TABLE OF CONTENTS(details)
THE BABE OF BETHLEHEM
FAITH DEMONSTRATED BY WORKS
THE DIVINE PLAN JOURNAL
Volume 22 * December 1997 * Volume 12GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."Luke 2:10,11
THE GOSPEL of Luke reminds the reader that at the time of the birth of Jesus there were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. This was in the fall of the year approximately October 1, B.C. 2.
Nine months previous to our Lords birth (around December 25, B.C. 3), the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to the virgin Mary. Gabriel informed her that she had found favor with God and had been chosen to become the mother of a son whose name was to be called Jesus.THE LIFE-PRINCIPLE TRANSFERRED
The life-principle of the Logos (Gods only begotten Son) was transferred to the womb of the virgin Mary. Nine months later, Jesus, a perfect baby boy, was born into the world. This perfect boy grew into manhood. When he reached the age of thirty, he consecrated to do the will of the heavenly Father. (Hebrews 10:7,9) Then he symbolized that full consecration by water baptism in the river Jordan by the hands of John the Baptist. Thirty years from the time of our Saviors birth brings us to the date October 1, A.D. 29. The fall of the year, but not a December date, is a suitable time for water baptism.
Three and one-half years later Jesus sacrifice was finished at the time he died on the cruel cross. By dying on the cross, he redeemed not only the Gentiles, but also the Jews who were under a double condemnation. At the time our Lord died, he deposited the ransom-price into the hands of divine Justice. In due time, after all of the consecrated who benefit by the "ransom for all" during the Gospel age have died, the ransom-price will be paid over officially to Justice, and the world of mankind (Adam and his race) will be turned over to the dear Redeemer who bought them with his precious blood.
The billions of human beings alive (beginning with those with faith in Israel) at the time the ransom-price is officially paid to Justice will begin to benefit by the "ransom for all". In the course of time, those asleep in death, who will be awakened and given the opportunity to repent of sin, accept Jesus, and obey the Kingdom laws, will also benefit by the "ransom for all." All the obedient will gain perfect human life.
Each year on December 25, many throughout the world celebrate what they believe to be the birthday of Jesus. Approximately twenty percent (or 1,200,000,000) of earths six billion are professed Christians. This means that 80% or more do not celebrate the birth of Jesus. As noted above, the date December 25 is the anniversary of the announcement by Gabriel to Mary that Jesus would be born nine months later. The correct date of our Lords birth is approximatley October 1, B.C. 2.
During December, many exchange gifts one with another. The true spirit of giving is not only a blessing to the receiver, but also to the giver. Even though the giving of gifts is encouraged by merchants, as well as others, and has become commercialized, yet the true spirit of giving remains with some. If the spirit of giving, promoted in December, could continue during the remainder of the year, it would be a better place to live.
Jesus did not request his followers to celebrate his birthday, but he did request his fully consecrated disciples to remember his death (Luke 22:19,20). This was the 14th of Nisan, Jewish reckoning. Each year on this date, fully consecrated Christians meet together in remembrance of the dear Redeemers death. It is a historic fact that Jesus died on April 3, in the year 33 A.D. Jesus died at the age of 33 1/2 years. The amount of time from October B.C. 2 to A.D. is 1 year and 3 months. If one adds this (1 year and 3 months) to the 32 years and 3 months of time Jesus lived during A.D., he finds that the sum is 33 1/2 years.
How thankful Christians should be that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"!John 3:16
Throughout each day of the year, those who have entered the narrow way have the privilege of sharing this good news of Gods great gift to others of the household of faith. Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Therefore, those who give their time, means, and influence are more abundantly blessed than those who are merely the recipients of these glad tidings.
How thankful Christians are to be assured that, in due time, because of the costly ransom sacrifice, all the families of the earth will be given an accurate knowledge of the truth!I Tim.2:3-6
"For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."Luke 2:11,12
WHY WERE all men in expectation of Him at
the time of His birth? What was to be peculiar about Him to lead Israel to expect His birth? The answer to this question is that God had made a certain promise centuries before and the promise had not been fulfilled. This promise contained the thought that a holy child would be born, and that in some way, not explained in the promise, this child would bring the blessing the world needed. Therefore every mother amongst the Israelites was very solicitous that she might be the mother of a son rather than a daughter, that perchance she might be the mother of this promised child. Thus the matter went on for years until, finally, the child was born.
The promise back of the expectation was that which God made to Abraham, saying, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." From that time forward Abraham began to look for the promised Seedthe promised child. He looked first of all to his own children, and was finally informed that it would not be one of his children direct, but that through their children, at some remote date, this child should be bornthe Seed of Abraham. From that time onward, all the Israelites were waiting for the birth of the child that should bring the blessing.
But why was a Messiah necessary? Why wait at all for the birth of the child? The answer to this question is that sin had come into the world; that God had placed our first parentsholy, pure and free from sinin the glorious conditions of the Garden of Eden with every favorable prospect and everlasting life at their command if they continued in harmony with God. But by reason of their disobedience they came under Divine displeasure and sentence of death. This sentence of death has brought in its wake aches, pains, sorrows, tears, sighing, crying and deathall of these experiences as the result of sin.
Our heavenly Father said to our first parentsand this was the first intimation that He gave them of a deliverancethat "The Seed of the woman shall bruise the Serpents head." The serpent in this expression means Satanall the powers of evil, everything adverse to humanity, everything adverse to the blessings which God had given them, and which they had lost by disobedience. But the promise was vague and they understood little about the "Seed of the woman" and "bruising the Serpents head." It merely meant in an allegorical way a great victory over Sin and Satan, without explaining how it should come.
So mankind continued to die; they continued to have aches and pains and sorrows; they continued going down to the tomb. They realized that what they needed was some Savior to come and deliver them from the power of sin, to deliver them from the death penalty of sina Savior who would be, in other words, a Life-giver. They were dying and needed new life. This is the meaning of the word Savior in the language used by our Lord and the Apostles. They were hoping and expecting that God would send a Life-giver.
It was on this account that they were so greatly concerned regarding the promise made to Abraham"In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed"they shall be granted a release from sin and death. In no other way could mankind be blessed. It would be impossible to bless mankind except by releasing them from sin and death. Hence, the Scriptures tell us of Gods sympathy; that God looked down from His holy habitation, and beheld our sorrow, and heard, figuratively, "the groaning of the prisoners"humanityall groaning and travailing under this penalty of deathsome with few aches and pains, and some with more aches and pains; some with few sorrows, and some with greater sorrows, but all groaning and travailing in pain.
But Gods sympathy was manifested; and we read that, "He looked down and beheld that there was no eye to pity and no arm to save" and with "His own Arm He brought salvation." This is what was promised to Abrahamthat one should come from his posterity who would be the Savior of the world; and because this promise was made to Abraham and to his Seed, they were marked out as separate from all other nations and peoples. To the Jewish nation alone belonged this great honorthat through them should come this salvation. Hence, from that time onward the Jews spoke of themselves as Gods people, the people whom God had promised to bless, and through whom He would bring a blessing to all others. Therefore, all other people were called heathen (or nations, which the word means). Israel was thus separated because Gods Covenant was with them, and not with the others. But Gods Covenant with Israel was for the blessing of all the others: "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Now, we have the "Why" of this wonderful babes being born.
How could He be a Savior? In what way could He be different from any other babe? Why not use some other babe as the one through whom salvation should come? The answer of the Bible is that salvation could not come to mankind unless there should be a satisfaction of Justice on account of Original Sin. That must be the first consideration. The penalty, "Dying, thou shalt die," pronounced against the first man, must be met before the world could be blessed.
Why not let any man die? Because all were under the sentence of the original condemnation, and none could be a Ransom-price or a substitute. Hence the necessity for a specially born babe, different from any other babe. In what way was this One differently born? The Bible explains to us very distinctly that He was not begotten of an earthly father. Although Joseph was espoused to Mary, yet this child was not the child of Joseph. The Bible explains that this child was specially begotten by Divine power, in the mother, though she was still a "virgin" when she brought forth the child.
This is the Scriptural proposition; and while it may not seem clear to some, yet the Word of God standeth sure. If the Redeemer was not perfect then He could not be the Savior of the world. The promised redemption implied that Jesus would be perfect; it implied that He would be as the first man was before he sinned. "For since by man came death, by man shall come also the resurrection of the dead"; "As all in Adam die, even so shall all in Christ be made alive."
So this one must be, as the Apostle declares, "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." (Heb. 7:26) He must be entirely distinct and separate from humanity so far as sinful features were concerned. If we had time it would be interesting to go into the scientific featuresof how a perfect child could be born from an imperfect mother. If we can have a perfect life germ we can have a perfect child from an imperfect mother. If a breeder of stock wishes to raise the standard of his stock, he selects a fine bull, a male goat, or a male ram, and thus he improves the entire herd. And so, if we had perfect fathers, we would soon have a perfect race. But there is no father who can produce a perfect child. Hence it was necessary in this case (and the Scriptures declare it was accomplished) that God should beget this Son by power from on high. Therefore, that which was born of the "virgin" was separate and distinct from all humanity. His life came not from an earthly father, but from His Heavenly Father.
It is written that before He became flesh Jesus had an existence; as He declared, "Before Abraham was, I am." Again, in one of His prayers He said, "Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory that I had with Thee before the world was." The Revelator tells us that "He was the beginning of the creation of God," and Paul says that "by Him all things were made." And so our Lord Jesus was not only the beginning, but also the active agent of the Father in all the creative work in the angelic world and in the creation of humanity, and in all things that were created.
The whole matter is summed up by the Apostle John. We will give a more literal translation of "In the beginning was the Word." [This expression, Word, in the Greek is Logos. The thought behind the word Logos is that in olden times a king, instead of speaking his commands directly to his people, sat behind a lattice work, and his Logos, or messenger, or word, or representative, stood before the lattice work, and gave the message of the king to the people in a loud tone of voice. The king himself was not seen by the peoplethe Logos was the one seen. So this is the picture the Scriptures give us of how Jesus was the express representative of the Heavenly Father, the One through whom the Heavenly Father made Himself knownthe Word, or the Logos. So we read in the first chapter of John], "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the God, and the Logos was a god. The same was in the beginning with the God. By Him were all things made, and without Him was not anything made."
In other words, Jesus was the direct Creator of all things. He was the Divine Power, Agent, Word, Messenger, the Logos of Jehovah. He did all the great work of creation; but He Himself was the first of Gods direct creation, the First-born of all creatures, that in all things He might have the pre-eminencethe first place.
When the time came that our Heavenly Father made known His great purpose that He would bless the world, He gave opportunity to this First-begotten Onethis One begotten of the Fatherto be the servant in this great work He intended to accomplish for mankind. Consequently, the Scriptures state that "for the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame." And now He has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He has this great reward because of His obedience even unto death, the death of the cross.
The Apostle speaks of Him as having been rich, but for our sakes becoming poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. He tells us how He left the glory which He had with the Father and humbled Himself to the human nature. Why? Because, as already stated, it was necessary that some one should become mans Redeemer; an angel could not redeem man, neither could an animal redeem man. The Divine law is "an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth; a mans life for a mans life." This was to teach us a great lesson: that perfect human life having been condemned to death, it would require a perfect human life to redeem it. It was therefore necessary that Jesus should become the "Man Christ Jesus," in order "that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for every man."
The results that have followed have been that He Himself proved His own faithfulness. "Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross"the most ignominious form of death. It pleased the Father thus to prove Him, not only by Death, but by the most ignominious form of deathdying as a culprit, being crucified between two thieves. What a terrible ignominy to die thus!
It would be ignominy enough for us in our imperfection, but for Him, perfect, "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners," it must have been a cause for deep and poignant sorrow. Having completed the laying down of His life, at the end of the three and a half years, He cried, "It is finished!" What? Not His work, for much of that lay before Him! He merely finished this part of the work, finished laying down His life a ransom-price.
What next? After His death came His resurrection; and we read that "God raised Him from the dead on the third day." According to the Scriptures He was raised up from death a glorious being"sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spirit body"; "Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, those in heaven, and those on earth, and those under the earth; that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."Phil. 2:10
But we see not yet all knees bowed to Him. Why not? The Scriptures tell us that before He begins His great work for the world of mankind, He first does a work for the elect, the Church, those who desire to walk in His footsteps, to gather out of the world a Bride, to be co-workers with Him in all the great work of the Father. This is the only work yet in process of accomplishment, and this has been going on now for over nineteen centuries. We see how He gathered out the saintly ones from amongst the Jews, "Israelites, indeed, in whom there was no guile." Not finding enough to make the desired number, He proceeded to gather them from all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples.
The Apostle tells us that when this Bride class is united with Him they shall be parts of the Seed of Abraham; as we read, "And if ye be Christs then are ye Abrahams Seed, and heirs of the promise." (Gal. 3:29) This statement relates to the promise made to Abraham, that through him and his Seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Thus we see the work that Christ is accomplishing now.
The invitation to become the Bride of Christ is a very special invitation and those who would be His must walk in the "narrow way." If they will sit in His Throne, they must suffer with Him. If they suffer with Him they shall also share His glory. So "the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that shall follow," were not only to be accomplished in our Lord Jesus, personally, but He was an example for all the Church who are justified through faith in His blood. They have a share with Him in His sufferings, and will share in His glory; they have also a share in the First Resurrection; as the Revelator declares, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection, on such the Second Death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."Rev. 20:6
Saint Paul says, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord," "that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection" (the special resurrection) to the divine nature. How? By being made conformable to His death; for, "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him."
All the families of the earth are to be blessed, as originally promised in Eden: "The Seed of the woman shall bruise the Serpents head." Also, as St. Paul states in the 16th chapter of Romans, "The very God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." So, then, the next thing in order in the outworking of Gods Plan will be to bruise Satan and destroy sin.
When and how will this be done? Just as soon as this Age shall end; because this Age is merely for the development of the Bride class; then will come the promised Free Grace to all the families of the earth. ... "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I overcame and am set down with My Father in His Throne." All the Church will be associated with Him in His great Messianic Kingdom; and "He shall reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth"; and "Unto Him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God the Father"; "The knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth." The whole earth will become as the Garden of Eden. Paradise Lost will be Paradise Restored. The Divine Image lost in Adam will be restored to man. Human nature will be brought to perfection. But the glorious reward to the Church will be the divine nature, to be like her Lord, to sit at His right hand, and to bless the world of mankind. Man will become not only perfect, having all that Adam had, but will have additional knowledge and character; and there is every evidence that this shall be an eternal blessing.
Yes, the Scriptures tell us that some will be lost, and that the loss they shall sustain will be loss of life, and therefore all the pleasures of life. "They shall be as though they had not been"; "They shall be destroyed from amongst the people." St. Peter says, "They shall be destroyed as brute beasts."Acts 3:23; 2 Pet. 2:12
When? When the eyes of their understanding shall have been opened to see the Lord and to understand His glorious character, and they shall have had opportunity to appreciate and enjoy His blessing. When such intentionally reject the grace of God, they shall die the Second Death, from which there is no resurrection, no hope of recovery. But, thank God, there shall be no knowledge of suffering for them; they shall be destroyed as brute beasts.
In proportion as we believe in this Babe of Bethlehem shall we rejoice today. In proportion as we believe He was manifested on our behalf; in proportion as we believe He died for our sins; in proportion as we recognize Him as the glorified Savior; in proportion as we have surrendered our hearts to Him and seek to do the things well pleasing to him shall we have the peace of God.
Our hope on behalf of mankind in general is that in Gods due time His blessing shall reach allnot the same as that for the Church, but as St. Peter tells us in Acts 3:19-21, "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must retain until the Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets." [R4963]
"How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Fathers business?"V. 49
THE WONDERFUL BABE of Bethlehem "grew
The surpassing abilities of Jesus are attested by the fact that when He entered the synagogue of His home city, Nazareth, His superiority as a reader and an exponent was so generally recognized that the service was usually turned over to Him. (Luke 4:16) And yet the people marveled, saying, How comes it that Jesus is a man of letters, having never gone to school? And they all bore Him witness and wondered at the grace of His speech. (Luke 4:22) The explanation of the matter is that Jesus was perfect while all about Him were imperfect.
Our lesson relates particularly to an incident which occurred when Jesus was twelve years old. His "parents" were strict religionists and obeyed the Mosaic Law by attending regularly the Feast of Passover at Jerusalem every year, and on this occasion Jesus was with them. The expression "parents" does not imply that Saint Luke supposed Joseph to be the father of Jesus any more than that Mary so considered the matter when (verse 48) she spoke of Joseph as being His "father." He was the foster father of JesusHis foster parent, and Jesus was his foster child; the language is in exact harmony with what we would use under such circumstances today and is not a basis for any just criticism.
As might be surmised, the gathering of Jews from all parts of Palestine, yea, from the entire world, meant great crowds of people; on some occasions more than a million. Different families from different localities usually traveled together as one caravan. It was a Jewish custom that a Jewish boy should be considered "a son of the Law" when he had attained his twelfth year. He then became responsible under the Law and thenceforth was required to keep its festivals, etc.
At the time in question Jesus had attained His twelfth birthday. He well knew of His peculiar birth and of the great prophecies which centered in Him, related by Gabriel to His mother, and was on the alert to fulfil His missionto do the will of the Heavenly Father. He surmised that since at twelve years of age Jewish boys came under the requirements of the Law Covenant, this arrangement might possibly have been made as an indication of His proper course and dutythat that was the time at which He should begin His ministry.
Therefore He resolved to consult the very highest authorities respecting the teachings of the Law upon this subject. From time to time He sought intercourse with the learned Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors. He wished to make no mistake; He was therefore not satisfied with simply their opinion, but desired references to the Law and to the Prophets that He Himself might judge and not rely too implicitly upon the conclusions of others. During a considerable part of the time of the Passover Feast the great men of His nation were engaged in public functions, and hence His best opportunity for conference with them was at the close of the feast, and then as He could gain their attentioncoming time and again with new questions, with fresh inquiries about other types and symbols and their proper meaning.
When the time came for the return journey He had not finished His investigations of the Scripture teachings on this point. His parents, thinking that He was in the company with some of their relatives, went a days journey homeward before they ascertained that He was not in the company. Then they returned, journeying another day, and the third day they found Him in the temple with the learned men discussing the question which to Him was the all-important one of the hourthe time at which public ministry might be begun, according to the Law. Evidently He had just finished His quest and found as His satisfactory answer that, although a boy at twelve became amenable to the Law, none could enter upon a teaching or preaching service until thirty years of age. This matter had evidently been settled just prior to the arrival of His parents.
Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, said nothing, allowing his wife, Mary, to chide Jesus with having been negligent of His duty toward themcausing them trouble, grief, annoyance by not coming promptly with them on the return journey. The words of Jesus may be paraphrased thus: Did you not know that I was twelve years of age; was it not your understanding that I had reached the time when I must become a son of the Law? Did you not know that this might mean to me some great responsibility in connection with my service of the Heavenly Father? Did you not forewarn me that such responsibilities were to be looked for by myself and that I must be diligent to accomplish my mission? Why, then, may I ask, should you be surprised and disappointed in finding that I had tarried behind you? Did it not occur to you that as a son of the Law I might have responsibilities at this time and that I must use every opportunity to be about my Fathers businessto do whatever work I should find He has appointed for me? But now I will give you no further trouble. I have ascertained through study and conference with the Doctors of the Law that there is nothing that I can do as a minor in the way of beginning the Fathers service. I am therefore ready to return with you to our home, and I assure you that I shall be as loyal and obedient to you as heretofore and that my apparent neglect of your wishes in the present instance was merely because I supposed that you knew that I would be looking out for my Heavenly Fathers business and my privileges in connection with it, and that you would therefore not be necessarily expecting me to return home at this time.
In the last verse of our study we read: "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." It was not a boy who was to be the Redeemer, even as it was not a boy who had sinned. Jesus, therefore, to be a corresponding price for Father Adam and the race which lost life in Him, needed first to be developed into manhood. The verse under consideration covers the period from His twelfth year to His thirtieth. For eighteen years He kept growing in wisdom and in grace of character. He did not grow in the Fathers favor in the sense of becoming less sinful and more righteous, but in the sense of becoming more developedreaching human perfection. Just so a piece of fruit in growing may be as perfect of its kind at the beginning as at the end, but it grows in size and in richness of flavor, and therefore in the appreciation of the owner. So it was with Jesus. The perfect babe became the perfect boy; the perfect boy became the perfect youth; the perfect youth became the perfect man, and at thirty years of age was ripe and ready to be offered as an acceptable sacrifice of sweet savor to God, on behalf of mankind"the Just for the unjust." [R4958]
"Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel."1 Corinthians 9:16
WOE is a word not so often used today as for-
We understand the Apostle to mean here: "I should be very unhappy if I could not preach the Gospel; it would be a cause of great distress to me. In view of my former course of persecution, and the Lords great mercy to me, it would mean a loss of His favor and blessing should I refrain from proclaiming His Message." The context seems to bear out this thought. So it should be a great distress to those to whom the Lord has granted the illumination of His Truth, if the opportunity of preaching this glorious Gospel were taken from them.
From one standpoint, the Apostles words would apply only to the public ministry of the Word. From another standpoint, any one of Gods consecrated people is a minister, ordained to preach; for ordination means commission, right, authorization. This commission to preach the Gospel is mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 61:1-3) There the Church is brought to our attention through the great Head of the Church, Christ Jesus, who is represented, primarily, as the speaker. We read: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the Day of Vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that He might be glorified."MANY WAYS OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL
Here the commission of the Holy Spirit to Messiah was prophetically announced, long in advance. The Body members of the Messiah, who have received the same anointing through Him, have also received this commission to preach the Gospel. If the disciple of Christ properly appreciates the privilege of being a messenger of God, an ambassador for God, it would be a woe indeed to him if he could not proclaim the Message, to the extent of his ability and opportunity. There are some who have the thought that there is no way to preach except by a public discourse from the platform. But this seems not to be the Bible thought of preaching. Jesus talked to the people by the seaside, and along the way; sometimes He sat upon the edge of the well and preached the Message of salvation; He preached to His disciples up in the mountain; sometimes He journeyed with them and talked. And so with us. Whatever way or time we may have for preaching the Good Tidings we should use. The word Gospel means glad tidings, good news. We are to tell the "good tidings of great joy." This may be done in the daily walk of our life, as we meet the butcher, the baker and the grocery man, or our neighbors and friends. It may be done by literature sent through the mails, or by handing out a tract, a book, or by preaching from the platform. All of this is preaching the Gospel, making known the Good Tidings; for preaching means merely to make known, and does not relate to the manner in which the knowledge is imparted.BASIS AND SUPERSTRUCTURE OF THE GOSPEL
Many tracts contain no Gospel; they contain tidings of great misery. These we would not wish to circulate; for the more we spread such tidings the less preaching of the Gospel we would do. We are to remember that our Lord Jesus especially identified the Gospel with the Kingdom. Therefore we should preach the Good Tidings, the Gospel of the Kingdom. This has been Gods method for gathering the Church, and is to be the witness to the world. We still have the opportunity for making known this good Message of the Kingdom. The Basis of this Gospel is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ as a Sacrifice for sinners, His resurrection and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. Its superstructure is the salvation of the Church and of the world"whosoever will." The blessings of God are all through Christ.
The rich blessings of the Lord for both Church and world are to follow the Second Coming of Jesus. Then the Church is to be glorified and exalted; and the world will enter upon the Era of Blessing God has promised shall come with the full establishment of His Kingdom.
Whoever, therefore, understands this real Gospel, and appreciates his own ordination to preach it, must necessarily feel unhappy if he should be hindered from preaching it. Some can preach in several ways. Others can preach in nearly every way. Some can preach in very few ways; but all can preach in some way. The more we do, the more happy we should be. So we thank God that we have so many helps in our daybooks, free literature, Bible Concordances, etc. We greatly appreciate all these and are seeking to make good use of them to the blessing of others as well as for our own upbuilding. [R5893]
"I will show thee my faith by my works."James 2:18
FAITH is a mental conviction respecting things
Having gotten a glimpse of the great Divine Character through the Book of Nature, we properly enough, before exercising faith in the Bible, make inquiry into the personnel of the writerswho they were, what were their characters, who did they claim to be, what evidences are there that they were true, and do these evidences agree. In other words, faith does not jump at conclusions, but makes investigations and sees that it has some reasonable ground for its existence. If it were solid ground, it would be knowledge. Faith is not knowledge. Therefore Faith inquires for reasonable ground upon which to build.FAITH DISTINGUISHED FROM CREDULITY
With the Bible open, the Christian has before him a field of faith-knowledgeknowledge of things not seen by the natural eyeall of which he may continually be proving. While ever satisfied with what he has been demonstrating, he must necessarily be manifesting his faith by the way, proving that which is good. His mental processes being active, he should realize how one feature of the Divine Plan fits into another. Thus his faith grows into larger faith, deeper faith, stronger faith. In time his faith becomes a conviction so strong that he might be willing to stake his life on what he believes to be the truth in the Divine promises. He accepts those promises as something real, something that he knows aboutnot something received in a vague, unsatisfactory manner.
On the other hand, credulity is prejudice. The heathen are credulous; for they are blindly prejudiced. Many Christian people seem to be beset by the same spirit of credulity, and seem to mistake it for faith. We are not to forget that there are two great powers at the present timethe power of Good and the power of Evil. We are not to forget that for six thousand years the power of Evil has had the upper hand on earth. God has permitted Satan to have a great deal of power in the world. But it is a deceptive power. To Satans misleading spirit powers we accredit much of the superstition that has fastened itself upon humanity.
For instance, there was a time when we thought it a manifestation of great faith to see three gods in one God, and one God in three gods. From our mistaken viewpoint we said, "One cannot reason this out; it is all of faith." The fact that somebody had said that there are three gods in one God, and one God in three gods, was not a basis for faith. So then, it was not faith that we had in a Trinity, but credulity. With many other things it was the same; we were not exercising faith. And so it would seem to have been with very many in the past. They must have swallowed many things with a very slight amount of mental mastication. We believe that such conditions still exist.
We notice our Christian Science friends. Many of them are very noble people, very estimable people in some respects; yet in our judgment they hold certain doctrines that are not matters of faith, but of credulity. They have theories respecting sin, respecting error. Because these theories seem to fit certain experiences in life, they have accepted these as a basis for what they call faith, and have seemed to receive them aside from all processes of reasoning. The basis for their doctrine seems to be that they have experienced healing as a result of faith. They do not seem to see that Satan has power to mislead. We fear that many of them are being misled by Satans deceptions. We see a similar condition amongst Mormons. They too have theories, and have healing. It is the same with the Seventh Day Adventists. The Adversary is misleading all these people as respects the Call of this present Age; they are being side-tracked. They are not, therefore, to receive the highest blessing, which goes only to the faithful who walk in the footsteps of Jesus.COMBATTING WRONG DEDUCTIONS IN EARLY CHURCH
The Apostle in our text says, "I will show thee my faith by my works." This is part of an argument that he has been putting up. There was a theory prevalent in the days of the Apostle, that works amounted to nothingthat it was faith which counted. The Apostle James is combatting that thought. Faith is all very well; but you must have works also! The Apostle says, "You show me your faith without works, but I prefer to show you my faith by my works." There was some perversion of St. Pauls teachings that had gotten into circulation at that time. St. Paul had said that by the works of the Law no flesh could be justified. The Jews, who had the Law, had not been able to keep that Law; neither would St. Paul or any other human being be able to keep that Law, in order to justify himself in Gods sight. The only way to do this was by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not by the Law of works.
We are not to understand St. James as in any sense of the word opposing St. Paul in this thought, but rather as opposing the wrong deductions from St. Pauls teaching; to wit, "It does not matter what kind of works I have. I have strong faith; God will not pay any attention to the works. I can work the works of the flesh; and having plenty of faith in God, I shall be all right." St. James points out that this is not true. Faith in God and in Christ and in the forgiveness of sins is proper; but there must be works to accompany it. Just as surely as we have faith it will manifest itself in some way, and these works, if not good, will be bad works, indifferent works. A good tree will produce good fruit. A pure fountain will send forth pure water.
This seems to be the Apostles argument. Surely we all agree with him, and are all seeking to show forth our works. The world cannot appreciate our faith, because they cannot read our hearts. But God appreciates our faith. Abraham was the father of the faithful. God loved him and treated him as a friend. He was called the "Friend of God." But, says the Apostle, God required that Abraham should show his faith by doing some works; he must have some works to prove that he had faith; he will test us by our works as to the strength of our faith. [R5892]
"We which have believed do enter into rest."Hebrews 4:3
IN OUR text St. Paul refers to the fact
The Apostle says that faith is necessary to rest. He tells us what to do in order to avail ourselves of that which God has already provided for us. He shows us that God made promises to Abraham, and these were reiterated to Isaac and to Jacob. God declared His purpose to have a special, holy nation, and promised Abraham that the blessing of the world should come through his Seed, who would constitute this chosen nation. The promises were great and precious.
Abraham believed the Message and was glad. He rested. He did not know the way by which God would bring about the blessing, but he had the promise of God, confirmed by His Oath. He did not need to know then about the Lord Jesus or the Plan of Salvation. He had full rest in fully believing God; and so did as many of his posterity as exercised the same faith as Abraham. Isaac and Jacob and many of the Prophets, including the Prophet David, thus trusted God. Their writings show that they were fully in harmony with God. They realized that He had made a gracious provision for the future, and that this provision was for the world in general; yet they knew that they were to have a "better resurrection" than that of the world. They had a rest of faith in these things that God had not yet accomplished.
Our Lord Jesus declared that Abraham saw His day and was glad. He did not see it with his natural eye, but with the eye of faith. He saw the Day in which Christ, who has died for all men, will uplift the human family, raising the world up out of sin and deathfirst exalting His Bride, and finally causing the blessing of God to extend to every creature. This is just what God promised to Abraham"In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Abraham was glad, and everybody else is glad who sees it. Abraham was content to see that there was to be a great blessing for his posterity, and through them for the world. He did not see Gods Plan clearly, as we see it, but he saw enough to make him rejoice.John 8:56INCREASING LIGHT AND GREATER TESTS
Coming down to our own Age, we see that a greater light, a greater privilege, has brought greater tests of faith in many respects. Abraham was tested in that he was told to offer his son Isaac in sacrifice. He knew that the promises were to be fulfilled through this son, but he said, It is for me to be obedient; God can raise my son from the dead. This shall not hinder my faith in the outworking of Gods Plan.
We of the Gospel Age have not heard Gods voice speaking to us audibly, as did Abraham; but we live in the time of a further development of the great Plan of God. He has sent His Son into the world, who was made flesh and dwelt among us, and who died, "the Just for the unjust."
Unbelief would assert that if Jesus had been the Son of God He would not have died; but there was a mortgage held on the human race by Justice, and their case was hopeless unless a Redeemer should be provided. So the eye of faith today is able to grasp Gods purposes in a fuller way than did Abraham. Yet we do not know that our faith is any greater than his; for even if we have more trials and difficulties, we have also greater opportunities and greater light. Abraham had full faith, full confidence in God, and no one could have more than this.
The Lords people of the present time believe that mankind are to be rescued from sin and death. Some have more knowledge than others, and more testing; some who have less capacity cannot endure so severe testing, nor can they enjoy so fully. But all can have the same rest that Abraham hadthe rest of faith in God. God has promised to His saints a resurrection to glory and honor and blessing. But these are not actual as yet. We have now only the earnest of this inheritance. It is for faith to triumph and to realize that God can bring us to that glorious condition which He has promised; and He will, if we are faithful. Each in proportion to his knowledge and faith will have rest. The most learned and the most ignorant can have this rest, if only they believe God.
The rest we have entered into is not our ultimate rest. If we have the faith today, we may have the rest today; if we lose the faith, we also lose the rest. But a perfect, permanent rest awaits us. God has promised us certain great and precious things. He is our Creator and our Father, and will do for us the things He has promised. And according to our faith it will be unto usmuch faith, much rest; little faith, little rest. Those who are in harmony with God believe His testimony.
This does not imply that all who have been of Gods children have believed all of the Divine Plan; for we see that this would not be possible. Some have had greater opportunity for believing; and some have had less. We who live today have much more advantage than those who lived prior to our day. Our test, then, does not come so much from lack of knowledge; but it is a test of faith in God, and obedience to the light now given us. Having this great flood of light now granted at the close of this Age, our faith should be very strong, and we should seek to increase it more and more by gaining all the knowledge now due. We should grow in faith, grow in grace, grow in knowledge and grow in love. We enter into a deeper and more intelligent rest if we avail ourselves of the helps which the Lord has provided for us. If we truly believe, we will manifest our belief by works in harmony therewith.
In Scriptural usage the word believe implies much more than merely to acknowledge a fact or a truth. The great Truth before us all is what the Bible calls the Gospel, the Good Tidings. The belief referred to in our text is belief in this Gospel: We who believe the Gospel do enter into rest. What is the Gospel that we believe? It includes all the features of Gods love and mercy to us as a fallen raceHis proposition for eternal life through Christ, with all the blessings this involves. To the Church the Gospelthe Good Tidingsincludes also the offer to us of joint-heirship with Christ in the Kingdom.
One might have an intellectual belief in these promised blessings without entering into the rest mentioned in our text. But this form of belief is evidently not in the Apostles thought. To the extent that the individual recognizes those facts, accepts them and acts upon them, to that extent he enters into rest. If he believes partially, he rests in that proportion; if he believes more, he rests more; if he believes perfectly, he has perfect rest, and will show his faith by his works. The Gospel Message is so wonderful that any one who believes it will desire to avail himself of its blessings. If the opportunity is presented of becoming a joint-heir with Jesus to the Divine nature, and the mind can grasp the proposition, one would really be a fool if he did not accept such an offer. So any one who does not accept does not believe, in the sense the word is used in our text. All who truly believe will accept such an offer and will enter into rest by faith.
The expression of the text, "We who have believed," implies that the belief has reached the heart, and will thus affect our course in life. And the second part of the statement, "do enter into rest," implies that the rest is gradually coming to him because he has believed. He has first believed; and the fulness of rest is a condition to be attained gradually as his faith grows stronger, and as he learns to appreciate more fully what he has accepted.
"With the heart man believeth," and not merely with the head. It is not a mere intellectual belief. When we accept the Gospel as a fact, and enter fully into it, we begin at once to have a measure of this rest; and as we learn by our experiences how true the Lord is to all His promises to us, the rest becomes more deep and abiding. The belief was at first a full belief in the Message of God; but as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of God, the more firm and established does our faith become, and our rest is proportionate. [R5433]
"Teach me Thy way, O Lord."Psalm 27:11
THE LORD does not wish us to walk by
Since, however, we have no miraculous insight through which we may know what is the will of God in all the details of every-day life, we are not always able to discern that will. When the matter is one about which the Scriptures give instructions, then the way is clear; for the only course which the child of God desires to follow is that of obedience. But when the matter is such as depends upon ones own judgment, then the way is not so clear. Realizing that our judgment is not sufficient, we should not tax our minds with what we know is beyond our power to decide, but should leave the matter to the Lord.
We know that the Lord can direct our course in whatever way He chooses, if we put ourselves under His care. So at the beginning of the day we can say, "Lord, here am I; I thank Thee for the privilege of another day, which I hope will be full of opportunities for serving the Truth and the brethren. I ask Thee to direct my thoughts, words and conduct, that I may serve Thee acceptably." Then we may go forth and use our best judgment.
If the Lord wants to lead us in one direction or another, that is His part, not ours. We have solicited His guidance; and our eyes are alert to know and to do His will at any cost. In this attitude we may rest easy, knowing that God is able and willing to overrule all things for His glory and our profit.
As a child, the Editor noticed that some people had a certain way of going to the Lord with all of their affairs. They would open their Bibles at random; and whatever verse their thumb or finger happened to touch they would consider to be the Lords message to them; and they would follow its suggestion carefully. Sometimes the text to which they opened seemed to be a remarkable answer to their prayer.
This method is not one with which the Editor desires to find fault. But since it did not appeal to his judgment, he took the matter to the Lord in prayer and said, "Father, I am really afraid to adopt this plan. So if it please Thee, I would rather be directed by my judgment than by this method; for my mind does not seem capable of accepting it." The Lord seems to have taken him at his word.
There is surely a reason why right is right in every matter; and we should desire to know it. We should desire to know why God wishes a matter this way rather than that way; not that we doubt His wisdom, but that we may enter into the spirit of the Divine regulations. The Editors method of seeking Divine guidance is to study the Scriptures, taking all of the verses bearing upon the subject under consideration, and trying to find the underlying principle of Gods dealings and teachings.
By this method he has much more happiness than he otherwise could have. By following the other method he could not know whether God or the Devil or chance would open the Bible for him. He much prefers to follow what he believes to be the teaching of the Word of God; that is, to commit all to the Father in prayer, asking Him to guide both reason and judgment, and then go out and use that judgment and reason to the best of his ability. Even if God should permit him to use his judgment in a way that afterward appeared not to have been the best, nevertheless the Father may use it to bring some great blessing or profitable lesson. By judgment, of course, he means his understanding of the Fathers Word and of His providential leadings. Thus doing, he knows that all things shall work together for good.Rom. 8:28 [R5212]
What is tentative justification?
All of these steps, however, lead up to a full and perfect justification. First we come to a faith in God, believing that there is a Great Creator, that we are His creatures, and that He has merciful intentions toward us. Then other steps lead us to see that God has made arrangements for receiving us back into fellowship with Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of grace. We see that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." (1 Cor. 15:3) This is a step of greater knowledge and leads to another step of obedience. Thus we draw nearer to God. As St. James says, "Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you." (James 4:8) Each step enables us to see that we are getting nearer to the blessing.
After seeing that the Lord Jesus has prepared the way for the forgiveness of sin, we learn that there are certain terms upon which our sins will be forgiven. This is another step of knowledge. Then we are brought to the point where the Lord tells us by His own Word and the words of the Apostles that this forgiveness is based upon faith in Him and full acceptance of His finished work, that the only way by which we may become sharers in that work is by the consecration of ourselves and all that we have to the Father, and that we take up our cross and follow Jesus. We also learn that unless we take this step we cannot reach full justification.
When one has been drawn to the Father through His Word and His providences, and has accepted the blood of Jesus Christ as his only means of salvation, he comes to the place where he must decide whether he will present himself to God or whether he will wait for the Millennial blessings of Restitution. What he will do is uncertain. He is tentatively (that is temporarily) justified for a purposethat of considering which step he will take. He is still on the human planea natural man.
Tentative justification, then, is for the purpose of giving a standing with God, from which a believer in our Lords Ransom-sacrifice as his only hope of salvation may ascertain whether he has that spirit of sacrifice which will lead him to full consecration. The believer is at liberty to choose which course he will take. He may offer himself in consecration or he may decide not to do so. But should he decide to wait for Restitution, he thereby proves that he has not appreciated Gods offer.
The object in preaching the Gospel during this Gospel Ageor at allis to give an opportunity to whosoever will hear to attain to the privilege of spirit nature. Whoever hears the call and neglects to take advantage of it has evidently received the grace of God in vain. He suffers the loss of whatever he might have profited by accepting the offer. If for the doing of a certain piece of work a reward is promised, the one who fails to perform the work loses the reward, the honor, the money, or whatever was promised for doing the work.
God does not intend to inflict punishment on those who decide not to make the sacrifice of their humanity. But this class cannot gain the prize offered to those who do so. Only those who use their opportunity to be dead with Christ shall live with Himbecome participators in the glorious things that are His. Those who take this step constitute the Church at the present time.
For the others, however, we trust that they will have opportunities in the future, in the Millennial Age. Under the favorable conditions of that time we hope that they will do better than they have done in this Age. Yet our thought is that the person who has come to a knowledge of Gods grace and has had a measure of light respecting it, but has rejected it, will be in a worse position than those who have never heard of it.
Nevertheless, we do not wish to discourage any one who experiences faith in Restitution, in a future life, in good works. We would not discourage any one who hopes for earthly life, Restitution blessings. We believe that there are a great many people who are living noble lives, but who have neither faith nor light regarding the high calling. They are not on that account to suffer forever, except in the sense that they will have lost the opportunity of attaining the Kingdom blessing. [R5207-5208]
What is vitalized justification?
The Lord says that one should take the step of consecration only after counting the cost. (Luke 14:27-33) After one has decided to take this step, he presents himself to the Lord. If his consecration is accepted, the Lord imputes enough of His merit to make the sacrifice perfect; for nothing imperfect can be presented to Jehovah. At the very moment of his acceptance as perfect through the imputed merit of Christ, he is reckoned alive in the full sense of the word; he has received actual justification in a legal sense. His justification is said to be vitalized. In other words, as soon as our Lord Jesus becomes his Advocate, God is reconciled to that sinner and treats him as one actually perfect. Full justification means full making right in the sight of Jehovah.
Let us be sure that we clearly understand this important point. Justification is said to be vitalized when, by the imputation of the merit of Christ, one who has made a full consecration receives by faith his share of the redemptive work of Christ. Those who have received vitalized justification can have no part in Restitution. Since that which is vitalized is made alive, justification that is vitalized is said to be unto life, for ones future existence depends upon his retaining that justification after our Lords merit has been imputed. Abrahams justification, on the contrary, was not unto life, but only to fellowship with God. Christ had not died in Abrahams day and, therefore, merit could not have been imputed to any one.
By means of the various steps by which God has led us to Himself we reach the fulness and completeness of justification. That justification is vitalized by Jesus, who imputes to us a sufficiency of His merit to cover our deficiency. At the same moment God accepts that sacrifice which has already been offered to Him through the Advocate. This acceptance is indicated by the begetting of the Holy Spirit.
The one thus covered with the imputed merit of Christ and begotten of the Holy Spirit is thenceforth a New Creature. (2 Cor. 5:17) If he continues faithful to his consecration vow, he will ultimately be presented to the Father as a member of the Bride class. Those who fail to keep their vow will be put through severe trials, great tribulation, which will eventually prepare them for a lesser place than they would have had if they had kept their robes unspotted.
During this Gospel Age only those who have presented their bodies as living sacrifices are given the Holy Spirit. This power operates in their lives for their development as New Creatures, to bring them into harmony with God and to prepare them for membership in the Body of Christ. [R5208]
1. The ruling king of Israel was to come from the tribe of ________________Genesis 49:10
2. ______________led the Hebrew nation out of Egypt.Exodus 3:1-12
3. ______epoch days were needed to prepare the earth for man.Genesis 1:3-31
4. The Decalogue is a brief synopsis of the whole _______________.
5. The Ten Commandments were given to the _________________.Exodus 20:3-17
6. The heavenly Fathers presence was shown in the _____ ________ of the Tabernacle.Isaiah 37:16
7. An order of _______had charge of the Tabernacle.Exodus 28:1, 40,41
8. The laws of Israel were given by God through ____________.Exodus 34:1
9. _________________ elders in Israel were gathered to assist Moses in his burden of the people.Numbers 11:16,17
10. The republican form of civil government over Israel continued for over ________________ years.Acts 13:18-20
"I am enjoying the study courses immensely. Thanks for all your help. May God bless you in your work."
"I was very impressed by your television show on Vision TV...It was very understandable and gave much light to my knowledge and recognition of Jesus Christ. I am looking for wisdom to provide me with deeper roots and that spiritual mile we all need....Any aid to my future education will be greatly appreciated."
"I just wanted to know if the Bible studies in the Studies in the Scriptures after "The Time Is At Hand" and before the "Tabernacle Shadows", are going to be sent. ...I would like the studies, if any. They make me understand more about Gods word. I was just writing to see if there are any....By the way,...passed away...She really liked doing the studies."
"Recently I came across your TV broadcast and was supremely impressed on your presentation and lucidity of Gods Divine Plan. Consequently I am writing to request all the relevant information on the subject. May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry."
(Thursday Texts from Daily Heavenly Manna)
If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto our children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?
IF the Lord's consecrated people could all be brought to the point where the chief aim in life, the burden of all their prayers, would be that they might have a larger measure of the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Christ, the spirit of a sound mind, what a blessing it would mean! If then they should wrestle with the Lord until the breaking of the day, their hold upon Him would be sure to bring the desired blessing.
The Lord has revealed Himself to His people for the very purpose of giving them this blessing; nevertheless, He withholds it until they learn to appreciate and earnestly desire it. Z. '01-271 R2866:1
My son, give Me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe My ways. Proverbs 23:26
THE heart, the will, thus given over to God, seeks
to know the divine will, to catch the divine thought and to obey it in word and in act; and in proportion as this condition of the new mind is attained, in that same proportion will there begin to be a newness of life in every respectin ambitions, hopes, sentiments and efforts. It is for this reason that the revelation of the divine will and plan is furnished to believersthat by growing in the knowledge of it, by thinking on these things, by filling the mind with the divine plan and will, the transforming influence may extend into every avenue of life. Z. '01-324 R2891:1
The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:6
TO have the proper course in life, to be able to meet the trials and difficulties of life as they come to us, and to meet them in the proper spirit which the Lord directsin the spirit of rejoicing in tribulation, and counting such experiences all joy,it is necessary that all fear of man, which brings a snare, shall be removed. And it is our Lord's direction that we shall fear Jehovah, and not fear our mortal fellows.
The righteous are bold as a lion, as well as gentle as a dove, and meek as a lamb. This peculiar combination should be found in every Christian, and we doubt if it will be found elsewhere. Z. '02-45 R2953:1
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born his day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10,11
ALTHOUGH we cannot agree that this is the
proper day for celebrating the birth of our dear Redeemer, but must insist that it was about October first(Volume 2, p.54) nevertheless, since He did not intimate His desire that we should celebrate His birthday, it is quite immaterial upon what day that event, of so great importance to all, is celebrated. Upon this day, so generally celebrated, we may properly enough join with all whose hearts are in the attitude of love and appreciation toward God and toward the Savior. The habit of giving little remembrances one to another at this time of year seems to us specially appropriate. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He is continually giving and we are continually receiving from Him; but amongst all His gifts the one of greatest importance to us is the gift of His Son to be our Redeemer. Z. '03-457 R3290:4
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. ... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:1-9
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