All To Thee – Hymns of Dawn No. 28

All To Thee – Hymns of Dawn No. 28

“(1) Come, let us shout joyfully to Jehovah! Let us shout in triumph to our Rock of salvation. (2) Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; Let us sing and shout in triumph to him” (Psalm 95:1,2).

“My mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5).

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense (Song of Solomon 4:6).

Note: “ Myrrh is bitter experience and the wisdom gained through such experience. Frankincense represents praise and thanksgiving. Hymns of praise often include the Christian’s gratitude for deliverance from suffering that is beyond human endurance. Such help usually evokes praise and thanksgiving. Of course pleasant experiences also bring forth praise, but the type of praise that arises from suffering is on a higher level than praise from pleasure. Verse 6 alludes to praise that arises from suffering.

‘Until … the shadows flee away.’ The shadows of the nighttime experience of the Church will ‘flee away’ when the Church is complete. These are the shadows of the gospel night, the Passover night. Why is myrrh a ‘mountain’ and frankincense a ‘hill’? Two different Hebrew words are used. Our praise can never reach the mark of perfection. What Jesus offered at Calvary far transcends anything we can offer” (Br. F. Shallieu, Notes on the Song of Solomon, pages 37-38).

Here is a recording of Hymn No. 28 from the “Hymns of Dawn” to aid God’s people in singing and making melody in their hearts unto God.

Lyrics

1.
Christ gave his life for me,
His precious blood he shed,
That I might ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead.
He gave, he gave his life for me;
How grateful I should be!
He gave, he gave his life for me;
How grateful I should be!

2.
His Father’s house of light,
His glory-circled throne,
He left for earthly night,
For wand’rings sad and lone;
He left, he left it all for me,
Have I left all for thee?
He left, he left it all for me,
Have I left all for thee?

3.
He suffered much for me,
More than I now can know,
Of bitt’rest agony;
He drained the cup of woe;
He bore, he bore it all for me,
What have I borne for thee?
He bore, he bore it all for me,
What have I borne for thee?

4.
He now has brought to me,
Down from his home above,
Salvation full and free,
Pardon and life and love.
He brings, he brings rich gifts to me,
Lord, I give all to thee.
He brings, he brings rich gifts to me,
Lord, I give all to thee.

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The History Of This Hymn

Author — Frances R. Havergal (1836-1879), the “daughter of the Rev. W. H. Havergal, was born at Astley, Worcestershire, Dec. 14, 1836. Five years later her father removed to the Rectory of

Havergal_Frances_Hymns_of_Dawn.jpg

St. Nicholas, Worcester. In August, 1850, she entered Mrs. Teed’s school, whose influence over her was most beneficial. In the following year she says, ‘I committed my soul to the Saviour, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment.’ Simply and sweetly she sang the love of God, and His way of salvation. To this end, and for this object, her whole life and all her powers were consecrated. She lives and speaks in every line of her poetry. Her poems are permeated with the fragrance of her passionate love of Jesus.” (https://hymnary.org/person/Havergal_Frances)

ComposerNo information.

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Bible Scriptures Associated With This Hymn

Isaiah 53:3-12(3) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

(4) Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

(5) But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

(8) By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

(9) And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

(10) Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

(11) Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

(12) Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

John 6:38 (ESV) — “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

Romans 6:10 (NAS)“For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.”

1 Corinthians 15:3, 4, 22, 23 (KJV)“(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

Ephesians 2:8, 9 (ESV)“(8) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (9) not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Philippians 2:7-8 (NRSV) “(7) but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, (8) he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.

1 Timothy 2:5, 6 (KJV) — “(5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (6) Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Peter 1:18-21 (NLT)“(18) For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. (19) It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (20) God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. (21) Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.”

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

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The words below are from Reprint No. 5972-5973, from the Original Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence as documented on “Harvest Truth DataBase Version 9: http://www.htdb.one

THE RANSOM NOT THE SIN-OFFERING

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IT SEEMS difficult for some of our dear readers to distinguish clearly between the Ransom and the Sin-offering. Although we have repeatedly tried to make the subject clear, we will try again.

The word “ransom” in the Old Testament seems to be used less definitely than in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word translated ransom is kopher, and signifies a covering, a protection, as when we read, “The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous” (Proverbs 21:18)—their covering, their protection. The righteous are few and uninfluential in the world; and laws would not generally be made especially for their protection. The laws of society are made for the masses of the people—not for the saints; but those laws made for the people in general we—the Lord’s saints—have as a covering.

The Prophet David declares that no man can give a ransom for his brother. (Psalm 49:7.) That is to say, all mankind are imperfect through the Adamic fall. All are sinners; therefore none could stand before God in the sense of justifying themselves; and thus unable to justify themselves, they would be wholly unable to justify another—their brother. Here the thought is very similar to that attaching to the word “ransom” in the New Testament, showing that to be such a ransom, or covering, requires perfection, righteousness, which no man of all our race possessed, except the Man Christ Jesus, “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” who was therefore able and qualified to give Himself “a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”1 Timothy 2:6.

The word used in the New Testament Greek for “ransom” is very explicit; it signifies a price to correspond, or a corresponding price. The implication is that something was lost that needs to be re-purchased, redeemed, bought back; and the thing which is competent to purchase it back must be of equal value to the thing lost or forfeited—no more, no less—a “corresponding price.”

WHY A RANSOM WAS NECESSARY

The thing that was lost by Father Adam for himself and all of his family was the right to life. As the perfect man, God’s arrangement provided him with the privilege of living forever on condition that he would be obedient, loyal to his Creator. His sin was disloyalty, disobedience, and its penalty was death—the forfeiture of the right to live. Thus, because of Adam’s disobedience, he came under the death sentence, “Dying, thou shalt die.” (Genesis 2:17, margin.) Adam’s children were born to him after he had thus forfeited his life-rights, and he was unable to give them more than he possessed—a dying nature. Thus we read: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all, for that all have sinned,” etc.—Rom. 5:12.

God reveals to us in His Word that while He wishes to be merciful and to receive back to Himself all the willing and obedient of the race, nevertheless He must maintain the dignity of His own Law and cannot set aside the death sentence except upon the conditions which He has arranged; viz., a Ransom. If Adam is ransomed from the sentence of death, Justice will have no further claim against his life, and the ransomer would have the right to restore Adam and his race. But no ransomer could be found amongst all the family of men; for all were sinners—none was perfect, all had inherited the blemishes of sin. Hence God’s arrangement—the sending of His Only Begotten Son to be the Redeemer, the Ransomer, of Adam and his family, and ultimately to be the Restorer of all that was lost.

To this service—to this carrying out of the Divine Program—God attached a very great reward of glory, honor and immortality. The Logos, “The beginning of the creation of God,” “the first born of every creature” (Revelation 3:14; Colossians 1:15), accepted the Divine arrangement gladly and humbled Himself. Leaving the honors and favors of His high position on the spirit plane, He was made flesh in order “that He by the grace of God, should taste death for every man (Hebrews 2:9) as the Ransomer of Adam. St. Paul tells us of Him as the One “who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame,” and now as a result, “is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2), henceforth expecting, waiting, until the time shall come for Him to bless Adam and his race for whom He has already died—waiting that the Father in due time, after the selection of the Bride Class, may put all things in subjection under Him—under the Messiah—that He may reign a thousand years for the uplifting and blessing of those for whom He died.

That Ransom-price, that Corresponding-price for Adam, has already been placed in the hands of Justice. Jesus did this in His consecration at Jordan, in that He agreed to do the will of the Father even unto death; and on the Cross He declared, “Into Thy hands I commit My spirit”—the spirit of life, His right to life, which He had not forfeited, either by sin or otherwise. That Ransom-price, or Price sufficient to redeem Adam and all of his race, has been in the hands of Justice as a deposit ever since, and is there now—still unapplied. It cannot be applied piecemeal, a little to each one; when applied, it must be applied for all at the same moment.

Why must it be applied all at one moment? Because it is just the one life. It would require the entire merit of Christ’s sacrifice to recover Father Adam from his condemnation, and it would require the entire merit of that sacrifice for any one of the children of Adam. The Ransom cannot be divided up into millions of parts and a little piece given to each member of the race. The whole sacrifice of Christ was necessary for each one of the race, and is sufficient for the entire race, when it shall be so applied. It is to be applied for the entire race, but not until the Father’s time has come for turning over the race to the Redeemer—not until His appointed time for the Redeemer to take possession of the race as King of kings and Lord of lords, to establish over them His glorious Kingdom, to release them from the power of sin and death and to give them all the Restitution privileges which His Ransom-sacrifice makes possible.

THE SIN-OFFERING

In the meantime, another feature of the great Heavenly Father’s Plan is working out—an arrangement by which a certain number of the children of Adam may become associates with Jesus in the suffering of this present time and in the glory that is to follow. This feature of the Plan is not the providing of a Ransom; for that was already provided in the death of Jesus; but this plan is to provide an under-priesthood who are eventually to be kings with the Savior—a Royal Priesthood. Evidently therefore the Sin-offering must not be confused with the Ransom-price; for the Ransom-price is complete, and was complete before the Church was invited to come into this position of self-sacrifice.

The Jewish Day of Atonement pictured the entire work and operation of the Sin-offering, which began in the person of Jesus. The death of Jesus was typified by the killing of the bullock on the Day of Atonement. That was the great sacrifice for sins—a Sin-offering which was made by Jesus, who offered up Himself. He was both the anointed Priest of God and also the devoted Sacrifice. The merit of that Sacrifice might have been applicable to all the people; but if so, there would have been no room for the sacrifice of the Lord’s Goat Class, the sacrifices of the under-priests, who, if faithful, are by and by to be made the Royal Priesthood of the Millennium. In the type, the High Priest allows the merit of his sacrifice to be applied to himself and his house [his sons, the underpriests, Leviticus 16:6, 33] … representing the Household of Faith, the consecrated ones … [Galatians 6:10].

OFFERINGS MADE DURING THE GOSPEL AGE

This passing of the merit of Jesus’ Sacrifice, first of all, to and through His Church does not diminish the merit of that sacrifice nor its value, for every one who shares in that merit, participates on condition that he will surrender his earthly rights, following in the footsteps of Jesus. The priestly class includes those who keep their covenant arrangement, voluntarily and heartily lay down their lives in the Lord’s service. The Great Company Class is composed of those who have failed to fully surrender [R5973 : page 311] their earthly lives and rights, and will therefore have these earthly rights taken from them through great tribulation. Any others who receive of the Lord’s favor during this Age and fail to get into one or the other of those classes—if they fail to become members of either the Royal Priesthood or of the Levite-servant company—cannot retain any Restitution blessings or privileges, but will die the Second Death. Thus the entire merit of Jesus, designed for Adam and his race, merely passes through the Church Class, the consecrated ones, on its way to Adam and his race. The Church having the opportunity, by reason of this arrangement, to share with Jesus in suffering for righteousness’ sake—the great High Priest accepts our consecrated beings and makes them part of His sacrifice, and the full measure of His merit as the Ransom-price passes on to humanity to give Adam and his family Restitution privileges for a thousand years.

These are the better sacrifices and offerings for sin not made by us, but made by the great High Priest whom the Father has appointed for the purpose. This great High Priest has been completing His sacrifice for sins; first His own flesh, and then the flesh of all those who have come unto the Father through Him during the past nineteen centuries. He will soon complete His sacrificial work, and glorify with Himself those who suffer with Him—making of them His consorts in His Messianic Kingdom. Then He will apply on behalf of all mankind the merit of the sacrifice which He finished at Calvary and which He has merely loaned or imputed to the Church during this Gospel Age.

This Sacrifice will be given fully, completely, everlastingly, to Justice, appropriated as the full offset of Original Sin. Forthwith Adam and all of his children will be turned over by Justice into the hands of Jesus. Divine Justice will have no more to do with mankind. All will be under the administration of the Millennial Kingdom. For a thousand years the Redeemer, the Ransomer of the race, will teach, reward, punish, deal with humanity for their instruction in righteousness and their uplift from the sin and death condition, giving to every one a full opportunity for returning to perfection.

At the close of the thousand years, Messiah having accomplished everything possible for every member of the race, will turn over all to the Father and will say to the sheep class, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the [earthly] kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34.) All others, found unworthy of everlasting life, will be destroyed in the Second Death, symbolically pictured as a devouring fire.

Thus we have striven to make plain the distinction between the Ransom-price and the application of the Ransom-price, and the Sin-offering and the blessings resulting to the Church from the privilege of participation in those sin-offerings—the sufferings of Christ.

INTERESTING QUESTIONS

We take occasion here to answer some related queries:

Question.Is it proper to say that we, the Church, receive by imputation “a certain portion” or “our share” of the merit of the Ransom now—during the Gospel Age?

Answer.The person using this language might have the proper thought, but would not be using the best words in which to express that thought to avoid being misunderstood. As above shown, all the merit of Christ is necessary to each member of the race. If we divided up the merit of Christ, nobody would have enough. If it were all given to one, the others would get none. God’s Plan, therefore, is to hold that Ransom-price in reserve until the due time for the inauguration of Messiah’s Kingdom, and then apply that price and transfer the whole race at one time to Jesus—to the Messianic Kingdom. Then during the Millennium, it might be proper to say that every one will be receiving the Restitution blessings as his share or participation in the Ransom merit; but strictly speaking, the whole blessing of the whole world is the ransom blessing.

Question.If the Ransom has not yet been applied, apportioned, credited, to the race on the Books of Justice, and if we who are of the Church are members of the world, how do we participate in the Ransom blessing?

Answer.The entire Ransom merit being in the hands of Justice, the one who owns that merit, Jesus—in harmony with the Father’s Plan—imputes it to the whole company who will accept the offer of this Gospel Age and surrender themselves sacrifices to walk in the Master’s footprints. There is quite a difference between giving and imputing, just as there would be a difference between giving a man a thousand dollars and imputing to him a thousand dollars by endorsing his note. Jesus, as [R5973 : page 312] our great Advocate, imputes to us, or endorses us to the full extent of our contract with the Father. Our contract is that, like Jesus, we will surrender our earthly rights.

The Heavenly Father could not recognize us as worthy of entering into such a contract, except as our great Advocate endorses for us, or guarantees us, in the matter. What does He guarantee? He guarantees that we shall lay down our lives—that our earthly lives shall be fully surrendered in due time.

As we have seen, there are three classes for whom Jesus becomes Surety, Guarantor. First are those who fully and completely carry out their contract both in letter and spirit, laying down their lives voluntarily, after the Master’s example. These will be the “more than conquerors,” the members of the Body of the Anointed. Next will come the Great Company class, who will eventually be conquerors, but not “more than conquerors.” Because conquerors, they will be granted everlasting life on the spirit plane; but because of lack of zeal and love, they will fail of the election as members of the Body of Christ.

Third, there are those who will be neither more than conquerors nor even conquerors, but failures—turning back to sin, like the sow to her wallowing in the mire. These will die the Second Death. In any event, our great Advocate, the High Priest, having endorsed for all of these, will thus be ultimately free from all liability for them in that they all will have died according to the flesh and none of them will receive or retain Restitution rights or privileges. Those Restitution blessings will be fully and completely released when the last member of the spirit-begotten shall have gone into death.

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Our Saviour — Christ Jesus

Here are some free online articles in relation to the Heavenly Father — Jehovah, and his Son — Christ Jesus — “a ransom FOR ALL … to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6), as well as, about the holy Spirit (the invisible power and influence 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 Student Movement does not support the teaching of purgatory nor does it support the Roman Catholic System’s teaching about people being sent to a place where they burn up forever, which certainly does not reflect the perfect love of God — the Almighty Creator of all things.

Hence, 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

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

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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

The following prefatory to the 1905 publication of Hymns of Millennial Dawn may be of historical interest to many of our readers.

We published in 1890, with several more recent editions, a volume entitled “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” without music. The same collection of hymns with the music is now urgently needed, and therefore appears in this volume. The poems, although highly prized, are omitted for greater convenience in size. We have preserved the same alphabetical order, because so many of our readers have the older book; and where a different tune is given from that originally suggested the latter is indicated by Alt. for alternative tune, with the number where that tune can be found.

Both words and music are credited to the same class to whom the work is dedicated-to the Lord and His faithful people, “the Saints.” The authors of many of the best of them are unknown to us, and, besides, slight changes have been made in the phraseology and sentiment of quite a number, which we could not be sure their original authors would approve, and to give personal credit to less than one half would seem invidious. To all of these dear “Saints” of all ages we therefore give united and hearty thanks for the blessings which they, as the Lord’s servants and handmaidens, have bestowed upon their fellow-members of “the Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven.” Most of them died long ago: their abundant reward will be of the Lord in the resurrection.

That the collection is thoroughly undenominational, unsectarian, will be manifest to those recognizing the fact that it includes the choicest old hymns and tunes used by all denominations.

Although we have gathered far and near and winnowed carefully we cannot hope to have gotten all the golden grains, though we do hope that no chaff can be found. The collection is for the Church, for “believers” “reconciled,” and hence contains none of the “sinners” hymns, such as “Come, ye sinners poor and needy,” because willful sinners are in no sense members of the “Body” of Christ, nor are those who have not yet accepted the Lord as their Savior.

Those who will feel the deepest interest in this collection, and whose sentiments will be most fully voiced in its verses, will undoubtedly be those in fullest degree of sympathy with the divine plan of the ages, as set forth in the several volumes of Millennial Dawn—the eyes of whose understanding have been opened to the clearer, purer light now shining from our great Redeemer’s cross, showing the fulness and the completeness of his salvation.

In fact, this volume, while not numbered as one of the volumes of the Millennial Dawn series, is designed to be a companion volume, a melodious accompaniment to the “new song,” “the song of Moses and the Lamb” (the grand harmony of the Law and the Gospel), as presented in the regular Dawn series.

Let the music of God’s good and great plan ring through your hearts and lives, dear fellow-pilgrims and fellow members of the “royal priesthood,” so that every day and every hour shall be filled with joy and praise and thankfulness! And that this little volume may assist in deepening the work of grace in your hearts is our hope and prayer.

– Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, July, 1905, Allegheny, PA, USA

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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 and Why?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/03/29/who-is-the-worlds-ransom-and-why/

The Ransom. Faithbuilders Fellowship.
http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2007/02_ma_07.pdf

MATTHEW 26:27-29 — Drinking From Christ’s One Cup
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/03/19/matthew-2627-29-drinking-from-christs-one-cup/

JESUS — The Name
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/07/05/jesus-the-name/

The Sacrifice
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/01/05/the-sacrifice/

Hope Beyond the Grave. A Dawn Bible Association Publication. http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/grave.htm

Who We Are. BIBLE Students DAILY – https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/who-we-are/

Our Beliefs — What Does the Bible Teach Us?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/beliefs/

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

 

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EZEKIEL 18:4 – What the Bible Teaches About SOUL and SPIRIT

EZEKIEL-18-4.jpg

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).

This brief text expresses a simple truth. Souls die. Against the speculations of some that there is something within a man, a “soul,” which remains alive after death, lingering as a disembodied spirit, the scriptures affirm to the contrary. Death is what it seems to be — death.

When a dog dies, what happens to the dog? It stops breathing, its body decays and returns to the elements. Thought and consciousness immediately terminate. There is no more dog. It does not go to some place prepared for old dogs, to chew bones in bliss, for there simply is no more dog. It is dead, it is gone, it is no more.

Death is the same for human beings. Death is the cessation of life. Psalm 146:4 describes what happens when a man dies. “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

“That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other … they have all one breath … all go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20).

The Resurrection

However, unlike the animals, man has the hope of a resurrection from the dead. Animals were made to live for a limited period of time, procreate, age, and pass away as part of the cycle of nature. But man, the height of God’s physical creation, was created with the capacity to live forever. They appreciate life, plan for the future, and cherish the hope for continued life. Accordingly, the prospect of living forever was offered to Adam in the Garden of Eden, by God who created him.

This offer was contingent upon obedience, a test which Adam and Eve failed. But even after being expelled from the Garden, so robust was the human frame that Adam lived 930 years before death claimed his life (Genesis 5:5). Almost 4000 years after Adam sinned, Jesus died as a ransom for father Adam (1 Timothy 2:6), which allows Adam and his posterity a release from the death penalty — in other words, a resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22). For the world, this will come during the Millennium so near at hand.

In the meantime, where are all the dead of past ages? They are simply dead. They silently await the resurrection, when they will be reconstituted as the persons they were before they died, to learn the lessons God has for them during the Kingdom on earth.

What is a Soul?

From our opening text, it is apparent that souls do die. The expression “immortal soul,” sometimes used among Christians, is not found in the Bible.

A soul is a living being, whether animal or human, and neither animals nor humans are immortal.

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, word number 5315 in Strong’s Concordance, which gives this definition: “A breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense.”

Genesis 2:7 uses the word “soul” for Adam.

“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Here the word nephesh, or soul, is defined as a living being, a body combined with the breathe of life. Thus we learn, that man does not possess a soul, but that he IS a soul, which means simply that man, when alive, is a living being.” Adam subsequently died, and he with all the others silently awaits the resurrection.

Animals as Souls

The “breath of life” which animates the human organism is no different than the breath of life given to the lower animals. In reference to the “beasts and every creeping thing” which perished in the Flood, we read, “All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:21,22). Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 informs us that both man and beast “have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.”

As Strong’s Concordance notes, animals are also souls — living beings. However, in the common English version this is hidden by the translation, which confuses the subject to many readers. When the word nephesh, soul, refers to an animal, the translators rendered it with some other word, such as creature or beast.

For example, Genesis 1:20 says “let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature [nephesh, soul]…”

Verse 21, God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth…”

Verse 24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh, soul] after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”

Here are other texts of the same sort: Genesis 1:30, 2:14, 9:3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 18. And Isaiah 19:10, “… all that make sluices and ponds for fish [nephesh, souls].

This method of translating hides the fact that animals are souls. Were this fact more open and apparent, it would assist people to recognize that souls are not immortal, for no one supposes that animals are in any sense immortal.

Only once in the Old Testament did the translators render the word nephesh “soul” when it applied to animals, namely Numbers 31:28, where the word applies at one time both to people and animals: “one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep.”

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

The difference between the soul of a human and an animal is in the construction of the organism, particularly in the formation of the brain. Although some organisms of some of the lower animals may seem to be superior to man’s (such as a dog’s keen sense of smell and hearing and an eagle’s eyesight), God in his great wisdom created man in his own image, thus giving man the ability to reason, and to have a moral sense of right and wrong — possessing a conscience (1 John 3:20-22). Man has the ability to love and obey Jehovah-God as well as to love (agape) his enemies or those who do or wish him wrong through, striving to see all things through the eyes of their Bridegroom — Christ Jesus. He died as a “ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6) because of his great love of the Heavenly Father — stemming from a love for righteousness which comes from a knowledge, understanding and experience of the results of obeying the Heavenly Father, which permits the highest and purest form of joy to be felt, that joy that is felt through the eyes of faith, that joy that our Lord Jesus had in bringing the Heavenly Father joy, as reflected in his words: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34, ESV).

Other Hidden References

There are other important places where the translators also obscured the use of nephesh. “There were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body [nephesh, soul] …” (Numbers 9:6, 7, 10). If the translation use “soul” in these places, it would be apparent to the reader that souls simply die. When Samson toppled the house of Dagon, he prayed to God: “Let me [my nephesh, soul] die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30).

Expanded Use

The texts above give us the proper meaning of the word soul, namely any living being. However, Strong’s Concordance shows that nephesh is sometimes used figuratively for one’s life, being, or vitality. Here are two examples of this. (1) When Rachel was dying at the birth of Benjamin, Genesis 35:18 says “As her soul was in departing (for she died) … she called his name Benomi: but his father called him Benjamin.” (2) 1 Kings 17:21, speaking of the raisin of a young boy by Elijah, says he cried to God “let this child’s soul come into him again.” In both of these cases the word “life” or “being” is the meaning intended.

Sometimes the word is used of one’s deepest thoughts or feelings, distinguished from the mere body. Thus 2 Kings 4:27 says of a troubled woman, “her soul is vexed in her.” Language is flexible, and the word nephesh is used flexibly. But none of these cases are any predicate for believing some conscious force called “soul” mysteriously lingers after death. Death is death. It is the cessation of life.

Soul in the New Testament

The New Testament Greek word for soul is psuche. Whenever the word “soul” appears in the common English version of the New Testament, it is from this word (Strong’s number 5590).

1 Corinthians 15:45 uses psuche as the counterpart of the Hebrew nephesh, which serves to equate the two words. “The first man Adam was made a living soul [psuche].” This expression clearly draws from Genesis 2:7, where nephesh is used. This word is frequently rendered life. “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Mark 8:35). “I lay down my life (John 10:17). “They seek my life (Romans 11:3), and many other examples. In these cases “life” refers to the being, the person. The same meaning attaches when the word is rendered “soul,” as in Acts 2:43, “fear came upon every soul” — every person, or being.

Revelation 8:9 and 16:3 apply the word to sea creatures. Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 use the term metaphorically of the spent life of the saints, awaiting the resurrection. John 12:27 says of Jesus “now is my soul troubled.” Thus there is a breadth in this Greek word that matches the breadth of its Hebrew counterpart.

In the Old Testament the condition of death is expressed by the Hebrew sheol, and its Greek counterpart in the New Testament is hades. This was the condition into which Jesus’ “soul,” psuche, passed for three days until his resurrection, for a soul, psuche, dies and is later raised from the dead.

The Soul Is Not Immortal

If the soul were truly immortal, the soul would be indestructible, yet it is not, because each human born under the curse of Adamic condemnation, dies until the curse shall be lifted up from humanity once Christ’s ransom price has been applied to all mankind. By then the Bride of Christ will have completed their share in the sin offering — and the antityical “atonement day” sin offering thus completed. The High Priest in Leviticus 16 made atonement for  himself, his sons, and then, finally, for the sins of the people (the world of mankind). God warned Adam that if he disobeyed God’s rule, then as a living soul Adam would cease to exist. We read about this in Genesis 2:17, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” In Ezekiel 18:4 God said, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die.” This means that the person who sins shall die, and since all are born in sin, the entire human race has been dying for nearly 6000 years. Here are two examples of Scriptures about death being the consequence of sin:

“So death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, NASV).

Every soul [person] sins and, as a consequence, every soul dies (Romans 6:16,23).

But God in his great love provided redemption from death for all sinful souls, or persons, through the gift of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, who died as a corresponding ransom price to free mankind from the prison house of death. All of Adam’s progeny lost life through Adamic transgression and thus have inherited sin and imperfection. The Apostle Paul wrote that “in Adam all die,” adding to this, “even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” And again, “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22). The Prophet Isaiah wrote that Christ’s “soul” was made an offering for sin, and also that he “poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:10,12).

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Adam and all past generations of his children have fallen asleep in death, but they have not “perished,” because through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and by the exercise of divine power, they are to be awakened in the resurrection and given an opportunity to believe. Then, upon the basis of their belief and obedience, they may live forever.

Those called to discipleship in the present life are given an opportunity to inherit eternal life by accepting Jesus as their personal Redeemer and responding to the invitation to take up their cross and follow him, gladly lay down their lives with him, and be planted together in the likeness of his death (Roman 6:3-6). These are referred to in Revelation 20:4 as the “souls” which are “beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God.”

The Apostle Paul wrote, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (1 Corinthians 15:17,18). Thus, Paul speaks of Christians who die as merely being “asleep,” and not in any sense perishing in death.

Genesis 12:11-13 (NASB) says Abraham was afraid that his soul would not live, and thus, that he would die. “It came about when he [Abram] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I (“my soul,” nephesh) may live on account of you.” If the Hebrew word nephesh meant an indestructible immortal soul, Abram’s soul could not have died (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

Jesus emphasized this same important truth in an admonition to his disciples to meet courageously any and all opposition against them and any persecuted unto death, saying, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna] (Matthew 10:28). Jesus here refers to the possibility of permanent cessation of life by God for the incorrigible, which the Bible terms as “second death.”

“This does not imply that the soul can live apart from the body, for actually the body is the organism of the soul. Rather, Jesus is speaking from the standpoint of the divine plan to awaken the dead in the resurrection. It was from this standpoint that Paul could say that Christians who fell asleep in death had not ‘perished.’ If an enemy puts a Christian to death, he has not perished as a soul. The body dies, but the person, the soul, merely ‘sleeps’ until the resurrection. But if a Christian becomes a willful sinner and is not worthy of a resurrection, then death means extinction of that person, or soul, forever.

“Jesus explained this from another standpoint, as recorded in Luke 20:37,38 ‘Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.’ Jesus did not say that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had gone to heaven to live with God. He simply explained that because there is to be a resurrection of the dead, and these faithful servants will be restored to life, God does not consider them as having gone out of existence — they ‘live unto him,’ or, to him they are alive.

“So it is with all God’s faithful servants of the past. They may have been ‘sawn asunder’ by their enemies; they may have been thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or burned at the stake, but to God they still live, they have not ‘perished,’ for he has the power and will use that power to awaken them from the sleep of death.

“The ‘souls’ which are ‘beheaded,’ as mentioned in Revelation 20:4, are brought forth in the ‘first resurrection’ to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The ‘souls’ that died serving God during the ages preceding Jesus’ first advent will come forth to a ‘better resurrection,’ to serve as ‘princes in all the earth’ Hebrews 11:35; Psalm 45:16” (The Dawn – and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, January 1959 issue).

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

In John 11:11 Jesus said “Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was dead for four days (John 11:39). Surely Jesus would not have retrieved Lazarus from the bliss of heaven. For those four days Lazarus did not go anywhere, nor did he see anyone, nor did he speak, eat, feel, or think. He was simply dead. When he was raised to life he began again to do all those things. In this respect the whole world sleeps in death, waiting for the resurrection — unaware of what is transpiring in the meantime, because the dead do not sense, feel or think anything. “The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). “There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

In John 5:28,29 Jesus said that the hour is coming when all in their graves will come forth. If their souls were already in heaven, then there would be no need for Jesus to say that he would bring them forth from the grave? If physical bodies were needed in heaven, how have these presumably immortal souls survived without them? Scripture also tells us that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Seeking After Immortality

The Bible never equates immortality with the soul of common man, only with the saints, and then only as a gift for faithfulness (Romans 2:7, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). The sleeping, unconscious dead will one day be awakened from their graves (John 5:28,29; Job 14:11-15; Psalm 17:15; Acts 24:15,16). At that time, ‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9). ‘Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths’ (Micah 4:2). In God’s kingdom on earth, mankind will be raised from the dead and have their first real opportunity to learn God’s ways of righteousness because Satan will be bound and will no longer be able to deceive the world (Revelation 20:3) (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

“Possibly the spirit that returns to God contains the unique ‘data’ of each individual can be compared to computer information on a removable disk. The resurrection of an individual could be a recreation after the pattern of Adam. The original body had passed to dust so a new one, either spiritual or fleshly, would be created. The individual again comes to life when the (unique?) spirit is returned to the body and he becomes a living soul again. Whatever the exact process is, we know the resurrected fleshly body will be in its intended perfected state. Job intimates that the flesh will be fresher than a child’s and will have the beauty and vitality of youth (Job 33:25)” (Robert Davis, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom article.)

Spirit

The word “spirit” in the Old Testament is usually from the Hebrew ruach, and in the New Testament it is usually from the Greek pneuma. Both terms refer to breath, inhalation, or the movement of air, whether gentle or forceful. But as these are invisible forces, the words are applied by extension to the “spirit” of a person which is the invisible mental force, personality, influence, or disposition of a person.

Thus the Old Testament uses ruach when speaking of the “spirit” of Jacob, Elijah, Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Joshua, God, and others. The New Testament uses pneuma when speaking of the “spirit” of Paul, Christ, and God.

These words are also used to describe the influence of various non-personal but good “spirits” — the spirit of Truth, Holiness, Life, Faith, Wisdom, Grace and Glory and of an opposite spirit of Jealousy, Judgment, Burning, Heaviness, Infirmity, Divination, Bondage, Slumber, Fear and Error.

Ruach also refers to the “spirit of life” which we receive from God, which figuratively “returns” to him when we die. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). This does not imply a transport of persons. It applies to the motivating force of life, of both good and bad people alike.

Both words sometimes refer to the essence of a person, that is, their identity, character, personality. In this sense Jesus commended his “spirit” to God when he died, which was restored on the third day when God raised Jesus from the dead (Luke 23:46, Psalms 31:5).

In this sense also Paul speaks of the “spirits of just men,” the faithful Ancient Worthies of the Old Testament, who were matured by the things they suffered, and await their resurrection reward in the Kingdom (Hebrews 12:23, 11:40).

None of these cases teach that any conscious entity persists after the death of a person, except metaphorically, in the memory of God. Not until the resurrection does a person who has died live again as a conscious, sentient being. The great hope for the world lies in such a Resurrection from the Dead. “There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15). “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28,29).

This assurance was secured for us at great cost, both by God who gave His dearest treasure, his son Jesus, and by Jesus who labored in his ministry for 3 ½ years, suffered accusation from the religious leaders of his day, and died for our sins on the cross.

“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust … [to] bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “By man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21).

For the saints of the Gospel Age, this resurrection occurs during the present “Harvest” period. For the remainder of the world, the resurrection will occur during the coming Millennium.

Do Angels Have a Soul?

As with human being, angels are souls, for they are the union of the spirit of life, together with a body, in this case a spiritual body. “The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Corinthians 15:45). It would be the same with the angelic hosts, but on a higher scale. “There are also celestial bodies … but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (1 Corinthians 15:40).

——-

Acknowledgment & References

We are thankful for the permission of sharing content from a study titled “Soul and Spirit,” drawn from a study by Br. Gilbert Rice, featured in the “Faithbuilders Fellowship” Journal.
http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2006/01_jan_06.pdf

“Immortality and the Human Soul,” The Bible versus Tradition—Article IV, April 1959 in The Dawn – A Herald of Christ’s Presence (Monthly Magazine) Rutherford, NJ, USA.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1959/5904tbs1.htm

“Immortality of the Soul” by Br. Peter Karavas. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, May-June 2011.
http://www.heraldmag.org/2011/11mj_3.htm

“The Resurrection of the Dead” by Br. Robert Davis. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom.
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_14.htm

Suggested Further Reading

Volume 5 of “Studies in the Scriptures” — “The Atonement Between God and Man” by Br. Charles Taze Russell, pages 383-404, Study 13, “Hopes For Life Everlasting and Immortality Secured by the Atonement.”

“What Is the Soul?” by Br. Robert Seklemian
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/seklemians%20discourses.htm

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 Resurrect 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/

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https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/07/14/ezekiel-184-what-the-bible-teaches-about-soul-and-spirit/

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Encouragement to SHARE & SHINE

SHINE AND SHARE -WITH ADDRESS

With a hope that this blog post will motivate our readers in wanting to dedicate as much time as they can in studying God’s character and His Divine Principles and Plan, to better be enabled to glorify and praise  our Creator, Jehovah, through His Son Jesus–our Beloved Master and Conquering King, let us begin with a beautiful Scripture from Isaiah 58:7 (ESV),

“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”

The primitive Church did show an active concern for the poor and needy in their midst and brethren laid aside portions of money and supplies for those less fortunate financially. An example of this can be seen in the collections for the brethren in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:1-4) and the support of Paul by the brethren in Thessalonica.

“But whoso hath this world’s goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17)

Now let us examine the term “sharing” in regards to the spiritual food, that is, our sharing with others the understanding of the Word of Truth, and the ministering to others about God’s Divine Plan and His beauties of Truth.

We are not only instructed to preach the Gospel message of hope to the world (Mark 16:15), but we are to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly by “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness” in our hearts to God (Colossians 3:16).

If God has called us into his marvelous light of Truth, then one is sure to learn about the disastrous effects of evil, so as to realize that disobedience to righteous Godly principles has led to only pain, misery and despair, which results in HOPE-LESS-ness.

By gaining an exposure to such experiences, one gains a priceless understanding of what the Heavenly Father requires to please Him and thus how to strive towards developing into the likeness of Christ.

By experiencing pain and sorrow, we then truly feel how horrifically unpleasant and torturous it’s effects are, and governed by the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:19) we desire to obey God in every single aspect of existence, realizing this is the ONLY way that humanity in the future will gain eternal life after the resurrection during the period of Christ’s reign with his body members of 144,000 (see Revelation chapter 7 & 14.)

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

Dear friends, what abundant blessings are gained by striving to adhere perfectly to Godly and righteous principles. The fully consecrated to God are not only to strive for this perfection in Christ (2 Corinthians 13:11) but actually BE perfect (Matthew 5:48).

How is it possible to BE PERFECT if we still live in carnal imperfect bodies? We realize that if we were perfect, we would never die as the death penalty is a consequence of Adam’s sin and thus all the world of mankind has inherited Adamic sin (Genesis 2:17).

We answer:

We can be reckoned as perfect in God’s eyes, thanks to the robe of Christ’s righteousness covering our sins, hence our intentions can be reckoned as perfect due to OUR FAITH. In Romans chapter 4 the Apostle Paul here writes about what Godly faith actually is and how it is developed and maintained.

The faith talked about in the Bible does not mean having a BLIND FAITH–believing in the words of another without testing it against what the Word of God says on the subject at hand. 

In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul does explain that faith can only be true Godly faith if one hears the message, “and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

The true faith we are talking about that ALL eventually will HAVE to have by the end of the “little season” (Revelation 20:3) of the Millennial Reign of Christ with his completed Bride– is faith that is based on God’s wisdom and not man’s wisdom.

This is what the Apostle Paul means by saying to the Corinthian brethren in 1 Corinthians 2:5, that their “faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

We are to TEST the Scriptures by studying the Words of God documented to us by the prophets in the Old Testament and by the Apostles and Jesus’s disciples in the New Testament, and study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

We cannot expect someone to understand or even know who God is simply by reading the Bible like a story book as “the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9). 

We must scrutinize every word that we read if we do not understand it’s glorious meaning. The Prophet Isaiah writes, Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! (Isaiah 45:15) WHY does God hide himself? In the following post are some suggested Scriptural thoughts on this: Isaiah 45:15 – A GOD Who Hides Himself”

Understanding God’s Word

Here is an extract from Reprint of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (R5982) about the subject matter concerning understanding God’s word:

“Our ability to understand spiritual things depends, not only upon our study of the
Scriptures, which are able to make us wise, but also upon the measure of the Holy Spirit which we possess. Hence the Apostle’s exhortation, “Be ye filled with the Spirit!” — Ephesians 5:18.

This means that only the spirit-begotten may understand the deep things of God at all; and that their understanding would be in proportion as they attain more and more a filling, a saturation with the spirit of holiness, the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ, the spirit of Truth.

Every Bible Student should realize that if, as a New Creature, he walks after the flesh and not after the Spirit, his mind will become more or less darkened, and not only will his ability to understand the deep things of God decrease, but even his recollection of the Lord’s Word will decrease; and that, on the contrary, when he is living near to the Lord–walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh–his memory of the Divine Word and his ability to appreciate its Spirit are increased.

Additionally, let us remember that a correct understanding of the Lord’s Word is not enjoyed by all the educated and talented, but comes to those who are of a meek and teachable heart, who study the Lord’s Word and who live it and absorb its spirit. Thus we have illustrated to us the Divine declaration, “Not by might [greatness], nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts” — Zechariah 4:6.”

————

During this Gospel Age, the called out of Babylon have the privilege to learn obedience to God and this involves developing the highest form of love, agape–towards our brethren in Christ. The Lord’s people have the privilege of learning now the lessons of forgiveness like God forgives us. God has such GREAT PERFECT mercy and love towards the fallen race, and the Apostle John in 3 John 3:16 tells us that God sent his firstborn of all Creation, His most Beloved Son, Jesus– the Logos– down to a terrestrial plan of existence (earth) (Hebrews 2:7-9) to redeem mankind and pay the ransom price to free ALL humanity from the sentence of Adamic death.

God’s divine plan encompasses the process of restoring all of humanity to perfection during the millennial reign of Christ with his Bride members (Revelation 7:14), known as the “elect” (Matthew 24: 22; Romans 11:7) and the “little flock” (Luke 12:32).

We have a responsibility to let our lights (the CHRIST-LIKENESS character) shine (Matthew 5:16).

But what’s the point of others seeing what WE DO? AH… the sentence follows with other words giving the correct answer.

In the kingdom when evil shall be restrained for 1000 years,  righteousness shall be the only standard by which all will have to adhere to, to gain eternal life and pure, perfect everlasting JOY will be the blessed result for everyone who chooses to obey God.

If indeed we have received the light and have consecrated ourselves fully to God, then let us ask ourselves, WHAT AM I DOING to show others the goodness of God? WHAT AM I DOING to proclaim the virtues and excellencies of Jehovah, who CALLED ME out of darkness?

Am I going forth with these tidings to my neighbors near and far?

Can I truly affirm that I am:–

“All for Jesus, all for Jesus–
All my being’s ransomed powers;
All my thoughts, and words, and doings,
All my days and all my hours?”

In 1 Peter 2:9 we are told,Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

It is God who calls one out of darkness. So no one can force anyone to believe how they do.

God does not call families. God calls individuals into the Truth of His Holy Word.

What is the Purpose of the Gospel Age?
The purpose of this Gospel Age is to “call out” a BRIDE FOR CHRIST, a group of 144,000 body of Christ members who can soon begin their Mediatorial Reign in bringing the world of mankind into harmony with God. This is only understood by those who have a discerning heart who God has decided to choose to understand His mysteries, which is:

Christ in youthe hope of glory” 

(Colossians 1:27).

The partakers of the High Calling have a desire to please God in all they do. As they commune with God, their minds are fixed on Christ and to be like him in character-likeness and thus, strive to do the Father’s will and be partakers in “the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:6) (A 3 part series of posts on the RESURRECTION can be read here: Part A, Part B, Part C).

God’s fully consecrated children share closest communion with The Heavenly Father and His son Jesus (Psalm 118:8), and long for a heavenly inheritance, as their minds are set on “things above”  (Colossians 3:2).

True Christians feels they are called by the situations that each of the fully consecrated believers in Christ experience during their earthly testing and preparation time, realizing how the Lord is drawing them to desire to give up ALL their human life rights to themselves; to their body, to their time, to their health, to their reputation, to their talents, or to anything that belongs to them confessing themselves as belonging to Jesus their Redeemer, and they dedicate to serve, love and trust Jesus as their life and their salvation to their last moment of life on this carnal earth.

Fully consecrated believers in Christ seek divine nature— to be where the Heavenly Father and His Son, Christ Jesus reside.

So what is our HOPE?

The Bible is jam-packed with precious promises.

Just flip open any page of the New Testament, and start reading. What is the first precious promise you read? It will surely not take you more than a minute to find, and it will surely inspire you, unlike any 10 minutes of watch the News on T.V. will do! Go try it!

In Colossians 1:27, we have the answer to what our HOPE is. (We have also referred to this text earlier in this post.)

It is a LIVING hope, for as stated in 1 Peter 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

What does a LIVING HOPE mean?

It means having a HOPE OF LIFE and not one of burning eternal torment which falsely the worldly institution of Papacy have darkened the minds of the world to believe in order to have power and prevent the light of Truth from illuminating the minds and hearts of mankind due to the influence of the Adversary who’s corrupt and wicked army of angels do still control— yet, they will all be bound during the Millennial reign of Christ period when God shall provide mankind with the opportunity to learn righteousness and be blessed by so doing (Isaiah 26:9).

After Armageddon, all will need to become true Israelites indeed. [see post: “Will ALL Mankind Need To Become ‘ISRAELITES INDEED’?”]

The rule then in the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom will be:

OBEY GOD and LIVE or DISOBEY GOD and die (without a possibility to resurrect ever again).

Those who have done wrong in this life, will have more re-learning to do, so the faster their minds choose to follow God’s ways, the sooner they will see and feel the immense blessing of JOY and satisfaction that they will gain from walking up the HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS (Isaiah 35:8).

It was Jesus’ obedience to the Heavenly Father— dying as the ransom for our justification— that has opened up the door for God’s children to have this living hope and it is not only a hope for such now justified, but it includes a hope of perfecting in future the now still ignorant, sinful and unjustified world of mankind, and bringing them into harmony with the Heavenly Father, so that God may be all in all. And this is “the eternal gospel”— that the Creator (who has no beginning and no end) will be finally ALL IN ALL (Revelation 14:6).

Just as the hopes of the apostles had withered at the time of the crucifixion but were revived at Jesus’ resurrection, so too, we have the assurance through Jesus’ resurrection that our final triumph is through our Lord and King, Jesus, who is currently standing at the Heavenly Father’s throne after having sat earlier at the right hand of God after his ascension to the divine realm (Mark 16:19). We are told of Jesus standing up since his parousia (invisible presence, that is often in English, incorrectly translated as Christ’s “coming” in Scripture).

In Daniel 12:1 we read, “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.”

When the last members of the Bride of Christ shall have gone “beyond the second veil” (died in the flesh), then Jesus shall sit with them on his own throne. We are told of this in Matthew 25:31:- “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.”

May the Heavenly Father be praised forevermore as we await our transformation into glory!

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11, ESV).

This post’s URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/05/03/share-shine/

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