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fhigham

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Safety Is Of Yahweh (Prov. 21:31)

Hold fast. All present things will pass. God never changes. The Truth never changes. All evil is temporary. All good is eternal. The present is but for a moment. The future is forever. Regardless of the sorrow, the disappointment, the griefs, the losses, the betrayal of those we trusted, the pettiness of those we respected, the antagonism of those we looked to for friendship, the weakness of those we looked to for strength - still all is as it should be, all things are working together for good. All we need to do is hold fast in faith, in unwavering assurance, in calm confidence, yea, in thankful joy and cheerful rejoicing. The dross is a mountain: but the gold is but a handful. All we see at present is the mountain: the gold is there, and will endure when all else is gone. Just leave it all to God to work out in His time -- and labor and pray every moment that you may be part of that which at last endures.

bro Growcott,-  Search Me O God

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Num 29,30    Prov 21        John 2,3
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Reference to: Numbers 28 and 29

CHAPTER XXI.—THE ANNUAL SERVICES

ANNUAL.—There were several annual services appointed for observance in the tabernacle, recurrent “three times a year”—which might seem a contradiction. How could they be annual if held three times in a year? The answer is, each of the three was special in itself, and came only once a year: the passover, the reaping of the first fruits, and the ingathering of the harvest, which included the feast of tabernacles. The particulars may be learnt in Num. 28. and 29.: Lev. 23.: and Ex. 23:14–16.

The annual is the largest natural cycle recognised in the tabernacle service. Other periods enter into the administration of the law in temporal things, such as the six years of service or debt, ending in liberty: or 49 years of exile ending in unconditional restitution, but these are not natural periods, that is, they are not measured by the movements of the heavenly bodies, and there was no provision for their recognition in the ritual of the sanctuary. The year is a natural period, and the longest natural period in the life of man. His life is but a repetition of years. The year, therefore, would naturally stand as the symbol of his whole life.

That “once a year” certain things should be done was an intimation that the things signified stood related to his whole life, that is, that the will of God required these things in paramount recognition in the lives of those who would be acceptable to Him.

1. The Passover.—The passover was for the whole congregation to keep. But there was a special observance in the tabernacle. During the seven days of the feast, while the people were living on unleavened bread (sincerity and truth) the priests were to offer every day, in addition to the daily morning and evening sacrifice, “two young bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year” without blemish as a burnt-offering, and “one goat for a sin-offering” (Num. 28:19) — along with their appointed meat-offerings, already considered. If the burnt-offering mean, as we seemed to see a chapter or two back, the absorption of the mortal by the flaming-power of the Spirit, then two bullocks (double strength, or all our strength): one ram (natural fatherhood): seven lambs (the very perfection of child-like innocence, sweetness, and simplicity) would be an intimation that man could only attain the immortal in a complete dedication to God of their natural powers and relationships, in a perfect submission to His will as the law of their life. Christ in all this conformed to the foreshadowing of the law, and we conform in him when we obey him as called upon to do (Heb. 5:9). “The goat for a sin-offering” shows us the antitypical sacrifice of sin’s flesh—a pushful, masterful thing—which was put to death on Calvary, “that the body of sin might be destroyed” (Rom. 6:6–10) though in Christ its pushful masterful tendencies were all overcome beforehand, as Jesus said, “I have overcome,” that the sacrifice (without blemish) might be accepted for us. Thus was blended with the Passover celebration, the typification of a perfect submission to the will of God as the basis of reconciliation.   ...

2. The First-fruits.—This differed from the first anniversary celebration, in being founded upon an institute of nature, and not upon a divine interposition in the nation’s affairs. Yet we shall find it no less spiritual in its uses, whether in its proximate and literal bearings; or its typical and remote significances.

As regards the first, it was a recognition of the divine beneficence in providing so bountifully for human need in the products of the soil—which even the Gentiles are reasonably expected to discern as the testimony of nature. As Paul told the inhabitants of Lystra, though He had left all nations to walk in their own ways, God, who made heaven and earth and the sea and all things therein, “had left not Himself without witness in that He did good and gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:15–17). But the “witness” is only faintly discerned—and and mostly not discerned at all. Men use the divine goodness as the cattle crunch their oats and turnips, with a gastric satisfaction merely, without taking thought of the exquisite wisdom and superb goodness that have contrived and provided such suitable substances for the sustenance of man and beast. Israel were not to be like the nations in this respect. They were to make the harvest an occasion of joyful recognition of the goodness of God. It was to be a long-drawn out festivity beginning “from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to thy corn” (Deut. 16:9) and lasting till “thou hast (fully) gathered in thy corn and thy wine”—a festivity tempered with the sobrieties of worship, and therefore lacking the tendency to surfeit and weariness which belong to the mere revel of Gentile institutions. They were to come and bring in their hand “a tribute of a freewill offering to God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: and rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou and thy son and thy daughter and thy manservant and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow that are among you in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place His name there.” 

But the feast of the first-fruits was not to be confined to an acknowledgment of the goodness of God in nature: it was to be associated also with the history of their divine origin as a nation in the wonders of the exodus from Egypt. They were for many to bring that history into view in their celebration of the feast. A speech was specially provided for them with which they were to address the priest on bringing the first-fruits for presentation. They were to say (Deut. 26:2–10) “A Syrian ready to perish was my father; and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there with a few and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: and the Egyptians evil entreated us and afflicted us and laid upon us hard bondage, and when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labour and our oppression. And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terribleness and with signs and with wonders. And he hath brought us into this place and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. And, now, behold I have brought the first-fruits of the land which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt worship the Lord thy God.”  ...

3. The Feast of Ingathering.—“Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine” (Deut. 16:13). This was the most elaborate and intricate of all the feasts of the year, combining equally with the others, the two elements of national gratitude for bountiful goodness, and the national recognition of Egyptian deliverance, but exercising Israel much more deeply and setting forth in much more detail the conditions of human acceptability with God, and the foreshadowing of His purpose to finally abolish all curse.

Noticeably, the seventh month was the month of its celebration—which of itself points to completeness and finish, and therefore, to the end of God’s work. The first day of the month as the day of the new moon was already under the law a monthly observance, at which we looked in the last chapter, but in this seventh month, the first day appears to have been emphasised above the first days of the other months. Israel were commanded to observe it as “a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation,” or gathering of the people, who were to do no secular work on that day, but to assemble in endorsement of the special offerings to be made in the tabernacle that day—at which we have already looked. Then after an interval of eight days—namely, on the tenth day of the month, they were to have a day of special consecration to God, a day of atonement, a day of solemn gathering, a day in which they were to refrain from ordinary employment, and concentrate their minds upon God in penitence, a day in which they were to “afflict their souls”—a fast day, in fact, from evening to evening. The law of the day was very stringent. “Whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.” Then in five more days, they were to take “boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees and willows of the brook,” and make booths, in which “all that are Israelites born shall dwell for seven days that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Lev. 23:40–43).  ...

The Christadelphian  : Volume 34. 2001, c1897.   (34:88).

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Reference to: Pro 21:16  The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

... Thus the Scriptures speak of the death-state into which all go when they depart from among the living. While “in death” they are said to sleep. From this sleep some never awake; which is equivalent to saying that they are never the subject of resurrection. This is evident from Jer. 51:57, where speaking of the princes, wise men, captains, rulers, and mighty ones of Babylon, the Eternal Spirit saith: “they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake:” and Isaiah speaking of the same class, says, “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise; therefore, hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish” (26:14); so that “the man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead” (Pro. 21:16): a decree of very extensive application.

But all dead ones in the grave shall not sleep the sleep of death perpetually. “The wicked shall be turned unto sheol, all the nations that forget God; for the needy shall not always be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever” (Psalm 9:17–18). These poor and needy are those dead ones, who, while living, “obtained a good report” through that faith which is “the full assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1, 39). These are they styled by David in the Psalms: the righteous who shall flourish as the palm tree; the upright in their hearts; the seed to be accounted to Yahweh for a generation; the excellent in the earth, in whom is all His delight; those who regard His works and the operation of His hands; His people; His inheritance; they that reverence Him; the blessed, whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, to whom Yahweh imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile; the broken of heart and the contrite of spirit; they who shall inherit the earth and dwell therein for ever; the meek, who shall delight themselves with abundance of peace; the saints, who are preserved for the Olahm, and shall shout aloud for joy, when they execute the judgments written; the perfect, whose end is peace; His lovers and His friends; the fellows of the King, and princes in all the earth; those under whose feet the peoples and nations are to be subdued; the Man styled by Paul “the One Body; the prisoners of Yahweh; His servants, who take pleasure in the stones of Zion; the heavens who declare His righteousness; those who keep His covenant, and remember His commandments to do them; the seed of Abraham His servant, the children of Jacob His chosen; the priests of Zion clothed with salvation; the kings of the earth, who shall sing in the ways of Yahweh. These have been sleeping the sleep of death for ages; but, inasmuch as that many of the things affirmed of them by the Eternal Spirit are no part of the estate of the poor and needy during their sojourn among the living, it follows that, as not one jot or tittle of the divine Word shall fail, by implication David inculcates their resurrection to execute the judgments written against the kings and nobles of the nations; to take possession of the earth, and to dwell therein for ever.

This, then, is the teaching of the Old Testament scriptures that there shall be an awakening and standing up of certain of the dead—not of the dead universally; and that, after this, there shall be judgment. But this awakening from the sleep of death is not taught there simply by implication. It is directly testified. In the book of Job, the most ancient section of the Word, the patriarch says, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand in the latter day upon the earth; and, after I shall awake, though this body be destroyed, yet from out of my flesh shall I see Eloah; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger” (Job 19:25–27). This was the hope of those who held the true faith in the days of Job, and of Moses. They expected to awake from the sleep of death, and after the destruction of the body in Sheol; and again to be bodies of flesh capable of beholding the Redeemer. This was awaking to renewed corporeal existence—a re-organization of their disintegrated remains with renewed identity. This was awaking, coming, or springing forth, and standing again, or resurrection.   ...

bro John Thomas. (1866; 2002). Anastasis (8). Logos Publishers.

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Reference to: John 3:28  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

... John recognised that his work was done when Christ went forth as a miracle-working preacher of the kingdom of God, followed by thousands. But this was not quite obvious to all who had been attracted by John’s preaching. Some of them inquiringly mentioned the subject of Christ’s increasing popularity, as if to suggest that it was inconsistent with John’s own position. Such would be of the class that were inclined in the first instance to regard John as the Christ. They said to John, “Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him.” John met the insinuation by reminding them that he had already told them that he (John) was not the Christ. “Ye yourselves bear me witness that I said, I am not the Christ, but I am sent before him” (Jno. iii. 28). Then referring to Christ under the figure of a bridegroom, he added “The friend of the bridegroom which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.“ And from that time, John did decrease. He continued for a little while to teach the people righteousness, and the people gloried in his fearless word; but the very influence of his preaching was at last the cause of its suppression. The rebukes of unrighteousness which he administered to the people, extended to the king on his throne when opportunity served. He condemned the action of Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee, in taking Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Herod, who exercised irresponsible power, could not endure this criticism at the hands of one whose words were so powerful with the people. He had him apprehended and put in prison. Herodias tried hard to get Herod to order his execution, but Herod could not be persuaded. He “feared John, knowing that he was a just man and a holy” (Mar. vi. 20): and he appears to have found pleasure in interviewing his prisoner occasionally, as Festus did Paul; and in listening to his counsels (ib.) It would have been better for John had Herodias had her way at the start: for he would then have been spared a lingering imprisonment which was very trying to him. It was probably needful for himself that he should have this trial. He had been honoured as no man had been honoured before him, in being the herald of the Son of God. For a considerable time, he had been a power with the whole Jewish nation, and a centre of righteous and purifying influence which even the rulers could not resist. His whole work had been gloriously crowned by the actual manifestation of the Messiah at his hands. And it was now probably needful for himself that he should have a taste of that affliction which prepares all the Sons of God for the due appreciation of the goodness in store for them. And so, he was “put in prison,” for doing his duty.

How long he languished here cannot be determined with certainity—probably about a year. But it was long enough to exercise him very painfully. He “heard in prison the works of Christ,” but apparently these works were not of the class he had expected. It is possible and probable that John the Baptist shared the expectation common to the disciples, that “the kingdom of God should immediately appear” (Luke xix. II). He might suppose that the Messiah would proceed to his kingly work as soon as he was manifested in the world. If so, knowing that the Messiah had in very deed been manifested, he would anticipate his early assumption of royal power, and his deposition of Herod, and his liberation of John himself from the durance vile in which he was languishing. Instead of that, he only heard of his going about preaching and healing the sick, and of his avoiding the people when “they wanted to take him by force and make him a king” (Jno. vi. 15). It was a great trial to John’s faith in the position in which he was placed. It appears to have caused him a degree of faltering. He called two of his disciples, to whom he would have access by Herod’s goodwill, and sent them to Christ with this inquiry: “Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?”

The putting of such a question by John has been a great difficulty with many. They think it inconsistent with the knowledge that John had of the true character of Christ. There does not seem any real ground for this thought, when all the facts are held in view. John was an erring mortal man, and liable to be troubled by what he did not understand. The situation was such as had become unintelligible from his point of view; and it was therefore in the highest degree natural that he should seek to re-assure himself concerning Christ by direct enquiry.

John’s messengers came to Jesus and went straight to the subject of their errand: “John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?” (Luke vii. 20). Jesus might have met the inquiry with a categorical answer. He might have said: “I am he; no one comes after me.” But his answer was more effective than that. John’s messengers standing by, “in the same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues and evil spirits, and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering, said unto them. Go your way and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached” (Luke vii. 21, 22). There was an argument of irresistible power in these words. It was the argument reflected in the admission of Nicodemus: “No man can do these miracles that thou doest except God be with him” (Jno. 3:2). It was the argument of Christ’s own statement to the Jews afterwards: “The works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do bear witness of me that the Father hath sent me” (Jno. v. 37).  ...

bro Robert Roberts,  Nazareth Revisted

Compiled by Bro Len Naglieri


 

fhigham

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Posts: 1,023
Reply with quote  #77 
Thoughts Of Wisdom

Thoughts of wisdom. Thoughts of love. Fill your mind with them. Crowd all else out. They are wholesome and healthy.
They are joyful, purifying, upbuilding


bro Growcott,-  Search Me O God

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Num 31       Pro 22     John 4
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Reference to:
Num 31:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 31:2  Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

Num 31:8  And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.


... Following the account of the conquest of Sihon is that of the disastrous connection of Israel with Moab by the evil counsel of Balaam, after God had made him bless Israel instead of cursing them as Balak desired (Num. 31:16; Rev. 2:14). Balak was king of Moab at that time and sent to Mesopotamia for Balaam to curse Israel. The history of his journey to Moab and his experience and prophecies there is detailed at length in Numbers 22–24. Upon his arrival Balak took him “up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the uttermost part of the people” (Israel).

Though a bad man, who “loved the wages of unrighteousness,” the spirit of God compelled him to bless Israel, and that with increasing emphasis on every occasion. I cannot curse, said he, those whom God has not cursed. The people (Israel) shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations. “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” Balak, dismayed, suggested another trial from a different spot, but it only provoked the assurance that “God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent.” And further, Balaam was made to declare that Jacob as a great lion should rise up to the prey and not lie down unsatisfied. A third trial on Balak’s part only brought greater blessing still on Israel, whose king should be “higher than Agag,” and his kingdom greatly exalted. Then Balak was wroth and dismissed Balaam in anger; whereupon Balaam, before departing, “advertised” him as to “what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days” (Num. 24:14).

Then follows Balaam’s striking prophecy of the latter-day smiting of Moab by the Star of Jacob (Rev. 22:16), whom he declared he should see “but not nigh.” Then Israel was to “do valiantly,” for to Jacob pertained the “dominion” in the hands of the King of the whole earth, before whom the rival “city” should fall. It is probable that the full import of Balaam’s prophecy will not be seen until he himself is before the Star of Jacob, to encounter the dreadful experience of rejection at his hands, in exemplification of his own prophetic lamentation (verse 23): “Alas, who shall live when God doeth this?”

The next chapter in Numbers (ch. 25) tells of Israel’s committing whoredom and idolatry with the daughters of Moab, which a later chapter explains was by “the counsel of Balaam.” The resulting plague from God was only stayed by the “extreme” action of Phinehas, who slew a Prince of Israel and a Princess of Moab with his own hand, after 24,000 had died of the plague. Afterwards, we learn (Num. 31) how God commanded Moses to avenge Israel of the Midianites, and how Moses deputed Phinehas to conduct the expedition with 12,000 Israelites, and how they slew the Kings of Midian, and also “Balaam, the son of Beor, they slew with the sword” (5:8). Balaam in Moabitish intrigue against the way of God in Israel, is a type (Rev. 2:14); and his end in the war against Midian of the 12,000, who came through without the loss of a man (Num. 21:49), is also typical of what may be expected in the days of vengeance coming, when the Star of Jacob and his 144,000 (Rev. 14) carry judgment into the land of the enemy “as in the day of Midian.”   ...

bro Robert Roberts, e. a. (1907; 2002). The Ministry of the Prophets: Isaiah (290).

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Reference to: Pro 22:8  He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

Reference Tablet No. 257
Wisdom’s Contrasts

Happy he that keepeth the law (Prov. 28:7); that feareth always (28:14); that walketh uprightly (28:18); that giveth to the poor (28:27); that putteth his trust in the Lord (29:25); that correcteth his son (29:17); that loveth wisdom (29:3); that soweth righteousness (11:18); that doeth justice and judgment (21:3); that disperseth knowledge (15:7); that winneth souls (11:30); that speaketh the truth (12:17); that regardeth reproof (13:18); that departeth from evil (14:16); that appeaseth strife (15:18); that covereth sins (17:9); and that seeketh the Lord (28:5).

Woe to him that forsaketh the law (Prov. 28:4); that flattereth his neighbour (29:5); that soweth iniquity (22:8); that oppresseth the poor (22:16); that hardeneth his face (21:29); that refuse instruction (13:18); that mock at sin (14:9); that justify the wicked (xvii 15); that loveth transgression (17:19); that rewardeth evil for good (17:12); that hasteth to be rich (28:22); that stirreth up strife (29:22); that causeth the righteous to go astray (28:10); that despiseth his neighbour (14:21); that despiseth the word (13:13); that revealeth secrets (11:13); that uttereth a slander (10:18); that pour out foolishness (15:2); that loveth pleasure (21:17); that envy sinners (23:17); that devise evil (24:8); that say who is the Lord (30:19); and that curse their father, and do not bless their mother (2.)

The Christadelphian  : Volume 21. 2001, c1884.   (21:127).

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Reference to: John 4:45  Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

CHAPTER XV.
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From Jacob’s Well to Capernaum, via Cana and Nazareth.

Bidding farewell to the Samaritans of Sychem, Jesus, resuming his journey, passes from the shadow of Mount Gerizim, into the open hill-environed country to the north of that mount, traversing which, with his (at this time) very small band of disciples, he enters the gorge at the southeastern extremity of the Carmel range, and emerges upon the plain of Esdraelon, and shortly afterwards enters Galilee. He and his little company of fellow-travellers would be seen by many an indifferent eye as they moved along the dusty toilsome road northwards. Little would the casual on-looker in field and vineyard suspect the greatness of the ordinary-looking band of men that for a moment was visible on the road, and then disappeared as other passers-by. There would be nothing in their outward mien to distinguish them from the ordinary Jewish foot passengers, who traversed the land in great numbers, about the time of the feasts, to and from the Holy City. Jesus had to be seen in the act of teaching before the difference between him and other men was apparent. And even then, at this stage of his work, he would but appear as an unusually grave, dignified, and earnest Jew. It required subsequent events to manifest the true greatness of him in whom at first Israel saw no beauty that they should desire him.

Arrived in Galilee, Jesus made straight for Cana, where he had wrought his first miracle. He had not been long there when the news got abroad that he had returned from Jerusalem. The news reached Capernaum, where the son of an eminent citizen, styled “a nobleman,” and said to be one of Herod’s officers, lay at the point of death. This man, hearing of it, went to Cana where Jesus was, to ask Jesus to come and heal his son. Why should he suppose Jesus could do this? He must have heard of the miracles of healing he had performed at Jerusalem. He had probably made the acquaintance of Jesus during his first visit to Capernaum already referred to, and acquired some idea of who he was. He would doubtless be aware of John’s ministry, on which he would probably be an attendant; and would not be ignorant of the testimony borne to Jesus as the Messiah. For some or all of these reasons, he had confidence in Christ’s ability to disperse the shadow that lay on his house; for his son “was at the point of death.” He “besought Jesus that he would come down and heal his son.” But Jesus did not meet the nobleman’s request with the ready and sympathetic compliance he showed on other occasions. He rather held the man off with something of a chiding manner. “Except,” said he, “ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” There must have been a reason for this. Probably the nobleman’s importunity was too much of the self-interested order, like the push of a crowd for some advantage. Possibly, also, there was an unacceptable element of challenge in it, as much as to say to Jesus that if he were the Messiah, he was bound to do this. Likely also, with many others, he showed more interest in the signs than in the thing indicated by them. So Jesus uttered a reproof which, however, did not check the natural ardour of the man. “Sir, come down ere my child die.” He expected Jesus would have to go down to Capernaum. It was literally a going down, for Capernaum lay on the margin of the sea of Galilee in the Jordan valley, while Cana was among the hills to the west. Perhaps Jesus would have gone down (as he did in other cases) had the man’s attitude been such as to command his entire approval, but he did not do so. He granted his request without going. His power was greater than the nobleman knew. “Go thy way; thy son liveth.” The nobleman’s faith in Christ was strong enough to place the most implicit faith in this brief word. He started at once for home, twenty miles off. His mind being at rest, he probably rested for the night at one of the wayside inns; for it was next day when he reached the neighbourhood of Capernaum. He was met outside the town by his servants with the good but not surprising news that his son was all right. He asked them when the improvement began. They told him the hour—“Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father recognised this as the very hour at which Jesus spoke the words of healing, “and himself believed with his whole house.” How could it be otherwise?

Was ever such power seen on earth before ? It was power superhuman that turned water into wine on the spot at Cana, and that cured the sick people brought to his presence at Jerusalem, of which the Galilean people had been witnesses (Jno. iv. 45); but here was healing performed at a distance of 20 miles with the rapidity of lightning—simply by the utterance of a word. Peter afterwards spoke of “miracles and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Acts ii. 22). This is the all-sufficient and only explanation of the marvel. God alone has command of the universal, invisible, inscrutable energy of creation, in which all things subsist, out of which they have been made by His contriving power and commanding word. To Him distance and locality are no impediment. The impulse of His will is equal to the instantaneous accomplishment of anything, anywhere. He places His power at the disposal of His servants when His work and wisdom require—sometimes angels—sometimes men. To manifest His existence and power to Israel and the Egyptians, He placed His power in the angel that appeared to Moses, who exercised it at the prayer and signal of Moses by appointment. To establish Jesus as His Name-bearer in the midst of Israel, He placed His power in him by His presence. Jesus, as the Son of David, did not the works, as he said, “The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” It was needful that the works he did should be such as should truly bear witness of him—that is, that they should be works beyond the range of human accomplishment. For had they been such as man, by any contrivance, could do, they would not have constituted the proof that was necessary; the way would have been open for men to think that perhaps Jesus did them as a man of contrivance, and that, therefore, God was not with him. It was needful that the foundation of faith in him, as the Saviour, should be laid in a manner admitting of no doubt. It was, therefore, necessary that he should do works beyond all human possibility. It is his doing of such works that leaves men no excuse for not believing in him. Jesus would have no fault to find with men for not believing in him if he had only done ordinary things. This is what he said: “If I had not done among them works which none other man did, they had not had sin” (Jno. xv. 24). That he did such works will be realised by all who give attention to them. There have been many pretenders of one kind or another; and they have done wonderful things in their way: healing, and demon-out-casting, and sign-working of a certain sort, Jesus admitted to be on the list of their accomplishments (Mark xiii. 22; Matt. xii. 27). But which of their achievements will compare with those of Jesus and his apostles, who with a word could even raise the dead at any distance?  ...

bro Robert Roberts,  Nazareth Revisted  (72)

Compiled by Bro Len Naglieri
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Reference to: John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

 

“WONDERFUL.”

 

Had we lived in the days of Isaiah, we could have had but a faint conception of how wonderful the Son of God and of David would prove to be. Standing as we do some two thousand six hundred years further on, when his name has been engraven on the earth for nearly nineteen hundred years, we are better enabled to comprehend the marvel of it; though for the full appreciation of all that it portends, this mortal will have to be swallowed up of life.

 

Jesus was wonderful in origin, in relation to God and man, and in words and works that are yet only the earnest of greater wonders to come. In the following Scriptures the original word for “wonderful” is the same as that in Isaiah 9:6, and they direct our attention to wonders that find illustration in Jesus. In Gen. 18, the birth of Isaac was announced by the angel to Sarah, when she was ninety years old, a matter so much out of the ordinary course of nature (5:11, with Heb. 11:11–12), that she could not help laughing. But God said by the angel, “Is anything too hard (wonderful) for the Lord?” And in course of time Isaac was born according to promise.

 

Accepting this record of the altogether miraculous origin of the nation, Israel ought not to find it impossible to receive the testimony concerning Jesus, for it was no harder for God to raise up a Son of God and Son of David by the operation of His spirit on a virgin of the house of David than it was to raise up Isaac to Abraham when he was “as good as dead” and his wife “past age.” The personal “Son of God” has an origin as wonderful as that of the national, of whom God spoke to Pharaoh saying: “Israel is my son—my firstborn: Let my son go.”

 

When Manoah was visited by an angel who told him of the approaching birth of Samson, being in ignorance of the nature of the “man of God” who instructed him, he said: “What is thy name?” But the angel answered: “Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is wonderful?” But the name of Jesus is above every name. Originally made “a little lower than the angels” for the suffering of death, he has “become so much better than the angels as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1). He “is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1 Pet. 3:22). The excellence of his majesty is the theme of the opening of the Epistle to the Hebrews and the basis upon which rests the claim to “earnest heed” on the part of all those to whom the word of God comes by him.

His works were wonderful. A Psalm of Asaph (Psa. 75) says: “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.” This received superabundant illustration in Jesus, and he appeals to his works as proof that he was indeed Immanuel: God manifested in the midst of Israel. He says: “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father” (Jno. 15:24). One of his wonderful works was the blinding of disobedient Israel (Isa. 29:14, with John 9:39), a work inconsistent with the artificial views that are current concerning him. The coming enlightenment of the nation will be wonderful, and will be preceded by the “marvel” of the resurrection of the dead and the bestowal upon his friends of eternal life by the power and authority given him by the Father (Jno. 5:20–30). His name is well called “WONDERFUL.”

 

bro Robert Roberts, bro CC Walker (1907). The Ministry of the Prophets: Isaiah (151–153).

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They Shall Be All Taught Of God (John 6:45)

The people of God are ever anxious to LEARN. They have no time for or patience with foolishness. They do not want to be amused, or excited, or entertained -- they want to be TAUGHT. They are ever eager to learn more about God and His Word -- what He has said, and what He has done -- the marvelous and beautiful kaleidoscope of divine and human events from Adam in Eden to John in Patmos. They never have time hanging on their hands. They never have "nothing to do" -- the pitiful bane of empty, infantile minds. All the spare time in their busy, active lives is given to study and meditation on the wonders of the Word. They begrudge time spent -- even necessarily -- on present, passing things: though, in love and faith, and stumbling, slow-learning patience, they realize that these things too, if necessary, can equally be a service to, and communion with, their loving Father.

bro Growcott,-  Search Me O God

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Num 33     Prov 24    John 6
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Reference to:  Num 33:52  Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:

Holy! Holy! Holy!

The expression Holy, thrice repeated in the Apocalypse and Isaiah, is especially significant in view of the different phases of this cherubaic manifestation of holiness. There are three epoch-marking events in which the Father has laid the foundation for the manifestation of His Holiness, and in which from period to period the saints have voiced their relationship to this holiness.

The words Holy, Holy, Holy, may be taken to signify Separate! Separate! Separate! This threefold declaration of separateness may be taken to refer to three epoch-marking events and to the results which followed, viz.:

(1) When the flood came upon the earth the Father divided the wicked from the just. The effect of this judgment caused the people of God to voice and to maintain that separation between the sons of God and the children of men which had been violated, and which led to such lamentable results, when only eight souls were saved by water. (Gen. 6:2, 11, 12, 13; 24:3–6; 26:34, 35; 28:1, 2.)

(2) Again, when the iniquity of the Amorites had developed to its fulness, the children of Israel were commanded to destroy the inhabitants of the land, not to make marriages with them, worship their idols, nor bow down to their images, but to be, and remain a separate people. (Deut. 7:2–6; Exod. 23:24; Numb. 33:52.) The effect of this judgment caused the cry for “Holiness” again to go forth.

(3) And yet again, when Israel who “had received the law by the disposition of angels and had not kept it” (Acts 7:53) filled up their iniquity by crucifying Him through whom the Father was manifesting himself, the Mosaic economy was overthrown, their city burned with fire, and the people scattered over the face of the earth. The lesson was not lost—at least for a time—by those who bore the divine testimony to the Gentiles. From this third epoch the voice of the saints, represented by the four living creatures in the Apocalypse, cried without ceasing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord God Almighty.” (Apoc. 4:8.)

The expression “Lord God Almighty” in the Apocalypse may be taken as the equivalent of the “Lord of Hosts” in Isaiah (see also p. 108) because in the one case obvious reference is made to The Lamb sitting on the throne in the midst of a community exercising rulership. In the other case the central figure is the Lord (Adonai) whose train filled the Temple. The train representing a multitude of rulers, or the ruling hosts. (Isa. 6:1–3.)

These invocations to “Holiness” were accompanied by scathing, fiery judgments in harmony with the term seraphim used in the symbol of Isaiah. The judgments upon Jerusalem are likened to a fire in the book of Jeremiah thus:
If ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. (Chap. 17:27.)

The fire which destroyed Jerusalem was kindled soon after the disciples commenced the mission committed to them by Jesus. Those who listened to his warning, Matthew 24:15, escaped, others were consumed in the destruction of the city.

bro H. Sulley, The Temple of Ezekiel's Prophecy. Nature, character and extent of the building which is shortly to be erected in the land of Israel as the House of prayer for all people. (electronic ed.) (111).

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Reference to:  Pro 24:12  If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

... It is gladdening to know that there lies between this corrupt state of things and the perfection of the kingdom of God, an ordeal which will prevent the entrance of “anything that defileth,” which, as fire, will try every man’s work, and thin down, by a process of purification, the crowd of those who do no more than say “Lord, Lord!” It is comforting to know that wrongful suffering will then be avenged, that secret faithfulness will then be openly acknowledged, that unappreciated worth will be recognised, and that evil doing, unpunished, unsuspected, and unknown, will be held up for execration, in the face of so august an assembly as that of the Elohim, presided over by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. This is part of the glad tidings concerning Jesus Christ.

In these remarks, we assume that the object and effect of the judgment is to mete out to every man who is summoned to it, according to his deeds, whether good or bad. This is apparent from the testimony quoted to prove that judgment will be executed by the Son of Man at his coming. We append further and more specific evidence on this point:—
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord … And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:22–23).

“Every idle (evil) word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36).

“The Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matt. 16:27).

“Every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).

“Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matt. 3:12).

“Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12).

“The work of a man shall He render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways” (Job 34:11).

“Doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to his works?” (Prov. 24:12—See also Psa. 62:12).

“I the Lord search the heart; I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer. 17:10).

Another important evidence of the conclusion to which these testimonies lead us, is to be found in the parables of Christ, in many of which he illustrates the relation between himself and his servants in connection with his departure from the earth. In all of these, he presents the fact that at his return he will “take account” of them, and deal with them according to their individual deserts. Thus, in the parable of the nobleman (Luke 19:15), “It came to pass that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants to be called unto him to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.” Those servants are given as three in number, and, doubtless, represent the several classes of which the bulk of Christ’s professing servants are composed. The first gives a satisfactory account of himself, having increased five talents to ten, and receives jurisdiction over ten cities. The second has made two talents into four, and entitles himself to meritorious recognition, and the allotment of four cities. The third, who, though less privileged, might have stood equally well, had he turned his single talent into two, justifies his indolence on the plea that he dreaded a service where more was expected than was given in the first instance. This man, who stands for the unfaithful, is rejected. The decree is, “Take the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath ten talents.… Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness” (Matt. 25:28–30). Here the unprofitable servant figures in the judgment of the king’s household, at his return, as well as the approved.  ...

bro Robert Roberts. (1984; 2002). Christendom Astray from the Bible (120). Logos Publications.

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Reference to:  John 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

13. If Jesus, because of the tribe of Judah, could not be a priest on earth, how could “the one great offering” be made on Calvary?

Ans. Jesus could not be a priest according to the Mosaic law, to offer sacrifices on the brazen altar, and to carry the blood thereof into the holy and most holy places. But he could be a victim to be offered upon Calvary by the Father who tabernacled in him, and said: “No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18). These words came out of the mouth of the body prepared for sacrifice; but they were the living words of the Spirit (John 6:63; 7:28, 38; 10:38; 12:49–50). A man cannot breathe his last, or die by the mere force of his will, nor can a corpse of itself resume its life. Both results ensued in relation to Jesus; but, in both cases, it was by the power of the Father, who, after the example of Abraham, offered His own Son on the same platform: the Mount of Yahweh, in the land of Moriah (Gen. 22:2, 14).

bro John Thomas. (1866; 2002). Catechesis (18). Logos Publishers.

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Reference to:  John 6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

... When this is apprehended, all mystery and difficulty vanish from “the Sermon on the Mount.” The commandments it contains were not uttered as moral maxims best fitted for the regulation of the world, but for the test of obedience, and for the restraint and discipline of the natural man in those who are called to share and reflect the glory of God in a future state of existence (on the earth by resurrection). Their inconvenience and their hardness, instead of being enigmatical, become transparent in the wisdom of their adaptation to the object in view. How is a man tested but by a difficult feat? How is he trained but by difficult exercises? When God would prove Abraham, did he ask him to make a feast for his servants? No; he asked him to “offer up his only son Isaac whom he loved.” When God would prove men in advance for the unspeakable exaltation of His kingdom, should it be by exercises that leave pride and wilfulness untouched, or by those which test obedience to the utmost, and give opportunity for that humbling of ourselves as little children, without which Jesus said we shall in no case enter into the kingdom? Reason cannot falter in the answer, and the answer justifies to the utmost those very features in “The Sermon on the Mount,” which are stumbling blocks to the wise of this world. It is all a question of faith in the declared purpose of God. Will God set up a kingdom? (Dan. ii. 44). Is Jesus the appointed king? (Acts xvii. 7). Has Jesus “called” for associates from among the world ? (Rev. xvii. 14; Jno. xv. 16–21). Does he, in the choosing of them, adopt a process of “purifying them unto himself a peculiar people?” (Tit. ii. 14; Rev. iii. 19). When a man is sufficiently enlightened to give a bold “Yes” in answer to these questions, he will have no difficulty in recognizing the perfection of wisdom in those commandments in “The Sermon on the Mount,” which, with nearly all men, are impossible rules of life, but which with Christ in view, become habitual principles of action.

The superhuman character of the discourse is manifest from other features. Who, for example, as a matter of mere moral philosophy, would have thought of addressing disciples as “the salt of the earth,” and “the light of the world?” (Matt. v. 13, 14). Mere moral philosophy—alias, the speculations of mortal flesh as to the ways of God—places all men on a level in the operation of its laws and principles. But here is a declaration which assumes that all men outside the narrow circle addressed are in corruption and darkness. This, indeed, is the express teaching of the Spirit of Christ elsewhere—that without him there is no hope (Jno. vi. 53–57, Eph. ii. 12): that the way is narrow and the gate strait that leads to life, and the finders of the way few (Matt. vii. 14). It is this exclusive claim that is at once the stumbling-block of the naturally-minded, and the evidence of the divinity of the work of Christ. It is not in man to put forth such claims, except in madness; and even when occasionally put forth by madmen, it is the aberrated refraction of Christ in a distempered mind. It is not original, as in the case of Christ: nor has it the dignity and self-evident truth that it has in the case of Christ. There are not in any case the proofs that there are in the case of Christ. No man can maintain that Christ was mad in view of his teaching, his miracles, and his resurrection. Not being mad, such claims are in themselves evidence of the truth of what he said—that God was in him, and that God sent him, and that his words were the words of God (Jno. xiv. 10; xii. 49; viii. 42).  ...

bro Robert Roberts, Nazareth Revisited  (84).

Compiled by Bro Len Naglieri

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It is promised to him who shares in “the victory,” that he shall, not only “be clothed” with incorruption, and “his name” remain perpetually inscribed among the deathless; but that his name shall be honorably mentioned in the august presence of the Eternal Majesty of the Universe, and before his angelic hosts.

 

 

 

bro John Thomas, Eureka : An exposition of the Apocalypse (electronic ed.).

Reference To: Prov 25:11 We may call to mind some of the wise sayings in the book of Proverbs. “The lips of the righteous feed many.” “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, but a good word maketh it glad.” “A word spoken in due season, how good it is!” And finally: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver”. The simile is probably based on one of the most beautiful of nature’s pictures, sometimes seen in Palestine, when the orange trees produce two crops in the year, and the early fruit can be seen ripening in a setting of silver blossom of the second growth.

The Christadelphian : Volume 87 Bd. 87. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1950, S. 87:203

 

 

 

 

Reference to: John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

 

... Among all the systems of law that have appeared among men, there is only one that makes any admissible claim to be Divine; and that is the system known as the Law of Moses. Of this we have the most ample information in the Bible, apart from which we could have no reliable knowledge of it, for Jewish tradition and Rabbinical gloss tend rather to obscure than to reveal its features. We could wish for nothing fuller or more satisfactory on the subject than we get in the Bible; and we must assume on the present occasion that the Bible is good authority in spite of all the hostile endeavours of German, French, and British criticism. That body of criticism seems a weighty affair to people who make no endeavour to master the subject for themselves. In the abstract it is a mighty mass, but reduced to its elements, it only amounts to the opinions of men groping in obscurities, who hazard suggestions in a learned style, and catch up and send round each other’s suggestions with the effect of holding each other up in their uncertainties. A single authoritative declaration of the resurrected Christ is as destructive to the whole mass as a spark of fire would be to a mountain of gunpowder.

 

We have more than a single word. Christ says that God spoke to Moses (Mark 12:26), and that Moses gave the law (John 7:19), and that the books containing it are his writings (John 5:46–47); and that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail (Luke 16:17). This is decisive against a whole world of speculation or doubt. We may trust absolutely, on Christ’s authority, to the unmixed divinity of the law given by the instrumentality of Moses. We are certain not to be deceived or disappointed in Christ’s view of the case: who can say as much for the merely speculative critics of these late days?

 

If the law of Moses were not divine, there could be no object in considering it. A merely human conception of what was suitable for an age long gone by would be of no practical interest to men of our age, and of no value for guidance in a state of things so radically different. If it could be shown there were good things in it, they could only appear good on a principle that would leave us at liberty to discard or modify them according to our particular bias. Moses, in that case, would be down on our own level; and we probably should not feel disposed to submit our judgment to his on the mere score of antiquity, but probably the reverse, as we should naturally hold a later and longer experience to be a better guide than the experience of Moses at so early a time.

 

It is as a divine system that its study becomes so important. There is something in a work of God for us profitably to exercise our faculties on. A divinely prescribed rule of human action must be wise; and a ritual system that is divinely declared to be an allegory of the principles and the purposes before the divine mind in His dealings with the human race, cannot but be interesting and profitable when worked out by the clues divinely supplied (as they are in the later writings of inspiration, by the apostles).

 

The study of the law of Moses on this basis will lead us to share the intense admiration of it expressed in various parts of the Bible—panegyrics that otherwise appear as the mere extravagances of sentimentalism. Such for example as the language of the Psalmist: “O, how love I thy law; it is my meditation all the day” And again, “The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver”; and again, “I hate vain thoughts; but thy law do I love”; and again, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb; Moreover by them thy servant is warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psa. 119:97, 72, 113; 19:9–11). ...

 

bro Robert Roberts, The Law of Moses (electronic ed.). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

 

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Reference to: John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

 

ON THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

 

If Christendom is astray as to the Father and the Holy Spirit, it is not wonderful that we should find it astray in its conception of the Lord Jesus who is the manifestation of the Father by the Spirit. Christendom believes Christ to be the incarnation of one of three distinct essences, or personalities, which are supposed to constitute the God-head; and that though clothed in human form, he was God in the absolute sense of being the Creator.

 

This is the doctrine of the Trinitarian section of Christendom, in opposition to which, another section believes that Christ was a mere man, begotten in the ordinary process of generation, and distinguished above his fellows by a pre-eminent endowment of the “virtues” of human nature, which fitted him to be an example to mankind. This (the Unitarian) view regards him as a teacher sent from God, and is in some sense the Son of God; but denies the essential divinity of his nature. Both these views will be found equally removed from the truth. The truth lies between.

 

The testimonies which teach the indivisible unity of the Deity, as the One Father, out of whom ALL things have proceeded, and who is supreme above all, even above Christ (I Cor. 11:3), are inconsistent with the Trinitarian representation of God. The supremacy and unity of the Father would not be affirmable if there were three co-equal personalities in His One personality—a doctrine which presents us with a contradiction in terms as well as in sense. Jesus emphasises the distinction between himself and the Father, in the following statements:—

 

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30).

 

Again:—

 

“My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me” (John 7:16).

 

Again:—

 

“It is written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself; and the Father that sent me (the other witness), beareth witness of me” (John 8:17–18).

 

Again:—

 

“This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3).

 

The marked distinction recognised and affirmed in these statements is incompatible with the doctrine which regards the Son as an essential constituent of the one “triune” Father. There are “the Father,” “the Son,” and “the Holy Spirit.” The question is, what is the relation between the three, as taught in the Scriptures? The objection now urged is against the relation which Trinitarianism teaches to exist between these three. The endeavour is to show that they are not three co-equal powers in one, but powers of which one is the head and source of the others. The Father is eternal and underived; the Son is the manifestation of the Father in a man begotten by the Spirit; the Holy Spirit is the focalisation of the Father’s power, by means of His “free spirit,” which fills heaven and earth. There is, therefore, a trinity of existences to contemplate, and a certain unity subsisting in the trinity, inasmuch as both Son and Spirit are manifestations of the one Father; but the Trinitarian conception of the subject is excluded.

 

bro Robert Roberts. Christendom Astray from the Bible (154–155).

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Proverbs 26

     Then the fourth type of divine injunction is that which we may call advice, to be applied at our own discretion. Perhaps the best example of this is to be found in
Prov. 26:4–5—the best example because it apparently contradicts itself. There have been people who have worried over this. First of all it appears to say, “Do something”; and then to say, “Don’t do it.” How can we obey both? “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” Intelligent discrimination will show us when to answer a fool according to his folly (and there are guiding principles given us). It is sometimes good for the fool to answer him according to his folly, but let us beware that we do not get into the habit of speaking foolishly because we are dealing with fools; otherwise we may become like them—“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”

The influence of the Scriptures upon our minds as we read them daily tends to give us the power to discriminate; they give us the sound mind of which the apostle Paul speaks, which enables us to see when a certain principle applies and when another principle applies. It gives us the power to discern between good and evil. We have our senses exercised by reason of use, in regard to spiritual things.

The Christadelphian : Volume 60 Bd. 60. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1923, S. 60:396
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“Wisdom”, say the scriptures, “is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.” If thou wouldst, O reader, get this wisdom, happy art thou if thou findest it. “For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is A TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

 

bro John Thomas, Elpis Israel : An exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed.) (5).

 

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John 9,10

 

Reference to: John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

 

... But even a sin offering is not exacted till knowledge makes the sinner aware of his sin. It is “when the sin which he hath sinned come to his knowledge” that a sin offering is to be brought (Lev. 4:23). Then “the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin: and it shall be forgiven him” (verse 26). A superficial view would say there is nothing to forgive in such a case. But the fact is the offence exists though the man did not intend it, and is therefore righteously the subject of disapprobation. Even a man dealing with men, feels and recognizes this in matters of trespass. A neighbour may infringe your rights unintentionally.

 

If on knowing it, he makes reparation, all is well: justice is not felt on either side to be violated in the requirement of the reparation. But if reparation is refused, then a sin of ignorance becomes one of contumacy, and the subject of penalty.

 

It will be found on reflection to be a fitting and a beautiful thing that God should hold sin to be sin, even though done in ignorance: for otherwise His law would be at the mercy of human whim, and human ignorance would become the standard of action. Yet were He to deal with ignorant sin as He deals with knowing sin, the moral discernments with which He has endowed us would be violated. That He should hold the sin to be sin, yet that He should hold the sinner responsible only when his sin comes to his knowledge, and then offer forgiveness by atonement, is all in harmony with the perfect justice and wisdom and goodness that belong to the divine character. It is an illustration of the doctrine proclaimed and illustrated on many another page of the Bible outside the Law of Moses: that “times of ignorance, God winks at” (Acts 17:30); that where there is blindness, there is no accountability (John 9:41); that only where there is knowledge does the ground of condemnation exist (Jas. 4:17; John 3:19; Luke 12:47); that where there is great privilege, there is great responsibility (John 15:22–25); that, in a word, to whom much is given, of them is much required (Luke 12:48). ...

 

bro Robert Roberts, The Law of Moses (electronic ed.). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

 

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Reference to: John 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

 

... There was something providential in the part performed by John the Baptist in preparing for the work of Christ. We read that “John did no miracle” (John 10:41), and yet he was the messenger of the Lord of Hosts, sent before His face to level mountainous obstructions, and fill the hollows, and smooth the rough places for the effective (initial) manifestation of the glory of the Lord. The mission expressed by these figures of speech was to create a situation of things, and a state of mind among the people of Judaæa, favourable to the Lord’s obtaining on short notice that public attention, and that clustering around Him of right-minded disciples which His work—His short work—required. How was this done? Not by miracle, but by the effect of John’s preaching upon the minds of the people. This effect was the combined result of the manner of the preacher, the nature of his preaching, and the locality of its occurrence. Attracted by the appearance of a weird, stern, dogmatic, abstemious, strange-looking young man on the banks of the Jordan, “all Jerusalem and Judæa went out to be baptized of him, confessing their sins”. They “mused in their hearts whether he were the Christ or no” (Luke 3:15). John strove to put them right on this point. He told them he was not the Christ, but was sent to prepare the way before him (John 1:20, 27), and that the Christ was actually in the land, but unmanifested—unknown to John himself, who was awaiting the promised identification of the Spirit, for which Christ was waiting (verses 31–33). Such teaching for three years and a half naturally collected the right sort of men about John—the God-fearing of the house of Israel—and that state of eager curiosity on their part, which had made the Lord’s introduction to them easy and effective. The moment arrived when Jesus stepped from the crowd to be baptized like the others (Luke 3:21). His baptism accomplished, the visible effusion of the Spirit, accompanied by an audible voice from heaven, proclaimed him the Son of God, and riveted on him the attention of the people prepared, to whom John said, “This is he of whom I spoke”. “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world”. Thus was a great work of God accomplished by means which, while having the miraculous at their foundation, were largely compounded of natural circumstances providentially regulated. ...

 

bro Robert Roberts. The Ways of Providence (194–195). The Christadelphian.
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The Bible is the truth in a book: Christ is the truth incarnate; and a Christadelphian is the truth in his heart lovingly obeyed.  It is nonsense for a man to talk of "loving the Lord Jesus" while he receives not his words.  The Lord thanks no man for mere lip-love, a love that rejoiceth not in the Truth, believeth not all things, and hopeth not all things.

We shall be judged by the simple standard: Have you done what I commanded you?" That will be the one simple question; indeed, it is the very simplicity of it that seems to turn people away from it. "Have you done what I commanded?"  We all know what we are doing, and shall be able to give a right account, either good or evil.  Well, whatever we may say about ourselves, He will make manifest what we are, and our anxiety should be, while the Lord delay, to get on the right side of the account.

bro Robert Roberts

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Deut 1     Prov 28     John 11
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Reference to: Deu 1:9  And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:   ...

Deu 1:15  So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.

... Two things strike us in connection with the whole episode. God accepts co-operation in forms He has not prescribed if they are in subservient harmony with His requirements. The twelve princes were in submission to Moses and in subjection to the tabernacle and the whole law connected with it. The object of their voluntary gift was to help and further a divine work appointed. Had they brought the materials for a second tabernacle, or a second camp, we cannot but suppose that the offering would not only not have been accepted, but would have been spurned as an act of presumption, like Nadab’s and Abihu’s offering of strange fire. But being in no rivalry to the divine work, but conceived in the spirit of helpfulness and being a wise measure, God approved and accepted it.

We see the same feature in the case of Jethro’s recommendation to Moses that he should delegate his authority in small matters to subordinate officers. God approved of the suggestion of Jethro, and it became a commandment to Moses to do as Jethro had suggested (Ex. 18:13–26; Deut. 1:9–18). From this we may draw the useful conclusion that the arrangements we are obliged to make in this latter day in the absence of divine direction, will receive the divine sanction and favour provided they are made in the sincere spirit of desiring to help the Lord’s work, and are in harmony with the requirements of that work as specified in the word of Jesus and the apostles. The use of the printing press and the holding of meetings for lectures are of this nature. We may hope presently to hear that the Lord approves of them as a doing of our best in an age when His purpose requires that He should be silent.

Is there any shadowing of the work of Christ here? Here is Moses surrounded by twelve heads of the tribes, helping him in the work he has on hand, by ideas of their own, in harmony with that work and accepted because useful as well as in harmony. If we look at the twelve apostles, whether in the day of suffering or the day of glory—the day of the wilderness or the day of the land of promise—we may get a glimpse of a counterpart. In the work done by the apostles in the taking out of a people for his name, their co-operation with the Lord was not an automatic one. It was the cooperation of intelligent faithfulness which devised measures according to the exigencies of the occasion, such as when they appointed a successor to Judas, or convened a council to consider the controversy that had arisen at Antioch. So in the day when they “shall sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel”, we may imagine, without being guilty of any freak of speculation, that they will, out of the fulness of wise and loyal hearts, devise measures of service that will go beyond what may be actually prescribed, but will be accepted because in thorough harmony with all the objects for which Christ shall reign.

Such a thought would impart a prospective interest to the work of reigning with Christ that would be absent if we supposed that the apostles would be mere court puppets, as we might express it. We are justified in believing that there will be nothing mechanical in the operations of immortal life. The controlling presence of the spirit will not exclude individuality of thought and volition. Rather will there be that diversity in glorious unity. One spirit, acting in the diversity of individual gift and intelligence —in harmony, but not in monotony—will be no new experience. In the apostolic age, the same phenomenon was exemplified in a lower form (1 Cor. 12:4–11). What would be true of the apostles in their exaltation would be true of all saints, so that we may look forward to a life full of the interest that comes even now from the application of individual judgment to the decision of problems as they arise.  ...
 
bro Robert Roberts,  The Law of Moses. As a rule of National and indivdual life.

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Reference to: Prov 28:20  A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

"Abound with blessings"; that is with good deeds to others.  These are the fruits of faithfulness, and fiathfulness is the disposition to use what God puts in our power in the way He commends. To bless others is one of the principal features of His will concerning us.  It was exemplified, as all excellencies were, in the case of Jesus, who "went about doing good".  A faithful man will "excel in this grace also", as Paul exhorts.  But a man hasting to be rich is almost certain to fail in this.  His blessing turn inward.  His good deeds are nipped in the bud.  His aim to good  to himself makes him unconcerned about others;  and being unfruitful of blessing. , he dies not innocent, with "much goods laid up for many years".

Pondering the Proverbs with Bro. Robert Roberts, No.45

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Reference to: John 11:47  Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

... Matthew, Mark and Luke are quite copious in their testimony concerning the fall of the Hebrew Commonwealth by the providence of the Son of Man; but John in his testimony alludes to it only incidentally. He tells us, that the Chief Priests and Pharisees apprehended such a result if something were not done to put Jesus to silence. They called a council, and said, “What do we? for this man doth many miracles. If we let him thus alone all will believe on him, and the Romans will come, and take away both our country and nation.”—ch. 11:47.

This was the “cabinet question” of the hour, which greatly troubled the Jewish Government: though hating Jesus most cordially, they admitted that he did great signs; and of such a character, that all the Jews would recognise his claim to the throne of David and the High Priesthood, and proceed to make him King, which would be fatal to their ruling any longer; and certainly bring on a Roman invasion for the re-establishment of Caesar’s sovereignty in the land; the end of which could only be utter ruin to the State, seeing that it would be impossible for the Jews under the command of the unwarlike Jesus, successfully to resist the conquering legions of the East. What they seemed to counsel was something short of putting Jesus to death; for they feared this extremity, lest the people, by whom he was very highly esteemed, should rise in his favour. They would have liked, doubtless, to have banished him from the country, as less hazardous to themselves than his imprisonment or execution, which, by the by, they could not effect of their own power, as “it was not lawful for them to put any man to death”—John 18:31. Thus, “The Rulers consulted together against Jehovah’s Anointed;” but in the midst of their consultation the Eternal Spirit moved Caiaphas the High Priest, to tell them, that “they knew nothing at all, nor considered that it was necessary for them that one man die in the people’s stead, and the whole nation perish not. “And this spake he,” says John, “not of himself, but being High Priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die in the nation’s stead; and not in that nation’s stead only, but also that he should gather into one the children of God who had been dispersed.” “From that day then, they took counsel together that they might accomplish his death.”  ...

bro John Thomas. The Last Days of Judah's Commonwealth (43). Logos Publications.

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Obtained Through Faith

He that believeth on me shall never thirst—may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Jno. 6:35, 40.
He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Jno. 3:16.

And whosoever liveth, and believeth on me, shall not die to the age (Diaglot). Jno. 11:26.

Shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Jno. 4:14; Rev. 22:17.
He that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live. Jno. 11:25.
He that hath the Son hath life—hath everlasting life. Acts 13:46.
“Hath” or “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Rom. 4:17

R. C. Bingley, S. (2002). Index Rerum (37). Christadelphian Joy Fund, Inc.
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This is a day of darkness—of no open vision—of no miracle. If we remember this, we shall not be overthrown by the apparent forsaking of the earth by God. We are called upon to walk by faith, not by sight. If our eyes could but penetrate the vail that now hides the unseen from view, we should realise that the forsaking was only so in semblance. Christ and angels innumerable are interested and actively employed in human affairs, though we see them not.

Brethren, let us not grow weary and faint. The walk of faith will soon be ended—the veil will be drawn aside, and the darkness dispelled. The Son of Man shall come.” Meanwhile it is for us to believe though we see not. Let us steel our hearts against the influence of the wicked, for all men have not faith. The children of God and the children of the world are well represented in Christ and his murderers. The latter knew not that the dark hour of the crucifixion was in Heaven’s revealed programme—“He trusted in God; let Him deliver him now, if He will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.” Though appearances (humanly speaking) were against Christ, he knew that God was working out His purpose in him, and patiently endured to the end. Who was wise, Christ or his enemies? His resurrection is the answer Let us profit by this beautiful lesson. The present is our dark hour. Shall we view it as do the wicked —shall we curse God and die —or shall we patiently go through it and reap the reward?

London. A. T. J. The Christadelphian  : Volume 24.  c1887.

Compiled by Bro Len Naglieri


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Deut 2     Prov 29      John 12
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Reference to: Deut 2:15  For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.

... Man is liable to run into extremes. The assurance to Israel that the occupation of the land was dependent upon their taking possession of it, was liable to inspire them with the idea that it was an affair of their own prowess, irrespective of God’s co-operation. On more than one occasion there was a rude check to this misapplication of the truth. In the days of Gideon, when the Midianites had to be vanquished, God commanded the thinning down of the host he had gathered, saying, “The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me” (Judges 7:2). It will be remembered, also, that in the very beginning of Joshua’s campaign against the Amorites, Israel were smitten at Ai, because God’s commands had been disobeyed in an individual case in the matter of the spoil, and God said to Joshua, “The children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will i be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you” (Joshua 7:12.) The whole congregation of Israel in the wilderness had fearful illustration of the effect, in a natural way, of God’s being not with them, but against them. At the end of their forty years’ wanderings, we are informed that, among them all, “there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered” at the beginning of the period: “There was not left a man of them save Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, the son of Nun” (Num. 26:64, 65). Moses tells us “the hand of the Lord was against them to destroy them from among the host until they were consumed” (Deut. 2:15.) It must have been so, for, in the ordinary course, out of the thousands of young men over twenty who were in the congregation at the first numbering, many must have survived and lived years after the termination of the forty years’ wandering. Yet, from day to day, while they were in the wilderness, nothing would be visible in the way of divine interference. They would drop off one by one in a natural way, just as they do in a great city to-day.

In these, and numerous other like ways, was Israel taught the lesson that while the performance of their part was necessary to the accomplishment of God’s purpose with them, the accomplishment of the purpose was all of God. And so, though Joshua fought and Israel conquered, David could write with emphatic truth, “They got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them” (Psa. 44:3). Let us beware of the modern mistake of forgetting that “these things were written for our admonition”. God is the same to-day and for ever. We must do our part with all the wisdom and diligence we can command, but we must commit and commend all our matters in prayer and constant fear of God, who can prosper or frustrate the devices of men, or leave men altogether to their own devices, like the regardless millions of the human race who are mostly like the cattle on a thousand hills.

bro Robert Roberts. (1990; 2002). The Ways of Providence (89). The Christadelphian.

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Reference to: Prov 29:18  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

... That the law should be strenuously enjoined on Israel is natural in view of its divine character. One of the most interesting of all the interesting incidents connected with Israel’s settlement in the Land of Promise, when they came out of Egypt, was the public endorsement of its leading features by the assembled tribes in the valley formed by the two hills of Ebal and Gerizim—as commanded, and the imprecation of a curse on those who should fail to keep it. The particulars will be found in Deut. 27:2–26; Joshua 8:33–35. In the presence of the massed multitudes, the Levites, stationed in the hollow, and within hearing of all (as travellers have found who have experimented), briefly recited the principal commandments of the law in rotation, and the whole multitude, at the end of each sentence, ejaculated an endorsing “Amen!” which must have sounded like a wave breaking on the shore. It was also a commandment (Deut. 31:11–13) that, always when Israel should gather at the feasts (which was three times in a year—Deut. 16:16), the law should be read in their hearing.

Before leaving them, Moses was very earnest in his entreaties that they should be obedient. He impressed upon them that their well-being depended upon it: “If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law … . See “, said he,”I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply… I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut. 30:10, 15, 19). There is no more interesting chapter in the whole Bible than the long chapter in which he describes the blessings and the curses that were associated with the keeping or the breaking of the law in Deut. 28, or the similar recital in Lev. 26. Joshua, before his death, spoke to them in a similar vein: “Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Joshua 22:5).

Such later sayings as the following are the natural corollaries of the subject :—“Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but… he that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Prov. 28:7, 9); “He that keepeth the law, happy is he” (29:18); “As the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 5:24). “The earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (24:5).

bro Robert Roberts, The Law of Moses. As a rule of National and indivdual life. (electronic ed.). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Reference to: John 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

... “Reconciliation for iniquity” is illustrated in two incidents preceding the great act of “reconciliation” which brings in “everlasting righteousness.” These incidents help us to understand how the sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus became an “atonement,” and how His offering becomes available for others.

 1. In consequence of the children of Israel sacrificing to the gods of Moab, when also one of the children of Israel unlawfully took a Midianitish woman, God sent a plague in punishment for their sins. It is written that Phineas, the son of Aaron, turned wrath away from the children of Israel so that the plague was stayed, because he made an atonement by slaying the Israelite and the Midianitish woman. (Numbers 25.)

 2. The roll call of the fighting men of Israel who made war upon Midian showed that there lacked not one of the twelve thousand who went out to war. This remarkable deliverance so impressed the fighting men that they brought an oblation, or portion of the spoil, as an offering to the Lord. “Jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings and tablets, all the gold of the offering was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels,” to make atonement before the Lord. That is, they recognised the source of their deliverance from death by a voluntary offering. (Numbers 31:49.)

These two instances appear to exhibit the root principle of Atonement, viz., a basis upon which mercy is shewn, and a recognition that God alone can save.

a. In the case of the slaughter of Zimri and Cozbi, coupled with the destruction of those who perished in the plague when four and twenty thousand were slain, there was a sufficient demonstration against sin to serve as a warning inculcating righteousness. An example had been made, the object of the plague as a means of instruction and deliverance of Israel from sin has been attained, just as the plague which came upon Israel was stayed when David brought reconciliation by building an altar unto the Lord in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. (1st Chron. 21:14–22.)

b. In the case of the offering presented in consequence of preservation in the war there was a spontaneous, grateful recognition of the favour received for Him, without whom not a sparrow falls to the ground. This offering is called an atonement.

In Jesus crucified we have a complete exhibition of the principle illustrated in the foregoing examples. Just as the act of Phineas brought “reconciliation,” saving Israel from threatened destruction, so also because of the sacrifice of the Son of God, man is now permitted to live in hope of ultimate deliverance. Just as a crucified Roman soldier served as an example to his fellows, so Jesus Anointed became an example and a foundation for the exercise of mercy to mankind, but that mercy could not be fully available until the one important condition for its exercise was fulfilled, viz., crucifixion of sin’s flesh. In Jesus as in the first illustration, the hand of the destroying angel was not stayed till blood was shed, so not until blood was poured out from sin’s flesh could the power of sin be destroyed. In Jesus also there is an exhibition of faith, without which it is impossible to please God, conjoined with a free-will response in loving recognition of the Father’s love to him.

We have already seen how constantly Jesus responded to the behests of his Father, how constantly he refers to his coming crucifixion, which most certainly was a free-will offering in compliance with his Father’s wish. This may be gathered infallibly from the following statements:

I lay down my life for the sheep.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again.

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself. (John 10:15–18.)

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Ibid. 15:13.)

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be? (Matt. 26:53.)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24.)

Jesus must have fully understood why his Father required him to die. A reason aptly expressed in subsequent apostolic comment on his sacrifice, thus:

God condemned sin in the flesh. (Rom. 8:3)
He hath made him sin for us who knew no sin.  ...

bro Henry Sulley,  The Temple of Ezekiel's Prophecy. Nature, character and extent of the building which is shortly to be erected in the land of Israel as the House of prayer for all people.

Isa 40:31  ... they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

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Deu 4     Pro 31     Joh 15,16
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Reference to:
Deu 4:24  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.


... We have arrived then at this, that the Mosaic Cherubim were symbolical of “God manifest in the flesh”. We wish now to ascertain upon what principles His incarnate manifestation was represented by the Cherubim? First, then, in the solution of this interesting problem, I remark, that the scriptures speak of God after the following manner: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all ”;b again, “God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth”;c and thirdly, “Our God is a consuming fire.”d In these three texts, which are only a sample of many others, we perceive that God is represented by light, spirit, and fire; when, therefore, He is symbolized as manifest in flesh, it becomes necessary to select certain signs representative of light, spirit, and fire, derived from the animal kingdom. Now, the ancients selected the lion, the ox, and the eagle for this purpose, probably from tradition of the signification of these animals, of the faces of them, in the original Cherubim. They are called God’s Faces because His omniscience, purity, and jealousy are expressed in them. But the omniscient, jealous, and incorruptible God was to be manifested in a particular kind of flesh. Hence, it was necessary to add a fourth face to show in what nature He would show Himself. For this reason, the human face was associated with the lion, the ox, and the eagle.

These four faces united in one human shape, formed out of beaten gold; and two such, not separate and distinct symbols, but standing one on each end of the mercy-seat, and the same in continuity and substance with it;—taken as a whole, represented Jesus, the true blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, or propitiatory, “in whom dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily ”.e All four faces were to look upon the mercy-seat, so as to behold the sprinkled blood of the yearly sacrifice. To accomplish this, two cherubs were necessary; so that the lion and the ox faces of the one; and the man and the eagle faces of the other, should all be “mercy-seat-ward”.

It will be seen from this view of things, how important a place the Cherubim occupied in the worship of God connected with “the representation of the truth”. They were not objects of adoration; but symbols representing to the mind of an intelligent believer the Seed of the woman as God manifested in the likeness of sinful flesh. This I take it was the significance of the Cherubim which the Lord God placed at the east of the garden; and which became the germ, as it were, of the shadowy observances of the patriarchal and Mosaic institutions; whose substance was of Christ.

b. 1 John 1:5.
c. John 4:24.
d. Deut. 4:24.
e. Rom. 3:25; Col. 2:3, 9.

bro John Thomas, . Elpis Israel : An exposition of the Kingdom of God. With reference to the Time of the End and the Age to Come. (electronic ed.) (151). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

-----------------------------------------------
Reference to:
Pro 31:30  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

THINGS NEW AND OLD FROM THE TREASURES OF THE SPIRIT
By F. R. Shuttleworth.

Reference Tablet No. 132

Works and Maxims of Men

Men say “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.” The Bible says “Beauty is vain.”—(Prov. 31:30.)

What men call “the dignity of labour,” is a kind of dressing up that will only do for people who are ignorant of the truth. To “eat bread by the sweat of the face” is an experience introduced by sin; and in view of the fact noted by Solomon, that a man has to leave the result of his labour to another (who may be a wise man or a fool), it is a vanity to be despaired of; while in the light of Christ’s exhortation, to “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth to everlasting life,” it is clear that the grinding toil of a mortal sin-stricken existence has no dignity beyond that which may be obtained for it by the consecration of the endeavour to the obtaining of an imperishable inheritance, and an enduring substance in the life to come.—(Gen. 3:19; Eccles. 2:11, 18, 19, 22; John 6:27.)

Men counsel one another to “self-reliance” in the battle of life; but not so the Scriptures: their exhortation is, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” And again, “The children of Israel prevailed because they “relied on the Lord God.”—(2 Chron. 13:18.)

Men exhort one another to “self-help;” but the Bible says rather, “Happy is he who hath the God of Jacob for his help, and whose hope is in the Lord his God;” and again, “Bear ye one another’s burdens;” and again, “As ye have opportunity, do good unto all men.”

Poor short-sighted men sing proudly how “Britons never shall be slaves,” not discerning that he who is a servant of sin, though free from a forced servitude, is by far the greater slave than he who, though bodily subject to another, is the servant of righteousness. The only truly free men are Christ’s bondsmen.

It is generally supposed to be a great virtue to be provident, and to lay by against a rainy day; but this mostly means look out for yourself; lay up for yourself treasures upon earth; but we have a better principle than that, by Paul, viz., ‘Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.”—(1 Cor. 10:24.)

Self defence is considered a very noble art; but the Bible shews us a more excellent way; for whilst it allows a man to shield himself from unjust procedure, by claiming the right of protection which any just law affords, as in the case of Paul (Acts 25:26.), it, at the same time, enjoins that we “resist not evil;” and again, “If a man strike thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.”

“Forward” is considered a capital motto to head a pushing business with; but it is only expressive in that connection of the untiring zeal with which men pursue the perishing objects of their ambition. A higher motto is that of Paul, “Go on unto perfection,” or again, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”—(Phil. 3:14; Heb. 6:1.)

Men account patriotism a noble virtue; but if they understood Moses and the prophets they would be much differently minded. Their love of fatherland would find a much higher object of affection, and one greatly more worthy of their zeal in the land which God has chosen, and wherein He will yet place His glory for the enlightenment of the nations. If they understood this, they would “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” or like Joseph of Arimathea, “wait for the kingdom of God.”

Some men think that to reclaim men from drunkenness is about as great a work as they could well engage in, but where the facts of the case are seen, there is a better and more profitable work than this to which a man may more wisely and usefully devote himself. The facts are, that the benefits obtained in the reform of a drunkard are confined to the present mortal life, whereas, on the other hand the mass of professed religionists who crowd the popular conventicles have mostly drunk deep into the drugged wine of Rome’s intoxicating cup. To make such sober by the belief and obedience of the truth is a work which includes “temperance in all things,” and has for its end everlasting life.—(Rev. 17.)

The popular cry for “liberty, fraternity and equality,” is abstractly a good idea, but it is in bad and incompetent hands. And if it were the possible and permanent attainment of any mere human administration (which it is not,) it would only amount to the establishment of mutual human rights and privileges to the exclusion of the law of God, and the overthrow of His purpose in Christ to break the nations to shivers, and to rule the world in righteousness. This accomplished freedom, brotherhood, and equal rights will be developed upon a divine and immovable foundation of true goodness.

The cry for education, just seems to indicate the general feeling as to the desirability of increased facilities for general instruction in connection with compulsory measures as applied to the juvenile portion of the population. The mistake, however, lies in supposing that increase of general knowledge is the cure for the world’s evils. Whereas, if people were really scripturally enlightened, as indeed they profess to be, they would know for certain that the work of giving the nations a complete state of culture has been assigned to the kingdom of God. Till that come it is an utterly hopeless case, the only wise thing to be done now is to make the necessary personal preparation by faith and obedience, which God requires as the condition of life and inheritance in that more glorious and competent administration.

The Christadelphian  : Volume 13. c1876. The Christadelphian, volume 13. (electronic ed.) (13:310-311).

-----------------------------------------------
Reference to:
John 15

OF THE BREAKING OF THE LOAF

As we have said, the primitive Christians met every First Day of the week, to offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ; that these spiritual sacrifices were appointed by the Apostles; and that among them, the Breaking of the Loaf held a conspicuous place. Hence, it is certain, that the ancient believers met every first, or Lord’s day, to break the loaf, as well as to pray, to sing, to read, to exhort, and to contribute. And because they did so, the true Christians of this age, do so now.

The spiritual sacrifice, called the Breaking of the Loaf, is based upon the death of Jesus, in connexion with the invaluable truth that his blood that was poured forth, was shed for the remission of sins. Its observance was enjoined on the Apostles. “Do this,” said Jesus, “in commemoration of me;” Luke 22:19; and not upon them only, for Paul commands the believers to do so too. “I received from the Lord.” says he, “What also I delivered to you” Corinthians. See 1 Cor. 11:23. It is to be observed by all the faithful, in remembrance of Jesus, for a limited period—until the passover be accomplished in the Kingdom of God—until he shall drink the product of the wine new in the Kingdom of God—until the reign of God be come—or as Paul says, “until he (Jesus come) Mark 14:25. Luke 22:14, 20; 1 Cor. 11:26. These untils all refer to one and the same period of time, namely, when the companions of his trials, (the Apostles,) shall eat and drink at his table, in his Kingdom, and shall sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of (the restored) Israel. Luke 22:29. Hence this institution is commemorative and prophetic. It points to the death and triumph of the Founder of the Christian Religion;—to the sacrifice which preceded his departure, and to his return as a conquering hero; when the existing kingdoms shall have their dominion taken away, and the saints of the Most High, with the Son of David at their head, shall possess the government of the terrestrial world for a thousand years. Dan. 7:9, 27; Rev. 5:10; 11:15, 17; 20:4.

“Having given thanks, he took bread, and broke it.” For what did Jesus give thanks previous to his breaking the loaf? It may be observed here, that while attending to the passover, Jesus discoursed at length with his Apostles, and seems to have concluded his discourse by lifting up his eyes to heaven, saying, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee,” &c. This prayer and discourse, with the connecting circumstances, are recorded in John 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. The subjects of the petition was his own glorification; the preservation of his Apostles; their union, and the union of all that should believe on him through their teaching, that the world might believe and know, that the Father had sent him. This prayer was very appropriate when offered in connexion with his departure; and the participation of the bread and wine by the Apostles, which represented their common union with the blood and body of Christ, their Lord. Mark terms the giving of thanks—“the blessing;” hence Paul, calls it “The cup of blessing, which,” says he, “we bless; is it not the joint participation of the blood of Christ? The loaf which we break, is it not the joint participation of the body of Christ? Because, there is one loaf, we, the many, are one body: for we all participate of the one loaf.” 1 Cor. 10:15. Giving thanks, then, in this connexion, is blessing God on account of that union and communion effected by the blood and body of Jesus, which were spilt and broken for the redemption of all who should believe on Him, through the Apostle’s teaching. These are the things for which Jesus blessed God; and for which we should do likewise.

bro John Thomas,  (1835-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (3:64-65). Richmond, Va.: s.n.


-----------------------------------------------
Reference to:
Joh 15:24  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have
they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

... Much mental torment that might have been spared has been endured in connection with this subject of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Sensitive persons have feared they may have been guilty of the offence without being aware of it. An enlightened apprehension of the subject will shew them that such a case as sinning against the Holy Spirit without being aware of it is not possible; and further, that it is doubtful if the offence is possible at all in our age when the Spirit does not visibly assert itself. The ground of the special responsibility existing in the apostolic age was the evidence. “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin” (Jno. xv. 24). In our day, the evidence has become obscure and difficult of apprehension for the common run of minds. The Bible is truly the work of the Spirit of God, and the man who says it is human literally commits the sin which Jesus says will never be forgiven. But the circumstances are different, and it is questionable if in the circumstances of an era like this, when God’s face is hidden, such an offence would be estimated so heinously as in a day when the voice and hand of God were visibly displayed in attestation of His truth.

Before Jesus left the subject, he made a declaration much deserving to be pondered by all who recognise the voice of God in him. It bears seriously upon a habit of irreverence and thoughtlessness of speech which is more prevalent in modern than in ancient times. He said “I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment: for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. xii. 36). This solemn statement was evoked by the rash sayings of the Pharisees that his miracles were the work of Beelzebub; but it is evident that Jesus intended it to have a very wide application to “every idle word.” The saying of the Pharisees gives us to understand what is meant by an “idle” word—not an idle word in the literal English sense of a meaningless word said in an idle purposeless mood, but a word spoken unwisely and with a meaning detrimental to the honour or truth or majesty of God. Such may be spoken through ignorance or “of malice aforethought.” In either case it is an offence, though more an offence in the latter case than the former. It is an offence to which men are peculiarly liable in this age. The misapplied constructions of science have nearly dissolved all sense of responsibility, and extinguished all sentiment of reverence. Human consequences are a check upon action, but in speech, unbounded license is the order of the day. The language of the psalm expresses the common feeling: “Our tongues are our own: who is Lord over us?” It is one of the many symptoms of the deep disorder that prevails in the world. It is a time for David’s prayer, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips;” protect us from the flood of irreverent speech that passes on every hand—the impure, frivolous, reckless, foolish chatter that undermines wisdom in every heart, turning reverence to scorn, and love to a theme for jest. The words of Christ will act as a wholesome antidote in the hearts of those who give heed. “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

bro Robert Roberts, Nazareth Revisted [computer files. In harmony with the scriptures of Moses and the Prophets. (electronic ed.) (106). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.
fhigham

Registered:
Posts: 1,023
Reply with quote  #85 

LOVE

 

Keep yourselves in the love of God. Jude 21.

And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, love his brother also. I John 4:21.

If a man love me, my Father will love him. John 14:21.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. If a man love me, he will keep my words. John 14:15, 23.

He shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Jas. 1:12; 2:5.

All things work for good to them that love God. Rom. 8:28.

That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34.

But speaking the truth in love. Eph. 4:15.

 

R. C. Bingley, S. (2002). Index Rerum (49). Christadelphian Joy Fund, Inc.

 

Reference to: John 13:26  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
John 13:27  And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

... This was the final appeal.  He could do one of two things; repent or betray; but whatever the choice, now was the time to act. 

None around the table understood what the Lord meant by those words.  Even John, who had been told who the betrayer was, did not realize the extent of the betrayal.  The disciples thought that the Lord's words to Judas were a directive to him to buy something in preparation for the Passover about to take place, or, perhaps to give something to the poor.

Even Judas, misunderstanding the act of friendship extended to him by Jesus, did not realize that the Lord read the depths of his heart, and knew the extent of his infamy.

He saw this as a wonderful opportunity to excuse himself without anybody realizing what he was doing.  And so, "having received the sop" he went immediately out.

And John adds: "It was night."

This apostle went out into the blackness of night; but even so his heart was blacker!  He left the upper room and the presence of the Sun of Righteousness, entering into the darkness of a Jewish night that was typical of that about to fall upon the nation, and upon him personally.

What an opportunity had been his!  How much he was giving away!  What was he to receive?  He had received "the sop".  The Diaglott renders it as "the little piece," and it was a gesture of friendship; a "portion" offered as to a friend.  But it was, in effect, his reward for the gross betrayal he was about to commit.

He walked out into the night both literally and figuratively.  A night that brought for him utter despair, and a suicidal death; the blackness of oblivion, and the utter condemnation of the rejected.

How many have followed Judas into the night!

bro HP Mansfield, The Story of the Bible (vol 7, p269)

------------------------------------------------

Reference to: John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The Promise of Peace

In the upper room of Jerusalem, the apostles were isolated from the world without.  But they knew that the world was antagonistic to Christ, and would forcibly restrain him if it could.  Thus trouble surrounded them, and this disturbed them.  Nor did Christ's words pacify them, and consternation was shown on their faces.  So now he offered them peace; the peace of mind such as the world knows not, and which it is beyond the heart of man to conceive.  The word "peace", as used in the Bible, is an important one.  The Hebrew word is "shalom," and in Greek it is "eirene," and both come from roots signifying to be whole, complete, or united as one.  They thus describe harmonious relationships existing between two parties.  The world uses the word "peace" to describe the mere cessation of war; but Chrsit used it to define the harmony existing between parties where true fellowship or "oneness" exists.  It was that peace which he promised his disciples.

bro HP Mansfield, The Story of the Bible (vol 7, p290)

Reference to: John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

 

John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

 

CHRIST: HIS LIFE AND WORK 1,800  YEARS  AGO

 

BY THE EDITOR.

 

CHAPTER XXII.—THE TWELVE APOSTLES: THEIR CALL, THEIR QUALIFICATIONS, AND THEIR INSTRUCTIONS

 

IT is recorded that before the day on which he called his disciples together to choose from among them “twelve, whom also he named apostles,” “he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12, 13). There is probably a deep connection between these two things. Jesus had just enjoined his disciples to pray to “the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest;” and here we have him engaged “all night in prayer to God” just before performing the most important operation in connection with that work—namely, the appointment of twelve special men who were to take the leading part in the planting of the gospel in the earth, and who, with one exception, were to rank next to him in the glory of the kingdom of Israel restored (Luke 22:29, 30; Acts 1:6; Jno. 13:18, 21). Our estimate of the greatness of Christ may interfere somewhat with our appreciation of his dependence upon prayer. This is because of our inability to reach to the greater greatness above him, even the Father, of whom he said, “My Father is greater than I” (Jno. 14:28). Jesus “knew what was in man” and “needed not that any should testify what was in man” (Jno. 2:25). Therefore, we are liable to conclude that he needed not to pray the Father to guide him in the selection of men for companionship in suffering and glory. We may learn the blindness of such a thought as we behold him retire to a mountain solitude during the darkness of night to pray all night to God.

 

God had prepared the men. John the Baptist, as we saw in an early chapter, was sent before him to do this work—“to prepare his ways” (Luke 1:76), “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord’ (verse 17). John having done his work in the preparation and gathering together of a people, Jesus was introduced to notice, and the prepared people transferred to him. Jesus refers to this in the beautiful prayer of John 17., “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me” (verse 6). A part of the process by which they were so “given” by the Father to Jesus, we see in this earnest and prolonged entreaty by Christ for guidance in the selection from the whole multitude of the disciples of the twelve who were to be with him in a special and intimate manner. In this we may learn the need for our own application at all times to the same source of direction. “Commit thy way unto the Lord, and he shall direct thy steps.” On the other hand, we will be protected against the presumption of so-called modern “faith” by observing that Jesus, having sought the direction, proceeded to take the measures for the appointment of the apostles, instead of sitting down supinely to wait for God to bring them to Him. We must use the means; we must work with God. This is His beautiful arrangement by which God is glorified without man being spoiled. ...

 

The Christadelphian : Volume 24. 2001 (electronic ed.) (155).

fhigham

Registered:
Posts: 1,023
Reply with quote  #86 
Isa 40:31  ... they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

------------------------------------------------
Deu 4     Pro 31     John 15,16
------------------------------------------------

Reference to: Deu 4:24  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

... We have arrived then at this, that the Mosaic Cherubim were symbolical of “God manifest in the flesh”. We wish now to ascertain upon what principles His incarnate manifestation was represented by the Cherubim? First, then, in the solution of this interesting problem, I remark, that the scriptures speak of God after the following manner: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all ”;b again, “God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth”;c and thirdly, “Our God is a consuming fire.”d In these three texts, which are only a sample of many others, we perceive that God is represented by light, spirit, and fire; when, therefore, He is symbolized as manifest in flesh, it becomes necessary to select certain signs representative of light, spirit, and fire, derived from the animal kingdom. Now, the ancients selected the lion, the ox, and the eagle for this purpose, probably from tradition of the signification of these animals, of the faces of them, in the original Cherubim. They are called God’s Faces because His omniscience, purity, and jealousy are expressed in them. But the omniscient, jealous, and incorruptible God was to be manifested in a particular kind of flesh. Hence, it was necessary to add a fourth face to show in what nature He would show Himself. For this reason, the human face was associated with the lion, the ox, and the eagle.

These four faces united in one human shape, formed out of beaten gold; and two such, not separate and distinct symbols, but standing one on each end of the mercy-seat, and the same in continuity and substance with it;—taken as a whole, represented Jesus, the true blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, or propitiatory, “in whom dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily ”.e All four faces were to look upon the mercy-seat, so as to behold the sprinkled blood of the yearly sacrifice. To accomplish this, two cherubs were necessary; so that the lion and the ox faces of the one; and the man and the eagle faces of the other, should all be “mercy-seat-ward”.

It will be seen from this view of things, how important a place the Cherubim occupied in the worship of God connected with “the representation of the truth”. They were not objects of adoration; but symbols representing to the mind of an intelligent believer the Seed of the woman as God manifested in the likeness of sinful flesh. This I take it was the significance of the Cherubim which the Lord God placed at the east of the garden; and which became the germ, as it were, of the shadowy observances of the patriarchal and Mosaic institutions; whose substance was of Christ.

b. 1 John 1:5.
c. John 4:24.
d. Deut. 4:24.
e. Rom. 3:25; Col. 2:3, 9.

bro John Thomas, . Elpis Israel : An exposition of the Kingdom of God. With reference to the Time of the End and the Age to Come. (electronic ed.) (151). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

-----------------------------------------------
Reference to: Pro 31:30  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

THINGS NEW AND OLD FROM THE TREASURES OF THE SPIRIT
By F. R. Shuttleworth.

Reference Tablet No. 132

Works and Maxims of Men

Men say “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.” The Bible says “Beauty is vain.”—(Prov. 31:30.)

What men call “the dignity of labour,” is a kind of dressing up that will only do for people who are ignorant of the truth. To “eat bread by the sweat of the face” is an experience introduced by sin; and in view of the fact noted by Solomon, that a man has to leave the result of his labour to another (who may be a wise man or a fool), it is a vanity to be despaired of; while in the light of Christ’s exhortation, to “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth to everlasting life,” it is clear that the grinding toil of a mortal sin-stricken existence has no dignity beyond that which may be obtained for it by the consecration of the endeavour to the obtaining of an imperishable inheritance, and an enduring substance in the life to come.—(Gen. 3:19; Eccles. 2:11, 18, 19, 22; John 6:27.)

Men counsel one another to “self-reliance” in the battle of life; but not so the Scriptures: their exhortation is, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” And again, “The children of Israel prevailed because they “relied on the Lord God.”—(2 Chron. 13:18.)

Men exhort one another to “self-help;” but the Bible says rather, “Happy is he who hath the God of Jacob for his help, and whose hope is in the Lord his God;” and again, “Bear ye one another’s burdens;” and again, “As ye have opportunity, do good unto all men.”

Poor short-sighted men sing proudly how “Britons never shall be slaves,” not discerning that he who is a servant of sin, though free from a forced servitude, is by far the greater slave than he who, though bodily subject to another, is the servant of righteousness. The only truly free men are Christ’s bondsmen.

It is generally supposed to be a great virtue to be provident, and to lay by against a rainy day; but this mostly means look out for yourself; lay up for yourself treasures upon earth; but we have a better principle than that, by Paul, viz., ‘Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.”—(1 Cor. 10:24.)

Self defence is considered a very noble art; but the Bible shews us a more excellent way; for whilst it allows a man to shield himself from unjust procedure, by claiming the right of protection which any just law affords, as in the case of Paul (Acts 25:26.), it, at the same time, enjoins that we “resist not evil;” and again, “If a man strike thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.”

“Forward” is considered a capital motto to head a pushing business with; but it is only expressive in that connection of the untiring zeal with which men pursue the perishing objects of their ambition. A higher motto is that of Paul, “Go on unto perfection,” or again, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”—(Phil. 3:14; Heb. 6:1.)

Men account patriotism a noble virtue; but if they understood Moses and the prophets they would be much differently minded. Their love of fatherland would find a much higher object of affection, and one greatly more worthy of their zeal in the land which God has chosen, and wherein He will yet place His glory for the enlightenment of the nations. If they understood this, they would “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” or like Joseph of Arimathea, “wait for the kingdom of God.”

Some men think that to reclaim men from drunkenness is about as great a work as they could well engage in, but where the facts of the case are seen, there is a better and more profitable work than this to which a man may more wisely and usefully devote himself. The facts are, that the benefits obtained in the reform of a drunkard are confined to the present mortal life, whereas, on the other hand the mass of professed religionists who crowd the popular conventicles have mostly drunk deep into the drugged wine of Rome’s intoxicating cup. To make such sober by the belief and obedience of the truth is a work which includes “temperance in all things,” and has for its end everlasting life.—(Rev. 17.)

The popular cry for “liberty, fraternity and equality,” is abstractly a good idea, but it is in bad and incompetent hands. And if it were the possible and permanent attainment of any mere human administration (which it is not,) it would only amount to the establishment of mutual human rights and privileges to the exclusion of the law of God, and the overthrow of His purpose in Christ to break the nations to shivers, and to rule the world in righteousness. This accomplished freedom, brotherhood, and equal rights will be developed upon a divine and immovable foundation of true goodness.

The cry for education, just seems to indicate the general feeling as to the desirability of increased facilities for general instruction in connection with compulsory measures as applied to the juvenile portion of the population. The mistake, however, lies in supposing that increase of general knowledge is the cure for the world’s evils. Whereas, if people were really scripturally enlightened, as indeed they profess to be, they would know for certain that the work of giving the nations a complete state of culture has been assigned to the kingdom of God. Till that come it is an utterly hopeless case, the only wise thing to be done now is to make the necessary personal preparation by faith and obedience, which God requires as the condition of life and inheritance in that more glorious and competent administration.

The Christadelphian  : Volume 13. c1876. The Christadelphian, volume 13. (electronic ed.) (13:310-311).

-----------------------------------------------
Reference to: John 15

OF THE BREAKING OF THE LOAF

As we have said, the primitive Christians met every First Day of the week, to offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ; that these spiritual sacrifices were appointed by the Apostles; and that among them, the Breaking of the Loaf held a conspicuous place. Hence, it is certain, that the ancient believers met every first, or Lord’s day, to break the loaf, as well as to pray, to sing, to read, to exhort, and to contribute. And because they did so, the true Christians of this age, do so now.

The spiritual sacrifice, called the Breaking of the Loaf, is based upon the death of Jesus, in connexion with the invaluable truth that his blood that was poured forth, was shed for the remission of sins. Its observance was enjoined on the Apostles. “Do this,” said Jesus, “in commemoration of me;” Luke 22:19; and not upon them only, for Paul commands the believers to do so too. “I received from the Lord.” says he, “What also I delivered to you” Corinthians. See 1 Cor. 11:23. It is to be observed by all the faithful, in remembrance of Jesus, for a limited period—until the passover be accomplished in the Kingdom of God—until he shall drink the product of the wine new in the Kingdom of God—until the reign of God be come—or as Paul says, “until he (Jesus come) Mark 14:25. Luke 22:14, 20; 1 Cor. 11:26. These untils all refer to one and the same period of time, namely, when the companions of his trials, (the Apostles,) shall eat and drink at his table, in his Kingdom, and shall sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of (the restored) Israel. Luke 22:29. Hence this institution is commemorative and prophetic. It points to the death and triumph of the Founder of the Christian Religion;—to the sacrifice which preceded his departure, and to his return as a conquering hero; when the existing kingdoms shall have their dominion taken away, and the saints of the Most High, with the Son of David at their head, shall possess the government of the terrestrial world for a thousand years. Dan. 7:9, 27; Rev. 5:10; 11:15, 17; 20:4.

“Having given thanks, he took bread, and broke it.” For what did Jesus give thanks previous to his breaking the loaf? It may be observed here, that while attending to the passover, Jesus discoursed at length with his Apostles, and seems to have concluded his discourse by lifting up his eyes to heaven, saying, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee,” &c. This prayer and discourse, with the connecting circumstances, are recorded in John 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. The subjects of the petition was his own glorification; the preservation of his Apostles; their union, and the union of all that should believe on him through their teaching, that the world might believe and know, that the Father had sent him. This prayer was very appropriate when offered in connexion with his departure; and the participation of the bread and wine by the Apostles, which represented their common union with the blood and body of Christ, their Lord. Mark terms the giving of thanks—“the blessing;” hence Paul, calls it “The cup of blessing, which,” says he, “we bless; is it not the joint participation of the blood of Christ? The loaf which we break, is it not the joint participation of the body of Christ? Because, there is one loaf, we, the many, are one body: for we all participate of the one loaf.” 1 Cor. 10:15. Giving thanks, then, in this connexion, is blessing God on account of that union and communion effected by the blood and body of Jesus, which were spilt and broken for the redemption of all who should believe on Him, through the Apostle’s teaching. These are the things for which Jesus blessed God; and for which we should do likewise.

bro John Thomas,  (1835-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (3:64-65). Richmond, Va.: s.n.


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Reference to: John 15:24  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

... Much mental torment that might have been spared has been endured in connection with this subject of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Sensitive persons have feared they may have been guilty of the offence without being aware of it. An enlightened apprehension of the subject will shew them that such a case as sinning against the Holy Spirit without being aware of it is not possible; and further, that it is doubtful if the offence is possible at all in our age when the Spirit does not visibly assert itself. The ground of the special responsibility existing in the apostolic age was the evidence. “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin” (Jno. xv. 24). In our day, the evidence has become obscure and difficult of apprehension for the common run of minds. The Bible is truly the work of the Spirit of God, and the man who says it is human literally commits the sin which Jesus says will never be forgiven. But the circumstances are different, and it is questionable if in the circumstances of an era like this, when God’s face is hidden, such an offence would be estimated so heinously as in a day when the voice and hand of God were visibly displayed in attestation of His truth.

Before Jesus left the subject, he made a declaration much deserving to be pondered by all who recognise the voice of God in him. It bears seriously upon a habit of irreverence and thoughtlessness of speech which is more prevalent in modern than in ancient times. He said “I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment: for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. xii. 36). This solemn statement was evoked by the rash sayings of the Pharisees that his miracles were the work of Beelzebub; but it is evident that Jesus intended it to have a very wide application to “every idle word.” The saying of the Pharisees gives us to understand what is meant by an “idle” word—not an idle word in the literal English sense of a meaningless word said in an idle purposeless mood, but a word spoken unwisely and with a meaning detrimental to the honour or truth or majesty of God. Such may be spoken through ignorance or “of malice aforethought.” In either case it is an offence, though more an offence in the latter case than the former. It is an offence to which men are peculiarly liable in this age. The misapplied constructions of science have nearly dissolved all sense of responsibility, and extinguished all sentiment of reverence. Human consequences are a check upon action, but in speech, unbounded license is the order of the day. The language of the psalm expresses the common feeling: “Our tongues are our own: who is Lord over us?” It is one of the many symptoms of the deep disorder that prevails in the world. It is a time for David’s prayer, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips;” protect us from the flood of irreverent speech that passes on every hand—the impure, frivolous, reckless, foolish chatter that undermines wisdom in every heart, turning reverence to scorn, and love to a theme for jest. The words of Christ will act as a wholesome antidote in the hearts of those who give heed. “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

bro Robert Roberts, Nazareth Revisted [computer files. In harmony with the scriptures of Moses and the Prophets. (electronic ed.) (106). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

Compiled by Bro Len Naglieri
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #87 
This Is Life Eternal, To Know Thee, The Only True God (John 17:3)

We must be able to go to bed each night knowing a lot more about God and His Word than we did the night before. This is the only real purpose of our life, and any day this is not true is a day criminally wasted: a day to give account of at the judgment seat of Christ. "This is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God" -- and "knowing" God is not just meeting Him only, but a constant, ever-expanding understanding and familiarity and intimacy. To "know" God is not to know ABOUT Him, but to be allowed into His friendship and company and interest -- and this is granted to those only whose life's ambition is that their hearts may be increasingly pure: increasingly emptied of the flesh and filled with the Spirit.

Search Me O God, bro Growcott

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Deut 5     Ecc 1     John 17,18
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Reference to:
Deut 5:24  And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Deut 5:25  Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
Deut 5:26  For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?


THE JEWISH NATION
FROM A BIBLE POINT OF VIEW

In the Old Testament Scriptures we have a nation’s literature; a nation’s laws and constitution; a nation’s current history; a nation’s aboriginal history (traced up to the first man); a nation’s kings and chronicles; a nation’s prophets and priests; a nation’s institutions (civil and religious); a nation’s lawgivers and judges; a nation’s oppressors and deliverers; a nation’s proverbs and wise sayings; a nation’s “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”; a nation’s feasts and holy days; a nation’s tribes and genealogies; a nation’s warfare and civil strife; a nation’s rise and fall; a nation “not reckoned among the nations” (Num. 23:9); a nation whose land was the “glory of all lands”; a nation whose king, in the highest sense, was God; a nation whose laws, literature, and constitution was divine; a nation “terrible from their beginning hitherto” (Isa. 18:7); a nation that heard the voice of God speaking to it from heaven (Deut. 5:24–26); a nation that witnessed miracles almost without number; a nation that was the custodian of all that was divine for more than sixteen centuries; a nation whose literature is quoted or referred to in the New Testament nearly a thousand times; a nation referred to by name some thousand times or more in the entire scriptures; a nation that was subject to more sieges and captivities than any other nation on earth; a nation that is now dispersed in almost every country under heaven; a nation whose language was probably the first ever spoken, and the last that will be spoken; a nation whose writings all civilized nations read, and recognize as the divinest literature extant upon earth to this day; a nation around whose prophet-messages and narratives people of all climes and languages gather in worshipful attitude the world over; a nation whose seers have outlined the history and destiny of Gentile nations for all time; a nation whose laws and constitution was the only national code ever divinely given to man; a nation whose scattered members are all living witnesses to the fulfilment of prophecy, and the truth of the Bible in every nation where they are found; a nation whose future destiny is transcendantly more glorious than ever entered into the heart of man to conceive of, with regard to any other nation; a nation destined yet, with Christ at its head, to change the face of the whole world, and fill it with new light and life; a nation that will one day give law and liberty to all mankind; a nation that will at last be the head of all nations; their capital city the joy of the whole earth; their temple an house of prayer for all people; their Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; and their land the dwelling-place of Yahweh’s glory and praise, world without end.

To them pertained the adoption,
To them the glory,
To them the covenants,
To them the giving of the law,
To them the service of God,
To them the promises,
To them belong the fathers,
Of them (as concerning the flesh),
Christ came, and
Salvation itself is of the Jews.

Out of their history, all the light there is amongst men has come; with their future the future of the entire community of nations upon earth is bound up. Even the temporary casting of them away brought hope and reconciliation to the Gentile world; much more will the receiving of them again into the divine favour be as life from the dead, to the whole race of Adam (Rom. 11:15–26); for the very gospel concerns the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, and the blessing of all the families of the earth in Abraham and his seed (Gal. 3:8; Matt. 4:23; Acts 1:6; 15:16; Luke 1:32, 33). Once risen again above the political horizon, their sun will never more be turned into darkness, nor their moon into blood, for Yahweh in the midst of them, shall be their everlasting light, and the days of their mourning shall be ended for all time (Isa. 60:19, 20).

The Christadelphian  : Volume 26. c1889. (26:393-394). Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association.


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Reference to: Ecc 1:4  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Jerusalem the Future Centre of the Civilized World

Jerusalem is interesting to most people from antiquarian and historical association, but the interest arising from the divine point in view exceeds all others. The earth is established for ever (Ps. 104:5; Ecc. 1:4), “created not in vain” (Is. 45:18), but is to be inhabited for ever (Ps. 37:29), by the generation of the redeemed, made at last like Christ, and equal to the angels. It is in harmony with the fitness of things that this great work should be conducted from a central land and city. The land was chosen of God for that purpose before men were acquainted with the geography of the world. It was promised to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession. In the chosen land, God chose a city (Jerusalem), which was to be the centre of His manifestation to Israel, and at last to all the earth, and his dwelling place for ever (Ps. 132:12, 13). It is because of this choice that His people in all ages have regarded Jerusalem with such surpassing interest. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning” (Ps. 137:5, 6). Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee” (Ps. 122:7). “Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest till he establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Is. 62:6). Jerusalem has already been the scene of the typical glory in the days of Solomon, and its desolation and defilement by Gentile abominations is only for a time, and because of Israel’s iniquity (Is. 54:7; 40:2). It is Christ’s city, “the city of the Great King” (Matt 5:35), and sacred in His estimation. In prophecy, in view of the culmination of Israel’s sin in His crucifixion, He foretold and limited its desolation: “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). These “times” are still current, and visitors to Jerusalem still find it filled with Gentiles of all kinds. There are not wanting, however, signs that the “times” are nearly run out. A comparative prosperity of the land of Palestine, after ages of desolation and a partial colonisation by the Jews, have set in, as testified by the prophets, particularly Ezekiel (38:39.) and the commencement of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway the other day is not the least among “the signs of the times.” Those instructed in the Scriptures look forward in the light of these things to the glorious time, in which Christ returned will raise and reward His servants of all ages (Rev. 11:18)—gather the living saints unto Him (1 Thess. 4:17)—summon the world to surrender to His claims as universal King “by right divine” (Rev. 14:6, 7; Ps. 2:10)—establish the Kingdom of God in the city which saw his shame (Luke 22:39; Ps. 2:6; Mic. 4:8)—raise up the fallen tabernacle of David (Amos 9:11) and from the holy hill of Zion, crowned then by the house of prayer for all nations (Mark 11:17; Is. 56:7)—the place of God’s throne (Ezek. 43:7)—bless all nations (after the judgment-storm) by His righteous and peaceful reign (Ps. 72.)—C. C. W.

The Christadelphian  : Volume 27. c1890 (electronic ed.) (27:429-430).

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Reference to: John 17:23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Ch. 2: FURTHER COMMENTS
Dr. Thomas’ Mind On The Subject

In a private letter to a friend, who had put questions on the subject in 1869, Dr. Thomas wrote as follows:
“The Lord Jesus said: ‘I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me, that they may be one, being sanctified through the truth; that they may all be one, as Thou, Father, art in me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in us, as we are one, made perfect in One’. (John 17). This unity of spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3), is what John styles our fellowship, the fellowship of the apostles, resulting from sanctification through the truth. Hence all who are sanctified through the truth, are sanctified by the second will, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once. For by one offering he hath perfected for a continuance them that are sanctified (Heb. 10:10, 14), which one offering of the body was the annulling and condemnation of sin, by the sacrifice thereof—(Heb. 9:26). This body, which descended from David ‘according to the flesh’, was the sacrificial victim offered by the Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). If David’s flesh were immaculate, this victim, descended from him, might be spotless; but, in that event, it would not have answered for the annulling and condemnation of sin in the flesh that sinned. Rom. 8:3). If it were an immaculate body that was crucified, it could not have borne our sins in it, while hanging on the tree (1 Pet. 2:24). To affirm, therefore, that it was immaculate (as do all Papists and sectarian daughters of the Roman Mother) is to render of none effect the truth which is only sanctifying for us by virtue of the principles that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, in that sort of flesh with which Paul was afflicted when he exclaimed, ‘O, wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?’ (Rom. 7:11, 24).

It is not my province to issue bulls of excommunication, but simply to show what the truth teaches and commands. I have to do with principles, not men. If anyone say that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh common to us all, the apostle John saith that that spirit or teacher is not of God; is the deceiver and the anti-Christ, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ; and is, therefore, not to be received into the house, neither to be bidden God speed (1 John 4:3, 2; 2 John 7, 9, 10). I have nothing to add to or take from this. It is the sanctifying truth of the things concerning the ‘name of Jesus Christ’. All whom the apostles fellowshipped, believed it; and all in the apostolic ecclesias who believed it not—and there were such—had not fellowship with the apostles, but opposed their teachings; and when they found they could not have their own way, John says “They went out from us, but they—the anti-Christ—were not of us; for if they had been of us (of our fellowship), they would have continued with us; but they went out that it might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (I John 2:19). The apostles did not cast them out, but they went out of their own accord, not being able to endure sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3).

Then preach the word, etc., and exhort with all long-suffering and teaching. This is the purifying agency. Ignore brother this and brother that in said teaching; for personalities do not help the argument. Declare what you as a body believe to be the apostles’ doctrines. Invite fellowship upon this basis alone. If upon that declaration, any take the bread and wine, not being offered by you, they do so upon their own responsibility, not on yours. If they help themselves to the elements, they endorse your declaration of doctrine, and eat condemnation to themselves. For myself, I am not in fellowship with the dogma that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh, or that he died as a substitute to appease the fury and wrath of God. The love of God is manifest in all that He has done for man. ‘When all wish to do what is right’, the right surely is within their grasp. I trust you will be able to see it from what is now before you. And may the truth preside over all your deliberations, for Christ Jesus is the truth, and dwells with those with whom the truth is. Where this is I desire to be.

If I believe the truth as it is in the Jesus Paul preached, and fellowship the doctrine of an immaculate Jesus Paul did not preach, in celebrating the death of the latter with those who repudiate the maculate body set forth by God for a propitiation, is affirming one thing and practising another. Those who hold Paul’s doctrine, ought not to worship with a body that does not. This is holding with the hare and running with the hounds—a position of extraordinary difficulty. Does not such an one love the hounds better than the hare? When the hounds come upon the hare, where will he be? No; if I agree with you in doctrine, I will forsake the assembling of myself with a body that opposes your doctrine, although it might require me to separate from the nearest and dearest. No good is effected by compromising the principles of the truth; and to deny that Jesus came in sinful flesh, is to destroy the sacrifice of Christ.
J.T.

bro C. C. Walker. Atonement: Salvation Through the Blood of Christ (65).

Compiled by Bro Len Naglieri
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Sorrow Is Better Than Laughter

 

"The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth"--Ecclesiastes 7:4

 

Paul gives us much to think about when he speaks of foolish talking and jesting as incompatible with holiness. Not because such things are purposely sinful, but they are fleshly and animal, outside the narrow and exalted scope of the sanctification of holiness, and therefore corrupt and unclean. He couples them in equal condemnation with what natural man considers much graver sins (Eph. 5:3-4)--

 

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you;

"Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting."

 

It is prostitution of the mind to the panderings of the flesh, and the mind is more important than the body.

 

It has been pointed out that the one great and remarkable omission from the Bible as the portrayal of humanity is the complete absence of humor. It has no place there. There is joy, and laughter, and happiness, and rejoicing, and merriness (in its true sense), and lightheartedness (in its true sense), and good fellowship. But no humor--

 

"As the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool" (Eccl. 7:6).

 

--no warmth, no lasting light: a brief flash, a harsh, grating sound, then cold black ashes.

 

This fact (the absence of humor), with Paul's and other inspired writers' remarks upon the same subject, is matter for deep thought for those who aspire to the holy reverence of sainthood.

 

In the first place, humor, however gentle, is rarely without a sting. The basis of every joke is the discomfiture of someone. Minor troubles and difficulties of others always appear humorous, and even major troubles have elements of humor to those who are not affected, often when the seriousness of the trouble makes them ashamed of the impulse. Humor is basically malicious; it's the natural, undisciplined mind of the flesh.

 

Then again, humor is false. It is evanescent, counterfeit happiness. It creates briefly and shallowly the same sensations; it calls into play the same expressions of the face, although usually contorted and exaggerated. But it creates no bond of friendship. It has no depth or permanence. It is not conducive to intimacy or confidence. In fact, it speaks sadly of a lack of depth, a shallow emptiness, an absence of consideration, a stunted immaturity, a deficiency of experience and understanding. It is sounding brass, and clanging cymbal. It has no warmth. It leaves the heart cold and cheated and uncheered.

 

Life isn't funny. We realize this when we face its realities--when we consider its hospitals and asylums; its lonely, cheerless homes for the cast-off aged, sitting around waiting to die; its unnumbered hosts of blind and crippled and suffering and bereaved; its multitude of pitiful, frightened, malformed unwanted children, twisted in mind and body; its endless, hopeless, plodding, stumbling parade toward the inevitable last common receptacle of all mortal flesh.

 

Who can joke and jest if they keep a full and sober realization of these things before their minds?

 

Life is no joke: it is grimly tragic. But still even amid its tragedy it can be happy and joyful with the quiet happiness of the assurance of the goodness of God, and the knowledge that all this will pass away and be forgotten when it has at last served its divine purpose, and the tried and perfected family of God is complete.

 

And then again, humor is often so cruelly out of place. Who has not bitten their tongue in shame and confusion after having stirred up a hidden sorrow by a thoughtless word of folly? Solomon says (Prov. 25:20)--

 

"As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart."

 

And Prov. 14:13--

 

"Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness."

 

And again (Eccl. 2:1-2)--

 

"I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure. And, behold, this also is vanity.  I said of laughter, It is mad. And of mirth, What doeth it?"

 

Wisdom's verdict is (Eccl. 7:2-4)--

 

"It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

"Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

 

There was no humor in the life of our Great Example, and his life was perfect in the sight of God. He was a man of sorrows and deep, intimate acquaintance with grief. With the knowledge and discernment and spiritual depth of sympathy and fellowfeeling that he possessed, it would be impossible to be otherwise than sorrowful in a world like this.

 

Nothing would have been more jarringly out of place, or more destructive of the power of his influence for good, than shallow, jangling humor. His mission was to those who had bitterly experienced the sorrow and tragedy of life. With them he had a fellowfeeling born of the same experiences. And to them he said--

 

"Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

"Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep."

 

A mutual sorrow is a far stronger bond of affection than a mutual pleasure, and the consolation of the mutual communion that is born of sorrow is often adequate compensation for it--

 

"By the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better."

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

--G.V.G.

 

 

 

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Reply with quote  #89 

Ecc_3:19  "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity."

Of both man and beast conjointly it is said,

“As the one dieth, so dieth the other, They have all one breath, or spirit. If God gather unto himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together.”

And so we have this illustrated in the announcement and event of the flood. It was to destroy all flesh wherein was the breath of life. The “all flesh,” is all living creatures; the breath is that of which it was said, “God breathed into man,” and the life of which the breath is spoken, is the aggregate of lives. We repeat therefore, “what befalleth the sons of man, befalleth beasts; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; they have all one breath; they all are of the dust, and all return to the dust again.” The body breaks up into its several elements, then blend with their kindred in the laboratory of nature, and the spirit returns to God who gave it as but an agent of God, apart from beast or man, in the process of organic life, not as an essence of man or beast, not as an element limited to the man or beasts being, but simply as that “inspiration” by which they both lived in common. The spirit is not the life The life is the result of the spirit common to all, acting on and through the body, it ceases therefore when this spirit is withdrawn. But the spirit returns as it came, is unaffected thereby, was no part of man or beast before it entered them, and has nothing to do with them after it has left them.

 
 The Christadelphian : Volume 2 Bd. 2. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1865, S. 2:145-146


"Woman, why weepest thou?"


           John and Peter left the tomb and went to their homes, leaving Mary Magdalene alone at the tomb, weeping.  As she wept, she stooped down to look into the sepulchre, and she saw two angels who said, "Why weepest thou?" She said, "Because they have taken away my Lord."  Mary's heart had been set on that last loving service to the body of her beloved. Turning from the tomb, she saw Jesus behind her, but did not know him.  He too said, "Woman, why weepest thou?"- his first recorded words beyond the grave. We cannot help but be struck by the typical aspect of the scene, as of Christ and the Bride - "Woman, why weepest thou?"

 

The long travail is over.  The Seed has been born of the Spirit. "And thy desire shall be thy Husband, and he shall rule over thee" - a sentence upon the Woman, a glorious promise to the Bride.  She still did not recognize him, but mistook him for a Gardener. Then Jesus said, "Mary," and suddenly recognition flooded over her, and she exclaimed "Rabboni!." - a term of deep affection, respect and devotion - "My Master, Leader, Guide, Teacher!"

 

This was Jesus' first appearance after his resurrection.  There must have been a reason why Mary Magdalene was chosen for this unique privilege - the first to see the risen Lord.  Peter and John had been there but a few moments before. Jesus waited for them to go away before revealing himself alone to Mary. 

 

She naturally, overwhelmed with joy and love, sought to touch him, but he said - "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father." Mary's privilege is further emphasized.  She alone saw him in the state between grave and glorification. She was taken, as it were, into the intimate workshop of the Spirit. He sent her to convey the joyful news to the disciples, and having performed this service, we never hear of Mary again.   GVG

 

 

 

 

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Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

 

... The restoration of Israel is a most important feature in the divine economy. It is indispensable to the setting up of the Kingdom of God; for they are the kingdom, having been constituted such by the covenant of Sinai, as it is written, “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation”. The apostles understood this well enough, and so do all who understand the Gospel of the Kingdom. After his resurrection, Jesus conversed with them during forty days, “speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God”. This was certainly long enough, under the instruction of such a teacher, to enable them to understand the subject well. It took possession of their minds and hearts, and created in them a desire for its immediate establishment. Hence, they put the question to him, saying, “Lord, wilt thou AT THIS TIME restore AGAIN the kingdom to Israel?”

It is evident from this, that they regarded Israel as having once possessed the kingdom, and expected the same Israel to possess it again. No other meaning can be put upon their words: for to restore a thing “again” to a party implies that they had once possessed it before. When Israel had the kingdom, they were ruled by Israelites, and not by Gentiles, for a foreigner could hold no office under their law. This was not the case in the days of the apostles, for they were ruled by the Roman Senate, and kings of its appointment. But it will not be so when the kingdom is restored to them again. The horns of the Gentiles will then be cast out of the land, and they will be ruled by “Israelites indeed” who will have become Jews by adoption; for no Jews or Gentiles after the flesh can have any part in the government of Israel and the Israelitish empire, which will embrace all nations, unless their Jewish citizenship is based upon a higher principle than natural birth. The flesh constitutes a Jew a subject of the kingdom, but confers on him no right to sit and rule upon the thrones of the house of David. This is reserved for Christ and his apostles, who “shall sit upon twelve thrones of his glory”; and for all other Jews and Gentiles who shall have become “Jews inwardly”, for whom the dominion under the whole heaven is decreed in the benevolence of God. ...

 

bro John Thomas, Elpis Israel : An exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed.) (439).
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