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Month: January 2018

The Second Advent, Part 3

The Second Advent, Part 3

THE SECOND ADVENT, Part 3

This is the third part of our discussion concerning the second advent of our Lord. In the first part we discussed the OBJECT or work of our Lord’s second advent, and in the second we examined the manner or way in which the Lord reveled himself after his resurrection to his followers, at his first advent thus hoping to shed some light on the manner of his second advent.

Let us now continue with our discussion, where we left off.

“That our Lord at his second advent could assume human form, and thus appear to men, as he did to his disciples after his resurrection, there can be no question; not only because he thus appeared in human form during those forty days, but because spirit beings have in the past manifested the power to appear as men in flesh and in various forms. But such a manifestation (during the Second Advent) would be out of harmony with the general tenor of God’s plan, as well as out of harmony with the Scriptural indications given, relative to the manner of his manifestations, as we shall see. Instead, it is the Lord’s plan that his spiritual kingdom shall communicate, operate, and manifest its presence and power THROUGH human, earthly agencies. Just as the prince of this world, Satan, though unseen by men, exercises a wide influence in the world through those subject to him, and possessed of and controlled by his spirit, so the new Prince of Peace, the Lord, will chiefly operate in, and manifest his presence and power through, human beings, subject to him and possessed of and controlled by his spirit.

Seeing with the natural eye and hearing with the natural ear are not all there is of seeing and hearing. “No man hath seen God at any time” thus, yet all God’s children have seen him, and known him, and held communion with him. (John 1:18; 5:37; 14:7) We hear God’s call, our “high calling,” we hear the voice of our Shepherd, and are constantly looking unto Jesus, and see the prize, the crown of life which he promises–not by natural sight and hearing, but by our understanding. Far more precious is the sight we have of our glorified Lord as the spiritual, highly exalted King of glory, our Redeemer as well as our King, by the eyes of our understanding and faith, than the sight afforded to the natural eye before Pentecost.

There was a necessity for our Lord’s appearing in the manner he did to his disciples, after his resurrection, which will not exist at his second advent. His object then will be better served in a different way. In fact, to appear so at his second advent would be detrimental to the purpose then to be accomplished. His object in appearing to his disciples after his resurrection was to convince them that he who was dead is alive forevermore, that they might go forth as witnesses to the fact of his resurrection (Luke 24:48), and that their testimony might be a sure foundation for the faith of coming generations. Since no man can come to God acceptably, to receive the Holy Spirit of adoption, without faith in Christ, it became necessary; not only for the sake of the disciples then, but for all since, that the evidences of his resurrection and change should be such as natural men could grasp and appreciate.

After they had become partakers of the Holy Spirit and understood spiritual things (See 1 Cor. 2:12-16), they could have believed the angels at the sepulcher, that he had risen from the dead condition, even if they had seen the fleshly body of the man Christ Jesus still lying in the tomb; but not so before–the body must be away to make faith in his resurrection possible to them. After the holy Spirit had enabled them to discern spiritual things they could have believed the testimony of the prophets that he must needs die, and would rise from the dead, and that he would be highly exalted as King of glory, without its being needful for him to appear as a man, and assume various bodies of flesh as a garment, so that they could handle him and see him ascend. But all this was needful for them and for all natural men. By believing, we come to God by him and receive forgiveness of sins and the Spirit of adoption, to understand spiritual things.

Even while removing the natural obstacles to faith, by assuming human form, etc., our Lord convinced the disciples, and made them witnesses to others, not by their natural sight and touch, but by reasoning with them out of the Scriptures…

With our Lord, after his resurrection, it was simply a question of expediency as to which way of appearing to his disciples would best accomplish his object, of making known his resurrection and change of nature. Had he appeared as a flame of fire, as the angel appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Exod. 3:2), he might indeed have conversed with them, but the evidence thus given would have been far from being as convincing as the method he did adopt, both to the apostles and to the world at large to whom they witnessed.

If he had appeared in the glory of the spirit form, as the angel did to Daniel (Dan. 10:5-8), the glory would have been greater than the witnesses could have borne. They would probably have been so alarmed as to be unable to receive instructions from him. To none except Paul did the Lord ever thus show himself; and Paul was so overcome by that glimpse of his glory that he fell to the ground and was blinded by its brightness, which was above that of the sun at noonday.

In our examination of the method of manifestation adopted by our Lord during those forty days, we saw that he “permitted” himself to become manifest even to the chosen witnesses only a few times, and then but briefly. The entire time that he was manifest to them, had it all been crowded into one day instead of being at intervals during the forty days, would probably have been less than twelve hours, or one eightieth of that entire time. This being true, it is evident that he was present with them unseen about seventy-nine eightieths of that period of forty days. And even when they did have manifestations, they were not (except once, repeated to Thomas) in a form exactly like the one they had known so intimately for three years, and had seen but a few days before. It is not once intimated that they knew him by the familiar features of his face, nor even that he was recognized by the same appearance as in other manifestations.

Mary supposed him to be “the gardener.” To the two on their way to Emmaus he was “a stranger.” He was also a stranger to the fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, and to the eleven in the upper room. On every occasion he was recognized by his actions, his words, or the familiar tones of his voice.

When Thomas declared that only the proof, which addressed his natural sight and touch, would be acceptable to him, the Lord, though he granted that demand, gently reproved him, saying, Because thou has seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are those who believe, not having seen. (John 20:27-29) The stronger evidence was that which was not addressed to natural sight, and more blessed are those who hold themselves in readiness to receive the truth through whatsoever proofs God is pleased to substantiate it.

He thus showed them, not only that he now had the power to appear in a variety of ways and forms, but also that no one of those bodies which they saw was his spiritual, glorious body, though the facts of his resurrection and presence were thus manifested to them. The different forms, and the long intervals of invisible presence with no outward manifestation, made evident the fact that though their Lord and teacher was alive and not yet ascended to the Father, he was now a spirit being, really invisible to human sight, but with ability to manifest his presence and power in a variety of ways at pleasure.

The creating of the body and clothing in which he appeared to them, in the very room in which they were gathered, was proof unquestionable that Christ was no longer a human being, though he assured his disciples that the body which they saw, and which Thomas handled, was a veritable flesh and bone body, and not a mere vision or appearance… this he gave them clearly to understand when he ate before them, and invited them to handle him and see that the body was real flesh and bones, saying, “Why are ye troubled?…Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

Some Christians draw very absurd conclusions from this expression of our Lord as to the verity of his assumed flesh and bone body. They regard the assumed body as his spirit body, and declare that a spirit body is flesh and bones, and just like a human body, excepting that an indefinable something, which they call spirit, flows through its veins instead of blood. They seem to disregard the statement of our Lord that this was not a spirit body–that a spirit being has not flesh and bones. Do they also forget John’s statement, that “It doth not yet appear” what a spirit body is, and that we shall not know until we are changed and made like him and see him, not as he was, but as he is? (1 John 3:2) Do they also forget the Apostle Paul’s express statement that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God“–and his further assurance that therefore all the heirs with Christ must also “be changed?1 Cor. 15:50, 51

Many Christians have the idea that our Lord’s glorious spiritual body is the very same body that was crucified and laid away in Joseph’s tomb: they expect, when they see the Lord in glory, to identify him by the scars he received on Calvary. This is a great mistake, which a very little consideration should make manifest–Firstly, It would prove that his resurrection body is not glorious or perfect, but scarred and disfigured: Secondly, It would prove that we do know what a spirit body is, notwithstanding the Apostle’s statement to the contrary: Thirdly, It would prove that our redemption price was taken back; for Jesus said, “My flesh I will give for the life of the world.” It was his flesh, his life as a man, his humanity, which was sacrificed for our redemption. And when he was raised to life again by the power of the Father, it was not to human existence; because that was sacrificed as our purchase price. And if that price had been taken back, we would still be under the condemnation of death, and without hope.

We have no more reason to suppose that our Lord’s spirit body since his resurrection is a human body than we have for supposing that his spirit body prior to his first advent was human, or that other spirit beings have human bodies; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones; and, says the Apostle Peter, our Lord was “put to death in the flesh but made alive in spirit.”

Our Lord’s human body was, however, supernaturally removed from the tomb; because had it remained there it would have been an insurmountable obstacle to the faith of the disciples, who were not yet instructed in spiritual things–for “the spirit was not yet given.” (John 7:39) We know nothing about what became of it, except that it did not decay or corrupt. (Acts 2:27, 31) Whether it was dissolved into gases or whether it is still preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God’s love, of Christ’s obedience, and of our redemption, no one knows–nor is such knowledge necessary. (B122-129)

We will continue once again with our next post.

The Second Advent, Part 2

The Second Advent, Part 2

THE SECOND ADVENT, Part 2

In part one of our study we looked briefly at the OBJECT of our Lords second advent, i.e. the purpose or work to which he comes to accomplish this second time. We will now examine in what manner our Lord made his resurrection known to his disciples. The importance in how the Lord manifested himself to the Apostles following his resurrection is essential to our understanding of how he is to be manifest at his second advent.

“We must bear in mind, that our Lord is no longer a human being; that as a human being he gave himself a ransom for men, having become a man for that very purpose. (1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 10:4, 5; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22) He is now highly exalted, to the divine nature. Therefore Paul said, “Though we have known Christ after the flesh (in the flesh), yet now, henceforth, know we him [so] no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16) He was raised from the dead a life-giving SPIRIT BEING (1 Cor. 15:45), and not a MAN, of the earth earthy (flesh and blood).

Since he is no longer in any sense or degree a human being, we must not expect him to come again as a human being, as at the first advent. His second coming is to be in a different manner, as well as for a different purpose.

Noting the fact that our Lord’s change from human to divine nature at his resurrection was even a greater change than the one which occurred some thirty-four years previously, when he laid aside the glory of spiritual being and “was made flesh,” we may with great profit consider very minutely his every action during the forty days after his resurrection before he went “to the Father“; because it is the resurrected Jesus of those forty days who is to come again, and not the MAN Christ Jesus who gave himself as our ransom, in death. He who was put to death a flesh being was also in his resurrection quickened [made alive] a spirit being. 1 Pet. 3:18

At his SECOND ADVENT he does not come to be subject to the powers that be, to pay tribute to Caesar and to suffer humiliation, injustice and violence; but he comes to reign, exercising all power in heaven and in earth. He does not come in the body of his humiliation, a human body, which he took for the suffering of death, inferior to his former glorious body (Heb. 2:9); but in his glorious spiritual body, which is “the express image of the Father’s person” (Heb. 1:3); for, because of his obedience even unto death, he is now highly exalted to the divine nature and likeness, and given a name above every name–the Father’s name only excepted.  (Phil. 2:9; 1 Cor. 15:27)

The Apostle shows that it “doth not yet appear” to our human understanding what he is now like; hence we know not what we shall be like when made like him, but we (the Church) may rejoice in the assurance that we shall one day be with him, and like him, and see him as he is (1 John 3:2)–not as he was at his first advent in humiliation (in flesh), when he had laid aside his former glory and for our sakes had become poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.

If we consider the wisdom and prudence of our Lord’s methods of manifesting his presence to his disciples after his resurrection, as well as previously, it may help us to remember that the same wisdom will be displayed in his methods of revealing himself at his second advent, both to the Church and to the world–methods not necessarily similar, but in each case well suited to his object, which never is to alarm or excite men, but to convince their cool, calm judgments of the great truths to be impressed upon them. Our Lord’s first advent was not a startling, exciting or alarming event. How quietly and unobtrusively he came! So much so that only those who had faith and humility were enabled to recognize in the infant of humble birth, in the man of sorrows, in the friend of the humble and poor, and finally in the crucified one, the long-looked-for Messiah.

After his resurrection, the manifestation of his presence would in the nature of the case be a more astounding fact, particularly when his changed nature is taken into consideration. Yet the fact of his resurrection, together with the fact of his changed nature, had to be fully manifested, not to the entire world at that time, but to chosen witnesses who would give credible testimony of the fact to succeeding generations.

Had the entire world been made acquainted with the fact then, the testimony coming down to our day would probably have been much less trustworthy, being colored and warped by men’s ideas and mixed with their traditions so much so that the truth might appear almost or quite incredible (unbelievable). But God entrusted it only to chosen, faithful and worthy witnesses; and as we notice the account, let each mark how perfectly the object was accomplished, and how clear, positive and convincing was the proof of Christ’s resurrection and change offered to them. Mark, too, the carefulness with which he guarded against alarming or unduly exciting them while making manifest and emphasizing these great truths.

Be assured that the same wisdom, prudence and skill will be displayed in his methods of making known the fact of his glorious presence at his second advent. The cool, calm judgment will be convinced in every case, though the world in general will need to be brought by severe discipline to the proper attitude to receive the testimony, those whose hearts are right will have the blessed intelligence sooner. All the proofs of his resurrection and change to spiritual nature were not given to his disciples at once, but as they were able to bear them and in the manner calculated to make the deepest impression.

He broke the news of his resurrection gradually to them– first, through the women (Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, Mary the mother of James and Salome, and others with them–Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1, 10), who came early to the sepulcher to anoint his dead body with sweet spices.

While they wondered whom they should get to roll away the stone from the door of the sepulcher, behold, there was an earthquake, and when they came they found the stone rolled away, and an angel of the Lord sat upon it, who addressed them, saying, “Fear not, for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here; for he is risen, AS HE SAID. Come; see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him.” Matt. 28:5-7

It seems that Mary Magdalene separated from the other women and ran to tell Peter and John (John 20:1, 2), while the others went to tell the rest of the disciples, and that after she had left them Jesus appeared to the other women on the way, saying (Matt. 28:9,10), “All hail.” And they came and held him by the feet and worshiped him. Then said Jesus unto them, “Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee [their home], and there shall they see me.” And with fear and joy they ran to tell the other disciples. In their mingled feelings of surprise, perplexity, joy and fear, and their general bewilderment, they scarcely knew how to report their strange and wonderful experience. When Mary met Peter and John she said sadly, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher and we know not where they have laid him.” (John 20:2) The other women told how at the sepulcher they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive (Luke 24:22, 23), and then how they afterward met the Lord in the way. Matt. 28:8, 10

The majority of the disciples evidently regarded their story merely as superstitious excitement, but Peter and John said, we will go and see for ourselves; and Mary returned to the sepulcher with them. All that Peter and John saw was that the body was gone, that the grave clothes were carefully folded and laid by, and that the stone was rolled away from the door. So in perplexity they turned away, though Mary still remained there weeping. As she wept she stooped down and looked into the sepulcher and saw two angels, who said, “Woman, why weeps thou?” She answered, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”

And as she turned about she saw Jesus standing, but did not know him. He inquired, “Woman, why weeps thou? Whom seeks thou?” And she, supposing him to be the gardener, answered, “Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” Then, in the old familiar tone which she quickly recognized, the Lord said, “Mary!

That was enough to establish her faith in the statement of the angel, that he had risen, which until now had seemed like a dream or an idle tale; and in her joy she exclaimed, “MASTER!” Her first impulse was to embrace him, and to tarry in his presence. But Jesus gently informed her that there was a very important mission for her to perform now, in bearing witness to the fact of his resurrection, and that she should be in haste to carry the message and establish the faith of the other disciples, still in perplexity and uncertainty, saying,

Touch [Greek, “haptomai”, embrace] me not [do not tarry for further demonstration of your affection now]; for I am not yet ascended to my Father [I will be with you for a short time yet]: but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17) Through the other women also he had sent them word that he would meet them in Galilee.

Next, he overtook two of the sad and perplexed disciples as they walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus, and inquired the cause of their sadness and despondency. (Luke 24:13-35) And one of them answered: “Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. [Here they were probably calling to mind John 2:19, 21, and 22.] Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher. And when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher, and found it even so as the women had said; but him they saw not.”

No wonder they were perplexed; how strange it all seemed! How peculiar and thrilling had been the events of the past few days!

Then the stranger preached them a stirring sermon from the prophecies, showing them that the very things which had so disheartened them were the things which the prophets had foretold concerning the true Messiah: that before he could rule and bless and lift up Israel and all the world, he must first redeem them with his own life from the curse of death, which came upon all through Adam, and that afterward, raised to life and glory by Jehovah, their Master would fulfill all that was written by the prophets concerning his future glory and honor, as truly as he had fulfilled those prophecies which foretold his sufferings, humiliation and death. A wonderful preacher! And a wonderful sermon was that! It started new ideas and opened new expectations and hopes.

As they drew near the village they constrained him to tarry with them, as it was toward evening and the day was far spent. He went in to tarry with them; and as he sat at meal with them, he took bread and brake and gave it to them. THEN THEIR EYES WERE OPENED; and he vanished out of their sight. Not until that moment did they recognize him, though they had walked, and talked and sat at meal together. He was known to them not by face, but in the simple act of blessing and breaking bread in the old familiar way, thus assuring their faith in what they had already heard—that he had risen, and would see them again.”

The Lord would appear several more times to his followers, and in each case he would appeared in a different form, nor was it necessary that they should ask him if he were the Lord; for on each occasion they would recognize him, not by physical sight, but by some familiar act or gesture, through the EYES OF THEIR UNDERSTANDING.

“Their risen Lord was changed indeed, not only in his personal appearance—appearing sometimes in one way and place, and again in a different way and place, manifesting his “all power“—but he was changed in condition or nature also. No longer did he appeal to the Jews, nor show himself to them; for since his resurrection none saw him in any sense except his friends and followers. His words,Yet a little while, and the world sees me NO MORE,” were thus verified.

Thus was the faith of the apostles and of the early Church established in the fact of the Lord’s resurrection. Their doubts were scattered, and their hearts rejoiced; and they returned to Jerusalem and continued in prayer and supplication and study of the Scriptures, waiting for the adoption promised by the Father, and their endowment with spiritual understanding, and with special miraculous gifts of power, to enable them to convince true Israelite’s, and to establish the Gospel Church, at the day of Pentecost. Acts 1:14; 2:1

Though our Lord at his second advent will not manifest his presence in the same way that he did during those forty days after his resurrection, yet we have his assurance that thebrethren shall not be in darkness.” Nay, more: we shall have an aid which they could not and did not have to help them during those forty days, viz.,power from on high,” (the Holy Spirit) to guide us into the understanding of every truth due to be understood, and, even as promised, to show us things to come. Hence in due season we shall have full understanding of the MANNER, TIME and attendant circumstances of his appearing, which, if carefully watched for and marked, will be no less convincing than were the evidences of our Lord’s resurrection furnished to the early Church, although of a different kind.” (B107-122)

We will continue with our next post.

The Second Advent, Part 1

The Second Advent, Part 1

No other subject has so captivated the minds of Christians like this one; it has been made the focal point of many of the Lord’s people with vast volumes of commentary written upon the subject, and yet no other subject has been so totally misunderstood and misinterpreted by the professing church. As to when precisely it is to take place, well that depends upon whom you consult, some believe that this event is imminent, even at the doors (that is within our life time), while others still believe it’s a long ways off (that is, they say until the church has finished converting the world).

Some sighting the scriptures say that when he comes he will arrive on clouds of great glory and that every eye will see him as he sets his foot upon the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Others likewise sighting the scriptures say that he comes as a thief in the night to rapture away his church, later to return again to punish the wicked. To some he comes as spirit, others as flesh. To some the expectation is one of joy and jubilation to others it is a day of dread and foreboding as they foresee the Day of Judgment coming.

What do we think? Well that’s the subject of this study.

In this study we will be following along pretty much with Volume 2 of the Studies in the Scriptures series, “The Time is at Hand”, as we find that the facts could not be stated any better than as the Pastor has already stated them. (Note: we will only be taking extracts from the study ourselves, but should you desire to read the complete study for yourself follow the link above). As always any personal thoughts or comments which we might add will be in italics.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks God’s professed people make in their attempts to understanding this matter is that they put far too much emphasis on attempting to decipher the specific time of the Lord’s second advent and neglect to study just how and in what manner the Lord is going to reveal himself.

Therefore in order to understand thehowand thewhenof our Lords second advent properly it is necessary that we have clear views both of the OBJECT of our Lord’s second coming, and of the MANNER in which he will be revealed.

What may be asked is the Lords object or (work) to be accomplished at his second advent?

The common view held out by the professing church is that he comes to render judgment, the good (believers) will be taken to heaven to live there, the bad (the heathen and the non-believer) will be punished. Of course based upon what particular branch of the professing church one might consult there are various degrees of punishment to be rendered, nevertheless once these have received their punishment the earth is to be destroyed in order to make way for a new earth. Who exactly is to occupy this new earth has yet to be determined especially seeing as all believers are supposedly now spirit beings living in heaven with God. Anyways enough with the vain babblings of men, what say the scriptures as to the true object of the Lord’s return, we know he comes to gather his elect, but is there more?

The answer is stated in the following text.

And He shall send Jesus Christ, which [who] before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution (restoring) of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:20, 21

If you have had the opportunity to look over our pages entitled “The Restitution of All Things” and or the “Ransom and Restitution” then you will have already gathered what precisely the OBJECT of our Lord’s second advent is, what it is to accomplish.

“Grasp and hold in mind as firmly as possible the fact that God’s plan is one harmonious whole, which is being worked out through Christ; and that the work of the second advent stands related to the work of the first as effect to cause: That is to say the great work of Restitution at the second advent follows the work of Redemption accomplished at the first advent as a logical sequence according to the divine plan. Therefore the Lord’s return is the dawn of hope for the world, the time for the bestowment of the favors secured by the redemption–the Gospel Age being merely an intervening parenthesis, during which the bride of Christ is selected, to be associated with her Lord in the great work of restitution which he comes to accomplish.

And since the Church of Christ, which has been developing during the Gospel age, is to be associated with her Lord in the great restitution work of the millennial age, the FIRST WORK of Christ at the second advent must naturally be the gathering of his elect Church, to which reference is made through the Prophet (Psa. 50:5), saying, “Gather my saints together unto me–those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”

This gathering or harvesting time is in the lapping period of the two ages. (i.e. the Gospel age and the Millennial or Messianic age as depicted on the Chart of the Ages above). Just as there was an overlapping of the Jewish Age and the Gospel Age in which a harvest took place so too here. At that time various feature of the harvest took place chief among them the separation of the wheat from the chaff, Israelite’s indeed from the mere nominal professors of that nation so too now at the end of this age a harvest only this time the separation of the wheat from the tares.

This harvest period not only accomplishes the separation of wheat from tares in the nominal Gospel church, and the gathering and glorification of the wheat class, but it is also to accomplish the burning (the destruction) of the tares (as tares, or imitation wheat, professed Christians—NOT as individuals: the fire of destruction is SYMBOLIC as well as the tares), and the gathering and destruction of the corrupt fruitage ofthe Vine of the earth (human ambition, greed and selfishness), which has been growing and ripening for centuries in the kingdoms of this world and in the various civil and social organizations among men. (Rev 14:18-20)

The OBJECT of his coming is to reconcile “whosoever will,” (Rev 22:17) of the world, to God, by a process of ruling, and teaching, and disciplining, called judging and blessing, we trust all understand (If not please see “The Day of Judgement).

The MANNER of the Lord’s coming and appearing, therefore, is of paramount importance, before proceeding in any study of the time of that event.

The student must hold clearly in mind the OBJECT while studying the MANNER of our Lord’s return; and both of these, when he comes to study the TIME. This is needful as an offset to the erroneous views, already preoccupying many minds, based upon false ideas of both the object and the manner of our Lord’s coming.

The second presence of our Lord will cover a much longer period of time than the first. The mission of his first Advent was finished in less than thirty-four years, while it will require a thousand years to accomplish the appointed work of his second presence. And thus it may be seen at a glance that, while the work of the first advent was no less important than that of the second advent–yea, though it was SO IMPORTANT that the work of the second advent could never have been possible without it–yet it was not so varied, and hence required less description than the work of the Second Advent.

In considering the Second Advent we must not, any more than at the first advent; expect all prophecies to mark one particularly eventful moment of our Lord’s arrival and to call the attention of all men to the fact of his presence. Such is not God’s usual method: such was not the case at the first advent. The first advent of Messiah was not marked by any sudden or surprising demonstration, out of the usual order of things, but it was manifested and proven by the gradual fulfillment of prophecy showing to THOUGHTFUL OBSERVERS that the events, which should be expected, were being accomplished on time.

And thus it will be at his second advent. It is of less importance that we discover the exact moment of his arrival than that we discern the fact of his presence when he has arrived, even as at the first advent it was important to be able to recognize his presence, and the sooner the better, but much less important to know the exact date of his birth.

In considering the Second Advent, the act of coming and the moment of arrival are too frequently the thought, whereas it should be thought of as a period (time) of presence, as was the first advent. The precise moment at which that presence would begin would then seem less important, and his object and work during the period of his presence would receive the greater consideration.” (B103-107)

We will continue with our next post.

Acts 2:38 To whom does this apply?

Acts 2:38 To whom does this apply?

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38, 39

This is another well know text, one which the professing church has not only erroneously applied to themselves, but has likewise been misinterpreted to suggest that immediately upon the believers confession of faith in Christ they are spirit begotten.

As is the case with most errors involving scriptures, it usually comes down to two specific stumbling points, both of which lead to faulty conclusions, the first of which the most common, failing to fully consider the context, the second not rightly dividing the word of God into its proper times and seasons. It is of up-most importance to always take into consideration both of these points before we make any final decisions on interpretation. Always begin by thoroughly examining the context; at times this may require that we go back more than one chapter. The importance in this is to correctly determine the, who, what, where, and when of the particular scripture(s) in question.

Now in order to properly understand the text at hand we will need to first consider the context from whence it is taken so as to ascertain who exactly the Apostle was addressing here, in turn this will likewise help us to determine the proper time and or season of the event.

Then Peter said to them…”

If we examine Verse 1 of this chapter we will note that those to whom the Apostle addressed were the devout Jews who were dwelling in Jerusalem at the time. However in Verse 14 the Apostle’s statement, viz. “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem” could be implied to include everyone living in the land, which would include the Gentiles living in Jerusalem. This is a possibility; however we believe that the Apostle here was specifically addressing the Jews those who had crucified our Lord (Verse 36).

Verse 39 likewise confirms this, “For the promise (of the High Calling) is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

The latter part of this verse “to all who are afar off” could be interpreted in two different ways; it could be in reference to those Jews living outside of Israel at the time in other countries, or it could be in reference to those “afar off”, (in the symbolic sense) i.e. the Gentiles who presently were excluded from the promises, but who would later be called when the Gospel was opened to them, when Israel’s special time of favor, the seventy weeks of favor spoken of by the prophet Daniel had reached its full end.

Peter’s saying “the Lord our God” likewise confirms that he was addressing the Jews especially, for at the time God had not yet recognized any other nation or people save the nation of Israel, the Jews. (Amos 3:1-3; Ezek 36:28; Psa. 147:19, 20)

As to their being baptized in the name of Christ,

The Jews were already baptized as a nation into Moses in the sea and in the cloud. (1 Cor 10:1, 2) They already had a standing with God under the Law Covenant, but many of them had transgressed that Covenant-indeed the entire nation came under a special curse on account of the death of Jesus, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” To these, water baptism was held out as a symbol of their cleansing or putting away of these sins or transgressions of the Law, as indicating their return into fellowship with Moses and his Law that thus they might be transferred, with all the faithful of that nation from Moses, the typical head, to Christ, the real Head of the Lord’s faithful. That particular baptism (water baptism) for the remission of sins was commenced by John the Baptist and his disciples, and was continued by Jesus and His disciples, and was applicable to the whole Jewish nation and to NO ONE ELSE.

As an illustration, notice that when the Apostle Paul visited Ephesus he found some believers who seemed to be lacking certain gifts of the Spirit at that time amongst believers. Inquiry developed the fact that they had been baptized with “John’s baptism“-the baptism of repentance and washing away of sins in water. Then the Apostle instructed them more fully (i.e. informed them about the true baptism, a baptism into Christ’s death), assuring them that John’s baptism was all right in its time and place, but that they should (henceforth) be baptized in the name of Jesus-baptized into Christ. Once they were baptized properly they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:1-7) Harvest Gleanings Volume One, Page 600

But what about this part of our text, viz. “Repent, AND be baptized … in the name of Jesus Christ (in order) for the remission of sins”.

Is this true are both repentance AND baptism necessary for the remission of sins or is faith alone all that is necessary?

Once again who was the Apostle addressing at the time, was he addressing the Jews or Gentiles?

Since we know according to Heb 9:22 that without shedding of blood (Christ blood) there is no remission of sin, then what specific sin or sins had THEY committed which could be remitted through water baptism?

 As was suggested in the Pastor’s statement above those sins which were unique to them alone were their sins against the Law covenant, that and their rejection of the Lord, the Messiah whom they crucified, these sins were symbolically cleansed through water baptism, John’s baptism. That is to say, temporarily their (national) sins were covered by the merit of the Lord’s sacrifice, but for the full blotting out of those sins, they, like others, would have to await until the sin offering was completed and the ransom sacrifice applied to the world in the next age, that is if they did not join the church (the body of Christ) themselves in which case they would fully absolved, justified from these and all sins immediately upon the acceptance of their consecration, and the imputation of the merit of Christ righteousness.

“This washing or cleansing of the Jews, preparatory to their acceptance in Christ, would continue (for another 3 ½ years following the crucifixion of Christ or) until “the middle wall of partition” (Eph 2:14) was broken down between the Jews and Gentiles, until the natural branches, those who did not receive fellowship in the Body of Christ, were broken off. From that time since, (water) baptism for the remission of sins, John’s baptism is entirely wrong, according to the Scriptures.

Some still misunderstand this as noted below.

“We note that most Baptists teach that all you must do in order to be saved and have your sins forgiven is to “accept Jesus as your personal Savior“, that baptism is not essential to salvation and not essential for the forgiveness of sins. They claim that they are saved and their sins are forgiven before and without baptism.”

In support of this they quote, “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43

What about where Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16)

NOTE: The second text above is spurious and is not found in the oldest Greek MSS, in fact all of the 16th Chapter of Mark, from Verse 9 to the end of the Chapter is spurious, nevertheless we give the following explanation.

He who believes (at this time, who follows in the Master’s footsteps, fully consecrating themselves) and is baptized (“into Christ death”, the true baptism, sacrificing all their earthly life rights, their humanity) shall be saved (to a special class God is presently calling now during the “acceptable time”); but he who does not believe (and/or who does not fully consecrate, make this sacrifice) will be condemned (Greek katakrino, rejected).” He that believeth shall be chosen, he that believeth not, shall be rejected.”

The great mass of mankind as well as the professing church, the church nominal will be condemned (rejected) as unfit for the service of the Master in this “high calling.” Recall the words of our Lord, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven (the heavenly phase), but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matt 7:21-23

And what is the will of the Father (concerning believers at this time)?

This is the will of God even your sanctification (your setting apart, or full consecration to Him and to His will).” 1 Thess 4:3

Understand the Lord’s remarks here were not directed toward the world of non-believers, but specifically directed at the professing church, nominal Christians, it is these for whom he spoke of who would be found “in that day” (the millennial day) saying, “‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And his response, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’” such will not be recognized by the Lord and as such rejected as amongst his Elect, the consecrated saints of God.”

What then are we to make of the following text spoken by Ananias to Paul?

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16)

Once again who is being addressed here Jew or Gentile?

Note that Ananias mentions two things which needed to be done.

First he admonishes Paul to “Arise and be baptized”, Paul a Jew and a Pharisee (who had been sinning against the Law in fervent ignorance) repents and receives John’s baptism for the remission of sins (Luke 3:3), sins against the Law covenant, and for the nations sin in the rejection and crucifixion of Christ, thus putting him back under the covenant and ready for immediate transfer into Christ,

And then, he admonishes Paul to “…wash away your sins (your Adamic sins those sins accountable to the fall, those which are common to all mankind, this by way of) calling on the name of the Lord.”

These sins (Adamic sin) could only be remitted by the blood of Christ, “For this is my blood which is shed for the remission of sins.” (Matt. 26:28)

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Eph. 1:7

Paul was baptized at this point. In the early Church, (water) baptism (the symbol of the true baptism) usually preceded the begetting of the Holy Spirit. With Paul, however, baptism followed the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Here was another exception. With Cornelius also, baptism followed the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48).

And so too with regards to all the Lord’s faithful henceforth, that is those who fully consecrate themselves, first they are baptized into the true baptism, baptized into Christ death (Rom 6:3-5), and then they follow up by acknowledging this through water baptism which is a symbol or picture of this true baptism.

What about the last part of Acts 2:38, about receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, following baptism and the remission of sins? Isn’t this what the professing church teaches?

This is where a lot of the confusion comes in, the general assumption held by the professing church is that 1) you confess your sins to Christ asking forgiveness, and 2) you’re baptized in water and 3) following your baptism you receive the Holy Spirit. One, two, three and it’s all over with, you’re a new creature in Christ Jesus.

Of course anyone who has truly study the scriptures especially the Leviticus types knows that there’s much more to it than this. Water baptism is but a symbol of the true baptism, a baptism into Christ death. Only after one has fully submitted themselves to the Lord, fully consecrating themselves and has entered into covenant relationship with the Father, (a “covenant by sacrifice”, Psa 50:5; Rom 12:1) are they begotten of the Holy Spirit.

The vast majority of professed believers have never taken this “second step”, the step of sanctification, having been misled by the “blind guides” they believe they have already done all that is require of them, and that they are assured of a heavenly inheritance. Such having placed far too much confidence in the wisdom of men, the blind guides of Christendom will be sadly disappointed when they awaken in the next age and find themselves amongst those who are to experience a resurrection by judgment that they might be proven worthy of eternal life and a place in the earthly phase of the kingdom.

 

 

Crucifying the Flesh

Crucifying the Flesh

“The bringing of the natural into subjection to the spiritual is a gradual death and requires time, and is therefore called “CRUCIFYING the flesh.” Jesus could do this entirely, because perfect, but we are imperfect, therefore our Head supplies the overcoming power through the spirit, making our supply of strength to depend on our faith in Him. “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even your faith.”

“The falling of the walls of Jericho serves as a great example, after Israel had faithfully walked about them thirteen times, with no evidence that they were nearer the realization of their hope that the walls would fall than in the beginning, except that God had promised, well illustrates to us how positive may be our assurance. Even though we have struggled for years to overcome certain weaknesses securely entrenched within us, with little perceptible change to indicate that victory will crown our efforts, if we have full assurance of faith, and act in harmony therewith, the victory must come, the walls MUST FALL.” 1915 Supplement Bible Students Convention Report, Page 362

Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal 5:16

“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Rom 8:3-5

“Our text uses another term — “the spirit.” “Walk in the spirit.” What does the Lord’s word give us to understand is meant by the term “the spirit“? In the first place, the new creature, that which is begotten by God in us. It is not a new set of faculties through which we will; it is, rather a quality imparted to the faculties, that we now have; — a quality of spirituality, a quality that is capable of knowing and aspiring to spiritual things — a quality so strong that it moves us to lay down our human all, that we may attain its aspirations…”

“The new creature acts consciously. It is not driven about by every wind of emotion, nor by blind fate, or by accident. It knowingly lays hold on the things it has, and, consciously acting upon them, uses them for its ends; thereby it develops character. Character is never developed by those who drift with the tide. Those who float with the stream never develop strength in heart and mind to stem the tide, but those only who, by a conscious exertion of the will, seek to attain their ambition, putting everything else aside that would be in their way, develop a settled and fixed character. It is with these that God deals and these are they that have what the Apostle calls in our text “the spirit.”

There is a figure used in the text; in its first part, Paul speaks of walking — “Walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” The second part of the text does not continue the figure; but let us, for the purpose of comparison and contrast, keep up the figure: “Walk in the spirit and ye shall not walk according to the flesh.”

Notice the apostle does not say, “Walk in the spirit, and do not walk according to the flesh; i.e., do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. But he makes a simple statement, and tells us the rest follows of itself.Walk in the spiritand (then the rest will take care of itself)Ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”

1912 Bible Students Convention Report, Pages 447, 449

“Look unto Jesus as the pattern and illustration of how we ought to so run as to win the prize. He was the first to run for the prize, the “forerunner,” the Leader. Look, too, to others who ran in his footsteps, Peter, Paul, James, John, etc. These are illustrious examples, of those who crucify the human nature and sacrifice it, if by so doing they might attain the new nature offered–the prize of our high-calling.

While your steps and mine may not shine so brightly as the mentioned apostles’, yet the only difference in our sacrifices and work, should be those of ability and opportunity. Our wills should be as thoroughly sanctified as theirs; and if so, we may feel assured that our sacrifice is as well pleasing and acceptable to our Father by Jesus Christ, as was theirs.

But fall not into the error of supposing that crucifying the flesh means the putting away of sin. No, Jehovah would never accept sins as a sacrifice.

Sins should be put away, shunned, exterminated to the best of your ability; but you sacrifice, when you deny yourself personal ease, comfort, pleasures lawful to the natural man, but which you relinquish, to do something which you recognize as the will of God.

In our crucifying, etc., we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Did his sacrifice consist in forsaking sins? No, in Him was no sin to forsake; but he denied himself things lawful and proper to him as a man, even life itself–and thus sacrificed.

To show the contrast, we will look at Paul as compared with modern preachers. Many preachers of this day choose the ministry as “a profession” (a job or career choice) which is honorable, has the respect of the world, and for the most part furnishes a life of ease and relative comfort, (although I have known some assistant pastors who held regular jobs at the same time, of course one must assume that their intention was one day to become a full or acting pastor with a congregation of their own, and thence be employed or supported by the church).

Paul was not called to the ministry in the hopes of obtaining any worldly gain, livelihood, ease or what have you, nor to obtain the honor and respect of men, no he was called by the grandeur of the “glad tidings of great joyit self–he could not help preaching it, so overwhelmed was he by the “high calling,” so anxious to obtain it for himself and to enable others to attain the same.

He preached it despite the persecution, disgrace, and frown of the world–at the sacrifice of earthly opportunities, honors, ease, pleasures; and accounted it a pleasure to be permitted to preach, even though, instead of luxury, he was obliged tolabor, working with his handsat very humble employment, and was often in hunger and poverty and danger. He was willing to endure all this, because he had a correct appreciation of the “good tidings” he preached, and of the prize it presented.” (R 328 par. 22-25)

Spirit Begettal

Spirit Begettal

The question is asked,

Are there factors, which we might possess in determining our spirituality with the Lord? I think there are, but there are some who might say no! What do you folks say?

Before looking into specific factors or evidences, which confirm whether or not one is Spirit Begotten, it would seem prudent first to determine just how one becomes Spirit Begotten in the first place. The reason we suggest this is because many believers erroneously believe that they are Spirit Begotten when in fact they are not, this is primarily due to the misleading of the blind guides of Christendom who have erroneously taught that all believers in Christ are spirit begotten, that a mere confession of faith in Christ is all that is required to receive the Holy Spirit and to be begotten to a new nature.

It amazes us that many Bible Students will spend hours upon hours attempting to explain to someone the fallacy of the trinity, the immortality of the soul, eternal torment, and etc., and yet neglect to include this one of the most commonly held errors taught by the professing church.

Like many other false doctrines held by orthodoxy, this one likewise has become a common belief, one held by the majority the unfortunate results of which has been to lead many who supposed they were spirit begotten to attempt to teach spiritual things, things which in truth they have little or no understanding. The very reason we have many of the false teachings we have today is because someone who believed that they were spirit begotten, and thus spiritually minded sought to interpret the scriptures from the natural mans point of view, which in turn has led to all manner of false and misleading conclusions not only upon the subject at hand but on many other pertinent subjects as well.

Another result of this false idea that all believers are automatically spirit begotten, one which will have a much more lasting consequence upon the believers eternal destiny if not corrected and this soon, is that they will miss out on their opportunity to enter the “heavenly phase of the kingdom”. Of coarse this would still be dependent upon whether or not they were called in the first place, “For no man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Heb 5:4) We tend to believe that such as would allow themselves to be led around blindly (Lukewarm Christians), making absolutely no effort on their own part to verify what is being taught to them, that such would not be very pleasing to the Lord.

Nevertheless it as our Lord said it would be, the blind are lead by the blind,

Woe to you lawyers! (Doctors of Divinity, supposed Ministers [servants] of the truth) for you have taken away the key of knowledge (the bible; the standard of truth, substituting your own traditions and beliefs, thus not only deluding yourself, but also those who trusted in you as the Lord’s representatives to show them the way) you shall not enter in yourselves (enter the heavenly phase of the kingdom), and those who were (attempting to) enter in you have hindered.” (Luke 11:52)

The hypocrisy of these blind guides is that not only are they preventing themselves from joining the True Church, the body of Christ and entering into the joys of the heavenly phase of the kingdom, but likewise they are hindering (obstructing, diverting, by their own teachings on the subject) those who are reliant upon them to show them the correct way.

Note: this misleading by the blind guides in no way prohibits neither themselves nor the poor souls they have misled from entering the “earthly phase of the kingdom”.

How and where does Spirit Begettal take place?

We will use the Tabernacle picture, which is the shadow of the reality, to answer our question. (Some extracts are taken from W.P.R.S., Tabernacle Shadows and various reprints)

Picture the Tabernacle, first we have a rectangular courtyard surrounded by a wall of white curtains, this courtyard had only one entrance at the front known as the “gate”, passing through this entrance the first object immediately to be seen would be the brazen altar, upon which the fat was burnt, directly beyond this was a brazen laver, filled with water, beyond that the Tabernacle proper itself, a rectangular building consisting of two chambers, known as the “Holy” and the “Most Holy”.

Now as sinners we all begin our journey outside the courtyard in the “camp condition”, as non-believers. “The Camp represented the condition of the world of mankind in sin, needing atonement and desiring it and its blessings, however indistinctly it analyzes its cravings and groanings. In the type the Camp was the nation of Israel at large, which was separated from all holy things by the curtain of white linen, representing to those within a wall of faith, but to those without a wall of unbelief, which hindered their view of, and access to the holy things within.

Now as we had said there is but one entrance into the courtyard and that is through the “gate”, this gate represents our Lord, here is your only access to God, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father unless by me.” (John 14:6) By faith in Christ’s ransom-sacrifice, represented in the Brazen Altar, we enter the “Gate” to the “Courtyard”, thus the veil of unbelief and sin is passed.

The Courtyard,” represented the condition of Justification, entered through faith in Christ, thegate.” Into this Court only Levites (typical of justified believers) were allowed to come, during the Atonement Day. These had access to the “Brazen Altar” and to the “Laver,” and did service in the Court, but had no right as merely Levites (believers) to go into the Tabernacle; no, nor even to look into it upon penalty of death. (Num 4:19, 20)

Of course the condition of justification of those believers residing in the courtyard is merely one of tentative justification and not actual justification, only the Lord Jesus was ever actually justified in the eyes of God, Not because of anything done to Him, nor because of anything reckoned to Him. He was actually perfect, just, or right in God’s sight, because in Him was no sin. But none of us, His followers, are in that condition, because we are all “children of wrath, even as others” therefore, we cannot speak of ourselves as being in this type of a justified condition.

Even Abraham justified by his faith, was justified only in a tentative sense, for as it is written, “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight…” (Rom 3:20) although justified to receive God’s favor, and justified to be treated as God’s friend, he could never have been actually justified considering the fact that Christ had not yet died for the sins of the world.

We see, now, that justification by faith, our first step” toward holiness, although only in a tentative sense brings us into a condition of “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). When our sins are forgiven, or reckoned covered with Christ’s righteousness (represented in the white linen curtains), we are a step nearer to God, we have entered theCourtyardasbelievers”, but even yet we are still onlynatural menfor we have NOT YET BEEN BEGOTTEN AGAIN.

The only way to draw near to God is to recognize that you are a sinner, and that God Himself has provided a sin offering, represented by that Brazen Altar, right at the Gate of the Court. So, to draw near to God means to exercise faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Likewise we must seek day to day to live separate from sin, seeking as best we can to wash away the filth of the flesh (1 Pet 3:21) this is pictured in washing at the Laver.

In this we are not attempting to justify ourselves, but rather merely we are trying to cooperate with God, this places us in the condition of tentative justification. All believers residing in the courtyard are considered thusly. According to God’s arrangement, full complete justification cannot be complete until we take the “second step”.

This step the Apostle Paul admonishes us to take,

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present (set apart, sanctify, consecrate) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)

This is the will of God even your (believers) sanctification (setting apart).” 1 Thes 4:3

This step the first part of the sanctifying process was pictured by the tying of the two goats at the entrance to the Tabernacle. In presenting ourselves, living sacrifices, we are binding ourselves to thedoorby way of making a covenant (a “covenant by sacrificePsa 50:5) with God. We have done all that we can do (our share in the sanctification process), the next step is our Lords, he must accept us as a member of His own body, and likewise as our High Priest must do the offering, that is he takes our sacrificed life (our justified humanity or human nature) and makes it a part of his own sacrifice, thus we are made participators with our Lord in his death as members of his body, so we become joint sacrificers with our Lord, participators in his death. He then becomes our Advocate before the Father. It is at this point that we pass beyond the first vail (the “door”, John 10:9) into the “holy” of the Tabernacle.

From the moment that the sacrifice was made it represented Jesus’ acceptance of our consecration. At that same moment we were begotten of the Holy Spirit and reckoned as a New Creature by the Father.

Thus we pass beyond the First Vail into the Holy (Our full justification took place at the very moment we knelt under this vail).

This passing under the First Vail represents the death of the will; just as the passing the Second Vail represents the complete death of our bodies. We go down under the First Vail when our wills are baptized into His death; we are buried with Him by baptism into His death, and raise the other side as New Creatures. So the First Vail of the Tabernacle represents our death, so far as our wills are concerned, and represents God having accepted us as New Creatures, through faith, that we may have access to the spiritual things as New Creatures. Everyone who takes this step is represented as a (prospective) member of the Body of the great High Priest, the Church, of which He is Head, and so, says the Apostle, we are seated in the heavenlies–that is in the Holy. But be it noted that our justification did not reach completion until the High Priest accepted our offering and imputed to it of His merit, making it Holy and acceptable to God.

So you see with out consecration, (sanctification), full or vitalized justification could not take place, and until one has been fully justified (i.e. had the merit of Christ righteousness applied to them) they could not offer a sacrifice, which would be holy (reckoned perfect) and thus be acceptable to God. Thus they would not be permitted to join the body of Christ (the Church), as only those who have made this sacrifice are permitted, these and these alone joined to Christ are considered the High Priest.

Now if you remember your scriptures correctly, you would have recalled that the “holy anointing oil” representing the Holy Spirit was pour only on the head of the High Priest (not on anyone else, not on any of the Levites in the court, nor even on the under-priest) this anointing oil subsequently ran down to the skirts of the High Priest priestly garments, thus representing that the whole body would receive of the Holy Spirit only as they were joined to the Head, which is Christ.

Therefore if you have not yet tied yourself to the door of the Tabernacle (consecrated yourself fully to the Lord by entering into covenant relationship with the Father), you are neither justified (in the full sense of the word) nor have you been begotten of the Holy Spirit. Your current position is that of the typical Levites working in the courtyard. But be forewarned the time is soon coming when the door will be shut, and the “acceptable time” for sacrifice will end, after which no one will be permitted to enter into the Tabernacle, and all those residing in the courtyard condition who have not made a consecration will be forced back out into the “camp” or worldly condition, and they won’t be alone.

They will be joined by the “foolish virgins” those who have fully consecrated, but who have failed to make good on their consecration, these “foolish virgins” having failed to make their calling and election sure, but nevertheless refusing to deny their Lord will take their place among the hypocrites (the nominally professing church) there to be buffed by the Adversary that the flesh, which they refused to willingly sacrifice might be consumed (perish) that the spirit (the new life in them) might live.

Let he who has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying.

OVERCOMING

OVERCOMING

“It scarcely seems necessary to emphasize the great importance in overcoming, if we would be of those who will ultimately teach the whole human family how to overcome. It will be readily seen that we must learn how to overcome ourselves, before we would be qualified to teach others the art of overcoming. In His last message to the seven churches of Asia Minor the Lord Jesus made very plain that the receiving of the great blessings which the Father would give through the Son, would be contingent upon overcoming on our part.”

To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev.3:21)

 Victorious Saints

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:12, 13).

This “let not” implies that we are now in a position to make a decision as to whom we shall obey. In times past we did not submit ourselves to God. We were not even concerned with such submission. Previous to our reconciliation we were under the law or rule of sin, “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:3).

Formerly, even though we strove against sin and uncleanness, we were aware that because of our weak will we were unable to lift ourselves out of the degrading tendencies we had because of our adamic nature. The habits acquired over years broke any resistance we had to our failures. We had yielded ourselves “…servants to uncleanness and to iniquity” (Rom. 6:19) which always resulted in more iniquity. We were prey to all kinds of wickedness because of our fallen nature, accentuated by our willful ways. We were “like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Prov. 25:28).

Now a strong wall has to be erecteda tendency to resist temptation and to obey the will of God when an issue involving that will is placed before us. What we have in Christ is the new spirit of life, a spirit that helps our infirmities (Rom. 8:26), for: “…if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11). Here is adequate power to give victory over each temptation.

It is no sin to be tempted. The old man (human nature), though counted as dead (Rom. 6:11, 12), does not submit to the new mind (or will) of the spirit without resistance. Each temptation is an opportunity to exercise godliness and to gain victory over the old man.

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin. Each victory will help you some other to win.

So then it is up to you to allow the Lord to build up a wall of resistance against yielding, and thus you shall grow in grace and in the knowledge of God. Fortify the new mind in the will of God. One may not realize it at first, but “it is God that works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).  “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly” (1 Thess. 5:23).”

The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Jan/Feb 1992, Page 17

After our Lord had humbled himself by taking the body prepared for him, his first act (when the body was mature) was to formally deliver it up to death; and this he signified by making a living picture (his baptism) of his submission to death and consequent sufferings preceding it, and of his resurrection. Here is an important element that the faithful servant will be giving to the members of the household, though some may think that they can live without it.

His next act was to submit to be led (but of the spirit) into the wilderness to be tempted, to be brought directly in contact with the powers of darkness, to stand as a man alone in the presence of the ruler of the darkness of this world to be tempted. But why was he tempted? It would not make him any purer nor better surely; he was without sin already.

He came down to the condition of the perfect man; he was the second Adam. The first Adam with no preference for evil, but having no knowledge of its terrible nature, was tempted and fell, the second Adam, likewise with no preference for evil, but with a knowledge of its awful results, and of the power of God (By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many. Isaiah 53:11), was as really tempted, and triumphed. He evidently was free and could have yielded; in fact, he was tempted TO yield, but gloriously resisted and vanquished his foe.

Now again we ask, why did he pass through this ordeal?

TO SHOW US HOW TO OVERCOME.

Being the Captain of our salvation, the Leader of a little band of conquerors, his example was necessary, for through them “all the families of the earth” are to be blessed. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made“…and that seed “is ChristGal. 3:16. Now, if we “be Christ’s (if we feed on him and partake of his life), then are we Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.

Then here is a choice principle for the household to feed upon; the knowledge of Christ, or Christ’s knowledge.

But, says one, his knowledge was divine, and though he was tempted, he knew he would not be overcome.

That is just the point we wish to make prominent right here. He has opened for us the way to the same source of knowledge, divine word and spirit, and Christ’s example to feed on.

But, says one, if I could know, as he did, that I would come out of the conflict all right I could endure it too.

But you would know that just as surely as he, if you would feed on his knowledge.

Here is a bit of it, take it and let it strengthen thine heart when trial comes, as it did his: “God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13.

This is divine knowledge, and just the knowledge that he had. If you believe it AND (most importantly) APPROPRIATE IT, (feed upon it) you will triumph just as he did.”

Many of us say we believe this and that we believe that, but where we generally fail is in believing that the promise applies to us personally, that the LORD is speaking directly to us. We tend to imagine the Lord is speaking to others those more faithful than ourselves, but is it not those who are especially troubled who need the Lord’s help the most? If we truly wish to receive the Lord’s help and blessings we must by faith appropriate them to ourselves.

(R 326 par. 11-15)

The Great Pyramid, Part 57

The Great Pyramid, Part 57

The Pastor’s concluding thoughts on the Great Pyramid as taken from Volume III of the Studies in the Scriptures series sums up well the unique testimony of the Great Pyramid.

Some may scoff at the testimony of this stoneWitness,” as they also scoff at God’s written Word; but to their scoffs we answer:

Account for this peculiar fitness of things, or else venture to prophesy of the future, and see how your prophecies will result. Prove to us that it requires no inspiration to foretell future events. Show us a sample of worldly wisdom.

Present your case,” says the Lord. “Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob. “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods [mighty ones]…”  NKJ Isa 41:21-23

Not only does the Great Pyramid confound atheistical scientists, but it refutes utterly their modern and anti-Scriptural theory of “Evolution“–on which subject we cannot do better than quote the following words of Dr. Joseph Seiss, from his excellent treatise on the Great Pyramid, entitled “A Miracle in Stone.”

If as our Evolutionist friends say man has been slowly evolving through some form of evolutionary process from primeval soup, to ape, to troglodyte and so on and so forth how then did our early ancestors some 4000 plus years ago build a structure containing so many hidden truths, many of which are purely scientific.

“How could the builders of this mighty structure have known what our profoundest savants (learned scholars, scientist and etc.), after a score of centuries of observation and experiment, have only imperfectly been able to find out? How could they know how even to make and handle the tools, machines and expedients, indispensable to the construction of an edifice so enormous in dimensions, so massive in its materials, so exalted in its height and so perfect in its workmanship that to this day it is without a rival on earth?

How could they have known the sphericity, rotation, diameter, density, latitude, poles, land distribution and temperature of the earth, or its astronomical relations?

How could they solve the problem of the squaring of the circle, calculate the proportions or determine the four cardinal points?

How could they frame charts of history and dispensations, true to fact in every particular, for the space of four thousand years after their time, and down to the final consummation?

How could they know when the Mosaic economy would start, how long continue, and in what eventuate?

How could they know when Christianity would be introduced, by what great facts and features it would be marked, and what would be the characteristics, career and end of the Church of Christ?

How could they know of the grand precessional cycle, the length of its duration, the number of days in the true year, the mean distance of the sun from the earth, and the exact positions of the stars at the time the Great Pyramid was built?

How could they devise a standard and system of measures and weights, so evenly fitted to each other, so beneficently conformed to the common wants of man, and so perfectly harmonized with all the facts of nature?

And how could they know how to put all these things on record in a single piece of masonry, without one verbal or pictorial inscription, yet proof against all the ravages and changes of time, and capable of being read and understood down to the very end?

“Men may sneer, but they cannot laugh down this mighty structure, nor scoff out of it the angles, proportions, measures, nature references and sacred correspondences which its Maker gave it. Here they are in all their speaking significance, stubborn and invincible beyond all power to suppress them.”

The voice of this wonderful “Witness” brings forcibly to mind the words of our Lord on that notable occasion of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when he typically presented himself to Israel as their king, amidst the acclamation’s of the whole multitude of his disciples, who were loudly praising God for the mighty works that had been done, saying, “Blessed be the king that cometh in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

And when the Pharisees were urging him to rebuke them, he answered, “I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:37-40) And so it is today: while the King of glory has actually come, and while the great majority of his professed living witnesses, who should be loudly rejoicing, and saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord, are dumb–some from fear of being put out of the synagogue, and some from drowsy slothfulness, or from the intoxication of worldliness which keeps them in ignorance of the time of our visitation–lo, the very stones of this Great Pyramid of Testimony are crying out in no uncertain tones. Every inch of this massive structure is eloquently proclaiming the wisdom and power and grace of our God.

Firmly encased in this solid rocky structure, beyond the power of nature’s storms or of the ruthless hand of the destroyer, the outline drawings of God’s great plan have stood for four thousand years, prepared to give their testimony at the time appointed, in corroboration of the similarly revealed, but for ages hidden, testimony of the sure Word of Prophecy.

The testimony of this “Witness to the Lord in the land of Egypt,” like that of the written Word, points with solemn and unerring precision to the final wreck of the old order of things in the “Pit” of oblivion, and to the glorious establishment of the new, under Christ Jesus, the great Chief Corner-stone of God’s eternal building, in conformity with the lines of whose glorious character all things worthy of everlasting existence must be built up under him. Amen! Amen! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven!

The Great Pyramid, Part 56

The Great Pyramid, Part 56

A Comparison between the Great Pyramid and the Tabernacle, continued

Let us review some of what we have learned thus far.

As it was with regards to the “First Vail” in the Tabernacle picture so too with regards to the “Granite Leaf” in the Great Pyramid picture, both are of supreme importance as both represent the only gateway into the heavenly phase of the kingdom, there is no other way of entry into the heavenly phase of the kingdom but by means of this one “door” or entrance.

This is THEgate of which our Lord spoke of which few there be that find (the majority having been deceived and misled by the blind guides), the Straight gate which leads to life, and not just any life, but the highest form of life, one which at present is unique only to the Father and the Son, divine life, inherent life, immortality. This unique form of life is made accessible only now during the “acceptable time”, and by one means only, the narrow way of death by sacrifice (Matt 7:14)

The only way to access this gate is by stooping (or bowing) to the will of God (as depicted by individual number 6). And what was it that we learned was the will of God?

This is the will of God even your sanctification (your setting apart- your full consecration to Him and to His will).” 1 Thess 4:3.

This we do by taking the “SECOND STEP”, by following in the Master’s footsteps, consecrating ourselves entirely to the LORD and to his service, by entering into covenant with the Father, “a covenant by sacrifice” (Psa 50:5; Rom 12:1). In doing so we agree not only to surrender our wills for that of the Father’s, but likewise to surrender or sacrifice our justified humanity (our restitutional life rights), which are secured through the ransom sacrifice of Christ, and acquire through faith.

When we have done this, taken this second step (our share in the sanctification process), Christ imputes the merit of his righteousness to us and our justification become vitalized, actual justification thereby making our consecration, our offering holy and acceptable to the Father through Christ Jesus. At this point not only did the human will die, but likewise as human beings we were hence forth considered dead. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col 3:3).

Here it was that we were baptized into Christ death, made participators in his death. “Being made conformable to his death” (Rom 6:3; Phil 3:10) we willingly laid down all our earthly rights and privileges as human beings, including our restitution rights, and in so doing we were begotten by the Father through the Holy Spirit to a “new nature”, a spirit nature, one possessing “the mind (or disposition) of Christ” (as depicted by individual number 6 stepping for the first time upon granite stone). This new creature (in mind only at the present time), only in its embryonic stage presently inhabits the old earthen vessel one which the Lord would have “quickened” and used up in his service and that of the brethren. However in order to accomplish this task, to grow in the graces and knowledge of our Lord Jesus, it needs to be properly natured and developed, this is accomplished in the school of Christ by means of various trials and testing which are brought to bear upon it to prove its worthiness, its faithfulness (as depicted in individual number 7). In so doing the LORD accomplishes his share in the sanctification process.

Now before one can enter the “Sanctuary” or King’s Chamber, which is a figure or type of heaven itself (Heb. 9:24), they must first accomplish two more very important things, the first and foremost of which is that they must be diligent in the study and development of their characters, that they make their calling and election sure (2 Pet 1:10), in developing a Christ like character, and secondly that they maintain this character likeness to the very end, that they be proven “faithful until death” (Rev 2:10), that is until their sacrifice (the sacrifice of their earthly lives) has been completely consumed upon the Lord’s altar, even as was their Lord’s.

In the Great Pyramid this is pictured in the fact that they must bow down once more (depicted by individual number 8), and pass through another low entrance-passage (the second low passage). The stooping necessary to do this symbolizes death, for those who will become joint – heirs with Jesus Christ must rise from the plane of spirit-begetting to the plane of spirit-birth, that is, they must be changed to the spiritual condition in the actual as distinguished from the reckoned sense before they can enter the heavenly glory, for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God“—1 Cor. 15:50 (that is the spiritual phase of the kingdom). That the plane of spirit-birth is higher than the plane of spirit-begetting is indicated in the Great Pyramid by the fact that the granite floor of the King’s Chamber is on a higher level than the upper surface of the first granite stone in the floor of the Ante-Chamber.

The emergence from the second low entrance-passage into the King’s Chamber symbolizes the ‘resurrection of those who have been faithful followers of Christ. This is the first or chief resurrection concerning which John the Revelator states: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years “—Rev. 20: 6. Paul, speaking of the same class, said: “The dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thess. 4: 16), and again, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him2 Tim 2:11, 12.

This gracious offer of joint-heirship with Jesus is free to those who have ears to hear the glad tidings before the time when the door of opportunity will close, and all who accept and are faithful unto death (as depicted by individual number 10) will receive the crown of life, and will find that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in them, for they will be raised in the likeness of Christ’s glorious spiritual body and will reign with him—Rev 2 : 10; Rom 8 : 18; Phil 3 : 21; 1 John 3 : 2.

“The only furniture in the “Kings Chamber”, (the coffer, number 9) corresponds to the Ark of the Covenant, which was the only piece of furniture in the Most Holy of the Tabernacle and the Temple. What in the one was made of gold, in the other was made of granite; nevertheless both carried the same symbolic significance.”

As the Ark of the Testimony represents Christ Jesus and his Bride, the “little flock,” to be partakers of the divine nature and to be imbued with power and great glory…” (T121) so likewise the granite coffer.

Continued with next post.

The Great Pyramid, Part 55

The Great Pyramid, Part 55

A Comparison between the Great Pyramid and the Tabernacle, continued

We hope to have shown by now how the two chambers of the Tabernacle the “Holy” and the “Most Holy” depict the spirit conditions of those who have entered into covenant relationship with the Father, a “covenant by sacrifice” (Psa 50:5), those who have chosen not only to sacrifice all present advantage, but most importantly to sacrifice their earthly or restitutional life rights secured to all through the ransom sacrifice of Christ. These life rights they gladly sacrifice that they might obtain a heavenly inheritance that they might be made partakers of a new nature, a spirit nature even the divine nature itself. But of course such realize that this reward is reserved only for those who make their calling and election sure; those who have been proven faithful even unto death, only such will enter the “Most Holy” condition and receive the crown of life, glory, honor and immortality.

With this in view we would now like to see how these same lessons are likewise taught by the upper most two chambers of the Great Pyramid, viz. the “Ante-Chamber” and the “Kings Chamber

Returning once again to (Individual number 5), after having carefully considered the cost of following in the Master’s footsteps he determines to forsake all and stoops down and enters the first low passage leading to the Kings Chamber.

“The stooping necessary to pass through this entrance passage, which is constructed entirely of limestone, represents the voluntary death of the human or earthly will, self-renunciation, but this alone is not sufficient.

Some upon giving up their own will accept that of another rather than God alone, for instance the will of the Pope. To these the Pope’s will becomes infallible, and they consent to believe and do whatever he commands, for others it is the will or decrees of a particular sect or denomination to which they may belong. Many mistakenly imagine they have made a consecration to the Lord when in fact what they actually did was make a consecration to an organization this and/or to a particular work or ministry in which the church may be involved, food bank, choir etc., etc. Personal growth and study generally take a back seat to these pursuits. This is not a true consecration to God. In fact the fact that you have any say in the matter as to what particular service or ministry you would enter is evidence that your will is not dead. Those who accept the high calling of God in Christ Jesus must not only deny themselves (deny their own personal will), but they must also bow (summit) to the will of the Lord, and his alone.

As GRANITE in the Great Pyramid represents things Divine, so the Granite Leaf represents the Divine Will, to which those who would enter the School of Christ (the Ante-Chamber) must bow submissively. Before they do this, although they are standing under a granite roof representing Divine oversight and protection, they are, nevertheless, still standing on LIMESTONE.

This symbolizes the fact that although they are justified through faith they are still nevertheless natural men, human beings, NOT YET BEGOTTEN TO THE SPIRIT NATURE.

They must first consent to the will of God and in so doing set themselves apart, sanctify or consecrate their justified humanity to God.

To sanctify is to set apart or separate to a special thing or use. God’s will is that all justified ones should be sanctified or set apart to his service as we read:

This is the will of God even your (the believers) sanctification.” 1 Thess 4:3.

There are two parts to sanctification–first ours, and secondly God’s.

As we have seen, God provides for our justification as men (through faith in Christ, the ransom sacrifice), and then calls us to set apart–sanctify–or consecrate to him that justified humanity. When we do, thus consecrate or give up our will, our time, talent, life and all we have and are to God, and ask him to take our little all and use it as seems to him good, and agree to let the will of God dwell in us richly–when we have done this we have done all that we can do; and here God who accepts of every such sacrifice, begins His part of the sanctification work. He begins to use this will resigned to his care and “to work in you both to will and to do” in harmony with his will. From that moment it is no longer you (the human) but “Christ in you.” Even the earthly body under the new controlling will (God’s) is used in His service and is thereby made holy.”

As soon as the individual comes to the decision to bow down to the will of God (as illustrated by individual number 6) passing beneath the Granite Leaf, they give evidence of their willingness to “lose their lives” for Christ’s sake, Christ then imputes to them a sufficiency of his merit to render their sacrifice holy and acceptable to God. Their justification then becomes complete (vitalized); and as such their sacrifice being now a living one, because entirely free from the Adamic condemnation, is at once accepted by the Lord. As the Apostle states, “there is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” (Rom. 8: 1). They now are entered into the school of Christ (as depicted by individual number 7) there to be developed both in the graces and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they might be made copies of God’s dear Son and fitted for a position in the body of Christ.

The visitor to the Ante-Chamber who bows down under the Granite Leaf (likewise typified by passing beneath the “first vail” of the Tabernacle), steps for the first time on to granite; symbolizing that those who submit themselves to the will of God, have now risen from the plane of human justification to the plane of spirit-begetting. Henceforth God reckons them dead as human beings (Col. 3:3),—not dead in Adam, but dead in Christ,—and alive as spirit beings.

The first stone of this granite floor (upon which they step) is about a quarter of an inch higher than the limestone floor; and if a vertical line were drawn downward from its first or north edge, it would pass just beyond (south of) the Queen’s Chamber which symbolizes the perfect human condition. This is the spiritual divide which separates the natural man from the spiritual man, until this divide is passed, until one passes beneath the granite leaf typifying their consecration and surrender to the will of God, even though they be believers in Christ they are still only natural men, earthly, human.

Once an entrance has been gained into the Ante-Chamber proper, it is found that the level of its floor falls immediately to the level of the limestone floor and the Step outside, showing that although those who are spirit-begotten are now in possession of the spiritual mind, the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), they have as yet undergone no change of nature as regards their bodies. They have received the Holy Spirit of promise as an earnest or pledge of their future spiritual inheritance (Eph. 1:13, 14), the Divine nature, but their bodies are still human. Nevertheless, as they are standing on granite, this shows that they are reckoned by God as partakers of the Divine nature, because they have presented their bodies a living sacrifice, and are striving to fulfill their vow of consecration. Above them is the granite roof, signifying that they are, even more than before, under Divine protection.

He that dwells in the secret place of the most high, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty “—Psa. 91:1.

The “Ante-Chamber” like that of the “Holy” represents the School of Christ where the spirit begotten are nurtured and developed from mere babes in Christ to full grown adult Christians. This however cannot take place in the schools of men, the church nominal due to the fact that there is little if any real spiritual food, “meat” in her, the best she has to offer is “milk” (some of the first principle doctrines of Christ), and even these she has polluted with the doctrines and precepts of men thus rendering the milk “sour”, for the most part indigestible to any true child of God.

We will continue with our next post.