Detached Memoranda From A Reading Meeting

Ques. How is it, He says, “the world seeth me no more,” when every eye shall see Him?

That is, looked at in His then character, as come in grace.

Christ met all that was needed, when He came into this world; sin’ was there, and He was “made sin”; death was there, and He died; judgment and condemnation were outstanding against man, and Christ drank that dreadful cup, so that God has anticipated the day of judgment in the cross.

Death, the curse, sin, judgment, the power of Satan—all are over; and, as man heard from the horns of the unicorns, Christ has entered in and sat down in the glory of God. There you get the one blessed foundation for all that is new.

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Whoever hinders the direct authority of the word of God upon the heart is meddling with God’s rights. If I send a message to my servant, and someone prevents his getting it properly, it is not merely hindering my servant, but it is meddling with me. We are told to read the fathers, but they were not “from the beginning”; that would be what God said and taught, and then I know from whom I have learned it. To say the fathers were “very early” is more or less true, but that is not the “beginning.”

I have God’s warning about it, and I must stick to that, or I shall not “abide in the Father and in the Son.” Men want you to lean upon failure, for the last times were already come, while the apostles were there to shew it. Take the last thing we have about the church of God, and what do you get there? Is it that you are to hear the church? No; it is just the contrary; it is, “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” How can I hear the Spirit judging the churches, and listen to the churches as my authority and rule? It is all flying in the face of what God has taught us for these last days.

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Whatever has been ruined in the first man will be gloriously established in the Second Man. Adam fell, and was ruined. Christ is in the glory of God.

The law was broken. It shall presently be written on men’s hearts.

The priests failed. Our Great High Priest can never fail.

The kingdom failed. His throne is for ever and ever.

It will all be a thousand times more glorious than what was lost—infinitely more so.

And so with the church. He will have it for His bride, He will be “glorified in his saints, and … admired in all them that have2believed, … in that day.”

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Just as the Son came down in the incarnation, though He was God upon the earth before, upholding all things by the word of His power; so the Holy Ghost came at Pentecost, though, at the beginning of Genesis, He, too, moved upon the face of the waters.

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No one can hinder there being “one body,” but when you come to keeping “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” you get that power of the Spirit of God that makes me practically realise the unity of the body in the path down here. God alone can carry it out, but that is what I get down here.

In the house are false brethren crept in unawares; but there is no such thing as false members in the body. If you strike my hand, I say, why are you striking me? But I do not speak thus of a house. Failure does not destroy the character of the house as such; if badly built, it is still a house. Just as the Lord says of the temple, “My Father’s house,” though they had made it a den of thieves.

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I believe we all ought to be on our faces for what has become to Christ’s beautiful flock.

Paul tells them in 2 Corinthians 3 they are the epistle of Christ; but look and see what they are now doing—all going to the theatre and getting money! Why they can do that in China, without Christianity. How different to see the power of the Spirit of God, which associates the hearts so completely with Christ, so that He says, “They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.” Are we then epistles of Christ?

Do we not owe it to Christ—to His love that kept back nothing but gave Himself for us, that we should be as such, “known and read of all men”?

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There are no keys to the church; that, is just traditional nonsense; people do not build with keys; but Christ builds His church.

If people really heeded the word of God, and took simply from Scripture what Scripture states, such things would never be said.

Nor do I talk about private judgment on such things; between man and man that is all very well, reasonable enough, but do you think if God has spoken to me, I am to talk of private judgment on what He has said?

Why, it is blasphemy.

I can understand an unbeliever not knowing what is God’s mind, and reasoning about what is written; but man by reasoning never got faith at all; and man’s reason is perfectly incompetent to judge about God and His words.

If my mind could judge about God, then God is the subject matter, and my mind is the master of the subject matter.

It is a mistake altogether. You want a word from God to reach conscience, that is the first thing. I grant you man’s mind is the measure of all the truth he can have, but the first thing I want is a hammer upon conscience.

Suppose I knock you down, does it not make an impression upon you? You are acted upon. This is what conscience needs. But people think it must be the activity of their own minds.

I do not take a candle out to see if the sun is shining! But if I do not see the sunshine, everybody who has eyes will say to me, “You are blind.”

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My “flesh” belongs to the old creation, and for that reason the Christian is in a mixed condition; his spirit belongs to Christ in heaven, and his body is still part of the old creation, so that we groan being burdened. There is sin, too, but Christ has borne my guilt, and I have nothing to do now but to judge the evil.

Where a person is in earnest, he is really more concerned at finding sin working in him, than he is about things done in the past.

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The only perfection put before the Christian is conformity to Christ in glory. I have got Christ in glory as my life, and I am never satisfied until I am in that glory. The only perfection presented to the Christian is a glorified Christ in heaven, and you will be conformed to that when the time comes, but now, meanwhile, I must be as much like Him as I can; 2 Cor. 3:18.

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You will never find such a thing in Scripture as our having to die with Christ. We have died. So he who is alive in sin is dead to God. But Christ came down to where I was, dead in my sins, and put my sins away, and then God takes me, and puts me in the place where Christ now is.

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As to flesh, I am no debtor to it, nor can be, for it ruined me.

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Are you part of My bride—My body—and you won’t take the cross here with Me? What is crown up there is cross down here.

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If we want real spiritual understanding, it is to be found in clinging to Christ.

The highest privilege we have as Christians is in the Lord’s message, “I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”

But was it the disciples who carried it? No, they went to the sepulchre, and saw, and went back; but it was Mary Magdalene who took it to the disciples; for she clung to an empty sepulchre.

2 See the New Translation in loco.