Austin-Sparks The Holy Spirit's Biography of Christ

Austin-Sparks The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ

Austin-Sparks The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ is a 5 chapter work on Christ as seen through the Holy Spirit.

Austin-Sparks The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ is a 5 chapter work on Christ as seen through the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ

by T. Austin-Sparks
From messages given at a conference in Switzerland in 1970 and published in “A Witness and A Testimony” magazines, November 1970-August 1971.

Contents of Austin-Sparks The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ

Chapter 1 – The ‘Parchment’, the ‘Pen’, and the Purpose
Chapter 2 – ‘Life. . . Promised Before Times Eternal’
Chapter 3 – The True Life and the False Life
Chapter 4 – Christ Greater Than All
Chapter 5 – Our Heavenly Vocation
Formatted by David Cox 2008. 2021

The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 3 – The True Life and the False Life

(A) THE TRUE LIFE AND THE FALSE LIFE

As you know by now, we are occupied in these morning meetings with what we are taught through the Apostle Paul in 2Co 3:3, that is, that the Holy Spirit is writing a spiritual biography of Jesus Christ in every member of the Body of Christ. To put that in another way, the spiritual history and experiences of true believers are a repetition of what was true of the Lord Jesus, excepting His deity. So we have to understand that the Holy Spirit is repeating the life of the Lord Jesus in us.

So far we have been occupied with the first chapter of that biography: the eternal link with the Lord Jesus, which is by the gift of eternal life. That means that what was true of the Lord Jesus in His eternal life becomes true in every believer.

Now I did not say all that I wanted to last time, so I will add just a few things and then hope to be able to go into the second chapter of this biography.

ETERNAL LIFE ALL-GOVERNING

Let me, then, repeat this truth. Eternal life does govern the history and destiny of humanity. Without that eternal life there is no hope; humanity is in a hopeless position. The destiny of those without this gift of God is a very hopeless thing, for it is eternal death. That does not mean annihilation, nor extinction, but it does mean eternal separation from God; and if you want to know what that means, look at the Lord Jesus in the last moments on the cross and hear Him cry: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”! But this other side, eternal life, is the basis of eternal hope, so it is just exactly the opposite. Thus eternal life is the governing factor in history and in destiny.

That is indicated in two ways in the Bible. It is indicated on the first page and on the last page, which means that the whole of the Bible lies between this one thing. All that is in the Bible of history and destiny lies between chapter one and the last chapter, and in both of those chapters this one matter of life governs everything. It is therefore all-governing. In the beginning it is indicated in the tree of life in the Garden; at the end it is indicated in the tree fully grown in the city – the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God.

As to that tree in the Garden at the beginning (and, of course, it is only a figure, or type), it is the centre of life, so God indicates that this thing called life is at the centre of everything. Life is centred in that tree representatively, and you notice how very jealous God is about that tree. He is so jealous that, when man sinned against IT, He set a wall of fire around it, and took every precaution against man touching it. He said: “LEST he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life”, and put a cherubim there with a flaming sword. It would be a very dangerous thing to touch that unless man was in full fellowship with God! God is very jealous over this matter of eternal life! That tree, symbolically, is a test of man’s relationship with God. It is a challenge to man as to his relationship with God, or, in other words, as to whether he is in right standing with God. The whole issue hung upon man’s fidelity to God, for that was the test. You see, man was put on probation. This life was to be given on one condition only: was man going to be faithful to God, or not?

Let us get away from the symbol and the type. That tree is a type of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for He is the tree of life, and our attitude towards the Lord Jesus is going to determine our destiny – whether we have eternal life or eternal death. We know from Genesis that on that day when man showed that he was not faithful to God, that in spirit and in mind he was not true to God’s Son, he died, and the whole race died in him. In Romans 5 Paul says that death entered into the human race because of one man’s disobedience; so the destiny of the human race was settled on that day. The Lord had said: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17). Thus man died spiritually, because death is separation from God.

So we are brought to this, as our New Testament teaches us so fully: the Lord Jesus is the test of our relationship with God, and that relationship determines whether it is to be life or death. The Lord Jesus is set up in the midst of the human race to determine life or death for mankind. So eternal life governs everything.

ETERNAL LIFE RESERVED IN JESUS CHRIST

Now note the next thing. The Lord took action and set a fence around that tree of life. In so doing He said: ‘No one shall have life apart from that tree. ‘ In other words, it is impossible for anyone to have eternal life apart from the Lord Jesus, for this life is in God’s Son.”He that hath the Son hath the life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life” (1Jn 5:12). Life, then, is reserved in Jesus Christ and cannot be had outside of Him. Well, of course, that is very simple and elementary but we have not finished yet!

You notice what happened in the Garden: Satan was there to make God a liar. Jesus said that Satan “is a liar, and the father thereof” (Joh 8:44), and he was there in the Garden to make God a liar, Did he do it? Mark you, this is something very important for us to notice today, for this is always Satan’s way. He did not accept the situation in the Garden, and he never does accept a situation. There will come a time when he will have to accept a situation and will not be able to do anything about it, but all through the ages he has refused to accept this situation and has told a lie. So man has fallen a victim to the lie of Satan. What is Satan’s lie in connection with life? He offers false life, another kind of life that looks like the true one. Satan falsifies true life, and, instead of being spiritual life, it is just soul life. Do you know the difference between spiritual life and soul life?

Satan attacked the soul life of Adam. You know what the soul is, do you not? It is your reason, your emotions, your will. Satan began by REASONING with Adam, and, oh, what a dangerous thing it is to argue with Satan! Never reason with the devil, or, in other words, do not listen to his arguments! There is a sting in his tail! So Satan first came to man’s reason and started an argument: “Yea, hath God said?” (Gen 3:1). Immediately a question about God was lodged in the mind. There is a terrible destiny bound up with that question!

Then Satan appealed to Adam’s FEELINGS, and, pointing to the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he said: ‘You see how lovely and full of juice that fruit is! How much it is to be desired!’so Adam looked at the fruit and said: ‘How lovely! I think I would like some of that. ‘ His emotions went out to it, and when Satan has got your mind and your emotions, it is not far to your WILL! The next thing was that Adam took the fruit. He used his will, and the damage was done.

It is all symbolic, but, you see, it contains eternal principles. The whole kingdom and reign of Satan are built upon that basis. The mind, the heart and the will of humanity are captured by the devil, but it is false life. What about all the emotion in the world, even in Christianity? There is a vast difference between spiritual, eternal life, and soul life.

There is such a thing as false life, and that thing is the master-stroke of Satan! You will remember that there was a time in the history of Israel in the wilderness when certain sons of Aaron brought false fire and offered it upon God’s altar. You know what happened! You know all about God’s jealousy. There is a vast amount of false fire in this world today. It looks like true life, true fire, what is of God, but there is a lie in it, and the fruit of that tree is bitter fruit in the end.

I think this is a time in the world’s history when we need to understand this more than ever. How can we discern the difference between the true life and the false life? Well, I think John is the great messenger of this, because his writings were particularly in this connection. He wrote in a time when everything in Christianity was being falsified.

There was Christ and anti-Christ. In fact, there were many antichrists, for many false spirits had gone abroad. It was a time when Christians were being deceived, and John, writing for that time, said: “The anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any one teach you” (1Jn 2:27). In effect, John was saying: ‘By the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of the true life, you will be able to discern between the true and the false. ‘ Even when they look so much alike, the Spirit in you will say: ‘There is something not true about this!’

I think that one of the things that indicates whether it is true or false is whether man made it or not. You see, those sons of Aaron MADE their incense, and they did not make it of the same ingredients as those with which the true incense was made. It was something which looked like the true, but it was false, and the Spirit of God knew the difference. We have to be very careful that we do not create false fire, for that is the danger of strong personalities.

Do you notice how many of these things which look like life have come from strong personalities? They are uncrucified Christian men! Is that a contradiction in terms? No, the Cross has to divide between soul and spirit, and if you see the fire coming from strong, forceful soulish men, you have reason to doubt the reality of it. When the true fire comes, it is always through crucified men.

I think the Apostle Peter could have created a lot of false fire. He was a man who was always trying to get things going! He would rush in in front of someone else, and would even tell the Lord Jesus where to get on and where to get off! It would have been a poor lookout for Christianity if it had come through Peter! But Peter had to go to the Cross, and the true fire of the Holy Spirit did not come until he was an utterly broken man.

Well, perhaps I have said enough on that matter, but it is something that should be an instruction to us in these days. We do verily need to know the difference between the true life and the false life, for Satan’s master-work is to imitate God.

Now can we go on with the next chapter in this spiritual biography?

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