Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Lamb of God, Forsaken

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” That men should forsake Jesus He need not make inquiry. But may we recount His birth; His life: the struggles, the blessings, the cross: think on these things. . .

His conception, of the Holy Ghost. “. . .for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” Matt. 1:20.

“And John bear record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him” John 1:32.

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” Luke 4:1. “Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him” Matt. 4:11, Mark 1:13. “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:” Luke 4:14. “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him” Luke 22:41,43.

“There shall no evil befall thee, neither any plague come nigh unto thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” Psalm 91:10-12. Satan quotes this scripture minus ‘in all thy ways’. “Thy ways” being, “Then said I, Lo, I come ( in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will O God” Heb.10:7. His ways were perfect and according to Divine Will.

“. . .lest thou dash thy foot against a stone?” Yet the scriptures declare: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” Gen. 3:15.

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” Psalm 91:14,15.

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Psalm 22:1.

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Where is the Spirit by whom He was conceived; the Spirit Who descended upon Him like a dove? The Spirit who led Him into the wilderness; in whose power He left the wilderness for Galilee? Where are the angels who at that time and oft strengthened and ministered unto Him in His hour of need? The Spirit cannot be His Comfort in this hour; the hour when the Father is pouring out His wrath upon Jesus as He bears our sins on the cross. The angels can be of no strength, nor can they minister unto Him; they must stand afar off. The Father, for this hour cannot, will not, fulfill His promise to ‘deliver Him; to set Him on high; to give Him an answer; to be with Him in trouble; to deliver and honour Him. . .

For a moment, forsaken. . .but then raised up of the Father; given a name above every name, His prayer answered, “Glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee!”

The Lamb of God, Forsaken

The Doctrine of Self-righteousness

The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cheribims; let the earth be moved. The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy” Psalm 99:1-5.

That through darkened eyes Satan should think to defame the Holy and Righteous name of God is unspeakable. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” Isa. 14;13,14. A most devious plan in the warped mind of the fallen star! If he would exalt himself he must first bring God down; to slander His name; “to attack the good name or reputation of, as by uttering or publishing maliciously or falsely anything injurious.” (Webster). Satan would lie his way to the top. He would seek to dethrone God in the eyes of his creation. . .

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?. . .For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” Gen. 3:1,5. Satan spoke, as it were, of the deprivity of man: it’s not in the English dictionary, but it might well be. “God has withheld something good and desirable from you - He has deprived you of that which you rightly deserve. You should take matters into your own hands - pick the fruit which God has disallowed and partake of it!” Eve, beware of the deception of the Evil One! Know the Truth: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” Psalm 84:11.

Satan was indeed subtle and beguiling: “Eve, make up your own mind - you have a will: choose you this day whom you will serve!” And self righteousness was conceived. A better term yet - unrighteousness. Whatever the term - it is Sin.

“Ye shall be as gods.” A ‘god’ being the high authority that he is, sets his own rules of ‘righteousness’: he answers to no one; others must abide by his commandments or suffer the consequences. “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Actually, as a god, it is more than knowing. It is, is his own eyes, determining that which is ‘good’ and that which is ‘evil.’ One who is a god himself, thinks to remove himself out from under the authority and jurisdiction of Almighty God. Therefore he reasons that his own decisions and actions are not subject to the law nor judgment of Divine authority. This we may call the ‘Doctrine of Self-righteousness’ which may be discovered in the ‘bible’ self-written and changeable at will by the god of self righteousness, and according to his own ‘good pleasure.’

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” Rom 10:3. Ignorant, agnoeo, Gr. (by implication, to ignore.) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” John 1:9. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” John 1:10. That is to say, they willingly, deliberately chose to ignore the Light.

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them: for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” Rom. 1:19,20.

Men are said to “hold the truth in unrighteousness;” they became “vain in their affections,” their “foolish heart was darkened.” “Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness,” He gave them up unto vile affections,” “gave them over to a reprobate mind.” Romans chapter 1. In a nutshell, “being filled with all unrighteousness” Rom. 1:29. In this do have full authority from the Word of God to use the term, Total Depravity. For an extensive definition of the term, one can do no better than to read Romans chapter one in its entirety.


O thou my flesh, To thee do I bow and pay homage.

Thee and thee alone do I seek to exalt.

My goal continually is that I may please thee.

I will that thou receivest every pleasure;

That thou be enriched in the things of this world.

O thou my flesh, in thee do I glory.

Thou art exceedingly great; Thy wisdom and thy strength

do I set forth for all to behold.

Thou standeth alone, O flesh, For thou art self-sufficient,

And needest not help from anyone: For who is greater than thou?

The Tables of the Covenant

And he [Moses] was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments” Exodus 34:28.

“When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the Lord made with you. . .” Deut. 9:9.

“And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant” Deut. 9:11.

“And so I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands” Deut 9:15.

With all the familiarity of the Ten Commandments to the world system, ‘ten commandments’ is to be found only three times in the scriptures: Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13 and Deuteronomy 10:4.

Are the 10 commandments rules meant to be inflicted upon unbelievers ( as some seem to think) or are they not the Covenant provided by the Lord God for His people? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God?” So - to whom are they addressed?

“And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant over laid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant” Heb. 9:3,4.

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building” Heb. 9:11.

“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” Heb. 9:24.

The three articles specified in Heb. 9:4 point to God’s provisions in Christ while they are journeying through then wilderness. The golden pot contained one omer of manna - one omer, the provision for a man. Christ is the Golden Pot, a Vessel full of Grace and Truth. Aaron’s rod: it “brought forth buds and blossomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.

“Numbers 17:8 refers to resurrection-life in three stages, all, of course, pointing to Christ. We would suggest that the “budding” of the rod found its fulfillment in the resurrection of Christ Himself; that the “blossomed blossoms” will receive its realisation in the resurrection of “them that are Christ’s at His coming”; while the “yielded almonds” points forward to the raising of Israel from the dead who shall then fill the earth with their fruit.”

Gleaning from Exodus, the Ark, page 195, Arthur W. Pink.

“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” Psalm 40:8.

Christ is High Priest; the Covenant Word is within Him; He is the Heavenly Manna, the nourishment for His people; He is the fulfillment of Aaron’s rod that budded: the resurrection, the Truth, the Life! It is Christ who is the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat! “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Heb. 4;16.

Ye are not under the law, but under Grace.

Where then is the law to be found?

It is inside the Ark of the Covenant.

It is under the Mercy Seat.

It is under the blood.

It is safe; it is unbroken, and shall

remain so.

If the breaking of the tablets of stone

show forth man’s disobedience in

breaking the law, shall not the obedience

of One show forth the fulfilling of the

law: hence the preserving of the second

set of tablets of the law?

Where then is Grace to be found?

He is sitting between the cherubims;

above the Mercy Seat.

Ought not the heart of man be found

as the residence of the God of all grace?

Shall we not look for the day when

our hearts truly become as the Ark

of the Covenant; that they contain the

unbroken law of God?

Taken for Granted

Whether we term it table grace, asking (saying) the blessing, returning thanks - how prone we are to perform it as a mere ritual. It may have become little more than a practice, a tradition. How thoughtless our thanksgiving; how far from ‘coming boldly to the Throne of Grace!’

Let us go upon the hillside with Jesus. We have come to feed upon His Word. Are we hungry? No matter! We have food in hand or set before us on the table. We are as the lad with the five loaves and two fishes. Shall we hoard these victuals to our breast? Or shall we give, entrust them into the hands of the Lord? The blessing is not ours to give, but His. Do you realize that there are two prayers involved in ‘asking the blessing?’ Ours, first, unto Christ; secondly, His unto the Father! In the breaking of the bread in Christ’s hands, and the returning of the same to us, multiplied and divided, with His blessing added to the meal, scripture is put into practice: My God is supplying our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus! We might call it ‘living from hand to mouth!’ or living from His Hand to our mouths. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Christ is Provider and Provision, Supplier and Supply, Nourisher and Nourishment.

Thank God, Christ is our Intercessor, praying the Father in our behalf. What is His prayer? “Thank You, oh My Father, for this my servant, my friend, who often seeks to enter My presence with prayer, praise and thanksgiving. Or could it be, Oh my Father I come in behalf of my needy servant and friend who has sorely neglected to come into my Presence with prayer, praise, thanksgiving. How needful is he of your Mercies and Grace, but he does not come. . .

Standing Against the Law(Giver)

Imagine a court of law; where the Lawgiver Himself is brought to trial - a proceeding that precedes in pretense of adhering to the principles and statutes of the Law; a court where perjury is accepted, yea, fervently sought after from its ‘witnesses.’ The hand is not placed upon the scroll containing the scriptures; neither is there a ‘promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.’

“The concept of kangaroo court dates to the early nineteenth century. [However, we know, though it be not named as such, that the practice has been going on perhaps since the fall of man.] Scholars trace its origin to the historical practice of itinerant judges on the U.S. frontier. These roving judges were paid on the basis of how many trials they conducted, and in some instances their salary depended on the fines from the defendants they convicted. The term kangaroo court comes from these judges hopping from place to place, guided less by concern for justice than by the desire to wrap up as many trials as the day allowed.” American Heritage Dictionaries.

This expression is thought to liken the jumping ability of kangaroos to a court that jumps to conclusions on an invalid basis. [mid 1800’s] A self-appointed tribunal that violates established legal procedure; also a dishonest or incompetent court of law. Webster.

An unfair, biased, or hasty judicial proceeding that ends in a harsh punishment; an unauthorized trial conducted by individuals who have taken the law into their own hands” Wikipedia.

An interesting phrase, individuals who have ‘taken the law into their own hands.’ Those Jews, priests of the Sanhedrin, were duty bound to ‘uphold the Law,’ yet they would take Him into their own hands, falsely accuse and convict Him; He in whom the Law had it’s beginning and who is the foundation and sustainer: “by Him all things consist” Col. 1:17b.

“This great council was formed of high priests (i.e., the acting high priest, those who had been high priests, and members of the privileged families from which the high priest were taken), elders, scribes (legal assessors), Pharisees and Sadducees alike. Unger

The following order was [supposed to be] observed in capital cases: Arguments first in favor of acquittal, then those in favor of conviction. . .sentence of acquittal might be pronounced on the day of the trial, but one of condemnation not until the day following. The voting, each member standing, began with the youngest members of the court, although on some occasions it began with the most distinguished member. For acquittal a simple majority was sufficient; for condemnation a majority of two-thirds was required.” Unger’s Bible Dictionary [brackets mine]

The ‘trial.’

“The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world. . .in secret have I said nothing. Why asketh thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said” John 18:19-21.

The Sanhedrin would neither call for nor hear testimony from the disciples and followers of Christ, but their witness is given now for all to hear: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) John 1: 1,2.

“Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I AM” Mark 14:61,62a. “Then the high priest rent his clothes, [a gross insult to his office; some say it was even to the renouncing or rending of his priesthood] saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death” Matt. 26:65,66. “He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den. . .he croucheth” Psalm 10:9a,10a. “They gaped upon me their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion” Psalm 22:13.

Would this qualify as a ‘kangaroo court?’ “Arguments first in favor of acquittal; then those in favor of conviction? It’s not there. For that matter, where is the Defense Attorney? None needed: no witnesses for the defense were allowed. “Sentence of acquittal might be pronounced on the day of the trail, but one of condemnation not until the day following? Instant condemnation was pronounced, and without a proper vote: “a two-thirds majority was required,” but in this case it was unanimous.

“Condemnation was to be pronounced the following day; but “straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation [Matthew says they took council against Jesus to put him to death] with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate” Mark 14:1.

Standing against the Lawgiver. It was not a court of law but a court of lawlessness; not a court of justice but a court of injustice. Yet Christ became the Just for the unjust. . .

Shadow of His Wings

O God, Thou art my God; early will

I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth for thee,

my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and

thirsty land, where no water is;”

Psalm 63:1

How often, O child of God, have you

basked in the Son Light, and partook of

the benefits supplied by your Sovereign:

yet amidst the blessings, your heart is

made to yearn for something more. You

are aware of a thirst that “things” are

not able to satisfy. “Lord, I thirst!”

In response to your cry, an Omniscient

Heavenly Father dispatches a cloud; it is

a grievously dark cloud. It comes to where

you are, looming overhead, hiding as it

were, the face of the Son.

“O God! I thirst for your Presence!

Why do you now forsake me in the

midst of my need?”

It is then, from that same cloud that

(seemingly) brought forth darkness and

separation, that Mercy begins to rain

upon you. Your Heavenly Father

showers you with His Sufficiency!

What reasoning is it that would cry,

“Lord, send the rains to quench my thirst,

but please withhold the clouds!”

The Psalmist cried out, “Thou hast been

my help!” In the shadow of Thy wings

will I rejoice!”

Look up! Behold the cloud! It is rather

the Shadow of His Wings that hovers

above you!

On Suffering

I beheld a single rose, yet in its infancy;

Its clothing was as a robe of green.

I watched as it began to awaken;

To slowly stretch forth as from a fitful sleep.

I witnessed the emerging of life:

There was beauty within, would soon be revealed.

I saw tender petals begin to unfold.

From its heart came forth tiny showers of color,

And from the showers came splashes of light.

And finally it was open in a display of radiance and splendor!

My eyes were as opened gates to permit its beauty to enter.

Leaning closely, I breathed in the lingering fragrance.

I dared to touch the soft, velvety petals.

To my heart it spoke of warmth and of joy.

I reached forth my hand, taking hold of the stem.

I drew back in pain; sharp thorns having pricked my fingers.

Drops of blood appeared from those places pierced.

How, O how, I cried, can anything of such beauty

Likewise be the bearer of such pain?

And what shall be my response to such things:

Shall I now look upon the rose in a fit of anger;

Shall I renounce its beauty and splendor?

Are my eyes to look upon it in contempt;

Am I to regard it as horrid and ugly?

Is its fragrance now to become a stench in my nostrils;

Shall I withdraw from it forever?

O God, from Thy Presence would I seek wisdom:

When from within the roses that you have planted in

The garden of my heart, I am pricked by the thorns:

Help me, O Lord, amidst the pain and the suffering,

To remember the rose in its infancy; the opening of its petals;

To yet rejoice in its beauty, to lean near to smell its fragrance;

For Thou O God, hast made both rose and thorn,

That they, through my life, may glorify you.

O For a Drop of Water To Cool My Tongue

The Rich Beggar and Lazarus

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” Luke 16:23,24.

The rich man was tormented in this flame? His cry, that Lazarus might dip his finger in water and cool his tongue? Was his whole body not engulfed in the flame? Why single out the tongue for relief; why not the feet or other extremities?

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” James 3:6.

“If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body” James 3:2. (Sounds as though it came from the Proverbs, doesn’t it?)

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” Luke16:15. “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous. . .derided him” Luke 16:14. Would man exalt himself while casting down his Creator? Would he think to dethrone the Sovereign and make himself God? “The tongue is a fire? It defileth the whole body? It is set on fire of hell?” James 3.

And what of Lazarus? He recognized him; even knew his name? He was well aware that Lazarus had laid at his gate full of sores; that he was a beggar whom he had refused even the crumbs from his table. Had he observed the Law of Gleanings (Lev.19:9,10) that called for him to provide for such as Lazarus. . .how could he profess to keep the law and purposely ignore this one? What did he now know about Lazarus: that he was no longer laden with sores; he was in heaven, clean, undefiled. Lazarus might touch his defiled tongue with water without fear of his being ceremonially defiled himself by a defiled beggar.

He believed that Lazarus might enter the abyss and leave at will; that he would be without harm from the flame in which he himself suffered.

“that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue.” Where would Lazarus obtain the water: certainly not from within the flame of hell! What kind of water is it that would resist being immediately vaporized upon entering this fiery furnace? And it is expected to remain cold water that it might cool his tongue? What water could possibly cool the fire of hell? And effectively cool the tongue as to bring a prolonged degree of Comfort? Lazarus, have you access to such water? “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb” Rev. 22:1.

My dear rich beggar, what a sad commentary! Not so much as a drop of cold water is possible to cool your parched tongue. The Well stood before you; spoke to you: “And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” Rev. 22:17.

“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst: but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” John 4:13b,14.

My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" II Cor. 4:8,9.

How many believers, at some time during their earthly pilgrimage and in the course of the bearing of their cross, will not say or at least feel like saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And truly He might have: by all that is righteous He should have utterly forsaken us. But according to His divine purpose, our Lord Jesus bore upon Himself, our sin; He was forsaken, in our stead: for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish . . .should not be forsaken; should not be cast away. . .

Cast Aways

"Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations" Hosea 9:16,17. "Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself" Hosea 10:1. The question might be asked of Israel: "Why hast thou forsaken Me?"

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered: and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" John 15:6. Notice at the beginning of the verse, "If a man abide not in me."

In Hosea we read that the root of Ephraim is "dried up." They shall bear no fruit as unto the Lord; the fruit of their womb will be slain and cast away. It is the "root of Ephraim", not of God; and their "righteousness", that of self. In John 15 and verse six, the problem is not that the root is dried up, but it is in the failure of the branch to "abide in the Vine," or root. Both are called "cast aways."

No Fruit without Root.

"And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward" II Kings 19:30, Isa. 37:31. "But the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit" Pro. 12:12. If one be called "righteous", if he has root: may we say that neither root nor righteousness are of his own doing. The root and the righteousness are of Christ.

"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left. . ." Isa. 11:10,11. This root of Jesse we know to be Messiah, the Christ. "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" Rev. 11:15.

No Cast Away!

In the first two verses of John chapter 15, notice that "I AM is all caps; that Christ is without question identifying himself as God, the I AM of the book of Exodus.

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch [in me] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it. . ." Though not expressed in the Greek, it is to be understood, "every branch in me." The word 'Airo' as used in other scriptures is "to lift up, to bear up," and in no wise "cast away." The caring Husbandman lifts up, bears up the unfruitful branch; it shall receive his undivided attention - it shall in no wise perish! Remember, "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.

Every branch [in me] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it. It is a cleansing. Compare the footwashing of the disciples. The believer has the imputed righteousness of Christ, but needs cleansing in his earthly walk. The branch is in need of the "washing of water;" the cleansing away of the infestation of parasites, of mold, of insects. ". . .Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" Ephesians 5:25b- 27.

A Call to Suffering.

In the calling of Saul, the Lord sent a disciple, Ananias as a witness and in the restoring of his sight. "the Lord said unto him, go thy way; for he [Saul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake" Acts 9:15-16. How this defies human reasoning! A chosen vessel unto the Lord - yet in the same sentence, "great things he must suffer for my name's sake!" And he was - and he did. Remember the words of the apostle? "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, [not cast out] but not destroyed;" Despite all of that, Paul's testimony, his goal, remains unshakable: "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" Phil. 3:10. If we "fast-forward to the end of Paul's life, we find an almost cheerful testimony! "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" And the course has been as it began: one of great suffering -"for my name's sake." Paul, was it worth it? "Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing!"

"My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" If Paul ever said it; if he ever thought it - the Lord has not allowed us to know!

Ere we feel forsaken, may we see "the Man of sorrows;" become acquainted with his grief. Shall we mourn in our daily sufferings? My dear friend, He "has borne our griefs, carried our sorrows." Multiplied suffering: bearing both His own and also our sorrows on the tree: bearing our iniquities. . . He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities."


Crucify Him! Crucify Him! The sacrificial Lamb was being slain; His blood poured forth into the basin. It was struck upon the lintel and the two side posts. “Behold the Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world!” Yet there was no redemption for the howling mob. Their hearts reeked with malice and unbelief. They literally stood at the threshold of salvation, looking on, but never appropriating the blood of the sacrifice for themselves.

Two thieves were dying on either side of the Lord Jesus, both being identified with the Lord, and He being identified with them. “He hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” [Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do] Isa. 53:12. They were at the Throne of Grace before the Son of God. Here they might find mercy, grace, forgiveness of sin, reconciliation - and one of them did! But the other one dropped as it were, from before the Throne into hell.

Perhaps there were Egyptians who stood at a distance, watching the Israelites slaying their sacrificial lambs; then taking the hyssop and striking the blood upon the lintel and sideposts of the door. But it was to no avail. Watching the slaying of many lambs could afford them no remedy from the certain death that was to enter their houses that night. Many are the Hollywood movies that have portrayed the crucifixion, but there is no redemption to be gained from such! Reenactments can not save; only beholding, in Faith, the Savior and His shed blood; crying from the heart, He died in my place; took my sin upon Himself! He lives! and I shall live with Him!

My Lord and My God

Lord of me and God of me

Varied are the salutations one might use in addressing the Lord in prayer - Our Father, Our Heavenly Father, Dear Lord. . .But why should we not, even as Thomas. . .though having not seen, yet having believed, proclaim the proclamation, call aloud unto our God, our Saviour, our Redeemer: ‘Lord of me and God of me!’ May we not hear as it were the reply: My son, My beloved, My friend, thou whom I have redeemed by the sacrifice of Mine own Blood, My seed, the travail of My soul, thou blessed of My Father!

‘Lord of me and God of me!’ I am quickened, given Eternal Life; His Life; Christ, my Resurrection! Though I was dead, yet am I now made alive in Him!

‘Lord of me and God of me!’ “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” Jer. 33:3.

‘Lord of me and God of me!’ “For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?” Deut. 4:7.

“Lord of me and God of me!’ What a way to begin the new dawn! “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” Pro. 3:5.

‘Lord of me and God of me!’ Shall not the Holy Spirit be moved within us if we with a heart desiring to worship our Lord, call unto Him; ‘Lord of me and God of me!’ What rejoicing; what communion there is to be shared with our indwelling Comforter when we call forth unto our Lord Jesus Christ. And shall not the wooing of the Spirit cause us to speak of Him in great adoration?

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” I Cor. 15:19. The troubled heart. It burdened us in the past; it is with us in some form or fashion in the present, and certainly is not apt to be avoided in the future. What is our present mentality? I’m in Christ! or, I find myself at this moment to be ‘under the circumstances?’ Really? And just Who are the ‘circumstances’ under?

What is a troubled heart anyway? Everyone has, or has had, a ‘troubled heart,’ even Jesus! Chapter(s) and verse(s), you say?

“Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in spirit, and was troubled” John 11:32,33. “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” John 12:27,28. Troubled, tarasso, metaphorically, of the soul and spirit of the Lord, where the true rendering is, ‘He troubled Himself;’ Vine’s Expository Dictionary

Though our Lord be grieved, and His soul full of heaviness, yet this ‘troubling of heart’ was manifested in pure righteous! When one is truly troubled in heart because of his sin, it is the working of righteousness upon him. To be troubled in soul and in spirit is not a bad thing - as long as it is accompanied by faith with God the Father and God the Son as its object! Does not even intercessory prayer stem from a ‘troubled heart’?

Troubled, tarasso, as associated with unbelief: inward commotion, agitation, dis-quieted, disturbed, anxious, distressed, lack of calm, full of fear and dread, perplexed and full of doubt. “Let not you heart be troubled.” Has Christ not borne our troubles: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . .he hath poured out his soul unto death” Isa. 53:4,12b. Sin carries with it our unbelief; our inward commotion, our agitation, our anxieties, our distresses, our fears, our doubts: and Jesus bore them all in our stead upon the tree!

“Let not your heart be troubled.” Not plainly stated but nevertheless implied: Let not your heart be troubled through unbelief! “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” I Cor. 10:13. A Way of escape: is it not through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ? “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me” John 14:5,6. Let not your heart be troubled? “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . .let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

“Let not your heart be troubled” John 14:1. Again in verse 27: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid [timid, fearful, faithless”] That is, Stop your troubling of heart - and stop it right now! (The verb tense in both words indicates a command to “stop it now.”) It is not a suggestion, but a much needed command!

The Remedy for a Troubled Heart

A good doctor will hopefully not only give an accurate diagnosis but will follow with a workable remedy. Faith is the medication or spiritual exercise prescribed by the Great Physician. “ye believe in God, believe also in me.” vs.1. “I and my Father are one” John 10:30. The response of the religious Jews to Christ’s word: they “took up stones again to stone him” vs. 31. A Christless religion is likewise a Godless religion.

“Let not your heart be troubled:” so begins the reading of our text. But what if we should back up to the end of the previous chapter. . .?

“Simon Peter said unto him, Lord whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. [ But it was Jesus who would lay down His life for Peter’s sake.] Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” [ In between this warning of our Lord unto Simon and ‘Let not your heart be troubled’, I can sense the words piercing the heart of the disciple as a dagger; the blood draining from his face: he was troubled!] “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” John 13:36-38, 14:1. Chapter 13 ends and chapter 14 begins - right in the middle of the dialogue! Simon, you are stunned because I said that you should momentarily deny me: you are perplexed because I go away - but ‘Let not your heart be troubled.’

Simon, you, before the morning breaks, are going to deny me; not once, but three times. But you shall follow me afterwards. [What an encouraging promise this disciple’s ears needed to hear just now!] What were Peter’s, yes, even the thoughts of all the disciples? Jesus was to set up His kingdom; they would rule and reign with Him; this was the place that they were anticipating; but now He is going away? Now, no place is to be found for them. . .yes, they are troubled!

Simon, you are going to deny me, but “I go to prepare a place for you. You shall deny me, but I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I Am, there ye may be also.” Simon, for a moment, you shall deny me; but “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” - not even for a moment!

Let not your heart be troubled? Jesus, anticipating the thoughts of Peter and the other disciples said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.” (Here is a promise that is impeccable and above reproach.) But Simon, you shall lie to those who would recognize you as Jesus’ disciple: you would have done well to coin these words of your Lord: Shall they ask, “Are you not His disciple?” And Peter could have shouted, “Yes! I am His disciple! If it were not so, I would have told you!”

Thomas and Philip enter into the conversation; the words of our Lord are for all the disciples - and for us, of course! But let us meditate for a moment upon the scene; just Jesus and Simon Peter. It is a tender moment; and the love, the compassion, the mercies and grace of our Savior are delicately put on display before a man who would shortly deny knowing his Lord. Simon, “let not your heart be troubled. . .But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” John 14:1, Luke 22:32. Did his faith fail anyway? No, he did not betray his Lord, as did Judas, nor forsake Him as such: he denied knowing Him. He denied knowing Him in whom his faith found lodging!

Oh, but I would never deny knowing the Lord! Is our reluctance in speaking of him where opportunity avails, not something akin to denial? Though the servant is often unfaithful, yet He remains ever faithful - and will never deny us - not even for a moment.

Ye Cannot Serve the Lord

An interesting conversation between Joshua and the children of Israel: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” “Therefore will we also serve the Lord; for He is our God.” “Ye cannot serve the Lord: for He is an Holy God;” it would appear that the “Christian Service” of our day is far removed from that of which Joshua spoke. How indeed can sinful man truly be said to “serve the Thrice-Holy God?” None were more thorough at the practice of religious service than the Pharisees, but we know full well that they in no wise knew anything of serving a Holy God. The cry goes forth in our day: “We’re going to serve the Lord; we’re going to be witnesses for Him!” Really? Again, how can a sinful man serve a Holy God? “And Joshua said unto the people, ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve Him” If they would own Him as Lord, they must first confess their sinfulness; that they have been unfaithful, unprofitable servants. To now choose to serve the Lord must needs indicate that they have previously chosen otherwise. Will you truly serve the Lord and Him only? “Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you.” What sort of repentance is it that continues to hold on to the object of the sin? Once sin is confessed and its object “put away,” then, continues Joshua, “incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel.” If you would “serve God”, first put away “mammon.” Notice carefully the response of the people: “The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice we will obey. “A wise “pastor” is Joshua to his people. He has put before them the urgency of the matter: “choose ye this day.” He has made known unto them the seriousness of it; that God is Holy, that man is sinful and is in no position to rightly serve Him. That the first step in becoming a “witness” for the Lord is to be a witness against self - that they put away the strange gods from themselves - that they incline their hearts unto God. Now they should be in the condition and position to hear the voice of God, to discern His will: to be submissive to that will in obedience! How futile to charge the people to obey God! Obedience will come, but only as the heart is rightly prepared - even as these scriptures have shown us.

Do the New Testament scriptures bear out that which is taught in the Old? “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” I John 1:9.

“if we confess our sins.” How can a sinful man serve a Holy God? First, be a witness against ourselves: Lord, I am an unfaithful servant; I have harbored unrighteousness in my heart. Because I am unfaithful, I am also become an unprofitable servant. I realize in confessing my sin, that I must choose: will I serve You? Then I must put away the “strange gods” of self will. I must “incline” my heart unto the Lord God of Israel.” “He is faithful”; He has judicially “put away” my unrighteousness. I am cleansed from sin. But how shall my daily walk be made clean if I do not acknowledge, if I do not witness against my unfaithfulness to the Faithful One? How shall He cleanse that which will not be made clean? How shall I “witness for the Lord” if I will not witness against myself?

May we end with these thoughts. Self-examination will not yield true repentance. It is looking unto Jesus - seeking His face - allowing the Light of Righteousness to shine into our hearts. Not only can He reveal the truth, but He is the only remedy for our sinfulness. What about that scripture: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged?” I Cor. 11:30. This is true. But it must not be done according to our standards, our evidence. Self evaluation will not suffice. Right judgment may only be rendered as the Holy Spirit rightly discerns our hearts. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the Way Everlasting.” Psalms 139:23.

Give Us This Day

The Object of Prayer.

Our Father. It is to be an intercessory prayer. Consider Job and his intercession for his children. “And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” Job 1:5. “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his blood, suffered without the gate.” “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” Heb. 13:12,15. Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul; Thank you Lord, for making me whole; Thank you, Lord, for giving to me, Thy great salvation so [rich, full] and free!

The Direction of Prayer.

“Our Father, which art in Heaven” Regardless of the posture (the knees may go downward) but the prayer must go upward.

The Name of Prayer.

“I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I AM the Lord which hallow you, That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I AM the Lord” Lev. 22:32.

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” Matt. 6:9. This day, hallowed be thy name.

The Kingdom of Prayer.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” These must be taken together. One cannot think to rule as Sovereign King unless His will, His desires, His Eternal Purpose, be acknowledged and carried out. When Jesus prayed that night in Gethsemane: “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done” Luke 22:42: it was but a continuation of that which He had prayed every morning. Father, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

The Provision of Prayer.

Give us. It is from the hand of God; it is purely of Grace and of no merit; it is unearned. It is not a “hand-out!” All we may be given was purchased at great price! It was that which is infinitely more valuable than gold: it is the precious Blood of the Lamb of God. It is abundant source! “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phil. 4:19.

The Today of Prayer.

Give us this day. It is not, “Give us tomorrow. . .” It is a morning prayer; not nightfall when the day is far spent. Job rose up early in the morning to pray and offer sacrifice.

Our daily Bread. The children of Israel” gathered it [manna] every morning, every man according to his eating. . .He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack” Exodus 16:21,18. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” Matt. 5:6. In light of this verse, we do no wrong in saying, it [He, Christ] is the Bread of Righteousness. The Lord is our Daily Bread, our Portion. He is sustenance for the body, Heavenly Manna for the soul: He is Life, health, wisdom; He is the fruit of compassion; He is the Bread of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

The Forgiveness of Prayer.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive out debtors.” Do I read this right? Father, if I am negligent or refuse to forgive him who transgresses against me - then by all that is right, neither should I receive Your forgiveness in that I have sinned against You!

The Deliverance of Prayer.

“And lead us not into temptation, [God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” James 1:13.] but deliver us from evil”

The Worship of Prayer.

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. I own nothing; it is the Lord’s; I am without strength in myself; I am a sinner, saved by grace, and merit no honor upon myself - It is, not I, but Christ!

The Right Perspective of Prayer.

Our Father, Give us, our daily bread; forgive us; our debtors; lead us; deliver us. Thy name; thy kingdom; thy will; thine is the kingdom; thine, the power; thine, the glory.

Life! By Grace Through Faith

“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” Matt. 22:32b.

‘God is dead!’ ‘No God,’ the claim of others. Both are right - and both are ‘dead’ wrong! If you are dead, then your god is a dead god. A dead man has no god; neither has he any need for one: he is dead! But one who is living, has need of and indeed has, an Eternal and never-dying God.

“And you hath he [will He] quickened, who were [are] dead in trespasses and sins . . .Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved”) Ephesians 2:1,5. (This being true of the Believer can be true in your heart and life if only you will trust the living Christ to take away your sin and give you His life and impute to you His righteousness.)

“Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. . .the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . .It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin. . .” Isaiah 53. “We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be the righteousness of God in him” II Cor. 5:20,21.

A dead man must reckon himself dead in order to live a life that is not his.

“I am crucified with Christ: [identified with Him in His death] nevertheless I live [identified with Him in His Resurrection]: 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.

“I’m not good enough” or “I’ve led a wicked life;” “God wouldn’t save me.” That’s not the testimony of the Apostle Paul: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” I Tim. 1:15. “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy. . .I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” I Tim. 1:13,16.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. . .But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:6,8.

“I’m not that bad.” “As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way. . .there is none that doeth good, no not one” Rom. 3;10-12.

“I’m a creature of habit! I couldn’t live the Christian life.” “For the love of Christ constraineth us. . .Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” II Cor. 5:14a,17.

“You’re losing it!” “What if I lose my salvation after I am saved, having trusted Christ?” Dear friend, consider this: I can understand how I might lose my life - but how can I lose His life? To ‘lose’ there is the thought of ‘misplacing’ something. One might lose or misplace his glasses; they are mere things, separate from oneself. But not Life! For that matter, who would be losing whom? “and ye are not your own. . . For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” I Cor. 6:19b,20.

“Lose, nothing!” “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and he that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. . .that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing” John 6:37,40. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. . .Who are kept [never to be lost] by the power of God through faith unto salvation. . .I Peter 1:3,5.

“Give your life to God!” as some would say. No, quite the contrary - Give your death to God! He will take your dry, dead, lifeless being and quicken it; make it alive everlasting with His Life! “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” John 3:16.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Another Comforter - family ties

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!

First, His love. Jesus saw those whom He loved: His mother (comma) and the disciple (comma). It is not: “the disciple standing by whom he loved” It is: “His mother, and the disciple (,) whom He loved.” The placing of that comma indicates that our text speaks of His love toward both mother and disciple! He saw those whom he loved!

Second, Jesus never (at least in recorded scripture) refers to Mary as Mother. (We shall skip traditional reasons.) She is addressed as Woman in the gospel of John only; and then, in just two instances: In John chapter two, the wedding at Cana; and our current text.

“Mine hour is not yet come,” thus are we given a prophetic picture: in our text, the “hour” is now come - the fulfillment of John chapter two!

“Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from “that hour” that disciple took her unto his own.” The word “home,” in italics, was added by the translators.

From “That Hour.” In other scripture, when a specific hour of time is meant, it is identified as such: it was the sixth hour, the ninth hour. . .

Let us gain understanding: Jesus had said to her in John chapter two: “mine hour” is not yet come: but now, it is time; His “Hour” is come! It is the hour when “the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners;” Matt. 26:45. It is “that hour” when Jesus prays concerning the Cup. Mark 14:36. Moreover, Jesus said to His enemies as they came to the Garden to take Him: “this is your hour, and the power of darkness. “Luke 22:53. “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” “For this cause came I unto this hour.” John 12:23,27. Again, Jesus prays, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee:” John 17:1. Finally, let us notice to what distance this hour is extended: “Now before the feast of the Passover when Jesus knew that His “hour had come” that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,” John 13:1. It would appear then, that that hour began before they came to arrest Jesus in the garden, even to that time when He was caught up into Heaven to sit in His Father’s throne.

In light of all that we have just seen, let us return once again to our text: “And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own. Question. Why did the scripture not say that he took her. . .from that day forward, as is found in many other places? We may say that at this hour, the hour of crucifixion, this is the hour when Jesus became her Saviour. But this hour consisted not of 60 minutes of time but includes the resurrection: Christ could be no Saviour unless He was first the Sin-bearer, the Sufferer; paying our awful debt, and was raised from the grave, a living Saviour! Spiritually, the hour must include the ascension, in that Jesus told the disciples “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. *See note. Certainly Mary must have seen the resurrected Christ during the forty days prior His ascension! Then the fulfillment of the picture - John is truly her comforter; even as the Spirit is Comforter to all the family of God.

We have arrived to a point where we must look beyond the mother of Jesus and His disciple; that they are representative of those other than themselves. Consider this: that Mary (or Woman) pictures every believer in Christ; and that John the Beloved, shows forth the present work of the Holy Spirit, which began, following the ascension of our Lord into Heaven; it is from “that hour!” “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by [the Holy Spirit is that One who is standing by, along side the believer, awaiting instruction or “call” from the Lord.] Unto his mother: Woman, behold thy son.” Actually, the Spirit has written it in such a way as to give us a duel meaning. Certainly, “thy son” identifies with the disciple. But does it not first identify with “thy Son,” that is Christ Himself! She is to “behold Him” in faith; He is become her Savior! His “hour” is come: when He becomes Sin for us; offers Himself in our stead; is buried; rises victoriously from the grave; ascends to Heaven as the God/man; as our High Priest and Intercessor!

To the disciple He says, “Behold thy mother!” To this you may object; “the picture doesn’t fit! The believer, presented as mother to the Holy Spirit?” What is the sense in which it is given? It is not that John is in need of a mother! It is he who is to take her unto his own! He is the one “standing by her” in readiness to perform all that Christ should speak. She will be in need of his support, of his love, of his protection, of his care, of his Comfort, during sorrow and suffering. But our Lord has promised, He will return and receive her unto Himself. But until then, that disciple is to be her “seal. . .of Promise. . . the earnest of her inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,” “those that are “Christ’s at His coming!”

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth. . .He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. . .He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” John 14:16,17,26. “He will guide you. . .show you things to come. . .glorify Me. . .take of mine and shew unto you” John 16.

John and Mary? They are become family! Jesus had been born into the family of Joseph and Mary. Now Mary is portrayed to John as part of his family. As such, Christ sends the Holy Spirit unto the believer to be his Comforter; he is family! “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. . .And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one” John 17:21,22. We’re family!

*Note. “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. A key verse should give clarity: “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:17. He dwelleth with you? “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet [following the ascension]. .they went into an upper room. . .

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” Acts 1:12a,13a,14. Jesus has departed into heaven; they were awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit who would fill them with Himself - pray tell, then, did they continue in prayer and supplication - in one accord - for ten days - in the ability of the flesh - or was the Holy Spirit present to bring a spirit of oneness in the midst? No Jesus, no Holy Spirit present? What a chaos, what division, what unbelief there would have been if they had been left to themselves!

The Price of Worship

Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him” John 12:1,2.

Before us we have a supper; Jesus is there; a resurrected Lazarus is there; there is pictured one who would fall at His feet to worship Him. “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. . .And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not. . .worship God” Rev. 19:9,10. It would appear that a resurrected Lazarus who sat at the table with Jesus will again do so a second time; even with the saints, who as Lazarus, will be resurrected at His coming!

The Price of Worship?

“Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.” Oswald Chambers

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus” John 12:3. It was valuable monetarily. From the outward appearance it was of great worth. None will contest that! But it was intensely more precious because of its usage. It was given to Jesus, in the anointing of His feet. (Who can place the value upon five loaves and two fishes when given unto our Lord?) Though of much value, the ointment would have become worthless had it been withheld through selfish desire. Had Ananias and Sapphira lived after withholding the promised possession from the Lord - would it not have been as spiritual dry rot in their hands (as quoted from Oswald Chambers)?

What, may we ask, did Jesus find precious? Was it the costly spikenard; or was it Mary, worshipping at His feet? Mary, where did you get such an expensive treasure as the spikenard? We are often challenged to do as Mary, to break our vessel of precious ointment and likewise anoint the feet of our Lord in worship. Must one possess great riches in order to worship the Lord? “Nothing in my hand I bring?” But Mary brought the costly spikenard in her hand! I don’t have such a thing of value - do you? At least, not of myself.

Martha presumed serving Jesus meant providing food for Him; Mary thought serving Jesus was sitting at His feet, receiving from His presence the Sweet-smelling Savour: which is right? It is interesting that at the resurrection of Lazarus our Lord found it necessary to tell Martha that I AM the Resurrection and the Life, that she might have understanding. When Mary came, we do not read that He spoke anything concerning this matter unto her. Can it be that He had already taught her these things, while she sat at His feet?

I think Brother Chambers has the answer: “Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. . .offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship.” Where did Mary obtain such a valuable treasure? Here’s the picture: the spikenard portrays the Blessing, the Sweet-smelling Savour that Mary received all those times that she sat at the feet of Jesus. Is it not fitting that those Blessings received be laid back upon His feet?

“And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. . .She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying” Mark 14:6,8. The Blessing of God was upon Mary; the anointing of His body aforehand: though others had not as yet peceived the truth, Mary understood: Jesus was to die that she might live. The shedding of His Precious Blood was unto her a cleansing flow, a healing ointment; and the price, the value of that blood exceeded many pounds of spikenard, yea, many tons could not have compared! “ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold. . .but with the precious blood of Christ. . .” I Peter 1:18,19.

My dear friend, may we be found as Mary; sitting at the feet of Jesus: for only there will we find the precious ointment, as a Sweet-smelling Savour, purchased at infinite cost; whereby we may as a broken vessel, pour out unto Christ that with which we have been filled and “offer it back to Him in a deliberate act of worship.”

Ye Are Not Under the Law

Ye are not under the law, but under Grace. Where then is the law to be found? It is within the Ark of the Covenant. It is under the Mercy Seat. It is under the blood. It is safe; it is unbroken, and shall remain so.

If the breaking of the tablets of stone show forth man’s disobedience in transgressing the law, shall not the obedience of One show forth the fulfilling of the law: hence the preserving of the second set of the tablets of the law?

Where then is Grace to be found? He is sitting between the cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony; above the Mercy Seat.

Ought not the heart of man be found as the residence of the God of all grace? Shall we not look for the day when our hearts truly become as the Ark of the Covenant; that they contain the unbroken law of God?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To: Whosoever Will

Love Letters in the Sand

“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set [histemi,Gr. to stand] her in the midst,” John 8:3. “and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” John 8:9. (At the beginning, we see the woman standing in the presence of Jesus; and in the midst of the scribes and Pharisees. After their disappearance she continued to stand in the midst; in the Presence of the Lord!)

“They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what saith thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground” John 8:4-6.

In light of their “righteous judgment,” appropriate would be the words of our Lord spoken to them earlier in John chapter five! “Do not think that I will not accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom you trust. For had you believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:45-47.

“But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground” John 8:6. (In a stooped position one would not think to be able to exert much pressure in writing on the ground; the soil or sand therefore must be soft.)

That Jesus wrote on the ground in view of all that were present infers that this was not a private but an open letter. Though we do not know the context of His writing, we may rightly assume that it was addressed to ‘Whosoever will’ or ‘Whosoever believeth!’

But Jesus stooped down, and wrote with his finger on the ground, as though he heard them not” John 8:6. But it was they who would not hear Jesus.

But “they continued asking him” in total disregard of what the finger of God was writing: they cared not for (that’s far too soft: despised) His Word: they were, if anything, frustrated by His seeming abandonment to what they were saying; so feverishly intent they were to accuse Him.

“He lifted himself up, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. . .And when they heard it, being convicted by their own conscience [and saw it; the writing of the finger of Christ on the ground] went out” John 8:7,9. They fled from the Presence of the Light into the darkness of the morning sun! “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” John 3:19.

The verse in between says, “And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.” Jesus wrote twice. Perchance the first writing was to the scribes and Pharisees; a message of impending judgment if they refused to repent; and was not the second message to the woman, (not to the scribes and Pharisees, as they were hastily departing!) a message of no condemnation, of forgiveness; of deliverance and cleansing from her sin? To the woman it may have been what Donald Grey Barnhouse would have termed an ‘effectual calling.’

Jesus’ Word is never ‘written in vain,’ it never ‘returns void.’ Shall we suppose the woman to have been ‘looking unto Jesus,’ being drawn of the Spirit to read what He was writing? Whatever it was, it must have done more than spark the identification of His Person: “He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, LORD.

I somehow sense this woman, a guilty sinner, standing before the Christ in whose hands is all authority and judgment. Shall He condemn her? Is judgment to be passed? Is she to be stoned? Nevertheless she will entrust her destiny into His hands; He is a Just God. She stands before Him “Just as I am, without one plea. . .Oh, Lamb of God I come to Thee.”

“And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I [ I AM? ] condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” I perceive that He wrote, not only on the ground, but upon her heart. Could this adulterous woman not picture adulterous Israel (as would be an example that is consistent with many other scriptures?) “For this covenant that I make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind and will write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. . . For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” Heb. 8:10,12.

Neither do I condemn thee. “He that believeth on him is not condemned [the woman]: but he that believeth not [the scribes and Pharisees] is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:18.

If she is not condemned, then what? To be not condemned only does not constitute salvation. There is no ‘Halfway House’ or Purgatory as some would have us believe. “God. . .hath spoken unto us by His Son. . .when He had by Himself purged our sins” Hebrews chapter one. Though not recorded as such, what if Jesus wrote, Thy sins be forgiven thee: Who but the Lord God can forgive sin? Did she not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God?

One who is not condemned is found to be ‘not guilty’ in a court of law. One who is guilty yet not condemned must needs be forgiven; and that by the propitiation of sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. “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 righteousness for the remission of sins. . .that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” Rom. 3:24-26.

“Go, and sin no more.” “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken [or written] unto you” John 15:3. It is unthinkable to suppose that Jesus might send this woman on her way while yet bearing the heavy load of sin, with instructions to ‘go and sin no more!’ We, as this woman, stood one day in the guilt of our sin in the presence of the Saviour! By faith (and His Eternal Faithfulness) we remain in His abiding Presence, cleansed, forgiven, justified, clothed in the purity of His imputed Righteousness!

A closing thought: Paul speaks unto us of love letters (written not in the sand but in the heart:) “Ye are our epistle [letter] written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle [letter] of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart” II Cor. 3:2,3.

The God of Creation formed heaven and earth, and with His finger signed His magnificent work. Thus were the mountains brought upward and the valleys brought low. His finger wrote commandments upon tablets of stone; it wrote upon the wall of king’s palaces: now it is seen written upon the ground. But what is not seen is His signature written upon His New Creation: the hearts of those whom He has redeemed!

Ye MUST Be Born Again

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God” John 1:12,13.

There are no options. There is no other way. To spend eternity in the flaming abyss under the judgment of Almighty God is not a plausible option.

When Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews came to Jesus, being inquisitive about His ministry and miracles, Jesus’ first recorded words to him were, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3. Notice, apart from the New Birth, man is dead; he is blind. He cannot ‘see’ the kingdom of God; and he certainly will never enter the Celestial City! “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” John 3:5. Once again our Lord gives emphasis to the call: perhaps a command, yet a cry of compassion unto Nicodemus: Ye MUST be born again.

We might echo the response of Nicodemus: “How can these things be?”

A question answered by a question. Continuing on after the discourse of the New Birth, Jesus said, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” John 3:12. A further explanation is afforded us in I Corinthians 2:14: “But 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.”

Just receive Christ? A commonly used term in this generation is that of “receiving Christ.” But how can one ‘receive’ that which he does not ‘believe?” John 3:16 tells us that whosoever believes in His [God’s] only begotten Son will not perish. Further, “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:18.

Man brings condemnation upon himself. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light. . .” John 3:19,20a.

The Sin of all sins; the great abomination, is in the breaking of the First commandment. It is far beyond the breaking of a law: it is the willful hatred and denial of one’s Creator; it is the “I will NOT “ love the Lord thy God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my might!” (Deut. 6:5). Is not this the tree from which all other sins branch out and bear their wicked fruit of unrighteousness?

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light. . .” vs.21. “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” John 6:28-29. ‘Doeth truth’ is well presented in Hebrews 11:13: faith, seeing, being persuaded, embracing, confessing. But these are fruit that are born from the New Birth and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

One will not receive that which he does not believe; one will not believe that which he does not see; and one will not see nor enter the kingdom of God unless he is born again; born of God; born of His Spirit. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” I Peter 1:23.

Again we read, “How then shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?. . .So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Rom. 10:14,17.

One MUST die that many may live. If born of God, then redeemed of God through Christ. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things. . .But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. . . Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” I Peter 1:18a,19,21.

Ye MUST be born again. One may wash a dead body until it is clean, then rub it down with oil or body lotion - but it remains a dead, unresponsive body. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, [how shall one who is dead in sin and unrighteous, do any works of righteousness?] but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” Titus 3:5. The washing of regeneration. One who is born again is washed and made clean and anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit? Yes! Are we not given a graphic example in the natural birth of a new born? What a beautiful picture is to be found in Ezekiel chapter 16! It is one of redemption, of compassion, of the washing away of the pollution of blood, of the anointing of oil, of clothing, of the covenant of ownership: of a Creator and Parent - God Himself!

The New Birth: being quickened by the Spirit.

“Quicken thou me according to thy word” Psalm 119:25,107,149. “Quicken thou me in thy way” vs.37. “Quicken me in thy righteousness” vs. 40. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness” vs.88,159. Quicken me according to thy judgment” vs. 149,156. “Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake” Psalm 143:11. We are quickened for thy namesake, oh Jehovah God; moreover, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was according to thy judgment: that our sin was laid upon Christ; our penalty being paid by His death and shed blood. In His lovingkindness did He redeem us, being made one in Christ Jesus. In righteousness did He justify us by the propitiation of His own beloved Son. It was according to His Purpose, His Way: it was according to His Word that the Eternal Covenant, the Plan of Redemption was consummated. . .

Quickened together with Christ. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. . .But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ” Eph. 2:1,4,5. Being quickened of God we are “raised up together“; and made to “sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” vs. 6.

A Quickening Presence!

‘Lazarus, awaken! I AM the Resurrection is come and calleth for thee!’ And He that would soon raise Jesus from the dead, now quickens and raises Lazarus and brings him forth into Christ’s presence! We may see Lazarus as being born again, yet because of a pre-existing body lying dead in a tomb; we see him quickened, made new, in a resurrected body.

“And if Christ be in you,

the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” Rom. 8:10,11. We are quickened, born again unto Christ; that same quickening Spirit lives within us: we shall experience a quickening, a re-birth of the body at the resurrection.

The New Creation.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” Gen. 2:7.

The Transformation.

And the Lord God ‘according to His purpose’; “whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” Rom. 8:29. In Adam we were formed; in Christ, transformed!

The Divine Conception.

“to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” We are born of God; we were Divinely Conceived. The conception was not an accident; it was according to Divine Planning!

He bears the Family Resemblance!

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. . .And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” I Cor. 15:45,49,50.

Caring for the New Born.

In John chapter 17 we are allowed to eavesdrop as it were, on the most beautiful and moving prayer in all the Bible: “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. . .That they may all be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. . .How critical, the New Birth. How utterly impossible, the fulfillment of our Lord’s prayer apart from the quickening of the Spirit.

Train up a child.

In John chapter 14, Jesus speaks to his disciples concerning yet another prayer: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter. . .Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” In chapter 16: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. . .he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” Consider these verses in Romans chapter 8: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. . .The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the sons of God.” “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” Rom. 8:9.

The Way, the Truth, the Life. How else may one be comforted by the Spirit of the Almighty? Or what Peace is afforded one outside of Christ? Tell me, how can one who remains dead in trespasses and sins receive, understand, discern the things of Christ? And how can the Spirit of the Living God bear witness with the dead? How important is it? It’s a matter of life and death; of heaven or hell; of eternal joy - or eternal judgment. . .

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Egyptian and a Samaritan

Two Women at the Well

Sometimes in attempting a comparison of an Old Testament character with a New there are to be found far more similarities than differences. But after all, the God of the New Testament is exactly the same God as in the Old: He changes not. And what variations do we suppose exist between Old and New personalities? Are we not all sinners, and our needs basically the same? Beginning with Adam and Eve we have needed a Saviour; One who might effectively deal with our sins; One who would reconcile us to the God against whom we have transgressed. How often the scriptures have made known the outcasts; the ‘whosoevers’ who would be made the objects of the Mercies and Grace of a yet Just God. The message is the same unto the ending of the Book: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” Rev. 22:17.

What may we glean as we look upon the record of two seeming ‘outcasts’ as Hagar the Egyptian handmaid and the Samaritan woman?

“And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now the Lord hath restrained [atsar, to hold back, shut (up), stopped] me from bearing” Gen. 16:2. Oh, Sarai! Think you that your God has pronounced a curse upon you; that He would render you harm? Thou art to be blessed among women, in that you shall yet bear a child from whom shall come the Christ of God!

And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid. . .and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. . .And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes” Gen. 16:5. What have we here? Is it “Those whom God hath joined together. . .?” Or is it rather “Those whom Sarai hath joined together. . .?” Hagar, do you really have a husband in Abram?

There is no question concerning the Samaritan woman: “The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her. . .he whom thou now hast is not thy husband” John 4:17a,18b. An undeniable two-fold witness is given.

The Relationship was broken between Sarai and Hagar. “. . . and when she [Hagar] saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. . .and when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face” Gen. 16:4,6b.

(As Hagar fled from the face of Sarai - so all, as in Adam, flee from the face of God.)

The relationship was broken between Israel and the Samaritans. “Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh a drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” John 4:9.

The Angel of the Lord found Hagar at the well Beer-lahai-roi. “And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness” Gen. 16:7. The Angel of the Lord (a Theophany) is clearly identified in verse 13: “And she called the name of the Lord that spoke to her, Thou God seest me.” The angel is both Lord and God!

Jesus came to Jacob’s well to ‘find’ the Samaritan woman. “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things” vs.25. “Thou God seest me?” “Jesus saith unto her, I (that speak unto thee) am he.” Or I AM!

Hagar at the well Beer-lahai-roi, or “Him that liveth and seeth me.” “And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also looked after him that seeth me? Whereby the well was called Beer-lahai-roi” Gen. 16:13,14.

The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. “Come see a man who told me all ever I did.” Or, “Come see Him that liveth and seeth me!” The Samaritan woman might well have called Jesus Beer-lahai-roi, as did her Old Testament sister Hagar!

Both had a common need; they were “drawn” to the Well of water. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters” Isaiah. 55:1. (But those who will not acknowledge any thirst shall not drink; rather will be parched and withered as the rich man in Hell.)

Were both made partakers of the Living Water? “And she [Hagar the Egyptian] called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me. . .Have I also looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi” vs 13,14.

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not” John 4:14,15.

Both the Egyptian woman and the woman of Samaria were “cast-outs.” Yet Jesus provided water from the Well for both. For Hagar: “And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad” Gen. 19:21:19,20a. To the Samaritan woman said Jesus, “I AM He [Messias]. . .The woman then [having seen the Well of living water] left her waterpot, went into the city and proclaimed to the men: “Come see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: Is not this the Christ?”

To the Jew, to the Egyptian, to the Samaritan: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. . .There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither Bond nor free. . .for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” Gal. 3:26,28,29.

Though the covenant be through Isaac, yet in Christ even the descendants of Ishmael may become heirs!

“And the angel of the Lord said unto her, [Hagar] I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude” Gen. 16:10. The Angel of the Lord [Christ] said. . .I will multiply thy seed.” All others but Christ are immediately disqualified!

I will multiply thy seed? Does the promise of the Lord extend itself - even unto Samaria? “Jesus saith unto them. . .behold I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. . .And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman” John 4;35,39. And who other than Christ can be said to have sown the seed in Samaria? Certainly not the Jews! Notice, He did not say the fields are in need of seeding; no, they are white; they are ready to harvest!

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”