Christ, Our Ladder to the Father

Cda Lake Sunrise

Sunrise over Coeur d’ Alene Lake – Photo taken by Michael Clark

As most of you know, Susanne Schuberth often writes about things that the Spirit has been trying to bring to my attention. This happened with her latest blog article, “True Gratefulness and Real Strength”:

“I have come to know several people over the years who usually express thankfulness as they discern a glass half-full and not half-empty. Nonetheless, it is not necessary to be a Christian to be able to do so. It is a matter of personality alone that decides whether we have to do with an optimist or with a pessimist. Indeed, it is nothing but innate thinking and behavior of our old nature that makes people appear as if they were Christians. Bold words, huh?” (1)

Yes, bold, yet true. Many Christians I’ve met cling to church teachings like the “power of positive thinking.” Or they believe in the “name it and claim it faith teachings”– all of which is nothing more than mind games played by their souls that cater to their own lusts for worldly power, position and gain. These belief systems totally bypass the voice of the Holy Spirit of God! Susanne continued along this line with this comment:

“…Whether you call it the ‘wilderness’ that dries you out or ‘the dark night of the soul’ where our own light gets kind of overruled by His true light over time… That is how a true saint is being made, not by discipling through self-appointed men, but through disciplining by God.” (2)

So true, dear sister! So much pride enters in when we say that a certain man has discipled us, especially when he is of high visibility in church circles. The discipline of men, no matter how vigorous it may be, can never accomplish the soul-stripping that our Father is capable of. He sees deep into our innermost being where the soul hides, often disguising itself as dead or submissive while putting on holy airs. Yet, sooner or later it pops-up in all its ugliness when the human who disciples us is either not watching or condones such behavior because of his own sin and pride. I have run into many Christians who are filled with pride because they sat under the teaching of some high profile Christian teacher and/or writer. They often boast about their great libraries of teaching tapes and books on which they rely, yet in so doing their flesh is manifested in all its ugliness. Paul called the Corinthian Church “yet carnal” for this very reason (see 1 Cor. 3:3-6).

This morning I read something by T. Austin-Sparks that cuts to the core and illuminates the difference between walking by the Spirit of Christ and clinging to the teachings of men.

 Jesus said to Nathanael, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels [Grk. aggelos– messenger] of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:51, KJV)

(…)

That open heaven for the Lord Jesus was the anointing [the Messenger of God].  The Spirit descended and lighted upon Him. It was the anointing, and it is the same for us. The open heaven is the anointing of the Spirit from the day of Pentecost onward upon Christ within us. That open heaven means a continually growing revelation of Christ.

Oh, let me urge this. I am brought back to urge this…. The open heaven at once brings God’s revelation in Christ to your very door, makes it available to you, so that you are not dependent in the first place upon libraries, books, addresses or anything else. It is there for you. However much the Lord may see good to use these other things for your help and enrichment, you have your own open heaven, your own clear way through, and no closed dome over your head. The Lord Jesus is becoming more and ever more wonderful in your own heart, because “God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness” hath “shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). (3)

The Holy Spirit is given to us when we first had saving faith. That same Spirit is the Messenger that ascended and descended on Jesus while He walked on this earth, and He still does as Christ abides in our hearts. He is our Teacher on whom we rely, not the teachings of mere men. A human teacher is only useful to the Spirit when he or she speaks or writes what He is already speaking to us in our hearts. We who teach are only a “second witness” at best. If we are teaching something that tickles the ears of the listener and caters to their flesh, we are false teachers with false anointings. When the Spirit speaks, we get an immediate witness within us that makes our spirits leap for joy, yet soon brings death to what is carnal within us. If the Spirit’s voice falls on spiritually deaf ears, the listeners feel nothing and our words just clutter their minds at best. All true teaching only comes into our being by way of the Ladder on whom the Spirit descends, Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke of the difference. “All who come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep do not hear them.” When we listen to men more than the Holy Spirit, they come before Jesus in our lives and, like the Corinthian church, we are “yet carnal.”

Father, give us ears that can hear and eyes that see what you are telling and showing us that we might be fully conformed to the image of your Son. Amen.

(1) https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/true-gratefulness-and-real-strength/

(2) https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/true-gratefulness-and-real-strength/comment-page-1/#comment-17519

(3) http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/001033.html

18 comments on “Christ, Our Ladder to the Father

  1. Kenneth Dawson says:

    Yes Mike I am having this kind of experience with a friend of mine here in Tulsa—I started going to his church just observing the way they conduct themselves and at the same time I read TAS articles and have been studying the Scottish theologin Thomas Torrance and he was a teacher of living the Christian life by the Spirit of God as TAS teaches but my friend is fighting against me claiming that I am in error with that kind of life so I just have to ignore him and go on living by Gods being in me and let my friend just go on doing his thing.You and Sue are very inspirational and I appreciate the two of you greatly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amen to your prayer, Michael. Thank you very much for the links to my blog and for the quotes! 🎁🎊🎈🎉

    I have been wondering how many Christians indeed have received His anointing? 🤔 Not so many, I am afraid since if they had, they would neither be led astray nor get confused that easily. 😞 The anointing is the best teacher! ⭐⭐⭐ The Holy Spirit does not even need words to let us know God’s view on everything. He puts a more or less strong impression into our minds and hearts to which we react the faster the more we have got used to listening to Him. 🕎🕊💨💭💓👼

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      You are so welcome, Susanne. I agree about all the confusion in the church and believe that the lack of being anointed by the Spirit and hearing HIM as our Teacher is the root of it. God is not the author of confusion, but confusion IS a sign of the spirit of Babel. No wonder that Babylon is called the mother of harlots in Revelation. If we are growing up into the Bride of Christ, we won’t be sleeping around with the false Christs and subject to their false anointings.

      Yes, dear sister, the more we obey the voice of the Spirit, the easier it is to discern His voice or even His slightest unspoken nudge. Your capacity in this area of Life has truly been an inspiration to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Fred says:

    When reading the first part I was reminded of this ” Matthew 19:26 King James 2000 Bible
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
    Also I have had lot of pride. I have even at times had pride over knowing more then another man of GOD that calls them selves a teacher. Ya I should not do that and it is sometimes hard not to.

    Also I want to mention something that GOD has pointed out to me that I my self need to stop doing. Some of the people who are under a teacher will make that teacher an idol. I have done this with John Bunyan which is what GOD has pointed out to me recently and has asked me to stop. I hope no one here is guilty of that as it could happen to you with T. Austin-Sparks so just becareful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Fred, it is always important to look at the context a Bible verse is placed in. Jesus was warning how hard it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. I am not sure how this applies to the first part of my blog article as you infer. But, I DO heed your warning about making our teachers an idol. One thing about Bunyon and Sparks that makes them more trustworthy than most of today’s Christian teachers is that they suffered much for sharing what the Spirit taught them. Jesus told us how to spot the false teachers saying, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26, KJV).

      The message of the cross is the foundation of what Apostle Paul taught as it was with Austin-Sparks and they were rejected by the religious establishment for it. As for Bunyon, I have only read “Pilgrim’s Progress” by him and that book has been an allegory of my own Christian experience. Like Paul, he wrote it while wasting away in prison for his faith in Christ, persecuted by the establishment churches of his day. You do well to listen to God’s voice when He shows you that you are in error, though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fred says:

        That verse just popped into my head when reading the first part. Basiclaly men think they are saved by other men and that is not possible and that would be how it relates to your post. Another verse could even be the one where Jesus is talking about those who search the scriptures but refuse to come to him. In this case searching the scripture would be searching the scripture though other men’s teachings. Hope that clears things up.

        I have read or acutally listed to a lot of John bunyan’s books. Pilgrims progress is one of them. I have been in the valley of the shadow of death many a times. Not a fun spot to be but I have been there. Any way his books have been a lot of help for me. I just need to not make him an idol. I do wonder if this happened in Paul’s day. Maybe it did and maybe why there is a verse about paul saying something like ” I am of paul, I am of apalus and so on” he told them not to do that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Fred. As much as a Christian teacher points us away from himself or herself and to Jesus is how much they can be trusted. When we finish reading their works it should be asked if reading it made us draw closer to Jesus or to them? If T. Austin-Sparks was still alive today, I would not be making a pilgrimage to meet him, but this is not the case of those who idolize today’s modern church teachers. God had to do a lot of flesh killing in me to get me over this propensity in myself.

    Yes, Fred, this is the passage…

    “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with solid food: for until now you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able. For you are yet carnal: for while there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal?” (1Cor 3:1-4, KJ2000)

    As for what foundation we are building on and the materials we use…

    “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 3:10-11, ESV2011)

    There is one sure test of what has been built in us in the name of Christ…

    “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1Cor 3:12-15, ESV2011)

    It is good to hear from you again, my brother.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fred says:

      That test you mentioned is why I go to a church called Faith community. I kind of mentioned that before. They focus on brining people to Jesus. So that church passed the test. Now the bible study I used to go to would fail that test. He brings people to him self and says things like if you do not obey me you are disobeing GOD. He has scared me into doing things that GOD has later chastened me for. I don’t blame the man but my self for obeying a man instead of GOD. GOD was telling me one thing and a man was telling me another. Lately I started my own youtube channel so I need to make sure I pass this test.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Fred, The Bible study you mentioned is obviously a cult. I am glad you got free of that guy. But even focusing on bringing people to Jesus can become a near miss. I started out attending evangelical churches after leaving the Catholic church and their Sunday services were as dead as could be once I grew beyond the need to get saved again each Sunday. What I mean is that every sermon was aimed at getting people up to the altar to say a “sinner’s prayer.” Even those who were already saved had to sit through a sermon that heaped guilt on them for not doing more to get people saved. These also had to come forward for prayer and “recommit their lives to Christ” for one reason or another. The altar call became a numbers thing and had little to do with listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying Him.

        Guilt is never the right motivation if the Holy Spirit is not convicting us of sin. Guilt and conviction accompanied by the love of Christ drawing us are two different things. Remember,

        “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1, RSV).

        Focusing on sin all the time is not the same as focusing on Christ and His wonderful saving grace. One is inward navel staring and the other is looking beyond ourselves unto the sufficiency of Christ in all things where we cast all our cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for us. Jesus said,

        “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9, KJ2000)

        We enter into the presence of the Father by Jesus, the OPEN door, not by having guilt heaped on us by men. Notice the freedom His sheep have to “come in and go out” and find pasture. Just because we “got saved” in one church does not mean that God wants us to stay there under that teacher or preacher the rest of your lives. Jesus is ever going before us calling us by name and there are many places along life’s journey where He leads us to find spiritual food.

        “Therefore seeing we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT, and the sin which does so easily ensnare us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, LOOKING UNTO JESUS THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH…” (Heb 12:1-2, KJ2000)

        May you continue to be fed by HIM as you follow HIS voice, my brother.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I would be cautious here, Fred. No human being can bring people to Jesus since nobody can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them. Jesus is Savior, not man. It is God alone who knows every man’s heart and how to draw them to our Lord then. Also, it is His timing that decides when someone is saved.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fred says:

        Susanne and Michael you are correct. I find it interesting that Michael discribed the church I go to very well. It is true what you said Susanne and thankfully Jesus said that he would not cast any one out who came to him. That verse in John chapter 6 verse 37 beings me more hope than any other verse in the bible. I need Jesus very badly as it is impossible to save one self. We need him to save us. I know I have made more mistakes then I would like to admit to but I have admited to some one here. I think some times my comments make me look like a really bad Christian.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        No, Fred. Your comments just make you look to us like an honest seeker of the will of God for your life. Keep following the voice of THE GOOD Shepherd who loves you and you will do fine.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Discerning good from evil has been on my heart this week. I am deeply opposed to the “name it and claim it” or “prosperity gospel” being preached so widely these days. This is heresy. It fails to convey an essential aspect of the Christian message, that we are to be conformed by God to the image of Christ and that through suffering.

    As you so aptly say, the false gospel caters to the lust for power, position, and gain. It appeals to the ego to think our own “positive thinking” could manipulate the Lord God Almighty. Yet how many fall into this trap? And how many berate themselves for a lack of faith when their desires do not come to fruition?

    It requires real care to avoid idolatry. Many of the televangelists seem to relish it. I have no doubt what God has in store for them in eternity. But it grieves me to think how many they are turning away from Christ.

    Thank you for another spiritually sound message, Michael. “Solid food” indeed. Have a blessed New Year!

    With love,
    your sister,

    Anna ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Well said, Anna! You nailed it. It is God’s desire that we all be conformed into the image of His Son.

      Humanism in its worst form is when man rises to think that God exists to fulfill his every soulish whim and actually commands Him to do so. I have seen all this in action among these false teachers in the Church. They treat God as if He is a genie who lives in a bottle, just waiting for someone to rub it the right way so He can pop out and grant their wishes.

      This is the very nature of Satan as shown in Isaiah ch. 14:12-15 where he sought to exalt himself above God and rule over the congregation of heaven. The anti-christ is alive and well… IN THE CHURCHES! It is Satan’s master stroke to masquerade as God’s representatives and do his evil deeds, teaching lies for truth, so he can offend those who seek the truth and turn them away from Christ. This is why having the Spirit of Truth abiding in us and learning His voice is so important.

      In contrast to all this deception and arrogance we see Jesus who came as an innocent baby into a hostile world ruled over by Satan and lived as a servant all the days of His life, first serving His earthly parents and then serving all who needed healing or were in trouble. He lived His life as an example to us of what the Father wants in His children. He finally laid down His life for us all that we might be saved out of the clutches of the devil and his darkness and brought into our Father’s marvelous light.

      Thank you for sharing your God given insight, Anna. May He continue to show you not only the depth of the evil in this world, but more importantly the marvelous glory that is ours as we abide in Christ in the Father.

      Your brother in His love,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Adriana Patricia says:

    Amén a todo lo que dices mi amigo. Es imposible separar la vida del Espíritu de la cruz, la obra que hace el Espíritu en nosotros es revelar nuestra inmundicia y el engaño de nuestro corazón. El Espíritu penetra la cruz de Cristo profundamente en cada área de nuestra vida, ilumina cada una de nuestras oscuridades y nos quita la máscara.

    Pero la mayoría de cristianos creen que la labor del Espíritu solo es hacer que se caigan de para atrás y que así quedan llenos de su unción, qué abominable es todo esto. Yo lo vi, lo viví y puedo dar testimonio de lo aborrecible que esto a los ojos del Señor.

    La gente está conectada a la matrix, como la película. Están en estado vegetativo pegados a la maquinaria de las iglesias, no pueden escuchar la voz de Dios porque solo escuchan la voz del liderazgo y si no lo hacen les llenan el corazón con sentimientos de culpa y los manipulan, esto es horroroso a los ojos de Dios.

    Son fetos espirituales pegados al cordón umbilical de su madre iglesia, alimentados domingo a domingo con sus doctrinas y sus discipulados, son fetos que no han visto la luz del Señor y no escuchan la voz de Él. Esto es lo que se ve en las diferentes congregaciones.

    Que el Señor cada día mate en nosotros lo que tenga que matar para escuchar Su voz de primera mano. Que el Señor saque a la luz nuestras oscuridades y nos permita ver lo que Él quiere mostrarnos de nosotros mismos y de Sus caminos.

    Patricia wrote,
    Amen to everything you say my friend. It is impossible to separate the life of the Spirit from the cross, the work that the Spirit does in us is to reveal our filthiness and the deceit of our heart. The Spirit penetrates the cross of Christ deeply into every area of ​​our life, illuminates each of our darknesses and removes our mask.
    But most Christians believe that the work of the Spirit is only to make them fall backwards and that way they are filled with their anointing, how abominable all this is. I saw it, I lived it and I can bear witness to how abhorrent this is in the eyes of the Lord.
    People are connected to the matrix, like the movie. They are in a vegetative state attached to the machinery of the churches, they can not hear the voice of God because they only hear the voice of leadership and if they do not fill their hearts with feelings of guilt and manipulate them, this is horrifying in the eyes of God.
    They are spiritual fetuses attached to the umbilical cord of their mother church, fed Sunday through Sunday with their doctrines and their disciples, they are fetuses that have not seen the light of the Lord and do not listen to His voice. This is what is seen in the different congregations
    May the Lord kill [in] us every day what he has to kill to hear His voice at first hand. May the Lord expose our darkness and allow us to see what He wants to show us about ourselves and His ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Patricia. Like you pointed out the movie, “The Matix” is such a parody of how humans in this world are captivated by the prince of this world. As it was with Neo in that vat of fluid being fed a false reality through a tap into his brain that told him how to live and what to believe, so it is with those who have never been set free and had their spiritual eyes open by Christ.

      Morpheus: “The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”.

      Neo: “What truth?”

      Morpheus: “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage… born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.”

      I like that scene where Neo is waking up for the first time after being rescued from the matrix. He asks Morpheus, “Why to my eyes hurt?”

      Morpheus replies, “Because you have never used them before.”

      Like you said, dear sister, the daily cross of Christ working in us so that we can tune in to His Spirit and follow Him is the only way we can ever be free from this false reality called “the world” and its churches, Satan’s A.I. program.

      Bless you as you continue to follow His voice, dear sister. Holy hugs back. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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