This page lists the items on our site for the year you have selected, in all formats (audio, video, or PDF). To access the actual content you need to go to the full entry by clicking on its title. (Note: "Daily Words" have their own, separate archive. Look for the "List Daily Words by Date" link in the side-bar to the right.

The graphic underneath the title of the post indicates what kind of entry it is.

     
Article   Audio   Book   Video


#38 • Vision Week, July 2016 • Excerpt 8 • “The Lampstand: The Bulbs, the Flowers, and the Branches” (2)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

In this program we are continuing to feature excerpts from this past summer’s Vision Week in Cleveland, Ohio, which focused on the lampstand described in Exodus 25 as it portrays our spiritual growth.

This week Brother Titus is still sharing on the significance of the blossoms on the lampstand, with their bulbs and flowers. This is in reference to the description of the lampstand in Exodus 25:34-35, which states:

And in the lampstand [there shall be] four cups shaped like almond blossoms, [each with] its bulbs and its flowers. A bulb shall be under the first pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the second pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the third pair of branches coming out of it, for the six branches coming out of the lampstand.

This excerpt has been edited to remove personal or private references.

 

(more…)


#37 • Vision Week, July 2016 • Excerpt 7 • “The Lampstand: The Bulbs, the Flowers, and the Branches” (1)

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

In this program we are continuing to feature excerpts from this past summer’s Vision Week in Cleveland, Ohio, which focused on the lampstand described in Exodus 25 as it portrays our spiritual growth.

In this excerpt, Brother Titus shares on the lampstand’s almond blossoms. With these blossoms there are the bulbs and the flowers. Exodus 25:34-35 states:

And in the lampstand [there shall be] four cups shaped like almond blossoms, [each with] its bulbs and its flowers. A bulb shall be under the first pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the second pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the third pair of branches coming out of it, for the six branches coming out of the lampstand.

This is a picture of how we can bear fruit unto Christ, that is, how we can “branch out” for the testimony of Christ. The important point in this picture is that the branches do not come out of the flowers, but out of the bulbs. In the same way, we may feel that once we have a high spiritual experience, a “flowering” in Christ, we are ready to produce something for Him. However, the Lord’s way is often to wait for a period of time, until this experience becomes more solid, before He does anything.

This excerpt has been edited to remove personal and other private references.

 

(more…)


Moses: The Raising Up of the Tabernacle (3)

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

By Titus Chu

 

The Court of the Tabernacle

The Bible does not record that the tabernacle needed a wall, but that it needed a court (Exo. 27:9). This court, marked off by pillars and hangings, was where God and man could come together, and was the place which defined God’s testimony to those outside. The pillars and hangings would have formed the first impression to any who approached the tabernacle from the outside. Together they created a perimeter that announced to all that God was here. They portray the church today and the healthy testimony of Christ it bears.

 

Its Measurements

This perimeter measured one hundred cubits by fifty cubits. A cubit is about one and a half feet, so this perimeter was one hundred fifty feet by seventy-five feet using today’s unit of measurement. It consisted of fine twined linen hangings supported by sixty pillars. There were twenty pillars on the south side, twenty on the north side, ten on the west side, and ten on the east side, including those supporting the hangings that made the entrance (Exo. 27:9-16). It was five cubits, or seven and a half feet, high (v. 18). The tabernacle itself, enclosed within the outer court, was twice this height, covered by a tough but ugly skin, translated as either badger skin or porpoise skin (26: 16, 14).

Because the tabernacle was twice the height of the outer court perimeter, all the ugliness of the badger skin covering was visible. This represents the church life, which can be quite messy. If we are looking for something beautiful and fancy, we may miss it. People often select a church based on their own expectations. Who has the biggest cross, the best choir, or the fanciest building? But God desires something very simple.

While the badger skin within may have looked messy, the pillars with their hangings of fine linen that surrounded it looked inviting. It was not a wall to keep people out, but something that invited people to come and see.

 

The Pillars of the Outer Court

The Bible tells us much about the sixty pillars of the outer court. We know they have caps of silver and that they stand in sockets of bronze. We know they have silver hooks which hold silver bars, or bands, that connect them together (Exo. 38:17). We know that the fine twined linen stretched from pillar to pillar on these silver bars (v. 9). However, the Bible says strangely little about what the pillars themselves looked like.

Some scholars say these pillars were made entirely of bronze. When I was younger, I held this view myself. But not only is solid bronze too heavy to carry around the wilderness, in the Bible bronze represents God’s judgment. If the tabernacle was surrounded by God’s judgment, everyone would be scared away. It is God’s love, not His judgment, that attracts people to draw close to Him.

Other scholars say the pillars were made of acacia wood covered in bronze. This is more reasonable because they would be lighter and easier to carry, but the appearance is still all bronze. I would not want a church life so full of judgment. People would see us and say, “Wow! You people are too godly. You scare me to death!” We might answer, “If you want to join us, you will have to be either all in or all out!” There is surely something wrong with such a thing.

A third group say the pillars were just made of acacia wood. While they stand in a socket of bronze, bronze is not their presentation. Acacia wood stands straight and solid, and in the Bible it represents the best humanity. It is a humanity that has been worked on by God to stand for Him and that welcomes others into the church life.

 

Acacia Wood

The acacia tree can grow in the desert with very little water. I once saw some while traveling in Africa. They were impressive. They grow very large and have long, sharp thorns to keep away any animals that would try to damage them. This was the only kind of wood used in the tabernacle.

If we still hope in our career, our business, our studies, or what we can do for ourselves, we are not in the desert. If we are not in the desert, we are not acacia wood. The desert is a hopeless place. When we are in the desert, all we think about is finding water. We see everything else as vanity and not worth pursuing. It is then that the acacia tree starts to sprout. Even though we are in the hopeless desert, we find the strength to survive. We begin to shoot up and grow thorns to protect ourselves. This is acacia wood that is useful to God.

The church life needs acacia wood people. Many good Christians are more like jello—they can’t stand straight and take the form of whatever is around them. It is hard for God to use such people in the church life. He wants to gain a group of people as solid as acacia wood who will become pillars to stand for His interest.

 

Five Cubits High

Every pillar was exactly five cubits high (Exo. 27:18). This is hard to understand because we are not all the same spiritually. How can I be the same height as the apostle Paul? How could a brand new Christian be the same as me? Does God chop some of us off and stretch others out? No, but if we are pillars in the church life, according to this picture we are each five cubits high.

In the Bible, the number five represents responsibility. Therefore, the number five here does not speak of our spiritual maturity. Rather, it speaks of how God is taking full responsibility to make those who are willing into pieces of acacia wood able to bear His testimony. Without God assuming this responsibility, it would be just as impossible for the apostle Paul to transform himself into a piece of useful wood as it would be for us. We all depend on God to make us such. It is the same for the one talented as for the five talented. God has made Himself responsible for each of us.

 

The Silver Cap and Bronze Socket

Each pillar was crowned with a silver cap and stood in a socket of bronze. Silver represents the salvation of God, and bronze represents His judgment. It is so good that the pillars had both. We have a lot for God to judge, but if we only have God’s judgment without His salvation, we would surely be condemned. The silver cap declares that Christ has taken our judgment and resulting condemnation for us.

God doesn’t expect us to be so spiritual. He expects us to be very human. Because our humanity is fallen, we all need His salvation. Those who are young may not have sinned very much yet, but still God puts a silver cap on them. Those of us who are older have had more time to sin, but we also live under the silver cap of Christ’s salvation. Our temper needs salvation but our non-temper needs salvation also. Both our badness and our goodness need salvation. Everything about us needs the silver cap.
We dare not judge each other. The Lord said “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matt. 7:3). I am just as bad as you and you are just as bad as me. I am just as good as you and you are just as good as me. Only the details differ. Our mutual salvation is that we both stand in a bronze socket and wear a silver cap.

If everyone in the church life saw each other as acacia wood and not as bronze, the church life would be so beautiful. Of course we should respect the older ones and honor the leading ones, but we should not be afraid of them. No one is a judge, and so we should always like to be together. Such a church life is healthy.

From the time we are regenerated, we can never take this cap off. Our whole person is continually in the process of experiencing God’s salvation. Our life is a life of abiding in His salvation. Otherwise we will burn up because we are standing in the bronze socket of judgment. We stand on the merit of Jesus Christ. He has been cursed for us, and we are redeemed and saved in Him. Satan cannot bother us. Our sins are forgiven! We have the Lord! We are capped with His salvation!

 

The Silver Hooks and Bars

The pillars also have silver hooks through which are slipped the silver bars that connect them. On the silver bars hang the fine twisted linen for all to see. This linen represents the fine humanity of Christ. How good it is that what connects us is silver, not bronze. We are not here to judge and condemn one another, but to experience God’s salvation and display Christ’s humanity together.

The bars connecting the pillars are straight. This indicates that in the proper church life there can be no politics. We don’t just say we love one another. We actually and practically do love each other. We are very honest, with no crookedness or selfish maneuvering. We are not for our own interest, but for the benefit of our fellow pillars and for the testimony of God.
Each hook is made of silver, which means that our ability to join to the ones beside us comes from God’s salvation. None of us likes to be together. We all protect our privacy. We are naturally self-centered, individualistic, self-confident, self-supporting, and self-magnifying. Even when we do come together, we each have our peculiar natural man and we fight too easily. The only way we can stay together is through God’s salvation.

Some Christians today think they are pillars for the sake of having a great ministry or doing a great work. They have the bronze socket and the silver cap, but they seem to lack a silver hook to be connected with the pillars to their left and right. They stand alone, trying to be glorious all by themselves. Without the silver hooks and bars, there is no place to display the fine twisted linen. Others may greatly appreciate these lonely pillars, but the testimony of Christ is missing. The attractiveness of the church life is found only when the brothers and sisters stand together displaying Christ for His testimony.

The more salvation we experience, the stronger our hook is. If we experience Christ just a little, our hook will be very fragile. For instance, we may start to read the Bible with others. Then after a while we stop. Why? Because our hook was too weak and it dropped the bar. The first time our reading together was so enjoyable, but after a few times it became a pressure to us. We are funny people. Remember, the more we experience salvation, the stronger our hook will be.

The Bible does not say, but I like to think of the hooks and bars being on the back of the pillars so that the beautiful transformed acacia wood could be seen along with the hangings of fine linen. How inviting this would be to all who approach. Not only do they see our wonderful Christ as the linen, they also see saved and transformed people standing with Him, defending His interest. Although we are each quite different, we are all standing in bronze, capped with silver, connected by silver hooks and bars, and displaying the fine twisted linen. This is a beautiful picture of the attractive church life.


#36 • Vision Week, July 2016 • Excerpt 6 • “Encouragement for the Younger Saints and Older Saints”

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

In this program we are continuing to feature excerpts from this past summer’s Vision Week in Cleveland, Ohio.

In this excerpt, Brother Titus first encourages the young saints among us to spend time in the word, to really know the Bible, so they can be solid in their Christian life. He then speaks to the older saints, encouraging them to be enlarged to consider the Lord’s interest as a whole, not only the needs of the church in their own locality. One very practical way to do this is to take the time to visit and encourage the other churches.

This excerpt has been edited to remove most of the personal references.

 

(more…)


The 2017 Summer
Vision Week Training:
Thursday, July 29 to
Tuesday, July 4
at the Cleveland Meeting Hall

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

The leading brothers in Cleveland have announced the details of the Summer Vision Week Training with Brother Titus Chu, to be held at the meeting hall of the church in Cleveland. Full details are provided below.

The brothers state in their letter:

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Summer Vision Week training with our brother Titus Chu. This again affords a wonderful opportunity to be enriched and blend with saints from all the churches.  As we have previously done during these times, we will have small groups which have been excellent for fellowshipping and reviewing….

The training will begin on Thursday, June 29th, 2017, through Tuesday, July 4th, 2017. The first meeting will start at 9:30 AM on Thursday. Therefore, we encourage the saints to arrive on Wednesday evening, June 28th. The saints who are receiving hospitality are asked to arrive on Wednesday evening between 7 to 11 PM. The final meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 4th ending at noon….

We trust and pray that the Lord will encourage many to come to gain the spiritual nourishment and help, not only for ourselves but as a benefit to the churches where we meet….

Yours faithfully in Christ….

(more…)


2016 Winter Vision Week: December 29th, 2016 – January 2nd, 2017 at the Cleveland Hall

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

The leading brothers in Cleveland have announced the details of the Winter Vision Week with Brother Titus Chu. It will be held at the turn of the year at the meeting hall of the church in Cleveland.

From the brothers’ letter:

We are pleased to announce the 2016 Winter Vision Week training with our brother Titus Chu. The last Vision Week this summer was wonderful, being very enlightening and spiritually beneficial. As we have previously done during these times, we will have small groups which have been excellent for fellowshipping and reviewing….Children service will again be available for this time to encourage the attendance of young couples with kids.

The training will begin the morning of Thursday, December 29th, 2016, and till about noon on Monday, January 2nd, 2017. The first meeting will start at 9:30 AM on Thursday. Therefore, we encourage the saints to arrive on Wednesday evening, December 28th. The saints who are receiving hospitality are asked to arrive on Wednesday evening between 7 to 11 PM.

Please Note: Participants are highly encouraged to register Full Time for the training. For those who do not need hospitality, a list of nearby hotels/motels will be forwarded….

We trust and pray that the Lord will encourage many to come to gain the spiritual nourishment and help, not only for ourselves but as a benefit to the churches where we meet.

Yours faithfully in Christ,

Dave Bixler, Paul Neider, James Yang (more…)


#35 • Vision Week, July 2016 • Excerpt 5 • “Living Solely Unto the Lord”

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

In this program we continue to feature excerpts from this past summer’s Vision Week in Cleveland, Ohio, which focused on the lampstand described in Exodus 25 as it portrays our spiritual growth.

There are two excerpts in this program. In the first, Brother Titus brings the saints to sing several verses from a hymn on our need to experience the Lord’s death so that we may be fully one with Him. We provide the full text of the hymn below. While getting into this hymn, Brother Titus challenges some of the young brothers to spend more time to be constituted with the word, so they can be more solid in their Christian life.

In the second excerpt, he again shares on the lampstand in Exodus 25, and once again, he focuses on the fact that while the first three bulbs on the shaft of the lampstand developed branches, the final bulb did not. This signifies that we should not just care for our “branching out,” that is, for the development of the work the Lord has committed to us; ultimately, our life and work must be for God alone.

In this regard he considers the experience of Watchman Nee, the Christian martyr in China who, after serving the Lord publicly for thirty years, spent the last 30 years of his life in a communist prison camp; truly he was an example of one who lived solely unto the Lord.

This excerpt has been edited to remove most of the personal references.

______________________
First the Blood, and then the Ointment

Watchman Nee

Verse One
First the blood, and then the ointment,
   Cleansing, then anointing comes;
If we pass not thru Golgotha,
   Ne’er to Pentecost we’ll come.
If the blood has never cleansed us,
   Ne’er the Spirit’s pow’r we’ll know,
If for Christ we’d truly witness,
   Self-life to the cross must go.

Chorus
Through the cross, O Lord, I pray,
   Put my soul-life all away;
Make me any price to pay,
   Full anointing to receive.

Verse Two
Christ, the Rock, must first be smitten,
   That the living water flow;
Without death the Spirit’s fullness
   Ne’er could dwell in man below.
If with Christ we die completely,
   Willing thus our all to lose,
He will clothe us with His power
   And to win the world will use.

Verse Three
First the altar, then the fire,
   If no loss, there’ll be no gain;
If our all has not been offered,
   To the throne we’ll ne’er attain.
If to sacrifice we’re willing,
   All forsaking, God t’obey,
He to us will be committed
   And thru us His pow’r display.

Verse Four
First we must prepare the vessels
   That the oil they may contain;
Dig the valley full of ditches
   That they may be filled with rain.
First we must go thru the Jordan
   Ere anointed from above;
First in death we must be baptized,
   Then experience the Dove.

Verse Five
When we see the ripened harvest
   Of the golden countryside,
We may know that many seeds have
   Fallen to the earth and died.
Ere the fruit of life may blossom,
   We must surely suffer death;
If with Christ we’ve not been buried,
   We’ll not feel the Spirit’s breath.

Verse Six
Since it must be thus, I pray, Lord,
   Help me go the narrow way;
Deal with pride and make me willing
   Thus to suffer, Thee t’obey.
I for greater power pray not,
   Deeper death is what I need;
All the meaning of the Cross, Lord,
   Work in me-for this I plead.

 

 

(more…)


#34. Vision Week 2016, July 2016: Excerpt #4 • Some Experiences of Allowing the Lord to Deal with Us

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

In this program we are continuing to feature excerpts from this past summer’s Vision Week in Cleveland, Ohio, which focused on the lampstand described in Exodus 25 as it portrays our spiritual growth.

In last week’s excerpt, Brother Titus began to consider the life of Jacob, as an example of one who refused to be common, who allowed God to work on him so that he could become a prince of God. In this excerpt he goes on to consider some experiences from the end of Jacob’s life. He also relates some experiences from his own life of how the Lord has dealt with him. By allowing the Lord to work on us, we will find that eventually we produce the bulbs and blossoms pictured in the “hammered work” of the lampstand.

This excerpt has been edited to remove most of the personal references.

(more…)


#33. Vision Week 2016, July 2016: Excerpt #3 • Jacob: One Who Refused to be Common

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

In this program we continue to feature excerpts from this past summer’s Vision Week in Cleveland, Ohio, which focused on the lampstand described in Exodus 25 as it portrays our spiritual growth.

As we saw in our previous program, the fact that the lampstand was made of “hammered work,” or “beaten work” in the KJV, shows we must submit to the Lord’s dealings with us if we are to grow in Christ. In this excerpt Brother Titus considers the life of Jacob as one who refused to be common, allowing the Lord to work on him throughout his life until he became a prince with God.

When the Bible tells us that God touched Jacob’s thigh, the word it uses for “thigh” is the same Hebrew word that is used to refer to the base of the lampstand. As Brother Titus shares, this shows us that we must allow God to touch the very base of our living if we are to truly follow the Lord.

This excerpt has been edited to remove most of the personal references.

(more…)


Moses: The Raising Up of the Tabernacle (2)

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

By Titus Chu

 

The Tabernacle—The Best Old Testament Picture of Christ

God’s Revelation

God revealed many pictures of the church in the Old Testament. Through Adam, Eve, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God revealed many things about the reality of Christ, the church, and the growth and advancement of a typical Jesus-lover.

After all these, the Old Testament reveals how God gained Moses. All who had gone before him had experienced the Lord more or less individually, but Moses’ experience was different. While he had his personal dealings with God, he also gathered God’s children, and together they established the priestly kingdom of God and manifested the testimony of God. (more…)


#32. Vision Week 2016, July 2016: Excerpt #2 • We Must Allow the Lord to Work on Us

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

In this program we continue to feature excerpts from this past summer’s Vision Week in Cleveland, Ohio, which focused on the lampstand described in Exodus 25 as it portrays our spiritual growth.

In this excerpt Brother Titus shares that, just as the lampstand was made of “hammered work,” as it says in Exodus 25:31, so we must submit to the Lord’s dealings with us if we are to grow in Christ. No one can truly serve the Lord without the experience of the Lord’s hand being upon them.

Also, as we read the description of the lampstand in Exodus 25, we can see that on its shaft there were four sets of bulbs and blossoms, but only the first three of these sets produced branches. From this we see that the final blossoming was for God alone, not for His work.

Brother Titus also refers to the simple hymn chorus in this excerpt. The full chorus is:

Deep and wide, deep and wide,
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
Deep and wide, deep and wide,
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.

This excerpt has been edited to remove most of the personal references.

(more…)


 

 

This website uses the WordPress blogging platform.
Theme modifications © Copyright 2008-2015. All rights reserved.