THE KEY PARABLE – Death Is Life

Paul makes the same point about mysteries in 1 Corinthians 1 and 2. These “mysterious” things, even if you were to try to explain them, are foolishness to the world.

Some of you perhaps are a little bothered by my emphasis on our becoming nothing. Our choosing blindness, our choosing not to hear with our outer ears, and if I were to use another illustration from Matthew 5, our choosing to be poor in spirit, absolutely destitute of any strength of our own. This will certainly seem to be absolutely foolishness to the natural mind. Come on, face it. Isn’t that a bit foolish? I’ll tell you when you’ll face it. You’ll face it when He’s trying to bring you to nothing in some area, and you’re doing everything you can to hang on for dear life. But the one who would save his life in the very area that God is trying to bring death, he’ll lose life. That’s foolishness to the carnal mind. It’s foolishness because the carnal mind cannot understand that they were created in the very beginning for God. And you cannot even function without God, as a normal human being.

Just like you can make a car go; you can push it along; you can hitch a horse to the front end of the car; you can get 10 people behind the car; you can make the car go. But the car was not made to go by pushing or by pulling. The car was made to go by gasoline combustion in the engine. You and I were made for God and until that sinks in in fullness, we will continue to try to save some remnant of our old life. I want to save some reputation. I admit it. I want to have at least some reputation with you. There’s death in that! There’s death in that!

For example, I’ve pastored so I have first hand knowledge that every pastor goes through things like the example that follows: I love the Smiths. I poured my life into the Smiths. My wife and I were with them when their first baby came. We counseled with them when they went through difficult times. I poured my life into them. They loved me too. But another servant of the Lord has come along and he is teaching some things that the Smiths are identifying with. And they really feel like God is calling them to be under this other ministry.

Now what do you think is going on in John Brown’s heart when that happens? Why do you think that we in the church are so territorial? It’s because we don’t want to die. We’ve staked out a claim of our own. We have our own kingdom. And I feel that threat. We are liars if we say that we do not feel that threat. The carnal man is still here. Sin still dwells in the flesh. But it is embracing dying; it is choosing to say, “God reigns. Brother, if God is calling you over there, let me bless you and introduce you to your new pastor. And I’ll pray you’ll find a way to share whatever God is sharing over there with us.” Is it possible they have light we don’t have? Well, why do you think they are going over there? It doesn’t make any difference how much light I have, I don’t have all the light, and I don’t have all the truth. I actually have a very narrow, little bit of the truth.

God’s given me a little narrow portion. I think it’s an important portion. I think it’s a very significant portion, but it’s not everything. It’s only a bit. I’ve come to realize that. That’s why I’m not starting another church. I believe if it’s God in this teaching, the whole church needs to hear it. And I need to be able to hear from my new relationships that which I don’t have. But, it only comes by dying. That’s why Paul goes on to say, “Always carrying about in the body the dying, that the life of Christ Jesus might come forth” (2 Cor. 4:10).

These two are always working in us. If they are not, if they are trying to save their life, trying to preserve the old self, then they have only one working, and it is death. But if you are allowing the old self to come to death, something else is working in you. It’s the life of Another.

Paul saw that. Paul saw that he needed not to impress others with his intellect. “I came to you, not with wise and persuasive words,” but he could have. If there was ever a first century preacher that could have, he’s the man. He chose not to. “I did not come to you with wise and persuasive words that the life of Christ, that the Spirit of God, that your faith might rest on the power of God.” In weakness, in frailty, if you think that Paul or that John Brown is much, then you are wrong because he’s not much, he’s not much at all.

So that if anything comes forth, you know it is God. That’s where He is taking you. You are in trouble now; you know that, don’t you? You may have read or been exposed to all of this before but at least in my menu of it, even if you are reading or experiencing it for the first time, and you are being reminded that you are without excuse. God is choosing for you the death of the old man.

God is choosing to bring to fullness the departure of Adam’s life in you and me. And if you can bear this, that’s all that is holding back the last ticks of the clock, the Bride making herself ready, the church finally believing God, that she is made for Him and only Him. As soon as we believe and set to getting our self ready as a bride for the bridegroom, our coming into full intimacy with Christ, He then sets the clock upon the last seconds of what must take place. And what is it all about? Actually, that is exactly what this book is really all about.

We can’t even choose death on our own. If it were up to me to kill myself, I’d mutilate myself. I’d do as bad a job of killing myself as I do of everything else I do on my own. He did not say, “Kill yourself!” What He said was, “Take up your cross.” He’ll handle the dying bit. And if you’ll let Him handle the dying bit, it will be marked with His mercy and His grace, His everlasting lovingkindness. He’s just asking you to say, “So be it. I will be with you. You make me. I’ll say yes to, ‘Follow Me and I’ll make you.’ Lord, You can cause it to happen.”

And once He sees that happen in the Bride, the Church, once He sees that take place, that she is set to make herself ready, then He will declare that the work is finished and will return in glory. And that’s why that final work is not like what we would like to believe it is. We would like to believe that when we become mighty warriors and overcomers, it would bring the whole world to its knees. But that’s not how it plays out in the Scriptures. It plays out in the Scriptures with the power of the holy people being absolutely pulverized. He brings to an end our own strength, but we would have said, “Do it!” And He will do it by His grace and His lovingkindness.

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4 Responses to “THE KEY PARABLE – Death Is Life”

  1. timbob Says:

    Good evening. We begin to understand what Paul meant by “I die daily.” I was thinking on your statement about the church being so territorial. We go about making little kingdoms; kind of like spiritual militia movements in the kingdom of God. (I’m sorry. I REALLY shouldn’t comment after midnight) We place a banner over our heads of “this denomination” or “this ministry” which places emphasis on us. This is usually followed by an emblem or “trademark” that is used to identify the material or work of a particular denomination or ministry. In short, it means that I Corinthians 3:4 is still playing out in 2009.

    Another enlightening post. Thanks. Have a blessed weekend in Jesus.

    timbob

  2. Jerald Says:

    Thanks for your comments, Timbob. You’re right that in America there are a lot of ‘fifedoms’ that identify as church or ministries.

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