It is truly beyond answering why it must be that the majority of mankind has and will continue to reject that which is the most important in this life—and the next! God’s great love, especially for those whom He knows will choose Him, is well demonstrated in the fact that He is allowing the majority of mankind (Mat 7:13, 14) to perish (by their own choice of course) for the sake of gaining those whom He knows will live with Him forever! “Let both grow together until the harvest” (Mat 13:30).
“I See the Son”
It is not so much a question of what we are, but of what our Father is, and of what we have in Him. There may be some deficiency in availing ourselves of them, but it is a great cheer to my soul to know that, as a general might say, “My resources are complete.” Talk of feebleness and declension, I admit it fully; but I do not admit that there is any lack in the resources. I look upon my Father and see the resources as great as ever (at rebirth, believers possess “all things that pertain unto life and godliness,” which we for the rest of our lives are being taught to appropriate—NC).
We are set (saved—NC) here for a purpose; we are all missionaries. Our duties are but discipline to fit us for His service. It is our Lord’s will to fit us for His own service, and He places us in different circles and responsibilities for training. The more you are for Him, the more He will cut away from you all that debars you from being for Him fully. “We which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake” (2Co 4:11).
I never yet saw anyone get any advance in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ who did not get at the same time severance from the thing that would hinder his being the expression of it. “That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal body.” Monks and nuns think they can sever themselves from it (worldly was of the old man—NC). All ascetics are on that ground. But no! Nothing but the Father’s own hand can do it; and He will touch something that perhaps you know nothing about, something you little expect; but He knows all about it. He knows how to touch, and His own hand does it.
I am to be here for the glorified Lord Jesus Christ. I come out from inside (similar to High priests addressing the people annually from beyond the second veil - Heb 9:7—NC), having learnt the blessedness of His rest and comfort. I confront the world because I belong to another order of things altogether. I am the very opposite of the world. What has the Church done? She gave up the power of the Holy Spirit, and accepted the power of the world (acquiescing too much to natural, worldly religions, due to a position of immaturity in Christ’s image and in the Word of God—NC). Think of Rome . . . but she is not alone (works oriented, e.g. Romish; Romanism; Popish—NC).
Consider Stephen. “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Until we understand this, we do not understand our position for the Lord Jesus on the earth; and we could not understand the new order of things, the new center. Here the fact is disclosed that the old order of things is over; not the world simply, but all here that is nominally for God. It is not only the pagan world, but the religious world as we call it (religious world, i.e. works-oriented systems—NC).
Stephen is the first witness of the new order, the new creation. That is the first time ever a man on earth saw a Man in heaven (because Jesus is the first with the new body in heaven—NC), and now a Man in heaven is seen in connection with the glory of God. Stephen saw Him, and he turns around and tells what he knows, not what he has read, but what he knows. He says, “I see the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Paul saw only Christ’s glory – Acts 9:7; 22:11, but Stephen saw Him in His newly created body—NC).
The Word of God tells us what to believe. In believing, we progressively have the virtue of it; not only possessing the food, but the food appropriated. Stephen is transformed (Act 6:15). He himself had, like the rest, been looking for the Lord to come from glory that “the times of refreshing (kingdom) might come from the presence of the Lord” (Act 3:19). But now, he has a new center, a new metropolis; and that is, the Man at the right hand of the Father. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3).
—J B Stoney (1814-1897)