“Unto the Least of These”: The Platform & The Vision

Christ spoke the startling words of how we are to love one another. He has ransomed all by His blood, and because He has ransomed ALL, that excludes none from His self-sacrificing gift. He didn’t fail to give everything He had, and by it, God testified to all mankind of the great love and value He values the human race at.

Look at the price He paid to declare our value:

Matthew 13:45-46  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  (46)  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, WENT AND SOLD ALL THAT HE HAD, AND BOUGHT IT.”

Christ saw what it meant to purchase the kingdom of heaven for mankind, and that meant Him giving everything. Did He value us being in the kingdom enough to pay the price? He did.

1 Peter 1:18-19  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… (19)  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

The value of every man has already been determined in the heart of God, and that value is determined by the ONE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE. This value testifies of the love that God has for us:

1 John 4:9-10  “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  (10)  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

If the apostle’s declaration of the love of God were finished here, that would have been enough, but it was not enough, because that love is to have a transformational effect on how we value others. He concludes:

1 John 4:9-11  Beloved, IF GOD SO LOVED US, WE ALSO OUGHT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”

So then, if the love of God has declared our value by giving all, why have we not believed this value, embraced it, walked in it, and valued others with that same established value? Why have we failed to love others as God has loved us?

Whoever has been redeemed by this “blood of the everlasting covenant” (Hebrews 13:20) has “left his name as a curse for God’s Chosen” (Is. 65:15), as it is written, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). Our name was a curse to Christ; our name is that old selfish, self-seeking character, full of pride, envy, jealousies, hatred, covetousness, love of money, and the lusts of this world. When we have a truly born again experience, in Christ we become blessed by a God who loves us immensely; not because He loves us more now than before, but because we recognize it and embrace the value God has placed upon us in giving up His dearly beloved Son. It is in realizing this that the release from the curse of sin and separation from God is abolished. By this reality we experience freedom in the blessings of Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath BLESSED US WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3)

That “all spiritual blessings” would include the very love, in and through us to “one another”, by which those blessings came CANNOT BE DENIED.

Christ says EXACTLY THIS. He says how denying that love to others is a denial of Christ Himself who, for so great a price, bought us, but to have that love is to declare that we HAVE RECEIVED THAT LOVE:

Matthew 25:34-46  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, YOU BLESSED of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  (35)  For I WAS HUNGRY, and YOU GAVE me meat: I WAS THIRSTY, and YOU GAVE me drink: I WAS A STRANGER (not of the same faith), and YOU TOOK ME IN:  (36)  NAKED, and YOU CLOTHED me: I WAS SICK, and YOU VISITED me: I was IN PRISON, and YOU CAME to me.  (37)  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  (38)  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  (39)  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  (40)  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch AS YOU HAVE DONE IT TO THE LEAST OF THESE, my brethren, YOU HAVE DONE IT TO ME.

Notice that those who Christ pronounces as blessed are the ones who value others naturally as Christ values them, but yet not for any reward, but simply because that is the very thing that should be done “to the least of these”. What about the imprisoned murderer? Yes, definitely. The cold adulteress? Of course. The drunkard on the street who has ruined himself? Yes, especially for him as well. Even the strangers outside of our faith? Yes, even for them. Christ DIED TO SAVE SINNERS. Look at the EXAMPLE OF BOTH CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES:

Luke 5:30-32  But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners?  (31)  And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.  (32)  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Christ hasn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The scribes and Pharisees made a practical confession that they were not sinners, and deemed themselves wholly better and more worthy of God’s favor than these souls, “which say, ‘keep to yourself, come not near to me; for I am holier than you.’ These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burns all day.” The self-righteous man, instead of a sweet savor to our God, is a suffocation to Him, which quenches His Spirit. It was this class that put to death our Savior, thrusting Him upon the altar of burnt offering, holding no value for even the Holy one.

If then we claim to be righteous, but have done nothing at all to minister to them the way Christ has ministered to us, aren’t we truly in need of a physician? And if we claim to be righteous, while failing to call “sinners to repentance” because we estimate ourselves as more worthy, while holding a clear problem with recognizing the value of others, doesn’t it show that we have a wrong value system that is not based upon God’s value for us [“for there is no favoritism with God” (Rom. 2:11)], but upon our self-estimate? misunderstanding OF OUR OWN VALUE and WHERE IT COMES FROM? Now, if the “so-called” righteous cannot see this, but the sinner himself can see he does need help and a physician, ISN’T HE ABLE TO SEE MORE CLEARLY THAN THEY ARE? Even so, those blessed in Christ’s love will demonstrate that love.

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS: A VALUE ISSUE

Even the religious “heirs of the true faith” were wonderful at finding fault with Christ as He ministered to “the least of these”: thus showing an gross problem of where their value truly came from:

Luke 7:34-35  The Son of man (Christ) is come eating and drinking; and you say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!  (35)  But wisdom is justified of all her children.

They found fault with Christ because they thought that He Himself, a friend of sinners, would certainly partake of their sins, yet He says “wisdom is justified of her children.” He “did no sin”, and was not a glutton nor a drunkard, but the Scripture says: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Prov. 11:30)

Christ sought to win their confidence, and show them the way to the true Tree of Life, which was Christ Himself.

THE REST OF THE PARABLE

Christ, in the rest of the parable spoke not about those who had received the blessing of His love and revealed it in self-sacrificing, caring ministry to the neediest and lowliest class of society, but those who DID NOT, but CLAIMED THEY DID:

(41)  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, YOU CURSED, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  (42)  For I was an hungred, and ye GAVE ME NO meat: I was thirsty, and ye GAVE ME NO drink:  (43)  I was a stranger, and ye TOOK ME NOT in: naked, and ye CLOTHED ME NOT: sick, and in prison, and ye VISITED ME NOT.  (44)  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, WHEN did we see You an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto You?  (45)  Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you DID IT NOT TO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE, you DID IT NOT TO ME.  (46)  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

HOW CLEAR DOES THE TRUTH APPEAR! We are to value those who God has valued with the very value He has placed upon them: and that is the value of Christ Himself! He regards Himself as not being any different from those precious souls for whom He died, because He gave Himself entirely for them. We are told that the “Word was made flesh, and tabernacled with us.” “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14)

LOVING IS MANIFESTED IN MORE THAN WORDS WITHOUT ACTION

1 John 4:20  “If a man SAYS, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, HOW CAN HE LOVE GOD WHO HE HAS NOT SEEN?”

1 John 3:16-18  Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  (17)  But whosoever has this world’s good, and sees his brother having a need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how can the love of God dwell in him?  (18)  My little children, let us NOT LOVE IN WORD, NEITHER IN TONGUE; but IN DEED AND IN TRUTH (Christ is the Truth).

How can the redeemed do anything less than live as Christ lived?

1 John 2:6  He that says he abides in Him, should also himself walk even as he walked.

When the curse was laid upon Christ, that we might be redeemed from the curse, the curse was slain on the “tree” Christ was crucified on. Through this, God calls us His servants who have been redeemed, and gives us a new name, just as Jacob (meaning deceiver) was given the name Israel (meaning overcomer).

Isaiah 65:15-18  And you shall leave YOUR NAME FOR A CURSE unto My Chosen (That is Christ): for the Lord GOD shall slay you (the cursed you which is laid upon Christ), and call His servants by ANOTHER NAME:  (16)  That he who BLESSES himself in the earth shall BLESS himself in the God of truth…; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. ..But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I CREATE Jerusalem a rejoicing, and HER PEOPLE A JOY.

Now, if that happened, and God has given us a new name of BLESSING, and not a cursed name, then He CREATES US NEW IN CHRIST. Therefore, the curse of coldness through iniquity is slain, and we have a BLESSED CONFESSION OF FAITH:

Galatians 2:20 I am CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVES IN ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, WHO LOVED ME, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.

And if Christ is in us, does He give ANY LESS LOVE than He has GAVE while He lives in us? Is Christ selfish, or fearful of the loss of the treasures of this world? No, not at all; in fact everything He forfeited was sacrificed so that He could give it as a gift to us. If Christ “so loved us” we will so love one another. Yet if anyone’s VALUE is determined by what they think they do, and not by Christ, then the apostle shows the destruction of the value placed upon us:

Galatians 2:21 “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then CHRIST IS DEAD IN VAIN.”

What does it mean that Christ is dead in vain? It means His love was worthless in producing in you what the Father had desired it would. It strikes at the heart of the value issue, declaring that if all your works of the law were what was necessary to make you righteous in the manner that God desired, then Christ. The problem is that THE LAW CAN NEVER MAKE YOU RIGHTEOUS and it has no love of itself to reveal to you if it is simply you keeping the law. THE LAW CANNOT DETERMINE YOUR VALUE; NOR CAN THE LAW FORGIVE YOU: IT CAN ONLY CONDEMN YOU. This was the Pharisees great misconception regarding value. They saw God not as a God of love, but they saw Him in a light that would condemn and not sacrifice and redeem, empower and save; this value system where the love of God was hidden from view, impressed it’s image on everything they did, finally even condemning Christ Himself. And Christ addressed this very issue at the house of a chief Pharisee.

THE BLESSED AND THE CURSED REVEALED

Mary Magdalene is spoken of as the woman “which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities” (Luke 8:2) by Christ, “out of whom He had cast seven devils” (Mark 16:9). This woman understood the value of what Christ had done for her, and showed a strong token of her love.

Luke 7:36-37  “And one of the Pharisees desired him that He (Christ) would eat with him. And He went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.  (37)  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat to eat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,”

To show just how much Mary understood and valued the love that Jesus had manifested toward her, she expressed it in a “very costly” way:

John 12:3-5  Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, VERY COSTLY, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.  (4)  Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,  (5) Why was not this ointment sold for THREE HUNDRED DENARIUS, and given to the poor?

How costly was this? It was “three hundred denarius”. How much is that?

Matthew 20:2  And when he had agreed with the labourers for A DENARIUS A DAY, he sent them into his vineyard.

If the gift she gave could have been sold for 300 denarius, and a denarius was a day’s wages, then she gave three hundred days wages worth of “spinenard” to anoint Jesus. This would have been nothing short of her whole life’ savings representing her whole life under the curse of sin, to anoint Jesus with her old “cursed name” and to reveal she was walking in the blessing of having received that love and value.

Matthew 26:12  For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

Yet the Pharisees, struggling to understand that a woman recognized by them as a sinner, looked to the righteousness which they thought they had by the law, which left them cold, desolate, and devoid of the love of Christ. They supposed in their righteousness a sufficiency which had no need of Christ. Yet Mary was overflowing with self-sacrificing love for Jesus:

Luke 7:39-48 (39)  Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, “This man, if He was a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches Him: for she is a sinner.”  (40)  And Jesus answering said unto him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Master, speak on.”  (41)  “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred denarius, and the other fifty.  (42)  And when they had nothing to pay, he freely forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?  (43)  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, You have judged rightly.  (44)  And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, YOU GAVE ME NO WATER for My feet: but SHE HAS washed My feet WITH TEARS, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  (45)  You GAVE ME NO KISS: but this woman since the time I came in HAS NOT CEASED to kiss My feet.  (46)  My head with oil YOU DID NOT ANOINT: but this woman HAS ANOINTED my feet with ointment.  (47)  For this cause, I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.  (48)  And he said unto her, Your sins are forgiven.”

Mary had such a clear sense of her sinfulness, but also the love that Christ had bestowed upon her, and it was not “in vain”. Yet Simon had no love for her, “the least of these”, and found no love for Christ; but rather he condemned both her and Christ in his own self-righteous estimation; he had little sense that he was also a sinner in need of forgiveness. To understand that value that Mary felt is not only her experience, but it is to be our own. Our very own lives anoint Jesus at the cross; if we will believe He was made our curse, and made sin for us, we shall “leave our names as a curse” at the cross of Christ by faith, and walk in a new name, in “newness of life”. And how do we repay? By doing to the least of these as though it were Jesus Himself.

Yet the more of the love that God reveals to us by the abundance of mercy and truth He gives to us commissions us to a yet higher calling still of valuing souls aright. It far exceeds the necessary physical needs, and temporal wants of those who Christ came to save. It means bringing to them the everlasting gospel; a message which will result in a change that will purify from all filthiness and impurity, and purge all unrighteousness from the sin-stained soul. The message of Christ’s return is to declare the deepest revelation of the love of God known to man, that restores the fullness of the heart of Christ’s self-sacrificing principles to those who receive it to fit them for heaven. The results of this reception are everlasting, as is the rejection of it to be everlasting; for this cause, prophecy declares this message as the everlasting gospel. The least of these, above all, need to know the deliverance of Mary who was forgiven much, and loved much. Here will be set before us two visions from two different people, yet the meanings of which can be harmonized truly.

A VISION DISPLAYED: A CALL TO GOD’S COMMANDMENT-KEEPING PEOPLE… BUT WHO IS BEHOLDING?

Salvation Army” I was shown three steps—the first, second, and third angels’ messages. Said my accompanying angel, “Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.” I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform.” EW, p. 259

“Spiritual death has come upon the people that should be manifesting life and zeal, purity and consecration, by the most earnest devotion to the cause of truth. The facts concerning the real condition of the professed people of God, speak more loudly than their profession, and make it evident that some power has cut the cable that anchored them to the Eternal Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, without chart or compass.”-The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888

On one of my recent journeys, as I gazed from the coach window, I was led into a train of thought concerning the condition of the multitudes around me. They were living carelessly in the most open and shameless rebellion against God, without a thought for their eternal welfare. As I looked out of the window, I seemed to see them all . . . millions of people all around me given up to their drink and their pleasure, their dancing and their music, their business and their anxieties, their politics and their troubles. Ignorant – willfully ignorant in many cases – and in other instances knowing all about the truth and not caring at all. But all of them, the whole mass of them, sweeping on and up in their blasphemies and devilries to the Throne of God. While my mind was thus engaged, I had a vision.

I saw a dark and stormy ocean. Over it the black clouds hung heavily; through them every now and then vivid lightening flashed and loud thunder rolled, while the winds moaned, and the waves rose and foamed, towered and broke, only to rise and foam, tower and break again.

In that ocean I thought I saw myriads of poor human beings plunging and floating, shouting and shrieking, cursing and struggling and drowning; and as they cursed and screamed they rose and shrieked again, and then some sank to rise no more.

And I saw out of this dark angry ocean, a mighty rock that rose up with it’s summit towering high above the black clouds that overhung the stormy sea. And all around the base of this great rock I saw a vast platform. Onto this platform, I saw with delight a number of the poor struggling, drowning wretches continually climbing out of the angry ocean. And I saw that a few of those who were already safe on the platform were helping the poor creatures still in the angry waters to reach the place of safety.

On looking more closely I found a number of those who had been rescued, industriously working and scheming by ladders, ropes, boats and other means more effective, to deliver the poor strugglers out of the sea. Here and there were some who actually jumped into the water, regardless of the consequences in their passion to “rescue the perishing.” And I hardly know which gladdened me the most – the sight of the poor drowning people climbing onto the rocks reaching a place of safety, or the devotion and self-sacrifice of those whose whole being was wrapped up in the effort for their deliverance.

As I looked on, I saw that the occupants of that platform were quite a mixed company. That is, they were divided into different “sets” or classes, and they occupied themselves with different pleasures and employments. But only a very few of them seemed to make it their business to get the people out of the sea.

But what puzzled me most was the fact that though all of them had been rescued at one time or another from the ocean, nearly everyone seemed to have forgotten all about it. Anyway, it seemed the memory of its darkness and danger no longer troubled them at all. And what seemed equally strange and perplexing to me was that these people did not even seem to have any care – that is any agonizing care – about the poor perishing ones who were struggling and drowning right before their very eyes . . . many of whom were their own husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and even their own children.

Now this astonishing unconcern could not have been the result of ignorance or lack of knowledge, because they lived right there in full sight of it all and even talked about it sometimes. Many even went regularly to hear lectures and sermons in which the awful state of these poor drowning creatures was described.

I have always said that the occupants of this platform were engaged in different pursuits and pastimes. Some of them were absorbed day and night in trading and business in order to make gain, storing up their savings in boxes, safes and the like.

Many spent their time in amusing themselves with growing flowers on the side of the rock, others in painting pieces of cloth or in playing music, or in dressing themselves up in different styles and walking about to be admired. Some occupied themselves chiefly in eating and drinking, others were taken up with arguing about the poor drowning creatures that had already been rescued.

But the thing to me that seemed the most amazing was that those on the platform to whom He called, who heard His voice and felt that they ought to obey it – at least they said they did – those who confessed to love Him much were in full sympathy with Him in the task He had undertaken – who worshipped Him or who professed to do so – were so taken up with their trades and professions, their money saving and pleasures, their families and circles, their religions and arguments about it, and their preparation for going to the mainland, that they did not listen to the cry that came to them from this Wonderful Being who had Himself gone down into the sea. Anyway, if they heard it they did not heed it. They did not care. And so the multitude went on right before them struggling and shrieking and drowning in the darkness.

And then I saw something that seemed to me even more strange than anything that had gone on before in this strange vision. I saw that some of these people on the platform whom this Wonderful Being had called to, wanting them to come and help Him in His difficult task of saving these perishing creatures, were always praying and crying out to Him to come to them!

Some wanted Him to come and stay with them, and spend His time and strength in making them happier. Others wanted Him to come and take away various doubts and misgivings they had concerning the truth of some letters He had written them. Some wanted Him to come and make them feel more secure on the rock – so secure that they would be quite sure that they should never slip off again into the ocean. Numbers of others wanted Him to make them feel quite certain that they would really get off the rock and onto the mainland someday: because as a matter of fact, it was well known that some had walked so carelessly as to loose their footing, and had fallen back again into the stormy waters.

So these people used to meet and get up as high on the rock as they could, and looking towards the mainland (where they thought the Great Being was) they would cry out, “Come to us! Come and help us!” And all the while He was down (by His Spirit) among the poor struggling, drowning creatures in the angry deep, with His arms around them trying to drag them out, and looking up – oh! so longingly but all in vain – to those on the rock, crying to them with His voice all hoarse from calling, “Come to Me! Come, and help Me!

And then I understood it all. It was plain enough. The sea was the ocean of life – the sea of real, actual human existence. That lightening was the gleaming of piercing truth coming from Jehovah’s Throne. That thunder was the distant echoing of the wrath of God. Those multitudes of people shrieking, struggling and agonizing in the stormy sea, was the thousands and thousands of poor harlots and harlot-makers, of drunkards and drunkard makers, of thieves, liars, blasphemers and ungodly people of every kindred, tongue and nation.

Oh what a black sea it was! And oh, what multitudes of rich and poor, ignorant and educated were there. They were all so unalike in their outward circumstances and conditions, yet all alike in one thing – all sinners before God – all held by, and holding onto, some iniquity, fascinated by some idol, the slaves of some devilish lust, and ruled by the foul fiend from the bottomless pit!

“All alike in one thing?” No, all alike in two things – not only the same in their wickedness but, unless rescued, the same in their sinking, sinking . . . down, down, down . . . to the same terrible doom. That great sheltering rock represented Calvary, the place where Jesus had died for them. And the people on it were those who had been rescued. The way they used their energies, gifts and time represented the occupations and amusements of those who professed to be saved from sin and hell – followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The handful of fierce, determined ones, who were risking their own lives in saving the perishing were true soldiers of the cross of Jesus. That Mighty Being who was calling to them from the midst of the angry waters was the Son of God, “the same yesterday, today and forever” who is still struggling and interceding to save the dying multitudes about us from this terrible doom of damnation, and whose voice can be heard above the music, machinery, and noise of life, calling on the rescued to come and help Him save the world.

My friends in Christ, you are rescued from the waters, you are on the rock, He is in the dark sea calling on you to come to Him and help Him. Will you go? Look for yourselves. The surging sea of life, crowded with perishing multitudes rolls up to the very spot on which you stand. Leaving the vision, I now come to speak of the fact – a fact that is as real as the Bible, as real as the Christ who hung upon the cross, as real as the judgment day will be, and as real as the heaven and hell that will follow it.

Look! Don’t be deceived by appearances – men and things are not what they seem. All who are not on the rock are in the sea! Look at them from the standpoint of the great White Throne, and what a sight you have! Jesus Christ, the Son of God is, through His Spirit, in the midst of this dying multitude, struggling to save them. And He is calling on you to jump into the sea – to go right away to His side and help Him in the holy strife. Will you jump? That is, will you go to His feet and place yourself absolutely at His disposal?” William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

Judas Iscariot, when he saw the manner in which Mary had used her means upon Christ, showed a similar temperament to his father Simon, who had made a feast for Christ as his guest. He began to discourage Mary’s sacrifice upon Christ. While the Salvation Army does not have a very limited message regarding Christ and His work of salvation, they are not to be discouraged in their work, which deals mostly in providing for the physical and temporal needs of the downtrodden classes of society. The last message to lighten the earth with God’s glory will be much more all-encompassing, providing an eternal sustenance which will sanctify the man, not to prepare him for death, but to prepare him for life everlasting before the throne of God and the Lamb.

“Labor is to be done for the poor as well as for the rich, but the means and talents of our ministers are not to be used to make a Salvation Army record. Let them attend to their work that God has given them to do, but the Lord has another class of work to be done at this period of this earth’s history.” {Ms197-1899.7}

“The Lord has marked out our way of working. As a people we are not to imitate and fall in with Salvation Army methods. This is not the work that the Lord has given us to do. Neither is it our work to condemn them and speak harsh words against them. There are precious, self-sacrificing souls in the Salvation Army. We are to treat them kindly. There are in the Army honest souls, who are sincerely serving the Lord and who will see greater light, advancing to the acceptance of all truth. The Salvation Army workers are trying to save the neglected, downtrodden ones. Discourage them not. Let them do that class of work by their own methods and in their own way. But the Lord has plainly pointed out the work that Seventh-day Adventists are to do. Camp meetings and tent meetings are to be held. The truth for this time is to be proclaimed. A decided testimony is to be borne. And the discourses are to be so simple that children can understand them.” 8T 184.3




THE GOSPEL CALL: A LIVING SACRIFICE

THE GOSPEL KERNEL

Unless a grain of wheat dies, it abides alone...

Unless a grain of wheat dies, it abides alone…

Christ illustrates His death and resurrection in this manner: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit…” (John 12:24)

Christ is the kernel of wheat which died. He dies to give His life for the world, that through Him, the world, believing in Him, might be saved. Christ is sown into the ground, being made conformable to our death, “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12), for it is written of Him that “one died for all” (Cor. 5:14). And what happens to that kernel of wheat after it is buried into the ground? Through the waters it is raised up, bearing on it’s body “much fruit”- that is, many more kernels of wheat. Likewise, “as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:4-5) Christ planted us into His death; that we might be joined to Him in newness of life, for it is written, “your dead men shall live; together with My dead body shall they arise” (Isaiah 26:19). The waters of life, “the glory of the Father”, is what rose up that kernel of wheat, which is Christ, and we are told that these waters upon that Gospel Kernel was the “Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead…” (Romans 8:11). From here, we are then given the promise, by Christ, that “He (the Father) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)

This wonderful truth is summarized by the Scripture: “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Eph. 2:5-6) He hath raised us up in heavenly places. We are now “born of the Spirit” if we will allow sin to be finally crucified in us by fullness of belief in that great burial, and allow the risen life of that kernel to be made manifest in us, we are now children of heaven: “For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20) Christ’s death and resurrection qualify this reality for us if it will be realized in our own lives by a believing heart, for “whosoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). If we are thus “raised up” we are also kernels of wheat, having the life that is in Christ abiding in us.

And what are kernels of wheat for? Christ said “I am that Bread of Life…” (John 6:48) Wheat is for the purpose of bread. He further states, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world….except you eat the flesh…you have no life in you… Whosoever eats My flesh…has eternal life.” (John 6:51-54) This is what it means when Christ says to “abide in Him” and for Him to “abide in you”.

A LIVING SACRIFICE: BEARING MUCH FRUIT

Now, we are kernels as Christ, the Son of man, was. The kernel may be appropriately defined as man who has divinity in him. This is so with Christ, and whosoever is joined to Him is a “partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lus

Only in dying, can the seed bring forth much fruit.

Only in dying, can the seed bring forth much fruit.

t” for “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” As Christ’s divine life is in us, we are the kernels of wheat that came from the stock of Christ, the Gospel Kernel that sprouted forth to bear “much fruit.” Likewise, we are also called to die as kernels of wheat, that much fruit would be born to God’s glory. “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing…Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8) To bear “much fruit” Christ says the kernel of wheat must die. As Christ had life “by the glory of the Father”, even so, we may glorify the Father if we will have sacrificial service to bear much fruit, that many souls may be saved by the revelation of Christ in us. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

A living sacrifice. That is what the life of a Christian, raised up in heaven with Christ, is to be. Christ was that sacrifice, not only illustrated by the kernel of wheat, but also as that sacrificial “Lamb of God” (John 1:29). The lambs and sheep were always to be without spot or blemish, and they were to prophecy in their sacrifice of Christ. Christ is also the true Shepherd who speaks and His sheep follow Him. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28) Yet the shepherds of Israel had sheep in which to offer sacrifices, as well as to make garments from their wool, and supply meat. Christ, the true Shepherd. The shepherds would supply the sacrifice, and the priests were to execute the sacrifice of the slain victim. Christ as the Shepherd, supplies us, the sheep, as a living sacrifice, and He is also “a great High Priest” which executes the sacrificial service of revealing His death in us to the saving of souls. Therefore it is Christ who brings us to places where His character will be revealed; whether it is through trial and tribulation, persecution or death, all is for Christ to God’s glory. The apostle Paul, understanding this experience well, said “[We are] always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4:10-11)

jesus shepherdThis is the purpose of a living sacrifice. The High Priest works closely with His sacrifices to bring forth much fruit. We should not think that He doesn’t work closely with us: while He works in us, He also directs the knife of circumstances and providences to slay His sacrifice to reveal the gospel through His sheep, who are a revelation of Himself. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:28-31)

The affliction of the flesh, whether light or heavy, was to the eternal life of many others; and it is Christ who permits these trials to abound toward His servants that His glory may be revealed. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Cor. 4:16-17)  He concluded, “So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.” (2 Cor. 4:12-14) To be a living sacrifice is even to communicate the truths of the gospel, despite the affliction it may bring; whether of persecution, excommunication, disfellowship, or death; these are for the purpose of the saving of many souls, and bearing much fruit.

THE DEATH OF THE KERNEL: GOD’S PLEASURE

Yet it is a joy and a revelation of His glory to have this sacrifice, for which cause the apostle cause “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16) God takes joy to see the kernel of wheat die, for by it, many sons are brought to glory.

That living sacrifice, that kernel of wheat, that Christ in you, is to see that “God is well pleased.” To the Gospel Kernel, Christ, the Father declared, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And if that Son is in you by the life of the Spirit, then the sacrifice of Christ is in you to bear much fruit, which Christ our High Priest, executes when He so permits the purposes of affliction, or else great light with accountability to proclaim that light, to others: then in you is the Father “with such sacrifices…well pleased”, “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.” (Philippians 2:13-18)




The Revelation of Jesus Christ: The Son of God

In the previous article, we beheld the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, as we saw Him as the living Word of God by which all things are made. The apostle, John, in his account of Jesus Christ, set Him forth from the beginning in this light (refer to John 1:1-4 King James Version). It declared that Christ, as the Word of God, was with the Father from the very beginning. It was by Him that God made all things and by Him that they are held together: He is the very bedrock and the very foundation of creation.

In order to fully understand the depths of God’s love, of His great sacrifice, and our own identity through Christ in the heavenly family, we must thoroughly examine what the Scripture teaches regarding “the Christ,” by whom all things are made.

WHO DO YOU SAY CHRIST IS?

When Christ dwelt upon this earth, there were many ideas regarding His identity. At that time, Christ put forth the question to his disciples: “…Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am” (Matthew 16:13)?

The answer amassed a confusion of ideas: “…Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14). But should we marvel at this? The answer was no less diverse at that time than they are today. Truly, even now, there are many ideas regarding who Christ is. Yet it is not any man’s ideas or opinion that will verify who Christ is, but only the inspired Word of the living God.

Even his closest companions were not spared from the question:

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:15-18).

If ever a confession were fraught with eternal significance, it is here. While Christ, as the Word of God, was the firmly founded Cornerstone of heaven, Christ, as the Son of the living God, is to be the unconquerable foundation of His church, of which “the gates of hell shall not prevail against.”

Scripture tells us in 1 John 4:15: “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

Simon Peter’s confession was the revelation from the Father in heaven; it had not stemmed from the mere ideas and speculations of men.

Let us then look more closely at Christ as the Son of the living God, in depth.

WHO IS THE SON OF GOD?

The Son of God was with God the Father in the creation of God from the beginning. More than His embodiment as the Word of God, He was the beloved Son at His Father’s side.

The Son of God declares of Himself:

“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth… Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: …when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him” (Proverbs 8:22-30).

Christ says He was “brought forth” as the Son of God, “set up from everlasting, from the beginning,” “Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2 New American Bible). Christ was the only begotten of the Father from the earliest times.

Two questions found in the Scripture further clarify this matter. The first being, “…who hath established all the ends of the earth” (Proverbs 30:4)?
The answer to this lies in the very first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Followed by another question: “…what is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell” (Proverbs 30:4)? Thus it was from the beginning that the Son of God was united in God’s creative purposes.

THE EQUALITY OF THE SON OF GOD

The One whom Scripture declares as “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power” also shares the same identity with the Son of God, who was “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2) by God the Father. Christ said, “All things that the Father hath are Mine…” (John 16:15). Jesus knew that His Father “…had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God” (John 13:3). Christ was the appointed heir of all things created by virtue of having been “come from God”.

The inheritance of the firstborn had it's origin in the earliest times.

The inheritance of the firstborn had it’s origin in the earliest times.

Before and during the ancient Hebraic economy, the law of inheritance was already observed. This law determined that the firstborn male was to inherit his father’s possessions, to continue his name and bear his legacy. This practice originated in the earliest times with Christ. The Scripture testifies that Christ is “…the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:15), thus; He is the divinity appointed heir of all things, for God the Father made all things by Him (see 1 Corinthians 8:6).

 

Furthermore, the Scripture declares that He shares the Father’s throne: “…(I) am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21), and by sharing His Father’s throne through His divine Sonship, they hold equality in a special sense.

 

Philippians 2:6 affirms this: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Having been equal with God by divine inheritance, to be worshipped as the Firstborn of heaven is His right because He has inherited the name “God” by birthright. God says: “…obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him” (Exodus 23:21).Worship of the Son constitutes a vital element of true worship of the Father, according to the Scripture: “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him” (John 5:23).

A NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME

All things were created by and for the Son of God, including the angels: “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him” (Col. 1:16).

Christ was not a Son by creation as the angels were, nor by adoption as the redeemed are, but was the begotten Son of God in the express image of His Father’s person. Therefore, those things created did not have that exalted privilege that the God’s Firstborn had, and rightly so. Not even exalted angels of heaven were given this right.

The following verse says so: “Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, ‘Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?’ And again, ‘I will be to him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son?’…And of the angels He saith, who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom’” (Hebrews 1:4).

The Son was given the name God in respect to His nature, having inherited it from His Father. While the Father was God in personality, the Son was God in infinity; all the fullness of the Godhead bodily was His from God the Father. This name given to Christ is a name above every name, never bestowed to any created being, not even to the most exalted cherubim at the throne of God.

Nevertheless, one such an angel, a covering cherub at the throne of God in His sanctuary (refer to Jeremiah 17:12), assumed that position in his jealousy, which was not given to him by God: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire” (Ezekiel 28:14).

God’s sanctuary in heaven is made up of, but not limited to, “stones of fire,” which are an innumerable company of angels, (Hebrew 1:7 and Daniel 7:10), lively stones built up a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5) and this is what the church in heaven consists of – the Son of God being their confession and delight.

So what happened to this exalted “cherub that covereth”? Ezekiel 28:15 says, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

In addition, Ezekiel 28:2-17 states, “Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God… I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground”

Lucifer, that covering cherub, exalted himself in his heart, setting himself as equal with God when God’s Word had not declared it. Jealousy prevailed in his heart over the Son of God as he desired that exalted name given to the Firstborn alone, to be his name also.

fallen proud angel

In Lucifer’s heart was to be found the origin of the mystery of iniquity: the first conception of a Trinity: the first antichrist.

THE FATHER OF LIES

God is the Father of Christ, the Son. This testimony speaks true. John, the apostle, declared Christ to be “the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 1:3). Yet of the devil, Christ declares that he, in John 8:44, “…abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” The covering cherub, dwelling in the midst of the stones of fire, the very church of heaven, saw the gates of hell prevail against him, and why is this so? Because he refused to believe that Christ alone is the only equal with the living God, His only begotten Son. Satan, in exalting himself to equality with God, was adding to the Word of God.

The Scripture tells us that, “…he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1 John 5:10). Satan had done exactly this. In exalting himself to equality with God, Satan brazenly declared that he did not believe the record God gave of Christ, His beloved Son, and by this means, had added to the Word of God.

“Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure…Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:4-6).

Lucifer, who is Satan, a liar and the father of it, had added to the Word of God; God created all things by His Word, and Lucifer was now adding to the creation something that was not so from the beginning, and in doing so, he proved himself to be a liar. Thus he declared God to be a liar while in heaven, in not believing the record He gave of His Son. The most startling implications, not then discerned by the rebellious cherubim, were the result of Lucifer seeking to exalt himself in his heart. Thus it was, that in the heart of Lucifer was found the origin of the mystery of iniquity, a trinity of divine beings, and of antichrist.

1 John 2:22-23 point this out: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

Thus, it was that Satan denied the Son of God. There is an abundance of Scriptural testimony regarding that old serpent, the father of lies, that declare that the gates of hell have indeed prevailed against him, and that he has continued this warfare against the creation of God. He continues to this day to declare that God is a liar, and perverts His Word to win souls to his rebellion.

“…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).

Christ said, “When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own.” While dishonesty and jealousy are exclusively the qualities of the devil, he imposed them upon the Father of truth, thus the prevalence of the gates of hell over one who denies the Son of the living God. As it was then, even so it is now.

SENDING THE SON INTO THE WORLD

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

God’s love was manifested in His act of giving His only begotten Son, a point God would have the angels acknowledge.

Hebrews 1:6 says, “When he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him.”

As the Son of God, the “firstbegotten,” was sent into the world, a command was carried out that all the angels of God should worship Him. Yet the fallen angel, who had denied the Son of God in heaven, sought to destroy Him when He came to earth: “…the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12:4). Thus, he showed in this act his direct opposition to the Son of God.

Affirming His identity, the Voice of the Father conferred the greatest blessing at Christ’s baptism: Matthew 3:17 reads, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’

By the Son of God, everything was made, and by this declaration at the baptism, the Father embraced all of humanity as He did His Son. However, the testimony of God regarding His Son is the point the fallen angel would especially obscure: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil…And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread’” (Matthew 4:1-3).

While the Father is seeking to inspire the hearts of men with the same testimony Simon Barjona’s had, “This is My beloved Son,” it is also the fallen angel’s aim to cause Christ and His professed followers to doubt His true identity. In attacking the testimony that God gave of His Son at the baptism, he attacked all of humanity which the Father embraced by that testimony.

Why is he so determined to obscure this fact? If he can toy with this fact, then he can obscure the great love that the Father had for us in giving His Son. Thus, the world’s confusion regarding who Christ is. Among them, the most popular view is the co-eternality of Christ, that Christ has no beginning and no end. His Sonship is not “in truth”, but in a metaphorical sense only. Thus the Father is not the Father in truth, but only metaphorically. Some have gone as far as to claim that the Father and Son are interchangeable, yet if this is the case, then God does not have a Son to sacrifice, but only a partner: a second divine being. If the Father did not have a Son to give, it would not only be a denial of the Son, but a denial of the Father’s love, casting great doubt on your identity and value in the eyes of God because your sonship, and the plainest statements of God, cannot be trusted. Yet the matter goes deeper than this.

THE SPIRIT OF THE SON

Jesus is the Christ, and by Christ are all things. Christ is the channel for the Father’s blessing to mankind. In declaring to Him the blessing, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” He has pronounced that blessing to the redeemed human race, to “whosoever believeth in Him.

The Scripture tells us in 1 John 5:10, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” What witness is this? It is the witness of the Spirit of Christ, His Son.

1 John 5:1 says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,” and if you are born of God, it is declared that you are a son of God, and this is true if you believe in the testimony God gives of the Christ as the Son of the living God: “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (1 John 1:12).

1 John 4:15 also says that “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

The reality is that the heavenly Father reveals this truth to His children. What truth? The very same that Simon Peter confessed: that Christ is the Son of the living God. And by this confession, in the truest sense, these are the children of God in Christ. So long as they walk in the light as He is in the light, “the gates of hell” shall have no power over them because they are born of God.

This is what we read in Galatians 4:6-7: “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

What a glorious reality! The Spirit of the Son of God, the Sonship of Christ, dwells in us and makes us heirs with Christ! The place that the fallen angels lost is not as exalted as will be our nearness to Christ. Satan disregarded the Son of the living God in heaven, whereas we set the seal in our hearts of the truth: He is the Son of God. Here it becomes evident that belief in that testimony is sufficient to make all the difference between heaven and hell. Now that Spirit, which dwells in us, bears witness that we are children of the heavenly Father. Hallelujah!

According to the Scripture, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17).

What a glorious inheritance comes by heaven’s Firstborn! What wondrous love that God would give His begotten Son and call us His own! Truly, there may be many ideas regarding who Christ is today, but there is only one confession that shall stand against the storm and tempests of hell victoriously; that confession is the one His disciples of this generation shall know as verily as they did when it was asked of them of old. That is “Ye are the the Christ, the Son of the living God”.




IN THE BEGINNING: The Counsel of Peace

In the beginning of the Bible, our minds are taken back to the creation of God.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

"In the beginning God..."

                      “In the beginning God…”

Yet God was not alone in His work of creation. He had a Helper at His side. Of this, the Scripture tells us:
“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.” (Proverbs 8:22-26)

The Word of God tells us that Jehovah brought forth, and possessed One in the beginning of His way.Alluding to exactly who this was who was with God before the creation of the world is further alluded to in the same book of Proverbs:
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4)

The Bible says that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, so therefore it is He that “hath established all the ends of the earth.” Then it presents another question, “what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Therefore, the one who was brought forth, who was “set up from everlasting, from the beginning” was the Son of God. He declares it was “before His works of old”, His creation, that Jehovah had set Him up. Speaking further of this close Companion of Jehovah, from the beginning of the creation of God, the Word declares:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)

It says that the Son of God that was brought forth was the Word of God, God made “all things…by Him”. So it was the Word of God, Jesus, His only-begotten Son who was at His side, making all things in the beginning with Him.
“God… Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Col. 1:15-16)

The Bible abundantly testifies that in the beginning, God, the Father, had worked through His Son in the creation of all things. Therefore confirming that He was not alone in His work.

God shares His throne with His Son, “who He hath appointed heir of all things,” including His throne.

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Hebrews 1:8-12)

“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)

So we see that the Scripture declares that there were two in the beginning of God’s creation:
1) God the Father
2) Jesus Christ, the only-begotten (brought forth) Son of the Father

 

The Rainbow Covenant: On The Throne Is Seated The Father & The Son

Thus concluding that God was by no means alone in the creation. The creation of the whole kingdom of heaven, and the throne over it, was given Him, inasmuch as He partook in the creation of it by the Father.

The Bible gives us this glimpse of the Throne of God, showing the Son as seated down at the right hand of the Father:

“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1)
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrew 12:2)
“A Psalm of David. JEHOVAH said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool…” (Psalm 110:1)

Of that Throne which the Father shares with His Son, the Psalmist continues in verse 4,
“JEHOVAH hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)

Thus we see that the Son of God, who shared in the creative work of God, and His throne, is also a Priest, as well as a King (the Order of Melchizedek) by divine institution of the heavenly Father. Thus the heavenly throne, is also a priestly throne. A priestly throne however, requires a Sanctuary. The prophet beheld in vision, a throne “from the beginning” that was exactly this:

“A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” Jeremiah 17:12

So the  glorious high throne from the beginning, before JEHOVAH’s “works of old”, the Son of God was established as a Priest & King. And why a Priest? He was the Priest of the Sanctuary. And why a Sanctuary? That is the most vital part of understanding these points, because without the other points to bring us to this place, there would be no gospel. Yet there is the gospel. In holy vision, Zechariah saw the glory of the Son of God:
“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zecharian 6:13)
We are told that “the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Not merely affirming two, but it says the counsel of peace is between them. The Hebrew word for “shall be” is especially interesting, of the tense it is in. This means “I AM”, or “to exist”, “be/was/is”. It is the Hebrew word “HawYah”, from which comes the name JEHOVAH, and means “eternal”. It is the same words that our God employed when speaking to Moses:
“And God said unto Moses, I AM [HawYah] THAT I AM [HawYah]: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM [HawYah] hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)
Therefore, an accurate rendering of Zechariah 6:13 may also read: “Even He builds the temple of the LORD; and bears the glory, and sits and rules upon His throne; and He is a priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace IS between them both.”

What is this counsel of peace between our Heavenly Father and our Great High Priest? It is that which was from the beginning, and what the throne was established upon. It is the most sacred of counsels, because in it, was established both the Son, the Sanctuary, and the Throne over all creation. What is that eternal counsel which was from the beginning between them both? It was the formulation of the plan of the gospel.  The Word of God declares:

The Counsel of Peace Was Between Them Both

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” (1 Peter 1:18-20)

Of this counsel of peace that existed between the Father and the Son, it is called “the hidden wisdom”:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” (1 Corinthians 2:7)
“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest (revealed) unto his saints:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colossians 1:26-27)

Therefore, we see that this was hidden since creation. The plan of redemption was formed between God and His Son beforehand, in the event that man would choose to ruin himself by disobeying the command of His Creator, and eat the fruit of sin. Yet, at the fall, the counsel of peace, the everlasting covenant, at the very first sin went into effect. The Voice of God visited them at their fall, and promised that He would crush the dominion of the serpent, Satan. That promise was sufficient to break his dominion in their hearts if they would believe the counsel of peace. There, He covered their nakedness with a slain lamb, and declared to them:
“…the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.” (Isaiah 54:10)

God Didn't Desire Sin's Entrance, But A Plan Was Made Beforehand...

God Didn’t Desire Sin’s Entrance, But A Plan Was Made Beforehand…

So what is the counsel of peace? It is “the covenant of My peace” says the Word of JEHOVAH. It declares that the way of His mercy has already been established from the beginning, before His “works of old”, having “foreordained” His Son to be the Lamb of sacrifice, “before the foundation of the world“. Hallelujah! That peace of this counsel is none other than peace foremost with God through His Son:
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” (Ephesians 2:13-14)

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:18-20)

 

 

The plan established in the heart of God and His Son before the creation of the world was to, in the event of sin, “reconcile all things” to God through the One that God made all things through! And not only so, but in the heart of God therefore, when this plan was formed, it declares something of the greatest importance. This counsel was fixed in place before the creation was entered into by God and His Christ, but it was not for Themselves that they formed this plan. The Scriptures declare that it was for us, declaring that He has even “chosen us…before the foundation of the world”: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Ephesians 1:4)
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling… according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Timothy 1:9)

God has saved us from the beginning if we will choose to rest in His love. He has saved us, and called us, and chosen us, and even given us grace BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN; before we were born, He saw the mercy, and grace and glory He would crown us with in His love. He sees the covenant of peace, and He declares, “I have saved you, return unto Me.” Salvation has already been in place, so none need be lost. He who upholds the worlds fixed something in place even greater than the world, and He saw us in that very thing.

This is “the love of the truth” that we should purify our souls in obeying. It declares heaven is our home. It declares that our abiding place is in the Lamb of God before the foundation of the world. That He established His Sanctuary and Priesthood for our sakes, in the love wherewith He has loved us.

Why then should any be lost? Because they “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 1:8). The very same gospel which was ordained to their glory, they have refused. And why have they refused? Because of Satan.

The god of this world has blinded the minds of many from the glorious revelation of the love of the gospel

The god of this world has blinded the minds of many from the glorious revelation of the love of the gospel

 

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them….” (2 Corinthians 3:3-4)
Declaring that he works “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2Th 2:10)

Therefore, we read:
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

 

 

Jesus is called the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the world, another reference to the counsel of peace that existed. He was slain from the foundation of the world, being that Lamb that was a ready sacrifice “foreordained” for fallen man, to be the Lamb promising mercy and life. Here is the promise God gave:

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;). That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3)

In the above passage, John calls Jesus “the Word of life”, “which was from the beginning”, and “was manifested”, even calling Him “that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested”; in the same letter, declaring this eternal life which was with the Father, he says: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

Therefore, if the life was manifested to John, and that eternal life is in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the Lamb bringing mercy to Adam, and all who sinned before He was manifested, then He is also the Life from the foundation of the world, giving eternal life to all who believe from the foundation of the world. Even before His Resurrection, Christ said:

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25)
Therefore, Christ is the Resurrection from the foundation of the world, and He is our Life. This is the peace, this is the life, this is the hope that you have been given in the gospel, declaring the love God has had toward you. Therefore, the question that remains, that Jesus asks of you, is this:
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:26)




Antichrist: Has Jesus come in the flesh?

antichrist-620x350

 

 

What flesh did Jesus come in?  He comes in our flesh.

1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Did Christ come in sinful flesh?  Absolutely.   John is saying something more than just confessing Christ came 2000 years ago in a human body.  Let’s examine this carefully.

1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

How do we know the Spirit of God?  Because Christ is come in the flesh.  What flesh?  Was it coming in flesh 2000 years ago that we are to confess?  Is this what John is trying to say?  It is not just confessing Christ is come in the flesh 2000 years ago.  It is confessing that Christ is living in your flesh TODAY.   Right now.  We read in verse 4:

1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 

Who is in you?  Christ Jesus.  “He that is in you” is “come in the flesh”.  He lives in your flesh.  It is Jesus Christ living in your sinful flesh today if you will confess and believe it.  Jesus told us he would come and live in us:

John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The world does not see him, or know him.  But you do.  Who was dwelling with them?  Who was going to be in them?  Jesus is the comforter.

Joh 14:18  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 

And what does this mean?  This means you “know the spirit of God”  (1 John 4:2).   It also means you “know the spirit of truth”(1 John 4:6).    He is dwelling in your flesh.  Will you confess it?  (1 John 4:2-4).   “Greater is He that is in you”  (1 John 4:4)  How does He dwell in you?  By His Spirit.  What is His Spirit?  It is His life, his character, his mind.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 Now we have receivedthe spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God… we have the mind of Christ.

The old man being nailed to the cross, Christ now lives in this flesh.

Romans 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Since Christ is living in my flesh.  I now have a freedom from sin, am no longer captive to it as the chains have been broken.

1Jn 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Whoever is a son/daughter/child of God does not commit sin.  Again, who is it that is living in me?  His seed?  Who’s seed?  God the Father’s seed.  Who is the seed of the Father?  The Son, Christ Jesus. God has sent forth the spirit of his son to dwell in me.  And because He lives in me, I no longer commit, that is make the commitment to violate His law.  It is Christ living in me.

This is not something we as born again believers work towards.  It is the written word and all we need to do is believe that the word is in us and will do what it says it will do.  Is the word in your flesh?   Will you confess it?

Gal 2:17  But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 

If Christ is living in this flesh, are we still found sinners?  I believe that many have this confession and they think Christ is living in their flesh.  But this would mean Christ is a sinner.  But as Paul our confession should be:

1 Timothy 1:13-15 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (14) And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (15) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Paul “was before” chief of sinners.  Did Paul continue to be chief of sinners?  No.  If “we also are found sinners” than we would make “Christ the minister of sin”.  After salvation from sin.   We are to be found “saints”.   Paul didn’t write “to the sinners that be at Ephesus”.  He wrote “to the saints that be at Ephesus”(Eph 1:1).   Some may find this arrogant, yet this is the word of God.  And this is to be our testimony, since our testimony is to be “the testimony of Jesus Christ.”(Rev 12:17)  And what was the testimony of Jesus Christ?

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Joh 8:29  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Since Christ is living in us, we can confess that our Father has not left us alone.  Can we not also confess that we “do always those things that please him”?  Can our Father say when looking at us “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”(Matt 3:17) Or are we sons of someone else?(See John 8:34-41)   If we are confessing that we are still sinners, than we are not confessing that Christ is come in the flesh, and therefore the spirit of God is not in us, but rather the spirit of antichrist.

Satan wants to come to you, to have you question your identity.   He wants you to doubt you are God’s son.  Just as he tried to do to Jesus he comes to you, trying to get you to prove yourself saying to you “If you are the son of God then how come this is still here in your life.”  If Jesus has paid the price for your sins, give them to him and submit yourself to God and Satan will flee.  Don’t keep what he paid for.  Let it all go, and let Christ live in you freely.  Remember your identity and don’t let Satan trick you into selling the birthright for a bowl of pottage and end up trying to seek it carefully by tears.  It is by faith in the word of God to do what it says in you.  He has forgiven you, he has given you a new life.

“…Even now are there many antichrists;”(1 John 2:18)  Many have pinpointed the Pope as “the antichrist”.  But it is possible that even you yourself have been an antichrist.   That you did not accept the sonship our Father offers.   But our Father bids us “go and sin no more”(John 8:11) and with that word comes the power and the enabling to do what the word says, since that word is the living word Jesus Christ.   “The word was made flesh”(John 1:14) and you are living proof as long as you will believe, accept and live it.

 

 

 

David

Article Contributor: David Barron

 

David Barron is a teacher of the Bible & Director at The Third Angel’s Message. He is currently travelling North America, teaching the Bible and giving lectures upon request. 

 




Christ our Example

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.
I wish especially to call attention to these words: “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.” Everybody knows that Christ is our example in the Christian life. It would be useless for me to take your time or mine to set forth that fact. There are a great many who desire to imitate the example of Christ, a great many who do not know how, and the purpose of our study this afternoon will be, if possible, to help some one to know how to do this. I take it for granted that every Christian knows that he ought to be like Christ. There is no teaching of the Scripture more plain than this, and the promise is, that while the disciple is not above his teacher, yet every one who is perfected, will be as his teacher. Our purpose is to bring out some simple and plain lessons which, we hope, will be helpful to you in understanding better how to imitate the life of Christ.

Three Definite Points.

We might wander over a great deal of ground in this matter, and occupy our whole time, without getting anything very definite in our minds. But I want to get two or three lessons fixed; for they are the foundation of every other lesson, and with them all the other lessons come of themselves. To make the point definite in our minds with reference to learning of Him, I want to set before you three points.
We are to imitate the example of Christ in living in God and with God and for God. How shall we live, as did Christ in God, with God, and for God?

Christ the Branch.

Christ was the very revelation of God, the life of God in the earth. In Zech. 6:12 the prophet says of Him: “Behold the man whose name is the Branch; and He shall grow up out of His place [not in the wrong place, but where He is; He will grow up out of His place], and He shall build the temple of the Lord.” Christ is here spoken of as the branch, and He was the branch of God. But His root was in heaven; and in being the branch of God to this world, He is, in another sense, the arm of God. God was in heaven, but He was reaching down in Jesus Christ to get hold of the world. As the branch, Christ grew as the branch, in order to be something visible to the world. God is in clouds and darkness; but He wanted to reveal Himself to a world that had been cut off by sin, so Christ came as a branch of Himself.

The Hidden Source of Life.

You know that the roots of a tree are hidden underneath; but they are the secret sources of life, and that which appears, which we call the tree, is after all but the root which comes up in sight. Christ was the branch to the world, but His root was hidden in God, and He was made manifest that the world might see what God is. Christ’s life, when He was here in the flesh, was in God, and He depended on God just as much for life for His service here as we are obliged to depend upon God. To be sure, He had life; “for as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” But when He came here to be the revelation of God to the world, and an example to humanity, He put Himself in the very place of humanity; and as humanity was weak, He became weak for humanity’s sake. As humanity was dependent wholly upon a power outside of itself, so He became dependent. And He said, “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.”
He took that place of dependence, that position of weakness, in order that He might pass through the experience of those whom He came to save; His life was hid in God, and He depended wholly upon God and upon the ministry of angels.

Christ’s Life in God.

Do not think that the life of Christ here was a life of ease because He was the divine Son of God. He was the divine Son of God, but He veiled that divinity. Behold the wondrous condescension of God in Christ. Although He had power, yet He laid it down, and became dependent. This is stated in Scriptures. The Gospel of John is the great gospel of life. We turn to it when we want to learn about life. In this Gospel Christ says, “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the works; that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”
While it is true that Jesus Christ was divinity veiled in humanity, it is also true that He was humanity enshrined in divinity. In His humanity He hung Himself upon His Father for help, for strength, for all that He needed as humanity; in His divinity, the Father dwelt in Him, and worked through Him. He was divinity in humanity, the roots reaching to heaven, but He was humanity enshrined in divinity. So He says in John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself; but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” And He asked for His disciples, “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee.” John 17:21. Christ was that union of the divine and the human, which is the perfection of humanity, because of divinity working in and through humanity.
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” John 1:18. Notice the statement. It does not say, “who came from the bosom of the Father,” but “which is in the bosom of the Father.” There was such a union between Christ and His Father that where Christ was, there the Father was. And He was in the bosom of the Father while here upon earth, His life hid in God for our sakes.
Now we will notice Christ’s Life With God; that is to say, His communion with God, His fellowship with God. While His life was with God, it must also flow out through humanity, and Christ, by putting Himself in the position of humanity, puts Himself in the place of the empty vine, that must be filled from the Father. He puts Himself in that position where, by His communion with God, He received from God what He gave to the world. In His last prayer He said, “For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me;” “and the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them.” John 17:8, 22.
He stood between God and man, to receive from God on His divine side, to hand out on His human side, and to make a complete connection between the divine and the human. But in putting Himself there, He subjected Himself to the same conditions that we find in us. He had nothing in Himself, He emptied Himself, and became a channel of blessing and light and power and life and glory to man. What He brought to the world, He brought because the Father gave it to Him, and He must needs go to the Father to get what the Father would have Him give to the world, because of His dependence.

Christ’s Source of Strength

So we find Christ going often to the Father for communion, seeking from Him strength. Let us read two or three scriptures that will emphasise this. “In the morning rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 Why?—Because He had a day before Him of revealing the Father, a day before Him of giving God to the people, and He must needs rise a great while before day, and go to the Father, and in fellowship with Him, in communion with Him, He must receive from Him what He was to give to the people.”Now when all the people were baptised, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptised, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, Thou art My beloved Sort, in whom I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21, 22. The heavens were opened to Christ when He prayed; the heavens will be opened to us when we pray.
“And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James, and Went Up Into a Mountain to Pray. And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering.” Luke 9:28, 29. But let me tell you He prayed more than a short prayer that night. Christ prayed His short prayers in public; but when He went to commune with God in the night season, then it was that He poured out His soul before God, reaching out in His weakness, and clinging to God, not simply for Himself, but for all the people, for our sakes, that He might grasp divine power; and it was while He was praying that the fashion of His countenance was altered.
It was when Moses was in the presence of God that his face shone with glory, so that when he came out the people could not stand before him. It was when Christ, as our representative, prayed that night on the mountain till His disciples fell asleep and the dews of night fell on Him, that the heavens were opened to Him. It is in our communion with God that glory rests upon us, and our filthy garments are changed to the white robes of Christ’s righteousness.

Christ’s Life for God

And so it was in answer to His communion with the Father that He received from God the blessings He gave to humanity; but now, having a life in God, maintained by fellowship with God, that life of power is to be spent for God. Christ’s life was a life of sacrifice, a life of service for God; He was a representative of God as well as the representative of humanity. He was sent here to represent the divine character, but also to show that it is possible for that divine character to be revealed in humanity
Do not think that God is some far-away being. The life and experience of Christ were to show to the world that God can dwell in humanity; that God has made humanity as a temple for His own indwelling, and Christ received the very presence of the Father to dwell in His humanity, to show that humanity can be a temple for the living God.
Christ spent His life wholly in service for God. All the strength received from the Father in His hours of prayer went out in ministry. He fed the people, taught them, laboured for them, and He became weary as He walked up and down Judea, giving His life for the people. And He ended it by giving His life on the cross for them. That is the life of Christ, in God, with God, and for God.

Christ’s Life to Be Repeated in Us.

I delight to dwell upon that picture, and to have it presented before our minds; but I want to tell you that the only reason that picture is recorded on the page of history is because it is God’s intention that the same experience shall be lived over again in us. It is God’s purpose that we shall be like Christ, and He has made provision that we shall be. I know we are weak, I know we are helpless, I know we are unworthy; but I know that God has made wondrous provision. God knew that we were unworthy; but He made the provision that through just such humanity as there is here to-day, if they will have faith in Christ, He will reveal His character, and make them channels of blessing to the world. That is God’s design for us, and let us rejoice in the thought; let us take our eyes off the cheap, common things, and low grades of Christian experience, and look up to the throne of God and of Christ, our Advocate, who is there to intercede for us. Let us believe that God intends a wonderful experience for us in His Son. His plan is to do it, and His grace is sufficient.
Our lives, just like Christ’s are to be in God, with God, for God. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” That experience is for us, and we are to realise every day that we have no life in ourselves; that we have no power in ourselves; but that all our life and power must come from Christ. Our life, like Christ’s, must be between the mountain and the multitude, going up into the mountain with God get what He has for us, that we may bring it down to give to the people.
When Christ fed the thousands by His miracles, He Himself did not give the bread to the people; but He blessed it and brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and they gave it to the people. We are to go to Him, and He will bless the loaf, and give it to us; and then, as a loaf blessed of Him, and having in it life and salvation, we are to bring it to the people. And so we must continue Our Life of Fellowship With God.
And this life of fellowship must be, in every detail, like Christ’s. We must be born in the Spirit as was He born in the Spirit; we must be baptised of the Holy Spirit as was He. When we go to temptation, we must go as He did,— led of the Spirit; when we return from victory over temptation, we must return as He did, in the power of the Spirit. When we preach we must say as He did—”The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18. He was baptised of the Holy Spirit, and “went about doing good.” He would even go out of His way to give somebody the opportunity of receiving benefit from Him. His was a life of service and self-sacrifice, and He calls upon us to follow His example, not in our own strength, but with a life in God, rooted in heaven. He bids us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Learning By Service.

Our life, being a life with God in the power of the Spirit, must also be a life for God. We are kept many times from the fulness of this experience by being afraid of God. We are afraid that if we unreservedly and fully give ourselves up to God and say, “Whether I live or die, whether in sickness or health, all my life shall be for God,” that God will call us to something that we do not want; and it is that very fear that keeps God from revealing Himself to us and in us. God does not reveal Himself by telling about Himself; but He says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.” By service learn.
We do not enter the school of Christ to have Him tell us the theory of the Christian life simply as something to be studied out ourselves. God gives us knowledge of Himself by revealing Himself in us, and when He wants us to know the experience of faith and the victory of faith, He leads us up to a Red Sea, that He may teach us what this victory means. It is by living with God that we learn God. Our heads may be filled with a great many theories; but they will all be useless unless we know what God is by seeing what He does for us, by seeing what He can do for those that believe in Him, by being in Him, and letting Him work.
We have a great many lessons to learn about God, and the fundamental lesson is, “Walk in the light.” Everything depends upon light. Take it away and the flowers will die. They must live in the light. Take away the light of God from us, and our Christian experience perishes, but the light goes on. It is not stationary; it moves, and we must move with it in order to keep the light we have, and open the channel for more light.
Let us notice now our life for God.

Denying Self.

In Matt. 16:24 we read, “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” “Let him deny himself.” Those words have a much broader meaning than staying away from some place of amusement, or giving up eating something that pleases the palate. They mean the sacrifice of self, the disinheriting of self, the emptying out of self, the very denial of self. Peter denied Christ when he said, “I know Him not,” and we are to treat self in exactly the same way. Does self rise up and claim recognition? then say, “I know you not.” Just as distinctly as Peter three times denied his Lord, so we, when self rises up and wants to control us, are to say, “I do not know you; I will have nothing to do with you.” Deny self, disinherit self, let self die, and keep it dead, too.
Said Paul, “I protest by your rejoicing, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” I Cor. 15:31. Many people are troubled in their Christian experience because self is continually rising. “Why,” they say, “I thought yesterday that I had gained a complete victory, and that self was crucified.” Self was crucified just as long as the faith that cast self out kept it out, but just the moment that that faith wavers, self rises up and asserts its power. The faith which puts self to death must keep it dead. Self must be crucified daily and hourly through faith in Jesus Christ.
“Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” I would like to impress upon your minds to-day what is included in the cross of Christ. Let us spell it.
C.—Crucifixion.—The very first letter and the very first lesson of the cross. Said Paul in his letter to the Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20. He said again in this same letter, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Chris, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Gal. 6:14. Taking up the cross means the death of self; bearing the cross means dying daily, selfdeath, keeping self dead. That is crucifixion, the very first letter of the cross, but I want to tell you that there is another letter.
R.—Resurrection.—After crucifixion there is a rising again. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” Rom. 6:5. I like the Revised Version of this verse, which reads, “For if we have been united with the likeness of His crucifixion, we shall be also with the likeness of His resurrection.” (margin.) If you spell C, you can spell R. For “like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Christ lived this life on the earth for our sakes; He was crucified for our offences, but He was raised again for our justification. We do not need to mourn; for He who made heaven and earth is our Saviour, and He lives today for us. He said when He was here, “All power upon heaven and earth is given unto Me.” He gained this power by His death, and when He was raised up, He was raised up to newness of life. “In that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He lives, He lives unto God. Likewise reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And the new life to which we are raised is not the old life of self, but it is the life of Jesus Christ,—that divine-human life, which is not simply the life of God apart from flesh, nor the life of flesh apart from God, but the life of God which has been wrought into human flesh. That life comes to us in our resurrection from the crucifixion of self. Where self dies Christ lives; where the old man is buried, the new man is raised to life; where the old man lived in sin, the new man walks with God. It is the resurrection life in the power of Christ’s resurrection.
Said Paul in his letter to the Philippians, I count everything that I ever thought was worth anything, as loss, “for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord.” As less than nothing I hold the experiences of the past, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” It is the resurrection power that we Christians need; it is the resurrection life that we must have; and I thank God that it is the resurrection life that is provided. Do not be satisfied with anything short of that. It is God’s free gift in Jesus Christ. I would that I could arouse everyone that has the least spark of faith in Jesus Christ, to lay hold largely upon His power. There is no danger of our exhausting the supply; infinite are His resources; infinite His love; infinite His desire for us. He is only waiting for us to grasp it by faith. I thank God that it is so.
O.—Obedience.—That goes with the cross. To everyone who thinks that he cannot obey God’s law, I would say, Obey the gospel. If you are afraid of the law, obey the gospel, that is enough. What happens to those who do not obey the gospel?—”And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thess. 1:7-9. Friends, obey the gospel, and I will risk the law. Obey the gospel, because we have found in the plainest possible manner that the gospel is simply the law in Christ.
Read 2 Cor. 10:5, and it will show us to what extent this obedience is to go. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” He who does not obey the gospel in thought, does not obey the gospel at all. He who does not obey the truth in thought, does not obey the truth at all. No outward life can satisfy; it must be the inmost life of the soul; and the outward life, after all, will be but the revealing of what is within. “Out of the abundance of the heart the month speaketh.” And the glory of every pure thought and holy deed we are to give to Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Obedience stands right in the centre of the cross.
S.—Sacrifice.—That sacrifice which offers up self,—self-sacrifice: the complete yielding of everything to God, the entire consecration which lays everything upon God’s altar, and cares not for the opinion of men, but looks to God for His opinion; which cares not for the words of men, but looks to God in Jesus Christ for His word; which lives the life He lived in the flesh, by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.
S.—Service.—A life given up to God, devoted wholly to God. Christ’s mission here was to save the lost, and it is the mission of every representative of His to do the same work. Let me tell you, my friends, in the fear of God, that we will not stand clear in His sight if we have not laboured for Him. Selfishness has no place in heaven. And unless we get rid of self, we can never go to heaven. Jesus Christ is the only One who can take us there; self will drag us down to hell. Let Jesus Christ lift us up. Let us consecrate our lives and all we have to the service of God. It is all His anyway. How much I ask you, is it to give to God what belongs to Him already? Anything short of this sacrifice is robbing God. We are His by creation and by redemption. In the mouth of two witnesses shall it be established that we are His. Then act as though we were His, and let Him act as though we were His.
The very purpose of the life of Christ in heaven now is that the image of God may appear in our lives. Christ lived His life here in the flesh to show us what the image of God is; but He is not satisfied with that. He wants us to cooperate with Him in letting that life be lived again in us. Christ told His disciples just before ascending that He would send His Holy Spirit to dwell in them. God’s purpose, and I would that this thought might be burned in our minds, is that the very life that Christ lived shall be lived by His followers. And we live that life by our submission and willingness to give up our own way and let God be glorified in Jesus Christ.
That is Christian life. I would that I could impress upon every Christian what it is his privilege to be. If you have not known it, take hold of Jesus Christ. God is able to do great things for us. He has promised to do great things for us, and His promises never fail; they are to-day yea and amen in Jesus Christ. What God wants us to do is to have faith in them, and treat Him as our loving Father, who has given us all things in Jesus Christ.
Now we have the cross,—Crucifixion, resurrection, obedience, sacrifice, service. It begins with the death of self; it rises into a new life, even the life of Christ; it shows itself in implicit obedience to God in Jesus Christ; it gives itself a sacrifice to others; for says the Scripture, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16. “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” Matt. 10:25. He who holds on to self will perish with self; he who lets go of self will live in Jesus Christ, and will find a life that measures with the life of God.

Giving Up Self Only a Question of Time.

It is only a question with us of when we are going to give up this life. You are, I know, very well aware that the days of our life are but “threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Ps. 90:10. Shall we give up this life now and receive the life of Christ, or shall we hold to this life until it is taken away from us, and it is too late to receive the life of Christ? We are to meet God face to face. Shall we meet Him in Christ or in self? We are to meet the law of God. Shall we meet that law in Jesus Christ or in ourselves? These experiences must come to everyone. The question for us to settle is, Shall they come to us in Christ or out of Christ? Our safety, our glory, our joy, is in meeting these experiences in Jesus Christ.
Degrees in the School of Christ. I want now to call your attention to the experience of the apostle Paul as a disciple, in the school of Christ. Before his conversion Paul was a disciple in the school of Gamaliel. I do not know what the customs of the Jewish schools were in that time, or whether they conferred any degrees on Paul, but I know that he was a learned man, and I suppose he had gathered up the wisdom of the day as it could be learned in the Jewish schools. Speaking of himself in his letter to the Philippians, he says, “For we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more. Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” And he speaks of this again to the Galatians: “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews’ religion above many mine equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” Phil. 3:3-6; Gal. 1:13, 14. That is where Paul stood when he entered the school of Christ. I want to follow his experience in the school of Christ, and see the degrees that he took.

The first degree is— B. A.—Born again. That is the first degree everyone takes in the school of Christ. Writing to the Corinthians Paul says, “And last of all He was seen of me also, as one born out of due time.” 1 Cor. 15:8. Christ said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:7. But right in connection with that “must” is another. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. “Ye must be born again,” “the Son of man must be lifted up”, and in Him is the life for the new birth. The first degree then is Born again.

The next degree that Paul took was— M. A.—Moulded afresh. Made over completely by the new life. Paul writes of this in Col. 3:9, 10, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created Him.” The first degree, Born again, is conferred upon us in order that the new life dwelling in us may mould and fashion us after the image of God.

The next degree is— D. D.—Delivered Debtor. After one has received the new birth, moulding him into the new life, to what then is he debtor? Said Paul, “I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians; both to the wise and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am really to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” Rom. 1:14, 15. He had been delivered, and he felt himself a debtor to give to others what he had received. He took this degree and deserved it. His life was a manifestation that he was indeed a D. D. in Christ, a delivered debtor, who gave his life to give to others what God had given him.

I think Paul took the next degree also, that of— LL. D.—Life Lovingly Dedicated. These are the genuine degrees in God’s school, Born Again, Moulded Afresh, Delivered Debtor, a Life Lovingly Dedicated. What is this but life in God, life with God, and life for God? That was Paul’s experience, and God has set forth that experience for us, because it belongs to every child of God.

We might continue this lesson at great length, but I want these thoughts to abide in your minds. They are a great deal better to talk about and to think about than the cheap, common things of life. Let our minds be filled with the things of God, with the word of God, and then expect God to tell us great things about His word, and to reveal to us the deep things of God. And let us look for these degrees in our lives. No university founded by man can confer these degrees upon anyone, but in the school of Christ they are open to everyone. If anyone wants to carry about with him degrees that are worth something, let him enter the school of Christ, and take the degrees given there.
If you will carry away with you these thoughts to-day, that God in Jesus Christ lived a life of perfection on earth, and that Jesus Christ now lives in heaven, our great high Priest, making intercession for us, receiving from the Father the promise of His Spirit that He may give it to us, in order that the very same character that appeared in the character of Jesus Christ to the glory of God may appear in you, and if you will believe in God to work that in you by crucifixion, by obedience, by self-sacrifice, by service, God will greatly bless your lives in Jesus Christ.

November 9, 1895 Armadale Campmeeting Talk




The Revelation of Jesus Christ: The Seal of the Living God

In the Bible, we find the breadth of what we are to become brought to view. The Word of God is to give us an experience that causes us to view the world, not as man sees it, because “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not”, but it gives us a much different perspective. A different perspective not only causing us to behold who God is, but in beholding who God is, to see the world in a most startling condition: to see the worldwith new eyes.

This experience of seeing with new eyes is to see what is not presently seen, because it is seen through the eyes of faith. This is only possible by being born again.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
(Joh 3:3)

Are we seeing through the eyes of God's kingdom?

Are we seeing through the eyes of God’s kingdom?

A man cannot “see” the things of God unless he is “born again”. Even then, we do not “see” them with fleshly eyes, but with spiritual eyes we behold the things that God has prepared for those that love Him.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Notice that although it hasn’t entered into the heart of man, it has been seen by the Spirit. That which is born of the flesh is fleshly, and cannot see nor discern spiritual things. Thankfully, those born of the Spirit can see spiritual realities. Many today claim that it hasn’t entered into our hearts what God has prepared for us, but neglect to share the very next passage, that He has revealed it to His Spirit-born children, yet it is abundantly evident from the apostle Paul’s next words that “the heart of man” refers to the carnal heart:

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
(1Co 2:9-12)

The Scripture tells us if we receive the Spirit of God, the things of God’s kingdom He “hath revealed…unto us by His Spirit.” Therefore we behold the beauties of the things unseen by faith, for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

It is the things not seen that the children of God are to steadfastly behold, and this is the principle of the Kingdom of God.

Walking by faith in the word of the living God and not by the apparent contradictions of present sight are essential to learning how to see life as a Christian

Walking by faith in the word of the living God and not by the apparent contradictions of present sight are essential to learning how to see life as a Christian

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
(2Co 4:18)

More than the eternal principle of God’s kingdom, it is the very principle God has desired for His people to always have, which is faith. By faith, we may clearly see the eternal God, who is invisible to mortal sight, even as Moses, who “endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27)

Now, what about this faith that causes us to see with the world with new eyes. This is nothing short of being born of the Kingdom of God. Now what does the Scripture say about how to receive this faith? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) This same faith that comes by the Word of God is the very thing which brings us to a new birth experience, giving us this spiritual eyesight:

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
(1Pe 1:23)

The Word of God is incorruptible, and that incorruptible seed contains all that we need to bring to full growth our spiritual maturity if we continue growing by that same spiritual seed, but the world is functioning on a different level. It is not the eyes of faith, nor is it able to perceive or know the things of the heavenly kingdom, and just the same, they cannot have a true conception of the invisible God unless they look to His revelation as revealed in Christ, and by us.

A NEW NAME

When we are born again though, just as we are given a new eyes to behold God’s character, we are given a new name. However, as we will see, those two things are intimately connected in our birth experience as children of God.

Moses made a request of the living God, and God said He would declare His name to Moses:

“And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; …And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD…and proclaimed, Yahuwah, Yahuwah God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;…”
(Exo 33:18-19…34:5-7)

The name of God has everything to do with His character. And the name which is given to us in the new birth experience is the very formation of His character in us. He takes from us that perverse character, like Jacob (who was a deceiver) and gives us the new name, like Israel (which means overcomer):

“And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:… rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”
(Isa 65:15-18)

It is evident that to be born again by the creative Word of God, that we must see something of God’s love for us, and to be turned from our sins. We must necessarily, to be born again, see something of God’s character: this is when we begin to see something of God’s heart, and when this something is more readily seen, we ourselves begin to see even as He sees the perfect wisdom of His ways, the vileness of sin, and the affairs of the world, and will walk in the ways of His Spirit.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down…and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower…: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
(Isa 55:8-11)

Only by God’s Word can we share in His thoughts, His ways, and that Word alone can be the seed of the Spirit, because His Words “are Spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) Moreover, the Bible likens the same verse of “Spirit” and “mind” to be the very same. In the book of Isaiah, it asks the question: “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord? Or being His counsellor has taught Him?” (40:13) Paul quoting this, it states “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counsellor?” (Romans 11:34) For this reason, His thoughts and ways are expressly said to be found in this same word which ministers to us His Spirit (His mind/thoughts), and is described as rain that comes, and which when that rain comes in contact with us, will cause us to prosper and grow. God refers to His own presence by the Holy Spirit as that rain that we might grow in the knowledge of the invisible God:

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
(Hos 6:3)

Now having a new name, which is God’s character, and new eyes, and a new Spirit, by that incorrupible seed which God waters with the revelation of His own presence, we are now “a new creation” in heart and mind in Christ Jesus as we walk upon this earth. By faith, we are the children of God, and in having the mind of the Spirit of God, those things not revealed to the hearts of men are now revealed to us more and still more, so fully that we will reveal the very things that are revealed to us:

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
(2Co 3:18)

TRUE LOVE REVEALED

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
(1Co 15:50)

The flesh cannot ever inherit the incorruptible character of God, and for good reason. The flesh can produce no love for souls. It cannot possibly produce the fruit of the Spirit that permeates the Kingdom of God in us.

The flesh is corrupt “because of sin” (Romans 8:10), but “the fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Gal. 5:22). The Scripture shows that the flesh and the Spirit “are contrary to one another” (Gal. 5:17) “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
(Rom 8:13) And if we claim to be born of God, having inherited His character, which is His name, we must clearly manifest love, for “God is love”.

The principles of love are to be so fully be manifested in us that we are to reveal this revelation of God’s glory, that Moses asked to see, to the whole world (See Rev. 18:1). What is love? The Scripture says love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but it rejoices in truth”. Neither does love “seek it’s own”, not

Are we seeing things as Christ Himself sees them in Spirit and truth?

Are we seeing things as Christ Himself sees them in Spirit and truth?

being selfish, and “thinks no evil”, but sees the true nature of sin, that instead of thinking evil of another soul, it sees that they are victims of sin, holding the very same perspective between the soul and the sin that holds it’s victim captive that is found in the heart-wrenching cry of Christ at the cross, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing!”

This is the love we are to reveal to the world: it’s the Father’s character of love. We are told that this Spirit of love that causes us to have the mind of God toward mankind is nothing less than the thing “whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30), and when that day of redemption approaches, a special work is given to the ensure this seal is full and complete with the Father’s character impressed upon us before Christ returns to take all of the redeemed home.
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
(Rev 7:2-4)

The plea of the intercession of Christ is to hold back the judgments from coming upon the earth until the number of His kingdom is made up: 144,000 being “sealed…in their foreheads”.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
(Rev 14:1)

Now, what is the seal? It is the Spirit. More expressly, what is the seal? It is the Father’s name, His character, impressed upon our hearts. Moreover, it is the law of God which the Spirit writes upon the heart of the redeemed child of God who stands with Christ upon Mt. Zion:

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples…Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.”
(Isa 8:16-18)

And how is this character of the love of God manifested in our lives? “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”

If the seal is the Father’s character, it is also true that it is the mark which is placed upon those that sigh and cry by reason of the abominations that are being done amongst God’s professed people. The character of God is to hate sin but love the sinner, and love “rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” These souls that are living in their abominations we are to recognize as not having “received the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10) and how can we rejoice if they are not in a saved condition? Do we sense the magnitude of the sin whose fruit brings forth death? The angels are to see the Father’s character in us, just as it was in Christ, hating iniquity as He hates it. It testifies that His thoughts towards both sin and the sinner are our thoughts, and that His ways are our ways. Truly to love the sinner but abhor the sin for which the sinner will inevitably die if he

The light of the cross brings to view the punishment of the transgressor in the justice of God, and the gift of life in the perfect love and mercy of God.

The light of the cross brings to view the punishment of the transgressor in the justice of God, and the gift of life in the perfect love and mercy of God.

does not repent. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11) Anything other than this character must be carefully examined in the light of the law of sin and death at the cross of Calvary and left “as a curse for My Chosen” that we “might be made the righteousness of God” in Christ.

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
(Rev 22:3-4)

Yet the terrible fate of the professed people of God who had not this love in their heart was judgment. They did not have the seal of God’s Spirit, and that special mark of God’s character was not impressed upon them, so that angels of God passed them by, and they were left to the inevitable judgments brought upon by neglecting so great a salvation.

“And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity…”
(Eze 9:4-5)

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
(Heb 10:29)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”
(2Co 5:10-11)

Ezekiel, in seeing the slaughter that was happening by vision in Jerusalem, manifested that very same character of Christ at the cross, and should we expect to manifest anything less in these last days when considering the fearful danger of sin and it’s consequences of shutting it’s victims out of heaven?

“And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.”
(Eze 9:8-9)

THE CLOSING SCENE

That judgment is long deferred by the intercession of the High Priestly ministry of Christ. Whether pleading at the conception of sin with Adam & Eve, to the intercession at the cross, to the cry to hold the four winds until the servants of God are completely sealed with the character of God, Christ desires to see souls saved from sin at last, “not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9) Anciently, the Levitical high priest wore a golden crown, inscribed “Holiness unto Yahuwah”. This was nothing less than the Father’s name inscribed upon that crown which he wore, and if this was the forehead of the high priest upon the earth, how much more the High Priest from heaven whose priesthood has no end? Moreover, the sons of the high priest served as priests in the temple, yet we are “the children that are with” our High Priest, “a royal priesthood” “after the Order of Melchizedek”. Should the character of our intercession and pleadings be anything less than reflecting the holiness we’ve inherited in connection with Christ’s priestly ministry? And when this glorious sealing of God’s character has crowned us, then the intercession will have served it’s purpose and be finished.

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book…”
(Dan 12:1-2)

When the work is done. We see Christ taking the kingdom as a Lion to the wicked, but as a Lamb to the redeemed, standing upon Mount Zion and ruling with a rod of iron:

When the number of the redeemed of Christ’s kingdom is made up, then Christ will return to take His children home.

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed…Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion…You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
(Psa 2:2-9)

Every case has now been decided. The decisions made are ratified in heaven and in every soul made firmly fixed and definitely fixed; the numbering of the redeemed among men is final and there are no second chances. Every character is firmly impressed upon the soul, either for blessing or cursing, life or death. It is at this time the decree of Christ the priestly King declares at the ceasing of His intercession for man: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
(Rev 22:11)

Therefore, may the living God, whose name is love, mercy, justice, and truth, sanctify us wholly with His Spirit and cause us to stand faithful and true with the Lamb on Mt. Zion.




“Abiding in Christ and Walking in Christ”

“He that saith He abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6.
Abiding and walking are the lessons of this text. As a result of abiding in Christ, we ought to walk as He walked. The first lesson is abiding in Christ. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide, in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches:  he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5. Christ says, “I am the true Vine.” There are a great many that profess to be vines; but I am the real vine, I am the Vine that has life. We are the branches. But in the Scripture Christ is spoken of as a branch. “Behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch.” “Behold the man whose name is the Branch; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord.” Zech. 3:8; 6:12. “For he shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:  he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him there is no vinebeauty that we should desire Him.” Isa. 53: 2. “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” But the Scripture speaks of Christ Himself as the branch. Christ is a branch unto God that He may be a vine unto us.
Before any branch can grow, there must be some life underneath that does not show itself. So the branch is after all only a root which has come up in sight, but which depends for life upon the roots that draw life from the soil. God is the source of all things; but He comes in sight to men in Jesus Christ the Branch, and Christ the branch is but the root of God, growing up in sight that men may see it, and God be manifested. When Jesus Christ came to the world, it was God manifesting Himself; but because the root came up out of what appeared to be dry ground, because it did not manifest itself in the way that men thought it ought to, they did not recognize it. They thought it was something not to be desired, and so they rejected it; and yet it was a branch springing up from the root of life, it was God manifesting Himself to the world so that He could be seen. Clouds and darkness are round about His throne; yet He manifested Himself, so that the world, if they would, might see Him in the Branch.
Christ became a branch unto God in order that He might be a vine unto other branches. But the branch abides in the vine only by having a living connection with it. Just as soon as the branch is severed from the vine, though it is put back again with great care, it no longer abides in the Vine. It will not abide in the vine except it be grafted, and the success of this grafting depends upon making such a connection that the life from the vine shall flow into the branch again.
And we most abide in Christ as— The Branch Abides in the Vine, so that very life of God shall be our life. The branch is full of life, yet it has no life of its own. So we must present ourselves every day to be filled with life from God. Just the moment the connection is severed between the branch and the vine, just that moment the branch ceases to live. That is the lesson of abiding in Christ. As the branch is connected with the vine, filled with life, yet needing all the time to be filled, so we are to be connected with Christ, wholly dependent upon Him for life.
That is the lesson; what is the application?—”He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” If the branch is connected with the vine, it bears the fruit of the vine. God in Christ is the true Vine, but the fruit of the grape vine is not found directly on the stalk. The fruit is found on the branches. Christ is our vine, and those who, through becoming connected with Him, are His branches, will bring forth the same fruit as He did when He was here, a branch Himself. That is to say, they will walk even as He walked. This brings before us the thought of Christ our Example.
“He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” Not as men say He walked, but as He walked. And how shall we know how He walked? –By reading and studying His life. That is where we find how Christ walked, and there we will find how we ought to walk. And we will walk as He walked, not wholly as an obligation, but as a result. If one says he abides in Christ, and walks not as He walked, his life is contrary

Walking as He walked...

to his profession. We do not get into Christ by trying to walk as He walked; we do not abide in Christ by trying to walk as He walked; but we first get into Christ, and then as a consequence, just as the branch will bring forth the fruit of the vine, so will the Christian, who really abides in Christ, bring forth the same fruit that He bore, walking as He walked.
If we abide in Him, we will walk in His steps, and He has left us an example that we should walk in His steps. There are many people who take it upon themselves to point out what are Christ’s footsteps; but His word is the test, and in it we may find whether they are pointing out the right footsteps or not. There are in the world to-day many false conceptions of Christ, which amount really to having a false Christ. It is not what our idea of Christ is, but what He is, that is to be our example; not what we have been taught that Christ is, but what word says that He is.
It was revealed unto Simeon “that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ,” and that is what we want to see. Not any man’s idea of what Christ ought to be, but the Lord’s Christ. That is the Christ of the word, and our idea of how Christ walked should be formed wholly by the word.

A Practical Test 

And now let us test it that way. It is quite likely that as soon is we begin to talk of walking with Christ, there comes up the thought, Christ walked on the water; and you surely do not expect us to walk on the water. Let me call your attention to an incident at the beginning of Christ’s ministry:  “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers.

Christ walked on water by the divine power of God the Father.

Christ walked on water by the divine power of God the Father.

And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed Him.” Matt. 4: 18-20. Before Christ walked on the sea, He walked by the sea on the land; and before He saw Peter on the water, He saw him on the land and told him to follow Him, and Peter left his nets and followed Him. Later on in Christ’s ministry, we find that after He had fed the five thousand, His disciples took ship to go across the lake, but He went apart into a mountain to pray; “and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.” Matt. 14:2325. But notice that before He walked on the sea, He had spent the night in secret prayer. “But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with the waves:  for the wind was contrary.” So is our ship. Very likely just now some ship is being tossed by the waves of human tempest. And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them from His season of secret prayer, walking on the sea. “And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Let Him say that to you now. “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” “And Peter answered Him, and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He Said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Verses 26-31. Christ’s walk on the sea was the walk of faith. But Peter failed because of his lack of faith. It is contrary to nature to walk on the water, and it is contrary to our nature to walk as Christ walked; but He says to us as He said to Peter, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Whether it be on land or on sea, His word is a rock; and when He puts His word beneath our feet, He builds for us a bridge of rock, and it makes no difference whether He puts that bridge on land, or water, or in the sky.
But Peter sank. And the Peter that sank that night on the water is the Peter that sank that other night, in failing to testify for Je

sus. The reason in both cases was his lack of faith. In every walk of Christ there is a lesson for us, and as it is unnatural for man to walk on water, so it is unnatural for him to walk as Christ walked—in obedience to the character of God; but power is given through faith in God’s word, “Come unto Me.”
Although Christ was God in the flesh, yet He did not escape the criticism of men as to the way He walked. Observe the record:

 

“And it came to pass as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it,”—Who is a Pharisee?—He is a man who has undertaken to be his own Saviour, and is very confident in his own power to do the work. It does not matter whether he lived eighteen hundred years ago, or whether he lives to-day. Who is a Christian? One who depends upon Christ as his Saviour, and has all confidence in Him. Christ came in contact with Pharisees who were making themselves holy, and they found fault with Him for eating with publicans and sinners, and “they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matt. 9:10-13. When they found fault with the way He was walking, He said, I am walking according to the Scriptures, and if you were following those Scriptures, you would not find fault with Me. These men were the leaders of the religious thought of the day. They were looked upon as the teachers of the people, and they prided themselves in that position. Yet they criticised Christ’s walk.
Let us read another record:  “And when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased.” What displeased them?—Because the children cried Hosanna to Christ and not to the scribes and Pharisees. “And said unto Him, Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?” I am walking in accordance with the Scriptures.
Let us turn to Mark’s Gospel on this point; “And it came to pass that He went through the cornfields on the Sabbath day; and His disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto Him, Behold, why do they on the Sabbath day that which is not lawful?” Mark 2:23, 24. For what did they find fault with Him this time? The first time it was about sitting down and eating with sinners; but it was His glory to receive sinners then, and it is so now. The second time they found fault with Him about the children singing His praises. Let them sing them now. The third time it was because He did not keep the Sabbath day according to their idea, and how does He meet it? “Have ye never read what David did, when he had need and was an hungered, he and all that were with him?” If you had read the Scriptures, you would not have found fault with Me in that way. The principles laid down in the Scriptures are the principles which govern My life, but I am not walking according to your interpretation of the Scriptures.
With those who desire the truth, as soon as the truth is presented to them, the controversy is at an end. Those who desire an argument will dodge from one point to another, as did the Pharisees with Christ.

“And He entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath day.” The same controversy again. “And He saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And He saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.” Mark 3:1-4. Well they might; for there was nothing to be said. And He healed the man.

The Controversy in Christ’s Time and Ours 

In Christ’s time the controversy between Him and the Pharisees was how to keep the Sabbath; and when Christ settled it, He settled it on the basis of

Man still seeks to add and take away and change what God wrote with His own finger.

Man still seeks to add and take away and change what God wrote with His own finger.

the Scriptures. The controversy to-day is, Which day shall we keep for the Sabbath? Settle it on the same ground. That is walking as Christ walked. “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked,” not as people say He walked. If someone says that Christ kept the first day of the week, go to the Bible, and ask for the record. If some claim that the Sabbath was changed by Him or by the apostles in honour of His resurrection, ask for a “Thus saith the Lord.” The word is our only safe guide. Walk as He walked. The man who walks as Christ walks will not necessarily walk as the leading religious teachers of the day walk. Christ did not; for it was the Pharisees who found fault with Him. Christ did not conform His life to their ideas. He told them what the Scripture said, and told them that He was walking in accordance to that word. And to-day let that word settle every controversy.


Christ the Manifestation of the Character of God

When Christ, looking back over His life of thirty-three years, said that He had finished the work His Father gave Him to do, how did He sum it all up? “All things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:15, 10. In this statement we have not so much a command as an example, and when Christ said that, He gave His complete biography. When he said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments,” He gave His whole life-history. And what does it mean?—I have manifested the character of My Father. What, then, does it mean to keep the commandments?—It means to manifest the character of God as it appeared in Jesus Christ. Nothing short of that is keeping the commandments. The Pharisees prided themselves that they were keeping the commandments, but Christ said, “Ye know not the Scriptures.” What they knew about the Scriptures, they had learned by the head. What we learn about the Scriptures, we must learn by heart, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know,”—know it really and truly by heart.
When Christ told them that He had kept His Father’s commandments, He told them that He was the manifestation of God on the earth. He told them in those words that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself; He told them that He did not speak His own words, but the words of His Father. “The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” He told them that He was the Word of God on the earth, because He was declaring the character of God. He told them He was Jesus Christ. All this He told them in these words: “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” Christ was a man, the Son of man. There has, then, been one man who walked this earth, and kept the commandments of God. He is our example. We are to walk as He walked.

Can We Keep the Commandments?

When we thus learn from the Scriptures that keeping the commandments is manifesting the character of God, we may say, It is impossible f

Christians are to walk by the life of Christ in the soul.

Christians are to walk by the life of Christ in the soul.

or us to do that. That is a good beginning. We cannot do it, that is true. But who did keep the commandments?—Jesus Christ. And who can do it over again, even in sinful flesh?—Jesus Christ. And how shall we walk as He walked? “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My People.” 2 Cor. 6: 16. God dwelt in Christ and walked in Christ. Christ was the branch unto God that He might be the vine unto us, that the life through Him might flow into us as branches, that we might bear the fruit of the vine.
“He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” Let the scripture tell how He walked: “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” The life of God abides in him who abides in Christ, and the scripture is fulfilled, “I will dwell in them and walk in them.” God in Christ, by His Holy Spirit dwelling in the man, walks in him. This shows how we can walk as Christ walked.
But first of all, take what the word of God says. Do not take what man says. Let the light of God shine upon His word. Let His Holy Spirit teach us the blessed living truth of His word, and God Himself will fulfil His word in everyone who thus receives it.
But let us read further: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.” Eze. 36:26, 27. That is the promise of God. But when He says, “My Child, this way,” and I choose to go another way, He does not cause us to walk in His way. He does not cause us to do contrary to our will in this matter. But when one says, Lord, show me the way (Ps. 119:33), He shows him the way, and causes him to walk in it. That is the way of His working. 
The blessed Bible teaches us the same truth in a hundred different ways. Suppose we turn to a page of what we may call God’s picture book. To help children to understand, we give them pictures to illustrate what we are teaching. We are but children, and God often tells us a truth by putting a picture before us. Here is one:—
“And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and He healed them.” Could any one be much worse off? They were in a terrible plight, but “He healed them.” “Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel.” Matt. 15:30, 31. We are lame; we cannot walk as Christ walked. Christ had a noble walk. We cannot walk that kind of a walk. What does He do for us? He healed them; cannot He heal us?
Here is another of God’s pictures, which we have looked at many times. It is the picture of the man lame from his mother’s womb. Take the Scripture just as it reads. What was the matter with this man? He was lame. And how long had he been lame?—All his life. What did Peter say to him?—”Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” What then? “And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” And when he had received strength, what did he do?— “And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God.” But he had to receive strength in the name of Jesus of Nazareth before he could walk. And the people “were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.” “And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this?” Ye men that believe in Israel’s God, why do ye wonder at this? Do you not believe in a God of power? “Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” Acts 3:6-12

healed to walk

Only by His power, we can walk as He walked.

Walking As Christ Walked

No man can make another walk as Christ walked if he has not the strength to walk that way. It is through faith in Jesus of Nazareth. “And His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Israel’s God lives to-day, and the same power that touched that man who never had walked and made him able to walk, can take the worst sinner, who never has stepped one step in the steps of Jesus Christ, and make him to walk as Christ walked. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
Here is another picture to show us that we can walk as He walked through faith in His name: “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked.” But he had heard Paul speak, and the message had taken hold of his heart. Paul saw that he had faith to be healed, and he “said with a loud voice, stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.” Acts 14:8-10. And he walked like a well man. He was made well in order that he might do this. That is the work of Jesus Christ. And to-day by His power we can walk as He walked. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Col. 2:6. And to walk in Him is the only way we can walk as He walked.
“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” Eph. 5:2. Many people have a very incorrect idea of what it means to walk in love. They seem to have an idea that it is to get up a kind of ecstasy so that they do not know where they are or what they are doing. It means to them to get above the ordinary things of life. This is not the correct view. The Scripture defines exactly what it means to walk in love. “And this is love that we walk after His commandments.” 2 John 6. “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments.” I John 5: 3. “If ye love Me,” Christ said, “keep My commandments.” “If ye keep My Commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 15:10. The love of God is not a sentimental emotion, not a fanatical frenzy of experience. Christ worked at the carpenter’s bench during the greater part of His life. He went down to Nazareth and was subject to His parents. His walk as a young man is the walk for every young man. Christ tells us how to love Him. He does not accept anything else.
It is of great importance for us to get a right idea of Jesus Christ. Let a man get a wrong idea of Him, and He will devote his life to his false idea, and sacrifice the lives of all who do not see his Christ as He sees Him. Take, for instance, the example of Paul. He was looking for Messiah; but it was his Messiah, not the Lord’s Messiah, so that when the Lord’s Messiah came he did not see Him. Some did, and believed on Him, and Paul immediately began to persecute them because they did not believe on his Christ. “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.” “In the Jews’ religion.” God’s religion never persecuted anybody. It is man’s religion that leads one to persecute those who do not see his Christ. God’s religion never does so. “And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation.” Observe what the Jews’ religion was. “Being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” Gal. 1:13, 14. He was zealous of the traditions of his fathers, not of the word of God. “But when it pleased God who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto yon, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterward I came into the region of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.” Gal. 1:15-24. It is important that we have a true idea of Christ.
Christ is All and in All, and in order to walk as He walked, we must know Him in His capacity of adapting Himself to us. The Scriptuepic doorre sets Him forth in this way, that we may appropriate the love of God to ourselves.

“I am the door.” John 10:7. That is the entrance. No man can enter except through Christ.
“I am the way.” John 14:6. I am the door and the way to walk in.
“I am the light of the world.” John 8:12. I am the door, the way, the light. This is a dark world, and we need a light.
“I am that bread of life.” John 6:48. We need strength to walk in the way. “I am that bread of life.”
“I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11. He is the companion who goes with His sheep.
“I am … the life.” John 14:6. This is the power for the way.
“I am the resurrection.” John 11:25. That is the end of the road.

I am the door, I am the way, I am the light, I am the bread, I am the Good Shepherd, I am the life, I am the resurrection. That is: I am the entrance, the road, the light to walk by, the strength to walk with, the companion by the way, the power for the way, and the end of the way. And so David in the 23rd Psalm says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Jesus Christ’s walk extends not simply to the grave, but through the grave. And because of this, we may go through the valley of the shadow of death, and not be left in it. “I am the resurrection and the life;” and he who abides in Christ, who is the door, the way, the light, the bread, the Good Shepherd, the life, and the resurrection, does walk “even as He walked.”

~October 20, 1895 Armadale Campmeeting Talk. W.W. Prescott. To learn more about what Ellen White spoke about these special messages from this campmeeting, click here.




The Revelation: Lightened By His Glory I

Romans 1:16-17
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
The gospel is the power of God to everyone that believes. And what is the gospel? It is the revealed righteousness of God. It is His goodness, His mercy, His justice, His love. And since the revelation that is found in the gospel is a revelation of the righteousness of God, it can be said that in the gospel the glory of God is revealed. However, where the glory of God is not revealed in the gospel, there can be no gospel in any true sense, for the gospel is the character of God revealed to fallen man. Even so, it is the studied aim of Satan to blind the minds to this revelation:
blind-dream
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

It says that the glorious gospel is hidden to those who are lost, who don’t believe.

ANCIENT ISRAEL’S UNBELIEF
Anciently, the children of Israel were privileged with revelations of the dealings of God with them. For them, it was a continual revelation of the gospel to them, but we are told that the people did not believe.
Hebrews 4:2
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
To who was the gospel preached? It was preached
to the ancient Israelites. Why didn’t it profit them? They “to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:6)
God had raised up a deliverer for them, had protected them from the plagues that befell Egypt, saved them by the Passover lamb’s blood, brought them out of the house of bondage, and fed them continually with bread from heaven. Yet for all of this, they still failed to see the gospel, and believe. And since the gospel is the revelation of the glory of God, they did not believe in the goodness and mercy of the One that was delivering them.

MOSES BELIEVED…
Yet among them was one who did believe. He saw the gospel clearly by faith.
Hebrews 11:27
“By faith Moses… endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.”
By faith, Moses saw God’s hand, and kept His commission, believing He would deliver His people. By this, he showed that he believed God’s promise, being persuaded that he was faithful who had promised, and was justified by faith.

WHAT IS FAITH?
Now, we are told what faith is: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The “evidence of things not seen” were set before Moses and all of Israel that God was gracious and merciful, even though it had not been plainly stated that way. It was practically revealed in His dealings with them, and it implied that He was with them to save them.
Romans 10:17
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

How does faith come? It comes by hearing. But how does hearing come? It comes by the Word of God. Here is the secret to victorious faith. It is in understanding that God created all things by His Word,
including the hearing that leads to faith. Then our faith will testify that God is our Creator, and His Word is powerful. The Scripture tells us of this Word:
Psalms 33:9
“He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”
John 6:63
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Here are shown the secret of faith. Understanding that all God’s commandments toward us are mercifully declared to us in creative power, when He gives them “it stands fast”.

THE LAW AT SINAI: BELIEF & UNBELIEF
God drew near to Israel after all of His merciful dealings with them, and gave them His law. Yet the words which, in faith, would have promised life to them were not received because of unbelief.
Exodus 20:18-19
“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
Instead of standing fast by the Word of God, they saw the Word as no better than if they were spoken by flesh and blood, with no power whatever. Therefore, “they removed, and stood afar off.” They saw His commandments as a mighty stone sent forth to to crush them. They saw God as a destroyer, and not as their Redeemer. In this, they saw only the justice of God, but failed to see the mercy He gave to them.
Exodus 20:21
“And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.”
Exodus 24:17
“And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.”
In fearing the stern justice of God, they did not desire to draw near to Him, seeing only that it would destroy them. Moses “endured, as seeing Him that was invisible” but the people “could not endure
that which was commanded.”
(Hebrews 12:20)
Yet Moses saw God by faith, and boldly drew near into His Presence. How did Moses draw near? The same way that we all draw near to God.
Hebrews 10:19-22
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…”
Ephesians 2:13
“ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

MOSES DREW NEAR
Moses drew near to God, “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11)
Exodus 33:17-19
“AndTunnel-of-light the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”
Exodus 34:5-8
“And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and
that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the
fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and

bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.”
By faith in the blood of the Lamb, Moses drew near to behold the glory of God, and God spoke with him face-to-face as to a friend. And “when Moses came down from mount Sinai…Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.” Moses beheld his glory, and did not die.

BEHOLDING THE GLORY WITH UNVEILED FACE
Exodus 34:30
“And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.”
It had been sufficient that the people were afraid of God through unbelief, yet when Moses returned, his face shone with the glory of God, and they did just the same as they did toward God. The Israelites, seeing that Moses had gone into the Presence of God and was alive, should have made that glory on his face shine upon theirs, because in it, they would have seen something of the goodness of God, but instead, once more, they feared and stood afar off.
Exodus 34:35
And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with Him. Moses put a veil upon his face because the Israelites were afraid of him. Thus the veil was but a manifest sign of their unbelief, and their blindness to the gospel, because all they saw in the glory which God gave was a “ministration of death” (2 Cor. 3:7), and could only see powerless words that could only damn them, and not transform them.
2 Corinthians 3:13
“And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:”

And what was abolished that the Israelites could not steadfastly see?
2 Timothy 1:9-10
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”
He had abolished death, but Israel was blinded through unbelief. Whereas they might have seen in Moses face the glory shining from the Throne of God, they saw but the face of a mere man who they dreaded. So Israel, through unbelief was lost, but Moses was lightened by the glory of God. And so it is with everyone who believes the gospel.
2 Corinthians 3:7-8
“But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?”
Moses saw the ministration of the Spirit, inasmuch as he believed. The others only saw a ministration
of condemnation, a devouring fire upon them. As it was then, even so it is now.
2 Corinthians 3:14-16
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.”
The god of this world blinded their minds from seeing the gospel. Therefore, so important was that faith that Moses revealed, that it was to be an example for all of Israel. So important was this lesson, that the priesthood, especially the high priest who ministered directly in the Presence of God, was to speak the blessing over Israel:
Numbers 6:23-27
“Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”

THE VEIL SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY
Seeing as all the blessings of Moses in the Presence of God should upon those that believe, it is fitting that everyone who gives the Elijah message will give the message to behold His glory, even as John the baptist came in the Spirit of Elijah:
John1:29
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Isaiah 40:3-9
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the
desert a highway for our God… lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!”

And since Elijah is to come before the great and terrible day of the Lord to prepare the hearts of His people, prophecy declares just such a message is to lighten the earth with that wonderful glory before that magnificent event:
Revelation 18:1
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”
That last grand move of the Spirit of God, the last great shining of His glory to a fallen world, given by those who believe the gospel is already shining forth.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

As we behold the glory of the Lord, we are changed, into the same image, being transformed by the creative power that is brought forth from the High & Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity. The Scripture testifies of Him that “upholds all things by the Word of His power”, (Heb.1:2-3) and that same word by which He created the worlds is the same which “effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thes. 2:13) And since the Word of God which reveals that glory works in all who believe, and Christ is that Word (John 1), it necessitates that this word of the gospel, from Adam, to Moses, to Daniel, to John, to us, is the “power of God to everyone that believeth”, having worked effectually in them that believed, as well as in us, giving boldness for all to draw near to God, and by the which “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2)
2 Corinthians 4:dove-sun-rays-1920x12006
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

THE HIGH PRIESTLY BLESSING IS FOR US
The priestly blessing is to be spoken over us through our Great High Priest; much more than this now: the glory upon His face is to be revealed in and through us. It is not the glory shining upon the face of Moses of himself, but the glory that shines forth from the face of our Lord Christ Jesus who causes our faces to shine most gloriously, even as Moses’ face shone. God will bless His children today, and “make His face to shine upon us”. Only “be not faithless, but believing.”




The Word made Flesh

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Revised Version says, “The Word became flesh.”

The theme of redemption will be the science and the song of the eternal ages, and well may it occupy our minds during our short stay here. There is no portion of this great theme that makes such a demand upon our minds in order to appreciate it in any degree, as the subject we shall study to-night,-“The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” Through Him all things became; now He Himself became. He who had all glory with the Father, now lays aside His glory and becomes flesh. He lays aside His divine mode of existence, and takes the human mode of existence, and God becomes manifest in the flesh. This truth is the very foundation of all truth.

A HELPFUL TRUTH

And Jesus Christ becoming flesh. God being manifest in the flesh, is one of the most helpful truths, one of the most instructive truths, the truth above all truths, which humanity ought to rejoice in.

I desire this evening to study this question for our personal, present benefit. Let us command our minds to the utmost, because to comprehend that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, demands all our mental powers. Let us consider, first, what kind of flesh; for this is the very foundation of this question as it relates to us personally. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it believed Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18. That through death, being made subject to death, taking upon Him the flesh of sin, He might, by His dying, destroy him that had the power of death.

“Verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.” The margin says, “He taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham He taketh hold;” and one version reads, “He helps not angels.” We see the reason from the next verse: “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest, in things pertaining to God.” “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.” Galatians 3:16. Now verily, He helps the seed of Abraham by Himself becoming the seed of Abraham. God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be revealed in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

So you see that what the Scripture states very plainly is that Jesus Christ had exactly the same flesh that we bear,—flesh of sin, flesh in which we sin, flesh, however, in which He did not sin, but He bore our sins in that flesh of sin. Do not set this point aside. No matter how you may have looked at it in the past, look at it now as it is in the word; and the more you look at it in that way, the more reason you will have to thank God that it is so.

ADAM’S SIN TYPICAL

What was the situation?—Adam had sinned, and Adam being the head of the human family, his sin was a typical sin. God made Adam in His own image, but by sin he lost that image. Then he begat sons and daughters, but he begat them in his image, not in God’s. And so we have descended in the line, but all after his image.

For four thousand years this went on, and then Jesus Christ came, of flesh, and in the flesh, born of a woman, made under the law; born of the Spirit, but in the flesh. And what flesh could He take but the flesh of the time? Not only that, but it was the very flesh He designed to take; because you see, the problem was to help man out of the difficulty into which he had fallen, and man is a free moral agent. He must be helped as a free moral agent. Christ’s work must be, not to destroy him, not to create a new race, but to re-create man, to restore in him the image of God. “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9.

AN UNDONE, HELPLESS RACE

God made man a little lower than the angels, but man fell much lower by his sin. Now he is far separated from God; but he is to be brought back again. Jesus Christ came for that work; and in order to do it, He came, not where man was before he fell, but where man was after he fell. This is the lesson of Jacob’s ladder. It rested on the earth where Jacob was, but the topmost round reached to heaven. When Christ comes to help man out of the pit, He does not come to the edge of the pit and look over, and say, Come up here, and I will help you back. If man could help himself up to the point from whence he has fallen, he could do all the rest. If he could help himself one step, he could help himself all the way; but it is because man is utterly ruined, weak, and wounded and broken to pieces, in fact, perfectly helpless, that Jesus Christ come right down where he is, and meets him there. He takes his flesh and He becomes a brother to him.Jesus Christ is a brother to us in the flesh: He was born into the family.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.” He had only one Son, and He gave Him away. And to whom did He give Him? “Unto us a child is born,

UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN.”

Isaiah 9:6. Sin has made a change even in heaven; for Jesus Christ, because of sin, has taken upon Himself humanity, and to-day He wears that humanity, and will through all eternity. Jesus Christ became the Son of man as well as the Son of God. He was born into our family. He did not come as an angelic being, but was born into the family, and grew up in it; He was a child, a youth, a young man, a man in the full prime of life, in our family. He is the Son of man, related to us, bearing the flesh that we bear.

Adam was the representative of the family; therefore his sin was a representative sin. When Jesus Christ came, He came to take the place in which Adam had failed. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:45. The second Adam is the man Christ Jesus, and He came down to unite the human family with the divine family. God is spoken of as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, came Himself to this part of the family, that He might win it back again, that there might be a

REUNITED FAMILY IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD

He came and took the flesh of sin that this family had brought upon itself by sin, and wrought out salvation for them, condemning sin in the flesh.

Adam failed in his place, and by the offence of one many were made sinners. Jesus Christ gave Himself, not only for us, but to us, uniting Himself to the family, in order that He might take the place of the first Adam, and as head of the family win back what was lost by the first Adam. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is a representative righteousness, just as the sin of Adam was a representative sin, and Jesus Christ, as the second Adam, gathered to Himself the whole family.

But since the first Adam took his place, there has been a change, and humanity is sinful humanity. The power of righteousness has been lost. To redeem man from the place unto which he had fallen, Jesus Christ comes, and takes the very flesh now borne by humanity; He comes in sinful flesh, and takes the case where Adam tried it and failed. He became, not a man, but He became flesh; He became human, and gathered all humanity unto Himself, embraced it in His own infinite mind, and stood as the representative of the whole human family.

Adam was tempted at the very first on the question of appetite. Christ came, and after a forty days’ fast the devil tempted Him to use His divine power to feed Himself. And notice, it was in sinful flesh that He was tempted, not the flesh in which Adam fell. This is wondrous truth, but I am wondrous glad that it is so. It follows at once that by birth, by being born into the same family, Jesus Christ is my brother in the flesh, “for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Hebrews 2:11. He has come into the family, identified Himself with the family, is both father of the family and brother of the family. As father of the family, He stands for the family. He came to redeem the family, condemning sin in the flesh, uniting divinity with flesh of sin. Jesus Christ made the connection between God and man, that the divine spirit might rest upon humanity. He made the way for humanity.

HE HATH BORNE OUR GRIEFS

And He came right near to us. He is not one step away from one of us. He “was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7. He is now made in the likeness of man, and at the same time He holds His divinity; He is the divine Son of God. And so, by His divinity joining itself to humanity, He will restore man to the likeness of God. Jesus Christ, in taking the place of Adam, took our flesh. He took our place completely, in order that we might take His place. He took our place with all its consequences, and that meant death, in order that we might take His place with all its consequences, and that is life eternal. “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.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. He was not a sinner; but He invited God to treat Him as if He were a sinner, in order that we, who were sinners, might be treated as if we were righteous. “Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:4. The sorrows that He bore were our sorrows, and it is actually true that He did so identify Himself with our human nature as to bear in Himself all the sorrows and all the griefs of all the human family. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” What was bruising to Him was healing to us, and He was bruised in order that we might be healed. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6. And then He died because on Him was laid the iniquity of us all. There was no sin in Him, but the sins of the whole world were laid on Him. Behold the Lamb of God, which beareth the sins of the whole world. “And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2.

THE PRICE PAID FOR EVERY SOUL

I want your minds to grasp the truth, that, no matter whether a man repents or not, yet Christ has borne his griefs, his sins, his sorrows, and he is invited to lay them on Christ. If every sinner in this world should repent with all his soul, and turn to Christ, the price has been paid. Jesus did not wait for us to repent before He died for us. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Christ has died in behalf of every single soul here; He has borne their grief and carried their sorrow; He simply asks us to lay them on Him, and let Him bear them.

CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Furthermore; every one of us was represented in Jesus Christ when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. We were all there in Jesus Christ. We were all represented in Adam after the flesh; and when Christ came as the second Adam, He stepped into the place of the first Adam, and thus we are all represented in Him. He invites us to step into the spiritual family. He has formed this new family, of which He is the head. He is the new man. In Him we have the union of the divine and the human.

In that new family, every one of us is represented. “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.” When Melchisedec went out to meet Abraham returning from the spoil, Abraham paid to him a tenth of all. Levi was still in the loins of his father Abraham; but inasmuch as he was a descendant of Abraham, what Abraham did, the Scripture says that Levi did in Abraham. Levi descended from Abraham according to the flesh. He had not been born when Abraham paid tithe; but in that Abraham paid tithe, he paid tithe also. It is exactly so in this spiritual family. What Christ did as head of this new family, we did in Him. He was our representative; He became flesh; He became we. He did not become simply a man, but He became flesh, and every one that should be born into His family was represented in Jesus Christ when He lived here in the flesh. You see, then, that all that Christ did, every one who connects himself with this family is given credit for as doing it in Christ. Christ was not a representative outside him, disconnected from him; but as Levi paid tithe in Abraham, every one who should afterwards be born into this spiritual family, did what Christ did.

THE NEW BIRTH

See what this means with reference to vicarious suffering. It was not that Jesus Christ came from outside, and simply stepped into our place as an outsider; but by joining Himself to us by birth, all humanity was brought together in the divine head, Jesus Christ. He suffered on the cross. Then it was the whole family in Jesus Christ that was crucified. “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead,” or as the Revised Version says, “All died.” 2 Corinthians 5:14. What we want in our experience is to enter into the fact that we did die in Him. But while it is true that Jesus Christ paid the whole price, bore every grief, was humanity itself, yet it is also true that no man receives benefit from that except he receives Christ, except he is born again. Only those who are twice born can enter into the kingdom of God. Those who are born in the flesh, must be born again, born of the Spirit, in order that what Jesus Christ did in the flesh, we may avail ourselves of, that we may really be in Him.

The work of Christ is to bestow the character of God on us; and in the meantime God looks upon Christ and His perfect character instead of upon our sinful character. The very moment that we empty ourselves, or let Christ empty us, of self, and believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as our personal Saviour, God looks upon Him as indeed our personal representative. Then He does not see us and all our sin; He sees Christ.

OUR REPRESENTATIVE IN THE COURTS OF HEAVEN

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5. There is a man in heaven now,—the man Christ Jesus,—bearing our human nature; but it is no longer a flesh of sin; it is glorified. Having come here and lived in a flesh of sin, He died; and in that He died, He died unto sin; and in that He lives, He lives unto God. When He died, He freed Himself from the flesh of sin, and He was raised glorified. Jesus Christ came here as our representative, travelled the path back to heaven in the family, died unto sin, and was raised glorified. He lived as the Son of man, grew up as the Son of man, ascended as the Son of man, and to-day, Jesus Christ, our own representative, our own brother, the man Christ Jesus, is in heaven, living to make intercession for us.

He has been through every one of our experiences. Does not He know what the cross means? He went to heaven by the way of the cross, and He says, “Come.” That is what Christ has done by becoming flesh. Our human minds stand appalled before the problem. How shall we express in human language what was done for us, when “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us”? How shall we express what God has given to us? When He gave His Son, He gave the most precious gift of heaven, and He gave Him never to take Him back again. To all eternity the Son of man will bear in His body the marks that sin made; forever He will be Jesus Christ, our Saviour, our Elder Brother. That is what God has done for us in giving His Son to us.

CHRIST IDENTIFIED WITH US

This union of the divine and the human has brought Jesus Christ very near to us. There is not one too low down for Christ to be there with him. He identified Himself completely with this human family. In the judgment, when the rewards and punishments are meted out, He says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these. My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” One version reads, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My little brothers, ye have done it unto Me.” Christ looks upon every one of the human family as His. When humanity suffers, He suffers. He is humanity, He has joined Himself to this family. He is our head; and when in any part of the body there is a throb of pain felt, the head feels that throb of pain. He has united Himself with us, thus uniting us with God; for we read in Matthew: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

UNITY IN CHRIST

Jesus Christ thus united Himself with the human family, that He might be with us by being in us, just as God was with Him by being in Him. The very purpose of His work was that He might be in us, and that, as He represented the Father, so the children, the Father, and the Elder Brother might be united in Him.

Let us see what His thought was in His last prayer: “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us.” “And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou lovedest Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared Thy name unto them, and will declare it.” And the last words of His prayer were: “That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:21-26. And as He was ascending, His parting words to His disciples were, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. By being in us, He is with us alway, and that this might be possible, that He might be in us, He came and took our flesh.

This also is the way in which the holiness of Jesus works. He had a holiness that enabled him to come and dwell in sinful flesh, and glorify sinful flesh by His presence in it; and that is what He did, so that when He was raised from the dead, He was glorified. His purpose was that having purified sinful flesh by His indwelling presence, He might now come and purify sinful flesh in us, and glorify sinful flesh in us. He “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” Philippians 3:21. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29.

THE ELECTION OF GRACE

Let me say that in this idea is bound up the whole question of predestination. There is a predestination; it is a predestination of character. There is an election; it is an election of character. Every one who believes on Jesus Christ is elected, and all the power of God is behind that election, that he shall bear the image of God. Bearing that image, he is predestinated to all eternity in Christ’s kingdom; but every one who does not bear the image of God is predestinated unto death. It is a predestination of God in Christ Jesus. Christ provides the character, and offers it to any one who will believe in Him.

THE HEART AND LIFE OF CHRISTIANITY

Let us enter into the experience that God has given Jesus Christ to us to dwell in our sinful flesh, to work out in our sinful flesh what He worked out when He was here. He came and lived here that we might through Him reflect the image of God. This is the very heart of Christianity. Anything contrary to it is not Christianity. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.” 1 John 4:1-3. Now that cannot mean simply to acknowledge that Jesus Christ was here and lived in the flesh. The devils made that acknowledgment. They knew that Christ had come in the flesh. The faith that comes by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus Christ is come in my flesh; He dwells in my flesh; I have received Him.” That is the heart and life of Christianity.

The difficulty with the Christianity of today is that Christ does not dwell in the hearts of those professing His name. He is an outsider, one looked at from afar, as an example. But He is more than an example to us. He made known to us what God’s ideal of humanity is, and then He came and lived it out before us, that we might see what it is to be in the image of God. Then He died, and ascended to His Father, sending forth His Spirit, His own representative, to live in us, that the life which He lived in the flesh we may live over again. This is Christianity.

CHRIST MUST DWELL IN THE HEART

It is not enough to talk of Christ and of the beauty of His character. Christianity without Christ dwelling in the heart is not genuine Christianity. He only is a genuine Christian who has Christ dwelling in his heart, and we can live the life of Christ only by having Him dwelling in us. He wants us to lay hold upon the life and power of Christianity. Do not be satisfied with anything else. Heed no one who would lead you in any other path. “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” His power, His indwelling presence, that is Christianity. That is what we need to-day; and I am thankful that there are hearts that are longing for that experience, and who will recognise it when it comes. It does not make any difference what your name or denomination has been. Recognise Jesus Christ, and let Him dwell in you. By following where He leads, we shall know what Christian experience is, and what it is to dwell in the light of His presence. I tell you this is a wondrous truth. Human language cannot put more into human thought or language than is said in these words: “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” This is our salvation.

The object in these remarks is not merely to establish a line of thought. It is to bring new life into our soul, and open up our ideas of the word of God and the gift of God, that we may be able to grasp His love for us. We need it. Nothing short of that will meet what we have to meet,—the world, the flesh, and the devil. But He that is for us is mightier than he that is against us. Let us have in our daily lives Jesus Christ, “the Word” that “became flesh.”

October 31, 1895