J N Darby – There is no Place so full of Peace as Heaven

There is nothing more important, to meet the turmoil of the world, than getting into this spirit of peace.

There is no place so full of peace as heaven—no jar there; myriads of worshippers all in concord, while there are a thousand harmonies round the centre of God’s glory.  The soul in communion with God will live in the spirit of peace.  There is nothing more important, to meet the turmoil of the world, than getting into this spirit of peace.   When the spirit of peace does not rule in the heart, how can the saints walk as always having peace?  There may be uncompromising faithfulness in such a man, but he cannot walk as Jesus walked.   Nothing keeps the soul in such peace as settled confidence in God.  Without this a man will be continually excited, in haste, and full of anxiety.  If the peace of God keep your hearts, you will have the triumph of it; nothing can be heard that is distinctive from it, that does not perfectly harmonise with it.  Uncompromising firmness becomes us, yet calmness; and nothing can keep the soul so firm as a sense of grace.  This is a sign of power, and moreover, connected with humbleness.  All grace has come to us.  A sense of nothingness, with the spirit of peace, gives a power to surmount things.

(J N Darby.   Collected Writings, Vol. 16, p. 59)

Golden Nugget Number 309

 

Golden Nuggets are published by Saville Street Distribution, Venture, Princes Esplanade, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8QD UK

Be like a Tree that has its Roots in Heaven, and its Branches down Here. 

Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish

Roots in Heaven – Planted in the House of the Lord

 It is a simple question for every heart in this room….You say you are clear about Christ’s death and resurrection.  Are you?  Do you mean to tell me you are in the liberty of His life, when your heart is indifferent as to where He is…?  I could not believe it while you are engrossed with the things of this life.

Hence the argument of the apostle is, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God,” Col. 3:1.  I put a plain question to every one of you, how much of the things above have you sought today?  You belong to another sphere altogether.  You have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Be like a tree that has its roots in heaven, and its branches down here.  You say, that is a miracle.  Very likely; nevertheless, in reality your roots are in heaven, and your branches down here.  No doubt they are fretted and nipped by the atmosphere here, but nothing can touch the roots up there.  “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God”,” Psalm 92: 13.  Planted inside, they flourish outside.

 

(J B Stoney, NS vol.1 p300.  Suggested by an English subscriber.)

JB Stoney Condensed  – Steps in Light – No1.  Salvation

‘Salvation’ is often misused, for it is looked at generally as only what I am saved from, while in Scripture it is also what I am saved to.

 

Condensed from a series of addresses by James Butler Stoney given in 1887.  See Ministry of J B Stoney New Series Vol 1 page 1[i]

 

The word ‘Salvation’ is often misused, for it is looked at generally as only what I am saved from, while in Scripture it is also what I am saved to.

There is a significant difference between the two: If I am occupied only with what I am saved from, all I enjoy is relief from misery and judgment.  However, if I am occupied only with I am saved to, I have the hope of the gospel and the full joy of the Father’s house.

 

The Thief on the Cross

In 1 Thessalonians 5:10 it says of the Lord, ‘Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him’. Salvation places me in glory with Him. We see this from the thief on the cross. His eyes were opened, and he saw the just One suffering for the unjust.   He saw Jesus as King and said, ‘Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom’, but the Lord said to him, ‘Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise(Luke 23:42-43).

Christ’s work transferred the thief from the lowest, deepest, darkest place of misery ever known to man – crucifixion for crimes for which he was condemned, into the brightest, holiest, most blessed place of unimaginable happiness with the Lord. His death did not entitle him to enter Paradise; Christ’s death obtained it for him.  That is the completeness of transition – and Christ has done it!

 

God’s Presence and Heaven Experienced Now

Two great spheres of blessing are shown in type in Exodus.  They are:

  1. The Tabernacle
  2. Canaan

We can say that hat the death of Christ procured them both, and they converge in the Father’s house.   In the tabernacle we have a travelling companion (the presence of God) in the wilderness.  This means that and we can approach Him now, accepted in Christ.   This is the true tabernacle in Hebrews 9:24 – the Lord Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, has passed into ‘heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us’.  I have entrance into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, and I get there in all the perfection of the One who brought me there.

The other sphere of blessing is Canaan – heaven: that is the very brightest place.  I am ‘seated in the heavenlies in Christ’, ‘accepted in the beloved’(Ephesians 2:6 and 1:6 ).

Approach to God Now

Every Christian expects to go to heaven when they die, but many Christians do not understand that they have the right to God’s presence now[iii].   I can enter the holiest of all, where all is suited to the holiness and righteousness of God, a scene of spotless purity and light.  I can enjoy all this blessedness while on the way to heaven because I am among those seated in the heavenlies in Christ (see Ephesians 2:6).

There are four aspects of the death of Christ from Egypt to Canaan.

  1. The Blood on the lintel – shelter from judgement.
  2. The Red Sea – the death and resurrection of Christ.
  3. The Brazen Serpent – freedom from the law of sin and death
  4. The Jordan – our death and resurrection with Christ

The death of Christ secured all of these at the same time.  However, like the Children of Israel who learned them over a period of 40 years, I do not learn them together.  The Holy Spirit makes my heart know what Christ has done one step at a time.

Paul’s Reception

The thief on the cross entered into Paradise, and his own death had divested him of the encumbrance of the old man in a moment: he was free because he died that day.  We may have years to live, so are not free of the encumbrance as the thief was.

It is not necessary to have died though, to be free from such an encumbrance.  Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians 12:2 of a ‘man in Christ’.  The Holy Spirit led him to the third heaven to show him what the work of Christ had accomplished.  It was in a greater place than Paradise, and he was received there.

A man dreamed that he went to a great palace and was received well at the door; then he went in, and at each successive room he was better received. At last he entered the presence-chamber, and there he was admitted with acclamation.  It is more than that with the man in Christ!  The apostle Paul was taken at once into the very highest place, received in the most amazing way, and treated most intimately.  However, could not tell anybody about it, because words could not describe it, they were forbidden to utter.  Here was a man walking about this world with the secrets of God in his heart which he could not disclose to anyone.

The progress through these rooms is like ‘the light of the glorious gospel of Christ’( 2 Corinthians 4:4 ).  The light shines from the place I am going to, though I see it from where I am: it leads me to the finish.  My income for the journey comes from there; the Holy Spirit comes from there.

In this life we are outside of death, and while passing through this evil world, we are superior to it through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit has been sent down from our glorified Saviour, making us superior to the power of evil, and filling our hearts with joy, the joys of heaven to which we belong.

 

The Prodigal’s Reception

The prodigal son would have been content with being a hired servant.  Covered by the blood of Christ, but without the full appreciation of the Father’s heart and the Father’s house I become satisfied with human joys and relationships – an earthly Christianity.  But this often disappoints.   However, the Father’s thoughts were far greater.  From the way he was received, I learn the full nature of my salvation:  my presence in the Father’s house is not simply for my own benefit.   It is to satisfy God’s desire: His delight is in having me there.    We see the Father’s pleasure in the reception of the prodigal: ‘It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.’ (Luke 15:32).   As the One who loves delights to have the one who is loved in His company, so the Father delights to have me, and His love is divine.

This salvation has been secured in the death of Christ. I have heaven even if I am not there yet.   Christ’s work has placed me in two great blessings: the presence of God, heavenly joys. ‘They began to be merry’, (Luke 15:24)) – they began but did not cease[iv].

That is why the reception of the man in Christ was so cordial and so full. If it was the characteristic of the apostle Paul and the prodigal, it could be true of every believer. Every believer now has a home in the Father’s house[v].

 

The Christian’s Hope

Luke’s gospel shows me that I am not saved for earth but for heaven. The natural man connects joy with temporal things; even Christians are often disappointed because they look for joys in the wrong place: they are trying to derive their happiness from the earth. However, I am to derive everything from the place where joy never ends: I get my joy from heaven!  I am not alone: we live together with Him (see 1 Thessalonians 5:10), as Peter says, ‘Joy unspeakable, and full of glory’. (1 Peter 1:8).

In John 7:37-38 I learn, not what I am saved from, but what I am saved to. ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water’.  I have something in His life that is beyond death even though I am still in this scene of death.   We have these joys in the power of the Holy Spirit, who has come down from the glorified Christ to acquaint us with the joys of the place from which He came.

There were for Israel three feasts in the year:

  1. The Passover – for us this represents the death of Christ
  2. The feast of Pentecost – the descent of the Holy Spirit, and
  3. The feast of Tabernacles – the millennium (not yet fulfilled).

What we have is even more than what the saints will have in the millennium.   The presence and power of the Holy Spirit make us rejoice more than the earthly feast of Tabernacles.  He enriches our hearts with Christ, causing us to know all the joys of the Father’s house. That is the great supper: I am not there yet, but I get my joys from there.  I get jyy67home comforts before I get home; my income comes from there.  God does not have an earthly people now[vi]; we are a heavenly people, with heavenly joys.

Christ has accomplished our salvation. He has obtained great blessedness for us, and we know it now.

 

Sosthenes

March 2019

 

[i]Obtainable from Kingston Bible Trust, Lancing, England or from Bibles etc. Wheaton IL, USA. Downloadable from Ministry Search Engine

 

[ii]Commentators have tried to put the comma after ‘today’, to make out that the blessing was future; but he received the blessing that day.

 

[iii]Not just by prayer

 

[iv]It is not simply for my benefit that I am there, but God has a delight in having me there. The Lord here was working out the will of the Father; He says after his conversation with the woman in John 4, ‘I have meat to eat that ye know not of’, and ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’. (John 4:32-34)

 

[v]We have a great supper in Luke 14:16-24. That was in the Father’s house (as in chapter 15), not in the land of Israel.  The feast is Wisdom’s feast, and that is in the Father’s house. How wonderful the present enjoyment that I derive from that which has been obtained for me by the death of Christ!

 

[vi]Jewish believers are in the assembly and are amongst the heavenly people.

J N Darby – Home – Oh! bright and blessed scenes, Where sin shall never come

JohnNelsonDarbyOH! bright and blessed scenes,
Where sin shall never come;
Whose sight my longing spirit weans
From earth, where yet I roam.

And can I call my home
My Father’s house on high?
The rest of God, my rest to come,
My place of liberty?

Yes! In that light unstained
My stainless soul shall live;
My heart’s deep longings more than gained,
When God His rest shall give.

His presence there, my soul
Its rest, its joy untold,
Shall find, when endless ages roll
And time shall ne’er grow old.

My God the centre is;
His presence fills that land;
And countless myriads, own’d as His,
Round Him adoring stand.

My God whom I have known,
Well known in Jesus’ love,
Rests in the blessing of His own
Before Himself above.

Glory supreme is there,
Glory that shines through all;
More precious still that love to share
As those that love did call.

Like Jesus in that place
Of light and love supreme;
Once Man of sorrows, full of grace;
Heaven’s blest and endless theme.

Like Him! O grace supreme!
Like Him before Thy face!
Like Him – to know that glory beam
Unhindered, face to face!

O love, supreme and bright,
Good to the feeblest heart,
That gives me now, as heavenly light,
What soon shall be my part!

Be not to me, my God,
As one that turned aside
To tarry for a night, and trod
His onward path. Abide

With me as light divine,
That brings into my breast
Those gladdening scenes e’en now as mine,
Soon my eternal rest.

John Nelson Darby (1800-81)

Written 1867
Parts of the above are in Hymns for the Little Flock 1962 and 1973 – Nos 64 and 72

Full text click here

 

Meter S.M. usually sung as S.M.D.

Christ Lifted Up

J N Darby
John Nelson Darby

In John 3, the Lord emphasises the fact that He came from heaven.  He works with men from that point of view.  He testifies to man as to what is of heaven, from heaven, and what is man needs to be fit for heaven.  That requires new birth.

John 3

New Birth

Nicodemus had a mere human conviction of Christ; he knew that He was a teacher come from God because of His miracles.  The Lord told him that he had to be born again.  Of course, as he looked on things according to man, albeit a religious man.  He did not understand what the Lord was talking about.

Being born again is not like some say, having a new nature.  That would again be human.  If a person has only a human conviction, his or her conscience is not affected, and has no desire to be with Jesus, because Jesus is not attractive to the natural man (see Isa. 53:2).  Indeed, he doesn’t even care; he is just interested in what is here – family, politics, sport etc.  Although he hopes to go to heaven when he dies, he does not find news from heaven interesting.  But how will he be in heaven if Christ, the very centre of heaven’s delight, has no attraction for his heart?  Unless, of course he has a totally wrong impression of heaven and thinks of it as a purely earthly paradise [Sosthenes’ addition].

On the other hand, the first thing that a person who has been born of the Spirit realises that he is lost and all wrong, like a bad tree which can never get better.  He will be very anxious about that: sin is pressing on his conscience and plaguing his heart.  But there is not a sin that Christ has not died for.  He has put Himself in the sinner’s place before God.  ‘He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him’ (2 Cor 5:21).  So the born again sinner sees Him on the cross, answering for him because he could not answer for himself.  Christ has done everything that could bar his access to God.

 

Christ lifted up

God gave His Son – this is the glad tidings of grace. ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. … For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:14,16.  Nothing but the crucifixion of the blessed Lord could meet the sinner’s case.

He had to be lifted up.  He knew everything that that would necessitate. He had came to do His Father’s will, and that will was our salvation.  Consequently He drank that cup of wrath in love and quietness in order that the sinner might not.  He made peace by the blood of His cross (see Col 1:20)

God set His seal in righteousness when He said, ‘Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool’ (Psalm 110:1Heb 1:13).  Grace now reigns through righteousness (see Rom 5:21) – righteousness having been made good before the whole universe.

 

Go in Peace

Let none of us doubt the efficacy of what Jesus has done.  Have we heard in His quiet voice that the ‘Son of man must be lifted up’ (John 3:14)?    Let Him tell us why.  Let us learn how blessed it is to live in the light of God, where light shows us (not just our sins) to be white as snow. (see Isa 1:18).  May we learn what it is to walk in the light of His countenance.

 

Summary by Sosthenes

Based on   ‘Notes of an Address on John 3’ – Collected Writings vol. 21 (Evangelic 2) page 127 ,

February 2016

 

A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible – Ephesians

In Ephesians we have the relationships of the saints with God the Father, and with the ascended Christ.

Outline of Bible coverIn Ephesians we have the relationships of the saints with God the Father, and with the ascended Christ.

First we have our calling, involving our relationships with God and with the Father. Then we have our acquaintance with all God’s plans, everything being headed up in Christ. Hence we know our inheritance, and our place as heirs, the Holy Spirit having been given as earnest till the redemption of the inheritance.

In chap.1, Paul prays to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christ being looked at as man), that the saints might know what God’s calling and inheritance is, and that we might appreciate the power that works in us. This power was shown in Christ, when God raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand, setting Him over all things, and making the church His body and completeness.

Then, in sovereign grace, we are quickened, raised, and made to sit in heavenly places in Christ. This shows the exceeding riches of His kindness to us. The Gentiles were afar off; the Jews were dispensationally near, all forming one new man in Chris – the dwelling-place of God on earth by the Spirit. Thus we have the assembly connected both with Christ as His body on high, and as God’s dwelling-place on earth by His Spirit.

The mystery is now introduced for the first time. It is a witness of the all-various wisdom of God in heavenly places. The apostle then prays to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that we may realise the full blessedness of this, Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith. Being rooted and grounded in love, we are to be able to comprehend the infinitely wide extent of the character of God’s glory, and to know the love of Christ. So we can at the centre of it all according to the fullness of God Himself. With this he ascribes glory to God in the church in all ages, implying the distinct, continuous existence of the assembly.

Note that in chapter 3:15 read “every family,” instead of “the whole family.” (As in Darby version) In verse 18, the breadth, and depth, and length, and height is not “of the love.” The whole of chapter 3 is parenthetic, and the first words of chapter 4 connect themselves with the beginning of chapter 3.

At the start of chapter 4 the apostle unfolds, in connection with the headship of Christ, the various unities into which we are brought. There are three unities: a real one, one of profession, and a universal one in God. First, one body, one Spirit and one hope. Secondly, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Thirdly, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in us all. We are to walk in lowliness, so as to endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Then we have the gifts – instruments of building and edification. The gifts are from the ascended Man, who overcame Satan and led him captive, so as to gather and perfect the make those who were formerly Satan’s captives, the instruments of His own warfare in power. At the same time He who ascended is the One who first descended into the lower parts of the earth, so as to fill all things. The measure to which the saints are to be brought up is that of the stature of the fullness of Christ Himself; the body being fitted together, and supplied by every joint in order for its own building up. We start with the individual. Then we get exhortations connected with the new man being created of God in righteousness and true holiness. It is only the new man which has to do with righteousness and holiness.

We are to be imitators of God, and act as Christ Himself has acted in love – the perfect expression of God – the new man. Furthermore, in this new man we are light in the Lord.   The measure of our walk and works is the light itself, of which Christ, if we are awake, is to us the perfect outshining. Hence we are to be wise in the midst of this world. In going through our relative duties, Paul speaks of the relationship of the church to Christ, founded on the working of His love. He first gives Christ’s giving Himself for it; next, Christ sanctifies and cleanses it by the word; and, thirdly, He presents it to Himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Two things are to be noted:

  1. That, in the analogy with Adam and Eve, Christ stands in the place both of Adam and God.
  2. The intimate connection between Christ’s present operation and the glory.

He sanctifies and cleanses the church, so that He might present it to Himself. Then, the church, as well as being His wife, is presented as His body. According to the analogy of Eve. Christ is looked at as nourishing and cherishing it, as a man would his own flesh (chap. 5).

Finally, Christians are exhorted to put on the whole armour of God, and in His might enter into combat, entirely dependent on Him (chap. 6).

 

Originally by JND.   Lightly edited by Sosthenes,  September 2014

– Se A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible  for the original

J N Darby – The Soul’s Desire – I’m Waiting for Thee, Lord,

I’M waiting for Thee, Lord,
Thyself then to see, Lord;
I’m waiting for Thee,
At Thy coming again.
Thy glory’ll be great, Lord,
In heavenly state, Lord;
Thy glory’ll be great
At Thy coming again.

 

6.6.11.6.6.11.

I’M waiting for Thee, Lord,
Thyself then to see, Lord;
I’m waiting for Thee,
At Thy coming again.
Thy glory’ll be great, Lord,
In heavenly state, Lord;
Thy glory’ll be great
At Thy coming again.

Caught up in the air, Lord,
That glory we’ll share, Lord;
Each saint will be there,
At Thy coming again.
How glorious the grace, Lord,
That gave such a place, Lord;
It’s nearing apace,
At Thy coming again.

We’ll sit on Thy throne, Lord,
Confessed as Thine own, Lord,
Of all to be known
At Thy coming again;
But glory on high, Lord,
Is not like being nigh, Lord,
When all is gone by,
At Thy coming again.

The traits of that face, Lord,
Once marred through Thy grace, Lord,
Our joy’ll be to trace
At Thy coming again;
With Thee evermore, Lord,
Our hearts will adore, Lord,
Our sorrow’ll be o’er
At Thy coming again.

But, better than all, Lord,
To rise at Thy call, Lord,
Adoring to fall,
At Thy coming again;
With Thee, clothed in white, Lord,
To walk in the light, Lord,
Where all will be bright
At Thy coming again.

For ever with Thee, Lord,
And like Thee to be, Lord,
For ever with Thee,
At Thy coming again;
I’ll live in Thy grace, Lord,
I’ll gaze on Thy face, Lord,
When finished my race,
At Thy coming again.

I’ll talk of Thy love, Lord,
With Thee there above, Lord,
Thy goodness still prove,
At Thy coming again.

J N Darby, 1881

Edited version in Little Flock Hymn Book  (1962, 1973) – No 19

 

J N Darby – Love Displayed – We’ll Praise Thee, Glorious Lord, Who Died to set us Free

Soon wilt Thou take Thy throne,
Thy foes Thy footstool made,
And take us with Thee for Thine own –
In glory love displayed!

Jesus, we wait for Thee,
With Thee to have our part;
What can full joy and blessing be
But being where Thou art!


S.M.

WE’LL praise Thee, glorious Lord,
Who died to set us free;
No earthly songs can joy afford
Like heavenly melody!

Love that no suffering stayed
We’ll praise – true Love divine;
Love that for us atonement made;
Love that has made us Thine.

Love in Thy lonely life
Of sorrow here below;
Thy words of grace, with mercy rife,
Make grateful praises flow!

Love that on death’s dark vale
Its sweetest odours spread,
Where sin o’er all seemed to prevail
Redemption glory shed.

And now we see Thee risen,
Who once for us hast died,
Seated above the highest heaven,
The Father’s Glorified.

Soon wilt Thou take Thy throne,
Thy foes Thy footstool made,
And take us with Thee for Thine own –
In glory love displayed!

Jesus, we wait for Thee,
With Thee to have our part;
What can full joy and blessing be
But being where Thou art!

J N Darby, 1881

Edited version in Little Flock Hymn Book  (1962, 1973) – No 235

HARK! happy saints! Yon heaven is our home.

HARK! happy saints! loud lift your voice,

 jb-stoneyHARK! happy saints!

by James Butler Stoney (1814-1897)

Little Flock Hymn No 7

8.8.6.8.8.6.

 

HARK! happy saints! loud lift your voice,
Tell to the world how we rejoice –
Yon heaven is our home.
There lives our Head with glory crowned;
And we as for His kingdom bound,
All cry – Lord Jesus, come!
             J B Stoney was the author of ‘Discipline in the School of God’

J N Darby – O bright and blessed scenes

O bright and blessed scenes!
Where sin can never come,
Whose sight our longing spirit weans
From earth where yet we roam.

J N Darby
John Nelson Darby

 O bright and blessed scenes

by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)
S.M.D.

1. O bright and blessed scenes!
Where sin can never come,
Whose sight our longing spirit weans
From earth where yet we roam.

2 And can we call our home
Our Father’s house on high,
The rest of God our rest to come,
Our place of liberty?

3 Yes! in that light unstained,
Our stainless souls shall live,
Our heart’s deep longings more than gained,
When God His rest shall give.

4 His presence there, my soul
Its rest, its joy untold
Shall find, when endless ages roll,
And time shall ne’er grow old.

5 Our God the centre is,
His presence fills that land,
And countless myriads owned as His,
Round Him adoring stand.

6 Our God whom we have known,
Well known in Jesus’ love,
Rests in the blessing of His own,
Before Himself above.

7 Glory supreme is there,
Glory that shines through all,
More precious still that love to share
As those that love did call.

8 Like Jesus in that place
Of light and love supreme!
Once Man of Sorrows full of grace,
Heaven’s blest and endless theme!

9 Like Him! O grace supreme!
Like Him before Thy face,
Like Him to know that glory beam
Unhindered face to face!

10 Oh, love supreme and bright,
Good to the feeblest heart,
That gives us now, as heavenly light,
What soon shall be our part!

May be sung to Terra Beata
by F. L. Shepherd (1852-1930)
(S.M.D.)