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fhigham

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Reply with quote  #886 
Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Be Ye Perfect (Matt. 5:48)

Our fixed life's aim must be total harmony with God. Anything less than this is a wasted, aborted life. This is the standard set before us, and there is no other. "Be ye perfect, as your Father is perfect." Any other standard is a wicked, deceptive human invention, guaranteeing death, foolishly and fatally "comparing themselves with themselves." We shall admittedly never totally achieve this aim in this life. Only Christ did that: and he was specially prepared, helped, and strengthened to accomplish it. That did not make it easier for him: it just made it possible. He achieved it by constant effort and constant vigilance. We are required to get and stay as close as we possibly can to that -- within the limits of our abilities and capabilities (which only God knows). We constantly tend to drift away. We must make a thousand course corrections daily to stay on target. We must keep constantly pulling ourselves back. With sufficient love of God, this is a joy. Without it, it is an intolerable burden. True love for God couldn't be happy doing anything else.

Search Me O God,  bro Growcott

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Jan 3    Gen 5,6      Psa 6,8   Mat 5
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Reference to:
Gen 5:3  And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

... In the light of this revelation, we understand the Mosaic record of the creation. It pleased the King Eternal, nearly 6000 years ago, to add a New Province to his Dominion; not by an original creation, but by the re-constitution of a globe already existing as one of the Solar Planets. He commanded his Angels to go and execute the work according to the order detailed by Moses. They hearkened unto the voice of his word; and in six days finished all they were commanded to do. But, without his power they could have effected nothing: therefore, in the history, all things are referred to Him. He willed; they executed by his Spirit.

Now, on the Sixth Day, before Man was formed the Elohim gave being to the lower animals. Among these was “the Serpent, more subtile than any beast of the field, which the Yehowah Elohim had made. It was a creature of observation; it noted the objects around it, and among these observed the “gods,” to whom it told Eve she should be like if she eat the fruit. In the Hebrew, the word rendered “gods,” is Elohim, the same as occurs throughout the first chapter. From what other source but the sight of its eyes, unless by divine inspiration, could the Serpent have derived information about the “gods?” It spoke of what it had seen and heard. But the animals were still without a King; therefore, said one of the Elohim “Let us make Man in our Image.” There was none like them of all they had made; therefore, they determined to make an animal after their own form. They shaped him with head, limbs, and body like their own; so that he stood before them the earthly Image of the Heavenly Elohim. As much their image as Seth was the image of his father Adam.—Gen. 5:3.

III. We do not say, that Man’s likeness to the Elohim consisted in his being “very good;” but that the Spirit of God formed him “very good” in the same sense that it formed all other animals so. They were without character, so was he; his goodness was physical not moral; that of the Elohim was both.

Yet, in a certain sense, Man was formed in the likeness of the Elohim. This likeness, we believe, consisted in the Man’s susceptibility of an exaltation to their nature and rank upon the same principles as they had attained thereto. This capacity distinguished him from all the other animals they had formed. He was of like capacity to the Elohim. He could manifest intellect and disposition like to them, and he could know evil like them.  ...

bro John Thomas,  The Herald of the Future Age (3:93-94). New York.

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Reference to:
Gen 6:9  These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

... From the doctrine taught in the letter to the Hebrews we learn, that “spirits made perfect” are consciences, or moral dispositions, perfected, so as to have no more conscience of sins; a perfection, which is developed by perfect moral actions, or a keeping of the commandments of God as delivered by Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his Apostles. As to the word perfect, its signification depends on the context to which the passage stands related in which it is found. Noah is said to have been perfect, Gen. 6:9; and God commanded him to be perfect, which he would not have done, had there been no sense in which he could be perfect. Job says, “God will not cast away a perfect man, which implies the existence of perfect men on the earth, whom He could cast away if he pleased. “Be ye perfect,” says Jesus to his hearers, even as your Father is perfect.” Perfection then, in the estimation of Jesus, and in the sense of this passage, is possible. “We speak wisdom,” say Paul and Sosthenes to the Corinthian disciples, “among The perfect.” Who are these called The Perfect? The Living Believers among whom Paul and Sosthenes spoke the wisdom of God; which until the days of the Apostles, was a mystery, being concealed from the view of those who put his Son to death. “Begun in the Spirit,” or New Institution, says Paul to the Living Believers in Galatia, “are ye made perfect by the Flesh,” or Old Institution whose circumcision pertained to the flesh? This passage shews, that Paul considered the Galatians as made perfect by the Gospel. “Let us then,” says he to the Phillippians, “as many as would be perfect, be likeminded.” Would be perfect when? Now or hereafter? We answer in accordance with The Harbinger hereafter. The word perfect in this passage, refers to the prize about which Paul was discoursing; a prize, which consists, not in metaphysical abstractions, but in the having our humbled Bodies transformed into a like form with his glorious body, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall appear among men. “For the law made no one perfect,” says Paul; that is, its priests; for in this connexion he is reasoning about the Jewish and Christian Priesthoods. This implies, that the New Institution does confer perfection on its Priesthood. And who are the priests of the New Institution? Jesus the High Priest, and his Disciples, who are kings and priests to God. The Gospel then does make its adherents perfect, which no other institution, however adored among men, can. This same doctrine of perfection is taught in Heb. 10. But the climax of our proof, that perfect is applicable to genuine disciples of Christ, as contrasted with those under the law, is this,—“By which will (or institution) we (believers) are sanctified (or constituted holy,) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once. Wherefore by one offering he has perfected for ever the sanctified.” Now this perfection of the sanctified consists in a perfect and complete forgetfulness of their former sins; “for, says Paul, speaking of the perfecting institution, “their sins and iniquities will God remember no more.”

From these premises we learn, that perfection, in a certain sense, in this life can be attained:—that the true and genuine believers of the Gospel are the sole subjects of that perfection which is recognized by God—they are the perfect; that, perfection is either moral, or physical, that the perfect become morally or spiritually perfect when they become the subjects of the New Institution; and that they become physically or materially perfect when they shall attain to the resurrection of the dead. This is the Mark for the Prize of the High Calling. It was that he might attain to this prize that Paul was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. The resurrection was the mark upon which the Apostle’s eye was fixed. His ardent longings were not after a state of metaphysical abstraction, but he was willing to suffer anything that by any means he might attain to the Resurrection of the dead, which is the door by which we must, and can alone enter, unless alive at the coming of the Lord, into the presence Chamber of the Almighty.

Moral, or spiritual, perfection is an indispensable preliminary to physical or corporeal. He that does not become a perfect spirit in this life will not be raised a perfect body, for the enjoyment of that which is to come. To become a perfect spirit, one must be born of the Spirit, and then he will be morally perfect; for, it is written that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Now, he that is morally and physically perfect must be spiritual and perfect indeed. He will then be just as perfect as he can, or need, be. Seeing then, that the perfection of believers is not entire until they rise from the dead, the phrase, the spirit of a just man is precise and emphatic. The spirit of a just man, is a Genuine and Living Believer. That is, one who has had his heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and his body washed in purifying water. The assembly composed generally of the first-borns of the spirit, was constituted of such persons; these were individuals who were perfected by the Blood, the Water, and the Spirit, of the Gospel Institution; a perfection acknowledged and accepted of God, and one which the Institution of Moses could not confer’.  ...

bro John Thomas (1835-1836). The Apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (3:273-274). Richmond, Va.: s.n.

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Reference to:
Psa 6:5  For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

... David, one of the prophets, speaks copiously of resurrection in the Psalms. The word is not found there, but the thing itself very frequently is. He treats of the resurrection of his descendant, the Christ, from among the dead; to the end that he may reign King in Zion as the sovereign ruler of the world. He teaches this in the second Psalm. “In death,” he says, “there is no remembrance of the Deity” (Psalm 6:5), and “the dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence” (Psalm 115:17); “the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything: their love, and their hatred and their envy, are now perished;” hence, “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in sheol, whither thou goest” (Ecc. 9:5–6, 10). This sheol is styled in Job 10:22, “the land of darkness,” and in Psalm 88:12, “the land of forgetfulness,” and in Psalm 30:3, and many other places, “the grave.”

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.  ...

bro John Thomas. (1866; 2002). Anastasis (7). Logos Publishers.
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #887 

Lay Up For Yourselves Treasures In Heaven (Matt. 6:20)

 We must move out of the changing, passing fantasies of the present into the realm of unchanging, eternal reality. We must transfer all our affections and possessions there. This is "laying up treasure in heaven," where it will be eternally abiding.

 bro Growcott, Search Me O God

 

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Jan 4 • Gen 7,8 • Psa 9,10 • Matthew 6

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Reference to:

Chapter 7

 

THE FLOOD WASHES THE EARTH CLEAN

 

Theepoch of the flood dawns, and Noah is instructed to gather all that has been accumulated into the ark. He is then invited to enter the ark, which follows as a calm and orderly event. The door is divinely closed upon him, and the Flood commences. The source of the waters is twofold: they burst out from beneath, out of the ocean floor; and pour down from above as the heavens are opened. For forty days and nights the storm continues until the earth is covered, and all forms of life thereupon cease. For one hundred and fifty days the waters prevail upon the earth.

 

A Remnant to Be Saved vv 1-9

Further instructions are given to Noah as to those who were to be saved from the Judgment. At the set time they all entered the ark. They did so before the outpouring of Judgment, as similarly, the saints living at Christ's coming will be withdrawn from the world before the judgment of Armageddon is experienced by it (Isa 26:20-21 ; 60:1-2; 1 Pet 4:17).

 

Noah's Log of the Flood vv 10-24

When all preparations had been completed, and Noah and his family had entered the ark, the storm broke, and there followed the most devastating catastrophe this world has ever experienced or ever will experience. The record is given in simple direct language; and reads like a log book of a sea captain. Doubtless Noah recorded a chronological diary of what occurred.

 

bro HP Mansfield, The Christadelphian Expositor, The Book of Genesis p 129, 131

 

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Reference to:

Chapter 8

 

THE END OF THE FLOOD: A NEW BEGINNING FOR MAN

 

The severity of God is blended with His Goodnes, as He "remembers" Noah in the Ark and makes provision for a new beginning for man.

 

The Flood Recedes vv 1-5

Violence and corruption had brought destruction, but the remembrance of Noah's faithful witness ensured the manifestation of goodness from God. Thus mercy triumphed over judgment, as it does n every age (James 2:13).

 

The Message of the Birds vv 6-12

As the tops of mountains became visible, and the Ark grounded upon Ararat, Noah sent forth a raven and a dove, to ascertain from their behavior, the condition of things on the earth. The dove returned to the Ark for it found no rest for its feet on the water-soaked, swampy soil. Seven days later, Noah sent forth the dove again. This time it returned with an olive leaf, bringing a message of goodwill to Noah. A further seven days, and it was sent out the third time, and on this occasion, it did not return.

 

A Cleansed World — vv. 13-19

 

On the first day of the new year (being the six hundredth and first year of Noah's life), the waters had receded from off the earth, and Noah removed the covering of the Ark. However, he did not allow anybody to leave the Ark until after a further 56 days had elapsed, and the ground was completely dried out. There is a difference in the Hebrew verbs contained in vv. 13-14 expressive of this. In v. 13, the word "was dry" is "charebu" ; in v. 14, it is "yabeshah," and signifies a more complete drying. In the typical foreshadowing of Genesis we perceive the application to the future. After the resurrection, the judgment on the nations must run its course, until the earth is fully prepared for the redeemed inhabitants. Then, as in Noah's day, the words of Psalm 103:9 will be fully appreciated: "He will not always chide, neither will He keep His anger for ever"

 

The Divine Promise To Noah — vv. 20-22

Stepping down from the Ark, Noah first directed his thoughts and actions Godward. He built an altar and sacrificed some of the clean animals and birds upon it. His action pleased Yahweh, and He responded with a promise of mercy and blessing.

 

bro HP Mansfield, The Christadelphian Expositor, The Book of Genesis p 134,138,140,142

 

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Reference to:

Psa 10:1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

 

... But, whatever “new things” bore testimony to the truth of God in the days of the preaching of Christ, the greatest of them that should be the occasion and theme of the “new song” (5:10–12) were still in the future, as they are to-day. When the Father brought Messiah himself “out of the prison house” of the grave, or “the horrible pit,” He put “a new song” in his mouth, a song of rejoicing and praise to God for the great deliverance (Ps. 40:3). Many have seen it, and feared, and trusted in God, as the Psalm goes on to say. But they have not “seen” as he saw—as a matter of personal experience. They will see when “he cometh to judge the earth” (Ps. 96:1; 97:1; Rev. 5:9–10). Personally sharing in the victory on the scene of their past struggles in the days of their flesh, when multitudes encountered death in the strife like their Lord, they will “sing, as it were, a new song before the throne” (Rev. 14:3), “the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manliest” (Rev. 15:3–4).

 

But the judgments occasioning the new song were to succeed a long time of divine silence. “I have long time holden my peace; I have been still and refrained myself; now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once” (5:14). This foreordained silence of God, which has now endured for so long a time since the apostolic age, has been considered in very different ways by different classes of men. God’s people, on the one hand, have endured in faith and patience; the blood of thousands crying from the earth for vengeance; and the prayer of all being expressed in the yearnings of the Psalms of David: “Why standest thou far off, O Lord, why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1). “Arise, O God, plead thine own cause; remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily” (Ps. 84:22). The adversary, on the other hand, has misinterpreted the silence of God altogether, even to the extent of construing it as evidence of His non-existence! There is trouble, say they in effect, and He doth not deliver us; there is wickedness untold, and He doth not arise to judgment. Therefore He is not. Therefore, we must steer the course of our own troubled lives without regard to Him, or the more or less mythical documents that the Jews wish to foist upon us as the revelation of His will that claims our obedience. ...

 

bro Robert Roberts, e. a. (1907). The Ministry of the Prophets: Isaiah (550–551).

 

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Reference to:

Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

 

The Pharisee and the Publican.

 

This immediately follows the other parable about the duty of prayer, and seems designed to bar the way against the extravagance that might be run into with regard to the subject, and that as a matter of fact has been and is run into. Though “men ought always to pray and not to faint,” there are qualifications to be observed. Men are not to suppose they will be “heard for their much speaking” (Matt. vi. 7); neither is the mere offering of prayer acceptable unless it is offered in an acceptable mind. What constitutes this acceptability of mind is variously revealed. This parable is one of the revelations. It was spoken we are told in the verse introducing it, concerning “certain who trusted in themselves t ha t they were righteous, and despised others;” and it is concluded by the declaration on the part of Christ, that “everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” The language of the two men in the parable shows what is meant. The Pharisee, who had a powerful backing of favourable human reputation, was well pleased with his attainments; the publican, whom the Pharisee and Jews in general regarded in an odious light, realised his dependence on the divine clemency for permission even to live Their prayers were tinged with these sentiments respectively; and, in consequence, the one was acceptable, and the other obnoxious.

 

Why did the Pharisee think so well and the publican so ill of himself? We get the clue in that other expression of Christ’s, “Thou blind Pharisee.” A man whose eyes are open—a man who understands things as they are—has such a sense of the eternal power, greatness, and holiness of God, and the ephemerality and weakness and sinfulness of man, that his own attainments, however excellent by comparison with bad men, must always appear as nothing in his eyes. His own righteousness must appear to him as filthy rags in the light of the purity and power and correctness of the Spirit-nature. This is the estimate that the Scriptures always put into the mouths of acceptable men. And it is the language of reason and not of cant, though canting use has been largely made of it in the ecclesiastical ages.

bro Robert Roberts, Nazareth Revisted [computer files (electronic ed.) (163).

fhigham

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Reply with quote  #888 
Narrow Is The Way Which Leadeth Unto Life (Matt. 7:14)

True joy is the consciousness of sincerely and purely doing one's utter best and giving one's total effort to drawing near to God; to being like Him; to doggedly fighting the flesh in all its wide range of defiling ramifications -- from the slightest impatience to the deepest licentiousness; and to a life of fulltime service to God, the Truth, and the Brotherhood. This, and this alone, is the "Peace of God that passeth all understanding." Short of this, there is no peace, no satisfaction, no happiness, no sense of perfect, Divine, transcedent rest. All else is sham and delusion and deception -- vanity, vexation, a bitter, meaningless striving for wind. This and this alone is life: the one narrow little doorway out of the dark, empty present into the brilliant warmth and sunshine of the illimitable glories of eternity. How few find it!

bro Growcott, Search Me O God

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Jan 5  Gen 9,10   Psa 11,13   Mat 7
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Reference to:
Gen 9:4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.


... Before Yahweh Elohim had breathed into the nostrils of the groundling he had formed it was nephesh maith, “a body of death,” in the non-breathing state; but after that operation was completed, it was nephesh khaiyah, “a body of life” in the breathing state.

Now the groundling, or ground soul, is styled a nephesh in Hebrew, because it is a thing that lives by breathing. It is a piece of mechanism which cannot work if the breathing be stopped. Put a permanent stop to respiration, and the blood itself becomes destructive of life in extinguishing the action of the nervous system. As the vitality, therefore, of the blood depends upon respiration, nephesh is used to signify life. Thus, in Lev. 17:2, the Spirit saith, “the nephesh or life, of the flesh is in the blood itself;” and in verse 14, “the nephesh, or life, of all flesh is in the blood thereof;” and because the nephesh is in the blood, therefore in Gen. 9:4, the blood itself is styled the nephesh of the flesh.

The breath, or nishmah, becomes life to the groundling by chemical action in the pulmonary air-cells. The groundling is not continued in life by a solitary principle, called “the vital principle” by physiologists; and the “immortal soul” by the heathen “divines” of the apostasy. It is by a combination of principles, as the result of their action and reaction upon each other in and through the air-cells. The nishmah of Moses answers to the oxygen and nitrogen, which in combination we term atmospheric air, and his ruach, to what we call electricity, which, as a whole, the air and the electricity, he styles nishmath ruach khaiyim, or “air of spirit of lives.”

The reader will therefore bear in mind that the life of the groundling is not oxygen alone, nor nitrogen alone, nor electricity alone, nor blood alone, nor the mere act of breathing alone; but a union of oxygen of the air with carbon and hydrogen of the blood, set free by elective affinity, and in their combination setting at liberty electrical currents, which course along the nerves in all the closed circuits of the body; and thereby setting into motion all its organs, which process, in the aggregate, we call life.

A corporeal development of such life as this, constitutes the physical, the natural, or animal. The development is according to certain laws to which the Creator has subjected the body; and which, in scientific language, are styled “the physical laws,” and “the laws of nature,” or “the natural laws;” but in the language of the Spirit, “the law of sin and death,” or “the law in the members.” The flesh serves this law; for by it the flesh is what it is. The law of sin is the law of Sin’s flesh, which works in it death and corruption unto a resolution into dust. It is for this reason styled “the law of sin and death;” and because this law reigns in the flesh, Paul styles the flesh “the body of this death;” from which there is no deliverance except by the Deity through Jesus Christ the Lord, Rom. 7. ...

bro John Thomas, (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (10:7). New York.

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Reference to:
Psa 11:6  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

... It is true that all the armies, fleets, and munitions of war are at the disposal of the enemies of Israel, and of their princes, the Saints; but this fact by no means dismays the true believer. By the light of prophecy, he sees the kings of the earth and their armies in battle array, defying the armies of Israel, as the Philistines did of old. He sees their death-dealing batteries, shotted with grape and shell, ready to open fire upon them; clouds of cavalry threatening their flanks and rear; and whole batallions of infantry, with bayonets fixed, ready to move down upon them au pas de charge, for close and deadly encounter. A spectator, prognosticating the issue from what appears, would certainly expect Israel to be devoured. But their faint-heartedness will then be gone, “for the Lord is with them,” and they neither tremble nor flee; for “Jehovah is a man of war: Jehovah of armies is his name;” “whose strength is in the clouds.”—Exod. 15:3; Ps. 68:34. A little army with the artillery of the clouds at its command, though armed no better than David, with sling-stones (Zech. 9:15) will have no cause to tremble before the destructive machinery of modern warfare. Let Israel stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah, who will fight for them as when he fought in the day of battle in former years.—Zech. 14:3. Hark! What is that crashing, brattling roar, that shakes the earth and heaven? Not a cannon booms from the Gentile batteries, yet infantry, artillery, and cavalry are all in wild commotion! Oh! It is Jehovah thundering in the heavens, and the Highest giving forth his voice. He is raining upon them hail and balls of fire, scattering them with his arrows, and discomfiting them with his lightnings.—Ps. 11:6; 18:13–15. Now, let Israel to the charge, as the sword of the Lord and of Gideon! As hinds they pursue the foe and overtake them; neither turn they till they are consumed. They cry to heaven for help, but there is none to save them; even to the Lord, but he answers them not. Then doth Israel beat them small as the dust before the wind; and cast them out as the dirt of the streets.—Ps. 18:37, 50; and the words of Moses are fulfilled, that “Five Jews shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of them put ten thousand to flight; and their enemies shall fall before them by the sword.”—Lev. 26:8. Deut. 32:30.  ...

bro John Thomas, (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (6:109). New York.
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Reference to:
Psa 12:8  The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

PIOUS IGNORANCE IN HIGH PLACES

On the fourth of January 1861, his present Excellency at the head of this Dissolving Union having exhausted all his temporizing and do-nothing artillery, issued a proclamation recommending the people of the late United States to go to prayers on that particular day. He tells the public that the “recommendation” is issued in consequence of “numerous appeals made to him by pious and patriotic associations and citizens in view of the present distracted and dangerous condition of the country;” and from “his own sense of duty.” Stirred up to a pious demonstration by this “sense” and the “numerous appeals,” he recommended “the sovereigns,” whose hearts have ever been set in them to do evil, to assemble according to “the several forms of worship” they have invented, “to keep it as a solemn fast;” which in practice amounts to a solemn mockery.

The President, who, doubtless, is well acquainted with the working of the abomination of desolation in fermentation around him, appears to utter his voice from the bottomless pit of despair. “Hope,” says he, “seems to have deserted the minds of men. All classes are in a state of confusion and dismay; and the wisest counsels of our best and purest men are wholly disregarded.”

From the depths of calamity and peril he proposes a resort to the God of the fathers of the present generation of sovereigns, whom he styles their “Heavenly Father,” who alone can save them “from the awful effects of their own crimes and follies, ingratitude and guilt.” Among these he specifies “false pride of opinion impelling to perseverance in wrong for the sake of consistency.”

He suggests, that the people according to their several inventions, should pray for the removal of this false pride; to be saved from the horrors of civil war and blood guiltiness; and that their God may preserve their Constitution and Union for ages yet to come, and concludes with a pious exhortation to every individual citizen to feel himself responsible for the hallowing of the fourth of January, and so forth; and all of which is duly authorized by his signature.

All this, no doubt, is very well meant by the President and the numerous appealers; but to a mind scripturally enlightened, it is a lamentable exhibition of popular ignorance and delusion. The President as Pontifex Maximus of the Broken Union, testifies to “the crimes and follies, ingratitude and guilt” of himself and brethren, the worshippers of the god of the Union; whose statue is enthroned in the Capitol Square with the inscription on the pedestal proclaiming that he is first in the Hearts of his countrymen!” Hence there is no room in such hearts for “Yahweh of hosts, Elohim of Israel,” who will consent to be second in the hearts of none. We will not dispute “the crimes and follies, ingratitude and guilt” of the President and the sovereigns he represents. We accept it as a true indictment against them. They are doubtless exceedingly wicked and “miserable sinners;” who had “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worship and serve the creature (their own lusts) rather than the Creator;” and have devoted themselves to Ostend conspiracies against Cuba; to magnifying their own name to heaven, and to the adoration of “the Almighty Dollar” and its blessedness, as the only Supreme they really care anything about. We accept this as proved; and in view of the proof, invite the pious chief of the executive to the following testimonies in brief.

“Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more”—Ps. 104:35. “I will not justify the wicked”—Exod. 23:7. “The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction; they shall be brought forth for the day of wrath”—Job 21:30. “God is angry with the wicked every day”—Ps. 7:11. “The wicked walk on every side when the Vilest Men are exalted.—Ps. 12:8. “When the wicked bear rule the people mourn”—Prov. 29:2. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah; but the prayer of the upright is his delight”—Prov. 15:8. “Jehovah is far from the wicked; but He heareth the prayer of the righteous”—ver. 29. “We know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will him he heareth.”—Jno. 9:31.

The foregoing testimonies show that the President’s pious recommendation is all vanity—mere foolishness and self-delusion. As an example; he calls upon the people to besiege Heaven with petitions to nullify its own purposes—to pray for the preservation of this Constitution and Union for ages yet to come! This is tantamount to praying “May thy kingdom not come;” for while this Union lasts the Kingdom of God can have no dominion here. But God happily hears not sinners, especially those who would force themselves into his presence in the train of Raphael who denies that Jesus is the Christ. This Union is doomed, and there are not righteous enough in it, for whose sake it is worth saving.

January 6, 1861. Editor.

bro John Thomas,  (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (11:23-24). New York.

----------------------------------------------
Reference to:
Mat 7:24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

EXTRACTS OF CORRESPONDENCE

“Favor, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord be multiplied unto you. Paul taught me this prayer; and thus I must pray. Your canvass sheet is spread; the deep is before you. Your barque is lading. Take nothing on board that will cause a tempest, and urge you to its overthrow, after the cargo is made. Jonah 1 c.

Keep your eye upon Jesus, he alone can guide. I am pleased that Richmond instead of Philadelphia is the theatre of your labors, Jesus laid the broad foundations of great good in the bosom of his disciples. You are to be a custos rotulorum (keeper of the rolls,) mind how you keep them. My dear bro. may heaven crown your labors of love! We have two prosperous congregations even in this cotton growing and slave holding State. True it is that opposition is mighty, but not Almighty. Truth will prevail. There have been as many as seven immersed here in a day. The brethren here seem anxious to live out Jesus. Would not Bro. Thomas contribute much by shoving his pen over lessons of strict loyalty to God’s commands? “He that heareth and doeth,” is compared to a “wise man.” Mat. 7:24.

I am much rejoiced in the Lord. Bro. J.C. Anderson and myself, just terminated a meeting of five days. Five came forward and confessed the Lord. The veil of the clerical temple is rent from top to bottom by the omnipotent hand of Almighty truth—and even in South Alabama, where the whistles of Sectarian winds are as fierce as in any other latitude, whether north or south. The grave of the man of sin is digging. The habiliment of mourning is preparing. The requiem is shortly to be sung—

“Darkness, death, and keen despair,
Reign in eternal silence there,”—
At his grave—2 Thess. 2.

Yes! that man of sin, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, is to be consumed with the spirit of the Lord’s mouth. What is the spirit of the Lord’s mouth? Let Jesus answer. John 6:63. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”   ...

                                            J. A. Butler.”


bro John Thomas, (1834-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (1:107-108). Richmond, Va.: s.n.
fhigham

Registered:
Posts: 1,023
Reply with quote  #889 
Hold Up My Goings In Thy Paths (Psa. 17:5)

Put all your eggs in one basket: direct moment to moment help from God. Cast out everything else, and stake all on this. Relying on God's continuous help does not mean just sitting and waiting for it. It does not mean just kneeling and praying for it. It means two things: studying His Word, and obeying His commands: constant thought, constant activity -- doing our OWN very best, but always realizing that if God isn't constantly directing, then it's all a sham and a charade. What guarantee do we have that He will? And how do we know when He does? Don't worry about that. Just DO. You have nothing to lose by trying, and nothing to gain by questioning. We are promised He WILL, if we are doing our part. And let us not get the foolish and conceited idea that we are "inspired" or "have the Spirit" just because it seems to work. That's the quickest way to bring everything to a grinding halt. God can turn His help and guidance off as quickly as He can turn it on, and He is quick to deflate presumption. This life is merely for education and training. We can never actually accomplish anything. Anything we do for God He could do infinitely better and quicker Himself. He is patiently teaching us, and preparing us to be useful in the future (if we are at last approved), and presumption will be corrected by allowing humiliating mistakes to teach us wisdom.

bro Growcott, Search Me O God

------------------------------------------------
Jan 6   Gen 13,14   Psa 17   Mat 9
------------------------------------------------

Reference to:
Gen 13:15  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

... Now the subject matter of the “great salvation” is the Kingdom and Age to Come to which believers are introduced by a resurrection from among the dead. We affirm this on the authority of Paul in his letter to the Hebrews. “How shall we escape,” says he, “if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,” &c. “For unto the Angels he has not put into subjection the future habitable (teen oikoumeneen teen mellousan) concerning which we speak.” Here then we learn when the Lord Jesus began to preach he spoke about the future habitable? But what is this future habitable? The answer is found in the testimony of Luke concerning what Jesus preached. He informs us that when the people of Capernaum besought him to remain among them, he refused, saying, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore am I sent.” Mark also says that “after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near; repent ye, and believe the gospel.”114 In preaching about the future habitable then, Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom. Now a “habitable” is a place or country capable of being inhabited; a “future habitable,” a country uninhabitable in the present, but habitable hereafter. This is true of the Land of Israel, called the Land of Promise, because God promised it to Abraham and Christ.115 At present, it is uninhabitable by Jesus and those who neglect not the “great salvation,” for “the uncircumcised and the unclean” possess it: but when it becomes the area on which is erected the kingdom of God—upon which David’s tabernacle and throne are existing in their glory—the enemy will have been expelled from the country; and it will be inhabited by the Twelve Tribes of Israel, “a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation,”116 the subjects of the kingdom; and by Jesus and the Saints, his co-heirs and brethren, the inheritors of its glory, honor, immortality, and dommion. The Land will then be the oikoumenee gee, the habitable land, concerning which, says Paul, we speak.

This condition of the Land of Promise will be manifested in the Age to Come, of which “the Son given” to Israel is the “father,” or founder.117 Concerning the country, then become “a heavenly country,” Jehovah saith to the Saints, and to his people Israel, by the mouth of the prophet, “Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: * * * look unto Abraham your father * * * for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places: and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden (Paradise) of the Lord: joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.”118 No one who understands this testimony (and before he gives his opinion he should read the whole chapter to the 10th verse of the next) can be at a loss to answer the question, “What and where is Paradise?” It is the Land of Israel made like Eden and the garden of the Lord, when Jerusalem, the holy city, puts on her beautiful garments, being thenceforth “no more” the habitation of the uncircumcised and unclean. This is Paradise—the Land of Israel with the kingdom of God established upon it in the Age to Come. Paradise is neither the grave, nor in Hades; but the Holy Land converted into the garden of the Lord. It is a word that signifies the same thing as the kingdom of God; and when the Lord Jesus sits upon the throne of his father David on Mount Zion, he will then and there be “the Tree of Life in the midst of the Paradise of God.”119 We must eat of this tree if we would live for ever; for it is “our life.” It is a Vine-Tree, with Twelve Branches, and “Twelve Fruits;” and the unwithering “leaves are for the healing of the nations.”120 In other words, the work of healing the nations of their spiritual and political maladies is assigned to Jesus on the throne of David; to the apostles on the twelve thrones of the house of David; and to the Saints associated with them in the kingdom. These things are the topics of the great salvation which began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto their contemporaries by the apostles that heard him, God also bearing them witness, &c.  ...

114 Luke 4:43. Mark 1:14, 15.
115 Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 15:7, 8, 18; Gal. 3:16–19.
116 Exod. 19:4–6.
117 Isa 9:6, 7.
118 Isa. 51:1–3.
119 Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14.
120 John 15:1, 5. Ps. 1:3.

bro John Thomas, (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (1:128-129). New York.

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

Reference to:
Psa 17:7  Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.



... The present condition of the saints was prefigured by Israel’s wilderness experience. This experience must not be confounded with the blessings promised upon their settlement in Canaan. The former comprised elements of great trial and hardship. Still, in connection with both experiences, God showed Himself the God of marvellous goodness. Commenting upon the wilderness experience, Paul said, “About the space of forty years he bore or fed them as a nurse beareth or feedeth her children” (Acts 13:18 Mar.). This feature in Israel’s typical experience should be studied and taken to heart by those who are disposed to murmur at the darkness and difficulty of the present probationary way. The constant recognition of God’s goodness in the day of evil is of the utmost moment. Without it there can be no patience, no endurance, and no right interpretation of the sorrowful side of life. God is good—very good, even in the affliction to which He subjects His children. His goodness is, as revelation describes, “excellent,” “abundant,” “marvellous,” (Ps. 36:7; 17:7; Exod. 34:6). It is written, that, “like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” Though we may now, through infirmity, fail to grasp this beautiful Scripture, we shall (if found faithful) do so by-and-bye. From the standpoint of the antitypical promised land, we shall doubtless be able to trace the paternal hand of God in the ups and downs of the journey to it—the vixen wife, the cruel husband, the unkind parent, the persecuting neighbour, the unjust employer, the repulsive disease, the loss of husband, wife or child, will be seen then to have had a divine and beneficient purpose, and to have had a potent effect in the development of that character without which there would have been no entrance into the Kingdom of God. Although these afflictions are the natural lot of all men, they are, in a sense, more than natural to the children of God. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”—his base and weak bodily presence—his contemptible speech, were all very natural, but at the same time were divinely used instruments of great importance. ...
                                            A.T.J.
                                           
The Christadelphian  : Volume 26. 2001, c1889. The Christadelphian, volume 26. (electronic ed.) (26:574). Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association.

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

Reference to:
Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

... “I am come”, he said, “to fulfil the law and the prophets”. And “I say unto you That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill … but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery … but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife let him give her a writing of divorcement; but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” “Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not perjure thyself … but I say unto you, Swear not at all.” “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil.” “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies.”

Thus “God spake by a Son”. The “authority” is obviously higher than that of Moses, God’s “servant”, though he was “faithful in all God’s house” (Heb. 3:2). But Jesus is, as Paul here argues, the divine Architect in manifestation; and his words agree thereto.

And also his works. When he healed the paralytic (Matt. 9:2–8) he forgave sin, saying, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee”. And, as attesting his “power on earth to forgive sins”, he said, “Arise and walk”, which the man did, and the people “marvelled and glorified God which had given such power unto men”. So to forgive sin in the truly divine sense, is to heal disease and ultimately to “abolish death”. And at the pool of Bethesda he said to the impotent man, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk”. Which the man did. And afterwards in the temple Jesus said to him, “Behold thou art made whole, sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:1–14). Again this connection of the forgiveness of sin with the healing of the body. “A worse thing” than disease and death is “the second death”, and Jesus says, “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Rev. 2:11).  ...

bro C. C. Walker. (1990; 2002). God Manifestation or Theophany (198). The Christadelphian.
fhigham

Registered:
Posts: 1,023
Reply with quote  #890 

What are Success and Happiness?

SUCCESS is simply a matter of pleasing God: happiness is simply a matter of God manifesting His pleasure in our hearts. All else is illusion and delusion: all else is vanity, and—finally—sorrow and death. Life can be ALL deep, quiet, trustful pleasure, even in its pain. Life can be all empty tragedy and failure, even in its glitter and 'success.' Don't build anything on anything but solid rock. If there is no eternal foundation beneath it, then the better we build and the harder we labour, the greater the ultimate loss and remorse. God is the Rock: the only Rock. Build everything you do on Him. It will then stand firm to all. GVG


------------------------------------------------
Jan 7  Gen 13,14   Psa 17   Mat 9
------------------------------------------------

Reference to:
Gen 13:15  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

... Now the subject matter of the “great salvation” is the Kingdom and Age to Come to which believers are introduced by a resurrection from among the dead. We affirm this on the authority of Paul in his letter to the Hebrews. “How shall we escape,” says he, “if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,” &c. “For unto the Angels he has not put into subjection the future habitable (teen oikoumeneen teen mellousan) concerning which we speak.” Here then we learn when the Lord Jesus began to preach he spoke about the future habitable? But what is this future habitable? The answer is found in the testimony of Luke concerning what Jesus preached. He informs us that when the people of Capernaum besought him to remain among them, he refused, saying, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore am I sent.” Mark also says that “after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near; repent ye, and believe the gospel.”114 In preaching about the future habitable then, Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom. Now a “habitable” is a place or country capable of being inhabited; a “future habitable,” a country uninhabitable in the present, but habitable hereafter. This is true of the Land of Israel, called the Land of Promise, because God promised it to Abraham and Christ.115 At present, it is uninhabitable by Jesus and those who neglect not the “great salvation,” for “the uncircumcised and the unclean” possess it: but when it becomes the area on which is erected the kingdom of God—upon which David’s tabernacle and throne are existing in their glory—the enemy will have been expelled from the country; and it will be inhabited by the Twelve Tribes of Israel, “a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation,”116 the subjects of the kingdom; and by Jesus and the Saints, his co-heirs and brethren, the inheritors of its glory, honor, immortality, and dommion. The Land will then be the oikoumenee gee, the habitable land, concerning which, says Paul, we speak.

This condition of the Land of Promise will be manifested in the Age to Come, of which “the Son given” to Israel is the “father,” or founder.117 Concerning the country, then become “a heavenly country,” Jehovah saith to the Saints, and to his people Israel, by the mouth of the prophet, “Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: * * * look unto Abraham your father * * * for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places: and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden (Paradise) of the Lord: joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.”118 No one who understands this testimony (and before he gives his opinion he should read the whole chapter to the 10th verse of the next) can be at a loss to answer the question, “What and where is Paradise?” It is the Land of Israel made like Eden and the garden of the Lord, when Jerusalem, the holy city, puts on her beautiful garments, being thenceforth “no more” the habitation of the uncircumcised and unclean. This is Paradise—the Land of Israel with the kingdom of God established upon it in the Age to Come. Paradise is neither the grave, nor in Hades; but the Holy Land converted into the garden of the Lord. It is a word that signifies the same thing as the kingdom of God; and when the Lord Jesus sits upon the throne of his father David on Mount Zion, he will then and there be “the Tree of Life in the midst of the Paradise of God.”119 We must eat of this tree if we would live for ever; for it is “our life.” It is a Vine-Tree, with Twelve Branches, and “Twelve Fruits;” and the unwithering “leaves are for the healing of the nations.”120 In other words, the work of healing the nations of their spiritual and political maladies is assigned to Jesus on the throne of David; to the apostles on the twelve thrones of the house of David; and to the Saints associated with them in the kingdom. These things are the topics of the great salvation which began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto their contemporaries by the apostles that heard him, God also bearing them witness, &c.  ...

114 Luke 4:43. Mark 1:14, 15.
115 Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 15:7, 8, 18; Gal. 3:16–19.
116 Exod. 19:4–6.
117 Isa 9:6, 7.
118 Isa. 51:1–3.
119 Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14.
120 John 15:1, 5. Ps. 1:3.

bro John Thomas, (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (1:128-129). New York.

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

Reference to:
Psa 17:7  Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.



... The present condition of the saints was prefigured by Israel’s wilderness experience. This experience must not be confounded with the blessings promised upon their settlement in Canaan. The former comprised elements of great trial and hardship. Still, in connection with both experiences, God showed Himself the God of marvellous goodness. Commenting upon the wilderness experience, Paul said, “About the space of forty years he bore or fed them as a nurse beareth or feedeth her children” (Acts 13:18 Mar.). This feature in Israel’s typical experience should be studied and taken to heart by those who are disposed to murmur at the darkness and difficulty of the present probationary way. The constant recognition of God’s goodness in the day of evil is of the utmost moment. Without it there can be no patience, no endurance, and no right interpretation of the sorrowful side of life. God is good—very good, even in the affliction to which He subjects His children. His goodness is, as revelation describes, “excellent,” “abundant,” “marvellous,” (Ps. 36:7; 17:7; Exod. 34:6). It is written, that, “like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” Though we may now, through infirmity, fail to grasp this beautiful Scripture, we shall (if found faithful) do so by-and-bye. From the standpoint of the antitypical promised land, we shall doubtless be able to trace the paternal hand of God in the ups and downs of the journey to it—the vixen wife, the cruel husband, the unkind parent, the persecuting neighbour, the unjust employer, the repulsive disease, the loss of husband, wife or child, will be seen then to have had a divine and beneficient purpose, and to have had a potent effect in the development of that character without which there would have been no entrance into the Kingdom of God. Although these afflictions are the natural lot of all men, they are, in a sense, more than natural to the children of God. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”—his base and weak bodily presence—his contemptible speech, were all very natural, but at the same time were divinely used instruments of great importance. ...
                                            A.T.J.
                                           
The Christadelphian  : Volume 26. 2001, c1889. The Christadelphian, volume 26. (electronic ed.) (26:574). Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association.

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

Reference to:
Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

... “I am come”, he said, “to fulfil the law and the prophets”. And “I say unto you That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill … but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery … but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife let him give her a writing of divorcement; but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” “Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not perjure thyself … but I say unto you, Swear not at all.” “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil.” “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies.”

Thus “God spake by a Son”. The “authority” is obviously higher than that of Moses, God’s “servant”, though he was “faithful in all God’s house” (Heb. 3:2). But Jesus is, as Paul here argues, the divine Architect in manifestation; and his words agree thereto.

And also his works. When he healed the paralytic (Matt. 9:2–8) he forgave sin, saying, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee”. And, as attesting his “power on earth to forgive sins”, he said, “Arise and walk”, which the man did, and the people “marvelled and glorified God which had given such power unto men”. So to forgive sin in the truly divine sense, is to heal disease and ultimately to “abolish death”. And at the pool of Bethesda he said to the impotent man, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk”. Which the man did. And afterwards in the temple Jesus said to him, “Behold thou art made whole, sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:1–14). Again this connection of the forgiveness of sin with the healing of the body. “A worse thing” than disease and death is “the second death”, and Jesus says, “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Rev. 2:11).  ...

bro C. C. Walker. (1990; 2002). God Manifestation or Theophany (198). The Christadelphian.
fhigham

Registered:
Posts: 1,023
Reply with quote  #891 
Be Not Far From Me, Yahweh (Psa. 22:19)

With God's help we can do wonders. We can surprise ourselves. We can surprise everyone. Without God's help we can do absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing. We may APPEAR to be doing something on our own. We may appear to be conquering worlds, advancing frontiers, controlling millions, accumulating hoards -- but it is all vain and empty: merely a false gilding of the brief path to the grave. How soon it is all over! -- and another corrupting corpse is hastily buried with hollow pomp and circumstance. But with God's help every simple, humble step of day-to-day life is being chiseled into eternal rock: stepping-stones ever upward to everlasting joy and usefulness and life, and glorious divine companionship.

bro Growcott,  – Search Me O God

------------------------------------------------
Jan 10    Gen 19   Psa 22   Mat 12
------------------------------------------------

Reference to:
Psa 22:20  Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

... Lastly, there is abundant testimony to prove that the soul (whether we regard by this term the whole human composition, or whether it is to be understood as synonymous with the spirit) is subject to death, natural as well as violent. Numb. 23:10, “let me (my soul, Hebrew, anima mea, Lat. Vulg.) die the death of the righteous.” Such are the words of Balaam, who, though not the most upright of prophets, yet in this instance uttered the words which the Lord put into his mouth. Job 33:18, “he keepeth back his soul from the pit.” Job 36:14, “they die in youth” (Hebrew, their soul dieth. Lat. Vulg., anima eorum.) Psal. 22:20, “deliver my soul from the sword;” 78:50, “he spared not their soul from death;” 89:48, “shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” 94:17, “my soul had almost dwelt in silence.” Hence man himself, when dead, is spoken of under the name of “the soul, ” Lev. 19:28; 21:1, 11, “neither shall he go in to any dead body,” (Hebrew, dead soul.) Isai. 38:17, “Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption.” The just and sufficient reason assigned above for the death of the soul, is the same which is given by God himself; Ezek. 18:20, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die:” and therefore, on the testimony of the prophet and the apostle, as well as of Christ himself, the soul even of Christ was for a short time subject unto death (22) on account of our sins. Psal 16:10 compared with Acts 2:27, 28, 31, “his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” Matt. 26:38, “my soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” Nor do we anywhere read that the souls assemble, or are summoned to judgment, from heaven or from hell, but they are all called out of the tomb, or at least that they were previously in the state of the dead. John 5:28, 29, “the hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth!” In this passage, those who rise again, those who hear, those who come forth, are all described as being in the graves, the righteous as well as the wicked. 1 Cor. 15:52, “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised.” 1 Thess. 4:13–17, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope: for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him: for this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep; for the Lord himself shall descend, … and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” They were asleep; but the lifeless body does not sleep, unless inanimate matter can be said to sleep. “That ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope”—but why should they sorrow and have no hope, if they believed that their souls would be in a staet of salvation and happiness even before the resurrection, whatever might become of the body? The rest of the world, indeed, who had no hope, might with reason despair concerning the soul as well as the body, because they did not believe in the resurection; and therefore it is to the resurrection that Paul directs the hope of all believers. “Them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him;” that is, to heaven from the grave. “We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” But there would have been no reason to fear lest the survivors should anticipate them, if they who were asleep had long since been received into heaven; in which case the latter would not come “to meet the Lord,” but would return with him. “We,” however, “which are alive, shall be caught up together with them,” not after them, “and so shall we ever be with the Lord,” namely, after, not before the resurrection. And then at length “the wicked shall be severed from among the just,” Matt. 13:49. Dan. 12:2, “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

(22)  See Isaiah 53:10, 12.
Thomas, J. (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (5:196-197). New York.

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Reference to:
Mat 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Yahweh Judges through His Appointed Son

Moses and Paul both testify that “Yahweh shall judge His people” (Deu. 32:36; Heb. 10:30). And Solomon says, “The Elohim shall judge the righteous and the wicked” (Ecc. 3:17). This Elohistic Judge is the Father and the Son in flesh-manifestation, justified by spirit (1Tim. 3:16). “The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son, and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man” (John 5:22, 27). “As I hear,” adds Jesus, “I judge; and my judgment is just.” “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). “The Lord will not condemn the righteous when he is judged” (Psa. 37:33). “He shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecc. 12:14). “Every injurious word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in a day of judgment” (not merely when they confess in prayer): “for by thy words,” saith Jesus, “thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Mat. 12:36–37). Paul teaches that “men treasure up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of Deity: who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in welldoing seek for glory and honour and incorruptibility, eternal life; but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with Deity. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by law, in the day when Deity shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:5–12, 16).

bro John Thomas. (1866; 2002). Anastasis (32). Logos Publishers.
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #892 
Thy Face, Lord, will I Seek (Psa. 27:8)

"This is life eternal: to KNOW Thee" ... "Thou shalt seek Me, and shalt find Me when thou shalt seek for Me with ALL thine heart." Let us never think we have totally found God. There is always further to go, closer to get, deeper to understand -- and this is the whole joy and beauty and meaning of life. Our life has no value or purpose if we are not continually getting closer to God. The time will come, says Paul, when "We (the true faithful) shall know as we are known." But it will NEVER come for US if we are not continually striving with all our might in that direction NOW. God is not going to force eternal glory upon the lazy and worldly and unspiritual and uninterested. If we are interested in worldly things, we shall perish with them. Eternity is only for those few who realize the infinite value of the Pearl, and who eagerly "sell ALL they have" to purchase it.

bro Growcott,  – Search Me O God

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Jan 12 Gen 22,23   Psa 26,28    Mat 14
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Reference to:
Gen 22:2  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.


Ch. 37: THE TRUE MERCY SEAT: SON OF MAN AND SON OF GOD

This chapter shows the folly of trying to associate a trinitarian Deity with man’s hope of redemption. Similarly, it shows that any philosophy which presents Christ as a substitutionary sacrifice is equally repugnant and absurd. It emphasises the absolute necessity for mankind’s Saviour to have been Divinely begotten. It stresses that “while upon the one hand the flesh of the Lord Jesus was as unclean as the flesh of those he redeems … his character was altogether different from others because of the intimate relation which obtained between himself and the Father …” By carefully reflecting upon this series of extracts, readers must be impressed with the unambiguous language and terminology used throughout.

The idea of a trinity of gods discussing ways and means of saving fallen humanity, and one of the three asking the others to be sent on a redeeming mission would, apart from its tragic consequences, be very comical. For this third party in the trinity to contract and come forth as a babe from Bethlehem, like the genie of some Arabian story, must invite ridicule in those who expect a reason for the hope of the believer. The fact is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:19), so that from the very beginning when sin came into the world by transgression, the means of deliverance was promised to the woman. She was told that her seed would bruise the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15), and the manner of accomplishing this was foreshadowed in the typical covering of skins obtained from slain animals (verse 21). In due time the medium of reconciliation was manifested. Thus we read: “He (Jesus, made of a woman), a man approved of God by mighty works and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you … Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:22, 23). In this way Jesus became the Sin-bearer, the Lamb provided by the Father, for delivering from sin and death those who come unto God through him. Moreover, the deliverance from death through the righteousness of faith precludes any glorifying of the flesh (1 Cor. 1:29; Rom. 3:20–22). “For God hath shut up all unto disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:32–34).

The foregoing premises and conclusions may now be summarized:
(1) Adam sinned by disobeying one command.
(2) He suffered the penalty for his disobedience.
(3) His descendants became involved in his transgression, so far as the consequences which follow disobedience, viz., a natural tendency to cherish thoughts contrary to God’s commandments, leading to sin and disobedience. Therefore all Adam’s descendants are born subject to death, and unable to escape from the power of sin and death, because of the weakness of the flesh. Hence it became a proverb in Israel, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Ezek. 18:2). This proverb was an unjust accusation against God, which He emphatically repudiated (verse 25). But now in view of the method adopted by the Father for “reconciliation” and “atonement”, showing that every man from Adam to Jesus Anointed dies for his own sin, this proverb must pass away.

(4) Since the only way in which man could be cleansed from the defilement of the flesh by disobedience was through death, the Father so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son for this purpose—and without question, a father has proprietorship in his children, and in this case absolutely so. This prerogative and this purpose was vividly illustrated in the offering of Isaac by Abraham, indicating that God’s promise of deliverance from sin could only be fulfilled by the death and resurrection of His Son from the dead (Gen. 22:2–14; Heb. 11:17–19). This was not an exhibition of wrath, but of love to mankind.

(5) Jesus, the Son of Mary, through the Eternal Spirit voluntarily offered himself in order to effect this great deliverance.
(6) In order to fit His Son for this purpose, and in order to prepare him for the high function which he fulfils, the Father caused him to pass under the rod of affliction, even as a true father so deals with his son.
(7) Seeing that Jesus Anointed was perfectly steadfast under affliction, he is to be “exalted above his fellows”, as head of the church (ecclesia) which he redeemed to himself as his own possession (Eph. 1:22–24).
(8) Two principles are rooted in the Atonement, viz., without shedding of blood there is no remission; without faith it is impossible to please God. These two principles shine forth in every ordinance of the law of Moses, but cannot now be considered in detail. One point, however, should be mentioned, viz., the presentation of blood upon the Ark of the Covenant on the great day of Atonement. According to the Apostle Paul, this covering of the Ark was a “mercy seat” and representative of Jesus Anointed (Heb. 9:4), in whom the Father had placed His testimony (Deut. 18:15–18). His shed blood, therefore, became a “covering” for sin. Just as one who converts his brother from error saves a soul from death and “covers a multitude of sins”, so Jesus by his example and sacrifice leads many sons to glory, and covers over their sins (Heb. 2:10).
(9) He (Jesus), then, was not a substitute or propitiatory sacrifice, but one for whose sake the Father shows mercy to sinners, and offers deliverance from death to obedient believers in Jesus. As saith the Apostle Paul: “Whom God set forth a propitiatory (Mercy Seat) through faith in his blood, to shew his righteousness, because of the passing over of sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God” (Rom. 3:25, R.V.).

Those who are obsessed with the traditional doctrine of the Trinity will not readily perceive in what way certain elliptical statements respecting Jesus Annointed harmonize with the above evidence concerning his human nature, such as, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”; “I and the Father are one”. While upon the one hand the flesh of the Lord Jesus was as unclean as the flesh of those he redeems—the same offering for cleansing at birth was made for him as for his brethren (Luke 2:24)—his character was altogether different from others because of the intimate relation which obtained between himself and the Father. When men looked upon him they saw not the image of fellow humanity, but an image of the Father so far as possible for men to behold. While an ordinary man in character is exactly like Adam after transgression, the Lord Jesus Christ was exactly like his Father, because, keeping the flesh in subjection, he always exhibited the character of the Father. There was complete oneness in mind, purpose and action. Hence he said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).

bro C. C. Walker. Atonement: Salvation Through the Blood of Christ (344).

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Reference to:
Psa 26:4  I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
Psa 26:5  I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
Psa 26:6  I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:

THE SONS OF GOD AND THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN

“Who were the ‘sons of God?’—(Gen. 6:2–4.) Was it sinful for them to marry ‘the daughters of men?’ Were there any daughters of God at that time, or any subsequent period? We do not find the phrase, excepting by implication.”—(2 Cor. 6:18.)—W.

Answer.—The “sons of God” of ante-diluvian days were that portion of Adam’s descendants that, in profession, addicted themselves to the worship of God. This will not be denied if their humanity be conceded; and their humanity is demonstrated by their apostasy being given as the reason of the flood. “They (the sons of God) took them wives of all they chose. And the Lord said My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.”—(Gen. 6:2, 3.) The daughters of men were the fair damsels of the families that feared not God and desired not the knowledge of His ways. As to the sinfulness of the sons of God marrying them, it is a general principle, of wide application, that non-companionship with the wicked is the duty and the safety of such as seek to please God. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners.”—(Psalm 1:1.) “I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers, and will not sit with the wicked.”—(Psalm 26:4–6.) “The companion of fools shall be destroyed.”—(Prov. 13:20.) “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers.”—(2 Cor. 6:14.) “Have no company with him.”—(2 Thess. 3:14.) “With such an one no not to eat.”—(1 Cor. 5:11.) “From such withdraw thyself.”—(1 Tim. 6:5.) Now, if there is any wisdom or duty in the carrying out of these principles in ordinary relations, the obligation is tenfold in the matter of matrimonial alliance. The evil of unhealthy association tells nowhere so potently as at the fireside. Hence, the Jews were prohibited from intermarrying with the heathen. The interdict was expressly on this ground: “lest they draw thee away after their gods.” Probably, ante-diluvian intermarriages were equally contrary to the same precept. At all events, they result in sin and wholesale apostasy. We cannot do better than take warning and avoid the dangerous if not sinful experiment of taking burning coals into the bosom. Paul bounds a widow’s liberty of re-marriage with these words, “only in the Lord;” and can we imagine there is more liberty to any other servant of Christ? We trow not. There were “daughters of God,” of course, but there was no need for their separate mention, as in the case of the daughters of men, who played a distinct and prominent part in the tragedy. Besides godly women are included in the sons of God; they are part and parcel of the community so named. The greater includes the less always. But, in the other camp, the female element were the more active transgressors or agents of transgression. Hence their prominent mention.

The Christadelphian  : Volume 9. 2001, c1872. The Christadelphian, volume 9. (electronic ed.) (9:88). Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association.


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Reference to:
Mat 14:23  And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

... God’s hand is out of sight, but it must not be out of mind. The danger in regard to this is visible in the many precepts to watch unto prayer and to persevere in it (Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:12; 1 Thess 5:17). Prayer must be engaged in thoughtfully and unremittingly. A few hurried words in the morning and a few sleepy ones at night, do not meet the necessities of the case. It was the habit of both David and Daniel to pray three times a day: at morning, at noon, and at night—a practice which has much to commend it. It tends to keep God prominently before us, and to give us a greater power of resistance to the adversary. Whether our circumstances will admit of David’s plan or not, time should be set apart regularly for full and undisturbed attention to the exercise. One of the most striking features in the life of Christ is the time spent solitarily in prayer (Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 6:12).

We need not be distressed should our petitions at any time not be granted. Christ prayed that his cup of suffering might pass from him, but his prayer, though heard, was not answered. Nevertheless, God strengthened him under the trial, and substituted in due time something much better, “even length of days for ever and ever.” Paul besought that a certain bodily infirmity might be removed. But God did not remove it. He saw it to be needful for the subjection of the flesh—lest Paul should be exalted above measure. Therefore if the hand of affliction is allowed to linger upon us, let us take comfort from the knowledge that it is necessary for our eternal welfare. That which is withheld would not be for our good if given, for “no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”   ...

The Christadelphian  : Volume 24. 2001, c1887. The Christadelphian, volume 24. (electronic ed.) (24:294-295). Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association.
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #893 
Be Single-Minded

We must want it with all our heart. That is our part. It is not ALL of our part, but it is most of it. God will give us anything, if (1) we want it with ALL our heart, and (2) it is good for us eternally. But we must be total-minded, and we must be single-minded. We are not always conscious that we are double-minded: that our affections are divided: that we want things that are mutually incompatible. We may truly want holiness, but we may be harboring interests and desires, perhaps just seemingly little ones, that are incompatible with holiness -- little worldlinesses that seem so inconsequential. This will not do. It will not work. We must go all the way. "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." God says He will give him absolutely nothing. But to the totally single-minded, God will give every good and perfect gift. It is sure. He has said so. No good thing will He withhold from those that love Him. But what a tremendous, dominating, exclusive, all-embracing totality that love must be! God absolutely will not share our heart with anyone or anything. All else, all others, must be so completely secondary as to be relatively inconsequential and insignificant. God brooks no rival.

bro Growcott,  – Search Me O God

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Jan 13    Gen 24     Psa 29,30    Mat 15
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Reference to:
Psa 29:2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Mankind is powerless to devise the means of bringing about his own eternal redemption. He can but bow in attentive reverence before the Divine Majesty in the heavens, and in awe acknowledge the flawless handiwork and supreme wisdom and power of the One who is “Yahweh—a great El, and a great King, above all Elohim” (Psa. 95:3).
“Give unto Yahweh the glory due unto His Name; worship Yahweh in the beauty of holiness” (Psa. 29:2).
All who, in spirit and in truth, willingly bow humbly before the Mighty One of heaven, will join fervently in the prayer of the Psalmist: “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy Name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Thy Name’s sake” (Psa. 79:9).

bro C. C. Walker. Atonement: Salvation Through the Blood of Christ (297).

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Reference to:
Psa 30:3  O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Concernine the soul

...It is also used to represent mind, disposition, life, etc.; and that which it describes is spoken of as capable of hunger (Prov. 19:15), of being satisfied with food (Lam. 1:11, 19), of touching a material object (Lev. 5:2), of going into the grave (Job 33:22, 28), of coming out of it (Psalm 30:3), etc. It is never spoken of as an immaterial, immortal, thinking entity. The original word occurs in the Old Testament about 700 times, and in the New Testament about 180 times; and among all the variety of its renderings, it is impossible to discover anything approaching to the popular dogma. It is rendered “soul” 530 times; “life” or “living” 190 times; “person” 34 times; and “beasts and creeping things” 28 times. It is also rendered “a man,” “a person,” “self,” “they,” “we,” “him,” “anyone,” “breath,” “heart,” “mind,” “appetite,” “the body,” etc. In no instance has it the significance claimed for it by professing Christians of modern times. It is never said to be immortal, but always the reverse. It is not only represented as capable of death, but as naturally liable to it. We find the Psalmist declaring in Psalm 22:29, “None can keep alive his own soul; ” and again, in Psalm 89:48, “What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” And in making an historical reference, he further says, “He spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence” (Psalm 78:50). Finally, Ezekiel declares (chap. 18:4), “The soul that sinneth it shall die.”

bro Robert Roberts. (1984; 2002). Christendom Astray from the Bible (47). Logos Publications.

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Reference to:
Mat 15:24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

...These false teachers were “children,” who once walked in the way of truth, into which they had been introduced by obedience to “the holy commandment,” or law of faith, delivered to them on the Day of Pentecost. They knew “the way of justification,” and had been purged from their old sins. How came it then, that so great a change was wrought in the heritages while the apostles were yet living? All things had had a fair beginning; the holy commandment was delivered by inspiration, and all learned the faith from infallible teachers; how, then, came things into so sad a case in all the churches of the circumcision, whether out of Palestine or not? These questions are answered in the parable of the Tares. Jesus, styled the Son of Man, came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and to them only—Matt. 15:24. They, in their Mosaical organisation, constituted the field, or kosmos in which he sowed the seed, or gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 13:18–23), which, received into honest and good hearts, became the good seed of verse 38. “The good seed are (or represent) the children of the kingdom.” There are two classes of “children of the kingdom—“Israel after the flesh,” who reject Jesus (see Matt. 8:12); and Israel, native and adopted, who receive him, and his teaching, styled by Paul, the Israel of God.” “The tares are the children of the evil thing”—those cursed children” of whom Peter speaks. “The enemy that sowed them is the seducer”; or, as Peter and James define it, “the lusts of the flesh,” by, or through which men are enticed (2 Peter 2:18; James 1:14–15). The flesh, which is Sin’s Flesh, is “the enemy,” or enmity against God and his law (Rom. 8:7), and the Seducer which causes men to transgress, or put themselves across the line, or on the wrong side of things forbidden.

When Jesus said to the Jews, in the words of the English version, “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44), it was equivalent to saying, “Ye are born of the flesh, and the lusts of the flesh ye will do.” The flesh is “the evil thing” in the English version of the parable of the tares, styled “the wicked one.” It is that by which all offences come; as is clear from the world’s history, and the words of Jesus, who exclaimed, “Woe to the world because of enticements: for necessity is that enticements arise; but woe to that man by whom the enticement (or scandal) is introduced!” The false teachers Peter so severely, but justly denounces, were those who placed stumbling blocks in the way of the saints, being thus “the scandalisers” of the apostolic age, “who walked after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness,” and laid their enticements before their brethren, many of whom, being unstable, were ensnared. They were the tares—the development of the flesh; and therefore, contrary to, or impatient of, the truth.

bro John Thomas. (1990; 2002). The Last Days of Judah's Commonwealth (17). Logos Publications.
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #894 
For Thy Name's Sake, Lead Me And Guide Me (Psa. 31:3)

In the matter of the Gibeonites, Joshua reacted according to his own best judgment, without seeking the guidance of God. We see this SO clearly: unwise Joshua! But it is a rare person who does not do exactly the same thing many times a day. How many of us turn instinctively and consistently in prayer to God for guidance in every decision of life, great and small? Yet it is only such as have trained themselves to do this who can be safely on the path of life. Remember Joshua!

bro Growcott,  – Search Me O God

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Jan 14   Gen 25,26     Psa 31     Mat 16
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Reference to:
Gen 25:27  And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
Gen 25:28  And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

...This preservation of Israel for the elect’s sake is beautifully expressed by the prophet, saying, "Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not: for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a Seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and mine elect shall inherit it (the land of Canaan), and my servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me."c "God", then, "has not cast away his people Israel, whom he foreknew", and spoke of to Abraham and Isaac, before they had any sons. He has chastised them for their sins; but "there is a remnant according to the election of grace". "The election hath obtained the grace, by accepting Jesus as the Seed, and inheritor of the land; and the rest are blinded until this day". But this blindness is not permanent. They will yet become a great and mighty nation, rejoicing in the service of the Lord Jesus and the elect; for "blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved";d that is, all the twelve tribes shall be reunited into one nation and kingdom upon their own land, and be received into the favour of God;e they will then have been grafted in again according to the word of the Lord.

In conclusion, every thing in relation to the kingdom is ordained upon sovereign principles. Nothing is left to the will of man. Hence, the apostle saith, "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy". The call of the Gentiles to take part in the future kingdom is a striking illustration of the truth of this. Had things been left to the apostles they would not have extended the invitation to men of other nations to become with them heirs of the kingdom of Canaan, and of the dominion of the world. They were running to and fro among their own nation, calling upon them to become the children of the promise who are counted for the seed; but it was not of their will, but contrary to it, that "the word" was preached to the Gentiles, opening the kingdom to them. The invitation to our race, as the apostle truly saith, was "of God that showeth mercy". Pharaoh of Egypt is another illustration of this principle. God purposed to show forth His power that His name might be declared throughout all the earth. This manifestation was not left to the wisdom or pleasure of Moses. The display was to be according to the divine will. The world was overspread with ignorance and superstition; and Pharaoh was the autocrat of the age. He was totally ignorant of who the Lord was, and therefore refused to obey Him. He was "a vessel unto dishonour"—an idolater under the dominion of the propensities. Had he been left to himself, he would have continued like all other chiefs of the sinpower, "a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction". His tyranny had come to this crisis, namely, either the Israelites must be exterminated, or the oppressor and his power must be destroyed. The judgment in the case belonged to the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; the result could not, therefore, be for a moment doubtful. He that has power over the clay, had appointed Israel to be "a vessel unto honour". upon whom it was His sovereign pleasure to have mercy. They were, therefore, "vessels fitted for mercy", whom He had before prepared, that on them He might make known the riches of His glory, both then and in a time to come. To effect their deliverance then; to punish Pharaoh and his abettors for their tyranny; and to make Himself known to the surrounding nations—He stirred up the Egyptian king to show all that was in his obdurate and relentless nature. Upon this view of the case, He elected Pharaoh and his host to a terrible overthrow; while He elected Israel to become His people in the land of Canaan. Thus "He had mercy on whom he would have mercy, and whom he would he hardened".a

Such is the doctrine of election as taught in the scriptures of truth. Let us return now to the further consideration of the case of Esau and Jacob.

The boys grew to be men. "Esau was an expert hunter, and a man of the field." The result of these pursuits was to surround himself with warriors, whose power grew into the future kingdom of Edom. When he was ninety-one years old, he was able to march with four hundred men against Jacob, then on his return from Mesopotamia. But Jacob was of a more peaceful disposition. "He was a plain man, dwelling in tents." While they sojourned with their father, Esau was Isaac’s favourite; and Jacob his mother’s. One day, while Jacob was preparing a pottage of red lentiles, Esau come in from hunting very much overcome with fatigue, He requested Jacob to let him partake of the red lentiles. But Jacob was not disposed to part with it without a consideration. Esau was the elder, and according to the custom of primogeniture, was entitled to certain privileges, termed birthright. Now Jacob, whose name signifies "supplanter", wished to supplant him in this right, that he might afterwards be entitled to the precedence over Esau, which God had indicated in saying, "The elder shall serve the younger". Therefore, before he consented to Esau’s request, he said, "Sell me this day thy birthright". Esau reflected on the demand a little; at length he said, "Behold, I am at the point to die; what profit shall this birthright do to me?" "Swear then", said Jacob, "to me this day;" and he sware unto him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Jacob then gave him the red pottage. From this time Esau acquired the surname of Edom, which signifies red, and commemorates the fact that "Esau despised his birthright".a

When Esau was forty years old, he married two Hittite women, who were a grief of mind to both his parents. About thirty years after this, when Isaac was one hundred and thirty-one, he determined to bestow his blessing upon Esau, although he had sold his birthright. But the faithful vigilance of Rebekah circumvented it. The elder was to serve the younger, and she intended that Isaac’s blessing should take that direction. Accordingly, in blessing the supposed Esau (for his eyes were too dim to see accurately), he said, "God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee". Here was a blessing, contrary to the will of Isaac, pronounced upon Jacob, whom God had predetermined to bless to the same purpose. Truly, "it is not of him that willeth, but of God that showeth mercy".

c. Isaiah 65:8, 9.
d. Rom 11:2, 5, 7, 8, 25, 26.
e. Ezek. 37:25–28; 36:33–38; 39:25–29.
a. Rom. 9:14–33.
a. Gen. 25:27–34.

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.) (266). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Reference to:
Psa 31:5  Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

... And now to your last and most formidable difficulty, the case of Stephen, when he exclaimed “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” This is the same sentiment as that expressed in the dying ejaculation of our Lord himself, namely, according to Luke, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit, and having thus said, he expired, ” or, as John says, “he yielded up his spirit.” And of Stephen, it is added, when he had said this, he fell asleep.” The word for spirit in these passages is pneuma, the meanings of which you will not forget. When Jesus uttered his cry, it was in the words of Psalm 31:5. By referring to a new translation of the Psalms, I find it rendered with its context as follows—“Into thy hand I commit my life; thou wilt deliver me, O Jehovah, thou God of truth.” By studying this Psalm, you will find that Messiah expresses his confidence in the power of God, unto whose care, therefore, in full reliance of being restored to life, he commits his destiny. We all know how he was delivered, by a resurrection, which he emphatically became. Now Stephen, convinced that Jesus was the resurrection and the life, imitated the confidence of Jesus in Jehovah, and said, as it were, Lord Jesus receive my life which I now commit to thy care, in full assurance of its restoration at the resurrection of the just. And after he said this, he yielded up his pneuma, spirit or life, that is, he expired, fell asleep, or died. Now where is the mystery in all this? If you interpret the passage irrelatively to the theological dogma of disembodied ghosts, there is no difficulty whatever.

bro John Thomas, (1835-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (2:245-246). Richmond, Va.

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Reference to:
Mat 16:28  Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

The Judgment “Coming” of A.D. 70

In the sense, then, of being near the scene of action, Jesus taught his apostles to expect him before they would have finished the work he gave them to do. This work was to preach the gospel of the kingdom as “his witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the land”—Acts 1:8; but he said to them, nevertheless, “Verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, TILL THE SON OF MAN BE COME”—Matt. 19:23. In this he plainly taught that he would come in the lifetime of the apostles, of some or all of them. Not of all; for he plainly told Peter that he should die by crucifixion before that coming. Upon hearing this, Peter inquired how it would be with John? To which Jesus replied that John should remain till he came. Some of the brethren understood by this that John should not die; but John himself corrects this notion by telling his readers, that in so speaking, Jesus did not say that he should not die. The only interpretation therefore, that can be given is that John should not die before the Lord of the vineyard should come with his Roman army to take the Kingdom of God from the Chief Priests, Scribes, and chief of the people, who put him and his servants to death; and that that would be before the survivors of the Twelve should have preached in all the cities of Israel. In coming thus, the Son of Man came to his kingdom. He invaded it with the host given to the Little Horn: and when the apostles who remained saw Jerusalem encompassed thereby, they saw the coming of the Lord to wrest the kingdom from his enemies—John 21:22; Matt. 16:28. But they did not see his coming to give that kingdom to other husbandmen. The time has not even yet come for that.

With the exception of John, the apostleship of the circumcision did not treat so much in detail of the coming of the Lord, as Paul did. They confined themselves principally to his coming to execute judgment upon Judah. Peter seems to admit, that more wisdom was granted to Paul upon this subject than to himself. In all his epistles, he says, Paul wrote of these things; but that some of the things he wrote were “hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction”—2 Pet. 3:16. We see that from Paul’s own account, for he wrote his second Epistle to the Saints in Thessalonica to correct their errors about the coming of the Lord and the gathering unto him. Jesus said to the Apostleship of the Circumcision, of which Paul was not one: “it is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power”; while to Paul certain times and seasons were revealed; for to Gentile believers in Thessalonica he says, “of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write to you. For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.… But ye are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief”—1 Thess. 5:1–4. Some, however, misunderstood him, and supposed it was coming immediately. They found it hard to understand him upon this point. But he wrote again, and told them, that the full, personal, and glorious manifestation of the Lord and Christ would not be until the powerful and complete development of a Satanic Apostacy, which he will destroy. So that the coming of the Prince Royal of Judah is resolved into:

1. The coming of the Son of Man with the Little Horn’s army to destroy the city and the temple.
2. The rise, progress, and consummation of a Satanic Apostacy, which should deceive all nations.
3. The coming of the Lord Jesus with the angels of his power, to destroy said Apostacy; and to restore the kingdom again to Israel.

Here are two comings, and an interval between each. Those apostles from whom the times and the seasons were hid by the Father, would not discern the interval, so that the two comings would seem to them to be but one. Their point of observation was Jerusalem. Acts 8:1; 15:2. In looking forward to the appearing of the Son of Man “in great glory” they had to penetrate the dark storm-clouds that impended over the city and temple. Had there been no judgment for the Jew first—no destruction of the already condemned ruling of the Mosaic State—in looking forward they would have seen only the glorious apocalypse of the Lord Jesus to destroy the Satanic organisation of the Judaisers and Gnostics who were troubling the Christian community of their day.

This idea may be illustrated by reference to three poles exactly in line. If the observer occupy the position of a fourth pole on looking forward he will see only the pole nearest to him, because the second and third from him are covered from view by the first. But if he step off to the right or left so as to see the third pole in its entirety, he will perceive that there are three poles instead of one; and that there are two inter-spaces between them.

bro John Thomas. The Last Days of Judah's Commonwealth (28). Logos Publications.
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #895 

Very clearly we are in “the time of the end.” Of that time, the Lord himself said in the days of his flesh: “In such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” It is urgent to prepare ourselves for that grand moment, for, “Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments.”

The Lord is at hand!

bro John Thomas. The Book Unsealed (2)

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Jan 15    GEN 27     PSA 32       MAT 17
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Reference to:
Gen 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
Gen 27:12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
Gen 27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.

...The transfer of the birthright from Esau to Jacob brought the situation more into harmony with the purpose of God; but there was a remaining obstacle. Isaac loved Esau, as we have seen, and this love prompted him to resolve on bestowing his parting blessing on his elder son. There was more in this than we can know. It might seem as if it were a matter of indifference what any man might utter, in the way of benediction, if the will of God were opposed to the blessing; but when we are dealing with men on whom the Spirit of God rested, and whose volitions may, to some extent, have controlled its effects, we are really dealing with the working out of the will of God by some hidden law which we cannot understand, as merely natural men, but which we may see quite into when we ourselves have passed out of the animal into the spiritual state, if it please God to grant us that great blessedness in Christ. At all events, it became a matter of importance that Isaac should be diverted from a purpose which was due to his likings, as a natural man, rather than to his understanding of the purpose announced to Rebekah concerning their two sons. Rebekah was herself made use of to frustrate Isaac’s intentions. Some say that if Rebekah had waited, God would have interposed in some other way to bring Isaac’s blessing upon Jacob. It may be so; but there is no intimation of this in the testimony. The crisis was at hand. Isaac called Esau, his eldest son, and said unto him: “My son; and he said unto him, Behold here am I. And he said: Behold, now, I am old; I know not the day of my death. Now, therefore, take, I pray thee, thy weapons, take thy quiver and thy bow, and go out into the field, and take me some venison. And make savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die” (Gen. 27:1–4). Esau having received this express and interesting direction, went immediately out to carry it into effect. Rebekah was a witness to what had passed. She was greatly exercised by it. If Esau returns successful, as he is likely to do, the blessing which belongs to the younger will be obtained by the elder, in opposition to what had been told to her of the Lord before the birth of the children. She resolves to take upon herself the responsibility of coming between Isaac and the fulfilment of his intentions. Who shall say she was not stirred up to defeat a merely natural partiality of Isaac’s? She informs Jacob of what was pending, and directs him to bring to her two of the kids from the flock, that she may dress them in the manner that his father liked. With these, she sends Jacob into the presence of his father, who was blind from age; he represents himself as Esau; and his father, having eaten, bestows upon him the blessing which was his by the divine purpose and the purchased birthright. “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”

The only difficult feature of the case is the deception by which the blessing was diverted. Some easement on this point may be obtained by realizing that God may do what man must not do if God forbid. To man it is a command, “Thou shalt not kill”, and to kill in disobedience of this, is murder; but God may kill without unrighteousness, as he says, “I kill, and I make alive.… neither is there any that can deliver out of mine hand” (Deut. 32:39). To us it is sin to avenge ourselves, because of the command, “Avenge not yourselves”; but “is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? God forbid: for then how should God judge the world?” (Rom. 3:5). He says “Vengeance is mine: I will repay” (Rom. 12:19). So on the subject of deception in all normal relations, God is a God of truth “and there is no unrighteousness in him” (Psa. 92:15); but when circumstances call for it, He may, as a man without unrighteousness deceives a wild beast, to its capture and destruction, “send strong delusion” upon the perverse, “that they may believe a lie” (2 Thess. 2:11). On this principle we read, “If the prophet (that is, the idolatrous prophet: see context) be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet” (Ezek. 14:9). And again in the parable uttered before Ahab by Micaiah, the prophet of Jehovah: “There came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord and said, I will persuade him (Ahab, to go up to battle). And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, … Go forth and do so. Now, therefore, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets” (1 Kings 22:21–23). Applying this principle to the case in hand, we may understand that God stirred up Rebekah to deceive Isaac, that Isaac might be defeated in the wrong use of the divine gift of blessing which rested upon him.

The difficulty in understanding such instances arises principally from our preconceived notions on the subject of “morality”. Human speculation, alias philosophy falsely so-called, has evolved the assumption that “morality” (as men speak) is a fixed element in the constitution of things; and to this “morality” they have imagined God is as much subject as His creatures. The fact is—as the Scriptures reveal, and nature accurately studied attests—that there is no such thing as fixed morality at all. The question of right and wrong is determinable in all things by the appointment of the eternal Creator. It is a simple question of what He has commanded. With Him is sovereign and irresponsible authority. “None may say unto him, What doest thou?” He may command a man to kill, and it is then sin not to kill, as in the case of Saul with the Amalekites; and righteousness to kill, as in the case of Samuel with Agag, on the same occasion; while when He chooses to command, “Thou shalt not kill”, he that even hates his brother becomes a murderer. This simple principle relieves the subject of the world of difficulty that human philosophy has created. It explains, too, how it is that the belief of the gospel is righteousness, and enables us to realize how unutterably out of the right way is the present generation, with all their educated contempt for the promises and the commandments of God. ...

bro Robert Roberts. The Ways of Providence (36). The Christadelphian.

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Reference to:
Psa 32:1 A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Psa 32:2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

… “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” said Jesus. To seek a certain thing first implies that there is something else to be sought afterwards; we may then inquire, “What next shall we seek?” To this the Great Teacher replies, “And God’s righteousness.” What is this? It is that “robe of righteousness” he hath provided for the covering of those who have sought the kingdom, and have found it.126 It is God’s sin-covering127—the robe made white in the blood of the Lamb:128—the righteousness of God witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, through belief of Jesus Christ for all and upon all believing the gospel.129 The righteousness of God is “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” which he hath appointed for those who believe the gospel of the kingdom. He hath set him forth as a blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, through faith in which they may have remission of past sins, and be thus invested with the wedding garment.130 Those who are not covered with the robe of righteousness which God has constructed; or being cured do not “keep their garments,” that is, preserve their robes from defilement, are said in scripture to “walk naked.”131 Believers and unbelievers, who have not put on the robe of God’s righteousness are clothed in filthy rags of scarlet or crimson dye, and may say with Israel as at present circumstanced, “we are all unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” They are uncovered with the garments of salvation, and having no clothing but things of their own invention, are naked before God, and certain if they remain so to be put to shame at the coming of his King.  ...

126 Isaiah. 61:10.
127 Psalm. 32:1, 2.
128 Rev. 7:14: 19:8.
129 Rom. 3:21, 22: 1:15, 16.
130 Matt. 22:11–14.
131 Rev. 16:15; 3:17, 18.

bro John Thomas, Herald of the kingdom and age to come (2:35). New York.

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Reference to:
Mat 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Mat 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:

… But in Malachi’s prophecies above quoted “a great and terrible day” is spoken of, even the day of the Lord’s coming and appearance as a refiner’s fire and fuller’s soap. Now before that day, says the prophet, a messenger shall be sent; and at the close of his prophecy tells us his name in these words—“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall restore the heart of the fathers in the children, and (hashiv understood, restore, turn,) the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” Now the contemporaries of Jesus understood this in its obvious sense, namely, that the identical Elijah who was translated should return to Palestine on a mission to Israel before their being made to pass through the refining and purifying process on the day of terror. This appears from the question put by the disciples to Jesus after seeing Elijah on the Mount with Moses—“Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come?” This was a reason urged by the scribes for rejecting Jesus. As if they had said, “This Jesus cannot be the Messenger of the Covenant, for Elijah has not yet made his appearance.” The disciples were in a difficulty. They acknowledged Jesus to be the Christ, but they had seen him before Elijah, which did not harmonize with Malachi’s testimony. Jesus admitted that the scribes were right about the coming of Elijah; for he said, “Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.” This is a truth that must not be lost sight of. Elijah’s mission is to restore all things when he comes. What things? Not things pertaining to the Gentiles; for there is nothing Gentile worth restoring. Destruction, not restoration, is to come upon the things of the Gentiles both ecclesiastical and civil. The things to be restored are the things of Moses’ law, as far as compatible with faith in the blood of the New Covenant, constituting the Amended Law. Hence in the verse preceding that about Elijah, the Lord says to Israel, “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, even the statutes and judgments.”92 “These are the civil law of the nation, the law of the state, the existence of which is quite compatible with the New Covenant to which it will be accommodated in the time of emendation.

On a former occasion, Jesus said to the multitude, “If ye will receive it, John is the Elijah being about to come—Ηλιας ο῾ μελλων ερχεσθαλ.”93 I understand Jesus to say in these words, that Elijah’s coming is still future. He says, too, “John is Elijah”—but in what sense are they identical? Let the angel of Jehovah who appeared to John’s father, answer the question—“John shall go before the Lord Israel’s God in Elijah’s spirit and power, to restore to posterity the fathers’ dispositions, and disobedient ones to just persons’ mode of thinking: to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.94” Then “Elijah’s spirit and power, ” like his mantle on Elisha, had fallen upon John; and hence the identity, which, however, did not at all affect the proper coming of Elijah at the appointed time. In this sense Jesus said to his disciples, “But I say unto you (though there is truth in what the scribes say) that Elijah once came (elthe 2. aorist) already, and they did not know him, but have done to him whatever they listed.95 John said of himself plainly, “I am not Elijah.”96
The appearances, then, of the Messenger of the Covenant to the nation, are preceded by messengers sent by Jehovah to Israel—messengers, individually two, but officially and spiritually one. The power and spirit of Elijah, viz., one spirit and power through whomsoever manifested, the operation of which in regard to Israel, prepares them for the appearance of the Messenger of the Covenant in their midst. This one spiritpower is exhibited in the history of Elijah. On comparing it with John’s, their identity evidently consisted in both being possessed of the same spirit of prophecy and a like authority in Israel, which appears to have been “the power” referred to by the angel. The word of the Lord came to them both while sojourning by the Jordan, and thence their influence was felt among all ranks and classes of the nation. But “John did no miracle;”97 Elijah performed many of great magnitude: John’s identity in power with Elijah was therefore not wonder-working. Christ’s mission to Israel was covenant-confirming and individually enlightening, and converting;98 not political: his political mission pertains to the future.99 Jehovah’s messengers who precede and introduce his king’s appearing, have each a mission corresponding to Christ’s. Hence John’s mission in Elijah’s spirit-power was confirming and personally enlightening, and converting; while Elijah’s when he comes in his own proper person to Israel will be nationally enlightening, converting, and political. The combined result of the Elijah-spirit-power mission, is the spiritual and political restoration of all things before Christ’s manifestation to the Twelve Tribes as their king sitting on David’s throne in Zion. The restoration effected by this power through John, was a spiritual restoration affecting the hearts of many100 of the people, not of all; a restoration of the Abrahamic mind and disposition in his contemporaries. Beyond this nothing was restored. But through “Elijah the prophet,” the same spirit-power will “restore all things,” and among these the tribes of Israel when its mission will be complete. ...

92 Mal. 4:4;
93 Matt. 11:14.
94 Luke 1:17.
95 Matt. 17:12.
96 Jno. 1:21.
97 Jno. 10:41.
98 Luke 5:32.
99 Jer. 23:5.
100 Luke 1:16.

bro John Thomas, Herald of the kingdom and age to come (5:241-242). New York.
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #896 

How beautiful is the light that is in the Bible, wherever we peep in. Some cannot see it for the words and verses and chapters; they see these and not the things that the words and verses and chapters represent. This is failure. The light lies in the things represented and not in the words; yet of course it is by the words that we see the things, and seeing the things, we see that which gives light and truth and joy.

 

bro Robert Roberts, Seasons of Comfort vol 2 -- "Causing Men to Hear His Words" (p 327)

 

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Jan 18 • Gen 31 • Psa 35 • Matthew 20

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Reference to:

Chapter 31

Jacob's Return to the Land of Promise

 

The conditions of Jacob's service having been thus altered, he entered on an entirely new life. Instead of being a hired shepherd, he became a sheep-master. Together with his wives and children, he lived apart from Laban, in his own house, and only occasionally had communication with his uncle and his uncle's sons. Labab soon became dissatisfied with the agreement that he had made with his son-in-law, and insisted on altering its terms. Jacob could have kept him to his bargain, but he submitted, and allowed God to direct the issues of his life. He continued to prosper, and this caused the jealousy and antagonism of Laban and his household. Jacob realised that it was only a matter of time before an open breach would occur, perhaps with tragic results. He felt dissatisfied with his position, and desired to make some change in it. It was under these circumstances, the he once more heard the voice of God speaking directly to him, and distinctly pointing out the course which he was to take. Thus commenced his pilgrimmage back to the land; his escape from Laban, his unfounded fear of Esau, his wrestlig with the angel, his ultimate arrival at Shechem in peace, and his erection of the altar El-elohe-Israel.

 

Jacob Plans To Leave Laban Secretly vv 1-18

Jacob, overhearing Laban's sons secretly accusing him of dishonesty, observes that Laban also believes this. He begins to fear for his life, and, seeking guidance from God, is instructed to return to the Land of Promise. He outlines his problems, stresses God's presence in his life, his personal diligence as a shepherd, the dishonesty of their father, and discloses to them the message he has received from God. His wives agree that their father is unjust. They recall with keen resentment that he had debased them by selling them like animals and then had kept the money which really belonged to them and their children, and willingly concurred with his decision.

 

Rachel Steals Her Father's Images vv 19-21

Jacob shrewdly takes advantage of Laban's absence when visiting his distant flocks at shearing time, in order to leave Padanaram for the land of Canaan. Unknown to anyone else, Rachel takes with her certain images which were equivalent to the title-deeds of her father's property . Verse 19 should be in paranthesis.

 

Laban's Pursuit vv 22-24

Three days later, Laban was apprised of Jacob's action. On returning home, he discovered that the teraphim have been taken. He determines on pursuit. Taking with him some of his tribesmen, he pursues after Jacob, and moving at great speed, overtakes him in the northern part of Gilead. Meanwhile, however, he is warned by God to be careful how he treats Jacob.

 

Laban Rebukes Jacob But Fails to Find The Images vv 25-35

The dramatic meeting of Laban and Jacob is skilfully recorded. Varied emotions are subtly reealed and suspense is maintained to the end, with twists of irony flavoring the whole. Though the warning of God prevents the interview from beng more stormy than might have been expected, it is still pretty tense. Laban makes an angry assault on Jacob, accusing him of being a thief trafficking in human lives. He accuses him of lacking the common courtesy of permitting him to bid a proper farewell to his daughters and grandchildren; and finally of being a common thief in stealing his gods. Jacob indignantly refutes the accusation of Laban, invites him to search for the gods which his father-in-law does confidently, but in vain.

 

Jacob Reproaches Laban For His Harshness vv 36-42

Embarrassed at the failure of his search, Laban is silenced before his son-in-law; His anger subsides, whilst Jacob's confidence increases. He now decries Laban's attitude as indicative of the selfish, suspicious nature he ever revealed. Moved with righteous anger, Jacob demands the reason of such conduct, Laban has accused Jacon of being a common thief, but let him supply the evidence. On the other hand, Jacob presses Laban with dishonesty, accusing him of deceiving him in his wages, in spite of the diligent and unstinted service rendered by his son-in-law. Only the overshadowing care of God had protected him from such as Laban.

 

The Covenant Between Jacob and Laban vv 43-55

In face of Jacob's spirited defence, Laban has little to say. He can neither justify himself nor condemn Jacob. He is not willing to own himself in a fault, nor to ask Jacob forgiveness and to compensate him, as he ought to have done. Instead he wealy urgest that Jacob's wives and cattle are all his; which is incorrect. He then proposes a covenant of friendship between them, which Jacob readily agrees to, without demanding an apology from Laban. In this Jacob sets a good example. When quarrels happen, we should be willing to cease arguing and establish the bonds of friendship. Better sit down losers than go on in strife.

 

bro HP Mansfield, The Christadelphian Expositor, The Book of Genesis (pp 338-363)

 

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Reference to:

Psa 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

Psa 35:10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

 

... A further examination of the Psalms shows that the conception of the Messiah there elaborated is not that of the Jews of Christ’s day. Their teaching comprehends both aspects of the mission of Jesus of Nazareth, setting forth not only his kingship, but also his life as a man of sorrows. The Psalms are a striking illustration of the truth set forth by Peter when he says that the prophets, by means of the Holy Spirit, testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow (1 Pet. 1:11). The suffering Son of man is there revealed in a fulness only excelled by the actual records of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Numerous instances will readily occur to all readers. Thus the twenty-second Psalm, following the song concerning the King, who should have life for ever and ever, in its opening words fixes the attention on one forsaken of his God. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The speaker is one compassed about by bulls of Bashan, despised of the people, reviled and derided by the passers by, pierced in his hands and feet, his garments parted amongst others, and pouring out his soul unto his Father in his earnest cry, “Be not thou far from me, O Lord; O my strength, haste thee to help me.” The sufferings of Christ are there as plainly as if it were an account by an eye-witness. But the glory that should follow is also there. After the prayer comes a recognition of the fact that it would be answered. “I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” In the light of that recognition he goes on to call to those who fear Yahweh to praise Him, because He had not despised his affliction, “but when he cried unto him, he heard.” The last few verses go beyond the time of the answer to his prayer, and direct attention to the Kingdom of God—the glory that should follow.

 

Another illustration of the fact that these Psalms set forth the suffering Messiah is to be found in Psalm 35., where we get a glimpse into those deep feelings of Messiah that only the Psalms set forth (verses 9, 10, 12, 13). Here is made known his sympathy, meekness, his rendering good for evil; and here too is the incident of his trial, when false witnesses rose up against him.

 

Passing to Psalm 69. we again see his sufferings. He is in deep affliction, with the floods of trouble over-flowing, hated without a cause by numerous enemies who are powerful. In this condition it is not of self that he thinks. “Let not them that wait upon thee, O Adonai Yahweh of hosts, be ashamed for my sake. Let not those who seek thee be confounded for my sake, O Elohim of Israel.” It is the abnegation of self, even in a hour when self might have seemed uppermost; it is care for others, and it is associated with zeal for God, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” Like the twenty-second Psalm this one brings the very incidents of the crucifixion before us. “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” It is an interesting illustration of Christ’s attitude towards the scriptures that in his final hours, amid the shame and the pain of those last moments, he should have acted in the way recorded by John. “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, saith I thirst. . . . When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar he said It is finished, and he bowed his head and gave up the spirit” (John 19:28–30). It is worth noting that the words accomplished, fulfilled, and finished, are all related to the same root, the first and last being the same. Well might he say, in the words of another Psalm “Lo I come . . . I delight to do thy will, O God” (Psa. 40:7, 8). The glory to follow is also in this sixty-ninth Psalm. “The humble shall see and be glad, and your heart shall live that seek God. . . . God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah. . . . The seed of his servants shall inherit it, and they that love his name shall dwell therein.” ...

 

The Christadelphian : Volume 41. 1904 (electronic ed.) (201–202).

 

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Reference to:

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

 

... 2. “They that are great (among the Gentiles) exercise authority upon them. BUT IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU. But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matt. 20:25–27). “BE NOT YE CALLED RABBI, for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.” Nothing is more natural than for men to seek honour and deference among their fellow men. It is the universal habit of society “to receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only” (John 5:44). Men everywhere “love the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43). It is considered the right thing to nurse “ambition”—to indulge the desire for “fame”—which is the same thing in modern times. Jesus condemns it without qualification. He forbids men to aim at human approbation. It is his express commandment in almsgiving, for example, to “let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” (Matt. 6:3); and in prayer, to “pray to thy Father which is in secret” (verse 6), and in the exercises of divine sorrow, “to appear not unto men to fast” (verse 18). The object is that “thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” For the same reason, he forbids us to accept honourable titles and honourable places, and enjoins us to take a low and serving place. In illustration of his meaning, he himself washed the feet of his disciples, remarking, “I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). He expressly said, “Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased” (Luke 14:11). His command by the apostles is, “All of you be clothed with humility”; put away pride: “mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate” (Rom. 12:3, 16; Phil. 2:3; I Pet. 5:5–6).

 

The object of these commandments must be apparent to every reflecting mind that realises Christ’s object in the preaching of the gospel. It is to “purify unto himself a peculiar people” (Tit. 2:14), to show forth “the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” (I Pet. 2:9). The celebration of this praise is not finally and effectually rendered until the summons comes forth from the throne, to the immortal multitude of the saints in the day of His appearing: “praise our God all ye His servants” (Rev. 19:5); who respond to the thrilling mandate in a tempest of enthusiastic acclamation, “as the voice of many waters and as the voice of mighty thunderings” (verse 6). How could a people be prepared for such a part except by the command to crucify the propensity that seeks the honour of men in this evil age? ...

 

bro Robert Roberts. Christendom Astray from the Bible (428–429)
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Reply with quote  #897 

The Love Of Many Shall Wax Cold (Matt. 24:12)

 It is much easier to sell looseness and downhillness and let's-blur-the-edges-ness and compromise-ness, than it is to sell steadfastness and holiness and firmness of purpose and faithfulness to exclusive Truth. It's easy to become both popular and powerful and draw the crowds, if that is our stock in trade. But let us not be discouraged if what we have to sell does not have the common appeal of the broadly popular goods. The Truth of God is a narrow, exclusive, flesh-crucifying, demanding, high-standarded thing. It is not designed for the masses, and it has never appealed to the masses, or the shallowly unthinking. It appeals only to the thoughtful, and the wholly dedicated, and those whom the masses call "extremists." The Truth is indeed a total, all-consuming, all-demanding "extreme" thing.

 

bro Growcott,  – Search Me O God

 

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Jan 21   Gen 37 Psa 39,40       Mat 24

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Reference to:

Gen 37:9  And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 

Gen 37:10  And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 

 

... “From Gen. 37:9, 10, we learn that the sun, moon, and stars, which made obeisance to Joseph were immediately interpreted by Jacob to be symbolical of himself, Rachel, and his other eleven sons.

“We are therefore fully justified in saying, that Heavens mean a political kingdom; Sun, supreme secular power; Moon, ecclesiastical; Stars and Constellations, the aristocratic orders of the State. The heaven of this political world is the sovereign part thereof, through whose host and stars that world is ruled. In the highest place, or region, are gods, or kings, emperors, popes, princes, &c.; next, demons or ambassadors, plenipotentiaries; and other such intermediate lights shining in that firmament. The earth is the undistinguished multitude. The following authors all agree that “heavens” is the symbol for the higher places of the political universe. Dr. H. More, Daubuz, Lancaster, Sykes, Dr. Wall, Vitringa, Lowth, Owen, Warburton, &c. Sir Isaac Newton says, “in prophecy, which regards not single persons, the sun is put for the whole species and race of kings.” Hence “to ascend into the heaven” must be to obtain new power and glory; and Daubuz says, “to ascend into heaven” is to obtain rule and dominion. That “the sea and waves roaring,” mean tumultuous assemblies of people, and the sea itself, the people in mass, is manifest from many passages. In Isai. 60. Zion is addressed as at the time of the Redeemer being there, and it is said to her, “the abundance of the sea shall be turned unto thee, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” Again, in Isai. 17:12, 13, “Ho! to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas, and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters; the nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters.” Again, in Isai. 8:7, “Behold the Lord bringing upon them the waters of the river strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory,” meaning his army. As the sun and the moon, the stars and the sea, are symbolical expressions, to annex a dissimilar interpretation to the word earth would be inconsistent. The earth seems to be generally put for that over which the heavens do rule; and where it is distinguished from the sea, the former represents people in an interior region and perhaps quiet state; and the latter in a disturbed condition. Thus earthquake must mean, as Sir Isaac Newton observes, “the shaking of kingdoms so as to overthrow them;” and Jurieu says, “It is known by all who are versed in the prophets, that in the prophetic style an earthquake signifies a great commotion of nations.”

 

“In order to obtain a right key to the symbols we must look to their roots rather than to their single meaning in detached places, and we shall find, that wherever there is a figure expressive of one principle, or one set of men under the influence of that principle, there is also a corresponding figure or symbol representing the opposite character. For example, we have the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and the lion walking about seeking whom he may devour; the waters of Shiloh flowing softly, or the fountains of living waters, and the seas and the waves roaring, or raging waves of the sea. The Star of Jacob, and wandering stars; the Tree of Life, and trees without fruit, &c., &c. Thus the same key which will unlock the symbols of one part of prophecy, will unlock those of all.”

 

bro John Thomas (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (5:262). New York.

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Reference to:

Psa 40:6  Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 

Heb 10:5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 

 

... This heresy against the proper humanity of Christ is far more subtle than the counterpart of it, which denies His proper divinity. The orthodox have never been slack in excommunicating those who reject this; but they had better look well to themselves; for the “Sinful Flesh” is as much an element of the divine Jesus, as “the Spirit.” In body, Jesus only differed from other men in paternity. God was the father of that body, not Joseph; therefore the body was Son of God, as Luke testifies of the first Adam. The logical consequences resulting from the denial of the true humanity of Jesus, are destructive of the Mystery of the Gospel; for if the Spirit did not take our nature, but a better nature, then is that better nature not our nature, and redeemed from whatever curse it may have laid under, and been reconciled to God. But if the human nature of Christ were immaculate, (excuse the phrase, O reader, for since the Fall we know not of an immaculate human nature) then God did not “send Jesus in the likeness of sinful flesh;” he did not “take hold of the seed of Abraham;” he did not “become sin for us;” “sin was” not “condemned in the flesh;” and “our sins were” not “borne in his body upon the tree.” These things could not have been accomplished in a nature destitute of that physical principle styled “Sin in the flesh.” Decree the immaculateness of the body prepared for the Spirit, Psal. 40:6, Heb. 10:5, and the “Mystery of Christ” is destroyed, and the gospel of the kingdom ceases to be the power of God for salvation, to those that believe it. If the Son of Man did not live a life of faith, and if he did not experience all the temptations which we feel, then is his life, and his resistance of evil, no example to us. But “he was tempted in all things after our likeness without sin;” this, however, can only be admitted on the ground of his nature, and “the brethren’s” being exactly alike; hence,

He knows what sore temptations are,

For he has felt the same:

enticements within and persecutions without, made up the sum of his “sufferings for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”

 

But, as a last resort against all this, the doctors of the apostasy fall back upon the saying of Gabriel, in Luke 1:35, that the child to be born of Mary was a “holy thing,” and consequently of an immaculate nature. But they forget that all the first-borns of Israel were “holy things.” Jesus was Jehovah’s first-born by Mary; and therefore one of the first-borns of the nation: so that the law of the first-borns applied to him equally with the rest. “All the first-born are mine; for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am Jehovah.” Hence, the holiness of Mary’s babe was not of nature, but of constitution by the law. Gabriel declared his legitimacy, in styling it a “holy thing”—a declaration ratified by Jehovah himself, before the multitude, when he acknowledged Jesus as his Son, in whom He delighted, Matt. 3:17.

 

In conclusion, upon this point we may remark, that previous to the resurrection of the first-fruits, the Scripture knows nothing of two kinds of flesh, one immutable, immortal, and incapable of acting otherwise than in conformity with the will of the Creator; and another flesh mutable, mortal, and capable of acting contrary to the will of God; it knows but of one kind of flesh, and pronounces condemnation upon those who deny that in that one kind came the Son of God to do His will, as it is written of him in the volume of the book. Christ made sin, though sinless, is the doctrine of God—a deep and wonderful scheme, that the wisdom and power of Deity could alone devise.

 

bro John Thomas (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (6:268-269). New York.

 

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Reference to:

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

 

The Responsible to be Gathered for Judgment

 

Having emerged from sheol, from “the womb of the dawn,” the second stage of the process finds them, after the type of the first Adam, “standing before the judgment seat of Christ” (Rom. 14:10), as the result of their having been angelically “gathered together unto him” (Mat. 24:31; 2Thes. 2:1). Adam, at the bar of Deity in Paradise, had arrived there through probation, and emergence from a hiding place, whence he had been brought forth by the voice of Yahweh Elohim (Gen. 3:1–9); so with his descendants—they arrive at the judgment seat of Christ through probation and emergence from sheol, in which they have been long hid; and from which the voice of Yahweh Elohim brings them forth that “every one of them shall give account of himself to Deity” (Rom. 14:12). Had Adam been able to give a good account of himself in probation, he would have been permitted to eat of the tree of lives, that, eating, he might live for ever; but he was self-condemned in the account he rendered, so that he was sentenced to perpetual exclusion from Paradise, and to “receive through the body for what he had done evil” (2Cor. 5:10); which evil is defined in the penalty attached to the law he had transgressed according to the exposition thereof by the law-giver and judge, in the words, “dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return”; and which, after a life of labour and of sorrow, took effect am 930, when he died, and, by corruption, became dust again. Thus, “having sown to the flesh, of the flesh he reaped corruption”; as will all his descendants who elect to walk in his steps rather than after the example of the last Adam (Gal. 6:8).

 

Here the similitude between the first Adam and his posterity ends. Those of them who “reap life everlasting” are such as, after the example of the last Adam, have in their probation, sown to the Spirit; “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” When those who have sown to the Spirit appear at the judgment seat of Christ, they will be able to show in the account rendered, that the righteousness of the Mosaic law was fulfilled in them by their walk after “the Spirit which is the truth,” through which they mortified the deeds of the body, and crucified it with its affections and lusts (Rom. 8:4, 13; Gal. 5:24). This was sowing to the Spirit. And who that has been engaged in this work of faith and labour of love would dread to make his appearance before the judgment seat of Christ? They are gathered there as hopeful expectants of a verdict justifying them before angels and the Father who is in heaven (Mat. 10:32; Luke 12:8–9); for the angels will be present at this assize, and will be attentive observers, approving the just and despising with ignominy those who loved the world and the things pertaining to it, more than “the truth as it is in Jesus.” It can surely be only those whose consciences are not void of offence toward God and men, who contemplate their appearance in His presence with affright. They are, doubtless, conscious of disaffection and disloyalty to the truth; of not walking worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called; of conformity to the world upon the things of which their affections are placed, and of glorying in pursuits of which they ought rather to be ashamed. Professors who are making for themselves a record of this sort, have reason to be affrighted; for, “if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him”; and the world’s friends are God’s enemies (1John 2:15; James 4:4); hence, for such, the expectation of standing before Christ in full angelic assize, is “a certain fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:27). No marvel that they view this prospect with frantic repugnance, and declaim against it as a senseless conceit. 

 

But, what is the use of this? Bad words and rough speeches will not alter the predetermination of Deity. If it be His purpose to demand account from every one, of himself, before he confers upon him, through the Spirit, life everlasting, that purpose will assuredly stand. And that it is His pleasure so to do, is emphatically and explicitly taught in the Word. Paul, who testifies it among others, did not view it with dismay, although he says that evil as well as good is then to be dispensed. He was conscious of having done well, and he knew that such would be accepted (Gen. 4:7). Therefore, in view of the judgment, which made Felix tremble, he could joyfully exclaim, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me in that day,” when “he shall judge living and dead ones at his appearing and kingdom … and not to me only, but also to all who love the appearing” (2Tim. 4:7–8). Surely, they who are keeping the faith, and earnestly desiring “the appearing of the glory of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,” may view the judgment of that day, now so close at hand, as cheerfully. It is only evil doers that have reason to be afraid.

 

bro John Thomas. (1866; 2002). Anastasis (16). Logos Publishers.
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Reply with quote  #898 
Psalm 44:3 

... 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. The Ways of Providence (90). The Christadelphian.

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Jan 24   Gen 39,40    Psa 44        Mat 26   
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Reference to:
Gen 40:14  But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
Gen 40:15  For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.

... If men will but commit themselves to Him in well-doing, He will guide their steps and frame their way for comfort and well-being. It is where they leave Him out of account and follow their own devices for their own purposes that He may leave them to be snared in their own way. Joseph was not of this class. He feared God and was afraid of sin, and God was protecting him in the midst of evil, and slowly guiding his paths to exaltation and honour. But the work was all apparently natural. It had been so up to this point. It continued to be so for a good while. Two fresh prisoners arrived. They were both domestics of Pharaoh. Their arrival was a link in the chain of Joseph’s deliverance; but he knew nothing of this: it was, to all appearance, a commonplace circumstance. They had offended Pharaoh, and were naturally rueful enough at their position—a ruefulness increased by striking dreams, which they both thought had a special meaning beyond their understanding. On the morning after the dreams, Joseph asked them the cause of their extra sadness, and being told, remarked, “Do not interpretations belong unto God? Tell me, I pray you”. And they told their dreams; and Joseph interpreted them as indicative of their coining treatment at the hands of Pharaoh, which was realized in harmony with his interpretation. The butler Pharaoh restored to his office: the baker he hanged.

Here, doubtless, comes in the extra-natural element which distinguished the case of the fathers from ours of these barren days, namely the endowment in the case of Joseph of special faculty in the discernment of special dreams, but the use of this faculty by Joseph and its relation to the operations of providence were all in a natural way. Joseph did a neighbourly turn to the two interesting prisoners in his charge, and out of this came his own deliverance—not immediately, however. The train was being laid but nothing was hurried. Joseph made the most of the circumstances to bring about his release to no purpose. When apprising the butler of his coming liberation, he said, “Think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharoah, and bring me out of this house. For indeed, I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, and here (in Egypt) also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon” (Gen. 40:14–15). But alas! the butler was like the ordinary run of mortals. When he found himself in prosperity, he was satisfied to enjoy his portion without a thought for the welfare of others. “Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him” (verse 23). However, the butler was to be made use of. Joseph’s deliverance was not to come through the butler’s gratitude, not at once. It was to come after a considerable patience-requiring lapse of time, through the providentially-developed baser desire of the butler to please Pharaoh.

In two years or so, Pharaoh has a dream which troubles him, and of which no one can give an interpretation—not even a guess. The thing is known in all the palace. It is talked of among the servants. When every assistance has been mooted in vain, the butler remembers the realization of his own and the baker’s dreams as interpreted by Joseph. For the first time, he speaks of the matter to Pharaoh. Joseph is hurriedly summoned. The rest is familiar as a household word—Joseph finds himself transferred in a moment from a dungeon to a throne. The blackness of midnight gives way to a sudden burst of noonday splendour, which abides with him through a long and illustrious day. God delivers him from all adversity, and, as he expressed it, “made him forget his toil, and his father’s house”. From a prison keeper’s servant, he is transformed into a governor of Egypt—the king’s minister: an object of universal deference, and controller of the land’s pouring treasure. It was God’s work in providence. God’s hand was visible at one or two points; but in the main, it was accomplished in an unseen manner by means of perfectly natural circumstances. ...

bro Robert Roberts. The Ways of Providence (67). The Christadelphian.

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Reference to:
Psa 44:4  Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.
Psa 44:5  Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

Isa 41:25  I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.


... The great outcry shouted forth by the Angel of the Altar is promptly responded to by the Angel of the Sickle, who puts his forces into motion against the enemy. The sickle he handles in the sanguinary vintage of the earth, is “the Remnant of Jacob” who are then “among the Gentiles in the midst of many peoples as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the nations such as they have not heard” (Micah 5:8, 15). Such is the instrumentality of the Spirit in the down-treading of the wine press. Judah and Israel in their dispersion are handled by the King of the Jews as his sword, bow, arrow, battle-axe, sickle, fan, and so forth. “Behold,” saith the Spirit in Isaiah 41:15, “I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; thou, worm Jacob, shalt thresh the mountains (empires), and beat them small, and shalt make the hills (lesser states) as chaff. And thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in Yahweh, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel”. This has never come to pass since it was written. It will, however, assuredly be fulfilled, when He who hath been raised up “shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay” (v. 25). And in Psa. 44 they say, “Thou art He, O Elohim, my King: command thou deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against us”. Then “the righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked: so that a man shall say, Verily, there is a reward for the righteous: verily there is Elohim judging the earth” (Psa. 58:10, 11). Jesus and his Brethren in command of the twelve tribes of Israel, are the Sickle of the Spirit by which he cuts off the vine of the earth, and treads its clusters in the great winepress of Divine wrath. Behold them all in battle array in ch. 19:11–16! There is the Faithful and True One, the Commander of the forces, who makes war in righteousness; His brethren in arms, who are “the called, and chosen and faithful;” and their hosts, the horses they ride, and the sharp sword of their warfare. These constitute the instrumentality symbolized in ch. 14 by the Angel of the Sickle who treads the winepress. This is evident from the fact that his mission is the same as theirs, which the reader may see by comparing verse 19 of this chapter with verse 15 of the former, where it is written “He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of Almighty God”. Thus, those who “go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall, tread down the wicked: for they shall be ashes under the soles of their feet in the day that I shall do, saith Yahweh Tz’vaoth ”.  ...

bro John Thomas, Eureka  : An exposition of the Apocalypse. Volumes 1-5. (electronic ed.) (volpg.5.71).
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Reference to:
Mat 26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

... The day referred to in the answer of Jesus to the thief was the same as that to which the thief directed his attention—namely, the Day of his Coming; the Day of the Kingdom; or, which is the same thing, the Day of the Paradise of God.—Rev. 2:7; 22:14. This is stated by Paul in 2 Thess. 2:2.—“The Day of the Anointed One.” People who do not understand the Gospel of the Kingdom, imagine that the day referred to by Jesus was the night of the crucifixion! By not knowing what the kingdom is, nor where it will exist when in being; and by not attending to the question asked: but by fixing all their little thought upon their own notion of the English words “To-day,” they imagine that, Jesus referred to the time of the thief’s “giving up the ghost” as they term it! But this opinion—a dogma of the divinity in which the Old Man of the Flesh, always a Free-Willer, delights—only demonstrates profound ignorance of the first principles of the oracles of God. Hear what Paul saith, “If Christ be not risen, then they having been asleep in Christ are perished.”—1 Cor. 15:17, 18. Christ did not rise till the third day. From the hour, then, of his death, to the hour of his waking from death, an interval of thirty-six hours, the thief was in the condition designed by the words “are perished:” and if Jesus had not as yet risen, and were not to rise at all, the thief and all the dead of every class, would be as the beasts. Now thirty-six hours are one Jewish day and two Jewish nights. Jesus lived to the end of “To-day,” the day on which he spoke the words; and he slept the ensuing night; and the to-morrow, Sabbath; and the night after the Sabbath, until dawn, in the sepulchre. Now the thief was with him on “To-day;” but not in Paradisaic happiness, nor in the delights of Paradise: though, it must be admitted, that both he and Jesus were in the territory of Paradise; for they were both of them crucified therein. They slept in Paradise together, though in separate apartments, he being in the rich man’s mausoleum; but the thief, in the place appointed for the inhumation of criminals. But here the consociation ends. Jesus awoke at the early dawn, as the Spirit of Christ in David had predicted; and he arose, and left the thief sleeping in Paradise; and when he ascended to the Father, he left Paradise behind him, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Now the territory of Paradise is the Holy Land, as Isaiah and Ezekiel have shown. But at present there is no Tree of Life there, no Water of Life there; no Leaves for the healing of the nations. At present, it is a desolate province of the Ottoman empire, in which the living are as desolate as the land Abel, Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, and probably “all the prophets,” with the exception of Enoch, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, are in Paradise soundly sleeping in their graves; for Paradise is now an aceldama, a field of blood, and a place of graves.

But it was not in Paradise as it was then, and as it is now, that the thief desired to be. He did not wish to be in a Roman Paradise, nor in a Turkish Paradise; but in the Messianic Paradise—“The Paradise of God.” “Remember me, Lord. when thou comest into thy Paradise, or kingdom;” for scripturally, the paradise of God, and the kingdom of God are the same.

Having, then, left Paradise behind him when he ascended, Jesus is therefore not there; and consequently, though the thief is in Paradise, he is not with Jesus there. He sleeps in the dust of paradise awaiting “the day of his coming.” “I WILL RETURN,” said Jesus to his friends, “and receive you to myself, that where I am, ye also may be—ητε.” When this time arrives, he will awake the dead in Paradise, and in other parts of the earth, and bid them wclcome to the kingdom he comes to establish there. Then will the thief see him for the first time since he saw him conveyed away from the cross. But, whether he will be among the number of those to whom his companion-sufferer shall say, “Come ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you,” or among those who shall see the righteous in the kingdom, but also be commanded of the King to “Depart” accursed from his presence into exile from the land—does not appear from the testimony in hand. It is not all that dwell in the dust of Paradise will be Leaves on the Tree of Life to be planted there by the hand of God. If the King permit the thief to take a position as “the last in the kingdom of God,” and therefore in rank higher than “the greatest of all the prophets,” he will do so as a purely exceptional act of sovereign grace. We confess, that we do not think it will be so. We see nothing in the text to justify the belief that he will. Many will meet the King in Paradise who will be thence ignominiously expelled. There is much testimony and proof of this. Take one example. Jesus said to Caiaphas the High Priest, who headed the conspiracy against his life, “I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of POWER, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Caiaphas and his colleagues have not yet seen this, which they called blasphemy. But, when it comes to pass, they will see it; and seeing it will weep and gnash their teeth in Paradise, from which the crucified victim of their malignity will cast them out with reprobation. See Mat. 26:64; Luke 13:24–30.

The thief on the cross is a great theme with those sons of darkness, the clergy, in their rhapsodies about souls and death-bed repentance. If they understood the gospel they would be ashamed of their foolishness; but as they do not, they can preach the baldest nonsense, with imperturbable gravity of face. We would take the liberty of telling these professional soul-merchants, that if they have no stronger testimony for immortal-soulism, and salvation by deathbed and gallows-repentance, than is contained in this case, their wares are an imposition; and they themselves the veriest cheats in the whole encyclopædia of imposture. They ought to know that, Enoch, Moses, Elijah, and perhaps Melchizedec excepted, no man could enter into life before the resurrection of the Mediator of the Abrahamic Covenant; and that even these exceptions could not inherit Paradise Abrahamically until he was raised. They ought to know, that Paradise belongs to Earth, and not to the Sun, Moon, and Stars, or somewhere else beyond. But they know nothing aright; and have need that one teach them the first principles, which, however, it is impossible for them to receive, seeking as they do honor one of another, and the providence of a deluded world, instead of God’s.  ...

bro John Thomas, (n.d.). Herald of the kingdom and age to come (8:36-37). New York.
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