Matthew 26:27; 1 Corinthians 11:25.
In regard to the "cup," it has, as an expression, a very distinct meaning in Scripture. (See Ps. 11:6; Ps. 16:5; Ps. 23:5; John 18:11, etc.) From these and many other passages it clearly signifies what one may be passing through, whether of blessing or sorrow, together with the experience attendant upon it. Thus in Psalm 23 it was an overflowing cup of blessing; while in John 18, for example, it is an expression for all the sorrows which came upon our blessed Lord in connection with His rejection and death, all of which He would receive, not from the hand of man, but from the hand of His Father. The cup on the Lord's table had its origin doubtless in the passover cup; and the Lord Himself has affixed its meaning to it in the words, "This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins;" and the cup therefore is for ever associated with that precious blood of Christ which met and answered all God's claims; yea, glorified Him in all that He is, and which cleanses the believer from all sin. An empty cup could not signify this; only it must be remembered that the real point of departure in its typical teaching is in giving thanks - blessing God for it. Then, of course, the cup must be full. It may also be noted that Scripture never speaks of "the wine." It is always" the cup;" because, indeed, the Holy Spirit would ever associate it in our minds with the cup of judgment which the Lord took and drained in the accomplishment of redemption. When therefore we rejoice before God in all the blessedness set forth by the cup to our souls, we are at the same time reminded of the infinite price at which our adorable Lord rd and Saviour has purchased our redemption.
To infer that possibly the names of some in this vast multitude were found written in the book of life is utterly unwarrantable, as well as at the same time to overlook the plainest teachings of Scripture on the subject. All believers, whether of past dispensations or of the church period, will be raised or changed at the return of our Lord. (1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:13-18.) Those that suffer martyrdom during the sway of Antichrist, as also those who "had not worshipped the beast, neither his image," etc., will be added to the first resurrection. (Rev. 20:4-6.) The millennial saints will pass (in what way Scripture does not reveal) into the new earth. (Rev. 21:3.) There will consequently be only unbelievers before the great white throne. This, moreover, is plain from the statement of the grounds of judgment. All the dead are delivered up, whether by the sea, death, or hades. Not one escapes. All alike, small and great, stand before "the throne;" and all alike are "judged every man according to their works." This is the positive evidence adduced to justify the irreversible sentence of everlasting judgment. But God is, and ever must be, justified when He speaks, and clear when He judges. Accordingly another kind of evidence is adduced before judgment proceeds. Every man's works were the positive ground of condemnation; and now the fact that the names of those about to be assigned to eternal woe were not found in the book of life is brought forth to prove that they had no title whatever to escape their doom. On positive and negative evidence alike they are shown to be amenable to the sentence of the lake of fire. It is thus a scene of unsparing judgment upon the unconverted dead of all ages down to the close of the millennial kingdom.
1 John 2:20, 27.
Attention to the exact language employed will at once show that the "Holy One" in verse 20 cannot be the Holy Ghost. It is an unction "from the Holy One." Now every believer knows that the Spirit of God is Himself the anointing [unction]; and consequently it could not be said, as in verse 27, that we received it from Him. The "Holy One" will therefore mean either the Father or Christ; for, as we learn from John's gospel, both the Father and the Son are said to send the Comforter. (See John 14:16, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7.) There is nothing in the context to indicate whether it is the Father or the Son that John had in his mind in writing "from Him." In fact, both are so habitually one in his thoughts that we often find in this epistle one named where we might, grammatically speaking, expect the other. (See, as an example of this, John 2:28, 29.) We can the better understand this if we recall the words of our Lord Himself: "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."
This scripture, when rightly understood, is most interesting and instructive. The chapter opens with an exhortation to Israel to return to the Lord their God with words of confession and supplication. Together with this there is the renunciation of all other helpers, whether of Assyria, on whom they had so often leaned to their own confusion, or of false gods, whose impotence they had so often proved in the time of their calamities. Israel was now learning that in Jehovah alone "the fatherless findeth mercy." This state of repentance and confess on draws forth as ever an instant response of forgiveness, restoration, and blessing. (vv. 4-7.) Thereon comes our scripture. First we have the effect of grace on the heart of Ephraim, who says, "What have I to do any more with idols?" Then Jehovah, who ever delights to mark the action of His Spirit on the hearts of His people, speaks: "I have heard and observed him." The next clause again is the language of Ephraim: "I am like a green fir-tree." And then once more Jehovah speaks, to remind Ephraim of the source of his new-found blessing, and says, "From Me is thy fruit found" - a needed instruction for God's people at all times. The last verse, we apprehend, is a lesson drawn from the whole book, as it speaks of Jehovah's ways in the government of His people. To understand them divine wisdom is requisite; and blessed is it for those who can say with the prophet, "The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein." E. D.
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One moment's real apprehension of Christ in the glory is sufficient to dim the brightness and glitter of every earthly thing; but the soul must be occupied with Christ alone for this.
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Duties are more apt to lead the soul away from God than open sin.