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Chapter 8 - Divine Arrangement
A divine arrangement is a certain method or rule by which God works. Never ask Him to change to accommodate your mind; adapt yourself to His method.
2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Sound mind is a bad translation; a better one is disciplined spirit. God says, to build this strange, mystical thing—the new man—“I will give you, first of all, POWER, then love and a sound mind (disciplined spirit).” Now, why did He begin with power? Because power is the dynamic by which the whole thing is made manifest. No need messing around trying to get love or something else. The whole thing is based on a dynamic power God furnishes, which is the Holy Spirit. You will find the same order in the Old and New Testament, and in your heart and mine. Whenever you see an arrangement like that in the Bible, leave it the way it is written. Some would put love first, instead of power, but we can’t change it. There is a divine order.
From creation on, everything that we have comes through the power of the Spirit: (In the Old Testament the word is ruach, and in the New Testament it is pneuma). They both have the same idea of breath or life—the outbreathing, ruach; the breath of God—that is Spirit; that is Life; pneuma, breath—pneumonia, pneumatic tire, air, breath, spirit; all come from the same word.
Why do we have the breath of Life? Because we can’t receive anything in creation without it. We have it in the life of Jesus. He was conceived by the Spirit; born of the Spirit; baptized in the Spirit; He ministered in the Spirit. His whole life moved in the power of God, called the Holy Spirit, and He lived in it, moved in it, ministered in it; and even when He died, the resurrection was by the Eternal Spirit. If all that was needed in the life of Jesus, how much more we need the power of the Spirit in our lives! We can’t get anywhere without the Holy Spirit.
Notice the divine arrangement of the Beatitudes: Never recast them; never change their order. They say, “‘Blessed is he, Blessed is he’, etc. so why not have them any which way, because they all begin ‘Blessed’ don’t they?” We cannot do that; we have to have a sequence. They HAVE to begin with “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” as the basis for all the other “Blessed’s” to follow; we cannot change that.
The Sermon on the Mount covers Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, 7. Oh, the Sermon on the Mount! The logic in there is just beautiful! Jesus is teaching His disciples. The whole Sermon on the Mount hasn’t anything to do with the sinner at all.
What is the first Beatitude? Does it say those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled because we have to be hungry first, and we know that is the great basic need? No, that isn’t the first Beatitude. The first one begins with a very wonderful statement:
(1) “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
There could not have been a broader, more beautiful statement. Why? In Greek “the poor in spirit,” means “bankruptcy”. Blessed—or most fortunate; or, to be envied is better—is a person who has been reduced to bankruptcy, without any potential of his own, for in his bankruptcy, all heaven is his!
Why is there not more heaven in some people? The rich young ruler in Matthew 19, turned away sorrowful, because he had great possessions. Anyone who has great possessions is not going to get too far with the Lord. Most fortunate, to be envied, is a person who is reduced to bankruptcy in any self-resources. “In me dwelleth no good thing.” This is basic, because then it is possible for all heaven to be yours. Then Jesus goes on with the rest of the Beatitudes, because they are divinely arranged—in sequence. One makes it possible for the second, and we can’t get to the third until we have had the first and second. The point is; their blessedness all runs into a series sequence.
(2) “Blessed are they that mourn; for they Shall be comforted.”
Why is this one next? Because the clearer our vision is of Jesus, and the beauty of His loveliness and purity, grace and strength, the more we are truly able to mourn in the true sense of the word—mourn our sin; mourn the nature and cause; mourn because we grieve Him. Then we are comforted by His grace.
(3) “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.”
Whence does this meekness come? What causes our mourning? The Holy Spirit, working in the heart, now produces meekness and brokenness not formerly known to the humanity at all. It is the natural result of this poverty and mourning, which results in grace and comfort. This poverty and mourning produces a meekness in our nature like Christ’s. Thus the meek inherit all things—the earth. They are not seeking now; are not proud or lifted up, so He can trust the meek and they are safe All this has revealed to them their deep need. Now comes the hunger.
(4)“Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”
We have to be conditioned continually in heart and spirit for the reception of that which we hope and long for. Whence this hunger and thirst? Is it for salvation? No. It is for a fuller and fuller revelation of Jesus. God creates the appetite, and fills it from His side. The new creature needs to be fed. “He shall be filled,”—completely satisfied.
(5) “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.”
Man, by nature, is not merciful. The Spirit has manifested God’s mercy in such measure that man, in turn, becomes merciful himself, and also obtains mercy. “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2)
(6) “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.”
The Spirit is bringing the soul to purity—not sinless perfection, nor faultlessness. The surrendered will—a heart whose only and every motive is Godward is pure in heart. “With the pure thou wilt show Thyself pure.” (Psalm 18:26) “With the pure all things are pure.” (Titus 1:15) What or Whom do they see? GOD, not only in heaven, but here in everything which touches the life—God first. (Romans 8:28)
(7) “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.”
(8) “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
This is the natural outcome of life or service in God. We are not of the world; it hates us. “Through much tribulation, and patience ye shall enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22b) “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy) Suffering is our lot, but all heaven is ours. This is general suffering for the cause of Christ and righteousness in the earth, such as persecutions, involving name, reputation, and principles of Truth for which we become martyrs.
(9) “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”
What suffering is this? The previous sufferings are general ones; now they will become specific. They will bring you into closer union and identification with Christ, and bring your heart into the “fellowship of His sufferings.” (Philippians 3:10, and Colossians 1:24)—The climax of the Beatitudes is marked by suffering. It is the desired end.
Let us note two things in the study of the Beatitudes:
1. The progression and perfect movement or growth; there is sequence of marked significance. One Beatitude grows, evolves, naturally out of the other. There is maturity and growth in strength as the soul is led onward.
2. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit to produce each step. He alone can bring us, and hold us in each of these positions, for each condition, pronounced “blessed” or “happy”, is diametrically opposed to everything natural.
Almost the first revelation which comes to the Christian early in the way is his poverty and lack of spirit. The human spirit is wild, beastlike. Our human spirit breaks down, and cannot work in the new maim into which He has now brought us. Man does not like to be reduced to a “beggar”, but only then can the Power of heaven manifest itself. Then Christ can be all in all.
When Jesus was teaching concerning prayer, He gave us three orderly phases of our prayer life: asking, seeking, knocking. Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Now we cannot disarrange that. We would spoil the whole sequence; we would spoil the whole arrangement. We do not receive first by knocking; first is the aspect of asking—we ask, and then we receive. Our knocking is the last part. There is something in between —seeking: “Seek and ye shall find.”
First comes the spirit; then soul; then body. “. . .And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thes. 5:23)
Another divine arrangement is found in Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Here David is getting his experience in God. What is the first thing he finds?
1.Light. (We must have that to get the whole thing going.)
3.Strength of life.
The full swing of a conception of God is always in a Trinity.
“He is my light.” Light dispels darkness, but it also reveals my condition. David is in the realm of darkness, so light must come first. Jehovah God is my light; God, in the beginning, was the Author of it. The Lord is first unto me light. Now the reason for this is that the natural man is born in darkness. God’s first approach is light; by that He begins to reveal to us what we are, who we are, and the condition in which we are in.
“He is my salvation.” The next bit of revelation is what God will be to David. The Lord is my light, and the Lord . . . is my salvation, my deliverance out of this chaos.— So the second phase of this work is the presentation of the Christ in His redemptive work—that of my salvation.
“He is the strength of my life.” He is my light— the One Who brings light to me, He is my salvation, delivering me out of my darkness, transforming me into the kingdom of light. Now I find that even here I cannot live it, only in Him. He has to be the very strength of my life. The Holy Spirit is the power and strength of my life. Therefore, in the last analysis, if your revelation of God is perfect, in the sense of completion, it will be a Trinity. David has had a revelation of God. He says, God is a Trinity!
God is my Light—That’s the Father.
God is my Salvation—That’s the Son.
God is the Strength of my life— That’s the Holy Spirit. No revelation is complete unless it has the Trinity in it. There is a special ministry in my being for each Member of the Trinity. My fellowship is with the Father, with the Son, and with the Holy Ghost.
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