Heavenly beings living in an earthly realm! Angeles? No, believers in the Lord Jesus! Angels are in the earthly realm; they do not live but work here. Every true saint knows their destiny, which is where they are presently positioned in heaven.

Hidden On High (Col 3:3)

God’s relationship with earthly Israel was, I am so holy that I cannot let anyone come near Me. I will give you laws and promises, but into My presence you cannot come (e.g. Exo 19:12, 13). As Christians, our relationship with the Father is infinitely otherwise. We have “boldness to enter into the Holiest” (Heb 10:19). What was, that God did not come out to man, and man could not go in to God. Keep the law and have human self-righteousness, but do not come near Me. All this ended in the rejection of the Messiah.

What is, that the veil is rent from top to bottom, and that the only place I have to walk in is in the light as my Father is in the light, and if I cannot walk in the light I cannot walk with Him at all. A believer’s place is not that he ought, but that he must walk in the light, as the Father is in the light, or he cannot walk with Him at all, for now there is no veil.

We have a title and position to be in the Holiest by the Blood that brought us there, and are fit for it as cleansed from all sin, and there is no other place to walk with the Father. But we reckon ourselves also dead to sin (concerning its dominion and damnation—NC) to all that is without. This is the very thing that gives us deliverance. I am not in the flesh at all (Rom 8:9), therefore I can go in with boldness.

Our Father has personally accepted us in His Son, His Beloved who is in the glory. Our actual condition is never spoken of except as being in connection with the Second Man in glory; our only connection with the Father is in is Son; we are “Predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29).

This is not a question of our responsibility; it all depends upon the finished work of the Last Adam; it rests upon the finished work of the Cross. The Lord Jesus has obeyed even unto death, and is glorified. As the result of His work, we have been begotten again with “the Word of Truth” (Jas 1:18), we have been made the children of the Father through faith in His Son, and thus have a new life and nature. We are now heirs of God and “joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17).

Now this new life must have an object, and the Father has given it One that is not in this world at all. There is not a single thing in this world to which we are crucified that will not deter our growth if we go after it. Sanctification is connected with the Lord Jesus Christ, our Life, in glory. All is new: the Life, the character, the Object by which we are sanctified through the Holy Spirit, is outside the world entirely.

The work being fully accomplished, the Spirit of Christ comes down and says, “Now the world is done with, and if you do not come out of it in body (e.g. die - 1Co 5:10), be out of it, and in heaven in spirit (heavenly positioned in the spirit of our mind while yet here in the body—NC). I have come down purposely to recreate you in union with the One outside this world.” The Object before us is the glorified Lord Jesus; He is our Christian Life (Col 3:4): we are “created in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:10). The believer has responsibilities here, and is not “taken out of this world” (Jhn 17:15); but his life is wholly in union with the Lord Jesus at the right hand of the Father, and everything that diminishes our perception of Him there, diminishes our practical growth here.

The world will not now bear a man that is like Christ. It will tolerate plenty of Christians; an amiable Christian it will get on with; but a believer is called to be faithful. Remember, the believer has two lives, two natures and whatever he gets on in the world, it is the believer who goes to the world (carnal Christian—NC), for the world cannot go to him—it has only one life and nature.

—J N Darby (1800-1882)

MJS devotional excerpt for January 26

“Affliction and suffering are the lot of all men, the privilege of all believers. Our sufferings bring forth need, and our need brings forth His comfort and consolation. Blessed need! “As ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation” (2 Cor. 1:7). Blessed promise!” –Miles J Stanford

The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS