"But Ye Are Come to Mount Zion"

by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 1 - Understanding the Times in Which We Live

We remember, oh Lord, that it is written: "He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." By the Word of the Lord were the heavens, the earth, created. Our prayer, Lord, is that Thou would speak acts; that Thy Word may be Thine act. Not just words, Lord, but words of power - Divine fiat by the Word; something done. Make it like that, even now, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, amen.

The matter that the Lord has laid on my heart for these morning first sessions is that of what has come to us, and what we have come to, by the coming of the Lord Jesus.

For this present hour, I just want to lay down two fragments of Scripture around which we shall move at present. The first is in the Old Testament in the First Book of the Chronicles, chapter 12 at verse 32: "And of the children of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do."

The other is in the New Testament in the Letter to the Hebrews, chapter one and verse one and two: "God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in His Son."

Knowledge of the times... at the end of these times... has spoken in His Son... or as you see: "in Son", Sonwise. And these scriptures and their context, you will notice, are in a time of crisis and change; very big crises, very significant change. In the Letter to the Hebrews, the reference to the end of certain times and the introduction of other times represents a tremendous crisis; what Dr. Campbell Morgan called, "The Crisis of the Christ." I'm sorry he stole that wonderful way of putting it, I'd liked to have been the originator of it! But that is what it is that is before us: the crisis of the Christ, which is, of course, the crisis of the dispensations.

And then the Hebrew Letter brings us to the crisis of our own time. Not only the great general movement from one regime to another, but the specific application of that movement to our own time. And as in the setting of the passage in Chronicles, so in this Letter to the Hebrews, the important thing is not just to know of a change of times, of regime, of Divine economy, but to have understanding of what it is; what the change is. We shall see, I think, it is of immense consequence not only to know that there are different dispensations, different economies in the Divine sovereignty, but for the Lord's people to know the nature of the times in which they live.

I venture to suggest to you, that perhaps the most important thing just now, is for the people of God to know the nature of the time in which they live, so far as God is concerned... tremendous amount of confusion... complications are immense and far-reaching just now in Christianity. Many, many people don't know just where they are; what is right, and what is not right; what is the truth, and what is not the truth, and so on and on. And, I repeat, the important thing, the supremely important thing, is to have knowledge: "understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do now" now - what we ought to do now, what Christians ought to do now, because of the peculiar and particular nature of what God is doing now. I think you will agree with me that is very vital.

Now, in the Scriptures, throughout the Bible, of course we do have many crises, many movements through a crisis from one state, position, order, to another. I am not going to even mention them, but you know that so it is, the Bible is marked throughout by reaching a point from which everything takes a new complexion, represents a new phase of the movement: the going of God. The Bible is just full of that sort of thing, God moving, moving by stages, and every stage marked by some crisis. When we use the word 'crisis', we mean we are brought face to face with something of tremendous significance which is going to govern the whole future and make all the difference in the future.

Now from the Divine side, these crises are onward movements: they are God moving on. From the human side, they are God moving back, because things have deviated on the human side. Things have gone off the direct line of God and other things have come in which God never fully intended, if He intended them at all. They were not in His original pattern; there has been deviation, so that a crisis arises which has this two-fold meaning: God is going on, but in order to go on, He must bring back. He must take His people back to the point from which they departed. That is exactly where we are. God is going on, He is not giving up, He is not defeated, He is not having to revise His program: He is going on. But from the standpoint or side of His people, He is having to pull them back and say: "Look here, you have gone off the line, you have moved away from My intention. You have deviated, you must come back to the point, and pick things up again with Me. I am going on; if you want to go on, you must come back and rejoin Me at the point where you deviated."

I think that is perfectly clear that the two aspects of any crisis are always those; and the crisis is therefore, one perhaps, and very often, of leaving an entire regime (what I have called economy, order, development) leaving it in its entirety, leaving it behind and moving with God in a new entirety, on new ground to what is wholly and originally, exactly, according to His Mind. These are things involved in these crises. This is the method of God.

I believe that the Lord wants to show us this week something of the present crisis in Christianity, and if that's too big a word... if it seems too objective; then the present crisis in your life and in mine in relation to His original thought and His full thought.

Now we have to put in there this: man never really learns anything theoretically.

You are not going to learn anything by volumes poured out upon you in words from this desk this week. That sounds pretty hopeless, doesn't it then? "Why come here, why do you men talk to us?" No, you are not really going to learn anything by all this: I say, really learn. Man never really learns anything... only by experience. Take that in, underscore it. God knows that, and that is why God is so practical. That is why God will take years and years, centuries; three or four thousand years. He's governed by this thing: that men don't learn by what they are told, they only learn by experience. That is, they have got to have a history with God, under the hand of God, before they learn anything.

Do you think you know something? How do you know it? How have you come to know it? By attending conferences? No, no, there can be a terrible tragedy along that line. I know definitely of people who have had the fullest teaching for many years: 20, 30, 40 years... you could hardly have more than they have had, and at the end they have jettisoned the whole thing; washed their hands of it. They know it all! They said, "We know it all. We know all that. You cannot tell us anymore than we know!" Alright, alright. So you may come here year after year and think you know. Well, how do you know?

God knows that we really know nothing only by history, by experience. This sounds very elementary and simple, I know, but we have got to get down to this. You see, we are coming to this point of spiritual understanding of the times, our time, and knowing "what Israel ought to do."

Now I ought to put an hour in just there, in brackets and in parenthesis, on two Greek words in the New Testament. I took the trouble to go through the New Testament with these two Greek words and I, myself, got a surprise, after a good many years of studying the New Testament, to find that I got sheets of paper full of references, and the whole thing was divided into two columns, on two words, both of which are translated into the English word "know." And they're two entirely different words in two entirely different realms. One whole column is the word which means "knowing information." Information. You know it, because you have been told. You've heard it, you've read it, and so you know that way. It's another Greek word entirely, which is the word which means you have a personal experience of that thing, and you know it because it has done something in you and become a part of you. It's your history; it's your experience. It's your life - it's you!

The New Testament can be divided by those two Greek words. I'm not quoting Greek, I'm just telling you what's there. There they are. "Know" - "This is life eternal, that they may know Thee," not by information but the word is here: "experience." "Have an experience of Thee." This is Life, you see, something very definite.

Well, I mustn't go on with that, but just indicate it and point it out. And here we are with Issachar who had knowledge of what Israel ought to do. And our New Testament is built around these two words; different kinds of knowledge. Different kinds of knowledge. We leave that as we go on.

Now, we have said that the Bible is marked by time marks and that we are brought with our New Testament to a new time mark or crisis. And everything for you, for me, for all the Lord's people, is going, really, to depend upon whether we have this spiritual discernment, understanding... this spiritual knowledge.

This Spiritual Knowledge

This kind of knowledge of the second category of which I have referred - of what God is really doing now, what He is working at now; not in general, but in particular - oh, if only this week could bring us all to that discernment! This is going to be more than a Bible conference of words and teaching. It's going to have tremendous issues. And let me say at once, I hope you are here for a crisis. I hope that you are here prepared to be turned upside down and inside out, prepared to leave a whole regime if God says, "That's finished with," and to really embrace His present economy and commit yourselves to it. I hope that is the position in which you are. You will be found out on that as we go on with this important matter of recognizing and understanding, and especially and inclusively, of what happened, really happened, when the Son of God, Jesus Christ, entered history and came into this world. Oh, perhaps you think you can give an answer to that. What happened? I know some things you would say. But, I am convinced, dear friends, (and it doesn't very much matter what I am convinced of, but for what it's worth, I put it that way) that very, very few Christians today really understand what happened when Jesus Christ came into this world. That is what we are going to spend hours upon, trusting the Lord to give us the opening of our understanding.

You see, the coming of Jesus Christ into this world, into history, split history down the middle. It split history down the middle; on the one side it said, "Finished," and on the other side, "Beginning." A great, great, immense divide was represented by the entering into history of Jesus Christ. We have got to understand that divide.

There have been, of course, three cycles in relation to Him. First there has been:-

The Historical.

I don't know how it has been with you, perhaps you have come in at a later point, but I remember when I first came to the Lord and became interested in the things of Christ. It was the time when everything was being made of the historical Jesus. The books that were being most read were those classics of the Life of Jesus or the Life of Christ. Some of you know of Dean Farrar's "The Life of Christ". All those things. The Jesus of Palestine, the Jesus of Bethlehem, of Nazareth, of Capernaum, Jesus of Jerusalem, Jesus of the mound outside Jerusalem called Calvary, Jesus of Gethsemane, the Jesus of the three and a half years, or the thirty years - the Jesus of history.

Everybody was interested in that: they watched Him walk, and go, and speak and act, here and there, and everywhere, and it's all written up as the Life of Jesus. Well, that's what engaged us. There is nothing wrong, of course, with it; it is quite good. I suspect some of you are still reading lives of Christ, on that level. That was a phase, and it may be a phase still, but then there came a change, and we passed into what we might call:-

The Theological or Doctrinal Christ.

After that, all this arose about the Person of Christ, the Virgin Birth, the Deity, Godhead, and all of what is called "the fundamentals of the faith of Jesus Christ" - the theological and doctrinal and, my word, what a phase it has been. What a tremendous battleground the Person of Jesus Christ has been.

Two phases. I wonder whether this second phase is passing. Of course not, with some; with many it's everything. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. I'm not here saying it's wrong to be occupied with the Person, the Deity, the Eternal Sonship, the Virgin Birth and so on, of Jesus. Nothing wrong with that, that is all right, you have to have that, but get over it. Get over it! Sooner of later, you'll have to get over it; it just won't do... the thing (I was on the verge of saying "it won't do the trick"!) It just won't get you through.

Your theology is not going to get you through when you move into a realm of such terrific spiritual conflict that your very faith will be struck at, at its roots. You may be shaken of all that you "know" in that way. It will not stand. People are not going to really get through the final crisis on theology, on Christian doctrine, though it may be fundamental. They cannot get through on that.

Now, there's your two phases. They may run concurrently, or they may be more or less defined as periods. But, there's another one, a third one, which is the ultimate, which is the supreme. It's about that we're going to speak, I'm not going to mention it now. We shall spend hours on that. Shall I, just to save you, it's:

The Spiritual Phase.

See, you can have the historical and you can have the theological without the spiritual; and though you may have all that, and not have the spiritual, you are not going to survive. You haven't touched the real heart and core of the great divide, the great change that has taken place with the coming of Jesus Christ. It's the spiritual life of Christ that matters, not the historical. It's the spiritual understanding of Christ and not the theological that matters. But if you don't understand that, hold on for a day or two, and we'll be getting nearer as we go along.

Well, these three phases are clearly recognized, are they not? And we have come, now, to the last: the spiritual, the revelation of Jesus Christ inwardly by the Holy Spirit; Supreme, absolutely essential, indispensable. As I said, God, when He moves (and He is moving now on this line if you can discern, on this line) He, of course, is moving onward, but He is moving backward. And if you get hold of that last thing that I have just said, you will see how true it is how God is moving back in order to move on.

What is the New Testament based upon? The historical life of Jesus? No. The theological life of Jesus? No. It's all there. That's not His foundation. The real root of Christianity, this new dispensational crisis and movement, the real root is gathered into the words of the Apostle Paul, who so, so, very much represents in himself, in his own experience and history with God, the nature of this whole dispensation. And in the simple but profound words, it is all gathered up: "It pleased God - it pleased God... to reveal His Son in me." This is something more than the Damascus Road objective experience. That was just the turning point in the great crisis. That was the impact upon him of a meaning which was to begin then and unfold through all the rest of his life. "It pleased God to reveal His Son in me." That's it. Not to me, in me.

What he later wrote, quoted here last night: "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory would give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge" (our word, our second category word, but with a prefix: in the full knowledge) "of Him." A spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, of Christ. That's inward, that's inward: right deep down at the very source and centre of our being God has made us to see, and to see the significance of His Son, Jesus Christ. Out of that, Christianity comes, true Christianity, and anything less than that is dangerous Christianity. Dangerous for the individual concerned and dangerous for the Church.

This is what I mean by the spiritual crisis, the spiritual aspect, above and beyond and more than the historical and the theological or the doctrinal. The spiritual: the revelation of Jesus Christ within. That's it.

The Lord alone can do that. We all have to pray to the Father of Glory to do it. But it can be done, and it can be done here. It can be done so that we go away saying, "I have seen. I have seen! I can never be the same. A whole regime is left behind, an entirely new order has come in for me. I am out of something, and I am in something else; I have seen! I have seen Jesus Christ." That's the focal point, dear friends, of the message that I have to bring to you.

Now the Bible... let's get back again onto larger lines (and I must keep this enemy [time/watch] in view as much as I dislike him!) the Bible is divided, (and this is child's talk) into two main divisions, what we call the Old Testament and the New Testament. But, note, it is more than a division of books. Genesis to Malachi comprising so many books, one half of the Bible, then from Matthew to Revelation, so many books, and thus the Bible is divided into two. Oh, but it is much more than a division of books. It is this great divide.

This Great Spiritual Divide

The four Gospels, what do they really mean? When you have stood back and asked the question, what do they represent? Well, there are two things I am going to say about it. First of all, they introduce the Person Who Himself is the crisis. The Person, Who is Himself the crisis, and brings in and precipitates the crisis and changes the dispensation in its entirety.

They've introduced the Person Who does that and Who is that: the crisis of the Christ.

But you notice, of course, common place, that all the four Gospels, while differing in details of content, some containing what others don't, and so on, having their own differences, all four Gospels head straight, direct, up to the Cross. Every one of them has this characteristic in common, whatever other differences there may be, they all have this in common, that they end with the Cross. The Person of the crisis is introduced, and the crisis itself is the crisis of the Cross. The Cross is the crisis of the change that has come in with the Person. Be patient, as we move on. And this is what it amounts to: here is the Person, here is His earthly life and walk, work and teaching, but none of that can become of any value to anybody until the Cross has been planted over it all.

You can have all there is about the historic Jesus and the theological Christ, but nothing matters, nothing will happen until all that is in those Gospels is brought right up to the Cross, and the Cross makes effective the crisis of the Person. You see that? Lay hold of that.

So that the result and the issue is this: that really between the two divisions of the Bible, between the Old Testament and the New Testament, right there is the Cross. Right there's the Cross. You've got to put the Cross between Malachi and Matthew, so far as books are concerned, put it right there, because on the one side of the Cross all that goes before and leads up to Malachi so far as books are concerned (I am not speaking about the chronological order, so far as the arrangement is concerned) all that has been in that from Genesis to Malachi, on that side of the Cross, the Cross says: "No more, no more. No, finished! That's done with." The other side of the Cross... what? Yes, "all things new."

I haven't got a bit of Fromke-itis [referring to Devern Fromke] or I should draw a big cross. And I would draw a thick line right down the centre, from top to bottom, not only on the Cross but above the Cross, right from the heavens, down through the Cross to the depths. A wide line, a no man's land, and then on that side of the Cross I would write one word: NOT! Not. One big comprehensive word: N-O-T as big as the Cross. On the other side of the Cross, the onward side, not the backward side, the onward side, I would put one other word: B-U-T. "BUT"! NOT... "BUT".

Now, dear friends, I have just said something that can take up all your time for the rest of your life. Do you know those two words are two governing words throughout the whole of your New Testament? If you would like now to make a very closely, analytical study of your New Testament in the light of this, and underline every occurrence of those two words, you will have an immense, new comprehension, revelation, of the meaning of Christ and of the difference that He has made, of the great divide, and of what we are in.

"Not" - "But"

I dare not launch out onto it. It applies to everything! How much dare I say without being involved in this? It applies to, it is made to apply to, the very beginning of Christian history in the individual. Open your Gospel by John. Where are you at once? "Which were born NOT of the flesh, NOT of bloods, NOT of the will of man." Here's your big NOT at the very beginning! "BUT of God." NOT... BUT.

Now, if I went on to show you how this applies to everything in the New Testament (we are going to come to it later on in some particulars) but here we are: that Cross, with its great divide and centre looking backward over all that has been right up to that point and saying, "NOT". Not! Not any longer. No more, finished. A closed door, no way through. Heaven is in God's great "NOT". Ah, but in the resurrection... and resurrection is the positive, isn't it? Always.

Not... not, BUT! Now "neither" is only another word isn't it, for "not". "Neither is circumcision anything or uncircumcision, BUT!" NOT! Not, BUT a new creation. So you could go on. It is just wonderful how those two words open up everything and give us an insight into what has come to us, and what we have come into with the coming of Jesus Christ.

This great division - with the Cross there between the testaments: the end of Malachi, which is a tragic, tragic book of the failure of everything in the past, and at the beginning Matthew... hope, light, life, everything fresh, new. The great "BUT" of a new order of things. It's the end of a system and the beginning of an entirely new one. The Cross of the Lord Jesus has written these two words large over the whole history covered by the Bible. The Bible is intended to comprehend human history, and human history is comprehended in these two words: "Not" – "But."

Now there is something here that I must say, that I think may be helpful. I hope it will be. You see, the Cross, the Cross is a very practical thing. With God it is not the doctrine, or just the doctrine, of the way of salvation, the way of redemption. It's that, it's not the theology of the atonement and all such doctrine, and it is certainly not just the historic thing represented by the crucifix. The Cross is an immensely practical thing with God, intended to make actual this divide; and although you may know all about the message of the Cross (or think you do), you may be just full of the teaching of the Cross. The test, really, of the knowledge that you have about the Cross is whether this divide has been made in you, made in you; that the Cross has resulted in the leaving behind of one entire regime and system and order.

Oh, I know you say, "Of course it has meant that I have left the world and the things of the world". Oh, that is almost nonsense to talk like that. You really don't know what you have got to leave behind. But you will learn under the hand of God what the Cross means about the elimination, the moving away, further and further away. We are coming to that in Hebrews. I'm battling all the time not to overtake too much. But you come, we are going into this letter to the Hebrews, and you will come to a phrase which, of course, of course, you know: "Let us therefore go to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." What does that mean to you?

"Without the Camp"

It takes a lifetime to learn what that means, and it means going through some literally terrific, devastating experiences of our soul life. This is the work of the Cross. It's a going out on the one side. A going out of, what? An immensity, but it's "to Him." Oh, it's to Him - that is another immensity, isn't it? You see what I mean? The Cross is a tremendously practical thing, forcing this gap, this divide, wider and wider as we go on so that the fact is (like it or not like it) the fact is that as we move more and more in spiritual understanding and apprehension of the meaning of Christ, we find ourselves more and more alone so far as many Christians are concerned, and certainly so far as the traditional system of Christianity is concerned.

Well, now to bring this (which is only preparatory, introductory) to a close, let me say, again coming back to the starting point, the progress, progress in the life and purpose of God with which this letter to the Hebrews has to do in its entirety. You know that, don't you? "Let us...", what? "Let us" that is one of the key words, key phrases, to the whole letter. "Let us..." "Oh no, you've gone too far, brother. You said 'let us go on.' You've gone too far. Therefore, let us leave!" That is the first letter. Therefore, let us leave, let us beware, let us go on.

What I am saying is that progress in the life and purpose of God for the individual and for the Church, depends (and if you forget everything else, write this inside) depends upon spiritual discernment.

Spiritual Discernment

This kind of spiritual knowledge and understanding as to the nature of this great change that has come in with the Lord Jesus... discernment of it! Now, if you go back, and we will for a moment, go back to our Old Testament passage, 1 Chronicles 12. Note the chapter don't you? Have you scanned the chapter? It is a new movement isn't it? It is a crisis, a turning point. David is out there, outside the camp. He's outside the camp. He is in the wilderness, he is in his cave. And now there are coming to him men of all the tribes, or of many of the tribes, just nuclei, just a few, a kind of remnant of Israel, coming to him outside the camp. And they're described as their various characteristics, men, men of valor; men of courage; men of strength, great strength; men of ability to make war; men who are committed with all their might, for it says: "These came with a perfect heart."

Very good, and so then, all these coming ones, who are falling away to David, are characterized by these things. And then right there, this: this change of complexion, it looks like a new, a different category: men of Issachar who had knowledge of the times (understanding of the times) and knew what Israel ought to do. Right at the heart of this return movement, this new movement of God which is a recovery movement, right at the heart of it, there is put this contrasting, almost striking thing: "men who had understanding of the times, and knew what Israel ought to do." And I venture to suggest that with all the driving force of these other men, all their muscles, all their physical force, and all that side of things, but for these men of Issachar there would have been something lacking which might have spoiled the whole movement. I believe it is put there to show that with all, with all that is being done (rightly and well-meaningly) the thing that must be here right at the heart of everything is spiritual understanding, spiritual discernment, spiritual knowledge, knowing what the significance of this time is, knowledge of the times and what this means.

Oh, this is not just something happening that men are doing. No, this has a meaning, a deep, a profound, Divine meaning; and these people have seen it. They have understanding as to the meaning of this present time and because they have understanding, they know what Israel ought to do. Don't you feel that's important, very vital?

Well, you say, what did the men of Issachar really see? What was it that they understood? What was it that they knew Israel ought to do? Pause and think. Look at the context again. Of course, it's historic in illustration, but spiritual in principle, and the answer to that in this dispensation is the Letter to the Hebrews. Where do you read it in your Letter to the Hebrews? "God, having in times past (old times) proceeded in this way, adopted this method; He is finished with those times and hath at the end of such times and methods spoken in His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all things."

We have come to David. God's chosen, sovereignly chosen, God's elect, God's appointed, God's intended ruler, God's principle of heavenly authority amongst the Lord's people - all that David means. They knew that Israel ought to turn back to David and put David in the place for which he had been anointed of God.

Now that's simple, isn't it, in language, but don't forget it represented something. You've still got Saul alive, you know! You've still got the old regime of Saul. He is not dead yet, he has his forty years to run and, my word, what a problem for Israel! God's man, anointed man, is not in his place fully, he is on the way there; but this is God's way.

Turn over to your letter to the Hebrews and there you are! What is the movement, the final movement, the full movement, which embraces all the parts, the fragments, comprehends all and makes everything final? Fulness and finality are the words to write over the Letter to the Hebrews. It is a Christ movement with spiritual understanding of what He is, Who He is, what He represents in the universe of God - it is the spiritual apprehension of Christ. Oh, the words sound so feeble, don't they? So feeble... Perhaps familiarity robs them of their strength and point; but, dear friends, everything for Christianity, everything for Christianity, for destiny, depends now upon an adequate apprehension of the meaning of Jesus Christ in God's order of things. And this is going to be devastating, devastating to a whole system, and a Christian system, so called. Just devastating for you, for me; it will be that.

It is going, for us, to disintegrate. Our Christianity may disintegrate. Perhaps you don't understand what I mean. Yes, there is going to be a big "No" of God written over a whole Christian system and men, although they are not intelligent as to this, they do sense, strongly and growingly sense, that they have got to do something to keep Christianity intact. I believe that the whole ecumenical movement is a tremendous effort to save Christianity from collapsing.

The whole World Council of Churches is to put Christianity on crutches and save its reputation. Men are doing this, a tremendous effort, because there are those who are saying Christianity has had its day, it's had its day, it no longer means anything. And you say, "Well, that's infidelity, that's apostasy!" But, dear friends, don't you make any mistake; if you are going on with God, you are going to come into spiritual experiences in your life with God where you will be tested on every point of your Christian life as to whether this is valid, as to whether this will stand up to the situation, as to whether this is going to get me through. Yes, on the things that you believe most strongly and think you know most fully, you are going to be tested. Don't make any mistake about it - the time may come when in your life you will be tempted to question the very deepest realities of your past conviction.

There are men and women in this world who are going through that now. Quite easy? I think of some of those who have spent long years in prison and I read what they wrote before, and I have to say, I wonder if they believe that now? I wonder if they hold to that now? I wonder if that is getting them through now? I wonder... That is a tremendous statement that they made about the all-sufficiency of Christ, and so on and so on, but I wonder, I believe they will come through because He is Lord, because the heart is right with Him. But, mark you, I am simply saying this: that this great question of the real, spiritual significance of our faith, of our Christianity, is going to be put sorely to the test. It is going to be found out then whether it is Christian tradition, Christian doctrine, Christian theology, the Christian system generally, commonly accepted, or whether... what? It is Christ! It's Christ. We are going to be stripped down to Christ. Stripped down to Christ, the place where we say, "All I have left after all my learning and teaching and Christian work, all I have left is the Lord Himself." But is that going to be a fatal position? Not at all!

You know about the old woman on the ship, don't you? In a tremendous storm, she looked at the captain and said, "Captain, are we going to be sunk? Is this the end?" The captain said, "You had better pray." Oh! Has it come to that? Yes, we will be wrecked on Christ and then we will be found out whether we are under the "Not" or under the "But." Shall we pray...

Now, Lord, for Thee it is to interpret, explain and apply and give the understanding. Our reaction to it all is: this flesh cannot, this flesh cannot. We in ourselves cannot. We know it, BUT, Thou art sufficient. Our hearts are open to Thee, Lord, our hearts, we trust, are truly toward Thee. Make use of this feeble ministry to give us interpretation of future experiences in Thy dealings with us, Thy strange ways. Oh Lord, open our eyes and give us spiritual understanding we ask in the Name of Thy Son, amen.

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