TREASURES OF TRUTH, VOLUME 4

THE CROSS OF CHRIST AND ITS ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE

BY:  GEORGE R. HAWTIN

CHAPTERS 1-5

 

CHAPTERS

TITLE

PAGE

1

THE MEANING OF THE CROSS

1

2

HE CROSS AND THE DEATH OF SELF

14

3

THE INTRINSIC POWER OF THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS

22

4

THE CHILDREN OF THE RESURRECTION

35

5

HE IS RISEN

43

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE MEANING OF THE CROSS

Almighty Lord, in whom dwelleth the wisdom and knowledge of the universe, flood Thou my soul with understanding from above. Open now my eyes that I may plainly behold secrets of truth long hidden in Thee. Remove the darkling veil from my heart that light divine may shine upon me, and grant to my spirit the breath of inspiration that I may understand the truths that are written here. Amen!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5. These inspired words of truth must be the most sublime statement to ever proceed from the mind of God, to be written by the pen of any scribe, or to be spoken by the inspired lips of any prophet. The unshakable, indisputable knowledge that before all things was God almighty, all wise, unchanging and eternal, is knowledge so assuring that it dispels every uncertainty of life and the dismal confusion of mind that hangs like a smoggy pall over the hearts of all those unhappy people who are not thus assured. The first statement of truth ever vouch-safed to man was the simple word of assurance, “In the beginning God”. Upon this truth hangs the eternal hope of the billions of mankind who have inhabited this earth. Remove God from the eternal portrait and nothing remains but a formless void with clouds and darkness upon the face of all the deep. Take God out of the Genesis of all things and purposelessness crowns our lives with confusion and unbelief, making life’s highway a slippery slope, every harbor a whirlpool, and our rocks but sinking sand.

See with what holy assurance the heart is filled when it casts its anchor in such a certain rock as this: “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and/or Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” Col. 1:16-17 Your whole outlook on life will change from one of confusion and dread to one of blessed assurance and confidence with the entrance of the divine understanding that all things are vassals of His power, His dominion, and His control. Nothing exists without His consent. None acts without His permission or prospers without His blessing. In His omnipotent hand the nations of the earth in all their vaunted might and power are but dust upon the balances, soon to be dusted off the scales that the final reckoning might proceed as planned. You will not spend sleepless nights worrying about Communism when your heart rests assured that God, for hidden purposes comprehended only by infinite wisdom, has raised its godless head for a little moment to purge the filth and corruption from the sons of Zion. He who has raised it up will cast it down and break it to shivers beneath His feet when His purpose in it has been fulfilled. Then shall it, as Babylon, be as the chaff of the summer threshing floor, trodden neath the foot of man and driven by the wind away.

In my opinion the most sinister thing in the earth today is the nearly universal desire of the church system, which is Mystery Babylon, to sit beneath the abominable shadow of one great earthly head. The day is drawing ever nearer when possibly all the religious systems of earth will come under the control of the Pope of Rome and all the kings and rulers of the earth will give their power and authority to the Beast. Nothing any man can do by work, or prayer, or battle can let or hinder this device because divine wisdom has decreed that thus it must certainly be. What assurance fills the heart of the faithful as they rejoice in the wonder of God’s plan! Abiding in the eternal rock, they fearlessly await the fiery trials soon to fall upon the whole earth in the assurance that the true church shall be purified and made white in preparation for the reign of Christ that will encompass the whole earth to cure its every disease when the curse has finished its evil day.

THE CERTAINTY OF GOD’S PURPOSE

Before the ages began or ever the world was. God almighty, omniscient, and immutable, charted the course of all things. The ages in their ever ascending and majestic purposes were all planned by Him. The increasing light and revelation of each one was planned with infinite care to display its own part in the spectrum of eternal truth that heaven and earth and things under the earth might rejoice together in the ends of the ages because of the everlasting fullness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself.

With God nothing has been left to chance. Absolutely nothing. Omniscient wisdom, omnipotent power, infinite love, and boundless grace can leave nothing, nothing, I say, to chance, nor can such power, wisdom, and grace leave anything to the bungling minds of carnal men. Men sometimes ask me whether or not I believe in a second chance for sinners. My answer is always the same. “No, I do not believe in a second chance, and neither do I believe in a first chance, for God leaves nothing to chance. Men come to God when God calls them. As Jesus said, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him:” John 6:44. And again: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37 Just as the draft of a nation calls its young men to military service when their turn comes, so also God calls men when their turn comes, and when He calls or draws them, none can dodge the draft. They have naught to do but respond.

The day of your birth was arranged before the worlds began. The reins of your life are as certainly in the divine hand as were those in Pharaoh, Moses, or Paul. The day of your death is even now appointed and all the pills and skills of man will fail to lengthen your days. Your downsittings and uprisings are all known to Him and your thoughts afar off. Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. How much more, then, are the days of your life?

THE CERTAINTY OF THE FALL AND THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION

The fall of man in the Garden of Eden was part of God’s eternal plan. By it God set in motion the mighty edict of Gen. 1:26,“Let us make man in our image and after our likeness, and let us give him dominion.” Such blessed understanding gives credence to the apostle’s revelation; “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.” Rom. 8:19, 20. To consider this blessed fact further would be beyond the scope of our present writing and would in itself take much time and space. Nevertheless, let every man on earth assuredly know that the fall of man and all the dire consequences that have followed did not fall unexpectedly upon an unsuspecting God, but every detail of it from beginning to end was foreknown by the infinite mind of Him who inspired Paul to say, “Our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a. far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” And again, through that same inspired man, it was written, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Let us with utmost confidence rest assured then that our almighty Lord knows what He is doing. He who is the First and the Last must of necessity be all intermediate things as well, and He who is the Alpha and the Omega must include all the other letters as well.

There is not the slightest uncertainty about anything that God has to say concerning the entrance of sin into the world. His all-inclusive statement is this: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23. And “there is none righteous, no, not one.” Rom. 3:10. In the first chapter of Romans all the world is proven guilty before God. In the second and third chapters all Israel is proven guilty before God, for by the law shall no flesh be justified. In the fourth and fifth chapters works of any kind are excluded from God’s plan of salvation and faith in Christ is exalted and proven to be God’s plan for the salvation of the whole world.

It is of utmost importance in our relationship to God that we see all things as He sees them and not as men understand them with their natural minds. Always remember that the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” I Cor. 2:14. Let every man know that divine revelation does not reach us through the classrooms of college or university. Greek and Hebrew, the languages of the Bible, will help us but little, for man can never comprehend the purposes of God until God moves upon the face of the deep and the breath of inspiration from above floods his heart with the truth and the knowledge of the Lord.

Because God is God, all the wisdom and understanding of the universe dwells in Him. We must expect Him to say many things and state many facts that the human mind cannot comprehend nor pry into. It is the inspiration of the Almighty that giveth understanding. The wayfaring man, though a fool, can comprehend any of the things of God in that moment when the divine light from above shines upon them. Paul prayed that spiritual revelation would be given to the people, saying, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling …” Eph. 1:17, 18

And again, “… that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Col. 1:9. “Open mine eyes,” said David, “that I may behold wonderful things out of Thy law.” So, you see, spiritual understanding is not given to the learned and lettered of this age, but to those blessed ones upon whom God has breathed the spirit of understanding from on high. How often we discover that God’s way of reasoning does not make sense to our thinking! At all such times we should steadfastly remember how He said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa. 55:8, 9 Even the saintly Peter once wrote of our brother Paul in these words: “And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things: in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 2 Pet. 3:15, 16

One of the many hard things of which Paul wrote may be found in Heb. 7:9,10, but, before quoting it, I must point out that the understanding of this one statement will prove vital to the understanding of all else that shall be said in this writing. This is what he wrote: “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. For he (Levi) was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him.” You will readily remember that Abraham was Levi’s great grandfather and that, at the time when Abraham met Melchizedek and paid tithes to him (Gen. 14:17-20) even Isaac, Abraham’s son, was not yet born. Yet Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, clearly states that Levi, the great grandson of Abraham, paid tithes to Melchizedek, because he (Levi) was in the loins of his father (Abraham) when Melchizedek met him. This is certainly not human reasoning. Human reasoning, I think, would scoff at such a notion. Yet this is the reasoning of God, for it is God and God alone who understands the generations of man, comprehending with all knowledge how life is passed in succession from one generation to another. Such secrets, delivered to us by the disposition of angels, (Acts 7:53); are to be believed in the Spirit and need not to be pried into by the carnal mind, which is God’s enemy. They are the secret truths of the Almighty, we adore them and despise them not by our own vain processes of human reasoning.

Now since we have seen by divine wisdom that Levi, the great grandson, was in fact in the loins of Abraham, his great grandfather, a hundred years or more before his birth, it should become easier for us to grasp the significance of a statement vastly more important to all mankind. In 1 Cor. 15:22 Paul wrote, saying, In Adam all die.” In exactly the same manner that Levi, though yet unborn, was present in his grandfather Abraham’s loins when he paid tithes to Melchizedek, so you and I, yea, and all the world besides, were there in our father Adam’s loins when he sinned in the garden of Eden. With him and in him we sinned, yea, and with him and in him we partook of the penalty of sin, for it is written, “Death passed upon all men for that all had sinned.” Rom. 5:12. When was it that all men sinned?

The truth is that they sinned while yet in the loins of their father Adam on that day when he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In A dam all die, for God had said to Adam, “In the day ye eat thereof, ye shall surely die.” And because of this death passed upon all men, for all have sinned. Thus death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them who had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression. Rom. 5:14. “Sin is the transgression of the law, but it is not necessary to prove that a man is a lawbreaker to prove he is a sinner. All who sinned in Adam were born with the sentence of death already upon them and the death process had begun its work in them before ever they came forth from the womb. The indubitable fact that we are the children of Adam is proof enough of our need of a Savior, for “in Adam all die, but in Christ shall all be made alive.” And we may say with confidence that all in the second phrase is as all-inclusive as the all in the first phrase.

The many people who read these lines have on many occasions seen the traits of a mother or father manifested in a son or a daughter, and we may confidently say that just as frequently we have seen grandfathers and grandmothers manifested in their grandchildren unto many generations. Times without number we have heard the expression, “I can see your grandmother in you,” or “You are just like your father.” My son does not walk as I walk. He walks like his grandfather. My daughter looks like her mother and acts like her father. We have become accustomed to seeing parents manifest in their children, but God saw the reverse. He saw children in their parents, not as a fleeting likeness but as a divine reality, so that when He formed Adam of the dust of the ground, He placed in his paternal loins the seed of the entire human race. Thus it is truly written, “in Adam all die.”

It will not be difficult for any man to see that, had Adam been slain in the Garden of Eden before ever a child was begotten by him, all the billions of his posterity would also have died when he died, neither could they ever have seen the light of day. Let our minds then grasp the simple truth that when he sinned in the Garden of Eden, all his posterity sinned in him and the same death that passed upon him because of his sin passed likewise upon us all, even to the last man of Adam’s race, for all have sinned. A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit, neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Of a thorn men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather the grapes.

There is always an element of eternal mystery wherever the mind and wisdom of God is concerned. Each succeeding generation spends lifetime after lifetime probing the hidden depths of the many branches of science. Men of learning in each age pass their knowledge on to the generation to come, but each in his order reaches the end of his days knowing that he has done little more than brush the surface of knowledge. Beyond him still lie the hidden depths that only omniscience can unlock. Since then natural things in a natural world defy our finite understanding, how much more do things of the Spirit defy all natural understanding. God’s thoughts being so far above our thoughts and His ways above our ways! For thus saith the Lord, “As heaven is higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Beautiful, indeed, is the revelation that follows the above truth. “As the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, …so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth…” Isa. 55:10, 11 It is when the spirit of revelation from above falls like rain upon the baked earth of human understanding that the light of God dawns in our hearts and the barren clods burst forth with a harvest of eternal truth. Let us never try to understand truths by the understanding of our natural minds, but let us rather pray, “Open mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” Then will the rain of revelation fill the open vessels of the spirit. God will say, “let there be light” and light divine there will be.

Can the natural mind ever fathom the depths of the eternal truth that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself? 2 Cor. 5:19. Can we grasp the significance of the words of Jesus, “That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me and / in Thee; that they may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou has sent me”? John 17:21. If now by God’s Spirit we can understand even in part how God was in His Son, how the Son was in the Father, or how we the children of God are in the Father and in His Son, then that same spirit of understanding will show us how Levi was in Abraham’s loins when Melchizedek met him, and how you and I were in Adam, our father, when he sinned, causing death and carnality to pass upon us all, for that all have sinned. Oh, the depth of the wisdom and understanding of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

THE LAST ADAM

It is written, “The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit.” 1 Cor. 15:45 There is a deep and hidden mystery in the strange words, the last Adam. The natural mind would conclude that, if there were two Adams coming four thousand years apart, the first of these being the first Adam, it would of necessity follow that the next Adam would be the second Adam as is the case in 1 Cor. 15:47. Our Lord Jesus Christ is here called the last Adam. This simple statement, which on the surface seems almost irrelevant and scarcely worthy of our notice, is in fact pregnant with meaning, full of wisdom and understanding. It portrays as nothing else can the wonders of Christ’s redemption, the marvels of the cross, and the completeness of the work that God by His Son has done for a world of sinful men, bringing by His cross abounding life and freedom from carnality to the millions of Christians who see in Him the end of Adam’s race.

By way of illustration I shall now try to point out in what way our Lord Jesus Christ was the last Adam. In my father’s family there were three sons and two daughters. Of the three sons the second died as a young man, the youngest married but begat no children, and of my father’s marriage were born two daughters and four sons. Had it been, however, that my father had also died childless as did the other members of his family, then we, his sons, would not have been born and he would have been the last Hawtin. He would have been the last of the line.

There could have been no other. Now God has declared that our Lord Jesus Christ should be the last Adam. I cannot explain how divine power can accomplish such wonders, but God has decreed that all men of all ages should be included in Him. God has gathered up all the members of Adam’s sinful race out of the past, out of the present, and out of the future and included them all in Christ, the last Adam. Death passed upon all men, for all men sinned in the first Adam. Therefore by one divine and omnipotent stroke God has included all men in His Son, declaring Him to be the last Adam, the end of the fallen Adamic creation, and, having included all men in Christ, the last Adam. He crucified Him. He nailed Him to the accursed tree that it may now be literally and truthfully proclaimed by all men of Adam’s race, “/ am crucified with Christ”. I am crucified with Christ, and nothing I can do or say will ever alter such an historic fact. God Himself, without my knowledge and before I ever saw the light of day, included me in Christ, the last Adam, even as He included me in the first Adam, and, having included me in the last Adam, He crucified Him and me in Him. Behold, then, upon what glorious foundation our faith rests. Christ has indeed become the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe, because all who believe shall find both here and now that every benefit of the cross has become operative in their lives. Not only will they find forgiveness of sin in their present walk but they will be delivered from all the power of carnality as we shall presently show.

In moments of meditation I thought upon the cross of Christ and wondered why it was that God should have placed such emphasis and significance in the cross. Why should He include all men in His Son and, having done so, declare that this was the last Adam, the end of the old creation? And, having included all the old and fallen creation in Him, God hung Him upon a cross until His life was gone out of Him and all the world was dead in Him. So in spirit I beheld that the cross of Christ was the great ex (X) that crosses and cancels out all things that belong to the old creation, declaring their demise in the three most significant words ever spoken, “it is finished”. Thus by the cross of Christ God declares the finish of the old creation in which all men live in carnality and end in death, and, having done so. He declares the last Adam of the old creation to be the author and first fruit of an entirely new creation, the first fruit of them that slept.

THE NEW CREATION

When Christ, the last Adam, died and all the old creation died in Him, the creation to follow must of necessity be a new creation, and for this certain reason it is written, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and, behold, all things are become new. For in that He died He died unto sin once, but in that He liveth He liveth unto God.”

I am perfectly aware that these profound truths will be misunderstood by many and some will wrest them to their own destruction in their carnal and wicked endeavor to abrogate repentance of sin and annul all holiness of life, as some men in their zeal to display the grace of God have done, living in sin and turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. Jude 4. These gracious truths are not now written to men of corrupt minds who have no desire to walk in the truth, but to all who walk in love, serving God because they love Him and not in fear of some dreadful judgment that hangs like an awesome terror before their eyes. It is not to such as this that we now write, but to those children of the most high God who, seeing their infinite identity with Christ, are able to say in all truth and righteousness, “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17

Those who read these lines with the revelation and understanding of the Almighty upon their minds will discover a new experience taking place in their hearts as definite and spiritual an experience as they have ever had, yes, as definite as their conversion and the peace that came when they believed that the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleansed their hearts from all sin. Let us never read these truths and lightly cast them aside, but while reading them earnestly pray that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He wrought in Christ Jesus when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places. See Eph. 1:17-20.

Wonderful as it is to know that with Him we died, it is of surpassing wonder to know that in Him we were buried, in Him we have already risen from the dead, in Him we ascended, and in Him we are seated at the right hand of the majesty on high. You will surely say of me that I hold little respect for the vast mass of church tradition, but we must surely agree that, like the Pharisees and scribes of old, we have “made the truth of God of none effect by our tradition.” Therefore, the sooner we abandon tradition and lift our hearts to heaven for inspiration the sooner we will come to know and experience all that God has promised in Christ, and, knowing what He has promised, shall enter here and now the grace that has been so freely proffered to all mankind.

THE IMMORTAL PROMISE

We said above that God almighty and all wise leaves nothing to chance. By His divine power He has made all things certain, leaving the work of His Christ as an historic fact and foundation for our faith, and we, having believed the work He has fully accomplished, become partakers with Him in whom we died and rose again. God’s people manifest their unbelief by the things they preach and say and sing. How often I have sung with the multitude, “I can, I will, I do believe that Jesus died for me”. You might as well sing, “I can, I will, I do believe that Caesar Augustus reigned in Rome“. The real truth is that these are historic, indisputable facts. Jesus did die for me just as surely as Moses led Israel out of Egypt. There is no need to try to whip up faith at all in such a truth as this. Faith does not rest on make-believe, as the preachers erroneously imagine. Faith rests upon the certain foundation of what God immutable has said.

Faith cometh by hearing the word of God, or, as Weymouth so purely translates it, “Faith, then, comes from a message heard and that message from the lips of Christ.” Rom. 10-17 I think the general idea of faith today is commensurate with that of the four hundred prophets of Baal, who vainly imagined that by loud and united shouting and jumping up and down upon the altar they could whip up enough faith to make the fire fall on the sacrifice. How different was the prayer of Elijah! He knew the fire would fall because his faith rested, not on make-believe, but upon what God had said to him beforehand. Listen to him again as he prays, “Let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that / have done all these things at Thy word.” 1 Kings 18:36. That last statement was the true basis of the faith of Elijah. God had told him beforehand what to do, what to say, and what the result would be, and so no doubt clouded his mind as he stood before the crowd. “Faith, then, comes from a message heard, and that message from the lips of Christ.” We do ourselves great harm by imagining that Elijah was a man bursting with such miracle working faith that anything he asked would be immediately done. That is a deceptive lie. The truth is that his faith, as yours and mine, rested only upon the sure foundation of the message of God from heaven. Faith and God’s will go hand in hand. They are never separate; neither is there any separation between faith and God’s word. Therefore, it is written, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Elijah did no jumping on the altar nor singing, “I can, I will, I do believe,” to conjure up enough faith to bring the fire of God down. Well did he know that every move he made was ordained of the Lord and that each thing he did was done at God’s bidding and according to His word. I cannot do what Elijah did before the prophets of Baal nor work the wonders of Moses in Egypt and at the sea, for God has not bidden me so, but whatever God bids me do I can accomplish with triumph, even to the crossing of a thousand seas or the calling down of fiercer fire.

“… God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things (God’s promise and God’s oath), in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” Heb. 6:17-19. “That within the veil” is Jesus Christ Himself. Upon such a certain foundation we now stand, holding an immovable anchor steadfastly cast in the mighty rock, Christ Jesus, who even now within the inner veil is seated at God’s right hand. Having these immutable promises let us with faith lay hold on the promise God has set before us.

I AM CRUCIFIED

Let us consider further the work of the cross and of the Christ who died upon it that our minds may be enlarged and we might better understand how this last Adam included in Himself every person and everything that belonged to the old creation, putting it all out of the way, nailing it to His cross. In thus crucifying the whole world in His Son, He robbed principalities and powers and all rulers of darkness of the fearful power they held over us by reason of the fall. By His death He blotted out and made ineffective every ordinance that was against us, because laws are not made for dead men nor do they apply to men of the new creation who, with Him, have risen to newness of life, but to those only who still live as members of the old creation. Please read Col. 2:9-17.

When Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians, he wrote to a people who had begun to live a wonderful life in the Spirit but who, through false teaching by certain Judaizers, had reverted to ordinances of the old creation. They who were identified with Christ and His new creation were now trying to bring about perfection by the do’s and don’ts of a law. So Paul with severe rebuke wrote, “0 foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Gal. 3:1. Weymouth in his original translation uses this eloquent expression. “You foolish Galatians! Whose sophistry has bewitched you, you to whom Jesus Christ has been vividly portrayed as on the cross? Answer me this one thing. Is it on the ground of your obedience to the law that you received the Spirit, or is it because when you heard you believed?”

Did you notice that Paul said here, “You to whom Christ has been vividly portrayed as on the cross? The message of the crucified life had been taught to these Galatians and they, having believed it, received the Holy Spirit and walked in newness of life as a new creation, but they, like the wretched tradition-ridden church system of today, lost hold of the truth of their true position in Christ to fuss and bother with a law that was made for men who belonged to the old creation and lived their lives on the other side of the cross. The apostle by the wisdom imparted to him prefaced the above statement with his own testimony as to the work of the cross in his life saying, “/ 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. Paul was not living the crucified life and reckoning his old self dead because of his titanic efforts to make himself believe that he was crucified, but he stood in this holy state by the faith of the Son of God, or shall we say because he had perfect faith, as I too now have, that, when God put His only begotten Son on the cross. He also put all the world on the cross in Him and with Him, and that, when He placed Him in the tomb, He buried the last Adam, and every man who belonged to that creation He buried with Him. Thus when Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ,” his faith was resting not on an experience he attained at some altar of prayer, but upon what God had done for him and for us all long before any of us knew that Jesus was the Christ.

It is upon such a certain foundation that our faith now rests not upon what we experienced at an altar service, but upon what God did in His Son Jesus Christ when He wrapped up all the old creation in Him and nailed Him to the accursed tree. Ah, wonder of wonders! No marvel it is that Paul in exultation shouted a fiat that will echo on and on through eternal ages: “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” Gal. 6:14.

I was crucified with Christ long, long before I saw the light of day or breathed my first breath in this world. Men on yonder street who have never read a page of God’s holy truth were included there in the last Adam. In Him they were nailed with all their carnality to the cross. In that moment when God’s truth floods like a ray of dawn into my heart, revealing what God actually accomplished in His cross, and teaching me that I myself was there in Him, then all my struggling with the old nature is at an end, and in amazement before that heavenly revelation I repeat and repeat with rapture, “/ am crucified.” I am crucified simply because I was crucified when God omnipotent and omniscient included me in His Son when He nailed Him and all the world in Him to the cross. A new day dawns upon our weary spirits in this certain knowledge that the old things have passed away and the glory of a new creation bursts upon us. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. He has to be. He cannot help but be because for him the old passed away when he with Christ was nailed to the accursed tree, and all the signs that the old still exists are neither reality nor truth, but darkness and error that hide themselves in unbelief.

Meditate at great length upon this statement of Paul until the revelation of the Almighty gives understanding: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life that 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. Paul’s crucifixion with Christ was an accomplished fact. Naught was there to do but believe it. Yet he said, “I live, (or, I am alive,) but it is not I, but Christ.” It was the old self, the old nature, the old Adam that was crucified and died, but it is the new creation that comes forth from the tomb in resurrection. The apostle in the glory and wonder of the truth that was revealed to him scarcely knew how to put in words the marvel of his own revelation. “Nevertheless I live,” he says, “yet not I, but Christ; and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” As the glory and wonder of the truth bursts upon our spirits, we find ourselves repeating in awe, “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” 1 Cor. 15:42-44. For the first man Adam was made a living soul, but the last Adam a life-giving spirit.

Let all who now read these lines assuredly know that, when Jesus Christ was crucified, you were crucified in Him. Nothing that belonged to the old creation was omitted. Even its laws and ordinances were nailed to the cross, for they were given to govern the old creation. Therefore, He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. Col. 2:14. For centuries faithful men and women have longed for the assurance that their old carnal self was done away that they might walk in newness of life. Well, the good news we now bring is that the crucifixion has taken place and need never occur again. God in admiration looks upon it as already accomplished and the realization of the truth of it, as rays of dawn, bursts upon our liberated spirits while the heavenly choirs sing within the mansions of our new created being. “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ,” Christ the anointed, Christ the end of the old creation, and Christ the beginning of the new.

THE OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED

Our old man is simply we ourselves as we were under the old Adam creation. When Adam was made, he was  made in the image of God, and according to the scripture only “a little lower than the angels.” Heb. 2:7. He lived and walked after the Spirit with little or no dependence at all upon natural or physical things. But once he sinned, all this changed and he who began with the nature of God and was but a little lower than the angels now found himself but little higher than the beasts with the predominant part of his nature more in accord with the beasts of the field than with the God who created him. Nebuchadnezzar typified this very condition when for seven times (representing the seven dispensations) he lived with the beasts of the field, ate straw like an ox, slept outside on the wet grass, and his fingernails grew like claws and the hair of his head like bird feathers until seven times passed over him. See Daniel, chapter 4. Can we say anything better of the Sodom in which we now live where every device is connived and invented to give satisfaction to the realm of the flesh whether it be sex, strong drink, marijuana, L.S.D., tobacco, or a thousand other evils. Sodomites and adulterers have dared to invade the pulpits in our day, pretending to speak of heavenly things while manifesting the nature of beasts and sporting themselves with their own deceivings. 2 Pet. 2:12-14. Ah, sinful generation! How shall you escape the damnation of hell?

All the corruption in the world is the manifestation of the nature of the fallen first Adam. He is the old Adam. None of his wretchedness can pass beyond the cross. None of his corruption can be carried over into the new creation. None can walk in newness of life until the cross of Christ has ended the old. There never can be a new man until the cross of Christ has taken the life of the old man. It is not until old things pass away that all things become new. You cannot know the joy of being a new creation while the old creation still persists. The cross of Christ must be the giant “X” that marks out the old forever. The tomb must be the burial place of the old man. Even his grave clothes must remain in the tomb. Without the cross there can be no resurrection. It is impossible. Can you not see? It is the cross that takes the life of the old. It is the resurrection that brings forth the new. Those who die in Him to end the old rise with Him to begin the new. Thus it is written: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away, and, behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17

In the scripture where Paul states that our old man is crucified with Him he uses this definite expression: “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Rom. 6:6, 7. We must take time here to consider these two important words, ‘knowing this.’ The indisputable fact is that very, very few Christians do know this that their old man is crucified. The real truth is that they do not know it. They neither know nor understand that two thousand years ago God took us, our old nature, our old man, and everything that belonged to the old creation and putting it all in Jesus Christ, crucified Him. He put Him to death. He executed Him, for crucifixion is execution as certainly as is the guillotine, the electric chair, the gas chamber, or the hangman’s noose. The wages of sin is death and every man of Adam’s race died the death in Him when He was nailed to the accursed tree, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone that hangeth upon a tree.”

Know this, then: our old man is crucified with Him. It is not something to be done in the future. It is done. It was done on that day when the sun withdrew his shining at noon and horrible darkness gripped the world in awesome dread until Jesus in agony cried, “My God, My God! Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” And then, as though to write finis to all that was of the old, the earth quaked and reeled like a drunkard. The mighty immovable rocks rent and split. The veil of the temple, so strong that six yoke of oxen could not pull it apart, which in type represented the flesh, was struck by a hand divine that tore it apart from top to bottom. “It is finished,” cried the last Adam; and it was finished. The old creation was finished, the old man was finished, the flesh was finished, the law was finished, and the ordinances were finished. All was to be forever buried that from the tomb a new creation would spring up. “And this is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it, the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one head in Christ; yes, things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one head in Him.” Eph. 1:9, 10. (Weymouth) Knowing this! Knowing this!! That our old man is crucified with Him! Do you know it, my friend? Do you know it? Do you know that God accomplished it for you before you were born? Your faith this moment in that long accomplished fact sets the bells of the new creation ringing in your heart. Knowing this, knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him!

Many who now read will find a question arising in their hearts. You will be saying to me, “If it is true that I am crucified and my old man is crucified, why is it that I yet see evidences of carnality remaining in my heart and spoiling my walk every day that I live? Why am I so often beset with anger, impatience, and lusts of many kinds, all of which seem to deny that my old man is crucified? Because of carnal symptoms everywhere I am loath to believe and I cannot say, ‘I know my old nature is crucified.'” Let all the faithful forever know that it is God’s word that is the truth. The symptoms therefore are but lies. All that is not of the truth is a lie, and no lie is of the truth.

Many years ago a trifling incident occurred in my life that for some reason made an indelible impression upon my mind. Consequently I never forgot it. As a boy I lived in the great wheat belt of Saskatchewan. The part of the province where we farmed was commonly known as the bald-headed prairie. No trees grew there at all except where a farmer had planted a shelter belt around his yard. As a result I grew up with no knowledge of trees whatever. At about twenty years of age it was my pleasure to spend a summer in the forest to the northeast, where trees abounded everywhere. It was early spring when I arrived and the million trees stood leafless and dead. One day for no reason that I can remember I took my axe and cut down a little tree and, picking it up, I dragged it into the yard, leaving it lying dead upon the ground. It is not necessary that I present arguments here to convince you that, the moment my axe had cut through the trunk of that tree, its life was ended forever. It was dead and no power on earth could ever restore its life. But spring was beginning to bustle about and the sound of her mystic garments could be heard in all the land. Happy little crocuses awoke from their sleep and, smiling up at every passerby, invited all to admire their pretty dress. All the trees on all the hills began to open their thousand leaves and waved a welcome to the returning songbirds who rejoiced with myriad voices that spring had come. But what of the tree whose life I had ended with a blow from my axe? You will perhaps be as surprised as I was when, walking across the yard, I saw it lying there on the ground bursting out in full leaf just like all the living trees standing in the forest. Is it possible that this tree was not really dead? Had I not severed it fully? What strange phenomenon was this that brought the leaves out on the branches to convince me that it was still alive? The explanation, of course, is simple. The tree had been cut down just as the sap was beginning to run up its trunk, causing the leaves to burst forth and flourish as long as any sap remained.

As I considered this strange phenomenon, I knew beyond any doubt that the tree was dead. It had been dead from the moment it had been severed from its root. But there were the symptoms, the buds and the leaves, telling me that it was not dead after all, but just as much alive as any standing tree. Now the truth is that the tree was cut down. No one could deny that. It was dead; that was also certain. The lie was the symptoms, the flourishing leaves that insisted that it was still alive. In spite of every sign of life, however, I knew and you know that it was dead, knowing this, that days before I had cut it down with my axe. And sure enough, in a very few days the leaves dried up and no sign of life remained. It is this lying wonder that the believer often sees long after he believes that our old man is crucified.

That flash of anger that rose in you yesterday, that passion that lifted its ugly head today, told you the lie that the old man, the carnal nature, was still alive, but the truth is that your old man was crucified. He was cut down. He was nailed to the cross. He was executed. Every symptom that insists that he still lives is a lie that must be reckoned dead. Knowing this, Paul said, that our old man is crucified, and I think it is in this truth that our hearts should rejoice rather than in the lying wonders of the old nature whose symptoms would love to make God to be a liar.

RECKONING

We are told by the Lord to reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive unto God. Rom. 6:11. Reckoning is something that is done with figures, and in all parts of the world it is the same. Two plus two equals for and three times four is twelve in any country. It is also true that that which is executed is dead. That which was crucified no longer lives. This, I believe, is cardinal truth. It must never be passed over lightly. It is when the symptoms declare that the old man lives and when we ourselves contemplate the inconsistencies, the incongruities, and the carnality that still persists in our own lives that we are to begin our reckoning. We are not to point to those flourishing leaves and insist that the tree of the old nature is not dead after all, but we are to point to the cross and reckon that there the axe was laid to the root of the tree, and it is dead no matter what evidence may be produced to the contrary. It is because we know that the old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be destroyed that we are now able to do our reckoning reckoning ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God.

To enrich our understanding we here quote four paragraphs from the deeply spiritual teaching of our Chinese brother, Watchman Nee, concerning the truth of reckoning. Quote: “What does reckoning mean? ‘Reckoning’ in Greek means doing accounts, bookkeeping. Accounting is the only thing in the world we humans can do correctly. An artist paints a landscape. Can he do it with perfect accuracy? Can the historian vouch for the absolute accuracy of any record, or the map-maker for the perfect correctness of any map? They can make, at best, fair approximations. Even in every day speech, when we try to tell some incident with the best intention to be honest and truthful, we cannot speak with complete accuracy. It is mostly a case of exaggeration or under-statement, of one word too much or too little. What then can a man do that is utterly reliable? Arithmetic! There is no scope for error there. One chair plus one chair equals two chairs. That is true in London and it is true in Cape Town. If you travel west to New York or east to Singapore it is still the same. All the world over and for all time, one plus one equals two. One plus one is two in heaven and earth and hell.

Why does God say we are to reckon ourselves dead? Because we are dead. Let us keep to the analogy of accounting. Suppose I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, what do I enter in my account-book? Can I enter fourteen shillings and sixpence or fifteen shillings and sixpence? No, I must enter in my account-book that which is in fact in my pocket. Accounting is the reckoning of facts, not fancies. Even so, it is because I am really dead that God tells me to account it so. God could not ask me to put down in my account-book what was not true. He could not ask me to reckon that I am dead if I am still alive. For such mental gymnastics the word ‘reckoning’ would be inappropriate; we might rather speak of ‘misreckoning’!

“Reckoning is not a form of make-believe. It does not mean that, having found that I have only twelve shillings in my pocket, I hope that by entering fifteen shillings incorrectly in my account-book such ‘reckoning’ will somehow remedy the deficiency. It won’t. If I have only twelve shillings, yet try to reckon to myself: ‘I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings,’ do you think that the mental effort involved will in any way affect the sum that is in my pocket? Not a bit of it! Reckoning will not make twelve shillings into fifteen shillings, nor will it make what is untrue true. But if, on the other hand, it is a fact that I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, then with great ease and assurance I can enter fifteen shillings in my account-book. God tells us to reckon ourselves dead, not that by the process of reckoning we may become dead, but because we are dead. He never told us to reckon what was not a fact.

“Having said, then, that revelation leads spontaneously to reckoning, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are presented with a command: ‘Reckon ye...’ There is a definite attitude to be taken. God asks us to do the account, to put down ‘I have died’ and then to abide by it. Why? Because it is a fact. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, I was there in Him. Therefore I reckon it to be true. I reckon and declare that I have died in Him. Paul said, “Reckon ye yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God.” How is this possible? “In Christ Jesus.” Never forget that it is always and only true in Christ. If you look at yourself you will think death is not there, but it is a question of faith not in yourself but in Him. You look to the Lord, and know what He has done. “Lord, I believe in Thee. I reckon upon the fact in Thee! Stand there all the day.” End of quote. From the book The Normal Christian Life.

You will not have to reckon too often before you find that any besetting carnality is falling off and losing its hold upon you. Why, it seems to me that the truth that with him I died should now deliver me even from any fear of death, for why should I fear that which has already been accomplished? Those who die by faith with Him have accomplished the first death. Upon all such the second death hath no power. I am brought to believe that even death itself is for us but a lie, and this, forsooth, may be the reason that both Paul and Jesus often use the term ‘sleep’ instead of ‘death.’ Paul said, “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” 1 Thess. 4:14. And again: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake…” Dan. 12:2. And yet again: “…We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:51. Death is for those who fail to identify themselves with the cross of Christ; sleep is for those who do. Carnality, debauchery, and sin persist in those who cannot see that the cross ended the old creation. Newness of life and sonship are for those who can.

When Satan points you to the evidence of carnality in your life, you must look at the cross and reckon that it was there death was accomplished and your old man, your old nature, your flesh, your carnality, was crucified with Him and in Him. The evidence of carnality that now presents itself is a lying wonder that must be reckoned dead and forever abolished. It is here that our understanding is enlightened by Paul’s words to the Galatians, who, instead of reckoning themselves dead, were trying to regulate their carnal ways by the restrictions of the law. But this cannot and must not be. They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.” Gal. 5:24. They reckon the work accomplished. This is the only way to deal with the flesh. Rules and regulations may seem to inhibit the flesh, but actually they only cater to it. Touch not, taste not, handle not may seem to be wise instruction, but a whole lifetime of such inhibition leaves the flesh, the old nature, and the old man as much alive as ever. Crucifixion alone destroys the power of the old nature. So, when Paul says, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts,” he is teaching that all such people do believe the truth that the old nature was crucified with Christ. They reckon it so; they believe it so; and because they believe this truth, the very truth itself operates in their lives. Carnality is on the cross and the life they now live in the flesh is by the faith of the Son of God, a living explicit faith in what Christ accomplished when He included all the old creation in Himself on the cross, a faith that brings the long awaited victory over all sin and carnality and lifts us to the mountain peak of overcoming.

Every mention of the cross brings us face to face with the resurrection. Our knowledge that old things have passed away at the cross turns our eyes to the glory of new things. What good would it be to have the old pass away if there were nothing new to replace it? Therefore we greatly rejoice in the knowledge that, just as surely as old things pass away, behold, all things become new. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation because the old creation died on the cross. “I am crucified unto the world,” Paul said, “and the world is crucified unto me.” Both the world and I were on the cross at the same time, so a double crucifixion has been accomplished here. I am crucified to everything that belongs to the old realm that I may make my entrance into the new realm. The world likewise was crucified that it might be divested of any power over me.

The further we go with this thought the clearer our understanding becomes. Our minds can now readily grasp this sacred thought: “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. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” Col. 3:1-4 Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness, idolatry, adultery (Col. 3:5), and all such things are powerless in the presence of dead men. Therefore reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God. Mortify (put to death) these things, not by fighting them, not to striving to inhibit them, but by reckoning them to be where they actually belong not corrupting your life, but on the cross. This is the way to victory; this is the way of the Spirit and the way of faith. For this reason it is written, “This I say then; Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Gal. 5:16

THE FLESH IS CRUCIFIED

In the book, Two Realms, we have taken much care to describe the flesh, showing what it is, how it operates, and in what way the whole world with everything in it depends upon the five senses of the flesh for its very existence. We have seen that all who live after the flesh find death to be their only reward. But now the truth is made plain before us that the flesh with all its affections and lusts was nailed to the cross with our Lord Jesus Christ when He died so long ago. Just as certainly as the death of Christ is an historic fact, so also it is an historic fact that I died with Him, my old nature died with Him, and my flesh with all its affections and lusts was nailed to the cross with Him then. In realization of this indisputable fact I stand in utter amazement as I behold the vain efforts of millions of Christians who for centuries have vainly tried to somehow muster enough faith to nail the flesh with all its works to the cross and be rid of carnality forever. But this we cannot do. Why try to do what God has already done? Why should I try to attain what God attained for me when He included me, together with my flesh and all my fleshy nature and all the world besides in His son, and, having done so. He crucified Him and all sin and carnality with Him?

If I put a thousand dollars in the pocket of my coat and someone throws the coat into the fire, will I ever have that thousand dollars again? Never! It is gone irretrievably and I will see it no more. And is it not just as true that, when God placed the world in His Son, together with the flesh, the old man, and my very self, He crucified Him? Dare we in unbelief tempt God by saying that all that was included in Him did not die with Him? I tell you, nay! When the Son of God was crucified, I was crucified; my old man (Adamic nature) was crucified; my flesh was crucified; and even the laws that governed me under the old realm were nailed to His cross. Col. 2:14. It is by faith and confidence in what God has done for us that the victory is ours. It is when our hearts are assured that God did this great work at the cross that we begin our reckoning that we are dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God.

THE OPERATION OF GOD

There is a beautiful statement made in Col. 2:12: “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Crucifixion, burial, and resurrection are all the operation of God and it is in the operation of God that we are asked to place our confidence. We are to have confidence in what God did, not in what we do or what we can accomplish by what we imagine to be faith. God Himself has done this mighty work. It was His operation at the cross of Christ. Our confidence in what God did, the operation of God, is the very foundation stone of our faith. Here our reckoning begins. Upon this rock we stand to proclaim to ourselves, to God, and if need be to principalities and powers, “I am crucified with Christ.” I am crucified because I was crucified. My old nature is crucified because it was crucified at Calvary. My flesh is crucified because it was crucified when He was crucified.

Henceforth our whole outlook becomes new. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, and, behold, all things have become new.

It is the cross that writes finis to the old. It is the resurrection that opens wide the gates to the new. Nothing of the old can possibly pass by the cross nor enter into the realm where all things are become new. Identification with His death spells the end to all that is old. Identification with His resurrection proclaims the beginning of all that is new. No man can live the crucified life until he reckons with absolute assurance that, when Christ died, he died with Him in Him. No man can live the resurrected life until he reckons with absolute assurance that, when Christ rose, he rose in him and with him. Henceforth, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away and, behold, all things are become new.

BORN OF THE INCORRUPTIBLE SEED

When Nicodemus spoke with our Lord Jesus Christ on that memorable night when he came to inquire the way that leads to the kingdom of God, he was given a statement so revolutionary that he was stunned into awkward questioning by the daring truth of it. He was not told of a life that had to be made over or of efforts that had to be made on his part that he might attain the kingdom of God and be found worthy to enter it; he was told of a completely new life, a completely new generation. Except a man be born again, he could not see the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God was a realm he had not heard of before. Men born of flesh and blood could not enter it, but only men born of the Spirit. Except a man be born of the spirit, he could not see the kingdom nor understand it, much less enter into it. All men are the seed of Adam. The first Adam was given power to generate a whole race after the flesh, the level of death unto which he had fallen. The last Adam was given power to generate a new race, a new creation, after the Spirit. Two dreadful statements are made concerning the first Adam and all his generation after the flesh: First, ‘in Adam all die’, and second, ‘if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die’. But of the last Adam, Jesus Christ, the Head of the new creation, it is said, “in Christ shall all be made alive.” And again, “If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Your birth in the flesh as a child of Adam fitted you only to live as a dying man in a corruptible and dying creation, for in Adam all die; but the birth from heaven is a spiritual birth of which the last Adam, Jesus Christ, is the eternal Author and Finisher. In Christ shall all be made alive.

In that marvelous fiat at the opening of John’s gospel “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” much more is involved than that which meets the casual eye. The Word here is in the Greek the Logos. In the beginning was the Logos. We do not have a word in English that is the direct equivalent of Logos. In fact, it is well nigh impossible to express its meaning by even the use of a sentence or a paragraph. The Logos is the Word spoken, but it is more than that. It is the living spoken Word, and yet more than that it is a living person speaking a living word. Dr. Adam dark says it should remain untranslated. It was the Logos who spoke the words, “Let there be light,” and there was light. It was the Logos who before the tomb of Lazarus said, “Lazarus, come forth,” and he came forth.

Peter in his epistle used the word Logos when he said, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word (Logos) of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” The corruptible seed is the seed of Adam by which we are born after the flesh. The incorruptible seed is the Logos, the living, speaking Word, by which we are born from above, a new creation after the Spirit. “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord (the Logos), endureth forever. And this is the word {Logos} which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Pet. 1:23-25.

Identification with Christ in the cross ends all that belongs to the Adam generation. Identification with Him in the resurrection is the beginning of the new creation. We will need revelation to grasp it, but the new birth is actually the beginning of the resurrection. By it we are raised to newness of life. Through the operation of God we become a new creation, born not after the flesh but after the Spirit, born of the incorruptible seed that liveth and abideth forever. Reckon yourselves dead to the old creation after the flesh but alive as members of the new creation after the Spirit. As everything about the Adamic creation savored of the flesh and ended in death, so now everything of the new creation savors of the Spirit and is a river of eternal life. It is not wisdom or patience or holiness or faith that you need. It is Christ. From henceforth, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.

Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God; and behold the greatness of the Father’s good pleasure that, in that place where once Adam’s fallen creation, born after the flesh, lay dying, now should reign the many brethren of the new creation, born of the eternal Logos, a race of in-Christed men.

CHAPTER TWO

THE CROSS AND THE DEATH OF SELF

The moment any man identifies himself with the cross of Christ, he enters into an entirely new realm. He has passed from death across to life. He has renounced his citizenship in this present evil world and all his allegiance to it to become a citizen of the eternal realm. Because in Christ he died, he has become part of the eternal and can never more die. He has seen the precious promises of God in Christ our Lord and, having embraced them, he has become a stranger and a pilgrim in the earth, for “they who say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.” Heb. 11:14-16.

Until we are identified with the cross of Christ, we are citizens of this present evil age. This is the world and this is the country to which we belong. We are citizens of it; we feel at home in it. We speak its language; we covet its ways; and perhaps it is not strange that we desire to remain as we are. But, when the eye of faith has caught sight of that better country, we become restless until we partake of our new and heavenly citizenship, God’s heavenly country, a realm whose inhabitants are part of the eternal and cannot die. Borne from the perfume of earth’s drooping lilies to the realm where flowers never fade, we become citizens of a better country, a heavenly sphere, a place where old things pass away and, behold, all things become new. It is here at the great divide of the cross that the saints of God learn the full force of the message. “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake (by identifying himself with Christ) shall find it.” Here at the cross the corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, and, in dying, it brings forth fruit to life eternal. He who remains on earth’s side of the cross of Christ will find his life to be a fading leaf that in the autumn time will wither and pass away with all the fashion of this age. In saving his life, he has lost it. It is not the seed that is preserved in the bin that brings forth fruit unto life eternal, but the seed that falls into the ground and dies. The man who embraces the cross of Christ is the man who, by losing his life, has saved it. In giving his life away, he has kept it unto life eternal. In the natural world that which is kept is saved and that which is given away is lost; but in the realm of God that which is kept is lost and that which is yielded up is saved.

0 cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to hide from thee:

I lay in dust life’s glory dead

And from the ground there blossoms red

Life that shall endless be.

How well the apostle John wrote, “The world passeth away, and the lusts thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” 1 John 2:17. And how splendidly did the translator, Philips, render the passage in these words: “Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. For the whole world system, based as it is on men’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions and the glamour of all they think splendid, is not derived from the Father at all, but from the world itself. The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die.”

The permanent is the eternal. And God is the eternal. The man who has reckoned himself crucified with Christ has shared in His death; and he who has shared in His death is in like manner a partaker here and now of the life that raised Jesus from the dead, a sharer and a partaker of His resurrection. I call all heaven and earth to witness the truth of these words: He who has shared in Christ’s death and shared in His resurrection has shared in Him as well. He has become a member of the in Christ company. He has become bone of His resurrected bone, flesh of His resurrected flesh, spirit of His resurrected spirit. Being one with Christ, he has become part of and one with His mystical and eternal body. So one with Christ has he become that he no longer considers himself in any way apart from Christ. In holy awe he embraces the solemn but wonderful truth, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live: yet not I, but Christ, liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Who can frustrate such marvelous grace of God? How can that which is formed say to Him that formed it, “Why hast thou made me thus?” This is God’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.

He who writes these lines testifies to those who read them that it is eternally settled in heaven that all who by faith have died with Christ have now become part of the eternal. Neither can they die any more. Their bodies may sleep in the dust as they wait for the morning, but death with its sting has passed away, and victory has been snatched from the yawning jaws of the tomb. Death’s cruel proboscis, filled with the deadly venom of sin, can sting us never more. “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; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24 Moffatt in his translation of this vital passage of truth uses these illuminating words: “Truly, truly I tell you, he who listens to My word and believes Him that sent Me has eternal life; he will incur no sentence of judgment; he has already passed from death across to life.” He has passed from death across to life! My God, My God!

What words are these that Thou hast left us to believe? Since, then, we have passed from death across to life. is it any wonder that we should discover ourselves to be citizens of the true and eternal realm? By the cross of Christ we have “crossed over”. We have passed from the realm where all is death to the realm where all is life. Our citizenship in this present age has been cancelled and we have taken out a new citizenship in the eternal and undying realm. For this reason Paul wrote, saying, “Your conversation is in heaven”; and again, “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”

Many people who read these lines were once citizens of another country. Many of you have put a borderline or an ocean between the land of your birth and the land of your adoption. Many of you were of different speech and different custom, but you crossed over. You changed your citizenship and your allegiance from one country to another. You renounced your former citizenship in favor of the new one you were embracing. This by way of illustration is what we have done in the spiritual realm when by the cross of Christ we cancelled our allegiance to this present world system, its customs and its conversation, to become partakers of a new and heavenly citizenship, speakers of its new language, revelators of the beauty of its customs, the justice of its laws, the wonders of its truth, and the glory of its endless life. It is the cross of Christ that makes the difference.

The cross is forever the dividing line between all that is old and all that is new, separating the old life from the new, the old citizenship from the new, and the old allegiance from the new. It is the cross of Christ that divides between the old nature and the new. It separates the life that is after the flesh from the life that is after the Spirit. There the old life dies and the new life in Christ begins. There we bid adieu to the flesh, the world, and the devil to live after the Spirit, the New World, and Jesus Christ. There and there alone old things pass away and all things become new. The way of the cross leads home.

It would be impossible to enumerate the eternal benefits vouchsafed to those who with painstaking and prayer consider the worth of their heavenly citizenship. Whenever a man entertains the thought of changing his citizenship, he must spend hours or days or even years in consideration of it. Could a Belgian, a German, or an Englishman lightly become a citizen of China or India without much thought, or could a Chinese become an American without consideration of the vast changes in culture and language?

Breathes there a man with soul so dead

Who never to himself has said,

This is my home, my native land?

Whose heart has ne’er within him burned,

As home his footsteps he has turned

From wandering on a foreign strand?

Yet there must be no divided allegiance when our citizenship is transferred from one nation of earth to another. The story is told that once refused to give audience to a prominent American citizen who presented himself as a German-American Emperor William of Germany. Refusing the audience, he said, “I know Americans; I know Germans; but German-Americans I =do not know.” Do not pass that statement off as the haughty words of some stuffy old drone. There is much more truth in them than we imagine. I am speaking neither lies nor fiction when I declare that the vast multitude of professing Christians today are Adam-Christ Christians. While they are claiming to be crucified with Christ and citizens of His realm, they insist on maintaining their connections with the realm of Adam. They are like the seven sons of Sceva who tried to cast out a demon by saying, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches to come out of him.” To this the evil spirit replied, “Paul I know, and Jesus I know, but who are you?” That is indeed a very good question. Who are you? What is a German-American, a Chinese-Indian, or a French-Canadian? There is no such thing though we are forever using the term. With great sadness of heart I am convinced that the whole church system with all its profession, its exaltation of gifts, its claims of revelation and authority with God, manifests continually that Adam-Christ relationship. God knows Adam and all his citizens. God knows Christ and all His citizens. But who, pray tell, are you?

The hour has come in this the end of the age when we must declare ourselves citizens of one realm or the other. God Himself is dividing the tractable sheep from the ornery goats. We must belong to Christ or belong to Adam. We must dwell either on earth’s side of the cross or on heaven’s side. We cannot serve God and Mammon (the god of riches). We cannot love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind while dancing around the golden calf, shouting, “These be thy gods, 0 Israel.”

How easy it is for people to deny their Christian profession by the things they do! We are neither saved by the good we do nor lost by the bad we have done, but, if salvation is anything at all, it will vitally affect all that we do henceforth. Otherwise we have gained nothing whatsoever. We do not become crucified with Christ because of the evil we suddenly stop or deny ourselves, but, once a man is truly identified with Christ in His cross, there will be a vast change in everything that concerns his daily life. Otherwise how could it possibly be said that old things pass away and all things become new? Those who possess the understanding of the natural mind can never differentiate between the uselessness of a life filled with do’s and don’ts and the beauty of a life whose joy it is to please the Father because of the indwelling Christ. Christianity is not an imitation of Christ; it is the life of Christ in me. It is the not I but Christ life. This is the place of victory and this the only life that is pleasing to God. Centuries ago David, the king of Israel, said, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes; I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psa. 101:3. He refused to look at evil things, not to attain a crucified life, but because he had attained it.

Can there be found in all the universe a more possessive, blinding, or deceiving devil than the devil of self? Our Lord Jesus Christ once called the people and His disciples together to press home to their needy hearts a truth so profound that I greatly fear it has been lost, misunderstood, and overlooked from the beginning of time unto this very hour. This is the truth He told them on that day: “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny Himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Mark 8:34. “Let him deny himself!” Let him deny self. It is self, self, always self that stands between you and true discipleship. It is the friendly hand of self that holds you back from your cross and refuses to let you take it up daily to follow Christ. My brother, have you ever listened to the mocking crowd who stood at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ? Then listen for a moment to their vain and blasphemous clamor as they cry, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” With great solemnity of heart and mind we must now aver that never before nor since have the heckling voices of a blind and senseless rabble spoken greater truth than this. “He saved others; Himself He could not save.” You cannot save others and save yourself as well. Would God that those who preach the gospel of Christ would learn this divine secret: that it is the self-life that stands between them and the full manifestation of the purpose of God in their lives. It is self that stands between men and the will of God. It is self that stands between them and the cross, between them and God, and, if such a contradiction of terms is possible, we may now say your self is the greatest enemy of yourself.

The first law in all the world is self-preservation. Tiny insects almost too small to be seen scurry off into hiding to protect and save themselves. The instinct of every animal of the field and every bird of the air is to save and protect itself, and in man, too, perhaps above all other, is the ever present instinct to protect and preserve himself. This preservation of life and limb is a God-given instinct in all creatures great and small, but in man, alas, it does not end with the simple preservation of life and limb, but with miserly covetousness it struggles to preserve all evil tendencies as well, which must be consigned to the cross of Christ if we would be His disciples in truth.

In his remarkable book, Born Crucified, the author, L. E. Maxwell, makes the following potent observation: Quote: Even though the believer has emerged from the muddle and mixedness of Romans 7 through Paul’s command, ‘Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin’, the fact remains that he will discover many ways in which self seeks satisfaction through the as yet unredeemed spheres of his being. The flesh, the body, all our mortal coil, is evidently still present in Romans 8. That chapter presents many ways in which mortification must set in. The victorious believer will become aware of many forms of self, which must yet be dealt with. We shall discover in our service for Christ, self-confidence and self-esteem; in the slightest suffering, self-saving and self-pity; in the least misunderstanding, self-defense and self-vindication; in our station in life, self-seeking and self-centeredness; in the smallest trials, self-inspection and self-accusation; in the daily routine, self-pleasing and self-choosing; in our relationships, self-assertiveness and self-respect; in our education, self-boasting and self-expression; in our desires, self-indulgence and self-satisfaction; in our successes, self-admiration and self-congratulation; in our failures, self-excusing and self-justification; in our spiritual attainments, self-righteousness and self-complacency; in our public ministry, self-reflection and self-glory; in life as a whole, self-love and selfishness. The flesh is an “I” specialist. These are but a few of the multiplied forms of the flesh to be discovered and taken to the cross. In the palace of Wurtzung hangs a hall of glass. It is called the hall of a thousand mirrors. You enter. A thousand hands are stretched out to meet you, a thousand smiles greet your smile, a thousand eyes will weep when you weep; but they are all your hands, your smiles, your tears. What a picture of selfish man! Self all around, self-multiplied, and self-deceived. End quote.

Centuries ago Paul, by the divine wisdom given unto him, wrote these words of truth: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. — For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written. The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. — Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God...” Rom. 15: 1, 3, 5, 6 Think diligently of what the apostle has told us here in speaking thus: “Even Christ pleased not Him-Self; as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” Oh, how I hate to be reproached for that of which I am not guilty, and how quickly either you or I will spring to self-defense to declare our justification and our righteousness! But our blessed Lord did not so. He permitted Himself to be reproached and maligned with the guilt and sin of the whole world, and He, bearing it upon His own innocent head, was led as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people was He stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Yet, while all these reproaches, which rightly belonged to you and me, were falling upon Him, He raised not His voice in self-defense nor did He please Hun-self by proving His innocence and our guilt.

May God almighty grant henceforth that, when on occasion we would valiantly spring to the defense of self, we would remember instead the meaning of the cross and cherish the day when self was marched down the via dolorosa to be crucified with Christ and rendered dead to all the ailments of the Adamic creation. It is when the diseases of the Adamic nature would descend from the cross to beset our souls and defile our spirits that the hour of reckoning begins. Here the words of Paul flood our beings with victory, “Reckon ye also yow-selves dead to sin, but alive unto God.” “If Thou be the Son of God,” the rabble shouted, “come down from the cross.” Matt. 27:40. That, oh saint of the Lord, is the world’s vain reasoning. These are the words of men who have their portion only in this life. But unto you, oh sons of God, let the message be given, yea, let it echo eternally in your heart, that, if you are a son of God, your self must remain upon the cross and come not down at all; for, if you would have your part in Christ, all that is self must die. Yea, verily, it is as true with you as it was with Him that, if you would save others, your self cannot be saved. From this very setting of self upon the cross, as clear as a vesper bell ringing throughout the ages comes the apostles’ victorious testimony, “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. Oh, God! What wealth of truth lies hidden here, that he who spares not self but nails him to the accursed tree shall find life abundant and eternal from out the tomb! That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. And thou sowest not that body that shall be, for that which is sown in corruption is raised in incorruption, that which is sown in dishonor is raised in glory, and that which is sown in weakness is raised in power. It is not I, but Christ. My ugly serpent self was crucified with Christ and from the cross it fell with Him into the ground that that which was sown in dishonor might be raised in His glory and likeness, “for thou sowest not the body which shall be, but bare grain, but God giveth it a body as it has pleased Him.” 1 Cor. 15:37, 38. Let every son of God herald the message, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ.”

It is God and God alone who can point out the wretchedness of self. Self, weak, feeble, selfish self, will never condemn itself. Even the most useless of men are often full of self-esteem. The most dissolute and unbelieving of men exult in many forms of self-righteousness. The most criminal of men is full of self-vindication. And how disgusting are those vain-glorious preachers who leave their listeners more enamored with themselves than with the Lord they profess to proclaim! We will not have to search long to find any number of men and women who, while loudly proclaiming their complete dedication to God, are found at close range to be full of self and self-ambition. Times without number have preachers and people alike come crying, “We want God, brother, we want God. We want God at any cost.” But when you tell them the way they must take always the way of the cross they go away in our day as the rich young ruler did in his, because the way of the cross runs completely counter to the riches they love so dearly. Sonship they want, but the cross they shun. In the outward cross where Jesus died they glory, but in the cross where their self would die they glory not at all. They hear the words, “If Thou be the Son of God, save Thy self and come down from the cross,” but in attempting this they shun the cross and forfeit their sonship. It is he who loses his life that saves it and keeps it unto life eternal.

It is easy enough to sing, “I’ll go with Him through the garden,” but do those lusty singers bestir themselves from their comfortable beds at two or three a.m. when the Spirit whispers, “Wait on Me?” I greatly fear the Spirit’s voice has been so often drowned by their sleepiness and love of self that His call has grown faint and dim and is heard no more. Time there is for friends, for visiting, for pleasure, for tickling their ears with endless frothy sermons, time to absorb the wind of rot and filth, madness, lies, hate, violence, unbelief, and make-believe that daily and nightly with phantom figure fill their parlor with the insanity of the carnal mind, thence to issue forth upon the world as a whirlwind of violence, assassination, unbelief, and immorality such as the world has never known. Shame on them that the Spirit’s voice became so dim that they could lightly build again the thing which they once destroyed to make themselves transgressors. (Gal. 2:18) Shame on them that they have come down from the cross and brought these evils down with them.

But no man can be a Son of God and save him-self. That is impossible. Well do I know that some who read these truths will cast them aside and possibly cast me aside for teaching them, but, if this be my cross, I shall not descend from it to grasp their hand. “Now is the judgment of this world: Now, now, now, shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be crucified (lifted up from the earth), will draw all men unto me.” John 12:31, 32. Oh foolish man, believest thou that the judgment is reserved for some far off day when Christ has said, ‘Wow is the judgment of the world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out?” The time has come for the “I” to be lifted up and crucified, even in this day when above all days the ambition of every man is ever to save him-self from the cross. Sons of God they would hope to be, but self they are determined to save.

When the hour of the crucifixion of our Lord drew near, Jesus began “to show unto His disciples how that He must go into Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee. But He turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan; thou art an offence unto Me; for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matt. 16:21-24. Both self and Satan dread and hate the cross. They will run to the right hand or to the left to avoid it. They will turn their backs upon it or try to climb over it, but never will they embrace it. The cross is the death knell of self, and self is the arch enemy of the cross. The cross is the eternal undoing of the self-life but from it the Christ-life is born. The cross is death to the “I”, but it is the beginning of the “not I, but Christ.”

When our Lord began to show His disciples that He would soon go to the cross to suffer and be killed, Peter began to rebuke Him. Where did He find the senseless courage that would dare to rebuke the Lord? Well, the answer seems dreadfully and awfully evident far, far too clear to be a comfort to any of us. He got his courage as well as his thoughts from Satan himself. Well does this enemy of God, this adversary of redemption and of all mankind, know that, in that sacred and holy hour when the “I” is crucified and nailed to the cross, all his power and all his authority and sway in that life is broken forever. His hope is thwarted and his work destroyed in every life that has been identified with Christ in His cross. Once a man has become identified with the cross of Christ and the “I” of self has been reckoned in death with Him, then shall it be even as our Lord in omniscient wisdom has declared: “The prince of this world cometh and findeth nothing in me.” Satan has no power at all when self is gone. Then he has no more power in your life or mine than he had in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. When the “I” is crucified with Christ, from then on it is not I, but Christ.

How unspeakably wonderful the hour for any man when Satan, coming to tempt and destroy him, shall find nothing in him upon which he can lay hold, for all that is of the world has been crucified with Christ! Every evil with which he tempted him in times past has been reckoned dead with Christ. The lust of the flesh is mortified. The lust of the eye is dead. The pride of life is nailed to the cross. What then can Satan ever find in the man who has thus been identified with his Lord? Upon what can he lay hold to tempt and destroy since all things of Adam have been crucified with Christ?

Is it any wonder, then, that the friendly hand of self, yea, the friendly hand of Satan, was so quickly extended to withhold our Lord from the cross? “This shall not be done unto Thee,” said Peter. “You must not talk that way, Lord. You must save yourself from the cross. Don’t go to Jerusalem. Don’t let them take you. Let us fight against it with the sword, if necessary, or call twelve legions of angels to save yourself from the cross.” Save yourself, save your-self is the eternal cry! Escape the cross! Turn aside! Turn back! You are far too good to die!

“Thou savorest not the things which be of God, but those things which be of men,” was the reply of the Master. Think of it, man of God! Think of it, sister in Christ! The friendly voice of your best friends, the affectionate exhortations of your closest relatives, the kindly advice of your trusted pastor, the experienced word of those who are older and wiser would all seek to turn you aside from the cross and bid you save self. You may seek to save others, but yourself you cannot save. If you would be a Son of God, you cannot and must not “come down from the cross.” How simple it would be in hunger to turn the stones into bread! How delightful, when your sonship is challenged, to prove it by casting yourself unharmed from the temple’s pinnacle! How easy to gain the whole world by simply bowing down to the wishes of the devil to satisfy the pitiful cry of self’s remorseless ambition! Simon Peter was not one to learn his lessons easily. Even the biting sharpness of the Lord’s rebuke failed to sink deeply into his spirit. So intent was he upon saving the Lord from the cross that, when the rabble came to arrest the Savior, the disciples asked, “Shall we smite with the sword?” Luke 22:49. And Peter, filled with impatience and wrath, disdaining to await a reply, drew his sword and manfully began to defend the Lord from His cross. What infinite loss would we all have suffered had he succeeded or had twelve legions of angels descended to deliver Him on that day!

It can be neither human imagination nor the wisdom of the carnal mind that now warns with no uncertain sound that we are at this moment in the closing hours of the age. In the history of the world there have been many days of transcending importance and eternal significance, each in order bringing forth from the womb of itself the tender bud of a new era in the plan of God. Of unspeakable significance were the events of Eden. The impact of the days of Noah and of the flood that destroyed the sordid earth cannot be weighed in the scales of human understanding. The significance of the call of Abraham cannot be measured by the yard stick of human thought, nor yet the giving of the law by the natural mind. How much less, then, can mortal man with mortal mind understand the wisdom of the Father in giving Christ, the Son of God, to die for sin that all who believe should be justified in his sight and that His blood should cleanse us from our sins, (for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins)! And “if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot unto God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Heb. 9:13, 14. No man born of woman in any age, regardless of his knowledge or inspiration in these eternal things, can comprehend or encompass the fathomless depths of the Father’s wisdom.

But now the loose ends of the ages (see 1 Cor. 10:11, “ends of the ages” [world]) are being drawn into one cord of divine wisdom and revelation and the most significant event and climacteric act of God is about to transpire. The age in which we have lived for two thousand years is about to terminate in a sudden flash of calamity and judgment just as all preceding ages have done and from the struggles of its convulsive travail will come forth the long-awaited kingdom of God. From the tumult and upheaval that is encompassing the whole world in this present hour will come forth the order of the kingdom. From man’s reign of sin and inequity will come forth the righteousness and equity of the sons of God. From the ashes of the rule of the carnal mind will arise the justice of the mind of Christ. Instead of the government of selfish politicians, ever intent on satisfying their own ends and seeking their own benefits, will come the selfless reign of the sons of God, filling the earth with justice and equity that nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain.

Jesus Christ is coming again, and with Him will come all the sons of God who by His grace have come into His image throughout the ages. These sons are the body of the Son of God. This is the in Christ company. This is the fullness of Christ. This body is not the bride as so many have supposed. The bride has not yet been formed. She will be formed after the last Adam is complete, for Adam was first formed, then Eve. The body of the bridegroom, which is Jesus Christ with all his brothers, must first come to completeness in this age. Afterward shall the bride be formed that at the marriage supper of the Lamb she may become the body and they, the sons, the head. Every bachelor has his own head and also his own body, but when he takes a bride, then he becomes the head and she becomes the body. How wonderful are Thy works. Oh God, and Thy ways past finding out!

Not for the world nor all that is in it would I for one moment miss the glory of the age which is to come. To reign with Christ and with Him to usher in the magnificence of an age that has been the vision of the prophets, the dream of the sages, the purpose of God, and the earnest longing and expectation of all creation is a prize for which we willingly lay down our lives. Yea, it is a reward so precious that for its sake all who see its glory will gladly abandon every influence that would deter them from the cross, and brush aside every friendly hand that would restrain them from death to self and life age-lasting in Him. Words fail me, people of God, to lay before you the truth of all these things. I am in a strait to explain how dire is our need to strip off the grave clothes of self, how urgent our need to consign self to the cross – self with all its earthly bondage, with every earthly weight and every sin that doth so easily beset us. The patience of God is needed to run the race that is set before us as we without ceasing look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our 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 majesty on high.

The darkness of church tradition has blinded the minds of the people of God, causing them to lose their way and come, staggering in blindness, to the end of the age, totally unprepared and unmindful of the true plan of the ages. Would God that the Holy Spirit would impress upon the minds of all who read these things that earth and heaven, men and angels, beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying fowl are waiting in the shadows for the unfolding of God’s kingdom which He has promised since the world began. But far beyond this, would God that every man who speaks of sonship having fixed his hope in Christ, might now be gripped by the almost incredible truth that Christ’s kingdom will be ushered in by the sons of God, joint heirs with Christ, men and women who have been changed into His likeness, people who have cast off the works of the flesh, received His mind, delighted in His purpose, and, having slain the fearful Goliath of self and consigned him forever to the cross, have delivered themselves from this evil age that they might reign with Him in that age which is next to come.

The dreadful events that are happening in the world day after day herald with unmistakable voices the certain truth that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Violence is so frequent, and so common has become its dread dereliction that it is being accepted by many as a way of life that is scarcely worthy of further concern. Men’s hearts have become so hardened to it that they are matter-of-fact about it. Scarcely a newscast is read without the use of the word violence. No day passes without some new terror dismaying the hearts of the people. In God’s word you have certainly read, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the day when the Son of man cometh.” No man familiar with the scripture needs to be reminded that in the days of Noah the earth was filled with violence. Gen. 6:11. The end of the age is rushing in upon us.

The signs of earth and the heralds of heaven proclaim that the kingdom of God is at hand. But the sons of God are a different breed. They are not of this world; neither do they belong to this age. They are in the world, but they are not of it. They are citizens of another realm temporarily stranded here. Their citizenship is in the heavenlies. Their hopes and aspirations are in the age to come, for here they have no continuing city. They are strangers and pilgrims, dwelling in tents and tabernacles, looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, for God hath prepared for them a kingdom.

During the pioneer days on the western prairies many of the early settlers had homesteaded on land that was not suitable for farming. After many fruitless years great tracts of land were taken over by the government to be fenced in for community pastures. Whenever a settler, whose land lay within this fenced area, did not wish to sell his land, another fence was erected around his farm to keep the ranging animals from damaging his farm or crops, so that while he was fenced in the great pasture, he was also fenced out of it. I think that is the way we are in this present world. We fenced in, and here for a while within the confines of this world system we must remain. We have no control over that; but we are also fenced out by virtue of the blood of Christ, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and, finally and irrevocably, by our identification with Christ in His cross.

Of course you are busy! Certainly you have to earn your living! You do, indeed, have to pay your taxes and send your children to school! But let me assure you that here and now in this present evil age there is a life hidden with Christ in God that makes your citizenship in the heavenly realm a certainty. There is a realm in Him at your right hand, yea, nearer than hands or feet, where you can live and move and order your life according to the everlasting laws of the kingdom of God to which you have come and to which you belong.

The apostle Paul taught us that we are ambassadors. 2 Cor. 5:20. Now an ambassador is a man sent from one country to another. He is never a citizen of the country where he dwells. The Japanese ambassador to London is not British; he is Japanese. Furthermore he has diplomatic immunity from the laws of the country where he resides. He cannot be searched, arrested, nor taken into custody. We, therefore, as ambassadors of heaven live for a time in this age and in this world, but our allegiance and our citizenship are in the eternal world. Our Lord Himself was fully aware of this when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” The word world in scripture usually means age. His kingdom did not belong to the age of law nor did it belong to the age of grace, but the coming age is the age of the kingdom of God. That will be His age and the Sabbath of rest.

What, you ask, has this fact to do with the teaching of the cross? What has it to do with the crucifixion of the self-life and the abundant fullness of the kingdom of God? The answer must surely be that they have everything in common, nor can they in any wise be separated. Think, oh man of God, upon this divine and indisputable fact. God, omniscient and almighty, does nothing without reason and purpose. All His works are in wisdom; all His ways are full of understanding. If you will now earnestly consider the purpose of God for the age to come, your spiritual mind will be flooded with the understanding of the Almighty and you will see in the clearest light why it is that the Father in heaven is preparing a people who are in truth the living representation of Jesus Christ, God’s first begotten Son. Before the all-wise God ever formed a man or breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, He spoke to His Son whom He had begotten before the ages began, saying, “Let Us make man in Our image and after Our likeness, and let him have dominion …” That man should have dominion over all the earth and all things in the earth was the purpose of God before ever the world began. That divine purpose has never been changed nor will it ever be, for it is as immutable as the God who made it.

God, in whom dwelleth all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, knew beforehand that the man He would make and place in the garden would fall into sin and become a slave to himself, his physical flesh, and his carnal mind. Was it not of this very bondage to his own corruption that Paul wrote, saying, “The creature was made subject to vanity (futility and uselessness), not willingly, but by reason of Him (God) who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children (sons) of God.” Rom. 8:20, 21

Let no man vainly think that the past six thousand years in which the world and all mankind have been enslaved by carnality and ruled by the god of self has no place or purpose in the plan of God. Such purposeless vanity as this has no part in the heart of the God of all purpose. I am sure I speak the truth when I say that our heavenly Father in His love and wisdom has for six thousand years been teaching us by His word, by design, and by life-long experience that self and selfishness are the root and branches of every evil in life. Self is the destruction of kings and presidents, of empires and nations, of fathers and mothers, children and homes. Well did Paul say, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” And why are men and women so madly in love with money? Because with it they hope to bestow upon self everything that the carnal mind can conceive or desire. Because of the love and lust for money men err from the truth and pierce themselves through with many sorrows. The wealth that self has lusted after as the fulfillment of all its joys has turned to rend them and destroy their hope of sonship in ages to come.

The past six dispensations have been filled with the fruitlessness of the self-life. But the seventh dispensation is God’s Sabbath of rest. It is the dispensation of the kingdom of God. In that blessed age the sons of God will reign with Christ over the entire world. No corner of earth will be out of their jurisdiction. No mighty king or dictator will reign in defiance, and no iron curtains will bar the progress of the King of kings and Lord of lords. No selfishness, greed, or inequity will exist in all Christ’s vast dominions. There will be no war and no curse, and nothing shall hurt or destroy in all God’s holy mountain for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Hear Oh man of God, and give earnest heed, ye sons! It is now in this dreadful age of greed and selfishness, violence and spoil, that the Father all-glorious is finding a people who has nailed self and selfishness to the cross of Christ. He is picking them out one by one, setting them apart as sheep are set apart from goats and as wheat is separated from the tares. These are being prepared to reign with Him in that kingdom of self-less-ness, even the kingdom of God. The self and greed that has reigned in the earth for six thousand years will not exist in that wonderful day of the kingdom of God, the seventh dispensation, the day when God and all His creation will rest from the labor and travail of the past. Make no mistake about this: should one carnal mind be among the sons of God in that day, the earth would be brought to the same curse as it is now. But such cannot be, for all who will reign with Him have passed by the way of the cross, delivered forever from self. “Not I, but Christ” is their eternal theme. The way of the cross has led us home.

CHAPTER THREE

THE INTRINSIC POWER OF THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS

All Bible truth is great and precious. No costly gem of earth can compare its value to the priceless worth of truth. Truth and love are two of the greatest powers in the world and, while they walk hand in hand, they can neither be refuted nor overcome. Truth without love is sometimes intolerant and can be oppressive and even persecuting as may be seen in those scripture quoting Jews who in malice and envy brought an adulterous woman to Jesus (John 8:2-11), but truth and love together as was manifested there in Jesus are wiser than a serpent and harmless as a dove. Where mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other, truth springs out of the earth and righteousness looks down from heaven. Then the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before us and shall set us in the way of His steps.

Truth is much more than a blessed virtue. Truth is a person and that person is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said (John 14:6), and no man who ever lived has been able to gainsay that claim. Falsehood and error arise in their momentary impermanence only to vanish as a shadow away, but truth, like love, never faileth and will abide as a mighty rock when heaven and earth have passed away and time shall be no more. It was Goethe who said, “It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen while the latter lies in the depths where few are willing to search for it.”

In the vast gamut of truth embraced by the Holy Scriptures no part nor phase thereof is in any way more outstanding or dominant than the truth concerning the precious blood of Jesus Christ. This great and eternal verity shines with ever increasing brilliance, blazing as an imperishable sun of righteousness from Eden’s perfumed gardens of the long ago to the jasper walls of the New Jerusalem soon to come, from Adam’s covering of skin and Abel’s humble sacrifice of the firstfruits of his flock to the very throne of God itself where living creatures, glorious in power and might, announce the presence of the Lamb that was slain, who is worthy to take the book and open the seven seals thereof. Before Him heavenly beings fall in worship, singing the everlasting song so old and yet so new, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation,” Rev. 5:9, 10. This glad song of joy they hymned before the feet of their Creator because through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony Satan, their foe, was defeated and forever cast down. Rev. 12:11.

In a manner peculiar to God all truth is clothed in mystery. The greater and more important the truth the greater the mystery it unfolds. Even in this natural realm blood is undoubtedly among the most profound mysteries of the universe. Its hidden secrets are so great that I know not how anyone could ponder its composition and life-giving ministry and yet fail to see the mastermind of an omniscient creator. In one simple statement of truth the word of God clearly shows that the blood is the life of all flesh. “But the flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” Gen. 9:4. This profound statement is confirmed by the miracle of modern science in the following pronouncement: “Blood is the life stream of the human body. No part of the body can live without this red fluid. Blood carries oxygen and food to every part of the body. It carries carbon dioxide away from the lungs and waste products away from other body organs. It also fights disease germs that enter the body.”

An adult of one hundred sixty pounds has about five quarts of blood. A child of eighty pounds has about half that amount. This life-giving fluid is divided into four main parts red blood cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma. The plasma is a straw-colored liquid making up about fifty-five percent of the blood volume. The other parts of the blood float in the plasma. The blood contains thirty million white cells or corpuscles and one hundred trillion red corpuscles. The blood of the human body flows through an estimated one thousand miles of main arteries, and it is estimated that, if all the blood vessels were laid end to end, they would total one hundred thousand miles in length. The blood, flowing through this vast network of arteries and blood vessels, carries food and life to every part of the body. The liver and kidneys then purify the blood of its wastes and the lungs remove the carbon dioxide and replenish the oxygen. After this purifying process is complete, the blood proceeds again on its life-giving mission to every part of the body.

The heart is the great central pumping station for the blood. It beats seventy times per minute, forty-two hundred times an hour, one hundred thousand times a day, and thirty-seven million times each year. At the age of sixty-five the heart has beat two billion times and at the age of seventy it has lifted by its throbs five hundred thousand tons of blood. A train of tank cars forty miles long would be needed to contain this vast quantity of blood. The complete story of the blood is much too great to be considered further here, but as we contemplate such marvels of God’s creation, it is not difficult for us to understand why the Lord has stated so plainly that “the life is in the blood.” Nor should we in view of this fact be at a loss to understand the prominence given to the blood throughout the entire plan of God.

Wonderful as is the work and composition of human blood, it is my hope here to direct our thoughts to much higher realms that we may understand at least as well as mortals may how the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purges our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. It has been my blessing of late to have had made real to my heart truth which serves to lift the precious blood of Christ far above a merely natural realm into the realm of the eternal Spirit.

Vast and ever prominent are the teachings of scripture concerning the blood, each in turn pointing to the Lamb of God, whose blood removes the sin of the world. “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission.” Heb. 9:22. This important statement shines a ray of heavenly light on every sacrifice of the Old Testament from the humble offering of Abel, who brought the firstlings of his flock to God, to the literal rivers of blood shed in the offerings of Solomon at the dedication of the temple of the Lord. His was an offering so vast and incredible that, except our understanding be lifted completely out of the natural realm, the sheer enormity of the procedure would seem to be insanity. Of the time of the dedication of Solomon’s temple, which in all its scintillating glory was no more than a feeble type of that spiritual temple, the body of Christ, that for all eternity will be the habitation of God through the Spirit, it is written: “And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the Lord, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord: for there he offered burnt-offerings, and meat-offerings, and the fat of the peace-offerings.” 1 Kings 8:62-64. Here in this grand dedication of the temple incredible thousands of clean animals were sacrificed and the blood of those beasts of atonement must have flowed in crimson rivers of life.

All the Old Testament’s covenants were sealed with blood. When in Eden the Lord made a covenant with fallen Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:14-19), he sealed the covenant by presenting those hapless transgressors with coats of skin (verse 21) to cover their nakedness. This covering robe was a foreshadow of the righteousness of Christ which was to come through His blood, but before such covering could be given them, the life blood of the sacrifice had to be shed that such a garment might be theirs.

In like manner the covenant with Noah was sealed with blood, for Noah, upon coming forth from the ark, built an altar unto the Lord, and “took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savior; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Gen. 8:20-22

The covenant with Abraham was likewise sealed with blood, as was God’s covenant with Moses and Israel the night of the Passover. But greatest and most important of all was the covenant of grace, which God made with all the world, sealing the everlasting covenant with better blood, even the precious blood of our Lord and Savior.

Let it be understood that all the Old Testament ordinances, important as they undoubtedly are, were little more than types and shadows of things, which were to come. 1 Cor. 10:11. The blood of sacrifices which flowed so freely on Israel’s altars throughout the Old Testament era were frail, shadowy suggestions of the better blood of Christ which was to come, for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats could take way sins. “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is remembrance made again of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Heb. 10:1-4. Because these sacrifices could not remove sin, it follows therefore that all Old Testament sacrifices of blood were merely shadows of better things to come. See also Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5.

Naught of the blood beasts

On Israel’s alters slain

Could give the guilty sinner peace

Or wash away his stain.

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,

Takes all our sins away;

A sacrifice of nobler strain

And better blood than they.

The many laws and ordinances such as the washing of pots and cups, the keeping of new moons and Sabbaths, were also shadows of things to come, and because they were only shadows and types, they were done away when Christ the anti-type came to fulfill them, purifying the true vessels of His house, which spiritual vessels we believers are. Col. 2:4-23. Note especially Col. 2:17. Even the priests of the Old Testament, decked in all their marvelous regalia of glory and beauty, were themselves dimly perceptible types and shadows of that greater High Priest who was to come. The priests, who offered gifts and sacrifices according to the law, served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. Heb. 8:4,5. They were the shadows. Christ is the body whose reflection they are.

As it is impossible to completely unfold the reams of truth concerning the blood and its ever increasing, ever maturing prominence throughout holy scripture, we will turn aside from that enormous task to concentrate instead on those things that concern the theme of our message the precious blood.

The apostle summed up in one concise statement the things which concern the sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament when he left these inspired words for our edification: “The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the lime then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle (the body of Christ), not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of bulls and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the mediator of the New Testament (covenant), that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Heb. 9:8-15

This passage forcefully exalts the power of the blood of Christ by contrasting it with the powerless blood of Old Testament animal sacrifices. While it was not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take away sins (Heb. 10:4), these sacrifices were offered in faith for the time then being by faithful worshippers looking far into the future to the day when Christ would come and by His precious blood completely remove sin from the universe. Therefore the apostle, reverently writing of these sacrifices, made this blessed observation: “If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, santifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

It was impossible for the blood of Old Testament sacrifices to take away sin because that blood was dead blood. There was no power of life in it; nevertheless because of the faith of the worshippers in that better blood which was to come, those animal sacrifices were accepted by God for the time then present or for the time being, and the worshippers were thus sanctified (Heb. 9:13) because of their faith, and being thus set apart unto God. they patiently awaited the day when the better blood of God’s Son, in which was life eternal, would not only remove their sin, but purge their consciences as well by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He has shed on us believers abundantly.

If our spiritual minds can grasp the fact that those Old Testament sacrifices served only to sanctify the worshippers by faith, that is, set them aside unto God, but did not take their sins away because only the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from sin, then we should be able to understand Heb. 9:15, which tells us that Christ is the mediator of the new testament (covenant) and by means of His death the transgressions or transgressors of the Old Testament are redeemed. Therefore Christ, once in the end of the age, hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb. 9:26. What a marvelous climax this is to all sacrifice and offering in that His better blood has put away sin!

Concerning the efficacy of the blood of Jesus Christ, no greater statement of truth was ever made than that given by Paul in Rom. 3:20-26. It needs much more exposition than I have time here to give it, but we catch the force of his message with one brief explanation and search out its hidden depths more extensively as the Holy Spirit reveals its secrets to our hearts. This is his declaration: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The deeds of the law with its sacrifices and ordinances could not by themselves justify anyone. The fact is that the law was really given to magnify the knowledge of sin in the world, and in this it did a great and useful work. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.” (Both the law and the prophets foretold the coming of the Just One, who would do what the law with its sacraments could never do. That is why Jesus said, “If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, for he spoke of Me.”) Now by the next verse, verse 22, we are told how this righteousness is received by us. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Verse 22 shows us that the righteousness of God reaches us not by our own faith or the faith of any man, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. To emphasize this fact Paul said, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Eph. 2:8 Nothing in God’s economy is ever left to chance, for these are most sweeping statements concerning justification and righteousness through His blood.

Notice the inspired words that now follow. “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His (Christ’s) righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God.” This twenty-fourth verse tells us that we are justified freely through the grace that is in Christ Jesus. By His blood we have been cleansed from our sins; by His grace we have been forgiven, our conscience purged, and now we stand redeemed and justified in His sight, and this is “that God might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Christ.”

Now verse 24, speaking of Christ Jesus, says, Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood.” To propitiate means, “to cause to be favorably disposed.” Jesus Christ was set forth or sent forth by God as a propitiation to the world. Let us reverently seek to understand this mystery, for right here lies one of the most glaring mistakes of the entire church system and almost every preacher in it. The church all down through the ages, including all evangelicals of the past and present, have taught that Jesus Christ came to propitiate God and to endeavor to dispose Him to be kind toward His fallen race. If you search in a thousand places, I doubt that you will find one man who does not make this incorrect assertion. How often I have listened to preachers describe Jesus Christ as a lawyer who stands up before God to plead our cause and beg for our lives on the grounds that He, being innocent, died for us and God is propitiated by Him and we are forgiven. This gross misunderstanding of the truth of propitiation is everywhere evident in sermons, in writing and in hymns. Notice how this error is brought out in the words of the hymn:

Five bleeding wounds He bears,

Received on Calvary.

They pour effectual prayers;

They strongly plead for me.

Forgive him, 0 forgive, they cry,

Nor let the ransomed sinner die!

The Father hears Him pray,

His dear anointed One;

He cannot turn away

The presence of His Son.

My God is reconciled;

His pardoning voice I hear.

This is church tradition, but it is not the truth. Nowhere in all scripture are we ever taught that God has to be reconciled to the world or to man. God never ever became an enemy of man nor does He need to be reconciled to man. The exact opposite is the truth and always the teaching of scripture. Man is an enemy of God and man must be reconciled to God. Oh that sinners would be told that it was God the Father who gave His Son, not to appease or reconcile Himself, but to appease and reconcile man! Therefore the scripture loudly proclaims, “We beseech you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

This is the message that I bring,

A message angels feign would sing:

0 be ye reconciled!

Thus saith my Lord and King,

0 be ye reconciled to God.

Oh, the wonder of it all just to know that God the Father has sent Christ to be His propitiation toward us and that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them (2 Cor. 5:19), and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation!

So then, when the great apostle says that God hath sent Christ as propitiation, he means that He sent Christ to propitiate us and dispose us to kindness and repentance before God and to reconcile us to Himself. The Father did not send Christ to propitiate Himself, though that is the way the church has always erroneously taught propitiation. The truth is that Christ came to propitiate you and me that we might repent of our rebellion and iniquity against Him, believe and be reconciled to God, who has always loved us and been our friend and not our enemy. We might also take notice that in referring to the scripture, “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,” the preachers have also turned this backwards and made Christ to be our mediator with the Father, but that is not what Paul said. He said that the mediator was between God and man, not between man and God. So Christ was sent as a propitiation, a propitiator, or one sent by God the Father to dispose man to repentance and kindness, love and faith toward God.

And now may I shock you further by saying that this text plainly says of Christ, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for sins that are past.” Let us now ask ourselves this question: Who was it that had this great faith in the blood of Christ? Was it man or God? It was God the Father who had this abounding faith in the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. It was not man. Indeed, man may have faith, but in this text it was not man, but God, who had this boundless faith in the blood of His Son. So complete and astounding was the Father’s faith in the blood of His Son that He openly declared that His righteousness was sufficient to cancel all the sins of the past. Therefore it is plainly stated, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Verse 26

The sins of the past, referred to here, are the sins of all past ages, covered with the sacrificial blood, but never removed. It was to this unspeakable marvel of God’s grace that the old covenant pointed when the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctified to the purifying of the flesh (Heb. 9:13) until such time as Christ should come and by the shedding of His better blood, in which was eternal life, thus declare the remission of all the sins of the past, which lesser blood could never cleanse. It was God who had faith in the “life blood” of His Son and because of this He gave Him to be the propitiation for our sins. Thus “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.”

With these precious jewels of God’s eternal grace and wisdom in our minds let us with humble reverence consider that better blood of Christ, the life blood which Peter devoutly exalts as precious blood. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” 1 Pet. 1:18-20. The secret of this truth lies in the words of scripture, which clearly teaches that the life is in the blood. We have no record of man’s ever having eaten the flesh of animals until after the great flood. Then in these words man was given permission to eat flesh: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

That permission was followed by this definite command: “But the flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.” Gen. 9:3-5 This text most surely shows that the life of man is in his blood. The truth is further elaborated in God’s instructions to Israel. “And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it (the blood) is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof:.. for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof. Lev. 17:13, 14 That the life is in the blood and that the life of all flesh is in the blood thereof is a truth that cannot possibly be disputed, for not only does the scripture declare it to be so, but nature itself has taught us all too well that as the blood ebbs from the body of him that is wounded, so also ebbs the life. Without blood there is no life.

The story of creation is far too intricate and wonderful for my little mind to fully grasp, but the scripture, speaking of the creation of Adam and Eve, tells us, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Gen. 2:25. I understand this to mean that they were naked insofar as any kind of apparel or covering or dress is concerned. They wore no clothing or covering as we know clothing and in this respect and this alone they were naked. Their covering was a glorious covering of heavenly light. It was in truth the light of life promised by our Lord Jesus in John 8:12. “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” While they remained in their glorious estate, they needed not earth’s shabby coverings of cloth and skin. Light as the brightness and glory of the sun enfolded their beings. Why, a covering of cloth or skin would have been to them a mockery, if not an impossibility. They were made in the image of God, of whom it is written in Psa. 104:2, “Who covereth Thyself with light as with a garment.” That covering of light and glory that shone from their hallowed beings was nothing less than the light of God, for the life was the light of men. John 1:4. It surrounded them as a halo of glory. It shone from their faces. It sparkled from their presence. It glistered from their beings. It dwelt within them. Their eyes were as lamps of fire and their glory were such that no mortal could have stood before them. They were in the image of God, upon which mortality cannot look and live. In body, soul and spirit they were in His likeness and like their Maker they covered themselves with light as with a garment. Psa. 104:2.

Should you find difficulty in perceiving this necessary point of truth, may I direct your attention to the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the time of His mortality wore a seamless robe, which some hand of love had woven for Him. When He died, Roman soldiers cast lots for His vesture and one of them took it away. His naked, mortal body was then wrapped in linen cloths, which the Bible speaks of as grave clothes, and thus wrapped in cloth He was laid away in the tomb. But wonder of wonders, when upon the glorious resurrection morning Peter and John went into the tomb, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus, but the grave clothes, His only covering, were found lying in the exact position He had lain while in the realm of death. John 20:6, 7 The body cloths lay by themselves and the head wrapping lay by itself just as though our Lord had vanished out of them, for this is what He did. Special mention is made by

John that the cloths were not lying together as they might have been had He arisen and disrobed, but the grave clothes lay as though their occupant had vanished out of them, for that is exactly what He did. This one fact is in itself indisputable proof of His resurrection. It permits no possibility of theft or deception. Such innocent, guileless facts speak truth more eloquently than the blast of a trumpet. If Jesus, then, had no seamless robe, for the soldiers had taken it away, and even His grave clothes were left behind Him in the tomb, what garment was it that covered the glorious, incorruptible body of His resurrection? Could we possibly be wrong in saying that His covering was nothing less than that glorious light which is eternal life? Which was Adam’s covering before his transgression? Even though Mary, upon seeing Him, thought Him to be the gardener, it only appeared to be so. From that moment on the resurrected, incorruptible Christ, clothed with the light of life, appeared in any form He wished as was clearly stated by Mark (Mark 16:2),

“After this He appeared in another form unto two of them.” Many other times the Lord appeared after His resurrection, and there is certainly no hint that He was naked, though it is certain He wore no earthly garment. He was clothed upon in resurrection with the glorious light of life. In this glorious covering Paul saw Him in his Damascus vision, a light brighter than the sun (Acts 26:13-14), and in this way John saw Him in the wonder of his Patmos vision. Rev. 1:16. This, my dearly beloved, is the garment of light. It is the robe of incorruption. It is the garment the saints will wear in their resurrection and incorruption.

You have heard of the light of a candle. You have heard of the light of the stars. You have heard of the light of the moon. You have heard of the light of the sun. But this is the light of life. When men speak of the light of the sun, we understand. When they speak of the light of the moon, we understand. May we not now understand the truth of Christ’s words: the light of life? I doubt not that my next sentence will be a disturbing jolt to the understanding of many, but the truth as I see it is simply this: Life and light and blood are one and the same thing, manifest on different levels just as vapor and water and ice are one and the same thing on different levels. I am well aware that what I am saying is entirely new and must come as a shock to many. Therefore we will look a little deeper into this important truth, because a proper understanding of it will assist us to grasp the greatness of that prominent Bible theme, the precious blood of Christ. Not only will we better grasp its meaning, but we will know why that precious blood of Christ is the life of all the world. I see no way that we can avoid the conclusion that His life blood is in fact resurrection itself. It redeems from sin, because sin found man in life and brought him to death, but the blood of Christ, which is eternal life, finding man in death, brought life, and that is what redemption is.

Hear now what Paul has to say concerning this glorious covering of light, which we have been considering. Notice particularly his use of the words clothed, unclothed and naked. Note how he shows that our house, which is from heaven, is in fact and truth the life of God. He clearly demonstrates the manner in which our mortality, hitherto clothed with garments of skin and cloth, is in resurrection clothed with incorruption, which is nothing less than life, the life of God, the light of God, eternal life. Thus in 2 Cor. 5:1-4 Paul unfolds the marvelous truth of our true covering, which he calls our house from heaven. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

By way of explanation we will notice as follows: Our earthly house is this corruptible, mortal tabernacle, the body in which we now dwell. But, when it is dissolved by death, then in resurrection we will have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Not a mansion in the sky, as the preachers are always erroneously telling us, but a new body, a new tabernacle, a body of light, a body of incorruption, a body of immortality. Then Paul states that, after this body of life has been received, we will not be found naked as we are now. We will be no more naked than Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration when His face did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as the light. The glory in which Christ was seen at His transfiguration is an actual revelation of our house, which is from heaven, the covering of light, the light of life. This light of life is the clothing that will cover our nakedness and it is of this very thing that the apostle is speaking when he says. “If so being clothed, we shall not be found naked.” 1 Cor. 5:1-4. Paul then goes on to say, “In this we groan, being burdened.” How awfully true that is! God help us to bear the groanings of all the world because of the pains, the pangs and disease that ever beset this body of death, this corruptible tabernacle of our mortality and flesh! What a heavy, burdensome load it is to bear! But, says he, we groan, not that we might be unclothed, (the truth is we are already unclothed), but that we might be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven, verse 2, if so be that, being clothed, we shall not be found naked as Adam was and as we are. We groan that the nakedness of our mortality might be swallowed up of life, verse 4, enshrouded in the light of life.

Can we not now see from this what Adam’s covering was before his transgression and death? Can we not see from this that his covering was a covering of life and light? Was it not that glorious mantle of the light of life of which Jesus spoke? Was this light of life not a house from heaven as Paul here teaches? Was his body unlike that of the Son of man in His kingdom as we saw plainly manifested at His transfiguration? No! Adam was not naked before his transgression as we know nakedness. He was clothed with light. He was in the image of God and not ashamed. But, when the transgression came, he died, and the departure of his wonderful garment of light was what his death really was. No human tongue could possibly describe the awful nightmare that must have scared his soul when he awoke naked, unclothed, nude, undraped, disrobed and bare. The light of life with which he once shone as an angel had departed from him. “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down which did weaken the nations! …that made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners.”

It would be amiss to leave this part of the dissertation without quoting 2 Cor. 5:1-4 from Moffatt’s beautiful translation. “I know that if this earthly tent of mine is taken down, I get a home from God, made by no human hands, eternal in the heavens. It makes me sigh, indeed, this yearning to be under cover of my heavenly habitation, since I am sure that once so covered I shall not be naked at the hour of death. I do sigh within this tent of mine with heavy anxiety not that I want to be stripped, no, but to be under cover of the other, to have my mortal element absorbed by life. I am prepared for this change by God, who has given me the Spirit as its pledge and installment.2 Cor. 5:1-5 Moffatt

When our heavenly Father placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, permission was granted him to eat of all the trees of the garden. The only fruit forbidden him was that of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Concerning this tree divine instruction had forewarned, “Thou mayest not eat of it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The story of the transgression is too well known to need repeating here. How indelibly in our minds is the vivid fact written that both Adam and Eve his wife partook of the fruit God had forbidden them to touch, and just as sure as God’s word is true the pains and penalties of death seized upon them. Death is the absence of life. Death in itself is nothing at all. Darkness is the absence of light.

Darkness itself is a non-entity. Thus, when they partook of the forbidden tree, the light of life, the life that hitherto had been their covering, departed from them, and they, standing in the outer darkness of death, were naked, stark naked and terribly ashamed. The light of life that hitherto had been their glorious garment had vanished away and all the life that now remained to them was that tiny, flickering candle of mortality, which now flowed as blood through the veins of their bodies, giving them some small semblance of mortal and physical life while they were still permitted to walk about in death upon the earth.

It is my firm conviction that, when our first parents sinned, they actually died just as God had told them. The light of life departed from them and they were left naked and ashamed, both dead and in outer darkness. They did not begin to die, as so many would have us believe. They actually died. We are wrong in believing that a man is not dead until he goes to the grave. The Bible is very clear in its teaching that the unregenerate man who still walks and breathes is dead in trespasses and sins, even as the woman who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. Even the regenerate man, who is born again of the Spirit, though alive in spirit, is still said to be physically dead. What could be more definite than Paul’s statement in Romans 8:10, where he says, “If Christ be in you, the body is dead (still dead) because of sin; but the Spirit is life (alive) because of righteousness.” But, thank God, He does not leave us here, for he goes on to explain that, “if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell I you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

There is no way of avoiding the fact that man at the time of the fall actually died both spiritually and physically. This present existence outside of Christ which men call life is not life at all. It is death. Man is born dead. He lives in the shadow of death and he is dead. He is naked, in outer darkness and ashamed until Christ comes to give him life. In Christ is life and everything outside of Him is death. The grave is nothing more than the final phase of the death experience. Was not this the thought in the mind of our Lord when He said to the young man, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead?’ Was Jesus not telling us that the men who were carrying the coffin were just as dead as the man who was lying in it, the only difference being that they were not yet lying down?

I am sure that all are aware that water can take on at least three different forms. Its highest form is an invisible vapor, but when the vapor cools, it changes its form and becomes a liquid which we call water. Then, when water cools and reaches the zero point, it changes its form again and becomes a solid which we call ice. Here before our eyes we see three different forms of the same substance.

With reverence and godly respect I now tell you that thus it was with the light of life that once covered Adam as a garment. He lived and moved in eternal life. He himself was light. He, being in God’s image, was not unlike the last Adam, of whom it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1, 2 How glorious a being he must have been is beyond my feeble power of description. We can only have some understanding of it as we follow our Lord to the glory of the mount of transfiguration, where three of His disciples became eyewitnesses of what incorruptible man will be in the glory and power of the kingdom of God. “There be some standing here,” Jesus said, “who shall not taste of death till they have seen the Son of man coming in His Kingdom.” There in the holy mount of transfiguration they beheld Him in the glory of the light of life. This was resurrection life, kingdom life, and incorruptible life. His face did shine as the sun and His garments were white as the light. This beautiful picture tells us what our resurrection garments will be, the glistering life of life that Christ Himself actually is.

The first Adam was created in God’s image, and because this is indisputably true, we cannot but believe that he, too, shared much of this same glory. His covering was also that scintillating garment of the light of life, but when the transgression came, the mantle of light forsook him and all that was left of life to him was that flickering flame of mortality sullenly flowing in the blood stream of his body.

Dr. Langmuir, one of Britain‘s men of science, who, I understand, had part in the invention of the fluorescent light, made this very remarkable statement: “Blood plasma is congealed light.” Now, if this be so, then science has discovered in the test tube what I believe the Lord has revealed to me by the Spirit, that is, that the light of life, that covered Adam in his first glorious state, turned inward after his transgression and became a liquid tissue, which we call blood, running in the veins of his body. For this reason the scripture states, “The life is in the blood.” Just as invisible vapor congeals and becomes water, even so the life-giving blood is congealed or crystallized light. Since Jesus Christ is the light of life (John 8:12) I see not how there can be any difference between the light which He is and the life which He is.

It must needs follow, therefore, that, when Adam transgressed, the light of life, which was his covering, his true house from heaven, disappeared from him and all that was left was that mortal something which flowed as blood in the veins of his body. This seems to me to be more in the nature of animal life than the life of God, for, when the glorious covering of life departed from him, he was in truth both naked and ashamed. According to 1 Cor. 15:45 Adam was made a living soul. From Greek the statement reads, “The first man Adam was made a zoe psuche (living soul).” Zoe is the life of God. Psuche is natural soul life. This life, zoe, is the life Jesus promised to give to man when He said, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish,” and this, I believe, is the light of life that departed from Adam when he transgressed, leaving him naked, ashamed, and dead. From these assertions it should be clear why the scripture states, “The life is in the blood.” But our blood, being devoid of eternal (zoe) life, is in reality dead blood and capable of sustaining only physical (psuche) life until man returns to the dust from whence he came. It is not without significance that, when the bodies of men are to be embalmed, the first act is to remove the corruptible blood that the dead body may be better preserved.

“The wages of sin is death,” the scripture states in a simple, understandable statement of fact. There is no gainsaying this truth. “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die,” the Lord warned Adam. But eat of it he did, and, just as surely as one will die who eats poison, so Adam died in his transgression. The glory of life departed from him. The magnificent covering of light and life was gone and to his consternation and horror he discovered himself naked, and with the discovery of his nakedness came the shame and despair of his defiled condition. In his desperation he hid himself among the trees of the garden while he attempted to sew fig leaves together that he might in some pitiful manner cover his abhorrent nakedness. The glory of the light of life had departed from him and the despair of the darkness of death had seized upon him.

0 man, how far thou hast fallen in thy disobedience, thou who wast clothed with the light of God and, being clothed in His garment of light, thou wast likewise clothed with His life! In disobedience thou didst stretch forth thy hand to partake of that which God had told thee not, and thou didst feel the fearful result of thy sin in that light vanished from thee and gross darkness settled upon thee. The life of God vanished as thy covering and the horrors of death seized upon thee, that thou shouldst henceforth walk in death until God’s breath should leave thee and thou shouldst return to the dust from whence thy body came. Henceforth no life at all shall be thine until He doth come who is the Son of God, He in whose veins shall flow the blood of God which is the life of God — not the flickering light of mortality, but the radiance of immortality, eternal life. And through the shedding of that blood, blood better than the blood of Abel because it is sinless and divine, and blood most precious because it is the blood given for the life of the world, all who believe Him will receive eternal life. The life is in the blood and the life that is in His blood is eternal life. By sin death entered into the world. The result of our sin cannot be cancelled nor we delivered from the pains of death until life can once more be given us. The life, eternal life, is in Christ’s blood. It is no wonder, therefore, that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. With the shedding of His precious blood, the blood of life, the blood of the everlasting covenant, Christ has brought to light both life and immortality.

“The life is in the blood.” Therefore without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. What words could possibly tell us more clearly the absolute necessity of the shedding of the blood of Christ that the world through Him might have life? Sinful man has no grain of eternal life in his blood. Every son of Adam is under condemnation, even those who have not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression. Rom. 5:14. What then is man to do, since he is dead in trespasses and sins? How will it become possible for him to receive life and live forever?

Fallen man cannot save himself from his dire predicament. He has no life of his own and it is not possible for the blood of bulls and calves to take away his sin. Lord and Christ, to whom can we look but to Thee, for Thou only hast the word of life eternal? In Thee is life and the life is the light of men, and Thou, 0 Lord, wast manifest in these last times for us that all who believe in Thee should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Centuries ago at the time of the fall mother Eve was given the promise, “The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent.” This is not only the first promise of Christ, but it is also the first promise of the virgin birth of Christ. Whatever opinions men may have concerning the virgin birth of Christ, the truth remains that only by a virgin birth could that precious blood better than the blood of Abel be given. If the Savior was no more than the son of a man, that is, the son of Joseph, then His blood possessed no more eternal life than the blood of any other man, but if He was in truth the Son of God, then His blood is the blood of eternal life. It is precious blood and better than the blood of Abel.

Medical science has taught us the remarkable fact that no drop of mother’s blood ever enters the veins of the fetus. The blood that flows in your veins is your father’s blood, and not that of your mother. This mystery can spring from no other source than from the miraculous hand of God. Before ever the world began, the omniscient Father had prepared the way whereby the Son of God should be born as no other son of man had ever been born. The prophet Isaiah, hundreds of years before the birth of the seed of the woman, proclaimed that more sure word of prophecy, saying, “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isa. 7:14. Hundreds of years later in fulfillment of this prophecy the angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin in Israel, espoused to a man whose name was Joseph. “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.Luke 1:30-35

This is evidence indisputable that Jesus was born of a virgin. He was both the seed of the woman and the Son of God. The blood that flowed in His veins and which was later shed for the remission of sins was the life blood of God. It was therefore better than the blood of Abel, being the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb of God without blemish and without spot, by which sin is remitted and eternal life regained for the believer. Once we grasp the truth that blood is both light and life and that the blood of Christ is far better than the blood of Abel, because it is the perfect life of God, eternal life, then for the first time we can comprehend the indisputable necessity for the shedding of the blood of Christ. Then we can understand why the apostle said, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” Heb. 9:22

While our Lord Jesus Christ walked upon the earth, He alone had eternal life. That eternal life was in His blood and that blood was confined to Himself. Nowhere in scripture do we have any evidence or record that Jesus Christ ever imparted eternal life to any man before His blood was shed. That, it seems to me, would have been impossible “I have a baptism to be baptized with,” our Lord had said, “And how am I straitened until it be accomplished.” Luke 12:50. Well did our Savior know that, as long as His life-blood still flowed in the veins of His own body, all the rest of humanity must remain dead in trespasses and sins. Well did He know that, until He was baptized with the baptism of death and His life-blood was shed, there could be no resurrection and no life given to the world. When the disciples mourned at the thought of His departure and death, He told them plainly, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” John 16:7. It is the Spirit that quickeneth or make alive. John 6:63. But the Spirit of life could not be given until the blood was shed and the Spirit sent to give life to man. On the night Jesus was betrayed, He took bread, and after He brake it. He said, “Take, eat; this is My body,” and taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, “Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament (covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matt. 26, 28:29

This new covenant of eternal life was literally confirmed hours later on the cross when our Lord and Savior bowed His head and with the words, “It is finished,” on His lips, He gave up the ghost, and when one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, blood and water flowed out. With the shedding of that precious blood the life of God flowed forth, even life eternal, shed forth freely that all might receive it. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16, 17

Hitherto the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, had not been given to men. The Son of man was not yet glorified. This absence of the Spirit of life in man is made very clear by the fact that Peter himself, in spite of his calling and his ministry, was not a born again Christian nor could he receive the Spirit of life until after the precious life-blood was shed. With great significance Jesus had said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren:” Luke 22:31, 32 Simon Peter, though called, had not yet received the spirit of regeneration; neither had any man among them received eternal life, nor could they until the life blood had been shed, the condemnation of death cancelled, and remission of sin thus guaranteed. It was in the evening of the day of the resurrection that Jesus appeared to His disciples. Through the fast locked doors He came and stood in the midst of them. “Peace be unto you,” He announced, and as He spoke. He breathed on them and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” These awe-struck, fearful men were the first people in the history of the world to receive the New Testament experience of conversion. There and then at that very moment the Holy Spirit of life quickened and renewed them in Christ. There and then they received that eternal life freely given to all by the releasing of His life-blood.

When our Lord Jesus rose from the dead, He arose without blood in His veins, but He did not arise without life. The precious blood that had drained from His body three days earlier when it was shed on the cross was now manifest as the light of life. That eternal life, which a few days before had been confined to the blood of His body, now, being loosed by death, was shed abroad to become available as eternal life to all who believe. By the shedding of His blood life was given. By the receiving of His life death was cancelled. In the light of life darkness flees away. The wages of sin is death. Life cancels death and remits all sin, for the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thus, “when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages), as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 Never had such a phenomenon been known as had now appeared. This mighty gushing forth of the Holy Ghost was in truth the shedding abroad of the life of God. This Miraculous marvel was the direct result of the shedding of the life-blood of God’s Son. Peter in his sermon proclaimed, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you. as ye yourselves also know: 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, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it… This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore 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 2:22-24, 3233

There is marvelous significance in those three words “shed forth this.” It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. No life eternal could be shed abroad until the life blood of Christ was shed because the life was in His blood. Wonderful as it is to be saved and to feel the quickening power of the life of God’s Son moving upon us, making us new creatures in Him, a greater day is coming in which not only will the spirit feel the power of His life, but the body also will partake of His resurrection. “Behold, I shew you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written. Death is swallowed up in victory (or in life).” 1 Cor. 15:51-54 Then shall we all be changed, transformed, transfigured. Our clothing shall no longer be garments of wool or cotton or skin, but we shall be clothed upon with the light of life, for said Christ, “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. Then shall our garments be white and glistering. “For we know that if the mere tent, which is our earthly house, is taken down, we have in heaven a building from God, a house not made by human hands, but eternal. In this one, indeed, we sigh, because we long to put on over it our dwelling which comes from heaven — sure that, when we have put it on, we shall not be found unclothed. Yes, we who are in this tent do sigh under our burdens, not that we wish to lay aside our tent, but rather to put the other over it, so that our mortality may be absorbed in life. And He who formed us for this purpose is God, who has given us His Spirit as guarantee.” 2 Cor. 5:1-5. (Weymouth)

“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. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Rev. 19:11-14 Fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.

In the vastnesses of the Rocky Mountains those who look will see mighty glaciers, and fields of ice and snow. Hundreds of feet thick and sometimes many miles across, these giant expanses of ice lie cradled in the lap of towering mountains or nestled high up on their hoary peaks. In awe and wonder I have gazed upon them, pondering the omnipotent power that placed them there and the eternal wisdom that designed their function. These interminable fields of ice and snow seem in themselves to be devoid of usefulness as they spread confined among the everlasting hills, but if you will look closer you will see that they are not as idle as they appear, for from their endless resources of ice and snow, warmed by the sun and the wind, little streams of water are bursting forth to cascade merrily down the mountainside. Then, joining hands with other little brooks, they become a torrent of precious water which, when joined to many rivulets becomes a river flowing majestically across the endless plains.

Upon its banks great cities lay their foundations, thirsty for its life-giving power. In every house the water flows to quench the thirst, to bathe the body, to cleanse the wounds and make joyful the heart of every man. Across its water course men build immovable dams and the uncomplaining water, racing through the mighty turbines, gives light and power to the people, while other floods, gushing through irrigation systems, fill the land with abundant store and spread our tables with the luxuries of earth, and vapor, rising from its watery bosom, becomes a blessing to all mankind.

In the body of this article on the precious blood I have endeavored to show that ice, water and vapor are in reality one and the same thing. They are a triad, appearing in different forms under varied conditions. It is with respect bordering on fear and trembling that I now suggest that as ice, water and vapor are one and the same thing, appearing in different forms under different conditions, so blood, life and light are also one. Water in the form of ice and snow was confined to the mountain alone, but when it was loosed from its icy grip to flow forth in a different form, all the land was blessed and blessed again. This, I humbly suggest, was the meaning Jesus conveyed when He said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished.” Well did our Savior know that, while eternal life was confined to His body in the form of blood, its life-giving power could not become available to all the billions of earth. Thus with steadfast face He hastened to the cross and in the garden agony He prayed that He might through death be delivered from the realm of death, and thus through the pouring out of His blood shed abroad eternal light and eternal life to all the world. On the morning of the resurrection He arose without blood in His veins, but not without life and not without light, for His blood is in truth the light of life. How unutterably true are Peter’s words, “Ye are not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

It is easy to grasp the fact that ice and water and vapor are one, because they belong to the natural realm. It is not so easy to understand that blood and light and life are one, because they belong to the spiritual realm. But if you will ask the Holy Spirit to help you, you will see that just as blood (I speak only of the blood of Christ), life and light are one, each progressing to a higher form, so mortality, incorruption and immortality are one, each progressing one step higher than the other. Our blessed Lord walked this earth as a mortal in the “form of man,” but when He arose from the dead. He arose without life-blood in His veins, but clothed upon with life. He arose incorruptible, never again to die or be touched by death in any form. He had flesh and bones, and He even ate before them, for said He, “A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have.” Thus for forty days He was seen of men. But then came another experience even more glorious than His marvelous resurrection when in the sight of His loved and own He ascended into the realm of eternal light, of whom Paul wrote, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto…” 1 Tim. 6:16

We, too, shall know these glories, for “this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written. Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Cor. 15:5354 We will reign in incorruption with Christ in the glory of His resurrection during the one thousand years of the kingdom of God. After this will come the glory of the ascension and immortality. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:18. Is it any wonder the scripture has said, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” Heb. 9:22

On Calvary’s hill of sorrow

Where sins demands were paid,

And rays of hope for tomorrow

Across my path were laid,

I see a crimson steam of blood;

It flows from Calvary.

Its waves, which reach the throne of God,

Are sweeping over me.

CHAPTER FOUR

THE CHILDREN OF THE RESURRECTION

The Word of God frequently uses such meaningful terms as these; children of light, children of darkness, children of Israel, children of Abraham, children of the devil, children of God. Each of these terms has its origin in the omniscience of the divine mind and consequently is full of truth and meaning. Books without number could, I suppose, be written about any one of them. The beautiful designation, children of light, describes God’s redeemed and blood-bought children in such a way that they themselves would instinctively flee from all darkness and, as lights set upon a hill, dispel its gloom by their presence. Children of light will certainly be those who walk in that light which is Jesus Christ Himself. “He that followeth Me,” said the Savior, “shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

As for me, my one ambition for men is that they might become followers of that one true light that Jesus Christ Himself might walk not only with them and beside them, but in them. It is by beholding the light which He is that we are changed from glory to glory into the image of Christ, each degree of glory superseding the glory that shone before it as the glory of the sun, shining in his strength, supersedes the glory of the stars or the moon. My heart is always filled with pain when I see religious books filled with pictures of smiling preachers who are proclaimed, usually by themselves, as notable men, great healers, eloquent preachers, ready writers, superior organizers, in short. God’s men of the hour. We need a little more of the spirit of the beloved Paul who said, “We are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Phil. 3:3-9. Let not the shining light reflect me! Let no spot light hold you in its dazzling glare! Let Christ be all and in all that men may never be constrained to say, “How great a man is this! How eloquent! How striking! How godly! How learned! What a wonderful ministry!” Rather far that men, seeing the light which He is, should fall down at His feet with tear-stained faces and cry in adoration, “How great Thou art! How great Thou art!”

Anything anywhere, whether it be person or sermon, talent, gift, ability, or song, that fails to leave men overawed with the presence and glory of Christ belongs not to the realm of the spirit, but to the realm of the natural, the sordid realm of the flesh. What an abomination this make believe church system is in the eyes of God, so full of false advertising and the exalting of men and women as great and notable ones whose appeal we find, after we have seen and heard them, is not to our spirit but to the dimness of our natural mind. How abominable before God is a system so full of pride and boastfulness, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, loving pleasure more than God, dispensing human philosophy instead of truth, and denying not only the blood that bought them but the Christ who shed His blood for them. Church history records that during the dark ages it was doubtful whether in all the world there could be found a congregation gathered together on truly scriptural grounds, and, though my feeble voice will sound as one who mocks or as one crying in a desolate wilderness, it is most doubtful whether in our day there is in all the world any congregation meeting upon truly scriptural grounds. Do not their ministers minister for hire? Are their elders separated unto the Lord and by the Lord? Does the love of God prevail among them? Does the Holy Spirit guide them? No, verily, it is not so. “They err in vision; they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” Isa. 28:78

The hour has come when all who are children of light must become one with the light. All the teaching the world can produce will utterly fail to bring us to the likeness of Christ. Our only hope is in beholding Him. In Israel‘s ancient wilderness tabernacle a great veil hung between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The heavenly light of God’s presence, the Shekinah or the glory light of God presence, always filled the Holy of Holies, but that glory light was hidden from the priests who ministered in the Holy Place. The veil represents the flesh. No man dared to pass by it except the High Priest, and that but once a year, but when Jesus Christ died upon the cross of Calvary, and you and I died there in Him at that awful moment when His flesh was rent and His blood was shed a great miracle occurred in the temple. The veil was rent in twain from top to bottom, opening the way for us all into the Holy of Holies itself, that we might see His face, behold His glory, and by His Spirit be changed into the very light which He is. See Heb. 10:19-22. “Seeing then we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech. And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament: which veil is done away in Christ.

But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face (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.” 2 Cor. 3:12-18

In chapter one we pointed out, as best we could, how all inclusive was the work that was finished when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died upon the cross of Calvary. Here God gave His only begotten Son and received His blood as a remission of sins for the whole world. On that memorable day of the cross Jesus Christ did not die alone. My old man was crucified with Him; my flesh was crucified with Him; the world was crucified with Him. The law was nailed to the cross with Him, and I, with you, Oh beloved, was crucified with Christ. There are those now reading these lines who have begun to discover the almost incomprehensible change that began to transform their lives when the full force of the meaning of the cross shone like an eternal ray of truth into their souls. The carnal thing you struggled with yesterday you discover today has already been crucified, yes, crucified with Christ before you were born or saw the light of day, and the new life that has now begun, though you are yet in the body, is lived by the faith of the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you. No more shall I be intimidated or brought into bondage by that which was smitten a mortal blow when God nailed my old carnal self with His Christ to the cross of Calvary.

Henceforth the life we now live in the flesh shall not be lived to the lusts of men but lived as God lives in the Spirit. May it please God that all who read these truths shall receive from Him wisdom, light and understanding that they being children of light might also walk in the light of the truth which He is. Let our understandings, darkened as they have been through the centuries of human tradition and the doctrines of men, now be enlightened that we may behold what goodness and mercy was bestowed upon us when God having included all men in the last Adam, nailed Him to the tree and, having offered in sacrifice His priceless Son, He wrote finis to everything that pertains to the old creation. Tearing asunder the dividing veil (Matt. 27:50-53), He opened wide the door that we might live in His presence, and, beholding His face, be changed into that same image from glory to glory. 2 Cor. 3:18.

CHILDREN OF THE RESURRECTION

There was a day when the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection or angel or spirit, came to Jesus, saying, “Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he died without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? For seven had her to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them. The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the CHILDREN OF THE RESURRECTION.” Luke 20:27-38

It is a mistake to tell men about sin, but fail to tell them about the Savior. It is wrong to bring men under condemnation while withholding from them the blessedness of a realm where there is no condemnation. Rom. 8:1. It is folly to magnify the evils of a life after the flesh while failing to portray the glories of a life lived after the Spirit; and it is equally useless, if not hopeless, to preach the crucified life to Christians if we succeed only in hanging them on the cross or leaving them lying dead in the tomb. Let heaven and earth be called to witness that the Via Doloroso (the way of the cross) is also the way of the resurrection. If there had been no cross, there would have been no burial, and, if there had been no burial, there would have been no resurrection.

The things I now write are of such infinite importance that our failure to see them as a revelation from God will bar our progress to those sublime and eternal peaks of spiritual experience, leaving us in the doldrums of the tomb or, worse still, trudging the weary pathway of the uncrucified flesh, hopelessly striving against the dictates of the carnal mind and the old Adam nature. May the divine Spirit of the omniscient God send His rays of revelation into the darkened recesses of our hearts to reveal to each of us what it really means to be in Him. Let the light of God clearly show that all who sinned in the first Adam paid the penalty of death for their sin as they died in the last Adam, Jesus Christ our Lord. Let them also remember that He in whom we died was taken down from His cross and buried in Joseph’s new tomb, and we are buried there with Him. Furthermore, let our hearts rejoice in this magnificent confidence; that we who died in Him and were buried in Him also rose in Him triumphant over death, triumphant over the world (age), over the flesh and over the devil, having become, indeed, the children of the resurrection. Hallelujah!

We cannot speak too forcefully, too carefully, or with two great humility concerning our identification with Him. When God says I am in Him, then / am in Him, and no reasoning of the carnal mind will ever alter such an eternal fact. It is good for God’s children to be able to give an answer for the hope that dwelleth in them with meekness and fear, but always remember that you do not owe an explanation to any man. Can I ever explain to a carnal mind that I died with Christ? Never! Can I satisfy the reasoning of the Sadducees by explaining to them that, when Christ arose from the dead, I arose from the dead with Him and in Him? I do not owe them an explanation for my hope in Him, and neither will I attempt to give one except I see a heart that is open and longing for the truth.

Our association with church systems means less than nothing; our association with Christ means everything. Our identification with groups, denominations and sects is nothing but a faith destroying fraud; our identification with Jesus Christ is life from the dead. “It is in Him, and through the shedding of His blood, that we have our deliverance the forgiveness of our offences so abundant was God’s grace, the grace which He, the possessor of all wisdom and understanding, lavished upon us, when He made known to us the secret of His will. And this is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in Him.” Eph. 1:7-10. (Weymouth)

Can we not see by the Holy Spirit how great is God’s plan in Christ and how great is His merciful purpose for all those who dwell in Him through faith in the eternal Logos, that we should abide in Him and He in us? This vain world with all its dreadful violence, its iniquitous taxation, its inequity, its greedy unjust wars, its filthiness after the flesh, its sickness, sorrow, heartache, disease, and death, is soon to lose all its carnal governors and rulers, for the resurrected Christ, together with those blessed children of the resurrection, will reign in splendor over all the earth. This is our inheritance and the beginning of our glory in Him.

Behold further how great a crown of glory divine inspiration has placed upon the heads of all who, identifying themselves with Him, dwell securely in Him, “In Him, too, we have been made heirs having been chosen beforehand in accordance with the intention of Him whose might carries out in everything the design of His own will, so that we should be devoted to the extolling of His glorious attributes we who were the first to fix our hopes on Christ. And in Him you also, after listening to the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation having believed in Him were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit; That Spirit being a pledge and foretaste of our inheritance, in anticipation of its full redemption the inheritance which He has purchased to be specially His for the extolling of His glory.” Eph. 1:11-14. (Weymouth) “I always beseech the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father most glorious to give you a spirit of wisdom and of insight into mysteries through knowledge of Him, the eyes of your heart being enlightened so that you may know what is the hope which His call to you inspires, what the wealth of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what the transcendent greatness of His power in us believers as seen in the working of His infinite might when He displayed it in Christ by raising Him from the dead, and seating Him at His own right hand in the heavenly realms, high above all other government and authority and power and dominion, and every title of sovereignty used either in this age or in the age to come. God has put all things under His feet, and has appointed Him universal and supreme Head of the church, which is His Body, the completeness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself.” Eph. 1:17-23 (Weymouth)

No wonder Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.” How little of His plan He could then reveal to His disciples who had not yet received the Spirit! But unto the children of the resurrection He now reveals some of the things concerning that new world, that kingdom age, when a new creation of men with resurrected spirits, resurrected minds and resurrected bodies will reign in splendor with Christ, the first begotten from the dead, for they are the completeness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself.

“0 Lord, Thou has searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compasses! my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not aword in my tongue, but, lo, 0 Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it … My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, 0 God! How great is the sum of them!” Psa. 139:1-6, 15-17 The children of the resurrection are the completeness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself. They are the people who are fearfully and wonderfully made into the mystical body of Christ, whose substance was not hid from God when He made them in secret and curiously wrought them in the lowest parts of the earth. These are the people who were written in God’s book while they were unperfect and who were fashioned according to God’s liking when as yet there was none of them. How can we help but weep with David as we repeat his words of worship, “How precious are Thy thoughts to me, 0 God! How great is the sum of them!”

Identification with Christ in His cross means death in all its completeness to all that is old. There in His cross, as nowhere else, old things pass away. Now that we have come to the end of the church age, we shall have to include among the old things all our Babylonish church system, every ist and ism, every sect and denomination of whatever name it may be. We, the children of the resurrection, must walk out and forsake them all, counting them all as old things that belong to a dying age. The trumpet of God is sounding the blast that proclaims, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh! …Go ye out to meet Him.” You dear people who are fervently proclaiming that before the coming of the Lord the church system must be restored as it was at Pentecost are figuratively battering your heads against a stone wall. You are as far behind the times as the Judaizers who proclaimed that believers must be circumcised and keep the law before they could be saved. You are like the fervent Apollos who, knowing the baptism of John, preached it and made many disciples, but did not know that twenty years earlier Jesus had died and the Holy Spirit had been poured out at Pentecost. Acts 18:24-28. Your great trouble is that you do not know what the church is. When you speak of the churches (plural), you refer to the church system with all its divisions. The truth is that this wretched thing is not the Church, but the harlot. It is not the Ecclesia of God, but Mystery Babylon. You are clutching the oyster instead of the pearl of great price. You are polishing the mud instead of the diamond. You are cultivating the weeds and not the wheat. The thing you are nurturing is always in trouble and confusion, falsehood and make-believe, because it is the product of the carnal mind.

The church, on the other hand, is something different altogether. It is the mystical body of Christ. It is mystical because no man can point to it and say there it is. It is mystical because God alone knows its members. It is mystical because neither the world system nor the church system assimilates it. It is mystical because it does not belong to this age and, like Noah’s dove, can find no rest on earth’s turbulent waves and floating filth. The church system with its massive edifices and towering spires is the Ishmael, born after the flesh and the carnal mind. Ishmael, indeed, was to be a great nation, but “In Isaac shall they seed be called.”

Instead of embracing the impossible task of perfecting the harlot system, instead of trying to convert the world in this age, you would do good to yourself, to the world, and to God if you would lay aside all such vain efforts and come instead with fasting and consecration before God, having no request of your own, but with open heart and ear listening to the voice of the Logos, the living, speaking Word, that He might instruct you concerning your need and acquaint you with His wonderful purpose for the ages and His purpose for you personally. Why are Christians obsessed with the notion that they must always be doing something? God is not interested in your much doing. Do what He bids you and nothing more. The earth with all its works will soon be burned up. It is he that doeth the will of God that abideth forever, not he that is “up and doing”.

Wherever did Christians get the idea that God wants to bring everyone in the world to the knowledge of salvation here and now? What makes them imagine that God ever intended to bring all men to the knowledge of the truth in this age? Such belief is not and never has been God’s plan. Give ear to the inspired words of the apostle James as He places the plan of God for man’s redemption in a veritable nut shell. “Simon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, after this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. ACTS 15:14-18

The church system as we see it today with all its confusion, pomp and pride, riches and increase of goods coupled with abject spiritual poverty, is the counterpart of the dispensation of law in the days of John the Baptist and Jesus. It is old and ready to vanish away. There was only one message for the Jew of John’s day. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, and for this decadent, earthly-minded church system, wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, (Rev. 3:17), there is but one message: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” “Come out of her. My people” should be the watch cry of every true saint of God, but instead of this there is an almost fanatical frenzy to build up the church system. There is no more hope of building up the church system than there is of restoring the present world order. Both are integral parts of Babylon and both shall be destroyed and not restored.

Long centuries ago Paul wrote, “He who now letteth (hindereth) will let until he be taken out of the way. Then shall that wicked be revealed.” Who is it that has hindered the work of that wicked one throughout the entire church age? It was not the church system; but it was the elect children of God who were scattered in it, those who dwelt in it as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego dwelt in Babylon. During the last few years God has begun to remove His elect from the confusion of this multi-headed monstrosity that dares to masquerade as the church. The result has been that iniquity has burst forth both in the Babylon of the world’s political systems and in the Babylon of the church system. Corruption of doctrine and truth has fallen into a bottomless pit and sunken to such degradation of ideas that it is a shame of face even to mention them. There is but one message for those elect children who reign with Christ and share His glory. “Come out from among them, and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

Thus the cross is the end of all that is old. It is the end of the flesh to all who believe its marvelous message. It is the end of the carnal mind, the end of fleshly striving for perfection, the end for us of Babylon‘s abominable confusion. Yea, even our earthly citizenship comes to an end in the cross. Here we begin to find ourselves increasingly alienated and ostracized from all the ways and the doings of earth. Even its business and politics become a passing show and a mist that the wind driveth away.

This loss of interest in this present age comes as a direct result of the knowledge that old things are indeed passing away. Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come whose builder and maker is God. Heb. 13:14. The continuing city, which we seek, is that holy and heavenly Jerusalem, which we ourselves are. The gold of that city includes all that is divine. The silver of that city is redemption. The precious stones are its inhabitants, the living stones, chosen of God and precious. The light of that city is not the light of a candle nor yet the light of the moon or the sun, for the Lord Himself is the light thereof, and all nations shall walk in the light of it.

Let the saints of God arise to the stark but positive reality that the cross has ended all that is old, has ended, I say not will end. At this very moment every man who now believes in his heart that by the cross of Christ God dealt with and abolished everything pertaining to the old creation shall find deliverance and freedom from all that is old and passing away because of the certain knowledge that God on Golgotha nailed to the accursed tree everything that belonged to Adam’s fallen creation. Henceforth all who truly identify themselves with the cross and the last Adam, who died upon it, shall be free indeed from all corrupting things that have hurt and defiled their spirits, bringing them into lifelong bondage. With such wonderful knowledge in our hearts how can we help but proclaim, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” By the cross I am crucified. The old Adamic “I” is crucified. In the cross the old man was crucified, the flesh was crucified, and the world was crucified. It is executed. It is dead. The executioner’s axe has cut off its head. The hangman’s noose has broken its neck. The cross has taken its life away, and it shall be no more.

That which immediately follows the cross is not the resurrection, but the burial. It was not enough in the sight of God that the old “I” should be crucified. It did not satisfy him that my flesh was crucified and the world was crucified as well, but, having put an end to it by nailing it to His cross. He wrapped it in grave clothes and buried it in the tomb, putting it out of the way, putting it out of His sight, identifying it with the deadness of the earth from which it sprang. Oh, thou man of God, wherein lies thy faith? Do you not now see that God has in truth caused old things to pass away and that He has by one omnipotent stroke nailed to the cross every crafty enemy of your soul ? And since the law has no power over men that are dead. He placed you in Christ and in Him He nailed you to the cross.

Thus, making the law powerless and ineffective. He robbed every principality and evil spirit of the power they held over you, and the law itself with its ordinances, now rendered powerless by reason of your death with Christ, was taken out of the way, being also nailed to the cross. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Col. 2:14-17 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power; in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” Col. 2:8-13

Wonderful as is the indisputable fact that old things have passed away forever in His cross, it is in the resurrection that the transcending glory of all new things begin. Without the cross there could be no resurrection, for “that which thou sowest is not quickened (made alive) except it die.” 1 Cor. 15:36 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Cor. 15:20-22

My heart’s desire and prayer to God is that we who have seen our identification with Christ in His cross and burial may now also see our identification with Him in His resurrection. The moment divine revelation shows us that everything belonging to the old Adam died with Christ and has in very truth passed away, then in that moment we experience deliverance from every ancient bondage of the old creation. But let us learn here and now that death does not end all, for if there be no resurrection, the Christ died in vain. But Christ is risen from the dead to become the first fruits of the resurrection. Thus it follows, not in theory but in fact, not in doctrine but by faith, that we who have identified ourselves with Him in His cross and burial are just as certainly identifying ourselves at this moment with His resurrection. We who saw old things pass away in our death with Him now behold all things new in our resurrection with Him. Just as certainly as Jesus rose from the dead, I now stand risen in Him, a child of the resurrection. However sickly and weak my understanding may be, however frail my faith, however wobbly my spiritual legs, I rose with Him, and the devil himself shall not rob my soul of that faith that here and now teaches me that I am a child of the resurrection. Henceforth we look out upon a world that is swiftly passing away, an age that is in the throes of death, an hour that holds no passing interest. The thought of restoring the transient things of the old creation is madness and the efforts of the zealot to do so are a sorrow and sickness to the heart. How earthly and bound by this age were the minds of the Sadducees who hoped to annul the truth of the resurrection by speaking of a woman who had in consecutive order married seven brothers, ending their supposed case with the words, “Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife shall she be, for the seven had her.” When Jesus replied to their cunning question. He showed the two great reasons for the million errors that cluster like demons over the minds of men, robbing them of faith and destroying their understanding. “Ye do err,” He said, “(I) not knowing the scriptures, nor (2) the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Matt. 23-33. What a soul destroyer is the natural mind that dares to question the authority of scripture, imagining by its unbelief to make God devoid of power!

At this point in our message one could easily digress into a prolonged analysis of the resurrection. It would be simple to go from scripture to scripture offering proof after indisputable proof that Jesus really did rise from the dead, but however valuable such an exegesis may be to some, it usually has the unfortunate effect of leaving men full of theory but empty of experience. Far too often the resurrection is portrayed as an event of the past or left to be a hope of the distant future far beyond the reach of men in this hour of our greatest need. In the detailed story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead, recorded in the eleventh chapter of John’s gospel, the conversation of Jesus and Martha is of foremost interest. “Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?” John 11:20-26

The words spoken by Martha are typical of the faith of us all. She believed in a resurrection as an event in the distant future even as we also believe. But the great fundamental fact that must engulf our spirits, enlightening our pure minds with revelation from heaven is this: The resurrection is above all else a person and that person is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ who died, who was buried, and who rose again. It is not our belief in the resurrection as an event either past or future that makes us children of the resurrection. It is our identity with Him that makes us one with that resurrection which He both here and now is. What else but this was Jesus daring to teach when He staggered the mind of that humble woman with these words: “He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die?” Would you not say that such daring belief identifies you with the risen Christ? Who is it, anyway, of whom He spoke, saying, “Whosoever believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”? Dare we venture to say that he who has identified himself with Christ’s death is not, in fact, dead? Verily I say unto you that such a man has died even as He died. He is crucified with Christ. His old man is crucified. His flesh is crucified. It was the faith of such a man that brought him into the likeness of Christ’s death, and it is like precious faith that now identifies him with the resurrected Christ. “If we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” Rom. 6:5. Therefore Jesus our Lord said, “He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” But He went much further to say of this same believing person, “Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”

There is a possibility that the day may soon come when devout men will put my body in a coffin and bury me under the ground, but I cannot believe that such an event can be called death to any man who has identified himself with Christ in His death and resurrection. At most and at worst the grave to such a one can be but a sleep, and I think this is the faith Paul embraced when he spoke of that blessed “in Christ” company, saying, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:51. Again, “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” 1 Thess. 4:14. And yet again, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep.” 1 Thess. 4:15 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. Upon such the second death hath no power. It would not be possible to say that those believers who through faith have identified themselves with His resurrection were not partakers of the first resurrection. Such reasoning would make the truth void and faith of no effect.

But what shall we say of the second part of Christ’s statement to Martha? “Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die”. There is coming a day and that right soon when God will demonstrate to every creature in the universe that this long misunderstood statement is literally true. The hour is at hand when a blood-washed company of people will be swept into immortality without even knowing sleep in the dust of the earth. For thus saith the Lord, “The dead in Christ shall rise first, and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air…” It is abundantly clear, therefore, that we shall not all sleep. Certainly we shall not and cannot die.

The mighty, eternal, all-embracing events that concern Calvary and the Christ, who died, was buried, and rose again, are the very center and pivot of the whole universe. Each literal event of those dread hours of agony and glory bears symbolic reference to identical experiences that take place in the lives of the blood-bought saints who now through the spirit of revelation identify themselves with the eternal Logos in His death, in His burial, in His resurrection, in His ascension, and in His seat at God’s right hand. The revelation of the divine fact of our death with Him and in Him is so real to all who can embrace the truth of it that a definite and wonderful change begins to transform their very life and existence. “I am crucified with Christ,” the heart believes. “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.” The “I” that I once was is dead; the “I” that now lives is Jesus Christ. No wonder John in rapture exclaimed, “As He is, so are we in this world,” 1 John 4:17

The divine revelation of our burial with Him becomes so real to those who can receive it that their spirits are enlightened by the wonderful discovery that their old Adamic past with all its obnoxious incongruities has in truth remained in the burial tomb along with the grave clothes that clothed it while it lived. Remember then, oh son of God, that it was not your striving or effort, your weeping or your prayer, that buried all that belonged to the old creation in the tomb, but it was in Christ you died, it was in Christ you were buried, and all that belonged to your old self, all that was crucified with Him was likewise buried with Him forever. Oh, blissful thought! Oh glad and glorious dawning! How could it otherwise be said that, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, since old things have so thoroughly passed away, clearing the path and preparing the way whereby all things should become new?

Glorious, indeed, and wonderful beyond human description was the cross of Christ and all that was accomplished there. Sacred and holy beyond the words of the most eloquent tongue was the burial wherein all our Adamic past was buried with Him in the dust from which it sprang, but now I know that the most exciting event of all history, whether it be past, present, or future, was the glory and wonder of the resurrection.

Death could not keep her prey;

Jesus, my Savior.

He tore the bars away;

Jesus, my Lord.

Up from the grave He arose

With a mighty triumph o’er His foes.

He arose a victor from the dark domain,

And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

The resurrection is the difference between gloomy, dark, and dreadful death and life incorruptible and eternal. The fact that He who died and was buried is forevermore alive is the most transforming reality in all the annals of God. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” asked the wise and mighty angel. “He is not here. He is risen. Behold the place where they laid Him.” “He is risen,” echoed the women as they wept with indescribable joy. “Did not our hearts burn within us as He spake with us by the way,” rejoiced the men who only moments before were heartsick with bitterness and dread. “He is alive, and hath appeared to Simon,” said the eleven who were gathered together. “My Lord and My God,” murmured Thomas as his unbelief departed from him. Wonderful, wonderful beyond description is that historic event, an event proven by more facts than perhaps any other event of history including the crucifixion. However, it is not the historicalness of the event nor the multiplicity of indisputable proofs with which we are principally interested now, but let heaven rejoice and angels and demons and men bear witness that all who by faith have identified themselves with His death and burial are now risen with Him by that same faith to walk in newness of life. At this very moment it is true “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rom. 6:4

That you by faith in Him have become a child of the resurrection is no idle theory. It is not that insipid talk of wordy old theologians who love to drown truth in the murky seas of tradition and theory. This is truth that flows from the infinite mind of the eternal Logos. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.” “He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and beliveth in Me shall never die.” So true and transforming is the fact of our resurrection in Him that men of faith are brought here and now into the realm of reality. To them old things are without doubt passing away and new things are being born. The blessed discovery is soon made that things, which once held them in their iron grip, are losing their power over them. Their business and their bank accounts are losing their significance in the light of the fact that they are no longer children of death in Adam but children of the resurrection in Christ. They understand as never before the significance of the words of Jesus. “If My Kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight; …but now My kingdom is not from hence.” John 18:36. Our lives in Adam have always been filled with striving and war in a vain effort to preserve our kingdom of death, but now henceforth God’s kingdom is our kingdom. I have no interest in preserving this present realm that for 6000 years has been beset by death and futility. Loose your grip upon it, oh man, that you may fully partake of that new creation that even now has begun within the children of the resurrection.

With our entrance into this new creation begins the blossoming of the new mind, even the mind of Christ; and with the coming of the new mind physical transformations appear, for the Lord by the mouth of Paul has said, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Rom. 12:2. This physical renewing will appear first in death to many old lusts that held sway in your body. That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. Fleshly desires fall away and any effort to revive them will bring spiritual pain. Natural things such as church systems become a heaviness of heart and a weariness of spirit as in the eternal light they appear to be what they really are the product of the Adamic mind. “My kingdom is not of this world”, and, since it is not, then I may no longer think of myself as a citizen of earth, but a citizen of the new realm. Surely men will say, “Thou art beside thyself as did Festus when Paul spoke to him of the resurrection. Acts 26:24 But well might we say, “If I be beside myself, it is to God.” 2 Cor. 5:13

In the hour in which we now live there is no fact more sobering than the knowledge that the end of the age is upon us. Evil forces are mustering on every hand for the dreadful hour of Armageddon. Fearful sights hitherto unknown will presently alarm and terrify the world as blood and fire and vapor of smoke drench the earth in torment and terror. Acts 2:19 Stars like burning mountains shall soon fall from the sky, setting off earthquakes of a violence never before known. Rev. 8:7-10. Waters will turn to blood and over half of mankind will die by war and famine and plagues. Cf. Rev. 6:8 with Rev. 9:18. Then will come the blissful moment of the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet when the in Christ ones, the children of the resurrection, joined by the dead in Christ, shall be caught up to meet the Lord for the beginning of the long awaited kingdom of God. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and forever.” Rev. 11:15

CHAPTER FIVE

HE IS RISEN

“The course of bad men lies through darkness dim; they cannot see what makes them stumble: the course of good men, like a ray of dawn, shines on and on to the full light of day.” Prov. 4:18, 19 (Moffatt)

At the beginning of our walk with God we see through a glass darkly, but for all those who walk faithfully there will come a time when the murky dimness of the dark glass will be taken away and the clear light will shine. No more the darkling veil will obscure, but we shall see face to face, and, beholding the face of the Lord, we are changed into that same image from one glory to the next even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18.

It is the plan of God that all things with life should grow. It matters not whether the form of life be intricate or simple. The seed of whatsoever sort it be, cast into the ground, springs forth in newness of life, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Mark 4:28. The delightful baby given to adoring parents who could love his fresh innocence forever is not destined to remain a tiny infant, but with what delight do parents announce the gaining of a few ounces in weight, the first efforts at crawling, the appearance of a tooth, the first halting step in walking, the first garbled words, the beginning of school, until with joy and sadness blending they see the final adulthood and departure from home. But what apprehension appalls where stalks the sudden fear that their child who had such a beautiful beginning is growing sickly and weak, that faculties are not developing and disease that will stunt the growth and weaken the mind is closing the gates of day!

Since God has ordained that all things should grow and mature and we, His offspring, love to have it so, why is it that the vast multitude of God’s dear children are never expected to pass from infancy to manhood, going from light to light and from experience to experience? Why should it be thought strange that development and change should take place in their lives as with the passing years, new wisdom and understanding of eternal things fill their spiritual minds? Has not God ordained that His offspring should mature from the infancy of little children to the strength and virility of young men and thence to the wisdom and understanding, the love and ripeness of fathers? Is this not the meaning of the beautiful text, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, fathers, because^ have known Him that is from the beginning.” 1 John 2:12-14 The path of the just must be as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Prov. 4:18. If therefore there is no more light in you today and no more bright shining than there was at the beginning, then your light is going out, and somewhere you have chosen your own sweet paths, having forsaken the right way and gone astray. 2 Pet. 2:15.

It is thought to be a bad sign should one change his mind about anything, which was held as truth. But we know nothing yet as we ought to know and, whereas what little we do know we know only in part, we should expect that, as we walk in the light, which is Jesus Christ, and the more brightly it shines upon our pathway, the more the misty clouds will flee from our understanding, the darkness will be dispelled from its secret hiding place, the shadows will shorten and disappear, and the mountain peaks long hidden from our searching eyes will lay aside their misty mantles to beckon us to their lofty heights, “for when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” 1 Cor. 13:10. Pity the man who resists all change, for such a one never matures beyond the infant years. He seeks to firmly establish himself in the first principles of doctrine and live out the rest of his monotonous days on nothing but the milk of the word. Cf. Heb. 6:1-3. He has never learned that there is strong meat for men of full age. He knows nothing about the honey in the rock, the bread of life of which if a man eat he shall live forever, or the water of life of which if a man drink he shall never die. Contenting himself in defending his juvenile position, he robs himself of spiritual growth, rusting in the fortress of his own building until he dies. He resembles the legendary frog that lived in a well that, thinking he possessed all the water in the world, believed not when others told him that outside his gloomy hole there were mighty rivers, vast lakes and boundless oceans. To believe such things that frog would have had to change his mind and broaden his understanding, but, like many Christians, this he refused to do.

THE SIGN SON

At the time of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. “And the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said. Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things, which were spoken of Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and/or a sign that shall be spoken against.” Luke 2:25-34

For a sign which shall be spoken against! What strange words are these, that our Lord Jesus should be a sign! But how well did the words of Simeon concur with the words of the prophet Isaiah when he by the Holy Ghost said, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isa. 7:14. It was not the virgin birth that was to be the sign, but it was the Son who was born of the virgin. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, was in truth the sign Son. This only begotten Son of God was a sign of many more sons who through God’s grace should come into sonship, for He was but the firstborn of a vast family of sons who will come into His exact image and likeness. For we, being born of the Holy Ghost, are born of incorruptible seed by the word of God (Jesus Christ), who liveth and abideth forever; having all one Father and one Spirit, we are brethren, heirs of God and joint heirs with our elder brother, Jesus Christ.

The life of Jesus Christ from its beginning on earth to His ascension into heaven was a sign. The miracles He performed both individually and collectively bear this testimony of things to come and manifest forth in sign the glory of a coming age. His life, His death. His burial. His resurrection and ascension display with certainty the path which we, too, must follow and over which we have already traversed farther than we think.

The gospel preached by the apostle Paul was the gospel of the grace of God. It was especially given to him for this age. This he affirms in these words: “For this cause, I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery… which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” Eph. 3:1-5-8. The gospel preached by Jesus was not the gospel of grace but the gospel of the kingdom of God. It is the gospel which will fill the whole earth in the dispensation which is even now at our doors. It will grip the hearts and minds of all men and fill the entire earth with the literal realities of the Sermon on the Mount. The wonders He wrought during His ministry on earth were only the things, which He began to do and to teach, as we are told by Luke when he wrote, “The former treatise have I made, 0 Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up.” Acts. 1:1. Jesus Christ did not complete His ministry; He only began it, but the fullness of the gospel of the kingdom will spread over the whole earth through the ministry of the sons in His likeness when the Law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Micah 4:2. There is coming a day when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters now fill the seas. In that day no man will say, know the Lord, for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest.

The gospel of the grace of God which has been preached for almost two thousand years was given not because the Jews rejected Christ, but as a dispensation planned before of God in which he would call and prepare a special company of sons to reign in His kingdom. This mystery was not known in previous ages, but was revealed to the apostles by the Spirit! See Eph. 3:1-6. Though the grace of God will never end, the period we call the dispensation of grace is almost complete. The elect and chosen sons, the in Christ company, prepared of God through the fires of the past twenty centuries, are now due to come forth from their graves to join the in Christ company that lives and remains unto the coming of the Lord. 1 Thess. 4:14-18. Not all Christians will reign with Christ. That is reserved for the in Christ company. The vast majority of Christians are saved so as by fire.

They have built upon the foundation with naught but wood, hay, and stubble, and when the fire of God tries the work of every Christian, as try it surely will, their works will be burned up, and they will stand naked and empty before Him. But those whose works are as gold, silver, and precious stones will not be hurt by the fire that tries every man. Therefore, if any man’s work abide, he shall receive a reward; but if any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Cor. 3:12-15. People saved so as by fire are not material for sonship nor for reigning in the kingdom of God, for those who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful. Rev. 17:14.

My spirit has been stirred with a knowledge that great changes are taking place in God’s faithful people. To those who follow Christ are the promises given and not to those who follow afar off. “For everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for My name’s sake shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life. But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Matt. 19:29

As God’s dear people behold the fearful things that are happening, they have reason for great concern. Nations gird themselves for a struggle that will dwarf all previous conflicts. Morals collapse, right is crucified, and wrong sits on every throne. The church systems embrace with affection the mother of harlots, placing in her hand the golden cup that overflows with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus. Mighty nations seek a savior to deliver them from their problems and are being made ready to shout hosanna to the Antichrist beast, for He who came in His Father’s name they have rejected, but he who comes in his own name they will receive.

 

Though your eyes behold all these things, let not your heart be troubled, for God is never a whit behind in any of His purposes. Even now He is preparing His people for a wonderful change. Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; therefore; this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. When the sevenfold heat of the burning fiery furnace of tribulation is upon the world, the Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abed-negos will be ready, for He who hath wrought the selfsame thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

The magnificent wonders portrayed in the twenty-fourth chapter of Luke are about to burst into reality among us. If you will follow the story through with me; you will see what hour it is, for the early morning of the resurrection day is upon us.

Our blessed Lord had been crucified and His blood, all powerful to redeem an entire universe from sin, had been vicariously shed. Men had not taken His life from Him, but He had laid it down as His Father had showed Him. “Into Thy hands I commit My Spirit,” He cried, and so saying He yielded up the Spirit to God. With a spear the soldier pierced His side as the scripture had foretold, and from the wound flowed out blood blood better than the blood of bulls and goats, blood better far than blood of Abel, the blood of the eternal Son of God shed in His death for the life of all the world, blood not only to atone for all sin of all ages and of all people, but blood that by its very nature would purge the consciences of all mankind in the end. and the consciences of all who would believe even now while we yet live. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Heb 9:13-15.

Yea, further. He who was crucified has taught us by His Holy Spirit that we should be crucified that we no more live after the world, but after Him who died and rose again for us. “I am crucified with Christ,” said Paul. “Nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” All who bear within their breasts the hope of resurrection unto eternal life must face with resolve and hope the cross of crucifixion that all who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again.

A great evil among Christians in our day is that they want to live lives that please themselves. They rebel against the chastening rod and squirm beneath the weight of their afflictions. They sing, “There’s a cross for everyone, and there’s a cross for me,” but they do all in their power to rid themselves of it and cast it aside. A cross is of little value in your life if you hate it and see not the power it holds over your old animal life. It is of no value when you spend your days in self-pity, feeling only the pain and the ache, but seeing not the joy that is set before you. Have we so soon forgotten that “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment and who shall declare His generation, for He was cut off out of the land of the living?”

Child of God, destined to sonship, when will we learn that it is only the flesh with its affections and lusts that must be crucified? The old beast nature inherited from our father Adam when he chose to be after the image of beasts rather than after the image of God is the nature that must go to the cross. If you would be possessor of the seven spirits of sonship, then heed this: “Wisdom hath builded her house; she hath hewn out her seven pillars; she hath killed her beasts.” Prov. 9:12. The seven pillars are the seven spirits. The beasts killed in sacrifice are the beast nature that must die before the seven Spirits of sonship can be manifest in your life.

How our hearts often ache as we see God’s people staggering beneath a cross. Fain would we reach forth our hand and lift it from them. We weep in our helplessness, because God has placed their deliverance just beyond our power that the cross may fulfill its work in their lives unhindered by our lack of understanding. Long ago the apostle Paul exulted, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Gal. 6:14 But I wonder what cross Paul was talking about? Was it the wooden cross upon which our Savior hung on the skull-shaped hill? No! The cross in which he gloried was the cross the Savior had laid upon him and now in love lays upon you and me. The wooden cross was taken down and cast away lest men should glory in it, as millions now in ignorance do who wear it on chains about their necks but whose weight upon their shoulders they have never borne. It is the cross that Christ in wisdom lays upon us that kills our beast nature and makes us shout in hope with Paul, “Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 1 Cor. 12:910

How sickening it is to hear God’s people complain of little discomforts whose lives are loaded with benefits and multiplied blessings are at their fingertips, whose house abound with comfort and convenience and whose bodies are well clad and abundantly nourished complain that things are not as they want them or not as good as their neighbors. The Spirit of sonship is not in such people and sonship in the coming age will be denied them, for they have not borne the cross that Christ would lay upon them, but have concocted their own cross through their carnal whining and discontent. Cursed and disobedient children are these who forsake the right way and run greedily after the error of Balaam. The cross is much easier to those who bear it than to those who despondently drag it along.

Down from the rugged cross they had taken our Lord and tenderly laid Him in Joseph’s new tomb to await the passing of the Sabbath that they might come and embalm His body and with their sad and bitter memories, their dashed and blighted hopes, leave Him embalmed forever in the tomb. Thus, the Sabbath being now past, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, very early in the morning before the sun was up, faithful women came with loving hearts and tender hands bringing spices and ointments and many feet of cloth to embalm His body, for He was dead, and who could escape the power of death? What better then could they do than to show their love with this final act? They would embalm the body and thus preserve it in death as long as possible.

The thoughts here are very real, for I am sure we must realize that all who have followed Him in crucifixion have likewise followed Him in death death to the carnal mind, death to the natural world, death to the lusts of the flesh. While our crucifixion and death is an act of faith, it is none the less real. The results of faith are in the end as real as a literal cross or a literal tomb where the wicked cease their troubling and the weary are at rest.

There is, however, another form of death into which God’s people have been brought. It is the awful bondage and cruel slavery in which countless thousands of God’s people now find themselves. They are bound with the grave cloths of form and ceremony, tied and throttled in their spirits by the religious systems of men. The liberty they think they have has become a dreadful bondage as they like slaves bow down to the idol of human systems and grovel in the chains of organized religion. This whole system of Babylon is not only a slave camp; it is a dank and musty tomb. Everywhere there is the abominable smell of death. Even the sermons preached by the ministers are in most cases death unto death instead of life unto life, for while they promise them liberty and freedom, they themselves are the servants of corruption, for of whatsoever a man is overcome of the same is he brought into bondage. The whole system of Babylon has become a habitation of devils and of every unclean and hateful bird. Rev. 18:3. Its house is full of doleful creatures; the owls dwell there and the satyrs dance there. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall any dwell there from generation to generation. Cf. Isa. 13:19-22. It is a grave into which God’s people have/alien and in which they have been held in captivity, bound hand and foot as Lazarus was with grave cloths.

So it was that the dear women came with the loving intention to embalm the body of the Savior, wrap it in grave cloths and leave it there forever. But to their amazement the great stone that had been laid against the door of the tomb was rolled away and the tomb stood open before them. They entered in but found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Much perplexed and in great fear they looked about to find what had become of the body, and Mary stood weeping over the dreadful loss. John 20:11-16.

As the Spirit of revelation and understanding floods our minds, we are left without question as to the meaning of all this. It was the body of Jesus they sought within the confining walls of the tomb. Thus the picture as it concerns us today becomes very clear. Did not Paul say, “Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular?” 1 Cor. 12:27 A strange and unexplainable thing had happened in the tomb. The body was not found where it was thought to be. Suddenly it had gone. The grave cloths lay unruffled upon the floor as though the body had suddenly melted from them, but they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

My brother and sister, there is a strange thing happening today, for the body of Christ is mysteriously leaving the old tomb in which it has been confined for many centuries. All through the church system all over the religious world good and well-meaning people are perplexed as to why it is that you have suddenly and strangely been taken from their midst. Why is your pew empty now whereas in time past you were always in it? Even you yourself are at a loss to explain what is happening to you, for some unseen power of life from God is forcing you out of the old paths and out of your old ways. The grave cloths are falling from you and you are vanishing, leaving them in the tomb. People write me in their perplexity, wondering what is happening to them. Some even ask if they did right in leaving the old grave of church organization with its stale sameness, its dead programs, and its lifeless sermons. Ah, my friend, return not thither again into death, for the Spirit of life from above has touched you and changed you and given you a longing to be exactly like Him. A resurrection is taking place and men are arising from the dead in preparation for the change. For, behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all die, but we shall all be changed, and God is now preparing us for that change which will certainly come and none can hinder it.

The God of all comfort who brought our Lord Jesus from the dead will soon comfort your hearts as He did these women, for His two shining messengers, the Spirit and the word, declare that the long night is ending. It is very early in the resurrection morning and a new day is at hand. “Why seek ye the living among the dead,” they asked. And how shall we answer that question? I know that many who read these lines are now doing that very thing, but you will not find them there, for God is calling them forth.

Have we not done as they to seek the living among the dead! Have we not returned time and again to those dead sects and dead denominations to see if we could somehow find the living? Yes, indeed, we have time and time again. We are insistent that there is still life there, persisting that the dead who remain there are still the body of the Lord. We insist that this is the church and that it will be perfected by the operation of the ministries. But it will not! Just as Jesus called, “Lazarus, come forth,” so God, our Father, has called to His own body, “Come out of her, My people,” and they are coming forth. Many as Lazarus are still bound hand and foot with grave cloths which must be stripped from them, but others, like Jesus, have come forth, leaving the grave cloths in the dark and dreadful tomb that they might walk in newness of life with Him. Why, oh, why do you insist on seeking the living among the dead? Do now as Jesus commanded. Let the dead bury their dead, but follow thou Me!

HE IS NOT HERE

It is hard to convince men of truth when for years their minds have been convinced in an opposite direction. Even the angels who spoke to the women in the tomb could not easily dispel the darkness that hung like a pall over their minds. The stone was rolled away; that was strange. The tomb was open; there could be no mistaking that. The cloths in which the body had been wrapped lay unruffled where His body had been as though He had faded as a mist from their many folds; that was unexplainable. The body was gone; that was certain. And the appearance of the angels in the tomb made them afraid and bow down their heads in fear. But for all this they were not convinced. Even Peter, having looked with amazement upon the scene, departed, wondering in himself. Luke 24:12. “He is not here,” the angels assured them, but still they could not believe. It was too strange, too wonderful, too far beyond their grasp. They had come to embalm a dead body but heard instead that He was living. They had come to the only place on earth where the body could certainly be found, but the angels smiled, “He is not here:”

He is not here. He is not here. He is not here. It is hard to pierce the darkness of men’s minds. It was hard for them then to believe that the body was not in the tomb. It is hard for you now to believe that the true body of Christ has been called out from the death and darkness of the tomb of organized religion. It is well nigh impossible for many to believe that it will never be found there any more. Neither will it be found in that hodge-podge mass of unorganized religion, for the life from the dead that is taking place is beyond the reach and power of the conniving minds of men.

He is not here; yet, as a man who has lost a priceless jewel returns again and again to look and search where he has searched before lest in some way he has overlooked it, even so do we, for we believe not that God is doing a work of a magnitude never before known in that He is calling the body of His elect from the tomb and the ears of all who hear it will tingle.

Would God that Christians could be awakened to see what a cursed age we dwell in, to what depths of iniquity we have fallen in our self-seeking and pride, supposing that gain is godliness; and having ears that itch for sensation, we have added teachers who tickle them for us, ungodly men ordained of old unto condemnation.

Disorder and confusion so reign in the hearts of men that our world has become a literal Babel. Nations are in confusion from the president to the peasant and from the throne to the dungeon. The priest and the prophet have erred through the wine of their fornication, and through strong drink are they turned out of the way. They err in vision. They stumble in judgment. All tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that there is no place clean. They are together turned out of the way and there is none righteous, no, not one. The world system and the church system have become so wed that there is no distinction between them, but one is made to complement the other. The hour of wrath is at hand. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding far and wide. The vials of the wrath of God are being placed in the hands of the mighty angels to be poured without dilution upon the earth. The seals are being opened and the trumpets given to the angels to sound. The time of the dead has come and the time for the coming forth from the tomb. Just as there is a crucifixion by faith and a burial by faith, so also there is a rising from the dead by faith. I have no hesitation in saying that our God is calling His people out of the tomb, and all who insist on searching there for the body of Christ will hear these words: “He is not here.”

HE IS RISEN

He is risen! He is alive! What staggering words these must have been to the sorrowing women! Were the angels mocking their sorrow to make their grief more terrible to bear? Or was there a ray of hope that this unheard of thing could possibly be true? Behold with what patience the angels exhorted them, saying, “Remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words and returned from the sepulchre and told all things unto the eleven.

There is nothing on earth that will increase your faith and add to your confidence like remembering the word of the Lord. Those who see by the plan of God that all things are working according to His purpose will never be amazed. They will not flounder nor be alarmed. Has not God spoken long ago that all these things must be? Has He not taught us that the leaven would work in the meal until all is leavened! Has He not pictured a condition at the end of the age in which God would spue out of His mouth a people rich and increased in goods and needing nothing, who know not that they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked? Have we not been told long ago of a harlot system, drunken with the blood of saints and the martyrs of Jesus Christ, and of a time when men could neither buy nor sell except they have the mark of the beast? Why then be amazed? Remember ye not that He told us all these things? Remember ye not that John heard the angelic voices proclaiming, “Come out of her. My peopled Why then should we be amazed that even now thousands of people in all walks of life are hearing that call in their inmost spirits and are going forth from the graves in which they have been buried, going forth unto Him without the camp to a new kind of life and a new kind of relationship with Him which they have not known hitherto.

You wonder why it is that there is such a coming out. You may doubt that they are being called of God. But, if you would but believe God’s word and remember what He said, you could not help but believe that the present religious system with all its abominations is indeed the Babylon of the book of Revelation, and, if you remembered the word of the Lord, you, too, would come forth and delay not going unto Him without the camp of the world’s religious systems which have a name that they live, and are dead, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. Whether we want to believe it or not, there is a company in the world today who are hearing the call of God to come forth. Like the unknown seven thousand in Israel they pass almost unnoticed, refusing to bow to the image of Babylon. They have departed from their darkness and have left the tomb to go forth unto Him.

Yes, indeed. He is risen, and, upon remembering the words of the Lord, all doubt and unbelief must surely pass away. The stirring in the hearts of the people is not the stirring of a coming revival, but the stirring of a resurrection. It is taking place by faith in preparation for the actuality when the mystery of God is finished and corruption puts on incorruption and mortality puts on immortality. This is the hope of the ages, the blessed hope of the Bible. He is risen! He is risen! And we who have died with Him will live together with Him, and there shall be no default in that. The Bible contains more proof of the resurrection of Jesus than it contains either of His birth or of His death. The largest number of witnesses to establish anything in the courts is seven.

An oral will can be established by seven witnesses. The resurrected Jesus was seen of above five hundred brethren at once and by many infallible proofs He showed himself alive after His passion. Mohammed is dead; Buddha is dead; Confucius is dead; but Jesus Christ is alive, and all who believe in Him are transformed by His Spirit which He sent forth when He returned to His Father in heaven. He is risen! He is alive forevermore, and He holds the keys of death and the grave, saying to Hades, “Lift up your heads, oh ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the king of glory may come in, for even the gates of hell cannot prevail before Him.”

IF YE THEN BE RISEN

A rising from the dead is taking place. There is a coming forth from the tomb to a new kind of life and a new kind of experience, which we have not known before. Unto obedient men today Paul is speaking these magnificent words: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” There is a spiritual rising with Christ that precedes the literal resurrection. Those who partake of it will find that their affections are being set upon heavenly things above and not on things on the earth. This can be your experience here and now in this present world. It is not enough to grasp the truth of this with one hand while holding fast to earthly things with the other. There must be a separation of loves. The love of the earth and the transient things of the natural must fade away and die, and the love of the permanent and eternal must mature and live. From henceforth you are not the same as you once were. You are risen with Christ and share with Him even now the glory and power of heavenly realms.

Our hearts have thrilled to the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and well they might, for Lazarus, not being raised to immortality, was a special type of our spiritual rising with Christ by faith. Lazarus, who was called forth from the smelly tomb, did not rise in incorruption and immortality, but came forth in mortality bound hand and foot with grave cloths, as many still are who by God’s power are coming forth from the graves of the deadness and corruption all about us. He had to be loosed and let go, and the death cloths that bound him taken piece by piece from him, as also it has been with us. Perhaps we have wept for joy as we read the story of Lazarus and of Jesus who said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” but the story does not end with his deliverance from the grave, for those who are risen with Christ are seated with Him far above all principality and power. Thus it was that six days before the Passover they made a supper in the house of Mary and Martha. Devout Martha had not died nor been raised to life again, so with her, life continued much as usual there, for it is recorded, “And Martha served.” Nor had Mary been raised from the dead; therefore she is still found in that place she loved so well at Jesus’ feet. But with Lazarus all was changed. He had passed through an experience that raised him to an entirely new realm. He had died, he had been buried, and he had risen with Christ to an entirely new realm and a completely new life; therefore it is clearly said, “But Lazarus was one that sat at the table with Him.” John 16:2

There is a crucified state where we die with Him, but there is also a resurrected life where we live with Him and sit down with Him in heavenly realms. For this reason Paul said, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of the Father. Set your affections on things above and not on things on the earth, for ye have died and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” Col. 3:1-4 Our spiritual rising from the dead is a new relationship with Christ. The grave stands between us and our old life. We were crucified through weakness, but we live by the power of God. We are no longer citizens of this world, but now we desire a better country, that is, an heavenly. Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared for us a city.

As the Passover was the beginning of months to the Jews, so the resurrection from the dead is the beginning of days to all who experience its transforming power. Upon the seventh day of the week God completed His work of a natural creation. Upon the first day of the week He completed the work of a spiritual creation in which men rise to walk in newness of life with Him. It is beginning to dawn toward the first day of the week, and many are now casting away the grave cloths of a life enslaved to a dying realm that they might henceforth live on the resurrection side of the tomb in newness of life with Christ. Unclutch your death grip and let loose your grasp on this present realm that your soul may escape as a bird from the snare of the fowler to rise to a new realm where Christ sitteth in “heavenly places”.

THE THIRD DAY

Two sad souls with broken hearts journeyed on resurrection day from Jerusalem to the little village of Emmaus. Heavy and disconsolate they talked together of all the things that had happened. But as they journeyed, they were joined by another who, hearing them, asked, “What manner of communications are these which ye have one with another and are sad?” “Art Thou only a stranger and hast not known the things which have come to pass?” they questioned. “What things?” said He. Then they told Him the story of Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet mighty in word and deed, and of how the chief priests and elders of the nation condemned Him to death and crucified Him, and with naked despair they added, “But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” Then, as though a perplexing ray of hope had added new complications to their dilemma, they continued, “And beside all this today is the third day since these things were done, and certain women also of our company made us astonished which were early at the sepulchre, and when they found not His body, they came saying they had seen a vision of angels which said He was alive.” Luke 24:13-23

Beside all this today is the third day. These words have more significance to us today than to any people since those crestfallen ones walked to Emmaus. To us the third day is the kingdom day. You remember how, when Jesus would return to Judea, His disciples warned Him, saying, “Herod will kill you.” But He replied, “Go and tell that fox. Behold, I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I will be glorified.” Luke 13:32 We may say with reverence and truth that the ministry of Jesus on earth consisted of cures. He healed a leper here, a blind man there. He raised a few dead and cast out many devils; but at the end of His ministry there were still millions of sick and the world still lay in the grip of the prince of the power of the air. So also it has been with the church, for a day is with the Lord as a thousand years. During the first thousand years the church wrought only cures a revival here, a few miracles there and during the second thousand years likewise it wrought only cures a few revivals, some souls saved, some bodies healed, even a few raised from the dead, but only cures and even now at the end of this second day we may well ask, “When the Son of man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?” But the third day is at hand, blessed be God! And in it Christ will be glorified. In the third twenty-four hour day Christ the head was glorified. In the third thousand year day Christ the body will be glorified. Then shall cures end and permanence begin, for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest.

That we are now living in the dying moments of the second day there can be no doubt and it would only be a weariness to start repeating here the multitudinous signs that herald the hour when the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. But even at this very moment there is a kind of firstfruits of the resurrection that are hearing God’s voice and coming forth from their bondage to walk in new realms and to live where Christ lives in the Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

TREASURES OF TRUTH, Volume 4, The Cross of Christ and It’s Eternal Significance [George R. Hawtin] ~ BOOK         1

 

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