The Bible Truth Review
Issue No. 11 (February 10, 1991)
In This Issue
“Christ our Surety” by Charles H. Welch in the Berean Expositor circa 1909-11.
“Helps by the Way. No. 6. The Greek Prepositions.” by Charles H. Welch in The Berean Expositor, circa 1912-13. This installment: Ek.
“Judging #2” by J. McEown in Bible Explorations, Vol. 1 No. 9, September 1987. This installment: The Need for Judging.
“The Parables. No. 6. The Pearl of Great Price.” by Charles H. Welch in The Berean Expositor, circa 1912-13.
“Right Division In Practice” by Oscar M. Baker in Truth For Today, Vol. 40 No. 10, December 1990.
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Christ our Surety by Charles H. Welch in the Berean Expositor circa 1909-11.
Gen. xliii. 1-10, and xliv. 18-34.
Our readers are doubtless familiar with the passages referred to in our title, and it is our intention to examine them with regard to their typical teaching. The action of Israel with regard to their Messiah is foreshadowed in this historic incident, for Stephen in Acts vii. 51, referring to Israel as “stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, who always resist the Holy Ghost, as their fathers did,” says, “The patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt, but God was with him . . . and at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren” (Acts vii. 9-13).
Heb. ix. 28 tells us that Christ will appear the second time without sin unto salvation. When the Lord Jesus comes again, “they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn,” even as Joseph’s brethren did when they realized that they were in the presence of one who had been so ill-treated at their hands. We do not desire, however, to emphasize the prophetic type so much, as to draw attention to one of the sublimer truths of the doctrine of the atonement which is herein typified, viz.:-
The suretyship of Christ.
“I will be surety for Him” (Gen. xliii. 9). — What is the meaning of a surety? The Hebrew word comes from a word meaning “to mix.” At first sight this may not appear to throw much light upon the subject, but we believe it will as we examine one or two passages of Scripture. The Hebrew word for “evening” is literally “the mixture,” for then the light and darkness appear to mingle together. The same word supplies us with the “woof” (Lev. xiii. 48, &c.) in weaving, the threads which are “intermixed” with the warp in the production of the cloth. It further comes to mean, “To mix or engage with others in trading,” and hence in turn comes to mean, “A place for such intercourse — a market.”
This helps us to see that the great underlying principle of suretyship is to become so identified, or interwoven with the cause of another, as to be treated in his room and stead, to be responsible for his debts and failures, to make good his deficiencies, in short, to fulfill to the letter the wonderful doctrine enshrined in the theological term
This responsibility is further emphasized by the words of Judah, “Of my hand shalt thou require him.” For illustration read Gen. xxxi. 39, “That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it.” See also 2 Sam. iv. 11. Judah further amplifies this by saying that should he fail in execution of his suretyship, “then let me bear the blame for ever.” The word rendered “blame” is translated “sin” 165 times in the Old Testament. Hence, looking beyond Judah to the anti-type, we see that if Christ our Surety failed in His work, He must be still bearing sin — a dreadful thought — but, blessed be God, this is effectually disposed of by the resurrection, for “He was delivered because of our offenses, and raised again because of our justifying” (Rom. iv. 25). “Sin hath no more dominion over Him.” The substitutionary character of the work of the surety is further emphasized in Gen. xliv. 33, “Let thy servant abide instead of the lad.” Precious word “instead.” “That One who knew no sin was made sin (and a sin offering) for us (or on our behalf), with the object that we might become righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. v.21).
Christ dying in my stead, and raised from the dead, is pledge of
Gen. xliv. 34 gives a word which enables us to see that the step downward from heaven’s glory to earth’s shame taken by the Lord Jesus when He made our cause His own, is to be followed by a step upward from earth’s shame to heaven’s glory with Him. He who identified Himself with our sorrows has identified us with His joys. Oh, the wonder of it all! Truly “by grace ye are saved “; truly (as one has put it) “the saved are in for favour.” Listen to Judah, but think of Christ, as He says, “How shall I ascend up to my father, and the lad be not with me?” How can Christ who suffered, died, and rose again, ever be satisfied until those for whom He became surety are safely by His side in the Father’s home?
“With me.” — When we contemplate our ruin, our fall, our sin, our doom; what grace, what love, that He, the spotless peerless Son of God should come down and identify Himself “with me!” When we contemplate His glory, His fullness, His holiness, the wonders of the heavenly home, the light of His glorious throne, the nearness to the Father, what transcendent grace and unspeakable mercy do we find in the scripture which tells us that, sinful by nature as we are, we shall one day reach the fruition of redemption by finding ourselves placed securely for all eternity “with Him.”
Let it be repeated and emphasized unremittingly that all is of grace, that He hath “saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the age-times” (2 Tim. i. 9). There are some who are so spiritual (?) that the doctrine of the atoning blood is repulsive to them. We can but pity them. In the sight of God that blood is “precious.” On the pages of Scripture we discover that through that precious blood we have peace; we are justified; we are saved from wrath. We know Him, our great Surety, not only as the One who died, but as the One who was raised from the dead to die no more. Still for us He lives; still for us He intercedes; soon for us He is coming. Soon we shall be with Him.
May those who read these words be led fully to realize the blessedness of the truth contained in the type before us, and unflinchingly and unfalteringly hold fast the truth of Christ our Surety.
Helps by the Way. No. 6. The Greek prepositions. By Charles H. Welch in The Berean Expositor circa 1914-15.
Ek. — The primary idea of the preposition ek is expressed in the words “out of,” signifying the “issuing from within (the compass, sphere of) something.” This elementary meaning can be seen in such passages as Matt. viii. 28; xv. 19, “coming out of the tombs,” “out of the heart,” &c. Ek shows the origin or source of anything, hence it is used of birth, cf. Matt. i. 3, “of Thamar.” Origin is emphasized in John i. 13, “not out of blood . . but out of God.” Three passages occur in Matt. xxi. which convey the idea of origin:-
Verse 16. “Out of The mouths of babes and sucklings.”
Verse 19. “Let no fruit grow out of thee.”
Verse 25. “The baptism of John, whence was it? out of heaven, or out of men?”
How much more intense and true to life is the Greek idea of fruit growing out of a tree than the English expression, fruit growing on a tree. The change of expression is doctrinally important; fruit has direct connection with root, and believers need to remember this continually. The doctrinal importance is further seen in such passages as:-
Rom. i. 17. “A righteousness of God revealed out of faith unto faith.”
Rom. iv. 16. “Therefore it is out of faith that it might be by grace ”
Rom v. 16. “The judgment was out of one to condemnation; but the free gift is out of many offenses unto justification.”
Keeping the idea in mind that ek in its secondary meaning denotes source and cause, out of which something flows, and is applied to both things and persons, the following usages will be worth considering:-
Rev. viii. 11. “And many men died ek the waters” (i.e., the waters were the source of death to the men).
1 Cor. ix. 14. “Should live ek the gospel.”
Rom i. 4. “Declared to be the Son of God with power . . . . ek resurrection of the dead.”
In 1 Tim. i. 5 ek shows the origin or source of true love, and in Rev. xvi. 21 it indicates the “occasion or incidental origin” of the blasphemy.
“By reason of” is another rendering, given in Rev. viii. 13. The grounds of arriving at a judgment are indicated by ek in Matt. xii. 37, “for by (ek) thy words.” Other usages, which still retain the original idea, “out of,” are those which indicate a standard or rule; Matt. xii. 33, “by its fruit”; John iv. 6, “hereby (ek toutou) we know “; price; Matt. xx. 2, “for (ek) a penny “; Matt. xxvii. 7, “bought with (ek) them.”
In combination the primary force “out of ” is strongly marked:-
Ekballo. — To cast out (John ix. 34).
Ekdemeo. — To be absent (2 Cor. v. 6), literally “to be out from, or away from one’s own people.”
Ekklesia. — An assembly, “a called out people” (Acts xix. 39; Matt. xvi. 18, etc.).
Eklegomai. — To choose out (Eph. i. 4 “chosen”).
The reader should collect the many other examples of the usage of this interesting preposition which are to be found on almost every page of the New Testament.
Judging #2 — The Need for Judging, by J. McEown in Bible Explorations, Sept. 1987.
In the first article we saw that judgment making began when our first parents took in knowledge of good and evil. Thereafter, they had to discern (judge) between right and wrong and between true and false. They were babes in experience and could be easily deceived when the two were mixed or disguised. Since then, man has had this difficult task and he has three treacherous enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. They seek to mislead him so that his life ends in the grave with no resurrection. They attempt to beguile the child of God so that he wastes his years and receives no reward or inheritance at resurrection.
The world presents its view of Christ and of good and evil out of its own imagination rather than out of the Word of God (Ro. 1:21-25). It offers intellectual arguments and opinions handed down from its own experts of the past. But their words are empty, based on the shifting values of men and not on God’s values. God said, through Paul, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world . . .”(Col. 2:8 NIV).
The world’s arguments may sound very logical. They often use the name of Christ to give credence to their bait, but, “the whole world is under the control of the evil one,” (1 Jo 5:19 NIV) and according to Proverbs 14:12, “there is a way which SEEMETH right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
The world offers riches and recognition to those who will spend their lives seeking them, but God said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”; they are deceitful and only for a little while (1 Jo 2:15-17). The world entices man with entertainment to occupy his mind so that he has no time to think, lest thinking he realizes that death is just ahead and he needs a Saviour. It seeks to occupy the believer so that he forgets there is a judgment and rewards ahead at resurrection.
Also, the flesh, that human nature and heart received from Adam, can cause man to fool himself. Blind to its own error, it reasons that it and all men are basically good, but God said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it” (Jer 17:9)? We cannot know our own hearts. We rationalize our desires and behaviors to justify them. We give good reasons instead of the real reasons. We convince ourselves that we are good when we are bad, that we are right when we are wrong. “Let no man deceive himself”, Paul wrote (1 Co 3:18).
The flesh has desires. Some desires are very refined and move men to heights in the arts and sciences. Some desires are base and lead men to immorality and crime. Both kinds emanate from the same nature which pleases and elevates self rather than God (Eph 2:1-3).
The flesh is religious. It glories in stimulation to the senses which it calls worship. Its ethereal choirs, emotional speakers, odors of incense and stirring sights minister to pleasing self. Submitting to baptisms, observing special days and suppers are gratifying to it, but God said, these “. . . all are to perish” with the rest of men’s self worship (Col 2:20-24). He said, “. . . true worshipers shall worship the Father IN SPIRIT and in truth.” (John 4:23)
And finally, there is one whose IQ is beyond our measurement, who was full of wisdom, but who corrupted his wisdom. (Ez 28:12,17) Eve was tricked by him and he still seeks to delude God’s people in their beliefs about God and His ways. We are instructed to, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11 NIV). His strategy aims at the mind; keeping man from God’s Word is his snare. Then men are his captives and immorality follows. His methods are subtle and devious; his workmen are, ” . . . false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Co 11:13,14 NIV). His ministers work not in brothels or bars, but in churches and seminaries.
We who believe Christ died in our stead, are declared righteous in God’s law court, but in this life, we are faced with judgments which determine our safety now and our reward or loss at resurrection. The world, the flesh, and the devil seek to rob us, but God has provided an armor.
J. McEown “Who Is Able To Judge?”, next issue.
The Parables. No. 6. The Pearl of Great Price., by Charles H. Welch in The Berean Expositor, circa 1913.
It will be remembered that in our exposition of the parable of the Hid Treasure we drew attention to the difference which is made in Scripture between “all Israel” and “the remnant.” It appears also in the above parable. Both refer to the people of God’s choice — Israel, both are referred to under the figure either of a treasure or a pearl of great price. The very Jews who were “enemies because of the gospel” were nevertheless “beloved because of the fathers,” but doubly precious in the sight of God has ever been that believing remnant from Abraham onwards. These are an election from among the elect, and these are dealt with in the parable of the Pearl:-
“Again, the kingdom of the heavens is like unto a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, and, finding one very precious pearl, departing, he at once sold all things whatsoever he had and bought it” (Matt. xiii. 45, 46).
Let us briefly consider the words used in this parable.
Merchant. — The word is epmoros in the original, giving us our emporium, and occurs five times in the N.T., once in the parable, and four times of the merchants connected with Babylon (Rev. xviii.).
Pearls. — These are mentioned in the N.T. nine times. Two of these occurrences are in the parable, and five are in the Revelation. The harlot is seen decked with precious stones and pearls, but after her destruction the new Jerusalem, the holy city, is seen with its foundation of precious stones, and every gate a pearl. Merchants and pearls are connected with the two cities, and the two systems, the one being the devil’s parody of the other.
The N.T. word for a pearl is margarites. Another word, not found in the N.T., but closely resembling the Hebrew word translated “rubies,” is the word pinna. The R.V. margin of Job xxviii. 18 gives “pearls” as an alternative reading. Bochart is very strong in his belief that the Hebrew word peninim (rubies) should be translated pearls. The price of wisdom (Job xxviii. 18; Prov. iii. 15) and the worth of a virtuous woman (Prov. xxxi. 10) are placed above the value of peninim or pearls.
Coming now to the meaning of the parable. Right down the ages since the time of Abraham there has been a faithful remnant. These will form one company at the end, and are spoken of as “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,” “who died in faith, not having received the promise.” The reader should turn to the following passages before going further, to learn more concerning this remnant according to the election of grace. Isa. i. 9; vii. 3 (Shear-jashub, the name translated for us in x. 21 by the words “the remnant shall return”); Isa. xi. 11, 16; Ezek. ix. 4-6; xiv. 22; Joel ii. 32 (compare the remnant on the day of Pentecost); Micah ii. 12; Rom. ix. 27; xi. 5.
The overcomers of the Apocalypse, the 144,000 sealed of the tribes of Israel, the various companies mentioned in Rev. xii. 17; xiv. 1-5; xv. 1-3 and xx. 4 all seem to be part of this great company denominated by our Lord “The Pearl of Great Price.” Pearls are compared with holiness in Matt. vii. 6; the partakers of the heavenly calling are called “holy brethren” (Heb. iii. 1), and “saints of the Most High” (Dan. vii. 22). Pearls are compared with wisdom in the O.T., and Dan. xii. 3 tells us that “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars unto the age and beyond.” These are the seed of Abraham likened to the stars of heaven, the nation itself being likened to the sand of the sea shore. These wise ones “understand” and “instruct many” (Dan. xi. 33); they are subjected to tribulation (Dan xi. 35) before they enter their glory. Wherever we see this elect remnant we find tribulation and suffering. The words of the epistles of Peter and James, so full of admonition and comfort to those of the dispersion who believed and who were passing through the “fiery trial,” were addressed to this remnant.
When we read in the book of the Revelation of “The wife” and “The bride,” we have the two companies again who are in view in these parables as the Treasure and the Pearl. Israel’s relationship to God is that of a wife who, being unfaithful, has been put away, but the return of Israel is to be like the taking back of the penitent wife, nay, so great is God’s grace and love that He says it will be “as a young man marrieth a virgin,” even though in reality it will be the taking back again of an unfaithful wife (see Isa. lxii. 4, 5 and Hos. ii. 19, 20, &c.). This relationship, which includes “all Israel,” is brought before us in Rev. xix. as the marriage of the Lamb, whose “wife hath made herself ready.”
After the thousand years’ reign, and in connection with the new heaven and the new earth, we read, “And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. xxi. 2). In verses 9 and 10 we have this fact repeated. The inhabitants of this city are the partakers of the “heavenly calling,” who, like Abraham, desired a better country, that is an heavenly, and for them God hath prepared a city. It was this heavenly calling (which must be distinguished from the super-celestial calling of the dispensation of the mystery), so plainly understood and believed by Abraham, that enabled him to be a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth, a sojourner in the land of promise as in a strange country, content with tents and no settled habitation, because he looked for a city which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Such as are children of faithful Abraham, not only according to the flesh but according to the spirit, such constitute the bride and the pearl, an elect remnant out from an elect nation. Israel viewed as a whole is likened to a treasure and a wife. The remnant (which will include believing Gentiles during the “Acts” period) are viewed as a precious pearl and a bride. We may set this out more clearly as follows:-
The Elect Nation as distinct from the Nation.
A treasure. A wife. Earthly calling, and city. Seed like sand for multitude.
The Elect Remnant as distinct from the Nation.
A pearl. A bride. Heavenly calling, and city. Seed like stars for multitude.
Once again we see how fully the Lord was meeting the disciples’ need, by showing them the way in which God’s purpose concerning Israel was to run its course, and how the very trials and hindrances would be made to contribute to the glorious end in view.
Right Division in Practice, by Oscar Baker in Truth For Today, December 1990.
Once a little boy was told by a visitor that the moon was made of green cheese. But the boy had been to Sunday School, so he came right back with the remark that he did not believe it. When asked the reason, he said that in Genesis it is recorded that God made the moon before He made cows; therefore the moon could not be made of cheese.
Now you may laugh at this, but it is the essence of right division. Many grownups are utterly devoid of this much good sense. Just think of all the sermons and books about the second death; how folks should seek to avoid it. Yet if the Revelation were taken away from the Bible, there would be no mention of the second death. The Revelation is about a future people and future events. Only they will have to do with the second death. It is not found in any parts of the Bible dealing with the present or the past.
When our Lord stood before the Synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4) and read from the prophecy concerning Himself, he stopped in the midst of a sentence (Isa. 61:2). Then He said that at that time the prophecy was fulfilled in their ears. He was rightly dividing. If right division was right for Him, is it not right for us?
If you do not rightly divide, you are pretty likely to wrongly divide. Some folks are so zealous to impose their water baptism on others that they quote from Mark 16:16. But they will not do as it says nor take the consequences. The order is, believe, baptized, saved. But it is changed to believe, saved, and then baptized. The consequences, AND THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW, are left out. Now why should one take Mark’s gospel which is for the kingdom and try to force it into the church? Most folks have been led to believe that if one is saved he will go straight to heaven when he dies. They do not realize that great multitudes of the saved will live here on the earth after resurrection. The hope of Israel was never heaven, but that Christ should reign on the throne of David. Furthermore, long after all the gospels were written, long after the apostles of the Circumcision had written their epistles, yes, after Paul had finished his writings, John says that no one yet had ascended up to heaven except the Lord Himself (John 3:13). It is quite likely that the same is still true. Right division is needed.
There are some who go back into the prophecies concerning Israel and the kingdom and seek to find dates that can be applied to the church. What confusion has resulted! By not rightly dividing between the kingdom and the church, they come up with some fantastic ideas. But we live in a time which had nothing of its character revealed in the Scriptures; it was hid from ages and generations in God.
Judaisers today forget that this is an age of grace for God’s people, so they seek to bring the church into the bondage of the law and the rituals that belonged to an earth people and their kingdom on the earth. They forget that the new covenant (Jer. 31: 31) is not yet here.
Try the principle as set forth in 2 Tim. 2:15 and see the difficulties disappear.
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