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Learning to Depend on God _proofed_


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									Appendix C Learning to Depend on God
Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 18:3) We have tried to reveal through God’s Word how life in His kingdom is diametrically opposed to the ways of the world. There is probably no aspect that more clearly reveals this difference than this prerequisite of becoming as a little child. The child that Jesus picked up represents a totally dependent being. Those who are the strongest and the most assertive in this world gain the highest positions. But even if they gain the whole world, it becomes worthless when they lose their soul for taking this self-exalting course of the devil. In contrast, those who become the most childlike in their dependence upon God and enter into the lowest levels of servanthood, will be lifted by the Spirit of God into the greatest levels of His eternal life. The true children of faith reject the honor that comes from man so they may receive the honor that comes from God. They also praise Him for choosing this way where every member of Christ’s body, even those who have few natural gifts and little education, have an equal opportunity to not only find the greatest measure of life from Him, but to also work through His power by simply walking and praying in His Spirit. Everyone can humble themselves and become like little children in their dependent faith in God. We are therefore not surprised when God “chose” to use men like unlearned fisherman to further His eternal kingdom. It enables the Lord to more clearly reveal His glory. The honor then goes to Him alone. For you see our calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty…are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty…and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Cor. 1:26-29) But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:21) Everyone can potentially present themselves as a mere vessel {a weak vessel} to be used by God for the display of His life, power and glory. We can therefore praise our Lord for establishing a kingdom where everyone has an equal opportunity to become highly honored by Him. Those who walk by the Spirit, as Jesus did, become like humble little children who never fully know what lies ahead. They do not set roots down in this world because it is not their home. Their work is to listen to the continual guidance of the Holy Spirit and to respond to Him while trusting in the Lord to work out what He has planned. “The Lord will guide you continually…” (Isa. 58:11)


Those who are truly born of the Spirit become like a leaf blowing in an open field. God can easily move them according to His pleasures. “The wind blows where it wishes {according to God’s will}… So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) The Son of Man lived in the weakness of dependent faith. He pressed this demonstration of weakness to the point of physical death, where the weakness of the flesh was complete. It was from this point of absolute weakness that He was in a position to be raised by the power of God into the highest position of power and authority in the universe. He received the highest honor because He put Himself in the place of greatest weakness and dependence upon divine power from above. The only way we will ever walk as Jesus did and manifest the same heavenly life is to follow Him in this same path of weakness. The Word of God is very clear on this matter: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength {or power} is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) It is a way of life that stands in direct conflict with the selfsufficient ways of this world. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works… (Heb. 4:9-10) The apostle Paul did his best to help Christians understand the opposing philosophies of life found in these two different kingdoms. For example, the Corinthians had continued to follow the spirit of the world in a self-originated form of life. We can find Paul contrasting the “spirit” that comes from the world and the Spirit that comes from God. They thought the objective of life was to use their own strength to exalt themselves and to gain as much as possible for their own little kingdoms. But Paul, who had received a vision of life in the third heavens, could see how they were going the wrong way. You are already full {from feeding on the things of this world}! You are already rich {from hoarding your wealth}! You have reigned as kings {building up your reputations and your own little kingdoms in this world} without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign {in the true Kingdomlife of our Lord}, that we also might reign with you {sharing in the power of Christ’s throne}! For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last {since the last are always first in the spiritual life of heaven}, as men condemned to death {because the least and the weakest in the flesh become the most useful in God’s kingdom}… We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! (1 Cor. 4:8-10) Paul was not upset about missing out on the things that are highly valued by the people of this world. He knew that their self-seeking and self-exalting form of life was separating them from the heavenly life and power of God. Paul actually took pleasure in the things that made him weak in self and dependent upon God. The things that turned him to dependent faith made it possible for him to be more powerful in the Spirit. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak {and living by dependent faith}, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10) Paul had come to a true knowledge of life in the kingdom of God. He knew that honor from God would be expressed in the power of the Spirit as he lived through the weakness of dependent faith. This was the secret, or the mystery, that had been hidden throughout the centuries. It was the Presence of God’s eternal life residing within the soul


of those who consistently choose to do nothing “out from” themselves, so that God may be the source of everything that is done. (Col. 1:26-29) The Laodicean church was made up of “high achievers.” They thought they were living “successful” lives because of what they had accomplished. But Christ said they were deceived by the devil. (Rev. 3:14-19) And sadly, there are many in the church today who have fallen into the same deception. “Many” will come before the Lord only to discover that their great accomplishments in this world were detestable in His sight. (Matt. 7:22) They will discover how they remained “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” They will not be prepared to stand before Him because they did not become like Him in His way of life. Jesus assured the Laodicean church that He “chastens” those He loves. The scourging work He uses is intended to break the self-sufficient and self-exalting spirit that corrupts the heart of His children. Even though they were living under the devil’s deception, the Laodiceans still had hope. If they would repent, by turning away from the “spirit of the world” and begin living as God had planned, He promised to reveal Himself within their inner being. “If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20) The closed “door” is a worldly spirit. It is a reference to those who are still developing their “psuche” life from the things of this world. It will continue to prevent Christ from manifesting His heavenly Presence—His eternal “zoe” life—within their soul. As Jesus has so clearly revealed, the door is opened as we lay down our “psuche” life. (John 10:11-18) No one can enter into the life of promise until they have made a conscious choice, in their desert-testing period, to stop trying to support themselves spiritually through the lust {desires} of the flesh, the lust {desires} of the eyes and the pride of life. God’s Use of Suffering The Galatians are another example of deceived Christians who had failed to enter into the life of promise. The Spirit of God, while taking them through the wilderness testing period, had been working to break their self-sufficient spirit through suffering. But they did not understand what God was trying to do. Furthermore, false teachers kept turning them back to the strength of the flesh and a self-produced form of righteousness. Paul was therefore concerned that all their suffering might end up being in vain. Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect {in the Kingdom-life of promise} by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things {to break your self-sufficient spirit} in vain—if indeed it was in vain? (Gal. 3:3-4) We believe there are many Christians who are being taken through extremely stressful situations for the purpose of taking away the strength of their flesh-life. And yet, much of what the Spirit has been trying to work out has been “in vain.” Instead of turning to the way of faith, they continue to strive in their own human efforts to correct the situation and lift themselves spiritually. Those who have remained deceived by the spirit of the world, but who truly desire to serve God, can expect the Spirit to continue doing whatever is necessary to break their self-sufficient spirit so they may become totally dependent upon the Lord. His whole


purpose is to bring every member of the body to that place of absolute weakness in self which will lead to the kind of faith that perfects God’s power. But not everyone learns from these lessons. Each time a new difficulty comes along, they start striving again in their own strength and employing their old schemes. These fleshly human efforts once again take them into a very dry and barren land. While the Lord periodically takes them to wells of refreshment to keep them in the way of faith, much of their life is spent in a howling wilderness. If this seems to be a description of your own spiritual life, we pray that you will not receive the suffering in vain. As Fenelon would say, “Let go and let God.” God cannot show Himself mighty through you while you are still working in your own strength. Enter His rest and cease from your own works. Sit at the feet of Jesus and learn to listen to the guidance of His Spirit so you will know what He wants you to do. Even though He keeps the members of His body active in the physical labor that needs to be accomplished, He expects you to leave the results to Him. He is the one who is in control and responsible for the outcome. And none of His plans will fail in the end if you will only cease from your own works. It is the self-originated works of man that has prevented God from revealing His glory. He will not work through us while we are working in the flesh. He does not share His glory with anyone. While He never permits His work to completely fail while He has earnest souls attempting to follow His will, He is unable to reveal His true glory until everything has been placed into His hands. As He revealed through Abraham, He waits until we have lost all hope in our own striving, where we are “as good as dead,” before He begins to work the miracles through our lives. Those who learn to live by His Spirit and depend on Him like little children—those who have no thought of doing anything great in their own strength—will find that He directs their steps and accomplishes every work that He had previously planned to do. (Eph. 2:10) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him {expecting Him to provide guidance}, and He shall direct your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6) I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron. I will give you… hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel {the God who displayed His mighty power and glory through His children when they depended on Him}. (Isa. 45:2-3) When Jesus first spoke of His kingdom, He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:3, 5) Yes, in spite of what this world has taught you, the greatest blessings of heaven and earth will go to the meek and lowly. Jesus has therefore said, “learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Matt. 11:29 KJV) And you can expect Him to use as much suffering as needed to bring you into this place where He may bless you. The Pride of Life Versus Humility The meekness that we must possess is willing to be nothing in self. The more invisible we are willing to become, the more that Christ is able to display His life and glory through our mortal bodies. This should help earnest souls better understand why


God’s children should not seek to be noticed by others in what they do. This applies to the things they wear, the houses they possess, the vehicles they drive, the titles they seek and the works they do. God hates those who seek their own glory. He will only reveal Himself through those who are willing to be nothing in themselves. Again, the more invisible we are willing to become, the more glory He will reveal through our lives. We must learn to distinguish between the things that are needful for our life in God’s kingdom and the things that lead into the world of vanity. The pride of life always puts Christ to death within the soul. Those who have been building an image to be honored by others, like Nebuchadnezzar before them, will need to be thoroughly broken before they can “find” the Son’s eternal life. Self-sufficiency and pride always separate us from the life of God. That old worldly form of life must be lost before Christ’s heavenly life can be found. (Matt. 16:24-25) In a book entitled, Prevailing Prayer or The Secret of Soul Winning, E. Wigle said: Pride is one of the most offensive sins to God, and one of the greatest sins against Him, for it is worshipping self instead of God, and taking to self the glory that belongs to Him. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” Do you think that is the reason so many of us have so little grace?... The humblest is the greatest. “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of God.” What is the bearing of the humble, towards their fellows? The apostle says: “In lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves.” If we have sought out a special title or a special position to be honored by men, we will never be able to esteem others better than ourselves. In fact, it causes the fleshly spirit to become upset when it does not receive what it thinks it deserves. And those who are still on this course can know they are going the wrong way to enter into the Son’s eternal Kingdom-life. This self-exalting spirit will continue to separate people from the kingdom of God and His eternal life. We should also beware of the sinful desire to control others. It comes from the pride of life. God never uses His power to control people. “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” This desire to rise up and assert power over others comes from the devil’s nature. And yet, we find many “leaders” among God’s people seeking to dominate and force their will on others. While God insists on order, and He provides leaders to instruct the members of the body in His ways of truth, He does not want His children following the worldly way of lording it over others. There is a tendency among so-called “holiness” people to use this means to develop their “psuche” life. Like everyone who is separated from the eternal life of God, they find themselves seeking out some means to build up their own form of “life.” Their pleasure comes from having power over others. But God’s true leaders will live as humble servants esteeming others better than themselves. You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave


—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matt. 20:25-28) The lower we are willing to sink, even going from a servant into that of a slave without any rights, the higher God is able to lift us into the spiritual realms with Him. In contrast, those who continue to exalt themselves for their own benefit should expect to find God resisting the spiritual life they have been attempting to develop. (1 Pet. 5:5) If we find that our spiritual life is continually being taken out of us, we have to assume that we are still caught up in the pride of life. Those who truly humble themselves into nothingness will be lifted by the power of God into a spiritual life that cannot be touched by the world or the devil. The childlike meekness that we must possess also relates to a nature that is fully submissive to God’s purposes. It takes considerable pride to resist His will. But a meek spirit perfectly resigns itself to God’s will regardless of where it leads. When this childlike meekness is real, there is a deep sense of rest within the soul. Those who have become like Jesus in His meekness will continue to find contentment in God’s sovereign will, even when the whole world is falling apart around them. They know that God is working out everything in His perfect will for the ultimate good of His eternal kingdom. Mr. Wigle described in his book a wife’s response when an acquaintance suggested that her husband should try to change the assignment he had received as a pastor. She reveals the kind of humility and trust in God that will always result in being highly honored by God—as the later outcome of this pastorate eventually proved. We have committed ourselves fully to God. We know he will overrule all. We accept life just as he permits it to come to us. He has said, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” We believe just what He has said. It is not for us to choose our way… We wish above all things to be in harmony with Him. We have learned to interpret His choice by the providential opportunities which He opens before us daily… We dare trust our heavenly Father with an implicit confidence in all things. Every step of life thus far has shown how tender and faithful God is under all circumstances… Those who enter into this kind of childlike meekness and continue to accept, with praise, whatever God’s will permits to enter into their life, will find the “peace of God” that transcends all understanding. It is truly a glorious life to begin living as dependent little children who turn everything over to God in prayer and who rely on Him to work out all things for their eternal good. Giving Control to God Once we have ceased from our own works and start walking as Jesus did, we begin to see how everything comes from above. As we rest in the faithfulness of our Sovereign God, we realize that “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.” (John 3:27) There is nothing self-originated in this heavenly form of life. We learn to wait on the Lord and say with Jesus, “I can of Myself do nothing.” (John 5:30) We trust Him to guide all our steps as we respond to what the Spirit is leading us to say and do. And as we walk in this way of life found in His kingdom, He supplies our soul with His eternal life.


I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear {from the Spirit}, I judge {and respond}; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (John 5:30) My sheep hear My voice…and they follow Me. {They walk by the Spirit in the same way.} And I give them eternal life… (John 10:27-28) God needs time to break the old independent and self-sufficient spirit. No matter how hard we try, we cannot destroy this long acquired self-sufficiency through our own efforts. Instead, we must choose, through a choice of our will, to have the work done. We are required to enter into the place where we reckon ourselves to be dead. (Rom. 6:11) Furthermore, it is God’s will that we continue to “rejoice” and “give thanks” to Him, regardless of how He chooses to do the work. (1 Thess. 5:16-18) We need to be mindful of how some of God’s called-out people of old lost their life for grumbling in the wilderness testing period. (1 Cor. 10:6-11) All complainers will eventually lose their spiritual life. When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane to reveal the one path that leads through the cross and into resurrection life, He was only required to agree with His Father’s will. He was not expected to scourge Himself and weaken Himself and nail Himself to the cross. Everything was taken out of His hands once He had fully submitted to His Father’s plan. His responsibility was to merely yield to what the Father was working out. In the midst of these deep trials, Jesus looked forward to the life that was set before Him. The same principle applies to His followers. Let us therefore keep in mind that after passing through this dark night of the soul, where considerable spiritual suffering takes place, a heavenly life will be found. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied. (Isa. 53:11 NIV) Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:22) Once we have agreed to reckon ourselves to be dead to our own will and ways, we can count on God to begin the scourging work that will weaken our strength and prepare us to die to the power of the flesh-life. (Heb. 12:5-6, 10) And praise the Lord, once we are “as good as dead” (Heb. 11:12), as Abraham was after he had lost all hope in his own strength, we will be in a position to receive the Promise of the Father. This path of weakness in self always leads to the place where it is possible to be clothed with the power of His Kingdom-life from on high. “For My strength {or power} is made perfect in weakness.” (1 Cor. 12:9) Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you {and to make you more dependent upon God}, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed {when His Kingdomlife of perfect love is revealed within your soul}, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Pet. 4:12-13) But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory {to be vessels of His heavenly life} by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (1 Pet. 5:10)


Some of you may think that God has gone too far in His work of humbling you. But you need to realize that God understands His purposes better than you do. You may be helped in this matter by considering the forty years that Moses was kept on the backside of the desert, tending sheep. After separating him from the self-exalting ways of Egypt (a type of the world) where he possessed riches, power and prestige, he was taken through an extended period of being humbled. In fact, because of the great work that God had planned to do through him, he had to be brought to a point were he was the most humble man on earth. It is as humility deepens and we give all control over to God that He is able to work more powerfully through our lives. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you {lift you with His power into a heavenly spiritual life} in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:6-7) It is God’s wisdom to bring out true character by taking people through very humbling conditions. The men and women who have been greatly used by God have generally gone through many deep trials to humble them and prepare them for their appointed work. Again, everything is intended to make us more dependent upon God. The following comments from a letter written by John Fletcher may therefore be helpful to someone today. Who knows also whether by all you have suffered, and still suffer, our gracious Lord does not intend to kill you to the flesh and to the world, and both to you? Our hearts are so stupid, and our insensibility is so great, that the Father of our spirits sees it necessary to put some of His sharpest and longest thorns into our flesh, to make us go to our dear Jesus for the balmy graces of His Spirit. If you have a heart that desires to be mightily used by God, we suggest that you study the life of Joseph and then pray for God to prepare you in a similar way. Consider how much suffering he had to go through and how low he had to sink before he was in a condition to be raised into the presence of the king and be in a position to share in the power of his throne. Not only was he a type of Christ, but he also revealed the path that everyone will take before there can be a supernatural lifting by the power of God into a sharing with Christ in the power of His throne. It is only from the powerlessness of being held in the deepest prison, and entering into similar depths of humility, that God can raise you by His power into a place where so many hungering souls can be helped. Is there any wonder why God had to place a wilderness experience between Egypt and the life of promise where He could test and prepare His called-out people? It is not enough to simply know truth in theory. Those who have ears to hear will still need to go through a period of deep affliction. Let us therefore keep in mind that anything that helps to bring about a real death to our self-sufficient and self-exalting spirit is being used by God for our good. We will need to learn to give everything over to Him. No one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation… For this reason, when I could no longer endure it {without knowing if you had turned back to the ways of the world to find spiritual relief}, I sent to know your faith, lest by


some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain. (1 Thess. 3:3-5) The experience of a deep trial does not necessarily mean that someone has been resisting God’s will. It does mean that God is doing a work that is intended to bring the child of faith into a closer walk with Him, in the Spirit. Since God’s light is infinite, we can know that our Lord will always have something new to be opened to our mind. And if we are truly sanctified, where we desire to live for God’s will alone, we will see every situation as an opportunity to become more dependent upon God and more useful in the ways of the Spirit. Let us therefore maintain a thankful spirit in all our trials. If we truly love the Lord, we can know that He is working out all things for our good. (Rom. 8:29) And if the trial becomes very deep, we have to assume that He is preparing us for a very special work. Of course, even when God has prepared us to be highly exalted into the spiritual realm, it does not mean that He plans to place us into a position of high visibility. Some of the saints who have been most highly exalted into the spiritual life of heaven, and done some of the greatest works for His eternal kingdom through their prayers, have walked in obscurity in this world. Others, having become known for their walk of faith, were generally despised or looked down upon by the wise and learned people of this world. Following Christ and His apostles, they were made “a spectacle to the world” as they bore the reproach of men, because of how they followed Christ in His self-emptying way of the cross. (1 Cor. 4:9) Let us remember that Jacob could not become a “prince” with God until the Lord had caused him to be lame. He needed to have his strength removed before he could be useful. While it gave him access to God’s power for blessing others, the world saw him as a “lame” man. Those who truly follow Jesus by dying to their own sufficiency, to walk in the Spirit, will look like hopeless cripples to the people who follow the self-sufficient and self-exalting ways of this world. But they will become a “prince with God” and have access to His divine power. It places them in a position in the Lord’s Kingdom where they can use His authority to carry out His eternal purposes through their prayers of faith. The fact that we do not depend on our own strength does not imply that we are not to use our wisdom and energy in our Christian service. God has gifted everyone with a purpose. Yes, He can even use men like the apostle Paul with their brilliant minds. Once the individual has been humbled and has learned to depend upon God, the Lord will employ the gifts and the strength that He has provided. Living under the control and power of the Holy Spirit becomes the exalted dignity of God’s children. It brings them into the divine order. They become a new creation molded by the loving thoughts of God. They find that all of life becomes a spiritual journey where the mysteries of God and the knowledge of His eternal kingdom are constantly being revealed as they live by faith. Let it fill you with cheerfulness and a true sense of peace and joy, no matter how deep in obscurity your lot may be that God is leading you on while preparing you for a work that will display His power and glory. And though it may not even be in the present dispensation of His kingdom, you are being prepared for the life of eternity where the most humble souls will be placed into the positions of greatest power and usefulness. “So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matt 20:16) You therefore need to take your eyes


away from this world and its ways so you may be prepared for a greater usefulness in the life of eternity. We believe the following lessons from George Watson will be helpful in summarizing what has been said in this chapter. Because this subject is so seldom discussed in the church today, it should be useful to many earnest souls. We have in Job 5:17-26 a most perfect delineation of the various fruits that are produced from God’s chastisement. “Happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.” To the outside observer it looks as if the fires of divine chastising are just the same as the fires of God’s wrath in the punishment of sinners. This is why the dealings of God with those whom He dearly loves forms such a stumbling block to sinners and also to weak and partial believers. Job was a sample of how the Lord deals with those souls that are entirely given up to Him, and no one can have any true insight into the book of Job without going through in a similar way, the desolations that Job passed through… In one sense, the furnace he passed through was kindled by Satan, but you will notice Job always attributes everything to God, because when a soul is utterly abandoned to the Lord, it ignores secondary agents, and recognizes the hand of God always in everything as the supreme force… Whatever God permits to come to us we recognize as from Himself, if we are living in perfect abandonment to Him, and such a one knows that God is love, and that He can only act in love with those who are utterly yielded to Him… But to others, as in the case of Job’s friends, it looks like the flame of divine wrath against sin. We see in the next verse that God’s chastening produces great pain… “He maketh sore, and bindeth up; He woundeth and His hands make whole.” To those entirely given up to God, His fiery correction comes as a painful surprise, and this is why Peter says to such persons, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as if some strange thing had happened.”… In the next verse we see the different stages of these fiery trials, until the soul is brought into a state of perfect death, where it lives in God alone, regardless of how He may deal with it. “He will deliver thee in six troubles; and in seven there shall no evil touch thee.” [There is a place where the devil has nothing in us, which leaves him without any ability to touch us spiritually.] Six is always the Bible number for imperfection, and is the anti-christ number, but seven is the complete number for Christ and His grace. While the soul is going through six troubles [while still passing through the desert-testing period], it experiences a constant distress and mental pain at the various degrees of darkness, or disappointment, or desolation it has to suffer, but when the seventh stage is reached [in the Kingdom-life of promise], it becomes dead…to the world, and to its own religious experiences, to its own holiness, to its own gifts and graces, to its own good works, its own high ideals, and knowing that it is nothing, and


deserves nothing, it in a certain lofty way throws itself away into God. [It is then that the devil loses all power over the soul.]… Then follows a description of the perfect triumph that such a soul has when it is dead to itself, and united to God [in His “zoe” life]. In famine it does not die because it draws its life from the fountain of the Infinite One and no longer is nourished by its own graces and circumstances. [It does not need temporal stimulants to lift the emotions, nor is it affected by changing conditions, because it does not live through the “psuche” life.]… It is hid from the scourge of other peoples’ tongues, because the fire of God has burned out its reputation, and the sense of the good opinions of others… Such a soul…being one with God, is in agreement with all His works, and all His ways, and recognizes all things of creation as in God’s plan. It is true that this Scripture will have its perfect outward accomplishment in the millennial age… But in a Scriptural way, those who pass through the perfect correction of God in this life are to be so dead to outward things, and to evil forces, as to be in perfect league with God and His providences, and as it were, shut in with God as in a tent. Hence the next verse says, “Thou shalt know that thy tent, or tabernacle, is in peace.” That tent is the living God, in which the soul… makes its home. Then follows the closing stage of such a soul, that it is to be fruitful…and come to the close of life, like a shock of grain, fully ripened for the everlasting garner.


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