[Picture above: From the January/March 2013 issue of Breakthrough The Newsletter of Slavic Gospel Association (UK). Top section has been altered.]
The Apostle Paul used the imagery of games to illustrate the journey of the Christian life. In Hebrews chapter twelve he compares the Christian life to a running race. The image suggests an athletic contest in a great amphitheatre. Here we are exhorted to fix our eyes on Jesus Who is both the start and end of the Christian race.
The tragedy is that there are many distractions and weights that hinder the Christian Sadly today there are many encumbrances in the Christian race. We could create an endless list but frankly many of these hindrances stem from self. It is often those self interests that hinder us from attending Gods house, prayer times, making ourselves available for Christian service in the church or community.
For many believers in Eastern Europe and
Paul exhorts the Hebrew believers to lay aside everything that would hinder them in the race. I am reminded again of Sir Chris Hoys comments, for me the most powerful message from London 2012 is that anybody can achieve great things in their lives if they are willing to work hard, make sacrifices, and dedicate themselves to the dream they have. Without that hard work there can be no lasting reward. As we enter this new year, may we resolve to cast aside the hindering things in our lives and with Gods help, be willing to work hard, make sacrifices and dedicate ourselves to God and His service.
Turn your eyes to Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace,
(Helen H Lemmel)
Keep Focused: fix your eyes on Jesus.
- DEREK MAXWELL
* * *
We do not need to state the attempts made by the deniers of the Messianic character of this Psalm [Psalm 45] to explain away the great meaning of these words. The greater part of this paragraph is quoted by the Holy Spirit in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The glory of the risen Christ is the subject of the opening chapter of the Hebrew Epistle, and Christ is seen in His exaltation and glorious future higher than the angels. The Spirit of God demonstrates His exaltation and future glory mostly from the Psalms and quotes the sixth and seventh verses. When He comes as the conquering, all-victorious King, dethroning un-righteousness as represented by His enemies, He will receive His throne. It is His throne, which belongs to Him, a righteous and an eternal throne. Nor must we overlook the fact, that He is addressed as God. Here those who have laboured to explain away the true meaning of this Psalm, without success, have invented all kinds of paraphrases. They speak of this Psalm as glorifying Solomon, or some other unknown king. But could Solomon, or any Jewish king be addressed as God? Only One can claim this address, our Lord Jesus Christ.
With His coming in power and glory His glorious reign begins, and here we see persons associated with Him. They are called His fellows. Who are then His fellows, those who are associated with Him when He begins His glorious reign? Our Lord Himself is called Gods fellow in Zechariah 13: 7. It is one of the many passages in the Old Testament which teach that the Saviour is associated with God, one with Him. But who are they who are His fellows, associated with Him and one with Him? There can no question about it, the fellows mentioned here are the Saints of God gathered during this present age, constituting the Church His body. They are seen here as the partakers of His glorious Kingdom. While it is true that the Church was a mystery not made known in former ages, it is equally true that there are many saints in the Old Testament Scriptures of this mystery, which was truly then unknown in its fullest meaning, but now, the mystery having been revealed, we discover these hints. Here is one of the most striking. In the day of His glory, when He brings many sons unto glory, His redeemed ones surround Him and their glorious fellowship with Him is manifested.
His garments, the garments of righteousness, are myrrh, aloes and cassia. Myrrh and cassia were the leading ingredients of the holy anointing oil as commanded by the Lord (Exod. 30). Aloes was one of the chief spices. It is a poetic description of the perfection of the manhood of Him Whose whole life was so fragrant to God.
Then we read of the ivory palaces, out of which stringed instruments are heard, which make Him glad. His palace is His glorious dwelling place; ivory reminds us of Solomons throne of ivory. And in the innermost dwelling place are those who sing their everlasting praises unto Him, that which gladdens His heart, for they are the travail of His soul. But how much more all this must mean, which we do not fully understand and grasp as long as we still look into a glass darkly.
- ARNO C. GAEBELEIN
* * *
Even though the
door to the
It is up to us. If we are willing and obedient, He is faithful and He will enable us to enter into these things. All the power and the authority of God are invested in Jesus Christ and they are available to us today through the Holy Spirit. We should not make excuses about being too weak or unable. On the cross, by the shedding of His blood, Jesus purchased everything that is necessary for us to be obedient and to accomplish His will. Not only this, but He has poured out His Spirit upon us to strengthen us so that we may live according to God. If we are willing, He will empower us to overcome the devils kingdom. There is no need for even the smallest, weakest member of the body of Christ to be defeated. God has done it all. What remains only is for us by faith and obedience to enter into it. Let us not be condemned or afraid. It is the Fathers good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.
Now, we need to say a word to backsliders. If you are a backslider and living in a backslidden, sinful condition, it is not too late to repent. You can turn from your evil, sinful living right now. And when you do you will find that the Father will welcome you with open arms. Just as the prodigal son whom we read about in the scriptures went away from his father for awhile and squandered his substance on riotous living and evil companions, one day came to himself, returned to his fathers house and was there received with joy and feasting by his father; so you too can repent and turn away from the direction in which you have been going and come back to God. He will receive you, He will again clothe you in a clean garment. And if you continue faithfully until He comes, you too can enter into the Kingdom.
- DAVID W. DYER
* * *
The Christians hope, with its basis found the same place as
In Ephesians this hope has to do with an inheritance (1: 11-18); in Colossians it has to do with the coming glory of Christ (1: 5, 23, 27); in 1 Thessalonians it has to do with a future salvation (5: 8); in Titus it has to do with an inheritance and life in the coming age (1: 2; 2: 12, 13; 3: 7); in 1 Peter it has to do with an inheritance, the salvation of ones soul, and participation in Christs coming glory (1: 3-9; 3: 14, 15; 4: 12, 13); and in 1 John it has to do with being unashamed and like Christ when Christians see Him as He is at the judgment seat (2: 28 - 3: 3).
The salvation referred to in Heb. 6: 9 is the same salvation to which the writer referred earlier in the warning (5: 9). And, before that, he had referred to this salvation as so great salvation (2: 3). Then later in the book he refers to this salvation in connection with Christs return (9: 27, 28). And then after that he refers to the same salvation as the saving of the soul (10: 39).
The salvation in view is connected with a future inheritance (1: 2, 14), which is acquired through faith and patience (6: 12, 15). It is the hope set before us, which is an anchor of the soul (6: 18, 19).
This is the salvation with which Hebrews concerns itself throughout. The entire book deals with this salvation, not with salvation by grace through faith. And when an individual grasps this fundamental truth, not only will the Book of Hebrews begin to open to his understanding but so will numerous other sections of Scripture as well.
- ARLEN L. CHITWOOD
* * *
The penitent thief petitioned of Christ Jesus, that he might
be remembered, when Christ came, not into his kingdom, but in his kingdom. Our Lords reply was Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in
It is to this sojourn of the saints in Hades that I would refer a very difficult passage in the 139th Psalm, which speaks of a body being curiously fashioned in the lower parts of the earth. Now, the saints are the body of Christ, Eph. 4: 12, 16; Col. 1. 18, &c., and in that body each has his place. But the saints, who are to form that body, are being gathered in the lower parts of the earth; and Hades is the womb from which they will be born at the resurrection. Understood thus, the passage presents no difficulty. It is Christ who speaks My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book were all my members written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them, Psalm cxxxix. 15, 16. Now, there was a time when the saints existed as the elect in Gods purpose alone - as yet there was none of them. Yet they were made members of Christ, and so are now in continuance being fashioned, as time, and the purposes of God, bring each to their natural and supernatural birth. In Gods book also, are all the members written. That book is the book of life, as it is written - rather rejoice because your names have been written in heaven, Luke 10: 20. Clement also, and other my fellow-labourers, whose names are written in the book of life, Phil. 4: 3. Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire, Rev. 20: 15.
respect the building of the real
- ROBERT GOVETT.
* * *
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1: 18).
According to the Greek text, the last part of this verse should have been translated as follows but unto us who are being saved it is the power of God.
With this understanding we are introduced to a new kind of
salvation which operates in the present continuous tense. Unlike the completed past tense salvation,
this salvation reveals to us a present and continuous work (not yet completed)
that begins in our lives at the moment our spirits are saved and continues in a
present tense until it ends at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The scriptures call this, the salvation of the soul (1 Peter 1: 9). And since the words soul and life in the new testament are translated from
the same Greek word psuche,
this salvation, is also known as the salvation of the life. Moreover, this present
continuous salvation of the soul has nothing to do with eternal
life, as past tense salvation does, but rather the saving of a believer into
Salvation of the soul, then, is dependant on the quality of life a believer chooses while on earth. If he allows his old nature to rule his life, he will produce works of wood, hay, and stubble. These will be burned up at the Judgment Seat of Christ, with the results being the loss of his soul (future life quality without rewards). If however, through the Word of God, he permits his new nature (the Holy Spirit in him) to rule over his life, he will produce works of gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Cor. 3: 11-15). Since these works cannot be burned up, the results of this testing will be the saving of his soul (future life quality with rewards).
* * *
The post-millennial position rests largely upon a mistranslation. In Matt. 13: 39 we
read The harvest is the end of
the world, and again in Matt. 24: 3 - And as He sat upon the
It is impossible for us to fully estimate the tremendous
importance of the first Advent of Christ to this
earth. The Divine Incarnation is without
a parallel in the annals of the human race.
Heaven itself was stirred at the miraculous birth of the God-Man. Unto the angels was
entrusted the honorous commission of announcing the birth of the Saviour. Heathendom was affected,
the good news being conveyed to
But wondrous and blessed as was the first Advent of our Lord in
many respects, His Second Coming will be even more momentous. At His first appearing He was here in
weakness and humiliation, but at His
second He shall come in power and glory.
When He was here before He was despised and rejected of men, but when He comes back
again every knee shall bow before Him and every tongue confess His Lordship. When He was here before He paid tribute to
Caesar, but when He returns He shall
reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
When He was here before His personal ministry was confined to the
- A. W. PINK
* * *
The sharing of Christs sufferings now is our training and qualifying for sharing His glory hereafter; as well as the glory being the compensation graciously promised for the sufferings. The path of sorrow is not indeed the meriting, but the capacitating preparation (Moule, in loco). Those who refuse the distinction between simple heirship to God and joint heirship with the Messiah, make the former as well as the latter to become conditional upon suffering with Christ; and thus would the loss of those who avoid suffering become vastly greater, their salvation itself being imperilled.
But the force of this passage (Rom. 8: 17) will become yet clearer if we remember that the Greek term Christ is the equivalent of the Hebrew term Messiah (John 1: 41), which is the official title of the King to whose universal reign the prophets pointed Israel. What think ye of the Messiah? whose son is He? illustrates this title (Matt. 22: 42). Consider now this conditional clause:
Hebrews 3: 14: For we are become companions of the Christ if indeed we hold the beginning of the assurance firm to the end (J. N. Darby, New Translation). Here is another example of how a critically accurate rendering leads to this present line of teaching, even though the scholar translating would repudiate altogether the plain force of his rendering. Mr. Darby adds, I use the word companions as being the same one as in chapter 1: 9, metochoi to which, I doubt not, it alludes; that is, to the passage quoted Ps. 45. Partakers of Christ has indeed a quite different sense. Now this psalm is unquestionably a picture, and a peculiarly brilliant picture, of the Messiah in the time of His millennial kingdom. And we are of those who are to be his fellows or companions or partners (Delitzsch) in that day; if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm to the end.
But the passage in Phil. 3., affords clearer light as to what the prize is. Using the same figure as in 1 Cor. 9., the apostle says, I press on, if so be that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus; and again, I press on toward the goal unto the prize (brabeion) of the high calling [calling on high-heavenly] of God in Christ Jesus (verse 14). He has immediately before said that he purposes continuing so to order his life if by any means he may attain unto the out-resurrection from the dead. Proceeding at once to disclaim distinctly any thought that he has obtained the certainty of this honour, he reveals this desire to lay hold of that for which his Lord has taken hold of him. And for what it is, in its ultimate purpose, that the Lord had seized him, and had so royally changed him from a proud rebel into a loyal slave, he himself tells us in the words of 2 Cor. 5: 5, Now He that wrought us for this very thing is God, Who gave unto us the earnest of the Spirit. For what very thing has God wrought? The context shows that it is that we may presently be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven ... a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Not the disembodied state did he desire, but rather the wondrous moment when what is mortal [shall] be swallowed up of life.
He had already revealed to the Corinthians what this meant in detail, and at what season it would come to pass (1 Ep. xv). In glowing, heart-stirring terms he had irradiated the darkness of death in which their pagan minds had lain, assuring them of the certainty of an event for which no pagan philosophy has any room, even a resurrection, when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality, and that then shall come to pass the saying, death is swallowed up in victory, the same word being used in each case (katapino.) And this is to be at the moment of the descent from heaven of the Lord Jesus Christ, as is determined by a comparison with the word of the Lord in 1 Thess. 4: 15-17. Thus it was for the very end that Paul might share in the glory to which the first resurrection is the doorway that the Lord had laid hold on him, and thenceforth it was with him a supreme concern that he should be accounted worthy to attain thereto.
- G. H. LANG
* * *
Two sects divided the religious beliefs of
It is therefore somewhat disconcerting to read in Mark 9: 10 of the disciples that they questioned one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. Are we to understand that the very disciples who had been selected to witness the transfiguration on the mountain, were not so mature in the faith as an unconverted Pharisee? Did Martha outstrip the apostles in this article of faith? Once again therefore we must turn to the actual words as recorded in the original before attempting a conclusion.
The words that troubled the disciples were those used by the Lord when He said: Till the Son of Man were risen from the dead ek nekron anaste risen OUT FROM dead ones. It is the presence of this word ek out that caused the questioning. It was something additional to the common creed. It was this resurrection ek nekron that declared Christ to be the Son of God with power (Rom. 1: 4). The first to rise out from the dead was Christ, as Paul testifies in Acts 26: 23: That Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise out from dead ones.
We now take one further step forward and discover a reference that is nearer to the form found in Philippians 3. Tes anastaseos tes ek nekron, in Luke 20:35. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection, that which is out from the dead ones.
Here it will be observed, we not only have words similar to those used in Philippians 3: 11, accounted worthy to obtain, but a similar context. Believers can be accounted worthy to obtain that age at the out-resurrection, they may be accounted worthy to escape the dreadful things that are coming on the earth and to stand before the Son of Man, they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name: and the persecutions which they endured were a manifest token of the righteous judgments of God, that they may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which they suffered (Luke 20: 35; 21: 36; Acts 5: 41; 2 Thess. 1: 5).
The word obtain in Luke 20: 35 is used by the apostle in 2 Timothy 2: 10, that they may also obtain the salvation which is ... with eternal glory, where the context associates suffering with reigning, and in Hebrews 11: 35 that they might obtain a better resurrection, which is an obvious parallel with the out-resurrection of Philippians 3: 11.
While Paul was sure of the Hope of his calling, he could not be sure of attaining unto the Prize of this same calling, and associated with that prize is the special resurrection, the out-resurrection and the desire for conformity unto the death of Christ which we have been considering. In the verse following the apostle makes it very clear that this uncertainty is legitimate, and one or two added words are employed in making this fact clear.
Not as though I had already attained (Not that I have already obtained, R.V.), either were already perfect (or am already made perfect, R.V.), but I follow after (but I press on, R.V.), if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus (if so be that I may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus, R.V.) (Phil. 3: 12).
The Authorized Version, by repeating the word attain in Philippians 3: 12, gives a continuity to the apostles argument, but as two very different words are employed, katantao in verse 11 and lambano in verse 12, the Revised Version is preferable. The change from attaining to obtaining moreover, reveals a change in the apostles objective. He sought first to attain to the out-resurrection and then subsequently to obtain the prize. This comes out clearly when we remember that lambano, obtain, occurs in 1 Corinthians 9: 24, 25, one receiveth the prize, they do it to obtain a corruptible crown.
It is moreover evident from the apostles language that one who obtained the prize, could be considered as perfect. Here the Greek reading teteleiomai I have been perfected anticipates the triumphant teteleka I have finished of 2 Timothy 4: 7, where once again we have the race course, the conflict, and the crown.
- C. H. WELSH
* * *
Barnabas, the companion of Paul in his travels. In the 13th chapter of the epistle ascribed to him, we find the following passage. God made in six days the works of His hands and he finished them the seventh day; and he rested the seventh day and hallowed it. The meaning of this is: that in six-thousand years the Lord will bring all things to an end, for with Him one day is as a thousand years, as himself testifieth; therefore in six days that is six-thousand years shall all things be accomplished. And what is this He saith He rested on the seventh day? He meaneth this, when His son shall come and abolish the season of the wicked one and shall judge the ungodly, and change the sun, moon, and stars, then He shall gloriously rest on the seventh day.
Papias, our second witness, was a disciple of John, and a companion of Polycarp. There will be a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead when Christ will reign corporally (personally) upon the earth and he says, that what he relates are the very words of the elders, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, James, John, Matthew, Aristio, and John the Presbyter, as related by them to those of whom he constantly made inquiry; and he pledges himself to the truth and fidelity of what he reports.
Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp the pupil of John. He wrote In whatever number of days the world was created, in the same number of thousands of years it will come to its consummation. God on the sixth day finished His work and rested on the seventh. This is a history of the past - and a prophecy of the future - for the day of the Lord is as a thousand years.
From these quotations one cannot help but be impressed with the fact that those living nearest to the Lord and His Apostles believed beyond any shadow of a doubt that the world was divided into two time periods of six days of work and a day of rest
-A. EDWIN WILSON
* * *
In examining this important subject of the salvation
of the soul, we would begin with the first reference to the soul in Hebrews, which is in chap. 4: 12. We find there the important statement that
the Word of God sharply divides between the soul and the
spirit; a distinction, however, which teachers and commentators
generally fail to observe. There are
some who professedly make a specialty of rightly dividing the Word of Truth; which, however, may be merely the
arranging of dispensational divisions according to their own ideas. It is questionable whether 2 Tim. 2: 15 means that we are to divide
up the Word of Truth. A better
reading would seem to be, holding a
straight course in the Word of Truth.
But on the other hand, it is certain, as has been aptly said, that the
Word of God divides us up, even to the dividing asunder of soul
and spirit. The Word of
God speaks of the salvation of the spirit, of the
salvation of the soul and of the salvation of the body;
and there is a great difference between them.
In 1 Cor. 5: 5, Paul speaks of delivering one of the
members of the assembly of
The distinction between the spirit of man and the soul of man is recognized throughout Scripture. Thus in 1 Thess. 5: 23, the Apostle prays for the sanctification of the whole man, and that your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto (at) the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Of the Lord Jesus it is written that just before
His death He commended His spirit to
His Father. And
when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy Hands I
commend My spirit. And having said thus
He gave up the spirit (Luke 23: 46). Of His soul and body it is written in Psa. 16., quoted in Acts 2: 31, that His soul was not left in Hades, neither did His flesh see corruption. It thus appears that His body went into the
tomb, but saw no corruption there, while His soul went to Hades, or
The word soul signifies, as we have said, the natural, or personal life of the individual man, in the broadest sense, including all the experiences, sensations, and emotions pertaining thereto. In fact, the Greek word psuche is sometimes in our versions translated life, sometimes soul. When the word life in our versions stands for psuche it never means eternal life, possessed by Christ, and imparted as the gift of God to those who believe on Him. For that life the Greek word is zoe. It is sometimes of much importance to know what the original word is. Thus, in John 10, one of these words occurs in verse 10, the other in verse 11. When Christ said I am come that they might have life, He used the word zoe, eternal life. When, however, He added the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep, He used the word psuche, soul, or natural life; and the same word occurs in verses 15 and 17. In verse 17 we read, Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life (soul) that I might take it again. The Lord Jesus has a true human soul, an individual, personal life, like each one of us, only without sin. He laid it down; but He has taken it again. Thus the Lord speaks of laying down His own sinless soul, and in this we have further and conclusive proof that losing ones soul does not mean damnation. It means, as we have said, the cutting off of the soul [at the time of death] from the things created for its satisfaction and enjoyment. In verse 28, however, and I give unto them. eternal life, the word is zoe. That life can never be lost; for they who receive it shall never perish. Thus the life (soul) which Christ gave for us is not the same as the life He gives to us. The difference is great.
We come now to the important words which bring the tenth chapter of Hebrews to a close, and introduce the great theme of chapter 11: Now the just shall live by faith, but if he draw back My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back unto destruction, but (of them that are) of faith to saving the soul (10: 38, 39).
The foregoing is a literal rendering of the original text; and we would at the outset call attention to several corrections that need to be made in the A.V.
1. The words any man are introduced by the translators as the subject of the verb draw back; but they are wholly without warrant in the original. The antecedent subject is the just man, who is to live by faith. The expression is the same that Paul used of himself in Gal. 2: 20, the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God. Jesus Christ is not only the Author, but also the Finisher of faith. As already seen it is only the believer, the man who has been justified by faith, that can draw back. The unbeliever has not come to anything from which he could draw back. There is no question at all as to the correctness of the reading, if he draw back. The drawing back to destruction is put indirect contrast with the living by faith, and going on to the saving of the soul. It is true that the believer cannot draw back from his standing in Christ. He cannot draw back from eternal life. But he can draw back from the pilgrims place, and return to the world.
2. We have already seen that the word perdition should be destruction. The difference is important. The people of God will surely suffer destruction if they draw back into the world. Because it is polluted, it will destroy them with a sore destruction (Mic. 2: 10); that is, will involve them in great and irreparable damage or loss. But they will never come into perdition.
3. The words of them that believe, should read of faith. The original has not a verb that believe, but a noun of faith; and that word faith is a most important one because it leads into the theme of chap. 11., which is given to the people of God for the very purpose of instructing them as to the character or nature of that faith that is effectual to, saving the soul. The next words are Now faith, (that is, the faith by which the soul is saved), is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence (or conviction) of things not seen. Then follow examples of those who lived, to the end of their days, according to that faith which is the substance (that which stands under and thus supports) things hoped for, and the conviction as to the reality of things heard of, but not seen.
So far as the present writer is aware, the subject of the salvation of the soul has not been satisfactorily treated in any of the books of teaching now in the hands of the people of God. The manner in which this expression is commonly used, indicates that saving the soul is regarded as meaning the saving of the individual man from condemnation, that is to say as equivalent to the justification of the sinner, and the impartation of eternal life upon believing the Gospel of God. In other words, being born again, and saving the soul, are, generally taken to be identical. But according to the Scripture, the two are very different. In every case where the salvation of the soul is mentioned it is distinctly referred to as something future, and as something conditional upon the behaviour of the individual himself. Eternal life is the gift of God, freely bestowed on every believer in Christ. But the saving of the soul is distinctly set forth in many Scriptures, particularly in, the words of the Lord Himself, not as a gift, but as a reward to be earned by diligence, stedfastness, and obedience to His commands.
The chief reason for the misconception that exists on this point is the failure to distinguish between soul and spirit, a distinction which is carefully made in the Scriptures, as we shall take pains to show. The matter is of such surpassing importance, and so great consequences hinge upon it, that we strongly urge our readers to pay the closest attention to the sayings of the Lord Jesus, and to the other Scriptures cited, in this chapter .
- PHILIP MAURO
* * *
When the so-called Christian Powers, the Horns in their present distribution, are in concert with anti-Christianity for the sake of gain, and Mammon sways the septre over moral righteousness, and national churches, the stalled stipendiaries of the State, have become a salt that is savourless, powerless to compel their rulers to enforce justice, or defend the inalienable rights of man grounded in his personality, or protect the saints of God from massacre; when the kings and rulers of the earth and Christian governments panoplied for war, are partners with Mammon in orgies of blood for selfish ends, binding oppression on the necks of the poor, seeking by force to wrench from the weak their lawful possessions, the heart steeled to human sympathy, the ear deaf to every appeal for help, and conscience dead - it is only a step or two till Sin comes to its height, and Sins last leader must appear. International politics will generate events subversive to all existing international relations, and create new alliances and new combinations leading up to the final crisis no summer sunshine nor pleasing landscape in nature can avert. The Day of the Lord will steal in like a thief, and the Great Tribulation come. Viewed from a human standpoint, it can only be the necessary evolution of modern statecraft, a Nemesis the apostate powers have vainly hoped to avoid. From the Divine standpoint, it means the Judgment of the world.
Gods true people everywhere will be called to their best - bearing and most honoured trial of their patience and faith in behalf of Christ. Intensity of suffering, however, will not avail to divert them from their fidelity. As in Manassehs day, in Maccabean times, in Neros day, in Moslem and Papal times, and as in Bulgarian, Armenian, and Cretan crises, so, once more, will their steadfast love, their endurance and martyrdom only prove that He who calls them to such a trial has counted them worthy of the kingdom of God. (2 Thess. 1: 5.) The patriots consecration of his life as an offering on the altar of his country will be more than surpassed by that ardour of love for Christ which will make His saints rejoice even to be killed all the day long for His sake, and to glory in tribulation. (Rom. 8: 36.) Here is the patience of the saints, Here are they who keep the commandments of God in opposition to the orders, and hold fast the testimony of Jesus in opposition to the lie, of the Antichrist. (Rev. 12: 17; 13: 10; 14: 12.) Divine grace supports their souls with strength according to their day, and confirms their faith by rich promises of glory and honour made to the overcomer, by the example of Christ, the memories of the past, the sealing of the Spirit, the election of God, and the certain knowledge that the Coming of the Lord is near.
During the Times of the Gentiles Israel will remain in unbelief. Along with the progress of Christianity, externally waxing to a power in the world, and allying itself with governments and states, shall go prosperity, internal corruption and decay, a deepening departure from the faith, as the last times draw near - Anti-Christianity at last ascendant, the world controlling the Church, false teaching, false Messiahs, false culture and civilisation, crime universal, the faithful a little flock to whom it is the Fathers good pleasure to give the kingdom. The great apostasy in Christendom shall culminate in the Antichrist, and bring the crisis of the Warfare Great, viz., the Great Tribulation, the world still lying in the Wicked One. They looked for all this, and for the return of the Jews to their own land, their conversion in the midst of the crisis, and the Second Coming of Christ to put an end to the whole disorder and bring His kingdom of righteousness and truth to victory. No other future than this is found in the Sacred Scriptures, save the Millennial Age and the final New Heaven and Earth, both of which follow the Advent of the Son of Man in clouds. The triumph of the kingdom comes only to those who, faithful to Christ, pass through this Tribulation, and, sealed by His Spirit, are overcomers who have gotten the victory over the Beast and his Image, his Mark and the Number of his Name, even as before in early times. (Rev. 15: 2; 20: 4.) The unwritten in the Book of Life worship the Beast and perish in his punishment. (Rev. 13: 8.) The conversion and reform of the whole world before the Second Advent is a human fiction, contradicted by both Testaments.
- NATHANIEL WEST
* * *
The statement will probably come as a great surprise to the vast majority of modern Christians, even including the bulk of prophetical students, that for the first five centuries after Christ the mediaeval and modern doctrine that dead saints are in heaven was unknown. But such is the fact. The most ancient of all the Fathers, says Dr. Pearson in his classic work on the Creed, were so far from believing that the end of Christs descent into Hades was to translate the saints of old into heaven, that they thought them not to be in heaven yet, nor ever to be removed from that place until the general resurrection: very few (if any) for above five hundred years after Christ did believe that Christ delivered the saints out of Hades.
While this antagonism of the first five centuries to the modern view is not by itself a sufficient disproof of the doctrine, it frees us at once from any obligation to defend it as a sacred deposit reaching us from the Apostles, and puts us instantly on our guard lest, in accepting it, we are accepting an error of the later fathers. The denial of the modern belief of the first five centuries after Christ is a fact of the first magnitude.
Now there is no question, our Lord Himself being our Instructor, that in His lifetime, as throughout all preceding ages, the saved dead were in Hades; for all - as Solomon had said (Eccles. 3: 20) - go unto one place. It is obvious that the Hades to which his angelic escort carry Lazarus is not heaven, since within its confines is this place of torment (Luke 16: 28). The two compartments of the abode of the dead our Lord unveils more clearly than has ever been done before or since: Sheol, and Abaddon (or Death); two places, so that our Lord says - I hold the keys [in the plural] of Death and of Hades (Rev. 1: 18); and, ultimately, Death and Hades, as outworn prisons, are cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20: 14), which in its turn is named Death, the eternal abode of the wicked. Thus we are on sure ground in stating, on Christs authority, that within His lifetime all the saved dead were in Hades. No man, He says, at least up to the moment He spoke the words, HATH ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN (John 3: 13).
Next, we find that our Lord Himself descended into Hades in His compassing all human experience. Paul says:- He also descended into the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4: 10) who shall descend into THE ABYSS - that is, to bring Christ up from the dead? (Rom. 10: 7). So therefore Peter spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was He left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption (Acts 2: 27, 31). The Representative Mans descent into Hades to fulfil all human experience proves that up to that moment the descent was all human experience still.
this establishes a point crucial to the revelation of the intermediate state. The
Saviour said on the cross to the dying malefactor, - This
day shalt thou be with me in Paradise (Luke 23: 43): the Paradise of which He speaks must therefore be a section of Hades, for
into Hades He went immediately on dying: and this is put beyond all challenge or doubt by our Lord Himself
saying to Mary in the garden, three days later, I have not
yet ascended unto my Father (John 20: 17); that is, for three days and three nights
He had been below, in the Paradise
which is In the heart of the
(Matt. 12: 40). This
Paradise therefore - Paradise without an epithet - cannot be the Paradise on
high, which is described as the
therefore in our Lords lifetime, and in our Lords own experience, the holy
dead are in Hades; and next, as a later stage, on the other side of the Ascension - and this
is critical - we have once again the
solid utterance of inspiration that the saved dead are in Hades still. For
speaking ten days after the Ascension, and so ten days after
the current view supposes that our Lord had taken all the saved dead to heaven
with Him, the Apostle says :- David is not ascended into the heavens (Acts 2: 34). His tomb, Peter
says - his unbroken tomb is
with us, a proof positive
(argues the Apostle) of a spirit - [i.e., disembodied soul, Ed.] - un-ascended into heaven, un-risen, left in Hades.
Therefore the conception that
since the Ascension redeemed souls in dying wing their way up to the Throne of
God is quite untrue. Thus the comfort Jesus gives to John thirty
to forty years after the
Ascension, when the Apostle falls at His feet as
one dead, is - I hold the keys of Death and of Hades (Rev. 1: 18), Hades thus being
no more emptied than Abaddon, but both being now in
the direct, personal custody and control of Christ. For our Lord has led captivity captive (Eph. 4: 8) - He has enslaved the underworld, dying that he might become Lord of both the dead and the living (
- D. M. PANTON.
* * *
The thousand years for Christs reign on earth with its judgments and justice make the great high peak presented in the Scriptures. It is the subject of the greater part of prophecy. Since it is a time of justice and judgment, and since it is presided over by One who has been thoroughly tempted and tried; One who has suffered and died to prove his merit - therefore all who take part in this thousand years must also be of proven merit, many of them even proven by martyrdom. Any position held in this regime and reign is upon individual merit alone. No position in this kingdom is held because of grace alone. Everyone in this reign with Christ, of course, is a born-again, saved, resurrected Christian; but, more than that, everyone, besides being a saved individual, is an overcomer, a Christian, Spirit-filled, and one who has walked in spiritual victory, a worthy.
Everything that has to do with this thousand years must meet the most terrific fires of testing. Only that which can pass through the fire test at the judgment seat of Christ can be admitted into this thousand years of millennial splendour.
- DR. PAUL RADER.
* * *
The interposition of the millenary scheme, with its peculiar economy of retribution, is necessary to reconcile the doctrine of Scripture, that we are justified and saved by faith, and by faith alone, with the promise of Scripture, nevertheless, of a reward proportioned to works.
It is a necessary consequence of the doctrine of salvation by faith, that all who are justified, and saved, on that account, are justified freely, and without any regard to their personal works, and consequently to their personal deserts. A promise of rewards, on the other hand, in proportion to works, must be strictly in proportion to deserts; and therefore, it seems to be implied by the fact of such a promise that in apportioning the future reward of those who are saved their personal deserts will be strictly taken into account.
Now these two things, as thus stated, are evidently at variance. Salvation by faith excludes all reward of works, and therefore all difference of personal deserts; a reward of the good and righteous, in proportion to their works, must be in proportion to their deserts. Nor can I imagine any mode of reconciling them together, but this - that the doctrine of Scripture, which relates to final acceptance irrespectively of the differences of personal desert, is in reference to one state of things; and the doctrine of Scripture, which holds out the expectation of a reward in proportion of works, and therefore has respect to the differences of personal desert, is in reference to another.
The former I consider to be the state of things, which is known by the name of eternal life, or is the condition of being, through all eternity, in the kingdom of heaven; the latter of the state of things under the millennium, and during the temporal reign of Christ on earth.
The matter of fact involved in each of these statements is in either case equally indisputable. It is equally certain that all who are saved, as such, are saved by faith in Jesus Christ; and by faith without respect of works - and consequently, of differences of desert; and it is also certain that if any are to be rewarded in another life, for their conduct in the present life, that is for their works, they must be rewarded in proportion to those works, and therefore in proportion to their deserts.
- EDWARD GRESWELL, B.D.
* * *
The Christians calling is to enter the
- THE PROPHETIC WORD.
* * *
I have written these things (arguments upon the certainty of the coming of Christ) with great trembling; not so much because I know they must be unpopular, but must be considered by this earthly-minded generation as the height of fanaticism and the most consummate folly; and that to all careless, unbelieving, lazy worldlings I must seem like Lot to his sons-in-law, as one that mocketh; but fearing most of all lest I should add unto, or take from, the word of prophecy; yet I dare not be silent, and see the world slumbering until the day of God break.
- MR. JOSHUA SPALDING.
* * *
The second coming of Christ is the one event, the one doctrine bound up with the fulfilling every fundamental doctrine, every sublime promise, every radiant hope, giving inspiration to every practical exhortation, and furnishing the basis of Apostolic appeal to the highest type of Christian living.
* * *
The aroused and watchful Christian takes a different view-point from that which is earthly. Political unrest makes him happy to be a citizen of Gods kingdom. The increase of sin causes him to draw close to the Lord and hide beneath the precious blood. Satanic activity makes him more conscious of the truth. He lives in the joy of Christs all-complete victory. Consequently one born of God can see these things come to pass and lift up his head and rejoice. He thanks God and prays that he might be counted worthy to escape all these things and to stand before the Son of man [Lk. 21: 34-36]. Christian, will the Bridegroom cry find you watching - waiting - ready?
- G. G. BANSON.
* * *
In our Lords teaching the conception of the kingdom is supreme. Yet it is safe to say that there is no subject upon which there exists a greater amount of division among expositors. For some the Kingdom is definitely the historical Church; for others it is altogether in the future, a great Divine supramundane order of things which is suddenly to overwhelm the temporal order; for others again it is simply the ideal social order to be realised on earth; for a fourth class the Kingdom is the rule of God in the heart of the individual. Among recent critics the tendency is more and more to lay stress on the eschatological interpretation, and to hold that, in our Lords teaching, the Kingdom is essentially the great future and heavenly order of things which will be revealed at His coming. The Kingdom in its fulness is yet to come. It is always to be prayed for. It is the great end which is ever before us.
- BISHOP DARCY, (University Sermon at Oxford, 1910)
* * *
One of the major themes throughout The Scriptures is the coming of our Lord and His Messianic Kingdom (Isaiah 9: 6, 7, 11; Jeremiah 23: 5, 6; Ezekiel 37: 15-28; Daniel 2: 44; 7: 9-27; Zechariah 14: 9).
In view of the coming kingdom, the author of Hebrews exhorts his readers to remain faithful to their Lord so that they do not forfeit their inheritance. This inheritance includes sharing in the first resurrection, being joint-heirs with Christ, serving as priests to God and being citizens of the new Jerusalem.
Because of the potential for his readers to miss out in their inheritance in the coming kingdom, the author includes five warning passages in his letter. These passages are written to remind the believers of the rewards for faithfulness and the severe consequences for turning away from Christ.
The fact that Jesus the Messiah is the Davidic King and Heir is stated throughout Chapter one by the author as he quotes from six Messianic Psalms (2: 7; 104: 4; 45: 6, 7; 102: 25-27; 110: 1; 8: 4, 6) and the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7: 14; 1Chronicles 17: 13). These quotations from the Psalms state that Jesus is the Son of David and Gods chosen Heir. He is going to defeat His enemies when He returns to set up His Kingdom and rule over the earth.
Messianic Psalms guarantee final
fulfilment when our Lord returns and sets up His Kingdom on the earth. Everyone
who remains faithful to the Lord
will be joint-heirs with Christ in the
Further conformation of the coming Kingdom is the outpouring
of God the Holy Spirit after our Lords enthronement by God the Father. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit included signs, wonders and various miracles by the apostles (Acts
2: 43), and
gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12: 4-7, 11; 1 Peter 4: 10, 11). The giving of the
Holy Spirit is a spiritual blessing of the
- PASTOR B. HERRELL
* * *
As our Lord so frequently and so urgently exhorted us to do, we must all watch - watch the events of the world in the light of all the revelations of the end of the age; those of us who are left to go through the tribulation must be very alert to avoid having any part or lot with the beast and the false prophet; all of us should pray that each one of us should be accounted worthy to escape these things (Luke 21: 36). The idea conveyed by our Lords words is that it is not easy to be accounted worthy to escape all the woes of the great tribulation; only those who pray for it, and who continually press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling, will be accounted worthy to escape the tribulation. But those who are, will be caught up before like the man-child (Phil. 3: 11).
- C. C. OGILVY VAN LENNEP
* * *
Every moment now makes our relation to the Lords coming a matter of more vital and urgent importance. Questions are being settled now which shall determine not so much our salvation, but our position in the coming age, our reward, or loss. Some are going to reign in life (Rom. 5: 17); some will be ashamed before him at his coming. Some will receive the victors crown; some will see their works burnt up, like wood, hay and stubble (1 Cor. 3: 11-15). In Matthew (ch. 24, 25), after describing the signs and conditions preliminary to His coming in judgment, our Lord (verse 42), turns to warn His own servants. Watch therefore introduces the parables of the Householder and Thief; the Faithful and Evil servants; and the Wise and Foolish Virgins, and concludes in verse 13 with a reiterated Watch therefore. For at any time, we who are His servants may be summoned [either at the time of death, rapture or the end of this evil age] to render account.
* * *
Suppose the All Rapture Partys views are wrong and only those who are blameless in holiness are raptured, what has been the effect of this teaching - that everyone born again is safe for the rapture? It has lulled its followers into a false security resulting in their losing the prize; they are plunged into darkness and despair, and have in this condition to face the great tribulation, while their teachers will have to meet the reproaches and reprobation of their deceived followers.
Supposing the views of the Post Tribulation Party are wrong, what is the position? First of all, they have not looked for the coming of the Lord, [pre-tribulation rapture] but for the great tribulation - for they were told that the Rapture was only to take place after the tribulation is past - therefore, if they are wrong, and He comes before that event, the coming of Christ will be to them entirely unexpected, and will overtake them by surprise - like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5: 2) - unawares (Luke 21: 34). Having made the successful passing through the Great Tribulation a preparation and condition for the Rapture instead of making blamelessness in holiness the condition, they will be utterly unprepared, and in this awful condition they will have to face the Great Tribulation!
Let us now inquire as to what the position would be if the views of the Selective Rapture Party are wrong. This party has taught that only those who are blameless in holiness will be raptured. Well, suppose they are wrong, what damage have its followers suffered? None at all! For, apart altogether from the question of the Rapture, God says: Be holy, for I am holy (1 Pet. 1: 16), and This is the will of God, even your sanctification (1 Thess. 4: 3), and Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12: 14).
But supposing now the Selective Rapture Partys teaching is Scriptural and participation in the Rapture is the prize to be awarded to the overcomers who are blameless in holiness? Then the first two parties have suffered irrecoverable and incalculable loss. The thoughtful reader will see that the teaching of the Selective Rapture Party is absolutely safe from every conceivable point of view, seeing that holiness - as already pointed out - is in any case binding, apart altogether from the question of the Rapture.
let us, with Paul, remember the issue.
The great President of our athletics, who has decreed them, sits on
high, waiting; and He holds the victors laurel, the unimaginable prize. Forgetting the things which are behind, I press on toward the goal
unto the prize. And what is the prize? Paul has just stated;-
If by any means I may attain unto the out-resurrection from
among the dead. We can so master the present as to create a
future of boundless glory. And what is
the summary? Let us therefore, as many as be perfect - full grown, fully developed be
thus minded. The golden eternity that is before all the
redeemed is also a
- J. BUCHLER
* * *
Temptations are often very profitable to men, though they may be troublesome and grievous; for in them a man is humbled, purified and instructed. All the saints have passed through, and profited by, many tribulations; and they that could not bear temptations became reprobates, and fell away. My son, adds the author of Ecclesiasticus 2: 1-5, if thou come to serve the Lord, in the perfect beauty of holiness, prepare thy soul for temptation. Set thy heart right; constantly endure; and make no haste in the time of trouble: whatever is brought unto thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art charged to low estate. For gold is tried and purified in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity. And, therefore, says St. James, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, if he stands the fiery trial he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him with the love which endureth temptation, and all things, that is, with perfect love (James 1: 12). Patiently endure then, when God, for a season, if need by, will suffer you to be in heaviness through manifold temptations. By this means the trial of your faith, being much more precious than that of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto the praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1: 7).
* * *
We are living in a world of changing dynasties and falling monarchies. The constitutional changes of many countries are, to say the least, remarkable. And amid all the upheavals of national and international life we seem to hear a divine voice saying;- I will overturn, overturn, until he comes whose right it is; I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.
- DR. HERBERT LOCKYER.
* * *
The Holy Spirit prepares us for the coming of the Lord, and to be among the first fruits at His appearing. There is a remarkable expression in Romans 8: 23, which has a deeper meaning than the first fruits of the Spirit. It means that the Holy Spirit is preparing a first company of holy and consecrated hearts for the coming of the Lord and the gathering of His saints, and that these will be followed later by the larger company of all the saved. There is a first resurrection, in which the blessed and holy shall have part, and of this He is preparing all who are willing to receive Him in His fulness. Transcendent honour! Unspeakable privilege! May God enable us to have a part in that blessed hope!
- DR. A. B. SIMPSON.
* * *
When saved, then the path is open for the effort of any [regenerate believer] to win one or all of the crowns promised by the Lord. Nor should any of us be content to sit down satisfied with salvation merely; or with some attainment of experience or of arriving at some true position, or holding of a creed. On, on, to the goal for the prize. Let not the judgment seat of Christ proclaim our shame! Rather let it reveal that we have not been running in vain, neither labouring in vain.
- GEORGE L. ALRICH
* * *
To take such promises of reward and glory as are given to special labour and make them the portion of all believers, however unfaithful to the Lord, is to destroy the power of the promised recompense. God knows our need of the hope of the reward or He would not have said so much about it in His Word. And Satan knows its practical power when fully realized, and has therefore struggled to blind the eyes of the children of God to this doctrine altogether; either mixing it up with salvation of filling the mind with mock humility that counts its presumption to strive for the offered crown. The fact of our strivings being all so mixed with sin shall be lost amidst the honours that shall grace the saints in that day of glory.
- THE PROPHETIC DIGEST.
* * *
Now let us most earnestly repeat that the First Resurrection is not a free gift to every believer in Christ. It is an attainment to which every believer may attain after he has received the free gift of Eternal Life from Christ, consequent upon faith in His death and resurrection. All overcomers live and reign with Christ during the Millennium. What then happens to the believer who shows no desire to overcome, and will therefore not be accounted worthy to obtain that age, and the resurrection from the dead? Luke 20: 35. He will rise at the last or general resurrection, when all that are left in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation, John 5: 28-29.
The Great White Throne Judgment, Rev. 20: 11-15, is of a mixed character, with the Book of Life as the determining factor. The believer goes into life because his name is in the Book of Life.
- C. G. A. GIBSON-SMITH
* * *
I remember having read at the time of the pagan persecution, about twelve men, Christians, who were under sentence of death, and the jailor of the prison had a strange dream just before the execution was to take place. He saw an extraordinarily fine-looking man coming into the prison, and he had twelve crowns with him, and he went and tried the crowns on the head of the first prisoner, and the second, and right on to the eleventh, and the crown fitted the head of everyone. At last he came to the twelfth and the crown did not fit him at all, and he told the jailor to come over and he put the crown on his head and it fitted him perfectly and he left it there in his dream. The next day the prisoners were taken away to be burned but when it came to the twelfth man he recanted and cursed Christ and when the jailor saw that he said, That is not what Christ deserves. He was asked, And would you recant? No, he said, and took the mans place at the stake and got the Crown which awaited him. And so ought you, and so ought I to see that we would not lose the crown.
- NEIL CAMERON.
* * *
We are often disheartened with our hardships and trials, and begin to think it is too hard a thing to be Christians. Nature is so weak and depraved; there is such a burden in this incessant toil, and self-denial, and watchfulness, and prayer; the way is so steep, and so narrow, and difficult; we are tempted again and again to give up. But when we think of what the dear Lord has done for us, what glories He has set before us, what victories are to come to us, what princedoms and thrones in the great empire of eternity await us, and how sure is all if we only press on for the prize; we have the profoundest reason to rejoice and give thanks every day that we live that such opportunities have been vouchsafed to us, were the sufferings even tenfold severer than they are.
- JOSEPH A. SEISS.
* * *
The Church of today must be the Enoch of our world. We Christians must show the people of our time what the good life really means; it is the reproduction of the life of Christ by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Such an example will not be popular, but it will please God, to whom one day we must render an account. It may also earn Enochs reward: translation to Heaven without passing through the portal of death. But we have Enochs testimony to give, namely that Christ will return to this earth to set up the Golden Age. Two world wars have sharpened the interest of many people in the truth of the Second Coming of Christ; but this interest has been divided into two schools of thought. One of these is linked with the name of J. N. Darby, and holds that the Church will entirely escape the tribulations which precede the Return of Christ. The other school of thought is linked with the name of B. W. Newton, just as brilliant a scholar as Darby, and these friends hold that the whole Church must endure the tribulation. May it not be that the golden mean of these two antinomies is the truth? If we exercise the faith of Enoch in a humble walk with God and a clear testimony to His Word, we may prevail to escape what is coming upon the world. Watch ye and pray that ye may be accounted worthy to escape (Luke 21: 36).
- FRANK V. MILDRED.
* * *
On certain conditions being fulfilled, stressed by our Lord again and again, where the soul is watchful, ready, faithful - it turns entirely on an attitude of mind and heart - should the Lord appear during the lifetime of those saints, they will be translated, the rest will be left, and get ready through the trial through which they must pass; and at last the whole company of believing people will be gathered, when the seventh angel begins to sound, and the mystery of God is finished, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ, when Jesus comes in visible power and glory, and His appearance is made manifest.
- A. J. ATTWOOD.
* * *
He that overcometh. It is there in this one or that who has not allowed the pressure of the world to prevail, who has not let the salt of a consecrated personality lose its savour, or the light of a steady witness to Christ grow dim, who has used the God-given talents, be they ten or five, or even if there were only one, as God would have them used that the answer to the message of the risen Christ is given. It is he who has met the buffetings of the stream, and yet has not let the stream carry him away; he who, with whatsoever slips and stumbles, has yet remained faithful in the very little; he who may seem to himself sometimes to have lost much, yet has never lost heart it is he who overcomes, who is a victor.
- CANON J. K. MOSLEY, D.D.
* * *
This promise to the overcomer is the promise of the ascended, victorious, crowned, and almighty Saviour to men whom He would have imitate and reproduce the life which He lived while upon the earth. Many fail where one succeeds. The higher we rise in any sphere of life the smaller do the classes become. The promise affords glorious encouragement in the blessed assurance that it is possible in this life-battle to overcome
- T. Mc CULLAGH, D.D.
* * *
Boldly The Trump of God blares its brief warning;
Saints that have long slept spring up from the clay,
Past is deaths reign, and the glorious Morning
Star now announceth the nearness of day.
Rapt from the housetop, the field, or from slumbers,
Sunderd from dearest ones close alongside,
Clouds of the watchful saints rise in the number
Into His Presence they enter with singing;
Him Whom they loved when unseen, now they see;
Prostrate they fall, whilst His praises outringing
Fill every heart with Divine ecstasy;
Never again to be severd asunder
Him through eternitys Ages to know
As their souls Bridegroom; with increasing wonder
Into His Likeness Supernal to grow.
Blessed partakers in this consummation!
Throughout lifes race they did eager contend,
Aye pressing on in the hope of salvation,
On toward the Mark for the Prize at the end.
Lord! grant us grace, through Thy Spirit of Power,
Constant to dwell in Thee through lifes short day.
With fear and trembling, until its last hour,
Steadfastly watching in prayer, that we may
Truly prevail to escape the dread sadness
Taking the dwellers on earth as a thief,
And, in that time of redemption and gladness,
Stand in His Presence with joy not with grief.
* * *
My hope of the worlds salvation lies not in any gradual evangelization of the world, but in the personal return of our dear Lord and Saviour. I believe that this world is waning fast, and that at any moment He may appear. This makes me an optimist. This thrills me with hope. This makes my ministry (in ideal) vivid and intense and glad. If this glorious hope was a real expectation to all His people, it would put an end to mere ethical essays in the pulpit. Nothing recovers evangelical fervour and rekindles missionary passion and gives yearning for entire sanctification like the realization of the fact that He comes - that He may come at any moment.
- DINSDALE T. YOUNG.
* * *
Whatever the Song of Solomon teaches, there is a beautiful picture of a blessed event in the second chapter. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away. If the earth is to be troubled as it never has been since there was a nation (Dan. 12: 1) during the absence of the bride, what a blessing, what a privilege and what a comfort to the queen-bride of the King of Glory! To be delivered from the terrible tribulation of the world undergoing a just judgment for its sins should be a great cause for gratitude on the part of the faithful. See Isaiah 26: 20: Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
- THE AMERICAN BAPTIST.
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Be Strong: for the days are darkening,
Impenetrable gloom fast gathering,
Night cometh on;
Light almost gone.
Be Strong: though the darkness oerwhelm thee,
Through it press on;
On to the end of the wearisome journey,
Where Jesus has gone.
Be Strong: the earths filled with violence,
With hatred and Sin;
Pray that in all things ye may be found worthy
The Kingdom to win.
Be Strong: keep thine eyes fixed on Jesus,
Hell bear thee along;
The battle is raging the Lord God is with us,
Our Hope and our Song!
- HETTIE K. PAYNE.
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The racer must keep to the rules of the course, and confine himself within the limits of the stadium. Speed will stand him in no stead without this; and though he may reach the goal, he will not receive the prize. And it is so with the Christian racer. He is not at liberty to chose his ground, to invent a short road, or to seek an easy road there: he must keep in the way of Gods commandments. We are to be temperate in all things in our enjoyments, our griefs, our most lawful and permitted affections. There is no prize for him who stops half-way.
- D.MOORE, M.A.
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There are few, when they come at the cross, cry, Welcome cross, as some of the Martyrs did to the stake they were burned at; therefore, if you meet with the cross in thy journey, in what manner soever it be, be not daunted, and say, Alas, what shall I do now! But rather take courage, knowing that by the cross is the way to the Kingdom.
- BUNYAN. (Acts 14: 22.)
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The millennial throne of Christ is to be shared with others on certain conditions, by the gift of
Christ Himself. I will give to
him to sit with
Glimpses are to be found, too, into the future time when the Christ, and those who are to share the throne with Him, will reign. Paul said: Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? (1Cor. 6: 2,3). What angels? Certainly not the unfallen ones. The explanation will be found in 2 Peter 2: 4. The angels which kept not their first estate ... judged. These fallen angels - Satan and his hierarchy of evil powers - are to be judged by those who reign with Christ on His throne. In brief, they who are overcomers - those who overcome the world and Satan now will be the judges of the fallen hosts of evil, when these overcoming ones are glorified together with Christ upon His throne.
The obtaining of the prize of this high calling of sharing the Throne with Christ was the incentive which urged Paul on to count all things loss to obtain it, and to be willing to be made conformable to the death of Christ as the primary means for reaching such an end (see Phil. 3: 10-14); for each believer who reaches the prize of the throne, goes by way of the Cross in the path of the Ascended Lord.
- J. PENN-LEWIS.
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The truly perfected Christians, the eschatological Christians, the approved ones of the end-time, with all the martyrs, are, through the first resurrection, not only exempted from the judgment, but also called to share in its administration. Those not pre-eminently animated by the principle of the life of Christ, not led toward the first resurrection, are, therefore, a whole aeon deeper under the power of death.
- J. P. LANGE, D.D.
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We must study the word Ekanastasis in the light of the other words which surround it. Paul first tells us, If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Then he says, That I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Next he says, Reaching forth unto those things which are before. Again he speaks of pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. All these things had to do with Christs Second Advent, and with our standing before the judgment seat of Christ. All of them were God-given possibilities for all saints; all of them are gracious, yet none of them are by grace. That is, these specific things, all lay in the realm of rewards, they were to be given only to the ones who attained them, who pressed for them, who said, this one thing I do. Rewards depend on the faith we hold, the deeds we do, the life we live, the obedience we render.
- R. E. NEIGHBOUR, D.D.
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I accept absolutely the Bible statement that, although it may seem long in coming, the day is fixed and will surely dawn when the whole world will be flooded with the knowledge of the glory of God. And the more I read my Bible, side by side with my daily paper, the stronger grows my belief that the hour of fulfilment is close at hand. Almost all the signs are present. We cannot afford to disregard them, and that fact alone is sufficient warrant for doing everything in our power to give the Bible publicity.
- Mr. HUGH REDWOOD.
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There are times in the lives of us all when we stubble and fall and are defiled by dirt and cut and gashed and hurt. Yet we are only beaten if we give up and lie down hopeless and helpless. No matter how far the fall nor how dreadful the failure there is only one thing to do - get up and go on and on and on and never, ever quit!
The start is important, but - its the Finish that wins!
The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews had seen the races at the great Olympic Games, and still his instructions about the race of life ring down to us through the mist of the years:
Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
- SAMUEL SCOVILLE.
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It [Christs Millennium] may be but a vision, but I will cherish it. I see one vast federation stretching from the frozen north in unbroken line to the glowing south. I see one people and one language, and one law and one faith, and over all that white continent the home of freedom and a refuge for the oppressed of every race and every clime.
- JOHN BRIGHT.
The kingdom of this world - the Greek is singular - have become the kingdom the Empire, a vast federated world under one Monarch of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever (Rev. 11: 15). The Lord shall be king over all the earth; and in that day there shall be one Lord and his name one (Zech. 14: 9).
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This is to announce that I moved out of the old mud house; arrived in Gloryland instantly (2 Cor. 5: 8), in charge of the angelic escort; absent from the body and at home with the Lord. I find as foretold (Psa. 16: 11) in thy presence fullness of joy pleasures for evermore! Will look for you on the way UP at the redemption of the body (Rom. 8: 23). Till then, look up.
- J. S. FLACKS.
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There is no charge of intentional misleading, on the part of those Bible teachers who assume, that the Christian enters into his final glory at death. Eschatological teaching would be greatly simplified if we were able to take that for granted. Assuming that to be a final statement of truth, then it would disqualify several important Christian doctrines. The second advent of our Lord would be one of them. Why should it be necessary for Him to come again and receive you unto Myself, if His people go to Him in a final sense at death? The New Testament doctrine of the resurrection of the Christian dead, when the Lord shall so come, would be redundant if we were able to say of all departed saints that the resurrection is past already. It would not be the first time in the Christian era that such a disastrous thing has been taught (2 Tim. 2: 18).
Consider for a moment the evidence of this mistaken conception, in those well-known lines of Charles Wesley as follows:- Come, let us join our friends above, who have received the prize Let all the saints terrestrial sing with those to glory gone. Judge for yourself as to whether the perfect poet was also a perfect theologian, by an enquiry like this: is the prize received in the hymn, the same as the one anticipated by Paul in Phil. 3: 10-14 - I press toward the mark, for the prize of our high calling, of God in Christ Jesus? If so, then there would be this difference between Paul and Wesley the former expected it in the out-resurrection from among the dead, which he sought so diligently to attain, and the latter at the time of his death. It is one thing to sing:- Around the throne of God in heaven, thousands of children stand, but quite another thing to prove it from the Holy Scriptures.
- JOSEPH ELLISON