Brief Meditations on the Offerings
John M. Cowan
Notes on the Epistle to the Hebrews
R. Woodhouse Beales
Babylon or Jerusalem
The Last Days
A. M. S. Gooding
by JOHN M. COWAN, Motherwell.
THE PEACE OFFERING—Leviticus 3.
LEVITICUS Chapter 3 might present in a broad way the “What” of the offering, while Leviticus Chapter 7 from verse 11 to verse 21 with verses 28 to 34, the “How” of the offering, and could be considered most profitably in this way.
The “What” of the offering could be either from the herd or from the flock and could be either male or female, but in every case must be unblemished, and was presented before the Lord. This possibly could cover the character of the Lord Jesus as we consider Him either objectively or subjectively in all the dignity and the stateliness of His character when He said, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8. 29) or, in the submissiveness of His subjective character when He said, “Not My will but Thine be done” (Luke 22. 42). These things could be broadened out and could be greatly to our profit, but in this brief mention we leave this exercise for yourselves.
Then there is the laying of the hand upon the head of the offering, the killing at the entrance of the tent, the application of the blood as the sons of Aaron sprinkle it upon the Altar roundabout. Surely to the exercised heart, there will be stirring of affections as we apprehend our identification in the work and worth of all that has been accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross. The Blood shed is the expression of the Death of Christ; the application of the blood to the altar is the efficacy and value that is the outflow of the death of Christ as communicated to the altar. When the blood has been sprinkled round about upon the altar, there is communicated to the altar all the value that the blood possesses and, as the basis of our communion is with the altar, we become partakers of all the worth and value which has been communicated to it.
The blood plays a most important part in all the offerings and, in the variety of its applications, there is brought out the different aspects in which it can be viewed and can be related to the different terms which the Holy Spirit uses in the expression of the doctrine as He unfolds it in the New Testament. Think then of the variety of terms which are used: The blood of Jesus (Heb. 10. 19); the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1. 19, Heb. 9. 14, Eph. 2. 13, 1 Cor. 10. 16); the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 5. 1-2); the blood of Jesus the Son (1 John 1. 7); the blood of the Lord (1 Cor. 11. 27); the blood of His Own (Acts 20. 28); the innocent blood (Matt. 27. 4). While we must not make a man an offender for a word, as in his finite frailty he makes mistakes, this can never be laid to the charge of the Holy Spirit, and as He differs in the terms He uses, this is always with intent and purpose, in order that the fulness of the concept of the variegated value of the blood might be known. One of the evidences of growth in Divine things is to be able to distinguish the things that differ and we believe that much of the richness of Divine revealings is lost to many of us in making things that are similar to be just the same. If we were prepared to gather up the differences as the Holy Spirit distinguishes, then there would be a richer concept of Divine revealings than many of us at present possess.
In the blood of Jesus there is the sense of Durability in contrast to the fading and failing efficacy of the blood of beasts which required to be renewed year by year continually. In the blood of Christ, it is the sense of Doctrine as it has been established by His death. There are four references to the blood of Christ in the New Testament; we have already enumerated them and we believe that these are different aspects of the doctrine of the blood. In 1 Peter 1. 19 it is its Priceless Value ; in Heb. 9. 14 it is Purgatorial Virtue ; in Eph. 2. 13 it is its Positional Vantage ; and in 1 Cor. 10. 16, its Participation Viewed . Much could be said in connection with this consideration, but again, for the sake of brevity, we leave you to fill it out for yourselves.
Then there is the blood of the Lord; this is the Dignity of the blood and should convey to each of us the dreadful danger of participating in an unworthy way in connection with the truth which is taught in the type of Peace Offering—those precious moments at His Table when in the good of our access and approach and acceptability, we can enjoy in all its fulness these priceless privileges which are ours, the outflow of the eternal preciousness which stream from the infinite richness of resource which is found in Him. (“These streams on earth we tasted, more deep we’ll drink above”). Such is the everlasting fulness which is found in Him, which, throughout the ages of time and the endlessness of eternity, shall never be diminished—the fulness of the infinite worth of the work which He accomplished on Calvary’s Cross.
Then there is the fat of the offering—God’s portion, all the fat is the Lord’s; this is the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord, those hidden excellencies which only God could appreciate. In the fat of the Burnt offering, it was that fat connected with the limbs and inward parts which gave expression to the evidences of outwardly developed devotedness, the hidden springs which produce those outward actions and activities so pleasurable to God, but in the fat of the Peace Offering it was that fat which covered the vitals, those inward excellencies, not merely manifested in outward conduct, but that inward preciousness discernible only to God, which He alone could appreciate and which in the entirety was claimed by Him. “The fat (the suet) that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall be taken away. And Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire, a fire offering of a savour of rest unto the Lord” (Lev. 3. 3-5). Thus the Burnt Offering and the fat of the Peace Offering are linked together; the fire that is feasting on the Burnt Offering is now feasting on the fat of the Peace Offering.
There is something very precious in the meaning of those vital organs which provided the fat for Jehovah’s feast, those feelings and motives and affections which only God could fully appreciate. Firstly, there are the kidneys , the governing factors in the perfection of His integrity, Then, the Flanks , those confidences which, in all their absolute sense, were only found in Him. Next, the Caul , that glorious superabundance resident in Him alone. Lastly, the Inwards , the excellence and energy of every inward thought, either objective or subjective; here was the only One who in every sense could say, “Examine Me, O Lord, and prove Me; try My reins and My heart” (Ps. 26. 2). Thus, in the satisfaction found in Him for God, there is also a rich portion for His people, so that the offerer and his friends, the priestly family and “the priest” with God Himself, share in this communal way in the virtues of this fellowship and communion so richly found in Him.
STUDY FOR BIBLE STUDENTS
by R. WOODHOUSE BEALES, Ipswich
THE parenthesis from chapter 5. 11 through to 6.12 gives us a warning that it is essential that there be no “standing still” and an encouragement if the fruits of progress are seen (vv. 9, 10).
To remain in babyhood spiritually (as physically) is a tragedy and yet how common it is. There is in some parts and with some persons a kind of ridicule concerning going on into deeper conceptions of truth and almost an obsession in demanding “simple truth”. Let all such take warning from these passages.
In 6. 1, 2 the thought of “leaving” means as a building “leaves” its foundation or a scholar leaves the rudiments of learning behind, but not leaving as a ship leaves dock. Also the matters enumerated are again those elementary things belonging to the old dispensation as well as the early teachings of Christ, though many are reluctant to admit it. “Perfection” is full growth, maturity. The first two appear to contradict this but on closer inspection will clarify it. These are “foundation” truths which having been laid as a basis are not repeated, but “built upon”. “Baptisms” is not a reference to Christian baptism but the O.T. constant ceremonial washings, and the laying on of hands is not that referred to in the N.T. but the laying on of the hands upon the sacrifices of old. The last two things are similar to the first two and are part of the “foundation truth” which needs not to be laid again. We have to hold fast to these but not to stop there.
Verses 4 to 8 are most solemn but do not envisage, we believe, any truly born again believer, but only show how far it is possible to go (as Judas did) without real life being imparted and enjoyed. The teachings of the Lord Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Parables of Matthew 13 indicate a similar condition. A professed belief without a “going on” to full growth and to fruitbearing. The next verses (13-17) contain an assurance and an exhortation.
The warnings in the chapter 6 are directed particularly to the nation of Israel, especially those still in Jerusalem where there was still adherence to the Temple worship, the Law of Moses and sometimes even animal sacrifices and the keeping of Feast days. (Read carefully Acts 21). We quote from Mr. P. Parson’s valuable notes on Hebrews in part.
“The Jewish nation through its leaders had rejected its Messiah and subsequent overtures by God through e.g. Stephen, and Paul, yet God lingered patiently over the nation and not until A.D. 70 did God cast off His people …. as Jerusalem …. was destroyed by the Romans and over a million Jews suffered the very kind of death i.e. by crucifixion, which the nation had inflicted on its Messiah. (It is estimated that there was no more
room to crucify them and no more wood for crosses). Hebrews was written as the period of God’s longsuffering was running out … and was by way of a dual appeal partly to the nation at large and partly to Jewish believers. The context will generally enable us to decide to whom a particular word was addressed … to the nation or to Jewish believers.
“However while God lingered over the nation He proceeded with the building of the Church knowing that all His appeals to the nation would be rejected … So (6. 1-3) we find an appeal to believers to press on, make progress and go on to “strong meat”. They must not spend their time arguing over “first principles”, for … judgment was near … the nation had been given great light (“once enlightened”); Gentiles had not been so enlightened. They had “tasted” of the heavenly gift— Christ—(1 Cor. 10. 4), been made partakers of the Holy Spirit (referring to the way in which the Spirit had worked in and through the nation throughout its history), had tasted the good word of God (in fact been its custodians, Rom. 3. 2), and the powers of the age to come (the millennial age and the subsequent regeneration) by way of many miraculous signs. If the nation turned its back upon such conclusive testimony it was equivalent to reenacting the rejection involved in the crucifixion, and for the nation there was no hope for the present, of its being renewed unto repentance. “If they shall fall away” does not refer to genuine Christians of whom the writer was persuaded better things … The Jews as a nation had enjoyed all the privileges of verses 4 and 5 under the old covenant and had the witness of Pentecost with its wonderful happenings, they would therefore be rejected and the end was near (6. 8).”
A much further assurance follows, but here we must ask ourselves to what intent is this passage in the life of Abraham interposed? The answer we believe is partly that the life of Abraham was previous to the whole of the Levitical economy. There was no life of ritual or law keeping imposed upon him, yet he was the acknowledged father of the nation, indeed of all the faithful. See John 8. To him were given the promises, indeed the oath of God and the covenant and the scripture here refers to the time when matured in faith, “enduring”; he was prepared to offer up his son at God’s request, the one in whom the promises were secured. It was when he had proved his faith and faithfulness that God swore to him with an oath. So we have God’s promises and God’s oath to rely upon. This gives point to the words in chapter 7 verse 21 concerning Christ, and His eternal priesthood. Abraham was made God’s heir with an oath. Christ was made God’s High Priest with an oath. The intervening space of time, comprising the Levitical economy is but an interval.
This anchor of the soul, the hope set before us, is therefore both sure and steadfast as it enters in where Christ has gone, inside the veil. Christ is the forerunner, there must follow after-runners who will also arrive there apart altogether from any earthly priesthood.
MELCHIZEDEK AND AARON
We now have these two priests compared and contrasted, and the following points are to be noted and emphasised concerning the former.
He was probably a Gentile, of high degree, a king of Salem (Jerusalem?), King of Righteousness and King of Peace, a King-Priest, the only one so designated except Christ. His priesthood was not derived from any who went before him, neither was it transmitted to any following. He has no (recorded) beginning nor end and is thus a wonderful likeness and type of Christ. He makes no sacrifice nor a covenant with Abraham, he accepts no sacrifice except the tenth of the spoils Abram took in warfare. Nothing of this could be said of Aaron. He however, reveals to Abram a new name of Jehovah, the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, and thus prepares Abram for his forthcoming tempting offer from the king of Sodom. Not only did he appear in the early record, which might have been dismissed as of little account, but he appears again in the Psalms (110), and in connection with Christ, a truly Messianic Psalm and acknowledged so by Israel. The first verse of which was quoted by the Lord Jesus when He confounded His opponent questioners by asking them the meaning of verse 1 which asserts His deity. “If David called Him Lord, how is He his son?” Not only so but in it Christ is seen to be God’s King-Priest.
The argument of chapter 7 is unanswerable dealing as it does with every aspect of priesthood, every question and objection. The reader is invited to study every statement made in this chapter. The outcome and result is seen verses 25-28. “He is able also to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them”. Then His character and the finality of His sacrifice and His perfection (‘consecrated’ means perfected).
Verse 27 does not mean of course that He offered up a sacrifice for Himself, for of course the Sinless One needed nothing of the kind, but that His unique and eternal sacrifice is the only one to account for all sins, and thus stands in contrast to those of Aaron who had to offer first for Himself and his sons and then for the people.
HIS PRESENT MINISTRY
Having offered up Himself in His one and only sufficient sacrifice He has entered on His unique heavenly ministry. We have seen previously and shall see again the emphasis placed upon the position of being seated on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. Chapter 1. 3 says that on completion of His work HE SAT DOWN on the right hand of the Majesty on high. The same words now occur with the addition of the words “of the throne” and “on high” becomes “the heavens”. The position of having “sat down” is a theme running through the epistle although we must avoid the thought that Christ does nothing but “sit”. He, like all royalty is the only one who has a right to occupy the Throne (not that He is always upon it).
OUR PRESENT PATH
Read 2 Timothy 2. 15-26.
by ROBERT McCLURKIN.
AS the apostasy of the professing Church gathers momentum and prepares the way for the manifestation of the Antichrist the assemblies of God’s people cannot remain immune from its deadly influence. Their only safeguard is to keep, by His grace, their Nazarite character in a complete separation from the evil and a whole-hearted dedication to God.
When the Hebrew children were carried captive Babylon sought to change their diet, their names, their dress and their worship. By their love to God and strength of character, they resisted every Babylonish approach and God was with them and honoured them.
The great, universal false Church is in the making. The ecumenical spirit, like leaven, permeates the whole of Christendom. By fair speeches and plausible arguments, the leaders of this movement would almost deceive the very elect. But it is a Babel of tongues with a false foundation, the superstructure of which will fall and bury all in its ruins. An old servant of Christ has said, “No doubt there is spiritual wealth in Babylon at the present time and many precious vessels that really belong to the House of God, but they are enriching and adorning the wrong city”. God says to such, “Come out of her, my people, and be not partaker of her sins”.
The role of the assemblies of God’s people is to remain separated from it all and keep loyal to their rejected Lord. Only as they do so will they be a beacon of truth and love, to which seeking saints may come and find rest for their weary souls.
To maintain the dignity of a testimony for God on earth, we must be true to the Biblical and ethical standards of God. We must be true to the Pattern of the House and we must be true to the Law of the House (Ezekiel 43. 10-12). To handle the holy things of God in a flippant and worldly manner is to lose our sense of values and grieves the Spirit of God.
Let us emphasise these two things in this day of declension: the Pattern of the House and the Law of the House.
THE PATTERN OF THE HOUSE
In contrast to Jerusalem above which is the Mother of all believers, is Babylon the Great. It embraces within its fold every religious voice in Christendom. It also aims —and will succeed—to embrace the other religions of the world. It is a confused mixture of ritualism, modernism and fundamentalism. The National Council of Churches, in co-operation with Rome, is determined to create one universal Church. Modern Babylon, true to its character, has changed the diet, the names, the dress and the worship of God’s people. With its high ecclesiastical claims, its great religious pretensions and its priestly hierarchy, it seeks to silence the voice of truth within its fold.
Jerusalem was the city where God had placed His Name. The New Testament counterpart is, “Jerusalem above which is the Mother of us all”. Each New Testament church is to be the local expression of the whole. To this God has linked the holiness of His Name, the love of His heart and the wisdom of His mind. (Matt. 18. 20; 1 Cor. 11. 23-26; 14.23-26).
The Pattern of the House is clearly discernible in the Word of God. Each local assembly is composed of believers only, who have been baptized by immersion in public confession of their faith in Christ (Acts 18. 8). They meet in the Lord’s Name alone, rejecting all denominational names as contrary to the Pattern. They acknowledge in truth and practice, the priesthood of all believers, the liberty for the development of spiritual gift and the Divine Sovereignty of the Holy Spirit, to use that variety of Gift as He pleases. They reject clericalism, with its claims and titles, as contrary to “what is written”.
In government, each assembly has godly overseers to shepherd and guide the saints in godly order and discipline. Each has a special ministry or deaconship to meet the spiritual and material needs of the saints. Priesthood has its source in spiritual birth, oversight in spiritual character and maturity, and deaconship in spiritual gift. If we keep these three distinctions clearly in mind, it will guard us against the errors of the religious world.
In government, each local church is independent and autonomous, responsible to the Lord alone. In fellowship, each is interdependent, being part of one great whole.
Each is to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Word of God and to move forward in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9. 31; 16. 5-10).
In the planning of these indigenous churches of the saints, God has three great purposes: first, the collective worship of God, when the saints meet on the first day of the week, the Lord’s day, to partake of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20. 7); second, to engage in prayer and mutual edification (1 Cor. 12-14); third, to act as outposts for the evangelisation of the world (1 Thess. 1. 8).
For many centuries God’s people languished in the captivity of spiritual Babylon, but over one hundred years ago there was a movement of the Spirit of God that opened the door of liberty for a return to first principles. Many of the Lord’s people came out to meet simply in the Lord’s Name alone. Godly men and women, like Nehemiah of old, surveyed the ruins from “the valley gate” (in humility of soul). The repairing of the wall began at “the sheep gate,” for all recovery must begin at the Cross. “The dung gate” through which the refuse was removed, was not neglected. Thus, the ethical standards of God’s centre were clearly discerned and the injunction of 2 Cor. 6.14—7.1 was humbly obeyed, resulting in a purity of life and walk. The word of God was read at “the water gate” and the sense given thereof. God raised up men who could teach and expound the Scriptures in the wisdom and power of the Spirit of God. “The horse gate” also is mentioned as being repaired, for truth can only be recovered and maintained in spiritual conflict that will go down in “the book of the wars of the Lord”. “The east gate” through which the glory departed from Israel and through which it will return (Ezekiel 10. 19; 43. 1-2) was also repaired. The truth of the Lord’s Coming was recovered in those days and the Hope of the Church restored. Truly, they were men sent of God. Moreover, like Nehemiah of old who built the walls with the old stones that had fallen down, these men of God began to build with the ancient truths of God that the religious world replaced with worldly traditions.
In our day, however, we are not unaware of the difficulties created by certain professed assemblies who are forever copying the religious world and allowing Divine simplicity and principles to be replaced by Babylonish practices. With many godly saints this has created a “crisis of conscience”. We thank God for those who are open for correction from the Word of God. For those who are not, we can only leave them with the Lord and humbly pray for their recovery.
Our safety lies in loyalty to Christ in an evil day and a humble submission to the authority of the Word of God alone. Let us repair the breaches by re-emphasising those truths that are “most surely believed among us”.
THE LAW OF THE HOUSE
We must not only view the Pattern of the House but we should be fully acquainted with the Law of the House as well. “Holiness becometh Thy House, O God, for ever”. God has very high standards for the leaders in the House. These test a man, inwardly, domestically and before the world (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1). Morally and doctrinally he must be sound. The moral standards of the House are high for all saints (1 Cor. 5-7). Everything that is low and mean and unworthy of the Name of our Lord, must be judged, if the Spirit of Holiness is to remain ungrieved among us.
The Law of the House also deals with the deportment of the saints as they meet in assembly capacity. The Word of God distinguishes between the sexes, in dress, manner, and position. Men meet with uncovered head, because the Head of every man is Christ, and He must never be veiled. Women meet with covered head, for the head of every woman is the man and he must be put out of sight. The vision of the saints must be filled with Christ alone. All fleshly intrusions are rebuked by the covered head of the sisters. Such intrusions mar the Spirit’s aim of unveiling Christ to every heart. The double covering of the sisters should be jealously guarded because of the angels. Shorn hair is strictly forbidden to Christian women by the Word of God. It is an insult to the Spirit of God for it destroys the symbol by which we are reminded continually of the Church’s subjection to her risen Lord. Godly elders are responsible to see that the Law of the House is respected by all (1 Cor. 11).
Modesty is to mark our dress. Compromising fashions in the world are not to be copied by Christian women. The emphasis, for both brethren and sisters, is to be on the adornment of the inward man (1 Peter 3). Dress can be with dignity and attractiveness without the gaudiness and make up of Babylon. True Christian deportment will shun the imitating of the Jezebels of this world.
Women are to be silent in the church, while men are to assume the responsibilities of oversight and public ministry (1 Cor. 14. 34-35).
Two women are brought before us in the Word of God as examples of the obedient and disobedient woman. The one is Sarah, the example of obedience and subjection (1 Peter 3. 6); the other is Eve, the example of disobedience and insubjection. Eve acted in the absence of Adam, her head. By doing so she left her place and was involved in the transgression. If sisters continue in faith, love and holiness, they will be saved in childbearing. That is, by a quiet submission to the dispensation of God, to keep their place in the home and bring up children for God, they will be saved from dishonouring the Lord’s Name and from a life lived outside the current of the will of God (1 Timothy 2).
John was carried away in the Spirit to see both cities (Rev. 17. 3-5; 21. 10). We can only see both the evil and the good in their true perspective when under the control of the Spirit of God. He saw in Babylon the personification of all evil; in Jerusalem he saw the reflection of true beauty, the beauty of God. Which city are we enriching? May God help us and encourage us to put all that we are and have into the building up of God’s assemblies that seek, in much weakness, to maintain both the Pattern and the Law of God’s House.
by A. M. S. GOODING.
The List of Evils Examined
OUT of these two features, the love of self and the love of silver, there issues a foul stream of evils which are only too evident in our day.
Man, the man of the last days, present day modern man is described as to his attitude to
Boastful, Proud Blasphemers.
2. FAMILY LIFE
Disobedient to Parents, Unthankful, Unholy, Without Natural Affection.
3. COMMUNAL LIFE
Truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded.
Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
Shall we first of all examine the sphere of SELF . Man has already been seen with self on the throne seeking to multiply possessions. These inevitably lead to Boastfulness as to what he possesses, Pride as to himself and a Blasphemous attitude toward both God and men.
Boastful : Vaunting (contrast 1 Cor. 13. 4), braggards, full of words. How like the Beast, “a mouth speaking great things”. (Daniel 7. 8; Revelation 13. 5).
Proud : Showing oneself above others, arrogant, disdainful.
Blasphemers : Contemptuous, abusive, railers, evil speakers, impious. This word is generally confined to defamatory speech against God. It may embrace however speech that defies both God and man.
This is man in his boasted advancement, boasting in his attainments, knowledge, ability and seeming success, yet sinking morally day by day. Sinking individually, and sinking nationally into an abyss of moral degradation. Is it not evident that this nation whose monarch once declared that it was the Bible that had made Great Britain great, has abandoned God and His Word, and as a result is sinking rapidly. Is it, can it be true, that because Britain has given up God, God has answered in poetic justice and given up Britain? Does not Moab who was filled with pride, give us an apt picture of to-day. Moab with his debased beginning (Gen. 19. 37), and his equally sordid end (Isaiah 25. 10), had nothing wherein to coast and everything wherewith to be ashamed.
These five foregoing items, show man as he is to-day. Self lies first in all his considerations—his possessions, his self-importance, his own way, his own will. It matters not to him how others suffer either directly or indirectly from his attitude. Out of such an attitude it is not surprising that in every sphere where such a man is seen there is disorder and chaos.
The HOME is the first place that is affected.
Disobedient to Parents . The attitude of children to parents is governed by the fact that they have been reared in a sphere where self is the only thing that matters. Their way they are determined to tread, their will must not be thwarted. Much of the muddled thinking of intellectuals has resulted in young folks being constantly pampered in every walk of life, and in them being encouraged in so-called self-expression. All kinds of excuses are made to-day for the outrageous conduct of some sections of the youthful community. The term ‘Juvenile Delinquency’ covers a multitude of sins. A complete lack of respect is evident, whether it be towards parents, teachers, employers or the authorities.
But what would one expect if each member of the family, from its head downward is only concerned with self? Is it not shocking that we live in a day when learned men publicly suggest the abandonment of the family as a unit, and in its place introducing a broader communal life—what awful sin would result! The closing verses of Romans 1 would be doubly applicable.
Unthankful . This is the word that immediately follows man’s departure from God in Romans 1. 21. “They glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful”. Unthankfulness to God is undoubtedly followed by unthankfulness to men. So that in a family circle where the father fails to lead his children in thanksgiving to God for His daily benefits, he will surely reap what he has sown—a lack of appreciation of his labours to provide; a lack of appreciation of a mother’s care; a lack of thankfulness to each other for the many kindnesses that make for a happy home. Unthankfulness to God and men! Let us pause for a moment to consider that we are enjoined in 1 Timothy 2. 1 “to give thanks on behalf of all men”. In a world where, in the majority of homes, God is not thanked today, it is our duty as holy priests to give thanks on their behalf, so that God might receive His due praise for His goodness, for His wonderful works to the children of men.
Loving silver—yet unthankful! This reveals the present discontentment. Was there ever a day when people had so much and yet were so discontented. Always seeking and acquiring but never satisfied. For the child of God however it is well to be reminded that “Godliness with contentment is great gain”.
Unholy . How this describes the state of things as we find it to-day. A world and a country, alas, where moral standards are rapidly declining, where moral sin is looked upon as a disease, and we are told that vile sinners deserve sympathy, and legislation must be passed to allow them to sin! Sins that a few years ago would only be mentioned in a subdued whisper are now the accepted thing, and it appears that Sodom is here “in England’s green and pleasant land” and has come to stay. How imperative the words, “Keep thyself pure”, “Keep thy heart with all diligence”, and again, “He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure”.
The final word in the section dealing with the family—
Without Natural Affection . Unwanted children. Children growing up without affection, sometimes as a result of broken homes, sometimes suffering cruelty and privation. Children unwanted from birth leaving home before they have really reached responsible maturity, to set up homes as tragic, if not more tragic, than the homes they left. Again the Welfare State with its wonderful benefits is resulting in people living to a far greater age. The tragedy is that they are unwanted by their own children. Many live in loneliness and neglect. Others are put in Eventide Homes where wealthy children sometimes are prepared to pay large sums to have unwanted parents looked after. One does not for one moment minimise the great work that is being done by the many excellent Eventide Homes, especially those provided by the assemblies of God’s people. Nevertheless we do well to remember that there is a commandment with promise ! Honour thy father and thy mother !
What a sad world, is this world of the last days, which has been so perfectly outlined within God’s Holy Word.
- Yielded to Thee, Lord, yes, yielded to Thee,
- Thy willing bondman now ready to be;
- Break ev’ry fetter, and claim Thou Thine own,
- My yielded life make Thy glorious throne.
- Give me the power, Lord; yes, give me the power,
- To make me all Thine from this solemn hour;
- Strength for my weakness; how glad I should be,
- That Thou hast called me to yield all to Thee.
- Take full control, Lord; yes, take full control,
- Over my spirit, my body, my soul,
- From pride and passion, from self set me free
- And let my whole being be yielded to Thee.
- What wondrous freedom , Lord, shall then be mine,
- Victor o’er sin all because I am Thine,
- Reign like a King, Lord, that others may see
- Thy virtues in one who has yielded to Thee.
- MAY God give us to see and mark the course which this world is running, and enable us to avoid all its influences! When one knows what will be the end of a thing, one avoids that which would lead to it. The end of Christendom is awful. God makes us acquainted with it in order that we may avoid it. The more I see what is taking place, the more I discover that things are hastening on that evil may have the upper hand and be judged, that God may judge it and purify the earth. The iniquity must be full before God strikes. We are in the last days in this respect. Men believe there is great progress taking place, yet they feel great uneasiness in the expectation of what is going to happen. Christians must keep apart, living according to the principles of their divine calling.