TABLE OF CONTENTS (details)
THE DIVINE PLAN JOURNAL
Volume 22 * June 1997 * number 6
"All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables, and without a parable spake he not unto them." --Matthew 13:34
"THERE was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day; And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich mans table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abrahams bosom; the rich man also died and was buried; And in hell (hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my fathers house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they would repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:19-31
When rightly understood the parable of "The Rich Man And Lazarus" is both beautiful and meaningful. A parable is a word picture. The thing said is not the thing meant. The Psalmist had prophesied that Jesus would "utter dark sayings". "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old." (Psalm 78:2) This prophecy was fulfilled at the first advent.
Had you before realized that the word "heaven" is not even used in the parable of "The Rich Man And Lazarus"?
Is Abrahams bosom large enough to hold that vast multitude who are beggars and afflicted with various diseases? Do beggars and those full of sores go to heaven?
Do those who are clothed with purple and fine linen in the present life and have plenty of food to eat go to eternal torment at death?
Do rich men and women go to hell when they die? What is the meaning of the word "hell" as used in this parable under discussion?
Do you know that the word "hell" as used in the parable of "The Rich Man And Lazarus" is "hades" in the Greek which means the death state, i.e. the condition of the dead?
Do you know that in the Bible hell there is no work, device, or knowledge? "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do do it with thy might for there is no work nor device nor knowledge in the grave (sheol) whither thou goest."Ecclesiastes 9:10
Do you know that the Hebrew word "sheol" is the equivalent to the Greek word "hades"? Oblivion is the best definition for "hades" and "sheol."
Who is the rich man of this parable? Jesus used the rich man and also his five brethren to portray the natural descendants of Abraham, the Jewish nation. The rich man would especially represent the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; the "five brethren" represent the other ten tribes.
The Jewish nation was richly favored by God. In Amos 3:2 we read: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth." The Almighty Creator dealt with Abrahams descendants in a typical way. From the death of Jacob to the death of Jesus, the Gentiles were not recognized by God.
On account of Abrahams faith, the angel of the Lord promised him "that in blessing I [i.e. the Lord] will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."Genesis 22:17,18
The promise made to Abrahams son, Isaac, is recorded in Genesis 26:4: "And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."
The promise made to Isaacs son, Jacob, is recorded in Genesis 28:14: "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
In the course of time, God changed the name of Abrahams grandson, Jacob, to Israel. (Genesis 32:28; 35:10-15) "And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob; thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. And God went up from him, in the place where he talked with him, And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon; And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel."
Bethel meant the gate of heaven. It was there that God communicated with Israel. So long as Israels descendants were obedient they were blessed in basket and store. When disobedient they were corrected for the purpose of bringing them back into the right way.
In the year 1813 B.C., Israel said unto Joseph, "Behold I die; but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers." (Genesis 48:21) From the death of Jacob to the death of Jesus, a period of 1845 years, the nation of Israel was typically justified.
The fine linen in the parable of "The Rich Man And Lazarus" represented this typical justification of Israel. The Jewish nation was very rich!
To this people God sent Moses and the prophets. The holy prophets sent to Israel spoke about restitution. In Acts 3:19-21 we read that "times of refreshing shall come from the presence, i.e. face or favor of the LORD (the Almighty God); and he shall send Jesus Christ who before was preached unto you; Whom the heaven must receive (or retain), until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."
These restitution blessings take place at the second advent of Christ. However, before restitution could occur, it was first necessary that a ransom be provided. At the first advent, our dear Redeemer gave himself a ransom for all, long enough in advance of the restitution of all things, in order that the church might be selected. The individual blessings of restitution will commence after the bride has made herself ready.
The bride could have been selected from the natural descendants of Abraham, the rich man of the parable under consideration, had enough of them accepted our Saviour when he came to his own people, the Jews, at the first advent. However, John tells us (chapter 1:11,12) that Jesus "came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power [i.e. the right or privilege] to become sons of God, even to them who believe on his name."
What a wonderful offer was extended to the rich man, the Jewish nation! When they as a whole rejected the Saviour, the offer to become Abrahams spiritual seed was extended to the publicans and sinners of Israel and to the Gentiles, the beggar of the parable of "The Rich Man And Lazarus".
During the time from the death of Jacob, to the death of Jesus, the Gentiles did not have the promises of God. They were sin-sick and full of sores. The Jews considered the Gentiles as dogs and as unclean.
When the Jewish nation as a whole rejected our dear Redeemer, at the first advent, the sinners of Israel seeking a better life and the Gentiles with faith were given the opportunity to die to their condition of disfavor. Those who died to human hopes, aims, and ambitions, by making a full consecration to God, were carried to Abrahams bosom, so to speak. That is, they became heirs of the promise made to the spiritual seed of Abraham. In Galatians 3:16, Paul shows that primarily the spiritual seed of Abraham is Christ, but then in verse 29 he points out that those who have come into Christ are Abrahams seed and heirs according to the promise. The spiritual seed of Abraham will be made up of the faithful, from not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles.
It was not possible for the body members of Christ to be selected until first our loving heavenly Father gave his only begotten Son as portrayed by Abraham offering his son Isaac.
"And Isaac spake unto Abraham his Father and said, My Father..., behold the fire and the wood but where is the Lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, my son, God will provide himself a Lamb for a burnt offering.... And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said Abraham, Abraham;... lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou has not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked and behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns.... And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time and said, By myself have I sworn saith the Lord; for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."Genesis 22:7-18
If the demands of Justice against Adam and his race were to be met, it would require the sacrifice of a dear Son by a loving Father, namely, the Almighty God who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to be our Redeemer.
The spiritual seed of Abraham, the beggar class of the parable who die to human hopes, is represented by the stars of heaven. The Christ, Head and body members, receive a heavenly reward.
The spiritual seed of Abraham will have the privilege of blessing all the families of the earth, pictured by the sand upon the seashore. In order for one to become a member of the earthly seed of Abraham, in due time, it will be necessary for him to accept and obey Christ.
The parable of "The Rich Man And Lazarus" points out that there has been a great gulf between the rich man and the beggar. Prejudice has kept most of the natural descendants of Abraham throughout the Gospel Age from becoming members of the spiritual seed.
The signs in the earth indicate that we are near the time when the bride of Christ will have made herself ready. Current events remind us that soon Israel will get their blind eyes opened. Israel will yet experience what the Bible calls "Jacobs trouble". (Jeremiah 30:7) At the precise moment divine intervention will step in on behalf of Israel. Then a representative group with faith from that tiny nation will be ready and willing to accept the terms of the New Law Covenant. The New Covenant which will be inaugurated with Israel, at the hands of the ancient worthies, will eventually reach the Gentiles. The knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.
As already suggested, the rich man and his five brethren represented the twelve sons of Israel. Had you before noticed that at the time Josephs brethren came down to Egypt to live, Joseph and five of his brethren, who were presented to the Egyptian ruler, represented all the twelve sons of Israel?
In Genesis 47:2-4, we read: "And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we and also our fathers. For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan; now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen."
The rich man who rejected our Lord, that is the Jewish nation, died nationally. Israel was in the Bible hell, the condition of the dead, nationally. Graves are a symbol of the fact that those buried are dead. The Jewish nation was buried in death, so to speak. Throughout their long period of disfavor from the death of Jesus until the year 1878, a period of 1845 years, the same number of years as their period of favor, the Jews, while still alive, were tormented and persecuted in many cruel ways as the pages of history attest.
Since the dead are not alive in any sense of the word, those in oblivion cannot experience torment. The afflictions and persecutions are felt while there is still a measure of life in a person, not after death.
Since 1948, Israel, pictured by the fig tree, has been a nation among the other nations, pictured by all the trees. (Luke 21:29) It is now time to speak comfortably to Jerusalem as brought to our attention in Isaiah 40:1,2.
The Jewish nation had been given Moses and the prophets. Moses was the Mediator of the Old Law Covenant given at Mount Sinai. The thunders and lightnings, a thick cloud and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, prepared the Israelites to accept the conditions and arrangements of the Law.Exodus 19:16
Current events of today are preparing the entire world, beginning with natural Israel, for the inauguration of the New Law Covenant which will have a better Mediator than Moses. (Luke 21:25-28) That better Mediator will consist of Christ the Head and the Church his body. The Christ will bless all the families of the earth during the Mediatorial reign.Isaiah 35:8-10
Those who enter the narrow way during the Gospel Age become dead to human hopes, but by faith may instantly arise and begin walking in newness of life. Paul exhorts those who are risen with Christ to set their mind on things above.Colossians 3:1,2
The fully consecrated who have died to human hopes, and then by faith, risen with Christ, have not, for the most part, been able to reach the rich man of the parable. The blind eyes of the rich man who died will be opened after the full number of the bride of Christ has been selected and fully tested from both Jews and Gentiles. (Romans 11:25,26) Then the spiritual seed of Abraham will begin blessing natural Israel and eventually all the Gentiles. The kingdom for which we pray will grow and grow until it fills the entire earth.
"Be strong and of a good courage."V.9
ISRAEL spent thirty days in mourning for their great leader, Moses, yet with one accord accepted Joshua as their new leader by Divine appointment through Moses. Like other Bible heroes, Joshua was renowned for his faith and his loyalty to God. At the time of taking Moses place he was in his eighty-third year, yet full of vigor, and evidently the best qualified man for the position. He and Caleb only had been of mature years when the Israelites left Egypt. They only had been witnesses of Gods marvelous dealings with His people. They two had been the spies who brought an encouraging report of Canaan, which the people refused and on account of which refusal the adults died during the succeeding forty years of wilderness journeying.
The fact that Moses was vigorous at one hundred and twenty, and Joshua at eighty-three, speaks loudly to us in confirmation of the Bibles teaching that Adam was created perfect, and that the entire race has since been fallen in sin and deathsharing Adams penalty, "Dying, thou shalt die." The intelligence of these men, as well as their vigor, quite contradict the Evolution theory; for this very Joshua had been one of the slaves in Egypt.
Not for a moment are we to lose sight of the fact that God had adopted the nation of Israel and entered into a special Covenant with them; and that, therefore, He was their real Captain and LeaderMoses, Joshua and others being merely His representatives and mouthpieces.
Joshuas name was originally Hoshea, the same as that of the Prophet Hosea, signifying salvation. Tothis was prefixed (Numbers 13:16) Je, an abbreviation representing the word Jehovah. Thus the name became Jehoshua, signifying Jehovahs salvation. This was shortened to Joshua and Jeshua. (Nehemiah 8:17) The Greek form of this word in the Septuagint is JesousJesus.
For twenty-seven years Joshua was the leader of Israel, faithful to God and to the people. He not only led them through Jordan and directed in the conquering of city after city, but he divided the land amongst the tribes and governed the people with great acceptance, dying at the age of one hundred and ten.
It would not do for us to contrast Joshua with Moses as a leader; for they were men of totally different types. Indeed, any one contrasted with Moses would be disadvantaged, so high did that great statesman tower above the average of humanity then or since. But while Joshua could not be Moses, the leader, commander, law-giver, he was faithful as a follower of Moses, as one who obeyed the Divine Law, and whose faith and influence with the people were helpful to them. He was just what God wished him to be, and whoever is worthy of such a testimony is truly great.
The Lords command to Joshua was, "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel....There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee....Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
That Joshua and Israel in conquering Canaan should take forcible possession of it is called in question by some. They ask, By what right might one branch of the human family destroy another and seize their land? Where is the justice of such a course, not to mention the absence of love? How could the Golden Rule be applied to such a coursedo unto others as you would be done by?
There is but one answer to this query; and, rightfully seen, it is a satisfactory answer. The Lord declares that the earth is His, that He gave it to the children of men, as represented by Father Adam. (Psalm 115:16) But the gift was conditioned upon obedience and loyaltydisobedience, disloyalty, being punishable by death. Adam incurred this penalty; and his children, under the laws of heredity, shared it with him, because born in sin and shapen in iniquity. Thus all human right in the earth was abrogated by the death sentence upon the sinner.
God purposed in Himself the recovery of Adam and his family from the curse of deaththrough Messiahthrough His death and by the power of His Messianic Kingdom, not yet established. In preparation for these blessings to come, God laid hold upon the nation of Israel and blessed them by making a Covenant with them. Although they could not fulfil the terms of the Covenant and obtain the choicest blessing of God, nevertheless the Israelites were greatly blessed by their Law Covenant, and many of them were fitted and prepared by it for cooperation with Messiah in His Kingdom in due time. Meantime, the experiences of Israel were overruled by the Almighty, to make of them types and symbols illustrative of the Divine Plan as it will be finally outworked on a higher plane.I Corinthians 10:11.
In carrying out this arrangement with Israel, God promised them and gave them Palestine. He explained to them, nevertheless, that this gift was not because of their worthiness, but because of His favor toward them in pursuit of His own great plans previously outlined to Abraham. He further explained that the people of Canaan were not making progress, and that their further continuance would be neither for their good nor for the Lords gloryas with the Sodomites, whom God took away as He saw good.Ezekiel 16:49,50
It is well that we should remember that the Bible hell, to which the Canaanites went when they were slaughtered, is not the hell of torment pictured to us in the creeds. Their destruction by the Israelites sent them to Sheol, to Hades, to the tomb, where "there is neither wisdom nor knowledge nor device." (Eccles. 9:10) There they sleep with their forefathersjust as we read of all the good as well as of all the evil ones of that time. Abraham slept with his fathers, who were heathen men.
All through Bible history we read that both good and bad, dying, were gathered to their fathersslept with their fathers. There they are still, waiting for the glorious resurrection Morning, when Messiahs Kingdom, having inaugurated a reign of righteousness, will bring the earth to its Edenic condition and bring back eventually every man in his own orderall that sleep in Hades, in Sheol, in the tomb.I Corinthians 15:21-29
Death with humanity is totally different from death with the brute, because of the Divine promise that there shall be a resurrection of the human dead, the just and the unjust; and because in fulfilment of that promise God has already sent His Son. Jesus already has died for human sin, thus opening up the way for the resurrectionthat God might be just and yet be the Justifier of those accepting Jesus.
True, few have accepted Him as yet, because few have come to a knowledge of the Truth. The great masses of the world are still blind and deaf, and know not. The glorious promise is that in Messiahs Day not only shall all be awakened from the tomb, but the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth. Then all the blind eyes will be opened and all the deaf ears will be unstopped. All will have the opportunity of returning to Divine favor under Messiahs Kingdom. Those refusing to come into harmony will be classed as wilful rebels, and will die the Second Death.
The nation of Canaan, like all other nations, will have a share in that glorious time when Jesus, the Light of the world, will lighten every man which shall come into the world.John 1:9
From this viewpoint, the taking of Palestine from the people who were using it to no profit themselves, and the giving of it to Israel for the enactment of types of good things to come, was not injustice, but wisdom. And taking away by the sword the people already condemned to death was just as proper as if they had been taken away by famine and pestilence. In any event, the Divine provision for them all through Christ is a blessing, which will reach them in Messiahs Day, when the earth shall be free from the curse. Then the curse will be rolled away and the blessing of the Lord shall be rolled upon them, when the enlightened will love righteousness and hate iniquity. To all such there will be no more sighing, no more dying, no more crying. Wilful evil-doers will be destroyed; and all the earth having been brought to perfection, Gods will shall be done on earth as perfectly as it is done in Heaven. [R5335]
"Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."Matthew 6:10
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee."Isaiah 41:10
UNDER Divine direction, the hosts of Israel removed from the high bench of the Jordan Valley down to the river three days in advance of the time appointed for the crossing. The Jordan River, as usual at this season, was overflowing its banks. Ordinarily about ninety feet wide, it is supposed to have been about five hundred feet wide at this time.
The Canaanites in general and the people of Jericho in particular, although expecting an invasion, would not expect it at a time when the river was impassable and when bridges were little known. The Israelites, too, must have had various opportunities for exercising faith or doubt in respect to soon entering Canaan. The fact that nothing is mentioned respecting doubts or fears or murmurings implies that their experiences in the wilderness had taught them valuable lessons of faith in God and trust in Divine appointments.
The crossing day came, and Joshua, by Divine instruction, directed the priests to bear the Ark and to go before the people, proceeding to the brink of the river until their feet were in the water. As their feet touched the water, it began to recede and they to advance, until finally they stood in the middle of the stony bed of the Jordan, still bearing the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the Divine promise under which they had left Egypt and were hoping for grand results.
The hosts of Israel, lining the banks of the Jordan for miles, crossed over from Moab to Canaan. Thus the crossing was entirely accomplished. Twelve large stones, representing the twelve tribes, were taken from the bed of the Jordan and piled on the shore as a monument or memorial of Gods aid, while twelve stones from the shore were placed in the bed of the river as a similar memorial. Finally the priests followed the people to the Canaan shore, and shortly thereafter the waters began to return to the river bed, as before.
The fact that we may now know with considerable certainty just how this miracle was performed should not in the least detract from its value. With God nothing would be a miracle, since He of His own power is able to accomplish His will in every respect. Many things are miracles simply because we do not understand the Divine processes. We are miracles ourselves, fearfully and wonderfully made. The growth of the plant, the flower, or even a blade of grass, is a miracle to ussomething wholly beyond our power, and in a general way considerably beyond our comprehension as a process.
The account tells plainly that the heaping up of the waters was in the direction of Adam. This place has been located with considerable certainty by Prof. Wright as situated seventeen miles above Jericho, on the Jordan. The waters became in a heap, a lake, the Professor assures us, by reason of a land-slide which choked the narrow passage in the river, where there were steep banks. The character of the soil in that vicinity would be favorable to the blocking of the narrow channel of the Jordan there by the slipping of the hillsides. Indeed, history tells us that a similar slide took place in the same vicinity in A.D. 1267, damming up the Jordan for several hours and leaving the bed of the river below quite dry, the waters draining off to the Dead Sea.
Prof. Wright says, "So striking is this conformity of the facts to the conditions indicated by the Biblical account, that geologists can find but little difficulty in believing the written record. At the same time the written record is so precise itself, and so free from fantastic elements that the literary critic cannot well consider it as anything but the original, unvarnished tale of an eyewitness."
The marvel of the story is that the Divine marching orders were so timed as to suit the circumstances and conditions exactly.
The memorial stones were to bear witness to future generations of this great act of Divine providence on behalf of Israel. Joshua admonished, "When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up from before us, until we were gone over: that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty; that ye might fear the Lord forever."Joshua 4:21-24
St. Paul, in Hebrews 4:5-8, gives us the suggestion that Israels entrance of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua typified the entrance of the Church into the rest of faith and special privilege under the leadership of the antitypical Joshua, Jesus. The Israelites had rest from their wilderness journeyings. It was a wonderful change for them, a blessed change, yet it was not the full realization of all that God had promised them. That full realization will be attained only in Eden itself, and as a result of Messiahs glorious work of Restitution. Following the Apostles lead, we perceive that the experiences of Israel up to the time when Moses died represented the Law Dispensation, which ended at the Cross. The Gospel Dispensation, beginning at Pentecost, is typified by the crossing of Jordan and the taking possession of the land, Canaan signifying rest.
"We who believe do enter into rest"in proportion to our exercise of faith. He who exercises much faith may have much rest, and may conquer, and possess quietude. He who has less faith will have less rest and will be able only partially to enter upon his privileges. The storming of Jericho and the other cities of Canaan typified the warfare of the New Creature, begotten of the Holy Spirit, against the things of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, the weaknesses and depravities of the flesh. The Lords word to those who would enter into His rest is, "Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. The Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest."
Those lacking faith entered not at all into Canaan, but died in the wilderness. So we read, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." Only the faithful will constitute Gods Elect. Only these can pass from the old to the new conditions. Only these pass from death unto life without actually dying. Throughout this Gospel Age, God has been making up Israels deficit by calling a similar class from all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues. Each one is called upon to exercise faith and cross over Jordan, in the sense of beginning a new lifea life of devotion to God, a life of warfare against sin and the entrenched weaknesses of his own flesh.
We agree with the Apostles words that "We who believe do enter into rest." All of Gods consecrated people can testify that they have a rest, a peace, a joy, a blessing, which the world can neither give nor take away and this in proportion to their loyalty and faithfulness. Yet even all this is not sufficient. God has in reservation something far better. Respecting this the Apostle declares, "There remaineth, therefore, a rest for the people of God."Hebrews 4:9.
That Heavenly rest will be entered by the perfecting of the New Creatures in the First Resurrection. Their loyalty and faithfulness having been demonstrated in fighting the good fight of faith against the world, the flesh and the Adversary, the Lord promises them a glorious change, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" a share in His own resurrection to the perfection of the Divine nature, "far above angels, principalities and powers" and in association with Himself in the glorious Messianic Kingdom, by which the world of mankind is also to be blessed.Luke 12:32.
St. Paul intimates that the seventh day of the Law Sabbath typified the present condition of the Lords people enjoying rest, peace and Divine favor even under imperfect conditions; but the true Sabbath will come for us when we shall have experienced our resurrection change. Then we shall have rest from sin. We shall also have rest from our own weaknesses and imperfections; for all of these will be gone. The New Creatures will be beings without flaw, blameless and irreprovable. "It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."
The weaknesses of others will no longer cause us unrest. The rest of the glorified condition of the Church will be perfect. But before we can enter into that rest, we must here show our worthiness by fighting the good fight of faith and by laying hold on eternal life, upon the conditions which are offered us, walking faithfully in the Masters footsteps. [R5345]
IN THE Scriptures the word spiritual is generally used in a particular way referring to those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, as our Lord and all those who accept Him and consecrate themselves to do the will of God. All promises and all things which appertain to these are particularly classified and styled as spiritual promises and spiritual things. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor. 2:14) So, then, if God gave anything spiritual to the Israelites before the Spiritual Dispensation, they did not appreciate it, since none could do so except through spirit-begetting.
Nevertheless, there were spiritual things given to Natural Israel, which they were unable to receive. The Apostle says, "The Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under Sin." (Rom. 7:14) That Law given at Sinai came from the Spirit Being of the highest orderGod Himself. It did not take hold merely of the fleshly
instincts, and control the body alone, but it took hold of the heart, the mind, the will. None of the Jews could keep that Law because they were sold under Sin. It was a spiritual Law that could be kept only by a spirit-begotten person or a person in the image of God.
Certain of the lessons of the Law were spiritual, also; as, for instance, the rock in the wilderness, which, when smitten, gave forth water abundantly, and the manna, each afforded a spiritual lesson. But Israel did not understand anything about the Spiritual Rock or the Spiritual Water of Life. So of the Law that was given to them: they could see only the outer part, or shell. Nor could any see further until the due time for the begetting of the Spirit. We may say, then, that a great many spiritual things were given to Israel, but only such of them as were Israelites indeed, and in harmony with God would be made able, in due time, to see these.
The spiritual things were in the Law all the time, but they were not disclosed, not manifest, not seen by the Jew, because of his own condition of mind; and the first Israelite who was permitted to see spiritual things was Jesus Himself, after He was begotten of the Spirit and able to appreciate these things. But the Jewish nation, not coming up to the required standard, was not able to appreciate them. Certain ones who desired to walk in Jesus steps received through Him a covering, and they also were begotten of the Holy Spirit and could appreciate spiritual things. Thus the Apostle says that the righteousness of the Law is "fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." We cannot keep the Law in our flesh, but in our hearts, our minds. "With the mind I serve the Law of God."Rom. 8:4; 7:25
When God made a Covenant with Abraham, saying, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," He said that Abrahams seed should be as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the seashore. This is a spiritual Promise, which, of course, the Jews at that time were not able to appreciate, as the Apostle Peter intimates. When realizing that as a nation they had crucified the Son of God, many said, What shall we do? St. Peter said, "Repent...for this Promise is unto you, and to your children." Acts 2:38,39 It was a spiritual Promise and belonged to them, but on condition that they would take certain steps.
Only a few of the Jews were in the proper attitude to meet this condition. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power [the privilege, the right] to become the sons of God. (John 1:11,12 And these, coming into the relation of Spiritual Israelites, were enabled by this begetting of the Holy Spirit to appreciate the spiritual things given to such Israelites. All the truths that we have are drawn from those things God gave to the Natural Israelites. And we can understand them, though the Natural Israelite could not. The Apostle says, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." (Rom. 11:7) So then, they were seeking for the spiritual, whether they understood it or not. Except the few, however, they did not attain the spiritual, because of an improper condition of heart. But the spiritual must have been there for them to seek after, else they could not have sought it. [R5295]
I SAMUEL 8:10-22
"By me kings reign, and princes decree justice."Prov. 8:51
IT WILL be remembered that Israels progress under the judges for 450 years had not been very brilliant. Their government was that of a Republic under divine autocracy and law supervision. They were not a warlike people, and under the divine Covenant were merely assisted in conquering the promised land, in proportion as they were faithful and obedient to the Lord. In consequence many of the Canaanites still possessed strong-walled cities in their very midst, including Jerusalem, which was not conquered until the seventh year of King Davids reign. Indeed, so far from becoming nationally great the Israelites had experienced some severe defeats in battle with neighboring nations, particularly the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, etc. In all they had experienced some eighteen periods of reverse and subjection, during which they were obliged to pay tribute.
Israels national organization in the times of the judges was merely a voluntary and sentimental one. In reality each tribe managed its own affairs within its own border, and the heads of the tribes constituted its judges in ordinary affairs. The only thing which cemented the union between these tribes was the oneness of their speech and blood; but above all, the oneness of their hope toward God, based first upon the Covenant made with Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." This promise was understood to include the nation of Israelcemented as a nation by the Law Covenant, which was instituted through Moses its Mediator and which bound the nation to Jehovah as his people and servants, and Jehovah to that nation as its Law-Giver and King. The divine promise to Israel was that so long as they should walk in the statutes of the divine Law they would be Gods peculiar people and receive his peculiar blessings in all their temporal affairs as well as in their higher interests of character development. But if they should neglect him and his statutes and ordinances he would chasten them with pestilences, with captivities, etc. Nevertheless, if they should repent and cry unto the Lord and seek again to do his will and to obey his laws, he would hearken unto them and raise up for them deliverers, who as his representatives, would judge them, i.e., would see that they obtained deliverance, help, instruction, guidance.Judges 2:16,18
In harmony with this arrangement Eli had been a judge in Israel of recognized divine appointment, but because of Israels unfaithfulness captivity to the Philistines ensued at the time of Elis death. For quite a number of years Israel was subject to the Philistines. Meantime Samuel taught the people and urged them to put away their strange gods and to serve Jehovah only. He assured them that through this turning to the Lord would come divine blessing and favor. The people did so and gathered at Mizpah, where Samuel offered sacrifices on their behalf. Meantime the Philistines, learning of this gathering of the people, anticipated that it meant rebellion from their overlordship and came against them with an army. Then it was that the "Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel." (I Sam. 7:10) As a result, the Israelites were delivered, and Samuel was recognized by all the tribes as the divine representative and judge of Israel. Throughout his judgeship he traveled hither and thither, apparently hearing and deciding such cases as were too difficult for the local judges. Under his wise judgeship the Israelites were greatly blessed; but with their returning prosperity came the ambition to be like the nations round about themto be a united kingdom under the dominion of a king who would lead them in war and rule over them as an entire nation and centralize their power and energy. It is at this point that our lesson really begins.
From every worldly standpoint the people decided wisely, but from the divine standpoint unwisely. They appealed to Samuel as Gods representative, to anoint over them a king, and thus establish in their midst a central authority. "Distance lends enchantment to the view," is a common adage, which was true in Israels case. As they looked at the nations round about them they beheld the glories of the king, his armies, his officers, his chariots. Such kings were war-lords to their people, and more or less the dignity, authority and power of these kings represented these qualities in the nations under them. The Israelites saw not the grievous burdens under which many of the people labored as a result of such kingly dignity and glory. They saw merely the outward glitter, and not the anguish and labor of the people who supported these kings. As we look into the matter from the divine standpoint, we may reach the divine conclusion that they were making a poor choice when they preferred to have a kingdom rather than a republic under a divine King. The Lord had forewarned them through Moses of what would be the results if they should at any time choose a monarchial government rather than the one he had arranged for them. (Deut. 17:14-20) From this standpoint we can see that the republic under divinely appointed judges tended to develop the Israelites individually, while the kingdom, no doubt, would tend to develop them along national lines. However, the individual development, through exercising liberty and individuality, would no doubt have prepared the people the better for the coming of Messiah and a proper acceptance of him. There are chastisements and there are rewards under the divine kingship, and these, represented by the divinely raised up judges, would have developed them along the lines of individual responsibility and faith in God. Be it noticed also that in the Lords promise of future blessings he declares, "I will restore your judges as at the first, and your lawgivers as at the beginning," thus clearly intimating that the republican form of government under divine supervision was superior to the subsequent kingly regime.
Few characters shine out on the pages of history with such a pure light as does Samuel. When the Israelites made the request for a king Samuel was grieved. He knew he had served the people faithfully, that he had been self-sacrificing and generous to the last degree, spending his life in their interest. It seemed strange to him that a people should be so unthankful. But the Lord pointed out that their ingratitude was not to Samuel, but to their great King, Jehovah, saying, "They have not rejected thee but me." Nevertheless, the Lord bade Samuel hearken to the request of the people and anoint them a king, meantime assuring them that the truth of the divine prediction would be fully verified and that they were really choosing second best rather than the best. It was then that Samuel dismissed the people, assuring them that their request would be granted and a king anointedsuch a one as the Lord would direct. Meantime Samuel wrote out for the people a statement or report of his judgeship, recorded in chapter 12. In this he shows most distinctly how he had avoided bribery and in everything had sought to do the will of the Lord, and he called upon the people to witness to the truthfulness of this, and they did, and attested it. What a noble character!
It was the custom for the candidates for office in the old Roman republic to go before the people clothed in a white garment, thus representing their purity and spotlessness. But surely remarkably few men have ever left office spotless! In the majority of cases, no doubt, human weaknesses prevail to such a degree that the temptations of high position are overpowering. But notice that in Samuels case this twelfth chapter and its witness to his purity, imply, figuratively, he had put on his white garment when he resigned his office, and all the people bore witness of his spotlessness, his integrity as a judge.
We must not forget that Samuels training was with Eli, and that the sons of the latter turned out to be bribe-takers and generally scandalous in their misinterpretation of the divine law and justice. It was not, therefore, that Samuel was under the best environment and best teachers that would account for his grandeur of character and fidelity to principle. We must look further back, and find it in the fact that his parents consecrated him to the Lord, not only when a child but before his birth, and that this favorable influence contributed to his being well born in the reverence of the Lord. Undoubtedly the thoughts of parents, especially of the mother, during the period of a childs gestation, have great influence upon its mental character. Every child should be born with a large reverence for God, for justice, for truth, for goodness. To be thus born surely signifies a favorable start in the way of righteousness under present conditions. And we may be sure that the child thus begotten and born was well trained up to the time of his presentation to the Lords service under Eli. Here we have a fresh testimony to the fact that if a child be trained up in the way he should go he is not likely to depart therefrom. Oh, that Christian parents could realize what a responsibility is in their hands in respect to the training of their children, and especially during their most impressionable years!
Respecting Samuels moral heroism in promptly assisting to incorporate the kingdom, which would displace himself as the Lords representative and judge in their midst, Professor Elmslie well says, "I think that one of the most magnanimous and majestic and heroic deeds ever done in our worlds history was done by Samuel, when, convinced that it was the will of God, he set himself to do what no other man could doto forsake all his past, to abandon all the lines of action on which he had worked through the best years of his life, and to put into other mens hands fresh possibilities. I call that conduct magnificent."
In recounting to Israel the manner of a king we are not to understand that the Lord or Samuel his mouthpiece meant that the description given would be the proper one for a proper king; but rather that it would be the general course of a king, of any man raised to such a place of imperial power as the kings of olden time enjoyed. The wrong course of kings is traceable to three conditions: (1) All men are imperfect and fallen, hence any king chosen would be so, and it would be merely a question of the measure of imperfection and tendency to pride and selfishness and the abuse of power. (2) The imperfection of those over whom they reign is a factor, for the recognized imperfection makes possible and to some extent makes reasonable the usurpation of great power. (3) The Adversarys derangement of all earthly affairs, putting light for darkness and darkness for light, often makes it seem to rulers and to the ruled that an abuse of power is necessary and really to the advantage of the ruled.
In view of the danger of placing great power in the hands of a ruler and the advisability of the republican form of government of the people, by the people and for the people, the question arises, How will it be with Immanuels Kingdom? We reply that the Scriptures teach that his Empire will be autocratic in the extreme. Nevertheless, no one who understands the matter need have any fear, as he who is to take the throne to be the Emperor of the World is the one who so loved the world as to give himself a ransom for all. Instead of his Empire being one of selfishness; which would ruin its subjects for its own aggrandizement, he has shown his Spirit to be the very reverse of this, in that he left the glory of the higher courts and humbled himself to a lower nature and became mans substitute, a ransom for mans penalty, "tasted death for every man." It is this One who is now highly exalted and appointed heir of all things.
Let us remember also that the Church now being selected from the world is composed only of such as have their Masters Spirit and delight to lay down their lives for the brethren and for the truth in cooperation with their Lord and Head and Bridegroom! Let us remember that according to the divine predestination none shall be of that elect class save those who are copies of Gods dear Son, and that the tests of discipleship are such as to prove themtheir love and loyalty to God, to the brethren, to their neighbors, yea, also to their enemies! Who need fear an autocratic government in the hands of such a glorious King? Indeed, we may say that such a government will be the most helpful, the most profitable, that the world could possibly havewise, just, loving, helpful! While others are seeking for earthly honors, earthly name and fame and substance, let us who have been called to this high calling lay aside every weight and every besetting sin and, by the Lords assistance, gain this great prize of joint-heirship with our Master in his Kingdom and have a share with him in the blessing and uplifting of mankind in general! [R4192]
WE ARE obliged to antagonize, not only the Second Adventist views, but the teachings of all the orthodox creeds of Christendom when we declare that according to the Bible our world is never to be burned up except in a figurative, symbolic sense. The Bible teaches that at the close of this Age a great trouble will be precipitated, which will destroy, consume or figuratively burn up, present institutionsecclesiastical, religious and social. The raging fire will be anarchy; and its horrible result will be, according to the Bible, the ashes of present institutions.
For six thousand years the world has had its ups and downs, individually and nationally. Christianity has influenced some, and Churchianity has influenced more. The true Christianity has produced the true saints, who have followed in the Masters footsteps and, like Him, have been treated as the filth and offscouring of the earthwhile they liveafter death to be honored as saints and heroes. Churchianity has a form of godliness without its power. The form has in many respects helped along to influence and power in the world, leading often to the perpetration of horrible crimes in the name of Christ and His Church.
Now, as the Gospel Age is closing and the Messianic Age is dawning, the lifting of the curtain of the New Dispensation is producing wonderful results amongst men. Darkness, ignorance, superstition, are fleeing before the light of the New Day. The world is awakening because it is Morning. Human thought is quickened; and the wonderful inventions of our daysteam power and electricityare carrying the thoughts of men to each other the world over. The printing press and the mail are potent factors in the awakening. Knowledge is filling the earth, as the Lord through His Prophets declared would be the case at this time.Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14; Dan. 12:4
But this knowledge is coming to people who at heart are unprepared for it. The hands of the ignorant and unlearned are stretched forth to grasp the throttle of powerpolitical, social, religious and financial. Wrongs are recognized; but those who seek to remedy them will only make a bad matter worse. All must yet learn that the worlds only hope is in Gods provisionMessiahs Kingdom.
But before this lesson is learned, the spirit of discontent stirred up by knowledge will grasp the opportunities and gradually and ignorantly, unintentionally, will cause the great wreck of our present social, religious, political and financial institutions in "a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation""no, nor ever shall be again."Daniel. 12:1; Matthew 24:21
This great cataclysm of trouble, which all intelligent people perceive with more or less distinctness, is described in the Bible under various symbolic terms. Sometimes it is described as a whirlwind; at other times the description is that of a storm; again, of a great tidal wavethe sea (representing the masses) will swallow up the mountains (representing the kingdoms). (Psalm 46:2,3) Again it is described as a fire, which will consume the whole earth. (Zephaniah 1:18; 3:8) Yet in each case there is connected with the symbol something to show that it is merely a symbol, and that the utter destruction of humanity is not meant. As, for instance, after describing the storm, the Lord through the Prophet declares that He will command the nations to be still and to recognize Him as God, and that the result will be a great calm. (Psalm 46:8-10) In the case of the fire, we read that after it has consumed the whole earth (the social fabric), then the Lord will turn to the people a pure language, a pure Message, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent.Zephaniah 3:9
Evidently, the fire which will consume the earth must be a symbolic fire of trouble, consuming the symbolic earth, or social conditions, because the people still remain and are to receive the Lords blessing. The pure Message that will then be given to the world will be in strong contrast with the confused messages of the contradictory creeds which for centuries have been given to the world, and which many of the worlds thinking minds have been unable to appreciate or receive, and which have perplexed Christian minds.
Let us, therefore, take the Word of the Lord and reject the messages of all the creeds of Christendom. Let us not for a moment think that the literal earth is to be burned up at the Second Coming of Jesus; but, quite to the contrary, let us believe St. Peters statement that at that time will begin "the Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21) Let us remember the declaration of Scripture that "the earth abideth forever." (Ecclesiastes 1:4); that "God Himself formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited." (Isaiah 45:18) Let us remember that the world has never yet been inhabited. Vast territories have not yet been explored by man.
Let us remember that Gods promise respecting the earth is that, as Heaven is His Throne, so "the earth is His footstool," and He surely will make the place of His feet glorious. (Isaiah 66:1; 60:13) Messiahs Kingdom will not only uplift humanity, but will also bring blessings of perfection to the earth. Eden eventually will be world-wide. "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." [R5363]
1. The Sun of Righteousness will bring _________ and ______________. (Malachi 4:2)
2. The whole creation is _______________ and travailing in pain because of _________ disobedience. (Romans 8:22; Romans 5:12)
3. The great Creator is preparing a _______ of fat things for man. (Isaiah 25:6-8)
4. The past is called the _______that was. (II Peter 3:6)
5. Evil has predominated during the second dispensation or ________ that now is. (Galatians 1:4)
6. The third dispensation will be a _______ without end. (Isaiah 45:17)
7. It is now possible to understand present truth because we are in the dawning of the _____________ day. (Isaiah 21:12; Isaiah 52:7, 8; Daniel 12:9-12; Matthew 24:45-47; Psalm 89:15)
8. The foundation of Gods throne is _____________. (Psalm 89:14)
9. The spirit of ________ guides the truth seeker into all truth. (I Corinthians 2:9, 10; John 16:13; Isaiah 61:1-3)
10. Some of the divinely appointed helps are _____________________, _____________, and______________. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Question:If the punishment for all the righteous blood shed from Abels day to our Lords day came upon the Jews in the year 70 A.D., how can we explain the chastisements through which they have been passing all down the Gospel Age?
Answer:We certainly know that the Jews said at the time of our Lords death at their hands, "His blood be upon us and upon our children." They not only were willing to bear personally the responsibility for Jesus death, but expressed the desire that their posterity also should bear it. Doubtless God, with His foreknowledge in respect to what this people would do, as well as in respect to their general heart condition, had from the beginning planned their "Seven Times" of disfavor. This He had caused to be recorded by Moses in the book of Leviticus (26:18-45). God had there declared that if the Israelites did not repent of their transgressions against their Covenant, and if His repeated chastisements failed to reform them, He would bring upon them "Seven Times" of punishment and discipline.
In Bible chronology a "Time" is a symbolic year. According to Jewish reckoning each year was composed of 360 days; hence when used symbolically each year would mean 360 years, and seven such symbolic years would be a period of 2520 literal years. These Seven Times, or seven symbolic years, began in 606 B.C. at the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of the entire nation into Babylon, at the time when the foretold 70 years of desolation of the land began.Jer. 25:8-12; 2 Chron. 36:14-22
During this long period of affliction upon Israel, the Lord has given the Gentile nations an opportunity of showing what they could do in the way of world-government. God had declared that during these "Times" He would deal very differently with His Covenant people from His previous dealings. He would walk contrary to them and would scatter them among the heathen (Gentiles); and they should be under the domination of their enemies, etc. It is a matter of history that the Jews have indeed ever since been oppressed by the other nations, "without a king," in full harmony with what was foretold by the Lord. This experience has been favorable to Israel as well as unfavorable. It has not been merely a chastisement for their sins. It has been an experience which the Lord has given them for their good.
During these "Seven Times," then, the Jews have had severe tribulation and discipline. All of Gods people, of every Age, have needed chastisements for their correction and development, some more and some less. God says to Spiritual Israel, "For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? If ye be without chastisement, then are ye bastards [spurious] and not sons." (Hebrews 12:8) And so it has been with the House of Servants, Natural Israel. Because they were Gods Covenant people, therefore He dealt with them; and He has really given them, during these 2520 years, experiences which will prove favorable to such of them as will incline to do right. Those bitter experiences proved so favorable that when Jesus came they, as a people, were the holiest in the world; and at that time they had suffered only a small portion of these "Seven Times."
So we find that the preaching of the Gospel by our Lord and His Apostles found about five hundred of the Jews ready to believe and accept Jesus as Messiah. And soon afterwards, just after Pentecost, there were quite a number of thousands who believed. These, we are told, were Israelites indeed in whom there was no guile. It is very remarkable that there was so large a number in Israel ready to receive the Messiah. This would not have been the case had they not been passing through disciplinary experiences. These experiences were all such as would tend to keep them separate from the Gentiles, keep them from mixing with any of the peoples of earth.
If the Jews had prospered under the various governments Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Romethey might have intermingled with these other peoples and have ceased to be Jews altogether. And the same is true of their posterity since their national overthrow under Titus, A.D. 70. In Gods providence the Jews have continued to have such tribulations throughout this Gospel Age as to have kept them separate from the rest of the world; and thus their minds have been kept in that condition of humility in which they will be best prepared for the Lords service when the time of their complete restoration to favor shall come.
Our thought is that when the proper time arrives the Israelites will be more ready for the Kingdom than any other nation. The afflictions through which they have passed, their obedience to the Law, etc., will have prepared them for the Kingdom. We are not, therefore, to consider this long period of their suffering and affliction merely as tribulation, as punishment. For their ultimate good the Jews were to be trodden down of the Gentiles until the full of Gentile domination.
St. Paul tells us that just as soon as the Gospel Church shall be completed, Gods favor will return to the Jews return in the full sense. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles [the full predestined number of the Church to be gathered from the Gentile nations] be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. As it is written, There shall come out of Zion [the glorified Gospel Church, spiritual Zion] the Deliverer [The Christ, Head and Body, Jesus and His Bride], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [Natural Israel]; for this is My Covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins."Romans 11:1-33.
The Lord purposed to take away all sinsthe sins of Israel, the sins of those who were to constitute the Gospel Church, and the sins of the whole world. For this cause Christ was manifested, for this cause He died. This cancelation, or doing away with the sins of the whole world, will progress as each shall recognize the Heavenly gift of forgiveness and obey the Government.
The orthodox Jews, those who still hold to the teachings of the Law and the Prophets, and have faith in God, will be the first to receive the blessings of the New Age. "As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your [the Churchs] sakes; but as touching the election [the natural election], they are beloved for the fathers sakes." So, then, this condition of affliction in which the Jews have been throughout the Gospel Age, in addition to the overthrow of their nation in the year 70 A.D., has really been a favor from God. All the tribulation through which this people have passed during the entire "Seven Times" of chastisement will be finally found to have been to their advantage, preparing them for the blessings of Messiahs Kingdom. The Church will be first in the Kingdom: natural Israel with the Ancient Worthies at their head will be the second. Subsequently all nations will come into Divine favor and blessing, becoming members of Israel. All will be blessed through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [R5721]
(Thursday Text from Daily Heavenly Manna)
In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. Psalm 31:1
THERE is nothing that puts the Christian at greater disadvantage in the presence of his foes than for him to let go, even temporarily, his grip upon the anchor of faith. Let him do so for a moment, and of necessity darkness begins to gather round him: he cannot see the brightness of his Father's face, for "without faith it is impossible to please God;" and while he grapples again for the anchor, the powers of darkness fiercely assail him with doubts and fears, based generally upon his human imperfections, which he should ever bear in mind are covered by the robe of Christ's righteousness. If we would have the peace of God reign in our hearts, we must never let go our anchor, "nor suffer Satan's deadliest strife to beat our courage down." The language of our hearts should always be, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him." Z.'95-157 R1835:4
This one thing I do. Philippians 3:13
We observe the Apostle's singleness of purpose"This one thing I do." He did not try to do several things: if he had, he would surely have failed. He devoted his life to the one purpose to which he was called, and to that end dropped every other aim in life. He did it, too, in view of the fact that all through the present life his chosen course would bring certain loss, privation, toil, care, persecution and continual reproach. In this singleness of purpose he was relieved of many temptations to turn aside to enjoy some of the good things of this present life, or to pursue some of its illusive bubbles. Z.'95-250 R1885:3
"These things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you."Philippians 4:9
Light [Truth] is sown for the righteous, and gladness [the joys of the Truth] for the upright in heart.
The true children of God love the Truth because they have an affinity for it....When they have found the Truth they recognize its value; they prize it, and meditate upon it....They say, It is just like God: it is the manifestation of His glorious goodness, the reflectionof His loving, benevolent, wise and just character. And therefore they love the Truth and the God who gave it: they treasure it up in their hearts and con it over again and again; and as they look into it, and admire all its symmetry and beauty, they strive more and more to conform their own characters to the same lines of beauty and seek to commend it by word and conduct to others, that they also may be blessed by it. `Z.'96-55`R1950:1
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.Hebrews 3:1
IT is God's will that every member of the "body of Christ" should be touched with a feeling of the world's infirmities, in order that, when exalted to the Kingdom, they may be very tender, sympathetic and generous, when, as the Royal Priesthood, they shall judge the world. Our Lord and Master, who had none of the imperfections of the fallen race, but was holy, harmless and separate from sinners, needed to take from men their sicknesses and infirmities in order that He might be touched with a feeling of our infirmities and be a faithful High Priest. It would be thoroughly illogical to suppose that the lessons necessary to the preparation of the High Priest for His office and service are not necessary to the underpriests who are called to suffer with Him and to reign with Him. Z.'96-208 R2029:5
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."Philippians 4:8
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