J N Darby – The Perfectness of the Love of the Saviour

Were we lying in death?  He puts himself into it.  Did we deserve the cup of wrath?  He takes and drinks it.  Was all the power of Satan against us?  He goes into it and breaks i

 

I find then the perfectness of the love of the Saviour.  His rejection only served as a means of expressing His love still further.  Mark the reality of this expression as meeting all our case.  Were we lying in death?  He puts himself into it.  Did we deserve the cup of wrath?  He takes and drinks it.  Was all the power of Satan against us?  He goes into it and breaks it.  Christ does not say, You come to Me properly, and then I will help you.  No; He comes down into it all; He does not seek to escape;  He does not turn away from the insults and violence of men, but, through them all, He offers Himself without spot to God.

 (J N Darby, CW vol. 31 p148-9)

     Golden Nugget Number 315                                                                                        

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J N Darby – Psalm 13:  God is for us

The Soul Trusts on God’s Mercy

John Nelson Darby

Not only in the midst of heartless and conscienceless enemies, but apparently forgotten of God, the soul trusts in His mercy, counts on Himself in goodness and faithfulness of mercy so as to rejoice in deliverance by His power before it comes.  So we thank God, when we pray, before we receive the answer, because knowing in our hearts by faith that God has heard and answered us, we bless Him before His answer comes outwardly; and this is just the proof of faith.  Such confidence gives wonderful peace in the midst of trials — we may not know how God will deliver, but we are sure He will, and rightly.  He has all at His disposal.  It is Himself we trust, and in looking to Him the heart receives a real answer on which it relies.  The circumstances and the word try the heart.  Confidence and divine deliverance rejoice the spirit.  One knows, even before the deliverance comes, that God is for us.  The taking counsel in the heart is very natural, but not faith.  It wears and distresses the spirit.  The sorrow tends to work death.  The soul, even though submitting, preys on itself; it is turning to the Lord which lightens the soul.  The consciousness that it is the enemy who works against us helps the soul to confidence.

(JND Collected Writings  Volume 17,  Practical Reflections on the Psalms,  Page 13.  Suggested by an English subscriber.)

 

Golden Nugget Number 294

 

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Who can Preach the Gospel?

 

Preaching
John Nelson Darby

They that were Scattered Abroad went Everywhere, Preaching the Word  Acts 8:4.

Paul prayed ‘that the word of the Lord may have free course’(2 Thess 3:1).  All true Christians should pray for that too.  But alas, preaching is beset by human perverseness, especially in establishments of any sect or denomination where only appointed or ordained individuals are permitted to preach.  Scripture does not support ordination or authorisation – whichever word is used.  In a world under condemnation, there are sinners ready to perish.  Ordination and the distinction between laity and clergy (which includes so-called lay preachers) was not known in the early church – nor is it scriptural.

No human qualification should be needed in order to declare to them God’s remedy in love: that Jesus died for sinners.  Man has set up restrictions: the gospel which was ‘to be preached to every creature under heaven’(Col 1:23) has been bound and shackled.  Multitudes have been shut out from the springs of life for want of hearing a clear invitation which should have been upon the lips of all who have drunk of the living waters.  The Spirit of God has been grieved.

The questions are –

  1. Do those in appointed office have the Spirit of God?
  2. Can any member of the church of God with love for souls preach if the Lord gives them the ability and opportunity?
  3. Is any human sanction needful for their doing so?
  4. Are those who are not ordained, or otherwise appointed, disqualified from preaching?

As to Christians speaking in the church, the only restriction is, ‘Let your women keep silence in the churches’ (1 Cor 13:34).  Women have other blessed services.  Many godly women have spiritual gifts, and we read elsewhere the directions for their exercise (in the home, with their heads covered – see 1 Cor 11:5).  They were not to use them in the church, because that would be out of order.

The apostle says, ‘every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation’(v. 26).   So, if God has given some men the ability to speak, they were to speak in an orderly way in the power of the Holy Spirit:  not all at once or every day, but as God led them.  Because of the presence of the indwelling Spirit is in the church, it is built up, and God is worshipped  ‘in spirit and in truth’(John 4:24).

It is most mischievous to say that times have changed.  The Spirit of God does not break His own order by systematic rules.   Christ initially gave in his church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers; ‘for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, . . . speaking the truth in love, [that we] may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love’ (Eph 4:11-16) .  Some quote to justify ordination, ‘the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2).  But the thing committed here was the doctrine: it does not appear that they were ordained for the purpose.

Human prescription regulates everything in matters of religion, as in politics, commerce, education and most other aspects of life.  The result of this is that much has been lost in the public profession: the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge, for example.    If that is true, then the effectiveness of the word is further weakened by asserting that the Spirit of God is has left the Church.  This then raises the question: ‘What are we, and where are we – are we the church of God without the Spirit?’   If the Spirit is not there, all union between Christ and His members will have been cut off, and the promise, ‘I am with you always, even unto the end of the world’ (Matt 28:20) made of no effect.  It would no longer be the church.

But present-day disciples of Jesus know that He is with them in spite of public failure; and that He said, ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Matt 18:20).  His Spirit is with them for instruction and blessing.

The question becomes more critical when we consider speaking outside of the church.  We read, ‘They that were scattered abroad, went everywhere preaching the word’ (Acts 8:4). – that was all except the apostles. ’The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord’ (Acts 11:21).  The idea of ordination had never occurred to them.  Paul preached without any other mission than the Lord’s glory and His word.  He preached everywhere including synagogues and encouraged others to do the same.  He said simply, ‘I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak’(2 Cor 4:13) .  Apollos too preached very effectively, and it is said that, when Paul would have sent him from Ephesus to Corinth, he would not go.  He was not ordained, and earlier knew only the baptism of John.  Aquila and Priscilla had‘expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly’ (Acts 18:26). [Note that we have here a woman performing a very vital and authoritative service in the right way.  She was as competent as any].

In the previous dispensation, much of the order was according to birth.  Nevertheless, there was a clear distinction according to position – priests, Levites, princes, Nethinim etc.  However, even in Jewish worship, far greater liberty was permitted than in the restricted systems of the present day. ‘Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on’ (Acts 13:15).   When Eldad and Medad prophesied by the Spirit in the camp, without coming to the door of the tabernacle, Moses said, ‘Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!’ (Num 11:29).

There is therefore ample evidence from Scripture to an impartial mind.  Appropriately gifted Christian men have the liberty and right to speak, in or out of the church, without needing any human authority.   This is the dispensation of the outpouring of the Spirit qualifying for speaking of Jesus all who can do so.  The assumption of priesthood by any person is wrong (save as all believers are priests).  Priesthood and kingship belong to Christ alone.

At Pentecost, 120 were assembled together and spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance (See Acts 2:4).  And Peter, standing up, explains to the Jews that they were not drunk, but it was what was spoken of by Joel, ‘I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy’ (Joel 2:29).  The Spirit was poured on people without distinction – men and women, young and old, rich and poor, even slaves.   Subsequent history has been to create classes according to social, academic, racial, financial and ecclesiastical status.  This has been a cause of the loss of power in Christendom.  And the consequence – unrestrained irregularities in the church.

There are, of course, other services such as pastoral care.   A good shepherd will go after the scattered sheep in order to present God’s glad tidings to them, and to help them further in their souls.  One significant advantage of God’s order is that all men and women are able to fulfil their part according to the gifts that God has given them.  Those who should be teachers, shepherds or evangelists should not be hindered due to the lack of official academic and theological qualifications. This ought to be obvious: God appoints the field of their operations, in order do the Lord’s work.   Persons should not be prevented by the spirit of Diotrephes in the system.   God’s manifold grace and the gifts that He has given to the church blend together in true harmony and love in the body of Christ.

Nothing demonstrates the preference of man’s authority to the Lord’s more than the way in which the free and unrestrained proclamation of the gospel of God’s grace is discredited.  Those who should be preaching are obliged to modify their message and restrict their work, for fear they should be in breach of the authority which has placed them in their appointed position.  For example, an area of the country is destitute of the gospel, despite a lot of religious activity.  One in whose heart God has put the desire and whose mouth He has opened to speak of His love, goes and preaches there, and many souls previously in darkness are blessed.  The district is already full of men and women holding office in the various churches, but who are not shepherds and do not preach a sound gospel – replacing it with the fleshly excitement and emotional happiness of popular charismatics, or teaching doctrines which deny the deity of Christ, or telling souls that God’s love is such that they can attain salvation by their own works – or are just as the word to Sardis – dead.  What is the labourer to do in these circumstances? – Is leave souls at the mercy of these unsound church leaders, or is he to abandon them altogether?  There is no godly righteousness in either.  Faithfulness to Christ demands that he should preach to those who in need.  However, he is restricted in his activities by the systems (of whatever denomination) which have also sanctioned those appointees who harm poor souls.  The church hierarchy, even if formed of devout Christians, must recognise their officially sanctioned ministers and pastors and reject faithful men of God, working in the power and guidance of the Spirit of God, but who do not hold the appropriate office and qualifications[*].

So why does one take an ecclesiastical office – vicar in the Church of England, pastor or minister in the Baptists or Methodists etc.?  Because it is the only way to serve within the confines of the system.  One who habitually waits on the Lord is obligated to work in an organisation which is not regulated by the Lord’s headship.  The Master’s service can be undertaken in complete, unhindered dependence on the Spirit of God.  If service does not fulfil the Lord’s own time, place, and purpose, servants are what Paul calls busybodies (see2 Thess 3:11), whatever may be the apparent (defective) results of their labours.

One further observation: we ‘should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints’ (Jude v.3).  Look at the multitude of conflicting interests in the church – ‘wars and fightings’(James 4:1) amongst brethren.  So much spiritual and natural energy is spent on defending one human system against another.  Ask calmly: ‘For what are we contending?’  If the contention is for our own views or interests, or to support the system to which we owe allegiance, God cannot support us.  It is not for the things of Christ; it is not of His Spirit.

All this shows that these traditional opinions are worthless and deeply injurious to the glory of God unless based upon His word.  Let it be observed that the liberty of the believer is not the spirit of insubordination, but of entire subjection to the Spirit: not the spirit of enthusiasm, but of a sound mind – of a mind at one with God, which alone gives righteous judgment.  And let the people of God wait on Him for His guidance.  It is a time in which God is separating reality from mere outward form.  May God work abundantly fill His labourers with His spirit!  ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest’(Matt 9:37-38).

 

Based on J N Darby: ‘Christian Liberty of Preaching and Teaching the Lord Jesus Christ’ – JND’s Collected Writings Vol 1 Ecclesiastical 1 page 68

 

 

[*]In modern times, there may be more lay preachers due to limitations of resources.  Packaged lectures, even with PowerPoint presentations, may be used to spread a word.  Such sermons, cannot be energised by st Spirit of God, meeting the needs of those who attend these preachings. [Sosthenes]

A Guide to the Walk of an Enlightened Christian

 

Ephesians 4and 5 give us a guide to the walk of an enlightened Christian. Here are some excerpts.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ch. 4:1-6)

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.   Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with hishands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ch. 4:17-32)

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.  . . . Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  (Ch5:1-2, 14).

 

Putting off and Putting on – Our Life, what we are

We have learned the truth as it is in Jesus.  We have put off the old and put on the new – ‘created after God in righteousness and true holiness’ (ch 4:24).  Darby notes – not yet love.

God has been perfectly revealed through the work of Christ.  Evil has been dealt with and Christ is glorified: He is sitting at the right hand of the majesty in the heavens (see Heb 1:3) : He is the righteous One who hates evil and delights in what is pure and good:  He is holy. If we are to be ‘after God’it must be in righteousness and true holiness.

God is known now not merely as a Creator, but One whose whole nature is revealed in the work of redemption. Through redemption we have new creation: we are quickened out of our state of death in sin, and are raised as Christ out of His grave.  By new creation we have become partakers of the divine nature.

 

The Presence of the Holy Spirit

God Himself dwells in us by His Spirit.  His love is shed abroad in our hearts, sealing us for the time when we shall fully enjoy Him.  We are not to grieve such a holy and blessed Guest. The Holy Spirit guides, orders, reveals the things of Christ to our minds, communicates what is blessed to us, filling us with what is divine.  So nothing inconsistent with His presence, where all is peaceful with holy love flowing in our hearts.  This governs our walk and speech.

 

God is Love

God has two essential names: Love (1 John 4:16) and Light (1 John 1:5).  These characterise the Christian’s walk, Christ being the model.  The measure of the Christian is not what he or she ought to be, but what God is morally, in holiness and love.  God is sovereign:  He can love without a motive.  We need a motive and an object which we find in the Lord Jesus and His work.

 

Imitators of God

We are to be imitators of God, as His beloved children.  As we are born of Him, partaking in the divine nature, we walk in love.  We are to be tender-hearted and forgive, showing grace to one another.  God has forgiven and shown grace to us (See Col 3:13).

There are two evidences of divine love in man:

  1. It says, ‘And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour’ (Eph 5:2). This means that sorrowing over the evil in myself and in the world, I offer up myself, as Jesus did, perfect in love.  Our path is to follow Him in this.  As in 1 John 3:16, ‘Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren’.
  2. Christ offered Himself to God – with a motive – He did so for us, despite our worthlessness. The object and motive were perfect. Hence, we are called to add brotherly love to love (see 2 Peter 1:7), which, we are told, is the bond of perfectness. We are therefore told to present our bodies living sacrifices (see Rom 12:1) – weak and sinful they may be, but self must be given up to God.

 

God is Light

God is light – essentially pure in nature.  Christ was the light of the world: now He is our life.  We are to be shining lightsamid a crooked and perverse generation (see Phil 2:15). We were in darkness, but nowwe are shining, and we are exhorted to walk as children of light.  ‘For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’(2 Cor 4:6) – The fruits of light contrast with the darkness of the world.  ‘But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,(2 Cor 3:18).  We are irreproachable.   But in spite of all that, the apostle has to say, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light’(Eph 5:14).

 

Conclusion

Such, then, is the true measure of Christian walk – what God is in His nature as love and light, has its true, perfect, and blessed expression on the earth, in man, in Christ. Thus we are to be followers of God as dear children, the fruit of the light and the purity of the divine nature being seen in us.

 

Based on J N Darby: ‘The True Path of a Christian’ – JND’s Collected Writings Vol 34 Miscellaneous 3 page 99

 

 

 

 

 

Hell is Real, Eternal and Consistent with the Love of God 

Around Easter it was reported that the Pope was unsure as to the existence of hell.  The Vatican unsurprisingly said that the Pope’s comments had been misrepresented.  Nevertheless, a survey in the USA came up with the statistic that 30% of people identifying themselves as Christians did NOT believe in hell.  (Evangelicals  – 25% not believing in hell, ‘Mainline protestant’ 40%, Mainly-black Pentecostal’ 18%, Roman Catholic 37%, Orthodox 41%).  Surprisingly 36% of those who said they had no religion DID believe in hell. (Source Pew Research Center – Belief in Heaven and Hell among US Adults 2014).
This cause me to look into what J N Darby had to say about the subject, and found he was battling with ‘universalists’ who said that God was such a loving God that everybody would be saved, even if they had to wait a bit, and ‘annihilationists’ who believed that the fire would consume souls completely, so nothing would remain.  Of course, both are wrong, and both views continue to be prevalent today.
Whether we have many old-fashioned hell-fire sermons designed to frighten souls into submission, I don’t know.  But one thing is certain ‘Hell exits; hell is eternal, and we all deserve to go there as sinners.  ‘By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God’  (Eph 2:8).  We are called on to warn souls of the consequences of rejecting God’s grace in the gospel, whilst saying, ‘Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?’  (Rom 2:8).

JND and Hell

 JN Darby did not write much about hell, but a paper met the then-current thought (and just as current now).   ‘Brief Scriptural Evidence on the doctrine of Eternal Punishment, for plain people’.  Collected Writings Vol 7 (Doctrinal 2) page 1.
This is summarised in our posting ‘Hell is Real and Eternal’
And the backup scriptures

The Lake of Fire and the Love of God

A couple of snippets from ministry:

It may be said that the lake of fire is the result of righteousness and not of love, but it is the outcome of love in God.   From Reading on 1 Cor 13 – Ministry of James Taylor Vol. 10 page 62.
The lake of fire is consistent with God’s love.  God has almighty power, and it would be inconsistent with divine love to tolerate lawlessness.  God may tolerate it for the moment, but in result He will limit it in the lake of fire.  From Righteousness and Salvation Ministry by F E Raven Vol 18 p 117

What about those 36% of who said they had no religion and who DID believe in hell.

 What must grip them. FEAR!  How do we reach them with the glad tidings?

Remember it says:   ‘But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, . . . and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev 21:8)
And
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Heb 2:14-15)
And
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:15-21)
What could be more eloquent than scripture?
Greetings in the Name of our blessed Saviour who has redeemed us from Hell by His blood.
 Sosthenes Hoadelphos
May 2018

Eternal Punishment – Where JND Points to it in Scripture

It is clear that in the 1800’s J N Darby and other godly men and women had to contend with those who taught that eternal punishment in hell was inconsistent with a loving God.

Darby produced a paper ‘Brief Scriptural Evidence on the doctrine of Eternal Punishment, for plain people’.  Collected Writings Vol 7 (Doctrinal 2) page 1.

This is summarised in our posting ‘Hell is Real and Eternal’

In it, Darby listed a number of scriptures to arrest believers and make them consider that is certainly the truth. Hell, the Lake of Fire, is eternal. He wrote that ‘God meant to produce on the mind of the reader the conviction that eternal misery is the portion of the wicked, and I do not believe that He meant to produce the conviction of a lie, nor frighten them with what was not true. Now I shall quote many plain passages, adding my unhesitating conviction that the attempts to undermine this doctrine of scripture (and I have been compelled to examine a good many) have entirely failed, and that the arguments used are either dishonest, some of them flagrantly so, or contradictory and fallacious, and that all of them subvert other fundamental truths.

Here are those passages:

 

Scripture: Text Notes
Matthew 3:10, 12 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. . . he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

Mark this and chapter 10:33, because it is impossible to believe that Christ could say these things of those who were redeemed and saved as much as others, though to be punished awhile.
Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
Matthew 10:28, 33 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. . . .But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. See above
Matthew 12:31-32 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemny against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Matthew 13:40, 49-50 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. . . So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. In those two verses, 40 and 49, it will be said “world” means age or dispensation; be it so, I believe it does; but that does not affect the judgment pronounced as to that which is to follow
Matthew 18:8-9 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Here everlasting fire or hell-fire is in contrast with life; if they go into one, they do not go into the other; nor is any particular word used which. might, as they allege, make it apply to a peculiar period of happiness. Life and hell-fire are contrasted.
Matthew 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen.
Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

 

Now here in Greek “everlasting” and “eternal” are precisely the same word; and what one means for life, the other means for punishment.
Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. 
Mark 3:22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils
Mark 8:36-37 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

 

Mark 9:43 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 
Luke 12:4, 5, 9, 10 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. . . But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.  And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores, and it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
John 3:3, 15 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:36 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

 

Here, they will tell you, “damnation” means judgment. So it does; but it is in contrast with having life. And in judgment “no flesh living shall be justified.” The judgment is at the end of all.
John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
John 8:24  said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Acts 1:25         That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.
Romans 2:5-16 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God.

For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) in  the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

 

God is minded to shew His wrath and make His power known. Though love, He is God, and His majesty must be maintained against rebellion and sin.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

 

Now in this, as in Mark 16:16, perishing and being damned is contrasted with being saved, so that any plain person must conclude that they are not saved. Some are saved, and others perish because they reject the cross.
Philippians 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Hebrews 10:26-31 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

 

Hebrews 11:27. By faith he [Moses] forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.
2 Peter 2:13, 17, 20-21 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. . .

These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. . .For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them

2 Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 

1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Jude 7, 11-13 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of. . .

 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Revelation 14:9-11 If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Revelation 20:9-15 And they [Satan and his army] went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever .

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

Revelation 21:5-8 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

 

Sosthenes

April 2018

The Red Sea – JN Darby Bible Notes & Synopsis

J N Darby on The Red Sea by Subject – the second subject in this series

·     The Red Sea –  JN Darby Bible Notes & Synopsis

·     Israel’s Experience in the Red Sea

·     Red Sea and Jordan

·     The Red Sea and Prophecy

·     The Red Sea and Wilderness and God’s Purpose

·     Christian Teaching from the Red Sea

·     Moses’ Song after the Red Sea

·     The Waters of Marah

Notes

  1. Scripture quotations here are from the Darby Translation
  2. The notes are a combination of those from the 1890 and 1961 editions of the Darby Bible. Where notes refer to another scripture, the notes from that scripture are used. In many notes in the 1890 edition there is a list of which manuscripts (MSS) use which terms.  These MSS have not been listed.
  3. The Synopsis has been slightly edited to simplify the English.

Exodus 13

The Pillars of Cloud and Fire

17And it came to pass, when Pharaoh let the people go, that God did not lead them the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, That the people may not repent when they see conflict, and return to Egypt. 18And God led the people about, the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went arrayeda out of the land of Egypt. 19And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had made the children of Israel swear an oath, saying, God will be sure to visit you; then ye shall carry my bones with you hence. 20And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, at the end of the wilderness. 21And Jehovah went before their face by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them [in] the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; so that they could go day and night. 22The pillar of the cloud did not remove [from] before the people by day, nor the pillar of fire by night.

Notes

 

ai.e. ‘in battle order, or ‘by fives, i.e. ‘five in a rank, or ‘girded’

Synopsis

Exodus 14

Pharaoh Pursues the Israelites

1And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea: before Baal-Zephon, opposite to it, shall ye encamp by the sea. 3And Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness has hemmed them in. 4And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he may pursue after them; and I will glorify myself in Pharaoh, and in all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah. And they did so.

5And it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his bondmen was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from our service? 6And he yoked his chariot, and took his people with him. 7And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. 8And Jehovah hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel; and the children of Israel had gone out with a a high hand. 9And the Egyptians pursued after them, — all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them where they had encamped by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, opposite to Baal-Zephon.

 

10And Pharaoh approached; and the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and the children of Israel were much afraid, and cried out to Jehovah. 11And they said to Moses, Is it because there were no graves in Egypt, thou hast taken us away to die in the wilderness? why hast thou done this to us, that thou hast led us out of Egypt? 12Is not this what we told thee in Egypt, when we said, Let us alone, and we will serve the Egyptians? For [it had been] better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness. 

13And Moses said to the people, Fear not: stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah, which he will work for you to-day; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14Jehovah will fight for you, and ye shall be stillb

Parting the Red Sea

15And Jehovah said to Moses, Why dost thou cry unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. 16And thou, lift thy staff, and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry [ground] through the midst of the sea. 17And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall pursue after them; and I will glorify myself in Pharaoh and in all his host, in his chariots and in his horsemen. 18And the Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have glorified myself in Pharaoh, in his chariots and in his horsemen.

19And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before them, and stood behind them. 20And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and was a cloud and darkness, and lit up the night; and the one did not come near the other all the night.

21And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and Jehovah made the sea go [back] by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry [land], and the waters were divided. 22And the children of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry [ground]; and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23And the Egyptians pursued and came after them — all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen, into the midst of the sea. 24And it came to pass in the morning watch, that Jehovah looked upon the camp of the Egyptians, in the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and embarrassed the camp of the Egyptians. 25And he took off their chariot wheels, and caused them to drive with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, Let us flee before Israel, for Jehovah is fighting for them against the Egyptians!

26And Jehovah said to Moses, Stretch out thy hand over the sea, that the waters may return upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and upon their horsemen. 27And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength toward the morning; and the Egyptians fled against it; and Jehovah overturned c the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28And the waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen of all the host of Pharaoh that had come into the sea after them; there remained not even one of them. 29And the children of Israel walked on dry [ground] through the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left 

30Thus Jehovah saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the sea-shore. 31And Israel saw the great power d [with] which Jehovah had wrought against the Egyptians; and the people feared Jehovah, and believed in Jehovah, and in Moses his bondman.

Notes

 

a Or ‘by’

b Or ‘ye shall hold your peace’

c Lit. ‘shot off’

d Lit ‘hand’

Synopsis

 

 

At the Red Sea, God acts in power according to the purposes of His love.  Consequently the enemy, who was closely pursuing His people, is destroyed without resource.  This is what will happen to the people at the last day, already in reality – to the eye of God – sheltered through the blood.

As a moral type, the Red Sea is evidently the death and resurrection of Jesus.   It shows deliverance by redemption, and of His people as seen in Him.  God acts in the people to bring them through death, out of sin and the flesh, and give them absolute deliverance from sin and the flesh by  death, into which Christ had gone, and consequently from all the power of the enemy

Romans 3:20 to Romans 5:11 gives Christ’s death for sins, and resurrection for our justification; thence to the end of chapter 8, death to sin. Sin in the flesh is not forgiven, but condemned (Romans 8:3); but we as having died are not in the flesh at all, we are alive unto God through, or rather in, Jesus Christ. This takes us no farther than the wilderness, though passing through it as alive to God in Christ.

As to our standing and acceptance we are brought to God: our actual place is thus in the world, become the wilderness on our way to glory. We are made partakers of it already through faith. Sheltered from the judgment of God by the blood, we are delivered, by His power which acts for us, from the power of Satan, the prince of this world.  The blood keeping us from the judgment of God was the beginning.  The power which has made us alive in Christ, who has gone down into death for us, has made us free from the whole power of Satan who followed us, and, as to conscience, from all his attacks and accusations. We have done with the flesh as our standing, and Satan’s power, and, brought to God, are in the world with Him. The world, who will follow that way, is swallowed up in it.

Considered as the historical type of God’s ways towards Israel, the Red Sea terminates the sequel of events; and so for us. We are brought to God. Thus the forgiven thief could go straight to Paradise. As a moral type, it is the beginning of the Christian path, properly so called; that is to say, the accomplishment of the redemption by which the soul begins its Christian course, but is viewed as in the world, and the world become the wilderness of its pilgrimage; we are not in the flesh.

This is a solemn warning;  worldlings who call themselves Christians take the ground of judgment to come, and the need of righteousness, but not according to God.  The Christian goes through it in Christ, knowing himself otherwise lost and hopeless; the worldling in his own strength, and is swallowed up. Israel saw the Red Sea in its strength, and thought escape was hopeless: their conscience was awakened to death and judgment.  But Christ has died and borne judgment for us, and we are secured and delivered by what we dreaded in itself. The worldling, seeing this, adopts the truth in his own strength, as if there were no danger, and is lost in his false confidence.

In itself, it is Christ’s death and resurrection. But that is not only meeting the holiness of God’s nature, which is the blood-shedding, but entering into the whole power of evil that was against us and making it null. Hence, though it be not our realising death and resurrection so as to be in heavenly places, we are owned as having died in Him, and He our life, so that we have left our old standing altogether. In Colossians, we are risen with Him; in Ephesians, also sitting in Him in heavenly places. Colossians is the risen man still on earth, the subjective state, what refers to heaven but is not there, as Christ Himself for forty days-Jordan crossed, but not Canaan taken possession of.

The Red Sea is in contrast to the Jordan representing our death with Christ, and, as to our state subjectively, our resurrection with Him-analogous to the forty days He passed on earth. To this the teaching of Colossians answers. Hence heaven is in hope.  In Romans we are not risen with Christ. That involves, as a consequence, our being identified with Him where He is; and so, by the Holy Ghost when we are sealed, union. In Colossians we are risen with Him, but not in heavenly places. Colossians treats of life, with a hope laid up for us in heavenly places; not at all of the Holy Ghost. In Ephesians 2 we are risen with Him and sitting in heavenly places in Him, and then begins the conflict with spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, and testimony according to what is heavenly; so far this is Jordan and Canaan, and here the sealing and gift of the Holy Ghost is fully spoken of, and our relationship with the Father and with Christ, as sons, and as body and bride. Only Ephesians begins with our being dead in sins, so that it is a new creation; it is not death to sin. The blood-shedding, however, in one respect, has a more glorious character. God is glorified in it, though by crossing Jordan we are experimentally placed higher. That too is the fruit of the blood-shedding, in which there is not only the bearing of sins to meet our responsibility, but a glorifying of God, so as to bring us withal into God’s glory with Him, which is beyond all questions of responsibility.

 

Exodus 15

Moses’ Song of Deliverance

(2 Samuel 22:1-51)

1Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song to Jehovah, and spoke, saying, I will sing unto Jehovah, for he is highly exalted: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

2My strength and song is Jah a, and he is become my salvation: This is my God, and I will glorify him; My father’s God, and I will extol him.

3Jehovah is a man of war; Jehovah, his name 

4Pharaoh’s chariots and his army hath he cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.

5The depths covered them; they sank to the bottom as a stone.

6Thy right hand, Jehovah, is become glorious in power: Thy right hand, Jehovah, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

7And by the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown thine adversariesb: Thou sentest forth thy burning wrath, it consumed them as stubble 

8And by the breath of thy nostrils the waters were heaped up; The streams stood as a mound; The depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

9The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my soul shall be sated upon them; I will unsheath my sword, my hand shall dispossess them 

10Thou didst blow with thy breath, the sea covered them; They sank as lead in the mighty waters.

11Who is like unto thee, Jehovah, among the gods? Who is like unto thee, glorifying thyself in holiness, Fearful [in] praises, doing wonders?

12Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.

13Thou by thy mercy hast led forth the people that thou hast redeemed; Thou hast guided them by thy strength unto the abode of thy holiness.

14The peoples heard it, they were afraid: A thrill seized the inhabitants of Philistia.

15Then the princes of Edom were amazed; The mighty men of Moab, trembling hath seized them; All the inhabitants of Canaan melted away.

16Fear and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of thine arm they are still as a stone; Till thy people pass over, Jehovah, Till the people pass over that thou hast purchased.

17Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, The place that thou, Jehovah, hast made thy dwelling, The Sanctuary, Lord, that thy hands have prepared.

18Jehovah shall reign for ever and ever!

19For the horse of Pharaoh, with his chariots and with his horsemen, came into the sea, and Jehovah brought again the waters of the sea upon them; and the children of Israel went on dry [ground] through the midst of the sea.

20And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the tambour in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambours and with dances 

21And Miriam answered them, Sing to Jehovah, for he is highly exalted: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

 

The Waters of Marah

22And Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23And they came to Marah c, and could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25And he cried to Jehovah; and Jehovah shewed him wood, and he cast it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There he made for them a statute and an ordinance; and there he tested them. 26And he said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of Jehovah thy God, and do what is right in his eyes, and incline thine ears to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the complaints upon thee that I have put upon the Egyptians; for I am Jehovah who healeth thee. 

27And they came to Elim; and twelve springs of water were there, and seventy palm trees; and they encamped there by the waters.

Notes

a ‘Jah’ may be a short form of ‘Jehovah’. But it seems to express His absolute rather than His continuous existence.  See Ps 68:4 ‘His name is Jah’ – The existing one objectively.

 

b Lit ‘them that rose up against thee’.

 

c Bitterness

Synopsis

 

The people, their loins girded, having eaten in haste, with the bitter herbs of repentance, begin their journey; but they do so in Egypt: yet now God can be, and He is, with them. Here it is well to distinguish these two judgments, that of the firstborn, and that of the Red Sea. As matters of chastisement, the one was the firstfruits of the other, and ought to have deterred Pharaoh from his rash pursuit. But the blood, which kept the people from God’s judgment, meant something far deeper and far more serious than even the Red Sea, though judgment was executed there too [See Note #2]. What happened at the Red Sea was, it is true, the manifestation of the illustrious power of God, who destroyed with the breath of His mouth the enemy who stood in rebellion against Him-final and destructive judgment in its character, no doubt, and which effected the deliverance of His people by His power. But the blood signified the moral judgment of God, and the full and entire satisfaction of all that was in His being. God, such as He was, in His justice, His holiness, and His truth, could not touch those who were sheltered by that blood  Was there sin? His love towards His people had found the means of satisfying the requirements of His justice; and at the sight of that blood, which answered everything that was perfect in His being, He passed over it consistently with His justice and even His truth. Nevertheless God, even in passing over, is seen as Judge; hence, so long as the soul is on this ground, its peace is uncertain though the ground of it be sure-its way in Egypt, being all the while truly converted-because God has still the character of Judge to it, and the power of the enemy is still there.

 

 

 

Nehemiah 9

The People Confess Their Sins

 

9And thou sawest the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red Sea;

10and didst shew signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants, and upon all the people of his land; for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them, and thou didst make thee a name, as it is this day.

11And thou didst divide the sea before them, and they went through the midst of the sea on dry [ground]; and their pursuers thou threwest into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters.

12And thou leddest them in the day by a pillar of cloud, and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.

 

Notes

 

Synopsis

 

 

 

Psalm 106

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good

 

1 Hallelujah! Give ye thanks a unto Jehovah; for he b is good; for his loving-kindness [endureth] for ever. . . . 

6We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.

7Our fathers in Egypt considered not thy wondrous works; they remembered not the multitude of thy loving-kindnesses; but they rebelled c at the sea, at the Red Sea.

8Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his might.

9And he rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; and he led them through the deeps as through a wilderness d

10And he saved them from the hand of him that hated [them], and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy 

11And the waters covered their oppressors: there was not one of them left.

12Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.

13They soon forgot his works; they waited not for his counsel:

Notes

a Compare 1 Chron 16:34-36

 

b  Or, ‘it is good’

 

c Or, ‘provoked him’, as v. 43

 

d Or, ‘the wilderness’.  See Ezek 34:25

Synopsis

 

It is the practical piety which proves, in its own confession, enduring mercy. It then goes through all the history of Israel with this view; and at the close shows that, in spite of all, Jehovah, remembering His covenant, thought on their affliction, and caused them to be pitied of the heathen, among whom they were. For this mercy he now looks, that they may triumph in the praise of Jehovah.

Acts 7

Stephen Addresses the Sanhedrin

 

35This Moses, whom they refused, saying, Who made thee ruler and judge? a  him did God send [to be] a ruler and deliverer

Withb the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 Hec led them out, having wrought wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, A prophet shalld God raise up to you out of your brethren like me [him shall ye hear]e. 38This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers; who received living oracles to give to us; 39to whom our fathers would not be subject, but thrust [him] from them, and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, 40saying to Aaron, Make us gods who shall go before us f

Notes

a Ex 2:14

b ἐν /en/Strong 1722 ‘in’ or ‘within’ Some MSS read σὺν/syn/Strong 4862 – ‘by’

 

cαὐτός/autos/

Strong846 intensive pronoun ‘the same’

 

dOne MSS reads ‘the Lord your God’

 

e Deut 18:15-18

 

f Ex 32:1

Synopsis

 

 

1 Corinthians 10

Warnings from Israel’s Past

(Numbers 16:41-50; Numbers 25:1-5)

 

1For a I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2and all were baptisedb  unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed [them]: (now the rock was the Christ;) 5yet God was not pleased with the most of them, for they were strewed in the desert.

Notes

a γὰρ/gar/Strong063 ‘indeed’.  Some MSS read ‘now’ or ‘but’.

 

 

 

b Some MSS have ἐβαπτίσαντο/ebaptisanto ‘were baptised’ (middle voice).  For ἐβαπτίσθησαν/ebaptisthēsan   ‘were baptised – (passive voice)’.  The middle form of the verb is used in Acts 22:16 ‘get baptised’. The difference is difficult to express in English as we have no middle voice which has a reflective force. It is when an act returns back in its effect on oneself.  Paul was to act in this case as Acts 22:6; not to baptise himself: that would be active; but ‘ get bapised’. ‘ Be baptised’ gives this where the command is to the person. Here we must say the same in English. They passed through the sea and so got baptised. There was no action of course of a baptiser here, hence the middle voice. The many MSS which have the passive, overlooking this, used the habitual passive word, in which the action is that of another (as Acts 10:47-48).  -(My note – Looking up the Greek another said that the middle voice could be translated ‘get yourself baptised’ – which is fine in English.

Synopsis

 

 

 

Hebrews 11

The Faith of Moses

23By faith Moses, being born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw the child beautiful; and they did not fear the injunction of the king. 24By faith Moses, when he had become great, refused to be called son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25choosing a rather to suffer affliction along with the people of God than to have [the] temporary pleasure of sin; 26esteeming a the reproach of the Christ greater riches than the treasures of b Egypt, for he had respect to the recompense. 27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing a  the wrath of the king; for he persevered, as seeing him who is invisible. 28By faith he celebrated c the passover and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. 29By faith they passed through the Red sea as through dry land d; of which the Egyptians having made trial were swallowed up.

Notes

a These are aorist, the English present participle is joined to the perfect tense, as characterising the action.  ‘He refused. . . choosing’,  ‘he refused. . .having chosen’, would make a different time of it, not the same.   In Greek all is referred to the time of speaking.

 

b Some MSS read ‘in’

cb Here and v. 17, as to the offering up Isaac, the verbs are in the perfect; this is remarkable. The other facts are generally passing facts, part of the whole history; these are of standing significance, either figuratively setting the believer on a new ground, or viewed as continued till the time of the epistle: ‘by faith Abraham has offered,’ ‘by faith he has celebrated;’ only this is not possible in English. It was not external continuance, for the blood sprinkling was only once.

 

d Some MSS omit ‘dry’

Synopsis

The power of God is manifested, and manifested in judgment. Nature, the enemies of God’s people, think to pass through this judgment dry-shod, like those who are sheltered by redeeming power from the righteous vengeance of God. But the judgment swallows them up in the very same place in which the people find deliverance – a principle of marvellous import. There, where the judgment of God is, even there is the deliverance. Believers have truly experienced this in Christ. The cross is death and judgment, the two terrible consequences of sin, the lot of sinful man. To us they are the deliverance provided of God. By and in them we are delivered and (in Christ) we pass through and are out of their reach. Christ died and is risen; and faith brings us, by means of that which should have been our eternal ruin, into a place where death and judgment are left behind, and where our enemies can no longer reach us. We go through without their touching us. Death and judgment shield us from the enemy. They are our security. But we enter into a new sphere, we live by the effect not only of Christ’s death, but of His resurrection.

Those who, in the mere power of nature, think to pass through (they who speak of death and judgment and Christ, taking the Christian position, and thinking to pass through, although the power of God in redemption is not with them) are swallowed up.

With respect to the Jews, this event will have an earthly antitype; for in fact the day of God’s judgment on earth will be the deliverance of Israel, who will have been brought to repentance.

This deliverance at the Red Sea goes beyond the protection of the blood in Egypt. There God coming in the expression of His holiness, executing judgment upon evil, what they needed was to be sheltered from that judgment to be protected from the righteous judgment of God Himself. And, by the blood, God, thus coming to execute judgment, was shut out, and the people were placed in safety before the Judge. This judgment had the character of the eternal judgment. And God had the character of a Judge.

At the Red Sea it was not merely deliverance from judgment hanging over them; God was for the people, active in love and in power for them.  The deliverance was an actual deliverance: they came out of that condition in which they had been enslaved, God’s own power bringing them unhurt through that which otherwise must have been their destruction. Thus, in our case, it is Christ’s death and resurrection, in which we participate, the redemption which He therein accomplished, which introduces us into an entirely new condition altogether outside that of nature. We are no longer in the flesh.

In principle the earthly deliverance of the Jewish nation (the Jewish remnant) will be the same. Founded on the power of the risen Christ, and on the propitiation wrought out by His death, that deliverance will be accomplished by God, who will intervene on behalf of those that turn to Him by faith: at the same time that His adversaries (who are those also of His people) shall be destroyed by the very judgment which is the safeguard of the people whom they have oppressed.

 

 

 

Notes

 

Synopsis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sosthenes

February 2018

JN Darby on the Passover –  Christ our Passover

When I see the Blood

The Passover by Subject – Christ our Passover

 

The Passover is the first in our series of JND on Selected Subjects

Notes from Darby’s Writings

Reference

Discipline follows; for Christ had been offered up as the Paschal Lamb, and they were to keep the feast without leaven, keeping themselves from the old leaven; in order that they might be in fact, what they were before God an unleavened lump JND Synopsis 1 Corinthians 5

 

God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The blood of Christ is ever before the eye of God.  He never fogets it.   If God does not ever forget the blood of Christ shed once for ever, He does not wish us to forget it.  The Lord Jesus in His boundless grace wishes us to think of Him, to remember Him.  Precious manifestation of love for us, that the Saviour should delight in our remembrance of Him, and that He has left us a touching memorial of Himself and His love.  Jesus wishes us to think of Him, because He loves us!  The Lord said, ‘This is my body … do this in remembrance of me’ (See (Matt 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, 1 Cor 11:24).     In the supper we shew forth His death till He comes.

Lastly, the Lord gives to His disciples of the fruit of the vine to drink; and it is called this after that the Lord had said in verse 24, ‘This is my blood of the new covenant.’ It is quite clear that when he says, ‘I will drink no more of it’ He speaks of wine in its natural sense.

 

JND Collected Writings Volume 24 (Expository 3) p319 on Mark  14

 

God’s righteousness as Judge is connected with blood, as in Romans 3 and also in the Passover.  No man could ever plead a part in the second dealing of righteousness save Christ Himself, for all are sinners; Christ, even as a Man down here, could be accepted as perfectly agreeable to God.  But then Christianity, and even Judaism in its figures, goes a great deal further — for grace reigns through righteousness, and sinners were to be justified or accounted righteous. Notes & Comments vol. 2 p 68

ATONEMENT

The blood on the lintel and doorposts having met the sin, now full deliverance is wrought by the death and resurrection of Christ. Satan’s power, judgment which shut them in, were gone and secured Israel for ever from them. It was finished, done, and they were delivered and with God. Notes & Comments vol. 2 p 134

THE RED SEA AND JORDAN

There were three great feasts when all Israel had to go up to Jerusalem, the Passover, Pentecost or Feast of Weeks, and the Tabernacles.  The true Passover has been sacrificed, but the great gathering of the Feast of Tabernacles has yet to come; people will then own Christ to be their Passover, who will not have done so hitherto. That however, is still future. Notes & Jottings p 158

LECTURE AT ROCHDALE

 

The Passover was first held when Israel was coming out of Egypt, and for seven days they were to eat unleavened bread.

In the Passover, man is a judged and condemned race.  But the pride of man is such that he refuses this, and seeks to restore himself as he is.  People claim that Christ come into the condition of the children of Adam, as if it were to raise up men as men.  This is all false.  It is a totally new place altogether into which Christ has entered.  It is all over with the world, and God has proved His righteousness in setting Christ at His own right hand.

 

Notes & Jottings p 160

LECTURE AT ROCHDALE

 

 

JN Darby on the Passover – The Last Supper

The Lord had finished His discourses. He prepares to suffer, and to make His last and touching farewells to His disciples, at the table of His last Passover on earth, at which He instituted, the simple and precious memorial which recalls His sufferings and His love. This part of our Gospel needs to be felt rather than explained.

When I see the Blood

The Passover is the first in our series of JND on Selected Subjects

 

Notes from Darby’s Writings

Reference

The Lord had finished His discourses. He prepares to suffer, and to make His last and touching farewells to His disciples, at the table of His last Passover on earth, at which He instituted, the simple and precious memorial which recalls His sufferings and His love. This part of our Gospel needs to be felt rather than explained.

With what simplicity the Lord announces that which was to happen!  He already arrived at Bethany, six days before the Passover (John 12:1): there He abode, with the exception of the last supper, until He was taken captive in the garden of Gethsemane, although He visited Jerusalem, and partook of His last meal there.

He then points out that it is the slain Saviour slain who is to be remembered. His pathway as the living Messiah was over. It was no longer the remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from the slavery of Egypt. Christ, and Christ slain, began an entirely new order of things.  He draws the disciples’ attention to the blood of the new covenant, saying that it was ‘shed for many.’ – i.e. Jew and Gentile.  It was shed for the remission of sins.

 

JND Synopsis Matthew 26

 

The scribes and Pharisees were already consulting how they might take Him by craft and put Him to death. They feared the influence of the people, who admired the works and goodness and meekness of Jesus. Therefore they wished to avoid taking Him at the time of the feast, when the multitude flocked to Jerusalem: but God had other purposes. Jesus was to be our Paschal Lamb, blessed Lord! and He offers Himself as the victim of propitiation.

But the time drew near for the last feast of the Passover that took place during the life of Jesus, the one in which He was Himself to be the Lamb.  The memorial to faith was that of Himself and of His work. He therefore sends His disciples to prepare all that was needed to keep the feast. In the evening He sits with His disciples, to converse with them, and to testify His love for them as their companion, for the last time. But it is to tell them (for He must suffer everything) that one of them should betray Him.

 

It was Himself, His sacrifice, not a temporal deliverance, that they were to remember. All was now absorbed in Him, and in Him dying on the cross. Afterwards, in giving them the cup, He lays the foundation of the new covenant in His blood (in a figure), giving it to them as participation in His death. When they had all drunk of it, He announces to them that it is the seal of the new covenant a thing well known to the Jews, according to Jeremiah; adding that it was shed for many. Death was to come in for the establishment of the new covenant, and for the ransom of many.  Death was necessary, and the bonds of earthly association between Jesus and His disciples were dissolved

 

JND Synopsis Mark 14

 

The chief priests, fearing the people, seek how they may kill Him. The day of Passover comes, and the Lord shows the character of the gospel.  Thus He desired to eat this last Passover with His disciples, because He would eat of it  no more until the future kingdom s – His death came first.   Now we enjoy the kingdom as it is now, not the millennium.  Observe also what a touching expression of love we have here: His heart needed this last testimony of affection before leaving them.

The new covenant is founded on the blood here drunk in figure. The old was done away. Blood was required to establish the new. At the same time the covenant itself was not established; but everything was done on God’s part. The blood was not shed to give force to a covenant of judgment like the first; it was shed for those who received Jesus, while waiting for the time when the covenant itself should be established with Israel in grace.

 

JND Synopsis Luke 22

 

They were all at the table together, and the Lord Jesus, full of love, looked upon His disciples.  He felt deeply the fact that one of them who had lived in His holy presence should betray Him.  He proved their hearts – ‘Lord, is it I?’ (Matthew 26:22) – to bring to light that which was within.

Now the Lord institutes the supper, a precious sign and memorial of His love and of His death. Up to that time, the Passover had been the commemoration of the deliverance of the people out of the captivity in Egypt, when the blood of the Lamb was put upon the doors of the houses where the Israelites were. Now the blood of a more excellent Lamb has been sprinkled upon the mercy-seat in heaven, before the eye of God; when Christ, the Lamb of God, accomplished everything for the glory of God and for the salvation of all believers.  Without shedding of blood there is no remission.  The work has been done: in the sacrifice of the cross Jesus drank the cup of malediction and cannot drink it again; He perfectly glorified God about sin.  He bore the sins of many, and can never bear them again; He cannot offer Himself again, He is for ever seated at the right hand of God; Hebrews 9: 24-26. He would have had to suffer often, if His one offering upon the cross had not taken away for ever all the sins of all believers.  The Lord said, ‘This is my body … do this in remembrance of me’ (See Matt 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, 1 Cor 11:24).

JND Collected Writings Volume 24 (Expository 3) p319 on Mark  14

 

In Luke’s account of the Passover (ch. 22), we have the sign of the passing away of the old system, and the bringing in of the new.  As a token of affection , He eats with His disciples for the last time.  He does not take the Passover cup at all and will not do so until the Kingdom of God comes.  They were to divide this token of fellowship and communion in joy among themselves.   Then He institutes the new thing in His body broken, the remembrance of a new and better deliverance, and the Cross the new covenant in His blood. Notes & Comments vol. 5 p 90

Note on the Sacraments

The Lord distinguishes in Luke 22 between the Paschal Lamb and the wine, and both from the institution of the memorial of His deliverance of His people by death.  He desired to eat the Passover, but He did not partake of the wine. In partaking of the Passover, it was the last and deep testimony of God’s faithful love to Israel as His people delivered from Egypt, and the Saviour’s entering, in the fullest individual way, into all the feelings of a ransomed Jew before God, the feelings and interests of the people as such.  He felt for and with Israel, and that as one of themselves, too, until by His rejection they stood on other ground, and divine favour passed into another scene by the resurrection, and He became the Substitute, Himself the true Paschal Lamb. They rejecting their own mercies, their history, as so received, ended in His death. . . .

 

Notes & Comments vol. 5 p 309

Note on  Luke 22

The time was not yet come for the Lord to enjoy the position as Head of the earthly people. He humbly, and full of grace, ate the Passover with them before He suffered, and passed from recognising the Jewish goodness of the Lord, into the suffering which became Him who should glorify God.  He could not take the joy of the kingdom. They were to take what would have been the sign of it now as the symbol and memorial of His death — that was the basis of all true joy, the need which the state of things, of men, of God’s people occasioned — then suffer with Him, but afterwards they would find again their place with Messiah as Head of God’s people, the twelve tribes of Israel. Notes & Comments vol. 5 p 319

Note on  Luke 22

JN Darby on the Passover – The Firstborn Shall be Mine

The connection of unleavened bread and consecration of first-born on common ground here; both as a memorial in the land — the double character of the moral result looked for (produced by grace) in those delivered.

The Passover by Subject – The Firstborn Shall be Mine

 

The Passover is the first in our series of JND on Selected Subjects

 

Notes from Darby’s Writings

Reference

We have the unleavened bread, and the first-born consecrated, as the consequence and result of deliverance from Egypt, i.e., separation (consecration) to God in the double sense of purity, unfeigned hearts, and complete devotedness.  These are the fruit of having to say to God in the way of divine power in deliverance.

Note too, the connection of unleavened bread and consecration of first-born on common ground here; both as a memorial in the land — the double character of the moral result looked for (produced by grace) in those delivered.

 

Notes & Comments vol. 1 p 210

EXODUS CHAPTER 13