"CAST NOT AWAY THEREFORE YOUR
To the words of Paul, Heb. 10:35-38 (Diaglott) your attention is requested. The reading of verse 37--"For yet a very little while indeed, the coming one will come (be present) and will not delay"--indicates that these words of the apostle, although applicable in a certain sense previously, are mainly so in the presence of the Son of Man. And we understand the words here penned by Paul, to have been given by the Spirit especially to us, who are living in the days of Christ's presence--the harvest, or end of this age. And you will remember that much of Paul's writing is especially to us who are living in the close of the Gospel Age--for instance: "In the last days perilous times shall come &c.;" again: "Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in that evil day" "the day of the Lord;" again: "For the fire (trials) of that day shall try every man's work of what sort it is." The same is true of many, if not all the writings of the old and new testaments; in fact the great burden of the Prophet's and Apostle's writings seems to be with reference to the end of the Jewish and also of the Gospel Age, especially the latter.
Since then, we see that these words of the Spirit, were given especially to us who are living "In the days of the Son of Man"--"the evil day"--we should give them the more earnest heed. As in every other case in which we are instructed concerning the evil [R188 : page 3] day, there is the intimation that it will be a time of special trial, and admonitions to hold fast, &c., are given as in this 38th verse. During the last six or seven years, the Lord has been leading us, his people, in a very remarkable manner: As we look backward we can see that our pathway has been as "a shining light...shining more and more." It has been progressive, bringing us strength with "meat in due season." It has caused us to grow both in grace and knowledge and this growth, taken in connection with the fact that we are not obliged to look back and now call darkness what was then called by some of the brethren, "a great flood of light," is the very strongest grounds for confidence that the same Lord who then supplied us light from the word, is still providing of the same kind. We say then, "cast not away your confidence" in our Leader, "the great shepherd of the sheep."
If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now: But with God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from God must be like its author. A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. "New light" never extinguishes older "light," but adds to it. If you were lighting up a building containing seven gas jets you would not extinguish one every time you lighted another, but would add one light to another and they would be in harmony and thus give increase of light: So is it with the light of truth; the true increase is by adding to, not by substituting one for another.
Therefore, in mentioning grounds of our confidence that we are in the shining path under the leading of the Spirit, we mention first that the tendency of present truth is to produce the proper fruit of the spirit, of which love is the chief. The tendency of our growth in knowledge is to growth in grace. "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he (Jesus) is pure." Our pathway has been one of increase of light in harmony with former light. Thus we have been led to increased confidence in our leader. Let us take
A GLANCE BACKWARD
at the steps of progress, and let all notice that the progress is not only forward but upward; i.e., the tendency is from the natural to the spiritual. We will look, not at any one person's experience, but at what serves to show the advance of the knowledge of truth for ten years past. Looking back to 1871, we see that many of our company were what are known as Second Adventists, and the light they held briefly stated, was that there would be a second advent of Jesus-- that he would come to bless and immortalize the saints, to judge the world and to burn up the world and all the wicked. This, they claimed would occur in 1873, because the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete then.
Well 1873 came, the end of 6,000 years, and yet no burning of the world, &c.; but prophecies were found which pointed positively to 1874 as the time when Jesus was due to be present, and the resurrection of Daniel was also due as proved by the ending of jubilee cycles and the 1335 days of Dan. 12. The autumn of 1874 anxiously expected, finally came, but the earth rolled on as ever; "all things continued as they were from the beginning of creation." All their hearts were sad; they said, surely we have been in error--but where? Surely it is clearly taught that Jesus will come again; perhaps our calculation of time is at fault. Carefully they examined the chronology but it seemed faultless and positively declared that the 6,000 years ended in 1873. Then the prophetic arguments were carefully re-examined: Was an error found? No, they stood the test of all investigation and the jubilee argument and "1335 days" of Daniel could not possibly be prolonged beyond the fall of '74 or spring of 1875 and these periods were both past.
Dark indeed seemed the outlook; all were discouraged. It had seemed as though the Lord had been leading in the past, and yet now all these things which had been thought light seemed to be proved darkness.
Just at this time Bro. Keith, (one of our contributors) was used of the Lord to throw another beam of light on the subject which brought order out of confusion, and caused all of the former "light" to shine with tenfold brightness. Brother K. had been reading carefully Matt. 24 chapter, using the "Emphatic Diaglott," a new and very exact word for word translation of the New Testament; when he came to the 37th and 39th verses he was much surprised to find that it read as follows, viz: "For as the days of Noah, thus will be the presence of the Son of Man. For as in those days, those before the deluge they were eating and drinking, marrying and pledging in marriage till the day that Noah entered the Ark, and understood not till the Deluge came and swept them all away; thus will be the presence of the Son of Man."
His surprise was, at finding that the Greek word parousia which signifies presence, had in our common version been improperly rendered coming, but the new rendering showed, that it was not the act of coming that resembled the days of Noah, but that as in Noah's days the masses of the people "knew not" so it would be in the time of Jesus' presence at the second advent. Humanity will go on eating, drinking, marrying, etc., as usual and "know not" that he is present. The next step was, to see whether the account of the same discourse as recorded by Luke, would harmonize with this new idea of a presence unseen, except by the eye of faith, until the "little flock" typified by Noah had gone from among men into the condition of safety (from the coming storm) represented by the Ark--"one taken and another left."
Luke's account was in perfect accord with Matthew's, though in different words--"As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man." (Luke 17:26.)
This was communicated to others of the disappointed ones, and with the remembrance that the time arguments above referred to had been found faultless and unalterable and proved that Jesus was due here in the fall of 1874, came the thought-- can it be possible that Jesus does not come in a fleshly body at His second advent? Can it be possible that His presence began at the time indicated in those prophecies and yet we went on eating and drinking, etc., and "knew not" of His presence?
A careful examination of the word was begun by all deeply interested, to see whether it, as a whole, would be in harmony with this new thought. It was found to be in perfect harmony and opened up and made clear many scriptures hitherto dark: For instance the differences between natural, earthly bodies and spiritual, heavenly bodies; how that the things which are seen are temporal, natural, but the things that are not seen are eternal, spiritual; that spiritual beings could not be seen by mortals, (without a miracle) and that the object and scope of the Gospel age was, the taking out of the world of mankind a "little flock" to be associated with Jesus in the work of the future--destroying evil and blessing all the families of the earth; that God's plan was not, to destroy all mankind after the gathering of the Gospel church but to "restore all things" and destroy only the evil which now rules in the world; that the fire supposed to be literal, was really symbolic and signified a great time of trouble which would be the close of the Gospel age and dawn of the Millennial in which all evil principles of governments and society would be manifested and destroyed, as a necessary preparation for the coming blessing.
So says the Prophet: "Wait ye upon me saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms and pour upon them mine indignation even all my fierce anger for all the earth, shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy: For then will I turn to the people a pure language and they shall all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent." (Zeph. 3:8-9.)
As to the manner of Christ's coming other scriptures were found to be in perfect accord with the accounts of Matt. and Luke, of its being an unseen presence: For instance, the angel's message--Acts 1:11.
"THIS SAME JESUS SHALL SO COME IN
as ye have seen him go into heaven." This had generally been supposed to teach that Jesus would come in the flesh, and be seen of men, as he was there seen of the disciples: but when carefully examined the text does not say that any one will see him, but that he will so come as he went away. He went away not with "flaming fire" and rolling thunder and great outward demonstration, but silently, unknown to the world. And if he "so comes in like manner," how much in harmony with Matthew's and Luke's record--they will eat and drink and know not of his presence.
But the angels' language seemed peculiar--this same Jesus as though there had been another Jesus: Examination revealed the fact, that Jesus since His resurrection is a totally different being from the Jesus who died; that a great change had taken place. While before his death he had been the "man Christ Jesus" having the form of a servant and perfect human powers, etc., and yet none but human powers, except as the Father's power was operated and manifested through him: (John 14:10.) Yet now, since his resurrection he claims divine powers not as the Father in him, but as His own, saying--"All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me" and he is no longer a natural, but a spiritual body--"It was sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body-- sown mortal raised immortal and exercising [R189 : page 3] powers peculiar to his new conditions, he would appear and disappear and they could not tell whence he came nor whither he went; thus personally illustrating his own teachings to Nicodemus: "That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. (Jesus was the first born from the dead to the spiritual plane--"by the Spirit.") The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof but can'st not tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (Jno. 3:8).
It was clear too that while desiring the disciples to realize that he was risen, Jesus wished them also to realize the change that had taken place and that he was no longer bound by human conditions, etc., therefore, he appeared to them under supernatural circumstances and in various forms, or bodies, none of which bodies were his spiritual person, but merely a garb by which he made himself known to their human senses.
When it was understood that "this same Jesus" was a spiritual body, unseen [R189 : page 4] except by the performance of a miracle, the saying of the angels was perfectly clear. Then, one after another, various scriptures gradually took their places and all began to see how "The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (margin, outward show neither shall men say, lo here, or lo there, for the kingdom of God will be among them (an invisible power.) (Luke 17:20.)
When it was discovered that "As the lightning which shineth...so shall the Son of Man be in his day;" meant, not that he would be like the shining but "as the lightning" (the invisible electric fluid) which produces the shining, it was manifest why the warning was given: If any man say unto you, lo here is Christ, or lo there! believe it not. Go not after them nor follow them, for I will not be visible to the natural eye, but as the lightning is discernable only by its shining and power, so will I be in my day recognizable to my waiting bride by the light of truth, and afterward to the world, in the light of events and "the flaming fire" of the day of trouble.
Many other little points were noticed, too numerous to relate, all in full accord with this; such as, that the literal rendering of verses 46 and 50 of Matt. 24teach that when the Lord has come some of his servants will be giving to the household of faith "meat in due season" [which of course would be the declaring of His presence] while other servants would say, "My Lord delayeth His coming" [has not come] and smite their fellow servants who present the "meat in due season."
Meantime the grandest "time argument" we have, viz: The two dispensation parallels began to take its place supported by both the law and the prophets, it showed the Jewish age to be the exact pattern or picture on the fleshly plane of the Gospel Age on the higher, spiritual plane, and that the two ages were to be of the same length. The parallels in the close of the two ages were seen to be especially beautiful and striking, the closing work of their age being called a "harvest" lasted forty years from A.D. 30 to A.D. 70, from the beginning of Jesus' ministry to the destruction of their city and nation. We saw that the work of that harvest, reaping, separating of wheat and chaff, the gathering of the wheat into the Gospel garner and burning the chaff of that age, while done on the natural plane, was not apprehended by any but the wheat: As a people, "they knew not the time of their visitation" --"it was hid from their eyes" because they sought it not by faith." We saw too, that Jesus taught that there would be such a harvest in the end of this age. Matt. 13:39. "So shall it be in the end of this world (age). The character of the work to be done in this harvest, viz: separating wheat from tares, before the wheat should "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father or the tares go into the fire of trouble, when coupled with the fact that the wheat, when gathered, would be taken from the ordinary duties of life--the field, bed and mill, showed clearly that the harvest work would be one, invisible to the natural eye, for the separating spiritually must take place before the wheat is gathered. The next point was to notice that in the separating, or harvesting of the Jewish age
TRUTH WAS THE SICKLE
and Jesus in the flesh, the chief reaper or Lord of the harvest, the Apostles and "the seventy" under-reapers. The message of each of them and of Jesus himself was the sickle which did the dividing work, viz: that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the living God," and that, as represented in him "the Kingdom of God was come nigh unto (them)--repent and believe the good news."
Thus "He came to his own, but his own received him not" excepting the few. The parallels of these two ages showed that the time of harvest had come for this Gospel Age, that it was due to begin in 1874, just the place the Prophets and the Law had already shown Jesus as due to be present. And when it was remembered that this age is higher than the fleshly Jewish Age, it seemed perfectly proper that the harvesting in the end of this age, should be an unseen work. And so we are taught that it is an invisible work, by invisible, because spiritual beings--Jesus, the chief reaper (Rev. 14:14-15) and angels, the under-reapers (Matt. 13:39) quietly, and invisible, separating wheat from tares, etc.
As then the sickle was the truth that Jesus, the Son of God was present, so now the same truth seems to be used as a separater--the presence of Jesus, the Bridegroom, Reaper and King. As then only the few who "had ears to hear" recognized the truth, so now, only the wheat are expected to know, "the wise (with heavenly wisdom) shall understand." "Ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day (the day of the Lord's presence) should overtake you as a thief." So one point after another added harmonious light and evidence that we were not following cunningly devised fables, but walking in the light and we rejoiced.
Coming to the spring of 1878, the time parallel to the giving up of the Jewish church and ending of the Gospel church by the Spirit, we naturally and not unreasonably expected some change of our condition, and all were more or less disappointed when nothing supernatural occurred. But our disappointment was brief, for we noticed that the Jewish church (and not the Gospel church) was the pattern of ours, and therefore we should not expect parallels to Pentecost or to anything which happened in the beginning of this church.
We looked again at the Jewish church as the pattern and saw that though Jesus gave them up as a fleshly house at the close of his three and a half years ministry, yet he continued special favor to them afterward saying to the disciples after resurrection, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations,...beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:47.) Acts 10:15-34 and 45, showed that the gospel was not preached to any gentile for some time after Pentecost, Cornelius being the first convert. Why was this favor shown to the Jews after the Gospel Age began, we inquired. We found the answer when we referred to the prophecy of Daniel, (9:24,) viz: That seventy weeks of time (seven years to each week) was set apart by God as time during which his special favor would be extended to fleshly Israel as a people, during which, at the end of sixty-nine weeks, (7 & 62, Vs. 25) Messiah should come. (Fulfilled when Jesus was baptised in Jordan, and received the anointing of the Spirit which constituted him "the Lord's anointed,"--"The Christ.")
Then the seventieth week of the covenant still remained--seven years of God's favor, during which God said he would make an end of sins, anoint the most holy, etc., (Vs. 24). And during the seventieth week "Messiah shall be cut off (die) but not for himself," thus causing all typical "sacrifices and oblations to cease in the midst of the seventieth week." We saw clearly, therefore, that the gospel was preached among them as a people, as a part of the favor of those seventy weeks of years, and we therefore believe that Cornelius was converted three and a half years after the cross, and that while Jesus left them desolate as a nation and declared that "the kingdom was taken from them, yet the people of that Jewish church were shown favor individually, by having the invitation to the gospel, spiritual kingdom offered to them."
We then looked for the parallel to this in the Gospel Age and found that the nominal Gospel church, the parallel of the Jewish church, was "cast off" or "left desolate," "spewed out" at the parallel point of time, 1878, but was due to have favor as individuals for three and a half years, or until the autumn of 1881, during which they were to separate themselves from the "Babylon" church. As Peter called those out of the given-up Jewish church, "saying save yourselves from this perverse generation," (Acts 2:40,) so, now the wheat of the gospel church is addressed by the Spirit-- "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues"--(the seven last,) Rev. 18.
Just at this time we met with a sad and very severe trial: A brother of influence and ability among us, departed from the very foundation of all faith, claiming that he did not need any one to pay the penalty for his sins, as he and all others did that for themselves when they died--in a word, that the act of dying was the payment of sin, and that having died they all forthwith had a right to life, and in consequence of that right all would be resurrected. [The argument was specious and led astray many who had not recognized that the race was deprived of life because all were sinners, and that all must continue dead forever unless a ransom for sin had been given, and that [R190 : page 4] "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures," and that his right to restore to life by a resurrection was by virtue of having paid the price-- or penalty "in his own body on the tree," when as Daniel had said "in the midst of the week" he made an end of sin"--"made reconciliation for iniquity."]
But this was only the beginning of our trials from this source: Having denied that the Lord bought them-- (2 Peter 2:1,)--he speedily went into further error, denying one after another of the above mentioned points of evidence, until finally he has denied that Christ is present and seems to have gone completely out of the light which we as a people hold. This we say was a severe and unlooked for trial and troubled us much, until we noticed that it was the exact fulfillment of one of our Lord's parables, where he tells how, when the King came in just prior to the marriage, he found among those who were expecting to be united to him "a man not having on a wedding garment," a person trusting in his own righteousness, believing that he did not need to have his sins forgiven, that he could die for himself and pay for his own sins. In the parable this one was "cast into outer darkness"-- the condition of ignorance in which the whole world is, concerning "The day of the Lord" and the fact which we see, so clearly, that we are now "In the days of the Son of Man." With this parable fulfilled in harmony with all the others and with our position in general, while bitterly lamenting our brother's course, we were strengthened by the harmony of the truth.
The result to our little company was a sifting and shaking which showed us another scripture. Paul had said to us "take unto you the whole
ARMOR OF GOD
that ye may be able to withstand IN THE EVIL DAY"--the day of the Lord. Eph. 6:13. Some were unable to stand the severity of this trial and like the above mentioned brother, have drawn back from the light.
The first three and a-half years from 74 to 78 seem as we look back at them, to have been devoted almost entirely to ascertaining and proving the fact of Christ's presence and the harvest work of separating as now going on. The latter half of this harvest has however, been spent very differently; very little time is spent in proving the presence and very much time is spent in applying that truth, in urging holiness of heart and purity of life and consecration to his will and work, of all who would "be like Him and see Him as he is."
The light upon our pathway still shines and is more and more glorious: True the time arguments etc., proving Christ's presence were very essential and enjoyable, and we got all that was needful to us of that kind of light, enough to satisfy all of the correctness of our position. Since 1878 the light has been of a still more glorious spiritual and elevating character pointing out clearly the footprints of him in whose steps we are to follow. Let us refresh your memory on some of these points "though ye know them and be established in the present truth." For instance,
"THE WEDDING GARMENT"
subject brought us to the consideration of our standing as new creatures in Christ and all saw more fully than ever before, how "He who knew no sin," took our place and suffered death as though he had been the sinner, while we though actually sinners and imperfect are on that account accepted as perfect; how he bore our sins, and we bear and wear his righteousness as our wedding garment." Our sins imputed to him, his righteousness imputed to us.
The consideration of the same general topic: What is the ransom price? led us to examine The Law which Paul says is a shadow, we examined as to how the blood of bulls and of goats took away sin typically, to learn how the guilt of the world is removed really. This proved indeed a mine of wealth in which much digging may be done. [Tract No. 7 will be devoted to this subject]. The type of the day of atonement or making at one with God by sacrifices for sin, Lev. 16, was some of the sweetest food we had tasted and seemed to be "meat in due season," for it showed us more clearly the intimate relationship between us and our head, not only in the glory to follow, but in the sufferings of the present age, "The day of atonement."
We saw that all who ever become members of the divine family on the spiritual plane must lose the fleshly being and nature first: that as the bullock was a type of Jesus' earthly-human nature laid down as a ransom, so the two goats represented the church which "fills up the measure of the afflictions of Christ which are behind." We saw that the overcomers, "the little flock" of the church was [R190 : page 5] typified by the Lord's goat which in every particular followed in the footsteps of the bullock as we are to walk in the footsteps of Christ, our example. And we saw how the second company, alas, the "great company of Christians, fail to thus crucify and offer themselves, and must be "sent away" (as was the scapegoat) into great tribulation "for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved." This led to searching inquiry: Am I a sharer in Christ's sufferings, being made conformable unto his death? Am I a living sacrifice?--resulting, we hope, in "a closer walk with God" on the part of some.
Next came the subject of
"RESTITUTION FOR WHOM?"
In this we saw the hope of believers of this age to be that of becoming new creatures, of the divine, instead of the human nature, to which new spiritual conditions we are now begotten and hope soon to be born, and for which we pray.
"Finish, then, thy new creation."
This we hope soon to realize, by being made like unto Christ's glorious body. We saw these hopes of the church strongly contrasted with the hopes of the world, as held out in the scripture, when we saw for the first time, that Restitution was all that God had promised the world in general --Restitution of all that sin had destroyed through Adam's disobedience, so that they would again be perfect men whose safeguard from future disobedience and sin would be their knowledge of, and experience with it, in the present life.
We saw that the basis of all restitution was the payment of the debt of sin, and that to this end "Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man." We next inquired, if his death brought restitution to us and found that it does, not actually restoring us to the condition of perfect men, but by God's reckoning all believers perfect (though none are so actually). We saw that we (who believe in the ransom) are so reckoned in order that we might have something to offer on God's altar, so that "The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us." If we had not been thus justified and reckoned righteous we could not present ourselves as "living sacrifices" for sinful creatures would not be acceptable sacrifices. But we are justified ones, redeemed from all sin perfect and restored in God's sight, through Christ "by whom we have received the AT-ONE-MENT." (Rom. 5:11.) "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." (Eph. 1:7.)
And now our mission as new creatures, divine, is to yield up our human life, body and talents to God "Doing good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith." Next
"THE NARROW WAY TO LIFE"
opened up before us and we saw that the life here referred to, is immortal life--or the perfection of life; and this brought to our attention the fact that God has many different orders of beings, all of whom, when in harmony with Him are perfect, though each is perfect on his own plane of being, as for instance, perfect angels are one order and perfect men (when restored to perfection) are another order. These orders, one on the human plane and the other on the spiritual, would each be supplied with life forever from the great fountain-- God--and thus supplied enjoy ever-lasting life. But this showed us that the great prize for which we are running, is not merely continued existence, but if we are over-comers the promise is immortal life (or life in ourselves) a quality or perfection of life, said to be possessed only by Father and Son and promised only to "the little flock" who walk the narrow way--
"The way our Leader trod.""And few there be that find it." As scripture began to narrow down to the overcomers, as those upon whom the prize, for which we are running should be bestowed it had the effect on many of stirring up to greater activity that "no man take our crown" --a feeling akin to that of Paul when he said: "If by any means I might attain unto THE resurrection," (the first resurrection which includes Jesus our head and all the members of His body who "live and reign with Him a thousand years"--only over-comers are to reign). Therefore we seek to walk separate from the world.
Fresh light was shed upon the subject of
and we found the watery grave to be a very beautiful type, or illustration of our dying to the fleshly or human nature, yet that it is not the reality; and though we shall still use the water symbol as we think the Lord desires, and with still deeper pleasure since we see its perfect meaning, yet we now see and appreciate the baptism referred to by Paul as the essential one; in which a man being planted would surely be in Christ's likeness in THE (first) resurrection-- "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death we [R191 : page 5] shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." (Rom. 6:5.) This taken in connection with the other statements of the same apostle--that we are to be made conformable unto His death if we would be in His likeness in the (first) resurrection--must be dead with Him if we would live with Him--must suffer with Him if we would reign with Him--shows us plainly that Paul referred to the same baptism into death of which Jesus spoke, when He said to His disciples who asked to sit in His throne of glory: "Are ye indeed able (willing --the ability comes of God) to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with"--death. This is our incentive to "both labor and suffer reproach;" that we may honor Him and bless others, and receive the crown of life and glory.
And now we come nearer to the time when
OUR CHANGE SEEMS DUE
(We know not the day or hour, but expect it during 1881, possibly near the autumn where the parallels show the favor to Zion complete and due to end, the door to the marriage to shut, and the high calling to be the bride of Christ, to cease.) and light on that subject is becoming clearer; we see that as the voices and trumpets of 1 Thes. 4:16, are symbolic, so also, the clouds are symbolic of the trouble gathering, in or during which, we shall be caught away to meet the Lord in the air, which we find is another symbol and used to represent the spiritual--supernatural-- control of earth's affairs now possessed by Satan the prince of the powers of the air who is soon to be bound and give place to Jesus and His bride--the new powers of the air--(spiritual powers).
And further we have learned that the change and marriage, while intimately associated, are not the same, that we shall be changed to be on the same spiritual plane as our Lord-- "be like Him"--like unto Christ's glorious body--the perfection of our new nature before being joined or united with Him in the glory of power or office.
We have noted how this was typified by Rebecca's meeting Isaac, which we believe to be a type of the church meeting her Lord. When the servant had made known to Rebecca the presence of Isaac, she put on a vail and went to him and he took her and she became his wife. So we are under the lead of the Spirit, which as God's servant is bringing the bride to the Bridegroom. Our Lord is present and the spirit is now (through the word) making known this fact, and when all who constitute members of that little flock have come to realize His presence, they all will as Rebecca did, pass beyond the vail and be with Him and be united to Him. Other features appeared relative to our condition
AFTER CHANGE BEFORE GLORY,
and the work we shall do, after our change, under the vail of the flesh, for the "great company"--instructing them, separating them from the world, etc., under a series of judgments represented by the first three plagues upon the Egyptians and Israelites.
The first three plagues were visited upon the typical people by the hand of Aaron, who was a type of the translated church. As Aaron was the mouthpiece of Moses, so we expect that, when changed, we shall, under the vail, be the mouthpiece of the kingdom of God for a time. This same general truth we found illustrated in the building of the temple --the temple built representing the church in its changed or completed condition--yet unglorified until the Levites and Priests had come into full harmony in God's praise.
And now, dearly beloved, as you look back and see how the light of truth has shone upon our path-way more and more, and especially as we see its richness in spiritual teaching, during the last two years have we not reason to do as one of old--"thank God and take courage." Do not brother Paul's words, "cast not away your confidence," come to us with great force? In view of God's past leading and blessing, have we any reason to cast away our confidence in his presence? Do not these precious truths so freely given to us, themselves evidence his presence, when we remember that he said, concerning this time: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in and sup with him and he with me." "Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh (has come) shall find watching; verily, I say unto you, that he shall gird himself and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." (Rev. 3:20, Luke 12:37).
What wonder if we have meat to eat that the world knoweth not of. The master is come and himself is serving us with the meat in due season. But let us look more closely at the words of Paul: He says our confidence has
A GREAT REWARD.
We have seen that it will have. Next he adds: "For you have need of patience so that having done the will of God, you may receive the promise (things promised); for yet a very little while indeed, the coming one will come (be present) and will not delay."
This has now been accomplished; he has come and no longer delays. What now must we expect? That we soon shall walk by sight of the natural eye and not by faith, as all through the Gospel Age since Pentecost? Is this what we may expect? O no, though the way is very clear and the light strong, yet we must still "walk by faith and not by sight." So says the next verse, (38). "But my just one by faith shall live, and if he should shrink back my soul does not delight in him." The just one referred to, is first of all, Jesus, and secondly all those who constitute members of the body of Christ. The conditions of all are the same; none of them are children of God on the human plane, but on the divine, and when the evidences of the word are presented, they are expected to walk by faith, and must do so if they would be acceptable with the Lord. "If any man draw back (to walk by sight) my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
There must be something at this time to which the apostle refers calculated to make some draw back from the aforementioned light. Brethren, "cast not away your confidence which hath great recompence of reward." We surely have every reason for greater confidence than ever in the correctness of our position as we call to mind our leading in the past. "We are not of them that draw back."