After He was dead He rose to carry out His own will.
And now we may have all that has been left to us by Him, all the inheritances, all the blessings, all the power, all the life, and all the victory. All the promises are ours because He is risen.
Because He is risen as a faithful High Priest, He is here to help us this morning to understand what it means by these divine principles that we have been reading. I pray God that we may have a clear knowledge today of what God means for us in these days, for He has called us to great banquets, and we must always have a good appetite at the Lord’s banquets.
It is a serious thing to come to a banquet of the Lord, and have an anemic stomach, something that cannot take anything. We must have great appetites. We must have longing desires. We must have very thirsty conditions, and hungry souls when we come to the Lord’s table. And then we can have what is laid up for us. We can be strengthened by the might of the power of God in the inner man. May the Lord take us into His treasures now. Suppose we turn to the third verse:
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:3
We will find out that the main staff of this portion of truth as it comes before us this morning, will always be in the unfolding of the Christ. All the fulness is in Him. All the glories surround Him. All the divine virtue flows from Him.
And we must understand that God is bringing us into the place that we may understand what He means by “pertaining unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him.”
Now, this morning, God has brought us from one step to another. I see the first days He gave us a glimpse of faith which was given to us. Then I noticed the next days He gave us assurance of the faith on the principles of the groundwork of Christ being the foundation of all things. And now the Lord wants to show us how this virtue can remain in us.
We must reach, we must attain to this virtue.
What is virtue? Oh, brother, sister, if I have to take you this morning into the virtue, I must let you know that Paul touched these divine powers, because he speaks to us in the third chapter of Ephesians of that power. He calls it the effectual working of the powers of God, which is the Holy Ghost, which is the divine infilling, which has to fill the whole body till the body is filled with life, and virtue, and grace, and power, and faith.
There are no limitations. He is the executive of the kingdom of heaven. He has power in our body as we open ourselves to Him. He has all fullness to display because He displays it on the fullness. He has the measureless measure, as He reveals Him to us as the measure.
So beloved, God wants us to see this day that we must understand, whatever it costs, whatever it means, we must have a personal incoming of this life of God, this Holy Ghost, this divine person.
And I want you to think what it really means to receive the Holy Ghost. We are born again of the incorruptible Word, which is Christ. It is an incorruptible Word. It liveth and abideth forever. And we are born again of that incorruptible power. It is God’s plan for us. It is a further divine power than the human mind has ever been able to receive. We must have a divine mind to take in divine things. We must be made divine in order to understand all things which are divine.
We must understand that this matter must return into grace. We must understand this body must be changed into a body as a temple of the Spirit. And we must understand that even the mind must be the mind of Christ. And we must understand that the very inner moving and crying must be of the divine plan, for God has come to change us into the same image, into the same process of power.
Just as He was in this world, so are we to be. John clearly saw it. And if we could only take another step, and this step is an important step for us this morning. As He is so are we. There is a step further. I find that God has always, in order to encourage His people, been speaking to them of the future tense.
You remember that Jesus lived in the present tense, but always spoke in a future tense. And beloved, there is a future tense. But I believe we must come now to the place of present tense. Whatever God has designed for man we must claim it as now, and we shall always have greater manifestations of power if we are living now instead of living future. Living in a now power, a now blessing, a now God, a now heaven, a now glory, a now virtue.
TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION: “It is the Spirit that worketh in us all these divine plans, that He may build us on the foundations of the living Word which liveth, which always quickeneth, and moveth. Builds high, higher, higher, into and with love. It is always in a higher sense because God has no lower means.”
He wants us to go higher and higher. Oh, for a heavenly sight this morning, a divine touch of God, of Jesus. It is the divine touch! One touch of deity, one flash of light, one moment in the presence of Him, one touch of infinite, and united, it makes us mighty in a moment to see all things as He sees them.
TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION: “Oh, it is that which God hath for me, that I must never cease till I reach that which He has for me, for I must be for others as He wants me to be.”
Oh, this divine, this virtue! It is eminently real, and we have no sense of its presence, and that is what I believe we ought to be in. There are so many things in the Scriptures that bring to my mind these things. You take, for instance, the sixth chapter of the Acts of the apostles, and you see Stephen, “A man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.”
And you take Barnabas and read of him. Barnabas was a good man filled with the Holy Ghost and faith. It seems to me that God has a plan through holiness that you cannot get into, that plan only by holiness. It seems there is a pure place, a pure heart where it sees God. There is a divine place of purity, where the unclean never put their feet.
But God has a way, it is called the way of holiness, and He can bring us into that place. He has a divine longing to bring us into that place where we hear the voice of God, we see the form of God, we understand that way of God, and we walk in communion with God. These are the places where divine virtue flows.
Once at a very late open air meeting, I was being pressed beyond measure, as it were. God was saving the people and I returned home. Oh, the joy of pointing people to Jesus! Oh, the joy of living in this life. There is a life which seems right to men, but oh, it isn’t that life. There is a life which is only taken in and lived out, moved in by God alone.
When I went home, they said to me, “Aunt Mary is going home, and Uncle Sam would like you to see her before she bids farewell.” I went down there, and not knowing anything, only as it were, “Goodbye.” Only I was impressed as I neared the bed to stretch out my hand. Oh, that hand! What there is in a hand. What there is in a person by the power of God no one can tell. We must live in this, that God can see it through.
As my hand touched her hand, the divine virtue of heaven flowed through the death form conditions, and brought her into perfect life, perfect as ever she was, instantaneously brought back from death into life, and joy, and peace. Oh brothers, there is a virtue, there is a truth, God must manifest His power till everything we touch moves at the powers of God. Paul knew it, the apostles had a clear conception of it, Jesus spoke about it. The woman felt it as she touched Him in the skirts of His garment. The virtue went through.
Oh, if there is anything in the Scriptures that is moving me to understand, it is that there is a transmitting condition, there is a power that goes through the human body to another body. I see that it is in perfect conjunction with the Scriptures that we lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
There is a truth in John’s gospel – oh, sometimes I think we have never understood it, but maybe God has revealed it to some of us, and I would like to give it to you this morning. John’s gospel has many wonderful things to say to us. I will just turn to the third chapter of John and I will read from the eleventh verse:
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Do you see there are three things there that we must clearly understand this morning. It is a privilege to everyone, a great truth. If I told you earthly things, and you cannot understand them, supposing I tell you heavenly things? He goes on, on this line of thought. Supposing you see the Son of man return unto the place from whence He came.
But here in this divine order, I wish you to see a great principle. He says, “If I have told you earthly things, and you cannot understand them, how will you understand if I tell you heavenly things?” He says, “The Son of man cometh down, the Son of man is down, the Son of man is up.”
Now you see that electric light there is only showing forth the brilliancy because of the dynamo. It has a receiver and transmitter. There you have the naked wires, but the power of the dynamo is sending forth through those naked wires brilliancy.
I want you to notice that in the glory there are all the powers of God. Every man who is born of God is receiving life from God. Inside the vessel is the bare wire with revelation, and all illumination, and in order to keep it perfect it is always returning from whence it came. It cometh down, it is down, and it is always the same. And so is everyone who is born of God. He is kept alive by a power which he cannot see but feel, which power is generated in the glory, and comes down into earthen vessels, and is received back to the throne of God.
And oh, all the time we are receiving and transmitting – just as we stop for a moment to place our hands upon a needy case, the supernatural goes through the case, and brings forth life. So God would have us know that there is a divine glory, a divine virtue, a perfect knowledge, an inward conception of an ideal which has always been made in the glory.
The Holy Ghost is the great incentive to us all. He receives all and He disburses all, and reechoes back the wonderful manifestations, after He has had the call. So we must have life in this glorious order of the Spirit, united, illuminated, transformed all the time by this glorious regenerating power of the Spirit of life of God.
May God open the door for us this morning to see that it is for us all, such a manifestation of the life and of the power of God, to be given us till there shall be neither barrenness nor unfruitfulness, but rather an unbending unto all His will. Oh, hallelujah!
TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION: “It is that which God has designed from the beginning. It is no new thing. It is as old as God. It lasts as long as eternity. We are, we shall be, forever with Him. He has created us for this purpose, that we should be the sons of God with power, with promise, with life, for all the world.
Thank God for that interpretation.
Oh brothers, oh sisters, don’t tell me that we have got the fullness. Oh, the fullness of the Spirit, an immeasurable measure! Oh, don’t tell me there are any limitations of it. It comes in floods we cannot contain. I drink and drink and drink again, and still we yet are dry.
Oh saints of God, the more of this joy they get, the more they require, the more they desire. It is God in you that longs for all the fullness of God to come into you, praise His name. But we must be partakers of it.
I want you to see this morning that there are two words here that are closely connected together. Beautiful words, and they are full of need for this moment for us. Let me read them: “Through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
A lot of people have a great misunderstanding about glory. Glory is always an expression. Therefore there are of necessity three things that ought to take place in the baptism. In the baptism it was a necessity that the moving by the mighty rushing wind should be made manifest in the upper room. And then it was also of importance that they should be clothed with tongues as of fire. Then it should also be of importance that the body should receive not only the fire but also the rushing wind, the personality of the Spirit in the wind. The divine order is in the wind, and all the manifestation of the glory is in the wind.
Now let me express it. You see there is always this, the inward man receives the Holy Ghost with great joy and blessedness, instantly. He cannot express it. It is beyond His expression. Then the power of the Spirit, which is the Word – when you speak about words you say you heard so many words. I want you to notice when the Holy Ghost is in the body this divine power, this personality, this breath of God, takes of the things of Jesus, and utters them by this expressive wind and sends forth as a river the utterances of the Spirit.
Then again, when the body is filled with joy, sometimes it is so inexpressible, being thrown on the canvas of the mind, the canvas of the mind has great power to move the operation of the tongue to bring out the very depths of the inward hearts, power, love, joy, to us. By the same process the Spirit over all, which is the breath of God, brings forth the manifestation of the glory.
Sometimes when God speaks there is always a glory, it always comes. Peter speaks here about being in the Holy Mount, in Second Peter 1:16,17:
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory...
Sometimes people wonder how it is and why it is that the Holy Ghost is always expressing Himself in words. It cannot be otherwise. You couldn’t understand it otherwise. You cannot understand God by shakings, and yet shakings may be in perfect order sometimes. There isn’t any manifestation of the body – your shakings, your rollings, your jumpings, and all kinds of things which are allowed, are no manifestation of God. Only the utterances are manifestations of God. The others may be so mixed with the flesh and the Spirit, it would take a great deal of divine intuition and divine revelation to discriminate between the Spirit and flesh in those things.
But you can always tell when the Spirit moves, and brings forth the utterances. They are always the utterances that shall magnify God, and not waving of hands, not shakings of body. But the Holy Ghost has a perfect plan. He comes right through every man who is so filled, and brings divine utterances that we may understand what the mind of the Lord is.
Perhaps I might take you to three expressions in the Bible on this line. First of all I would take you to the ninth verse of the sixteenth Psalm. You notice all my addresses I give unto you are on inspiration. There is no preconception of things in my mind worked out for a meeting. I dare not do it. If I did it I would get out of the plan of God. I have to come to you with the bare Word of God, and expect the Holy Ghost to lighten it up.
I must read into my heart the perfect law of liberty, but if I came to you with a fixed arrangement of an address, the whole thing would be as natural to me. But I cannot afford to be natural. I can only afford to be supernatural now. I cannot afford to be anything less than being in the Holy Ghost order.
If I turn to any other plan then I am losing the unction, the power, the revelation, of what God has. When I come into the presence of God, He does take the things of the Spirit and reveals them to me. Our hearts are comforted and built up. And there is no way to warm a heart more than by the heart that first touched the flame. There must be the heavenly fire burnings, inward movings.
We are born of the Spirit, and nothing but the Spirit of God can feed that spiritual life. We must live in it, feed in it, walk in it, talk in it, sleep in it, hallelujah! We must always be in the Holy Ghost. “When I am awake, I am with thee. When I am asleep, my heart talketh.”
There is a place in the Holy Ghost for man where God has him up in His place, and he is lost to every man, but he is never lost to God. God can find him any time He wants him. Oh, hallelujah!
I want you to turn to three Scriptures. I am now upon the glory I want to manifest today so that we may not be deceived about the glory.
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth...” (Psalm 16:9).
Now there is something that has made the rejoicing bring forth the glory. It was because his heart was glad. We will further turn to the 108th Psalm, and that will bring another side of it, first verse: “Oh God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.”
So you see, glory is a manifestation of language. It is when the body is filled with the powers of God, then the only thing that can express the glory is the tongue. And God has given us the tongue that we can express the glory, the glory of God.
Glory is not halo. It is presence, and the presence always comes by the tongue which brings forth the revelations of God. You find in Acts also another side to this. We read in Acts 2:25,26:
For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad...
You will always find that God works on these lines. God first brings into us His power, then he gives us verbal expressions by the same Spirit of the moving within us to bring the manifestation out of us just as it is within us. Therefore, “...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34).
What is all this about this morning? I want you to notice this, that virtue and glory will be inexpressible conditions sometimes. You will find out that virtue has to be transmitted, and you will find out that glory has to be expressed. And so God, by filling us with the Holy Ghost, has brought into us this which He has in the glory, that out of us may come forth that which He has in the glory. And everything He has in the glory the Holy Ghost – the Holy Ghost understands the latest things, and brings through the heart of a man that is filled with God the latest thought.
The world’s needs, our manifestations, revivals, all conditions, are first settled in heaven, then worked out on the earth. So we must be in touch with God Almighty to bring out on the face of the earth all the things that God has in the heavens. This is an ideal for us, and God help us not to forsake the sense of holy communion, entering into the closet in privacy, that publicly He may manifest His glory.
We must see the face of the Lord. We must understand the workings of the Lord. There are things that God says to me that I know must take place. It doesn’t matter what people say. I have been face to face with some of the most trying moments of men’s lives when it meant so much to me if I kept the vision, and if I held fast to that which God had said.
A man must be in an immovable condition. The voice of God must mean to him more than what he sees, feels, or what people say. He must have an originality born in heaven, transmitted by tongues, or expressed in some way. We must bring heaven to earth. God has us for that purpose.
Turn again to 2 Peter 1:4:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
We must enter into this because we have to be partakers of His divine nature. Turn to the eighth of Romans for one verse. There is a law there that God wants us to understand, it is a law of the Spirit of life. You see, there are two laws, but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is different from the law of sin and death. One is that which looks on the divine principles which makes me know that I am free.
Now let me turn to that law of life of the Spirit, unto this Word for a moment. This same life which is the law of the Spirit of life, must bring us into the same attitude of being partakers of His divine nature. You see, it is a divine life. I have two lives. I have a spiritual life and I have a natural life.
And I hope no one will ever be so foolish in this meeting as to believe the natural life is done away with. You will always have it as long as you are here. It may be there for great advantages. For instance, I thank God for my natural life this morning which has moved me and helped me to dress myself. I thank God for the natural life which has brought us here. It is the natural body that brought your spiritual perception into a holy meeting, and your natural body is necessary to bring you to a place where you can feed your spiritual desires.
But we must understand the natural matter has only to play out a certain plan, and it is always to be for the advancement of the Spirit of the living God to have control of our bodies. The spiritual life is so mighty in all its branches to bring to death the natural man till the man when it is brought to a place of real death, the righteousness of the Spirit of the life of God can so permeate the whole body till the virtues of Christ are as much in His fingers as in His hand. It is the divine life, the divine virtue of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And then while we walk about it is truly true that we have no desire for the world, because our desires are greater than the world. You cannot fascinate a man of God with gold, or houses, or lands. We seek a country, a city which hands have not made, eternal in the heavens. And if this mortal body shall be put off, the heavenly body shall be put on. And we are waiting and longing with an expression, with an inward joy, with a great leap of life, waiting to jump into that.
TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION: “He has designed the plan. He has the unfolding of the purpose. He is the grandeur of the principles. He lays the foundation of the spritual life, quickened always by His own life, for He is our life, and when He shall appear we shall be like Him. He shall appear!”
Beloved, there is a longing in the soul, there is a travail in the spirit, there is a yielding of the will, there is the blending of the life which only gives utterances as He wishes. And this morning, I believe God the Holy Ghost is bringing us to a longing for these utterances in the Spirit.
Oh, this is a lovely verse. See, there is so much depth in it for us. Oh, but it is all real from heaven. It is as divinely appointed for this meeting as when the Holy Ghost was upon Peter, and He brings it out for us. I will read it again for it is to me life-marrow. To me it is like the breath. It moves me. I must live in this grace.
“According as his divine power,” there it is again, “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” Oh, what wonderful things He has given us, “through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
You cannot get away from Him. He is the center of all things. He moves the earth, transforms beings, can live in every mind, plan every thought. Oh, He is there all the time.
“Through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises...”
The Holy Ghost has only language – there is no language on the earth, no man can form language, it takes the Holy Ghost to form language. You will find if you go to the epistle, when Paul has finished, he is full of the might of the Spirit, the Spirit breathing through him. And yet he comes to a place where he feels he must stop. For there are greater things than he can even utter only by the oratory coming forth on the line of prayer. Prayer, the breath of the Almighty breathing through the human soul. There He breathes through Paul.
You find in the last of Ephesians 3, three words which no human man could ever think, no human man could ever plan with pen and ink, so mighty, so of God when it speaks about being able to do all things, greater things, more than you can ask, abundantly more, “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”
The mighty God of revelation through a man! There the Holy Ghost gave these words of grandeur to stir our hearts, to move our affections to transform us altogether. This is ideal! This is God. Shall we teach them? Shall we have them? Oh, they are ours. Will they remain ours? Oh, brother, God has never put anything over on a pole you could not reach. God has brought His plan down to man, and if we are prepared this morning, oh, what there is!
I feel sometimes we have just as much as we can digest, yet there are such divine nuggets of precious truth held before our hearts, so full that it makes you understand that there are yet heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths of the knowledge of God that God hath laid up for us. Oh brother, we might truly say,
“My heavenly bank, my heavenly bank, The house of God’s treasure and store. I have plenty in here, I’m a real millionaire.”
Glory, it is all in here. Never to be poverty struck anymore. An inward knowledge of an unfolding of a greater bank than ever the Rothschild’s or any other child ever knew about. There it is stored up, nugget upon nugget, weights of glory, expression of the countenance of the invisible Christ to be seen.
God is shaking the earth, and the foundations of all nationalities and making us all the time to understand that there is a principle in the Scriptures that may bring to man that which frees him from the natural order of every institution, and brings him unto a place of holiness, righteousness, and peace of God which passeth all human understanding. We must touch it. We must reach it. Praise God!
One thing is certain. God has brought us in on purpose to take us on. God has brought us here this morning, and you say, “How shall I be able to get all these things that are laid up for me?” Brother, sister, I know no other way. A broken and contrite heart God will not despise.
A man said to me last night, “Don’t you think I am baptized with the Holy Ghost?” I said, “I don’t know anything about you.” “I am willing,” he said, “for anything.” Then I knew he was not baptized. I never saw a man willing for everything and anything that got anything. The man that gets anything is the man who goes after one thing. “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after...” (Psalm 27:4). Whatever you want, make it one thing and get it.
What do you want this morning? Make it one thing. You know better than I what you want, and God knows what you want, and that one thing is for you this morning. May God help you to move from your seats where you are and get that one thing. Set it in your mind you will know this morning the powers of the world to come, and you will see, for truly when Daniel set his mind to get all the things which were provided, God gave an abundance of other things which have not yet been fulfilled.
So I ask you this morning one thing, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7,8).
May God help you to take your own course, to do as the Spirit leads you, and we will leave the meeting in the hands of God.