(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight, says the Lord.
11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Success in any line demands a definite aim. He who would achieve true success in life must keep steadily in view the aim worthy of his endeavor. Such an aim is set before the youth of today. The heaven-appointed purpose of giving the gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being. It opens a field of effort to everyone whose heart Christ has touched.
God's purpose for the children growing up beside our hearths is wider, deeper, higher, than our restricted vision has comprehended. From the humblest lot those whom He has seen faithful have in time past been called to witness for Him in the world's highest places. And many a lad of today, growing up as did Daniel in his Judean home, studying God's word and His works, and learning the lessons of faithful service, will yet stand in legislative assemblies, in halls of justice, or in royal courts, as a witness for the King of kings. Multitudes will be called to a wider ministry. The whole world is opening to the gospel. Ethiopia is stretching out her hands unto God. From Japan and China and India, from the still-darkened lands of our own continent, from every quarter of this world of ours, comes the cry of sin-stricken hearts for a knowledge of the God of love. Millions upon millions have never so much as heard of God or of His love revealed in Christ. It is their right to receive this knowledge. They have an equal claim with us in the Saviour's mercy. And it rests with us who have received the knowledge, with our children to whom we may impart it, to answer their cry. To every household and every school, to every parent, teacher, and child upon whom has shone the light of the gospel, comes at this crisis the question put to Esther the queen at that momentous crisis in Israel's history, "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14.
Those who think of the result of hastening or hindering the gospel think of it in relation to themselves and to the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ's agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. When there came upon Israel the calamities that were the sure result of separation from God,--subjugation by their enemies, cruelty, and death, --it is said that "His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel." "In all their affliction He was afflicted: . . . and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old." Judges 10:16; Isaiah 63:9.
His Spirit "maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." As the "whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together" (Romans 8:26, 22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy.
Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14.
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15), is Christ's command to His followers. Not that all are called to be ministers or missionaries in the ordinary sense of the term; but all may be workers with Him in giving the "glad tidings" to their fellow men. To all, great or small, learned or ignorant, old or young, the command is given.
In view of this command, can we educate our sons and daughters for a life of respectable conventionality, a life professedly Christian, but lacking His self-sacrifice, a life on which the verdict of Him who is truth must be, "I know you not"?
Thousands are doing this. They think to secure for their children the benefits of the gospel while they deny its spirit. But this cannot be. Those who reject the privilege of fellowship with Christ in service, reject the only training that imparts a fitness for participation with Him in His glory. They reject the training that in this life gives strength and nobility of character. Many a father and mother, denying their children to the cross of Christ, have learned too late that they were thus giving them over to the enemy of God and man. They sealed their ruin, not alone for the future but for the present life. Temptation overcame them. They grew up a curse to the world, a grief and shame to those who gave them being.
Even in seeking a preparation for God's service, many are turned aside by wrong methods of education. Life is too generally regarded as made up of distinct periods, the period of learning and the period of doing--of preparation and of achievement. In preparation for a life of service the youth are sent to school, to acquire knowledge by the study of books. Cut off from the responsibilities of everyday life, they become absorbed in study, and often lose sight of its purpose. The ardor of their early consecration dies out, and too many take up with some personal, selfish ambition. Upon their graduation, thousands find themselves out of touch with life. They have so long dealt with the abstract and theoretical that when the whole being must be roused to meet the sharp contests of real life, they are unprepared. Instead of the noble work they had purposed, their energies are engrossed in a struggle for mere subsistence. After repeated disappointments, in despair even of earning an honest livelihood, many drift into questionable or criminal practices. The world is robbed of the service it might have received; and God is robbed of the souls He longed to uplift, ennoble, and honor as representatives of Himself.
10 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the Lord:
Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.
6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord
(You are great, and Your name is great in might),
7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;
A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.
9 Silver is beaten into plates;
It is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of the craftsman
And of the hands of the metalsmith;
Blue and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skillful men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.
you shall say to them:
The gods that have not made the heavens and the
earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.
12 He has made the earth by His power,
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.
13 When He utters His voice,
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
14 Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge;
Every metalsmith is put to shame by an image;
For his molded image is falsehood,
And there is no breath in them.
15 They are futile, a work of errors;
In the time of their punishment they shall perish.
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himselfpurged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of
Judah, this word came from the Lord, saying, 2
Thus says the Lord:
s house, all the words that I
command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word. 3 Perhaps everyone
will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning
the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of
their doings. 4 And you shall say to them,
Stand in the court of the Lords house, and speak to all the cities of
Judah, which come to worshipin the Lord
Thus says the Lord:
will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before
you, 5 to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you,
both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded), 6 then
I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to
all the nations of the earth.
37 yet when
they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive,
and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity,
We have sinned, we have done wrong, and have committed
wickedness; 38 and when they return to You with all their heart and
with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been
carried captive, and pray toward their land which You gave to their
fathers, the city which You have chosen, and toward the temple which I
have built for Your name: 39 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place
their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and
forgive Your people who have sinned against You.
say to the house of Israel,
Thus says the Lord God:
Repent, turn away
from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.
2 and saying,
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
In beholding his God, the prophet, like Saul of Tarsus at the gate of Damascus, had not only been given a view of his own unworthiness; there had come to his humbled heart the assurance of forgiveness, full and free; and he had arisen a changed man. He had seen his Lord. He had caught a glimpse of the loveliness of the divine character. He could testify of the transformation wrought through beholding Infinite Love. Henceforth he was inspired with longing desire to see erring Israel set free from the burden and penalty of sin. "Why should ye be stricken any more?" the prophet inquired. "Come now, and let us reason together, aith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well." Isaiah 1:5, 18, 16, 17.
The God whom they had been claiming to serve, but whose character they had misunderstood, was set before them as the great Healer of spiritual disease. What though the whole head was sick and the whole heart faint? what though from the sole of the foot even unto the crown of the head there was no soundness, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores? See Isaiah 1:6. He who had been walking frowardly in the way of his heart might find healing by turning to the Lord. "I have seen his ways," the Lord declared, "and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him. . . . Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him." Isaiah 57:18, 19.
The prophet exalted God as Creator of all. His message to the cities of Judah was, "Behold your God!" Isaiah 40:9. "Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it;" "I am the Lord that maketh all things;" "I form the light, and create darkness;" "I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded." Isaiah 42:5; 44:24; 45:7, 12. "To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth." Isaiah 40:25, 26.
To those who feared they would not be received if they should return to God, the prophet declared:
"Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Verses 27-31.
The heart of Infinite Love yearns after those who feel powerless to free themselves from the snares of Satan; and He graciously offers to strengthen them to live for Him. "Fear thou not," He bids them; "for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." "I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye man of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 41:10, 13, 14.
The inhabitants of Judah were all undeserving, yet God would not give them up. By them His name was to be exalted among the heathen. Many who were wholly unacquainted with His attributes were yet to behold the glory of the divine character. It was for the purpose of making plain His merciful designs that He kept sending His servants the prophets with the message, "Turn ye again now everyone from his evil way." Jeremiah 25:5. "For My name's sake," He declared through Isaiah, "will I defer Mine anger, and for My praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off." "For Mine own sake, even for Mine own sake, will I do it: for how should My name be polluted? and I will not give My glory unto another." Isaiah 48:9 ,11.
The call to repentance was sounded with unmistakable clearness, and all were invited to return. "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found," the prophet pleaded; "call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:6, 7.
Have you, reader, chosen your own way? Have you wandered far from God? Have you sought to feast upon the fruits of transgression, only to find them turn to ashes upon your lips? And now, your life plans thwarted and your hopes dead, do you sit alone and desolate? That voice which has long been speaking to your heart, but to which you would not listen, comes to you distinct and clear, "Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction." Micah 2:10. Return to your Father's house. He invites you, saying, "Return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee." "Come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." Isaiah 44:22; 55:3.
Do not listen to the enemy's suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better, until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait until then you will never come. When Satan points to your filthy garments, repeat the promise of the Saviour, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. Tell the enemy that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. Make the prayer of David your own: "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7.
the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the kings
house to the house of the Lord and sat down in the entry of the New Gate
of the Lords house. 11 And the priests and the prophets spoke to the
princes and all the people, saying,
This man deserves to die! For he
has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.
13 Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of theLord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you. 14 As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you. 15 But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.
says the Lord: s house, all
the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.
Stand in the court of the Lords house, and speak to
all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord
15 But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly theLord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.
16 So the princes and all the
people said to the priests and the prophets,
This man does not deserve
to die. For he has spoken to us in the name of the Lordour God.
certain of the elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly
of the people, saying: 18
Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of
Hezekiah king of Judah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, saying,
Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Zion shall be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins,
And the mountain of the temple
Like the bare hills of the forest.
19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah ever put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and seek the Lords favor? And the Lord relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them. But we are doing great evil against ourselves.
20 Now there was also a man who prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath Jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah. 21 And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid and fled, and went to Egypt. 22 Then Jehoiakim the king sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor, and other men who went with him to Egypt. 23 And they brought Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
24 Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.
one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of
the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the
apostles outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them:
Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these
men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A
number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who
obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas
of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people
after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were
dispersed. 38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let
them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to
nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it - lest you even
be found to fight against God.
40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
ye not, Paul asks,
that they which run in a race run all, but one
receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that
striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to
obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run,
not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.
Paul presents the conditions which God imposes upon every soul who
enlists in His service. The apostle fears for himself, lest he shall
fail of bearing the examination test and be found wanting, and he places
himself under severe training. So the Christian today needs to keep
strict guard over his appetite. He needs to subject himself to severe
training, that he may not run uncertainly or at random, without seeing
his standard and striving to reach it. He must obey the laws of God. The
physical, mental, and moral powers must be kept in the most perfect
condition if he would obtain the approval of God.
I keep under my
body, the apostle says. This means literally to beat back its desires
and impulses and passions by severe discipline, even as did those
competing for an earthly prize.
brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our
fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were
all baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea. By the power of
that invisible Presence all Israel were enshrouded in the pillar of
cloud, and all were baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea.
The signs given by God to Moses placed the children of Israel under his
guidance, as the acknowledged, visible leader of the chosen people of
Though Paul sat, a diligent student, at the feet of Gamaliel, he also learned a trade. He was an educated tentmaker. It was the custom among the Jews, the wealthy as well as the poorer classes, to train their sons and daughters to some useful employment, so that should adverse circumstances come, they would not be dependent on others, but would have educated ability to provide for their own necessities. They might be instructed in literary lines, but they must also be trained to some craft. This was deemed an indispensable part of their education.
The testimony of Paul and Aquila is that by their occupation they were tentmakers. While they preached the gospel Paul and his companion wrought at their trade as tentmakers, and in doing this they could give a more thorough knowledge of Christ to those who heard them. They labored that they might obtain means for support.
Paul taught the
Scriptures, as well as working at his trade. The twentieth chapter of
Acts gives the history of his earnest labors.
From Miletus he sent to
Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to
him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into
Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the
Lord with all humility of mind, and in many tears, and temptations,
which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back
nothing that was profitable unto you, but had showed you, and taught you
publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and
also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I
have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood
of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel
of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over
the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of
God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that
after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing
the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse
things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and
remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone
night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God and
to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you
an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no
mans silver or gold or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these
hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with
Paul is not speaking mysteries. He is appealing to their knowledge of his manner of life. In Corinth he had lived and labored with Aquila and Priscilla, instructing them more perfectly in the truth. The great apostle was not ashamed or afraid of work, and he did not treat this subject as in any way lowering to his work in the ministry.
he says, to the brethren in Thessalonica,
Finally brethren, pray for
us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified,
even as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable
and wicked men; for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful,
who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil, and we have confidence
in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which
we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God,
and into the patient waiting for Christ. Now we command you, brethren,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from
every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which
ye received of us.
For yourselves know how ye ought to follow
us; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we
eat any mans bread for nought; but wrought with labor and travail night
and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you; not because we
have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any
would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some
which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ,
that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye,
brethren, be not weary in well doing.
The greatest care is necessary that every obstruction may be removed from the church, that no stumbling block shall be placed in the way of sinners by an inconsistent course in those who profess the faith. The name of the Lord is to be glorified in the virtuous, honest, godly character of those who believe; for if men walk humbly and prayerfully with God, manifesting His divine power, and co-operating with Him in the work of salvation, righteousness will be the fruit they will bear.
apostle in his day considered idleness a sin, and those who indulge this
evil today disgrace their profession. They will criticize the faithful
worker, and bring reproach upon the gospel of Christ. Those who would
believe, they turn from the way of truth and righteousness. We should be
warned not to associate with those who by their course of action lay a
stumbling block in the way of others.
If any man obey not our word by
this epistle, the apostle says,
note that man, and have no company
with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but
admonish him as a brother. If he refuses the admonition of the Lords
servants, and follows his own will and judgment under the inspiration of
his leader, Satan, he will bring ruin upon himself, and must bear his
The custom of supporting men and women in idleness by private gifts or church money encourages them in sinful habits, and this course should be conscientiously avoided. Every man, woman, and child should be educated to do practical, useful work. All should learn some trade. It may be tentmaking, or it may be business in other lines; but all should be educated to use the members of their body to some purpose, and God is ready and willing to increase the adaptability of all who will educate themselves to industrious habits.
If a man in good
physical health has property, and has no need of entering into
employment for his own support, he should labor to acquire means that he
may advance the cause and work of God. He is to be
not slothful in
business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. God will bless all who
guard their influence others in this respect.
Health and physical strength are established by the use and improvement of every opportunity to be useful. Diligence in business is highly appropriate, and in no case need it quench fervency of spirit in our service for the Lord. The apostle Paul was not ashamed of honest labor. He did not consider it demeaning that teachers, educators of the youth, or ministers of the gospel should labor with their hands as circumstances demanded. Physical development is essential if we would preserve all parts of the living machinery in health.
This education in physical lines would save many men in high positions from premature death. Intemperance in eating and drinking has cut short millions of lives. Many influential men have sacrificed health and life itself by their indulgence at feasts and dinners and late suppers, by indulging in wine and liquor drinking. The history of Daniel and his fellows is written for our instruction. These youth practiced total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks. We should abstain from everything that is hurtful, and we should be temperate in our use of that class of food which, if taken in proper quantities and at proper times, will build up the human structure, keep the brain clear, the breath pure, the stomach strong to do its appointed work. Do not crowd the hours for eating too closely together. Give the stomach periods of entire rest, and the food that is placed in the mouth, do not bolt it down without masticating it, thus leaving to the digestive organs the work which the teeth should do. As a rule men in official positions eat food at all times and on all occasions, and this is the cause of so much disease and suffering. Gout, apoplexy, paralysis, and death are the result.
As a child and youth Jesus worked with His father Joseph and learned the trade of a carpenter, a builder. His trade was significant. He was indeed a character-builder, and as such all His labors were perfect. At the age of twelve, on His return from His first visit to Jerusalem, His parents lost Him, and returning to Jerusalem they sought Him sorrowing. They found Him in the temple, sitting among the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. He was imparting light to their darkened and confused minds, and all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
When His parents saw
Him, and heard His questions and answers to the dignitaries of the
temple, they were amazed, and scarcely knew what to say. His mother
Son, why hast thou dealt thus with us? Behold, thy father and I
have sought thee sorrowing. The wise doctors were surprised to hear His
How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about
my Fathers business? As He said these words, He raised His hand to
heaven. Divinity flashed through humanity. His countenance was lighted
up like the face of an angel. Neither parents or doctors understood His
words. They were a mystery which they could not understand, but a solemn
awe fell upon them.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth,
and was subject unto them; but his mother kept all these sayings in her
heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God
To His chosen church in the wilderness Christ taught the lessons essential for them to know in order to win a crown of life. All are bound to obey the law of God. All may be educated to see the grievous result of sin. No man can feel the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of the sinner until he beholds Christ as the Sinbearer, bearing the stroke of the justice of God. Christ, as our Substitute and Surety, stands at the head of the offending order, and says, Lay the sins of man to My account. All who will may find pardon for their transgressions.
The temptations to which Christ was subjected were
a terrible reality. As a free agent He was placed on probation, with
liberty to pass under Satans jurisdiction, to work at cross-purposes
with God. If this were not so, if there was no possibility of His
falling, He could not be tempted in all points as the human family is
tempted. If it were impossible for Him to yield to temptation, it was no
temptation to Him. And the temptations of Christ, and His suffering
under them, were proportionate to His exalted, sinless character. Says
Ye have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Christ did resist unto blood in that hour when the fear of moral failure
was as the fear of death. As the worlds Redeemer bowed in Gethsemane,
His soul-agony was so great that drops of blood fell from the pores of
His skin, and moistened the sods of the earth. He prayed with strong
crying and tears, and He was heard in that He feared. God strengthened
Him as He will strengthen all who humble themselves as Christ humbled
Himself, all who will throw themselves, soul, body, and spirit, into the
hands of a covenant-keeping God.
Upon the cross Christ knew as no other can know the awful power of Satans temptation, and His heart was called out in pity and forgiveness for the dying thief who had been ensnared by the enemy. How marvelously that power has been exercised against the human family, against Him who has undertaken their cause!
disciple John writes,
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. And he is the propitiation for our
sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He
that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and
the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is
the love of God perfected.
The Captain of our salvation was
perfected through suffering. His soul was made an offering for sin. It
was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about His soul because of
the withdrawal of the Fathers love and favor, for He was standing in
the sinners place, and this darkness every sinner must experience. The
righteous One must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God, not in
vindictiveness; for the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when
His Son, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering of the divine powers
will never again occur throughout the eternal ages. In His expiring
agony nature sympathized with her suffering, dying Author. The sun was
darkened. The rocks were rent. There was a great earthquake, and many
graves were opened as Christ with a loud voice cried,
It is finished.
Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.
Now when the centurion saw
what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous
I know not how to trace these words. I would try to make sin
appear as the terrible thing that it is, that students and teachers may
not feel it a small thing to sin. It was sin that caused all this
suffering to the Son of God. These things should be considered. Let not
teachers refrain from exercising all their God-given power to restrain
sin in the students. Let ministers and all who claim to be children of
God work as never before to counterwork iniquity. We must respect and
reverence Christ and all who are laboring with God to eradicate evil.
Let teachers and ministers and all who handle sacred things depart from
Blessed are they that do his commandments, John
that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter
in through the gates into the city.
about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,
Eli, lama sabachthani? that is,
My God, My God, why have You forsaken
19 We love Him because He first loved us.