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1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Abraham is the father of the faithful; that is, he is the leading specimen of the kind of people with whom God is well pleased. We also look forward; we see, and we are glad; but our rejoicing is only in hope, and is mixed with weakness and with fear.
We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Why with fear? The question is answered:
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."
That is an apostolic reply to the question. With all our joy in looking forward to the rest before us, our rejoicing is moderated by the apprehension that possibly we may fail to enter in. Christ said, when Peter asked him upon the point, that many should seek to enter in but should not be able. Why not able? Because they are not in earnest about it; they do not give enough energy to it.
"We ought to give the more earnest heed," says Paul, "to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."
Many fail to attend to the things in this earnest way; they lay hold of the kingdom of God, but, at the same time, keep hold of twenty other things. They devote their best faculties and their principal time to the promotion of objects unconnected with Christ entirely, and which are not even necessary for them in the provision of their livelihood.
A man, of course, must labour for his daily bread, and, in fact, that may be made a service of God; for it is one of the teachings of Paul that whatever a man doeth, he is to do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men. He says that to servants; so we have it in our hands to turn everything to spiritual account if we are wise.
I am referring, however, to people who are under no obligation to attend to things they have in hand, but who choose them as a matter of special taste, as a matter of honour, or as a matter of respectability. These things engross all their energies, run away with their time, and steal their hearts, so that the things of God have little hold upon them, and, therefore, they fail.
Our rejoicing therefore is mixed with fear, and ought to be so. No one should slacken his hand until his course is run. Never put off the day of wisdom. If we reject wisdom for our own convenience, wisdom will reject us.
Bro Roberts - Present suffering, Seasons 1: 32.
This practical application of the matter, which is utterly unintelligible on the immortal soul hypothesis of the popular religionism of the day, is perfectly apparent on the principles of the truth-the gospel of the kingdom founded on the promises made to the fathers. Instructed by the prophets, as expounded by Jesus and the apostles, we learn that the "rest" which was not attained under the law in the hands of the typical Joshua will be reached under the new covenant in the hands of Jesus, the mediator thereof, at his coming, when "His rest," as we read in Isaiah xi. 10, "shall be glorious."
"In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel."
"Thou shalt weep no more: the Lord shall be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry . . . in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people and healeth the stroke of their wound."
"Your soul shall be as a watered garden: thou shalt not sorrow any more at all."
"Ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
"For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul."
These are the great and precious promises-the "fat things full of marrow"-which the Spirit of God invites men to partake of instead of the empty notions and enterprises that men create for themselves.
The question will press to the very last:
"Wherefore do ye spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live."
Be it ours, brethren and sisters, to respond to this reasonable and loving challenge, and to be found among those who at the last shall enter into the rest that remaineth for the people of God.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
"And the Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the reverence of Yahweh, and shall make him of quick understanding in the reverence of Yahweh; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears, but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and contend with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins" (Isa. 11:2-5).
But this was only partially accomplished at the epoch of the anointing. The judging of the poor, the contending with equity, the smiting of the earth, or nations, and the slaying of the wicked, are events hereafter to be developed in the day of the power of the Son of Man. The testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, abundantly illustrate the former, or inceptive part of Isaiah's prophecy which, in its fulfilment, became the earnest of the certain and literal accomplishment of the rest.
In Isaiah 49:2, the effect of the anointing is thus foretold:
"Yahweh hath chosen me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother (Mary) hath He made mention of my name (by Gabriel). And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand (or power) hath He hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in His quiver hath He hid me; and said unto me, thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
Here the Cherub of the Spirit bears the name of his ancestor Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, which signifies "Prince of Power," i.e., of God, in our vernacular. His mouth was truly like a sharp sword, for it cut deeply into the hearts of the self-righteous hypocrites of his day, who gnashed upon him with malice and dislike.
When he opened his mouth to speak, the "word of power" uttered wisdom, counsel and knowledge; and of this word, Paul says in Heb. 4:12, "It is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
In Eph. 6:17, he exhorts the saints to take it as the weapon of their warfare against all crotchets and imaginations that exalt themselves against "the knowledge of God" -- the knowledge revealed by Him. "Take," says he, "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God"; and with this "stand against the devil's wiles" (verse 11).
But the Cherub of the Eternal Spirit in the days of his flesh and blood did not wholly fill up the idea presented in the phrase "made my mouth as a sharp sword."
In his future manifestation, he is represented in the Book of Symbols as having "a sharp two-edged sword issuing forth from his mouth." We refer to Apoc. 1:16, and 19:15. In the latter place, the use he is to make of the sword is stated in these words: "that with it he should smite the nations."
The interpretation is, that at his approaching advent, he will assume the position indicated in the chapter in relation to his associate Cherubim, on the one hand, and the hostile nations on the other. Being the Commander-in-Chief, or "Captain of Salvation," the Word of Power goes forth from his mouth. He commands that the nations be smitten, and his orders are obeyed; and though they make great resistance, they are finally overcome by the energy whereby he is able to subdue to himself (Phil. 3:21).
Phanerosis - The Anointed Cherub
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
The phrase 'form of sin's flesh' is expressed by the single word homoiotes, 'likeness, resemblance or similitude'; as, kata panta kath, homoioteta, 'in all things according to the likeness.' One thing may resemble another without being identical in every particular. This was the case with Christ's flesh.
It was sin's flesh as far as the maternity was concerned, but not as to its fatherhood.
In this he differed from the Jews, who had sin's flesh for their parentage on both sides, which they illustrated in their persecution of their maternal brother, who was 'born after the spirit;' thereby proving that they were the children and slaves of their father, sin, or diabolos. Still Christ's paternity did not destroy the physical likeness of his flesh to Abraham's seed; it only removed from it the reigning principle hereditarily transmitted by the will of man, called diabolos, or 'devil'. This flesh, however, was still reduced in strength below that of Adam's original nature, because of its maternal defilement.
Hence, to place it on a par with the first Adam's, that their might be equality of strength, Jesus was anointed, or Christened, by which he became 'full of the holy spirit'.
This filling did not destroy the homoiotes or likeness to sin's flesh.
It was still possible for Christ to feel the full force and influence of sophistical appeals to the lusts of sin's flesh with which he was burdened 'as with a loathesome disease.' Hence says the apostle, 'he was put to the proof in all things or according to the likeness,' or resemblance of his flesh to his brethren's in its susceptibilities, 'without offence'.
There being no reigning diabolos, 'devil', or sin, transmitted by the will of man in Adam or Christ, as in the flesh of all mankind, that causing not to stand in the truth, or diabolos, is in their cases, and in their's alone, to be referred to the Serpent, and the Angel of light.
THE HERALD OF THE KINGDOM AND AGE TO COME 1852 -''The Bible doctrine of the tempter considered'