In The Father's Presence

Now to which of the angels has He ever said:
Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies Your footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out
to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?

My mind is consumed. Each moment of the day, I think of what my friend needs next. I can hardly read or write. Even if I turn to another source of noise (any media), I can hear little else. His life is like a runaway train (he loves trains). I am the only one who can stop it.

He is changing so. He hardly remembers a thing (even my name). And the man who used to be the sweetest thing to me is often now harsh. I am determined to see him through. My main concern is when he reaches his end he will come to know Christ.

In chapter nine of our study of Andrew Murray’s classic The Holiest of All, we find our opening text:

This is the Son in whom God speaks to us. The word, “Sit thou on My right hand,” is spoken in our hearing and in our behalf. In that word we have concentrated all God's speaking. See, He says, how l have exalted Him, your Brother, your Surety, your Head, to My right hand, in token of My perfect acceptance of His work; your perfect admittance to My presence and the enjoyment of all the power of the heavenly life; your full participation, in your inmost being, of what the kingdom of heaven is. Sit thou on My right hand: let the word enter and master all our heart and life.
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Through all the chaos in my life right now, the presence of the Lord and His provision through Word and Spirit envelopes me. With peace and joy, He rises to meet every need. As Murray says, “God is the hidden ground of all existence and has the power to enter all and fill it with Himself.” No matter where you are in life, He offers you the same.

Our reading today contains a powerful Scripture prayer, one you will want to remember always. It is titled, “The Son on the Right Hand of God” from Andrew Murray’s classic The Holiest of All:

To gaze upon the heavenly Christ in the Father's presence, to whom all things are subject, will transform us into heavenly Christians, dwelling all the day in God's presence, and overcoming every enemy. Yes, my Redeemer, seated at God's right hand—if l only know Him aright and trust Him as able to save completely—He will make me more than conqueror.

lf we would obtain this blessed knowledge of our Lord, and the blessed life in the experience of His power, Scripture has a prayer for us (Ephesians 1:17-22), that we will do well to pray often:

"That the God of our Lord Jesus would give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation, that we may know what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of His might which He wrought in Christ, when He made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenlies."

Let us pray for this spirit of divine illumination; let us study and adore the strength of God's might that lifted Him to the throne; and let us believe joyfully, that that power works in us every day to lift us up and enable us to live as those who are set with Him in the heavenlies. And let us sing without ceasing: Praised be God for such a Savior!

Selah.


Worship Christ

 Now to which of the angels has He ever said:
Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies Your footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out
to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?

I tried to put my scheduled post together and found myself unable to do so. The intensity of the valley experience with my friend is demanding. Once I meet the next deadline there will be some sense of relief. For now I seek refuge in worship.

At the end of our last chapter (chapter eight) in Andrew Murray’s The Holiest of All, he left us with this parting thought:

God is the incomprehensible One. In all thy thoughts of Him, in all thy efforts to know Him as revealed in Christ, remember the true knowledge of God is something above sense and reason. As the light reveals itself to the open eye that has been created for it, God reveals Himself to the longing heart.

All the teaching of angels and prophets, of the words and the truths of the Bible, can but point the way: let God in Christ speak in thy heart. Then shalt thou know Him. Bow in adoring awe, and worship Christ. Let all His saints worship Him. It is worship, not study [that] will prepare us to know Christ.

In our next chapter, He closes with a reference to one of my favorite segments of scripture on worship. Until next time I leave you to ponder Revelation 5:11-14 (HCSB):

Angels Exalt the Lamb

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

Selah.

My Creator Is My Redeemer

   
“And: In the beginning, Lord, You established the earth,
and the heavens are the works of Your hands;
they will perish, but You remain.
They will all wear out like clothing;
You will roll them up like a cloak,
and they will be changed like a robe.
 But You are the same, and Your years will never end.”

In chapter eight of his book The Holiest of All, Andrew Murray continues to stress the importance of our understanding of the divinity of Christ. Here is his opening:

COME and hearken once more to what the divine message has to tell us of the glory of the Son, in whom the Father speaks to us. Come and see how truly He is one with God, and shares with him all His glory. The deeper our insight into the true Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ, His perfect oneness with God, the more confident shall we be that He will, in a divine power, make us partakers of His work, His life, His indwelling.

Thankfully, the winds have shifted in my walk through the valley with my friend. I was facing the hardest decision I have ever had to make regarding every facet of his life. For weeks, it felt as if I were sailing against the wind as I processed through information. For now, it feels as if I have the wind in my sails. 

God was beyond faithful to carry me; what I learned will be forever cherished. With each moment, I have learned to trust God and His power within me. My faith has grown.

The following excerpt titled “The Son – The Everlasting Creator” is from Andrew Murray’s book The Holiest of All:

Christ, thy Redeemer, is the everlasting and unchangeable One: hast thou heard Him speak? "l, Jehovah, change not; therefore ye are not consumed," and learnt to trust Him as the One who is each moment to thee all that He can be, and who will, without variation or shadow of turning, maintain in never ceasing power His life within thee?

Oh learn that God saw it needful to speak to thee through none other than such a One as could reach the heart and fill it with the power of His eternal Word. The Almighty Son, through whom God hath created all things, who upholdeth and filleth all things by the word of His power; this is He who will even so, in the power of His Godhead, uphold and fill thy whole life and being. Thy Creator is thy Redeemer!

One great cause of feebleness and backsliding in the Christian life is the power of circumstances. We often say that temptations that come to us from our position in life, from the struggle to live, from the conduct of our fellow-men, draw us away from God, and are the cause of our falling into sin. lf we but believed that our Redeemer is our Creator!

He knows us; He appoints and orders our lot; nothing that comes to us but what He has in His hands. He has the power to make our circumstances, however difficult, a heavenly discipline, a gain and a blessing. He has taken them all up into the life-plan He has for us as Redeemer. Did we but believe this, how we should gladly meet every event with the worship of an adoring faith. My Creator, who orders all, is my Redeemer, who blesses all.

Selah. 

Partakers Of His Anointing

  
“Eternal is that which each moment and always exists in its full strength, immovable, unchangeable. "We receive a kingdom that cannot be moved," because our King is God, and His kingdom for ever and ever. The rule of Christ our Priest-King, even now, in our souls, is in the power of an endless, an imperishable life: the faith that receives this will experience it.”
Andrew Murray

Our lesson continues to empower me as I walk through the valley with my friend. Before this happened, my life was stretched in every possible way. I had no additional space for stress, strain, or demands upon my energy. Somehow, God expanded my boundaries.

As I contemplate Christ as God, the King eternal with an everlasting dominion, I realize that the beginning of time (creation), today and forever are somehow all the same. Practicing the essence of time in this new light has enabled me to allow God to carry me through circumstances beyond my ability.

Each time I am tempted to fret, I bring myself back to this dominion, and I find that it is always the same. It is me who wavers. His influence, His power, His authority, is constant and steady. And even more He fills this place inside me with peace and joy.

The following is an excerpt titled “The Son Himself God” from Andrew Murray’s classic The Holiest of All:

Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows. He is an anointed King. Therefore, because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God anointed Him. When He ascended to heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the throne, He received from the Father anew and in fullest measure, as the Son of Man, the gift of the Holy Ghost to bestow on His people (Acts ii. 33).

That Spirit was to Him the oil of joy, the joy that had been set before him, the joy of His crowning day when He saw of the travail of His soul. An anointing above His fellows, for there was none like Him; God gave Him the Spirit without measure.

And yet for His fellows, His redeemed, whom, as Head, He had made members of His body. They become partakers of His anointing and His joy. As He said, "The Lord hath anointed Me to give the oil of joy." Christ, our King, our God, is anointed with the oil of joy, anointed, too, to give the oil of joy: His kingdom is one of everlasting gladness, of joy unspeakable and full of glory.

O ye souls, redeemed by Christ, behold your God! the Son in whom the Father speaks. Let this be the chief thing you live for—to know, to honor, to serve your God and King. This is the Son in whom God speaks to you in all the divine mystery, but also in all the divine power and blessing, which marks all God's speaking. Let our hearts open wide to receive the King God hath given us.

Selah.



Christ Is God

“And about the angels He says: 
He makes His angels winds, and His servants a fiery flame, 
but to the Son: Your throne, God, is forever and ever,
and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of justice.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
this is why God, Your God, has anointed You
with the oil of joy rather than Your companions.”

Twenty years ago, I met a client at work that I found had no one to spend Christmas with, no one that cared. My daughter and I invited him to Christmas dinner. We showered him with dollar store gifts and shared the love of Christ. Since then we have spent every holiday together. Somehow, we have become family.

He is nearing the end of his race. Because the burden of his care is heavy, I almost did not write this post. However, God knew exactly where I would be when this day came. There are no words to describe how powerfully God used this lesson to infuse me with courage, comfort, and strength. Wherever you are in your race, I pray you find the same.

This excerpt is titled “The Son Himself God” from Andrew Murray’s The Holiest of All:

In contrast to what is said of the angels as servants, the Holy Spirit hath said of the Son, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. Christ is not only the Son, but is God. He is one with the Father: as Son He is partaker of the Father's own nature and being.

Christ is God: to many Christians this has been a dead article of faith, held fast and proved out of Scripture, but without any living influence on the soul. To the true believer it is one of the deepest and most precious truths for the nourishment of the inner life. Christ is God: the soul worships Him as the Almighty One, able to do a divine work in the power of divine omnipotence.

Christ is God: even as God works in all nature from within, and in secret, so the soul trusts Christ as the everywhere present and the Indwelling One, doing His saving work in the hidden depths of its being. Christ is God: in Him we come into living contact with the person and life of God Himself. The truth lies at the foundation of our Epistle, and the Christian life it would build up: Christ is God.

Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. As God, Christ is King: the throne of heaven belongs to Him. When an earthly father has begotten a son, they may be separated from each other by great distance, both in place and character, and know each other no more.

In the divine Being it is not so. The Father and the Son are inseparable, one in life and love; all that the Father is and has, the Son is and has too. The Father is ever in the Son, and the Son in the Father. God is on the throne and Christ in Him: the throne and the kingdom are Christ's too.

Forever and ever. Christ is the King eternal. His dominion is an everlasting dominion. The full meaning of the word eternal will become clear to us later on. Eternal is that which each moment and always exists in its full strength, immoveable, unchangeable.

"We receive a kingdom that cannot be moved," because our King is God, and His kingdom for ever and ever. The rule of Christ our Priest-King, even now, in our souls, is in the power of an endless, an imperishable life: the faith that receives this will experience it.

Selah. 

The Excellence Of The Son

“For to which of the angels did He ever say, You are My Son; 
today I have become Your Father, or again, 
I will be His Father, and He will be My Son?” 

As we move on in our study of The Holiest of All, we find Andrew Murray pleading with us to understand a certain point before continuing:

It is because Christ is the Son of God that He is higher than the angels, and that the New Testament is so much higher than the Old. If we would grasp the teaching, and get the blessing of our Epistle, and indeed become partakers of the inner power and glory of the redemption Christ hath brought, we must tarry here in deep humility until God reveals to us what it means, that His only Son has become our Savior.

The infinite excellence of the Son above the angels is the measure of the excellence of that heavenly life He brings and gives within us. The angels could tell of God and of life. The Son has, the Son is, that life of God, and gives it. He that hath the Son, hath life.

Before now I had never considered the word beget. It means to procreate or generate (offspring). Murray uses this word repeatedly in this chapter to describe the different aspects of how God brings into existence this process of reproduction in our lives. The life of the Son of God in us.

I hope you take the time to stop and consider all of the fascinating connections he is implying. His suggestion to “tarry” means that we remain here lingering, waiting in expectation. I did so because I had to ponder the text for my publication. The revelation forever changed me.

I encourage you to search the scripture references for more detail; you can find the entire text here. The following excerpt is from The Holiest of All entitled “The Son – The Only Begotten” by Andrew Murray:

It was by being begotten of God, by a divine birth, that Christ became the Son. In eternity it was a birth; in the resurrection it was a birth from the dead. And so it is only by a divine birth that the Son, that the love of God, can enter and possess us. It is by an eternal generation that the Son is God. In eternity there is no past; what God is and does is all in the infinite power of an ever-present now.

And so it is in the power of that eternal generation that the Father begetteth us in His Son (I John 5 1-18), and begetteth His Son in us; that the Father speaks the eternal Word to us and in us. The Word of God is the Son, coming from the heart of the Father, spoken into our hearts, and dwelling there. The Son is the Love of God; as the Son, so the Love of God is begotten within us, making us, by a new birth, partakers of its own nature and blessedness.

The Son is a Son only in the power of a divine birth. And that not only in eternity, and in the resurrection, but in our heart too. This is the mystery of the divine life: let us bow in deep impotence and ignorance, and wait on God Almighty to reveal the Son to us.

The Son is the Word, because the divine speaking is but another aspect of the divine begetting. Speaking to us in His Son is all in the power of a divine life. The speaking, just as the begetting, is love imparting and communicating itself in divine power as an inward life, it is by God speaking to us in the First Begotten that we are begotten of God.

Selah.


The Life And Love Of God

“So He became higher in rank than the angels,
just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.”

As we continue our study of The Holiest of All by Andrew Murray, my goal is to reach the place where this journey began last year in the next 30 weeks. This means we will need to cover two chapters a week. The foundation laid in the beginning was fundamental, now we pick up the pace.

Mr. Murray points out that in the Epistle of Hebrews we mostly see the text quoted as if it were coming from God Himself as opposed to the way the rest of the New Testament is written. He goes on to say we must never forget that all Scripture is God’s word. Through His Spirit, He spoke in the prophets, and all Scripture has the power of God dwelling in it.

With this firm belief, there are two things necessary to the study of Hebrews:

1)     These words of God contain a divine depth of meaning which the human mind could never have understood or explained.

2)     The seeds planted by the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament and opened by that same Spirit in the New Testament, still need the teaching of the Spirit to make them life and truth to us.

As I suspected, this phase of our research on freedom in Christ is proving to be the most enlightening. We finish our review with an excerpt entitled “The Son of God more than the Angels” from his classic book The Holiest of All:

It is God who must shine in our hearts to give the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Word, "that was God," that speaks to us as coming out of the depth of God's heart, a living person; it is only the heart that yields to be led by the Holy Spirit that can expect to profit by the teaching of the word, and truly to know Christ in His divine saving power.

The truths of Christ's sonship and divinity and priesthood and redemption were given in charge to the Holy Spirit; He revealed them from time to time; He alone can reveal them to us. To the written words all have free access; our mind can see their purport [intent], but their life and power and blessing, the glory of the Son of God as a power of salvation — this is given to none but those who wait humbly on God's Spirit to teach them.

The angels brought wonderful messages from God of old: but God is now drawing far nearer to thee, and waiting to speak in a far more wonderful and blessed way, by revealing the eternal Word in thy heart.

Words and wonders, these angels could bring. But to bring the life and the love of God, and give it in the heart—this the Son alone can do. But He does it. Christ is the divine nature manifesting and communicating itself; I have no contact with Christ or God in Him, but as I receive Him, as the divine nature imparting itself, as manifested in His human life, and will, and character.

If l were favored this day with the visit of an angel—what a privilege I would count it. But Christ, the Son at the right hand, will not only visit but will dwell in me. O my soul, rise to thy privileges: God speaks to thee in His Son.

Selah.



The Heavenly Life

“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact expression of His nature, 
sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, 
He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3 HCSB

Here we have the final excerpts from chapter IV of our study of The Holiest of All by Andrew Murray. We begin:

That Christ as our Leader and Forerunner has rent asunder the veil, and in the power of His blood has taken possession and secured access into the Holiest of All does not mean only that we are to enter heaven when we die.

The whole practical teaching of the Epistle is summed up and applied in the one word: "We have boldness for entering in: let us draw nigh: let us enter in." Christ seated on the throne in heaven means our being actually brought, in the supernatural power which the coming down of the Holy Spirit supplies, into God's holy presence, and living there our daily life.

It was because the Hebrews did not know this, because they had rested content with elementary truths about faith and conversion, and then the life in heaven after death that they had so signally failed.

As we finish with “The Theme” of our book, Mr. Murray is deeply concerned that the Body of Christ does not understand the magnificence of all that Christ has made available for us in this life. This is the whole purpose of my blog. This is where we find real freedom in Christ. I want this for not only my family and myself but also each of you.

Of all the speakers I know of Mr. Murray is the most eloquent. His words are expressive, persuasive, and moving. Here is the plea he made to us all over a century ago from his book The Holiest of All entitled “The Son – The Glory Of His Work” (emphasis mine):

The Church of our days is suffering from the same cause and needs the same cure. It is so much easier to appropriate the work of Christ on earth than that in heaven. It is so much easier to take in the doctrine of a Substitute and atonement, of repentance and pardon, than of a High Priest bringing us into God's presence, and keeping us in loving communion with Him.

It is not the blood-shedding upon earth only; it is the blood-sprinkling in heaven, and the blood-sprinkling from heaven on heart and conscience, that brings the power of the heavenly life unto us. And it is this alone that makes us Christians, who not only seek to enter the gate, but who daily press on in the living way that leads ever deeper into the Holiest.

Let no one think that I speak of what is too high. I speak of what is your heritage and destiny. The same share you have in Jesus on the cross, you have in Jesus on the throne. Be ready to sacrifice the earthly life for the heavenly; to follow Christ fully in His separation from the world and His surrender to God's will, and Christ in heaven will prove in you the reality and the power of His heavenly priesthood.

Let the cleansing of sins be to you, as it was to Christ, the entrance to the Holiest. He who effected the cleansing on earth, and applies it in person from heaven, will assuredly lead you into all the fullness of blessing it has opened up for Him and for you.

There are two sides from which we can approach the higher truth of God's word as to holiness and likeness to Jesus. The one is the desire to know all Scripture truthfully, and to have our system of doctrine complete and perfect. 

The other is the deep, intense longing to be made free from sin, as free as God can make us in this life. It is only from this side that real access will be given into the heavenly life of Christ.

Selah.

An Angel Of Light

“And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

I want to focus on what Andrew Murray is teaching in our study. However something else is pressing on my heart. I suppose this is part of the process of developing my voice as a writer. Andrew Murray teaches it is the aim of the Epistle of Hebrews to make us confident of Christ’s glory and character. As part of my plan for this blog, it will be my aim, as well.

I started this blog for my daughter, to leave a blueprint that would lead her to the fullest life possible in Christ. I want her life to be strong and beautiful yet free in every biblical sense. But honestly, if cancer were to take me tomorrow, as much as I would abhor leaving her without the keys to the life Murray speaks of in our present study, something concerns me even more. That she could be deceived by “an angel of light.”

Immediately after committing my life to Christ in my early 20’s, my best friend (the same person who first shared the Bible with me) introduced me to a book that appeared heavenly. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever read. It appeared that the writer was not human but cosmically superior in knowledge. You could feel the spirit in this book, and I continued to follow it thinking it was the Spirit of the God of the Bible.

I put this book and the other books that I collected along the way on the same shelf as my new Bible. This friend also introduced me to another friend and we became close. He was the kindest man I had ever met. He believed that he was one of Jesus' original twelve disciples in a past life. He proceeded to introduce me to spirit mediums and other various New Age practices.

One day in the New Age bookstore, I came across a bible of sorts. It was written very much as the Holy Bible. I read a segment describing Jesus as just a man that had been fitted by temptations that He had overcome. And that Mary was not a virgin. Thankfully, I knew enough to know this was not true.

I began to seek God for answers and He moved swiftly. I met a man from out of town that took a strong interest in me. He flew me to a Christian village of 2000 acres containing churches; stores; restaurants; entertainment; hotels; and campgrounds all filled with Christians seeking God.

My new friend bought me several books that proceeded to deprogram me from the false system I had been exposed to. I will never forget the preacher who warned me privately that my battle to part with the darkness was not going to be easy.

I was re-baptized as part of my new commitment and when I got home there was a letter from my New Age friend dated the very day of my baptism saying he'd had a dream and "he knew our spirits parted and he would not see me again.” This proved to me the evidence of the spirit world that we cannot see.

For the past 25 years, Jesus has stayed by my side making me aware of His presence and faithfully leading me out of the darkness. Sometimes what appears to be holy is not, even in the Body of Christ. Familiarity gives me a warning.

The best way to know what is not of the Spirit is to know what is. Next time we will focus on the final segment from chapter IV of Andrew Murray's book The Holiest of All titled, “The Son - The Glory Of His Work.”