(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.
8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.”
9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
6 When my steps were bathed with cream,
And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!
2 “Oh, that I were as in months past,
As in the days when God watched over me;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
8 The young men saw me and hid,
And the aged arose and stood;
9 The princes refrained from talking,
And put their hand on their mouth;
10 The voice of nobles was hushed,
And their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard, then it blessed me,
And when the eye saw, then it approved me;
12 Because I delivered the poor who cried out,
The fatherless and the one who had no helper.
13 The blessing of a perishing man came upon me,
And I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
My justice was like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind,
And I was feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor,
And I searched out the case that I did not know.
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked,
And plucked the victim from his teeth.
7 “When I went out to the gate by the city,
When I took my seat in the open square,
"The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied." Psalm 37:18, 19.
"He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. . . . He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not;" "he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, . . . and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: . . . bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." Psalm 15:2-4; Isaiah 33:15-17.
God has given in His word a picture of a prosperous man--one whose life was in the truest sense a success, a man whom both heaven and earth delighted to honor. Of his experiences Job himself says:
"In the ripeness of my days,
When the secret of God was upon my tent;
When the Almighty was yet with me,
And my children were about me; . . .
When I went forth to the gate unto the city,
When I prepared my seat in the broad place [margin],
The young men saw me and hid themselves,
And the aged rose up and stood;
The princes refrained talking,
And laid their hand on their mouth;
The voice of the nobles was hushed. . . .
"For when the ear heard me, then it blessed me;
And when the eye saw me, it gave witness unto me;
Because I delivered the poor that cried,
The fatherless also, and him [margin], that had none to help him.
"The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me;
And I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me:
My justice was as a robe and a diadem.
I was eyes to the blind,
And feet was I to the lame.
I was a father to the needy:
And the cause of him that I knew not I searched out."
"The stranger did not lodge in the street:
But I opened my doors to the traveler."
"Unto me men gave ear, and waited. . . .
And the light of my countenance they cast not down.
I chose out their way, and sat chief,
And dwelt as a king in the army,
As one that comforteth the mourners."
Job 29:4-16, R.V.; 31:32; 29:21-25.
"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22.
"Riches and honor are with Me," declares Wisdom; "yea, durable riches and righteousness." Proverbs 8:18.
The Bible shows also the result of a departure from right principles in our dealing both with God and with one another. To those who are entrusted with His gifts but indifferent to His claims, God says:
"Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. . . . Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it." "When one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty." "Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of Mine house that is waste." "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings." "Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit." Haggai 1:5-9; 2:16; Malachi 3:8; Haggai 1:10.
"Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, . . . ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them." "The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto." "Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another, . . . and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand." Amos 5:11; Deuteronomy 28:20, 32.
"He that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool." Jeremiah 17:11.
The accounts of every business, the details of every transaction, pass the scrutiny of unseen auditors, agents of Him who never compromises with injustice, never overlooks evil, never palliates wrong.
"If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice, . . . marvel not at the matter: for He that is higher than the highest regardeth." "There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves." Ecclesiastes 5:8, Job 34:22.
"They set their mouth against the heavens. . . . And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?" "These things hast thou done," God says, "and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes," Psalms 73:9-11; 50:21.
"I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. . . . This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for everyone that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and everyone that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by My name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof." Zechariah 5:1-4.
Against every evildoer God's law utters condemnation. He may disregard that voice, he may seek to drown its warning, but in vain. It follows him. It makes itself heard. It destroys his peace. If unheeded, it pursues him to the grave. It bears witness against him at the judgement. A quenchless fire, it consumes at last soul and body.
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mark 8:36, 37.
This is a question that demands consideration by every parent, every teacher, every student--by every human being, young or old. No scheme of business or plan of life can be sound or complete that embraces only the brief years of this present life and makes no provision for the unending future. Let the youth be taught to take eternity into their reckoning. Let them be taught to choose the principles and seek the possessions that are enduring--to lay up for themselves that "treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth;" to make to themselves friends "by means of the mammon of unrighteousness," that when it shall fail, these may receive them "into the eternal tabernacles." Luke 12:33; 16:9, R.V.
All who do this are making the best possible preparation for life in this world. No man can lay up treasure in heaven without finding his life on earth thereby enriched and ennobled.
"Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8.
1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I look upon a young woman?
2 For what is the allotment of God from above,
And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3 Is it not destruction for the wicked,
And disaster for the workers of iniquity?
4 Does He not see my ways,
And count all my steps?
5 “If I have walked with falsehood,
Or if my foot has hastened to deceit,
6 Let me be weighed on honest scales,
That God may know my integrity.
7 If my step has turned from the way,
Or my heart walked after my eyes,
Or if any spot adheres to my hands,
8 Then let me sow, and another eat;
Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.
9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 Then let my wife grind for another,
And let others bow down over her.
11 For that would be wickedness;
Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.
12 For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction,
And would root out all my increase.
13 “If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant
When they complained against me,
14 What then shall I do when God rises up?
When He punishes, how shall I answer Him?
15 Did not He who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?
16 “If I have kept the poor from their desire,
Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 Or eaten my morsel by myself,
So that the fatherless could not eat of it
18 (But from my youth I reared him as a father,
And from my mother’s womb I guided the widow);
19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or any poor man without covering;
20 If his heart has not blessed me,
And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 If I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
When I saw I had help in the gate;
22 Then let my arm fall from my shoulder,
Let my arm be torn from the socket.
23 For destruction from God is a terror to me,
And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not seeas man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lordlooks at the heart.”
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
24 “If I have made gold my hope,
Or said to fine gold, ‘You are my confidence’;
25 If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had gained much;
26 If I have observed the sun when it shines,
Or the moon moving in brightness,
27 So that my heart has been secretly enticed,
And my mouth has kissed my hand;
28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment,
For I would have denied God who is above.
29 “If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me,
Or lifted myself up when evil found him
30 (Indeed I have not allowed my mouth to sin
By asking for a curse on his soul);
31 If the men of my tent have not said,
‘Who is there that has not been satisfied with his meat?’
32 (But no sojourner had to lodge in the street,
For I have opened my doors to the traveler);
33 If I have covered my transgressions as Adam,
By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,
34 Because I feared the great multitude,
And dreaded the contempt of families,
So that I kept silence
And did not go out of the door—
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous?
Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,
At all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer.
The disciples still failed to understand Christ's words in their spiritual sense, and again He explained His meaning. By the Spirit, He said, He would manifest Himself to them. "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things." No more will you say, I cannot comprehend. No longer will you see through a glass, darkly. You shall "be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." Eph. 3:18, 19.
The disciples were to bear witness to the life and work of Christ. Through their word He was to speak to all the people on the face of the earth. But in the humiliation and death of Christ they were to suffer great trial and disappointment. That after this experience their word might be accurate, Jesus promised that the Comforter should "bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
"I have yet many things to say unto you," He continued, "but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you." Jesus had opened before His disciples a vast tract of truth. But it was most difficult for them to keep His lessons distinct from the traditions and maxims of the scribes and Pharisees. They had been educated to accept the teaching of the rabbis as the voice of God, and it still held a power over their minds, and molded their sentiments. Earthly ideas, temporal things, still had a large place in their thoughts. They did not understand the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, though He had so often explained it to them. Their minds had become confused. They did not comprehend the value of the scriptures Christ presented. Many of His lessons seemed almost lost upon them. Jesus saw that they did not lay hold of the real meaning of His words. He compassionately promised that the Holy Spirit should recall these sayings to their minds. And He had left unsaid many things that could not be comprehended by the disciples. These also would be opened to them by the Spirit. The Spirit was to quicken their understanding, that they might have an appreciation of heavenly things. "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come," said Jesus, "He will guide you into all truth."
The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth." His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.
In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.
Of the Spirit Jesus said, "He shall glorify Me." The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of His love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His grace to the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.
"When He [the Spirit of truth] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles. Then the testimony of their enemies was, "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine." Acts 5:28.
Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people "to will and to do of His good pleasure." Phil. 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.
In His discourse to the disciples, Jesus made no mournful allusion to His own sufferings and death. His last legacy to them was a legacy of peace. He said, "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."
Before leaving the upper chamber, the Saviour led His disciples in a song of praise. His voice was heard, not in the strains of some mournful lament, but in the joyful notes of the Passover hallel:
"O praise the Lord, all ye nations:
Praise Him, all ye people.
For His merciful kindness is great toward us:
And the truth of the Lord endureth forever.
Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 117.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16.
Christ is our pattern, the perfect and holy example that has been given us to follow. We can never equal the Pattern, but we may imitate and resemble it according to our ability. When we fall, all helpless, suffering in consequence of our realization of the sinfulness of sin; when we humble ourselves before God, afflicting our souls by true repentance and contrition; when we offer our fervent prayers to God in the name of Christ; we shall as surely be received by the Father as we sincerely make a complete surrender of our all to God. We should realize in our inmost soul that all our efforts in and of ourselves will be utterly worthless, for it is only in the name and strength of the Conqueror that we shall be overcomers.
If we believe in the power of Jesus’ name, and present our petitions to God in His name, we shall never be turned away.... Our help cometh from God, who holds all things in His own hands. Our peace is in the assurance that His love is exercised toward us. If faith grasps this assurance, we have gained all; if we lose this assurance, all is lost. When we surrender all we have and are to God and are placed in trying and dangerous positions, coming in contact with Satan, we should remember that we shall have victory in meeting the enemy in the name and power of the Conqueror. Every angel would be commissioned to come to our rescue when we thus depend upon Christ rather than that we should be permitted to be overcome.
But we need not expect to get the victory without suffering, for Jesus suffered in conquering for us. While we suffer in His name, while we are called upon to deny appetite, and to withdraw ourselves from lovers of pleasure, we should not murmur, but should rather rejoice that we are privileged in a very small degree to be partakers with Christ of the trial, the sacrifice, the self-denial, and the suffering that our Lord endured on our behalf that we might obtain eternal salvation.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,