"Written Not With Ink"
by T. Austin-Sparks

Meeting 12 - God's Purpose

27 February 1957, at Fenshan, Taiwan.

Well, we are very glad to have this little touch with you, dear friends, and I do hope that what our brother has just said will be true; that we shall meet the Lord. We have just a few minutes with you, we want to use them all to the greatest profit. So I just turn you to the Lord's Word at once, in the Gospel by Luke, chapter 10 and verse 1: "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."

I think we feel that we are in the company of the seventy. He is sending us into cities and places and I am glad that it is put in that way, because if it had only said "city", you might feel that you were left out. This is a "place" and the Lord Jesus not only went to cities, but He went to "places" and we believe that He is with us in this place.

Now, you notice that it said here that He sent them before His face into every city and place whither He Himself was to come. What He really did was to send them into every city and place that would provide a place for Him. It was a matter of the Lord's place in every place, that the Lord should have a place.

A Place for the Lord

Dear friends, that is why you are here. You may think that you are here to preach the Gospel, and of course that is quite true. You may think that you are here to bring other people to salvation. You may think you are here to learn about the Lord. Those things are all true, but there is something more than that in your being in this place. The real purpose for your being here is to provide a place for the Lord, that the Lord should have a place here.

He said, "Wheresoever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am." He sent them forth two by two, and two being in any place, was in order to provide a place for the Lord. What is the real meaning of your being here? It is really that other people who know that you are here, know that the Lord Jesus is here. If people want to know the Lord Jesus, they know that they will find Him where you are. If people want to know what Jesus is like, they know they will find what He is like in you. If people want to meet the Lord Jesus, they know that this is the place they will meet Him. So you see, you are really here to provide a place for the Lord Jesus. Your being here ought to mean that the Lord Jesus is here. Of course that puts a big responsibility on us, doesn't it? That means that we must be very sure that Jesus is met amongst us; that when people come into our midst, they do not meet us, they do not go away talking about us, but in looking at us, they really do meet the Lord, so that our coming together in any place must be a setting forth of what the Lord Jesus is like, so that people are able to go away and say, "Well, I meet the Lord Jesus when I go there, I see the Lord Jesus when I go there, the greatest reality about those people is Jesus."

He sent them before His face into every place where He was going. Well, that is the first thing about our being in any place; but there was something more than that.

Two by Two

What did the Lord mean by sending those people out two by two? Now, I don't know what you know about Bible numbers, and I can't explain it to you in these few minutes, but I can tell you this: that every number in the Bible has a meaning. I must just leave that with you.

But here we have the number two and in the Bible, the number two always means a testimony. You see, it is in the mouth of two witnesses that everything is established. A testimony is never sufficient if it is only given by one. A testimony is complete if the testimony is given by two. Jesus sent these men to different places and in doing so, what He was saying was that in every place, there should be a testimony. But what is the testimony? The testimony is that this place belongs to the Lord. This world belongs to the Lord Jesus. Satan has stolen it from the Lord Jesus. We are here to say that it belongs to Him. He is the right Lord of this world, and we are here to declare that Jesus is the right Lord in this world. Another one has taken it from Him and we are here to say that it belongs to Him.

Now you notice what happened: whenever any people take up that position in any place on this earth and declare that Jesus is Lord, trouble always begins and the devil says, "I am not going to have that! I am going to break up those people, I am going to drive them out, I am going to make it impossible for them to stay here. In some way I am going to spoil that testimony." Satan knows that there is a testimony that Jesus is Lord and he is not lord then. Now you see why you are in this place; it is really to be a testimony to the truth that Jesus is Lord, to put both feet on this place and say, "This belongs to Jesus."

Maintaining the Testimony

Now a third thing and I am finished. When the Lord Jesus comes back again, He shall come to the places where His testimony is, and take back that which belongs to Him. There is an Old Testament illustration of this. It is in the life of David, perhaps you remember the story of Absalom, David's son. Well, Absalom decided that he would be king so he worked to drive David out of his kingdom. He found lots of people who would agree with him, and so he drove his father David out of Jerusalem. But as David was going out, he turned to the high priest and he said, "Don't you come with me. You go back into the city and take the ark with you, because I am coming back again and I have to have something to which I can come back that belongs to me." So the high priest took the ark of the testimony back into the city and they waited until David came back. And when David came back, it was to that testimony that he came. Now that is an illustration of what we are talking about.

Jesus is coming back again. He has been driven out of this world. This world says, "We will not have this Man to reign over us!" They have crucified Him, they have driven Him out, but He is coming back and says, "You go back to that place and hold that place for me. I must have some place that belongs to me, I must come back to that which is My own." So, you are here, holding the position for the Lord until He comes.

You see the three big lessons: you are in this place to provide a place for the Lord Jesus; you are here to be a testimony to the truth that Jesus is Lord; and you are here to be something for the Lord to return for when He comes.


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