How to Know Jesus

MEETING JESUS

The whole purpose of life is summed up in the wonderful truth that anyone can know God personally in the person of Jesus Christ.  In order to know Him, one needs to be introduced to him and to see what it is that makes him so special.  Let me try to make a case for the intrinsic value of Jesus who is called the Christ.

“The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.”  (John 7:46)

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”  (Hebrews 1:1-9)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”  (Colossians 1:14-21)

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”  (Colossians 2:9)

“For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”  (Hebrews 3:3)

“Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”  (Hebrews 5:10)

“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  (Hebrews 5:5-6)

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”  (Hebrews 5:8)

What are these verses talking about?  They are talking about Jesus!  Well, you say, what is so special about Jesus?  I have a little list in one of my sermons that goes like this:

  1. To the artist Jesus is the One Altogether Lovely.
  2. To the architect Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone.
  3. To the astronomer Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness.
  4. To the baker Jesus is the Living Bread.
  5. To the banker Jesus is the Treasure of all Treasures.
  6. To the biologist Jesus is the Life.
  7. To the builder Jesus is the Sure Foundation.
  8. To the carpenter Jesus is the Door
  9. To the doctor Jesus is the Great Physician.
  10. To the educator Jesus is the Great Teacher.
  11. To the engineer Jesus is the New and Living Way.
  12. To the farmer Jesus is the Sower and the Lord of the Harvest.
  13. To the florist Jesus is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
  14. To the geologist Jesus is the Rock of Ages.
  15. To the horticulturist Jesus is the True Vine.
  16. To the judge Jesus is the Righteous Judge, the Judge of All Men.
  17. To the juror Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness.
  18. To the jeweler Jesus is the Pearl of Great Price.
  19. To the lawyer Jesus is the Counselor, the Lawgiver.
  20. To the newspaperman Jesus is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
  21. To the oculist Jesus is the Light of the Eyes.
  22. To the philanthropist Jesus is the Gift of God.
  23. To the preacher Jesus is the Word of God.
  24. To the sculptor Jesus is the Living Stone.
  25. To the servant Jesus is the Good Master.
  26. To the student Jesus is the Incarnate Truth.
  27. To the statesman Jesus is the Desire of All Nations.
  28. To the theologian Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
  29. To the toiler Jesus is the Giver of Rest.
  30. To the sinner Jesus is the Lamb of God Who Takes Away The Sin of The World.
  31. To the saint Jesus is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Lord.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”  (Matthew 13:44)  There is something about knowing Jesus that does this to people.  It is like the treasure in the field to know Him.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”  (Matthew 13:45-46)  What is it worth to you to have the Lord of the Universe actually live in your heart?  It is definitely worth selling all in order to purchase the pearl.

The point that we are making here and will continue to make as we move further in this book is that there is intrinsic value in knowing Jesus.  There is enough intrinsic value to turn from a life of selfish living to serving Jesus as a life-time servant.  Regeneration is what happens to a man when his vision of life is changed by meeting Jesus face to face.  There is a  blind song writer that put the concept into words that paint a true picture.  Her name was Fanny Crosby.  Read this poem which is also a famous hymn:

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

2. Through death into life everlasting

He passed, and we follow Him there;

Over us sin no more hath dominion

For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

3. His Word shall not fail you-He promised;

Believe Him, and all will be well;

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

What is it that is so special about Jesus?  It is His love!  Jesus has what is called  disinterested benevolence which is how we describe the love of God as well.  His love is like none other!  It is something that will change you forever:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:35-39)

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”  (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”  (Jude 1:21)

The love of God and of Jesus does something that none can explain but it certainly changes a life completely.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:7-14)

Let’s read the testimony of Charles G. Finney, revivalist

At an early hour I started for the office.  But just before I arrived at the office, something seemed to confront me with questions like these:  indeed, it seemed as if the inquiry within myself, as an inward voice said to me, “What are you waiting for?  Did you not promise to give your heart to God?  And what are you trying to do?  Are you endeavoring to work out a righteousness of your own?”

Just at this point the whole question of Gospel salvation opened to my mind in a manner most marvelous to me at the time.  I think I then saw, as clearly as I ever have in my life, the reality and fullness of the atonement of Christ.  I saw that his work was a finished work; and that instead of having, or needing, any righteousness of my own to recommend me to God, I had to submit myself to the righteousness of God through Christ.  Gospel salvation seemed to me to be an offer of something to be accepted; and that it was full and complete; and that all that was necessary on my part, was to get my own consent to give up my sins, and accept Christ.  Salvation, it seemed to me, instead of being a thing to be wrought out, by my own works, was a thing to be found entirely in the Lord Jesus Christ, who presented himself before me as my God and my Savior.

Without being distinctly aware of it, I had stopped in the street right where the inward voice seemed to arrest me.  How long I remained in that position I cannot say.  But after this distinct revelation had stood for some little time before my mind, the question seemed to be put, “Will you accept it now, to-day?”  I replied, “Yes; I will accept it to-day, or I will die in the attempt.”

North of the village, and over the hill, lay a piece of woods, in which I was in the almost daily habit of walking, more or less, when it was pleasant weather.  It was now October, and the time was past for my frequent walks there.  Nevertheless, instead of going to the office, I returned and bent my course toward the woods, feeling that I must be alone and away from all human eyes and ears, so that I could pour out my prayer to God.

But still my pride must show itself.  As I went over the hill, it occurred to me that some one might see me and suppose that I was going away to pray.  Yet probably there was not a person on earth that would have suspected such a thing, had he seen me going.  But so great was my pride, and so much was I possessed with the fear of man, that I recollect that I skulked along under the fence, till I got so far out of sight that no one from the village could see me.  I then penetrated into the woods, I should think, a quarter of a mile, went over on the other side of the hill, and found a place where some large trees had fallen across each other, leaving an open place between.  There I saw I could make a kind of closet.  I crept into this placed and knelt down for prayer.  As I turned to go up into the woods, I recollect to have said, “I will give my heart to God, or I never will come down from there.”  I recollect repeating this as I went up-“I will give my heart to God before I ever come down again.”

But when I attempted to pray I found that my heart would not pray.  I had supposed that I could only be where I could speak aloud, without being overheard, I could pray freely.  But lo!  When I came to try, I was dumb; that is, I had nothing to say to God; or at least I could say but a few words, and those without heart.  In attempting to pray I would hear a rustling in the leaves, as I thought, and would stop and look up to see if somebody were not coming.  This I did several times.

Finally I found myself verging fast to despair.  I said to myself, “I cannot pray.  My heart is dead to God, and will not pray.”  I then reproached myself for having promised to give my heart to God before I left the woods. When I came to try, I found that I could not give my heart to God.  My inward soul hung back, and there was no going out of my heart to God.  I began to feel deeply that it was too late; that it must be that I was given up of God and was past hope.

The thought was pressing me of the rashness of my promise, that I would give my heart to God that day or die in the attempt.  It seemed to me as if that was binding upon my soul; and yet I was going to break my vow.  A great sinking and discouragement came over me, and I felt almost too weak to stand upon my knees.

Just at this moment I again thought I heard some one approach me, and I opened my eyes to see whether it were so.  But right there the revelation of my pride of heart, as the great difficulty that stood in the way, was distinctly shown to me.  An overwhelming sense of my wickedness in being ashamed to have a human being see me on my knees before God, took such powerful possession of me, that I cried at the top of my voice, and exclaimed that I would not leave that place it all the men on earth and all the devils in hell surrounded me.  “What!” I said, “such a degraded sinner as I am, on my knees confessing my sins to the great and holy God; and ashamed to have any human being, and a sinner like myself, find me on my knees endeavoring to make my peace with my offended God?”  The sin appeared awful, infinite.  It broke me down before the Lord.

Just at that point this passage of Scripture seemed to drop into my mind with a flood of light:  “Then shall ye go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  Then shall ye seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  I instantly seized hold of this with my heart.  I had intellectually believed the Bible before; but never had the truth been in my mind that faith was a voluntary trust instead of an intellectual state.  I was as conscious as I was of my existence, of trusting at that moment in God’s veracity.  Somehow I knew that that was a passage of Scripture, though I do not think I had ever read it.  I knew that it was God’s word, and God’s voice, as it were, that spoke to me.  I cried to Him, “Lord, I take thee with all my heart, and that I have come here to pray to thee; and thou has promised to hear me.”

That seemed to settle the question that I could then, that day, perform my vow.  The Spirit seemed to lay stress upon that idea in the text, “When you search for me with all your heart.”  The question of when, that is of the present time, seemed to fall heavily into my heart.  I told the Lord that I should take him at his word; that he could not lie; and that therefore I was sure that he heard my prayer, and that he would be found of me.

He then gave me many other promises, both from the Old and the New Testament, especially some most precious promises respecting our Lord Jesus Christ.  I never can, in words, make any human being understand how precious and true those promises appeared to me.  I took them one after the other as infallible truth, the assertions of God who could not lie.  They did not seem so much to fall into my intellect as into my heart, to be put within the grasp of the voluntary powers of my mind;  and I seized hold of them, appropriated them, and fastened upon them with the grasp of a drowning man.

I continued to pray, and to receive and appropriate promises for a long time, I know not how long.  I prayed till my mind became so full that, before I was aware of it, I was on my feet and tripping up the ascent toward the road.  The question of my being converted, had not so much as arisen to my thought; but as I went up, brushing through the leaves and bushes, I recollect saying with great emphasis, “If I am ever converted, I will preach the Gospel.”

I soon reached the road that led to the village, and began to reflect upon what had passed; and I found that my mind had become most wonderfully quiet and peaceful.  I said to myself, “What is this? I must have grieved the Holy Ghost entirely away.  I have lost all my conviction.  I have not a particle of concern about my soul; and it must be that the Spirit has left me.”  “Why!”  thought I, “I never was so far from being concerned about my own salvation in my life.”

Then I remembered what I had said to God while I was on my knees-that I had said I would take him at his word; and indeed I recollected a good many things that I had said, and concluded that it was no wonder that the Spirit had left me; that for such a sinner as I was to take hold of God’s word in that way, was presumption if not blasphemy.  I concluded that in my excitement I had grieved the Holy Spirit, and perhaps committed the unpardonable sin.

I walked quietly toward the village; and so perfectly quiet was my mind that it seemed as if all nature listened.  It was on the 10th of October, and a very pleasant day.  I had gone into the woods immediately after an early breakfast; and when I returned to the village I found it was dinner time.  Yet I had been wholly unconscious of the time that had passed; it appeared to me that I had been gone from the village but a short time.

But how was I to account for the quiet of my mind?  I tried to recall my convictions, to get back again the load of sin under which I had been laboring.  But all sense of sin, and all consciousness of present sin or guilt, had departed from me.  I said to myself, “What is this, that I cannot arouse any sense of guilt in my soul, as great a sinner as I am?”  I tried in vain to make myself anxious about my present state.  I was so quiet and peaceful that I tried to feel concerned about that, lest it should be a result of my having grieved the Spirit away.  But take any view of it I would, I could not be anxious at all about my soul, and about my spiritual state.  The repose of my mind was unspeakably great.  I never can describe it in words.  The thought of God was sweet to my mind, and the most profound spiritual tranquility had taken full possession of me.  This was a great mystery; but it did not distress or perplex me.

I went to my dinner, and found I had no appetite to eat.  I then went to the office, and found that Squire W-had gone to dinner.  I took down my bass-viol, and, as I was accustomed to do, began to plan and sing some pieces of sacred music.  But as soon as I began to sing those sacred words, I began to weep.  It seemed as if my heart was all liquid; and my feelings were in such a state that I could not hear my own voice in singing without causing my sensibility to overflow.  I wondered at this, and tried to suppress my tears, but could not.  After trying in vain to suppress my tears, I put up my instrument and stopped singing.

After dinner we were engaged in removing our books and furniture to another office.  We were very busy in this, and had but little conversation all the afternoon.  My mind, however, remained in that profoundly tranquil state.  There was a great sweetness and tenderness in my thoughts and feelings.  Everything appeared to be going right, and nothing seemed to ruffle or disturb me in the least.

Just before evening the thought took possession of my mind, that as soon as I was left alone in the new office, I would try to pray again-that I was not going to abandon the subject of religion and give it up, at any rate; and therefore, although I no longer had any concern about my soul, still I would continue to pray.

By evening we got books and furniture adjusted; and I made up, in an open fire-place, a good fire, hoping to spend the evening alone.  Just at dark Squire W–, seeing that everything was adjusted, bade me good-night and went to his home.  I had accompanied him to the door; and as I closed the door and turned around, my heart seemed to be liquid within me.  All my feelings seemed to rise and flow out; and the utterance of my heart was, “I want to pour my whole soul out to God.”  The rising of my soul was so great that I rushed into the room back of the front office, to pray.

There was no fire, and no light, in the room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light.  As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face.  It did not occur to me then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was wholly a mental state.  On the contrary it seemed to me that I saw him as I would see any other man.  He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet.  I have always since regarded this as a most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a reality, that he stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him.  I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance.  It seemed to me that I bathed his feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched him, that I recollect.

I must have continued in this state for a good while; but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview to recollect anything that I said.  But I know, as soon as my mind became calm enough to break off from the interview, I returned to the front office, and found that the fire that I had made of large wood was nearly burned out.  But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost.  Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul.  I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me.  Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love; for I could not express it in any other way.  It seemed like the very breath of God.  I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.

No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart.  I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart.  These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.”  I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more;”  yet I had no fear of death.

How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know.  But I know it was late in the evening when a member of my choir-for I was the leader of the choir-came into the office to see me.  He was a member of the church.  He found me in this state of loud weeping, and said to me, “Mr. Finney, what ails you?”  I could make him no answer for some time.  He then said, “Are you in pain?”  I gathered myself up as best I could, and replied, “No, but so happy that I cannot live.”

We could go on with the narrative, but shortly after the above mentioned meeting, a serious man from the church came in and began to laugh with a holy laughter and then a young man who had used Charles Finney as his reason to remain an unbeliever came in only to hear the testimony of Charles and his change of life.  He was immediately convicted and on His knees gave his own heart to God.  You can read it all in the book Charles G. Finney, An Autobiography. The life of Charles Finney was drastically changed from that day to the day of his death.  He became one of the greatest revivalists history has ever known and profoundly influenced the early years of our country in having many Senators, Congressmen, Lawyers, and Judges converted to Jesus Christ.  The reason is that regeneration, as we are discussing here, made a remarkable change.  Charles G. Finney was truly “born again.”

What is being born again as Finney describes?  I have studied the Bible on this subject and have found that much that is preached and taught seems to miss some of that the Bible teaches regarding the subject.  Before a person accepts Christ, or believes, repents of their sins, commits their life to God or any number of other things that are described in the Bible, they are unsaved, or lost.  They have a selfish end in view for their motive for living. Charles Finney said he had selfish pride that kept him from believing the promises of God.   At that time they own their own life, follow their own will, and are spiritually dead in sin.  The day a person accepts Christ, as seen in the testimony of Charles G. Finney, he does more than to mentally believe, as Mr. Finney describes in his testimony, that the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are facts, but he exercises a heart faith and confidence which in effect passes ownership of his life over to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The Bible says in John 3:16 that “…whosoever believeth in him…” and when we look at the Greek for that phrase, the word in is a Greek word eis which actually means into. The Greek prepositions are placed on a chart to show just how they affect the subject in a sentence.  The diagram for eis appears as presented below:

As one can see, there is movement from one side to the other.  No one that believes in Jesus Christ stays where they were prior to salvation and no one loves the same things.  The meaning of believing in Jesus actually is more accurately said believing into Jesus Christ.  It is being immersed in the love of God as Finney told in his conversion experience.  It is definitely life changing.  It is not mental acknowledgement but life changing waves of the love of God.  The after effect is a new outlook on all that you had once held dear in life.  Nothing looks the same and peace floods your soul.  You are definitely born again, born into a new world and dead to the old one once and for all.  The old man is crucified and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ comes to dwell in the new believer, he is now a new creation in Christ Jesus.

What I found in studying this further is an astounding fact.  The Dana and Mantey Greek Grammar of the New Testament had an interesting footnote in the definition of the word.  It said, essentially, that to believe into or to be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ was to renounce ones self, selfishness and self-gratification, and consider ones self a life-time servant of Jesus Christ.  Nothing is clearer by way of illustration than the testimony of Charles G. Finney in this respect.  The circle on the right, in the illustration above, represents all that Christ stands for.  When a person is regenerated, they pass from the left-hand to the right-hand circle.  They are placing themselves in the hands of God, Jesus Christ specifically, by faith.  When you view the chart you can picture in your mind all the things that we have been saying in this lesson, the attributes of selfishness on the left, and all the things that relate to disinterested benevolence (Love of God) are on the right.  The left circle is the world of the unsaved; all things are viewed from a self-centered viewpoint.  The right circle is a new world of knowing God through Jesus Christ.  As Charles Finney indicated, there are baptisms of love that no one can describe that come over a new Christian.  He can never be the same.  His position has changed.  He has moved from the left, sometimes without even realizing it, over to the right.  The left feels most uncomfortable now and the right seems most peaceful and tranquil.  On the left a person feels that his life is owned by himself; on the right the person feels that his life is owned now by God.  On the left the person has self as lord; on the right, Christ is now Lord with no problem.  Some seem to cringe at the term “Lordship Salvation” but that is precisely what happens whether there is conscious thought of it or not.  A new Christian is slain by the Love of God and He is Lord of the heart by that same love. He is Lord of love.  The truth is that regeneration is a drastic change, it is being born again.  The position has changed, as far as the perspective that one has concerning his place in the world and in his place in his relationship to God.  That is just a fact of regeneration that cannot be denied, it is a fact that cannot be otherwise if a person comes to know God.  Is it any wonder that the moral law has this, knowing God, as the number one goal of every human being and of every being in the universe?  There is nothing that can substitute for the thrill and yet the peace and contentment that comes from having a personal relationship with the God of love, the lover of our souls.  So as we have said above, there is a part that the sinner plays, as Charles Finney testifies in his book, and there is a part that God plays as well.  It has happened to all that have come to know God, their perspective is altered in such a way that they can never return to the old life.  Truly old things have passed away and all things have become new.   The following outline is how you, too can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and know the Love of God.  Read each word with a prayerful spirit:

 

“This is Life Eternal ….that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  John 17:3

  • Is God the end & scope of your life? Who owns your heart?  If you died right now, do you know 100% sure that you will be with Jesus in Heaven?
  • Do all your friends and family know you as a life-time servant of Jesus Christ?
  • Is there any part of your life that you would say does not belong completely to God?
  • What would it profit you to gain the world and lost your soul or what would you give in exchange for your soul?
  • God’s Wonderful Plan of Salvation is right here in four simple but powerful truths.  Read them carefully and cry out  to God with your mouth and with all your heart!

If you could know that Jesus loves you,

If you could only understand

That Jesus thought of you when dying,

And paid the price that guilt demands.

I know your heart would then adore Him;

I know His voice you would obey.

He calls you now with tender pleading!

Obey His voice and follow Him today.”

(Continued below)

FIRST, You Are A Sinner!

  • Romans 3:10,11 says, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
  • When the Bible talks about sin it means to miss the mark of the end and scope of life which is God. Could you say that the goal of your life is the glory of God?
  • Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
  • There is one thing that separates between man and God and that is sin.
  • Romans 7:19-20 says, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
  • We find that we are in bondage to sin, unable to break it’s power.  Anyone that is in bondage to sin does not glorify God.
  • Do you admit that you have sinned?  If so, move to the next point.

SECOND, The Price on Sin Is Death!

  • Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
  • The first people in the world were Adam and Eve.  Their sin was that they decided to make “self” their goal rather than God. Does that sound familiar?
  • Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
  • Serving Self makes us all the enemies of God.  The bondage of our flesh to lust and sin has made what we thought was pleasure into a mirage of doom, physical death and separation from God in hell.
  • Revelation 20:14 says, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
  • Do you admit that you are headed for hell if you don’t break the bondage to sin?  If so, go on to the next point.

THIRD, Jesus Paid the Price for your sins!

  • Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • The greatest story ever told is of Jesus, come to earth, born in a lowly manger of the virgin Mary, living a life without sin, and then dying on a cross to pay the penalty for all mankind.
  • He did more than that, He took us with Him, thereby breaking our bondage to sin by His death and resurrection. Glory to God!  When you give up your life to Him, you get His resurrection power!
  • Do you believe enough that He died and rose again for you, that you would be willing to trust your life and future to the One that can raise the dead?  Go on to the next point!

If you could know the joy of pardon;

If you could know the peace it brings.

When Jesus speaks, “DIVINE FORGIVENESS,”

The saddest heart with rapture sings.

I know your heart would then adore Him;

I know His voice you would obey.

He calls you now with tender pleading;

Obey His voice and follow Him today.”

LAST, Ask Jesus To Come Into Your Heart! Give Him ALL YOUR LIFE!

Romans 10: 9,10 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. . . . .For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

  • It almost seems too simple, yet the Bible says we must be like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Do you see what the verses say? To believe is to give up your life to Him because He gave His life for you.  He only wants the best for you.  Being His servant is to be free from the bondage of sin. You will have a new  yoke, a bondage of love to Jesus.
  • Wouldn’t you be willing to just tell Jesus that you will surrender your life to him today and let Him come into your heart to take control?
  • Great!  If Jesus would take you just like you are, would you take Him? You will do it won’t you?  He will make the changes but you must give him all!  Don’t hold back!  It’s all or nothing!
  • So, simply bow your head and say a prayer something like this, as you picture placing your life in God’s hands now and forever:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and deserve hell for my sins.  I believe that you died for me and rose from the dead the third day and am willing to surrender all my life to you right now.  Take away all my sins!  Take me to heaven when I die?  I now receive you as my Lord and Savior.  Thank-you for saving me!  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!”

If you pray that prayer while viewing the pages on this site, please write to us and let us know about your new life in Jesus Christ and then follow all the lessons from Lesson #1 to Lesson #27 so that you can be the best Christian one can possibly be and invite all your friends and family as well as many others that cross your path to find the same Savior that you have found.


EARLY RISING

Scripture Reading: S.S. 7:12; Psa. 57:8-9; 63:1; 78:34; 90:14; 108:2-3; Exo. 16:21

Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. (Song of Solomon 7:12)

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.  (Psalms 57:8-9)

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;  (Psalms 63:1)

When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.  (Psalms 78:34)

O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.  (Psalms 90:14)

Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. (Psalms 108:2-3)

And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. (Exodus 16:21)

 

 

I. EARLY MORNING BEING THE BEST TIME OF THE DAY

What time should believers rise up every day?

A sister once put it well when she said, “How much a person loves the Lord can be judged primarily by the way he chooses between his bed and the Lord. Do you love your bed or the Lord more? If you love your bed more, you sleep a little longer. If you love the Lord more, you rise up a little earlier.” She spoke these words more than thirty years ago. Yet they are still fresh to us today. A man must choose between his love for his bed and his love for the Lord. The more he loves the Lord, the more he will rise up early.

A Christian should rise up early because the early morning is the best time to meet the Lord. Except for those who are sick, all the brothers and sisters should rise up early. Actually, many sicknesses are not sicknesses at all. They become sicknesses because men love themselves too much. Other than those who are advised to rest by doctors, everyone should rise early. We do not want to go to extremes; we advise sick brothers and sisters to sleep more. However, the healthy ones should get up as early as possible. The best time to meet the Lord, to contact Him, and to fellowship with Him is early in the morning. Manna is gathered before the sun rises (Exo. 16:14-21, “And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.”). Anyone who wants to eat God’s food should rise up early. When the sun waxes hot, manna melts and is gone. If we want to receive spiritual nourishment and spiritual edification, and if we want to have spiritual fellowship and spiritual supply, we need to rise up early. If we rise up late, the manna will be gone. The early morning is the very time when God dispenses His spiritual food and holy fellowship to His children. Whoever is late will not gather anything. Many children of God lead a sick life, not because they have spiritual problems, but because they rise up too late. Many children of God have no lack in consecration, zeal, or love, but they cannot live a normal Christian life because they rise up too late. Do not think that this is a small matter. Do not think that this has nothing to do with spirituality; it has much to do with spirituality. Many people are not spiritual because they rise up too late. Many people have been Christians for years, yet they fail to live a proper Christian life because they rise up too late. We do not know of anyone who knows how to pray, yet rises up late. Nor do we know of anyone who has intimate fellowship with God, yet rises up late. All those who know God rise up early. They rise up early as a rule to fellowship with Him.

Proverbs 26:14 says, “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” Here it says that a slothful person in bed is like a door that turns upon its hinges. The slothful keeps turning upon his bed; he cannot leave it. He turns to one side on his bed. Then he turns to the other side on his bed. Whichever way he turns, he is still on the bed. Many people cannot part with their bed. They love their bed as they turn from one side to the other. When they turn left, they are on their bed. When they turn right, they are still on their bed. They love to sleep and cannot part with their bed. Many people just want to sleep a little longer; they cannot get out of their bed. If one wants to learn to serve God and be a good Christian, he has to rise up early in the morning every day.

Those who rise up early in the morning reap much spiritual benefit. Their prayers at other times of the day cannot be compared with their prayers in the early morning. Their Bible reading at other times of the day cannot be compared with their reading in the early morning. Their fellowship with the Lord at other times cannot be compared with their fellowship in the early morning. The early morning is the best time of the day. We should spend the best time of the day—the early morning—before the Lord, rather than in other things. Some Christians spend the whole day on other matters and kneel down to read the Bible and pray only at night when they are about to go to sleep. No wonder they are ineffective in their Bible reading, their prayer, and their fellowship with the Lord. They wake up too late in the morning. The moment we believe in the Lord, we should set apart the early morning for fellowshipping with God and for contacting Him.

II. EXAMPLES OF EARLY RISING

In the Bible we find God’s servants rising up early in the morning. Let us consider their examples:

  1. Abraham—Gen. 19:27; 21:14; 22:3
  2. Jacob—Gen. 28:18
  3. Moses—Exo. 8:20; 9:13; 24:4; 34:4
  4. Joshua—Josh. 3:1; 6:12; 7:16; 8:10
  5. Gideon—Judg. 6:38
  6. Hannah—1 Sam. 1:19
  7. Samuel—1 Sam. 15:12
  8. David—1 Sam. 17:20
  9. Job—Job 1:5
  10. Mary—Luke 24:22; Mark 16:9; John 20:1
  11. The apostles—Acts 5:21

These many verses tell us that God’s servants had the habit of dealing with God early in the morning. Every one of them had the habit of waking early in the morning and fellowshipping with God early in the morning. They rose up early in the morning to do many things related to God’s business. They also rose up early in the morning to consecrate themselves. Although there is no commandment in the Bible that tells us to get up early, there are sufficient examples in the Bible to show us that all faithful servants of God rise up early. Even the Lord Jesus Himself rose up early. He rose up very early in the morning, while it was still night, and went away to a deserted place to pray (Mark 1:35). When He wanted to appoint the twelve apostles, He called them to Himself early in the morning (Luke 6:13). If the Lord had to rise up early to do these things, how much more do we need to rise up early?

Any brother or sister who wants to follow the Lord must never think that there is little difference in rising up an hour early. You must realize that your Bible reading becomes ineffective if you rise up an hour late. Likewise, your prayer becomes ineffective if you rise up an hour late. Although one may spend the same amount of time in reading the Bible, an hour’s difference will produce very different results. Early rising brings in great blessing. We hope that you will not miss the blessing of early rising at the start of your Christian life. One brother was asked at least fifty times during his first three years as a Christian, “What time did you get up this morning?” Early rising is a great blessing. Those who have learned to rise up early know the significance of it. If you do not rise up early in the morning, you will live in spiritual poverty. Late rising brings in much loss. Many spiritual things are lost through late rising.

We have seen many examples from the Bible. How about the servants of God who are not mentioned in the Bible, like George Müller, John Wesley, and many other famous servants of God? They also rose up early in the morning. We can say that almost all the ones we know of or have read about from books, who are of any use in God’s hands, pay attention to the matter of rising early. They call this early rising “morning watch.” All servants of God emphasize morning watch. The term morning watch itself tells us that it is done early in the morning. Have you heard of anyone who keeps watch when the sun is already up? Never! One keeps morning watch early in the morning. This is a good habit, and we Christians should cultivate this habit. God’s children should not be sloppy people. The church has been practicing this for years. We should maintain this good habit of meeting God early in the morning. The term morning watch is not found in the Bible. We can give it another name, but no matter what name we give to it, meeting God early in the morning is a very crucial matter.

III. WHAT TO DO IN THE EARLY MORNING

We do not merely rise up early. There must be spiritual exercise and spiritual content to what we do. Here are a few things to do early in the morning:

A. Fellowship with God

Song of Songs 7:12 shows us that the early morning is the best time to fellowship with the Lord. To fellowship means to open up our spirit and our mind to God and allow Him to enlighten us, speak to us, impress us, and touch us (Psa. 119:105, 147). During this time our hearts are drawn near to God, and we allow God to draw near to our hearts. We should rise up early in the morning to tarry before the Lord, to meditate, to receive leading and impressions from God, to learn to touch Him, and to give Him an opportunity to speak to us.

B. Praise and Sing

There must be the sound of praise and singing in the early morning. The early morning is the best time to sing praises to God. When we offer our highest praise to God, our spirit rises to the highest peak.

C. Read the Bible

The early morning is the time for us to gather the manna (which is Christ). What does it mean to eat the manna? It means to enjoy Christ, to enjoy God’s Word, and to enjoy His truth early in the morning every day. After we eat the manna, we have the strength to journey in the wilderness. The early morning is the time to gather the manna. One will not be fed spiritually or be satisfied if he spends his early morning on other things.

We have mentioned already that we should have two Bibles, one with marks and notes in it to use in the afternoon and the other with nothing in it for “eating manna” early in the morning. In the early morning, do not read too much and do not take many portions of the Word. Instead, read a single portion of the Bible carefully, always mingling your reading with unceasing communion with God and singing. This does not mean that you should fellowship with God first, praise second, and then read the Bible last. You have to blend all these things together. At the same time you should also pray. Come to God’s presence and open His Word. As you read, you may be convicted to confess your sins. As you read certain portions, you may be touched by His grace to offer up thanksgiving. You can also pray to God concerning what you have read in the Word. You can say, “Lord, this is truly what I need. This portion, this verse, this word, truly exposes my lack. Lord, fill up this lack of mine.” When you find a promise, you can say, “Lord, I believe in this promise.” When you find grace, you can say, “Lord, I take this grace.” You can also intercede. While you are reading, you may remember the condition of those who fall short of what this portion says. You should not accuse or criticize them. Instead, you should pray, “God, fulfill this word in me. Fulfill this word also in my brother and sister.” You can confess your sins and the sins of others. You can pray for yourself and for others. You can believe for yourself and for others. You can give thanks for yourself and for others. Your Bible reading in the morning should not be too long; it should not cover too much. Two, three, four, or five verses are sufficient. You can dwell on them for an hour. As you read these verses word by word, pray over them, and commune with God through them, you will be filled.

Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, there were people who fellowshipped with God this way. They knew God and communed with God. Their fellowship with God became part of their lives.

In Psalms David interchanged the pronouns you and He freely. At one moment he would be speaking to man, and at the next moment he would be praying to God. In the same psalm, he would say a few sentences to man and then say something to God. On the one hand, David spoke to man. On the other hand, he spoke to God. The Psalms show us that David was a person who was in constant fellowship with God.

While Nehemiah was working, he would speak a few words and then offer a short prayer. When the king asked him something, he would speak to the king first and then to the Lord. He mingled his work and prayer together. He did not separate his work from his prayer.

Paul wrote the book of Romans to those in Rome. However, more than once he turned his speaking to the Lord. A few times he seemed to have forgotten the fact that he was writing to the Romans. It seemed as if he were talking to God. We can find frequent examples like this in Paul’s Epistles. In an instant he could turn around and speak to God.

Those who have read the autobiography of Madame Guyon will notice one characteristic of hers. Most autobiographies are written for man. But in Madame Guyon’s autobiography, she spoke to man in one instant and to God in the next instant. In one moment she would be speaking to LaCombe (who asked her to write her autobiography), and at the next moment she would be speaking to God. This is fellowship. One does not know where fellowship with God begins and where it ends. Fellowship does not mean to set aside other affairs to pray. Nor does it mean to pray first and then deal with the affairs. It is to do both simultaneously.

Hence, during this early morning hour of gathering manna, you should learn to mingle prayer with God’s Word. You should learn to mingle praise and fellowship with God’s Word. One moment you may be on earth, but the next moment you are in the heavens. One moment you may be in yourself, but the next moment you are in God. If you maintain this practice before God every morning, you will be filled after some time, and God’s word will dwell in you richly. Such reading of God’s Word, such gathering of manna, is indispensable to us. Many brothers and sisters are weak and unable to take the wilderness journey. We need to ask them, “Have you eaten anything?” They cannot walk because they have not eaten enough. Manna is gathered in the early morning. This is why we need to rise up a little earlier. We will not have any manna if we are late. We have to rise up early in the morning to labor in God’s Word.

D. Pray

In the early morning we should fellowship, praise, and gather the manna. We must also pray to the Lord. Psalms 63:1 [KJV] and 78:34 [KJV] both say that we should seek the Lord early. The prayer spoken of in the previous paragraph is a kind of blending prayer. But the prayer we are talking about here is more specific. After one fellowships, praises, and eats manna, he has strength and can present everything in prayer before God. Prayer surely requires much strength. One must first draw near to God early in the morning and be fed. Then he can set aside about half an hour or a quarter of an hour to pray for a few urgent things. He can pray for himself, for the church, or for the world. Of course, he can pray also in the afternoon or at night. But if he takes advantage of the fresh power he has gained, the power acquired in the early morning through fellowshipping with God and eating manna, he will receive greater support.

Every believer should do these four things conscientiously before the Lord early in the morning: fellowship with Him, praise Him, read the Bible, and pray to Him. Whether or not a person has done these four things in the morning is manifested in his walk during the day. George Müller confessed that the degree to which he was fed by the Lord in the morning determined his spiritual condition throughout the whole day. His spiritual condition for the day depended on his feeding before the Lord in the morning. Many Christians find themselves weak during the day because their mornings are ill spent. Of course, there are those who are so far ahead in their spiritual journey that they can experience the total separation of the spirit from the soul. Their outward man is broken, and they are not that easily shaken by anything. However, this is another matter altogether. New believers should learn to rise up early. Once they become loose in this, they become loose in everything, and everything will go wrong. There is a great difference between being nourished and not being nourished in the morning.

A very famous musician once said, “If I skip practicing for one day, I will notice it. If I skip practicing for two days, my friends will notice it. If I skip practicing for three days, my audience will notice it.” If this is true for practicing music, it is even more true for the spiritual lesson of rising up early. If we fail to have a good morning watch before God, we will know it. Those who are experienced in the Lord also will know it when they come into contact with us. They will know that we have not touched the spiritual source. From the very first day, new believers should strictly discipline themselves. Every morning they should rise up early to exercise this way before the Lord.

IV. THE PRACTICE OF EARLY RISING

Finally, we should speak a little about actual ways to implement this practice. How can we rise up early? We need to pay attention to a few things.

All early risers must have the habit of going to bed early. No one can stay up late and rise up early. This is like burning a candle at both ends.

Do not set too high a standard for rising. Some people want to rise up at three or four o’clock in the morning. When they find out that they cannot make it, they quit after a few days. It is better to take a moderate course. Five or six o’clock is a suitable time to get up. Get up when the sun is about to rise or has just risen. Always get up around sunrise. If one tries to get up too early, his practice may not last long. An unreasonably high standard will only result in a condemned conscience. Some people have set too high a standard for themselves. They get into problems with their family or their work. When they take hospitality at the homes of others, they get into problems with their hosts. This is not a profitable thing to do. Our standard should be reasonable. We do not advocate extremes. Do not set too high a standard for yourself. Before the Lord you should consider carefully the proper time for you to rise up. You should take into consideration your physical limitations as well as the environment. Set your standard accordingly and keep it.

You may face a little difficulty at the beginning. It is always easy the first and second day. But the third day is difficult. You will find it easy for the first few days. But after a few days, you will love the bed so much that you will not want to get up at all. This is especially true in winter. It takes a long time for us to build up a new habit. Perhaps you are used to getting up late, and your mind has been used to getting up late. But if you rise up early a few times, your mind will gradually adjust to getting up early. After you do this for a few days, you will not want to go back to sleep even if your mind is telling you to do so. In the beginning you will need to force yourself a little in order to rise up early. Before a habit is built up, you need to ask God for grace. Continue to ask until this habit is built up. Try to do this again and again. Give up your bed daily to rise up early. In the end you will rise up early spontaneously. You must build up this habit before God. You must not miss the grace of fellowship early in the morning.

A healthy person does not need more than eight hours of sleep. Do not think that you are an exception. Do not worry that early rising will affect your health. It may be your anxiety which is affecting your health. Many people love themselves too much and worry themselves to sickness. You may need ten or twelve hours of sleep if the doctor says that you are ill. But six to eight hours of sleep are sufficient for a normal person. However, do not go to the extreme. Maintain at least six to eight hours of sleep. We do not expect those who are sick to rise up early. If you are sick, it is all right for you to lie on your bed in the morning and read your Bible there. However, those who are not advised by doctors to stay in bed and who are not really sick should rise up early in the morning.

We hope those who are mature and weighty in the Lord will uphold this practice. The church should push the sluggard ones to go forward. They should be shaken up a little. We should usher the new believers into this great blessing. You should take every chance to ask the new ones, “What time do you get up every day?” After a few days, you have to ask them again, “What time did you get up this morning?” This kind of reminding should go on for at least a year into a person’s initial Christian life. After a year, you may still need to ask, “Brother, what time do you rise up now?” Ask the new believers whenever you see them. You need to go to them and render them some help in this matter. However, if we have not learned the lesson well before the Lord, it will be hard for us to do this to others. This is why we must first learn this lesson well ourselves.

Early rising should be a believer’s first habit among all habits. Giving thanks before meals is a habit. Meeting together on the Lord’s Day is also a habit. Rising up early is even more an essential habit. A new believer needs to build up this habit. It is unfortunate that some have been Christians for years and yet have never enjoyed the blessing of early rising. They have never enjoyed the grace of early rising. If we want to experience this grace, we have to learn this lesson well. If more brothers and sisters will come together to learn this lesson, and if everyone will rise up early in the morning, the church will grow. When one brother receives more light, the whole church will receive more shining. When everyone receives a little more light each day, the church as a whole will become richer. The church is poor today because too few people are receiving their supply from the Head. If everyone receives something from the Head, however little it may seem to be, the culmination of all the little portions will make the whole very rich.

We do not wish to see only a minority of people working in the church. We hope to see all the members rising up before the Lord. We hope to see the whole church rising up to receive God’s riches and grace. What one member receives from the Head becomes the profit of the whole Body. If every brother and sister takes this way, there will be many containers before God, and we will be richer and richer as the days go by. We hope that you will not consider early rising as a small matter. If we all learn to rise up early, and if we all maintain this habit, we will have a bright spiritual future ahead of us.

Over 30 years ago I read these lessons and put them to practice in my life.  This lesson was special to me.  I would go to work at 5:00AM and while waiting for the construction crew to arrive, I had my “morning watch” praying and singing unto the Lord.  It was a few years later when I was praying early in the morning that I was inspired to write this poem which became a song:

IN THE MORNING

In the morning, that’s when I meet my Savior

And then I His wondrous presence know.

In the morning I tell Him all my problems.

That’s when I to God’s own throne room go.

 

In the morning I bring my friends and loved ones

And each need I always leave Him there.

In the morning He answers through the Bible

As I spend this time with Him in prayer.

 

In the morning He shows me all His mercy

And forgives my sins from day to day.

In the morning He understands my heartaches

As I seek to walk with Him each day.

 

In the morning I bring my friends and loved ones

And each need I always leave Him there.

In the morning He answers through the Bible

As I spend this time with Him in prayer.

 

In the morning He fills my cup with blessings

And His love melts all my fears away.

In the morning we walk and talk together

As he listens to all that I say.

 

In the morning I bring my friends and loved ones

And each need I always leave Him there.

In the morning He answers through the Bible

As I spend this time with Him in prayer.

 

In the morning I sing to Him His praises

That have caused this sad heart now to sing.

In the morning my heart is broken often

As I   think how few lost souls I bring.

 

In the morning I bring my friends and loved ones

And each need I always leave Him there.

In the morning He answers through the Bible

As I spend this time with Him in prayer.

 

In the morning I hear Him whisper gently

That in time He’ll show me all His will.

In the morning that’s when He shows me simply

How “that day” His will I can fulfill.

 

In the morning I bring my friends and loved ones

And each need I always leave Him there.

In the morning He answers through the Bible

As I spend this time with Him in prayer.

 

In the morning He opens wide my vision

Of a world that’s dying now in sin.

In the morning He makes me want to tell them

How that they can have real peace in Him.

 

In the morning I bring my friends and loved ones

And each need I always leave Him there.

In the morning He answers through the Bible

As I spend this time with Him in prayer.  (Hear this song on the front page)

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Written originally by Watchman Nee in China during the Chinese revolution and died in a prison camp but these lessons have been the foundation of my life for 38 years.  The illustration was created by me after a study of the Greek word “eis” which means “into.”  David Williams – site Admin.

SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD

Scripture Reading: Exo. 10:8-11, 21-26; 12:6-11, 37-42; 2 Cor. 6:17

And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence. (Exodus 10:8-11)

 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither. (Exodus 10:21-26)

 

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. (Exodus 12:6-11)

 

And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (Exodus 12:37-40)

 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Corinthians 6:17)

There are many commandments in the Bible concerning separation from the world. The Old Testament contains many examples and teachings concerning this. For example, Egypt, Ur of the Chaldees, Babylon, and Sodom are all types of the world. They show different aspects of the world. Egypt represents the joy of the world, Ur of the Chaldees represents the religions of the world, the tower of Babel represents the confusion of the world, and Sodom represents the sins of the world. A man should come out of Egypt and also out of Ur of the Chaldees, just as Abraham did. Lot went to Sodom, and the people of Israel fell into captivity in Babylon. All should come out from these places. The Bible uses four different places to represent the world and shows how God’s people come out from these different aspects of the world.

I. THE TYPE OF ISRAEL’S EXODUS FROM EGYPT

A. The Result of Redemption Being to Go Out

God saved the Israelites through the Passover lamb. When the messenger of God went forth to kill the firstborn in the land of Egypt, the angel of death passed over the doors which had the blood upon them. If there was no blood on the door, the firstborn of that house was killed. It had nothing to do with whether the door was good or bad, whether there was anything special about the lintel or the side posts, whether there was anything good about that family, or whether the firstborn child honored his parents. The issue was whether there was any blood. Whether or not you will perish does not depend on your family’s status or your behavior; it depends on whether you have the blood. The basic factor for salvation is the blood; this has nothing to do with us.

We who are saved by grace are redeemed by the blood. But please remember that immediately after being redeemed by the blood, we must move and go out. Do not think that we can buy a house and dwell in Egypt after we are redeemed by the blood. Those who are redeemed by the blood must set out that very night. The lamb was slaughtered before midnight, and the blood was sprinkled with hyssop. They ate their meal quickly, with their loins girded and their staff in their hands, because they had to leave immediately.

The first result of redemption is separation, that is, departure, a going out. God never redeems a person and leaves him in the old position to continue living in the world. There is absolutely no such thing. Once a person is born again, saved, he must take up his staff and set out. Once the angel of destruction has done his work of separating the saved from the perishing, the saved ones must leave. Once you have been separated by the smiting angel, you have to pack up and move out of Egypt.

A staff is for walking. No one holds a staff to lie down in bed. The staff is not a pillow; it is for walking. All those who are redeemed, old or young, must take their staff and leave the same night. As soon as you are redeemed by the blood, you become a sojourner and a pilgrim on the earth; you have to go out of Egypt and be separated from the world immediately. You must not continue to live there.

There was a sister who taught a class in a children’s meeting. Once she was telling the story of Lazarus and the rich man. She asked the children, “Do you want to be Lazarus or the rich man? The rich man enjoys himself in this age and suffers in the next. Lazarus suffers today and enjoys himself later. Which would you choose to be?” An eight-year-old girl stood up and said, “While I am alive, I want to be the rich man, but when I die, I want to be Lazarus.” Many people are like this. When they need salvation, they trust in the blood of the Lamb; but after they are saved by the blood, they settle down firmly in Egypt. They think that they can have the best of both sides.

Please remember that the blood’s redemption saves you from the world. Once you are redeemed by the blood, you immediately become a sojourner, a pilgrim in this world. This does not mean that you no longer live on the earth. It means that you are immediately separated from the world. Wherever redemption is applied, this is the result. As soon as a man is redeemed, his course is changed, and he has to leave the world. The separation of the blood separates the living from the dead; it also separates the children of God from the people of the world. Once we are redeemed, we can no longer remain in the world.

B. The Many Frustrations from Pharaoh

The story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt shows us how difficult it was for them to leave Egypt! Egypt tried to hold them back again and again. When the Israelites first wanted to leave Egypt, Pharaoh only allowed the strong men to go; the young and the old had to stay back. Pharaoh knew that if he could hold back the young and the old the strong men would not go far. After a while they would come back. Satan’s strategy is to prevent us from having a thorough separation from Egypt. From the very beginning, Moses rejected Pharaoh’s delays. If we leave one thing or one person behind, we cannot go too far; eventually we will turn back.

You may recall what Pharaoh told Moses the first time: “Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.” (Exo. 8:25). Later, he told him not to go too far. The third time he told him that only the strong ones could go. The fourth time, he told him that all the people could go but the cattle and the sheep had to remain. Pharaoh’s way was to persuade them to serve God there in Egypt. This was his basic premise. He was willing to allow a person to be God’s child as long as such a one remained in Egypt. He knew that if a person served God in Egypt, he would not have a testimony and he would have to serve Pharaoh in the end. Even though one wanted to be God’s servant, he would eventually end up being Satan’s servant.

If you try to serve God in the world, you will surely end up being Satan’s slave. You will have to make bricks for him, and he will not let you go. Even if he does, he will not let you go too far. If he lets you go, he may only allow the strong men to go; the rest will have to stay. Satan is quite familiar with the words in Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The treasure and the person go together. He knew that if Pharaoh held back the cattle and the sheep, the people would not go too far. The people eventually would follow the cattle and the sheep. But God wanted the cattle and the sheep to follow the people. He wanted the people to be saved from the treasure.

After a person is saved, he must go out to the wilderness. Moreover, he has to bring all the people and all his treasures with him. Otherwise, he will eventually go back to Egypt, and there will be no separation from Egypt. God’s commandment is that those who serve Him must separate themselves from the world.

C. Our Way Being in the Wilderness

Just to confess the Lord with our mouth and say, “I have believed in the Lord today,” is not enough for a testimony. We must come out from the world and be separated. This takes us one step further than confessing Jesus as Lord with our mouth. We cannot be dumb Christians. However, opening up our mouth alone is not enough; we must be separated from the world. We cannot continue our previous friendships, social ties, or other previous relationships. Even our family relationships must be considered.  We must treasure our present position in the Lord and turn far away from our previous position. The person has to go out, and the possessions have to go out as well. Others may say that we are foolish, but we should not listen to them. Today we have to come out from Egypt. From the time we become a Christian, our way is that of the wilderness, not of Egypt.

In New Testament terms, both Egypt and the wilderness represent the world. Egypt refers to the world in its moral sense. The wilderness refers to the world in its physical sense. Christians are in the physical world but not in the moral world. We must see that there are two aspects of the world: the first as a place and the second as a system. There are many things related to the physical world which are attractive, which arouse the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the vainglory of life. This is Egypt. But there is another meaning to the world—the physical world as a place where one’s body resides.

D. Leaving the Moral World

Today we Christians must come out of the system and the organization of the world. Leaving the world refers to our deliverance from the moral world, not the physical world. We need to leave the moral world behind, not the physical world. In other words, we are still living in the world, but this world has become a wilderness to us.

What is the world to us? Mr. D. M. Panton put it well when he said, “While I am living, it is a journey to me; when I die, it is a tomb to me.” While a believer is living on this earth, the world is a journey to him; when he dies, the world is only a tomb in which he is buried. We must be separated from the people of the world. Every believer must be separated from the world. In the eyes of the world, we are in the wilderness; we are pilgrims. They are the ones who are in the world.

E. Sojourners and Pilgrims in this World

We must realize that we are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. As far as the moral world is concerned, we have come out of it. It wants to keep us, but if we stay, we will not be able to serve God. The world wants to be closer to us, but if we allow it to come too close to us, it will be impossible for us to serve God. The world wants to keep our people and our treasure, but if these things are kept in the world, we will not be able to serve our God.

We have been separated from Egypt, and our faces are toward the promised land. The basis of that separation is the blood, the blood that has bought us back. The Egyptians have not been bought by the blood; the worldly ones have not been redeemed. As redeemed ones, we have been transferred to another world. Therefore, we must leave this world.

Suppose you go to a watch shop to buy a watch. What do you do after you have bought it? Once the purchase has been made, you take the watch away. I should not buy the watch and leave it behind. I should not tell the proprietor, “Here, you use it!” This is not reasonable. Buying means taking away. Whenever there is a purchase, there is a taking away. If I buy a sack of rice, the rice is taken away from the shop. After one buys something, the purchased item is taken away. Please remember that since the blood has bought us, we must be taken away from the world. Once a person is bought by the Lord’s blood, he should leave for the promised land. As soon as one is bought, he should leave. Those who are not bought can stay behind. But as soon as a person is bought, he should leave. Once a person is bought, he has no choice but to go with the Lord. If I have been bought by the Lord, I must leave the world and go with Him.

II. AREAS THAT REQUIRE SEPARATION
FROM THE WORLD

You may ask what we should separate ourselves from. What things are considered the world? What areas should we be separated from? Before we touch any specific item, we should realize that our heart and spirit are the first things that need separation from the world. If a person’s heart is set towards the world, it becomes futile to speak to him about anything else. It is useless to try to be delivered from a hundred things if the person himself still remains in the world. First, there must be a deliverance of the person, a deliverance of the spirit, and a deliverance of the heart. Deliverance from matters comes later.

A man must be separated completely from Egypt; he must be separated from the world. He should not be afraid that others will criticize him as being peculiar. Then there is the need to take care of some principles. In some areas we should be separated from the world, while in other areas we should maintain peace with it. We have no intention to be contentious. In the family, in the office, and everywhere, we do not want to arouse controversy. Let us consider five specific things that need to be dealt with:

A. Things Which the World Considers
Improper for Christians to Do

We should refrain from anything that the world considers improper for Christians to do. Our Christian life at the minimum should meet the standard of the worldly people. Everyone in the world has set up a yardstick and a standard for Christians. If you do not meet this standard, you have failed them. When you do something, you should not give the Gentiles any ground to ask, “Do Christians do this?” If others say this, you are finished. As soon as you are rebuked, you are finished. Suppose you are caught visiting certain places. The Gentiles may say, “Do Christians come to places such as this?” There are many places Gentiles like to visit. If you tell them that it is wrong to visit those places, they may insist and argue with you. But if you visit those places yourself, they will ask, “How can you also go to these places?” Some matters are sinful. When the Gentiles do them, they keep quiet about it. But if you do the same things, they will speak up. Therefore, we must refrain from things that the Gentiles consider improper. This is a minimum requirement. When a Gentile says, “Christians should not do such a thing,” we should turn away from it immediately.

Some young people are saved, but their parents are still unsaved. Sometimes these children ask for something from the parents. The parents may say, “Do you Christians want these things as well?” It is most shameful for a Christian to find himself adjusted by the Gentiles. Abraham lied and was rebuked by Abimelech. This is a most shameful thing in the Bible. We must refrain from things that are considered improper by the Gentiles. We must stay away from things that the worldly people, the Egyptians, consider inappropriate for Christians to do. We must be separated from them.

B. Things Incompatible with the Lord

Anything that is incompatible with the Lord must also be removed. Since the Lord suffered humiliation on the earth, we should not seek glory here. Since the Lord was crucified like a robber, we should not seek to be welcomed everywhere. When our Lord was walking on the earth, He was accused of demon possession. We cannot allow people to say that we have the best mind, that we are smart, or that we are very intellectual. We have to pass through what the Lord passed through. Everything that is incompatible with the Lord must go.

The Lord said that a slave is not greater than his master and a disciple is not greater than his teacher. If the world treated our Master one way, we should not expect it to treat us another way. If it treated our Teacher one way, we should not expect it to treat us another way. If we are not treated the same as our Master, something is wrong with us, and something is definitely wrong in our relationship with the Lord. Whatever our Lord experienced on the earth should be our experience today.

To follow Jesus of Nazareth, one must be ready to suffer humiliation; this is not a thing of glory. To follow Jesus of Nazareth means to bear the cross. When others first came to the Lord, the Lord told them that they had to bear the cross in order to follow Him. According to the Lord, this is the main entrance. He does not wait until a person is in the room before He tells him this condition. Before we go in, the Lord makes it clear that we must bear the cross in order to follow Him. The Lord has called us to bear the cross. This is the way we are taking, and we can only follow the Lord according to this way. The Lord’s relationship with the world should be our relationship with the world. Our relationship with the world must be compatible with our Lord’s relationship with the world; we cannot take a different way.

Galatians 6:14 shows us that the cross stands between the world and the Lord. The Lord is on one side, and the world is on the other side. The cross stands in between. We and the world stand on opposite sides of the cross. The world crucified our Lord on the cross; therefore, the world is on the other side of the cross. Since I am on the Lord’s side, I would have to go through the cross before I could reach the world. There is no way to go around the cross because the cross is a fact; it is also history. I cannot annul this fact, and I cannot annul history. The world has crucified our Lord. I cannot take another way. If the cross is a fact, the crucifixion of the world to me is also an eternal fact. If I cannot annul the cross, I also cannot annul the fact that the world has been crucified to me. Today there is no way for me to go to the world’s side, unless I remove the cross. The cross is here, and I have no way to avoid it because the crucifixion of my Lord is a fact. Today, I am a person on the other side of the cross.

Suppose a person’s parents or brothers are killed. Others may offer a reasonable excuse for the murderer, but the person may say, “My folks are already dead. An excuse cannot change this fact. If my folks were not yet dead, there would be something to talk about. But now that they are dead, there is nothing more to say.” In the same principle, we can say that the cross is already here; what more is there to say? The world has already crucified our Lord on the cross. Today, we are on the Lord’s side, and we can only say, “World, from your point of view, I am crucified. From my point of view, you are also crucified.” Today, it is impossible for these two sides to communicate. It is impossible for the world to come over. It is also impossible for us to go over. The cross is a fact. If I have no way to annul the cross, I have no way to win the world over to my side. My Lord has died, and there is no longer any possibility of reconciliation.

Once we see the cross we can say, “I boast in the cross.” As far as we are concerned, the world is crucified on the cross. As far as the world is concerned, we are crucified on the cross (Gal. 6:14). The cross will be forever history and a fact. As Christians, we are on one side, while the world is on the other side. The cross is in between. As soon as we open our eyes, we will see nothing but the cross. If we want to see the world, we have to see the cross first.

A new believer must be led by the Lord to see that his condition should match the Lord’s condition. Some people ask many questions. They ask, “Will we touch the world if we do this?” And they ask, “Can we do that?” We cannot tell people what to do item by item. We only need to give them the general principle. The world is against the cross; it is against our Lord. If our heart is open and soft before God and if we go to Him, the difference between the world and the cross spontaneously will become clear to us.

As soon as we go to the Lord, we will find out what the world is and what the world is not. We only need to ask, “What is my relationship with this matter, and what was the Lord Jesus’ relationship with it while He was on the earth?” As long as our relationship with the world is the same as the Lord’s, we are all right. If our position is different from the Lord’s position, we have erred. The Lamb was slain, and we are the followers of the Lamb. We are those who follow the Lamb wherever He may go (Rev. 14:4). We take the same stand as that of the Lord. Anything that is not on the same ground as the Lord or that stands against the Lord is the world, and we must depart from it.

C. Anything That Quenches
Our Spiritual Life

It is difficult for us to point out the world item by item; the list is endless. But we should grasp one basic principle: everything that quenches one’s spiritual life in the Lord is the world. The world is anything that kills one’s zeal for prayer to God. The world is anything that takes away one’s interest in God’s Word. The world is anything that frustrates one from testifying before men. The world is anything that hinders one from coming to the Lord, anything that results in confession. The world is an atmosphere that chokes and dries a person up. It is anything that discourages a man’s heart from loving and yearning for the Lord. Here we see a broad principle—anything that quenches our spiritual condition before the Lord is the world. We must reject all of it.  This is one reason why we must consider the style of music that we like and decide to change our taste.  Larry Norman is wrong when he says, “Why should the Devil have all the good music.”  Carmen and other CCM musicians are wrong when they say that we can sing rock, jazz, rap, blues, disco, and all other worldly styles of music for the Lord.  Worldly music must go.

Some people say, “This thing is not sinful at all. Can you say that it is worldly?” Many things appear to be very good to our eyes, but they quench the fire within us after we touch them once or twice. Our conscience becomes weak before God. After we become involved with these things, our Bible reading becomes tasteless. We may have the time, but we no longer have the heart for reading. After we participate in such things, we feel empty inside and have nothing to testify before men. Such things may not be a matter of sin. Our question is whether or not these things are quenching our spiritual life. Everything that quenches our spiritual life is the world and must be rejected totally before the Lord.

D. Everything That Fails to Give Others
the Impression That We Are Christians

We need to mention one more thing—our relationship with other people. Any kind of social function, communication, or activity that causes us to hide our lamp under the bushel is the world. Many social friendships, functions, and contacts with worldly people force us to put our lamp under the bushel; there is no way under those circumstances for us to stand up to declare that we are Christians. When others engage in such conversation, you have to pretend to be courteous. You have to listen to them and laugh with them. You feel quenched within, but you have to put on a smiling face. Inwardly you feel that this is the world, yet outwardly you have to go along with it. Inwardly you know this is sin, yet outwardly you cannot say that it is wrong. You should not remain in this kind of social environment even if it involves relationships with family members. Many of God’s children are gradually sucked into the world through indiscriminate social activities and contacts.

All new believers must know where they stand from the very beginning, and they must make a choice. We are not trying purposely to be antisocial. We are not John the Baptist who did not eat or drink. We follow our Lord who ate and drank. But when we contact people, we must maintain our stand. No one should be able to insult our Christian stand. They should respect our stand. When I take a stand as a Christian, I must maintain my stand even if others criticize me.

If we really want to take the way of separation from the world, we must pay attention to our speaking. We must also show our Christian stand every time we are in the company of others. If we cannot maintain our stand as Christians, it is better to turn away from where we are. Psalm 1:1 says that we should not “stand on the way of sinners,/Nor sit in the seat of the scornful.” If we stand on the path of sinners, we will end up in their place sooner or later. If we sit in the company of scorners, we will become scorners sooner or later. Sin and scorning are contagious. We must learn to flee these things as if we are fleeing from germs.

E. Things Disapproved of by Weak Believers

Things which stumble a weak conscience are another class of things that constitute the world. God’s children must learn to turn away from them. The previous discussion concerns things which the world considers improper. Here we are talking about things which a young Christian considers improper. If a Gentile thinks that we should not do a certain thing, we will lose our testimony if we do it. Similarly, we should avoid anything that a Christian disapproves of, even if the one who disapproves is the youngest and weakest of all Christians. This is the biblical commandment. It is not the words of the strong Christian but the words of the weak Christian that should determine what we should or should not do. What they say may not be correct; what they consider forbidden may not be wrong. But we should not stumble them because their conscience is weak. They may think that we are on the wrong way. If we take such a way, we will stumble them. Paul said, “All things are lawful to me, but not all things are not expedient” (1 Cor. 6:12). All things are lawful, but others may consider these things to be a form of the world. Therefore, we should not do them for their sake.

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. (1 Corinthians 8:9-12)

Paul spoke of the example of eating meat. He said that if eating meat would stumble a brother, he would never eat meat. This is not easy. Who can abstain from meat forever? Paul’s word does not suggest that one should not eat meat. In 1 Timothy he clearly said that it is wrong to abstain from meat. However, he showed us that he was willing to carry such caution to the extreme. It did not matter to him whether or not he ate meat. He might have been clear about what he was doing, but others who followed him may not have known what he was doing. We may know at which point we should stop, but those who follow may not know this. What would happen if they take a few steps further? There is nothing wrong if we eat meat, but after awhile those who follow us may go to the temple to eat the sacrifices or perhaps worship the idols as well. Many things may not be directly related to the world, but we should still exercise care in touching them because others may consider them a form of the world.

III. COMING OUT FROM THEIR MIDST
TO BE WELCOMED BY THE ALL-SUFFICIENT LORD

Second Corinthians 6:17-18 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

In the New Testament the words Lord Almighty are used for the first time in 2 Corinthians 6. Lord Almighty is Elshadai in Hebrew. El is God, sha is a mother’s breast or milk, and shadai means something that is with milk. In Hebrew shadai means “all-sufficient.” The words Almighty God in the Old Testament are also Elshadai, which should be translated as “the All-sufficient God.” The mother’s milk is all that a child needs. The mother’s breasts contain the milk; all the supply is in the breasts. The root of the word shadai is “the mother’s breast.” This means that with God we have everything.

Second Corinthians 6:17 tells us that if we come out from their midst and do not touch their unclean things, God will welcome us and be a Father to us. We shall be sons and daughters to Him, says the All-sufficient Lord. We can see that these words have not been spoken lightly. The Lord is saying, “Because of Me you have left many things. You have come out from their midst and are separated from them. You have terminated your relationships with them and are no longer touching their unclean things. Your two hands are empty, and there is nothing left in you. Now that you have done all this, I will welcome you.”

Please remember that everyone who feels welcomed by the Lord is separated from the world. Many people do not feel the excellency of the Lord when they come to Him because they have not counted all things as refuse. Those who have not counted all things as refuse surely consider earthly things precious. Such people do not know what it means for God to welcome them; they do not know what it means for God to be their Father and for them to be God’s children. They do not know that the One who spoke these words is the all-sufficient Lord. Can you see the special significance of the word shadai? The words Lord Almighty are used here because when a person has cast away everything, he needs God as the Shadai; he needs a Father who is all-sufficient.

Psalm 27:10 tells us that if our father and mother forsake us, Jehovah will take us up. In other words, He becomes our father. Psalm 73:26 says that when our flesh and our heart fail, God is the rock of our heart and our portion forever. Herein lies the sweetness of our experience. There must be loss on one side before there can be gain on the other side. The blind man met the Lord only after he was cast out of the of of the synagogue (John 9:35). If we remain in the synagogue, we will never meet the Lord. But when we are cast out, we see the Lord’s blessing upon us immediately.

As new believers we must come out from the world. Only then will we taste the Lord’s sweetness. Once we drop something on one side, we will taste the goodness of the Lord on the other side.  It is not a question of legalism as some weak and unspiritual Christians try to maintain, but it is leaving all the influences, styles, music, friends, family, and anything else that is of the world and moving toward the place of a Christian in Christ and in the family of God.

WANT TO KNOW JESUS PERSONALLY?  CLICK HERE

 Written originally by Watchman Nee in China during the Chinese revolution and died in a prison camp but these lessons have been the foundation of my life for 38 years.  The illustration was created by me after a study of the Greek word “eis” which means “into.”  David Williams – site Admin.

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