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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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The Revealed Mystery


"He who believes on the Son has life eternal; he who rejects the Son shall not see life; but the vengeance awaits him" (John 3:36).


The reading of this portion of the divine word must, I think, have impressed your minds with the conviction that the world is divided into two classes relatively to the Son of God; of which, the one is made up of believers of the Son, and the other of rejecters of the Son. Now this is true as it appears on the face of the record; but permit me to observe that the phrase "the world" must be taken in a limited sense. Jesus, in his discourse with Nicodemus, uses the expression frequently; and in John 3: 17, says, "God has sent his son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world may be saved by him." Now, if we were to insulate this verse from the surrounding context, we might conclude, that the whole world, without a single exception, would obtain eternal life; but the context is against such a conclusion, and teaches us that Jesus meant whosoever of the world that believes on him. When, then, you say "the world is divided," etc., you, of course, would restrict the terns to that world of men and women which was related to the Son; in other words, to those who had heard of the Son, and to when the evidence of his divine character had been submitted. For, it must commend itself to your rationality, that a man cannot sustain the character of a rejecter of the Son who has never heard of such a personage; neither can he be regarded as a believer, unless it can be shown that men can believe in things of which they have no knowledge. You perceive then that there may exist a class of people who are neither believers nor rejecters; now concerning this third class of the human family, Paul inquires: "How shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed?" And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" No, it is impossible: for as the apostle says, "faith (or belief) comes by hearing," and the hearing by the proclamation of the word of God. Law must be delivered to men before they can obey or disobey. "If," said Jesus, "I had not come and spoken unto them--the Jews--they had not had sin--that is, they could not have committed the sin of rejecting me; but now they have no excuse for their sin," because he had done among them such miracles as none other ever did. So that, if Jesus had appeared among the Jews, and claimed to be their King from heaven, and had done no miracles to sustain that high pretension, they would not have been obnoxious to a deprivation of eternal life for rejecting him; their condemnation to eternal death must have been predicated on some other ground.

From these and other considerations, I affirm that the race of man is constituted of three classes in relation to the Pentecostal proclamation concerning the Son of God. First, of that class which believes on the Son; second, of that which rejects the Son; and third, of that which never heard of the Son of God. Now, concerning the first class, John says that its members "have life eternal;" concerning the second: "they shall not see life;" and concerning the third, the principle laid down by Jesus is that God, not having spoken to them, they will not be condemned for rejecting Him, as He had not put them to the proof; and Paul shows that they will not attain to eternal life, for, he quotes the prophet Joel, who says that "Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," and remarks, "how shall they call on him on whom they have neither believed nor heard?" no: from death, this third class cannot be delivered or saved, as no means of escape therefrom has been propounded to them.

I wish now to rivet your attention upon the things of eternal life; and in doing so I would set before you this


Eternal Life is a matter of promise.


By eternal is meant unending; -- by life is intended a full, perfect, and renewed manifestation of the intellectual, moral, and physical faculties or constituents of man; and by a matter of promise is signified a thing which is assured by a declaration previous to its possession; hence my proposition thus defined, will read as follows:

The possession of intellectual, moral and physical powers by man in full, perfect, renewed, and unending manifestation, is the subject of an assurance made previous to its realization.

Having stated to you my proposition, and having defined it with as much precision and simplicity of language as possible, I shall now present to you the proofs upon which it rests. Permit me, then, to direct your attention to the following passages of the Oracles of God.

  1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, on account of the promise of life which is by Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1:1)
  2. Paul, in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the times of the ages--who has now manifested His word (of promise), at the proper season, by the proclamation with which I am intrusted. (Titus 1:2)
  3. Abraham holding the promises. (Heb. 7:6)
  4. To Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed--who is the Christ. (Gal. 3:16)
  5. This is the promise, which He has promised to us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25)


Now, from the first of our proofs we perceive, that it was on account of this very promise that Paul was constituted an apostle of Jesus Christ. It teaches us that the life promised is by Jesus Christ; that is, that it was manifested by him. In a subsequent part of this chapter, Paul terms the promise the purpose and favor of God, "given before the times of the ages;" and given too "through Jesus Christ," or the seed or Abraham (according to proof No. 4). "and now (in his day,) made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; who has indeed vanquished death, and brought life and incorruptibility to light by the Gospel, of which Paul was appointed a herald and an apostle." Had not the promise of eternal life to "all the families of the earth" been made, there would have been no "Apostle and teacher of the Gentiles;" for it was on account of this promise of life that he was appointed "by the will of God." Furthermore, he says that "the light which is the light of man" is developed in the Gospel, which he (Paul) preached; consequently, the gospel is the true interpretation of the promise of life made before the ages of the law.

My second proof sets forth the subject-matter of the promise as a thing of hope; his phrase is, in hope of "eternal life," and in Titus 3:7, he speaks of "Heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Now, as to hope, he says in Rom. 8:24, "Hope that is attained is not (or ceases to be) hope; for who can hope for that which he enjoys? But if we hope for that which we do not enjoy, then with patience we wait for it." As if he had said,--If a man have immortality within him, he has attained to it, and is in the enjoyment of it; but if he is altogether mortal and corruptible, and he hope for it, then, with patience, he waits for it until it is conferred; for that which a man actually possesses, cannot, in the nature of things, be to him a matter of hope. A man cannot, at one and the same time, be an immortal soul and "long for immortality;" the idea, though popular, is absurd.

But Paul says, that eternal life becomes a matter of hope by virtue of a promise, which God made "before the times of the ages." But what period is thus indicated? It is agreed pretty generally, that the times of the Mosaic law are signified, inasmuch as the period of that dispensation or constitution of things, was distributed into ages of fifty years, termed jubilees. It was before the setting up of the kingdom of Israel, then, that God made the promise of eternal life. But it may be asked, how long before, and to whom did He make the promise? These are important queries, and ought to be answered with precision. Paul says, that the (diatheekee) will or promise, was made 430 years before the Law of Moses was delivered, and that it was made to Abraham and his seed, who is the Christ; see proof 4. Of these, Abraham was the holder of the promise, and his seed, the Christ, the subject of the will; for Paul terms the promise--"the will concerning the Christ" --Diatherkeeis Christon,--(Gal. 3:15-17; Luke 22:20; Heb. 10:10). These phrases, then, "The will concerning the Christ" and "The promise of the eternal life," are one and the same; for the eternal life and the Christ are the same; for John in guarding his brethren against idols says, "We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, that we might know him (the God) that is true; and we are in him that is true, in his son Jesus Christ: this is the true God (the father) and the eternal life (His Son)" (1John 5:20). Besides, Jesus styled himself "the life" as well as the way, the truth and the resurrection.

The promise of eternal life is recorded by Moses in Genesis, and is veiled in the following language, "All the land (of Palestine) which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever" (Gen.13:14-17). "Unto thy seed I have given this land from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." This promise was sealed with the blood of an heifer, a she goat, and a ram, all of three years old: the duration of the ministry of the anointed Lamb before he was slain by the Jews. Thus was "the will ratified by God," (Gal. 3:17), 430 years before the law.

The promise was reiterated to Isaac and Jacob (Gen. 25:2, 3, 4; 28:3-4, 13-14), the son and grandson of Abraham. But it may be said, the phrase eternal life is not expressed in the will; and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not, nor have they ever, possessed the land. This is true, but though the phrase is not expressed the thing is implied; and it is quite true that all these, and more, died in faith, or confidence of hope, not having received the land with its rights. privileges. immunities, and appurtenances thereunto belonging (Heb. 11:13,39). But this incident forms the solution of the difficulty. Abraham died without possessing the land; and his seed, the Christ, came to his own land, but left it without acquiring possession thereof. Has God's promise to these personages failed? No, says Paul, for God who promised it cannot lie (Titus 1:2). What, then, must happen, in order that the will may be administered, or the promise of God fulfilled? The answer is that the Christ must descend from heaven, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must be raised from the dead to realize it (Matt. 8:11; Mic. 7:20). The subject of this proposition takes a wider range than I can describe at present. I shall therefore proceed to affirm my


The eternal life of man is deposited

in Jesus, the Prince of Life.



  1. As the Father has life in himself, so has he given to the Son to have life in himself. (John 5:26)
  2. Oh Jews! ye will not come to me that ye may obtain life (John 5:40).
  3. Jesus answered, I am the Bread of Life; which descended from heaven; whoso eats of this bread that I will give, shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world (John 6:35-51).
  4. I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:24-25).
  5. Your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ our life shall appear, then you shall also appear with him in glory. (Col. 3:3-4).
  6. This is the testimony that God has given to us eternal life; and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has this life; and he who has not the Son of God has not this life (1 John 5:11-12).


From these passages it is clear that, though a man may be an heir of eternal life, and in that sense have within him that which springs in to eternal life, yet the life itself is not an inherent principle of his nature, but one that may be acquired by virtue of an interest in the Son of God. He is the bread of life, and it is just as necessary to feed on that bread to live for ever, as it is to feed on the bread which perishes, to live the life of an animal man. Our first proof agrees with the doctrine of the word as revealed in John 1:1-5. The word was God, and in it was life. This life word afterwards became incarnated, and was manifested to Israel by the baptism of John, as the Son, and therefore the equal with God; for the grand difference between the Word by whom all things were created and the Word which sojourned among the Jews, consisted not in their being essentially dissimilar, for they were not -- they were one (I and my Father are one)--but in the life-word Creator, assuming in relation to men, the nature of a descendant of Abraham. This assumption, however, made no difference as to the inherent attribute of life; hence, said Jesus, "as the Father has life in himself, so has He given to the son to have life in himself"--the Father the life-word incarnated.

The life-word incarnated, named Jesus by the life word, was introduced among men as the fountain of life and light to the world. Hence in conversing with the Jews, he says, in effect, "You search the Scriptures to discover the way by which eternal life may be procured; now these testify that I am he who confers it; and yet you will not come to me, the fountain of living waters, and drink that your thirst may be allayed; I am eternal life--in me the fullness, the favor, and the truth are incorporated; and yet, 0 Jews, you will not come to me that you may obtain the life you seek." But if they had within them immortality, why need they go to Jesus to obtain it? It would have been unnecessary; but inasmuch as there was no immortality--not one spark of it within them if they would live for ever in any sense, they were imperatively bound to go to Him "who only hath immortality" to bestow, and obtain it on any terms He might deign to prescribe.

Messiah is the resurrection and the life: and no man can enter the presence of the Father unless he introduce him; and because he is the resurrection and the life, Paul told the Christians of Colosse that their life was hid with Christ in God. But if immortality is an inherent principle of human nature, how can it be said to be hid in Christ? It ought then to then read our life is hid in ourselves! But in relation to the true believers, Christ the life is termed "our life," because all their hope for eternal life is embodied in him. Hence he is called "Christ our hope." If he is not risen, their hope is vain, and when they die they perish as the brutes. But he has risen from the dead and sits at the right hand of God, waiting until the time appointed for his return hither arrive: and "when Christ our life shall appear, then you also (O true believers) shall appear with him in glory, honor, and immortality," and not one instant before. "We know," says John, "that when he shall appear, we shall be like him (glorious, honorable, and immortal)--we shall see him as he is. And every one who has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure."--(1 John 3:2-3). The idea, then of an immediate translation from earth to heaven at our animal decease is excluded; for the believer is not to appear in glory till the appearance of Messiah on earth to raise the dead.

My sixth proof instructs us that God has given to the faithful eternal life; but that, although it says elsewhere that "he that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, has eternal life," yet John teaches in the proof before us, that this life is in the Son of God and that it is he only who has the Son that has this life: for he emphatically declares, that he who has not the Son has not this life. If, then, this be true, it necessarily follows that the disobedient, the rejecters, and all who have not the Son, in the true scriptural sense, are destitute of all right, title, and property, in the life which endures for ever.

(next page)


Summary of the Christianity Revealed In The Bible

Part 1 Con't

Part 1 Con'tA Discourse On Eternal Life

Part 2 (con't)

The Kingdom of God

Part 3 (con't)

A Synopsis of The One Faith Taught By the Apostles