9. The Divine Commission according to the Heavenly Vision for the Continuation of the Book of Acts in the Unique Flow of the Divine Stream
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Scripture Reading: Acts 26:18; Psa. 46:4a; Rev. 22:1; 1 Cor. 16:10

I.     In the Scriptures the concept of the divine stream, the unique flow, is crucial—Gen. 2:10-14; Psa. 46:4a; John 7:37-39; Rev. 22:1:

A.     The Bible reveals the flowing Triune God—the Father as the fountain of life, the Son as the spring of life, and the Spirit as the river of life—Jer. 2:13; Psa. 36:9a; John 4:14; 7:37-39.

B.     The source of the flow is the throne of God and of the Lamb—Rev. 22:1.

C.     In the Scriptures there is only one flow, one divine stream (Gen. 2:10-14; Rev. 22:1); since there is only one divine stream and since the flow is uniquely one, we need to keep ourselves in this one flow.

D.     The divine stream, the unique flow, is the stream of the Lord’s work—1 Cor. 16:10:

1. There is a stream, which we may call the stream, the current, of the work; where the stream flows, there is the work of God.

2. The book of Acts reveals that in the move of the Lord there is only one stream, and we need to keep ourselves in this one stream—cf. 15:35-41.

3. The flowing of the divine life, which started on the day of Pentecost and has been flowing throughout all generations to this day, is just one stream.

4. The history of the church shows that throughout the generations there has been one stream of the Spirit flowing all the time; many have been working for the Lord, but not all have been in the flowing of that one stream.

 

II.   The Lord appeared to Paul to bring him into the stream of the Lord’s work, making him a minister and a witness both of the things in which Paul had seen Him and of the things in which He would appear to Paul—26:16; cf. 1:8; 23:11; 20:20, 31:

A.     Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision of man as a vessel to contain, be filled with, and express the processed and consummated Triune God, of Christ as the mystery of God, and of the church as the Body of Christ, the mystery of Christ—26:19; 9:4-5, 15; Rom. 9:21, 23; 2 Cor. 4:6-7; Col. 2:2; Eph. 3:4; 5:32.

B.     Once you have seen a vision of God’s plan and have been converted from everything to Christ Himself, there will be something within you energizing you to carry out God’s plan; this vision will become your burden as you live and labor in the continuation of the book of Acts—Gal. 1:15-16; Rom. 15:16; 1 Cor. 15:10.

III.  Acts 26:18 reveals the work that we must do today for the increase and building up of the Body of Christ in the continuation of the book of Acts; this verse unveils the all-inclusive contents of our divine commission:

A.     This is to carry out the fulfillment of God’s jubilee, the acceptable year of the Lord, proclaimed by the Lord Jesus in Luke 4:18-21 according to God’s New Testament economy.

B.     We need to pray over the contents of our divine commission in Acts 26:18, asking the Lord to make them our experience and reality so that we can bring others into this experience and reality—Eph. 3:8:

1. “To open their eyes”:

a. We need to continually pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation to understand and to see more and more of Christ, the Body of Christ, and the divine dispensing for the divine economy—1:17; 3:5; cf. Rev. 4:6; 3:17; Matt. 6:6.

b. We cannot go on without new knowledge of the Lord and a new vision of Him—Acts 26:16; Phil. 3:8b, 10a, 13; cf. Deut. 4:25.

c. Being a minister and a witness is not a matter of teaching and knowledge but of appearing and vision; the things in which we have seen the Lord and the things in which the Lord will appear to us are the things that we must minister to others—Acts 22:14-15.

d. Our commission is to “enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is”—Eph. 3:9.

2. “To turn them from darkness to light”:

a. Light is the presence of God—Isa. 2:5; 1 John 1:5.

b. We need to be people who are full of light—Luke 11:34-36.

c. The enjoyment of Christ as our God-given portion is “in the light”—Col. 1:12; John 8:12; 1:4; Psa. 119:105, 130; Matt. 5:14; Rev. 1:20.

d. We need to be luminaries in the world, holding forth the word of life—Phil. 2:14-16.

e. We need to tell out the virtues of the One who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light—1 Pet. 2:9.

3. “To turn them…from the authority of Satan to God”:

a. The highest point in our spiritual experience is to have a clear sky with the throne above it—Ezek. 1:22, 26:

1)    To have the throne above a clear sky is to give the Lord the preeminence in our being and the highest and most prominent position in our life—Col. 1:18; cf. Ezek. 14:3.

2)    The clearer our sky is, the more we are under the throne, under God’s authority—Acts 24:16.

3)    For God to have the throne in us means that He has the position to reign in us—cf. Rom. 5:17.

4)    If we are under a clear sky with the throne above it, genuine authority will be with us to bring others under God’s authority—2 Cor. 10:4-5, 8; 13:3, 10.

b. Our uttermost love for the Lord qualifies, perfects, and equips us to speak for the Lord with His authority—cf. John 21:15, 17.

4. “That they may receive forgiveness of sins”:

a. We need to go to the Lord to receive a thorough forgiveness of all our sins—1 John 1:7, 9.

b. David begged God to blot out his transgressions, wash him thoroughly from his iniquity, cleanse him from his sin, and purge his sin with hyssop—Psa. 51:1-2, 7, 9:

1)    Hyssop typifies Christ in His humble and humiliated human nature (1 Kings 4:33a; Exo. 12:22a), implying Christ as our Mediator and sacrifice (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 10:9).

2)    Like David, we need to stay in the presence of God to have a thorough and genuine repentance and confession to receive a full forgiveness from God.

3)    If we confess our sins to receive God’s forgiveness, we will have the gladness of God’s salvation and be sustained with a willing spirit; then we can teach transgressors His ways, and sinners will turn back to Him—Psa. 51:12-13.

5. “That they may receive…an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me”:

a. This inheritance is the Triune God Himself with all He has, all He has done, and all He will do for His redeemed people.

b. The Triune God is embodied in the all-inclusive Christ, who is the portion allotted to the saints as their inheritance—Col. 2:9; 1:12.

c. We enjoy the pneumatic Christ as the pledge of our inheritance (Eph. 1:14) “among those,” that is, in the church life—cf. 2 Tim. 2:22.

d. We need to bring people into the enjoyment of the all-inclusive Christ in the church life so that they may enjoy Christ as we do and be sanctified dispositionally with the holy nature of God through the exercise of their spirit—Heb. 2:10-11; 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 4:13.

IV. If we would be in the continuation of the book of Acts, we need to continue to live in the divine history by having an upper-room consecration—1:13-14:

A.     At the seashore Peter gave up his job to follow the Lord Jesus, but in the upper room he gave up much more—Matt. 4:18-20; Acts 1:13-14:

1. He stood with the heavenly vision to give up the religion of his forefathers.

2. He gave up his country, his relationship with his neighbors and friends, and his relatives, and he was willing to risk his life.

B.     The kind of consecration that we need today is an upper-room consecration, a consecration in which we pay the price to have our whole being “married” to the heavenly vision—26:19; 1:8; 20:24.

C.     If we pay the price for the heavenly vision, we will “burn the bridges behind us” and will have no way to go backward.

D.     Whether we have seen the heavenly vision or not depends on whether we are willing to pay the price to buy the anointing Spirit as the eyesalve—Rev. 3:18.

E.      To take the way of the Lord’s recovery is not cheap; this way is expensive and requires a costly consecration.

F.      We are not here for a movement but for the Lord’s recovery, and the recovery can be carried out only by the specific and extraordinary consecration in the upper room.

G.     The one hundred twenty in the upper room all became a burnt offering; they were burning for the Lord in spirit, and they burned others with the divine fire of the divine life—Luke 12:49-50; Acts 2:3-4; Rom. 12:11.

H.     When the Lord Jesus was on the earth, great crowds followed Him, but they did not afford Him anything for His move; His move was with those in the upper room, with those whose eyes had been opened and whose hearts had been touched—Acts 17:6b.

I.       It is a small number who will turn the world and change the age; if we would be in the upper room, we need to pray in a specific way and say, “Lord, I am willing to be in the upper room for the recovery of Your testimony.”

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