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Friday, November 2, 2018

HIS ETERNAL SONSHIP

HIS ETERNAL SONSHIP 


"Jesus . . . the son of Adam, the son of God" Luke 3:23, 38


While there are supposed to be difficulties in reconciling the TWO GENEALOGICAL TABLES OF MATTHEW AND LUKE, it is obvious that Mary and Joseph came of the same stock, and that both were of the house of David, and of the seed of Abraham. As a matter of fact there are no difficulties—or should not be. In Matthew we have THE LEGAL BIRTH BOOK OF JESUS AS THE ADOPTED SON OF JOSEPH. In Luke we have HIS ACTUAL GENEALOGY THROUGH HIS MOTHER. The peculiar value of Luke's is that in it he passes back through this house and seed to the human origin in Adam. The last named in his table is Adam, and through the successions Jesus is the SON OF ADAM. But Adam is here called the SON OF GOD, and so in this way also Jesus is the SON OF GOD. This is a matter of utmost importance in the light it throws upon human relationship to God.
Our Lord was “THE” SON OF GOD in a separate and lonely sense, but as the Son of Mary, a child of the human race, He was also “A” SON OF GOD. That then is the deepest fact of all human life, and it is when the fact is realized that the appalling tragedy of human life is also realized. By sin man is alienated from his birthright, cut off from God, degraded and lost. Jesus of Nazareth, Child of Mary, and ultimately Son of Adam and Son of God, was sinless in His human nature, and so lived in His birthright, in fellowship with God, full of grace and truth. Herein we find THE ELEMENT WHICH MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO ACT WITH GOD FOR MEN; as the other, that of HIS ETERNAL SONSHIP, enabled Him to act WITH MEN for God, and as God.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

WORKING TOGETHER WITH HIM

WORKING TOGETHER WITH HIM 


"The manna ceased" Josh. 5:12


The manna had been God's supernatural provision for the needs of His people during the time of their journeying’s in a wilderness where cultivation of the soil was impossible. They were now in a land already cultivated, and capable of cultivation. They were now fed with the corn of the land, and their future supply would depend upon their own labor. They would be as surely fed by God in the land as they had been in the wilderness; but they would now be responsible for co-operation with Him in the labor of their own hands. This has always been so. For the needs of His people, God always provides. When they are in such circumstances, under His direction, as THEY ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES, HE CARES FOR THEM WITHOUT ANY ACTION ON THEIR PART. When it is possible for them TO ACT AND TO WORK, He provides for them through that ACTIVITY. God never employs supernatural methods of supplying needs which can, be met by natural means. In other words, He puts no premium upon laziness by His provisions for men. If for any reason, within the compass of His government of our lives, we are unable by our own effort to obtain what is necessary for our life and service, we may count upon Him to provide for us. When the hour comes in which that inability no longer exists—when we are able by thought and toil to secure necessary things—He demands that we use the strength He has provided, and in such use, He works together with us (2 Cor. 6:1). The manna always ceases when by industry we are able to produce bread.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

MARIOLATRY AND TRUE HONOR

MARIOLATRY AND TRUE HONOR 


"Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee" Luke 1:28


These were the words which Gabriel employed when, sent from God, he came to Nazareth, to tell Mary the awful and tremendous secret of the part she was chosen to take in the Divine activity of human redemption. Thus the angel greeted her in the terms of respect, born of his apprehension of the greatness of the sacred sorrows and joys which were to be her lot. Moreover, his words reveal the fact of her character and fitness for the high honor; she was a woman "endued with grace," and one with whom the Lord was in COMMUNION.
The Christian Church generally has, in the process of time, fallen into two attitudes toward the Virgin Mother, one of which is utterly wrong, while the other is mistaken.
  1. The first is that of the Roman Church, which has placed her between humanity and the Son of God. This is IDOLATRY, and its effect has been disastrous. She is not the Advocate and Mediator between God and man, that One is the Man Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). Mary was “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). The phrase highly favored comes from a single Greek word, which essentially means “much grace.” Mary received God’s grace just as we do for our work He has for us.
  2. The second is that of Protestantism, which, in a warranted re-bound from Mariolatry, has forgotten to hold the mother of our Lord in the esteem which is due to her.
Mary was a member of the sinning race, and needed and shared in the redemption which was provided by her Son; but the HONOR conferred on her was of the HIGHEST, and our thoughts of her, and our language concerning her, should at least not lack the dignity and respect manifested in the words of Gabriel. Hers was the crown and glory of all Motherhood, and we should forever think and speak of her reverently.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

SANCTIFICATION BRINGS FORTH WONDERS

SANCTIFICATION BRINGS FORTH WONDERS 


"Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow Jehovah will do wonders among you” Josh. 3:5


This was the command which indicated the conditions upon which God agreed with His people to lead them in. Thus their first movement forward under Joshua was of such a nature as to impress them as the chosen people with THE TRUTH OF THEIR POSITIVE RELATION TO GOD. There was nothing in this first advance calculated to give them any cause for personal glorying. They came on to the actual soil of Canaan, not by deflecting the course of the intervening river or by bridging it, but by DIVINE INTERVENTION. His might was exercised as He laid arrest upon the rushing river, and so made a highway for His people to the other side. But His power operated when they fulfilled these conditions. The wonders of God are performed for His people when they SANCTIFY THEMSELVES that is when, so far as they have light, they walk in it. We play according to His rule book and when you know what the rule is and obey Him, wonders happen. The call to SANCTIFICATION, as an act on the part of the people of God, is a call to separation from everything which they know He disapproves, and of dedication to Him completely, in mind and heart and will. The attitude is more than activity. That is to say, in proportion as in our deepest life we YIELD TO HIS WILL, first knowing what His will is, we place ourselves in line with His work. The application is PERSONAL AND SOCIAL. It is true of the individual and of the Church, that all our progress is the result of the putting forth of His power; but it is equally true that HE WORKS WHEN THERE IS RESPONSE TO HIS CALL, and WHEN OUR SANCTIFICATION TO HIM IS UNQUESTIONED AND COMPLETE, for there are many pretenders out there (Matt. 7:21-22). Clean up your act if you need wonders in your life.

Monday, October 29, 2018

DIVINE ENERGY IN ORDER TO HEAR

DIVINE ENERGY IN ORDER TO HEAR 


"And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak with thee" Ezek. 2:1


After the vision in Ch. 1 come the voice; and the first command of the voice was that the man, who, prostrated by the glory of the vision, lay upon his face, should stand upon his feet, and hear the words of Jehovah. Let us consider this carefully. 1st came the vision, and therefore, whatever was to be said would come to this man with the authority of all that was revealed in that vision. There is no doubt that through all his ministry, whether Ezekiel listened to the voice, or spoke the messages entrusted to him, he did so in the consciousness of the glory of Jehovah as he had seen it in those visions. But when that vision had been seen, and the soul had responded in the act of worship which expressed itself in prostration, there was something more to be done. That prostrate soul was called to a new attitude, for which it had been prepared by the vision and the prostration. It was that of STANDING ERECT BEFORE GOD in order that face to face he might receive the word of God. In order to the delivery of His message God requires more than the worship which at its highest consists of the cessation of activity. He needs a man ERECT, in the attitude of alertness and attention, READY FOR ACTION. Remember this was not a call to stand erect to utter the word of Jehovah but to hear it. And yet more carefully observe what follows: "The Spirit entered into me . . . and set me upon my feet." This is the DIVINE ENERGY, enabling a man to come to the height of his manhood, and so to find readiness to hear the word of Jehovah. Those of us who are called to prophetic ministry might with profit have these words engraved before our eyes in the places of preparation for our work. Here are words to hang on study walls.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

HEARING AND DOING THE WORD

HEARING AND DOING THE WORD 


"Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only" James 1:22


This letter of James is pre-eminently ETHICAL, PRACTICAL, and FORCEFUL. In it there are more references to, sayings in the Sermon on the Mount than in all the other letters of the New Testament. All this is of great interest when we accept the view, which is almost beyond dispute, that the man who wrote the letter was a BROTHER of the Lord. He had LIVED WITH JESUS in all the early years in Nazareth. While it would seem that he did not join himself outwardly to the disciples till after the Resurrection, there are evidences that in the company of Mary, these brethren were much with Jesus in the central period of His ministry. All this would suggest that, looking back, and thinking of all those years, this man was impressed with the harmony there had always been in the Lord, BETWEEN HIS TEACHING AND HIS LIFE. Thus he argued, and rightly, that a faith which was not expressed in DEEDS was of no value at all. This does not mean that he was in any way ignorant of the deep spiritual mysteries of Christian life. If in these words he urges us to be DOERS OF THE WORD, we must remember that the Word he refers to is that which he has just described as "the inborn word" (vs. 21, marg.). He was referring, not merely to any written Word, nor to his Lord as the Word incarnate alone; but to the Word of God RECEIVED INTO THE SOUL THROUGH THE WRITTEN WORD, and by the Word incarnate. That Word is only of real value as it is OBEYED, as what it commands is done. There is no profit, but rather the reverse, in HEARING, if there be no DOING.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

BE CAREFUL WHO YOU FELLOWSHIP WITH

BE CAREFUL WHO YOU FELLOWSHIP WITH 


"Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone" Hosea 4:17


In the last 11 chapters of this book we have carefully edited notes, rather than verbatim reports of the prophetic utterances. These may be divided into three sections. The first (4:1-6:3) described the pollution of the nation of Israel, and dealt with its cause. The cause was that of the pollution of the priests; which issued in the pollution of the whole nation (the stream never rises above its source). In the course of his prophesying to Israel, Hosea's mind turned to Judah, and he interpolated a message to the southern nation to beware of any complicity with Israel. This is the meaning of the words we have stressed. Ephraim was at the time the dominant tribe in Israel, and that accounts for the prophet's constant references to it (37 times the name occurs). This word has often been interpreted as constituting a sentence on Ephraim, as though Jehovah declared that He, abandoned the nation altogether. But that were to CONTRADICT ALL THE TEACHING OF THE PROPHET. It was rather a solemn word to Judah, warning her against any POLITICAL ALLIANCE WITH ISRAEL. The distinction is revealing. God does not abandon His people wholly, even when they are unfaithful to Him, BUT THROUGH DISCIPLINE AND TROUBLING BRINGS THEM BACK TO HIMSELF. Nevertheless, those who are loyal to Him must stand aloof from the disloyal; they cannot have fellowship (koinonia) with those who are joined to idols. We are not to judge others (Matt 7:1) but we certainly are to judge who we fellowship with (vs. 17-21). To the Christian Church the word of the apostle of love involves this, as indeed all his letter shows. We are thinking of that final injunction of this first epistle (1 John 5:21), "Little children, guard yourselves from idols."

Friday, October 26, 2018

COMPLEX NEED OF FALLEN MAN IS INFINITELY MET

COMPLEX NEED OF FALLEN MAN IS INFINITELY MET


"Ye shall be My witnesses" Acts 1:8


In the matter of the responsibility of the Christian soul, and the Christian Church, these are the arresting, words of this first chapter of Luke's second treatise. This book is of priceless value as it gives the story of the FIRST MOVEMENTS IN THE WORK OF THE CHURCH. The incidents selected by Luke cover a period of about a generation, and illustrate how varied were the forms of her service; and in them we have a REVELATION OF HER ONE MISSION (Matt. 28:18-20), and of THE METHOD by which she is to fulfill it. That mission is simply and inclusively that of making Christ known and the method by which it is to be accomplished is that of the witness of all her members. Because of the INFINITE FULLNESS OF THE LORD, and the COMPLEX NEED OF MAN, that mission is INFINITE. There is no possible experience of humanity, individual or social, to which He does not speak, in His infinite wisdom, and in His redeeming power. Therefore the fullness of this witness demands all the NATURAL and SPIRITUAL RESOURCES of His people with the additional aid of their Sender. Nevertheless the simplicity of this statement enables us to make the most personal application of the truth. The question by which we may persistently test ourselves is: "How far am I living—thinking, speaking, doing —so that the Lord may be seen and heard and known?" The measure, in which every Christian soul is a LIVING WITNESS, is the measure in which the Christian Church is fulfilling her true mission.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

NUMBERING FOR WARFARE FOR PURIFICATION

NUMBERING FOR WARFARE AND FOR PURIFICATION 


"As Jehovah commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai" Num. 1:19


The Book of Numbers records the wilderness experiences of the people of God. It resolves itself into the account of a LONG DISCIPLINE DUE TO DISOBEDIENCE. In the Divine program, these people should now have gone up and possessed the land promised to them. Their entry was, postponed for FORTY YEARS THROUGH THEIR FAILURE, and this Book is occupied largely with matters pertaining to that period. It records TWO NUMBERING'S OF THE PEOPLE, one of the beginning, and the other at the close at the forty years. This first numbering was that of the MEN OF WAR, and it was undertaken at the direct command of God. Those to be enrolled were the MEN OF TWENTY YEARS AND UPWARD. The numbering yielded an army of 603,550. This was the first movement in preparation for the coming of the people into the land. The nation had been created an instrument for the carrying out of Divine purposes for the world. Its first mission was PUNITIVE. The peoples occupying the land of Canaan had become utterly CORRUPT, and it was necessary in the INTERESTS OF PURITY that they should be swept out. The chosen people were to be the instruments of this purifying process. They must be PREPARED FOR WARFARE, and this was the reason of the taking of this census. The reason for the preparation of this army must never be lost sight of. The story of the conquest of Canaan is not that of the spoliation of feeble peoples by a stronger, in order to possess territory. It is that of the PURIFICATION OF A LAND, in order that there might be planted in it A PEOPLE FROM WHOSE HISTORY BLESSING (Gen. 12:1-3) would come to ALL THE NATIONS.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

HOLY SPIRIT POWER

HOLY SPIRIT POWER 


“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit" Acts 2:4


If the words: “Ye shall be My witnesses," reveal the MISSION of the Church, and the METHOD by which she is to fulfill that mission, these declare the SECRET OF HER POWER. It is a POWER which is hers by GIFT, and is not in any sense her own except as it is thus BESTOWED. This is a distinction which it is of the utmost importance that we never forget. As the Church has grown, she has always been enriched by the NATURAL ABILITIES of all her members. Those wonderful CAPACITIES resident within human lives are all needed, and must be dedicated to the work of witnessing. But none of them is of any use whatever apart from the HOLY SPIRIT. The FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT means FULLNESS OF THE VERY LIFE OF CHRIST concerning which witness is to be made alive. That FULLNESS OF LIFE possesses and employs all natural capacities, so that through them
  1. the things of the mind of Christ may be made known to men,
  2. the things of the heart of Christ may be persuasive among men,
  3. and the things of the will of Christ may be prevailing in men.
This is the wonder and glory of the Spirit-filled life. All natural gifts, which in themselves are powerless to witness for Christ, are by the Spirit cleansed, energized, and directed, so that they may become the media through which Christ is made known. The story of the Acts, and of the whole Church, in so far as it is the story of the victories of Christ, is the story of the CAPTURE AND EMPLOYMENT of all natural human capacities by Christ through His Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

PRIDE AND CRUELTY AND EVIL ARE DOOMED

PRIDE AND CRUELTY AND EVIL ARE DOOMED 


"I will make thy grave; for thou art vile" Nahum 1:11


This is the prophecy which sets forth, more clearly than any other, the truth concerning THE WRATH OF GOD, IN ITS NATIONAL APPLICATION. Its burden is that of VENGEANCE. It contains three messages:
  1. The first is a statement of the verdict of vengeance (4);
  2. the second gives us the vision of that vengeance (2);
  3. the third is an argument in vindication of that vengeance (3).
It was concerned with Nineveh, and was delivered almost certainly when she was at the height of her power. One hundred years before; Jonah had preached in her streets, and she had repented, and been spared. In the interval she had repented of her repentance, but had continued her oppression's and cruelties. Her spirit had become incarnate in one who defied Jehovah (see vs. 11, the reference being to Sennacherib); therefore, the time of the "full end" had come. In these words we have SENTENCE AND VERDICT. The SENTENCE was that this great and arrogant and brutal power should be buried, the VERDICT against her being that she was vile. Thus the DIVINE VENGEANCE is revealed as to its principle of action and its completeness of execution. The whole message is remarkable for the care with which the prophet insisted upon the GOODNESS OF GOD, thus emphasizing the righteousness of His vengeance, in that it proceeds only against those who have finally resisted His mercy. But when that is done, then His WRATH makes a full end; it is irresistible, complete, and final. All this is good tidings. That PRIDE AND CRUELTY AND EVIL ARE DOOMED, because God reigns, is certain, and the certainty is comfort indeed.

Monday, October 22, 2018

LOVING AS GOD LOVES

LOVING AS GOD LOVES 


"We love because He first loved us" 1 John 4:19



The omission of the pronoun "Him" from this sentence by the Revisers is unquestionably warranted. So far from robbing the statement of point and power, it leaves it in all its fullness of meaning. It remains true that we love God because He first loved us; but it is also true that we love one another, that we love all men, because God first loved us. When John wrote this, he was true to his WHOLE CONCEPTION OF LOVE. He had come to realize that much which is called love IS NOT LOVE AT ALL. He had already declared: "Hereby know we love, because He laid down His life for us" (3:16)   and "Love is of God" (4:7); and superlatively, "God is love" (4:8). To him, then, nothing was worthy of the name which was not of that nature. Therefore when he wrote "We love," he was not thinking of any mere human affection or emotion, in which there may lurk much of selfishness; but of that pure, disinterested love, which pours itself out in the uttermost giving. How true, then, the declaration that "We love because He first loved us." We only come to the KNOWLEDGE OF LOVE, when we find it redeeming us at infinite cost. We only come to the EXPERIENCE OF LOVE as that love is shed abroad within us, and begins to lead us out in activities of the same nature. But the statement is positive. WHEN WE KNOW THAT LOVE, WHEN THAT LOVE IS SHED ABROAD WITHIN US (Rom. 5:5), THEN WE DO TRULY LOVE. We love God in an UTTER ABANDONMENT OF ALL WE ARE AND HAVE TO HIM. Nothing is withheld from Him. We love men with the SAME ABANDONMENT USING GOD'S DEFINITION. Like the early disciples, we do not say that anything we have is our own. Everything is valuable in proportion as it may be given for the enrichment of others.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

REWARD OF A STRONG FAITHFUL MOTHER

REWARD OF A STRONG FAITHFUL MOTHER 


"When she saw him, that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months" Exod. 2:2


Necessarily the outstanding figure in this book is Moses. He was the chosen instrument of God for carrying out the purposes of His will. Prepared by remarkable experiences, he was brought to that faith in God which made possible his employment in this way. It is fit for us to recognize at once that the faith of Moses was preceded, and so made possible, by the faith of his parents as also seen in 2 Tim 1:5. This is explicitly stated by the writer of the letter to the Hebrews 11:23; "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a goodly child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment." The picture of that mother, hiding the baby-boy, because she believed in God, is a very suggestive one. When, one day, the 11th chapter of Hebrews is elaborated and completed, and in the light of God's ultimate victories we read the splendid record of how His city has been built by faith, how many stories like this shall we find? We shall certainly have stories of men of conspicuous ability and adventure, who have led and directed the movements of the hosts of God. But we shall surely then also discover that these men were often provided and preserved, begotten and nurtured, by men and women of faith. What the whole world owes to the strong and simple fathers and mothers who have wrought with God by faith, will then be known. It is surely a great thing, thus to see, at the back of all the subsequent story, this mother hiding a baby, her heart free from the fear of the king, because she believed in God.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

LISTEN BEFORE YOU SPEAK

LISTEN BEFORE YOU SPEAK 


"Speak; for Thy servant hears" 1 Sam. 3:10


These were the words in, which Samuel yielded himself to God, for the reception of His word, on behalf of Israel. The boy, dedicated to the service of God before his birth, and having ministered to Jehovah simply and naturally by serving Eli, was now brought into a CLOSER RELATION with Jehovah. He was still very young Josephus says about 12 years of age. That was the age at which the Hebrew boy came to be a son of the Law, that is, began to be DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE. At this juncture God spoke to him and instructed by Eli, he answered the call, and thus submitted himself of his own will to God. Thus yielded, he became the INSTRUMENT of Divine action in a remarkable way, for, like Moses, he was not judge only, he was prophet and priest. Simple as these words are, they reveal the one true attitude of those who are called of God to deliver His word to men. That attitude must always be that of the WHOLLY-SURRENDERED LIFE, and that of waiting to hear the word of God. Too often we fail because we do not listen before we speak. With all best intentions we attempt to interpret the will of God by a general knowledge, and the observation of the circumstances of the hour. It is always a mistake. God still WAITS TO SPEAK to those through whom He would make known His will; and it is for them TO WAIT until His revelation comes. Only thus can there be anything like AUTHORITY IN THE MESSAGE DELIVERED.

Friday, October 19, 2018

ALL THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT IN ONE



ALL THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT IN ONE
Dr. John Whitcomb

“For the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, and the LORD is our King. He will save us” (Isa. 33:22).


The unrest of our current political culture reminds us of the fact that God’s Kingdom is coming soon!

In his last letter, the Apostle Paul warned Timothy that “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men will be lovers of their own selves...ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). Our Lord Jesus Christ told His people, Israel, that He had come into the world “in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43). This will be the Antichrist, who, with Satan's help, in the last half of the Tribulation period, will kill millions of people who refuse to worship him (cf. Rev. 13). However, the Antichrist and his followers will be destroyed by our Lord Jesus Christ at His glorious Second Coming (cf. Rev. 19:11-21).

At last, a perfect government, for the whole world, for a thousand years – the Millennium! And, glorious beyond description is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Jesus the Christ. In Him, will reside ALL THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT – the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Executive Branch – “For the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, and the LORD is our King. He will save us” (Isa. 33:22). He cannot contradict Himself!

What a marvelous world that will be –
(1) a perfect religion centered in the Temple in the Holy Land;
(2) a perfect education system;
(3) perfect health;
(4) perfect protection from harmful creatures; and
(5) total protection from Satan and demons!

But, all will not be well! How tragic! Multiple millions of people born during the Millennium will pay “lip service” to the King, but will reject Him in their hearts. It has always been true that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart” (Jer. 17:9-10). And our LORD warned us: “narrow is the gate, and hard is the way which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13).

Graciously and repeatedly our Savior will say to unbelievers in the Kingdom: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psa. 46:10). But, note this carefully: “Though the wicked [the unbeliever] is shown favor, he does not learn righteousness. He deals unjustly in the land of uprightness, and does not perceive the majesty of the LORD” (Isa. 26:10).

As the 1,000 years of a perfect government draw to a close, we can almost hear these people cry out to Satan: “Thy Kingdom come!” Amazing! “Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations…to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they will surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire will come down from heaven and devour them” (Rev. 20:7-9).

What, then, are true Christians to do today as citizens of a great (but imperfect) government? Our LORD said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to GOD the things that are GOD's” (Matt. 22:21). May we honor our government and pray for our political leaders today (cf. Rom. 13:1-7); and pray for the coming of that glorious day, when the King of Kings will establish His Kingdom! God’s Son gave us the model for effective prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10). As believers, we are called to evangelize (Matt. 28:19). Therefore, let us be at work to influence those around us with the gospel – to help them become part of the Eternal Kingdom!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

REWARD OF GENUINE FAITH

REWARD OF GENUINE FAITH 


"The unfeigned faith that is in thee; which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice" 2 Tim. 1:5


Two matters arrest our attention in these words: 1st, THE DESCRIPTION OF FAITH, and 2nd, the TRANSMISSION OF FAITH. The description of the faith of Timothy as "unfeigned" is very striking. UNFEIGNED FAITH is faith that is NOT PRETENDED; that is, it is true, it is real, and therefore it is trustworthy. So long as there lurks a suspicion of doubt in faith; or so long as a man's faith is for outward confession, and does not carry the man with it, it is faulty and weak, and not to be depended on. A man can live a better life, and do a better work, on a genuine faith in a small thing, than a pretended faith in a big thing. In Paul's first letter to Timothy, he had placed "unfeigned faith" in company with "a pure conscience"; and said that out of these love proceeds (1 Tim. 1:5). It is good to seek after such a faith. Then we notice that Paul said that this quality of faith was found in Timothy's mother Eunice, and in his grandmother Lois. There is a sense in which faith cannot be transmitted by parents to their children. Every individual must exercise faith for himself or herself. But it is also true that it is very difficult for some children not to believe, because of what they have seen of the power of faith in their parents when it is genuine. We cannot bequeath faith to our children, but we can make it much easier for them to believe by our own faith. And that is especially true of "unfeigned faith." See also article on 1 Sam 1:11 Remarkable Dedication of Motherhood.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

REMARKABLE DEDICATION OF MOTHERHOOD

REMARKABLE DEDICATION OF MOTHERHOOD 


"If Thou wilt . . . give . . . I will give" 1 Sam. 1:11


These words constitute the central terms of the vow which Hannah VOWED to Jehovah. The story is full of human interest, but there is much Divine light upon it. The proper and beautiful passion for motherhood drove this devout woman of the Hebrew people to Jehovah in PRAYER; and He made it His way of raising up for His people one who was to be their leader in strangely difficult times. Whatever may have been the motive of Hannah's desire the method she followed is one which is very full of suggestiveness. This PRE-NATAL DEDICATION of a life to the service of God was an act of faith; and it was one which, by the working of wonderful and mysterious laws, produced definite results in the life of the child. The question is still sometimes asked as to when we should begin to deal with our children as to their relationship with God. Does not this story afford a somewhat startling answer to the question? Here was a woman who by an act of solemn faith deliberately dedicated her child to God, not only before he was born, but while he was not yet conceived. In such an act what REMARKABLE DEDICATION OF MOTHERHOOD was manifested! With all the spiritual influence of such a vow upon her, how carefully Hannah would guard, first herself and then her child, in order that he might be worthy of the HIGH SERVICE to which he was thus dedicated! The old-fashioned mothers who still believe that "children are a heritage of Jehovah" are those who give them—the children—opportunities in life which are denied to those who are thought of in other wise. Such dedication of children by mothers cannot ensure the dedication of themselves by the children, but, it makes it very difficult for the children to go wrong ultimately. This is a great subject, and worthy of careful pondering. (See also article on 2 Tim. 1:5 Reward of Genuine Faith for such faith in the N.T.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

TWO RADICALLY DIFFERENT LOVES

TWO RADICALLY DIFFERENT LOVES 


"Let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth" 1 John 3:18.


This is really a very practical application of the thought concerning the love of God rather than the love of the world which has been already considered. John had first written the words: "Hereby know we love, because He laid down His life for us." Whatever other men may mean by love, the child of God, has had a final interpretation of it in that supreme and awe-inspiring manifestation. That being so, the Apostle here pertinently asked: "But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need, and shuts up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?" The question admits of only one answer, that such a man is devoid of the love of God. Therefore the words of appeal follow. In them the Apostle PUTS TWO KINDS OF LOVE INTO CONTRAST, with a double description in each case. On the one hand is LOVE IN WORD AND WITH THE TONGUE; and on the other is LOVE IN DEED AND IN TRUTH. The contrast becomes more powerful when the different parts of each are placed over against each other. OPPOSED TO LOVE IN WORD IS LOVE IN DEED. OPPOSED TO LOVE WITH THE TONGUE IS LOVE IN TRUTH. Love in word may possibly be sincere, but it is of no real value if it stops short of the deed. Love in deed is always of value, even though it speaks no word. Love with the tongue is evidently insincere, for it is placed over against love in truth. Thus it is finally seen that the FIRST LOVE IS NOT LOVE AT ALL. Love that professes, while it does not act, is not true love. Love which acts is love in truth. See previous article on 1 John 2:15 TWO MEN WITH TWO DIFFERENT LOVES.

Monday, October 15, 2018

CARRYING ON THE WORK OF THOSE BEFORE

CARRYING ON THE WORK OF THOSE BEFORE


"Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan" Josh. 1:2


 As these words are read, we are reminded of John Wesley's saying: "God buries His workmen, but carries on His work." Joshua was CALLED, EQUIPPED, APPOINTED TO CARRY THE PURPOSE OF GOD A STEP FURTHER; but all he was about to do was made possible by what Moses had already done. The first great leader of the people had COMPLETED his task; he had done what God had APPOINTED him to do, but there were things he could not do. He came to the end of his service knowing the greater things yet to be done. The second leader was now to take up his task; he also must do what God had appointed, knowing that there were things which he could not have done. He came to the beginning of his service knowing his dependence upon the things already done. Thus it always is with regard to God's enterprises in this world. He is SUPREME in PLAN, in PURPOSE, in POWER. He alone is the One Who works CONTINUOUSLY, and without CESSATION, UNTIL THE WORK IS COMPLETED. His instruments are MEN, and high indeed is the honor of being such. EACH WILL TAKE UP A WORK ALREADY BEGUN, AND WILL LEAVE IT UNFINISHED. Each is DEBTOR to those who have gone before, and CREDITOR to those who are to follow. Therefore it behooves us to be filled with HUMILITY AND RESTFULNESS. We must be humble as we remember that no service we render is wholly ours. The conditions which make it possible have been created by others; and indeed in itself it is part of their work. But we must be RESTFUL also. None of us can finish anything. The work we do is part of a larger whole, and when our "twelve hours" have run their course, it will not be completed. God will still continue it, and find other instruments. That is the joy of “working together with Him”. (2 Cor. 6:1)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

RADICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MAN AND CHILD OF GOD

RADICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MAN AND CHILD OF GOD AND THEIR LOVES


"If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" 1 John 2:15


Frederick Maurice said of this text: “John is never afraid of an apparent contradiction, when it saves his readers from a real contradiction." The importance of remembering this is recognized when we place these words, by the side of those with which we so constantly comfort and assure our hearts, that “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son." (John 3:16) It is always necessary to distinguish clearly what the term the world connotes in the particular sentence in which it is used. The world which God so loved as to give His only-begotten Son, is the whole order of His creation, at the summit of which, under Himself, is man. He gave His Son to redeem and reinstate man; and through him, thus redeemed and reinstated, to redeem and reinstate the whole creation (Rom. 8:19, 21-22). The world which we are not to love, is that same totality which to use a later statement of John, "lieth in the wicked one" (1 John 5:19). When that is recognized, this statement is seen to be, not a contradiction to the one we have quoted, but in strict harmony with it. To love this world as it is, alienated from God, and in rebellion against His government, is impossible to the man who loves it with the love of the Father, which is a love that seeks its highest good, and therefore can make no terms with evil, but is willing to die in order that it may live. HEREIN IS THE RADICAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MAN OF THE WORLD AND THE CHILD OF GOD. The man of the world loves a fallen creation with its god and the Child of God awaits a redeemed creation being a new heaven and a new earth and its Ruler. See Romans 8 passages mentioned above.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

PASSION AND POWER IN THE CALLING TO SALVATION

PASSION AND POWER IN THE CALLING TO SALVATION 


"As though God were entreating by us; we beseech" 2 Cor. 5:20


What URGENCY breathes through these words! The subject is that of the reconciliation made possible between man and God, because "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself." That word of reconciliation is committed to those called to serve Christ. They are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, therefore the URGENCY. They must deliver their message in a way worthy of the One Who sends them: "As though God were pleading by us; we beseech." That was Paul's conception of the way to preach Christ; and it is manifest in all the records we have of his journeying’s, his spoken messages, as well as in his letters. The marvel and the glory of the Divine provision, and the terror and peril of human need, were such as to make anything in the nature of indifference to, results, or coolness in presentation, impossible. Every call was a PLEADING. Moreover he dared to say that in this attitude he was representing God; and every soul who knows anything of the real meaning of the Cross, knows that this is a true word. God does not treat human salvation as a matter about which He can be indifferent or careless. The Cross is His PASSION, His EARNESTNESS; may we not dare to say, that by which He entreats men to be reconciled. In face of that, what can be worse than to declare His message as though it were not a message vital, tremendous, DEMANDING ALL PASSION AND POWER IN ITS DELIVERY? All this makes us think! And perhaps the thinking is better done alone!

Friday, October 12, 2018

ISRAELS STRENGTH COMES FROM ANTAGONISTIC FORCES

ISRAELS STRENGTH COMES FROM ANTAGONISTIC FORCES 


"The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied, and the more they spread abroad" Exod. 1:12


This book of Exodus takes tip the history of the children of Israel, and carries it on from the, point where Genesis left it. Its opening word "Now" is exactly equivalent to "And," thus marking the continuity. It has a character all its own. It is the story of how God rooted the national life of this people in His own REDEEMING LOVE AND POWER. In their days of quiet and prosperity in the land of Goshen, they had never come to NATIONAL CONSTITUTION. They were a SUBJECT RACE. The first pages of this book introduce us to them in circumstances of darkness and difficulty. They were now not SUBJECTS, merely; they were SLAVES; and most unjustly and cruelly oppressed and afflicted. The hopes of Jacob and Joseph concerning a going back into their own land seemed to have no chance of realization. They were absolutely powerless, and if simply left to themselves they were positively threatened with EXTERMINATION. It was to that end that the power of Egypt was working. If there were still any HOPE in their hearts, it was set on GOD. This was HIS HOUR. In the words we emphasize, we have the first evidence of HIS PRESENCE AND HIS BLESSING. On the level of the physical, they could not be destroyed, because God had chosen them for the fulfillment of His purposes. The principle is of perpetual application. Every successive age in the history of men has seen it working. THE MORE THE FORCES ANTAGONISTIC TO THE WILL OF GOD OPERATE AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF GOD THE MORE DO THESE PEOPLE RISE AND GAIN STRENGTH. It is not persecution, but patronage, that they have most to fear.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

GRACE AND GLORY IN GOD ARE ONE

GRACE AND GLORY IN GOD ARE ONE 


"According to the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God" 1 Tim. 1:11


This is another instance where the Revision has added greatly to the understanding and beauty of a phrase. In a previous article we observed the difference between "the might of His glory" and "His glorious might" (Col. 1:11). See article GLORIOUS STRENGTH FROM GOD. Here we have the same kind of change. Instead of reading "the glorious Gospel," we have "the Gospel of the Glory." That the Gospel is glorious we know, but the apostolic phrase draws our attention to the fact that the good news is that of "the Glory of the blessed God." Knowing that it is the GOSPEL OF HIS GRACE, we are thus reminded that GRACE AND GLORY IN GOD ARE ONE. That which is the very essence of His splendor and beauty is the infinite love of His heart. Also we may, with perfect accuracy, render the description of God as "the happy God." What unfathomable depths of suggestiveness there are in the words: “The Gospel of the Glory of the happy God"! But now observe how the words are introduced. Immediately before them are the words "according to." When we go back to see what this Gospel is the standard of, we find a remarkable denunciation of evil things, some of the most fearful being named, and all others being included in the words, "and if there be any other thing." All these things are contrary to the sound doctrine, “according to the Gospel of the glory of the happy God”. Thus again, as so constantly in the New Testament, we are reminded that the Gospel makes no excuse for sin, makes no terms with it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

DAY OF JEHOVAH HERE NOW

DAY OF JEHOVAH HERE NOW 


"Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand" Joel 1:15


Joel was a prophet to Judah. His message, as found in this book, seems to be one; rather than the notes of a long period of ministry as in the case of Hosea to Israel. The occasion of its delivery was that of the desolation of the land by a locust plague. In the beginning of this chapter, we have his description of that desolation, and from it we learn how terrible it was. It was an hour in which men would be likely to brood upon the calamity, moved very largely by pity for themselves. Then the prophet spoke, and his word interpreted the situation, and called men to recognize the real meaning of the calamities in the midst of which they were living. This was the DAY OF JEHOVAH, which meant that it was the DAY OF DIVINE GOVERNMENT AND ACTIVITY. The coming of the locusts was no accident. They came in ranks, in order; and they wrought the will of God. Therefore the prophet called the PRIESTS and the PEOPLE to HUMILIATION. Here then is the first note of this prophecy. The burden of Joel from first to last was that of the Day of Jehovah, that is, the fact of the Divine government of human affairs; and his first application of that burden was that of calling the people to a recognition of the fact that the DAY OF JEHOVAH was then PRESENT, it was at hand: that is, it was near, not in the sense of approaching, but rather in the sense of actual and immediate activity. There is more to say —as we shall see—but let this first fact be carefully noted. THE DAY OF JEHOVAH IS HERE AND NOW. HE IS REIGNING TODAY. THE CALAMITIES, THROUGH WHICH MEN PASS, ARE ALL UNDER HIS CONTROL. Instead of mourning over sorrow, men should mourn over sin, and cry unto Jehovah.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE HEAVENS

THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE HEAVENS 


"A great High Priest, Who has passed through the heavens" Heb. 4:11


With these words the writer began his more careful consideration of Jesus as the High Priest of our confession; and as he did so, he employed the word “great." To the Hebrew mind the phrase "High Priest" in itself expressed the highest form of priestly service; it was the ultimate word. This phrase is still further strengthened by the word "great." Jesus is not merely a priest; He is the High Priest, and in that He is GREAT. His priestly work and position are characterized by the UTMOST FINALITY. This GREATNESS is here described in one way. He has "passed through the heavens." The statement is far stronger than it would be if it read "passed into the heavens." The smallest of words changes the meaning of a verse in the scriptures. It helps us to think of Him as entering into the place of CLOSEST NEARNESS TO GOD IN HIS PRIESTLY POSITION. No lower heaven, however exalted, is the place of His work. Through all heavens He passed to that which in some sense is beyond the heavens, to the very place and being of God Himself. Moreover, the phrase is inclusive of His coming to us as well as to His going to God. He passed THROUGH THE HEAVENS TO COME TO MAN, into closest identification; and having accomplished His purposes there, He passed THROUGH THE HEAVENS TO GO TO GOD, into CLOSEST IDENTIFICATION. The same thought is found in Paul's letter to the Ephesians "Now this, He ascended what it is but that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far . . . that He might FILL ALL THINGS." (Eph. 4:9-10)

Monday, October 8, 2018

THE GOD OF FIRE

THE GOD OF FIRE 


"An offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah" Lev. 3:5


These words, "of a sweet savor," are used with reference to the first three offerings, THE BURNT OFFERING, THE MEAL OFFERING, AND THE PEACE OFFERING. They are not used of the SIN OFFERING or of the TRESPASS OFFERING. Every one of these offerings was made by FIRE. In the case of the first three the FIRE brings out the savor; in that of the last two it destroys. The suggestiveness of all this, it is impossible to escape. Fire is pre-eminently a symbol of God, and of certain facts about His character and activities. Invariably it speaks of some aspect or activity of His HOLINESS. It is a symbol of what He is as the Holy One, in that only thing which is in conformity with that nature can live in His presence. It is therefore a symbol of His WRATH as He consumes that which is contrary to His nature. It is also a symbol of CLEANSING in that He PURIFIES from all alloys those things which do conform to His character. Therefore, the offerings which represented SIN and TRESPASS, the fire destroyed; but those which represented DEVOTION, SERVICE, FELLOWSHIP, it affected so as to bring out the savor pleasing to God. THE GOD OF HOLINESS IS A GOD OF FIRE, and He is to man what man is in regard to Himself. If man be in rebellion, a sinner persisting in his sin, the FIRE destroys him. If he be yielded, the FIRE brings out the beauty of character. Christ knew the FIRE bringing out SWEET SAVOR in His absolute perfections; He knew it as CONSUMING, as He represented the sinner, and was made sin for us. (2 Cor. 5:21)
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

FELLOWSHIP IN SUFFERING BRINGS FELLOWSHIP IN GLORY

FELLOWSHIP IN SUFFERING BRINGS FELLOWSHIP IN GLORY


"Our light affliction . . . works for us" 2 Cor. 4:17


The first impression made upon the mind as these words are read is that almost of amazement that Paul could speak of his afflictions as light. He had described them very clearly, as he spoke of himself and of those associated with, him in ministry, as "pressed," "perplexed," "pursued," "smitten down," "always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus," "always delivered unto death." And these were no mere figures of speech. Very literally these things were true. And yet, summing them all up, he described them as "our light affliction." Moreover, he thought of them all, not as FOES but as ALLIES OF THE SOUL, for he declared that in their totality as affliction, it "works for us." This was the conviction which made him speak of it as light. That to which it tended was glory so wonderful that he could only describe it as "an eternal weight of glory." Still further let it be noted that this reference to glory was not merely to the glory of the life beyond. It was a PRESENT EXPERIENCE, and a growing one, for said he, affliction "works for us more and more exceedingly." In the process of affliction GLORY was present, and it grew. That is the real burden of all this teaching. Over against every description of affliction is one of glory, "not straitened," "not unto despair," "not forsaken," "not destroyed," "the life of Jesus . . . manifested in our body," "the life of Jesus . . . manifested in our mortal flesh." These are things of glory, and the entire affliction which accompanies service works these things. Thus it always is. FELLOWSHIP WITH THE SUFFERING SAVIOR IS FELLOWSHIP IN THE GLORY OF HIS TRIUMPHS.

VISIONS REVEALED TO US

VISIONS REVEALED TO US 


"I saw visions of God" Ezek. 1:1


Ezekiel is pre-eminently the prophet of hope. He was the contemporary, of Jeremiah, but a much younger man. Probably Jeremiah was exercising his ministry when Ezekiel was born. His work lay among the exiles in Babylon. In the first three chapters we have the account of his preparation for that work. Then his messages fall into two clearly defined sections; the 1st dealing with the Re-probation of the nation, and the 2nd foretelling its ultimate Restoration. He saw clearly the righteousness of the reprobation; but he saw with equal clearness that the original purpose of God for His people would be gloriously realized. In the words emphasized we have the secret of this clear outlook in each case. This man's call to prophetic ministry began with VISIONS OF GOD. These preceded the VOICE WHICH COMMISSIONED HIM. The symbolism of that vision of God is very wonderful, and is to be carefully pondered. That is not possible in a brief note. The arresting fact at the outset of our reading is that to a man in exile, and at a time when the national outlook was of the darkest, God granted these UNVEILING OF HIMSELF IN MYSTIC AND MARVELOUS IMAGERY. The inspiration of all well-founded hope in days of darkness and desolation is a CLEAR VISION OF GOD. The reading of' this chapter may have the effect of making us think, that if such visions were granted to us, we could have such confidence and hope. LET US THINK AGAIN, all that was suggested to Ezekiel by the fire, the living ones, the wheels, the spirit of life, HAS BEEN MORE CLEARLY REVEALED TO US IN THE SON OF HIS LOVE. To have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus is to see the righteousness of all His judgments, and to be sure of the final victory of His love. In the Revelation we see again these symbols of Ezekiel gathered round a Throne in the midst of which is the Lamb (Rev. 17:7), as it had been slain (Rev. 5:6). One needs not to ask for visions but revelations of His Love as seen in His words He has left us in the scriptures.

Friday, October 5, 2018

STRONG AND QUIET LIFE

STRONG AND QUIET LIFE 


"He Himself knew what He would do" John 6:6


What a revealing word this is, and how full of comfort for all those who love and follow the Lord. He had suggested a great problem. How were they to procure bread to feed the multitude? The difficulty is revealed in the answers of Philip and Andrew. The 1st calculated the cost. The 2nd emphasized the inadequacy of their resources. He had asked His question, as John says, to prove them. By a facing of their own poverty they would learn the value of His power. How often He brings us into such places of perplexity. Something is to be done that seems impossible, even; that is impossible if we argue from our own private resources. May we not learn from this incident that in all such cases our wisdom will consist in our confidence that He Himself knows what He will do, and that according to His plan of the ages. Is it not intended that we should better their replies by saying: Lord, we do not pretend to know how things are to be done, but we bring whatever resources we have to Thee, and are confident that whatever Thou hast in Thy heart to do, Thou art able to do with these poor things of ours! We know not; but Thou know-est; and so we do not ask to know. All we ask is that we may be directed by Thy wisdom, so shall we be enabled by Thy power. If we can only take up that attitude, how STRONG AND QUIET LIFE WILL BE.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

THE O.T. UNVEILING OF GOD

THE O.T. UNVEILING OF GOD 


"1 have loved you, saith Jehovah" Mal. 1:2


That is the key-note of the messages of the last of the prophets sent to the people of God until the herald of Messiah immediately preceded Him. The tense is not past in its intention, but continuous. If we treat it as past, we must recognize that it covers the whole of that past. There had been no falling off or failure in the DIVINE LOVE for His people. The declaration is all the more arresting when it is seen that the people had lost their LOVE for Jehovah to such a degree that they questioned His LOVE for them. They said: "Wherein hast Thou LOVED us?" Malachi exercised his ministry probably about a hundred years after Nehemiah's time. The people were established in the city, the Temple services were observed, and they were enjoying a good measure of material prosperity. But they were alienated from God in affection; their religious observances were formal; their morality was external, and in many ways was failing even so. This man was raised up, and sent by God, to recall them to the deeper things of their life, and all these were conditioned within the fact of the DIVINE LOVE; and only possible of realization by their consciousness of that LOVE, and response to it. The whole prophecy is true to this key note. The sensitiveness of the Divine heart is wonderfully revealed from first to last. LOVE speaks throughout. It is severe in its denunciation of sin; but it never abandons the loved ones. LOVE argues with them, pleads with them, warns them, appeals to them; and it is all LOVE, and always LOVE, and that in spite of their coldness, pride, and lack of response. This is THE UNVEILING OF GOD WITH WHICH THE OLD TESTAMENT ENDS. And in the N.T. that LOVE is revealed in a PERSON.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

UNITY AND EXPOSTION OF GRACE AND TRUTH

UNITY AND EXPOSITION OF GRACE AND TRUTH


"Full of grace and truth" John 1:14


In that phrase John recorded the full and final impression made upon him and his fellow-disciples by their time of comradeship with Jesus Christ. They were written, in all probability long years after that time of comradeship, so far as His bodily presence was concerned, was over. They lived with Him, traveled with Him, listened to His teaching, watched His works, and above all observed Him in all the circumstances of the varied days; and when the whole result needed to be written, John did it by saying, "Full of grace and truth." The description moreover, is given in a yet briefer way by the use of one word in the preceding parenthetical statement, they beheld His glory; and in the whole of that statement the most inspiring truth is declared—it was "glory as of the Only begotten from the Father." Here then we find the content of the glory of God. It is the UNITY OF GRACE AND TRUTH. Here then we have the EXPOSITION OF GRACE AND TRUTH. It is found in Jesus Christ. These two ideas should hold our minds and direct our lives. GOD IS GRACE, AND TRUTH. Not the one without the other; not the other apart from the one. In His government there can be no lowering of the simple and severe standard of Truth; and there is no departure from the purpose and passion of Grace. To say that, is to realize that the CROSS WAS NECESSITATED BY THE NATURE OF GOD. Then, when we would know Truth we must know Jesus Christ; and when we would apprehend Grace we must come to Him.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

RESTORATION AND PROSPERITY TO JERUSALEM


RESTORATION AND PROSPERITY TO JERUSALEM  

"For I, saith Jehovah, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her" Zech. 2:5


At the 7th verse of ch. 1 begins the series of eight visions in which the history of Israel from then to the consummation of the Divine purpose was foretold. The 1st that of the myrtle trees (1:7-17), which shows the long period during which the chosen people of God must dwell among the shadows. The 2nd, that of horns and smiths (1:18-21), recognizes the forces which will be against these people; and the forces which God raises up to destroy those who scatter them. These words occur in the 3rd vision, which occupies the whole of this chapter. It is a radiant setting forth of the restoration and prosperity which will eventually come to Israel as the result of the Divine care. IT IS A GLORIOUS VISION OF JERUSALEM AS IT WILL BE. A young man was seen going forth to measure the city. He was stopped and told in effect that no measurement of his could encompass the spacious glory of that city of God which would stretch out into the garden lands like villages. Then came this fine and final figure of speech. When that city is established at last, she will need no material walls to render her safe, Jehovah will encompass her as a wall of fire and be in the midst of her as her supreme glory. The city of God has always been the goal of the men and women of faith in their pilgrimage, their witness, and their warfare, and no suggestion as to its glory and beauty and safety, in all the Biblical literature, is more perfect and wonderful than this.