Selasa, 31 Maret 2009

Selling All Your Possesions

Selling All Your Possessions
The Testimony of Jesus Christ is Spirit of Prophecy
Evening Meetings (22 October 2004)
By Art Katz

Lord I’m privileged, that a Jewish boy from Brooklyn, no longer boyish, is standing before a
congregation of this kind, of this city and this age. Who would have thought, my God, that
such a thing like this would come to pass. Let my mother be in the cloud of invisible witnesses
overhead and enjoying this occasion, because she came to the knowledge of You 10 days
before passing away from this life, and is now up there with the saints of old. And relishing and
cherishing that her son is now a privileged servant, although for the first 40 years she was
aggravated by the same thing that she now celebrates. So, thank You Lord for her passing from
death to life and let her enjoy her observing of us tonight in this place and bring forth
something along the lines of what my brother has prayed and expected. So we want to be
astonished, not because we’re looking to be titillated, but because we have very real need,
Lord. The world is closing in all around us and its spirit continually nips, my God, at our heels,
and seeks to corrupt and to dissipate and weaken our faith and turn it into some kind of
commodity. Just another piece of something that can be purchased and obtained, that will lose
its vital prophetic and apostolic significance. So Lord, we’re contending tonight for that
precious faith and ask Holy Ghost assist, my God, to make this more than memorable, a
pivotal statement my God, that sinks deep into the foundations and against which every future
thing will be aligned and considered. We’re asking largely, Lord, our need is large and we know
You are able to answer. So come and give us that remarkable grace and the prophet’s reward
that even as our brother prayed. And have that remarkable Holy Ghost tingling and sense of
Your presence that You are saying ‘Amen, that whosoever will recognize the calling which I
have bestowed will receive indeed that reward.’ So let it be, Lord. We thank You and give You
praise for this occasion now. Take up for Yourself in full measure, in Jesus’ name we pray,
Well, I have before me my next newsletter article we publish four times a year – a modest
little newsletter. Its circulation is so pitifully small that I hesitate even to announce it! But this
is an occasion for me to use this article as a springboard to speak to you. I’m reading from
Matthew 19:16. I think that the same episode is also described in one or two other places of
the Gospels.
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt
enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt
not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt
have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom
of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to
enter into the kingdom of God.
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
So Lord, kindle these verses and extract from them what is appropriate for our consideration
tonight that will have a lasting and enduring effect on of all our continuation with You, all our
future, my God. You are able and we ask it in Jesus’ name, amen.
I think in some other edition of this episode, the ruler doesn’t just come and ask. He comes
running and bowing and making concession and acknowledgement in an exiguous way, pardon
my language, a real deference to the Lord as a real teacher. It was very flattering. ‘Good master,
honoured teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So there is something
that is struck from the first that deserves our closest attention and not the least that Jesus does
not succumb to the seduction of flattery and acknowledges that the greeting is appropriate. He
will not allow Himself to be acknowledged as ‘good master’ or even as ‘good’. Because having
made that acknowledgement, some fundamental note would have been struck for all time that is
of an ideological kind that dares not be conceded. Which is to say, that there is no man good,
no not one. To receive that as compliment is to concede that it’s true and that it’s a
fundamental premise that we can accept and even make it foundational for our own life in God.
But Jesus would not receive it and brought it into question immediately.
So the question itself, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’ is no small thing. But it’s not just
the issue of what lies beyond death. It’s the issue of present life, the issue of continuance in God
by the life of God. Because the same life that is our privilege after death is the same life now that
is the basis for our continuation before God. The issue is life, and maybe instead of saying ‘What
must I do to inherit? What must I do to acquire it?’ And the fact that he raises it as a question
that he can accomplish by doing is already giving the game away. It’s already revealing a mentality
of a certain kind. The Judaic mentality that has to do with things that man can attain by their
own virtue, their own works. An attainment. ‘What must I do?’
This thing is riddled with error right from the beginning, the language of good men. ‘Good
master, what must I do?’ is a dead giveaway where this man is coming from. That is his
orientation. How does he understand God? Life? Reality? And these understandings are not so
strange to us. You don’t have to be Jewish to subscribe, even unconsciously, to some kind of
an attitude by which man deserves a certain kind of acknowledgement that there is something
that he can do to inherit or to attain. And I want you to know that I’m personally, fiercely
opposed to so much as granting an iota of credibility to a mentality of that kind. We need to
spurn and disown anything by which man can think himself to be good, deserving, inheriting,
acquiring by virtue of his merit or what he is in himself, because this is an exemplary young
man. He is a ruler! This isn’t just some Joe off the street! This is an exemplary piece of Jewish
accomplishment. And he acknowledges that he’s kept all these laws and all these
commandments from his youth up. What more do I lack? I have it all together! I’m complete in
my religious attendance to the commandments themselves.
And so the Lord says, ‘Just one thing do you lack.’ And it’s that one thing that makes or break
everything, for him and for us. And I’m supposing that we lack it and are not even aware of the
deficiency and we’re going on even as Christians, even as Charismatic Christians, more in the
spirit and the mentality of this young Jewish ruler than we know. We need eternal life, dear
saints, not after we pass this life, but we need it presently. For the eternal life is the life, the life
of God and we’re called to live from it and through it because any other kind of service that
has a source of energy, a dynamism of an enablement that is not God’s life, is ipso facto
rejected by God and He’ll not allow any performance of those things that pertain to His name,
His glory, His honour and His purpose to be actuated by anything other than His own life.
I think I’m not presuming upon God and in fact if this message itself in my speaking is not being
issued out from the life of God, then I myself am a contradiction in terms before you. But I
trust in that and the Lord seems to be faithful to continually supply and to be my enablement,
even at my advanced age and to lay country after country in the space of weeks to go from
one to another is more than just the issue of physical exertion or the deprivation that comes
from the long hours in airplanes. Every speaking from my point of view is a once-and-for-all
that will not be given again. And what preparation have we had today? Just awaking less than a
half hour from a nap before coming here, having had even the chance to review the text that
I’m now employing and trusting that this little thing that I brought with me is God’s text for
tonight and that He’ll quicken right on the spot and bring forth by the exercise of His own life
what He wants through that text. Not just to entertain, amuse and even instruct or even
inspire but set forth something in the deeps by the promulgation of His Word that will bring
us down, that will devastate, that will set something in motion, that will be consequential for all
the future, even eternity itself.
You see how mad prophets are? How large are their expectations and which is not altogether
uncomely or improper? The Lord does not frown on that kind of expectation. He intends it to
be normative. And when you think in terms of as large as that, it’s something that cannot be
accomplished even by a Jewish speaker! So what hope for you? If the apostle Paul had to
frequently punctuate with groans and sighs the statement, ‘Who is sufficient for these things?’
What shall you say? The fact that you have not said it shows that you’re living beneath the faith
and the intention of God and that your Christian life is so predictable and tame that you can
well conduct it on the basis of your own Singaporean ability, which is no small thing! Your
schools have served you well and have taught you how to be diligent. And your English is
acceptable, but hardly more! You’ve been taught to exercise skill, your own ability, your own
wit and succeed on that basis and you do it admirably. I can just judge it by the magnificent cars
that are to be seen everywhere, shining and gleaming, fresh off the showroom floor, being
operated by people evidently that had made it in life by the very skills that issue out of human
self-sufficiency. So how have you avoided that trap? How much do you resemble this young
ruler in your secret mentality, which is being revealed to you tonight more than you yourself
knew. Because you’re unwilling and didn’t realize that the only way in which this life can be
conferred, now presently, for the purposes of God, is not to be rich, not to have possessions,
but is the willingness and the requirement to sell all that you have. And few of us will go that
far with God. And therefore we fall short of the remarkable provision for the remarkable
calling for which the world is wanting and hurting until it be established.
So, the life of God is evidently not given until we also comply with the same requirement made
of him – “Sell whatsoever thou has…” What a radical requirement to be made to a rich man.
Not just part with some of it, not make a contribution of philanthropy, but altogether devoid,
remove, everything that you could have had, any kind of confidence that would have sustained
you. Empty out, rob yourselves for whatever we have, however accomplished, is of man and
keeps us from an absolute reliance on Jesus for our life. You understand that? Any possession
that we have, sell what thou hast, what you have as man, that you have attained, by your own
efficiency, your own credibility, your own diligence. Now, do without! You want life? You want
eternal life? Here’s the condition. Sell what thou hast. Because what you have is antithetical
and opposed to what I’m able to give you, and incompatible. If you want the one, you have to
void the other. You can have both. My life is not a little addendum, it’s not a little icing on the
cake. It’s the whole thing that I’m jealous. My life is holy and powerful and rich. Life is all inclusive.
It’s such a term. It’s not just energy, although it is profoundly that. But it’s the
wisdom of God. It’s the mercy of God, the love of God. It’s what God is in Himself. And you
want that?
Well here’s what is required. Sell what you have – your possessions. Imagine if that is the
requirement for us, as much as it was the requirement for him, if you want an absolute
reliance on Jesus for life? Then whatsoever thou hast is inclusive of not only of possessions of
the material kind, but our spiritual insights, our ministerial ability, even the best of our motives
in serving the purposes of God! You thought it only meant carnal material things? That’s kid’s
stuff! It’s easy to get rid of the BMW; it won’t be painless. But to get rid of your spiritual
acquisitions that you possess may be more of a requirement than you know! Sell what you
have, because what you have is yours. You have attained it, though it has its origin in God and
it makes up something in which you are spiritually sufficient, and even impressive. But if you
want the ultimate thing, this is the very thing that you must sell, must void, must give over.
Because there’s no man good; there’s nothing good but God. Don’t you understand the
absoluteness of this? What this confrontation means that has been set in Scripture? Is timeless?
Is epical in its meaning, is a collision of an ultimate kind; all the more significant because he’s a
young ruler; all the more significant because he’s exemplary, because he’s got it altogether,
because he’s a really spiritual kind of guy that has obeyed the commandments from youth up.
But he’s also of course rich. Because the same character that will obey commandments, that is
diligent, will also have a material consequence that adds to the substance of the man himself.
And Jesus said, “Sell all that you have.” Not some, not to reduce your acquisitions so you live
more modestly, but totally void, totally give over all that you have. Get rid of it, because
there’s nothing good in what you have. Your possessions that are equally indicted as you are
yourself. There’s no man good. Why callest thou me good? There’s no man good but God!
When are we going to believe that? The totality of God’s requirement if we are to enjoy His
If we don’t have His life, we’ll have to turn the amplifiers up louder and simulate it, and give the
appearance of it and we can do that, and make a robust demonstration and enjoy it and think
that by that elation, that that constitutes the life. See how dangerous this is? The life, dear
saints, I don’t have a word to describe. I’m only hoping and praying, as I do continue before the
Lord, that I not only be an expositor of His Word, but to demonstrate also its proof. So if
what I’m saying does not issue from His life, which is also His wisdom, also His intention,
which if at any moment should subside from me, I would crumple before you like the poor
piece of dust and earth that I am. I’m wholly dependent on the life of God. If He withholds it
for a moment, I can’t speak. I can’t just stipulate, I can’t move my arms, I can’t raise my voice. I
have no being independent of that life. And I’m not offering this as some radical alternative that
is reserved only for the prophetic man. The prophetic man, like the apostolic man, is the
demonstration of what is quintessentially God’s intention for all the Church! For if it is not
prophetic and not apostolic, which lives from the life of God, has its enablement out of His
power, and the wisdom and love, and all those things that are inclusive of that life, what is it?
So something needs to sink deep into our hearings, to have a repugnance of that kind that God
Himself has, for what is in man. There’s no man good. Why callest me good? I will not accept
your compliment. Only God is good, and only God issues what is good. Even that which comes
forth from the best and well-meaning intentions of man is still something less and other than
that which issues from God. And even the disciples were beside themselves. “Well, who then
can be saved?” “Who then can subscribe to this?” “This is so utter a requirement!” And the
Lord says, “With man it’s impossible!” Have you understood the faith to which you have come,
the thing to which you have been called? It’s an utter contradiction of the world, its wisdom
and its life. It calls you to be emptied of anything that purports and issues from man that is
celebrated as good.
Remember early in the Gospel of John, there were some who believed in Jesus when they saw
the miracles which He performed? But He would not commit Himself unto them, because He
knew what was in man – that they had come to the right conclusions for the wrong reasons.
They had humanly estimated and assessed His miracles and on that basis have come to a
human conclusion that He’s the Messiah. Though they came to a right conclusion, they came
to it by the wrong means. And He would not yield Himself to them, even though they were
correct in their assessment, because they came to it humanly. But Peter, when Jesus said,
‘Who do man say that I am?’ And he said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!’
‘Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but My
Father, who is in heaven.’ You didn’t come to this estimation and conclusion because you had
the privilege of an intimate association with Me, or saw My miracles, or heard My teachings.
You received something that had to issue from God, or there’s no way that you can have it.
And because you have it from Him, you’re blessed. And not only are you blessed, that this is
foundation for all the Church and from that foundation will I build My Church. That would
come only by revelation from God, by the Spirit that issues out of His life. Only that is
acceptable, only that is foundational. It’s not enough to be correct, even biblically. How many
of us are living in a way that can compare with this Jewish young ruler? That our life is as
exemplary as his, is as wild as his, is as ethical as his, and is as serious about the
commandments of God as he. That’s not one of us that can compare and yet in God’s sight,
it’s totally a ground for rejection.
You want to follow Me? Then you have to get rid of all that you have, all your possessions,
your riches, your confidence, which is predicated not on me, but yourself and your own
attainment as man. With man, it’s impossible, but with God… that’s the only good thing. What
is in union with Himself and issues from Himself, and nothing in-between and nothing other is
good. Believeth thou this? If you believe it, you’re as good as dead! You go down on your face,
you’re destitute. What? Lord? Just when I had it altogether? And thought myself spiritual? And
singing the choruses so robustly and with real enjoyment and conviction; and living far more
impressively than I’ve ever done before? And now You’re telling me that every aspect of that is
the result of my own energy and intention and human striving that is void? And as much as I
enjoy this acquisition of spiritual understanding, that it’s humanly obtained by my own human
cleverness and I have to get rid of it? I have to be emptied in order to obtain Your life? And
live through that life to be dead and hidden with Christ in God until His life is revealed? Well,
what if He chooses not to reveal it? Like now… what if a man is called up unto the platform
and having been given so elaborate an introduction as this, and he stands there at the podium
and er… duh… er… nothing happens!
He can’t draw upon his 75 year history, or 40 years in the Lord or even the accomplishments
of today that were impressive. He’s totally dependent on the life of God that will be revealed if
God chooses. But He’ll test us; He’ll not always be at our elbow for our convenience to save
us from embarrassment or failure or humiliation. There will be occasions if we cast ourselves
on such utter dependency upon Him, that He will choose to keep it, unrevealed and withheld,
and allow our faces to stick out embarrassingly and we have not a clever word to say or a
spiritual foot to put forward. Are you willing for that humiliation? To be so tested? To be hid
with God in Christ until His life is revealed? Because when He is revealed, it’s no longer the
issue of a successful evening, or an enjoyable message. His glory follows! I think the Lord is
wanting to ruin you tonight, and I don’t feel guilty. Because you’re so charismatically
Well, I tell you what. There’s a node of sorrow in my heart tonight. When I just learnt en
route to this meeting, that one of the most celebrated so-called ‘oracles of the hour’,
internationally known, has been found to be in the condition of alcoholism and homosexuality.
And I’m sorrowing not only for the man’s fall, but suspecting that it’s the beginning of the
unraveling of a garment that is long overdue. It’s the emperor’s garment. You know that story?
Where only the child is able to see that the emperor is naked and everyone else is ooh-ing and
aah-ing at how impressive the supposed garment is. It’s a false garment; it’s a superficial
garment. It’s a religiously-contrived something that we have celebrated too mindlessly and
enjoyed. And the Lord is pulling and unraveling the thing from the bottom and who knows
where it will end! When this most conspicuous figure, celebrated as ‘the oracle of the hour’,
God’s present prophet is found to be in a state of now-fallenness of the most shameful kind.
Well, where were those who were close to him? Where were those who should have
observed the earliest signs of a tendency and propensity to a movement away from
righteousness that should have been corrected in a moment? What is it that was working that
made this figure so compelling and attractive and full of hype? I’ve sat in rooms, gone out of my
way to hear the man, if indeed he could be the oracle of the hour. I was willing to take second
But aleck and alas, every time I extended myself, it was with disappointment. And yet, I
watched this figure on this platform being introduced much more glowingly than what was
spoken of me tonight and the man didn’t even stir or bat an eyelash and I was waiting for him
to come to the microphone and say, ‘I appreciate brother, your good intention, but I have to
say I’m not what you’ve described me. I’m just a servant who has a gift of prophecy and I can
give personal prophecy, but I’m not an oracular figure who’s bringing ultimate statements of
the kind that’s out of the heart of God for this moment that touch time and eternity and
interpret prophetic scripture in the light of present events and things that are future that
consummate the conclusion of the age. I’m not that kind of prophet. Don’t introduce me as
THE oracle of the hour and THE prophet. I’m not that!’
But aleck and alas, the man never stirred and allowed this heavy acknowledgement to go forth
as if it’s true. Unlike Jesus, he didn’t stop this acknowledgement. Jesus would not for a moment
allow this young man to go on and acknowledge Him as good master. Was not Jesus a good
master? My God, He was better than a good master! But He would not receive that
compliment in the spirit and mentality from which it was issued. For to acknowledge and to
receive that, is already giving the game away. He would not allow Himself to be considered as
a man who is good. Because there’s no man good! But God! ‘What must I do?’ This young
ruler shows where his mind is. What must I accomplish? What must I perform? What can issue
from me that can attain eternal life? He doesn’t know what it means to sell all that you have; to
relinquish; to let go; to abdicate; cease from yourself; surrender; renounce; abandon ourselves
to the Lord. Not the things we want to be rid of – our bad habits, our temper, our unkind
disposition, our carnality, no! The possessions that make you rich! Your accomplishments,
your spiritual attainment, your efficiency, your impressiveness, your worship leader ability,
your preaching, your gift of gab, your aura of authority, the kind of things that have elevated
you to a prominence. That’s what God is after! Who doesn’t want to get rid of the things that
we want to dump? It’s the possessions that are rich. Those are things that must be voided and
given over if we’re to have life! Go thy way. Sell whatever you have – talent, ambition, spiritual
attainment. The remarkable thing is you probably even have it from God! But YOU have it! It’s
YOURS! YOUR possession and your confidence and trust is not so much in Him who gave it,
but your attainment of it, and your manipulation and use through it. That’s why it’s got to be
given up, given back.
I said this morning there are too many young squirts, recently saved that on the platform with
their guitars. And what is their qualification to lead in worship, who hardly know the Lord, but
are competent in their musicality. I watch them chew gum and crack gum and smirk and smile
and flirt with the girls even while they’re strumming. And the poor minister who has given
them this opportunity is being diminished before their sight because they are where the action
is. They’re influencing the atmosphere and bringing attention to themselves in the supposed
name of the Lord, Who is the object of worship … so called! Phoney baloney, dear saints!
Corruptive! Defiling! They need to relinquish and take that guitar from that young man and not
give it back to him until he demonstrates a sanctified life through observed discipline and
dealings of God, where he really comes to know the holiness of the Most High, and can
worship Him in spirit and truth. Until then. He needs to abdicate and forfeit his musical ability
and talent. And whatever is the comparable thing that we have as possession needs to be ‘go
and sell what you have.” Go and give it up. Go and relinquish and forfeit it. Because there’s
one thing that you lack, and to lack that one thing is to lack everything!
I don’t know how to say it. If you lack that, no matter how impressive are the other things that
are a part of your life, Christian personality and service, to lack that is to lack all. This one
thing! You lack this? And it has to be so precious in your sight. To attend to this one thing that
is lack, that you’re willing to forfeit – your ambition, your attainment, your preaching style, the
whatsoever, that you’ll have treasure in heaven, and have treasured from heaven, that exceeds
the best that we can know and waits upon that totality of this renunciation. Put that into your
Singaporean pipe and smoke it! Did you hear that? You who got As in English? The best we
have needs to be renounced. And God waits for the totality of renunciation, if we are to
receive the gift and privilege of eternal life! Which is the life that Jesus said, ‘I’ve come to bring
you life and that more abundantly. There’s no distinction between that life and the life that’s
eternal. The privilege is we don’t have to wait to die to have that eternal life. We can have it
now! Not as an enjoyment or a new possession, but as the source of our being. Our reason
for being, our ability to be and to serve, which at any moment, if it pleases Him to test us, He
can withhold. Because we’re dead in our humanity, in our confidence, in what we can employ
and are hid with God in Christ until His life is revealed.
And when it is revealed, it may not come out the way that you appreciate it. It may come out
in a way that would embarrass you, make you an object of reproach, have you speak foolishly,
carry on in such a way as to make people frown and look strangely at you who thought that
somehow you are godly and a servant of the Most High. But how do you begin like that? As
we had occasion, just days ago in Germany to begin three days of meetings with German
students who found us on the website and wrote to us and said, ‘You seem to be the real
thing.’ They needed the real thing; they were desperately urgent for the real thing. They
weren’t looking for some accomplished Charismatic personality who can give them clichés of a
kind that they’ve already heard; that are stone cold dead.
And so we came. I arrived in the back of a car half the size of what you drive. It was little, I
don’t know what it was, but it was little. And I was so contorted. I couldn’t find a place. We
had like a three-hour drive from Harlem to Germany, and I was crumpled in that back. My
neck was stiff; couldn’t doze off and I desperately needed sleep. Why? Because you’re up three
in the morning, four in the morning, five in the morning! Doesn’t the Lord know you need
your rest? Why does He bring you out of your bed for these insane devotional times that
could just have easily been obtained at 7am and 8; at a reasonable hour. Why three, four?
When the Lord knows that you’ve got commitment, that you need to be at your best and
strongest, instead of arriving crumpled and exhausted and spent? And looking out at a sea of
German faces who are looking you over and wondering what they’re going to get. Who had
somehow hoped that you’d be the real thing!
I looked out on them, I sat just like tonight, listening to their choruses, that were almost as
good as yours. And the strange thing was, I couldn’t enter their celebration. In fact, the more
they sang, the more I mourned. I was sorry; I had to touch my eyes with my handkerchief.
Tears were welling up in my eyes, but why am I feeling like this? Shouldn’t I enter this
celebration with these genuine, sincere saints? And when I got up, I was in the strangest mood.
I opened my mouth and I said, ‘You lack a tragic sense of life!’ Pow! You think I knew what I
was talking about? Not a bit! All I knew was this – that that statement had to be made.
Something needed to be sounded. Not just as a device to arrest their attention, but to pierce
them in their inward deeps. Because I was conscious, maybe especially as a Jewish man, that
hardly a generation after the Holocaust that had taken 6 million Jewish lives and a million-and
a-half children, this generation of university students is completely untouched and unaffected
by that recent tragedy and have not a visible evident tragic sense of life!
That doesn’t let you off the hook! Being Asian and if you’re not German, you’re not under
obligation to have a tragic sense. If you don’t have a tragic sense of life, you’re a shallow piece
of goods. History has passed you by. You’re living in the present now. You have the narrowest
focus. There’s every reason to have a tragic sense, whether your history confirms it or not.
German history IS your history! Because it’s man; it’s what man has done. Man in his failure,
and not just ordinary men, but German men; far more exemplary than Asian men, if you’d
allow me that Western bias. You may cut me off from Chinese food hereafter. The worst of
fate for Jews!
German is the epitome of civilization, of man’s accomplishments. The theologians, the
philosophers, who’s the one the ethical imperative – Kant, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart; poets,
philosophers, theologians, it’s the genius of civilization and they were reduced to something
bestial and became a machine for the systematic annihilation of the chosen people. Hey saints,
that’s tragic! Something is rotten in them; something is amiss; there’s something wrong in the
foundation of life and reality. And how can you be a student in this factory of the university
with concrete walls; it’s not the older universities with ivy-covered Heidelberg; this is a new
university cast in concrete. Something like this décor and impersonal and these are the
students there to attain degrees so that they can become professionals and make a living and
have an impressive time and have their own BMWs.
No tragic sense of life! And you know what? I did not know what the next sentence should be.
My dear brother who was with me thought it’s finished. It’s over before it begins! I’ve seen Art
get himself into predicaments, but this is one from which he cannot extricate himself. This is
absurd to begin that way! But you want to know something? Three days later at the final
meeting, the Lord had moved us from a moment of utter senselessness that defies rationality
and expectation unto glory! He made a deposit in Germany that will touch that nation, that
will touch the Church of that nation, that will have consequence of a kind that can’t even be
estimated because it began in an utterly absurd and foolish and unpredictable way by a man
who lives from that life and has to yield to that life even when it brings forth something that he
himself doesn’t understand and to which he would not even agree; and offends his own taste
and sensibility. That’s what it means to live by the life of God!
Are you willing? You Asians? Who I understand have a culture that has to do with keeping face
and being esteemed and recognized as spiritual? Are you willing to be that absurd, that cast
upon God, that foolish, that crumpled, that weak? To come out of the car where you can
hardly straighten up and fought over by a lack of sleep and exhaustion? Having gone through
severe demand already in Holland before you arrived in Germany, and open your mouth and
let the Lord, Whose wisdom is in His life, give expression? As a beginning for which you don’t
even know how to continue, let alone know where it will end? Because He’s the Alpha the
Omega of every occasion, not just the beginning of creation, but everyday in our Christian life,
He’s Alpha and Omega! He’s got to begin, because only He knows the end from the beginning!
But can He begin through you?
If you have your own sense of propriety and rightness in what is spiritually acceptable and are
not wanting to be cast on that dependency, because after all, you’ve got something in yourself,
of your own. You’re intelligent, and you’re able, and you’re spiritual… Sell all that you have!
Forfeit, relinquish, give it over. Not the cheap things, the best things; the things that you most
want to cling and to possess. For it’s man. You can’t do it. Therefore we don’t enter into the
kingdom, that heavenly dimension of reality and authority, though we prattle about it
profusely. Because we trust in our own riches and make them our confidence and our
dependence. Boy, Katz, where did you get that statement? Right out of the life of God, not my
cleverness. What is he saying? We prattle about the kingdom of God, we’re fluent, dexterous
in our vocabulary, and we’re so naïve as to think that because we can mouth these terms that
we have some measure of its reality. We don’t even know what the kingdom is! We have no
sense of its theocratic reality and rule, and that it’s Davidic, and must take place from the holy
hill of Zion to a restored Israel and out of Jerusalem must go forth the law and the Word of
the Lord.
But we talk about the kingdom and we think that by invoking that kind of term, it brings a little
but more of a luster and dimension of seriousness to what would otherwise be kept merely
charismatic. We prattle, we speak, but we have not the awesome sense, the reality of the
requirement and the significance of that kingdom even now. Because with man it’s impossible,
but not with God. When will we believe Him that “Without Me, You can do nothing.” How
would you like to predicate everything in this trust and confidence that if He be not God; if
there be no resurrection, you of all people are most to be pitied. And if He’ll not supply what is
needed for a moment, which is not just the issue of your reputation, but a life and death
moment, in fact aren’t all your moments life and death moments? You don’t see it that way? You
just thought you go to school, or you’re at an office or you’re learning in college or university;
one day is like another? And so if you meet someone and talk to someone, it’s interesting, but
no big deal? You see, you’re living beneath the intention of God. You don’t understand the
eternality of even coincidental contact of a word that can come in season, that can set
something in motion, that will affect a man’s salvation and his eternity and it has got to come
from you and not out of your cleverness. Because you can quote John 3:16, ‘Are you saved,
brother?’ He needs to hear something else! What he needs to hear has got to come to him
from the throne of heaven, and the wisdom of God who knows that man intimately and you
cannot know. But are you yielded to the life that can give you a word for that one because
eternity is at stake and who is sufficient for these things?
You do err, because you do not appraise life apostolically and prophetically. Because your one
day is like another; because your Christianity is a succession of services, which are enjoyable,
but you do not live in the intensity and appreciation of what life means and why we’re here and
what can be touched by us, even in seeming accident by a God Who is utterly sovereign and
knows the end from the beginning and has given us works to walk in before the foundations of
the earth were laid, which work is taking place tonight. Believeth thou this or is this just a
novelty? Jewish guy who happens to be in town and let’s have him because he has some kind of
prophetic reputation; it will be enjoyable.
One of us is devastatingly in error. I look upon tonight as a once-and-for-all occasion that will
not ever be given again, that we dare not miss it. And merely to bring something good is not
good enough. It’s not enough to be biblical and doctrinally correct, or amusing or to be a
novelty. There are issues at stake of such moment, of such consequence that we dare not miss
God in any moment. Life is to be heightened in our appreciation for its significance and its
meaning and how we can meet these requirements, even as young believers! Aren’t you in
school with non-believers? And don’t you have teachers that are utterly secular who need to
hear from you and see in you some measure of divinity that makes their heads to turn and
makes them to rub their chin and wonder what about this student? There’s something about her
or him and essay or assignment that I’m reading that is more than just a kid fulfilling a
requirement. There’s something here that has a resonance that comes from another place
beyond the earth. Only the life of God can provide that kind of reality, dear saints! And that
reality is reality. And anything less or other is unreality. And God is beginning to judge it, and
pull out and unravel it and unmask it and show it forth as naked before the whole charismatic
world that has celebrated in it and luxuriated in that unreality. And I praise God for it.
Tragic that it would require a man’s humiliation and such deplorable sin. But if that’s what it
takes to be waken from our sleep, and to agree with God that there is no man good and
‘without Me, you can do nothing’, and that we need to sell all that we have so we can receive
the life to which we are called to live, and to give expression in our time and age, then it’s not
extravagant for Him to require that man’s humiliation if it will save us from living beneath His
glory and predictable Christianity adorned with charismatic flourishes and fall short of the glory
of God. ‘Without Me, you can do nothing.’ He yearns for the infusion of His life for us that
comes with union with Himself. For the believer can each day be pleasing to God only in that
which he does in the power of Christ dwelling in him; the daily inflowing of the life sap of the
Holy Spirit is his only power to bring forth enduring and eternal fruit. This is from Andrew
Murray and in his book, ‘Abide in Christ.’
And you know where Andrew got it? From God! Where did he make this profound
observation? It came to him through the life of God to which he submits and yields, and which
is his life. When Paul said, ‘For me to live is Christ”, you think he’s just coining a little phrase?
You think he’s playing on words, that this is a piece of rhetoric that’s cute? Or is Paul giving us
the definitive principle by which this man lives this remarkable apostolic lifestyle and makes
himself an object for the attack and persecution and oppression of his own Jewish kinsman and
the powers of darkness that hate this man’s guts and has seen that man will vow and throw
dust up in the air and on their heads that he’ll not eat or drink until he’s dead, because the
man is not fit to live. How come you’re getting by with much less? How come you’re not an
object of oppression and persecution? How is it that you’re one of the nice guys that is both
Christian and nice and good fun? Because you’re not in Paul’s place. You’re not in that
apostolic realm. You’re not in that intensity of life. You’re not living from the life of God,
which the world hates. And the powers of darkness want to be able to say, ‘Jesus we know,
Paul we know, but who are you?’ There’s nothing about you, however well-meaning your
intentions, however impressive your worship, however much your programs that makes us in
anyway to take note of you, let alone to fear what you’re about. Because it only issues from
your unaided humanity with a little flourish charismatically from the Lord, but it’s essentially
It’s only Him that terrifies us. His life terrifies us, because His life is omnipotent, omniscient,
it’s powerful, it’s rich, it’s totally antithetical to the death that we represent. It’s a contest
between life and death, not in the narrow biological terms, but in the largest cosmic spiritual
and philosophical understanding that is a contest between two operators – between life and
death. And the world lies in the wicked one, the evil one, the father of lies who’s the author of
death and celebrates death, and has a whole religious movement that loves to take the heads
off shoulders of men who are western, American, and especially Jewish. What a trophy they’ll
have in me because I’m all three! That kind of evil that loves death because it hates God. And
when you read the Psalms, what do you read in the psalmist? They’re after my life. My
persecutors, they harass me. They don’t let me go; I’m continually an object of their derision.
They bring me to shame. They’re wicked, they’re evil, they’re malevolent, they’re after my life.
Not just my physical existence, but the principle by which I live, which is God. And they hate
God in me for He is my life and they want to destroy that by destroying me.
How many of us tonight can say, ‘For me to live is Christ?’ More than that, how many of us are
willing to be brought to a place where we can say that and desire that? Because we know that
without that life, who is sufficient? There’s a world dying outside this door, in their BMWs and
sleek cars and Mercedes and you name it. They’re dying in their error, they have no sense
what lies beyond this. They don’t even know that there’s an eternal life. That if they don’t
obtain it now, they won’t obtain it ever. Who’s to tell them? Who’s to break into that
unreality that is so pervasive and so accepted that people think it normative and that you’re
the queer ones. We have a task, burden and obligation for our generation in our time for all
Asia. This Katz has boasted that Singapore will be the Antioch to Asia, that out of Singapore
will come apostolic men sent from apostolic bodies whose word is more than just interesting
or an inspirational thing but is an event, comes in the power of God.
But where is that sending body if its resting on its haunches and is content with what it can
perform in itself out of its well-meaning intentions and out of its own humanity and is not cast
upon God for all of life? That if there’s no resurrection, we of all men are most to be pitied
and prefer to have it so and make that the condition of our life and being, casting all upon God.
Andrew Murray, the same Spirit that dwelt and still dwells in the Son becomes the life of the
believer in the unity of that one spirit and fellowship of the same life that is in Christ. Praise
the Lord that the Italians have invented the phrase, “Mama Mia!” What a statement! I tell you
what – that statement eclipses human brilliance and spirituality. The statement itself is divine in
its wisdom and in its origin and it issued out of an earthen vessel called Andrew Murray who
knew and spoke this reality because he lived through it and lived by it.
What was available to him and to Paul is available to us. Why don’t we have it, brother?
Because you have not sold all that you possess. You have not given and relinquished your
treasure and your riches and your clinging and cleaving and want all these and had until, and
even want to succeed on the basis of what you have as man. And you can, charismatically, but
not apostolically, not prophetically, not gloriously! The unity – the same Spirit that dwelt and
still dwells in the Son; we are dead and hid with Christ in God, becomes the life of the believer
in the unity of that one Spirit and fellowship of the same life. Are you having fellowship with
the life? Don’t think that it’s obtained in your choruses. The fellowship of the life has got to be,
while it’s yet dark and the day has not yet broken and you’re up at 4 or 5am and on your
knees or on your face in your prayer cabinet and in a private and quiet unseen place with God.
There is the test of your affection and your devotion, not what you can see impressively in the
corporate environment; the early morning hour where you’re foolish and weak, where your
body cries out to stay in bed and you get out in foolish devotion and seek the Holy One of
Israel and bow before Him for the piece of dust that you are, acknowledging that you don’t
know how to put one foot before the other to walk out this day that has come, which is onceand-
for-all and will never be given again. Where issues of an eternal kind are ever before you,
that require a wisdom beyond your own and an ability beyond your own. And you’re prostrate
before Him and in communion, not only to the acknowledgement of Who He is, but in the
receiving in that communion something from His life.
And you’re foolish enough like me to take communion daily; you’ve got to have the bread and
the wine. It’s not enough to wait once a month or how often you have it. You crave to eat and
drink of the Lord. You need the substance of that Bread of life that has come down from
heaven. You need the wine, which is the essence of His Spirit to fuel you in your inner man for
the day that’s before you, which you cannot attend in any serious way, except in that power.
That’s what he’s talking about – in the fellowship with God; in the place of communion before
day begins in the houses of sleep, you’re foolishly out of bed and before the Lord and you’re
not going to give up because you don’t feel anything. There’s no sense of His presence, so this
must be a foolish and wasteful investment. I’m not feeling anything, and if I don’t have the sense
of God’s presence, what’s the point? Because you’re in it to get something, you utilitarian
Asian saints. I know you only too well. So much invested for so much obtained. The spirit of
utility that prevails in the world governs your spirituality!
You’re willing to extend for a service for which there is a benefit, but communion with God
doesn’t dangle a carrot before your nose and offer you benefit that’s worth your investment.
It’s because He is Who He is! Because He’s the living God, because He’s the Creator, because
He’s full of grace, because He has provided an atonement that has saved us out of death and
hell that we could not have earned it or obtained by any merit or any act that we could
perform. He needs daily to be honoured and to be acknowledged and to confess that ‘Without
You, I can do nothing.’ Lord, how am I going to speak to these Singaporeans tonight at this
Cornerstone church beyond being a piece of novelty and amusement. How are you going to
say something that’s going to go into the very deeps of that fellowship, that congregation and
require a total reassessment of what we are about and where are we going and by what
means? And how we need to factor in the Word that comes forth, that strikes at the heart of
our being? That’s what we have to seek the Lord before the day even begins and trust that
when that hour comes, and you awaken a half hour before the meeting, having a nap that is so
desperately needed, and brought there looking all dressed and ready to go, that you yourself
know that you’re a crumpled piece of merchandise and in you is no good thing, if the life of
God isn’t going to be active.
There’s something more at stake than a man’s reputation. It’s the once-and-for-all moment
that will not be given again, that only His life is sufficient to answer. Not only by His energy,
but also by His wisdom; but His content, by His will. To live through Him, and for Him and
unto Him, to Whom be glory forever. This is the definitive and normative intention of God for
all saints. But it requires fellowship with the life; unity with that one Spirit that is in Christ. And
if there’s anything of any kind, that is contrary to His holiness, that fellowship is severed. He
withdraws, He recoils. That means there is an imperative to walk in such a way that is Godhonouring;
to watch our mouths, to watch our prattle, to watch our casual speech, to watch
the dispositions of our hearts that even if we hear that a man of God has fallen, whom we
could never even earlier acknowledge to be the ‘oracle of the hour’, that we should not
secretly or maliciously enjoy his fall. Do you understand that?
The human heart; the deceitfulness of the heart that needs to be guarded against, lest we lapse
into something contrary to the holiness of God that would injure the fellowship that is so
urgent by which we derive His life. It takes a constant vigilance and a diligence that we can’t
even accomplish by ourselves, independently of others with whom we join as brothers in
fellowship, who will be quick to tell us if they see some disposition in us that is contrary to
God and His holiness and His way. So that means we need to be in a kind of relationship in
which we can be observed, in which even the subtlety of differences will be quick to be
detected and known and that we love one another even having observed that difference, to
speak it in love.
But you run the risk of being successful; there are too many of you for that kind of intimacy
that this reality requires. So you’ll have to find some way, in the midst of your success and
numbers, to have that face-to-face kind of relationship in a frequency in which when there’s
any deviation in character and life, it’s quick to be seen and acknowledged and communicated.
For we’re in something together, of an ultimate kind that is more than happy services. That
requires time and diligence and relationship that is authentic. For if we will not have it with
other, to what degree will we have it with God? I tell you what – Church that is as earnest as
that cannot be performed on the basis of human well-meaning intention and natural energy. It
requires itself the life of God.
For true Church is ultimate demand against the flesh. It requires the kind of gospel heroism
and courage and the love for truth and reality that is God. And so, there’s a rest that remains
to the people of God, which is the ultimate hallmark of biblical faith to which few have come.
This is that spoken by Jesus, ‘If any man comes to Me and hates not his father and mother,
wife, children, brother, sister, yea, and his own life also; he cannot be My disciple.’ You’ve got
to hate your own life also. You got not to trust it, you got to despise its subtlety that wants to
run the show, wants to operate through your intellect, or your singing ability, or whatever
proficiency that you have and have a place of dominance above that of the Spirit of God in
your spirit.
You’ve got to hate that intellect and put it in its proper place so it serves you unto the Spirit of
God in your spirit as a servant and an employment, and not something that runs the show.
And you preachers must sell all that you have. This is really a message for preachers. The rest
of you can listen in. You preachers must sell all that you have – your impressive, soulish verve.
Did you learn that in English class? V-E-R-V-E – that stylistic kind of flourish that we
charismatic ministers are especially adept to perform and which the people love? We know
how to raise our voices, we know how to manipulate, we know how to touch the heartstrings.
This is our baggage, this is our technique, our methodology, our picturesque affectation, our
style, our calculated stylisms that comprise our riches. And if we are to follow Him, in the
same totality by which He followed the Father, taking up the cross, we have to forfeit those
things as riches that we cannot enjoy, let alone think to serve God by.
That means we’re stripped. That means unless the Lord gives a flourish, unless the Lord gives a
Holy Ghost verve, we ourselves will not draw from our own ability to be compelling or
entertaining or anything like that. If the Word of God itself will not command the attention of
God’s people, then we’re dead ducks! And He doesn’t need our help to liven it up by some
kind of dimension we’re going to bring that’s personable, that issues out of our energy, and out
of our life. The Word alone, which is His, that comes out of the wisdom of His life, in the
moment of His choosing, will serve its own ends and perform its own purposes. I had to
caution men from our recent conference, ‘Don’t beat the rock!’ Just speak to it and the waters
will gush out. The waters of life – it doesn’t need your assistance, your additional personality
and ability and charismatic style in order to bring it forth. Be the simple unadorned saint. Be
what you are, that you are, by the grace of God. Come crumpled from the back of a car, come
without rest, come in whatsoever condition because in your weakness, His strength is made
Be willing to be weak. Be willing to be foolish. Don’t put your confidence in your own
capability and that you’re flushed with strength and know how. You make yourself weak; you
make yourself poor; you choose apostolic poverty. Maybe because you are able to enjoy a
BMW doesn’t mean that you’re driving one. You void the kinds of things which you are able to
possess because you know their subtlety And you know the in-roads and the elevation that
comes in the enjoyment of a luxurious vehicle and the various other kinds of things that make
up a life that is contrary to the apostolic character of the true faith of men who lived in
apostolic poverty.
There’s a reason why the great prophet wore a camel’s hair skin and ate locusts and honey
and was out from the establishment in the wilderness place. He couldn’t have been for the
people nor for God where he must, if he mingled with and drew from and was part of the
status quo and the things that are not in themselves necessarily sinful. But the enjoyment of
them does bring a certain erosion of reality and truth and therefore it’s not masochistic; this is
not some psyching yourself out to voluntarily make yourself poor. You don’t have to live to
the limit of your income. You can live beneath it and modestly, if it will ensure a greater
casting upon the Lord for dependency for life, for wisdom, for speaking, for utterance. Got the
And so, Andrew Murray says, ‘Meditate on this, until your soul bows to worship in the
presence of this mystery.’ You have to meditate on this awkward on-the-spot interpellation,
putting something together from a newsletter article that has been presented tonight, that
probably is more significant than I myself know. You need to meditate upon it. This is a word
for a successful church. This is a word for abounding Christianity in an affluent Singapore; that
strikes up the very unspoken premise and wisdom by which the whole society lives its life,
including the Christian segment of it. We need to meditate and bow and worship. What God
is saying is the very act of bowing breaks the soulish powers that have had too long its way.
You should have been with us this morning, get the tapes, where we talked about the
difference between soul and spirit. That the Church in its condition is so abysmal that it can’t
even discern the difference between soul and spirit. It has been so long taken up in the realm
of soulishness that it thinks that to be spirit, it has not got its treasure, its inward integrity and
is so open to being manipulated and moved by anything of a kind that excites emotion.
There’s a purity, a jealousy for that inward thing that has come from God that we dare not
allow to be assaulted or penetrated because it appears to be, because it seems to celebrate
God, because there’s a difference between soul and spirit. Not only must we recognize that
difference, but ruthlessly cleave to the one as against the other. We’re called to be sons and
daughters of the Resurrection; we’re people of the Spirit, which is His life. But you’ve got to
sell all that you have in order to obtain it and to live continuously by it. So I want to pray in
conclusion that you will pray, rich young ruler that you are. You came running in all kinds of
excitement and enthusiasm, ready to acknowledge and say the appropriate thing out of your
own religiosity, out of your own natural enthusiasm, wanting something because you think you
deserve it, or could attain it or earn it or merit it; not realizing in man there’s no good thing at
“Without Me, you can do nothing.” Nothing of eternal significance, that is, though you can perform
services admirably. Let’s pray.
Lord, You’re ruthless tonight. Even, you’re close to being disrespectful and You’re being very
direct, my God. If I’m not mistaken, if this is not just me, if this is not just some petulant Jewish
character who has his little bias against charismatic, but this Your heart. And out of Your life
that is being expressed, and is sounding a call of a kind that is so demanding, so total and asks
us to forfeit anything that has its origin and issue and perpetuation in our humanity. Even in
our well-meaning humanity, as being the very obstruction to the receiving and living by the life
which is the life – the eternal life of God. So my God, look over these people. Look at the rich
young rulers who have obeyed the commandments, done all the right things. Come my God,
and let them hear Your call. Sell whatsoever you have, forfeit anything in which you have a
confidence and by which you are finding a measure of success through your ability. Give it up.
Be willing to lose your voice and become hoarse and unable to sing a word in note and in tune,
unless the life of God gives you that grace. You can’t preach, you can’t teach, you can’t oversee
a congregation, except you receive the ability, the enablement, the wisdom, the care, the love
of the life that flows from God. Empty yourself. Forfeit, relinquish, give up. The very thing that
Singaporean society has encouraged you to attain by your wit, by your skill, by the exercise of
yourself; would be the basis of success, not only in the world, but in the kingdom. And God is
asking a total refutation of that wisdom which is not of God, but of the world’s. Which no one
has called into question, even in the congregation, and has allowed us to succeed on that same
Come my God, show us how jealous You are for Yourself; that You’ll not share Your glory
with any flesh. That there’s nothing that we can perform or do that is admirable and deserves
any acknowledgement to conserve your ultimate purpose. Only that which is of You, and
through You and for You has to do with the eternal praise of Your glory. So come my God
and collect with these saints who are willing to forfeit and give up their treasure, their riches,
their confidence. What a requirement my God, to make of Singaporean saints. How cruel of
You to make that demand, and make it so ultimate and so total; that unless it’s done in totality,
Your life is not available. You’d not let it mingle with some mix bad thing that is retained in
ourselves. We have to forfeit the one entirely in order to obtain the other. You’re asking the
death, Lord. You’re bringing before us the cross. And give grace now, especially to the young
ones, because they want to succeed on the basis of their lives. They’ve had hardly the chance
to sell their outset, to show themselves capable and You’re asking that before they even get
started that they’re to forfeit? That kind of quest and give it over? And even from the
beginning, to trust You for life and for everything?
And these ministers, my God, who have helped You along with their flourishes and other
devices, to give up those riches, my God? That have been so successful, and are not in
themselves necessarily sinful? Because they are our riches, they are our treasures, they are our
possessions, they are man’s. Come saints, talk to God. Sell all that you have in your heart, let it
go. And if you find yourself with a voice tomorrow, it’s the grace of God and not some natural
attribute that you possess as your own. Let’s get serious. The stakes are eternal. The world is
dying in its success. It knows nothing about eternity because it has not been commended to
them by those who are living in that eternal life now.
So we bless You, Lord. Break our hearts, my God. Transact with us. We can forfeit even
tonight those things that for which You have waited, that You might be all in all. That You
might have a Christian community composed entirely of Christ’s fools, who cannot put one
foot before the other without walking into walls, however accomplished they are by virtue of
what society has taught them to do and to be. They are utterly cast upon You. Come my God,
and let the life that raised You from the dead be our life. Let eternal life not be a future
consideration, but a present ability, a present sustenance and all that adheres in Your life and is
more than energy. It’s wisdom, it’s love that’s true; not shabby affection that is prejudicial and
partial and is available to one and not to the other. Your love is unconditional; Your wisdom is
sublime; Your integrity is beyond anything that we can attain by keeping our noses clean.
You alone, my God, are righteousness and life. Come my God, and fill our vessels with
Yourself and let it have its expression, no matter how foolish it would seem to us, however
impolite, however it would make us to be misunderstood. And objects of reproach and
derision because we ourselves can’t explain what Your life is bidding us to speak and do, that
offends people, rather than seems to bless them. But we’re Your bondslaves, my God. We’re
dead. Unless Your life gives us ability, to move and live and have our being. Thank you, my
God. We’re cast upon You as dead men. Come and let Your Resurrection continually be the
great principle and genius of our life. Save us from mere charismatic, however successful, and
bring us again to the apostolic verities that once shook the earth and turned the earth upside
down for the whole is as desperately in need this night; this Singaporean world, this Asian
world is as much in need of being turned upside down as was the ancient world to which the
apostolic giants came. So we bless You, Lord. Come, precious God. Let the Words of life that
have come not fall to the ground, but be taken up in the faith which is even the issue of Your
life and not our own. Change us radically and to be that presence, my God for which You
yearn and for which You have given Yourself in shameful suffering and death that we might
enjoy and live by You to the eternal praise of Your glory, and not the honouring of man and
his ability and reputation. Thank You, my God. We bow, we surrender, we relinquish, we’re
dead, we’re hid with Christ in God. Let Your life be revealed to Your own eternal satisfaction.
Praise, glory and honour, for there is no other motive.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Transcript by
Cornerstone Community Church : : Singapore
Message can be downloaded from our website at
(Spiritual Food > Teachings)

Senin, 16 Maret 2009


by T. Austin-Sparks

"Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col.1:27). Read the whole verse carefully, fragment by fragment, to get the full import of its wonderful truth: "God was pleased to make known - what is the riches of the glory - of this mystery... which is, Christ in you." The riches of the glory, Christ in you!

"Know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you?" (2 Cor. 13:5). That interrogation of the Apostle is not without point, "Know ye not as to your own selves" - know ye not that Christ is in you? Do you not know this wonderful thing?

"My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you" (Gal. 4:19). "Till Christ be formed in you"; this is a step on.
"Whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). Marvelous words! No man would dare to say this; they are here by revelation of the Holy Spirit.

"Unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ... till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God... unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:7, 13; ARV). "The measure... of the fulness of Christ."

We want immediately to focus everything in and upon the Lord Jesus Christ for it is He who is in view. What we have before us is not teaching or truth; that is, to be possessed of more knowledge of truth; it is not service; but it is the Lord Himself.

The object of the Father from first to last is that the Son, the Lord Jesus, shall fill all things, and all things shall be filled with Christ. The value of everything in the eyes of God is according to the measure of the manifestation of Christ in it. It is from that standpoint God determines the importance of everything.

If we become focused there, it will make a great difference, much will have to go because it is not manifesting the Lord Jesus. We must understand that the Father has set the Lord Jesus before His eyes, and the Father's eyes are full of only one object, that is the Beloved, His Son; and in the eyes of God the value of everything is determined by the measure in which His Son is manifested and glorified; that is His end and that is His object.

The All-Inclusiveness of Christ

Spiritual service, vision, vocation, glorification, have no existence apart from Christ; they are not things as things, and cannot be had except in the Person of the Lord Jesus.

To many salvation is as a thing. It is detached and regarded as something by itself; to be given by itself, for the good of those who receive it. Sanctification is wrapped up in the same way. So often we think of salvation and sanctification in relation to the persons in view, and so some thing for them, but it is Christ Himself who is salvation, He is sanctification, and He is within as these.

It is the same with service and vocation; these are often seen only in regard to the persons themselves. "Saved to serve" is only part of the truth and is a dangerous slogan, for the motive, so often, is the service itself and not the Lord. You may be so driven with the service that He is left out. We have detached the thing from the Person, and we find we are gripped and wrapped in the claims of "service"; it becomes the drive of service, and in the end it breaks us. And again, when service becomes hard and difficult we say we will give it up, we will resign, thus showing we have separated service from the Person, and have been occupied, day in and day out, with it, the work, and not with the Lord Himself.

And so with glorification; yes, this stirs us, we love to sing hymns about our glorification; but God means it to begin now and it must begin now. What is glorification? It is the full manifestation of Jesus Christ in us. God regards salvation, sanctification, vocation, service, glorification, as related to His Son, and of no value apart from Him; He is salvation, He is sanctification, etc.

Salvation and sanctification are often held up to people as things to be received for their good; the object being for them to benefit from something received; often it is salvation for salvation's sake. God has not saved a single soul for salvation's sake. God is not after salvation as an end in itself, but for the sake of the Savior, for the glory of His Son. It is not salvation that is in view, but the Savior. If people are rejoicing in salvation merely as something received for their own benefit, the full end will be hidden by the first step. Is not this the cause of arrest and hold up?

The worker has to be brought, by the way of seeing no deep fullness of result from his work, to the place where he cries out, "I can do nothing." So he comes to see the true nature of salvation, and that to save another soul is utterly beyond him, and is the work of God. So he comes to see God's object in salvation, which is the glory of His Son. Salvation is not something, it is the mighty incoming of a Person; "He that hath the Son hath life"; (1 John 5:12). "To as many as received Him" (John 1:12).

This is also true in the matter of sanctification and service. Any service that is not fulfilled on the ground of the indwelling Christ as the Worker cannot effect the purpose of God, for only the Lord Jesus by His Spirit can do the work of God. Yes, you are called to be a servant in a service you can never fulfill! Service is the bringing of the Lord Jesus into view, and any service that does not do that is not the service of the Holy Spirit, but man's service which does not fulfill God's ends; it will be tested by the fire, and proved valueless.

Christianity is not a doctrine, not truth as truth, but the knowledge of a Person; it is knowing the Lord Jesus. You cannot be educated into being a Christian. Christianity is the knowledge within of a Person, knowing Him as dwelling within us.

The Universality Of Christ

God has singled out a Person, and gathered into that Person all the Divine perfections; everything is inseparably bound up with His Son; He has put all the fulness of eternity and of the universe into that Person, and bound up all the fulness in Him; not a fragment can be had apart from Him; that which is to characterize the new creation is in Him. The predestined end of God is a full presentation of the fulness of Christ - "The church, His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:23).

Every corner of the universe will speak audibly of Jesus Christ; so that we shall not be able to go into a place, or touch a life, without finding an _expression of the Lord Jesus.

"Christ in you, the hope of glory" - this is heaven. You walk in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Think of the whole universe like that; a universal _expression of His Son in fulness. That is the end God has in view, that Christ shall fill all things; that, looking into everything, it shall be found to be full of Christ. All is made for Him, and in the new creation all will speak of His presence and show forth some characteristic of Him. Oh! the joy, even now, when you touch a life and find immediately that life is full of the Lord Jesus, and the Lord Jesus is the fulness of that life; what a benediction it is!

God has singled out a Person and set Him forth to be seen of all - the Man Christ Jesus.

The Universality Of The Church

You cannot go outside of A and Z in the realm of literature; you box the compass of language with A and Z; likewise Christ Jesus is First and Last of God's new creation, and all that is in between; you cannot get outside of that. We must never think of anything as outside of Christ; He Is Salvation; He Is Sanctification; He Is Redemption, Justification, Peace; Wisdom, Love, Heaven. "Know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you," this Christ - in you! Do you see the possibilities and the tremendous reach of this?

God will transform His universe, not from without, but from within. How? By putting Jesus Christ within the believer by His Holy Spirit; and thence there will be a two-fold activity - being conformed to Him by His Spirit, and He being formed in the believer; thus He is going to make His new creation.

"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1: 27). "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life" (1 John 5:11, 12).

"If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Rom. 8:9).

"The Lord Jesus Christ: who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory, according to the working whereby He is able even to subject all things unto Himself" (Phil. 3:20b, 21; ARV).

"Put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of Him that created Him: where there cannot be Greek and Jew... but Christ is all, and in all" (Col. 3:10, 11; ARV).

"The church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:22b, 23).

Growing Up Into Him

The Christian life is not by effort, and not by struggle; not merely by trying to put into practice certain maxims, or by trying to attain to a certain measure; but from beginning to end, and all together, it is a matter of knowing the Lord Jesus within. Of course this implies response to Him, and a continual yieldedness to His working by His Spirit within, and so co-operating with Him in His purpose of conformity to His image.

We have all grown since we were born. How did we grow? Not by sitting down and considering that we ought to increase our stature; not by determining to grow so much to-day, and a little more to-morrow; not by painful efforts to increase our dimensions, and so on; but we "just growed!" - like Topsy. But while we "just growed", we had to respond to the laws of growth. So in the spiritual realm, we have to recognize the laws of growth, and where these are not responded to, or are violated, there can be no growth, but arrest, weakness and loss.

Why is spiritual growth so slow in some and so gloriously quick in others? Because some kick and question, or argue with God; go round and round the point asking, Does it mean this? Must I do this? Is it necessary? Can I, may I do this? and so on. Yet these very people are loudest in saying they want only the will of God; but their very affirmation often shows a struggle is going on, and their growth is fraught with a good deal of friction.

Others in a beautiful sincerity and purity of spirit are immediately letting go to the Lord, so He is able to lead them on, without waste of time in controversy with the will of God; and there is no weakness through there not being an utter abandonment and whole-hearted obedience and surrender to that will. There is a passion for the Lord Himself, and for Him to have His full way at whatever cost.

It all depends on our appreciation of the Lord Jesus. When we get a true value of Him, and see all that He is for us to the Father, and as by faith we appropriate Him, we quietly grow - "Beholding... the Lord, are changed (transformed from within) into the same image, from glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18).

The hindrance to growth is the regarding things as apart from the Person, the Lord Jesus. We would never walk round the Scripture, as we sometimes do, debating whether we would or would not, if we had a full appreciation of Him, if our passion was for Him to get the fullest glory possible; we should instantly yield, that Christ might get more glory.

Is not the difficulty often in our regarding aspects of the Christian life as something in themselves?

An adequate appreciation of the Lord Jesus gets rid of all the strain of spiritual growth. Christ is most glorified where Christ is most in the heart. Growth is bound up with the Beloved One; and growth is the outcome of being occupied with Him, giving the Lord Jesus His place in everything; He the first, and He all, and in all. Conclusively it is a matter of the measure of Christ, we must see that everything is bound up with the Lord Jesus Himself.

Everything is a matter of knowing the Lord in our hearts, then the Lord has a clear way in us, and through us.

Get focused on Him, and see that He Himself is everything.

The Gospel of God is that we are saved to be conformed to the image of His Son; to come to the fulness of the "measure of Christ," "unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).

Jumat, 06 Maret 2009

Praying for our ministry in Thailand

zoe ministries

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Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

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