YOUR ROD

THIS MESSAGE IS DRAWN FROM TWO ARTICLES PRINTED IN “THE LIFE OF FAITH” IN THE YEAR 1906, BY JESSE PENN-LEWIS

A letter of testimony and appeal for prayer has just come to me from a worker, which must be passed on as a call from God to the Lord’s intercessors who are crying to Him for world-wide Revival, and especially for the outpouring of the Spirit of God in Great Britain. First, in testimony, my correspondent says: ”I have long known the theory of union with Christ in His death, but not the ‘severing and separating power’ in my heart, life, and service. One day, while reading The Life of Faith it was flashed into my soul that the power of Christ’s death was in the Eternal Spirit indwelling me. The same Eternal Spirit who led Christ to the Cross (was) in me freighted with the power of the mighty death, and could, and would, make good in me, and to me, all that Christ has made good for me. I yielded all to Him, and since that day I have known the power of Christ’s death separating and severing and the Blessed Holy Spirit has become in me what I never knew it was possible for Him to be in a redeemed sinner, out of heaven. I cannot tell you how, but the silence of the grave reigns within me! He is a ‘grave’ to the self-life, and that wretched “I” life - that good religious “I”- how I loathe it! The Divine Spirit leads. He enlightens me! He instructs me! He puts a courage into me I never knew before. I never knew what soul-travail was before; and, last of all, He has been unveiling to me the working of the powers of darkness. I have been so very ignorant, and am so still, concerning these things, but in the past I see I have attributed to natural causes much that I now realize to be the working of Satan. When I say that the Holy Spirit leads and teaches, I do not mean that I have any ‘revelation’, for He gives me nothing but His Word to stand upon, and as I do He makes it good to me. But my heart is almost broken about the condition of affairs in this village (and how many other villages there are just like it). I believe there are 3.000 souls here, and, from what I can gather from the different places of worship, there do not seem to be 200 really ‘saved’ persons in the village. I have never been in a place like it. Spirituality is at such a very low ebb. We need a Revival of the Word of God here. But God is answering prayer, for some of the Christians are asking for Bible readings, in order to get a knowledge of the Word of God. The condition (morally) of the village is too terrible to write about. Many things I dare not name, to say nothing about the suicides that have been committed here and the drunkenness and the gambling. Surely for these benighted villages we ought to get to prayer. Unless God makes bare His arm in mercy, judgement is inevitable, for sin and iniquity abounds on every side. Oh, I beg you sound the call to prayer for England’s villages….” May the Lord answer the cry of this burdened child of His, by intensifying the spirit of prayer for the villages of our own country, and by working in deeper power in the lives of His servants, who face the need on the spot. When Israel “cried out unto the Lord” (exodus 14:10) because of the Egyptians marching after them, the Lord said to Moses: “Wherefore criest thou unto Me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. And lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it.”

The rod in Scripture is used again and again as a sign of authority and power (Psalm 2:9, Revelation 2:27, Psalm 110;2). The children of Israel crying unto the God were bidden to ‘go forward’, and Moses was told to exercise the power of God which was already at his disposal. “Lift thou up thy rod and stretch out thine hand over….” Was the command to him. In the same way the Lord speaks to His people today. It’s good that the intercessors cry unto Him; but possibly the Lord is waiting to answer the prayers of many through themselves as His instruments. Let us ‘cry’, but let us also ‘go forward; to proclaim the finished victory of Calvary. Let us expect the Lord not only to deliver us by the separating power of His death, applied to us by the Eternal Spirit dwelling in us, but to work through us as the deliverers of others. The ‘rod’ is the token of the reigning life. “The Lord shall stretch forth the rod of Thy strength out of Zion” (Ps 110:2), said the Psalmist David in prophetic language, foretelling the power of the ascended Christ. The Victor of Calvary now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high, waiting for His enemies to be made the footstool of His feet. “Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph over His foes’, says an old song. The victory over sin and death and hell has been won by Him. There He sits waiting! And for what? Just as the life which is in the Father heart of God cannot reach the dead in trespasses and sins on earth without channels, so the victory of Christ cannot reach the bound souls without instruments. The severance between heaven and earth is so great- the gulf between spirit and flesh; for God is Spirit, and on earth, alas! Man has become flesh, or sunk into the flesh (Genesis 6:3). There can be no means of pouring the life from Him Who is Spirit into the dead souls but through those who are brought into death on the Cross, and joined in spirit to Him Who is a life-giving Spirit. Even so the victory of the Victor cannot reach bound souls on earth except through those who have died with Christ on the Cross to every bond, and joined in spirit to the Risen Triumphant Lord, have become channels for the working of His victorious power to pass through them to the loosing of others in bonds. Channels for the life of God to reach dead souls! A blessed ministry – the “ministrations of life’. And now channels for the victorious delivering power of the ascended Lord to set free bound ones through us! A letter from a worker, who having found the way of deliverance for herself, had yielded to God to be made the channel of freedom to others reads: “I must write and tell you of our meeting yesterday in the East End of London. It was a mothers’ meeting- some 200 women. It was deliverance and victory, from the start. When I stood to give out the notices at the beginning, I was impelled to stop short, and tell them I had to give the message there and then, and did – Calvary and the Cross, deliverance through the blood and the Cross, and victory on the other side of the Cross. The power fell. I could not help it – I wept for those souls. Then came melting, and sobbing, and confessing, and testimony all over the hall. I gave the invitation twice, and scores of stricken, sin-sick women held up their hands for deliverance and victory. They would not go after the meeting, but stood about in little groups, sobbing and confessing failure. The same at the evening meeting – some never left the hall! After the evening meeting, one dear little soul converted at our mothers’ meeting some three months ago – so bright and leading others to Jesus ever since – came up to me at 22.15 hours, and brought a dear woman that God had laid on my heart a fortnight ago. This poor soul sobbed like a child, and cried out: “I want to give it up, I do, but it is so powerful I cannot – and the neighbours make me take it – the drink!” I told her I knew, and so did Jesus. We took her aside to a dark corner in the hall – and I – I do not know how to tell you – I, this weak child, felt Divine power enter her. I stood over her, and hid in the cleft of the Rock with her, and asked deliverance for, and with, her in the name of the Holy Ghost and Christ; and wonderful, wonderful, she cried aloud – this poor ignorant soul – and said: “Something has gone from me, out of me, and I am free! I

know it, I know it!” and she prayed, and prayed, and the words poured out of gratitude and joy! How wonderful that the great God our Father should use one who has so recently been delivered herself. Oh, the intense humiliation – and the intense gratitude, too. Yesterday was deliverance and victory all along…” The words of the delivered soul: “Something has gone from me – out of me” – surely indicate the way in which the captives to drinking and other sins, may be, and should be, delivered by those who go to them in the Name of the Victor of Calvary! The children of God should be in the world as the representatives of the invisible Lord, walking as He walked, doing the works that He did – yes, even greater works, because He sits at the right hand of the Father, ever living to make intercession for us. For more articles like this, go to www.image-of-christ.blogspot.com

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