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#18. Our Divine Commitment According to God’s Eternal Purpose • Message 4

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

In this message, Brother Titus began by considering the picture of the golden lampstands in Revelation 2-3, with the Lord in their midst. He then went on to consider some of the apostle Paul’s letters to the churches. In all this we see that the local churches must focus on nothing but Christ Himself!

In this conference Brother Titus’ burden was to remind us that, as believers in Christ individually and as the churches of Christ corporately, we should only care for and exhibit Christ Himself. How wonderful is this divine commitment!

These messages have been edited, primary to remove personal references to the saints attending.


#17. Our Divine Commitment According to God’s Eternal Purpose • Message 3

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

The book of Revelation shows us how Christ walks in the midst of the golden lampstands, the local churches, burning and purging away anything that is not of Him. This also applies to our personal spiritual experience. Once Christ shines His light on us, we will realize how much that we possess is actually for ourselves, not for Christ. Even our spiritual exercises, such as praying or reading the Bible, can be for our own adornment, rather than for Christ and His church.

In this conference Brother Titus’ burden was to remind us that, as believers in Christ individually and as the churches of Christ corporately, we should only care for and exhibit Christ Himself. How wonderful is this divine commitment!


#16. Our Divine Commitment According to God’s Eternal Purpose • Message 2

Monday, December 7th, 2015

God cares only for Christ, and Christ cares only for His Body, the church, which is practically expressed in the local churches. In this message, Brother Titus considers how we can know whether a local church is genuinely standing for the testimony of Christ, or standing instead on some sectarian ground. We should ask, first, is the Spirit the authority of that local church? Second, is the church there inclusive or exclusive? And finally, is Christ the content of that church?

In this conference Brother Titus’ burden was to remind us that, as believers in Christ individually and as the churches of Christ corporately, we should only care for and exhibit Christ Himself. How wonderful is this divine commitment!


#15. Our Divine Commitment According to God’s Eternal Purpose • Message 1

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

There is often pressure on the churches to care for something other than the Lord’s testimony, such as certain practices, and to make those things our center of fellowship.

Therefore, in this conference Brother Titus’ burden was to remind us that, as believers in Christ individually and as the churches of Christ corporately, we should only care for and exhibit Christ Himself. How wonderful is this divine commitment!

In this message, he reviews the history of the church in Jerusalem, which had such a marvelous beginning, but then declined because some brothers focused on keeping the law. He then speaks of 1 John 2, and how the aged Apostle John reminds us that in all things, we must focus on having Christ Himself as our reality; otherwise, everything is vain.


Moses: A Man Bearing a Divine Commitment (6)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

By Titus Chu

Gold, Acacia Wood, and Silver

God told Moses, “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it” (Exo. 25:8–9). God gave Moses the pattern of the tabernacle while he was on Mount Sinai. This tabernacle was to be God’s testimony, and to construct it, God required that the children of Israel offer specific building materials. Each of these materials has profound spiritual meaning.

The materials God required for the construction of the Tabernacle included gold, which represents God Himself, acacia wood, which represents profound, solid humanity, and silver, which represents the redemption of Christ. They also included bronze, which represents God’s judgment, and fine linen which represents the living out of the fine humanity of Christ. All of these items together present a marvelous picture of God’s work in the church life for our growth to become His corporate testimony.


Gold—God Himself

Gold was used throughout the Tabernacle. It covered the boards and the ark, and was used to make much of the furniture. If we were inside the tabernacle, gold would almost be the only thing we see. Light from the golden lampstands would reflect off every golden wall, bathing us in golden light. Of course it makes sense that God’s testimony would contain so much gold, because gold represents God and His divine nature. If we see no gold, no God, then it cannot be God’s testimony.


Acacia Wood—Solid Humanity

The Tabernacle is the richest expression of God’s desire in the entire Old Testament. It contains both gold and acacia wood—both God and man. Of course God is essential, but we may never have realized that man is crucial also.

There are different kinds of acacia trees. Some are big and tall, able to provide lumber and boards, while others are short and scrubby like a bush. One thing they all have in common are very long thorns. If you would look at a picture of these thorns, you would be impressed with their size. Because of these thorns, most animals cannot eat them.

Most of us today are like the short, scrubby acacia tree. The apostle Paul observed, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble” (1 Cor. 1:26). The Lord does not seem to choose big, tall spiritual acacia trees.

Dare any of us say that we’re a tall, grand acacia tree, ready to be used by God for the building of His testimony? All that we can say is that we are little shrubs. While we don’t seem to have much, we do have good thorns. When movies want to capture us, our thorns come out to chase them away. When our computer or smart phone tries to waste our time with devilish things, our thorns come out to save us. Because of this, even in the harsh environment of the wilderness, we are able to grow.

If some among us did grow really big, there is a danger we would overly appreciate them and begin to worship them. The church might become their testimony instead of God’s. Christians love their leaders to the point that they can sometimes idolize them. They think that their church has a future as long as certain great leaders are with them. While we need mature ones among us, they should not raise themselves above others.

We shouldn’t compete to see who is a taller acacia tree. If we should compete, it should be to see who’s thorns are stronger. Don’t say that you’re greater, more talented, or more gifted. Say you have really good thorns. When Satan comes to devour you, your thorns resist him and make him flee. This is to be acacia wood.


Silver—The Redemption of Christ

God requires profound, solid humanity for His testimony, but unfortunately, our humanity is unqualified for this. God wants to use us, and we want to be used, but the quality of our humanity is too weak. We are fallen by nature, which makes us selfish with no ability to confront difficulties or temptations. We may even find it hard to be with other believers. We too easily change and cannot stand firm for what the Lord has given us. That’s not acacia wood.

So what does God do? He sets these unqualified boards of acacia wood on sockets made of silver (Exo. 26:19). We stand firmly for the Lord’s testimony based uniquely on the redemption of Christ. We are also connected together by silver bands, or bars (27:10). Based on the redemption of Christ, these unqualified acacia boards become qualified.

It is hard to be with the brothers in the church life. Every seemingly heavenly person is sometimes pretty fleshly. One brother may be very sweet and give you everything you need. He will be your mother, your father, and your servant. A second brother may be scary, demanding, and quick to lose his temper. A third brother is so capable but likes to keep the status quo, while a fourth is always full of ideas and eager to get things moving. How can God build His testimony using boards like this? Only by setting them each in a silver base and connecting them with silver bars. Without Christ’s redemption it would be impossible. When one board starts to fall, the others catch him. When one wants to run away, the others hold him. We all stand together in and by the redemption of Christ.


The Boards—One and a Half Cubits Wide

As boards in the tabernacle, each of us is only one and a half cubits wide (Exo. 26:16). No matter how long we have been saved or how gifted we are, we cannot be any wider. The half cubit measure shows that we are incomplete by ourselves. No matter how beautiful we are as boards, none of us can be God’s testimony by ourselves.

We each need at least one other board, also measuring one and a half cubits, so that we together can add up to a complete three. We will be held together by the silver socket and the silver bar of Christ’s redemption to bear God’s testimony. This is the principal in the church life: we are each only one and a half and therefore need a companion who is also one and a half.

Sometimes we do something that turns out well, and others begin to appreciate us. If we listen to their appreciation, we may in our own eyes begin to grow wider. Before long we think we are two cubits wide and our companions are only one. Eventually we may come to believe that we are three whole cubits wide and no longer have need of anyone. We may have the teaching that we are members one of another, but in our thinking and practice it is no longer so. We are living under an illusion brought on by our pride. If we try to act on our own and God has mercy on us, we will quickly realize that we are still only one and a half cubits and greatly need Christ’s redemption as the silver socket and bars to keep us attached to others. Once we are attached, we are protected and able to go on in a healthy way.

If you were to ask me how many times in my Christian life I have failed, how many times I have offended Christ, or how many times I have disgraced God’s salvation, I would have to confess that it has happened many times. If I only fail three times in a day, that would be an overcoming day. Then why am I still here? I must testify that ever since I was saved in high school, I had other boards beside me. The boards changed as I moved from one place to another, but there were always boards. Sometimes the boards made me happy, and at other times they were a torture, but they were always my salvation and blessing. God kept me by means of these boards.

The Lord was very wise in presenting such a picture to us through the tabernacle. We would perhaps never know what it means to become God’s testimony without it. May we grow into the full experience of every aspect.


Moses: A Man Bearing a Divine Commitment (5)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

By Titus Chu

Becoming God’s Testimony

Moses brought Israelites out of Egypt, and after about three months travel, arrived at Mount Sinai. On this mountain God unveiled many things to Moses. We have already seen three of the major things: the law, the sabbath, which is included in the law, and the festivals. These three show us how God comes to man to give us Himself, His restfulness and fruitfulness, and a festival life.

 

Becoming Festival People

God’s intention with the festivals was not simply that we make a lot of noise and have a good time like an Independence Day celebration. Every year on the fourth of July people have picnics, watch fireworks, and go home. The next day is comparatively quiet as everyone goes about their normal business. There is nothing wrong with this, but such a celebration has no lasting effect and no one is changed. God’s festivals are meant to get into us, mature in us, and develop in us. We don’t just celebrate His festivals—we are changed into festival people. We don’t just go to festivals—we become the festivals. We don’t just enjoy festivals—festivals are our reality.

Young Christians often pray to be filled with the Spirit because they want a quick transformation into super-Christians. But God’s way is to enjoy the festivals and be filled with Christ. This is much slower. As we have seen, each week leading up to the Festival of Weeks is made up of 3 days plus 4 days. The number 3 represents the Triune God, and the number 4 represents man. The way to get to this festival is to enjoy a lot of 3+4, a lot of God plus man. The more interaction we have with God by doing things in, with, and through God, the more festival we have. We need to keep having 3+4, 3+4, 3+4, 3+4 experiences. Eventually we will be harvested and ingathered by God.

The festival of Ingathering was eventually called the festival of Tabernacles. In his vision concerning the New Jerusalem, John wrote: “I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among mean'” (Rev. 21:3). It has always been God’s desire to tabernacle with man. This experience is described by John in the rest of the verse: “He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.” We begin to get a foretaste of this as we have a lot of 3+4, 3+4, 3+4, 3+4 experiences. It is the accumulation of weeks that leads us to the enjoyment of the festival of Tabernacles.

Experiencing a lot of 3+4, God plus man, makes us festival people. But at times even good believers get moody and forget all about the 3. Sometimes they may fight with their spouse or get mad at a brother, and it seems the 3 has totally disappeared. If we visit them at such a time, we will sense there is no enjoyment of a festival with them. Even those who have been believers for many years can have days like this, so don’t be surprised.

What should we do? Tell them, “Let’s call on the name of the Lord. Your problem is not with 3. Your problem has never been with 3. God is always available. Your problem is with your stubborn 4! Your stubborn 4 needs to be joined to the always available 3!”

Once a brother told me, “I have suffered enough! I want to leave!” I had a lot of sympathy, but I knew the reason he suffered. He was short of 3 because he wanted to do his own thing. The best way to cut ourselves off from 3 and only have 4 is to insist on our own way. If we can rest in our sovereign Lord and take what comes from His hand, we will be strengthened to sit in His presence and receive more of Him.

When we to speak to the Lord and tell Him we are His, that we love Him, and ask for His presence, we become festival people. Sometimes the change can come really fast. We touch the Lord who is in our spirit and immediately 3 is added to our 4, and we gain some Christ.


Eating and Drinking Before God

After Moses came down from the mountain and reported what God had told him, he went back up the mountain, taking with him “Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank” (Exo. 24:9-11). To my sensation, these are the most enjoyable verses in the entire Old Testament.

What an amazing picture! They all sat in God’s presence close enough to see Him. What did they do there? They ate and drank! We would think that when they saw God they would all bow down and worship and dare not lift up their heads. When they finally did look up, God and Moses would both have disappeared. But no! They feasted before God!

They were close enough to God to see that under His feet was what looked like “a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.” God did not get offended by their watching Him as they ate. No one is supposed to see God and live, but God did not lay His hand on them.

This is a picture of the highest experience in the Christian life and the church life. Sitting in God’s presence, all doctrinal disputes disappeared. No one questioned Moses’ leadership. They just saw God, sat in His presence, and ate and drank.

 

Bringing Man to God

The first time Moses went up the mountain (Exo. 19), he went by himself and eventually came back with three precious things: the law, the sabbath, and the festivals (Exo. 20 and 23). These three things brought God to man to lead them into a festival life. Then God commanded Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel” (Exo. 24:1). The seventy elders of Israel represented all of Israel, so as they ate and drank in God’s presence, all of Israel was represented there.

After they feasted, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there’….Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain” (Exo. 24:12, 15). When Moses left the feast on the mountain to go into God’s presence, he represented all of them. He no longer went up as an individual, but as a representative of all the people corporately.

The first time Moses went up the mountain, the three items he brought back showed how God is brought to man. This time he came back with three more items which showed how man is brought to God. These items were the tabernacle, the priesthood, and the offerings. This was very different. What Moses brought back the first time was about God coming to man as grace. What he brought back this time was about God’s people coming to God to bear His testimony.

The picture of the tabernacle shows us that we are to grow into the corporate testimony of the Lord. It is full of details displaying the riches of Christ, our growth in life, and the church.

The picture of the priesthood shows that we are to be a body service. Individually we can each be a priest, but it takes all the priests together to form a priesthood. The church not only bears the name of the Lord as a testimony, it also serves as a priesthood.

In this body service, every individual priest offers Christ to God as the five offerings: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering.

Together, these items give a complete picture of how every individual stands before God, lives in the church life, and serves in the body. They also show how we together become the tabernacle and the priesthood with all the offerings to become God’s testimony. May the Lord open our eyes and grant us understanding.


Moses: A Man Bearing a Divine Commitment (4)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

by Titus Chu

The Experience of the Commandments,
the Sabbath and the Festivals

Moses’ life was in three stages, first in Egypt, then in the wilderness of Midian, and finally leading the children of Israel out of Egypt to Mount Sinai and the good land. The first two stages were preparatory in which God sovereignly prepared Moses’ person. In the final stage, starting from the burning bush, God progressively unveiled who He was, what He wanted, and how Moses and the children of Israel were to become His testimony. This became the divine commitment that Moses carried the rest of his life.


The Experience of the Commandments

Part of this unveiling is found in the Ten Commandments. If we only see these commandments as a list of what to do or not do, we do not see the real thing. God is not that shallow. These commandments first show us that He as the unique God is our God and He can never be replaced.

Second, He will exercise His sovereignty to continually draw us to Himself. He visits our iniquity and shows us mercy as needed. In hindsight, each of us should be able to testify how God has faithfully worked behind the scenes to cause us to love and follow Him. Why are we still here? Because God is sovereign!

His sovereignty can also be seen in history, as all things work together to benefit Israel and the church. The gospel has always prevailed, even in the hardest of times. That is why we should not worry when global events seem in such turmoil. Even if we have a president and congress that seems to mess everything up, we as believers should have confidence in the sovereign God. If our confidence lies in anyone or anything else, we make them into a graven image that substitutes for God.

Third, He is always with us, so we should never vainly use His name as though He is not. We should live our lives knowing that Christ dwells within us, always ready to answer our call, and that we are continually held by His hand (Col. 1:27; Jhn. 10:28–29). We should therefore “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22).

 

The Experience of the Sabbath

This leads us to the Sabbath, the fourth commandment, in which we rest in our wonderful God. This rest issues in a righteous living that represents God in the way we honor our parents, interact with others, and find satisfaction in the lot God has provided us. These are the last six commandments. They are not meant to be understood as a list of ways we should behave, but as a description of a living that is an outflow that comes from resting in our unique God with His sovereignty and presence.

This weekly Sabbath eventually expands into a sabbatical year in which we labor to bear fruit for God’s satisfaction and to feed everyone around us. We all need to find some land on which we can labor to produce something. This land could be some service in our local church, or we could labor with some others in an untouched locality to produce something new. Be creative. It does not have to be a new church. It could just be a Bible study to see what the Lord would do. My greatest concern for the young ones is that they do not have land to experience a sabbatical year.

At the end of our sabbatical year, we must be prepared to go back to be with others for another period of time. This is for our growth until we are ready for the next sabbatical year. Often our companions during this time are the very ones we raised up during our labor. While we may not feel we are doing as much as before, we eventually all grow together.

This has been my experience. I once felt the Lord would have me visit a certain place regularly, so I went four times a year, four weeks each time. I felt I did nothing. I only fellowshipped with some local brothers over lunch and dinner. But after a number of years like this, so many churches were raised up and so many brothers and sisters came to love the Lord. This was not out of some specific labor, but just out of fellowship with my non-sabbatical year companions.

Once we grow to a certain point, the Lord may lead us to have another sabbatical year to labor for a new harvest. This labor will produce even more who can be our companions when our year is done. I have many such companions in places where I have previously labored.

We shouldn’t be satisfied to just love the Lord, go to the meetings, and be good Christians. We must have land to experience a sabbatical year. Once we labor and have fruit, we should treasure it. This fruit is for us and for those with us to enjoy. Those we raise up will become our companions for our growth in the years to come.


The Experience of the Festivals

The Ten Commandments show us that God gave Himself to us, and the sabbatical year shows us the He has given us growth in life to bear fruit. God also showed us something when He established the festivals. The festivals cannot be experienced alone. They require the whole congregation. The whole church life should be a celebrating church life. We are especially interested in the three main festivals: Passover, Harvest, and Ingathering.

The Passover was immediately followed by the festival of Unleavened Bread. For practical purposes, they formed one festival, for the one led directly into the other. In the middle of all this was the festival of the Firstfruit. These represent the start of our Christian life. All who are regenerated children of God have experienced this festival.

The festival of Harvest was exactly 50 days later. By the New Testament time it was called Pentecost, because of the number 50.

The festival of Harvest was also called the festival of Weeks because they counted 7 weeks and a day to make the 50 days. Each week is 7 days, and the number 7 is made up of 3+4. In the Bible, the number 3 stands for the Triune God, and the number 4 stands for creation, especially man. When we put them together, the number 7 represents God working with man. Therefore the 50 days between the feasts is filled with God working with man and man working with God 7 times over, plus the final 1 day that represents the unique God.

Our time leading up to the festival of Harvest should be full of 7s, full of 3+4s, full of God working with man and man working with God. If not it will be hard for the Lord to harvest us. If we only have 4s, man working but no God, we may never get there.

How do we know if our experience is that of 3+4 or just 4? The test is: Do we pray? Is the Lord’s presence with us? Do we enjoy the Lords leading? When something good happens, do we thank the Lord, or do we just take it as our doing? If there is no God, it is only 4.

Without God, nothing works. But even when we have God, we often turn our 3+4 into 3+4+2. The extra 2 is our 2 legs. We trust in God, but instead of Him leading us, we use our 2 legs to take Him wherever we want. He wants us to go to one school but we take Him to another. He wants us to take one job, but we go to another. He wants us to live in one place, but we move to another. Our 2 legs give us too much freedom. If this is our case, how can we ever expect the Lord to harvest us?

This is a special danger to those who feel they have accumulated some spiritual riches. It is easy to become proud, and this pride causes their 2 legs to become active. They may suddenly feel to become a missionary or a preacher with a large congregation. They think, “I will have my followers and do whatever whatever I feel.” If what we have does not add up to 7, it will never be harvested.

Then we come to the festival of Ingathering, sometimes called the festival of Tabernacles. This came toward the end of the year, and should be the normal conclusion to our labor. But many who grow a lot never develop into the Ingathering. How will we get there? Only by continuing to have 3+4 experiences.

How much the Lord uses us is not our concern. Our concern must be to experience God with man, 3+4, over and over again throughout our entire life. We must depend on the Lord even for this. Everything we go through has to involve God and us together. How rich such a life is! What a satisfaction to both God and man!


#14. Psalm 24 – From the Psalms, Book 1: Message 11

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

This message is from the series, The Psalms, Book 1. The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#13. Psalm 23 – From the Psalms, Book 1: Message 10

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Psalm 23 is one of the most well-know portions in the Bible, but the experience spoken of in this psalm is really only for those who are willing to follow the Lord in the way of the cross.

This message is from the series, The Psalms, Book 1. The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#12. Psalm 22 – From the Psalms, Book 1: Message 9

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Psalm 22 is the most graphic depiction in the Bible of the sufferings of Christ on our behalf. And while the redemption work of Christ belongs to Him alone, this psalm also depicts our experience as we follow Him in the way of the cross.

This message is from the series, The Psalms, Book 1. The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#11. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 8

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#10. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 7

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#9. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 6

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#8. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 5

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#7. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 4

Monday, October 5th, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#6. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 3

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#5. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 2

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.

Note: This message has been edited, primarily to remove personal references.


#4. The Psalms, Book 1: Message 1

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

The book of Psalms gives us, in figure and in prophecy, many high revelations of Christ. It is also so precious for showing us many examples of how the Old Testament believers sought God, trusted in Him, and cried out to Him in their sufferings. To fully appreciate this book, however, we must also see that it portrays, in the most practical way, the steps by which we may enter into the real experience of Christ. In this series of messages, given in December of 2005, Titus Chu covers the first book of the Psalms from the standpoint of the believer’s growth in Christ.


#3. The Body of Christ, Message 3: The Practicality of the Body of Christ in the Local Churches

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

We may know the term “the Body of Christ,” and even have the proper teaching concerning the Body, and yet be without the reality of the Body of Christ in our experience.

Therefore, in these messages brother Titus is burdened to point us to the reality, the expression, and the practicality of the Body of Christ in our church life.

Note: This message has been edited, mainly to remove personal references.


#2. The Body of Christ, Message 2: The Expression of the Body of Christ

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

We may know the term “the Body of Christ,” and even have the proper teaching concerning the Body, and yet be without the reality of the Body of Christ in our experience.

Therefore, in these messages brother Titus is burdened to point us to the reality, the expression, and the practicality of the Body of Christ in our church life.

Note: This message has been edited, mainly to remove some personal references.


#1. The Body of Christ, Message 1: The Reality of the Body of Christ

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

We may know the term “the Body of Christ,” and even have the proper teaching concerning the Body, and yet be without the reality of the Body of Christ in our experience.

Therefore, in these messages brother Titus is burdened to point us to the reality, the expression, and the practicality of the Body of Christ in our church life.

Note: This message has been edited, mainly to remove personal references.


Moses: A Man Bearing a Divine Commitment (3)

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

By Titus Chu

 

The Sabbatical Year and the Festival Life


The Sabbatical Year

When God gave Moses and the children of Israel the Ten Commandments, He told them to keep a weekly sabbath day (Exo. 20:8). Later, however, He told them that they should also keep a sabbath year: “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard'” (Lev. 25: 2–4).

It was only after they had the land and worked it six years that they could enjoy this sabbath. The fruit of the land would be so abundant that it would supply everyone. It would be for “yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat” (vv. 6–7). Not only was the landowner blessed, but all those with him and even the animals were blessed. When God gives us this kind of rest, we hardly know how to respond. We cannot praise Him enough. He is too marvelous. (more…)


Moses: A Man Bearing a Divine Commitment (2)

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

By Titus Chu

 

Learning God

Almost all Christians who love the Lord should recognize in their own experience the three stages represented by Moses’s life. This is how we learn who our God is. First, like Moses in Egypt, they should see God’s sovereignty in arranging for their salvation and in giving them a desire to serve Him, even if this service proves later to be not so spiritual. Second, like Moses in the wilderness of Midian, they should learn to trust in God as their habitation and to have no confidence in themselves. Only then are they qualified to meet God at the burning bush and receive Him as their divine commitment.

 

Stage 1: Excitement and Zeal

Those in the first stage are characterized by excitement and zeal.  They are always busy planning this and that, and running here and there. They are burdened for this one and that one, but for some reason never grow themselves. They know how to serve the Lord, yet experience Him very little. They know how to labor for the Lord but they do not know the purpose for all things they do.

Some brothers labor so much when asked to prepare a message for the church, but they do not know the goal of their message. They are more than zealous and full of excitement as they labor in the Word, but their secret goal is to get loud amens of appreciation. If no amens come, they feel so discouraged. They do not even know to ask if the goal of the church was furthered, or if anyone was helped. Many spend years like this, and some never move on.

Some young people have told me that they want to labor in Africa for a few weeks for their enlargement. Africa is a genuine frontier, wide open to be developed for the Lord and the church, and they know the brothers there would more than welcome them. It seems much more exciting than to labor on some dead campus in the U.S. But the question is, why go? There are already many missionaries in Africa. Is God sending us? What would be the goal or purpose of our going? If we cannot answer, then our going is just out of excitement.

We can labor to get a big increase in numbers, but many congregations already have thousands in their membership. Why not just join them? We can labor in the Bible so that we can present the truth to others, but many congregations already attract people with Bible studies that present the truth, so why not just join them? We cannot just do things because we think they will please the Lord. Such loyalty may not satisfy Him at all. The Lord desires us to be very purposeful, matching His purpose.

 

Stage 2: Mingling with the Lord

The Lord desires to gain a group of people who not only love him, but also experience being mingled with Him in nature. This mingling is an unspeakably sweet experience. It is like the experience of a young couple who fall in love, marry, and live together for many years. At first they surprise each other with their differences. But as the years go by the differences begin to disappear. Eventually they smile the same, talk the same, and like the same foods. This is because  they have become mingled and infused with each other. This happens normally and sweetly by spending so much time together in love. This is what the Lord desires. He wants to mingle His person into us. What an unspeakably sweet experience! We who are wild become mingled with the tender being of the Lord, and thus become exactly what He wants.

Once we may have been ambitious to become another Watchman Nee or some other spiritual model. Such ambition is rarely realized, so we are doomed to disappointment until we learn to rest in the Lord’s desire. Then a spiritual buoyancy rises up in us. We drop our ambition and are content with God. Instead of aspiring to grand accomplishments, we are mingled with the self denying life of the Lord. We no longer even care if the Lord uses us. We only care that He loves us. This takes time and is not an easy lesson to learn.

After 40 years of shepherding sheep in the wilderness, Moses became a very tender person. He lost all his ambition to do things for God and simply wanted to abide in Him as his habitation. It was at this time the Lord appeared to him at the burning bush and showed him Himself. This tender, unambitious Moses was now useful to God. He and God went together to Egypt and brought the people out, eventually bringing them back to the very mountain where God first appeared to Moses.

 

Stage 3: Living in Oneness with the Lord

Once at the mountain, God gave the people what are commonly called the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20:1–17). If we simply look at these as rules we must keep or things we must do, we miss God’s real intention. God did not give these to bring us into failure and condemnation, but to show us who He is and to bring us into a sweet relationship with Him.

 

The First Commandment

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exo. 20:2–3).

God first wants us to know who He is. There is only one God, and once we know Him, He will become our focus and desire. Nothing can replace Him. We could never have another God.

 

The Second Commandment

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exo. 20:4–6).

Since we know God, we could never worship anything else. This commandment is not simply talking about statues. Most statues are simply pieces of art that no one worships. This is talking about anything that replaces God in our heart.

Many people unwittingly worship their electronics, their careers, their religious success, or any number of other things. But God is jealous for us, exercising His sovereignty to win us back. He visits our iniquity when necessary, and shows mercy when helpful. He will use our environment and prod us inwardly to win us back. Once God becomes our Lord, nothing else can occupy us. We are happy to surrender ourselves to His sovereignty and let Him control our life.

 

The Third Commandment

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain” (Exo. 20:7).

To take the Lord’s name in vain is to use it not believing He is right there with you. I would be insulted if I was in a room with others who talked about me and used my name as though I was not there to hear them. Our Lord is real to us, and we can never talk about Him or use His name in such a vain way.

We should, however, call on the Lord’s name to touch Him. This is never in vain because He is right in our spirit waiting to answer. He is our lover, so how can we not call His name? This is the simplest, purest, and sweetest prayer possible. Like those in the church in Corinth, we can “in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:2).

 

The Fourth Commandment

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy” (Exo. 20:8–11).

Based on our experience of the first three commandments, we are brought into a sabbath rest. This is not so much a command as it is a way of life. We are restful in our God, knowing His sovereignty and His intimate presence. Our restfulness is not based on our environment, which outwardly can sometimes be in turmoil, but on the confidence we have in God’s love and care.

 

The Fifth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you (Exo. 20:12).

The remaining commandments describe what our living should be as we experience our sabbath rest in the Lord. The first aspect of such a living is that we should honor our parents. God is our source spiritually, but our parents are our source physically. In this respect they are like God to us, and deserve the same honor.

Young people can honor their parents simply by calling them to say that they love them. Most parents long to hear such a thing. I have seen grown men break down in tears after their children gave them such a call. Do something that shows you care. Giving our parents honor is the first evidence that we are enjoying a real sabbath rest.

 

The Remaining Commandments

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exo. 20:13–17).

Our enjoyment of the sabbath rest produces all the riches of a proper and godly human life. These are therefore not so much commandments as they are fruit of knowing God, experiencing His sovereignty, knowing His nearness, and resting in Him. The first of these fruits is that we honor our parents, but it does not stop there.

It’s very hard to believe that when we are resting in the Lord’s presence, we can think of stealing something, much less of killing someone. We cannot covet while we are calling our Lord’s name. Rather we will be very happy and satisfied with what God has supplied us. We are simply resting in God.


Moses: A Man Bearing a Divine Commitment (1)

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

By Titus Chu

 

Moses’ Commitment

Moses was 120 years old when he died. According to Stephen’s word in Acts 7, his life can be divided into three periods of forty years each: forty years in Egypt as a prince, forty years shepherding sheep in the wilderness of Midian as a nobody, and forty years leading the children of Israel to mount Sinai and then to the good land as a man bearing a divine commitment. During his first forty years, Moses mainly experienced God in His sovereignty.

 

God’s Sovereignty

According to Pharaoh’s decree, Moses should have been killed as a baby, but God exercised his sovereignty to save him in the best possible way. His mother put him in a basket and set the basket in the Nile River. He floated in the river to where Pharaoh’s daughter would see him. She rescued him out of the river and hired his mother to be his wet nurse (Exo. 2:1–10). Who but God could have arranged all this?

His mother likely used this time to tell him his true identity and all the stories of his Hebrew heritage. She surely told him how God created everything, how man failed, and how God called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. She must have told him how Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and how God used this to bring all his family to Egypt to save them from famine.

Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s own household where he received the best education and training in all of Egypt. Here he ate the best food, which may have made him taller and stronger than most. If anyone knew that God was sovereign, it had to be Moses.

 

Moses’ Choice

Based on all of this, it seems safe to assume that Moses knew he was special—that he was to be the one who would release his brethren, the children of Israel, from their Egyptian bondage. There were three ways he might accomplish this.

First, he could assassinate Pharaoh. This was pretty risky.

Second, he could wait for Pharaoh to die naturally and pass the throne on to his daughter, Moses’ adoptive mother. Then he could wait for her to die and pass the throne to him. At that point he could release the children of Israel easily and legally with just a decree, but this would take too long.

Third, he could do something to force the issue immediately. Whether he acted by plan or by impulse, this was the choice he made. He went out of the palace and found an Egyptian  mistreating an Israelite. Mistreatment like this probably happened all the time, so it would not have been hard to find. Moses killed the Egyptian and saved the Israelite. I believe Moses did not do this just to protect that particular Israelite, but to spark a rebellion among all the Israelites so he could become their leader and save them all from bondage. Based on God’s sovereignty toward him up to this time, such a plan surely must have seemed to have been God’s will. But the children of Israel did not respond in this way, and Moses was forced to flee to the wilderness of Midian (Exo. 2:15).

 

Shepherding in the Wilderness

What a contrast the wilderness presented to Moses’ life in the palace of Egypt. In Egypt he was part of the royal family and a future Pharaoh, so everyone bowed to him. In the wilderness, he was a shepherd, a nobody. Even the sheep may not have obeyed him. The palace was full of the smells of sweet incense. His shepherd’s house smelled of animals and dirty things. In the palace, servants jumped to prepare his bath. In the wilderness there might not even have been a bathroom. Yet Moses knew that if God was sovereign while he was in Egypt, God was just as sovereign while he was in the wilderness.

When things go well for us, we like to praise the Lord and tell everyone how He is with us. But when we get rejected from the school we want to attend, or get passed over for the promotion we think we deserve, do we still see God’s hand? Can we still praise Him and testify of His sovereignty? The apostle Paul wrote that we as believers should be found “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Eph. 5:20). All things means all things, not just the good things. Moses must have learned this lesson. There is no record in the Bible that he ever complained of his change of status. It seems Moses still sensed that God was his, even in the wilderness.

When we have the Lord, all other things seem less important. The smell of dirty sheep filled that little hut where Moses lived, but it didn’t matter because God was also there. It seems Moses was very restful. He may have been more free to enjoy God in that hut than he had ever been in the palace. If we have such a realization, we will be restful in our situations also.

Still, Moses must have had questions. He must have wondered why God saved him from the river as a baby, why he was raised up by his mother to have all the riches of the Jewish faith, and why he was given all that wonderful Egyptian education, even to the point he could be a commander leading the Egyptian army. Why did God do all this, and what good would it do now? Was all this just so that he could shepherd sheep in the wilderness? It must have seemed to Moses that God was just having fun, and that all his good beginning was pointless vanity.

 

Moses’ Writing

Because of his Egyptian education, Moses was able to write. Probably most shepherds could not do this. Eventually he would write the entire Pentateuch with all its history and poetry, but this would be long after his time as a shepherd. At this point, every desire to do things was gone, but everything of his constitution remained.

He did do some writing as a shepherd. He wrote, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psa. 90:1–2). Who would expect someone who lived with sheep to write such a thing? If he could, Satan would have asked him, “Where is this habitation? I don’t see it.” Moses would have had to answer, “I can’ t show you, but I know it is true.”

Moses continued, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away (v. 10). Moses must have been close to 80 when he wrote this, so he was no doubt thinking his end was near. This is also hard to understand, because so many with him lived so long. If we consider his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam, living longer doesn’t seem to have been so unusual. Even Moses’ father-in-law Jethro was likely close to the same age.

It seems Moses was not in the right place to write about dwelling places and the end of his life. But he knew God and insisted that God was there as his dwelling place. This was just as true in the wilderness as it was in the palace. He also knew that his days were in God’s hands. How long he lived was up to God.

 

A Divine Commitment

What Moses wrote in Psalm 90 showed a great understanding and trust in God, but it was not a vision that could control his life. That came when he met God at the burning bush. That bush was used to hold the flame but was not consumed. This was a picture of the rest of Moses’ life, and the life of every true servant of the Lord. Moses met God at this bush, and from that point on he was captured and controlled by what he saw (Exo. 3:1–10). This vision became his commitment and changed the direction of his life.

The everlasting God spoke to the 80 year old Moses. Moses’ reaction now was very different than it would have been 40 years earlier. All his zealousness was gone. He felt that he had only a few years left, and that confronting Pharaoh and leading the children of Israel out of Egypt was no job for an old man. He no longer had the time, energy, or reputation needed for the task. But God insisted, and Moses had no choice.

Moses confronted Pharaoh and brought the children of Israel back to the very mountain where he was called by God at the burning bush. God told Moses, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself” (19:4). God doesn’t bear us on eagles’ wings so we can can get a good job and have a happy life. He does so to bring us to himself.

God told Moses and the children of Israel, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (vv. 5-6). God wants to make us His possession even though all the earth is already His. He wants to make us His kingdom, His priesthood, and His holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9). The people’s response was both foolish and positive: “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” (Exo. 19:8). It was foolish because it was impossible for them to fulfill. It was positive because it showed they had a desire for God and to live for Him. Their destiny was set by the sovereign God and a controlling vision. We should all pray that our sovereign God would grant us such a controlling vision with a divine commitment.


The Ministry of the Apostle John (3)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

By Titus Chu

When I travel in China, I often visit congregations that were raised up by Watchman Nee. Many of these churches are fragmented based on whether or not they are registered with the government, and who helped them over the years. The sad part is that these congregations cannot seem to fellowship together. Each lays claim to being the church. But the Lord only has one church, and therefore there is only one church in a locality made up of all the believers who live there. There is no need to fight over this. As long as the leaders are one, the saints are one. (more…)


The Ministry of the Apostle John (2)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

By Titus Chu

The background of John’s writing was messy and discouraging. People everywhere were imposing teachings and practices on the churches. All these things were taking the place of what should have been the believers real focus—Christ! (more…)


The Ministry of the Apostle John (1)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

By Titus Chu

The apostle John was an interesting person. He was Jesus’ cousin, and probably quite a bit younger than Jesus. Perhaps as a boy he even ran errands for Jesus in the carpenter shop. Together with James, Jude, and John the Baptist, he witnessed the early years of Jesus.

During his lifetime, John saw many things. He witnessed the Lord’s death and saw Him in resurrection. He was in the upper room on Pentecost when the Spirit fell upon all who were gathered there. He saw how thousands were wonderfully saved at that time, and joined Peter as he healed the lame man at the Temple. He saw the persecutor Saul become the apostle Paul who went on to unveil great truths and raise up many churches among the Gentiles. He later saw the city of Jerusalem, and thus the church in Jerusalem, destroyed by the Roman army.

John likely wrote Revelation and his epistles in the late 80s, and his Gospel in the 90s. Paul and Barnabas had died, as had all the other apostles, including Matthew who had written his own account of Jesus’ life. The other gospel writers, Mark and Luke, had also died. John was the only one left who had the ability to perceive the real situation among the churches. (more…)


Born Again: Our New Life in Christ

Monday, February 16th, 2015
Enlarge this CoverGo to the Download and Order page on this website “You must be born again.”
John 3:7
What did the Lord mean when He spoke the words above? To be born again with the life of Christ is the greatest blessing any human being can ever receive, but it is also a great mystery.

Click here for Born Again: The Study Guide

Born Again: Our New Life in Christ, by Titus Chu, makes an excellent Bible study tool for exploring the topic of our new birth, because it simply goes through the scriptures to cover, point-by-point, a number of the crucial and wonderful things that happen to us the moment we believe in Jesus Christ.

  • Excerpt
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