Wednesday, June 30, 2010

THE EVERLASTING WORK OF CHRIST


“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
(John 5:17)

In giving you my thoughts on this text, I shall take but little notice about creating the world, upholding the world, governing the world, disposing of all things in the world, destroying and renewing the world, or judging the world; for all these things are subservient to one grand end; all things are for the elect’s sake.

Christ created all things: he upholds all things by the word of his power; and he has power over all flesh; all things that the Father hath are his.

He will destroy this world, burn up the earth, and fold the heavens together; he will make all things new, and be the only judge of quick and dead.

The work that our Lord and his Father are engaged in appears to me to be one principal work; and to serve the turn of this are all other things created and upheld; and it was this work that our Saviour had in his eye when he spoke the words in my text.

To form a human race, and to bring an innumerable company of that race to eternal glory by Jesus Christ, is the grand work that God had in view from everlasting.

By William Huntington

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB IS COME


“...Come hither, and I will show you the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife.”
(Revelation 21:9)

We have presented the origin, characteristics, nature, and spirituality of the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. With each member of His body, a “spirit of adoption,” is given, and they each wait in hope for the resurrection of the dead, wherein they will fully realize the adoption, the redemption of their body.

At some point in historical time, that day shall arrive with a shout!

With the rising together of that innumerable number of redeemed saints, the reunification of their departed spirits and souls to these now glorified bodies, an excitement unknown in the whole of the experience of mankind will commence.

There will be a gathering together of saints of all ages, they will be united as a gigantic host rise into the air, put on their new-made and glorified bodies, and pass through the second heaven, beyond the stars above, and into the eternal third heaven where Christ sits at the right-hand of the Majesty on high. He will arise and greet her, embrace her, comfort her, wipe all tears from her eyes, and an angel will announce: “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” (Matthew 25:6).

“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb”...
(Revelation 19:9)

And if the reader has a problem with this, “...These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:9).

Brethren, it is with fear and hesitation I have to enter into this chapter. I feel as if I am a “Uzzah” who put his unholy hand to steady the ark of the covenant, when the oxen shook it as they were carrying it home. I am not the one who ought to write upon these blazing sights of glorified scenes.

I will try to stay within reasonable limits that the word reveals.

God help me do it!

Down below in that dispensation of time, the Holy Gospel of the Almighty Savior was preached among every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. Many were called, but few were chosen. Where the Holy Gospel went, many embraced it, some wise and some foolish. The main difference between the two was the wise had the oil of anointing in their lamps, and the foolish were nominal man-made professors, careless, unconcerned, and complacent about the realities of the Truth as it is in Jesus. Those of us who are here above experienced the most wonderful, astonishing, and marvelous drama unknown to mortal man.

The heavenly music echoes throughout the regions of glory, and “at the last trump, the dead was raised incorruptible,” and what a marvelous transformation began immediately. We were all changed. The mortality ceased, and we were clothed in glorious immortality as our Lord and Master; that which had been corruptible and corrupted was changed into incorruption in perfect harmony with our present condition; and “death” was “swallowed up in victory.”

What a wonder of divine power!

Words fail to communicate this awesome transformation.

We suddenly were all awakened with the sound of many voices, and excitement was all around. We gasped, as we saw our new-formed bodies arising out of the earth.

Many shouted “HERE THEY COME! EVERY ONE SO BRIGHT, AND GLORIOUS IN THEIR APPAREL!”

What a sight to behold!

Those are our new-made bodies, fashioned as His glorious body.

We are going home!

The clouds parted, the bodies came and we eagerly put them on, and were clothed in honor and glory. We passed through the starry heavens, and into the third heaven, the abode of the Lamb, and entered into the Bride-chamber.

Here, “to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation. 19:8). We learned then that we “are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

How unbelievable, that such as we should have such an appointment!

While this was presented, an angel reassured us, saying, “These are the true sayings of God.” (verse 9).

How consoling this!

If God said it, it is a faithful and true saying.

It is really coming to past!

In all the expectant excitement the waiting Bride – all the members of the church, the body of Christ, suddenly saw heaven open, “and behold a white horse appeared, and on the horse the Bridegroom sat, and He was called “Faithful and True.” (Revelation 19:11). No more appropriate name could have been called, and she watched from her pavilion, for He had come “in righteousness” to “judge and make war.”

What a magnificent General and Commander, and Lord of Hosts!

“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew, but Himself.”
(Revelation 19:12)

In love and adoration, with the greatest of desire and honor, she took note of how gloriously He was arrayed.

“He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God.”
(Revelation 19:13)

How she had been mocked and ridiculed on earth for declaring that He was the Father of all His children.

The worldly religions insisted that He was impotent, and He needed them to beget His children for Him.

They had various schemes of how they could do that; but we never believed a word of it!

We had by direct experience been given Life and Light, and made to cry, “Abba Father.” And as the glorious King was seen, and His name introduced to the Bride, the whole family of God exclaimed aloud, again, “Abba Father!” And she bowed in courtesy to Her Lord, King, and Bridegroom. She saw His magnificence, as the whole “armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. . . .and He treaded the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Revelation 19:15).

His royal ensign was very visible, it appeared on both His thigh and His vesture, and it read in bold letters, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16).

The heavenly Bride saw Her Husband, Lord and King, execute judgment upon the devil and all those who hated the truth, and had persecuted her, many unto death.

When the judgment verdict had been executed, the Bride in waiting, saw a “new heaven and a new earth” for the “first heaven and the first earth were passed away.”

She had heard the prophecy that it would be so, for Peter had revealed that “the heavens and the earth were by the word of God kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7) and now that judgment was executed, it was so, just as Peter had revealed to her. Even back then, “we according to His promise, looked for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” and finally it has come into being for real.

As she watched the arrival of her new dwelling place, she saw the new Jerusalem “coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2). What a glorious habitation was prepared for her. How sensitive, how rich is Her Lord and Master, Her Husband, her all.

Fleetingly she recalled the Apostle to the Gentiles once saying, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

He was speaking that day about us, as children of God, and as new creatures born of God, that we had been made “subject to bondage” in that corrupt outward man, our vessel afore prepared unto glory; and what vanity it certainly was; and this was unwilling on our part by “reason of Him who had subjected us in hope,” (Romans 8:20).

He had, in those Gospel days, comforted us with the fact that “the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).

Back then, in captivity to the old man and his lusts and wicked works, all of us, “the whole creation, groaned and travailed in pain together...and not only they, but ourselves also, which had the firstfruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groaned with ourselves, while we were waiting for the promised adoption, that is, the redemption of our bodies.” (verses 22-23).

He surely was true, when he told us of our experience then, saying, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:24-25).

We were so filled with infirmities of the flesh, doubts and fears, temptations and trials, both by inward sins and outward persecutions that hope was given us to keep us from despair. But even as great as that hope, this, our God also, (praise His eternal name,) was ever present in both darkness and light, as the “Spirit also helped our infirmities, for we did not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself made intercession for us with groanings which could not be uttered. He was the one who searched the hearts and knew what was the mind of the Spirit, because He made intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27).

Many weak doubting individuals just could not see the hand of God in His providence directing them safely – timid, fearful souls they were. But we certainly now know, “that all things worked together for good to them that love God, to them who were the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

Many mocked us back then; they called us “those absoluters,” thinking that would bother us. But it didn’t, for we understood, “that He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren” and used all things together bringing this moment to pass (Romans 8:29). To us, it was our experience, and we certainly understand that great mercy in Christ Jesus, our Husband and our Lord.

While she meditated on these wondrous promises, her attention was snapped back to her present surroundings. In the Great Hall of the Bride-Chamber, she “heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)

She had wondered why she had not grieved, when she saw the judgment of the Great Whore, or the nations of them that believed not. On earth, in her flesh, she would have been horrified, but now she justified her Lord. She felt no sensation of pain, even when she pinched herself to see if this body was real. And the Great Voice somewhat answered that, saying, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” He had told the Apostle John to reveal these things, saying to John, “Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:5).

The glorious Bridegroom sent an angel to us, desiring that we should as the “Bride, the Lamb’s wife,” behold the “Great city, the Holy Jerusalem, as it descended out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:10)

It possessed the “glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:11).

It was designed foursquare, and the old encampments of the tribes of Israel were copied from her. It had twelve gates of pearl, four on each side; the walls had twelve foundations, and in the names on them were the twelve apostles of the Lamb; and the walls were also of jasper: and the city itself was pure gold. A fantastic sight to behold! The crowning glory of the city was enhanced by all manner of precious stones garnished in the walls, and the streets of the city was of pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (Revelation 21:12-21).

We used to laugh about the aliens thinking that the streets were of natural metallic gold, but when we actually saw them, we understood that metallic gold was never “transparent as glass!” Gold is a symbol of glory, and the whole city reflected the ultimate glory of the Eternal God, our Husband and Head, our Bridegroom.

The city had no temple in it; whereas on earth, there were religious structures all over the landscape. But here, such was of no use at all, “...for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it!” (Revelaon 21:22). Really, the city had no needs of any moon, stars or suns to shine in it: there was no darkness anymore; and “...the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Revelation 21:23).

We were made to understand that “the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it,” (Revelation 21:24) so that there is no more an elevation of man above others in the city.

“And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day...” for safety was fully assured for eternity now, and “...there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25) in the new heaven and new earth.

A very comforting fact for we who have all our past lifetime warred against sin, had our souls vexed by the abominations of nations, peoples, and so-called churches, is that “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” – the Holy genealogy. (Revelation 21:27)

Off at a distance from the mountain top (Mount Zion) upon which we viewed the glorious city prepared for us, we could see the majestic and glorious throne of God, and of the Lamb, and flowing right out from the throne, was a river of water of life, clear as crystal.

Amazingly, there was – and how shall I describe such a thing! – the Tree of Life, and it stood on both sides of the river. It had spiritual medicinal value for the healing of nations. By standing on both side, everyone has easy access to its fruit, which were continuous produced annually. Viewing that tree, I was reminded of Cyprus trees growing in creeks and streams on the old earth, and the water could flow through cracks separating the roots above the creek’s floor. Surely, I can say, that the streams of this river of life flowed through the wounds of our Savior God and Husband when He took my legal place and suffered for the sins I had committed in the body.

Every time I see it, I think of what He has done to redeem me and engage me to Himself!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this?

The river of life and the Tree of Life assured us that, there is no curse left; but the throne of God and of the Lamb stands in this city; and His servants serve Him: and they see His face: and His name is in their forehead in every thought. And there is no night anymore there, no one needs a candle, flashlight, neither light of any source; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they reign forever with Him. (Revelation 22:1-5)

In the old earth, the Jewish grooms espoused their brides, and then went and built a house for the bride. Here in the new, the Bridegroom had previously promised, “I go to prepare a place your you, . . . I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3).

But, ah, what a preparation this city and mansion, stubbed in all manner of glorious riches, dazzling lights, eternal glories brighter than noon day suns.

He did prepare a place for me, and now the rapturous nuptials are really and finally mine!

How long I suffered in hope as a bride, longing, desiring to see my Beloved. And He has come to take me into the King’s chamber.

“Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for His love is better than wine.”
(Song 1:2)

The glorious King brought me into His chambers: we were glad and rejoiced in Him; we remember His love more than wine: all of the upright love Him. (Song 1:4)

He whispered such endearments as to strengthen my love to Him: “Behold, thou art fair, My love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes. Behold, thou art faith, My beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green. The beams of our house are cedar and our rafters of fir.” I sat down under “His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.” . . . “ah, I am sick of love! His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” (Song 2:3-6).

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get Me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee!”
(Song 4:6-7)

“His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of the new Jerusalem.”
(Song 5:16)

She heard Him say:

“My dove, My undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens praise her.”
(Song 6:9)

I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.”
(Song 7:10-11)

By Stanley C. Phillips

Friday, June 25, 2010

LAW BONDAGE, GOSPEL REST, AND SANCTIFICATION


Christian Reader, — Thou art here presented with another discourse on the old subject, which I believe will ever be the controversy of Zion as long as freeborn sons and bond children are together. It began between Cain and Abel; it appeared in Noah’s family; in Sarah and Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac; between Esau and Jacob; between the apostle and the Jewish scribes; and it will be ended when the lamp of the law affords no oil to the foolish virgins and when the lamp of salvation will burn to eternity in the hearts of the wise.

If my reader be one of Paul’s living epistles, known and read of all men; on the fleshly tables of whose heart the Spirit of the living God has written the law of faith, truth, love, and liberty, he will know by happy experience what Paul means by the law being abolished. (II Corinthians 3:13)

He will feel and enjoy the blessed effects of it in his own experience, by finding revealed wrath and his carnal enmity, legal bondage and servile fear, the dread of damnation and a train of torments; the gaffing yoke of precept and the terrifying sentence abolished from his heart, blotted out in the Saviour’s atonement, and banished from his soul by the wonderful operation of the Spirit of love, which castest out all fear and which is the fulfilling of the law.

Such a soul, once shut up in unbelief and now enlarged by the Spirit of liberty, will prize the Saviour’s yoke and understand the apostle’s meaning, and none else.

Such a soul is delivered from the destroying power of the law of sin and death and from the penal power of the law of death: “Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Nevertheless, we being born under the law and shut up under it, and being habituated to a legal way of working for life and blessings, we are prone to lean this way when we lose sight of our interest in Christ. This Satan is aware of. Hence it is that he has furnished the world and pestered the church from age to age with ministers to revile the Gospel and cry up the law; traducing the former as a licentious doctrine and extolling the works of the latter as consummate holiness; whose work is to beguile the unstable, entangle the unwary, deceive the simple, and call passengers back to the law, who go right on their way.

For my own part, I never knew a child of God yet who stood so fast in his liberty as never to take a single trip to Horeb (the mountain of the law). Let any one simple soul, in his first love or in the sweetest liberty, attend a legal orator, a man of much Scripture, parts, abilities, and fiery zeal, but one month, he shall find himself zealously affected; and soon after a strong confidence shall spring up and stand in the wisdom of man; a fiery zeal shall influence him; to work in his own strength he goes; pride and self-sufficiency follow upon it; the Spirit is grieved and ceases to operate as a Comforter; narrowness of heart ensues and sensible bondage follows; although, all this time, the poor soul may be ignorant and never once suspect the person that communicated his legal fetters to him!

The law genders to bondage, and we are prone to lean that way; and the effects of it are a straitened spirit and a gloomy countenance, flaming jealousy, and inward anger and hatred at the happiness of those who abide in the simplicity of Christ, humble at His feet, and in comfortable union with Him.

A young Christian, just crawled out of the shell, will not credit this; for sometimes such are wiser than the ancient!

The foolish Galatians were wiser in this point than Paul the aged. But before he has been twenty years in the school of Christ, it is ten to one but he agrees with me.

Furthermore, that my reader may not be blindfolded, confused, and misled, by every person who in a pulpit pronounces the word sanctification, I will endeavour to drop a few hints upon it.

When God appointed the seventh day (not the first day, or “Sunday”) to be a day of rest for His creatures, — not only man, but beasts of burden as well — and appropriated it to His service, it was called sanctifying of it: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.”

God’s taking of the first-born of Israel to Himself, both of man and beast, when He slew the first-born of Egypt, and afterwards taking the Levites into His service, instead of all the first-born of Israel, is called sanctifying them:

“For all the first-born of the children of Israel are Mine, both man and beast; on the day that I smote every first-born in the land of Egypt, I sanctified them for Myself; and I have taken the Levites for all the first-born of the children of Israel.”
(Numbers 8:17-18)

The day of rest above mentioned PREFIGURED THE GOSPEL DAY, in which the believer rests from impious rebellion and war with his Maker, from legal labour for life, and from the intolerable burden of sin; as well as an eternal rest from the indwelling of sin in heaven; as it is written:

“Come unto Me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28)

We that believe do enter into rest. (Hebrews 4:6-11) And, with respect to the heavenly glory, Paul says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9)

The first-born of beast being sanctified, was intended to point out the grand sacrifice of Christ, who is the first-born of every creature, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. The first-born of Israel typified God’s elect, called the first-born, whose names are written in heaven. These being exchanged for the Levites, was to show that, in the days of Christ, every believer, Jew or Gentile, should be a priest, or a Levite (see Isaiah 66:21); yea, the whole church a royal priesthood, made kings and priests to God, to offer up spiritual sacrifices.

Again, Sanctifying, under the law, consisted in abstaining from wives, washing the flesh, washing the clothes, and having a sacrifice offered for sins, which sacrifice pointed to the sacrifice of Christ; and the washing pointed to regeneration, that believers in Christ’s days should be saved by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Washing the clothes typified the clean linen garments of praise, of humility, and of imputed righteousness, in which the believer should approach a mercy-seat, and minister to God in private, in his family, and at the house of God.

Abstaining from wives, was to show that the lawful embraces of a wife should be kept in their proper place; and that she should be loved with a moderate and not with an inordinate affection when the soul is espoused to Christ; and this is to be given up, wife and all, when the worship, service, or cause of God require it:

“If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26); and he that said, “I have married a wife, and therefore cannot come,” was excluded from the supper.

Sanctification, as it respects us, is, in the highest sense, God’s act of predestinating us to the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ, His choosing us in Him, appointing our redemption by Him, and our meetness for glory by the Spirit through Him; all which was complete in God’s secret purpose, and as sure to be done as He willed it to be done; on which account we are said to be sanctified by God the Father, in His purpose; preserved in Jesus Christ, in whom we were chosen; and called by God, to the fellowship of Christ, as our covenant Head; (Jude 1) as it is written: “To them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”

Such were the fowls, four-footed beasts, and creeping things, in Peter’s sheet; which he refused to kill and eat, calling them things common and unclean, till the voice told him, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”

Again, Sanctification is by the death of Christ, who by His death blotted out the penal sum of our sins, magnified the law, and appeased the offended Majesty of heaven; in whose death God viewed the whole mystical body of Christ redeemed and cleansed in their Head, who is one with the elect; who, by His one offering hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified.

This was according to the predeterminate counsel, purpose, and will of God:

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
(Hebrew 10:10)

Once more, Sanctification is by the Holy Ghost; who subdues the will, renews the mind, enlightens the understanding, and sheds abroad the love of God in the heart:

“That the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”
(Romans 15:16)

All this is willed and determined by the secret counsel of God; as it is written: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.”

Lastly. That such a highly-favoured soul should live, walk, and act, becoming an object of God’s choice, the purchase of a Saviour’s blood, and as a living temple of the Holy Ghost, redeemed from among men, set apart by the Spirit, and ordained for heaven, is called walking in sanctification: “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.”

By William Huntington, S.S.

SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES


“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
(I Peter 2:5)

"Ye also, as lively stones" — We think of this Scripture, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:32) His people are spoken of as “lively stones” after they have been quickened and made alive by the Spirit of God.

“And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
(Ephesians 2:1)

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
(Ezekiel 36:26)

"are built up a spiritual house" — Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world ...” (John 18:36) It is written, “God added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47).

This house has reference to the children of God whose names were written in heaven before the foundation of the world.

“In thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
(Psalm 139:16)

This means their names were written in the Book of Life before they were in existence. (see Revelation 13:8)

“but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
(Luke 10:20)

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
(II Timothy 1:9)

(In the mind and purpose of the Lord the salvation of His people has always been secure.)

“But is now made MANIFEST by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality TO LIGHT through the Gospel.”
(II Timothy 1:10)

This great salvation is made manifest to all of the children of God at the appointed time known only to the Lord.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

"an holy priesthood" — Jesus has made His people kings and priests unto God the Father. (Revelation 1:6)

Under the law one would have to go to a priest, and the priest would offer the sacrifices and pray unto the Lord. Since Jesus has made us priests unto God, then we can rightly approach God the Father in prayer when we pray in Jesus’ name.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:16)

It is very important that we pray in Jesus’ name. When our hearts are heavy and when we are cast down because of various trials, tribulations and temptations; it is a wonderful blessing to pour out all of our troubles to the Lord. Many times we are blessed with the sweetest peace during the darkest hour of sorrow. The prayers of the saints do enter into heaven. (See Revelation 5:8 and Revelation 8:3-4)

"to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." — Please keep in mind that Jesus has made these spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God the Father. The children of God are the only ones who offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God.

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Hin. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
(John 4:23)

Recently it has been shown to me that spiritual sacrifices are broken down into these: (1) repentance, and (2) praise.

(1) Repentance“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

The word “contrite” means “humbled by guilt and repentant for one’s sins, penitent.” It is the work of God to convict the heart of one and then bless him with repentance.

“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations.”
(Ezekiel 16:1-2)

That Scripture shows that the Lord makes known to one that he is a sinner. The following Scripture shows confession of sin:

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”
(Psalm 51:3)

The next Scripture shows repentance and a plea for the Lord to not forsake us and to guide us by His Spirit:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit.”
(Psalm 51:10-12)

Notice the work of God in dealing with Ephraim:

“I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed. . .”
(Jeremiah 31:18-19)

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
(Acts 2:36-37)

Did the preaching itself cause the hearts of these people to be pricked?

Do we believe that the Spirit of God pricked their hearts?

“For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
(Hebrews 4:2)

This Scripture proves that the preaching will not have any effect upon one unless the Lord blesses him with the faith to hear and receive it.

“Blessed is the man that heareth me.”
(Proverbs 8:34)

The Lord opens the hearts of His people and shines His light upon them. (II Corinthians 4:6 and II Peter 1:19) They are convicted and brought down low: as the publican’s prayer: “... God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)

(2) Sacrifice of praise — We offer up the sacrifice of praise unto God when we are led and directed by the Lord.

“This people have I formed for Myself; they shall shew forth My praise.”
(Isaiah 43:21)

“O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise.”
(Psalm 51:15)

“Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise and with Thy honour all the day.”
(Psalm 71:8)

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;”
(Isaiah 61:3)

This Scripture shows that when the Lord clothes us with the garments of praise, we feel it within our hearts to sing praises unto Almighty God.

Why?

Because it flows from our hearts to the Lord.

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Ephesians 5:19-20)

“By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
(Hebrews 13:15-16)

Let us remember that this last Scripture shows that God is well pleased with the sacrifice of praise.

May the Lord bless us to carefully consider the spiritual sacrifices.

By Woodrow W. Hudson

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE HUNGRY AND THIRSTY


"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."
(Matthew 5:6)

The righteousness intended here is not creature-righteousness.

"All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field, which withereth and fadeth away when the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it."
(Isaiah 40:6-7)

But the righteousness the dear Lord has in view in this text, is that blessed righteousness which is unto all and upon all them that believe, even the glorious Person and obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ; for "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:4).

This is that righteousness which justifies the ungodly; and when this glorious righteousness is received into the heart by faith, through the divine power of God the Holy Ghost, the soul will unite with the Church of old, and say, "In the Lord have I righteousness and strength;" not merely by Him, or from Him, but in Him: and the Lord the Spirit solemnly says, that "in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory" (Isaiah 45:24-25).

God is determined that no flesh shall glory in His presence, but "in the Lord alone." Therefore, "Christ is made of God unto His people wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (I Corinthians 1:26-31).

Yea, "God hath made Him to be sin for them, that they might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).

Here it is the child of God stands acquitted of all charges, and is viewed, by the God of gods, perfect and complete (Colossians 2:10); for, by the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, all that believe are justified from all things, not partially, but fully and completely (Acts 13:30).

Now, this blessed justification is all of grace: "Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24). It is on this glorious ground the apostle sends forth his God-glorifying, soul-supporting challenge:

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
(Romans 8:33-34)

Here divine faith makes a solemn stand, and, with indescribable pleasure, makes its boast of the Lord, putting no confidence in the flesh. Let Christ be seen and received into the heart of faith, and the sinner may challenge earth or hell to bring him in guilty; for Christ is the Lord His righteousness.

Well, blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after this righteousness, for they shall be filled. Now, no one will ever hunger and thirst after this righteousness till the Holy Ghost has quickened his soul, and brought him to feel that he is a sinner before the heart-searching God; that his sins have been committed against a righteous God; that he has no righteousness of his own, nor any power to work one out; and yet, without a righteousness perfectly adequate to the requirements of law, and the demands of Justice, he must for ever perish.

To describe the various workings of mind, and the feelings of such a soul, under the heart-rending tortures of the awful nature of sin, and the holiness and inflexible justice of God, as revealed in the law, would fill a volume. Suffice it, therefore, to say, that night and day he hungers and thirsts for that righteousness which justifies the ungodly.

A religion which consists of creature goodness, creature duties, and creature piety, will not do for him. He proves that both duty-works and duty-faith fail him, and leave him a lost sinner, without help and without hope. He therefore sighs, and groans, and cries for mercy, pardoning mercy, justifying mercy, in the Person, blood, and obedience of Christ. Nothing short of this will satisfy his hungry soul. He can in every deed enter into the feelings described in the first part of Isaiah 41:17, "When the poor and needy seek water." He feels that he is poor, wretchedly poor, and very needy; for he needs all that is necessary to make him righteous and holy in the sight of God: and though he has sought this in a variety of ways, still he can neither see nor feel anything in himself, nor of himself, but sin and loathsomeness. With deep concern, he has earnestly sought the water of life, but cannot find it; so that his tongue faileth for thirst, and he appears at times unable to speak the feelings of his heart to either God or man.

Hungry and thirsty, his soul fainteth within him. Well, in this desert land, in this waste, howling wilderness, the Lord, in His own blessed time, is graciously pleased manifestatively to find him, and to lead him about, and to instruct him; yea, and He will keep him as the apple of His eye. (Deuteronomy 32:10).

Now, the Lord of the house says such souls are blessed; and indeed it is no small blessing to know their poverty, feel their need, and be sensible of their own helplessness. There are a people who say that they are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and know not that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. These are not spoken of very favourably by the Lord of the house; but the poor and needy, who seek water and can find none, are blessed of the Lord, yea, and in the Lord; for in Him they have all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3); and the Lord has promised them, saying, "I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water" (Isaiah 41:17-18).

"They shall be filled." Not with self-righteousness, but with Christ and His glorious righteousness. The blessed Spirit shall reveal Christ in their hearts the hope of glory; then their souls will enjoy a sweet measure of the work and effect of the righteousness of Christ, which are peace, quietness, and assurance for ever. (Isaiah 32:17). Then they shall find that Christ is unto them a peaceable habitation, and here they have rest; and having thus tasted that the Lord is gracious, and feasted upon His blood, love, obedience, they will joyfully unite with the Psalmists, and say, "Because Thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee. Thus will I bless Thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in Thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips" (Psalm 63:3-5).

Thus they that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be abundantly satisfied with the fullness of God's house, and shall drink of the river of His pleasure; for "with the Lord is the fountain of life" (Psalm 36:8-9). The time shall come when they shall say, "O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:3-4). Their mouth shall be filled with praise, and with the honour of God (Psalm 71:8).

Blessed be the name of our adorable Three-One God, He filleth the hungry with good things, while the rich He sendeth empty away. (Luke 1:53); and when body and soul are transformed into the image of Christ in glory, then in very deed they will be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:9), and eternally enjoy the blessedness of being blessed in and with Christ, and filled with His righteousness.

By William Gadsby - 1835

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

“GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD”


“And He said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
(Mark 16:15)

These words were directed from Jesus to the eleven apostles. Notice that this commission or command was given after Jesus had risen from the grave. (Judas had already hanged himself.)

We have a prayer in our heart that God will bless us to rightly divide the word of truth. As the Lord enables us, let us first consider the setting. This commission was different from the first commission that Jesus had given the apostles.

The first commission was limited to the Jews in the flesh. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6)

We may wonder, why did Jesus tell them not to go into the way of the Gentiles?

First, let us notice that Jesus was born under the law. He said that He had come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.

Under the law, only the Jews enjoyed the ordinances, ceremonies, etc., “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.” (Romans 9:4-5)

The promises under the law did not embrace the Gentiles. The only exception we know of is any who desired to be adopted among the Jews. Notice Exodus 12:48-49. The Gentile, or stranger, would be under the law as the Jews and he would be circumcised, and then he would be as one that was born in the land. (Notice the 48th verse and you will see that this is adoption.) The Children of Israel in all their generations were commanded to observe the Passover. The expression, “No stranger shall eat thereof” has reference to the Gentiles. (See Exodus 12:42-43)

“And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.”
(Exodus 28:29)

Notice that Aaron, the first high priest under the law, was commanded to only bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart.

The Gentiles were shut out!

This is a type of Jesus making intercession for Spiritual Israel, which is composed of both Jews and Gentiles. Verses 15 through 28 give the description of the breastplate. We call your attention to the 21st verse which states that the “stones shall be with the names of the Children of Israel, twelve, according to their names.”

To sum it up, we can see that the priests under the law did not minister to the Gentiles. For example, notice this command “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the Children of Israel, saying ... ” (Leviticus 4:1-2)

If you read on, you will see that this is describing the procedure for the sin offering. The expression “speak unto the Children of Israel” is in Leviticus 1:1.

In Leviticus 9:3 we read, “And unto the Children of Israel thou shalt speak, saving, take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt-offering.”

The address to the Children of Israel reminds us of the Epistles in the New Testament. How about Ephesians 1:1 for an example: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the SAINTS which are at Ephesus, and to the FAITHFUL in Christ Jesus.”

This Epistle of Paul was not to the world in general, but it is directed to the church at Ephesus and also embraces Gods people in this day and time.

Why?

Because Paul stated that this Epistle was also written to the “faithful in Christ Jesus.”

Also, the Gentiles were classified as heathen by the Jews.

“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship: that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”
(Galatians 2:9)

We can see that the primary mission of Paul was to preach to the Gentiles. Remember, the circumcision refers to the Jews. (Romans 4:9, Galatians 2:7, Ephesians 2:11)

The first commission, which was limited to the natural Jews, was under the law. Remember that all the ceremonies under the law were limited to natural Israel.

The second commission (“Go ye into all the world”) embraces both Jew and Gentiles. The apostles were commanded to go and preach, and God would direct the preached word to the hearts of His people.

On the day of Pentecost, the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as THE SPIRIT GAVE them utterance. (Acts 2:4) Many were amazed at this, but some said the men were full of new wine. Now Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost when he preached, and GOD prepared the hearts of those to receive the preaching, and they were pricked in their heart.

Now, all that heard Peter’s preaching were NOT pricked in their hearts. Some that hear the preached word in this day and time do not get anything out of the preaching because their hearts have not been prepared to receive it.

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is FROM the Lord.”
(Proverbs 16:1)

“For unto US was the Gospel preached, AS WELL AS UNTO them: But the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed WITH FAITH IN THEM that heard it.”
(Hebrews 4:2)

This Scripture proves that if we rejoice within our hearts in hearing a Gospel sermon, the Lord has blessed us with the gift to hear. (See Proverbs 8:34).

At this point we must be careful, and trust that God will enable us to enter into these deep treasures.

Now, let us ask ourselves this question:

Does this second commission only embrace Spiritual Israel?

“Go ye into all the world.”

What world does this have reference to?

Let us examine John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

We believe that this Scripture has reference to God’s people. One definition of world is: “A class of persons regarded as a body and distinguished by some characteristic.”

John 3:16 certainly cannot have reference to the universal world, because there is a people that God does not love, “Jacob have I loved, But Esau have I hated.” (Romans 9:13)

“I pray for them; I pray NOT for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine.”
(John 17:9)

The word world in this Scripture and the word world in John 3:16 cannot mean the same.

Why?

Do you believe that Jesus would pray for a people that He loves?

Therefore, the world in John 17:9 means the universal world. Jesus only prays for his people, and we do not read in Scriptures that Jesus prays or makes intercession for all of mankind.

“And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
(Romans 8:27)

To sum it up, the world in John 3:16 means God’s people, and the world in John 17:9 means all of mankind.

“Go ye into all the world.”

If this only means God’s people, how were the Apostles to know who were sheep and who were goats?

Man looks on the outward appearance, but it is God that looks on the heart. (I Samuel 16:7)

If the world here only means the “sheep world,” why did Jesus say, “He that believeth not shall be damned.”?

Do not we believe that ALL of God’s people shall be saved, and not one of them shall be damned?

What about the parable of the sower? (Matthew 13:2-23)

Some seed fell by the wayside, some in stony places, some among thorns, and the word did not bear fruit in these places. Yet, it did bear fruit in the GOOD ground, and we believe it was PREPARED by God. (see Proverbs 16:1)

The apostles were commanded (we believe this also embraces the ministers of God in this age) to preach where God has impressed them to go - and not to limit themselves to the Jews, but to go into all the world, which means both Jews and Gentiles. It is God that GIVES the increase.

“I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”
(I Corinthians 3:6)

“Go ye into all the world.”

We may think of it in this way: beforehand, the Gentiles were shut out, but now the door is open.

“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed BOLD, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
(Acts 13:46)

As the Lord enables us, let us put the pieces together: the law was given to natural Israel, and Jesus came to fulfill that law. (Matthew 5:17)

“He went unto his own, and His own received Him not.”
(John 1:11)

The priests under the Levitical priesthood only offered sacrifices for the children of Israel. The priest bore upon his breastplate the names of the Children of Israel. Jesus, our High Priest, bore the sins of His people upon His shoulders. He offered Himself as a sacrifice for His people, both Jews and Gentiles. His blood has broken down the middle wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles. (Ephesians 2:14)

The command that Jesus gave: “Go ye unto all the world,” implied that the Gospel was to be preached both to the Jews and the Gentiles. The Gentiles were no longer shut out. The new covenant embraced God’s people among both Jews and Gentiles. God sent Peter to preach to some Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. (Read Acts 10:1-48)

We will quote verses 44-47:

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word, and they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”
(Acts 10:44-47)

We understand this to be the first sermon that was preached to the Gentiles. Notice that the Jews had first received the Holy Ghost. (2nd chapter of Acts) The 45th verse proves that some Jews went with Peter to the house of Cornelius. These Jews were astonished that the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Gentiles.

This is a broad subject, and we have tried to be brief. We ask the reader to carefully study the Scriptures and see if these views meet the test of the Scriptures.

By Woodrow W. Hudson - 1971

Monday, June 21, 2010

CHRIST'S RECONCILIATION OF HIS PEOPLE TO GOD


This, is a most precious doctrine!

How great is the need for a feeling sinner to be at peace with God?

And to ever be at peace with God, in some manner, he must be reconciled to Him. By nature he is born a rebel. In fact, his “natural mind,” or “carnal mind is enmity against God, it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8).

That was not merely what condition we were in before divine quickening to spiritual life: It still IS our condition relative to our fleshly being. That condition has not yet changed.

This being so, how can one ever expect to have peace with God?

Again...

“with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:26)

Do you see how God has everything needful covered?

This is surely a testimony to the perfection of His Wisdom!

He left nothing undone that is needful for our salvation. This, too, is a finished work from two thousand years ago. Let us look at the testimony of the Scripture.

Paul connected the elects’ reconciliation with their justification by His blood, and put both of them in the past tense - when He shed his blood - two thousand years ago!

“Much more then, being NOW justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were RECONCILED to God by the death of His Son, (See, His death was two thousand years ago) much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His Life.”
(Romans 5:9-10)

That is as plain as one can make it; yet very few can believe it.

Strange, isn’t it?

However, in believing it, the Gospel, or glad tidings, gives the believer much comfort and joy. Deep within our carnal nature we would think that we should do something to reconcile ourselves to God.

Simply put, it is too late, and not necessary!

Christ has already done that for His people - because they could not do it for themselves.

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have NOW received the atonement. (or reconciliation : KJV marginal reading)
(Romans 5:11)

Again, in II Corinthians 5:18 and 19, Paul put reconciliation in the past tense, and timed it to the event on the Cross.

“And all things are of God, Who HATH RECONCILED us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
(II Corinthians 5:18-19)

We believe we have proved the doctrine. Now let us apply it. We need peace with God, not only in reality, but also in our conscience. A sensible sinner is greatly comforted in those times that he is enabled to view himself already reconciled to God. In that way he is made a friend to God and God is made a friend to him.

This is one of the reasons that Christ came in the flesh, so that He could be a perfect High Priest for us, and make this reconciliation. As the writer said, “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).

Under the law, the high priest’s business was to make atonement (at-one-ment) for the sins of those he represented. He finalized all the sacrificial offerings made by the priests. He made intercession for the sins of the people. So our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ has done all these things needful for His people. What He accomplished, and the ways in which He accomplished them, simply put, is the Gospel, or glad tidings of our salvation.

That, and much, much more, my dear young “Theophilus” is the Gospel Simply Put.

By Stanley C. Phillips

CHRIST'S PROPITIATION FOR THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE


“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful (propitious) to me a sinner.”
(Luke 18:13)

The word propitiation means to appease divine wrath, and render satisfaction. To be propitious, or to be merciful. Our dear Lord, two thousand years ago, actually did appease the frowning Justice of God, and render satisfaction for His elect. He died the death of the transgressor to fulfill its just demands. Blessed be His name, He did it for His people because there was no way they could do it for themselves. Again, He did this gracious work two thousand years ago. Our believing it does not establish it. It is already done, and our believing (and faith is God’s own gift to us) it is God’s way of comforting us and causing us to magnify His own grace by the manifestation of this sweet and gracious work.

We know the text the worldly religionists will go to:

“And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
(I John 2:2)

Immediately they jump onto the words “also for the sins of the whole world,” because they do not know what a propitiation is!

One thing is for certain, that if Christ is the propitiation for everyone on earth, then He has already satisfied the just demands of the law, and appeased the wrath of God against everyone on earth, and therefore everyone on earth is saved and safe!

The phrase “the whole world” is certainly no universally all inclusive phrase. Read this passage written by this same apostle:

“And WE know that WE ARE OF GOD, and the WHOLE WORLD lieth in wickedness”
(I John 5:19)

Need we point out that the “WE” are a different group of people than the “whole world” in this text?

Christ Jesus is our Advocate with the Father, and as such He alone stands as the Propitiation of our sins. All that He did while on earth was to this very end. His standing before the Father for us is the crowning glory of our salvation. John wrote:

“Herein IS LOVE, not that we loved God (for we didn’t, and can’t in the flesh), but that HE LOVED US, and sent HIS SON to be the PROPITIATION FOR OUR sins.”
(I John 4:10)

If only we could always believe and rest in this!

How comfortable would our souls be!

But in those times when God grants us to recall it, believe it, and rest in it, it is the Gospel to our burdened souls.

How gracious is our Lord not to lay this task upon our fickled, feeble faith, repentance, or works!

He made this doctrine a stable finished one - two thousand years ago!

“It is finished!”
(John 19::30)

This is referred to as “the accomplishment of Christ on the cross.”

By Stanley C. Phillips

CHRIST'S SANCTIFICATION OF HIS PEOPLE


By definition, sanctification is the setting of someone or something apart from others for an exclusive and holy use. In the old temple worship, almost all things were sanctified by the sprinkling of blood. The Eternal Godhead is involved in the sanctification of sensible sinners. The Father sanctified: “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” (by preserved is meant kept in seed substance IN Christ until called by grace in the new birth - Jude 1).

This sanctification, we believe, refers to the Father electing and giving those elected to His Son Jesus Christ that He should redeem, save, and call them to salvation. They were set aside for a holy use, as “vessels of mercy afore prepared unto glory” and receptacles of God’s born-again offspring (Romans 9:23). Their bodies are “earthen vessels” designed to hold the heavenly treasure deposited in them at their second birth from above (II Corinthians 4:7).

They are also sanctified by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Paul addressed his epistle to the Corinthians, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (I Corinthians 1:2).

We understand that such as are taught that they are sinners in a feeling way experimentally, are sanctified by divine election which put them in Christ Jesus, and being in Him, all that He did is accounted to them also, as if they had done them. All His works are good, and being sanctified IN Him, all their good works therefore are those that He did. He also particularly sanctified them through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

The Holy Spirit also sanctifies them when He calls them to life in Christ - when they are born from above by the Spirit.

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
(I Peter 1:2)

A sensible sinner will search often for these evidences within himself. And, true, sometimes he can’t seem to find sufficient in which to rejoice. A very sweet and precious truth is hidden here:

“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
(I Corinthians 1:30)

We said “hidden here.” For it is Christ Himself Who is our sanctification. We are set aside IN Him to be an exclusive and holy people unto God. We are no longer the servant of unrighteousness, but the servant of Christ, who is our Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption. Sanctification is not something new when one believes in Christ. He has ever had it in Christ before he heard the Gospel of it, and rejoiced in that truth. Paul puts the stroke of finality to this subject, when he wrote:

“Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy WILL, O God. He taketh away the first (covenant of the law), that He may establish the second (covenant of grace); by the which WILL we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
(Hebrews 10:10)

Simply put, that sanctification took place when Christ died, two thousand years ago. Now, while so often we find ourselves polluted by sin and out of the way of holiness, our blessed Lord knew this would ever be so. Therefore, He Himself sanctified us “forever” by the offering of His own precious body as a sacrifice for sin. Under the law, these sacrifices prefigured the putting away of sin; purification from the defilement of sin; and to sanctify the comer to the offering as one of God’s own people. “They are Mine, saith the Lord.”

By Stanley C. Phillips