THE BLESSED HOPE
by D. M. Martin
by E. W. Rogers
by E. R Bower
THE MINISTRY OF THE RISEN LORD
by J. B. Hewitt
SIGNS OF THE END
by W. J. M'Clure
ENOCH-SEVENTH FROM ADAM
by W. W. Fereday
THE WRITTEN WORD
MY CONVERSION AND CALL
by J. Stewart
What a year this has been! Unexpected changes everywhere. Some for good and some bad. Ungodliness increases, lawlessness abounds. The world is characterised in the words spoken by Enoch, the seventh from Adam, when he prophesied saying "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him"—
- UNGODLY PERSONS
- UNGODLY DEEDS
- UNGODLY CONDUCT
- UNGODLY SPEECH
In such a day Enoch prophesied and yet he walked with God and had this testimony that he pleased God.
He prophesied of things that would take place after he had been translated that he should not see death. We too are called to announce terrible judgments take will take place after we have been translated — Maranatha! In the mean time he, by faith, walked with God. He did not walk with the ungodly. His was a path of separation from the mass of the people. But his testimony was not only negative, it was positive for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. In this he was like our Lord He did always those things that pleased the Father we therefore, with the example of Enoch, and the supreme example of our blessed Lord, should likewise seek to walk with God and to please Him.
We expect very soon to be translated. We may may not see this year out. We believe He is coming. Hallelujah!. Let us then, "knowing the time, that it high time, that it is high time to awake out of sleep" seek to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. "He that shall come will come and will not tarry"—May we share Enoch's testimony.
The blessing of the Lord be upon all the dear saints including every reader of the Magazine
With love in the Lord
—A. M. Salway Gooding.
by D. M. MARTIN, Dorset
Part XI — The Millennial Reign of Christ
In the present dispensation grace reigns through righteousness (Rom. 5.21). In the eternal state righteousness will dwell. (2. Pet. 3.13). But, in the millennial kingdom righteousness will reign.
The kingdom of heaven exists now. (Matt. 13). So also the kingdom of God. (John. 3): and believers are said to be translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. (Col. 1.13). God has delivered us from the power of darkness. The prince of darkness no more blinds our eyes to the evil of sin, the curse of the law, the glory of God, the face of Jesus, the preciousness of salvation, For, God "hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son." We are out of the kingdom of nature, sin, pride and unbelief. We live under the spiritual reign of Jesus.
Therefore we possess the graces of this kingdom; faith in and love to the Lord of the saints, and "to all the saints" who confess the Son of God, and salvation by Him only. The reign of Christ as King is confined to the millenium. Mary was told concerning Him that "the Lord God shall give to Him the throne of His father David (Luke. 1. 32) It is obvious that this promise has not yet been fulfilled; for when He was presented to the Jews as their Messiah they would not receive Him, finally crying "We have no King but Caesar" (John. 19. 15). But every word of God must stand and He will yet be the King of Israel, as the Son of man He inherits still wider glories, "all dominions shall serve and obey Him" (Dan. 7.27). Israel will be the centre of this universal dominion, and it will be through them that He will govern the nations upon the earth.
First, then, of His throne, which we understand will be consequent upon His appearing, He will act in judgement after the pattern of David; that is, He will judge according to righteousness. Therefore the Psalmist says, "Give the King thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgement". (Psa. 72. 1, 2). He will therefore "gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity", and "the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name one". (Zech. 14. 9) We have a remarkable scene of this character in Matthew 25. Having established His throne in righteousness, all nations are gathered before Him for judgment. This is connected with His kingdom; "when the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations (vv31, 32). It is the only time that our Lord applies the title of King to Himself; 'Then shall the King say unto them," etc., (vv34-40). This shows that the kingdom has been founded . . . marking, in fact, the commencement of His millennial reign. If we examine the features of this period of judgment, it will be manifest that there is no excuse what ever for confounding it with that of the great white throne (Rev. 20) or for deducing from it the once popular idea of a general judgment . . of believers and unbelievers together. It is in fact, a judgment of living nations; there is no scriptural precedent for terming the dead "the nations." Three classes are apparent here ... the sheep, the goats and the 'brethren' of the king. It is noticeable that the way the nations treated the Kings' 'brethren' becomes the ground of their classification, whether among the sheep, or among the goats. This fact is the key to the whole scene. Who then are the King's 'brethren'? Very clearly they must be the Jews His kinsmen according to the flesh, but also His true servants. We find a clue to them in Isaiah 66, in a passage already alluded to. There we find that after the Lord has come in judgment some of the saved are sent to declare His glory among the Gentiles. So in the scene before us, the King's 'brethren' have evidently gone forth as His messengers among the nations, and they are invested with a special place and authority, even as the ambassadors of a sovereign now are clothed with all the honour and dignity of the one they represent. The principle on which they are sent forth is that on which the Lord sent out the twelve disciples, "He that receiv-eth you receiveth me" (Matt. 10. 40). Then the king says to those on His right, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto me"; and they are made to inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. In like manner He says to those on His left,
"Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me". And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matt. 25. 34-46).
Thus Christ as King, by the display of His power in righteous judgment, obtains universal dominion; for the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him". (Psa. 72, 10, 11). Having put down all rule and all authority and power, He reigns as Prince of peace. "His name shall endure forever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed. (Psa.72. 17). Leaving the reader to study for themselves in the Psalms and prophets the details of His millennial kingdom, may we point out a few of its leading features.
(a) Jerusalem will recover its former glory: No! its future condition will far surpass the former, as the glory of Christ the King will outshine that of David and Solomon. "The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought". (Isa. 60. 10, 11. See also vv. 13-15 & 62. 3). Surely it is fitting that the metropolis of Messiahs kingdom be suited to the worthiness, dignity and glory of the King!
(b) The temple services will be revived in surpassing splendour. (Ezek. 40-46) Some folk have difficulty as to sacrifices being restored; but the problem vanishes when it is remembered that these sacrifices will be connected with an earthly people, and an earthly temple, and will be commemorative in their character. In the old dispensation they had no efficacy whatever, apart from their reference to Christ; for it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins (Heb. 10. 4) and in the millennium they will look back to that one sacrifice for sin which was offered upon the cross, as those under the Mosaic economy foreshadowed it. They will therefore, but recall to the grateful worshipping hearts of God's people, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth from all sin.
(c) All nations will come to Jerusalem to worship: We read in the prophets Isaiah and Zechariah concerning this event (Read Isa. 2. 2, 3. & Zech. 14. 16).
(d) The animal creation will share in the peace and blessing of that day: The wolf and lamb shall feed together and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock. (Isa. 65. 25; see also Isa. 11. 6-9). It is added to the first of these scriptures "And dust shall be the serpents meat"; showing we suppose, that the serpent will be excluded from the deliverence from bondage under which even the brute creation has hitherto groaned.
But as we know, "The creature itself also shall be delivered from bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God". (Rom. 8. 21).
(e) The curse will be removed from the earth: When Adam fell the ground was cursed on his account. Whatever the alleviation of this sentence under Noah, it is not completely repealed until the reign of Messiah. The Psalmist sings, "Let the people praise thee O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us". (Psa. 67. 5, 6). The prophet Amos adds to this theme, (Amos. 9. 14). It is at this time that "the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose, it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God". (Isa. 35.1,2).
((f) There will be no death, except in the way of judgment, throughout the thousand years. (Isa. 65. 20). The meaning of this scripture would seem to be, that death will be exceptional, and then only in the way of righteous judgment. The age of Methuselah may not therefore be equalled but even surpassed, in the blessed period of Messiah's millennial reign.
(g) All injustice will be instantly redressed: This is of necessity connected with Messiahs righteous rule .i.e. "He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their souls from deceit and violence; and precious shall their blood be in His sight". (Psa. 72. 12-14). Men fondly dream that this is the goal of human enlightenment and progress; but they are ignorant of, or forget, the incurable corruption of human nature, and do not consider that even though the whole world were to obtain just and equal laws, they would fail in their administration or application. No! Christ is the only hope for the earth; as for the saint; for "He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity". (Psa. 98.9).
(h) But, notwithstanding all these blessed features, There will be rebellions even under the reign of Christ. In Psalm 66 we read, "Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee"; or, as it is in the margin, 'yield feigned obedience! The same phrase is found in another psalm, "As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me; as strangers shall submit themselves unto me or yield feigned obedience. (Psa. 18. 44). It would appear from these statements that the display of Christ's power in judgment will be so overwhelming, as it surely will be in the judgment upon the nations assembled against Jerusalem, that many, not bowed in heart, will yet be terrified into the acceptance of His rule.
They will profess subjection while their hearts are alienated from Him; they will be as easily tempted to renounce as to submit to His rule. Accordingly we find that after-perhaps not long after-the establishment of His throne, Gog, with a multitude of followers, "a great company, and a mighty army", comes up against his people Israel, "as a cloud to cover the land". But he comes to meet with immediate and utter destruction, so great and over whelming that "seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land" (Ezek. 38, 39).
At the close of the millennium there is a larger rebellion, directly attributed to the work of Satan. "And then the thousand years were expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog (not to be confused with the Gog of Ezekiel) To Gather them to battle: the number if whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city". (Rev. 20. 7-9) Thus every dispensation closes with failure as a striking testimony to the character and nature of man. Tried in every way, without law, and under law, under grace, and at last under the personal reign of the Messiah, he shows that he cannot be improved, that flesh remains the same, that it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, that the carnal mind is enmity with God. The Jews chose a Caesar, yes a Ban-abas, in perference to Christ, and finally man accepts Satan himself, and under his leadership goes to attack and destroy " The camp of the saints .... and the beloved city", that are under the special protection of the glorified Messiah. The outcome could be but one. There remains nothing for God but to vindicate the righteousness of the throne of Christ; and we read of His reply in Revelation. 20w.9, 10. Thus closes the period of a thousand years. It was introduced in judgment, and it closed with judgment; but, it will yet be the time of earth's blessing and joy. For it should be remembered that Satan is bound at the close of the period, and while flesh remains the same, the power of evil being absent, all the influences to which man is subject will be on the side of Christ. It will be a total reversal of the present state of things; so that the Psalmist may well cry "Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth". (Psa. 96. 11-13).
by E. W. ROGERS
The Resurrection of the Saints
The subject matter of 1 Corinthians 15 is not the Resurrection of Christ in particular, but resurrection in general. It was written because some of the Corinthians asserted that "the dead rise not at all" (v. 12). Paul deals with the matter by
1. Citing a historical case of resurrection (vv. 1-11).
2. Detailing logical deductions from such case (vs. 12-34).
3. Furnishing a prophetic forecast of the future resurrection (vs. 35-end).
THE HISTORICAL CITATION
It is not possible to hold a universal negative while claiming as an exception a single positive; in other words it is not correct to say that" the exception proves the rule," for as a matter of fact it destroys the rule. If it is possible to show that only one person was raised from the dead, that suffices to establish the general principle of resurrection, which would prove false the contention that there is not such a thing.
Now this Paul does in citing the resurrection of Christ in verses 1-11. He affirms that that resurrection was the subject of Old Testament prophecy ("according to the Scriptures"); it was a matter of actual accomplishment, attested by over five hundred and thirteen witnesses, most of whom were alive and available for confirmation of the fact in the day when Paul wrote (indeed, Paul himself had seen Him and so was not dependent on second hand information) it was the subject of Apostolic preaching, and it was the subject of the Corinthian faith, unless, Paul adds, "ye believed in vain," that is, unless they believed not taking though as to whether what they believed was true or not, which it was incredible to suppose.
"RESURRECTION" was not an idea of Paul's innovation: it was in the Scriptures. It was not a wild fancy impossible of realisation; it was an historic accomplishment. That being so, Paul reached it when at Corinth, and the evidence being so convincing, the Corinthians had believed it.
In verses 12 to 34 Paul makes certain logical deductions. An examination of verses 12-19 will reveal that there are seven deductions on the supposition that there is no resurrection. If the errorists are correct, then:
- Christ has not been raised, for the exception cannot be held if the universal rule is true.
- Paul's preaching was vain, there was nothing in it.
- Resultant thereon, the Corinthians' faith was vain, it was equally empty.
- A more serious aspect of the matter is that the apostles had become false witnesses of God in attributing an action to Him which never occurred.
- Moreover, instead of faith being effectual in securing for the believer the removal of his sins, they were "yet in their sins," if Christ was still in the grave; their faith was vain.
- Furthermore, those that had "fallen asleep" had perished.
- Paul and his associates were of all men the most to be pitied, for they had lost the good things of this life on the supposition that there was another which was a delusion, "if the dead rise not at all."
Thus the error affected God, Christ, the apostles and the Corinthians.
In vs. 20-28,
consequent upon the fact that Christ has been raised from the dead are stated. They may be stated thus:
1. That Christ is the firstfruits of them that sleep, that is, He is the first from Whom all the harvest of risen believers is to take its stamp.
That His resurrection is the guarantee of the resurrection of all others, believers and unbelievers alike. The word "all" in verse 22 is co-extensive in each of its two occurrences: all Adam's race were affected by the first Adam: all Adam's race will be affected by the last Adam and because He was raised, all others will be raised. That there are differences in the order the following verses teach, but the fact is universally true.
[web editor's comment: (2) is missing in the original documents]
3. The ultimate issue will be the abolition of death itself. Death is that state of dissolution wherein the soul and spirit of man are separate from the body. The abolition of death for any individual is the reunion of the soul and spirit with the body. That is resurrection. When this is accomplished for all, death as a principle will be totally abolished. The Lord Jesus by His own resurrection "abolished death and brought life and incorruptibility to light." Thus the foundation was laid: v. 26 of this chapter speaks of the final issue. Believers, in resurrection bodies, will spend eternity with Christ; unbelievers raised will spend eternity with Satan.
In vs. 29-33 the Apostle appeals to the Corinthians interrogatively thus: if there is no resurrection, what can be the significance of baptism, since the emergence of the candidate from water denotes resurrection? If there is no such thing, what can such emergence mean? (v.29).
Again, why are we in jeopardy every hour? Why do we risk our lives and lose our earthly comforts if there is nothing beyond?
Such "evil communications" (v.33) would corrupt all the good manners and customs inculcated by the belief in resurrection and its issues; while the reception of such a false doctrine reveals the Corinthians to have been asleep. Therefore Paul enjoins them to "awake righteously and sin not" (v.34). To doubt the possibility of the resurrection betrays the fact that the doubter "knows not God," with Whom all things are possible. The opposition of Science does not hold the field when the power of God is owned.
From v. 33 to the end of the chapter the Apostle furnishes a prophetic forecast. His double question, "How are the dead raised, and with what body do they come?" is answered in the reverse order v.s 35-49 dealing with the "body," and 50 to the end with the "how?"
Illustrations are drawn from botany, biology, and astronomy, showing that "nature itself teacheth" such a thing as resurrection. As the flower is infinitely more beautiful than the grain, so the resurrection body will be related to the former, but excel in glory for it will be "fashioned like unto His body of glory." As the flesh of men, birds, beasts and fishes all differ, so the resurrection body will differ from the natural body which is now the habitation of the earthly life. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." As the sun, moon and stars differ from each other, and as each star differs the one from the other in glory, so, too, is the resurrection of the dead. Related to, different from, better than the earthly body will the resurrection body be.
Weakness, dishonour, corruption marked the natural: strength, glory, incorruption will mark the spiritual. It will take its mark from the last Adam, the Lord from Heaven; and as He is from Heaven, so, too, the body that shall be will be a Heavenly one as the first one was earthy.
But how will this be? This is just the question the rationalist and the scientist ask. Paul in reply says that a change is essential, since flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom. Moreover, he adds that a change is certain. "Behold I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed" (v.51). The sleeping believer whose body has been corrupted will be raised incorruptible. The living believer whose body is mortal will assume immortality. These two things will be effected in the minutest conception of time at the moment known only to God. Then death will have been finally conquered: then sin, its cause, will have been altogether removed, and the risen Christ Who, by His death and resurrection, conquered these things potentially, will then be seen by all to be the Victor over them actually.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast" of your own will "immovable" when others seek to impose their will on you, "always abounding" (not casually engaging in) "the work of the Lord," knowing that there is a resurrection when all such labour will be rewarded.
by E. R. BOWER
As you and I read (or sing) those poems which make up our hymn books, do we ever stop to consider that many of them are born of the deep spiritual experiences of their writers, and that in many cases behind their spiritual experiences are the life experiences — the joys and sorrows, the sweetness and bitterness of the journey or life? If we have not considered this, then perhaps we should give more attention to what we sing!
This is also true of the hymn book of the Bible — that collection of sacred songs that we know as the Psalms, for in them, too, is a record of the spiritual longings and experiences drawn from the waters of the well of life. Here are written the hopes and fears, the sunshine and the shadow of godly, and yet human, men.
Just as we give titles or tunes to our hymns, so did the psalmists, and it may be that some of us like to give our own titles to our favourite Psalms; Psalms like Psalm 23 for instance — the Shepherd Psalm; the Nightingale Psalm; the Pearl of Psalms and so on.
Psalm 84 has its own title, but the writer of these notes likes to think of it in at least three different ways—
- The Psalm of a Great Happiness.
- The Psalm of a Great Longing.
- The Psalm of an Attained Goal.
It is a Pilgrim Psalm and is closely linked with Psalms 42 and 43, for instance the phrase "the living God" occurs frequently in the O. T. but just twice in the Psalms, here (v.2) and 42.2. Psalms 42 and 43 might be thought of as the frustrations to a pilgrimage and Psalm 84 as Journey's End. The goal had been reached.
VERSE 1. "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts."
It is rather a pity that the newer versions have seen fit to replace the "amiable' of the A.V. — a word which is neither
'obscure' or 'archaic' — in favour of such words as 'lovable', 'beloved'. The Hebrew word is a plural of quality rather then quantity, and appears in the title of Psalm 45 as a Song of Loves. Not the song of individual 'loves' but of 'surpassing love'. A more complete meaning of 'amiable' is "pleasant; friendly; desirable; worthy of praise, love, esteem to possession." Has our own particular place of gathering all these qualifications? Is our desire toward the place where the "called out ones" gather? Not so much to the 'place' (although this, in itself, is important) but to the Lord and those members of His body who gather there.
It is also to be regretted that the versions have replaced the plural 'tabernacles' with the singular. It is difficult to understand why. The thoughts of the Psalmist were not confined to a single tabernacle or a single temple, either on earth or in his spiritual objective, heaven itself. When David determined to build a house for the Lord his God, the message that he received from God through the prophet way, "I have not dwelt in an house ... but have gone from tent to tent and from one tabernacle to another" Chron. 17.5, and did not our Lord encourage His own when He said, "In my Father's house are many mansions (or, 'abiding places')? (John 14). It may be somewhat trite to say that bricks and mortar do not constitute a church, yet, nevertheless, a building in a Christian connotation is a meeting place for believers, not just to meet with one another but with God Himself, or perhaps more correctly where God meets with us. Note: Young's concordance defines the meeting as "by appointment". Every time and in every place where believers meet, be the meeting in a mud hut or a splendid building, they gather to the Lord in His Name; when they sit at His table and share the emblems of the bread and the wine, they "meet" the Lord. Thus every meeting place becomes a "tabernacle"—a facsimile of the whole, for where even the "two or three" gather together in our Lord's Name, He is in the midst (Matt. 18. 20). The local "tabernacle" is a place of meeting; a tent of meeting and of witness. An empty church, (in both meanings of the word) bears no witness, unless it be to the spiritual poverty of its absent members. To take these thoughts a step further, "know ye not" asked the Apostle Paul, "that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Cor. 2. 16). Thus we ourselves are tabernacles of the living God; tents of witness.
The title "Lord of hosts" — Jehovah saboath — draws attention to the greatness of the One Who dwells within the tabernacles. He is first of all, Jehovah, He Who was, is and will be; (Ex. 3. 16) the Eternal God; the God of eternity. Then He is the Lord of hosts; God of the armies of Israel (1 Sam. 17. 45); God of the hosts of Heaven — the principalities and powers of which the Apostle speaks (Col. 1. 16. See Luke 2. 13; Heb. 1. 1-14). The pilgrim does not travel alone!
VERSE 2. "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the Living God."
The Hebrew word for 'longeth' suggests a strong emotion; the pilgrim grows pale and fails (not faints) at the thoughts of the courts of the Lord. Body, soul and spirit cried out — sang for joy!—The pilgrim's daily prayer was undoubtedly the Schema (Deut. 6. 4), "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . soul . . . might" and we think of how our Lord used these same words, but substituting 'mind' for 'might' and adding, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. 22. 37—39).
The plurals of these verses are dismissed by some as "poetic language" and, in this particular verse, insist that there is no need to distinguish between the various courts. This may be true so far as it goes, but it must be remembered that the courts about the sanctuary were the "courts of My holiness", or "My holy courts". (Is. 62. 9). See Deut. 12. 7-15; 14. 23-26; 16. 11-14; and see, too, how the Psalmists view the "courts of the Sanctuary". They were the place of Blessing or Happiness, and of the Chosen. (Ps. 65. 4;); the place where the righteous were "planted" (Ps. 92); the place to which the offerings were brought (Ps. 96. 8). See Is. 62. 8-9; Deut. 14, 22-27). This was "before the Lord." The courts were place of praise (Ps. 100.4); the place where vows were paid and the place of thanksgiving (Ps. 116. 17-19); the place of service (Ps. 135. 105); and the place of prayer (Luke 1. 8-22). No wonder that the pilgrim was overcome as he entered into the courts of the Lord. How suggestive is the definition of a 'court'! A place that is walled around. Not only is God in the midst (Ps. 46. 4-5;—notice the plural 'tabernacles') but He is also a wall about His people (Is. 26. 1). Cf. Matt. 18. 20. The pilgrim, body, soul and spirit, bubbles over with joy as he sings to the Living God. Think of those lovely words in 2 Chron. 29. 27, "And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also." Read the whole chapter to appreciate the scene in the Temple courts and then jump the centuries to the vision of the apostle John as he sees that glorious heavenly vision of Heaven, and hears the "new song", sees the ascending incense, "Thou art worthy .. for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood." (Rev. 5) As we have, in- these opening verses, sensed something of the happiness of the tabernacles and of the courts of the Lord there is, in the mind's eye of the present writer, a picture of the pilgrim going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles — the Feast of the Ingathering; of the turn of the year; of lights. A feast of sheer happiness and joy which fell at the time of the autumnal New Year. To gain a picture of this feast read the following Scriptures. Ex. 23. 16; Lev. 23. 39-4; Num. 29. 12-40; Deut. 16. 13-17; Neh. 8; Zech. 14. 16-21; John. 7. 2;
VERSE 3. "Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, even Thine altars, O Lord of hosts. My King, and my God."
We have tried to imagine the scene in the Temple courts (Luke 1. 18-22; 2 Chron. 29; for instance) at the time of the morning and of the evening sacrifice and perhaps we can also imagine the waiting people, the priestly blessing (Num. 6. 22-27) and — the chattering chirp of the omnipresent sparrows upon the temple eaves, and the twittering, whirling flight of the migrant swallow. Does in the pilgrim here express his own feelings as he prays? Here was his nest; his dwelling place. Did our Lord have something of this in mind when He said, "In My Father's house are many mansions ...."? Ah, yes. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father .... Ye are of more value than many sparrows.", (Matt. 10. 29-31;) '
VERSE 4. "Blessed are they that dwell in Thy House; they will be still praising Thee." Selah.
This is the first of the three blessings or happinesses of the Psalm, as against just 26 occurences in the Psalter, hence it is happiness that is stamped upon the Psalm. What is the reason for this happiness? They, happy - pilgrims, were dwelling in the House of the Lord (Ps. 23. 6), and their occupation? Just PRAISE.
The journey was behind the pilgrim; the troubles and trials of the way were no more. As he had praised his God during the journey, so he would continue to praise Him "for ever and for ever". Amen.
VERSE 5. "Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them." (or, "in whose heart are the paths or highways (to Zion").
The first blessing was the blessing of the HOUSE . This second blessing is the blessing of the HEART. Happy indeed the pilgrim who has gained strength and guidance for the way! Ps. 119. 11 says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee" and we quote our Lord's words concerning Himself, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14. 6), and the Apostle Paul has a word for the pilgrim, "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." (Eph. 6. 10).
— to be continued.
by The Late J. B. Hewitt, Chesterfield
4—THE REVELATION TO UTTER DISMAY
John 20. 19-23; Luke 24. 36-48
On this Easter evening the disciples saw the complacency of their Lord. They were badly frightened, very disturbed and, sorrowful enough, hard of heart. The Lord manifests Himself to every variety of need and in all sorts of places. These saints were terrified when the Lord appeared to them, they had reached the ultimate depths of fear and hopelessness and despair (Luke 24. 37). "Then came Jesus" (John 20. 19). He was still the centre of their lives and they still loved Him.
HE BROUGHT ASSURANCE (v.19)
Assured of His presence — "in the midst", yes for pardon (ch. 19. 18); for peace (20. 19) and for power (v.22); the power of new life proceeding from the Risen Lord. The assurance of peace. Having brought peace by His blood, (Col. 1.20). He now brought it right into the upper room. His greeting brought reassurance and replaced their fear with faith (Luke 24. 38, 40), bringing peace and safety. His Assuring Scars (v. 19, 20) His familiar voice and the scars in hands and side gave them abundant proof that "it is I myself. Peace was proclaimed. He disentangled their thinking about Himself, straightened out their problems for them. There was identity — they saw Him, corporally —they handled Him, and reality — watched Him eat. .
HE GIVE THEM AUTHORITY (John 20. 22-23)
Divine life and power were imparted and they were commissioned by their Master. They were despatched under His authority, He sent them out with all the power of heaven behind them. Their mission had already begun; he had commissioned them (v.21) and endued them (v.22) and promised them success in His business (v. 23).
'These words are the charter of the Christian Church, They define its mission; they confirm its authority, they reveal its life." Bishop Westcott.
"As the Father hath sent me" (v. 21). The Lord speaks of His mission as present and not past, as continuing and not as concluded. What a transformation was wrought in the disciples of this first Easter Day. Death had been defeated, they had received forgiveness and peace; they had felt the breath of divine life and entrusted with a supernatural message. They knew the consciousness of the unchanged love of their Master, His living sympathy, and His sovereign majesty.
The commission was given to the whole company present; not to the Apostles alone. The commission and the power have never been revoked and it is our responsibility to carry the message of the Gospel to a needy world.
HE GAVE THEM APPREHENSION (Luke 24. 45)
The disciples had doubt, despondency, and despair and needed a glimpse of the Risen Lord.
HE DISPELLED THEIR FEARS (v. 37, 38)
This is one of the most remarkable appearances of the Risen Christ. They are cheered by His greeting, "Peace be yours" (v.36); and chided for their anxiety — why troubled? (v. 38a). He comforted their hearts but they were not yet convinced or at rest.
HE DIRECTED THEM TO HIMSELF (v. 39, 40)
"It is I myself. He gave them proof by a demonstration of the reality of His person (Acts 1. 3). The familiar tone of His voice, the opportunity to handle Him and His pierced feet were abundant evidence that He was not a spirit. Occupation with Himself is the antidote to fear and despair (Psa. 27. 4,5).
HE DELIGHTED THEIR HEARTS (v. 41 -45)
With His companionship, standing in their midst, and bestowing peace (v. 36). This brought them comfort, joy and confidence (v. 41). His communication of truth gave them a new Bible. He disentangled their thinking about Himself, and straightened out their problems (1 Cor. 2. 10-13). He opened their eyes to see the fascinating theme, Christ in all the Scriptures. Have you had this thrilling experience as you meditate on His Word? (Psa. 45. v. 1). Note these lessons:—
The presence of Christ is the guarantee of real and enduring peace (v. 36). Panic and anxiety are dispelled with Christ in the midst (John 20. 20). A "spirit" may frighten but the Holy Spirit will comfort our hearts and glorify Christ (v. 38). Our Lord can always be identified by the scars of Calvary on His Person (v. 39-41).
Meditate on this thrilling chapter and obtain help from God each day to live and serve the sovereign Lord. The resurrection is vital (v. 1-12); the conversation was helpful (v. 13-32); the revelation was valuable (v.33,34) the benediction was personal (v.36, 37), the identification was unmistakable (v. 39), the provision was acceptable (v. 42,43), the interpretation was infallible (v. 44-46); the proclaimation is universal (v. 47-49), the reception is eternal (v. 50,51) and our adoration is joyful (v. 52,53).
"Breathe on me, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what Thou doest love, And do what Thou would'st do.
Breathe on me Breath of God Till I am wholly Thine, Till all this earthly part of me Glows with Thy fire Divine."
By The late W. J. M'Clure.
(These articles appeared in 1918 in the Believers' Magazine. How much more relevant now!)
GREAT and sudden changes in national and political life will evidently mark "the time of the end." Events, which in the ordinary routine of things would be reckoned to require long years to accomplish, will be speedily brought to pass, For God, who lingers over men in the time of grace, will make "a short work" (Rom. 9. 28) of His judgement in righteousness. The present speedy overthrow of great Empires and powerful Nations may well prepare us for rapid and great changes in the countries out from which the ten kingdoms of the coming Roman Empire will arise. For example, should a result of the present war be, that some portion of the German Empire which originally belonged to the Roman Empire, should break away from Prussia, and Prussia and Russia (neither of which formed part of the ancient Roman Empire) become allies, Russia's millions, thoroughly Prussianised, would become such a menace to Europe, that a confederation of ten kingdoms under one head, would commend itself to men as the only safe course. And if some military genius should arise among the Allies, the combination would quickly be accomplished. Thus God would cause to be fulfilled His own prophecy, as He has fulfilled so many in the past, allowing the wars and policies of men to work out His purposes.
THE JEW.—In the "fig tree" mentioned in Scripture we have a type of Israel as a nation. We find this tree in three places and conditions in the Gospels. First, in Luke 13. 6:9 the nation is seen under suspended sentence for fruitlessness. Second, in Matt. 21. 18-20, the sentence has been executed, the tree is blasted and withered. For over eighteen centuries this has been the condition of Israel as a nation. Third, in Matt. 24. 32, 33, the fig tree is seen "putting forth" its leaves. Surely this condition is appearing among the Jews. After their long winter of national lifelessness, the Jew is turning his eyes to Palestine, and we hear of Jewish Congresses and Conferences. These may be "the leaves," which at present events indicate, they have begun to "put forth."
Simultaneous with this revival of national life of the Jew, is Great Britain's altered attitude toward Turkey. About sixty years ago, she fought to bolster up Turkey, now she is fighting to drive her out of Europe and out of Palestine. And while we may see some temporary backsets, it will be done. Why this change? We look beyond men's changes of policies and cabinets, and see the hand of God at work. His "set time" had not come in the middle of the last century. Now, the hours of the Turk's dominion over the Holy Land seem numbered, and as soon as he is driven from the sacred soil, shall see a separate Jewish state set up. Men are speaking of this to-day, as they are speaking of the "United States of Europe."
It is not only possible, but probable, that we shall see both set up, ere we go up "to meet the Lord in the air." For although the conversion of the Jewish remnant will not take place till after the church has gone, they will return to their land in unbelief. And it will be while there, that their eyes shall be opened to see in the once-crucified Jesus of Nazareth, their Messiah and their Hope.
Of all the signs—present signs of the end—that are appearing, we believe this in connection with the Jew is the plainest, and that it ought to speak most loudly to us. Their newly quickened hopes cannot be realised fully until we are gathered unto Christ in the heavens. But if we see these things shaping themselves, how near must His coming be for which we wait. And how many of us may well be rebuked by the words of the Lord in Matt. 16. 3, "Ye cannot discern the signs of the times." Worldliness has blinded the eyes of so many, earthly things have so obscured the Hope of the most, that His coming will be an unexpected surprise, instead of an event looked for, longed for, and heralded as "near, even at the doors," even among those who are the true children of God, and of those who will be "alive and remain" in mortal flesh, in the hour that the gathering "shout' of the returning Lord is heard. May the Lord awake His people to the solemnity of the time, and cause His watchers to trim their lamps and be ready.
by W. W. Fereday
The fourth chapter of Paul's first Epistle to the Thessalonians suggest Enoch to our minds as we read it. In v. 16 the Apostle speaks of saints being translated that they shall not see death, and in v. 1, he tells us that while we wait for the great change we should walk and please God, abounding in this more and more. Three thousand years after Enoch had left the world, the Holy Spirit testified of him that he pleased God. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him; for before his translation he had the testimony that he had pleased God" Heb. 11.5 (Darby).
In what way God made known to His servant His intention to remove him from earth to heaven without seeing death, we are not told, nor how He gave Enoch the joy of knowing that his ways gave Him pleasure. In the early ages of the world when there were no Bibles in circulation God sometimes spoke audibly to men. In Gen. 18, we have an example of this. How familiarly God communicated His thoughts to Abraham, and how graciously He listened to His servant's intercession!
The Scriptures are with us now, blessedly complete. God indited them during twenty-five centuries, using many penmen, varied in character, but all Divinely qualified to convey His thoughts to us without flaw. Mighty Kings, humble fishermen, and a farm-labourer were scribes who, under the guidance of the Spirit of God, have united to give us a matchless volume, harmonious in all its parts, the latest production being incomplete without the earliest, no incongruity whatever being found in them. In the Scriptures God's ways in grace and in government, with individuals and with nations are spread out before us, telling us not only of the past, but also of the final issues leading up to the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who ponder these Di-' vine unfoldings have wisdom impossible for burdened statesmen who know not God. Both earth and heaven are in view in the Scriptures. The eternal counsels of love, which centre in Christ and the Church, are set before us filling our hearts with heavenly hope. The whole book of God is intended for our contemplation and study, and we should render willing obedience to both its principles and its injunctions. In this way we learn how to walk and please God. In times more difficult than Enoch ever knew, knowledge is placed within our reach beyond anything that Enoch ever imagined. Do we store our souls to the uttermost with what God has given to us? If the excuse be advanced that these closing days of the world's history are very strenuous, leaving little time for spiritual meditation, the reply must be that Enoch was no recluse. During 365 years of earthly life, he begat sons and daughters (Gen. 5. 22). His family was doubtless larger than any of our readers are called to face, with great responsibilities for training, education, etc. Moreover dark judgment-clouds were hanging over the earth which burdened Enoch's spirit. Jude, in his short Epistle tells us that he testified solemnly to the ungodly concerning what was coming. Yet, with family responsibilities and the duty of witnessing for God, he walked with God, and before his translation he had the testimony that he had pleased God. With much greater privileges, the greatest of which is the in-dwelling of the Spirit, and with the whole revelation of God in our hands, "what manner of persons ought we go to be in all holy conversation and godliness"? (2 Peter 3.11).
Love solves the question how we may please God. In our healthy earthly relationship where love reigns there is desire to give pleasure, and carefulness never to cause grief and pain. One of the greatest truths of Holy Scripture is that we are Divinely loved. If we enjoy the love of the Father and the Son, ministered to us by the Holy Spirit, and respond there to, we shall long to be wholly obedient in our walk and testimony. When the commandments of our Lord come before us we shall keep them in reverent obedience, and the love of both the Father and the Son will flow out toward us in a special way; and if we keep the word in its entirety the Father and the Son will make their abode with us. In this is a lovely picture of walking and pleasing God, depicted by the Lord Jesus in John 14. 21-23. Let us cultivate simplicity and guilelessness towards God while we await the welcome shout that will call us up into Heavenly glory, our eternal home.
—(Reprinted from Believer's Magazine)
The word of God is all "pure," all "tried," it all testifies of Jesus. Seek to realize that it is God's word; that He means what He says, and would have you believe what He says, not because you feel it, but because He says it. Very often we are looking for an inward revelation, an inward voice or feeling, instead of simply believing the written word of our God, and Satan thus gets a great advantage over us. How strikingly are we taught the value of the word in our conflicts with Satan in Ephesians vi., where the armour of God is described. Our girdle is to be "truth." "Thy word is truth." Our feet are to be shod with the "preparation of the gospel of peace." This gospel of peace is the "word of faith," the word of God. (Rom. 10.15-18.) We are to take the "shield of faith;" this also is the word. "His truth shall be thy shield and buckler." (Ps. 91.4.) It is by this shield that we "shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one." Again, the "sword of the spirit is the word of God." It was in this armour our Lord met Satan when on earth, and triumphed over him. May be strong in His strength, and clad with the panoply of God.
"It is written" is the word of faith, hope, victory, and power. Be not tempted to look inward for peace, it can only be enjoyed by resting simply upon the written testimony of the word of God. Desire not to have an inward answer, "Go in peace, thy sins are forgiven thee," apart from the written word. This is a very common and dangerous mistake. It tends so greatly to lessen the value and authority of the scriptures.
If you had come to Jesus when personally present, casting yourself—as you do now that He is bodily absent—upon His grace and love, you would have heard His spoken word "Go in peace, thy sins are forgiven thee;" but in His absence you have His written word, which declares "By him all that believe are justified from all things." "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." Indeed, this is the very object of the Holy Ghost in the written word. "These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name." (John xx.31.) "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye might know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." 1 John v.13.
- Jesus, I will trust Thee, trust Thee with my soul,
- Guilty, lost and helpless, Thou canst make me whole—
- There is none in heaven, or on earth like Thee!
- Thou hast died for sinners, therefore, Lord for me.
- Jesus, I may trust Thee! Name of matchless worth,
- SPOKEN by the angel, at Thy wondrous birth;
- WRITTEN, and for ever, on Thy cross of shame,—
- Sinners, read and worship, trusting in that Name.
- Jesus, I must trust Thee, pondering Thy ways,
- Full of love and mercy, all Thine early days—
- Sinners gathered round Thee, lepers sought Thy face,
- None too vile or loathsome for a SAVIOUR'S grace.
- Jesus, I can trust Thee, trust Thy WRITTEN word-
- Though Thy voice of pity I have never heard—
- When Thy Spirit teacheth, to my taste how sweet,
- Only, may I hearken, sitting at Thy feet.
- Jesus, I do trust Thee, trust without a doubt,
- "Whosoever cometh, Thou wilt not cast out"—
- Faithful is Thy promise, precious is Thy blood,
- These my soul's salvation, Thou my saviour God.
In a day of spiritual lethargy it behoves us to take to ourselves the Lord's advice to Sardis, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain," (Rev. 3.2). It is all too easy to settle down in this world, lose hold on eternal things and begin to drift, all the while professing our supposed spirituality.
We find illustrations of such a state throughout the Scriptures.
- Samson, "he wist not that the Lord was departed from him," Judges 16.20,— ignorance regarding DEPARTURE.
- Ephraim, "gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not," Hosea 7.9. — ignorance regarding DECAY.
- The supposed parents of the Lord Jesus, "the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it. But they supposing Him to have been in the company, went a days journey;" Luke 2.43,44 — ignorance regarding DEFICIENCY.
- Laodecia, "Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:" Rev. 3.17 — ignorance regarding DEARTH.
The antidote for such a spiritual state is to be constantly watchful — 1 Cor. 16.13 "watch ye, standfast in the faith," Col. 4.2, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving," 1 Thess. 5.6, "let us watch and be sober," 1 Peter 4.7. "be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." Also, as we come to the end of this dispensation of grace, the injunction of Matt. 24.42 is very apt, "Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
We would, therefore, enjoin on all our readers to search everyone their own hearts, detect the seeds of departure, uproot the growth of such seeds and return to a state of spiritual alertness and diligence.
We trust the continued publication of the magazine is helpful to the end that our spirituality is increased.
It would be impossible to continue without the help of our editor and his assistant, our Secretary and accountant and to them all we record our thanks. The willing help of those who take time to write articles and the encouragement received from those who write of their appreciation is gratefully acknowledged. It is always necessary to state for the benefit of new readers that the magazine is not subsidised in any way but is wholly supported by the freewill offerings of the Lord's people, through whom the Lord meets every need. No remuneration, gifts or expenses whatsoever goes to any who share in the work.
Finally we solicit the continued prayers of all the saints so that we may be enabled to continue faithfully "till He come."
by J. Stewart (Trinidad)
In my earliest years, I was taught according to the strict tenets of a popular so-called church, being sometimes reprimanded if I whistled on "The Sabbath."
My father died when I was five years old, and some years later we moved to another area, where I was sent along to Ballynashee Gospel Hall Sunday School, where I began to learn from the scriptures, that I was a sinner who needed a Saviour to fit me for heaven, which I could never reach by my own good works, as previously, but erroneously taught.
During successive series of gospel meetings, I learned four things which made deep impressions on my young mind:
- That Genesis 6:3(a), was still true in my day and generation;
- That only saved ones would be caught up to meet the Lord when He came to call away His blood-bought people;
- The tragedy of making a false profession;
- The danger of procrastination.
These solemn facts were constantly emphasised by preachers then, but the thought of the Lord's return caused more concern than anything else. A bright spot appearing in a clouded sky was watched with some dread and anxiety, also the thought of the Spirit of God ceasing to strive with me was often in my mind.
A Scotsman called Duncan Montgomery came to Ballynashee on several occasions for special gospel meetings, and these always deepened conviction, and when he visited our home, he always seemed to take a special interest
in me, and spoke to me faithfully about my need of the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. During one of his visits to our area, a point was reached in my experience when I felt convinced that, as far as I was concerned, it was now, or never, for God's salvation. On 22nd. October, 1925, I was at home from school, so, under deep conviction of sin, and fearing lest I should make a false profession if someone tried to show me how I could be saved, I took my New Testament, without my mother's knowledge, and went to the barn about 10.00. a.m., where I knelt down, and asked God to show me how I could be saved. I rose to my feet, opened my New Testament, scanned some pages until my attention was focussed on words I had never seen before, so I read:" that Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles." How had God answered that childish prayer? He had, by the Holy Spirit, and by the holy scriptures, presented to my anxious soul, the Person of Christ in His death and resurrection, and what could I do only trust Him there and then? I closed the New Testament, knelt again where I had knelt a few minutes earlier, and thanked God for saving my soul while I was alone with Him, without any human help or advice. This fact assured me that I had not made a false profession, and the years which have passed from then till now have proved that that conclusion was correct. But immediately after I trusted Christ, and had thanked God for His salvation, I had a problem: where was that verse I had read? so I spent a while searching, until I found it in Acts 26:23. Since then, that is the most precious verse in the New Testament to me, and the old barn, still standing, is the most precious spot on the face of the earth, because both are inseparably, irreversibly linked with my soul's salvation. I need hardly say that Mr. Montgomery was very pleased when he learned that I was saved, and, as a faithful soul-winner, he continued to write to me for some years until the Lord called him home. And his letters? Scripture after scripture, from start to finish, seeking to guide the young lamb through the green pastures of God's word. I still have one of those letters, dated 14th. January, 1927, written after I was baptised one week later. "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day." Acts 26:22.
During the years which intervened between my conversion, and my call to the mission field, opportunities to preach the gospel on Lord's Day evenings increased until most weekends were occupied in this work. In later years, Mr. W. J. Wells, and Mr. John Thompson asked me to join them in several series of gospel meetings, some of which continued for many weeks. During this period I was engaged in normal secular employment. Unknown to me, those meetings were equipped me for future full-time service for God. In the early 1960's, we lived near Dunmurry, and were in happy assembly fellowship there. During the summer months, each year, the Dunmurry brethren held an open air meeting in a large housing estate on the outskirts of their village. On Monday, 10th June, 1968, while one such meeting was in progress, a resident used his lawnmower very energetically in, what to me, seemed a determined effort to interrupt the preaching of the gospel.
At about 5.30 next morning, 11th. June, 1968, while engaged in morning prayer before leaving for work, the open air meeting of the previous night was remembered, including the interruption by the man with the lawnmower, so, with the possibility of a different venue being chosen for next week's meeting, I asked the Lord, "Where can be found interested souls waiting for the gospel," and in an instant, the words flashed through my mind, "West Indies, Trinidad." That was a quick, and totally unexpected answer to my prayer, when I had nothing only local interests in mind, but it was so personal that I felt I could not ignore it. What should I do? How could the genuineness of that call be confirmed? I did not tell one human being about it, not even my wife, for ten months, but quietly waited upon the Lord, neither asking him to send me to Trinidad, nor to keep me at home. The final issue was left entirely in His hands, the final decision must be His. By the end of ten months, the Divine confirmation reached a point where it would have been more difficult to stay in Northern Ireland, than to respond to the call, and sail for Trinidad, so I told my wife and children what had happened, and there was not one word of disagreement there. Next, I told the Dunmurry elders, and asked them to pray well about the matter before making their decision known to me, as I was prepared to abide by their decision, either way. At the end of two weeks, they asked me to meet them again, when they told me that they unanimously agreed to give me the right hand of fellowship, and to commend me to do the Lord's work in Trinidad. One brother said they felt honoured to do so. When all formalities were eventually completed, we sailed from Belfast in mid March, and arrived in Trinidad at 12.30 a.m. on the 1st. April, 1970. Since then, the course of events has confirmed the genuineness of both the conversion, and the call. We lay all the honour humbly at HIS feet.
Tune — Deep Harmony.
- Great City of our God and King Its gates are ever opened wide With former things then passed away No evil thing can there abide.
- River of Life for ever flows Its source is found in God alone The Throne of God and of the Lamb Who for our sins did once atone.
- The Tree of Life, twelve fruits it bears In never failing full supply And all shall live for evermore Eat of its fruit and never die.
- No sun or moon to light the way God's Glory is its only light For come that one eternal Day And gone for ever is the night
— Henry Porter
Ephesians Chapter One, Verse Seven
|IN WHOM||- THE PERSON.|
|WE HAVE||- THE POSSESSION.|
|REDEMPTION||- THE PURCHASE.|
|THRO HIS BLOOD||- THE PRICE.|
|THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN||- THE PARDON.|
|ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE||- THE PROVISION.|
— (James Neilly)
THE SOLITARY WAY
There is a mystery in human hearts, and though we be encircled by a host of those who love as well and are beloved, to every one of us, from time to time, there comes a sense of utter loneliness. Our dearest friend is stranger to our pain and cannot realize our bitterness. There is not one who really understands, not one to enter into all I feel. Such is the cry of each of us, in turn we wander in a solitary way. No matter what or where our lot may be, each heart, mysterious even to itself must live its inner life in solitude. And would you know the reason why this is? It is because the Lord desires our love. In every heart He wishes to be first. He therefore keeps the secret key Himself to open all its chambers, and to bless with perfect sympathy and holy peace, each solitary soul which come to Him. So when we feel this loneliness, it is the voice of Jesus saying, "Come to Me." And every time we are not understood, it is another call to us to come. For Christ alone can satisfy, the soul and those who walk with Him; from day to day, can never have a solitary way. —Anthony Orsini (USA.}
In the Scriptures we have the great principle of believing— receiving. This is axiomatic. This principle underlies all the eight words that every Gospel preacher must use over and over again.
- 1. "Look" — receiving with the eyes.
- 2. "Come" — receiving with the feet.
- 3. "Take" — receiving with the hands.
- 4. "Taste" — receiving with the lips.
- 5. "Hear" — receiving with the ears.
- 6. "Choose"— receiving with the will.
- 7. "Trust" — receiving with the heart.
- 8. "Know" — receiving with the mind.
—A. T. Pierson.