26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
The more we are self-centered in our own affairs and interests and personal welfare and enjoyment, the emptier and cheaper and more useless is our life.
28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
Is Prayer to Christ Scriptural?
To answer this question aright we must understand what is meant by prayer and the circumstances under which it is offered.
The word prayer is defined petition to heaven, entreaty, submissive importunity. In the sense of entreaty, etc., we find in scripture many prayers to Jesus, whom we receive as "Christ ." Thus , when Peter feared that he would be drowned, he exclaimed to Jesus "Lord, save me!" But we suppose that the question does not have regard to the scripturality of petitions to Jesus for temporal favours in the days of his sin-flesh, but rather to the propriety of offering petitions to him now that he is the Lord at the right hand of power.
After Jesus had himself been praying to the Father, one of his disciples said "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." From this it would appear , that under the new circumstances created by his presence in Israel, his followers did not know how to pray to God acceptably--they did not know what to pray for, nor how to address the Invisible One. Though perfectly true, he did not say, "I am God manifest in the flesh; therefore pray to me, and say Our God who art on earth hallowed be thy name." The time is coming when the saying of the prophet shall, be fulfilled, "The God of the whole earth shall he be called;" still, though Jesus knew that he was the heir of this title, he did not teach his disciples to pray to him as such.
He taught them to pray to the same invisible personage that he himself prayed to. If prayer were to be offered to him, he would have taught his disciples so to do. This, however, he did not; but said, "When ye pray, say, Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." He was accustomed to address "HIM dwelling in the light, whom no man hath seen, nor can see, as his Father; so that by telling his disciples to do likewise, he taught them that he himself and they were all sons of God--children of one common Father. Is it scriptural to pray to the Elder Brother for the gifts the Father has in store? But as the First-born is well-beloved, is there not a fitness in securing his favour, that he may present and commend the petitions of his brethren to the gracious consideration of the Divine Majesty?
When Jesus first taught his disciples to pray, he instructed them to pray for the hallowing of the Father's Name; but did not teach them to pray for things in that name. He is himself the Name of the Father . Now five days before the Passover of crucifixion, he said, "Father, glorify thy name!" This was answered by a voice from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again;" that is, it had been glorified in the past, and was about shortly to be again. Alluding to the time when it should be made glorious, he said, "In that day ye shall ask me nothing.
Verily verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, HE will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; ask. and ye shall receive," Here, then, is a precept to ask the Father in the name of Jesus, which is the reverse of praying to Christ in the name of the Father. Praying to the Father in the name of Jesus, however is equivalent in its results to praying directly to Jesus. This is apparent from the words of Jesus himself, who said to the disciples, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."
The favours of the Father are granted through the Son; so that what comes from the Father comes also from the Son. Hence their intimate association in the epistles in the formula: "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." These are distinct persons, for "there is one Lord one God and Father of all, who is above all: yet, in relation to things terrestrial, one in manifestation. In this text, Paul teaches that the one God and Father is above the one Lord; for He is "above all." We should pray to him in the name of the Lord; and in so doing we "honour the Son even as we honour the Father." This is the scriptural procedure.
The Mosaic Law is "the patterns of the things in the heavens-the form of the knowledge and the truth." Hence the Aaronic high priesthood and its ordinances were typical, or representative, of the Melchisedec. Would it have been in conformity with scriptural propriety for Israel to have offered prayer to Aaron? No; the people in the courts without prayed to Him who dwelleth between the cherubim, while the high priest entered within the veil with blood and incense, and stood before the Ark of the Covenant in presence of the Shekinah.
He returned with blessing, but it was blessing from the glory of Yahweh. Now the Lord Jesus is high priest over the house of God, which is composed of those who embrace and hold fast to the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope to the end. These are his priestly household, all of whom "call upon his name" on becoming members of it. Thus they are "in his name" and being in his name when they pray they pray in his name, and when they praise they praise in his name, and whatsoever they do religiously they do in his name to the glory of God the Father.
When they pray they do not pray to their high priest, but they pray with him as their "advocate with the Father." When they call upon his name, as Paul did in obedience to the exhortation of Ananias, who said to him, "Be baptised and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord," the attention of the High Priest is fixed upon them. A union is then established between him and them, and he undertakes for them with the Father. His ears are open to their prayers, and he bears their names and petitions before his Father's throne. This is according to the Mosaic representation. Thus the faithful go to the Father by him; for he is "the way, the truth and the life: and no man cometh to the Father but by him."
All prayers, then ascending from the children of the covenant, ascend to the Father as sweet odours from Christ. He is the golden censer in which the incense is deposited. He the censer: the prayers of his brethren, and only theirs, the incense fuming around the priest after the Order of Melchisedec. The arrangement is very beautiful, both in type and antitype; but so much more so in the antitype, as the reality transcends its shadow. Jesus prayed to the Father, and was heard in the days of his flesh, for his circumspection or obedience, in all things. He needed not to approach the Father in any other name than his own. He prayed to God and instructs his people to do the same. They dwell in him, and he dwells in them by faith - Christ in them the hope of glory. As incarnations of Christ, they pray to Him whom Christ prayed to. This is scriptural, in type and substance-in form and precept. So let us be therewith content,
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, April 1855
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
The prince of this world - Sin!
Sin made flesh, whose character is revealed in the works of the flesh, is the wicked one of the world. He is styled by Jesus, the prince of this world. Kosmos, rendered world in this phrase, signifies, that order of things constituted upon the basis of sin in the flesh, and styled the kingdom of Satan (Matt. 12:26), as opposed to the kingdom of God, which is to be established upon the foundation of "the word made flesh" obedient unto death. Incarnated sin, and incarnated obedience are the bases of the two hostile kingdoms of God, and of the adversary.
The world is Satan's kingdom; therefore it is, that "the saints," or people of God, both Israelites outwardly (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-7) and "Israelites indeed" (John 1:47), are a dispersed and persecuted community. Satan's kingdom is the kingdom of sin. It is a kingdom in which "sin reigns in the mortal body," and thus has dominion over men.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
The judgment of the prince of the world by God, was exhibited in the contest between Jesus and the civil and spiritual power in Judea. "Its poison was like the poison of a serpent" (Psalm 58:4), when "the iniquity of His heels compassed Him about." "The battle was against Him for a time. They bruised Him in the heel (Gen. 3:15). The enemy smote His life down to the ground and made Him "to dwell in darkness, as those that had been long dead" (Psalm 143:3). But here the serpent-power of sin ended.
It had stung Him to death by the strength of the law, which cursed every one that was hanged upon a tree; Jesus being cursed upon this ground, God "condemned sin in the flesh," through him (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:3). Thus was sin, the prince of the world condemned, and the world with him according to the existing course of it.
But, Jesus rose again, leading captivity captive; and so giving to the world an earnest, that the time would come when death should be abolished, and sin, the power of death destroyed. Sinful flesh was laid upon Him, "that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil," or sin in the flesh (Heb. 2:14): for, for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
We are aware of the difficulty that even the sincere ones experienced in trying to fit Christ as he was into their conception of what the Messiah should be
Bro Growcott - He Must Increase I Must Decrease
44 Jesus cried and said (as if earnestly protesting the truth to them for the last time),, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
As much as to say, "I am nothing in myself. Do not be repelled because you see no beauty to desire in me".
He realised that they stumbled at his personal appearance, as Isaiah had foretold (chap. liii. 2); their conceptions of Messianic grandeur and power made them stagger at the unpretentious personality of a lowly carpenter of Nazareth.
... it was no part of his mission at that time to employ coercion.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 51
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
Veiled in flesh, "the Vail of the Covering" (Exodus 35:12): he that discerneth him who spoke to Philip, "saw the Father" (John 14:9; 12:45). But, veiled or unveiled, the Father-Spirit is substantial. Speaking of the Unveiled Father-Spirit, Paul says in Heb. 1:2, 3, that the Son is the Character of his Hypostasis, rendered, in the common version, "express image of his person."
The Son is the character or exact representation, and the Father is the hypostasis. In reference to the former, the Father says, in Zech 3:9: "Upon One Stone there shall be Seven Eyes; behold I will engrave the graving thereof (that is, of the stone), saith He who shall be hosts." The graving engraved on the stone is termed, in Greek, character, an impress wrought into a substance after some archetype or pattern. The archetype is the hypostasis, so that hypostasis is the basis or foundation of character; wherefore the same apostle in Col. 1:15, styles the character engraved the "Image" of Theos the Invisible (eikon tou Theou tou aoratou).
Phanerosis - One Deity in Multiplicity
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
...that is, to open the way of salvation and point it out to them, and earnestly plead with them to walk in it. If they refused submission, the loss would be all their own. At the same time, there would be judgment in due course...
Nazareth Revisited Ch 51
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, [the gospel of the kingdom which he preached,] hath one that judgeth him: the word [of the kingdom] that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Rejectors of the Word in Relation to the Resurrection
The words quoted from John 12...prove the resurrection of a class who are neither the faithful nor unfaithful servants of Christ, but the simple rejectors of his word; and who are therefore appropriately styled by our correspondent a "third" class.
The question is, was this class restricted to the people who were contemporary with the personal ministry of Christ, or does it exist wherever in all subsequent time, the word of Christ is put aside?
There are several things to be considered in obtaining an answer to this question. In the first place, it cannot be denied that a pre-eminent degree of responsibility attached to the generation contemporary with Christ. They heard His words and saw the "works" by which He evidenced his divine commission. Jesus recognises a special responsibility in these. He says
"If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin." Again, "If I had not come and done among them works which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father."-(John 15:22-24.)
The sin of that generation consisted in the repudiation of Christ in the face of signs and wonders, which left no room for unbelief. This sin was necessarily confined to that generation. It is impossible to recognise its existence in our times, when for eighteen centuries there has been an absolute suspension of all divine manifestations.
A believer preaching the word of Christ in a lecture, only reasons upon documents which to an untrained intellect, present no evidence of their title to be regarded with deference. He cannot bring any authority to bear.
He has no evidence that appeals to the senses. He can only reason. It is true that ipso facto, the unbeliever rejects the word as truly as if it were the spoken and attested words of Christ that he refused to receive; but the circumstances of its presentation have not the same elements of responsibility in them.
The unbeliever is blind and brutish, and acts according to his nature in rejecting a something that requires higher faculty for its apprehension than he is possessed of.
The evidence of miraculous works would be something he could see and comprehend, and something that would make him responsible. The reading of the written oracles is powerless to penetrate his blinded faculties, and therefore leaves him as it found him. When the apostles preached
"God worked with them, confirming their word with signs following."-(Mark 16:20.)
This invested their proceedings with an importance equal to that of their master, and made a rejection of their words as heinous as a rejection of his. Whosoever received them, received him, and vice versa.-(Matt. 10:40.) But there is no dispensation of the divine mind to the world now. all is quiet. We are in the time predicted in Amos 8:11-12, and Micah 3:6.
The only agency God has at work is the feeble one of His written word. This is doing the work that He intended, a feeble work, a small work, but still equal to the object in view,-the creation of a people of sufficient number to co-operate with Christ in the effective execution of Yahweh's laws, by means of his kingdom shortly to be established.
But that it lays a basis for resurrectional responsibility on the part of those who are unenlightened by it, seems highly improbable.
The Christadelphian, April 1870
"If a man love me, he will keep my words. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings: and the word [of the kingdom] which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." (14:23)
It is evident then, from these declarations, that to be subject to any thing for Christ's sake, is to be subject to it for the sake of the gospel of the kingdom preached by him. He judgeth of men's attachment and devotion to his person by their veneration and devotion to the gospel he preached. He associates the not receiving of his words with the rejection of himself, and tells us plainly that a man does not love him who does not keep his sayings.
This intimate connection between the preacher and his doctrine is not surprising, in view of his saying that he is himself "the truth." "I am the truth," saith he; and says Peter, "Ye have purified your souls in the obeying of the truth. Hence, where the truth is, Christ is; therefore, Paul says, "God grant that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."
He, then, that believes "the things concerning God and the name of Jesus Christ," is the man in whose heart Christ dwells; because the truth dwells there with full assurance of faith and hope. The Bible is the truth in a book; Christ is the truth incarnate.
[Herald, Jan 1854]
Knowledge is the basis of responsibility.
Enlightened rejectors are amenable to Resurrection and Judgment
'Never think it is a good idea to leave enlightenment to the true gospel to the future age when Christ and his immortal saints will do a better job of it than we can.
The flesh is still the flesh and even 1000 years of benign righteous rule by Jesus will not convert everyone as the second Gogian rebellion makes clear. It is not an overwhelming advantage to be born during the kingdom age in terms of really converting to the Truth otherwise we can say it is unfair of God to structure the ages of man so.
It will be a wondrous blessing to experience the kingdom as a mortal but I feel sadly but strongly that the flesh will take such things for granted and pursue it's usual selfish course. So don't hold back now - tell everyone who will listen now. Seeds sowed today might not germinate until the kingdom but don't second guess any individuals response. God is merciful and He has entrusted all judgement to His son who will determine who is and who is not responsible to the judgement seat'.
Bro Russell Noonan
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Nothing can be plainer, more intelligible, or emphatic than this. We may confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, as did the demonized of ancient and, still do, of modern times, but this will give us no right to the things comprised in "the great salvation"; we must not only believe this, but we must also intelligently believe the doctrine which that Son was sent to teach the Jews.
Now, the "testimony of God" came by the Holy Spirit, by which God testified in His prophets (Neh. 9:30); and in the last days, spoke through His Son (Heb. 1:1, 2; John 3:34; 5:47; 6:63; 7:16; 12:48, 49) and the apostles (Matt. 10:19,20).
Hence, the effects of the word believed are attributed to the spirit and because the word sets men to breathing in God's moral atmosphere, it is termed "spirit and life."
These remarks will explain the saying of the apostle to Titus, "according to His mercy God saved us through the laver of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit" (Tit. 3:5). This is parallel to the saying, "sanctified and cleansed in the laver of the water by the word;" for the reader must not suppose, that any man, woman, or child, can be regenerated, or born again, by being plunged into a bath, who is ignorant of the word.
The Holy Spirit does not renew the heart of man as He renews the mortal body, when through Jesus He raises it from the dead. In this case, the power is purely physical. But, when the heart is subject of renewal, it is by the knowledge of the written testimony of God, or the word. "God," says Peter, speaking of the gentile believers, "purified their hearts by faith" (Acts xv. 9); and Paul prays, "that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith" (Eph. 3:17).
Now, faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17); in other words, it is the belief of God's testimony concerning things to come, which are not seen (Heb. 11:1); and without which, it is impossible to please Him (verse 6). When a man is renewed by the truth, he is renewed by the spirit, and not before. There is no such thing in the Scriptures as a renewed ignorant man. Ignorance of the testimony of God, and regeneration, are utterly incompatible.
The truth is the purifier to those only who understand and obey it (1 Peter 1:22) and there is no moral purity, or sanctification of spirit before God, without it. It is only believers of the truth, then, who can be the subjects of a regeneration by being submerged "in the laver of the water." When they come out of this, they have been "washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus by the spirit of God" (1 Cor. 6:11).
Elpis Israel 1.2.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
And here a curtain drops upon his public labours. His next appearance was before the council as a prisoner.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 51