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´╗┐Title: The Work Of Christ - Past, Present and Future
Author: Gaebelein, Arno Clemens, 1861-1945
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Work Of Christ - Past, Present and Future" ***

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THE

WORK OF CHRIST

PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

BY

A. C. GAEBELEIN

Editor of "Our Hope"

Price 50 Cents Postpaid


PUBLICATION OFFICE "OUR HOPE"

456 FOURTH AVENUE

NEW YORK CITY

PICKERING & INGLIS

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND


COPYRIGHT, A. C. GAEBELEIN, 1913

Printed by

FRANCIS EMORY FITCH, INC.

47 Broad Street

New York


CONTENTS

The Work of Christ......

His Past Work...........

His Present Work........

His Future Work.........



THE WORK OF CHRIST

THE Word of God reveals, that all things were created by and for the Son
of God. "All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything
made that was made" (John i:3). "For by Him were all things created that
are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether
they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things
were created by Him and for Him" (Col. i:16). When this perfect creation
was ruined by the entrance of sin, when man fell and all creation on
account of that fall was brought into the bondage of corruption, the
work of redemption became a necessity. No creature of God was fitted or
fit to do this. Only the Son of God, the Creator Himself, could
undertake this mighty work and accomplish it to the Praise and Glory of
God. To do this great work, He had to appear on this earth in the form
of man.

A Threefold Aspect.

This work of the Son of God has a threefold aspect. It is a past work, a
present work, and beyond the present, there is His future work. His work
and service will terminate when He delivers up the kingdom, so that God
will be all in all (1 Cor. xv:24-28). This threefold aspect of His work
corresponds to His threefold office as Prophet, Priest and King. It has
a special meaning for the church. In Ephesians v:25-27, we read of this.
He loved the church and gave Himself for it; this is His past work.
Since then He is sanctifying the church by the washing of water by the
Word, and in the future He will present it to Himself, a glorious
church. In virtue of this threefold work of our Lord, believers are
saved, are being saved, and will be saved. This threefold work has also
a significance for the people Israel. When He came and went to the
cross, "He died for that nation" (John xi:42). During the present age
His earthly people are not cast away; their miraculous preservation on
earth, their continued, separate existence is due to Himself. In the
future when He appears as their Redeemer and claims the purchased
possession, He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And to this we
might also add the relation of His work to creation itself, the nations
of the earth, and to Satan and his rule.

These brief remarks show the importance of distinguishing between this
threefold aspect of His work. A Christian who is ignorant of it must be
confused in his conception of the truth. He is unable to understand the
Word of God, and is unsettled, and even miserable in his Christian
experience. Such, alas! is the present condition of a large number of
professing Christians. Many are ignorant of what the finished work of
Christ on the cross means. On account of this ignorance, they are ever
trying to do what God has done for them. How many more are at sea about
their position in Christ, and know next to nothing of the priestly work
of Christ. The confusion is the greatest in respect to His future work
as King. Our theme is therefore an important one. But even God's people,
who in a measure have laid hold of these truths, need constantly to be
reminded of it and need to have all this through the Spirit's power, as
a greater reality in their lives.



I.

HIS PAST WORK.

His past work was accomplished by Him when he became incarnate. It was
finished when He died on Calvary's cross. We have therefore to consider
first of all these fundamentals of our faith.

I. The Work of the Son of God is foreshadowed and predicted in the Old
Testament Scriptures.

II. The incarnation of the Son of God.

III. His Work on the cross and what has been accomplished by it.

I.

Through the Old Testament Scriptures, God announced beforehand the work
of His Son. This is a great theme and one which needs to be emphasized.
These foreshadowings and predictions were made in different ways. First
we might mention the appearance from time to time on earth of a
supernatural Being. This Being was the Son of God. As soon as sin had
entered, He appeared on the scene seeking those who were lost. He
Himself announced the promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise
the serpent's head. He indicated in Genesis iii:15, His incarnation, His
redemptive work on the cross and His final victory over the enemy of
God. Then He covered the nakedness of His creatures by making them coats
of skin. For the first time in the Word of God, it was made known by
this act what the blessed fruit of His atoning work would be.

Manifestations of Jehovah.

And the same Jehovah appeared in visible form unto Abraham. He came as
traveller accompanied by two angels. He ate in the presence of Abraham,
who worshipped and addressed Him as Lord. This Being was none other than
the Son of God, the same who after His resurrection appeared to the two
disciples on their way to Emmaus as a traveller, and who, at another
occasion, ate of a honeycomb and a piece of fish. In His presence
Abraham interceded. This Lord, who visited Abraham later, made fire and
brimstone fall from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah; He executed
judgment. He appeared unto Jacob and was the mysterious man who wrestled
with him at Peniel; later Jacob called Him "The Angel, the Redeemer."
Repeatedly we hear of Him as "The Angel of the Lord," not a created
angel, but an uncreated Being. Moses saw Him in the burning bush, and
heard His voice. And while He is spoken of as the angel of the Lord, He
revealed Himself as Jehovah and made this Name known to Moses. He was
with Israel in the wilderness and dwelled with them in the Glory cloud.
He guided them, supplied their need, protected them, judged them and
overthrew their enemies. To Joshua He appeared and manifested Himself as
"The captain over the Lord's hosts." Manoah and his wife saw Him, and
witnessed His ascension into heaven, in the smoke and fire of the
sacrifice. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel gazed upon His Glory. All these
were but foreshadowings and glimpses of the two great manifestations of
the Son of God on earth, as they are necessitated by His work, His
manifestation in humiliation and His manifestation in power and glory.

Other Foreshadowings of His Work.

But there are other foreshadowings of His work. All the divinely given
institutions and many of the historical events recorded in the Old
Testament foreshadow His work. History, as recorded in the Old
Testament, is the preliminary history of the incarnation. The whole
sacrificial system of the levitical priesthood told out beforehand, in
many ways, what the great redemptive work of the Lamb of God was to be.
Each offering and sacrifice revealed the different phases of His work on
the cross, as well as His holy and spotless humanity. The sufferings of
Christ and their meaning for lost sinners were thus made known. From
Abel's lamb to the last lamb, which died before the true Lamb of God
uttered the never to be forgotten words on the cross, "It is finished,"
the thousands of lambs and bulls and goats, the innumerable herds of
animals slain, were all types of the one great sacrifice, brought on
Calvary's cross. The tabernacle in all its appointments, down to the
minutest details, had I some meaning in connection with the Person of
Him who is "Wonderful" and His wonderful work. And what else could we
say of the historical events, such as the Passover, the passage through
the Red Sea, the brazen serpent hung up in the wilderness. And to this
we might add how men in their experiences, like Isaac, Joseph, David and
others foreshadowed the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should
follow.

Direct Prophecies.

Still more numerous are the direct prophecies announcing the different
phases of the work of Christ. That He should appear as man, how and
where He should be born, His life, His service, His miracles, all was
repeatedly foretold by the Prophets. But the great mass of predictions
concern His sufferings as the sin-bearer and His glories as the King.
None of the details of His sufferings were omitted. Think, for instance,
of the predictions contained in the xxii Psalm. Death by crucifixion was
unknown among the Jewish people. No nation in touch with Israel, living
at that time, put human beings to death in that way. It was reserved for
cruel Rome to invent death; by crucifixion. Yet in this Psalm there is
given by divine inspiration a complete picture of that unknown mode of
death by crucifixion. We read of His hands and feet pierced, the bones
out of joint, the excessive thirst, the tongue cleaving to the jaws. And
so we find His resurrection, His presence with God, His coming again and
His Kingdom of Righteousness and Glory foretold in the Prophets.

The Inspiration of the Old Testament.

We emphasize these facts of divine foreshadowing and prediction, because
in these last days thousands of men have arisen throughout Christendom
who boldly deny the inspiration of the Old Testament. They would have us
believe that all these wonderful predictions are of human origin. They
brand nearly everything as legend, and declare that there are no
Messianic predictions in the Bible, that God did not speak to the
Prophets concerning His Son and His work. Such a denial of the
revelation of God in the Old Testament Scriptures is but the vanguard of
the denial of the Son of God and His work. "Denying the Master that
bought them" (2 Peter ii:1), is the leading phase of apostate
Christendom in the last days. It is Anti-christianity. This denial is
preceded by a denial of the written Word of God. The higher criticism,
so called, is Satan's leaven which leavens the theological institutions
of Christendom and is fully preparing an empty Christian profession for
the reception of the Man of Sin. To believe that these marvelous,
harmonious predictions and fore-shadowings contained in the Old
Testament are the productions of clever men, legends put together by
evil men, who claimed to have received them from God, is far more
difficult than to believe that they are given by divine revelation.

II.

The Incarnation of the Son of God.

And now let us turn to the great truth and fact of the Incarnation of
the Son of God. When the fulness of time had come, that is the appointed
time, the Son of God appeared on earth in the form of man. The Word
which was in the beginning, the Word that was with the Father, the Word
that was God, the Word by whom all things were made, that Word was made
flesh and dwelt on earth. He who subsisted in the form of God, emptied
Himself and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the
likeness of men. The incarnation is a deep mystery, the depths of which
human reason can never fathom. We must approach it in the spirit of deep
reverence. "Take off thy shoes from thy feet for the ground whereon thou
standest is holy ground!" In the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we
have the record of the divine announcement of the incarnation as it was
made to the virgin, who had found favor in the sight of God. As she sat
in the house, perhaps engaged in holy meditation, the angel Gabriel
appeared unto her with the message from the throne of God. Was there
ever such a message given to Gabriel before? Great as the revelation was
which he was commissioned to carry to praying Daniel, the communication
to the Virgin Mary here is far greater.

The Incarnation Announced.

We read in Luke i:35: "And the angel of the Lord said unto her, The Holy
Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall
overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing, which shall be born of
thee, shall be called the Son of God." Let us notice the two great
statements given about His incarnation. "The Holy Spirit shall come upon
thee." From the Gospel of Matthew we learn the full meaning of this
statement. "That which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost."
Therefore His human nature was produced in the virgin by the creative
action of the Holy Spirit. Because His human nature was thus produced,
it was a nature without sin; not only did He not sin, but He could not
sin. He was sinless, absolutely holy, because He was conceived by the
Holy Spirit.

The second statement is: "And the power of the Highest shall overshadow
thee." This is not a repetition of the same truth as contained in the
first statement. If this too would mean the Holy Spirit, we would have
to conclude that the Holy Spirit is the Father of Him who became
incarnate. We read at once after this second statement, "Therefore that
Holy Thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of
God." The power of the Highest does not mean the power of the Holy
Spirit. It is none other than the Son of God Himself. The eternal Son of
God, He who is God, overshadowed her and this overshadowing meant the
union of Himself with the human nature created by the Holy Spirit in the
Virgin Mary. He is called "that Holy Thing." He is something entirely
new, a Being which cannot be classified. And then we read again, "That
Holy Thing shall be called the Son of God." It does not say "shall be
the Son of God;" such He ever was. Incarnation did not make Him Son of
God. He shall be called Son of God; God manifested in the flesh. Much
time could be spent in adding to these remarks, or in reviewing the
different attempts which have been made to explain the great mystery. We
might also enumerate all the evil teachings and theories which are the
results of attempted explanations. But all this would be but waste of
time. No human mind can fathom the depths of the incarnation, nor fully
grasp the wonderful personality of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Far better it is to abide by these simple declarations of the Word of
God, than to enter into speculations, which can never solve this great
mystery.

A certain American statesman was once asked, "Can you comprehend how
Jesus Christ could be both God and Man?" The great thinker replied, "No,
sir; I cannot. And I would be ashamed to acknowledge Him as my Saviour
if I could, for then He would not be greater than myself."

This is very true indeed. With joyful and grateful hearts we believe the
great revelation given to us in God's holy Word, that God so loved the
world that He gave His only begotten Son and that the Son of God left
Heaven's Glory and came to this earth. He emptied Himself and appeared
in the form of the creature. This, however, does not mean what an evil
theory, by the name of "Kenosis," teaches, that He emptied Himself of
His Godhead. He emptied Himself of His outward Glory. The child which
rested on the bosom of Mary is the One, who ever was in the bosom of the
Father. Listen once more to the language of the xxii Psalm. "I was cast
upon thee from the womb; Thou art my God from my mother's belly. Thou
didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts." What mere human
child could have ever said this truthfully? Nor is this the language of
a poet. The child born in Bethlehem alone could speak thus.

The Foundation of the Gospel.

The incarnation is the great foundation of the whole Gospel. No
incarnation means no Gospel, no Hope and no God. The person who denies
this truth has no right whatever to the name of Christian. At no time
has the denial of this great foundation truth been so pronounced and
widespread as in our times. Men believing themselves wise, in possession
of greater knowledge than former generations, turn their backs upon
revelation. The miracle, including the incarnation, is denied. And this
denial is not from the side of outspoken infidels alone, but those who
profess to be teachers of Christianity are the foremost leaders in it.
We mention Reginald Campbell and his followers in the so-called "New
Theology." And the hundreds of evangelical preachers, who wished this
man Godspeed during his recent visit to America, who passed resolutions
of thanks, after listening to his subtle infidelity, are, in the light
of 2 John 10, partakers of his sin. And then there is that
Anti-christian system, known by the name of Christian Science. In its
so-called philosophical, in reality, satanic utterances, it opposes the
revelation of God and denies that Jesus Christ is come into the flesh.
That evil book, "Science and Health," to which we readily accord
inspiration, not from above, but from below, teaches "The Virgin Mary
conceived the idea of God and gave to her ideal the name of Jesus;" and
again "Jesus was the offspring of Mary's self-communion with God."

It is a comfort to believers in these evil days to remember, that such a
rejection of the doctrine of Christ, His Person and His work, is
predicted in the Bible to take place immediately before the Lord comes.
The end of the age is upon us. These denials will not decrease, but
become more numerous.

The Purpose of the Incarnation. And what was the purpose of the
incarnation? By incarnation the invisible God was made known to man. The
Lord Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. No man hath seen
God at any time, the only Begotten, who is in the bosom of the Father,
hath declared Him. As One with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ could
say, "Whosoever seeth Me, seeth the Father."

The attributes of God were made known by Him in incarnation. We behold
the holiness of God in that holy life, which was lived on earth to
glorify the Father. He manifested omniscience. He knew what was in men
and knew their thoughts. He manifested the power of God in controlling
the forces of nature, commanding the wind and the waves, turning water
into wine. He had power over disease, over the demons and over death. He
revealed the Love and the compassion of God.

By incarnation the Son of God brought likewise the Word of God to man.
"God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto
the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by
His Son" (Hebrews i:1). He confirmed the Law and the Prophets, therefore
all criticism of the Old Testament attacks the authority and
infallibility of the Son of God. He also revealed the will of God, made
known the Father and the fact of eternal life, and the eternal and
conscious punishment of the wicked. He predicted the great future events
concerning Himself and His Kingdom, the end of the age and His visible
Return.

The incarnation was necessary in anticipation of His work as the Priest
of His people. He was to be after His death on the cross and after
resurrection, the merciful and faithful High Priest. Such He is now. He
took part of flesh and blood, we read in the second chapter of Hebrews,
that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest. He was tempted in
all things as we are, with the exception of sin. He suffered in being
tempted so that He might be touched with the feeling of our infirmities
and succour them that are tempted. And all He was to be and is now, the
Second Man, the last Adam, the head of the church, the head of the new
creation, all and much else necessitated His incarnation.

What Incarnation could not Accomplish.

However, the great purpose of the incarnation of the Son of God was His
work of redemption. For this great purpose He came into the world. He
came that, after a life, which completely glorified the Father and
upheld His holy law and vindicated God's rights as the lawgiver, He
might accomplish the great work of atonement. John stated this great
work the Son of God came to do in a brief sentence, "Behold the Lamb of
God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Sin, that accursed thing,
had to be taken out of the way. Propitiation for sins had to be made. A
sacrifice had to be brought which would glorify a holy God and satisfy,
as well as exalt, His righteousness. Peace had to be made. The sins of
many had to be paid and the full penalty of them to be borne.

Incarnation in itself, the marvelous and ever blessed humiliation of the
Son of God by taking on the human form, His holy blessed life, His
loving words, words of life and peace, yea, all He did in deeds of love
and compassion could never accomplish this. Incarnation brought God to
Man, but could never bring man back to a holy God. Incarnation could not
make an end of sin, nor make it possible for a righteous God to show
mercy to the fallen and the lost, in a righteous way. This great work of
redemption could only be accomplished by His death on the cross. For
this He had come. He came to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
The Author and Prince of Life came that He might give His Life a ransom
for many. The good Shepherd appeared to give His life for the sheep. By
His death alone, the great work of redemption could be accomplished.

III.

His work on the Cross and What has been Accomplished by It.

And now let us consider His work on the cross and what has been
accomplished by it. But who is able to speak worthily of this theme of
all themes? Who can fathom the solemn yet blessed fact, the death of the
Son of God on the cross? What tongue or pen can describe the sad, yet
glorious truth, that the Just One died for the unjust, that Christ died
for the ungodly! He who knew no sin was made sin for us! And what human
mind can estimate the wonderful results of His work on the cross!

Some Christians speak as if the death on the cross, the work
accomplished there, is so fully known to them, that they do not need any
more instruction on it. They tell us that they search for deeper things.
There can be nothing deeper than the death of God's Son on the cross.
Depths are here which are unfathomable. We must ever turn back to the
cross. Always we shall learn something new. With unspeakable Glory upon
us and greater glory before us in eternal ages to come, the cross of
Christ and the Lamb of God which has taken away the sin of the world can
never be forgotten. But we shall never know what that death on the cross
meant for Him and what it meant to God.

Made Sin for Us.

In Hebrews x we read of the sacrifices which were offered by the Jews
year after year. These sacrifices could not take away sin. Then He, the
Son of God, stepped forward and made His great declaration. Coming into
the world He saith, "Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a
body hast Thou prepared me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins
Thou hadst no pleasure" (verses 4-5). The body prepared puts before us
again the fact of incarnation. That body was a prepared body, a holy
body, an undefiled body, a body in which sin could not dwell and on
which death had no claim. But when He took on that body, He likewise
said: "Lo? come to do Thy will, O God." In the tenth verse we read, "By
the which will (the will of God, which dates back before the foundation
of the world), we are sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all." Through the eternal Spirit He offered
Himself without spot to God. The holy Lamb of God, with no spot or
blemish upon Him, shed His precious blood on the cross, to procure
redemption. But what it all meant for Him who was as truly Man as He is
God! Here was a Being perfectly holy, One who had always pleased God and
did His will, yea, His meat and drink was to do the will of Him that
sent Him. Sin was the horrible defiling thing to Him. He, too, like the
holy God, hated and hates sin. And yet such a One was made sin for us.
He had to stand in the place of guilty sinners and all the waves and
billowy of divine judgment and wrath had to pass over Him. He drank the
cup of wrath to the last drop. He suffered in a fourfold way.

1. In Himself Before He ever approached the garden of Gethsemane, He was
troubled in His spirit. We hear Him say, "Now my soul is
troubled--Father, save me from this hour, but for this cause came I to
this hour." He looked on towards the cross. And why that agony in the
garden? Why was His sweat as it were great drops of blood? Why the
repeated prayer, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me?"
How many dishonoring explanations have been written of the Gethsemane
suffering, as if He was afraid to die or that the devil tried to kill
Him there to prevent his death on the cross, and that He feared the
devil. But what was it? He suffered in Himself. His holy soul shrank
from that which a holy God must hate, that which He hated--SIN. He was
about to be made sin and He knew no sin. What suffering this produced in
the Holy One of God to take all upon Himself and to stand in the
sinner's place before a holy sin-hating God, our poor finite minds
cannot realize.

2. He suffered from men. This he had foretold. When man, guilty man,
cast Himself upon the willing victim, all the wickedness and vileness
and cruelty man is capable of committing was brought out and spent upon
the blessed Son of God. The scourging, the buffeting, the mocking, the
spitting and the shame connected with it, the shame of the cross, He
despised. How that sensitive body must have quivered under it all!

3. He suffered from the devil. He had tempted him. Nothing was left
undone, what this wonderful Being could do. All His cunning and powers
were brought into use, with the one purpose to keep Him from going to
the cross and dying in the sinner's place. And when at last he could not
keep Him from going to the cross, then he cast himself upon the victim
and heaped all his hatred and malice upon Him. He used man in all this
awful work and no doubt the legions of demons. And in all this the Son
of God was as a lamb, which is dumb before the shearers. He opened not
His mouth.

4. But the greatest of all, He suffered from God. With hushed breath, we
must speak of this. It is the Holy of Holies of the great work on the
cross, the impenetrable mystery of the atoning work of the Son of God.
From the darkness which enshrouded the cross and the blessed sufferer on
the accursed tree, there came the mournful cry: "My God, My God, why
hast Thou forsaken me?" It made known the awful suffering, which the
Lamb of God, the substitute of sinners, endured from the hand of a holy
God. He was smitten and afflicted of God. Have you noticed that in the
xxii Psalm this cry of the sufferer on the cross stands first? Man would
have written the sufferings of Christ in a far different way. The
descriptions of the sufferings not written by inspiration would have
been in this wise: The physical sufferings, how they scourged Him, all
the sickening details of that which even cruel Rome called the
intermediate death, would have been pictured. Then would have followed a
description of how the nails were driven into the blessed hands who had
lovingly touched so many weary, sin-laden and disease-stricken bodies.
All the agony of the cross and its shame would have been described first
by man. Then how the multitude mocked and darkness came over the entire
scene--then last of all, it would have been stated, He cried, My God, My
God, why hast Thou forsaken me? But the Holy Spirit in this great
Prophecy puts the cry of deepest agony first. Why? Because in that hour
the great work of atonement, propitiation, sin-bearing, judgment and
wrath enduring, was once and for all accomplished. In this same Psalm we
read what men energized by Satan's power, did unto Him. But man could
not put Him to death. It is written, "Thou (that is God) hast brought me
into the dust of death." God's own hand rested upon Him. "God laid upon
Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah liii:6). "It pleased the Lord to
bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief." And elsewhere we read, what
refers to the same atoning work of our Lord when He stood in the
sinner's place.

"All Thy waves and billows go over me" (Ps. xlii:7).

"Thine arrows stick fast in Me" (Ps. xxxviii:2).

"Thine hand presses me sore" (Ps. xxxviii:2).

"Thou hast laid me into the lowest pit" (Ps. lxxxviii:6).

"Thy wrath lieth hard upon me" (Ps. lxxxviii:7).

"Thy fierce wrath goeth over me" (Ps. lxxxviii:16).

"I suffer Thy terrors" (Ps. lxxxviii:15).

But what it all meant for the Son of God! Who can tell out His sorrow
and deep affliction? Never shall we fully discover the greatness of the
price which was paid. The death of the cross, it has been truly said,
stands perfectly alone. It can never be repeated and because of its
eternal efficacy, will never need to be repeated.

_It is Finished._

And this great work He came to do, is finished. "It is finished!" thus
He spoke on the cross and the words assure us that all is done. The rent
veil and the open tomb tell us "It is finished." But what has been
accomplished in this blessed work? We cannot fully grasp it now as long
as we look into a glass darkly. When at last we are brought into His
Presence, transformed into His own image, when we shall have share with
Him in His glorious inheritance, when at last sin and death are no more
and a new heaven and new earth are called into existence, then shall we
more fully know what that work has accomplished. All, ALL we have and
are, all we shall have and shall be as His own, has its blessed source
in the cross of Christ. He died for all. He gave Himself a ransom for
all. He tasted death for every man. He is the propitiation for the whole
world (not for the sins of the whole world, else the whole world would
be saved). It means His work is available to all sinners. Upon that fact
that He died for all, the Gospel is preached to lost and guilty sinners.
Christ died for the ungodly. "Whosoever will"--"Whosoever believeth,"
these are the precious conditions of the Gospel of Grace which sounds
forth from the finished work of Christ on the cross. And all who believe
on Him and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, for them He
bore their sins on the cross. Each believing sinner can look back to the
cross and can say, "He loved me, He gave Himself for me." He paid my
debt. He bore my sins in His own body on the tree. He stood in my place.
He was my substitute. He tasted death for me.

Much of the evil teachings of the present day, such as universal
salvation, larger hope, millennial dawnism, etc., emanate from the fact
that propitiation and substitution are not correctly understood.
Propitiation is the Godward side of the sacrifice of Christ, with this
God is satisfied. The propitiation is for the whole world. This does
not mean that the whole world is therefore to be saved. He bore the sins
of many--not the sins of all. He was the substitute on the cross only
for such who believe on Him.

And what do we possess who have believed on Him, own Him as our Saviour
and our Substitute? Many Scriptures might be read in answer to this
question. We cannot do so, but shall mention briefly a few things which
all believing sinners share on account of the finished work of Christ on
the cross.

We have a perfect justification. All our sins are forever put away,
because they were borne and paid for by His death on the cross. The
Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. All has been
righteously and forever settled. "Who shall bring any accusation against
God's elect? It is God who justifies, who is he that condemns? It is
Christ who has died." "There is therefore now no condemnation to those
in Christ Jesus." We have perfect Peace with God. Peace has been made in
the blood of the cross. It can never be unmade. We have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Peace. So many Christians think
their peace with God depends on their walk and service. If they sin,
they think they have lost their peace and their standing before God and
unless they are restored, they will be lost forever. Not our walk and
service, not anything we have done, we do or shall do, is the ground of
peace with God, but what God has done for us in Christ's atoning on the
cross.

Then we have a perfect acceptance and standing before God; perfect
nearness and access to God. We are made nigh by the blood. With no more
conscience of sins, we can stand in God's own presence, purged and
cleansed, complete in Him, as near to God as He is.

His blessed work on the cross has made an end of the old man. We are
dead to the world, to self, to sin, to the law. The old man was
crucified with Christ. "Sin shall have no more dominion over you." This
is the blessed message from the cross. We have deliverance from the
power of darkness and a perfect title to an eternal inheritance. No
uncertainty is attached to all this. We have salvation, are saved,
forever secure, Sons of God, Heirs of God indwelt by the Holy Spirit,
and much else, on account of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

And to all this we add that on the cross He loved the church and gave
Himself for it. There He died for Israel and as a result the remnant of
that people will some day be delivered from iniquity and perverse-ness,
as Balaam, beheld them, "no iniquity in Jacob and no perverseness in
Israel" (Numbers xxiii:21). Groaning creation will ultimately be freed
from the bondage of corruption and brought into the liberty of the sons
of God, because He shed His blood on the cross. All things in heaven and
on the earth (not things under the earth) will be reconciled in virtue
of the death of Christ on the cross.

Ye are not Your Own.

Let us remember as such who have been reconciled and have redemption
through His blood that we are bought with a price. "Ye are not your own
for ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and
in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. vi:20). Through His death we
are positionally dead; all who believe on Him have died. We are dead to
the law, to the world, to sin. But are we truly living, walking and
acting as such who have died, dead to sin and alive unto God? A child of
God who walks after the flesh practically denies the power and value of
the blessed finished work of Christ on the cross.

Let us exalt in our lives, by our words and deeds, the cross of Christ.
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world"
(Gal. vi:14).



II.

THE WORK OF CHRIST.

The great work which the Lord Jesus Christ, God's well beloved Son, came
to do was to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. This finished
work of the cross is the basis of His present work and His future work.
What mind can estimate the value and preciousness of that work in which
the Holy One offered Himself through the eternal Spirit without spot
unto God! He procured redemption by His death on the cross. In His
present work and much more in the future work, He works out this great
redemption into result.

There is much confusion in the minds of Christians about the present and
future work of Christ. Many speak of the Lord being now the King of
kings and Lord of lords, reigning over the earth. They speak of Him as
occupying the throne of His father David in heaven. The church,
according to this teaching, is His Kingdom, and that kingdom is
gradually being enlarged under His spiritual reign until the whole world
has been brought into this kingdom. All this is wrong. The Lord Jesus
Christ will reign over the earth; He will have a kingdom of glory, of
righteousness and peace on this earth; the nations of the earth will
have to submit to His government, but all this is still to come. It will
be accomplished with His visible Return to the earth, when He will claim
as the second Man the dominion of the earth. His kingly rule is future.
His present work is of another nature.

I. The Bodily Presence of Christ in Glory.

Our blessed Lord gave on the cross the body, which He had taken in
incarnation. That body died. It was the only part of Him, which could
die. But that body so dishonored by man, scourged and nailed to the
cross, could not see corruption. He arose from the dead. The mighty
power of God opened that grave and raised Him from the dead. This mighty
power of God, which brought Him forth is the power which is towards us
who believe. It is on our side (Eph. i:19). And God not alone raised Him
from the dead, but He gave Him glory (1 Peter i:21).

If I were to teach on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, I would
demonstrate two things. First, that He actually arose; the indisputable
fact, that He who had really died, who was dead bodily, arose bodily,
and, in the second place, the all important meaning of His resurrection.

The Apostle Paul writes in that great chapter in First Corinthians, "If
Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then
they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (1 Cor.
xv:18). In other words, if the Lord Jesus Christ came not forth from the
tomb, where His blessed body had been laid and where it rested for three
days, if He did not leave that grave in a bodily form, His death on the
cross would have no more meaning than the death of any other human
being. Then that blood which was shed could never take away our sins and
give the guilty conscience rest. Furthermore, the countless beings, who
passed out of this life trusting in Christ, would have all perished. But
Christ rose from the dead. There can be no doubt about it. The witnesses
for it are simply unanswerable.

His Physical Resurrection.

His resurrection from the dead was God's answer to His prayers with
strong crying and tears.

"Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered prayers and
supplication with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save
him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Heb. v:27).

This took place in Gethsemane. The answer to His prayers and tears came
from God on the morning of the first day. His resurrection from the dead
was the "Amen" of God to His triumphant shout on the cross, "It is
finished." By raising Him from the dead, God set His seal to the work of
Christ on the cross. God gave His witness by it that the work, which was
demanded by His holiness and righteousness, had been fully accomplished.
Guilty man can now be righteously acquitted from His guilt because God's
eternal righteousness was upheld and satisfied by His own Son in that He
paid the penalty. before God rolled away the stone? He had shown that
the work done was pleasing to Him. It seemed as if God could not wait
for the third day. His hand took hold of the veil, which hid the Holy of
Holies from the eyes of man. He rent that veil from top to bottom. He
showed thereby that He, the Holy God, could now come forth in fullest
blessing to man, and man bought by such a price, can approach into the
presence of God and be at home with Him, a loving Father. Sinners saved
by grace can enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by the new
and living way.

And how did He come forth from the grave? It has already been stated. He
arose with the body He had taken on in incarnation, the body which could
not see corruption. He left the grave in a corporeal form. It was not a
phantom, but a tangible body. The nailprints were still seen in His
hands and in His feet. The side showed the place where the spear had
entered. He appeared in that body in the midst of His disciples and
showed unto them His hands and His side. And when at another time they
cried out for fear, He said, "Behold, my hands and my feet, that it is
myself; handle me and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as ye
see me have" (Luke xxiv:39-40). And while they believed not for joy, He
proved His corporeality by eating a piece of broiled fish and of a
honeycomb. But while it was the same body it was also a glorified body.
Such a body, like unto His own glorious body, we shall receive some
blessed day in exchange for the body of humiliation; for this redemption
of the body we still wait as well as those who have fallen asleep in
Jesus.

Passing through the Heavens.

In this body He left the earth and passed through the heavens into
heaven itself. What a scene that must have been! What must have taken
place after He had been lifted up and disappeared out of sight from the
gazing disciples! They saw Him as He was lifted up, the same Lord Jesus,
until the glory cloud, the Shekinah, took Him up and in that cloud He
was taken into the heavens, where the physical eye could not follow.
What a triumphant entrance into the heavens it must have been! Perhaps
the mighty Archangel accompanied Him, the victor over Sin, Death, the
Grave and Satan; for the Archangel will accompany Him some day in His
descent out of heaven. The Lord went up with a shout (Psalm xlvii:5). He
will return with the victor's shout. When He comes back, He will be
attended by the mighty angels. May not these heavenly hosts have been
present as He ascended on high? And as the Man Christ Jesus passed
upward through the territory, which is still the domain of Satan, the
prince of the power in the air, the wicked tenants of the air fell back
in fear and trembling. The glorified Man passed on, upward, higher and
higher. Nothing could arrest His progress. The mighty power of God
raised Him up. Through the second heaven He passed, where the wonderful
stars, the creation of His own power, describe their great orbits around
their fiery suns. He is still attended by angels, and the angelic hosts
beheld Him, who were also the witnesses of His sufferings, His death and
resurrection. At last a place was reached where every angel had to halt.
Even the Archangel had to cover His face and cry, "Holy! Holy!" Yonder
is the third heaven and there stands the glorious throne of God. The
glorified Man advances alone; He ascended on high into the immediate
presence of His God and our God, His Father and our Father. The
welcoming voice of God Himself bade Him to take His seat on His own
right hand until His enemies are made His footstool. What must it have
been when the only begotten Son returned to His eternal dwelling place
as the First begotten, and God as well as He himself beheld the host of
redeemed sinners brought by Him into that Glory!

The highest place was given to Him, who died on the cross, far above all
principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is
named. There He is now the Man in the Glory. Once more let me state it,
the Lord Jesus Christ is corporeally present in the highest heaven.
Everything depends on this. If His physical resurrection and corporeal
presence in the highest heaven is denied, His present work and future
work are an impossibility, and we rob ourselves of every comfort, joy
and peace. Then, too, His atoning work on the cross has no meaning for
us.

A Fundamental Truth Denied.

And too often this great truth of the bodily presence of Christ in
heaven is denied in these days of departure from the faith. They teach,
His resurrection was a spiritual one, that He lives only by His words.
The denial of the literal resurrection of our blessed Lord and His
presence in heaven has become very widespread. Three evil systems
especially deny it.

1. Unitarianism. As a sect this denomination is small, but the leaven of
Unitarianism is leavening Christendom. All this criticism of the Bible,
the new theology, a more liberal religion, but all aiming at the
essential Deity of our blessed Lord, His incarnation and resurrection
from the dead, is the leaven of Unitarianism. At a recent annual service
of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association the chairman observed
that "earnest and thoughtful men, occupying pulpits once dedicated to
the propagation of doctrines strictly orthodox, were now preaching a
Gospel, which for liberality and broadmindedness even surpassed the
Unitarianism of three or four generations ago."

2. Christian Science. This new science is not new, but is the revival,
through satanic powers, of ancient Gnosticism, a denial of every article
of the faith once and for all delivered unto the saints. Prominent in
this system is the denial of the physical resurrection, and the bodily
presence of the Lord Jesus in Glory. It is the masterpiece of Satan. Its
phenomenal growth attracts to its ranks such of the Christian
profession, who were never saved or whose knowledge of the truth of God
is insufficient. There will be no abatement of this great delusion. It
will continue to grow and become more powerful as the Gospel is denied
and God's Word rejected.

3. Millennial Dawnism. This is another great and widespread system. In
it Satan appears even more so than in Christian Science as an angel of
light. It is offered throughout this land as "food for Christians" and
goes by the name of "Bible Study." One meets it everywhere. What is it?
It is an amalgamation of several of the evil theories concerning the
Person of Christ, denying, like Unitarianism and Christian Science, the
absolute Deity of our Lord. "Pastor" Russell in his books also denies
the physical resurrection of Christ. According to this system the body
of our Lord was either dissolved in its natural gases or is preserved as
a memorial somewhere. This, of course, means the denial of His bodily
presence in heaven. But think of it! To say that the body of our Lord
was dissolved in its natural gases, when the Word so clearly states "He
could not see corruption."

II.

The Present Work of Christ; What It Is.

As Man in Glory, crowned with glory and honor, He is occupied in a
present work.

He is in the presence of God as the Heir of all things. He is the
upholder of all and all things consist by Him. This great universe, with
its innumerable stars and suns, is under His control; it belongs to Him.
How man ever since the fall attempts to penetrate the mysterious depths
of the universe! Scientists with their glasses scan the heavens and try
to regain the knowledge of creation, which was lost by the fall of man,
Their discoveries astonish us. How marvelous the heavens are! How they
declare the glory of God and the firmament His handiwork! Often too has
the search of fallen man into the depths of the universe demonstrated
the truth of God given by revelation in His word. And yet the great
questions we ask of astronomers concerning this great universe are
answered with "we do not know." Some day in the twinkling of an eye we
shall know more about this great universe than all the knowledge gained
by fallen man. But this universe rests in the hands of the Man in Glory.
He is the great central sun around which all revolves. We do not know if
there is any work to be done in connection with the great bodies which
we see in the great space about us. We do not know what changes go on
there. But we do know that all is in His hands. All is under His
control.

We must also think of the angels, the heavenly hosts. He has been made,
after His passion, so much better than the angels, as He hath by
inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they (Heb. i:4). What
may go on in this great world above, the world of unseen spirits, who
can tell? But they are all under His control. How He sends them forth
and uses them in His providential dealings with His people on earth, and
how He restrains through these unseen agencies the wrath of the enemy
and the evil work of demons, we do not know fully. "Are they not all
ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them, who shall be heirs
of salvation" (Heb. i:14). This and much else, though not fully
revealed, and hidden from us, belongs also to His present work. We
mention this that we might have a higher estimate of our Lord and
realize anew what a mighty and wonderful Lord we have.

But there is a present work of our Lord in Glory, which is fully
revealed in His Word.

In the first place, He is the Mediator between God and Man, and being
preached as such to the world, He exercises His office as the Mediator
throughout this present age (1 Tim. ii:5-6). Besides this Mediatorship,
He has a service which concerns those for whom He died and who, by
personal faith, have accepted Him as their Saviour.

The Lord Knoweth His Own.

"The Lord knoweth them that are His." What a blessed thought of comfort
and cheer it is, which should forever banish fear and unbelief! The
Lord, the One seated there in the Holiest, knows us personally. He knew
us before we ever were in existence. He saw us before the foundation of
the world. He knew all our vileness and the depths of degradation. He
knew us as we wandered in our sins. His loving eyes followed us then. He
sought us in His love and brought us to Himself. He gave us His life and
dwells in us. Each believing sinner, saved by grace, is one Spirit with
the Lord. "I know my sheep." He calleth each by name, like a Shepherd
calleth his own sheep. Again He said "I know them." What a comfort it
should be to our hearts, that He knows each of us by name. He knows our
circumstances, trials, difficulties and temptations. He knows our
conflicts and our tears. "He knoweth the way which I take."

It is very precious! In the xxxii Psalm we find the comforting word for
one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, "I will guide
thee with mine eye," or as it should read, "I will guide thee with mine
eye upon thee." That eye up yonder, that eye which measures the depths
of the universe, which follows every planet, that eye which neither
sleeps nor slumbers, that all-seeing eye rests upon us. He is occupied
with each. The millions of His people who have lived and died, who
passed through life and are now at home with Him, were each individually
the objects of His care. His loving eye was upon the multitudes of
martyrs. He knew and watched that poor tortured saint, who was cast with
broken bones into a dungeon to starve to death. His power and love
rested upon those who were burned or cast before the wild animals. For
each He served and worked. And so He does still. Oh, the preciousness
that each believer is under the loving care of the Man in Glory, the
object of His love. Let us turn to a few Scriptures which reveal this
fact.

Living for Us.

In Romans v:10 we read:

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of
His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

What life is meant by which we are saved? Some have applied it to the
life of the Lord Jesus Christ before His death on the cross, as if that
righteous life, that perfect life, had any saving power in it for us.
Hence the teaching that the righteousness of His life is imputed unto
us. This is wrong. The life, of which this verse speaks, is the life
which He lives now in the Presence of God. When we were enemies we were
reconciled to God by the death of His Son. And now being reconciled,
much more are we saved by His life. By His life there, because He is
there, we are saved and kept down here.

Another passage in Romans may be linked with this. Romans viii:34:

"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is
risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh
intercession for us."

The risen Christ is at the right hand of God and maketh intercession for
us. However, not in the Epistle to the Romans is this present work of
Christ as the intercessor of His redeemed people revealed, but in the
Epistle to the Hebrews. There we read in the ninth chapter, "For Christ
is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the
figures of the true: but into heaven itself, now to appear in the
presence of God for us." (Heb. ix:24).

And again in chapter vii:24, 25: "But this man, because he continueth
forever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to
save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever
liveth to make intercession for them."

But notice all this is not spoken of those who are unsaved and live in
sin. The unsaved who are not yet Christ's have no share in all this. For
the unsaved world the Lord is not the intercessor. He declared this
truth first of all in His high-priestly prayer, when He said, "I pray
for them, I pray not for the world" (John xvii:9).

This was also foreshadowed in the Old Testament. The High Priest in His
garments of Beauty and Glory had upon his shoulders two onyx stones, and
upon his breast a breastplate with twelve stones. Upon both the onyx
stones, upon the shoulder and the twelve stones on the breastplate there
were names engraven. But these were not the names of the Egyptians, the
Jebusites, the Amorites or the Hittites, but the names of the twelve
tribes of Israel. Our high priest in the highest heaven carries His own
upon His shoulders, which typify His power, and upon His bosom He
carrieth them; the bosom tells of His love. We are the objects of the
power and the love of Him who appears in the presence of God for us. The
fact that the names of the Israelites were engraven upon these precious
stones also has a meaning. If they had been written there, they might be
blotted out. They were engraven and could never be erased. It tells out
the blessed truth of our security.

His Priesthood.

Two other passages in Hebrews reveal some of the blessed details of the
present priestly work of the Lord in our behalf. "Wherefore in all
things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might
be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to
make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself
hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are
tempted" (Hebrews ii:17, 18). "Seeing then that we have a great High
Priest, that is passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us
hold fast our confession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be
touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points
tempted like we are, apart from sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto
the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in
time of need" (Hebrews iv:14-16).

The first passage tells of the propitiation He made for the sins of the
people. He suffered, being tempted, and this is the basis of His
intercessory service. The passage from the fourth chapter tells us how
He was fitted while on earth for this great office work. While down here
He was tempted in all points as we are, apart from sin. From sin within
He could never be tempted, for no sin was in Him. He has gone through
the trials, the difficulties and sufferings a man who depends on God is
subject to while in this world, with the exception of sin. He has known
while on earth every possible difficulty. Now He can be a merciful and
faithful high priest and as such enter into all our sorrows and trials.
He sympathizes with us in all our conflicts and difficulties down here.
However, He does not intercede for the flesh--He has no sympathy with
sin. By His gracious and unbroken intercession in the sanctuary, He
upholds us individually in the path down here. He gives strength to
endure. If it were not for that intercession, we all would fall by the
way. How often God's people fear troubles and difficulties, losses and
bereavements, which might possibly come. What, if this favored child
should be taken from me, how could I stand it? Or, if I should lose her
whom I love? Or my health should fail? Perhaps my business and income
stops, how could I ever stand it? Often that which we fear comes upon
us. That loved one is taken and is put into a grave. Health fails and
the income stops; instead of plenty there is want. But with the trial,
with the loss, there comes such a strength to bear it all, and more than
that, real joy and songs of praise. It is because the great High Priest
lives and intercedes. He knows all about it and in the tenderness of His
love and the might of His power, He takes us in His loving arms whenever
trials and troubles come upon us. At all times under all circumstances
He is our representative before God and thinks of us.

And so it is with our temptations and our warfare with the wicked
spirits. The enemy we have is most powerful and intelligent. He knows
how to spread his nets. His wiles are most subtle. If Satan had his way
he would overthrow and destroy completely the people of God on earth. If
it depended on our strength, we would soon fall. But He knows. His eyes
watch the enemy as they watch us. Peter's case illustrates this
perfectly. He saw the old serpent as he moved on his way towards Peter.
He knew the cunning plan Satan had conceived to ensnare Peter. In Judas
he had entered and taken complete possession of the disciple, who was
never born again. He planned to fell Peter completely and rush him
afterwards into despair. But Satan did not reckon with Peter's Lord.
Before the plan could ever be carried out, the Lord had prayed for Peter
that His faith may not fail. And though Peter denied the Lord and fell,
the Lord's gracious intercession kept him through it all. And this is
still the case with us. He prays for us before that foe can ever
approach us and thus we can be victorious in the conflict and should we
stumble and fall, as it is so often the case, then He is the great
shepherd "who restoreth my soul." How much we owe to this blessed,
precious present work of our Lord in Glory no one knows. What blessed
revelation there will come to us when we shall know as we are known,
when we look back over our lives and behold what the intercession of the
Lord Jesus accomplished for us and all the Saints of God! We have a
great high priest who is passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of
God.

Another phase of His priestly present work is recorded in Heb. xiii:15.
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God
continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
He presents our spiritual sacrifices to God. Our worship, our praise and
our prayers we address to God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, are all imperfect, but as they are presented to God by Him, they
are acceptable unto God and delight the heart of God for that reason.

His Advocacy.

But there is a second aspect of His work in Glory in the presence of God
for His people. He is our advocate with the Father. Some Christians
think that the Priesthood and Advocacy of Christ are one and the same.
They are not. His advocacy is that which restores us. In the first
Epistle of John we read of this phase of His present work. "My little
children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man
sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"
(John ii:1).

In the preceding chapter our wonderful privilege as the children of God
is made known. We are to be in fellowship with the Father and with His
Son Jesus Christ. What does that mean? Fellowship with the Father is
when we delight ourselves in His basket Son, who is His delight, when we
share the Father's own thoughts about Him. The Son knoweth the Father
and He has revealed Him and brought us into His own relationship with
the Father. Fellowship with His Son is to enjoy this relationship with
the Father. The condition for the enjoyment of this privilege in
reality, fellowship with the Father and with His Son is, that we walk in
the light as He is in the light. These blessed things were written that
we sin not. Sin cannot rob us of our salvation, but it mars the
enjoyment of that fellowship. The standard is that we sin not, and if we
live in constant enjoyment of that blessed fellowship into which grace
has brought us, we do not sin. But how often this is not the case. We
fall into sin. Then the blessed revelation is given: "If any man sin we
have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." How
grateful we ought to be that it does not say: If any man repent. The
Lord's intercession as advocate is independent of our repentance or of
our asking Him to do this for us. It is the exercise of grace in His own
loving heart toward us to restore our souls, to put us back into the
place where we can enjoy His fellowship. The moment the believer sins on
earth, He acts as the Advocate above. The Holy Spirit then likewise acts
in that He applies the Word to convict and cleanse. The cleansing is by
the water, the Word, and not a second time by the blood. Then follows
confession from our side and the restoration is effected. Also notice
that it does not say "we have an Advocate with God," but "with the
Father." It is a family matter, and the Father is a Father who can do
nothing but love those whom He has brought to himself through His Son.
The conception that the Father is angry with His sinning child on earth,
and that the Son of God by His pleadings inclines the heart of God to be
merciful, is an unscriptural one. Another reason why He acts thus as
Advocate is Satan, the accuser of the brethren. He still has access into
the presence of God. The day will come when He is cast out of heaven,
but that day will not come until the church has been caught up to meet
the Lord in the air.

"And the great dragon was cast out, that serpent, called the Devil, and
Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth,
and his angels were cast out with him.

"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and
strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for
the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our
God day and night" (Rev. xii:9-10).

Because Satan accuses God's people before God day and night, the
Advocate is there to rebuke him. Every attack by accusation of the
sinning children of God, the Lord Jesus Christ meets with the fact that
He made propitiation; He died for their sins.

He Shall not Fail nor be Discouraged.

And this work of Himself as our Priest, the merciful and faithful High
Priest and our Advocate goes on up yonder uninterruptedly. In Isaiah we
find a word which speaks of Him, "He shall not fail nor be discouraged."
Well may we apply this to His present work as Priest and Advocate of His
own. As Priest He will never fail. He will never fail in being about His
own, in keeping them and sustaining them, in sending them help from the
sanctuary in time of need. As Advocate He will not be discouraged. The
same old failures in our lives, which humble us and break us down, but
He continues in this service in behalf of His poor sinning people. Some
Christians do not believe in the fundamental doctrine of the Gospel,
that a child of God in possession of eternal life can never be lost.
They think it depends on their walk and service. If one of His own could
ever be lost again, if even the weakest, the most imperfect could be
snatched out of His hands, His present work would be a failure as well
as His finished work on the cross. But read the great high-priestly
prayer He left for us in John xvii. There He prays the Father, who
heareth Him always, that His own may be kept.

His Work for the Church.

Another aspect of His present work is what He does for His church. We
can but briefly indicate what this means.

He is in glory the Head of the church. The church is His body, the
fullness of Him, that filleth all in all.

Every believing sinner is a member in that body. The risen Lord Himself
adds new members to that body. He puts each member into the body as it
pleases Him. Each member is guided and directed by Himself. He supplies
this body with gifts.

"And 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
fullness of Christ" (Eph. iv:11-13).

Thus He builds up from the Glory His own body. Some day that body will
be complete. Then we all come unto the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ. That will be when we see Him as He is. Then His
present work in behalf of His own, His coheirs, will be finished.
Brought home from this wilderness to the Father's house--safe
home--there will be no need any longer for His power and love to sustain
us. No more tears will then be shed, no more wounds of pain and sorrow
to be soothed, no more help is needed for the time of need; all that is
passed. Nor does He then need to exercise His office as Advocate, for we
are delivered forever from the presence of sin and sanctified wholly
body, soul and spirit. Sinning is then an impossibility. What a happy,
glorious day that will be!

III.

The Practical Results of His Present Work in the Christian's Life.

The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is in Glory occupied with us should
lead us into a holy life which glorifies Him. That loving eye is never
withdrawn from us. If we were to remember this constantly, what a power
this would be in our lives! How many things would remain undone, how
many words unspoken, and how many other things done, if we were
constantly conscious of that eye which is upon us individually. He
represents us before God, and we are to represent Him before men. A
Christian is called to manifest Christ to be His representative. And
such a life, which is unto His praise and Glory, is made possible
through His blessed intercessory work and His presence in heaven. A true
Christian life depends much on this heart occupation with the Person and
work of Christ. As His presence up yonder and His service for us is a
reality to our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, we shall
walk worthy of the Lord, and His blessed work for us will constantly be
felt in our lives here on earth. What a joy it is then, as we reckon
only with Him, who knows us, to serve Him, to depend on Him. And how we
should shun anything which grieves Him.

Encouragement for Prayer.

These blessed facts of the Lord's loving interest in us and our life in
this present evil age, surrounded by dangers and evils of all kinds,
will be a great encouragement to us in our prayer life. We can go and
tell Him all about that which troubles us. If He is interested in
everything which happens to us, down to the smallest matter, then we can
go to him in prayer and tell Him about it. Some Christians teach that we
should not do this, but leave it all in His hands without praying for
it, satisfied that His will be done. But this is contrary to Scripture,
for it says that in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving we are to make our requests known (Phil. iv:6). He delights
to have us tell Him, and like John's disciples we can go to Him and tell
Him. His ear is always open. If in His service we become tired and
weary, we can tell Him, for He was tired on account of the way. If
hungry or without a resting place, He knows what that means, for He
passed through this. If lonely and our best services are misunderstood,
or the fiery darts of the enemy are aimed against us, we can speak to
Him about it. All this can be so very real to us if we but go on led by
His spirit.

Deliverance from Worry.

It should make an end of all worry and anxiety. We may possess a divine
carelessness. Be careful for nothing. Have no anxiety. Why should we
worry or be anxious? Worry is the child of unbelief. Anxiety can never
stay if the eyes of the heart behold the man in Glory and faith realizes
that all is in the hands of One "who doeth all things well." Worry and
anxiety accuse Him. Martha did that when she was encumbered with much
service and then said to Him, "Dost Thou not care?" Each time we give
way to anxiety, we act as if He did not care. But He does; and He would
have us rest in faith and commit all to Himself.

Sharing His Work.

In conclusion we must not forget that He permits us to have some share
in this blessed work of His. While He prays for us, we can pray one for
another, and for all the saints. He intercedes; we can intercede. He
washes our feet, typical of the cleansing by the Word. We are to wash
one another's feet. He carries our burdens, but the exhortation also is
that we carry one another's burden. He forgives and restores. We are to
forbear one another, and forgive one another, "even as Christ forgave
us" (Col. iii:13).



III.

HIS FUTURE WORK

The Lord Jesus Christ, who finished the work on earth the Father gave
Him to do, who is now bodily present in the highest heaven, occupying
the Father's throne and exercising His priesthood in behalf of His
people, is also King. To Him belongeth a Kingdom and a kingly Glory. He
has therefore a kingly work to do. While His past work was foretold by
the Spirit of God and His priestly work foreshadowed in the Old
Testament, His work as King and His glorious Kingdom to come are
likewise the subjects of the Word of God.

Predicted by the Prophets.

His kingly work was announced by Gabriel to the Virgin. "The Lord God
shall give unto Him the throne of His father David and He shall reign
over the house of David forever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no
end" (Luke i:32, 33). According to this message He must occupy the
throne of His father David, He must reign and possess a Kingdom. This is
but heaven's confirmation of what God's prophets for many centuries had
uttered in announcing the coming of the Messiah. The entire prophetic
Word has its climax in the visions of the King and the Kingdom, He will
receive on this earth. These visions of glory to come, for Him who was
despised and rejected of men, are the glittering stars shining
throughout the dark night of the past and present age. They dazzle the
eyes of faith. They inspire hope and courage. We quote a few Scriptures
which relate to the Christ as King.

"Yet I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the
decree: the Lord has said unto Me, Thou art my Son, this day have I
begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the nations for Thine
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession"
(Ps. ii:6-8). "It is He that will judge the world in righteousness" (Ps.
xi:7). "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord,
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the
Kingdom is the Lord's and He is the governor among the nations" (Ps.
xxii:27-28). "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye
everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King
of Glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory" (Ps. xxiv:9-10).
"All ye peoples clap your hands, shout unto God with the voice of
triumph! For Jehovah, the Most High, is terrible, a great King over all
the earth" (Ps. xlvii:2). "He shall judge thy people with righteousness,
and the poor with judgment." "Yea, all Kings shall fall down before Him;
all nations shall serve Him." "His name shall endure forever--all
nations shall call Him blessed" (Ps. lxxii:1, 11, 17). "Also, I will
make Him my Firstborn, higher than the Kings of the earth" (Ps.
lxxxix:27). "Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness" (Is. xxxii:1).
"Behold the days come, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch,
and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and
justice in the earth" (Jer. xxiii:5). "I saw in the night visions, and
behold there came with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man--and
there was given Him dominion and glory, and a Kingdom, that all peoples,
nations and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting
dominion which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom which shall not be
destroyed" (Dan. vii:13-14). "Behold the man, whose name is the Branch,
and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of
the Lord. Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear
the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a
priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them
both" (Zech. vi:12, 13). "And Jehovah shall be King over all the earth"
(Zech. xiii:9).

All these prophecies and many more speak of the Lord Jesus as King and
bear witness of His Kingdom. The glories of His Kingdom are likewise
described by the holy men of God, the mouthpieces of the Spirit of God.

Not Yet Fulfilled.

Were these predictions fulfilled since the Lord Jesus Christ suffered on
the Cross? Have they been fulfilled since He entered the Father's
presence in Glory? Is He now exercising His kingly rule and authority?
Is the promised Kingdom of righteousness, of peace, of power and glory
now on this earth?

These questions arise at once in reading these divine predictions. They
must be answered in the negative. The Lord Jesus Christ has not even
begun His work as King. The Kingdom promised unto Him, He has not yet
received. There is now no such Kingdom of glory and power on earth.

The New Testament Evidence.

The New Testament furnishes the completest evidence that our Lord is not
King over all the earth, and that His kingly rule is still in the
future. The notion that the church is the Kingdom in which the Lord
Jesus Christ rules as King, and that the Old Testament predictions of
Kingdom glories are realized spiritually in the church, is a pure
invention. Nowhere is the church called the Kingdom, nor do we find the
Lord Jesus ever called "the King of the Church." He is the Head of the
church, which is His body. The New Testament still looks forward to the
Kingdom to come. The Lord has left the earth to receive a Kingdom and to
return (Luke xix:11-28). He occupies the Father's throne, which is not
His permanent place, for He is to have His own throne. "When the Son of
Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then
shall He sit upon the throne of His glory" (Matt. xxv:31). He waits in
heaven for the time when all enemies will be made the footstool of His
feet (Heb. x:13). "But now we see not yet all things put under Him"
(Heb. ii:8). No nation serves Him and the Kingdoms of this world are not
His Kingdoms during this age. They will become His and heaven will
resound with many voices saying: "The kingdoms of this world are become
the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and
ever" (Rev. xi:15). But that is future. When the seventh angel sounds
His trumpet, when heaven opens and He appears as King of kings, crowned
with many crowns (Rev. xix:11-16), then He will receive the nations for
His inheritance.

How Christ Begins His Future Work.

The beginning of Christ's future work is revealed in 1 Thessalonians
iv:15-18. This Scripture contains a great and unique revelation, unknown
in the Old Testament. The Lord had made the promise to His disciples, "I
will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am ye may be
also" (John xiv:3). He did not tell them in what manner He would keep
this most precious promise. In the first Epistle to the Thessalonians
the Lord gives the details of His coming for His own, and how He will
fulfill the promise given to His disciples. He promises that He will
descend from heaven with a shout. When He accomplished His work on the
cross, He gave a shout, for he cried with a loud voice "Tetelestei"--"It
is finished!" As the risen One, He met His beloved ones and said "All
Hail!" The Greek gives only one word, "Chairete"--"Oh! the Joy!" This is
His resurrection shout, the shout of joy and victory. And when He
ascended He went up with a shout (Ps. xlvii:5). First Thessalonians
iv:16 tells us He is going to descend with a shout. He passed through
the heavens in His glorious ascension and entered into the presence of
God, His Father. Some day He will arise from the place He occupies on
the Throne of God. He will leave the place on the right hand of the
Majesty on high and pass out of the third heaven. Once more He passeth
through the heavens, not upward but downward. He comes to call His
Saints to meet Him. The meeting-place is not the Mount of Olives,
Jerusalem or any earthly place; the meeting-place will be in the air. We
repeat, this is a revelation, which is not found in the Old Testament
prophetic Word, nor did the Lord announce it fully in His earthly
ministry. According to the passage containing this revelation, the shout
of the Lord as He descends into the air will be followed by the
resurrection of the dead in Christ. All the Saints of God will be raised
physically from the graves. This includes the Old Testament and New
Testament believers. When this shout is heard and the righteous dead are
raised, all belonging to Christ and living in that day, will be caught
up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. For the
sake of some, we add, that all who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ
as Saviour, who received eternal life and the Spirit of God, belong to
Him and their blessed Hope and destiny is to be "caught up in clouds to
meet the Lord in the air." Some teach that in order to share this
rapture certain attainments are needed. Such, however, is not the case.
No service, suffering, separation or any works we do, could ever fit us
for such a marvelous event. Grace has accomplished it for us. In 1 Cor.
xv:51 we read: "Behold I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed in a moment, etc." The "all" means all that are
Christ's at His coming, independent of their knowledge about
dispensational truths, independent of their waiting for Him, or any
other thing. That they belong to Him and are redeemed by His precious
blood is a sufficient title to be caught up and to meet Him in the air.

Of this double company, saints who died and who will be raised from the
dead, and saints who live and will be changed in a moment and caught up
to meet Him, we find a hint in His words in John xi:25-26. "I am the
resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live (Resurrection). And whosoever liveth (when He comes)
and believeth in Me shall never die (The changing of living believers).
Believest thou this?" May we answer Him, Yea, Lord, I believe. We may
not understand all the details of this wonderful event, an event which
will come suddenly, but we can believe His promise and wait daily for
its glorious fulfillment. This is the blessed Hope of the Church. For
this we are told to wait. Ere He begins His judgment work, before the
last scenes of tribulation and wrath can be enacted upon this earth and
He returns as the King of Glory to claim His blood-bought inheritance,
He will come into the air to meet His redeemed host and co-heirs. This
is the first event in connection with His future work.

The Judgment Seat of Christ.

All judgment is to be executed by the Lord Jesus Christ. "For the Father
judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John
v:22). Up to the present time no judgment work has been done by Him. Nor
have His people received their crowns and rewards for service and
faithfulness. The meeting of the Saints in the presence of the Lord will
be immediately followed by the judgment seat of Christ. "For we shall
all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Rom. xiv:10). "For we
must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. v:10). No unsaved person appears
before this judgment for they were not raised from the dead, nor changed
in the twinkling of an eye. This judgment concerns only believers. This
judgment, however, does not decide their eternal salvation. That was
settled when they believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The words of our
Lord in John v:24 make this clear. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He
that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed
from death unto life." "There is therefore now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ" (Rom. viii:1). The works and the service of His
people will be dealt with by the Lord in this first judgment act in His
future work. Of this we read in 1 Cor. iv:5--"Therefore judge nothing
before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the
hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the hidden counsels of
the hearts; and then shall have every man praise of God."

Everything will be made manifest before that judgment seat. The
unconfessed sins in the believer's life will be brought to light and all
hidden things will be uncovered. Then the works of the believer will be
made manifest. "Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day
shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire
shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide
which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's
work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be
saved, yet so as by fire" (1 Cor. iii:13-15). It will be the time when
God's people will receive their rewards and crowns. Then the Apostles,
the faithful martyrs, the self-sacrificing missionaries and servants of
God will receive praise and reward for their labors. The judgment seat
is the reward seat of Christ. In view of this the Apostle wrote to the
faithful Thessalonians: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of
rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at
His coming? For ye are our glory and joy" (1 Thess. ii:19-20). And the
Apostle John exhorts: "And now little children, abide in Him; that when
He shall appear, we (the apostles and teachers) may have confidence, and
not be ashamed before Him at His Coming" (1 John ii:28). All believers
in Christ are saved and have eternal life; but not all receive a reward.
Their works will be consumed by the fire of that judgment, for they were
nothing but wood, hay and stubble. They will go rewardless, while the
faithful saints, who toiled and served, who spent and were spent,
following closely in His steps, will receive rewards. What these will be
no Saint does know at this time.

When all is accomplished in connection with this judgment seat of
Christ, He will lead His Saints into the Father's house, that they may
behold His glory (John xvii:24). He will present the church to Himself,
"a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. v:27). He presents His
church "faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy"
(Jude 24).

II.

His Future Work in Connection with the Earth.

When the Saints of God have left the earth and met the Lord in the air,
when the events took place we have briefly outlined, then the Lord Jesus
Christ will begin from heaven a work which will be severely felt on the
earth. He begins to deal with the world in a series of judgments. From
the Book of Revelation we learn that the "Lion of the tribe of Judah the
Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and loose the seven
seals thereof." (Rev. v:5). The book He receives contains the judgments
decreed for this earth with its apostate masses. The Lamb is seen
opening the seals of the book, and as He breaks the seals the events
described under each seal happen. It is His work in judgment. In the
eighth chapter of Revelation an Angel is seen before an altar with a
golden censer. "And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire
of the altar, and cast it into the earth, and there were voices, and
thunderings, and lightnings and an earthquake. And the seven angels
which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Rev. viii:5,
6). This Angel is the Lord Jesus Christ. He casts down the fire of
divine displeasure and judgment upon the earth. The seven trumpeting
angels with their judgments for the earth are sent forth by Him. Then
come seven other angels, who pour out the bowls filled with the wrath of
God. We cannot examine all those judgments separately. There is no human
being who can realize what they all mean and what it will be when the
Lord deals with this earth in righteousness.

Israel and the Nations.

Israel and the nations will pass through those judgments executed from
above. Christendom apostate, God defying and Christ rejecting
Christendom, will like Pharaoh, be hardened by them. They do not repent,
but rather believe the strong delusion and accept the man of sin with
his lying wonders. The Jewish people will in part be restored to their
land. The great tribulation centers in their land and will be felt there
in its severest form. The apostate portion of the Jews will worship the
false Christ and will therefore be visited by these righteous judgments.
But there is also a remnant of God-fearing Jews, who believe the Word of
God, who expect the Kingdom and the King. While these believing Jews
suffer, they also serve. They are the last messengers of the King. They
herald once more the Gospel of the Kingdom and will bear witness of it
to all the nations of the earth, before the end comes (Matt. xxiv:14).*

* We refer the reader to our larger works, which deal more fully with
these coming events. Daniel, Joel, Commentary on Matthew, Harmony of the
Prophetic Word, Things to Come, etc., deal more fully with these truths.
For catalogue, address "Our Hope," 456 Fourth Ave., New York City.

Nations Learning Righteousness.

"When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will
learn righteousness" (Isaiah xxvi:9). A work of salvation will go on
during those seven years of judgment, tribulation and wrath. A great
multitude, which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and
people, and tongues, come out of the great tribulation and have washed
their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev.
vii:9-17). They heard and believed the final testimony as preached by
the Jewish remnant. Heathen nations will accept the Gospel of the
Kingdom, while apostate Christendom is excluded, for they received not
the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess.
ii).

His Glorious Appearing.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be
darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall
fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And
then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall
all the tribes of the earth mourn and they shall see the Son of Man
coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew
xxiv:29-30). "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see
Him, and they also which pierced Him, and all kindreds of the earth
shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen" (Rev. i:7). "And I saw heaven
opened and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called
Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His
eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He
had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed
in a vesture dipped with blood; and His name is called the Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses,
clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a
sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations; and He shall rule
them with a rod of iron and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness
and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a
name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev. xix:11-16).

The King in His Glory.

Every eye shall see Him, when He appears in glorious majesty as the King
of Kings. His glory will cover the heavens (Hab. iii:3). Every tongue
which denied Him will be forever hushed. His second, personal, visible
and glorious coming will be the crowning and unanswerable proof of His
Deity. His incarnation and all the work He accomplished on earth and in
glory, can then no longer be denied. His glorious appearing will silence
all His enemies. His rejection ends and His glory as God's appointed
King and ruler over this earth, He purchased with His blood, begins.
Every knee must then bow before Him and every tongue confess that He is
Lord.

And when He appears in all His glory, He does not come alone. His Saints
come with Him. When He appears, then shall we also appear with Him in
glory (Col. iii:4). In that day of triumph and glory, He will be
glorified in His Saints and admired in all them that believed (2 Thess.
i:10). Wonderful spectacle it will be, when He brings His many sons with
Him unto glory! All will be conformed into the same image.

His Judgment-Work.

His feet will stand once more upon the Mount of Olives (Zech. xiv:4).
Before Him is Jerusalem and all nations are gathered against it to
battle (Zech. xiv:2). The Beast will be their leader, while the Man of
Sin, the Anti-christ, will do his dreadful work in the city itself. The
remnant of Israel in great distress will then pray and look for
deliverance. The coming of the King will bring that deliverance. They
will shout then for joy and say in that day, "Lo, this is our God, we
have waited for Him, and He will save us; this is the Lord; we have
waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (Isaiah
xxv:9). They will welcome the once rejected One. "Blessed is He that
cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. xxiii:39). And He will fight
against those nations. The great battle of Armageddon will then take
place. "The beasts and the Kings of the earth, and their armies,
gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and
against his army" (Rev. xix:19). But their opposition will suddenly be
broken to pieces. "And the beast was taken, and with him the false
prophet (the Anti-christ) that wrought miracles before him, with which
he deceived them that received the mark of the beast, and them that
worshipped the image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire
burning with brimstone" (Rev. xix:20).

On His Throne.

When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels
with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory" (Matt.
xxv:31). The judgment which will then be executed by Him is not a
universal judgment (the dead are not mentioned), but it will be a
judgment of the living nations in the day when He appears the second
time. Some nations are put on His right side and He calls them "the
blessed of my Father;" they inherit the Kingdom which will then be
established on the earth. That these righteous nations are not church
saints is obvious, for the church, as we have seen, was caught up in the
beginning of His future work to meet Him in the air and is associated
with Him when He comes in power and glory. Then there are other nations
which are put on His left hand and they shall go away from that judgment
throne into everlasting punishment (Matt. xxv:46). But what is the
standard of this judgment? What they did to the Lord's brethren or what
they did not unto them. The Lord's brethren, according to the flesh are
the Jews. During the tribulation period believing Jews will preach the
Gospel of the Kingdom to all nations (Matt. xxiv:14). The nations who
believed this last offer of mercy treated the messengers in kindness;
those who did not believe the message did not treat them in that way.
And when this great judgment is passed, His Kingdom of righteousness and
peace will be established on this earth. Righteousness will begin to
reign as grace reigns now through righteousness.

III.

The Glories of His Kingdom.

"And in the days of those Kings shall the God of heaven set up a
Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, and the Kingdom shall not be
left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these
Kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Dan. ii:44). "I saw in the night
visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of
heaven, and came to the Ancients of days, and they brought Him near
before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,
that all people, nations and languages should serve Him; His dominion is
an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that
which shall not be destroyed" (Dan. vii:13-14). A closer study of these
two fundamental passages from Daniel's great prophecies will establish
the fact that this promised Kingdom comes with the second coming of
Christ. It will be preceded by a judgment blow at the earth Kingdoms;
Nebuchadnezzar beheld this in his prophetic dream.

This Kingdom is an earthly Kingdom and all the nations will be gathered
into that Kingdom. Jerusalem and a converted Israel will be the center
of it. The Lord Jesus Christ and His Saints will reign with Him over the
earth and over this Kingdom. And what will be His work then? But a few
of the many things can be mentioned. "He shall speak peace to the
nations" (Zech. ix:10). "With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and
reprove with equity the meek of the earth." (Isaiah xi:4). "He shall
bring forth judgment to the Gentiles" (Is. xlii:1). "And He shall judge
among the nations, and shall rebuke many people, and they shall beat
their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruninghooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn
war any more" (Isaiah ii:4). He shall also "set up an ensign for the
nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together
the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah
xi:12). "And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and
shall be my people" (Zech. ii:11). "And the Lord shall be King over all
the earth" (Zech. xiv:9). "Behold a King shall reign in righteousness"
(Isaiah xxxii:1). "A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute
judgment and justice in the earth" (Jere. xxiii:5).

Many more passages predicting and describing the Kingdom and its glories
might be added. All these blessed words mean exactly what they say.
Righteousness and peace will characterize that world-wide Kingdom of the
Lord Jesus Christ. His glory will cover the earth as the waters cover
the deep. Nations will worship Him. "Yea, all Kings shall fall down
before Him; all nations shall serve Him." "He shall have dominion also
from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth" (Ps.
lxxii:8, 11). Every wrong will be righted on earth and present-day evils
and oppression, crime and vice, poverty and sickness will be abolished.
Only He has the power to do this. Oh! the glories of the Kingdom! May we
pray, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Thy Kingdom come.

Creation Delivered.

"For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the
manifestation of the Sons of God. For the creature was made subject to
vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same
in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain
together until now" (Rom. viii:19-22). Sin has brought a curse upon
creation. The thorns and thistles are the result of the fall of man as
well as the blight and misery which rests upon a creation, which was
pronounced good by the Creator. But this condition into which creation
has been plunged will not continue forever. A better day is coming.
Groaning creation is to be delivered. The curse will be removed. This
cannot be the work of man. Scientists attempt to set things in order in
this ruined creation; but they fail. The things which destroy, the heat
and the drought, the storms and earthquakes, cannot be arrested by the
arm of man.

The Son of God wore the crown of thorns. The curse was put upon Him. And
He who created all things and paid for redemption by His precious blood
will, with omnipotent power, deliver groaning creation. It will take
place when the sons of God are manifested. The sons of God (the
redeemed) will be manifested with Him, as we have seen, in the day of
His visible appearing. Then the great vision of Isaiah will find its
fulfillment. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard
shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the
fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and
the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the
lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on
the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the
cockatrice den" (Isaiah xi:6-8).

All Under His Feet.

The dispensation of the fulness of times has come (Eph. i:10). All
things are put under Him. All His enemies are made His footstool. He is
Lord of all. The glorious reign of Christ, in kingly glory, in
fulfillment of the Prophet's visions, will be followed by another
judgment.

The Great White Throne.

The second resurrection, that of the wicked dead, takes place at the end
of the Kingdom reign of Christ. This great judgment and the final
destiny of the wicked is revealed in Rev. xx:11-15. The Lord Jesus
Christ will be the judge in that awful scene, for it is written that all
judgment is committed unto the Son" (John v:22). Then Cometh the End.

"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to
God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all
authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies
under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. . . .
And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also
Himself be subject unto Him, who put all things under Him, that God may
be all in all" (1 Cor. xv:24-28).

Then He will create a new heaven and a new earth, the eternal dwelling
place of redeemed and glorified mankind. "And I saw a new heaven and a
new earth" (Rev. xxi:1). "And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold,
I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are
true and faithful" (Rev. xxi:5). "And there shall be no more curse; but
the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall
serve Him. And they shall see His face; and His Name shall be in their
foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle,
neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they
shall reign forever and ever" (Rev. xxii:3-5).

This will be the ultimate result of the blessed Work of Christ. His past
work is finished. Soon His present Work may end and then His future,
kingly work begins, when He comes the second time.

"Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."





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