Having considered some points of comparison between the first declining steps of Samson and the beginning of the Church's downward drift in Rev. 2, we come now to the closing phases of the life of the son of Manoah, in which his declension reached its sad and humiliating climax, and which, as we shall see, finds a correspondence in the Laodicean state, with which the prophetic preview of Church history in Revelation 2 and 3 ends.
The word “Laodicea” means “the rights of the people.” In a way, it may be said to contrast with “Nicolaitanism” “the conquest of the people," found at the very commencement of the Church’s decline (2. 6). Nicolaitanism is believed by many to be the clerical system, which down through the Christian era has been such a denial of the Headship of Christ and the priesthood of all believers, and which reached its zenith in the dark ages when the Papacy claimed universal authority and deprived the common people of their rights. Laodiceanism, on the other hand, seems clearly to be democracy, the spirit which for some centuries now has been increasingly asserting itself, both in the world and the professing Church. It is most prevalent to-day, for do we not hear on all hands of the rights of the people—their rights to self-expression and self-government? Is not the tendency more than ever to exalt the individual to control his own affairs and to act as seems best in his own interests?
It will thus be seen that in Laodicea—the rights of the people—we have a repetition of the days of Samson, when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes." As in “Judges" there was a refusal to recognise rule, so to-day authority is resented. The Word enjoins Self-rule (Prov. 16. 32), Home-rule (1 Tim. 3. 4), Assembly-rule (1 Tim. 5. 17), and State-rule (Rom. 13. 1-5), but in many cases, alas, these have become irksome and their wholesome restraint discarded. The people must have their rights. In Christendom, and in many an assembly, too, “the purse rules and the popular voice decides what they care to listen to." The days foretold by Paul are upon us, when men “having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers, after their own lusts" (2 Tim. 4. 3, R.V.). The same independent spirit of self-pleasing manifests itself in many other ways. The sister, kindly besought to terminate an ungodly friendship, shrugs her shoulders and carries on with the unequal yoke. The young, aspiring missionary or evangelist, asked to wait till he has gained the full confidence of his home assembly, tosses his head in the air, and in defiance of his brethren, goes forth to the work, only to become a headache to godly, exercised elders. How often we have seen this spirit of self-will manifest itself! whereas it is written : “Ye younger, be subject unto the elder. Yea, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to serve one another” (1 Peter 5. 5, R.V.).
In the case of Samson we know well how his self-pleasing ended. Judges 16 depicts him sleeping upon Delilah’s knees. Unconcerned about his brethren’s pitiable bondage and unaware of the subtle plot that had been laid for his own life, he rests his Nazarite head upon her deceitful lap. In like manner, in Rev. 3 we have a sleeping church, else what is the meaning of verse 20? Why must Christ stand without the door, knock, and say, “if any man hear My voice”? Surely it was because the church was asleep. The figure used is drawn from Solomon’s Song 5. 2-5, where as here the Bridegroom knocks and calls, only to find His professed lover in a state of heavy and indifferent slumber. How sad, yea, how tragic—a sleeping Judge in the Old Testament and a sleeping Church in the New! Yet we need not be surprised. To overcome God’s people and hush them into spiritual unconsciousness ever has been Satan’s chief business. Luther once said that when the Devil’s emissaries reported to him at a great anniversary how many Christians they had slain, he replied, “What of that? Their souls were all saved.” When one, however, explained that for ten years he had tried to put a certain Christian to sleep and had at last succeeded, Satan shouted with satisfaction and all the night stars of Hell sang for very joy, for the kingdom of darkness fears not a sleeping Christian. It is told that upon one occasion Napoleon Bonaparte, after outlining with his finger the territory of China upon a map of the world, exclaimed, “There is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep. If he wakes he will shake the world.” What was true of China politically is true of the Church spiritually. If awake, it could shake the world, just as Samson in giant-like strength shook the power of the Philistines, when right with his God. Hence Satan’s master-plan for the unwary Church, now in the last stage of its earthly history, is to hush it to sleep in his downy cradle.
“Let it sleep,” he says, “if it wakes it will shake the world.” O Christian learn the lesson.
Samson, however, sank still lower. He who had slept upon Delilah’s lap, became at last the sightless slave and sport of her people. How aptly the words of Rev. 3. 17 describe his pitiable condition—“wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (“naked” indeed, as having been shorn of his Nazarite covering). Incidentally, someone has pointed out the interesting fact that as the last Judge of Israel was blind, so the last King of Judah was also blind (2 Kings 25. 7); while in our passage the last Church of Rev. 2 and 3 was blind, too. We feel pity for one who has lost his physical sight, but the loss of spiritual vision is immeasurably greater. Peter speaks of a professed Christian who is “blind and cannot see afar off” (2 Peter 1. 9). He is one to whom the distant glorious horizons and the sunny peaks of the delectable mountains have no real attraction. The powers of the age to come have lost their grip upon him. He lives for this world. Lot is an example of such. Faith’s mighty telescope enabled Abraham to gain such a view of the future golden city (Heb. 11. 10) that he turned his back forever upon earth’s tinsel toys, but his nephew saw only the well-watered plains of Jordan, so soon to be scorched under God’s judgment. So alas it was spiritually with the Laodiceans.
One of the saddest features about Samson was his ignorance of his true state. “He wist not,” we are told, “that the Lord was departed from him” (16. 20). His ignorance, however, was soon dispelled, and in the verses which ensue he certainly was made fully conscious of his sightless, Godforsaken, and degraded condition. Poor soul, with what profound grief he must have contemplated his lamentable fall. It is cause for thanks though that at last, like the prodigal of Luke 15, “he came to himself”, for then his heart turned once more to his God.
In the case of Laodicea we observe the same lack of knowledge—“and knowest not that thou art wretched . . .” But here nothing availed to overcome the ignorance, to awaken the fallen church to a sense of her appalling spiritual condition. Her self-deception was as hopeless as it was complete. Samson had soon missed the Divine presence, as we have seen, but Laodicea knew not that her Lord, though He lingered and was loath to give her up, was departing from her (Rev. 3. 20). He had “counselled” (v. 18), “knocked” and pleaded (v. 20), all in vain. As in the closing chapters of “Judges” no Divine chastisement had brought Israel to true national repentance, so here no “rebuke” nor “chastening” from the Lord caused Laodicea to "repent” (v. 19). Nothing surely can be sadder or more to be feared in assembly life than this. There is no hope of recovery, except for the individual, hence the word in verse 20—“if any man hear My voice.” Just as Israel's idolatry in “Judges” continued to the end, “until the day of the captivity of the land” (18. 30), when it was swept away in judgment, so the Laodicean state will continue till the Lord comes, when He the Omniscient Judge of men (vv. 15, 16), will “spue out of His mouth”, as a nauseous thing, all unreal and hypocritical profession.
The preface to chapter 9 is the announcement (8. 13 R.V.) by an Eagle in mid heaven that a triple woe is now impending upon the Earth-dwellers. Woe ! Woe ! Woe ! What else could be the fate of man abandoned by God to his own proud and stubborn will? He is bound to arrive where he is completely at the mercy of the situation he has himself created and at the mercy of those powers which are all too ready to take the place of God. Great as are the forces of darkness arrayed against mankind to-day (Eph. 6. 11-12), it is crystal clear that Satan will display even more effectually the might of his demonic battalions when once the restraints of the Holy Spirit, the Church and the attendant activities of grace have been removed from his path (2 Thess. 2. 7).
In the first woe, introduced by the sound of the fifth trumpet, John discerns a great fallen dignitary to whom extraordinary powers are accorded. “A Star” as the R.V. shows “that had fallen from heaven to whom was given the key of the Abyss.” It is quite conceivable that this already fallen star is identical with “Wormwood” of the third trumpet whose poisonous indoctrination of men has had such baleful effects. His obvious co-operation with the King of the Abyss, Satan himself (9. 11), plus his powers in the diabolical realm (9. 1), are sufficient to identify him as the Anti-Christ. His character and programme will be more fully amplified when we look at the second beast of chapter 13.
Destructive forces, obviously spiritist forces are to be released by the False Messiah from “the pit of the abyss”, and while certain limits are imposed upon them as to time and sphere yet “Earth dwellers” will be so tormented that life will be intolerable and yet escape by death will be denied them (v. 6). A really terrifying picture is conjured up by the symbols that describe these deadly spirit-agencies of the Anti-Christ. The consumption of the locust, the torment of the scorpion are added to the fierceness of the war-horse while the authority of their crowns, the intelligence of their faces, the attractiveness of femininity, the rapacity of the lion, the strength of their breastplates together with the speed and sound of their wings combine to show the greatness of their King whose nome whether in Hebrew or Greek is DESTRUCTION (9. 11). Demonism, manifest in spiritistic cults of our own times has revealed all too frquently what a cruel tyrant it can be. Its victims often suffer a living death and find it almost impossible to get relief. This is but a foreshadowing of the torment predicted in this first woe.
As the sixth Angel introduces the second woe the power of intercession is once more demonstrated (cf. 8. 3). A voice from the Golden Altar procures the removal of four angels whose work is that of holding back Satanic activity at a given point and whose restraint upon an overwhelming army is lifted at a divinely appointed time (v. 15). The Euphrates marked the boundary of Israel’s possessions and as well the conquests of the old Roman Empire. Beyond it lie the surging masses of the yellow races ready to break into the West when once God’s clock has struck the hour. The colossal magnitude of this invasion and its appalling effects—“the third part of men killed”—makes solemn reading.
The closing paragraph of this chapter should be carefully pondered in two connections. First, the sins which open the sluice-gate of this flood of military might upon the western world. They are the worship of demons linked with superstitious idolatry together with habitual murder, sorcery, fornication and theft. Second, the stubborn will of man that refuses to abandon such vileness though large-scale punishment has been administered to him: twice it is stated, “they repented not.” Here is the outworking of a principle stated in Romans 1. 24, 26, 28, and exemplified in nations, (Genesis 6. 13; 19. 13), and in men like Pharaoh (Exodus 9. 34-35). It is only necessary for a sin-hating God to withhold His overtures of grace and man will indulge his vilest desires, yet subsequently refusing the lessons of divine governmental dealings only to find that God’s laws are inexorable and puny man violates them at his own temporal and eternal loss. Thus the rebellion of man and the principles of God’s government make the coming day of wrath inevitable.
“The third woe” chapter 11. 14 declares “cometh quickly,” but ere it is introduced we are given another illuminating peep behind the scenes in chapters 10 and 11. It is characteristic of our God that He gives reassurances to His own of an age as to the control He wields over the dark scene of tribulation and sorrow, and that even then He will secure a testimony both to Himself and against the prevailing evils of the time.
In verse 9 of 1 Cor. 3 two figures are named together, “God’s husbandry,” and “God’s building.” The first as we have seen relates to the planting and watering of the previous verses—the other—“God’s budding” (the third phase of the picture) is opened up in the following verses (10-15). These speak of the responsibility of the builders. Who are the builders? It is often said that every believer is a builder, in view of the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is quite true— all are building daily, and the great testing Day is coming. But this passage primarily deals directly with the responsibility of builders in a Scripturally gathered assembly. Paul as a wise master builder had laid the foundation of the Corinthian assembly. His Gospel preaching had led many unsaved in Corinth to Christ, and he had instructed them to gather together as owning the precious Name alone, and as bowing to the authority of that Blessed One, individually and collectively. Let us ask, is this Divine One, our foundation and our only foundation in our Church fellowship? Are we allowing any other name to usurp, or in any degree rank with His? If so we are not building upon the true foundation of a Scriptural assembly.
“Let names, and sects, and parties fall And Jesus Christ be all in all.”
Paul in this case was a wise master builder—but the builders —who are they? In Acts 4. 8-11, Peter said, “Ye rulers of the people and elders of Israel . . . this is the stone which was set at nought of you builders” Leaders amongst saints now are builders—those who feed and care for and guide the people of God in assemblies—and included also, we have no doubt, are those who go from place to place ministering the Word of the Lord. It has been truly said that the builders are responsible, concerning the doctrines taught in the assembly, the persons who are brought in', and the practices individually and unitedly of that redeemed company. A real leader (or builder) is one into whose heart “God hath put the same earnest care for the saints” (2 Cor. 8. 16). Some get a place amongst believers because of social position, or of wealth, while perhaps having, no real heart for God’s sheep and lambs, but desiring merely the honour of being higher than others. Let such remember the solemn words—“For whosoever ex-alteth himself shall be abased” (Luke 14. 11). We have often heard it remarked : “An assembly is what its leaders make it. Spiritual leaders will make a Spiritual assembly. “Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” “The fire (the searching holiness of Him whose eyes are as a flame of fire, Rev. 2. 18, 23) shall try every man's work of what sort it is.” “Wood, hay, stubble,” are great in quantity compared with “gold, silver, precious stones” but at the searching Judgment Seat mere quantity will not count. Only that which is of proper quality (according to the Scriptures) will survive the test. What a tremendous amount of building quantity in Christendom to-day will only be ready fuel for the fire! Let us beware brethren in our service for Him, lest we also build up a pile which will end in ashes. This passage, 1 Cor. 3. 10-15 is deeply solemn. May it be ours to “hear counsel and receive instruction that we may be wise (and not fools) in cur latter end” (Prov. 19. 20).
Now we come to the most solemn portion of the fourfold picture—“temple of God.” See how the Apostle specially introduces this with his oft repeated emphatic phrase—“Know ye not,” (v. 16). In the New Tetsament two different original words are used for “the temple,” one of them including the whole range of the temple buildings—“Hieron.” The other “naos” “ithe Sanctuary” (see R.V.M.)—where God dwelt. This is the word here in 1 Cor. 3. 16. The assembly is not only a building (God's building) which requires constant watchful human care, but (let us not forget) a scripturally gathered assembly is nothing less than a temple—a sanctuary —a dwelling place of God. No wonder that we read even in the Old Testament—Psalm 89. 7, “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him.” This figure “temple of God” is the greatest of the four in this remarkable chapter. The responsibility therefore is the greatest also. “If any man (v. 17)—let us all give heed—f(defile or corrupt or destroy” (this word is translated in each of these ways in different verses) him shall God defile or corrupt or destroy—it is the same word again. Note three facts—a scriptural assembly is “a temple of God”—the Spirit of God dwelleth in you”—the temple of God (sanctuary) is holy, which ye are.” Then after these very solemn words he says, “Let no man deceive himself.
If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world let him become a fool that he may be wise.” Some among the Corinthian saints were evidently marring God's assembly by introducing worldly wisdom—possibly (indeed likely) bringing in Grecian philosophy in that Grecian assembly. It is quite evident from both these Corinthian epistles that worldly wise men had risen up, drawing disciples after themselves (as in Acts 20. 30) and belittling the Apostle who had led many of the believers there to Christ and who had actually planted the assembly. Note for instance their words regarding the beloved Apostle in 2 Cor. 10. 10—“but his bodily presence is weak and his speech contemptible.” These men were corrupting—marring the assembly, hence the terribly solemn Apostolic warning. Uzziah the king in 2 Chron. 26. 16-23 is a painfully striking illustration of 1 Cor. 3. 16-17. “He was marvellously helped till he was strong” (till he became strong in his own estimation—let us beware!); “But when he was strong his heart was lifted up to his destruction for he transgressed, etc.” Not contented with his position as a mighty king—like wicked Korah in an earlier time— “he sought the priesthood alsa.” (Num. 16. 10). The priests of the Lord valiantly withstood Uzziah but he angrily persisted in his awful sin—he corrupted, defiled, the Sanctuary of Jehovah, (see v. 18), and Jehovah corrupted, defiled him. He was smitten with leprosy and leprosy in its worst form— leprosy “in his head” (Lev. 13. 44) and thus he was, unto the day of his death. And is it not evident that these carnal, worldly wise “puffed up” leaders, who were corrupting the Corinthian assembly, had also leprosy in the head—wise with the wisdom of this world, drawing the saints away from “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11. 3). Oh, how enormously Christendom is plagued to-day with such lepers! The terrible words of Jeremiah in the last days of Judah's precaptivity history, have surely their analogy in these present last days of the Church period. “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means, and My (professed) people love to have it so : and what will ye do in the end thereof ?” (Jer. 5. 30, 31). The end is near. “The Coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
Let us be awake to God's instructions and warnings! If we have failed to take—or strayed from, His precious and simple New Testament pattern, let us truly “cease to do evil” and let us “learn” from this epistle as well as from all Scripture, “to do well” (Isa. 1. 16-17). “To do well” not only in our capacity as individual believers, but as gathered according to His will, to our beloved Divine Centre, the Lord Jesus Christ.
May it be ours genuinely, to be “spiritual brethren,” “God's cultivated field,” God's building,” a temple—sanctuary— dwelling place of God”
the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, and ten after His ascension, the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity came into the world. The second Person, the Son of God, had previously come, had remained some thirty-three years and had returned to heaven. On His return the Spirit came down and still remains (John 7. 39; 16. 7).
When the Son of God was on earth it would have been ridiculous for believers to pray to the Father to send Him down, even so now it is ridiculous to pray for the sending down of the Holy Spirit, seeing that His coming is an accomplished, historical fact. There are quite a number of parallels in Luke 2 and Acts 2, between the coming of the Son and the coming of the Spirit, but it is not proposed to trace them out in this article. The reader can search them out for himself. For our present purpose it must suffice to emphasise that for over nineteen hundred years the Holy Spirit has been in the world as really as Christ was in it for thirty three years. There is no such thing as a second Pentecost, just as there can be no repetition of the birth of Christ.
Christ came into the world and some received him personally and most did not (John 1. 11, 12). Likewise the Spirit is in the world : some receive Him and many do not. How is He received? Listen to Peter at Pentecost: “Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2. 38). From this passage we learn that the Spirit is received in the same way and at the same time as the forgiveness of sins. This was for Jews; but Gentiles heard the word, received it, repented, believed and received the gift of the Spirit (Acts 10. 44; 11. 1, 17, 18; 15. 7-9). Gal. 3. 2, 14 confirms that it is by faith in Christ. Believing sinners at the moment of conversion receive the Holy Spirit and He indwells them from that time (Rom. 8. 9). The reception of the Spirit is an essential part of salvation just as the new birth, justification, etc.
THE SEAL, THE EARNEST, THE FIRSTFRUITS
Concerning the Spirit’s work in the believer the above three terms are used as well as others. We bring these three together becaus they are similar although not exactly the same thing. Please read the following passages : 2 Cor. 1. 22; 5. 5; Eph. 1. 13, 14; 4. 30; Rom. 8. 11, 23. You will find that all point forward to the redemption of the body of the believer. The Holy Spirit is the seal of divine ownership, the guarantee of God’s taking possession of that which is purchased and owned. For the believer it is a present sample of a future inheritance. God will certainly fulfil in all the redeemed that which He purposed in saving them—that to all eternity they should be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8. 29).
THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT
Every believing sinner is, from the moment of conversion, a member of the Church which is the body of Christ. “By one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles” (1 Cor. 12. 13). As every believer is a member of that body, and since he is so by the baptism of the Spirit, it clearly follows that every believer has been baptised with the Holy Spirit. There is no such thing as a believer praying for the baptism of the Spirit. It is not postconversion experience; it is not something to be sought for, it is a blessed fact as real as the forgiveness of sins.
THE FILLING OF THE SPIRIT
The disciples were baptised with the Holy Spirit on His coming at the day of Pentecost, and they were filled at the same time (Acts 1. 5; 2. 4). It is normal for a new convert to be filled with the Spirit at and from his conversion. The Spirit enters, fills and floods his whole being. Not every believer continues filled with the Spirit, hence the exhortation, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5. 18). The tense of the verb means : “Be filled, and continue being filled.” It indicates a continuous refilling. Perhaps an illustration may make the matter clearer. A cup of hot water is drawn from the tap and at once a cup of cold water runs into the tank to fill it. Draw a bucket full and the tank is refilled by the inflow of a bucketful. We use up spiritual energy in living, witnessing and working for Christ, and we need to be continually replenished. We are in danger of neglecting the refilling, which is not automatic, and so the exhortation : “Be filled.” How is it done? Read the two parallel passages: Eph. 5. 18—6.9; Col. 3. 16-4. 1. You will notice the various items of correspondence
between them. To the exhortation to be filled with the Spirit corresponds : “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Through the reading and meditation on the Scriptures we are kept filled. The exhortation to be filled comes in the midst of a series of very practical exhortations. Among them are three pairs together: “Not as fools, but as wise . . . not unwise, but understanding . . . not drunk with wine but filled with the Spirit.” The result is a happy spiritual condition and a consistent Christian walk in the domestic and social life. Being filled with the Spirit does not do away with the need for practical exhortations for such follow. Returning to our illustration, if the water tank runs empty there will be a big splash when finally it is being refilled. If the heart gets cold and departs from the Lord, there will be a big upsurge of joy on restoration but this is not normal. There should be a continual refilling and a steady maintenance of joy. To be filled with the Spirit is to walk in daily practical obedience to God and to His Word.
SINS AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT
The New Testament makes mention of three sins against the Holy Spirit of which the believer may be guilty. He may LIE to the Holy Spirit by hypocrisy, by pretending to a higher degree of devotion to Christ than that which is the reality, or by boasting of a spiritual experience of which he knows nothing (Acts 5. 3). He may GRIEVE Him by indulging in any of the sins mentioned in the preceding verses (Eph. 4. 30). He may QUENCH Him by refusing to heed His voice when it comes by the reading or preaching of the Scriptures (1 Thess. S. 19-21). Let us beware of these sins for they will bring sad consequences into the life of any Christian who commits them.
There abounds much unsound teaching concerning the Holy Spirit and His work, many unscriptural terms are used, and so there is much need to give heed to the truths we have touched upon, as well as many others on the same subject. So, get to your Bible.
As a young man in the farming industry I could afford to dress well and keep good company, and was looked upon as being moral and upright, but I found out that respectability, although commendable, could never justify me in the presence of God, nor bridge the gulf that existed between myself a sinner and a sin hating God, for His Word had said in Isaiah 59. 2—“Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.”
I WAS RELIGIOUS
As a boy I was encouraged to read and memorise the Scriptures and say my prayers night and morning. I went to church and was strict in my religious observances, but I found out that it was possible to have my name on the church register and not be a member of “the Church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven” (Heb. 12. 23); that I could sing in the choir and never sing the song of the redeemed in heaven (Rev. 5. 9); that I could sit down to the Lord’s Supper and never partake of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19. 9). I had a religion without Christ, which is a sure title to the lake of fire.
I WAS REFINED
I could never stoop to do the things I had seen others do. I judged myself by the conduct of my fellows, forgetting that God had said, that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3. 23); and that “all we like sheep have gone astray.” (Isaiah 53. 6).
I was going down the clean side of the road that leads to destruction (Matt. 7. 13) and was neglecting and rejecting the only One who could save me and make me the happy possessor of Eternal Life.
I WAS REFORMED
Becoming alarmed about my state and condition before God, I sought to merit His favour and have peace with Him by turning over a new leaf, forgetting like the schoolboy, the blotted page which one day the Master would turn up, and forgetting the truth of Eccles. 3. 15 : “God requireth that
which is past.” What I needed was not reformation but regeneration (John 3. 3); not amendment but atonement; and if I was to be in heaven on a righteous basis another must become surety and bear the punishment of my sins, which at this time had become a heavy burden. But on the 9th of April, 1919, at 7 o’clock on a Wednesday morning, in my bedroom
I WAS REDEEMED
By “the Precious Blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1. 18, 19).
I shall never forget that morning even throughout eternity. I had prayed and cried to God and had done all that I could possibly do, and as I sat there almost in despair, two verses of Scripture came before my mind : John 3. 14, 15—“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” I saw at a glance that the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up on the Cross; that God had laid my sins upon Him (Isa. 53. 6) and there and then I rested my all upon Christ, who had died and was buried and rose again (1 Cor. 15. 3, 4). The moment I trusted Christ as my Saviour my sins were forgiven (Eph. 1. 7); I was brought into God’s family (1 John 3. 1, 2); I received Eternal Life (Rom. 6. 23); I was sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1. 13) ; and started on my way to Heaven and Home and Happiness. Over forty years have come and gone, and I have proved that the One who saved me is able to keep me and will one day present me faultless in His Prsence with exceeding joy (Jude 24).
My advice to you, dear unsaved reader, is trust christ AND BE SAVED FOR ETERNITY IN A MOMENT OF TIME.
It has often been remarked that certain numbers have a wonderful significance in Scripture. We all know, for example, that six denotes unrest and incompleteness, while seven is the Scriptural symbol of perfection. This is seen in the six days of creation, followed by the seventh, the day of Sabbatic rest. Even in the interview at Sychar's Well (John 4. 5-26) we think the significance of numbers may be seen. When the woman's conscience had been startled by the Master's words, “Go, call thy husband,” she answered, “I have no husband.” To this our Lord replied, “Thou hast well said, I have no husband; for thou hast had five husbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband.” We thus see that five husbands in succession had sat, so to speak, upon the throne of her heart; and now a sixth (in this case an unlawful suitor) was engaging her affections. Yet she was not satisfied. Hers was a great unrest. There was still the aching void within. What was needed? We answer—a seventh. That seventh now stood before her. And as her dawning faith peered through the coming years in quest of that long looked-for Messiah who should answer the deepest longings of her soul, the welcome words fell upon an ear prepared of God, “I that speak unto thee am He.” The perfect number seven had been reached—the perfect One had come; yea, was already reigning in that once desolate heart. And in her sweet experience the six days of groaning creation had passed away, and the Sabbath Rest of God had come!