and the "Present Truth" is of "Heavenly Things."
John 3:31, 32.
H. C. Anstey.
Christian Friend vol. 19, 1892, p. 203.
These things may be new to us, for there is always a tendency with us to go backward and to grasp at "earthly things" - not the world, but the portion of an earthly people. God has both the earthly and the heavenly company. We read of "things new and old" (Matt. 13) - the earthly things are the "old" things, the "new" things are the "heavenly things." (John 3:12.) In this last passage we see heavenly things first referred to by the Lord who came to bring them, and to bring into them. They began to be made known eighteen hundred years ago. None could speak of them, none unfold them, save He who came down from heaven. "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not [i.e., of the new birth as a necessity - a must be - for the kingdom], how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" "What He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony." "I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father."
Truth to be descriptive of, or edifying to, saints now, MUST BE HEAVENLY; that is, from Christ and of Christ, as the "HEAVENLY ONE" to the "heavenly ones." (1 Cor. 15:48.) It was all at first in Him, and then made good to men on earth from Him by the descent and indwelling of the Holy Ghost. It is a new and satisfying portion. "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst." It is in us by the Spirit. "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." But it is also a continuous communication from the source - Christ. Things which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard," things which have not "entered into the heart of man" - these God hath "revealed unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (1 Cor. 2:9, 10.) These things the apostle communicated, i.e., "spiritual things by spiritual means," and all these for the saints.
It is not Jacob's well now. No refreshment either for man or for God can come from thence, and the water-pot may well be left empty. It is Christ Himself, and only Christ, and what is heavenly; and all worship now is founded on this. The Father is seeking worshippers, but those whom the Son has filled. "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water."
The Spirit was not given until Jesus was glorified. (John 7.) When He came He testified of Christ, the "Heavenly One" - "He shall testify of Me." He was the power of all divine knowledge in the believer. "At that day [the day of the Spirit's presence on earth] ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you." (John 14.) The Truth is the portion of the saints today, and it is of the heavenly One, and they to be descriptive of it must also be heavenly. We must not only come out in heavenly dress, but from heavenly associations; and we shall do this only when, by the Spirit, we have our communion "with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3.) Thank God, this is our portion. H. C. A.