Last Updated on :Thursday, November 20, 2014








chapter 12




It remains for us to show,

1st. -- That there is but One True Hope;

2nd. -- That it was this hope contained in "the Word of the Truth", (Col. 1:5) which made that word Glad Tidings, or Gospel, to the world;

3rd. -- What this Hope is.

First then, the Apostle in writing to the Christian disciples in Ephesus, discourses at some length concerning that undeveloped reality which makes "the Word of the Truth" he announced the Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God. In the fourth chapter, he tells them that he is a prisoner; and, in Acts 28:20, we are told on what account he was deprived of his liberty; "for the Hope of Israel", says he, "I am bound with this chain": therefore because he was bound for that which Jehovah [Yahweh] had promised to the Fathers of Israel, he styles himself "the prisoner of the Lord". "I therefore", says he, "the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which ye are called"; (Eph. 4:1) that is, walk worthy of the Hope of the Gospel. Then, further on he exhorts them to "endeavour to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (4:3), which can only be done by "contending earnestly for the Faith originally delivered to the Saints", (Jude 3) as we are commanded to do. In the verse immediately following he enumerates the grand integral parts which in combination make up the unity of the Spirit's teaching, styled in verse 13, "the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God". This unity is constituted of seven particular units, namely, "One Body", or aggregate communion of Christian disciples "One Spirit", "One Hope of the Calling; one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, and one God". (Eph. 4:4-6) Thus the unity is defined by the Apostle; and thus we prove that "the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God " -- or, in other words, "The truth as it is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21) -- recognizes only one Hope. Another argument in proof of this is derivable from the use of

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the definite article the. It is not a hope, but the Hope of the Gospel.

Thus, "God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his purpose, confirmed the promise by an oath: that we might have strong consolation, who have fled for, refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the life, both sure and steadfast, and which hope enters (or penetrates) into that (dispensation of things) within the vail (which conceals them from our sight)" (Heb. 6:17-19).

The importance, as well as unity, of this hope may be inferred from the position it occupies in "the armour of God". (Eph. 6:11,13) "Take", says the Apostle, "the helmet of salvation"; and that we may know what the helmet is, he says, "let us who are of the day be sober, having for a helmet the hope of salvation" (1 Thess. 5:8) -- not the hope of being saved from hell, but having an assured expectation of the things God has promised to the Fathers of Israel.

Much more proof of this point might be adduced, but it is not necessary. We shall proceed now to show,

2. -- That it was the hope contained in "the Word of God" which made that word Glad Tidings, or Gospel, to the world.

This is illustrated and proved by the following consideration. When the Word was preached by the Apostles, and their collaborators, they revealed secrets to the people which made them rejoice with inexpressible joy. Does the reader think that this effect would have been produced by persuading them that they should obtain forgiveness of sins in answer to prayer, or by a disquisition on the immortality of the soul, which they had professed to believe for many previous ages? Let the reader examine himself, and say if such preaching, nay, if even baptism for remission of sins -- ever kindled within him joy inexpressible. But in the minds of the ancients, such a joy was produced by what they heard. Does not this prove that the pious of this age have not heard, and therefore have not believed, the same things as gospel, as those announced by the Apostles? If they had, their feeling and morality would be identical.

How was it with the Christian disciples of Pentecost? They ate their meat with gladness and singleness of heart" (Acts 2:46). How was it with "the multitude of them that believed in Jerusalem? "They were of one heart, and of one soul neither said any of them that aught of the things
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which he possessed was his own" (Acts 4:32); there was no covetousness among them; this was a Christian union which no "Protestant Union" will ever attain to -- a union which the world will never witness again till Messiah comes; for Protestantism contains not within it the self-destroying, self-crucifying, principles of the Word.

How was it with the Samaritans? "There was great joy in that city" (Acts 8:8). How was it with the officer of the Ethiopian Queen? "He went on his way rejoicing" (verse 39). How was it with Paul himself?" I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake" (2 Cor. 12:10); "I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dross, that I may win Christ" (Phil. 3:8). Here was "knowledge" for which he was willing and did sacrifice every thing to realize. How was it with the Antiochians? "They were filled with joy" (Acts 13:52). How was it with the Philippian jailor and family? "He rejoiced, believing in God with all his house" (Acts 16:34). How was it with the Ephesians? "Many of them which practised curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all; and they counted the price of them, and found it 50,000 pieces of silver. So mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed" (Acts 19:19,20). Do such sacrifices result now from the belief of preaching? How was it with the Galatians? They received Paul "as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus himself". They spake of the blessedness, and if it had been possible, would have plucked out their eyes and given them to him (Gal. 4:14,15) And how, lastly, was it with the Christian disciples throughout Asia Minor and the adjacent countries where they believed the preaching of the Word?" They rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. 1:8).

Now, it is not in human nature to rejoice with such ecstasy in believing the abstract doctrine of forgiveness of sins through prayer, or baptism; or of going somewhere beyond the skies, to "that undiscovered bourne whence no traveller has returned when they are called upon to be dissevered from property and friends, by the shaft of "the King of Terrors" as they style him. The most vivid conception of the Elysian Heaven has never excited in professors "a joy unspeakable"; on the contrary, their extreme anxiety to continue in the

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present state of existence evinces its impotency and their own incredulity of its desirableness.

The fruit of this doctrine, universally believed in our own day, proves that it is devoid of a refining influence upon society; it fails to humanize or moralize; and leaves the believer of it, still subject to bondage through fear of death.

But the fruit of the word preached by Paul was altogether different. It caused them who believed it to "deny themselves of all ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age". It taught them to "look for that blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God, even of our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:12-13). By believing it, this potent word formed Christ in the hearts' of men -- The Hope of Glory; and that they might win him, they hazarded with joy, life, liberty, everything, for in him is the fullness of God.

He informs Titus, that "the Grace of God", or his Word, "that bringeth salvation had appeared to all men", that is, to Jews and Gentiles; "teaching them", etc.; and among the things it teaches is the "Blessed Hope", (See Titus 2:11-13) according to his own saying. This was the "blessedness" of which the Galatians spake with such intense interest", (Gal. 4:15) it was the great feature of the Word of the Truth as it is in Jesus, (Eph. 4:21) which made its announcement such exciting and joyful . Much more might be said under this head; but this is enough for the present; we pass on therefore, to the next thing to be shown.

3. -- What this blessed Hope is, that makes the word Glad Tidings or Gospel.

Paul, in the third chapter of Galatians and the eighth verse says, "the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham". This is an important declaration. On Paul's authority then, we are informed that the Gospel was preached about 1954 years before the day of Pentecost. Was the Gospel thus preached, remission of sins by the Holy Spirit in answer to prayer? Or, was it repentance and remission of sins in the name of Jesus Christ? Or, was it the truth, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God? Reader, mark well what we say; it was none of these; but, in the words of the Apostle himself, it was this, namely, "IN THEE (ABRAHAM) SHALL ALL NATIONS BE BLESSED", This was an announcement of "blessedness" -- a blessedness on nations, on all nations
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placed constitutionally as nations "in" Abraham, the details of which, when the Galatians heard Paul unfold them, caused them so much joy that if it had been possible they would have plucked out their eyes, and given them to him. (Gal. 4:15) This is that gospel to which he refers when he says, "I was separated to the Gospel of God, which he had promised afore by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures" (Rom.1:1,2).

Concerning this blessedness which he styles "The blessing of Abraham" (Gal. 3:14) -- quoting from the prophet Isaiah, he says, "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9). Hence this emphatic declaration excludes from God's gospel all the foolishness of men, current as wisdom before the Apostolic preaching, and which the clergy now preach for truth: the hereditary immortality of the soul, and translation to heaven at death are no part of this blessedness; for these had for ages previous entered into the hearts of the heathen philosophers of Greece and Rome.

Now, the things of this unseen and unheard of blessedness make up "the hidden wisdom of God". (See 1 Cor. 2:7) It was announced in general terms to Abraham; but its details were hidden and remained secret for ages. Hence, it is styled, "the Wisdom of God in a Mystery", which none of the princes of Paul's age knew (1 Cor. 2:7,8). He also says in another place, "the Mystery has been kept secret since the time of the ages" -- that is, from the time the Gospel was preached to Abraham (Rom. 16:25). Again, he says "the Mystery of Christ in other ages was not made known to the sons of men"; and again, "the Mystery hath been hid in God from the beginning of the ages" (Eph. 3:5,9). Also repeated thus, "The Word of God -- the Mystery -- hath been hid from the beginning of the ages and generations" (Col. 1:25-26). These quotations are sufficient to prove that all the speculation in the world concerning the destiny predetermined of God for mankind, were the mere blunders of heathen men.

"In thee, Abraham, shall all the nations be blessed." Was not this an announcement of something future -- "shall be blessed"? Was it not, then, presented to Abraham as a matter of hope? If then, also, this were the gospel preached to the Father of the Faithful, was it not the hope of the Gospel? Certainly it was. Well, does not Paul tell you, that the details of this hope were kept secret? Because they were so, therefore

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he styles them "the Mystery of the Gospel" in Eph. 6:19. Let it then be noted that the one Hope of the calling is the Gospel -- the very ancient Gospel itself - preached to Abraham and secreted as to certain details from human knowledge for ages. Let us ascertain now when its mystery was made known.

Paul says he was "an Apostle separated for the Gospel of God" (Rom. 1:1). He explains this by saying, "Be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, whereof I, Paul, am made minister; fully to preach the Word of God, even the mystery which hath been hid; but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you (dwelling in your hearts by the belief of these things) the Hope of Glory" (Col. 1:23-27). This is the definition of Paul's apostleship to the Gentiles -- to make known to them God's intention concerning them.

Again; "The mystery is NOW (1,800 years ago) made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith" (Rom. 16:26). From this we learn also that all the nations of the old Roman civilization once knew what this long-hidden, but then revealed mystery was; but since that order of things faded away before the Dark Ages, it has been entirely blotted out from their remembrance, and now demands to be resuscitated from the book of God for the obedience of faith among those who are watching for the Lord's return.

Concerning the unseen and unheard-of Blessed Things, Paul saith, "but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit" (1 Cor. 2:10); and they are placed on record in the New Testament.

"By revelation Jesus Christ hath made known unto me, Paul, the Mystery; which in other ages was not made known as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: unto me is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages hath been hid in God who created all things (dia) on account of Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (kings, governors, councils, etc.) might be made known through the church (ecclesia) the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in
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Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph. 3:1-11). Thus the eternal purpose of God was made known to the ancient nations by Paul's preaching of "the Word of Truth, the Gospel of their salvation"; (Eph. 1:13) we would now like to know what was this eternal purpose, which, when announced by the apostles, produced such joyousness in the hearts of the people?

Hear what the scripture saith: "God has made known the mystery, or secret, of his will which he hath purposed in himself". Well, what is it He hath willed, or predetermined? Let us read it wide awake; it is this that He hath resolved upon, namely, "That in the dispensation of the completion of the times appointed, he might gather together in one (imperial monarchy) all things under Christ, both the things which are in the heavens (kingly governments, etc.) and which are on the earth (people, nations and languages) under him, in whom we have obtained an inheritance" (Eph. 1 :9,10,11)

But perhaps the correctness of the parentheses interjected may be disputed. We will, therefore, quote a declaration of God's eternal purpose (not the Mystery, but the Will) from one of the prophets of Israel. Here it is: -- "In the days of these kings (represented by the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image, and now existing) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Dan. 2:44). "And I saw in the night visions, and behold there was given to the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) empire, glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him; his empire is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one which shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:13-14). From this, then, it appears, that God's intention is to establish an Imperial Monarchy upon the ruins of all kingdoms and republics extant; and to put the sceptre of absolute and universal dominion into the hand of the Son of Man. This will be an indestructible kingdom; and those who are appointed to its honours, dignities, offices, in the beginning of it, will retain them as long as it lasts; and as it is everlasting, it is very obvious that flesh and blood, or mortal men, cannot inherit it.

Paul saith to Timothy, "Preach the Word"; (2 Tim. 4:2) that is, preach the Hope of the Gospel, or Kingdom of God. Invite the people to take office under God's King; tell them what God hath said in the prophets, how that "the saints shall take

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away the dominion of their oppressors to consume and destroy it to the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the Saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers shall serve and obey him" (Dan. 7:26,27). Tell them, "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory (Psa. 102:16); and that then, "The high praises of God shall be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written; this honour have all his saints" (Psa. 149:6-9) Tell them, "All things are theirs -- the world, life, death, things present and to come, all are theirs and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:21-23) Tell them these things, 0 Timothy; reprove, rebuke, exhort, and let no man despise thee.

Now "the People of the Saints" are those who believe the Hope of Israel, and obey the King of Israel. They are styled, "kings and priests unto God " (Rev. 1:6; 5:10) in the New Testament, because they are chosen on the principle of an obedient faith to act as kings and priests in the Messiah's Kingdom of the Coming Age. "Do ye not know", saith Paul, "that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2) -- shall reign as kings and officiate as priests in the new imperial monarchy to be founded -- in the everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ?

But this kingdom is yet future; and generation after generation of God's royal priesthood hath succumbed to the power of the enemy: what then must needs occur before the saints, can possess the kingdom? They must rise from among the dead; or if any such be living when the kingdom is set up, they must be changed from flesh and blood, which is corruptible, and therefore mortal, into flesh and spirit, a combination which is incorruptible and deathless; for, as we have said, the offices of the kingdom and empire do not change hands: the gifts and calling of God being without repentance; hence, the glory, honour, and dignities of the Empire require that they who obtain appointments to them be immortal. Thus, then, "glory, honour, incorruptibility, life", and blessedness in all its manifestations, are announced as the attributes of the kingdom of God; hence, to preach the kingdom of God is to proclaim all these things through it as an incorruptible institution. The Resurrection of the Just
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is not the hope of the Gospel; it is only an item thereof; yet it is vastly important; for it is the path of life -- the strait gate of life; and holds a similar relation to the Future Age that our birth of the flesh does to the present; the resurrection gives us introduction to the kingdom of God.


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