The Truth of Christ is in the Life of Christ
December 13, 2015
(Martha) I have read something that so, has so encouraged and affected me that I want to share it. I’m just going to tell quickly that how the Lord taught me to walk with Him, because as I’ve said before I was with Him several years before I ever knew another genuine Christian. I was in church, but I knew that the pastor didn’t know God, and people didn’t know God. There wasn’t anybody in my circle that I considered knew God. And that was God’s provision, kind of, because He taught me how to walk with Him. And I was not introduced to religion or legalism or even taking truth as your standard rather than Christ. I wasn’t introduced to that kind of mind set. I knew nothing about it. There was a woman who’s slogan was, “Absolute truth, Holy Bible,” and I stared at that because I thought, “I don’t even get that.” Absolute truth is not the Bible, although the Bible is truth. Absolute Truth is a Person. “I am the way, the truth..” So He taught me to live with Him in the Scriptures and to know Him through experience, and I think I wrote in “Adoration” in the forward the characters of the Bible are not to be studied, though we study them. We are to find the characters living what we’re living. And we’re to understand the Bible by the revelation of experience that we’re going through. And that’s how I was taught by the Lord. That’s how I dealt with the Scriptures. And I read Austin Sparks in this called, “The Risen Lord and the Things Which Cannot Be Shaken.” And he begins by talking about systemizing the truth. And he said, “Paul would probably be horrified if he saw what we’ve done with his writings. We’ve made them a principle, a system, an orderly understanding that has no life. And we perpetrate it, send it out as Christianity, but it has no basis in life.” And he says, “The thing that’s missing from that is Life. And the thing we need is Life.” And I read somewhere, probably Sparks, where he said, “If you have Life with God, then what comes out of your testimony is the transference of Life into your hearer.” And that is so true. I’ve had people say, “When you speak, it goes right straight into my spirit.” And I know what that means, and I’ve never had any plan B of teaching systemized 1, 2, 3 truth. And I avoid it, even though there are stages and 1, 2, 3 steps. I don’t want to focus on that, and I’ve never been willing to. And someone asked me to speak in a certain direction, and I said, “I can’t do it. You don’t understand. I can only speak what Christ gives me to speak.” And I’ve never been able to speak to the needs of the people, because they don’t know what their need is, and I don’t know what their need is. I speak to the need of what He has to say. And that’s how He trained me. I don’t know any other way. I don’t know how to go any other way. But in your blogs… The reason I love your blogs so much, and I know that the systemized crowd does not receive your blogs. I know that the legalists aren’t too interested, because your blogs are the experiential discovery. You named that, John, “Discovering a God Worth Knowing.” That’s the sub-title of Get Along with God. And I’ve tried to defend ya’ll a couple of times and call for people to really hear you, but what you are telling is your discovery and life experience of who God is vs. who we are. And that as… I’m going to read some things from Austin Sparks. He talks about approaching the Bible as a systematic study, and it’s death, and it produces death. And that even really be in the Charismatic circle as well. I found this same error when I went into the mainstream and also in the Charismatic. I saw the same thing; the elimination of Christ by the supremacy of facts and truths. And so anywhere you go, even in the Charismatic world, which is supposedly spirit focused and Christ focused, you can still find this system of truth and making the Bible something to study and conquer. I remember my friend at a huge church in Atlanta, and I taught her how to live by the will of God in every detail. And she said, “I’ve never heard this, Martha.” I said, “Please tell me what they teach you at that big church?” And she said, “Here’s the book. You have a brain. Do it.” Now that may be what she heard or what they taught. I don’t know, but nevertheless, much of Christianity is that way. “I have a book. All I have to do is find out what Jesus did and do it.” And I think that’s why I’m so opposed to that phrase is that He is only knowable day by day, crisis by crisis, joy by joy, minute by minute. He is discovered as you walk along with Him, and that’s what your blog is about. And Sparks says we can make anything the focus, the atonement, salvation. I read something this morning, even in one of my favorite Bibles, where He said, “The purpose of God is our salvation.” Well, that is not the purpose of God. The scripture doesn’t say that anywhere. The Scripture says the purpose is Christ, and our salvation is actually a part just of Christ. He is the purpose of God. And so He calls it, “accumulating Scripture, knowledge.” And that is death. “The letter killeth,” even if it’s New Testament letter, “it killeth.” But he says, “We are to approach the Bible from a personal and experimental standpoint of the writers and of the people to whom they wrote.” Oh, that’s so rich. “That is to say we move the apostles in the practical side of their life, which led to and called for doctrine. That is all together different way of approach.” And he said, “If you think about it, you’ll be able to see academic, theological, doctrinal presentation, and you’ll be able to separate it from this experiential thing.” And he made the fascinating comment that Paul never wrote from anything but experience. And I’m not saying, of course, that emotional experience is the issue. I’m talking about living and learning with wisdom. When the wise virgins are called prudent, that word prudent means knowing how to be in relationship and how to live life. And wisdom is the thing. Proverbs says, “Get wisdom,” not facts. Wisdom is knowing how God thinks, knowing what God will do, and you have to cry out for it, and you have to search for it, because it comes only when you need it. If you have facts, and you don’t need wisdom, you will impart death. And if you’re in a situation and you have no idea what to pray, what to do or what to say, then you’ve got to seek Wisdom, who is Christ. And so the great foundation of what God calls us to learn is Wisdom, capital W, which is Christ. And Sparks says this, “The big question after all, and it is an open question, is whether the New Testament was intended to be systemized as to its teaching at all.” And I believe the answer is no. The Scripture is to be lived, and you can stumble across where you are with the characters and the words in the Bible. He says he thinks, “Paul would look at it with blank amazement at how we’ve dealt with his letters, and that he never intended it to be that.” Well, he asked the question, “Does a systematizing of truth result in limitation in the setness that breeds death. The New Testament themes are far too big for our molds. You cannot systematize the cross of the Lord Jesus. You can only go to your knees and worship conscious that it’s something really far beyond your power to compass. But the moment you’ve boxed it in to a system of truth, you have reduced it from its eternal and divine dimensions and robbed it of its power and brought it into the realm of death in that measure. The Person of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, when you put them into a manuel you have killed the thing.” And that’s what in your blogs, you are not doing. You are discovering. It’s all about discovery. It’s not really about learning, because you learn one thing and then you have to go beyond and stretch that which you have learned into another dimension. Someone said to me, “Martha, you’re either the dumbest person I know, or the most childlike, because everything is new to you.” And I said to her, “Well, it’s both, if you like.” But actually what it is, is that you learn a measure of truth, you get that, and the next time there’s a revelation, it’s as though you knew nothing, and it’s new every morning. His mercies, His revelations are new constantly, and that’s what your blogs are about.
(J) That’ kind of the tell tale sign for me if it’s the Spirit, that it’s always new, that it’s always fresh, that it’s always evolving and clean and crisp, and as if you’ve never seen it before. You know, the Bible’s like that. You know, you’ll go over a passage that you’ve read over and over and over and all of sudden it’s a new thing. All your writing in the books and the booklets, I’ll read those, and they are fresh that moment. Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest,” you go over that year after year after year, and literally you’re reading in a new book every year, because you’re changing.
(Martha) Absolutely. But it’s very exciting to me that you all, I’ll say, have caught this way of living. And I believe it’s how Jesus will teach us. He’ll teach all His disciples to live this way, that day by day you have to seek Him. And you can’t ever put what you knew yesterday… And I have done it. The Lord told me one time years ago, “Get rid of your Bible that had all the notes in it. Get rid of your notes. Live as though you know nothing.” I was beginning to be dependent on what I knew in the past, and He stopped me in my tracks. And I had to get rid of my Bible that had all the notes in it. And it’s quite a death and an adventure. That’s the adventure. The adventure is coming to know Him in new aspects all the time.