"Then shall the Son also Himself be subjected to Him that did subject all things unto Him, that God may be all in all." 1 COR. xv. 28.
TTTHEN we speak of entire consecration, we are frequently asked what the precise distinction is betwixt the ordinary doctrine of sanctification, and the preaching of that gracious work which has begun to prevail in the Church in recent years. One answer that may be given is that the distinction lies solely in the little word, all. That word is the key of the secret. The ordinary method of proclaiming the necessity of holiness is true so far as it
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goes; but sufficient emphasis is not laid on this one point of the " All." So is it also with the question as to the reasons why the fulness of the Spirit is not more widely enjoyed. That little word "All " suggests the explanation. So long as the " All " of God, of sin, of Christ, of surrender, of the Spirit, and of faith, is not fully understood, the soul cannot enjoy all that God desires to give and be, all that God would have it be. In this our last meditation let us consider the full Pentecostal blessing from this standpoint. We would fain do this in a spirit of humble waiting on God, and with the prayer that He would make us by His Spirit feel so deeply where the evil lies and what the remedy is, that we shall be ready to give up everything in order to receive nothing less than everything.
THE ALL OF GOD
It lies in the very being and nature of God that He must be all. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. As God He
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is the life of everything: all life is only the effect of His direct and continuous operation. It is because all is thus through Him and from Him that it is also to Him. Everything that exists serves only as a means for the manifestation of the goodness and wisdom and power of God.
Sin consists in nothing but this, that man determined to be something and would not suffer God to be everything; and the redemption of Jesus has no other aim than that God should again become everything in our heart and life. At the end, even the Son shall be subjected to the Father, that God may be all in all. Nothing less than this is what redemption is to secure. Christ Himself has shown in His life what it means to be nothing, and to suffer God to be everything; and as He once lived upon the earth, so does He still live in the hearts of His people. According to the measure in which they receive and rejoice in the truth that God is all, will the fulness of the blessing be able to find its way into their life.
The All of God: that is what we must seek. In His will, His honour, His power must He
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be everything for us. No moment of our time, no word of our lips, no movement of our heart, no satisfying of the needs of our physical life, should there be that is not the expression of the will, the glory, the power of God. Only the man who discerns this and consents to it, who desires and seeks after it, who believes and appropriates it, can rightly understand what the fulness of the Spirit must effect, and why it is necessary that we should forsake every thing if we desire to obtain it. God must be not merely something, not merely much, but literally, AIL
THE ALL OF SIN
What is sin? It is the absence of God; separation from God. Where man is guided by his own will, his own honour, his own power; where the will, the honour, the operation of God are not manifested, there sin must be at work. Sin is death and misery, only because it is a turning away from God to the creature.
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Sin is in no sense a thing that may exist in man along with other things that are good. No: as God was once everything, so has sin in fallen man become everything. It now dominates and penetrates his whole being, even as God should have been allowed to do. His nature in every part of it is corrupt. We still have our natural existence in God, and doubtless with not a few good inclinations in nature and character, just as these are to be found in the lower creatures. But of what is good in the spiritual and heavenly sense of the word, of what is done out of inward harmony with God or the direction of His Spirit of all this there is nothing that has its origin in His nature. All is in sin, and under the influence of sin.
The All of sin: some small measure of the knowledge of this fact was necessary even at the time of conversion. This, however, was still very imperfect. If a Christian is to make progress and become fully convinced of the necessity of being filled with the Spirit, his eyes must be opened to the extent in which sin dominates over everything within him.
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Everything in him is tainted with sin, his will, his power, his heart; and therefore the omnipotence of God must take in hand the renewal of everything by the Holy Spirit. Man is utterly impotent to that which is good in the highest sense: he can do no more of what is good than what the Spirit actually works in him at any moment. He learns also to see the All of sin just as distinctly in the world around him; for the fairest, the most useful, and the most legitimate possessions or enjoyments are all under the power of sin. Everything must be sacrificed and given over to death: the All of God must expel the All of sin. God must again live wholly and entirely within us, and take inwardly and continuously the place which sin usurped. He that desires this change will rightly understand and desire the fulness of the Spirit, and as he believes will certainly receive it.
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THE ALL OF CHRIST
The Son is the revelation of the Father: the All of God is exhibited to our view and made accessible to us in the Son. On this account the ALL of Christ is just as necessary and infinite as that of God. Christ is God come upon the earth to undo the All of sin, to win back and restore in man the lost All of God. To this end we must know thoroughly the All of Christ.
The idea which most believing disciples have of the All of Christ is that He alone does everything in the atonement and the forgiveness of sin. This is indeed the glorious beginning of His redemptive work, but still only the beginning. God has given in Him all that we have need of: life and all grace. Christ Himself desires to be our life and strength, the Indweller of our heart, who animates that heart and makes it what it ought to be before God. To know the All of Christ, and to under stand how intensely and how completely and
how really Christ is prepared to be everything in us, is the secret of true sanctification. He that discerns the will of God in this principle and from the heart yields himself to its operation has found the pathway to the full blessing of Pentecost.
The All of Christ, Acknowledge this in humble joyful thanksgiving: confess that every thing has been given by God in Him. Receive with firm confidence the fact that Christ is all and the promise that He will work all, yes, all, in you. Consent from the heart that this must be so, and confirm it by laying everything at His feet and offering it up to Him. The two things go together: let Him be and do all; let Him reign and rule over all. Let there be nothing in which He does not rule and operate. It is not impossible for you to accomplish this change. Let Him be everything; let Him have everything, in order that by His Almighty energy He may fill everything with Himself.
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THE ALL OF SURRENDER
Leave all, sell all, forsake all: that was the Lord’s requirement when He was here on earth: the requirement is in force still.
The discernment of the fact that Christ is all leads of itself to the acknowledgment that He must have all. The chief hindrance of the Christian life is that, because men do not believe that Christ is all, they consequently never think of the necessity of giving Him all.
Everything must be given to Him, because everything is under sin. He cannot cleanse and keep a thing when it is not so yielded up to Him that He can take full possession of it and fill it. All must be given up to Him, because He alone can bring the all of God to its rightful supremacy within us. Even what appears useful or lawful or innocent becomes defiled by the stain of our selfishness when it is held fast in our own possession and for our own enjoyment. We must surrender it into
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the hands and the power of Christ: only there can it be sanctified.
The All of surrender: it is because Christians are so ignorant of the requirement that all their praying and hearing avail so little. If then, Soul, you are really prepared to turn to- God for the fulness of the Spirit; if you have turned to Christ to have your heart purified and kept pure; then be assured that it is your blessed privilege to regard and deal with everything everything that you have to strive for or do as given up to Him. The All of surrender will be the measure of your experience of the All of Christ. In a preceding chapter we have seen that surrender may be carried out at once and as a whole: let us not merely read and think of this, but actually do it. Yes: this very day, let the All of Christ be the power of a surrender on our part that shall be immediate, complete, and everlasting.
THE ALL OF THE SPIEIT
The All of God and the All of Christ demand as a necessary consequence the All of the Spirit. It is the work of the Spirit to glorify the Son as dwelling in us, and by Him to reveal the Father; how can He do this if He Himself is not All and has not All and does not possess and penetrate All with His own power? To be filled with the Spirit, to let the Spirit have All, is indispensable to a true, healthful Christian life.
It is a source of great loss in the life of Christendom to-day that the truth is not discerned, that the Three -One God must have All. Even the professing Christian oftentimes makes it his very first aim to find out what he is and what he desires, what pleases him and makes him happy. Then he brings in God in the second place to secure this happiness. The claim of God is not the primary or main consideration. He does not discern that God must have him at His disposal even in the most trivial details of
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his life to manifest His divine glory in him. He is not aware that this entire filling with the will and the operation of God would prove to be his highest happiness. He does not know that the very same Christ who once lived upon the earth as the obedient, lowly Servant of God, entirely surrendered to the will of the Father, is prepared to abide and work in like manner in his heart and life now. It is on this account that he can never fully comprehend how necessary it is that the Spirit must be all and must fill him completely.
my brother, if these thoughts hare had any influence with you, surfer yourself to be brought without delay to the acknowledgment that the Spirit must be all in you. Say from the heart: " I am not at liberty to make any, even the least, exception: the Spirit must have all." Then add to this confession the simple thought that Christ has come to restore the All of God; that the Spirit is given to reveal the All of Christ within us, so that God may again be all; that the love of the Father is eagerly longing to secure again His own supreme place with us; and then your heart will be filled with the sure confidence
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that the Father actually gives you the fulness of the Spirit.
THE ALL OF FAITH
" All things are possible to him that believeth." " All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them." 1 The preceding sections of this chapter have taught us to understand why it is that faith is all. It is because God is all. It is because man is nothing, and thus has nothing good in him except the capacity for receiving God. When he becomes a believer, that which God reveals becomes of itself a heavenly light that illumines him. He sees then what God is prepared to be for him; he keeps his soul silent before God and open to God, and gives God the opportunity of working all by the Spirit. The more unceasingly and undividedly he believes, the more fully can the All of God and Christ prevail and work in him.
The All of Faith. How little is it understood
1 Mark xi. 24 (R.V.).
HOW EVERYTHING MUST BE GIVEN UP 179
in the Church that the one and only thing I have to do is without ceasing to keep my soul in its nothingness and dependence silent and open before God, that He may be free to work in me; that faith as the willing acceptance and expectation of God’s working, receives all and can achieve all. Every glance at my own impotence or sin, every glance at the promise of God and His power to fulfil it, must rouse me to the gladness of faith, to the willing, cheerful acknowledgment that God is able to work all, to* the assurance that He will do it.
Let such a faith, as the act of a moment, look upon Christ even to-day and move you on the one hand to make renunciation of every known sin, and on the other to receive Him as One who purifies you, who keeps you, who dwells in your heart. that faith might receive the All of Christ and take Him with All that He is! that your faith might then see that the All of the Spirit is your rightful heritage, and that your hope is sure that the full blessing has been bestowed upon you by God Himself, and will be revealed in you!
soul, if the All of God, the All of Christ,
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the All of the Spirit be so immeasurable, if the dominion and power of the terrible All of sin be so unlimited, if the All of your surrender to God and your decision to live wholly for Him be also so real, then let your faith in what God will do for you be also unlimited. " He that believeth in Me, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water."
My reader, the time has now come when we must part. Ere this takes place, let me press on your heart one thing. There is something that can be done to-day. As the Holy Spirit saith: " To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart." l I cannot promise that you shall immediately overflow with the light and joy of the Holy Spirit. I do not promise you that you shall to-day feel very holy and truly blessed. But what can take place is this: to day you may receive Christ as One who purifies you, and baptizes, and fills with the Spirit. Yes: to-day you may surrender your whole being to Him to be henceforth wholly under the mastery of the Spirit. To-day you may acknowledge and appropriate the All of the Spirit as your personal
1 Ps. xcv. 7; Heb. iii. 15.
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possession. To-day you may submit to the requirement of the All of faith and begin to live only and wholly in the faith of what Christ will do in you through the Spirit. This you may do; this you ought to do. Kneel down at the mercy- seat and do it. Read once more the earlier chapter with its directions as to what Christ is prepared to do, and surrender yourself this very hour as an empty vessel to be filled with the Spirit, that your whole life may be carried out under the leading of the Spirit. In His own time God will certainly accomplish it in you.
There is also something, however, that He on His part is prepared to do. To-day He is ready to give you the assurance that He accepts your surrender and to seal on your heart the conviction that the fulness of the Spirit belongs to you. wait upon Him to give you this to-day!
My brother, pray listen to my last words. The All of God summons you. The All of sin summons you. The All of Christ summons you. The All of the surrender that Jesus requires summons you. The All of the Spirit, His indispensableness and His glory, summons you. The All of faith summons you. Come and let
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the love of God conquer you. Come and let the glorious salvation master you. Do not hark away back from the glorious tidings that the Triune God, with all that He is, is prepared to be your All; but be silent and listen to it, until your soul becomes constrained to give the answer, "Even in me God shall be all." Take Christ anew to-day as One who has given His life that God may be all, and do you also yield your life for this supreme end. God will fill you also with His Holy Spirit. Amen.
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