“THE GOD OF GLORY” called ABRAHAM out of his country, and from his kindred, into the land of promise (see Acts 7:2-3); he was called out of one place and called into another, and he became the friend of God. The calling out cost him much exercise of soul and conflict, but that is not worthy to be compared with the blessing and honour and favour which he was called into. His faith embraced a rich inheritance, a heavenly city (Heb. 11), the sure promise of God; yea, the true God Himself as Abraham’s God. As a contrast to Abraham, his nephew Lot declined from the path of separation, and disastrous results followed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, where he had become a magistrate; for he lost everything that a man and especially a righteous man could rejoice in.
The same God revealed Himself to Moses as the “I AM,” and called ISRAEL out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, to enter into the promised inheritance; and He revealed Himself in covenant relationship with them as JEHOVAH; and Israel is honoured as the nation which is to have the headship of the appointed earthly system of nations, and as Jehovah’s people to serve Him in special nearness and make His Name known in all the earth; but, like many who claim to be His people today, they backslid from the Lord; therefore the day of their full blessing has been postponed, it is yet future; but when they receive Jesus—Jehovah Saviour—their true Messiah, they will possess and enjoy all that they are called into—the adoption (nationally), and the glory (on earth), and the covenants, and the law (as given to Israel), and the service, and the promises (Rom. 9). Their calling out involved much testing and disciplinary dealing; but the blessing, mercy, and glory into which they are called is so surpassing that the former is not worthy of being compared.
It is the same God—THE ONE TRUE GOD—who has called out from among the nations THE CHURCH, correctly rendered THE ASSEMBLY. From the fellowship of world-associations and aspirations, which are not after Christ, those who form the assembly are called into assembly-associations and hopes, which all vitally centre in Christ, who was rejected on earth, and is exalted in heaven; they are called into the greatest, most glorious and most honoured fellowship that God could make known to men.
We read, “God is faithful, by whom ye have been called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9). To those who are the called at the present time God is made known in His Son, who has revealed Him; and our true and eternal relations with THE FATHER, THE SON and the HOLY SPIRIT are to be entered into by us as the called of God; these rise far above those made known to Abraham and Israel. They were counselled by the FATHER before the world began; the SON came from heaven to redeem us and has secured them in Himself risen from among the dead and ascended on high; the HOLY SPIRIT has baptized all those who are saved into one body, He indwells them, has sealed them, and given them the necessary power to enter into the heavenly assembly-blessings unto which they are called.
The fact is, Christ’s body, the assembly which is formed of believers sealed by the Spirit, has the earth-rejected Lord as its exalted Head in heaven, and its completion is necessary for the establishment of the earthly covenants made in regard to Abraham and Israel. Indeed, those who are of the faith of Christ, now rejected and exalted, must be taken up to be with Him on high first, before those who are to share the promises in regard to the earth can truly possess them, as it says in Hebrews 11:40, “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” The truth as to the Head of the assembly being set above all things in the heavens and on the earth, involves that His body must eventually be glorified with Him, for the assembly is “the fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:23).
The Lord said to His own, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”; and again, “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Understanding what we are called out of, and what we are called into, gives real liberty to the children of God today. Twice in John 17 we read of the Son saying to the Father, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world”; also, “I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” The “FELLOWSHIP” of such is consequently divinely deepened; and “SOUND DOCTRINE” is maintained by the Spirit who is given to lead us into all truth; moreover “PRAYER” in the Name of the Son of God marks them; and “WORSHIP” in Spirit and in truth; for, we are told, “The Father seeketh such to worship Him” (John 4:23). They are called “The true worshippers.”
To decline from the path of separation therefore involves great loss, but to be preserved in it brings increasing gain in the Son and in the Father, in the Holy Spirit’s grace and power. The very thought of political legislation as to how such should pray and worship is repugnant to their very nature, as well as to their faith. That men without faith and men of conflicting beliefs should be asked to meet in parliament to vote and decide regarding this is an iniquitous denial of the revealed truth of God in regard to the assembly of which Christ is the Head, and of which we have spoken. His coming again to take His assembly soon to be with Himself for ever will show that she belongs not to the world—that she partakes of the divine nature—that her constitution is spiritual and vital, that her destiny is heavenly, also that she is the body and bride of Christ, who is rejected from the world, but is yet to shine forth publicly as HEAD OVER ALL.