"Without this foundation, we are merely modern-day Pharisees." [Voice
from the Wilderness]
This foundation is the "cornerstone truth" of the Final Tidal Wave - the Coming Reformation and Outpouring of His glory before our Lord's coming. All other teaching must be consistent with and not contradict this foundation; and put in relation to this key and central truth. It is the "centrepiece" of the puzzle. All other truth needs to be fitted in and not forced to fit, once this main piece is put in place.
In the past, - and even today - the body of Christ has separated the truths revealed in the past Great Awakenings and held fast to only a PART of the truths revealed. In this foundation, these truths are brought together. Completeness. Maturity. The Great Awakenings introduced repentance, inward holiness and a deeper communion with Jesus and needs to merge with the power of God and the truths introduced in the Asuza Outpouring. This foundation shows us His way to redig all the old wells and see water gush forth from the desert.
The hearts of the fathers will turn to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers before the coming day of the Lord. Spiritually, this is the bringing together of the truths revealed in the past Great Awakenings. Joel tells us that the former and latter rain will come down together in the first month. In other words, the coming outpouring of His glory comes with the anointing of BOTH the former awakenings (Classical, emphasizing our relationship to our Lord Jesus) and the latter awakenings (Azusa, and later outpourings emphasizing the Presence of God). This foundation brings these together in a harmonious symphony.
Until now, only a very small remnant has been established in this foundation. Most in the body of Christ have not grasped this important truth and have not discerned how different it is from mainstream teaching which comes forth from the greater body of Christ today. The outpouring of His coming glory predominantly falls on this remnant who have redug all the old wells (or honored the fathers) and have this doctrine which brings together the former and latter awakenings. Those who do not have this doctrine lack soundness and wholeness. They also expect to be part of the God's end-time program. However, they will not be fully part of it unless they repent and turn to the truth.
This foundation is not imparted. It cannot be received through the laying on of hands like the baptism in the Holy Spirit which is essential for normal Christian development. This foundation needs to be established in one's life. Many other waves and movements have spread by impartation. The final move of His Spirit does not spread by impartation but rather by having this foundation - which is different from what is being taught in the greater body of Christ - established in one's life. Conversely, this remnant needs to stay separated and guard their hearts as uncleanliness (that which is of the flesh) is contagious. In other words, the doctrine of Laodicea, held by most, can easily grip your heart once again. Haggai 2:12-13 confirms this.
HUDSON TAYLOR'S VISION 1855. This vision was received while he was preaching in Britain, on furlough from China.
'I have seen a vision. I saw in this vision a great war that encompasses the world. I saw this war recede and then start again, actually being two wars. after this I saw much unrest and revolts that will affect many nations. I saw in some places spiritual awakenings.
'In Russia I saw there will come a general all-encompassing national spiritual awakening spread to many European countries. Then I saw an ALL-OUT AWAKENING, followed by the coming of Christ.'
The prophet Haggai gave us an indication WHEN this would begin to take place. First, there would be time of worldwide shaking where both heaven and earth would be shaken. Our Lord Jesus said that these signs would continue and increase in magnitude and frequency like birth pains. The earth's shaking includes both the land and the sea. Great earthquakes according to Luke 21. The epicenter of the Haiti earthquake was on land whereas the epicenter of Japan's earthquake was in the sea. The first and the second heaven will be shaken. The first heaven is the atmosphere and refers to climate change resulting in floods and extreme weather as in Luke 21. The shaking also includes the world economy, famines, rising food prices, unrest and the overthrow of dictators as in Haggai 2:22. When you see these things begin to happen, Haggai tells us, that at this time, His final glory will begin to be poured out and that that the glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former.
The day is soon coming when strength of the Gentile kingdoms is going to be brought down, burning like an oven as Malachi 4 states. A number of prophets have seen the unraveling of things leading to a meltdown of the global economy probably centered on the bursting of two bubbles in the world's most powerful nation, the United States - US national debt and the US dollar. This will lead to conditions worse than that experienced during the Great Recession. It is in the day of shaking, when the Lord will make this small remnant who are established in His rock-solid foundation as His jewels and His authority will be manifested; signified by a signet ring in Haggai 2.
A weakened United States will leave Israel to be more vulnerable to attack from surrounding hostile Arab nations and this may well be the time when a Psalm 83 war - preceding the Ezekiel 38-39 war at the middle of the Tribulation - takes place in the Middle East. Joel indicates that the Gentile nations will eventually be brought by God to the the valley of Megiddo, the final battle of Armageddon in judgment because they have divided the land of Israel - God's land - and have treated the Jews very badly. This development of Arab uprisings and the world's demand to break up Israel and to create a Palestinian state within Israel is rapidly bringing this to pass. The antichrist will be the person who brings a so-called final solution pseudo-peace deal to Israel which only lasts for a short time.
Someone stated correctly that one of the greatest weaknesses of American Christians is the way that so many have been conditioned against hearing anything they perceive as negative. It is a fulfillment of the delusion spoken of in 2 Timothy 4:4-3. Difficult times are coming upon us and the wise will be prepared - spiritually and practically - for the shaking that is still to come.The earthquake in Christchurch is a type of the shaking coming to the church. There is a shaking coming to the church. Many walls will fall. Much of that which is taught today will crumble. Foundations will need to be uprooted. The true foundation, which needs to be established, has been revealed over a number of decades and has this signature: digging old wells. This foundation is the main focus of this ministry.
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. [John Piper]
A wish, a word, a sigh, a sign, something will inevitably escape him and thereby betray the fact that he is far from being satisfied. [Jeanne Guyon]
Staying constantly in Him should be our chief priority. We remain in Him by turning back to Him every time we are drawn away by own desires. We are drawn more quickly into His Presence when we do not hold tightly to the things of this world and, yes, even spiritual things.
The spiritual man knows that the continual exercise to withdraw deep within into God - into His Habitation where he receives the Divine influence from the Presence of God - by stilling our soul is far more important than anything else, even prayer. Closeness to God and abiding in Him does not come by doing external things such as studying the Scriptures, prayer or attending meetings but rather by a different path, His Way, as revealed in this foundation.
BEGINNING STAGE OF THE CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION
Most Christians do not feel that they have been called to a deep, inward relationship to their Lord. But we have all been called to the depths of Christ just as surely we have been called to salvation [Guyon].
The foundation text for the beginning stage is Revelation 3:20. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.This Laodicean call is a call to almost all of Christianity today which is mainly lived on the surface to come a genuine deep, inward relationship with Jesus.
Almost all today do not understand that they have a predominately outward relationship with their Lord. A veil lies over their hearts. Almost all that you hear - especially on Christian television - is outward. Most of what is read in Christian books will lead you to an outward walk with God. Our Lord is calling us out of Laodicea to a genuine deep, inward relationship with Himself. This is the Laodicean call given in Revelation 3:20.
Many today are blind to the apostate condition of the the Laodicean church which is the general state of the church in the days before our Lord's return. They do not realize the danger of being found in Laodicea. Clearly, since the Philadelphian church pleased the Lord, we need to ensure that we have the inward spiritually of those who were in Philadelphia. The Philadelphian church characterises the Holiness Movement which had roots springing forth from classical Christianity.
Holiness Precedes Power.Many Christians look for shortcuts to the power of God. To try shortcuts is to become, at best, frustrated; at worst, a false teacher or prophet. Listen very carefully: there is tremendous power for us in God but not without holiness. Holiness precedes power. [Frangipane] Many today - especially in the Toronto and Prophetic Movements - have fallen into this snare. True holiness is not a list of 'Thou shalt nots' but is a surrender of the heart as revealed in this foundation.
The classical foundation shows us the way to know our Lord truly. Many today are outward and have a knowledge of the Scriptures, understand many things and even end-time prophecy accurately, yet are devoid of a true inward relationship with our Lord Jesus. Some even have dismissed a true inward relationship with our Lord Jesus as mysticism and remain only with an outward shell of Christianity to their own peril. Others have a walk of outward faith of "believing and confessing" (instead of a living faith) or an outward walk of "fasting and praying in tongues" yet are devoid of an inward relationship with Jesus Christ.
Others hold fast to "being positive" which is of the mind and is outward too. They do not realize that they are only outward. Many do not realize or understand that there is an inward relationship with Jesus Christ. An over-emphasis of "covenant rights" and "who we are in Christ" is also outward. The "Prosperity Movement" is selective and ignores the cross. Hence it is outward as surrender and the cross is core to the inward relationship with Jesus Christ. The Laodicean call of Revelation 3:20 is a call to a deep, inward relationship to our Lord Jesus.
Truly, these are perilous times. Dangerous times. Spiritual deception (mentioned 5 times) is the first sign of the end-times in Matthew 24. There is a Last Revival and there is the Last Great Apostasy at the end of this age. Widespread apostasy in the latter days. The falling away from the faith begins with a departure from a true inward relationship with Jesus Christ. This is why it is important to look carefully at the rock-solid classical Christian foundation as it shows us the way to escape from Laodicea.
Not only is our Lord calling us back to our first love as in the first church, He is calling us to know Him inwardly and deeply in the last church. The beginning stage of classical Christianity restores our first love; the middle stage shows the way to experiencing the depths of our Lord Jesus.
Africa, is known to have Christianity which is "a mile wide but only one inch deep". America's Christianity - the center of the last church of Laodicea - is very lukewarm today. True depth came only from classical Christianity in Europe a few hundred years ago - Spain and France. Saints such as John of the Cross, Michael Molinos and Jeanne Guyon almost reformed the Catholic church in the 1600's; however, their deep, inward spirituality has impacted most of the famous Christians thoughout the ages such as Watchman Nee, Hudson Taylor, John Wesley, the Quakers and many others and has been instrumental in the formation of the church since the days of the Reformation. Kathryn Kuhlman, who is a forerunner and type of the coming final tidal wave, also had this classical Christian foundation.
A deep inward relationship to Jesus Christ is essentially concerned with simply turning and yielding our hearts to the Lord. Jesus advises us: I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich [Revelation 3:18] There is gold available to you and it is much more easily obtained than you can imagine [Guyon].
A DAILY QUIET TIME
Today, we are often too busy with the cares and pleasures of this world and even with doctrine and the work of God - or are too soulish and too occupied with our own reasoning - to spend a moment in quietness before God. Setting aside time to be alone with God daily – a quiet time – is the beginning of experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ.
This generation has a limited revelation of the Lord Jesus because so many are missing from the feast—the feast of communion alone with the Lord. Their seats are empty! We mistakenly get our spiritual joy out of service rather than communion. We are doing more and more for a Lord we know less and less about! We run ourselves ragged, burn out, go anywhere on this earth, and give our bodies to his work—but we seldom keep the feast! We are too casual about the Lord's table, not serious enough about taking our place to learn of him! [Wilkerson]
Racing through the Word of God or praying (and praising) much and with much gusto does not benefit us at all in our quiet time. We need to learn to turn to Him and to be still before Him when He draws near to us by His Presence and to only utter a word – very gently with a deep sense of love and worship - when His Presence lifts. In other words, we move when the cloud moves and we stop when the cloud stops .
In our time alone with God, we turn our heart inwardly to our Lord Jesus and keep turning toward Him until our mind is collected and quiet before Him. We should then remain quiet before Him for a while. Often we will experience and enjoy His Presence here and we need to simply remain before Him: do not say or do or think anything as long as His Presence continues. The principle, again, is this: we should not move as long as He is near .
The awareness of our Lord’s presence will lift after a while and this is the time when we need to speak a word, even simply His name - Jesus – and we will find that the sweetness of His Presence returns and settles on us. When His presence returns fully, we need once again to be still before Him.
There is a fire within you and it ebbs and grows. That fire, when it ebbs, must be gently fanned, but only gently. Just as soon as that fire begins to burn, again cease all your efforts. Otherwise, you might put out that flame [Guyon].
There is a fire of Divine love. It is this love which burns the believer and can even cause the believer to suffer. How? Sometimes the absence of the Beloved greatly affects the believer. The love of God intoxicates the believer and puts an insatiable longing within him to be changed into the likeness of his Lord. Therefore, it can be said of love... Divine love is as strong as death, for it kills just as surely as death kills. [Molinos]
When the presence of the Lord really becomes your experience, you will ac tually discover that you have gradually begun to love this silence and peaceful rest which come with His presence [Guyon].
We learn what it means to be lost in God. Molinos puts puts it in these words: Your God is in this deep inward place and it is in that place that loving attention, silence, and oblivion from everything else, - and a surrender of the human will to the will of God, - may eventually be found. There, drawn into that place, the believer hears and talks with God alone. It is though they were the only two things existing in all creation. Such "prayer" is a far cry from an intellectual discussion with God or anything else which might be called prayer.
SEEDS OF TRUTH SPRING FORTH FROM OUR TIME ALONE WITH JESUS
Stay with me as I take you down a road... day by day... line upon line... precept upon precept. Just as the Book of Genesis is the book of beginnings and introduces us to many things as a seed or germ, so our quiet time with Jesus introduces us to many things such as the taking up of His cross and avoiding the flesh... Hopefully, you will begin to understand that this road is the royal highway which all of us must walk...
Actually there are many paths today. If you follow a way of man - any path other than classical Christianity which alone has substance - you may jump from ministry to ministry and from movement to movement and even from wave to wave and find yourself changing your beliefs often without arriving at anything solid. These are the winds of doctrine that Apostle Paul speaks about. Chasing after the wind .
Introducing EMBRACING THE CROSS
We are first introduced to the cross in our quiet times when we have periods of dryness – when the heavens seem like brass and Jesus seems distant to us. We need to learn what it means to take up His cross – to recognise that He is sovereign and in control and to receive these times from His hand in the same way as when He manifests Himself to us. He sometimes hides Himself from us to draw us to Himself.
You will have dry periods. This, however, is not the issue. The issue is this. How will you respond to the Lord in these periods? Most Christians will exercise their strength and the flesh will manifest itself. Self effort. Instead, we need to learn to be patient- worship Him with patient love and contentment. Remember the Lord is searching throughout the earth for that Christian who will remain faithful and loving even when He has withdrawn Himself. Remain quiet and constant and stay before Him.
As we begin to take up His cross, we begin to die little by little – our self-life begins to die. The inner character of Christ begins to form in our lives as we become poor in spirit. We also become pure in heart and child-like little by little as our will surrenders to our Lord’s sovereign cross which He introduces in our lives.
Not only does taking up His cross change us into His image, it also important in staying filled with His Presence and remaining in unbroken fellowship with our Lord. We can as Apostle Paul implied ( 'Be being filled with the Spirit') find that our cup is empty or half-full at times. Taking up His cross is the most important key to remain filled with the Spirit and which unlocks the door to the explosive power of God.
Remember you are not wasting your time when "nothing is happening". It has wisely been said "not to wait on God is the only great idleness."It is idleness not to have time for God. Indeed this is the business above all businesses. [Molinos]
He gives power to the weak (weaker and weaker in middle stage of classical Christian foundation)... But to those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29a, 31
All birds fly. However, the eagle mounts. It first stands on the rock. It is the only bird that understands the winds or air currents. It waits for the right wind. When the right wind comes, he spreads his wings. He doesn't fly up. He rides the wings of the wind. All other birds fly up. Struggle. No rest. King of the birds. Locks his wings and rides the winds of God. When storms approach, with wind and thunder and lightning, lesser birds head for cover, but the mighty eagle spreads his wings and with a great cry mounts upon the very winds which drove the lesser to cover. Storms are a joy to him, for on their mighty updrafts he soars to heights of glory. And he does it effortlessly, letting the wind carry him where lesser birds must beat with frantic wings to stay aloft.
When the poor and needy (become weaker and weaker in the middle stage of classical Christian foundation) seek water, and there is none,
And their tongues fail for thirst,
I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys,
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water.
[Isaiah 41: 17-18] [ opposite of Laodicean church 'Because you say, I am rich..' Revelation 3:17]
There are three steps to ascending to heavenly places in Christ. The first stage is that of the believer being filled with God and obtaining a hatred for worldly things. In this stage the believer is satisfied only with the His love and learns to be quiet in the Presence of God. The second stage is inebriation. This is when the soul has more than it can hold. Within this stage there is born within the believer a fullness of Divine love. The third stage is security. Here all fear is cast out of the believer's soul, and in that empty place which is left by fear's departure comes a Divine love. The believer resigns himself to the sovereign hand of God in all things. There is a sense, in this stage, that it is impossible to be separated from the Beloved. Eternal security. [Molinos]
It is one thing to VISIT these heavenly places in Christ, quite another to HABITUALLY DWELL in these heavenly places in Christ. What has been written in the above few paragraphs explains the steps to visiting these heavenly places in Christ; the classical Christian foundation in its entirety reveals the way to habitually dwell in these heavenly places in Christ. Today, it is said we are ' in Christ' in faith because the Bible tells me so. However, it means much more than this - the REALITY of abiding in Him (being 'in Christ') is fully explained in this foundation. Not only are we to be 'in Christ' but we have been called to live in the heavenly places (or in the depths) in Christ. [cf Ephesians 1:3 heavenly places in Christ]
When one is born again, one is united to God. However, he has not come to experience His Lord deeply. It is one thing to experience the touch of His Presence for a moment or for a few hours. However, there is a real, continual, deep, permanent and lasting union which continues in the midst of any circumstance. [Guyon]
Introducing AVOIDING THE FLESH
In our quiet times, we first begin to understand what is meant by doing things in the flesh. We learn to come to Jesus being sensitive to His Person and Presence. [cf John 14] When we do anything ourselves and in our strength in our approach to Jesus, we immediately violate the foundation that He has been establishing in our quiet times and grieve Him with our irreverence. We learn here to do little and rather to patiently wait for Him to draw near to us once again.
The revelation that our Lord is our Sovereign Lord is essential and axiomatic in our journey... We receive circumstances as from the hand of our Lord – not from the hand of man or from satan. Thus we respond only when prompted by our Lord and His Presence and do not react to situations in the flesh. Many today even use the Word of God as a reaction to a situation and are not responding and being prompted by their Lord.
Eastern meditation – and related bizarre manifestations and practises such as Kundalini*, which is a counterfeit of the truth, is rooted in a striving to know God – the flesh. Instead, we need to wait for Him with patience as He draws us into His inner chambers, honouring His cross and avoiding the flesh (doing something ourselves).
*Kundalini manifestations: a person may experience intense involuntary, jerking movements of the body, including shaking, vibrations, spasm and contraction; muscle twitches, cramps or spasms; involuntary bodily movements: jerking, tremors, shaking. Spontaneous vocalizations (including laughing and weeping) -- are as unintentional and uncontrollable as hiccups.
Remember, satan counterfeits or mimics the genuine. Counterfeits look similar to the genuine and are only clearly discerned under the close scrutiny of His light. Let us also not dismiss His love, His Presence and His power with the counterfeits. We do need His wisdom to rightly divide and to hold fast that which is of God.
Impatience has no place in the things of God. Visualization - even of our Lord Himself - is another counterfeit and is of the soul (imagination). We fall into these black holes when we are impatient with our Lord and when we do not receive His cross fully in our lives.
When we come before the Lord, do we come to Him because of the sweetness of His Presence? A purer motive is to seek nothing from the Lord, except to please Him[2 Corinthians 5:9].
Receive whatever He gives to you. Should your mind wander or the heavens seem as brass, receive that in the same way. Believe in faith that whatever happens is His desire for you at that time. You learn to treat times of dryness in the same way as times when you experience His precious Presence. You have learnt to love Jesus not because of His gifts, His word, nor even for His sweet Presence. An important principle has been introduced: we are to receive all things equally from the hand of our Lord . This is important if we are to plumb the depths of knowing our Lord and to grow in the things of God.
Apostle Paul learned this too: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned to be both full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me[Philippians 4: 12-13].
Let us ensure that we respond properly to our Lord during periods of dryness. This beginning is very important and needs to be clearly understood. We come before our Lord with patient love during these times. Often our natural inclination is to be impatient and to exert our own strength or to do something ourselves. Remain continually before Him in silence and do and say little.
Elements that need to be present during these periods of dryness are: learn to be content. This comes from recognizing that our Lord is sovereign and receiving all things equally from His hand. Worship. Come before Him peacefully and utter only a word of love or the words of a worship song to Him. We will discover that... He returns more quickly if we wait patiently before Him in this manner.
The way in which we receive the cross is very important. Mere acceptance (in the natural) is not what Apostle Paul meant here. He learned how the cross brings us an inward closenessand an abiding unction. Revelation of Him as our sovereign Lord ... personal ... inward ... worship ... these are all elements. More will be said about this later...
Saints, who lived a few hundred years ago, often preferred to be abased and to suffer hardship as they knew that the greatest blessing was in the cross. The cross, if received from Him correctly and inwardly, brings us into experiencing our Lord deeply and His presence is often more tangible during these times. Today, lukewarm Laodicea prevails and material prosperity and success is all that many seek and desire.
Spurgeon said, "I learn more from the fire, hammer and chisel than to anything else in my Lord's workshop."
In our quiet time, we have been introduced to a true and simple child-like faith in Jesus. There is much taught about faith today. Little about the purity of faith – a faith like pure gold refined and purified through fire. Is it not rather strange that Jesus said in Luke 18:8: Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?
The faith of Luke 18:8 is an enduring and persistent faith. God’s desire is this. His desire is to give Himself to the soul that really loves Him and to that soul which earnestly seeks Him [Guyon]. This is why taking up the cross – beginning with dry periods - is so important if we really love Him and desire a deep fellowship with our Lord.
It will not be long in the journey before you realise that there is much busyness in your soul. Your mind moves from one thing to another. Much activity. You are scattered and active within. When you come before your Lord, you collect yourself, calling these many and divergent things within to silence. It is by faith and silence that you enter into the Presence of God. Here we have a simple vision of God, seeing Him and loving Him and very gently rejecting all the images which come into your mind.
I would assure you that after you have given yourself up to the Lord - to walk with Him and live in Him, in an inward way of faith, all hell will conspire against you . Just one believer who has withdrawn into his inward parts in God makes a greater war against the enemy than a thousand whose walk is external. The enemy knows the infinite gain that comes to the believer who collects his internal nature.
Be careful about ambitions, even the ambition of being spiritual. You are here for God and not for yourself. The Lord esteems more important the problems you have in trying to still yourself inwardly than in all your ambition to be great in the kingdom of God. [Molinos]
Faith, as it is taught today, is often a justification for doing things in the flesh. To do anything in faith or according to the written - logos - Word alone needs to be examined carefully. The Lord desires that we do all things according to the promptings and leading of His Person and Presence and this will conform to the Scriptures. The self-life is much more prevalent today than we realise and it is like a cancer which squeezes the life of Jesus out of us. It even spreads into doctrine and what we believe.
Our faith must always firstly and centrally be our personal relationship with our Lord. It is the abiding in His love and a faith which endures His cross. His rhema word which He imparts to us comes next. However, often this rhema word needs to die and be buried - sometimes for many years - before He brings it to pass in a way that is all of Him and none of self. It is not so much about faith, but about the One in whom we have faith.
THE BIG PICTURE
In the beginning of our journey there are distinct seasons – summer and winter – experiencing His precious and enveloping Presence and alternating periods of dryness. There is also a middle and an end to this journey. In the end stage, it is as if all the seasons are put into one and we live in a state of His glory… however, this occurs many years later, if, and only if, we allow Him to take us through the tough middle stage… more of this later… this is a little of the big picture of the journey ahead…
The essence of the journey is the progressive death of the self-life and moving into the fullness of living in His Presence and His love - being moved by His promptings only. This death takes place only through the working of His cross as we learn to take up His cross daily. Death. Burial. Resurrection. It is Romans 6-8 expounded. Classical Christianity.
Very few saints progress to the end stage of the journey. Many, whom the church has regarded as spiritual giants throughout the history of the church, have not made it through the tough middle stage. Only a handful of saints such as Kathryn Kuhlman have moved into this state of His glory which is truly not of this world.
This journey is not a rags-to-riches success story (i.e. how God made me rich!), but one in which our Lord restores us to Himself more fully. He often brings to us a severe and heavy cross – a Job-like experience – not so much a stripping of material things, but of spiritual things and the works of God – to bring about the death and burial of our self-life and the fullness of His resurrection life in us. This is the tough middle stage of the journey which lies ahead.
Not all of us allow the Lord to strip us fully in this tough middle stage of the journey. Many passed through the wilderness of God; only a few entered into the Promised Land. Now we begin to understand why the taking up His cross is so important; the truth which we seldom hear preached from the pulpits in this generation.
Introducing OVERCOMING THE WORLD
In our quiet times, we are introduced to a truth, we inwardly turn our hearts to Jesus. When we are distracted and our thoughts wander, we simply turn back to Him. Sometimes this simple truth has been forgotten. Later in the journey, we don't turn anymore (as we eventually are constantly before Him) but simply keep our hearts in His love, abiding in Him.
Here we are introduced to overcoming the world. There are two ways in which we can respond - through law and principles applying the Scriptures ourselves or by simply turning our hearts back to Him in repentance when we are drawn away from Him and letting Him subdue these desires. The first way is the way of the Pharisee and deals only with the surface. The second way is the way of the Christian.
Perhaps the most common approach (to overcoming desires) has been discipline and self-denial. But no matter how severe your self-denial may be, it will never completely conquer your senses. Self-denial only changes the surface; it only changes the outward expression of those desires. [Guyon]
Desires grow stronger and stronger if we focus on them and try to subdue them ourselves. Instead, we need to turn our hearts to our Lord. Desires draw their power from the soul. When we no longer focus our attention on fighting and overcoming desires, and simply turn our hearts back to our Lord, desires lose their strength and become weaker and weaker. This is how we overcome the world.
The Christian who has faithfully abandoned (yielded) himself to the Lord (in this manner) will soon discover that he has also laid hold of a God who will not rest until He has subdued everything! All that you need to do is remain steadfast in giving your utmost attention to God. He will do all things perfectly. [Guyon]
However, there is a place for some discipline: what we see and hear. This helps to keep our mind on the Lord and not on a thousand different things. This is sometimes the reason why we tend to have a wandering mind when coming before the Lord. The Lord will give us wisdom regarding this.
The believer who is utterly in love with the Lord will not even desire the things that might offend the object of his affection. It is only by yielding in this manner that it is possible to reach a total victory in overcoming your desires. [Guyon]
The closer you are to God, the more you receive His nature. The more you receive His nature, the more you will draw upon His sustaining power. Also, the nearer you draw to the Lord, the farther you are removed from sin. You begin to acquire the habit of being near to the Lord and far from all else. [Guyon]
The longer you continue to turn to the Lord, the closer you will come to God and the more firmly you will cling to Him. As you become more perfected in Christ, this tendency to be drawn within to the Lord becomes stronger and more active. [Guyon]
If there were no mixture in your soul, the soul would instantly rush toward the all-powerful, irresistible God and be lost in Him. But if you are loaded down with many attachments, this attraction or drawing is greatly hindered. Many Christians seize some part of this world or some part of the self with so tight a grip that they spend their whole lives making only a snail’s progress toward knowing their Lord deeply. [Guyon]
Sometimes the Lord, out of His boundless love, strikes this burden violently from your hand. It is then that you realize just how very much you have been hindered and held back. [Guyon] This sovereign and severe cross which He brings into your life occurs in the tough middle stage of the journey.
We need to remember that we are simply to turn to Him and to remain before Him. Nothing further is required from us. No self effort. Little needs to be done on our part. We simply co-operate with His grace. None of the flesh. We need simply to remain faithful in keeping our hearts from being attached to desires and to rather turn within to the Lord and stay constantly before Him.
The more peaceful you remain, the more quickly you will advance toward God. The freer you are from exerting your own effort, the more quickly you will move toward your Lord. [Guyon]
To speak of God’s favour and blessing upon our life; and yet not to possess Him in the manner described above reveals a Laodicean blindness. This inner communion - of being drawn by Him and drawing from Him - together with taking up His cross is foundational in our walk as a Christian.
If you have become established in the truth introduced so far, you will find that the Presence of the Lord will begin to envelop you. An unusual serenity will come over and possess your soul. This will extend from the simple foundation of a quiet time into all of normal everyday life. The truths which have been introduced in seed form will begin to sprout into every facet of our lives.
In our quiet times, when our Lord draws near to us through His Presence as we come before Him, we begin to experience the reality of the song “ 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.”
Introducing worship into our quiet times is something often neglected. The sameprinciples and truths introduced in our coming before the Lord are also true as we worship Him. You will find His Person and His Presence manifests and envelops you as you come before Him. Remember singing songs has little benefit unless we learn to come before Him in the way which was explained earlier, truly entering into the Presence of God.
Have you noticed that the way of approaching our Lord in our quiet times is the same as in corporate worship? This is why many – including me - turn away from most of the praise today and most definitely from alternative Christian rock and rap musicas it is notconsistent with this foundation at all. Often the reason for this departure is that we have not been rooted and established in this foundation and practice of a regular quiet time before our Lord.
A corrective from the classical Christian foundation in corporate worship is that we need to be still before God between worship songs, rather than clap or shout unto the Lord. Remember the principle from our time alone with the Lord: we should not move as long as He is near . This correction has also been confirmed to a well-known teacher when the Lord appeared to him in a visitation.
Sensitivity to our Lord and His Presence is essential in worship and this sensitivity increases as we allow the Lord to take us through the tough middle stage of the journey, transforming us into His image. Leaders in worship and ministry need to be those who have been through the middle stage. Kathryn Kuhlman was of such spiritual character and able to truly lead us into the Presence of God.
CONTENDING for this foundation
The foundation established in our quiet time is a foundation that we need to contendfor [Jude 3]. Let us not be contentious[1 Corinthians 1:11] over small matters, but we must contend for this foundation in all things and ensure that all we teach or do is consistent with this foundation.
Many today hide behind theology and think that they have it all, and even give themselves all kinds of titles, yet are devoid of the true inner relationshipwith our Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of the main stumbling blocks to what God wants to accomplish in these last days. We become stiff-necked and stubborn resisting the true word of the Lord.
God wants to bring revival to East London. This revival comes on the wings of reform. Are we willing to change? Evan Roberts prayed " Bend me, oh Lord"bringing in the Welsh revival many years ago. Are we willing to be pliable and open to the Lord or are we going to hold fast to our theology and to our ways?
Often we have sought revival but have not found it. Genuine revival brings not only the manifestation of the Presence of God but a breaking up of our foundations and the restoration of the sound Classical foundation. We have entered into the closing hour of the church in which He is about to bring showers of His glory to His people, and even to those of us living in the Eastern Cape.
Some saints don't even realize that they are in a deplorable spiritual state. The realization of our true spiritual condition is the first step toward reform and revival. Churches throughout the world, including those in East London, are in desperate need of reform and revival. Many of these churches have a name that they are alive but they are dead. Many are lukewarm. Reform and revival is desperately needed today.
Personalreform and revival comes when we are honest with ourselves and realize that there is more to knowing our Lord and that we need to experience His Presence more fully in our lives. The way forward leading toward this restoration – the classical Christian foundation - is seldom taught today and that is why so few of us escape this deplorable spiritual state and find the true way in which there is no mixture.
If a new believer were introduced to a true inward experience of Christas soon as he was born again, you would see many converts go on to become true disciples. Any other way is external and produces little fruit in the lives of believers.
If you are a leader in charge of new believers, lead them to a real inner knowledge of Jesus Christ. Oh what a difference there would be in the lives of those new Christians! What inexpressible damage new Christians - for that matter, most Christians - have suffered because of the loss of an inner, spiritual relationship to Jesus Christ. [Guyon]
You who are in authority over young believers must yourself one day give an account to God for those who have been entrusted to you by the Lord. You will have to give an account for not having discovered for yourself this hidden treasure - this inner relationship to Christ - and you will also be held accountable for not having given that treasure to those in your charge. [Guyon]
For a new Christian - for all of us in fact - the heart is all important if we are to proceed in Christ. Once the heart has been gained by God, everything else will eventually take care of itself. In fact, we are discussing the very thing that caused the early church to lose its life and beauty. It was the loss of a deep, inner, spiritual relationship to Christ. Conversely, the church would soon be restored if this inner relationship were recovered! [Guyon]
Introducing the SCRIPTURES
We live in a generation where revelation and knowledge from the Word of God is emphasised. However, we would do well to consider that a few hundred years ago the saints of God were more concerned with the Word of God’s emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus our Lord and knowing Him deeply. [cf John 5: 39-40]
Christian leaders often fear that believers will fall into some doctrinal error if believers take such a path. However, if believers are drawing near to Jesus Christ and are becoming established in the classical Christian foundation, there is little danger of that occurring.
You can be sure that if a Christian turns away from the Lord, he can discuss doctrine and engage in arguments all day long, but none of it will help him! Endless discussion only brings more confusion. [Guyon]
[Note that our doctrine still needs to be sound. However, the emphasis of our doctrine needs to centred on our inner relationship with our Lord.]
It is a maxim that will endure: To truly know the living God, this begets humility. To acquire learning, information, speculation, theory, theology and even Scripture, this begets pride. The understanding of spiritual truth is actually hidden and shut off from most men, even those of theological learning. Regardless of how much it seems to be grounded in the Scripture what these men give does not contain the Word of God, only wind and vanity. Those without a true inward relationship with Jesus will hunt for honour, reputation and applause and will be insincere. Such men actually corrupt Christians and leave both the teacher and the one taught empty of their God. [Molinos]
Knowing much about God and about the things of God can be very deceptive; let us rather know Him deeply and be sure that we are known by Him. True knowledge about God comes from experiencing our Lord deeply. Let us keep this in mind as we begin to introduce the use of Scripture in our quiet time.
Have you heard of using the Scriptures to enter the Presence of God? This is something which the Lord often teaches us Himself when we are first saved. It is the reading of the Word of God aloud before the Lord. Here the content is not the focus; rather we find that the Scripture quietens our mind. When the quietness of His Presence come over our soul, we remain still before Him. Remember the principle, we should not move as long as He is near.
Moving quickly from passage to passage in the Word of God has little spiritual benefit. We need to learn to move with the cloud. As we grow in the things of God, we learn to have a more refined approach to this. We learn to feed on the Word and to be still before Him when His Presence manifests. This is the divine pause or selah which needs to be present in prayer, worship and the devotional reading of the Scriptures.
We learn to be led by the Holy Spirit and to only move to another passage as He leads. You do not move quickly from one passage to another until you have sensed and experienced the very heart of what you have read. You will often find that you have actually read very little. Revelation like a sweet aroma will break out upon your soul.
If you read quickly, it will benefit you little. You will be like a bee that merely skims the surface of a flower. Instead, you must become as the bee who penetrates into the depths of the flower. You plunge deeply within to remove its deepest nectar. [Guyon]
EXPANDING FROM A QUIET TIME TO OUR EVERYDAY EXPERIENCE
The Important Key of Yielding or Surrender
If we have truly grasped the truths revealed so far and have been faithful to the Lord who establishes us in this foundation, we will find that experiencing the Lord and the Presence of the Lord is no longer a rareexperience. Over time, you will find it becomes your dailyexperience. The Presence of God is poured forth in our lives and we gradually begin to experience His manifest Presence continually.
No longer do we speak of our love for Godor God's love for uswhich is distant, but now we speak of what we experience continually and which is near: His lovewhich enfolds us constantly through His manifest Presence. This glory of His enveloping Presence and oneness becomes established when we allow the Lord to take us through the middle stage and into the end stage of resurrection. Here we truly say with Apostle Paul, ' Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?'
There is a place in God where we can say, as Kathryn Kuhlman once said, " He is more real to me than you are." Prayer was first used to bring us into His Presence. Here prayer becomes His Presence. In other words, we move into something which is beyond prayer. We are constrained by His Presence and we feel it deeply within when we move out of this place in Him even a little.
Even if churches were to continue doing things the way they are doing things today for thousands of years, they will not enter into this fullness of the end time glory which Kathryn Kuhlman experienced as a forerunner many years ago. Change must first occur. Major change or sweeping reform must take place! This is why we need to pay careful attention to the word revealed in the wilderness; for the word of the Lord does not come from Jerusalem in the closing chapter of this age, but from the wilderness!
To experience this abiding glory of His manifest Presence, we need to extend the truths which were first introduced in our quiet time into our everyday experience. There is an important key which unlocks this door and takes us quickly into a new level of relationship with our Lord. This door takes beyond times of prayer to encompassing your whole life.
Francis Frangipane learnt this key when the "association of churches" in which he ministered would not receive the correction that the Lord brought through him to them and they cast him out. Cast out of the ministry, he worked as a tv repairman* in poverty for a number of years. It is here that the Lord taught him this very same key which in the Lord's words to him were " Love Me where you are at."
*which he hated as restoring televisions was completely contrary to what he formerly preached concerning the corruption of morals coming from television.
Guyon puts it this way. You must utterly believe that the circumstances of your life, that is, every moment of your life, as well as the whole course of your life - everything that happens - have all come to you by His will and by His permission. You must utterly believe that everything that has happened to you is from God and is exactly what you need. [Romans 8:28]
Remember that this key was first mentioned when the Lord introduced the cross into our quiet times by allowing us to experience periods of dryness and a wandering mind occasionally. We learn to accept both the manifestation of His Presence and dry times (when He seems distant to us) equally as from the hand of the Lord. We learn (and still learn) to love Him equally whether on the Mount of Transfiguration - in the midst of heavenly visions - or in the harshness of the cross of Calvary.
This new perspective on life which was introduced in prayer needs to encompass and extend to our everyday experience. Contentment will come regardless of circumstances as this new perspective becomes part of our lives. Here we are content with everything. We learn to receive all things that come into our life as being from His hand and to receive circumstances from the hand of the Lord and not from the hand of man. Thankfulness and joy comes to us only in the measure that we embrace this new perspective.
Some have called this important key abandonment. Others the sacrament of the present moment. The term that I will use is yielding or surrender. This yielding to the Lord is a response to the sovereignty of God. The providence of God. Yielding needs to be a blend of a response to the Providence of God and a response to the Holy Spirit. The Lord uses both - the Providence of God and the witness of the Presence of God - together and they work together in perfect harmony.
Why has this key sometimes been called the 'sacrament of the present moment'? Consider the revelation of the Lord as the Great I AM. He is the God of the Present. In the Book of Revelation, He is revealed as the God who is (present), who was (past) and who is to come (future) in this order. The Present is emphasized. This key reveals important truth concerning this name of God, the Great I AM.
Surrendering is forgetting your past and leaving your future in His hands. It is being satisfied with the present moment, no matter what that moment contains. You are satisfied because you know that whatever that moment has, it contains - in that instant - God's eternal plan for you. It is giving the present fully and completely to the Lord. Allow only God to move you. Live in the present moment and let each event unfold without adding or subtracting from it. All you need to do is to dwell in this state.[Guyon]
Surrender is casting off all your cares into His hand. It is laying aside all your needs. Surrender involves two realms. Laying aside outward, practical needs and circumstances. Also the surrender and laying aside of all your inner spiritual needs. Matthew 6:32-34. All your cares are left in the hand of God. You forget yourself and think only of Him, losing yourself in Him.
Today, we have often forgotten the importance of surrendering to the Providence of God. The sovereignty of God is often undermined and satan is often given more credit than he deserves! This undermining of the sovereignty of God has often crept subtly into our doctrine and this distortion spreads like a cancer into all that we hold fast to and do. Yet it is one of the most important elements in understanding what it means to surrender to our Lord.
Remember that God introduced Himself as Elohim in Genesis 1:1 - The Creator, the Sovereign God - before introducing Himself as Jehovah - which emphasises personal relationship - a little later in Genesis. The revelation of the sovereignty of God is important if we are to truly relate to our God on a personal level. It is receiving Him as the God of both the mountains and the valleys in our lives.
If we only know the element of yielding to His Presence and not the element of surrendering to His Providence, we easily become weak in our faith. When times of dryness come and His Presence is not felt, we cave in and are easily defeated. Surrendering to His Providence keeps us in the place of waiting before Him in true faith; whereas often today this element of surrendering to His Providence has been substituted with acting on the Word in faith which is of the flesh and is often done in our own strength.
Yielding to the Lord - which includes surrendering to the Providence of God - is a very important key to experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ. It is the key to the Inner Court or Tent. It is symbolized by the brazen alter before the Tabernacle or Tent. Only once we have fully passed through the middle stage of our journey, are we fully established and rooted in the Inner Court - the door of the tent being permanently shut for us by God Himself.
In these last of the last days, there is increasingly coming a separation between those who live in the Inner Court and those who live in the Outer Court. [Revelation 3:20] Remember the key to the Inner Court is yielding to the Lord and this yielding surrenders to the Providence of God. Those living in the Inner Court will be used of God to bring healing and restoration to many in this closing chapter of the church age. Let us be found among those in the Inner Court!
Here is the way to cease deceiving yourself: recognize the difference between the outer and inner man. The difference is the Presence of God. His Presence which you practice by faith, is entered by your collecting your center, and then waiting before the Lord. This is how you learn the difference between the outer man and the inner man. [Molinos]
There are three kinds of silence. A silence of words, a silence of desires, and a silence of thoughts. The first is perfect. The second is even more perfect and the third is the most perfect. To lay hold of the silence of thought is to arrive and abide at the centre of your being where Christ dwells. It is in that place He transforms you into Himself. Rest is found in this three-fold silence. Transformation of your soul comes not in speaking to God nor in thinking on God but in loving Him greatly. This love comes by perfect surrender, and by this three-fold silence. [Molinos]
Your spirit is the habitation of the kingdom of God. Your Lord Jesus reigns on His throne with rest in this place. You will need to keep your heart in peace so that you may keep this inward temple of God a pure place.Whatever the Lord sends into your life, there is no disturbance in that place. Trouble. Persecution. In the midst of all these things, enter into that inmost realm in Him, for it's there - an inward invisible fortress - you may overcome outward circumstances. Retreat to that castle in Him. Here you find stillness in the midst of the storm, silence in the midst of the tumult, solitude in the masses, forgetfulness in injury, courage in the midst of fear, resistance in the midst of temptation, peace in the midst of war.Here there is an infinite distance between that inner place and the external tempest; but such a storm can only threaten and rage without. It has no power within. [Molinos]
The more the believer puts off his self life the more he makes room for inner solitude with God. Outward solitude is few words. There is also an inner solitude which is forgetting about everything around you, being detached from it, surrendering all purpose and desire and thought and will, and then coming before the Lord. This is true solitude. You will find it to be a sweet rest and an inward serenity... found in the arms of your Lord. For that believer who is able to stay in such a place before his Lord there will be a great number of discoveries. [Molinos]
For the believer who comes this far there is the discovery that the Lord converses and communicates with the believer in his inward parts. It is in that place the Lord fills the believer with Himself... but only fills him only because that person is empty; He clothes him with light and love because he is naked, lifts him up because he is lowly, and unites him with God and transforms him, because he is alone. [Molinos]
You may tell the Lord, with all the zeal and fervour of your being, that you love Him... tenderly and perfectly... yet when you are slightly injured, you offer some bitter word (even in your heart only) rather than resigning yourself and going to the cross for the sake of your love for Him. Such an act is proof that your love was tongue and not deed. The telling of it is nothing. The Lord knows better than you to what is going on in your heart. [Molinos]
Your Lord pays more attention to that believer who lives in an internal resignation than He does to all those who work miracles... even to raising the dead. Oh Christian, if you would know how to be constant in the fire of tribulation and quiet in the fire of tribulation, then you would discover just how soon divine goodness would make its throne in your soul. Keep constant... for things are not as they seem to you during tribulation. Be not deceived in the midst of tribulation... there is no time in your life when you are nearer to God than in the time when He has deserted you! [Molinos]
Your daily occupations are not contrary to your Lord's will. Your occupation is not against the resignation to His will which you presented to Him. You see, resignation encompasses all the activities of your daily life. Whether it be earning your living, doing business, preaching, or the like... you are resigned to whatever it is that comes into your life each day, each hour, each moment. Whatever happens in your life is, in itself, His will. You have not left that resignation of will nor have you left His Presence... Remember your occupation is not a distraction[Molinos]
If you do begin to taste the sweetness of Divine love it will only be a matter of a very short time before the enemy comes to you and kindles in your heart a desire to go to the desert and there live before God in solitude. The enemy, mind you, reasons with you saying you will be able to live before Him without hindrance and there - as a result - you will continually delight in prayer. This reflects a very immature understanding of the Lord's ways. [Molinos]
Established in this Important Key of Surrender
After a long time of having surrendering to the Lord, as described, will lead to our hearts being unattached and free. A peace will come as we become enveloped in His Presence. True liberty comes as we remain unattached to all things and all forms of legalism; however, our hearts are still constrained by His Presence and His love keeping us from a false liberty (license or licentiousness) which is merely of the flesh without reverence and has no sensitivity to the Presence of the Lord.
This new perspective on life is the renewing of the mind spoken by Apostle Paul. It is the mind of Christ as mentioned in Philippians 2. Often we are taught today to simply be "full of the Word and to speak the Word" or to have a "Christian worldview". This approach often leaves us with a disposition of the Pharisee without the depth and true spirit of renewing our minds, only the letter. Not only does our mind need to be renewed, but our will needs to be transformed. This is why this new perspective on life is so important.
Surrendering is practiced by continually losing your own will into the depths of His will. We begin by refusing every personal desire that comes to you just as soon as it arises - no matter how good or spiritual it may be! We must come to the point in which we stand in complete indifference to ourselves. [Guyon] Here you will desire only what He desires and truly fulfil His plan for your life.
To practice surrendering for a short period has little benefit. To come to this point in which we stand in complete indifference to ourselves is one thing. To remain in this place, surrendered throughout our lives, is another. We only truly become rooted and established in this after passing through the long tough middle stage of the journey.
Great faith produces great abandonment or surrender [Guyon].
Today, the main obstacle to many remaining in this place is that which is taught in churches. Almost none - with a few exceptions - teach truth like this that is consistent with the classical Christian foundation. We need to take heed what we hear! Empowered Classical Christianity is what is needed today - a marriage of Classical Christianity and the power of God.
Watchman Nee, Hudson Taylor, John Wesley, the early Quakers and most of Christianity's famous saints embraced this Classical Christian foundation and were established in it. Have we been established and rooted in it too? Or have we departed from it? In a nutshell, Classical Christianity is being rooted in our Lord Jesus Himself - essential for all who call themselves Christians.
The foundation introduces the way to being possessed by our Lord Jesus and His Presence. There is a place in God where it is almost impossible to fall away from Him where we say as Apostle Paul said, ' Who can separate us from the love of God (manifest Presence of God)?' Divine assurance here is very close to eternal security - once saved, always saved. To be fully established and rooted in this foundation - which is our Lord Himself - we need to pass through the middle stage of the classical Christian journey.
If we have learnt to fully surrender to the Lord, which is of the will, we will find that we become unoffendable as we have learnt to receive all things from His hand and not from the hand of man. Furthermore we have learnt to embrace the cross and we understand that the cross brings us a closeness and deeper anointing that is only present during these times.
You will never ascend the mountain of internal peace if you govern yourself according to your own will. This self nature of your soul - values, judgments, desires - must be conquered by obedience or surrender. It has been said, It would be better that you gather dung by obedience than be caught up into the third heaven by your own will. True obedience is voluntary (never engage obedience if there is fear), pure (no personal gain), blind (no judgments) and cheerful (without inward resentment); but most importantly it must be internal. Obedience is not only to superiors but also to inferiors if you are surrendered to the Lord. [Molinos]
One of the most difficult things for Christians to accept is the suffering of the righteous. Up to the time of Christ, the Jews associated prosperity and good health with godliness. They believed that if you were wealthy, in good health or otherwise blessed, it was because God was showing that he was pleased with you. [Wilkerson]
Likewise today, there is an erroneous doctrine that says if you are in agreement with God you will never suffer; just call out to God and he will come running and solve everything immediately. But this is not the gospel! The heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 all walked in close relationship of faith with God
and they suffered stonings, mockings, torture and violent deaths (vv. 36–38).[Wilkerson]
Having established a regular quiet time with our Lord where we turn our heart to the Lord being sensitive to His Presence, stilling our soul before Him, we have begun to touch on the true inward relationship with our Lord. No longer is our Lord Jesus knocking on the outside of the door of our hearts [Revelation 3:20], but we begin to have a true inward relationship with Him. Reading many Christian books, attending Bible School, and a myriad of other religious things will keep our Lord on the outside of the door of our hearts. Only if we follow this path will you truly allow Him to come in.
But the natural man( soulish: mind, will and emotions) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual ... 1 Corinthians 2:14-15a
Spirit, Soul and Body
We are tripartite beings - spirit, soul (mind, will, emotions) and body. When we are born again, our spirit which was dead, becomes alive. The Lord comes to dwell in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Alive means two things. Firstly, He draws us unto Himself. Secondly, He teaches us to turn our hearts (from sin) to Him and to keep our souls still, composed and at peace before Him. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. Psalm 23: 2-3a
When you are turned toward God, you find it easy to return there again and again. The longer you continue to turn your heart to the Lord, the nearer you are drawn to Him and the more firmly you adhere to Him. Consequently, you are further removed from your outward man or natural man which is often contrary to God. [Guyon]
Now, even this turning our heart to the Lord is easy, natural and without effort. Truly, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. This is because He draws us! There is little that we need to do. We simply cooperate with His work of grace. We keep our hearts before Him in peace. Only idols, weights, legalism and other things - wrong theology and dead works under the guise of church works - can hinder this inner relationship with our Lord Jesus. We need to keep ourselves free from these things.
It is like dropping a stone. Gravity draws it to the centre of the earth. Only if we hinder it will it not reach the ground. So, too, after we are born again, the Lord dwells in us through the Holy Spirit, and He draws us to Himself through His Presence. Quite naturally, responding to His drawing, we turn our hearts toward Him and will know and experience the depths of Jesus Christ if we do not hinder His work of grace in our hearts.
The more tranquil the soul remains, the quicker we are drawn into experiencing the depths of our Lord Jesus. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit also increases the intensity of the drawing and it is very active as the Holy Spirit's chief purpose is to draw us to Jesus. The drawing is also more intense when we withdraw to the inner fortress, retreating to the Presence of God.
There is a tranquillity and stillness in His Presence. When we find that there is turmoil and agitation in our soul, we simply turn back to Him and withdraw to the inner fortress where tranquillity and peace returns to us. The longer we turn to Him, the more established we become in Him and simply need to keep our hearts in His love like a rudder of a ship - abiding in Him.
Now, when your emotions and feelings ( soul) are turbulent with anxiety and anger, then be assured that a general retreat to the Presence of God deadens these turbulent emotions. If you try any other way of opposing these emotions and feelings, you will succeed only in stirring them up - not stilling them [Guyon].
Not only our emotions and feelings can be a raging storm that needs to be stilled, but also we can show much emotion and enthusiasm in being on fire for the things of God and radical for Jesus or sold out for Jesus. Peter was such a person. Impulsive in his youth. Such a person needs to learn to restrain his enthusiasm and let these emotions fade, calming the storm. Little by little, we move from being soulish to becoming spiritual - the place where we are constrained by His love alone in our hearts, our souls composed in peace before Him and truly an inward fire burns and warms our hearts.
An outward walk is one where the soul predominates. The mind, the will and the emotions. Often there is a mixture here - both effort of the soul and the grace of God. It is some of self, some of God. However, an inward walk is one where the soul is calm and tranquil and one becomes inward not by turning inward, but by turning our hearts to the Lord and remaining before Him. It is none of self and all of God.
This calmness of soul does not imply that the soul is dull, dead or inactive as in Eastern meditation. On the contrary, the soul can be very active yet utterly still. This is because we learn to move only when the Lord moves us. When we do things ourselves - activity of the soul not coming from the Lord - there is always anxiety and striving present making it easy to discern between what is soulish and spiritual.
Here the soul does not cease from all action. Its action is simply in perfect concert with the Holy Spirit. When the soul is responding to the Holy Spirit, the action is free, easy, spontaneous, peacefuland natural. It will seem that you are putting forth almost no effort at all. [Guyon]
When a Christian has arrived at a place where there is calmness and turbulent emotions have been stilled; seasons of dryness no longer disturbs us, we may falsely conclude that our natural man has died - we have died to self. To a certain extent there has been a death of surface emotions, but this is a long way from the death of our self life which occurs during the middle stage of the journey.
We learn to be more like Apostle John. A delicate spirit. Loyal. Stable. Inward. Peter (in his youth) was full of zeal, strongly motivated, ambitious and more outward. His disposition was changed by the Lord over the years. We see in Peter the soul predominating, whereas John was spiritual. If we follow what has been taught so far, we will become more like John and not like Peter in his youth.
If we really struggle to have calmness and find that we easily become a raging storm when certain buttons are pushed, we may have roots and should consider the need for deliverance. Also if we find that we are living in the past and are struggling to leave the past at the cross and to truly surrender to the Lord, living in the present moment, we may, too, have roots which can be the hiding place for demons.
Deliverance should only be sought if we are really struggling spiritually. Let us not fall into the trap of seeing demons behind every bush. It also takes some time before we learn to overcome the old nature and learn to live in perpetual peace of soul.
Sometimes an UNUSUAL SERENITY and PEACEFULNESS will gradually spread over your soul, an awareness of the tangible Presence of Jesus and His embrace fills your being.This is His drawing us into the Holy of holies. This occurs more frequently as we progress into the journey and learn to live more and more in the 'tent'.
So far, we have looked at the importance of surrender which transforms the will. Surrender also brings calmness to the emotions. Let us now consider the third component of our soul - the mind. We are to learn not to walk according to our intellect but rather to follow the Lord with blind surrender - a blindness to the soul - illuminated mostly in a general way through His Presence.
Many today possess a faith which combines the strength of the intellect with illumination. They walk by a distinct light. A sure step. They know where they are going. However, this is not so for one who walks by blind surrender. These do not have a clear view of the road ahead. They walk more by the Providence of God and the inward witness of His Presence, surrendering the future in His hands. Even His signposts (visions, dreams, rhema, gifts of the Holy Spirit) are left in His hands, trusting solely in the guidance of His Providence.
This blind faith is more sure and gives one a surer step than a faith with is mostly of the intellect. The faith which is prevalent today is often very different from the blind faith which is being introduced here. The gifts of the Spirit and revelation become less distinct as we become deeper in our relationship with our Lord. There is a place in God where we almost cannot tell if the gifts of the Spirit are from us or from the Lord - the place where we become one with our Lord.
Our plans, our dreams, our visions, our ambitions are left at the cross when we are first born again. We allow the Lord to gradually unfold and unveil His plan, His dream and His vision for our lives - His destiny which was predestined for us before the stars were created. However, the way ahead is often a blind (yet sure) road.. a few signposts... we still walk by the Providence of God and the inward witness of His Presence.
True Christianity is of the heart. There is a pseudo-Christianity prevalent today where an alternative perspective of life is painted out using the Word wrongly. These Christians honour the Lord with their lips only and revel in being Word people. However, their heart is often far from Him. Classical Christianity restores the true heart relationship with our Lord and, once experienced, this relationship with our Lord fully satisfies us.
Jesus once said: These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honour Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me... Matthew 15: 8 -9a. Let us be those who know what is truly means to draw near to Him with our hearts, being sensitive to His Presence.
As we come to the close of beginning stage of the classical Christian journey, we have learned the importance of turning our hearts to the Lord, the surrender of our wills and an inner peace and silence which comes as our self life begins to die. We have also begun to experience the Presence of God and have learnt to walk by the inward touch of His anointing as we turn to Him.
The turning becomes more inward and more effortless as we move on in the journey. We move from a more outward and sometimes even awkward turning in the beginning to learning to stay before Him constantly, abiding in Him. Deeper and less perceptible. We keep our hearts like a rudder in His love. It is very much like a boat leaving the shore. Initially, there is rowing with effort. Later, the sails are raised and the wind moves the boat effortlessly into the sea. Here, we only need to keep our hearts, like a rudder, in His Presence and His love.
While there is activity taking place in our heart (turning within), there comes an increasing inward rest and inward peace as our self life - the self life of the soul dies and we learn to be moved only by the Presence of our Lord. In the beginning, there is agitation and restlessness. As we allow Him to take us through the middle stage to the end stage of the journey, the inward peace deepens and all the agitation and restlessness which comes from the self life of the soul dies. It is like a sea of infinite depth. We keep falling and sink deeper and deeper into His love and His rest.
The natural man operates by the self life of soul alone. There is no activity of his spirit - no turning within to the Lord. The carnal man is in the beginning stage of the journey and has a mixture between the self activity of his soul and his spirit. The spiritual man operates by the life of Jesus only. Even in the dark night of the soul, there is activity of his spirit. There is a turning to Jesus although the Presence of God seems distant. On the other hand, the zombie of Eastern meditation who "empties his mind" has no activity in either his soul or spirit; instead, there is a deadness - a vacuum, a black hole.
Agitation and restlessness vanishes as the self-life of the soul dies through surrender. Surrender is main focus of the middle stage of the classical Christian journey. It brings about the death of the self-life. Notice that the fullness of surrender comes in the middle stage only after we have learned to turn our hearts to the Lord, experience His Presence and to abide in Him for some time. Death of the self-life of the soul comes after the life of the spirit has first been established. Little by little, we die more fully to the self-life of the soul and the life of God becomes ever increasingly deeper and more established in our spirits. In the end stage, the life of God becomes the life of our soul too.
We have come to something which is delightful. Tasted the genuine Presence of the Lord. We feel as if we are in paradise. We have found within our Lord something which is sweeter than all the pleasures of this world. Drunk the true wine of God. Reading a verse fully satisfies us; reading a chapter would take us a week to complete. Outward prayer begins to become distasteful. However, our relationship with our Lord is rather fragile. We fear that this relationship can be broken very easily. The "Great Death"lies ahead in the middle stage, which strengthens, establishes and settles this relationship with our Lord.
As we experience "The Great Death"there will be times of rest when the wine of God is once again drunk. During those times we can truly believe that our time of suffering has ended.
The Presence of God causes us to forget the past suffering too. There will be a recovery, but it will not last for a long time. Guyon said, " Thou, O Lord, with less pity, take life from us A THOUSAND TIMES, and then give it back anew." Kathryn Kuhlman also spoke of dying a thousand deaths. The middle stage is the longest stage and we eventually come forth as gold refined in the fire.
MIDDLE STAGE OF THE CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION
The first major sign of entering into the middle stage of classical Christianity is when you find it increasingly difficult to offer up prayers of petition. We come to a place where we really struggle to ask or request things in prayer. Outward things seem to become distasteful to us. They no longer satisfy us. We struggle to actively do things ourselves - even to meditate on the Word ourselves. We slowly come to a place of naked faith in Jesus alone, stripped of all things!
Yes, it is true that in the past you offered up petitions and requests with complete ease. Until now, praying this way was never difficult. But in this new level of relationship with your Lord, it is the Holy Spirit who prays! Romans 8:26. [Guyon] The truth of this verse applies to all of prayer and not only to the prayer of intercession.
There is your will; there is God's will. There is your plan; there is God's plan. There is your prayer; there is His prayer. In order for God to have that which is found in His prayer, then you, the one praying, must give up your attachment to everything. This means that you must live a life in which there is nothing you want! Be attached to nothing, no matter how good it is or appears to be. [Guyon]
These signs will not come to you because of dryness or because of natural inclinations. Rather it is something that the Lord initiates sovereignly in your life from deep within your spirit. You may also encounter a growing knowledge of your own self nature and of hidden sin coming to light and an insight into the deeper nature of God and His holiness. What you long for here is something that only the Lord can give you. You will not fully know the inward life that I speak of until you know what it means for your own will to be conformed to that of the will of the Father.[Molinos]
You will also struggle with outward praise in church! Actually you may struggle with a lot of things in most churches today! You may think that you have backslidden. You may be told that you are backslidden! On the contrary, the Lord is taking you to another level - the middle stage of classical Christianity. You are beginning to grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus. Here all movements of the self in the soul become increasingly distasteful to you. You seek something deeper and more authentic.
You may feel like a failure, that you are wasting your time and that there is no spiritual progress taking place. Confusion can follow. You feel like this because you are putting away doing religious things that you did in the past and it feels like you are doing nothing and that no progress in being made. You are now not learning more from commentaries concerning the Scriptures nor doing more outward works such as reaching out to the lost. Instead you simply stay before your Lord in simple childlike faith in His Presence. Do not allow anyone - even someone older in the Lord - to persuade you against or to turn from following this path as it is the way to experience the depths of your Lord Jesus.
You may also find that that the reading of books becomes wearisome. In the beginning, you had a insatiable appetite for Christian books. You hungered for knowledge. However, this knowledge begins to become empty. You rather desire to know Jesus, and are not satisfied to merely know about the things of God.
You will also find a hollowness - an emptiness - in much of what is taught today such as success and prosperity preaching, positive and self-esteem teaching, the "blessing" gospel, an emphasis on causes and taking the Bible as merely a book of promises. Actually you will find an emptiness in almost all that is coming forth from the church today as no one in this generation has really grasped and taken hold of the deeper things of God. All is wind and chaff. No substance.
Here we, like the Shulamite, experience the truth of Song of Solomon 3: 1-5. It is here that we often pass the watchmen of the city and say as she said, Scarcely had I passed by them (watchmen or leaders), when I found the one (Jesus) I love. Many leaders would encourage you to take the wrong path at this point. They would often say that the problem lies with us. Let us rather submit to Lord's way and allow Him to strip us of all our church works here. Later in the end stage of classical Christianity, some of these works will be restored. Others will just fall away.
Many saints in the past such as Jeanne Guyon and Michael Molinos were persecuted and even imprisoned by the church because such teaching was threatening to many within the church. Today it is no different! Persecution may simply take on a different robe. Many in the church do not comprehend the deeper things of God. To our astonishment, they often respond in a similar manner to the way Nicodemus responded to Jesus!
It is common for new believer to suffer persecution in one form or another from unbelievers. However, those who allow the Lord to take them beyond the beginning stage also are persecuted by believers who are content to live ordinary lives (worldly Christians - Living Laodicea) and even more so from religious people who do not have a true inner relationship with Jesus (modern-day Pharisees). The religious persecute as a matter of duty! The most violent attacks come from the religious who have a false devotion to God. There is a foul character within these people, a wickedness and hypocrisy. The inward believer recognizes this, and in some way this recognition provokes hostility from those who oppose the deeper inward relationship to the Lord. It seems almost like a conflict between angels and devils. [Guyon]
MOST Christians have not even allowed the first work to be done; to die to self. Most are living in the OUTER COURT. Old Testament saints lived in the OUTER COURT. [HEB 9:8 The WAY into THE HOLY OF HOLIES was NOT YET MADE MANIFEST]. In the New Testament, all Christians should be living in the tabernacle ('tent') and should not be found in the OUTER COURT at all. A key foundational truth for those leading the saints of God: Begin in the HOLY PLACE; and not in the OUTER COURT.( "The Great Death"- 'shutting the door' is needed to fully accomplish this)
God desires that you and I live in the realm of the HOLY PLACE and the HOLY OF HOLIES. God said, I will dwell among them. I will come and make My habitation among them. I will tabernacle among them. This God desires our fellowship. He does not desire the fellowship of angels. He loves us. Our relationship is what we have to pursue with Him. Relationship is much more important than our needs.
As we mature and grow deeper in Christ [realm of the HOLY PLACE and HOLY OF HOLIES], we have a deeper revelation of His Sovereignty and there is much less of us (our effort) and more of His working. As a co-labourer with God your part becomes smaller and smaller; His working becomes more and more. All of God. None of self.
Furniture in the OUTER COURT was made of BRONZE; whereas furniture in the TABERNACLE ('tent') was constructed of PURE GOLD. Brass (also bronze) and gold look similar. Only close inspection and the correct light will reveal the difference.
Some time ago, the Lord spoke to a well-known teacher and said, "In the Charismatic move, Christians have brought the brass of the world into the temple of the Lord as a substitute for pure gold. What they have is a mixture; it is not pure. Therefore, I can only bless My people so far, because they have substituted brass for gold."
The foundation text for the middle stage is Revelation 3: 18. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
The stripping of the middle stage of classical Christianity is a sovereign work of God. Let us not be found trying to do this ourselves! This would make us religious and very hard or leave us extremely confused. The stripping goes much deeper that merely that of works. The end result is to be left poor in spirit, dependent only on the Lord.
Faith without works is dead. However, dead faith also can also be accompanied by works - dead works! Much - almost all - of the faith taught today is dead faith. Living faith- which this rock-solid classical Christian foundation establishes - comes as we allow the Lord to first strip us of all our works in the middle stage. True works of God eventually spring up later in the journey which are all of God!
Do not seek to strip your soul of ALL THINGS except the Lord. That must be left to God alone to do. To try to do so yourself is dangerous. But this is a lesson quite difficult to learn. The Lord will take away from you exactly what He wishes to take. And He will do it in a perfect way. To seek to do this on your own is to spoil the divine work. The person who seeks this on his own gains nothing. This is a bad mistake that speaks of much self-life and much blindness!
The cross increases in weight. The cross is dispensed to you according to your measure. The cross you encounter IS NOT A CROSS WHICH YOU WILL CHOOSE, but a cross which you receive by His SOVEREIGNTY over your life. Hence, the sovereign cross. (Remember: the priests do not light the fire for the Brazen Altar; God lights it from heaven)
Sometimes the cross that the Lord brings in His providence is extreme and violent like the trial that Job endured. Eventually much fruit comes forth and often a powerful ministry is birthed. However, he cannot minister during "The Great Death"as ministry is one of the things that needs to die. This severe trial has astounded many a believer. To see a friend who has lived a seperated and holy life before our Lord Jesus and then see him experience such a trial is often not according to our theology!
The heavy cross may come from many different fronts. Persecution from those in religious authority. Trouble in the home and at work. Health problems, a long-term chronic illness. Financial trouble. Troubles unique to yourself. Other Christians may forsake you, even persecute you. In all these troubles, the heavens seem as brass. The Lord seems distant. You may seem to be unjustly treated - both by man and by God. Pain. Confusion - things do not seem as they are. The temptation is to question God, " Why God? Why me?" It is here that the true test comes. Will you continue to surrender or walk away? Many fall away here. Only a few will quietly and serenely continue to seek Him, resigned to His will. The Promised Land always lies beyond a great wasteland. Promise is only found on the far side of the desert.
It encompasses all things - outward and inward - complete desolation. Desert experience. Wilderness experience. Progress takes many years. It results in NAKED FAITH. At some point PROGRESS IS TAKEN AWAY. ALL THE PROGRESS MADE IS LOST. This is the longest stage. It results in the death of the self life of the soul.
This death will happen IF THE SOUL IS WILLING to consent to be left in such desolation. This is a desolation SO LONG and SO COMPLETE that the soul finally DIES TO SELF. MANY Christians never pass the earliest stages toward the deep union with Jesus Christ. Those who reach this plateau are VERY FEW. Fewer and fewer complete this.
Today God is bypassing men -- not because they are too ignorant, but because they are too self-sufficient. Brethren, our abilities are our handicaps, and our talents our stumbling blocks![Ravinhill] The Lord strips us of all these things in the middle stage of classical Christianity.
Our God is pure. To come to maturity in our Lord, we must first be changed into His image and become pure. Unless, we become like Him, we will not know a deep oneness with Him which is far beyond being born again. Union with God or living in His glory is the goal and end stage of Classical Christianity.
Being born again is our betrothal (much stronger than engagement) according to the Hebrew custom. The fullness of marriage comes later and is characterized by a real oneness - such as Kathryn Kuhlman had. It is ' Who is this coming out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke...? Song of Solomon 3:6-11. To come to this glorious place in God, we first need to be purified as gold is refined in the fire.
Initially gold has impurities. This is our self life (which is not the same as selfishness). There is only one way in which gold can be made pure. By fire. Gold is put in the fire. It melts. Impurities or dross rises to the surface and the refiner skims this dross from the surface. This process is repeated many times until the Refiner can see His reflection in the gold.
Over and over again, the gold must be cast into the furnace until it has lost every trace of pollution. Oh, how many times the gold is plunged back into the fire - far, far more times than seems necessary. You can be sure the Forger sees impurities no one else can see. The gold must return to the fire again and again until positive proof has been established that it can be no further purified [Guyon]. [cf James 1:4]
There comes a time, at last, when the goldsmith can find no more mixture that adulterates the gold. When the fire has perfected purity- or should I say simplicity- the fire no longer touches it. If the gold remained in the furnace for an eon, its spotlessness would not be improved upon nor its substance diminished! [Guyon] Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! [John 1:47] Guile is deceit, falseness, craftiness, subtlety, lies, seduction, treachery, fraud, slander, misleading, trickery or misleading. A childlike faith.
The gold may have marks and chips on the surface. However, this is only on the surface. It is vastly different from imperfections deep within the gold itself. Rare would be the man who would reject a pure golden vessel because it had some external mark on it, preferring some cheap metal only because its surface had been polished. [Guyon] Apostle Paul's thorn in the flesh was such a mark. [2 Corinthians 12:7] God often deliberately leaves such natural defects even in His greatest saints to keep them from pride and to keep them from the praise of men who judge only by outward appearance.
Consider this. Would a refiner ever mix the pure gold which is expensive with the cheap impure (mixture) gold? No he wouldn't. To do so, he would first have to place the cheap impure gold into the fire so that it could first be made pure. Only then could the refiner blend both into one. This brings to the fore the importance of surrender and the middle stage of classical Christianity in bringing about unity in the body of Christ.
The church at Philippi was the first church founded by Apostle Paul in Europe. Paul's surrender in the Philippian jail was a very important truth for the new church. The Lord will move heaven and earth to come to the aid of such a believer. Later, they seemed to forget this truth. He reminded them of this truth in his letter to the Philippians (chapter 2 - the mind of Christ and taking up His cross or surrender). Here we see the importance of surrender in bringing unity amongst the church.
Understanding the Process
There are many layers of self that need to die. A mixture of alternating dry spells and the Presence of God removes these layers of self. Our self-life can be compared to an " ONION" with many layers. Often a severe heavy cross is sovereignly brought into our lives to accelerate this process of removing the layers of our self-life. This is a long process. Remember Moses was in the wilderness for 40 years before He was fully prepared as a vessel to bring the Lord's deliverance to the Israelites.
In the middle stage of classical Christianity the dry periods will become more frequent and much longer. Remember that in our spiritual journey, there are two kinds of spiritual experiences. One of the sweet and delightful Presence of Jesus; the other dry, dark and desolate. The first is used to draw us to Him. The second is to purify us.
Dryness is central to the middle stage. It can be likened to dry wood. Dryness in wood is necessary for it to burn. The fire blackens the wood first before it burns. In the middle stage the self-life is consumed. The brazen altar (cross consumes) is central in the middle stage; the ark of the covenant (Presence of God) in the end stage. Moisture in wood will hinder the burning; wetness will render the wood unfit to be burned. It will blacken, but will not burn.
Not only are these times dry (absence of the manifest Presence of God), but also dark. We can't see much. We can't see what God is doing during these times. There is a veil in our relationship with Him. However, this is a happy darkness, not the heavy darkness of sin. This is the dark night of faith; blind faith. In the end stage, illumination comes back into our faith and we become settled in a more living (the Presence of God gives life) faith.
Much fruit comes forth later on (appears desolate during these times) in our lives if we learn to persevere during these dry periods. A dependence on outward circumstances - 'prosperity or blessing implies God is pleased with me' thinking - goes. The world and the desires of your past life lose their strength little by little. The inward witness of the Holy Spirit becomes clearer and more real little by little. Your attachment to a pleasure will be broken here. Our will slowly becomes conformed to His will as we learn to surrender to Him.
It is here that we break free from our attachment to people, from earthly things, from the very gifts of the Holy Spirit and from self. Only once we break free of these things - and this comes from persevering during dry periods - will be truly become lost in God. Later (in the end stage of the journey), the gifts will be restored in a less distinct manner; however, we will not be attached to them or centered on them.
Why do so many believers hinder the Lord's deeper work within their lives? It is because they wish to achieve something , because they have a desire to be great. For this reason you will find many believers attaching themselves to the gifts of the Spirit so that they may come out from that central portion of their being where they themselves are nothing; thus the whole work of the Lord in their lives is spoiled. They do not seek the Lord; therefore, they will not find Him. We find Him only where He is all and where we are nothing. [Molinos]
It is here that we truly discover the baseness of our own nature. Pride, desires, our reputation, our own values, personal judgments and opinions all die little by little. We begin to have balance and stability in our lives as we discover both the greatness of our Lord and the extent of our baseness and fallen nature which dies little by little during the middle stage of the journey. Impurities pressed out by any other means are not removed, only hidden . The very discovery of these hidden things as they come to the surface is a purifying experience [Guyon].
We can be likened to a dirty sponge . Simply washing the sponge will not remove all the dirt. It needs to be squeezed to remove the dirt. This is what the Lord does to the believer to bring to the surface the most hidden things in our lives. The believer sometimes mistakenly thinks he is discovering new sin in his life. However, what is being discovered has been there all along. It is only discovered here and seen as it comes to the surface, so that it can be removed.
Outwardly, like the Shulamite darkened by the sun, we become black as hidden things rise to the surface of our lives. This surface darkness is seen by the world and it is here where we lose our reputation as a godly Christian during the middle stage of classical Christianity.
It is here that we begin to understand the extent to which self has come into Christian doctrine as widely taught today. It is here that we become truly Christ-centered in all things and understand the importance of the 'doctrine of Christ'which is more than a mere acknowledgment of His deity, virgin birth, etc. but of knowing Him truly through classical Christianity. The foundational doctrines have been restored to the church since the Reformation; the final capstone in the closing of the day of grace being the 'doctrine of Christ' bringing with it showers of His glory.
True liberty comes as we become chained to our Lord Jesus. The book of Galatians teaches us to avoid both legalism and license or unbridled desire (licentiousness) which brings us into bondage. This yoke of being chained to our Lord Jesus is the substance of Classical Christianity. Learning to surrender- and understanding the depth of surrender - is His yoke which truly frees us. Jesus said, ' Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me'.
If we are not established in surrender as described in this foundation, we will tend to depart to either legalism or license. It may be a departure to a form of gospel which is mainly based on 'principles' from the Word of God as often found in the Prosperity/Word-Faith camps, a form of legalism or even a wild charismatic freedom which is a form of license. Surrender keeps us yoked to our Lord allowing the Holy Spirit to be the Restrainer in our lives, keeping us from extremes and even error.
Today much of that coming from the church is shaky. Many in the Charismatic movement followed the Toronto Movement and then the Prophetic Movement and even Lakeland. Much opposition. Even the late John Wimber distanced himself from this movement which had its beginnings with Rodney Howard-Browne. However, God had another plan. Instead of taking this path, He called a remnant out from the church into the wilderness for a few decades. From the wilderness, He is bringing forth His end-time truth - that which is pure (no mixture) and which will be received by all who are truly seeking Him.
The dry spells can be compared to winter. The seasons when we bask in His glory and His Presence is near can be likened to summer. Alternating seasons. Summer and winter. The contrast of the seasons is emphasised in the beginning of the journey. Eventually, having passed through the middle stage of classical Christianity, it seems as if the remaining three seasons are rolled into one. One season throughout the year! And no more winter!
In devotion that is true there is not a particularly great delight, nor are there many tears. A devotion to the Lord which is based on the outward senses, the rational, the emotional, (how you feel, what you think, your logical conclusions, outward circumstances, blessings - "the blessing", an onslaught of problems, confusion, doubt, poverty, poor health, wealth, good friends, an abundance of enemies, etc.) really should not be pursued at all. [Molinos]
Let other believers glory in the riches, dignity, delights, and honours that some circles afford the successful believer. But to us there is no higher honour than to be denied, to be despised and to be crucified with Christ. There are not many who are willing to be denied for Christ and embrace His cross with love. Many do launch out into the inward way. But, be sure, only a few come to the end of its path. This is because there are few who embrace the cross... that is, few who embrace it with patience, constancy, peace and resignation. Furthermore, many teach these things, but very few practice them. [Molinos]
But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ[Galatians 6:14] ... If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. [Matthew 16:24] ... There are many willing to bear the cross; almost none ... the infamy. [Jeanne Guyon]
Andrew, the apostle, said, “I would not have preached the honour and glory of the cross if I feared the death of the cross.”Andrew, going towards the place of execution and seeing the cross waiting for him, said, “O cross, most welcome and longed for! With a willing mind, joyfully and desirously, I come to you, being a scholar of Him who did hang on you, because I have always been your lover and yearned to embrace you.”
Initially the cross is more on the surface - very important, take great delight in - for quite some time in the believer's journey. The desire for the cross can be rather strong. Later it becomes deeper and more hidden. It becomes the almost unconscious principle of your soul. All your hidden thoughts and innermost actions are under the cross's work. Transformation takes place from internal to external.
Taking up His cross implies that he sees God in ALL of his circumstances. In other words, he sees that the cross comes from the hand of the Lord; and not from the hand of man nor circumstances. Each moment - no matter what it holds - is from His hand. The sacrament of the present moment. The realm of eternity. The God who IS.
A Christian who has progressed this far no longer speaks much of visions, prophecies and revelations. This is more the realm of the Prophetic Movement today, always seeking the word of the Lord. The Christian who has known the cross fully and understands what it means that the cross has become Christ* does not speak much of visions, prophecies and revelations.
*The cross will work the work of God in you. But now the work of God will bring the cross to you, and the cross will bring the Lord Himself to you [Guyon].
He has a pure and simple childlike faith. He sees Jesus and Him alone. He also sees everything differently ... as through the eyes of God! He appears ordinary to a casual observer; but under closer inspection he is very different from other mortals. He is just like the shoe-leather exterior of the tent; but has treasures within.
A young believer swings from one extreme to another in his spiritual experience. Has many high places and many low places. Yo-yo. Sometimes he is an absolute wonder in his progress; at other times he is very weak. When in a low place, he will often fall into discouragement and even self-pity. He has no deep peace or calm in the presence of dry, dark and desolate times. A young believer can be greatly affected by a drought; combats anything that comes his way. He also complains about things that come his way. He does his seeking after God according to his own efforts. Often strong-willed. Has a great capacity to reason.
This extends into all of life. Remember Apostle Paul learned to do all things through Christ who strengthened him. The context was he learned to inwardly receive lack and prosperity equally from the hand of the Lord and learned to live through Christ in both lack and prosperity. Today, if you are a businessman or businesswoman, you need to inwardly receive both the times of lack and prosperity equally from His hand as Apostle Paul learned to do.
Remember that we only dealt with the outer layer of the onion in the beginning of the classical Christian journey - surface emotions and occasional dryness in quiet times. Here one comes to the place where one is no longer affected by surface emotions and periods of dryness. There are still many deeper layers of the onion of self that need to be removed by the Lord.
During times when His Presence is manifest and Jesus draws near to us through His Presence, it is easy for us to overcome. Here we understand His plans and His purposes clearly. However, when a long dry spell comes in the middle stage, we realise that our strength is decreasing. Darkness. Desolation. We are becoming weaker and weaker as the layers of the onion are peeled away and we only notice this weakness in times of dryness. In the beginning stage of our journey, we were strong and served the Lord in strength - our strength. Here we lose our strength. Our self-life dies more and more. Remember that the priests, who served the Lord in the tent or tabernacle, served the Lord in weakness - not strength. The Lord told Apostle Paul, " My strength is made perfect in weakness".
Faults and imperfections come to the surface during these dry spells. New faults and sometimes even old faults from the previous layers of the onion of self appear in our lives. Why? Our strength to resist these things decreases in the same measure as the strength of self-life decreases and dies. That is why sometimes the old faults from the previous layers reappear at times and need to die again.
Much of what is called spiritual warfare today is not spiritual warfare at all. It is done in our strength - not in His strength. In the middle stage of classical Christianity, we become progressively weaker in combat. As the self-life of our soul dies, we become weaker and weaker in combat. The beginning stage was marked by (our) strength; the middle stage is marked by weakness.
Weakness and inability takes complete possession until the Christian says, 'That what I am doing, I do not understand. But what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.'[Romans 7:15] After he is deprived of all past progress - both INWARD progress and OUTWARD progress , the Lord begins to work on the ESSENTIALS.
This desolation takes from us all our outward ways, takes from us the distinct sensing of the realm of the spirit within you, brings to us the awareness of the loss of the sense of the Presence of God and there comes to us a painful awareness of the loss of everything.
Our natural life, as corrupt as it is, will make any excuse and use even the holiest things as a refuge and hiding place. But God, in His mercy, comes to those places, seeking out the will of man. Will we abandon these hiding places? None of us can really know or even imagine how strongly we cling to objects until at last they are taken away from us. That believer who thinks he is attached to nothing is actually bound by a thousand things unknown to himself. [Guyon]
An external cross is a small matter if unaccompanied by a cross which is internal. The inward cross renders much more painful the simultaneous presence of an outward cross. [Guyon]
The believer is delivered over to temptations and trials. You are at a time when you are at your weakest. You experience all kinds of attacks. The manifest Presence of God departs. The dark night of the soul. The last place of refuge is gone. You are stripped of all things that you desperately need in order to deal with a powerful enemy in hard pursuit.
The longer you fight, the weaker you become. Your enemy, on the other hand, is constantly increasing in strength. What can you do? Your response is to run to your inward fortress as fast as possible. However, the keeper has closed the gate! You find yourself in the Outer Court and the door to the 'tent' is shut. The Christian falls into the hands of his powerful enemy: defenseless, in complete despair and utterly given up. Eventually he recognizes his enemy as his best friend!
In other words, you cease to fight yourself, give up and simply faint sinking into the arms of His love. This is surrender. The enemy is allowed by God to do this work. Here we learn to experientially receive the work of the enemy as from the hand of God. Job still had a little fight in him and began to question God just before he came to his point of death. In the beginning of his trial, he received all things from the hand of God; however, at the end there was a little of Job's self life which surfaced and had to die.
Some today are like Job's friends. They say that Job brought the hedge down himself through fear and negative confession. They say this because they struggle to find a place for Job in their theology!
The "SHUTTING OF THE DOOR"of the Holy Place takes place TWICE. The first time is in "The Great Death"when you are SHUT OUT from the ' tent.' The second time occurs in being SHUT IN or sealed in the ' tent' by "The Great Death."
The deeper you become in Him, the more you will find SINGLENESS OF HEART. You will not scatter yourself among a thousand things. You will find that you have lost the ability to accomplish all those multitude of things; lost the ability to be keenly conscious of them. Entirely stripped. Gradually you lose not only EVERYTHING, but you also lose YOURSELF. Your inward desolation has caused you to lose the ability to even be aware of the things of yourself. Stripped of everything - within and without.
You leave the realm of the seen and are introduced to unseen, spiritual realms where you live by faith and are nourished by love. Later you leave that spiritual level and enter into naked faith. Here you are left dead to all spiritual experiences - hearing His voice, experiencing His Presence, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the priority of serving the Lord. It is here that you die to yourself. Having died to self, you pass into God. From this point onwards, one lives from the life of God alone. The unusual serenity of His Presence now becomes CONTINUAL. However, at times, it becomes deeper and more tangible, especially when coming before Him and waiting before Him.
In other words, the door has been shut, and you remain in the 'tent'; in the light of the Menorah continually. Sometimes, He draws you sovereignly into the Holy of Holies. No longer do we move in and out the tent; but rather we stay continually within the tent and move in and out of the Holy of Holies according to His good pleasure. This transition occurs as we leave the middle stage and enter the end stage of the classical Christian foundation.
MOST Christians have not even allowed the first work to be done; to die to self. Most are living in the outer court. Walk mainly in outer court. His labour is on the outside. He is not engaged in an inward walk. Those of GREAT REASONING AND UNDERSTANDING seem to be unable to maintain EVEN A MOMENT OF SILENCEbefore God. Such a Christian is one of many words, knows how to pray, knows all the kinds of prayer, can speak and minister on all spiritual subjects and seems to be pleased with himself that he can do all these things. And yet, many years later, that person will be in the same place in his spiritual life that he is today.
There are also those who labour for Him yet are DRY and ARID. Some can appear to be passionately in love with the Lord and YET KNOWS LITTLE OF HIM! They feel a sense of loving Him but never become intimately acquainted with the object of their love. They have touched on the INWARD walk. This type of Christian makes a great deal of progress toward the Lord. He seems to have a wonderful relationship with Him and be in complete agreement with His will. And yet there seems to be something within THAT IS NEVER TRULY DEALT WITH, NEVER ANNIHILATED. They have not passed through " The Great Death." There are visions, revelations. Often they hear the voice of the Lord.
This believer has temptation, yet the temptation is repelled with vigour. The cross is borne with STRENGTH. Such a Christian even wishes there would be more of the cross! Centred in gifts; not the Giver. Resting in his gifts; pondering his gifts; appropriating them to himself. Vanity. Often the ruin of one's inner spiritual life.
This Christian is very STRONG in God. And he sometimes cannot understand the weaknesses of others. A person of this disposition often expects a high degree of PERFECTION from others and cannot lead a believer in the way of "little by little." Seem to be very advanced in spiritual attainment. The talk is there - cross, death, love. Experienced these in a measure. A large number of Christians who have been admired throughout the ages are those who have walked in the Lord in this way. However, often heavy laden and slow. Need to go beyond the gifts of the Holy Spirit, hearing His voice. This takes them from operating in the realm of the Outer Court and Holy Placeto that of the Holy of holies . Often gifts fall apart in " The Great Death." A miracle of providence or teaching is needed here.
END STAGE OF THE CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION
Resurrection stage. When DEATH has COMPLETED ITS WORK, the most terrible conditions or circumstances that could ever exist can cause no further trouble. We recognize death by the signs of death which are the inability to have any care or any thought of self and a permanent indifference (remaining in that state of indifference forever and that without making the slightest protest). On the other hand, signs of self-life is having a will that is FOR something or AGAINST something. (born again NOT of the will of man NOR of the will of the flesh - John 1:13)
It is here where we understand 2 Peter 1:20-21: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
One of the first things a believer must learn is to be quiet before Godand to remain before Him- coming without any request or even any personal will in any matter. If the believer remains before the Lord without will, he becomes like soft wax, a perfectly manageable instrument in the hands of God. [Guyon]
To a soul touched by death, there are no such things as personal opinions and personal judgments. All things are alike and the same to him. The soul touched by death remains dead, no matter what is present before it. Death is an insensitive state, insensitive to everything that concerns itself. Let God reduce that soul to any extremity; and the soul knows no distaste.
Death is slow throughout our lives. We move between life and death throughout our lives. However, after experiencing " The Great Death", there is a tendency toward death being a settled and established experience. Kathryn Kuhlman also spoke of a day of which she could say " I died".
Pride has no place in one who has died to self-life. Death is a lower place than being humble as a dead man has nothing to be proud about. The rock-solid classical Christian foundation is also the safest way for a believer as it is the royal way of the cross which is contrary to the way of a proud man. Intrinsically it keeps us from pride and we become poor in spirit, dependent on the Lord. Truly, in this way, the beatitudes become part of our nature.
Winter has past. The leaves became brown, fell off and died. Trees became stripped and bare. Outwardly desolate, yet still has life deep within its roots. However, the end stage can be likened to a desert blooming. Hope returns. Life coming forth out of dry ground. Just as God has miraculously turned the desert of Palestine into a garden of eden, so too, new life comes forth from the wilderness in the end stage of classical Christianity.
To that believer who has reached God, there is no longer any winter. There is a season composed of the other three seasons joined together as one. Having reached an inner-winter the soul passes through all the seasons of the spiritual life. Afterwards it re-enters into a perpetual season that is a spring, a summer, and an autumn combined. Oh happy land. Happy are they who are enabled to possess you. [Guyon]
The desire to lay aside outward prayer was one of the major signs to entering the middle stage of the classical Christian foundation. Actually throughout the history of the church it is commonly known that one cannot plummet the depths of knowing our Lord Jesus by this outward prayer. Eventually, the ability to pray is taken away. He cannot even set aside times for prayer. It seems as if he has lost every kind of devotion to the Lord. Only naked faith remains. However, in the end stage, prayer is restored with resurrection life; it comes with a new pure and refined anointing and ease. It is always pure and done in God or in the Spirit. Its end is that the believer may be more and more lost in God.
In the end stage, there comes a complete silence of the soul. Remember all the 'noise' came from the self-life which has died. The monster of self was slain at the end of the middle stage. It is by silence that the believer lives in God and by God. It is by silence of soul that he communicates with God. Silence becomes the chief way of receiving from the Lord. It is through silence that revelation comes. In the earlier stages, visions, His voice, gifts were important means of communicating and receiving from the Lord. Here communication with God is mainly through silence!
When a Christian is still dwelling among the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he has distinct- but only momentary- illuminations. The more advanced the believer becomes, the less definite will be his illuminations. If a believer reaches the level described here, he will only have a general illumination. That illumination is of God Himself, nothing more. He will not have any specific illuminations. But out of this very general light, which is God Himself, he will draw whatever he needs. [Guyon]
Lost in God. Touching the realm of eternity. Time stands still. The fullness of the SACRAMENT OF THE PRESENT MOMENT. Who IS, who was and who is to come[Revelation 1:8]. This occurs often in the end stage. The Lord often sovereignly calls you into the inner chambers - the Holy of holies. The major sign of this is : an UNUSUAL SERENITY and PEACEFULNESS will gradually spread over your soul; an awareness of the tangible Presence of Jesus and His embrace fills your being and your place [Song of Solomon 2: 6-7]. Here the things of the earth truly become strangely dim in the light of His glory and His grace.
Here the Lord not only reveals the fullness of His name The Great I Am, but also that He is Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There (or Present).The believer no longer lives in the Outer Court at all, but only in the "tent", walking in the light of the Menorah which symbolises the Presence of God.
Molinos teaches saying that there are 5 signs of the inner man. Firstly, the thoughts and will is so trained that they engage in no act of love other than that which is toward God or pertaining to God and His purpose. Secondly, when outward tasks are completed, the thoughts and will of the believer are quickly turned toward God. Thirdly, when the believer enters into prayer all other things are forgotten as if they had never been seen or known. Fourthly, whereas the believer once feared the world, now he even fears the outward things of his own nature to the same degree. Fifthly, a believer who abides within the innermost portion of his being lives in unbroken peace. There may be storms without, but there in an infinite distance between that inner peace and the external tempest. The storm rages without; but has no power within.
This experience can be compared to living at the bottom of the ocean where, during the turbulent storms, only the surface of the ocean experiences the stormy weather. Deep below it is tranquil. The outward senses may suffer pain, but the deepest parts of the spirit dwell in undisturbed rest. ... A person falling into a bottomless sea could fall forever only to discover deeper and more beautiful treasures. So it is with one's plunge into God. [Guyon]
In the end stage, He fully reveals Himself to us as the Rose of Sharon. In the beginning, we tasted of His richness, the sweetness of His Presence, the oil which flowed from the Balm of Gilead. Here we experience the fullness of His love.
The Song of Solomon is unveiled to us here. Many of the saints who have lived in this realm - such as Jeanne Guyon, Hudson Taylor - have had deep understanding and have written commentaries on the Song of Solomon. This book seems to have a special place for those who have come this far in the journey. The glory of God seems to settle very heavily on these pages of Scripture. One of the many treasures which the Lord has in store for those who love Him and progress to the end stage of classical Christianity, a place where there are no more stages or levels... just a state of glory... into which we sink deeper and deeper unto eternity in the arms of His love.
The " PLEDGE OF ASSURANCE" of Divine Union, Divine Marriage. It is so real that the believer can no longer have any doubt of it. This union is: so spiritual, so refined, so intimate, so much in the Presence of Jesus that it is equally impossible to either IMAGINE this union or DOUBT it! Remember, imagination is of the soul. The whole way of life is FAR from ANY IMAGINATION. Such a believer is not even imaginative. Hence he is perfectly protected from being deceived by illusions. Everything is FAR DEEPER than the soul - the spirit.
The love of God is fully manifested here. It is beyond all our understanding. Continual. Some believers the Lord pursues without any breaks. In the earlier stages, He visited us. Here we habitually and continually dwell in His love. Enveloped in His Presence and His love. This love - the love of God - is far removed from emotions or the natural man.
In the natural, marriage can be likened to the merging of two metals into an alloy. However, the metals have different properties so there is no true oneness. However, there isa true oneness between our Lord, our Bridegroom, and us, His bride.
This transformation can be likened to a drop of water falling into a cup of wine. Here there is a true oneness. Notice that it takes place without the believer losing his DISTINCT, INDIVIDUAL EXISTENCE. In other words, it differs from Eastern Meditation. Is this not what Jesus prayed for in John 17: 22-23a. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one. Paul spoke of it in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
He will live in God without interruption, just as a fish lives in the sea and is never out of the sea for even a moment. He has inexpressible happiness (may occur in the midst of suffering for the benefit of others). Anxious about NOTHING for He has nothing to lose (as he has died to self) and has already experienced the worst in " The Great Death." He will become so simplethat he will live perpetually WITHOUT A THOUGHT FOR HIMSELF and surprisingly WITHOUT A THOUGHT FOR OTHERS. He will have one purpose: to do the will of God.
The soul becomes like the spirit. The Lord has transformed the soul into His image. Here the soul is no longer able to separate itself from God. Therefore it seems that EVERYTHING NOW IS GOD. The soul is under the INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. This is such a natural thing that the believer will not be able to tell whether his own will is doing the will of God or that the will of God is becoming the will of the believer.
In Malachi 3:2, we see two methods of transformation mentioned. Firstly, there is SOAP which represents meditating on the Word in His Presence. Secondly, there is the REFINER'S FIRE which symbolises the cross. Soap is effective for removing surface defects. However, the cross - surrender and " The Great Death" - is needed for a deep inward transformation.
Today, only the first method is taught. The second method - taking up His cross- is larg ely ignored or misunderstood. It is simply absent from preaching. This is a serious flaw of the modern church as it results in Philistines being present in the church. Transformation is very important. This is why surrender and " The Great Death" is so important. Today, Christians are mostly living in the Outer Courtand are Philistines in nature. Philistines have the nature of the world - cynicism, outward, talkative, etc. Transformation will conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. Christ like is a childlike faith: pure, simple, abiding, discerning, peaceful and anointed.
He moves from FAITH to CLARITY. In " The Great Death" there was 'dark', desolate and 'blind' faith. Here there is 'living faith.'The soul is neither 'passive', 'barren,' nor 'unfruitful'. It is now infused with the activity of God. Illuminated. Simple and natural. Clarity. Certainty. There is a change - transformation - from painful to that which is pleasant. Life comes. Here the believer has truly been transformed into Him. Changed from something that is in us into something that is in Him or in Christ.
I realize it is true that all Christians have faith, and those who practice an objective and outward prayer also fit this illustration. But the faith of those who journey by the inward way is very different . Their's is a living faith. It is without images. It is effectual and enlightened... to the extent - that is - the Holy Spirit enlightens the spirit within us. And a man's spirit is stronger when his mind has been collected toward his God. [Molinos]
After coming into the genuine experience of abiding in His Presence, you will discover that no fault or sin escapes the reproof of God. The Lord will become more and more the constant examiner of your soul. It will not be you examining yourself, nor will it be seasonal. It will be the Lord continually. As soon as you commit a sin, you are immediately rebuked by an inward sense. A deep inward burning or confusion.
SELF-EXAMINATION: You only allow His light to shine upon you and expose any fault. There is no "self-examination" here. REPENTANCE: Repentance is followed by a restoration. The sweetness of His Presence manifests. You will be amazed how difficult it is to remember your sins. Forgetting your sins is proof of your having been cleansed from them. This is the truth of " God will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea" [Micah 7:9].
Many of the saints He covers with an outer covering that looks VERY ORDINARY(like the SHOE-LEATHER covered 'tent') and VERY COMMON. Usually they are kept hiddenby the Lord from the curious gaze of the unappreciative world. Here the cross comes mainly from immature believers. Often mistaken for being very ordinary. This is where he receives within himself all the experience of Jesus Christ. It is here where he is clothed not only with His disposition and His inclinations, but also with His sufferings. This brings him to more fully understand the cost of redemption, the humiliation that He suffered and also how He births His children.
Does the cross remain in the end stage of the journey? Once we have died to self and have said as Kathryn Kuhlman said, 'I know the day, the hour, I know the place where Kathryn Kuhlman died', does the cross lift? The cross in this realm often changes and is mainly from YOUNG, IMMATURE CHRISTIANS. Remember to correct them in a general way. They often see the mature believer as ORDINARY. Remember the shoe-leather outer covering of the tent. They see it in the light of the outside sun. This brings the cross to the mature believer.
Example of Apostle Paul
Apostle Paul often appeared weak and unimpressive. Despised by some! Why? His self-life had died. However, the Corinthians were still in the beginning stage of the journey and were strong in their own efforts... Some even questioned Paul's apostleship because although his letters were weighty and powerful, his bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible. He did not come as an gifted orator or as a colourful personality. Instead he learned to rely only on the Presence of the Lord and gloried in the cross.
One of apostle Paul's most painful moments (brought the cross to him) came when the he gave a surprise visit to the church of Corinth after it has been hijacked by a super-apostle with the character of someone who was contrary to the classical Christian foundation. The whole church turned against Paul and sided with the false super-apostle. Apostle Paul left Corinth in defeat. Does this not happen today? Many side with those who are contrary to the classical Christian foundation rather than with those who are in the end stage of the journey! Eventually, The church at Corinth came to their senses and repented.
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a DIFFERENT spirit which you have not received, or a DIFFERENT gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it. [2 Corinthians 11: 3-4]
This believer lives only in the 'tent'. Often the Lord draws him into the Holy of holies where he experiences the powers of the age to come. True intercession. In this realm, nothing is done on our part. It is all of Him . Deep revelation and burden felt. No or little conscious praying , etc. You may not be aware that you are interceding as this is far removed from what many call intercession! The Holy Spirit intercedes; all of Him!
There is special Psalm 91 protection as you enter the HOLY OF HOLIES. This protection is angelic protection. As you move into the 'tent', covered by four layers of rug-like coverings, you look upwards to the roof or covering and see embroidered images of angels. In the HOLY OF HOLIES there are also two angels above the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant. MIRACLES and JUDGEMENT accompanied the ARK. ANGELIC VISITATION and PROTECTION occurs in this realm. Unusual - strange - things begin to happen!
Wholeness, Fully satisfied, miraculous provision .No matter what you may need, you can reach out and take it i.e. healing. Anything you want, ask now. She said, whatever you ask in this moment, He will grant it. [Kuhlman] Remember, in this realm your will is actually His will!
The secret place. Satan can't access this realm; secrets: God speaks to us here, often very sublimely. Imparts truth into our being. It can be so sublime that we can even incorrectly assume that this truth is of us.Word of knowledge, word of wisdom [gifts of the Spirit operate in this realm with NO effort from you at all or conscious operation]. The operation of the gifts of the Spirit in the HOLY OF HOLIES is different to the operation of the gifts in the HOLY PLACE. In this realm, you can be completely unaware that the gifts are in operation! You are overshadowed by God in this realm.
UNUSUAL AUTHORITY. Your words are His words in this realm. Holy Spirit's words and the Father's words are one. Heavenly agreement. Your words will not fall to the ground. "Mountain-moving"; "Curses"; "Command" - gift of faith operates here, even through you may be completely unaware that is operating. Words have power in this realm. Dunamis power. [cf faith in the OUTER COURT]
An unusual peace and presencewhich pervades homes, auditoriums and even cities. The glory of God permeates and fills places where you go. Kathryn Kuhlman experienced this. But if it is not worthy let your peace (actually His peace) return to you.Matthew 10:11-14. This peace has abundance. It is full of His life and His Presence. It brings blessing and reward to those who receive you. It brings condemnation on those who do not receive you.
The purpose of ministry should be to lead the saints into the Holy of holies at His sovereign bidding. All the other things such as prophetic dance, performances need to fall away. Entering the thick intense cloud of His Shekinah glory is all that matters. Worship. Learning to worship. Healing and miracles take place in this realm. Unfortunately, one has to search long and hard throughout the earth to find that one person in a billion; a leader who is truly able to lead us into the glory of the Holy of Holies! Kathryn Kuhlman was such a person.
Let us also be wary of winning the lost at any cost. It is not all about us. None of us can bring about the salvation of another. Only God can do it and in His time. Mental assent to the sinner's prayer is common today. This does not save us. Our God is sovereign and in control. We need to work with Him and to do all things in God . The maturity in reaching the lost is only fully realised in the end stage of the classical Christian foundation. Here it is not some of self. Some of God. Rather it is none of self. All of God.
This is the time when the glory of God is going to arise upon His people. The prophet Haggai gives us some important clues. The outpouring of His glory comes when a worldwide shaking begins to take place. Just as Pentecost brought in the church age, this glory (with a harvest) closes the church age. The coming of our Lord finally closes this chapter. However, the WAY to this glory has been veiled to most. This rock-solid classical Christian foundation unveils (to the measure that the Holy Spirit reveals) the WAY to His glory, the glory which Kathryn Kuhlman experienced as a forerunner and a type of what is to come.
Because you have kept My command to persevere (enduring the " Great Death", the test of faith), I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.[Revelation 3:10 Classical Christianity was the hallmark of the Philadelphian church]. Let us be found with wedding garments(which come beginning with salvation to the fullness of the stripping of our garments of the self-life in the " Great Death") and are not like the friend in Matthew 22:12 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?'... For many are called, but few are chosen (endure the "Great Death"of the middle stage)... Let us ensure that we are fully clothed for our coming Bridegroom rather than being found naked, yet clothed with soft black Laodicean wool!
Based largely on the Lord's revelation of Himself to me during the wilderness decades and is fully consistent with Jeanne Guyon's works of which I have quoted extensively in this foundation... her ministry continues even in death...
Note that this foundation is for one who has been born-again. The initial foundational doctrines in Hebrews 6 of baptism in water and the baptism in the Holy Spirit are essential for normal Christian development are are prerequisites to this foundation.
For private study, scholarship, or research only. Reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. The full works of Jeanne Guyon & Michael Molinos can be purchased from a local Christian bookstore.