kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36
enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the
conception of practical work that has not come from the New
Testament, but from the systems of the world in which endless
energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life
with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. ... An active
Christian worker too often lives in the shop window. It is the
innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the life...
"In Our Lord’s life there was none of the press and rush of
tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to
be as his Master. The central thing about the kingdom of Jesus
Christ is a personal relationship to Himself, not public
usefulness to men....
"You have no idea of where God is going to
engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to
be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time
in over-active energies instead of getting into soak on the great
fundamental truths of God’s Redemption, you will snap when the
strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent
in getting rooted and grounded in God on the un-practical line, you
will remain true to Him whatever happens." (October 19)
"The type of
Christian experience in the New Testament is that of personal,
passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other
type of Christian experience, so called, is detached from the
Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration, no being born again into
the Kingdom in which Christ lives, but only the idea that He is our
Pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is Saviour long before He
is Pattern. Today He is being dispatched as the Figurehead of
a religion, a mere Example. He is that, but He is infinitely
more; He is salvation itself. He is the Gospel of God."
"But seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness;
and all these
things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33
look at these words of Jesus, we find them the most revolutionary
statement human ears ever listened to. 'Seek ye first the kingdom of
God.' We argue in exactly the opposite way, even the most
spiritually-minded of us. ‘But I must live; I must make so much
money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.’ The great concern of
our lives is not the kingdom of God, but how we are to fit
ourselves to live. Jesus reverses the order: Get rightly
related to God first.....
"'Take no thought for your life...' Our Lord
points out the utter unreasonableness from His standpoint of being
so anxious over the means of living. Jesus is not saying that the
man who takes thought for nothing is blessed; that man is a fool.
Jesus taught that a disciple has to make his relationship to God the
dominating concentration of his life, and to be carefully careless
about everything else in comparison to that. "
sorrow worketh repentance to salvation." 2 Corinthians 7:10
sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the
threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when
the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the
Holy Spirit rouses a man’s conscience and brings him into the
presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers
him, but his relationship with God: 'against Thee, Thee only, have I
sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.'
of sin, the marvel of forgiveness, and holiness are so
interwoven that it is only the forgiven man who is the holy man, he
proves he is forgiven by being the opposite to what he was, by God’s
grace. Repentance always brings a man to this point: ‘I have
sinned.’ The surest sign that God is at work is when a man says that
and means it. Anything less than this is remorse for having made
blunders, the reflex action of disgust at himself.
"The entrance into the Kingdom is
through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s
respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, Who produces these
agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life. The new
life will manifest itself in conscious repentance
and unconscious holiness, never the other
way about. The bedrock of Christianity is repentance. Strictly
speaking, a man cannot repent when he chooses; repentance is a gift
of God." (December 7)
"Have we been
slandering God by daring to worry when He has said: 'Seek ye first
the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things
shall be added unto you'? ... Never forget that our capacity in
spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God. Is God able to
fulfill His promises? Our answer depends on whether we have received
the Holy Spirit."
"Blessed are the
poor in spirit." Matthew 5:3
placing Our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus Christ is a Teacher
only, then all He can do is to tantalize me by erecting a standard I
cannot attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal I
cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it....
I must know Jesus Christ as Saviour before His teaching has any
meaning for me other than that of an ideal which leads to
despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that
Jesus Christ did not come to teach only: He came to make me what
He teaches I should be. The Redemption means that Jesus Christ
can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and
all the standards God gives are based on that disposition.
"The teaching of
the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural man; the
very thing Jesus means it to do.... ‘Blessed are the paupers in
spirit,’ that is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The
bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possession; not
decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of absolute futility: ‘I
cannot begin to do it.’ Then Jesus says, ‘Blessed are you.’... The
knowledge of our own poverty brings us on to the moral frontier
where Jesus Christ works."
"The preaching of to-day is apt to emphasize strength of will,
beauty of character--the things that are easily noticed. The phrase
we hear so often, ‘Decide for Christ,’ is an emphasis on something
Our Lord never trusted. He never asks us to decide for Him, but to
yield to Him, a very different thing. ... The thing I
am blessed in is my poverty. If I know I have no strength of will,
no nobility of disposition, then Jesus says, Blessed are you, because
it is through this poverty that I enter His Kingdom....
"The true character of the loveliness that tells for
God is always unconscious. Conscious influence is priggish and
un-Christian. If I say, ‘I wonder if I am of any use,’ I instantly
lose the bloom of the touch of the Lord. 'He that believeth in Me,
out of him shall flow rivers of living water.' If I examine the
outflow, I lose the touch of the Lord."
"...it is easier
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a
rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:23
"He can do
nothing for us if we think we are sufficient of ourselves; we have
to enter into His Kingdom through the door of destitution. As long
as we are rich, possessed of anything in the way of pride or
independence, God cannot do anything for us. It is only when we get
hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit."
your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the
scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the
kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5: 20
Christ claims that by His Redemption He can put into any man His own
disposition, and make him as unsullied and as simple as a child. The
purity which God demands is impossible unless I can be re-made
within, and this is what Jesus has undertaken to do by His
Redemption. No man can make himself pure by obeying laws. Jesus
Christ does not give us rules and regulations; His teachings are
truths that can only be interpreted by the disposition He puts in.
The great marvel of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He alters
heredity. He does not alter human nature; He alters its mainspring."
"Except a man be
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
enter into the realm of the Kingdom of God unless I am born from
above by a birth totally unlike natural birth. 'Ye must be born
again.' This is not a command, it is a foundation fact. The
characteristic of the new birth is that I yield myself so
completely to God that Christ is formed in me. Immediately
Christ is formed in me, His nature begins to work through me."
again of the Spirit is an unmistakable work of God, as mysterious as
the wind, as surprising as God Himself. ... Being born again
from above is a perennial, perpetual and eternal beginning, a
freshness all the time in thinking and in talking and in living, the
continual surprise of the life of God. Staleness is an indication of
something out of joint with God: ‘I must do this thing or it will
never be done.’... Guard jealously your relationship to God. Jesus
prayed 'that they may be one, even as We are one,' nothing
between.... Are you drawing your life from any other source
than God Himself? If you are depending upon anything but Him, you
will never know when He is gone."
"Do I seek for
signs of the Kingdom, or do I perceive God’s rule? The new birth
gives a new power of vision whereby I begin to discern God’s
rule. His rule was there all the time, but true to His nature; now
that I have received His nature, I can see His rule."
imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God." 2 Corinthians 10:5
from sin is not deliverance from human nature. There are things in
human nature, such as prejudices, which the saint has to destroy by
neglect; and other things which have to be destroyed by violence,
i.e., by the Divine strength imparted by God’s Spirit. There are
some things over which we are not to fight, but to stand still in
and see the salvation of God; but every theory or conception which
erects itself as a rampart against the knowledge of God is to be
determinedly demolished by drawing on God’s power, not by fleshly endeavour or compromise (v. 4).
"It is only when God has altered
our disposition and we have entered into the experience of
sanctification that the fight begins. The warfare is not against
sin; we can never fight against sin: Jesus Christ deals with sin in
Redemption. The conflict is along the line of turning our natural
life into a spiritual life.... It is done only by a series of
moral choices.... We can either go back and make ourselves of no
account in the Kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these
things and let Jesus bring another son to glory."
"Every now and
again, Our Lord lets us see what we would be like if it were not for
Himself; it is a justification of what He said: 'Without Me ye can
do nothing.' That is why the bedrock of Christianity is personal,
passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the ecstasy of our
first introduction into the Kingdom for the purpose of God in
getting us there; His purpose in getting us there is that we may
realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means." (December 23)
"In the year
that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord." Isaiah 6:1.
"Over and over
again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in
their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get
"Until I am born
again and begin to see the Kingdom of God, I see along the line of
my prejudices only; I need the surgical operation of external
events and an internal purification.
"It must be God
first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily
with God and no one else is of any account whatever. 'In all the
world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee.' Keep
paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the
vision." (July 13)
"Wherefore take unto you the whole
armour of God,. . .
praying always." Ephesians 6:13,18
"You have to
wrestle against the things that prevent you from getting to God, and
you wrestle in prayer for other souls; but never say that you
wrestle with God in prayer, it is scripturally untrue.... If,
when God comes in some way you do not want, you take hold of Him as
Jacob did and wrestle with Him, you compel Him to put you out of
"Wrestling before God tells in His Kingdom. If you ask me to pray
for you and I am not complete in Christ, I may pray but it avails
nothing; but if I am complete in Christ, my prayer prevails all the
time. Prayer is only effective when there is completeness.
'Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God.'"
The Names of God
Test of Faith