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  1. Conscience and Knowledge and God's Standard

    Conscience and Knowledge

    In abiding by the spirit and listening to the voice of conscience we should remember one thing, and that is, conscience is limited by knowledge. It is the organ for distinguishing good and evil, which means it gives us the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledge varies with different Christians. Some have more while others have less. The degree of knowledge may be determined by individual environment or perhaps by the instruction each has received. Thus we can neither live by the standard of others nor ask other people to live by the light we have. In a Christian’s fellowship with God an unknown sin does not hinder communion. Whoever observes all the will of God known to him and forsakes everything known to be condemned by God is qualified to enjoy perfect fellowship with Him. A young Christian frequently concludes that due to his lack of knowledge he is powerless to please God. Spiritual knowledge is indeed quite important, but we also know that the lack of such knowledge does not hinder one’s fellowship with God. In the matter of fellowship God looks not at how much we apprehend of His will but rather at what our attitude towards His will is. If we honestly seek and wholeheartedly obey His desires, our fellowship remains unbroken, even though there should be many unknown sins in us. Should fellowship be determined by the holiness of God, who among all the most holy saints in the past and the present would be qualified to hold a moment’s perfect communion with Him? Everyone would be banished daily from the Lord’s face and from the glory of His might. That sin which is unknown to us is under the covering of the precious blood.

    On the other hand, were we to permit to remain even the tiniest little sin which we know our conscience has condemned, we instantly would lose that perfect fellowship with God. just as a speck of dust disables us from seeing, so our known sin, no matter how infinitesimal, hides God’s smiling face from us. The moment the conscience is offended immediately fellowship is affected. A sin unknown to the saint may persist long in his life without affecting his fellowship with God; but as soon as light (knowledge) breaks in, he forfeits a day’s fellowship with Him for every day he allows that sin to remain. God fellowships with us according to the level of the knowledge of our conscience. We shall be very foolish if we assume that, since a certain matter has not hindered our fellowship ...
  2. Overcoming the Accuser

    Overcoming the Accuser

    In view of what we have said we can now turn to face the enemy, for there is a further aspect of the Blood which is Satan-ward. Satan’s most strategic activity in this day is as the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12.10) and it is as this that our Lord confronts him with His special ministry as High Priest “through his own blood” (Heb. 9.12).

    How then does the Blood operate against Satan? It does so by putting God on the side of man against him. The Fall brought about a state of affairs in man which gave Satan a footing within him, with the result that God was compelled to withdraw himself. Man is now outside the Garden—beyond reach of the glory of God (Rom. 3.23)—because he is inwardly estranged from God. Because of what man has done, there is that in him now which, until it is removed, renders God morally unable to defend him. But the Blood removes that barrier, and restores man to God and God to man. Man is in favor now, and because God is on his side he can face Satan without fear.

    You remember that verse in John’s first Epistle—and this is the translation of it I like best: “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.”∗ It is not exactly “all sin” in the general sense, but every sin, every item. What does it mean? Oh, it is a marvelous thing! God is in the light, and as we walk in the light with Him everything is exposed and open to that light, so that God can see it all —and yet the Blood is able to cleanse from every sin. What a cleansing! It is not that I have not a profound knowledge of myself, nor that God has not a perfect knowledge of me. It is not that I try to hide something, nor that God tries to overlook something. No, it is that He is in the light and I too am in the light, and that there the precious Blood cleanses me from every sin. The Blood is enough for that! . . .

    ∗1 John 1-7: Marginal reading of New Translation by J. N. Darby.

    Since God, seeing all our sins in the light, can forgive them on the basis of the Blood, what ground of accusation has Satan? Satan may accuse us before Him, but, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8.31) God points him to the Blood of His dear Son. It is the sufficient answer against which Satan has no appeal. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that shall condemn? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, ...