The terminating of “the times of the Gentiles”, and the transferring of world sovereignty again to Israel, will mark the inauguration of earth’s golden age—the Millennium. The word, “Millennium”, is derived from two Latin words— “mille”, a thousand, and “annus”, a year, and is the equivalent of the Greek term, “chilia ete”, which in Rev. 20 is translated “a thousand years”. The facts that the word “Millennium” never occurs in our English Bible, that a limited time period for the visible, earthly reign of Christ is never previously disclosed, and that our Lord and His apostles said so little about such a future kingdom—some assert that they said nothing—have been seized upon as arguments in favour of A-Millennialism. It is partly upon this ground indeed that the term, “a thousand years”, is spiritualised, and its ordinary, literal sense denied.
Now, some of the silences of Scripture are no doubt most significant, but frequently they prove nothing. The word “conscience”, for example, is not found once in the entire Old Testament. Are we to conclude therefore that people in ancient times were lacking of this inward moral faculty? Surely not. The words, “Trinity” and “Substitution”, never occur in the Bible, but the doctrines which these terms stand for are fundamentals of Divine revelation. In the book of The Acts, which covers the first 28 or 30 years of Church history, Luke, who was so meticulously exact, as Sir Wm. Ramsay has demonstrated, never once mentions the name of Titus. Does this prove that there was no such servant of Christ at that time? Not at all. In his second Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul has much to say regarding this honoured apostolic delegate, and uses the proper name, “Titus”, no fewer than nine times. Paul by the Spirit fills up what is lacking in Luke’s account.
It is well at this point to be warned that the principle of building an argument upon silence is one not infrequently used by Higher Critics in their attacks upon God’s Word. To expose the fallacy of such a principle, Prof. R. D. Wilson in his book, “Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?” (p. 35) makes an interesting reference to Scribner’s History of the United States of America. This work has 53 pages of Index, double column, in which the word “Presbyterian” never occurs, “Church” only twice, and “Christians” only in the phrase “Christian Commission”. Further, in 3,500 pages quarto there is no mention of “Thanksgiving Day”, and the Bible is referred to only in the relation of the Bible Society to slavery. Yet how foolish it would be to conclude from these silences .that Christianity is practically unknown in the United States! Obviously therefore it is not safe to build an argument upon the instances of silence which we have named. If the word, “Millennium”, is not found in Scripture, the doctrine of it certainly is, and six times over in Rev. 20. 1-7 we read of “the thousand years” reign. That this time period was not revealed in earlier books proves nothing. Those books contain hundreds of promises of a state of perfect rule upon earth. These have never yet been fulfilled. Many of them cannot possibly refer to the Eternal State, as we have seen in earlier chapters. They describe the period we are now considering. They do so in a great variety of ways, are most specific and full of detail, and are couched in the most glowing and colourful language. Writer after writer adds his quota of descriptive data, but it was reserved for John, the last inspired writer, to state its length. In this we can but admire the infinite wisdom of our God, Whose Book in every aspect of its composition and structure is as perfect as its faultless Author. Surely, too the veracity of any statement depends, not upon how often it is repeated, but upon the reliability of the one who makes it. If God makes a statement once, is this not sufficient for our faith? Modern science declares that light was the first of all things to exist. The Bible, however, told us this long ago, and it also told us how light was first caused to flood our solar system. Here truly is important knowledge, yet it is contained in one short sentence, in Gen. 1. 3. Further, did not the truth of our Lord’s immaculate conception and virgin birth depend for centuries upon one passage in Isaiah (7. 14)? Yet, take away the wondrous doctrine of His miraculous incarnation, and you have completely undermined the Christian faith. Only one passage informs us of the length of Christ’s earthly reign, but here the Spirit of Truth underlines “the thousand years”, so to speak, by repeating the phrase no fewer than six times. Let us remember, too, that there are other new disclosures about the future in Rev. 20, 21, and 22. Are these also to be divested of their literal meaning because they are never earlier found in Scripture?
It is true that Christ and His apostles refer only occasionally, and with but little detail, to His earthly reign. This need not at all surprise us. The truth concerning it being so fully and incontrovertibly established by Old Testament writers, it was quite needless that New Testament writers should labour to do so. Nevertheless some of them do most decidedly refer to it both directly and by implication, and there is nothing in any of their writings inconsistent with such a concept. Let us remember that the Bible is one grand Divine unity, and that the Old Testament is no less inspired than the New Testament. Let us remember also that it is an orderly Book, and that the one Testament gives us the hope of Israel, the other, the hope of the Church. Failing to recognise this and other vital distinctions, we shall end up spiritually where Mr. P. Mauro, of A-Millennial fame, was literally when he wrote one his best known books—“at sea.”
Another A-Millennial objection is that Christ’s kingdom is again and again said to be everlasting. “How,” asks a clergyman in a recent issue of a magazine, “How can the kingdom be ‘Millennial’ and ‘never ending’?” Why this should present any difficulty it is really hard to know. God has one kingdom. Daniel (Dan. 2. 44), John Baptist (Matt. 3. 2), Christ (Mark 1. 15), Paul (Acts 20. 25), and Peter (2 Peter 1. 11), all spoke of it; and it will be proclaimed during “the great tribulation” (Matt. 24. 14). It is one kingdom throughout, be perfectly clear about that, but it has different aspects or phases. The future earthly form, with which we are presently concerned, will last a thousand years. Far from nullifying the Eternal Kingdom, the Millennial Kingdom will be “the vestibule” to it. Surely a person with average intelligence can see this.
One of the most common objections, of course, is that Revelation is a book of imagery, and therefore the term “thousand years” is not to be treated literally. Dr. B. B. War-field strongly advocates this view. He suggests that the meaning of the Apocalypse could best be understood “not directly by verbal criticism”, but “by sympathetic imagination”, and he accordingly spiritualises “the thousand years”. Pause and think of the seriousness of advising a young Christian to employ his “sympathetic imagination” to ascertain the meaning of any Scripture ! To what wild, fantastic interpretations this opens the door, as A-Millennialism itself illustrates. Prof. Wm. Milligan says, “If we interpret the thousand years literally, it will be a solitary example of a literal use of numbers in the Apocalypse, and this objection alone is fatal”. What then, we may ask, is the spiritual meaning of “the thousand years”? “It is”, says Dr. T. P. Stafford, in “A Study of the Kingdom”, “the Christian age, extending up to ‘a little time’ before Christ comes again. The thousand years have become nearly two thousand years. Or are we now in ‘the little time’ that follows that period? I do not know (though the late war and its consequences make it seem likely)”. Imagine a true believer saying, “The thousand years have become nearly two thousand years”, then suggesting that we are now in ‘the little time’ (of Rev. 20. 3), and finishing up by saying, “I do not know”! What a loose trifling with sacred language! What a confession of ignorance! It is a very convenient way of treating a plain statement which contradicts your theory, of course, but it is not sound exegesis. If we are in the Millennium and it has lasted almost two thousand years, why did God say it would terminate in “a thousand years”? And if the proper study of this Rook leads only to a quagmire of doubt and uncertainty, why was it written? and why was it named “Revelation”? Yet Milligan is quoted with approval by Mr. W. J. Grier in “The Momentous Event” (p. 80), and Stafford "likewise by Mr. P. Mauro in “The Hope of Israel” (p. 260). Is it any wonder we warn saints against the vagaries of A-Millennialism ?
What, however, of Prof. Milligan’s denial of the “literal use of numbers in the Apocalypse”? Is there any foundation for his confident assertion? There is none whatsoever. What he meant by his rash statement, or why Mr. Grier, whose opposition to Romish and Rationalistic trends I have long admired, quoted him, I cannot tell. No proof is offered—because there is no proof. Excluding fractions such as “a third”, “fourth part”, etc., numbers occur about 168 times in Revelation. Some of the numbered objects are symbolic, many are not, and throughout the numbers themselves are literal. John saw seven stars, seven lampstands, and twenty-four elders. No symbolism can possibly change these numbers. In chapter 7 he is very precise in telling us that 12,000 persons of each of the twelve tribes were sealed. There can be no mistake about the total, for the writer sums it up for us as “a hundred and forty four thousand”, and he assures us that he “heard the number” (v. 4). Was this not literal? After speaking of the vast army of 200 million men in chapter 9. 16, he is careful again to assure us that this was the actual figure, for he adds, “I heard the number of them”. What right have we to spiritualise this? In chapter 11 we have the testimony of the two witnesses—-two literal men, symbolised by two olive trees and two candlesticks (v. 4). These will bear witness in Jerusalem for 1,260 days (v. 3). The days here are also literal, being exactly equal to, and denoting the same time period as, the forty-two months of thirty days each (see Gen. 7. 11; 8. 3, 4, where the five months of the Flood are specified as being 150 days), of verse 2 and chapter 13. 5. It will thus be seen that this space of three and one half years is measured most precisely both as days and as months and is the same as is described by the symbolic expression, “a time, and times, and half a time” (11. 3; 12. 14). Another period of time is mentioned in chapter 11. 9, where the dead bodies of God’s two honoured servants are allowed to lie unburied in Jerusalem for three days and a half. This will be literally fulfilled, as will the statement about men “from among the peoples . . . and nations” looking upon their dead bodies. How these will be able literally to gaze upon them is no longer a puzzle to us, as it was to our fathers. It will be by television, of course. Then in verse 13 we read of 7,000 persons being killed in a great earthquake, and we are simple enough to believe that this also means just what it says.
We have not space here to discuss other important numbers in Revelation, nor is it really needful to do so. Their plain sense is obvious. It is perfectly safe to interpret the thousand years in chapter 20 literally. For if we are to understand this six times repeated expression spiritually, then how would God have to write, for us to understand it in a literal sense? Moreover, as we have seen, this is mot by any means “a solitary example of a literal use of numbers in the Apocalypse”. Some of the objects which John saw in vision here are, no doubt, symbols, “but this does not necessarily mean that the ‘thousand years’ which John did not see (my italics) are symbolical” (Dr. N. C. Deck in, “The Case for Futurism”, p. 67).
It is of interest to remember that while the duration of the future earthly kingdom is never previously revealed, one passage which pictures it (Isa. 65. 18-25) declares that man’s life will then be supernaturally preserved and that longevity will characterise the human race—“the child shall die an hundred years old” . . . “for as the days of a tree are the days of my people”. There is thus perfect harmony between Isaiah 65 and Revelation 20, the latter explaining how the former will be possible. To no other period can the Isaiah passage possibly apply. Then to Israel, redeemed and regenerated, the call will come—
From the notes of addresses given in the Ebenezer Hall, Woodbrook, Port of Spain,
— the 5th to the 8th of June 1960.
Reprinted from The Caribbean Courier by permission.
The former Feasts were celebrated during the first annual gathering at the place Divinely chosen and wherein God had been pleased to place His Name. The latter three were similarly linked and observed at the last of the yearly convocations. The Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, while inseparably linked with the others, occupied a unique place and was observed as the central gathering of the seven. It was typical of what is now historical, namely, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the formation of the Body of Christ, as outlined in Acts 2.
This Feast marked the commencement of an undefined period which ended with the Feast of Trumpets. It is comparatively easy to discern in it the teaching that has regard to the present age of grace, wherein the Holy Spirit is actively engaged in gathering out of the nations a people for His Name. To accomplish this, the testimony of the Holy Spirit is to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, presenting Him as the Risen One and the Head of the new creation. It is the delight of the Spirit to witness to the excellencies of the Christ, and by so doing, to captivate the hearts of men, bringing them into subjection to Heaven’s Beloved One.
The responsibility of Abraham’s servant, in searching out and winning a bride for Isaac, beautifully illustrates this.
For the consummation of this age our Lord patiently waits. It will bring unto Him the desire of His heart. Then He will present unto Himself “a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing”—the Church for which in love He gave Himself.
How very precious to the heart of the Saviour is the thought of His Bride. Paul Gerhardt suggests His attitude of waiting in very beautiful lines—
“There amidst the songs of Heaven,
Sweeter to His ear
Is the footfall through the desert,
Ever drawing near.
There made ready are the mansions,
Glorious, bright, and fair,
But the Bride the Father gave Him
Still is wanting there ”
May our hearts also be directed into the love of God, and into the patience that characterises our Lord, while with affection we wait and watch for His advent.
While there is no uncertainty regarding the coming of the Lord for His people, of the day and the hour knoweth no man. The indefinite period between the Feast of Pentecost and that of Trumpets helps to emphasise this.
Some may enquire with regard to this varying period. Can any reason be given for suggesting that it is so. The arrangement of the Jewish Calendar is undoubtedly the answer. The following is a quotation from Mr. A. J. Holiday’s book entitled, “The Feasts of the Lord”, and is taken from pages 30 and 31.
“The Hebrews kept the natural, or lunar month; and at the end of twelve months, they would be eleven and a quarter days behind hand. At the end of two years the deficiency would have reached twenty-two and a half days, and at the end of the third year it would be thirty-three and three quarter days. At this point, however, they used to restore the balance by adding on the extra, or thirteenth month, which would leave them only about four days short; and from time to time they would add this extra month after the lapse of two years only, instead of three, as the progress of the seasons made it necessary.”
It is to be understood that the insertion of additional days was regulated by the season in order to complete the harvest. It was therefore between barley harvest and the vintage.
After Firstfruits, the resurrection of Christ, follows Pentecost with its initial harvest of about three thousand souls. The ingathering continues from among both Jew and Gentile until all is safely garnered in. In the completion of the harvest the Trumpet will sound for the gathering together of the redeemed and for the re-assembling of the nation of Israel, for at that point God will take up His dealings with His ancient people once more.
Associated with the Feast of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 there is given to us the partial fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy and the promised gift of the Father.
The pledge given by our Lord in John 14-16 has also found its answer in the coming forth of the Holy Spirit.
The title of “Comforter” given to the Holy Spirit by our Lord is a comprehensive one, it embraces all that He had been to His followers while present with them—consolation, enlightenment, courage, ability to witness, and every other needful thing the believer has ministered to him by the Holy Spirit Who now abides within him.
The ministry commenced by our Lord is continued now by the Spirit of Truth. What was done for disciples in Luke 24 is still being carried on. He opened their eyes and at the same time opened unto them the Scriptures. To them was given the three major divisions of the Old Testament and the Key which unlocks the whole.
Marking the change of the dispensations, the Lord Jesus said : “He dwelleth with you” (as then present); “He shall be in you” (as a future experience). The dwelling place of the Holy Spirit is two-fold. He dwells in the local company and in the individual believer. (See 1 Cor. 3. 16 and 1 Cor. 6. 19).
Herein then is the power to live the sanctified life and to maintain effective witness for our Lord and Saviour.
We have, as suggested in the Feast of Firstfruits, the present intercessions of the Risen Man in the presence of God; we have also the Holy Spirit resident within us, as typified in the Feast of Pentecost. May it be the portion of every one redeemed by the precious blood to rely on the provision made and thus adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
We have considered some matters connected with the local church. We saw, first of all, the difference between the Church of which all believers are members, and the local church composed of a convenient number of believers, meeting together in one place. We then considered what was meant by the expression, “local church”, and some of the distinguishing features that mark it out as distinct from any other gathering of people, whether religious or profane. Now, one thing I wish to make clear regarding our discussion, it is that we were considering the local assembly as presented in Scripture; in other words, we were considering God’s ideal. I know that the moment man touches anything of God he spoils it. But we must never lose sight of the ideal. Once we deviate from the pattern laid down in the New Testament there is no limit to what we can do, or where we can go, and the religious world with all its various sects and shades of opinion is the direct result of this. So that while being conscious of our own shortcomings as individuals and our failure in assembly life, let us ever keep before us the ideal, the Divine pattern laid down in Scripture; and having grasped the truth of it may we in both practice and precept ever seek to maintain it.
So having seen something of the truth of God’s assembly, let us now consider certain aspects of fellowship in it, and let us use the first Epistle of Corinthians as a basis for our consideration.
I want you to notice verse 9 of chapter 1 : “Called into the fellowship of His Son,” etc. Now, I am going to call this the quality of the fellowship. Men of the world may boast about membership of this or that fellowship or society, but surely no fellowship can compare with this—“His Son”—think of that. Remember the words of Hebrews 1 : “The Son whom He has appointed,” etc. Our fellowship is with the uncreated Creator and Upholder of all things, the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Notice the full title given to the Lord here. As the Son He is linked with the throne and with Deity, as Jesus He is linked with the earth and humanity. In the two titles, “Christ”, and “Lord”, we have God’s vindication of His Son as Man upon earth, in relation to the work He came to do for mankind. Remember the words, “This same Jesus whom ye have crucified,” etc. Let us ever remember the place of dignity and honour God has given to His Son. May we be careful how we speak of Him. I hear many preachers to-day constantly referring to Him as “Jesus Christ.” May we remember that God has made Him “both Lord and Christ,” and be careful to give Him the honour that is due to His blessed Person.
Such then is the fellowship into which we have been called. Rut notice the qualification of this fellowship. Verse 2 : “To them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus and saints by calling.” So the local church is composed of those and only those who have been sanctified in Christ and divinely called. The sanctification here is not the personal and practical kind that comes later on in the epistle. This is judicial sanctification, the work of God through the Spirit, setting us apart to Himself and His service, fitting us for fellowship with His Son, consequent upon our faith in His redemptive work; so that the qualifications for the fellowship match the quality of the fellowship. I want you to see the wisdom of the apostle here in revealing the high ground, the lofty place, the quality of, the fellowship, before ever he speaks of the saints’ failure, that they might tie the more ashamed.
Now the first section of the practical aspects of this fellowship begins at verse 10 of chapter 1, and continues to the end of chapter 4. Let me deal with this section as briefly as I can. Says the apostle, “It has been told me by those of the household of Chloe that there are contentions among you.” The word means strife or quarrel. A few moments ago we were thinking of the beautiful quality of the fellowship, and now we are dragged down to the low level of quarrels in the fellowship. A party spirit was being manifested amongst them; they were taking sides; they were owning names; and for a believer to avow allegiance to any man or party in spiritual things, is a dishonour to Christ, and hinders the fellowship into which he has been called. In this section the apostle deals with this error, an error that has been perpetuated all down the Christian age, an error that has divided believers in every land, and that has brought dishonour to Christ and shame upon His people. It is not our business to seek to unite the many divisions of the Christian Church, but to keep the unity of the Spirit, to keep the unity already made by the Spirit. It is our privilege and responsibility to take our stand on the true ground of Scripture, owning no name or body, but the Lord’s ; but always quick to recognise the spiritual unity all believers have in one Body.
At Corinth we have the sowing of the seeds of sectarianism, and in our generation, we see the mighty harvest it has produced—believers divided in every village, town, city and country. We cannot own or acknowledge these divisions ; to do so is to dishonour Christ and hinder the fellowship. If I were giving you an exposition of the epistle to the Corinthians, I could show you how the apostle in each of these four chapters combats the error and brings peace to quarrelling saints. Time, however, will not permit of this. But allow me to repeat some of his words : “Let no man glory in men” ; “that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men”; “Christ ... is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,” etc.; and “as it is written, he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord”. The Lordship of Christ, and all that is involved in its acknowledgement, is the grand antidote to the sectarian spirit which was working so much havoc in the assembly at Corinth, and is so evident to-day.
The LORD JESUS is the Book Opener—reading, interpreting, and applying its contents to conditions found. The open Book gave Him acceptance, for “all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4. 22). All should follow His example. Uncouth words and base expressions are unfitting to a servant of God. It is sadly possible one moment to be led by the Spirit, and the next by the flesh (compare Matt. 16. 17 with v. 23). No occasion of reproach should be given by using vulgar language. Of Christ it is said: “grace is poured into Thy lips” (Psalm 45. 2).
2. IT LEADS TO REJECTION
“They rose up and thrust Him out of the city” (Luke 4. 29). Indeed they would have killed Him, but “His hour had not yet come”. The application of the Word to existing conditions is vital for faithful ministry. Smooth words and abstract teaching are too common to-day. Many never “admonish” and therefore are popular and prosperous. Faithfulness never neglects application which is pointed and without partiality. In some cases, alas, such ministry is rejected.
3. IT CAUSES HEARTBURN
Our Lord had just opened up the Scriptures, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets” (Luke 24. 32). Here is the foundation of true ministry. It is to “preach Christ” (Acts 8. 5), to preach Him from all the Scriptures. To relate to Him every passage. As the blood from the altar was sprinkled on every part, every priest, and every person connected with the tabernacle, so Christ crucified affects every doctrine. Without Him truth handled degenerates to hardness (compare 2 Sam. 3. 39), and love degenerates to sentimentality (compare 2 Sam. 18. 12). There would be more heartburn if we had more of Christ ministered from the open Book.
4. IT PRODUCES DESPAIR
“And it came to pass when the king had heard the words of the law that he rent his garments” (2 Chron. 34. 19). For long the Book had remained unopened and unread. This was contrary to the law which required its reading every seven years to all the people (Deut. 31. 10, 11). Elders are held responsible to give attendance to reading (1 Tim. 4. 13), and should see to it that periodically all the Word is ministered to the saints. Pet subjects advertise certain men, but some subjects are never referred to. The despair of Josiah was heard by God Who granted a respite in deferring judgment. The truth of God prevailed, idolatry was put away, and the people were blessed in his reign. Idolatry can creep into assemblies and into the homes of God’s people. Things can be introduced which take the place of the Lord. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols”. Let us by grace, fully and continually read the Book.
5. IT DRAWS FORTH TEARS
“All the people wept when they heard the words of the law” (Neh. 8. 9). Ezra had stood above the people, and surrounded by faithful men, he had opened the Book for all to see it. The people were caused to understand, for the reading was distinct and the sense thereof was given. This was no sectional meeting, such as has become popular in our day, but was for all the. congregation. The sin that caused the weeping was disobedience to the truth of separation. We might well weep to-day over worldliness in dress, in luxury, in pleasure, and perhaps worst of all in our low level of inter-denominationalism. Some seem intent upon making the assemblies a sect, and associating them with other sects. Brethren, we must maintain scriptural separation or lose the distinctive testimony of the local assembly, and that means to go back to spiritual Babylon. Let us at all costs cleave to the Book and its holy counsels. Let us be known amongst men as the people of the open Book.
6. IT BRINGS JOY
Jeremiah said, “Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15. 16). It is ever so to the soul that is in communion with God. It is the well-spring of pure, unadulterated joy—a joy the world cannot give and cannot take away.
“Oh, what is all that earth can give—
I’m, called, to share in God’s own joy;
Dead to the world, in Thee I live,
In Thee I’ve bliss without alloy:
Well may 1 earthly joys resign,
‘All things’ are mine, and I am thine.”
7. IT WILL WITNESS AGAINST THE WICKED DEAD
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life : and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Rev. 20. 12). In the great day of judgment the open Book will witness against the wicked dead, raised at the resurrection of damnation. That evidence, being final, will seal the eternal doom of every Christ rejector.
While humming over this excellent contribution to our inimitable hymnology my mind instinctively travelled along a “foursquare” line of thought, and in my soliloquy I remembered four portions of Holy Scripture where the “foursquare” idea is delightfully developed.
A Foursquare Brazen Altar. This suggests perfect propitiation. We possess a foursquare redemption arising out of foursquare propitiation (Exodus 27. 1).
A Foursquare Breastplate. This indicates resurrection representation. How satisfying to apprehend that we have a foursquare representation before God on the breast of our Great High Priest (Exodus 28. 16).
A Foursquare Golden Altar. This predicates constant communion. What encouragement to understand that our spiritual worship is uninterruptedly maintained within the Heavenly Holy of Holies (Exodus 37. 25).
A Foursquare City. This asserts habitual habitation. When God arises to shake terribly this poor earth there is one place at least that will resist and survive the shock of His retributive vengeance. An altar for propitiation ! A breastplate for intercession ! An altar for communion ! A city for habitation! A fourfold, foursquare blessing! (Rev. 21. 16).
“You must know how Jacob outwrestled Christ, for ’twas His wonderful condescension to put forth more of His own strength in Jacob against Himself than He did in Himself against Jacob. This redeeming Angel (as Jacob calls Him, Gen. 48. 16) held him up with one hand, as He strove against him with the other, and voluntarily yielded Himself as conquered by the patriarch’s prayer; otherwise the same divine power that disjointed Jacob’s thigh could as easily have unclasped his hands. Oh, how can you but admire this glorious vouchsafement!”
“The Lord is round about His people” (Psalm 125. 2). j, THY GOD, am above, below, and around thee. In thy weakness shouldst thou sway to the left thou wilt but lean upon My right arm glorious in power. If thou shouldst sway to the right it will be to find thyself held to My heart throbbing with passionate love to thee. If thou, under the weight of thine own nature, shouldst sink downward swifter than the lightning, the everlasting arms would be under thee. If drawn by My Spirit thou dost look upward it will be My smile that shall sun thee with its ripening warmth.
MAN can become so Broad that he has no depth, so Tactful he carries no Punch, and Tolerant unto Effeminacy.
Broadmindedness, Tact and Tolerance cease to be Virtues when they allow a man to become so spineless that he will not, or cannot make a stand when he knows that he should. The man who won’t stand for anything is likely to Fall for Something. Jude 3; 1 Timothy 4. 1.