From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued
THE SECRET OF THIS MYSTERY
What is the secret of being initiated into this secret experience? It is very, very, simple; and therefore at the same time very difficult for man to appropriate: because he must simply cast away his life in the natural, that he might find it in the more abundant life of the Spirit. He must lose his life in order that he might find it. He must consecrate Himself absolutely and entirely unto the will of God. “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and We will come unto him . . .” The Coming of the Father and the Son! “We will come . . .” A secret visitation of Christ in the hearts of His people. “And make our abode with him. . .”
When Jesus said, “We come unto him, and make our abode with him.” He used the very same word for abode as He used back in vs. 2 when He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” The word “mansion” and “abode” is one and the same Greek word. This, then, is the real mansion that Christ has gone to prepare for His own. Some might prefer a house of gold or of glistening white marble or pearl. But those things are corruptible; even gold and silver are described by the apostle as being “corruptible things.” They are not real. The real things are the spiritual counterparts of gold, and pearls, and sapphires, and emeralds, and jasper. In our finite and limited understanding these natural and earthly things are used to describe our heavenly heritage–because that is the only language that we can understand. But in reality, the glorious realm of the Spirit far transcends and outshines any such earthly glory.
One glorious thing about the realm of the Spirit is that here there is nothing stagnant or monotonous. Immediately one is introduced into this glorious realm there is ceaseless progression and activity. Then you are linked up with the infinite and eternal God, whose ways are past finding out, whose depths are unsearchable, and whose heights are unattainable.
Therefore, the Lord tells us there are many abodes in Father’s House, depending on the level of one’s Christian experience, and his spiritual attainment through faith and obedience. “In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonour.” (2 Tim. 2:20.) There is a resting-place, an abiding-place; but in God the true rest is found in the midst of outward strife and warfare: and the true abiding-place is the one that is ceaselessly moving forward and upward into a closer and more vital union with the Father. Israel’s rest in Canaan consisted in conquering the enemy and marching forward to possess their possessions. It did not consist of crossing Jordan, and then settling down on the banks of the river and singing the victory song. Nor is it so with the abiding experience in the Holy Spirit. If we are abiding in Christ, we are abiding in a River, a River that flows on forever. GHW
Paul closes chapter 2 of 2 Timothy with verses 20-26: “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver implements, but also implements of wood and of earthenware, and some are for honor while others are for dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be an implement for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, skillful in teaching, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
Paul explains to Timothy here that in the church, the large house, some implements, or vessels of service are shiny and showy, some more common and earthy. Some of these vessels are for honor and some for dishonor. Paul does not say that only the shiny and showy are vessels for honor or that the common and earthy are vessels only for dishonor. He does say that a clean vessel will be an implement for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Paul then goes on to warn what Timothy must be clean of in order to function with honor in God’s house.
1. youthful lusts
2. foolish and ignorant speculations that lead to quarrels
Cleansing, however, is not simply putting away things, but also putting on things, such as,
- righteousness, faith, love, and peace and relating with these those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2. be kind to all, skillful in teaching, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, that God may lead them to repentance and knowledge of the truth, freeing them from the snare of the devil.
Are you clean by both putting off and putting on?