By G.V. Wigram
With us it may be sometimes such a little thing that Satan gets hold of, but in Christ he found nothing and he was utterly worsted; and what can he do against us now if Christ is up there watching over every child of God? He may find fault with my walk, and allow me to be passed through a process, like Job's, to purge away the dross; but there is not a question of what I was as a sinner. If Christ is up there the whole question is settled.
When Paul or others were conscious of any failure, it was to Christ Himself they turned for fresh power; and if I fail, what have I to do but just to turn to where Christ is -- He is up there to destroy the works of the devil, and He is my power to start afresh.
It is a solemn thought, how are the hearts of people that are so little fresh in love to Christ to get freshness at all? It is only by seeing anew what God has made Him to them, and what He is. The more they see it, the more fresh the heart will be. There is an immense lack of freshness in us.
What trial have you ever had that would not have lost its bitterness and become sweet to you, if you had taken it in connection with Him who was from the beginning, looking up and saying, "He is not put out at this thorn in my flesh that is making me writhe, His strength is for me in it; He is not dismayed at the thicket of difficulties I am passing through, He gives the guidance I need; He who was from the beginning lets me know that He is with me, and His love meets me and carries me through everything."
Is it possible for a believer not to know that his sins are forgiven? Could the passover be in a house, and guilt be attached to it? Can a saint say, "O God, put my guilt away," when the blood of His Son has put it all away? I know my sins are forgiven, and yet before an hour is passed I may get my robes defiled and have to say, Ah, how I fail even when doing all I can to meet His mind, but the measure of my guilt was laid on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and God has no reckoning against me because He reckoned it all to His Son; but if I, a forgiven person, go wrong, He will directly call me to account for it.
At Pentecost there was immense power from personal knowledge of Christ and the presence of the Holy Ghost; and yet, had they a single copy of the scripture? I have seen the most unintelligent saints putting aside error, saying, "I know Christ and this thing and He cannot go together."
A mere outward profession gives no thought of connection with Christ -- of Christ being able to say, "I in you and you in me." Yes, the believer can say -- I, down here, can say, "I am in Christ and Christ is in me, he has become my life." Ninety-nine persons out of a hundred would not admit this. What, they would say, do you mean to assert that you are in a Person up in heaven when you are down here on earth? My answer would be, "If you are believers, you will never find in the word that you are of Christ, but that you are in him." I know that I am bound in one bundle of life together with Christ because He, now sitting on that throne in heaven, says, "I in you and you in me;" and with the simplicity of faith I say it is so.
If you trust to yourself, most certainly what you are will come out, as it did in Peter; if he speaks of his devotedness, all he gets from Christ is, "Before the cock crows thou wilt deny me thrice." We ought to get into the state of Paul when Christ stretched out his hand to take the veil off his heart, and he fell down crying out, "Who art thou, Lord?" He took the place of being exceedingly little. He had tried with all his energy to blot out the name of the Nazarene from earth, but no sooner did he find himself face to face with that Nazarene in the glory, than all his own energy came then and there to an end.
The opposition that comes from Satan as a roaring is very different from his serpent character of seductiveness. There is a great difference between the action of that poor old woman who took a green faggot that she might add to the sufferings of a martyr, and that of trying to turn aside the spirit of a martyr by blandishments and seductions.
As Son of God, Christ had a perfect right to say, I will and I will not, and He is the only one who (save on two remarkable occasions) never did so.
Directly Peter and others confessed Christ they got a new nature; love from the Son of God was flowing through their hearts, and it brought them to go following in His footsteps. They had no intelligency as to the Messiah, they were poor stupid Jews, but He had revealed Himself and He was a magnet to their hearts and they followed with purpose of heart to cleave to Him.
It was the patience of a Redeemer that left Cain where he could show out all his wickedness.
If I take up the Bible, and say to many Christians, "Do you look into this book, saying, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?'" They say "Ah, that would cut us off from everything; we are so weak, we have eternal life, but we never can overcome the world." Ah, (I answer) you cannot, and why not? Because it is you and not Christ. It is only through faith in Him that victory is obtained.
Where is Christ now? Gone up to heaven and seated there out of the world -- by "the world" I do not mean the earth, but the system set up by Satan all around us now. How much did Christ honour that? The only thing He looked at in it was people that were to be born of God and brought out of it linked to Himself. Are you out of it with Him? Have you a range of life outside things down here, in it but not of it, even as He was not?
What I have is just the life of that one Person in whom is all God's delight.
It is a blessed thing to feel, as those to whom Christ has given the light of eternal life, that not only all our springs are in Him, but that the path of each one, however humble, may be marked by the spark of eternal life shining out the whole way.
If any one asked me whether the believers I associate with are practically living the same life as Christ lived on earth, what could I say? Has your walk and mine today been the walk of risen and ascended ones in Christ? Did we walk last year looking as to a hill we had climbed, able to say that our life was practically the display of the life of Christ all the way?
There is an immense difference between intercourse, and communion of saints. If there is communion with Christ, much will flow from it. I might do the humblest work, wash the feet of any poor saint as a member of Christ, and feel that it flowed from communion with Christ; but when it comes to mere kindly intercourse one with another, and no roots in such intercourse from communion with Christ in heaven, what is the worth of it?
One should bear it most distinctly before the soul that in anything we are doing we are just going through it with Christ, and the waters will flow freely; no frost ever congeals them, no. heat ever dries them up. You may have sorrow, temptation, and everything to try you, but nothing can touch those living waters, and why? Because we are loved with an everlasting love, and it is Christ the fountain of living water who leads us.
You will find it the very strength of your soul to go before God with a text and say, "This is written in thy word, and because thou canst not lie, I know that I have got that thing."
Perfect love casteth out fear. If it is a question of your getting into the love of God you cannot get in; but if it is the question of Christ having brought you into it by washing you from your sins in His own blood, there can be no fear.
If a company of saints get at ease and lose the freshness of love to Christ, God can kindle a fire so fierce as to touch all of the flesh that turns their hearts from Him.
Have you known fellowship in suffering with Christ? known deep waters? You will have to go down to them. If you do not get sorrow in fellowship with Christ, you will get it in discipline.
If Paul had borne the mark of a ruined creature and Christ had taken him up to make him His, would he not have a mark to reflect the Person who had said, "You are mine?" And in everything Paul himself desired the mark of being Christ's. There is something very beautiful in the way he could glory in all that man or Satan could do or inflict, because he would be like his master.
When Christ brings us to heaven there will be no more thorns needed -- there no joint in the harness to gall the flesh -- no heaviness there -- no falling, as one dead, at His feet, like John; nor like Daniel who felt his comeliness turn into corruption at the sight of the Lord, but the body will become the medium of tasting perfectly what that Christ is who followed with unwearied love the course of each sheep down here.
Is it the thought of any that they might be nearer Him in the glory than some there or brighter than others? Ah! that is a thought of something for yourself. Each will have own place. Paul will not be among the eleven apostles: will he say "Oh what a place they have?" Might not the Lord say, "Ah, Paul, I am the one you alone desire to look at?" Yes, Lord, Thou art the only one! Thou art that Lord who knew how to heap good things upon me, who kept putting the vessel down into the waters and filling it up. Ah! soon that Lord shall come out of heaven to fill up with the power of eternal life every one now waiting for Him, and He will bring them home as vessels filled up. He only is to do it.
Oh, that God would act as in the day of Pentecost, and put us where we so little stand as reflectors of that Son of His love, each one presenting the reflection of that Christ at His right hand. Every heart will own we are not like Pentecost believers.
Peace may flow as a river -- but the moment we are washed in the blood, God takes us up to train us for Himself. It does not interfere with our blamelessness before Him as washed ones; there is not a thought in His mind of blame, but because I am so connected with Christ, He sees all the little ways in me that are unlike Christ.
There is a routine of things and duties connected with earth which sometimes catches hold of us and draws us down; even necessary care for relations may get to occupy the mind so as to hinder the outflow of a heavenly walk.
Everything with Paul became service. Whatever it was, whether life or death, he said, "There is something I can fill with Christ."
If God has done a work for me, witnessed to by the Holy Ghost, in my conscience, I could not have a doubt of its perfection. All God's character, His holiness and love, are united and bound up in it; if it is not received by me, I am lost for ever.
The presenting the blood is one thing, the appropriation of it by the sinner is another. The moment I can say to Him who died, "Thou hast Washed me in thy blood," I have appropriated it by faith; but if I say, "I want to be the servant of Christ, as well as being washed in His blood," I shall give the proof of being set apart by the blood to live only unto Him.
Without a purged conscience it is impossible to go into the place where worship is; for that place is where God and the Lamb are, and nowhere else. A purged conscience is the first element in the soul of a worshipper.
Faith not only supposes light shining down, but the Lord giving to the soul power to receive it.
That searching eye of God not only reads the heart and lays everything bare in the light; but that searching eye of God looks on the believer with all the affection with which He looks on Christ.
The church is to be to the praise and glory of God's grace throughout all ages. We see it in the Apocalypse like a crystal vessel, through which all heavenly glory shines out, God and the Lamb being inside and all their glory shining out through it. This company of chosen ones are the fulness of Christ, and will be the means of the display of His glory; He in God, and we in Him.
Not merely has Christ in His mind the time when all glory will centre in Him as Son of God, but as Son of man He is forming individuals to be together with Himself in that scene of glory, fashioning our hearts to be in association with Himself when He comes.
What a thought that there is no promise ever given to Christ that His members will not have their share of!
Had God when He had given the Son of His love exhausted His love? Did He not give the Holy Ghost? and has He spent it all? Ah! when we come to the Father's house, shall we not find that fountain for ever flowing in all its fulness, in all its boundless torrents of blessing!
The number of those who understand the mystery of the church is very small, but far smaller is the number of persons who know what resurrection life is.
People continually say, I know I am not what a Christian ought to be. I answer, If you are not dead and Christ your life, and if you are not walking in the power of it, how can you be what you ought to be?
The life of the Son of God is my life, and it is a life of resurrection. It may be up and down again -- nothing but ups and downs continually -- all my ruin as a creature coming out; but from the time when God revealed His Son to me, He took possession of my heart's affections, and I know that I have been in Him and He in me from that time.
I believe the time is coming, if not come, when it will no longer be the question of professing to be Christ's, but of whether we are living the life of Christ.
I know Christ, and you do also, but did you ever get a full taste of Him and say, "I know nothing, O Lord; help Thou mine unbelief?" I have. Such a sense of fulness in Him and of an eternity of blessedness with Him!
I see my reflection in His blessed eye. No one ever looked on Him without seeing all the Father's glory in Him. The infinite fulness of the Godhead is in Him bodily. Oh, how little we know of that fulness in Him! What will it be to see that Christ Himself with faculties given by God to enable us to take in the glories of His person!
Do you comprehend the breadth, length, depth, and height of God's thoughts about that divine Person -- you, a creature of yesterday! Look back these thousands of years-that One whom man nailed to the cross and put out of the way, was there creating the world! And then, as man, God showed that a person was there able to deal with sinners, with the worst, making them a part of the bride.
As a man, all human affections are in His heart. We know, if we believe that there is love in the heart of anyone toward us, how we rest on him. Ah! there is a volume of love in His heart, and it is fixed on each individual given Him by the Father.
It is not length, depth, breadth, and height abstractly; there is a centre -- Himself. I know that the God-man who loves me is the centre of all God's thoughts and counsels; my heart is resting on the very object which God's heart rests on, and all that is precious to God is mine.
How blessed is the truth that we are one with Him, His body; able to say to Him, "Ah, Lord, thou knowest who and what Thou art, and I, the least of Thy members, am one with Thee. Oh teach me, Lord, to know and to realise the wondrous mystery of the truth that I am in Thee and Thou in me, the truth of this unity of the body." It is that one's heart feeds and muses on. Oh look to it that your hearts be occupied with and feeding upon that blessed truth, that we are one spirit with the Lord.
Where believers often fail is that they have not patience to wait on the Spirit of God to be taught any truth; and if it is not brought to them it once, they exercise their own thoughts. But it is better to wait even ten years, saying, I have not yet got light from God's mind. To do otherwise will be like building with a bit of bad stone.
What a remarkable word is that in Ephesians 4. "Forgiving, one another, as God in Christ has forgiven us." I, a ruined creature, to forgive my brother, because I have been forgiven all.
Two beautiful vases were set in the garden of Eden, and falling on a rock they were dashed to pieces; and just in that ruin, God says, "I can give a Saviour, I can forgive all."
A blessed portion of truth came out at the Reformation: but still the question over agitated has been, "What is the church?" The answer in scripture is very simple. In chapters 1 and 2 of Ephesians, you will find the key to open out the truth, and to enable you to understand the doctrine of Christ in connection with what the church is. We find in these chapters three different things and three different positions, taken up first, in eternity (Eph. 1: 4, 5); second, in heaven (ver. 20); and third, down here on earth. (Chap. 2) When were we chosen in Christ? Before the foundation of the world, and chosen to show with Him scenes of glory of which neither seraph nor angel could say, "We know that." It was the Father tracing out to us the character of our relationship with Him in the Beloved, before the world was. It was not His thought to put these adopted ones in relationship less near than His beloved Son; not only He the head and they the members, but He the first-born of many brethren. The second is a scene that took place when man had been four thousand years in ruin. The only begotten Son came down here, God manifest in flesh. Ah, John, did you love that One on whose bosom you lay? And you, poor Peter, although you denied and forsook Him? Ah, yes! and by faith you followed Him up to the right hand of God, waiting for the fulfilment of His promise to send down the Holy Ghost. How do I know that there is that risen Man seated up there at God's right hand? Because it has been revealed by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost came down as the seal of the Father's delight in the Son, and the seal of our being His; but not only that, but Christ is up there as a life-giving Spirit: there is power in Him to give life to any pool, devil-possessed sinner, even to a Saul of Tarsus. The third position views the church down here as the visible thing (Eph. 2: 19), builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. What gave the church visibility? The Holy Ghost: when He came down He made it manifest that Christ had a people on earth as heavenly saints, a people whom God claimed as His; and they. were to be His light-bearers. A light-bearer is not invisible. He holds that whim He sets up responsible, till He puts it aside.
If you think of the church being manifested now on earth, the general state of professing Christians is such that their walk is a positive denial of it. Do you who are vital members of the church live a life so heavenly that all around you can take notice of it? All, we do not see in believers that which was visible in the Lord whose whole course was the declaration of whose He was, having no will of His own; and in Paul who had the same mind as His Lord. That is how we are to show out the things we have in Him who is invisible, raised up to the right hand of God.
If you do not understand what God's present claims over you are, you may depend upon it that as days of testing come on you will not be able to, keep your footing.
Revelation 1: 4. In this verse we see the effects, of the gospel on the heart, and the enjoyment of its privileges by John. He stands with his eye turned upwards, contemplating the glory of God and seeing in each of the three Persons, of the Godhead severally grace and peace. This grace and peace come in varied forms, according to the varied circumstances of the people of God. Grace and peace. would come differently to John at Patmos, and to, Paul travelling about in busy service, and to you in your connection with things here -- your own internal conflict with self and Satan, your want of faith, etc. Well, for each there is grace and peace, according to each individual need.
It is very sweet to see that the mercy which we need as poor sinners, we never lose the sense of as saints. The poor sinner finds this mercy is connected with all the actings of his life as a saint; he finds it always refreshing, and it puts him in the. place of recording the good things which have flowed forth from God. It is a very different thing to look at the mercy of God as connected only with my need, and looking at it as connected with Jesus as the opening up of what God is. The joy of seeing what God is in this mercy has no end, it is infinite. Ah! it is the sweetest thing on earth to the saint to be tasting what God is.
The church is seen in Revelation 22 as ministering, with Jesus as priests in the heavenly sanctuary not made with hands, and also as reigning with Him (having suffered with Him). Well, we see in this the ripe rich fruits of Jesus' love, and the question is answered, "Where am I going to, being turned out of paradise, but still my sins having been forgiven?" Here I find that there is a place where Jesus will reign in His glory as King of kings. See how John marks the place of service of these kings and priests, the locality of the exercise of their service. John was able to take all this and give it back to God in praise. He not only enjoyed it in his heart in secret, but takes his place in broad daylight, and gives praise and glory to God.
I believe our thoughts about praise ought to be very deep -- not only are its effects on us very wonderful, but praise glorifies God. I believe that if the spirit of praise and Worship can be kept up in the heart, and the blessed sense of all that God is be kept alive in the midst of the greatest evil, it cannot touch us.
Let us ever remember that God recognises every expression of praise and of His people's love. He knows so well what His love and grace are to us that He must expect us to praise Him.
The bright light of what Christ did, occupied Nicodemus, but he could not see the glory of the Person who stood before him as Son of man, Son of God, Son of the Father. What are miracles or tongues? They may be for a testimony down here, but what are they in heaven? But what was He the measure and standard of down here?
The poor woman of Samaria sees the glory of His Person, and at once devotes herself to His service and goes away to get all to come to Him. The things that mark our connection with the Christ of God, are things that take us above all circumstances down here -- heavenly things.
How often has my own heart deceived me! How often my dreams that have run on man, have deceived me! Have I ever been deceived when my thoughts have run on the things of God? Has A been a delusion when in distress I called upon God, and He answered me, a delusion that He heard me?
Things in the unseen world brought by God to the soul, are found to have a strength in them that nothing can withstand.
I have the knowledge that all the glory of God is in the face of Jesus Christ, and the rays of light that have shone into my soul are more infinitely precious than any other thing.
If I am looking for the coming of Christ, I do not stop to look at my shadow behind, but up to the Lord's appearing. My only object is to reach the goal, and, receiving a glorified body, to be with Him for ever.
The God with whom we have to do is a God who calls us to joy, and never can we get to the end of that joy. Why do I rejoice? Because Christ has loved me, and washed me in His own blood -- because He has given me life in Himself -- has connected me with all spiritual blessings -- has given me to know that I am linked with Him now, as a living Person, in all I am doing and passing through. Why? Because when He comes on a cloud of glory, He will take me up and make me like Himself. Why? Because I shall go into the Father's house with Him. What! all that God sees in Him, is mine! Let no one come in and disturb my enjoyment.
What a most divine and perfectly graceful life was that of the Lord down here! All things taken up and thoroughly gone into. If He called Lazarus out of the grave, He adds, "Loose him and let him go." God meant us to know the whole circle of what that love was.
Revelation 2: 2-5. There is something remarkably searching to the hearts of believers in this word of the Lord's. Christ putting in pointed contrast two kinds of works, by saying, "I want the first works, not the works done when you have fallen from the first works." The Ephesians had left their first love -- they had a range of works, they could suffer for Christ and could not bear evil; they laboured without fainting, but all this could be done in a lower range. It is not to put the secondary class of works aside -- there are many things we have to do and various kinds of, service. All are not gifted to minister in the word and doctrine: those who are may form a very small company in comparison with the number of Christians; but it is that first love which puts the soul above secondary works. One cannot go forth in the power of that love and see "a lion in the way," no, for one sees Christ beyond. The humblest believer can say, "I know that Christ has His heart occupied with me individually, and the knowledge of this centralises my heart's affections on Him, and gives me power to carry out service, all being done from the principle of love to Him who first loved me."
Ah! what does Christ look for but the love of His people individually? Every thing maybe in a state of chaos, but He says, "If the freshness of your love is lost, mine remains the same." If your soul gets hold of the sweetness of His love, it will shine out, making you very bright -- not outside service, but something between our souls and the Only-begotten Son of the Father. Any who have tested His love, can say, "I know the sweetness of that love." Ah, if you do, do not let it slip away. Christ says to the Ephesians, "You are giving me the second place in your hearts, you are thinking a great deal about my house and candlestick, but what of me?" Repent therefore, and do the first works.
The question of speaking to souls is a question of personal love to the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not say you have no gift for it. Do you love Christ? If so, you will never lose an opportunity of speaking a word for Him.
The freshness of the hope of the Lord's coming springs from ever bringing before the mind the Person of Him for whom we are waiting: as the one who is occupied with us in all we are passing through; the One who is the strength and joy of our souls and our portion.
I should like to know what saints feel when the thought of the glory crosses their minds. I say when thinking of it, "where is the Lord in it?"
Without Him, the very glory itself would be not without a trouble to me.
How can any understand what the church is, unless they see Christ, at God's right hand, Head of a body? People are not only responsible to see the church of the living God on earth now, but to see how that church ought to be the reflection of what the Head is above. I am to walk on earth as one looking up and seeing heaven opened and Christ there, not only sympathising, but saying (as to Saul), "None can touch one of those, they are a part of me."
Whose affections are exercised about the church? Christ's. He formed her and gave Himself for her, that He might present her to Himself, a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish.
The plummet line has never gone to the bottom of that word grace. The church in God shows it forth. Oh! God looks upon us as children, not the children of another but His own sons and daughters; and if so, what is there not for your consolation? The wilderness may be very dry, nothing but sand and barren rocks -- are you thinking of these or of Him going before you, speaking to you of His love as a Father?
He is the Rock -- and how surely does the water from that Rock show itself if in the heart! Yes, as surely as it did in the heart of the woman of Samaria.
Have you never known the eye of the Lord coming right down upon you, seeing all things in you? saying "I can say nothing for you in regard to yourself, you must take another ground, and that is, you must see what I am for you."
"I will write upon him the name of my God -- and my new name." Most precious to have His new name written on one! But ah! how little our hearts are carrying and living on Christ's tomorrow, awaiting that morning in calm rest and joy when He shall rise from the Father's right hand to come forth, not only to take His people up, but to be the Dispenser of that which He alone has to give, because given Him by God to bestow on them. Are you living in this tomorrow of Christ's?
My soul is quickened and united by the Spirit to, the second Adam, but I am still in the body of the first Adam. I have still the wretchedness of the flesh, in which dwelleth no good thing, to combat against, and this makes that unceasing conflict, described as, "The flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." I have all this, but I so know that the penalty of all this was borne by the Lord Jesus, that I can say, "My God has nothing against me." The whole value of His death is on my side; accepting it, I can say, "I am perfectly clean from all guilt."
It ought to be with us as with Christ. All through His course down here, His heart was broken. His very disciples caught but a glimmer of the truth He put before them, and when it came to the testing time, they were all scattered.
Revelation 2: 2-5. This portion is exceedingly searching to the hearts of believers. Remark two kinds of works spoken of, and set in pointed contrast; (that is those in ver. 5) Christ saying you have fallen lower down, I want the first works, not the works where you have fallen. The works of verse 2 are works connected with their circumstances-connected where the feet are -- with toil, and labour, and judging evil, right to keep from it, because Christ's name is named on us but none of these things will be found in glory nothing to try us in glory. All the activities of service in glory, but no weariness, no danger of fainting, no opportunity of holding fast anything there; there, anything we do, will be connected with the character of the glory we are in. There was this against them; they had felt their first love. If we turn to the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, when the light shined in, he found a quantity of labours of his own energy not accepted at all, but something from above had shined into his heart, and the love that was revealed, laid such hold of him, it put him into constant service, for that Christ, who had so revealed His love, he felt obliged to walk as one bound by this love, and how he loves ever to turn to this love in his writings! No wonder that the extraordinary scene of his conversion was always fresh in his soul, ever thinking how Christ had stripped the veil of his heart when dead in trespasses and sins, and had laid hold of his heart entirely. Were there ever such a set of circumstances as those in which he was found to bring into prominence that the eternal love of Christ was set upon him? That Christ wanting him to be His servant and taking the entire hold of his affections and intelligence. Is it surprising that this man finding himself laid hold of and loved by that Christ in glory, his heart took hold of Christ? In Ephesians we find that love so beautifully brought out if there were any to whom Paul could pour out all the truth of the love of Christ in heaven it was to the Ephesians; but these Ephesians had forgotten their first love. I find Paul in Timothy with his heart's affections as fresh as ever, about to lay his life down for Christ with the full freshness of that love in his soul. In Philippians he had got to live Christ, and he went through it all with the taste of first love bright as ever, he could say to the Ephesians, "I can go through everything for Christ in the power of vital union with Him, if you are one spirit with Himself he would have you walk as He did."
The Ephesians did not keep their first love; they had a range of works, they could suffer for the Lord, and could not bear that which was evil; they laboured without fainting, but all that can be done on a lower range as a candlestick. Many of us could say, "I am a religious man; I could not do what I did before; with the death of Christ before me could I go and do it?" Yet you are still in the circle of things down here. When breaking bread, I had the thought, Who would lay down their life for me? Could I say, I know any brother or sister who would do so? But who did give His life for me? The blessed Lord; He says, "I stood in the place that was yours, and I want you to stand where I am; I have showed you you are to have part in the priesthood and kingdom; I bore your sins, washed you in my blood, and brought you without spot into the Father's presence, and I am looking down upon you and want you to stand in my place." What ground are you on? If He so loved us, not occupied with evil, proving false apostles, taking long journeys, but it is the blessed taste of His love He speaks of. He speaks elsewhere of having created us unto good works. Works that are connected with His purposes of love to souls down here, will not shine out here as in heaven; but it is the communication of the nature connected with Christ that brings out love.
The first time the spiritual perception is given any soul, that there is a Man in heaven, and that He is arresting that soul, saying, "That poor sinner shall know what my love has been," the first work of that soul is receiving the love of that One who, has arrested him. What does He look for, but for the love of His people individually? Everything may be in a state of chaos, but He says, "If the freshness of your love is lost, mine remains the same; if your soul gets hold of the sweetness of His love, it will shine out, making you very bright. Not outside service, but something between our souls and the only-begotten Son of the Father. Have you any light come down from Him to shine on people: where will be the stop to men's blessings? Any who have tasted His love thus can say, "I know the sweetness of that love." Ah, if you do, do not let it slip the Ephesians had lost their first love. We read, Because iniquity abound, the love of many," etc. It was not so with Paul amidst the coldness, he only drew nearer to the fire, and where it is darker we need the greater light.