A Lily of Christ

SONGS 6, 3-bsd

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies”
(Song of Solomon 6:3, KJV).

Once on earth did live a pure white lily,
The sweetest flower of all God’s family.
With head bent low, in reverent humility,
He was fixed to a cross, to free you and me!

White lilies are found in fields and valleys,
Among thorns they grow, graceful and lovely,
From fruitful bulbs, with fragrance alluring,
White and clean as Christ, thus so endearing.

To become a white lily with open face,
Turn fully to God, receiving His grace,
His favouring breeze with gladness embrace,
Christ’s lily, growing bright, in whatever our place.

Nothing on this earth is more chiefly desired,
Than to serve with joy as God may require,
Running the race with patience, nothing other aspired,
Daily, devotedly, even if tired.

LORD grant your wisdom, to do what is right,
Refrain from the wrong and walk in Christ’s light.
Diligently watch and pray, for victory’s gain —
As Christ’s holy name, we ever proclaim!

Our cross we bare and press forward, on —
Our crown not to lose, but to overcome!
Assured that the battle is ours to be won,
And then, finally, the rest surely will come.

Thus praising Jehovah, wholeheartedly!
As a sacrifice, living, pleasing to Thee,
By grace, we endure, all faithful to be,
Sealed thine everlasting, this is our plea! 

 

To be a lily of Christ, let us each strive to be: simple and sincere in humility (Philippians 2:3); sweet and fragrant in gentleness, compassion, mercy, and long-suffering towards all; and joyful in hope (Romans 12:12), enduring patiently (1 Peter 2:20, 2 Timothy 2:24) with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6). May we be at peace, in the valley that God has planted us in to be watered by His steams of living water, found in the Word of God, delivered to the saints by God’s grace and mercy in order for God to be glorified, honored, and praised BY ALL in due time (1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Peter 4:11).


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I AM MY BELOVED’S, AND MY BELOVED IS MINE
(Song of Solomon 6:3).

The following words are from the Reprints (R4783) of The Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (which can be freely accessed from the Harvest Truth Data Base website at the following link and under the subheading “ZWT” (Zion’s Watch Tower): http://www.htdb.one/).

RIGHTLY understood we find the Bible to be a love story of surpassing interest. No earthly love story will compare with it. First, we have the Father’s love for our race, which, originally created in his likeness, fell by disobedience under just condemnation. What a wonderful story of parental Love blended with Divine Justice is conveyed to us in the narrative of how God so loved the world while we were yet sinners, that he gave his Only Begotten Son to be our Redeemer, that he might restore again to Divine favor and blessing whosoever wills to return after learning of his loving provision.

How different this view of the Divine character and Plan from the one which once terrorized us—when we thought of God as almighty in power and knowledge, but destitute of love and sympathy; when we thought of him according to the universally accepted false teachings as having, with cold indifference, sat in the councils of eternity, before the creation of the earth or our race, and there planned our creation and everlasting destiny; that he there deliberately arranged (“according to the council of his own will,” as the catechism expresses it) that he would place us as a race under such unfavorable conditions that only a mere handful, comparatively, would ever attain to a life of bliss, either in the present world or in that which is to come. Deciding also that the vast majority, ignorant (whom the God of this world hath blinded), steeped in inherited sin and degradation, born in sin and shapen in iniquity, should, nevertheless, be so constituted and preserved that they could never end their miserable existences; and, withal, providing, we were told, a great place for their eternal torture, from which would ascend for ever and ever, alike futile and unheeded, their prayers, their curses and their groans.

RELIEF TO KNOW THAT GOD IS REALLY A GOD OF LOVE

What a relief do we experience as finally we awake to a better knowledge of God and of his precious Word, to find that all these teachings of the Dark Ages were but a horrible nightmare, as unreal as they were cruel and unjust—as unscriptural as they are contrary to every reasonable conception of every reasonable mind, of the proper exercise of Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power—the Divine attributes. We are reminded of the nursery tales of childhood, told to children by parents and nurses who, with grossly mistaken ideas of wisdom and propriety, used them as a lash of terror with which to secure a frightened obedience. As the bugaboos of infancy faded from memory, or at least ceased to inspire terror, as we grew older and began to take note of the deceptions which had been practiced; so as children of a larger growth we have learned that many of the “terrors of the Lord”—which, however severe, are reasonable and just—have been distorted by theologians and others who would fain exercise a terrorizing influence upon the world, to restrain from evil. We have learned, in the language of Scripture, that “their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men,” and not by any of the Divine precepts—Isaiah 29:13.

Oh, what a relief it has brought to our hearts to know God as really and truly a God of love, who is not only willing to save unto the uttermost, but able to save unto the uttermost all who put their trust in him! and who is so willing thus to save that he has made abundant [R4783] provision that every member of Adam’s race must come to a clear knowledge of his grace and to a full opportunity—by obedience to the extent of his ability—to attain eternal life through Christ Jesus.

It does us good at times to look back and view, not only the horrible pit and miry clay of sin out of which Jehovah lifted us when he placed our feet upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, but also to remember his mercy toward us in the anointing of our eyes, now in the end of the Age, that we may see wonderful things in his Word; that we may realize how he has graciously brought us “out of darkness into his marvelous light,” in permitting us to brush away the veil of superstition, misunderstanding and mistranslation which has befogged his Word, beclouded our understanding and bedimmed our view and appreciation of the great Father of lights, from whom cometh every good and every perfect gift—James 1:17.

NOT ONE, BUT MANY INDIVIDUALS CHOSEN TO BE BRIDE OF CHRIST

But our text deals specially with another part of this great love story of the Scriptures. Our loving Father, having provided a redemption for ALL our race through Christ Jesus, did more: he highly honored and glorified our dear Redeemer as a reward for those things he endured faithfully through obedience to the Father (Philippians 2:8-11), and in addition to this arranged to select a Bride and joint-heir in glory for his Son, our Lord Jesus. It was not an individual that was chosen to be the Bride, but many individuals, and yet in all, compared with the world, a “little flock,” the “elect Church,” called and in process of selection and perfection, to be “the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife.”

Of all the plots and peculiarities of love stories which have been conjured up by human brains, none will compare with this story of how Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her—redeeming her with his own life; and how, being rewarded with excellent glory by the Father, these who would be his companions, are invited to share his cross, his suffering, his death, and to be received up into glory with him, to share his love and his throne and the Father’s favor. We will not go into details here; we have done this before and our readers are familiar with every feature—so, instead, we pass on to consider some of the conditions of acceptance with the Bridegroom, and how we may make our calling and our election sure to this position of honor and blessing to which he has invited us.

ONLY A FEW CAN SAY FROM THE HEART, “I AM MY BELOVED’S”

Our text briefly, yet very pointedly, states the entire matter.

(1) “I am my Beloved’s.” There is no possibility for any one to get into this special elect class, “the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife,” without knowing it. There is therefore no possibility that heathen philosophers or others who lived and who died without a personal knowledge of Christ as their personal Savior, can ever be members of the elect Church, the Bride; all who are of it will be able to say, “I am my Beloved’s.” Very manifestly also, for the same reason, many who are Church members “in good and regular standing,” have neither part nor lot in this matter; for only a few can say, from the heart, truly, “I am my Beloved’s.” This union with the Beloved (Christ) implies that the step of justification through repentance and faith in the precious blood has first taken place; because only the justified are “called.”

(2) It is implied that the one who can say, “I am my Beloved’s,” has not only heard of Christ but has made a definite, positive compact or contract with him. And this contract—to be his in every thought and word and deed, to the extent of our ability, if he will accept us and be our Bridegroom, is our marriage vow or covenant.

The Scriptures assure us that in the present time, while evil prevails and the God of this world blinds the minds of the vast majority, none can come to the Lord Jesus, except as the Father draws them (John 6:44). The Father is not drawing all mankind now, but only believers. He is leaving the general work of drawing the worldly for the next Age, the Messianic Age, when Christ and the Church glorified shall, as God’s agents, cause the whole earth to be filled with the knowledge of the Truth. Whenever the Truth reaches the heart and understanding its influence is to draw, although the drawing may be resisted not only in the present Age, but also in the Age to come (Acts 3:23). But, it is only the few who are being drawn to Christ by a knowledge of the Truth now, because only a few have a knowledge of the Truth. And while many resist the truth and refuse the opportunity of union with the great Bridegroom, some have gladly accepted and given themselves wholly to the Lord, thus sealing the covenant binding themselves to him and by his grace binding him to them.

IF FAITHFUL IT IS THE PRIVILEGE OF EACH TO SAY, “MY BELOVED IS MINE”

It is proper that each one should decide for himself positively, whether or not he has ever accepted the Divine invitation to give himself (Proverbs 23:26; Romans 12:1) [R4784] to the Lord, to be ultimately accepted as a member of his Bride if he continue faithful to his engagement to the end. If we are faithful, and so long as we continue to be faithful, it is our privilege to look up with confidence and be assured of the second part of our text, “My Beloved is mine.” And if we will, it is possible for us to continue in this attitude, “faithful unto death”; and so doing we may know that in the resurrection we shall be with our Lord, and be like him, and share his glory and his throne—Revelation 3:21.

How much is implied in this statement, “My Beloved is mine”! We are reminded of the Scripture which declares, “He that hath the Son hath life”—eternal life. More than this, the Apostle assures us that those who have Christ, who can truly, Scripturally say, “My Beloved is mine,” are really possessors of “all things.” For since Christ is the heir of all things, if we have become associates with him, then, indeed, “all things are yours (things present and things to come) for ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:22,23). If it lifted from us a great load to know that our sins were graciously forgiven through the merit of the precious blood, how much more of a load of care does it lift from us to know that we are vitally united with the illustrious Son of the great King of the Universe—the Son in whom the Father is well pleased and whom he has made his sole associate in the glory and dominion of the Universe.

Nor does this promise of blessings in Christ apply merely to the future. The glories and honors truly are not now, but by and by to be revealed; but the Bridegroom’s care, protection, provision and comfort belong to his betrothed even now, while we are in this tabernacle; so that while we are passing through the “valley of the shadow of death,” we need fear no evil, for he is with us, and his rod and staff comfort us.

All who abide faithful to him, all who truthfully can say, “I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine,” have not only the promise of the life that is to come, but also [R4784] the promise of this present life. They hear the Master’s voice saying, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the Age,” and in the end of the Age he is to be specially near, specially precious, and is to reveal himself to his faithful in an especial manner, even before she is so changed as to behold him in his glory.

ALL THE “EXCEEDING GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES” BELONG TO THIS CLASS

It is the privilege of these to apply to themselves, and to realize as properly theirs, all the “exceeding, great and precious promises” of the Divine Word. These may hear the voice of the Lord, saying, I will be with thee in six troubles and in the seventh I will not forsake thee. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” “Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee.” Indeed, we are assured and “know that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, to the called ones according to his purpose [to be the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife]Job 5:19; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 50:15; Romans 8:28.

These promises of the Lord have been well summed up in the expression of the poet:—

“In every condition, in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth,
At home and abroad, on the land or the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flames shall not hurt thee—I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.”

What a blessing of peace, quietness of spirit, ability to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ, and sustenance and strength in time of trial, lies behind these precious assurances of the Bridegroom to those who can see and realize unquestionably, “I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine,” no tongue can express. It has in the past permitted his faithful ones to pass through many dark and trying experiences with a fortitude that has surprised the world, which has seen them in the fiery furnace, but has not seen that there is with them the form of the Son of God (Daniel 3:25). They have endured as seeing him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27). The poor world who know not this invisible Friend above all others, and are unacquainted with this Heavenly Bridegroom, and know not his sustaining grace in every hour of trial are, indeed, to be greatly pitied. They must largely bear alone those burdens which the Lord’s people, his betrothed, are privileged to lay at the feet of the great Burden Bearer, whose invitation is, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-29).

But, if the case of the world is a sad one, because it knows not our Bridegroom, how much worse is the case of those who having once known him, and having once experienced his tender care and helpfulness in all of life’s affairs as a Counselor and Guide, have wandered off, having lost their first love; having forgotten that they were purged from their old sins, and become deaf to the “exceeding great and precious promises” pertaining to the present as well as to the future life; and are now striving merely for the things which perish, and which at most are but for a moment (2 Corinthians 4:17,18). These are in a much worse condition than the world.

As the Apostle declares, “It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment”—2 Peter 2:21.

Let us who have named the name of Christ, who have assumed his name, abide in him—by continuing in faith, in love and in zeal, to walk in his footsteps and thus make our calling and our election sure.

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Further Suggested Reading

“The Song of Solomon” by Br. David Rice. The Beauties of the Truth Periodical http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/BOTMAY02.PDF

“Notes on the Song of Solomon” by Br. Anton Frey. These study notes are from the “BIBLE STUDY LIBRARY” CD which can be purchased from The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Bookstore at the following link: https://herald-magazine.com/bookstore-2/

“Notes on the Song of Solomon” by Br. Frank Shallieu. These study notes are also from the “BIBLE STUDY LIBRARY” CD. (Same link as above.)

“The Song of Songs A short series of devotional meditations – No. 1 by Br. F. A. Shuttleworth, Scot., The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, April 1958. Here is the direct link: http://www.heraldmag.org/archives/1958_4.htm#_Toc36391359

“I Am My Beloved’s, and My Beloved Is Mine.” The Dawn Magazine, Sept. 1989, in the Christian Life and Doctrine section.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1989/8909cl-4.htm

“SONG OF SOLOMON 2:1, 2, 16; 4:5 – The Rose of Sharon & the Lily of the Valleys.” BIBLE Students DAILY.
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/12/15/song-of-solomon-21-2-16-45-the-rose-of-sharon-the-lily-of-the-valleys/

 

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SONG OF SOLOMON 2:1, 2, 16; 4:5 – The Rose of Sharon & the Lily of the Valleys

roses and liies in the bible-bsd

What is the “rose of Sharon” and who is “the lily of the valleys” as mentioned in the Song of Solomon? We begin with some background.

The Song of Solomon

The “Song of Solomon” (also titled the “Song of Songs” or “Canticles”) was written by King Solomon, who represents Jesus as King after his ascent to the Divine realm. Here Christ Jesus, our prospective bridegroom (Matthew 25:6), speaks in the form of a melodic song, to his “Bride,” “the elect” (2 Timothy 2:10, Romans 8:33) who answers him as his “Love.”

The “rose of Sharon”likely is not a rose as we know the flower. It may have been a crocus, tulip, hibiscus, lily, white daisy or some other flower that grows in a field. (We include a brief discussion about this with flower images later in the post.) Jesus may have spoken of this when he referred to the “lilies of the field” (Luke 12:27,28), meaning some humbler but delicate flower.

Song of Solomon 2:1 (RSV) — “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.”

In the above verse, the prospective Bride of Christ is speaking. Notice that in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the text says not “the rose,” but “a rose,” and it is likewise in the NIV. This indicates humility. In other words, “I am a common, lowly flower of the low lands.”

“It is the bride, then, who is here declaring that she is as one of these common or ordinary flowers of which there were so many. She says, in effect, ‘I am no different and no better than my companions, my sisters, in this great floral throng’ ” (F. A. Shuttleworth, Scot., “The Song of Songs A short series of devotional meditations – No. 1”).

The rose and the lily are to be thought of in the collective sense: the “valleys” (plural) would have more than one lily, for example. Many flowers, a class of flowers, is referred to. The virgin class, these common little flowers, realize that God has called them as individuals into His family, and perhaps in time they see why He has picked them because they are poor in spirit, meek, though rich in faith. When they realize that they have this faith, they have a measure of confidence and hope that He really has called them. The HOLY ONE who inhabiteth eternity dwells with the lowly and contrite in heart (Br. Frank Shallieu, Notes on the Song of Solomon, in the Bible Students Library CD).

Song of Solomon 2:2 — “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.”

As mentioned earlier, in verse 1 the virgin class has said “I am the lily of the valleys.” Now, in verse 2, Christ Jesus is, as if, responding, Yes, you are as the lily, but you are amidst thorns.

“He proceeds once again to tell her of what and how he thinks of her… ‘As the lily among thorns’ she is seen in harmlessness, simplicity, and irreproachableness in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation (Philippians 2:15) … She isin moral contrast with all her surroundings; He adds no more; His words, though few, give her heart to know that He is content with her; she is what He can delight in; no more is needed.

“The Lord would have her follow in His footsteps; as she beholds Him in His beauty, in His fragrance, and His humility, she hears Him say: ‘As I am, so are ye in the world. He that saith He abideth in Me ought himself also to walk even as I walked.’ [See 1 John 2:6.] To be like unto him, she must go down into the fertile Valleys, and there must she abide. She must draw strength and nourishment from the hidden springs and the rich soil of His Word, and His life must flow into her until she blossoms out in His likeness” (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon, in the Bible Students Library CD).

The beautiful lily has no thorns growing upon her. In her words, there is nothing which is sharp, to wound her Lord or those around her. There are no unkind actions growing upon this plant that is being prepared for the Garden of Heaven. There are no unworthy, uplifted attributes found upon the one whom God will choose as the bride of His Son. She [her character] must be:

  • harmless, yet steadfast,
  • humble, yet standing in pure dignity,
  • upright and beautiful,
  • maintaining the Faith once for all delivered unto the saints,
  • spotless and fragrant.

“Each lily in the company stands for His glory and His delight alone. He has invited many to be the bride; but though many have received the invitation, only a few will He choose” (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon).

The Thorns– Who or what do these represent?

“The ‘thorns’ would be not only worldly people but professed Christians. The ‘daughters’ are the same ‘daughters of Jerusalem’ in Song of Solomon 1:5 and 2:7. Even among nominal Christians who have similar hopes,the virgin class appear as fanatics and oddballs. ‘So is my love among the daughters.’ The word ‘love’ is ‘friend’ in the Hebrew, but of course it has a much deeper meaning than our English word. We sing, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus,’ but he is singing, ‘What a friend I have in my consecrated followers’ ” (Br. Frank Shallieu, Notes on the Song of Solomon).

Song of Solomon 2:16 — “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

The Bride calls Christ her “beloved.” She is saying that Christ feeds among the lilies.

“The ‘lily’ is the common little flower of the lowlands, so Jesus ‘feeds’ (has communion and fellowship) among this humble, meek class. In olden times, receiving hospitality gave one a feeling of security and protection. If you could get into the tent of an enemy and converse with him and plead for mercy, he would never kill you. The safest place would be in the house of the enemy. George Washington, with all of his problems, had a rule that during dinner no strife or unpleasantness could mar the peace or be discussed. A principle of ancient times was not to bring problems to the table of fellowship” (Br. Frank Shallieu, Notes on the Songs of Solomon).

“Having once again turned her face toward her dearly beloved Bridegroom‑to‑be, she feels herself reassured, and very happy, yet still too possessive; for she says, as it were, to herself, ‘My Beloved is mine.’ But she is destined to grow both in grace and in the knowledge of her Lord (2 Peter 3:18), until she is able to say I am my beloved’s; and my beloved is mine’ (Song of Solomon 6:3). In the meantime she will have to strive earnestly to make herself really worthy of becoming one day, the Lamb’s wife! True, she has been ‘called’; yea, she has even been ‘chosen’ so to speak; but to be with Him as His Beloved, throughout all the ages of eternity, will depend uponher being‘faithful’(Revelation 17:14). This is a faithfulness in her love of,and for, Him; to have doves’ eyes, to see none other, ever, but ever and always Jesus only!” (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon).

“She now beholds Him ‘feeding among the lilies.’ In her soliloquy she mentions this, noting that He is almost invariably found ‘feeding among the lilies.’ Regardless of what the flower here referred to may have been, it was undoubtedly intended to represent the ‘pure in heart’ who shall one day see God (Matthew 5:8) — those, who like the wild flowers of the field neither toil nor spin[with distressful anxiety] but who, in accepting whatever divine providence may permitto come unto them, are arrayed even now, in garments whose glory and beauty transcend that of Solomon’s (Matthew 6:28‑29). The espoused virgin seems now to sense the fact that like unto Jehovah of old, who was fed by way of the willing sacrifices of His people upon His altar (See Leviticus 21:17‑21, Psalm 50:14, Hebrews 13:15), so too, her beloved was ‘feeding’ upon the loving consecrations and dedications of the pure in heart. The ‘sweet fragrance’ of these ‘lilies’ is to her beloved, as was the ‘sweet savor’ of the burnt‑offerings and peace‑offerings to Jehovah of old! He gathers the lilies in chapter 6. He delights to gather the saints (who are called lilies) together, and then He comes down to feed among them. He comes into the companies of His saints, when they are thus gathered, to get something for Himself” (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon, page 31).

Song of Solomon 4:5 — “Thy two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, which feed among the lilies.”

The suggestion that the roes “feed among the lilies” is a most beautiful one. The roes are enriched in life and health by what they feed upon; and this shows in their beauty and grace, as well as in the fleetness of foot.

roe.jpg

The roe or gazelle is the smallest animal of the antelope kind; it is only about two feet in height, and not more than half the size of the fallow‑deer. Its eyes are remarkably soft and expressive. It is noted for its swiftness in 1 Chronicles 12:8, speaking of men who were “as swift as the roes upon the mountains.” In 2 Samuel 2:18, “Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.” In the Song of Solomon 2:9, “The voice of my beloved! behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills: my beloved is like a roe or a young hart.”

two roes.jpg

Whatever goodness and cheer can flow out of the fully consecrated child of God into the lives of others, is but the outgrowth, the result, of what one in Christ feeds upon “among the lilies,” among the consecrated saints of God, in their gatherings, when and wherever these fellowship in the Lord. And, of course, this is what shows, for not only are her “breasts” beautiful and graceful, but they are full of wholesome “nourishment” for others. We cannot help but here think of an expression used by the Apostle Paul when writing to the beloved at Thessalonica:

“I was like a mother that lovingly nurses her children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7, Way’s Translation).

“The ‘two breasts’ speak of affections that are balanced. They set forth symbolically the tenderness and sensitiveness of spiritual affections. Grace governing the heart, would secure this; the one who loves God would love his brother also; and there would be no partialities as to the truth, no attaching ourselves to one aspect of the truth in such a way as to lose interest in the whole circle of truth” (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon, page 41).

The fleetness of foot, and the sensitivity to anything unwholesome or harmful, reflects the disposition in the character of the espoused virgin. In order to love, and to do good unto others, regardless as to who or what they may be (Galatians 6:10), she must not allow herself to remain for any length of time in an atmosphere that might cause the flow of her loving kindness toward any to be stopped, or even retarded. To this end, all professing to be saints of God should guard themselves against “bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking” so as to remain “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (Ephesians 4:31,32). The prayer that should ever remain on the lips of the espoused virgin should be:

“I want a principle within
Of jealous godly fear;
A sensitivity of sin,
A pain to feel it near.
“Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make:
Awake my soul, when sin is nigh,
And keep my soul awake.”

Roes are timid creatures, sensitive to any disturbance and ready to flee from it on swift foot. The Lord wishes us to cultivate and exhibit affections that are delicately sensitive, that are quickly alarmed by the approach of anything that is of the world or the flesh or the devil. This holy sensitiveness can only be preserved as it is nourished upon appropriate food. The garbage of the world is fatal to it. The fawns “feed among the lilies.” This is where He feeds His flock (Song of Solomon 2:16, 6:3). If the spouse is herself a “lily among the thorns,” her affections must feed in conditions that correspond with her true character. How refined the purity of such a feeding‑place! A place where one is surrounded by a beauty and glory that has been directly conferred by God. Where all is in contrast to the thorns around, and is marked by harmlessness, simplicity, and irreproachableness. (See Philippians 2:12‑15.) In such conditions spiritual affections can be suitably nourished. They are conditions which do not pertain to the world nor to nature; they belong to a sphere where all is the product of grace [God’s loving kindness; unmerited/undeserved favor] (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon, page 41).

“Still blushing profusely under the barrage of the sweet things He has been saying to her, she fain would change the subject. She, therefore, interrupts Him, to tell Him that it will not be too long to wait ere she shall be His forever — to have and to hold! “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense” (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon, page 41).

“It is still night, and the time of His rejection, but we are not children of the night. As children of the day we ardently long for it to come, but there can be no day until He appears who alone can usher it in. Then we shall have done with the night and shadows. Until then, the bride will seek those things which are above, and set her affections on things above, not on things on earth. She wants to be above this world (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon, page 41).

Meaning of “Rose of Sharon”

From an Old Testament place name, “Sharon” in Hebrew means “plain,” referring to the fertile plain near the coast of Israel.

Here are two maps of the Plain of Sharon in Israel. The area is fertile and is near the Golan Heights, which belongs to Israel since 1967. (Some think it contains high oil reserves —more oil here, than in all of Saudi Arabia. If so, perhaps this will be a factor inducing Gog’s attack on Israel in the future.)

Flowers growing in such a low‑lying terrain aptly reflect the “beauty” and the “fragrance” of Him, who, though once in the form of God, emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, made in the likeness of man. “Being found in fashion as a man, [he] humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the [humiliating] death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6‑8).

“Our Lord Jesus, ‘the beginning of the creation of God,’ was willing in harmony with the Father’s plan to humble himself, to take a lower nature and to do a work which would imply not only a great deal of humiliation, but also a great deal of pain and suffering. The Apostle points out how the ‘Only Begotten’ proved his willingness and humility by complying with this arrangement; and that after he became a man he continued of the same humble spirit, willing to carry out the divine plan to the very letter, by dying as man’s ransom‑price; and not only so — when it pleased the Father to require that the death should be a most ignominious one in every respect, perhaps beyond the requirements of the ransom merely, he did not draw back, but said: ‘Thy will not mine be done,’ and stooped even to the ignominious ‘death of the cross’ ” (R2228:2).

What kind of flower was the “rose of Sharon” and the “lily of the valleys”?

The “rose of Sharon” is a name that has been applied to several different species of flowering plants that are valued in different parts of the world. The identity of the plant referred to in the Bible is unclear and is disputed among biblical scholars. Wikipedia says that it does not refer to actual roses, although one of the species it refers to in modern usage is a member of Rosaceae.

The Hebrew phrase was translated by the KJV editors as “rose of Sharon.” However, the Septuagint and the Vulgate render it simply as “the flower of the field.”The Hebrew word occurs three times in the scriptures (here in the Song of Solomon, Isaiah 65:10,Isaiah 35:1). The last one reads “the desert shall rejoice and bloom as the rose.” Here, the word rendered “rose” in the KJV is rendered “lily” (Septuagint, Vulgate and Wycliffe), “jonquil” (Jerusalem Bible), and “crocus” (RSV). Varying scholars have suggested that the biblical “rose of Sharon” may be one of the following plants:

(1) A crocus — “a kind of crocus growing as a lily among the brambles” (“Sharon,” Harper’s Bible Dictionary) or a crocus that grows in the coastal plain of Sharon (New Oxford Annotated Bible). Gesenius has no doubt that the plant denoted is the Colchicum autumnale (Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible).

Colchicum Autumnale.jpg

(2) A tulip — “a bright red tulip‑like flower… today prolific in the hills of Sharon” (“Rose”, Harper’s Bible Dictionary).

tulip.jpg

(3) Tulipa agenensis — the Sharon tulip, a species of tulip suggested by a few botanists.

Tulipa Agenensis - Sharon Tulip.jpg

(4) A lily, Lilium candidum, more commonly known as the Madonna lily, a species of lily suggested by some botanists, thought likely to refer to the “lily of the valleys” mentioned in the second part of Song of Solomon 2:1.

Lilium Candidum.jpg

(5) (Polyanthus) Narcissus — “Rose,” Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature.

Polyanthus Narcissus

Etymologists have tentatively linked the biblical חבצלת to the words בצל beṣel, meaning “bulb,” and חמץ ḥāmaṣ, which is understood as meaning either “pungent” or “splendid” (The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon).

From Smith’s Dictionary: “It appears to us more probable that the narcissus is intended than the crocus. The narcissus and the lily (Lilium candidum) would be in blossom together in the early spring, while the Colchicum is an autumn plant.”

(6) Marshmallows — “W.M. Thomson, in The Land and the Book suggests that what is really referred to by the rose of Sharon is the marsh‑mallow” (Br. Anton Frey, Notes on the Song of Solomon).

Rose of Sharon - Hibiscus

“The Lilies of the Field” (Luke 12:27, 28)

(7) Anthemis palestina — Better known as the common daisy, dots the fields of Palestine after the rains. Dr. Ha‑Reubeni (Professor of Biblical Botany, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem) points out (Nature Magazine, December 1934) that it is “beautiful at all hours of the day, even when old and drying. When it has dried up, it is gathered with the dried grass and cast into the furnace.” He adds “the daisy has a crown, which gives special aptitude to the comparison with Solomon, the crowned King.”

Anthemis Palestina.jpg

(8) AnemoneAccording to F. A. Shuttleworth (in “The Song of Songs A short series of devotional meditations – No. 1,” The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, April 1958) in the Eastern world, the lily of the valleys is that flower known in the West as the anemone with its rich petals of red and purple. Here is an image of these (below).

anemone flower.jpg

What do all these flowers have in common?

All these flowers have things in common: simplicity, in natural beauty that reflects God’s perfect love (1 John 4:18); sweet fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:14, 15), that reflects the sweetness of cheerful, willing, patiently enduring sacrifice to bring glory to God by accepting and doing the Heavenly Father’s will; joy, which is infectious, as it brings joy to all who look at their beauty of colour. Their head is either bowed low, reminding us of humble reverence in seeking to know and do the Heavenly Father’s will through Christian servitude in the School of Christ, or held high, reflecting saints who hold high our “head,” Christ Jesus. May God be praised, honored, and glorified in all that is done to please Him through Christ (Matthew 5:16).

References

Br. Charles Taze Russell, Reprints (R) of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. These Reprints can be read online at The Harvest Truth Data Base (Version 9) website here: www.htdb.one

Br. Anton Frey, “Notes on the Song of Solomon.” These study notes are from the “BIBLE STUDY LIBRARY” CD which can be purchased from The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Bookstore at the following link: https://herald-magazine.com/bookstore-2/

Br. Frank Shallieu, “Notes on the Song of Solomon.” These study notes are also from the “BIBLE STUDY LIBRARY” CD. (Same link as above.)

F. A. Shuttleworth, Scot., “The Song of Songs A short series of devotional meditations – No. 1,” The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, April 1958. Here is the direct link: http://www.heraldmag.org/archives/1958_4.htm#_Toc36391359

Suggested Further Reading

“The Song of Solomon” by Br. David Rice. The Beauties of the Truth Periodical http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/BOTMAY02.PDF

“I Am My Beloved’s, and My Beloved Is Mine.” The Dawn Magazine, Sept. 1989, in the Christian Life and Doctrine section.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1989/8909cl-4.htm

This post’s URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/12/15/song-of-solomon-21-2-16-45-the-rose-of-sharon-the-lily-of-the-valleys/

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Water From The Rock

Moses-Obtains-Water-from-a-Rock-1.png

There are two occasions in the Old Testament of Moses smiting a rock to provide water for the despairing Israelites in the wilderness. Let us examine the events, their differences, and the lessons to be learned.

Exodus 17:1-7

In this account Moses, in the name of God, smote a rock in Horeb with his rod to release water for the thirsty Israelites who had camped at Rephidim (see map below), about 1 1/2 months after the Exodus (compare Exodus 19:1). From this rock gushed water, abundantly refreshing Israel.

exodus-route-map-bible.png

Here is this account of Moses’ first smiting of the rock as recorded in Exodus 17:1-7 (KJV):

“(1) And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.

(2) Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

(3) And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

(4) And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

(5) And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.

(6) Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

(7) And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?”

Numbers 20:1-13, 24 

The second occasion of Moses smiting a rock for water occurred much later, near the end of the 40 years of wilderness wandering. This is recorded in the fourth book of Moses, the book of Numbers, chapter 20. Here Moses and Aaron “rebelled against my word” (verse 24). For on this occasion God told Moses to speak to the rock, but in anger, and failing to credit God for caring for the Israelites, Moses asked the crowd “must we fetch you water out of this rock?,” and smote it twice.

Here is the account (Numbers 20:1‑13, 24 KJV):

“(1) Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.

(2) And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.

(3) And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!

(4) And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?

(5) And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

(6) And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.

(7) And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

(8) Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

(9) And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.

(10) And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

(11) And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

(12) And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

(13) This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

(24) Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.”

Moses Not Permitted to go Into the Promised Land

One of the reasons why Moses was not permitted to lead Israel into the land of promise concerns this second occasion. Smiting the rock on the first occasion (Exodus. 17:1‑7) was by God’s direction, and the waters gushed forth. But the second time (Numbers 20:2‑12) the Lord said to Moses, “Speak unto the rock,” but instead he hit the rock with his rod twice.

Moses’ sin in the Numbers account was self‑assertion and lack of faith (R4047:6, R5315:5).

In Numbers 27:14, God clearly states to Moses that He punished Aaron and him for their disobedience. “For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin” (Numbers 27:14). By not saying that God would provide them water,  saying rather that they would give the whole community water, Moses and Aaron had disobeyed God.

Here, we are reminded of Ephesians 4:26, “If angry, beware of sinning” (Weymouth). Moses and Aaron, in anger with the Israelite complaints, took the matter in their own hands. Moses disregarded God’s direction, and failed to direct the people to God’s loving care for them. Evidently Moses remembered his striking the rock years earlier, and vented his anger here without regard for G6 mtqod’s instruction to “speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, and it shall give forth his water.”

As Moses and Aaron were punished for their wrong actions, so too, God’s people may have to live with the consequences of their poor decisions or impulsive actions. However, God still provides access to the the waters of spiritual life. God knows that no one could stand before God if every mistake were recorded and not forgiven.

“(3) If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? (4) But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. (5) I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; (6) my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. (7) O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:3‑7, ESV).

Some time later, God led Moses up to Mount Pisgah’s top (Numbers 27:12), with an extended panoramic view of the Promised Land of Canaan. Moses saw this with his natural eyes, but Moses saw much more through the eye of faith, seeing the promises which God had made to the tribes of Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. “We hear not a murmur respecting the transfer of leadership and the cessation of his own labors. If God had used Moses in his service to the extent that he was pleased to do, the servant was thankful and satisfied” (R3077).

“The most unjust thing we can do is judge Moses or any other man by his deeds and not by his fruits” (R4055:5).

Antitypical Meaning of “Smiting” the Rock

Christ Jesus, the true Rock, was to be smitten but once for our sins, and as a result of that one smiting at Calvary [i.e. Christ’s death, which made possible the access to God’s grace in Christ to those God has called out of the world] the water of life would be obtained for all true Israelites to all time; and if for a season the flow was stopped it was only necessary that the Rock should be invoked in the name of the Lord, that the waters might again flow forth. Christ dieth no more; death has no dominion over him; therefore in the type the Rock should not have been smitten a second time. But the second smiting, nevertheless, made a new type, because as the Apostle explains, there are some now who crucify Christ afresh, and put him to an open shame‑some of his professed followers denying or ignoring the value of the original sacrifice, denying the blood that bought them, are counted as committing the sin unto death — Second Death — and of these Moses became a type, and as a type of a class which would have to do with the antitype of the rock, he was debarred from Canaan — Hebrews 6:4‑6” (R3077).

Any denial of the Redeemer on the part of the consecrated would signify a crucifying afresh, a smiting of the rock a second time” (R5315:4).

“We might remark here, too, that those who smote the Lord the first time, at Calvary, have the promise of full forgiveness. They shall look upon him whom they pierced, and shall mourn for him, and the Lord will pour out upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication, and they shall have full opportunity of recompense and reconciliation (Zechariah 12:10). It is those who, with greater knowledge, and after they have become partakers of the holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the age to come, sin wilfully and count the blood of the covenant a common thing [unholy thing, Hebrews 10:29] — these are they who commit the real sin unto death, and for whom the Scriptures suggest no hope, or further opportunity, because they have sinned wilfully” (R3077).

What if Moses Had Not Smitten the Rock in the Numbers Account?

If Moses had not smitten the rock in the Numbers 20 account, would he have been permitted to enter the promised land? Br. Charles Taze Russell answers this question in R3077.

“… Moses would not have gone into the land of Canaan [even if he had obeyed God by “speaking to the rock”] because … he was the type of the Law Covenant, which must end before the people can enter into their rest. As Moses was the representative of the Law Covenant, so Joshua became the representative or type of the New Covenant and of its mediator, Jesus, the Deliverer. ‘The Law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ The Law was a pedagogue or guide to prepare and bring the Israelites along to the borders of Canaan, but the Law could never give them rest, could never take them into the land of promise. Christ, the antitype of Joshua, must do that. We are to remember, too, that Moses’ error in smiting the rock, did not involve him in the Second Death, nor will it work any injury to him as respects the future. It was comparatively a trivial matter, and taught him a valuable lesson which he evidently learned to the Lord’s pleasement, and his failure to go into the land of promise, therefore, should not indicate a continuance of divine indignation against him, but merely a continuance of the divine purpose in making of him a type of a class who would have to do with the antitypical rock, the antitypical water, and the antitypical smiting.”

Differences and Similarities Between the two Rock Smiting Accounts

Here are some differences and similarities noted between the Exodus and Numbers account concerning the smiting of the rock by Moses.

(1) Time — The first account occurred in the opening year of the Exodus while the other occurred near the opening of the 40th year after the Exodus. The Exodus account was in the second month of the first year, while the Numbers account was in the 1st month of the (last) 40th year of travelling.

(2) Location — Exodus account: in the Wilderness of Sin at Rephidim (Exodus 17:1); Numbers account: in the desert of Zin at Kadesh, in the first month of year 40 of their travels.

(3) Moses’ attitude — On the first occasion, Moses followed God’s instructions to the fullest and his attitude was noble and honorable, while in the closing account his attitude was angry and personal, rather than deferential: “Must we fetch you water?” were his words, rather than giving glory to God by saying something like “God will give you water,” and meekly directing the attention to Jehovah.

(4) Level of Obedience — In the opening account Moses hit the rock once as God told him to do, while in the closing account he was to speak to the rock but he disobeyed and instead hit the rock twice.

(5) The Rods — the rod in the Exodus account was Moses’ rod, while the rod in the Numbers account may have been the rod of Aaron. (Numbers 20:9, “Moses took the rod from before Jehovah” — perhaps the rod of Aaron that had been “before the testimony,” Numbers 17:10).

(6) Who was present — In the Exodus account Moses struck the rod in the sight of the Elders, while in the Numbers account, the whole assembly of the Israelites was present.

(7) All the Israelites still murmured and quarrelled during the 40 year wandering in the wilderness. Thus the only ones to enter the Promised Land of Canaan were Joshua, Caleb, and all the children of the Israelites who were less than 20 years of age (Numbers 14:20‑30).

(8) The Rock — in both cases the rock represents Christ, the Rock of Ages. “And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).

(9) In both cases, the waters quenched the thirst of the Israelites.

(10) Two examples of the spiritual Rock are given during the life of Moses to show that there are two time periods in history during which the spiritual waters of life do flow — first for the Church class during this Gospel Age (from Pentecost in 33 AD) and next, in the kingdom age, for the world of mankind. In the Exodus account it was thus necessary for Christ to be smitten once: Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 3:18, John 7:32, 37. Before anyone can come unto Christ, he must thirst for the Truth. He must first have and show an appreciation of all that the Heavenly Father has to give. The waters beautifully picture the waters of eternal life that the Heavenly Father offers to those who have faith in Him, and the blessings that will flow through Him. The flowing waters satisfy the hearts of the Church class during the Gospel Age. These are pictured in the Elders in the Exodus account who were present with Moses. This water becomes a well spring of Truth in each one of us, with an opportunity to nourish others along the way.

(11) The Church’s sojourn began at the beginning of the Gospel Age, just as the Exodus account comes at the beginning of Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness. In Revelation 22:1 we read, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Mankind will only receive that life‑giving water after the Kingdom is ushered in, just like in the Numbers account it comes at the end of the wilderness wanderings when the Gospel Age is complete. Then the resurrected world of mankind will receive the benefits of the Kingdom when they are ready to enter into the Promised Land, but on the earthly plane of existence.

(12) Christ will not then be smitten a second time. As pictured in the Numbers account, God will speak to Jesus at the appropriate time and the waters will not simply come forth, but they will come forth abundantly, as we are told in Numbers 20:11. Then the waters of life will be given to refresh all the people.

(13) The spiritual walk that we have entered into began with Christ. After crossing the Red Sea, the waters of Marah were bitter, representing the prevalence of sin throughout the world. Christ came to Jordan and offered his life and the first glimpse of the sweetened waters were given there. Next, at Elim, there were 70 palm trees and 12 wells. This relates to when our Lord sent out 70 into Galilee to preach the Gospel and he sent out 12 Apostles as the “wells” of spiritual Truth. Our Lord said he was “the true bread from heaven.” Yet the Israelites did not want that, but the quail. At Sinai, the tables of the Law were written into their hearts. Some have gone through difficult experiences like Miriam who was struck with Leprosy for 7 days, and some come back with a bad report and think it’s too much of a cost to bear, being consecrated to God. But those who endure with faith receive God’s blessings. In Numbers 21:6 the fiery serpents represent the affliction of sin, which the world can be relieved of by looking to Christ for their healing (Numbers 21:8).

Lessons

(1) Dependency on God

Not just to seek and ask God for answers and direction in our situations of daily life, but above all, in doing so, to  give God the glory in all that we say and do, and in any way the Heavenly Father permits, allow for the “hearers” as well as ourselves to recognize God’s influence in each matter. That is, see the presence of Christ through the actions, words and doings of the person(s) each does associate with in the experiences of this present life.

Example

Here is an example of a lesson to learn from Moses’ smiting the rock twice, in today’s world. If we give someone either financial or material gifts, then we should not think it is because of our power or our ability, but rather see that it is because of our Almighty Heavenly Father’s help — His love, justice, power, and wisdom working in harmony through His children called by Him, to do works that reflect Christ-likeness. We should do works in a way so as to fulfil God’s will and God’s purpose through us whom He has called to be partakers of the Heavenly calling now during the Gospel Age, from Pentecost forward.

St. Paul, by inspiration, points out to us that that rock represented Christ, that the smiting of the rock represented putting Christ to a shameful death, and that only by this means is the Water of Life provided for the people of God. As the waters of that rock followed the Israelites, so the stream of God’s favor, through the sacrifice of Christ, refreshes Christ’s disciples throughout their wilderness journey.

Refreshed in body and in faith, Israel journeyed onward, but encountered new obstacles. The Amalekites, a warlike people, considered the coming of Israel as an invasion of their country, and attacked them in battle. A people used to peaceful pursuits, as the Israelites had for centuries been, would naturally be at a disadvantage in a conflict with such opponents. Yet God gave them the victory. He indicated, however, that it was not by their prowess or skill, but of His grace that they conquered.

Moses, stationed upon a high hill, lifted up his hands in prayer to God for the people. While he did so, success was theirs; but when he ceased thus to pray, the Amalekites were the victors. Perceiving this, Aaron and Hur assisted in holding up the hands of Moses until the battle terminated with success for Israel. God thus indicated that Moses was the advocate or representative of Israel, and that without him they could do nothing.

(2) Regular Prayer = Close Communion with God

By having close communion with God through unceasing prayers, God’s people can seek the Heavenly Father’s direction and counsel in all of life’s affairs. Such complete dependency on God may by God’s grace and mercy result in a mind that desires and does only the will of God, which in turn, can result in glory, honour, and praise to our Heavenly Father through Christ.

Spiritual Israelites have conflicts with enemies too mighty for them without the Lord’s assistance. The world, the flesh, and the Devil make common cause against all who are seeking the Heavenly Canaan. We who are followers of Jesus have success in our warfare only as we have Him as our Advocate. “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” Through Him we may come off conquerors, yea, more than merely conquerors, victors in the highest sense — “through Him who loved us and bought us with His precious blood.”

(3) Avoiding pride.

C. S. Lewis said: “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

Pride in any form and in anybody is a dangerous thing. In a worldly way the proverb is well attested, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Moses was the “meekest man in all the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Perhaps this is one reason that this experience of Moses is recorded for our benefit — to alert us, that no matter our development of humility and meekness, we need to be careful lest a moment of self-assurance, or spiritual pride, does not cause us to forget our proper reliance upon, and respect for, our Heavenly Father.

“For the comfort of those who may feel that they have done much worse than Moses, or been much more self‑assertive, been much less careful to honor the Lord, have manifested much more spiritual pride‑for their comfort let us notice that the punishment here was severe because it was part of a type” (R5957).

“Neither are we to think that brethren who have manifested spiritual pride and done things in their own name, rather than in the name of the Lord and the name of the Class, have thereby committed the sin unto death. We are, however, to realize that a terrible danger goes with spiritual pride. … Realizing this, how anxious, how zealous we should be, not only in the eradication of every symptom of it we might find in ourselves, but also in being careful lest we should take the contagion or in any manner come under its influence or have any of its symptoms!” (R5957)

“When one attends a testimony meeting, or a Berean class, and hears no real good testimony but his own, hears no proper answer except his own to any of the questions, never sees an Elder in the chair who knows how to lead a meeting anyway — these should be considered dangerous symptoms of spiritual pride” (R5956).

The proper attitude, as all will agree, is that the Lord’s people should feel greatly humbled instead of greatly exalted and heady in respect to these opportunities for telling the Truth to others” (R5956).

“We should feel our unworthiness. We should realize that the Plan is not ours; that we have merely heard of it ourselves; that it is really God’s Plan; that we are honored as His servants to tell it out” (R5956).

“But if we allow any impression to go out that it is by any wisdom on our part, or any skill, that the beauty is seen in the Message, then to that extent we are taking glory to ourselves which belongs to the Lord, and doing injury to ourselves proportionately by failing to demonstrate our worthiness to be used by the Lord in the present and in the future. The wonderful privilege of speaking as ambassadors for the Lord, to tell of His greatness and Plan should humble us with the thought that He has privileged us, whereas He has angels, who excel in strength and whom He might have used in communicating this most wonderful Message” (R5956).

We should not feel offended if we are not elected as a deacon or Elder or assistant in the Lord’s service. Br. Russell writes that “in all meekness and humility they should feel a timidity even about taking a position where there would be such a responsibility. The admonition on this is that although all of the Church should, according to their knowledge of the Truth, be qualified to be teachers, nevertheless the safer place is not to be a teacher, knowing that such shall have the severer trial. Only a sense of responsibility to the Lord and to the brethren should make one willing to serve in such capacity, much as all ought to love to be the Lord’s representatives in the Church” (R5956).

The Need For Self‑Examination

“Let us not forget that while we are to exercise great leniency in viewing the words and deeds of others, ascribing only good intentions where they are professed, we are to scrutinize with all of our might our own hearts, our own intentions. We are to inquire why we did this thing or left undone the other thing; why we did this thing this way; why we spoke in such a tone, etc. Such a careful examination, weighing of thoughts, words and deeds, would be very unsatisfactory to a person who was not wishing to be in accord with the Lord. But those who have made a covenant with the Lord and are faithful to that covenant will find such a course to be a great blessing, comforting their hearts at the time, strengthening them for the future, and in connection with the Lord’s providences it will be fitting and preparing them for places in the Heavenly Kingdom” (R5958).

By relying on and asking the Heavenly Father through Christ to show us His way and do it, we can help keep the spiritual armour of Christ on 24/7 to protect us against sinning in a sudden moment that can creep up unexpectedly. Let us remember Moses’ situation and ask God to protect us from it happening to us, and trust that God is able to do more than we even ask for or imagine if He chooses to (Ephesians 3:20).

“To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21, ESV).

References:

Br. Charles Russell — Reprints of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence: R2299, R3077, R4047, R4055, R5285, R5315, R5955.

Bibletruth411 ‑ YouTube: “The Waters of Massah and Meribah.”

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All Hail – Hymns of Dawn No. 10

All Hail – Hymns of Dawn No. 10

Bible Scriptures Associated With This Hymn

“(5) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (6) who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, (7) but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (9) Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, (10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11, ESV).

Lyrics

1.
All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him Lord of all.

2.
Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
Ye ransomed from the fall.
Hail him who saves you by his grace,
And crown him Lord of all.
Hail him who saves you by his grace,
And crown him Lord of all.

3.
Ye saints, whose love can ne’er forget
The wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at his feet,
And crown him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at his feet,
And crown him Lord of all.

4.
Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
To him all majesty ascribe,
And crown him Lord of all.
To him all majesty ascribe,
And crown him Lord of all.

 

EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW

This article is from the Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, R1057-1058. 

“He must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” …”And he shall rule them with a rod of iron.”…”God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”1 Cor. 15:25Rev. 2:27Phil. 2:9,11.

Christ’s Millennial work will not consist simply in drawing men’s hearts by love, through a knowledge of the truth; it will be more than that: it will be a ruling with an iron rod—with unbending justice, as well, over any disposed to be rebellious against the rules of righteousness then in force. Such will be forced to comply with law and order. The perverse and obstinate will be roughly handled if they attempt resistance. Nothing will be permitted to hinder the divine plan for growth in grace, knowledge and love, and advancement toward perfection under earth’s new government. But this forced submission, in which every knee will be forced to bow, and every tongue be forced to confess, will be very different from the drawing of men’s hearts which will be progressing at the same time. Hearts are not forced—they cannot be: God has made them free, in his own image. While the whole world will be compelled to render outward obedience to the laws of Christ’s Kingdom, those only will be approved of God who do so willingly and from the heart. And only such as submit to the drawing influence of the truth, and render willing obedience from the heart,—who hate sin and love truth and righteousness, will be admitted to the everlasting life beyond the Millennium. It is this class which in the close of the Millennial reign will be addressed in the words of our Lord as foretold: “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom [of earth] prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”—Matt. 25:34.

That there will be some who after being forced to bow in submission will remain enemies at heart and require finally to be destroyed, is evident from the words, “He must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet.” That the significance of this expression is not conversion, but destruction, see Rom. 16:20. The same lesson, that all who will not conform willingly, to the law of love to God and man, during that age of fullest knowledge and ability, and help, will be counted enemies against God, and against the law of his empire, and no longer coerced, but destroyed, is taught in the symbolism of Rev. 20:10 heretofore explained (March ’88 TOWER) and also in the sentence of the “goats” (“enemies”) in Matt. 25:41,46;—expounded in our June issue.

Thus we see clearly the meaning of those passages of Scripture which teach that force will be employed during the Millennium. And we can see that the force will not in the slightest sense interfere with man’s God-like quality of free will, with which God endowed him, and which he has always recognized in dealing with him.

How many will then choose life, by choosing and loving righteousness and obedience to God, we cannot judge from the conduct of the majority now, who love sin rather than righteousness. We should remember that they do not now know God, not yet having seen the height and depth, and length and breadth of his loving plan for human salvation, as we do,—as it will be finally wrought out through Christ. They are blinded by the misrepresentations of Satan, and prejudiced by their perverted judgments and tastes which often make good to appear undesirable and evil to appear desirable.

When in the Millennial age, the whole truth regarding the pleasures of sin and its consequences, and concerning the joys of righteousness and its results, are fully understood by all, and when all are granted a choice, each will decide for himself which is his choice; and though the Judge can read their hearts and know their choice and could decide thus, their future fitness or unfitness to pass beyond the Millennium, through the portals into the everlasting and perfect state, yet he will make a test so searching and thorough as to prove and make manifest the hearts of all to all, as shown in Rev. 20:7-10.

At first thought we might be inclined to judge all others by our own feelings and preferences. If we have accepted Christ and his rules of righteousness with joy, we are apt to feel as some one has expressed it, that,—

“If all the world our Saviour knew,
Then all the world would love him too.”

But we must remember that the saints are not samples representative of the whole race, but of those only who do love and obey, and rejoice in righteousness. Our feelings represent those of the “sheep” of the next age, and not at all those of the “goats.” Love of sin, while largely attributable to ignorance and weakness, as we have shown, is not always the result of these conditions. One notable illustration of love of sin, even while possessing full knowledge and power, is seen in Satan. With full knowledge he has not only sinned himself, but has spread sin among others; even lying and deceiving so as to get some into sin who do not prefer it; and with the full power of his unimpaired organism, after thousands of years of experience, he still prefers and clings to sin; and when granted liberty at the close of the Millennium, he will, as God has shown in Scripture, be of the same mind—preferring sin to righteousness; until finally, having served God’s purpose even while fighting against God and righteousness, he shall be cut off, annihilated, with all who similarly love error and sin more than truth and righteousness.

To us who love righteousness, it seems reasonable to suppose that a large majority, when granted full knowledge and ability for choice, would choose and love righteousness; but we know of nothing in Scripture which would serve to show the proportionate numbers of the righteousness-lovers and the sin-lovers, except one item in the parable of Matthew 25:33;—the likening of the two classes to sheep and goats. The fact that the sheep are more numerous than goats, and that these were used by our Lord to represent the two classes among men in the next age, seems to teach, in agreement with our judgment, that the obedient will out-number the disobedient in the close of the Millennium.

Even if the number then accepted by the Judge, as worthy of everlasting life, should be less than one half of all the children of Adam, it could be no reflection against the wisdom, or love, or power, or justice of that one whom God has appointed the Judge of all,—to any who have the proper Scriptural view of the case.

The supposition of some, that human salvation is a matter of contest between God and the devil, as to which shall get the majority on his side, much like the contests between ward-politicians seeking for votes, is a miserable misconception, born of old-time errors; and its fallacy we trust is clearly discerned by our readers. So far as God is concerned, there is no contest,—there has been none, and will be none. So far as Satan is concerned he may, and no doubt does, consider it a contest; an opposition and defiance of God; but like that of Pharaoh, the result will prove that his temporary success was permitted only because the divine plans could thereby be forwarded.

In creating our race, God was seeking such creatures, and only such, as would love his law of righteousness, and delight to serve and obey so great and grand and infallible a law-giver. In order that their service and love should be voluntary, they must be created free to obey or disobey; as free to love sin as to love righteousness; and they were so made in his own likeness; and their love of, and obedience to, righteousness must in the end be the results of preference for the tendencies and fruits of right doing, as we may presume it is with God. The condemnation of all mankind to death, by the failure of the first man Adam, left room for mercy, and they were redeemed without cost to them—at the cost of another, who willingly paid their debt and became Judge of all in the new trial, which his sacrifice (in accordance with God’s plan), provided for all.

The trial of the world, during the Millennium will not be a trial of strength, or a struggle for mastery, between God and the devil; on the contrary, the devil will be bound, so that there could be no such competition. God does not compete with any one; if it were a competition of power, who could withstand Jehovah’s power? The binding of Satan shows that in such a matter competition would be out of the question.

But it is not God that is to be on trial during the Millennium—to test his power, whether he could coerce man’s will. Jehovah did not appoint our Lord Jesus as Judge to try Him (Acts 17:31). Quite the contrary: God’s course, in condemning man as unworthy of life, is already justified (Rom. 3:19); it is man that will be on trial—the race, every member of which has been condemned once, as sinners worthy of death. It is a new trial granted to these through their Redeemer—to test how many of them, when granted full opportunity (with the advantage of full knowledge and experience), would prove their love of God’s law by their willing obedience; in order that such, and such only, be they few or many, might enjoy forever the blessings which God provided for such only;—for such as love him and rejoice in his laws.

Full of pain and sorrow, though it often is, the few years of dying which we sometimes call the present life, is really a boon, a favor from our Creator; even if he had made no provision for us in the future. This is evident from the effort with which every animal creature, as well as man, clings to the brittle thread of vitality. And the fact that in great mercy God has provided an everlasting future for a class of humanity who when “drawn” shall willingly come into full harmony with him and his righteous laws, is certainly not a proper ground-work for reasoning that it would be a slur against God’s wisdom and power, that all will not receive his gift of everlasting life upon his reasonable and gracious terms.

Nor should the fact that God has provided, through an all-sufficient ransom price, for a full and impartial offer to all of this gift, upon his terms, be construed as in any sense obligating him for the failure of those unwilling to accept his gift upon his terms. God’s wisdom and foreknowledge enabled him to foresee that all will not accept everlasting life on his terms; and this fact he has pointed out to us in the Bible.

The wisdom of God assures us, not only of the final destruction of all willful sin-lovers, but also that his original plan of peopling the earth, with human beings in harmony with himself, will be accomplished,—however many or few may be the “vessels of wrath fitted for destruction,” who shall be “castaways” in the selection of the worthy and desired “vessels unto honor.”

Hymn Book Purchase

The Hymns Of Dawn (hymn book) can be purchased at:
The Chicago Bible Students Online Bookstore: https://chicagobible.org/product-category/books/page/4/
The Dawn Bible Students Association: http://www.dawnbible.com/dawnpub.htm

Acknowledgment & References
Br. Charles Taze Russell

The article above can be found here: Harvest Truth Data Base, http://www.htdbv8.com.

pastor-russell-in-his-study.jpg

Br. Charles Russell—the founder of the Bible Students movement, who is the compiler of “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” which was published in Allegheny, Pa., in 1890. This Bible Students’ devotional originally contained a total of 151 poems and 333 hymns.

POEMS-AND-HYMNS-OF-MILLENNIAL-DAWN

Later on, the hymns from this book formed a basis for the hymnal titled ““Hymns of Dawn” which was published by the Dawn Bible Students Association in East Rutherford, New Jersey (USA) and the 1999 edition contains a total of 361 hymns.

Hymns of Dawn.jpg

Suggested Further Reading:

Who Is the World’s RANSOM?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/03/29/who-is-the-worlds-ransom-and-why/

“The Ransom” video power point presentation discourse by Br. David Rice
http://bibleresources.info/ransom‑david‑rice/

Free Booklet titled: “I Will Come Again – John 14:3”
https://chicagobible.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/I-WILL-COME-AGAIN.pdf

The Doctrine of Christ—Booklet.
http://www.biblestudents.com/docs/DoctrineChrist.pdf

How Does “the Son of Man” Title, Speak Volumes About Jesus?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/06/10/how-does-the-son-of-man-title-speak-volumes-about-jesus/

Acts 23:6—HOPE & RESURRECTION. PART A: What Is Jesus All About?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

Acts 23:6—HOPE & RESURRECTION. PART B: Will Mankind Resurrection With The Same Mind?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/05/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-b-will-mankind-resurrect-with-the-same-mind/

Acts 23:6—HOPE & RESURRECTION. PART C: The Order Of The Resurrection Process.
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

God’s Name—What Is The Heavenly Father’s Name That We Are To Hallow And Why?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/06/27/gods-name-what-is-the-heavenly-fathers-name-that-we-are-to-hallow-and-why/

Immortality and the Human Soul. The Dawn Magazine. 1959
http://www.dawnbible.com/1959/5904tbs1.htm

Links and Bible Resources
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/links/

Beliefs
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/beliefs/

 

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https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/12/09/all-hail-hymns-of-dawn-no-10/

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The Mighty To Save – Hymns of Dawn No. 9

The Mighty To Save – Hymns of Dawn No. 9

Bible Scriptures Associated With This Hymn

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“(18) … you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, (19) but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).

 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:10).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8, KJV).

Lyrics

1.
All glory to Jesus be giv’n,
That life and salvation are free,
And all may be wash’d and forgiv’n;
Yes, Jesus has sav’d even me.

Chorus
Christ Jesus is mighty to save,
And all his salvation may know
On his merit I lean, and his blood makes me clean,
Yes, his blood has wash’d whiter than snow.

2.
From the darkness of sin and despair,
Out into the light of his love,
He has bro’t me and made me an heir
To kingdoms and mansions above.

3.
O! the rapturous heights of his love,
The measureless depths of his grace.
My soul all his fulness would prove,
And live in his loving embrace.

4.
In him all my wants are supplied,
His love starts my heaven below,
And freely his blood is applied,
His blood that makes whiter than snow.

THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST

(An article from “Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence,” R1229 – R1231.)

All of God’s dear children trust in the precious blood of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. They know, … that the blood of Christ is the principal topic of God’s revelation, and the foundation of his great plan of salvation. They know that the expression, “blood of Christ,” somehow stands for sacrifice of Christ, though they are sadly confused by false ideas on the so-called “trinity,” and consequently upon what our Lord Jesus gave as the sacrifice for sins.

In this “evil day” the great Adversary of God and his truth is taking advantage of this confusion, this lack of clearness of understanding, to overthrow faith in the ransom, the foundation doctrine of Christianity. The process is, to scoff at the idea of blood cleansing from sin, and to insinuate that most Christians believe in having literal blood sprinkled on their hearts, or that they are cleansed from sin by plunging into a literal fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins. Thus the idea of blood-cleansing is scouted as being on a par with the doctrine of everlasting torment, and belonging to the savage minds of the “dark ages.”

As a matter of fact, no sane Christian people have ever held this literal and absurd view of the meaning of the blood of Christ. It has always been recognized as synonymous with sacrifice. Any fair-minded person can readily see this to be true as well of the use of the word blood by the Apostles, as in the hymns of all denominations of Christian people. Take that grand old hymn—

“There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.”

What could more clearly express the very essence of the Bible doctrine; and how absurd for any to try to make out that those who thus express their sentiments believe in a river of literal blood. The hymn expresses well and beautifully the very thought of the Prophet (Zech. 13:1), “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David for sin and for uncleanness.”

There is surely an object in this misrepresentation of the general views of Christian people. Is it to confuse the mind, excite disgust at the thought of blood, and swimming in rivers of blood, etc., and then under the warmth of the denial: “Such is not my belief even if my fathers did believe it,” to point out to the confused one a theory which it is desired to impress? It looks very much that way. The theory then advanced is, that when Christ’s blood is mentioned, the word blood stands for carnal nature, and the understanding should be—Christ slew HIS carnal nature, as an example of how all his followers and the world in general should slay their carnal natures.

Ah! no wonder that, with such a theory to advance, the great Adversary first tried to excite disgust for any and every thing connected with “the blood.” He well knew that, unless disgust for “the blood” should be aroused and form a barrier of mental prejudice, some of God’s children would be sure to examine the forty-three places where the Scriptures mention the blood of Christ, and the many more where they mention the blood of animals which typified his blood. And if they would but investigate, they would find that which would prove fatal to the theory he wished to establish as new light.

The few who look to God’s word for instruction find that in these forty-three times that the blood of Christ is mentioned, neither our Lord nor the apostles once hint that the blood of Jesus represented the slaying of his carnal nature, nor that he had in or about him anything evil that required to be destroyed. They find, on the contrary, that there was no cause of death found in him except in the sight of the hypocritical Pharisees. And they find that, to the contrary of the theory we are criticizing, these forty-three inspired testimonies on the subject declare unitedly, not that our Lord shed his blood for himself and as an example to all men to shed their blood for themselves and thus reach perfection, but that, whatever blood symbolizes, it is his blood that cleanseth us from all sin.

Yes, his blood became the basis for the forgiveness of our sins, made peace for us, opened up the way to reconciliation, and transferred us from the domain of sentenced culprits, back to sonship in the family of God. So says the great Apostle Paul—Col. 1:20Heb. 9:1210:1913:12Rom. 3:255:9Eph. 1:72:13Col. 1:14 and Acts 20:28-31. So declares the great Apostle Peter—1 Pet. 1:2,19. So testifies the beloved Apostle John—1 John 1:7Rev. 1:55:97:14.

Truly the Word of God is sufficient that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished against all the wiles, glosses and sophistries of Satan. Even those who do not see clearly what the blood does signify or symbolize, can, without aid, quickly see that it means nothing at all like what this erroneous view would set forth. The idea of the blood of Christ signifying the slaying by him of his carnal nature is as far from the testimony of the above passages of God’s Word as the East is from the West.

But what is the true significance of the blood of Christ when used in reference to our cleansing from sin, as in the above citations? If it does not mean literal blood, what does it mean?

We answer by giving God’s definition of what blood represents or symbolizes. The blood is the life. (Gen. 9:4-6.) “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have appointed it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls [lives, beings]: for it is the blood [sacrificed life] that maketh atonement for the soul [or being].”—Lev. 17:11,14.

By accepting God’s definition of what blood signified, in all the sacrifices, as well as in the case of the “one sacrifice for all” which our Lord Jesus presented, all confusion disappears.

As blood represents the life, the shedding of blood represents the loss of life—death

So then, the expressions—the Lamb slain, the cleansing blood of the Lamb, the precious blood of Christ, no more refer to literal blood than to a literal lamb, but to the death of Christ. True, our Lord’s side was actually pierced and blood flowed out, but the expression, “He hath redeemed us by his blood” (by his death), would have been equally true and proper, if not a drop of his literal blood had passed from his veins; for it merely signifies that he redeemed us by his death—by the sacrifice or loss of his life. Thus it is written, “He poured out his soul [being—life] unto death;” and again that he made “his soul [being—life] an offering for sin.”—Isa. 53:12,10.

So then, God’s people have always had the pith of the truth on this subject, when believing that the “blood of Christ” meant the sacrifice of Christ. That is the correct thought. Their difficulty is, that when they come in contact with errors their lack of a clear understanding of what sacrifice Christ did make for the sins of the world, combined with erroneous ideas of a trinity, make them liable to be led astray from the foundation doctrine of Christianity—”that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” Finding that they cannot clearly analyze their own views, they are very susceptible to the false view we criticize, which first ridicules the idea which no one holds, that it is the literal blood of Christ which washes away our sins, and then offers the proposition, that Christ’s blood, when referred to in Scriptures, represents his slaying of his own carnal nature and desires, as an example to men, how they must each slay his own carnal nature and desires. According to this unscriptural theory each man would be his own Savior. And not only so, but if each would be a great Savior in proportion to the work accomplished, then the Lord Jesus would be the least of all; because, even those who claim that he had a carnal nature to crucify or slay cannot dispute that many men have far more of evil and sin working in their members to overcome than our Lord had. And if each slays sin in himself, the more degraded the man the greater the salvation, and the greater he is as his own Savior.

But let each compare this view briefly with the view presented in the above cited statements of the apostles respecting the blood of Christ—the life which he laid down on our behalf.

The life of the world in general was gone—forfeited in father Adam’s failure when on trial—all not absolutely dead were dying. They were under the execution of the just sentence of God, “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.” God had decreed a sentence which would most fully manifest the law of the universe—that no sinner shall live—and one which at the same time furnished an opportunity for revealing to angels and to men his unswerving justice, his great love, and his boundless wisdom and power. When God decreed death as the penalty for sin, so that a ransom (a corresponding price—a just one to die for [or instead of] the unjust one—Rom. 5:17) would be necessary to the release of mankind from the sentence, he did so in full view of the course he would pursue. His wisdom foresaw the results of leaving Adam to his own free will—that in his inexperience he would not submit his will to the will of his creator and would therefore get into sin and under the sentence of death—extinction. And his wisdom also foresaw how his love could work out a plan for the salvation of his creatures. And he foresaw that the well beloved and only begotten Son would humbly consent to carry out the divine plan—to leave the glory and honor of the heavenly nature, and as the man Christ Jesus give himself a ransom for Adam and his race.—Phil. 2:7,81 Tim. 2:5,6.

Since the penalty was death, the ransom necessary to release the dead and dying world from the sentence under which all were, and to secure them restitution—resurrection—and an individual trial for everlasting life, was the death of this perfect man whom God thus provided. And this simple and easily comprehended plan was carried out. The man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all;—he died, the just for the unjust;—he died for our sins. The dying on the cross, the drops of bloody sweat in Gethsemane, the pierced hands and side and flowing blood were not necessary to our ransom. None of these things were the penalties of sin. God’s sentence against Adam—”dying thou shalt die”—did not specify what manner of death, nor what amount of suffering should be connected with it.

Death alone was the penalty, and had God’s will been such, for our Lord to have met death in any other form than crucifixion would have been equally our ransom price.

Many do not see that in our Lord two things were being accomplished at once. [1] Our ransom was being provided, and [2] our Lord’s extreme fidelity to the Heavenly Father was being tested and proved in the same sacrifice. As our ransom, death in any form would do; but as an unbounded proof of his humility and obedience to the Father’s plan, the shame of the cross was added.—Phil. 2:7,8.

The result of his death as it affects himself is that he is now highly exalted and made partaker of the divine nature, that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father.—Phil. 2:8,9John 5:23.

The result of his death as it affects mankind is that it places the world in his hands as the purchaser, to the intent that, without violating the law and sentence of God (which he satisfied with his own [life] blood), he may restore men to perfection and offer everlasting life to all who will come into harmony with God’s perfect law through him—under his direction and assistance.

THIS IS JUSTIFICATION

(An article from “Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence,”  R1231.)

Thus we are justified by his blood [by the life which he laid down for us]: our sins and imperfections are passed over, forgiven, covered by the merit of the ransom which he gave.

Not only sins past and present, but also all future sins—all that are directly or indirectly the results of Adam’s transgression—all that are not our own, that our wills do not approve of, are not reckoned any longer to those who are in Christ Jesus.

No wonder these have joy and peace as they realize that there is now no longer any condemnation against them.—Rom. 5:18:1.

Here begins the work of sacrifice and crucifixion with Christ to which many are invited, but to which few respond. It is a mistake, however, to consider this sacrificing as a slaughter of our sins or as having anything to do with the “slaying of the enmity” mentioned by the Apostle. On the contrary (under the Law, which was typical), no sacrifice could be offered unto the Lord that had any blemish or imperfection—blemishes representing sin. So it is that no one is ever invited to become a sacrificer with Christ until he has first been justified from all things—cleansed from all sins—by the precious blood [sacrificed life] of Christ. And if these who are cleansed from sins—justified from all things—are told that they may present their bodies [“holy and acceptable unto God” through Jesus Christ] as living sacrifices, it must be their justified selves and not their sins that they present, and that the Lord proposes to accept.

The “enmity” which the Apostle declares Christ abolished (Eph. 2:15) was not sin in himself, nor anything in himself; but in or by the sacrifice of his flesh, the man Christ Jesus abolished the enmity or opposition of the Jewish Law Covenant, under which fleshly Israel labored. When that Covenant which they could not keep was fulfilled by our Lord Jesus and passed away (Col. 2:14), all who had been under it were released from its requirements of absolute perfection which opposed and condemned them all, that they might receive through Christ forgiveness of sins—through faith in his blood.

The privilege of becoming joint-sacrifices with Christ is limited, as truly as is the privilege of becoming joint-heirs with him. “Now is the acceptable time.” Both the privilege and the reward of sacrifice will end with this ageNow is the time when God will accept the living sacrifices of all who (after being justified from all sin by the blood of Christ) come unto God through him.

Such are not invited to sacrifice for their own sins, then, for their sins must be canceled before any sacrifice would be acceptable. But they are invited to sacrifice time, talent, influence, self-ease, and lawful self-gratification, in the service of the truth—in the general cause of God against the great enemy, Sin, and for the recovery of sinners out of it through Christ Jesus.

The sufferings of Christ, to a share in which all believers cleansed by his blood were invited during the Gospel age, will soon end. They will be filled up or completed. (Col. 1:24.) Then the glory will follow—the glory of Christ Jesus and also of all the members of his body, the church, those who suffered for the truth (not for their sins), sacrificing their justified selves with him and in the cause of God. Then the reign of righteousness will begin and none will have occasion to lay down his life for the truth’s sake thereafter.

Many have believed in the precious blood and have had joy and peace in believing and then heard the call to the privilege of self-sacrifice with Christ; but few have responded, and hence few are chosen to be with him and behold and share his glory and his throne, and his new nature—the divine nature—far above both the human and the angelic natures, even in their grandest perfections. Let us, acceptable to God through the precious blood, make our calling and election sure.Let us lay aside every weight and hindrance and run with patience the race of self-denial to the end—looking unto Jesus, the author of our faith, to finish it by receiving us to the heavenly mansion.

Suggested Further Reading

Here are some free ONLINE reading articles in relation to the Heavenly Father—Jehovah, his Son—Christ Jesus—“a ransom FOR ALL… to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6), and about the holy Spirit (the understanding of God), with clear explanations about why the anti-Christ teaching of “the trinity”—introduced by the Roman Catholic Church system (the “Beast” in the Book of Revelation)—is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible Students Movement also does not support the false teaching about purgatory nor does it support the Roman Catholic System’s false teaching about people being sent to a place where they burning up forever as this certaining does not reflect Jehovah’s divine, perfect love, justice, power and wisdom … “who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103:8). For the interested Reader, we urge you to consider the following articles and posts:

The Doctrine of the Trinity – Mystery or Confusion by Br. David Rice.
http://www.heraldmag.org/1999/99nd_3.htm

The Origin of the Trinity – From Paganism To Constantine by Sr. Cher-El L. Hagensick.
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/Contents/doctrine/The%20Origin%20of%20the%20Trinity.htm

Facts About the Trinity
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/doctrine/FACTS%20ABOUT%20THE%20TRINITY.htm

God and the Trinities
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_42.htm

Development of the “Trinity Doctrine” by Br. Tom Gilbert.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/2010d.pdf

Understanding John 1:1 by Br. Richard Doctor.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/2010d.pdf

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/06/23/father-son-and-holy-spirit/

What Is the Heavenly Father’s Name
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/06/27/gods-name-what-is-the-heavenly-fathers-name-that-we-are-to-hallow-and-why/

Jesus – The Name
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/07/05/jesus-the-name/

The Doctrine of Christ – Booklet
http://www.biblestudents.com/docs/DoctrineChrist.pdf

Who Is the World’s RANSOM and Why?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/03/29/who-is-the-worlds-ransom-and-why/

Hymn Book Purchase

The Hymns Of Dawn (hymn book) can be purchased at:

The Chicago Bible Students Online Bookstore: https://chicagobible.org/product-category/books/page/4/

The Dawn Bible Students Association: http://www.dawnbible.com/dawnpub.htm

Acknowledgment & References

  • Br. Charles Taze Russell — the founder of the Bible Students movement, who is the compiler of “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” which was published in Allegheny, Pa., in 1890. This Bible Students’ devotional originally contained a total of 151 poems and 333 hymns.

POEMS-AND-HYMNS-OF-MILLENNIAL-DAWN

Later on, the hymns from this book formed a basis for the hymnal titled ““Hymns of Dawn” which was published by the Dawn Bible Students Association in East Rutherford, New Jersey (USA) and the 1999 edition contains a total of 361 hymns.

Hymns of Dawn.jpg

Links and Bible Resources
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/links/

Beliefs
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/beliefs/

 

This post’s URL:
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/12/02/the-mighty-to-save-hymns-of-dawn-no-9/

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