The Message to the Church in
By B. W. Newton.*
(This article was originally printed in the
[*From the October/December, 2004 issue of Watching and Waiting - the quarterly magazine by Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony.
See also The Throne of the LORD by Ivan Foster. Also included is Inspiration by P. W. H. Lessey,
(From the October/December 1995 issue.)]
This passage stands in marked contrast with the address
to the Church in
But that which chiefly marked the distinctive character of this Church was, that they had kept the word of His endurance. They had regarded Christs directions and not despised His words, and that will ever be found to be a path of endurance. Were I to say to you those paths will be very difficult to walk in; you will find many things to which you naturally cleave must be given up, many friendships and associations, etc. will have to be broken; many sacrifices made; you had better yield to circumstances and become acquiescent. Do not seek to maintain too steadfast a testimony for Truth, but give way, for it will cost you too much faithfully to adhere to: spare thyself: do not for the sake of a truth which does not seem a very important truth, or that practice which does not seem a very important practice, do not for the sake of it incur detriment to thyself. Now suppose I address you so, that would not be the word of Christs endurance; that would not be teaching you to endure; but on the contrary to give way, feeling it would be too great a sacrifice of things deemed desirable here.
But suppose I were to say the reverse: suppose I said hold fast these things; buy the truth and sell it not; keep it with a tenacious grip; compromise it not either by thy words or by anything thou doest; and if thou hast to give up things in consequence, well, give them up; bear what is to be borne; let the yoke rest on thee. Those would be words of patient endurance. And the Philadelphians had done this: they had not tried to make Christian Truth flexible, to be bent by circumstances like a rule of lead; but they had striven to make circumstances conform themselves to it as a golden rule: therefore, as a reward, they were given the promise of being kept from the great coming hour of temptation; the hour of Satanic delusion!
Now, though those to whom this was first addressed have been removed, these same features may be found in others, and whenever God sees this same character of endurance, He would recognise a Philadelphian so to speak, and to such, this promise in all its certainty shall remain. Scattered they may be and few, but they shall be regarded as successors in the place of blessing that the Philadelphians were then ostensibly [believing and] holding. So we must not suppose that these promises have lost their practical power. God does not look on them as dependant on outward circumstances, but He looks to see where the same characteristics are rooted in the heart; and wherever they are, He says There exists the family which I have promised to protect and preserve.
indeed is the promise of protection, and the blessings are two-fold: those which are granted
here and those which are granted above [and hereafter]. If Christ speaks of final blessing to be
known in the New Jerusalem - the City of
Now this was an instance of the way Christ was able to unlock and supply everything. It was not limited; so that whatever faith asks wisely according to the mind of God, that He says I can do. Is not this a rich and great blessing in an hour when Satan is to be allowed to open other door, to give access to his resources? Glorious, resplendent indeed, will that hour be with everything in which nature glories. Satan could shew all the glory of the world in a moment, therefore he has his resources. And we know what is to be the end thereof! Yet that is what civilised humanity is about to come to, when men will rejoice for a season, but perish for ever! So, if we expect that tribulation to come, when there will be a dearth, not of bread but of hearing the Word of the Lord; when it will be a sealed book (Isaiah 29); we see the blessing of this promise that, in that day the door should remain open before all those who have Philadelphian faith! But it is connected with practical grace. To him that hath shall more be given, and where this practical grace is found, God is able to meet it with multiplied grace. So always remember the connection between practical grace and the increase of practical blessing.
Then in verse 9, another promise is given. How continually do we see the effect of Satan to bring into contrast with that which assumes to belong to Christ because of ceremonial ordnances and outward ritually-defined position! We can easily understand how it would be so. There had been a ritual order established by God religiously among the Jews of old by means of appointed ceremonies, as also there is a governmental order established in the world by God under kings, governors, magistrates etc. (It may be a Nero, but if in the place of authority, we must bow to him as having authority of God. God may displace him, but it is not for us to raise the hand against him).
whilst that principle is introduced by God into the government of the world,
has He introduced it into the government of His Church? The corruptions of Christianity have said Yes, whenever you see a person outwardly appointed, there is
to be recognised the real authority of God; the real power of the Spirit of God! But it
is not so. In the
They shall come and worship before thy feet and know that I have loved thee. How, and in what way this will be performed it is not for us to say. Christ says that so it shall be; therefore, those who have maintained these Philadelphian principles will be acknowledged as loved ones; the synagogue of Christ - a congregation of blessing - when others will be marked as being the synagogue of Satan!
Verse 11. See the importance that is attached to these addresses to the Churches to holding fast, because it is the reverse that is now seen in the professing Church. It is the special characteristic of the overcomers, and we find here an exhortation given. Exhortation is often made the means of causing those developments of grace in the saints of God which He, in the purpose of His own grace, intends there should be in them. Hold fast that which thou hast is a necessary warning to us all. We have to consider what it is that we have received from God - what instruction, what doctrine, what practice, what truth in any sense - and then keep fast hold of it and not let it go. We always have to remind ourselves of the things we have received lest they should slip from us.* It is wonderful how things which we thoroughly know are often allowed to evaporate from our hearts! We sometimes see in outward things a substance vanish, when touched by another substance that science brings near to it; and this, Satan by his skilful hand is able to bring something that eliminates some of the most precious things which our souls have known: so what need we have of watchfulness!
[* See The Throne of the Lord in Part Two.]
Observe the definition of the word overcome in verses 10, 11 and chapter 2: 6. It is made dependant on holding fast. Persons who hold fast are overcomers. Those in the professing Church who fall away - who do not continue to the end - let the treasure go; they let slip from their grasp; Satan snatches it from them, or earthly things cause them to relax their hold.
doubt in these Philadelphians there was a humble not a proud consciousness of
this holding fast. They clearly valued what they had received
from Christ. They were like Levites to
whom the boards and curtains and vessels of the Tabernacle were committed. It was a happy service in a waste howling
wilderness to be entrusted with the care of the holy Tabernacle of God. There was not a socket that was not borne
along by their means as well as the
And so with Gods Truth. It is a holy harmonious combination which we have to bear along for the blessing of our own souls and the souls of others; thus we shall be likely to hold that Truth fast. But suppose we turned from it to something not connected with Truth at all, then most likely some of its precious things would be forgotten! It is very important for the soul to remember Pauls injunction to Timothy with respect to the care of Christs Truth, Meditate on these things: give thyself wholly to them.
Then as to the future (verse 12). There is a certain adaptation in the
encouragements which God gives to the practical apprehension of the souls to
whom they are spoken; and this is of great importance to those who desire to be
strengthened and comforted by them. Not
that all the promises will not be given finally to all saints, but God cannot
always use them as a practical stimulus to hearts, because they do not all
appreciate them, so we find that we should naturally expect, that the highest
promises are put before persons who have made the highest advance in practical
grace. The promise to this Church is Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in
Men have their buildings; their systems; and they know who have been and who are pillars in them, and they honour them. They are able to point to this one or that as a support and sustainer of those buildings, and praise the skill and energy and wisdom to which they feel indebted. Think e.g. of the Church of Rome and other wicked systems,* whose sustainers [of false teachings] are marked with honour. These would be pillars in the temple of Satan; but God will by-and-by govern, and there will be certain holy principles connected with that [future] government and worship, and it is said of the saints that they shall sustain these! It is His intention to use His saints in all these things that will by-and-by give blessing to the New Creation of God! He could do it without them if He pleased, but, for their sakes, for their honour, for their blessing. He will cause them to be those on whom things so momentous in their consequences will rest in order to be sustained; so that indeed believers will feel themselves to be necessary according to Gods appointment, for the carrying out of things on which the blessing of all will hang.
[* NOTE. There are other wicked systems of interpretation being introduced and taught amongst Protestant Churches also! The Church of Rome is not the only church rejecting millennial truths today!
There is no greater happiness perhaps than being employed and being necessary to the carving out of that, the momentous importance and value of which we well know. If the temporal comfort and happiness only of a household depended on a certain relation being sustained we should feel it no doubt a privilege to be the sustainer of anything that would bring blessing to that household.
Now, if there be a blessed happy feeling in this, and if we feel it an increased joy when the things which we sustain are the [millennial as well as the] eternal things of God, so that we are even here to be employed about them, what will it be when all the counsels of God are evolved anf manifested, and when we are employed in sustaining them?
And he shall go no more out. We shall not be as we are now, called away to things which perish in the using, things which have to do with earning our bread. We shall not be called away any more by the necessity of these things. The priests of old might have to go out from the sanctuary; from its fragrance, from its light: they might have to go away into the waste howling wilderness where defilement was around them. They might say we will remain where the increase is, where the light is burning: we had rather be sheltered by that than be in the midst of a scene where sorrow is. Still, then it was needful for them to go there. But an hour is coming when we shall go no more out. All will be encircled by the blessings of redemption. All will then be enclosed within the cords of the Tabernacle. All will be brought within its blessed circumference. All will be shrouded in the canopy of God, so there will be no need to go out.
Then as to the other blessings. I will write upon him the NAME of My God, and the Name of the CITY of My God, and I will right upon him My new Name. Three great spheres of glory to which believers are to have access! That which pertains to the throne of God; that which belongs to the heavenly city of the saints; and that which pertains to Christ as Head of the New Creation of God; to walk within them, to be as it were at home in them! From none of those spheres are those who overcome* (i.e, all the family of faith) to be excluded! They are to be allowed to enter; to know them; to contemplate them: to view them as things with which they have fellowship, because of that being written on them which gives access and title to enter, and designates them as belonging there finally!
NOTE. Not all
who are of the family of faith will be judged as overcomers [Gk. conquerors]!
Hence, the need of the Holy Spirits exhortation and encouragement to
those within the CONGREGATION in
19 I as many as I love, I reprove and admonish: be zealous, therefore, and REFORM. 20 Behold, I have stood at the door, and I knock; if any one may have heard My voice and opened the door, I will come into him, and he with Me. 21 The CONQUEROR, I will give to HIM to sit down [with Me] in My THRONE, as I also conquered, and sat down with My Father in His THRONE. 22 (Let him who HAS an ear, [Literally: let him the one having an ear] hear what the SPIRIT says to the CONGREGATIONS: (Rev. 3: 19-22, Translated from the Greek).]
It is right our minds should be directed to these future blessings. Feeble are even our best thoughts about the things which are reserved to be known by-and-by fully! Suppose we were brought to God and yet had no power to love Him there. Suppose we felt the glory overwhelming; the holiness overwhelming; we could not be said to live there. Or, if we were placed in the heavenly City and felt unsuited to it, saying we felt it is a blessing, but it is too high, we cannot feel it is our home, that would not be fulness of blessing. Or, if we were brought to see the peculiar glory of Christ which, when John saw, we read He fell down at His feet as dead. If we were brought to see that, without having the same power of life communicated to us, that too would overwhelm us. But His promise here is, that He will so write on those who shall have full power to live and act in every one of those distinct spheres of glory!
May we remember these are the heritage of the feeblest that believe: given by Him Who is faithful and true. I beseech you to remember these things are true because God has said they are true, not because we appreciate and apprehend them. That will vary according to our faith and grace and power of apprehension. If we choose to measure what God has said by our own thoughts, no wonder that our thoughts darken everything; but, if we remember that His Word is true and faithful, and that He intends we should credit it so that we may learn to live by faith and not by sight then we shall find that the true basis for the establishment of our souls comfort is firm beneath our feet!
* * *
The Throne of the LORD
By Ivan Foster
is a summary of a message given at a Sovereign
Grace Advent Testimony meeting
The theme of these meetings this year is
No matter how the prophecies seems to conflict with the governing principles of the world at this present time, we can ignore that, because when the Lord returns, there will be great changes. There are principles that govern the world in December that make the prospect of a flowering garden and a verdant forest and a field that is lush with grass seem impossible. But that which binds and holds nature in winter is set aside by the time summer comes round. The restraints under which nature has been held are cast off, by the wonderful providence of God, in summer time. That is how it is going to be when the Lord returns. We are now in the winter time experience in the world, and we see pictures in Gods Word of a world that is in the midst of a summer, the like of which it has never known [since] before [Gods curse was placed upon it at the Fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3: 17, 18)]. We may ask how such a [future] change can be, but nature teaches is every year how it can be.
turn to Jeremiah 3: 17, where we read, At that time they shall
call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered into it,
to the Name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagine of their
evil heart. If Jerusalem in this text does not mean
Jerusalem [upon this earth], everybody can become a prophet, and one person has
as much right as anyone else to what they think it means; and everybody can
have their own speculations. That is how
the devil would have it; he loves confusion amongst the people so that they do
not know what a prophetic utterance means, except they seem convinced that it
does not mean what it says! It is sad
that there are so many brethren and sisters in the Lord, and we will be with
them for all eternity, but on this subject they are adamant that it does not
[* These additional
words are for the benefit of all the Anti-millennialists who speak much about a
city has been given more names than
we see the spirit of animosity that is directed towards
future destruction will almost have taken place and the endeavour will only be
prevented from complete and utter victory by the return of Christ, as He
intervenes to save His people from the Antichrists plan to utterly wipe out
intervention will see the city, presently described by heaven as the great city which
spiritually is called
text speaks of that time. When reading the Word of God, it is necessary
for us to go through it literally - word by word - not to miss anything. If you casually look at a text, you will form
a very casual understanding of what has been said, and you may well be
completely amiss. The verse speaks of that time
and they. It is to be
noted that the name spoken of here is one given to
title given to
THE SCENE OF CHRISTS GLORY
is what the throne is all about. At the
coronation of our present Queen, she sat upon her throne, and her subjects sang
about her gloriousness. The glory of the
person of the Queen was manifested on that day as never before, and probably
never since. Her power, authority,
dignity and majesty were seen that day as she sat on her throne. So, when the Lord Jesus Christ comes to
1. Christs glory will be visible to the whole earth. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD
is risen upon thee. For, behold,
the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people:
but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee (Isaiah 60: 1-2). His glory shall be seen upon
2. It will bring joy to the earth. Coronation
days are happy days. We read in 1 Kings 1: 39-40 of the happy occasion when Solomon was
crowned. Zadok the priest took an
horn of oil
and anointed Solomon
and all the people
with great joy. Throughout the Scriptures there are little pictures of
what will happen in
3. It will answer the deepest longing in the hearts of Gods [Pre-millennial] saints. Moses
saw much of the power of God displayed, from his interview at the time he was
at the burning bush, to the judgments upon
THE SCENE OF CHRISTS GOVERNMENT
Lord reigns now, but there is a day coming
when His reigning over men will take on new dimensions. And the LORD shall
be king over all the earth (Zechariah 14: 9). He is King now, but He permits things now
which He will not permit when
[* Genesis 2: 17; 5: 27. cf. 2 Peter 3: 8.]
It is a universal reign. And the seventh angel sounded;
and there were great voices in
heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our
Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation
11: 15; see also Isaiah 52: 10). There will be a compliance with Gods law
that has never been since before the fall of man. As it was in
It is a reign in which [the nation of]
3. There will be a universal enforcing of Christs rule. That is not a feature in Christs reign today. This suppression of sin is epitomised in the imprisonment of the devil (Revelation 20: 2-3).
4. It is a reign in which the subjects of Christ will enjoy the bounty of the earth. What politicians vainly promise today but cannot deliver, men will enter upon in the days of Christ. Peace and security, prosperity, good health and lengthened days will feature in Christs [millennial] kingdom. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2: 4; Isaiah 65: 21-23; Zechariah 8: 4-5).
was hinted in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 10: 21), so it
will be in reality in Christs day (Isaiah 60: 17-18). The physical
well-being of mankind will greatly improve (Isaiah 65: 19-20; Amos 9: 13). That
The physical earth will be blessed under Christs [millennial] rule (Acts 3: 20-21; Romans 8: 21-22).
OF CHRISTS GRACE
How different all this will be from what we see and hear in this present evil age! If we love the truth, revealed concerning the millennium, we ought to be praying that the Lord will give us some little taste of these blessings even now.
All nations will journey there to worship the Lord. All the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the Name of the LORD (Jeremiah
3: 17). And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORDS house shall be established at
the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted
above the hills; and all nations shall flow into
many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of
Jacob; and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Isaiah
2: 2, 3). 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 (Isaiah
11: 10). And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldst be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore
the preserved of
2. The Jew will [then] be the Saviours instrument in the gospel. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you (Zechariah 8: 23). Now if the fall of them (the Jews) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? (Romans 11: 12).
3. The ordinances of the gospel then will be more glorious than ever known before. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more (Jeremiah 3: 16). Mans sins made the ordinances of God to be hated in the past (Isaiah 1: 11, 15; Jeremiah 6: 20; Amos 5: 21).
Whatever the ordinance, the means of [eternal] salvation
remains the same. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of
5. The cause of truth shall flourish as never before. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11: 9). For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2: 14). No revival has ever produced such a result, even at a local level.
Such are but some of the glorious consequences of
He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me: (Matthew 10: 38).
Come, take up the cross, and follow me: (Mark 10: 21).
One fruitful cause of [a disciples] failure might be called Shrinking the Cross. We use the word cross in the general sense. Good men have given their various ideas as to just what the cross is, in the life of to-day. Without giving it any specific meaning, we might define it as any exercise, more or less distasteful and irksome to the natural, carnal man, which, if carried out heartily and consistently, yields spiritual benefits. Taken in this light, it is evident that different individuals have different crosses. What may be a cross for one person may be perfectly easy and convenient for his neighbour.
It is evident that service to God which is so convenient as to demand no exertion, is a poor test of virtue; hence it remains for the crosses which stretch and strain the moral fibre, to prove the strength of heart-affections for Christ. The idea is simply this: a real [Spirit-filled] Christian willingly goes through hard things for Christs sake, and like his Captain, is made perfect through suffering. - Howard B. Bitzer.
All those who challenge the enemies of mankind, and draw their swords against all evil must expect to be struck back, to be wounded - nay, they must be prepared to die. When therefore difficulty and persecution come [for Christs sake and the truth of His word], instead of giving up, the Christian should say, This is what I expected; this proves I am in the right place. I have promised God I would bear the cross, and here it is; therefore, I will take it up and carry it. Now I have a chance of proving that I am [by Gods grace and the Holy Spirits power in my life] made of the right stuff. He should always bear in mind for his encouragement that his reward will not be according to the measure of his visible success, but the character of his fightings: - General Booth.
Let us take up the cross,
Till we the crown obtain;
And gladly reckon all things loss,
So we may Jesus gain.
To take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it consists of the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us. J. H. Newman.
* * *
Study it carefully, ponder it prayerfully;
Deep in thy heart cause its precepts to dwell.
Slight not its history, think of its mystery;
None can eer prize it too fondly or well.
Faithful its prophecy, better than sophistry;
Gods book is holy, and each word is pure.
Why doubt His faithfulness? Why question truthfulness?
Things God has spoken are certain and are sure.
* * *
In this sceptical age that boasts of its learning and scientific achievements, the Bible is considered by many to be antiquated and on that account it is rejected and consequently neglected. To many it is a closed Book, while others mishandle it and distort its message. Again, there are those who imagine that it can be improved and made more acceptable to present-day readers if it is brought more into line with what is considered to be modern thought and expression. This idea has given rise to many translations [and paraphrased versions], some of which are positively misleading and dangerous.
It is, perhaps, little realised how important it is to hold firmly the doctrine of inspiration, to deny which means that we have no guide, no standard by which to regulate our life, no [prophetic] lamp or light for our pathway, no message and no revelation of Gods way of salvation. If reliance cannot be placed upon Scripture, we might well ask, If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? To question the Divine authority of Holy Scripture is to hearken to that subtle enquiry made long ago - Yea, hath God said? which, if heeded, will lead to unbelief and disobedience, as it did on that occasion, with its sorry consequences. Let us consider one or two matters which should convince any intelligent person of the accuracy of the claim that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
Its Inexhaustible Contents
The Bible never becomes commonplace. It is never affected by time, and it will outlive all the ages of human history. Its perennial freshness with the entire absence of sameness is remarkable and marks its unique character. Think of the number of commentaries that have been written; of the numerous works, expository and otherwise; of the unnumbered messages that have been given from its pages, oral and written. It is no exaggeration to say that volumes have been written on the Bible, yet it has not been exhausted or deprived of its freshness. It is a vast continent of Truth yet to be explored. It nay be likened to the manna which was given in fresh supply daily to the Israelites in the wilderness.
Again, the Scriptures are as a spring of water, the spring remains and the water is always fresh and the supply undiminished, no matter how often we may draw therefrom. When Sir Walter Scott was nearing the end of his earthly course, he called his man in waiting and said, Read me out of the Book. What other book can meet the need at every stage and step of life? Read again 2 Timothy 3: 16-17. How fitting are the lines written by Elizabeth Scott in the 18th century.
The powers of earth and hell, in vain, against the sacred Word combine:
Thy providence through every age securely guards the Book Divine.
Thee, its great Author, Source of light; Thee, its Preserver, we adore.
And humbly ask a ray from Thee, its hidden wonders to explore.
The Character of its Teaching
To do justice to the study of the teaching of the Bible, would take us beyond the limit within which this article must be kept. What are the themes of which the Bible treats? To mention but a few will enable us to have some conception of the great scope of Bible teaching. What does it declare concerning God, creation, man, sin, salvation, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the church, the present age, the second coming of Christ, the Kingdom of God? What other book can instruct us regarding such weighty and important matters?
What is the scriptural teaching concerning God? The Bible declares that God is eternal, that He is infinite and therefore no man by searching can find God. It declares that He is sovereign and there is none like Him and therefore His equal cannot be found. It declares that God has perfect knowledge and therefore He knows the end from the beginning, and all between. In the same Book, God Himself declares that all His counsel shall stand and that He will do all His pleasure. The Scriptures also declare that God is holy, so holy that the seraphim veil their faces in His presence. He is also inflexibly righteous in all His ways and all His works are done in truth. His character is also disclosed in the unfolding of His attributes, all of which blend perfectly in His Eternal Being. Could we find such a sublime and exalted description of God anywhere apart from the Scriptures? No other book in the world can give such a delineation of Deity as the Bible.
What does Scripture say concerning man? The Bible declaration is very different from what man gives of himself. Romans 3: 10-18 is an awful, but true description of mankind apart from the grace of God. It is a humiliating picture but a true one, and experience and history alike confirm its accuracy. Sin is never passed over or made light of in Scripture, but it is always shewn to be what it really is and the description given is so true to life that it cannot be denied by any honest person. Yet this same Book declares not only the doom of the persistent sinner, but it also declares Gods way of salvation, and its teaching concerning many other matters of weight and importance is such as to confirm the fact of its inspiration.
prophecy presents an unanswerable argument for the inspiration of the
Scriptures. In the Old Testament a
prophet was known to be true if what he spoke came to pass, otherwise
is an impressive fact that many prophecies have been [literally] fulfilled,
which provides a sufficient reason for confidently expecting the [literal]
fulfilment of the rest. Who could have
foreseen the rise, course and future of
What explanation can there be of such utterances, many of which have been [literally] fulfilled, other that the one given in Peters second epistle, Holy man of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit?
of the prediction made by that strange character Balaam who admitted that he
could not go
beyond the word of the LORD
to do less or more.
uttered a remarkable prophecy which runs thus there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out
The Unity of the Bible
No book in the world at any time or in any age has had such a wide and differing class of writers as the Bible. It consists of 66 books containing a variety of subjects and which were written in the most varying circumstances, and by authors drawn from all walks of life. To mention a few only, some were patriarchs; others were shepherds; others again were scribes; others fishermen; some were prophets; one was a physician, another a tax-collector, etc. Yet the Bible is one book, it is an organic unity. It has been noted by some that the ethical and spiritual lessons in the Bible agree. We cannot enlarge upon the fascinating subject, but a careful reading of the Bible will enable us to see how the principle of unity marks the whole book. It is true to say that the Old Testament CONTAINS the New Testament, and the New Testament EXPLAINS the Old Testament.
Again, the different parts of the Bible are neither contradictory nor independent of each other, but rather they are complementary and supplementary. In the Old Testament redemption is needed, promised and predicted. In the New Testament the Redeemer is present, proclaimed, and predicted to come again. Across the Old Testament may be written the words Expectation. And across the New Testament may be written the word Realisation. And thus we find all through the Bible, harmony and unity. Indeed both are necessary, for without unity, harmony is not possible, and without harmony, unity cannot be found. Is not this sufficient to put beyond all dispute and all doubt, that all Scripture is inspired by God? (see 2 Timothy 3: 16-17).
- By P. W. H. Lessey.