From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued
RIVERS OF LIVING WATER
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isa. 43:19). We thank God for the taste we have had from the Fountain of living water. But Jesus has promised, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (Jn. 4:14). Sad to say, we have been like the fountain in the Song of Songs. “A spring shut up, a fountain sealed” (Song 4:12).
A fountain! But shut up, sealed, frozen over. Abraham digged many good wells in his day; but after his death we are told that the Philistines had filled them in. Isaac found he had to dig them again before he could take advantage of the refreshing waters that lay buried under the rocks and dirt and filth which the enemy had tossed into the wells. So it is with the Church of Christ, and the fountain which Christ has created in the hearts of His people. All the potentialities of this new life and this new experience are right in our heart, locked up like the germ-life in the seed. And therefore we profit nothing.
THE CORN OF WHEAT MUST DIE
Is it not written, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jn. 12:24)? Notice the setting of this beautiful statement. Andrew and Philip had just come and told the Lord that “certain Greeks” had requested to “see Jesus.” And this was the Lord’s astonishing reply: “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and, die, it abideth alone . . .” Strange reply! But not hard to understand, when we begin to realize that Jesus shall appear and shall be seen in His people through His Cross and Resurrection. “We would see Jesus,” said the Greeks. Then they must see Him in the harvest which His death would bring into being. They must see Him in the grain that would be reproduced after His very likeness, in His very image. They would see Him in His people! And the only way that we, as the people of God, are going to manifest the life and resurrection power of Christ is by becoming identified with Him in His cross. It is not sufficient that we merely accept Christ and His finished work for us. Doing that we are saved; but “abide alone.” We must share His sufferings, identify ourselves with His Cross, so that it actually becomes our very own–and then we shall rise in resurrection life to bring forth much fruit unto the Kingdom. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).
No wonder the apostle Paul who knew Christ, had personally seen His Lord on the Damascus road, had talked with Him and heard Him reply in an audible voice–yearned in the travail of his spirit for this great manifestation: “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 – Or “the out-resurrection from among the dead.” (Phil. 3:10,11.) GHW
Listen again to these words: “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.” We find this particularly hard because our carnality reigns supreme. The church has recoiled at the thought of truly identifying with Christ in His sufferings; in laying down the carnal in order to pick up the spiritual. In many segments of Christianity, leaders coddle the flesh in those they lead because to confront the flesh in others requires an acknowledgement of the flesh in themselves.
True life comes by dying. True destiny comes in picking up our cross. True power comes in following Him. This is the school of identity we need to attend. This is where the keys are. This is the heart of apostolic Christianity. This is the Christianity to which Jesus is calling the church to emulate.