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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    A. T. JONES

    (Continue from page 364)

    The second chapter of Colossians tells the same story; beginning with the twelfth verse:—GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.1

    Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [made alive] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.2

    Now the first verse of the third chapter:—GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.3

    If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.4

    Then every one that is risen is to seek the things that are above. Whereabouts above? How high above? — As high above as the place where Christ sits. But how can I seek the things where Christ sits unless I am near enough there to look around and seek those things, and put my mind upon them? It is all in that.GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.5

    If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God ... For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.6

    Shall we take that precisely as the Lord gives it, without any querying? I know it is wonderful; I know that to a good many it seems too good to be true; but there is nothing God does that is too good to be true, because God does it. If it were said of anybody else, it would be too good to be true, because they could not do it; but when God says anything, it is not too good to be true; it is good enough to be true, because he does it. Therefore, brethren, let us rise; and that will separate us from the world; that will put us in the place where long ago the prophet was told to look a little higher, to see those who were in the right way. But, O, shall we not drop everything, and die with him, and take the death that we have in him, and let that death that has been wrought in him work in us? And then that life which has been wrought in him, that power which has been wrought in him, will do for us what it did for him. That will take us out of Babylon; there will be none of Babylon’s material about us at all. We will be so far from Babylon and all the Babylonish garments, that we will be seated at the right hand of God, clothed in heavenly apparel; and that is the only clothing that becomes the people now; for we are soon to enter in to the wedding supper, and the fine linen with which the bride and guests are clothed is the righteousness of the saints. But he supplies it all. We have it all in him.GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.7

    Let us look at this in another way. I am not particular to get away from this thought to-night, and it is good enough to dwell upon all the time we shall have this evening. Let us look at it from another side now. We have studied for several lessons the fact that he in human nature was ourselves; and he in us and we in him met temptation and the power of Satan, and conquered it all in this world because God was with him; God was dealing with him; God was holding him and keeping him. He surrendered all, and God kept him; in him we surrender all, and God keeps us. And the Lord’s dealings with him are the Lord’s dealings with us; and that led to crucifixion; that is true, — the crucifixion of his righteous, divine self; and in that it leads us to the crucifixion of our evil self, which separates from God. In him is destroyed the enmity. So God went with him, and went with him in human nature, all the way through this world; but God did not get done with his human nature in this world.GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.8

    The Father was not done dealing with Christ in his human nature, nor done dealing with human nature in Christ, when the Son had been nailed to the cross. He had something more to do with human nature than to take it only to the cross; he took it even unto death; but he did not stop there with human nature. He took it to the cross and into death, but he did not stop there; he did not leave it there; he brought forth human nature from the tomb, immortalized. He did all this; but he was not yet done with human nature; for he took that human nature which had been raised from the dead, immortalized, and he raised it up and set it at his own right hand, glorified with the fullness of the brightness of the glory of God - in heaven itself. So that God’s mind concerning human nature, concerning you and me, is never met, never fulfilled, until he finds us at his own right hand, glorified.GCB February 27, 1895, page 365.9

    There is revivifying power in that blessed truth. In Jesus Christ, the Father has set before the universe the thought of his mind concerning mankind. O, how much, how far, a man misses every purpose, every idea, of his existence, who is content with anything less than that which God has prepared for him! Brethren, do you not see that we have been content to stay too low down? that we have been content to have our minds too far from what God has for us? That is a fact. But now, as he comes and calls us into this, let us go where he will lead us. It is faith that does it; it is not presumption; it is the only right thing to do. Every one that does not do it will be left so far behind that he will perish in a little while. Here the heavenly Shepherd is leading us; he is leading us into green pastures and by the still waters, and by those still waters, too; that flow from the throne of God - the waters of life itself. Let us drink deep, and live.GCB February 27, 1895, page 366.1

    Now we can look at that yet farther. I will say again that the Lord, in order to show mankind what he has prepared for us, what his purpose is concerning each man, has set before us an example, so that every one in the world can see God’s purpose concerning himself, and can see it fully worked out. God’s purpose concerning us in this world is to keep us from sinning in spite of all the power of sin and Satan. His purpose concerning himself and us in this world is that God shall be manifested in sinful flesh. That is, in his power he himself shall be manifested instead of ourselves. It is, therefore, that our wicked self shall be crucified, shall be dead and buried, and that we shall be raised from that deadness in sin and uncircumcision of the flesh to newness of life in Jesus Christ and in God, and seated at his right hand, glorified. That is the Lord’s purpose concerning you and me. Now let us read it: Romans 8:28:—GCB February 27, 1895, page 366.2

    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.GCB February 27, 1895, page 366.3

    How do we know it? — He not only says so, but he has worked it out before our eyes; he has given a living demonstration of it. So he carries us right through that now. “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” What purpose? — Why, his eternal purpose concerning all creatures, concerning man with the rest, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. That purpose from eternity is purposed in Jesus Christ; and when we are in Jesus Christ, that purpose embraces us. When we yield to Christ, sinking ourselves in him, we become a part of that eternal purpose; and then just as certainly as God’s purpose is to succeed, we shall be all right; for we are a part of his purpose, Then just as certainly as Satan can do nothing against God’s purpose, so certainly he can do nothing against us; for we are in that purpose. Just as certainly, then, as all that Satan does, and all that the enemies of God’s truth can do, working against God and his divine purpose, and at last all these things against us, — so certainly as all this cannot defeat or cripple that eternal purpose, so certainly it cannot defeat or cripple us, because in Christ we are a fixture in that purpose. O, it is all in him; and God has created us anew in him.GCB February 27, 1895, page 366.4

    Read on then. God tells us how we know that all things work together for good to those who are called according to God’s purpose. “For” — what does that mean? — It means the same here as “because;” that is, we know this because God has done something here to demonstrate it so that we can know it. What is this then by which we know it? — We know it because “whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” What is God’s predestination, then? What is the design that he has fixed beforehand, that he has prepared beforehand for every man in the world? For he has foreknown all; he has called all. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 45:22.GCB February 27, 1895, page 366.5

    What is the destiny that he has prepared beforehand for every one? — O, it is that we should be conformed to the image of his Son. Where? — While we are in this world, conformed to the image of his Son, as his Son was in this world; but he did not get done with his Son in this world; he took him from this world. Then as certainly as his eternal purpose carried Christ beyond this world, that predestined purpose is concerning us beyond this world, and carries us beyond this world. And as certainly as his predestined purpose is that we shall be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in this world, as he was in this world; so certain it is that we shall be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in that other world, as he is in that other world.GCB February 27, 1895, page 366.6

    God’s eternal purpose prepared beforehand for every one of us, for you, for me, is that we shall be like Jesus Christ as he is, glorified, and at the right hand of God to-night. In Christ he has demonstrated this. In Christ, from birth to the heavenly throne, he has shown that that is his purpose concerning every man. Thus he has demonstrated before the universe that such is his great purpose for human beings.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.1

    God’s ideal of a man is not as man stands in this world. Take the finest figure of a man that ever stood in this world, — the tallest, the most symmetrical, the best educated, — the finest in every respect, the fullest, completest man in himself - is that God’s ideal of man? — No. You remember that we found back in one of our lessons that God’s ideal of a man is God and the man joined in that new man that is made in Christ Jesus by the destruction of the enmity. (BULLETIN, pp.193, 194, 216, 217.) That new man that is made of the union of God and man is God’s ideal man.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.2

    But yet take that man as he stands in this world, in the perfect symmetry of human perfection, and unite God with him so that only God is manifested in him, that is not yet God’s full ideal of a man; for the man is still in this world. The ideal of God concerning that man is never met until that man stands at God’s right hand in heaven glorified. O, he has prepared great things for us, and I propose to enjoy them! Yes, sir, I propose to open up and let the wondrous power work, and enjoy it as I go.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.3

    Read on therefore. “Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.” O, “He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” “He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one.” “Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called [those in whom that call meets its purpose, and in whom the call is effective. He calls every soul, that is true on his part; but the call does not meet its purpose; only those who respond and meet the purpose of that call, in whom the call takes hold], them he also justified: and whom he justified [mark, not those who justify themselves, those whom he justified], them he also glorified.”GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.4

    Then do you not see that God’s purpose concerning man is not fulfilled until man is glorified? Therefore Jesus came into the world as we do; he took our human nature as we do, by birth; he went through this world in human nature - God dealing with human nature; he went to the cross, and died - God dealing with human nature on the cross and in the grave, and God raising him and setting him at the right hand of God, glorified - that is his eternal purpose. That is God’s eternal predestination; That is the plan he has arranged and fixed for you. Will you let him carry out the plan? We cannot do it. He must. But he has shown his ability to do it. He has proven that; nobody can dispute that. He has proven his ability to take us and fulfill his purpose concerning human nature, concerning sinful flesh as it is in this world. And I am glad of it.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.5

    But see here: “Whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified,” — What did he do next? — He glorified them. Now a question: those whom he justifies he glorifies; he cannot glorify them until he has justified them. What means, then, this special message of justification that God has been sending these years to the church and to the world? It means that God is preparing to glorify his people. But we are glorified only at the coming of the Lord; therefore this special message of justification which God has been sending us is to prepare us for glorification at the coming of the Lord. In this, God is giving to us the strongest sign that it is possible for him to give, that the next thing is the coming of the Lord.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.6

    He will prepare us; we cannot prepare ourselves. We tried a long while to justify ourselves, to make ourselves just right, and thus get ready for the coming of the Lord. We have tried to do so well that we could approve ourselves, and be satisfied, and say, “Now I can meet the Lord.” But we never were satisfied. No; it is not done that way. Whom he justified, them he glorified. Now since God justifies, it is his own work; and when he is ready for us to meet the Lord, it will be all right, because it is he himself who prepares us to meet the Lord. Therefore, we trust in him, we yield to him, and take his justification; and, depending only on that, we shall be ready to meet the Lord Jesus whenever God chooses to send him.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.7

    Thus he is preparing now to glorify us. Again I say, It is a fact that we have been content to live too far below the wondrous privileges that God has prepared for us. Let the precious truth raise us to where he wants us.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.8

    No master workman looks at a piece of work he is doing, as it is half finished, and criticizes that, and begins to find fault with that. There may be faults about it; but it is not finished yet. And while he works on it to take away all the faults, still he looks at it as it is in his finished purpose, in his own original plan, in his own mind.GCB February 27, 1895, page 367.9

    It would be an awful thing if the wondrous Master Workman of all were to look at us as we are half finished, and say, That is good for nothing. No, he doesn’t do that. He looks at us as we are in his eternal purpose in Christ, and goes on with his wondrous work. You and I may look at it and say, “I don’t see how the Lord is ever going to make a Christian out of me, and make me fit for heaven, or anything else.” That may be so, as we see it. And if he looked at us as we look at ourselves, and if he were as poor a workman as we, that would be all there could be of it; we could never be of any worth. But he is not such a workman as we, and therefore he does not look at us as we see ourselves. No; he looks at us as we are in his finished purpose. Although we may appear all rough, marred, and scarred now, as we are here and in ourselves; he sees us as we are yonder in Christ.GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.1

    He is the Workman. And as we have confidence in him, we will let him carry on the work; and as he carries it on, we will look at it as he sees it. Has he not given us an example of his workmanship? God has set before us in Christ his complete workmanship in sinful flesh. In Christ he has completed it, and set it there at his right hand. Now he says to us: “Look at that. That is what I am able to do with sinful flesh. Now you put your confidence in me, and let me work, and you watch and see what I am going to do. You trust my workmanship. Let me attend to the work, and you trust me, and I will carry on the work.” It is the Lord doing it all. It is not our task at all.GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.2

    Now you can go outside of this Tabernacle, and look up at that window (referring to the window at the back of the pulpit), and it looks like only a mess of melted glass thrown together, black and unsightly. But come inside and look from within, and you will see it as a beautiful piece of workmanship; and written there in clear texts: “Justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;” the law of God written out in full; and the words: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.3

    Likewise you and I can look at ourselves, as we too often do, from the outside, and all looks awry, dark, and ungainly, and appears as though it were only a tangled mass. God looks at it from the inside, as it is in Jesus. And when we are in Jesus, and look through the light that God has given us; when we look from the inside, as we are in Jesus Christ, we shall also see, written in clear texts by the Spirit of God: “Justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We shall see the whole law of God written in the heart and shining in the life, and the words: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” All this we shall see in the light of God, as that light is reflected and shines in Jesus Christ.GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.4

    Now I want you to know that this is certainly so. Way back in the BULLETIN - bottom of page 182 - we have this sentence: “I would that every soul who sees the evidences of the truth.” — Do you see them, brethren? Are there not evidences enough here to save us? — “I would that every soul who sees the evidences of the truth would accept Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.” Do you take him now as your personal Saviour in the fullness in which he has revealed himself where he is, and ourselves in him where he is? Do you? Then read this:—GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.5

    Those who thus accept Christ are looked upon by God not as they are in Adam, but as they are in Jesus Christ, as the sons and daughters of God.GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.6

    He looks at us as we are in Christ; for in him he has perfected his plan concerning us. Are you glad of it? Let us take it in, brethren. O! it does my soul good day by day, as the Lord opens up these things! It is just as good to me, as I long for it to be to you; so let us receive it in the fullness of that self-abandoned faith that Jesus Christ has brought to us. Let us take it, and thank God for it day by day. Let the power of it work in us, raise us from the dead, and set us at God’s right hand in the heavenly places in Jesus Christ, where he sits. Why should we not have a praise-meeting for what God has done for us? It is Sabbath. Could we not enjoy it? What do you want to say?GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.7

    [Here followed a praise-meeting, of which a Baptist minister who was present, seeing the large numbers praising God all at once, remarked: “Some might be ready to say that such a number of voices makes confusion. But with all speaking together the praises of the Lord, surely, the Lord and the angels see only perfect harmony, and so do we.”]GCB February 27, 1895, page 368.8

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