1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
It nowhere says in Scripture that Shem died. I have, therefore, said "he ceased from among men." I rather conclude that he is the Melchi, king of zedek, righteousness, of whom Paul says, "it is testified that he liveth" (Heb. 7:8); and that being alive, he is a very fit and proper type of "the Apostle and High Priest of our confession"
4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
The Bible does not start by giving an argument for the existence of God, it simply introduces Him as the "Creator of the Heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1 :1). Nothing could be more grand or majestic - or simple. Later in scripture we are given the perfect argument for GOD In Heb 3.4
- "For every house is builded by some man ; but He that built all things is God."
It is as simple as this: We all know when we see a house that some one had to build it; we all should know, from the same reasoning that Someone who is Almighty had to build the
greater "house," the universe. - Issac Newton
The Apocalyptic Messenger, 2019
Now the world was not built out of nothing. The materials had been prepared by the work of the six days, and by the moral phenomena of the fall.
Elpis Israel 1.4.
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
His own house
The Stranger and the Hymn Book.
The brethren in Oldham have inserted the following notice in the hymn books appropriated to the use of strangers:
"To the stranger. You are most welcome to the use of this hymn book, so that you may know what is being sung.
It is commonly believed that all men are in a position to offer prayer and praise unto God. We believe that acceptable worship can only be offered by those who have been immersed after believing "the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ" (Hebrews iii. 6. John xiv. 6. John xvii. 9. &c.)
The Christadelphian, June 1887.
In studying the things of the kingdom of God, the foundation laid in the beginning must not be forgotten, for at that epoch its preparation was commenced. The system of the world is an adaptation to man in his fallen state; and out of the things thus arranged, it is that Christ's imperial dominion is being evolved.
By the laws of procreation has been provided a population, which by the confusion of tongues, has been distributed into nations, whose habitations have been fixed by the controlling power of the Elohim. Thus nations have been formed which are destined to flourish in the blessedness of the future age. Their history records the fiery ordeal through which their generations have passed. For the most part, men see nothing in it but a strife for territory and glory, for the advantage of their rulers; but the Scriptures reveal the workings of an invisible machinery, whose activity is perceived by the believer, in the incidents which occasion the conflicts among them.
He discerns the leaven, hid in the measures of meal, at work leavening the minds of men, and developing the "enmity" between the seeds. And though the strife is terrible, he feels no dismay, but rejoices with a firm and unwavering confidence in the certainty of the triumph of the truth and its adherents, because God has assured him in His word, that the King He has provided shall crush the sin-power and make the nations lick the dust like a serpent (Mic. 7:17).
Now this implies their subjugation, and it is to this crisis that all things are at present tending. And what then? Obviously, the transfer of the conquered to the sceptre of Yahweh's King, who overcomes them (Rev. 17:14), as it is written, "the Gentiles shall wait for His law" (Isa. 42:4); and "He shall reign over them" (Rom. 15:16). The nations, then, are the subjects of the Theocratic empire. By the truth and judgments of God brought to bear upon them, exciting and controlling their activity, they are being moulded like clay in the hands of the potter, for the dominion of the saints in the future age.
The hope of these things, whose seeds were sown in the constitution of the world at the beginning, was the hope of the gospel then in its most general enunciation. The subjects and territory of the empire, and the rulers thereof, were plainly marked out. The earth, and the conquered seed of the serpent, obedient to the victorious Seed of the woman, was the gospel of the kingdom in its most simple form. No particular portion of the globe, however, was indicated as the territory of a kingdom.
The Spirit began with universals; but, as the world became older, the particulars of the promise were unfolded to the eye of faith. But never, from the foundation of the world to the sealing up of the testimony of God, was such a kingdom, or dominion, promised, as that which is believed in, and glorified in the "sacred" psalmody of the Gentiles. Earth, and not the skies, is the region where alone it will appear...
..."According to your faith be it unto you." This is the first principle of religion delivered by the Great Teacher Himself. It is just and right that it should be so. No one can blame God for not bestowing upon them what they do not believe in, and, consequently, do not want, or seek after. This is precisely the position of the present generation of religionists in relation to the kingdom of God. They have faith in a sort of kingdom which He hath not promised, and in the one He has promised they do not believe. Hence, they believe in a non-entity; and, believing in what is nothing, they will get nothing but confusion of face.
Elpis Israel 2.2.
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
How are we to beware of unbelief?
By being on our guard against that which leads to it. Unbelief is the result of ignorance or partial knowledge in any matter. The first condition of faith is knowledge. Let us give attention to the facts - study the facts: keep company with the facts. Let us take Paul's advice to Timothy:
"give thyself wholly to them."
They are worthy of it. There is no class of facts to be compared with the facts concerning Christ. All other facts have but a superficial bearing. They are limited and transient. The facts concerning Christ go down to the foundations of being, affect the springs of all motive, touch the true philosophy of life, govern the everlasting prospect for individual life. How unwise to give them the second place.
"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly."
This is the apostolic exhortation. It is the voice of reason. It means that we must adopt the habits and methods that will lead to this result. How can a man expect the Word of Christ to dwell richly in him, who does not put it in, but fills up his mind instead with the human thoughts reflected in human literature of the moment, and allows his heart to be wholly preoccupied with the affairs of fleeting life, which may collapse like a bubble any moment?
"Give thyself to reading" are Paul's words again.
This is an absolute necessity. Only by reading can we make God's acquaintance in His revealed Word, and come under the power of His thoughts and commandments. The daily reading of the Bible ought to be the inexorable practice of every man and woman who aims to "overcome" in the battle all have to wage, who mean to "lay hold on eternal life."
Bro Roberts - Knowledge, Love, Obedience
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Incessant exhortation of a reasonable sort is both healthful and necessary. It is apostolically enjoined and experimentally demonstrated to be necessary. This must be the explanation of these Sunday morning addresses.
To some the voice may appear harsh and the standard high; but they will change their minds when the shadow of death comes over them, or the glory of the judgment-seat overwhelms them. They will see that this constant affirmation of the truth of God in its bearing on the house of God is the highest kindness, and perhaps may have conferred even on them at last, the highest benefit which it is possible for one man to receive at the hand of another.
At all events, whether acceptable or otherwise, as long as God permits this voice to be heard in the land of the living it will be heard on behalf of the great and universally neglected fact that if men are unmindful of the Creator of heaven and earth, they forfeit the title to existence at His hand, and will at last experience that ruin that came upon His own nation Israel because of this offence.
Seasons 1: 41.
This is a Scripture term, and must be explained by the Scripture use of it. In the sacred writings, then, the term is used to express a period of over two thousand years. This use of it occurs in David, as it is written,
"To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, lest ye enter not into My rest " (Psalm 95:7-11).
The apostle, commenting upon this passage about one thousand years after it was written, says, "exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day; " and, "labour, to enter into the rest that remaineth for the people of God" (Heb. 3:13; 4:9-11). Thus, it was called "to-day," when David wrote; and "to-day," when Paul commented upon it. This was a long day; but one, however, which is not yet finished; and will continue unclosed until the manifestation of the rest in the Paradise of God.
If it be admitted, that we are still in "the day of salvation," then it must be received as true, that we are living "while it is called to-day " -- that "to-day" is now; and this "now" will be present until the Lord Jesus enters into His rest (Psalm 132:13-18), which He cannot do until He has finished the work God has given Him to do (Isaiah 49:5, 6, 8; xl. 10). "Behold, now is the time of acceptance; behold, now is the day," or the "to-day," "of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2), -- a period of time from Joshua to the future glorious manifestation of Christ in the kingdom, to say nothing of "the accepted time" to the patriarchs, before the typical rest of Israel in the promised land.
This "to-day," however, is limited both to Jew and Gentile; and in defining this limitation, Paul tells us, that "to-day" means, "after so long a time." "God limiteth a certain day," says he, "saying in David, to-day, after so long a time: as it is said, to day if ye will hear His voice harden not your hearts" (Heb. 4:7). When this time has elapsed, it will no longer be "to-day;" but to-morrow, or the seventh day of the millennial week.
If then we substitute the apostle's definition for the word "to-day" in Christ's reply to the thief, it will read thus: -- "Verily, I say to thee, after so long a time thou shalt be with Me in the Paradise;" but, how many years it would be before that time terminated, He gave the petitioner not the slightest intimation of.
Elpis Israel 1.2.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
What we must do to inherit eternal life
On the supposition that you have believed the gospel and been baptized in the name of Jesus for remission of sins, do you now enquire what you must do to obtain the
"glory, honour, incorruptibility, and life"
of the future age?
The inquiry is appropriate and well timed; for rest assured, that you may have believed the gospel, and have most scripturally obeyed it, but unless you hold fast your begun confidence unshaken to the end, unless you persevere in well doing, you had better never have known the truth.
"Save yourselves," says Jesus, "by your perseverance," to which Paul, by whose gospel you will be judged, adds,
"God will render to every man according to his deeds; to them who, by patient continuance in well doing, SEEK FOR glory, and honour, and incorruptibility; eternal life."
Can you continue in well doing unless you begin to do well? Can you "seek for" a thing which you pretend to already possess? No. "God only hath immortality"-with Him is "the fountain of life;" and all the intelligences of His boundless dominion, who may have this as a quality of their being, have derived it from Him as a recompense for their faithful obedience in a previous state.
Are you not ambitious of the glory, honour, and tranquil dignity of these celestials?
Would you not be ravished with delight in the possession of an angelic nature, an undefiled and incorruptible inheritance, and an eternal relation to all worlds? Strive then, that you may be "accounted worthy to attain to that age," through a "resurrection from among the dead," when you shall "die no more," and "be equal to the angels of God."-Luke 20:36.
"the wise shalt inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools."
Reader, be wise, for "wisdom is the principal thing, therefore, get wisdom," seeing that he is happy who findeth it. Dost thou enquire, what there is extant through which you may become wise? Hear the apostle, what saith he?
"The Holy Scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus;"
and these writings teach, that
"the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
Dost thou fear Him with that religious veneration which knows no torment? Dost thou fear or venerate Him, because thou lovest Him for His abounding goodness to the children of men? Then you possess the element of that wisdom, which though foolishness with men, is "more precious than rubies" in the sight of God; and incomparably more valuable than all the things you can possibly desire.
"Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is everyone that retaineth her."
Be wise, then, I repeat, if you would "shine as the brightness of the firmament" in the kingdom of the future age; apply your heart unto wisdom, for, in this, "the time of the end,"
"the wise shall understand" "the things of the Spirit of God."
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Now if we shut our hearts to the luxury of praise and the sweetness of prayer, are we not "hardening our hearts"? Some people call this "singing and praying" "soft." Be it so: softness is the opposite of hardness; and we are divinely warned against hardness.
...Consequently, we listen to a divine exhortation, when we listen to any brother's warning against a hardened state of the spiritual affections. No true man in Christ will dislike such warnings, if they are delivered in a benevolent and reasonable spirit; for such a man sufficiently knows by experience the tendency of human nature even in the best of men to sink into this state. And he delights in the reproofs of the spirit.
...It is possible for the truth to interest the intellect, while the affections are set upon things on earth. In such a case, even the intellect itself will soon cease to be charmed by the testimony, whereas to the mind whose affections are set on things above, the word of the Lord will always hold the very high place assigned to it in all the Psalms, wherein it is declared to be more necessary than food: sweeter than honey: more valuable than piles of the precious metals.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
The great principle established in the exclusion of these faithless men from the Promised Land emerged in sharper form still in connection with the death of Moses. He, too, failed to enter, with the effect that his death on the very confines of the Land resulted in the people's entry not under his own leadership but under that of his successor. Joshua, instead. This was no freak of history which chanced perversely to frustrate his dearest wish of taking Israel in to their inheritance. Far from it: though when he died he was an hundred and twenty years old, yet "his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated" (Deut, 34: 7).
Law and Grace Ch 12
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
THE TWELVE TRIBES CONSTITUTE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
The Israelites being born into national existence under Moses as a ruler and deliverer, he led them from the Red Sea to the foot of Mount Sinai to meet with God. On their arrival there, the Lord commanded Moses to say to them, "Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians; now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine, and ye shall be UNTO ME a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exod. 19:3-6).
This was an offer on the part of God to become their King, predicated upon what He had done for them. If they closed in with the proposal, they would henceforth be a kingdom. Hitherto they had been a crowd of slaves subject to the will of the kings of Egypt. But He proposed to organize them; to give them a constitution, religion, and laws; to appoint them a government; to exalt them by his instructions to the freedom, independence, and moral excellence, which are attainable only by the influence of divine truth; to make them the envy and admiration of surrounding nations: to make them, in short, his kingdom, and his beloved nation.
This was a proposal rich with blessings. All God would require of them was obedience, and adhesion to the covenant He had made with their fathers. The terms of the compact were highly eligible. No nation had received such a liberal and honourable proposal before, or since. Would they accept it, and abide by it? Moses was sent to see.
Having arrived at the encampment, he convened the elders of the people, and laid the proposition before them. Having consulted the nation, they returned answer to Moses, saying, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." Upon this, Moses returned the words of the people to the Lord. In this transaction a formal agreement was entered into between Israel and the Lord. In the word they sent back by Moses, they accepted the Lord as their King, and became his subjects, or "the children of his kingdom."
The relation of God to the tribes as their king is undoubted; for when they demanded a visible king like other nations, the Lord told Samuel that they had not rejected him but the Lord himself, whose representative among them he was. By this political compact, Abraham's natural seed became "THE KINGDOM OF GOD." It was the first, and the only kingdom, He has ever had among the sons of men.
He will yet have other kingdoms. All the kingdoms of the world will be come his; and will yet acknowledge the king He has provided to rule over them (Rev.11:15). But even then, the kingdom founded at the beginning of the ages, the kingdom of Israel, will be his "peculiar treasure above them all." If, then, we would understand "the things of the kingdom of God," we must never lose sight of Israel in connection with the kingdom. Indeed, without them there is no kingdom of God; and to affirm the contrary is to believe in a kingdom over which there is no nation to rule!
No misconduct of Israel can dissolve the covenant entered into between them and God. The rebellion of a nation does not do away with the rights of the king. If they set his laws and government at defiance it becomes a question of might. If the rebellion triumph the king is dethroned; but if the rights of the throne prevail, the rebel nation has no alternative but to submit to whatever terms the conqueror may prescribe. This is precisely the state of things between God and Israel. The tribes have rebelled against Him.
He has appointed Jesus of Nazareth to be King of the Jews. But they say no good thing ever came out of Nazareth, and they will not have him for their king. They have no other king, they say, but Caesar; hence, they crucified Jesus, and have served Caesar ever since. But has God surrendered his rights? Will he allow himself to be dethroned by rebels, and his Viceroy to be treated as a malefactor? All who deny the restoration of Israel in effect say, "they have rebelled successfully against God and his Christ." But this cannot be.
God will restore them "for his name's sake." He will plant them in Canaan; settle them in the land according to their old estates; and place Jesus upon David's throne in triumph; for He has sworn that "at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11).
The great rebellion will then be suppressed; God will have recovered his rights; his kingdom will be re-established; and Israel will thenceforth "obey his voice and keep his covenant," as they originally agreed to do.
The nation being adopted as the kingdom of God, and having received its constitution three days afterwards, which was fifty days from its redemption as Yahweh's first-born of nations; and also having received its religion, and civil laws, as related in Exodus and Leviticus -- all things were prepared for transferring the tribes from the wilderness to the land of Canaan.
Moses had announced to them this consummation while groaning in Egypt. But they hearkened not for anguish of spirit. When, however, they were "baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea," they came to believe on the Lord and in him as his servant. But their probation in the wilderness was too much for their faith. They were continually turning back in their hearts to Egypt. The time, however, had now arrived to put this fourth generation to a final test.
Twelve principal men, one for each tribe, were sent from the wilderness in Paran to view the land of Canaan, and to bring back a report to the people. After an absence of forty days they returned. They said the land was all that could be desired, and flowing, indeed, with milk and honey; but as to being able to take possession of the country that was impossible; for the inhabitants were gigantic and strong, living in well-fortified cities, and could not be overcome by Israel, who were but as grasshoppers when compared to them.
But Caleb and Joshua, who believed on God, testified to the contrary; and encouraged the people to go up at once, and possess it; for they were well able to overcome it. "The land, " said they, "which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us fear them not " (Nunb. 13, 14.).
Now, when all the people heard the evil report, they cried and wept all night. They murmured against Moses, and wished they had died in Egypt, or the wilderness, before they had been brought into this extremity. They proposed, at length, to make a captain, and march back into Egypt. As for Caleb and Joshua they bid stone them to death.
The reader's attention is particularly requested to this passage of Jewish history. The apostle, in commenting upon these incidents, says that the gospel was preached to them on this occasion; and that the land spied out was connected with God's rest. His words are these -- "They could not enter into His rest because of unbelief:" then addressing his brethren, be says, "Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it" (Heb. 3:18, 19; 4:1,2).
In the context of this passage the apostle had been speaking of Moses and Christ, the former, as a faithful servant in another's house; and the latter as a son over his own house: whose house the believers in the things spoken of the land are, "if they hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."
He then introduces the case of the fourth generation as a warning of the fatal consequences of letting go the hope of the promise. He quotes from a scripture written in the fourteenth generation, in which the Holy Spirit repeats the sentence upon them, and upon all like them, who harden their hearts, saying, "They shall not enter into my rest" (Psalm 95:7).
What rest is here spoken of? The peaceable possession and enjoyment of the land so highly commended by Caleb. They did not enter in, but were turned back towards the Red Sea, and wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the carcasses of all the rebels above twenty years old fell to their lowest estate.
But the fifth generation obtained the rest under Joshua when they possessed the land. No, says the apostle, they did not; "for if Joshua had given them rest, then would God not have spoken afterward by David of another day," The rest which Joshua gave the nation was only transitory. When he and his associates of the fifth generation died, the nations which God had not driven out, were as thorns in their sides which gave them but little rest in after years. "There remaineth then," saith he, "a rest for the people of God;" even Canaan in the age to come, under Shiloh, the Prince of Peace, whose ''rest shall be glorious" (Psalm 132:11-18), and undisturbed by war's alarms.
Now this rest under Shiloh was preached unto them. The possession under Joshua was the first step to the full accomplishment of the covenant. Had the nation continued to obey the Lord's voice and to keep the covenant, and when Christ came received him as king on the proclamation of the gospel, they would doubtless have been in Canaan until now; and he might have come ere this, and be now reigning in Jerusalem, King of the Jews and Lord of the nations.
But had this been the case, we Gentiles would have had no part in the kingdom. We might attain to eternal life at the end of the reign; but in the glory of the kingdom, and in the administration of its affairs, as heirs of the world with Abraharn and his seed, we should have had no part; for it was the unbelief of the forty-second generation of Israel that became the riches of the Gentiles.
The fourth generation "could not enter in because of unbelief." Neither can we unless we also believe what they rejected; for the same gospel that was preached to them, was preached by the apostles to the forty-second generation; but cannot be said to be preached to us of this century. I am endeavouring, however, to set it before the people in this book; though I feel it a difficult work, seeing that men's minds are so mystified, and preoccupied, with the jargon of the schools.
God's rest in Canaan -- by which is not meant that all his saints will be living there, though all that abide there will be a righteous people; the things which belong to Canaan will overspread the world; and where there are nations to be governed there will there be saints to rule -- but this rest, I say, is the great theme of the gospel whether preached by Moses, by Jesus, or by the apostles. The rest and the kingdom are but different terms, though substantially the same. They will both be of Canaan, and are both the subject of the promise made of God to Abraham and his seed for ever.
Elpis Israel 2.4.