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Greg Gordon
APPRENTICE (6-25 posts)
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Posts : 11
Join date : 2015-06-24
Location : Abbotsford, BC, Canada

PostSubject: Detachment by Watchman Nee   Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:36 am

We have seen the Church as a thorn in Satan's side, causing him acute discomfort and reducing his freedom of movement. Though in the world, the Church not only refuses to aid in the world's construction but persists in pronouncing judgment upon it. But if this is true, if the Church is always a source of irritation to the world, then equally the world is a source of constant grief to the Church. And because the world is always developing, its power to distress God's people is ever expanding; in fact the Church has to meet a force in the world today with which in the early days she was not confronted at all. Then the children of God met open persecution in the shape of outward physical assault upon their persons (Acts 12; 2 Corinthians 11). They were always coming into collision with material, tangible things. Now the chief trouble they meet in the world is more subtle, an intangible force behind its material things, that is not. holy but spiritually evil. The impact of that spiritual force today is far greater than it was then. And not only is it greater; there is an element present now that was not there formerly.

In Revelation 9 we read of a development which, to the author of that book, lay far in the future. "The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven fallen unto the earth: and there was given to him the key of the pit of the abyss. And he opened the pit of the abyss; and there went up a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace.... And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was said unto them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only such men as have not the seal of God on their foreheads" (verses 1-4). This is figurative language, but the star falling from heaven obviously refers to Satan, and we know that the bottomless pit is his domainhis storehouse, we might say. Thus it appears that the end time is to be marked by a special release of his forces, and men will find themselves up against a spiritual power with which they had not before to contend.

Surely this accords with conditions in our day. While it is true that sin and violence will be greater than ever at the close of this age, it is apparent from God's Word that it is not specifically these with which the Church will have to grapple then, but with the spiritual appeal of far more everyday things. "As it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise even as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26,29). The point being made here by Jesus is not that these things-food, marriage, trade, agriculture, engineering-were outstanding characteristics of Lot's and Noah's day, but that they will in a special way characterize the last days. "After the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed" (verse 30): that is the point. For these things are not inherently sinful; they are simply things of the world. Have you ever in all your days paid such attention to the good life as now? Food and raiment are becoming the special burden of God's children today. What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For many these are almost the sole topics of conversation. There is a power that forces you to consider these matters; your very existence demands that you pay attention to them.

And yet Scripture warns us that "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness" and so on. It bids us first of all seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and assures us that as we do so, all these things will be added to us. It bids us be carefree regarding matters of food and clothing, for if God cares for the flowers of the field and the birds of the air, will he not much rather care for us, his own? Yet to judge by our anxieties it would almost seem that they are cared for, but not we!

Now here is the point that needs special emphasis. This condition of things is abnormal. The undue attention to eating and drinking, whether at the extremes of subsistence or luxury,' that characterizes so many Christians these days is far from normal; it is supernatural. For it is not just a question of food and drink that we are meeting here; we are meeting demons. Satan conceived and now controls the world order, and is prepared to use demonic power through the things of the world to lure us into it. The present state of affairs cannot be accounted for apart from this. Oh that the children of God might awaken to this fact! In past days God's saints met all sorts of difficulties; yet, in the midst of pressure, they could look up and trust God. In the pressures of today, however, they are so confused and bewildered that they seem unable to trust him. Oh, let us realize the Satanic origin of all this pressure and confusion!

The same is true in matrimonial affairs. Never have we met so many problems in this field as today. There is confusion abroad as young people break with old traditions but lack the guidance of any new ones to replace them. This fact is not to be accounted for naturally, but supernaturally. Marrying and giving in marriage are wholesome and normal in any age, but today there is an element breaking into these things that is unnatural.

So it is with planting and building, and so too with buying and selling. All these things can be perfectly legitimate and beneficial, but today the power behind them presses upon men until they are bewildered and lose their balance. The evil force that energizes the world system has precipitated a condition today where we see two extremes; the one extreme of utter inability to make ends meet, and the other extreme of unusual opportunity to amass wealth. On the one hand many Christians find themselves in unprecedented economic difficulties: on the other hand many are faced with no less unprecedented opportunities of enriching themselves. Both of these conditions are abnormal.

Enter any home these days and listen in on the conversation. You will hear remarks such as these: "Last week I bought such-and-such goods at such-and-such a figure, and I have thereby saved so much." "Happily I purchased that a year ago, otherwise I would have lost badly." "If you want to sell, sell now while the market is good." Have you not noticed the way people are rushing here and there, feverishly making business deals? Doctors are stocking up with flour, cloth manufacturers are selling paper, men and women who have never touched such things before are being swept off their feet by the current of speculation. They are caught up in a marketing maelstrom that is whirling them madly around. Do you not realize that this state of affairs is not natural? Do you not see that there is a power here which is captivating men? People are not acting sanely; they are beside themselves. Today's buying and selling spree is not just a question of making a little money-or losing it. It is a question of touching a Satanic system. We are living in the end time, a time when a special power has been let loose which is driving men on, whether they will or no.
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