THE LORD will be glorified in all his saints, and he is the glory of all his saints. God will fulfill to his Son the prayer that they may be with him where he is, and behold his glory that the Father gave him. This shall be fulfilled in heaven, when his saints shall appear with him in glory. Before the death, burial, and resurrection of the holy Redeemer, John said of him, "For the Son of man was not yet glorified." When his hour was come, he earnestly prayed to his Father, saying, "Glorify thy Son." So it behooved him to suffer and die, that he might enter into his glory. This was unto the end that his people, thus redeemed and saved from sin and death, might be glorified with him. Therefore, as it was with their Forerunner into glory, so also is it with them; and they must first be raised from the dead before they shall be glorified. They must follow their Master, who is the way, and be made like him. "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead. *** 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," wrote Paul to Timothy. The suffering and dying with Christ, then, are absolutely necessary to oar living and reigning with him. Of this Paul says, "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. *** Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God." Rom. VI. Just so shall it be with all who are planted together with him in the likeness of his death, which was unto sin in the body of his flesh; for they shall be raised up out of death in their bodies in the likeness of his resurrection, which was in his buried body, "of the seed of David;" and death shall have no more dominion over them, but they shall live unto God. "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Luke XX. This is the word of Christ himself, and thus it shall be, as he taught. To be the perfected children of God, then, we must be the children and subjects of the resurrection from the dead, it was by the resurrection from the dead that the Son of David was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness," said Paul. To John on Patmos the Son of God in his glory said, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Rev. I. 18. He has the power, therefore, to raise the dead; and he says of every one that the Father gave him, and that believeth on him, "and I will raise him up at the last day." For it was not possible that he should be holden of death, said Peter; so neither is it possible for one of his brethren to be holden of it. If it were possible, then his priesthood would not be perfect, but would fail, and all would be lost, for death and the grave would have the victory.
But the word and power of the Lord says, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes." Hos. XIII. 14. "The Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." Dan. Vii. 22. "All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power." Ps. CXLV. 10, 11.
"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. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. *** Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Rom. VIII. 18-21. When the Lord by his inspired servants says, "shall be,'' it must be. We have seen that the sons of God shall be manifested in the resurrection from the dead. We shall then bear the image of the heavenly Man, the Son of God, and be like him. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." Yet he is a man in the flesh, and is now unwillingly subject to vanity, but in hope of deliverance from the bondage of corruption, this body of death, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. This shall be blessedly realized when "Death is swallowed up in victory," and "mortality is swallowed up of life;" and then the kingdom and dominion "shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom."
The saints are now in the kingdom of grace, and in a militant state, in which they are called to "endure a great fight of afflictions," and to "sow in tears." Therefore, while in the mortal body, they are not at home, being absent from their ascended and glorified Lord and High Priest, whose coming again according to his promise, they now wait. Nor shall their waiting and watching for his coming disappoint them. "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Heb. X. 35-37. "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Pet. III. 13. "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." Phil. III. 20, 21. Our confidence is in him who is thus able. We confidently look for him to come again, and when he comes, he shall perfect us in his own image. O glorious change in us! How unutterable the beauty, glory and rapture, when our now vile body shall be fashioned in the likeness of his own spiritual, immortal and glorious body! Then, transporting assurance, the bodies of the countless millions of the redeemed saints shall all be thus glorious! O that will be holy, lovely, blissful HEAVEN! O we shall all then behold with transports of love and joy our First-born Brother from the dead, our ever-living and adored High Priest, who perfected us through his infinite sufferings in our flesh, and has thus made us an holy priesthood unto his and our Father and God! Our loving and altogether lovely Redeemer, when he shall present his sanctified bride to himself a glorious church, holy and without blemish, and shall present all his innumerable company of glorified brethren to his Father, saying, "Behold I and the children which God hath given me," will then be blessedly satisfied, and God will be well pleased for the righteousness sake of his glorious Son. And this will be the fullness of the all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ with which the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ blessed his saints according to his choice of them before the world was. His election and predestination thus gloriously consummated in them, they, though once so sinful and sorrowful on earth, shall be holy and without blame before him in love. "Then shall the King say unto them on the right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
"And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." Rev. XIX. 5-9.
"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." "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. IV. 12, 13. "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thess. 1.
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." Rev. V. 9-12.
"Come, thou long expected Jesus!
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee:
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,-
Joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver;
Born a child, and yet a King;
Born to reign in us forever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring:
By thine own eternal Spirit,
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to thy glorious throne."
Hymn 324, Beebe's Book.
"Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that ,within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Heb. VI. 17-20. The hope of all the saints is anchored in Christ, the Rock that was smitten for us; and he who is our hope, the hope of eternal life, is now in the presence of God for us. All whose forerunner unto the Father our highly exalted Prophet and Priest and King is shall as surely follow him through the veil of flesh, and be with him in the eternal glory of the Father, as that the Lord God hath said to him, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."
This, O people of the living God, is the perfect work of the meek and lowly King of saints, who reigns in righteousness, and whose arm of power rules for him; snd by him grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life over all the children that God gave him, perfecting holiness in them. The enraptured John said, "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." Rev. VI. 2. Through this crowned Son of the Highest, that loved us, we are more than conquerors in all the conflicts which lie between the cross of suffering unto death and the crown of life that fadeth not away. Again, when the time of the end was shown to John, he says. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns: and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." Rev. XIX. 11-14. This shows the victorious and glorious reign of the crowned King in Zion; and that all his redeemed and conquered subjects shall be purified and made white, and blessedly follow him as soldiers of the Cross, the glorious heavenly army, so great that no man can number the ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." Rev. XV. 3, 4.
Now, all this forbids the thought that this glorified Son of man, the crowned King of heaven and omnipotent Conqueror, either tries or strives to save and reign over his called and chosen people, or to make his foes his footstool; for the Most High proclaimed of him ages ago, that, "He shall not fail nor be discouraged." Even in his humiliation in the flesh, the irresistible power of the then uncrowned King was triumphantly manifested in all his word and work; for all to whom he spoke were subdued into submission, whether winds and plagues, madness and death, men or devils. At his voice or touch, the most loathsome and fatal contagion and disease vanished, and all sins were forgiven; yea, ghastly death fled at his approach and command, and legions of devils must go at his word. And shall it now be thought that, crowned upon the throne of universal dominion as he is, he has not sufficient power and grace to successfully and lovingly reign in his militant kingdom of grace, and in the hearts of his quickened and called people? This would be a reflection and reproach upon him, and an impeachment of both his wisdom and power. From his resurrection in triumph over his last enemy, and coronation upon the throne of God on high, the word of his Almighty Father to him is being unfailingly verified, saying, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power."
We do well to remember, and let it humble and hush us, that the little line of finite reason or human judgment is infinitely too short to measure and judge the purpose and counsel, way and work of the Lord on high, whose arm rules for him. For his eternal purpose and the counsel of his will can not possibly be turned aside, frustrated or fail in anything or the smallest measure; for there is no disappointment with the unchangeable Lord God omnipotent. Moses was inspired to declare that the Lord rideth upon the heavens in the help of his people, and in his excellency on the sky. In this humble tribute of praise to the Anointed of God, the Man whom he made strong for himself, the clear and strong divine testimonies presented have shown us the glorious perfection and sufficiency of his mediatorial work and reign, as the absolutely successful Prophet and Priest and King, ordained of God before the world was, sent forth in the fullness of the time to do his righteous Father's perfect will, and invested with the fullness of the Godhead, though a sinless and perfect man in the flesh. Therefore, all that God appointed and sent his Son to do, with all things he has declared and written concerning the sinful and lost people of his new and everlasting covenant, shall absolutely be accomplished in them, because the omnipotent word of the Lord hath spoken it. With him there is not the shadow of a turn or change; neither is it possible for a fortuitous or uncertain event to arise in all the Lord's unlimited dominion to disturb his counsel and purpose, or surprise and disappoint him.
In these pages, devoted to the Priesthood of the Christ of God, it is important to say, the present life and state is fully shown in the Scriptures to be divinely appointed and designed as a preparatory place, and that the God and Savior of his people, who knew all their sins and weakness, backslidings and failures, has an infinitely wise and merciful purpose towards them in it all, to successfully teach and convert and save them in these very things as needful truths and lessons of wisdom, which they could learn in no other way. Therefore, to his dear people the Lord says, "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver: I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isa. XLVIII. 10. This is the way, then, that he is forming his people and preparing them for himself, that they should show forth his praise. Not perfectly now in the flesh, certainly, for none perfectly glorify him now; but when he has refined them through the fires and floods, and shall bring them forth as the pure gold, then shall they show forth his praise and his power to save, and shall be to the Lord an holy priesthood, and perfectly glorify him in their body and spirit. His people and children need not flatter themselves, therefore, that they can raise themselves up out of the furnace of affliction, .by any power or goodness that they possess, do and try as best they may; for the Lord has chosen his people and refines them in this hot furnace. So the man who lives so much to his satisfaction that he escapes the afflictions in the trying furnace, does but prove that the Lord has not chosen him at all. Such an one was the self-boasting worshipper who went up in the temple to pray; but the lowly man who asked for mercy was certainly in the furnace.
The Lord again says, "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. * * I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. * * Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy; the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing." Zeph. III. This is like the word of Christ, saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matt. V. 3-6. The Lord also says, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 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? * * But he chasteneth us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 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. XII. 5-11. It is in this way that the Lord prepares and leads his priestly people to approach unto his presence and worship him. And so in all the way that he dealeth with them, as well in his providence as in his grace, he is sifting them as wheat, and purifying them as silver and gold in the furnace, that they should show forth his praise. Of the coming and work of Christ Jesus the Savior it is written: "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Mal. III. 2, 3.
The Lord is now upon his mediatorial throne, the Prince and Savior, and he is thus successfully performing his work of purifying the sons of Levi, the priestly family, in his own sure and good way; but not the way they would choose, for it is as silver and gold in the heated furnace, that melts the hard metals and consumes the baser part, the alloy and dross, the legal trust and fleshly confidence; that they may bring to the Lord the acceptable sacrifice of a broken and contrite spirit, an humble trust and hope in Jesus the only Savior of sinners. And as thus sifted and humbled, they come unto God by faith in his dear and holy Son, and plead his sacrifice and only righteousness, and God pardons and accepts and blesses them in his righteous Son, who is their salvation and holiness and life.
This is the good work of righteousness that our Savior has begun in his people, and he will righteously and graciously perform it unto the perfect day; and in such a holy way and so glorifying to God that they shall be saved from themselves and their own way, so that they shall know and confess, with Jonah, "Salvation is of the Lord," and shall offer the true prayer that Jesus taught: "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." To thus save us from all that we need to be delivered from is not a light or easy work, for it is so difficult, owing to the innate and deep seated maladies of corrupted and self-reliant man, that none but our all-sufficient High Priest, who has all power in heaven and all power on earth, can save us from our sins and from ourselves, and prepare us and enable us to offer unto God an offering in righteousness, and worship him in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. Jesus only can save; and thus he is saving and will save his people from their sins. Not the least of our sins, that he shall save us from, is self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, self-dependence, and self-trust. A no less physician than Jesus, who had all wisdom, all grace and all power, so that he could save the raving Gadarene from himself, could have cured Peter of his strong and ruling passion of self-dependence, and it almost took his life away to save him; yet the gentle and lamb-like Jesus applied the bitter remedy, by letting Satan catch him in his snare, to shake him up and sift him, and Peter was effectually saved and taught to have no confidence in the flesh. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." And thus he interceded for his apostle Peter, before he let Satan have him, that his faith should not fail. Christ our High Priest, as the Son over his own house and brethren, is faithful to God who glorified him to be made an High Priest after the power of an endless life. The power and virtue of Christ's life and holiness will, therefore, take away from his sinful people all their sinful maladies of every sort, and they shall be purified unto salvation and made acceptable unto God. This work of saving his people from their sins is being performed in them, and the Lord who begun it in them will complete it.
It should not be thought, therefore, that because the Lord's quickened people so often come short in outward or manifest gospel obedience, he is frustrated, hindered or in the least disappointed; for he sees and knows it all, and will as surely accomplish his wise design to the glory of God and the effectual salvation of all his straying sheep and backsliding children, as in the awful fall of Peter, the prodigal son, or the great trial of Job. Let us not think for a moment that the Savior of sinners is either wishing or trying to accomplish something for his people or with and by them, but meets with sad failures and disappointments; for the adorable and perfect Savior, whose arm rules for him, is not trying any experiments with his people, as many doctors do with their worst patients, to see whether this or that will succeed and cure the patient. The world of religion, indeed, savors very strongly of this mere experimenting; and many sincere and zealous souls show that they believe that the glorious King of Zion is likewise experimenting and trying to accomplish much more than he succeeds in having done, and so there is failure with him as there is with men.
That we may have a far more exalted view than this of the reigning Son of God and his power to save, let us hear faithful Paul, who says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Rom. V. 8-11. This gives us the absolute assurance of full and blessed salvation from sin and death for all whom God loved and for whom Christ died. The apostle then goes on to say, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." Verse 17. Not only saved from wrath through Christ, and blessedly reconciled to God, but shall reign in eternal life as kings and priests through Christ and by him. This is divinely blessed to sinners and glorious to Christ. Now, let us notice also in what way Christ thus effectually saves us; that is, by the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. Then, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us." Paul then says, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Verse 19. Not by the obedience of many may they be made righteous; for the word declares of all the sons of Adam that there is not one righteous. "Shall many be made righteous." This is as positive and sure as that the Son of God as a man was righteously obedient. His infinite merit in his holy obedience shall absolutely make all his people and brethren the very righteousness of God in Christ. There is no power in the universe that can possibly hinder or prevent this perfect holiness of the countless many to whom God imputes the righteousness of Christ. The immortal Son of man sits a King upon his holy throne; yea, King of kings, and in power and glory reigns as the Prince and Savior.
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed him."