Three Wonderful Facts concerning Palestine

Yes, truly wonderful, and far more so than the most of us have ever realised. Yet, there they stand, three great outstanding facts, which we can neither ignore nor deny, once they assume in our minds their true proportion. We may be like the country shepherd, who was asked to examine through a microscope a little wild flower, revealing the wonder of the Creator in its exquisite shape and colouring. He burst into tears to think that he had trodden on the hillside hundreds of these beautiful little flowers under his feet, not knowing how wonderful they were. We therefore ask the reader to give the closest attention to what we have to say about these three great outstanding facts. By the time you have read this pamphlet to its closing lines, we shall find ourselves faced with a question of supreme importance, not only affecting this life, but also that which is to come.

These three great facts circle round the little land of Palestine, a country considerably smaller than Wales, yet there is no country so packed full of historical associations, and these unlike in kind to those of any other land. It is indeed an arresting thought that the oldest history book in the world, the Bible, comes to us from Palestine. It tells us more about that land, than of all the mighty empires that surrounded it of old time. Would Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Syria have been mentioned, save as their history impinged on that of the children of Israel?

The first wonderful fact we would draw attention to, is that this little land of Israel is intimately linked up with . . .

THE MOST WONDERFUL CODE OF MORALS THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN.

The Ten Commandments were announced by God from Mount Sinai in the desert of Arabia. They were given to the children of Israel in view of their going into the land, promised by God to Abraham and his heirs long before. One of the great glories of the children of Israel was “the giving of the law” (Rom. 9:4), which has been entwined in their history from that day to this. Amid the dense darkness of superstition and idolatry, that cast its horrible gloom on the surrounding nations, the light of God and His claims shone brightly in the favoured land of Israel.

It was truly a day of days in the history of the world, now over 3,500 years ago, when Moses was commanded by God to ascend Mount Sinai, that forbidding peak in the desert of Arabia. The whole Mount smoked like a furnace. The LORD descended in fire upon it. The earth trembled under His mighty footstep. The trumpet sounded long, growing louder and louder. In their terror the Israelites besought that “the word should not be spoken to them any more” (Heb. 12:19). Even Moses confessed, “I exceedingly fear and quake” (Heb. 12:21). Such were the sublime and awe-inspiring circumstances attending the giving of the Law.

But it may be asked at this stage, What about the laws of Hammurabi, King of Babylon, which were known five or six centuries before the time of Moses? Were they not as wonderful as the Ten Commandments, and more so, being so much older? It suffices in answering this question to point out a very striking and vital contrast. Hammurabi was a heathen idolater, and his laws only pertained to conduct between man and man. There was no acknowledgment whatever of the only true God, or of any responsibility to Him. In vivid contrast to this the Ten Commandments begin with the assertion of God’s claim to be the only true God, and the consequent responsibility of man towards Him. In the light of this it is clear that the Ten Commandments take an altogether much higher ground than those of Hammurabi.*
{*Note—There was a time when Modernists and Higher Critics loudly affirmed that Moses could not have written the Books that bear his name, for writing, they affirmed, was quite unknown in his day. This was given out with much confidence as “the assured results of the latest scholarship,” and that in the face of our Lord’s own words when He said to the Jews, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” (John 5:46-47). What must the feelings of the Modernist and Higher Critic be today when he visits the British Museum. There he may see a copy of a huge black diorite stone, nearly eight feet high, on which were engraved the laws of Hammurabi, one of the most famous monarchs of the great Babylonian Empire, and identified as the Amraphel, King of Shinar, of Genesis 14:1. It was discovered by M. de Morgan in 1901 at Susa, Persia. The original stone is in the Louvre Museum, Paris. The Modernist refuses to believe the words of our Lord, or the testimony of Scripture to them, but is obliged to believe that of a heathen monarch, whose written testimony, engraved on stone, confronts him with a fact, that he cannot deny, viz., that writing was widely practised in the days of Abraham long before the days of Moses.}

If only the man-ward side of the Ten Commandments were observed what a happy peaceful world this would be. If that monster, Hitler, had been governed by them, would he have launched the cruellest and most uncalled-for war the world has ever known? Were Stalin governed by them, would we have the spectacle of the mighty land of Russia behind “the Iron Curtain,” feverishly and secretly piling up munitions of war, including the hydrogen bomb with its devilish powers, and for what?

The Law plainly says, “Thou shalt not kill”—“Thou shalt not covet”—“Thou shalt not commit adultery”—“Thou shalt not steal”—“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” If these were observed there would be no murderers, no adulterers, no thieves, no liars. There would be no necessity for Navies, Armies, Air Forces, Prisons, Policemen, Divorce Courts. The nations of the world would live in peace and amity.

On the God-ward side of the Ten Commandments, and far away the more important, is the following,
  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38).

If God’s will were done on earth as it is done in heaven what a wonderfully happy world this would be. The world is suffering badly, and heading rapidly towards complete disaster, all for the lack of the practise of the Ten Commandments. A godless state is bound to be rotten at the core, and to perish of its own iniquity. It is true undoubtedly that the Ten Commandments constitute

THE MOST WONDERFUL CODE OF MORALS THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.

The second wonderful fact we ask you to consider, is that the little land of Israel has produced

THE MOST WONDERFUL BOOK THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.

To begin with the Bible has the distinction of being the oldest book in the world. Books generally last a few years, and then disappear, however popular they may have been; especially true is this of ancient books with the one grand exception of the Bible. The Bible’s earliest writings date back some 3,500 years ago; its latest writings over 1,800 years ago. It contains sixty-six books, linked up in harmony in all their parts, one writer not contradicting another, though unknown to each other, and their writings produced in centuries widely apart. This could not be true unless the Bible was God-breathed, inspired from Genesis to Revelation, the product of one Divine mind.

Seeing our space is limited, we propose to limit our remarks to one special feature of the Bible, that of prophecy and its fulfilment, giving one most striking example from the Old Testament, and one equally striking from the New Testament. In all the literature of the world the Bible alone possesses this feature. Infidels and Modernists have tried to explain it away, but they have egregiously failed in their attempts.

Some 2,500 years ago Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had a most remarkable dream, which left a deep impression on his mind. Strangely enough the memory of it completely faded from him. With the high-handed autocracy that marked the rulers of those far-off days, he ordered his magicians, soothsayers and astronomers to recall the dream, and give the interpretation, on pain of death. About to carry out his most unreasonable threat, his hand was stayed at the request of Daniel, a young captive of the seed royal of the house of Judah, and one included in this terrible threat. He asked for time and he would show the king the interpretation of his dream. With his three young companions in captivity, they gave themselves to prayer. God graciously gave an answer in a vision of the night, revealing to Daniel the dream and its interpretation.

This dream, couched in symbolic language, is one of the very great outstanding prophecies of Scripture. So damaging is this prophecy and its fulfilment to the theories of the Modernists, that the assertion has been made that the Book of Daniel was a pious forgery composed by some Jew in Palestine in the second century B.C. The Book of Daniel was written close about the sixth century B.C. In that case four centuries would have rolled by, and two world-empires—the Medo-Persian and the Grecian—had arisen and passed into history, and would have to be explained away. Long before that time, amid the ruins of Babylon the very name of Nebuchadnezzar was forgotten by the natives in those parts. Was ever a lie more stupidly concocted and more easily exposed? As we shall see, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream had only one possible explanation. It was God-given, first to the King, and then to Daniel. It served to bring the youthful Daniel to the front. The dream was so manifestly of God that Nebuchadnezzar himself, heathen as he was, was constrained to acknowledge the hand of God.

In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a great image. Its head was of gold; its breast and arms of silver; its belly and thighs of brass; its legs of iron; its feet mingled iron and and clay. Finally he saw a stone, cut out without hands, smite the feet of the great image, whereupon the gold, silver and brass were broken in pieces, and became like chaff upon the summer threshing floor. The stone then became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

And what was the interpretation of this most wonderful dream? The Head of Gold symbolised Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian Empire, then present and lasting 68 years. The Breast and Arms of Silver symbolised the yet-to-be Medo-Persian Empire, lasting 208 years. The Belly and Thighs of Brass symbolised the Grecian Empire, lasting 208 years.* The Legs of Iron, the feet of mingled Iron and Clay symbolised the terrible and mighty Roman Empire, lasting about 400 years, and according to Scripture to be revived in the last days, of which there are ominous signs today (Rev. 13:3).
{*Note—Daniel 8:20-21 actually mentions the Medo-Persian and Grecian Empires by name, though both were far away in the future when Daniel wrote the Book that bears his name. For fuller details see The Amazing Jew, 6th Edition, and Things Which Must Shortly Come to Pass, 3rd Edition, both to be had of our Publishers.}

The histories of these successive world-empires—the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, the Roman—all are most plainly recorded in secular history. In the interpretation of the dream many details have been given, making it impossible for them to be the result of mere coincidences, or of lucky guesses. To refuse the plain facts before us, we should have to condescend to the most wretched and illogical subterfuges in the vain attempt to escape the difficulties denial would put us into. We should find ourselves the victims of blind incredulity on a level with the weird belief that this ordered universe with its myriad wonders and beauties came into being by “a fortuitous concourse of atoms,” the dream surely of madness.

A word about the stone cut out without hands. This symbolises our Lord, who at His second coming will destroy the revived Roman Empire with its blasphemous head, ascribing Divine honours to himself, finally meeting his doom in the lake of fire, along with his companion in setting God at defiance, the Antichrist, the false prophet, at Jerusalem (Rev. 19:20).

Our Lord identified the stone as symbolic of Himself. He asked the chief priests and elders of the people,
  “Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you . . . whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matt. 21:42-44).

The time is drawing near when this will take place; the Lord will take to Himself His great power, and reign over the nations.

The Lord’s Own Prophecy

The second prophecy we wish to bring before your notice, fell from the lips of none less than our Lord Himself. It was uttered during the last week of His earthly life, when with His disciples He was in the near vicinity of the Temple. Remarks were made about “how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts,” when to the utter amazement of His disciples our Lord prophesied that the day would come, when not one stone should be left upon another, and that the wonderful Temple should be utterly destroyed. This striking prophecy was uttered A.D. 33, a date, the correctness of which not all the ingenuity of Modernists and Higher Critics can possibly dispute. Read Luke 21:20-24, and you will see in plain, unmistakable language our Lord prophesied that,
  (1) Jerusalem would stand a terrible siege, accompanied by immense slaughter;
  (2) The magnificent Temple would be completely destroyed;
  (3) The Jews would be driven from their land, and scattered among the nations;
  (4) Jerusalem would be trodden of the Gentiles until “the times of the Gentiles” be fulfilled.

In the year A.D. 70, only some short 37 years since our Lord uttered this prophecy, it was fulfilled to the very letter. It is very striking that Josephus, an eye-witness of the siege of Jerusalem, has written a history of these terrible times, entitled, The Wars of the Jews. Surely this points to the providence of God in a very remarkable way. Modernists will boldly question the statements of the Bible, but are ready to accept without question a secular account as to the fulfilment of our Lord’s prophecy. Does this not show bias? Scripture warns us of men who “willingly are ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5); and of those, who do not “like to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom. 1:28).

And who was Josephus, the eye-witness of the siege of Jerusalem? He belonged to a high priestly family of great antiquity. On his mother’s side he had royal blood in his veins. He was Governor of Galilee under the Romans, and when rebellion broke out he took the side of his nation against the Romans, and became a distinguished military leader on their side, a man of remarkable character and ability.

A little more than a generation had passed by since the Jews, in their fanatical hatred of our Lord, had rent the air with the cry,
  “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matt. 27:25),
when the blow fell, Vespasian, the Roman General, laid siege to Jerusalem at the head of a well-trained army of 100,000 seasoned troops. During the siege Josephus was taken prisoner. He managed to ingratiate himself in Vespasian’s favour by telling him he would soon be proclaimed Emperor. Probably Josephus had ascertained this was the mind of the army, for the soldiers shortly after elected Vespasian to be their Emperor, whereupon he returned to Rome, leaving his son, Titus, to carry on the siege.

Josephus tells us the siege was one of the bloodiest in history. At that time the Feast of the Passover was held, drawing multitudes to Jerusalem, accounting for the large number of Jews being present at that time. Over 1,000,000 were slain, and only 98,000 taken prisoner. Very many were crucified round the walls of Jerusalem, till the forests in the neighbourhood for miles around failed to supply the wood whereby to furnish crosses for the multitudes awaiting their terrible fate. What a striking answer to the cry when our Lord was crucified, that His blood should be on them and on their children, a literal and awful nemesis overtaking the nation.

The magnificent Temple, in spite of the strenuous exertions of Titus to preserve the sacred building, was totally destroyed by fire. Literally not one stone was left upon another. Our Lord also prophesied that the Jews would be scattered among the nations. That waited however, for a later date to be fulfilled, as we shall see.

In A.D. 131 a fanatical deceiver, Bar-chobab, arose, giving himself out to be the promised Messiah. Well did our Lord give warning,
  “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them” (Luke 21:8).

This deceiver headed an insurrection against the Romans. This time the Romans decided to end for all time the constantly recurring risings of the Jews. A relentless purge took place. More than 580,000 Jews were slain. The remainder were driven out of the land (A.D. 131/132), and scattered among the nations. Thus did the mills of God grind slowly but surely, and our Lord’s prophecy was fulfilled. That the Jews have been scattered among the nations from that day to this is a matter of common knowledge. At this present time we see our Lord’s prophecy being fulfilled under our very eyes. Who can deny that?

That the Jews have not been absorbed among the nations among whom they were scattered is an astounding miracle. In every case where alien groups find themselves strangers in another land, they become in course of time tracelessly absorbed, with the one solitary exception, that of the Jews, a miracle many times repeated, for many are the nations among whom they are scattered. Take the one case known to ourselves, that of the Norman conquest of the Anglo-Saxons. Where are the Normans, where the Anglo-Saxons today? Tracelessly disappeared, their descendants composing one compact nation. Blind indeed must the man be, who cannot see the finger of God in the separate condition of the Jews to this day.

Jerusalem has indeed been trodden down of the Gentiles. It was dominated in turn by the Romans, Egyptians, Caliphs, Mamelukes, Turks, the domination of this last covering 400 years. Palestine was wrested from the Turks during the first great world war, when a mandate was given to Britain. At this moment the Jewish Republic has been set up, dependent on the goodwill of the leading Gentile powers. Before these lines will have reached the reader’s eye, what may not have happened? Things are in the melting pot. One thing is certain, Scripture will be fulfilled to the very letter.

We have chosen these two striking prophecies and their fulfilments out of many in Scripture, surely sufficient to convince any, who are prepared to give full weight to facts, that the Bible is inspired of God with air authoritative message to all mankind.

It is no wonder that a Book with such a vital message should have been translated in whole or in part into over 1,000 languages, a truly tremendous accomplishment, the only book in the world of which this can be said. With this Book in hand the missionary has ever been a civilising agent.

There is a story told of two sailor lads, who were shipwrecked on an unknown island in that part of the world where cannibalism was rife. Filled with anxiety as to what might befall them, one of them climbed a lofty tree to view the surrounding country. He soon rejoined his mate with a broad and relieved smile on his face, saying: “We are all right here, mate; I saw a mission station.” It was the power and influence of the Bible, penetrating to that far-off island in the southern seas, that set their minds at rest. Could this be said of any other book in the world?

We read,
  “The word of God is quick [living] and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

Here we come to the grand secret of the Book. It is LIVING. It has within it perennial vitality. It never grows old. “The word of God . . . lives and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). A preacher was anxious to secure an audience in the open air, and hit upon an original device to secure one. He placed his Bible on the ground, covering it with his hat. He then walked round and round, warning the passers-by not to touch his hat, for there was something alive under it. He soon collected a curious crowd. He then uncovered the Bible, and holding it aloft, proclaimed it to be the word of God living and powerful, and forthwith began to preach the Gospel to those standing by.

Even the late Professor T.H. Huxley, the notorious infidel and evolutionist, was constrained to write,
  “I have always been strongly in favour of secular education without theology, but I must confess that I have been no less seriously perplexed, to know by what practical measures the religious feeling, which is the basis of moral conduct, is to be kept up in the present chaotic state of opinion on these matters WITHOUT THE USE OF THE BIBLE.”

When a prejudiced infidel can find no book in the wide world, calculated to stem the tide of evil, and to bring in an influence that makes for good “moral conduct” save the Scriptures, he renders to the Bible a most striking and powerful testimony. The Bible is indeed without doubt

THE MOST WONDERFUL BOOK IN THE WORLD,
  and it comes from the little land of Palestine.

And best of all it contains God’s offer of free salvation, of the forgiveness of sins, of the gift of eternal life to sinful men through the efficacy of the atoning death of our Lord on the cross of Calvary. But to receive these wondrous blessings there must be on our side “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). There is such a thing as being intellectually convinced of the truths of Christianity, and yet knowing nothing of a link by faith with the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour.

We conclude this section of this pamphlet with one sentence from God’s word. It deserves to be written in letters of gold across the skies. It deserves to be written in your heart of hearts,
  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and THOU SHALT BE SAVED” (Acts 16:31).

What a blessing! What an offer! Millions have received it in faith. The offer is to all. Why not you, if you have not already accepted it?

And now we come to the third wonderful fact we ask you to consider, and that is in this little land of Palestine was born

THE MOST WONDERFUL MAN THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.

At the outset this is most evident. It was His birth in the humble stable of the inn at Bethlehem that has divided time into two parts in the reckoning of the civilised nations of the world. For hundreds of years, day after day, millions upon millions have dated their letters, business men their correspondence, parliaments their statutes, as so many years since our Lord was born. The letters B.C. stand for Before Christ; the letters A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin, in the year of our Lord), stand for After Christ. This surely testifies to the very deep and profound impression that our Lord, crucified in shame and ignominy after only a very brief three-and-a-half years of public service, made on mankind.

And the story of the three-and-a-half years of public service is given to us in four brief gospels, that can be easily read through in a matter of four or five hours. Yet there is compressed within these few pages the story of the life of lives, not merely transcending every other life, but a life standing altogether by itself, unique and incomparable. A book is generally read once, it is a compliment if it is read twice, but what shall be said of a Book which has commanded a lifetime of earnest and reverent study by countless multitudes for many centuries, a study that has changed the face of the earth, and blessed for all eternity innumerable lives in every walk of life and in every country?

Who were the four writers who have presented us with the story of our Lord’s life, succeeding in producing this most marvellous wonder of literature of all time? It has been most foolishly suggested that they invented the story of a life that was never lived. But to present a fictitious life of our Lord were a miracle exceeding that of a life actually lived on this earth. How could such a life be conceived? Impossible!

Certainly the four writers of the Gospels could never have invented the matchless Sermon of the Mount; the Parable of the Good Samaritan; the Parable of the Prodigal Son; the Story of the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for the sheep; the drawing aside of the curtain that veils from us the life to come, whether for weal or woe, as told in the story of Lazarus and the poor rich man, and the warning of the great gulf fixed (Luke 16:19-31). All these fell from the lips of the Son of God, and were recorded in the Gospels. Could this be fiction? Well did the late Theodore Parker, the well-known American writer, an infidel as far as the Bible is concerned, ask, “What man could have fabricated a Jesus?” He furnished himself the only true and possible answer, “None but JESUS.”

It will prepare our minds to see the full answer to all this in the Scriptures, if we give the testimony of men who did not take the ground of being Christians, and note the effect the reading of the life of our Lord, as unfolded in the four Gospels, had upon their minds. Out of many we could furnish, we give three typical cases. They all arrived at a definite conclusion, and all of them arrived at the same conclusion. They noted doubtless there were some actions in the life of our Lord that were essentially human; there were others, that were clearly beyond the power of man to perform. They all agree that there was more than manhood in our Lord.

Lord Byron, the poet, wrote,
  “If ever man was God, or God man, Jesus was both.”

The great Napoleon, speaking to his companions in captivity on the Island of St. Helena, is reported to have said,
  “I know men; I tell you Jesus Christ was no mere man. Everything in Him astonishes me. Between Him and whoever else in the world there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a Being by Himself. His march across the ages and the realms; everything is for me a prodigy, a mystery insoluble, which plunges me in reveries I cannot escape; a mystery which is there before my eyes, a mystery I can neither deny nor explain. HERE I SEE NOTHING HUMAN.”

Ernest Renan, the celebrated French writer, and a well-known infidel, wrote of our Lord,
  “He is the incomparable Man to whom the universal conscience has decreed the title of Son of God. The highest consciousness of God, which ever existed in the breast of humanity was that of Jesus. Thy work is finished. Thy divinity is established. Thou shalt become the corner-stone of humanity so entirely that to tear Thy name from this world would rend it to its foundations. Between Thee and God there will no longer be any distinction. Whatever may be the surprises of the future, Jesus will never be surpassed. His worship will grow young without ceasing. His sufferings will melt the noblest heart; and all ages will proclaim that among the sons of men there is none born greater than Jesus. Dost Thou reckon these wranglers as Thy disciples, these men furious, over their prerogatives, and desiring that everything shall be given to them? THEY ARE MEN: THOU ART A GOD.”

These testimonies are remarkable and compelling. We see man groping after the truth of our Lord’s person, which can only be met by Scripture. Zophar’s question was,
  “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” (Job 11:7).

No, the truth about God can only come to us by revelation, and in no other way.

With this in mind let us draw your attention as to how the Lord is presented to us in Holy Scripture. As we study His life we find no trace of sin in Him, no failure in any of His actions, no blunder perpetrated by Him, no withdrawing or apologising for anything He said or did. Could this be said of anyone else? Could it be said of Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, John, Paul? He alone was the sinless One.

We read of Him as of no one else. When the chief priests and Pharisees sent the Temple guard to apprehend our Lord, the officers returned empty-handed, and when asked why they had not brought Him, their reply was,
  “Never man spake like this Man” (John 7:46).

The power of our Lord’s words was such as to disarm His would-be captors.

Again we read,
  “And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:22).

Again we read,
  “The common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:37).

Again we read,
  “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine; for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:28-29).

The centurion asking the Lord to heal his servant of the palsy, said to Him,
  “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed” (Matt. 8:8).

Such was the faith of a Gentile. Our Lord’s path was followed by a perfect stream of miracles.

He was the only One on whom the heavens opened, and the Father’s voice was heard expressing His delight in Him. At His baptism at the hands of His forerunner, John the Baptist, the voice of the Father was heard,
  “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

Again on the Mount of Transfiguration, our Lord’s face shining like the sun, a rehearsal of the coming Kingdom, the voice from out of the cloud was heard,
  “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him” (Matt. 17:5).

No other has been saluted by the open heavens but Himself. How worthy was He!

When our Lord performed miracles He invoked no name as His authority for performing them. By way of contrast when the Apostle Peter cured the lame beggar at the gate Beautiful of the Temple, he said, “In the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk,” and further took pains to tell the people that the miracle was performed not by his own power, but in “His [Christ’s] NAME, . . . through faith in His NAME” (Acts 3:6, 16). At the raising of Lazarus our Lord cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43). When the young man of Nain was being carried to his burial, our Lord stopped the procession, saying, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise” (Luke 7:14). He acted as a Divine Person.

It is worthy of note that the name, Jesus, occurs over 600 times in the narrative of the four Gospels, and yet not once do the disciples address Him by that name. They address Him as Lord, Master, Rabbi. There is not a trace of familiarity in their approach to Him, though never was there one on this earth so approachable as He. Think of the woman that was a sinner, drawn into the cold, frigid house of the proud Pharisee because our Lord was there, and if the proud Pharisee did not offer Him water to wash His feet, the woman washed them with her tears of penitence, and dried them with the hairs of her head. She anointed His blessed feet, whilst the Pharisee had neglected even the bare courtesies of custom, and had neglected to anoint His head. Is there not a lesson in all this, that we should give to the Lord the homage of which He is so worthy?

We come now to the very vital and important question, Did our Lord claim more than manhood? Hear His own words,
  “I AM the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My FLESH, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51).

  “I AM the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25).

A little examination of these Scriptures shows that the Lord used the two words, I AM, as the assertion of Deity. You may remember when Moses turned aside in the desert to see the wonder of a bush burning, and yet not consumed, the voice of the Angel of the LORD (most evidently God Himself), bade him take the shoes from off his feet for the ground on which he stood was holy ground. At that time the LORD commissioned Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage of Egyptian slavery, an impossible task apart from Divine power. He said to the LORD,
  “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers has sent me unto you: and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you” (Ex. 3:13-14).

When our Lord was about to be born into this world, the Angel of the Lord said to Joseph concerning Mary, this wife,
  “That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20-21).

The name Jesus means JEHOVAH SAVIOUR. Likewise the Holy Child was called IMMANUEL, which being interpreted means GOD with us (Matt. 1:23). Our Lord clearly claimed to be Jehovah, the I AM of the Old Testament, when He said,
  “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).

At the end of our Lord’s life at His trial before the Sanhedrim, the high priest asked him,
  “Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I AM” (Mark 1:61-62).

In the first Scripture beginning with the words, I AM, our Lord spoke of His coming down from heaven, thus claiming a pre-existence before He took upon Himself manhood. Further, that He gives His flesh for the life of the world points to His atoning death on the cross. In the second Scripture please note carefully the order of the words, “I AM the resurrection and the life.” (1) “I AM” the assertion of Deity; (2) “the resurrection,” then death must take place, to be followed by resurrection.

But then we may ask, Why should Christ die? The answer, all Scripture bears witness to, is that it is only through the sin question being righteously settled, by His atoning death on Calvary’s cross, that life, divine life, can come to those, who believe on the Lord. All who believe on the Lord Jesus receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:36). If a believer should die before the Lord comes at the first resurrection, at that time he or she will be raised from the dead and live. Those who are alive on the earth when the Lord comes shall never die, but live for ever. This was our Lord’s comfort to Martha, sorrowing over the death of her brother, Lazarus; comfort for all us for all time.

Woven in the two Scriptures we have quoted there is an assertion of Godhead, along with manhood, and accompanied by an intimation concerning our Lord’s atoning death and glorious resurrection, and the blessings that come to all those who believe on Him. We sometimes try to pry into mysteries that are beyond human knowledge. We are met by our Lord’s own words,
  “All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: AND NO MAN KNOWETH THE SON BUT THE FATHER; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27).

The Lord’s Person is necessarily inscrutable, and there we must leave it. The heresies that rent the early church all came from not acknowledging and acting upon this verse of Scripture. There are four very simple lines we do well to pay heed to,
  “Say not, He did this as God,
  Or He did that as Man;
  Say rather He did this and that,
  Who is both God and Man.”

The truth of the Godhead and Manhood of our Lord runs through all Scripture. There is one Old Testament Scripture, which is very noticeable in this respect,
  “Unto us a CHILD is born, unto us a SON is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, the Prince of peace” (Isa. 9:6).

This is a most amazing Scripture. Who but an inspired writer would have dared to put down, what looks to us poor mortals, a contradiction, that a Child of days should be the Father of eternity, that the Babe in Bethlehem’s manger was the mighty GOD. Yet this was the truth, upon which hangs all the blessing God offers to sinful men.

The New Testament furnishes an equally amazing statement,
  “In Him [Christ] dwelleth all fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).

What a Saviour! What a Lord! What a wonderful Head of the Church, which is His body (Eph. 1:23).

Following on the verse just quoted, we read Colossians 2:9, and we see the wonderful words,
  “And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power” (Col. 2:10).

We have given but a tithe containing the truth of our Lord’s Person as set forth in the Scriptures of truth, but enough surely to prove abundantly that there was born in the little land of Palestine

THE MOST WONDERFUL MAN THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.

Yet ever remembering He was,
  “GOD . . . manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16),
and that,
  “Christ came, who is over all, GOD blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. 9:5).

How happy are we, if we can say, He is MY Saviour and MY Lord; or like Thomas of old, convinced that the One standing before Him was indeed the risen Christ, with the marks of His atoning sufferings in His hands and side, who exclaimed with adoring worship, “My Lord, and my GOD” (John 20:28).

Reviewing this pamphlet, we cannot do better than end with Dr. Panton’s pithy and striking remark,

BEHOLD THE JEW
and
BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE.

How true this is! How challenging! What is your response? The responsibility of your answer lies with you. Eternal issues hang on your reply.

He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).