In the Company of Jesus
Introduction Our emotions and spirits often are raised whenever we receive a commendation – ‘You look nice,’ ‘I love you,’ ‘I have missed you dearly”. as in encouraging and motivating what is acceptable in our human nature. How can this commendation be compared with, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,’ Matthew 25:34 as a welcome into the company of Jesus’ Oh no! Ear has never heard nor eye beheld the throngs where but purity reigns with Jesus as the leading Commander. Certainly it does thrill one’s heart, as it will with unfathomable joy on that appointed time. It will be a scene of admiration by all – the condemned wicked and the approved righteous. When the curtain is thus lifted before the time, the unspoken perception, the low tone whispers and the desire is that ‘I wish I would be there!’ It leaves us with the question ‘how did those who are behind Prince Emmanuel get there’ The Lord’s will is to show us the path to be taken by all who will then sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. He has shown us the street lights and signals in the various inspired illustrations as we take precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, to make the link whole and the path sure.
Jesus’ promise to the disciples and all that believe on Him still remains; ‘I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ John 14:2b, 3. This promise of coming again to take all of His followers to where He dwells, elevates our minds to ‘have a vision of the future and of the blessedness of heaven. Stand on the threshold of eternity, and hear the gracious welcome given to those who in this life have co-operated with Christ regarding it as a privilege and an honor to suffer for His Sake.’ 8T 44
‘There are revealed in this last days visions of future glory, scenes pictured by the hand of God and this should be dear to His church. What sustained the Son of God in His betrayal and trial’ He saw of the travail of His soul and was satisfied. He caught a view of the expanse of eternity and saw the happiness of those who through His humiliation should receive pardon and everlasting life’ His ear caught the shout of the redeemed. He had the ransomed ones singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.’ 8T 45. Dear reader, Christ sought out your company at the cost of His own life. What value do you place upon the opportunity to live with Christ for eternity’
WHERE IT ALL BEGINS
The Good Shepherd welcomes the ransomed ones that make a shout of victory. ‘They shall hear my voice’ John 10:16. What voice are they/we to hear’ It’s a voice of invitation ‘If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink,’ For them that labour and are heavy laden is the invitation also made, ‘come unto me,’ and I will give you rest’ John 7:37. Matthew 11:28. What of the ignorant’ The Good Shepherd will be to them a wonderful Counselor, and will counsel them saying, ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.’ Matthew 11:29a. The beginning of the end – New Jerusalem is here defined. In the world of din as it may be, identify the voice of the Good Shepherd from many that claim to be. Heed the invitation, Heed the counsel, and make your first step forward till the beauties to the eye, consoling music declare – home at last – Paradise. Let us believe this to be true and possible because if it were not so, He (Jesus) would have told us.
‘Learn of me,’ says Jesus; ‘for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest.’ Matthew 11:29. ‘We are to enter the school of Christ to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to the loyalty of God.’ DA 330
There is no sure way of entering into the school of Christ than beholding the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. By constantly beholding, we will be changed to be what we see and hear from Him – meekness, lowliness of heart, patience, longsuffering, forgiveness, forbearance, unselfishness – fruits of the spirit, all crowned by His own character of love. We would have then set ourselves to die daily which means forfeiting the ideas, habits and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness, till we are completely dead to the world. ‘For he that is dead is freed from sin’ Romans 6:7. ‘And why stand we in jeopardy every hour” 1 Corinthians 15:30
‘You have repeatedly said, ‘I can’t keep my temper,’ ‘I have to speak.’ You lack a meek, humble spirit, self is alive, and you stand guard continually to preserve it from mortification or insult. Says the apostle; ‘For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ Those who are dead to self will not feel so readily and will not be prepared to resist everything which may irritate. Dead men cannot feel. You are not dead. If you were, and your life is led in Christ, a thousand things which you now notice, and which afflict you, would be passed by as unworthy of notice: You would then be grasping the eternal and would be above the petty trials of this life.’ 2T 425
AN IMMUTABLE PURPOSE OF DOMINION
God’s object of creating man has never changed even after the fall of our first parents at the Garden of Eden. ‘Higher than the highest human thought can reach, is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness – godlikeness – is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continuous progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble.’ Ed. 18.
After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetation life had been called into existence, man the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. To him was given dominion over’ all the earth’ of which Christ asserts with the cheer, ‘Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ Luke 12:32, which Satan claims to be his by ensnaring Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit thus subjecting him to be a slave in the very world where God had declared him (Adam) ruler’ ‘for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.’ 2 Pet. 2:19b. ‘Christ assured the angels that by His death, He would ransom many, and would destroy him who had the power of death. He would recover the Kingdom which man had lost by transgression, and the redeemed were to inherit it with Him, and dwell therein.’ PP 65.
Down from Adam’s generation to the present one that is on the verge of destruction, the guilt of sin censuring our conscience often perplexes us to hide ourselves from the face of our God as did our past parents. ‘And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.’ Genesis 3:8. The same feelings and thoughts of doing contrary to God’s biddings, as found in us today is an un-doubtable evidence that we are partakers of this nature as it is manifest in Adam i.e. ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world.’ Romans 5:12. In hiding themselves from the presence of God, this does not lessen or thwart the grand purpose of God to see Himself in one (Adam) that He created in His own image. It’s for this reason that He (God) calls Adam inquiring, ‘Where art thou” Genesis 3:9b.
While God was seeking man’s good, Satan was seeking his ruin. Satan presses them with a sense of guilt to have them flee from their only way of securing that which they had lost – privilege of God’s company and holy angels. However, with their running away from the presence of their Creator, this yet opens an opportunity that God may reveal and teach them His misrepresented character of love. He pursues them with the inquiry ‘where are thou’ And the invitation, ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ Isaiah 1:18. This invitation comes sounding down along the lines to us today. Will you let Him reason with you’ Will you commit to Him the keeping of your soul as unto a faithful Creator’ Come then, and let us live in the light of His countenance, and pray as did David, ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.’ Ps 51:7′ ISM 330.
We are no different than what Adam and Eve did in hiding themselves from the presence of God. Each one of us with our peculiar individualities are hiding ourselves in our secret lives, from which God is calling us that we reason with Him, that he may introduce us to the company of Holy Angels. He has given us opportunity to willingly expose our unfaithfulness of every kind now in this time of probation for reformation before that awful hour as pictured herewith; ‘In that solemn and awful hour the unfaithfulness of the husband will be opened to the wife, and the unfaithfulness of the wife, to the husband. Parents will then learn for the first time, what was the real character of their children, and children their parents. The man who robbed his neighbour through false representations, is not to escape with his ill-gotten gains. God has an exact record in His books, of every unjust account and every unfair dealing.’ Maranatha 340 From the canopy of your grove, God’s entreaty to us all is ‘step out’ into the noon day light, for thy light is come.
David, in his personal examination, with a deep sense of conviction declares, ‘I am fearfully and wonderfully made’ Psalms 139:14. All could claim this peculiarity world-wide for though the world consist of six billion people, not even one of this 6 billion would bear your personality. At one time, one of my college teachers wanted to prove this, taking the 46 members of our class as the sample of his experiment. He brought to class a picture of an old woman and let each of the 46 students observe it critically in turns until they all were satisfied. When this was done, he asked the class ‘what did you see on the picture” It was amazing to find that from the same simple picture, everyone of the 46 students gave a distinct observation concerning the picture.
As with the different observations that were made in this class of 46 students so it is with choosing to leave the grove in which we are sheltering and come out to the open place where we can see and be seen of all men. From the grove of our sins, what do we see in Jesus, the light of the world that draws us to Himself’ ‘By an agency as an unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion, but it is the result of long wooing by the spirit of God, – a patient, protracted process.’ DA 172.
The divinity of Christ flashing to humanity will quicken our minds to discern what we are lacking. Hence, with our peculiar personalities, our impressions on the beauty that attract us to Jesus vary, but most surely what we lack and dearly need. For this reason, numerous appellations are ascribed to Jesus: – Prophet, Healer, Teacher, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Lovely Jesus, Son of David, Good Shepherd, Lamb of God, Refuge, Advocate, High Priest, Light of the World, Water of Life, Salt, the Way and the Truth, etc. ‘For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things until himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.’ Colossians 1:19 – 20. Have you identified a virtue in Christ of which you feel you are devoid of’ It’s time to stitch this virtue into the garment to be worn by all guests invited to the wedding of the Lamb.
‘The way has been made clear for all those who choose to hear, repent and believe. All heaven is waiting the sinner’s cooperation, and the only barrier that stands in this way is one which he alone can remove, his own will. He must submit to the will of God, and through repentance and faith, come unto God for salvation. No one will be forced against his will; Christ draws, but never compels.’ RH 3 – 24 – 1896.
‘Every one that will submit to be ransomed, Christ will rescue from the pit of corruption and from the briers of sin. ‘Desponding soul, take courage, even though you have done wickedly. Do not think that perhaps God will pardon your transgressions and permit you to come into His presence. God has made the first advance, while you were in rebellion against Him, He went forth to seek you with the tender heart of a Good Shepherd He left the ninety and nine and went out into the wilderness to find that which was lost. The soul bruised and wounded and ready to perish, He encircles in His arms of love and joyfully bears it to the fold of safety.’ COL 188.
A FRIEND INDEED
The sent of heaven has so long desired to have us sinners become intimate friends. For this sole purpose, ‘the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,’ Luke 19:10 This is contrary to the doctrines and commandments of men that say He came to condemn the world. Hence in seeking the sinner, He becomes a friend of the sinner(s). In doing this, Jesus says, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.’ John 15:16a. He so delights to have us in His company – a company redeemed who He teaches/instructs how to wash their robes and make them white in His own blood, and present them faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.’ Jude 24. ‘Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ John 15:15.
As a dear friend Jesus would like to show us where He lives, should we wish and aspire to be there with Him. ‘Then Jesus turned and saw them (John’s disciples) following, and said unto them, what seek ye’ They said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master) where dwellest thou’ He said unto them, come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day. How vital it is to know that Jesus still holds the same wish of not only showing us where He dwells, but to reside with Him and not for a while but for eternity! ‘Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: For thou lovedest me before the foundation of the world.’ John 17:24. How prepared are you to appear before a Holy God, holy angels, holy patriarchs, holy disciples and all saints in general’
Isn’t it a noble thing to recount what we have heard and seen in the dwelling place of our friend and Saviour Jesus Christ’ All the beauties that draw us to Him are known to us once we visit freely. What would be worthwhile to do after having been with Jesus’ To publish abroad what we have seen and heard of Him. ‘Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ John 1:45. In a similar manner, the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well who perceives Christ as a prophet hesitates not to rush into the city with the message, ‘Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ” John 4:29.
The will of the Lord in preparing the great supper is that as many people may come so that His house may be filled. His command was and is ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.’ Luke 14:21 – 23.
From the preceding examples, Christ does not segregate as to who would be His friend(s). He had an open invitation to all who will to come into that trinity circle and enjoy a face-to-face communion with the Holy God and Jesus Christ who He has sent to reconcile if possible the whole world to Himself. He not only invites us but has strategically laid before us advertisement posters of the glories we are to enjoy in the association of the holy angels, and with Himself and His Father, who is to be our Father forever in the eternal home.
HEAVEN IN MINIATURE
‘We may have a vision of the future, the blessedness of heaven. In the Bible are revealed visions of the future glory, scenes pictured by the hand of God, and these are dear to His church. By faith we may stand, on the threshold of the eternal city, and hear the gracious welcome given to those who in this life cooperate with Christ” AA 602 In showing us the heavenly pictures, our Just, Merciful and faithful God would wish us to take Him by His word as true and real. We need not suppose as how it looks like, but He reveals it to us that we may covet it. A proof of this left the beholders startled, gazing with a deep yearning to be one of the redeemed company. Their testimony was and will be:
‘As God has shown me the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City and the rich reward to be given those who wait the return of their Lord from the wedding, it may be my duty to give you a short sketch of what God has revealed to me. The dear saints have many trials to pass through. But our light afflictions, which are but for a moments, will work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory – while we look not at the things which are seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. I have tried to bring back a good report and a few grapes from the heavenly Canaan, for which many would stone me, as the congregation bade stone Caleb and Joshua for their report. (Numbers 14:10) But I declare to you, my brethren and sisters in the Lord, it is a goodly land, and we are well able to go up and possess it.’ EW 13, 14.
What report/vision do we have as pre-heirs of the Kingdom and its treasures’ ‘We saw the great city, with twelve foundations, and twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate. We all cried out ‘The city, the great city” ‘I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars set with pearls most glorious to behold’ I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses’ I saw another field full of all kinds of flowers’ I saw a field of tall grass, most glorious to behold; it was living green and had a reflection of silver and gold, as it waved proudly to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full of all kinds of beasts–the lion, the lamb, the leopard, and the wolf, all together in perfect union’
‘As we were traveling along, we met a company who also were gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them, I asked Jesus who they were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain for Him. With them were an innumerable company of little ones; they also had a hem of red on their garments’ And I saw the little ones climb (on mountains slopes) or, if they chose, use their little wings and fly, to the top of mountains and pluck the never – fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place: the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate and the fig tree bowed with the weight of it’s timely figs – these made the place all over glorious. And we were all about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, ‘only the 144,000 enter this place, and we shouted, ‘Alleluia.’
‘The wonderful things I there saw I cannot describe. Oh, that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the better world. I saw their tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold. After we beheld the glory of the temple, we went out, and Jesus left us and went to the city. Soon we heard His lovely voice again, saying, ‘Come, My people you have come out of great tribulation, and done My will; suffered for Me; come in to the supper; for I will gird Myself, and serve you.’ We shouted, ‘Alleluia! Glory!’ and entered into the city. And I saw a table of pure silver; it was many miles in length yet our eyes could extend over it. I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said, ‘Not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land go back to earth no more. But in a little while, if faithful, you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life and drink of the fountain.’ And He said, you must go back to the earth again and relate to others what I have revealed to you.’ Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world.’ EW 17 – 20. This is the heavenly report, what do we do with it’ In faith, are you numbered as one of them in this company of Jesus’
A PALATABLE THOUGHT
The expected end of all that have chosen the company of Jesus has been revealed by Christ Himself; they belong unto us and our children forever. As the needle is to the pole, ‘the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it shall surely come, it will not tarry,’ Habakkuk 2:3.
It is a wonderful thought to be in the company of the redeemed led by the Redeemer Jesus Christ, seeing Him face-to-face and communing with Him heart-to-heart. Certainly, this will be a restored race, representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion. Nevertheless, they are redeemed in the blood of the Lamb that God purposed, – ‘Man to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and ever the fall of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and ever every creeping thing that creeping upon the earth.’
‘Then it is that the redeemed from among men will receive their promised inheritance. Thus God’s purpose for Israel will meet with literal fulfillment. That which God purposes, man is powerless to disannul. Even amid the working of evil, God’s purposes have been moving steadily forward to their accomplishment. It was thus with the house of Israel throughout the history of the divided monarchy; it is thus with spiritual Israel today.’ PK 720
All that heaven can do to have man (me & you, reader) saved is already done. The Master of the ceremony (Jesus Christ) invites you to be one of the honored guests at the high table whose length extends even from the East to the West. His wish is to serve you with the fruits of the tree of life and drink water drawn from the river of life. Will you honor the invitation even now to subsist only on that which is provided on that table without indulged appetite’ ‘My brother my sister, I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Day by day cast the love of the world out of your hearts. Understand by experience what it means to be in fellowship with Christ. Prepare for the judgment that when Christ shall come, to be admired in all them that believe, you (we) may be among those who will meet Him in peace.’ 9T 285.
‘Do not become overwhelmed with the great amount of work you must do in your lifetime, for you are not required to do it all at once. Let every power of your being go to each day’s work, improve each precious opportunity, appreciate the helps that God gives you, and make advancement up the ladder of progress step by step. Remember that you are to live but one day at a time, that God has given you one day, and heavenly records will show how you have valued its privileges and opportunities. May you so improve every day given you of God, that at last you may hear the Master say, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” MYP 46.
In faith I see you there, and do wish that we have blessed converse in the radiant light from the face of Jesus, with the commendation ‘I was a sinner, without God and without hope in the world, and you come to me and drew my attention to the precious Savior as my only hope’ I now see Him face to face. I am saved, eternally saved, ever to behold Him whom I love,’ Maranatha 303 This is my living hope to you. May it be a reality that we are found together in this blessed company of Jesus.