Exceeding Great and Precious Promises / Egpp2 - New Testament

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"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4

But how is it possible for us to live by the words that proceed out of the mouth of God? What did Jesus mean? How can God's Words give life? He meant that all hope of attaining eternal life depends upon God -- upon the Divine Plan and its promises. Looking into these promises we can see distinctly that the Divine Plan, dating from before the foundation of the world, is that all of God's creatures, created in His likeness and abiding in faith, love and obedience in harmony with Him, shall have life everlasting. This is God's Word upon the subject, namely, that obedience is the condition of life everlasting. This is, undoubtedly, what our Lord had in mind in the words of our text. R4896:c2,p5,6

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:3

Present conditions are especially helpful, indeed, for those who would cultivate trust, dependence upon the Lord. In this respect we see that the poor have an advantage over the rich; and it was those who were poor, like the lilies of the field, that our Lord Jesus was addressing. . . . And it is to those who are poor in spirit, who realize their own impotency, who long for the rest and peace that Jesus alone can give, who come to Him for this rest, that all the Master's gracious promises and lessons of wisdom, comfort and instruction are given. R5991:c2,p3

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." Matt. 5:4

All who are earnestly striving for the victory over self, and the world, and sin, are sure to make a sufficient number of failures along the way to insure them considerable experience in mourning for these deflections, -- if their hearts are in the right attitude toward the Lord. Gracious indeed is the promise to such, "They shall be comforted." Our Lord does comfort such with the assurance that He notes their tears as well as their efforts in opposition to sin, and that He is thus preparing them through present experiences and the development of character for the Kingdom. R2250:c1,p4

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matt. 5:5

The Century Dictionary defines meek as "self controlled and gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; forbearing under injury or annoyance." Webster defines meekness as "submissive to the Divine will; patience and gentleness from moral and religious motives." R3734:c2,p2

The reward of this grace, . . . like the others, is future; . . . these shall be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ; and the earth is part of that great inheritance, which in turn, by Divine arrangement, they shall bestow at the close of the Millennial age, upon the world of mankind. R2586:c1,p5

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matt. 5:6

"They shall be filled" -- they shall be satisfied. . . . We have the Lord's guarantee of the blessing for all who are in the attitude of mind to seek and to use the spiritual refreshments He provides. R3735:c1,p1,2

"According to your faith be it unto you," is the promise. The desire to draw nearer and nearer to God must be in our heart; else we shall fail to go on and attain our privilege in Christ. Such a desire is a manifestation of our hunger and thirst after righteousness, which the Lord expects to see before He makes good to such His engagement that they shall be filled. R5425:c1,p1

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." Matt. 5:7

Our Lord said if you do not from the heart forgive those who trespass against you neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses. He thus teaches us that our mercy must be more than formal, more than outward forgiveness -- it must be from the heart, sincere. In proportion, therefore, as we each realize our need of Divine mercy through Jesus, in that same proportion let us be very merciful to others -- especially toward the brethren. R3735:c1,p5

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matt. 5:8

A pure heart would be a fully consecrated heart -- the whole mind given up to the Lord's will. R5277:c2,p1

How precious the thought, that we may attain to absolute purity of intention, of love, etc., toward all mankind as well as toward the Lord, and that God will thus accept us in His Beloved One, not counting to us the unintentional weaknesses and blemishes which we realize and which others realize perhaps still more than we. How blessed the thought that such will see God, that such have the clearest views of God's character and Plan now, that such shall see Him shortly when changed in the resurrection, when they shall have awakened in the likeness of their dear Redeemer. R3735:c2,p4

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matt. 5:9

Those who are thinking on the true and lovely and good and beautiful things will speak to each other of the same; hence the importance of having our hearts filled with good things, in order that out of the abundance of the good things of our hearts our mouths may speak continually. . . . Such have a very precious promise, well worthy of their efforts -- "They shall be called the children of God" -- they have God's spirit, the likeness of His dear Son has been traced in their hearts. . . . Moreover, this is a test which we may well recognize for ourselves particularly, and to some extent for each other, as evidencing the degree of our growth as children of God -- our peaceable dispositions, and our carefulness to pursue such a course in life as will tend toward peace. R2588:c1,p4,5

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:10

Our faith and trust in the Lord and His gracious promises for the future life are to be so strong that they will more than counterbalance the opposition of the world, of false brethren, and of Satan's blinded servants; -- so much so that these persecutions will be recognized and rejoiced in as the agencies of Divine providence in chiseling, shaping and polishing us as the living stones for the glorious Temple which God is constructing. And viewing our trials from this standpoint we can indeed possess our souls, our lives, and enjoy them even amidst tribulation, with cheerful endurance, constancy. R2791:c1,p5

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." Matt. 5:11

"Blessed are ye," signifies that persecution is a favor from God . . . not because of the reviling, but because they shall say these things of you falsely, for Christ's sake. . . . All that we suffer now is storing up for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, if borne for Him. From this standpoint we should really desire persecution. . . . Realizing that if we lack it we lack one of the evidences of being true disciples of the Lord, we rejoice when in the providence of God it is our portion. R5544:c1,p4,5,6

"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matt. 5:12

Instead of feeling downcast and discouraged by these experiences, and thinking them strange, evidences that God is against us, we should conclude the very reverse. We should say to ourselves, "This is the same kind of experience that the Lord had and that His people of the past have had." . . . So far from being discouraged, we are to rejoice -- not that any could rejoice in persecution for its own sake, for persecution is grievous; but we are to rejoice because "great is your reward in Heaven." R5545:c1,p5

"Consider the lilies of the field. . . . Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" Matt. 6:28,30

Does poverty pinch and cause anxious thought? take that also to the Lord in prayer; and then, while diligently using the means at hand, to provide things decent, . . . patiently and confidently wait and watch the indications of providence, assured that He . . . who clothes the grass of the field . . . is both able and willing to clothe and feed you and yours. R1865:c2,p6

"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:32,33

Let us seek the Kingdom as the preeminent matter of our lives. . . . If seeking the Kingdom seems to hinder some of our earthy prospects, so much the better. The Master said it must cost us our all. R5048:c2,p5

If the Kingdom was made first, all their earthly needs would be supplied. R5917:c2,p4

"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matt. 10:30

O how sweet is the realization of such loving, abiding care! R5803:c1,top
These are not to esteem that any of their affairs are accidental, for being fully consecrated to the Lord and fully accepted by Him, all of their affairs, great and small, are under Divine supervision -- their health or sickness, their rights or privileges, their joys or sorrows. R3415:c2,bottom

What thing is too small for His notice who numbers even the very hairs of our heads? In today's household or business cares, then, we may have His loving sympathy and helpfulness. R1865:c2,p4

"No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Matt. 11:27

The average reader gets very little meaning out of this passage at first. The Christian who has been making progress for years, growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord, can appreciate it much better. He realizes that while he had some knowledge about Jesus and about the Father at first, . . . yet it was a different matter to come to know the Father and to know the Son in the intimate sense, in the sense of becoming well acquainted with them, knowing their mind as one knows the mind, the heart, of an intimate friend. It is a privilege to receive such an acquaintance. It is not to be had by everybody; it requires seeking for and knocking for, and such seeking, and knocking implies an earnest desire to have an intimate fellowship and communion. R2624:c2,p4

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 18:10

The Master's words seem to imply at least one or more angels having charge over the consecrated ones, the very elect. He uses a still different figure of speech in illustrating the matter, as though He would assure us that messengers would not be delayed in caring for our interests, would not be hindered by more important Heavenly business, but would at once have direct access to the Divine presence and attention, so that our interests would have all needed consideration. R3441:c1,p2

"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age." Matt. 28:20

All who abide faithful to Him, all who truthfully can say, "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine," have not only the promise of the life that is to come, but also the promise of this present life. They hear the Master's voice saying, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age," and in the end of the age He is to be specially near, specially precious, and is to reveal Himself to His faithful in an especial manner, even before she is so changed as to behold Him in His glory. It is the privilege of these to apply to themselves, and to realize as properly theirs, all the "exceeding, great and precious promises" of the Divine Word. R4784:c1,p3,4

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." Lk. 11:13

The Heavenly Father is pleased to have us desire and ask for more and more of the Holy Spirit -- a disposition more and more fully in harmony with His Spirit: and all who thus desire and ask and seek it shall obtain their good desires; the Father will be pleased to so order the affairs of such that hindrances to the Spirit, whether in them or in their environment, shall be overcome, that His loving Spirit may abound in them -- that they may be filled with the Spirit. . . . The spirit of holiness in abundance can only be received by those who earnestly desire it and seek it by prayer and effort. E223

"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Lk. 12:32

Nor will any other creatures either in heaven or in earth receive such marks of special favor as are and ever will be the portion of the beloved Bride of Christ. Although the whole family in heaven and in earth will be blessed through Him, His Wife, co-operating with Him in His work, will alone be His companion, His confidant, His treasure. R5862:c2,p4

Though but few take this step of entire consecration to God's will, still fewer live it out practically, keeping their hearts constantly submissive to the Lord's will only. R1563:c2,top

"Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. Lk. 12:37

Whoever admits that we are in the Harvest time at all -- that we have been in it since 1875 -- must acknowledge this also, that the Lord promised that at that time He would cause His people to sit down to a bountiful repast of spiritual food and that He will be their servant and bring forth to them "things new and old." All who recognize these things must recognize these Studies in the Scriptures as being identified with the fulfillment of that promise. R4709:c2,p5

"And they shall be all taught of God." Jno. 6:45

He who would continue to be taught of the Lord must continue to listen for His voice, continue to be in the hearing and obeying attitude of heart. The difficulty with some apparently is that their own wills are not fully extinct, dead -- that their consecration is not complete; hence while consecrated enough to wish not to disobey the Lord's voice, they have certain ideas of their own respecting what His voice should say, and they prefer to interpret His message in conformity to their own preferences: they will to do more or less their own wills, and will to hear the Lord's voice directing them in accordance with their own wills. This is a most dangerous situation and is generally accompanied by self-conceit and self-assertion and will ultimately lead far from the Christian's goal. Let each of us resolve by the Lord's grace that we will out of an honest heart continually seek to hear the pure Word of God, and that with a desire to obey it as far as we are able. R4092:c2,p3

"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Jno. 7:17

This is a message from the Master's own lips. He gives us the key to a clear knowledge of His doctrines, namely, that the student must be fully consecrated to God and fully desirous of knowing His will and His Plan. In order . . . to see the Truth, from the Divine standpoint of the Divine revelation, we must draw near to God in the spirit of our minds, consecrated in our heart. We must will to do His will. . . . It is to these that the promises of our text apply. . . . Shall we not . . . determine, in our wills to do God's will? If so, following the instructions of the Word of God . . . we shall doubtless be blessed and enabled fully to know, to appreciate, to understand, the doctrines of Christ -- the deep things of God, which are revealed to this class by the Spirit of God. R5137:c2,p3,5,6

"If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Jno. 8:31,32

To continue in the doctrine set forth in the inspired writings, to study and meditate upon them, to trust implicitly in them, and faithfully to conform our characters to them, is what is implied in continuing in the Word of the Lord. R3153:c2,p2

Blessed promise! . . . Dearly beloved, having received this favor from the Lord, shall we not continue in it, giving no heed to seducing doctrines? And shall we not be faithful to it under all circumstances, defending it against every assault, and with it bearing its reproach? Let us prove our appreciation of it by our loyalty and faithfulness to it. R3154:c2,p1

"He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out." Jno. 10:3

Some may fail to see the particular interest which the Lord takes in each one who is His. Every true child of God is the Lord's in the particular sense of having entered into a Covenant of Sacrifice. We should always remember this. . . . The Master emphasized His peculiar and personal interest in each of His followers. He calls Himself their Shepherd, and says, "He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out." This means a very special supervision of the affairs and interests of each one of His true disciples. Whatever may come to these is not a matter of chance or luck. R5711:c2,p3

"When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow." Jno. 10:4,5

Having come into this Fold of God, we have every reason for confidence in the great Shepherd, and should recognize His constant care over us, His supreme interest in our spiritual welfare. Let us be good sheep! Let us not stray from the Fold, to the right hand or to the left, nor be attracted away from the green pastures and pure waters to go browsing on the thistles and poisonous weeds of some by-path, or to drink of the muddy, polluted waters of human speculation and delusive theories of men. . . . If we are the Lord's true sheep, we shall know His Voice. We shall not make a mistake. The true sheep . . . will respond quickly to His call; it will watch for His guidance. R5491:c1,p2; c2,p1

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." Jno. 10:27

Many are professing to be the true sheep of the Lord's flock, but in this day of the Shepherd's presence His voice, the Truth, becomes the test. R2673:c1,p1

We now hear various voices calling the sheep in various directions, as never before. This is, in the Lord's providence, for the purpose of separating all others from His own "little flock." His sheep will hear His voice and follow Him -- other sheep, consecrated to human leaders, human institutions, human theories, human efforts, will follow their own bents, and thus be separated from the "little flock," and this is now the Lord's good pleasure. R2673:c1,p4

"I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Jno. 14:3

What joyful hopes, what exuberant anticipations, cluster around this promise, in the hearts of the Lord's faithful! In a few words it sums up all the good things that God hath in reservation for them that love Him. . . . To the extent that the testimony of God's Word dwells in us rightly, and enables us to recognize the lengths and breadths of Divine love and compassion covering unintentional shortcomings, -- to this extent the Lord's faithful ones are able to rejoice in this promise, and to look forward with joy not only to the meeting with the Lord, but also to their abiding everlastingly in His presence and companionship. But to all others . . . to all who are not seeking to walk circumspectly in the footsteps of Jesus, the words of the text come bringing only a measure of joy, a measure of hope, and not an exuberant overflow. R3191:c1,p5,6

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." Jno. 14:21

Should the child of God, the heir of glory, the inheritor of all the exceeding great and precious promises, and the present companion of Divinity itself which condescends to our low estate, ever feel disconsolate or forsaken or alone? or fear that His love will ever forsake or leave him to be tossed helplessly upon the billows of misfortune at the mercy of the prince of this world who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience? Ah, no! Greater is He that is for us than all they that can be against us. We are not alone in the world; for we have the blessed promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Heb. 13:5) Nor is the smallest interest of ours overlooked. R1906:c2,p2

"If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Jno. 14:23

To grow in grace is to grow in favor with the Lord through an intimate personal acquaintance and fellowship of spirit with Him. It implies, first, a knowledge and recognition on our part of our redemption through His precious blood and a personal faith in and dependence upon all the promises of the Father made to us through Him, and then an intimate communion with Him in our daily life of prayer, and of observation of His will and obedience to it. If such be our constant attitude of mind and heart, there must be a constant ripening of the fruits of the spirit, rendering us more and more pleasing and acceptable to our Lord. A sense of the Divine acceptance and favor is given to us from day to day in increasing measure, in fulfillment of the above precious promise of our Lord. R3215:c1,p6

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jno. 14:27

Thus, with abounding compassion and tenderness, did our Lord, on the last night of His earthly life, bestow upon His beloved disciples His parting blessing, His legacy of peace. It was the richest legacy He had to bequeath, and was one of priceless value. It was the promise of that tranquility of soul, that rest and ease of mind, which He Himself possessed -- the peace of God. It was the same peace which the Father Himself has always enjoyed, even in the midst of all the commotion which the permission of evil has brought about; but it was not derived from the same source. In Jehovah this peace was self-centered, because He realized in Himself the omnipotence of power and wisdom; while the peace of Christ was centered, not in Himself, but in God, by faith in His wisdom, power and grace. So also if we would have "the peace of God," the peace of Christ -- "my peace" -- it must, like His, be centered in God by faith. R1834:c1,p3

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Jno. 15:2

The methods of the Lord's prunings should be understood by all the branches, otherwise they may be discouraged and droop and fail to bring forth the proper fruitage. It would appear that the great Husbandman prunes the branches of the Christ sometimes by taking away earthly wealth or property, or sometimes by hindering cherished schemes and plans. Sometimes He prunes us by permitting persecution and the loss of name and fame, and sometimes . . . by permitting the loss of earthly friendships toward which the tendrils of our hearts extended too strongly. . . . Many others of the Lord's dear people have found some of their most valuable lessons on the bed of affliction. . . . Such prunings, instead of causing discouragements, should be to us, rightly understood, sources of encouragements. We realize . . . that when we have these special prunings it is an evidence that the Father Himself loveth us and is caring for our best interests. R3545:c1,p3-5

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Jno. 15:7

If your hearts and energies are thus absorbed in the Father's Plan, you may ask all the desires of your heart -- "ye may ask what ye will." I make you this liberal promise, not . . . that the Father would change His plans to yours and do your will, but you can come so fully into sympathy with the Father and the Plan of the Ages which He is working out, that you will never be dissatisfied, but always able to see your wishes being accomplished, because your will and wish, your pleasure and satisfaction, will be to see God's will and plan progressing in God's own way and time. Thus your every prayer and wish will be accomplished -- the very reverse of the experience of those who seek to do their own wills . . . and pray for their own desires. R1999:c1,last p

"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." Jno. 15:9

What a wonderful thought this is, that our Master has toward us the same kind of love that the Father has toward Him! Could our faith always grasp this thought and maintain this hold, we should indeed have nothing to wish or to fear -- our summer would last all the year. The next thought suggested is that having reached, having attained this high position in the Lord's favor, if we are His disciples and truly appreciate what He has done for us in this respect, we will desire to continue in His love. Next in order come the terms and conditions upon which we may continue in that love, namely, that we keep His commandments. By way of showing us that this is not an unreasonable proposition, our Lord declared that these are the same terms on which the Father deals with Him, namely, "Even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love." We cannot expect to abide in the Lord's love and be careless of His injunctions. R3546:c2,p4,5

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." Jno. 15:16

The world does not like these chosen ones because, confessing their own weaknesses and striving against them, they call them by their proper names -- sins, meannesses, filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Every effort made by these to cleanse themselves is a reproof to others who are not striving to cleanse themselves, and who hate to be reminded that the things in which they take their greatest pleasure are greed, selfishness, inordinate affections, strifes, pride, vainglory. Whoever is fully satisfactory to the world may be sure that he is not satisfactory to the Lord. Whoever is satisfactory to the Lord need not expect to be satisfactory to the world; for the fellowship of this world is enmity to God, and therefore, the world is not subject to the Divine standard, neither indeed can be. . . . Its heart is in the other direction. R5737:c2,p5

"When he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: . . . and he will show you things to come." Jno. 16:13

The Apostles at Pentecost received an illumination of the mind which enabled them to understand . . . the deep things of God. . . . Jesus had this . . . thought in mind when He declared that there were certain things His disciples could not understand at that time, but would know afterwards, because He would send the Holy Spirit, which would bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever He had spoken; and would show them things to come. This was not only true with the Apostles, but has been true with respect to all the members of the Body of Christ throughout this age. . . . It is to these the Bible has promised, "He will show you things to come." It is these that are to be guided into all Truth as it shall become due. It is for these that the Word of God is a Storehouse, from which "things both new and old" are to be produced under the Spirit's guidance, as they become "meat in due season" to the "household of faith." R5088:c1,p6-8

"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." Jno. 16:22

What are our joys which no man taketh from us? and which persecution and affliction and trouble can only deepen and widen and make more sweet? What joy is this? This joy is a foretaste of the blessings to come, an earnest of our inheritance. It is inspired by confidence in Him on whom we have believed: confidence that He is both able and willing to perfect the work which He has begun and which we desire shall be perfected in His own best way: confidence that so long as we are firmly holding to His gracious promises with the arms of our faith, He will not permit us to be separated from Him. . . . Our confidence is that "no one is able to pluck us out of the Father's hand," and that "the Father himself loveth" us, and will not turn us away so long as we desire to abide obediently in His love. R2232:c1,p1

"Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." Jno. 16:24

Not until we have taken the Lord into our daily life as our living, personal companion and confidential friend and counselor and comforter and guide, as well as our Redeemer and Lord, can we fully learn of Him those precious lessons which give to His disciples a joy which the world can neither give nor take away. May this intimate communion and fellowship with Christ impart to us each more and more of His own spirit, so that the world may take knowledge of us, as they have of others (Acts 4:13), that we have been with Jesus. R1789:center of page

"The Father himself loveth you." Jno. 16:27

What would you take, my dear brother, for what that text teaches of the love of God toward us as His children? He has a love for the world. As a God, a Creator, He has the supervision of all His creatures. God has made provision for every creature, even the sparrow. But for all who have come into this loyal attitude of mind, He has love -- sympathy, and more, esteem! . . . I think, and so do you, that God loves us very, very much, or He would never have made such wonderful provisions in the riches of His grace and in His loving kindness toward us who are in Christ Jesus. . . . I believe that daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, as we think upon these things, as we consider, study out and understand the great love of God as expressed in His marvelous plan, we are getting a wonderful realization of how much "the Father himself loveth" us. But we cannot understand it fully. But the very fact that any father would do such wonderful things for any child would imply a great deal of love. R5725:c2,p4,6,7

"That the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." Jno. 17:23

In amazement we inquire, How can this be? . . . But we have been washed and cleansed, and, however imperfect our earthen vessels may still be, our hearts are perfect in His sight who is able to read the heart. And, as He sees us with a perfect heart -- a perfect purpose and intention -- striving to overcome the weaknesses and disabilities of our imperfect flesh, and with painful, yet determined, effort to do His will, and humbly trusting in the provisions which He has made for our redemption from the fall, God recognizes in us that which is worthy of His love. And so our Lord Jesus gives us clearly to understand that the Father loves us, even as He loved the Son. R3161:c2,p2

"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." Rom. 6:5

Call to mind now what was the likeness of His resurrection. It was an exceeding high exaltation, far above the human nature, "far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named." It was an exaltation even to the Divine nature, of which, says Peter, we also, who follow His steps as He set us an example, may become partakers. (2 Pet. 1:4) To follow in the Lord's steps of humiliation and sacrifice, even unto death, is no light undertaking. It means the giving up of our will for the accomplishment of the Divine will. R1262:c2,p4

"Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him." Rom. 6:8

The requirements or conditions attached to the invitation to share with Christ the coming glories and dignities, are plainly stated: Such must share His death, be immersed or buried into His death. . . . To be sharers in His death means that as our Redeemer spent His life, not in self gratification (even lawful), but consumed it in the interest of truth and righteousness, in opposing sin and doing the work and executing the plan of the Father, so we must use our time, talents, energies, rights, and privileges. Redeemed by Him and given to us, we not only consecrate these all to the Father's service, but we must use them faithfully even unto death -- as He has set us the example -- walking in His footsteps as nearly as possible. If thus we be dead with Him, we shall in due time live with Him. R1542:c2,p3

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Rom. 8:16

To be numbered among the children of God is a great privilege; but it means much more than many seem to understand -- much more both on their part and on God's part. . . . On God's part it signifies the fulfillment of all His gracious promises to such through Christ. . . . It signifies that in the present life we have His fatherly love, care, discipline, counsel, teaching, protection and encouragement, to the end; and that afterwards we shall be received into His glorious presence, and into everlasting rest, joy and peace. Oh, how blessed to be the people of God! Even in the present life the reward of His favor is beyond computation. R1787:c2,last p; 1788:c1,p1

"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Rom. 8:17

The Christian has set before him the most noble ambition possible. God is calling from the world a people for His name. Before these He sets the loftiest ambition. These are invited to become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord. This is an ambition which inspires them to develop all the higher qualities of mind and character, in order to prepare themselves for the society, friendship and fellowship of the Heavenly Father and the Lord. Let us have this high ambition ever before us, as an incentive to the most earnest endeavor to heed the Word of the Lord. . . . The Bride is to make herself ready. (Rev. 19:7) So these should seek to get ready themselves and to help others of the dear family of God. R5185:c1,p3,5

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom. 8:18

The world has often wondered at the calmness of the Lord's humble little ones under circumstances which would cause the stoutest heart to quail. But to follow the course in life which will glorify our God and magnify His grace, to be able to meet wisely and courageously the trials and difficulties as they come to us as Christians, representatives of the King of heaven, and to meet them in the spirit of rejoicing, counting our tribulations all joy, it is necessary that our hearts be in attune with the Lord, that we have no will but His, and that the fear of man, which bringeth a snare, shall be overcome. We cannot accomplish this in our own strength, but in the strength of God alone. R5540:c2,p4

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Rom. 8:28

We have the guarantee from the Lord that "all things shall work together for good to those that love God," who put their trust in Him. Whatever would not be a blessing to us will not be permitted. R5546:c2,p6

The well-instructed soul has learned that the good here referred to is not always, nor very often, earthly good, -- temporal advantage: they that love God . . . know that the "all things" include chiefly the trials and disappointments and perplexities and difficulties and temptations of the narrow way, in which they have consecrated themselves to walk; and that the "good" which will be worked out, will be in the chiseled and polished characters, likenesses to the character of Christ, which through faithfulness unto the end will be perfected in the Divine honor and glory. R2241:c2,p5

"If God be for us, who can be against us?" Rom. 8:31

Each one of these (the "saints") may say to himself, and realize to the very bottom of his heart as applicable to himself, these wonderful words -- God is for us. He may endeavor to grasp the significance of these words, but he will surely fail to get all of their wonderful meaning. It is not possible for the human mind to grasp the riches of Divine grace and love and power. We cannot comprehend them, we can merely apprehend them. If God be for us, with all of His infinite wisdom and power, it implies also that Christ is for us, for He is one with the Father; it implies also that all the angels, cherubim and seraphim, and all the heavenly powers of our knowledge and beyond our knowledge are for us -- all enlisted upon our side, to do us good, to help us, to succor us in time of need, to uphold us in time of temptation, to strengthen us to do the Father's will. . . . The fact that God is "for us" and that He is making all things work together for good, . . . is the central thought, the essence, the strength of this message to "us." R4214:c1,p9; c2,p1

"For all things are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." 1 Cor. 3:21,23

These have more enjoyment of the earth now than have others; while others are grasping these are enjoying. As the Apostle declares, "God hath given us all things richly to enjoy." (1 Tim. 6:17) Freed from the grasping spirit, we can pass through the streets and observe the rich displays of the shop windows without covetousness, without wishing that we had the various works of art and beauty under our special care and control. We can feast our eyes upon them and be without the care of them at a time when all of our talents are consecrated to the Lord and His service, and when we have more important things to do than caring for earthly trinkets called works of art. R3734:c2,p4

"God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13

Our Lord's words respecting the temptations and trials of the Church assure us that this class shall have nothing to fear, that they will be kept, that it will not be possible for them to be tempted, for with every temptation the Lord will provide a way of escape. . . . What we do desire is that each consecrated child of God may see the way of escape which God has provided and may use the same, and thus be in line with the Lord's provision and amongst those shielded ones, the very elect -- "called, chosen, faithful." . . . We believe that many of our readers will agree with us that the Lord's special provision for keeping us from the power of the Evil One is the Present Truth, which He has supplied largely through the Watch Tower publications. R4253:c1,p2,3

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." 2 Cor. 4:8-10

And so we are not to allow the troubles of life to distress us as they distress other people. We have something that others do not have -- the Lord's assurance that everything in our lives shall be a bearer of blessing to us if we are faithful. This enables us to rejoice in tribulation, if we really believe this promise of our Father's Word. . . . Those who are engaged in the work of the Lord have some perplexity. But the anxiety or uncertainty of the Lord's people should never go to the length of despair. Those who are of the world, getting out of work and being in various difficulties, become very despondent. Frequently we hear of suicides. Things look very dark to people who take their own life. It may yet be true of the Lord's people that things will look very dark; but they are not in despair, whatever may come; for the Lord has said that He will never leave us nor forsake us. This gracious promise should give us a hope sure and steadfast. Our anchor of hope should hold. R5670:c2,p6; 5671:c1,p2,3

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 2 Cor. 4:17

While an exceeding and eternal weight of glory is to be the inheritance of all of the elect body of Christ who are now laying up treasure in Heaven, the Apostle clearly intimates here that that treasure may be augmented by special zeal and faithfulness under the peculiar trials of the present time. R1821:c1,p3

When we remember that the closer we come to Him in the present trials and experiences and sufferings . . . the closer we will be to Him in the future, it explains to us the meaning of the Apostle's words when speaking of his severe trials -- (in our text above). R3362:c2,p5

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens." 2 Cor. 5:1

Our position . . . is very different from that of the world, who have no particular hope. The world have no solid anchor, no precious promises to hold them fast. We know that if the worst comes to the worst, if we should even die of starvation, our hope lies beyond the veil. Therefore God's saints of today look upon death as the gateway by which to enter into fullness of life, into a realization of all our hopes and joys. R5671:c1,p3

"And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Cor. 6:18

What a promise! What a suggestion! -- that we, by nature defiled and imperfect, should not only have the notice of our sovereign Creator, but should be invited to become His children and be given the assurance of His parental affection for us -- that "like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that reverence Him." How wonderful it seems! And then, as the Apostle elsewhere declares, this is not the end of the matter, but merely the beginning, for He says, "If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." R5739:c2,p2

"God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." 2 Cor. 9:8

To be appreciated of the Lord, the gift must be a thank-offering, prompted by a realization of our debt of everlasting gratitude to Him from whom cometh every good and every perfect gift. And to such, the Apostle assures us, "God is able to make all things abound." Whoever gives anything in the Divine service -- time, talent, strength, money or influence -- will find himself proportionately abounding in the different graces; for such are in the right attitude of heart to grow in grace. The Apostle seems to imply that such will have "sufficiency in all things," as well as be able to "abound in every good work." Sufficiency may not mean luxury and every comfort; but "all sufficiency" is gained always where there is "godliness with contentment." R5927:c2,p2,3

"My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9

How often would this good counsel of the Lord, if remembered, bring a blessing and a relief from the attacks of the adversary who fain would make us believe that our unavoidable weaknesses and imperfections are proofs that we are not the Lord's. With this counsel before us, what a strength we should have in combating the besetments of the world, the flesh and the devil. How it should lead us in the moment of temptation to lift up our hearts in prayer to the Lord for "grace to help in time of need." The Lord wishes us to learn the lesson of our own weakness and imperfection and to learn to go to Him for strength and succor -- not before we need it, but "in time of need," in every time of trouble. R2241:c2,p2

"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:29

To "be Christ's," therefore, evidently means a great deal more than faith, respectability and good endorsement. It means to belong to Christ; -- to be His, body, soul and spirit; -- to be His today and forever; His servant, to do His will in His way and at His time; when convenient and pleasurable, and when inconvenient, painful and difficult. It means furthermore, that we cannot belong to anyone else in this complete sense, for no man can serve two masters. Here comes in a difficulty for those who belong to secret or other societies. The laws, professions and customs of these are almost certain to conflict with or infringe upon a full consecration to Christ. R1697:c1,p1

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." Eph. 2:10

The bringing together of these living stones beyond the veil will be by the resurrection power, beautifully illustrated in the erection of Solomon's Temple, of which we read that its stones were prepared at the quarry and then finally assembled for the construction of the Temple, and that they were so perfectly shaped and marked for their various places that they came together without the sound of a hammer -- without . . . chiseling or . . . other labor upon them at the time of the construction. So St. Paul says, the Church is God's workmanship. And His work will be so perfectly accomplished that there will be no need of rectification or alteration beyond the veil. It is this viewpoint that is especially interesting and profitable to the Lord's people. Such of them as can realize that they have been called of God to this high calling, to membership in the temple, can fully appreciate thereafter the necessity for the trials and difficulties of life which are shaping them, fitting them, for heavenly glory, honor and immortality. R5713:c2,p6,7

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6

Let us not forget that the work is the Lord's, in the sense that His strength supplied to us is vouchsafed to accomplish it, and that He who has begun the good work in us is able to complete it; and He will do so, if we let Him; i.e., if we follow His leading, doing His will. R2124:c1,p1

But how few Christians comparatively, have this full assurance of faith. . . . The few who can enter fully into sympathy with the Apostle . . . (here) have therein a great joy, a great blessing, a great rest of heart which others do not possess. R2642:c1,p4

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Phil. 2:13

He works in us, to will and to do, through these exceeding great and precious promises and the glorious prospects and rewards that attach to them; but the amount that He will work in us and the results that will be worked out through these promises, depend upon us. . . . We could neglect the word of His promise, neglect the various means of grace which He provides for our strengthening, establishing and upbuilding in the knowledge and grace of the truth. And thus neglecting His provisions we would proportionately fail to abide in His love -- fail to obtain the promised favors. The Apostle intimates this, saying: -- "Keep yourselves in the love of God." Jude 21. R3021:c2,p2

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7

In this text the Apostle differentiates between the mind and the heart. The heart represents the affections. The Apostle urges not only that we should have good feelings in the matter, but that our minds should be at rest. . . . The text does not refer to our own peace, but to the peace of God, the peace which comes to us through a realization of God's power, of His goodness and willingness to hold us by His right hand as His children. This peace stands guard continually, as a sentinel, to challenge every hostile or worrying thought or fear. It so keeps the Christian's mind that he at heart has peace with the Lord, fellowship, communion; and it guards his mind also, his reasoning faculties, instructing him and assuring him respecting the Divine power, wisdom and love. R4898:c1,p3,4

"Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." Phil. 4:9

How many (how few!) can say what the apostle says in this verse? . . . This should be the standard of every Christian, because they each and all are representatives of the Lord, ambassadors for Him; hence, so far as in them lieth, their conduct and words should be such as would be living epistles, read by the brethren, and by the world to profit. No wonder the Apostle adds that, doing thus, "the God of peace shall be with you." So surely as He was with the Apostle He will be with all others similarly walking in the foot steps of Jesus. R3129:c2,p1

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13

Not self-confidence, not self-reliance is the most desirable, but rather confidence in God and reliance upon His promised "grace to help in every time of need." This maintains the desirable humility and meekness, yet gives the courage and force suggested by the Apostle's words: "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." As St. Paul again declares, "Our sufficiency is of God!" Thus inspired by faith in God and in His promises those "taught of God" become marvelously "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." (Eph. 6:10) The righteous is strong as a lion, saying, "I will not fear what man may do unto me." I will not heed what man may say of me or do to me. So long as I have the Almighty Creator for my Father and the Redeemer for my elder Brother I shall be content, relying on their "exceeding great and precious promises." R5113:c2,p5,6

"My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19

What a glorious promise that is which Paul records in his letter to the . . . Philippians. . . . That is a Divine promise, made to be kept. I can put that away where I put my U.S. bonds, with a comfortable certainty of no defalcation. This passage is one of the "Government Securities" of heaven. It is my God who issued the promise; my own personal Father. He does not bind Himself to give me all I may lust after; not even all I may pray for. Many of my wants are purely artificial, and born of selfishness. I may crave wealth, and He may see that my soul would be richer if I were poor. I may ask for some promotion, and He may know that my way to holiness lies through a valley of humiliation and disappointment. So He only agrees to give me what I need, which is a very different thing from what I may be craving. (By T. L. Cuyler) R572

"Ye are complete in Him." Col. 2:10

A cipher alone has no value, but it is a power indeed, when it follows one; and so it is with us when we follow Christ -- His merit gives us association and cooperation with Him; gives us weight and influence and power for God and His cause. "Ye are complete in Him;" "accepted in the Beloved." R3149:top

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." Col. 3:4

God has a special pleasure in those who delight to do His will, and who do not need to be whipped into an appreciation of right and wrong. These He calls "overcomers." These have the likeness of the Lord, . . . and are accounted worthy to be with Him where he is and to share His honor, glory, Kingdom and power. It is not because the "little flock" of "overcomers" suffer more than the great company of tribulation saints that they are to get the prize, but simply because they suffer gladly, willingly, self-sacrificingly. R1669:c1,p7,8

"Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it." 1 Thess. 5:24

It is our Father's good pleasure to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask, and to make all things work together for their good, and to bring them under the leading of the great Chief Shepherd and ultimately to the Kingdom. In other words, "He is faithful who has called us, who will also do it," -- He will do all He has promised to do, exceedingly more abundantly than we could have asked of Him or expected. The whole matter is with us: if our consecration is based upon faith in the redemptive work of our Lord, if it is a full and complete consecration, and if we live it out day by day, the results will be all and more than we ever expected. R3659:c2,last p

"But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." 2 Thess. 3:3

The prophet Daniel says that particularly in this time of the end, "many shall be purified and made white and tried;" and Malachi compares the trials of this time to the "refiner's fire" and to "fuller's soap," which are designed to refine and purify the Lord's people. The Apostle Paul urges that we fight the good fight of faith and patiently endure afflictions to the end. And many are the words of consolation and blessed comfort offered by the Psalmist and others (one above) to the tempest-tossed and suffering people of God. -- See Psa. 77:1-14; 116:1-14; 34:19; 31:24; 2 Thess. 3:3. R1823:c2,p1

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7

The spirit of fear in a Christian is the spirit of doubt, and marks a lack of faith, a lack of the Holy Spirit. The spirit of fear is a fruitful source of evil in spiritual matters, in every feature of the Christian growth, individually and as a Church; and it is also closely identified with physical weakness and disabilities. The child of God who is filled with the Holy Spirit is a giant in comparison with his own natural self; because his fears are quelled, his heart is established, his faith is rooted and grounded, and his soul is anchored sure and steadfast, within the veil. Thus he is held from being driven onto the rocks of disaster, when the stormy winds of trouble prevail. The Holy Spirit is thus a power to those who possess it, which has often caused amazement to their enemies. E249

"It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us." 2 Tim. 2:11,12

Others interpret the trials of life as evidences of Divine disfavor, and fail to realize that they are designed of the Lord to shape and polish our characters and thus to work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Because of their misunderstanding they are profited little by many of life's experiences through which they are called to pass -- they feel the rod, but not discerning the loving purpose behind it, they fail to learn the lesson intended. . . . It is not enough that we have tasted of the brook of experiences, that we have learned something of obedience, . . . endured some trials, that on some occasions we have learned obedience through the things we have suffered; we must continue drinking until we can gladly say -- Father, Thy will, not ours be done! R2936:c1,p4,2

"The Lord knoweth them that are His." 2 Tim. 2:19

He is looking for those who humble themselves, and who are glad to have His truth at any cost, and whose hearts, long famished, hunger and thirst for the truth, and who know the Shepherd's voice, and who find in His message that which "satisfies their longings as nothing else could do." These will gladly accept the armament and by becoming faithful students will make it their own -- will put it on. These will be kept while others will fall at their side. R4439:c1,p1

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Tim. 3:12

This is the promise, the assurance of Scripture. We should not court persecution, but should desire this evidence of our faithfulness, and should wish to be one of the "blessed" ones, of whom the Master speaks in Matt. 5:11 -- "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you." R5544:c1,p7

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Heb. 1:14

It is important that every Christian should have the eyes of his understanding opened, that he may see by faith that which was shown to Elisha and his servant literally. During this Gospel age the Lord does not open our natural eyes to see the wonderful provisions He has made for us, and His power for our protection; but instead He gives us a still better knowledge of the subject through His Word of grace and truth, so that we are enabled to walk by faith and not by sight; to see the armies of the Lord encamped around about us and to recognize their protection of us, without any miracle being performed upon our natural sight. None of us are sufficiently strong to pass through the fight of Christian warfare without just such assistances as these which the Lord has provided, and which faith beholds, accepts, lays hold of, rests upon and is strengthened by. R2350:c1,p1

"For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." Heb. 3:14

The spirit of discontent looks away from the heavenly manna of Divine provision, longing for other food of their own provision or of other earthly supply. The Lord grants such an opportunity of feasting to the full on what they are desiring. . . . The Bible supplies the Manna of Divine Truth. The truth needs to be gathered, ground and baked, but it is God's provision. It is wholesome and nutritious, it is the very thing that we, as the people of God, need for our strengthening and perfecting. Yet some crave the flesh pots of Egypt -- the world's theories. Then He allows these to come within their reach. They fill themselves with Higher Criticism and Evolutionary theories, and as a result perish as New Creatures, cease to be the people of God, cease to walk in the Master's footsteps. They are consumed by the fire, or fever, which the errors they crave produce. R5306:c2,bottom; 5307:c1,p1

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16

But to have this help in time of need we must invoke it. Every day and every hour is indeed a time of need; hence our necessity of living in an atmosphere of prayer -- to pray without ceasing. R1802:top

Those who are the Lord's true people feel so aggrieved at their failures that they are promptly led to the throne of grace that they may obtain mercy and find grace to help in future time of need, but others take their failures lightly and fail to profit by them accordingly. . . . The sentiment of the consecrated is well expressed by the poet, who says:

"Oh, may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes!" R3407:c1,top and p1

"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." Heb. 6:19

The spiritual-minded New Creature in the "Holy" by faith looks forward through the rent "Veil" into the "Most Holy," catching glimpses of the glory, and immortality beyond the flesh; which hope is an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast, entering into that which is beyond the veil. T21:p2

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised." Heb. 10:23

The Apostle's argument is that we should hold fast the faith which began our Christian life and which is also to be the finisher of our Christian life. The Lord is able to carry us through and He will do it, if we do our part. But the terms on which the Lord has received us are that we purpose to abide faithful. Hence everything depends on our holding fast to this faith which we have professed, without wavering, without harboring any doubts and fears; and the basis of our faith in our ultimate triumph is the assurance that "He is faithful that promised." We know that in the Bible there are "exceeding great and precious promises" for us. . . . If therefore we hold fast to our faith, we may obtain all that God has promised to us. He will be faithful; He will not disregard His promises; He will do all that He has said. R5698:c1,p5

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward." Heb. 10:35

Do hosts of foes oppose themselves -- place obstacles in your way, hinder your influence and seek to dishearten you by heaping upon you reproaches, and do circumstances seem to conspire against you to fill your heart with alarm and dread? Say to your soul, "Fear not," "hope thou in God," and mark His loving providences as -- "Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way" -- until a blessed acquaintance with God through such experiences develops in the heart that perfect love that casteth out fear. Then shall you enter more and more fully into the blessed rest of faith, and like the eagle that soars above the storm cloud, live at such an altitude of Christian experience as to enable you to rejoice in the Lord always and in everything to give thanks. R1906:1,p3

"For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." Heb. 10:36

What is the will of God? Stated in concrete form, "This is the will of God (concerning you), even your sanctification," (1 Thess. 4:3). . . . We are doing the will of God when we fully consecrate ourselves to Him. . . . But He wills to put us to the test. How much do we love God? How sincere are we? . . . So we are tested as to our loyalty. What are we willing to endure for Christ's sake? How fully are we submitted? How deep does our submission go? Are we wholly in harmony with the will of the Lord? Is our interest merely superficial, or does it enter fully into our hearts? The question is not merely, Shall we make the consecration? -- but after the Christian has taken all these preliminary steps, to what extent will he manifest patient endurance and obedience and loyalty? God puts us to these tests because He has great honors to bestow on those who will be overcomers. They are to be a select company, and these will receive the promise. R5332:c1,p5-7; c2,p3

"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Heb. 12:6,7,11

He explains that such discipline is not prompted by anger . . . but by His love, and if we are rightly exercised by the disciplines, trials, experiences of life, they will "work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" -- they will work out in us such characters as the Lord will be able to use in the service to which He has called us. . . . The proper response of all who have the true spirit of sonship is expressed in the language of our Lord and Master, "Not my will but thine be done," O Lord; "I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea thy law is within my heart." Such as thus respond to the chastisement of the Lord, step more and more into Divine favor, and hear other words of comfort, of grace, of help. R3059:c2,p2

"He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Heb. 13:5

Our highest interests, . . . are matters of our Father's constant care. If we keep very near to the Lord, we are protected from the power of the fallen angels. . . . Only a lack of faithfulness would subject us to their power to any extent so far as our New Creature interests are concerned. They can neither harm our bodies in any way nor cause any violence to us, unless the Lord permits it for our highest good -- perhaps for our deliverance and exaltation, as in the case of our Master. . . . When . . . Pilate . . . said to our Lord on the night of His arrest and trial, "Knowest thou that I have the power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?" Jesus answered: "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." So it is with all the footstep followers of the Master. God's grace will be sufficient. Man is powerless to harm a hair of our heads, unless it is permitted of our Father in heaven for His glory and our own highest welfare. R5540:c1,p2; c2,p3

"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Heb. 13:6

The Christian's position in the world is a peculiar one. None others can afford to be so courageous and independent as he. Yet the true child of God is not self-sufficient nor independent of any outside help. He is exhorted in the Word of the Lord to be not boastful, but humble-minded, realizing his powerlessness of himself and his need of God. Indeed, unless he is humble-minded he cannot be pleasing to the Lord. But at the same time he is to be full of courage and confidence. No power in the universe is able to cope with our God; and He has declared that He is the support and shield of His children. He is the strong tower of those who put their trust in Him. R5539:c1,p6

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." Jas. 1:5,6

The thing acceptable in the Divine sight is humility of spirit. Such a disposition is essential to those who would receive the wisdom which cometh from above -- they must have a humble appreciation of their own deficiencies and lack of wisdom, else they cannot receive freely, heartily, the wisdom which God is pleased to grant in the present time, only to those who are in the attitude of heart to receive it. And it will be seen also that this humility of mind is essential as a basis for the spirit of a sound mind -- for who is in a proper condition to think justly, reasonably, impartially, except first of all he have a humble disposition? Hence we must agree that humility is a primary element in the disposition or mind of Christ. R2585:c2,p3

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." Jas. 1:12

As the Apostle says, these "fiery trials must try you." It is a matter of must, of necessity, as respects all who would be graduated from the present school of Christ to a share in His glorious Kingdom, -- that they must pass the examination. Ah, if we could but keep this thought before us continually, how it would serve us to will and to do the Lord's good pleasure -- enduring faithfully and cheerfully whatever our loving Master sees best to permit, knowing that thus He is working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. From this standpoint, "How light our trials then will seem! How short our pilgrim way!" R2793:c2,p3,4

"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." Jas. 4:6

The heavenly Father has deeper love for those who are humble. This is the reason why we should humble ourselves. Since we find that "God resisteth the proud," and that humility is one of the basic principles of a properly crystallized character, we should more and more seek to develop this grace and attain to the attitude in which God can give us the greatest blessing. R5843:c2,p1

Only the humble-minded are prepared to learn the greatest lessons which must be learned before they will be ready for exaltation that would be profitable to themselves or to others. . . . Jesus on the contrary, has illustrated to us the proper course which leads to glory, honor and immortality: namely, the course of full self-abasement and of full submission to whatever may be the Divine will. R5847:c2,p3,4

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." Jas. 4:8

Let us cultivate the Lord's acquaintance more, drawing near to Him in prayer, in the study of His precious Word, in meditation upon all His goodness, His providential care, the marked manifestations of His grace in our own individual experiences, and His precious promises which are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Thus "draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." He will manifest Himself to you and take up His abode with you. R1949:c2,p2

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." 1 Pet. 1:3,4

Can mortal man conceive so marvelous a glory? The very thought of such a Calling should cause us to bow our hearts in the dust before our God, realizing our great unworthiness of such stupendous grace -- of bliss so transcendent! What can we render unto the Lord that can fittingly demonstrate our gratitude, our thankfulness, for so unspeakable a favor? Surely, the most faithful service we can give is but a very feeble return to Him who has so loved us, so blessed us, so honored us! R5855:c1,p2

"Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Pet. 1:5

The power of God (His Word and Providences). R3282:top

Kept by the power of God (His exceeding great and precious promises and providences upon which we lay hold). R1007:c1,p2
When we are in difficulty, we are to look up in confidence and trust to the Lord. Our Heavenly Father wishes us to exercise faith in Him. St. Peter tells us that we are "kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation." Therefore we greatly rejoice, even "though now for a season we are in heaviness through manifold trials" and temptations. "The trial of your faith is much more precious than that of gold that perisheth." R5403:c1,p4

"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers." 1 Pet. 3:12

We cannot come too often to the throne of the Heavenly grace, if we are those who can claim the abiding presence of the Father and the Son -- if we love Him and keep His commandments. . . . Let no child of God hesitate to come to Him often or to tarry long in communion and fellowship with him. . . . In coming to God we need have no fear that He is too busy with other matters of greater importance, or that He is weary of our coming to Him repeatedly with things of small importance. R1865:c1,p5,7; c2,p1

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Pet. 4:12,13

We are forewarned to think not strange of the fiery trial that shall surely try us if we are indeed the sons of God and soldiers of Christ. . . . These things should be expected and carefully prepared for by the Christian soldier. Peter intimates that the power by which we are to resist the adversary is the power of faith -- "whom resist, steadfast in the faith." And John expresses the same thought -- "That is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 Jno. 5:4) . . . Faith must grasp the exceeding great and precious promises of God and appreciate their value. Faith must lay hold also upon the power of God and find the grace to help in every time of need. R1859:c2,p5,6

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." 1 Pet. 5:7

These experiences the Lord permits for the very purpose of leading His people to cast their care upon Him, of bringing them closer to Himself, of teaching them patient endurance, of showing them more fully their need of Him, their utter helplessness and wretchedness without Him. . . . Anxieties . . . that would rob us of our peace in the Lord -- should be dropped, not carelessly, however, but intelligently, with the thought that Jesus, our great Burden-bearer, has invited us, yea, urged us, to cast all our care -- all that would disturb our peace -- upon Him. He will make our burden light and ease our tribulations. This is a test of faith, and cannot be attained otherwise than through faith in His love, faith in His promises. R5509:c1,p2,3

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature." 2 Pet. 1:4

By these -- by obedience to them. . . . Oh, how wonderful that the great Creator should condescend not only to redeem sinners but to urge, to entice them to receive His bounties and blessings! R3059:c1,p4

The exceeding great and precious promises are unfolded to us gradually, as we prove faithful and go on, in order that by these -- by the strength and courage which they infuse -- we may be enabled so to run as to obtain the prize. C220:p2

"Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; . . . for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1:5,8

He urges that, in addition to our faith in the . . . precious promises which inspire zeal and give us renewed courage, we should give all diligence to add to our faith virtue, knowledge, etc. Then he adds, "For if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." The steady persistent cultivation of these graces of character will also clarify our spiritual vision, enabling us the more fully to comprehend the Truth of God, and thus, "by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left," we shall be able to "withstand all the fiery darts of the Adversary" and to win the victory of faith and make our calling and election sure. R1859:c2,p7,8

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1:10,11

We may rest assured that none who are fit for the kingdom will be sifted out. Of such it is written, "No man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand;" and again, "If ye do these things (hearken to the voice of the Lord and cultivate His spirit and walk in His ways), ye shall never fall (for so doing), and an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord." R2257:c2,top

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 Jno. 1:9

These things are written not to cultivate in us the thought that we may be overtaken with faults through carelessness . . . and then go to the Lord for forgiveness. Quite the contrary, these assurances of Divine favor and willingness to forgive are designed to have upon our hearts a mellowing influence which will make us all the more careful to avoid sin. . . . We may keep so closely in touch with the Lord in the spirit of our minds that we may have continual fellowship with Him: and by confessing our faults and seeking His forgiveness we may continue to the end of our journey clean from sin, even though we must still acknowledge the imperfections of the flesh. R2235:c2,p5; 2236:c2,p2

"But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." 1 Jno. 2:5

Having found the Word of God, we should keep it, in the sense of reverencing it and obeying it. We should strive to regulate our lives and all of our doings by that Word. Whoso keepeth God's Word will as a result find that God's love is perfected in him. . . . We believe it is possible for us to have this perfect love of God. If it were perfect works of the flesh that were required, we might doubt our ability to have perfection. But since it is a matter of the heart, it is possible for us to attain it; for we can be pure in heart. . . . To have, then, this love of God perfected in us, would seem to indicate that we would have the very highest ideal -- that we love as God loves. R5276:c2,p3,5,6

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not." 1 Jno. 3:1

If you give diligence to the Word of God, and receive its truths into a good, honest, consecrated heart, it will beget in you such a love for God and His plan, and such a desire to tell the good tidings, to preach the Gospel, that it will become the all-absorbing theme of life thereafter; and this will not only separate you from the world and from many nominal Christians, in spirit, but it will lead to separation from such entirely. They will think you peculiar and separate you from their company, and you will be despised and counted a fool for Christ's sake; because they know us not, even as they knew not the Lord. A347

"But we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." 1 Jno. 3:2-3

We know of no point of truth which has greater purifying influence than this one referred to in our text -- "that blessed hope" -- the appearing of our glorious Lord. This hope purifieth. "He who hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." 1 Jno. 3:3. . . . None but the pure in heart can honestly and truly entertain this hope. . . . Let us dear brethren keep well before our minds the Master's promised return, and now in the time of His "parousia" (invisible presence) let it have its full weight and influence upon our every word and act; yea upon our very thoughts. Let the hope that we shall soon experience our resurrection change and be made like our dear Redeemer and see Him as He is . . . energize our hearts, loose our lips and strengthen us for every duty, privilege and opportunity -- to serve our Master and the household of faith. R3193:c2,p1,2,4

"Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 Jno. 4:4

The Lord of hosts is with us. His promises, as well as His providences, are walls of salvation and protection on every hand. What shall separate us from the love of God in Christ? Shall tribulation? No! it shall but cause us to draw closer to Him; and under His protecting care we shall rest. His grace is sufficient for us. His strength is made manifest in our weakness. When we feel weak in ourselves, then we are strong in Him. He will never leave us nor forsake us. R1653:c2,p5

"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us." 1 Jno. 4:12

As we learn to love one another the love of God is being perfected in us, the true, benevolent love which the Lord commands. The Lord said that we should love one another as He loved us -- to the extent of being willing to lay down our lives for one another. We are not to love some of the brethren some of the time, and some of the brethren all of the time; but we should love all the brethren all of the time; and overlook their frailties and imperfections, taking that high standpoint from which God views them, forgiving one another, as God, for Christ's sake, overlooks our blemishes. We ought to forgive those who trespass against us as we hope and trust that God will forgive our trespasses. No one can be of the "elect" class unless this love be perfected in Him. R4849:c2,p5

"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 Jno. 5:4

The degree of our success in this conflict (against sin) will depend largely upon the keenness of our faith and trust in the great Teacher. If we feel confident in His wisdom, we will follow closely His instructions and keep our hearts (minds) with all diligence. Faith in the Lord's wisdom and help in every time of need is necessary to us in order that we may be thoroughly obedient to Him; and hence it is written, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith;" i.e., it will be by the exercise of faith and the obedience which flows therefrom that we will be enabled to "come off conquerors and more than conquerors through Him that loved us and gave Himself for us." R2249:c2,p1

"He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." 1 Jno. 5:18

If they keep their hearts, "that Wicked One toucheth them not," will not injure them, will not harm them. His besetments may serve to test, may be permitted of God to work out for them, "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" but the Adversary can do them no harm, because they belong to God, and He is pledged to defend in the highest sense the best interests of all those who have given their hearts to Him in full consecration. R4660:c2,p3

"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev. 2:10

It is not enough to make a good consecration; it is not enough that for a time we fight a good fight. No, indeed! God is not accepting to the Kingdom those who once were faithful. He desires to have those who were once faithful, who were afterwards faithful, who are always faithful! He desires to have in the Kingdom class those whom He can trust implicitly, those to whom He can safely give the glory, honor and immortality that He has promised to the faithful. And before they receive this high reward and exaltation, they must be thoroughly tested and proven. R5594:c2,p3

"He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." Rev. 2:11

The human mind staggers in its endeavor to comprehend such a height of glory; yet those whose hearts are deeply in love with the Lord can appreciate the exceeding favor of the invitation to be the beloved Bride of Christ, to be made like Him and to be in His glorious presence forever. Amazing grace! and the wonder grows when we reflect upon the high exaltation of Christ, even beyond the glory which He had with the Father before the world was -- a glory of person which is "the express image of the Father's person," a glory of wealth which places the whole universe at His feet as "the Heir of all things," a glory of power, of "all power in Heaven and on earth," a glory of office, too, which is second only to that of Jehovah, the great Emperor of the Universe (1 Cor. 15:27,28), and a glory of character which shines with all the luster of unsullied purity. R1262:c1,p6

"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Rev. 2:17

The White stone signifies a precious token of the Lord's love, and the new name written in the stone suggests the Bridegroom's name. The statement indicates a special acquaintance with the great King of kings, secret between Himself and the individual. The overcomers are not to be recognized merely as a class -- the Bride class -- but each will have the personal favor of the Lord. Of this no one will know save himself and the King. There is an individual and personal friendship between the Lord and the overcomers, who may be said to receive the mark of identification -- the antitypical white stone -- now, in this life. This mark is the sealing of the Holy Spirit by which the Lord identifies the overcomers. . . . The full seal of the Holy Spirit will be given in the Resurrection. . . . Then we shall have complete knowledge of the name by which we shall be known to the Lord and He to us forever. R5113:middle

"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels." Rev. 3:5

The Bible mentions two books of life -- one appertaining to the present time, and the other to the Millennial Age. . . . The special Book of Life that is open at this present time is the one in which the names of all the overcomers of this Gospel Age are written. . . . This recording has been going on throughout this present Age. This means that those whose names are therein written are not only members of the family of God, but also members of the Bride class. In order to maintain this position, they must be overcomers. . . . In this text we may not be sure whether or not the Great Company is included. From one standpoint it looks as though they were; from another, as though they may not be. We do well not to settle it too definitely in our minds, but wait to see what the Lord's intention is. R5377:c1,p8; c2,p2,3

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Rev. 3:10

"The word of my patience," -- or, the patience which my Word inculcates. . . . This word patience has the thought of an endurance of evil in a cheerful, willing, patient manner. . . . Such a development of heart and character as manifests itself in an endurance of wrong or affliction with contentment, without rebellion of will, with full acquiescence in the Divine wisdom and love. . . . If ever patient endurance was necessary it is necessary now; if ever it was true, "In patience possess ye your souls," it is so now. Those running the race acceptably, and possessing this patient endurance, will be able "to stand in this evil day," and no others will be able to stand. R2790:c2,p6; 2792:c1,p6; c2,p1

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." Rev. 3:12

God proposes a new name for His people -- His Church -- the Bride, the Lamb's wife. As Jesus was our Lord's name and He became the Christ, the Messiah, so all who become members of His body come under His new name, and are recognized of the Lord and may be recognized of each other as members of the Christ (Rev. 3:12); and again, the Lord, prophetically speaking of Christ, says, "This is the name whereby He shall be called, The Righteousness of Jehovah," (Jer. 23:6): and again, speaking of the Bride of Christ, we read, "This is the name by which she shall be called, The Righteousness of Jehovah." (Jer. 33:16) The name of the Bridegroom is given to His Bride -- "They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels." And those who will get this new name, we may be sure, will all be called upon to demonstrate that they will be overcomers. R3970:c2,p3

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:20

This is the special reward of those who are running the race with patient endurance in the present time, in the Laodicean period; while it was not our privilege to escape the hour of temptation, it is our privilege to have a counterbalancing special blessing as a result of living in the time of our Lord's presence. We may have His fellowship, His instruction, His dispensing of spiritual food which is now "meat in due season," in a manner and to a degree which none of the faithful of past periods enjoyed these. But as we might expect, this greatest favor is correspondingly offset by the subtlety and severity of the trials of this hour of temptation coming upon the whole world. R2792:c1,p6

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne." Rev. 3:21

We have had within this harvest period many and severe storms of opposition; and still there are doubtless more severe trials to follow. But those who, with overcoming faith, outride them all -- who patiently endure, who cultivate the spirit of Christ with its fruits and graces, and who valiantly fight the good fight of faith, rather than withdraw from the field -- such will be the "overcomers" to whom the laurels of victory will be given when the crowning day has come. R1656:c2,p3