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How much can the Least Do!

A Message to the Miserable,
A Tonic to the Joyful,
A Balm to the Blessed

Action in the Acts


The Lord had just gone. He had been available for some 31/2 years, since reaching a round age of 30, what was normal for anyone for priesthood. He had, in other words, completed the term of the time for His ministry as predicted, implicitly, by Daniel. Half a seven of years (that is 31/2) had passed in His program as Messiah, and it was at this point that He had to die, and "there is not for Him". That is, nothing was reserved to Him, all was negated by man for Him.

Outcast, He is cut off as Daniel puts it in Ch. 9:24-27*1.

He had poured out His soul to death (Isaiah 53:12), "the chastisement for our peace" being "upon Him", as He for each believing soul (Isaiah 53:1,10), bore the sin, so that as a permanent offering, He should be pitifully ready, sovereignly able and perennially moved to receive His own people, as many as believed.

He had been on this earth, the best of heaven with two arms and two legs, no owned address, nowhere to lay His head, no sovereign territory except for the earth itself, not under imperial thrust, but under divine pity, a lowly position for His upbringing, a 'root out of a dry ground' (Isaiah 53:2): yet none ever affected or directed the earth as this One did.

He has been mourned for some 2000 years, His birthday celebrations a delight, His death a call for purification as well as a sink for sin, grand composers have amassed vast works concerning Him, writers have wrought libraries upon Him and His saints know Him better than a dog his Master, as a man knows his God.

But He had gone. Raised from the dead, that great extension of the many miracles and raisings of others which had adorned Him like flowers in Autumn, He had then taught them for 40 days, a day for each year spent in the wilderness by Israel under Moses, for each of the days of his temptation as in Matthew 4. He had done this, from the elevation of a resurrected body no more subject to time and space as we are, yet quite able to eat and to be felt (Luke 24, John 20)  or clung to (Matthew 28); and someone who had betrayed Him was gone too, disembowelled, as if a comment on pitilessness, a suicide who had contributed to the killing of his own mercy.

What now ?

First as in Acts 1, they had to replace Judas, making up the number of 12 for the apostles, once more. Who would the new apostle be ? The principles of knowing the Lord and being informed were laid out. Then it had to happen.

In choice, they waited on God, knowing that the scripture had predicted the betrayer ({Psalm 55, 69, 109, 35), and so asking God for a divinely  made choice on his successor, they had confidence in Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 44-46).

This done, and the predicted power of the Spirit of God having come -

(which incidentally is still available as in John 14:21, Ephesians 3:16,
but contrary to the predicted unbelief as His return draws near,
a spiritual drabness foretold in II Timothy 3:5, and now present) -

 and a nascent church having been built in a moment, thousands pouring into her doors,
business became brisk. Power was apparent, prayer was powerful (Acts 4:23ff.) and praise was amazingly zestful. What more so than the case of the whipped apostles (a potentially nearly deadly business), who had done no wrong but to testify to the truth and heal sick souls with the power of God, and yet praised God for being FOUND WORTHY TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST's SAKE! (Acts 5:40-41).

How have the authorities of Israel, responsible for this blind outrage, suffered, stroke for stroke, for their rejection first of the Messiah and then of those who brought the meaning home to the glory of Israel, soon to become a people dispossessed, by many foolishly despised, a people for many typified by the 'wandering Jew'!

How could one well bear the savagery wrought on this poor people, had it not been for that wrought on their own PRINCE and as to that prince of PEACE, for the soul, the mind, the people, the world. If a man spits on a fortune, one has less pity for his plight in poverty, however much sympathy might nevertheless well up for such a one, in such a grip of costly folly. Here it was a spiritual magnificence, which being denied, left only the rump of this world's harsh irrationalisms, negative upbraidings and hell-bent nursings, to extract, always to extract more from its victim.

But the Church, the Church of truth and peace and power, of forgiveness and wisdom and knowledge, which knew God and followed His Christ, the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:36), the vitality squadrons of the Spirit, it surged. In doing so, it came to issues for resolution.

There were practical problems, therefore,  as well as the need to preach and teach and reach. These were not too low for the God who humbles Himself to behold the needs of men (Psalm 113:3-7), and faith THEREFORE could and did take up these things, where He who calls, provides means for it.

Who would cover them ? In Acts 6, we see the apostles decide to have deacons, those who would just act to establish equity, serve at tables for the needy, arrange solutions to troubles and so on. After all if God humbles Himself to look to such things, how much more does man do well to do so!

"The Lord is high above all nations,

His glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,

Who dwells on high,

Who humbles Himself to behold

The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?

He raises the poor out of the dust,

And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,

              That He may seat him with princes ..."


 This organisational, sensitive and discrete provision for different needs was no small matter.
In the church of God nothing is small, since the Head is God in the person of Jesus Christ. Even for this, the people chosen had to be "men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom". Once again the choice was made. Stephen and Philip with 5 others were named. The apostles prayed, set hands on them, and so proceeded to specialise in their own ministries of the word and prayer.

What a wonder there then was. CHOICE, at times so hard, so pressing, so seemingly perilous, had been made in the face of SPIRITUAL need, relaying it to practical matters for the sake of this primary point. It was done through prayer, with due recognition of the primary realities of the faith.

SO decide and you will do well; for a decision instead of being a pain or problem, is an opportunity to realise to the uttermost the will of God, for your service in His name! This reminds us of our duty to God:

"Do not be unwise, see that you walk circumspectly,
but know what the will of the Lord is, and do not be drunk with wine,
in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit”
(Ephesians 5:17-18).

 BUILD and do not decay, be filled and not empty, be knowledgeable concerning God's work, will and way for you, and not vague, be assiduous in enquiry of the Lord (remember Daniel 10). So we learn now from their ways then, the ways of the Lord. His Spirit is good, and He leads us who serve Him, into "the land of uprightness". Psalm 143:8-11 puts it this way:


"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,

For in You do I trust;

Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,

For I lift up my soul to You.


"Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies;

In You I take shelter.

Teach me to do Your will,

For You are my God;

Your Spirit is good.

Lead me in the land of uprightness.

Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake!

              For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble."

Though God has presented progressively some of His intimations for our understanding, yet His word is always true from the first and sound to the last, thus as He does not change (Psalm 102, Hebrews 1), so do His provisions in principle and Spirit apply steadfastly to His saints throughout the ages - and ALL Christians are saints (Romans 1:1ff., I Corinthians 1:1ff.), a fact that makes one examine oneself the more strenuously, to walk in His ways with joy and meekness for one's own part, strength and power for His. There is always the volunteer aspect in His work (Psalm 110), and this lovely liberty transfigures service, as does the Spirit of Him who seals His people (Ephesians 1).


Christ Himself had chosen to come to do His redeeming work (cf. Psalm 40), of course being  in infinite harmony with the will of His Father in so doing (John 8:29); and He told us that in the same spirit we should seek not to be served, but to serve, for He gave His very life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).This was beautifully illustrated by the towel with which He clothed Himself, wiping on it the dirt of feet which He washed (John 13).

Note now what just two of those seven deacons, chosen for corporate service in the Church, proceeded to DO!

Stephen, amid a people who for centuries had used the temple as the symbolic way of approaching God, now had to declare to them, in effect,  that Christ was the new TEMPLE, the new sacrifice and the new prophet after Moses, to whom that leader in advance, had prophetically given the pre-eminence. In so doing, of course, he roused the inveterate wrath of die-hards, who found it easier to have Christ dead and the temple alive, than Christ alive in their hearts and the temple obsolescent, having completed its once so magnificent task (Hebrews 8:13). The symbols shown by the Spirit of God were now fulfilled in the Saviour providing redemption in Himself.

As we see in Acts 6-7, Stephen’s adversaries construed his emphasis as meaning he was against Moses. This was actually despite the fact that  Moses predicted the coming of Christ, as the new and lasting Head – Deuteronomy 18:15-22. They asserted that he was despising the Temple, though he was showing the divinely announced and provided perspective of things, for which it had so well served in its own domain, for so long.

Tradition gripped them; but the scriptures did not count in their elevation of past revelation not as the keynote for that to come, but as the end. Impossible ? of course, for that very revelation of the past had STATED it was but the prelude to a PERSON who would show them the things which must be for all who would know God. It was not even novel, but rather a new Chapter in the novel of the grace of God, now at its kernel.

Before they proceeded to their fateful act - infuriated with false piety,  to stone Stephen, he delivered a speech so masterful, in such a gloriously free and incisive perspective that it made an impact on Saul, the grisly persecutor of Christians on behalf of the polluted priesthood, who kept the clothes of Stephen's assailants safe while the religious mob of unruly radicals murdered him.

It was like keeping your hands clean with gloves, while assassinating truth. It is a less than wonderful counterfeit of confusion for faith, and a truly wearisome pit of impiety masquerading as devotion.



But Stephen's words have circled the earth, up (Acts 7:2-53), lifted the minds of the saints, rebuked mere formalism and functioned to warn of rebellion against God as a national disease for Israel and as a danger to any. Your predecessors, he said, killed the prophets who foretold Christ, and now YOU yourselves have killed the Just One.

As to the tradionalists, making void the word of God by their own ideas (Mark 7:7ff.), they were to keep the architecture for a time (it went in 70 A.D. at the hand of Rome); but they had sought to devastate Him who is the summit of glory! Therefore they lost BOTH! If you seek to save your life that is the result (Matthew 16:24ff.).

It is therefore good to hear what Stephen said in his final address... that is presented in Acts 7.

Your predecessors, he said, killed the prophets who foretold Christ, and now YOU yourselves have killed the Just One. This is not unlike just what the apostles had spoken in challenging the priestly party which had arrested them (Acts 4:7-12). It had close similarity indeed with the words of Peter's address to the amazed people after he had been used to heal outright and immediately, the traditional cripple at the Temple porch, that of Solomon (Acts 3:11ff.).

Toning down the gross realities is no part of the conviction of sin,  nor the reverence for truth; nor is any endeavour to cover up the Gentile parallel in heart to the sins of Israel. It is all of a piece, like a seamless robe. For Israel, Christ killed in the flesh; for the Gentile more and more, Christ robbed of His glory, killed in concept.  It is all one in spirit, like looking on a woman with lust considered as  a form of adultery (Matthew 5:28). Spiritual sins cannot be isolated to some body, though particular acts carry their own individuality of shame.

As then Stephen spoke, the tone was denunciatory, the story was one of the continued rebellion in spirit shown so often in Israel, now climacteric in Christ. Indeed the shameless treatment of the One whose words and works had attested Him the Messiah, in profound and prophetic detail, exposed as a mountain sitting on the sea on a clear day, the spiritual a sham in those who rejected Him: crime their culmination and rebellion their godless grade! That mountain was barren, its slope set to the uttermost depths of the earth.

Seeking to preserve themselves from any possibility of a Roman invasion, they had kept the architecture of the temple for a time (it went very thoroughly in 70 A.D. at the hand of Rome); but they had sought to devastate Him who is the summit of glory! How could the symbol remain when the Saviour had been degraded!

Truth did not dominate them, but passion, rage, unruliness and superficiality.

Indeed, they rushed on him, stoning him, who knelt. And in what was he kneeling, on what occasion did he so act ? He was, even as they killed him,  praying for forgiveness for them, and committing his spirit into Christ's hands, that Christ of whom Stephen, dying, declared –

“Look! I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”.


The Work of Witness  Grows


There was a work of witness, filled with the Spirit, challenging the heart, an exposition and exclamation of one sacrificing himself rather than truth, and in so doing,  teaching 50 generations to come; for here was a preacher from the dust and the stoners, amid blood. Dust was his pulpit and blood his testimony. THAT, that was a pure pulpit, with a great amplifier elevating his words to the skies, from which they have rebounded over the earth,  over the ages.

We have been looking at a great testimony, spoken of life in death. What did it concern ?

It was based on the marvel and the might of the Messiah, the risen Christ, disdaining death and moving out of the tomb by the simple expedient of His own power, so that there He was, able to have Mary cling to His feet to the point He had to tell her to cease doing so! (Matthew 16:17), just as later He invited Thomas to thrust his hand into His side (John 20), and having prepared a fire, let them eat of the fish (John 21:9ff.). In Luke 24:43, we see Him likewise eating with them.

When God faces death for us (as He promised so securely in Hosea 13:14), and has brought life (as Good Shepherd, as He promised in Ezekiel 34, speaking in fulfilment in John 10), there is only triumph possible.

Christianity shows the actuality of this, the religion of experiment for man and experience, wrought by God.

Put God in the place, and the place changes; put death in His hands, and He destroys it. Put sin on Him, and He bears it, but at the cost of receiving His life, which as in these two deacons, is abundant, so that the flesh is crucified with Him (Galatians 5:24) and eternity arises like the sun at dawn. Thus is it until the day dawns and the morning star arises in our hearts and the consummation in resurrection comes (I Peter 1:19).

Of these things the early Church spoke, and so must we all in whatever capacity we stand as Christian. What then of the work of testimony from these two deacons ?

There was a work of witness, filled with the Spirit, challenging the heart, of one sacrificing while teaching 50 generations to come, Stephen, a preacher from the dust and the stoners, amid blood. THAT, that was a pure pulpit, with a great amplifier over the ages.



But what of Philip ? This deacon went to Samaria on occasion, and preached Christ to these semi-Jews, that is people who had been brought from afar to the former northern part of Israel, now separate, to repopulate it, after their military defeat. This tragedy came when Assyria drove them out in the 8th century B.C.. Far in heart from Judah with its Temple, these people nevertheless listened to Philip the Jew! What a marvel, what a work, and many of them believed him (Acts 8:4). It became a significant movement in the terms of Christ, born into the Jewish race, but recognised as the Son of God by these who had a chasm between them and Israel. So does God move above divisions of flesh, into the so similar confines of all men, to their need with His Gospel

Nor is this all. A great persecution arose in Jerusalem after Stephen's death (Acts 8:1), and Saul was playing havoc with terrible persecutions. Christians were scattered from the perilous place, and Philip in the general outthrust, made use of it and went to Samaria.

There, given attention by a great multitude who heeding him,  believed him (Acts 8:12), he was used to accomplish the seemingly impossible, for with GOD, nothing shall be called impossible. These, seeing the miracles wrought, the paralysed and the lame raised up, the spiritually infested delivered, the truth on his lips and in his heart from that great centre of Jerusalem,  where such amazing things had been happening for more than 3 years did not withhold their credence to his words.

Thus Philip had been used to the barrier: that was Nation 1;  and soon apostles came down to this sacred scene. The people's hearts now being turned and liberated to believe directly in Christ, they received the Spirit, in a vast outpouring, while the apostles then returned to Jerusalem preaching in Samaritan villages. It was through Philip that the wall down, and the apostles who built up a new kingdom in their midst by the Spirit of God.



Neither in Jerusalem nor in Samaria, neither in intimate observers of Christ, nor in the Samaria of cultural cleavage from Israel, neither in those who had witnessed Christ on earth nor in those who hated Jews, could subterfuge work. The case was clear, the testimony of what was to be and what had now happened was irrefutable: that is one reason why the people responded. If the nation had killed Christ, with the unkind collaboration of Rome, then that was no reason to deny the truth. Many had witnessed not only His exuberant healing thrusts, His raisings from the dead, His liberating words, and His escape even from death, harrowing the harassed murderers, the hypocritical priests, commissioned to worship the Lord and now removing Him from the very site of worship.

Neither culture nor policy could counterfeit the truth; and many believed in Samaria. Expansion proceeded apace.

Thus the Church rushed into expanding existence, sweeping like a giant reaping through the people. It thundered at every turn, its lightnings flew without diversion at every sight. Israel knew what He had done and now that it was explained, those called of these with many Samaritans were now to become as one, joined in Christ their life. Truth blessed what no follies could achieve, and no wisdom of man could accomplish. As it was done there, so it is able in the modern cultural climate to remove the obstructive, remedy what for man is irremediable and bring peace. Blessed are those who find it.

Nor was this all that these two deacons were instrumental in doing. In Acts 8:26-40 we find more.

Philip, when the apostles came to Samaria, received a spiritual call to go out into the desert, in a miraculous feat of the Lord, so that he intersected in his journeyings, the chariot path of a treasurer of the Queen of Ethiopia, returning it seems from a religious festival, having been worshipping in Jerusalem..

It was as if an aircraft controller sitting in some airport had given directions concerning the coure of two aircraft; but here it was not so that they would miss, but intersect, nor were they flying, but one was on foot, the other in a chariot.

So close and intimate was the guidance indeed, that not only did Philip's course so intersect, he even came near to this chariot at the very time that its occupant was reading Isaiah 53.

The SPIRIT OF GOD told Philip to go up to him, which he did, and heard him reading aloud from the prophet.

"Do you understand what you are reading ?" he pointedly asked.

"HOW CAN I ?" - replied the Ethiopian, unless someone explains it to me.

This Philip then did, preaching Christ from the Isaianic text, which in fact has given a detailed account of the Gospel concerning Christ, some 700 years before it was fulfilled. Here was the parallel to the preaching of Stephen, concentrating on the Cross of Christ, predicted and now a divine work fully performed, making salvation simple if challenging, and its reception a matter of believing with all the heart in Him who came and acted and completed its purgative and plenary task for those who would receive Him. 

How great a testimony is this to the power of the Lord, His intimacy and guidance, His grace and wonder when you follow Him as a horse its rider, close and careful to move as He does, and to follow the way before you to which He points.

Indeed, not only was it a call to the desert, for Philip in the very midst of a vast evangelical proclamation, but where there was an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon a people. While Samaria was thus impacted, Philip had a divine agenda to fulfil, reminiscent of that for Paul as seen for example in Acts 16.

However, though this call to the desert came in the very midst of such divine dealings in Samaria, there was another consideration.  By this time, others had come, the apostles were present,  and he was a released, sent to serve, minister and help through one man, a whole nation. That is Nation 2 in this quick-step action.

Thus was the deacon Philip found to be reaching Christ in the desert, like a latter-day John the Baptist, and this from the Isaianic text, which in fact has given a detailed account of the Gospel concerning Christ, some 700 years before it was fulfilled. If Samaria was the hors d'oeuvres, here came the main course.

This was a seal on the reality of it all. Here the grace of the Lord in Christ, the power of His constantly attested resurrection and the Spirit's leading to this staggering intersection of his journeyings with those of the Treasurer all met like a confluence of currents. Further, the Treasurer believed as well he might, for these things had just happened in Jerusalem, foretold in such detail and for so long, things of which he was now reading from a book where this section came centuries before!

Confessing that he was convinced, believing with all his heart, he was baptised. But what was the part of Isaiah that he was reading at that crucial moment when Philip came, spanning the desert like a guided missile to reach him ?

What however was the passage in Isaiah to which the Ethiopian Treasurer was giving his attention.  It was this:

"He was led as a Lamb to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so He did not open His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
and who will declare His generation ?
For His life is taken from the earth."

What did this mean, this passage from Isaiah 53 ?

It was the depiction of Christ, who was at Isaiah's day, the COMING Messiah, and of His triumphant suffering, His effectual sacrifice to be made for man, to enable pardon to have its purchase, in His own blood (cf. Isaiah 53:6). No physical offspring did Christ have, no generation as in the lists in Genesis and Luke could be cited for Him, as proceeding FROM Him. His life was taken from the very earth: humiliation in holiness for Him, with happiness in pardon for His people, the transference.

This He did so that those in it who would come to God by this long presented portraiture of the love of God and the gargoyle of sin, at the Cross, might find a clear path to salvation, life that was abundant in the very presence of God.

Indeed, if the Treasurer  let his eye move to Isaiah 54, he would find the everlasting mercy of God in this incarnate Son of God. Here was the promised Son of David, the Messiah. If the eunuch moved to both Isaiah 54 and 55, there was its gift in Christ the very epitome of liberty, a donation both sublime, divine  (cf. Isaiah 51:11, 54) for all who received it (Isaiah 49:6, 42:6).

It is HE who as Isaiah 53 tells us, who will despite His eminent and grotesque sufferings for sin, for sinners, divide the spoil with the strong (53:12). Satan takes some (like the birds of the air in the parable of the sower and the seed), and Christ receives His own!

What further treasures were in store for the Treasurer, after his initial reading, whether told by Philip at that time, or found later from his study of Isaiah. There was much cause for it.  when he went on his way rejoicing! (Acts 8:39).


Such was one of the first Christian sermons to an unbelieving non-Jew of which we have record, a sermon from Isaiah who spoke of Christ, and concerning Christ who not only spoke of Isaiah (John 12, Matthew 13), but fulfilled His written words in a work of blood and power! What a time, what a place, what a race to touch, what an emissary to win, what a work to have done! And it was God who did it, directing His servant, the deacon, not an apostle, but a helper, in this startling way in His sovereign mercy.

Thus did these deacons testify, though not preachers, and thus did they teach in word and in deed, though they were not classified as teachers. It was as in the day of Moses, when being accorded 70 elders to help him, on whom the Spirit of God came for their task, he received report CONCERNING two more who were prophesying, Medad and Eldad (Numbers 11). On these, we read, the Spirit of God came down also!

To some this prophesying seemed out of order, but as to Moses, man of God that he was (and is), it was a matter of joy. He would like all so to act, not just the officials! As Paul puts it in I Corinthians 14:1, seek RATHER that you may prophesy. This is the focus for spiritual gifts, where the saving dynamic moves and where action must focus, in the Church of Jesus Christ.

Let us then be stirred and stimulated, strengthened and encouraged by this wonder among the lowly, and by the vast power of God not here seen merely where honour flourished, but among the servers, the deacons. What works they wrought!



So through these deacons did the open door come to faith and the lowly become exalted in service, while the church was being founded in this and that nation, expanded and thrust out into the world. Persecution had opened both doors and mouths as the Lord worked in and beyond man, so let us learn.

Do not let us therefore moan when we have to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather open the mouth and testify of Him, remembering Job on the one hand and I Peter 4:12-14 on the other.

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened to you;
but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings,
that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

"If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified."


Let us then be stirred and stimulated, strengthened and encouraged by this wonder among the lowly, and by the vast power of God not shown in this case so much where honour flourished, but among the servers, the deacons.

God loves to use what is lowly, 'nothing' as I Corinthians 1:26-31 puts it, to abash the mighty, and in so doing He exhibits His own power and passion, beyond all form or reward and greatness among men. Here is sincerity and here is passion, here is lowliness from the Lord's height, and salvation effectively presented through His servants.

If you trust man or his functions, conventions or pretensions for your life, wisdom, hope, strength and vitality, then without question, you trust what does not EVEN UNDERSTAND these things. Man as man is a product, and his limitations are not quantified for him and his rates of access to reality and truth are not set out in tables; moreover, the best of sinners is still liable to error, and limited by access to what is not his to own! Hence such trust CANNOT be adequate for secure, spiritual, godly or even competent living. The latter may be defined as life with known, understood and adequate basis for its continuance, upkeep and  meaning to be realised.

God being wiser than His products is the only possible resource and recourse for such things. HE however, unlike man as such, HAS correctly specified the terms and conditions of life. This is not unexpected as shown above (cf.  Chs. 2, 4, 5), since we are MADE by commands and then commanded to LISTEN to what we are for, and to do it. This may seem authoritarian, but when it comes to God, there is neither any other, nor any question. HE alone has the wit, wisdom and qualities.

What qualities ? These as noted above, are those alone testable, verifiable and capable of sustainable validation (cf. Reason, Revelation, Redemption). They are found throughout the Bible in word,  and in the lives of those who know Him, by experience. He is found on His own terms (Acts 4:11-12, Romans 3:23ff., 5:1ff., 8:1ff., Titus 2-3). They include


mercy, goodness, love, graciousness, reliability,
faithfulness, loyalty of heart, purity, profundity,
wisdom, knowledge and power without limit in our little sphere, and over all,
persistence without tyranny, grandeur without vainglory, truth without reprovability,
creativity without failure, judgment according to truth, and truth as it is,
neither molested nor subject to bargain.

His Gospel has His terms for fallen man, and there is no other version of man, but Himself, incarnate (Romans 6:23).

What are those terms ? Repentance for being autonomous or dissociated from your Creator comes first (Luke 13:1-3). Salvation through Jesus Christ as your Creator incarnate, as foretold and manifest, whose word has manifestly ruled history since (cf. SMR Chs.   8 and   9) is the crux. The basis is the Cross on which He took the penalty of sin and its guilt (Galatians 1-3, 6:14), for all who apply by faith to Him for precisely this (John 6:47, 5:24).

The power is that of the word of God through the ages, centred in Christ Himself (John 14:21), who both raised the dead and as and when predicted, was raised from the dead (I Cor. 15). It is manifest in the power of His Holy Spirit through whom we who have received Him  (John 1:1-14) are enlivened in the interim to His wind-up of our Age, when He returns. It is by Him that believers are strengthened, inspired and led according to His word.

HIS qualities, the Lord's, they are centrally faithfulness and love, goodness and mercy, truth, purity and holiness and He seeks the same in His people.

May He make each of us who receive Him an emissary, a testimony in word and deed, and faithful churches the site of a spring, where others may find that water of God (John 7:37), of which Christ spoke in the great Feast Day in Jerusalem, before the people turned it into another picture.

This ? it was one of blood, murder where life was, killing the incarnate Second person of the Trinity, according to the sacrificial plan (Isaiah 53), before in vast mercy, the Lord sent the Third, the Holy Spirit,  as Christ had foretold, to comfort, strengthen and assist, assisting the assistants and blessing the wise, for whom the kingdom of heaven is the one which counts.

Everlasting in the resurrected Jesus, who is eternal in praise, indispensable to this earth, central to salvation and He bought it! (Matthew 20:28).

It is His kingdom which lasts when this world goes (Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 51:6, Ephesians 1:10, Daniel 7:25); and those in it, they live not as a cripple but as the very body of Christ whom in the resurrection, He raises (Isaiah 26:19, I Corinthians 15:50ff.). 

Seek then FIRST this kingdom, not only as an alternative to seeking riches and power, but as one might long for the beauties of mountain streams and alpine splendour, be imbued with it, renewed for it, disabled from evil dynamics, enabled in spiritual zeal, filled with wisdom, equipped with prudence, worshipping the Lord and relying on Him continually.







For an adequate treatment for our purpose of the predicted sequence of years, including those of the Messiah on the earth, to be found in Daniel, see Highway of Holiness esp. Ch. 4, but also for the overall conspectus, Chs.   7 and    9.