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Book messages «Holy Word for Morning Revival, The: Topics for New Believers, Vol. 1»
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My readings

  Week 4 — Day 1

Scripture reading

  2 Cor. 5:17  So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away…

  Rom. 6:4  …Walk in newness of life.

Clearance of the past

  After a person is saved, his old way of living and his old conduct of the past should come to an end. Before he received salvation, he was a sinner living in sin. He was also a man of the old creation, behaving in the way of the old creation. But now, having been saved, he has become a man of the new creation with the life of the new creation; as such he should have a new beginning, a new start, and live a new life spontaneously.

  In the Old Testament, when the children of Israel were saved by their keeping of the Passover, they immediately left Egypt, forsaking all Egyptian ways of living and fully ending, concluding, all the Egyptian things. From that day, the life they lived was new, the way on which they walked was new, and all the things they did were new. The things of the past and the living of the former days were completely ended. This is a distinct type of the clearance of the past.

  Although the Bible contains no plain teaching concerning the clearance of the past, it does include some passages that are pertinent to this matter. According to these passages, we may extract the following four points: [1) the relationship between the clearance of the past and salvation, 2) the basis of the clearance of the past, 3) examples of the clearance of the past, and 4) the extent of the clearance of the past.]

  [First], the clearance of the past is not a requirement for salvation. This is because God’s salvation is complete. No matter how grievous or deep our sins might be, they are all under the precious blood. There is no need for us to do or add anything…before we can be forgiven by God. God’s forgiveness is based upon the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, and it is also the issue of our repentance and faith.

  Because of our enjoyment of God’s salvation, God’s life in us causes us to have a change in our mood, taste, and feeling toward the world. Even our taste toward daily necessities, such as eating and clothing, is changed. Therefore, we spontaneously put an end to our old way of living, that is, we clear away the things in our living which have evolved from the past to the present, no longer allowing them to persist or continue. Such a clearance is an issue of our enjoyment of salvation. [Hence], if we, the saved ones, desire to have a better Christian life, to walk properly on the way of the Lord, and to witness for the Lord, our past life must be brought to an end.

  [Second], the clearance of the past is not according to the demand of outward regulations but according to the moving of the Spirit within.80 The religions of the world are built on their various religious codes, and their followers live and behave according to these rules. But the Lord’s salvation is not like that. The salvation of the Lord, through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, gives us a new life. Because we have a new life, the divine life, we can now live and behave in the presence of God through the sense of this life and through the moving of the Spirit within us. Hence, the clearing of the past is based on the move of the Spirit. The Spirit will move within a regenerated person and cause him to sense certain things from his past that need to be cleared, for such things are not compatible with his new life as a believer in Christ.81 Furthermore, this clearance is not a regulation in the church. The church has no such regulation or requirement. However, the life we have obtained is holy, and the Spirit in us is moving and working. Hence, the Spirit will definitely require us, by the holy life within us, to remove all [idols and things pertaining to idols], demonic and dirty things, [to restore what we owe], and to cut off the old way of living. Our responsibility is to follow the leading of the Spirit and to allow Him to move freely.82

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 4 — Day 2

Scripture reading

  1 Thes. 1:9  …You turned to God from the idols to serve a living and true God.

  Acts 19:19  And a considerable number of those who practiced magic brought their books together and burned them before all; and they counted up the price of them and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.

  [Third], the New Testament contains distinct examples showing us that after a man is saved, the Spirit begins to move and work in him, causing him to clear the past and to deal with the improper things of the past.

Abandoning idols

  One example of the clearance of the past is seen in the case of the Thessalonians [1 Thes. 1:9].83 To turn to God from idols is not only to turn away from false gods, with the devil and demons at their back, but also from all things that replace God.84 After a person is saved, whether he is about to be baptized or has already been baptized, he must clear away from his living the idols and things related to idols.…If he finds it difficult to do the clearing, he may find some brothers to pray with him in order to increase his strength and boldness and thereby to help him with the clearing. However, he must do the clearing himself, and do it thoroughly, the more thoroughly the better.

  There are things related to the reading of facial features, fortune-telling, horoscopes, and divination. Since these things involve idols, they should be terminated. It is improper for a believer…to have idols or other superstitious things remaining in his home. We must abandon all things that are related to idols.…Not only should we throw out other images, but we should give up even portraits or statues of Jesus.…The Bible says that, when He was on earth, the Lord Jesus had no form nor comeliness (Isa. 53:2). However, the images of Jesus most commonly seen today look very beautiful.…These pictures represent human superstitions, and in the eyes of God they are blasphemous; hence, they should be disposed of.

  We should use our spirit to worship the Lord, who is Spirit (John 4:24); we should not use our physical body to worship a visible image. The Catholic Church teaches [heretically] that man should worship a visible image with his physical body in order to help him to worship the invisible God with his inner spirit.…We should not follow such a teaching. We should worship the Lord in spirit and not have any outward images.

Destroying the demonic and dirty things

  A second example of the clearance of the past is seen in the case of the Ephesians. Acts 19:19 tells us that the Ephesian believers who practiced magic brought their books together and burned them. This is the basis for our practice of burning for the destruction of the demonic and dirty things, the improper things. Examples of these things are the candlesticks and censers used in idol worship, ornaments and clothing with the image of the dragon, sacred writings of heathen religions, books and charms pertaining to divination, and tablets related to ancestral worship. Other examples are gambling instruments, utensils for alcoholic drinking, pipes for smoking, obscene books, and pornographic pictures. [Unbecoming clothing also is in this category.] All these things are demonic and filthy. We all must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to remove all such things from our lives and our homes.

  In brief, anything related to idols and any demonic and filthy thing, however valuable it may be, should be burned. The biblical principle is that such things should be burned with fire. The Bible records, in particular, that the price of the items which were burned by the Ephesians was fifty thousand pieces of silver. This is to show us that, when they destroyed the demonic and unclean things, the early believers burned a number of valuable things. Therefore, when we destroy the demonic and dirty things, we should not count the cost or the loss.85

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 4 — Day 3

Scripture reading

  Luke 19:8  And Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, the half of my possessions, Lord, I give to the poor, and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore four times as much.

  Rom. 8:6  …The mind set on the spirit is life and peace.

Restoring what we owe

  A third example of the clearance of the past is seen in the case of Zaccheus, in his restoring of what he owed others. As soon as he was saved, Zaccheus said to the Lord that if he had taken anything from anyone by false accusation, he would restore four times as much (Luke 19:8). To restore four times as much is neither a law nor a principle, but an issue of the dynamic salvation of the Lord, the moving of the Holy Spirit, and the inner urging of the conscience.86 Due to this act of restoration, Zaccheus had a testimony before man. This was the basis of his testimony.87 This sets a good example, disclosing to us the way to deal with material indebtedness.88

  Suppose that before you became a believer, you had extorted or defrauded others, stolen from them, or obtained things by improper means. Now that the Lord is working within, you have to deal with these things in a proper manner. This has nothing to do with the forgiveness you received from the Lord, but it is very much related to your testimony.89

  After we are saved, it is not necessary to dig up our past life to see whom we owe and to repay them. But if the Holy Spirit in us makes us conscious of the fact that we owe others in material things, then we should follow His leading to properly restore them.90

Ending the old way of living

  After we are saved, we should conclude our old way of living. Although we cannot find a definite example in the Bible concerning this point, we can see a hint of it from the revelation of the entire New Testament. That is, after we are saved, God’s desire is that we bring before Him every person, thing, and affair in our living and see if we still can be related to them as we were in the former days.

  If we are willing to go before the Lord in this way, we will see that after we are saved through regeneration, we not only should abandon the idols, destroy the demonic and dirty things, and restore what we owe, but we also should conclude entirely our old way of living and have a new beginning.…This does not mean that we cease to be husbands, parents, or students; rather, it means that we can no longer be husbands, parents, or students as we were in the past. Neither does it mean that from now on our homes should be devoid of decoration; rather, it means that the decorating should be different from before. Concerning these things, our inward taste, our mood, and our feeling have changed.

  It is not a matter of asking ourselves about our [sins] in the past; it is a matter of asking ourselves whether we, as children of God, should be the same as before.…This is not a teaching but the work of the Holy Spirit. It is altogether a matter of the new man with a new living, having everything of the past living ended. This is the clearance of the past.

  [Fourth], the extent of the clearance of the past is the “life and peace” spoken of in Romans 8:6. We have seen that the basis of the ending of the past is the moving of the Spirit, which is the feeling given to us through the inner anointing of the Holy Spirit. If we walk according to the Spirit, the result will surely be life and peace (Rom. 8:5-6).91 Thus, life and peace are the degree to which we are required to clear up the past. If we follow the demand of our inner feeling to…confess our sins, [to abandon idols, to destroy demonic and unclean things, to restore what we owe], and to end our old way of living, we will surely feel strengthened, enlightened, satisfied, and enlivened; we will also feel peaceful, secure, and full of the presence of the Lord.92

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 4 — Day 4

Scripture reading

  1 Cor. 6:19-20  …You are not your own…for you have been bought with a price. So then glorify God in your body.

  2 Cor. 5:14-15  For the love of Christ constrains us…and He died for all that those who live may no longer live to themselves but to Him who died for them and has been raised.


The basis of consecration

  After we have been born again, there is still much work for God to do in our lives, and there is also much service that we can render to God. But this calls for a complete surrender of our lives to Him.

  If God requires that we surrender ourselves to Him, on what does He base His requirement?…The Bible shows that the question of consecration is settled on the ground of purchase.93 First Corinthians 6:20 says, “You have been bought with a price.” Our consecration is based on this purchase of God.…God has bought us with none other than the precious blood shed by His beloved Son on the cross (1 Pet. 1:19). How great “a price” (1 Cor. 6:20) is this precious blood! God used this precious blood as the price to buy us, that we may belong to Him.94

  By virtue of His having bought us, the authority over our lives is neither the world’s nor our own; it is His.…In the sight of God, our consecration is not an optional matter; its legal basis is established.…The right to your life is not yours, but His, for He has acquired it by purchase.95

  We need to experience this basis practically in our daily life. Each time something occurs that causes us to argue with God, we must bow before Him and say, “Lord, I am the slave You bought. My right of ownership has been purchased by You. I here and now declare Your right. Even in this matter I will let You be the Lord and decide for me.”…Whenever we are confronted with the opportunity to make a choice, we should consider this basis of consecration, this purchase, as the foundation rock under our feet. We must stand securely thereon, never daring to depart from it. If we experience consecration in such a sincere way, we have truly laid hold of the basis of consecration.

The motive of consecration

  The motive of consecration is the love of God. Whenever the Holy Spirit sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts, we will naturally be willing to become the prisoners of love and consecrate ourselves to God.96

  You may remember that we are told in Exodus 21 of a slave who at the end of six years’ service could have become a free man, but he declared, “I love my master…I will not go out free” (v. 5). Thereupon his master led him to the doorpost and bored his ear with an awl. By submitting to this, the slave said in effect, “For love of my master I want to be his slave forever.” He could have entered into liberty, but for love’s sake he repudiated his freedom. This is true consecration.

  There is a verse which says,…“The love of Christ constrains us” (2 Cor. 5:14a). But why should we yield to the constraint of love? Because “One died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all that those who live may no longer live to themselves but to Him who died for them and has been raised” (2 Cor. 5:14b-15). Everyone who has had a true experience of consecration has at least once, but possibly many times, known the touch of the love of God. Without that touch of His love upon us, consecration is a bitter thing; in fact, it is hardly a possibility. The security of our consecration depends upon its basis; but the vitality and sweetness of our consecration depends on its motive power, i.e., the love of God. Consecration is the effect of the Lord’s touch upon a life. You do not need to plead with a person who has known the Lord’s love to surrender to Him. Surrender is spontaneous.…When we really meet the love of God, we feel that our all must be offered up to Him; yet at the same time we feel that our richest offering is as refuse in the light of His love. Let but the love of God touch us and consecration will become spontaneous.97

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 4 — Day 5

Scripture reading

  Rom. 12:1  I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice…

  Lev. 3:11  And the priest shall burn [the sacrifice] on the altar; it is the food of the offering by fire to Jehovah.

The meaning of consecration

  Romans 12:1…shows us that the meaning of consecration is to be a “sacrifice.” What does the phrase “to be a sacrifice” mean? What is a sacrifice? The Scripture shows us that whenever a thing is set apart from its original position and usage and is laid on God’s altar, specifically for Him, this thing is then a sacrifice. In the Old Testament men offered bullocks and rams as sacrifices. The principle is this: The bullock originally lived in a corral and was used for plowing the field and drawing carts. Now it is taken out from the corral and brought beside the altar. There is a change in its position. Then it is killed, placed on the altar, and consumed by fire to be a sweet-smelling savor unto God. This is a change in its usage. Thus, this bullock becomes a sacrifice. A sacrifice, therefore, is none other than a thing which is set apart for God and laid on the altar, with a change in position and a change in usage. Whether it is a bullock or a ram, whether it is fine flour or oil, once it is offered as a sacrifice, it leaves the hands of the offerer and can no longer be used for his own advantage and enjoyment.

  When we thus present ourselves to God as a sacrifice, we become food for God; we are for His satisfaction. Among the offerings of the Israelites, some were for God’s use, such as gold, silver, precious stones, threads of all colors, wool, and sheepskin (Exo. 25:2-7); and some were offered to God for food, such as the bullock, ram, pigeon, and turtledove used in the burnt offerings. When these were offered as a burnt offering, they were burnt on the altar and became a sweet savor, food for God (Lev. 3:11). When God accepted the sweet savor of these sacrifices, He was satisfied.98

The purpose of consecration

  Since the meaning of consecration is to become a sacrifice, the thing offered is something which is entirely for God. The purpose of consecration, therefore, is to be used by God, to work for God. But in order that we may work for God, we must first let God work.…Therefore, when we consecrate ourselves to God, although it is to work for God, yet from our standpoint the emphasis is to let God work. The purpose of consecration then is to let God work in order that we might reach the stage of working for God.

  The offering of the sacrifices in the Old Testament also sheds light on this matter. When the bullocks and rams were killed and offered to God as burnt offerings, it was first necessary for God to do His thorough work upon them, that is, to consume them by fire, if they were to be pleasing and acceptable to Him. If the sacrifices were not consumed by fire, they would be raw and foul-smelling and could never be acceptable or pleasing to God. Our consecration today is just like that. We have already offered ourselves, yet if we do not allow God to work first, but go out to work for Him and serve Him directly, that work and that service will be raw, untempered, and foul-smelling. It can never be accepted by God, let alone satisfy Him.

  If we want to touch spiritual things…we must first allow God to work on us that we might be broken, subdued, and disciplined by Him.…We must…be severe with ourselves and ask whether our consecration to God is for working for God directly or for allowing God to work in us first.…Consequently, after our consecration we must not first be anxious to accomplish something for the Lord. We need to remain on the altar and allow God to work on us and consume us. The result of this consuming work will enable us to work for the Lord. This consecration, this service, is ripe and resurrected; it is acceptable to God and satisfies Him. In conclusion, the object of consecration is to let God work in us that we may work for Him.99

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 4 — Day 6

Scripture reading

  Rom. 6:13  …Present yourselves to God…

  Lev. 1:9  …Then the priest shall burn the whole [offering] on the altar, as a burnt offering, an offering by fire, a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah.

The result of consecration

  We need to consider this matter…in the light of the offerings of the Old Testament. When a bullock was taken for sacrifice and offered upon the altar, he was immediately cut off from all his previous relationships. He was severed from his master, his companions, and his corral. After he was consumed by fire, he even lost his original form and stature. All his choicest parts were changed to a sweet-smelling savor to God, and all that was left was a heap of ashes. Everything was cut off, and everything was finished. This was the result of the bullock being offered to God. Since our consecration is also an offering to God, the result must also be the same. There must be the giving up of everything to be burned to ashes by God to the point where all is finished.…Some brothers and sisters still have hopes after their consecration of becoming such and such a person. This proves that their future has not been given up.

  The future we are speaking about includes not only our future in this world, but also our future in the so-called Christian world. We all know how the world naturally attracts us and offers the hope of a future in it, but even the so-called Christian world holds an attraction to us and offers a hope of a future in it.…All these hopes, however, never exist in a consecrated person. A truly consecrated man is a man who has given up his future. He abandons not only his future in the world, but also his so-called spiritual future. He no longer has hopes for himself in anything; all his hope is in God. He lives purely and simply in the hand of God; he is what God wants him to be and does what God wants him to do. Whatever the outcome may be, he does not know and does not care. He only knows that he is a sacrifice, wholly belonging to God. The altar is forever the place where he stands, and a heap of ashes is forever the result. His future has been utterly abandoned.

  This giving up of the future is not a reluctant act after something has already occurred to wreck your future hopes; it is a willing surrender before such an event.…If our consecration is not sound, sooner or later problems will arise in our service and in our spiritual condition.

  Brothers and sisters, this result of abandoning all our future prospects always needs to be kept fresh within us. Never let our consecration become old. If it grows old, it is the same as if we had never consecrated ourselves. We should always be as ashes on the altar, always entirely for God to enjoy, always without any future.100

A concluding word

  We must realize that it is not possible to hit the climax of any experience of life by experiencing it just once. We need to pursue continuously, so that our experience will increase gradually and become fuller, until it reaches the stage of maturity.

  When we first consecrate ourselves, our experience is similar to an embryo in the mother’s womb — one cannot distinguish the ear, the eye, the mouth, and the nose. As we grow in life, however, these five points related to the experience of consecration gradually become formed in us. Then we really have a feeling that we have been bought by God and that all our rights are in His hand. We become a prisoner of His love because His love has pierced our hearts. We become a sacrifice indeed, laid on the altar for God’s enjoyment and satisfaction. We will be those who have been thoroughly worked over by God and are then able to work for Him. Our future will truly be as a handful of ashes. All our ways of escape outside of God’s will shall have been cut off; God only will be our future and our way. At that time the experience of our consecration will indeed have become matured. May we all, by the grace of the Lord, pursue and go on together.101

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 4 — Hymn

Hymns, #309

  1. What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought

  Since Jesus came into my heart!

  I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!


  Since Jesus came into my heart!

  Since Jesus came into my heart!

  Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!


  2. I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!

  And my sins which were many are all washed away,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!


  3. I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!

  And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!


  4. There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!

  And the gates of the City beyond I can see,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!


  5. I shall go there to dwell in that City I know,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!

  And I’m happy, so happy as onward I go,

  Since Jesus came into my heart!

Hymns, #436

  1. Thy Life was giv’n for me,

  Thy blood, O Lord, was shed,

  That I might ransomed be,

  And quickened from the dead;

  Thy Life was giv’n for me, for me;

  What have I giv’n for Thee?


  2. Long years were spent for me

  In weariness and woe,

  That through eternity

  Thy glory I might know;

  Long years were spent for me, for me;

  Have I spent one for Thee?


  3. Thy Father’s home of light,

  Thy rainbow-circled throne,

  Were left for earthly night,

  For wanderings sad and lone;

  Yea, all was left for me, for me;

  Have I left aught for Thee?


  4. Thou, Lord, hast borne for me

  More than my tongue can tell

  Of bitterest agony,

  To rescue me from hell;

  Thou suff’redst all for me, for me;

  What have I borne for Thee?


  5. And Thou hast brought to me

  Down from Thy home above

  Salvation full and free,

  Thy pardon and Thy love;

  Great gifts, great gifts

  Thou broughtest me;

  What have I brought to Thee?


  6. Oh, let my life be given,

  My years for Thee be spent;

  World-fetters all be riven,

  And joy with suff’ring blent;

  Thou gav’st Thyself for me, for me,

  I give myself to Thee.

Hymn, #473

  1. No mortal tongue can e’er describe

  The freedom of the soul,

  When passed beyond all earthly bribe

  To God’s complete control.

  All things are his, yes life, and death,

  Things present or to come;

  In Christ he draws in peace each breath,

  In Christ he finds his home.


  2. When such as we the King can choose,

  To share with Him His throne,

  ’Tis passing strange that we refuse

  To be our Lord’s alone.

  O never speak of sacrifice!

  A privilege untold

  Is to be His at any price,

  In Calv’ry’s hosts enrolled.


  3. Arise! the holy bargain strike —

  The fragment for the whole —

  All men and all events alike

  Must serve the ransomed soul.

  All things are yours when you are His,

  And He and you are one;

  A boundless life in Him there is,

  Whence doubt and fear are gone.

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