The Secret of Miracles
by John G. Lake
I want to read a few words from the second chapter of Hebrews as a basis for my thought. God says of man:
“But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him” (Heb. 2:6-8).
Now I am going to read what I believe to be the most startling statement in the Word of God, and doubly startling because Jesus Himself said it. You and I are ready to conceive no doubt that by the marvelous processes revealed in the Word of God and by His Holy Spirit, God has an amazing purpose for man, and that Jesus Christ in very truth has made provision for man’s salvation and man’s exaltation to the very throne of God.
In the tenth chapter of John, Jesus was preaching and He got along nicely until He made this statement:
“Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:31-36).
The startling thing in that statement is not that Jesus said it to those who had definitely accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour, and who had experienced the power of His salvation. But these words were spoken to those who had not accepted Him, and who apparently were still living in sin and prejudice against Christ. To such Jesus said: “Ye are gods.” That reveals the divine potential in man. If you are going to quarrel with anyone about that statement, you will have to quarrel with the Lord. Jesus said, “Ye are gods.” And the Scripture in Heb. 2:7,8, adds, “And didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.”
In the beginning of creation the Lord said: “Adam, I give you dominion over the fish of the sea, over the beasts of the field, and over the fowls of the air.” And the original man, clothed in the likeness of Christ, was ruler in earth and sea and sky.
I never could imagine that when Adam wanted the cows, he went out with a club and a dog to get them. There was a dominion in his spirit that the animal kingdom recognized, that the birds knew and the fish understood. Man was God’s king—God’s king upon earth. And if we want tangible evidence of the wreckage that sin made in the world, we do not have to go further than our own selves to discover that when the Christ dominion is gone, it is the evidence of the deepest degeneration. A king without a kingdom, a king without kingliness of character, a king robbed of his power.
Man had fallen from his high place. Man had fallen from his glorious position. He had lost his dominion. Indeed the ravages of sin have been such that man in his spiritual capacity, in his moral nature, in his capacity for the exercise of power, has become greatly weakened. Weakened to the degree that instead of ruling the animal world, the animal nature rules him. The elements rule him, control him. Sin chokes the virtue from his soul, and Satan laughs him to scorn.
Because of the weakened state of our physical being through sin, we have become subject to the varied laws of nature about us. We get in a draft and catch cold. We develop pneumonia. The waves toss us about. The terrors of life frighten us, all of which through Jesus Christ was meant to be reversed. And in Christ it is reversed. Through Christ’s indwelling, man is restored to his former state.
Real salvation is not mere forgiveness of sins or the mere cleansing of the heart from sin’s power, or the nominal baptism in the Holy Ghost. Christ’s salvation is intended to bring again into the nature of man that which was lost through sin. Once again through the divine operation of the Spirit of God, ministered to our hearts by Jesus Christ, His overcoming Son, the divine Spirit that rules in the soul of Jesus should rule in the nature of man. Thus once more, by the grace of God, man takes his place before God in the state and status in which God created him in the beginning—a son of God.
And lest we be discouraged in observing that thus far we have not attained, Paul calls our attention to the fact in Hebrews 2:8 that though “we see not yet all things put under him” (man), we see Jesus, the one overcomer, who entered again into the divine fullness of God’s estate for man, become to man forever God’s divine inspiration and pattern of a real man and son of God.
My heart is longing these days, since God commenced to teach me of His wonderful purpose by the Spirit, that you and I in very truth begin to lift our heads knowing that “our redemption draweth nigh.”
Beloved, the eventual purpose of Christians and Christianity (for Christianity has an eventual purpose in this world) is not that we be translated to go off floating in the heavens. The rapture is only an incident. The rapture is at the best a very short period. That period in our experience will correspond to the forty days in which Jesus took the disciples after the Resurrection into the mountains of Galilee. There He had them alone where He could teach them the higher things of God that had been evolved in His soul through His entrance and experience in the regions of death—the divine overcoming and liberation of those held by its chains, and the overcoming and mastery of death itself. So that when He came forth from the grave, the great soul of the Son of God in divine passion was waiting for the opportunity to pour it out, to give the balm of it and the soul of it to His disciples.
So the first time they came together He breathed on them and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” He was breathing into them the new dominion born in His soul through His victory over death and hell.
Sin always has the same reaction in a man’s life. Sin produces fear. It is the consciousness of guilt, the consciousness of failure—the product of fear. Fear causes the spirit of man to lose its sense of dominion. It causes the mind of man to become subjective. It causes the person of man to become subservient. When Christ ceases to reign, and the consciousness of dominion is gone from the spirit of man, his whole attitude toward life is changed. Instead of being God’s prince, ruling by the dominion of Christ, his nature is made subjective and subservient to the conditions about him.
But Christ, coming into a man’s life by the Spirit, exalts His nature into divine dominion. The rulership of God and the power of Christ in his heart makes him once again God’s prince and king in the world.
If you could examine the very structure of the mind you would observe that when a man’s heart is filled with fear, instead of being dominant, instantly he is made subjective. His head drops, his face grows pale, his whole demeanor is changed. And if you could examine the pores of his flesh during such a time, you would see a reverse action. He is drawing to himself, absorbing into himself, the spirit around him—whether that spirit be disease or mental torment, or whatever the condition; he is taking the curse to himself.
But instantly when fear is banished and faith from God comes, a man’s whole nature is changed by the power of its indwelling. Instantly the Spirit is dominant, and his mind is positive. His person repels and rejects every form of darkness and disease by the outflow and emanation of the Spirit of God.
It is my conviction that when Satan came to the Lord Jesus Christ, he talked to Him from a respectful distance. In Satan’s complaint to God concerning Job he says: “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” (Job 1:10). God was not standing out with a gun to keep the serpent from stealing his camels. But God had established in the soul of Job the dominion of God. He was God’s prince, God’s king, and as long as that condition of dominion remained in his soul, no power of darkness could touch him. Not even the things he possessed were in danger. He was God’s king.
But right away when that condition changed, Job commenced to scratch himself with an old piece of pottery; his spirit was drooping, his mind was subjective, and his body was covered with boils. His spirit could not rise to that high place in God until once again God came and comforted him by His Word and strengthened him by the mightiest sermon that was ever preached to a human soul. Under its magic power Job’s spirit lifted into God again. He was master, until at the wonder of it all he forgot himself and prayed for his friends and his deliverance came.
On what ground did Jesus reason when He said to those sinful Jews: “I said, ye are gods ... and the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:34,35)? This takes us back to the creation of man when God breathed into him the breath of life, and the living Spirit of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost came into his life and nature, when dominion over sin and dominion over sickness was native in the soul of man.
God’s great purpose through Jesus Christ is not that we should float off in the air and sing forever and ever, it is in what follows the rapture. The objective of Christianity is the kingdom of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in this world. When this world is changed by the power of God, when earth becomes a part of heaven, and the same conditions that now prevail in heaven are here in the world, won’t it be wonderful?
But somebody will have to go out and clean up the world. There will be something for you to do in the kingdom. You will not always be floating around in the air and singing, “Hallelujah!” When we return with Jesus to enjoy His kingdom, we will have our part to do. Earth is to become a part of heaven. There will always be “days of heaven on the earth.”
That explains why Christianity is different from every other form of religion. Christianity provides a resurrection because Christianity has need of a resurrection. No other religion has any need for a resurrection. With them existence is purely in the spirit. The individual has no body, has no use for a body, because he has no place where a body will be valuable. But bless God! When earth becomes a part of heaven, Christianity has need of a body, a risen God, a resurrected body, a glorified body.
Now, somebody is wondering what all that has to do with the secret of miracles. Just this: God has to disabuse the mind of man of that which the devil has promulgated from time immemorial, and particularly through the church—that man is a vile worm without value and that hell was created for his particular reception. But God never created hell for man. Man has created his own hell. It is a fit place for all your cancers and tumors and diseases and cursed sicknesses.
But God has a purpose for you, and God has a purpose for me. God’s exalted purpose for us is to take us into fellowship with the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to make us brothers in our Lord. He is our elder brother. He pushes us forward, encourages our soul, says to us when we are discouraged, “Go on, you can win. I am at your back.”
As the prodigal who was in the enemy’s territory had to come to himself, so man has to find himself. Man discovers Christ’s purpose for him; he discovers why Jesus died. He discovers the exalted purpose that Christ had in mind for every man, for the holy day when by the grace of God the sons of God will put the crown of glory on the head of Jesus Christ and the world will proclaim Him King of kings and Lord of lords.
Beloved, lift up your heads. If there are any people on earth who ought to walk with uplifted heads and uplifted hearts, surely it is the men and women who claim to be anointed of the Holy Ghost. I am eager that somehow God will help us to that divine dignity, that heavenly power and purity, that divine character and holy nature that God revealed through Jesus Christ as our inheritance.
Rudyard Kipling wrote these beautiful lines in trying to reveal this truth:
“And oft there cometh the wise Lord God,
Master of every trade,
And he tells them tales of his daily toils,
And of Edens, newly made,
And they rise to their feet as He passeth by,
That is my conception of Christ’s salvation. That is what my heart reads in this blessed Word of God. That is the way my spirit interprets the precious Spirit of Jesus Christ. That is the revelation that Jesus brought from heaven for a world that is down. He can reveal to your soul the God-possibility and quality of your nature, and show you that instead of being in the likeness of Christ as He intended you to be, you have sold yourself out to the world, the flesh and the devil, and become debased in your nature. Rise, beloved, rise up to victory!
Once in my life I was very ill, ill unto death. I had reasoned in my heart that unless God came my time was short. Long before, I had put myself in God’s hands and committed my spirit, soul, and body to Him. When I gave myself to God, I gave Him my body as well as my soul and my spirit, and that meant that I would trust God and Him only, and I would die before I would violate my covenant with God.
So I said, “If I have to die, I will die like a man and like a Christian.” And He lifted me! You know, there used to be beautiful Christian deathbeds. That was before the days of narcotics and the hypodermic needle. There are few Christian deaths these days. They die like animals. They cannot talk to their families, let alone God.
Christian deathbeds are largely a thing of the past. The glory of God came to the old saints, and they waited in anticipation for the hour when their spirits were liberated. When heaven was near, their spiritual senses were keener, their perceptive powers clarified. They told of God and heaven and waiting angels.
When I was a boy of 16, I was invited to the bedside of a young lady who was dying. When I got there a group of young people had already gathered. We knew nothing of praying for healing. We had come at the woman’s request. She wanted to tell us of the glories of God that had come to her dying vision, and she could not pass on until she had shared her vision. She desired it to inspire our hearts to be true. After I left that room I walked with a soft tread for many days. I was walking in a new presence, a new realization, a consciousness that God was not so far away, and heaven was just as close as Jesus Christ is to the Christian hearts.
It is that purpose of God that is the whole key to the secret of miracles. It is because your soul and the soul of the Son of God cease to be two souls any longer, and you become one. His life is breathed into you. His nature is burned into you, the fire of His holy soul is flaming in you and flashing through you. His dominion is not a word but a fact in your soul.
Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration is God’s eternal pattern of how much man may become absorbed in and reflect and reveal God. When Jesus was transfigured before His disciples, His clothes became white and glistening. His face shone as the light. There is a touch here that I praise God for. The Word says the transfiguration took place while He prayed. While He was praying, He was transfigured. It reveals the power of prayer.
It reveals that man is the most divine instrument in all God’s creation for the revelation of God. That living Spirit of God energizes him, leaps from him as the lightning. Dear brother, dear sister, let me encourage your heart. Everything in the world of God that ever was possible to the Lord Jesus Christ is likewise possible to the Christian. He purposed by God’s grace to lift us up until we stand together on God’s plane, Christ-conquerors, Christ-revealers.
Yes, the Lord found us. We were in sickness and in shame, and by the grace of God He healed us from our sicknesses and cleansed us from our sins. Then He came and indwelt heart and life. He lives in us and undertakes to transform our nature and our character, our very person and being—so that our spirit and soul, body and blood may become spirit of His Spirit, soul of His soul, flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone, and blood of His blood.
This Document Can Also Be Found Here:
Spiritual Hunger, The God-men and Other Sermons