Jesus’ Commission: Make Disciples. Baptize. Teach.

Mat. 28, 20 -2

Let’s begin with the words of Matthew 28:19‑20 (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

WHAT IS OUR WORK? 

We are definitely not travelling alone in this narrow way since GOD called out a faithful band of servants who, with every talent consecrated to His work, are steadily pursuing their course in the narrow way. We know some of them by name and by character and by their steady and progressive activity in the blessed work. And though not all of these have a copious amount of talents, they, nevertheless, quietly and unobtrusively go about from day to day preaching the wonderful words of life, and GOD is with them and is leading them on. Their hearts are full of joy and hope and they are kept securely amidst all the perils of this evil day. No amount of discouragement from the adversary, stops these that still remain amongst our midst, from continuing on with FULL ZEAL in the LORD’s work.

The ones who have the greatest appreciation of Truth,
are those who are FULLY enlisted in the LORD’s service.

If we bury our one or our many talents under a weight of worldly cares and encumbrances which might be avoided or set aside; if we bury them under worldly ambitions for either self or family — whether this be by wasting consecrated time upon science, philosophy, music or art; or upon business, politics or pleasures; or in pampering pride and appetite – then as unfaithful servants we will sooner or later go into outer darkness, by being caught in some of the snares of this “evil day.” and will be led farther and farther into error and away from truth. (R.1282)

In no single case have we seen one drift away from the Truth in these last years of the Gospel Age among those who were very active and FULLY enlisted in the LORD’s work, whose one aim and endeavor was to herald the truth and to bless others with it. (R.1282)

“To such the LORD says, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ – Ye shall never fail, for so an abundant entrance shall be ministered unto you into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ .” (R.3696).

Each royal priest is the peer of each other one in authority and dignity of priesthood; though in talents, intelligence, etc., and therefore in fitness, they are not all equals. (R.1137:4)

Some stewards do not quickly enough note talents which might be utilized in the Lord’s service. (R.1047:5)

Jesus’ words of Matthew 28:19‑20 to the apostles, apply to all fully consecrated disciples of Christ – who are authorized to preach the Gospel in any and every way, publicly or privately, by word, pen, or printed page.

THE THREE PARTS OF JESUS’ COMMISSION

PART 1 – MAKE DISCIPLINES of all nations

The word “disciple” signifies pupil, in the school of Christ, in the primary department. We are to first inform those who have ears to hear that they are sinners through the fall, but that GOD has made a provision for their rescue.

“We have a commission to proclaim the Gospel according to our opportunities and abilities.”(R5588:1)

The work of the Evangelist comes first, to make disciples. So let us continue to preach as the twelve disciples preached, by the wayside” (Matthew 13:4) or wherever you find a hearing ear (Mark 4:9).

Pastor Charles Russell encourages and suggests, the following:

“If you lack talent for preparing a discourse,
READ FORCIBLY AND CLEARLY
something touching the subject
you consider most needful to your hearers.” (R. 1047:5)

“This Gospel shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” (Matthew 24:14)

Since Christ died on Calvary as our Passover Lamb, the message of redemption has gone out to all who are willing to be disciples of Christ – no longer restricted to the Jewish people. The early disciples became witnesses to the Truth, and we should follow that example.

“Ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

PART 2 – BAPTIZE them

Immersion is the correct translation and the original method of baptism, as acknowledged by many authorities. Water immersion is the outward symbol by which believers confess their faith in Jesus as their Redeemer. When a Christian devotes his or her life to GOD, one is “immersed” into the will of GOD, and thus into the service of Christ whom GOD appointed as our Lord and Master.

In Romans 6:3-11, Apostle Paul adds another dimension to our immersion into Christ – namely, immersion INTO the sacrificial DEATH OF CHRIST:

“Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

WHO CAN PERFORM THE IMMERSION SERVICE?

“All authorized to teach are equally authorized to baptize. That includes every follower of Christ, not excluding females, only that modesty indicates that they should avoid such public services except in rare necessary cases” (R1541:4).

“All baptized would be commissioned to perform this symbol for others; and, if no consecrated could be found, an unconsecrated believer, or even a worldly person or unbeliever, might do it.” (Volume 6, “Studies in the Scriptures,” page 454).

The following words are recommended by Pastor Charles Russell for any immersion service:

“Brother … in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, by this authority, I baptize thee into Christ” (Volume 6, “Studies in the Scriptures,” page 455).

There is the thought amongst some Bible Students that the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 may have been altered during the third century to support the development of the false doctrine of the trinity. This is well explained in a study titled “In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” by Lenard Griehs (“Beauties of the Truth”, January, 1991). The evidence for this seems good.

However, if one favors the text as it appears in the common version, following are some comments that are helpful.

“Into the name of” – signifies into accord with, into fellowship with (R5587).

By the words “The Father” ‑ the meaning is that “all of Christ’s disciples are to recognize the Father’s name as standing for righteousness; and they are to become dead to every other principle than that which His name represents, and to be thoroughly immersed into that name of righteousness, justice, truth.” (R.5587 )

“These words do not imply three baptisms in one. The use of the three names is as if you were using a firm name, such as Smith, Jones and Brown; all three names would be used to show that it has the authorization of the whole firm. The Divine Three ‑ Father, Son and holy Spirit ‑ are related to our faith in the Creator, Redeemer and Regenerator; and this suggests the three steps in bringing men into the divine image.” (R.197:3)

The words “Of the Son ‑ shows that we ignore all sectarian names, Protestant or Catholic, but rather, recognize the name of Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah, and desiring to be his members, his Bride and his Body, “the Church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23, NIV).

The term “holy Spirit refers to GOD’s spirit, influence and character in our lives. The word in the Greek is “pneuma”, which means spirit (not “ghost” as in the King James version). The use of these words in Matthew 28:19 has been understood to signify that the immersed candidate’s own spirit or will becomes dead, and GOD’s holy will and mind are to become their will and purpose.

PART 3 ‑ TEACH them

The word “teach” in verse 19, is from a Greek word “matheteuo” and signifies proselyting or making disciples of.

It is not a command to convert the world but to gather out of all nations those willing to be disciples of Christ.

In verse 20, the words “teaching them” means instructing them regarding GOD’s divine character and plan, the graces of the spirit and the rooting out of the spirit of worldliness and selfishness. Not astronomy, geology, nor any of the vain philosophies about which the world speculates, but “the things which I have commanded you.” (R5045:4, 3200:2).

In Jesus’ words “observe all that I command you” we are reminded that all men are sinners, that Christ came to give himself a ransom, that he is the only way to life, that whosoever would come must take up his cross, that all believers are one with him, that every branch in him must bear fruit or be taken away, that those who trust in him are to hope for and expect his second coming, that we have a hope to be of those of the first resurrection, and that love is the fulfilling of the Law.

Jesus reassures, encourages, and strengthens us through his words to the Apostles, “I am with you always,” and we see this by the gift from GOD of the holy Spirit of GOD to guide and lead us through the age. By this, means Jesus is present with us in spirit. As our high priest, he sees to our spiritual interests. Jesus has been with his representatives in all their labors of love and self‑denial throughout the entire age so we are NEVER alone! We have the companionship of him who promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

In our Lord’s words, “even unto the end of the age,” the word “end” is from the Greek word suntelia, which means the ending period of the age. Now, in the present “Harvest,” or ending period of the Gospel Age, beginning with 1874 as pointed to in Daniel 12:12, Jesus is actively engaged on behalf of his saints to complete the Church, and inaugurate a period of transition into his Millennial Kingdom.

Jesus’ work for his people includes raising his sleeping saints in the first resurrection! Once the last member of the 144,000 shall have gone through the 2nd vail into the Divine Realm, then Jesus with His Bride, the Elect, shall establish his Kingdom, bless the nation of Israel with the New Covenant, and thus bless all mankind.

We are now not only in the Harvest, the ending period of the age, but even in the closing years of the harvest period itself. We have some years to go. Some brethren point to Acts chapter 27, and Paul’s voyage to Rome, as indicating the travel of the Church through the Harvest to the Kingdom, the center of world authority.

In this case, it is feasible that the 14 days of storm which precede the “Armageddon” crash of the ship of state, could suggest 14 years of distress closing the harvest.

In this case, those who consider that the blessed Millennium might commence another 27 years hence, find a milestone along the way, by which to check their expectations.

Meanwhile, let us not neglect our opportunities
to represent the Truth to all who may have a hearing ear.

We seek the last grains of wheat for the heavenly barn – so that thereafter the blessings of life can flow to the world. Then, through the elect, raised to heavenly glory, the inhabitants of the world shall all come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and secure wonderful, everlasting, earthly blessings.

“Let us remember, too, while using all the WISDOM we can in this service, that the Lord’s object in giving us a share in his work is not so much what we can accomplish as in the blessing that the labor will bring upon us. This will be an encouraging thought to the dear ones who are engaged in the “Volunteer” work; and if they find many discouragements and but small results the reflection that the Master knoweth them that are His, and that He appreciates every sincere effort made to serve His cause and to lay down our lives on behalf of the brethren, will give courage and strength to those who otherwise might faint by the way” (R. 2811).

“Let us see to it, not only that we do with our might what our hands find to do, but also that our every sacrifice and gift to the Lord and His cause is so full of love and devotion that the Lord will surely approve it; as done from love for Him and His, and not from vainglory” (R3166).

 

Acknowledgments:

Charles T.  Russell – “R” represents the “Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.” The numbers next to the “R” represent the page numbers of the reprinted articles.

Leonard Griehs’ – for his study from “Beauties of the Truth” – as referenced in the above post.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/BOTJAN91.PDF

 

URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/15/jesus-commission-make-disciples-baptize-teach/

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

 

Save

Gratitude & Courage

IMG_7192

 Our hearts o’erflow in prayer and praise
To thee most gracious Lord,
That thou hast opened up our eyes
To understand thy Word.
That thou hast sought us out to run
This narrow heavenly way.
O lead us by thy Spirit, Lord,
For this we daily pray.

We’re thankful for our blessings too.
We never should complain,
For even trials are stepping stones
That bring us lasting gain.
Sometimes discouragement comes in
To hide our face from thee.
“Tis then, we pray, grasp tight our hand
That we may closer be.

Give us fresh courage to go on,
For in OUR strength, we’re weak.
We “need thee every hour,” dear Lord,
Thy will alone we seek.
With gratitude and courage then,
O let us follow on.
By faith we see the prize in sight
As we behold the dawn.

 (from “Poems of the Way” – compiled by Br. Martin Mitchell)

I Need Thee Every Hour

https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/07/21/gratitude-courage/

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Expanse of Divine Love – 3 poems

PSALM 63, 3 - WITH CROSS & address

THE EXPANSE OF LOVE DIVINE

He loves me! Oh how much the thought entails,
Love that is perfect, love that never fails.
That strengthens me in sorrow or in strife,
Soothes all the trials and the cares of life.

 Higher than highest Heaven; so sublime
This love that lifts me up to heights Divine,
Enfolds me, fills my grateful heart with praise,
And lights my pathway with its golden rays.

 So high it overlooks man’s dreadful sin
And plans the fallen race to save, and win
Mankind for righteousness. To give them life
And free them from the bonds of sin and strife.

 A love so deep that nothing can molest
The calm and stillness of its perfect rest;
So deep the very lowest of our race,
In Time shall feel His power and know its grace.

Not e’en the silent shadows of the grave
Can hide from Him the soul He seeks to save;
For in due time He’ll call them back again,
Reveal His love, mankind shall serve Him then.

Its length? It teaches out through endless ages–
This love that’s sung by prophets and by sages–
The love that never fails, knows no cessation–
Eternity its limit of duration.

So broad, this love, it takes the whole world in.
It sees the vast extent of human sin,
Yet knows no barriers of blood or race
But reaches all with its unfailing grace.

It fills the universe, it lights the stars.
No selfishness its perfect beauty mars.
Increasing–as the need for it increases–
It knows no limits, varies not, nor ceases.

Lord let me lose myself in that great love,
Knowing Thou watchest o’er me from above.
Oh let me feel the Everlasting Arms
That shield from all that threatens or alarms.

Then shall the earthborn shadows flee away
And self shall be absorbed in love’s pure ray.
Thine image on this faulty tablet trace
And every earth stain from my heart efface.

Till love like Thine I may–in measure–know
And daily like the perfect pattern grow.
Then, by Thy grace, I’ll hear Thy sweet “Well done.”
Life lived in love, eternity begun.

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) – Let us then approach GOD’s throne of grace with CONFIDENCE, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’

Philippians 4:6 (ESV) – do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to GOD.’

(note: ‘supplication’ –  the action of asking or begging for something earnestly and humbly.)

Psalm 27:4 – ‘One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.’

————

THE STRONGER LOVE

All earthly love is a thread of gold,
Most fair but what the touch of time may sever:
But His is a cable sure, of strength untold
O, His love, it lasteth ever!
And this great love he will on thee bestow
The fullness of his grace make known,
Earnest of glory grant thee here below
If thou wilt be his own!

————

John 3:16

‘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.’

 

LOVE DIVINE

Yahweh GOD to us in Christ hath given
The proof and pattern of a love divine,
And human love above, though nobly striven.
GOD’s love is greater far than thine or mine.
For Christ came down from heights unknown to us,
And thus did show to GOD and man a love–
A love maintained through trial torturous;
A love beyond all loves, save GOD’s above.

GOD Is Love
1 John 4:7-21 (ESV) reads,

7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from GOD, and whoever loves has been born of GOD and knows GOD. 8Anyone who does not love does not know GOD, because GOD is love. 9In this the love of GOD was made manifest among us, that GOD sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

10 In this is love, not that we have loved GOD but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if GOD so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen GOD; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of GOD, GOD abides in him, and he in GOD.

16So we have come to know and to believe the love that GOD has for us. GOD is love, and whoever abides in love abides in GOD, and GOD abides in him. 17By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love GOD,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love GOD whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves GOD must also love his brother.

Reference:
“Poems of the Way” – Compiled by Martin C. Mitchell.

https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/07/21/the-expanse-of-divine-love-3-poems/

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Isaiah 45:15 – A GOD Who Hides Himself

ISA. 45, 15.jpg

Have you ever thought that GOD has withdrawn his favor from you?

Have you ever questioned… Is GOD really still dealing with me on a personal level, like His daughter/son?

We think to ourselves, could I really be in such a bad spiritually state?

We question ourselves:

Why could GOD be hiding from me?

In Isaiah 45:15 we read, Truly, You are a GOD who hides Himself, O GOD of Israel, Savior!” (NASV)

Here we note that hiding from man, is one of GOD’s attributes.

Is it because we have done something to displease the LORD, and where GOD disapproves of our actions?  Perhaps in such a situation, we find we don’t have the prayer life anymore or one that we would wish to have where there is ease of communication without guilt or feeling unworthy.

Or, we may be saying to ourselves “my life is no different than that of the world around me”.

So when we can’t distinguish any difference in our life then in the life of a person who has not given himself to the Lord then we say “there is no specific purpose to my individual experiences” compared to another person in the world.

Or, perhaps our experiences feel like they no longer have any spiritual meaning – when we can’t identify what the experiences are for, and we get into a rut; when our experiences mean I’m merely just existing or surviving this experience and I know I’m just existing because I experience, but I can’t identify with me this experience spiritually.

Maybe we recognize that for most of us when we grasped the Truth, we had a great outburst of emotion for it – we loved it; we were enthused about it; we talked about it; we were excited about it and when we heard a discourse we’d get goose bumps from joy! And all of a sudden we come to a place where that is no longer true. We just go to meeting because it’s a habit and we expose ourselves to creation experiences which we’re sort of glad about having, but beyond that, there’s no quickening of the heart beat.

Here are some possible reasons WHY we experience that GOD has hidden himself from us:-

(A) GOD wishes to AWAKE US TO RIGHTEOUSNESS

It is good to remember that when it comes to GOD’s dealing with anyone, they are never intended to be a harsh, burdensome experience but GOD’s aim of  allowing certain trying experiences in our lives is for the purpose of CORRECTING a situation…. CORRECTION OF ACTION… and ultimately to CORRECT OUR CHARACTER so that we may learn to BE PERFECT  (Matthew 5:48) – that is, “reckoned as righteous” through our Faith (see Romans Chapter 4) and LOVE RIGHTEOUSNESS (Hebrews 1:9) so that we can be used in His future kingdom as administrators of the blessings to all the world of mankind – teaching mankind how to walk up the Highway of Holiness, having attained to the highest levels while going through the experiences of the Gospel Age now, while the permission of evil abounds.

In Hebrews 12:6, Apostle Paul writes, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

The chastenings of the Lord are not necessarily designed for punishment, but rather for discipline. They are necessary as a part of our training, and to test our humility before the Lord, and our loyalty to him. Peter wrote, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time”. (1 Peter 5:6) This is what it means to be “patient in tribulation” (Rom.12:12); and if we are thus patient we will rejoice in a hope which “maketh not ashamed.”

In Ephesians 6:4 (ESV) we read, Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Our Heavenly Father does not deal with all in this manner but only with some, His sons.

He thus dealt with our Lord Jesus-“the captain of our salvation” – as he lived in this world of sin and suffered the “contradiction of sinners against Himself.” For, “what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 2:7).

 So the apostle admonishes that we “look unto Him” lest we become weary and faint in our minds (Hebrews 2:2, 3). The rigors and the discipline to which a well-trained child is subjected by a loving father may at times seem irksome, unpleasant and painful, but it is for the ultimate good and development of the child in every sense. So it is in the life of the child of GOD but in a perfect manner.

The tests of faith, of fidelity, of love for GOD and righteousness, of obedience, of patient endurance and suffering wrongfully, the discipline of the Word under adversity, the submission in love to the Father’s will, and an awareness of the guidance of the Spirit, are some aspects of the Father’s discipline as He trains us for the purpose He has in view.

These are all tangible evidences of the heavenly Father’s love and concern. Like those to whom the apostle wrote, we also tend to forget this when the way is hard and difficult. Frustrations, pressures, and perplexities surround us – “Ye have forgotten” says the apostle, “the exhortation that speaketh unto you as unto sons” (Hebrews 2:5).

If we remember this always, we will rejoice even when all things seem to be against us as we earnestly seek to do His will, inasmuch as we know we are under His loving hand.

The life of the child of GOD, wholly surrendered to Him and to Christ, is an entirely new life, in and of Godly character, under the Father’s influence, control and leading, the Heavenly Father’s constant special and infinite care for our training in the principles of His laws, so that, we can be ministers of these laws and processes of training for all humanity.

We are “hid with Christ in God” (Romans 8:1-4; 8:14, 28; John 1:13; 16:27; Luke 12:4-7, 22-32; 1 Peter 5:6, 7; Colossians 3:1-4). Sometimes the Father withholds or hides Himself in order that the depth of our longing and love for Him and for Christ may be put to the test, that we may be conscious of a sense of loss, that me may yearn for Him and learn to fully depend on Him to reveal Himself more fully in all His love and tenderness.

GOD may withdraw His favor to awaken us to the situation that we have begun to slip or that we are near the point of slipping and that we need to reassert ourselves spiritually. The best example of this in the Bible, is when we look at the account of Queen Esther.

In the 4th chapter of the Book of Esther, we are told that Esther, (who had become the Queen of the Persian empire), had now an enemy against her uncle Mordecai and all the Jewish people (so this would include her, as she was Jewish). A man named Haman had become a chief counselor of the empire and had put into motion a plan that would mean the destruction of every Jew throughout the Medo-Persian empire. Mordecai realizes this; he tears his clothes; he puts on sack cloths and ashes, and he sits in mourning. Esther’s initial response is documented in Esther 4:4, “So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.”

So we can see that Esther’s first response is “let’s just stop mourning – let’s not face the reality of the problems that we have.” Esther’s initial reaction is not a good reaction. Her reaction is one of not comprehending the true danger of the situation. It is Mordecai who wakens her to the danger by mentioning one thing specifically and that is, that this is not a danger, remote to someone else; it is, that YOUR VERY LIFE IS AT STAKE! YOU TOO, won’t escape this! You too, are Jewish and so your in just as much danger of death as I’m in and all the rest of our people, the Jews, are in. But then Esther experiences the alienation that she has already experiences from the King himself and this is noticed in Esther 4:11, where she is speaking to Hathach, one of the King’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and instructs him to say to Mordecai:-

“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days”. (Esther 4:11)

Esther realizes that she has become estranged from the King and notice, that she says, as if “I’m free to go to him but if I go to him without being invited to, by him, then I’m afraid my life may be at stake even earlier because I have been so presumptuous to come to him.”

We may experience this too in our spiritual lives as consecrated. We may at some point in our spiritual walk feel like we do not feel free to go to our Heavenly Father. We feel “I am not bidden to come to GOD anymore or feel GOD is not communicating with me anymore; that GOD has hidden Himself from me (just like King Xerxes has from Esther), GOD Yahweh has hidden himself for the past perhaps 30 days too, and we don’t feel we can go and plead our cause.

And this is what Mordecai is bringing out to Esther – the reason for Him hiding. He is saying: “remember Esther … You’re life is at stake! You think you will die if you go to the King … I know you will die if you don’t!”

So in our lives GOD may bring us to this point in our lives to show us that if we don’t continuously communicate with Him, then we WILL DIE!

You know dear friends, there is a far greater then Haman out there looking to kill us… that is… a ‘Haman’ who is called Satan – he wishes to kill our New Creature developing in us – the embryonic New Creation which is developing into maturity until …

That Jesus agape love in us, overflows towards our beloved brethren and our will becomes dead to self but alive in CHRIST – being crucified in ALL we think and do, having our minds superglued on JESUS no matter how ridiculous we sound to the world or how humiliated we are for striving to conform to the LIKENESS OF OUR LORD JESUS.

Dear brethren in Christ, as we are now on an arena and we are a spectacle unto angels and men, let us endure it with great Joy in our Hope that promised for the faithful unto death isn’t just eternal life in perfect conditions, but IMMORTAL life and those who suffer with CHRIST for doing good now, shall reign with CHRIST. They are those who grow into the maturity in Christ, learning and CUTTING OFF and TURN AWAY from sin -from mistakes made in blind ignorance according to any uniquely individual situation allowed by GOD, and turning completely away from past errors, learning to well appreciate the failings of all their brethren and the world through their own experiences of enduring the sacrificial experiences as prospective Bride of Christ members, and learning to only FULLY depend on and seek out their Heavenly Father’ will in ALL.

So this experience is to help bring us back to the place where we will come and pour out our hearts to our Heavenly Father YAHWEH, but in doing it, we face that one big emotional problem: that problem of … “well I can’t do this because I’ve gotten out of the habit … I don’t have that feeling anymore”. And that’s when we have to awaken to the righteousness that says, “even if I don’t feel comfortable in praying to GOD, if I don’t do it, the result is certainly DISASTROUS! If I do do this, then there is the ONE and the ONLY potential of overcoming in doing this and as we come to the remedies we’ll find that the first remedy, is the remedy suggested by the first cause – and that’s PRAYER.

PRAYER is the beginning of the remedy even though it may be the very hardest to apply when we feel estranged from the LORD individually.

This situation of Queen Esther’s, may remind us of a certain class in the Bible – a class mentioned in the prophecy of Jeremiah 8 – a class that ends up saying “the harvest has ended the summer is passed and we are not saved”. That class that speaks those words in Jeremiah 8:20, in Jeremiah 8: 11 said that the reason for their punishment is because they said: “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.”

Is this not the very thing that Esther was doing!

She was telling Mordecai “your problem is you need to get out of your sack clothes … You need new clothes”. And Mordecai was telling her that’s like saying “peace, peace when there is no peace”. That’s not the problem that’s the symptom. The problem was that she needed to approach the King on behalf of Israel.

And so the alienation we sometimes feel is to awaken us to the deeper problems that lie there to bring us to the Lord not to solve the alienation but to solve a deeper problem – to find out what it is to not keep us away.

(B) GOD may hide himself from us, to teach us FAITH, TRUST and RELIANCE upon Him through Jesus Christ, our Master and King.

Sometimes our Heavenly Father teaches us that our life isn’t different from anybody else’s or to bring us to a place where we can’t see any purpose from an experience, He then says,

“That’s when YOU NEED TO TRUST IN ME when you can’t trace Me “… This is brought out beautifully in Job 23: 3-5, 8-9, 15 (NIV) – this pinpoints the problem :-

(3-5) “If only I knew where to find Him; if only I could go to His dwelling! I would state my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what He would answer me, and consider what He would say to me.”

(8-9) “But if I go to the east, He is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find Him. When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.”

(11) “My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.”

This is a sad set of scriptures. Job looks everywhere for GOD, yet cannot find GOD to feel that He is with him in his experiences at a time of experiencing so much pain and misery. These experiences seem over his head and as a result, Job was beginning to sink in the experiences he had. It isn’t until later in the Book of Job, that Job starts swimming upward again and begins getting over these experiences.

In Job chapter 23: 3-5, Job wanted to find GOD to plead his case before GOD.

Let’s look at verse 6 & 7 to fill in some answers-

(6) “Would He vigorously oppose me? No, He would not press charges against me. (7) There the upright can establish their innocence before Him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.”

In verse 6, Job realizes if he could find GOD, he would find Him a Merciful GOD, who would give him strength.
In verse 7 is the realization that if we feel we have lost GOD, we firstly need to find our Advocate – the one who pleads on our behalf! – you know it is our Beloved, Precious Jesus who is the Best Lawyer in the whole universe!

When we feel we have lost our ability to approach GOD then more than ever we feel “if only someone spoke GOD’s language and could get through to Him for me”, and that is exactly what Jesus does! And Job was as if saying, “if only Jesus would argue for me … if I could just enlist the upright one on my side, then he would deliver me from this judgement forever … Then I would be over this particular experience”.

So friends, IT IS FINDING THE UPRIGHT ONE, JESUS, IN OUR LIVES.

And Job says he can’t. He goes upward, downward, backward, front, and simply can’t find him. So now let’s look at verses 10 & 12:

(10) “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
(12) “I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.”

So just like Job highlights through these words of his, let us look for the realisation that even though we feel GOD is hiding himself from us for a brief moment, He knows exactly where we are and has not departed from us, and it is HE who FIRST FOUND US, called out us of darkness into His marvelous light, and adopted us as we are told in Ephesians 1:5(NLT) –

GOD decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”

GOD wishes for us to develop Faith in Him, that He is taking charge in our life and to TRUST COMPLETELY in Him.

In verse 11 & 12, Job says what he felt he had done, and they are a stimulus to us about things WE MUST DO to feel this pull to our Heavenly Father. We must trust and be convinced that GOD will pull us through and make us more than gold IF:

1.      Our feet will hold to His steps;
2.      His way we keep and do not decline;
3.      We do not go back from the commandment of His lips;
4.      We esteem the words of His mouth more than necessary food.

It is at this point GOD is telling us we will be in a good place IF WE DO OUR PART. GOD is saying, “I’m putting you in a place where you can’t see Me, but if you just do your responsibilities then trust that then I will do what I promise to do and bring you closer to Me.”

And Job tells why he’s so confident in Job 23: 13-14- “But He stands alone, and who can oppose Him? He does whatever He pleases. He carries out His decree against me, and many such plans He still has in store.”

The Leeser’s Jewish Bible translation of Job 23:14 reads, He will bring to completion what is destined for me.”

Each one of the Church of the Body of Christ members (that’s you and me dear brethren) are being trained and fitted for a peculiar specific and each different part of the body that requires a different treatment. I can’t be treated in exactly the same way as Sister X, Y or Z or Brother A, B or C as we each need specific experiences and as we come into these experiences as their all different, we don’t see what the end result is, and GOD’s saying to us, “the reason I give you these experiences is because I want you to have confidence that I KNOW BEST what the end result should be and so I’m not going to let you see what this end result is, so that you will learn that my hand will lead you through this to safely overcome and develop a Christlike character that I require from you, so that I can present you to my Son when I’m through with you”. 

It will take every inch of TRUST, of DISCIPLINE over the mind, and FAITH. It will require us to LAY DOWN OUR COMPLETE UTTER ALL for GOD to direct us now so we can prove to Him our LOYALTY to GOD’s PRINCIPLES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS so that we can receive the Highest possible reward because of proving to GOD that we please Him through overcoming the most unfavorable circumstances of the permission of evil.

And the end of this verse is saying that just like GOD has this kind of experience in store, so HE has other experiences for us also.

Now, the hiding of GOD’s face is only one tool in His tool box. He has tools of throwing His arms around us too! 🙂

At other times in our walk up towards spiritual Holy “Mount Zion”, GOD is showing us, that He really likes what we are doing.

GOD gives us His tools of directing us, just when we need that direction.
Our Divine Father testing us to the words we sing in that hymn,

“I’d rather walk in the dark with GOD,

than go alone in the light”. 

So would you really? That’s what GOD is TESTING.

GOD is as if saying, “Are you willing to really walk in the dark with me when you can’t see the next step? Will you trust to take the steps in the dark and know that it will lead to gold? Would you really rather walk by Faith then walk by sight? Show me how“.

Let’s look at one more thing here. Job’s attitude in Job 10: 2, “Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.”

This same word “bitter” is used in Deuteronomy 31:27: “For I know thy rebellion…?” The word “rebellion” here, is the same word as the one written as “bitter” in Job 23:2.

Job in verse 2 is saying, ” I just want to argue with GOD and show and explain to Him that this hiding from me just isn’t fair!”

This attitude is the one GOD is trying to correct – to bring us into a complacent one that Job shows and had in Job 23:10.

(C) GOD may hide himself to TEST THE SINCERITY OF OUR CONSECRATION.

How much easier it is to say “whatever your will GOD, I’ll do it!” but then when hammered down as life unfold, through the Christian pilgrimage to our heavenly home, how easy is it to accept our Heavenly Father’s will when we experience agonizing experiences of pain, sickness & disease, and death?

When we first made our consecration, it may have been far more easily said “GOD may it be your will”, yet we learn to understand what this means ONLY through the BIGGEST BLESSING OF ALL that follow:

LIFE; EXPERIENCE; PHYSICAL and MENTAL PAIN, and /or SICKNESS, and SUFFERING.

We now see that being a soldier in the Lord’s army takes every inch of mental and physical energy that we have into the fight for the victory of being a member of the 144,000!

Don’t give up!

A martyr means “a witness” and to be a witness of CHRIST will cost us our ENTIRE ALL not just half of us… No way! GOD doesn’t want a lukewarm CHRISTIAN as a King to reign with His Son Jesus in future… GOD does not want a COLD Christian either who has a non- repentant or non-forgiving heart… GOD WANTS A ZEALOUS follower of Christ who shall defend JESUS and those who are His; who have professed consecrating into Christ, to the best of their human abilities -seeing them all as better than self. (Phil. 2:3)

So our tools to overcoming is prayer and the studying of Holy Scriptures every day and immersing the mind into Scripture at every point you have even if it’s a few minutes here or there then do that! Our time is consecrated – ALL OF IT IS – unto the Lord so we no longer even own it, as we lay down our ALL on the altar of sacrifice daily, and daily seek to fulfill our covenant sacrifice until death.

Never stop to rest from activity in the LORD’s service, even for one minute!

Don’t ever think the battle is won till faithful until death!

By hiding himself, GOD is in fact asking us “are you willing to take a path where you now can no longer identify with me, where you find your confused and say GOD how does this experience identify with me?”

This was the test our LORD JESUS experienced too. Remember when Jesus hung on the cross, for the first time he did not call GOD “Father” but said:

 “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
that is,
“My GOD, my GOD, WHY have you forsaken me?”(Matthew 27:46).

Jesus felt our Divine Father’s face hidden from him!

Look at the depth that Jesus felt this experience …

I mean here is a PERFECT human, the Son of GOD Yahweh Almighty, who had had a prior relationship with the Father when he was the Logos in his pre-human existence. Jesus knew GOD intimately!
GOD was testing our Lord Jesus to the very depth of his consecration. Could he take that alienation ? In Jesus case, the experience was very temporary. It had to be, as his life was very temporary; it was only a more few hours on the cross and so at last his life WAS RESTORED and Jesus’s last words (which were called out by him in a loud voice) were,

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46).

GOD had tested Jesus to the point of seeing if Jesus would really take and accept any experience, even the experience of turning his back on Jesus, turning away from him so that he could not even see the Father’s face.

(D) GOD may hid himself from us to TEACH US leadership and principles.

Under the Old Law, the Israelites were told exactly how to order their life. They were given a set of Laws and were instructed by GOD how to follow these laws to inherit eternal life.  Every experience of life related to what GOD did want or didn’t want.

But when it comes to the Church of the Firstborn, GOD says, “I’m not going to give you a whole set of Laws and tell you what to do and what not to do, but rather I want YOU TO THINK OF IT FOR YOURSELVES … I’ll give you the material to based your thoughts upon, (and that’s in the Bible) but YOU HAVE TO DETERMINE what I want you to do and what I don’t want you to do.” And that’s HARDER, as it’s no longer the case of reading what the law is, but trying to learn HOW GOD OPERATES. And as a result GOD gives us the Gospel, a broad sketch outlines of HIS will. He gives us a book full of biographies – of both Old and New Testament characters and GOD doesn’t tell us which experiences they did right and which they did wrong but gives us these experiences and tells us “now you decide which ones I approve of and which ones are right and which ones are wrong based on an EDUCATED CONSCIENCE that you’ll gain from works in developing your Faith in Me”. And in most cases, GOD doesn’t give us the answers in our own individual experiences but wants us to think on His principles to deal with our challenges of life.

GOD does not want us as His children to memorize rules, but HE wishes us to be like philosophers and reasoned upon and apply His Righteous Principles… to figure out what He would wish of us and this takes continual leaning on HIM and HIS word through prayer and study.

That is WHY our Father hides himself, so it is better for us to see the principles.

Let’s share a practical example.

You have a new employee and there is only so long you can stand over your new friend’s shoulder and say “do it this way, this way, this way and this way.” After a while, you need to tell the new employee, “this is the end result I want so do it the best way you can.” You LET THEM figure out the best way in realizing how to accomplish the job and the LORD is telling us the same thing. “I want your character like mine. I’m not going to show you every step. I want you to figure it out on your own based on the principles to develop leadership potential.
Why does GOD work like this? Because GOD’s training us!

For what? To be Kings who will reign with Christ.

And a King must learn to think.

A King must know what the principles are to actively apply them.

GOD is training us to be teachers. There are good teachers and bad teachers. One feature distinguishes the two:

A bad teacher – teaches merely facts. He tells you what is the answer. What it is.

A good teacher – teaches how to think and how to arrive at the facts. These students can surpass their teacher and then they become even better teachers.

GOD is a good teacher.
He’s saying “if you just look at Me you’ll never learn to teach others
so I’m going to hide from you so you can
figure out what I’m trying to accomplish in your life.

GOD teaches us that we must be governed in our life by PRINCIPLES, not by emotions.

The emotional response to Truth can sometimes be an asset but it can be out of balance in our lives because that’s the only response we look for, so GOD may withdraw the emotional response and withdrawn that which produces that emotional response to see if we’re really serving him out of the principles of righteousness.

(E ) GOD hides himself in order to STIMULATE STUDY. 

We learn to go back to our Father’s word to see why He is hiding His face.

It’s like GOD’s way of tapping us on the shoulder and saying, “Read 2Timothy 2:15 again… Study to shew thyself approved unto GOD, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Just as one doesn’t study a verse of the Bible out of its context, so too we study the book of our lives IN THE CONTEXT OF OUR LIVES and we don’t take an experience all by itself and say why did GOD let this develop but we relate it to the context of our whole life.

When we go to school to be trained we relate what we study to the job we will do afterwards. So to, in the school of Christ, we are being trained for a particular job which includes many functions and let’s incorporate them into one job: Mediator.

What makes a good mediator?

The Vines Expository Dictionary definitions the word “mediator” in the following way:

“A mediator should himself possess the nature and attributes of him toward whom he acts (man) and should likewise participate in the nature of those for whom he acts (GOD). Only by being possessed of both deity and humanity can the mediator comprehend the claims of the one and the needs of the other.

And in the final analysis that is exactly the point. We will have the Divine nature (deity) if we are faithful unto death. Jesus got the Divine nature at death, when he was faithful. Only by having that, could he really understand what GOD required because then he shared the same requirements. Only by being with men and possessing their nature could he understand what they needed and he could then diagnose them. And so with us. Our experiences are to give us a common identity with the world. In fact that is why our life is no different from the world around us, and we’re told it wouldn’t be.

(F) GOD hides his face to BROADEN OUR BASE OF SYMPATHY

1 Corinthians 10:13- talks about what kind of experiences GOD gives us.

1 COR. 10, 13 -with cross

There is no experience we have that is different to man’s. So we look around and see that our experiences are no different to those we see around us and so therefore we say…”GOD isn’t with me”… It is just the opposite. BECAUSE YOUR LIFE IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THOSE AROUND YOU, GOD IS WITH YOU!

If we look for our lesson and apply ourselves in learning to trust GOD’s providential care and leading we will know how to endure the experience and use the strength GOD gives us to overcome any and every test of character development GOD allows to come our way.

Our Divine Father tells us, “I’m giving you these experiences because that’s what you are here for… to learn to be part of the Mediator.”

In the tabernacle picture, you had two animals making ONE SIN OFFERING. But there was a distinction between those two animals. One signified Christ; one signified the Church.

They both died; both had the blood applied on the Mercy seat. But the blood of the bullock – was for Aaron the High priest and his house – the Levites. The blood of the goat – was for the whole tribe / family of Israel.

Christ’s part in the sin offering is peculiarly and particularly for the Church and the Church’s part of the sin offering is peculiarity and particularly for mankind.

And we can substantiate this in Hebrews 2: 17-18, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to GOD, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

Hebrews 4:15,16 – For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”


So mankind will have the same experiences that the Church has because that is required in the body of experiences in the sin offering to most effectually help back the world of mankind in the kingdom that someone has gone through a life no different; that they have gone through the most common experience that mankind has had and that is universal and that is, that GOD is hiding his face from me.

So one of the most common experiences he must give us is that He hides His face from us so that we can learn to find it and so that, in turn, we can help mankind find GOD’s face again so that their lives are more meaningful even as we look to find GOD’s face in our experiences so that likewise the experiences can be more meaningful to us.
May the Lord add His bless.
Acknowledgment:

Bro. Carl Hagensick – words from his discourse titled “When GOD Hides Himself” have been used to create this post.

I KNOW NOT WHAT AWAITS ME

I know not what awaits me,
  God kindly veils my eyes,
And o’er each step of my onward way
  He makes new scenes to rise;
And every joy He sends me comes
  A sweet and glad surprise.

Where He may lead I’ll follow,
  My trust in Him repose;
And every hour in perfect peace,
  I’ll sing, “He knows, He knows“;
And every hour in perfect peace,
  I’ll sing, “He knows, He knows.”

One step I see before me,
  ’Tis all I need to see,
The light of heaven more brightly shines
  When earth’s illusions flee;
And sweetly through the silence comes,
  His loving, “Trust in Me!”

Oh, blissful lack of wisdom,
  ’Tis blessed not to know;
He holds me with His own right hand,
  And will not let me go,
And lulls my troubled soul to rest
  In Him who loves me so.

So on I go not knowing;
  I would not if I might;
I’d rather walk in the dark with God
  Than go alone in the light;
I’d rather walk by faith with Him
  Than go alone by sight.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Save

Hebrews 10:25 – Not Forsaking the Assembling of Ourselves Together

 

Heb 10, 25 with address

Dear friends,

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much more as ye see the day approaching. For if ye sin willfully after ye have received a knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin” Hebrews 10:25-26

It seems to me that there is a most astounding connection between those two verses, as though the Apostle were explaining that a time would come when communion and fellowship with the people of GOD would be more essential than it had been before, and if we would ignore and neglect that PRIVILEGE there would be great danger that the final results might be the loss of everything.

You will notice, too, the Apostle uses the word “forsake” here. He did not say, “Do not ignore the assembling of yourselves together.” If you and I have never met with the people of GOD, and knew nothing of the blessing and benefits of that fellowship, the Lord would never have made the statement quite so strong; and you and I would not be quite so well able to discern the necessity or value of meeting with the people of GOD. And, the thought is, if you have once tasted of this blessing, if you have once enjoyed this fellowship, if you have once participated in this communion, now do not forsake it; NEVER GIVE IT UP; forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is.

Why is this made such an important matter to not forsake the assembling together ?

Why does the Apostle lay such stress on it?

Why should you and I be so careful about meeting with the children of God?

Here are some reasons:

1.

You and I should do this thing on the basis of FAITH, because the Lord says so, even if we could not see one single benefit to be derived, even if we could not see one single advantage to be gained; the very fact the Lord said so ought to settle the whole matter, and we should say, “Lord, I respect your Word; you have said it, and I am going to abide by that.”

I think there is not the confident faith in many of the statements of the Word of GOD, even among some of his children, that there ought to be.

Do you remember the faith that Abraham had? Do you remember the time when GOD came to Abraham and said to him, “Abraham, leave thine own house, and thy father’s house and come out into this land that I will show you?” Do you remember how Abraham never stopped to question the wisdom of GOD’s advice? He did not say, “Well, LORD, your desire is clear to me, but I cannot see why you want me to go out there? Don’t you think, LORD, this is a pretty good place where I am living? Why cannot I stay here and serve you? How is that land that you want me to go out into? Is it a pretty good land for farming purposes? Do you think I would be able to raise a crop to support myself and my family?  Abraham did not say one word. GOD told Abraham to go, and he was ready to go. Even when he got there he found nothing but a barren wilderness. Dear friends, that was faith, and that is the faith that you and I want to have.

When we find the advice in the Word of GOD that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, then when we find the people that have GOD’s spirit, when we find the people who give evidence of living close to the LORD, then, whether you find the measure of profit in associating with them you expect or not, you should meet with them, because GOD has said so.

Some might say, “Well, but do not situations alter the matter?” I am sure if there is no one in your neighborhood who does give evidence of having love for GOD and his Truth, then of course matters would be altered, but even in that case you would have to hold fellowship in your mind and heart with the people of GOD, even though visible fellowship was impossible. But if you are located where there is a company of GOD’s children, then your course is clear from that statement.

I am afraid that there are some of the Lord’s people who say, “Well, I know the Scriptures say we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but I have some trials and some obstacles in the way, now don’t you think I am justified in not attending ecclesia meetings?

“Sister, the LORD said forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.”

“But now wait, I want to show you from this standpoint: I live quite a ways from the meeting, and I have not the very best of health. Now don’t you think I would be justified in staying home and not assembling with the LORD’s people?”

“The LORD has said, Sister, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together. It does not matter how you view it, the matter is settled. ”

Let us not be of that class that are seeking some excuse that they may not have to act on what GOD has advised, but let us be of the class that are determined to overcome every obstacle in order to adhere to the advice and abide by the suggestions GOD has made. I think it is a dangerous thing when we get into the position where we want some excuse for ignoring the Word of GOD. I believe that Satan realizes our weaknesses along that line and he knows how to take advantage of them. It seems as if the devil has a big excuse department, and if anybody wants any excuse for anything-anything that would be contrary to the Word of GOD, he will get the excuse up for them. All you have to do is to have a half a wish in your heart that you do not have to go to the bible study meeting tomorrow, and he will send you a box of excuses right away. If he finds in your heart or in my heart the least inclination to ignore the admonition of the LORD, he will find some way of taking advantage of that inclination, and you and I are going to be trapped.

2.

Where GOD’s people are gathered, there GOD is, and where the church is, there the head (Jesus) of the church is. The Savior himself says, “Where two or three are met together in my name there will I be.” (Matthew 18:20)

It would be absurd for any of GOD’s children to gather together without the Lord being present if they really are his children. How absurd to think of someone coming to these meetings and leaving their head at home? Indeed if they come they have to bring their head with them. If you are one of the children of GOD, and if Jesus is your head, if you have given up your own head, your own will, to do the will of your Master, then wherever you go your Master goes; and you will say, “Where there is a company under the control of the Spirit of the Master there I want to be; I want to be where he is, and I know he is there in a special and peculiar sense over and above what he is with me when I am alone in connection with my daily employment.”

3.

When we meet with the LORD’s people, we realize that these are the people who love to talk about the things that we love to talk about; they love to dwell on the topics that are dearest to our hearts. If we are amongst the people of the world, and if all our interests and all our desires are along worldly lines, then we would rather go where our neighbors go-we would rather go to places of amusement, we would rather go to places that would to some degree benefit us along worldly lines; and if your heart has been given to the LORD you want to go to the place where these things are talked about that you are most deeply interested in, the things of the LORD, where his will is in control.

And yet this does not mean that when the people of GOD meet together they always do confine their discussions and conversations to the subject that means the most to them. Let us be careful all along that line. 

When we meet with the LORD’s people let us keep our minds focused on the things of the Lord; let us keep our hearts centered upon spiritual matters. And you might misuse the LORD’s time in talking about the things that do not profit you as respects the edification of the new creature.

I think it is very much like the Jewish Tabernacle. You know how when you went into the Holy if you would look up there on that curtain overhead you could see all of those figures of cherubim wrought in needle work. To me that illustrates the way you and I, when we are in that condition, begotten of GOD’s Holy Spirit, as we look up we see GOD’s providences, we see his wisdom, his love, his power and his justice, and by the eye of faith we behold the very angels as ministering spirits sent forth to minister to the people of GOD.

Do you remember when the high priest, or the under priests either, were in the Holy, if they looked up they could see these angels, these cherubim, everywhere on that curtain wrought with needle work? But suppose instead of looking up, the priest just looked down, and kept his eyes on the earth, what would he see? Nothing but dirt, just ground. You remember there was no special floor made in that Tabernacle, it just stood on the earth. This gives us the thought that even though you and I have been begotten of GOD’s Holy Spirit, even though we have been brought to the place where we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, yet we have to keep our eyes up, as it were-lift up our heads. On the contrary, if we are looking down in the worldly direction we will see earthly things; we will just see dirt, nothing but dirt.

4.

When we meet together with the LORD’s people, we talk about the things that will help them toward the kingdom, help them to make their calling and election sure, things that will give them an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of GOD.

In the 3rd chapter of the Book of Philippians, we read “Forgetting the things that are behind.” We want to learn to set our affections on the things above and forget those things that are behind. We want to seek the things that will edify, and especially let us beware of boastfulness along these lines. I find so often we are inclined to cultivate a little boastful spirit, we like to talk about the different people we have engaged in conversation, and how we have downed them in our argument, and how they could not answer us, how we were able to cover them with confusion, etc. Dear friends, I think it would be well for us if we would not talk quite so much along those lines. We do not want to have that boastful spirit that will go around boasting of the victories gained, or anything of that kind. We do not want to merely pull the faith of others down. Rather we want to build their faith up in the right direction. So I would suggest that we talk more along the line that would draw us towards the Lord, and less along the lines that would draw us away from the Lord.

5.

In meeting with the people of God we will find grace and strength to prepare us for the hard experiences that are coming.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the LORD, through the Apostle Paul, uttered these words:

“My GRACE is sufficient for you.”

By these words, our LORD did not mean that we would always have grace sufficient for every trial. It may be possible some of the LORD’s people have found themselves in trials sometimes, and they have had to confess that they did not have grace enough. They said, “Oh, I know if I had sufficiency of grace I could bear this trial better than I do. There is something wrong; the LORD said his grace would be sufficient, but it is not.” Has the LORD broken the promise? Not at all. Here is the thought:

The LORD promised he will supply sufficient grace, but you and I, in order to make use of that supply, we will have to go to the source of supply in the right way, as it were. Perhaps in going to a particular Bible Student Convention or an ecclesia meeting, GOD has arranged that you will obtain grace to prepare you for trials you are going to have, in the nearest future.

Now suppose you say to yourself, “Well, I know the LORD has told me I should not forsake the assembling of myself with you people, but it is a long distance to the meeting place, and I do not like the brethren altogether there. I think some of them have very peculiar and eccentric ways about them, and I just think I will stay at home instead”…

What about going to BE A BLESSING? Or going for the sake of even that ONE who may benefit? Ill health or lack of money may be the case but if one prays in faith about it, then GOD does indicate His will and often what seems impossible GOD makes possible if the desire is to DO HIS WILL (Luke 18:27).

What is the result of not going to that convention or that ecclesia meeting?

You are not obtaining the grace that you needed for the trial when it comes and the consequence is when the trial arises, you will be lacking, but not because GOD failed in the keeping of his word; GOD has done his part, he is supplying the grace, but you just as much as told him, “LORD, I know there is grace at that meeting, but I do not want it that way; you have just got to inject the grace into me; that is the way I want it.”

Dear friends, we cannot afford to miss one single opportunity for service, or one single opportunity that is reasonable and proper for us to make use of in connection with associating with those who love the Lord, without it being to our detriment spiritually, so that some trial will come and we will be unprepared for that trial.

So I say, we want to be ready for those trials coming; we want to have that preparation of heart and mind that will enable us to pass through trials victoriously, and that is the reason why we do not wish to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.

6.

We also want to meet with the people of GOD because we recognize these are the people we are going to spend eternity with; we want to get acquainted beforehand. If you are one of the faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and if I am one of those who may prove true to him, then we will be among those who will have to be associated through all the boundless ages of the future. I feel, therefore, that if I am at all unwilling to associate with you today, if I feel that I would rather live without physically meeting with the people of GOD, that I would rather spend my time dealing with business associations or ways of worldly pleasure, the consequence of that would be that I would be unfit to spend those ages of eternity in your company, and in the company of others that are making their calling and election sure.

7.

In assembling with the people of GOD, they help us, and we are able to help them. Do they help us? They certainly do if our heart is in the right attitude.

In going to a convention or ecclesia meeting, is your attitude such that you think you will get no benefit from going because you feel there will not be anything said which you did not know and you think you are pretty well informed and well up on the Scripture?

If that was the spirit in which you go to meeting or to a convention, then to the extent you entertained that inclination, that spirit, to that extent you have lost a blessing; but if on the other hand you go in a teachable attitude, with a desire to learn-not merely to learn something new, but to learn something that will draw you closer to the Lord, then I know you will go away spiritually enriched, you will go away feeling as though you were nearer to our Lord than you ever have been before.

If we are in the attitude where we simply want to hear only something new, where we come to the conventions not to hear about brotherly love, and not to hear about patience, and not to have our spirit of zeal encouraged, and not to be impressed with the glories of the kingdom so much, but we come to hear only something new, something that has never been said before, something that will just make our blood tingle to hear, because of its novelty, then we realize that we will also go away to some extent disappointed, because that is not the LORD’s purpose. It is not GOD’s intention that His people should be built up and strengthened by the amount of new things that should be said, but on the other hand it is the frequent reiteration of the old things that is likely to strengthen us and to enable us to make our calling and election sure.

So now when you go to your little home bible study meetings and you find that the brother who took the leading part in that meeting never has anything very original to say, and you find that the other friends in the class seem to have very little novelty in their statements, then, dear friends, the fault is not with the class, the fault is with you; you are not in the proper attitude. Just think, if we are one of those faithful ones who will be united with our Lord in the ages to come, what is going to be your work and my work? Will we have all of that thousand years for something new to say to the world every day? I think not. It seems to me that when the world comes up from the tomb in the near future, if we are one of that honored company associated with our Lord Jesus, we will have to repeat the plan just so many times that if you do not love it very dearly you will get tired of it then; and that is why the Lord is not going to have one in that class who does not love the “old, old story” so dearly that he can sing it from the heart; and “those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.”

I have come across brethren and sisters who sometimes go to a Berean study and they only half listen. Brother so and so says something, and they think of something else because they know that brother never says anything new… then another brother speaks up, and they pay a little attention to what he is saying, because they know already what he is going to say. And consequently when the meeting is over they think it is strange they do not get much benefit from the meeting. But the fact is, that if we had paid attention to what that brother said, instead of allowing the spirit of pride to make us feel we knew it already and did not have anything to learn from him, it would have done us good and been refreshing. Then we listened to the next brother, and he made a statement and we would probably see a connection between what he said and what that other brother said that was especially helpful; and the third brother would follow with a little statement, and there would be some helpful point in what he said that would fit in with the statement made by the other, and when the meeting was all over we would say, “Gee… that was such a profitable meeting we had today! Oh, how much benefit I received; how much help I derived from this little Berean study!” Let us remember that frequently it is pride that causes us to be inattentive when another is speaking.

What did Apostle Paul mean from the following words:

“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” 1 Cor. 4:15

Well, possibly at that time, there may have been about ten thousand consecrated believers, as far as the Apostle Paul would judge, and he wanted this number to realize that every consecrated child of GOD was in a position to some extent to be an instructor. I will have to say that I have gotten an indescribable measure of benefit from just observing the conduct, the speech and the deportment of those I come in contact with in my travels.

May I also suggest that we cannot only learn from others, and instruct others by the words that are spoken, but by our example, by the deeds we perform. I think a great many must fail to appreciate what examples we ought to be.

We often say, “Well, you must not take me for an example.” But, dear friends, if you claim to be a consecrated Christian you ought to be an example-you must be an example.

To be a Christian means to be an example; not an example of perfection, but an example of what the grace of GOD can do.

Do you mean to say you have been under the influence of GOD’s grace for five years or ten years or fifteen years, and yet the LORD has done nothing in your life that ought to be an example, a benefit, a blessing to those who come in contact with you?

It would be something to be very much ashamed of, if we would have to say that we have resisted the influences of GOD’s spirit to such a degree that we are not an example of what our Heavenly Father can do at all-even though the LORD has thus been dealing with us so long.

If we are living epistles, as we ought to be in our homes, we will be careful there just as truly as anywhere else. But sometimes even friends who are very careful how they act amongst others when they are in a public place, when it comes to their own home it is rather a matter of indifference to them. You cannot help but sometimes observe it.

I remember I was in one home where there was a little sister there who was in many respects a grand consecrated character. Her husband did not make very much religious profession at all, but I will never forget the impression made upon me. At the table, for instance, if I would ask for a thing that sister would go to any amount of trouble to have it at my plate right on the instant; if her husband asked for anything she did not seem to care whether she heard him or not; he would have to wait until the thing got around to him. If I asked a question, she would take ten minutes to explain and tell me all about how to get to the post office, or whatever it was; if her husband asked her a question she would cut him off in such a snappy sort of way that it made me wonder why he ever wanted to ask her anything much.

I could not help but realize that sister was not showing the spirit the Lord desired in his people, and I could not help but think if possibly I stayed at that home for six months she would not be quite so beautiful in her treatment of me as she had been in the few days I was there.

Now, dear friends, let us be careful along those lines. Let us remember that we can just put it on when we have company for a day or two, but what we really are, and what is actually in our hearts, manifests itself by the daily lives we live in our home, and amongst those with whom we are accustomed to associate day after day.

Also, we can set an example to others on very simple lines, in ordinary things, that will have an influence over them in very important matters.

E.g. Suppose in your ecclesia you find there is a lack of thoughtfulness; for instance when the song service is going on there is some brother or sister that has no song book; nobody ever seems to think of looking around to see whether others have hymn books or not; the rest of you sing and this one is allowed to sit there without an opportunity to look on a book at all. Now that would be an indication that there was a lack of consideration, and a measure of selfishness probably, amongst the friends. But if that is the case you ought to keep the thought in your mind that you are partly to blame for it, because if you set the proper example, it does not matter who you are, you might be a very unimportant personage apparently, and yet at the same time your influence in helping to overcome that condition would be valuable. So if you see a brother without a book, you would immediately hand your book to that one, and then let’s say… the next time you were at a meeting you did the same thing… well, the result would be that by and by the members of the class would notice those things, and they would begin to see the spirit of consideration in you, and you would begin to find them doing likewise; and soon, there would be such a spirit of considerate unselfishness in that class that it would do anybody’s heart good to meet with them. So then, if the little company with whom you meet is not in the condition you think it ought to be, do not blame them but begin to blame yourself, and think,

“Should not I set a different example?

Should not I have been showing a different spirit, and in doing so would it not be found a benefit to the other members of this class?”

Our influence will count most in proportion to the thorough spirit of humility we possess.

Whoever tries to be conspicuous, will injure their influence to that extent, I would say that especially with regard to the elders of the various classes. If a brother is permitted to occupy the position of an elder, it seems to me he ought to perform the duties that devolve on an elder in a spirit that is so permeated with humility that others would get a blessing from his service, and yet at the same time would hardly be aware of the fact that he was the elder of the class.

I remember one class where I went where they all seemed to be fairly humble, but there was one brother that I am afraid-well, wanted to be a little prominent, to be rather conspicuous, and I remember at first this brother went ahead and opened the meeting, and at the second meeting the same brother took charge of the meeting, and just before the third meeting began I said, “Brother, who will open the meeting this morning?”-Sunday morning it was.

He said, “I think I will, Brother Barton.”

“Well, are there any other elders in the class, brother?”

“Oh, yes, we have four elders.”

“Well,” I said, “suppose brother, you take your turns; I think it looks much nicer if all the elders take their turns in matters of this kind. Suppose you have one of the other brethren open the meeting this morning.”

“Well, Brother Barton, I know they will not want to do it; they put it off on me, and tell me I ought to do it; I know they will refuse.”

“Well,” I said, “you go and ask them anyhow.”

He went to one of the brothers and asked him if he would open the meeting. The brother apparently refused, and this brother came back to me and said, “He tells me he would rather I would open the meeting, he does not want to do it.”

I said, “Wait, I will go and speak to him.”

I said, “Brother, you are one of the elders of this class?”

“Yes.”

“Well now, could not you open the meeting this morning?”

“Well, but I think Brother So and So could probably do it much better.”

“Well, but brother, I think if the class elected you as one of the elders it would be proper for you to take your turn.”

“Well, if you think so, it will be all right.”

That brother opened the meeting, and I got another brother to open another meeting, and a third brother the next meeting, and I think if I am not mistaken possibly all the elders of the class had a turn in opening those meetings before the conclusion of our visit.

Now the thought is this: These brethren apparently had the spirit of humility, but there was one brother that was too willing that he should be prominent. He ought to have impressed on the minds of the others the fact that they had a work to do, too; they had an opportunity, according to the Lord’s voice as expressed through the class; and I would suggest that brethren who are elders of the classes be especially careful that they do not assume too much of the responsibilities and ignore the other elders in the class. And where there is only one elder, how careful that brother ought to be!

Another thing: the elder that exerts the greatest influence over the class is the elder who performs the duties developing upon him in such a way the others would hardly know he was an elder. He does not feel boastful about the matter, he does not have much inclination to put himself forward.

So, by not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, we get HUGE opportunities to assist in the building up of the Body of Christ.

8.

We find especially helpful opportunities for spiritual development which we do not find out in the world amongst those who do not profess Jesus Christ as the son of GOD Yahweh, Jehovah. Hence, when we come to the people of GOD, we do expect something better, and the consequence is, when we find that GOD’s people are imperfect, when we find that they sometimes do things we would rather they should not do or sometimes say things we would rather they should not say, it helps to develop in us a larger measure of spirituality, a larger measure of the graces of the Holy Spirit than would possibly have been developed in us if it had been a worldly person that had treated us that way.

I think we are all inclined to expect too much of the people of God. We realize we are in the flesh, and we know that as long as we are in the flesh we are imperfect, we all have our failings; but we are thankful that the failings and imperfections and blemishes are not of the new nature, but the old nature-not in the hearts but rather in the flesh. And I think if we would keep that in mind we would be ready to make greater allowances for those who we come in contact with; we would have great allowances for our dear brethren and sisters when they do something that is not altogether to our liking.

In the Book of Romans 15:24, Apostle Paul writes:

“Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.” (KJV)

Here Apostle Paul told us about the journey he hoped to make to Spain, and he said he expected he would go by way of Rome, and he would stop and visit the Roman brethren for awhile, and he said he hoped that when he met those brethren in Rome he would be somewhat filled with them. Another translation  reads : he hoped he would be ‘partly satisfied’ with them. What? Why only ‘partly satisfied’ with the brethren at Rome? Did he not expect to be entirely satisfied? No. You see, if he was not entirely satisfied with himself, how could he be entirely satisfied with them?

I know I have been acquainted with myself a great deal longer than I have been acquainted with you, and I know I have had opportunities to understand my motives better than I could possibly understand your motives, because I can not read your hearts, and I know furthermore I have had plenty of time to get accustomed to my own peculiarities and idiosyncrasies, and so on, while I have not had much opportunity to get acquainted with yours. It must be so then, that if after all of these years I am not satisfied with myself, how can I possibly be satisfied with you? I know that in you there are things I do not like; if I do not know what they are it is simply because I have not been with you long enough. If you and I could live under the same roof for about six months probably I would know something about your weaknesses, and probably you would know something about mine; and therefore the thing for us to do is to not cultivate the spirit that would readily find fault because a brother is weak, but rather the spirit which seeks to be strengthened and benefited and helped by the weaknesses of the brethren.

How can these weaknesses help us?

By developing in us more of the spirit of patience, of compassion, etc.- the spirit that would make allowances for that brother.

Here is one illustration of this:

A certain brother in Christ who was on his way to one of the conventions; he got on the train; there was quite a company going to the convention, and he went through one of the coaches talking to a number of friends there, and he sat down beside another brother to talk to him, and he said he was one of the most disagreeable brethren he had ever met; he did not like his ways; he did not like his way of talking, he did not like some of his manners, etc., and the consequence was the brother terminated that conversation in a very short time and got up and said to himself, “Well, I feel so sorry for this poor brother, but I would not want to be with him during the convention.” And he said he had taken a few steps when the thought came to him, “Look here; that is the very brother that will give you an opportunity to humble yourself. Do you think the Lord has accepted him, and now you can turn your back on him? It is your duty to show a better spirit than that toward that brother.” He said he went back and sat down beside that brother and talked to him for quite a while.

In fact, when they got to the convention, they got a room together, and the greatest part of the convention to him was the communion with that disagreeable brother who was his greatest blessing during the time spent together.

Now, that is the way with us.

If we meet with those who seem to show some disagreeable traits, the thing is not to run away from them, but to look at the new nature; do not look at the old nature; we cannot see much of the new nature, but it is there. We have got to think of that one as walking after the Spirit rather than what we see of the flesh.

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. ” 2 Cor. 5:16

Dear Friends, let us not then forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Let us be among those who appreciate fully this opportunity for communion.

May are ecclesias be strengthened and helped, not merely by what we are able to say, but by the spirit we show, the life we live; and if a Bible Study meeting or a Bible Student Convention has lifted us to a little higher plane than we had been on before, our suggestion is, stay on that plane; do not go back to the old plane-indeed, do not stay on that higher plane, but try to go to a still higher one, until by and by in GOD’s providence, having enjoyed the blessings of our meetings with the brethren, we may all be prepared and fitted for a place we hope to share with our Lord and master, Jesus Christ.

“Speaking the truth in (agape)love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:15-16  

Acknowledgement: Content from a discourse by Benjamin Barton from ‘Pilgrim Echoes’ has been used to create this post.

A Testimony – the reason behind the creation of this post was such, that it was a Sunday morning here in Australia, and the night before, an email had been sent to one of the Elder’s of the Ecclesia expressing a request to kindly have several answers emailed back after they are discussed at the Revelation Study on the Sunday and explaining that one’s presence will not be there due to some major ‘road blocks’ … and the next morning a chapter from a book was opened up and begun to be read during the breakfast meal for the spiritual benefit of the listeners intended … but it actually turned out to be a personally “hand-delivered” GOD sent letter to the reader only thanks to our Heavenly Father Yahweh’s inspiration, which immediately changed the day’s decision, from one not going to ecclesia meeting, to one going. The words that were read that Sunday morning, were like blinding white lights from heaven with as if a voice saying “GO TO THE ECCLESIA MEETING… YOU ARE NOT TO STAY HOME WHATEVER THE EXCUSE !”… and the following thought immediately illuminated the mind like a most joyous revelation never thought of before…. that is, that let’s just say one were faced with a life threatening situation (we are not saying this is the case here), then one should not think they are a burden to others and hence not want to go to meet with their Brethren and Sisters in Christ, but rather think :

Wouldn’t it be a grand privilege to be finally taken home by our Heavenly Father while in active service being BOTH PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY PRESENT amongst one’s brethren in Christ Jesus ?

Of course it would! 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

No GOD No Peace, Know GOD Know Peace

mountain-climbing-trekking-photo- plus verse.jpg

Let us go on a journey where we shall find PERFECT PEACE. Are you ready?

Our destiny is the mountain top of serene peace and joy, with Hope driving our heart towards Faith in receiving what one seeks to find.   

Let’s stick together, with the good stuff seeping in and immediately clearing our mind of any negative thoughts before our first step upward and onward till we reach our destination.

We’ll begin our climb with a question: Where can one find Perfect Peace?

Perhaps rephrasing the question, may be a good idea.

WHO IS, actually PERFECT? Is GOD perfect?

Here are some answers:

“As for God, his WAY IS PERFECT: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” (Psalm 18:30)

“The Rock! His WORK IS PERFECT, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)

“The LAW of the LORD IS PERFECT, restoring the soul; The TESTIMONY of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)

“The LORD is RIGHTEOUS in all His ways And KIND in all His DEEDS.” (Psalm 145:17)

“As for God, His WAY is BLAMELESS; The WORD of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” (2 Samuel 22:31)

“Your WORD is very PURE: therefore your servant loves it.” (Psalm 119:140)

“Every WORD of GOD is PURE: he is a shield to them that put their trust in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)

The above responses from the Bible writers, whose words were all divinely inspired by GOD, are all about GOD…

Now what about Jesus?

Is GOD’s only begotten and firstborn son Jesus (Messiah, Yashuah) also perfect, and was Jesus perfect when the Heavenly Father (Yahweh, Jehovah) sent him to redeem mankind from the sentence of Adamic death by paying the exact Ransom (corresponding price) to be fulfilled in due time?

Here are some quotes from the Bible where we may find answers to this question:

“Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet WITHOUT SIN.” (Hebrews 4:15)

“You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is NO SIN.” (1 John 3:5)

“When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.'” (Matthew 27:24)

BUT why did Pilate say this?

Here is why:

“Pilate came out again and said to them, ‘Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I FIND NO GUILT IN HIM.'” (John 19:4)

Jesus said: “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I ALWAYS DO the things that are PLEASING to Him.” (John 8:29) 

About Jesus, it is written : “His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had DONE NO VIOLENCE, NOR was there ANY DECEIT IN HIS MOUTH.”(Isaiah 53:9)

In 1 Peter 1:18-19, Jesus is described as “unblemished” and “spotless”:

“We knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb UNBLEMISHED and SPOTLESS, the blood of Christ.”

Apostle Paul explains, ‘He made Him who KNEW NO SIN to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’ (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Hang on…so what does that mean… “to be sin on our behalf”?

This is what it means:

Apostle Peter explains what it means… that Jesus “himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

How then can we as humans have peace if we are not perfect?

Or ARE WE perfect in some way or another?

Jesus taught us “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

But can we do this, if we were already born in sin?

I mean, let’s face it… from the second a human is born, we have the curse of Adamitis on us, which is the death sentence, right? A baby who is even a few seconds old, can die right?

If we were perfect, death could not touch any human and everyone could live forever as their perfect life would allow no disease nor any harm to take their life so if we are already born imperfect, then how can we find PERFECT peace?

Let’s explain …

We might not of course be able to ACHIEVE PREFECT PEACE ALL THE TIME in the current imperfect bodies we have, yet we are “to be perfect” in intentions as all fully consecrated Spirit begotten individuals are RECKONED in GOD Jehovah Yahweh’s eyes as perfect, through believing in the precious blood of CHRIST’s righteousness and through showing GOD through one’s thoughts, words and actions just how much there is a desire to DO what is GOOD, RIGHTEOUS, PERFECT, PURE and BLAMELESS IN GOD’s sight, to above all, please the Heavenly Father.

It’s one’s FAITH in believing that GOD can do the impossible–that He could even move an entire mountain and trusting in GOD’s perfect love, justice, power and wisdom implicitly.

This isn’t just blind faith…

This isn’t just believing because someone told you to believe them…

In Romans 10:17, Apostle Paul explains that Faith in GOD and Faith in all that is GODly and RIGHTEOUS and PURE and PERFECT, comes from “hearing the word of God,” and once we hear it… then we are instructed to actually examine/study it. (1 Thessalonians 5:21) By studying the inspired words of God in the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) handed down through GOD’s holy prophets of Old and the Apostles of the first Church (after Pentecost), and by praying privately (Matt. 6:4-6; James 5:16) with earnestness of the heart striving to please GOD by doing His will (Romans 12:2) maturity in the Faith can be attained and maintained.

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)

What do the Scriptures say about the Faith of some?

In Romans 4: 3 and 5 we read,

“3 Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”

Now back to our question: Can we as mortals be classified as PERFECT and hence even qualify to receive PERFECT peace?

Here are some answers from the Bible:

“Therefore, beloved, since we have these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that defiles body and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children…” (Ephesians 5:1) 

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians wrote:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been perfected, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)

So we’ve taken a breather, checked out some surrounding views to do with the level we are at on our mountain and now we’re going to climb higher to reach our destination.

Let’s get to the point of our original question… where can we find perfect peace in a world surrounded by pain, sickness, tragedy and death?

The short answer is: We can find perfect peace when we stick to the path set out by GOD– walking in accordance to GOD’s rule.

What is GOD’s rule?

It is the commandment that Jesus taught–as a summary of all 10 commandments under the Old Law given to the nation of Israel via Moses in the Old Testament recorded in the Gospel of John 13:34. Here Jesus said:

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

There are three different types of “love” in the universe around us and in the Greek language, they are described as: agape, phileo and eros.

The word “love” here is translated from the Greek word “agape,” which is an unconditional good will towards all men love, benevolence, and feeling total kindness and good will towards our enemies and those who do harm to us, whether we classify this harm as from ignorance or not.

Agape love, thinks of others as better than one’s own self (Philippians 2:3)…

In 1 John 3:15 we are explained that “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

What a pleasure it is to be in the midst of such who speak well of all others. These are described in Psalm 92 who “flourish like the palm tree” …. whostill bring forth fruit in old age.

In Titus 3:2 we are reminded,

“to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Here we are taught to rather hate the sin and AGAPE our brother.. since we do not have a PERFECT mind in the same sense our Beloved Jesus had, when he was in the flesh during his human existence.

We have no right to label our brethren by any unkind names. The more we learn to speak purely …the more we practice it through our experiences with others–(e.g. like learning to play an instrument beautifully and with ease and grace)–the more we will learn to eventually just speak this pure language and think purely.

Positive begets positive. Let positivity rule our mind.

This is a quality possessed in kings. How can a king rule without a vision?

A king has a vision and this vision we must possess by those developing in the School of Christ to be faithful unto death–a vision that sees the positive … This can be developed by focusing on the Christ-likeness qualities of character in each… 

We have many gloriously positive things to look forward to soon:

no more oppression… no more money issues in the future to cause jealousy or the need to have power… no more killing… no more struggles for food or a shelter or to feel safe or perfectly loved, no more pain or sickness… no more death!

The Heavenly Father has promised a glorious future to ALL mankind as we are told in : Revelation 21:4,

“4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.”

There are passages of Holy Scripture that talk about the necessity of words of warning. Here are some good examples:

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them (Strongs G3560, noutheteō –to caution or warn gently) that are unruly (idle–ESV; lazy–NLT; undisciplined–NET; idle and disruptive— NIV; disorderly–Rotherham’s) comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.  (1 Thessalonians 5:14, KJV)

“So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17: 3)

We are taught in Scripture to recognize who is a True Christian by their  “fruits” of character (Matthew 7:16).

The more one sees their own failures and mistakes of actions, the more one can have compassion, we hope, towards others, realizing that often the more we (agape) love, the more we share in the sufferings of Christ… and this makes the heart long more for that which the Bible promises: the day of perfection in all things when GOD shall be ALL in ALL and all pain, sorrow and misunderstanding shall be no more.

The Apostle Paul speaks of this time in 1 Corinthians 15:28, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

How do we agape others and ourselves ?

HERE is the where the hardest (to the flesh) but most glorious (to the New mind in Christ) challenges lie…

It is the HARDEST part of our climb up this mountain. (1 Timothy 6:12)

It requires GOD’s help as GOD’s strength helps achieve all things. (Philippians 4:13)

A true Christian is reckoned as righteous by having this level of RIGHTEOUS LOVE in our heart’s intentions towards all men, which is developed as we:

  1. LOVE (Agape) GOD supremely and DWELL on GOD and what God teaches through the Bible… (Psalm 91:1; ). This is aided by FIXING our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) who is GOD’s only begotten, firstborn perfect son who died for ALL to pay the corresponding perfect price for Adam’s sin and consequently his fallen from perfection in righteousness progeny (1 Corinthians 15:22). If we compare our trials as mortals, to Jesus’ who did completely NOTHING wrong yet suffered the harshest mental and physical torture, then one’s own experiences seem trivial!
  1. LOVE (Agape) our neighbour. We are to agape firstly our Brethren in Christ as if they were our own body. These are the ones who are now in training to be part of the BODY of Christ — the footstep followers of Christ and members of the 144,000 and Elect Bride of CHRIST. (Revelation 7)  1 John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

We are encouraged to SEEK (through prayer to GOD ) to have a character like our Lord Jesus… to have a CHRIST JESUS’ ATTITUDE.

In 1 John 2:6 we read, “The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.”

The Apostle Paul describes numerous Christ-like qualities of character in Philippians 2: 1-11:-

“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same (agape) love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The above words are also beautifully summarized in Galatians 5:22-23,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Now, let’s gain all the energy to climb farther and higher as more glorious things we see! We are getting towards our destination, so listen up and stick through this last few moments!

In Galatians 6:16 we are told, “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them and mercy.”

Again we ask, what rule is the Apostle Paul talking about, which he teaches us, may give us PERFECT PEACE… and not only peace but also MERCY form GOD?

It is the rule of a new mind… a “new creature” in Christ mentioned in the preceding verse—“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

You see…..forms and ceremonies (just following blindly a religious ritual or offering sacrifices year after year, or week after week) are not the rule, but the NEW LIFE ITSELF, the new creature filled with the holy spirit of God and led of the spirit.

The rule is to “walk in the spirit,” says the Apostle, “and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh; for the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” (Galatians 5:16,17)

Those who walk by this rule are promised peace. (Philippians 4:7) They are also promised and mercy; our best efforts to walk after the leading of the holy spirit will be imperfect in the flesh but God who judges our heart’s, desires, and efforts is merciful and will not allow us to experience one second more than what we’re able to bear. (Romans 8:28)

Now if any man be in Christ, a new creature, he has put away the old man—the carnal nature, which is enmity against God and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be—with all his evil deeds, which the Apostle thus enumerates in Galatians 5:19-21,

“Now the works of the flesh [the carnal nature] are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like, of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The Apostle gives fair warning that those who do such things, no matter how loud may be their professions, have no inheritance in the Kingdom of GOD; and therefore they have no right to the fellowship of the saints upon whom, and the cause of Christ in general, they bring only DIS-grace.

They that are Christ’s have CRUCIFIED THE FLESH with the affections and desires.

If we are living according to the rule of the new nature, following the leading of the spirit of GOD, then we must have these fruits in some measure, even from the very start of our Christian experience; and if we are following on to know the Lord and to walk in the spirit, these fruits are surely growing and becoming more and more manifest to all with whom we are associated.

If those who are in Christ would observe this principle, and deal with each other as new creatures, much discord would be avoided; for the motives and endeavors of the “new creature” would be considered, and not the frailties or mistakes of the “earthen vessel.” (Reprints of the Original Watchtower 1840)

So here we are friends …. It’s the view from the SUMMIT – the view like a spiritual eagle (Isaiah 40:31), soaring with confidence in GOD’s understanding of what he expects from us so we can feel His perfect peace.

It’s that peace at last felt from understanding that the Heavenly Father (who created man for HIS own pleasure (Rev. 4:11; Isa. 43:7) and in his own image), allows man’s true pleasure, happiness and peace to be experienced when one’s thoughts and actions are in harmony, fellowship and sympathy with the Creator of all things.

GOD wants that love should respond to love, admiration to admiration, virtue to virtue, and grace to grace, in the Creator and the creature, as face answers to face in a glass. In this natural attitude of the Creator and humans, generous benevolence and gratitude combine in mutual happiness.

Our happiness is enhanced when we appreciation GOD’s character and when we actually strive to copy these same qualities of character and dispositions of mind and heart and try to meet GOD’s approval and feel a peace within our conscience.

It is true to say that all men have lost much of the original likeness of God, but this does not alter the fact that they still crave the happiness and peace which can never be found except under the natural, original relations to his Creator.

Dear friends,

No matter how deep we may sink in sin …

No matter how far we may stray from the path of rectitude…

No matter how low and vile we may have become…

We still need to remember that we are all members of that noble though fallen human race and that GOD created us in His own likeness, and GOD knows and feels our degradation. He knows that He made us for higher and nobler ends than those toward which He is ever tending.

1384059_with address .jpg

In this painful realization of the absence of true happiness and peace of mind and heart, we humans tend to seek happiness and peace in ways in harmony with the more or less depraved tendencies of the fallen nature—in the poor substitutes which pride, ambition, strife, rivalry, wealth, fame, power, etc., have to offer; but we find that the happiness in these is only delusive, and at most VERY SHORT-LIVED!

The bubble of success may burst in an instant, and the peace and happiness built upon it be utterly wrecked.

“There is no peace, therefore, to any man except in the reestablished relationship between himself and his God. And since this relationship of sons can ONLY be reestablished through Christ, there is no peace to any man out of Christ. ” –Pastor Charles Russell

“There is no peace, saith the Lord, to the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22.)

“Let us follow the things that make for peace.”

(Romans 14:19.)

Isaiah 26.3

 Acknowledgment: Br Charles T. Russell, Reprint 1840

URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/06/16/let-us-go-on-a-journey-where-we-shall-find-perfect-peace-are-you-ready/

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Will ALL Mankind Need To Become “ISRAELITES INDEED”?

8. final with address

Dear friends, we have produced this post as a reply to a comment received to an earlier post in regards to the term  “Israelite indeed.”

The Bible explains that ALL in the future 1000 year Mediatorial Reign of Christ with His Church (the “Bride of Christ” of 144,000 members, see Revelation 7 & 14) will be required to willingly choose to follow righteous ways of GOD and adhere to GODLY principles or else they will not be permitted to have life, let alone, eternal life which shall be granted to all who choose to walk up the Highway of Holiness. (Isaiah 35:8, Psalm 37:9).

Where does the term “ISRAELITE INDEED” come from?

The answer may be found in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, which is the account of Jesus calling out Philip and Nathanael, as the next of the 12 Apostles:

John 1:43-51 reads (Amplified Bible),

“43 The next day Jesus desired and decided to go into Galilee; and He found Philip and said to him, Join Me as My attendant and follow Me.

44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the same city as Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip sought and found Nathanael and told him, We have found (discovered) the One Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote about—Jesus from Nazareth, the [legal] son of Joseph!

46 Nathanael answered him, [Nazareth!] Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip replied, Come and see!

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said concerning him, See! Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity!

48 Nathanael said to Jesus, How do You know me? [How is it that You know these things about me?] Jesus answered him, Before [ever] Philip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I saw you.

49 Nathanael answered, Teacher, You are the Son of GOD! You are the King of Israel!

50 Jesus replied, Because I said to you, I saw you beneath the fig tree, do you believe in and rely on and trust in Me? You shall see greater things than this!

51 Then He said to him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you all, you shall see heaven opened, and the angels of GOD ascending and descending upon the Son of Man!”

VERSE 46 : Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Why did Nathanael seem to think so lowly of Nazareth by asking Philip as if a rhetorical question “can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

The following comment from Reprint 4117 of “The Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence” provides a good explanation:-

“Philip himself had come within the charmed circle of our Lord’s influence, and had realized that it was a blessed privilege to become his disciple and that he must be indeed the long-looked-for Messiah. Full of this confidence he looked for his friend Nathanael, whom he recognized as being of one mind and heart with himself in the desire to serve the Lord and to be ready for Messiah’s Kingdom. Finding him his salutation was, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write – Jesus of Nazareth, [adopted] son of Joseph.’ Nathanael was apparently a man of keen intellectual power. He felt that his friend Philip had accepted something too hastily, and that he was being deceived by a pretender, and his prompt objection was, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” As though he had said, ‘That is a mean city of itself; no great people of any reputation would ever come from thence; no prophecies, so far as we know, make any reference to that city. What you tell me of your Messiah rather tends to prejudice my mind against him.’ “

Additionally, the prophecy concerning the coming Messiah found in Micah 5:2 identifies the Messiah coming from Bethlehem of Judea which is where Jesus was born but since Mary had moved to Nazareth, Nathaniel might not have know that.

In Micah 5:2 we read, 2But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”

Some say that “Nazareth” is derived from one of the Hebrew words for “branch,” namely ne·ṣer, נֵ֫צֶר, and alludes to the prophetic words in the Book of Isaiah 11:1, “from (Jesse’s) roots a Branch (netzer) will bear fruit.” Another opinion is that the name may derive from the verb na·ṣar, נָצַר, “watch, guard, keep” (Strong’s #G3478) and understood either in the sense of “watchtower” or “guard place,” implying the early town was perched on or near the brow of the hill, or, in the passive sense as “preserved”, “protected” in reference to its secluded position.

Nazareth was considered a lowly town away from the main urban centers, so Nathanael may have been surprised that some famous person (let alone the Messiah himself) would have their background there.

Nazareth was an obscure village tucked away in the hills of Galilee. Every country and state and province has a place like Nazareth. It’s a place so remote that nothing ever happens there, no one of distinction lives there, and no one of importance comes from there.

Nathanael thought that it seemed highly unlike that the Messiah would come from a place like that. One might think that if you were looking for the one the prophets talked about, you should rather go to big city like Jerusalem, a capital city, a place of sophistication, where there is a large population.

Here is the irony of it all, both then and now. For every Jerusalem, there are a hundred places like Nazareth. The world is filled with unlikely places where nothing much ever seems to happen, where there is no great university, little towns without much commerce, places off the beaten path, tiny villages where few people live.

Dear brethren and friends, does this “big city” attitude prevail in our heart?

Does GOD call the ones with great worldly education, or only the learned about earthly sciences, or only the rich in earthly possessions, or only the ones with great outward beauty, or the ones with kingly speech or those who did in the eyes of all, what is considered the vilest crimes prior to GOD enlightening then how wrong they were in thinking they are doing right…or who come from a rich ‘Bible Student’ heritage or those who do not daily and perhaps hourly some days fight with inherited sins whether that be mental or physical ones? No.

GOD calls
ANYONE FROM ANY background at all
who’s hearts are humble
and with whom He can work with and use for
His grand and gloriously perfect Divine works.

What a humbling thought and what humbling lessons to each of us who have been CALLED OUT of the world into HIS marvelous light of eternal Truths! It is only because of the GRACE of GOD that HE first called us, and ONLY because of GOD’s Mercy in recognizing our contrite and always repenting hearts and truly changing attitudes and actions, the more you are enlightened into GOD’s Truths as we draw closer to GOD with thanks, praise, repentance and a dependency on Him and his Son Jesus more than on any other human here on earth, that has allowed us any relationship with GOD as His Sons and Daughters.

Let’s look at our KING Jesus’ most humble character – how he was not ashamed to come from such a humble, hidden, quiet little place in Nazareth, in order to fulfil the requirements of his humbling mission on Earth as the Ransom of ALL men (Philippians 2:8).

GOD has mercy on whom He wants to as He sees in the heart who has the right character for His works to reach his desired fulfillment perfectly, which in this Age, is to select a Bride for His beloved firstborn Son Jesus Christ. (Romans 9:14-25)

Dear friends, until the High Calling ends, GOD can call out anyone in whom He recognizes a humble heart, and use them for great and glorious purposes in elevated future glory!

If Stephen from the Book of Acts lived no more than approximately 12 months from the time of his baptism until the day he was martyred as the first Christian martyr, then dear friends, we just don’t know who amongst us may even require a short span of time to fulfill GOD’s requirements to be granted a place in the Spiritual Elect class. You see, according to  historians, the stoning that took place to Stephen as written about in the Book of Acts, chapter 7, took place around 34-35 A.D., thus, only approx. 12 months since Stephen received the holy Spirit – which was only first given 50 days after Jesus’s crucifixion in 33A.D. when the door was first opened to the High Calling.

Many may indeed be surprised who shall attain to the position of the 144,000 as man’s interpretation of the heart is not GOD’s interpretation. GOD looks at the heart as that is where the cleanest and purest of all Truth’s lies, as often the outward conduct may not clearly reflect the purity of intention of the heart to show just how hard one may be fighting against inherited weaknesses of the flesh to fight the good fight of faith and be a MORE than overcomer and most pleasing to GOD, above all.

Thus let us speak evil of NO MAN, especially not of our brethren. This does not mean we should not HATE the sin. We should AGAPE the sinner – the one who has professed the name of JESUS CHRIST as GOD’s firstborn Son who is the RANSOM for all mankind. Jesus taught us in John 17 to pray for such as these.

1 Samuel 16:7 – “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’ ”

What incredibly comforting words dear friends that the most important thing we are to strive for is to BE RIGHT in the eyes of GOD as humans cannot read what is hidden to their eyes, which often reflects the real TRUTH of any matter.

VERSE 47: “Behold, an Israelite indeed”

When Jesus referred to Nathanael as an Israelite indeed we may understand that he meant one who had the spirit of the principles that the Law was intended to inculcate – DEVOTION and LOVE FOR GOD FIRST, and KINDNESS TO OTHERS also. Jesus was commending the faith of Nathanael, and his good spirit.

Jesus’ description of Nathanael indicated that an “Israelite indeed” is one not merely a natural descendant of Jacob, who was later named Israel as indicated by the words of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40 – which teach us, that it is not the Old Law that we are to be under, but a New Commandment that is a summary of all the ten Commandments given initially to only the Israelites under the Old Law, and now include ALL, whether Jew or Gentile , to adhere to.

So can the term “Israelite indeed” be used in reference to the world of mankind during the 1000 year Mediatorial reign of Christ with His Bride or does this term only apply to the spiritually begotten classes comprising the Church of the Firstborn (i.e. The Elect, and the Great Company, Heb. 12:23) ?

There is consensus of opinion among brethren we consulted, that this term can be used for mankind in the future because ultimately an Israelite indeed would refer to one whose heart was circumcised (See Romans 2: 28, 29) which all during Christ’s Mediatorial reign, will need to become, symbolically.

Hence, the world when developed, will be “Israelites indeed” in the sense of devotion to the principles of Godliness that will be installed in the world through Spiritual Israel, the Heavenly Jerusalem. (Hebrews 12:22; Rev. 21:1) All the world will need to attain to that condition of faith and good spirit. And we will propose and explain the words from Holy Scriptures that explain this after a little further explanation of the Nathanael account in reference to our topic under consideration.

Under the terms of the New Covenant all mankind who will receive life, will have to develop heart appreciation for GOD’s laws and adhere to His righteous perfect principles, worshiping Jehovah GOD Yahweh in spirit and truth. Any who will not do this will be cut off as Acts 3: 22-23 states:

“For Moses said, ‘The Lord your GOD will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to Him in everything He tells you. Everyone who does not heed His words will be completely cut off from among the people.’

This text concerns the “times of restitution of all things” talked about by Apostle Paul in the previous verses (Acts 3:20-21), which refers to the time where “heavens will retain” THE CHRIST (head and body- the 144,000- complete) until the times of refreshing will come. This “building up” stage of our Lord’s Parousia (invisible, 2nd presence) will begin with Jesus and the completed 144,000 Bride of Christ members when the 1000 year Mediatorial Reign stage of the Kingdom shall soon begin, once the nation of Israel recognizes Jesus as the Messiah. (Zechariah 12:10, John 19:37)

VERSE 47: …In whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity!”

What did our Lord and Master mean through the above words to Nathanael?

We believe these words of Jesus, were in reference to Nathanael’s character, his spirit, his sincerity. We would suggest our Lord’s experiences with the Jewish leaders, especially the Scribes and Pharisees, was that they were largely hypocrites. (See Matthew Chapter 23). Nathaniel was able to declare that Christ was GOD’s Son. (John 1:49) Those who were hypocrites denied this fact, even when Jesus performed miracles to prove that he was the Christ.

It was Nathanael’s honesty and sincerity of heart that made Jesus select him as one of the twelve worthy ones to become one of the twelve pillars of the Church of the Firstborn in Jesus Christ. Of course this was to some extent miraculous—but at least in part by observing Nathanael’s humble prayer under the branches of the fig tree.

Perhaps these words spoken about Nathanael would serve as an encouragement for Nathaniel to follow Christ since Jesus was able to know about the type of individual Nathaniel was even before their encounter.

What lessons can be drawn from Jesus’s comment to Nathanael?

Perhaps it may be entirely right for us today, to also express at proper times, our confidence in the religious character of those with whom we are conversing with, and not doubt the sincerity of any person even if they are not fully with us in every point of faith and doctrine.

Jesus saw in Nathanael a pureness in heart and pureness in motive. And in the same way, our Heavenly Father reads our hearts which man cannot do and so often misinterprets being blinded to the “fruits” of good character which we are to firstly seek out in our brethren, praising our Father and praying over all the LORD’s dear saints to be more than overcomers and for none of them to fall away, as well as pray like Jesus (as documented in John 17) for those who will believe, that they may be ONE as Jesus is now since his ascension  with the Father physically and spiritually together in the Divine Realms.

VERSE 49: Nathanael answered him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God!’ “

The reason why Nathanael answers Jesus by saying “Rabbi (Teacher), you are the Son of GOD! You are the King of Israel!” is because he knew Jesus had referred to his very prayer, of which not a soul in the world had knowledge, and that Jesus had thus, supervised in the matter and had full knowledge of all his affairs.  Nathanael knew that one who could know about his prayer and could thus answer it and reveal himself must indeed be superhuman—all that he claimed; the Messiah.

VERSE 50:  “I saw you under the fig tree”

We are not told what took place under the fig tree, but we imagine that Nathanael there prayed to the heavenly Father for wisdom, guidance, instruction and protection from deception. Doubtless he went to the fig tree as a closet for prayer, for the fig tree has foliage which hangs low and would constitute quite an arbor or shelter and a very suitable place for privacy and prayer.

In Jesus’ words to Nathanael “I saw you”—we recognize Jesus’ power of discerning spirits, that is, that Jesus was able to read the thoughts and intents of the hearts, which no human can do (as we have said), as Jesus was the only perfect human in whom was no sin (1 Peter 2:22) hence he could perfectly feel and interpret what he saw perfectly, and the ability to work miracles was granted to him from YAHWEH JEHOVAH. Later the same gifts were granted to the apostles, and for the same purposes.

VERSE 51: ” ‘…You will see heaven opened, and the angels of GOD ascending and descending on the Son of Man.’ “

By telling Nathanael that he “will see heaven opened, and the angels of GOD ascending and descending on the Son of Man…” Jesus was explaining that messengers of GOD, the “Princes of the new dispensation, that is, the Ancient Worthies (The “Heros of Faith”—some of whom are mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11) will be the channels of easy and direct Divine communication between the two phases of the Kingdom; between the Heavenly Kingdom (governed by Spiritual Jerusalem) and the terrestrial world (governed by Natural Israel, i.e. the Ancient Worthies working together with the Holy Remnants of Israel).  Jesus’ words, call attention to Jacob and the vision which he had at Bethel of a ladder (Genesis 28:10-12), illustrating the methods of Divine grace. Our Lord himself was the ladder upon which communication between heaven and earth would be re-established.  Jacob’s dream of the ladder between heaven and earth, and the passing to and fro of the messengers was a prophecy as well as a dream, foreshadowing this communication to soon begin, we believe, during the end period of Jacob’s Trouble just as the 1000 year reign of Christ Jesus with His Bride is to begin.

ALL Mankind to Become True “Israelites Indeed”

By the end of the Mediatorial Reign of Christ, all the world of mankind will need to become “Israelites indeed”. Let us consider some Holy Scriptures to explain this :-

(1) Jeremiah 31:31-34 (AMPC)“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the Lord, I will put My law within them, and on their hearts will I write it; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 And they will no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they will all know Me [recognize, understand, and be acquainted with Me], from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will [seriously] remember their sin no more.

These glorious verse of Holy Scripture explain the time when the New Covenant will first begin with the Nation of Israel (and anyone else who recognizes Jesus then, as the Ransom and Savior of mankind, and Son of GOD Yahweh JEHOVAH.

(2) Isaiah 11:9 (ESV)“They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

(3) 2 Peter 3:7“But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

The word “judgment” in the above verse implies, not merely a sentence, but also a trial.

GOD’s justice, indignation, will burn against everyone who is wicked, and this fire will go on all through the Millennial age, which is the age where soon Jesus CHRIST with His Bride (the saints who have passed their tests of loyalty to our Father’s righteous principles living and suffered in CHRIST faithfully with patient, cheerful in the spirit endurance. (Revelation 2:10)

(4) Isaiah 26:9“The judgments of the Lord will be abroad in the earth and the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”

The Millennial-Reign-of-Christ Age, will provide an opportunity to rise out of sinful and fallen conditions, to full harmony with GOD. GOD has elected kings, priests, and judges to rule, bless, instruct and judge mankind in general. (Revelation 20:6)

If the thought be kept in mind that the world’s day of judgment is a thousand years long, the character of the judging then to be done will the more readily be discerned. A sentence upon each individual of the human family would be impossible within a 24-hour day under any imaginable conditions, reasonable or unreasonable.

(5) Proverbs 2:21-22 – “21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.”

(6) Psalm 37:38 – “But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.”

In conclusion, we hope we have clearly explained about how our Heavenly Father’s intention is for all to learn GOD’s principles of righteousness in the Messianic Age, whereas now, during the “High Calling” Age (known as the Gospel Age), “many are called and few are chosen”(Matt. 22:14).

Holy Scripture does so beautifully teach, that all mankind will eventually have a relationship with GOD through the Mediators (Christ Jesus and His Bride) under the New Covenant which Apostle Paul talks about in the Book of Hebrews.

GOD wishes that all humanity on the terrestrial plane eventually will inherit eternal life only because they will have learned to OBEY GOD WHOLEHEARTEDLY and WILLINGLY by learning to surrender their wills to the will of GOD during their judgment period of a thousand years. Then, they will learn to LOVE RIGHTEOUSNESS and ever human heart that beats, will be fully devoted to GOD.

Death will be no more!

This is the ETERNAL GOSPEL, that by the 50,000th year of Creation, known as the Grand Jubilee, GOD SHALL BE ALL IN ALL. (1 Corinthians 15:28, Revelation 14:6)

May GOD’s Name be praised for eternal eternities through Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Save

What Is the Bible?

Image result for 2 timothy 3: 16 images

“The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  (2 Peter 1:21)

As the words in 2 Peter 1:21 state, the prophecies were not originated by the speakers, but rather the speakers were moved by the holy Spirit to speak God’s thoughts. We find that the Bible for the most part is a record of God’s thoughts, recorded by prophets and other special servants of God.

The Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1:10-12 states, “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”

The Apostle Peter in Acts 3:20,21 gives us an additional clue as to what the prophets were prophesying about and what they desired to look into:

“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

The two things of which all the prophets spoke were the coming Messiah, who would be the great Deliverer, and his kingdom, which would be the means of bringing blessings not only to Israel, but to the whole world of mankind.

The golden thread of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the promise of the Savior and his kingdom.

The Apostle Peter, in Acts 3:22,23, quotes one of the first of these prophecies (Deuteronomy 18:17-19):

“And the Lord said unto me [Moses], They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet [Jesus] from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”

The account in Acts 3 continues:

“Ye [the Jews of Peter’s day] are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”

Then in Acts 4:1,2 we read of the reaction to Peter’s interpretation of this scripture:

“The Sadducees came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 3:25-26)

The Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6,7 states, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

These are but two of the beautiful promises that are a part of the continuous theme of the Bible. Some others are as follows: Isaiah 40:5; Revelation 15:4; Jeremiah 31:33,34; Philippians 2:10,11; Numbers 14:21; Zephaniah 3:9; Isaiah 52:10; Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:8,16,29; Isaiah 35:8-10; Isaiah 65:21-24; Revelation 20:1-3; Psalm 98:9; Isaiah 26:9; Isaiah 2:4; 1 Chronicles 16:31-34.

We find that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, a record in which he reveals his thoughts to us; and we find, as we would expect if God is the Author, that the account is beautiful, consistent, and not contradictory.

Acknowledgement: The above content is from http://www.dawnbible.com

The Booklet “How To Study the Bible And Have It Make Sense” can be read here:

Booklet 05 – How to Study the Bible and Have It Make Sense

p-1078-ffa2d1309cb440311cbdcf6aa52f3c70.jpg

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Save