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Cause for Rejoicing in Spiritual Israel


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HOW wonderful to know that our Christ is not the subject of a myth or some fairy story! We are worshiping a living, risen, present Savior today, who has said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." He never gave a false hope.

We have a heavenly Guest in our midst to give us heavenly things. If you want salvation, Jesus will save you; if you are seeking sanctification, He is the Sanctifier. He is the One who sends the Comforter. We thank God for the power of the Holy Ghost. He is our Teacher. That is why there is unity — He teaches His people the same thing.

A portion of God's Word in Nehemiah reads:

"And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

"And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. ...

"So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

"And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.

"Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:5-10).

This was a time for rejoicing and praise to the living God for the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah had been a cupbearer for the king of Babylon. He received the news, while serving in the palace of the king, that the wall which once surrounded Jerusalem was broken down, the gates burned with fire, and that the remnant of the people were in great affliction and distress. When Nehemiah heard this, he fasted and prayed many days.

As he went in before the king his countenance was very sorrowful. The king, noting his sad countenance, asked Nehemiah what was wrong. Nehemiah told the king about the conditions in Jerusalem, and asked per­mission to return to the city of his fathers. •The king graciously granted him permission and assisted him in many ways.

Upon reaching Jerusalem, Nehemiah, taking a few men with him, rode around the city by night and viewed the broken walls. Then Nehe­miah gathered the Jews together and told them he had come to build up the wall. It was in troublous times. There were Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, and false brethren opposing them, who would have torn down God's work and discouraged them; but the people said, "Let us rise up and build." And they rose and built the wall, with a sword in one hand and a trowel — an instrument to work with — in the other.

When the walls were built and the gates were set up, and every­thing was in readiness, the pulpit was made and the true worship of God began again in Jerusalem. The book of the Law was brought out and all the people wept — perhaps for joy that the worship of God was restored. The Law of God was read, and they could see where they had gone amiss and had backslidden. Then Ezra told the people not to mourn, but to re­joice in the Lord. He said to them: "This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep.... neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

There is a difference between a Christian and a sinner. A sinner ought to weep; but a Christian ought to praise the Lord, for the joy of the Lord is his strength from day to day.

Some people believe that a Christian should never smile or laugh, and should always wear mourning clothes. We recently answered a letter from one who asked about that, and we told him that God's Word says to "rejoice evermore," and if one is merry let him "sing psalms."

A Christian is never going around sad and despondent. If he has real victory in his soul he has the joy of the Lord there. He can praise the Lord under every circumstance. He may be going through deep waters and through fiery trials, but if he has the real thing in his soul he is forging ahead every moment; for his confidence is in God. He knows God is on His throne; he knows Jesus, his Captain, never lost a battle. Jesus, the great Shepherd of his soul, leads in green pastures and by the still waters; and He will make the Christian's cup to run over with the joy of the Lord.

The greatest thing in the world is this holy, clean, uncompromising Gospel. We cannot afford for one moment to let down on any part of it. It is all the Word of God. God did not leave out anything needed to strengthen us in our warfare, an He did not add anything more than is needed. It is a full, rounded-out, complete Gospel that will meet every need of every man that walks on the earth. And it is the believing of the whole Book that counts.

We are living in the last days, in days of apostasy, of the "falling away," in days when many of the older churches that once had the full Gospel and believed in the Blood Atonement, believed in the doctrine of sanctification and the whole truth of God, now are denying what they once believed. God has sent the Latter Rain of His Spirit and raised up min­isters in these last days, to preach His mighty Gospel, to hold this stand­ard, regardless of men and devils, and die rather than compromise or pull down the standard. This is a standard so high that very few people will take the way. It is so high it means having to say good-by to the world, the flesh, and the devil — if you want to make the goal and meet Jesus in the Rapture.

Jesus says, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." If we take this Word of God it is life to our bones; it is life to our souls. It is eternal life! He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ hath eternal life. Many people say they believe on Him, but the man who truly believes on Him is the one who believes the whole truth, who doesn't deny anything in this Book; he believes it just as it is. He accepts it all and lines up to it. And when he does, God blesses him and gives him vic­tory every moment of his life. We can afford to take our stand for this glorious Book. It is our standard of Christian living.

We are told in the Bible there are three who bear record in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost (I John 5:7). Christ Himself, who is the Second Person of the Trinity, is the Word. John the Apostle says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." Thank God, we are among the Gentile people of today who believe in Jesus and receive Him as the Son of God, our Christ, our coming King! He takes care of us, prospers us, guides us along the pathway of life, and gives us that wonderful hope in our soul. What a salvation! Today the Lord says to His people, "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" (Ephesians 6:10).

There is power in this Bible — that is, if we believe it. There is enough power to raise the dead, to make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, - and the lame to walk. God hasn't changed; man has changed. The world has gone into unbelief and apostasy, but there are people striving and contending for the faith which was once delivered to the saints — not only contending, but they have determined to have it.

The Word will stand when everything else goes down, when sinners are groping in darkness and crying for the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb of God.

Live in this Book; adorn the doctrine of God your Savior; put on the whole armor. We are in the evil days, and God says to put on the whole armor. The whole armor means having your feet shod with the prepara­tion of the Gospel of peace. It means having on the breastplate of right­eousness, the shield of faith, which will quench every fiery dart of the wicked. It means taking the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We will need the whole armor; God doesn't want us to be careless and quit with just half the armor on.

If you haven't the whole armor, the devil will send a fiery dart that will cause you to take your eyes off Jesus or to compromise the truth. Or the enemy will put a little doubt into your mind telling you it is not neces­sary to do all that Jesus has commanded you. But if you have the whole armor, Satan will never be able to get through it with his fiery darts.

People are falling down concerning the truth — they say they believe this part of the Word, but not that. We must believe it all! We must believe in the doctrines of the Word. These doctrines include Holy Ghost convic­tion for sin; making restitution for wrongs we have done our fellow men, and paying back outlawed debts. That is one thing the world doesn't think we have to do; but if we ever get right with God and stay right, we are going to clean up that old life and make restitution for past wrongs.

We believe in sanctification, that wonderful second work of grace that makes our heart pure. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." I want to see God. Don't you? We cannot see God unless our heart is pure. We cannot have a heart that is pure unless we are sanctified through the Blood of Jesus Christ. A born-again experience doesn't make a man's heart pure; he still has the carnal mind and inbred sin. Sanctification removes it, eradicates the old sin-nature, so that it does not sprout again. That was Wesley's doctrine. We believe it and preach it; and someday we hope to shake hands with John Wesley. He will thank God that some people believed the truth in this 20th century.

We believe one receives the baptism of the Holy Ghost after he re­ceives the experience of sanctification. That gift of power is received only upon a sanctified life. The Holy Ghost does not come into an unholy temple. If your heart is not clean, your so-called baptism is fictitious; it is coun­terfeit.

Let us stand for the truth as it is in the Bible; let us hold the stand­ard if it takes our life.

The nation of Israel rejoiced when the walls of Jerusalem were re­built and the true worship of God restored. There is cause for rejoicing in the hearts of God's people that the walls of God's truths are still standing. His people have a mind to work, in these days of compromise and opposi­tion, and to stand for the old-time religion.


By Rev J. Robbins
 

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