"AFTER THE DUE ORDER"
by Edward Byrd
From Abraham to Christ God had a special-people, a covenant people. In fact, there was a seed of faith earlier than Abraham. It is unrealistic to presume that nobody was saved except the Hebrews. In fact, not even all of them were saved. Then what was the advantage of being a Jew? (Rom. 3:1).
Evidently certain promises to Abraham and his seed set that people apart. The distinction required that they walk a straighter path than other men, for to them were committed the oracles of God. Their failure to so walk brought about the cutting off of that people, except for a remnant. Into this remnant God has engrafted believing Gentiles, (Rom. 11). Because Israel lived under law, but failed to adhere to the requirements of that law, most of the nation lost the benefits of the special promises made by covenant to them.
But God has raised up a Second Adam who would keep His Law, and has given to Him a people who will walk in His ways. If they do not they too will be cut off, (Rom. 1l:21-22). This new order is administered by the Holy Spirit since the
Christ returned to the Father. Those who abide in this order are like the branches of a vine (John 15), and receive life-giving strength and fruit-bearing capacity from Him to whom they are joined. But if they do not continue in Him they are taken away. (We are NOT speaking of being saved and then lost, as all should know. We are speaking of God's order and of covenant relationship.) Only the remnant of the saved who recognize their own insufficiency and strictly walk by faith (abide in Him) may retain this vital connection of abiding.
There are outward marks of this faith relationship for the people of God today, just as there were for Israel. The marks do NOT MAKE THE RELATIONSHIP but their symbolism points to a proper ORDER. Baptism is essential, as was circumcision, but either can be practiced outwardly in meaningless fashion. But, to ignore the marks is to ignore the facts they symbolize. This makes the marks essential to the DUE ORDER for today, just as a lack of circumcision in Israel during the wilderness wandering allowed them to remain under the reproach of Egypt and called for a Gilgal (rolling away; Josh. 5). This reproach prevented their taking the
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Passover (vs. 10), and so does the reproach of the world (Egypt) today prevent the believer from going to the Lord's table until he again recognizes his death to sin and identification with Christ (baptism). Continuing to neglect these symbols results in a cutting off from Christ (Gal. 5:4), that is, should one go back to dependence upon external forms and the strength of his flesh to do God's will he "falls from grace". (Do not allow the use of this expression by Armenians to deceive you; one is not lost again in hell, but loses covenant relationship because he has departed from God's due order and brings a breach upon himself (cf. 1 Chr. 15:13).
The natural (soulish) man, characterized by a sin nature, strives to dominate and rule the life. Only Christ should rule the life. If the outer or natural man predominates, the result will be a breach.
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LONGING FOR THE HARVEST
The sower of God's holy word
Went forth his seed to sow
On many a hot and barren plain,
Among the high and low,
As He beheld the needy fields,
The sower voiced a prayer:
"May, for Thy Name's own glory,
This seed rich fruitage bear".
Some by the trampled wayside fell,
And Satan's watchful eye
Was quick to see and snatch away,
While some the passers-by
Did quickly crush beneath their
Till in that heart no trace
Was left of that which had been
Of God's redeeming grace.
Some fell on hard and stony ground,
Where was no depth of earth;
The Word they did receive with joy,
But failed to see its worth;
When winds of persecution came
From relative and caste,
Their tender faith could not endure
But withered in the blast.
Some fell among the cruel thorns,
The Word in truth they heard,
And toward the better things of life
Their hearts within were
But filled anon with anxious care,
They failed to trust the Lord.
Enduring fruitage had they none,
For lust had choked the Word.
Some fell on good & fertile ground.
Lord, give us eyes to see
Where Thou hast thus prepared the
That we who sowers be
May find the souls who wait to hear
Thy sacred Word today,
Who long to meet and know Thee,
The true and living way.
The harvest time is coming soon,
When sowing days are o'er,
When Christ shall come to claim His
And time shall be no more;
Lord, grant that from this needy
A ransomed host shall be
Assembled there to sing Thy praise
Through all eternity.
-- Olga Noreen
FORGIVENESS IS IMPORTANT
Since differences and disagreements inevitably arise among God's own people, we must ever be tolerant and ready to forgive -- thus, following the example and teaching of God, Who, for Christ's sake, has forgiven us, (Eph. 4:32). Whoever refuses to forgive an offending brother (who asks it), gives striking proof that he has never fully understood his own indebtedness to divine mercy and grace. It is a foolish and ignorant thing to pray: "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12), unless we, from the depths of our hearts, sincerely, readily, cheerfully, universally, freely and forever forgive those who have offended us. In fact, it is to pray that God NOT FORGIVE US AT ALL!
If we truly forgive those who have offended us -- bearing no malice, meditating no revenge, and speaking no cruel word against them -- then our heavenly Father will also forgive us. But we need never expect to enjoy His forgiving love
so long as we cherish an unforgiving spirit, Jesus said: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses", (Matt. 6:14-15).
Every child of God has a moral obligation to forgive. He must consider his own aptness to so offend as to NEED forgiveness, (Gal. 6:1). He should be concerned to follow God's example, (Matt. 18:32-33). Even if there were no other reason for forgiving others, it should be enough that God has commanded it, (Matt. 6:25-26).
Who can imagine that God's command is unreasonable? Can YOU afford to ignore it? Would YOU rather pretend to have no need of forgiveness than to forgive another? Has not God already forgiven you far more than you are able to forgive? If He has so graciously and mercifully forgiven our sin-debts, surely we ought to readily and joyful1y forgive the trespasses of a brother!
JUST GIVE IT ALL TO JESUS
I finally took the time to think --
Just left the dishes in the sink,
I gave to Jesus my work-worn soul;
He gave me strength & made me
I gave my lack of time to Him,
He filled my life up to the brim.
I gave Him all my anxiousness.
He made some beauty of my mess.
I let Him take my hungry heart;
And Jesus satisfied each part.
My patience had worn very thin;
But Jesus made it strong again.
It finally hit me -- it never fails-
Instead of having to "chew my
If I just gave to Jesus FIRST
The trials in which I'm so well-
Then He would bear the weight for me
and set my weary spirit free.
"AFTER THE DUE ORDER....Continued
Therefore, we must not presume that it makes no difference so long as we are sincere. Doubtless, Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, were
SINCERE WHEN THEY OFFERED STRANGE Fire. What was strange about it? Fire is fire, isn't it? It was "strange" because they were but servants to their father, the High Priest, and all must be done at his word. And by no means would Korah, Dathan and Abiram be allowed to be priests. It would violate God's order. Yes, they were Levites but must submit to God's order of the priesthood established in Aaron. It is presumption to claim the priesthood apart from union with the High Priest, Christ. No, all believers can NOT be priests, for all do not recognize that all authority belongs to Him. For them to presume to offer in worship is "strange fire".
God's order for this age he's set His authority in His Son. His "fulness" dwells in Him. His body is to manifest that fulness today, (Eph. 1:22-23). The body is His church. All believers cannot be that body any more than all believers can be priests. He sent the Comforter to that body so that He might take the things of Christ and show them to His members, the church. As they behold His glory they are changed into the same image, (2 Cor. 3:18). This is God's goal for a special people. This is His Bride. She invites all believers to come. If they do not, then they cannot bear fruit and will be taken away. He would take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ, (2 Cor. 10:5). If we are to have His nature and bear His image, receive His glory and share in His rule in the kingdom we must accept His "order" by faith.