With a tender smile on His loving face,
My Lord stood holding the Cup of Grace —
“Wilt thou drink, dear one, today?”
O loving Bridegroom, I am so weak! My enemies even now do seek To cause me to shrink away.
Today the Cup seems a bitter draught That cost Thee Thy life, as once Thou quaffed —
Increase my faith, I pray!
“My Dove, I will show thee the care I take To guard the Cup for thy dear sake, That thou mayst drink each day.”
Oh, wondrous vision my Lord revealed! I saw my soul’s fierce battle-field, And the enemies dreaded by me.
The World, the Flesh and Satan wise Were all made plain in their evil guise, Plotting adversity.
“I will fill the Cup with troubles sore, Pour them in till they’re brimming o’er— I’ll make it a Poison draught!
“So bitter ’twill be that its very breath Will cause her to shrink from such a death!”— Thus Satan in wickedness laughed.
And the World and the Flesh in blindness lent Their aid to his wicked, fell intent: My soul felt their power so dire.
Then I turned and looked at my Bridegroom’s face— The glory from it filled all the place, But His eyes were flames of fire.
“BEGONE, ye enemies of My Bride! The Cup is MINE!” He sternly cried; “I guard this Cup each day.
“And nothing goes in it beyond the power Of My Bride to bear in her weakest hour, If she l
Then He turned to me with the tenderest mien– “My Love, art thou strengthened by what thou hast seen? Canst thou now the enemy face?”
Dear Lord, forgive me, I humbly cried, That I should forget that He who died To redeem my soul, is by my side And holds the Cup in His hand.
Gladly I take the Loving-Cup, Gladly I drink as Thou holdest it up;
To share it with Thee is grand!
And if it should be that this is the day When the flesh, as I drink, shall pass for aye, Then ’twill be the Cup of Joy.
Oh, wondrous miracle of grace! The smile on my loving Bridegroom’s face As I pressed my lips to the Cup,
Filled my soul o’erflowing with peace Divine! And not alone did this peace I find, But my heart with Joy welled up.
And so each day as I take the Cup From my Best Beloved, I meekly look up And whisper a prayer for grace.
And He gives me grace; and Peace Divine,
And Love and Faith and Joy are mine, As I gaze upon His face.
My hope is in faith the Cup to drain That I in His Kingdom with Him may reign; The Cup of Joy I then will claim, Triumphant by His Grace!
Lilla S. Ward.
The above poem is from the “Reprints (No. 5868) of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.”
Peace with God Through Faith
(1) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.(2) Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, (4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (5) and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Hebrews 13:20-21 (Weymouth New Testament)
“(20) Now may God who gives peace, and brought Jesus, our Lord, up again from among the dead — even Him who, by virtue of the blood of the eternal Covenant, is the great Shepherd of the sheep — (21) fully equip you with every grace that you may need for the doing of His will, producing in us that which will truly please Him through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory to the Ages of the Ages! Amen.“
“(1) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.(2) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1, 2, ESV).
“(7) But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (8) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— (10)that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,(11) that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead“ (Philippians 3:7-11, ESV).
Here is some brief content from the latter referenced article above (“The Ransom”) concerning the two applications of Christ’s blood:
1. The first application — is for the consecrated class, those who accept Christ now, and accept Jesus’ invitation to self-denial and cross bearing (Hebrews 9:24).
2. The second application — the one for all the remainder of Israel, shows that after this age for the consecrated, another age of redemption follows. This will be for the remainder of the world those who will be blessed by the saints when, as a class, they are complete in glory with Christ.
Now we see that Jesus’ death, by itself, did not automatically bring release from the curse. Jesus was raised from the dead with the value of the Ransom price he provided, and by God’s design Jesus himself is the one who applies the value of the Ransom. He applies it first to us who consecrate our lives now, and later to the world during the Millennium. Jesus died for our offences to provide the Ransom value and was raised again for our justification to apply the Ransom (Romans 4:25).
All for Jesus! all for Jesus!
All my being’s ransomed pow’rs;
All my thoughts and words and doings,
All my days and all my hours.
All for Jesus! all for Jesus!
All my days and all my hours.
Let my hands perform his bidding;
Let my feet run in his ways;
Let my eyes see Jesus only;
Let my lips speak forth his praise.
All for Jesus! all for Jesus!
Let my lips speak forth his praise.
Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus,
I’ve lost sight of all beside—
So enchained my spirit’s vision,
Looking at the crucified.
All for Jesus! all for Jesus!
All for Jesus crucified.
The History Of This Hymn
Author – Mary D. James (1810-1883)
When Mary D. James was 13 years old, she began teaching Sunday school in the Methodist Episcopal church. She became a prominent figure in the Wesleyan Holiness movement, assisting Phoebe Palmer, and often leading meetings at Ocean Grove, New Jersey, and elsewhere. She wrote about 50 hymns, and articles by her appeared in various journals and newspapers.
Composer – Asa Hull (1828 – ?)
As of 1895, Hull was a music publisher in New York City; his company was still operating as of 1910.
Suggested Further Reading
Here are some free online articles in relation to the Heavenly Father—Jehovah and his Son—Christ Jesus—“a ransom FOR ALL… to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6), as well as, about the holy Spirit (the understanding of God) with clear explanations about why the anti-Christ teaching of “the trinity”—introduced by the Roman Catholic Church system (the “Beast” in the Book of Revelation) —is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible Students Movement does not support the teaching of purgatory nor does it support the Roman Catholic System’s teaching about people being sent to a place where they burning up forever which certainly does not reflect the perfect love of God — the Almighty Creator of all things.
For the interested Reader, we urge you to consider the following articles and posts:
Br. Charles Russell — the founder of the Bible Students movement, who is the compiler of“Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn.” With the assistance of Maria Frances Russell (1850 – 1938) — the former Maria Frances Ackley (whom Russell had married in 1879) — this Bible Students’ devotional was published in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (USA) in 1890. It originally contained a total of 151 poems and 333 hymns.
Later on, the hymns from this book formed a basis for the hymnal titled “Hymns of Dawn” which was published by the Dawn Bible Students Association in East Rutherford, New Jersey (USA) and the 1999 edition contains a total of 361 hymns.
Br. David Rice — For the article “The Ransom.” Faithbuilders Fellowship (“Journal” section) March-April 2007. http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2007/02_ma_07.pdf
“Hymnary.org” and “Wikipedia” — hymn history content.
The King of kings has come! We are even now in the parousia (presence) of the Son of Man! Soon the last members of his “elect” body, the Bride of Christ, will be gathered to him—glorified and invisible to men,—and then he will begin the rule of the iron rod which shall break the world’s vaunted institutions as potters’ vessels (Revelation 2:27).
He declares, I will “gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. And then will I turn unto the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent” (Zephaniah 3:8,9).
This symbolic burning and breaking will be the new missionarymethod, by which the glorified Bride of Christ and Church, will, after 2043, under and with her glorious Head, “bring in everlasting righteousness.”
“When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9).
“The glory [majesty] of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5).
Through the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 3:19-21, Christ Jesus, intended his disciples to understand that for some purpose, in some manner, and at some time, he would return. True, Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20), and by his spirit and by his Word he has been with the Church continually, guiding, directing, comforting and sustaining his saints, and cheering them in the midst of all their afflictions. But though the Church has been blessedly conscious of the Lord’s knowledge of all her ways and of his constant care and love, yet she longs for his promised personal return; for, when he said, “If I go, I will come again” (John 14:3), he certainly referred to a second personal coming.
Some think he referred to the descent of the holy Spirit at Pentecost; others, to the destruction of Jerusalem, etc.; but these apparently overlook the fact that in the last book of the Bible, in the Book of Revelation—written by the Apostle John some sixty years after Pentecost, and twenty-six years after Jerusalem’s destruction, he that was dead and is alivespeaks of the event as yet future,saying:
“Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me.” And the inspired John replies, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:12,20).
Quite a number think that when sinners are converted that forms a part of the coming of Christ, and that so he will continue coming until all the world is converted. Then, say they, he will have fully come.
These evidently forget the testimony of the Scriptures on the subject, which declares the reverse of their expectation: that at the time of our Lord’s second coming the world will be far from converted to God; that “In the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4); that “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (Verse 13). They forget the Master’s special warning to his little flock:
“Take heed to yourselves lest that day come upon you unawares, for as a snare shall it come on all them [not taking heed] that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34,35).
When it is said, “All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him,” when they see him coming (Revelation 1:7), no reference is made to the conversion of sinners.
Do all men wail because of the conversion of sinners?
On the contrary, if this passage refers, as almost all admit, to Christ’s presence on earth,itteaches that all on earth will not love his appearing, as they certainly would do if all were converted.
Some expect an actual coming and presence of the Lord in the future, claiming that through the efforts of the Church in its present condition the world must be converted, and thus the Millennial agebe introduced. They claim that when the world has been converted, and Satan bound, and the knowledge of the Lord caused to fill the whole earth, and when the nations learn war no more, then the work of the Church in her present condition will be ended; and that when she has accomplished this great and difficult task, the Lord will come to wind up earthly affairs, reward believers and condemn sinners.
However, when God’s Word and plan are viewed as a whole, we learn that Christ comes before the conversion of the world, and reigns for the purpose of converting the world; that the Church is now being tried, and that the reward promised the overcomers is that after being glorified they shall share with the Lord Jesus in that reign, which is God’s appointed means of blessing the world and causing the knowledge of the Lord to come to every creature. The Lord’s special promises include:
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne” (Revelation 3:21).
There are two texts chiefly relied upon by those who claim that the Lord will not come until after the Millennium (the 1000 years of Christ’s reign with his 144,000 Bride “body” members):
1. “This gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).
They claim this as having reference to the conversion of the world before the end of the Gospel age (the 6000 years of permission of evil). But witnessing to the world does not imply the conversion of the world.
The Apostle (Acts 15:14) tells that the main object during the gospel age is “to take out a people”for Christ’s name—”the Church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23) which, at his second advent, will be united to him and receive his name. The witnessing to the world during this age is a secondary object.
2. “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Psalm 110:1)
The vague, indefinite idea regarding this text seems to be that Christ sits on a material throne somewhere in the heavens until the work of subduing all things is accomplished for him through the Church, and that then he comes to reign. This is misconception. The throne of God referred to is not a material one, but refers to his supreme authority and rulership;and the Lord Jesus has been exalted to a share in that rulership.
Paul declares, “God [Jehovah] hath highly exalted him [Jesus] and given him a name above every name.” He hath given him authority above every other, next to the Father.
If Christ sits upon a material throne until his enemies are made his footstool [all subdued], then of course he cannot come until all things are subdued. But if “right hand” in this text refers, not to a fixed locality and bench, but, as we claim, to power, authority, rulership, it follows that the text under consideration would in no wise conflict with the other scripture which teaches that he comes to “subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21), by virtue of the power vested in him.
Right hand—signifies the chief place, position of excellence or favor, next to the chief ruler. Thus Joseph was at the right hand of Pharaoh in the kingdom of Egypt—not literally, but after the customary figure of speech. Jesus’ words to Caiaphas agree with this thought: “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64) He will be on the right hand when coming, and will remain on the right hand during the Millennial age, and forever.
The specific work of :
(a) the first advent—was to redeem men. In Hosea 6:3, this period is referred to as the time of the “former rain.”
(b) the second advent—is to restore, bless, and liberate the redeemed. In Hosea 6:3, this period is referred to as the “latter” rain. Having given his life a ransom FOR ALL (1 Timothy 2:6), our Savior ascended to present that sacrifice to the Father, thus making reconciliation for man’s iniquity. He tarries and permits “the prince of this world” to continue the rule of evil, until after the selection of “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife,” who, to be accounted worthy of such honor, must overcome the influences of the present evil world.Thenthe work of giving to the world of mankind the great blessingssecured to them by his sacrifice will be due to commence, and he will come forth to bless all the families of the earth.
True, the restoring and blessing could have commenced at once, when the ransom price was paid by the Redeemer, and then the coming of Messiah would have been but one event, the reign and blessing beginning at once, as the apostles at first expected (Acts 1:6). But God had provided “some better thing for us”—the Christian Church (Hebrews 11:40); hence it is in our interest that the reign of Christ is separated from the sufferings of the Head by this 2000 years of waiting since Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary in 33 A.D.
The period between the first and second advents, between the ransom for all and the blessing of all, is for the trial and selection of the Church, which is the body of Christ; the “little flock” and “joint-heirs”; otherwise there would have been only the one advent, and the work which will be done during the period of his second presence, in the Millennium, would have followed the resurrection of Jesus. God has designed the permission of evil for six thousand years, as well as that the cleansing and restitution of all shall be accomplished during the seventh thousand.
Jesus has been absent from earth—in the heaven—during all the intervening time from his ascension to the beginning of the times of restitution—”whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).
We find the Scriptures teaching a further step in the divine plan—a RESTITUTION for the world, to be accomplished through the elect Church, when completed and glorified. The “little flock,” the overcomers, of this Gospel age, are only the body of “The Seed”(Galatians 3:16, Romans 4:13) in or by whom all the families of the earth are to be blessed. The fact that the world has not yet been converted, and that the knowledge of the Lord has not yet filled the earth, is a proof that it has not yet been sent on that mission.
Election and Free Grace
While an election has been in progress during the present and past ages, what is by way of distinction designated free grace is God’s gracious provision for the world in general during the Millennial age.
Election—as taught in the Bible, is not the arbitrary coercion, or fatalism, but a selection according to fitness and adaptability to the end God has in view, during the Gospel Age.
God’s grace or favor in Christ is ever free, in the sense of being unmerited; but since the fall of man into sin, to the present time, certain ofGod’s favors have been restricted to special individuals, nations and classes, while in the next age all the world will be invited to share the favors then offered, on the conditionsthen made known to all, and whosoever will may come and drink at life’s fountain freely (Revelation 22:17).
Glancing backward, we notice the selection or election of Abraham and certain of his offspring as the channels through which the promised Seed, should come (Galatians 3:29).
The selection of Israel from among all nations, as the one in whom, typically, God illustrated how the great work for the world should be accomplished—their deliverance from Egypt, their Canaan, their covenants, their laws, their sacrifices for sins, for the blotting out of guilt and for the sprinkling of the people, and their priesthood for the accomplishment of all this, being a miniature and typical representation of the real priesthood and sacrifices for the purifying of the world of mankind.
God, speaking to the people, said, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2).
This people alone was recognized until Christ came.
Afterwards, Christ’s ministry was confined to the Jewish people, and he would not permit his disciples to go to others—saying, as he sent them out, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.”
Why so, Lord?
Because, he explains, “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel“ (Matthew 10:5,6; 15:24).
All his time was devoted to themuntil his death, and there was done his first work for the world, the first display of his free and all-abounding grace, which in “due time” shall indeed be a blessing to all. However, God’s grandest gift was not limited to nation or class. It was not for Israel only, but for all the world; for Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man(Hebrews 2:9).
When thecalled-out company (called to be sons of God, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord—who have made their calling and election sure) is complete, thenthe plan of Godfor the world’s salvation, will be only beginning.
Not until it isselected, developed, and exalted to power, will the Seed (Christ—”head” and “body” in glory) bruise the serpent’s head (Romans 16:20; Genesis 3:15). The Gospel age makes ready the chaste virgin, the faithful Church, for the coming Bridegroom.
In the end of the age—when she is made “ready” (Revelation 19:7), the Bridegroom comes, and they that are ready go in with him to the marriage—the second Adam and the second Eve become one, and then the glorious work of restitution begins.
In the next dispensation—the new heaven and the new earth, “the Spirit and the Bride say, Come! And let him that heareth say, Come! And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
For this promised and coming blessing, the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for “the manifestation of the sons of God” (Romans 8:22,19).
Thus, free grace in fullest measure, not merely for the living but for those who have died as well, isprovided in our Father’s plan as the blessed opportunity of the coming age becauseJesus died for all.
The United Nations expects the global population to reach 9 billion in the year 2043. (www.thoughtco.com/most-populous-countries-in-2050-1435117) What then will happen to the vast multitude who have not heard about nor accepted Jesus as their personal savior and redeemer? Did God make a wretched and merciless provision for their hopeless, eternal torment, as many of his children claim? Not at all. The opposite is true. God has yet in store for mankind an opportunity for all to come to the knowledge of that only name, and, by becoming obedient to the conditions, to enjoy everlasting life. When the Bride class is complete, then they, together with Jesus Christ, will regenerate the world.
Satan will be boundso that he cannot intrude his deceptions upon mankind.
In Revelation 20:1-3 (ESV) we read,
(1) Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. (2) And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, (3) and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
The saints will reign with Christ for a thousand years, as priests, to bring mankind back to God (Revelation 20:6). The whole creation “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
To Be Testified In Due Time
For those who will be of the “Church of the firstborn,” the bride of Christ, and share the kingdom honors, the present is the“due time”to hear; and whosoever now has an ear to hear, let him hear and heed, and he will be blessed accordingly. Though Jesus paid our ransom before we were born, it was not our “due time” to hear of it for long years afterward, and only the appreciation of it brought responsibility; and this, only to the extent of our ability and appreciation. The same principle applies to all: in God’s due time it will be testified to all, and all will then have opportunity to believe and to be blessed by it.
Since God does not propose to save men on account of ignorance, but “will have all men to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4); and since the masses of mankind have died in ignorance; and since “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave” (Ecclesiastes 9:10); therefore God has prepared for the awakening of the dead, in order to knowledge, faith and salvation. Hence God’s plan is, that “as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive, but each one in his own order”—the Gospel Church, the Bride, the body of Christ, first; afterward, during the Millennial age, all who shall follow Godly righteousness during that thousand years of Christ’s reign with his Bride.
Everything and Everyone To Be Restored To Perfection
As death came by the first Adam, so life comes by Christ, the second Adam. Everything that mankind lost through being in the first Adam is to be restored to those who believe into the second Adam. When awakened, with the advantage of experience with evil, which Adam lacked, those who thankfully accept the redemption as God’s gift may continue to live everlastingly on the original condition of perfect obedience, and the perfect ability to obey will be given under the righteous reign of the Prince of Peace (Pastor Charles Russell, Volume 1 of “Studies In The Scriptures”, p.107).
All mankind shall be fullyreleased from the slavery of sin, and the corruption of death, into the glorious liberty of children of God. But attainment to all these blessings will depend upon hearty compliance with the laws of Christ’s Kingdom—the rapidity of the attainment to perfection indicating the degree of love for the King and for his law of love. If any, enlightened by the Truth, and brought to a knowledge of the love of God, and restored (either actually or reckonedly) to human perfection, become “fearful,” and “draw back” (Hebrews 10:38,39), they, with the unbelievers (Revelation 21:8), will be destroyed from among the people (Acts 3:23). This is the second death.
Restitution Concerning Typical and Antitypical ISRAEL
Peter tells us that this restitution is spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets (Acts 3:19-21). They do all teach it. Ezekiel says of the valley of dry bones, “These bones are the whole house of Israel.”
And God says to Israel, “Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I …shall put my spirit in you, and I shall place you in your own land; then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:11-14).
To this Paul’s words agree (Romans 11:25,26)—”Blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles [the elect company, the bride of Christ] be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved,” or brought back from their cast-off condition; for “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew” (Verse 2). They were cast off from his favor while the bride of Christ was being selected, but will be reinstated when that work is accomplished (Verses 28-33).
“In those days, they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge, but every one [who dies] shall die for his own iniquity” (Jeremiah 31:29,30).
This is not the case now. Each does not now die for his own sin, but for Adam’s sin—”In Adam all die.” The day in which “every man [who dies] shall die for his own sin,” only, is the Millennial or Restitution day.
While Israel as a nation was typical of the whole world, its priesthood was typical of the elect “little flock,” the head and body of Christ, the “Royal Priesthood”; and the sacrifices, cleansings and atonements made for Israel typified the “better sacrifices,” fuller cleansings and real atonement “for the sins of the whole world,” of which they are sharers in, by God’s grace.
After comparing Israel with Sodom and Samaria, and pronouncing Israel the most blameworthy (Ezekiel 16:48-54), the Lord says, “When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them.” In death all are captives; and Christ comes to open the doors of the grave, and to set at liberty the captives. (Isaiah 61:1; Zechariah 9:11) In verse 55 this is called a “return to their former estate”—a restitution, when Jehovah says to Israel:
“(60) I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. (61) Then, thou shalt remember thy ways and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters…. (62) And I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; (63) that thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, SAITH THE LORD GOD” (Ezekiel 16:60-63).
To this Paul adds his testimony, saying, “And so all Israel [living and dead] shall be saved [recovered from blindness], as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins.’…They are beloved for the fathers’ sakes; because the gracious gifts and callings of God are not things to be repented of” (Romans 11:26-29).
A Summarized Explanation of Acts 3:19-21
Acts 3:19—speaks of the “refreshing” that comes from the face of Jehovah (“presence”is not the Greek word parousia here, but prosopon, Strongs 4383) whenever they would convert and come to Jesus.
Acts 3:20—The sending mentioned in verse 20 means sending Jesus not at his second advent, but sending him to bless them in their repentance. (As in verse 26, “Unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus [by the resurrection]sent him to bless you [early Gospel Age work, not the second advent], in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”)
Acts 3:21—This verse explains that Jesus will remain in heaven until the times of
restoration, and then he will return. We understand those times of restoration have begun as evidenced in the restoration of Israel, which is what these Jewish hearers of Peter were interested in. Since Christ’s second presence (“parousia”), the saints here who are still living, continue on here for some time, before their service here is complete as we read about in Luke 12:36-37. Here it speaks of a time when Jesus returns, knocks, and asks those saints the living to “open unto him.” Further explanation about the Second Presence of Christ is provided in the “Further Reading” links, below.
As we continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), may we rejoice in knowing that “great joy shall be TO ALL people” (Luke 2:10) “in due time.”
Br. Charles Taze Russell. The above post was based on content from Study 6 of Volume 1 of “Studies In the Scriptures.” The series of six volumes by Br. Russell can be read at http://www.htdbv8.com
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith”(Galatians 3:24).
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suffering and shame. And on that old cross the dearest and best, For a world of lost sinners was slain.
It is a tragic picture to contemplate. A perfect man, so unjustly convicted, dying in the prime of life. But his greatest defeat was his greatest triumph. That was why he came. That was why he left the heavenly courts to become a man in the first place.
Note how obediently and willingly and humbly Jesus, the firstborn of all creation, the Bright Morning Star answered, when our Heavenly Father asked who should He send down to earth as the Redeemer, “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). This is why the Son was the Almighty Heavenly Father’s delight.
Father Adam caused the death penalty to be imposed upon the whole human family, Christ’s willing sacrifice provided the value to redeem all mankind.Only a perfect being who was separate from God could accomplish the task of removing the death penalty upon Adam and his race, thus providing a way for mankind to be redeemed from the power of the grave.
Christ’s sacrifice provided a release from the curse, first for the Church class during the Gospel Age, and later for the World during the Millennial Age.
God loves mankind deeply (John 3:16). We cannot imagine the sorrow and pain that God experienced when Adam fell. We can only get some idea of this feeling when we observe the grief of parents when their children go astray.
God not only provided a mechanism to rescue His precious creation, but authorized His son to execute God’s plan for their redemption.
“By his knowledge the righteous one, my servant, will justify the many, as he will bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11, NAS).
Not only did God provide the mechanism for mankind’s redemption, God also empowered this Righteous One, Jesus, to justify His chosen ones. “Wherefore Jesus, … that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12). Jesus was “delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). God has empowered His son to redeem us and justify us.
The death of our Savior, Jesus Christ, provided the price of our release from the curse. The scriptures speak of the life of Jesus, given for us, as a “ransom” for us. Today we think of a ransom as a price for the release of a hostage. The scriptural word “ransom” is from the Greek word “lutron,” which literally means a price of release (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45).
The word “ransom” also appears in 1 Timothy 2:4–6, from the Greek word “antilutron,” which means a corresponding price of release. This refers to the fact that the value of the life of Jesus, given for us corresponds to the price required. From the use of the word “ransom” we see that:
God wants to save the whole human race, and
Jesus provided the price necessary to release us from the death penalty imposed upon Adam and his race.
The PURPOSE of the Ransom
The object of the ransom was not to afford each individual a release from the original condemnation, in order to give them an opportunity to attain everlasting life. It allows mankind an opportunity to return to harmony and communion with God.
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes” (Hosea 13:14).
(1) Determine the Price— The price of release (the lutron orransom) was the value of a human life. God established that the punishment for sin was death, and this was imposed upon Adam when he sinned. Adam passed his condemned life to all of the human race. In order to release mankind from this penalty, would require an obedient man to accept that punishment upon himself, so that it could be released from Adam and all those who received Adam’s life through procreation. Thus every person who descended from Adam — all humanity — will receive a release from death.
(2) Provide the Price — Jesus, as a perfect human being not subject to death, yielded his life in order to take upon himself, the penalty due us — so that we might be released. “By man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22). Jesus’ life yielded, is the price for Adam’s life to be restored: Jesus for Adam, a perfect life for a perfect life. How beautifully they balance the scales of justice!
(3) Pay the Price — When Jesus died, he said “Father into thy hands I commend[deposit] my spirit” (Luke 23:46). The word “commend” is from the Greek word paratithemi, which means to deposit as a trust. In other words, Jesus committed to God the value of his life for later use, and all of Jesus’ interests for his future work in the Plan of God.
(4) Loosen the Captives — The world has been under the penalty of death, but they will be loosed (“luo”) from this captivity in God’s due time, when Christ and his “bride” of 144,000 members rules with him to raise and bless mankind.
RELEASE FROM THE LAW
After Jesus was baptized, he meditated in the wilderness for 40 days. Part of this time he would have meditated on the Law of God, given to Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai. That law was perfect. Therefore, imperfect man could not keep it. As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:10, “The commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” For none of Adam’s imperfect race could perfectly keep the Law.
But Jesus did. By keeping a perfect law perfectly he demonstrated that he was a perfect man, and therefore that he could be a corresponding price for the only other perfect man in history, Adam. Like an index finger, the law pointed out the one person who could pay the ransom price.
Adam and Eve had no children until they left the garden of Eden. Therefore, all of their offspring inherited a condemned and imperfect life. Jesus, like Adam before he sinned, had the potential for a perfect human race in his loins. In this sense he was an appropriate value to redeem Adam and his race.
No wonder then we sing with rejoicing:
In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering oer the wrecks of time. So l’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to that old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.
As 1 Timothy 2:4-6 reads, God has willed or determined (rather than “desired”) that all mankind will:
Be saved from Adamic death, from the destruction of the grave, to be accomplished through the GREATEST MIRACLE the world will EVER experience: THE RESURRECTION!
Be saved from ignorance, blindness and deafness.
Come under a “new covenant” established by God, during the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom.
Be restored to perfection and an opportunity for eternal life.
Come to a knowledge of God, and thus secure a relationship with God forever.
The Ransom provides a salvation from the curse of death. It will be UNCONDITIONAL. It depends alone upon the will of God, and the price of release is the value of Jesus’ life, given for us all.
This Scriptural passage, 1 Timothy 2:4-6, speaks of a universal redemption. During the Millennium the curse will be remitted. Then each individual may begin walking up the “highway of holiness” toward everlasting life. Most of mankind will accept this free gift, and progress accordingly. Only a few will use their power of choice differently, and fail to attain everlasting life at the close of the Millennium (Revelation 20:7-9).
God will provide for the enlightenment of every individual when they awaken from the dead, so that everyone will have an accurate knowledge of God, His love, and His standards. The knowledge of Jehovah shall fill the earth (Isaiah 11:9). Mankind will have learned through experience the consequences of sin. During the Millennium, they will learn through experience the blessings of righteousness. All can then choose between the law of God which leads to life, and the law of sin which leads to death. Knowledge of truth is light, and Christ is “the true light, to lighten every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).
Jesus is an Advocate and helper presently to those who have consecrated their lives to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. They express this commitment by baptism, and rejoice in hope of resurrection glory with Christ in heaven. We suffer with Jesus in the present, by pursuing righteousness in world surrounded by sin. We will reign with Christ in glory, to assist him during the Millennium in drawing mankind back to God (Revelation 20:6).
During the Millennium, when God effects a new covenant for blessing Israel and the world (Jeremiah 31:31), Jesus will serve as Mediator, standing between God and men, in order to reconcile them by bringing mankind back to godliness. The saints who reign with Christ will be with Jesus in this mediatorial work of reclaiming mankind. Thus this work awaits the completion of the “Bride” class to be complete. Mediating for the world will then proceed. The saints will be associated with every feature of this work for the world, assisting them during the Millennium.
The word Mediator from the Greek is mesite and means middle-man, reconciler, go-between. The Scriptures use the word respecting mediating a covenant between parties who are alienated. A mediator is one who interposes between persons who are at variance, with a view to reconciling them. Moses, as the Mediator of the Law Covenant, was a type of Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant.
At the close of the thousand years the Mediator will have completed its role. Thereafter God will stand before God, and demonstrate, during the “Little Season,” their condition of heart. Those who are obedient and godly, will receive everlasting life. Those who are disobedient and rebellious, will lose this privilege.
In 1 Timothy 2:5 we read about “The man Christ Jesus.” The Greek word for “man” is anthropos — human being. It refers to when Jesus when he was made flesh. Jesus “gave himself” as “the anointed” one (the word Christ signifies “the anointed”), who finished the giving of himself at Calvary. The name Jesus is but another form forJoshua, which signifies Deliverer. The name Christ is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word Messiah — The Anointed.
Jesus surrendered his perfect human life, that is, all of himself, his human rights and privileges — the full equivalent of Adam’s perfect life. By his willing sacrifice for men he secured the right to purchase Adam and the entire race. He has not applied this human life to Adam and his race. It remains a deposit, for use at the appropriate time to release mankind from the curse.
Christ was both Priest and Sacrifice. As a priest, he offered his sacrifice to God. As a Sacrifice, his human life was yielded up, given, for the benefit of mankind.
THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST PRESENTLY
As mentioned earlier, the ransom Jesus gave constitutes a price of release. Those who have come into Christ in the present time, accepting the value of his sacrifice by faith in him, are granted redemption presently. That is, God counts them as uncondemned, justified, by virtue of the value of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice (Romans 5:9). We then lay down this justified life in service and sacrifice with Jesus, as long as our days remain.
We thus give up our share in the earthly blessings awaiting mankind, in order to secure the higher, heavenly blessings offered during the present time.
The resurrection of Jesus was a testimony from God that Jesus performed his sacrifice correctly, and that all the blessings God has for us now — and the world later — are sure and established (Acts 17:31).
Another evidence of God’s acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice was seen by sending the holy Spirit upon the saints on the day of Pentecost. There God’s anointing, the holy Spirit (symbolized in the Old Testament by the holy anointing oil), came upon the Church. It continues ever since on all the living members of the Church.
Jesus laid down his life as a sin-offering during the 3½ years, and Jesus applied the value of this for the Church class when he appeared in the presence of God for us. Jesus has not yet applied it for the whole world. That awaits the Millennium.
The ransom price that Jesus gave provides a release from condemnation, for us now, and for the world later. That was given on Calvary’s cross.
The sin offering that Jesus gave began at Jordan (when Jesus was 30 years of age), and continued through the 3½ years of Jesus’ ministry (until Jesus was 33 1/2 years old). Jesus was “made perfect,” or complete, in character, “by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8,9). Jesus was not imperfect at any time in the sense of being sinful (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 3:5, 1 Peter 2:22). He was perfect, undefiled, in His glorious condition as the Logos, before He left the glory which He had with the Father and was made flesh. When born of Mary, the assurance given us is that He was still “holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). His sufferings, therefore, did not make Him perfect in the sense of making Him sinless, but rather, to prove his loyalty to the Father’s will, unto death, even the death of the cross. The promise of perfection on the highest plane — the promise of the Divine nature — was Christ’s reward for fulfilling his Covenant of Sacrifice faithfully and loyally. The beginning of that new nature was granted to Jesus at the time of his baptism, when he was begotten of the holy Spirit. But the new nature begotten there needed development, or perfecting; and it was for this purpose that the trials, difficulties and buffetings were permitted to come to Him (R5472). As our High Priest in glory, Christ — our Advocate (our personal “lawyer”), works with us through our experiences, to purge from us the propensity for sin.
The Church is not a part of the ransom price. However, we do have the privilege of suffering with Christ presently, and being raised in glory to be priests for the world during the Kingdom (Revelation 20:6). From that elevated standing, we will be able to assist Jesus in purging from mankind their propensity for sin. In this way we share with Christ in being an offering for sin.
The Church is not a part of the ransom price but does share inthe sin-offering through grace. These two doctrines are inseparable. We could call them the TWIN DOCTRINES as they always work together in the process of salvation.
The ransomexpressesGod’s justice. For it shows that a payment for sin is necessary, in order to release mankind from the curse justly imposed upon our father Adam in Eden. But as steadfast as the penalty has been — so God’s commitment to release mankind from the curse, now that a payment has been made, is equally sure.
Christ has already redeemed mankind in the sense that he has laid down the ransom price.But he has not yet rescued mankind and applied to them the value of the ransom price provided. That awaits the Millennial Kingdom. In the meantime, God is selecting from among mankind people of faith, to be developed in the pattern established by Jesus, in order to assist Jesus in the world of lifting the world from their plight during the Millennium.
Then God will apply the price of release for Israel and the world. Then a New Covenant will be established for blessing of all who come under its blessings. When the Millennial age shall have been finished its work, and all are restored to harmony with God, then our heavenly Father will be ALL in ALL (1 Corinthians 15:28).