| Re: POST 11 of 12|
But death could not hold his prey. Death exerted all h is strength, put forth all his power; but "it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Acts 2:24.
Passing through the midst of death, he went his way. He passed through the very heart of death. He suffered all death's pains and died all men's death. And he went his way. He went his living way, and arose from the tomb. He went his victorious way and conquered death, hell, and the grave. He robbed death of his power, took away his sting and arose with the keys of death and hell swinging at his girdle. Revelation 1: 18. He went his upward way, led his little flock out as far as Bethany, lifted up his hands and blessed them, and while they beheld "he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. " "He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. " Luke 24:50,51. Acts 1:9.
He went his God exalted way "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Ephesians 1:21-23.
He went his obedient way "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:6-11.
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." Hebrews 1:1-8.
This, then, is his Lordship. This is the manner of the divine kingdom. This is his sovereignty. Christ went his way back to his eternal throne from whence he came. He, who was and is the express image of God's person, the ingraved form of his substance, consubstantial, coequal, coexistant and coeternal with the Father, the essential essence of the Godhead, very God of very God, passed through these heavens to the highest heaven of the Majesty on high, ascended, the one and only throne of deity and there he reigns forever.
"Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever." All other thrones will fall; this throne stands forever. And from this throne Christ rules the world. His rule is not material or political, nor will it ever be. It is a spiritual rule and therefore the one true, final and eternal supremacy against which nothing can possibly prevail.
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13, 14.
"A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. A sceptre is a rod or a staff. It was used by oriental kings as a symbol of their sovereignty and kingship. When the king held out that sceptre toward someone, it signified that person had found favor in his sight.
"And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favor in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre." Esther 5:2.
How beautifully this symbol sets forth the truth of our salvation and standing before God. In fact, our whole relationship to Christ is here pictured. Christ is our king; he is the sole sovereign in his universal and spiritual kingdom. By virtue of that sovereignty, he has the right to bestow his favor upon whom he chooses. We say by virtue of his sovereignty because his sovereignty is not of an arbitrary or despotic nature, nor is it derived from any human source, but rests upon his deity. Christ is God. He upholds all things by the power of his might; He is before all things and by him all things consist." Colossians 1: 17. "Consist" - the word means to hang together -to keep the proper relation and order. The world hangs together by Christ; on account of him, the sun shines, the stars maintain their course, the planets stay in their orbit and all things keep their proper relation. In a word, the universe continues on account of Christ and, if it were not for him, all things would perish in a moment. All men and all things owe their existence to Christ; nothing is or can be without him.
"Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." Romans 9:18.
To those whom Christ chooses, he holds out the sceptre of his righteousness signifying that they have found favor or grace in his sight. They then draw near through the power of the Holy Spirit and touch his sceptre signifying their acceptance of his righteousness, receiving it as their own and in place of their own. In the righteousness of Christ they are declared righteous. They are then clothed in his righteousness and in that righteousness, they stand and not in their own. Then, and only then, can they draw near the throne in prayers, supplications and praise.
The word sceptre has no other meaning in the Scripture but rod. This is the explanation of those "rod of iron" passages found in Psalm 2:9, Revelation 2:27, 12:5, and Revelation 19:15.
Iron is inflexible and unbending and is, therefore, the perfect symbol of righteousness. It is strange indeed why men have sought other meanings for these Scriptures, for we are distinctly told that this "rod of iron" is the righteousness of Christ and the two-edged sword of his word.
"For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.
"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords," Revelation 19:15,16.
The kingdom of Christ is essentially a kingdom of peace. There is but one sword in his kingdom and that sword is his word. All other swords are beaten into plowshares and all spears are turned into pruning hooks. In this kingdom war's shield is hung on the wall; nation does not lift up sword against nation, neither do they learn war any more at all, Isaiah 2:2-5. Micah 4:1-4. Hosea 2:14-23.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and t he leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:6-9.
END of POST 11 of 12
| 2009/4/11 2:29||Profile|
| Re: POST 12 of 12|
This, then, is the manner of the divine kingdom. It is a spiritual kingdom of peace. The vast majority will scoff at this teaching; even most who profess the religion of Christ will scorn what is here set forth. But this is the testimony of Jesus and is therefore, the spirit of Prophecy, Revelation 19:10.
Having captured the spirit of prophecy, we are willing to risk our all upon that spirit and let the letter go. Others may argue and speculate as to the meaning of the letter of the Scripture; we will not, The spirit of the Scripture is its true meaning, the testimony of Jesus is its spirit. Here we shall rest content.
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6.
Life and peace. Mark that order. We must have the life before we can have the peace. Peace is the fruit of life. All movement ends in rest and peace is rest. It is restful rest, rest for the weary, rest for the soul. Where shall we find that rest? In righteousness. In the kingdom of Christ.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, 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. " Matthew 11:28, 29.
Soul rest, Eternal security, Everlasting quietude. Life and peace. Life without peace is not a blessing but a curse. Life without peace is not life; it is intolerable -existence. Peace we must have or we are forever undone. Where can we find peace? Only in the kingdom of Christ.
"The Lord is at hand. 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." Philippians 4:6,7.
The Lord is at hand. He has not forsaken his people. He is a God at hand and not a God afar off. He fills both heaven and earth. Jeremiah 23:23,24. We are to let our requests in everything be known unto Him; nowhere are we told to let our requests be made known unto the governments of men. All of man's true needs are spiritual, they can be supplied only by the Almighty. Human governments can never sate us. They can only damn us. Not one of man's problems can be solved politically. All of them must be met spiritually.
Only at God's throne can peace be found. In this kingdom, the peace of God, the very peace that God himself enjoys, guards our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The peace of God! This, we know, is our everlasting need. What is this peace?
The word means ease, completeness, unity, concord, assurance, rest, security. The peace of God is peace beyond the possibility of conflict. It is peace of heart and peace of mind. It is peace that makes the days of earth as the days of heaven, peace that makes us unafraid of the nameless terror that stalks the night or the piercing arrow that flies by day. Peace that safely guards from the pestilence that walks in darkness and the destruction that wastes in the noonday sun. Peace, like a calm and stilly river, widening into a shoreless sea. Multiplied peace, peace abounding, peace that never can cease to be, Peace in the midst of the raging battle, a fortress, impregnable to every foe, Peace like a shelter from the stormy tempest, a towering rock in a weary land. Peace right now and peace hereafter, peace with God, and peace with man. Peace for the days of the pilgrim journey and peace when we quietly sleep in the tomb, Peace while we bear life's heavy burden and peace when we lay that burden down. Peace that makes death a restful slumber from which we awake to die no more. Peace that makes life a glorious living, an endless, singing, golden psalm.
How do we enter this kingdom? We must be born of the Spirit. John 3:3-6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. I Corinthians 15:50. There is no earthly way into the heavenly kingdom. Nicodemus understood that he must become a little child. "How, said he, "can these things be? How can a man be born when he is old?" That is the burning question. To this question, there is only one possible answer. We must be "born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1: 13.
"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." Matthew 18:2,3.
"Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19.
Sad soul! Do you long for salvation? Would you be free from your burden of sin? Then you are not far from the kingdom. Every desire for righteousness is the work of the Holy Ghost, the divine messenger to the heart. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6. The hunger and the satisfaction of that hunger are both the work of the Spirit of God, the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Comforter sent forth from our sovereign Lord to relieve our orphanage, "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:16-18. Entertain this Holy Guest. Say, "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, why standest thou without?" If you can say this in spirit and in truth, life is yours, for this also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son." Colossians 1: 13.
"Delivered" - the word means rescued. It is God who has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness. No man can perform this rescue work. It is a divine operation.
"Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood."
"Translated". What does it mean? "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him." Hebrews 11:5. Translated - the Greek word is an old irregular verb which means that God took Enoch up in his arms and carried him to heaven! "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5:24.
God took him - clasped him to his breast and claimed him for his own. "And was not found" - He still was not found. Men looked, they searched for him; but he could not be found! God took him I
So it is with us. God rescues us from the kingdom of darkness, the thraldom of sin and death. He takes us up in his loving arms and carries us over into the kingdom of the Son of his love, "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causeth to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts; we shall he satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. " Psalm 65:4.
This is the manner of the kingdom. This is the throne to which all owe allegiance, to which all must bow in absolute surrender. Only one word remains to be said. That word is Repent!
He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. " Psalms 66:7.
Almighty God, thou sovereign of the universe most dread. Thou art still the fear of Isaac and the dread of Jacob. Thou art the great and dreadful God whose throne is high and lifted up. Before Thy face the heavens and the earth flee away and there is found no place for them. Who shall not fear Thee, Thou King of the ages? Thy glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. Thou art our King of old, even front everlasting. Thou art our heavenly Father, therefore we flee to Thee for help.
O Lord, deliver us from the carnal mind that downward leads to realms of darkness and death eternal. Give us the spiritual mind that upward leads to realms of glory, that makes the road a tranquil pathway and shines more and more unto the perfect day.
Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, not in its beginning, but in triumph and consummation, so that Thy will shall be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us our daily bread and forgive us our sins,
Gently Christ, Thy name is Saviour, Thou didst come to guide our feet into the way of peace. We come before Thee ruined men: weak, sinning, vile, helpless and undone. Behold, our sins are as scarlet, red like crimson, God, be merciful to us sinners! Christ, pity us! Jesus, Thou son of the Most High, have mercy upon us! Holy Ghost, breath divine, breathe upon these slain, that we may live! Lord, we believe, help Thou our unbelief!
O Thou Mighty God, in whose hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind, lift up Thy countenance upon us and grant us Thy peace. Give us life, endless, immortal, and peace, perfect peace.
Hear our prayer which we pray this day at the Cross. Speak the word, Thou King of our life, and we shall therewith be content. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, world without end. Amen.
| 2009/4/11 2:37||Profile|