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    July 1903

    “Present Truth” The Medical Missionary 12, 7.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the fortieth chapter of Isaiah we have what we may call a specific command, as direct a command as there is in the Bible. When we have read it, we shall understand it, and know to whom it was addressed, and to what time it is specially applicable:-MEDM July 1903, page 167.1

    “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to (literally, ‘to the heart of’) Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!”MEDM July 1903, page 167.2

    Here is a command to speak comfortably to God’s people; to comfort their hearts; to prepare the way of the Lord and make a straight way for him; Cry with a loud voice, “Behold your God.” There are three specific commands, altogether forming one whole.MEDM July 1903, page 168.1

    The next verse tells us when it applies. “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” Many of you will involuntarily think of the last chapter of Revelation, “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” You will recognize that verse in Revelation as applying to the coming of the Lord, “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me,” the time, “when the Son of man shall come in the clouds of heaven,” and then shall he reward every man according to his deeds,-as the Saviour himself said. Here we have the same thing, “Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him: he shall feed his flock like a shepherd shall gather the lambs in his arms and carry them in his bosom,” etc. Then, this injunction, “Behold your God,” is a part of the preparation for the Lord when he shall come with strong hands, bringing his reward to his servants, rewarding every one as his work shall be.MEDM July 1903, page 168.2

    It is not only possible, but it is an absolute necessity for men to behold the Lord, so desirable is it, such a wonderful privilege is it,-it is the sum of all the blessings that God can bestow upon his faithful ones. We have it in the last chapter of Revelation, at the time where there shall be no more curse, the former things having passed away, his servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face; his name shall be in their foreheads. For the servants of God to behold his face is the sum of all the blessings that God can bestow upon man. And so the Psalmist says, “As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness, and shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” Still further, the Saviour said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” That, then, is one of the glorious privileges of the pure in heart,-to see God. In the book of Hebrews, we have this injunction, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”MEDM July 1903, page 168.3

    Now, we have, as a beginning, Christ himself revealed. “No man hath seen God at any time, but the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,”-hath manifested him; so when Phillip said, “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” Christ said, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Phillip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” That means that just as really as the apostles could see Jesus, when he was there among them, so really can men behold God.MEDM July 1903, page 168.4

    Take, for instance, the word of the Psalmist, in the twenty-seventh Psalm. “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” When does this apply? In the world to come?-Why, of course it applies then, undoubtedly it does; but read the next verses, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me; therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.” That is to say that when the Psalmist was permitted continuously to behold the beauty of the Lord in his temple, dwelling in his house, he would be kept in safety in the time of trouble, and that would be his safety.MEDM July 1903, page 168.5

    And this agrees exactly with the ninety-first psalm, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” So this dwelling in close connection with the Lord, and beholding his face, and seeing God, is an absolute necessity to protection in the time of trouble, in the time of pestilence, and of war and trouble of every kind; abiding in the house of God, to recognize his presence, look upon his face, to behold his beauty continuously, this is the only safety of man. And thus it is that we have this for the last message. It is a message to prepare for the world to come. The message is to those who hear, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert an highway of our God.” The message is, speak ye comforting words,-speak ye to my people and proclaim the message of salvation to them. The message is, “Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God.”MEDM July 1903, page 169.1

    (To be continued.)

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