VII.B.6.a Procuring from Heaven

PART  VII  –  TRANSACTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE LAMP-STAND MODEL

SUBPART  B  –  SANCTIFICATION

Article 6 – PROGRESSIVE ASPECTS

Section (a) – PROCURING FROM HEAVEN

 i.   The Holy Ghost & His Work is the Kingdom of God

ii.   The Holy Ghost Given to the Hungering-Soul

iii.  Obedience as Corresponding-Principle with Receiving of the Holy Ghost

Section (a) – PROCURING FROM HEAVEN

 i.  The Holy Ghost & His Work is the Kingdom of God

We are sanctified by the Holy Spirit.[1]  This is by no means a controversial statement even though it is a very misunderstood statement!  Many take this truth as leave to go about lives of; “eating and drinking”[2] without truly-relating to God through His redemptive-agency, ie. His Holy Spirit.  Some never receive the Holy Spirit and many that have received Him, neglect their salvation through preoccupation with the cares of this life until God no longer strives with them on the issue of eternal life.  Whether they resist God in such a way as to never receive the Holy Spirit, or whether they resist God in such a way as to neglect the work of the Holy Spirit after they have received Him, the principle is the same; the preoccupation with this life as obstructing our entering-upon the next.  Therefore Jesus warned us:

“. . .  take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting & drunkenness, & cares of this life, & so that day come upon you unawares.”                                                  Luke 21:34

And we are told this will be the lot for most of humanity:

 “For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating & drinking, they were marrying & giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, & they did not understand until the flood came & took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.”                                Matt. 24:38-39

This living out of the natural life without care or concern relating to matters of sin and the things of God in Christ, is the lot of the first Adam, who was created under the same circumstances as were the “beasts of the field”.  On the sixth-day and; “out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field”.[3]  Therefore in the circumstances of his creation, man is no different from the animal.  When the first Adam can see no further than this temporal existence which he shares with created-things so as to spend his hopes and efforts on those things pertaining to his body, then he lacks the understanding which God intended for him to possess and does not merit the distinction God has given to man as a being above and having dominion over the beasts which were also made from the dust of the ground.  And so we read in the prophets:

 Man that is in honor, & understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.     Ps. 49:20

 Therefore, what is the distinction (prophetically-speaking) between man and beast?  What is the distinction between man (as God created him to be) and man that shall perish like the grass of the field?  The answer is the Holy Spirit of God, Who is the life that flows from the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore the power and effect of the Gospel is the Holy Spirit!  Therefore Paul writes:

   For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;  But righteousness, & peace, & joy, in the Holy Ghost.                                Rom 14:17

 Paul does not say that the kingdom of God is righteous, peace, and joy (per se), but only “in the Holy Ghost”.  The kingdom of God is the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.

ii.  The Holy Ghost Given to the Hungering-Soul

In previous subparts we discussed the principle of receiving the Holy Spirit.  However, and in another sense, we must be receiving the Holy Spirit everyday.  We must procure the bread from heaven which is the continual working of the Holy Spirit within the heart.  Therefore Jesus counseled:

Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”                        John 6:27

The Lord’s context is the bread that God will give us.  But what is required to receive this “bread from heaven”?  Hunger for it!  We must have a hunger for the Spirit of God if we are to receive of Himself!  The nature of God is to “satisfy the longing soul” and to satisfy “the desire of every living thing”:

 Thou openest Thine hand, & satisfies the desire of every living thing.   The Lord is righteous in all His ways, & holy in all His works.  The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that all upon Him in truth.   He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him;   He also will hear their cry, & will save them.           Ps. 145:16-19

We only seek what we have a desire for.  If our soul desires something other-than the Spirit of God, He will give us that.  For “every living thing” is satisfied by God.

In the prophecy of Isaiah we read:

Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out;  He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:                                                                                     Is. 42:5 

If we would walk in the Spirit of Christ, we should know that this does not occur by opting to walk in ways contrary to His commandments and the pattern established in His own life in the flesh.  John writes:

He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.                                                                                      I John 2:6

Therefore when we read in the prophecy that the Creator of heaven and earth gives; “spirit to those who walk in it”, what might we conclude?  We might conclude that (as Creator of all things in heaven and earth) God provides all creatures with their spirit:

He sends the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.    They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst.                                                                                    Ps. 104:10-11

Not only that, but He provides them with the spirit in which they are inclined to walk.   If they are inclined to walk in the spirit of this world, He will give to them liberally.  If they be of a religious inclination and are inclined to rely upon the Law for their justification, they shall drink of that spirit.  If they walk in the truth of Christ, He will give them of His own Holy Spirit.  For Jesus Christ was Holy, and God’s Spirit was the Spirit in which Christ did walk.  When we sanctify Him as our Lord and walk in His commandments, the Spirit which carries us in that way can be no other than the Holy Spirit of God.

That the Creator gives all creatures their spirit is clear:

Thou dost hide Thy face, they are dismayed; Thou doest take away their spirit, they expire & return to the dust.  Thou dost send forth Thy spirit, they are created;  & Thou does renew the face of the ground.      Ps. 104:29-30

Anything that has “life”, (whether literally or figuratively) has it from God; any consciousness, any loveliness, any joy, zest, or animation, is given them by God, their Creator.  What happens when He then hides His face?  He hides His face, and “they are dismayed”.  The Hebrew word translated “dismayed”[4] in the NASV, and “troubled” in the KJV is found elsewhere, beginning when Joseph’s brothers learned that he was ruler of Egypt:

Gen 45:3  And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.

This word is used to describe the emotional reaction of the tribe of Benjamin when they saw their city going up in flames:

Jdg 20:41 the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them.

This word describes Saul’s distress over learning he would die the next day:

1Sa 28:21  And the woman came unto Saul, & saw that he was sore troubled,

The word is used to describe the troubling of soul attending God’s dealings with men:

Job 4:5  But now it is come upon thee, & thou faintest; it touches thee, and thou art  troubled.

Job 23:15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him. Ps 2:5      Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, & vex them in his sore displeasure. 

When God “hides His face”, the effect is to “trouble” the spirits of His creatures.  We find that He sometimes does this in His redemptive work with men:

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”   Lord, by your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;   You hid Your face, and I was troubled.    Ps 30:6-7

What does this verse communicate concerning what might be God’s purpose in “hiding His face”?  David confesses that it was in his “prosperity” that he said; “I shall never be moved.”   Is he referring to his worldly-prosperity or to his spiritual-prosperity?  Obviously, he is referring to the latter, for his next statement is; “Lord, by your favor You have made my mountain stand strong.”  David is speaking of his thriving under the anointing of Christ wherein the righteousness of Christ is being established as a “strong” “mountain” within his own nature.  However, given that there is always a certain amount of the flesh that attends all we do, there is a presumption that creeps in to defile God’s work.  Therefore David tells the Lord; “You hid Your face, and I was troubled”.  When God hides his face, our spirits are “troubled”, for our very life comes from Him.  Why then, was it necessary that David be “troubled” by the Lord hiding His face for a time?  The answer is; the same reason why Paul was troubled in his own spirit:

  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead:                                 II Cor. 1:9

This is the answer; “. . .that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God.”  In our prosperity, we are apt to presume and carry with us a misimpression upon whose life we carry.  If we carry the life of Christ, this is not our own, but is ministered to us by the Spirit of God vicariously.  The danger is presuming upon this life.  Therefore God, in His mercy grants to us; “the sentence of death in ourselves” to keep us looking to Christ and to keep our hope steadfast upon His Son.

The prophecy of Isaiah indicates that God gives; “spirit to those who walk in it”.  Why was Paul divested of strength in this world?  Why was he constantly being exposed to the sentence of death?  As an earthly creature, he was being exposed to the death-sentence that resides upon all creation, a sentence that is inclusive of the saints of God, albeit hidden by a veil to the rest of the world.  Paul had chosen to walk in the gospel that he preached.  He was bound in covenant to the Son of God.  As such, the Spirit of Christ, was the Spirit that Paul was in covenant to “walk”.   Christ had come into the earth, and was put to death in the flesh.  In so doing, He put to death, Death itself and was given power over Death:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.               Heb. 2:14

Therefore the power to walk in the Spirit of Christ, is power that derives from what?  From His resurrection!!  Fellowship in the death of Christ is to also fellowship in His resurrection!  But the true efficacy of the latter witness requires a comprehension of the former.  To know His death is to truly know His resurrection:

 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection;   and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;                                                                                      Phil. 3:10

iii.  Obedience as Corresponding-Principle with Receiving of the Holy Ghost

A profound truth is often to be found behind two apparently contradictory propositions.  For instance, consider the paradox presented in the comparison of Acts 5:32 which expresses the gift of the Holy Spirit as a product of obedience, and Luke 11:13 which expresses the gift of the Holy Spirit as a product of merely asking.  The former verse states the reception of the Holy Spirit as:

“. . . the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him”                                                                                      Acts 5:32

In contrast, the latter states it as the:

“Father give(s) the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him”.     Luke 11:13

Of course, what appears a contradiction is resolved by the conclusion that it is obedience to ask God for the Holy Spirit.  It is the hungry soul that is fed as it is the hungry soul that will ask.  This is consistent with the Lord’s commandment:

“But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness; & all these things shall be added to you.”                   Matt. 6:33

If we are seeking “His kingdom and His righteousness” what does this entail, but looking to the Lord’s testimony and His commandments and doing them.  For we are desiring to be clothed with His righteousness and to be admitted into His kingdom.  In so doing, we trust that the Spirit of Grace shall accomplish the task of our sanctification.

God’s gift is the bread.  But His gift is as well (and I dare say) ever more profoundly . . . the hunger.  In the elect, spiritual-hunger is answered with the spiritual-food that is Christ. This transaction is called sanctification which (in this sense) is a progressive-concept of procuring God’s life through the atonement by means of faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   This process brings us ever deeper into conformity to His death – a death that has as its product – resurrection life.  The life in the Spirit that is brought us via knowledge of the atonement translates to conformity thereto, ie. conformity to the death of Jesus Christ that we might be partakers as well of His lifeFaith is always the means.  Thus when the multitudes were chasing the Lord around the lake after He had fed them, He told them how they could procure the true bread from heaven, ie. the work of the Holy Spirit:

This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.                                                                                     John 6:29

But what we procure, we must indeed eat.  We must make the living Word a part of ourselves through doing the Truth.  And this is great encouragement!  Whose Spirit do we desire to walk in?   It might begin with baby steps.  Thus Paul told the Corinthians:

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.      I Cor. 11:1

The Greek word actually means “imitator”.[5]  Paul certainly was one who walked in the Spirit, and yet he simply says; “I am an imitator of Christ!”  Nothing magical!  And he tells them; “Therefore imitate me also!”  He is saying; “Christ was gentle.  Therefore, be gentle.  Christ was loving, therefore be loving.”  As we walk this way, God will give Spirit according to the word of this prophecy!

The things that become revealed to our heart we labor to enter into.  While we may have difficulty putting off the thinking, speaking, and acting of the world, we must certainly cease from our own words and give room for the Lord.  We may or may not sense the gentle graces of the Spirit, nonetheless, we are told that:

 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.       Gal. 5:25

 When we feel His gentle graces, we gain a sense that we can do no wrong, ie. that we can certainly “walk” what we feel.  When we do not sense His presence, we rather labor to enter into the rest”,[6]and that again, through obedience.

[1] I Corinthians 6:11, II Thessalonians 2:13 & I Peter 1:2

[2] ie. Matthew 24:38  “. . they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark”

[3] Genesis 2:19 uses the same Hebrew word translated “beast”.

[4] H926   bâhal  baw-hal’  A primitive root; to tremble inwardly (or palpitate), that is, (figuratively) be (causatively make) (suddenly) alarmed or agitated; by implication to hasten anxiously: – be (make) affrighted (afraid, amazed, dismayed, rash), (be, get, make) haste (-n, -y, -ily), (give) speedy (-ily), thrust out, trouble, vex.

[5] G3402  mimētēs   mim-ay-tace’   From G3401; an imitator: – follower.

[6] Hebrews 4:11  Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 

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About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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