Cross and the Manifestation of His Kingdom
We are living in a time of unfolding revelation and disclosure.
This is an hour in which the wicked are exceedingly wicked;
but they who have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation shall
become wise and understanding of God's ways. A right attitude
of heart and obedience to His will is a prerequisite for our
"Who are kept by the power of God through faith
unto salvation ready to be revealed in the
last time" I Peter 1:5.
Peter is speaking of a salvation that will be revealed in
a people. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ's work accomplished
at Calvary that God is bringing many sons unto Glory (Hebrews
2:10). The truth of our union with Christ in His death, burial,
and resurrection is fundamental to the ultimate realization
of His purpose in us.
We must see ourselves included in the death of Jesus Christ
by our identification with Him in death. We also are to see
ourselves raised up and seated together with Him in the heavenlies.
This must be more than a theoretical or doctrinal knowledge;
more than mere mental assent to the truth; it must come to
us by revelation of the Spirit of God.
From the beginning, it has been the purpose of God to have
a medium by which to express Himself. God is the "great
Self" of the universe, but He is not selfish. Rather,
He fulfills Himself in giving.
"For God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son."
It was the love of God that prompted Him to make man. He
sought to give Himself, to reproduce and share Himself. God
said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
Adam was by creation a reproduction of God. He was created
with all the potential that we see realized in the Lord Jesus
Jesus, being obedient, did always those things which pleased
His Father; whereas Adam defaulted through his disobedience
to the word the Lord had given him in the garden.
"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into
the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of
every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Gen 2:15-17.
Implied in this command to Adam and Eve was the knowledge
of God's will, but they violated that will by their disobedience
and forfeited all that God had capacitated them potentially
The Lord has never rescinded His original purpose in making
man. In His wisdom, He had fore-ordained the plan by which
He could recover through the incarnation, all that His original
intent for Adam had included. Thus, it has all been recaptured
for us in our union with the Lord Jesus Christ. But in order
for us to participate in God's purpose, He had to dispense
with our Adamic nature.
Thus, the great need for the Cross.
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that
perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved
it is the power of God" I Cor 1:18.
The Cross is a great divine positive, by which God has destroyed
all that was imposed on us through the first man, Adam. He
gathered up all of mankind in Himself, in the person of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and eternally dispensed with our fallen
Adamic nature through His death on Calvary (Rom 5:10-21).
There is the death-side and the life-side to the Cross, and
these must be understood and appropriated in proper balance.
An over emphasis on the death-side of the Cross will arrest
our spiritual progress through a subtle form of legalism that
negates the operation of the Spirit of Life in the believer.
Our new creation life originates and has its being in the
One who is Life. But if on the life-side we ignore or exclude
the deterring aspect of the Cross, we lose its power to deal
with our fallen nature. The measure to which we embrace the
Cross determines the measure of the Life of Christ that will
come forth from us.
We are earthen vessels into whom has been made a deposit
of the eternal purpose of God, as embodied in the Christ who
now lives in us and finds expression through us. The old is
shed through death. The new is born through the Cross and
develops in resurrection life.
The Lord covets the inimitable features and characteristics
of our soul, and yearns to combine them with the beauties
of His own person. He does not intend to destroy our personality,
rather, He desires to conform it to His own image, and fill
it with the expression of His life.
The Lord longs to save our soul; but the soul is the seat
of our independence, pride, and rebellion. Independence finds
its assertion through our soul until we have experienced the
work of the Cross and become aware of our weakness. Paul said
that he would rather glory in his infirmities, for in them
the power and sufficiency of Christ could be perfected.
Most of us are too strong. Therefore, God subjects us to
things that weaken us. His dealings bring us into extremities
which we would rather resist; but in them we come to appreciate
the Lord. Only as we are broken and weakened; only as we come
to that crisis and are thoroughly convinced that "in
my flesh dwelleth no good thing" can God use us.
Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing"
(John 5:30). The literal Greek is, "I can do nothing
out from myself." His acts did not originate with Himself,
but with the Father.
We must recognize that there is a soul life that must surrender;
for there is that which does act "out from" itself,
independently of the Spirit of God, which must be denied in
deference for God's will.
This does not mean that we are to do nothing. There is a
terrible snare in that. Many people have wasted years of their
lives because they abide by this principle: "I can do
nothing of myself, and the Lord does not seem to be doing
anything, so therefore I cannot be a witness because I have
The Lord does not desire any of us to be a do-nothing kind
of person. If we can do nothing of ourselves and are convinced
of it, then we should resort to prayer and waiting upon the
Lord, expecting the Holy Spirit to initiate His activity through
us. As we do this, our moving in the Spirit will become so
habitual that we will scarcely realize that it is the Lord
within us who is initiating the activity.
It is a principle throughout all creation that life comes
out of death. At the foot of a great tree lies a grave in
which the life of a seed was lost. That tree is growing from
a grave where life has its incipience in death. Thus it is
with us, we can never dispense with the Cross, for life springs
forth from a grave.
This is a day in which it is imperative that the Lord alone
be glorified. He has at this present time a people who both
desire this and are abiding by the principle of the Cross,
that it might be so.