PHILADELPHIA, Pa., August 20, 1914.
DEAR BROTHER KER: – Lately I have been living among the prophets, my mind dwelling upon many of the words of prophecy. Just now I am impressed to write something concerning Ezekiel xxxiv. 31, which reads: “And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.” While the Lord’s people are men and women (the posterity of Adam), yet they (unless they have the Spirit of Christ) know nothing, desire nothing, understand nothing of the things which belong to the kingdom of God. Their thoughts are thoughts of the world and its belongings, for they belong to the world, the world is their dwelling-place, and all their desires are to be found in it. Wisdom saith, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart: so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” The prophets were men of like passions as we, yet by the work of God they were made prophets, they were made holy men. God gave unto them the spirit of prophecy, and they spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Therefore our communion is with God through the prophets, for the children of the kingdom have the same Spirit which was given to the prophets, therefore faith answers to faith in the communion of the Holy Ghost. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards he revealed,” and while the Spirit works in the heart of the flock of God, faith is not revealed until the law is fulfilled and its sentence removed, which revelation is Jesus Christ being made known unto us by the working of the Holy Spirit within us. It is then that we are enabled to read the inspired words as declared by the prophets understandingly. For “Even unto this day [the day of Jesus Christ], when Moses [the law] is read, the Vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” We were in bondage under the law (darkness) until the finished work of our gracious Redeemer was made clear to our faith. “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” And how wonderful is the transformation, the light hath shined in the darkness, and “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Thus do we with joy and gladness eat and drink at the Lord’s table, and hold sweet communion with the prophets in the Spirit of the Lord, taking hold of the declaration of our God in the words, “And ye my flock.” Having the mind of Christ, we can justly claim to be the flock of God, the flock of his pasture, wherein we lie down in perfect peace, yet continually remembering that we “are men,” and with our flesh we serve the law of sin, but where sin abounds grace doth much more abound. How beautifully and wonderfully has God imprinted his holy name in our hearts in the closing words of my text: “And I am your God, saith the Lord God.” How secure and safe is the little flock whom Jesus feeds. Words are too feeble to express the sweetness of the power of an endless life, but it fills our life with light and hope, and we are the passive recipients of God’s wondrous love.
Your brother in hope of life eternal,
B. F. Coulter
Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 20
October 14, 1914