Fort Worth Bible Students Convention
THE DIVINE PLAN JOURNAL
Volume 22 *September 1997 * Volume 9
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."Matthew 24:30
As Jesus "sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy presence, and of the end of the age?" Matthew 24:3
Our Lord indicated that from the time of his first advent until his second presence there would be wars and rumors of wars. He also predicted that there would be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. History records the fulfillment of these predictions. At the beginning of Christs second presence, trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, increases. (Daniel 12:1) Our Lord calls this "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time," and then adds the assurance: "No, nor ever shall be."
Why is there trouble at the beginning of Christs reign? Isnt he the prince of peace? Our Lord certainly is the prince of peace. The reason there is a great time of trouble at the beginning of Christs reign is due to the fact that Satan, the god of the second dispensation, is struggling to hold on to his usurped position. The present trouble in the world is leading to total anarchy.
Our Lord assures the watchers (Matthew 24:22) that "except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." At the proper moment, when man realizes his hopeless situation, the Elect Christ, Head and body members, will stop the trouble.
Zephaniah (chapter 3, verses 8 and 9) describes this same period of trouble and the glorious outcome. "Therefore wait ye upon me saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."
These prophecies assure those with faith that all flesh will not be destroyed. There will be people alive, who will need conversion, at the time the trouble is stopped. These unconverted people will be taught the pure language. All will come to an accurate knowledge of the truth.I Timothy 2:4
How thankful we are to be assured, by the inspired scriptures, that the unconverted people will be taught a pure language after the time of trouble is terminated!
Nuclear warfare, moral corruption, drugs, acid rain, pollution and the many other ills now afflicting the groaning creation will not be permitted to destroy all flesh. Do you believe this? Do you believe the promises, given by our Lord, the apostles and the prophets, which assure divine intervention, before all flesh is destroyed?
Those who have faith in the inspired scriptures rejoice in the promises of God. Isaiah (chapter 55, verses 10 and 11) wrote: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not hither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Will the unconverted people who have died in the past, as well as the approximately 145,000 who die every 24 hours, day after day, year after year, be awakened in due time and then taught the pure language of truth?
Many scriptures assure those with faith that all who are in their graves will, in due time, come forth from the sleep of death. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all who are in the graves ...shall come forth."John 5:28,29
Isaiah (chapter 35:10) prophesied: "The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
The resurrection of the dead follows, but does not precede the second coming of Christ. The purpose of his thousand year reign is to destroy all enemies; the last enemy to be destroyed is Adamic death.I Corinthians 15:25,26
Our Lord gave many signs to indicate his second presence to those watching. (Matthew 24:21-47) None of the wicked will understand until the great time of trouble has humbled them. To those watching the sure word of prophecy, as well as the signs in the earth, the trouble now raging is a SIGN of the early stages of our Lords thousand year reign.Revelation 11:15-18
Students of prophecy watching current events believe that the restoration of Israel, pictured by our Lord as the fig tree, is another convincing SIGN of our Lords second presence to earth as a glorious spiritual KING. (Matthew 24:32,33; Luke 21:29) Since 1948, Israel is a nation among the nations.
During the first part of our Lords thousand year presence, the consecrated people of God are served "meat in due season". This truth served during the harvest of the Gospel Age and the dawning of the Messianic Age is received by some and rejected by others. Thus a separation of the wheat from the tares results. "The sign of the Son of man in heaven" indicates that soon all the fully consecrated wheat class will be completely gathered and united with our Lord and Head in the spiritual phase of the kingdom. Matthew 13:24-30
Shortly after the work of the first resurrection is completed, the elect Christ will stop the great time of trouble. (Matthew 24:21,22) Then the spirit and the Bride will begin to say COME to those in Israel and eventually all nations. In Revelation 22:17 we read: "And the Spirit and the bride say COME. And let him that heareth say COME. And let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
"Have faith in God."Mark 11:22
AS JESUS and His Apostles passed along the road from Bethany to Jerusalem preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, they had seen, en route, a fig tree. Our Lord, being hungry, went to the tree, seeking fruit thereon; for the time of figs was not yet past. But He found that the tree was barren. Then He pronounced a curse, a blight, upon the tree. The next day as they passed by, Jesus disciples noticed that the fig tree had withered from the roots. Then Peter said, "Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away!" Jesus answered, "Have faith in God." (Mark 11:13,14,20-22) Then He called their attention to the fact that it was not merely Himself who had blighted the tree, but that the Heavenly Father was to be recognized as behind Him in this. He ascribed always the honor to the Father. He was merely the Finger of God. "The works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me." "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself; but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works."John 5:36; 14:10
Some of the people of that time, as now, had malignant power; and Jesus act might have been attributed to that source. So He would direct the minds of His disciples to the things that He did as being always of Godthus differentiating His power from that of Satan. Some might wonder that God would take notice of a tree because it was not bearing fruit. But Jesus was not an ordinary person. His course was not an example for us to go along the street and, seeing an unfruitful tree, say, "Cursed be this tree; it shall not bear any more fruit forever!" Should we adopt this course, we might be finding fault with trees and with everything else. But our Lord was especially sent of God. He was accustomed to do good as He went about. He healed the people and taught them, giving them forceful object lessons.
It was necessary that the disciples of Jesus be thoroughly convinced that He was sent of God before they could have developed in them the needful faith. They must continue this faith, consecrating their hearts and lives to God, before they would be ready for the Pentecostal blessing. Hence many of our Lords works were of an outward, visible kind, intended for the enlightenment of His followers, for the establishment of His Messiahship, and for the manifestation of His future work for the world. Of His conversion of the water into wine, it is written, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His [coming] glory; and His disciples believed on Him."John 2:11
St. Paul points out that the natural man cannot see the deep things of God because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Hence there was a necessity for teaching of this outward, material kind to Jesus disciples; for they were but natural men. Although they recognized Him as the Messiah, they did not realize this clearly at first. Jesus asked them on one occasion, "Whom say ye that I am?" And Simon Peter answered. "Thou art The Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona! for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but My Father which is in Heaven." (Matthew 16:15-17) It was a grand course of education, then, that Jesus gave His Apostles.
And so as regarded the fig tree, the miracles of healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, feeding the thousands, etc., it was not so important that certain persons be physically healed at that time, nor so important that the multitudes should not go hungry over night, nor that Divine displeasure should be visited upon an unintelligent tree. But it was important that the disciples should get the needed lessons and see that the Lords power could and would be exercised on their behalf; that, with the realization that the Lord was on their side and would guide and protect them, they would be able to exercise great confidence. It was important also that we should have this assurance of our Fathers love and care over us as His children. It was important that our Lords coming glory during His Kingdom Reign should be illustrated and shown forth.
There is a further thought as regards the fig tree. We believe that the fig tree is a representation of the Jewish nation. This nation had been Gods fig tree. In due time God sent His Son seeking fruit from that nation, but He found none. The tree was barren. He found a few faithful individuals, but nationally nothingno fruit as a nation; and the blight, or curse, of the Lord came upon the Jewish nation because with all their privileges and advantages they had not brought forth the proper fruits. Our Lord Jesus, five days before His crucifixion, pronounced their House desolate. "Behold, your House is left unto you desolate!"Matt. 23:38,39; Luke 13:34,35
Ever since that time, the Jews have been desolate and blighted as a nation. But there is a promise that this blighted fig tree shall again become a living treea living nation. They are to be restored to Divine favor, after their "double" of disfavor has been fulfilled. [See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. 2, pp. 217-230.] This "double" we understand has been accomplished, and this is the meaning of the great awakening now among the Jews, and of the great Zionist movement.
Speaking of the time of His Second Advent and of the nearness then of the Kingdom, Jesus said, "Learn a parable of the fig tree: When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near; so ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors." (Mark 13:28,29) The Jewish nation has been having a long winter time. But the spring time of this nation is now at hand. We already see this fig tree putting forth leaves. So we see that the lesson of the blighted fig tree was not merely a lesson for an hour, but a lesson to all the Lords people from that time even until now. [R5920]
"Let us watch and be sober."1 Thessalonians 5:6
THE APOSTLE PAUL is addressing the Church, himself included, when he says, "Let us watch and be sober." He indicates in the context that we are to watch for the Day, for Messiahs Kingdom, which will produce that Day. We know to expect the rising of the Sun of Righteousness. The Church is to be delivered from sin and death early in the morning of that wonderful Day. Their part is to be in the First Resurrection, to glory, honor and immortality with their Lord.
St. Paul tells us that God has so arranged His Program that the Day will come as a thief in the nightstealthily: and that those who are asleep will not be aware that the Day has come, and might therefore not be expected to be in a waiting attitude. Our Masters words are, "Take heed to yourselves, lest ... that Day come upon you unawares. ... Watch ye therefore." (Luke 21:34,36) We believe that He leaves the matter in obscurity, because it will be better for us as a whole not to know the exact time. For instance, in the long period of the Dark Ages it was better that Christians did not know just when the time of Christs return would come. There were wonderful events transpiring in their day, and have been, in fact, in every day, but so much the more, we read, as the Day approaches.
While the Adversary is ever active in his efforts to do harm to the Lords cause, he will be still more seductive in his evil influences during the last days. We must therefore, as the Day draws near, be more and more alert in guarding every point of attack. The Lord allows us to do this watching, and He will reward the faithful ones, for He takes pleasure in the watchers. These will not be careless. Any who are careless will not be of the Kingdom class, for they are not of the kind that He wishes to glorify.
God wishes those who are awake to be learning more and more of His Plan. These will grow in grace and in knowledge as they watch. They will not be like the world. The world will be in a stuporthey will be unworthy of the Day. Darkness covers the whole earth at the present time. But Gods people are granted a special light. They love the light. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psa. 119:105) It is not a light like that of the moon, which reaches far out, but merely a little light at the feet of those who are watching for it. Those who are going to sleep will find their light going out.
The way that the Lord has been marking out for His people all down through the Age has been a narrow waya very narrow way. His light is given only to those who are seekingthose who are waitingthose who are watching. These will discern the dawning of the morning.
Others will not see. They have not watched to catch the foregleams of the New Day. While things transpire that are evidences of the New Day, they are quite unconscious. For instance, the wonderful blessings of our day are manifestations of the New Dispensation. The dawn is here. We are astonished that the people do not see. But they attribute these wonderful things to different causes. They think that these are merely the results of mans taking another step forward in progress from the monkey-stage. He has become more intelligent, goes to concerts, churches, etc. He is getting farther away from the monkey! The power to use steam and electricity proves to these that we are entering the Brain Age! They forget that the few are talented inventors, etc.
We can see that all these great blessings belong to the New Dispensation. God is bringing it about. We can see that it is not the educated people, but those less educated, who have discovered the wonderful inventions most useful to man. The inventions which have proved the greatest blessings the world has ever known have been discovered by unlearned men. These things are not due to the "brain age," as they tell us. Perhaps none of the present generation will compare with Shakespeare; perhaps none will compare with St. Paul; none perhaps will compare with Solomon, or David, or Moses.
The Apostle says, "Let us watch and be sober." We cannot say that he here refers to abstinence from the use of liquors, tobacco and other things which have a stupefying effect on the nerves. The thought is that we should be watchful and sober in mind. We find a great many people who are excitablecarried about by every wind of doctrine. They cannot give the reason for what they accept. They do not know that the Truth is intended for only the one class of peoplefor those who are watching.
How carefully we should watch all the increasing signs of the New Day! But the watchman who stands at the post of duty, and sees things going on, but keeps his mouth shut, is of no use at all. We want a watchman for a purpose! Those who are on the alert should call the attention of others to these wonderful things. They should seek to arouse the Household of Faith.
There are people who are as fully consecrated as ourselves, perhaps, only they are not awake. We should give them a kindly shake to arouse them to see the wonderful things. And since we are to be called away soon to the marriage, we are to remember that a part of our watching should be to keep our garments white. We are to watch to some purpose. If we realized how near the Bridegroom is, how careful we would be of our robes! Others do not know, but the Bride-elect knows how near the Bridegroom is. She will watch and be sober.
In one sense of the word, there might be many things to lead to excitability. We might merely jump up and down as we see the wonderful things, and clap our hands, etc. But not so! We are to be sober. Yet we are not to be stupidstolid. We should remember that the Lord is giving us this knowledge to be used, and we should use it more and more. As we more clearly see our imperfections, we should watch and be sober, and we shall accordingly be circumspect, we shall be helpful to others, and will put on more and more the fruits and graces of the Holy Spiritpatience, meekness, gentleness, brotherly-kindness, love. And as we watch, we shall be putting off anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife. Thus we shall be pleasing and acceptable to the Bridegroom, and we shall thus be making ourselves ready to enter in with Him into the joys and blessings that are now so nearat the door. [R5256]
THE NIGHT WAS LONGITS SORROWS AND TEARS WERE MANYGOD"S PROMISES ALONE ILLUMINATED ITTHE MORNING HERE AT LASTA WONDERFUL DAWNINGTHE DAY TO BE STILL MORE WONDERFULPROOFS ALL ABOUT US CONSIDEREDA BRIEF NIGHT OF TROUBLE SETTLING DOWNAFTER IT A GLORIOUS SUNBURST.
"Watchman, what of the night?...The morning
THE LITERATURE of the world shows that intelligent men have refused to believe that the Divine Purpose in the creation of our earth has yet been attained. Continually we find references to "the Morning of the New Day," to the "Golden Age," etc., etc. Yet not to the longings of mens hearts, but to the promises of our God, do we look for real instruction on this subject. The Bible most emphatically declares that the entire period of human history thus far has been a night time.
The Prophet David explains, "Weeping may endure for a Night, but joy cometh in the Morning." (Psalm 30:5) Thus prophetically we are assured that there will be a Morning whose glory, brightness and blessings will fully compensate for all the dark shadows of the Night time past. Our text is another prophecy along the same line. The message of the Lord is, "The Morning cometh." St. Paul writes that up to his time the world had been under a reign of Sin and Death, not under a Reign of Righteousness and Life. (Romans 5:21.) He points out also that the Day of the Lord will come, and will come gradually, stealthily, taking the world unawares"as a thief in the night."1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
All of the Apostles assure us that it is not Gods purpose to permit the reign of Sin and Death to continue forever. They tell us that the Divine Program is that Messiah, in the Fathers appointed time, will take to Himself His great power and reign King of kings and Lord of lordsputting down sin and every evil thing, uplifting humanity and granting a Divine blessing where for six thousand years there has been a Divine curse. The Bible writers explain that this does not signify a change in the Divine Purpose, but that God had planned this thing in Himself from before the foundation of the world; and that although He had permitted Sin to enter and Death to reign, He had made fullest provision for the Redeemer to die for our sins and eventually to become the Restorer and Life-giver to Adam and his raceto as many of them as will accept everlasting life on the Divine terms.
The Apostles tell us that during the "night time," since Jesus" death, God has been doing a special work selecting from mankind a special class, a saintly few "the Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven." These are not taken from any one nation or denomination. This "little flock," to whom it is the Fathers good pleasure to give the Kingdom (Luke 12:32), is composed of all the saintly followers of Jesus, who walk in His steps in the narrow way during this Gospel Age. Their experiences are to qualify them for association with their Redeemer in His Messianic Kingdom. Their trials, their obedience and their sufferings for righteousness" sake are to work out for these a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Suffering with the Master for the Truths sake in the present life, they are to share His glory, honor and immortality in the life to come. They are to be His joint-heirs in His Kingdom.Galatians 3:29; 2 Timothy 2:11,12
Amongst the Lords people even, few yet understand that Jesus distinctly teaches that the "Sun of Righteousness," which will arise with healing in His beams and whose light will constitute the New Day, will be composed of the Church of Christ glorifiedchanged from human to Divine nature by participation in the First Resurrection. Our Lord Jesus tells this in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares. He declares that in the end of this Gospel Age all of the wheat class will be gathered into the Heavenly Garner, and that "then shall the righteous shine forth as the SUN in the Kingdom of their Father." (Matthew 13:43) We must not think, however that this signifies the Church without the Redeemer, but must remember that Jesus is "the Head over the Church which is His Body."Ephesians 1:22,23
How wonderful, how beautiful, how appropriate are the word-pictures of the Bible! No one but the Lord knew of the great Divine Plan. No one but Him, therefore, could give these pictures of its development. In various terms and figures of speech the Bible attempts to give us a little glimpse of the glorious conditions of that Day. The New Day and the Kingdom will be "the desire of all people." In that Day the righteous will flourish, and evil-doers will be cut off from life. During that thousand-year Day of Messiahs Kingdom, Satan is to be bound, "that he may deceive the nations no more." (Revelation 20:2,3) Landlordism will come to an end; for "they shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat the fruit thereof," but "shall long enjoy the work of their hands."Isaiah 65:22
The earth is to yield her increase. (Psalm 67:6) Streams are to come forth in the desert; the solitary places are to be made glad. The entire earth is to become like the Garden of Eden. It is Gods footstool, and He declares that He will make it glorious. It is not to be burned up with literal fire, as once we supposed. It is to "abide forever." (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 104:5) "He formed it not in vain; He formed it to be inhabited." Isaiah 45:18; 66:1; 60:13; 35:1,7
The most wonderful thing that the Bible tells us respecting that New Day is that it will bring great intelligence and enlightenment to every creature. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the face of the great deep. (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14) "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 31:34) Ultimately every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, to the glory of God.Philippians 2:11; Isaiah 45:23
What an enthusing prospect the Bible holds out before the Church and before as many of the world as can exercise a measure of faith to believe! The world indeed sees to some extent that great blessings are coming; but just what these are and how they are to come mankind know not; for "the world by wisdom knows not God." (1 Corinthians 1:21) The worldly wise have rejected the Bible, and do not trust it as a Revelation from God. Thus the wise are caught in their own craftiness. (1 Corinthians 3:19) Their boasted wisdom ensnares them and blinds them to the Divine Revelation.
Nevertheless, some of our greatest thinkers ... are rapidly seeing that the world is just on the verge of the most wonderful inventions and knowledge, which will transform the face of the earth and the people thereof. They are corroborating the Bible unwittingly; for they believe it not and know not the character of its messages.
Let us not stop now to discuss the darkness of the Night and its weeping. Let us awake, and take note of the fact that the dawning of the New Age is already here. For the past (123) years we have been in it and enjoying many of its blessings. But those blessings came so stealthily"like a thief in the night"that few recognize their import. Some few have been calling attention to the fact that we have been in the Millennial dawn ever since 1874.
Bible chronology quite clearly teaches that the six thousand years since Adams creation have endedsix great Days of a thousand years each, mentioned by St. Peter"a Day with the Lord is as a thousand years." (2 Peter 3:8) Now the great Seventh Day, also a thousand years long, has commenced. We have been enjoying its dawning. It is to be a grand Day! What wonder if the dawning be remarkable!
It may surprise some to be told that the past (123) years mean more to the world in increase of education, increase of wealth, increase of all manner of labor-saving inventions and conveniences, increase of safeguards and protections for human life, than did all the six thousand years which preceded themmany times over. The world has ... created much (more) wealth during these (123) years than during the entire six thousand years preceding. Yet these changes have come so gradually that few have noticed them.
(One hundred twenty-three) years ago man labored from sun to sun; today (man works) an eight-hour day. (One hundred twenty-three) years ago nearly all the labor of the world was done with sweat of face; today it is nearly all accomplished by machinery. (One hundred twenty-three) years ago the sewing-machine was just reaching perfection; today it is everywhere indispensable. So with the thousand household conveniences. So with nearly all of our sanitary and plumbing arrangements. So with farming implements. Reapers and binders, mowers, automobiles, gas engines, etc., etc., all belong to these (123) years. In our cities the modern conveniences are wonderful. Solomon in all his glory never even dreamed of such things as the poorest human being in America may enjoy!
Prophecies respecting streams in the desert and the wilderness blossoming as the rose are having fulfillmentnot miraculously, but in harmony with the Divine order of an increased intelligence amongst men. Artesian wells (have been) drilled, irrigating canals constructed, not only in the Western part of the United States and Canada, but also in far-off Mesopotamia. The results are marvelous. ... The increase of knowledge has been supplemented by governmental arrangements for the distribution of that knowledge amongst the people. The soils of various localities are being analyzed at public expense; and the tillers of the soil are given knowledge as respects what kind of fertilizers are required to bring satisfactory results.
Under these conditions it does not surprise us to know that as (many) bushels of corn have been raised to one acre, and that (many) bushels of potatoes...are not an uncommon record. Is not the Bible being fulfilled? Who can dispute these facts? What do they signify? We answer that they exactly corroborate the Divine declaration which describes our day: Many shall run to and fro; knowledge shall be increased; the wise of Gods people shall understand; and "there shall be a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation."Daniel 12:4,10,1; Matthew 24:21
We are in the Morning of our text. Ah, what a glorious Morning! How changed the human conditions from those of our grandfathers! How thankful the whole world should be! Paeans of praise should be rising from all the people of the favored lands of civilization; and helping hands should be outstretched to carry the same blessings to heathen lands. But is it so? Are the people happy and rejoicing? Are they appreciative of the New Day?of the gifts of Divine Providence?
No! In proportion as the blessings of God have come, the discontent of humanity has increased; and unbelief, not only in respect to the Bible as the Divine Revelation, but in many instances in respect to the very existence of an intelligent Creator. Notwithstanding the great increase in the worlds wealth, and the fact that there are some noble souls who are using their share of the wealth in a praiseworthy manner, nevertheless the general operation of the law of selfishness prevails; and all the legislation which has been enacted, or can be enacted, fails to restrain the giant institutionscorporationsof our day, fails to hinder them from exploiting the masses in the interests of the comparatively few.
Did God know all these things? What will He do about them? Will He bring in the Millennial blessings, and risk that men shall take for granted that they have won the secrets of nature by their own wisdom and perseverance, and forget God entirely? Will they become more discontented? Would a Millennium of discontent be advantageous? What will God do about it?
According to the Bible, God foreknew the conditions of our day as we are now reviewing them; and in our text He gives a key to the situationelsewhere in the Scriptures made very plain. Through the Prophet, God tells of the dark Night comingafter the Morning Dawn had been well ushered ina dark storm-cloud just at sunrise. This dark hour is described in the prophecy of Daniel, and also in that of our Lord Jesus, to be "a Time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a nation."
Bible students see this great Time of Trouble already beginning. ... In the light of the Bible they perceive that the result of (World War I) was a great weakening of the nationsof the governments of the earthand increased knowledge and discontent amongst the people.
The (second) phase of the Trouble, according to the Bible, is ... the "great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." (Revelation 16:18) This is not a literal earthquake, but a symbolic onerevolution. Then the third phase of the calamitythe darkest of allwill be the symbolic fire of anarchy, which will utterly destroy our present civilization. Then, in the midst of that most awful Time of Trouble, Messiah, the great King, will take His great power and will exercise it, with the result that the raging waves of the sea of human passion will all be quieted, the fires of anarchy will all be extinguished, and the Reign of Righteousness and Peace will begin.
Cannot we see the wisdom of the great Creators Program? He has determined to permit mankind to convince themselves of their own impotency, of their need of a God, and of the fact that there is a God, and that His glorious purposes for humanity are revealed in His Word. Ah, it is no wonder that the Bible speaks of that revelation of the Lord as the "still small voice of God," speaking to mankind through Messiahs Kingdom! No wonder the Lord declares that "then He will turn to the people a pure Message, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent"!
St. Peter gives us a vivid picture of the New Order of things in Messiahs Kingdom. He says, "The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up;...the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved. ... Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."2 Peter 3:10,12,13
The "new heavens" will be the glorified Church, consisting of Jesus the Head and His Bride class, selected from the world during the past (almost twenty) centuries. The "new earth" will be the new social order under the control of the new heavens. There will be no patching of present institutions, but a clean sweep of them by the fire of Divine wrath preceding the establishment of the New Order, wherein only that which is righteous, just, equitable, true, will be recognized.
We rejoice that such glorious things are coming even though the world must necessarily reach them through the tribulation of the Time of Trouble. Happy are those whose eyes and ears of understanding are open now, and who are in such heart relationship with the Lord that He can make known to them in advance something of the riches of His grace, and show them how the coming troubles will work out blessings for the human family. [R6013]
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."Luke 21:36
"Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."Hebrews 4:16
WHILE these words of the Apostle have always been applicable to the people of God, they are especially important to us, for we realize that we are now living in this very evil day to which he referred in his letter to the Ephesians; that it has already come, and that only those who have put on the whole armor of God will be properly equipped to withstand the assaults of the enemy. His instruction that the Christian supply himself with the whole armor of God indicates a need for the armor, a difficulty in withstanding the attacks to be expected in this day, and the fewness of those who will eventually stand. The exhortation is not to take merely the shield of faith, not merely the helmet of salvation, not merely the breastplate of righteousness, not merely the Sword of the Spirit, not merely the sandals of preparation, not merely the girdle of Truth; but all of these. The implication is that we shall need all of these if we stand all the assaults to be expected in the evil day.
Alas, how few seem to realize the importance of this armor which God has commended! Their difficulty is the result of their not recognizing the time in which they are now living, of their not being sufficiently awake, of not being zealous to search the Scriptures, and to arm themselves therewith for the battle of the Great Day of God Almighty.
But with all the preparation the earnest Christian may make, he should see to it that there is a direct and continual communication between his heart and his Lord. In the Bible God has given us His Message, His promises, His instruction, in advance. Elsewhere St. Paul has declared that this Word "is sufficient, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work." We appreciate this assurance and also realize our own unworthiness, our littleness and our imperfections. But despite all these our Lord has assured us that we may approach with courage the Throne of Heavenly Grace and there obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of needand forgiveness of sins.
This promise of forgiveness does not include the thought of original sin; for that is forgiven us at the time when we consecrate ourselves to the Lord; and therefore it need not be remembered day by day. But, having surrendered our will to the Lord and having started out in the narrow way, we should know what our reasonable service to Him would include. (Romans 12:1) We have need of every provision that He has made for us. It is our daily transgressions that require daily forgiveness. Any one, therefore, who would be a good soldier of the Lord Jesus must keep in close touch with Headquarters. This he is privileged to do by coming daily to the Throne of Grace.
... One must earnestly desire to do so. ... Our God, the Mighty Creator of the Universe, has graciously granted to each one who has been begotten of the Holy Spirit the privilege of bringing everything to Him in prayer all his needs, all his difficultiesand of calling Him by the endearing name of "Father." What wondrous grace!
Then each of Gods children before approaching the Throne of Grace should seek to know what things are approved of the Lord and what things are disapproved. It should be the one ambition of the child of God to know the Fathers will and to guide his affairs accordingly. But taking it for granted that our hearts are fully submissive to the Lords will, the Apostle is here describing the Christian soldier who has put on the whole armor of God, or who is putting it on, and who is seeking to come up to the highest standard. He will need, with all his armor, to cultivate and to use the privilege of prayer.Ephesians 6:18
The foregoing reference tells us how prayer should be offered"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." We should lay emphasis on the words "in the Spirit." Contrast this sort of prayer with others which are not "in the Spirit," but merely formalistic. We know that the heathen have great formalities in their prayers. The Chinese, for instance, have a wheel on which certain prayers are inscribed, and they think that the more times the wheel is turned around the more times the prayer goes up to their god. These are vain repetitions. But the Chinese are heathenthey have not learned of the true God. Others approach the true God, using vain repetitions, not knowing what they want or what is best for them or what is Gods will. Some Christians use printed forms of petition which are not really their own sentiment or spirit, but which as worshipers they offer to the Lord in a more or less perfunctory manner. Some prayers are represented by beads. These are used by our Roman Catholic friends. Each bead represents a prayer, and the repetition is supposed to help the worshiper. He counts these beads over and over, repeating his prayer over each bead.
All these endeavors on the part of humanity, heathen and Christian, to approach God in prayer indicate that there is a recognized need of Divine assistance. But God is not to be approached in a merely formal manner. He is not to be mocked. If we should approach an earthly king in such a perfunctory way, he would see through the hollowness of the petition and would resent it. And so we may know that if we come with merely a lip service to God our prayers will not be heard. We must remember, too, that only those prayers are acceptable to God which come from those in covenant relationship with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way by which we have a right to come to the Almighty addressing Him as "Our Father." Reverting again to the text, "Praying always, with all prayer and supplicationin the Spirit," we understand the Apostle to mean that with every prayer we offer, whatever may be our petition, there should be an earnestness of spirit. The prayer must always be offered "in the spirit," with heart-appreciation of what we are doing. Otherwise it would not be acceptable to God. It must be a "supplication," an earnest entreaty. When we pray to God, we are to "watch thereunto, with all perseverance" having importunity in prayer, not soon growing weary if our petitions do not seem to be quickly answered. We are not to pray for the things that the Word of God does not justify us in believing are the Lords will, but for the things which we believe are His will; and we are to really desire what we ask for. Then we are to watch for the fulfillment of our prayers, and thus be prepared for the blessing when it comes. Our Father knoweth what things we have need of before we ask Him.Matthew 6:32,8
The object of prayer, then, is to benefit ourselves, and to bring us into that attitude of mind which will be in heart-readiness to receive our Fathers blessing. God does not wish to give His choicest blessings where they would be fruitless. When He gives us these blessings, He purposes that our hearts shall be in that condition which will assimilate them and bring forth fruitage. We must ever be in an attitude of full submission to His will. We know that our Heavenly Father not only has the fullest knowledge of our needs, but is waiting to bestow His richest gifts upon His children, as soon as we are ready for them. Then let us never come before Him with vain, meaningless repetitions.
While the world would pray merely for food, clothing, temporal blessings or for victory over their enemies, we as Gods children should yield up our wills to Him and pray in the words of our Masters exemplary prayer: "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done." Then, "Give us this day our daily bread," whether it be little or muchnot saying what kind of food, but simply receiving what He sees we need. We have placed these matters entirely in the Lords hands. We ask especially for the spiritual Bread. Our prayers are to be along the lines of the Spirit and not of the flesh. We are to pray only incidentally for the earthly things, because we have consecrated our bodies to God. Since the body is to die, since it has been accepted as a sacrifice, we are to seek to perpetuate that body which we have given to the Lord only long enough for our spiritual development and testing and for the completion of whatever work He has for us to do. We are also to be willing and glad to surrender it as soon as the Lord is ready to consummate the sacrifice. We have it now only as the instrument of the New Creature.
As New Creatures, then, we are to pray always in harmony with the interests of this new nature. We are to hunger for the Bread from Heaven and to feed upon it. We are to develop the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. We read that the Father is more willing to give good things to them that ask Him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. So then, we are not only to pray in the Spirit, but as the Lords Word indicates, our prayers are to be along the lines of the Spirit, of the New Creature, whose needs are first in our sight and in the Lords sight, and whose interests the Lord is especially pleased to bless and to have us consider and pray for.
The logical conclusion of all this is that the Lords consecrated people would have little to pray for of an earthly kind, realizing that with the Church the end is not restitution, but sacrifice unto death, and then the glorious resurrection. Therefore the prayers of the consecrated should be for grace to meet in a faithful spirit our various trials and difficulties while we are putting on the armor, and likewise after we have put it on, and are learning how to use the Sword of the Spirit, how to resist the Adversary, and the foes entrenched in our own fleshour Philistines. We need much grace to be rightly exercised by the trials and the assaults of the enemy and to realize that all these things are to work together for good to us who love God, who are "the called according to His purpose." We are learning day by day how to "make our calling and election sure."
The Lords people are encouraged to take part in the prayer meeting, and individually they are to approach daily the Throne of Grace. Our Lord has declared that where two or three are met together in His name He will be in their midst. When a petition is made having something of general interest, we are to unite our hearts that the blessing may be spread abroad and extend to many hearts. The suggestion is that the Lords people should do considerable of their praying in fellowship, in cooperation. But this would not hinder our private praying to the Lord, hourly if need be, telling him of our realization of our faults and our weaknesses and asking for the application of the precious merit of our Saviors sacrifice to remove every spot and every wrinkle from our garments. Such prayer is the very essence of the Christians life, his "vital breath."
We find that the encroachments of the Adversary and of the world and of the flesh are liable to discourage us or to entangle us with the things of the present life. But the Lord has made it so possible for us to approach Him that we can go to Him with any trial, any difficulty, and be sure that our petition has Divine attention and will have Divine aid. We have spoken of our fleshly weaknesses as sometimes hindering us from prayer. There is a disposition on the part of many Christians, after having done something that has wounded the conscience, to avoid going to the Lord in prayer for awhile, to dread to go, to feel ashamed to gothinking that they will feel better about it afterwards. This course is fraught with great danger; for it is likely to hinder our spiritual growth. Therefore it should not be permitted. We should realize that there is all the greater need of our going then to the Throne of Heavenly Grace. The Lord has known of our weaknesses in advance. He knew beforehand of our failure, and wished us to profit by the experience, that we might, in harmony with our prayers, become stronger against sin, against everything displeasing to Him.
The Adversary has to do, no doubt, with seeking to interrupt our prayers, our communications with the Father. One of our hymns declares that
"Satan trembles when he sees
We need not go to this extreme of thought, that Satan really does so tremble; but we may know that he realizes something of the power of prayer in the life of the child of God, and one of his chief lines of attack is to seek to cut off our communication with the Lord. Just as in warfare a skillful general seeks to cut off the enemy from its communication with headquarters, with its base of supplies, so with Satan. If he could succeed in cutting off our communication with the Heavenly Courts, we would be so much more liable to fall under his mischievous and wicked assaults. Then we would indeed be helpless, without Divine direction.
Is it asked, What could Satan do to cut off our communication? We reply that there are various ways of intruding upon the human mindthoughts may enter the mind while the child of God is at prayer or at other timesthoughts of business, of pleasure, of sin, of worldly interests and projects, etc. We do not know how much power the Adversary is given in connection with the Lords people. We do know that he is powerless to interfere with their will. But he has power to stimulate certain organs of our minds, so that unless we are very alert we might be cut off from proper fellowship with the Lord, and our Christian courage might become more or less weakened. Thus we would be proportionately less able to resist the world, the flesh and the Adversary.
It is, therefore, proper to take every precaution to keep the lines of communication with our Heavenly Father well open. For instance, in private prayer, if there is a tendency toward drowsiness or toward thoughts going to other things, then we might lift the head, if it be bowed; or if the eyes be closed, we might open the eyes, and raise them. We are to see to it that in all our prayers and supplications these are in the Spirit, that they are not perfunctory, not formalisms. We are to see to it that they are the real expressions of our heart. We may say that a few sentences of real heart-prayer will accomplish more good for the child of the Lord than any amount of lip service. We advise that any who have difficulty in keeping the mind concentrated while in prayer should rather intensify and shorten their petitions and that in all their prayers they should see that the things they desire and pray for are in harmony with the Lords Wordin the interest of the New Creature. [R5744]
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."Galatians 6:7
IN THIS text the Apostle seems to be emphasizing the fact that it is not enough that we make a consecration of ourselves to God, but we need to show by the earnestness of our conduct that we have received a transforming power into our lives. If we say that we are New Creatures and make a change merely in our profession, while still sowing to the flesh, the result will be not according to our profession, but according to our doing; and we shall reap the rewardcorruption. Others may be deceived, and we may be deceived ourselves; but God will not be deceived. If we, on the contrary, to the best of our ability to understand the Lords will, lay down our lives, sowing to the Spirit, then shall we reap everlasting life.
The Apostle is addressing the saints, the consecrated people of God, those who have presented their bodies living sacrifices, and whose sacrifices have been made acceptable through the merit of Christ. Being made New Creatures by the begetting of the Holy Spirit, these are to go on to reach perfection on the spirit plane.
If we, then, who are of this class, live after the fleshaccording to the desires of the fleshwe shall die. This does not mean that if any of Gods people should have some earthly desire or some wrong sentiment spring up in their minds they would die instantly, or that they would instantly be cut off from any hope of future life on the spirit plane. The thought is that if we live after the flesh pursue the desires of the flesh, follow that course in life the end will be death. And every seed thus sown tends toward death. If we sow to the flesh, we shall of the flesh reap corruption.
It would not be necessarily true in such sowing that we would wish to sow to the flesh. The Apostle intimates that the class he is addressing do not wish to sow to the flesh, but wish to do otherwise. But if we do sow to the fleshto sensuality or to any earthly desires contrary to the new naturethe crop will come by and by. We might like to have better clothes and delicious food; we might desire to live on a good street and in a fine house; and these would not necessarily be sinful things. All these things are of the flesh, but they are not what the Apostle has especially in mind here. He is thinking of things of the fallen flesh, which are always contrary to the Spirit.
If we practice those things which our understanding of Gods Word teaches us He would not approve, seeds are thus sown to the flesh. Every inch that we yieldwhether in thought, word or actionmeans so much decrease of spiritual power; and the New Creature grows weaker. This might be done as respects our food and clothing, our home, our time, etc.; and this would be sowing to the flesh in such instances. If in accordance with our judgment of the Lords will, we follow a course with a view to keeping our body in condition for best service, and if then our body, our flesh, has a craving for certain things that would not be for our spiritual welfare, the New Creature is to say, "No, you cannot have it"; or "These things are too expensive for you."
There are not many who have made a sacrifice of their flesh; but it is to those who have done this that the Apostle is speaking. I, as the New Creature, say to the Old Creaturethe body"I shall give you what I think is for your good. I do not understand that the Lord wishes me to kill you at once, for I need your service; but the Lord wishes me to have some practice in self-denial. You shall not have your desire now, because you do not really need it. I may, however, give it to you some time again, if I think that then you need it and if you are good."
If the New Creature gives a free rein to the old creature about what he shall read, or eat, how long he shall sleep, at what time he shall get up, where he shall go and how long he shall stay, etc., the New Creature will have his hands fullwill he not? The Spirit of the Lord is to actuate the New Creature in thought, word and action and decide what he is to do, what he shall eat, where he shall gois to control everything. If we sow to the Spirit, if we walk after the Spirit, we shall be overcomers, we shall reap life-everlasting. We must not yield to the old creature. By yielding we are sowing seed to the flesh, and by and by the old creature will say, "You have been in the habit of giving that to me, and you must let me have it"; and the result is likely to be disastrous to the New Creature.
The matter reminds us of one of Aesops fables which many of us have read. On a cold, frosty morning, a donkey pushed his nose in at the door of a blacksmith shop, where it was warm from a glowing fire. The blacksmith said to the donkey, "Get out!" The donkey replied, "You are stingy! I am only getting my nose warm." Presently the blacksmith looked around and perceived that the donkey had his whole head in. The blacksmith said, "Now get out, will you?" But the donkey pleaded that he was only getting a little breath of warm air, that his head surely would not trouble the blacksmith. After awhile the blacksmith looked again and saw that the donkey was half-way into the shop. Then he shouted, "Get out! get out!" But the donkey still insisted that he was only getting a little warm. So the blacksmith yielded. By and by he looked again and saw that the donkey was altogether in the shop. Then he sprang forward shouting excitedly, "Get out!" But the donkey said triumphantly, "Which of us will get out?" And thereupon he turned around and began to kick at the blacksmith. The donkey was in full control.
So it will be with us if we begin a course of yielding little by little to the desires of the fleshly mind. The end of the way which the flesh craves, the Apostle teaches us, is death. St. Paul does not say that the beginning of that way is death; but that the beginning of that way leads toward death. If the old creature has gained a leeway, every step that is taken must be retraced, or the case is hopeless. The New Creature is to say to the old creature, "You are not to be my master!" The old creature is to be made to know that the New Creature is the Master. The New Creature develops at the expense of the old creature, the old nature, which must be put to death.
These things are not true of the world now, but will be true of them as respects their sinful flesh, by and by. If any during the Millennium shall yield to the fallen flesh, gradually becoming more and more alienated from the Lord, the end of that way will be death. But they will have every assistance in their efforts to resist sin and to develop righteousness. To the Church of Christ our text is applicable now and in the fullest sense. Let those of us now on trial for life or death eternal, watch and pray! [R5934]
Question: Why is it that after telling of the Atonement Day sacrifices and of the application of their bloodthe first for the sins of the priest and his house or the Levitical family and the second "for the sins of all the people"then we read of the confessing of the trespasses of the people on the head of the Scape-goat? What sins would remain after the atonement for all with the blood?
We reply that the antitypical sacrifices of the Atonement Day for the sins of all the people cancel all of the Adamic guilt and condemnation for all; and this includes all hereditary sins and blemishes. None of these sins remain to be confessed over the head of the Scape-goat.
But there are other sins of measurable wilfulness committed against a measure of light and knowledge. These are not Adamic and are not covered by the sin offerings. It is these sins and trespasses that are represented as put upon the Scape-goat classthe "Great Company." In the antitype, shortly to be enacted, the "great company" will be allowed to suffer for some of the partly willful sins of the worldespecially "Babylons."
Glancing back to the "harvest" of the Jewish Age we see there a picture of what is coming here. There the Jewish people, cast off from divine favor, went into an awful time of trouble. And our Lord, referring to that trouble, said, "Upon you shall come [the penalty for] all the righteous blood shed upon the earthfrom the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias. ...Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."Matt. 23:35,36
Similarly, all the blood of Gods holy ones, from the beginning of this Gospel Age, will be required of the present generation, and will bring about the great "time of trouble, such as was not since there was a nation." The martyrs of the past, "the souls under the altar," are represented as crying out symbolically for this vindication of Justice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge the world and avenge our blood upon them that dwell on the earth." They were bid wait until others, their brethren, should be killed similarly, when the guilt for all would be avenged.Rev. 6:9-11
Why require the full payment for all the wrongs of the ages at their closing?is it asked? Because the chief light of each age comes at its close, and because those who sin against such light are worthy of more severe judgment than similar evildoers preceding them who had less light.
It was on this principle that our Lord charged the Jews of his day, who opposed the true light, with being more guilty than all their predecessors who had persecuted the just. And on the same principle he declares to us, "Come out of her [Babylon], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." Those who remain in Babylon now, in the light of Present Truth, are endorsers of Babylon and indirectly endorsers of all of her past wrong doing. And to endorse the wrongs of the past in the light of the present is to double the responsibility and to deserve the plagues of the whole, is the Scriptural argument.
Let us, then, see that in the Scape-goat type the Lord pictures the sending into the "wilderness" of isolation and persecution the "Great Company," who after consecration were unwilling to go voluntarily "outside the camp, bearing the reproaches" of the Christ. They shared not in the sin-atonement, but will be permitted, yea forced, to bear the weight of the worlds sins and thus to become dead to the worldthat their spirit-being may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. [R4015]
Question: Why is a lamb used to symbolize our Lord?
Answer: In some illustrations our Lord is symbolized by a lion, as representing his strong qualities. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judahthe Strong One of that tribe. We are not, however, to conclude that the strong qualities of the lion are all the qualities that our Lord possessed. He had the qualities manifested by the lambits meekness and unsuspicion and gentleness. In this way the lamb represents our Lord. "He is led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep is dumb before her shearers, so he openeth not his mouth."Isa. 53:7 [R4750]
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
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1. The spirit of _______________enables one to understand spiritual things. John 16:12,13
2. In Gods word there is ____for the babes and strong _________for those more developed.I Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:14
3. Truth called "meat in due season" is now being served by our returned Lord through the _______________and wise servant.Luke 12:42
4. The word of God will make one _________II Timothy 3:15-17; I Timothy 4:16
5. The faithful student should be able to express his ____________.I Peter 3:15
6. The dawn of the Millennial day brings _______________as well as trouble.II Peter 1:19; II Peter 3:10
7. Men ________________in darkness and _________among the ungodly. Some _______in the light and _____for the prize.Isaiah 42:7; Psalm 1:1; Hebrews 12:1
8. God has made known to the fully consecrated the mystery of his ___________________.Ephesians 1:9, 10, 17, 18
9. The angels and the prophets could not understand the mystery of Gods will because they were not invited to become the bride of __________.I Peter 1:10-13
10. More truth is now due to be understood during the harvest of the Gospel age and the dawning of the Millennial age because our Lord is at the door _________.Revelation 3:20
(Thursday Texts from Daily Heavenly Manna)
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment." 1 John 4:18
MIGHTY, imposing and terrifying indeed is the influence of fear, except upon those who have learned to know the Lord through previous experiences, and to trust Him even where they cannot trace Him. The giant of fear and despair must be met with the pebble from the brook, "It is written." The sling of faith must propel the word of promise with such force as to slay the adversary and to deliver us from his domination. ... Thus armed only with the Word of God, and trusting in His rod and staff, we may well be courageous and answer imposing sectarianism as David answered the Philistine, "Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of ... Israel, which thou hast defiled." [Z.'03-329 R3231:1]
"Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple."Luke 14:27
THE Lord's cross-bearing consisted in the doing of the Father's will under unfavorable conditions. This course brought upon Him the envy, hatred, malice, strife, persecution, etc., of those who thought themselves to be God's people, but whom our Lord, who read their hearts, declared to be of their father, the devil. ... Since we are walking in the same "narrow way" that our Master walked, we may reasonably expect that our crosses will be of similar kind to Hisoppositions to our doing the will of our Father in heavenoppositions to our serving His cause and letting the light shine out as our Master and Leader directed. [Z.'03-345 R3237:3]
"My presence shall go with thee, and I will
give thee rest."
THE Lord is ever present with His people. He is always thinking of us, looking out for our interests, guarding us in danger, providing for us in temporal and spiritual things, reading our hearts, marking every impulse of loving devotion to Him, shaping the influences around us for our discipline and refining, and hearkening to our faintest call for aid or sympathy or fellowship with Him. He is never for a moment off guard, whether we call Him in the busy noon hours or in the silent watches of the night. How blessed the realization of such abiding faithfulness! And no real child of God is devoid of this evidence of his adoption. [Z.'03-376 R3251:4]
"Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness [justification], and sanctification, and redemption [deliverance]." 1 Corinthians 1:30
HE who redeemed us, or bought us with the sacrifice of His own life, gives us, as our Prophet or Teacher, wisdom by His Gospel, to see our fallen state and Himself as our helper; as our Priest, He first justifies us and then sanctifies or consecrates us, as His under priesthood; and finally, as King, He will fully deliver the faithful from the dominion of sin and death, to the glory, honor and immortality of the divine nature;for "God will raise up [from the dead] us also, by Jesus." "Hallelujah! What a Savior!" Truly He is able and willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. [Z.'03-440 R3281:6]
November 18-23, 1997
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