“AND he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”
This promise recorded here is made to him that overcometh and that keepeth the Spirit’s work unto the end. This overcoming one is Jesus. No one ever overcomes evil or keeps the Spirit’s work unto the end except those in whom Jesus lives, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. The church in Thyratira was plagued with false doctrine within it. This false way was to be overcome. The only way it could be overcome was for the overcoming of Jesus to be manifested in those who were to overcome it. This overcoming, therefore, would make manifest the precious and the vile and separate between them. In this church in Thyratira was a remnant according to the election of grace, and this election was to be revealed in those composing the remnant being given the overcoming ability of Jesus to discern between the false and the true, and to be separated from the false unto the true. Thus, whether it is Paul or any other man that overcomes error, in the last analysis it is always Jesus. He is the overcoming one always, no matter in what subject of his power the overcoming is manifested. To Jesus, therefore, and not to Paul, or any one else, was given power over the nations. Jesus said after his resurrection from the dead, All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me. Therefore by his resurrection from the dead he is declared to be the Son of God with power. The reason why Christ is given power over all flesh is that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him. It was necessary for him to have power over all flesh in order for him to effectively enliven those that were his by election. Only by having power over the nonelect could he reach the elect. Thus, to say that God predestinates everything connected with the salvation of his people, and nothing else, is but half a truth, since that expression infers there are some things not connected with the salvation of God’s people, whereas everything that comes to pass everywhere, and at any time, is somehow or other working for the good of the elect, and for God’s declarative glory. Thus the authority of the overcoming Jesus extends over all the nations, being given power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father had given him. We are told in this book of Revelation that God has a people among all the kindreds, tribes, tongues and peoples of the earth, that there are Gentiles as well as Jews. Thus they are scattered among all the nations. Jesus, being the good Shepherd, knows his sheep, he calleth them by their name and they follow him. Now, in order to successfully call each and every one of his people unto him. from wherever they have been scattered, he must have power over all the nations, so as to overcome every obstacle in his people’s way. This necessarily requires him to have power over the devil and all his works, over all men and all their works, so as to gather out unto himself and his works all that the Father gave him in eternity before time began. This rule over the nations is with a rod of iron; that is, not one more and not one less than those chosen in him can or shall be called unto him. This is relentless as iron and as inflexible. Further, every one chosen in him shall come to him, they cannot remain away, no matter who or where they are. This mighty Ruler moves mountains and dries up seas, if necessary, in order to come at those he loves and seeks unto salvation. In the vision which Nebuchadnezzar had, he saw a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which smote the image upon the feet that were of iron and clay and brake them in pieces. Then the iron and clay and brass and silver and gold, of which the image was composed, became as the chaff of the summer threshingfloors, and the wind carried them away. This image represented certain kingdoms or nations of the earth. The stone cutout of the mountain, and which smote the image, was Jesus. The setting up of the kingdom of God uproots all other kingdoms. “As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers.” When Jesus’ rule is made manifest in his people, they are broken-hearted and contrite-spirited. All fleshly ambition, pride and vainglory, all self-righteousness and creature wisdom, are cast down. The one in whom these are becomes less than nothing at the feet of the great Ruler, broken to shivers as a potter’s vessel. Surely they are potter’s vessels, for God is their Potter, and they are the work of his hands. All that fall upon this stone, Jesus, shall be broken. Every one that is brought to the end of the earth in his experience does fall on this stone, on this foundation that cannot be moved, this elect and precious corner-stone, and every such one is broken in heart and contrite in spirit. It is at fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. None know this fearfulness but the children of God. They know, too, that fearful as it is, it is the safest place for them to fall. They rather that God be their Judge than man, for God looks upon the heart, and not upon the outward appearance, as does man. Further, they know that the Judge of all the earth will do right. The overcoming power of Jesus is seen in his gathering his people from the ends of the earth and in their being broken to pieces upon him. It is a hard and bitter experience, but then, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God.” Blessed is he that endureth these things for righteousness’ sake. The poor in spirit have the kingdom of heaven. The rule of Jesus, full as it is of the hardness of iron to our natural powers, is tempered with mercy and loving-kindness to the faith of those that trust in him.
Written at the request of Mrs. M. I. Davie, of Fulton, Ky. L.
Elder H. H. Lefferts
Signs of the Times
Volume 84, No. 23.
December 1, 1916