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THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST
By T. Austin Sparks
THE HOUSE OF GOD
THE LAYING ON OF HANDS
But then there is the other thing. When that position has been accepted in death, there is the rising. But, as I have said, it is the rising in Christ, and from God's standpoint it is the rising, not only in Christ, but as under the Headship of Christ, or, in other words, under that full and final authority of God vested in Christ, so that Christ is our mind, Christ is our government, His Headship!
And when believers in New Testament times had taken the first step in baptism, declaring their death in Christ, and had come up out of the waters, representative members of the Body, not always the apostles, laid their hands upon their heads and prayed over them, and the Holy Spirit signified that they were in the House. The Anointing which was upon Christ as Head now came upon them in Christ; not a separate anointing, but anointed in Christ (2 Cor 1:21; 12:13).
But what is the Anointing? What was the Anointing in the case of Christ, when He accepted a representative life and for the time being declined to live and act on the basis of Deity and Godhead, in order to work out man's redemption as Man? What did the Anointing mean? Well, in His case it is so clear. The Anointing meant that He was under the direct government of God in everything and had to refuse to refer or defer to His own judgments and feelings about anything.
The Father, by the Anointing, was governing Him in everything, and He, apart from that, was altogether set aside. And when He said, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me"; or again, "Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple" (Luke 9:23; 14:27), He was only saying in other words, 'You can never learn Me unless the Cross is operating continually to put you out and make way for Me, so that you can accept My mind, and the Cross means that you have to be crucified to your own mind about things: your mind has to come under the Cross; your will has to come under the Cross; your feelings and your ways have to come under the Cross daily, and that is how you make a way for learning Me, My mind, My government, My judgment, My everything. That is the school of discipleship, the school of Christ.'
I was saying that, on the resurrection side, the Headship of Christ under the Anointing becomes, or should become the dominating factor in a believer's life, and the laying on of hands on the head is simply again a declaration that this one is under the Headship, this head comes under another Head, this head is subject to a greater Head.
Thus far, this head has governed its life, but no longer shall this head govern its life; it is to be subject to another Headship. This one is brought under Christ as Head in the Anointing. And the Spirit attested that in the first days; the Spirit came upon them, declaring that this one is in the House where the Anointing is, to be under the government of the Head of the House.
The spirit of it all finds expression in that word in the Letter to the Hebrews, "But Christ as a son, over God's house; whose house are we" (3:6). I think it is unnecessary to say any more. We are just going on the way of the heavenly revelation of Christ; and, in baptism, we take the position of accepting God's position so far as we are concerned, namely, that this is an end of us! If in the future, what we are in ourselves seeks to assert itself, we should revert to this and say, 'We said once for all-an end of us!' Preserve your attitude toward God's position.
Then afterward the gathering around and the laying on of the hands of representative members of the Body is a simple testimony to the fact that in Christ such as bear the testimony are in the House of God, under the government of Christ through the Anointing, and that His Headship constitutes us one in Him.
May the Lord make all this true in the case of all of us, a living reality, so that we really have come to Bethel and can say in our rejoicing in Christ, Surely the Lord is in this place! It is a great thing when we come to a spiritual position where we can say, The Lord is in this place. I am where the Lord is: this is the House of God! And that simply means a living knowledge of what it means to be in Christ, under His Headship and Anointing.