The words of Christ--
"Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." (John xiii.
"Take my yoke upon you and learn of me . . . and ye shall find rest
unto your souls." (Matt. xi. 29)
There is nothing so perfect in the world as to be quite above objection
and criticism. The very sun which gives us light and warmth is not free
from spots, yet notwithstanding these defects it does not desist from
its regular duty. It behooves us in like manner to carry on to the best
of our ability what has been entrusted to us, and strive constantly to
make our lives fruitful.
When the truths set forth in this book were revealed to me by the
Master they deeply affected my life, and some of them have been used by
me in my sermons and addresses in Europe, America, Africa, Australia,
and Asia. At the request of many friends I have now gathered them
together in this little book, and though it is possible that there are
defects in setting them forth, I am sure that those who read them with
prayer and an unprejudiced mind will benefit from them as I have.
It would be impossible for me to set forth these truths that have been
revealed to me except in parabolic language, but by the use of parables
my task has been made comparatively easy.
It is my prayer that as God by His grace and mercy has blessed me by
these truths, so also they may be a blessing to every reader.
Your humble servant,
I. THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD'S PRESENCE
The Disciple,--O Master, Fountain of life! Why dost Thou hide Thyself
from those that adore Thee, and dost not rejoice the eyes of them that
long to gaze upon Thee?
The Master,--1. My true child, true happiness depends not upon the
sight of the eyes, but comes through spiritual vision, and depends upon
the heart. In Palestine thousands looked upon Me, but all of them did
not thus obtain true happiness. By mortal eyes only those things can be
perceived that are mortal, for eyes of flesh cannot behold an immortal
God and spiritual beings. For instance, you yourself cannot see your
own spirit, therefore how can you behold its Creator? But when the
spiritual eyes are opened, then you can surely see Him who is Spirit,
(John iv. 24), and that which you now see of Me you see not with eyes
of flesh, but with the eyes of the spirit.
If, as you say, thousands of people saw Me in Palestine then were all
their spiritual eyes opened, or did I Myself become mortal? The answer
is, No! I took on a mortal body so that in it I might give a ransom for
the sins of the world; and when the work of salvation was completed for
sinners (John xix. 30), then that which was immortal transfigured what
was mortal into glory. Therefore after the resurrection only those were
able to see Me who had received spiritual sight (Acts x. 40,41).
2. Many there are in this world who know about Me, but do not know Me;
that is they have no personal relationship with Me, therefore they have
no true apprehension of or faith in Me, and do not accept Me as their
Saviour and Lord.
Just as if one talks with a man born blind about different colors such
as red, blue, yellow, he remains absolutely unaware of their charm and
beauty, he cannot attach any value to them, because he only knows about
them, and is aware of their various names. But with regard to colors he
can have no true conception until his eyes are opened. In the same
manner until a man's spiritual eyes are opened, howsoever learned he
may be, he cannot know Me, he cannot behold My glory, and he cannot
understand that I am God Incarnate.
3. There are many believers who are aware of My presence in their
hearts bringing to them spiritual life and peace, but cannot plainly
see Me. Just as the eye can see many things, yet when someone drops
medicine into the eye does not see it, but the presence of the medicine
is felt cleansing the inner eye and promoting the power of sight.
4. The true peace which is born of My presence in the hearts of true
believers they are unable to see, but, feeling its power, they become
happy in it. Nor can they see that happiness of mind or heart through
which they enjoy the peace of My presence. It is the same with the
tongue and sweetmeats. The faculty of taste which resides in the tongue
and the sweetness it perceives are both invisible. Thus also I give My
children life and joy by means of the hidden manna, which the world
with all its wisdom knows not nor can know (Rev. ii. 7).
5. Sometimes during sickness the faculty of taste in the tongue is
interfered with, and during that time, however tasty the food given to
the sick person may be, it has an ill taste to him. In just the same
way sin interferes with the taste for spiritual things. Under such
circumstances My Word and service and My presence lose their attraction
to the sinner, and instead of profiting by them he begins to argue
about and to criticize them.
6. Many believers again--like the man born blind, on receiving his
sight--are able to see Jesus as a prophet and the Son of Man, but do
not regard Him as the Christ and the Son of God (John ix. 17, 35-37),
until I am revealed to them a second time in power.
7. A mother once hid herself in a garden amongst some densely growing
shrubs, and her little son went in search of her here and there, crying
as he went. Through the whole garden he went, but could not find her. A
servant said to him, "Sonny, don't cry! Look at the mangoes on this
tree and all the pretty, pretty flowers in the garden. Come, I am going
to get some for you." But the child cried out, "No! No! I want my
mother. The food she gives me is nicer than all the mangoes, and her
love is sweeter far than all these flowers, and indeed you know that
all this garden is mine, for all that my mother has is mine. No! I want
my mother!" When the mother, hidden in the bushes, heard this, she
rushed out and, snatching her child to her breast, smothered him with
kisses, and that garden became a paradise to the child. In this way My
children cannot find in this great garden of a world, so full of
charming and beautiful things, any true joy until they find Me. I am
their Emmanuel, who is ever with them, and I make Myself known to them
(John xiv. 21).
8. Just as the sponge lies in the water, and the water fills the
sponge, but the water is not the sponge and the sponge is not the
water, but they ever remain different things, so children abide in Me
and I in them. This is not pantheism, but it is the kingdom of God,
which is set up in the hearts of those who abide in this world; and
just as the water in the sponge, I am in every place and in everything,
but they are not I (Luke xvii. 21).
9. Take a piece of charcoal, and however much you may wash it its
blackness will not disappear, but let the fire enter into it and its
dark colour vanishes. So also when the sinner receives the Holy Spirit
(who is from the Father and Myself, for the Father and I are one),
which is the baptism of fire, all the blackness of sin is driven away,
and he is made a light to the world (Matt. iii. 11, 14). As the fire in
the charcoal, so I abide in My children and they in Me, and through
them I make Myself manifest to the world.