Jesus, the Ordinary Man: Presented by the Queen of the Realm

Walking with God
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It is God coming in in authority, in spiritual ascendency and in dignity. It is going to give to the weakest, the frailest, the most nervous, a new dignity which is of God and not of man and give them a position in Christ of spiritual ascendency and elevation. It is a blessed thing beloved and this is practical too for the weakest, humblest, nervous, retiring, reserved, shrinking naturally, can now come to be by the Holy Spirit constituted into one at whom demons tremble, the powers of darkness are afraid, and there is registered the impact of God in sovereignty.

That is a dignity that comes in by anointing. It is God involving Himself in the life of that one and all those who have come under the absolute Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ. And that is a thing that you and I need to understand and come into, for all of us are far too spiritually feeble and we ought to be mighty.

We are far too easily set back by the enemy when the enemy should be set back by the Lord through us. It is so difficult today for the church to stand up against the flood of evil forces and there is not the testimony to the absolute sovereignty of the Lord Jesus. That ought not to be. There is far too much depression and defeat written in the faces of the Lord's people and in the very suggestion of their presence that to be a Christian is an awfully difficult, hard business and it is like carrying a tremendous burden and being people who have an awful time on the earth and the worst of it all the time.

But while it is true we know sorrow, yet there is that "always rejoicing". There is the other side where we know what it is to be persecuted, pursued, but not left behind. Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed; there is an ascendency all the time which is not our optimism, not because we have such a store of good spirits that we can stir ourselves up to be cheerful; it is that mighty fact of the ascendency of the Holy Spirit in the Name of the Lord Jesus in our hearts that we know that even in the worst hour, the darkest hour, we are coming out at length on top; it is not going to end in ignominy and shame and there is a "hope which maketh not ashamed".

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The ascendency of Christ by the Holy Spirit within: that which is born of the Spirit. We should be men and women in places where the devil does rampage, but with the Holy Spirit dwelling within in the sovereign pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus and the Name, recognising that he is not sovereign there, but Jesus Christ is, because we are there.

The testimony in every member of Christ to the fact that God has anointed Jesus Christ as sovereign Head, and Christ is in us. We are giving a very great deal away to the devil by our spirit of defeat. The enemy is able to hold his ground and property far too easily today because Christianity is making us such miserable people, we used to be bright but now we are morose and seem to have no joy, to be under things all the time.

What Think Ye of Christ? (1990)

It is their Christianity that has taken away the very joy of life from us - God deliver us! That is giving the enemy ground, putting him in a place of vantage. All who have intelligence are to be able to see that there is in us something more than the best of this earth, that we have a satisfaction and an ascendency which makes us absolutely independent of all their so-called joys, with a joy that is more than their best.

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He had already healed many, sometimes by a word spoken to afflicted ones present, and again when He was far from the subject of His beneficent power; bodily diseases had been overcome, and demons had been rebuked at His command; but, though the sick who were nigh unto death had been saved from the grave, we have no earlier record of our Lord having commanded dread death itself to give back one it had claimed. The looped-up fold of the tilma fell; the flowers he thought were the precious sign tumbled out on the floor. The antiviral properties in frankincense and sandalwood wards off flu,and spinalmenengitis. Personally, I will rely on the words of the center of this and so many other debates…. God revealed himself to Israel as the One who has a stronger love than that of parents for their children or of husbands and wives for their spouses. But then the holy spirit Yes revives my soul again.

Not to look at us and say they won't go to this and do that because they must not; we have become Christians and are afraid to and are just about as miserable as can be. No, that is not the order. We should be those who are really spoilt for the world, who have something far more than they have! Well, that is the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus, the ascendency of the anointing, God coming in in authority and in dignity.

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We may be amongst men nothing, accounted the off-scouring of all things, whom men would not look at when they were looking for one to do their big jobs, set at naught, and yet still there is that which speaks of a dignity, strength, power, grip, calm. There's no better word than ascendency ; that which came out so gloriously in the apostle. Paul, at the end of a hard life, with a broken body, having suffered intensely and been nigh unto death many times, yet when the sea is raging so that well-seasoned, sea-faring men are at their wits end, in despair and have not another line of resource but to just stand paralysed to see how things would go, came and took charge of the ship, carried the whole thing through and recaptured the morale of the whole crew.

That is not the force of human personality; it is the ascendency of God in a man. And that is a secret thing with the Lord.

Jesus College, Oxford

When others come to their wits end, the child of God is governed by that which is above all the forces of nature, and is calm. It is that to which the Lord would bring His children. That is really the power, and virtue, and inheritance of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It was always those anointed of God who, in the hour of emergency, took charge. They were there in the position of authority in the day of threatening disaster. Anointing then, must mean spiritual dignity - not to make us important in our own eyes, to give us a natural importance - it will make us feel very nothing.

That is very necessary; it is to give spiritual dignity. It was always for that purpose. Anointing existed before Adam was created. We read of the anointed cherub that covered, referring to Lucifer in his unfallen state, in his high office in the glory before this world was: How art thou fallen. The anointed and the anointing constituted him a dignitary in the heavenly glories before this world was, and anointing is always in relation to spiritual and moral ascendency. We need to know that operation of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

It is not official; not formal, not ecclesiastical; it is spiritual, moral, in the highest sense of that word.

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It gives an elevation above the highest natural ability, and the highest natural dignity. The strong, and powerful, and important in this world cannot rise to the height of this sovereignty of the Lord Jesus in government and administration and will have to bow to it sooner or later. Now the next thing is this: that the Body of Christ and every member of the Body of Christ is intended to be the medium of the display of Christ's Headship. He has been "made Head over all things to the church which is His Body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all" so that the Body, and every member thereof, is intended to be for the display of the glory of the Head.

You remember that the spiritual interpretation of the book of Esther largely comes down upon that. Vashti was deposed from her position as queen. Because she refused to hold herself at the disposal of the king for the display of his glory. She preferred to have a private party of her own and to reign in her own circle instead of going to the banquet of the king to be displayed for his glory. Reading the story as a bit of Eastern history, it might be a sordid story, but God is taking hold of these things, however sordid, that they may represent great spiritual realities.

The same is true of the story of the prophet Hosea and his wife: a woman running off and selling herself and giving herself to the most degrading course of moral or immoral life, and then the prophet having to go, and when men have no more use for her, the prophet having to buy her out of the public market. So degraded as to be put up for sale for anyone who would make a bid for her; and the prophet having to go and buy her back and restore her to the place of highest affection and deepest respect, and act as if she had never sinned.

God loves that people Israel. That is me and you, but He says, "I love you as if you had never sinned and will restore you to a place as if nothing had ever happened". This is taken hold of by God and lifted and given a spiritual significance which carries you to the highest glories of New Testament revelation.

Vashti goes; she prefers a private banquet where she could reign as queen on her own. She is is deposed, and the king seeks someone who will live a life of selflessness for him and for his glory; and Esther comes in to take that place.

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She is sought for. All is for the king to display his glory, kingship and sovereignty, and Esther is brought to the palace for that purpose. Esther is the church, the Bride - the church is to be the instrument for the display of the glory of the Head. All her glory is His glory and of no one else.

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When Rebecca was brought from the far country to Isaac, as they drew near she lifted up her eyes and said, "Who is this man? Her beauty was for no one else; it was reserved for him. That is it. The church is for His glory. The display of His glory. So the Body in all its members is to be the display of the sovereignty, glory and supremacy of the Head, the Lord Jesus. What a calling, what a vocation, what an honour!

The Reformed Faith

But, you see, this is vocational. We so often take this angle, pleading with the Lord to display His sovereign power - that is just the very thing for which He has related us to Himself. There is no need for us to plead for Him to do it, but we should be in a position and condition for Him to do it. He has joined us to Himself for that purpose. When we hold fast the Head it is the sovereignty of the Head that is displayed.

At Pentecost that is what happened. The Holy Spirit brought them into a right relationship to the Exalted Head and His sovereignty was instantly displayed, and the difficulty is not in our persuading the Lord to act sovereignly and mightily, but getting us to a place of selflessness where we will take none of the glory to ourselves.