Christian Treasury: Volume 4

Table of Contents

1. Editorial
2. Partaking of the Divine Nature
3. Genesis 24 - The Call
4. Propitiation and Substitution
5. Profession
6. Consider Him
7. Be Kind
8. Like Christ
9. The Vessel Emptied of Human Strength
10. Wolves and Lambs
11. The End or Purpose of the Lord
12. Think
13. Bible Challenger-01-January V.04: An Object Found in a Desert, Easily Identified
14. Bible Challenger-00-December Answers to V.03
15. Faith
16. Editorial
17. Shall We Know Each Other in Heaven?
18. The Rapture and the Appearing of Christ
19. Self-Occupation and Self Judgment
20. God Himself
21. Peter and John
22. An Entirely New Fashion
23. The Beauty of Progressive Teaching of the Book of Numbers
24. The Levites: Numbers 4:1-35
25. Questions Love Should Ask
26. Bible Challenger-02-February V.04: What Identifies the Source of Salvation's Wisdom
27. Bible Challenger-01-January Answers V.04
28. The Violent
29. Editorial
30. Patience and Wisdom
31. Companionship
32. Manifestation - When?
33. Fellowship
34. Regeneration - New Birth
35. Grace through Sacrifice
36. Sitting
37. His Tears!
38. Abiding Joy
39. Apostolic Succession
40. Search for Hidden Treasures
41. Bible Challenger-03-March V.04: The Measure of Our Inward Nourishment or Our Outward Actions
42. Bible Challenger-02-February Answers V.04
43. Questions and Answers: The Holy Ghost in Christendom?
44. Editorial
45. Heaven Opened
46. Heaven
47. Prophecy Fulfilled
48. God in the Vessel
49. Testing in Circumstances
50. The Sword and the Bow
51. Paul and Felix
52. Bible Challenger-04-April V.04: A Personal Protection Spoken to Someone Who Needed Protection
53. Bible Challenger-03-March Answers V.04
54. John's Epistles
55. Bits and Pieces: Divine Nature; Truth; Conscience; Conversion
56. Editorial
57. The Spirit's Teaching
58. The Life of Faith
59. The Peace of God
60. Dispensational Dealings
61. The Shepherd's Voice
62. The Day Is at Hand
63. Christian Love
64. Ministry
65. Redemption - New-Birth Growth
66. Questions and Answers: Speaking Against the Holy Ghost?
67. Bible Challenger-05-May V.04: What Should Accompany Us as We Enter the Lord's Gates
68. Bible Challenger-04-April V.04
69. The Six One Things
70. The Lord Is Coming
71. Editorial
72. Observation
73. A New Creation
74. Questions and Answers: The Church Hid in the Field or in God?
75. To Sunday School Teachers
76. The Lord Jesus as a Youth
77. Things We Know in First John
78. Memorial.
79. The King's Dream
80. The Untrodden Way
81. By Their Fruits
82. Bible Challenger-06-June V.04: What the Heart Naturally Desires
83. Bible Challenger-05-May V.04
84. Self-Occupation
85. Reality
86. Editorial
87. Like Christ
88. Three Looks
89. Hannah's Prayer
90. Being before God
91. Gospel: Positive Blessing
92. The Weapons of Our Warfare
93. I Am With You
94. Fear Thou Not
95. Resource in Last Days
96. Am I Walking With God
97. Bible Challenger-07-July V.04: The Place Where Understanding the End of Painful Things May Be
98. Bible Challenger-06-June Answers V.04
99. Little in Thine Own Sight
100. Editorial
101. Waiting and Watching
102. The Remnant of Israel
103. With a Diamond Cutter
104. Two Golden Days
105. Jehoshaphat's Alliance
106. Peace with God
107. The Olive Tree
108. Occupied With Christ
109. Practical Righteousness
110. The Depressed Servant
111. Bible Challenger-08-August V.04: The Day When Our Sealing Will Be Finished
112. Bible Challenger-07-July Answers V.04
113. Real Evidence
114. Editorial
115. Looking at Him
116. Treasure in Earthen Vessels
117. Refreshing Waters
118. Garden of Delights
119. Waters of Marah
120. Overwhelming Power
121. Two Houses
122. A Great Principle
123. He Oft Refreshed Me
124. The True Nature of Prayer
125. Questions and Answers: "The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace?"
126. Bible Challenger-09-September V.04: The Measure of Blessing Requested By a Prophet of a Prophet
127. Bible Challenger-08-August V.04
128. Ephesians 5:14
129. Editorial
130. A Covenant
131. Law and Grace
132. Law and Grace
133. Colossians 1
134. Man as a Child of Adam
135. Giving up
136. “Let Us" in Hebrews
137. The Returned Shunammite
138. Kept
139. A Gem from the Seventeenth Century
140. The Typical Bride: Genesis 24Gen 24
141. The Confederacy - the Child
142. Bible Challenger-10-October V.04: Something God-Given, to Be Kept With All Diligence
143. Bible Challenger-09-September Answers V.04
144. Getting Peace
145. Psalm 23
146. Instruments of Song
147. Editorial
148. His Compassions
149. Loving God
150. The Neglected Word?
151. The Prophecy of Isaiah
152. Jeremiah
153. The Two Eagles and the Vine
154. The Solitary Way
155. Bible Challenger-11-November V.04: Those of Old Who Embraced Something Afar Off
156. Bible Challenger-10-October Answers V.04
157. Potters
158. The Authority of the Son of Man
159. Editorial
160. Habakkuk
161. Visions
162. The Unseen World
163. Search for Hidden Treasures
164. Notices of Coming Glories
165. Barnabas: a Levite
166. Are You Happy?
167. Bible Challenger-00-December V.04: The Christian's Hope of Future Seeing Accomplishes Here and Now
168. Bible Challenger-11-November Answers V.04
169. Obey - Observe - Occupy
170. The Authority of the Son of Man
171. Days

Editorial

That we should reach the year 1989 surprises some of us. In just eleven more years, the number will be 2000. When we add to this the 4000 years B.C., the number becomes 6000. All this magnifies the long-suffering patience of God with His rebellious creature, man.
In various ways and in different dispensations, God has worked to bring blessing to man. God is rich in mercy and does not desire to judge, but those who reject His Word and choose their own willful way, He will judge.
This dispensation, which we call the grace of God, has been longer than any other. God tested man in Innocence, under Conscience, Authority, Promise, Law and now Grace. Finally, there will be the kingdom of 1000 years.
With these figures before us, we now turn to what Peter wrote in his second Epistle. "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." The next verse says, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness: but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Peter heard the Lord speak those words recorded in John 14, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where 1 am, there ye may be also." This is a promise and as Peter writes. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise." No, the Lord is waiting His own time and He will come on time. Just as certainly as He came on time the first time, so He will the second time. Gal. 4:4 tells us, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.”
The end of Gen. 1 states, "And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Gen. 2 goes on to say, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.”
To draw together these verses in Genesis about creation with what we have written concerning the dispensations, we call attention to Acts 15:18. "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." It is James that makes this remarkable observation just after he quotes from the prophet Amos. Amos closes with a wonderful prophecy about the kingdom, the 1000 years.
We conclude that God at the very beginning of His book, in the six days of creation and then the seventh day of rest, is presenting to us a figure or picture of these 6000 years—a day in His sight as 1000 years. Following this will be 1000 years when Christ has all under His control as a Man who is God manifest in the flesh. Righteousness will reign and God will have His rest as He sees a perfect Man in full control of a perfect government on the earth.
With these thoughts in mind, we surely are interested in our calendar, but hasten to say that we do not, we cannot set dates. We only desire to draw attention to the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again we would say that anyone who sets a date for the Lord to come beyond today is wrong in spirit.
Ed.

Partaking of the Divine Nature

Our partaking of the divine nature is a real thing. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." All are born of God. Christ is become our life. He is that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us. Hence it can be said, "Which thing is true in Him and in you." But that life was the light of men. Christ was the image of the invisible God.
This life was a true, moral, subsisting thing which could be communicated. There is a divine power in it which contains and unfolds all things that pertain to life and godliness. It is faith which lays hold, by the power of the Spirit of God, on that which is life—that is. Christ. We are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Christ is the Word—the expression and revelation of all that is in God, and we, in knowing Him, are renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us.
The Word, as a testimony, is the seed of life when brought into the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, because it is the revelation of Christ and the bringing in by that power of Christ living there. It is Christ, by the word, by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the operation being the operation of God. But it is by the revelation of Christ. Hence, we are said to be begotten by the incorruptible seed of the Word (1 Peter 1:23.) "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures." James 1:18. And so it is expressed here.
Grace and peace are to be multiplied "through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature." 2 Peter 1:2-4. Calling them to walk rightly where man already was is not a law to the flesh, but a call by glory and virtue to get on to this new place of peace in which Christ is. And to get there by the revelation of Him glorified, and the assurance of our portion in it.
By divine power it is livingly communicated to the soul. This is the glory of the divine nature in a man, into which we are to be formed. We are livingly formed by its revelation in the power of the Holy Spirit now. It is the real communication of the divine nature. Peter looks at it even in its affections, desires, and qualities as under the impress of the revelation of Christ rather than as the simple fact of life. But all Scripture tells the same truth. Every nature has its own character and knowledge by which it lives and is formed, its tastes, spirit, and objects which make it what it is. Its existence is the first and wonderful truth. Bible Treasury, Vol. 3

Genesis 24 - The Call

It has pleased God to give us in Abraham's history the fundamental principles of faith, in all the relations of man with God on the ground of pure grace, without law.
In chapter 22, we have a complete reference to Christ and His death. as the Lord Himself shows in John 8:56. Abraham offers up his son Isaac, and receives him back again through death "in a figure" (Heb. 11:19). This act represents in type the resurrection of Christ, who becomes, as Isaac was, the heir of all the goods of His Father, which He can now share with His bride. In this way Rebekah becomes a type of the Church, and, in answering the call, she is an example for each and every Christian.
We find scripture exalting the person of Christ, whether His fullness be portrayed in type and shadow, as in the Old Testament, or in Himself, as the sent one of the Father, as seen in the New, God manifest in flesh, dwelling among us here in this world.
In this chapter, Eliezer, a type of the Holy Ghost, is sent by Abraham to procure a bride for his only son. Isaac does not go himself, nor does Christ return from heaven to choose a bride. The bride must go to the land of promise.
As we trace Eliezer's path from the father's house to that distant land, and then escorting the bride back again across a lonely country, we see the features of the Holy Spirit's work, and the way in which a soul is conducted under His guidance. All the goods of his master are under his control, but they all belong to Isaac who is the heir.
Jewels and Presents
Notice how he was cast upon God from beginning to end, how he made known the greatness and glories of Isaac, giving Rebekah, in the jewels and presents, a foretaste of the joyous portion that lay before her. When the blessing is known, thanksgiving springs up from the gladdened heart of the servant, and is followed by the manifestation of entire and exclusive devotion to his errand. Do we not learn in this a leading principle in the Holy Spirit's operations? He does not act independently; all He does, and all He communicates, is by and from the Scripture of truth, and according to what is written therein.
As we follow the servant, we see the purpose of God carried out by the Holy Spirit, and we become familiar with the ways of Him who takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto us. At the same time He unfolds to us God's way of dealing with us, preparing our path and leading us into all truth, as we journey on to that blessed moment when we shall hear the Bridegroom's voice.
It is good to hear and to feel that God Himself is making everything ready beforehand, so that we have only to follow on in a path prepared by Him. But Rebekah herself must be tested. A proposition of delay is raised. Granted that she is to be for Isaac in the end, is it necessary that she should be for him now? Is there not room for an intervening period, during which the servant's guidance may be refused (and he surely grieved), while Rebekah weakly yields to the claims of nature, kindred and the world? Will Rebekah consent to this? What about the "ten days"?
The Ten Days
She has heard, has believed the servant's report concerning him, whom, not having seen, she loves. She judges Isaac worthy of a full and instant surrender of herself to the leading of his devoted servant. Beloved brethren, is there not a proposition of delay likewise made in our case? We are to be fully for our risen Lord, when resting with Him in glory, but what about the possible "ten days" of our sojourn in the scene of His past sorrow and present rejection? Very touchingly He told the Father (John 17), "I am glorified in them." Shall we not, under the constraint of His love, with Rebekah-like decision and promptness, yield ourselves up to the present guidance and control of the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to glorify the Lord Jesus, as He will surely do in and by us, if we do not oppose and grieve Him? It may well occur to our hearts in this connection, that Abraham's servant did not, could not, tell Rebekah how Isaac had "poured forth his soul unto death" that she might live and be his.
May our hearts, beloved brethren, impel us to this blessed, instant subjection, while we await His very near coming for us! For we have not only the bright prospect of heaven before us, but the Lord says, "Surely I come quickly."
Bridal Affections
He Himself is coming to take us into the Father's house. The Spirit says, "Come." What is the spontaneous response of our hearts? Does not the bride say, "Come"? Have we individually the bridal affections, produced by the Holy Spirit, which can join in the Spirit's cry, and say, "Even so, come. Lord Jesus"? May it be so with us! As it has been said by another, "The Christian who is not spiritual, but rather worldly. has a sorrowful lot; if his heart hangs back from following the Lord, he is unhappy; the spiritual things which ought to have constituted his joy produce reproaches in his heart when he turns towards them." But we have the grace of Him who calls us, and who leads us, if we are faithful, in a uniform path, "for His name's sake." And how bright the future, to be forever with the Lord! W. Lowe CI

Propitiation and Substitution

When speaking of "propitiation," we could not say that "Christ has propitiated for the sins of the whole world." as some have stated, because we do not find it in Scripture. It is blessedly true that "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the whole world." The words, "the sins or are in italics, because they are not in the text. (1 John 2:2.) If He had propitiated for the sins of the whole world, then all the world would be saved, which we know is not the truth. But His being a propitiation, or mercy-seat, available to all men, is a different idea from His having propitiated God for the sins of the whole world. Propitiation is the Godward side of Christ's sacrifice. With it God is satisfied. Its value is infinite.
No doubt Jesus is "the Savior of the world," both of Jew and Gentile, and that He "died for all," "gave Himself a ransom for all," tasted "death for every man," so that the gospel is preached to every creature, and His work is available to all, on the principle of faith, who avail themselves of it. "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (See 1 John 4:14; 2 Cor. 5:15; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; Rev. 22:17.)
When, however, the subject in Scripture is sin bearing, the language used is not all, but many. His blood was "shed for many for the remission of sins"; He bore "the sins of many." When writing to believers, the inspired statements are, He "bare our sins," He "died for our sins," and He was "made sin for us." This is something more than propitiation, it is substitution—the spotless Son of God in death under the judgment of God for sin—the death of the cross for—others. Substitution is the actual judgment of personal sins and iniquity on another, and thus, gone forever. The believer therefore can say, "I am crucified with Christ.... Who loved me and gave Himself for me," and washed me from my sins in His own blood. God too is so satisfied with the work of Jesus for us, that He says, "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (See Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:20; Rev. 1:5.) C.H. Mackintosh

Profession

The profession of Christianity in distinction to the law is, that God has spoken from heaven by His Son— the Apostle of our profession, and that we now have a High Priest in heaven who has, while on earth, accomplished eternal redemption by His own blood-shedding.

Consider Him

The superiority of man over other creatures is in mind and heart. The angels excel in strength but it is never said that they are made in the image of God. Man's heart is very large and there is only One who can fill it. When the Lord is before us, we have One who can and does fill the heart and mind.
Heb. 3:1-6 and 12:1-3 bring the Lord before us in two different ways, perhaps three. He is brought before us in many ways in Scripture, sometimes in His eternal glory, then again in His manhood, then back to glory. His glory is great, and His glories are many. Joseph's father loved him and made him a coat of many colors. Apply this, in type, to the Lord Jesus who has personal glories, and glories that have been given Him.
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling." How much there is in these few words! "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (confession), Christ Jesus." His apostleship was on earth; His high priesthood is in heaven. Let us consider these two things. What is our confession? It is that God is known, is revealed, is no longer concealed, no longer in darkness. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." In 1 John 4, we get "God is love" twice, but in the first chapter it is "God is light." The next thing is, where God is; that is, "in the light." Then as to our confession, it is walking "in the light." He told the prophets of old a great deal about Himself, but when He is revealed, it is alone in the Person of His Son (John 1:18).
The Apostle
In the first chapter of Hebrews where we have the Lord as the Apostle of our confession, it begins: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us" in the Person of "His Son." See what it says now that our attention has been called to that Person. "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Such is our confession, of which the Lord is the Apostle. What a subject for consideration!
The High Priest
The High Priest brings Him before us in heaven, as the One who is qualified to sustain us in the circumstances of faith. He is the One who lives within the veil and is touched with the feelings of our infirmities.
His advocacy is another thing. It is the grace which restores our souls if we wander and sin. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1. Here it is the Lord as restorer of our souls. He brings the soul back into communion of the relationship into which we have been brought.
His high priestly service is His sustaining us in the midst of difficulties, and we are exhorted to consider Him in this capacity. In chapter 5 of Hebrews, the priesthood is the position to which He has been called, and there He sustains us. How precious that makes the Lord to us—He who has felt what we feel, has entered into all that we pass through. Do we know what it is to consider the Lord in this way? It is a wonderfully sustaining truth in sorrow to know Him who lives in sympathizing love for us.
He occupies a position in the house of God. God has a house on the earth. "That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God." God's dwelling place on earth is in the midst of His people. The place that the Lord Jesus occupies in the house is not as a servant in the house, but He is a Son over it. Moses was a servant in it and was faithful to Him who called him. The Lord Jesus is a Son over the house, and "faithful to Him that appointed Him." We get Him in Revelation, chapters 1-3, as Son over the house in the addresses to the churches. "I have not found thy works perfect before God," etc. Here it is the Lord maintaining what is becoming to the house of God. The Beginner and Completer of Faith Who Endured In Heb. 12 we find the Lord, not as Apostle, not as High Priest, but as what? The beginner and completer of faith. He began and completed that path in all perfection. How far is it our habit to consider the Lord in the path of faith?
In these three ways we are called upon to consider Him; as Apostle, as High Priest, and as beginner and completer of faith "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." This is very precious. He was sustained in that path of faith. What sustained Him? That which was at the end—"who for the joy," etc. What can sustain us in the path of faith filled with difficulties from beginning to end? One way to be overcome is to get occupied with the difficulties. We need to look at Him and to "consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest." etc. If we get occupied with the circumstances, we faint in our minds; we need an object before us.
Paul said. "If by any means I might obtain." The object was before him. In going up a steep hill, if the mind gets occupied with something else, one is soon there. Keep the eye on an object, and the heart is sustained. If we go back to the first chapter in Hebrews, we find Him at the right hand of the Majesty on high. This is another viewpoint. With these few thoughts before us, let us consider Him: the Apostle, High Priest, and the One who endured lest we be weary and faint in our minds. Long or short, the way is difficult. What enables us to surmount the difficulties is to consider that One who has gone before and has reached the goal. W. Potter

Be Kind

“When they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?" John 21:15.
The moment that the Lord chose for this question appears to carry a great lesson for us. Supposing a brother goes astray and backslides a little. Do you know the way to restore him? Would you go and tell him that he has slipped away? That will not do him much good. Very likely if you were to say to him, "Brother, come and have a cup of coffee with me," and then talk to him about the Lord, that would help him.
After the seven disciples had been fishing all night and had caught nothing, Flo doubt they were cold, hungry and disappointed. What does the Lord do? He says, "Come and dine." They get both warmth and food. Do you know a spiritually cold and consequently hungry brother? Feed and warm him with spiritual food. The great thing for you and me to do is to warm him. He needs cherishing and nourishing, warmth and food. It is always put this way in Scripture. "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church." Eph. 5:29. What is the meaning of nourishing and cherishing? It is food and warmth. I am quite sure if we took this way, the Lord's way, with a saint that has gone a little astray, we should do real shepherding work. If we try to get such into our homes, give them food and drink and then speak about the Lord, we then will be able to help them. We minister to their soul's need, and recover and restore them. It is a great thing to be able to restore a person, and the way in which Peter is here restored is very touching. I am fully persuaded that this story, as related by John, is given with deep intent of God for our instruction and profit. Christian Truth

Like Christ

The Christian's rule of life is to be like Christ—the only rule he has—and we find the details of it in Scripture. We have to seek such power of Christ over the affections, that we are longing to be like Him. There is joy in that kind of activity, the heart growing naturally like Him in real spiritual diligence— occupied with Him. Not satisfied with merely avoiding evil, but being occupied with Christ, the heart is full of Christ. Then evil looks like evil—you see it in its true character.

The Vessel Emptied of Human Strength

The history of Paul in 2 Cor. 11, might clothe him with honors and give grounds for him to boast, but chapter 12 gives us a dealing of the Lord which reduced him to "nothing.”
No doubt it was necessary that the leading man in the Christian course should be introduced into things which it was not lawful to reveal. It was necessary, too, to strengthen him in a special way—giving him to realize, above others, what was the portion of all: the possible state for every saint to enjoy, though in the state of things unspeakable also. But to follow this, the discipline came which had the effect of emptying Paul of every vestige of human strength. It reduced him to the condition of a will-less, powerless vessel, so that he might be fitted to be wielded and used by the hand of the Lord who did so.
“It is not," he said, "expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third heaven.
The Third Heaven
And I knew such a man... how he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities [weaknesses].” Here was the realization given him of all that he was, both as a man in Christ, and of the sphere of blessing where his portion lay. The measure of this common portion of all His saints may be realized variously by each one. Each, too, may minister in part of that which he consciously possesses. But if so, the special dealings of God ensue to check the evil of the flesh, which according to the measure of the revelation rises in proportion to its abundance.
This discipline is suited and adapted to each and every soul. This, I am sure, is the reason why all speculations as to what was the nature of Paul's thorn in the flesh end in nothing. God has wisely seen fit to leave it untold. Were it made known, we would have perhaps decided that it was not ours, and then have left it there. To have left it untold, gives us to see that there was a great principle of God's dealings seen in this man's case, but applicable to all.
Natural Tendency
Each would have his suited "thorn": the very thing that would counteract his natural tendency, and so act to strip him of every pretension to power and break any fancied strength of man.
We see this on every hand and we see it better in our own soul's history. Another is not always permitted to know the secret thorn which rankles in the breast. We would often give the world to remove it before we know the "end of the Lord." He presses home the "stake" which pins us to the earth, as it were, in very powerlessness. You see this at times, for instance, in incongruous marriages. The soul is worn away, especially in a sensitive, spiritual mind, and there is no earthly power which can change the sorrow and heavenly deliverance is withheld.
Again, there is a child whose conduct breaks the heart of a parent. Every measure fails to deal with him, and the "thorn" rankles deeply in the wounded heart. It may be that some disgrace is permitted to which the soul feels that death were easier to bear.
It may be that slander has stung the soul with deeper pain. There may be, too, some human weakness which renders the afflicted one an object of pain to those who love him, or of ridicule to others.
To Curb the Energy
Such as these, and the many sorrows of the way are used of God as the "thorn" to curb the energy, to break the strength of "man." Circumstances, friends, relations, health, good name, all are touched by Wisdom in this holy discipline of the soul.
These things in the hand of God are like the riverbanks which on either side guide the stream of water which flows between them. They render the water useful and fruitful, which, if flowing onwards without these guides, would devastate all around instead of bearing a blessing with it. How often have we thought what good Christians we might have been if circumstances were different, in short, if the banks which carry the river were broken down. No, these are the wise dealings of our God to keep us just in the channel and path where we are, to shine and to glorify Him.
Like Paul of old, when the "stake" was driven home, we may cry to God, even three times, as he did: Take away this thorn, this terrible hindrance to the work of Christ, this feebleness of the vessel, this sapping of energy, this hindrance to service, this cruel "stake" from which the soul struggles in vain to be free. But no, there it remains until we find, in the acceptance of its bitterness, the occasion of a strength which is not of man, but the emptying us of fancied human power. We learn our powerlessness; we feel that struggling is in vain. Here the secret of strength is found, but not of man, not our own.
The Secret of Strength
Then the Lord comes in. He finds the vessel bereft of strength, prepared for that power with which He can wield it. He finds that condition which it is His to use. "And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength [power] is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities [weaknesses], that the power of Christ may rest upon me." The excellency of the power is of God, and not from us. F.G. Patterson

Wolves and Lambs

A gentleman who was visiting a large sheepfold noticed the owner seemed greatly discouraged. He asked him the reason. The shepherd answered: "The wolves entered the flock last night and caught sixty-five of my loveliest lambs.”
“And how many sheep were killed?" asked the visitor.
The shepherd looked at him with an air of astonishment: "Do you not know that a wolf will never take a sheep if he can seize a lamb?”
Let us keep watchful guard over our children.

The End or Purpose of the Lord

"Ye... have seen the end of the Lord."
James 5:11JAM 5:15
The Lord always has an "end" or object in view in all that befalls His people, particularly when sicknesses and similar troubles come upon them. It is exceedingly important that we have that fact firmly established in our hearts, for if we know "the end of the Lord," it will enable us to pass even more joyfully through the period of trial. And the more firmly we are convinced of the fact, the lighter the trial will seem and the shorter its duration.
The Apostle Paul, in his unparalleled afflictions, knew that "the end of the Lord" was a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." With that prospect in view, his present affliction seemed to be light as to its character, and for a moment as to its duration. (2 Cor. 4:17, 18.)
There is a great difference between looking for the end of the trial and looking for "the end of the Lord." It is natural to be looking for the former, and if the trial is a sickness, then the usual thing is to send for a doctor and take remedies in order to escape it. However, we are expected to take care of these bodies we now have. But it takes faith to look for the "end of the Lord," for that is one of the things that are "not seen." "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb. 11:1.
The Lord's Purpose
In this connection it has occurred to me that the people of God rarely seek for, or even think of, the Lord's purpose in permitting affliction to fall on them. His purpose may be preventive as with Paul's thorn in the flesh or productive as in John 15, as well as corrective. Sometimes the saints of God suffer needless trials, diseases, and hastening of death, because of their ignoring one of the very plainest and one of the most practical lessons taught in the Word of God. It is certain that if we believed and acted upon the simple fact stated in James 5:11, we would in every trial and trouble of whatever nature, ask and diligently seek to learn, not how we can escape the trial, but what purpose does the Lord wish to accomplish by means of it? The end of the Lord is "for our good always." (Deut. 6:24.) His chastenings are invariably for our "profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness." No lesson of Scripture is more plainly taught than that, but how often do the people of God act in accordance with it? And who can say how much they lose through slighting and ignoring it?
How Much They Lose
The Apostle James in the verse from which we have quoted, sums up in a few words, the lesson of the extraordinary afflictions of Job saying, "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." That is, he emphasized the endurance Job had in the many things he suffered and what God purposed in it all.
This Scripture is very important. It refers back to the great Bible lesson given in the book of Job concerning human sufferings, and especially bodily sicknesses which are the most common of them all. It leads into the practical directions which the Lord has given to be followed by His people when ill. It carries us on to the effectual working of the "prayer of faith" as exemplified by Elijah, "a man subject to like passions as we are." He prayed until the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit which is the great "end of the Lord" who is the "husbandman [who] waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he [it] receive the early and latter rain." James 5:7. Rain is a symbol of God's blessing.
Like Plows and Harrows
We would remember that afflictions are like plows and harrows that prepare the soil by painful operations to receive the seed. The soil is put into condition to drink in the rain when it comes. "For the earth [or land] which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God." Heb. 6:7.
The reference in James 5:11 is the only allusion to the book of Job in the whole Bible, although Job's name is twice mentioned in Ezek. 14. Job, in all his explanations of his afflictions, attributed them to God's actions, but he did not recognize that God had any beneficent purpose in them. The only prospect of escape from them that Job could see was by death. The difference between Job's view and that of His three friends was that Job maintained that God sent evil upon men, just as He sent good, and that being God He had the right to do as He pleased with His own creatures. Therefore men must accept evil uncomplainingly just as they accept good at God's hands. Job's words to his wife state his views: "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips." Job 2:10.
Job maintained this until he had silenced his three friends.
Job's Three Friends
His friends maintained the contrary. They said that afflictions were punishments for sins and were always in exact proportion to the nature of the sins. By this argument it was made plain that Job, being the most afflicted of all men must be the most wicked of all men. The great discussion came to an end without any of the four men indicating that he had the faintest idea of the purpose of God, in spite of the many excellent things they said about God.
God's purpose in permitting afflictions is to bring the afflicted one into blessing through self-judgment, confession, and correcting of their ways. None of them had the faintest thought of the "end of the Lord" or that "the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." In all that those four men said about God, the words, love, mercy, kindness, goodness, compassion, pity and the like, did not once occur. Notwithstanding all their great thoughts about God, they did not know Him well. "Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord." Jer. 9:23, 24.
Elihu sums up Job's contention in chapter 33:9-11: "I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me. Behold, He findeth occasions against me, He counteth me for His enemy; He putteth my feet in the stocks, He marketh all my paths." That is, God did all these things arbitrarily, though Job was in his own eyes clean without transgression and innocent.
Elihu dismisses that view of the matter by saying briefly, "Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man." Then he proceeds to show that in all God's dealings with men, His purpose is to save them from going down to the pit, and to bring them into the light of the living. He showed that God first speaks to men once and twice, in a vision (there was no written Word then) and if that fails, He chastens him with pain upon his bed, perhaps with sickness that brings him "near unto the grave.”
Casual Happenings
Is it not strange that with only a few exceptions, the Lord's people fall into the error of Job? They are just as blind as he was to God's purposes in afflicting the children of men and especially His own people. With few exceptions they view their sicknesses as mere casual happenings, the ordinary mischances of life. It is sometimes expressed as the mysterious workings of an inscrutable Providence, the common vicissitudes of men to be endured patiently and certainly to be escaped from as soon as possible. There seems no regard whatever for the "end of the Lord.”
We often act as if we did not have any inspired "Interpreter" to tell us plainly the meanings of these things, One who will tell us that "the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." There is One to reveal the fact that He Himself "has found a ransom" in the Person of His own beloved Son. He will freely open the storehouse of His rich mercies to every man, saint, or sinner who will say, "I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not." Job 33:27.
It is no wonder the people of this world are blind to the purposes of God in permitting wars, diseases, and other grievous afflictions, seeing that God's own people are in darkness in regard thereto. How can we expect the unconverted to realize God's desire to save them, and expect them to hear the Interpreter, and count upon the merit of the Ransom when we ourselves are so blind to all this?
God's First Lesson
It does seem as if God's first—lesson to which the entire book of Job is devoted—were also His last, both to His own people and to the children of Also His Last men. As to the former, Elihu concludes his lesson with the words in Job 37:23: "Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: He will not afflict." In regard to the latter also it is written, "But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." Lam. 3:32, 33.
One may be inclined to ask, "Why did the Lord allow this?" But we know His ways are so much higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil." How often God's children have to learn the hard way. The old German saying is sure: "Who will not hear must feel." The gracious pleadings of the Lord pass by unheeded till each time it must be more plainly spoken. We see that first in Job 33:14, 15. Next by instruction in verse 16, and chastening in verses 19-22. Often He has to bring man up to the grave before He can tell him the gracious gospel of Christ and the glory of Christ. In many cases the one that is dealt with breaks down and gets saved. But even then some refuse to hearken so we read Prov. 1:24-31 and 29:1. "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded.... Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way.

Think

If you are in the habit of absenting yourself from the assembly of Christians, I pray you to ponder the matter before the Lord before you absent yourself again. Think of the pernicious effect of your absence in every way. You are failing in your testimony for Christ; you are injuring the souls of your brethren, and you are hindering the progress of your own soul in grace and knowledge. Do not suppose that your actions are without their influence on the whole church. You are this moment either helping or hindering every member of the body on earth.
C.H. Mackintosh

Bible Challenger-01-January V.04: An Object Found in a Desert, Easily Identified

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the name of an object once found in a desert, and which was easily identified by day or by night.
1. Something existing in pairs, but never seen when doing their stabilizing work.
2. Something unclean in itself, but which was sometimes used for purification.
3. Something that individually was of ordinary significance, but twenty in unison became a veritable wall.
4. The name given to one who wrought artistically (with blue and purple and scarlet) on fine linen.
5. The holy garment of the priesthood having a fruitful hem.
6. The process by which the covering of a noted entry was fabricated.
7. The first item to be seen when just inside the entry of number 6.
8. Something made of pure gold partly identifiable by its branches and flowers.
9. Something having a foot to be used by those having feet.
10. A priestly upper garment made from gold and linen with the colors of blue and purple and scarlet in artistic display.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-00-December Answers to V.03

1. Woe is unto me 1 Cor. 9:16
2. Once to die Heb. 9:27
3. New heavens and a new earth 2 Peter 3:13
4. Daughters of Jerusalem Luke 23:28
5. Engrafted word James 1:21
6. Ready to pardon Neh. 9:17
7. Followers of God Eph. 5:1
8. Unity of the Spirit Eph. 4:3
9. Look unto Me Isa. 45:22
10. Locusts and wild honey Mark 1:6
11. Yesterday, and to-day, and forever Heb. 13:8
“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and WONDERFULLY made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psa. 139:14

Faith

In Hebrews, faith is looked upon as an active principle of endurance and conduct, reliance on God's Word through grace for practice. In Romans, it is the ground on which we are justified, in virtue of Christ's work, the ground of peace. In the former it is the active-working faith of the saint in the latter the no-working faith of the sinner.

Editorial

The ships from the coast of Chittim referred to in Num. 24 are surely the mighty naval vessels of the West that are already seen and ready for use in that area. Chittim is the old name for Cyprus.
Many interesting changes in the national governments have recently taken place and with these changes there is the usual maneuvering for power-positions. Power in politics and power in military might and position arc highly regarded, It appears that Russia has abandoned her original conquest for Afghanistan in favor of seeking a better power-position in the eastern Mediterranean area. The Soviets have greatly increased their naval presence in Syria at the port of Tartus. Cyprus is straight west of Tartus. This has immense strategic impact and points toward Syria in their relentless desire to annihilate Israel.
The Israeli military do not question as to whether there will be war with Syria, they only ask when and how. This situation feeds on and aggravates itself because of the need of Israel to anticipate and preempt any Syrian blow. Naturally speaking, the great deterrents to a military explosion are the ships of Chittim as well as a superior but smaller Israeli military machine.
Why should we write of or he concerned with these things? First: because we know our God is in full control and that He is working out His own purposes to fulfill prophecy. In the end, God has determined to give the reins of government of this world to His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Prophecy lets us know of the great power in the West at the end time. It will be the revived Roman Empire. There will be the king of the South as a great power and there will be the king of the North, the Assyrian. At first the Assyrian will be a great power just north of Israel. Later it will be Russia. In addition to this there are the hordes of the East (Rev. 9:16). All these directions are from the land of Israel as the center.
Second: for us who now have the Bible, there is a direct statement to see, to pay attention to events around us. It says, "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains." Isa. 18:3. Also Matt. 24:32 clearly says, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree." The fig tree is a figure of Israel nationally. Although we are not of the company that will be known as "dwellers upon earth," yet we are still here and all events as they relate to Christ's glory are more than interesting to us. Before Christ takes the throne of the earth, He will have us with Him when He takes the inheritance in His saints (Eph. 1:18). The inheritance is every created thing. Many events take place on earth before this time, but we know of nothing necessary to take place before Christ comes for His Church. We expect Him soon but we are definitely interested in all that we see taking place in the area around Israel and even farther away, for "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Ed.

Shall We Know Each Other in Heaven?

Shall we know each other in heaven? It may astonish sonic of our readers to know that there is any confusion about this, but if they were asked to set forth from Scripture a solid explanation of the matter, they might be hard pressed to do it.
First, let us have it clearly before us that we are speaking of the time when all the saints will be at home in the Father's house, all in bodies of glory like unto Christ's. The subject of the knowledge of the souls and spirits of those who have already departed from this life to be with Christ is another matter. But the topic which we have chosen concerns not the unclothed state but the clothed state (spoken of in 2 Cor. 5), when we shall have our house which is from heaven—glorified saints in the glory with Christ.
There are not many express statements in Scripture on this subject, but there are enough that bear on it that we should not be in doubt.
Variety without Duplication
Perhaps one of the causes of lack of under-standing is the supposition that the saints in glorified bodies wilt be lost in one indistinguishable throng that all the redeemed will look alike and be alike. A little consideration will dissolve this misconception, for even in this world which we all recognize as greatly inferior to the heavenly scene, there is an infinite variety without duplication.
No two people look or act exactly alike. No fingerprints are alike in all the millions that the United States Bureau of Investigation has on file. No, not even in identical twins are they alike. Some such cases have been claimed to exist, but when examined carefully they were shown to differ. Those who have studied the blades of grass, the leaves of the trees, and the snowflakes, tell us the same variation is true. When man makes pins, needles, or other objects, they come out uniformly the same.
Since this creation is stamped by such infinite variety and lack of duplication, why should one suppose that the heavenly scene, "that which is perfect," will be otherwise. The deduction is unavoidable that there will be the same distinctions and personalities evidenced when we in bodies of glory will be with Christ. The "spiritual body" is not going to lack the distinctive individuality that has been in the "natural body." The chapter from which this last is quoted calls attention to various glories, even to saying "one star differeth from another star in glory." 1 Cor. 15:41. How could we suppose that the glorified body—the "spiritual body"—will lack personal identity which this body of our humiliation has possessed?
Were not Moses and Elijah distinguishable when displayed in the glory with Christ on the transfiguration mount? Was this only a mirage or an illusion? No, for Peter says, "we... were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2 Peter 1:16), whereby we had the Old Testament prophecy confirmed to us. Moses and Elijah were not phantoms, but the actual men who talked with Jesus and "spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem" (Luke 9:31).
Not Phantoms
They represent the heavenly side of the coming glory, just as Peter, James, and John in natural bodies portrayed the earthly side of the kingdom.
Furthermore, Moses and Elijah were not angels, nor did they appear as angels, for "there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias." Another point to discover here is that even those in natural bodies, such as Peter, James and John, needed no introduction to those in glorified bodies, although they had never seen them on earth.
Another scripture that deals with this subject and is irrefutable in combating the idea that we will not know one another in heaven is found in the second chapter of First Thessalonians: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy." vv. 19, 20. Not only will the Apostle Paul know those Thessalonian believers in the glory and they know him, but they are to be manifestly his joy and crown of rejoicing. They will be there as the evident trophies of Paul's labors at Thessalonica.
Trophies of Paul's Labors
And if this is true of the saints at Thessalonica, is it not to be true of all the saints who were saved through Paul's labors?
Why should only the saints in one locality be singled out for this place?
Surely it will be so in all of Paul's labors, and if of Paul, why not of all the saints who have labored and seen souls saved through their ministry? Is there not a similar thought in John's second epistle, where he says, "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward"? v. 8. John is speaking of his labors, and he hoped this "elect lady" would go on in the truth as he had taught her, so that he might have a full reward.
The Judgment Seat of Christ
This brings us to another point: what about the judgment seat of Christ where all the saints in glory will have their works reviewed by Him who knew and understood all their thoughts, motives, and deeds. We are very poor judges of our own doings, but there is One who knows the thoughts and intents of the hearts. We are to be manifested before Him when we are with and like Christ. The Lord whom we serve is going to reward each one of us according to His perfect wisdom and love. If there is no distinct personality of the saints, who is there to reward? And what is there to reward? Furthermore, there will be rewards that will be bestowed in common with other believers. This would necessitate the knowledge of each other.
There will be rewards that will be distinctly personal and individual, as with the stone in which there will be a new name which no one will know but the one receiving it (Rev. 2:17.) This will be for some personal devotedness to Christ that no one else knew of. It will receive His private commendation—a beautiful thing to anticipate as of something personal between the individual and the Lord.
Then there are those who will be made pillars in that day, that is, something that stands out for all to see. Surely the rewards will be commensurate with the devotedness to the Lord, and according to the trials that made it difficult. In Rev. 3:9 the Lord commends some who in great weakness held fast to His Word and did not deny His name. He says to these,
A Public Acknowledgment
"I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." Has this taken place yet? Will there not be a public acknowledgment of His approval of those who were faithful in the "day of small things" even though they were despised at the time by others? He is to make it plainly evident that they had His approval.
There is a similar thought in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi. The Lord had a special record made of those who feared Him and thought upon His name in the day of ruin. He says of them, "They shall be Mine... in that day when I make up My jewels." Then it will be seen who pleased God and who did not.
Another side to the judgment seat of Christ must also be considered. There are, sad to say, injustices and evil acts of Christians toward Christians now in this world.
Motives
Many of these have never been cleared or settled, nor will be until the coming judgment seat when all of our deeds pass in review before Him. Will there be no redress of such injuries?
Will the Lord not make it manifest what He saw and what He knew of the motives which were at work? We will all be happy to have these things cleared away then, for there will be no flesh in any of us. But how could all this take place if the saints in glory were one indistinguishable throng? After the rapture, and before the marriage of the Lamb, everything that could possibly sully one atom of glory will have been judged and cleared in His presence. In the light of this, how important it is to judge ourselves now before Him, and to walk with a pure conscience day by day!
It is sad to witness some Christians being involved in altercations and quarrels with other Christians and saying, "This will have to go to the judgment seat of Christ." Should we not judge it before the Lord NOW and where necessary, before our brethren too? And, if it should be done, make restitution now. It is a solemn thing for Christians to allow difficulties with other Christians which remain unresolved until the day of Christ.
When that which is perfect is come, then we shall know also as we are known (1 Cor. 13:10,12). We can little comprehend the wonders of those scenes into which we are soon to enter. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 Cor. 2:9.
Was it only for the Israelites that God said, as the end of the wilderness came into view: "Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness"? Deut. 8:2. Is there not an application for us as we too near the end of the wilderness journey? Shall we not review all His ways with us and shall they not magnify His grace and His goodness? Well can we sing with the poet:
I'll bless the hand that guided,
I'll bless the heart that planned,
When throned where glory dwelleth,
In Immanuel's land.
When we behold how His grace cared for us, and brought us safely to Himself amid all our failures, we shall praise Him as we should.
The story has been told of the eccentric preacher of old. Rowland Hill (of The Three Bidders fame) who was one day asked by his wife, "Rowland, do you think we will know each other in heaven?" He replied tersely. "Do you think we will be bigger fools there than we are here?" Surely we await the coming of "that which is perfect." P. Wilson

The Rapture and the Appearing of Christ

The rapture should not be confused with the appearing of Christ. Although the Lord comes out of heaven on both occasions, the rapture and the appearing of Christ are distinctly different. The rapture is when the Lord comes for His saints (John 14:2, 3.) At the appearing of Christ, He comes with His saints which were taken to glory at the rapture (Jude 14; Zech. 14:5.) The rapture could take place at any moment; the appearing of Christ will not happen until about seven years after the rapture.
The Lord comes secretly at the rapture, in a twinkling of an eye, whereas at His appearing He comes publicly and every eye shall see Him (1 Cor. 15:52 and Rev. 1:7.) In 1 Thess. 1:10, He comes to deliver the Church, but at His appearing He comes to deliver Israel as in Psa. 6:1-4. He comes in the air for His Church at the rapture because they are His heavenly people (1 Thess. 4:15-18.) At His appearing He comes back to the earth, the Mount of Olives, for Israel because they are His earthly people (Zech. 14:4, 5.)
At the rapture the Lord gathers His saints Himself, but He sends His angels to gather the elect of Israel at His appearing (1 Thess. 4:15-18; 2 Thess. 2:1 and Matt. 24:30, 31.) He takes the believers out of this world and leaves the wicked behind at the rapture (John 14:2, 3.) At His appearing the wicked are taken out of the world for judgment and the believers are left to enjoy blessing on the earth. The believers are those who have been converted through the gospel of the kingdom that will be preached during the tribulation (Matt. 13:41-43). At the rapture Christ comes to deliver His saints, or the Church, from the wrath to come, but at His appearing He comes to deliver the wrath. (1 Thess. 1:10 and Rev. 19:15)
Christ comes as the Bridegroom at the rapture to receive His bride, the Church, and at His appearing He comes as the Son of Man in judgment upon His rejecters (Matt. 25:6, 10 and 24:27, 28.) At the rapture He comes as the "morning star" which rises just prior to daybreak (Rev. 22:16.) At His appearing He comes as the "Sun of Righteousness," which is daybreak (Mal. 4:2.) At the rapture He comes without any signs because the Christian walks by faith and not by sight. However, at the appearing His coming will be surrounded by signs because the Jews seek a sign. In Scripture, the rapture is never referred to as a "thief in the night." The Lord's coming as a "thief in the night" is the appearing of Christ.
B. Anstey

Self-Occupation and Self Judgment

Many confound self-occupation with self-judgment. Seeing self-judgment to be right when we fail, they are found asking themselves where the one ends and the other begins.
Self-occupation is the bane of the soul. Man makes himself the center and chief object upon earth. This is self-occupation.
Self-judgment is the work of the Spirit of God. It is not His proper work, but often from our lack of watchfulness it is His necessary work. Without it, there is no way of return to the joy of communion when that communion is broken through sin. Self judgment, though right in its place is not communion; on the contrary, it is the confession that communion is lost. But is the only way back; it is medicine, not food.
To five daily with self ignored is the highest Christian condition. Here the Spirit of God is free to take Christ and put Him before me as my food. Here the soul is free to be occupied by and for Christ alone. The Apostle says. "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." It is the only right state for food. And, food is the sours appropriation of Christ, and feeding upon Him as ministered by the Spirit. He alone is the "living bread of life which came down from heaven," as John 6:56 says, "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him... (It is not the having done so once by faith. That is in verse 51, and is of the first importance.) Food is the daily need of the man. But how important to see that self-occupation is not food, and that self-judgment is not food, and how can I live or grow without food? H. C. Anstey

God Himself

Under the gospel dispensation, God has taken to Himself the attitude and title of "God our Savior," towards a world of poor, fallen sinners, displaying His grace in the salvation of the lost, on the ground, and through the virtues of the sacrifice of His Son. He is not willing that any should perish. His desire is that all should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. God Himself (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), are workers together to this end. Surely it is blessed to be in ever so feeble a manner, in the channel of divine thoughts, and workings. All this, too, is for Christ's glory—this is the ultimate aim and object of the divine mind.
The knowledge of God Himself is the highest attainment to which the soul can aim. It is this by which the saints grow and increase, so that they become, if learning, fathers in Christ, for they "know Him who was from the beginning." That is, they know Him who has revealed to us the heart and nature of God.

Peter and John

The two most prominent of the disciples at the Passover supper, Peter and John, were converted in different ways. John heard the word from John the Baptist.
“Looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God." John 1:36. He is ravished by the beauty of Jesus and attracted to His person. A little word is let out from John Baptist's heart and he follows Jesus. John Baptist began his ministry (and rightly so) with the terrible denunciations of coming judgment. The last two notes in John 1 as to the Person of Christ, attracted their hearts and God allows one of those men to tell you "it was about the tenth hour." Do you think God is indifferent to the day and the hour when a soul was brought to Him? No, for it is written of one here in the eternal Word of God.
When Peter was converted, it was different. Andrew went to Peter and brought him to Jesus and said, "We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." The results were very different in their path. You never find that the Lord had to tell John to follow Him, but He has to say to Peter, "Follow thou Me.”
There are the same distinctive marks in the character of their ministry. John is a true Kohathite, bearing golden vessels of the tabernacle, the Person of Christ. Peter never went beyond the Messiah made Lord and Christ. It is remarkable how his conversion gives a character to his ministry in his epistle and service. It is also true of John in his ministry, although on the other hand, the call of God does all. Still, the character may be much altered afterward which is encouraging to us.
Changed Characters
The men who gathered to David to the cave of Adullam had only sorry characters, yet they had fine characters when the kingdom was set up. Why? Because they remained with David. So the power of assimilation to the Lord will keep us in His presence and mend our characters.
“Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom He spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto Him, Lord, who is it?" John then, drawing more closely, gets the mind of Christ and this because he was leaning on His bosom. He did not draw near to get the mind, but because he was near he got the mind of the Lord.
“He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me." John 14:21. No matter how ignorant we may be, if we love Christ, we will get the intelligence of His mind and He will reveal Himself to us. Mary, in John 20, had little understanding, but she had a heart that could well nigh break itself for Christ. She got the manifestation of Himself as well as His commandments. To such hearts as these, He makes Himself known. Is your heart resting on His bosom? Is your ear open to hear His word? Are you so near that He communicates to you His mind?
Why do we go to another to solve a question? Because we feel that he is nearer to the Lord than we are. In Judas there was the habitual allowance of sin and this was the groundwork of his fall. It hardened his conscience. The Lord could not reveal His mind to the others until Judas had gone out. The presence of the traitor hindered the manifestation of His glory.
“A new commandment I give unto you." John 13:34. There are in other languages two words for "new." But in English we have only one. Suppose you see a man with a coat of an entirely new fashion and cut that never was seen before.

An Entirely New Fashion

We say, This is a new coat of entirely a new kind. But suppose you see an ordinary coat of new cloth.
There is many a coat like it; still in that sense it is new because it is new cloth. It is in the first sense that this word in verse 34 is used. "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you." This love is that which rose beyond and above every littleness and stupidity and failure of His disciples.
Do you seek to love each other as He did and in such a way that it will rise above every pettiness, every bitterness, every hindrance, "As Christ loved you"? Divine love is never thrown back and never changed by the unworthiness of its object. It is superior to everything. It is like a stream whose banks may for some distance be smooth, but when they become crooked and rocky, the same stream flows on and on, unchanged in its course and its quality. Such is His love.
In Peter's case we find a solemn yet blessed lesson that a fall never happens to a Christian without a previous warning and without some dealings from the Lord. If Peter had taken the warning he might not have fallen. May we be of those who know His voice and bow to the washing, knowing the blessed object He has in this action of His love.
F.G. Patterson

The Beauty of Progressive Teaching of the Book of Numbers

In Num. 8:1-11, we have the Levites set apart to serve the Lard. We shall start with chapter 1 and see the specific truth leading up to the consecration of these men. But first notice the lamps (chap. 8:2). The lamps speak of the perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit. The candlestick of beaten gold teaches us the perfection of Christ's atoning work. We shall find the beauty of this progressive teaching of the book of Numbers.
In the first chapter we find that the Levites declare their pedigree, or their genealogy. Can you declare your genealogy? It is not sufficient to take your place at the Lord's Table because father and mother are there. It is necessary first that you have a definite experience, the new birth. Years ago an old brother said to some parents, "I trust you are exercised about your children; because you are saved by the grace of God, it does not necessarily mean they arc too." They need a definite experience. Not that it is necessary for them to state the day and hour it happened, but there must be a definite experience of dealing with God about sin. We trust that each one of our readers can declare their genealogy. I do remember that over 57 years ago I got off my knees saved by the grace of God. My old grandma read the Scriptures to me and she read Romans over and over and I discovered I was a lost soul. God saved my soul; to Him be all the praise. Do you know Christ as your Savior?
In the second chapter we have the Levites rallying unto the banner, the ensign of their father's house.
Rallying to the Banner
It is noteworthy here that each man must pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of his father's house, afar off from the tabernacle of the congregation. It is a wonderful thing to rally to the banner. I have known some Christians truly saved but ashamed to confess their Lord. If we would be happy, let us confess Christ to others. Paul says to Timothy: "My son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." How can we be strong in the grace if we don't read the Scripture? The daily reading of the Word of God is the secret of a happy Christian testimony.
In our schools in Bolivia, I would ask the boys and girls, "Who has had breakfast this morning?" Up would go their hands. Then I would ask them, "Who has read the Word of God this morning?" Some little hands would go up halfway and stop. That is our food, our spiritual food. We can only be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus by reading the Word of God, by getting down on our knees before God.
Happy and Strong
Some Christians say, "Good night, Lord" and "Good morning, Lord" and that is all. Get down on your knees and talk to the Lord and ask Him to keep you from this world, its sin and its pleasures. In 1 John we read, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." I am sad when I see someone begin with a measure of faithfulness and then fall back into the current of the world. If you would be happy and strong in His grace, confess Christ. In this way we rally to the banner.
In Num. 3, we have the Levites separated to the Lord for a particular service, and their service was to keep and to serve. Three families are mentioned here, the Gershonites, the Kohathites and the Merarites. We have the whole of Peter's, John's and Paul's ministry, in type in this book. Gershon means "a stranger" and that is Peter's ministry. Merari means "bitterness" and that is John's teachings. Kohath means "an assembly" which is Paul's ministry.
We have the Levites separated to God in a special way in Num. 4. Separation is really to an object from everything that would displease the Father. It is wonderful to be separated to the person of Christ. Separation is not a very appreciated theme, but what a pleasure it is to be separated from everything that would dishonor God and to Christ. One can truly thank God that there is a place where God's Holy Spirit is free to reveal all His truth and that which would separate us from the world. Mr. Mackintosh made a statement like this, "To continue in this is not presumption but faithfulness to God.”
A Lost Value
Chapter 5 is separation from evil. Thus we have leprosy mentioned here. May God help us to hate sin, to remember that our blessed Savior was nailed to the cross because of our sins. Sin has a peculiar quality the moment you satisfy it, it becomes a lost value set on fire of hell itself. I have often thought of certain Bolivian presidents; some waded through blood to come to power and in the act of taking the crown, the garland turned to ashes, and there was then the sorrow, defeat, and degradation. Sin must be recognized and judged, and it must be put out. Thank God for the precious blood of Christ which cleanses us from all sin. That precious blood that was shed for you not only has dealt with all the sins of the past, but with every sin. One young man said to me, "If I believed that, I would do as I liked." I replied, "Oh, but you would not like.”
A Nazarite is a separated believer and we have this in chapter 6. Then we come to the offerings of the princes, and it is very instructive. You get the particular services allotted to each of the three families. In verses 7, 8 and 9 of chapter 7, we find that a specific service was given to each one. The Gershonites and the Merarites had carts to carry the heavy things of the tabernacle.
The Sacred Things
When we come to the Kohathites, they had no carts; they carried the sacred things, things which speak of God's glory, on their shoulders. There are no carts in the carrying of God's truth, so to speak; you must carry such on your own shoulders. "Keep that which is committed to thy trust." 1 Tim. 6:20.
But now in the 8th chapter we see that before those Levites could be separated unto God's service, they had to come into the light of the sanctuary. They had to come into the light of God's own presence. For thirty years in Bolivia, all the light we had in our home was a candle. Then one day I triumphantly arrived with a Coleman lamp. There are just dirt floors in most of the country homes in Bolivia and every morning those floors are swept. Water was sprinkled on the floor and then swept and the result looked good by candlelight. But when I lit the Coleman lamp, I asked if the floor had been swept that day. "Indeed!" was the answer. The new light revealed those things that were not seen before.
So it is in the light of His sanctuary, the Spirit of God reveals things that are not seen before. How often the Spirit of God is grieved by things in our lives! These Levites were brought into the light of the sanctuary and everything was manifested there.
Everything Manifested
I was interested at one time in music. When the Lord came into my life, that went out. When I was a boy, I could earn my living with my violin, but when the Lord Jesus came into my heart, my violin went out as far as earning my living with it was concerned. Come into the light of the sanctuary, dear believer, and let the Lord Jesus possess all your heart.
In these chapters of Numbers the Levites declared their genealogy, rallied to the banner, and were given a specific service. Now we trust that each one of you has declared your genealogy in accepting the Lord as your Savior. Have you rallied to the banner by confessing Christ to others? Then there is a specific service for you to do for Him in a separated path, separated from evil and set apart for His glory according to His Word.
E.F. Smith

The Levites: Numbers 4:1-35

This passage sets before us the particular service of the Levites in transporting the tabernacle and holy vessels, when the camp of the Israelites was set in motion during their wilderness journeys. It serves to show very distinctly that the work of the priests takes precedence of the service of the Levites. It also shows that the higher the order of the service, the more care must be taken to prevent any intrusion of the self-satisfaction so natural to man's heart.
Of the three families of the Levites, the Kohathites had the highest privilege, in that their particular office was to carry the holy vessels, but they were not permitted, on pain of death, so much as to catch sight of them, before they were covered. Particular injunctions, such as we do not find mentioned in the case of Gershon and Merari, were given to them, to carry everything confided to their care, upon their shoulders. It was doubtless a token of their complete subjection and submission to God's order. The Gershonites had charge of the coverings and hangings, and the Merarites, of the boards, pillars, and silver sockets.
The priests, whose duty was to cover the holy vessels, and prepare the burdens of the Kohathites, had their sphere of service particularly in the inside of the tabernacle, except for the Most Holy Place, as well as the privilege of feeding upon the sacrifices, and presenting the value of these to God.
Worship should precede all true service, and should characterize it. We should remember too that all believers are priests. Service is more of a specialty, and is fitly represented by the Levites. It is of deep interest to each one of us, for all are called to serve the Lord in some way or other.
Each family of the Levites had its allotted portion, and was required to keep to it, whereas worship is the portion of all God's people at all times. Of this, the attitude of Mary in Luke 10, affords a precious example. The portion she chose was a better one than that of Martha who was cumbered about serving the Lord.
Jesus may have been weary with His journey, and Martha's service may have appeared most fitting and appropriate, and to our point of view even necessary, bin Mary sees behind that hunger and weariness. Her soul is enthralled by the fullness and all-sufficiency of Christ, and in artless simplicity, she draws upon His unfailing resources. What a portion was hers! She had a choice to make, and she made it; she used the opportunity afforded her, as one which was not likely to occur again, and that without any special effort on her part. She did not have to go out of her way to get the "good part." which the Lord said "should not be taken away from her." And consequently she had Jesus all to herself, while she sat at His feet, and heard His word. No wonder Martha envied that, though she was filled with her own good thoughts about serving.
Levitical service is of a different character. Each Levite had a burden, but not according to his own choice. He had simply to do what the High Priest told him. He was in absolute dependence, and there was to be perfect obedience, and the utmost reverence in carrying out all that was allotted to him.
The great thing for God's servant is to hear the Master's voice, and to obey it. We should not choose as to where we would go, nor determine what we would do. It is not ours to decide whether our burden is to be the holy vessels, the curtains, or the boards. The question for each one is, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" It is, however, in all cases, very important to remember that our service as priests, feeding upon the value of Christ's sacrifice, precedes all suited Levitical service.
There is another precious truth set forth in the journeys of the Israelites through the wilderness. We find it in Num. 9:15 to the end, and how beautiful it is to see it! God Himself is with His people, in the midst of their camp. And so it is with us; God is with us here in our allotted place on earth. The commandment of the Lord decides where the rest is to be, and His commandment settles the movement proper for the journey. Whether the rest be long or short, or by whatever pathway He may lead us, all is ordered by Him, and our part is simply to "keep His charge.”
In chapter 10, we have the trumpets, and by these God's mind was communicated to the people. Every movement in the camp was to be directed by the silver trumpets. How this speaks to us of the Word, in all our movements. May we always be ready listeners, expecting to hear the trumpet-sound! May God's Word be known and followed by us, all along our wilderness journey!
We have a portion unknown in times gone by, for, as children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, we are called more or less to all the varied services set forth by priests, Levites, and camp-servants. It is our happy and blessed privilege to feed upon the Sacrifice inside the court, and then, as directed by our great High Priest in heaven, who is ever watching over us in all our journey, to listen to the trumpet-sound of the Divine Word, and thus do whatever we do, in word or deed, "in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
Num. 16 presents man's failure, and God's way of dealing with it, showing clearly who were His, and who were privileged to draw near to Him. The next chapter gives God's defense and exaltation of His servant in the presence of all. In chapter 19, we have the provision for any defilement, provided in the red heifer, without spot, or blemish, and never subjected to a yoke. What a type of our blessed Lord! Not only have our sins been put away by the sacrificial work of Christ, but as we journey on, we learn how the ashes of the red heifer, which furnished the water of separation, meet every defilement contracted along the road. Christ is not only our great High Priest, but our Advocate. He is the one who keeps us constantly in communion with Himself, through the operation of the Holy Ghost by the Word.
W. Lowe

Questions Love Should Ask

1. Is this becoming to a follower of Christ?
2. Is this suited to the glory and kingdom of God?
3. Will this please or displease my Savior?

Bible Challenger-02-February V.04: What Identifies the Source of Salvation's Wisdom

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word which identifies the source of salvation's wisdom.
1. Something those more noble did daily.
2. Something that can be experienced by those who have hope.
3. Something one who labors is worthy to receive.
4. Something which must not be given to Scripture in a private manner.
5. An evangelist who preached from an Old Testament theme.
6. An angelic evaluation of Scripture given to a man greatly beloved.
7. Something the Lord opened for His disciples just before He was carried up into heaven.
8. Something an Apostle did on three occasions with those of Thessalonica.
9. Something Jesus said the Sadducees do because of their lack of knowledge.
10. Something rejected by certain builders to their own consternation.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-01-January Answers V.04

1. Tenons Ex. 36:22
2. Ashes Num. 19:9
3. Boards Ex. 26:18
4. Embroiderer Ex. 35:35
5. Robe Ex. 39:24
6. Needlework EX. 27:16
7. Altar of burnt offering Ex. 40:29
8. Candlestick EA. 25:31
9. Laver Ex. 30:18, 19
10. Ephod Es. 28:6
“For the cloud of the Lord was upon the TABERNACLE by day, and fire was on it by night. in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." Ex. 40:38

The Violent

“Arid from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matt. 11:12.
This expression is found in that chapter in Matthew which specifically declares the rejection of the blessed Lord in His mission to Israel: "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." John 1:11. The Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-71 followed. the display of the powers of the kingdom as seen in Him. and detailed in a few striking verses at the close of chapter 4. verses 23-25. The fame of Jesus had spread throughout all the land. This "sermon," as it had been called, enunciated the character of the kingdom, so different from what the carnal multitude expected and sought for; it supposes His rejection, and presents His followers as a spectacle to the world, governed by heavenly principles, and looking for a heavenly reward.
Chapter 10 then details the mission of the "twelve" to Israel and its rejection; they would go forth as lambs in the midst of wolves. Then follows chapter 11 in which is found the passage in question. The kingdom of heaven had suffered "violence" from the days of John the Baptist; he had preached the kingdom (Matt. 3:2, etc.) and had been cast into prison (chap. 4:12). Nationally, then, from that moment the kingdom had been refused; thenceforth as it was only received individually. The individual had to struggle against everything in order to enter it. He thus became, in point of fact, "the violent." He had to undergo the disruption of national, religious, and family ties. If he loved father or mother more than Jesus, he was not worthy of Him. Instead then of an entry into the kingdom, established under divine auspices, which brought the person blessed into the blessing with gentle steps, and apart from difficulties or hindrances to be overcome, it "suffered violence," to use the Lord's words, and "the violent" (as He terms those who entered it) "take it by force;" that is, they were obliged to force their way through every barrier, and count all things but loss that the goal might be thus, at any cost, won.

Editorial

The persistent, ever-present Philistines or Palestinians are still a frustration to Israel. Their history goes back as far as Gen. 10:14 where the name is Philistim. It is the same word that elsewhere is translated Philistine. These people are still active and troublesome to Israel today.
When God led the Israelites out of Egypt, He did not pass through the land of the Philistines, although that was nearby. God said, "Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt." Ex. 13:17.
Typically, the Philistines represent the pretension and intrusion of man in the flesh into that which belongs to God. For this reason Israel should have completely dispossessed them because the flesh has no place in the things of God. Israel failed in this and it remains as a lesson for us. We want to clearly learn that the flesh has no place with God. It crucified Christ. The flesh will not have God, and He will not have it.
Today, it is somewhat difficult to say exactly who or what is a Palestinian. We have to remember that there never has been an independent Arab Palestine. But there certainly are numerous people who call themselves Palestinians. Existing as they now do, they are a great problem to Egypt. Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon as well as to Israel.
It appears that the alignment of these different nations around Israel is in the purposes of God to have the powers on the earth as they were when the true Messiah came to the Jews the first time. When Jesus came, the Roman Empire was in control, but these other peoples were there too.
Jordan's Foreign Minister, Taher al-Misri is himself a Palestinian and counsels the Palestinians to penetrate the thinking of the Americans so as to get sympathy and help for the Palestinians. This is a recognition of the great power of the West in seeking their help. Israel has been largely dependent for her present existence and support from the same region.
Among the enemies of Israel listed in the eighty-third Psalm, we find the Philistines. At that future time that begins after the rapture of the true Church to heaven, these enemies take crafty counsel and say, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against Thee: the tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tire; Assur also is joined with them." Most of these enemies can now be identified and are desirous of carrying out their stated purpose to cut Israel off from being a nation.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Resistance Movement in the territories has the Israeli Defense Force bogged down trying to control the rebellion in the occupied territories. Men still have no solution for the Palestinians.
For a solution to all the unrighteousness and misery, this world will have to wait until the day is come when iniquity will have an end. Then the word is. "Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown [from the anti-christ] this shall not be the same: exalt Him that is tow [the true Christ], and abase him that is high [anti-christ]. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and 1 will give it Him." Ezek. 21:26, 27. Malachi writes of a day when the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings. But this is after the day that shall burn as an oven— judgment. Ed.

Patience and Wisdom

James 1:3-5JAM 1:3-5
The Christian is seen by James in trying circumstances, the common lot of faith in this world. The desired effect to be produced by God's thus dealing with him is patience. But it is to be patience in continuance, otherwise it cannot be said to have its "perfect work" in him. Here Job failed. I learn patience by having my own will broken, and to this end the trials are allowed. I learn the wondrous fact that God is for me (in the trials) in order that I should, my own will broken, be content with and do His will.
But while patience must be thus learned because it is according to God, and we have to act on earth for Him, and patience is simply waiting on His will, yet it does not suppose indifference or inactivity. When it is a question of His will for me in everything, I know that His way must be right. Hence I learn patience or a ceasing from my own will. And then another thing comes in. I need wisdom in my daily path (for I must avoid sloth), so that in all I do I may be wise, that is, just doing as He would have me do in the circumstances of my daily life. "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God." It supposes patience first, as a thing already learned, and subjection to His will, to what He is doing. Then, needing instruction, I ask what am I to do? Here comes in the need of wisdom, given to me liberally, if I ask with no will of my own in exercise. If I have my own will in exercise that is active, I am a double-minded man: "Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.”
Finally, as to "patience" and "wisdom," to be so much desired by and for us all as Christians, I would add that I believe that no "impatient" man will ever be found to be a "wise" man, either in his own things or in the Church. These things must not be taken out of their divine order. But, on the other hand, there is every hope and every prospect that a "patient" Christian man, however humble (and the more humble the more happy), will be found some day, at some trying moment perhaps, to have become to the surprise of some, a "wise" man. This is divine order first "patience," then "wisdom."
H. Anstey

Companionship

2 Kings 22KI 2
My thought is to follow the companionship of Elisha with Elijah till the moment that Elijah was caught up. The truth is very precious, but if it is to be carried out, there must be personal attachment to Christ, an individual, personal walk with Christ. Even the right company, going to the reading meeting and attending the prayer meeting will not replace an individual, personal walk with Christ Himself. If there is real personal affection for Christ, then our company will be ordered aright. We are told to follow righteousness, faith, charity and peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
At first, Elisha was very reluctant to follow Elijah. "So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?" 1 Kings 19:19, 20. Elijah told him to go back again and for a moment Elisha went back. "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62. If you have other objects, Elijah said, you had better go back. The Lord wants our undivided affection.
But in 2 Kings 2, Elisha is different. So with us, if failure has come in, and we have gone back, let us turn again and follow Him. Here Elijah is a type of Christ and Elisha a type of one who is thoroughly attached to Christ.
These two men visited places of remarkable renown in the history of Israel: Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho.
Gilgal was first visited by the children of Israel when they crossed Jordan. Here the memorial stones were placed which were taken out of the riverbed. Here the Israelites were circumcised—in type the flesh was set aside.
Bethel means "the house of God" and it was here that God first appeared to Jacob in a dream. It led him to say, "Surely God is in this place.”
Jericho was the first stronghold of the enemy taken in the land after the children of Israel had crossed over Jordan. Now in retrograde, Elijah and Elisha go from Gilgal to Bethel to Jericho to Jordan. All is being left behind. They are about to leave the land by crossing the Jordan.
Gilgal
Gilgal is the proper place for any of God's children to start out for service. Gilgal was the place for mortification of the flesh. To win victories the sharp knives must be used, not against our enemies, but against ourselves. Here it was that the Lord rolled away the reproach of Egypt. All that comes between our souls and Christ is truly a reproach to us and we have to judge it unsparingly. Elijah makes his departure and tells Elisha to tarry. He is testing him out to see his desire. He makes a wonderful reply: "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." That was heart attachment. Oh, for heart attachment to Christ!
And so they go, both together, down to Bethel and to the house of God. In Gen. 35, after Jacob had gotten into the mix up with his family, God exercised him to go back to Bethel. This Jacob did, but he realized that if he was going to go to the house of God, he must first bury the false gods that had somehow gotten into his household.
House of God—the Church
Timothy was exhorted as to how to behave himself in the house of God, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. Instruction as to how to behave ourselves in the Church of God does not mean in a building. I do not, of course, advocate any unbecoming attitude when entering a meeting room, but here it is the scope of the Church of God composed of all believers. God has such a house on earth, and we should be careful of our deportment all through the week as being part of that house. So each believer should desire to remember the Lord at His Table on the first day of the week. I would not encourage you to do so if you are going on with something inconsistent with your testimony as a Christian. That should first be judged.
Who are the "sons of the prophets" in verse five who meet and talk with Elisha, asking him if he knows that Elijah will be taken from him? Typically they are like Christians who are so mixed up with the world, that there is no positive testimony for the Lord; they are just bread-breakers, that is all. We never see them at any other meeting. How it grieves us to hear them speak of the Lord's coming; their whole life is a denial of the reality of His return. So Elisha says, "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”
Jericho
Once again Elijah urged Elisha to tarry, but the heart attachment is still there and they journey on together to Jericho. That city had been overthrown by Joshua and a curse was pronounced on the one who would rebuild it. So Jericho is the city of the curse. Jesus went through Jericho to reach Zacchæus. This world is under a curse, but because the blessed Lord of glory went through this world you and I have been saved. Elijah and Elisha went through Jericho, too, but Elisha was in good company. Do you have heart attachment to Christ?
Alas, the sons of the prophets were very much at home in Jericho, and they had no desire to leave there. We meet those who will lay claim to knowing all about Christ being taken up yet they are all mixed up with the systems of men. May we say like Elisha, "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”
Jordan
They two go over the Jordan, bringing before us the death and resurrection of Christ. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20. Here is a man who had crossed Jordan with Elijah, or I should say in company with Him of whom Elijah was a type Jesus our precious Savior. When the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him. That was the end of all that we were, our ambitions and all. We have died to all that and now are to live unto Him. A.M. Barry

Manifestation - When?

The manifestation of Christ will be the manifestation of the saints on earth with Him. That is the time for show, the only time for show, and that runs counter to all human thoughts, and what man likes. The great principle of Christianity is to wait—we will be manifested. The time for show is coming, and then, not only the appearance of the saints, but their garments will be spotless. To think that we shall be suited in everything to the company of the Christ in glory! The great thing is to look at that glory and to be changed into the same even now. That is not looking for the admiration of this world, but waiting for the glory, when we will be manifested with Christ. Our life is hid with Christ, and we are not to be shown-off now in anything, whether religiously, collectively, or in any other way. The danger of the saint who knows much, is to show himself off, but the secret is to know that this is not the time for it. "When Christ. who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear [be manifested] with Him in glory"; that is what we have to look for. I cannot have anything to show till then, because I should only tarnish it. How it sobers us, and reconciles us to the troublous things around, that we have nothing to do but to wait. Risen with Christ is our position. Christ is sitting, and the Church's attitude is sitting. I mean that as to being anything, we are to sit still, and wait for the day of manifestation. He is sitting at the right hand of God: this is the simple position of the saints. We are in the right place, but are we in the right attitude? Can we sit quietly and wait, or are we restless, running hither and thither? Christ is waiting; this will balance our souls till the glory. Let it be ever before us and the Lord keep us waiting for this, for His name's sake.
W. B.

Fellowship

Fellowship in Scripture is association, and having things in common. The Lord's Table is where the fellowship of Christians is expressed—all there being associated in the fellowship of Christ's death. Being thus associated, proper Christian fellowship is in the light of God fully revealed—the Father and the Son. The apostles specially made known the truth of this fellowship as specially given to know it. (1 John 1:3.) Being brought into such association, it follows that as regards the gospel for the world, the welfare of the saints, and the maintenance of the truth, the believer has the same aims and objects before his soul as the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have. Out of this flows the fellowship of the saints one with another. (Acts 2:42; 2 Cor. 8:4; Gal. 2:9; 1 John 1:3-7.) It is also called the fellowship of the Spirit. (2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1.) The converse of this is also true: Christians cannot consistently have any fellowship with that which is evil or which brings dishonor upon the Lord Jesus. (Psa. 94:20; 1 Cor. 10:20: 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:11)
In some passages the Authorized Version (KJV) has the word "communion" for the same Greek word, with the same meaning. Thus in 1 Cor. 10:16. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" There is an allusion to the peace offering in verse 18 to show that those who ate the sacrifice were partakers of, had communion with, the altar; hence to eat things offered to idols would be to have fellowship with demons. Concise Bible Dictionary

Regeneration - New Birth

Is there sonic difference between "regeneration" and "new birth"? The former occurs only twice in the Greek New Testament. "In the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory." Matt. 19:28. Here the word obviously refers to the new order of things which shall be obtained when our Lord Christ takes the kingdom. We could not apply the term "new birth, in this case.
Again in Titus 3:5 we read of "the washing of regeneration." Here we have the action of the word and Spirit of God, communicating a new nature, cleansing, renewing, and giving us our place in that new order of things, of which "regeneration" is the forcible expression. It evidently would not do to say, "The washing of the new birth" inasmuch as there is something implied in "regeneration" which is not in "new birth." No doubt there must be the new birth in order to have our place and portion in the new order of things. But we must ever remember that in the Scriptures there is never a distinction without a difference. and you will at once grasp the difference between "the new birth" and "the new order of things.”
The literal meaning of the word palingenesis, is "Genesis again." The old creation passed away and the new creation established on the ground of accomplished redemption.
As to the term "conversion," it only occurs once in the New Testament, in Acts 15:3, "declaring the conversion of the Gentiles." It means a turning to, or turning back and may be applied to the new birth of a soul, or to the restoration of a wanderer or a fallen one.

Grace through Sacrifice

1 Chron. 21:15-271CH 21:15-27
It is interesting to see the order unfolded here in the establishment of the relations of sovereign grace. First of all we see the heart of God and His sovereign grace in election, suspending the execution of the deserved and pronounced judgment. Next, there is the revelation of this judgment—a revelation which produces humiliation before God, and a full confession of sin before His face. David and the elders of Israel clothed in sackcloth fall on their faces, and David presents himself as the guilty one. Then instruction comes from God as to that which must be done to cause the pestilence judicially and definitely to cease, namely, to sacrifice in Oman's threshing floor. God accepts the sacrifice, sending fire to consume it, and then He commands the angel to sheathe his sword. And sovereign grace thus carried out in righteousness through sacrifice, becomes the means of Israel's approach to their God, and establishes the place of their access to Him. The tabernacle, a testimony to the conditions under which the people had failed, offered no resource in such a case; on the contrary, it occasioned fear. David was afraid to go to Gibeon (vv. 29, 30). Nothing would do but the definitive intervention of God according to His own grace (the circumstances of the sin on the king's own part leaving no room for any other means). The whole system of the tabernacle as a legal institution is set aside, and the worship of Israel founded on grace by sacrifice coming in where all, even the king as responsible, had failed. Such was Israel's position for him who understood it.
J.N. Darby

Sitting

I never met with any one making service prominent who knew what it was to sit at His feet. But, thank God, l know indefatigable workers who enjoy sitting at His feet above any service, and it is clear that they who sit most at His feet must be most competent to serve, and most in His confidence, which, after all, is the clue to all efficient service.

His Tears!

One of the most blessed, yet profound subjects in the Word of God is that of our Savior's precious tears. There are at least three occasions where we learn of the Lord weeping. They are: as He came near the city of Jerusalem, (Luke 19:41), in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36. and Heb. 5:7), and at the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35). These three set forth so wonderfully His infinite love, holiness and compassion.
We may then proceed with unshod feet and bowed head to consider these blessed occasions! In Luke 19:41, we read "And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." O how it touched, yes, grieved the heart of our precious Savior who had come to His people to enrich and bless and give to them, and then to have His infinite love slighted and His gifts refused. Was it not this that drew forth His tears? Well may we sing: "Love that transcends our highest thought, demands our soul, our life, our all"! His love, stronger than death, poured out without limit and free. Where could it have been seen more profoundly and deeper than when He bowed His blessed head on Calvary's cross and gave His life for us?
In yet another scene, the garden of Gethsemane, Heb. 5:7 tells us that this was the occasion for His strong crying and tears. How very awesome and solemn was this scene. Another has written relating to this:
See the lonely Man now bending,
In the lone Gethsemane,
Drops of blood His conflict marking
Whilst He prays in agony!
Yes, the awfulness of His being made sin and of being forsaken of His God pressed in upon His holy soul and brought forth those precious, precious tears and indeed, sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:44.) What can we say to these things? Holy, holy Lord God Almighty, Amen!
Oh! what a load was Thine to bear
Alone in that dark hour,
Our sins in all their terror there,
God's wrath and Satan's power.
With all this before Him, He still goes on to Calvary and lays down His life for us. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Having spoken a little on His infinite love seen in His tears as He was entering the city and His profound holiness in the garden, let us now view Him in John chapter eleven. He mingled His tears with His loved ones of Bethany at the graveside of Lazarus. Oh, how very near our Lord Jesus has come to us —knowing the human heart so perfectly, and that divine bosom feeling and sharing the sorrow of the human family as only He could. He weeps with the sisters here, although knowing that in a few moments He would call Lazarus from the grave and restore him alive and well to them. What infinite compassion and sympathy we discover in His tears here. What a glorious companion to have with us here, and there in the glory forever. Beloved, in the light of His tears, we would do well to put His tears into the bottle of our hearts (Psa. 56:8) and be ever reminded of His glorious love, holiness, and blessed sympathy. In conclusion, the beautiful lines of a hymn come to mind:
The higher mysteries of Thy fame
The creature's grasp transcend;
The Father only Thy blest name
Of Son can comprehend.
Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou,
That every knee to Thee should bow.
W. O'Brien

Abiding Joy

However dark the day, the Christian can be happy if he simply walks in the abiding sense of the Father's love. He has given us a life that enables us to enter into His own thoughts, to enjoy what He enjoys and to live in the good of it because of the Spirit's power within.

Apostolic Succession

A careful examination of all the scriptures that could possibly bear on apostolic succession will show that God never intended that there should be the perpetuation of a line of apostles.
In Eph. 4:11, 12 we read that the ascended Christ "gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." But in the second chapter it says that the Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone." v. 20. The apostles and New Testament prophets laid the foundation: the evangelists, pastors and teachers continue the work until the Church is all gathered home to be with Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians. "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." 1 Cor. 3:10. Now it is self-evident that a foundation of a building is laid only once. Foundation stones are not used for the superstructure.
Of those who laid the foundation, Paul occupied a special place, for to him was given by special revelation the whole truth of the Church. His epistles not only give the foundation truths, but they also give instructions for the ordering of the Church on earth in all ages (although sadly neglected in this day.)
Apostles and Prophets
Before the New Testament scriptures were completed, prophets were used to communicate the mind of God, as we read: "And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed [strengthened] them" Acts 15:32. Luke and Mark were never called apostles, but the former wrote the Gospel that bears his name and The Acts; the latter wrote another of the four gospels. Apostles and prophets were definitely used of the Lord for the establishment of the Church, but then they ceased. The Apostle John was the last of the apostles to be taken home, and with his divinely inspired book of Revelation the Word of God was complete. Nothing has been or can be added to it or taken from it (Rev. 22:18, 19).
The Apostle Paul
The Apostle Paul, who was used of the Lord to give instructions to the Church, did not once refer to a successor to himself or the other apostles as such. When he was nearing the end of his course, he sent from Miletus to Ephesus to have the elders come to meet him. There he gave them a farewell address and if there could be any place where Paul would have mentioned a successor it should have been there. He said: "And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.... Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God.... For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:25-30.
Paul as an apostle had appointed elders to look after the flock; they were not apostles, and in view of his departure, he told them what would come in after he left the scene. Some of them would speak perverse things to draw disciples after them. Perhaps these pretended to be his successors, for the Lord later addresses the Church at Ephesus commending them for trying some who said they were apostles, but were not (Rev. 2:2).
"I Commend You to God”
In view of Paul's decease, what was the resource of the Church? Acts 20:32 gives the answer: "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up." Nothing but "God, and the word of His grace" would be needed by the Church. God and His Word would be sufficient for every exigency of the path. They could pray to God and count on His succor and help, and His Word would give every needed instruction. The Church was not committed to any man or group of men, however faithful they might be. Nothing and no one was to come between the Church of God and God Himself, and He was to be known through His Word.
In Paul's last epistle, Second Timothy, he gives specific instructions for conduct in the last days of Christendom. Evil would come in like a flood, and it would be so hard to distinguish between mere professors and real Christians that it would come down to only the Lord's really knowing who were His (chap. 2:19). Would there then be some new revelation, some new dogma or creed instituted to keep the saints? No. They were to continue in the things Timothy learned from Paul, and rely on the unerring and unchangeable "holy scriptures," which were divinely given, and would be all-sufficient "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect [complete], thoroughly furnished unto all good works." What place is there for a successor to the Apostle Paul? None whatever.
The Apostle Peter
In view of the assumption of some to be Peter's successors, it would be well to examine Peter's last letter to the Church. Here we should find a mention of his successors, if it were ever to be found. In the Second Epistle of Peter he says, "Shortly I must put off this my tabernacle [his body], even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me." Chapter 1:14.
He was here looking forward to his martyrdom which he knew was not far distant. This, then, was the place to speak of committing the saints to his successor, if there were to be such. He said: "Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." vv. 15,16. Nothing new was to be given them, but simply what he had already taught them. This they were to keep in memory.
In the second chapter, Peter describes the moral corruption that would come in at the end, into the very place of profession. Then he says, "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior" Chap. 3:1, 2.
The resource of the faithful would be a constant remembrance of what was given at the beginning by Peter and the other apostles, as well as what was written by the "holy prophets.”
One has only to read the rest of this last chapter of his last writing to see how incongruous the thought of a successor is with the whole tenor of this inspired writing. It looks forward through all of the Church age to the "day of the Lord," even through it, on to its end, and the beginning of "the day of God"—the eternal state. He makes references to Paul's apostolic writings as an integral part of the "Scriptures" which were for their edification, and closes with: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen." v. 18.
The Apostle John
The Apostle John was another prominent one of the twelve apostles. He also wrote about the last days, and the coming of the antichrist. What was his manner of preparing the saints for evil days? He brought before them the manifestation of the true life in the Person of the Son of God on earth. They were cast back upon that which "was from the beginning"—even the revelation of that life on earth, and of the Father and the Son or true Christianity as known from the beginning of it. Nothing was to supplant or improve it. They had all they needed then and ever. If there were false teachers, bringing false doctrine, the saints had the Holy Spirit dwelling in them as the anointing to teach them the difference between truth and error. The Holy Spirit would guide the lambs and sheep so they would only recognize the voice of the true Shepherd and not be misled by wolves in sheep's clothing.
In John's second epistle, when warning a sister against receiving false teachers into her home, he said. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." v. 9. This would be better translated. "He that goes forward and abides not in the doctrine"; that is, to leave the very foundation and add anything to it under the specious plea of progress is not to abide in the doctrine of Christ. It is a fatal delusion.
Beginning of Christianity
If the first chapter of The Acts be alleged as the proof of the apostolic succession, it should be understood that Christianity proper did not begin until the second chapter where the Holy Spirit came down and baptized believers into one body. In the first chapter, the disciples were in a transitional period which was largely Jewish in character. They acted upon Old Testament scriptures in appointing Matthias to take the place of the apostate Judas. This was done according to an Old Testament provision for casting lots to decide a matter (Josh. 7:14-18; 1 Sam. 14:40-42; Prov. 16:33). This is foreign to the New Testament teaching of the Church, where the Lord's guidance by the Spirit according to the Scriptures is sought.
Twelve Apostles
In the foundation of the Church there were more than twelve apostles; Ephesians says merely "some apostles," and numbers are not connected with the Church. The number twelve had a special connection with Israel. Paul, Barnabas, James the Lord's brother, who were not of the twelve, are mentioned in the New Testament as apostles.
It was needful, however, that the gap left in the twelve by the defection of Judas should be filled, for in the coming age the twelve apostles are to sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28), so Matthias was chosen for that place. In the millennial display of the Church in heavenly glory, the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel are to be written on the twelve gates of the celestial city. The gates are emblematic of the place of judgment, and the twelve apostles will administer judgment from the gates of the heavenly city to Israel on earth. See Rev. 21:1-14. Thus we see that the procedure followed in Acts 1 is no warrant whatever for a human arrangement of setting up successors to Peter or any other apostle. May we adhere fully and only to the written Word of God, and give no ear to the traditions of men.
P. Wilson

Search for Hidden Treasures

The wonderful riches that are hidden away in God's Word can only be found by searching. You know, before a miner can find an ounce of gold dust, he has to persevere and work for a long time indeed. And so it is with God's Word. He shows us very simply how by trusting in the Lord Jesus we may be saved, but what other treasures there are in His Book, we shall only know by prayerfully studying our Bibles.

Bible Challenger-03-March V.04: The Measure of Our Inward Nourishment or Our Outward Actions

The first letter of the following responses will form the limitless word that should be the measure of our inward nourishment or our outward actions, to enhance the glory of God thereby.
1. A double category of actions to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus.
2. The proper way of performing deeds as unto the Lord and not unto men.
3. The divine principle for believers in making requests of God.
4. The first of six criteria of "things" needed to promote virtuous and praise-worthy thoughts.
5. Something a man does before reaping, in kind, according to God's inflexible rule.
6. The proper response of Jesus' disciples (of every age) to His commandments.
7. A word of instruction to believers regarding food sold in the world's market places.
8. The place where men labored to receive wages that would be "right.”
9. A prophet that John Baptist was said to have emulated because of the evil treatment received.
10. The final "shall" in the promise to believers who ask in prayer.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-02-February Answers V.04

1. Searched the Scriptures Acts 17:11
2. Comfort of the Scriptures Rom. 15:4
3. Reward 1 Tim. 5:18
4. Interpretation 2 Peter 1:20
5. Philip Acts 8:35
6. Truth Dan. 10:11, 21
7. Understanding Luke 24:45.51
8. Reasoned Acts 17:2
9. Err Matt. 22:29
10. Stone Mark 12:10
“And that from a child thou halt known the holy SCRIPTURES, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
2 Tim. 3:15

Questions and Answers: The Holy Ghost in Christendom?

Ques. — I find that some Christians maintain that the Holy Ghost dwells in Christendom. Now I have always thought... that the Holy Ghost dwells exclusively in the Church. I would be so glad if you would give me your thoughts about it.
Ans.—I think that a right understanding of the distinction between the Church as the "Body of Christ" (Eph. 1:22, 23), unto which believers are baptized by the Holy Ghost, (1 Cor. 12:13) and thus united to Christ, exalted and glorified in heaven (1 Cor. 6:17), and the "House of God," a "habitation of God through the Spirit," (Eph. 2:21, 22), in the world, will make the answer to your question simple and plain. When Christ was glorified as man to heaven, the Holy Ghost (not previously given, see John 7:39) descended from heaven and took up His abode in the saints, on the day of Pentecost, as God's house. (Acts 2) The Church thus begun, and set up as God's witness and abode through His Spirit, is styled "the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15.) This "House" was, as it were, a co-extensive thing at the first with the "Body," its other aspect, and was the true thing which God Himself fitly framed together; a member of this house was a living one, and in union with Christ the Head, by the Holy Ghost. But we find that immediately after its being set up, men began to build on the foundation wood, hay, stubble as well as gold, silver, precious stones. (1 Cor. 3) As a consequence, the House as man built it, began to assume vast proportions, entirely disproportionate to the Body, the true thing. But still the Holy Ghost did not leave the House. And the House was as far as man's responsibility went, "God's building." "The temple of God and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (1 Cor. 3:9-17), that is, collectively as in a temple, which is a different thought from the body of the believer, being the temple of the Holy Ghost, as in 1 Cor. 6:19. The House of God drifted soon into what the Apostle speaks of in 2 Tim. 2:19-21, like to a "Great House" containing vessels to honor and dishonor. This is quite a different state of things from 1 Tim. 3:15, and has characterized Christendom ever since, and at which judgment must begin. (1 Peter 4:17.)
So that we see that the Holy Ghost in the first instance, baptizes all believers since His coming down into one Body, ("There is one body and one Spirit," Eph. 4:4) uniting them to Christ as Head, and God dwells amongst them as a habitation through His Spirit. What a wondrous thought, and what a wondrous privilege. How much has the Church forgotten her calling! But not only so, He dwells in the "House" here below, and professing Christians (as well as true Christians) are responsible for His presence, and are, as far as His presence goes, thus responsible for the presence of the Holy Ghost, although not, of course, "sealed" as the true believer, and indwelt by Him.
A right understanding of the Church as the "Body of Christ," composed of living members, and the "House," or professing church, is the key to much of the teaching of the epistles. F.G. Patterson
FORWARD!
When on the long and dreary way.
Or at the dawn of breaking day,
Or in the damp and chill night air,
Or in the noontide dusty glare.
Lord, as we march, we look to Thee,
To lead us on to victory!

Editorial

Living in Jerusalem at this present time are people who verify the truth of the Lord Jesus' statement in Matt. 24:34: This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Generation in this verse means a class of people. Both then and now there were and are Christ-rejecters. The same is true as to Christ-believers.
When Christ came the first time, the nation rejected Him, but a small remnant accepted Him. When the antichrist comes, the nation will receive him (John 5:43) and the godly remnant will refuse him.
Two very interesting groups of people now in Jerusalem have come to our attention in this past year. The first group are those who say, "We have left Jesus and returned to Moses." They are apostates (anti-christ) and come under the condemnation of Heb. 6:6, "They crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame." They have "done despite unto the Spirit of grace." Heb. 10:29.
Another group in the old city of Jerusalem, working on a project called Treasures of the Temple, are preparing all the objects and utensils necessary for the restoration of the Temple rites. The priestly garments are tediously being made. Some of them are seamless, being made on a computerized loom.
Some of the rabbis say that only after the Messiah comes will the Temple be built. The solid gold menorah (candlestick) plans are ready. The cost estimated is one-and-one-quarter-million dollars.
An ultra-orthodox group of Jews lives near the center of the city in a place called Mea Shearim. They very strictly observe the Sabbath. Women in immodest dress are strictly forbidden. The residents of Mea Shearim are called haredim, meaning God-fearing ones. Counting them and the orthodox Jews living around Mea Shearim, the total number surpasses 80,000. We might ask if these are the very ones who will preach the gospel of the kingdom during the coming tribulation period. The Lord knows and we know He will have those to go forth with this message of His second coming to reign as King. In Matt. 25, Jesus calls them "My brethren," that is, they will be Jews who carry this message in that day. Surely that day is approaching, but it cannot come until the heavenly saints are caught up to their heavenly position. It is at this time that God begins again a work with His earthly people Israel. The Gentiles also will be gathered into Christ's millennial kingdom for blessing around Israel. Very great judgments are necessary to cleanse and prepare the earth and a people for earthly blessing. Now at this time, all blessing is through receiving Christ by faith through the gospel of the grace of God. Such will have part in the heavenly kingdom. Paul's last words in 2 Timothy state this for himself, "The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." 2 Tim. 4:18. Ed.

Heaven Opened

In the New Testament the heavens are opened on four great occasions. The first was the baptism of Jesus, when the Father expressed His delight in the Blessed One. Another occurred at the death of Stephen to whom was granted a sight of the glory of God, and of Jesus standing on the right hand of God. The public appearing of the Lord Jesus as given in Rev. 19 will be another occasion. The fourth will take place in a subsequent day when the angels of God shall be seen ascending and descending upon the Son of Man (John 1:51,) The last scripture looks forward to the millennium.
At the Baptism of Jesus
At the baptism of Jesus we have a very lovely scene. He is there seen coming forth from the retirement of Nazareth to bear His public testimony for God among men. John had been sent of God to the nation to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. He had called upon the nation to repent of its sins and submit to his baptism. The result we know; the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves and spurned John's baptism. The publicans and sinners, those in whose heart God had wrought—the true remnant of their day—took their true place before God in the waters of Jordan, confessing their sins. This was surely a movement of faith, an act morally pleasing to God, fruit of His gracious operation within.
In grace, Jesus would take His place with them in this. In His eyes they were the excellent of the earth in whom was all His delight (Psa. 16.) Not that He had sins to confess, far be the thought, but the act was in His case a fulfillment of all righteousness as He Himself said to the hesitating John the Baptist. He had taken His place in wondrous grace, as man below to be obedient in all things, and He would be therefore with the remnant—perfect, spotless One though He was—in this movement of their souls toward God.
Luke tells us He came up "praying." Such a notice of the Blessed One is quite in keeping with the character of the third gospel, which presents Him to us as Son of man.
Coming up from the water, "the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and to a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." What a sight and what a thought for our hearts! The very heavens opened unto a Man below and the Father was heard expressing the infinite delight of His heart in Him! To whom had the heavens been opened in such a manner before? To whom had the Father rendered such a testimony?
Constantly in Scripture God expresses pleasure in certain of His saints. Enoch pleased God. David was described by the Lord as "a man after Mine own heart." But never had God seen perfection till the Son stooped to walk below. There the Father saw what gave His heart perfect delight, satisfaction, and rest. Dependence was perfectly displayed and obedience begun which would not stop short of even the cross of Calvary. One is reminded of the angel's utterance on the wondrous night of the incarnation: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward [good pleasure in] men.”
These are some of the results of the coming into the world of that wondrous Babe. God has been and shall yet be glorified. Peace shall be obtained upon the earth, although delayed because of Christ's rejection (Matt. 10:34.) God's pleasure in men which has been marred by the entrance of sin shall be restored.
Peace Delayed
In Jesus on earth, God beheld One in whom He could find pleasure, anticipative pleasure one may say: "I am well pleased." What an answer to anyone who would lower the glory of the Blessed One by insinuating a life of sin-bearing! Sin-bearing involves the displeasure of God, as is solemnly seen at the cross. What a change for the blessed Jesus there. No opened heavens, no Father's voice, but three hours of (to us) impenetrable darkness and abandonment of God. He cried in the daytime but was not heard, in the night season and was not silent. He was alone, forsaken, because bearing sin. But sin-bearing is not seen at Jordan, nor anywhere else during His path till the cross was reached. There and there alone He had to do with sin; there He suffered for our sins.
Not only do we see the Father's delight in Him shown out on the occasion we are considering, but there was the anointing with the Holy Spirit. The meat offering of old was mingled with oil, and the unleavened cake was anointed with oil when made (Lev. 2.) This was a type of Christ begotten by the power of the Spirit and anointed as man on earth by the Spirit as here. He did not need to wait until the accomplishment of His sacrifice before the Spirit could be conferred upon Him. He was owned as Son and the Spirit descended because of the perfection of His Person and of the divine pleasure in Him.
How far otherwise it is with ourselves. We are brought through grace into the place of sons; we are owned as such and the Spirit has been given as the seal of the relationship (Gal. 4.) But the ground is the accomplished work of Christ. The gift of the Spirit to the saints is the expression of divine delight in Christ and His work.
The Stoning of Stephen
The scene at the stoning of Stephen is wholly different. There we see one who had borne a faithful testimony for Christ, sharing his Master's rejection and sufferings and drinking of His cup. The Lord had forewarned His disciples of such treatment. "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me" John 16:2, 3.
Stephen was wonderfully sustained; his very face shone as an angel's. "He, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." Here again heaven is opened, but not upon Jesus as Man on earth, but to a saint who beholds his Lord in the place of glory on high.
Notice the contrast here between Stephen's death, and the death of the Lord. To Christ, while bearing sins upon the tree, the heavens were as iron and brass. In the hour of His deepest woe He was forsaken; He stood alone. But heaven is open now in virtue of His blood. His martyr could look above and behold Jesus, the object of his heart and at the right hand of God. Thus was he "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness." Col. 1:11.
To us also heaven is open and faith can say, "we see Jesus." Of old, God dwelt in the midst of His people in the sanctuary, but the veil was there and there was no way of approach to God. Now the veil is rent and heaven, not the sanctuary on earth, is open. The way into the holiest of all is made manifest. Throughout the Epistle to the Hebrews this is maintained, for our place is shown as worshipers in the presence of God in the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. (Heb. 8:2.)
Not only is heaven opened to us as worshipers, but 2 Cor. 3 presents to us a rather different thought. In the context the apostle contrasts the glory of the law, as seen in the face of Moses, with the glory of God which is now seen in the face of Jesus Christ. It concludes by saying, "But we all, with open [unveiled] 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."
Contrasts of Glory
What a wondrous privilege to gaze by faith upon Him there in the glory! Thus do we become like Him; we are changed into the same image. This is strikingly seen in Stephen when he prayed, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." How like Christ's utterance, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Stephen, however, did not add the last clause.
Is there a truer way of becoming practically heavenly? Mere acquaintance with the doctrine of our heavenly position will not have this transforming effect. Occupation of heart with the heavenly Man cannot fail to influence the soul, and to detach us from all here. Christianity is in this respect altogether higher than law. It presents to us not a legal code, but a blessed Person whom we are to learn to know.
Did Stephen look up "filled with the Holy Spirit?" It is one great feature of Christianity that the Spirit of God is here, the gift of the Father to all who believe in the Son. There is a difference, however, between being "sealed" with the Spirit, and being "filled" with the Spirit. This is to allow the divine In-dweller His own blessed way with us, producing in us precious fruit to the glory of God. To this we are exhorted.
Public Appearing of the Lord Jesus
The third occasion of the opened heavens is deeply solemn. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war." It is the day when God will bring His first-begotten into the world once more to establish His throne and His kingdom. He will deal with men for their sins and rejection of His grace. The world has not seen Jesus since the day of Calvary, but it will see Him yet again. (His disciples alone saw Him during the forty days of Acts 1:3.) "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." Rev. 1:7.
He is called Faithful and True and this is in connection with judgment. Not a word spoken concerning judgment for the ungodly will fall to the ground; all will be solemnly accomplished. He judges and makes war in righteousness. Men will have no ground for complaint on that score, but what will righteousness, unmingled with mercy, mean for them?
He is clothed with a vesture dipped in blood. This is not the blood of atonement, but of foes as declared by the prophet in Isa. 63:3. "His name is called The Word of God." for He is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of men's hearts. He also bears another name on His vesture and thigh, "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords." The time will then have arrived for the world-kingdom to become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign forever and ever.
In all this glory, He has companions, for the heavenly armies follow Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen and clean. Here we have the heavenly saints in whom He will be glorified and admired, the objects of His grace and the sharers of His throne. Angels attend, as it says in 2 Thess. 1:7. They are His ministers who do His pleasure, but they do not reign: "unto angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak." Heb. 2:5.
Heaven and Earth
Christ will reign "till He hath put all enemies under His feet." Then will heaven and earth be morally united, no longer severed as now. The angels of God shall be seen ascending and descending upon the Son of man (John 1:51.) For 1000 years the opened heaven displays Christ the Son of man as king in control of all. When the Psalmist thought of the day when the whole earth shall be filled with His glory, he said: "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended." Psa. 72:20. What had he left to ask for?
W. Fereday

Heaven

The words translated "heaven" are used in a variety of senses: 1. The atmosphere in which the birds fly, and the lightning appears, and from whence the rain descends (Gen. 7:11; Deut. 11:11; Dan. 4:21; Luke 17:24.) It will pass away (2 Peter 3:10, 12.) 2. The firmament or wide expanse in which are seen the sun, moon, and stars. (Gen. 1:14, 15, 17) 3. The abode of God, where His throne is, (Psa. 2:4; 11:4; Matt. 5:34) from whence the Lord descended and to which He ascended, and where He was seen by Stephen. (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55; 1 Cor. 15:47) 4. The abode of angels. (Matt. 22:30; 24:36; Gal. 1:8.)
It is important to see that, in forming the present system of this world. God made a heaven to this earth so that the earth should be ruled from heaven. The blessing of the earth, either materially or morally, depends upon its connection with heaven. This blessing will be full when the kingdom of the heavens is established in the Son of man, and He will come in the clouds of heaven. (Psa. 68:32-35.) It is the place of angelic power, "the principalities and powers in the heavenly places" being angelic, Satan and his angels, though fallen, still being among them. (Job 1:6; 2:1; Rev. 12:7-9.)
That there are various heavens is evident; Satan cannot have entrance into the glory, and Paul speaks of being caught up into the third heaven, (2 Cor. 12:2); the Lord Jesus passed through the heavens, and we read of the "heaven of heavens." (Deut. 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27) Very little is said of the saints going to heaven, though their citizenship is there now, (Phil. 3:20), but they are to be where Jesus is, and He went to heaven, and prepared a place for them. In the Revelation the four and twenty elders are seen in heaven sitting on "thrones." To Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb be glory forever and ever. Amen. Believers "look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1. Concise Bible Dictionary

Prophecy Fulfilled

When Christ came, prophecy ceased, because He was there to fulfill all the words that the prophets had spoken, and all that had been promised to the fathers. Immediately when He was rejected, prophecy was heard again. Prophecy then divided itself into two subjects. One, touching His kingdom and coming glory—"things to come." The other disclosed the secret of God—the Church, Christ's Body—His Bride, not as of the world, but as given to Him out of the world, during His rejection.

God in the Vessel

"The sentence of death." 2 Cor. 1:92CO 1:9
The power of His resurrection. " Phil. 3:10PHI 3:10
These two passages present two principles which the vessel of God's choice must practically learn. They are not confined to the Christian interval alone. They have been the lessons variously taught, and more or less intelligently learned by the elect, at all times and in all dispensations, though the clear, doctrinal meaning was not known until New Testament times.
They are, as we may speak, in a certain sense correlative. The vessel is taught experimentally the first of these, and in the same way he finds the second working in him. What has "the power of His resurrection" to do with anything but a dead man? Surely nothing! Therefore if death works in him, life works also in him in the power of resurrection. This power is of God alone.
These are the great lessons set for every saint while here. The measure in which they are learned is quite another matter, as is also the soul's apprehension of the lesson. But what conscious power is found as the soul learns to hold the cross to every motion of human life which works in his body! And the soul learns to bear about in himself the sentence of death, morally or physically, that he should not trust in himself, but in God who raises the dead. Then death works in him and life towards others.
The former principle, "we have the sentence of death in ourselves" is preparatory to the desire "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection."
Other Cases
This will be seen as we examine other cases in Scripture, "written for our learning”. The history of the "father of the faithful" will help us understand this. In Abraham's path we are introduced to him, and to the dealings of God with him. In Abraham we see the gradual unfolding of God's lessons for the soul, before the doctrine of these things is developed to us in the New Testament scripture.
Like ourselves in our measure, he had to pass through all in an experimental way to reach the perfect end. With the saint in the New Testament, if he were to accept what is taught there, it would allow him to begin in the place where others ended. But the state of soul and the power of the flesh and the deceivableness of our own hearts, are such that we must learn, too, all the lessons in an experimental way.
In Paul we see one who learned these things practically, but with much difference from ourselves. Speaking for oneself, and perhaps for others, we learn them through failure, in which we experience (more like Peter) the extricating ministry of Christ. Paul's case differed much, for in him we see rather the true heart taught, the singleness of eye met, so that he had more of the preventive or preserving ministry of Christ, rather than the restorative or extricating. At the same time he was passed through circumstances of varied kinds that the lesson might be experienced in his own soul. We see failures in his life, but they were few.
We all experience, in a sense, the threefold way in which God revealed Himself to Abraham. He was called by the "God of glory" Acts 7:2. He was sustained by the "Almighty God," and all was provided by "Jehovah-Jireh." This was his history as a saint. But all was not revealed to him at first.
Threefold Way
The flesh had to be broken, fallen nature exposed; law had to be tried and found fruitless for faith, promise had to be rested upon, and then the fruit of accomplished promise had to be surrendered for the power of resurrection on Mount Moriah. Until this came, he never was really and fully a worshiper, nor did he ever know God by that new name, "Jehovah-Jireh." I do not dwell much upon his earlier history. He did what true children of God do also until they learn otherwise. He saw, when called of God at first, that which it was God's will should be done or possessed, and he attempted to realize and accomplish it in the strength of man. All fails and then at last God does by him what he tried to do himself. The end in view was right and the motive was right, but the energy put forth was of "man." He had not yet taken "the sentence of death" to himself, nor had he learned "the power of His resurrection.”
Was not this so with Moses when he decided to deliver Israel, with David at Ziklag, and with Peter in the judgment hall? Each was tried, each sought to do that which was right and of God, but the energy was of man. God did, at the end, by each one the same things which each had attempted to do themselves. We see this around us every day in the history of saints. We know it in our own lives.
History of Saints
Often, too, we have seen in the first freshness of soul in a young saint apprehending the truth, a deeper and more spiritual recognition of the will of the Lord than at later times in his life. He may have turned aside from the performance of it, or he may have sought to do it in the power of man, thinking that because it was right and of God he should do so. Years after (if there was no failure or turning aside) the thing is done by God Himself in him. Or if failure supervened and turned aside, it was forced upon him through sorrows and trials and breakings of the flesh and of the will of man which had come in to hinder.
You see it too, in those that have attempted to serve in the gospel or in the Church. The energy of the heart which pushed forth the young man as a servant fails; he breaks down and is coldly received or rebuked. If there is gift from Christ, the thing was right and of God, but the energy was self, unbroken. Painful lessons followed, but if we follow that man's history, if he walk with God, he will come forth brightly in useful service to the Lord. God will do by him what he tried to do himself in vain. In Abraham's case we notice he was enabled to take home "the sentence of death" to himself in the sign of circumcision (Gen. 17). Thus he learned the fruitlessness of flesh, and to be cut off from himself in the things of God.
F.G. Patterson

Testing in Circumstances

After outlining the features of the new creation, as the Apostle does in Eph. 5, he comes down to a sort of testing of our hearts in circumstances where we are, and he says, Now let joy abound in your hearts. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength. "Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." v. 19. A man may have joy and forget his circumstances, temporarily. But "rejoice evermore, and again I say rejoice." Now that is a test of what you are really. Down here in the wilderness can you give thanks always for all things? It is really a test of grace in its purity in us. The workmanship of God can bear that test. "Rejoice evermore." God is my joy, and I am for Him. Christ is my exceeding great reward. God looks upon Christ. All His own fullness is in Him. Though He remove temporal blessings from us, as He often does, we are to give thanks always for all things. Have I not enough to rejoice in? Not only when He prunes the fig tree and lays bare the vines, but in spiritual conflicts, in temptations that bring out our weakness, "giving thanks always for all things, unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." That is a part of the privilege of the Christian, according to the new nature God has given to us.
G.V. Wigram

The Sword and the Bow

A sword is used for hand-to-hand combat, a how for distant warfare. Both weapons are mentioned in connection with the providential judgments which will fall upon the earth following the rapture of the Church to heaven (Rev. 6:2.4). The general order of the seal judgments bear out what is easily seen today. Often before there is bloodshed (the sword), men of power who are removed from the immediate situation exercise control by means of intimidation (the bow).
The believer is to take up the sword and the bow in a spiritual way. As the Lord's disciples were slow to grasp this truth (Luke 22:36, 38), so are many of the Lord's people today. The word translated armor in Eph. 6:13 is panoplia, the complete equipment used by heavily armed infantry. Thus the word armor embraces more than defensive weaponry. The sword of the Spirit is the only obvious weapon mentioned in this passage.
If there is to be spiritual victory in our lives, and a pathway according to the mind of God, it can only he gained by the sword of the Spirit. The Word of God gives us direction, wisdom, and courage. During the reign of King Saul, there were just a couple of swords available to combat the Philistines, the enemy within the land (1 Sam. 13:19-22). While the Word of God is the one sword we all need, its use must be learned experimentally in an individual way. The Philistines made it a priority to keep the Hebrews from obtaining swords. So, the powers of darkness today are making a concentrated effort lest the saints of God learn to use the sword of the Spirit.
Forks and Goads
The enemy may tolerate forks and goads, but not swords. We do need practical admonition to prick our consciences and move us forward, yet, these are not weapons which will overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:14). We must have the sword for victory.
The most important distinction about the sword is that it is the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God applied by the Spirit of God. It cannot be used effectively without dependence upon God and communion with God (John 18:10). Immediately following the instruction of taking the sword of the Spirit, Paul speaks of supplication in the Spirit which is the bow, or prayer.
In David's lamentation over the death of Saul and Jonathan, he desired that the children of Judah would be taught the use of the bow, the lack of which perhaps had cost them the victory. How many spiritual battles have been lost because prayer has been neglected.
Battles Lost
Even the mighty cannot stand against the attacks of the enemy unless God's weaponry is used. The children of Ephraim carried bows, but turned back in the day of battle (Psa. 78:9). We must use the bow, not simply carry one. "Lord, teach us to pray." Luke 11:1.
We may be of help to others by using the sword of the Spirit, but we must have some type of contact with them. But the bow, prayer, can be used effectively without the recipient of our prayer even having knowledge of it. So Paul in prison rejoiced that through the Philippians' prayer, his situation would result in positive spiritual gain even if others were preaching Christ of contention and strife. Paul did not point to their visits or letters of encouragement, which were extremely few, but to their prayer. Their prayer resulted in Christ being magnified in His servant. What a valuable, untapped resource we have in prayer.
We must confess we know little of correctly using the sword or the bow. The sword of the Spirit is living, powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), so we must use it with wisdom and self-judgment (2 Cor. 4:2). But let us not lay it aside as the enemy continues to make inroads into the lives of God's people. Rather, let us take it up in earnestness and in the fear of God. The Word of God is infinitely better than the best of human wisdom. Nor let us hang up our bows as if prayer is an outdated form of warfare. Instead, let us continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving (Col. 4:2). "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16. As Paul looked onward to what would come in after his decease, he said: "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace" Acts 20:32. We have these same resources today. May we avail ourselves more of them.
W. Brockmeier

Paul and Felix

This chapter furnishes a very remarkable contrast between a genuine Christian man, and a man of the world Paul, the prisoner, and Felix, the judge. 'They are brought face to face, and we are permitted to see. in the light of inspiration, the springs of action in the prisoner and in the judge. Paul's eye was resting on the unseen and eternal; Felix's eye was resting on the seen and temporal. Paul was standing in the light of heaven: Felix was involved in the darkness of earth. They present a vivid and instructive contrast, in every respect. Let us meditate for a few moments, on the striking picture. On looking closely at it, we see the faith, hope, and practice of the two men.
First, then, hear from the lips of Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, a statement of his faith, his hope, and his practice.
“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets." Here was Paul's faith: "All things which are written in the law and the prophets."A Christian man now has, as we know, a wider field being able to add. "All things which arc written in the word of God." This is the faith of Christian man—the whole word of God—the undivided canon of inspiration. He wants nothing more: he can do with nothing less: be desires nothing different. "All scripture" is the creed of a Christian man, and Assuredly, it is sufficient. In it he finds his standard, his confession, his touchstone, his all.
Christian Faith
By it he can test himself and all around him his own thoughts and the thoughts of his fellow men. Morals and doctrines can all be measured by this rule, and weighed in this balance. It is divinely sufficient for all ages and all nations. High and low, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, old and young, may find in the precious volume of God all they want. To say that we can ever stand in need of anything beside, is to cast dishonor upon that which our God has so graciously given.
What was Paul's hope? "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust." This is the hope of a Christian man —"hope toward God"—hope of resurrection. It is not toward man, nor has it reference to anything this side of the grave. All earthly hopes and creature expectations vanish like the morning cloud. The stamp of death is on everything down here. The grave is the gloomy terminus of man's history in this world.
Christian Hope
But, blessed be God, the hope of a Christian man carries him beyond the grave altogether, and connects him with those unseen and eternal realities which belong to him as risen with Christ. There is nothing down here worth hoping for. All is rapidly passing away. The fondest hopes we cherish, in reference to the creature, are sure to be disappointed. Paul was wise, therefore, when he said, "I have hope toward God." Had it been otherwise, his lot would have been most miserable. He had reached the end of all that this world could offer; he had proved the hollowness of man's fairest pretensions. What, therefore, remained for him, but to build all his hopes upon the One who quickens the dead—the living God—the God of resurrection. This is the hope of a genuine Christian man.
Finally, consider Paul's practice. "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men." Such is the practice of a Christian man. May it be ours, from day to day, in all the scenes of life. May we be able to carry ourselves in such a way as to give no offense —no just occasion to man, and to keep a clear, uncondemning conscience in the presence of God. We ought not to be satisfied with less than this.
Christian Practice
We may be misunderstood; we may do things ignorantly, make mistakes, and fail in many things, but at this we should ever earnestly and uprightly aim, to have a conscience void of offense it cannot be reached toward God and man. It will, unquestionably, demand "exercise"—it cannot be reached without difficulty, but it should be diligently sought, for it is the practice of a Christian man.
Such, then, is the lovely picture presented in the person of Paul, the prisoner—the picture of a true, practical Christian. His faith reposing upon the revelation of God—his hope reaching forth after resurrection, and his practice characterized by earnest exercise to live a blameless and harmless life in the sight of God and man. God grant that we may know and exhibit these things in this day of so much empty profession!
Now, let us glance rapidly at the picture of a thorough man of the world. We shall not dwell upon it, but merely call our attention to its three prominent features.
As to what we may call the faith of the man of the world, the Spirit of God has given it to us in very forcible language, in the chapter before us. "And as he [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance.
and judgment to come. Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Lost Man's Faith
"The faithful ambassador in bonds stood before the governor, and pronounced solemn and faithful words concerning righteousness, temperance, and coming judgment. As the prisoner spoke, the judge trembled. How unusual! It was something new—something quite the reverse of what is ordinarily witnessed in judgment halls. "Felix trembled." It would have been well if his trembling for himself had led to his trusting in Jesus. But, alas! he contented himself with the faith of a "more convenient season." which, so far as the record informs us, never came. It is vain for a man to speak of a "more convenient season," inasmuch as he is sure never to have it. There will always be something occurring to hinder his looking seriously at the great question of his eternal destiny—something to render it inconvenient. He may "tremble" under some powerful appeal on the momentous subject of "judgment to come," but the world, in its varied forms, will come in and render it an inconvenient season, and thus he goes on from day to day, and from year to year, until death comes and ushers him into that place of everlasting misery. "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." God's time is now. "Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." "To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
Look now at Felix's hope. "He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul." What a thought! Felix could send for Paul "often," with the hope of getting money, but as to righteousness. Temperance, and judgment to come he had no "convenient season" for them at all.
Lost Man's Hope
What an unfolding of the hidden springs of action is here! What a development of the roots of things! Eternity put off—money diligently sought after!
All seasons are "convenient" if there be a hope of money; no season is convenient if the subject be the fear of judgment to come.
Finally notice Felix's practice. "But after two years, Poncius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound." This completes the melancholy picture of a man of the world: his faith, "a convenient season," which never came, his hope, "money," which he never got, his practice, leaving a blameless man bound, to gain a little popularity. May the Spirit of God engrave upon our hearts the profitable lesson suggested by this graphic picture of Paul and Felix.
Things New and Old

Bible Challenger-04-April V.04: A Personal Protection Spoken to Someone Who Needed Protection

The first letter of the following responses will form the word signifying a personal protection spoken to someone who himself was in need of the same.
1. A marauding people who divested the "material possessions of an upright man.
2. The Lord's regard of those who are bent on mischief.
3. What might well have happened to any who faced adversity without a sense of the Lord's goodness.
4. A biblical harbinger of disaster first mentioned in a dream concerning a crop failure.
5. A lethal device whereon the erector died and not the intended.
6. The place where God's everlasting arms are found for those who have sought refuge in Him.
7. The measure of mercy that has given a once-condemned people a lively hope.
8. What should the response be of those that put their trust in God.
9. What did the Lord Jesus say His preaching mission was regarding the captives (to sin).
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-03-March Answers V.04

1. Word or deed Col. 3:17
2. Heartily Col. 3:23
3. Ask... in My name John 15:16
4. True Phil. 4:8
5. S meth Gal. 6:7
6. Observe all things Matt. 28:20
7. Eat 1 Cor. 10:25
8. Vineyard Matt. 20:4.7
9. Elias Matt. 17:12.13
10. Receive Matt. 21:22
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or WHATSOEVER ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

John's Epistles

The house of the elect lady was the sanctuary of the truth, and had to keep outside all that was not of it, all those that did not bring the doctrine of Christ with them. The house of Gaius on the contrary, was the guest chamber of the truth, and had to open itself to the witnesses of it. She was to be the guardian of this mystery—he, the fellow-helper of it.
The atmosphere within God's house should be so full of the fragrance of the name of Christ, that all who are of a contrary part should be forced out (1 John 2:19): the door at the entrance should be so closed, that the same should know that they would be kept out (2 John 10), but the welcome should be so clear and fervent, that all who savor and witness concerning that name, should feel themselves at home in it. (3 John 8.) Shall we not all join in such services as these? Surely all this is Kohathite service—this is business with the ark itself. Oxen and wagons could not aid in it. (See Num. 7.) The material of the service is too delicate for such help. The shoulders of the Levites must do the service, and even their hands must reverently handle the sacred deposit committed to them.
NOTE—"The doctrine of Christ" is the confession of the truth as to His blessed Person—the Christ of God as revealed in Scripture. "This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children. keep yourselves from idols."

Bits and Pieces: Divine Nature; Truth; Conscience; Conversion

The divine nature is shown by having God as its object.
The soul never imbibes truth in living power but as it requires it.
Conscience speaks from within—never can it tell of God's character—revelation gives this.
Conversion is the turning of the heart and will to God through grace.

Editorial

A three-year-old girl stood up in Sunday School and said her verse this way: "Be sure my sin will find me out." Innocently, she applied to herself the truth of Num. 32:23, "Be sure your sin will find you out." It may be that already in her young life she had found out this fact by experience.
A small boy said his verse this way: "The Lord is my shepherd and that's all I want." In simplicity, this boy has put before us an excellent motto. It would be so wonderful if every Christian could live out the truth of that way of expressing Psa. 23:1.
A very aged and devout brother in the Lord who rarely said much publicly, became so filled with Christ at the close of the worship meeting that he stood up and said. "If you only knew Him you could not help but love Him." He was like Mary in John 24:15 who said to the One she supposed to be the gardener. "Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away." Both of them had none other in their thoughts but Christ alone.
The teaching of a man named Caryl who lived from 1602 until 1672 is very instructive. He said. "The reason why God is trusted so little is because He is so little known. We say of some men, 'they are better known than trusted' and if we knew some men more, we would trust them less. But the truth is that God is always trusted as much as He is known, and if we knew Him more, we would trust Him more. Every discovery of God shows that which renders Him more worthy of trust.”
Considering this, we conclude that in order to increase our faith, what we need is to learn to know God better. He is the faithful God that cannot lie. God is revealed in His Son Jesus Christ. John writes in 1 John 5:20, "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.”
Paul expresses his earnest desire in Phil. 3 by saying, "That I may know Him." v. 10. Then in verse 12, "I follow after, if that I may apprehend [lay hold of] that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." What a marvelous state of soul in which to be and surely each of us should desire the same thing for ourselves.
The very top of what any of us might attain to is found in Rom. 5:11: "Not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [reconciliation]." As we learn to know God and what He has done for us, we can reach to the height of having our joy in God Himself. It was the light and the truth that led the Psalmist to write in Psa. 43, "Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.”
We who are living in 1989 can say that the true instruction of Caryl of the 17th century stirs our consciences somewhat as to why we frequently fail to trust God as we ought. Surely it is because we do not know Him as we should. In Job 22:21 it says, "Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." It would be good for us to practice more the exhortation of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matt. 11:29, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Ed.

The Spirit's Teaching

What does explain prophecy? It is that which explains all Scripture the Spirit of God alone. His power can unfold any part of the Word of God. Is it of no importance then, to know languages, understand history, and so on? I am not raising a question about learning. It has its use, but I deny that history is the interpreter of prophecy, or of any scripture. And if there are Christians who know the history of the world, or the original tongues of Scripture, it is Christ who has to do with the spiritual intelligence, and not their knowledge or learning. Besides, even if men are Christians it does not necessarily follow that they understand Scripture. They know Christ, or they would not be Christians. But real entrance into God's mind, in Scripture, supposes that a person watches against self, desires the glory of God, has full confidence in His Word, and depends on the Holy Ghost. The understanding of Scripture is not a mere intellectual thing. If a man has no mind at all, he could not understand anything, but the mind is only the vessel—not the power. The power is the Holy Ghost acting upon and through the vessel, but it must be the Holy Ghost Himself that fills a soul. "They shall be all taught of God."

The Life of Faith

There are three things I find in the often trying and toilsome life of faith: first, trusting God that nothing can hinder His accomplishing His purpose. All that his brethren did to frustrate the accomplishment of Joseph's dreams, just led to that accomplishment. They sent him to Egypt. The false accusation against him in Potiphar's house put him in prison, where he met the butler who brought him to where the dream was fulfilled.
The second element in the life of faith is simple obedience, taking God's mind for wisdom, and doing His will. He has a path for His saints in this world. In it they find Him and His strength, though perhaps the life of faith is dark.
Third, if we know the purpose of God, light is in the soul. He will guide us in the path and even though it may seem dark, it is the way of arriving at His rest. But a single eye seeking nothing but Christ is the secret of certainty of walk, and gives firmness as having the secret of the Lord with you. What a calling we have to walk worthy of God who has called us to His own kingdom, and yet what a joy to be thus associated with Himself! And we know His purpose is to glorify Christ, and so we seek that, in walking worthy of Him and serving Him in love.
Did you ever notice in Luke 12 the two things that are looked for in us? First, watching; its reward is making us sit down to table in heaven, and ministering the blessing to us. The second thing is serving in what He sets us to do, and the reward of that, ruling. But the first is wonderful, that He remains forever our servant in love. How blessed to have Him, and to be His! There is progress in the Song of Songs. First, He is ours; next, we are His; then I am my Beloved's, and His desire is towards me. That is wonderful to say! The riches of Scripture, both for knowledge and for affections, is beyond our thoughts —no wonder, as it comes from God, but it is all ours. But the perfectness of our place is wonderful, and I do not mean now as to glory, true as that is, but morally. He is given to be the Object of our affections who is sufficient for the Father's, and to have Him in His path down here even is the food of the soul. Energy comes from seeing Him up there (Phil. 3), and likeness to Him from feeding on Him down here (Phil. 2).
We are drawing on to the end, and I look to the Lord to keep His own to meet Him in that day.
J.N. Darby

The Peace of God

The presence of God settles everything, even in everyday life. We have cares, and when we taken them to God, they're changed in a moment. You never come out of God's presence with the same perspective as you went in. You see things in their true character.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" Phil. 4:6, 7.

Dispensational Dealings

Christians who understand something of the dispensational dealings of God as revealed in His Word, know that this present period is a parenthesis in God's prophetic revelations concerning the earth. This is the time when God is visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name—for heavenly glory (Acts 15:14). When the Church has been completed and translated to heaven, then God's purposes and plans for this earth will begin to unfold. The prophetic clock has, as it were, been stopped while a heavenly people have been gathered. but as soon as the Lord takes them home, the clock will accurately and surely tick off the appointed times for the fulfillment of God's purposes for the earth. Men, save those who are in the current of God's thoughts, do not know that God has a program which He will put into effect on earth. Christianity is not going to prepare the earth for the righteous rule of the Son of man: unparalleled troubles and direct judgments from God will do that. God has not forgotten the earth, nor what it did to His Son when He sent Him into it in grace. A day of reckoning is fast approaching.
This parenthesis began after the Lord Jesus rose from the dead and went back to heaven. He then sent the Holy Spirit down into this world, and He has been personally present ever since. As Abraham's servant went into a far country to secure a bride for the son who had been on the altar, so the Spirit is here seeking the heavenly bride for Christ. As the servant led the bride across a trackless wilderness to Isaac, so the Spirit is leading the bride home to the One of whom Isaac was but a type. The parenthesis has been more than 1900 years long—a vast space of time when we consider that God's prophetic disclosures for the earth deal with years, months, and even days. But let us ask how close we are to the closing of that great gap, that long parenthesis. Everything indicates that the moment which will complete it is almost here. It may happen at any instant now. There will be the shout, the call, the departure of every true believer in the Lord Jesus from the earth, and from the tomb, and the Holy Spirit's leaving with the Church; then the parenthesis will have closed. Our present position in regard to God's parenthesis might be illustrated by the placing of an X to indicate where we are; thus, ( ...  ...  ... X)
We are so connected with sight and sense that we are apt to forget how late it really—is much, much later than we think. If we realized our close proximity to the end, we would be daily, even hourly, expecting to hear that shout. And if we lived in such expectancy, our sense of relative values would be much altered. One real obstacle in the way of Christians' discerning this time is the unparalleled prosperity in the Western world. Never before in history has any people reached such a high level financially or attained to such an elevated standard of living. The mad scramble for material things is blinding the eyes of them that believe not, so that they rarely think of having to meet God in their sins. Even Christians who believe that the Lord is coming before long are being caught in the swirl, and seldom cry:
Lord Jesus, come!
Nor let us longer roam
Afar from Thee and that bright place
Where we shall see Thee face to face.
Lord Jesus, come!

Lord Jesus, come!
Thine absence here we mourn;
No joy we know apart from Thee,
No sorrow in Thy presence see.
Lord Jesus, come!
Troubles tend to force our poor hearts out of the world, but attachment of heart to the Lord Jesus should continually draw them out under any circumstances. In John 20, Mary of Magdala is found with a bereaved heart. She has lost Him whom her soul loved, and nothing else mattered. She did not go away to her home like the two apostles; there was no rest for her troubled heart where He was not. Not even the sight of angels could enthrall a heart thus bereaved; she saw the angels but turned her back to them. O for a little of a kindred spirit!
May the Lord grant us to be more heavenly-minded, and may we more earnestly lay up in heaven a treasure that faileth not. With the disintegration of all that man has set his heart on here coming apace, may we who have a hope that is sure and steadfast, and that cannot fail, have our hearts weaned from this poor world, and our thoughts, our hopes, and our aspirations set on the goal that is before us. P. Wilson

The Shepherd's Voice

John 10:27-42JOH 10:27-42
An outstanding characteristic of sheep is that they hear the voice of the shepherd. The true sheep hear the voice of the true Shepherd. Why do they hear? The true Shepherd answers. "I know them." It is a higher thing for Jesus to know them than for them to know Him. Their response is to follow Him. This is the real attitude of the sheep of the pasture, of the sheep upon earth; nothing can be more blessed, more distinct, more concise, or more separate. It is entirely outside of all organizations, confederations, or ideas and thoughts of men.
The company of sheep is separated to Him by faith. Faith is the link. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word. Following of the Shepherd results from hearing the voice of the Shepherd. There is nothing so blessed as the sensitiveness of the ear that hears the voice and follows Him. The important thing is not only to hear the voice, but to act on it and follow.
Security
In John 10:28 it says. "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish. There is the security of the path and it takes in every sheep. However, many do not enjoy this security because they have not acted in faith to follow Him. The sense of the gift is lost sight of, nevertheless, there is security, perfect security. When the voice is not continuously heard, they lose sight of the gift. Therefore we find uncertainty in people so prevalent among Christians; they do not know the voice because they have not acted on it by following.
“I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish." You see the security, notwithstanding the adverse circumstances and opposing forces. Following Him is opposed because it takes you out of human organizations. The Shepherd is not in the organizations and the order of the world. The people who hear are entirely outside too. The old religion is displaced and that raises opposition, urged on by the enemy.
Those to whom the Word of God came and those who were administrators of the Word, were called "gods" (verse 35), how much more Him whom "the Father hath sanctified," and Him they called a blasphemer and sought to stone!
Over the River
Then we come to another order of things: He leaves that part and goes over the river Jordan "where John at first baptized; and there He abode." Now we move into another place. We find a gathering-place entirely outside of what we had before. The Gatherer is removed; the Gatherer is not where He was. We have to lay hold of that, and what is so marked is that He went beyond Jordan, that is, the other side of the river of death.
We shall not find ourselves truly gathered except on the other side of the river. Crossing over the river represents the believer's dying with Christ and being raised with Him. If we have not applied this truth to ourselves, we shall find the outward gathering-place is rather a source of stumbling to our souls, and nowhere will you find such discomfort. We are not gathered here rightly on earth, if our souls have not, in spirit, gone through the river of death.
In Rev. 5, all have crossed the river then. The Lord Himself has crossed the river. He has passed through death; He is alive there, and there is no living Christ except across the river. This is a powerful truth. As for us, we shall not carry the grave clothes of this world on the other side of the river; we shall all be clothed with incorruptibility.
Justifying of God
When the pressure came upon the Lord Jesus, He quietly retired to the only place on earth He could retire to—across the river. There He abode, and many resorted unto Him there. This brings before the soul the justifying of God. The justifying in that day was the baptism of John. The baptism of John made an end of all distinctions, all the pride of the Pharisee, the Sadducee, the lawyers and the scribes. Baptism was the mark that justified God; it was this outward show of repentance that gave them a standpoint. The thing that gave the ground was not being scribe or Pharisee, lawyer or Sadducee or being this, that, or the other. What mattered here was that they came to be baptized of John, confessing their sins which justified God. That is the real thing, to justify God, and that is what God puts His seal to.
There are different ways of justifying God. I do not justify God now by baptism, but I do by confessing myself a lost sinner. In their case it was coming to John, and the result was that God was justified.
The Shepherd leaves the existing circle, being pressed out of it, and goes over the river to gather there and abides there. It is for us to abide where He abides and that is the secret for our souls, waiting the next step. In the meantime we praise His name for His goodness in gathering us over the river. That is having the sentence of death in ourselves. W. B.

The Day Is at Hand

God has not been pleased to tell us when the greatest of all days open—the turning point in the history of man and the earth; but we hear the Holy Spirit’s words: “The night is far spent, and the day is at hand.” Rom. 13:12.
Politicians may promise there people “a new and better world” and they may be quite sincere in what they say, but the true remedy for all the ills of creation is in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He shines forth in glory, and all His saints with Him (all sinners saved by grace), Satan’s malign rule over men will end the will of God will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. In the light of “the day,” which will bring recompense and honor to all how served loyally now, let us watch our steps and labor with godly care, “for the day will declare” what manner of servants we have been here for God (1 Cor. 3:13).
Hope of our hearts, O Lord, appear,
Thou glorious Star of day!
Shine forth, and chase the dreary night,
With all our tears, away!
Sir ‘Edward Denny

Christian Love

"A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as 1 have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:34.
What a lofty standard of love is set before us in these words! We are to love one another as Christ loved us. Now how did Christ love us? Well, He loved us notwithstanding all our infirmities, all our failures, and all our sins. He did not love us because we had none of these things, but despite them all. His was a love that rose above every barrier, and proved itself superior to every hindrance. Many waters, even the dark waters of death, could not quench the love of Jesus. He loved us and gave Himself for us.
Now, this is to be our model. We are to love one another as Christ loved us. "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." "My Little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." "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." "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." "Herein is love. not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.”
This is Christian love. It is the outflow of the divine nature in the believer. It may express itself in various ways. It may sometimes have to rebuke, reprove, and smite. Our great Example had occasionally to do so in reference to those whom, notwithstanding, He loved with an everlasting and unchangeable love. It is a mistake to suppose that love is blind or cannot be faithful. Such love would not be worth having. It should be called foolishness not love. True love sees my faults, and can reprove them. It can concern itself with my faults in order to deliver me from them. It will take occasion, even from my very errors and infirmities, to display itself in its own elevated and holy activities. "Love has long patience, is kind; love is not emulous [of others]; love is not insolent and rash, is not puffed up, does not behave in an unseemly manner, does not seek what is its own, is not quickly provoked, does not impute evil, does not rejoice at iniquity but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;" "And now abide faith, hope, love; these three things; and the greater of these [is] love." 1 Cor. 13:13, 4-8. J.N.D. Tr.
But there are two kinds of pseudo love which we may just glance at, in contrast with the lovely moral picture presented in the above quotations. These are sectarian love, and clique love. We have to watch against these. We are in great danger of loving persons merely because they hold the same opinions as we do, or because their habits, tastes and predilections are agreeable to us. The former is love of sect, the latter, love of clique. Neither is Christian love. We may show much of the one or the other, and not yield obedience to the "New Commandment"—not love others as Christ loved us. It is not Christian love to love our own opinions or our own image. It is Christian love to love the image of Christ wherever we see it. May we have grace to apply our hearts to the study, the cultivation, and the exhibition of genuine Christian love! May we drink more deeply into the spirit of Christ, and then we shall love people not because they agree with us or suit us, but because they are agreeable to Christ and reflect His blessed image. Oh! for a vast increase of Christian love! Things New and Old

Ministry

What can be more valuable in its place, and for God's ends by it than Christian ministry? It embraces rule as well as teaching, pastorship as well is preaching. There are those who can teach, who have not the power of ruling; there are others who rule well, having a great moral weight, who could not teach. Some again have e, gift of preaching who themselves need teaching, and are not at all fit to lead on clear, and establish the Church of God. Nor does a gift for ministry in itself carry moral weight for rule. Thus Scripture teaches, and so we see in the facts of every day.
Christian ministry was founded by the Lord o' died for us, but the spring flowed when He up to heaven. If He gave gifts to men, it as after He ascended on high (Eph. 4:8-11). W. Kelly

Redemption - New-Birth Growth

1 Peter 1:18-2:31PE 1:18 1PE 2:3
There are two facts put side by side at the close of the first chapter of 1 Peter, one spoken of as most frail and fleeting, the other as living and enduring forever. The former refers to man, the latter to the Word of God.
“The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away." The grass grows up in the morning and flourishes; in the evening it is cut down and withers. The flower attracts the eye, but no sooner does it charm with interest than it fades away forever. Such is man—all men without exception. "For all flesh is as grass." Man is not only sinful, unclean, and corrupt, but weak and without continuance, for he passes away. Rich or poor, high or low, in this there is no difference: he is fragile and soon decays. All that in which he glories has no continuance, whether it be riches, wisdom, or strength, for he no sooner becomes an object of admiration, than he passes away.
But while man fades and his glory so rapidly passes away, is it not most blessed to know that God has given us something which endures forever? It is His own Word, "which liveth and abideth forever." This gives a solid resting-place for our souls, even with the quicksand of human opinionism and religiousness all around us. We have the Word of God, blessed be God, and when the created heavens and earth shall have passed away, this Word will shine as brightly as ever in all its imperishable clarity and worth.
It is well to remember that God has spoken and that we have His Word, God's own revelation of His own mind and will, written down for our meditation. He knows our infirmities and our needs, and it is this Word that gives certainty to faith and assures our hearts of realities. Luke, the beloved physician, informed Theophilus that he wrote the Gospel that he might know the certainty of those things wherein he had been instructed. The certainty of the Word of God is the ground of all stability of soul, for as Jesus said, "The Scripture cannot be broken." Again, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away." The Holy Spirit, too, is given to teach us this Word. He will guide us into all truth, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
There are three points of instruction brought before us in the scripture we have just read. They are redemption, the new birth, and growth. The first two are fundamental truths and bring out the two things absolutely necessary in order to be happy in God's presence. Without redemption it is impossible to be brought to God. Without the new birth it would be impossible to know God or to enjoy His presence.
1. REDEMPTION: The apostle reminds the believers whom he addressed (naturally Jews) that they had not been redeemed from their traditional religion with silver and gold, "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." The silver and gold here, no doubt, refer to the atonement money of a half shekel, paid in Israel for every one that was numbered among them from twenty years old and upward. (Ex. 30:11-16.) With this ordinance they had been familiar, as Jews, and no doubt it stands before us as a remarkable type of the redemption work of Jesus. This atonement money was used to make the silver sockets on which all the tabernacle rested, and for hooks on which the curtains were hung. Surely all our hopes are built, and all our confidence hangs only on this foundation which has been laid for us in the death and blood-shedding of the Son of God. Here they were reminded of the cost and reality of their redemption.
The person of the Lord Jesus in His infinite perfection is also presented to us by the statement that He was "without blemish and without spot." The Jews had to make diligent search for their sacrifices to find animals which were without a blemish or spot. Many creatures might be looked over before a spotless one could be found. But such only might be used in the service of the sanctuary, for such only could typify the Son of God who was holy, harmless, and undefiled. Jesus was God's Lamb: the only One that ever walked through this world that could be a sacrifice for sin. All else had sinned, but He knew no sin.
Twice the voice from heaven bore witness to this by saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Even the devils acknowledged His title, "the Holy One of God." Wicked Pilate declared several times before all the people that he found no fault in Him. The self-convicted traitor said he had betrayed innocent blood. The mighty angel Gabriel bore witness to the spotlessness of His person as born into the world when he said to Mary, "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." The thief upon the cross, when expiring by His side exclaimed, "This Man hath done nothing amiss." Thus all intelligences in heaven and in earth, angels, men, devils, saints, sinners, Jews, Gentiles, have borne witness to the fact that He was "without spot or blemish.”
Above all, the Father's delight was to speak from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." This was God's Lamb, holy in nature, harmless, blameless, without rebuke, able therefore to bear the sins of many, and to be a substitute for those who were dead in trespasses and sins. It was He who bore our sins in His own body on the tree, who suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God. This was God's Lamb, and He finished the work the Father gave Him to do, satisfying every claim of divine justice and righteousness for sin, vindicating all God's ways, and establishing all God's purposes for His honor and glory. This was the Lamb "who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory.”
2. NEW BIRTH: Those who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ are also born again, and have a life and nature suited to enter into and enjoy the things of God. This new nature is strengthened by the Spirit given to indwell us. But every believer is born again, born from above, born of God. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13.
In the third chapter of John's gospel, where our Lord most emphatically asserts the absolute necessity of Nicodemus's being born again, He presents the Son of man lifted up as the only source of this new life. This is eternal life and is to "whosoever believeth in Him." Here also we are told that it is the Spirit's work and by the Word—born of water (the Word) and of the Spirit. It is the way of faith, having the Son of God who was crucified as the object of faith.
In Peter, the Word is the seed, the Spirit is the power, and Christ is the One by whom we have believed God. Obeying the truth is believing God's Word, the word of the gospel, and coming to God by Him. All such are therefore cleansed from sin, born of God, redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. The activity of the new nature makes itself known by love to the brethren. We read: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren... being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." 1 Peter 1:22, 23. The Word of God which testifies of Christ, received into the heart by the Spirit in the obedience of faith, makes Him the object of faith. Then the soul becomes partaker of a new life or nature and is born again.
3. GROWTH: The third link in this precious chain of divine truth is growth. Scripture speaks of the inner man being strengthened, of our growing up into Christ, sanctified, or practically separated unto God by the truth, growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thus the soul makes progress.
Two things here are taught us as being necessary in order to grow. One is that the activities of evil which we all have in the old man, the flesh, must be unsparingly denied. To walk and act carnally is to produce the opposite of growth. So in this same chapter we are exhorted to "abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." What Christian is there who has not found this out by bitter experience? Who of God's children does not know that when he has given way to the desires of the flesh and of the mind, it has chilled his fervor, sapped his energies, and disturbed his comfort?
But you may ask if it is possible that I who am born of God, redeemed with the blood of Christ, and indwelled by the Holy Spirit, can be the subject of such foul activities as here recorded? Indeed, dear fellow Christian, it is possible. Can malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speakings come from a child of God? Yes, and it is children of God, those who are born of God, that he addresses and insists on their laying aside all these fleshly activities "all malice, and all guile... all evil speakings." Those who see that God has judged both the nature and the fruits of the old man on the cross, and given them a new life, a new nature in Christ risen and ascended, will understand this and find power from it. But if our souls would make progress in divine things, there must be this absolute, unsparing cutting off of all these fleshly buddings. Yes, all, for they are like worthless weeds which grow up and check the growth of what is really good.
With all this being laid aside, the new life, like a newborn babe, wants nourishment and strength. The second thing necessary for growth is nothing less than the pure, unadulterated milk of the Word. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
It is by receiving the Word with meekness that we grow. And as a newborn babe often turns to its source of nutriment, and takes in little by little as it can digest it, so we are exhorted as newborn babes to desire earnestly the pure milk of the Word that we may grow. In this way the mind of God, the love of God, the wisdom of God, and the ways of God are made known to us more and more. When the Scriptures which testify of Christ are neglected, how can there be spiritual growth? Does it not plainly show us why some Christians make so little advancement in divine things? This is why they have so little joy and gladness in the Lord.
We must not forget that though born of God, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to instruct us in the true knowledge of God's mind, to guide us into all truth. and blessed be God, this is one of His gracious offices. H. Snell

Questions and Answers: Speaking Against the Holy Ghost?

Ques. —Why is it that one speaking against the Son of man shall be forgiven, but one speaking against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven? (Man. 12.) Can a true believer commit this sin?
Ans.—Sin or blasphemy against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven because of the character of the sin. God, by the Holy Spirit, was acting in power and this power was attributed in willful and intelligent malice to Satan. Attributing the manifested and acknowledged power of God to Satan constitutes the sin against the Holy Ghost. Christ was acting by the power of the Holy Ghost, and by this power had cast out devils, yet they said, "He hath an unclean spirit." Mark 3:30.Unbelief and ignorance showed themselves in rejecting and speaking against the Son of man, and however far the ignorance and unbelief might go, it could be forgiven upon that ground, hence the Lord could pray for such in those touching words on the cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34. Peter also says to the Jews, when offering them forgiveness after they had crucified Christ, "I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." Acts 3:17. Paul, as to his own case says, "Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." 1 Tim. 1:13 Of course, no true believer can commit this sin, and we must doubt if it ever can in this dispensation be in question even for an unconverted person. It appears to belong to circumstances peculiar to the ministry of Christ on earth amongst the Jews. It is especially Jewish, and sealed the doom of those who committed it, individually as well as nationally, and upon their doing it, the Lord immediately separates and distinguishes the remnant from the rest of the nation, severing all connection with them upon the ground of nature. Henceforth His "brethren" are those who "do the will of God." This gives such special interest and importance to the end of Matt. 12 and Mark 3. C. Wolston

Bible Challenger-05-May V.04: What Should Accompany Us as We Enter the Lord's Gates

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word, describing that which should accompany us as we enter into the gates, of the Lord.
1. The site of a gate where a certain man lay as he waited expectantly.
2. The relationship of a man to a woman whose virtuous works made him well' known in the gates of the city.
3. A class of people we are enjoined not to oppress, in the gate.
4. The name of a city at whose gate a sorrowing widow was made to rejoice.
5. The name of the gate where gladness was turned into anger because of overmuch pride.
6. The startling price forecast by a prophet for a measure of line flour to be sold in a city's gate during a, great famine.
7. The name of a people who waited all night by the gate of their city In a vain, attempt to contain, a strong man.
8. A certain gate which opened, surreptitiously to, release a sleepy disciple and his celestial escort.
9. The name of a low-situated gate which a king thought wise to fortify.
10. Which gate of a noted' city was directed towards, a) cardinal compass point?'
11. The time a king’s cupbearer chose to view the broken-down walls and gates of his beloved city.
12. What a prophet beheld a widow woman doing at the gate of her city.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-04-April V.04

1. Sabeans Job 1:15
2. Abomination Prey. 6:16
3. Fainted Psa. 27:13
4. East wind Gen. 41:6
5. Gallows Esther 5:14; 7:10
6. Underneath Deut. 33:27
7. Abundant 1 Peter 1:3
8. Rejoice Psa. 5:11
9. Deliverance Luke 4:18
“Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in SAFEGUARD." 1 Sam. 22:23

The Six One Things

Sinner—One thing thou lackest Mark 10:21
Blind Man—One thing I know John 9:25
Mary—Hath the one thing needful Luke 10:42
Christ—One is your Master Matt. 23:10
Paul—One thing I do Phil. 3:13
Joshua—Not one thing has failed Josh. 23:14
D. L. Moody

The Lord Is Coming

The Lord is coming! Yes! That is true; it is The Lord. But because I am a son of God I wait for Him to conk from heaven. The very inward life of the believer is formed in connection with the coming of the Lord. The night was dark when these epistles were written, but, as in a dark night, there was a bright shining of the Star in heaven. However dark the night, and however many difficulties there are, we should be able to see that bright Star.
The Thessalonians were not fully instructed as to the coming. Their minds were not at ease about those taken to be with the Lord. But Paul does not write only because they were puzzled and perplexed, but brings out the mind of the Spirit quite simply.
The first epistle to the Thessalonians was probably the first of all the epistles to be written and when the Lord thinks of us, what are His first thoughts about us? Of the deep sands of the wilderness? No. He knows there is a certain responsiveness of heart in us to the thought of His coming, and His thought is that we are waiting for Himself from heaven.
If He let them come to their wit's end. it was that He might show them that He could meet all their need and, at the same lime, demonstrate His love. He always takes occasion from any difficulty to show forth Himself.
If I get near the Lord Jesus Christ I find there is in His heart a specialty of things and affections for a people down here, who are waiting for Him. They are not waiting for the glory; that is another thing. It is a craving in His heart that cannot be satisfied until He comes to take us home to Himself. And can I think of this and not want to see Him? Formed for Christ's own individual presence, the heart cannot be satisfied till it gets there.
Notice the place He recognizes them in, "in God the Father." 1 Thess. 1:1. This has no meaning to an unconverted mind. How can a people be in God the Father and in His Son Jesus Christ?
It is an immense help to remember that our Lord Jesus never forgets His coming—there is a fixedness of heart in Him to come and take the bride home to the Father's house, and I can have sympathy with Him in that.
The tomorrow of the believer is formed on the yesterday of the believer and is connected with His today. For where does a soul get peace but by going right inside the veil where Christ sits? You must see the connection between what Christ did on the cross with the throne of God in heaven if you are to have a hope "that maketh not ashamed.”
The anchor of your soul is settled in Christ within the veil, the accepted sacrifice. Many cleave to the Lord Jesus Christ where God hid His face from Him on the cross. That is the yesterday of faith—therein I have brought out the knowledge of my faith and of my acceptance before God.
Have you brought nothing else from the presence of God? Not the love He bears you? Was all the love of Christ spent in proving to you your access to God? Oh, no. I cannot have been intelligently in the presence of the Lord without knowing not only that I want Him, but that He wants me. G.V. Wigram

Editorial

Catastrophes seem to happen more frequently. Earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, explosions and vehicle crashes that take a heavy toll of life are almost daily in the headlines.
Over much of the United States last year the drought was considered a calamity while terrible floods were afflicting other parts of this globe. Why the imbalance? Is nature, as men say, "out of course"? Is there a cause? Zophar asked this question in Job 11:7, "Canst thou by searching find out God?" At the end of Job's book, he says to the Lord, "I know that Thou canst do everything, and that Thou canst be hindered in no thought of Thine." Job 42:2 (JND). Our God is in control of every event.
Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest of men in his day, came under the judgment of God or what men would call a catastrophe. He was demented for a period of time so that he could learn that God was in full control of all things. At the end his reason was restored and he blessed the Most High, and he "praised and honored Him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?" Dan. 4:34, 35.
The Lord Jesus cited two calamities in Luke 13 and also indicated why they had happened. Cruel Pilate had mingled human blood with the Galilean sacrifices and in another case eighteen people perished when the tower in Siloam fell on them. Clearly these two catastrophes happened to alert the living, for Jesus said, "Suppose ye that these... were sinners above all...? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
In the case of Elijah when he was discouraged, fearful and self-important, it was not the wind or earthquake or fire that reached his conscience, but it was the still small voice. The voice of the Lord heard through His Word is that for which we should listen and then perhaps drastic means would not be necessary to get our attention. Psa. 148 speaks of "fire, and hail; snow, and vapor; stormy wind fulfilling His word." For the Christian, we are comforted by Rom. 8:28. "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." This verse leaves none of the events out, but rather includes them, for God has a purpose in all. Ed.

Observation

It is in routine of daily living that you are seen most clearly. If you wait for crises to come before you demonstrate your faith, you will fail to do God’s will. Christian should make every occasion great by faithful loyalty to God’s grace. We will then have a good witness before those who are observing us.

A New Creation

God is the creator of two creations. In the beginning He created the heavens and the earth first, then man last. In the new creation the order is reversed God is now creating men anew in Christ Jesus, and hereafter will fashion a new heaven and a new earth. (2 Cor. 5:17: Rev. 21:1)
It is an immense blessing for a soul to lay hold of the truth of the new creation. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature," or there is a new creation; "old things are passed away; behold, all things arc become new." 2 Cor. 5:17.
Adam was created in innocence, and being tempted, sinned. The Christian, created anew in Christ, has a new nature which cannot sin. The old Adam nature in the believer is not one whit improved, but everyone who is in Christ is a new creation. God sees him that way forever.
Those who are "in Christ" are also spoken of as, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works"; "created in righteousness and true holiness" (or. holiness of truth) (Eph. 2:10; 4:24).
“God... hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." Eph. 2:4-10.
“And that ye" (or, having) "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Eph. 4:24.
The new creation is God's own perfect handiwork. And "whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever." Eccl. 3:14. Are you a new creation in Christ?
Young Christian

Questions and Answers: The Church Hid in the Field or in God?

Ques. —Is not the treasure in Matt. 13:44 Israel? Is the Church hid in the field, or was it hid in God? Does Psa. 135:4 point on to the treasure in Matt. 13:44?
Ans.—“The kingdom of heaven" in its mysterious form, (that is, when the King is absent, only called so in Matthew's gospel), applies to this present time. It does not apply to Israel in the past, nor in the future that is, after the Church is caught up.
Israel was to be a peculiar treasure, if they had obeyed Jehovah (Ex. 19:5), and they will be it in the reign of Christ, the center for His earthly glory (Psa. 135:4). It will be the Kingdom in power then. Israel was never hid in the field. They were well known, not hidden.
In Matt. 13:44 the Man found it, and hid it, then sold all that He had, and bought the field for the treasure that was in it. The field is the purchased thing there. In verses 45, 46 we find the great object of His delight, the pearl of great price (Eph. 5:25-27). This is what was hid in God, and was only revealed (Eph. 3:9) after Paul was converted.
It is important to notice that all the parables of the Kingdom of heaven apply to the Church period.

To Sunday School Teachers

The children have souls, and you have a love for souls, an earnest desire that souls may be saved. Then let the salvation of the soul be your one, constant aim. Let everything tend to this end—everything reach to this.
The means is the gospel of the grace of God. Let this be always prominent, and never let it be lost amid the abundance of your illustration or any desire you may have for teaching.
It may seem foolish to be always harping on one string, but that string has many tones, and remember that, "it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." (Rom. 1:16), and we want salvation for the children.
There is the whole Word of God in your hands, and there are an abundance of passages in the Old Testament, as well as in the New, which can be used as illustrating the gospel.

The Lord Jesus as a Youth

Luke 2:40-52LUK 2:40-52
Little is known about the life of our Lord Jesus Christ during His first thirty years on earth prior to His public ministry. But there is a portion in Luke 2 that pulls back the veil on that perfect young Man. It provides a brief glimpse that might be an encouragement to young people and parents. With ever-increasing peer pressure to conform to a wicked world and a lukewarm Christendom, it is more urgent than ever that we follow the example of our blessed Lord with a devoted heart and single eye on Him.
There are eight characteristics of our Lord Jesus we ought to consider when His parents returned to Jerusalem seeking Him (v. 45.)The moral order of these things is a good lesson in itself.
Sitting
First of all He was found sitting in the temple in the midst of the doctors. The Lord Jesus was sitting in a place where the Word of God was taught and discussed. Are you? Are you regularly attending Bible studies and prayer meetings? Some will say, "But things are not going too well in the church right now so why should I go?" Well, consider how corrupt this very temple was in which the Lord was sitting. It was truly a "den of thieves" and "a house of merchandise," but Jesus was still there, although briefly. The temple had hypocrites then and the church has the same today, but as there were God-fearing saints in the temple then, as Anna and Simeon, so there are Christians today who fear the Lord and need the encouraging presence of younger brethren at assembly meetings.
Hearing
Next we find the Lord hearing the doctors. When we go to prayer, reading or other meetings do we listen? Why waste the time going if we don't hear what is said? "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." It is wise to get one or two good facts or thoughts out of each meeting we go to, that we might meditate and multiply the truth ministered.
Asking
Then we find that the Lord was asking questions. You mean, the Lord of Glory, who knows the end from the beginning had to ask questions? No, I don't think He had to, but He did, in His marvelous grace and lowliness. If we search through the public ministry of our Savior, we will find a multitude of questions from His blessed lips. Well then, are we too proud, or too shy to ask honest questions about what is preached or taught? "Seek, and ye shall find," "ask and it shall be given." God rewards those that diligently seek Him. Don't be afraid to ask questions, but don't ask questions to stir up strife or confusion. The Lord used questions to bring out the real truth, and to search the conscience.
Understanding
The doctors were astonished at His understanding. We don't always understand the truths of Scripture when we first hear them. But if we sit, hear and ask, then understanding will certainly come. God desires that our understanding be opened and that we fully and happily know the truth of the Bible. When we understand a scripture, that means we know what it says and that it applies to us personally. There are too many today that can tell you what God's Word says, but seldom apply it to their own hearts first. Knowledge without understanding is a great obstacle to spiritual growth. Live, show, and then speak what you know of God's precious book (Matt. 5:19.)
Answers
Next the Lord has answers. It is excellent also if we have studied to show ourselves approved unto God and are ready to give a scriptural answer to those that ask. Do you have some answers, that is, spiritual answers from Scripture, to the many difficult questions young people have today? Don't speak when you don't know what to say as Peter did on the mount, but be ready as Timothy was, rightly dividing the word of truth, preaching the word in season, and out of season. If you lack wisdom just ask of God and He will give it from above, liberally. The best answers come, as Peter learned, from those who have sanctified the Lord in their heart (1 Peter 3:15) and know how to answer every man.
Working
After this we see the Lord declaring that He "must be about His Father's business." The Lord Jesus was a working young man. And He worked hard. (John 9:4.) He said "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" John 11:9. And He lived that! We are to be working too; God has made it that way. "Occupy till I come." Our day of rest and reign will come shortly in glory, but it is not now on this earth. Here we are to study to work with our own hands and do our own business and all should be done heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men. The lazy and slothful will have a miserable life overgrown with nettles, and a big bonfire at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:15.) "In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury [poverty]." Prov. 14:23.
Submitting
Now as the Lord Jesus went back to Nazareth from Jerusalem, we find the Lord of glory submitting to His earthly parents (v. 51). Amazing grace! What a blessed example for us today in a world of rebellion and in a generation that "curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother." (Prov. 30:11.) God delights in parents that reverence Him and in children that submit to parents in the fear of God. It is the only path of peace and joy for the young Christian. Let us be honest, are those young people who rebel, disobey and dishonor their parents happy or spiritually prosperous? Not really: remember the prodigal, remember Samson, remember Absalom. Now stop and consider the blessed and fruitful life of Samuel. What a difference submission makes, first to God, then to those with authority from God.
Increasing
Last of all we find the Lord increasing (v. 52). Don't we all want this: to be in favor with God and man? But we want it now! Look at all that went before in the Lord's life: sitting, hearing, asking, understanding, answering, working, and submitting. Yes, God gives the increase we know, but He gives it in His perfect time. "He that shall humble himself shall be exalted," just as the Lord Jesus. Our increasing in. wisdom and stature is never to be an object or goal, it can only be the result of a life humbly seeking to follow Christ. True spiritual growth is an unsought-for by-product of a life of obedience and submission to God. And if our Father has indeed increased us a little we need not glory or gloat in it, but soberly remember. "A man can receive nothing, except it be given Him from heaven." John 3:27. "The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men." I Mess. 3:12.
How wonderful of God to give us just a fleeting glimpse of the Lord Jesus in His youth. But even this is enough to cause us to exclaim with others, "Never man spake Like this Man" and "He hath done all things well.”
Though only twelve, yet in Jesus I find
Perfect wisdom for this young life of mine.
Though only twelve, still in Jesus I see
Perfect graces I'll praise for eternity.
T. Clement

Things We Know in First John

Chapter 2 Verses
1. Fathers have known Him (Christ). 13, 14
2. Little children have known the Father. 13
3. We know it is the last time 18
4. Ye know all things. 20
5. Ye know the truth. 21
Chapter 3 Verses
6. We know we shall be like Him. 2
7. Ye know He was manifested to take away our sins. 5
8. We know we have passed from death unto life. 14
We know we are of the truth. 19
We know He abideth in us 24
Chapter 4 Verses
11. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him,
and He in us. 13
12. We have known the love God hath to us. 16
Chapter 5 Verses
13. We know that we love the children of God. 2
14. Ye may know that ye have eternal life. 13
15. We know that we have the petitions
that we desired. 15
16. We know that whosoever is born of God
sinneth not 18
17. We know we are of God. 19
18. We know that the Son of God is come. 20
19. We know Him that is true. 20
20. We are in Him that is true. 20

Memorial.

The Passover was the memorial of the deliverance out of Egypt for Israel. The Lord’s Supper is the memorial not only of our deliverance but of the love of Him who has delivered us.

The King's Dream

Nebuchadnezzar went to bed in Babylon one night with the might and majesty of his empire upon his mind, and wondering what would be the development of it. God graciously answered the poor pagan's thoughts by showing him, in a vision, Gentile imperialism as a whole, and its ultimate destruction by the superior power of the kingdom of God (Dan. 2). This was intended to act upon his conscience for his blessing, but no such effect was produced at that time. He was blessed later (Dan. 4).
Solomon went to bed in Gibeon with very different thoughts exercising his mind. He had become the most exalted person on earth, head of God's chosen people, now triumphant over every foe. He felt the seriousness of his position and the great responsibilities connected with it. He was scarcely out of his teens at this time, but his heart turned to God. It would have been happy for the nations throughout the centuries if rulers everywhere had felt as Solomon did that night in Gibeon.
“The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee." 1 Kings 3:5. A dream is not God's most intimate way of communicating with men, as He Himself told Aaron and Miriam in Num. 12:6-8. But it seems certain that Solomon never knew God as his father knew Him. He lacked David's deep spiritual experience, never having suffered as he suffered. David's years of affliction gave him a knowledge of God from which we all benefit in this day as readers of his psalms. David could have said like a later poet:
Deep waters crossed life's pathway,
The hedge of thorns was sharp.
Such language would be foreign to Solomon. It is also noticeable that David is named in God's list of men of faith, but not Solomon. (Heb. 11:32.)
It was after a busy day in Gibeon when a thousand burnt offerings were offered upon the altar that "The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee." The young king's answer delighted the heart of God. First he acknowledged His loving-kindness in giving David a son to sit upon his throne. Then he confessed his own insufficiency for the heavy responsibilities which now lay upon him. God's people were a great people, distinguished as His chosen. To guide and direct them aright in their unique relation to God was beyond his power. "I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in." The spirit of the little child—humble, confiding, and teachable, is becoming in all of us.
The Lord Jesus puts this before us in Matt. 18. The last part of chapter 17 gives us a wonderful setting for this instruction. Peter did not answer the tax collector wisely. But the Lord took this occasion to declare the exalted position in which Peter and every other believer stands in relationship with Himself through grace. We are sons of the Sovereign of the universe in association with the Firstborn! (Heb. 2:10.)
The believer in Jesus is thus a very dignified person, according to grace. Note the sequel: "At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." We have to become very small in order to enter into blessing. The next verse teaches us to continue small. "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matt. 17:24-27 shows us the dignity of grace; Matt. 18 follows suitably, instructing us to keep small and insignificant in our own esteem. Even King Saul was little in his own sight in the beginning (1 Sam. 15:17). But exaltation and power drew out his inherent pride and stubbornness to his ruin. A later king, Uzziah, walked well until he became strong, "But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction." 2 Chron. 26:16.
Self-importance was the plague of the apostolic band. Even at the last supper, there was a strife among them who should be accounted the greatest (Luke 22:24). The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to take charge of the assembly for Christ should have made this impossible in the new order, but flesh is ever restless. The Apostle's plain injunction in Rom. 12:3 has been little heeded: "I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
The vastness of the divine immensities that he ministered made Paul feel personally very small—less than the least of all saints. In 1 Cor. 14:20 we find a truly impressive appeal: "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." He had no desire that his readers should be childish, but he longed that they might be childlike. "1 am among you as He that serveth," said the Lord to His self-important followers in Luke 22. Did He not wash their feet that very night? (John 13.)
Solomon felt that he was "but a little child." Accordingly he seized the golden opportunity divinely given to ask for "an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that 1 may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?" His speech pleased God well. He might have asked for long life, or riches, or the life of his enemies; instead he asked for an understanding heart that he might rule the people of God well. Our blessed Lord once said: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
On this principle God dealt with Solomon. "Behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days." 1 Kings 3:12, 13. This seemed to make the blessing of Israel secure, but God went on to say, "If thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes." The priesthood having been in a secondary place since the ruin of Eli and his sons, everything depended upon the fidelity of the king. The "if" to Solomon in 1 Kings 3:14 was as fatal as the "if" to Israel in Ex. 19:5, for poor flesh can never be trusted. Solomon's failure was truly catastrophic. Blessed be God, all that has been lost by the unfaithfulness of men will be taken up by the Lord Jesus, God's faithful second Man, on the principle of grace and on the ground of redemption. This makes all things sure forever. Before we pass from Gibeon, let us ask our own hearts what reply we would have given if God had said to us, "Ask what I shall give thee." It would be a testing moment assuredly; yes, it would be the turning point of our lives. Elisha had a moment of testing in 1 Kings 19:19-21 and he responded well to it. He left his farm and forthwith shared the path of the persecuted prophet. Matthew was similarly tested and he abandoned a lucrative calling and followed the rejected Jesus. What do we desire more than anything that earth can give?Is it to know Him and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, and being made conformable to His death? (Phil. 3:10.)
W. Fereday

The Untrodden Way

"Ye have not passed this way heretofore." Josh. 3:4JOS 3:4
“Whither I go, thou must not follow Me now." John 13:36.JOH 13:36
When the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, the waters of Jordan rolled between them and the object of their hope. Those waters were a type of death. But they speak of death in a-certain aspect, namely, as that which lay between the wilderness and the land, as the Red Sea typified death separating Egypt and the wilderness. The people passed through the sea into the wilderness. They passed through Jordan into the land of Canaan, in Egypt, in the wilderness, and in the land of Canaan, we see the three distinct positions of the people of God. As to fact, we are in Egypt; in our experience, we are in the wilderness; by faith we are, in spirit and principle, in heaven. We are walking through the world which is morally a wilderness to the new nature; our home is on high where Jesus our Head and Forerunner is.
Now the river Jordan had to be crossed before the people could enter their promised inheritance. There stood that terrible barrier—never more terrible than at the very time in the which "the living God" was about to act on behalf of His people, "For Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest." Death was never more terrible, never more deathlike, never put on more awful forms, than when the Prince of Life destroyed its power on our behalf, and turned it into a pathway by which we pass into our heavenly home. The deep bed of Jordan was an untrodden way to Israel. They had therefore to wait until the ark of the living God, carried by the priests, went before them to open up their way. "And it came to pass, after three days, that the officers went through the host; and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore." "And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God. And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites," etc. "Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.”
Here, then, we have a very magnificent type of the Lord Jesus Christ overcoming the power of death for His people. He met death in its most appalling form. Jordan had put on its most forbidding aspect when the ark of God drove back its mighty flood and formed a highway for the ransomed of the Lord to pass over. "And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan." It was a complete victory of life over death. It was the power of the living God changing death itself into a pathway of life. The feet of God's redeemed were not allowed to touch death's dark waters. These waters looked dreadful in the distance. To nature's view they were truly appalling, but the moment the people approached, instead of an appalling flood, they found a dry pathway, God—the living God, was there—there in grace and truth, as expressed by the priests and the Ark of the Covenant. This changed the character of everything. Death is not death if God be there. Sin brought death into the world. Sin is the very sting of death, but grace has come in and altered everything, so that the believer can say, "O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit." Such is the moral triumph of that grace which reigns through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace has so wrought for us in and by Christ, as to change death into a servant for the believer. Instead of being a dreadful foe, it is actually part of our property (see 1 Cor. 3:22). Instead of being an insuperable barrier, it becomes a pathway.
Now, in John 12 we have the antitype of what we have been looking at in Joshua. Our blessed Lord there teaches His disciples that He must go before them through the Jordan of Death, and that there must be "a space" between Him and them, for they could not come near unto Him as He was treading that tremendous pathway. "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said unto the Jews, whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you." It was as impossible for the disciples as it was for the Jews to tread that way.
Jesus had to tread it alone. Who could accompany Him? Who could meet the terrific array of all the powers of darkness, the malice of Satan, the rage of hell, and, far beyond all, the wrath of God? Who could encounter these things? Who but Himself?
Peter did not understand this. He thought he could meet death. He would attempt to overleap the divinely appointed "space"—the mystic "two thousand cubits." Poor Peter! How little he thought that the distant sound of Jordan's dreaded flood would so terrify him as to cause him to curse and swear that he knew not his blessed Master! "Lord," he said, "whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterward." In other words, that gracious Savior tells His poor servant that He must go before, in order to open a dry pathway through death's dark waters, along which Peter, in common with all the redeemed, might pass unscathed to glory. What grace! He went alone—in profound and awful solitude. Single-handed He met death in all its power, and armed with all its terrors. There was not a single bank of the real Jordan that was not covered. It was all a dark, dreary waste without so much as a single ray of light. There was the malice of Satan, the enmity of man, the faithless desertion of His nearest friends. Finally, when men and devils had done their utmost, there lay before the Prince of life a region so dark and dreadful that no human or angelic mind could enter into it. In it He was called to drink "the cup" of God's righteous wrath against sin to bear, that we might never have to bear, the hiding of God's countenance.
All this should be entered into in order to answer Peter's question, "Whither goest thou?" Who could understand the reply? No one, and therefore Jesus does not give it, but simply says, "Thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterward." When the way was laid open, Peter should follow, for then he could. Gracious Lord and Master! He would meet all the terrors of death, that we might have the joys of immortality.
But still Peter is dull of comprehension. "Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now? I will lay down my life for Thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for My sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice." So much for Peter. He neither knew himself, nor the path he so confidently undertook to tread. But Jesus knew both, blessed be His Name, and was going first to tread the path alone, and then conduct His poor servant in peace and victory by that self-same path up to glory. Then, in His own precious grace, He calls off the thoughts of Peter and the rest from everything that might chill or depress them, and speaks words of sweetest comfort to them, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Things New and Old

By Their Fruits

A tree is often known by its fruit. Many people can hardly tell one tree from another, but most could identify the fruit of the tree. There are many professors of religion, whose lips might deceive us, and whose pretensions might almost command is to regard them with respect, but the Lord does not ask us to judge them by such things. There were no more strict professors of religion, and none more pretentious than the Pharisees of old, but Jesus judged them by their fruits. We should take this test with us in our daily lives.
Let us also try ourselves by the same test. We are what we do. Men do not gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles. We cannot cultivate a thorn bush into a vine, or a thistle into a fig tree, neither can anyone be educated into being a true Christian. The true Christian is one who is born again, and in him God the Holy Spirit dwells, and by that Spirit he is enabled to produce the fruits which are acceptable to God.
Some of the trees of the Lord's planting do not bear so much fruit as do others, but all bear some fruit— some thirty, some sixty, some an hundredfold. Consider the multitude of acorns that grow upon one oak, yet that oak was once a solitary acorn. As years rolled on, it grew and spread out its branches, and these in prosperous seasons gave forth their fruit, till millions and millions of acorns fell from that one tree. In some seasons trees bear more abundantly than in others, and so it is with the Christian, but this word will always stand, "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." Fruit does not come forth in a tree all at once. The process is usually slow. However, whether slow, or comparatively quick of development, the whole life and being of the tree is ordered to the bearing of fruit. And this principle is most true of the Christian. He lives not for himself, but for the glory of God, and if he does not bring forth fruit, his life is so far wasted.
There is only one way of fruit-bearing, and that way Jesus shows to us in His words recorded in John 15. It is abiding in, dwelling in, or going on in company with Christ. When the heart is at home in Christ, the thoughts, the words, the actions of the believer, are acceptable to God the Father. We are not the best judges of the character of fruit we bear, though we should live in self-judgment. Others will discern what we are like by our ways and words.
Our influence is the most important part of our lives. Never under-rate your influence, and never forget, you cannot avoid influencing others.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Gal. 5:22, 23.
These things are of more worth than all the jewels this world can display, and by such fruits the humble follower of the Lord Jesus is known.
Young Christian

Bible Challenger-06-June V.04: What the Heart Naturally Desires

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word that defines what the hart naturally desires, illustrating what the spiritual desires of a child of God should be.
1. Something opened to permit the timely release of a pent-up raven.
2. A king's son whose mule left him in a vulnerable position.
3. Something befitting a certain king which was adorned with fourteen lions.
4. Something dogs often do under the family table.
5. The place where a serpent performs wondrously.
6. An elevated feeding tray for birds as is seen in a vision.
7. Something rather important to a certain prophet that was supplied by camels.
8. Something that is rendered noxious if not protected from flies.
9. One of several crops that was ruined by 150 pairs of foxes.
10. The regal residence of the lowly spider.
11. Something a horse fails to provide even though it has great strength.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-05-May V.04

1. Temple Acts 3:2
2. Husband Prov. 31:23
3. Afflicted Prov. 22:22
4. Nain Luke 7:11
5. King's gate Esther 5:9
6. Shekel 2 Kings 7:1
7. Gazites Judg. 16:2
8. Iron gate Acts 12:10
9. Valley gate 2 Chron. 26:9
10. Inner gate Ezek. 8:3
11. Night Neh. 2:13
12. Gathering of sticks 1 Kings 17:10
“Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name." Psa. 100:4

Self-Occupation

Self-occupation is a great mistake for the Christian. Of course, until a sinner has learned the plague of his own soul, he must be turned in upon himself. Thus he will cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner," and find salvation and peace in turning to God. So, too, a Christian must be reminded of himself as long as he thinks there is anything good in him. But when he can say with Paul, "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing," he is privileged to turn from himself to Christ, to find his all in Him.
And what a relief it is! Instead of thinking about my feelings, my attainments, my work, my dignity—I can live in the joy of the Lord, in what He is for us, in letting Him work in us that which is well-pleasing in His sight in the desire that He may be glorified. This is what is meant by the words, "To me to live is Christ"; living is Christ.
Are you thinking of yourself? Then you are in danger of either being a Pharisee or being miserable. Do you long to be happy and holy? Turn to Jesus the Author and Finisher of faith; find your all in Him.

Reality

In living a life of sight, it is amazing how little is seen of reality. I have been often struck in reading the histories of the gospels with facts apparently underneath, "There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed" or enrolled. It was the first census ever made, a most important thing, for it was the empire bringing men under a power never known before; through it, the whole political world was set in commotion, and all was overruled to bring Christ to Bethlehem. Again, when the thief had his legs broken, that Sabbath day was a high day, and they broke his legs so as not to have a dead person on the cross that day.
Little did they think they were sending him off to heaven! But they wanted simply to get rid of anything that might interfere with their ceremonial.
What is most important is that which lies behind and is unseen. The Lord "withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous." We see this again in Job. The Chaldeans were going out on a laid but it was all taking place under God, through the devil's hands, and it has served for instruction to the saints ever since.
When we come to details, there is, I think, a double judgment of God indicated. We find, first, the judgment of God as to responsibility where we are, and then, the judgment of God as to what can approach Him where He is, and as He is. Both are His judgments, but it is just the difference between the brass and the gold. The brazen altar was judgment as regards the responsibility of man where he was; he had to bring a sin-offering, and meet God according to his responsibility and failure in it. But the cherubim on the mercy-seat were all of gold, and that was approaching God according to what He was in Himself, "His feet like unto fine brass," that is the firmness of His judgment as regards human responsibility. The sinner comes to the brazen altar where the question of his previous responsibility is met, but he is not really clear and settled in his soul until he has passed right within the veil. We cannot have the full value of righteousness unless we have to do with the gold, that is to say, unless we can walk in the light as God is in the light. I cannot now have merely my responsibility as a man met, I must go further than this.

Editorial

July and January bring the extremes of summer and winter. and they never fail. It is interesting to consider that these seasons are reversed when changing from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. Still God's Word is accurate and His promise given in Gen. 8:22 abides. "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
It is the faithful Creator who has established and kept these seasons and times for man. Seedtime and harvest are absolutely necessary for food production for life, and the cold and heat serve their proper purpose too. The length of the summer and also of the winter at different latitudes of the earth are just right for the kind of life found in each region. What would we do without day and night? Each is necessary for mankind. Sleep is essential so we have night, but work must be done so we have day.
Of this same faithful Creator, Peter wrote these words for us, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if' the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." 1 Peter 4:17-19.
We can then, trust the keeping of our souls unto this faithful Creator. He has sustained this creation for thousands of years and He will keep our souls. We may say that we cause God some difficulty (if the righteous scarcely be saved), but He faithfully trains and keeps His children. We have already received the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls. (1 Peter 1:9.) Now we are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." chap. 1:5. For us who trust the gospel, this salvation will be the receiving of our new bodies and will take place at the rapture.
In that millennial time that we read of in Rev. 22:5 it says, "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.”
Then in that day of eternity we read this in Rev. 21:4, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed may." Meanwhile, may we hearken to Peter's last words, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18. Ed.

Like Christ

I am going to be like Christ in glory. This wonderful truth should produce in me the desire that I must be as much like Him now as. I can be.
The position that each Christian holds before man is that of an epistle of Christ. We are set for this, that the life of Christ should be manifested in us. Christ has settled the question with God. He appears in the presence of God for us, and we are in the presence of the world for Him. "At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you." If I know He is in me, I am to manifest the life of Christ in everything. If He has loved me with unutterable love which passes knowledge, I feel hound in heart to Him. My business is to glorify Hint in everything I do. "Bought with a price" that is settled; if bought, I am His. But I press upon you that earnestness of heart which cleaves to Him, especially in these last and evil days, when we wait for the Son from heaven. Oh! if Christians were more thoroughly Christians, the world would understand what it was all about. There is a great deal of profession and talk, but do you think if a heathen came here to learn what Christianity meant he would find it out?
The Lord give you to have such a sense of the love of Christ that, as bought with a price, the only object of your souls may be to live by Christ and to live for Christ. The more of Christ you manifest down here, as an epistle "known and read of all men," the more you will draw other sin-weary souls to Him.
Bible Treasury

Three Looks

“Looking upon Jesus as He walked." John 1:36.
John the Baptist had his attention focused on the Lord. What was it that made him so eager a disciple, so faithful a witness, that led him to testify. "He that cometh from above is above all." John 3:31. Why was he willing to decrease that Jesus might increase? Willing to see his followers leave him, if only they went after Jesus?
He had seen the Lord of glory, the maker and upholder of all things, moving among guilty men, full of grace and truth, coming to His own, only to be refused by them, yet unchanged by their hatred, unwearied in His love and compassion. He had seen the anointed of Jehovah, on whom the Spirit descended and remained, to whom the voice from heaven had said. "Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased." Luke 3:22. And John, as he gazed on Jesus, found strength for a life of toil and testimony, and for a cruel death in prison, by the sword of Herod.
Is it our habit to look upon Jesus as He walked? There is power in this look, and peace and joy. In Him we see the kind of walk that pleased God, and on which He looked with unchanging delight.
Stephen, "being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." Acts 7:55.
Here was another look indeed! Stephen beheld Him, not as the lowly, soon-to-be-crucified One, but as the One who had passed through death, having broken the bars of the grave—a risen Lord, standing. Waiting, if even now His own would receive Him. Stephen, as he looked, was conformed in measure to His likeness, and kneeling down prayed, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:60. He was the Church's first martyr.
Lord, teach us how to look as Stephen looked.
Yet another look! A strong man on the Damascus road, breathing out threatenings and slaughter, smitten down and blinded by the glory of the light that shone from One saying to him. "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" Acts 9:4. And he arose, and ever after, the glory of that light filled his vision, impelling him to a life of pain and labor, of bitter persecution, of famine and nakedness, of stripes and imprisonments, to end, as with John and Stephen, in a martyr's death. He endured all most gladly because, as he himself explained, "last of all He was seen of me also." 1 Cor. 15:8.
May we, like John. Stephen and Paul be "looking upon Jesus." "We see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus... crowned with glory and honor." Heb. 2:8, 9.
If we look around we see an ever-deepening darkness; if we look within, our hearts will be disappointed, but "looking upon Jesus," and by the help of His Spirit, the mighty Comforter, sent by Him, "Looking unto Jesus" we can say:
We look until His precious love
Our every thought control,
Its vast constraining influence prove
O'er body, spirit, soul.

Hannah's Prayer

1 Samuel 2:1-101SA 2:1-10
The Spirit of God says that this is Hannah's prayer, so it is something addressed to the Lord, but here it is recorded in God's blessed Word so it is spoken hack to us again. It is a most remarkable script tire!
The first thing we notice is, "Hannah prayed, and said. My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation.”
No one can rejoice in the Lord who is not able to rejoice in God's salvation. Men ordinarily rejoice in the work of their own hands. But one who can really rejoice in the Lord knows something about God's salvation. The only person in this world who has a moral right, a divine right and title to be glad is the one who knows Jesus as his Savior.
You see, if you are not saved, if you do not know Jesus as your Savior, there are countless sins behind your back. There is the wrath of God over your head and the blackness of darkness forever in store for you. Who would dare be glad with that accumulation'
“My heart rejoiceth in the Lord." It is a wonderful thing to be brought to that point of triumph. There was a time when Hanna wept. There was a time when her soul and heart were heavy, but the Lord came in and delivered her. In this beautiful prayer, instead of her being occupied just with her deliverance, she is occupied with her Deliverer.
A large percent of teaching today is calculated to engage us with ourselves, and the work of the Spirit in us rather than with Christ and His work for us. This is true even where it is very earnest and accompanied with a great deal of devotion.
What you find characterizing Hannah is, she is not looking within; she is not engaged with herself; she is occupied with the Lord. If we know the Lord Jesus as our Savior we should be, as to the state of our souls, where we can squeeze the very essence of praise out of the most difficult circumstances.
Even at this moment there was a great deal of trial for Hannah's heart. I have no doubt that there was quite a tug there, but she rejoiced in the Lord, gloried in the Lord, and was glad in the Lord. There is a lesson in that for us.
One reason we go through the world, even we who know the Lord's salvation, so languidly, so lazily, so haltingly, is because we are not glad in the Lord. I sometimes think that we are a very poor advertisement for what we profess. The happiest, the most joyous people in this world should be those who know Jesus as their Savior and have owned that blessed One as their Lord. I do not mean they will not have sorrows. They will, but just as the Apostle says that if we do have the trouble and sorrow, we should be, "Yet always rejoicing," with sorrows at the bottom, joys on top.
How blessedly this is illustrated in Paul and Silas at Philippi. Everything was discouraging, with their feet fast in the stocks and their backs bleeding. But they prayed and sang praises to God at midnight. They were not looking on the dark side of things.
They were where the light always shines and they rejoiced in the Lord just as Hannah did.
When the children of Israel were in battle array, their order was that the singers went before—not the bowmen—not the spearmen—but the singers, in recognition of this principle: "The joy of the Lord is your 'strength." It is a practical thing to rejoice in the Lord. It is the fruit of the Spirit. In Gal. 5:22 "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy," etc. When it is a question of what the flesh produces, it is called "works.”
“Mine horn is exalted in the Lord." You see, the joy welled up from within, then spilled out and over, and that is always God's way. May the Lord give us to know what it is to boast somewhat after the fashion of Hannah in this prayer.
“My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies." Who are your enemies? Satan is one; is your mouth enlarged over him? It has a right to be. He is not a vanquished foe, but he is a defeated one. Then what about sin? That is another foe of yours which has been dealt with and all put away so that you have "no more conscience of sins." Blessed fact! Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That is another foe disposed of and positive blessing brought.
What about death? He has annulled death and brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel. What about judgment? The Judge Himself says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life." And as for wrath, we read in 1 Thess. 1:10,
“Which delivered us from the wrath to come." Is that not wonderful? Our mouths may well be enlarged over our enemies.
So you see Satan, sin, death, judgment and wrath have all been disposed of. Do you know what Jesus said on the resurrection morning when He entered behind those doors that were closed for fear of the Jews? He said, "Peace be unto you." It was divinely imparted and they had a divine right to it. The One that made peace pronounced it. He made it by the blood of the cross and conveyed it by His own words. Have you a right to be glad? You have—a real right.
“Because I rejoice in Thy salvation."There is something striking in that expression. You hear lots of people rejoicing in my salvation, but here it is Thy salvation. It is viewing salvation from His side instead of ours. If you think of salvation as your salvation (to be sure you are the subject of it) you measure it by your need. But when it is Thy salvation, you measure it by His fullness, so it is just as big as God Himself. He is revealed in that character as Savior.
In Hebrews we have salvation spoken of as "great salvation." It is not great because of what it saves us from or what it saves us to, but great because of the One who has wrought it, who has effected it and accomplished it. It cannot be an ordinary salvation, because it has not been provided by an ordinary one, but by the One who made the world.
When you go out at night and see the stars and moon, just remember that the One who put them there and the One who maintains them there, became your Savior.
“There is none holy as the Lord." That is a very salutary truth. You hear people constantly speaking about the love, pity, and compassion of God, and it is blessed to make lost and guilty ones feel that God is such. But do not be led to believe that God is love in such a way as not to be righteous. People are saying that everyone will be saved and none will be lost. But it is just like this: if sin is a thing of such enormity that it required the death of the Son of God, can it be any wonder that a sinner will be judged if he rejects that Son?
You remember the devil's early lie to Eve in the Garden of Eden: "Ye shall not surely die," as much as to say. God is too good to carry into execution His threat. The devil is saying now, death is all, the end; God is too good to punish man. He does not want you to believe that story in the 16th of Luke: "In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." Nor does he want you to believe "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." But His holiness required the sacrifice of His Son and it will require the punishment of the sinner who rejects that Son.
“For there is none beside Thee." Has Christ so filled up the range of your soul's vision that all other persons and things are lost to you? See Col. 3:11 in connection with this: "Christ is all, and in all.”
“Neither is there any rock like our God." It is very beautiful to see how the Spirit of God brings God in as the Rock. You get the expression in Genesis and very frequently in Deuteronomy. God recognized very early in man's history that man needed something solid to rest upon. Everything is going to give way some day, and you want to be standing on the Rock at that time. Are you on the Rock? Are you there? Can you say, because you know it, "There is no rock like our Rock, neither any rock like our God?”
In Luke 6:46-48: "And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock." Have you ever answered in the obedience of faith what He tells you to do? The first thing He tells you to do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That is where you are to begin as a sinner.
In Isaiah this Rock is called the rock of ages, or the rock of eternity (Isa. 26:4 JND). That is where you want to build and be, for everything is going to pieces and you want to be on that which abides. "Neither is there any rock like our God." Is it not wonderful that Hannah learned this? She was near the Lord and got into some of the secrets.
“Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth." It is surprising how loquacious we are outside of God's presence, but when in the presence of God a hush takes place. You very often find men talking about what they have done, what they purpose doing, and so on. Sometimes they speak of what others do not do, and so on. We will not think much about ourselves when we get into God's presence. I used to see a Christian doing this, that, and the other thing, and I would say, "I am just as consistent as he. If he goes to heaven, I will." I found I had to have it out with God myself.
“For the Lord is a God of knowledge."He knows what motive prompts what you say; He knows all about it. It is a very solemn thing to know He knows me altogether. "O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether." Psa. 139:1-4. He is a God of knowledge.
“By Him actions are weighed."God does two things with man; He weighs him and measures him. When He measures man what does He say? "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." How about being weighed? Let us notice Psa. 62:9: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." This is a very precious word to those who know grace, and very searching to those who do not. Let us remember, if nothing else, that "the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.”
Hannah knew this God of knowledge, and thus she could exalt Him, by the Spirit of God, in His many glorious attributes.
F.C. Blount

Being before God

If we are before God about our children and seek their blessing on the ground of Scripture, we can count on God for their future.

Gospel: Positive Blessing

There is nothing simply negative in the gospel. It is not a prohibitory system. It is a gracious system of conferring positive blessing. To forgive sin may be negative, but to give righteousness, is a positive blessing. This marks the genius of the gospel. "Whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus] shall not perish"; it does not stop here, but "shall have everlasting life." "That they may receive forgiveness of sins, but it goes on, "and an inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith which is in Me." If we are delivered from the power of darkness, it is by translation into the Kingdom of God's dear Son. It is sad that our narrow minds and dull hearts deprive the gospel of its glory. It is the glorious gospel of the blessed God; it represents God in the gracious place of the Giver, and sets man in his only place of possible blessing, that of a simple recipient. By faith we receive Christ (John 1:12), and receiving Him, we receive from Hint power to become the sons of God. We receive forgiveness of sins, abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness. We receive eternal life. Christian action follows on this reception of Christ. The teaching of the Holy Ghost unfolds to us what we have received in having received Christ. It is well to keep this principle constantly before the soul. It is not that which we renounce, any more than that which we do, which makes us Christians, but that which we receive. And this principle runs through the Christian life. It is a life which has its affections, sensibilities, energies and activities. Our Christian life is not a system of negation any more than is our natural life.
J.L. Harris

The Weapons of Our Warfare

“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." 2 Cor. 10:4.
David refused Saul's armor when he went to fight Goliath. In spiritual warfare, the believer must refuse what the first man (of which Saul is a type) provides, regardless of how attractive it appears,
Goliath had normal weapons of war: sword, spear, and shield. David had a staff, five smooth stones, a scrip, and a sling, A mismatch according to human thoughts, "because the foolishness of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger than men." 1 Cor. 1:25.
A staff suggests dependence—something to lean upon. This drew Goliath's contempt and he said. "Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?" 1 Sam. 17:43. Dependence upon God as expressed in prayer seems as foolishness to man in the flesh.
Five smooth stones perhaps represent the Word of God fitted to an individual through meditation. David gathered the stones from a brook or valley, a low place. The Word of God can only be made good to us for our use as we take it up in lowliness. The stones were smooth, not rough, and our spirits need to be tempered with fleshly impulses judged. Stones, however, are not soft and pliable. Firmness and unyieldingness to the revealed mind of God is imperative. Five denotes human weakness; when owned by the Christian, His strength can be made perfect. (2 Cor. 12:9.)
The scrip was a place to store valuables and this was where David carried his stones. Have we hidden the Word of God in our hearts? Is it an inestimable treasure to us?
The sling was used to make the stone serve its purpose. The Spirit of God is the only power available for using the Word of God effectually. How ineffective David would have been if he had thrown the stone with an arm of flesh.
Goliath, a Philistine, was smitten in the forehead. The Philistines were enemies within the land of Canaan and answer to the flesh intruding into the things of God (Col. 2:18.) Goliath's forehead would indicate the fleshly mind puffed up in pride. Upon his victory, David took Goliath's armor and put it in his tent as a reminder of how the battle was won. Our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Cor. 2:5.) How insignificant were David's resources to the natural eye, yet what blessing resulted for Israel that day. May we too, by grace, reject human reasonings and opinions, but cling to the wisdom of God. Then we will find that the Lord still delights "to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him." 2 Chron. 16:9. W. Brockmeier

I Am With You

Haggai 1 and 2HAG 1HAG 2
It is commonly held at present, that so far as the Church on earth is concerned, we are in the wreck and ruin of things. But if so, is that to imply that a collective testimony is impracticable and impossible? Definitely not. There is a collective witness still, though it be of a remnant character. We see a witness of this even in the early days of the Church in the address to Thyatira, where a remnant is specially singled out by the Lord. "Unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as ninny as have not this doctrine..." etc.
This was not a new thing in Scripture. When the Lord Jesus was born into the world, there were found in the midst of prevailing confusion in that day. a faithful few in Jerusalem such as Simeon, Anna, and others. So also at the close of Old Testament times there was a like residue, which the Spirit of God notices in the book of Malachi: "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another.”
In the days of Haggai a remnant is very fully brought before us. Released captives from Babylon had come back to Jerusalem, but only a fragment of the chosen people of God. They were a despised generation and the taunt of their adversaries, who boasted that a fox could break down the wail they were building, a people with no outward or visible clothing of authority to inspire respect from those outside of themselves. Even the outward unity of the nation was broken, for the ten tribes were gone. The temple, the Ark of the Covenant, and any visible sign of God's glory—all were gone! None of those imposing witnesses were there to accredit these people in the eyes of others. But were they left without hope, or help, or divine resource? According to the prophet Haggai they were not.
Consider the fads, and the way in which a ministry of grace was wrought on behalf of this remnant.
After they had returned from Babylon, as recorded by Ezra, they had laid the foundation of the temple and that in the midst of praise and thanksgiving.
The Altar of God
Before they began the work of the temple, they erected the altar of the God of Israel on which to offer their burnt offerings. That is to say, worship came first, taking precedence over work. Such was the order then, however much departed from today. The Lord Himself came first before their hearts, and they then devoted themselves to His work. Man's order is the reverse, because he attaches so much weight to his own actings.
In course of time, the adversaries opposed the building of the temple, and finally the work is stopped. The people then sought their own things, attending to their own houses, and neglecting the house of the Lord. At this time the ministry of Haggai intervened. He reminded them of their self-seeking and ease, pointing out as the result of this how little they were obtaining from their toil for temporal things, and urging them to consider their ways.
Four things are recorded which are deeply significant. (1) The first is the important principle of obedience. They were instructed as follows: "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord." They act upon this, for we are told they "obeyed the voice of the Lord their God." (2) What followed their obedience? Nothing short of, "I am with you, saith the Lord." It was a plain and precious pledge, and one prized by true believers in every age. As an instance of this, notice Moses in Ex. 33. Does he want to go up to the land without the Lord? He would rather not go at all than do so on a condition such as that. So he can say to the Lord, "If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence." A choice and welcome utterance of the renewed nature!
To the company in Haggai's day, what an encouragement this pledge must have been. It was not merely a promise that the grace and goodness of God would be with them. We know the pledge carried that, for the "I Am" was with them. All that is included in that great, holy, and excellent Name was to be with them as their all-sufficient resource. (3) The third thing is work. "The Lord stirred up the spirit" of the people, and they "did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God." There was in point of fact a general awakening, or as we would say now, a revival. (4) Then there was an exhortation to "be strong" and work. And who does not covet strength, and what right-minded Christian is there who does not wish to work for the Lord? But let us notice the basis of the exhortation. "For I am with you, saith the Lord of Hosts: according to the word that 1 covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not." So here there was a threefold portion—the Lord's presence, His Spirit remaining among them, and the infallible, faithful word of God spoken a thousand years or so before. Therefore these obedient workmen had every reason to be sustained and cheered in heart.
All this is surely suggestive of the present time. There is a remnant now, which is also a witness of ruin and in itself without inherent strength. It may be, as of old, the taunt of adversaries. But the "I Am" of Haggai's day who pledged His presence then, is Jesus now, and the same who said when here, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." It is the same Lord Jesus who spoke these words when parting from His own: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Then regarding the Holy Spirit, He has spoken the well-known words, "He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Besides, there is the priceless treasure of the whole canon of Scripture which we have in our hands, so that now there is much to encourage the hearts of believers.
Forward
The remnant in Haggai's day was pointed forward. "The Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts." Their hearts were directed to the coming of Christ, and the glory which is to fill His earthly house.
Are we behind them in this respect? Happily, we know we are not. The "blessed hope" today is the coming again of Him who loves us, and has given Himself for us. Nor do we fall short of the privilege of casting glances forward to coming glory as we listen to such wondrous words as those spoken to the Holy Father, "And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them.”
A practical word in conclusion is: "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood." This is uttered in many, though varied, forms in Scripture. There is wood still on the mountain top for workmen, and it is for them to go up there and bring it down to build into the house. Uninstructed effort may busy itself with material already gotten, not on the mount but on the plain or other unauthorized place. Why this waste for want of instructions when these arc amply supplied in Scripture? What is needed so much now is true-hearted obedience to these instructions. May the words written by Haggai so long ago be suggestive now. "All the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God," bearing in mind as well that "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning."
W. Sibthorpe

Fear Thou Not

Zephaniah 3:16ZEP 3:16
How easily we get discouraged! And then our hands get slack. They "hang down." Someone has said that "discouragement is of the devil" and we do know that our Gad is the "God of all encouragement." 2 Cor. 1:3 (JND). "God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7. So we may well say "fear thou not... let not thine hands be slack.”
Fear Not, But Let Your Hands Be Strong
He has said again, "So will I save you, and YE SHALL BE A BLESSING: FEAR NOT, BUT LET YOUR HANDS BE STRONG." Zech. 8:13. It. is true this was said originally to the little weak remnant of Israel, but can we not take comfort and encouragement from it ourselves? It was perhaps a little over four years before this that the Lord through the prophet Haggai had been giving the same people encouragement, after needed reproof and stirring up. Three times in one verse He says "be strong." How precious it all is; "Ye shall be a blessing." We have learned to know and love the One in whom "all nations of the earth" were to be blessed. We ourselves have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in HIM. Now here is a sweet promise, inviting us to share, as it were, with Him the joy of imparting this blessing to others to—"all nations of the earth." Perhaps we feel we are too weak and useless to be a blessing. Well surely it is so, but then it is the Lord who is doing it, so we can just leave that with Him, and He says, "Fear not."

Resource in Last Days

God has foreseen all these last days, and, after describing (2 Tim. 3:2-4) the terrible things that would characterize them. He says there is a resource. And what is that? "From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." That is. God has given His Word, the Scriptures, as the security when there would be a form of godliness, but denying the power, if there was faith in Christ Jesus. But notice that whoever hinders the direct authority of the Word of God upon the heart of a believer is meddling with God's rights. If I were to send a message by a servant, and someone were to go and meddle with that message, it would not be meddling with the servant but with me.
I must have that which was "from the beginning" nothing else will do; I must have it from the beginning. Why? Because it came from God: "that which was from the beginning," is what God taught. I have gotten what is from the beginning, and I must know from whom I learn it. The apostle had said, that "after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock." I am told that there would be a time of failure, and if I do not possess that which was from the beginning, I know very well it is worth nothing. I have, in the Word of God, that which is from the beginning distinctly. Consider the last thing said to the Church of God in the seven churches. Is it a call to hear the church? On the contrary, it is to "hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." I am called upon to listen to what the Holy Ghost says to them.
“Upon this rock I will build My church." I have thus what is certain, and who is doing this work? Christ. "Upon this rock I will build My church." Christ is in heaven, the head, and the Holy Ghost came down forming this Church. "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body," thus connecting them with Christ, who is "head over all things to the church." I find, then, not only salvation, but Christ raised from the dead and set above all principality and power as head over all things to "the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." That is not yet fully accomplished, because all the stones are not built in, but I have this testimony of the purpose of God having exalted Christ, and by the Holy Ghost uniting us to Christ. He baptizes all who believe into one body, and thus is formed the Body of Christ, a thing never revealed or spoken of before Christ had been glorified. For the existence of the Church, Christ must be rejected and also accepted as the Son of man, in glory, at the right hand of God, and the Holy Ghost come down to unite souls to Him. It could not exist before. You must have the Head before you have the body. Then I have not only the individual here, but all Christians united by the Holy Ghost as members of "His body, of His flesh, and of His bones"; this figure, no doubt alluding to Eve, is what we are now in connection with Christ.
“Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." I have the power of death on one side. On the other side I have Christ building, after He had broken the bands of death, after He had met all the righteous judgment of God. After all was done He builds up one stone after another. Satan's power is already destroyed, even for the individual. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." It does not say that you will overcome him, but he will flee from you.
Peter alludes to this in the second chapter of his first epistle. "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house." There is not a word about the building of that; there is no person mentioned as doing it. What I find there is this: the Word of God declares that He will carry it on, a work of grace. Peter says that it is going on, and Paul says that it is growing "unto a holy temple in the Lord." But in l Corinthians 3 we find a very different thing: "As a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another man buildeth thereon." Now I have man's building, and I have man's responsibility—that alters the whole thing. If he builds with God, that is good work; if he builds with wood, hay, and stubble, that is another thing. Has no wood, hay, and stubble been built in? The mistake made is, to confuse Christ's building with that of the wood, hay, and stubble. There are three different cases in 1 Cor. 3. There is a good Christian, who is a good builder, then a bad builder, though a good Christian, and finally a corrupt builder who is destroyed. Here I find another thing entirely. God has set up man as responsible, and what God set up perfectly, breaks down under the responsibility of man. But whatever has been ruined in the first man has been gloriously established in the Second, and a thousand times more gloriously than what was lost. Still everything is reestablished in Christ, and so with the Church. Christ will have a Bride. He will be "glorified in His saints." and "admired in all them that believe." But God does put it in man's responsibility, and man has always failed. God then calls me to hear what the Spirit says unto the churches—taken on their responsibility. Christ is seen walking among the golden candlesticks, not as Head of the Body, but He walks among the profession of the churches, judging their state. I am told to listen to what He says, and He gives me God's divine authority to direct me what to do in such a state of things.
F.G. Patterson

Am I Walking With God

One of the first things a child learns to do is to walk. Work comes afterward. And it is so in the kingdom of grace with God's children. To rush into work before we have learned to walk, is a reversal of God's order. We may be great workers, and we may make a great stir, without ever having learned to walk with God. Work is an important thing certainly, and, with perishing souls on every hand going down to a lost eternity, it behooves us to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. But the question that comes first is this: Amos 1 walking with God?—am I at one with God about the work I'm doing? Is it work which, in the holy calm of His presence He has sent me to do? Is it the fruit of communion and fellowship with Him who is my life? If so, it is well, and He is working in me mightily. If not, then I have set up business on my own account, so to speak. It is my own work I am doing, not the Lord's; it must therefore be burned in that day.

Bible Challenger-07-July V.04: The Place Where Understanding the End of Painful Things May Be

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word identifying the place where understanding the end of painful things can be made.
1. Something ended when the harvest is past.
2. The Greek counterpart of the beginning and the end.
3. That over which overcomers will exercise power when the Lord's works are kept to the end.
4. Something the New Testament declares to be the end of the commandment.
5. The kind of mercy the Lord displayed to Job at the end of his trial.
6. That with which Israel's predecessors had filled the land from one end to another.
7. The name of a people whose latter end was foreseen to be that he perish forever.
8. The end of something which a king's son used to obtain sweetness and enlightenment.
9. Something said of the Creator that shall have no end.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-06-June Answers V.04

1. Window Gen. 8:6.7
2. Absalom 2 Sam. 18:9
3. Throne 1 Kings 10:19, 20
4. Eat of the children's crumbs Mark 7:28
5. Rock Prov. 30:19
6. Basket Gen. 40:17
7. Raiment Matt. 3:4
8. Ointment Eccl. 10:1
9. Olives Judg. 15:5
10. Kings' palaces Prov. 30:28
11. Safety Psa. 33:17
“As the hart panteth after the WATER BROOKS, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God." Psa. 42:10

Little in Thine Own Sight

It is always well to remember the great principle wrapped up in those words of Samuel to Saul. "When thou west little in thine own sight." How constantly we see in the history of God's people that those who were great in their littleness became little in their greatness. Lord, keep us very lowly!

Editorial

Augustus Caesar has his name stamped upon this month of August. Likewise our month of July gets its name from Julius Caesar. It was Augustus who was in power when Christ Jesus came the first time.
In Luke 2:1 we read. "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus. that all the world should be taxed [enrolled)." We would call it a census. Imperial Rome was at the peak of its power at that time. Rome was the fourth of the Gentile powers to which God gave the government of the earth after He removed the center of power from Israel because of idolatry. The other three Gentile powers were Babylon. Medo-Persia and Greece.
Daniel gives us a very interesting and revealing description of this fourth Gentile power in Chap. 2, vv. 40-43. "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided: but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were.... mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
These verses give a comprehensive view of Rome from beginning to end. We are now living near the end when the old broken-up form of Rome that has gone on for many centuries is about to be revived. The double character represented by the two legs has been the Teutonic and the Latin nations of northern and southern Europe and the same two forms are found in North and South America.
But now we are surely beginning to see what we believe the ten toes represent. Iron and clay do not cleave well to one another. So it is with democratic powers, yet it says they are partly strong and partly broken. This is very well demonstrated in our day. Also it says that they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men. This too, is a great practice in the western nations. The removal of race barriers is urged and so the effort is to mingle together.
The revival and the destruction of Rome and the ten kings that receive power with her for a short time are foretold in Rev. 17.
Rome will again be in power when Christ comes the second time. Christ will then be the judge instead of the judged as He was before Pilate. The ten kings with the beast (the last imperial head of the Roman power) will make war with the Lamb. The Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings. (Rev. 17:14.)
As believers, we are sure that our Lord and Savior will come and take us to be with Himself before much more of these coming events take place. We shall be caught up to be with Him and then come back with Him to reign over the earth in His kingdom of power and glory. This will last for 1000 years.
Peter, who had a preview of this coming kingdom said, "We... were eyewitnesses of His majesty." We rejoice in anticipation of that time of our Lord and Savior's exaltation here on this earth where He was so shamefully treated at His first coming. Ed.

Waiting and Watching

We are called to wait and watch for the Lord. The two words do not carry quite the same thought, and 1 cannot better explain the difference than by giving an illustration which suggested itself to the when speaking to a company of fishermen.
The fleet had all gone to the fishing grounds, when a furious and long-continued westerly hurricane burst upon them. Rapidly pulling in their nets, they were driven before the strong wind. Each day it lasted took them farther and farther from home, where now great anxiety prevailed as to their safety. At length the gale spent itself, and, the wind veering to the southeast, the boats made for home.
On their way, they managed to get a telegram transmitted. "All safe, Coming home.”
The good news spread like wildfire through the village, bringing joy to many a troubled heart. They came at a good pace, having a fair wind and a flowing tide. The old skipper of the leading craft had a telescope, and as he came within sight of the pier-head, he used it. After a good long look, he said to the crew.
“The whole village is out on the pier watching for us.”
As the boat drew near, the skipper used the telescope again and this time he said, half under his breath, “God bless her, the dear soul," while a tear rolled down his weather-beaten cheek.
“Who do you see?" asked Jim, the mate.
“I see my wife standing at the very end of the pier watching for me," and another tear or two fell on the deck.
“Do you see my wife?”
“No. Jim. I cannot see her: maybe she's there, but she's not visible.”
By this time the boat had neared the harbor, and loving greetings passed between the old couple.
No special greeting awaited Jim, who, rather dejected, trudged up to his home. Peeping in at the window, he saw his wife sitting by the fire, reading a book. Jim opened the door. She heard the click of the latch, and looking up, said, “O. Jim, my dear, I'm glad to see you back; I was waiting for you.”
“Very likely, but the skipper's wife was watching for him at the pier.”
May God give you and me to be true watchers for the return of His Son, our blessed Lord.
“For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Heb. 10:37.
“Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour." Matt. 25:13.
“Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching." Luke 12:37.
Young Christian

The Remnant of Israel

The remnant of Israel is distinguished from their apostate brethren in Isa. 33:14, 15. The sinners in Zion have seen the judgment of God on their enemies and are afraid; fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites. They cannot hope to survive the devouring fire or endure the everlasting burnings of the righteous wrath of God. Their question: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings"? is answered by Jehovah in the following verse, "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly: he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil." In the latter days the remnant appears, by closed eyes and stopped ears, separated from the mass of the nation.
Identical distinguishing marks appear in the deaf man with a speech impediment, (Mark 7:32-35), and in the blind men of Mark 8:23 and John 9:6. Each, in their own way, depict the yet-future remnant of Israel. As to the deaf man, he is separated from those around him; he cannot hear the evil and the blood shedding, nor the cries of the victims. Neither is he responsive, for he cannot communicate with the apostates. Further, Jesus took him aside from the multitude and put his fingers into his cars, spit, and touched his tongue saying. "Be opened." The spittle was the efficacy of His own person, but in Jewish eyes it was the cause for ostracizing the man for seven days (Num. 12:14).
In Mark 8:23 the blind man, by his blindness, is separated from the mass of the people, and cannot see the evil done in the land. He is led out of the town by the Lord and upon receiving his sight is told not to return to the town (Zech. 14:5). In this case, the Lord spit in his eyes and thereby accomplished a further separation of seven days, denoting spiritual completeness.
A third instance, in John 9:6 depicts the remnant as the work of God and for the glory of God. Jesus spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind man, saying unto him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." From this example of the remnant the truth goes further: he is excommunicated from the nation and cast out of the synagogue, but found by Jesus.
The deaf and blind remnant had no sin in respect of that from which their condition separated them (John 9:41). Their first voice was the voice of Jesus; their first sight was of the man Christ Jesus: then saw they all men clearly.
“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness." Isa. 29:18. "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me. I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained My lips, O Lord, Thou knowest." Psa. 40:7-9.
Psa. 15 gives the character of the remnant, and Psa. 42, their utterance when cast out of Jerusalem (the town) and derided by their apostate brethren with, “Where is thy God?" The Lord went through it all before them, as a reading of the Psalms will show.
W. N. Bothwell.

With a Diamond Cutter

I watched as a diamond cutter took a valuable stone which in its raw state was unattractive. He placed this stone in lead and applied the cutting wheel which revolved two thousand times per minute. The stone groaned!
The master turned the stone to grind a second surface. Again the stone sang and groaned but the expert. fully aware of what he was doing, continued turning and grinding with the quickly moving wheel.
When he had proceeded fifty times, still turning and grinding, I asked: "Sir, is that not enough?”
“No, not yet; I never do a half job.”
At last he took the stone out of the lead, handed it over to me, and said. "Now look at it, but don't go into the sunlight for it will hurt your eyes." As I looked, a wonderful light came from the heart of the stone, breaking its rays into the prismatic colors from all those laboriously and carefully cut surfaces.
It was a masterpiece of work of this master.
God labors with His own to conform them in life and walk into the likeness of His dear Son. He uses all kinds of means, often not pleasing to us. We groan! He may continue to lead us, if need be, through many afflictions, trials, poverty, fears, difficulties, persecutions, sorrows, heartaches, etc., to produce a song. Every stroke is measured by divine wisdom and love beyond all telling. The Father's love will never cause His child a needless tear.

Two Golden Days

There are days of the week upon which and about which I never worry—two carefree days, kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension.
One of these is YESTERDAY. Yesterday, with all its cares and frets, with all its pains and aches, all its faults, its mistakes and blunders, has passed Forever beyond the reach of my recall. I cannot undo an act that I wrought; I cannot unsay a word that I said yesterday. All that it holds of my life, of wrongs, regret and sorrow, is in the hands of the mighty love that can bring honey out of the rock and sweet waters out of the bitterest desert. That love can make the wrong things right, can turn weeping into laughter, can give beauty for ashes, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, joy of the morning for the woe of the night.
Except for the beautiful memories, sweet and tender, that linger like perfumes of roses in the heart of the day that is gone, I have nothing to do with yesterday. It was mine; it is God's.
And the other day I do not worry about is TOMORROW. Tomorrow with all its possible adversities, its burdens, it perils, its large promise and poor performance, its failures and mistakes, is as far beyond the reach of my mastery as its dead sister, yesterday. It is a day of God's. Its sun will rise in roseate splendor, or behind a mask of weeping clouds, but it will rise. Until then, the same love and patience that hold yesterday and hold tomorrow, shine with tender promise into the heart of today. I have no possession in that unborn day of grace. All else is in the safekeeping of that infinite love that holds for me the treasure of yesterday, the love that is higher than the stars, wider than the skies, deeper than the seas. TOMORROW—it is God's day. It will be mine.
There is left for myself, then, only one day of the week—TODAY. With faith and trust in the Lord any man can fight the battles of today. Any woman can carry the burdens of just one day. Any man can resist the temptations of today. O friend, it is only when to the burdens and cares of today carefully measured out to us by the infinite wisdom and might that gives with them the promise, "As thy days. so shall thy strength be," we willfully add the burdens of those two awful eternities—yesterday and tomorrow—such burdens as only the mighty God can sustain—that we break down. It isn't the experience of today that drives men mad, it is the remorse for something that happened yesterday, the dread of what tomorrow may disclose.

Jehoshaphat's Alliance

2 Chronicles 17 to 212CO 17 2CO 18 2CO 19 2CO 20 2CO 21
These scriptures give us a picture of a man who had a good beginning, but a bad ending. He made bad alliances and reaped the consequences. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.'
Jehoshaphat's alliance with Ahab was a bad one. The bad seed brought a bad crop. This principle is as true today as it was then and it is as applicable to Christians as to others. Let us beware, therefore, of joining hands with those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to remember that God's governmental dealings, even though we are saved, are the same with us as with the unsaved. With Jehoshaphat there was zeal for God at times, but at this time he was off his guard.
His beginning was a very happy one and he was in God's favor. "The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David." 2 Cor. 17:3. How wonderful to be in the place approved by God and what satisfaction to rest in His favor! It is a wonderful thing that God loves us. Think who God is, and who we are. The One who made the worlds thinks of us. How wonderful!
The Book
His love to us is revealed in the Bible and there is no book like it. Where else can we find such thoughts as are therein contained? Who could have been the author of such thoughts? We know that only God could reveal such thoughts as we find in that Book and how His love is told out at the cross. There the question of sin was answered and the Bible tells us of that One who stands pre-eminent, and yet was so lowly. Where could we read of such a One but in that Book? How humble were the circumstances of His birth and how lowly His walk. He was a man beyond all others. Finally He was offered as a sacrifice, a Lamb without spot. God gave Him in His compassionate love for us. Oh, such a Book, such a Savior, and such a God! And this was done for us, for God wants us for Himself and cannot allow us to go on in sin.
1 Cor. 10:11 shows that we are right in examining these Scriptures for our own guidance; they were given for our admonition. As we see the failure of Jehoshaphat, we are to take warning. By studying his case we can see where we, too, are likely to fail. Like many Christians, Jehoshaphat had a good beginning but a poor ending. In his alliance with Ahab, we do not see him first in prayer to God for guidance, but instead he went down to Ahab. Yes, he went "down." How different all this was from the ways of our Lord when here as a man. How dependent He was. Praying much, He was all night in prayer before choosing the twelve. So for us, we must take Christ for our example. He did all things well. By occupation with Him, we shall be saved from the failure of Jehoshaphat and truly we should be much occupied with Himself for He is worthy. What a mighty person He is and what a mighty work He has wrought. How great is His love to us!
Underwood's Friend
At the time of Cromwell in England, there was a young man, Bazil Underwood, under sentence of death. He was to be executed at the ringing of the curfew on a certain day. But Bazil Underwood had a young woman who loved him, and who sought his release. Day after day she sought it without success and finally the day of execution came. Throughout the day her efforts, if possible, were increased, but again to no avail. Bazil Underwood was to die unless she could prevent the ringing of the curfew.
She found the old deaf bell-ringer and pleaded with him, but that faithful old servant could not step from duty's path. Curfew must ring. So the woman hurried to the belfry and began the hazardous climb to the bell. At last she reached it and as she grasped its great iron tongue, the bell began to swing to and fro. Each time she was thrown violently against its sides, but no sound rang out. At last the faithful sexton ceased. His duty had been done, but curfew had not rung. Then she dropped from the bell, all bruised and bleeding, but Bazil Underwood was saved. Subsequently, upon Cromwell's return, he was pardoned.
This story illustrates human love, wondrous human love. Wouldn't Bazil Underwood have been most ungrateful if he had spurned the young woman who so loved him? Are you ungrateful, my unsaved one, when you spurn the Lord Jesus Christ who loved you, so much that He gave His life for you? You who have heard of this love so often, you who have grown up in the sound of the gospel, are these truths real to you? Do they not stir your conscience?
Companions
Jehoshaphat turned aside and joined with Ahab. Then there is a feast and Jehoshaphat said, "I am as thou art, and my people as thy people." He joins Ahab in battle and afterward he inquires of the Lord, but evidently his inquiry was too late. His first step was taken without guidance from the Lord. In this he failed.
Let us live in the power of the fact that we are a heavenly people. Jehoshaphat had said to Ahab, "I am as thou art." It is the first step that starts the downfall. "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." There is not one bit of safety outside of dependence upon God.
Another thing, Jehoshaphat did not stand separated to the Lord. He took up with Ahab and his ways, and soon measured things as Ahab did. To stand separated to the Lord is the only safe place. If we do this, our tempter will turn from us. Separation and testimony for the Lord go together.
In Scotland, soon after a young man had been saved, his companions sought to entice him into wrong ways. But the young man remained faithful to the Lord and began at once to speak to his companions about their souls' salvation. The result was that soon his companions left off their efforts to entice him.
Ahab was a worldly-wise man. His conduct was all apart from God, but God's judgment fell upon him. An arrow "drawn at a venture" caused his death.
My desire for you is that you will not choose as your companions those who do not love the Lord. As you meet those who are out of Christ, yearn over them and tell them about your Savior, but do not go with them as companions. Through the mercy of the Lord, Jehoshaphat was allowed to "return to his house in peace," but not without rebuke. Jehu went out to meet him and put to him the important question: "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.”
Following this experience with Ahab, Jehoshaphat did better for "he went out again through the people from Beer-sheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back to the Lord God of their fathers." This was a time of revival.
Second Alliance
But Satan was to test him again. This time he joined himself with "Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly." Again it was an alliance with one who went not in the ways of his father, David. This time the activities were different; they joined to build ships. The building of ships was not wrong, but the joining with Ahaziah was. It was the case of a good thing, but a wrong person.
Is it not true in these days that often the work being done is good, but the association is wrong? Although the work in itself was good, yet it could not be prospered because of the wrong alliance. So it turned out that the ships were broken and they were not able to go to Tarshish. Although Jehoshaphat had escaped after the first alliance, he was not allowed to escape after the second. God stopped his course. May his failures in thus joining with the wicked be guides to us in this dispensation to keep us from displeasing our God and Father by similar wicked alliances.
J.T. Armet

Peace with God

Where there is not "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," there cannot be communion and true worship. If rare and fear distress the soul, there will not be the comfort of the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keeping the heart and mind. If we walk in His ways, the God of peace will he with us. "Joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ" is also the happy privilege of every child of God, but how few speak of these things as their own happy experience. It is not merely the present certainty of forgiveness of sins (blessed as it is) which the believer is entitled to know, but also:
(1) “Peace with God.”
(2) “The peace of God.”
(3) “The God of peace shall be with you.”
(4) “Joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
While many a true-hearted Christian is suffering greatly in soul from lack of knowledge, perhaps others are too much taken up with doctrines. They may be content with critical accuracy and orthodoxy rather than the power of the truth in the love of it. The consequence is that some have unconsciously become more like theological students and scholars of divinity, than devoted followers of Christ in the path of obedience and suffering for His sake. It is clear that it is not merely the knowledge of doctrines that the child of God should desire, important as it is, but he should be occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ to whom all doctrine points. In relation to Him we now stand as members of His body, dependent on the Head and called to show forth His characteristics and to bear much fruit. We may be sure that when the word of Christ dwells in us richly, there will be faith and love in activity, as well as knowledge. There will be communion as well as peace.
We can understand a person being taken up with certain "views" as they are called, and holding what is true, perhaps according to the letter of Scripture, and yet being as unspiritual and lifeless as he can be. But we cannot understand a soul really receiving God's testimony concerning the personal glory, the finished work, and the coming again of His own Son, without being attracted to Him. Neither can we understand a person having the present possession of eternal life without its producing results, both in experience and walk.
Love to All the Saints
Scripture is most decisive about this, for not only does John write his first epistle in order that those who believe on the name of the Son of God may know that they have eternal life, but he further declares that "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." When this love to God's children is wanting, the person is pronounced to be destitute of vital Christianity, however loud his profession may be, and however extensive his Bible knowledge. It is added, "He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." 1 John 3:14.
This point was also of such great importance with the Apostle Paul that we find the principle on which he accredited persons as being "in Christ" was not because they professedly believed in Christ, but because he also heard of their "love to all the saints," and their "love in the Spirit." He knew how easy it was to say "I believe in Jesus," as many do now, but until he heard of love flowing out to all saints, how could he recognize them as having eternal life? Therefore on one occasion we find him teaching that whatever a man did, or whatever he said, if love were wanting, he was only "as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." 1 Cor. 13:1.
Another Point
Scripture teaches that those who have remission of sins have the Holy Spirit given unto them, being "children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying. Abba, Father." (Gal. 3:26; 4:6.)
Now we ask: is it possible that God the Holy Spirit should take up His abode in us forever, without producing results both in experience and walk? Without this could there be a consciousness of the love of God shed abroad in our hearts? (Rom. 5:5.) Have we no comfort from a power within us beyond what is natural in His leading, guiding, teaching, and taking of the things of Christ and showing them unto us? Do we know what it is to have the Spirit of God directing our hearts to Him who is glorified, and in whom we possess all things while we are increasingly conscious of having nothing in ourselves? We cannot ascribe our joy in the Lord, our hope of His coming, or even the grief and reproof when walking contrary to the truth of God, to any power short of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Our thoughts and affections could not flow in the current of the thoughts and affections of the Father and His Son, except by "the communion of the Holy Spirit." May both reader and writer be filled with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. H. Snell

The Olive Tree

It may help our understanding of the passages in Rom. 11 to know that the first allusion to the Church, the body of Christ, in the Epistle to the Romans is in chapter 12, verse 5. Even there we do not find the doctrine of the Church taught, but the practical walk of the members one with another as "one body." It is not the subject of the Epistle to the Romans.
The Apostle in beginning his subject of the olive tree, writes. "I speak to you Gentiles." He does not speak to the Church us such, although his teaching is for the Church. It is the Gentile dispensation which he has before him.
The olive tree symbolizes the line of the testimony and of the promises of God under the figure of a tree. Abraham was the root of that tree as being the depository of the promises. The nation of Israel, his posterity, was the branches—the fatness, the promises of God.
This tree of promise begins in Abraham, and runs on into the Millennium. God always maintains a stock (Christ), and the faithful of any dispensation, which sustains God's testimony in the line of promise on earth. The Jewish dispensation proved itself a failure.
They were the natural branches, and it was their "own olive tree." "Because of unbelief they were broken off." The Gentile dispensation commences, and the wild olive branches are grafted into the stem, and thus brought into the place of testimony and line of promise (to them spiritual), in which they stand "by faith." In such a place they were to continue in the goodness of God, or failing in this to be cut off. God, who did not spare the natural branches, would not spare them. The Gentile dispensation not having continued in the goodness of God, will be cut off. Meanwhile God has His own purposes to fulfill, "and the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation." 2 Peter 3:15. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Then the Jews will be grafted in again, as the natural branches, and thus Israel nationally will be saved—not individually as now.
It is not at all a question of the Church, as the body of Christ, or of individual salvation, but of Jewish and Gentile dispensations, and the result of the failure in each of them. F.G. Patterson

Occupied With Christ

There is a routine of things and duties connected with earth which sometimes catches hold of us and draws us down; even necessary care for relations may get to occupy the mind so as to hinder the outflow of a heavenly walk. Oh, to be rather occupied with Christ!

Practical Righteousness

If we look at Rom. 3, we find the righteousness of God is the constant theme, but if we look at chapter 6, although we find righteousness continually spoken of, it is never the righteousness of God. The reason for the difference is that there are two righteousnesses perfectly distinct: one is God's; the other is the believer's. While in chapter 3 the former is the theme, connected with our standing, in chapter 6 it is the latter, connected with our state. For an instance of these two, let us look for a moment at the first person who is clearly said to have both. We are repeatedly told that Noah was a just and righteous man, and also that he was a preacher of righteousness. We know that he was not a preacher of what we call "the gospel." but that his preaching and practice were characterized by righteousness of walk and way, This is analogous to the righteousness of Rom. 6.
Noah Had One and Was Heir to the Other
If we turn, however, to Heb. 2 we there find that Noah "became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Notice the language well. In the first place he is an heir to it, which implies two things—the one that he does not have it yet, and the other that he has not worked for it—no man can work for what he inherits. Secondly, this righteousness is by faith. Turning to Rom. 3:22 (so perfectly does Scripture explain itself), we see clearly that the righteousness which is by faith is the righteousness of God. We thus see that Noah lived in one righteousness, and became heir to another. The reason he was only heir to the righteousness of God is explained in Rom. 3:25, where it is shown that God could not declare His righteousness, in passing over Noah's sins, until an adequate propitiation had been made by the death of Christ.
By considering this case we see that the righteousness in which Noah stands (or will stand) before the throne, is the righteousness of God, as seen in the perfect work of Christ, whereas that in which he lived and glorified God on earth was his own practical righteousness.
In Eph. 4:24 we read that the new man is created anew in "righteousness and true holiness," or practical RIGHTEOUSNESS and SANCTIFICATION. Walking in newness of life (Rom. 6:4) includes these two things (see Luke 1:75), as is seen in the end of Rom. 6, when both are connected as the result of a godly walk. (vv. 19, 22).
Practical Righteousness
Taking PRACTICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS first, we will briefly consider what Scripture says on the subject. In 2 Cor. 6:14, we notice this remarkable fact: it is the first thing mentioned in separation from evil. It is also the very first thing that we are called to follow after, (1 Tim. 6:11), and also again in 2 Tim. 2:22. Thus on three separate occasions it occupies the first place. In fact, it is the first of the three things of which the Kingdom of God is said to consist practically. (Rom. 14:17.) In 2 Cor. 6:7, it is generally described as the Christian's armor (consider this expression well), and in Eph. 6 as the breastplate, or that which protects the vital parts. Practically, it is said to give a good conscience (1 Peter 3:16), which is also of all importance. God's eyes are over the practically righteous man (1 Peter 3:12), and that His ears are open to his cry, is seen not only here, but also in James 5:16, where the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Not in one of the passages that have been alluded to does the word "righteous" refer to our standing before God (or what is common to all Christians, and what each possesses in full perfection), but to the individual acts and character in which none is perfect, and no two are alike. Turning to Eph. 5, we find further that this righteousness is the fruit of the light (Eph. 5:9, according to the best versions), an important point to which we shall refer again. In 1 John 3:7, we find that Christ only is the standard of it, and in verse 10 that it is is a proof of the new birth.
Righteousness in Daily Life
Such, then, is a brief review of the way in which Scripture speaks of this quality of the new nature. In what, then, does it consist? In perfect uprightness of walk and ways. How is it obtained? By living daily in the light of God's presence. It is the fruit of light.
Do you suppose for one moment, that the man who walks to his daily business, and transacts it before God, can stoop to any of the thousand tricks of trade that pervade every calling: practices that are either commonly winked at or openly allowed, but which are not according to God's standard of right? Impossible. He must do one of two things: he must forego all such ways and buy and sell and transact his business according to the perfect light in which he stands as a Christian, or, turning his back on the light and shutting his eyes to it, he must descend to the level of this world's morality, and allow many a thing to pass in his business life that he would shrink from allowing privately. How few actually carry out the former practically! How many dwarf their souls, stunt their spiritual growth and grieve their Lord by slipping into the latter. Weigh for a moment your daily life as you read these pages; consider how your life will look before the judgment seat of Christ. Do not think because you may not be actively employed in business, this has no voice for you. All have their temptations to unrighteousness, and often in most insidious forms. Live as Paul did, in the light of God's presence and the nearing eternity, and do not allow yourself to stoop to any action, however advantageous to yourself, however commended and advised by false friends, which will not bear that light.
Be Righteous in All Things
It is fearful to think how many of us live in daily unrighteousness in what we call little things, and then venture to approach God in prayer and the Lord's Table at His Supper without confession. His ears are open to the cry of the righteous. Do not forget that. Nothing so arrests the attention of the world, and makes it believe in the reality of Christianity as righteous acts that are to one's own disadvantage. For there is no disguising the truth, "You cannot serve God and mammon." You cannot fear God and be heaping up riches for yourself. You may lose money, and many a seemingly good opening, if you walk strictly in practical righteousness, but in eternity I need not say who will be the gainer. If you enjoy and trust in "the grace of God" that has brought you salvation, remember and practice its lessons, and see that you live soberly, RIGHTEOUSLY, and godly, in this present world. Search out all the wonderful Old Testament promises made to the righteous man, and remember that you are not heir to these even spiritually, save as you walk in practical righteousness. Happy indeed, is the man who, standing before God in the righteousness which he has provided, walks before his fellow-man in that practical rectitude which can alone adorn the grace that has picked him up.
A. Schofield

The Depressed Servant

God is not unaffected when His servant is depressed. He has His eye upon His servant, and will care for him. One of the lessons of the way is to get hold of how God can stoop, and delights to stoop, to arrange the little things for His servants. How sad it is that distrust of the One whom we serve-distrust of His heartfelt interest in us and in His people-oftentimes thrusts its way before the soul.
Recall the life of God's servant. Elijah. Who would have thought of the blessed God preparing a cake, baking it, filling die cruse, and then sending His angel to that poor, weary, depressed servant of His, to tell him what He had prepared for him! Such is the heart of Him whom we serve. Elijah ate and slept, and was aroused by the angelic watcher to eat again. (How God lingers near us, so to speak.) "And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee." 1 Kings 19:7.
Oh, to be able to detect the "cake baked on the coals." There it is preparing, when the poor weary heart only requests "for himself that he might die." God's answer is, in substance, Not yet, Elijah, nor at all. The "chariot of fire, and horses of fire" are My way for you.
“The journey is too great for thee." He who cares for us has provided the sustenance. He who alone knows the need of the way meets it. Be assured there is the "cake baked on the coals" and the cruse of water for the depressed servant, and as we partake we gain strength. Cannot the servant who reads this bear witness? And so it always is. "And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God." 1 Kings 19:8.
Let us take heart, for "as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 Cor. 2:9.
H. C. A.

Bible Challenger-08-August V.04: The Day When Our Sealing Will Be Finished

The first letters of each of the following responses will form the word which identifies the day when the Christian's sealing will be terminated.
1. What was promised on the very day that a widow's resources would fail?
2. Something to be melted with great heat in a coming day.
3. One of the things a lame man had not done all the days of the king's absence.
4. The queen who requested three days of fasting to fortify her resolve.
5. The source of new wine in that day when blessings shall flow out to God's earthly people.
6. The evaluation of the word of the Lord in the days of a dedicated child.
7. Something sounded on a set day, heralding an infrequent but longed-for event.
8. Something to be sought for in vain during Israel's future days, because of a divine pardon.
9. What Israel was to serve (spoken prophetically) day and night in a strange land where there would be no favor of the Lord shown.
10. That which we are exhorted to do regarding our days that wisdom may be realized.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-07-July Answers V.04

1. Summer Jer. 8:20
2. Alpha and Omega Rev. 21:6
3. Nations Rev. 2:26
4. Charity 1 Tim. 1:5
5. Tender James 5:11
6. Uncleanness Ezra 9:11
7. Amalek Num. 24:20
8. Rod 1 Sam. 14:27
9. Years Psa. 102:27
“Until I went into the SANCTUARY of God; then understood I their end." Psa. 73:17

Real Evidence

A scoffer asked an elderly man.
“How do you know Jesus rose?”
The old saint answered.
“I had an hour with Him this morning.”
It is a wonderful thing to know on the authority of the Word of God that the Lord Jesus lives for us now at God's right hand, but it is still more wonderful to enjoy sweet, personal, and intimate communion with Him.

Editorial

The newest Oxford English Dictionary has just come out. It has more than 616.000 words and terms and costs $2.500 for its twenty volumes. To explain the meaning of words, it uses nearly sixty million words so that the price per word is not as expensive as it seems.
Since 1928 the first edition of the O.E.D. has been the ultimate authority on the English of the King James Bible. The English vocabulary is the world's largest and is growing at the rate of about 500 words a year.
English is the most versatile of all the languages. That means that you can say the same thing in more ways in English than in any other tongue.
Tice New Testament in the original was written in Greek. The very interesting thing about Greek is that it is the most specific of any language. We see then, the wisdom of God in giving us that important truth of the New Testament in a language that clearly and definitely expresses truth so accurately.
The Bible has been translated into mans, many languages and has brought its blessing into each one of them, but surely one of the languages most used of God has been the English language.
As students begin school this month, they will have more books than in any previous year. Perhaps the tremendous Oxford English Dictionary will not be available to most students, but it is interesting to know about is.
What is readily available is the dependable King James Bible and other good translations. Nothing will help the student more and in a lasting way than a daily reading of God's Word.
Another recommendation we make to any who are studying another language is to read the Bible in both languages together. Several languages have parallel translations of the New Testament. These are very helpful in learning both the new language and the truth of God at the same time.
Finally, we would suggest to all our readers the profit of reading the book of Proverbs. Why not select a month containing 31 days such as October or December and read for yourself one chapter each day? "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." Prov. 4:7. (See also 1 Cor. 1:30.) Ed.

Looking at Him

Looking at ourselves in service there would be nothing but despair, but the moment that Christ Himself is manifested, there comes a joy which neither my light, nor my darkness, can dim.
G.V. Wigram

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 2 Cor. 4:6, 7.
In these verses we find ourselves introduced into a position where the glory of God fills our vision. In connection with that position, we find ourselves gazing upon an Object that exercises a transforming power upon us. But in the meantime we are beset with difficulties; the rich treasure we have is in an earthen vessel. We pass through a scene where there is much bitterness, disappointment, suffering, and sorrow. I suppose in a measure, everyone feels the burden of the ruined creation through which we travel.
At the same time, the Spirit of God calls our attention to the fact that all that burdens us down here has only a momentary character, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 2 Cor. 4:17. It will soon be gone, and the very conforming power that is working in our lives now to make us more like Christ is going to have this grand and sudden climax when He appears: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him...for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:2.
Although we are traveling through a scene where we prove every day that we have this treasure in earthen vessels, and although those vessels are broken again and again that the treasure within may be discovered, yet the Spirit of God assures us that the end of the journey means perfect and full conformity to Christ.
God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts. to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 4:6.
How rich is our endowment! He has put in our hearts the grandest and most wonderful revelation that has ever been committed to man, or ever will be for all the ages of ages.
God is speaking and He is telling us of the glorious truth that has been revealed to these poor hearts of ours. We are only poor earthen vessels—just dust, but in these vessels we have the most precious knowledge man ever possessed. We have the knowledge of the glory of God, and it is in the face of Jesus Christ.
What are we doing along the way? We are beholding the glory of the Lord. And the result is that we are being conformed into the image of that One upon whom we gaze—even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
What is the Spirit of God trying to do with us? He is changing us and conforming us to be like Christ in glory, and He is doing that in your life and mine. He knows how to order the circumstances of our lives. He knows about the treasure being in an earthen vessel; those sorrows and troubles and disappointments are all part of His plan to conform us to the image of Christ. "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen." 2 Cor. 4:18. What are they? They are the things that at eternal. Everything we are losing is for time, and everything we are gaining is for eternity.
God has left you and me in this scene for one grand purpose—to manifest Christ in our lives. One of these days the wilderness will be past. All the lessons will have been learned, and suddenly we will hear the shout and find ourselves enjoying the glory about which we have been talking all these years. What a future!
We cannot get enthusiastic about things down here if we are living in that hope. We do not care about the new age, or the prosperity that is just around the corner. We have seen the glory of the Lord, and it is Christ for whom we wait. That is what gives character to our lives. Christ in glory is the transforming power that is working in your life and mine. We do not know what we are going to be, but we do know that when He appears we are going to be like Him (1 John 3:2). Can you measure that? Yet, that is our destiny, poor failing creatures that we are. I am just a poor earthen vessel, but I am going to be like Christ. I may be perfectly, wholly conformed to His image before the sun goes down tonight. "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
C.H. Brown

Refreshing Waters

From time to time different assemblies are able to act on the Lord's word to Moses. "Gather the people together and I will give them water." Being so gathered, the saints are dependent on God and need to cry, "Spring up. O well," This is a wilderness scene, and the nobles stand there with staves in token of their pilgrim character, and at the command of the law-giver they dig the desert sand. This would be utterly futile under ordinary circumstances, but in the goodness of God the refreshing waters spring up and a song breaks forth.
Achsah was a woman of expectant faith, such faith as God delights to own by giving abundantly above all we ask or think. She moved her husband, Othniel, to ask of her father a field. Caleb gave them a goodly portion of south land. But a south land without water would soon be dried up, so she asks further. "Give me also springs of water." (Josh. 15 18, 19) So he gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.
Upper Springs
God has brought us into the sunshine of His favor, and He gives also upper springs and nether springs to maintain our souls in freshness and fertility in the enjoyment of that favor despite all that would come in to wither them. We drink of the upper springs when we look up and find everything in God. The Psalmist in Psa. 87:7 says. "All my springs are in Thee." He was drawing unreservedly of the upper springs which are inexhaustible. So was also the Apostle James when he wrote "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Nether Springs
May God give us to drink deeply into our eternal springs, that we may "joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Rom. 5:11. But we are in a world that is contrary to us, where sickness, sorrow, and suffering abound and sometimes affect ourselves and our loved ones. Then we need to fall back upon the nether springs, and find God in everything. Paul was assured of this when he wrote in Rom. 8:28, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Our hearts should draw from that same blessed assurance. These things that seem most painful and sad, and we might think so unlike Him, are among the "all things" in which He is, and which He is working together for our good.
Hezekiah learned that his sickness and bitter tears were among the things "by [which] men live," and in which was the life of his spirit. (Isa. 38:16.) We think so much of our temporal blessings, but God, while supplying our necessities, has specially in view our spiritual welfare. He would have us find, in trying and sorrowful circumstances, those nether springs whereby our spiritual welfare is maintained and increased. This is blessedly evidenced in Psa. 84:5-7. The man whose heart is in God's ways, while passing through the valley of Baca, or weeping, makes it a well. Being refreshed thereby, he goes from strength to strength making the trials and sorrows, as it were, stepping stones to greater nearness to God.
Digging Wells
We get words of warning and encouragement in Gen. 26:15-20. Isaac found that the wells which his father had digged, the Philistines had stopped with earth. The world would seek to occupy the believer with earthly things so as to choke up the wells of refreshment and instruction in the truths of God which saints, now at rest, have dug for us as recorded in their writings. Dig them again, so that we may get the good out of that which the Spirit unfolded to them. But do not stop at digging again the old wells; Isaac dug fresh ones. The enemy sought to oppose and hinder him, as he always does, but spiritual energy triumphed, and the well Rehoboth gave him peace and plenty.
Let me urge my young brothers and sisters not only to read the valued writings of men taught of God, but to study the Word diligently with the Spirit's guidance. The water of these fresh wells opened up by you, in dependence on and communion with God, will be even sweeter and fresher than those others have dug for you.
Springs of Water
"A spring shut up, a fountain sealed." Sol. 4:12. Such is the spouse to the bridegroom. Hitherto we have been considering what God is for us and what springs of living water He provides for us, hut this verse gives us what we, as the spouse, are to Christ. The thought in "shut up and sealed" is similar to that of the "garden enclosed": something reserved for His special delight, something to be partaken of and used when and how He pleases. In John 4:14 our Lord Jesus speaks of the well of water springing up into everlasting life. Here the well-spring that He has put within the believer is opened, or unsealed, and in the power of the Holy Spirit springs up to God its source, in that worship in Spirit and in truth which He seeks for and which gives refreshment to His heart.
What a privilege that the overflowing of such hearts as ours, filled by Himself, can thus rise up in that which gives joy to Him, even our praises, worship and thanksgiving. In John 7:37-38 the Lord Jesus promises to give the thirsty one who comes to Him living water in abundance. When He opens the floodgates, "rivers of living water" flow outward to thirsty ones around in the power of the Holy Spirit that He was going to give them when He had been glorified. Thus, in the springing upward and flowing outward, the Lord is refreshed and glorified.
Out-Flowing Rivers
In connection with rivers flowing from one center, see how in Gen. 2:10 we are told that Eden's river flowed out parting into four heads carrying blessing and refreshment universally. This is the opposite of earth's rivers where several small ones unite to form a large one. With God's wells or rivers, the fullness is so infinite that it may part and yet flow with undiminished fullness and power. May we learn increasingly to rejoice in all that God is to us and for us. Thus we find in both the upper and the nether springs, the satisfying and sustaining portion of our souls. As a result, Christ may receive the up springing waters of adoring worship, and be glorified by the out flowing rivers in service for Him at His bidding.
W. Fosbury

Garden of Delights

Song of Solomon 4:12-5:6SOS 4:12SOS 4:12
As it is with the fountain sealed, so with the garden enclosed; it is that which is reserved for the special delight and refreshment of the bridegroom. It is planted with choice plants, each with its own peculiar preciousness to the owner: collected together they form the garden of his delights.
In Eph. 5, the assembly as a whole was loved by Christ and made His by giving Himself for it. And then He continues to care for it, sanctifying and cleansing it with the washing of water by the Word, So here the owner of the garden calls for the north wind with its purifying sharpness to blow upon it. How often do we, as the plants of His care, need the purifying effects of sorrows and trials to enable us to bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness!
Then He calls for the south wind also to blow that by means of the warm breath of His tender cherishing tow, He might call forth its fragrant spices so pleasing to Himself, the response of love to His own love. "We love Him, because first loved us.
All being thus brought out in sweetness as the result of his wisdom and loving care, the spouse calls upon her beloved to "come into his garden and eat his pleasant fruits." To this invitation he gives a ready response. "I am come into my garden.”
The bridegroom having thus, as it were, gathered the first fruits, like the first love which belongs to him alone, calls upon others to rejoice with him and share his delights. "Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." Does not this remind us of John the Baptist's words, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled." John 3:29.
In verse 2 of chapter 5 of the Song, drowsiness falls upon the bride whose heart is nevertheless awake towards himself. He calls on his love, his undefiled to open to him. On his part there has been no shadow of slumbering. His locks were wet with the drops of the night. With her there is a measure of slackness, "I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on?" What is the bridegroom's way of dispelling that slackness? "My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door." Ah! The sight of that hand once pierced in love for her rouses her and she says, "My bowels were moved for him." She rises up to open to her beloved, her fingers dropping with sweet smelling myrrh. She is made to feel, however, her slackness by his withdrawing himself for a time. Surely this is a lesson to us to be ever alert to the whispers of His love, and that we might be so waiting and watching for Him, that when in the night He says, "Surely I come quickly," our hearts as the bride, stirred up by an un-grieved Spirit, may at once reply, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Mr. Whittle

Waters of Marah

Exodus 15:22-25EXO 15:22-25
"They went three days in the wilderness, and found no water." One would suppose that all would now be well. God had wrought for us such a complete and glorious salvation that we never should hear of sorrow anymore. He is about to bless us now all the way through. How many there are who are disappointed in this, who have started with the thought that all would now be well. Again we read. "And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter." Ex. 15:23. The song of praise is changed into the murmurings of Israel!
Was the wilderness to be like this all the way? Yes, never to change! The only question is what the bitter waters are for each day, not shall they cease in the days which follow until the end of the journey. May they never cease here below. If the cross has redeemed our souls, we must take up our own cross daily and follow Christ to the end.
How many of us rejoice in that which the cross has wrought, rejoice too in hope of the glory, but we have not yet learned to glory in tribulation by the way. How often instead of tribulation working patience, it works impatience by our restless wills.
Here we have a picture of our circumstances. We can neither find the water nor drink it when it is found. Trouble comes, bad times set in, losses in business supervene, former friends become cold.
Something which seems to answer is found, but it turns out to be "bitter water." It is Marah for that soul.
But the Lord showed Moses a tree and he looked upon it, and then He showed him how to use that tree to make the waters sweet. How was this? We gaze upon the cross—the tree. We learn a new use for it now. It had cleansed us from our sins; even our sinful selves had there disappeared in redeeming love. God sees us "dead with Christ" by it. But now we place that cross by faith in the bitter waters, and what ensues? Self is gone and the old man that would resent the bitter circumstance is crucified there and we learn to accept our own death to all. We suppress the resentful reply to the bitter word, we keep silence when the wicked is before us, even though our sorrow may be stirred or our heart may be hot within us. We bow to the lesson as the training of our God. We look up and rejoice; we glory in the sorrow or in the reproach.
The tribulation then works patience; impatience vanishes and the waters are made sweet. We learn to hold ourselves as dead; our evil nature is suppressed, leaving room for the new man alone to act. We learn the meaning of "Peace I leave with you." That peace is that which Christ has made. We now learn "My peace I give unto you." We have that rest of spirit when drinking the bitter waters made sweet and we find rest under the yoke of Christ. We submit, we glory in those very things—finding our joy in God alone. The waters become sweet by such divine alchemy. These are the trials of faith. These are the lessons that teach us what the world is. Where is the exercised soul who has not had such experiences through which we all pass? The gaining of our daily bread, the affairs of life everything in fact, bears that in which we learn our own powerless condition. Then comes in another power which is not of man, but which works in his conscious weakness, the "power of His resurrection." It is God who works in us by this, "both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
E.G. Patterson

Overwhelming Power

In the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles the overwhelming power of God, by the Spirit of God, sweeps all before it. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.... And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were silting" Acts 1:8; 2:2. Immediately following, every man hears in his own tongue wherein he was born, the wonderful works of God.
In chapter one, there were one hundred and twenty; in chapter two, the Lord our God called and about three thousand souls were added; in chapter four, the number of men that believed was about five thousand. And the rulers demanded, "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?" "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”
The Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip in Acts 8:39. in the words "caught away" we see the great power, force and facility by which Philip was transported and later found at Azotus, preaching in old Ashdod, the fortress of the Philistines where, in time past. Dagon fell across the threshold, a stump in the doorway.
The same word for "caught away" is found in Matt. 11:12 where it is rendered "by force." To see what powers and principalities war against the believer, consider that in Matt. 13:19, the translation is "catcheth away." When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which receiveth seed by the wayside. But by contrast, in John 10:28, 29—"Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand" and "no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." No one in heaven or earth has the power to forcefully pluck the helpless sheep from the hands that hold them. Now Satan is the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30,) and men prisoners of the earth (Lam. 3:34). But God will deliver His own with force and great power. "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
W. Bothwell

Two Houses

The house of the wicked shall he overthrown”.
“The house of the righteous shall stand.”
Prov. 14:11 and 12:7.PRO 14:11PRO 12:7
In the houses of men, God is either honored or dishonored. The sequel in either case is given in the scriptures quoted in the heading of this article. These scriptures also show that God looks into the houses of men, both of the just and the unjust. "The eyes of the Lord arc in every place, beholding the evil and the good." Prov. 15:3.
In Job 22:15 to 18, we have an allusion to the houses of men before the flood and their way of life. God had filled their houses with good things, yet they said to Him. "Depart from us: for we desire not [he knowledge of Thy ways." (21:14.) We are here reminded of Deut. 7:10. "He will not be slack to him that hateth Him. He will repay him to his face. Assuredly, God did so! Those wicked men were cut down out of time and their foundation was overthrown with a flood.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His precious ministry on earth, sheds light on the days of Noah. "Before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away." Matt. 24:38, 39.
History Repeats Itself
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be." Eccl. 1:9. In our day the standard of living is high and God surely has filled our houses also with good things. But while accepting these mercies from His beneficent hand, men are once more saying as they did before the flood. "Depart from us." History repeats itself. The story of God's judgment of wicked men by the waters of the flood is something they willingly are ignorant of (2 Peter 3:5). How solemn to think that if man chooses to leave God out of his life in time, he will also be without Him in eternity. And judgment is at the door. "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" 1 Peter 4:17, 18.
Consider Your Ways
A happier picture presents itself in the book of Haggai. Here we find the Lord looking into the celled houses of His people. What did He see? Occupation only with their own affairs and the Lord's interests completely neglected. All were seeking their own, namely, beautifully built and ornamented celled houses while they were living without the Lord's house. Consequently there was no place of worship.
The Lord was grieved, yet not unmindful that not so long since a small remnant only had returned to His land after seventy years of captivity in Babylon on account of Judah's idolatry. He loved them and "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." Heb. 12:6. So asking them to consider their ways. He dried up their prosperity. Food and raiment were in short supply, and wages disappeared. Complete frustration ensued. "Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it.
Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of Mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house." Hag. 1:9.
Undoubtedly, the families suffered with their parents. It is so today when Christian parents with children turn their backs on the Lord. How refreshing to find the people "obeyed the voice of the Lord their God... and the people did fear before the Lord." Hag. 1:12. The very day the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, (Hag. 2:18) their adversity ceased and blessing accrued.
Christian, "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:33.
Jesus in Martha's House
We turn now to the New Testament for a scene of blessedness, joy, and refreshment. "A certain woman named Martha received Him [Jesus] into her house." Wise woman! We all do well to follow her example. She considered it the highest honor to have such a guest. The blessed Savior, in flesh, was on His way to the cross of shame to lay down His life for our sins according to the Father's commandment. What a blessing came to Martha's house.
First: Martha made a wonderful confession—"I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." John 11:27. That meant eternal life for Martha.
Second: Mary "sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His word." Luke 10:39. She knew who the heavenly Stranger really was and for what purpose He had come. With the whole world against Him, and His own far behind in sympathetic understanding, she anointed His blessed head and feet against the day of His burying. As the Lord then foretold, we are here recounting Mary's action nearly two thousand years after it took place. Small wonder that the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.
Third: Lazarus fell sick, died, was buried, was raised again and restored to his mourning sisters. Truly he was a dead and risen man, and, seated at the Lord's table, he is a picture of every true Christian.
The secret of the blessing in the house at Bethany was that the Lord was accorded His rightful place there, and there was real affection for His blessed Person. How beautifully reciprocal it was, too, as we read, "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." How significant, the fact that in returning to the Father, after having glorified Him on the earth and finishing the work He gave Him to do, "He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them." Luke 24:50. Let us then set the Lord always before us. He will be at our right hand so that we cannot be moved. He will pour us out such a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Mal. 3:10.)
T. Mather

A Great Principle

It is always well to remember the great principle wrapped, up in those words of Samuel to Saul, When then west little in thine own eyes “How constantly we see in the history of God's people that those who were great in their littleness became little in their greatness, Lord, keep us very lowly!

He Oft Refreshed Me

Have you ever noticed the service of a brother named Onesiphorus? I believe it has a word for us in these days, when many are isolated, and often are unable to meet with the Lord's people for fellowship.
The Apostle said of him in 2 Tim. 1:16-18: "He oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain... he sought me out very diligently, and found me.... In . . . many things he ministered unto me.”
What a lovely list of things are mentioned here, and how suggestive surely to any whose heart is filled with the love of Christ!
“He oft refreshed me"—like a morning breeze, full of freshness and vitality, this dear man had often refreshed the heart of the great Apostle. Although Paul may at times have been cast down, here was one who had ministered to him, who had encouraged his heart, who had cheered his spirit and sympathized with the Lord's prisoner in his bonds.
Are there not some whom we could refresh, some drooping spirits whom we could water, some whom we might be able to cheer and encourage? And then having done it once, do it often!
Of Onesiphorus it is also said, "He sought me out very diligently, and found me.”
And there are some lonely ones who will only be found in this way. They will need seeking out and finding, and such service is noticed by Him who could seek out the poor outcast woman of Sychar's well. They are known to the Lord and never forgotten by Film, yet He would have us search them out, and by so doing remind them of that link which binds us together and to Christ in glory.
Both in Rome and Ephesus Onesiphorus ministered to the Apostle, in what way we do not know, but it was known to the Lord and was precious to Him, because done to one of His own, as He says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”
O that we too may be ready thus to serve Him as we serve those who are His own! Young Christian!

The True Nature of Prayer

The true nature of prayer may be best ascertained from a view of the manner in which it is spoken of in Scripture. It is called:
Inquiring of the Lord Gen. 25:22
Supplication Zech. 12:10
Entreaty Ex. 8:8
Wrestling (striving) with God Rom. 15:30
Lifting up the soul Psa. 25:1
Pouring out the heart Psa. 62:8
Looking up to God Psa. 5:3
Taking hold of God Isa. 64:7
Crying 1 Sam. 7:8
Asking John 15:16
Seeking and knocking Matt. 7:7
How plainly may we see, from this method of speaking of prayer, the unacceptableness and inefficiency of cold, formal and heartless repetitions before God!

Questions and Answers: "The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace?"

Ques.—How am I to endeavor to keep "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"? What does it mean?
Ans.—The Holy Ghost came down from heaven personally on the day or Pentecost, and dwells in each member of Christ individually (1 Cor. 6:19: Eph. 1:13, H. etc.), and the saints, thus indwell, upon earth, form God's habitation through the Spirit. He dwells corporately in the whole Church. (Eph. 2:22, etc.). He unites each member to the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). Each member to the other members (1 Cor. 12:13), and all the members to the Head. This is the Church of God—the Body of Christ.
This unity has remained untouched by all the failures of the Church. It is a unity which cannot be destroyed, because it is the Holy Ghost Himself. He is the unity of the Body of Christ.
The Church of God was responsible to have maintained this unity of the Spirit, in practical, outward and visible oneness. In this she has failed. The unity has not. It remains, because the Spirit of God remains. It remains even when the oneness of action is well nigh gone. The unity of a human body remains, when a limb is paralyzed, but where is its oneness? The paralyzed limb has not ceased to be of the body, but it has lost the healthy articulation of the body.
Still, no matter what the ruin may be—no matter how terrible is the confused and unhealthy state in which things are—Scripture never allows that it is impracticable for the saints to walk in the fellowship of God's Spirit, and maintenance of the truth. It is always practicable. The Spirit of God pre-supposes evil and perilous days: still God enjoins us to endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." He enjoins nothing impracticable. We never can restore anything to its former state, but we can walk in obedience to the Word, and in the company of the Spirit of God, who enables us to hold the Head. He will never sacrifice Christ, and His honor and glory for His members. Hence we arc exhorted to endeavor to keep the "unity of the Spirit" (not the "unity of the Body." which would prevent us from separating from any member of the Body of Christ. no matter what his practice.) The Holy Ghost glorifies Christ—and walking in fellowship with Him, we are kept specially identified with Christ.
In this endeavor, I must begin with myself. My first duty is to separate myself to Christ, from everything that is contrary to Him: "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Tim. 2:19. This evil may be moral, practical, doctrinal: no matter what it is I must get away from it, and when I have done so I find myself practically in company with the Holy Ghost, and a nucleus for those who are truehearted likewise. If I can find such, those who have done the same, I am to follow righteousness, faith, peace, charity, with them (2 Tim. 2:22). If I can find none where I am, I must stand alone with the Holy Ghost for my Lord. There are, however, the Lord be praised, many who have done likewise, and are on the line of action of the Spirit of God in the Church. They have the blessed promise as a resource. "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt. 18:20. They are practically one, as led by the same Spirit with every member of Christ in the world who has done likewise. I do not now refer to their absolute union with the whole Body of Christ—but of the practice.
The basis on which they are gathered (the Spirit of God, in the Body of Christ), is wide enough in its principle to embrace the whole Church of God, narrow enough to exclude from its midst everything that is not of the Spirit of God. To admit such would put them practically out of the fellowship of the Holy Ghost.
This endeavor does not confine itself to those who are thus together—one with the other. It has its aspect towards every member of Christ upon earth. The walk of those thus gathered, in entire separation to Christ, and practical fellowship of the Spirit, and maintenance of the truth, is the truest love they can show toward their brethren who are not practically with them. Walking in truth and unity, they will desire that their brethren may be won into the truth and fellowship of the Holy Ghost. They may be only a feeble remnant, but the true remnants were ever distinguished by personal devotedness to the Lord, who always specially watched over them, in the tenderest solicitude, and associated Himself specially with them!
F.G. Patterson

Bible Challenger-09-September V.04: The Measure of Blessing Requested By a Prophet of a Prophet

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the words denoting the measure of blessing requested by a prophet of a, prophet.
1. The king who stockpiled brass and iron without measure.
2. An ingredient of a compounded substance whose measure was to be one hin.
3. The degree to which salvation is measured for those who come in the accepted way.
4. A bridal present having a measured weight of ten shekels.
5. Something cast in a plain, having a capacity measurement of forty baths.
6. The prophet who made a trench that would hold two measures of seed.
7. Descriptive words of the good measure given to the giver.
8. The time period for which thirty measures of fine flour were allocated to a king's household.
9. The bearer of six measures of barley in an unusual manner.
10. The recipients of a king's decree authorizing, among other things, up to a hundred measures of wheat.
11. The measure of understanding of our great Lord.
12. The measure of oil that was brought to a priest on the eighth day for a remarkable cleansing.
13. The husband of the woman who brought five measures of parched corn to a future king.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-08-August V.04

1. Rain 1 Kings 17:14
2. Elements 2 Peter 3:12
3. Dressed his feet 2 Sam. 19:24
4. Esther Esther 4:15, 16
5. Mountains Joel 3:18
6. Precious 1 Sam. 3:1
7. Trumpet Lev. 25:9
8. Iniquity of Israel Jer. 50:20
9. Other gods Jer. 16:13
10. N umber our days Psa. 90:12
“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of REDEMPTION."Eph. 4:30

Ephesians 5:14

“Wake up [thou] that sleepest, and arise up from among the dead, and the Christ shall shine upon thee." (JND Trans.) Hereby are we warned that it is possible for a saint to be asleep among the dead, and, not only is it possible, but how many instances do we see around us, and how easily might we ourselves be overcome by this deadly stupor. In that unhappy case, he hears nothing, sees nothing, nor can he communicate anything to others, and though he be not a dead man, yet, so far as these things go, he is as good as dead. Is not Samson asleep on the knees of Delilah a striking and solemn illustration? How soon he lost the locks of his Nazariteship! And then, with his eyes put out and himself bound with fetters of brass, he was made to grind in the prison house. What a pitiable spectacle! Nor was this all, for when the lords of the Philistines gathered themselves together to do honor to their god, and their hearts were merry, Samson was called from his prison to make them sport. To such humiliating and degrading depths may a man descend who sleeps among the dead. What a warning to us! Is any Christian in that state? An earnest voice bids him wake up and quit that company. To be asleep is bad enough; to be asleep among the dead is worse. Not only is there the arousing call, but with it the exceedingly gracious promise, "Christ shall shine upon thee"—not a mere gleam of light, but Christ shall shine full-orbed upon the soul. This is grace indeed!

Editorial

Gentiles came first, then Jews, and then the Church in the historical order. Today God recognizes all three as being present on the earth. Much of what we have written and most of the articles in this monthly magazine are about the Church or the Jews (Israel). This month we will consider the Gentiles.
In Scripture, the name Gentile is used to denote any and every nation except Israel. Gen. 10:5 gives the first mention of them, "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." This was two or three hundred years before the call of Abraham from whom Israel was born of Isaac.
With the children of Israel, God worked for fifteen hundred years to test Man under law and the result is announced in Rom. 3:19, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Christ announced the Church in Matt. 16:18 saying, "I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." This work Christ began by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and it is still going on. The Church is formed from Jews and Gentiles through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
The times of the Gentiles began when God transferred the power of government to Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon (Dan. 2:37, 38.) Three other empires succeeded that of Babylon, and the times of the Gentiles still continue under various phases of government. They will continue until the last head of the last form of the imperial revived Roman Empire is cast alive into a lake of fire. (Rev. 19:20.)
The fullness of the Gentiles is spoken of in connection with the olive tree. It is God's tree of promise and richness of blessing on the earth. According to Jer. 11:16, Israel was that tree. Because of unbelief some of the branches were broken off, and contrary to nature, some Gentiles were "grafted in among them." Rom. 11:17.
Now we come to the warning to the Gentiles and this is the point we want to strongly press: "Boast not against the branches" is the first warning. Unbelief brought about the removal of the central place of blessing to the Jew. Now we seriously ask, have the Gentiles been any better in their record of believing God and His Word?
“Be not high-minded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee," is the next warning. This applies very much at this present time. God has had much patience with the Gentiles. This nearly two thousand years of the gospel of the grace of God offered to all, but especially to the Gentiles, fully proves His long-suffering.
Next we read in verse 22 of Rom. 11, "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou [Gentiles] continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." Is that time drawing near? Oh, that men would hear God's solemn warnings. He always warns before He judges.
Today Gentiles outnumber Jews about three hundred fifty to one. This confirms the fact that now is the times of the Gentiles. The goodness of God has indeed been poured out upon the Gentiles. In the millennial day, all twelve tribes of Israel will again be in the central place of blessing under Christ Jesus who will be owned as their Messiah. Around them will be the nations, that is, Gentiles. (Rev. 7:4-10.) Ed.

A Covenant

A covenant is a principle of relationship of God with man on the earth—conditions established by God, under which man is to live with Him. The word may, perhaps, be used figuratively or by accommodation. It is Applied to details of the relationship of God with Israel, but strictly speaking, there are,/but two covenants, the old and the new. The Old was established at Sinai. The new covenant is made also with the two houses of (Israel. The gospel is not a covenant, but is the revelation of the salvation of God. It proclaims the great salvation. We enjoy, indeed all the essential privileges of the new covenant, its foundation being of God, but we do so in spirit, not according to the letter. The new covenant will be established formally with Israel in the millennium.

Law and Grace

The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17.)
The taw demands obedience; grace produces obedience (Ex. 24:3; Titus 2:11.12.)
The law says. "Do and live"; grace says. "Live and do." (Rom. 10:5; 1 Cor. 6:19.20.)
The law makes the offense abound: grace has over abounded. (Rom. 5:20.)
The law condemns sinners; grace delivers them. (2 Cor. 3:9: Eph. 2:8.)
The law is a schoolmaster; grace brings to the Father. (Gal. 3:25.26.)
The law was given to Israel; grace flows out to all. (Rom. 2:14; Titus 2:11.)
The law was given in one language; grace goes out in all. (Ex. 32:15; Acts 2:1-12.)
The law addresses man in the flesh; grace creates anew. (1 Tim. 1:9; 2 Cor. 5:17.)
“By the deeds of the law there shall no, flesh be justified in His sight: For by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Rom. 3:20.)
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ." (Gal. 2:16.)
“Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Rom. 10:4.)
“If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Gal. 2:21.)
"Not under the law, but under grace." ( Rom. 6:15.)
“By grace are ye saved through faith." (Eph. 2:8.)
“But is not the law our rule of life when we are saved?" demand many. No, "for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature (or, creation). And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy." (Gal. 6:15.16.) "To me to live is Christ" (not the law). "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." (1 John 2:6.)
But we can fall from grace can we not? Yes, but what does it mean? Falling from grace refers to a believer who knows the grace of God and yet puts himself back under law. He cannot "lose" grace and fall into hell. (Gal. 5:4.) Falling away refers to mere professors. (Heb. 6:6.) Young Christian

Law and Grace

The Law requires good from a sinner, and as a consequence does not find it. It therefore works wrath, and condemns, and curses the sinner.
Grace works to produce good in the sinner, by imparting something to him, not requiring good where it is not to be found. Consequently, instead of condemning and cursing the sinner, it puts away his sin.

Colossians 1

In Col. 1 the apostle contemplates two characters of knowledge in the saints the knowledge of "the grace of God in truth." and the "knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." vv. 6-9. The saints at Colosse had attained the first; he desired for them that they might attain the second.
According to this, he contemplates two characters of ministry in himself—the ministry of "the gospel." and the ministry of "His body... the church." vv. 23.25.
These distinctions should prepare us for much that we see in this day. Saints have commonly attained the knowledge of "the truth," or of "the grace of God in truth," that is, of "the gospel." but they have come short of the knowledge of "His will," that is, "the mystery." We are to accept them with all thankfulness. as the apostle accepted the Colossians (v. 3), but we are also to desire, as he did for the Colossians, that they might go on to reach the knowledge of the mystery in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
But I will touch upon another secret in this chapter. Wherever the eye turns it is filled with one object, and that is the pre-eminence of Christ. In the regions of creation, providence, redemption, and glory, this is so, as the first chapter of Hebrews tells us in a more succinct form. He made the world; He upholds all things; He has purged our sins, and sat down in the highest place in heaven, and He is appointed heir of all things. So, here, when I look at creation, or all things in their original estate. I see Him as their Creator, nothing less than that, and that gives Him pre-eminence in the midst of them.
When I look at Providence, or all things in their upheld consistent estate, I see Him as "before" them, and that gives Him pre-eminence there.
When I look at Redemption, or at the great scene of reconciliation. I see Him as the Head of the body, the first-born from the dead, and that gives Him pre-eminence in the great regions of reconciliation. It is to Himself that all have returned in the way of reconciliation, and by Himself.
And lastly, when I look at Glory, or at the time of the inheritance, I see Him as having all things all things created for Him as well as by Him: "the first-born of every creature," or the heir of the whole creation of God, and that gives Him as surely, pre-eminence in the great scene of the glory, or the kingdom. Thus, wherever we look, in whatever direction our eye is turned, backward or forward, upward or around, the pre-eminence of Christ is made to shine before us. Words of Truth

Man as a Child of Adam

Colossians 2COL 2
Man, as a child of Adam, is not at the center of the immense system of God's ways. Out of Christ and without Christ, he does not know the center: he speculates, without foundation and without end, only to lose himself more and more. His knowledge of good and evil, and the energy of his moral faculties only lead him farther astray because he employs them on higher questions than those which Simply relate to physical things. Consequently, they produce in him the need of reconciling apparently inconsistent principles which cannot be reconciled without Christ. Moreover the tendency of man is always to make himself, as he is, the center of everything, and this renders everything false.
Christians then ought to walk with simplicity in the ways of the Lord, even as they have received Him, and their progress ought to be in the knowledge of Christ, the true center and fullness of all things.
The Dangers of Philosophy and Religion: Judaism Us the Religion of the Flesh
When man occupies himself philosophically with all things, the insufficiency of his own resources always throws him into the hands of an intellectual leader, and into tradition and. when religion is the subject into traditions which develop the religion of the flesh, and are suited to its powers and tendencies.
In those days Judaism had the highest pretensions to this kind of religion. It allied itself with human speculations and adopted them, and even pursued them assiduously offering at the same time proofs of divine origin, and a testimony to the unity of the Godhead which the absence of the grossness of pagan mythology and the meeting of human consciousness of the divine rendered credible. This relative purity tended to remove—for enlightened minds—that which was disgusting in the pagan system. The Jewish system had, by the death of Jesus, lost all pretension to be the true worship of God, and was therefore suited (by the advantages it offered in the comparative purity of its dogmas) to be an instrument of Satan in opposing the truth. At all times it was adapted to the flesh and was founded on the elements of this world, because by its means, when owned of God. God was proving man in the position man stood in. But now God was no longer in it, and the Jews, moved by envy, urged the Gentiles to persecution. Judaism allied itself to pagan speculation in order to corrupt and sap the foundations of Christianity and destroy its testimony.
In principle it is always thus. The flesh may appear for a time to despise tradition, but that which is purely intellectual cannot stand in the midst of humanity without something religious. It has not the truth nor the world which belongs to faith, and for an immense majority superstition and tradition are needed, that is to say, a religion which the flesh can lay hold of, and which suits the flesh. God by His power may preserve a portion of the truth, or allow the whole to be corrupted, but in either case true Christian position and the doctrine of the assembly are lost.
We may indeed find philosophy apart from the religion of the flesh, and the latter apart from the former, but in this case philosophy is impotent and atheistic, the religion of the flesh narrow, legal, superstitious, and, if it can be so persecuting.
Human Wisdom and Men's Traditions in Opposition to a Heavenly Christ
Who Answers All Our Need In our chapter we find philosophy and the emptiness of human wisdom united with the traditions of men, characterized as "the elements of this world." in opposition to Christ. for we have a heavenly Christ who is a perfect contrast to the flesh in man living on earth, a Christ in whom is all wisdom and fullness, and the reality of all that which the law pretended to give, or which it presented in figure. At the same time, He is an answer to all our wants. This the Apostle develops here, showing death and resurrection with Him as the means of participating in it.
What We Have and Are in the Person of Christ
All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily. Instead of the misty speculations of men and fantastic axons, we have the fullness of God bodily, in a real human body, and thus efficaciously for us, in the Person of Jesus Christ. In the second place, we are complete in Him; we need nothing out of Christ. On the one side, we have, in Him, God perfectly presented in all His fullness; on the other side, we possess in Him perfection and completeness before God. We are lacking in nothing as to our position before God. What a truth! What a position! God, in His perfect fullness, in Christ as Man, we in Him before God, in the perfection of what He is—in Him who is Head of all principality and power, before which man in his ignorance would incline to bend the knee! We are in Him, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells as to His Person, in Him, who is above all principality as to His position and His rights as Christ. Man exalted on high.
J.N. Darby

Giving up

One of the most frequently used phrases Satan whispers in our ears is "give up." We see it everywhere: assemblies "giving up" meetings and then wondering where everybody went, parents "giving up" discipline and wondering why the children don't obey. husbands and wives "giving up" trying to get along and wondering what happened to their marriage, young people "giving up" morals for short term pleasures and wondering why they are having long-term sorrow, the Lord's people "giving up" coming to meetings and wondering why their children arc off in the world. Giving up is easy. Holding steadfast takes a desire and determination to follow in the path of the Lord. Once something is given up, it is many times harder to regain. May our daily prayers be for those who so easily "give up." that they may be given the desire and determination to "hold that fast which thou hast." Rev. 3:11. Satan is attacking from many directions, one of which is tradition amongst us. I'm not speaking of doctrine but more of where tradition is being made a doctrine. Satan is using it to distract our attention from other more serious attacks aimed at our children our young people and the family. If he can successfully get us to turn our backs on these, he can do more serious and permanent damage to Christians than by many other means. M. Smith E

“Let Us" in Hebrews

“Let us therefore fear" Heb. 4:1
“Let us labor therefore to enter" Heb. 4:11
“Let us hold fast our profession" Heb. 4:14
“Let us therefore come boldly" Heb. 4:16
“Let us go on to full growth" N.T. Heb. 6:1
“Let us draw near" Heb. 10:22
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith” Heb. 10:23
“Let us consider one another" Heb. 10:24
“Let us lay aside every weight" Heb. 12:1
“Let us run with patience" Heb. 12:1
“Let us have grace" Heb. 12:28
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him” Heb. 13:13
"Let us offer the sacrifice of praise" Heb. 13:15
E. Ferguson

The Returned Shunammite

We will understand 2 Kings 8:1 better from the Revised Version. "Now Elisha had spoken unto the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn, for Jehovah hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years." The incident was thus earlier in time than the doings recorded in chapter 7. Whenever it was, the departure of the Shunammite From the land of Israel took place by divine command through the instrumentality of Elisha. A time of trouble was approaching, and "surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7. Such was Jehovah's care for the pious Shunammite that He sent her away beforehand. Is it not good to have to do with God?
The emigration of this family was thus on an altogether different principle from that of Elimelech and Naomi as recorded in Ruth chapter 1. Their move was just a matter of human expediency, and great sorrow was the result. The true line for us all is indicated in our Lord's words in Matt. 4:4, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The Lord was hungry in the wilderness, and possessed of power to supply His need, yet refused to act without a word from God! If we could only wait in times of perplexity, our God may be trusted not to fail us, and He will give the suited words of guidance in His own time. Saul lost his kingdom through a little impatience in an emergency (1 Sam. 13:11-14).
Notice that the trouble was limited—"seven years." He who sits upon the throne will never suffer the reins of government to be seized by the enemy. His controlling hand measures everything that must fall upon His own, and the enemy is powerless to exceed that measure.
When the Shunammite returned from her seven years' exile she appealed to the king for the restoration of her house and land, and she obtained it really through the instrumentality of her son, the story of whose restoration to life so deeply interested the king. She is thus a picture of Israel, away from the land during the present dearth, but yet to possess all things again in virtue of the dead and risen Christ. In that happy day they will say: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isa. 9:6. It will be to them as life from the dead.
Gehazi happened to be near at the moment of the Shunammite's appeal to the king. The hand of God was in this. The man was actually relating her own story. Jehoram was just then in the humor to be entertained, thus he said to Gehazi, "Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done." 2 Kings 8:4. He was not seeking divine instruction from this one-time servant of Jehovah, but (as we have said) entertainment. In like manner many in Christendom today who would refuse a plain talk about the realities of eternity, would have no objection to discussing preachers and their doings. If Jehoram had sought such talk from John the Baptist, or Paul the Apostle, he would have heard such words concerning "righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come" as would have made him quiver in his shoes (Acts 24:25). But Gehazi was useless for such work now. He had been associated with the testimony of God committed to Elisha, but he was now out of it, and could only dwell upon the past. For him the present was a spiritual blank. Oh, the sorrow of it, and the danger that his case suggests for us all! May God have mercy upon us!
Money was his ruin. How very solemnly does the Apostle warn us concerning this peril in 1 Tim. 6. He distinguishes between those who desire to be rich (vv. 9-11) and those who are rich (vv. 17-19). Those who desire to be rich expose themselves to fearful danger, and those who are already rich have a great responsibility resting upon them in view of the coming day.
Scripture presents to us a number of spiritual wrecks. Amongst them are the old prophet of 1 Kings 13, and Demas. We need not raise questions as to the salvation of such persons, for it is not the point before the mind of the Spirit. The point is that through dealing with the world they lost their testimony for God in the present scene. Any of us may do the same. In that case, how solemn will be our manifestation before the judgment seat of Christ! May the Lord keep us all walking in humility before Him!
W. Fereday

Kept

The Lord "will keep the feet of His saints." 1 Sam. 2:9.
Keep—What a lovely word is recorded for us so many times in the Scriptures and how much it means to the Lord's people. As we journey along our earthly pilgrimage, the difficulties to be encountered are too great, the burdens too heavy, the snares too powerful, and the evil in this present world of corruption too overwhelming—yet what strong consolation is ours, by grace! Our Lord Jesus Christ not only saves, but He keeps even the feeblest of His saints.
Let us remind ourselves of the promises concerning the Lord's keeping power. He guarantees to meet every need, and His presence is our unfailing comfort. How beautiful is the promise in Gen. 28:15— Behold. I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou guest." The psalmist gives us a blessed prayer. "Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me under the shadow of Thy wings." Psa. 7:6. Again in Psa. 121 (RV) we have assurance that He that keepeth thee will not slumber, the Lord is thy keeper. He shall keep thee from evil. He shall keep thy soul. The Lord shall keep thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
In Prov. 6:22, we read that. "When thou guest, it [the Word of God] shall lead thee: when thou steepest, it shall keep thee: and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”
Another jewel we find in Isa. 26:3: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.”
At all times and in all circumstances we are kept. In our Lord's great intercessory prayer, we have the promise of a two-fold keeping. "I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are." John 17:11. Here we have the Father keeping us. In verse 12 we have the Lord Jesus keeping us: "I kept them in Thy name: Those that Thou gavest Mc have I kept, and none of them is lost." Our Lord also prays, "Not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil." What a comfort it is to know that our exalted Lord ever liveth to make intercession for us!
The Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, assured him he had made a deposit, and had entrusted his present and eternal interests to the Lord, the keeping of his soul for time and eternity. With confidence he writes. "I ... am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." 2 Tim. 1:12.
We cannot keep ourselves but truly we "are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." 1 Peter 1:5. 'O Lord keep me pure within.'
The Apostle Jude assures us in that lovely doxology, verse 24: "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 Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." May we know more of the glorious reality of the saving and keeping power of our Lord Jesus Christ moment by moment, till we are safe in the glory with Him. H. Spence

A Gem from the Seventeenth Century

The reason why God is trusted so little is because He is so little known. We say of some men, "They are better known than trusted," and if we knew some men more, we should trust them less, but the truth is, God is always trusted as much as He is known, and if we knew Him more, we would trust Him more. Every discovery of God shows something which renders Him more worthy of trust.
Caryl, 1602-1672
Trust in Him ye saints forever,
He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force nor guile can sever
Those He loves from Him. T. K.
“They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee." Psa. 9:10.

The Typical Bride: Genesis 24Gen 24

This is a subject of great importance which is told here in Genesis in sixty-seven verses. "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." Eph. 5:32. The Bible begins with the bride and ends with the bride. Prophetic scriptures like Gen. 24 illustrate the Church according to Rom. 6:23, 26.
Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ. according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever.
Suppose that we leave Christ and the Church out of this chapter, what is there of interest to us or the unconverted man? But what an unfolding of the mind of the Godhead we have in it: the Father's mind, the Son's will, and the Holy Spirit carrying it out. It brings forth very distinctly that the bride must not be of the angels; he charges his servant not to take a wife for his son from the Canaanites.
Rebekah wears the gold first, divine righteousness. Afterward, the jewels of silver, gold and garments all come in their place. So we must be suited to Him first and afterward we learn.
The bride of Christ was to be gathered in the place where redemption had been accomplished and from among the children of men. The bride is not gathered in heaven, she is gathered on earth. Man was not made for heaven, nor heaven for man. Heaven is the Lord's and the earth was given to the sons of men.
God's counsels and His ways are two different things. When the Lord says, "In My Father's house," there is no place for man there until He gets there, and that was not until after the earth had no place for Him. The Savior was refused by man a home on earth, but He went to heaven to prepare a place for man. John 17:4, 5: "I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.”
“In My Father's house are many mansions" is an allusion to the abodes in the temple with a balcony connecting them. All were gathered around Him. The word "many" denotes no limit. He says, "I will receive you unto Myself" not to the abodes. We do not want an empty house. It is association with Himself; He is to be surrounded with human abodes. No place could satisfy the heart of the saint if the Son were not in the Father's house. One hears lots of talk and sentimentality about heaven, but little about the person of Christ. Always in Scripture we go to be with Christ; for example, "to-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise." "My delights were with the sons of men" will be fulfilled then. The counsels of God are eternal and His ways are in time.
The faithful servant is the dependent servant. He speaks as though he had nothing, but he is in charge of all of his master's goods. He was faithful, not only at the beginning, but at the end too. Likewise, during our course of service there are sure to be places of testing, but we are to look to the One who is leading us on.
There were ten camels loaded up for the bride. Ten typifies all the fullness that God can supply. Everything is provided for the journey. We don't often realize the counsels of God concerning ourselves. We think of that other woman the Lord Jesus met at the well in John 4 which shows us where the bride came from, but Gen. 24 shows us where she was taken to! We little think how precious we are to God and how He thinks of us!
Neither Christ nor this servant tell these women what they came for, but the Lord asked the woman for a drink. The water out of the well was refreshment for the soul. There that poor woman was supplying His need and refreshment too.
The camels are the circumstances that take us through this scene. They have big broad feet; they cannot sink, although often, on her journey, Rebekah was jolted forward and sometimes backwards.
Blest the sorrow, kind the storm
That drives us nearer home.
The eldest servant ruled over all that the master had, a picture of the Holy Spirit. If we take a bit of trouble to minister to the saints, "I will repay thee, saith the Lord.”
Isaac was comforted after the death of his mother. The loss of his mother was the loss of Israel for the Lord, and it was a loss that was felt by the Lord. He is not without companionship in heaven. No one can tell what joy it will be for the Lord to receive the Church to Himself. It is not until after we are really saved that we can enter into this. After Rebekah had on the jewels of gold, she delighted in hearing the story of such a man; the one who had been laid on the altar and who had inherited ail that his father had. We want to be with Christ where He is and that is what makes us want to be Like Him now. Rebekah's jewels answer to the righteousness of God put upon us. "Let the damsel abide a few days, at the least ten." How we appreciate these things now, as we could riot ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. During our detention we are learning lessons we would never learn in heaven, lessons of dependence and discipline. "Take My yoke upon you," that is the ten days.
W. Potter

The Confederacy - the Child

ISAIAH 7-9:7ISA 7ISA 8ISA 9:1-7
In this magnificent prophecy we see the significance of the two elements which form the basis of the prophecy, the confederacy of the Syrian and Samaria, and the child of the prophet. It was a time of confederacy against Judah, but the sign of Judah's help was a child.
As the prophecy rolls on to its conclusion we find these two elements dealt with—hostile confederacies arc broken up, and Judah 's strength is laid in the child, and the child alone. Judah is warned against forming counter-confederacies—instructed to hold to the Word of God during the interval, or the patience, and to know that her help in due season would come, but come in the child, and in the child alone.
Today there are confederacies to be recognized by us, and they are to be known by us as not being helpful to us. Do we not see the significance of the two elements which form the basis of this prophecy?
In what form does this child come forth? What is the manhood of this child, this only help of Israel? The child is unfolded in the "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
With us the same child is unfolded in another personal glory. "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." A divine name is now revealed in this same child. We have now the blessed publication of the name, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," as we shall have, in millennial days, another name unfolded. From the beginning to the end we have God disclosing Himself in His doings for us, from the creation to the kingdom.
The confederacy ends in a terrific breach and rupture the—child in His new and wondrous glory and strength. And this child diffuses glory and joy. It is as light dawning, and as the gathering of harvest.
Words of Truth

Bible Challenger-10-October V.04: Something God-Given, to Be Kept With All Diligence

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word denoting something. God given, to be kept with all diligence by God's people.
1. Something quite breakable, received from God in a high place.
2. Someone who had the testimony that he pleased God.
3. Something early evangelists were told to do, to all who would not receive the message nor the messenger.
4. Something two men in agreement constituted as established by law.
5. The prayer of one who wanted the heart directed from sinful practices.
6. The private practice of some students, permitting them to excel all their teachers.
7. Something an ancient people of God had not done, causing evil to befall them.
8. Someone receiving something down to earth, in order to establish a testimony.
9. The locale of someone in solitude for his testimony.
10. Something the Lord accomplished in Jacob for succeeding generations.
11. A special grant complementing the spoken testimony to the word of the Lord's grace.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-09-September Answers V.04

1. David 1 Chron. 22:3, 14
2. Oil olive Exo. 30:24
3. Uttermost Heb. 7:25
4. Bracelets Gen. 24:22
5. L aver 1 Kings 7:38.46
6. Elijah l Kings 18:31, 32
7. Pressed down Luke 6:38
8. One day 1 Kings 4:22
9. Ruth Ruth 3:15
10. Treasurers Ezra 7:21, 22
11. Infinite Psa. 147:5
12. One log Lev. 14:10
13. Nabal 1 Sam. 25:18, 19
“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha. Ask what 1 shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said. I pray thee. let a DOUBLE PORTION of thy spirit be upon me." 2 Kings 2:9

Getting Peace

You will never get peace by dwelling upon your conversion—whether it was good or bad—deep or shallow. Neither can you get peace by looking at your state or your progress.
It is very important to judge your state and your walk, but you will never get peace by so doing, nor will you ever make progress by being occupied with yourself gauging and analyzing your feelings.
The-true basis of peace is a full Christ for the heart. The true secret of progress is a whole heart for Christ.

Psalm 23

"The Lord is my shepherd :I shall not wont.”
I shall not want REST.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures."
I shall not want REFRESHMENT.
"He leadeth me beside the still waters.”
shall not want REVIVING.
"He restoreth my soul.”
I shall not want GUIDANCE.
“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake.”
I shall not want COMPANIONSHIP.
"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil for Thou art

with me.”
I shall not want COMFORT.
"Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me:
I shall not want SUSTENANCE.
"Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
I shall not want JOY.
'Thou anointest my head with oil”
I shall not want ANYTHING.
"My cup runneth over,'
I shall not want ANYTHING IN THIS LIFE.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
I shall not want ANYTHING IN ETERNITY.
"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Instruments of Song

“I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously." Ex. 15:1.
His saints are now His instrument of song, answering to the touch of His hand, and vibrating with those resurrection joys which in "the midst of the Church" He leads forth to His God and Father.
True, indeed, His temple is not yet built, nor has His kingdom in its glory yet dawned, but He has sent forth the Spirit to dwell in His Church, that we may speak one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
O, that our hearts may be to Him what the stringed instrument was to David's band of old.

Editorial

Reshaping Europe, 1992 and Beyond. Europe To Wield Global Power—such are the exciting news headlines seen today. Our readers have sent to us news articles with these headings and we do have a keen interest in these events, especially as they point toward the revival of the Roman empire.
That the power of Rome will be revived, we have no doubt. Luke writes of the times of the Gentiles. (21:24.) What are these? These times began when God gave the dominion of the world to Nebuchadnezzar: "wheresoever the children of men dwell.” These times of the Gentiles run on through four great powers.
1. Babylon.
2. Medo-Persia.
3. Greece.
4. Rome.
The ten-horned beast of Rev. 13 is the original Roman empire, but largely modified and in a new character.
The beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet: but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. Rev. 17:11-13.
The times of the Gentiles still run on and will go on until Christ comes and puts down the last great head, the beast, who receives "his power, and his seat, and great authority." from the dragon or Satan (Rev. 13:2.)
What we are seeing in Europe surely points toward the closing times of the Gentiles. The driving force behind man's efforts for union is necessity, and the power to effectuate this union is money. One of the headlines in 1988 said, "Many believe the E. C. (European Community) has no choice but to move toward a single currency." Recently the headline was, "European leaders take a big step on monetary union and currency." Now they are talking about a "centralized economic decision-making and a single European currency.”
One of our contributors of information writes to us saying, "It is nice that God gives us information like this to remind us that we are nearer home." Certainly this is true, and for the believer we rejoice in expectation of the coming of our Lord and Savior to take us to the Father's house at any moment.
We do not expect to know who will be the ten who receive power "as kings." Nor do we expect to know who is the personal beast, nor who is the two-horned beast or antichrist. But it is possible that these two may be alive on the earth even now. We do encourage our readers to look into the prophetic scriptures. In this issue we have several articles which take up prophecy. The Lord said about the Holy Spirit. "He will show you things to come." John 16:13. Do we not want to know these things? About one fourth of the Bible is prophetic. What God makes known of the future always comes to pass. Ed.
EARTHLY-MINDED HEAVENLY-MINDED
Satan tempts the saints to seek to be like Lot, when they ought to like Abraham—to seek to be earthly-minded instead of heavenly-minded persons.

His Compassions

“His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness." Lam. 3:22,23.
New every morning, those wondrous compassions, Faltering not, failing not, fresh every day; Rich and exhaustless, His goodness and mercies, Boundless supplies for the whole pilgrim way.

Loving God

When asked why did God make man, the young girl replied, "He made rocks, trees, and things, but they cannot love Him—animals can't either. We can!" We love, because He first loved us.

The Neglected Word?

Some Prophetic Hints
It is so easy to open up the Word of God to find verses or subjects that have to do with ourselves— how we can enjoy our blessings, how the Lord can solve some particular problem or guide us in a decision we must make. And yet, if we really want to knew the heart of God it is extremely important for us to enjoy, with God, His Word—not hits and pieces; but all of it.
A tremendous amount of the Word of God has a prophetic character to it. We are going to look at a few things to help us in studying prophecy. There is much to enjoy and for profit from the prophetic character of the Word of God.
When is the last time you have read through the prophetic hooks starting with Isaiah to the end of the Old Testament? Your answer will tell you whether or not you are enjoying a large portion of the Word God has given you for your profit.
Three Destinies
All men face one of three eternal destinies: heaven, earth, or hell. Your destiny is heaven with Christ or hell with Satan. God is now preparing for His Son a heavenly people. Your destiny if you have accepted Christ as Your Savior is heaven and if you have refused Him it is hell. But there are people whose destiny is either the earth or hell for God is concerned also with preparing for Himself an earthly people.
Prophecy concerns the earth and God's dealings with His earthly people, that is, Israel and all other nations who will populate the earth in a coming day.
When we go back to the Old Testament and follow Israel's history, we learn from it tremendous insights about what is still going to take place in the future. What do I mean by that? Jehovah put before His people certain promises and He said that if they were obedient, He would take care of them, and if they did not obey, then certain things were going to happen. And they did happen. God's moral ways never change. So the lessons not learned in the past by His earthly people must be learned in the future. And God's promises not yet fulfilled will be fulfilled.
Two Enemies
In the history of God's earthly people we learn that they had two mighty enemies. The first enemy was called the Assyrian. The second enemy was the Babylonian. To distinguish the two enemies is very important in understanding God's ways in the future. When the Assyrian was the enemy of God's people, God was in relationship to them and He owned them as His own people. I want to say that again: when the Assyrian was the enemy of the people of God. God (Jehovah) recognized them as His people. He could call them His servant and use the Assyrian to chastise them, to punish them for being unfaithful to Him. But He still owned them as His people and Judah could never be taken over by the Assyrian.
But then there came a time when the Lord had to say, I can't recognize them as My people anymore. So He wrote over them the word. Lo-ammi, which means: not My people. After He wrote those words over Israel they had a new enemy. the Babylonian. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, came and he was able to conquer the land of Israel totally and take the people nut of the land into captivity. That is important to the understanding of God's ways, because God is going to deal again with His earthly people and when He deals with them again. He is going to deal with the same two enemies.
First the enemy is going to be the descendants of the Babylonian empire and the empires that followed it. During this time, Israel still has written over it, Loammi: not My people. The enemy will have power over the professed people of God when He is not recognizing them as such.
Later God will recognize Israel again as His people, but He will in the future as in the past again use the Assyrian to chastise them. Yet He will say that they are His people and the Assyrian cannot do as he wishes. God will use them to punish and teach the people of Israel through chastisement, but the enemy is not going to take over the people of God.
The Split in Israel
What else do we see in the history of God's people? He brought them into a wonderful land and told them that they were His people: He loved them and He would take care of them. But then we find that those same people in their unfaithfulness split into two groups. They split into two parts and became the ten tribes that are called Israel, and the two other tribes that are called Judah. In the midst of that collection of ten and two, there was also a small number out of all twelve tribes that were looked at as faithful to the Lord. They were looked at as a remnant of the people. As in Israel's past so in Israel's future we see a faithful few a remnant of the people. As we read and enjoy the prophetic word we see the remnant who follow the Lord taken up and dealt with in a special way by the Lord.
God's Orderly Way
In God's ways with man, He is very orderly. God deals with different companies at different times. As we read our Bibles, we need to notice carefully who He is talking to or talking about.
In His ways with His earthly people, God first deals with the remnant, then the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, then the ten tribes, and finally He makes them to be again one united nation of twelve tribes.
God distinguishes between the earth and the world. Isa. 26:9 says: "When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." The earth includes Israel, the Roman Empire and the other nations that had to do with Israel at the time our Lord Jesus was here. The world includes all the rest of the people on planet earth. In prophecy we see God judging the earth while the rest of the world looks on and learns righteousness. In the Revelation a fourth part of the earth means Israel and a third part of the earth means the Roman empire.
In God's ways of judgment it's as if He says to a nation. "It's your turn; you come." He brings them into His land and deals with them there. Then He calls another group of nations and says. "Now it's your turn." and He deals with them there. He deals with the whole of the earth in that way.
God's ways in blessing arc like a stone dropped in a pond. It starts at a point and then includes increasing circles. It begins at Mount Zion, and then spreads to the beloved city of the Lord, Jerusalem. Then He has a little larger circle called Judah, the two tribes and where they lived, then the whole land of Israel, then the earth, and finally the whole world conies into blessing. As we read the prophetic word and seek to enter into God's thoughts and heart about it, it is extremely important and enjoyable, too, for us to see which circle God is dealing with.
Isaiah and Revelation
The most comprehensive book of prophecy is Isaiah. Revelation on the other hand is rather special as a prophetic book. It completes the prophetic word by taking up subjects that could not be known until Christ came and the Church was formed. The Old Testament prophets give us prophecy viewed from the earth, while John in the Revelation is taken in spirit into heaven so that we may view prophecy as seen from heaven.
Prophecy and Christianity
God introduced Christianity into the earth and it was something unknown in Old Testament times. The prophets had nothing to say about it, so God, to complete His prophetic word, gives us an extra book in the New Testament. It shows us how God deals with the professing Church and how it fits in with other dealings with the earth. In the seven churches of Rev. 2 and 3 we see the moral history of the Church on earth. But after the Lord Jesus calls us and all the believers home to heaven, there will still be a large body of people on earth that profess to be the Church. So God takes up that group and shows us what is going to happen to them. We read about a false prophet and we read about Babylon the great, things that the Church had become on the earth, and about various leaders that interact with it. It shows us how God deals with it in judgment to bring it to its end.
Revelation
You can divide the book of Revelation right in the middle. There are twenty-two chapters. Take the first eleven and you will find that they are in chronological order, that is. the Spirit of God takes events one after another right through His dealings with the earth. From the twelfth chapter to the end He takes up things by topics, not chronologically. Sometimes the topic is a person or nation and sometimes it is a subject such as the coming of the Lord and what the consequences of that coming are going to be for the earth, or a description of what the future states of Jerusalem and Israel are going to look like.
Isaiah
Let us look at Isa. 1:1: "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem." We have a key right here. He says that He is going to tell them what His purposes are with respect to Judah and Jerusalem. "In the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken; I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me." God tells us that He has taken Jerusalem. Judah and His people and has nourished them and cared for them and looked after them, and yet they have rebelled against Him. So then He takes up their case as a rebellious people.
The End of the Story
Have you ever started to read a book and part way through you say, "I can't wait; I have to see how it's going to end.'' So you go to the last chapter to see how it ends and then you can finish reading the hook. We don't have time to read all of Isaiah, but let's find out how it ends. Turn to the last chapter of Isaiah. verse 10. "Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her.... For thus saith the Lord. Behold. I will extend peace to her like a river.... And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem.”
We see that it will end well for Israel but also notice those words. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many." That's the character of what is coming for the earth and that's how Isaiah presents it to us. As you read through it you will see how He takes different groups of nations and people and shows them to us, telling us He is going to test this people anti see what they are. It is the test of fire and judgment in the earth. Our works are going to be tested by the fire of God, to see what kind of works they are, whether they are gold, silver and precious stones, or wood, hay and stubble. So the nations of the earth are going to be brought under the fire of God's hand and He's going to test it to see of what sort those people are. It says that many shall be slain of the Lord. That is, many shall not stand the test of what is brought before them.
Daniel
Daniel's prophecy covers the period of time when God says to Israel, Lo-ammi (Ye are not My people.) When He says that, the Babylonian and three world empires which followed it are brought before us. For this period of time called the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24), He removes Israel from being the center of His earthly government and allows the gentile powers to have the reign over the earth. The three powers which followed the Babylonian are the Medo-Persian. Greek and the Roman. Alexander the Great only reigned a few years, and when he died his Greek empire was broken up into four parts. Two parts, the northern part and the southern part, continued on in history and prophecy. From Daniel's prophecy we learn that they, the king of the north and the king of the south, will rise again before God and man.
When our Lord Jesus was here, the fourth empire, the Roman Empire, was in power. What's God going to do? God is going to put the earth back as it was before His eyes at the time His Son was crucified. And so He revives the Roman Empire and establishes its power in the land. Also, His people were in the land when His Son was crucified but they were apostate; they rejected Him. So these people are brought back and put on the stage. But they are people who will have nothing to do with Him just like when He was here.
A Remnant
In the midst of this people is a small group that has faith in Him. It isn't very large. I'm always impressed when I read about Anna in Luke's gospel. She was a woman, over one hundred years old, yet it says of her that she spoke to all in Jerusalem that were looking for the Lord. If a woman of that age could speak to all looking for the Messiah, there must not have been very many. But there were a few, and the Lord so desired and valued them that some of them are named for us by name. The Lord will have a few faithful ones to be a witness for Him at the time when He resets the stage to have His dealings with the earth.
Judgment before Blessing
First the Lord must cleanse the land of all its defilement and remove from it in judgment all those who have rejected Him and followed a false Christ. He sends a desolator through the land and scrubs the land clean. He has to take out of His land all that defiles. He can't bring His people into blessing and He can't bring Jerusalem into blessing with all the pollution and abominations in the land.
When the Lord was cast out we know Pilate was there, we know Herod was there, we know the Jewish leaders were there, but they were all against Christ. Men of like character are going to be there again, but what is He going to do? He takes before His eye the ones that we know of as the beast and the false prophet and says: I'm going to remove them in judgment from My land first. And He does that.
We see some of these events in Daniel, but remember Daniel couldn't see all the way to the end. If you go to the last chapter of Daniel, you find that there was much yet to be done, beyond what Daniel could see, beyond what we call the seventieth week of Daniel. Daniel's vision ends with "Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" and "Blessed is he that waiteth." We must look to other prophets to see how the people are delivered from their final enemies and made the center of blessing for the whole earth.
The Psalms
Many of us read the Psalms, finding verses here and there which we enjoy and apply to ourselves. That is fine. But at the same time I hope we learn to read it as the thoughts and feelings of God's people when God in that future day is dealing with His land and His people in judgment. The Psalms express their hopes, their feelings, their insecurity, and their praise as they pass through and then look back on the Lord's ways with them in chastisement and then blessing.
You don't get true Christian thoughts out of the Psalms because they do not express the Christian's position in Christ. You and I can and should enjoy a settled peace now that they won't enjoy in those future days of agony and uncertainty as the Lord is dealing with them.
Teaching Confidence
God takes His people and says, "I know how you feel." Yet they are brought to have confidence in the Lord. So He takes a few of His own and the Lord Jesus comes back to His own and reveals Himself to them secretly and says, "I'm going to be with you now. You're going to be My people and I'm going to be with you; yet, you have to learn some things first.”
So He again brings onto the stage, as it were, the Assyrian and says, "This is the rod of My anger. This' is the one that I used to chastise you before and I'm still going to use him." He brings him back on the scene and wants them to feel the hand of the chastisement of the Lord.
Jacob's Trouble
Jeremiah 30:4: "These are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah." Again notice that it concerns Israel and Judah. It isn't the city of Jerusalem that's before Him but it's Israel and Judah. "For thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace." He wants us to understand how they are feeling. His people are now in the land, and the Lord is having His work of judgment with their land and all the nations of the earth about it. They are trembling. There is fear and turmoil. Some of these feelings are expressed in the Psalms. Then we read: "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble: but he shall be saved out of it.”
To understand this chapter, we need to recall what Jacob's trouble was. He was a man who wanted the blessing of God, wasn't he? But what was the problem in his life? Jacob wanted the blessing of God, but he thought he could get it by his own efforts. He even resorted to deceitful means to try and get it. Maybe you have had Jacob's trouble too. Maybe you feel like you can earn or that you deserve the blessing of God, so you strive after it and seek it with all the energy of your nature. Jacob schemed to get the blessing, but God had to teach Jacob that he could never get the blessing by striving for it. He had to learn that God was the Blesser according to His own heart of loving kindness. Man when he strives for himself only gets into trouble.
God's earthly people haven't learned that lesson yet. They are now trying to secure their land and their blessing by their own efforts. But all twelve tribes will be brought into the land and then shall come a time of fear, great trembling and paleness in anticipation of all these enemies that are coming down upon their land. They are there and the Lord is there and they learn that the Lord is with them. He says to them in Jer. 30:10, "Therefore fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee.”
Fellow Christians, have we gone through Jacob's trouble? Israel has to go through it, and as we read the Word of God, we can apply these things to our own lives. Prophecy is not a dry, unintelligible thing. From it we learn the moral ways of God with His people and with us.
Here He says, "I will save thee." They have to learn to trust Him to save them. Maybe you need to learn that; maybe I need to learn that in my life. When they learn to trust in the Lord and not in themselves, then, in spite of their apparent helpless position of the enemy coming and they with unwalled villages, we read: "Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid." Why? "For I am with thee. saith the Lord. to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
The dispensational dealings and covenants of God with man change with time, but His moral ways are always constant. As you study prophecy you learn His ways with man including yourself.
D. Rule

The Prophecy of Isaiah

The great subject of the introduction to this prophecy is the way in which Jehovah presents Himself after declaring their state of ruin. There is a day of Jehovah on all the earth, and if there were not a remnant, all the people would be like Sodom and Gomorrah. The hand of Jehovah will be against all that the world exalts. Everything or one that is lifted up shall be brought low: Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day (Isa. 2:17). God will purify the earthly people by His judgments. The rest will be the object of a terrible judgment (Isa. 2:18, 21).
I desire to consider the character of the prophecy as given to the Jews. It takes in a circle much greater and concerns the nations as well as Israel.
There is an important principle to notice, namely, that every prophecy supposes ruin of the state of things in which the prophecy is presented. When all goes according to the mind of God, there is no need of warning. It is manifest here in a striking way. Prophecy reveals all the hopes that belong to the faithful when the dispensation breaks down. It announces the failures, and the judgments on what man essays to do because of the evil.
A Remnant
The mass of the Jews is not saved, but (here is a remnant saved in the midst of them. The Church is but a remnant. We begin as a remnant the same as where the Jews end. This supposes that the state of the world is bad and that the world has not gone on well. God sends threatenings and warnings to the mass when all goes ill, and He makes promises to the faithful remnant to sustain and encourage it. When Israel failed, or the priesthood in Eli. God raised up the prophet Samuel. It was when all failed under the kings even of the house of David, that God raised up Isaiah. Ahaz had introduced idolatry into the house of God, and the testimony of Isaiah was sent to announce, not a remnant only, but the Messiah. The state of what God established in the presence of the glory of God shows that the people cannot stand before this glory (Isa. 6:5).
God sends prophet after prophet and chastisement after chastisement during seven centuries, and He only struck fully when the Son was cast out of the vineyard and slain. Meanwhile, the promise of the Messiah sustained the hope of the faithful. They felt the state of things while waiting for redemption. Anna spoke of the infant Jesus to all those that looked for redemption.
Light Beforehand
The principle of such immense importance in prophecy is that because of the unfaithfulness of the mass, God rejects that which He has Himself established. He announces that He is going to replace what is ruined by something which is infinitely better. God in His goodness gives the light beforehand to brighten up the hearts of the faithful. The goodness of God treats them as friends and fills them with confidence.
If one recognizes the prophecy, one must recognize that God had judged and condemned that which exists. If God had not set aside man, there were no need of a new Adam. If the Ark of the Covenant had not been in the hands of the Philistines, there would have been no need of Samuel the prophet any more than of Isaiah if the house of David were not fallen. Therefore prophecy is called a charge or "burden.”
It will facilitate the understanding of Isaiah if one points out the divisions of the book: Chapters 1-4 are the introduction and blessing at the end. Chapter 1 speaks of the Jews, chapter 2 of the Gentiles. Chapter 5 is a prophetic discourse which compares thy state of the vineyard with that which God had done for Israel at the beginning, interrupted by chapter 6. Chapter 6 compares it with the glory of Christ. It is thus God judges His people. The prophet is installed in his work. Chapters 7 to 9:7 are a prophecy of Immanuel and of the remnant of Immanuel's land, and of the Assyrian when Immanuel is there. Chapters 9:8 to 12 resume prophecy about Israel. Chapters 13 to 27 look at the nations and the circumstances of Israel in the last days (chap. 18) among the nations. Chapters 28 to 35 are details about Israel, each prophecy closing with a blessing. Chapters 36 to 39 are a history of Hezekiah and the Assyrian as typical of the dead and risen Son of David, and the Assyrian of the last days, closing with a prediction of the Babylonish captivity. Chapters 40 to 66 are the restoration of Israel, witness against the idolatry of the nations, but idolatrous and rejected because of rejecting the Messiah. Israel is found at last among the rebellious when Jesus shall come back, the remnant being kept on the earth for the glory of Jehovah.
J.N. Darby

Jeremiah

All was reality with Jeremiah. The present corruption was a reality to him, for he rebuked it, and mourned over it. The approaching judgment was a reality to him, for he wept at the thought of it and deprecated it. The final glory was a reality to him, for he laid out his money upon it. He had occasional refreshing of spirit from the glory. His sleep and the dreams that accompanied it, in chapter 31, were ''sweet unto him." it was a kind of moment in the "holy mount" to him—a transfiguration in spirit—for a light for the kingdom visited his soul there. He had revelations, too, of the "Lord our Righteousness." and could speak and write of Him.
Not only as occasionally refreshed in spirit, and thus gifted to write and speak, but he was a suffering witness against "this present world" and he laid not his money on "the world to come." It was this that completed his character which would have been poor and wanting without it We may speak of Christ, and leach about the kingdom, but to witness for Him against a rejecting world, and to be ''rich toward God'' in the hope of His kingdom this is to fill out and manic our character as saints.
Half Jeremiahs
We may covet these elements of character, some of Us, for we are only half Jeremiahs. We can talk of Christ, but can we suffer for Him? We may teach about the kingdom, but can we lay out our money upon it?
The parable of the potter in Jer. 18 was designed to let Israel know that though brought into covenant, they were still within the range of the Lord's judgments and visitations. And accordingly in chapter 19, the judgment is typically executed. In John Baptist's time, Israel is found in the same state of self-confidence.
They said in that spirit. "We have Abraham to our father." So under the Lord's ministry, it is still the same—they still boast in the fatherhood of Abraham and of God (John 8). But these boasts were vain as John and the Lord will tell them. That is. John and the Lord teach them again the lesson of Jer. 18, that they were not beyond the reach of judgment, though in covenant bonds.
Now the object of the enemy in Matt. 4 was to get the Lord into the same condition with Israel, to inspire Him with confidence in the spirit of disobedience. Satan partially quoted Psa. 91, citing the promised security, but omitting the required conditional obedience. We know how fully the Lord triumphed over the enemy, citing Deuteronomy 6 where obedience is Israel's declared ground of security.
Thus the Lord in this feature of character, as in all besides, was the moral contradiction of man or of Israel.
All this has a lesson for us in this day. Christendom, or Babylon has now taken the place of Israel of old. Babylon trusts in security in spite of her moral condition. She says. "I sit a queen, and am no widow. and shall see no sorrow." Rev. 18:7. But Rev. 18 is another action, like that of the prophet in the potter's house, or in the valley of the son of Hinnom, teaching the unfaithful steward that the doom of the shattered vessel awaits him.
Disobedience
God never sanctions disobedience. He did not go into the Garden of Eden to accredit Adam's sin, but to bring relief in the way of grace for it. So in the mystery of the gospel, He utterly condemns sin, but delivers the sinner. 1 Sam. 4 witnesses this: that God will never sanction disobedience. nor does He commit Himself to His stewards. He does commit Himself to His own gifts and calling (Rom. 11), but never to His stewards. They are still answerable to Him and disobedience works forfeiture. Christ is the only Steward that ever kept covenant, that ever stood in the conditional place.
Matt. 4 shows that He kept His blessings under Psalm 91, and His Israel blessings under Deuteronomy 6. but all others, in their several turns, have failed, and Babylon's boast is a lie.
Babylon or Christendom
We live at a moment when Babylon, or Christendom, is filling itself afresh with this boast, just previous to her overthrow, when she is to meet the doom of the potter's vessel or of the millstone. This boast is defiance; it is not faith in God, but real disavowal of His claims. It is the denial of her subjection to Him, of her being in the place of the steward's wife, answerable to Him and His judgment. It is the very characteristic that completes her identification with that Babylon which says, "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." It leaves her ready for the judgment, as the potter's vessel in the valley of the son of Hinnom, so also of the millstone in the hand of the Angel in Rev. 18. Words of Truth

The Two Eagles and the Vine

Ezekiel 17EZE 17
Jehoiachin went to Babylon, thus yielding to the judgment of God, and in the end he was exalted. (2 Kings 24, 25) Zedekiah remained at home, and instead of accepting the punishment of his sin, by submission to the king of Babylon—the Lord's rod—he rebelled against him, and at the last, perished. This is the two baskets of figs, good and bad, of Jer. 24.
The parable of the two eagles and the vine in Ezek. 17, is to be read in connection with Zedekiah's history. But the close of that chapter is very fine. It tells us that another witness shall deliver his testimony in millennial days, and that God takes up the lowly and puts down the haughty and mighty. This is His constant, necessary action in this fallen world.
Israel's real blessing began in the lowly place, when they stripped off their ornaments and sought the Lord outside the camp (Ex. 33.) So Israel's blessing must end in the lowly place. After they had failed in the wilderness, their blessing lay in Babylon, just as before it lay outside the camp. They must accept the punishment of their sin and go there.
So it is with us individually. We are in the way, or place, of blessing when convicted and must he broken in order to be blest. The Lord Himself took this same place, not by being broken in conscience as we are to be, but He was broken in circumstances. He was spotless and without either corruption within or blemish without. The heir of the throne was a carpenter; the Lord of the fullness of the earth had not where to lay His head. Fie was a root out of a dry ground. Ezekiel here speaks of it as "a tender twig." a "low tree," and a "dry tree," but planted in the last days, in millennial days "upon a high mountain and eminent" becoming a goodly cedar tinder which shall dwell ''all fowl of every wing."This is millennial Jesus, who once had been the Nazarene Jesus. This was not Nebuchadnezzar’s history. His branch spread in its day as the branch of this millennial. Jesus will do. (See Dan. 4.) Rut Nebuchadnezzar had never been a “tender twig," a "low tree," and a "dry tree." Accordingly, this great tree of Babylon, which had never been a "tender twig" in early days, in the last days exalts itself and meets the judgment of the Lord. Its leaves are shaken off, its fruit is gathered, arid its branches are cut down, it is preserved, but preserved as "a stump in the earth." that thus being humbled and broken. God may bless and exalt it in His own way at the end.
J.G. Benet

The Solitary Way

Psalm 107:1-9PSA 107:1-9
There is a mystery in human hearts.
And though we he encircled by a host
Of those who love us well, and are beloved.
To every one of us, from time to time,
There conies a sense of utter loneliness.
Our dearest friend is stranger to our pain.

And cannot realize our bitterness,
“There is not one who really understands.
Not one to enter into all I feel!"—
Such is the cry of each of us in turn.
We wander in "a solitary way.”
No matter what or where our lot may be,
Each heart, mysterious even to itself,
Must live its inner life in solitude.

And would you know the reason why this is?
It is because the Lord desires our love;
In every heart He wishes to be first.
He therefore keeps the secret key Himself,
To open all its chambers, and to bless.
With perfect sympathy and holy peace,
Each solitary soul which comes to Him.
So when we feel this loneliness, it is
The voice of Jesus saying, "Come to Me!"
And every time we are not understood.
It is another call to us to come;
For Christ alone can satisfy the soul.
And those who walk with Him from day to day
Can never have "a solitary way.”

Then if beneath some heavy trial you faint,
And say. "I cannot bear this load alone,"
You say the truth. Christ made it purposely
So heavy you must leave it all to Him.
The bitter grief which no one understands
Conveys a secret message from the Lord.
Entreating you to come to Him with it.
The Man of sorrows understands it well;
In all points tempted, He can feel with you—
You cannot come too often or too near.
The Son of God is infinite in grace;
His presence satisfies the longing soul.
And those who walk with Him from day to day
Can never have "a solitary way.”

Bible Challenger-11-November V.04: Those of Old Who Embraced Something Afar Off

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word that identifies those of old who embraced something afar off.
1. Something forgotten in the field which became a source of blessing.
2. Those who found the hospitality of an opened door in the land of Uz.
3. That which a specified number of cities became for those who had previously been unaware.
4. The unexpected guests of some who were not forgetful.
5. The number who failed to follow the Samaritan's lead in giving glory to God.
6. Something a young woman was surprised to find in the eyes of her benefactor.
7. The people whom the Israelites were not to abhor because of strangership.
8. What man and beast become when permitted to rest on the seventh day.
9. That which some within Israel's gates would be if others had done the Lord's bidding.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman

Bible Challenger-10-October Answers V.04

1. Tables of the testimony Exo. 32:15, 19
2. Enoch Heb. 11:5
3. Shake off the dust under your feet Mark 6:11
4. True testimony John 8:17
5. Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies Psa. 1.19:36
6. Meditations of Thy testimonies Psa. 119:99
7. Obeyed the voice of the Lord Jer. 44:23
8. Neighbor Ruth 4:7
9. Isle that is called Patinas Rev. 1:9
10. Established a testimony Psa. 78:5
11. Signs and wonders Acts 14:3
“Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and His TESTIMONIES, and His statutes. which He hath commanded thee.” Deut. 6:17

Potters

-These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.” 1 Chron. 4:23
Potters were not the very highest grade of workers, but "the king" needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial pact of the Lord's work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for "the king." Therefore we will abide in our calling, hoping that, "although ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." The text tells us of those who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic, hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king's work. The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and gardeners, had royal company, for they dwelt "with the king." and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean, can debar us from communion with our divine Lord.
C. Spurgeon

The Authority of the Son of Man

The administration of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:10), is the result of God's ways in government when all things in heaven and earth will be united in perfect peace and union, under the authority of the Son of man—the Last Adam—the Son of God.

Editorial

One estimate of the number of Jews still in Russia puts the total at 3.5 million. Perhaps this number is about the same as those now in Israel.
Because of the changed policy in the Soviet Union, virtually any Jew who wants to leave is now free to do so. What will happen? Will there be a massive exodus?
Many Jews are waiting for immigration papers to western countries, usually the United States. Hundreds of families waiting to conic to Israel have difficulty finding available apartments in overcrowded absorption renters. Immigrants who can get an apartment often arrive penniless and so must be supported by the State or some organization. Many things slow down the arrival of masses of people and we are sure that this will be better for them in the future.
Very few people realize that the time of Jacob's trouble is near. Our Lord spoke of it as the "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matt. 24:21. Just a few verses before this, He gave a warning to the people that will be living in Judea in the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy. He said. "Let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains." v. 16.
The center of the terrible tribulation will be in Jerusalem and Judea. Our conclusion then is that since that dreadful time of judgment is so very near the worst possible place for a Jew to be is right there in the land of Israel. Those who are there will be caught. They are the children of those who said to Pilate in Matt. 27:25, "His blood be on us, and on our children.”
Approximately two thirds of the Bible is about Israel. God has chosen them for blessing and He will bless them and accomplish all His promises concerning them. Deut. 32:9 says, "the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.”
Much of God's plan for His people has been prophetically revealed. The seven feasts of Jehovah given in Lev. 23 are a complete outline of God's dealing with them from the deliverance from Egypt on to the millennium. The first four feasts are fulfilled as to the prophecy. The last three are yet future, but we believe are nearing the time of their fulfillment.
The next one to come is called the feast of trumpets. Isaiah and Jeremiah and many other passages of Scripture tell of the gathering of Israel and Judah back to their own land. These scriptures make it clear that at a certain time, a special call will go forth from God to bring His own people back to their own land. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament speak of this call as a trumpet, so we believe that the feast of trumpets foretells that trumpet blast that will call Israel back.
These past two millenniums for the Jew have been distress and homelessness instead of peace and rest. Just ahead of them are the most terrible judgments, yet, their rest and joy are soon to come. Is it possible that the first notes of that silver trumpet, or their echo from above, are beginning to fall on the ears of Israel? Besides Jews in Russia, many in Latin America are hearing a call to return to the land of their fathers. Extreme inflation in many countries makes many Jews want to leave their present country and so they think of Jerusalem and Israel.
Surely Israel is beginning to come into remembrance before God. The order will be the rapture of the Church, then the seven years of tribulation, the end of the times of the Gentiles, then the thousand-year kingdom of Christ with all Israel blessed and the Gentiles also blessed around Israel. Ed.

Habakkuk

The prophet Habakkuk gets up into his watchtower and strikes the keynote of the gospel: "The just shall live by faith." He gets into the presence of God, and only watches for what He will say. He had not a single thing besides and he says. "If you want to be justified it must be by faith." This did not alter Habakkuk's circumstances, but his soul being occupied with the secret of God was kept at rest.
One who has faith takes God's estimate -does not look for the evidence of his own senses, but says, "Let me hear what God says, He must be true." What God says will come into constant collision with what is in myself, but I have to say, "Let God be true and every man a liar.”

Visions

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Prov. 29:18.
When we first read this verse, there seems to be no connection between the first part and the last part, but I believe that there is. "Where there is no vision the people perish." But there is power in the Word of God to enlighten the soul and to save it. To keep the law is to walk according to that Word.
As we look around us we can see men and women perishing for lack of vision. There are visions which are from God and there are others which are false visions. Often men are spoken of as being "men of vision." but they have vision only for things of this world and are blind to the things of God and to eternity.
“He that keepeth the law" is wise because it gives the revealed and perfect will of God. In Psa. 119:34 we read. "Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law: yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart." And in verse 130 it says: "The entrance of Thy words giveth light: it giveth understanding unto the simple." Only as the Word of God enters into the soul can it have light and understanding and receive true vision.
No Vision
The Word of God gives us examples of those who had vision and others who did not. Let us read 1 Sam. 25:2-12. Nabal was a man who had received much in the way of consideration and favor from David. Nabal means fool and like a fool he had no vision to see that David was God's appointed king.
There are so many today who have mercies showered upon them, and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, but are unwilling to acknowledge His goodness. He desires to bring you into blessing. If you go on denying the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ upon you, how sad it will be, for you also will perish for lack of vision. Nabal paid the penalty for his lack of vision; he perished because he failed to recognize David's claims.
On the other hand, Abigail went to David. She had vision to see that in the one who was driven from place to place was the Lord's anointed king and that in due time he would reign. Abigail was afterward brought into a place of blessing and later to share David's glory because she saw in him the king of God's choice.
Today, vision is needed to discern in the despised and rejected Lord Jesus Christ, God's appointed Savior and King, to whom every knee must bow.
In the New Testament we read of another who was rich in this world's goods but lacked vision in Luke 18:18-24:
A certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery. Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
This tells us of a rich man who had no vision. "The rich man's wealth is his strong tower," and that is what this young man thought. He came to the Lord Jesus Christ, but he had no vision to see in Him who was going about their streets, the One who would fulfill all God's counsels. If he had had vision he would have known Him as the One who was the Object of all God's purposes: he would have seen in Him God's beloved Son.
Vision of Faith
Hebrews 11 is a chapter that brings before us a great cloud of witnesses to the blessedness of having a vision, the vision of faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." All in Heb. 11 had vision, for it is faith that enables us to see and to know that which is hidden from our natural eyes.
It was faith that gave Abraham the seed. Abraham had a vision of the Lord of glory, and also had a vision of the inheritance that was to be his. God gave him to know that he had a heavenly place. The Lord Jesus said of Abraham, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and He saw it, and was glad." John 8:56.
There is another example in Heb. 11:24-27 of Moses:
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.
What a wonderful thing faith is! Moses saw the emptiness of all the glory of Egypt. He saw the great reward of serving the invisible God and he was ready to forsake all for what God had for him.
What a Savior God has provided for us. He has told us that He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him, and He is coming soon to receive us to Himself.
Vision of Glory
On the Damascus road, Saul of Tarsus, the proud, aggressive and powerful Pharisee received his vision of the glory of Christ. He knew that Jesus of Nazareth, whose name he hated and whose followers he wished to destroy, was truly the Lord, God's appointed Savior. That vision of glory shining into his heart turned the persecutor, Saul, into the humble bond slave of Jesus Christ.
We read in the Old Testament, in Hos. 4:6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." It was the lack of knowledge that destroyed Nabal. He did not know God's purposes for David's glory as God's appointed king of Israel, but looked upon him merely as some sort of a bandit leader, though his servants could have told him how much he owed to the care of David and his band.
Vision That Saves
The Word of God had been preached to the Thessalonians and had brought them to God.
For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. 1 Thess. 1:9, 10.
We see what kind of a church they were: a church with a vision that saved them. They knew Christ as their Deliverer from the wrath to come. We also by faith know Him as our Deliverer and our Savior.
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thess. 2:13.
It is the Word of God which had come into their lives. God is light and also God is love. In Acts 18 we see how Paul had gone to the Thessalonians and preached Christ to them. That word which they had heard they received as it was in truth, the Word of God.
May you have your eyes opened to see a vision of Christ on the cross as your Savior and now on high in the glory, awaiting the day that God has appointed when He shall come back again, first to receive His redeemed people out of this world and then to be manifested in His glory as the Lord of lords.
H.F. Collier

The Unseen World

Shall We Know One Another in Heaven?
The Lord Jesus will be the center of attraction and the magnet of every heart in heaven. While this is true, it is also clear that one of our joys will consist of being in and enjoying the company of all the redeemed that will he there. While here on earth, the Lord has the supreme place in our hearts. Nevertheless, we enjoy one another's company and fellowship, and joy and communion of saints will also be known and enjoyed in heaven.
Hades is the New Testament expression and is the Greek word: sheol is the Old Testament expression and is the Hebrew word. They both mean the same thing: the unseen world, or the place or state of departed spirits. It is correct to say that our loved ones are in hades. Hell is a different word and means the lake of tire. In Acts 2:31, the word "hell" should read "hacks" and in Psa. 16:10, the word "hell" should read "sheol.”
In the Old Testament times there were three distinctly known things regarding Sheol:
1. Sheol contained two spheres. Deut. 32:22 and Psa. 86:13 speak of the lowest sheol.
2. Sheol did not take one away from God—God was there. (Psa. 139:7, 8.)
3. Sheol was a place of recognition and where speech was maintained. Isa. 14:9-17 shows that the new arrivals were identified and they communicated with them.
The whole subject of life and incorruption is illuminated through the gospel by the advent of the beloved Son of God (2 Tim. 1:9, 10).
Moses
Deut. 32:48-50: "Gathered unto thy people" does not mean to be buried in the family sepulcher as so many think. This was a strange land so this cannot refer to a family sepulcher. The burial place of Moses is one of the mysteries of the world. The same applies to Aaron who is mentioned in verse 50.
David
2 Sam. 12:22, 23: Many believe that David spoke of his death here, but it is more David's anticipation of the flight of his spirit to where the spirit of his child was, and he found great comfort in that truth. In 1 Kings 2:1 and 10, David "slept with his fathers." His ancestors had no family sepulcher, but it is here stated that he slept with his fathers. What does this mean? Just this: that his spirit found companionship with kindred spirits in Sheol, the unseen world.
Jacob
Gen. 49:33: "Gathered unto his people." Does this mean that he died? Yes, but something more. If you read chapter 50, you will find that it was months before he was buried. It means that at the time of his death his spirit went into the unseen world and was gathered with his people who were there.
Isa. 14 is corroborated by Luke 16:23-31. We get both sides of hades. The rich man in the lowest part sees and recognizes Lazarus in the other and he could speak. Thought, memory, and intelligence are still there. Abraham also knows him and his state.
Matt. 8:11: The Lord means exactly what He says: "shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob." It is most certain that they will know them. We do not expect to have less intelligence in heaven than we have here.
While we are here on the earth, we have five senses and are like one cooped up in a house with five windows. When we get to heaven, we will be free from all these limitations. We will have a body suited to that place, and the character of our knowledge there will be fashioned after the knowledge God has, not in degree but in kind.
Matt. 17:3, 4: Peter knows them because here he is brought in spirit into the atmosphere of heaven. We will have knowledge of this kind and will know and recognize all. There is no fear in heaven. In the full intelligence and joy of heaven we will be surrounded by the redeemed and their presence will be one of the contributing joys of that place. There is no doubt that the communion and affections formed here will be enjoyed and continued eternally there.
Luke 16:19-31: The Lord does not say this is a parable. He declares that there was a certain rich man and there was Lazarus. He was in hades (v. 23), not in hell, for the wicked do not go to hell now as the door of hell has not yet been opened. Scripture never says "a place of torture." There will be degrees of punishment: some receive few stripes, some many, as the righteous Judge decides. Torment is more a mental condition. The wicked dead are waiting for the Day of Judgment at the great white throne.
2 Cor. 1:13, 14: Paul will know them in that coming day and they shall know him. They shall have a portion in common in which they shall both rejoice. (See also 1 Thess. 2:19.)
There will be fullness of joy in heaven. Some may have large vessels and some small ones, but all will be full and unable to contain anything more.
In What Guise Shall We Appear There?
We shall not appear as spirits but as people. We will have bodies like the Lord Jesus of flesh and bones, a spiritual body. It will be a body of perfect physical development, without wrinkles and without gray hair, neither will we sigh nor groan nor have pain. We will have a body like His and be like Him, physically and morally. He will remain so forever and so will we closest intimacy with Christ and with one another forever and ever. (1 John 3:2; Phil. 3:21.) J.R. Gill

Search for Hidden Treasures

The wonderful riches that are hidden away in God's Word can only be found by searching. Before a miner can find an ounce of gold dust, he has to persevere and work for a long, long time. And so it is with God's Word; He shows us very simply how by trusting in the Lord Jesus we may be saved. But what other treasures there are in its book, we shall only know by prayerfully studying our Bibles.

Notices of Coming Glories

Were we to go into the field of the New Testament scriptures in order to gather up fragments of the glories of coming days, we find them there, perhaps not in profusion, but certainly enough to enjoy.
Notices of coming glories shine out here and there when various subjects of present interest to the saints are under consideration.
We know that in the coming days of the kingdom there will be both the earthly and heavenly realms, with direct communication between them. Instances throughout the four gospels illustrate these two realms.
Thus, the Lord Jesus entered the city of the daughter of Zion as her King. All that was needed to set Him forth in that glory for a moment waited on Him. The ass and its owner, the palm branches and hosanna’s, the whole material and mind of the scene aided in giving us a preview of the days of the King of Israel. The Greeks are presented as coming up to see the King in His beauty, suggesting to us a further glimpse of His glories in that day.
Earthly
All this, however, was simply and entirely earthly. No glimpse of heaven appears. It is Messiah in His place on earth, King in Zion, accepting the homage of the nations.
But in Matt. 17, another place is seen: the earth in the persons of Peter, James and John, the higher heavens, or as it is called "the excellent glory" in the voice that breaks forth upon the scene.
This is something very fine, and very comprehensive. We have coming millennial days anticipated here. We have notices of the heavens and of the earth in their separate places. And then we have the connections and medium and communication which are to be established between them. While there will be a higher heaven, an excellent glory, a Father's house not revealed to sight, there will be also a people in flesh and blood on the earth. There will be a display of heavenly glory in the sight of the earthly people, and communication maintained between them and the translated saints. The throne and the footstool shall be but different parts of one great system.
The Excellent Glory
This is a fine anticipation of coming days. The Lord again intimates "the excellent glory" under the title of the "Father's house" in John 14. He lets us know that it is a wealthy place, a many-mansioned house, the dwelling of the family, the homestead in the realms of the highest glory. Thus we are gathering fragments.
These are distant scenes. There are nearer scenes also thrown open to our sight in these same scriptures of the New Testament. We have the spirit of the Lord Himself before resurrection taken to and by the Father (Luke 23). Then we have the glorified body of the Lord after resurrection, translated to heaven (Luke 24).
We have instructions as to ourselves in each of these things. We are taught to know that should we die, as Jesus died, before the day of resurrection, our spirits will be received by Him in paradise, or heaven.
Luke 23:43, Acts 7:59, 2 Cor. 5:8, and Phil. 1:23 teach us this. Should we live till the day of resurrection, we are taught to know that we shall then be glorified and translated in company with those saints who have already died and gone in spirit to Jesus. 1 Cor. 15:42-54, and 1 Thess. 4:14-17 teach us this.
The World to Come
After this translation, certain and divine scenes are disclosed to us. The heaven that is set for the execution of judgment on this present evil world, is opened to our sight (Rev. 4). Actions which take their course, while that heaven continues, are presented to us in the progress of the same book. But in turn judgment is all executed, and then succeeds the heavens set for the ministration of government of the "world to come," or the millennial earth. This is apparent in Rev. 20-22.
The world that is to be the scene of righteousness under the heavenly scepter of the glorified Lord and His saints will have its end. The heaven set for the ministration of government will have fulfilled its course, as well as the heaven set for the judgment. Then we get another scene of glory opened to our view. There is the great white throne trying everything. Then the new heaven and the new earth are introduced by the judgment of this great white throne, as the millennial heavens and earth had been introduced by the judgment executed under heaven from the throne of Rev. 4.
Here the series of glories ends. Various scenes and regions have thus unfolded themselves to us in their different characters throughout the New Testament scriptures. We are to glean in that fruitful field, to gather up fragments which lie there, left by the hand of Him who is preparing for the feast-days of eternity.
If we had a heart for the feast itself, we should occupy ourselves more diligently and joyfully in this kind of gleaning that goes before the harvest. But we fail in affection. We are wanting in desire. Present interests divert the heart and do not allow the eye, the thought, and the hope to tarry where notices of coming glories shine! May we apply ourselves now to gleaning, that our appetites may he whetted for the coming feast. Words of Truth

Barnabas: a Levite

In Deuteronomy 18:6-8, the Lord anticipatively makes provision for a Levitt who would come from the gates of Israel, with all the desire of his mind, unto the place which the Lord would choose. Then, when there, he would minister in the name of the Lord his God. as all his brethren do which stand before the Lord. But further, when he sold his patrimony and had given the money for distribution to the common need, he would cat like portions of the communal meal with his brethren.
There is not an idle word in all Scripture. The Lord brought all this to pass in Acts 4:32: "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.... Neither was there any among them that lacked... and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”
Then we meet a Levite of Deut. 18! In verses 36 and 37 of Acts 4 we read, "And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet." He came to the place where the Lord had placed His name and where He was working in grace. He ministered in the name of the Lord his God. Having land, he sold it, and distributed all to the common need. As a result he ate of the common meal with his brethren.
Acts 5:1 begins with "but" and the Holy Spirit makes a comparison of the action of Ananias and Sapphira with that of Barnabas.
Barnabas is seen again in Acts 11:22-26, where he is glad at the grace of God, even though the work was through others, "For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord." One can hardly miss seeing that the Lord Himself was the perfect Levite in all His devoted service. Were not all of these things true of Him in their perfection?
W. Bothwell

Are You Happy?

God's thought at creation was that man should be happy. Not only was he upright, but he was made in the image of God. With the rest of creation, he was pronounced to be "very good.”
He was distinguished, however, from other creatures in a way most remarkable, for "The Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." Thus He, who only has immortality, gave to man an immortal soul. Besides all this, God blessed him. Male and female created He them, and God blessed them, and set them in dominion over other creatures. Man in the beginning was happy and honored. He was set by his Creator in the position of superiority and enjoyment.
But man soon sinned, and then death came, and judgment too, for God "drove out the man." Then man, when driven out, only proved himself to be evil and that continually, after God's repeated interference in judgment. Instead of turning toward God with repentance, he made gods of his own, and honored and served the creature more than the Creator.
In this state of things God called out one man, Abram, for Himself saying, "I will bless thee," and when he believed, God counted his faith for righteousness. He promised him that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. Thus we see that God's mind was that man who had to do with Him should be happy.
In process of time, Abram's seed, the children of Israel, were brought out of Egypt in virtue of the blood of the lamb, and by the mighty power of God. Thus delivered from misery and bondage, although a people in the flesh, they were brought into a relationship of nearness to Jehovah. Again, God showed that it was His mind that man should be happy, for not only did He bless them in a marvelous way, but again and again called upon them to rejoice. "Thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto." (See Deut. 12:7, 12, 18; Lev. 23:40.)
And so now, in a higher and an eternal sense, it is clearly the Lord's mind that those who are His children should be happy. Not only has He given us remission of sins and created us in Christ Jesus, but He has shed abroad His love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us, and "has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 5:5; Eph. 1:3, 7.) Being thus brought into nearness and relationship to God, and having the Holy Spirit in us, we are brought into fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Thus our minds, in our measure, can run in the current of God's thoughts and our hearts can dwell in the circle of His love.
The Lord Himself now becomes the proper object of our affections, and the source of all our blessings. Our eternal life and prospects are all bound up with Him. His personal glory, His infinite worth, His excellence and perfection, His accomplished work on the cross with the various official glories He sustains, and His coming again now engage and cheer our souls. We are therefore enjoined to "rejoice evermore," to "rejoice in the Lord always," yea, to "joy [or boast) in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the [reconciliation].”
Our Lord instructs us as to the joy there is in heaven over one sinner that repenteth. When the shepherd found his lost sheep, he took it home upon his shoulders, rejoicing, and called his friends and neighbors to rejoice with him. The father rejoiced because he had received his lost son, safe and sound. Thus we are informed that the Father and the Son in heaven rejoice when a sinner is really brought to God. After this, our Lord so instructed His own disciples who were clean through the word which He had spoken to them that He added, "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11.
We clearly see from this that it is the Lord's mind that believers should be happy. Early Christians knew well the precious reality of it. Jesus, after His resurrection, presented Himself in the midst of His sorrowing disciples who were shut in for fear of the Jews, and showed them His hands and His side saying, "Peace be unto you." Next we are told, "Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord." At the close of Luke's gospel, when Jesus was parted from them and carried up into heaven, He left them so happy that "they were continually in the temple praising and blessing God." Happy people because wholly taken up with their crucified and ascended Savior!
Again at Pentecost we find believers in such a happy state that we read they "did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart praising God." After this, in a solitary corner of the earth, no sooner was the Ethiopian eunuch brought to a true knowledge of his eternal salvation by Christ alone than he went on his way rejoicing. The Philippian jailor rejoiced too, when only a little before amid the distressing circumstances of his position, he would have rashly put an end to his existence. This man cast himself on Christ alone for salvation according to the word of His faithful servants, and rejoiced, believing God with all his house.
Elsewhere we are taught in the Word of God that "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." We certainly do well to lay this scripture solemnly to heart, for we read of disciples in a former time who were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost. (Rom. 14:17; Acts 13:52.)
Paul prayed that saints might be filled with all joy and peace in believing. John says in his first epistle, "These things write we unto you, that your, joy might be full." Peter speaks of others whose joy in the Lord was so abundant that they "rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory." How sweet and comforting it is to know that it is the will of God that believers should even now be unspeakably happy!
Perhaps someone will say, "You would not speak so confidently of the Christian's happiness if you knew what I have to contend with in myself." But who ever heard of self being the source of true happiness? On the contrary, "In me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." Besides, are we not assured by the unerring word of the living God that our old man is crucified with Christ?
So we are enjoined to "reckon ourselves to have died indeed unto sin," which means not to reckon ourselves to be living, but dead, done with at the cross. There we are seen in Christ our Substitute under the judgment of God, dead upon the cross.
Thus are we freed, judicially freed from our old man—our Adam standing—and are enjoined to think of ourselves as alive unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Happy are those who reckon as God would have them, and always know they are seen by God as in Christ Jesus in heavenly places! Such only have done with self.
But others may be ready to say, "If my circumstances were altered, I should indeed be happy." Or they might say, "If I were only delivered from this pressing trial, I should then rejoice." But this is not so. If your present joy is dependent on your circumstances, it is precisely what much of the worldling's joy consists of, and needs neither grace nor faith. That we should look carefully into all our matters in order that we may honor God in them, is true enough, but circumstances, however prosperous, should never be the spring of a Christian's joy, however much they may be the occasion of present thanksgiving to God.
On the contrary, it is often in the deepest waters of affliction that the Christian knows the greatest joy in the Lord. It was so with the saints in 1 Peter 1:8. They were in great trial and heaviness: houseless, homeless, in a foreign region, with all the sufferings connected with a persecuted and scattered but harmless people. But how full of joy they were! Is there anything in Scripture that exceeds it? And so it was with Paul and Silas. Was it not when their backs were smarting from the lacerating scourge and their feet made fast in the dungeon's stocks that they were so truly happy that they sang praises to God? Let us lay these things to heart, and ask ourselves why we are not more characterized as a happy, praising people.
There are three points of instruction on this subject brought before us in the verse already quoted. "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1 Peter 1:8. We have here, first, the spring of the Christian's happiness, secondly, the secret of its realization, and thirdly, its measure.
1. The spring of our happiness is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself—"in whom, though now ye see Him not... ye rejoice." It is the man Christ Jesus in the glory whom we now see by faith. All our resources are in Him and it is vain to look elsewhere, for all other streams are dry. He is the Rock which was smitten, and we have only now to speak to the Rock, and He will give forth His waters. He only is the fountain of life. He is before the face of God in glory for us and we are complete in Him, in whom all fullness dwells, who is the Head of all principality and power. Let it then be a settled fact with our souls that Christ Himself, not friends, nor self, nor circumstances, but He Himself is the only source of our happiness.
Earthly friends may fail or leave us,
One day soothe, the next day grieve us,
But this Friend will ne'er deceive us,
O how He loves!
2. It is by the activity of faith in Him that we have present happiness. A person may be a true believer and yet not be exercising faith in Him, not having his thoughts and heart running in the channel of divine truth concerning Him. It is the soul's having to do with Him now, whom we have not seen, but who is revealed in the Word, that we have present joy, not thinking of Him according to our poor thoughts, but as God has revealed Him to us in His Word. Hence we read, "In whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice." Let us not expect to be happy if we are brooding over our bodies, feelings, circumstances or attainments. Occupation with Him alone enables us to rise above these things. We can exultingly sing:
Oh for ten thousand tongues to praise
My Savior, and my God!
3. As to the measure of our joy, our Lord said, "That your joy might be full." John, as we have noticed, so writes that our "joy might be full," and here it is recorded of Christians of olden times, that they "rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory." To dwell on the infinite fullness and perfections of the person, work, and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ is to dive into a boundless ocean of divine love. Then our thoughts are launched, as it were, into glory. We enter upon the boundlessness of the eternal and unchanging love and glory of God. The rich, free, and unmerited love of God has "called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus"! Though now by faith we rejoice in Him, the next moment our Lord may come and take us there. Then faith will be changed to sight, for we shall see His face, be with Him, and be like Him forever.
Watching and ready may we be,
As those who long their Lord to see.
C. H. Mackintosh

Bible Challenger-00-December V.04: The Christian's Hope of Future Seeing Accomplishes Here and Now

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word which the Christian's hope of future seeing accomplishes here and now in himself.
1. What did the Lord Jesus purify unto Himself?
2. How should one keep himself to practice purity of religion?
3. What profession will the future work of the Lord Jesus typify when He purifies the sons of Levi?
4. How were the deacons to hold the mystery of the faith?
5. What is it that purifies the hearts of both the Jew and Gentile alike?
6. What is it that the One of purer eyes than to behold evil cannot look upon?
7. What service to believers can those young in years be, regarding, among other things, charity, faith, and purity?
8. For how many months was a future queen required to complete her ritual of purification?
9. What are the double-minded called upon to purify?
Answers to these questions will be found in the next issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman.

Bible Challenger-11-November Answers V.04

1. Sheaf Deut. 24:19
2. Traveler(s) Job 31:32
3. Refuge Num. 35:15
4. Angels Heb. 13:2
5. Nine Luke 17:17
6. Grace Ruth 2:10
7. Egyptian Deut. 23:7
8. Refreshed Ex. 23:12
9. Satisfied Deut. 14:29
'These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were STRANGERS and pilgrims on the earth." Heb. 11:13.

Obey - Observe - Occupy

Hebrews 5:9. What a pattern we have of obedience in our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a Son, and yet learned obedience through the things He suffered. He was made perfect, and is now the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him. We who believe can say, "Blessed Savior, Jesus the Lord.”
Matt. 28:20. In this next scripture we are to teach those who believe to observe all things whatsoever the Lord commands. 1 am afraid there is a great deal other than this being taught. Let me ask you to make God and His Word your guide and the Holy Spirit your counselor, and keep near to the One you are taught by God to believe on Jesus, God's beloved Son.
Luke 19:13. The servants are in trust in this third scripture, and they are to occupy till the return of the nobleman. The citizens hate him, and how Christ is hated today! The servants (any who serve) must occupy till He come. They will be called upon to give an account of their stewardship at the return of the nobleman.
Obey Christ, for only then are we really able to serve. Observe His things and teach them. Occupy fully and constantly until He comes.
O fix our earnest gaze
So wholly, Lord, on Thee,
That, with Thy beauty occupied,
We elsewhere none may see.

The Authority of the Son of Man

The administration of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:10), is the result of God's ways in government when all things in heaven and earth will be united in perfect peace and union, under the authority of the Son of man—the Last Adam—the Son of God.

Days

The calendar of the sinner has only a few days in the year marked as "holidays," but every day of the Christians' calendar is marked by the hand of God as a "day of rejoicing."