In all its terms and
meaning, all that we could desire, and
we believe all that Thou dost desire, would be fulfilled... Not as
a part of
our programme, but from our very hearts we say, "Lord, Break Thou
the bread of
life to me." Thou art the Bread of Life. Give us of Thyself
this morning. May
there be a true ministration of Christ in this hour. Send Thy
Spirit, Lord, in
a new way to us. Open our eyes that we may see Thee, Lord.
Answer this prayer
for Thine own name's sake, amen.
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter one, verses one and part of
having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by
and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken
unto us in His Son,
Whom He appointed Heir of all things...." And the peril
alongside of our reading of those words is the peril of
familiarity. What I
mean is this: that after more than sixty years of being actively
in ministry of
the Word, therefore closely acquainted with the Scriptures,
these words are
more alive and more meaningful today than ever. So it ought to
be. My trouble
is that I haven't long enough to live with these
words, and with this letter.
You ought not to know your Bible, in a certain sense, you ought,
and we ought,
to be coming to it every time as though we did not know it. And
it ought to be
to us like that: something which we really, after all, do not
know. I cannot
convey to you my own sensing of this. I can only make a
statement like that, as
to how it ought to
be. I'm not coming
back to you with some addresses which I have made up out of the
letter to the
Hebrews. The trouble is, the difficulty, is to convey that sense
vitality, urgency that is present with me in this letter, as in
other parts, of
course. It must come to you in that way and that is why we pray:
Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me that He may touch mine eyes and
make me see
beyond the sacred page." Beyond the sacred page - that is
where we have to
see. We see the letter, we see the page, we see the words, we
know them. They
are so familiar, but it is something in and beyond the actual
writing, that we
have got to see. The Lord help us this morning.
Now having repeated those words at the beginning of this letter,
and I trust
that you have already grasped the significance of the
introductory words which
are really a comprehending of the whole letter or the truth that
is in the
letter, I trust you have seen the two things that comprehend
this letter. In
times past: fragments, pieces, portions, bits, aspects. Now: all
that and much
more gathered up together, comprehended, brought together in
more different portions, no more different times, no more
different ways, but
now, one time, one way, one
It is all here. Fulness is reached. This is the other time, the
time, the ultimate time of fulness, completeness.
So this letter brings us the ultimate fulness of all things in
the Son, not
only comprehending, not only fulness, but finality. This is the
end; there is nothing beyond this. It is the end of all God's
Who did speak, but in
different ways, forms, methods, has now
spoken finally, fully and finally; nothing beyond. We ought to
with that, you know.
I don't know what you are looking for, what you are expecting,
what you are
praying for. God has given all
you could ever ask or pray for. It is present, it is now. He has
revelation to give, only of what He has given. Revelation now
is not new truth, it is only light on the Truth. Are you clear
That's where we are then, with these first words comprehending
Now I want you just to go over to chapter twelve of this letter,
just to pick
out again our governing words. Remember what we said yesterday
about the two,
two, all-inclusive, governing words which are running right
through the New
Testament? Chapter twelve, verse eighteen: "For ye are not
are not come. I'm not
with that this morning. Ye are not
come - then what? Verse twenty-two: "But ye are come...."
Not - but.
And I'm not going to follow on with neither of what is said in
those two words here. Not this morning, that comes later, the
Lord willing, as
we get into that tomorrow. But here you have in these two
statements, verses 18
through 21, a comprehending of all that has been. It is very
we shall see; and then
it's ruled out,
finalized, with this word "not." Then with verse
twenty-two, the introduction
of another great order of things; wonderful, beyond... beyond our
am not exaggerating, dear friends, when I say that I could go on
for a whole
year here on verses twenty-two and onward. The fulness and
profundity is so great
because it comprehends the Bible. But leave that for the time
being. It is this
great divide between the "not" and the "but". The
not and the but...
and as I said at the beginning yesterday, we are at this time
what we have come to in the advent of Christ and His Cross. What
we have come
to, what we are.
I wonder if you will ask this simple question, "What are you?" I
your answer or answers would be. Perhaps you would say, "Well, I
am a child of
God. Well, I am a Christian." All the answers would be manifold.
morning I want to focus all that as the Lord enables, to tell you
what we are.
then is the great, great divide between the "Not" and the
as concentrated in this one letter. Other letters are very far
great and comprehensive; but in this letter, the particular
meaning is that all
that lies on the two sides of the Cross is concentrated
in this letter called the Letter to the Hebrews.
Now, to get right to our business, you notice that I am not
dealing with the
detail, only with the general statement. Under the not - "ye
are not come
to..." - under that "not," you have the
constituting of the former
Israel. You are taken to Sinai, and at Sinai the former Israel
a nation. They were a people, a rabble, a multitude before, and
multitude at that; now, here at Sinai, they are constituted the
the former Israel. They were Hebrews made into Israel. Hebrews,
Israel as a nation. I know the name goes back before that,
Israel, as to the
person - Jacob's new name and his family - but here they are
constituted as a
nation out from the
from the nations, distinct
nations, a nation called collectively 'Israel'.
in history, something new among the nations, something new in
this world, on
this earth. A new beginning of God: God's act, God's doing. I
need not take
time to quote the Scriptures: "I have chosen you," says
the Lord. "You
are My people," implying, "You are the result of My action in history."
The first word is "God," and that word always stands
right at the head
of every new movement of God. God. God! Genesis: "In the
- God in action at the beginning. It is God taking the
initiative; and this
people is the result of the Divine intervention in the history
of this world
with a Divine action, His Own prerogative, wholly, completely,
Himself. God in creation: a new beginning.
is the Old. You come to the New, and the New opens with the
Gospel by John: "In
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God"
- "In the beginning... God"! But this is another new
movement, "a new
creation" is here indicated,
pinpointed, and it is described. "In the beginning God
(Genesis 1:1,26). Here in John a new
humanity and mankind is brought into view under a "Not"
and a "But."
"Which were born, not of flesh, not of the will of man" - "Not
It's in the plural. Why is it in the plural? All right, we will
not assay to
tackle our liberal theologians, but the Holy Spirit is always
very exact and
correct, and when the Holy Spirit causes it to be put in a way
that you almost
overlook it, hardly struck by it, and He puts it this way, "not
not of Joseph and Mary. That is the mingling of bloods, isn't
it? That is the
ordinary, natural mankind, the mingling of bloods, two sexes. "Not"
is a direct application to the virgin birth. Not all that "but of God"!
These are born not that way. As the people of God, they are not
born that way.
You are never born a Christian. You are never born naturally a
child of God.
You never inherit Divine Life by natural birth. Well, it goes
without saying, "but
of God." God's act! God's act to produce a new mankind, a
new and different
produced by the will of man, never produced along natural lines
at all, but...
not, "but of God" a new humanity, a spiritual
race. Not a natural race at all, a spiritual race.
But then, what? What is the implication both of this letter,
and of the New Testament, as a whole? What is it? A new Israel.
A New Israel
is what this letter is saying to Hebrews,
Hebrews: not those Hebrews of history, a new Israel has come in.
I think you ought to note, if you haven't, it is a very simple
course, everybody should be familiar with it; but I am very glad
to notice that
in a late translation and interpretation of the Bible,
especially the New
Testament, called "The Amplified," I am very glad and happy to
note, on this as
I am going to mention in another connection presently, that
wherever the name "Christ"
is mentioned in the New Testament, in that place, right through this Amplified
New Testament links with the name and word "Christ-Messiah."
never divides between Christ and Messiah. It puts them
they are one because, as you know, "Messiah" is the Hebrew of
is only the Greek, meaning to say, "The Lord's Anointed."
Anointed. Keep that in mind. The Christ is the Messiah. The
Messiah in the
history of Hebrew mentality, concept and expectation, the
Messiah of the old
Israel is the Christ of a new Israel. One name, same name, same
carried over now; and so wherever you read the word "Christ"
in your New
Testament, don't forget the hyphen, say "Messiah."
It is most impressive if you read that version: every time you
come on the
mention of "Christ" and then it says, "Messiah." I
"impressive." Does it impress you? Do you see the meaning? Do you
significance? Do you see what this is driving at? A new Israel
this is, shall we say, a
"new" Messiah? Is that quite correct? It is the One Messiah, it
is the old
Messiah; and here this letter is saying all of the old Israel's
expectations, conceptions, of their coming Messiah - all that
ever they had
associated with that name of the Coming One, Messiah, is taken
up in Christ,
comprehended in Christ. He
comprehends and fulfills it and goes beyond their conception;
and, as we shall
see, beyond their acceptance.
Well, it is a new Israel, not that one of their
limited, narrow, exclusive conception, mentality, or even
much greater and much bigger than all that which the old Israel
ever hoped for,
looked for, expected, prayed for. Much bigger indeed, and we
will come back to
that in a minute. It is a new Israel beginning with (and I must
use the word,
though it is not quite exactly right) the "new" Messiah, the
"Christos," the Anointed One.
Now this, as we have said, is a new act
of God. A new act of God is the Messiah, the Christ, and
of God is the new Israel;
are two governing, dominating features and factors in this new
Israel as the
act of God. Two aspects: the Resurrection of Christ,
God's act, God's
unique act. The Resurrection is God's specific, peculiar act in
history. It is
the act of God. God
raised Him! God
raised Him! Not resuscitation: resurrection; and, of course, God
saw to it. God
saw to it that there was no doubt whatsoever that He died, that
He was dead. So
far as He, as a man was concerned: dead and buried. And if you
are in the grave
for three days and three nights, you have pretty good ground to
that person is dead. All right! No resuscitation, no
breathalysing, no, nothing
of that. He is dead. He died. And now only
God... only God and
of God can make for anything further. He is God's Act, in His
But then, the other aspect of this act of God is Pentecost.
Pentecost was God's
act. God did it! The intervention of God by the Third Person of
the intervention of God in history to bring as from death, as
from death this
new race... this new race. I do wish that all people who are so
this word "Pentecost" would recognize really what
Pentecost was. They
limit it to this and that and something else, "This is
Pentecost". The Lord
save us from this restricted conception. Pentecost is the act of
bringing to birth a new,
humanity. And if your Pentecostalism or experience
(forgive me using the
very phrase) doesn't mean that there is a new humanity of a
different order that
is God's doing and not the result of any kind of soul, psychic,
or any other force
produced by the energy of man, it is not something that you have
to stand back
and say, "It's God; and it is God producing a new kind of
different. God's act!" Resurrection and Pentecost are one thing
as God's act,
firstly in the One Son and then in the sons to be. That is all
very simple I
know, but I am working on toward the object.
then, you come back to your New Testament, and especially to
begin with to the
Book of the Acts; and what have you in the Book here? The
gradual dawning, the
gradual dawning, upon the apostles (yes, the apostles) and then
believers; the gradual dawning of what has happened, what has
the meaning of Christ was. It is dawning... it is the faint rays
seemingly of a
new day just coming up over the horizon and shooting across the
sky, and in their
consciousness something happening. Notice, in the beginning,
continued to go up to the temple, in the ordinances of the
temple, the ritual
of the temple, the time of prayer at the temple. They are still
going up, but
something is happening, something is spreading over their sky,
and that fades
out. It fades out! They are losing that attachment. They are
mentality. They are meeting in homes, wherever they can meet:
not meeting in
the temple any longer. No, it is not a sudden thing that has
happened that they
make a sudden break. I say it is the dawning
of the meaning of a new day.
is so real, so clear; they don't put it into any system of
teaching and say,
"You must come out of that denomination. You must come out of
that system. You
must leave that order of things." No, it
is just happening. Something is happening, and they are finding themselves out.
And note this
that I am going to say: first of all, it is not a physical separation. It is not a physical
separation, first of all,
it is an inward spiritual separation. I will put it this way:
themselves out before they are out! They find that they no
longer belong. No
one has ever told them that they must leave their denomination,
their mission; their this, that, and the other organization. No,
You know, in the old creation, God commenced from the outside;
and in the new,
always from the inside. And in this spiritual dispensation it is
that you just
find yourself somewhere, perhaps where you never intended to be.
Peter never intended
that he quarreled and argued
with the Lord about the house of Cornelius, "No, Lord, not so."
Peter, what has happened to you? Don't you know what has
happened to you? You
are going to know, and Peter does come to know, doesn't he? Oh,
he will write
later on, he'll write about the spiritual house of God. Well, do
you see what I
mean? Something has dawned, has broken. It is a new day, and the
dawn has come
in, and the light is growing, growing. That's the first
Oh, dear friends, do take hold of it! It is an organic thing.
It is a movement
of Life within. It is not
must" or "Ye must not" - "You must leave this and leave that in
order to come
to God's fulness." It is not that at all. I say, stay there
until you cannot for
your very life's sake, for
your very walk with God's sake, for your very knowledge of the
within. Stay, stay. "Come out-ism" is a dangerous thing. That is
not how it
was. It was from the inside. It is the way of the Holy Spirit,
of God, the act of God, the dawning of a new awareness that
happening to me because it is happening in
me." I know what that means. I have had crises like that. I have
like that when I knew
had happened to create a divide, and "Now, Lord, what am I to
do? If I take
action, look what will happen." And so I stuck and on a false
pretext went on.
At the end of some months, I found myself like this - I was not
in it. "No,
that is not where I am finding the Lord. That is not where Life
is," and I have
gone back to the Lord and I have said, "Lord, what am I to do?"
He said, "So
many months ago, I took you out in spirit. Now perhaps you will
have to follow
in body." Oh, don't
you put a teaching
on that. Don't take hold of that and crystallise it into a
doctrine. It is a spiritual
movement because this is a
That commenced, as I have said, at the beginning of the Book of
the Acts, and
before you are through that book, what will you find? You will
find that the
light has been growing and growing; and you are having in the
letters that are
compassed by that book (all these letters, every one of the
Pauline letters is
compassed by the Book of the Acts, isn't it? And others) you'll
find that in
all these letters which come out, you have the growing
revelation of what? Of
what had happened, what has happened; what the meaning of the
Christ and the advent of the Holy Spirit really meant. It is a
revelation, not of some new thing as a thing, but of what was at the beginning, at the root of things.
So God is moving (so to speak) backward, in order to move
onward; and you have
this growing revelation under these two words, "Not - But."
An inward thing "Not
- But." The Day
is moving on. It'll come, it'll come to its glorious
consummation when what
happened at the beginning is found in the consummation, the "New
down from above" - the sum of this new thing that happened with the coming of the
Lord Jesus. And we
will be coming back to that in Hebrews later on. But you are
marking the way,
the consummation of the initiation, the growing light,
Oh, I have the New Testament you see, right present, all of it
in mind as I
am speaking. The growing light - increasing understanding of
what this new
dispensation means: growing.
have many, many exact statements in the growing light which has
grown from the
day when he first had Christ revealed in him; as he said.
Growing light... Paul
didn't have it all at once; it was growing all the time, the
growing light, as
he will say presently, "The Jerusalem which is beneath is in
out the bondwoman." Not that Jerusalem, "but the
Jerusalem which is
above is our mother." Our mother. You see the language and
what it means?
And is it not impressive and significant that it is at the end
of the letter to
Do you know what the Letter to the Galatians is about? Think
again. Well, it's
along this line of contrast of the "not" and the "but",
Not circumcision; not,
not, not; but, but.
And at the end of that letter
he uses this so
significant phrase in
Galatians 6, is it 16? It doesn't matter very much, it is right
at the end of
the letter: "the Israel of God," the whole Israel of God.
The new Israel.
That, that throws light upon the whole letter, you see. One
Israel is gone, the
old Israel is gone! That is the argument of the letter, isn't
it? That is why he
got into such trouble. That is why this letter is such a
Israel: no more... not,
but now another
with its Jerusalem headquarters above, its birthplace above,
(I'll come back to
that later). The
Israel of God; a new
now, I must get on... We must, dear friends, (and this is a very
vital point in
our consideration or in what the Lord is trying to say to us)
recognise the new dimensions of God in this thing that has now
come in on the "but"
The Dimensions of God
was the tragedy of the old Israel? Of course, the tragedy of the
finally, is their dismissal. Their dismissal: "The kingdom of
be taken away from you, and given to a nation bringing forth
the fruits thereof."
That happened and it stands today. The kingdom of heaven taken
away - not for
that Israel, but for another! The tragedy of Israel, of course,
is that they
are dismissed from the dispensation, or the dispensational
movement of God. These
years... it has lasted for two thousand, how many more years we do
probably, not so long... you leave that alone.
Here I am going to upset a lot of you: you leave Israel alone
for the time
being. You will get into terrible confusion if you get down on
this earth with
an earth touch in these things. Some of us have lived through
things - we
remember the Kaiser (forgive me, that is not an attack upon any
people) but we do remember him going to Jerusalem and having a
new door broken
into the wall of Jerusalem so that he never went in through any
of the old
gates of the old Jerusalem, but because of who he was, who he
was, a new
gate must be broken in the wall for him. And people fitted that
into prophecy, see?
And said, "Therefore, the Kaiser is... So-and-so, the Messiah!"
All right, say no
more. Was he?
General Allenby entered Jerusalem and brought the Turkish rule
to an end, the
prophetic school laid hold of it, brought it down to earth and
said, "The end
of the time of the Gentiles." How long ago was that? Was it? Was
A dear man of God but caught up in this kind of thing, went from
Rome to see Mussolini to say to him, "You are the last
Caesar to reconstitute
the Roman Empire." Whereupon Mussolini had a great statue made
statue made of himself, the last Caesar and a great relief
map of the revived
Roman Empire with ten kingdoms behind his statue. The last
Caesar of the revived
Roman Empire? We need say any more? What about him? God help the
see, and you go on like that; confusion, if you come down onto
Leave it alone and see what God is doing,
and God is doing a spiritual
not a temporal thing.
could take an hour to enlarge upon that last phrase, "not a
temporal thing." Do
you see, in the sovereign activities of God, now He is
confusing and breaking down all temporal
representations of His heavenly kingdom? Men are trying to set
churches after New Testament order. You have never had more
confusion in local
churches than you have today! They are trying to set up things, constitute things, Christian
institutions, Christian organizations, and they are all in confusion and don't know what to do with
one another. As
Billy Graham said, "The psychiatrists are chasing one another
around to give
some explanation of their own troubles." Well, that may be
exaggeration, but do
you see what I mean? God is breathing upon every temporal representation in order to have a spiritual expression of Christ! That is the heart
of what we are
saying, and that is what is here.
Now I was saying, we must recognize the dimensions of this that
has come in with
Christ and into which we have come. The spiritual dimensions are
Israel's tragedy, Israel's tragedy... yes, of being set aside in
dispensation. But why? Why?
ever answered why? The answer is in one word, friends -
exclusivism: "We are
the people. Truth begins and ends with us. You will never be
able to get
anywhere with God if you are not circumcised. Except ye be
circumcised, ye cannot
be saved. The nations are dogs,
are dirt." (Poor Jonah, poor Jonah was caught in this.) "We are the people. We are the beginning and the
end of all God's work.
You have got to come on to our
ground, be on our
ground, or you are
out." You never will be on God's ground if you do not come up
out of that. I could
enlarge upon that, of course.
Exclusivism - and God never meant that when He took them out of
made them a distinct people, constituted them His Own peculiar
people. He never
meant that. He only meant to plant them in
the nations to show
what a God He is, WHAT A GREAT GOD HE IS! And this, this
startled and stunned
Jonah; that God could ever think in mercy upon anybody outside
of Israel; Nineveh.
And so you have it all the way through haven't you? And that is
the trouble in
the New Testament with the Lord Jesus: it is the exclusivism of
Judaism that is
the battleground. The battle in the life of the Apostle Paul was
that, was that!
He was hammering at this brick wall of Jewish exclusivism, and
sufferings are because of that.
This new Israel is so
than the old because Christ, this
Messiah, is so much greater than their conception of a Messiah.
The immense dimensions
of the New Israel! We
have got to recognize this, and resist exclusivism where Christ
as we would resist a plague; where Christ
is concerned. I am not talking about fundamental truths and the
Christ; I am talking about the greatness of this One Who is
spoken at the end in His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of..."
party? - "ALL things." That is Paul's great word
all the way
through isn't it: "all things... all things, all things,"
and in the
end, "to sum up all things in Christ." And if I need to
safeguard, I am
not talking about universalism. I am talking about God's
ultimate realm and
sphere where it will be nothing but Christ. The rest will be
altogether; wherever that outside is, it will be outside and not
without..." - that is the last word of Revelation, "For
without are the
dogs, (and so on), and everything that makes a lie."
That is false,
that is out, that is gone. Within: of the all things... Christ.
Well, there we are.
what is the governing concept here in this letter right at the
spoken at the end of these times in Son." There is no
article - "in
Son." What is the meaning of Son or sonship? Always
fulness! The fulness
of the Father is
in the Son, Divinely conceived. The Son is the fulness of the
Firstborn is the fulness and takes up all that is of and in the
Fulness! Then, as we have said, sonship is finality, is
finality. And then as
to this letter, as to the whole revelation, sonship as here
through this letter, and in the first chapters particularly, superiority!
Using that word in its right sense.
Do you notice
of this Son? "Appointed Heir of all things." This
catalogue here of things?
Superior to Moses. There you have it.
Superior to Joshua. If Joshua had brought them into the
rest, there would
be no more: he
didn't, therefore, he never reached finality. Superior
to Joshua, this One, this Son, to
to Joshua, to... angels?
angels... and think of the angelic ministries right through the
ministries, visitations, deliverances, activities! One angel in
one night, by a
breath of his nostrils wiping out a whole, mighty army;
one angel. Think of it all... and the old covenant was mediated by
angels, it says.
This letter is arguing about the angels who ministered the old
covenant. Yes, superior
Superior to Aaron and all his system and economy of
to that; it comes under the "not." The tabernacle that
was, this letter
says "there was a
tense. There was a
there was a Holy of
Holies and a Holy
Place; there was... Superior is Christ to all that, and
what a place it
Superior to the old covenant, and this letter deals with
the old covenant, and "the day comes," quoting Jeremiah
day comes, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant."
has a lot to say about the new covenant.
Superior to all the sacrifices... millions upon millions of
slain through the generations, and the river and ocean of blood
sacrifices; immeasurable, humanly speaking, covering centuries.
How vast! One
Sacrifice only, One
Shedding of Blood only, Superior to the whole lot! Superior
the whole lot, hundreds of years of sacrifices and blood
shedding, and this One,
single Sacrifice, shedding of
blood: Superior to the whole lot.
NOT - BUT... this is what we have come to.
Well, so we go on; this
is the letter,
isn't it? How great then is sonship in Christ! How much vaster
traditional or historical expression, representation, system,
order, economy -
we have come to this.
I must close somewhere. What is the consummate issue
of all this? Can
we bring it all, what we have said, and all that can be said,
and could not be
said, can we bring it down to one, inclusive, comprehensive
issue? We can! We
can; and oh, I don't know about you, you may have doubts as I
have about some
translations, new translations of the New Testament, but I do thank God for this Amplified. I do, because at
this very point
it has helped me as nothing else has helped me.
You see, I have studied theology. I have studied Christian
doctrine. I know the
doctrines of grace. I know the Letter to the Romans. I think I
do, at any rate I am fairly well-acquainted with what is there and of what the
about it, and the doctrinaires. And when you mention the Letter
to the Romans,
of course, Luther and all the rest spring into view with their
phrase: "justification by faith," - "righteousness...
faith." Oh, I tell you, friends, that strikes me cold. It
may not you. It
may mean more than that to you, but to me as one who has, you
see, had to deal
with all this theology and doctrine and system of Christianity
in its doctrines
and so on, it is awfully wearisome.
is a very wearisome thing you know, isn't it? A deadly thing, I
think. But this
[Amplified] version has come to my rescue.
When I read and heard the word "righteousness," what did
it mean? Well,
you see, in the Old Testament, the symbol of righteousness is
brass. In the
symbolism of the Old Testament, the symbol of righteousness is
Oh, how hard is brass, how cold is brass! I am not interested in
you following? Do you understand what I mean? And that is what
that word came
to mean to me, even in the New Testament. It was all glorious
teaching, but I
am not talking about the teaching, I am talking about the
terminology. What is it that is represented there? Now here my
rescued me. Oh, I am basking in the sunlight of this every day
in this. What does it say? Wherever that word "righteousness"
occurs in the Amplified New Testament, you have: "Right
standing with God."
Right standing with God! Dismiss your theology. That
That has been the quest of humanity from the beginning. It
doesn't matter where
you go, in the darkest heathenism, the most ignorant,
unenlightened realms of
humanity, right through, right through all the strata... the one
man will put it into words or not, whether it is in his
vocabulary, the one thing deep down in every
human creature is to be in right standing with God. All
rites, sacrifices, rituals, after all they are trying to find a
place of right
standing with, well, they say "God," and
they have no right conception of Who God is or what God is. "He
ignorantly worship" said Paul, "Him declare we unto
you." To the
Unknown God. Here it is.
I remember very early in my Christian life I tackled a
Professor Edward Caird's "History of Religion and the Greek
Philosophists" ["The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers"]. Don't
you tackle that, I nearly spun round. But in this magnus opus,
concentrated it all into one statement: "There is not a human
being on this
earth, of any race whatever, who does not have a consciousness
of standing in
relation to some supreme object of worship whom he calls god."
Is that true? Of
course it is, everywhere. The consciousness of standing in
relation to a
supreme object of reverence, and he calls that object "god." He
anything about that object, but he just calls it "god." Now then,
here we are, the
quest of humanity all through with greater or lesser
understanding, or little or none, or much after all within, is
the quest to be
on good terms with this object called God; right standing with
Now we ought to start all over again with the beginning of
Hebrews! Here is the
One, the Son, the Son, and the great thing about this Son,
and the glorious
thing about this Son is He is in right standing with God. All
this other in the
past was an attempt to get onto right standing with God, and it
never, never did
it, it was a failure. The quest for right standing with God.
Here is the Son,
first of all, inclusively, comprehensively, the Beloved of the
Beloved Son. "My Beloved Son," could you have terms that
express right standing with God? Right standing with God. Think
on that. Dwell
then the letter goes on, "in bringing many sons to glory";
and all the
rest of the letter, which we leave now, is the way of right
standing with God
in the Son.
Glorious letter! How great, comprehensive, wonderful, this is,
it is. And that
is only the fringe of it. We will get more into it later if the
Lord wills, but
I think you have really got enough for the time being. The Lord
help us, we
Oh, send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me, each one, that He may
eyes, make us see, make us see oh Lord, that the result of
this hour in Thy
Word would be, might be, that this people will really be able
to say, not
mentally, but in the heart, "I have seen the Lord, I have in
some new, more
wonderful way seen God's Son, seen what God is doing," and
that we are able,
Lord, to understand now what we are, what we are - God's new
and final Israel.
Teach us more of what that means, but set Thy seal upon this
Now, Lord, there is a little interval, and immediately this is
these people are going to turn and talk about all sorts of
things. Save us,
Lord... the whole value of this can go in five minutes if we are
watchful, very watchful in setting a seal against our lips,
having the door of
our heart kept. Lord, help us, for we are not here just for
messages, we are here for life crises. You precipitate them,
Lord, for Thy
name's sake, amen.