Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Responding to the Potter’s wheel of progress by means of brokennes, part 2.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Potter’s wheel of progress refers to such doctrinal principles as Paul stated in 2CO 4:15, For all things are for your sakes,

ROM 8:28 To those who love God [He] causes all things to work together for good.

Metabolism is defined as the process that takes organic and inorganic substances such as proteins and water and changes them into energy for the physical body. Metabolism refers to the chemical changes in living cells by which energy is provided for activity and action. In metabolism, new material is taken in and digested to repair the waste.

Anabolism is that part of metabolism that is converted for good, it is called the constructive part of metabolism. It takes small cells of energy and enlarges them.

Then there is catabolism which comes from the Greek kata bole which means to throw down, and that’s the part that is broken down and destroyed – this process breaks down the cells which could be destructive.

The Potter’s wheel of progress does two things:
it destroys some things that are no good and it builds you up.

2CO 10:8, For even if I should boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame,
2CO 13:10, For this reason I am writing these things while absent, in order that when present I may not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me, for building up and not for tearing down.

For the believer who responds to the Potter’s wheel, the result is genuine humility followed by genuine brokenness which  reveals to the humble and broken believer that his outward man and his inward man are not in harmony or agreement with one another.

AMO 3:3, Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Just like in metabolism, it is the purpose of the Potter’s wheel to strengthen the new man or nature while at the same time weakening the old man or the old nature.

The believer who responds to the Potter’s wheel of progress by means of genuine brokenness realizes the inability of his unregenerate man (old man) to submit to the control of God the Holy Spirit rendering him incapable of obeying God.

Our Lord described the human race in
ISA 1:5, “Where will you be stricken again, as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, And the whole heart is faint.”

ISA 1:6, From the sole of the foot even to the head There is nothing sound in it, Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, Not pressed out or bandaged, Nor softened with oil.

JER 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”

PSA 39:5b, “Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.”

ISA 64:6, For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a menstrual rag;

The clay that is being turned and broken will quickly discover that the greatest difficulty lies in the distractions and hindrances from the outward man as it hinders him from learning and advancing in God’s plan.

Remember, the three great enemies of the believer—the world, the flesh and the devil.

They desire to enslave us to the circumstances of life and prevent our spiritual growth.

The devil (Gen 3 – the temptation and fall);
The flesh (GEN 4:1-15; sin crouching at the door);
The world (GEN 4:16-26; where we see the descendants of Cain making progress, but it is progress without God.

ROM 6:6, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with {Him,} that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
GAL 5:24, Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
EPH 4:24, and put on the new self, which in {the likeness of} God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Putting on the new self means that when we are living in God’s power as the new man, we think as Christ thought. It means when we’re tested to go independently of God, we value what Christ valued (the Father’s will). Putting on the new man means when we are tempted to fear, we handle problems as Christ handled problems, with confidence and obedience.

MAT 26:41b, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
JOH 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

For many believers, due to the distractions of the outward man, their spiritual life does not seem to function properly basically because the outward man has never been dealt with.

Eventually, one way or another, the believer learns that there is just one basic element which can enable man to be useful before God:
Brokenness.

We must learn and come to know that the vessel of honor who can serve and honor God is the one whose inward man can be released.

However, there must be some brokenness on the part of the vessel for that which is within the vessel to leak out, or better yet to flow out.

However, if we have never learned how to release our inward man by breaking through the outward man, we are not able to serve God properly.

Whether our works are fruitful or not depends upon whether our outward man has been broken so that the inward man can pass through that brokenness and come forth.

The Lord wants to break our outward man in order that the inward man may have a way out.

When the inward man is released, both unbelievers and believers will be blessed.

This is the principle of 2CO 4:12, So death works in us, but life in you.

ACT 20:24, But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

JOH 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

The isagogics are important to this interpretation because our Lord’s audience according to verse 20, was basically Greeks and resurrection was entirely foreign to the thinking of Greeks and Greek culture.

However, at this time, the crowd has been intrigued by the fact that someone – namely Lazarus, – has been brought back from the dead.

To the Greeks, before the wheat comes up so that the Greek cities were provided for and preserved for another year, the seed must die before the roots emerge in the ground and the stalk comes up.

First of all, there must be a seed.
In MAT 13:38, The people of God are the seed where the Lord takes His children and plants them in soil where they will produce the best results for Him.

Secondly, then the seed must fall into the earth and die;
JOH 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone;”

Thirdly, the seed must be rooted into the ground. This speaks of the believer who in
EPH 3:17b  being rooted and grounded in virtue-love,

COL 2:7, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith,

Then finally, 4, it brings forth the harvest which provides and preserves for those who are in need,
JOH 12:24… “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

JOH 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone;”

it remains by itself alone is the present active indicative of meno which describes the seed after it is planted. It keeps on being alone.

It’s a reference to the fact that when Jesus Christ was on the Cross He was alone.

GAL 6:5, For each one shall bear his own load.

PSA 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;”

JOH 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

In resurrection and ascension is where there is multiplication of bearing much fruit but on the cross Christ was not only unique as the God-Man but He was alone when bearing our sins.

There can be no body of Christ, no dispensation of the Church, no believers in this Age until the cross occurs and Christ is. first of all, alone.

HEB 2:9-14, by being alone, He brings many sons into glory.

Jesus explains to the Greeks the necessity for the uniqueness of His death and His resurrection, and He explains it from a very common procedure, the standard operating procedure of the Greeks for a thousand years.

Life is in the grain of wheat, but there is a shell, a very hard shell on the outside. As long as that shell is not split open, the wheat cannot grow.

It is the cracking open of the shell through the working together of temperature, humidity, etc., in the soil.

Once the shell is split open, the wheat begins to grow. So the question here is not whether there is life within, but whether the outside shell is cracked open.

JOH 12:25, “He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.”

The Lord shows us here that the outer shell is our own life, (our soul life) while the life within is the eternal life which He has given to us.

JOH 12:25, “He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.”

To allow the inner life to come forth, it is imperative that the outward life be lost. Should the outward remain unbroken, the inward would never be able to come forth.

Therefore, let’s look at that group of people who have the Lord’s life.

1. Includes those in whom life is confined, restricted, imprisoned and unable to come forth.

2. Those in whom the Lord has manufacture a way and life is thus released from them.

The question is not how to obtain life, but rather how to allow this life to come forth.

When we say, We need the Lord to break us,
this is not merely a way of speaking, nor is it only a doctrine. It is a vital principle that we be broken by the Lord.

It is not that the life of the Lord cannot cover the earth, but rather that His life is imprisoned by us.

It is not that the Lord cannot bless the Church, but that the Lord’s life is so confined within the church, that there is no flowing forth.

If the outward man remains unbroken, we can never be a blessing to His Church, and we cannot expect the Word to be blessed by God through us.

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