The Hebrews were a distinct race separated and hedged around for a distinct purpose. The time came in the days of the Prophets when they removed or destroyed their ‘hedges’, their spiritual boundaries, and the line of demarcation was obliterated so that all kinds of wild things grew around the ‘choice vine’. This gave rise to the denunciations and warnings of the Prophets. The whole work of the Hebrew Prophets related to this one thing.
Each prophet had some distinctive feature of God’s holiness for which he was fighting and suffering. The four called ‘Major’ represented four major characteristics of God. The twelve called ‘Minor’ (only because of the smaller size of the books bearing their names) had each some particular feature of the testimony of God. Mixture is an abomination to God. The Prophets were a challenge and a call to recover distinctiveness of testimony through distinctiveness of life.
In the New Testament, Christians were known as the People of the Way. This was a distinguishing designation. Distinctiveness of testimony is not some testimony distinct from the whole purpose of God. Nor is it a special part of that whole. It only arises when the general state has lost its true character, its characteristic distinctiveness. It is not a system of teaching, a form of practice and procedure, an exclusiveness of fellowship. It is the life and lordship of the Spirit; it is the pure and powerful river of God vitalizing everything.
The whole battle rages around this distinctiveness of life and testimony. The Old Testament and the New are alike in this particular battle. The wall of Jerusalem was a symbolic representation of the Divine line of demarcation. Hence the sieges and battles. Hence the deeper spiritual meaning of ‘Nehemiah’. The first three chapters of the book of ‘Revelation’ are a return movement of the Lord on this line in relation to New Testament churches.
The feature of the Fall and the mark of Satanic interference with what is of God is loss of distinctiveness, purity, transparency. Hence, when Satan is finally cast down, as in the last chapters of the ‘Revelation’, “that which maketh a lie” has no place, and everything is “clear as crystal”.
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