The Promise of the Father

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When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son. Never had intercourse been so fraught with healing and joy to publicans and sinners. The Son of man had power on earth to forgive sins. He was come to save, what was lost. Never had saints of God listened to such words of sweetness whereby was disclosed to them the bosom of His Father, which He, the only begotten Son, knew so well. " The Word was made flesh," one of them could say, " and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth." In the simple tale of the Gospels, we have the blessedness of the disciples in the presence of the Lord. There is no distance nor reserve. He speaks to them face to face; He calls them and treats them as His friends. And O what a friend was He! Blessed pattern of all meekness, of lowliness unknown, of patience that could not be wearied, of grace that flowed out the more, the more He was wounded in the house of His friends, like a sweet herb that breathes fragrance when trodden by the heedless foot of man! It was true that this presence rendered more conspicuous the infirmities, the dangers, the sins, and the enemies of God's people. But never did murmur break from His lips who had undertaken their cause-God's cause. Notwithstanding their unbelief, their pride, their insensibility, and their perverseness,- never did He complain, " Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? Wherefore have I not found favor in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?" Instead of saying-" Have I conceived all this people? Have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?"-Jesus, the good shepherd, looks onward through the vista of His sufferings to the day when He could say, " Behold I and the children which God hath given me." Instead of saying-" Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people?"-He, and He alone, could say, " The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
It was, indeed, a crisis when Jesus appeared. God had given His law, but holy, just and good, as the commandment was, it could not better, and was not meant to better, the heart of man. It detected and condemned what issued thence, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Prophets, too, had been sent by the Lord God of their fathers. But what could they avail save to show the importunate love of Him who rose up betimes and sent them, because he had compassion on His people and on His dwelling-place? They mocked and misused His prophets " until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy." In this state of things He appeared. Truly we may say that in the person of Jesus, God brought himself nigh to the sinner. But in vain. Jesus must suffer for sins; the just for the unjust. He must bring us to God. All might bear Him witness and wonder at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth; and surely had there been one pure thought in the heart of man, one feeling undepraved by sin, Jesus must have drawn it forth. But there was none-nothing Godward. His presence, therefore, could but demonstrate that the carnal mind is enmity against God. " If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth Me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and my Father."
" Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain; whom God hath raised up." The grand basis of blessing was laid. God's righteousness was declared not only at this time, but for the passing over of sins that were past in His forbearance.
Still, while in that death, all the past dealings of God were divinely vindicated, Christ himself, in anticipating.
the anointing oil being the well-known symbol of the unction from the Holy One. Thus Jesus was first anointed Himself with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:38); afterward being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, " He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear" (Acts 2:33). Having borne the wrath of God, and having annulled by death him that had its power, and so removed every obstacle, He was enabled to send the Holy Ghost to dwell in the believers, so that the apostle could appeal to them, " Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor. 3:16).
Plainly also the miraculous conception of Jesus is totally distinct from His anointing, though both were of the Holy Ghost. As man born of the virgin, He was the Son of God. But besides this, the Holy Ghost descends upon Jesus baptized and entering upon His public service: in other words, He was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power. Analogously, we find that as to believers, their life and relationship to God, and their anointing by the Holy Ghost are quite distinct. When Jesus arose, He could say, " Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God." But they were not yet anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power. Subsequently to His resurrection, He says, " Behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Waiting, they found the sure promise of the Father. The Holy Ghost was given. They were anointed then and not before. Nor was this anointing, I need hardly add, a boon conferred there and then only; for the apostle in addressing the Corinthians writes, " Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." These are assuredly not signs and wonders wrought by the hand or tongue, but the blessed presence and actings of the Spirit in the heart. Compare also 1 John 2:20-27.
In principle, then, the coming of the promised Spirit was contingent on the departure of Jesus; and in fact, it was when He took His seat, as the glorified man, in heaven, that the Spirit was sent down. Assembled together with the disciples previous to his ascension, He " commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me: for John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence" (Acts 1:4,5). The next chapter records the accomplishment of the promise on the day of Pentecost. The Comforter was given. Now IN them was He, who was promised to abide with them FOR EVER (John 14); the third person of the Trinity being now, and permanently, present in them, as truly as the second person had been with them before He ascended to heaven. The Holy Ghost was the grand witness, as His presence in the disciples was the new and wondrous fruit, of the glorification of Jesus in heaven.
Are the operations of the Spirit of God from the beginning denied? In nowise. Creation, providence and redemption, all speak of Him. His energy is to be traced in every sphere of God's dealings. Who moved upon the face of the waters -strove with man before the deluge-filled Bezaleel with understanding and all manner of workmanship-enabled Moses to bear the burden of Israel, or others to share it? By whom wrought Samson? By whom prophesied Saul? It was by the Spirit of the Lord. And as in their early national history, His good Spirit instructed the people, even so could the prophet assure the poor returned remnant, " According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my Spirit remained' among you." Were any regenerate? They were born of the Spirit; and the blessed and holy actings of faith in the elders who obtained a good report were, beyond controversy, the results of His influence. So far, the way of God is still and necessarily the same. Jesus set not aside in the least the need of the Spirit's intervention. He proclaimed its necessity as a fixed, irreversible truth-" Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." Far from weakening its place, He rather gave it a prominence never so clearly enunciated before, though, of course, always true.
Life, peace and sonship (while all are communicated and known by the effectual working of the Holy Ghost), are in no sense the presence of the Comforter. We have seen that the disciples possessed these privileges before the Lord Jesus ascended. They are therefore entirely distinct from the promise of the Father, which the disciples did not possess, and which none ever did or could possess till Jesus was glorified. The presence of the Comforter is clearly the distinctive blessing since Pentecost. It was never enjoyed before, though the Spirit had wrought, and wrought ravingly as regards believers at all times.
The communication of life through faith (as common to all the redeemed); of the power of intelligence (Luke 24:45, compare Acts 1:15-26, 1 John 2:20-27);-of life more abundantly, as: connected with the risen second Adam (life-giving Spirit, John 20:22), which indeed was needful as the basis of sympathy with all his future services; -of the Holy Ghost personally, at once the power of testimony-the seal (the Spirit of adoption?)-the Earnest (according to the subject, connected with the Lord of glory, which He in-wrought in the believer) is the outline which another has suggested. While the liberty of filial and fraternal love leaves the heart free to communicate the result of its researches, the Divine fullness of the written word creates (no wonder!) differences of thought and makes accurate classification next to impossible with those who know but in part.-ED.
Proper Names of the Old Testament.
Observe: They had, each of them, a meaning,-which, for the most part, is traceable. In some cases the cause of the selection of the name is obvious: thus, Gen. 2:7, " the Lord God formed man [אדם Adam] of the dust of the ground [אדמה Adanzah]"; " and Adam called his wife's name Eve [חוח Havah] because she was the mother of all living [חי , Hay]"; 4:l," she bare Cain [pp gotten], and said, I have gotten [קגיחי gotten] a man from the Lord"; 4:2, " his brother Abel [חבל Hebei]" a breath (as was his life); 4:25, " called his name Seth [re] for God.... hath appointed me [שח Sheth] another seed instead of Abel whom Cain slew."