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2 Peter 1:12


Dear Readers,

December 2007

“Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 1:3). The new year is about to begin. We are one year closer to the Lord’s return. Do our lives reflect that we have the blessed hope of Christ’s coming? Soon things are going to be different in this old world, and our relationship with God will be more important than anything in this world. I want to faithful unto the end, don’t you? I pray that this next year will be filled with people dedicating themselves to serve God, and inviting Jesus into their lives. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). 

In this Issue

Do You Have the Son?

by Lynnford Beachy

The Coconut Oil Miracle
by Arlene Bailey
Upcoming Meetings in Your Area

Waggoner on Romans (Part 21)

by Ellet J. Waggoner

Something for the Young at Heart Announcements

Do You Have the Son? 

by Lynnford Beachy 

This is the most important question you can ask yourself, for John wrote, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:12). If you are to have eternal life, you must have the Son of God. 

How can we have the Son? Paul informed us that we should “be strengthened with might by his [God’s] Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16-21). To have the Son means that Christ dwells in our hearts, and this can only happen “by faith.” The purpose of Christ dwelling in your hearts is that you would be rooted and grounded in love, and be able to comprehend the amazing love that God has for you, so that you can be filled with all the fulness of God. And this can only happen by the “power that worketh in us”—not our power, but His power. When Christ dwells in our hearts, another power begins to work in us, and we cannot stay the same. 

Jesus explained, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20). He promises to come into the hearts of all who invite Him in. 

Paul admonished, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove [test] your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates [not standing the test]?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 with Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). We are encouraged to test ourselves to see whether or not Christ is in us. We should know whether we have the Son dwelling in our hearts, for if not, then we do not have life. “Well,” you might say, “I know I have the Son, for I accepted Him as my Saviour twenty years ago.” It is great that you accepted Christ, but do you still have Him now, that is the question. The Scripture says, “He that hath the Son hath life,” not “He that had the Son hath life.” It is not enough to have had the Son years ago, you must have Him now, dwelling “in your hearts by faith.” (Ephesians 3:17). 

Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:4-7). Here Jesus used two phrases interchangeably. Jesus first said that He must abide in us, and the second time He said, “my words abide in you.” For Christ to dwell in us, His words must abide in us. He dwells in us by faith, and this faith must be grounded in something solid, His word. 

To follow Paul’s instructions to test ourselves to see whether Christ is in us, we must turn to His word as our standard. Jesus continued, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10). To abide in Christ we must abide in His love, which naturally results in keeping His commandments. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 RSV). 

Too often, Christians are prone to think that if they have all their doctrines correct, then they are ready for heaven. They turn the Christian walk into an academic experience of learning things, forgetting that all biblical knowledge is useless if it does not enhance our relationship with God and our neighbors. Doctrines are very important, but without the effect in our lives which they are designed to produce they are absolutely useless to us. We could very easily be one of the most doctrinally correct people in hell. If we neglect the weightier matters, such as “judgment and the love of God,” “mercy, and faith” we will be lost. (Luke 11:42; Matthew 23:23). Paul elaborated, “Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NKJV). 

John explained, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9). Some suppose from this verse that as long as we believe everything correctly we can live like demons and still go to heaven. But notice that it does not say the doctrine should merely abide in our memory, but rather it says we must abide in the doctrine, which means our lives must reflect what Christ taught. 

Evidence that you have the Son 

John wrote many things that help us to recognize whether we have the Son abiding in us or not. Let us read several of these statements without comment. 

John wrote: 

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-8). 

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:3-6). 

“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9-11). 

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:14, 15). 

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17). 

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:6-9). 

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” (1 John 5:18). 

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17, 18). 

“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1 John 3:23, 24). 

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” (1 John 4:13). 

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7, 8). 

“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12). 

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” (1 John 5:2). 

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4, 5). 

Believing that Jesus Christ is the actual Son of God is of vital importance for us to overcome the world, for understanding this truth is the only way we can know the amazing love of God in giving His Son to die for us. Yet, notice that this belief is not the end of the equation, but just a means to an end, the end is overcoming the world. If you do not utilize the benefits of believing Jesus is the Son of God to enable you to overcome the world, then that belief is useless to you. 

Knowing we have life 

John spent a great deal of time explaining some of the ways to know that Christ is living in us, and then he says, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:9-13). 

We can know that we have eternal life, by knowing that we have Christ living in us. The evidence of this will be manifested in our lives. The most notable evidence being love in our hearts for God and others which results in keeping God’s commandments. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35). 

Paul expressed it this way: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22, 23). 

Some of John’s statements seem very simplistic concerning how to know God and His Son are dwelling in us, such as: “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15). It would seem that all it takes is reciting a simple formula. Yet a little more examination reveals that this is not the case. In fact, a devil possessed man came up to Jesus and “cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” (Mark 5:7). Certainly, a verbal confession that Jesus is the Son of God does not guarantee that God is dwelling in a person. Therefore John must have been speaking of more than a verbal confession. 

Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32, 33). Confessing Christ before men is more than stating a belief concerning His identity. It involves testifying by the way we live our lives that Christ is living in us. 

Paul wrote about those who are Christians in name only, stating: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16). By the way we live our lives we are either confessing Christ or denying Him. Even if we have all of our doctrines right, if they do not affect the way we live then they are not doing us any good. 

Suppose three men were each given wood and nails, and were asked to build a house. The first only has a hammer and a hand saw, while the second and third both have many tools, such as a table saw, a band saw, a drill press, a lathe, nail guns, etc. It is obvious that the one with a limited amount of tools will not be able to build as fine a house as the ones with a large array of tools. Yet, does having all the tools guarantee that the house will be built well? The first uses his hammer and saw to build a house as good as he can with the tools he has. The second person has many fine tools but does a poor job building the house, and neglects to put the roof on the house. The third utilizes all the fine tools to build a magnificent house. As you look at the three houses which one is the best and which is the worst? You might expect the man with the least amount of tools to have the worst house, but that is not the case here. He has built a suitable house, though it does not have all the fine details of those who have more elaborate tools. The second person who was blessed with many tools neglected to utilize them to complete the house, and what was done was done in a reckless manner. His house looks terrible despite his advantages. The third did a wonderful job, building a fantastic house that could only have been accomplished with his specialized tools. 

You may be blessed with much truthful knowledge about the Bible and can prove all your beliefs from the word of God, yet your life reveals that you have not allowed those truths to have their effect in your life. We have all met people who know the Bible very well, yet they are harsh, critical and unkind. They have many tools but they are not being used to benefit them. How about you? Do you have lots of tools or only a few? Does your life reflect the use of these tools, or are you more unkind and unloving than an athiest? Is Christ truly dwelling in your heart by faith, or is He outside knocking, longing to come in? 

Friends, God loves you more than you can imagine, and He does not want you to be lost. If you recognize that the evidence of Christ living inside of you is missing in your life most of the time, or even all of the time, then you have a great need. It may not be a need for more doctrines at this time, but it certainly is a need for you to use what you already have, and invite Jesus to come into your heart. Ask God to create in you a clean heart, so that you can truly have the Son of God, and have life. Then focus on maintaining that connection to Christ. Abide in Him, and let Him abide in you. Then John’s words will be true of you, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). 


Upcoming Meetings in Your Area 

Here is the currently-planned 2007 itinerary for Lynnford Beachy: 

Nov. 30-Dec. 1    Temecula, CA, contact Don and Dee Hager, 951-677-0726. 

Dec. 8    Grass Valley, CA, contact Emil Maghiar, 916-409-0993. 

Dec. 14, 15    Yuma, Arizona, contact John and Judie Brown, 928-503-6160. 

Dec. 29    Tucson, Arizona, contact Carolyne Scripp, 520-808-3004. 

Between these meetings we will be available to visit people in their homes and to have additional meetings. If you would like to host meetings in your area, please contact Lynnford Beachy at (304) 633-5411. 

Many of these meetings will be broadcast live by telephone conference. Often we will be broadcasting at seven o’clock Friday evening, eleven o’clock Sabbath morning, and Sabbath afternoon and evening at three and seven o’clock. (These are local times for wherever I am scheduled to speak. Some meetings will not be broadcast, depending upon unavoidable circumstances.) To listen to these sermons in the US call: 605-475-8590, You will be prompted to dial the room number: 5225823. In Austria call: 0820 4000 1574, Belgium: 070 35 9989, Spain: 0902 886 051, Switzerland: 0848 560 195, Ireland: 0818 270 034, Italy: 0848 390 175, France: 0826 100 277, Germany: 01805 00 7649, Australia: 61 283 078 824, UK: 0870 738 0763, Netherlands: 0870 001 932. These sermons will also be broadcast over the Internet via Skype.com. You can dial directly using Skype at: +990008275225823. (When you use Skype, it is a free call from anywhere in the world.) 


Something for the Young at Heart 

This month we are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies that are based on a Bible Lesson printed by Richard Stratton of Philadelphia Press Ministries, PO Box 218, Florence, Colorado 81226. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections—Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line. 

The True Mode of Worship 

03_True_Mode_of_Worship.JPG

Note:    Jealous (7067) “Demanding exclusive service” (Brown- Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon). “To defend the honor, concern for the character of” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary). “God’s jealousy signifies His concern for His own character and government, with a holy indignation against those who violate His laws, and offered against His majesty” (Webster’s Dictionary). 

Note:    Name (8034) “honor, authority, character” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary). “In Scripture the name of God signifies His title, His attributes, His will or purpose, His honor and glory, His word, His grace, His wisdom, power and goodness, His worship or service GOD Himself” (Webster’s Dictionary). Glory (3519): “The honour due me” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon). “Praise ascribed in adoration, honor the divine presence, the divine perfection or excellence. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God.’ Psalm 19:1. To exult with joy, to rejoice. ”Glory ye in his holy name." Psalm 105:3" (Webster’s Dictionary). 

Answers

03_True_Mode_of_Worship_Answers.JPG


The Coconut Oil Miracle 

by Arlene Bailey 

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2). 

Despite all the advanced health techniques, there are very few people who are really well. Degenerative diseases are increasing in severity at younger ages so that the useful period of life is shortening. Why? We put many things into our systems which we ought not. We need to eat food that does not suppress the immune system. The strongest weapon against disease is food. Every function of each cell within the body responds with loyal obedience to the Sovereign will of God with the single exception of the human will. So… 

What I have learned is absolutely amazing: that coconut oil is one of the most remarkable health foods available. It can eliminate chronic psoriasis, dandruff, precancerous skin lesions, speed recovery from the flu, stop bladder infections, and overcome chronic fatigue, plus other things. It has cured HIV AIDS. After an AIDS patient was told by his doctor that he had only a short time to live, he decided to visit the south Pacific and lived with the natives for a few months and when he returned to the US and checked with his doctor, he was told that he did not have HIV. Amazing! 

Coconut oil is the only oil that will not damage your arteries. So it is a powerful aid in the fight against heart and other cardiovascular diseases. The people in the Pacific Islands, Africa and Central America have much better health than those in North America and Europe who don’t eat coconut. 

Researchers have long noted that when these island people start to abandon their traditional diets in favor of western foods, their health deteriorates. What is the reason for this? The traditional oils cut off the oxygen to the cells and the cells begin to die. 

Using coconut oil for all your cooking needs may be one of the healthiest decisions you could ever make. 

You may ask, “Why does coconut oil have such a bad reputation?” The simple reason is money, politics and misunderstanding. Everybody knows coconut oil is a saturated fat, and we are constantly told to reduce our saturated fat intake. Very few people know the difference between the medium-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut oil, and the long-chain saturated fatty acids in meat and other foods. 

One distinct advantage that all saturated fats have over unsaturated fats (mono- and polyunsaturated fats) is that they do not have any missing hydrogen atoms or double-bonded carbons. This means that they are not vulnerable to oxidation and free-radical formation as are unsaturated fats. Shortening and margarine are two hydrogenated oils that should be completely eliminated from your diet. 

Our immune system is what keeps us healthy. Polyunsaturated oils suppress the immune system, making us more vulnerable to disease and aging. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, soybean, corn, safflower and most other vegetable oils. These oils increase inflammatory response and increase blood platelet stickiness. Omega-3 is found in flaxseed oil fatty acids, however, this oil is very sensitive to oxidation and will rancid quickly. Therefore, it is not to be used in cooking. Using coconut oil for all your cooking and food preparation needs reduces the amount of omega-6 fatty acids in your diet. Monounsaturated fats such as canola and olive oil affect the platelets, causing stickiness of the blood platelets. 

Now your question may be, “How much coconut oil do you need?” Researchers have yet to determine precisely how much coconut oil is needed daily to gain the optimal health benefit. However, on the basis of the amount of MCF, as found in human breast milk, which is known to be effective in its role of protecting and nourishing infants, we can estimate the amount that may be suitable for adults. So, on that basis, an adult of average size would need 3 Ĺ tablespoons of coconut oil a day, or 10 ounces of coconut milk or 7 ounces of raw coconut (about half a coconut). 

Replacing the cooking oils you currently use with coconut oil is an easy first step to adding (medium-chain fatty acids) MCFAs to your diet without increasing your total fat intake. Eliminate all margarine, shortening, and processed vegetable oils from your diet. Olive oil and butter are okay, but use coconut oil whenever possible. Coconut oil does not create a free-radical as do other vegetable oils.  From all the research that has been done to this point, it appears that coconut oil is the healthiest all-purpose oil you can use. It melts at about 76 degrees F, becoming clear, looking like almost any other vegetable oil. Below this temperature it solidifies. It can be spread like creamy buttery texture. Coconut oil is very stable and does not need to be refrigerated and keeps fresh for 2-3 years. 

When coconut oil is mixed with olive oil it remains liquid when poured on a salad. However, I prefer flaxseed oil for salad and it has more Omega-3 than fish oil, according to Dr. Johanna Buwig. One thing to keep in mind is that flaxseed oil is unstable and goes rancid in a few weeks, and then flaxseed oil should not be consumed. 

Cooking with coconut oil will smoke at temperatures above 350 degrees F. It is really great for stir fry and baking. When baking, the moisture inside the food keeps the temperature down, to below 212 degrees F. 

Coconut oil works like magic on the skin and hair. People in coastal Africa and South and Central America and other tropical areas of the world drink coconut or palm-kernel oil whenever they become sick. Tropical oils are both a food and a medicine. Coconut oil can be helpful in fighting many common seasonal illnesses. Dr. Fife suggests taking 4-8 tablespoons a day until you feel better. Spread the dosage over the day with meals. Or it can be taken in orange juice or other beverages. It should be taken at room temperature or it will solidify. 

Caution: “Let me be the first one to tell you that coconut isn’t a cure-all. Coconut can work wonders but it can’t cure everything. Coconut, for example, is a powerful antimicrobial, but it won’t kill all disease-causing germs. The common cold virus, for example, is not directly affected by it. This doesn’t mean coconut oil can’t help you when you have a cold. The oil does aid the immune system so in that respect it can be of benefit. 

Coconut is not a drug and you cannot expect it to bring about immediate results like some drugs do. Coconut is a food. You cannot expect chronic health problems that have been present for many years to vanish overnight. A problem that has endured for 10 years isn’t usually going to go away in a few days or weeks. It may take months or years to correct some problems. Coconut oil is a nutritional element and allows the body to heal itself. Sometimes this can take awhile. Remember you are what you eat. Coconut oil is a miracle food, however, it cannot make miracles happen without other changes in the diet. It cannot make up for a poor diet. 

Doctors have tools to diagnose diseases, however, they are trained by the pharmaceutical industry. They will advise you to avoid all saturated fats, however, they do not seem aware of the MCFA oils. You can replace toxic substances (LCFAs: vegetable oils, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, olive oil, lard and chicken fat, as well as most all other fats and oils) in your diet with coconut oil which is (a medium-chain Fatty Acid) MCFA. Because MCFAs are smaller than LCFAs, they digest more easily and have a greater solubility in water. In fact, unlike LCFAs, pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile are not even necessary for their digestion. Because of this, coconut oil can provide a quick and easy source of nutrition without taxing the enzyme system of the body. This is not something that one should do while eating a bad diet, but should be a lifelong commitment. 

My challenge to you is to eliminate all processed vegetable oils from your diet for 6 months and see if you don’t look and feel better than you did before. 

Dr. Fife recommends you start off slowly with coconut oil. Try 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil the first day, and increase its use. Your body will not be used to it. You could experience runny stools. I don’t remember experiencing this problem when I started using the coconut oil. I love the taste. Use of olive oil and a little butter are OK. When people replace margarine in place of butter their rate of heart disease actually increases. 

Cooking oils asphyxiate the oxygen to the cells, even when a patient is receiving oxygen by mask. Cells die without oxygen. It is just that simple. 

The current recommendation is to limit all fats. Mono-unsaturated fats, such as olive oil in salad dressing, does not seem to adversely affect diabetes and so are allowed in moderation. However, they are high in calories. Saturated fat is restricted because it is believed to increase the risk of heart disease. The biggest culprit, however, seems to be polyunsaturated oil. These oils tend to lock the cells and open the door for glucose to enter, therefore insulin is then unable to open the door. These oils are easily oxidized and prone to free radical damage. Therefore, a diet high in refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils promotes diabetes. There is one fat that diabetics can eat without fear: coconut oil. Not only does it not contribute to diabetes, but it helps regulate blood sugar, thus lessening the effect of the disease. Coconut helps to regulate metabolism also. 


Waggoner on Romans — The Gospel in Paul’s Great Letter 

    (Part 21)    by Ellet J. Waggoner 

(We are continuing a series of articles commenting on Paul’s epistle to the Romans. We pray that they will be a blessing to you.    Editor

ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED—Chapter 11 

The eleventh chapter of Romans closes up the special discussion of Israel. In each of these three chapters we are plainly shown that the Gentiles, if they believe, have an equal share with the Jews, and that the latter forfeit all the privileges of the people of God through unbelief. Nothing could show more plainly than do these chapters that all men are on a level, and that the promises of God are to all who believe, irrespective of birth or nation. 

Romans 11:1-22 

I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:1-22). 

Not a Castaway—The apostle Paul knew that God had not cast off his people, the lineal descendants of Abraham, and his proof was the fact that he himself was accepted with God. If the Jewish nation [people] had been cast off by the Lord, then there would have been no hope for Paul, because he was “an Hebrew of the Hebrews.” The words “God forbid” mislead some people. The idea obtains that Paul was praying that the Lord would not cast off his people, lest he also should be cast away. Instead of “God forbid,” read, “by no means.” Then all is clear. Thus: “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? By no means.” How do you prove that? Why, “I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” 

Who Are Rejected?—Although God had not cast away his people, they were in a bad way. The fact that God had not cast them off, did not prove that they would be saved. Paul intimated that there was danger that even he, after he had preached to others, might be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27). The case, however, lay wholly in his own hands. There was no danger that God would cast him away against his will. We have the words of the Lord, “Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.” (John 6:37). And all may come; for he says also that “whosoever will” may come. God casts no one off; but if they utterly reject him, then, since he forces no one, he has no alternative but to leave them to themselves. 

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof;… therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” (Proverbs 1:24-32). 

God stretches forth his hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people (Romans 10:21), and they have it in their own power to say if they will be saved. God accepts everybody; the only question is, Will they accept him? 

The Remnant—In the illustration from Elijah’s time, we learn something further about the matter of acceptance and rejection. It seemed then as though all Israel had departed from the Lord, but there were seven thousand men who had not acknowledged Baal. “Even so at this present moment there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” The grace of God appears to all men, and is extended to all. Those who accept the grace are the elect, no matter of what tribe or nation they are. Although the plan of salvation embraces all the world, it is a sad fact that but few of any people or generation will accept it. “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” 

The Olive Tree—While there are single expressions in the eleventh chapter of Romans that are difficult to understand, the chapter as a whole is very simple. Under the figure of an olive tree, the people of God are represented, and by the figure of grafting, the relation of all men to God is shown. Before going into the particulars of this illustration, we must for a moment consider the Commonwealth of Israel. 

In the second chapter of Ephesians we learn that as Gentiles, the Ephesians had been “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,” “having no hope, and without God in the world.” That is, those who are not of the commonwealth of Israel are without God; or, those who are without God are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. 

Now Christ is the only manifestation of God to man, and “he came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11). Therefore the mass of the Jewish nation were without God, just as surely as the heathen were, and consequently were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. The same chapter of Ephesians tells us that Christ came to reconcile both Jews and Gentiles unto God, showing that both were separate from him. Still further in the same chapter we learn that the commonwealth of Israel is the “household of God,” and is composed of saints, those who are reconciled to God. Only such are not “strangers and foreigners” from Israel. 

The Origin of Israel—The name originated that night when Jacob wrestled with the Lord, and finally by his faith obtained the blessing that he sought. He could not gain anything whatever by his physical strength; indeed, one touch by the Lord was sufficient to make him utterly helpless; but it was when, in his utter helplessness, he cast himself in simple faith on the Lord, that he gained the victory, and was named Israel prince of God. This title was applied to all his descendants, although it strictly belonged only to those who had living faith in God, just as we use the term “Christian” of those who are in “the church,” with no thought of asserting that they really know the Lord. 

Everyone Has to be Grafted in— Romans 11:23-26 

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. (Romans 11:23-26). 

A Righteous Nation—Much is said of the unbelief of the children of Israel; but there were times when they as an entire nation had faith to a marked degree. One instance will suffice at present. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30). Thirteen times the whole host marched round the city, seemingly to no purpose, without a murmur. Such faith showed that they were then a righteous nation, in close union with God; because, “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1). Then their name truly indicated their character; they were Israelites indeed. They were walking “in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham.” 

Severed Branches—But they did not keep the faith. “We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” (Hebrews 3:14). This they did not do, and so they became “without Christ,” “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” (Ephesians 2:12). In Romans 11:17 the apostle asks, What “if some of the branches be broken off?” etc., not meaning, however, to imply that some were not broken off, as we learn from what follows. For he says, “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (verse 20), and again, “God hath concluded them all in unbelief” (verse 32), thus showing that all were broken off. So we find the people who were “beloved for the fathers’ sakes” (verse 28) and who had at one time in their history been “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26) reduced through their unbelief to the level of those who had never known God. 

Grafted Branches—All the branches of the olive tree Israel were broken off through unbelief. To supply their places God took branches from the wild olive tree the Gentiles and grafted them on. This grafting was “contrary to nature” (verse 24), since it was wholly a work of grace. If it had been according to nature, then the branches would have borne natural fruit, and there would be no gain from the grafting, since the natural fruit was bad. (See Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:1, 2.) But a miracle was wrought by grace, and the branches that were grafted in partook of the nature of the root. The fruit of the grafted-in branches is no more natural, but that of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22, 23). 

A Reunion—We must remember that God did not cast off his people. They fell away through unbelief. “They also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in; for God is able to graff them in again.” (Vs. 23). The Jew has as good a chance as the Gentile. “There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (Romans 10:12). Christ came “that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross,” and “through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:16, 18). 

No Change of Plan—Let us not forget that in thus grafting in the Gentiles to take the place of rebellious Israel, there has been no change in God’s plan. It was all included in the original promise to Abraham. “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before [beforehand] the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Galatians 3:7, 8). 

In the beginning God made Adam, the father of the human race. Adam was the son of God (Luke 3:38); therefore all his descendants are by right God’s people. He did not cast them off because they sinned. His love embraced the world (John 3:16), and it did not contract in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The only advantage of Israel was that they had the privilege of carrying the glorious gospel to the Gentiles, for whom it was always designed as much as for them. 

Visiting the Gentiles—The Gentiles, as well as the descendants of Jacob, were from the beginning intended to become Israel. This was shown at the conference in Jerusalem. Peter told how he had been divinely sent to preach the gospel to them, and that God put no difference between them and the Jews. Then James said: “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15:14-18; See also Amos 9:11-15.) 

From the above we learn that the “tabernacle of David,” the house or kingdom of David, is to be restored through the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles, and that this is according to the mind of the Lord from the beginning of the world. What these scriptures need is not comment, but believing thought. 

“The Fulness of the Gentiles.” “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25). Until the fulness of the Gentiles “be come” into what place? Into Israel, of course; for it is by the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles that “all Israel shall be saved.” When will the fulness of the Gentiles “be come” in? 

The Lord himself furnishes the answer: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14). God is visiting the Gentiles, “to take out of them a people for his name.” By them Israel is to be made full or complete. As soon as this work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles is finished, then the end will come. There will then be no more preaching to anybody not to the Gentiles, because they will all have made the final decision; and not to the Jews, because then “all Israel shall be saved.” There will then be no more need of the gospel; it will have accomplished its work. 

A Great Ingathering of Jews— Romans 11:27-36 

For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Romans 11:27-36) 

All Through Christ—Note carefully verses 25-27. When the fulness of the Gentiles shall have been brought in, “all Israel shall be saved.” Indeed, it is only by the bringing in of the Gentiles that all Israel will be saved. And this will be a fulfillment of that which is written, “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Only through Christ can Israel be saved and gathered; and all who are Christ’s are Israel; for “if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29). 

Taking Away Sin—There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, who shall turn away ungodliness from Israel. Christ is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2). The high priest Caiaphas spoke by the Spirit “that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11:51, 52). 

So Peter, speaking in the temple at Jerusalem, said: “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3: 25, 26). The blessing of Abraham is the forgiveness of sins through Christ; and people of all nations become Israelites indeed by the taking away of iniquity. 

All of Faith—It was through faith that Jacob became Israel. It was through unbelief that his descendants were broken off from the stock of Israel. It is through faith that the Gentiles are grafted in, and only by faith that they stand; and it is through faith that the Jews may become reunited to the parent stock. 

Faith in Christ is the only thing that makes one an Israelite, and only unbelief cuts one off from being an Israelite; this was fully shown by Christ when he marveled at the faith of the centurion, saying; “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.” (Matthew 8:10-12). 

All in Prison—“God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” The word “conclude” means literally “to shut up,” as indicated in the margin. He hath “shut them all up together.” So in Galatians 3:22 we read that “the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” 

And the next verse speaks of all being “shut up” and guarded by the law. Both Jews and Gentiles “are all under sin.” (Romans 3:9). All are shut up in prison together, with no hope of escape except by Christ, “the Deliverer,” who proclaims “liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1). He comes as the deliverer “out of Zion,” bringing the freedom of “Jerusalem which is above.” (Galatians 4:26). All therefore who accept the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, are the children of Jerusalem which is above, heirs of heavenly Canaan, members of the true commonwealth of Israel. 

Wonderful Knowledge—“By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities,” says the Lord. Isaiah 53:11. Thus by forgiving sins he will build the walls of Jerusalem (Psalm 51:18), and restore her captive children. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” 

Let no one, therefore, presume to criticize God’s plan, or to reject it because he can not understand it. “For who hath been his counselor?” “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.” 

    (To be continued) 

(This article was taken from a series of articles printed in The Signs of the Times from October, 1895 through September, 1896. Some editing has been done for this publication.    Editor


Announcements: 

PA Camp Meeting DVDs Available 

Calvin Bickel has asked us to announce that the messages from the Northwest Pennsylvania camp meeting have been put onto DVD and are available for a donation of $5.00 ea. or $55.00 donation for all 12 DVDs. DVDs can be ordered separately or mixed. DVDs are; Willis Smith 2 DVDs, Richard Stratton 2 DVDs, David Clayton 2 DVDs, Calvin Bickel 2 DVDs, Lynnford Beachy 2 DVDs, Dennis Stickney 1 DVD, Baptisms, Song service, Questions and Answers 1 DVD. For more information contact us at seedoftruth@comcast.net or call 814 676-8660 10 to 4 EST, or mail us at: Seed of Truth Ministries, P.O. Box 233, Cranberry, PA 16319. 

Florida Camp Meeting 

The annual Florida Revival retreat will be held this coming February 20-24 at the River Forest Campground, located in the southeast corner of the Ocala National Forest on the scenic St. Johns River. The River Forest Campground is approximately six miles west of Deland and twenty-five miles northeast of Eustis. It is located near the St. Johns River on County Road 42, about 1/4 mile west of Crows Bluff, off of State Road 44. All are invited to attend. 

A lunch will be provided on Sabbath. Each one will be responsible for their meals, and a nice kitchen is available. You might wish to consider bringing simple fruits and pancakes or waffles for breakfast, and simple salads and bean dishes for dinner in quantities enough for your family. This way, if you choose to combine your meals with others, they will be compatible. 

There are no RV hookups, but plenty of room for RV’s and tents. There is a main building for meetings, showers, rest rooms, and, as mentioned earlier, a kitchen. If you can make it, please come. Mosquitoes may be present, so be prepared. 

For more information, please contact Jerri Raymond, (407) 291-9565. Hope to see you there! 

West Virginia Camp Meeting 

The annual West Virginia camp meeting will be held this coming June 10-14. More details will be published in the coming months.

 


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