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  1. “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are” (Heb 4:15). Would not the “feeling” of the “infirmity” of being forsaken by His Father be the greatest among the sufferings which our Lord Jesus chose to endure? The Creator could not have related more to us than in the partaking of becoming the incarnate Word (Jhn 1:14), taking on our human infirmities, but not our human nature, for His is divine! Another clear significant manifestation of His humanity is seen in “the cup” (Mat 26:39, 42), which contained the sufferings and death He was presently about to enter. There were other evidences manifesting the humanity of Christ, such as His weeping at the death of Lazarus, and just noting, was not for him, because He knew He was about to raise him. His sadness was over the Jews that were with them (Jhn 11:19, 31, 33, 37, 38), who He knew would not believe, even after seeing the miracle (Jhn 11:46 – but “many believed” – v 45). Much has been said about the theory of God’s abandonment of His Son while on the Cross, but I think it lacks Scriptural support for the concept. The purpose of this article is to support the truth that God never abandons His own—especially His “own” Son, who knew prior to the sacrifice of His covenant with the Father, that He would resurrect Him after suffering and dying for the sins of those becoming reborn (Heb 13:20, 21). The abandonment theory is based on the concept that God could not look on His Son with all the sin in the world on Him. Scripture demonstrates that God’s “face” is against sinners, but this is not so that He would not see their sin, but so they cannot see or sense Him; which in my opinion is to denote distaste and disapproval for the purpose that they might of seek His face. Some of the basis for this is the misunderstanding of passages like, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity (Hab 1:13). Here, the terms “behold” and “look” are hyperbolic expressions (which are often used in Scripture) that God does not regard or accept their persons. Another prime passage is, “the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (Psa 34:16; 1Pe 3:12). It’s not as though God cannot endure seeing all the evil, as if He would be somehow alarmed concerning it (not necessarily in order - Pro 5:21; 15:3; Job 34:21, 22; Jer 16:17; Isa 59:2; Deu 31:18; 32:20; Eze 39:23, and a multitude of other like passages). The Father Himself could have become incarnate to be the sacrifice, but in His desire to relate His love to us in the highest manner, He sent the far greater sacrifice of His Son! NC
  2. Upon encountering the title of this article one’s first thought might seem negative about it, but with all who become “born again” there is a period of growth that involves learning in the Word of God about the “old man,” which is the sin nature first seen in Adam and Eve, then in the entirety of their progeny—mankind (Rom 5:12-19). Upon rebirth the soul becomes “spiritually minded,” due to the imparting of the Spirit of God and the new nature (new man); and the old man continues to become more obviously identifiable so that we can continue to be taught by it—through the contrast of it with the new man! Thus, it’s our position in Christ that will mature our walk in Christ, as the carnality will be seen to progressively decrease, as our spirituality increases, thereby maturing from a carnal Christian to a spiritual Christian (1Co 3:1); which within the last few generations requires much time due to the multitude of errant Biblical doctrines, resulting (in my opinion) from the lack of fundamental spiritual-growth-centered teachings (and just not enough Word-time reading and studying). Thus there now coexists two natures in the soul of the believer, the old man and the new man; and through these both God’s school of godliness is taught, by which those reborn will all “be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29), and thereby “grow up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15). All believers will pass through the “babe-in-Christ” stage (1Co 3:1), for though Christ is in you at rebirth, He is in not yet “formed in you” (Gal 4:19), that is, “unto a perfect man” (mature-in-Christ Eph 4:13), which concerns our “walk” or lifestyle. Redemption-wise believers are complete in Christ, which the lifestyle will manifest more all the time of what we already are in Christ. As long as we are presently earthly bound we can never be completely free of carnality, which always remains to some degree or another, due to the indwelling of the old man; but this has no effect on our fully redemptive position in Christ, only on our growth in the strength of our faith. “Through faith,” grace came to us, and it is through the strengthening of our faith (only via the studying of Word of God by His Spirit) that we are able to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ” (2Pe 3:18).
  3. I agree, because I believe the salvation offer will be gone after the "first resurrection" (Rev 20:6), which begins the Millennium Kingdom on the present earth.
  4. True, as is demonstrated when James wrote that "A man may say," paraphrased, one may say they have faith but does not have faith (Jam 2:18).
  5. Eternal life is an issue only in this life. It's no longer an issue after once entering into it. Thus, I believe it stands to reason that if it is not possessed in this life it cannot be possessed in the next. It's not as though one cannot know until the next life, which would be too late and insignificant.
  6. Eternal life has to do with two elements: being in God; and in an incorruptible physical body, termed a “spiritual body” (1Co 15:44, e.g. Luk 24:39). Thus the “resurrection” has solely to do with a new physical body, which all who come into this life will receive, the good and the evil (Jhn 5:28). All will be raised, some unto eternal life, and most unto eternal death (“second death” - Rev 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8); which the latter “shall be forever and ever” in “the lake of fire” (Rev 20:10). Eternal life can only be given once, or it isn’t eternal life, because it is life in God—“forever.” If one were asking God for eternal life, wouldn’t He know if they were being sincere? Thus, to honor His Word He gives it only to those He knows who genuinely desire it. How could He do otherwise, knowing their insincerity? It’s insensible to conceive that He would give this gift knowing He would be taking it back due to the absence of truly desiring it. Regardless of how hard it may seem, in knowing that God foreknows most will choose the “broad way” (Mat 7:13, 14), we can be confidently assured that all He does is “good” (e.g. Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).
  7. The perverseness of man is seen more plainly in Israel after they were in the land of Canaan than while going through the wilderness. This did not appear at first, where an instance of what the energy of faith is in one man can do. All the days of Joshua, and indeed all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, the people served the Lord; but when that generation had passed away, another arose which knew not the Lord nor His works, and they did evil (Judges 2:7). Israel’s entrance in Canaan seemed very promising, and they would have become possessed of it all if disobedience had not stopped the tide of blessing flowing in upon them. God, in His grace, showed what they might count upon if they would be obedient. The passage over the Jordan recalled to mind that the same God who led them through the waters to escape from Egypt was now leading them where the river had rolled into the promised land of Canaan. The Red Sea and the Jordan River typify important truth. In both, the waters are the symbol of death, resurrection and ascension of and with the Lord Jesus. The first is deliverance from the bondage of Satan, from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13)—a totally new position. It is the introduction of the believer into the world as a wilderness, where no water is, save that which flows from the risen Lord Jesus as the smitten Rock; where, if He be not seen, there will be constant murmuring for water. The Jordan points to a further truth, that is, that the believer has done with all things here below as objects of desire before his soul. It is the practical realizing of the new standing that he has died with Christ, and is risen again with Him. The Red Sea brings us to His resurrection and ascension—the result of His work on the Cross for us. The Jordan is the Holy Spirit making good in our souls, and producing practical growth suited to the place in which the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus has positioned us. So the Red Sea introduces us to a wilderness, and Jordan, into the enjoyment of the heavenly places, its privileges and also its conflicts. The Jordan is, for faith, the realizing of the full results of the Red Sea passage. The trial of Israel is no longer a wilderness trial. There they had previously failed; how will they behave in the land of promise? It is the same story, even then growing old in the history of man. There is no condition, however favorable, where man (most of Israel and even most of mankind – Mat 7:13, 14—NC) responds to the goodness of God. There is no confidence in God, however lavishly His benefits are given. The people have not yet learned what they are in themselves, and so they have confidence in themselves—nay, they even boast of their obedience to Moses. “All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee” (Josh 1:16, 17). Like all self-righteous men, unconscious of fault, they pronounce readily sentences of death upon the disobedient. Yet their disobedience had been so great, that Moses said, “Ye have been rebellious against Jehovah from the day that I knew you” (Deu 9:24). Thus it is that the Word of God gives in a few brief touches the portrait of man, and without comment leaves it to tell its own sad tale. To have no confidence in the flesh is the hardest and, perhaps the last thing learned by any saint of God, and in most how many the lesson, how severe the discipline—yea, how persevering the patience of the Father, until the necessary process is completed, and sentence of death pronounced by the believer upon his old man (flesh, i.e. sinful nature—NC)! To this point each growing one must be brought. The flesh shall not boast in the Father’s presence: no glorying there but in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. - R Beacon
  8. His and appreciate your reply!
  9. As Scripture attests, there’s nothing people can do of themselves to effect salvation and must ask for it from God. This involves asking Him to give you faith in His Son and in all He has done to provide salvation. Before an attempt is made to declare that asking for, receiving and applying faith is a “self-work,” it should be remembered that neither grace, faith nor salvation are of “yourselves” (Eph 2:8), therefore disqualifying all as “works” of man (Eph 2:9)! The only works of godliness are those which exist within “the fruit of the Spirit,” which means works only serve in demonstrating or manifesting, but not producing His fruit. For example, “justify” consists of two definitions: 1) to make one righteous, 2) to show one righteous; and there is an infinite difference between the two. I believe a good example is James 2:24: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified.” Here the sense of “justify” falls into definition 2, for as all know, only the Blood of Christ can “justify” per definition 1 (Rom 5:9). So, works but do not effect righteousness, but manifests it. Anyone can appear to have faith by the outward lifestyle which is conducted (indicative appearance), but only a genuine believer can confirm faith in the Lord Jesus by a permanent perseverance of profession and works. Nobody, esp. one unregenerate can permanently maintain a nominal (in word or name only - Isa 29:13; Mat 15:8; Mar 7:6) position in Christ, for they always abandon their hypocrisy (apostatize – 1Jn 2:19), as it requires Divine support to “be held up: for God is able to make him stand” (Rom 14:4). Only God can know for certain that one is genuinely in Christ. Individuals can know for certain concerning genuine personal salvation by His Spirit (Rom 8:16; 1Jo 4:13), but certainty for us concerning others can only be in the hope of a doubtless acceptance resulting from one’s lifestyle of a continued profession; which is exemplary of the truth that all of “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (non-annullable - Rom 11:29). Hid With Him
  10. When New Testament Scripture uses the term “world” in reference to people (instead of this planet or this life) it is related to the majority of the earth’s population, which has always consisted of unbelievers! There has never been a time where the majority of mankind was righteous and believed in God, and this answers to the reason why Scripture has always maintained a distinction between believers and the world. The Lord Jesus declared that believers “are not of the world” (Jhn 17:14, 16), which is in the sense that they no longer seek the lifestyle after the “old man” (sin nature). That which has reference to this life only and not to Heaven is considered “of this world,” hence the passing of them and not believers (1Jhn 2:16, 17). The Law was only to those who were in union with God (Israel), and its purpose was to introduce (but not provide) a future fellowship with God via the coming of the Lord Jesus. Thus the Law addressed God’s desire for how the people were to relate to one another, but it did not address fellowship with God in drawing nigh to Him “within the veil” until Christ (Heb 6:19; 9:3, 7, esp. 8; 10:20; Lev 16:2, 15), Who was represented by the High Priest once each year. With many men of God (e.g. Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, et al) there was a nearness to Him, but it was not the same as fellowship with God in Christ. NC “Not of This World” “He gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world” (Gal 1:4). Believers are regarded as taken out of this world by the death of the Lord Jesus, and sent into it by His resurrection; but sent into it as not of it, yea, not even so much as is an angel. Our death in Him put us completely outside the world. His resurrection sends us into it again, as new creatures, as messengers of the peace of God, entirely apart from what is going on in the world. The remarkable thing is, that when God revealed Himself as the Giver of the Law—as Jehovah—He did not undertake to separate men from the world (i.e. were still of this world, unlike being in Christ and no longer of or after this world – NC). The Jews were not separate from the world—nor will they be in the Millennial Kingdom. They were separate from the Gentiles, but they were the most important people in the world; and they were made so for the purpose of maintaining the rights of God in the world. They were not called to be outside the world, but a people in the world. Therefore the Jews had to fight the Canaanites, and hence too, they had a grand temple. Because they were a worldly people, they had a “worldly sanctuary” (Heb 9:1 - the Law contained “ordinances of divine service,” for they were given by a divine God, but they addressed not righteousness but earthly matters concerning human conduct within the obedience of “carnal ordinances” – Heb 9:10—NC). But this is altogether wrong for Christians (who are related only to heaven and righteousness – NC) because the Lord Jesus “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (world, not in relation to earth but man – NC), according to the will of God and our Father.” When God brings out His will, no longer merely law, but revealing Himself as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is revealed a totally different state of things. We enter into the relationship of conscious children with God our Father; and our business now is to honor the Lord Jesus according to the position that He has taken at the right hand of God. Many forget that He gave Himself for our sins in order to deliver us from this present evil world. They sink down into the world, out of which redemption ought to have delivered them; and that is because they put themselves under the Law. What is the effect of men taking up the Law as Christians? It makes them out to be worldly (those reborn do not require to be told to do right - Gal 5:23, because that’s ever their desire - Phl 2:13—NC). There cannot be such a thing as a man separate from the world, when he is under the Law (Gal 3:10; 1Tim 1:9 - It’s not that Israel was sinful but that God began with them to show all mankind is sinful and under the curse –NC). If I have to do with the will of God my Father, I have got to suffer because the Lord Jesus suffered. “Always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2Cor 4:11). The Law puts a sword in man’s hands; whereas the will of the Father causes a saint to be willing to go to the stake, or to suffer by the sword for Jesus’s sake: as it is said, “For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us”; but it is by suffering, not by what the world glories in. Our Father is glorifying the Lord Jesus after the pattern of the Cross, and this is our pattern; not Israel, not the Law, not the world, but the Cross of Christ. “In the Cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time.” The Father says, I have My Son in heaven; I am occupied with the only One who has ever glorified Me, and that is the One you are to be occupied with. Nothing can be more exact and full, nor more thoroughly calculated to meet the dangers of the present day, which so often take the form of legal and religious ordinances as a means of honoring God. Our wisdom is to seek to use it, to be “wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” - Wm Kelly (1821 – 1906) I would like to suggest bookmarking the below link for daily use in spiritual growth teachings, and God bless. Excerpt from MJS devotional for April 3: “Our Lord is more concerned for a testimony than for a work. We need to get clear on that. A good deal of confusion comes in when you begin to think of things in the light of a work. When you get a lot of people leaving their employment to go into ‘the work,’ all kinds of complications arise. It is not that we aren’t to serve the Lord, but in the first place it is not the work the Lord is after, it is a testimony, it is a light, a living flame.” http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  11. For the last century or so it has become increasingly difficult to find an outward distinction between Law and Grace within contemporary Christendom, hence the hypocritical appearance of many who profess faith in the Lord Jesus. It’s my suspicion that the major cause here is not practical hypocrisy (because I think most who profess Christ are genuinely reborn) but a chronic misunderstanding of the Law; which misunderstanding has been extant since the time of the Apostle Paul, who often had to refute many around him that attempted the admixture of these two systems of God (Judeo-Christian). The Law provided forgiveness (via Levitical ordinances, e.g. Num 15) while manifesting the immorality of those forgiven (via the Decalogue). It was not intended to address the sin nature (old man)—but the fruit of it—sin! Conversely, Grace addresses the sin nature, which not only means forgiveness but the implanting of a new nature (new man) from Christ (Col 3:10; 2Pet 1:4), “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:24). Through this new nature the Father “works in you” (Phl 2:13) to “eschew evil” (1Pet 3:11- continue to absent the desire for it) from the old man within, while His Spirit ever opposes it in us (Gal 5:17); which is the major advantage that grace has over law, being God-controlled instead of self-controlled. God knew that even after repeated physical proofs of love and deliverances, many of His people would continue to choose their own way in “unbelief” (Heb 3:19). I think if you will not desire to have faith in God through “infallible proofs,” you cannot desire faith without them, which would not be love, because “faith works by love” (Gal 5:6). NC “Shut Up To Faith” “And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him (Isa 30:18). The believer is not brought into spiritual maturity without passing through afflictions, both external and internal. We are slow to learn what is to be done, but still more reluctant to submit to its being done. We want our enjoyments (sometimes too desirably – NC), which war against the full enjoyment of the Lord Jesus. How blessed that our Father is patient, loving and determined! In order to utterly detach us from earthly ties and fuse us into a loving union with Himself through the Crucified One, His love will not shrink from reducing us to the very dust of despair and death. He will apply the sword to every tie that binds us to this world. He will spoil all of our pharisaical foliage. He will lay the axe of the Cross to the very root of the old man. We may find the whole inward fabric of our lives overwhelmed and burned and blasted to the very extreme of endurance. Shrink not, fearful soul! This is the Father’s undoing of the old life. Remember that we can enjoy the new only as we learn to “put off” the old. In the midst of all this dreadful baptism (of trials – Mat 20:22 – NC) the Father is teaching you to unlearn the old man and to learn the new man in—“Christ who is our life.” The old natural life is contrary to faith. The whole of it is dominated by self-love, self-righteousness and self-confidence, and in a single word, selfishness. The process, therefore, of unlearning the old and turning to the risen Lord Jesus will be for every growing believer a painful process. Natural ambitions and aspirations enter so largely into our Christian life and service that the Father simply must cut off these myriad branches of the life of nature. With what frightful exposure of shame and pain was Peter finally driven from his unbounded confidence in himself! Go back to Abraham, the very father of faith and notice how he had to learn these lessons after the same fashion. Most of his life was made up of “going out” from the natural, or leaving the natural to learn the supernatural. He left his home, his kindred, his idols, and his country. He left Lot the first choice of the land. He left his relative, Lot. He left his spoils of battle to the king of Sodom. At each of these steps of faith he acted contrary to nature, i.e. affection, choice and possession. There are still greater tests ahead for the father of faith. He had been leaning on Eliezer. Next he had listened to Sarah’s fleshly suggestion. Finally, when 90 years old, with his own vital powers withered and gone, under hopeless circumstances, he hopefully believed. With every door in nature closed, Abraham was at last “shut up unto the faith” (Gal 3:23). Out of this very despair a superhuman hope was born for a supernatural birth of a son. Faith works better when there is no natural hope. If there be but a straw for sight to cling to, then faith finds difficulty. True faith is usually born of despair. Ask the Father to put a thorn in every enjoyment, and a worm in every gourd that would either prevent your being wholly Christ’s, or would in any measure retard your growth in faith. Submit yourself to the divine will and let your Father cut every idolatrous prop away, whether of feeling or any other manifestation. Why demand to see your faith, or feel His presence? Those who have been used for exploits in the Church have often experienced the greatest desolation and hopelessness. Like Hudson Taylor, a host of others have found themselves thus shut up to despair—death with the Lord Jesus on the Cross. However, not until they had come to an end of all self-righteousness and satisfaction in themselves, not until all their peace and joy and strength of will and resolution and purpose had been slain by the law, could faith stretch forth its hands for growth and maturity. Only when they realized the tragedy, the futility, the folly and failure of every human attempt to overcome the law of sin and death were they shut up to Him who not only “justifies the ungodly,” but “quickens the dead.” It is a blessed day—when they thus die and are shut up to their union with their risen Lord in death, resurrection and ascension. Many believers keep themselves in a perpetual foment though hoping they will get into a situation where they can enjoy the Christian life (i.e. “enjoy” - 1Tim 6:17 - apart from difficulties – NC). They feel enclosed in a net of circumstances which they are unable to accept. They are so wearied, baffled and beaten by the continuous pressure about them that they wish and yearn for things to be different, quite sure that if things were only different the Lord Jesus would be more real. It has never dawned upon them that at the heart of these very circumstances they are to find the Lord Jesus, find His grace sufficient and find the life more abundant. Why the unrelenting pressure—why the unending succession? Is it mere incident and accident? The purpose is “that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” In spite of care and prayer, do things go wrong day after day in never-ending succession (thankfully they’re not without a break, but continue until we’re gone – NC)? Are you desperately holding out against the process, praying that the thorn may be removed—only to be crowned with the more? Worst of all, you know that you can neither manage nor control the force arrayed against you. Why then not just settle down and settle in? Accept the fact that this is your lot in life (if you’re a growing Christian – NC)—and is neither accidental nor incidental. Cease hoping for things to be otherwise (e.g. growth in Christ without trials – NC), and cease nagging to be other-where; for you are not moving on, not moving out. In your weariest, weakest and most bewildered moment, simply say, “Now, Lord, here is my opportunity, and Thine—my chance to die, Thy chance to manifest the life of the Lord Jesus through me.” - L E Maxwell (1895 – 1984) He emptied my hands of my treasure store And His covenant grace revealed, There was not a wound in my aching heart But the balm of His breath and healed. Oh! Tender and true was the chastening sore In wisdom that taught and tried, Till the soul that He sought was trusting in Him And nothing on earth beside. (Unknown)
  12. Being at the foot of the Cross of Christ in faith secures “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9; 2Ti 2:10), and progressing onward from there secures a life of manifesting it. It is said that “saints are saved from something, for something.” From death in self—to life in Christ. It is one thing to be redeemed, but another to manifest it. There is very little required in knowing the former, but it is the remnant of our lives which we will be learning from concerning the fullness of the latter. Thankfully, God “works” (Phl 2:13) in our walk to manifest what we already are in the Lord Jesus! The Cross of Christ prepares us for the life of Christ (Col 3:4), as death prepares for resurrection. Hence the instruction in Hebrews Six is to “leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ,” in order to “go on unto perfection” (not the perfection of redemption, which is fully administered at rebirth, but the mature walk in it). NC Ascended Affection Does any Christian say, “I am at the foot of the Cross?” The Lord Jesus is not at the foot of the Cross! The Cross puts a man in heaven. The Lord Jesus is in heaven. You are laboring about in the thoughts of your own heart, and have not followed Him in faith to where He is, if you are at the foot of the Cross (present-day Hessionism). How do I see the effect of the Cross now? By being in heaven. I have been brought in through the rent veil. If you were inside the veil, before the Father, you would know yourself worse—not one good thing in the flesh (i.e. the old man—NC). It is blessed to see a soul exercised even that way, as the prodigal son in the far country; but he had not come yet to his father then: he had not found out where he was. There was a mixture of self, not knowing his position nor his father, and talking about being a hired servant. He had not the father on his neck, or he could not have thought of being a servant (he had yet to realize the father’s love for him—NC). It is not humility, as people think, to be away from God, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man,” as Peter did. Is insensibility to God’s goodness humility? The prodigal could not dictate and prescribe when his father was on his neck; he had no business to be in the house at all as a hired servant. It is not humility, it is a mixture of self with the knowledge of having gotten out of fellowship with God. Where will you put yourself? You must take your position in the risen Lord Jesus or none. There is but one way of coming in; it is by the Lord Jesus who is in the glory. We have no title to any other place. How is the Lord Jesus there? Not in virtue of His High Priesthood, but He is there in virtue of the offering for sins for us (the priests offered for sins, but Jesus was Priest and the offering—NC). “I have glorified Thee on the earth. Father, glorify They Son.” That is the reason Paul speaks of the Gospel of the glory (1Th 2:14 – NC). Do not let us be looking for an earthly place the godly Jew had, but rather the heavenly place the Lord Jesus has. Nothing seemed to be a greater burden on the heart of Paul than to keep the saints up to their privileges in Christ. They saw He had died for them (and this had not the effect upon them it ought to have had), but they were also risen with Him; they were in Him in heavenly places within the veil; and how were they realizing it? “Ye are become such as have need of milk” (Heb 5:12). But see the state they were in (Hebrews 10) when their goods were taken, knowing that they had “a better and enduring substance” (v 34). Because they knew they had substance in heaven, they were willing to sacrifice what was here. When the Lord Jesus had not that place in the heart, they were not willing to give up those earthly things, and the understanding of the heavenly things would be dulled as a result. Freshness of affection and spiritual intelligence go together. My judgment is clear when my affections are warm. Motives that acted before, cease to be motives when my heart is centered upon Him. I can count all dross when force and direction are given to my affections. “If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:1, 2). - H H Snell (1815-1891)
  13. The more mindful we become of the Father and Son in heaven, the greater are the encouragements during the times of fellowship with other believers! We can exhort one another in knowing that the present position of those reborn cannot be any greater, even in the “New Heaven,” concerning their spotless, faultless, blameless, guiltless condition of the soul. The absence of the old human nature, together with our new nature and bodies will allow for uninterrupted fellowship with God, but we will not be any more cleansed from sin’s iniquity then—than we are now! May God give us to know this evermore fully before faith becomes sight! Some might think a believer can be guilty of a wrongdoing, of which, until is confessed and repented, brings guilt. This is not the sense of the Blood of Christ’s efficacy, which “once” applied is ever sufficient (Heb 10:10). No, all is used for “conforming” and teaching. It’s not as though we get in and out of trouble with our Father, as if being punished out of anger; but rather He is chastising us out of love (Heb 12:5-10). NC Without A Quiver “Now the full glories of the Lamb adorn the heavenly throne,” as Isaac Watts wrote. But let me ask, do you see glories anywhere in these “last days” that are not attached to the Lord Jesus in heaven? You will tell me that all gory belongs to Him, and I grant it; but I tell you, you ought to see glories attached to yourself. These same last days that have set Him on high, in the midst of the glories, have set the poor believing sinner down here in the midst of glories (Jhn 17:22). We do not wait for the Rapture to see glories. Is it no glory for you to have a purged conscience (Heb 10:2)? Is it no glory to be fully entitled to be in the presence of your Father without a blush? No glory to call God, Father (Jhn 20:17)? To have the Lord Jesus as your Forerunner in heavenly places (Heb 6:20)? To enter into the Holiest without a quiver of conscience? No glory to be introduced into the secrets of the Most High God (Mat 13:11)? If you can lift your heart and say, “Abba, Father”; if you can lift up your heart and say, “Who shall condemn?” or “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” If we can believe that we are bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh (Eph 5:30), that we are part of His fullness, will anyone say there is no glory in all that? The Book of Hebrews introduces us to most precious thoughts. It tells us to look up and see the Lord Jesus on the throne, and to look down and see the poor believing sinner shinning on the footstool. The world knows nothing of these glories. We only apprehend them by faith in the glass of the Word; but I do say boldly, that I do not wait for the Rapture to know what gory is. I look up and see the Lamb in acquired glories; I look down and see the saint in gifted glories. Now the moral application begins. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holies by the Blood of Jesus.” There I look at myself; and will anyone say there is not glory in such a position? That is my title. Now the exhortation is that you enjoy your title (1Tim 6:17—NC). To enjoy is to obey. The first duty you owe your Father is to enjoy what He has made you, and what He has given you (rebirth—NC). “Let us draw near.” Use your privilege! It is the first grand duty of faith, and I am bold to say it is the most acceptable duty of faith. How narrow we are to enjoy these glories. Do you ever look at yourself in the glass of the Word (Jam 1:24)? We are very much accustomed to looking at ourselves in the glass of circumstances, and in the glass of relationships. If we say in the secret of our heart, with exultation of spirit, “I am a child of God”; if, with exultation of spirit say, “I am coheir with Christ” (Rom 8:17; Rev 3:21), that is the way to begin obedience. Here it is exactly that—“Let us draw nigh with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” We should look on ourselves as the priesthood of God (it has been said Israel had a priesthood, but believers are a priesthood—NC). The priests of old were washed when they were put into office. Then every day their feet were washed before they entered the tabernacle to serve the Lord. The pavement of God’s own presence was not stained by the foot of the priest. He went in, in a character worthy (remembering worthiness is never meritorious but bestowed—NC) of the place. Are you occupying the presence of your Father all day long in the consciousness that you are “hid with Christ in God,” worthy of the place? How will you be presented before Him by-and-by? Jude tells you, “faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” You ought to know that you are in His presence now faultless and without spot. We are in a wealthy place; and having got in there we are to rest there, without a quiver (concerning any form of guilt—NC). “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” (“quivering”—NC – Heb 10:23). - J G Bellett (1795–1864)
  14. There's a natural faith that derives from sight, e.g. of the senses, upon which one seeing can readily have faith in. But this type can never lead to the Spirit's work (fruit) of faith (Gal 5:22) in conversion because it is of the senses, where spiritual faith derives from God apart from the senses.
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