From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued
Let us remember that God is bound by His word and His oath, but He is not bound by the dispensations, by general historical procedure, nor yet by the notions of men. “It is appointed unto men once to die . . .,” that is quite true; but even though death is quite general God was free to reach down and translate Enoch “that he should not see death” when this holy man believed for it. (Heb. 11:5.) Nor did it prevent God from catching Elijah up into heaven in a whirlwind, when He chose to do so. (2 Kgs. 2:11.) Nor could it prevent the Lord from extending the life of John the Beloved for two thousand years, if He chose to do so. It was neither Peter’s business, nor ours, nor was it contrary to God’s Word, if the Lord wanted it that way. (Jn. 21:22.) Jesus has promised that He would raise up “at the last day” all those who would believe on His Name. (Jn. 6:40.) There is no question about that. But that did not stop Him from resurrecting Lazarus, even during His earthly ministry. (Jn. 11:44.) Nor did it prevent Moses from rising from the dead somewhat prematurely, as he must have done according to Jude 9. Neither did it prevent the tombs from bursting assunder when Christ died on the Cross, and the bodies of the saints arising and coming into the city and appearing unto many. (Matt. 27:52,53.) God is perfectly free to raise whom He will any time He chooses; to impart Divine Life to whomsoever he will, whenever one shall believe for it; and to translate any one that has the faith for it. Let us not argue with the good-man of the House; is He not free to do as He will with His own? If we have bargained with God for a resurrection at the last Day: are we going to have an evil eye if God in mercy and love imparts His resurrection life to some before the last day?
JESUS CHRIST, THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
One of the most glorious facts of Scripture, we believe, is this: that the Resurrection and the Life is not a mere historic event, to take place in the distant future,–but the Resurrection and the Life is a Person, even the Lord Jesus Christ who dwells in our hearts. How He yearned over Mary and Martha at the tomb of Lazarus, and sought to inspire faith in their hearts to believe in Him. But they would insist, like the vast majority of Christians today, in believing facts about Him and about God, instead of believing in Him. “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection . . . I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God…..” But all the time Jesus was wanting them to believe that He was the I Am, the answer to their immediate need. A historical resurrection? Of course, they would believe in that. Christ, the Messiah? Why of course, they would believe that. But this kind of faith is not sufficient to bring one into the fulness of sonship, and to a real genuine appropriation of Divine Life here and now. They confessed their faith in the fact that Lazarus would rise again in the resurrection at the last day. But Jesus replied, “I am the Resurrection, and the Life . . .” Resurrection and Life, then, are not merely the attributes of the resurrection, and events which are to take place at the rapture. But the Resurrection and the Life are held out to the Sons of God even here and now.
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live . . .” That was the case of Lazarus, was it not? And did he not live, because he died believing in Christ? And then the Lord continues, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (Jn. 11:25,26.) It is certain we do not believe it. O, we might believe it theoretically but not one of us has believed it experimentally, or Divine Life would be surging through our beings. But the promise is there nevertheless, even though we all disbelieve it. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” By faith all things are and shall be possible. The very dispensations themselves are but weak barriers and obstacles if men of faith are enabled by the Spirit to reach out and leap beyond them. Enoch did it. So did Elijah. And so shall the Sons of God. The Word of faith shall grip their hearts, and they shall reach out and appropriate the Resurrection and the Life even now in this life. If they do not, Christ never will return to earth. For God hath said, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Ps. 110:1.) And the last enemy is Death! GHW
As brother Warnock says, it is easy to have a belief that hasn’t been put to the test of faith. It’s easy to say Jesus is Lord until He asks us to do something inconvenient, uncomfortable, or something we cannot do in our own strength. Yet, that is exactly what he calls us to do. May we be willing to embrace His Resurrection and His Life as our own. Amen