The Harness of the Lord: is a terrific operation of the Spirit going on today to bring the Sons of God into an absolute confinement to the perfect will of God. This is the Day of His Preparation, the day in which He is preparing the channel through which He shall pour forth His Glory for all the world to see. This channel is His Body in the earth, that glorious company of people who are being conformed through much tribulation and fiery tests to the Image of the Son of God. This is His “battle axe and weapons of war” with which He shall subdue kingdoms and overcome all His enemies. This is His “mighty and strong One” to whom He shall commit the work of judging this world. This is His Overcomer, His “Great army” with which He shall bring the nations into submission. The weapons of their warfare are not carnal, natural weapons, but they are mighty weapons, mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. These are those who shall “be strong and do exploits.”
But before God can commit this great and tremendous ministry into their hands, they must submit themselves to the discipline of the Lord, letting Him truly be the Lord of their entire lives. We have long since dealt with the question of open sin, but now God is dealing with the inward rebellion of our own wills. Some good Christians are not now being so dealt with, for they are not in this Firstfruits Company, but nevertheless there is a real dealing of God going on within those who are called into the High Calling of God. This is a very real thing, and is the work of the Refiner’s Fire. To those who are going through it, some of its aspects are horrible, but very necessary, and the end result thereof is glorious as we are brought into absolute and complete submission to the will of our Lord.0
Men in Sackcloth: WHY do the scribes say that Elijah must first come before the coming of Christ?” This was the question the puzzled disciples asked the Lord (Matthew 17:10) after the scribe confused them with the prophecy of Malachi where God promised that He would send back Elijah to restore all things before the great and terrible day of the Lord. The answer Jesus gave them has a two-fold meaning. “Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elijah is come already, and they knew him not. “The angel had promised (Luke 1:17) that John the Baptist would go before the Lord Jesus in the spirit and power of Elijah, to restore and make ready a people prepared for the Lord. This was fulfilled. One man, John, preceded and introduced one Man, Jesus, as the Christ, the Anointed One who had come to take away sin. But this was not the end of the matter. For Jesus, the word, was a Seed planted in death, resurrected in power, to bring forth a mighty Harvest in His own likeness (Romans 8:29). This Harvest is the glorious Body of Christ, ever growing into the likeness of the Seed, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, growing up into the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole Body is fitly joined together (Ephesians 4:13-16).
Men in Sackcloth: Just as God was manifested in Jesus Christ who came forth from the womb of the Virgin Mary. . now in the end of the Age God has a Body of people, the Temple people which are now in the womb of the true Church, the Virgin Bride or the Holy City, Jerusalem. This Body of Christ, the Overcomer, shall come forth in mighty power to manifest the fullness of Christ in the earth. They are known as the Manifested Sons of God, and this place they occupy is the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. But before they are manifested or revealed to the world, God shall have a group known as the Elijah-Moses Ministry, a prophetic ministry sent forth with mighty power and the spirit of judgment to restore all things. And as one man, a prophet, goes before one man, the Christ, just so a group of called out saints with a prophetic ministry goes before and introduces the Manifested Sons of God, the Christ ministry. In our previous message on ‘THE TWO WITNESSES of Revelation 11,’ we found beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Scripture shows these two prophets to be the Elijah-Moses ministry of the Body of Christ. Not just two men, but the Lord Jesus in His Body which is made up of many members. Acts 3:21 tells us that Jesus shall remain in heaven and not return to earth until the times of restitution (restoration) of all things spoken by the mouth of His prophets. By looking at the 11th chapter of Revelation we can see something of what this ministry will be like.1
TREASURES OF TRUTH, VOLUME 2
THY KINGDOM COME
BY: GEORGE R. HAWTIN
THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN
“And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come. He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say Lo here! or Lo there! For behold the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20, 21
The end of all things as we have known them is at hand. The unsound and worthless feet of the image of Babylon, part of iron and part of miry clay, are even now crumbling beneath the awesome weight of the legs of iron, the belly and thighs of brass, the breast of silver and the haughty head of gold. (Dan. 2:31-45) The image of Babylon is complete. This art of human device now stands before the deceived but admiring eyes of men, a thing of infinite beauty, an image to be trusted, having stood the ravages of millenniums of time. But they do not seem to know that its feet are dross, mingled, weak and corrupt, for they are formed of iron and clay which cannot cling together, and, should a stone but fall upon them, collapse they must and with them the haughty image of the systems of this world.
I need not tell you that Daniel, a prophet dearly loved of God, saw the total collapse of the confused systems and governments of this world when in spirit he saw a stone, cut out without hands, smite the image on its useless feet of iron and clay, shattering them in pieces. “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind (the Spirit) carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” Dan. 2:350
Our Father Which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it
Is done in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power
And the Glory, for ever.
TREASURES OF TRUTH, VOLUME 2
THY KINGDOM COME
BY: GEORGE R. HAWTIN
THE GLORY AND POWER OF THE KINGDOM
“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”— Math. 6:13
The prayer, which for centuries has been known as the Lord’s prayer is a pattern prayer. Jesus introduced it to His people with these significant words: “But thou when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be ye not therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye:”
For centuries men have practiced their vain repetitions before the Lord, thinking they would be heard for their much speaking, hoping that by often repeating their requests God would at last i tike heed to their supplication and grant them the answer they desired, all the time forgetting that our heavenly Father knows what things we have need of before we ask. It is not our intention here to give an exposition on the subject of prayer, but let it be forever known that faith can never operate until first you are sure of the will of God. Therefore our quest should never be an effort to coax God to do a thousand things we think should be done, but rather to wait before Him until He fills our being with the prayer that is born of His own will. Once the heart has become one with the will of God, there need be no striving to exercise faith, for the will of God about any matter is the supreme element of faith. Study the lives of the great heroes of faith as Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and a host of others and you will find that the secret of their mighty works lay in one thing and in one thing alone. They did what God told them to do. Therefore all the faith they needed was to obey His will.1
If I had but one year to Live; This message by one of the Christian and Missionary Alliance’s best-known writers was first published in 1938. The references to war clouds and to date-setters among the students of prophecy belong especially to that era. Yet the message is as timeless as A. W. Tozer himself. Dr. Tozer never achieved the “ripe old age” he mentions in his closing sentence; he died at sixty-six in the midst of an active ministry as pastor, conference speaker, and Alliance Witness editor.
Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Now, suppose that the first half of that prayer were to have literal fulfillment for me, and I were to learn positively that I had but one year to live – the number of my days were to be 365, no more, and at the end of that time my earthly life were to reach a sure and sudden termination in the shocking finality which is death. What could I do to bring the answer to the rest of that prayer? If I applied my heart, what would “wisdom” dictate that I should do with the precious days that remained to me?
The first thing that strikes me is that I should have to arrive at some plan of action in conformity with known facts. However much I might ignore them while the hope of long life lay before me, with that hope shrunk to a brief year, these facts would take on tremendous proportions. I mean the great cardinal facts of Bible doctrine. It is a significant thought that with death stalking me I should have no interest whatever in any controverted subjects; neither would the profundities of theology influence me, nor the abstruse refinements of Christian metaphysics.
When someone asked Mark Twain what he did with those passages in the Bible that he could not understand, he replied with grim humor: “The passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.” And I am sure that I should not be bothered by any of the minor differences that separate the brethren: Calvinism, church polity, the great pyramid, or the identity of the beast and the false prophet. I should only feel a real pity for those garrulous saints who, unmindful of the swift passing of the years, debate theological trivialities to their own confusion.
But just what would be the part of wisdom for one with but a few numbered years to go? Well, here is the way it would affect me.
If I were a sinner, I would stop hoping vaguely that somehow things would come out all right, and I would get down to realities. I would take no rest until I had absolute assurance on certain vital matters. I would want to know that my sins were forgiven, that I had passed from death unto life, and that Jesus Christ was my personal Savior. And in order to arrive at this assurance, I would put away diffidence, come boldly to Him, throw myself at His feet and refuse to go away.
I would not stand on ceremony nor allow myself to be hindered by the niceties of conventional religion. With my soul at stake, I could not afford to pray with one eye on the proprieties. So I would seek to take the kingdom by violence, and if any well-intentioned person, shocked by my boldness, should try to stop me, I would remember blind Bartimaeus and “[cry] the more a great deal, [Jesus,] thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:48)
And then if some panicky dispensationalist ran up in a dither to remind me that I had my dispensations crossed, I would push him aside none too gently and press for mercy till I got the answer: “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
Then I would give that last remaining year to God. All the wreckage and loss of the years behind me would spur me on to make the one before me a God-blessed success.
And I would give my ransomed life to Him also. One life, one year, with God above me and the needy world around me – no one can prophesy the blessed outcome. It is remarkable how much glory God sometimes packs into a life at its decline even when that life has not been useful for so very long. Samson rose to such heights of faith just before his death that he was able to accomplish more in one last act of sacrifice than he had done during his whole previous life. Such is the grace of God!
As a Christian, the shock of numbered days would not be so great, for we have been taught to expect the return of Christ at almost any hour, yet the very familiarity of the teaching and the repeated cry of “Lo, He is in the desert! Behold, He is in the secret chamber!” at every turn of events in Europe or Palestine have dulled the hearts of many till the sense of imminence is not keenly felt. The doctrine of the Second Coming is still faithfully preached, but the note of expectancy is often missing.
Anyway, there are some things I should want to get done. Some things that dog the steps of God’s people, things for which we are occasionally languidly sorry, I should want to repent of once and for all, and make that repentance stick.
One thing is unbelief. The fact that I see it in others as well as in myself is no excuse for me. Unbelief is so common that we do not recognize it. In sickness we look almost everywhere first before trying God. In adversity we wilt too easily. In danger we scheme and contrive as if God did not exist. I should not want my only year to be hindered by such business. So I would try to live close to God, to read the Bible much, to cultivate trust, and to be bold in my faith.
Another blight I should seek to escape is worldliness… if not worldly conduct, then worldly moods. The old Christians had a word that covered a true believer’s mental outlook. They called it “otherworldliness.” This kind of old-fashioned godliness is not very popular now.
We are supposed to keep abreast of the times, and we are advised to “read the newspapers as well as the Bible so as to watch the fulfillment of prophecy.” This sounds very pious, but it is a philosophy that has bred a generation of worldly pre-millenarians who are little more than news commentators with a mildly religious bent.
Separation unto God is not achieved when we desert the dance floor and the motion picture house. True separation is a constant possession of the devotional mood. If I had but one year to live, I would seek to enjoy that mood every day.
Then I would also want to check on the use of my money. All that came into my possession should be prayed over and used with religious care. Money has such great power for good that I would try to make the most of every penny for the kingdom of God. I am quite sure that I could get along with less if I wanted to do so, and that I could find plenty of places to use what I had saved for the promotion of the gospel program and the relieving of human distress.
A frequent checkup on my speech might be helpful to me also. Remembering how many times I had been hindered by soiled speech on the part of otherwise good people, I would resolve that not one spotted word should ever pass my lips. It is easy to get careless here – even ministers and missionaries are not exempt – so I would make a covenant with my tongue and trust God to help me keep it.
And since evil words flow from evil thoughts, I would try to deal with the problem at its source. A human heart can be a cesspool where breeds every sort of slimy thing: envy, malice, lust, suspicion, and a hundred other kinds of larvae waiting to develop into full-grown deeds.
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians would help me here: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
And then there is gossip. Popular opinion has made gossip a female weakness, but no honest man will deny that it is all but universally prevalent among men. Many innocent people have had their ministry ruined by noxious chatter. With no real intention to do harm, someone yields to the temptation to talk, and the injury is done, sometimes irreparably.
If I had but a short time to live, I could not afford to spend any part of it indulging in curious speculations about the lives of others. Wesley defined evil speaking as any unnecessary repetition of uncomplimentary remarks about anyone. Every Christian should have a little graveyard where he buries rumors which might affect the lives of any of God’s children. These rumors, greatly distended and full of life, come in boldly as if they had a right to do it, and begin their unholy work of destroying reputations. They should be knocked soundly on the head, buried six feet under in an unmarked grave, and forgotten.
The Sacrifice of Praise
Then I think I would want to get caught up on my thanksgiving. I would repent of ingratitude and remember the multitude of blessings I have to be grateful for. I would be thankful to God, and I would not forget to be thankful to people. I may have been mistreated a few times, to be sure, but for the most part people have treated me with a kindness and consideration far exceeding any merit of mine. There are so many people, living and dead, to whom I owe such a great moral debt that one year would not be long enough to thank God for them.
And with all her faults, I would not forget to be grateful for my country. I am thankful for freedom – political freedom and the rare freedom of conscience that makes it possible for me to worship God as I see the light without interference.
There is no place to stop when God’s mercies are the topic. I would spend my days being glad, and God would accept the offering.
Now all this would seem to me to be the good and right thing to do for one who had but a year to live. But since we do not know whether we have a year before us, or a day or ten days, and since what would be right for the last year would be right for the whole life – even if its years were many – then the conclusion is plain.
I know not what others may want to do, but I want to get down to business and live as if this year were my last. Then if God should spare me to a ripe old age, I can go without regrets.
If I had but one year to Live
If I had but one year to Live; By AW Tozer