Taken from “An appeal to all that doubt the truths of the gospel”, by William Law

Now consider, I pray you: the light and spirit of this world can no more be the Light and Spirit of immortal Souls, than grass and hay can be the food of angels; but is as different from the Light and Spirit of Heaven, as an angel is different from a Beast of the field. When therefore the soul of a man departs from his body, and is eternally cut off from all temporal light and spirit, what is it that can keep such a soul from falling into eternal darkness, unless it have in itself, that Light and Spirit, which is of the same nature with the Light and Spirit of Eternity, so that it may be in the Light of Heaven or Eternal Nature, as it was in the Light of this world in temporary nature.

Light and Spirit there must be in every thing that lives, but the death of the body takes away the light and spirit of this world; if therefore the Light and Spirit of Heaven be not born in the soul when it loses the body, it can only have that light and spirit, which is the very death and darkness of Hell.

When man lost the Light and Spirit of his creation, he lost it by turning the will and desire of his soul into an earthly life; this was his desire of knowing good and evil in this world. His fall therefore consisted in this, his soul lost its first innate, in-breathed Light and Spirit of Heaven, and instead of it, had only the light and spirit of temporary nature, to keep up for a time such a life in him from this world, as the proper creatures of this world have: And this is the reason, why man, the noblest creature that is in this world, has yet various circumstances of necessity, poverty, distress and shame, that are not common to other animals of this world. Tis because the creatures of this life are here at home, are the proper inhabitants of this world, and therefore that womb out of which they are born, has provided them with all that they want; but man being only fallen into it, and as a transgressor, must in many respects find himself in such wants as other creatures have not. Transitory time has brought them forth, and therefore they can have no pain, nor concern, not danger in passing away; because it is the very form of their nature, to begin, and to have an end: And therefore the God of Nature has no outward Laws, or directions for the creatures of this world.

But the soul of man being not born of the light and spirit of this transitory world, but only standing a while as a stranger upon Earth, and being under a necessity of having either the nature of an Angel, or a Devil, when it leaves this world, is met by the mercy and goodness of the God of nature, is inwardly and outwardly called, warned, directed, and assisted how to regain the Light and Spirit of Heaven which it lost, when it fell under the temporary light and spirit of this world. And this is the whole ground and end of revealed religion, viz., to kindle such a beginning or birth of the Divine Light and Spirit in the soul, that when man must take an eternal leave of the light and spirit of this world, he may not be in a state of eternal death and darkness.

Excerpt from “An appeal to all that doubt the truths of the gospel”, by William Law
          

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WHO DOES WHAT? excerpt from “The Rest of the Gospel”

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Sometimes people ask me: “If God does it, and He is living His life through me, what about the commands of the New Testament? We may have died to the Old Testament law, but aren’t we supposed to try to keep God’s commands? This is what I tell them.

In 1 Corinthians 3:1, Paul talked about someone called “the soulical man” (usually translated “carnal” or “fleshly”). The soulical believer is indwelt by Christ, but he doesn’t know it. Or, if he does know about it, he doesn’t know how to live out of it. He is living out of his soul. He operates as if life originates with him. He is living in Romans 7: “What I want to do, I don’t, and vice versa.” As a result, he is operating under the power of sin, which is energized by the law he puts himself under (1 Corinthians 15:56). He is still asking, “What do I do? How do I live it?” He thinks the life begins with himself. He is a babe in Christ.

To the babes in Christ in Corinth (and I refer here not to chronological time since salvation, but to spiritual maturity; a person saved for 50 years could still be a babe in Christ)—to these babes Paul said, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not able to receive it.” After he gave them the good news that Christ died for them, Paul said, “I fed you with milk.” What was the milk? I believe the milk was the do’s and don’ts it was necessary to give them.

I found this to be true in my own ministry. I would travel around the country, always talking about Christ living in you, as you. Then I would get home and receive some letters. Often I would get a specific question: “What should I do about this situation?” or “What do you think about this decision?” So I would write back and give them an answer.

Paul often had a whole list of questions posed to him. When the people asked specific questions concerning real life situations, he gave specific answers. Why? Because the people didn’t yet know how to operate out of their true identity and their union with Christ, and they needed answers.

The Corinthians had questions about marriage. Paul answered them with some basic instructions. They had a problem with disputes going to court. Paul responded. The believers in Thessalonica must have asked, “What about these guys? You told us Jesus was coming and they just quit working.” Paul said, “If they don’t work, they don’t eat.”

That’s an immediate situation. These folks didn’t have a Bible. They only knew what to do by asking someone who had passed through and taught them about Christ: Apollos, Aquilla and Priscilla, Paul, or someone else. So they would send their questions, and Paul would send back his responses.

If you can’t operate out of who you are yet, you want somebody to tell you what to do. We do that all the time. Even if we ourselves are living out of our union with Christ, we give specific instruction to people that, because of the immediate situation, isn’t really based on Christ in them. Instead, we provide a “to do” that meets an immediate need; all the while trusting that God will move them into a deeper experience of His life.

Many of Paul’s letters were written to address specific problems. They were crisis letters, sent to address the need of the moment. But all of them may not reflect what Paul emphasized day by day. What we primarily have in Paul’s letters are his answers to questions and heresies.

We don’t have a record of what Paul taught daily when he stayed in Corinth for 18 months or in Ephesus for three years. But we can get a pretty good idea of what he taught. To the Colossians Paul wrote that he had been commissioned by God to preach

…the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and

generations, but has now been manifested to His saint…which

is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing

every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may

present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor,

striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

(1:26-29)

The burning zeal of Paul’s heart was to present every person complete in Christ. To accomplish that, He preached Christ in you, the hope of glory. He preached Christ living His life through them. He preached their union with Christ. In the last chapter we noted Paul’s burden for the Galatians:

My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed

in you… (4:19)

Paul’s focus for the churches was Christ in them. The other things were side issues. They were important issues, but they were momentary diversions from the main course. If we could have heard one of Paul’s typical teaching sessions, I am confident he would have been teaching Christ in you.

Once someone begins living from the reality of Christ in them, which is the solid food of the gospel, they are weaned from the milk. They need the do’s and don’ts less and less. They have learned to allow Christ to live His life through them. And the truth is this: Christ in us doesn’t steal and isn’t lazy and doesn’t need the do’s and don’ts. He authored them. He lives them naturally through us as we learn to allow Him to.

So New Testament commands have their function, just as the Old Testament commands had their function as a tutor to lead us to Christ. But the commands are not the meat. They are the milk. The Holy Spirit’s role is to bring us to a complete knowing of who Christ is in us and how Christ lives as us. When that has been done, He will fulfill the commands through us (Romans 8:4). But it will be His living, not our striving.

Taken from “The Rest of the Gospel” by Dan Stone and David Gregory

Pgs. 156-158

THE ONLY ANSWER IS THIS ONE

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The only answer is this one: that I recognize that self-centered independence is a perversion, a breakaway from the union with the self-giving God for which I was created, and that, therefore, in that condition I can never reach beyond my own self-interest; but I also recognize that God, and He only, the Trinity-in-unity, is love unlimited; and that God through Christ has made a way by which He reunites himself permanently to me. Then in this spontaneous unity, I begin to be this same self-giving love—unlimited: and I am no longer just myself, but I have found the real I in me to be He, and I His means of self expression.

I now need to ask, how can I make this a practical reality? Supposing I have accepted this Bible revelation of God as a fact, and the revealed facts are these: God in Himself is nothing but love: we humans are created in His image so that the true ground of our being is the God who is love: but, in the misuse of our freedom, we have turned our backs on our true being in Him, and have been caught up in the illusion of independence and self-loving selves: God has regained us for Himself by becoming one of us as Jesus the Christ: Jesus, as God in the flesh and representing the human race who have their being in Him, by the predetermined plan of God, accepted a death at our hands.

This death, in our stead, has removed the inevitability of our “death” (everlasting separation from the God of our being), has cleansed away the guilt of our sin-life (continual breakings of the law of love), and has delivered us from “the wrath to come” (the unavoidable effect of our rebellion against the love-law of the universe). Raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, the resurrection was the evidence that all that had to be done in our stead has been done; therefore, we can regard ourselves in God’s sight as those who are without sin, justified, righteous in Christ’s righteousness.

But also this death, as being we who died on that cross, has cut us off from the spirit of self-centeredness, that false god which had immersed humanity in his great delusion, for death is separation of a body from its spirit: and this resurrection, it being we who were buried with Him and raised with Him, was the Spirit of self-giving, the Spirit of love, the God who is that Spirit joining Himself to us, removing the hindrance (the false possessor) to our discovering Him as the God of our being.

Taken from “The Spontaneous You” by Norman Grubb

THE WAY A THING WORKS

Norman Grubb
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We have, therefore, to delve deeper to get this into right perspective. We have already said that law can be defined as the way things work, and they don’t work any other way. At the creation only one law was given to man (the way man works)—the law of receptivity—“eat”. But man obeyed that simplest of all laws in reverse, by eating of the tree of self-sufficiency.

Now the situation changed. Instead of eating of the right tree and receiving Him who is love and who would live the love-life through him (which is the fulfillment of all law), he had been taken captive by the huge delusion that he could manage his own life. So now the history of law in our fallen world begins. God in mercy and grace meets man on his new blinded level and says in effect, “You can live your own life? Very well, here is the law. Man is made to love God with all his heart, mind and strength, and his neighbor as himself. Obey it.”

In other words, God institutes an elementary and external form of law, suitable to man’s condition—the form of “do this and you will live”. Twice in the Scriptures it is called man’s elementary religion: “we, when we were children, were in bondage to the elements (rudiments) of the world…under the law”: and “wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (elements) of the world, why…are ye subject to ordinances, Touch not; taste not; handle not?”

Law, therefore, was the first form of God’s grace, because it imposed an impossibility on man—that the selfish one should be selfless—and gave him the chance of discovering his truly lost condition.

Man’s response to law has been twofold. The first response damns, the second opens the door to salvation. The first response is hypocrisy, the second honesty. Hypocrisy means pretending to be what we are not. All men, including ourselves, have done that. We have sought to build our own righteousness and maintain our own respectability by pretending we keep God’s law, by keeping a very little of it where convenient: a little religion, a little ethics, and so on. What we really do is to display the one or two commands we do keep, but carefully hide the dozens we break. We cling to an eleventh commandment—Thou shalt not be found out! This attitude finally damns us, because it is not ultimately sin that damns; God has provided for that; it is dishonesty, refusal to admit and confess sin. “This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light…and hateth the light, neither cometh to the light.”

Man’s other response to law is honesty. Recognition that we are all law-breakers. That is the one capacity we have—recognition and admission of fact. That is what Jesus meant in the parable of the Sower, when he said the good seed fell into an “honest and good heart”.

Taken from “God Unlimited” by Norman Grubb

THE PHANTOM CHRISTIAN

There is a certain mind-set that is especially destructive, called the “Phantom Christian.” The Phantom Christian is that imaginary person that many of us are continually comparing ourselves to. He is the super-spiritual man who gets up every day at 4:00 A.M. so he can pray for four hours. Then he reads his Bible for four hours. He goes to work (at which he is tops in his field), where he effectively shares Christ with everyone in his office. He teaches several Bible studies, goes to church every time the doors are open, and serves on several committees. He is also a wonderful spiritual leader at home—a sterling example of a loving husband and father, who leads stimulating family devotions every day for his “Proverbs 31” wife and perfect children.

Of course no one could live up to such a standard. Even if some person had the ability, he would still need 100 hours in a day! Rationally, we all know that the Phantom Christian is ridiculous, but the problem is that he is never brought to our consciousness. He is a vague ghost that sits in the back of our minds, creating a sense of failure to measure up. That is the reason why many, many Christians live under continual guilt. For those who believe that the Phantom Christian is God’s standard for acceptance, God seems a million miles away, sitting in heaven with His arms folded in disapproval. They don’t bother offering prayers because they know He would never answer them.

Taken from “Classic Christianity” by Bob George

    I pray that this helps you. When it comes to being what God wants us to be we tend to create this mysterious image in our minds that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what God says about us. We read the Bible and say, “I know God loves me but…” My question is do we know God truly accepts us? In Christ we are accepted by God!

Ephesians 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Louie

PHONE CALL FROM THE PRESIDENT

Imagine yourself receiving a phone call from the president of the United States. “How are you?” he asks, just as if you were old friends, and you chat for a while. “By the way,” he goes on, “I’m going to be in town the day after tomorrow, and I need the use of a car. I wonder if I could use yours.”

You know how you would respond. The next day, you would be out washing and waxing that car. You would vacuum and scrub the interior. You would go over it with a fine-tooth comb. If you happened to talk to any friends, you would find a way to work into the conversation a casual comment such as, “Well, I don’t know about going shopping. The president will be using my car tomorrow…”

Then the big day comes when the president of the United States borrows your car—maybe the proudest day of your life. Afterward, you would make a shrine out of that vehicle. You might even have a brass plaque made: “The president of the United States drove this car” with the date underneath. If it were at all possible, you would find a way to keep that car in mint condition. Who knows? Maybe you could donate it to the Smithsonian!

I know I’m overdoing it a bit, but I share this illustration for a reason. We think it would be a great honor to serve for one day a man who holds an elected office in our country, and it would be. But we Christians hardly consider the fact that the God who created this universe lives in us and wants to use our bodies every day of our lives! Think about it. If you are a Christian, God lives in you and wants to produce fruit through you that will endure for eternity! “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10) I can’t think of a better reason to approach life with contagious enthusiasm.

Taken from Classic Christianity by Bob George

SATAN SAYS–GOD SAYS

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Satan will use any approach to keep us from experiencing the full measure of God’s riches. Any error, on matter how small or great, will do. He works through the current world philosophies, through Bible verses taken out of context, through charismatic personalities who “sound” so right and sincere. No method is overlooked in Satan’s attempt to mislead the chosen of God.

Satan says: Seek success at any price. God says: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew6:33NASB).

Satan says: Seek riches at any cost. God says: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth….But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19,20).

Satan says: Be popular; push ahead. God says: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself…” (Matthew16:24NASB).

Satan says: If you don’t look after yourself, no one else will. God helps those who help themselves. God says: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself” (Philippians 2:3,4NASB).

Satan says: I can’t be happy unless I’m married (or: I can’t be happy unless I’m single). God says: “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians4:11NASB).

Satan says: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. God says: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Satan says: If it feels good, do it. God says: “Not my will, but thine be done” (Luke22:42NASB).

Satan says: Everything is relative. God says: “Thy Word is truth” (John17:17).

We could go on and on, but the point is clear. We must have a plumb line of Scripture against which we can examine the philosophies, premises, and suggestions that we run into every day. A carpenter can’t build a house without a plumb line. If he tries to eyeball it and build it according to what looks good in his own eye, he will wind up with a crooked house. He must have a standard that is inviolate. Regardless of what he feels or how it looks as he’s going along, if he sticks to that plumb line, he will wind up with a straight house.

Taken from “Classic Christianity” life’s too short to miss the real thing

By Bob George