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´╗┐Title: The Calvary Road
Author: Hession, Roy, Hession, Revel
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Calvary Road" ***

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The Calvary Road

by

Roy and Revel Hession


Christian Literature Crusade
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania



Contents

PREFACE

1. BROKENNESS

2. CUPS RUNNING OVER

3. THE WAY OF FELLOWSHIP

4. THE HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS

5. THE DOVE AND THE LAMB

6. REVIVAL IN THE HOME

7. THE MOTE AND THE BEAM

8. ARE YOU WILLING TO BE A SERVANT

9. THE POWER OF THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB

10. PROTESTING OUR INNOCENCE?



INTRODUCTION

By NORMAN P. GRUBB,
Hon. Secretary of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, London


I am sure from my own experience, as well as from what we have seen
in the ranks of our Mission these last three years, that what the
authors tell us about in these pages is one of God's vital words to
His worldwide church today. For long I had regarded revival only from
the angle of some longed for, but very rare, sudden outpouring of the
Spirit on a company of people. I felt that there was a missing link
somewhere. Knowing of the continuing revival on a certain mission
field, and because it was continuing and not merely sudden and
passing, I long felt that they had a further secret we needed to
learn. Then the chance came for heart-to-heart fellowship with them,
first through one of our own missionary leaders whose life and
ministry had been transformed by a visit to that field, and then
through conferences with some of their missionaries on furlough and
finally through the privilege of having two of the native brethren
living for six months at our headquarters.

From them I learned and saw that revival is first personal and
immediate. It is the constant experience of any simplest Christian
who "walks in the light," but I saw that walking in the light means
an altogether new sensitiveness to sin, a calling things by their
proper name of sin, such as pride, hardness, doubt, fear, self-pity,
which are often passed over as merely human reaction. It means a
readiness to "break" and confess at the feet of Him who was broken
for us, for the Blood does not cleanse excuses, but always cleanses
sin, confessed as sin; then revival is just the daily experience of a
soul full of Jesus and running over.

Further, we are beginning to learn, as a company of Christ's
witnesses, that the rivers of life to the world do not flow out in
their fulness through one man, but through the body, the team. Our
brokenness and openness must be two-way, horizontal as well as
vertical, with one another as with God. We are just beginning to
experience in our own ranks that team work in the Spirit is one of
the keys to revival, and that we have to learn and practice the laws
of a living fellowship.

I need not say more, as Roy Hession and his wife expound the whole
matter. But we have seen God at work in our midst. I could name
half-a-dozen of our workers, several of them leaders, in whose lives
there has been a new spiritual revolution. Then rivulets of blessing
in some of our individual lives have been merging in a larger stream.
God has been giving us times as a company when "as they prayed, the
place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were
all filled with the Holy Ghost." Here and there on our battle fields,
distant and near, the sound of abundance of rain is being heard; and
we believe among many companies of God's people He is preparing
afresh for these last days a "sharp threshing instrument having
teeth," and that what God is saying to us through this Revival, and
through the interpretation of that message in this pamphlet, is a
word of the Lord for our day. May it be greatly used to produce
revived lives, revived fellowships and revived churches.
PREFACE

In April, 1947, several missionaries came at my invitation to an
Easter Conference which I was organising. I invited them to come as
speakers, because I had heard that they had been experiencing Revival
in their field for a number of years, and I was interested in
Revival. What they had to say was very different from much of what I
had associated with Revival. It was very simple and very quiet. As
they unfolded their message and gave their testimonies, I discovered
that I was the neediest person in the conference and was far more in
need of being revived than I had ever realised. That discovery,
however, only came slowly to me. Being myself one of the speakers, I
suppose I was more concerned about others' needs than my own. As my
wife and others humbled themselves before God and experienced the
cleansing of the precious Blood of Jesus, I found myself left
somewhat high and dry--dry just because I was high. I was stumbled by
the simplicity of the message, or rather the simplicity of what I had
to do to be revived and filled with the Spirit. When others at the
end of the conference testified of how Jesus had broken them at His
Cross and filled their hearts to overflowing with His Holy Spirit, I
had no such testimony. It was only afterwards that I was enabled to
give up trying to fit things into my doctrinal scheme, and come
humbly to the Cross for cleansing from my own personal sins. It was
like beginning my Christian life all over again. My flesh "came again
like that of a little child," as did Naaman's when he was willing to
humble himself and dip himself in Jordan. And it has been an
altogether new chapter in life since then. It has meant, however,
that I have had to choose constantly to die to the big "I," that
Jesus might be all, and constantly to come to Him for cleansing in
His precious Blood. But that is just why it is a new chapter.

At that time my wife and I had been issuing a little paper which we
called "Challenge," in which we were seeking to lead young Christians
into a deeper experience of the Lord Jesus. It was natural, then,
that in the following issue we should put down what God had shown us.
We simply put down in print the Message of Revival as it had come to
us. There was a sudden and surprising demand for the little paper,
because it carried this simple message. As we continued to write
further of the Message of Revival in subsequent issues, the demand
continued to increase surprisingly. Letters came in almost every day
telling of the way God was blessing His people through it, and asking
for further supplies. Requests began to come from far away countries,
to which the little paper was finding its way, and news began to come
of the beginnings of revival in the lives of God's people in various
parts. Translations too were made into French and German. We had been
caught up in the current of God's working beyond anything we expected
or deserved. Indeed we had nothing to glory in, for it became evident
that revival blessing was not so much the result of "Challenge," as
that "Challenge" was the result of revival blessing. God was at work
in many hearts and in many parts. The testimony of those who had been
revived made others hungry, who in turn found their way to the Cross,
and so the blessing spread from life to life. And wherever the
blessing spread, the little paper seemed to go, for it sought to put
in clear and Scriptural language what so many were beginning to
experience.

The connection of all this with the present little book is that this
book is simply a collection of some of those numbers of "Challenge."
Circumstances make it difficult at the moment for us to continue to
send out further issues of "Challenge," and yet the requests for back
numbers have continued to come in. There is obviously a need for this
simple Message of Revival to be made available to a wider circle of
readers, for there is a growing thirst in God's people for the Rivers
of Living Water. And so, encouraged by God's blessing on what has
gone before, we have put together some of the more helpful numbers of
"Challenge," together with two extra chapters, and send them on their
way, looking to God to use them as He will. We cannot boast that this
contains an orderly treatment of our subject chapter by chapter. Each
article was designed to be complete in itself, and therefore now that
they are put together in one pamphlet, there cannot but be a good
deal of overlapping, and certain things will be seen to be repeated
again and again. It cannot, therefore, be regarded as an ordinary
book, and the chapters might best be read each one on its own, rather
than the whole of them at one sitting.

It must not be thought that this pamphlet represents a purely
personal contribution on our part. The things recorded in this book
have been learnt in fellowship with others in various parts, who have
begun, like ourselves, to walk the Way of the Cross in a new way. Any
others in that fellowship might have written these chapters. It is a
fellowship, too, which is continually growing, for an ever-increasing
number of lives are being quietly influenced and blessed by the
movement of Revival in this country now. This fact, we think, adds to
the strength and significance of what is here written.

Now a word about Revival itself. The conception of Revival contained
in the following pages may come as a surprise to many. The common
conception of Revival is usually that of a spectacular religious
awakening, in which large numbers of the unconverted are convicted of
sin and brought to Christ amid a good deal of excitement. Such a
visitation of God's Spirit, while greatly to be desired, is thought
to be largely unaccountable. It is something for which one can only
pray and we must wait for it in God's good time. Meantime we must go
on being defeated and the Church must somehow contrive to continue
her witness without New Life. Some of us are finding in actual fact
that true revival is often the very reverse of all this. Revival need
not be spectacular at all (it is certainly no spectacle to the one
who is facing up to his sins in the light of the Cross!). Indeed
where there is evidence of the spectacular, it is often the least
important part of revival. Our missionary friends seemed studiously
to avoid reference to the spectacular side of what they had been
through, lest it might obscure the real challenge of what God was
saying to us. Then, too, revival is not something that God does
firstly among the unconverted, but among His people. Revival simply
means New Life, and that implies that there is already Life there,
but that the Life has ebbed. The unconverted do not need revival, for
there is not any life there to revive. They need vival. It is the
Christians who need revival. But that presupposes that there has been
a declension. You only revive that which has grown weak. And they
only are candidates for revival who are prepared to confess that
there has been a declension in their lives. And the more specific the
confession, the more definitely will God revive. And when that
happens among us Christians, God will be able to work among the lost
in new power and we shall see a new work of grace there. One of Evan
Roberts' mottoes in the days of the Welsh Revival was "Bend the
Church and save the people." And the two are always linked. The world
has lost its faith, because the Church has lost its fire.

One last thing needs to be said about the necessary attitude of heart
of the reader. If God is to bless him at all through these pages, he
must come to them with a deep hunger of heart. He must be possessed
with a dissatisfaction of the state of the Church in general, and of
himself in particular--especially of himself. He must be willing for
God to begin His work in himself first, rather than in the other man.
He must, moreover, be possessed with the holy expectancy that God can
and will meet his need. If he is in any sense a Christian leader, the
urgency of the matter is intensified many times over. His willingness
to admit his need and be blessed will determine the degree to which
God can bless the people to whom he ministers. Above all he must
realise that he must be the first to humble himself at the Cross. If
a new honesty with regard to sin is needed among his people, he must
realise it must begin with himself. It was when the King of Nineveh
arose from his throne and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in
ashes as a sign of his repentance, that his people repented.

Let not, however, those readers who are not leaders be tempted to
look at those who are and wait for them. God wants to begin with each
one of us. He wants to begin with YOU.

May God bless us all.

Roy HESSION.
January, 1950.



CHAPTER I
BROKENNESS


We want to be very simple in this matter of Revival. Revival is just
the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts. Jesus is always
victorious. In heaven they are praising Him all the time for His
victory. Whatever may be our experience of failure and barrenness, He
is never defeated. His power is boundless. And we, on our part, have
only to get into a right relationship with Him, and we shall see His
power being demonstrated in our hearts and lives and service, and His
victorious life will fill us and overflow through us to others. And
that is Revival in its essence.

If, however, we are to come into this right relationship with Him,
the first thing we must learn is that our wills must be broken to His
will. To be broken is the beginning of Revival. It is painful, it is
humiliating, but it is the only way. It is being "Not I, but
Christ,"[footnote1:Gal. 2: 20.] and a "C" is a bent "I." The Lord
Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through us until the
proud self within us is broken. This simply means that the hard
unyielding self, which justifies itself, wants its own way, stands up
for its rights, and seeks its own glory, at last bows its head to
God's will, admits its wrong, gives up its own way to Jesus,
surrenders its rights and discards its own glory--that the Lord Jesus
might have all and be all. In other words it is dying to self and
self-attitudes.

And as we look honestly at our Christian lives, we can see how much
of this self there is in each of us. It is so often self who tries to
live the Christian life (the mere fact that we use the word "try"
indicates that it is self who has the responsibility). It is self,
too, who is often doing Christian work. It is always self who gets
irritable and envious and resentful and critical and worried. It is
self who is hard and unyielding in its attitudes to others. It is
self who is shy and self-conscious and reserved. No wonder we need
breaking. As long as self is in control, God can do little with us,
for all the fruits of the Spirit (they are enumerated in Galatians
5), with which God longs to fill us, are the complete antithesis of
the hard, unbroken spirit within us and presupposes that it has been
crucified.

Being broken is both God's work and ours. He brings His pressure to
bear, but we have to make the choice. If we are really open to
conviction as we seek fellowship with God (and willingness for the
light is the prime condition of fellowship with God), God will show
us the expressions of this proud, hard self that cause Him pain. Then
it is, we can stiffen our necks and refuse to repent or we can bow
the head and say, "Yes, Lord." Brokenness in daily experience is
simply the response of humility to the conviction of God. And
inasmuch as this conviction is continuous, we shall need to be broken
continually. And this can be very costly, when we see all the
yielding of rights and selfish interests that this will involve, and
the confessions and restitutions that may be sometimes necessary.

For this reason, we are not likely to be broken except at the Cross
of Jesus. The willingness of Jesus to be broken for us is the
all-compelling motive in our being broken too. We see Him, Who is in
the form of God, counting not equality with God a prize to be grasped
at and hung on to, but letting it go for us and taking upon Him the
form of a Servant--God's Servant, man's Servant. We see Him willing
to have no rights of His own, no home of His own, no possessions of
His own, willing to let men revile Him and not revile again, willing
to let men tread on Him and not retaliate or defend Himself. Above
all, we see Him broken as He meekly goes to Calvary to become men's
scapegoat by bearing their sins in His own body on the Tree. In a
pathetic passage in a prophetic Psalm, He says, "I am a worm and no
man."[footnote2:Psalm 22: 6.] Those who have been in tropical lands
tell us that there is a big difference between a snake and a worm,
when you attempt to strike at them. The snake rears itself up and
hisses and tries to strike back--a true picture of self. But a worm
offers no resistance, it allows you to do what you like with it, kick
it or squash it under your heel--a picture of true brokenness. And
Jesus was willing to become just that for us--a worm and no man. And
He did so, because that is what He saw us to be, worms having
forfeited all rights by our sin, except to deserve hell. And He now
calls us to take our rightful place as worms for Him and with Him.
The whole Sermon on the Mount with its teaching of non-retaliation,
love for enemies and selfless giving, assumes that that is our
position. But only the vision of the Love that was willing to be
broken for us can constrain us to be willing for that.

"Lord, bend that proud and stiff necked I,
    Help me to bow the head and die;
Beholding Him on Calvary,
    Who bowed His head for me."

But dying to self is not a thing we do once for all. There may be an
initial dying when God first shows these things, but ever after it
will be a constant dying, for only so can the Lord Jesus be revealed
constantly through us.[footnote3: 2 Cor. 4: 10.] All day long the
choice will be before us in a thousand ways. It will mean no plans,
no time, no money, no pleasure of our own. It will mean a constant
yielding to those around us, for our yieldedness to God is measured
by our yieldedness to man. Every humiliation, everyone who tries and
vexes us, is God's way of breaking us, so that there is a yet deeper
channel in us for the Life of Christ.

You see, the only life that pleases God and that can be victorious is
His life--never our life, no matter how hard we try. But inasmuch as
our self-centred life is the exact opposite of His, we can never be
filled with His life unless we are prepared for God to bring our life
constantly to death. And in that we must co-operate by our moral
choice.



CHAPTER 2
CUPS RUNNING OVER


Brokenness, however, is but the beginning of Revival. Revival itself
is being absolutely filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, and
that is victorious living. If we were asked this moment if we were
filled with the Holy Spirit, how many of us would dare to answer
"yes"? Revival is when we can say "yes" at any moment of the day. It
is not egoistic to say so, for filling to overflowing is utterly and
completely God's work--it is all of grace. All we have to do is to
present our empty, broken self and let Him fill and keep filled.
Andrew Murray says, "Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest
place, so the moment God finds you abased and empty, His glory and
power flow in." The picture that has made things simple and clear to
so many of us is that of the human heart as a cup, which we hold out
to Jesus, longing that He might fill it with the Water of Life. Jesus
is pictured as bearing the golden water pot with the Water of Life.
As He passes by, He looks into our cup and if it is clean, He fills
to overflowing with the Water of Life. And as Jesus is always passing
by, the cup can be always running over. That is something of what
David meant, when he said, "My cup runneth over." This is
Revival--you and I--full to overflowing with blessing ourselves and
to others--with a constant peace in our hearts. People imagine that
dying to self makes one miserable. But it just the opposite. It is
the refusal to die to self that makes one miserable. The more we know
of death with Him, the more we shall know of His life in us, and so
the more of real peace and joy. His life, too, will overflow through
us to lost souls in a real concern for their salvation, and to our
fellow Christians in a deep desire for their blessing.


Under the Blood.

Only one thing prevents Jesus filling our cups as He passes by, and
that is sin in one of its thousand forms. The Lord Jesus does not
fill dirty cups. Anything that springs from self, however small it
may be, is sin. Self-energy or self-complacency in service is sin.
Self-pity in trials or difficulties, self-seeking in business or
Christian work, self-indulgence in one's spare time, sensitiveness,
touchiness, resentment and self-defence when we are hurt or injured
by others, self-consciousness, reserve, worry, fear, all spring from
self and all are sin and make our cups unclean.[*] But all of them were
put into that other cup, which the Lord Jesus shrank from momentarily
in Gethsemane, but which He drank to the dregs at Calvary--the cup of
our sin. And if we will allow Him to show us what is in our cups and
then give it to Him, He will cleanse them in the precious Blood that
still flows for sin. That does not mean mere cleansing from the guilt
of sin, nor even from the stain of sin--though thank God both of
these are true--but from the sin itself, whatever it may be. And as
He cleanses our cups, so He fills them to overflowing with His Holy
Spirit.

And we are able daily to avail ourselves of that precious Blood.
Suppose you have let the Lord Jesus cleanse your cup and have trusted
Him to fill it to overflowing, then something comes along--a touch of
envy or temper. What happens? Your cup becomes dirty and it ceases to
overflow. And if we are constantly being defeated in this way, then
our cup is never overflowing.

If we are to know continuous Revival, we must learn the way to keep
our cups clean. It is never God's will that a Revival should cease,
and be known in history as the Revival of this or that year. When
that happens it is due to only one thing--sin, just those little sins
that the devil drops into our cup. But if we will go back to Calvary
and learn afresh the power of the Blood of Jesus to cleanse moment by
moment from the beginnings of sin, then we have learnt the secret of
cups constantly cleansed and constantly overflowing. The moment you
are conscious of that touch of envy, criticism, irritability,
whatever it is--ask Jesus to cover it with His precious Blood and
cleanse it away and you will find the reaction gone, your joy and
peace restored and your cup running over. And the more you trust the
Blood of Jesus in this way, the less will you even have these
reactions. But cleansing is only possible when we have first been
broken before God on the point concerned. Suppose we are irritated by
certain traits in someone. It is not enough just to take our
reactions of irritation to Calvary. We must first be broken, that is,
we must yield to God over the whole question and accept that person
and his ways as His will for us. Then we are able to take our wrong
reaction to Jesus, knowing that His Blood will cleanse away our sin;
and when we have been cleansed from sin, let us not keep mourning
over it, let us not be occupied with ourselves. But let us look up to
our victorious Lord, and praise Him that He is still victorious.

There is one simple but all-inclusive guide the Word of God gives to
regulate our walk with Jesus and to make us to know when sin has come
in. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts."
Everything that disturbs the peace of God in our hearts is sin, no
matter how small it is, and no matter how little like sin it may at
first appear to be. This peace is to "rule" our hearts, or (a more
literal translation) "be the referee" in our hearts. When the referee
blows his whistle at a football match, the game has to stop, a foul
has been committed. When we lose our peace, God's referee in our
hearts has blown his whistle! Let us stop immediately, ask God to
show us what is wrong, put by faith the sin He shows us under the
Blood of Jesus, and then peace will be restored and we shall go on
our way with our cups running over. If, however, God does not give us
His peace, it will be because we are not really broken. Perhaps we
have yet to say "sorry" to somebody else as well as to God. Or
perhaps we still feel it is the other person's fault. But if we have
lost our peace, it is obvious whose fault it is. We do not lose peace
with God over another person's sin, but only over our own. God wants
to show us our reactions, and only when we are willing to be cleansed
there, will we have His peace. Oh, what a simple but searching thing
it is to be ruled by the peace of God, none other than the Holy
Spirit Himself! Former selfish ways, which we never bothered about,
are now shown to us and we cannot walk in them without the referee
blowing his whistle. Grumbling, bossiness, carelessness, down to the
smallest thing are all revealed as sins, when we are prepared to let
our days be ruled by the peace of God. Many times a day and over the
smallest things we shall have to avail ourselves of the cleansing
Blood of Jesus, and we shall find ourselves walking the way of
brokenness as never before. But Jesus will be manifested in all His
loveliness and grace in that brokenness.

Many of us, however, have neglected the referee's whistle so often
and for so long that we have ceased to hear it. Days follow days and
we feel we have little need of cleansing and no occasion of being
broken. In that condition we are usually in a worse state than we
ever imagine. It will need a great hunger for restored fellowship
with God to possess our hearts before we will be willing to cry to
God to show us where the Blood of Jesus must be applied. He will show
us, to begin with, just one thing, and it will be our obedience and
brokenness on that one thing that will be the first step into Revival
for us.

[footnote*:Some may be inclined to question whether it is right to call
such things as self-consciousness, reserve and fear, sins. "Call them
infirmities, disabilities, temperamental weaknesses, if you will," some
have said, "but not sins. To do so would be to get us into bondage."
The reverse, however, is true. If these things are not sins, then we
must put up with them for the rest of our lives, there is no deliverance.
But if these and other things like them are indeed sins, then there
is a Fountain for sin, and we may experience cleansing and
deliverance from them, if we put them immediately under His precious
Blood, the moment we are conscious of them. And they are sins. Their
source is unbelief and an inverted form of pride, and they have
hindered and hidden Him times without number.]


CHAPTER 3
THE WAY OF FELLOWSHIP


When man fell and chose to make himself, rather than God, the centre
of his life, the effect was not only to put man out of fellowship
with God, but also out of fellowship with his fellow man. The story
of man's first quarrel with God in the third chapter of Genesis is
closely followed, in the fourth chapter, by the story of man's first
quarrel with his fellow, Cain's murder of Abel. The Fall is simply,
"we have turned every one to his own way."[footnote1: Is. 53: 6] If I
want my own way rather than God's, it is quite obvious that I shall
want my own way rather than the other man's. A man does not assert
his independence of God to surrender it to a fellow man, if he can
help it. But a world in which each man wants his own way cannot but
be a world full of tensions, barriers, suspicions, misunderstandings,
clashes and conflicts.

Now the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross was not only to
bring men back into fellowship with God, but also into fellowship
with their fellow men. Indeed it cannot do one without the other. As
the spokes get nearer the centre of the wheel, they get nearer to one
another. But if we have not been brought into vital fellowship with
our brother, it is a proof that to that extent we have not been
brought into vital fellowship with God. The first epistle of John
(what a new light Revival sheds on this Scripture!) insists on
testing the depth and reality of a man's fellowship with God by the
depth and reality of his fellowship with his brethren.[footnote2:I
John 2:9,3:14-15,4:20]

Some of us have come to see how utterly connected a man's
relationship to his fellows is with his relationship to God.
Everything that comes as a barrier between us and another, be it
never so small, comes as a barrier between us and God. We have found
that where these barriers are not put right immediately, they get
thicker and thicker until we find ourselves shut off from God and our
brother by what seem to be veritable brick walls. Quite obviously, if
we allow New Life to come to us, it will have to manifest itself by a
walk of oneness with God and our brother, with nothing between.


Light and Darkness.

On what basis can we have real fellowship with God and our brother?
Here 1 John 1:7 has come afresh to us. "If we walk in the light, as
He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the
Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." What is
meant by light and darkness is that light reveals, darkness hides.
When anything reproves us, shows us up as we really are--that is
light. "Whatsoever doth make manifest is light."[footnote3:Eph.5: 13]
But whenever we do anything or say anything (or don't say anything)
to hide what we are or what we've done--that is darkness.

Now the first effect of sin in our lives is always to make us try and
hide what we are. Sin made our first parents hide behind the trees of
the garden and it has had the same effect on us ever since. Sin
always involves us in being unreal, pretending, duplicity, window
dressing, excusing ourselves and blaming others--and we can do all
that as much by our silence as by saying or doing something. This is
what the previous verse calls "walking in darkness." With some of us,
the sin in question may be nothing more than self-consciousness
(anything with "I" in it is sin) and the hiding, nothing more than an
assumed heartiness to cover that self-consciousness, but it is
walking in darkness none the less.

In contrast to all this in us, verse 5 of this chapter tells us that
"God is light," that is, God is the All-revealing One, who shows up
every man as he really is. And it goes on to say, "In Him is no
darkness at all," that is, there is absolutely nothing in God which
can be one with the tiniest bit of darkness or hiding in us.

Quite obviously, then, it is utterly impossible for us to be walking
in any degree of darkness and have fellowship with God. While we are
in that condition of darkness, we cannot have true fellowship with
our brother either--for we are not real with him, and no one can have
fellowship with an unreal person. A wall of reserve separates him and
us.


The Only Basis for Fellowship.

The only basis for real fellowship with God and man is to live out in
the open with both. "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the
light, we have fellowship one with another." To walk in the light is
the opposite of walking in darkness. Spurgeon defines it in one of
his sermons as "the willingness to know and be known." As far as God
is concerned, this means that we are willing to know the whole truth
about ourselves, we are open to conviction. We will bend the neck to
the first twinges of conscience. Everything He shows us to be sin, we
will deal with as sin--we will hide or excuse nothing. Such a walk in
the light cannot but discover sin increasingly in our lives, and we
shall see things to be sin which we never thought to be such before.
For that reason we might shrink from this walk, and be tempted to
make for cover. But the verse goes on with the precious words, "and
the Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin."
Everything that the light of God shows up as sin, we can confess and
carry to the Fountain of Blood and it is gone, gone from God's sight
and gone from our hearts. By the power of the precious Blood we can
be made more stainless than the driven snow; and thus continually
abiding in the light and cleansed by the Blood, we have fellowship
with God.

But the fellowship promised us here is not only with God, but "one
with another"; and that involves us in walking in the light with our
brother too. In any case, we cannot be "in the open" with God and "in
the dark" with him. This means that we must be as willing to know the
truth about ourselves from our brother as to know it from God. We
must be prepared for him to hold the light to us (and we must be
willing to do the same service for him) and challenge us in love
about anything he sees in our lives which is not the highest. We must
be willing not only to know, but to be known by him for what we
really are. That means we are not going to hide our inner selves from
those with whom we ought to be in fellowship; we are not going to
window dress and put on appearances; nor are we going to whitewash
and excuse ourselves. We are going to be honest about ourselves with
them. We are willing to give up our spiritual privacy, pocket our
pride and risk our reputations for the sake of being open and
transparent with our brethren in Christ. It means, too, that we are
not going to cherish any wrong feeling in our hearts about another,
but we are first going to claim deliverance from it from God and put
it right with the one concerned. As we walk this way, we shall find
that we shall have fellowship with one another at an altogether new
level, and we shall not love one another less, but infinitely more.


No Bondage.

Walking in the light is simply walking with Jesus. Therefore there
need be no bondage about it. We have not necessarily got to tell
everybody everything about ourselves. The fundamental thing is our
attitude of walking in the light, rather than the act. Are we willing
to be in the open with our brother--and be so in word when God tells
us to? That is the "armour of light"--true transparency. This may
sometimes be humbling, but it will help us to a new reality with
Christ, and to a new self-knowledge. We have become so used to the
fact that God knows all about us that it does not seem to register
with us, and we inevitably end by not knowing the truth about
ourselves. But let a man begin to be absolutely honest about himself
with but one other, as God guides him, and he will come to a
knowledge of himself and his sins that he never had before, and he
will begin to see more clearly than ever before where the redemption
of Christ has got to be applied progressively to his life. This is
the reason why James tells us to put ourselves under the discipline
of "confessing our faults one to another."

In 1 John 1:7, of course, the purpose of "walking in the light" is
that we might "have fellowship one with another." And what fellowship
it is when we walk this way together! Obviously, love will flow from
one to another, when each is prepared to be known as the repentant
sinner he is at the Cross of Jesus. When the barriers are down and
the masks are off, God has a chance of making us really one. But
there is also the added joy of knowing that in such a fellowship we
are "safe." No fear now that others may be thinking thoughts about us
or having reactions toward us, which they are hiding from us. In a
fellowship which is committed to walk in the light beneath the Cross,
we know that if there is any thought about us, it will quickly be
brought into the light, either in brokenness and confession (where
there has been wrong and unlove), or else as a loving challenge, as
something that we ought to know about ourselves.

It must not, however, be forgotten that our walk in the light is
first and foremost with the Lord Jesus. It is with Him first that we
must get things settled and it is His cleansing and victory that must
first be obtained. Then when God guides us to open our hearts with
others, we come to them with far more of a testimony than a
confession (except where that is specifically due) and we praise God
together.


Teams of Two for Revival.

Jesus wants you to begin walking in the light with Him in a new way
today. Join with one other--your Christian friend, the person you
live with, your wife, your husband. Drop the mask. God has doubtless
convicted you of one thing more than another that you have got to be
honest with them about. Start there. Be a team of two to work for
revival amongst your circle. As others are broken at the Cross they
will be added to your fellowship, as God leads. Get together from
time to time for fellowship and to share your spiritual experience
with real openness. In complete oneness pray together for others, and
go out as a team with fresh testimony. God through such a fellowship
will begin to work wondrously. As He saves and blesses others in this
vital way, they can start to live and work as a fellowship too. As
one billiard ball will move another billiard ball, so one group will
set off another group, until the whole of our land is covered with
New Life from the risen Lord Jesus.



CHAPTER 4
THE HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS


One of the things that we must learn if we are to live the victorious
Christian life is its utter simplicity. How complicated we have made
it! Great volumes are written, all sorts of technical phrases are
used, we are told the secret lies in this, or that and so on. But to
most of us, it is all so complicated that, although we know it in
theory, we are unable to relate what we know to our practical daily
living. In order to make the simple truths we have been considering
even clearer, we want in this chapter to cast them all in picture
form.


The Highway.

An "over-all" picture of the life of victory, which has come to many
of us is that of the Highway in Isaiah 35: "And an highway shall be
there and a way and it shall be called the way of holiness." The
picture is that of a Highway built up from the surrounding morass,
the world. Though the Highway is narrow and uphill, it is not beyond
any of us to walk it, for "the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not
err therein." Though there are many dangers if we get off the road,
while we keep to the Highway there is safety, for "no lion shall be
there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon." Only one kind of
person is barred from walking there and that is the unclean one. "The
unclean shall not pass over it." This includes not only the sinner
who does not know Christ as his Saviour, but the Christian who does
and yet is walking in unconfessed and uncleansed sin.

The only way on to the Highway is up a small dark, forbidding
hill--the Hill of Calvary. It is the sort of hill we have to climb on
our hands and knees--especially our knees. If we are content with our
present Christian life, if we do not desire with a desperate hunger
to get on to the Highway, we shall never get to our knees and thus
never climb the hill. But if we are dissatisfied, if we are hungry,
then we will find ourselves ascending. Don't hurry. Let God make you
really hungry for the Highway; let Him really drive you to your knees
in longing prayer. Mere sightseers won't get very far. "Ye shall find
Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."


A Low Door.

At the top of the hill, guarding the way to the Highway, stands so
gaunt and grim ... the Cross. There it stands, the Divider of time
and the Divider of men. At the foot of the Cross is a low door, so
low that to get through it one has to stoop and crawl through. It is
the only entrance to the Highway. We must go through it if we would
go any further on our way. This door is called the Door of the Broken
Ones. Only the broken can enter the Highway. To be broken means to be
"not I, but Christ." There is in every one of us a proud,
stiff-necked "I." The stiff neck began in the Garden of Eden when
Adam and Eve, who had always bowed their heads in surrender to God's
will, stiffened their necks, struck out for independence and tried to
be "as gods." All the way through the Bible, God charges His people
with the same stiff neck; and it manifests itself in us, too. We are
hard and unyielding. We are sensitive and easily hurt. We get
irritable, envious and critical. We are resentful and unforgiving. We
are self-indulgent--and how often that can lead to impurity! Every
one of these things, and many more, spring from this proud self
within. If it were not there and Christ were in its place, we would
not have these reactions. Before we can enter the Highway, God must
bend and break that stiff-necked self, so that Christ reigns in its
stead. To be broken means to have no rights before God and man. It
does not mean merely surrendering my rights to Him but rather
recognising that I haven't any, except to deserve hell. It means just
being nothing and having nothing that I call my own, neither time,
money, possessions nor position.

In order to break our wills to His, God brings us to the foot of the
Cross and there shows us what real brokenness is. We see those
wounded Hands and Feet, that Face of Love crowned with thorns and we
see the complete brokenness of the One who said, "Not my will, but
Thine be done," as He drank the bitter cup of our sin to its dregs.
So the way to be broken is to look on Him and to realise it was our
sin which nailed Him there. Then as we see the love and brokenness of
the God who died in our place, our hearts will become strangely
melted and we will want to be broken for Him and we shall pray,

"Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
    Oh, to be lost in Thee,
Oh, that it might be no more I,
    But Christ that lives in me."

And some of us have found that there is no prayer that God is so
swift to answer as the prayer that He might break us.


A Constant Choice.

But do not let us imagine that we have to be broken only once as we
go through the door. Ever after it will be a constant choice before
us. God brings His pressure to bear on us, but we have to make the
choice. If someone hurts and slights us, we immediately have the
choice of accepting the slight as a means of grace to humble us lower
or we can resist it and stiffen our necks again with all the
disturbance of spirit that that is bound to bring. Right the way
through the day our brokenness will be tested and it is no use our
pretending we are broken before God, if we are not broken in our
attitude to those around us. God nearly always tests us through other
people. There are no second causes for the Christian. God's will is
made known in His providence, and His providences are so often others
with their many demands on us. If you find yourself in a patch of
unbrokenness, the only way is to go afresh to Calvary and see Christ
broken for you and you will come away willing to be broken for Him.

Over the Door of the Broken Ones is sprinkled the precious Blood of
the Lord Jesus. As we bend to crawl through, the Blood cleanses from
all sin. For not only have we to bend to get through, but only the
clean can walk the Highway. Maybe you have never known Jesus as your
Saviour, maybe you have known Him for years, but in either case you
are defiled by sin, the sins of pride, envy, resentment, impurity,
etc. If you will give them all to Him who bore them on the Cross, He
will whisper to you again what He once said on the Cross, "It is
finished," and your heart will be cleansed whiter than snow.


The Gift of His Fulness.

So we get on to the Highway. There it stretches before us, a narrow
uphill road, bathed in light, leading towards the Heavenly Jerusalem.
The embankment on either side slopes away into thick darkness. In
fact, the darkness creeps right to the very edges of the Highway, but
on the Highway itself all is light. Behind us is the Cross, no longer
dark and forbidding, but radiant and glowing, and we no longer see
Jesus stretched across its arms, but walking the Highway overflowing
with resurrection life. In His Hands He carries a pitcher with the
Water of Life. He comes right up to us and asks us to hold out our
hearts, and just as if we were handing Him a cup, we present to Him
our empty hearts. He looks inside--a painful scrutiny--and where He
sees we have allowed His Blood to cleanse them, He fills them with
the Water of Life. So we go on our way rejoicing and praising God and
overflowing with His new life. This is revival. You and I full of the
Holy Spirit all the time, loving others and concerned for their
salvation. No struggling, no tarrying. Just simply giving Him each
sin to cleanse in His precious Blood and accepting from His hands the
free gift of His Fulness, and then allowing Him to do the work
through us. As we walk along with Him, He is always there continually
filling so that our cups continually overflow.

So the rest of our Christian life simply consists now of walking
along the Highway, with hearts overflowing, bowing the neck to His
will all the time, constantly trusting the Blood to cleanse us and
living in complete oneness with Jesus. There is nothing spectacular
about this life, no emotional experiences to sigh after and wait for.
It is just plain day to day living the life the Lord intended us to
live. This is real holiness.


Off the Highway.

But we may, and sometimes do, slip off the Highway, for it is narrow.
One little step aside and we are off the path and in darkness. It is
always because of a failure in obedience somewhere or a failure to be
weak enough to let God do all. Satan is always beside the road,
shouting at us, but he cannot touch us. But we can yield to his voice
by an act of will. This is the beginning of sin and slipping away
from Jesus. Sometimes we find ourselves stiffening our necks to
someone, sometimes to God Himself. Sometimes jealousy or resentment
assails us. Immediately we are over the side, for nothing unclean can
walk the Highway. Our cup is dirtied and ceases to overflow and we
lose our peace with God. If we do not come back to the Highway at
once, we shall go further down the side. We must get back. How? The
first thing to do is to ask God to show what caused us to slip off;
and He will, though it often takes Him time to make us see. Perhaps
someone annoyed me, and I was irritated. God wants me to see that it
was not the thing that the person did that matters, but my reaction
to it. If I had been broken, I would not have been irritated. So, as
I look longingly back to the Highway, I see the Lord Jesus again and
I see what an ugly thing it is to get irritable and that Jesus died
to save me from being irritable. As I crawl up again to the Highway
on hands and knees, I come again to Him and His Blood for cleansing.
Jesus is waiting there to fill my cup to overflowing once again.
Hallelujah! No matter where you leave the Highway, you will always
find Him calling you to come back and be broken again, and always the
Blood will be there to cleanse and make you clean. This is the great
secret of the Highway--knowing what to do with sin, when sin has come
in. The secret is always to take sin to the Cross, see there its
sinfulness, and then put it under the Blood and reckon it gone.

So the real test all along the Highway will be--are our cups running
over? Have we the peace of God in our hearts? Have we love and
concern for others? These things are the barometer of the Highway. If
they are disturbed, then sin has crept in somewhere--self-pity,
self-seeking, self-indulgence in thought or deed, sensitiveness,
touchiness, self-defence, self-consciousness, shyness, reserve,
worry, fear and so on.


Our walk with Others.

An important thing about the Highway which has not been mentioned yet
is that we do not walk this Highway alone. Others walk it with us.
There is, of course, the Lord Jesus. But there are other wayfarers,
too, and the rule of the road is that fellowship with them is as
important as fellowship with Jesus. Indeed, the two are intimately
connected. Our relationship with our fellows and our relationship
with God are so linked that we cannot disturb one without disturbing
the other. Everything that comes between us and another, such as
impatience, resentment or envy, comes between us and God. These
barriers are sometimes no more than veils--veils through which we can
still, to some extent, see. But if not removed immediately, they
thicken into blankets and then into brick walls, and we are shut off
from both God and our fellows, shut in to ourselves. It is clear why
these two relationships should be so linked. "God is love," that is
love for others, and the moment we fail in love towards another, we
put ourselves out of fellowship with God--for God loves him, even if
we don't.

But more than that, the effect of such sins is always to make us
"walk in darkness"--that is, to cover it up and hide what we really
are or what we are really feeling. That is always the meaning of
"darkness" in Scripture, for while the light reveals, the darkness
hides. The first effect of sin in us is always to make us hide; with
the result that we are pretending, we are wearing a mask, we are not
real with either God or man. And, of course, neither God nor man can
fellowship with an unreal person.

The way back into fellowship with the Lord Jesus will bring us again
into fellowship with our brother, too. All unlove must be recognised
as sin and given to the Lord Jesus for His Blood to cover--and then
it can be put right with our brother also. As we come back to the
Lord Jesus like this, we shall find His love for our brother filling
our hearts and wanting to express itself in our actions toward him
and we shall walk in fellowship together again.

So this is the Highway life. It is no new astounding doctrine. It is
not something new for us to preach. It is quite unspectacular. It is
just a life to live day by day in whatever circumstances the Lord has
put us. It does not contradict what we may have read or heard about
the Christian life. It just puts into simple pictorial language the
great truths of sanctification. To start to live this life now will
mean revival in our lives. To continue to live it will be revival
continued. Revival is just you and I walking along the Highway in
complete oneness with the Lord Jesus and with one another, with cups
continually cleansed and overflowing with the life and love of God.



CHAPTER 5
THE DOVE AND THE LAMB


Victorious living and effective soul-winning service are not the
product of our better selves and hard endeavours, but are simply the
fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are not called upon to produce the
fruit, but simply to bear it. It is all the time to be His fruit.
Nothing is more important then, than that we should be continuously
filled with the Holy Spirit, or to keep to the metaphor, that the
"trees of the Lord should be continuously full of sap"--His sap.

How this may be so for us is graphically illustrated by the record,
in the first chapter of John, of how the Holy Spirit came upon the
Lord Jesus at His baptism. John the Baptist had seen Jesus coming to
Him and had said of Him, "Behold, the Lamb of God that beareth the
sin of the world." Then as he baptised him, he saw the heavens opened
and the Spirit of God descending like a Dove and lighting upon Him.


The Humility of God.

What a suggestive picture we have here--the Dove descending upon the
Lamb and resting herself upon Him! The Lamb and the Dove are surely
the gentlest of all God's creatures. The Lamb speaks of meekness and
submissiveness and the Dove speaks of peace (what more peaceful sound
than the cooing of a dove on a summer day). Surely this shows us that
the heart of Deity is humility. When the eternal God chose to reveal
Himself in His Son, He gave Him the name of the Lamb; and when it was
necessary for the Holy Spirit to come into the world, He was revealed
under the emblem of the Dove. Is it not obvious, then, that the
reason why we have to be humble in order to walk with God is not
merely because God is so big and we so little, that humility befits
such little creatures--but because God is so humble?

The main lesson of this incident is that the Holy Spirit, as the
Dove, could only come upon and remain upon the Lord Jesus because He
was the Lamb. Had the Lord Jesus had any other disposition than that
of the Lamb--humility, submissiveness and self-surrender--the Dove
could never have rested on Him. Being herself so gentle, she would
have been frightened away had not Jesus been meek and lowly in heart.

Here, then, we have pictured for us the condition upon which the same
Holy Spirit can come upon us and abide upon us. The Dove can only
abide upon us as we are willing to be as the Lamb. How impossible
that He should rest upon us while self is unbroken! The
manifestations of the unbroken self are the direct opposite of the
gentleness of the Dove. Read again in Galatians 5 the ninefold fruit
of the Spirit ("love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control") with which the Dove
longs to fill us! Then contrast it with the ugly works of the flesh
(the N.T. name for the unbroken self) in the same chapter. It is the
contrast of the snarling wolf with the gentle dove!


The Disposition of the Lamb.

How clear, then, that the Holy Spirit will only come upon us and
remain upon us as we are willing to be as the Lamb on each point on
which He will convict us! And nothing is so searching and humbling as
to look at the Lamb on His way to Calvary for us and to be shown in
how many points we have been unwilling to take the position of the
lamb for Him.

Look at Him for a moment as the Lamb. He was the simple Lamb. A lamb
is the simplest of God's creatures. It has no schemes or plans for
helping itself--it exists in helplessness and simplicity. Jesus made
Himself as nothing for us, and became the simple Lamb. He had no
strength of His own or wisdom of His own, no schemes to get Himself
out of difficulties, just simple dependence on the Father all the
time. "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the
Father do." But we--how complicated we are! What schemes we have had
of helping ourselves and of getting ourselves out of difficulties.
What efforts of our own we have resorted to, to live the Christian
life and to do God's works, as if we were something and could do
something. The Dove had to take His flight (at least as far as the
conscious blessing of His Presence was concerned) because we were not
willing to be simple lambs.


Willing to be Shorn.

Then He was the shorn Lamb, willing to be shorn of His rights, His
reputation, and every human liberty that was due to Him, just as a
lamb is shorn of its wool. He never resisted: A lamb never does. When
He was reviled for our sakes, He reviled not again. When He suffered,
He threatened not. He never said, "You cannot treat me like that.
Don't you know that I am the Son of God?" But we--ah we, on how many
occasions have we been unwilling to be shorn of that which was our
right. We were not willing for His sake to lose what was our own. We
insisted, too, that we should be treated with the respect due to our
position. We resisted, and we fought. The Dove had to take His flight
from us for we were not willing to be shorn lambs, and we were left
without peace, hard and unloving.


He Answered Nothing.

Then further, He was the silent Lamb. "As a sheep before her shearers
is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth." Facing the calumnies of men,
we read, "He answered nothing." He never defended Himself, nor
explained Himself. But we have been anything but silent when others
have said unkind or untrue things about us. Our voices have been loud
in self-defence and self-vindication, and there has been anger in our
voices. We have excused ourselves, when we should have admitted
frankly our wrong. On every such occasion the Dove had to take His
flight, and withdraw His peace and blessing from our hearts, because
we were not willing to be the silent lamb.


No Grudges.

He was also the spotless Lamb. Not only did nothing escape His lips,
but there was nothing in His heart but love for those who had sent
Him to the Cross. There was no resentment towards them, no grudges,
no bitterness. Even as they were putting the nails through His hands,
He was murmuring, "I forgive you," and He asked His Father to forgive
them too. He was willing to suffer it in meekness for us. But what
resentment and bitterness have not we had in our hearts--toward this
one and that one, and over so much less than what they did to Jesus.
Each reaction left a stain on our hearts, and the Dove had to fly
away because we were not willing to bear it and forgive it for Jesus'
sake.


Return, O Dove!

These, then, are the acts and attitudes which drive the Holy Spirit
from our lives, as far as present blessing is concerned, and they are
all sin. Sin is the only thing that hinders the revival of His
Church. The question of all questions for us just now is, "How can
the Dove return to our lives with His peace and power?" The answer is
again just simply, "The Lamb of God," for He is not only the simple
Lamb and the shorn Lamb and the silent Lamb and the spotless Lamb,
but above everything else He is the substitute Lamb.

To the Jew the lamb that was offered to God was always a substitute
lamb. Its meekness and submissiveness was only incidental to its main
work, that of being slain for his sin and of its blood being
sprinkled on the altar to atone for it. The humility of the Lord
Jesus in becoming our Lamb was necessary only that He might become on
the Cross our Substitute, our scapegoat, carrying our sins in His own
Body on the Tree, so that there might be forgiveness for our sins and
cleansing from all their stains, when we repent of them. But inasmuch
as there is no past or future with God, but all is present and
timeless, there is a sense in which the suffering of the Lord Jesus
for the sins of which we have not repented is present too. What a
vision it is when we see these sins wounding and hurting Him now! May
this solemn thought break our proud hearts in repentance! For it is
only when we have seen these sins of ours in the heart of Jesus, so
that we are broken and willing to repent of them and put them right,
that the Blood of the Lamb cleanses us from them and the Dove returns
with peace and blessing to our hearts.

He humbled Himself to the manger,
  And even to Calvary's tree;
But I am so proud and unwilling,
  His humble disciple to be.

He yielded His will to the Father,
  And chose to abide in the Light;
But I prefer wrestling to resting,
  And try by myself to do right.

Lord break me, then cleanse me and fill me
  And keep me abiding in Thee;
That fellowship may be unbroken,
  And Thy Name be hallowed in me.

A saintly African Christian told a congregation once that, as he was
climbing the hill to the meeting, he heard steps behind him. He
turned and saw a man carrying a very heavy load up the hill on his
back. He was full of sympathy for him and spoke to him. Then he
noticed that His hands were scarred, and he realised that it was
Jesus. He said to Him, "Lord, are you carrying the world's sins up
the hill?" "No," said the Lord Jesus, "not the world's sin, just
yours!" As that African simply told the vision God had just given
him, the people's hearts and his heart were broken as they saw their
sins at the Cross. Our hearts need to be broken too, and only when
they are, shall we be willing for the confessions, the apologies, the
reconciliations and the restitutions, that are involved in a true
repentance of sin. Then, when we have been willing to humble
ourselves, as the Lord humbled Himself, the Dove will return to us.

Return, O heavenly Dove, return,
  Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
  And drove Thee from my breast.


Ruled by the Dove.

One last word. The Dove is the emblem of peace, which suggests that
if the Blood of Jesus has cleansed us and we are walking with the
Lamb in humility, the sign of the Spirit's presence and fulness will
be peace. This is indeed to be the test of our walk all the way
along. "Let the peace of God rule (or arbitrate) in your hearts"
(Col. 3:15). If the Dove ceases to sing in our hearts at any time,
if our peace is broken, then it can only be because of sin. In some
matter we have departed from the humility of the Lamb. We must ask
God to show us what it is, and be quick to repent of it and bring the
sin to the Cross. Then the Dove will be once again in His rightful
place in our hearts and peace with God will be ours. In this way we
shall know that continuous abiding of the Spirit's presence, which is
open even to fallen men through the immediate and constant
application of the precious Blood of Jesus.

Shall we not begin from today to allow our lives to be ruled by the
Heavenly Dove, the peace of God, and allow Him to be the arbiter all
the day through? We shall find ourselves walking in a path of
constant conviction and much humbling, but in this way we shall come
into real conformity with the Lamb of God, and we shall know the only
victory that is worth anything, the conquest of self.



CHAPTER 6
REVIVAL IN THE HOME


Thousands of years ago, in the most beautiful Garden the world has
ever known, lived a man and a woman. Formed in the likeness of their
Creator, they lived solely to reveal Him to His creation and to each
other and thus to glorify Him every moment of the day. Humbly they
accepted the position of a creature with the Creator--that of
complete submission and yieldedness to His will. Because they always
submitted their wills to His, because they lived for Him and not for
themselves, they were also completely submitted to each other. Thus
in that first home in that beautiful garden, there was absolute
harmony, peace, love and oneness not only with God, but with each
other.

Then one day, the harmony was shattered, for the serpent stole into
that God-centred home, and with him, sin. And now, because they had
lost their peace and fellowship with God, they lost it with each
other. No longer did they live for God--they each lived for
themselves. They were each their own gods now, and because they no
longer lived for God, they no longer lived for each other. Instead of
peace, harmony, love and oneness--there was now discord and hate--in
other words, SIN!


Revival begins in the Home.

It was into the home that sin first came. It is in the home that we
sin more than perhaps anywhere else, and it is to the home that
revival first needs to come. Revival is desperately needed in the
church--in the country--in the world, but a revived church with
unrevived homes would be sheer hypocrisy. It is the hardest place,
the most costly, but the most necessary place to begin.

But before we go on, let us remind ourselves again of what revival
really is. It simply means new life, in hearts where the spiritual
life has ebbed--but not a new life of self-effort or self-initiated
activity. It is not man's life, but God's life, the life of Jesus
filling us and flowing through us. That Life is manifested in
fellowship and oneness with those with whom we live--nothing between
us and God, and nothing between us and others. The home is the place
before all others where this should be experienced.

But how different is the experience of so many of us professing
Christians in our homes--little irritations, frayed tempers,
selfishness and resentments; and even where there is nothing very
definitely wrong between us, just not that complete oneness and
fellowship that ought to characterise Christians living together. All
the things that come between us and others, come between us and God
and spoil our fellowship with Him, so that our hearts are not
overflowing with the Divine Life.


What is wrong with our Homes?

Now what at bottom is wrong with our homes? When we talk about homes,
we mean the relationship which exists between a husband and wife, a
parent and child, a brother and sister, or between any others who,
through various circumstances are compelled to live together.

The first thing that is wrong with so many families is that they are
not really open with one another. We live so largely behind drawn
blinds. The others do not know us for what we really are, and we do
not intend that they should. Even those living in the most intimate
relationships with us do not know what goes on inside--our
difficulties, battles, failures, nor what the Lord Jesus has to
cleanse us from so frequently. This lack of transparency and openness
is ever the result of sin. The first effect of the first sin was to
make Adam and Eve hide from God behind the trees of the Garden. They
who had been so transparent with God and with one another were then
hiding from God, because of sin; and if they hid from God you can be
quite sure that they soon began to hide from one another. There were
reactions and thoughts in Adam's heart that Eve was never allowed to
know and there were like things hidden in Eve's heart too. And so it
has been ever since. Having something to hide from God, we hide it,
too, from one another. Behind that wall of reserve, which acts like a
mask, we cover our real selves. Sometimes we hide in the most
extraordinary way behind an assumed jocular manner. We are afraid to
be serious because we do not want others to get too close and see us
as we really are, and so we keep up a game of bluff. We are not real
with one another, and no one can have fellowship with an unreal
person, and so oneness and close fellowship are impossible in the
home. This is what the Scripture calls "walking in darkness"--for the
darkness is anything which hides.


The Failure to Love.

The second thing that is wrong with our homes is our failure really
to love one another. "Well," says somebody, "that could never be said
of our home, for no one could love one another more than my husband
and I love each other!" But wait a minute! It depends on what you
mean by love. Love is not just a sentimental feeling, nor even strong
passion. The famous passage in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what real
love is, and if we test ourselves by it, we may find that after all
we are hardly loving one another at all, and our behaviour is all in
the opposite direction--and the opposite of love is hate! Let us look
at some of the things that that passage tells us about love.

"Love is long suffering (patient) and is kind."

"Love vaunteth not itself (does not boast) is not puffed up (is not
conceited)."

"Love does not behave itself unseemly (is not rude) seeketh not her
own (is not selfish), is not easily provoked (does not get
irritated), thinketh no evil (does not entertain unkind thoughts of
another)."

How do we stand up to those tests in our homes? So often we act in
the very opposite way.

We are often impatient with one another and even unkind in the way we
answer back or react.

How much envy, too, there can be in a home. A husband and wife can
envy the other their gifts, even their spiritual progress. Parents
may be envious of their children, and how often is there not bitter
envy between brothers and sisters.

Also "not behaving unseemly," that is, courtesy, what about that?
Courtesy is just love in little things, but it is in the little
things that we trip up. We think we can "let up" at home.

How "puffed up," that is, conceited, we so often are! Conceit comes
out in all sorts of ways. We think we know best, we want our way and
we nag or boss the other one; and nagging or bossing leads on to the
tendency to despise the other one. Our very attitude of superiority
sets us up above them. Then, when at the bottom of our hearts we
despise someone, we blame them for everything--and yet we think we
love.

Then what about "seeking not our own," that is, not being selfish?
Many times a day we put our wishes and interests before those of the
other one.

How "easily provoked" we are! How quick to be irritated by something
in the other. How often we allow the unkind thought, the resentful
feeling over something the other has done or left undone! Yet we
profess there are no failures in love in our homes. These things
happen every day and we think nothing of them. They are all of them
the opposite of love, and the opposite of love is hate. Impatience is
hate, envy is hate, conceit and self-will are hate, and so are
selfishness, irritability and resentment! And hate is SIN. "He that
saith he is in the light and hateth his brother, is in the darkness
even until now." What tensions, barriers and discord it all causes,
and fellowship with both God and the other is made impossible.


The Only Way Out.

Now the question is, do I want new life, revival, in my home? I have
got to challenge my heart about this. Am I prepared to continue in
this state or am I really hungry for new life, His life, in my home?
For not unless I am really hungry will I be willing to take the
necessary steps. The first step I must take is to call sin, sin (my
sin, not the other person's) and go with it to the Cross, and trust
the Lord Jesus there and then to cleanse me from it.

As we bow the neck at the Cross, His self-forgetful love for the
others, His longsuffering and forbearance flow into our hearts. The
precious Blood cleanses us from the unlove and ill will and the Holy
Spirit fills us with the very nature of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 13 is
nothing less than the nature of Jesus, and it is all gift to us, for
His nature is ours, if He is ours. This blessed process can happen
every single time the beginnings of sin and unlove creep in, for the
cleansing fountain of Blood is available to us all the time.

All this will commit us very definitely to walking the Way of the
Cross in our homes. Again and again we will see places where we must
yield up our rights, as Jesus yielded up His for us. We shall have to
see that the thing in us that reacts so sharply to another's
selfishness and pride, is simply our own selfishness and pride, which
we are unwilling to sacrifice. We shall have to accept another's ways
and doings as God's will for us and meekly bend the neck to all God's
providences. That does not mean that we must accept another's
selfishness as God's will for them--far from it--but only as God's
will for us. As far as the other is concerned, God will probably want
to use us, if we are broken, to help him see his need. Certainly, if
we are a parent we shall often need to correct our child with
firmness. But none of this is to be from selfish motives, but only
out of love for the other and a longing for their good. Our own
convenience and rights must all the time be yielded. Only so will the
love of the Lord Jesus be able to fill us and express itself through
us.

When we have been broken at Calvary, we must be willing to put things
right with the others--sometimes even with the children. This is, so
often, the test of our brokenness. Brokenness is the opposite of
hardness. Hardness says, "It's your fault!" Brokenness, however,
says, "It's my fault!" What a different atmosphere will begin to
prevail in our homes when they hear us say that. Let us remember that
at the Cross there is only room for one at a time. We cannot say, "I
was wrong, but you were wrong too. You must come as well!" No, you
must go alone, saying, "I'm wrong." God will work in the other more
through your brokenness than through anything else you can do or say.
We may, however, have to wait--perhaps a long time. But that should
only give us to feel more with God, for, as someone has said, "He too
has had to wait a long time since His great attempt to put things
right with man nineteen hundred years ago, although there was no
wrong on His side." But God will surely answer our prayer and bring
the other to Calvary too. There we shall be one; there the middle
wall of partition between us will be broken down; there we shall be
able to walk in the light, in true transparency, with Jesus and with
one another, loving each other with a pure heart fervently. Sin is
almost the only thing we have in common with everyone else, and so at
the feet of Jesus where sin is cleansed is the only place where we
can be one. Real oneness conjures up for us the picture of two or
more sinners together at Calvary.



CHAPTER 7
THE MOTE AND THE BEAM


That friend of ours has got something in his eye! Though it is only
something tiny--what Jesus called a mote--how painful it is and how
helpless he is until it is removed! It is surely our part as a friend
to do all we can to remove it, and how grateful he is to us when we
have succeeded in doing so. We should be equally grateful to him, if
he did the same service for us.

In the light of that, it seems clear that the real point of the
well-known passage in Matthew 7:3-5 about the beam and the mote is
not the forbidding of our trying to remove the fault in the other
person, but rather the reverse. It is the injunction that at all
costs we should do this service for one another. True, its first
emphasis seems to be a condemnation of censoriousness, but when the
censoriousness in us is removed, the passage ends by saying, "Then
shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye."
According to the New Testament, we are meant to care so much for the
other man, that we are willing to do all we can to remove from his
eye the mote which is marring his vision and hindering his blessing.
We are told to "admonish one another" and "exhort one another" and to
"wash one another's feet" and "to provoke one another to love and
good works." The love of Jesus poured out in us will make us want to
help our brother in this way.

What blessing may not come to many others through our willingness
humbly to challenge one another, as led by God. A humble Swiss, named
Nicholas of Basle, one of the Society of the "Friends of God,"
crossed the mountains to Strassbourg and entered the Church of Dr.
Tauler, the popular preacher of that city. Said Nicholas, "Dr.
Tauler, before you can do your greatest work for God, the world and
this city, you must die--die to yourself, your gifts, your
popularity, and even your own goodness, and when you have learned the
full meaning of the Cross, you will have a new power with God and
man." That humble challenge from an obscure Christian changed Dr.
Tauler's life, and he did indeed learn to die, and became one of the
great factors to prepare the way for Luther and the Reformation. In
this passage the Lord Jesus tells us how we may do this service for
one another.


What is the Beam?

First, however, the Lord Jesus tells us that it is only too possible
to try to take the tiny mote, a tiny speck of sawdust, out of the
other's eye when there is a beam, a great length of timber, in ours.
When that is the case, we haven't a chance of casting out the mote in
the other, because we cannot see straight ourselves, and in any case
it is sheer hypocrisy to attempt to do so.

Now we all know what Jesus meant by the mote in the other person's
eye. It is some fault which we fancy we can discern in him; it may be
an act he has done against us, or some attitude he adopts towards us.
But what did the Lord Jesus mean by the beam in our eye? I suggest
that the beam in our eye is simply our unloving reaction to the other
man's mote. Without doubt there is a wrong in the other person. But
our reaction to that wrong is wrong too! The mote in him has provoked
in us resentment, or coldness, or criticism, or bitterness, or evil
speaking, or ill will--all of them variants of the basic ill, unlove.
And that, says the Lord Jesus, is far, far worse than the tiny wrong
(sometimes quite unconscious) that provoked it. A mote means in the
Greek a little splinter, whereas a beam means a rafter. And the Lord
Jesus means by this comparison to tell us that our unloving reaction
to the other's wrong is what a great rafter is to a little splinter!
Every time we point one of our fingers at another and say, "It's your
fault," three of our fingers are pointing back at us. God have mercy
on us for the many times when it has been so with us and when in our
hypocrisy we have tried to deal with the person's fault, when God saw
there was this thing far worse in our own hearts.

But let us not think that a beam is of necessity some violent
reaction on our part. The first beginning of a resentment is a beam,
as is also the first flicker of an unkind thought, or the first
suggestion of unloving criticism. Where that is so, it only distorts
our vision and we shall never see our brother as he really is,
beloved of God. If we speak to our brother with that in our hearts,
it will only provoke him to adopt the same hard attitude to us, for
it is a law of human relationships that "with what measure ye mete,
it shall be measured to you again."


Take it to Calvary.

No! "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye." That is the first
thing we must do. We must recognise our unloving reaction to him as
sin. On our knees we must go with it to Calvary and see Jesus there
and get a glimpse of what that sin cost Him. At His Feet we must
repent of it and be broken afresh and trust the Lord Jesus to cleanse
it away in His precious Blood and fill us with His love for that
one--and He will, and does, if we will claim His promise. Then we
shall probably need to go to the other in the attitude of the
repentant one, tell him of the sin that has been in our heart and
what the Blood has effected there and ask him to forgive us too. Very
often bystanders will tell us, and sometimes our own hearts, that the
sin we are confessing is not nearly so bad as the other's wrong,
which he is not yet confessing. But we have been to Calvary, indeed
we are learning to live under the shadow of Calvary, and we have seen
our sin there and we can no longer compare our sin with another's.
But as we take these simple steps of repentance, then we see clearly
to cast out the mote out of the other's eye, for the beam in our eye
has gone. In that moment God will pour light in on us as to the
other's need, that neither he nor we ever had before. We may see then
that the mote we were so conscious of before, is virtually
non-existent--it was but the projection of something that was in us.
On the other hand, we may have revealed to us hidden underlying
things, of which he himself was hardly conscious. Then as God leads
us, we must lovingly and humbly challenge him, so that he may see
them too, and bring them to the Fountain for sin and find
deliverance. He will be more likely than ever to let us do it--indeed
if he is a humble man, he will be grateful to us, for he will know
now that there is no selfish motive in our heart, but only love and
concern for him.

When God is leading us to challenge another, let not fear hold us
back. Let us not argue or press our point. Let us just say what God
has told us to and leave it there. It is God's work, not ours, to
cause the other to see it. It takes time to be willing to bend "the
proud stiff-necked I." When we in turn are challenged, let us not
defend ourselves and explain ourselves. Let us take it in silence,
thanking the other; and then go to God about it and ask Him. If he
was right, let us be humble enough to go and tell him, and praise God
together. There is no doubt that we need each other desperately.
There are blind spots in all our lives that we shall never see,
unless we are prepared for another to be God's channel to us.



CHAPTER 8
ARE YOU WILLING TO BE A SERVANT?


Nothing is clearer from the New Testament than that the Lord Jesus
expects us to take the low position of servants. This is not just an
extra obligation, which we may or may not assume as we please. It is
the very heart of that new relationship which the disciple is to take
up to God and to his fellows if he is to know fellowship with Christ
and any degree of holiness in his life. When we understand the
humbling and self-emptying that is involved in really being a
servant, it becomes evident that only those who are prepared to live
quite definitely under the shadow of Calvary, ever contemplating the
humility and brokenness of the Lord Jesus for us, will be willing for
that position.

As we approach this subject and its personal application in detail to
our lives, there are three preliminary things which need to be said
to prepare us to understand the low and humbling position which He
wants us to take.

In the Old Testament two sorts of servants are mentioned. There are
the hired servants, who have wages paid to them and have certain
rights. Then there are the bond-servants, or slaves, who have no
rights, who receive no wages and who have no appeal. The Hebrews were
forbidden ever to make bond-servants of their own race. Only of the
Gentiles were they permitted to take such slaves. When, however, we
come to the New Testament, the word in the Greek for the servant of
the Lord Jesus Christ is not "hired servant" but "bond-servant," by
which is meant to be shown that our position is one where we have no
rights and no appeal, where we are the absolute property of our
Master, to be treated and disposed of just as He wishes.

Further, we shall see more clearly still what our position is to be
when we understand that we are to be the bond-servants of One who was
Himself willing to be a bond-servant. Nothing shows better the
amazing humility of the Lord Jesus, whose servants we are to be, than
that "though He was in the form of God, He counted it not a prize to
be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself and took upon Him the
form of a bondservant" (Phil. 2:6,7)--without rights, willing to be
treated as the will of the Father and the malice of men might decree,
if only He might thereby serve men and bring them back to God. And
you and I are to be the bond-servants of Him who was and always is a
bondservant, whose disposition is ever that of humility and whose
activity is ever that of humbling Himself to serve His creatures. How
utterly low, then, is our true position! How this shows us what it
means to be ruled by the Lord Jesus!

That leads us to something further. Our servanthood to the Lord Jesus
is to express itself in our servanthood to our fellows. Says Paul,
"We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus, the Lord, and ourselves
your bond-servants for Jesus' sake." The low position we take toward
the Lord Jesus is judged by Him by the low position we take in our
relationship with our fellows. An unwillingness to serve others in
costly, humbling ways He takes to be an unwillingness to serve Him,
and we thus put ourselves out of fellowship with Him.

We are now in a position to apply all this much more personally to
our lives. God spoke to me some time ago through Luke 17:7-1O. "But
which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say
unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down
to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may
sup, and gird thyself and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken;
and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant
because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So
likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are
commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that
which was our duty to do."

I see here five marks of the bond-servant. First of all, he must be
willing to have one thing on top of another put upon him, without any
consideration being given him. On top of a hard day in the field the
servant in the parable had immediately to prepare his master's meal,
and on top of that he had to wait at table--and all that before he
had had any food himself. He just went and did it, expecting nothing
else. How unwilling we are for this! How quickly there are murmurings
and bitterness in our hearts when that sort of thing is expected of
us. But the moment we start murmuring, we are acting as if we had
rights, and a bond-servant hasn't any!

Secondly, in doing this he must be willing not to be thanked for it.
How often we serve others, but what selfpity we have in our hearts
and how bitterly we complain that they take it as a matter of course
and do not thank us for it. But a bond-servant must be willing for
that. Hired servants may expect something, but not bond-servants.

And, thirdly, having done all this, he must not charge the other with
selfishness. As I read the passage, I could not but feel that the
master was rather selfish and inconsiderate. But there is no such
charge from the bond-servant. He exists to serve the interests of his
master and the selfishness or otherwise of his master does not come
into it with him. But we? We can perhaps allow ourselves to be "put
upon" by others, and are willing perhaps not to be thanked for what
we do, but how we charge the other in our minds with selfishness! But
that is not the place of a bond-servant. He is to find in the
selfishness of others but a further opportunity to identify himself
afresh with His Lord as the servant of all.

But there is a fourth step still to which we must go. Having done all
that, there is no ground for pride or self-congratulation, but we
must confess that we are unprofitable servants, that is, that we are
of no real use to God or man in ourselves. We must confess again and
again that "in us, that is in our flesh, there dwelleth no good
thing," that, if we have acted thus, it is no thanks to us, whose
hearts are naturally proud and stubborn, but only to the Lord Jesus,
who dwells in us and who has made us willing.

The bottom of self is quite knocked out by the fifth and last
step--the admission that doing and bearing what we have in the way of
meekness and humility, we have not done one stitch more than it was
our duty to do. God made man in the first place simply that he might
be God's bond-servant. Man's sin has simply consisted in his refusal
to be God's bond-servant. His restoration can only be, then, a
restoration to the position of a bond-servant. A man, then, has not
done anything specially meritorious when he has consented to take
that position, for he was created and redeemed for that very thing.

This, then, is the Way of the Cross. It is the way that God's lowly
Bond-servant first trod for us, and should not we, the bond-servants
of that Bond-servant, tread it still? Does it seem hard and
forbidding, this way down? Be assured, it is the only way up. It was
the way by which the Lord Jesus reached the Throne, and it is the way
by which we too reach the place of spiritual power, authority and
fruitfulness. Those who tread this path are radiant, happy souls,
overflowing with the life of their Lord. They have found "he that
humbleth himself shall be exalted" to be true for them as for their
Lord. Where before humility was an unwelcome intruder to be put up
with only on occasions, she has now become the spouse of their souls,
to whom they have wedded themselves for ever. If darkness and unrest
enter their souls it is only because somewhere on some point they
have been unwilling to walk with her in the paths of meekness and
brokenness. But she is ever ready to welcome them back into her
company, as they seek her face in repentance.

That brings us to the all-important matter of repentance. We shall
not enter into more abundant life merely by resolving that we shall
be humbler in the future. There are attitudes and actions which have
already taken place and are still being persisted in (if only by our
unwillingness to apologise for them) that must first be repented of.
The Lord Jesus did not take upon Him the form of a bond-servant
merely to give us an example, but that He might die for these very
sins upon the cross, and open a fountain in His precious Blood where
they can all be washed away. But that Blood cannot be applied to the
sins of our proud heart until we have been broken in repentance as to
what has already happened and as to what we already are. This will
mean allowing the light of God to go through every part of our hearts
and into every one of our relationships. It will mean that we shall
have to see that the sins of pride, which God will show us, made it
necessary for Jesus to come from heaven and die on the Cross that
they might be forgiven. It will mean not only asking Him to forgive
us but asking others too. And that will be humbling indeed. But as we
crawl through the door of the broken ones we shall emerge into the
light and glory of the highway of holiness and humility.



CHAPTER 9
THE POWER OF THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB


The message and challenge of Revival, which is coming to many of us
these days is searching in its utter simplicity. It is simply that
there is only one thing in the world that can hinder the Christian's
walking in victorious fellowship with God and his being filled with
the Holy Spirit--and that is sin in one form or another. There is
only one thing in the world that can cleanse him from sin with all
that that means of liberty and victory--and that is the power of the
Blood of the Lord Jesus. It is, however, most important for us that
we should see what it is that gives the Blood of Christ its mighty
power with God on behalf of men, for then we shall understand the
conditions on which its full power may be experienced in our lives.

How many achievements and how many blessings for men the Scripture
ascribes to the power of the Blood of the Lord Jesus! By the power of
His Blood peace is made between man and God.[footnote 1: 1 Col. 1:20]
By its power there is forgiveness of sins and eternal life for all
who put their faith in the Lord Jesus.[footnote 2:Col.1:14; John
6:54] By the power of His Blood Satan is overcome.[footnote 3: Rev.
12:11] By its power there is continual cleansing from all sin for
us.[footnote 4:1 John 1:7] By the power of His Blood we may be set
free from the tyranny of an evil conscience to serve the living
God.[footnote 5:Heb. 9:14] By its infinite power with God the most
unworthy have liberty to enter the Holy of Holies of God's presence
and live there all the day.[footnote 6:Heb. 10:19] We may well ask
what gives the Blood its power!

To that question we need to link this other question--how may we
experience its full power in our lives? Too often that precious Blood
does not have its cleansing, peace-giving, life-giving,
sin-destroying power in our hearts, and too often we do not find
ourselves in God's presence and fellowship all the day.


Whence its Power?

The answer to the first question is suggested by the phrase in the
book of Revelation which describes the Blood of Christ by the tender
expression, "the Blood of the Lamb."[footnote 7: Rev.7:14] Not the
Blood of the Warrior, but the Blood of the Lamb! In other words that
which gives the precious Blood its power with God for men is the
lamb-like disposition of the One who shed it and of which it is the
supreme expression. The title "the Lamb" so frequently given to the
Lord Jesus in Scripture is first of all descriptive of His work--that
of being a sacrifice for our sin. When a sinning Israelite wanted to
get right with God, it was the blood of a lamb (sometimes that of
goat) which had to be shed and sprinkled on the altar. Jesus is the
Divine fulfilment of all those lambs that men offered--the Lamb of
God that taketh away the sin of the world.[Footnoe 8:John 1:29] But
the title the Lamb has a deeper meaning. It describes His character.
He is the Lamb in that He is meek and lowly in heart,[footnote
9:Matt. 11:29] gentle and unresisting, and all the time surrendering
His own will to the Father's[footnote 10:John 6:38] for the blessing
and saving of men. Any one but the Lamb would have resented and
resisted the treatment men gave Him. But He, in obedience to the
Father[footnote 11:Phil. 2:8] and out of love for us, did neither.
Men did what they liked to Him and for our sakes He yielded all the
time. When He was reviled, He reviled not again. When He suffered, He
threatened not. No standing up for His rights, no hitting back, no
resentment, no complaining! How different from us! When the Father's
will and the malice of men pointed to dark Calvary, the Lamb meekly
bowed His head in willingness for that too. It was as the Lamb that
Isaiah saw Him, when he prophesied, "He is brought as a Lamb to the
slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth
not His mouth."[footnote 12:Is. 53:7] The scourging, the scoffing,
the spitting, the hair plucked off from His cheeks, the weary last
march up the Hill, the nailing and the lifting up, the piercing of
His side and the flowing of His Blood--none of these things would
ever have been, had He not been the Lamb. And all that to pay the
price of my sin! So we see He is not merely the Lamb because He died
on the Cross, but He died upon the Cross because He is the Lamb.

Let us ever see this disposition in the Blood. Let every mention of
the Blood call to mind the deep humility and self-surrender of the
Lamb, for it is this disposition that gives the Blood its wonderful
power with God. Hebrews 9:14 for ever links the Blood of Christ with
His self-offering to God, "how much more shall the Blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God ..."
And it is this fact that bestows upon it its power with God for
men. For this disposition has ever been of supreme value to God.
Humility, lamb likeness, the surrender of our wills to God are what
He looks for supremely from man. It was to manifest all this that God
ever created the first man. It was his refusal to walk this path that
constituted his first sin (and it has been the heart of sin ever
since). It was to bring this disposition back to earth that Jesus
came. It was simply because the Father saw this in Him that He could
say, "My Son, in Whom I am well pleased." It was because the shedding
of His Blood so supremely expressed this disposition that it is so
utterly precious to God and so all-availing for man and his sin.


The Second Question.

We come now to the second question--how can we experience its full
power in our lives? Our hearts surely tell us the answer, as we look
on the Lamb, bowing His Head for us on Calvary--only by being willing
to have the same disposition that ruled Him and by bending our necks
in brokenness as He bowed His. Just as it is the disposition of the
Lamb that bestows upon the Blood its power, so it is only as we are
willing to be partakers of the same disposition of the Lamb, that we
shall know its full power in our lives. And we may be partakers of
His disposition,[footnote13: Phil.2:5; 1 Cor.2:16] for it has been
made transferable to us by His death. All the fruits of the Holy
Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5--love, joy, peace, long-suffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control--what are they
but the expressions of the lamb-like nature of the Lord Jesus, and
the Holy Spirit wants to fill us with them. Let us never forget that
the Lord Jesus, though exalted to the throne of God, is still the
Lamb (the book of Revelation tells us that) and He wants to reproduce
Himself in us.


Are We Willing?

But are we willing for this? There is a hard unyielding self, which
stands up for itself and resists others, that will have to be broken,
if we are to be willing for the disposition of the Lamb, and if the
precious Blood is to reach us in cleansing power. We may pray long to
be cleansed from some sin and for peace to be restored to our hearts,
but unless we are willing to be broken on the point in question and
be made a partaker of the Lamb's humility there, nothing will happen.
Every sin we ever commit is the result of the hard unbroken self
taking up some attitude of pride, and we shall not find peace through
the Blood until we are willing to see the source of each sin and
reverse the wrong attitude that caused it by a specific repentance,
which will always be humbling. This means that we have not merely to
try and make ourselves feel the humility of Jesus. We have only to
walk in the light and be willing for God to reveal any sin that may
be in our lives, and we shall find ourselves asked by the Lord to
perform all sorts of costly acts of repentance and surrender, often
over what we term small and trivial matters. But their importance can
be gauged by what it costs our pride to put them right. He may show
us a confession or apology that has to be made to someone or an act
of restitution that has to be done.[footnote14:Matt. 5:23-24] He may
show us that we must climb down over something and yield up our
fancied rights in it (Jesus had no rights--have we then?). He may
show us that we must go to the one who has done us a wrong and
confess to him the far greater wrong of resenting it (Jesus never
resented anything or anyone--have we any right to?). He may call us
to be open with our friends that they know us as we really are, and
thus be able to have true fellowship with us. These acts may well be
humiliating and a complete reversal of our usual attitudes of pride
and selfishness, but by such acts we shall know true brokenness and
become partakers of the humility of the Lamb. As we are willing for
this in each issue, the Blood of the Lamb will be able to cleanse us
from all sin and we shall walk with God in white, with His peace in
our hearts.



CHAPTER 10
PROTESTING OUR INNOCENCE?


We have all become so used to condemning the proud self-righteous
attitude of the Pharisee in the parable of the Pharisee and the
Publican,[footnote1:Luke 18:9-14] that we can hardly believe that the
picture of him there is meant to apply to us--which only shows how
much like him we really are. The Sunday School teacher was never so
much a Pharisee, as when she finished her lesson on this parable with
the words, "And now, children, we can thank God that we are not as
this Pharisee!" In particular are we in danger of adopting the
Pharisee's attitude, when God is wanting to humble us at the Cross of
Jesus, and show us the sins in our hearts that are hindering personal
revival.


God's Picture of the Human Heart.

We shall not understand the real wrong of the Pharisee's attitude,
nor of our own, unless we view it against the background of what God
says about the human heart. Said Jesus Christ, "From within, out of
the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications,
murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an
evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness."[footnote 2: Mark 7:20-23] The
same dark picture of the human heart is given us in Paul's letter to
the Galatians, "The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
adultery, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, divisions, parties, envyings,
murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like."[footnote 3: Gal.5:19-21]
What a picture! Jeremiah adds the same witness, "The heart is
deceitful above all things (that is, it deceives the man himself, so
that he does not know himself) and desperately wicked, who can know
it?"[footnote4:Jer.17:9] Here then is God's picture of the human heart,
the fallen self, "the old man,"[footnote5:Eph.4:22] as the Scripture
calls it, whether it be in the unconverted or in the keenest Christian.
It is hard to believe that these things can proceed from the heart of
ministers, evangelists and Christian workers, but it is true. The
simple truth is that the only beautiful thing about the Christian is
Jesus Christ. God wants us to recognise that fact as true in our
experience, so that in true brokenness and self-despair we shall
allow Jesus Christ to be our righteousness and holiness and all
in all--and that is victory.


Making God a Liar!

Now in face of God's description of the human heart, we can see what
it was that the Pharisee did. In saying, "I thank Thee that I am not
as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers," he was
protesting his innocence of the very things that God says are in
every heart. He said in effect, "These things are doubtless true of
other men--this Publican is even now confessing them--but, Lord, not
of me!" And in so saying, he was making God a liar, for "if we say we
have not sinned, we make Him a liar,"[footnote6:1 John 5:10] because
He says we have! Yet I feel sure that he was perfectly sincere in
what he said. He really did believe that he was innocent of these
things. Indeed, he is ascribing his imagined innocence to God,
saying, "I thank thee ..." God's word, however, still stood against
him. But he just had not seen it. The "penny had not dropped!" If the
Publican is beating upon his breast and confessing his sins, it is
not because he has sinned worse than the Pharisee. It is simply that
the Publican has seen that what God says is woefully true of him, and
the Pharisee has not. The Pharisee still thinks that outward
abstinence from certain sins is all that God requires. He has not yet
understood that God looks, not on the outward appearance, but on the
heart,[footnote7:1 Sam.16:7] and accounts the look of lust the
equivalent of adultery,[footnote8:Matt.5:27-28] the attitude of
resentment and hate the same as murder,[footnote9:1 John 3:15.] envy
as actual theft, and the petty tyrannies in the home as wicked as the
most extortionate dealings in the market.

How often have not we, too, protested our innocence on the many
occasions when God has been convicting others, and when He has wanted
to convict us too. We have said in effect, "These things may be true
of others, but not of me!" and we may have said so quite sincerely.
Perhaps we have heard of others who have humbled themselves and have
rather despised them for the confessions they have had to make and
the things they had to put right in their lives. Or perhaps we have
been genuinely glad that they have been blessed. But, whichever it
is, we don't feel that we have anything to be broken about ourselves.
Beloved, if we feel we are innocent and have nothing to be broken
about, it is not that these things are not there, but that we have
not seen them. We have been living in a realm of illusion about
ourselves. God must be true in all that He says about us. In one form
or another, He sees these things expressing themselves in us (unless
we have recognised them and allowed God to deal with them)--unconscious
selfishness, pride and self-congratulation; jealousy, resentment and
impatience; reserve, fears and shyness; dishonesty and deception;
impurity and lust; if not one thing, then another. But we are blind
to it. We are perhaps so occupied with the wrong the other man has done
us, that we do not see that we are sinning against Christ in not being
willing to take it with His meekness and lowliness. Seeing so clearly
how the other man wants his own way and rights, we are blind to the
fact that we want ours just as much; and yet we know there is something
missing in our lives. Somehow we are not in vital fellowship with God.
We are not spiritually crisp. Our service does not "crackle with the
supernatural." Unconscious sin is none the less sin with God and
separates us from Him. The sin in question may be quite a small
thing, which God will so readily show us, if we are only willing to
ask Him.

There is yet another error we fall into, when we are not willing to
recognise the truth of what God says of the human heart. Not only do
we protest our own innocence, but we often protest the innocence of
our loved ones. We hate to see them being convicted and humbled and
we hasten to defend them. We do not want them to confess anything. We
are not only living in a realm of illusion about ourselves, but about
them too, and we fear to have it shattered. But we are only defending
them against God--making God a liar on their behalf, as we do on our
own, and keeping them from entering into blessing, as we do ourselves.

Only a deep hunger for real fellowship with God will make us willing
to cry to God for His all-revealing Light and to obey it when it is
given.


Justifying God.

That brings us to the Publican. With all that God says about the
human heart in our minds, we can see that his confession of sin was
simply a justifying of God, an admission that what God said of him
was true. Perhaps like the Pharisee, he used not to believe that what
God said about man was really true of him. But the Holy Spirit has
shown him things in his life which prove God right, and he is broken.
Not only does he justify God in all that he has said, but he
doubtless justifies God in all the chastening judgments God has
brought upon him. Nehemiah's prayer might well have been his,
"Howbeit Thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for Thou hast
done right and we have done wickedly."[footnote10:Neh.9:33]

This is ever the nature of true confession of sin, true brokenness.
It is the confession that my sin is not just a mistake, a slip, a
something which is really foreign to my heart ("Not really like me to
have such thoughts or do such things!"), but that it is something
which reveals the real 'I'; that shows me to be the proud, rotten,
unclean thing God says I am; that it really is like me to have such
thoughts and do such things. It was in these terms that David
confessed his sin, when he prayed, "Against Thee, Thee only, have I
sinned and done this evil in Thy sight, that Thou mightest be
justified when Thou speakest and be clear when Thou
judgest."[footnote11:Psalm 51:4] Let us not fear then, to make such a
confession where God convicts us that we must, thinking that it will
"let Jesus down." Rather the reverse is true, for out of such
confession God gets glory, for we declare Him to be right. This
brings us to a new experience of victory in Christ, for it declares
afresh, that "in me (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good
thing,"[footnote12:Rom.7:18] and brings us to a place where we give
up trying to make our incorrigible selves holy and where we take
Jesus to be our holiness and His life to be our life.


Peace and Cleansing.

But the Publican did something more than justify God. He pointed to
the sacrifice on the altar, and found peace with God and cleansing
from sin, as he did so. That comes out in the literal meaning of the
words which he uttered, "God be merciful to me, a sinner." In the
Greek, the words mean literally, "God be propitiated to me, the
sinner." The only way by which a Jew knew that God could be
propitiated was by a sacrifice, and, in all probability, at that very
hour the lamb for the daily burnt offering was being offered up on
the altar in the temple.

With us it is the same. A man never comes to this position of
brokenness, but God shows him the Divine Lamb on Calvary's Cross,
putting away his sin by the shedding of His Blood. The God who
declares beforehand what we are, provides beforehand for our sin.
Jesus was the Lamb slain for our sins from the foundation of the
world. In Him, who bore them in meekness, my sins are finished. And
as I, in true brokenness, confess them, and put my faith in His
Blood, they are cleansed and gone. Peace with God then comes into my
heart, fellowship with God is immediately restored, and I walk with
Him in white.

This simple way of being willing to justify God and see the power of
the Blood to cleanse brings within our reach, as never before, a
close walk with Jesus, a constant dwelling with Him in the Holy of
Holies. As we walk with Him in the Light, He will be showing us all
the time the beginnings of things which, if allowed to pass, will
grieve Him and check the flow of His life in us--things which are the
expression of that old proud self, for which God has nothing but
judgment. At no point must we protest our innocence of what He shows
us. All along we must be willing to justify Him and say, "Thou art
right, Lord; that just shows what I am," and be willing to give it to
Him for cleansing. As we do so, we shall find that His precious Blood
is continuously cleansing us from sin, and that "the tide is being
continuously healed at its beginning," and Jesus is continuously
filling us with His Spirit. This demands that we must be men of "a
humble and contrite spirit," that is, men who are willing to be shown
the smallest thing. But such are the ones, God says, who "dwell with
Him in the high and holy place,"[footnote13:Is.57:15] and who
experience continuous revival.

There then is our choice--to protest our innocence and go down to our
house, unblessed, dry of soul and out of touch with God. Or to
justify God and to enter into peace, fellowship and victory through
the Blood of Jesus.





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