“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth
for the manifestation of the sons of God” – Romans 8:19.
The Holy Spirit through Peter says: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” – 1 Peter 1:13-20.
Gird up the loins of your mind; be sober; hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, do not fashion yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but be ye holy in all manner of conversation; and pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. Thus are we admonished! Why? ‘Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you’.
Lessons from the first Manifestation of Jesus Christ
Jesus Himself was manifested for us. ‘Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you’. That has already taken place. That was when He came for our salvation; when He went to the Cross to pay for our sins and to redeem us from them all; if so be that we have gone to Him to properly acknowledge our sins, with true penitence, genuinely ask for forgiveness, and repent. The result is salvation of the soul from sin and Satan, the father of sin.
But thereafter the race called ‘Christianity’ starts properly, and with all grace abounding to all who understand the nature of this blessed race and are ready to play by the graciously rewarding rules. These are they that do not belong to them who draw back unto perdition but, rather, are of them that believe to the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10: 39), which is the second salvation or when Jesus comes again or is manifested again to take His own eternally home. By this second manifestation, or His second coming, we mean its first phase called ‘the rapture’, when He stops in the cloud to manifest Himself to the New Testament ‘Elishas’ in the cloud after catching them away from among the dead and living (see “The Manner of the Catching away of the Saints” in Chapter Eleven of this volume; and, indeed, nothing can be more startling and unsettling to Satan, his host and the whole world); the second phase of His second manifestation or second coming being when He returns with the saints to the earth to rule for a thousand years.
At salvation we have the forgiveness of sins; the seed of eternity with God is planted in us; we are translated into the kingdom of Christ Jesus; and made qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light through Him. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” – Colossians 12-14. But we have to keep from sin, grow the seed of eternity with God in us, keep living as Christ’s kingdom citizens while still here on earth (which is what the pilgrim’s walk is about), to remain qualified as partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
The same Colossians Chapter 12, verses 20-23 of it, put the life we must live after that glorious transformation and translation at salvation already represented, in the preceding paragraph, this way: “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.”
The purpose of the first salvation is for Him to present us holy, un-blamable and ‘unreproveabe’. That is how the saved soul is presented if he happens to die immediately after salvation or forgiveness of his sins. But most don’t die immediately after that but must be here and out there to carry out the great commission for others to be drawn into the Kingdom as well. So, immediately after salvation they become pilgrims or remain here for the main purpose of giving out the gospel unfeigned and uncorrupted in season and out of season. But as he reaches out to the world, he must reach out as a pilgrim or heavenly citizen or must continue in the faith grounded and settled, and must never be moved away from the hope of the gospel, which he has heard, for that is the only way now he can be presented holy, unblamable and unreprovable by Jesus Christ which is one of the first goals of the rapture or of the first phase of His second manifestation.
So, as many as know why He was first manifested then and remain true to that purpose shall themselves be manifested when He comes in this first phase of His second revelation: ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ’. The Church has known grace, grace and more grace. Yet, there is coming a grace to be revealed! When He comes again and the sons of God are manifest: O what Grace that separates His own forever from Satan and his hosts, from sin and all wickedness, and ushers them (His own) into life, glory and bliss eternal with Him that inhabits eternity! THEN GRACE SHALL BEGIN TO OPEN ITS PAGES FOREVER.
‘He that commits sin is of the Devil’: And what does it mean?
The Holy Spirit also tells us through John the beloved of the manifestation of Jesus Christ more than two thousand years ago. “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And everyman that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.
“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. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” – 1 John 2:28-3:10.
We need to clarify the use of the word ‘commit’ in that scripture because of errors of interpretation here and there. The Greek word used here is ‘poieo’ and it means to do; commit; practice; perform. The margin reading of the word ‘commit’ in 1John 3: 8 and 9 is ‘practise’. And Dake would want us to know what he calls “Seven Fallacies Based on 1 John 3:9” viz.: That a born-again person cannot sin; That his sins are not real ones; That God automatically forgives his sins without confession; That God does not see his sins; instead He sees the blood of Christ which he is trusting in; That sins are not imputed to him; That he does not practice sin, but commits occasional sin; That all his sins—past, present, and future—are already forgiven; and then added very instructively:
“At the best these fallacies are vain attempts to explain this verse and all of them are unscriptural. The secret of a proper understanding of this verse is in the word ‘in,’ which means in harmony with or in union with and not physical entrance into, … The seed is the Word of God by which a man is born again (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18). The simple idea is that as long as one remains in union with or in harmony with the seed, or the Word of God, he cannot sin. One who is consecrated to obey the Bible and refuses to sin, cannot break the commandments of God. Therefore, he cannot sin, for sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). The reason given here for not being able to sin is that ‘His’ (God's) seed (the Word of God) remains (abides) in him. That is, the one born again refuses to transgress the commandment of God and commit sin. As long as this consecration remains he will be unable to sin. If he grows cold in his love for God, ceasing to pray and maintain his spiritual life, he then may be overcome again and sin by transgressing the Word of God (1 John 2:1; 2 Peter 1:5-10)”. It adds up or boils down to the question of the fear of God or the want it!
He was manifested to take away our Sins
With that clarification we may now return to our subject matter. ‘He was manifested to take away our sins’. ‘For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil’, and this scripture is zeroing in on sins as those works, sins being the strength of his (Satan’s) other works. And anyone who is really desirous of knowing those to be manifested and who is really desirous to know whether himself or herself will be in that number can see a clear opening, a window in this scripture that supplies or gives that knowledge. And it is this: ‘In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil’. In this! In what: Read the verses before it; and then the clause that immediately follows it, which is: ‘whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother’.
In other words, we can know whether we are in the number or not at any given moment. So, the timely and loving counsel: ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And everyman that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure’. It is the Word that purifies. The Word purifies only those that reverence it, and the fear of the Lord makes that reverence possible! Or, the Word purifies only those that hearken to the Spirit voice reaching us through the Word, and only those that fear God has this benefit! To become more like Jesus starts with knowing more about Him, and obeying Him. Christianity is actually about knowing more and more about Jesus, in all aspects He relates to us; and knowing them and growing in those various knowledge areas both in heart and action. E. E. Hewitt in “More about Jesus would I know” puts it this way:
More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show,
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.
More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.
More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.
More about Jesus; in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.
More about Jesus; on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom's sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.
A close walk with Jesus is the secret of all this. And it is a lifetime walk. In this walk we more and more empty ourselves of self and more and more conform to His image until we shall know Him even as we are known of Him: that is, in Heaven! For now it is more about Jesus: More of His grace, saving fullness, love, holy will, Word, throne, Kingdom, and Coming. That is, to live with eternity in view. Those that will be manifested as God’s eternal sons when Christ comes in the Rapture are those watching out for His coming and looking up steadfastly; those who are more and more being filled with the knowledge of His throne, Kingdom and coming until they are overwhelmed with all three.
Commenting on Psalm 62: 5 or “My expectation is from Him”
Charles Spurgeon says inter alia: “… But we have ‘expectations’ beyond this life. We shall die soon; and then our ‘expectation is from Him.’ Do we not expect that when we lie upon the bed of sickness He will send angels to carry us to His bosom? We believe that when the pulse is faint, and the heart heaves heavily, some angelic messenger shall stand and look with loving eyes upon us, and whisper, ‘Sister spirit, come away!’ As we approach the heavenly gate, we expect to hear the welcome invitation, ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’
“We are expecting harps of gold and crowns of glory; we are hoping soon to be amongst the multitude of shining ones before the throne; we are looking forward and longing for the time when we shall be like our glorious Lord – for ‘We shall see Him as He is.’ Then if these be thine ‘expectations,’ O my soul, live for God; live with the desire and resolve to glorify Him from Whom cometh all thy supplies, and of whose grace in thy election, redemption, and calling, it is that thou hast any ‘expectation’ of coming glory.”
So then, let us live with eternity in view. Making eternity with God is and should be our greatest expectation from God. That is the climax of all His promises to us. Let us be more and more filled with the knowledge of His throne, Kingdom and coming until we are overwhelmed with them. In other words: Let us live and walk as true pilgrims in this side of heaven until we get to the other side. The fear of God or holiness is very key and indispensable.
“Can Two walk together except, they be Agreed”!
“But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” – 1 Peter 1:15-21.
May we draw particular attention to verse 19: ‘But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot’? The person and blood of Jesus is here pictured: A Lamb without blemish and without spot; His blood most precious! And of the Church He is coming to rapture we also read: “That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” – Ephesians 5:26-27. In verse five before it we are told this is the reason He gave His life for it.
Sum: The Lamb without blemish and spot was slain to save, receive or rapture a people (a glorious Church) without blemish, spot, wrinkle or any of such things! That is the good news in a nutshell. And we read in Amos 3:3: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” So, who must be right: Jesus and all the faithful saints throughout history who handled this ‘weightier’ matter of becoming more and more like Jesus with the urgency and unequaled importance it deserves, and put it continually on the front burner or those who have dedicated their pulpits and air time to mundane things? Our lives must continually grow in agreement with the life of Jesus Christ or must continually be conforming to His image. This is the path that leads to the rapture.
That is, we must achieve the purpose of His first manifestation (becoming children of the Father, and becoming more and more like that Father without blemish and spot) to be able to be part of His second manifestation when the sons of God shall be manifested. That brings us back again to the fear of God – the link that connects us from Jesus’ first manifestation to His second manifestation. And the word that we must here draw attention to that shows our fear of God and so obedience to His command and His will is ‘watch’. Piety is about watching!
The Lord’s Serious Command to “Watch therefore”!
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” – Matthew 25:1-13.
The Lord’s commandment to watch cannot and should not be compromised. The messages in our pulpits must be well directed therefore; and never are they to take us from this commandment of life. It places sound doctrine in our churches, genuine salvation, holy living and unqualified obedience to God’s holy commands among church members above all else.
We must be lights and salts (Matthew 5: 13-16). We must be that written epistle known and read by men to the praise and glory of God (2Corinthians 3: 1-5). We must allow Him to make manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in everyplace (2Corinthians 2: 14). Our lives must be for the pleasure of Him Who made all things for His pleasure. We must earnestly contend for the faith and never allow mundane things, the unrighteous mammon and love of the world to distract us. Our City is not on this side of heaven. Here, we are pilgrims and let us live as such. The Lord is preparing our mansions for us, and that, in a City above. Not too long from now, He comes to take us home. The command is to watch. The command is to ‘look up’ for He comes.
Will He find faith on earth when He comes! Yes! But with a few! Let’s be among that few! We must eschew the way of the multitude out there and the multitude within, for, sadly, there is multitude within. We must not be given to ‘itching ears’ messages or messages targeted at emotions, that tickle our fancies and that only allow multitude to stream in and out of our meetings but with no marked difference with the multitude out there.
May we be among the few, the few that are and will be earnest in our generation and who shall be manifested when the Lord comes! In this wise the next chapter: “Saintly Counsels on making it at last!” may be also rewarding as it draws not only from scriptural counsels but also from godly counsels by post-Bible saints of God on how to stay on the path that leads to Heaven! For there the faithful shall be gathered shortly; and from there they will come with their Savior to govern the earth as kings with the King of Kings for a thousand years!