Hebrews 3:1,6; 4:14; 6:4-5; 8:1-2,5; 9:23-24; 11:16; 12:22-26.
There is that in heaven which is God's perfect thought. Man since
the fall is an exile from heaven, so that heaven must govern if
there is to be anything here which is according to God's mind for
God to dwell in.
The government of the heavens means:
(a) Man by Nature is Excluded
"Holding fast our boldness... firm unto the end", means going on a
heavenly path, persisting on the level of the heavenlies as
"partners in a heavenly calling". As we go on we are more and more
excluded in what we are by nature. Wherever God's dwelling place is
mentioned in the Old Testament there is always associated with it
the aspect of heavenly government, that man has to be made suitable
for God to dwell there.
Bethel. The House of God came in with Jacob very early in his
career, but he could not stay there. He called the place Bethel
because he met God there, but he took hold of Divine things for
himself, and therefore that could not be for him God's abiding
place. God chastened this son whom he had received (Hebrews 12) for
twenty years, and then he could come back to Bethel and pour out a
drink-offering - that which is for God's pleasure.
The Tabernacle. In relation to service every precaution was
taken against man appearing before God in his natural state. There
were no steps to the altar, but an incline, so that no flesh of the
priest should appear; and when going into the sanctuary there was
rigid provision for the covering of all that suggested man by
The Temple. The same was true of the temple. Wherever you
come upon the House of God precautions are taken by the Lord against
man's flesh, so that man comes in only in Christ by the Spirit under
In the New Testament this was carried out in a spiritual way very
stringently and drastically. Ananias and Sapphira associated
themselves with the pure, true, holy, spiritual House of God in
another spirit, and the Holy Ghost smote them, setting an example of
the sure judgment that rests upon all flesh that dares to come into
touch with that which is of God, and where God is.
(b) Man in Christ is Brought in
The House of God is constituted of men. They are still human and
still mortal, yet heaven brings man in and transcends the human
limitations, inasmuch as he has no standing in himself. The House is
constituted of what we are in Christ, not of what we are in
ourselves, and the measure of Christ is an important factor.
(c) Heavenly Qualifications
When man is dealt with by the Cross, so that he recognises that he
cannot, and accepts that he cannot and that he must not try, then
heaven comes in to qualify for this heavenly purpose. Heaven governs
in two ways for qualification: (1) By giving a spiritual faculty;
(2) By giving that upon which the spiritual faculty can work. The
faculties are given in new birth, and then the Lord shows Himself,
reveals Himself, and His heavenly things, so that we grow by using
heavenly faculties upon heavenly things.
The heavens govern where God's purpose is concerned, to see that
things are heavenly, and therefore there will be a steady breaking
down of all that is merely natural ability, or cleverness, or
facility in handling spiritual things, so that what relates to God's
purpose has to come from God to us. "The second man is the Lord from
heaven". It is the inclusive governing factor. Mark, again,
the phrase, "The Holy Ghost sent down from heaven". That
means that what is being done and said is in the power of the Holy
Ghost sent down from heaven.
To counter God's end the method of the enemy is to counter God's
means. So he has ever sought to relate things to earth and in that
way to nullify what is of God.
There are laws of heaven, there is an order of God's House, and the
government must be from heaven. Our proximity upsets the balance of
heavenly things. We must stand back.