There is something that the people whom God purchased for Himself will do. It becomes their need, nature and the way to see God’s desire. Indeed, God makes them into such people that they perform the work He requires of them. It is through this work that He magnifies His name. He does not need them for it if He so deems, but He has chosen them for it that they should be honored and that His kingdom is magnified. Without it or without the people that perform it He will not build His kingdom. If there are none to do it, He will call into being those that will do it. He will wash them and sanctify them for it. And, His kingdom will increase. He has been doing it for a long time and has never ceased from it. His intention is beyond what men in the flesh can comprehend. “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘this also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock’” (Ezek. 36:37).
Those who are called by God for faith and are saved by grace pray to God for the increase of their kind. When God called us, it was His intention to make us into a people of prayer; this enlarges His kingdom. Or, to put it simply, He called us knowing we would be led to call on Him to increase us like a flock. Now, it is clear as to whom God calls and as to what is His mind in calling men to Him. Not all are Christians, but those whom He calls. If Christians are not men and women who pray to Him for the abundance His glory and the fulfillment of His intention, they were never Christians; they have not received grace. (For the effect of grace is such that it makes one desire God.) For this reason, I say, many are the churches in unrighteousness. They do not know the true essence of being Christians or Christ like. They read the word, but do not find it to do according to it. It is not in them to find it, since it is God who should make them able for it. Those who ask God to increase their number are those that have understood their calling, existence and importance to His kingdom.
For those who are saved by God know the gift He gives. It is the right to ask Him. They know that it is He who enables them for it. He does it by putting His thoughts in them, giving directions from His Word and letting them find Him. He pours His heart into them that they are able to sow His name among the lost. The reason many churches are not God oriented is because they use the Word only. The problem with this is they left out God’s interference with their work that requires asking Him. When He does not intervene, they will not do the right thing; for they will not interpret the Word rightly; they miss His intentions. They speak for themselves and work for themselves, but can by no means be able to work for Him. They deem the Word as the standard, but understand it by the flesh. God did not enter them to make them ask Him. Of them Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me” (John 5:39).
The words of Jesus are perfect to describe them. They do not reject the Word; neither do they speak less of it. Yet, they do not take into account of whom it speaks. What is the purpose of the Word? It is certainly not for displaying the depth of our knowledge concerning it, but to possess the God, who calls people to Himself. Each time we read it, it tells us who God is; this is its purpose. It tells us that the Father and the Son are one; that they are indeed God. It tells us of His mind and of the works which He has prepared to build His kingdom. When it said God will let His people ask Him to increase their flock, it is speaking of what He is determined to do. He will make us ask Him, because He has placed in us His image, which is the Spirit. And, we carry His burden. Therefore, Jesus also said that His house is a house of prayer for all nations. Yet, many churches have become robbers’ den; they trap many more under them. How foolish of them to have not understood that unless God makes them ask for the increase of His kingdom they are not for Him! After all, it is His kingdom, and they do not give this a thought. When such people search the Scriptures, even the Word, they are neither with salvation nor do they bring it into others. They merely provide proof for what does not require proof. They go from one place in the Word to another to illustrate what they found out is the truth. And yet, this is not in the interest of God; they are unlike Christ. See how the Spirit describes Christ like people. “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).
This is the makeup of Christians. To be united with Christ in the likeness of His death is to die to the ways of the flesh. This means to have died to our ways of searching, understanding and glorifying God. Then, how natural it is that we would be in the likeness of His resurrection! Such likeness means a remarkable change wherein we are completely opposed to the intents and desires of the flesh. Our mind works to the desires of God. It continually compels us to go to Him. He makes us instruments for His kingdom; we desire He guide us. And in everything we say or do, we will be like the resurrected Christ, who overcame the flesh and everything that pertains to it and became a glory to God. Now, such Christ-likeness keeps us from all impurities. It primarily keeps us from pretense that leads to boasting, yet all the while receiving honor from God. Men will take note of us and we obtain their favor. What does this say? That we obtained “a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11).
We who have Christ become everything to all. We reveal the nature of Christ to those whom we meet that He may be imprinted upon them. We have obtained a renewal which is in the likeness of the resurrected Christ. In it there is no partiality or division. If Christ is in us, no matter where we go or whom we meet, we will let men know through us the One who overcame the flesh and everything that pertains to it. We permit them to see the distinct life we possess through God’s interference. We give glory to God. This is the kind of living that is expected of all Christians: to testify God before men. Then, He will make them ask Him to increase their kind. He fulfills their wish by testifying concerning them. This is exactly what He did with Jesus. And He saved us by grace that we become His imitators. So, He addresses Christians through His servant in this manner – “Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1).
Never forget or consider it trivial that you are God’s beloved and are kept for Jesus Christ. And the most important reason for this is to keep the truth of the gospel from perpetrators. These live among us and are changing the grace of God to wastefulness. Now, as God saw it fit to remove them or save those who are imprisoned by them, He called us and filled us with His intent that we ask Him to increase our number, His kingdom. As we ask, He will make way wherein we reach them and deliver to them the God that loves them. Here is the reason He makes us ask – that we do not lose our intimacy with Him and that we have care for that which we strived in the Spirit. In this way the interferences of the flesh for the fulfilling of His intent will be nullified. And Jesus said, “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail” (Luke 16:17).
Nothing of what God revealed in the Word for His kingdom will fail; neither will His message through His messengers from it. He proclaims that which He planned for the salvation of men. If He foretold of His wish for a people He chose, there is none who can interfere with it. If some speak against it, it is to their detriment. They do not walk with God, let alone run with Him. They are without the heart that prays to His liking. The burden of Christ does not rest upon them. But you brethren, you have been renewed to His liking. See to it that you consider the Word as the avenue to understand God. He will let you interpret it. This is His will. “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother” (Matt. 12:50).