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CHRIST IS OUR HOPE [message #2155] Fri, 08 September 2017 07:47
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"Bind Up with Christ"

The powers of Satan are mustering for battle. Stern conflicts are before us. Press together, my brethren and sisters, press together. Bind up with Christ. "Say ye not, A Confederacy; . . . neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary to his people; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken."

I am instructed to say to those who know the truth, "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked,"--without the robe of Christ's righteousness--"and they see his shame."

"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God. The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."

These subjects are of the utmost importance. Urge our people to consider them carefully. When they do this, their minds will be so fully occupied with matters of eternal consequence that they will lose sight of the little differences that once annoyed them. They will realize that prophecy is even now fulfilling. If the minds of the people of God were not occupied with things of minor consequence, they would see that the signs of the times are fast fulfilling, and that events of the greatest consequence to them are taking place in the world and in the churches pointed out by the words, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."

Let us cease the conversation that is so unprofitable, and spend our time learning lessons from the Word of God. Christ has told us that we are to be united in love. This is the lesson we are to learn. We are to close the door to all disparaging of one another and exalting of self.

God is at the Helm, Brethren

He who gave being to the world has not lost His power of sovereignty. He still presides over the world. It is His prerogative to speak out His purposes. By His Son, the Mediator between God and man, these purposes are executed, and the Holy Spirit gives them effect. The awful confusion in the world has been brought about because the way of the Lord has not been followed, because man has set up his human judgment against the law of Him who created the world. Men have undertaken to please and glorify themselves, to set themselves above truth and above God.

Daniel writes: "I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth forever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And He said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."

This world is a theatre. The actors, the inhabitants of the world, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama. God is lost sight of. There is no unity of purpose, except as parties of men confederate to gain their ends. God is looking on. His purposes in regard to his rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has not been given into the hands of men, though God is permitting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama,--Satan coming as Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the passion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will be followed by the effect.

Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. And the end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.

God permits men to work out the purposes he would have saved them from had they kept his commandments. When in the face of light and evidence, they refuse to obey, they must reap the harvest of the seed they have sown. "Many shall be purified, and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand." The wicked have chosen Satan as their leader. Under his control the wonderful faculties of the mind are used to construct agencies of destruction. God has given the human mind great power, power to show that the Creator has endowed man with ability to do a great work against the enemy of all righteousness, power to show what victories may be gained in the conflict against evil. To those who fulfill God's purpose, for them will be spoken the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." The human machinery has been used to do a work that is a blessing to humanity; and God is glorified.

But when those to whom God has entrusted capabilities give themselves into the hands of the enemy, they become a power to destroy. When men do not make God first and last and best in everything, when they do not give themselves to him for the carrying out of his purposes, Satan comes in, and uses in his service the minds that, if given to God, could achieve great good. Under his direction, they do an evil work with great and masterly power. God designed them to work on a high plane of action, to enter into his mind, and thus to acquire an education that would enable them to work the works of righteousness. But they know nothing of this education. They are helpless. Their powers do not guide them aright; for they are under the enemy's control.

The way to holiness and heaven is found in the path of obedience. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Eat the Word

Let every man stand in his lot and in his place, working with earnestness, decision, and power to advance God's cause, bearing aloft the standard on which are inscribed the words, "The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
God will be with his workers in the Publishing House if they will be with Him. If they will expel all selfishness and follow Bible principles, keeping separate from worldly policy, the glory of the Lord will be revealed.

We may teach the Bible ever so zealously, but if we do not honor the truth by efforts proportionate to its greatness, we shall form ideas of Christ which do not honor the self-denying and self-sacrificing Redeemer.

We need Christ every moment. We need to look upon and study His character. What would Christ do were He in my place? is to be our measurement of our duty. It is possible to preach the Word and walk directly contrary to its teaching, showing in the home life and in business life a form of godliness without the power.

Vague suppositions regarding Christ are not enough. We need an abiding Christ. We need to eat His word. He is the Bread of Life. The revealed word is our photograph of Christ. The world can only be expelled from the soul by filling the soul with Christ. Just as the life of the body is produced by the temporal food eaten, so the life of the soul is produced by the spiritual food eaten. He who would have spiritual life and vigor must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. Christ declares, "I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. . . . Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day; for My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in Me and I in Him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me."

O that the workers in every line of the service of God would eat of the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations!

Strength and Power in Unity

God's warnings and counsels are plain and decided. As we read the Scriptures, and see the power for good that there is in unity, and the power for evil that there is in disunion, how can we fail to receive the word of God into our hearts? Suspicion and distrust are as evil leaven. Unity bears witness to the power of the truth.

Christ says plainly that it is by the unity and co-operation of His followers that the world is to know that God has sent His Son into the world. In the prayer that He offered for His disciples just before His crucifixion, He said: "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one. I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me."

We are to be guided and controlled by the same Spirit, but in order for this to be, it is not necessary that we all have the same gifts. "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all," to bring these different operations into perfect harmony. "God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased Him." He has placed every man at his post of duty, assigning to him a given work. If you have any question as to your post of duty, pray to God for guidance, and your work will be assigned. God has told us expressly that He has placed every man at his post.

"To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit."

"Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." "When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. . . . He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Here the members of the church of God are shown acting their different parts, all under the supervision of the great Master-worker, who knows just what each one in His service should do to meet the necessities that arise.

When the hearts of God's people are melted and subdued by the Holy Spirit, ministers and lay-members will bear a testimony that is in perfect accord. And the Lord will look down on them with pleasure, rejoicing in their oneness.

Christ is Our Hope

God has given me a word to speak to you. Strive earnestly for unity. Pray for it, work it. It will bring spiritual health, elevation of thought, nobility, heavenly mindedness. You will overcome selfishness and evil surmising, and will be more than conquerors through Him that loved you and gave Himself for you. Crucify self. Esteem others better than yourselves. Thus you will be brought into oneness with Christ. Before the heavenly universe and before the church and the world you will bear unmistakable evidence that you are God's sons and daughters. God will be glorified in the example that you set.

Christ is our hope. In Him our lives are to center. Here lies the source of power, the secret of success, in our service for God. From first to last, from the foundation to the topstone, the church of God is to be built upon by Christ and in Christ. He is the ladder by which we climb to heaven. He strengthens us to press upward, till at last we step off the highest round into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

"Therefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure." Live upon the plan of addition outlined in the first chapter of 2 Peter. Add to your character the graces of the Spirit. "If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." And "so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." These words show us how we may obtain an eternal life insurance policy. Do you not want this?

The world needs to see worked out before it the miracle that binds the hearts of God's people together in Christian love. It needs to see the Lord's people sitting together in heavenly places in Christ. Will you not give in your lives an evidence of what the truth of God can do for those who love and serve Him? God knows what you can be. He knows what divine grace can do for you if you will become partakers of the divine nature.

"Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth." All of God's servants have a work to do in His vineyard. In the church of God no one is to set himself up in kingly power and authority. "All ye are brethren." Be very courteous in speech, very kindly in action. Respond to the invitation, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

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[Updated on: Fri, 08 September 2017 11:56]

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