Monday, February 2, 2015


Jack Davis

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” II Cor. 2:14-16

I have read that the figure of speech that the Apostle Paul used here came from an ancient Roman ceremonial; in which they honored the conquering hero for a decisive victory over a foreign foe. They celebrated the conquest with a triumphal procession. They marched through the city spreading garlands of flowers in his path, and burning incense to the victor. Strong translates, “causeth us to triumph,” “to make acclamatory procession;” Vine has it, “leadeth us in triumph.” The Amplified Bible says, “Who in Christ always leads us in triumph – as trophies of Christ’s victory.” It is also translated, “Who leads us in the train of Christ’s triumph.”

All thanks belongs to God for all our victories. When Paul gives thanks here he speaks for himself, but also includes those of like faith. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” – II Cor. 9:15. Thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” – I Cor. 15:57. There is no defeat in Him, there is no victory without Him. As captain of our salvation He always leads from victory unto victory. When we go with Him, wholly following Him we can never be defeated, but are more than conquerors through Him that loves us.

When we fail to fully follow the Lord, the losses we experience need not mean total defeat. Yet there is no excuse for the believer remaining in defeat. Losses here and there can be stepping stones, expensive yet profitable lessons, if we learn from them not to trust ourselves. For the arm of flesh will certainly fail us. Paul wrote, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of  God” - II Cor. 3:5.

When we are persuaded to trust some formula, plan of action, or programmed reaction, we miss out on what God’s power can do, in dealing with our problems. Paul wrote, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” – I Cor. 2:4-5.

To speak of triumph gives evidence of conflict, a battle being fought, warfare being waged, a foe being conquered. It’s not too long after we become a part of the family of God that we begin to realize that there is something fiercely opposing us in order to bring our utter defeat. As we go on we become aware that we are running against a powerful resisting force that is restraining and strength draining. With the prince and power of the air, the rulers of spiritual wickedness in high places against us, we shouldn’t wonder that Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Thank God that He promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. It encourages us to read that “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him” – Isa. 59:19. It is indeed a blessing to be able to say with Paul in troublesome times, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” At times like these we had better know that the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God” – II Cor. 10:4.

In II Chron. 20, we have an interesting illustration of some of the truth expressed here. We read of a great multitude gathered against king Jehoshaphat and Judah to do battle. The multitude included the armies of three nations. When the king was told this he feared and set himself to seek the Lord. He gathered the congregation of Judah and prayed before them. In his prayer he reminded God of His promise to hear them in their affliction and give help. He told the Lord that he had no might against this great company, nor did he know what to do. He said to God; “Our eyes are upon thee.”

God then anointed one to tell them not to be afraid, but to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” They were told to go out against their enemy for the Lord would be with them. Jehoshphat then led his people in worship.

He admonished his people also to believe in the Lord their God. He then appointed singers unto the Lord, “that should praise the beauty of holiness” as they went out before the army, and to say, “Praise the Lord for his mercy endureth forever.” When they began to sing, and praise the Lord, the Lord set ambushments against their enemies, who then began to slay each other. After they had warred against themselves, all Judah had to do was walk in and gather the spoils of victory. These were spoken of as an “abundance of riches and precious jewels.” We read that there was no much wealth that they couldn’t carry it all and Judah was three days in gathering it.

They then returned to Jerusalem and to the temple in triumphant procession, “with psalteries, harps, and trumpets, and with joy: for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies.” This is also a good illustration of the truth in Phil. 4:6,7 of prayer, praise, and prevailing peace. Hallelujah! Our adversaries will multiply, confederate, and take counsel against us, then as God intervenes, they will ambush each other, and we are to walk in and take the spoils of victory

ROUTED COMBATANTS & RESCUED CAPTIVES: I have read that this Roman ceremonial not only involved those he had delivered, but also those he had defeated. The aroma of the burning incense would carry a far different meaning to one than the other. I appreciate Berkly’s translation that says; “maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” It reads like this, “Who evidences tbrough us…the fragrance that results from knowing him.”

 Oh what a joy to consider the victory Jesus has won! In Colossians 2:15, we read: “having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” In other words, He mightily disarmed, stripped off from himself (out stripped) principalities and powers and robbed them of their prey, then exposed them to open contempt in celebrating His triumphant act.” I greatly enjoy reading Ephesians 4:7-10, in this connection. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also the ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

What a privilege to wholeheartedly follow the captain of our salvation. He is indeed a winner, THE WINNER. He went into upper sheol and preached to the spirits in prison. Though He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, He arose and ascended on high, captivating a captivity. He not only freed captives from deaths prison house, but led triumphantly into a new captivity, the trophies of His victory.

DEATH OVERCOME BY THE OUTPOURED LIFE: Death has had its sting, its shadow, its sentence, and savour, but Jesus has provided the answer for every related ill. Humanity has been so painfully stung to death by sin. The suffering has lasted so long, but praise God, Jesus, who was made sin for us, has tasted death for every man, and has taken the sting out of death for the believer. We had “the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” – II Cor. 1:9-10. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment” – Heb. 9:27. Jesus has so wonderfully met death’s appointment for us, answered the sentence of death against us, and paid our debt. A dark shadow of gloom and fear has long hung over fallen humanity. Jesus died as a man in the place of fallen man, “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage: – Heb. 2:14-15.

To us then, death is only a shadow that hung over our sky, but we have a good Shepherd that walks with us through death’s dark valley. Thank God we just pass through, and are not there to stay. In the mean time His rod and staff are a comfort to us, along the way. As He walks with us, He makes us to know that one happy day, all the dark shadowy clouds of death will be finally and forever rolled away.

Death has indeed an unpleasant odor. After the death of Lazarus, Jesus went to the tomb and said, “Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto him Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he had been dead four days” – Jn. 11:39. In Paul’s description of the old creation, he wrote, “Their throat is an open sepulchre.” By nature there comes from us the odors of death. Jesus said, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. Anything and everything coming out of the old creation carries the smell of death. This is so repulsive to the spirit of the living God, and any that are spiritual, those who feed on the Word of God and have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The way we can keep from expelling the smell of death, is to walk in the spirit. As we walk in the spirit, we walk in love, and the sweet savour of Jesus Christ comes forth from our life and ascends unto God - Eph. 5:1-2.  As we go on in victory, presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, worshipping God, the fragrance of holy incense issues forth to mankind as well as ascending up before God (Rev. 5:8-9 and 8:3-4; Rom. 12:103). As Paul poured out his life unto God, for the saints, his life was the sweet smelling savour of Christ unto God. He joyed and rejoiced and the Philippian saints with him. Also in turn the attitude of those people in their giving emitted the fragrance of Christ unto God (Phil. 4:18).

We read in John 12:3 of the odor of the costly ointment filling all the house where Jesus was anointed. One day soon the sweet savour of full overcomers in worship poured out upon Jesus will fill all that heavenly house. Oh! That will be the aroma of life, and victory unto ecstatic bliss. Thank God for the victory, in spite of the sting, sentence, shadow, and savour of death. Although those who believe not, or continue to walk after the flesh may sense the savour of death, yet as Christ leads us in the train of his triumph, we send forth the sweet savour of life and victory.
–  J. D.

Anita Clark

"For as lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be...Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light...And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all of the tribes of the earth mourn and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" Matthew 24:27-30.

Many people are confused today concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am often asked, "Are you pre-trib, mid-tribe or post-trib?" The above verses shows Christ coming at the end of the seven years of tribulation. At this coming, He will touch down on the Mount of Olives in Israel (Zech. 14:4). If this were the only reference given in God’s Word, we would have to agree that Christ is not coming until the tribulation is over, however, let us consider other Scriptures. II Timothy 2:15 warns us to "rightly divide the Word of truth." We ask the Holy Spirit to give us aide in doing this very thing.

Christ’s Coming at the Tribulation’s End: There are a number of references in the Bible speaking of the "Power and Great Glory" coming. Zechariah 14:1-21. We cannot record all the verses of this chapter here, but I admonish you to read this chapter. Some highlights are: Verse 1: "Behold the Day of the Lord cometh." The Day of the Lord always refers to "the Day when the Lord Jesus Christ reigns." Verses 2-3 show that at the time of this coming, there will be a great battle, in which the King, the Lord Jesus will fight the nations " when He fought in the day of battle."

The Prophet Joel also spoke of the coming of Christ and the great "Battle of Armageddon" (Joel 1:15-2:1-11; 3:9-16), when Christ and His heavenly armies come at the end of the tribulation to destroy the enemies of the Lord. Apostle Paul says in Phil. 2:9-11, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father."

Revelation 19 through 22 describes the end of this world, as we know it. In chapter 19:1-8, we read of the saints (all the believers) in heaven with the Lord. Note the end has not yet been revealed at this point in Revelation. The people of God from the Old Testament, who believed in Christ (Messiah) looking forward to His coming the first time, and dying for all the sins, past, present and future, are there included in the "much people in heaven." Also, the overcoming Christians of the Church Age, called in chapter 4, "four and twenty elders and the four living creatures" are there with the Lord. Rev. 5:8-10, it says they are redeemed ones of every nation, kindred and tongue, so they are not some strange angelic beings, but people of God, who were seen worshipping in Rev. 4. They are the overcomers of the Church Age. Also, in verse 6 of Rev. 19 a great multitude are seen joining in the praise and worship in the heavens. In verse 7 & 8 this great multitude speaks and tells about the bride of Christ being arrayed in her beautiful garments of fine linen. This shows that not all the people of God in heaven will be the bride. God made provision for all to attain to this place, but many believers, the majority (the great multitude) do not qualify to be in the company of believers who will make up the Bride by not yielding completely to the Lord Jesus in this present life. In Revelation 7:9-17 we see these believers arrive in heaven at a later time. "These are they which came out of great tribulation" (Vs. 14). Notice that in V. 11, the Twenty-four Elders and the Living Creatures are already in heaven. (Read Rev. 5:8-9 & 11).

In Rev. 19:9 we see the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. At this great supper there will be the Old Testament Saints of God, who have been resurrected, there will be the great multitude of the Church Age (see Rev. 7:9-17) and others, and finally there will be the Beloved Lord Jesus and His Bride. What a glorious time that will be. We have gone into this explanation to show that the Church (all believers in Christ during this age) will at this time be already with the Lord in heaven.

Now, Rev. 19:11-16 tells us that Christ sitting on His white horse and the people of God (the saints of this Church Age) called His "armies" will come back with Him to judge the earth. This will take place at the end of the seven years of tribulation. This will be the "Power and Great Glory Coming." He is crowned as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Battle of Armageddon will commence. He will judge the "Antichrist and false prophet" (Rev. 19:20) and throw them in the Lake of Fire. He then will gather all the rest of the believers who were saved during the tribulation, but cast the beast worshippers, all those who have taken the mark of the beast into the Lake of Fire. Then will begin His One-thousand year reign of peace on the earth. The people of God in heaven will rule with Christ in various measures during the reign of peace. After that comes eternity, living with the Lord and doing His purposes forever and ever.

Christ’s Coming Before the Tribulation: The Apostle Paul writes of this in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, concerning the coming of the Lord for His people before the tribulation. Read this passage. Paul’s concern was that the Thessalonians would not grieve when their loved ones, who believed in Jesus as their Savior, died. Note Verses 13 - "That you sorrow not as others who have no hope." He states in verse 14, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." Paul did not speak here of the "Power and Great Glory Coming" when all the saints would come back with Christ to judge the earth, but Christ’s appearing in the heaven to call up His people before  tribulation, that "hope" of resurrection before the wrath of God comes to the earth. This hope is spoken of in Titus 2:13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ."

Reading on in I Thessalonians 4:15-18, "For this I say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep (dead in their graves). For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words." Consider the words you have just read. There is a contrast between these words and the ones we read about the "Great and Glorious Coming of Christ at the end of the seven years tribulation.

Pre-Trib – Christ will appear in heaven and call up some believers, those in graves will be resurrected and those who are alive, translated. We shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (It does not say He comes & stands on Mt. Olives in Israel). At the end of tribulation they are already in Heaven.
Post Trib – Christ and His people with Him as His army will come to judge the earth. He comes in power & great glory decked out as a warrior, with sword and etc.

 I Thessalonians 5 gives us more information about being ready for the coming of Christ. Many believers are cold and indifferent toward the things of the Lord. Many don’t even know about Christ’s coming. In God’s divine provision He has provided everything for every believer to be an overcomer in Christ, radiating the life of Christ from their lives, and ready for the Lord to come. Verse 2 says, "... the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." A thief comes when no one is expecting Him. This is an example of how the coming of Jesus before the tribulation will take place. Some believers, who are seeking to be in that group who are the Bride of Christ, will be watching and waiting for Him to come. Other believers will be asleep and unaware of His coming. Because of this they will not go when He calls the first time, but will enter into tribulation for a period of time. We see them in Rev. 7:9-17. They are the "great multitude." Unbelievers on the earth will not know what took place and will probably think that the overcomers have been abducted by aliens or some other bazaar explanation.

I Thessalonians 5:3 gives us a clue as to when He will return, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." One of the signs of the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ is that the Antichrist, although not recognized by the world as the evil one, will make a peace agreement with Israel just before the seven years of tribulation will begin (See Daniel 9:27). This "crying for peace and safety" speaks of that time when the world will be diligently seeking peace. That time is upon us at the present time. Mankind will think that peace has finally been achieved.

We are admonished to "watch," and "be ready" in more than one place in the Word of God. "Sudden destruction" will come upon this world, as the tribulation of judgment begins. When the Antichrist makes this peace treaty, the world will marvel after him. "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" Revelation 13:8.

I Corinthians 15:51-52 admonishes us by saying, "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible; and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." This is our Blessed Hope. As we see all the signs around showing the very soon appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us be diligent and press on. What a thrill it will be to see Jesus face to face! "For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known" I Cor. 13:12. Let us stand fast. He is coming so soon!

All That Is Within Me

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalms 103:1

This is an interesting comment on worship. “All that is within me” implies more than just a superficial form of worship that is very prevalent today among God's people. Is worship something we do on Sunday morning? Is it a response to someone leading the worship service? Is it just a superficial act of praise?

The psalmist seems to tell us about something deeper than that. It can be easy and convenient to just give an hour or two on Sunday morning or meet with friends to go to that Christian concert and call that worship. Those things can certainly be a part of our worship. Assembling with God's people is important and encouraged in His Word. However, worship should not stop at the exit of the building. It should be an integral part of our life.

Good deserves our all; “all that is within me.” We tend sometimes to want to reserve that “all” for ourselves or for something we really enjoy. Some people seem to be able to give all for their favorite sports team. No matter where they go, you know for sure who their favorite team is. Do people know wherever you go who your Lord is?

“Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” Psalms 111:1
“I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.” Psalms 138:1
“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.” Psalms 9:1
“I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalms 18:3

Our God is worthy to receive our praise. He is worthy of all of our praise. No one and no thing is ever worthy of our praise like He is. Not just some words or some singing, but true worship. Our whole heart. Everything within us. Every action of our life. Every attitude of our heart.

True worship comes from deep within us and is drawn out by a true understanding of who God is. When we begin to have a true revelation of who God is, we will be unable to do anything other than worship Him. God calls us to know Him and have a very personal and close relationship with Him.

“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne . . .” Revelation 4:10. Our worship of Him will continue throughout eternity. Let's get started now.

Gordon Crook


Debra Isenbletter

Ruth 2:16 – “And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.” Another translation of this reads: “Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her.” (NIV)

In this verse we find further commands and instructions from Boaz to these young men. It is to do two things:

Drop some: “And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her.” These are portions chosen by these young men of Boaz. They choose specific stalks of grain. The question is, who are these “young men” and what are these “stalks” that they personally choose to drop for Ruth to pick up?
Could these “young men” picture those anointed preachers and teachers?
Could these “stalks” be specific portions of the Word we need?
Could they be pulling out what we need under Jesus Authority?
Could they be pulling out what we need under the Spirit’s Anointing?
Nothing ever happens by accident in our lives and if we are like Ruth, hungry, needy, dependent, and bold enough to reach out for what is offered, then the Lord will provide and provide others to minister to us. The word “let” shows both his Grace and her Choice. Ruth can pick them up or ignore them. If she is looking, she will see them. If she is hungry, she will take them. Boaz allows them to drop a specific amount, they are “handfuls,” these are small portions, small blessings. Sometimes this is all we can take in and sometimes this is all that we need. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa 28:10).

Leave some: “and leave them.” They are told not to pick them up, this is faith on their part. They are to allow only Ruth to do this. This is a test for Ruth, to see what she will do, it is faith on her part. It is a test of her need, and of her desire and of her faith. What will she do when she sees these choice handfuls?

What does Boaz want Ruth to do and give her the opportunity to do? It is to glean them: “that she may glean them.” We see what she “may” do, if she chooses, it is to “glean” and not just glean anything but to glean “them,” those portions that have been dropped and offered to her. These picture richer portions, choice portions, they are special portions. These are for her alone and no one else.

Mary Bodie writes: “He wants her to get something that is intended only for herself. Not so much that which her diligence has secured, but that which his life has freely given. Notice it was after Ruth’s heart-talk with Boaz, that she gleaned so successfully. She has received such a vision of his love and grace that she became bold to take all she saw.” How glorious! How personal and precious are the Lord’s promises to His Bride.

Boaz ends by telling them what they cannot do, though they may be tempted. They cannot rebuke her: “and rebuke her not.” The word “rebuke” comes from “to chide.” It means “to reprove” (scold). Webster defines it as: “to chide, to admonish, a direct and pointed reproof, a reprimand (warn, scold).” This is the second time Boaz warns against using harsh words against Ruth. First they were “to reproach her not” (v15). Then “to rebuke her not” (v16). Both these words imply calling one to account for their behavior. Reproach means to criticize with an attitude of shaming. Rebuke suggests a sharp or stern reproof given formally or officially. Boaz gives Ruth a great liberty, a freedom to lay hold of his liberality, his bounty. Ruth cannot be reproached or rebuked for taking what Boaz has provided, and neither can we!

This is the Lord’s promise to all who are willing to seek and accept what He gives. He will always meet the need of those who seek Him. His promise is that they “shall not want any good thing” (Ps 34:10). His promise is that “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11). His promise is that He will “fill the hungry with good things” (Lk 1:44). His promise is that He “knoweth that ye have need of all these things” and He will provide, especially if we see first His things, the promise is “all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt 6:31-33).

This is the testimony of the Bride, she takes what her Boaz provides and none can rebuke!


Earlene Davis

Fourth Dispensation: The Age of Promise

This Age has also been called the Abrahamic Covenant. It began with Abram and ended at Mount Sinai, Gen. 12 – Ex. 19. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph were prominent characters and stewards during this time.

God in sovereign grace spoke to Abram who was an idolater. “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from they father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed…So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken…Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son…they went forth…into the land of Canaan…And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD…” Gen. 12:1-7. Read also Gen. 17:1-8; Josh. 24:2-3; Neh. 9:7-8 and Heb. 11:8-19. God called Abram out and made a special people of him and his descendents.

God’s promises to Abram were completely unconditional. We find the basis of God’s promise to him is the sacrifice (Gen. 15:7-10,18). All of the sacrifice  speaks of Christ on the cross. The Heifer speaks of the fruitfulness of Christ, “in bringing many sons unto glory” – Heb. 2:10. The goat is used for a sin offering and speaks of the substitutionary offering of Christ for the sinner; “that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” – Heb. 2:9. The Ram speaks of the consecration of the Lord Jesus and the aggressiveness of Him to do His Father’s will; “Then said He, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God” – Heb. 10:9. The birds speak of His heavenly nature; “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world” – Jn. 16:28. The dove of His gentleness and humbleness, dwelling among sinners. Jesus said, “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” – Lk. 5:31-32. The pigeon also speaks of poverty; “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” – II Cor. 8:9. All of these speak of the essence of our Savior.

The Apostle Paul pointed to Abraham as an example of the grace plan of salvation in Romans the forth chapter.  He points out that to Abraham was given the special promise regarding Christ. For he is the fruitful Seed through whom all nations were to be blessed. If any man had whereof to boast of God’s wonderful sovereign dealings it would be Abraham. On what ground was he justified? He was not justified by his works, or he would be able to boast; “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” V. 3. Then is added, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” V. 5. Abraham was “”justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” In fact, there was no law given to Abraham. He lived four hundred and thirty years before the law was given, Gal. 3:17.

God simply told Abraham that He would bless him and make him a blessing. The only thing Abraham did was to believe God, that He could and would do as He had said. That was all there was to his justification. His inheritance in Canaan was obtained in the same manner. God said take possession of it and Abraham did. He entered in and enjoyed his inheritance by faith. It was also by faith that Abraham became the father of Isaac, and through him the father of many nations. In this he became like God who, through his Seed which is Christ, will become the Father of many sons. God never had any other way of salvation than that of grace and faith. “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” Rom. 4:16.

Romans. 4:23-25, “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (the same righteousness), if we believe (have the same kind of faith) on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences (our Substitute), and was raised again for our justification.” That we may stand in Him perfect and upright. Christ’s resurrection if proof that His sacrifice was acceptable to God and is sufficient. The blood atones for all sin. We simply accept God’s mercy, which was extended to us in the gift of His Son. May we rejoice in God’s salvation to man by the channel of faith, accepting His Word, and enjoy His grace. The fact that Abraham was justified while uncircumcised, opens the door of justification to the Gentiles. They also may claim Him as their father on the ground of faith in Jesus Christ.

Man’s responsibility in this Age was to dwell in Canaan. Yes, Abraham’s descendants were strangers in Egypt 400 years and then came out in the fifth generation to the land. Man’’s failure was leaving Canaan to live in Egypt. It was a judgment that they came to be in bondage in Egypt, yet God preserved them there and brought them forth. This Age also ended with God’s judgment on the Egyptians at the Red Sea.
Next issue: The Age of Law.