• “You will never be more secure, you will never be more safe, and you will never be happier, more satisfied, than when you are trusting and obeying.” – Nancy DeMoss

Chapter 4

SONS OF THE CROSS 

"FOR the chief musician; set to the Gittith. A Psalm 
for the sons of Korah." In a sermon the Rev + C. H, 
Pridgeon, of Pittsburg, U.S.A-, gives some most helpful 
renderings of these words in the title of Psalm 84. Speaking 
on the sixth verse of the Psalm, " Who passing through the 
Valley of Baca make it a well," the preacher pointed out the 
suggestiveness of the title, " Upon Gittith," in its meaning of 
" concerning the wine-presses ", this signifying that the psalm was 
probably sung at the time the wine was being pressed out of 
the grapes. The words, too, " A psalm for the sons of Korah" 
are equally instructive, for " the word Korah is about 
equivalent to our word Calvary — the place of a skull. Spiritu- 
ally, therefore, these ' sons of Korah ' may be termed the 
' sons of the Cross '. Some of the ancients so read these 
words. , . ." Summarizing these points the psalm may, 
therefore, be said to be a psalm written for the use of the 
" sons of the Gross ", who are passing through the winepress 
in the Valley of Baca. 

A psalm far the Valley of Baca ! A psalm to sing in the wine- 
press ! Only " sons of the Cross " can sing in the winepress, 
for they know the secret of the ways of God, that out of death 
comes life; out of suffering, heavenly joy; out of nothingness, 
the very fulness of God. Therefore, they see not the winepress, 
and the cross, in their outward pain and loss, as men see them, 
but from the viewpoint of the H tabernacles of the Lord of 
Hosts " — from the sanctuary of the heart of God — and they 
can sing in the winepress when they see the " wine " of the 
life of heaven pressed out of them in life-blessing to the souls 
of men, and know that He Who trod the winepress alone for 
their sakes is satisfied. 

A psalm to sing in the winepress 1 And what do they sing ? 
! ' How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts " 
(R.V.m.), "My soul longeth — yea, even fainteth — for the 
courts of the Lord." When earth is darkest In the winepress, 
then heaven is opened, and God becomes all in all. And 
they sing — these sons of the Cross — of the blessedness of the 
one whose strength is in God, and not in circumstances, or 
earth-born helps and props. The Hebrew word means 
"might" or "endurance", "Blessed Is the man whose 
' might ' — or power of endurance — is in Thee ! " " Behold, 
we count them happy which endure," writes the apostle. 
" Ye have heard of the endurance of Job, and have seen the 
issue of the Lord's dealings with him" (James 5:11, Weymouth). Yes, happy 
Job, that he had strength to endure until the hour came when 
his captivity was turned, and he received of the Lord " twice 
as much as. he had before ". For the " end of the Lord * is 
double for all the pain of the winepress, and the length of the 
time in the winepress valley is the measure of (1) the power of 
endurance which the soul has in God, and. (2) the foreshadow- 
ing of the ** double " which will come forth in winepress 
blessing to others. 

And they, sing; yes, they sing, these sons of the Cross, when 
they find that in the winepress their hearts have been " melted 
like wax in the midst " of them (Psalm 22: 14), like then- 
Lord upon His Cross, and how in the melting the old 
limitations have passed away, and their once closed hearts 
have become " highways to Zion " for others seeking after 
God; no longer closed to the sorrows of others, shut up in 
narrow bounds of sympathy and love, but hearts enlarged and 
open to the needs of a dying world, for " whoso seeth his 
brother have need, and shutteth. up his heart of compassion 
from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ? " (l John 
3:17, Alford). 

Oh, the closed hearts among the people of God 1 Oh, the 
high walls over which none can leap, surrounding their 
sympathy and love ! It is worth the winepress to have the 
exterior of the " grape " bruised and broken, if thereby the  
a wine n of the love of God can be freed to pass out to a world 
needing more sympathy than preaching, more love than law. 
Blessed is he " in whose heart are the highways to Zion " for 
a needy world — a heart open for all in need of God, to cuter, 
and march through it to Zion — even unto God. 

But mere than all, the " sons of the Gross " can sing in the 
winepress valley, because there they find that they themselves 
have become a " place of springs " for the water of life to 
others. They have sought with earnest longings to be 
channels for " rivers of living water " to flow out to others, 
and they have " believed " and " believed ", according to 
the letter of the word (John 7 ; 38), but still these "rivers" 
did not flow. But at last the secret was revealed by the 
Providence of God. They found themselves one day in the 
winepress valley, and then the rivers flow T ed ! It was an hour 
when all men seemed to trample with their feet these " grapes " 
in the winepress of God, when lo, a spring of divine love, pure 
as crystal and sweet with the sweetness of heaven, opened in 
their hearts to the trampling souls, and they knew that they 
were in the " place of springs " — the heart of God — the heart 
of God revealed in the heart of Christ upon the Cross of 
Calvary. 

" If Thou art the Son of God, come down from the Gross," 
they cried, " come down from the Cross." Come out of the 
winepress ! But, how then shall others be saved ? How 
then shall the life of God be given to the souls of men ? And 
even thus must the M sons of the Cross " follow the Lamb into 
the winepress of Calvary, if through them shall be given the 
" wine " of the life of Christ to a dying world. 

The Psalmist speaks of only a " passing through " the 
winepress valley; and truth to tell it can be only a " passing 
through " from time to time, as the " sons of the Cross " 
press on in following the Lamb, but as the divine life is 
increasingly imparted, and divine strength is given, those who 
knowing the " place of springs " rejoice each time they are 
counted worthy to be given winepress joy — yea, the joy of the 
Lamb, Who on nearing His Gross could say to His little 
company of sorrowing friends: " My joy I give unto you ". 
The joy which was set before Him for which He could endure 
the Cross and despise the shame, The joy which can only be 
known in seeing Calvary from the heart of God; from the 
viewpoint of heaven. 

These souls who thus know the winepress valley as a place 
of springy go from " strength to strength " or (Hebrew) 
" force to force ", and " every one of them appeareth. before 
God in Zion ". Yes, In New Testament language, every One 
of them emerge into that hidden life with Christ in God, for 
these are the overcomes ?" who are " lifted above all " by 
the loss of all! From " force to force " they go, through the 
winepress valleys; more arid more losing the earth-life as they 
are driven on out of extremity into resources which are to be 
found alone in God, more and more detached from all that 
earth holds dear to dwell in the heavens with the reigning 
Lord- 

This conformity to the Son of God in His path of the Lamb, 
is the purpose of the Pentecostal fulness of the Spirit, rather 
than the " signs and wonders " which dazzle the eye of men. 
" Ye shall receive power to be martyrs," was the promise of 
the Risen Lord to His disciples, and this surely means in one 
aspect that just as a through the Eternal Spirit " He offered 
Himself to God, so all His followers would need the power of 
the Holy Ghost to follow Him and be conformed to His 
image — the image of a Lamb. 

There are two spheres of service which follow the knowledge 
of the fulness of the Holy Spirit — the one of mighty " works ", 
and the other of being a life-channel for the life of God to 
quicken other souls. The one is the result of " doing ", and 
the other of suffering. The one stage may be likened in the 
life of Christ to His mighty works after the baptism in Jordan, 
and the other as the result of His poured-out life at Calvary. 
The Cross may be the M terminus " in the experience of the 
believer, in the sense of death with Christ to sin and the 
world; but as that " terminus " attitude of death with Christ 
is maintained by faith and obedience, the believer is then led 
on by the Spirit into a fellowship with Christ's death for life 
toothers; and these are the *' Sons of the Gross " who joyfully 
consent to enter into fellowship with their Lord, that His life 
in them may be poured forth in springs of life to needy souls. 
It is of the deepest importance that we co-opcratc with the 
Spirit of Gcd in the stage of the divine life which He has 
brought us into. It is possible to be turned back in our 
spiritual progress by seeking an experience which may look 
more advanced than the path indicated by the apostle Paul in 
2 Corinthians 4: 10-12. The highest purpose of God in the 
believer is not to make him so much a powerfully-used 
instrument, as to bring forth in him the fullest manifestation 
of Christ in every aspect of His character, and this can only 
be done in the winepress valley of fellowship with His suffer- 
ings. He was " crucified through weakness ", and there were 
no mighty signs and wonders wrought by Him to thrill the 
multitude at Calvary; but In His weakness and Lamb-silence 
in suffering and His poured-out life, He did more for the world 
than when He healed the sick and cast out demons in Galilee. 
Oh that this pure and lovely pattern may be unveiled to the 
eager children of God at this time who are seeking intensely 
what they term " God's best "--the pattern of the Christ in 
His Lamb-likeness conquering the hosts of darkness, not by 
fighting but by death. Arid this beautiful Lamb-likeness of 
the Lord Christ will not be wrought in us by " visions " of 
Calvary, nor by sudden and mystical experiences of entering 
into the sufferings of His Cross, but by the daily and hourly 
choosing of the will of God in the discipline of life. The 
" answering not again " when accused of many things; the 
hidden and silent path of sacrifice unknown to men; the doing 
good and suffering for it as evil-doers worthy of death. . . .
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  • “By confessing sin we gather strength to resist it; thereby the enemy of our souls is foiled, the conscience is kept tender, the heart is sanctified, and the blood of Jesus becomes increasingly precious. Let us constantly flee to the cleansing fountain!” – Mary Winslow

Verse of the Day

Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. — Jeremiah 23:24 (NKJV)

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