The Lord of Glory
MEDITATIONS ON THE PERSON, THE WORK
AND GLORY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
A. C. GAEBELEIN
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF "OUR HOPE,"
456 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y.
PICKERING & INGLIS, L. S. HAYNES, GLASGOW, 502 Yonge Street, SCOTLAND TORONTO, CANADA
Copyright 1910 by A. C. Gaebelein.
Francis Emory Fitch
of New York
Preface Dedication The Lord of Glory Jehovah. The "I am" That Worthy Name The Doctrine of Christ The Pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus Christ Ye are Christ's—Christ is God's The Wonderful Honor and Glory unto Him Christ's Resurrection Song The Glory Song The Firstborn The Waiting Christ A Vision of the King The Fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord Out of His Fulness, The Twenty-second Psalm The Exalted One A Glorious Vision My Brethren The Patience of Christ He Shall Not Keep Silent The Love of Christ The Joy of the Lord This same Jesus The Wondrous Cross His Legacy What Have I to do with Idols The Never Changing One Be of Good Cheer Make Haste
For a number of years the first pages of each issue of "Our Hope" have been devoted to brief meditations on the Person and Glory of our adorable Lord Jesus Christ. Three reasons led the Editor to do this: 1. He is worthy of all honor and glory, worthy to have the first place in all things. 2. The great need of His people to have His blessed Person, His past and present work, His power and glory, His future manifestation constantly brought before their hearts. 3. There is an ever increasing denial of the Person of our Lord. In the most subtle way His Glory has been denied. It is therefore eminently necessary for those who know Him to tell out His worth. Long and learned discussions on the Person of the Lord have been written in the past, but are not much read in these days. We felt that short and simple meditations on Himself would be welcomed by all believers.
All these brief articles were written with much prayer and often under deep soul exercise. It has pleased the Holy Spirit to own them in a most blessed way. Hundreds of letters were received telling of the great blessing these meditations have been and what refreshing they brought to the hearts of His people. Weary and tired ones were cheered, wandering ones restored and erring ones set right. Many wrote us or told us personally that the Lord Jesus Christ has become a greater reality and power in their lives after following this monthly testimony.
Suggestions were made to issue some of these notes in book form so that these blessed truths may be preserved in a more permanent form. We have done so and send this volume forth with the prayer that the Holy Spirit, who is here to glorify Christ, may use it to the praise and glory of His worthy Name. We are confident that such will be the case.
A. C. G.
New York City, October 1, 1910.
"Unto Him who loveth us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever."—Rev. i: 5-6.
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."—Rev. v: 12.
"Then they that feared the Lord spake one to another: and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon His Name." —Mal. iii: 16.
"Let us go forth, therefore, unto Him without the camp bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By Him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips, confessing His Name." —Hebrews xiii: 13-15.
"Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so. Come Lord Jesus."—Rev. xxii: 20.
The Lord of Glory.
1 Cor. ii:8.
OUR ever blessed Lord, who died for us, to whom we belong, with whom we shall be forever, is the Lord of Glory. Thus He is called in 1 Cor. ii:8, "for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." Eternally He is this because He is "the express image of God, the brightness of His Glory" (Heb. i:3). He possessed Glory with the Father before the world was (John xvii:5). This Glory was beheld by the prophets, for we read that Isaiah "saw His Glory and spake of Him" (John xii:41). All the glorious manifestations of Jehovah recorded in the Word of God are the manifestations of "the Lord of Glory," who created all things that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, who is before all things and by whom all things consist. He appeared as the God of Glory to Abraham (Acts vii:1); Isaac and Jacob were face to face with Him. Moses beheld His Glory. He saw His Glory on the mountain. The Lord of Glory descended in the cloud and stood with him there (Exod. xxxiv:5). How often the Glory of the Lord appeared in the midst of Israel. And what more could we say of Joshua, David, Daniel, Ezekiel, who all beheld His Glory and stood in the presence of that Lord of Glory.
In the fulness of time He appeared on earth "God manifested in the flesh." Though He made of Himself no reputation and left His unspeakable Glory behind, yet He was the Lord of Glory, and as such He manifested His Glory. In incarnation in His holy, spotless life He revealed His moral Glory; what perfection and loveliness we find here! We have the testimony of His own "We beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father" (John i:14). "They saw His Glory" (Luke ix:32) when they were with Him in the holy mountain. They heard, they saw with their eyes, they looked upon, their hands handled the Word of life, the life that was manifested (1 John i:1-2). In His mighty miracles the Lord of Glory manifested His Glory, for it is written "this beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested forth His Glory" (John i:11).
And this Lord of Glory died. The focus of His Glory is the cross. He was obedient unto death, the death of the cross. He gave Himself for us. Without following here all the precious truths connected with that which is the foundation of our salvation and our hope, that the Lord of Glory, Christ died for our sins, we remember that God "raised Him up from the dead and gave Him Glory" (1 Pet. i:21). He was "received up into Glory" (1 Tim. iii:16). "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His Glory" (Luke xxiv:26). The risen Lord of Glory said: "I ascend unto my Father and your Father; to my God and your God." He is now in the presence of God, the Man in Glory, seated in the highest place of the heaven of heavens "at the right hand of the Majesty on high." He is there "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Eph. i:21). He is highly exalted, the heir of all things. In that Glory He was beheld by human, mortal eyes. Stephen being full of the Holy Spirit "looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the Glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God" (Acts vii:55). This was the dying testimony of the first Christian martyr. Saul of Tarsus saw this Glory; he "could not see for the Glory of that light" (Acts xxii:11). John beheld Him and fell at His feet as dead. And we see Him with the eye of faith. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with Glory and Honor" (Heb. ii:9).
But this is not all. The unseen Glory of the Lord and the unseen Lord of Glory will some day be visible, not to a few, but to the whole universe. He will come in the Glory of His Father and the holy angels with Him (Matt. xvi:27). The Lord of Glory will be "revealed from heaven with His mighty angels" (2 Thess. i:7). He will come in power and Glory, come in His own Glory (Luke ix:26) and sit on the throne of His Glory (Matt. xxv:31). His Glory then will cover the heavens (Hab. iii:3) and "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Hab. ii:14). The heavens cannot be silent forever and He who now is the object of the faith of believers, and the One whom the world has rejected, will come forth in all His Majesty and Glory and every eye shall see Him. Then every knee must bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue confess Him as Lord. In that manifestation of the Lord of Glory and the Glory of the Lord we His redeemed will be manifested in Glory. He will then be glorified in His saints and admired in all them that believed (2 Thess. i:10). He will bring His many sons to Glory (Heb. ii:10). We are "partakers of the Glory that shall be revealed" (1 Pet. v:1). The God of all Grace hath indeed called us unto His eternal Glory by Jesus Christ. "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of Glory that fadeth not away" (1 Pet. v:4). "But rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that when His Glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Pet. iv:13).
But ere this visible Glory is manifested over the earth and on the earth and He comes forth as the King of kings and Lord of lords His own will be gathered unto Him and be caught up in clouds to meet Him in the air. Then we shall see Him as He is and be like Him. The Glory which the Father has given Him as the head of the body will be bestowed upon the whole body; for thus He prayed "the Glory, which thou hast given me I have given to them" (John xvii:22). And in the Father's house where He is, in the Holy of Holies we shall behold His Glory. We shall be changed into the same image "that He might be the first born among many brethren" (Rom. viii:29).
And now, dear reader, joint heir with the Lord of Glory, called by God unto the fellowship of His Son, in meditating on these wonderful facts given to us by revelation, does not your heart burn within you? What a blessing, what a place, what a future is ours linked with the Lord of Glory, one with Him! What a stupendous thought that He came from Glory to die for us so that He might have us with Him in Glory!
And these blessed truths concerning the Lord of Glory and the Glory of the Lord we need to hold ever before our hearts in these dreary days when darkest night is fast approaching. To walk worthy of the Lord, to be faithful to the Lord, to render true service, to be more like Him and show forth His excellencies, we but need one thing, to know Him better and to behold the Glory of the Lord. It is written "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Guided by the Spirit we can look on the Lord of Glory and His Glory, mirrored in all parts of the Word of God. And then as we look on this wonderful person and His relation to us and ours to Him, as we behold His glory both moral and literal, in humiliation and exaltation, past, present and future, we are changed into the same image. Our path will be from Glory to Glory! And some day there will come that supreme moment when we shall be suddenly changed "in a moment, the twinkling of an eye." Oh child of God see your need! It is Christ, the Lord of Glory set before your heart; all worldly mindedness, all insincerity, all discouragement, all unbelief, all unfaithfulness must flee when we follow on to know the Lord and daily behold "as in a glass the Glory of the Lord."
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His Glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
Jehovah. The "I Am."
WHEN Moses in the desert beheld the burning bush God answered his question by the revelation of His name as the "I Am." "And God said unto Moses, I am, that I am: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exod. iii:14). He who spake thus out of the bush to Moses was the same who in the fullness of time appeared upon the earth in the form of man. Our Lord Jesus Christ is no less person, than the I AM. If we turn to the fourth Gospel in which the Holy Spirit pictures Him as the Son of God, one with the Father, we find His glorious title there as the I AM. In the eighth chapter of that blessed Gospel we read that He said to the Jews, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am" (v:58). And the Jews took stones to cast them upon Him. In the fifth chapter we read that they wanted to kill Him, not only because He had violated the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God (v:18). They wanted to stone Him because in saying that word "Before Abraham was, I am" He had claimed that holy name for Himself, which was revealed to Moses. The Jews then, as the orthodox Jews do still, reverenced that name to such a degree that they did not even pronounce it, but substituted in its place the word "Adonai." Little did they realize that the same "I am" who spoke to Moses out of the bush, saying, "I am;" who descended before Moses later in a cloud and proclaimed the name of the Lord (Exod. xxxiv) was standing in their midst in the form of man. And this is not the only time He used this word. We find it in the xviii chapter of John. When the band and officers of the chief priests and Pharisees came with lanterns, torches and weapons, Jesus stepped majestically into their presence with the calm question: "Whom seek ye?" When they had stated that they were seeking Jesus the Nazarene He answered them with one word "I AM." What happened? They went backward and fell to the ground. What a spectacle that must have been. The dark night, a company of people, all on the same satanic errand, with their lanterns, torches and different kinds of weapons. And then the object of their hatred steps before them and utters one word and they fall helpless to the ground. What warning it should have been to them. Once more He asks the question; again He answers with the "I am" and with the understanding that His own should be free, He allows Himself to be bound.
He likewise called Himself "I am" in talking with the Samaritan woman. In John iv:26 we read, "Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he." This does, however, not express the original. This reads as follows: "I AM that speaks to thee." After this mighty word had come from His lips the woman had nothing more to say, but left her waterpot and went her way back to the city. The I AM had spoken to her. In chapters vi:20 and viii:28 we find Him using the same "I am" again. In the former passage "It is I" should read "I am."
Besides these passages in which He speaks of Himself as the self-existing Jehovah, the great "I am," He saith seven times in this Gospel what He is to His own. I am the Bread of life (chapter vi:35.) I am the Light of the world (chapter ix:5). I am the Door (chapter x:7). I am the Good Shepherd (chapter x:11). I am the Resurrection and the Life (chapter xi:25). I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (chapter xvi:6); and I am the true Vine (chapter xv:1). But this does not exhaust at all what He is and will be now and forever to those who belong to Him. In the Old Testament there are seven great names of the "I AM" which are deep and significant. In them we can trace His rich and wonderful Grace. Jehovah.—Jireh —The Lord provides. The lamb provided (Genesis xxii). Jehovah Rophecah—I am the Lord that healeth thee (Exodus xv). Jehovah —Nissi—The Lord is my banner, He giveth the Victory (Exod. xvii). Jehovah shalom, the Lord is Peace. He is our Peace (Judges vi). Jehovah Roi—The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (Psalm xxiii). Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord is our righteousness (Jeremiah xxiii). Jehovah shammah, the Lord is there (Ezek. xlviii).
But this does not exhaust what He is. I AM—what? Anything and everything what we need in time and eternity.
"When God would teach mankind His name He called Himself the great, I AM, And leaves a blank—believers may Supply those things for which they pray."
Happy indeed are we, beloved reader, if we know Him, who died for us as the I AM, if we learn more and more to trust Him as the all sufficient One and know that the I AM will supply all our need. In these days in which the person of Christ is so much belittled, attacked; He as the Holy One, the great Jehovah rejected, not by the outside world alone, but by those who call themselves after His own blessed name, let us have for an answer to all these attacks of the enemy a closer walk with Him, a more intimate fellowship with the I AM; a better acquaintance with our Jehovah-Jesus, our gracious Lord. Oh what a union is ours, One with Him the I AM, what a happy, glorious lot. Hallelujah.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come (Rev. ii:8). I am the bright and morning star (Rev. xxii: 16). What, oh what will He be for His own in all eternity!
That Worthy Name.
IN the second chapter of the Epistle of James the Holy Spirit speaks of our ever blessed Lord as "that worthy Name." Precious Word! precious to every heart that knows Him and delights to exalt His glorious and worthy Name. His Name is "far above every Name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." (Ephes. i:21.) It is "as ointment poured forth" (Song of Sol. i:3); yea, His Name alone is excellent (Psalm cxlviii:13). But according to His worth that blessed Name is far from being fully known and uttered by the Saints of God. "Thou art worthy" and "Worthy is the Lamb" shall some day burst from the glorified lips of redeemed sinners, brought home to be with Him. In that blessed day when at last we see Him face to face, forever with the Lord, we shall begin to learn the full worth and glory of that Name, the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In a feeble way here below we get glimpses of His precious, worthy Name, of His beauty and loveliness, and then only through the power of the Holy Spirit. The aim of the Spirit of God dwelling in our hearts will always be to tell us more of Himself. Like Abraham's servant who had so much to say to the elect bride about Isaac, so the Holy Spirit ever delights to show us more of Christ, the Christ of God. Oh! how He is eager to tell us more of His worth, of His glory, of His grace and of all He is and all He has. How it grieves Him when our hearts do not respond to the great message He has for us and when instead we turn to something else to give us joy and comfort. Only Christ can give joy and comfort, peace and rest to the hearts of those who are His. The days are evil and the time is short. Is your heart increasingly attracted to that worthy Name? Do you have a greater burning desire in your heart for Himself? Does He, that worthy Name, become more and more day by day the absorbing object of your heart and life? Do you often weep over your coldheartedness, your lack of real devotion to Him and communion with your Lord? Do you appreciate Him more than ever before? Is the Apostle's longing cry "that I might know Him" coming also from your heart? Dear reader, these are searching questions. A better knowledge of our blessed Lord, a deeper acquaintance with that worthy Name and greater devotion to Him, is the only true spiritual progress which counts. If you live but little in the reality of all this you lack that joy and rest which is true Christian happiness and the Spirit is grieved. Oh let Him unfold to your heart that worthy name and show you from His Word, His wonderful person, then His power will attract your heart more and more. This is what all God's people need. "That worthy Name," the Lord in all His blessed fulness and glorious reality is what we need.
And what the written Word has to tell us of "that worthy Name"! Oh, the titles, the attributes, the names, the glories, the beauties of Himself. And we have discovered but so few of these blessed things. Perhaps a few hundred of the descriptions of that worthy Name are known to God's Saints; but there are hundreds, still hidden, we have never touched. Yes, God's Spirit is ever willing to make them known to our hearts.
Just for a few moments think of some of the familiar titles and names of that Name which is above every other name. How these titles of our blessed Lord, what He is and what we have in Him should fill our hearts with praise and our lips with outbursts of praise, lift us above present day conditions and give us courage and boldness. "That worthy Name"; who is He?
The Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father, the living God, the eternal Life; Emmanuel, the God of Glory, the Holy One; Jehovah, the everlasting God, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord of Peace, the Lord our righteousness, the Upholder of all things, the Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the express image of God. He is the Word, the Word of God, the Word of Life, the Wisdom of God, the Angel of the Lord, the Mediator of the better covenant. The good Shepherd, the great Shepherd, the chief Shepherd, the Door, the Way, the Root and offspring of David, the Branch of Righteousness, the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the valley, the true Vine, the Corn of Wheat, the Bread of God, the true Bread from heaven. He is also the Light of the world, the Day dawn, the Star out of Jacob, Sun and Shield, the Bright and Morningstar, the Sun of Righteousness. Thus we read of that worthy Name, that He is, the Great High-priest, the Daysman, the Advocate, Intercessor, Surety, Mercy Seat, the Forerunner, the Rock of Salvation, the Refuge, the Tower, a strong Tower, the Rock of Ages, the Hope of Glory, the Hope of His people, a living Stone. And what else? the Gift of God, the Beloved, the Fountain of Life, Shiloh, He is our Peace, our Redeemer, He is precious, the Amen, the Just Lord, the Bridegroom, the Firstborn from the Dead, Head over all, Head of all principality and power, Heir of all things. He is Captain of the Lord's Host, Captain of their salvation, Chiefest among Ten Thousand, the Leader, the Counsellor, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Governor, Prince of Peace, the Prince of Life, the Prince of the Kings of the earth, the Judge, the King, the King of Israel, King of Saints, King of Glory, King over all the earth, King in His Beauty, King of Kings and Lord of lords.
All these names and attributes of that worthy Name are familiar. What dignity, what power, what grace and blessing for us for whom He died and shed His precious blood they express. Who can fathom these names? Who can tell out His worth? And hundreds more could be added, and many, many more, which are still undiscovered in the Word of God. What a Lord He is! We worship and adore Thee, Thou worthy One. Draw us O Lord and we will run after Thee. What a joy and delight it ought to be to follow Him, to exalt Him, to be devoted to such a One! Oh! our failures! And still He carries us in kindness and patience. And He also has a Name, which expresses the fulness of His work and glory. No one knows what that is. "He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself" (Rev. xix:12). That unknown Name may never be made known.
But oh! the blessedness which is before us His redeemed people. Of us it is written "They shall see His face": That blessed, blessed face of that worthy Name, we shall behold at last. We shall see His face! Oh the rapture which fills the heart in the anticipation of that soon coming event. "And His Name shall be on their foreheads" (Rev. xxii:4). We shall be like Him, we shall be a perfect reflection of Himself.
The Doctrine of Christ.
2 John 9-11.
"WHOSOEVER transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" (2 John 9-11). What then is the doctrine of Christ? It is the revealed truth concerning the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, whom the Father sent into the world. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This is the doctrine of Christ. Anyone who does not hold the doctrine of Christ that He is absolutely God, one with the Father come into the world, hath not God. He is without God and hope in the world. He is an Anti-christ. "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of Anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1 John iv:2-3). Such a denier of the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is no christian at all and all fellowship even to the greeting must be denied to him. This seems severe and intolerant. But it is not if we consider what the denial of the Person of our holy and blessed Lord means. God grant unto us, who hold the doctrine of Christ, a divine jealousy for His honor and glory, manifested by separation from all who in any way deny the doctrine upon which all Christianity rests.
But how blessed to faith to see in the first Epistle of John the doctrine of Christ revealed and the blessings and comforts brought forth, which are for those who abide in this doctrine. In the Gospel of John the beloved disciple writes by the Holy Spirit about the Son of God, how He came from the Father and was in the world and how He left the world to go back to the Father. The Son of God is also the theme of the Holy Spirit in the first Epistle of John. "Our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" (i:3). This fellowship means that we share the Father's thoughts about His Son and to enjoy with the Son His own blessed and eternal relationship with the Father. In the measure our faith enters into the doctrine of Christ in that measure we shall have deeper fellowship with the Father and His Son. Is your cry, dear reader, for more reality in this fellowship? There is one way only which leads to this. It is an increase in the knowledge of the Son of God and as you abide there, you have the Father and the Son.
And now we shall call to our remembrance other passages in the first Epistle of John in which our blessed Lord as the Son of God is mentioned. They are sweet and precious to faith and if read in the Spirit they will bring the joy, the blessing, the peace and the comfort of the doctrine of Christ to our hearts.
"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (i:7). That precious blood, His own blood, has cleansed us once and for all. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil" (iii:8). "And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another as He gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments (which are: believing on Him and loving one another) dwelleth in Him and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us" (iii:23-24). "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son into the world to be the propitiation for our sins." "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" (iv:9-11). "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him" (iv:14-16). "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (v:5) "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave to His Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (v:9-12). "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us" (v:13-14). "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life" (v:20).
May our faith lay hold anew of these simple yet deep and precious revelations. They are the doctrine of Christ. Into this we must enter constantly and manifest in our lives the fruits of this doctrine, love and righteousness. The increasing rejection of the doctrine of Christ demands the increased appreciation of that doctrine. The more the enemy attacks the Person of Christ, the more the Holy Spirit demands of us, who belong to Christ, that we exalt Him. Everything in the present time seems to be aimed at the setting aside of the doctrine upon which our Hope rests. Higher Criticism, the evil doctrines, which reject the eternal punishment of the wicked, the spurious gospels, ethical teachings and every other false doctrine strikes at the blessed Person of our Lord. The shadow of the Anti-christ is cast in our days. Let us heed God's Word. Let us be separated from those who deny Christ or we are partakers of their evil deeds. The path of the true believer becomes narrower. It must be so. But Christ becomes more precious, more real to our souls.
What awful times are coming upon this age according to God's Word! With the rejection of the doctrine of Christ this age sides completely with Satan and that wonderful being is both blinding his victims and using them for his own sinister purposes. The blindness is fearful. It will be worse before long. The rush into complete apostasy and from there into the delusion with the lying wonders and on into the darkness forever will come next. Let us praise God for the doctrine of Christ, which is our salvation, and may God give us faith and courage to walk according to that doctrine. What day of joy awaits us, when we shall see him as He is and know the depth of the Love of God by being like Him!
The Pre-Eminence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT a blessed theme the Person and Glory of our Lord! How inexhaustible and unsearchable! How refreshing to the souls of His redeemed people as well as to the heart of our heavenly Father, who, loveth the Son! To meditate on Him, to behold the Glory of the Lord under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Word of God, means spiritual growth and spiritual enjoyment. This only can make the unseen Person a blessed reality in our daily walk. We pray that all our beloved readers are drawn closer to Himself through these brief meditations. Can we truly say the Lord is more precious to our hearts and that we are living more in His presence than ever before? Has He become the absorbing object of our hearts and lives? Are we more devoted to Him? God grant that this may be the case with all of us. It is the great need we have. It is the good part, which Mary, resting at His feet, had chosen.
In the great chapter which begins the Epistle to the Colossians, after that blessed description of the Son of God, stands this word "that in all things He might have the pre-eminence" (Col. i:18). But who can tell out what a pre-eminence, the pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus Christ is? Some day we shall see Him in all His Glory. He Himself will lead us into the Holiest of the third heaven to behold the Glory the Father has given Him (John xvii:24); then we shall know His pre-eminence fully. And yet from Scripture we can learn even now the pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In all eternity the Son of God was the object of Love and Glory.
"Son of God the Father's bosom Ever was Thy dwelling place."
He ever subsisted in the form of God. In all creation He has the pre-eminence. This is made known to us, as man could not discover it, by revelation. We accept this in faith. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb. x:3). And all which was called into existence was created by Him and for Him. "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by Him and for Him" (Col. i:16). What a marvellous survey! What power and glory belongs to the blessed Son of God! "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made." "The world was made by Him" (John i:3, 10).
He has the pre-eminence in sustaining His creation. All things consist by Him. He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb. i:3).
In the Revelation of God He has the pre-eminence. Both books, the book of Nature and the Book of all books, the written Word of God, the Bible, tell out His Glory. The Bible may be compared to a living organism, like the human body. Every book in the Bible has a specific place and service like the members of the body; the life in that marvellous divinely constructed organism of the revelation of God is the Son of God. Apart from Him there is no revelation from God and no manifestation of God. He reveals God throughout the Bible, in every part, He holds the pre-eminence. Greater still is His pre-eminence in redemption. Redemption would be an eternal impossibility without Him. He came from the Father's bosom to redeem us. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but by Him. He gives eternal life. Furthermore as the first born from the dead He is the head of the body. That body is the church and every believing sinner is a member in that body. Each is united to Him and possesses His life. This body with its many members He keeps, nourishes, builds up, sanctifies and ultimately glorifies. In all the great and glorious redemptive work He has the pre-eminence.
As the glorified Man He is the Heir of God and as such He holds the pre-eminence in heaven. He has been made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Far above all the angelic beings, higher than the archangel is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Man in Glory.
There is a future pre-eminence for Him. The day of His visible Glory and power is approaching. Now He is rejected, then He will be enthroned. Upon the holy hill of Zion He will be the King of Glory. His Glory will cover the heavens and His Majesty the earth. He will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He will rule as the only potentate and every knee must bow before Him. The song must at last rise in heaven and on earth "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing." Such is, briefly sketched, the pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yea, in all things He hath the pre-eminence.
Can we do anything less than to give Him the first place in all things? He is worthy of it. He died for us. He drank the cup of wrath in our stead. His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree. How great has been and still is His love for us, the love, which passeth knowledge. He is worthy of the first place every moment of our lives. He is worthy to possess all we have and are. We are bought with a price, we are not our own. We belong to Him.
What unspeakable grace from God the Father, that He has brought us into fellowship with Him to whom He has given the pre-eminence. We please the Father as we delight ourselves in the Son and walk in that blessed fellowship. We must honor Him whom the Father has honored, and as we serve the Lord Jesus Christ and accord Him the first place, the Father will honor us (John xii:26). Our hearts too can never fully know the blessed peace of God and rest of faith till we give our Lord the first place. Anything less than that will mean dishonor to Him. "Not I—but Christ" must be the constant cry of our hearts. Not I—but Christ in our daily walk; Not I—but Christ in our service. Oh! that we might realize our great and holy calling, our wonderful privilege, a privilege which is ours for but a little while longer to live Him, live for Him, who has in all things the pre-eminence.
Nothing save Him, in all our ways, Giving the theme for ceaseless praise; Our whole resource along the road, Nothing but Christ—the Christ of God.
"Ye are Christ's—Christ is God's."
ONLY a few words, yet how blessedly full of peace and joy! How precious they are to faith! If we, to whom they apply, would remember them daily, how happy in Him we would be. In all our ways, in good and evil days, yea, every moment the truth contained in these words ought to be real to the true believer. Is not all our failure due to the fact that we live not sufficiently in the consciousness and reality of this wonderful fact, that we belong to Christ, that we are one with Him? Before these words in the third chapter of First Corinthians we find the statement "all things are yours." And after these words it is written "Christ is God's." We are Christ's and Christ is God's; all things are ours because Grace has brought us into this marvelous relationship. "Christ is God's" gives us once more the whole story of God's Love and Grace. As the Only Begotten He ever subsisted in the form of God, the Image of God, one with Him, absolutely God. But He came down, took upon Him the form of a servant, taking His place in the likeness of man. In the form of man He wrought the great work of redemption on the cross and now after His resurrection, by which He is proven Son of God and His presence as the glorified Man in the highest heaven, He is the one in whom and through whom, God the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ gives all blessing. "Christ is God's," then, means what we learn from the following scriptures: "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hands" (John iii:35). "Whom He hath appointed heir of all things" (Heb. i:2). "Christ is God's" is a word which tells us that He who is the Creator of all things, the visible and the invisible, came in incarnation, redeemed us and is now, the beginning, the first-begotten from the dead and the Head of His Body, which is the Church. This is how God has brought us to Himself in the person of His own Son by whom he has redeemed us, in whom He has exalted us and with whom He has given us all things.
To that wonderful person, Christ, the Christ of God, we belong. We are His, who is One with God, by whom and for whom all things were created. The Son of God for such as we are, became poor, even to the poverty of the cross. There He took our place and in His own body He bore our sins and died for us. He saw us then the travail of His soul. We can look back to the cross and say, as His Apostle said: "Who love me and gave Himself for me." We belong to Him, who has all power in heaven and will have all power before long, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on earth. We are Christ's, whom God has appointed as the second Man, the head of the new creation as Heir of all things. We are Christ's, who is the Head of the Body, to which we belong. In Him and with Him we are the Heirs of God. God and Christ are inseparable and so are Christ and we who have trusted in Him and have His life. All Christ has belongs to us; all Christ is we shall be; where Christ is there we shall be in all eternity. Reader! Child of God, pause! Does your faith lay hold of this? Do you read it only and enjoy it just for a moment or is this great fact of your union with Christ and God becoming daily a greater reality in your life? Is it really so that you enter deeper and deeper into that love which passeth knowledge? Oh! that it may be so with the writer and each believer who reads these feeble words on so great a theme.
"Ye are Christ's." Then we are not our own. That is exactly what is elsewhere stated in First Corinthians. "Ye are not your own; we are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. vi:20). Our hearts occupied with Himself, increasingly attracted by the glorious Person of our adorable Lord, realising by the power of His Spirit our glory and destiny with the Lord of Glory, we shall act and walk as such, who are Christ's. Every step of the way it will resound in our hearts "ye are Christ's." In all we do we shall always remember we are Christ's. Cares, anxieties, worldly ambitions, all manner of temptations, will fall before the fact grasped in faith "I am Christ's."
We are convinced that only the Person of Christ put before the heart of the believer through the Word of God and the power of His Spirit can keep the Christian in these awful days of apostasy from going along with the fearful current of the last days. If Christ and our blessing in Him become more real to us we will be beyond the reach of the god of this age with his wiles and sinister purposes.
Furthermore the demand of the hour is for us to exalt Christ. How He is dishonored is a dread reality. The rejection of Christ was never so marked and never so satanic as in these days. God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ expects from us His children that we exalt Him in the days of His rejection and thus share His reproach. Let us do it!
And lastly, if we ever have the Person of Christ before our hearts, we shall walk in obedience to Him as our Lord. Then if we exalt Christ and are obedient to Himself we have the fullest assurance that the Holy Spirit will be with us, upon us and fill us. There is no need to seek "the power" as some express it, nor a baptism of the Spirit. He will be with us and in us in the measure as we exalt Christ and walk in Him.
O gracious Lord, when we reflect How apt to turn the eye from Thee, Forget Thee, too, with sad neglect, And listen to the enemy, And yet to find Thee still the same— 'Tis this that humbles us with shame.
Astonished at Thy feet we fall, Thy love exceeds our highest thought, Henceforth be Thou our all in all, Thou who our souls with blood hast bought; May we henceforth more faithful prove, And ne'er forget Thy ceaseless love.
"Him will I make that overcomes And stems the advancing flood, A pillar of might, with glory light, In the temple of my God. On him shall the blest Name divine, And my new name be graven; And the City's name, Jerusalem, That cometh down from heaven."
HIS name shall be called "Wonderful" (Isaiah ix:6). And long before Isaiah had uttered this divine prediction the angel of the Lord had announced his name to be Wonderful. As such He appeared to Manoah. And Manoah said unto the angel of Jehovah, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor. And the angel of Jehovah said unto Him "why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is Wonderful" (margin, Judges xiii:17-18). This angel of Jehovah, the Person who appeared repeatedly in Old Testament history is an uncreated angel. Of this Being we read that He is the Redeemer, for Jacob speaks of Him "the angel which redeemed me from all evil" (Genesis xlviii:15). He is the angel whose voice must be obeyed, who has power to pardon transgressions, in whom the name of God is (Exodus xxiii:20-23). He is the angel of His Presence who saved them (Isaiah lxiii:9) and Exodus xxxiii:14 must refer to this Being "My presence shall go with thee and I will give thee rest." This angel of Jehovah speaks in the Book of Judges and declared, "I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you into the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said I will never break my covenant with you" (Judges ii:1). He appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush and He spoke to Moses as the I am! (Ex. iii.) The same One appeared before Joshua and he worshipped in His presence. With Him Jacob wrestled, with Jehovah, the God of hosts (Hosea xii:4-6). Malachi iii:1 shows that the Lord Himself is this Angel, the Angel of the Covenant, who also visited Abraham in the form of Man (Genesis xviii).
And after all these manifestations, seven hundred years after Isaiah had announced Him, as the Wonderful, He appeared in human form in the midst of His people. And now we know by divine Revelation in the completed Word of God that He is wonderful in His Person and in his work; but no mind can fathom, no heart can grasp, no pen can describe, how wonderful He is.
He is wonderful if we think of Him as the Only Begotten of the Father. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John i:1-3). "By Him were all things created that are in Heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were made by Him and for Him; and He is before all things and by Him all things consist" (Col. i:16-17). He is the image of the invisible God, the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person. How wonderful such a One, who ever was, with no beginning, One with God!
How wonderful His humiliation. "Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being in fashion as a man He humbled Himself" (Phil. ii:6-8). "For verily He took not on Him the nature of Angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham" (Hebrews ii:16). Wonderful condescension that He who created the angels should be made lower than the angels and lay His Glory by, to appear in the form of man on earth.
Wonderful is He in His incarnation, "that holy thing" as the angel announced Him, truly God and Man. Born of the woman, resting on the bosom of the virgin as a little child and yet He is the One who ever is in the bosom of the Father.
Wonderful that blessed life He lived on earth of which the beloved disciple bears such a beautiful witness. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of Life. For the life was manifested and we have seen it and bear witness and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us" (1 John i:1-2). Wonderful are the blessed words which came from His lips, wonderful is His moral glory, His untiring service, His love, His patience and everything which the Holy Spirit has been pleased to tell us of His earthly life. The more our hearts contemplate Him the more wonderful He appears. But still greater and more wonderful is it that He went to the cross to give His life as a ransom for many, that the Just One should die for the unjust, that He who knew no sin was made sin for us and pay the penalty of sins on the cross. He is the Wonderful in His great work on the cross, the depths of which have never been fathomed. And what can we say of His wonderful Glory, His wonderful Place, His wonderful Power, His wonderful Grace! How wonderfully He has dealt with us, with each one of us individually. How wonderful it is that He knows each of His sheep, that He guides each, provides for, loveth, succors, stands by, restores, never leaves nor forsakes each who has trusted in Him and belongs to Him. How wonderful are His ways with us, that He guides with His eyes and that His loving power and omnipotent love is on our side. In His coming manifestation He will be wonderful. Wonderful He will be when we shall see Him and stand in His presence. What a day it will be when we see Him face to face! Then we shall know all the loveliness and wonderfulness of His adorable Person and His wonder ways with us. With what wonderment we shall then behold Him. And when He comes with His Saints, when the Heavens are lit up with untold glory, when He comes to judge, to establish His Kingdom, to speak peace to the nations, to restore creation to its right condition, when He reigns and all His redeemed ones with Him—Oh how wonderful it all will be!
He is altogether lovely and he is altogether wonderful. Glory to His name! Well has one said: "He pervades the whole of the New Testament with His presence, so that every doctrine it teaches, every duty it demands, every narrative it records, every comfort it gives, every hope it inspires, gathers about His person and ministers to His glory." So dear does He thus become to the heart of the believer, that Luther may well be excused for exclaiming, 'I had rather be in hell with Christ, than in heaven without Him.'
"We believe in Him as our Saviour, Acts vi:31; confess Him as our Lord, Rom. x:9; we have redemption through His blood, Eph. i:7; we look to Him as our Leader, Heb. xii:2; we follow Him as our Teacher, Eph. iv:20, 21; we feed upon Him as our Bread, Jno. vi:48; we go to Him in our Thirst, Jno. vi: 37; we enter by Him as our door, Jno. x:9; we are in Him as our vine, Jno. xv:5; we find in Him our rest, Matt. xi:28; we have in Him our example, Jno. xiii:15; He is our righteousness, 2 Cor. v:21; we are succored by Him in temptation, Heb. ii:18; we turn to Him for sympathy, Heb. iv:15; we obtain through Him our victory, 1 Cor. xv:57; we overcome by Him the world, 1 Jno. v:5; we have in Him eternal life, 1 Jno. v:11, 12; we gain by Him the resurrection, Phil. iii:20, 21; we appear with Him in glory, Col. iii:4, we exult in His everlasting love, Rev. i:5, 6."
May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts and eyes with Himself and reveal to us through the written Word more of the matchless beauty of the wonderful Person of our Saviour and Lord. We honor and adore Thee, blessed, blessed Lord, and while Thou art rejected we thy feeble people would know more of Thyself and keep closer at Thy feet. Amen.
"We would see Jesus, for the shadows lengthen Over this little landscape of our life, We would see Jesus, our weak faith to strengthen, For the last weariness, the final strife. We would see Jesus, this is all we're needing; Strength, joy and willingness come with the sight; We would see Jesus, dying, risen, pleading; Then welcome day, and farewell mortal night."
Honour and Glory Unto him.
IN Revelation V, that great worship scene, beginning some day in heaven and going on into future ages, we read of the Lamb to whom honor and glory are due. He alone is worthy. And every heart who knows Him rejoicing in His love, cries out, "Thou art worthy!" Yea, the sweetest song for the redeemed soul is the outburst of praise, which we find on the threshold of His own Revelation. "Unto Him that loveth us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." Soon the great worship John beheld prophetically may become reality.
As long as we His people are here in this present evil age it is God's call to us to honor and glorify His Son. This surely is God the Father's expectation from His children, who are begotten of Him. This is His call to us in the last days of this rapidly closing age.
It was on the mountain of transfiguration that the Father bore witness to His Son. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The Father bore not alone this witness, but He vindicated the honor of His Son, whose glory flashed forth on that mountain. Peter had spoken; in fact, he was still speaking when the Father's voice was heard. "Lord, it is good to be here; if Thou wilt let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee and one for Moses and one for Elias." These were Peter's words. At the first glance they appear harmless. Indeed, they are generally used in spiritual application of having a good time here. But they have a far different meaning. Peter had spoken once more in the impulsiveness of the flesh. By putting the Lord of Glory alongside of Moses and Elias, he had lowered the dignity of Him. The One whom he had but recently confessed as the Christ, the Son of the living God, he now put into the same position and place with Moses and Elias. He lost sight of the wonderful and glorious person of Christ. When he uttered this human suggestion the Shekinah cloud appeared and its glorious splendor covered them. Out of that cloud came the Father's voice vindicating the honor of His Son. Who is Moses? Who is Elias? Sinful men they were, man of failure and weakness. But here is another. This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear Him. And how that beloved Son is in our day dishonored!
He was in all eternity the beloved Son. When God created all things, for Him and by Him, He was the delight of God. This is the foundation of our faith. When he spoke of coming into the world, as we read in Hebrews X, to do the Father's will, the Father's love and delight was upon Him. In humiliation beginning there in Bethlehem He was the beloved Son of God. In all He did, every step of the way, the Holy One had above Himself the loving Father. And then He went to the cross, putting away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. In the awful suffering on the cross, in the hours of darkness, when as the substitute of sinners He tasted death, God's holy hand rested upon that beloved One in judgment, so that He uttered that never to be forgotten cry "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And God in His mighty power opened the grave and brought Him forth. He raised Him from the dead. He was received up in the Glory, exalted into the highest position. He is the heir of all things, the upholder of all things, all things consist and exist by Him. God has given Him the pre-eminence in all things.
And this blessed One, the beloved Son of God is denied, He is rejected, dishonored and refused. God speaks in Him, by Him, and he who has made known God, in whom redemption for man was procured is dishonored. But how is He dishonored and robbed of His Glory? And where is He dishonored? Not in the world as such so much but in Christendom. The harvest of this destructive and evil criticism of the Bible, rejecting the Bible as the inspired Word of God is being reaped. After the written Word has been attacked and lowered the enemy who stands behind "Higher Criticism" in a disguised form has thrown off the mask and bluntly strikes at the Person of the beloved Son of God. First the devil in the garb of "reverend criticism" denied Isaiah vii:14, the promise of the virgin bringing forth a son, as having anything to do with Christ, and now the harvest, the denial of the virgin birth of our Lord. It would take many pages to mention all how our ever beloved Lord is robbed of His Glory, how His Person is dishonored. This denial of the Person of Christ is the apostasy. It is the very breath of the personal antichrist, the man of sin, which we feel in these last days.
The Father's voice is not heard in these days as it was heard on the transfiguration mountain. The heavens are silent to all the dishonor heaped upon Him, who is in the heaven of heavens. But God the Father looks to His people in whom the Holy Spirit dwells to honor and glorify His Son. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to stand as bold witnesses for Himself and to contend earnestly for the faith once and for all delivered unto the Saints. The Father expects us that we stand up for the honor of His Son. His voice to us is "Honor my Son!"
We feel deeply impressed with this great call of God to us at the present time of increasing darkness and apostasy. Let each child of God act accordingly. Honor your Lord wherever you are. "Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord" (2 Tim. i:8). If you cannot publicly stand up and honor Christ then honor Him, speak well of Him, in the home circle or wherever you are. O child of God, walk close to Him! Sit more at His feet! Cast yourself more upon Him! Let Him be your all in all! And as He is the sole object of your heart you will honor Him in the day when He is rejected.
But this will mean something else. It means separation. God's call to His people is to stand aloft from all which dishonors His Son. This means much in our days. How can we honor the Beloved One if we have fellowship with that which dishonors Him? No child of God should go on with any institution, school or church where the written Word is set aside or belittled. The second Epistle of Timothy, which has special reference to our times is very clear on this separation. No one needs to wait for a special call from God to act and separate from the corruption of Christendom. It is all given before hand by the Holy Spirit. "From such turn away" (2 Tim. iii:5). And those from whom God commands us to separate are persons who have the form of godliness and deny the power thereof. Again it is written: "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honor and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the master's use, prepared unto every good work" (2 Tim. ii:20-21). Hear the Word of the Lord! Hear His call! Be faithful to Him! Keep His Word and do not deny His Name! Honor and glorify Him who is our Lord whom we soon shall see face to face.
Christ's Resurrection Song.
WHEN the blessed Lord appeared in the midst of His disciples and they beheld the risen One in His glorified body of flesh and bones and He ate before them, He told them that all things which were written in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Him, had to be fulfilled (Luke xxiv:44). While on the way to Emmaus He said to the two sorrowing and perplexed disciples "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expounded unto them all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." It seems to us He must have then spoken much of the Psalms, these wonderful prayers and songs of praise, with which His Jewish disciples were so familiar. In the Psalms the richest prophecies concerning Christ are found. There we behold Him in His divine perfections as well as in His true humanity; in His suffering and in His glory; in His rejection and in His exaltation. Oh that we, the Lord's people, might read the Psalms more, so that the Holy Spirit can reveal Christ more to our hearts. In many unexpected places we can find Him in these songs. There is for instance the xxxvii Psalm, so much enjoyed by the Saints of God. It contains such precious exhortations to faith, to be patient and to hope. But in taking the comfort of these blessed exhortations and their accompanying promises, we are apt to overlook some verses which tell us of our Lord. Verses 30-33 apply to Him. "The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom and His tongue talketh of judgment. The law of His God is in His heart; none of His steps shall slide. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay Him. Jehovah will not leave Him in his hand, nor condemn Him when He is judged." Our Lord is this righteous One. Words of wisdom and judgment, mercy and truth flowed from His lips while righteousness in heart and life, and perfect obedience were manifested in Him. Then His death and deliverance are indicated in these words. However, care must be taken not to apply all the experiences of the Psalms to Christ. We saw recently an exposition of Psalm xxxviii:7. The words "For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease and there is no soundness in my flesh" were applied to Christ. This is a very serious mistake. He knew no sin and therefore no loathsome disease could fill His loins. Such exposition is evil.
Many joyous expressions of praise to God are found in the Psalms which properly belong first to Him, who is the leader of the praises of His people (Heb. ii:12). One of these sweet outbursts of praise is contained in the opening verses of the xl Psalm. The first three verses may be called "the resurrection song of Christ":
"I waited patiently for the Lord, And He inclined unto me And heard my cry. He brought me up also Out of an horrible pit, Out of the miry clay; And set my feet upon a rock, Established my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth; Praise unto our God; Many shall see it and fear, And shall trust in the Lord."
It is the experience of our Saviour, which must here first of all be considered. Patiently He had waited for Jehovah. Himself Jehovah He had taken the place of dependence under God His Father and patiently He endured. He was obedient unto death, the death of the cross. He endured the cross, despising the shame. He cried to God. "Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and fears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though He were Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb. v:7-8). The place of death is given in this Psalm: "the horrible pit and the miry clay." Who can describe all what is meant by these words! "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken and smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isa. liii:45). He went into the horrible pit, or as it reads literally, the pit of destruction, the place which belongs to fallen man by nature, so that we might be taken out of it. He went into the jaws of death and there the billows and waves, yea all the billows and waves of the judgment of the holy God passed over Him. In another Psalm the Holy Spirit describes His agony. (Ps. lxix). There we read His cry "Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying, my throat is dried; mine eyes fail while I wait for my God." And deeper He went for our sakes. The miry clay has a special meaning. Any one who sinks into a pit filled with miry clay cannot help himself. All his struggling does not help; the more he labors the deeper he sinks. One who is in the miry clay cannot save himself. And does this not remind us of the Lord and of what was said of Him "He saved others, Himself He cannot save." He was in the miry clay. He might have saved Himself but He would not. His mighty love it was, that love which passeth knowledge, which brought Him from Heaven's Glory down to the horrible pit, the miry clay.
But the sufferings of our adorable Lord are not so much before us in this Psalm as the fact of His resurrection. His cry was heard. The prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears were answered; His resurrection from the dead was God's blessed answer. While in other Scriptures it is stated that Christ Himself arose, here His resurrection is seen as an act of God. "He brought me up." This act of God bears witness to the completeness and perfection of the accomplished salvation. "We believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. Who was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification" (Rom. iv:24-25). But we read also that His feet were set upon a rock. "And set my feet upon a rock." He is the first born from the dead. Sin and death are abolished by His mighty work. "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God" (Rom. vi:9-10). Upon that rock the feet of every believing sinner securely rest.
But His ascension is likewise mentioned in this resurrection song. "And established my goings." He "whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting" (Micah v:2) and who came from everlasting glory to walk in obedience to the cross and the grave has gone back into heaven. He was received up into glory; He ascended on high and led captivity captive.
And the mighty victor sings now a new song. It is the triumphant song of redemption, to the praise of God. On account of Him, what He has accomplished in His death on the cross and Who is raised from the dead and in glory "many shall see it and fear and shall trust in the Lord." But this wonderful resurrection song the Lord sings not alone. We, who have trusted in Him and know Him have part in this song. Believing in Him we are taken out, yea forever, from the terrible pit and the miry clay. There is no more death and no more wrath for us. We are also risen with Him, our feet are planted upon the rock, our goings are established. We belong to the heavenlies where He is. We sing praises in His name unto our God, His God and our God, His Father and our Father, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh! that our hearts may enter deeper into this song of accomplished redemption "praise unto our God;" the loving God who spared not His only Begotten.
And indeed "many shall see and fear and trust in the Lord." This reaches into the future. Israel too will be taken from the place of spiritual and national death, and raised to life to join the new song. Nations will see it and fear and trust Jehovah. At last the great new song of resurrection and the new creation will swell in its divinely revealed length and breadth, heighth and depth. Now He sings the song, and His co-heirs sing it too in feebleness, yet by His Grace and through His Spirit. Ere long in His presence all the Redeemed will praise in Glory with glorified lips. Heavenly beings will utter their praise and in a wider circle down on earth, every creature will join in.
"And they sung a new song saying, Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God, Kings and priests, and we shall reign over the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength and honor, and glory and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, blessing, and honor, and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever" (Revel. v:9-13). That song will never end. Oh may we learn to sing it now, and in His Name sing praises unto our God.
May we follow the great leader of Praise, Him who is anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. May the path He followed down here become more and more ours. May we serve, be obedient, give up, wait patiently for the Lord, after His own pattern, suffer with Him, be rejected with Him, bear His reproach and through it all rejoice in Him and sing "the new song." How happy we ought to be as linked with Him, the blessed Christ of God. And as we walk in His fellowship the heart longs to see Him as He is. Even so; come Lord Jesus.
The Glory Song.
"UNTO Him who loveth us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen" (Rev. i:5-6). This great outburst of praise may well be called "the Glory Song." It glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ; it reveals also the Glory of those He has redeemed and will be heard throughout eternity. There will never be a moment in the countless ages of eternity when this Glory song will be hushed or forgotten. We begin to sing it here on earth. The more we know the Christ of God and His great love for us, the more we delight to praise and to worship Him. Such worship of the heart in the power of the Spirit is the atmosphere of heaven upon earth. And some day we shall see Him whom we worship and adore in faith. In that glorious moment, when we shall see Him as He is we shall realize for the first time the length and breadth, the heighth and depth of His love and know the Glory to which He has brought us. Then we and all the redeemed will sing this song in a better and more perfect way than we have ever done here. "Thou art worthy * * * for Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign over the earth" (Rev. v:9, 10).
This blessed Word of Praise is placed by the Holy Spirit in the foreground of the book which bears the name, the Revelation, or, Unveiling of Jesus Christ. In it is found the great unveiling of the future, the great coming tribulation and judgment period through which the earth must pass, events which precede the glorious manifestation of the Lord. But in this last great Bible book there is also a complete unveiling of the Person, the Glory and the dignity of Him to whom all judgment is committed. Not alone are in this book many of the prophecies, given of old by the holy men of God, rehearsed, but all He is, His Name, His power, His Glory, His work, and many of his titles are restated. Think of what He is called and how He is described in this book. We find Him called the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Almighty, the Lord, the Alpha, the Omega, the First, the Last, the Beginning of the Creation of God, the Amen, the faithful Witness, the First begotten from the dead, the Word of God, the Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the mighty Angel, He that liveth, He that was dead, He that is alive evermore, the Root and Offspring of David, the bright and Morning star, the Prince of the kings of the earth, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. What an array of titles. On earth great ones, kings and princes, have numerous titles. They concern only earthly glories; they are but for a moment. But His titles concern the earth and the heavens. They belong to Him because He is God, while others are acquired through His great work of redemption. His Glory and His dignity are indescribable. One who reads the Book of Revelation and reads it again will be increasingly impressed with the Glory of Him, whom John beheld in all His Majesty.
Before the Spirit of God records this Glory song, the utterance of praise to be used and to be enjoyed by redeemed sinners, He mentions three titles of our Lord. The faithful Witness; the First begotten from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. These three titles take in His earthly life, His redemption work and His future Glory. On earth He was the faithful witness. He glorified the Father. He had come into the world to bear witness unto the truth. He was faithful and nothing marred His witness. He came as the Only begotten of the Father and the faithful witness, the Son of God went to the cross to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The open and empty tomb is the witness that it was perfectly and righteously accomplished. Now He is the First begotten from the dead as well as the First fruits. His death and His resurrection are, therefore, in view in this second title. His glorious future is beheld in the third title, the Prince of the kings of the earth. The kingdoms of the earth belong to Him; He has a perfect right and title to the earth and its government. Now still the god of this age rules, but ere long He comes "whose right it is" and claims His inheritance. In these three wonderful titles we behold all the Son of God as Son of Man has accomplished in His mighty work. He lived the path of faith and obedience on earth, as the faithful witness. He has put away sin and conquered death and the grave as well as him who has the power of death, that is the devil. In the future He will be King of kings and Lord of lords.
And then follows this outburst of Praise. The Holy Spirit, who is here on earth to glorify Him, breaks forth at once into singing and directs the heart to worship Him. Beloved readers if the Holy Spirit is ungrieved in us He will lead our hearts into such praise and adoration of the Lord; nothing grieves the Holy Spirit more than when a believer does not appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ and manifest this appreciation by praise and worship.
Three things are stated in this blessed doxology:
He loved us.
He washed us.
He hath made us.
These three things correspond to the three titles which precede this doxology. Love it was, which brought Him down from the Glory to walk upon this earth in humiliation, the faithful witness, and that love knew and saw the cross. Love led Him there to die for such as we are. What love it was! Who can ever declare it!
The true translation is not "who loved us," but "who loveth us." His love is an abiding love. He does nothing but love those who belong to Him, who have trusted Him and are the Beloved of God. Our sins, our weaknesses, our infirmities and failures can never affect or diminish His love. Never, oh child of God, doubt His abiding love. Yea, whatever our circumstances are, in trials, in the hard places, in troubles, burdened with cares and full of anxiety, in all our failures we can look up and say, "He loveth me." It is an ever present and eternal love. Never, oh child of God, measure that love by your changing feeling or by your experience. And this love He manifested by dying for us. He has washed us from our sins in His own blood. To this His title as "The First begotten from the dead" refers. "Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye are healed" (1 Pet ii:24). The precious blood of Christ has washed us from our sins. They can never come up again. Oh blessed knowledge! Cleansed by His own blood, the precious blood of the Lamb without spot and blemish! And the blessedness of all that is connected with this!
Oh, the peace forever flowing From God's thoughts of His own Son! Oh, the peace of simply knowing On the cross that all was done!
Peace with God, the blood in heaven Speaks of pardon now to me: Peace with God! the Lord is risen! Righteousness now counts me free.
Peace with God is Christ in glory; God is just and God is love; Jesus died to tell the story, Foes to bring to God above.
But more than that "He hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father." This belongs also to His mighty love. His future of Glory as the Prince of the Kings of the earth, the King of kings and Lord of lords, His fathomless love leads Him to share with those for whom He died, whom He purged and fitted by His own blood. He hath made us kings and priests. It is all His work. A more correct translation is "He hath made us a Kingdom." This, however, does not mean that He has linked us with a Kingdom in which we are to be subjects and governed by Him. We are not subjects of a Kingdom, but are a Kingdom, partakers of it in rule with Himself. We shall rule and reign with Him over the earth. And because He will be "a priest upon His throne" (Zech. vi:13) we, too, will be priests. What it all includes, what glories await us, what enjoyment with Him, what riches and blessings, power and honor, no mind can grasp and no tongue nor pen can describe.
"To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen." All glory and dominion to Him! Thou art worthy! Thou art worthy! This is the heart's cry, which really knows Him and is devoted to Him. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power." Our crowns we cast before Thy throne. Amen and Amen.
Reader can you add your "Amen"—your, "be it so" to all this? Do you sing this Glory song? In a day when He, who is worthy, is but little praised, do you praise Him thus? Do you live in the daily enjoyment of His love? Do you give Him the pre-eminence to whom God has given the pre-eminence in all things? Amen! And oh the happy thought, which helps us so in these evil days, that soon He, who loveth us, who washed us, who hath made us a Kingdom and priests, may call us into His own glorious presence.
"THE Firstborn" or "The Firstbegotten" is one of the names of our blessed Lord. It is applied to Him after His resurrection from the dead. As the Only Begotten He came into this world, the unspeakable gift of God to a lost and ruined world; after the accomplishment of His work on the cross He left the earth, He had created, as the Firstborn. As the Firstbegotten He is now in the highest heaven and as the Firstbegotten the Man of Glory He will be sent back to this earth and rule in power and glory. Paul wrote to the Philippians "to write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous but for you it is safe" (Phil. iii:1). Peter's preaching in the opening chapters of the Acts might have been called monotonous, for he knew but one theme. The Spirit of God filling him gave but one message and that was, the rejected Jesus of Nazareth risen from the dead. In the Gospel of the Glory of the blessed God (1 Tim. i:11), as revealed to the Apostle of the Gentiles we have one theme, one abiding, ever satisfying, eternal object and that is Christ who died for our sins, risen from the dead, as Firstborn in Glory and our blessed union with Him. Paul who knew Him as the Firstborn so well found it not grievous to write the same thing. Indeed the more He knew Him the more His heart cried out "that I may know Him" (Phil. iii:10). There is an attraction in Him which is supernatural. Every child of God will increasingly enjoy the contemplation of this old yet ever new and blessed theme, the Firstborn from the dead. Only in this our hearts can find perfect rest and abiding joy. And if your heart, dear reader, is not attracted and absorbed by Himself, it is because there is a broken communion between you and your Lord. Oh, return unto thy rest, my soul! The drifting masses of Christendom have no use for such a theme. The words written in 2 Cor. iv:3-4 find a fearful application in our time. "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this age hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
How little of the Gospel of the Glory is preached! It is not wanted. All the present day preaching of ethics, of doing good, self improvement and self culture is anti-christian. The preaching which leaves out the cross of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the Glory of Christ, differs not in the least from the ethical-philosophical jumble of Buddhistic and other oriental heathen teachers. It is an awful thing which is done in Christendom today, this rejection of the Lord, the Firstborn. Some day and that soon, God will judge those who have rejected that Gospel and deal with them for the sin of all sins which is unbelief (John xvi:9). But our hearts, beloved in the Lord, must turn more and more to Him and find their delight in Him, who is the Firstbegotten. And this we shall do now by meditating on a few Scriptures which tell us of Him. "He is the Firstborn from the dead" (Col. i:18). "Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the Firstbegotten of the dead, and the Prince of the Kings of the earth" (Rev. i:5). What blessed declarations these are! In the first chapter of Colossians it is fully revealed who He is, who was dead and who is alive for evermore. Not a creature but the Creator, the one who images forth God, because He is God. By Him were all things created, "that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him." And such a One made peace through the blood of His cross. Such a One took our place on the cross of shame, tasted death in our stead and all the billows of wrath and judgment passed over His holy head. Because He wrought out our redemption it is complete and perfect. Raised from the dead, not held by death but bursting forth, leading captivity captive, He is the Firstborn and to Him belongs all Glory and Power. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. xv:20). By His glorious resurrection He became the Firstfruits. All who believe in Him will rise too by virtue of being one with Him, who is the Resurrection and the Life. The mighty power of God which raised Him from the dead and seated Him in the highest place, at His own right hand, that exceeding greatness of His power is towards us, who believe. That power has quickened us with Christ, raised us up together and seated us in the heavenly. In some future day that mighty power, which raised Him so that He became the Firstfruits will raise all the saints to meet Him in the air.
"And again, when He bringeth in the Firstbegotten into the world, He saith, and let all the angels of God worship Him" (Heb. i:6).
God will bring the Firstbegotten back to this earth again. This is a very strong passage revealing the second coming of Christ to this earth. The same blessed Person, who walked on this earth as man, who is Emanuel, God with us, who died on the cross for our sins, who became the Firstbegotten from the dead, the Firstfruits of them that slept, He who is now as Man in Glory, the same Person, the Firstbegotten, will be brought back to this world by the power of God. Then worshipping angels will be His attendants and He will bring His Saints with Him.
"For whom He foreknew, He also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren" (Romans viii:29). Conformed to the glorious image of God's ever blessed Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the destiny of all, who have cast themselves as lost sinners upon Christ and have been saved by Grace through faith. It is true even now by beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord we are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. iii:18). It is true if we abide in Him, we shall walk even as He walked (1 John ii:6). The exhortation in our great salvation Epistle is, not to be conformed to this age, but to be transformed, or as it might be translated, transfigured (Rom. xii:2). But to be fully conformed to the image of His Son is never to be expected in this world, where sin is ever present; When the Firstbegotten calls us into His own presence, when the Heir of God summons His beloved co-heirs to meet Him and to enter with Him into the blood-bought inheritance, then each saved sinner will be conformed to the image of Himself. Each will shine forth the excellencies of the Firstbegotten. We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. Hallelujah! This is why God gave up His Son, that He might be able to lift those who are His enemies by wicked works into the Sonplace and make them like His Son in Glory.
"Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the degree; the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee" (Ps. ii:6-7). In this prophecy He is likewise seen as the Firstbegotten. It does not mean the eternal Son of God, for as such He had no beginning, but the day in which He was begotten is the third day when He was raised from the dead. Paul gives us this truth when He spoke to the Jews in Antioch and said: "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee" (Acts xiii:33). Up to this time He is not yet enthroned upon the holy hill of Zion. When He returns as the Firstbegotten and finds the nations of the earth not converted, but in opposition to Him (Ps. ii:1-3), He will become the King and take His throne.
"Also I will make Him my Firstborn, higher than the Kings of the earth" (Ps. lxxxix:27). This reveals the exalted station, which He will assume, when His blessed feet touch this earth again. He will be the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.
This is the Glory of the Firstborn, the loving Sinbearer who endured the cross and despised the shame. He is the Heir of God, the Heir of all things, the Head of all principality and power, the Head of His redeemed people, the church. He that filleth all in all, the Firstborn, will share His glorious title and possessions with His redeemed. The church to which God's marvelous Grace has brought us is the church of the Firstborn. (Heb. xii:23), because the Firstborn is the Head and beginning and those who are begotten again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead have their portion with the Firstborn. Oh! glorious future we have as His redeemed people! God our Father, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Thy Holy Spirit, keep the Glory of Thy Son, the Firstborn, before our hearts, that we may be changed into the same image and overcome in these dark and evil days. Amen.
Soon shall our eyes behold Thee With rapture, face to face; And, resting there in glory, We'll sing Thy pow'r and grace: Thy beauty, Lord, and glory, The wonders of Thy love, Shall be the endless story Of all Thy saints above.
The Waiting Christ.
WAITING for the coming of the Lord is one of the blessed characteristics of true Christianity. In the parable of the ten virgins the three great marks of a true believer are stated by our Lord. These are: Separation, indicated by the virgins having gone forth. Manifestation, they had lamps, which are for the giving of light, and Expectation, they went forth to meet the Bridegroom. With five of them it was only an outward profession. The foolish virgins are the type of such who are Christians in name only and do not know the reality of these characteristics. The Lord knew them not. These three characteristics are seen in Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians. That model assembly was composed of such members who possessed these three things. They had turned to God from idols (separation); they served the true and the living God (manifestation); they waited for His Son from heaven (expectation), 1 Thess. i:9, 10. The same is revealed in the epistle to Titus. "For the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men." That Grace accepted separates unto God.
"Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world." This is manifestation. The Grace of God enables us to live thus. "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Here we have expectation. Other similar passages could be quoted. If we divide the New Testament Scriptures into three parts we have the same order. In the Gospels the Grace of God in the Son of God appeared. In the Epistles we are taught how to manifest Him by walking in the Spirit. The great New Testament prophetic book, the Revelation, looks on towards His Coming. And how His Coming is forgotten! How few of His people truly wait for Him! How few pray that important and almost forgotten prayer, Even so, Come Lord Jesus! But we must also remember that our Lord is likewise waiting. Innumerable multitudes of disembodied spirits who are saved by Grace are waiting in His own presence for the moment when they will receive their resurrection bodies, which will be when He descends from Heaven and comes into the air. The faithful remnant of His people on earth wait for His Coming. Israel and all creation wait for Him as well as the unseen beings in the Heavenly. But He Himself is waiting. This is the testimony of the Word of God. First it is the subject of prophecy. In the brief but great 110th Psalm that waiting is predicted. The Christ, who is so often seen in the Psalms and in the Prophets as King, ruling in His earthly kingdom, whose glories in that rule are so blessedly described, is seen in the beginning of that Psalm seated at the right hand of God; this heavenly place will be occupied by Him till His enemies are made His footstool. How the Holy Spirit witnessed to this fact at once after His descent on the day of Pentecost is more fully revealed in the second chapter of Acts. In Hebrews x:13 we read of His waiting attitude in heaven. "But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool." The better word for expecting is "waiting." We may well emphasize the word "Man." Our blessed Lord is not in the presence of God as a Spirit Being, but He is there in the form of Man. The blessed body He had on earth, which He gave on the cross and which laid in the tomb could not see corruption. He was raised on the third day. He ascended in that glorified body into heaven and He is on the right hand of God as Man, in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Just one Man is there in Glory. But oh! what it means! He is the Head of His body, the church and in the future all His redeemed people will possess glorified bodies, like unto His glorious body. No wonder the enemy ever aims at the denial of the Lord's bodily presence. From many pulpits it is declared to be "too material." The denial of this great truth, the Man in glory, is a denial of the entire Gospel. It is at this the enemy strikes.
As the glorified Man on the Father's throne He is waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. This does not mean, as so many believe and teach, that the Lord Jesus Christ is waiting till His enemies are gradually overcome, till the church on earth succeeds in converting the whole world. It does not mean that. His enemies will be made His footstool in a far different way. It will be a sudden event. All His enemies will be humbled, all things will be subjected under His feet at the time of His second Coming. As there was an appointed time by the Father for His first Coming, so is there an appointed time for His second Coming, when the power of God and His own power will triumph over all His enemies. As He is in His redemptive work subject to the Father, therefore is He waiting for that hour. Then the Father will bring in the firstbegotten into the world (Heb. i:6) and He will receive the nations for His inheritance (Psalm ii).
He is waiting for this great event. But He is also waiting for His co-heirs, which constitute the church. The church, His body, must be first completed as to numbers before the hour can come in which His enemies are made His footstool.
He is patiently waiting for that moment. John speaks of that when he calls himself "a companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ" (Rev. i:9). Centuries have come and gone since He took that place upon the Father's throne, unseen by human eyes, and during all this time, while the calling out of the church proceeded, He has waited patiently. Some day His waiting will come to an end. His church will be completed and then He Himself arises from His seat and descends to that place in the air, where He will meet His own, for whom His loving heart yearns so much. What a moment that will be at last! Then His waiting as well as His patience will be ended and He will receive His kingdom and be crowned Lord of lords and King of kings. No longer will He then be unseen, but His Glory will flash out of heaven and He Himself will be manifested in Glory. Then the world can reject Him no longer but must accept His righteous rule in which His redeemed people will share. What child of God does not wish this to be soon, very soon. Oh that we might cry more earnestly, more in the Spirit, yes, incessantly, "Come Lord Jesus."
But while He waits and the hour has not yet come we must wait as He waits on the throne. To the Thessalonians who had listened to teachers who judaized the blessed hope, fearing they were facing the day of the Lord with its tribulation and wrath, the Apostle wrote: "And the Lord direct your hearts in the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ" (2 Thess. iii:5). But we must not only wait patiently for Him but also wait with Him. He is the rejected One. The world cast Him out. As the rejected One He waits in patience for the hour of His triumph and His Glory. This place of rejection is our greatest privilege to share. And where is He more rejected than in that which calls itself by His Name! To bear His reproach in these closing days of this present age is our blessed opportunity. To suffer with Him, if not for Him, should be that for which our hearts should long, yea, pray. And we will be glad to be rejected with Him, to be nothing at this present time, to have fellowship with His sufferings, if He as the patient waiting Lord is ever before our hearts.
At the close of the one hundred and tenth psalm stands a word, which we should also remember.
"He shall drink of the brook in the way, Therefore shall He lift up the head."
It has puzzled many readers what this saying might mean. It speaks to our hearts of His humiliation and exaltation. One thinks at once of the three hundred of Gideon and how they stooped down to drink. The brook is the type of death. He drank of the brook in the way. His way was from Glory to Glory, and between were His sufferings. And, therefore, He shall lift up the head. Wherefore, God has highly exalted Him. May we all, dear readers, follow in His path and suffer with Him; ere long in His triumph and glory we shall triumph and glory.
"And if children then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. viii:17-18).
A Vision of the King.
ONE of the most blessed occupations for the believer is the prayerful searching of God's holy Word to discover there new glories and fresh beauties of Him, who is altogether lovely. Shall we ever find out all which the written Word reveals of Himself and His worthiness? This wonderful theme can never be exhausted. The heart which is devoted to Him and longs through the presence and indwelling of the Holy Spirit to be closer to the Lord, to hear and know more of Himself, will always find something new and precious. The Holy Spirit can do this and reveals to our hearts from the inexhaustible Word of God the Glory of Him, whom to exalt the Spirit has come. Much depends on how we desire just Himself. And Christ alone and the heart knowledge of Himself can satisfy the believer, who has His life and is one Spirit with the Lord
"O Christ Thou art enough The heart to satisfy."
Soon we shall see Him, whom we contemplate now in faith. Soon we shall be in His own glorious presence and look upon that face, which was once marred and smitten, but which now shines out Heaven's and the Father's Glory.
The kingly Glory of our blessed Lord is one of the great themes of the Bible. The Man of humiliation, who here on earth walked in dependence on God, who did His will, suffered and died is now in the Father's presence and on the right hand of the Majesty on high. There He sat down with His Father in His throne, waiting for the moment when His work as the Priest and Advocate of His beloved people on earth is accomplished, and when the Father will establish Him as King, when He will receive the kingdom. Alas! that all this glory, which belongs to Him and which is still future, His Kingship, His kingly glory and rule, as it must be some day, is so unknown and even disowned in Christendom. It is but the uncovering of the condition of the heart of the great majority of professing Christians. They may talk of religion, of great reform movements, of service to mankind, world progress, but the Christ of God in all His Glory, past, present and future, has little attraction. Far different it is with the heart which knows Him and has given Him the place He is worthy of, the first place. That heart delights to meditate on all His Glory and longs for the time when He will appear, and when at last, crowned with many crowns, He will assume His righteous rule. Great is our joy and delight when we follow through the Scriptures His earthly life so full of His moral Glory. Or when we think of Him as He died for us and bore in His own body on the tree our sins; we praise Him for His mighty Love. But what joy to think of Him as coming at last into that which belongs to Him the Lord of Glory, by right of redemption, when He will take possession of this earth and claim its Satan ruled kingdoms for His own. Then it will be true, "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Then the Seraph's song will be realized, "The whole earth is full of His Glory."