Displaying items by tag: types and shadows http://www.prca.org Sun, 28 May 2023 04:48:14 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Old Covenant Broken http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/cr-news/item/3652-the-old-covenant-broken http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/cr-news/item/3652-the-old-covenant-broken

This article was first published in the June 2014 issue of Covenant Reformed News, a publication of Covenant PRC, Ballymena, N.Ireland.

Referring to Hosea 1:6, “I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away,” a reader asks, “What is that saying to us about God’s faithfulness to His covenant promise? Did God break His covenant with the ten tribes?”

This question was already answered in part by the last News for, if the old covenant had passed away and a totally new covenant had come to take its place, then indeed Jehovah broke the old covenant with the ten tribes. But I explained that, when the old covenant passed away, it was only the form of its administration that passed away, while the essence of the covenant remained. Since the essence of the covenant remained while the form of its administration changed, God did not break His covenant. I used an example from Scripture itself, which speaks of our old and new man. The very same person is both an old man and a new man—even at the same moment, although the old man will be destroyed in the grave and the new man will live forever with God. The old man belongs to the old covenant; the new man is taken into the new covenant.

The figure can be used of wise parents who teach their children the truths of the Bible through the means of the historical books in the Old Testament and with books of many pictures. But when these children are old and have the ability to read and to comprehend the truths of Scripture, these parents put away the picture books and tell the now-grown children to read books on Reformed doctrine. The form of teaching is radically altered but the essence of the teaching is the same. One could call that change a putting away of the old and a change to a new method of teaching.

Hosea 1, to which the questioner refers, makes that clear. It is true that Hosea’s child by Gomer must be called “Loruhamah” (which name means, “no mercy”) because God declares, “I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away” (v. 6). It is also true that Hosea and Gomer were instructed to name their next child “Loammi” (“not my people”) for, Jehovah says, “ye are not my people, and I will not be your God” (v. 9). But in the very next verse, God explains, “Yet [notice that powerful “Yet”] the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God” (v. 10).

How can God say these two seemingly contradictory truths almost in the same breath: “Ye are not my people” and “Ye are the sons of the living God”? The first statement belongs to the old covenant. The second statement is the promise of the new covenant. The old covenant is the type, for Israel was a type of the church. The new covenant is established with a church that is gathered from every nation, tribe and tongue. The typical old covenant was essentially the same as the new covenant, but the form of its administration changed. In the old covenant, the covenant was administered under the law. Paul speaks of this most emphatically in Galatians 3. The law was never intended by God to save. It was not intended to save in the old dispensation, nor is it, as the premillennialists maintain, intended to save in some future millennium. 

It is worth our while to point out the serious error of these premillennialists. God’s promise is stated explicitly in Hosea 1:10. The contents of the promise of a new covenant are not fulfilled in a millennial reign of the Jews in Palestine. I am thankful that Scripture tells us what Hosea 1:10 means and how it is fulfilled. You may find the explanation in Romans 9, where Paul identifies “the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory” (v. 23): “Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith in Osee [i.e., Hosea], I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God” (vv. 24-26). The Gentiles were not God’s people in the old dispensation but the Most High now says of them that they are His people. And we are told that Hosea prophesied this!

It is necessary that God’s seemingly contradictory statements in Hosea 1:9-10 be explained in terms of the old covenant and the new covenant of which God spoke through Jeremiah (31:31-34) and which is quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12.

It is striking and important that covenant language in general is used. In Hosea 1:10, the Lord promises that “it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” This is the language of many places in Scripture where God’s covenant people are defined. One such passage is II Corinthians 6:17-18: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” So also covenant language is used in Hebrews 8:10, in which both typical Israel and the new dispensation church are referred to: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” 

This language ought not to surprise us, for the establishment of the covenant with Abraham defined the covenant: “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Gen. 17:7). Lest there be any misunderstanding about to whom reference was being made, Jehovah made it clear that He was referring to the “new” covenant, the fulfilment of the old, which includes Gentiles. “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee” (vv. 4-5). This is why Paul could say, “For ye [i.e., believing, largely Gentile inhabitants of Galatia] are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:26-29).   Prof. Herman Hanko

hanko@prca.org (Hanko, Herman) Covenant Reformed News Mon, 23 Jun 2014 21:32:02 -0400
Out-Flowing Spirit of Jesus (A Pentecost Sermon) http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3639-out-flowing-spirit-of-jesus-a-pentecost-sermon http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3639-out-flowing-spirit-of-jesus-a-pentecost-sermon

This sermon was first printed in The Standard Bearer (vol.88, Issue 16, May 15, 2012)

This is the text of a sermon preached by Prof. David J. Engelsma on Pentecost Sunday 2011.

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39


When the Lord stood and cried these words, He was observing with the rest of Israel the Feast of Tab­ernacles. So we are informed in John 7:2, 14. The Feast of Tabernacles was one of the three main holy festivals, we could say, extended worship services, of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, as you may read in Leviticus 23. That extended worship service lasted seven days. The first day was a Sabbath, and then the eighth day (the day following) was also a Sab­bath. And it was on that day, the great day of the feast, that Jesus spoke the words of our text.

During that holy festival, all of the males of Israel were to gather in Jerusalem for the worship of Jehovah God. There were two main purposes of the Feast of Tabernacles. One was that the people would celebrate and give thanks to God for the harvest of their crops, which was completed by this time.

The second purpose of God with this festival was that Israel would remember the hardships that they had endured during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. They were to recall God’s special care of them during those forty years in which He provided for them in wonderful ways—the manna from heaven, their clothes not wearing out, and God’s bringing water out of the rock for them in that dry and thirsty wilder­ness through which they passed.

During the Feast of Tabernacles the people of Israel had to remember, in a curious way, God’s care of them during the forty years of their wilderness wandering. The men had to dwell for seven days in little huts, or booths, that they made for that purpose out of the branches of trees. That is why this religious festival got the name that it had: the Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths, with reference to those little huts in which they dwelt. Evidently during the time of the forty years of the wandering of Israel in the wilderness, that was the kind of lodging that they had. And, of course, as they dwelled in those huts during the Feast of Tabernacles, they would remember that God brought their fathers and mothers safely through the wilderness and finally gave them the land of Canaan, in which they could dwell, as they were doing at the present time, in goodly houses.

The Feast of Tabernacles was therefore character­ized by joy. It was a joyous, holy festival. The crops were in, so that the people could live physically. And they recalled with joy God’s gracious unfailing care that had brought them into the land of Canaan. They were to show that joy during the Feast of Tabernacles in a peculiar way. They cut down branches of palm trees and waved those palm branches, expressing their great joy.

That Feast of the Tabernacles is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. That is the meaning of Jesus’ words on the last day of this feast: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. In me, by coming to me, which you do by believing on me, you have the reality of the Feast of Tabernacles and the real celebration of that Old Testa­ment feast.”

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of those Old Testament ceremonies. All of them. We observe the Feast of Tabernacles, but not by living in booths and remembering in a special way God’s deliverance of Israel through the wilderness into Canaan, but by coming to Jesus Christ and believing on Him. He is the fulfillment of that Old Testament holy festival.

And yet, Jesus is the fulfillment of that Old Testa­ment festival in such a way, so He teaches, that He bestows on us the Holy Spirit. According to our text: “This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.” The fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles is Jesus Christ pouring out His Holy Spirit upon the church on the day of Pentecost. And then, He is the fulfillment of that feast in this way: when we have received from Christ the Holy Spirit, that Holy Spirit flows out from us to others. Out of his belly, said Christ, shall flow rivers of living water.

With this text we observe Pentecost Sunday. Let us consider the Word of Christ: “The Outflowing of the Spirit.” We notice from the text, first, that this was a striking promise; second, that that promise speaks of a strange source of the Spirit; and, third, that in that connection Christ gives a stirring call.

A Striking Promise

When Jesus cried out with a loud voice at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,” He was promising the gift of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He was promis­ing that great event of salvation that took place fifty days after His resurrection from the dead and ten days after His ascension into heaven—the pouring out of the Spirit, at that time, upon the 120 believers who, waiting for that Spirit, were gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem. And the signs of that gift of the Spirit, according to Acts 2, where that great event is recorded, were the sound as of a rushing mighty wind, tongues as of fire hovering above the heads of believers, and their speaking in many different languages.

That gift of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost had lasting effects for the church of Jesus Christ down the ages. That Spirit was poured out in such a way that He abides with the church and gives Himself to the individual elect members of the church to the world’s last day. That Christ, in our text, was promising the outpouring of the Spirit is the authoritative explanation of those words by the apostle John in verse 39: “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.” Christ promised the Spirit.

The promise of the Spirit was striking, first of all, be­cause it implied that at that time the Spirit was not yet. That is exactly the explanation by the apostle in verse 39, for he adds: “for the Holy Ghost was not yet.” Our Authorized Version inserts the word “given.” When Jesus spoke those words the Spirit was not yet.

That cannot possibly mean that the Holy Ghost did not exist. For the Holy Ghost is one of the three persons of the blessed Trinity of God, and as one of the persons of the Trinity, shares in the perfection of being eternal. As the Father is eternal and the Son is eter­nal, so also the Holy Ghost is eternal. Hebrews 9:14 expressly describes the Holy Ghost as eternal. There never was a time when He did not exist. In the being of God, the Holy Ghost is always proceeding from the Father to the Son (as we read in John 15:26).

That the Spirit was not yet refers rather to the fact that when Jesus spoke these words (which was, of course, prior to His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascen­sion into heaven) the Spirit was not as the Spirit whom God would give to the man Jesus Christ, to be the Spirit of the man Jesus Christ. And then, as the Spirit of the man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to be given by Jesus Christ to the church and to the individual members of the church.

That that is the meaning is indicated by what John adds in verse 39. After he has written “for the Holy Ghost was not yet,” he adds, “because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” When Jesus would be glorified, that is, when He would be raised from the dead as the One crucified for the sins of His people, and then exalted up into heaven in the ascension, and given all power over heaven and earth by God’s seating the man Jesus at His own right hand, then the third person of the Trinity would become the Spirit of the man Jesus Christ. We read of that in Acts 2:33. On the day of Pentecost Pe­ter, as the explanation of the outpouring of the Spirit, preached about Jesus to the crowd that was gathered in Jerusalem: “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” Upon the glorifying of Jesus, the Spirit becomes the Spirit of Christ.

That was a significant event for the third person of the Trinity, just as it was a significant event that, in the fullness of time, the second person becomes a human being in the womb of Mary. That may help us to un­derstand what verse 39 means. Just as the man Jesus ‘was not’ before His conception and birth, so the Holy Spirit ‘was not’ before Jesus was glorified and the Spirit became the Spirit of Christ.

The Spirit’s becoming the Spirit of Jesus Christ de­pended upon the glorifying of Jesus Christ. Only after Jesus is glorified could the Spirit bring this glorified Jesus to Jesus’ church in the world. Only after Jesus is glorified can the Holy Spirit bring the beginning of the completion of salvation to each of us as a believing member of the church.

You see how Pentecost, in fact, was the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Old Testament, all of the harvest of the crops of Israel was safely in the barns and in the storehouses, ready for the use and enjoyment of the people. So now, after Christ is glorified at God’s right hand in heaven, all of our salvation, having been com­pleted by the cross and resurrection of Christ, is safely stored in the man Jesus at God’s right hand, for us to begin to live from and to enjoy by the presence among us of the Holy Spirit.

Before Pentecost the Spirit was not, as far as the church in the world is concerned. But after Pentecost the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus in us and for us. Before Pentecost the church of Jesus Christ in the world did not have and enjoy the Spirit as the Spirit of Christ and the great salvation that is stored up in Christ. Now, after Pentecost, the church has that Spirit of Christ and enjoys the salvation that the Spirit brings to us from Christ.

It is not as though the church in the Old Testament did not have the salvation of Jesus Christ whatsoever. They did. There is only one salvation for God’s people, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. By faith Abraham had the forgiveness of sins, just as we have the forgiveness of sins. By faith the people of God in the Old Testament were made holy, just as we are made holy, delivered from the power of sin and freed to serve God. So it is not an absolute difference, as though the Spirit did not bring the salvation of Christ to the people of God in the Old Testament in any sense or degree whatsoever. But it is a matter of the richness and fullness of salvation that now the church enjoys through the Spirit who has become the Spirit of Christ. In the Old Testament, salvation was a kind of dribble, a very small stream. In the New Testament, after the outpouring of the Spirit, it is a river of salvation from Jesus Christ. We enjoy, already now, the abundance and the riches of salvation that the people of God in the Old Testament did not have.

And because of the difference of abundance, it is as though the Spirit was not yet then, but now is the Spirit of Christ to the church today.

That promise of the outpouring of the Spirit is striking, not only because it implies that the Spirit was not yet, but also because that promise teaches that the Spirit will flow out of us. The Pentecostal Spirit will flow out of us. Notice that. Speaking of the Spirit, the Lord promises, with regard to everyone who believes on Him, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” It is this kind of expression that makes the reading and study of the Bible exciting. There is always some­thing surprising in it, maybe something that you never noticed before. What would you expect here, since the Lord is here promising the gift of His Spirit? You would expect Him to say, or expect John to explain Him as teaching, “This spoke he of the Spirit which he would pour out into his people.” But instead, the Lord’s promise is this, that the Holy Spirit shall flow out of His people.

“Rivers of living water” in the text is a figurative de­scription of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is as though the Lord says, “Out of his belly shall flow the Spirit as the Spirit of Me, the Messiah.” This Spirit is aptly represented as water, and then living water. For the Spirit Himself is alive, and the Spirit is the worker of life wherever life is to be found. The Holy Spirit, by His work of providence, gives physical earthly life to every creature, whether that creature is a worm or a tree or a reprobate unregenerated unbeliever—every earthly creature has its, or his, physical life from the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. We sing that in one of the Psalters based on a Psalm: “Thy Spirit, O Lord, makes life to abound.” Even the secular, un­believing scientist finally admits that life is a mystery. The ultimate explanation of physical life defies the brilliance even of the PhD, the scientist. And that is because physical life originates in the mysterious Spirit of God.

But the reference in the text is not to physical life. The reference in the text is to spiritual life. Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water—the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ is referred to here in His operations, His saving operations and works, and with regard to His blessings,His saving blessings, His gifts of salvation. The Holy Spirit bestows eternal life, communion with God. And sparkling on these rivers of water, which are the Holy Spirit, are the benefits of salvation, the pardon of sins and righteousness before God, holiness of life and the power to overcome sin in the world and in one’s self, the hope of the resurrection of the body in the day of Jesus Christ, and all the other blessings of salvation.

This Holy Spirit, as the living stream of eternal life with its blessings of salvation, does not only flow to you as a church from Christ, but also flows out of you as the church of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of eternal life and salvation, not only flows into you personally as an elect, believing child of God, but also flows out of you as a believing child of God. That is the striking aspect of the promise. Pentecost is not only our reception of the Spirit, but is also the flowing out of the Spirit of Jesus Christ from us to others.

There are three ways in which it is true that the riv­ers of living water (which are, I remind you, the Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself) flow out of the church and out of the believer to others.

First of all, the Holy Spirit flows out of the church to God. He does that by the public worship of God by the church, and by the church’s thanking God in her songs and in her prayers, and also by the praise of God through the reading and preaching of the Scriptures in the public worship services of the congregation. You see, water always seeks its own level. The Holy Spirit, called the rivers of living water in the text, has His origin in God, through Jesus Christ at the right hand of God. Those rivers come down to us as salvation. But they must go back again to the level of their origin, which is heaven itself where God is. That is what is happening in the worship service. That is what the worshiping con­gregation is engaged in. That is what each one of us who is a living member of the congregation and joins in the worship from the heart is doing in worship. The Holy Spirit is flowing out from us, back to God, whence that Holy Spirit has come. That is the importance of the public worship of God by the church. That is why it is your calling individually to be here, if it is at all possible, every service of public worship that the church has. You are part of this body, are you not, who has received rivers of living water from the crucified and risen Christ. It is important to you, is it not, that you join with the church, so that these waters may flow back to God in the praise and thanksgiving and worship of Him.

If you stay away deliberately when you could and should attend, that guilty feeling you have is the work­ing in you of the Holy Spirit, who wants to get out and flow back again unto God.

The second explanation of the flowing out of us of these rivers of living water is that the Spirit flows out of the church to all the nations of the world in missions and in evangelism. That is certainly what happened immediately after Pentecost. By the preaching of the gospel, the Spirit of Jesus Christ went into all the world among the Gentiles. There was reference to that, unwittingly, on the part of those who asked: “Is Jesus going to go away? Is He going to the Gentiles?” Yes, indeed, that is exactly where He is going to go, because the Spirit is going to flow out of the Pentecostal church in the preaching of the pure gospel of salvation, for the salvation of all the nations in the elect among them. And we are thankful that that happened, because most of us are those Gentiles to whom the Spirit of Jesus Christ came after Pentecost in the gospel of salvation.

And still today, in the missions and the evangelism of the church, the Spirit goes out to others for the salva­tion of God’s elect children. But also for the hardening and leaving without excuse of many others.

Then, the third way in which the Spirit flows out of the belly of the people of God is more personal, although there is a personal aspect to the other two instances as well. This instance is more individual. Notice that Christ is quite personal in verse 38: “He that believeth on me…out of his belly [individually] shall flow rivers of living water.”

That takes place when we speak a true word from Scripture to each other, or, as we have opportunity, in witness to others outside the church. This refers to the father who is instructing his son. This refers to the mother who is teaching her daughter. This refers to the church member who goes to the hospital and opens up the Bible and gives a comforting word to someone who is in the hospital. This refers to a word that the believer must speak to a fellow church member when he sees that fellow church member walking in sin and thus headed on the way to destruction, a word of rebuke. Then these rivers of water, which are the Holy Spirit, are coming out of the belly of the individual child of God, flowing to his fellow believers especially (or, in the case of a witness, to an unbeliever).

Pentecost is not only the inflowing of the Spirit to the church and her members, but also the flowing out of the Spirit to others—to God, first of all; to the na­tions of the world; and then to each other.

There were two bodies of water in the Old Testa­ment land of Canaan. One had not only an inlet, but also an outlet. That was the Sea of Galilee. That lake was alive, it was not stagnant. It was not dead. People could fish that lake; and they did. The other lake had an inlet, but it had no outlet. And it was aptly named: the Dead Sea. The Holy Spirit is no stagnant, dead water. He is living water. He makes His entrance into the church and into the believer and then He also flows outward, out of the believer.

A Strange Source

That immediately confronts us with the strangeness of the source of the Holy Spirit. The source is our belly. You would not expect that. You would expect that Jesus would have said something like this: Out of his mouth, or out of his heart, or out of his mind, or out of his soul, will flow these rivers of living water. But, no, out of his belly. Christ spoke here as a good Hebrew. The Hebrews of the Old Testament regarded the bowels, located deep in the belly, as the location of the experience of the child of God. That carried over in passages of the Bible that speak of “bowels of com­passion.” Oh, when somebody dear to us, say a son or a daughter, is in deep trouble, deep distress, then a parent feels that trouble, and his compassion for that child, deep down in the stomach, in the bowels, in the belly.

We receive salvation in our heart. We know salva­tion with our mind. We experience salvation in our belly.

Experience is not the main thing with regard to salvation, but it is an important thing. The Holy Spirit not only gives to you and me salvation, but also the experience of salvation. Imagine what life would be if we were forever devoid of the experience of salvation! The Spirit conveyed to me the forgiveness of sins, but I never had peace. The Spirit bestowed upon me holi­ness of life, but I never had the experience that I am powerful to resist sin, to say “No” to the world around me, to put to death and crucify my powerful sinful in­clinations within me. What if the Holy Spirit spoke to us in our mind about the resurrection of the body and never gave us the experience of the hope of that resur­rection, which helps to take us through the loss of loved ones and our own dying, when it comes to that.

There is a place for the experience of salvation. There must be a place for it in the preaching of that salvation. There certainly is a place for it in the scrip­tural revelation of salvation. There is a place for it in our own life. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter Spirit. He affects not only our mind and our will, but also our feelings or experience.

And thus it is that out of the belly of the church and out of the belly of the believer flow those living waters to others. The church that has experienced the comfort of salvation by grace alone will praise and thank God in her worship services. The church that has experienced the preciousness of the truth of the gospel herself, in her belly as it were, cannot keep her mouth shut to wit­ness to others in missions and evangelism. Yes, and the church that knows the preciousness of the gospel of sal­vation by grace alone cannot keep her mouth shut when that gospel is opposed and denied and corrupted.

The individual child of God who has himself or her­self experienced the forgiveness of sin as the removal of all shame, the removal of all punishment so that he or she has peace with God, will speak that gospel, will speak of the crucified Christ, to his wife, to her husband, to their children, to their grandchildren, to each other, and, as opportunity arises, to anybody and everybody.

That is strange, at first sight, that the source of the outflowing Spirit is our belly. No less strange is it that we are the source of the outflowing Spirit at all. Who are we that the Spirit of Christ, rivers of living, eternal water, should proceed out of us at all? Notice, by the way, something about the Holy Spirit. He is always proceeding. He is never stagnant. In the Godhead He proceeds from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the Father. On the day of Pentecost He proceeded from the Son to us. And all our lifelong, and as long as the church is in the world (which will be till the end of history), He is proceeding from the church back to God, out to the nations, and to each other.

But who are we that He should proceed from us at all? We are not a source of living water. We are dry. We do not have any eternal life. We do not have any goodness. There is not any salvation whatsoever within us ourselves. By nature we are dry with the guilt of our sins. We are arid with the wrath of God burning upon us. We are a wilderness of defilement and depravity. Out of us shall flow the Holy Spirit? Christ humbles us with the truth of our natural dry­ness in His opening words: “If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.” We are thirsty. Thirsty people are people without water. And these thirsty people are those without any moisture of goodness, life, or salva­tion within them whatsoever. We must come to Christ. From Him we receive these fountains, these rivers of living water. Only as we are in union with Christ does this living water flow from Him to us and then out of us to others. We are not the ultimate source of the Spirit. We are not the ultimate source of the rivers of living water. We are only channels. Christ is the foun­tain of all the waters of salvation, the glorified Christ at the right hand of God. By His crucifixion He has earned this salvation. By His resurrection He has en­tered into the possession of it. Now, on the right hand of God, He is the One who has the Spirit as His own Spirit to bring the waters of eternal life to His people, so that they may flow out of us as Christ wills, back to God, out to the nations, and to each other.

Did not the people of Israel at this time, in celebrat­ing the Feast of Tabernacles, remember that great incident during the forty years in the wilderness? They were remembering God’s care of them. They were without water in that dry and thirsty land. And God brought water out of the rock. Jesus Christ is the Rock, the source of the waters of life.

A Stirring Call

That is why He issues this stirring call: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink these rivers of living waters.” That is, receive the Holy Spirit and His operations and works of salvation.

This address is particular. A thirsty person is not simply one who lacks water, not even one who lacks all water. You can go to the local mortuary today and you will find corpses there that are without any moisture whatsoever. They are not thirsty. Christ is addressing His call to those who have been made thirsty by the regenerating Spirit of Jesus Christ within them, and in whom also is worked the desire to have the waters of life—forgiveness and holiness and peace and joy and hope. To the thirsty, spiritually thirsty, He gave this call.

It was a gracious call. There is a fountain of water opened up to the thirsty—the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. The thirsty may drink. The thirsty are sum­moned to drink. And to the thirsty there is no price, there is no cost, for these waters of life, of everlasting life, a life of body and soul.

As the Lord gave that call, once upon a time, at the Feast of Tabernacles, He renews it today. Hear Him, you thirsty (and I include myself): “Come unto me and drink. Always be coming unto me, always believing and always drinking.”

And the promise is implied: He will quench your thirst, He will satisfy your longing with the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ, bringing to you the beginning of all of the blessings of salvation, so that out of you the Spirit may flow back to Christ and God, to the nations, and to each other.

Thus we keep the Feast of the Tabernacles. They kept it once by living in huts. We keep it truly by believ­ing in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. A joyful feast. Pentecost. The outpouring to us of the Spirit of Christ for the outflowing from us of that Spirit.

engelsma@prca.org (Engelsma, David J.) Articles Sat, 07 Jun 2014 10:34:41 -0400
Christ Entered Into Heaven Itself http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3622-christ-entered-into-heaven-itself http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3622-christ-entered-into-heaven-itself

This article was first written as a Meditation in The Standard Bearer and was penned by Rev.Jason Kortering, now an emeritus PRC pastor living in Grandville, MI.

"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands which aye the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." 

Hebrews 9:24


Little fingers point upward, it's up there.

Profound minds delve into its mystery, how supernatural.

The aged gaze upon the setting sun and as the darkness of the night enfolds them their thoughts instinctively turn heavenward and they ask, how long?

And sometimes on their death beds they tell us that they see it in the distance. A blade of envy cuts deeply into our hearts, for when they fall asleep in peace they have all the answers. 

We long for heaven! 


It's interesting to walk slowly through the corridors of life and stop here and there and ask people, do you anticipate going to heaven? Usually the answer is in the affirmative. If we penetrate a little deeper and ask why, the answers are as variegated as the circumstances in life. The sick, groaning on the brink of death, sigh with expectation, for death shall bring relief from the sufferings of this present time. To the blind and deaf the thought of heaven means sight and hearing. The grieving anticipate the day of great reunion. To the poor brother and sister who struggle to stay alive with their meager bread, heaven means the streets of gold and pearly gates. The soldiers in the battlefield who know that death is but one blink of the eye away, see heaven as the dwelling place of perfect peace. To the burdened sinner who knows the meaning of a long-suffering Father, heaven speaks of perfection and perfect liberty wherewith Christ has set us free. The church in the midst of the battle of faith anticipates the day of perfect peace where righteousness shall dwell secure. 

Entrance into heaven is a day of great salvation. 

There must be, however, more. There is something wrong with us if we view the present as one long road of defeat that ends with the valley of the shadow of death and is replaced with the splendor of heaven. If this is so, then we will inevitably have a sour view of the present and a sickly attitude toward the future. If this attitude pervades our sojourn here below, we become dissatisfied with life, we long to die so that our future hope can be realized. We so want to get this pain over with, to get rid of this loneliness, to be relieved of the cares of this world that we almost rebel if God doesn't come soon and take us away. Death for such is an escape from the harsh realities of the present. And all of this is so selfish, so self-centered, that God is not in our thoughts. 

If we have no joy in this life, even in the midst of trials, we can never expect to rejoice on the other side of the grave. 

And what is the joy that the pilgrim experiences here below? In one word it is fellowship with God. The thought that causes ecstatic praise from the lips I of the weary pilgrim is that already now through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ we have the victory. The marvelous love of God fills us to overflowing, we gaze upon His cross and our redemption, we meditate upon His resurrection and our justification, His Holy Spirit guides us in the way of sanctification. This makes life worth living. Here in the midst of evil, with pain and sorrow sweeping round about, we have the grace of God to acknowledge that God is our God and our only joy in this life is serving Him and dwelling in friendship with Him. 

For such the thought of heaven is not an escape from the present, it is a fulfillment! What we desire here, namely, that God dwell with us and that we abide with Him, will be given us in the splendor of heaven. Freedom from sin and sorrow then will not be an end in itself, it will be a removal of all these obstacles in order that the purpose of our life may reach its fulness: the praise of our ever blessed God. 

The reality of all of this is impressed upon us in the words of our text, "For Christ is entered. . .into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." 

Heaven itself is contrasted to the holy places made with hands. You understand that the book of the Hebrews was written with the converted Jew in mind. The special emphasis throughout this book is to point out the close relationship between the Old Testament and New Testament. Here in our text, we are reminded that after the resurrection, Jesus did not ascend into the holy place of the temple, which was made with hands; rather He went directly into heaven itself. 

The Old Testament most holy place, within the temple, was a specific type of heaven. It was there that God dwelt in the midst of His people and Israel congregated together with God. Throughout the generations, children and children's children had assembled there to worship and meditate and bring their offerings before the Lord. It was, however, typical. This indicates that it had limitations. Our text suggests three such limitations. It was made with hands, human hands had constructed this building according to the divine plan. The material used was earthly, subject to decay and a frequent object of the plundering nations round about. Besides these, the most holy place was not open to all Israel. A heavy veil separated it from the holy place and the outer courts. 

Because Israel enjoyed a typical heaven within the temple, it must also be remembered that they enjoyed a typical ascension day as well. The importance and reality of heaven depends upon one's occupying it. Having a beautiful place, such as the most holy place certainly was, would mean little if no one could enter it. The thought of God dwelling without His people could bring little joy to Israel. God instituted the celebration of the Great Day of Atonement in which the High Priest would take the blood from the altar of burnt offering and take it inside the most holy place and sprinkle it on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. This was the Old Testament Ascension Day, it represented Christ entering into heaven, it pointed to the day when God and all His people would be gathered together in perfect peace. The Great Day of Atonement must have been a thrilling feast for Israel. The scapegoat, burdened with the sins of Israel, was driven out into the wilderness, the people would bow before the Lord as the High. Priest sprinkled the typical blood of Jesus before the Lord. Justice and mercy kissed each other there. 

Into this typical heaven Jesus did not ascend when He completed His redemptive work. The fact is that He was not even allowed within the most holy place of Herod's temple. His priesthood was not according to Aaron, but Melchisedec. He had come to elevate the priesthood to a higher order, namely, that through His work as priest He would also become King of Righteousness. Jesus was not determined to get inside that typical heaven, rather He had come to remove it from the scene. The rent veil at the time of His majestic death cried aloud that former things have passed away, behold all things have become new. 

As our Great High Priest, Jesus did not intend to enter into the Holy Place and offer a sacrifice upon the altar of burnt offering. His altar was without the gate at the top of the hill of the skull. There the High Priest of God offered Himself a ransom for many. The time had come for the fulfillment of prophecy and types. Upon that hill He bore the wrath of God for which the blood of lambs and goats cried unto God. Life must be given as a payment for death. The blood of the Lamb must be shed as a perfect payment in love for the debt of so great hatred.

And this He did. 

Where did He go when the work of the great High Priest was completed? Into the typical heaven? No, God rent the veil, for its purpose was completed. Since Jesus had gone into the real holy place and offered Himself upon the real altar of burnt offerings, the cross, there was no more need for a typical most holy place either, hence God ripped the covering. 

He entered into heaven itself. 

Did not the disciples witness this event? No, they didn't see Him enter into heaven for eye cannot see its wonders. They rather saw Him go into that direction. As they walked toward the Mount of Olives, gradually and deliberately He arose from the earth. With outstretched arms He blessed them, instructing them to go and preach and baptize. God's cloud received Him out of their sight. He went into the presence of God, into heaven itself. 

It does us little good to speculate what heaven is like. It is a great mystery, it doesn't fall within the boundaries of our human minds. It is a place, Scripture is abundantly clear on this. It is a place that is part of creation, though it is so different from the earthly part. Just as surely as angels and devils are round about us all the time, so close heaven may also be. We must not view it as if it is beyond the farthest star; that in itself would bring a conflict in our minds, for who knows the limit of space? Scripture places heaven very close to us, for in heaven God manifests His greatness and glory in the highest sense. Heaven has its own history, its great divide, its wars, its impatient cries, its sounds of victory and praise. When Christ entered into heaven itself He brought about a change, for with His majestic entrance He also cast out all devils and evil spirits so that the voice of the four beasts and 24 elders could blend perfectly with the 144,000 singing the praises of God and looking forward to the creation of the new heaven and earth when all creation would once again be restored to perfect harmony. 

Into that heaven Christ ascended for us. 

Our perfectly righteous High Priest entered into the presence of the Holy God. Having attained the divine verdict that the benefits of His death were imputed to those for whom He died, Christ longed to be taken to heaven to once again dwell in the presence of His Father. God drew Him home. The righteous God place d Him upon His right hand and crowned Him with all glory and honor. The saints, angels, the representatives of creation sang their welcome song when He entered into heaven itself. 

And Jesus did not forget His own that were yet upon the earth. As our great High Priest He prayed the Father for the Comforter whom He might send unto His brethren in the world that they might also be where He is. 

Our Father answered that prayer. He crowned the faithful Christ with all the power to direct all things to serve the purpose of the salvation of the entire church for whom Christ died. He gave Him the Holy Spirit to draw them unto Himself. 

For us He entered into heaven itself. 

What a precious truth this is for us now. 

Notice, because this is true we have every reason to be joyful now. All diseases, all suffering, loneliness, wars, burdens of sin, pressures of the battle of faith are directed our way because our Lord Jesus Christ is entered into heaven itself. No one else sends these things to us but He. That too, not to make life miserable for us, rather to draw us above the things of this world that we become and remain heavenly minded. 

Our joy is in God through Jesus Christ already now. 

And we long for heaven when this joy shall become even greater. Then all these burdens shall be taken away not simply for our sakes, but that we may then rejoice perfectly in the God of our salvation. 

You long for heaven in a good sense of the word? 

Christ is already there. He is working now in such a way that we shall certainly arrive there in safety.

Hope in the Lord! Wait patiently for Him!

j.kortering@sbcglobal.net (Kortering, Jason L.) Articles Thu, 22 May 2014 22:15:40 -0400
The Blessed End of Job's Life (Job #14) http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3630-the-blessed-end-of-job-s-life-job-8 http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3630-the-blessed-end-of-job-s-life-job-8


The Blessed End of Job’s Life
Broadcast Date: May 18, 2014 (#3724)
Radio pastor: Rev. Rodney Kleyn

Dear radio friends,

Today we come to our last study in the book of Job, chapter 42:10-17.  In these verses, Job is blessed by God with a double portion of what he had had formerly.  God restores his marriage, blesses him again with a family, and Job lives to a good old age. 

        We could look at this as God’s vindication of Job, that Job’s reputation is restored, and that God marks him out as the object of His special care and love.  But what we should see here is that this is actually a vindication of God Himself.  Job and the friends of Job had said things about God that just were not true.  Perhaps we look at God’s answer from the whirlwind and we are inclined to say, “That’s just too harsh.”  The end of the book tells us that, as well as being the sovereign God of power and justice, God is also very merciful towards His people.

        In the New Testament, chapter 5:11 of James, we have a summary of the book of Job.  “Behold, we count them happy which endure.  Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”  That verse points out two things in the book of Job:  the patience of Job as an example for us from which we should learn; and that the book is not only about Job, but also about God.  “The end of the Lord,” that is, His purpose, “is very pitiful, and [full] of tender mercy.” 

        That is what we see in the last chapter of the book of Job.  God is not harsh with His children, but His purposes have an end, and that is the restoration and blessing of His people.  That is the promise here for us:  God will restore and bless.

        We notice, first here, the remarkable restoration that comes to Job.  There are four things that are restored to Job.

        First, his friendships, in verse 10:  “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.”  In a sense, this is Job’s final test, to pray for his three friends who have persecuted and slandered him and were miserable comforters.  Now they are forgiven of God.  And Job must be humbled and pray for them and forgive them, too.  His natural heart would be never to forgive these men for their merciless treatment of him.  But God turned his captivity, that is, God freed him from his natural and sinful self and inclinations.  And, after he has prayed for his friends, God begins to restore him in other areas.  Knowing God’s grace towards him, Job extends grace and forgiveness to his friends. 

        How important that is for us.  In order to be able to forgive and to receive others and to be merciful to others, we must understand God’s mercy towards us. 

        Verse 11 tells us that God restored other friendships of Job as well.  “Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house:  and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him:  every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.”  Earlier in the book, we remember that all who knew and saw Job despised his presence.  For the most part in his suffering, Job had suffered alone, without the sympathy of others.  But now they gather, his friends and his family, in fellowship with him, to comfort and to console and to encourage him.  And they showed their love by each generously bringing him a gift of money and of gold. 

        This is one of the best ways to experience restoration.  Comfort in the troubles of life is not to have circumstances fixed or changed but to experience love and understanding and sympathy from friends and family.  What a blessing this must have been to Job.  And, no doubt, this came because Job’s name and reputation had been restored.  God vindicated Job in the eyes of others.  Now they see that Job’s suffering did not come as a result of some secret sin, or because Job was a hypocrite.  Now the friends honor him as fully as they had before.  And so we see, first, Job’s friendships are restored. 

        Then, second, we see that Job’s fortunes are restored.  What is outstanding here is that God gave him double what he had before.  Verse 10:  “Also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  And if we compare, in verse 12, the numbers of the sheep and the camels and the oxen and the donkeys to what he had in chapter 1, we see that this is exactly double what he started with.  With the double portion in the Old Testament Scriptures, God marked out an individual as the special object of His grace.  The Israelites gave a double portion to their oldest son to indicate that he would be the family head and representative.  He was distinguished from the others.  Similarly, Elisha received a double portion of the spirit of Elijah as a special mark of God’s grace and presence with him.  And Job’s receiving exactly twice what he had before was an indication to him, to his friends, and to us that God’s grace and favor rested on Job.  God is saying to all:  “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in all the earth?” 

        Now, besides restoring friendships and fortunes, God also restored to Job his family.  Remember that in one day he had lost all ten of his children and that, soon after, his wife, in her grief, turned on Job and advised him to curse God and die.  We read in verse 13 that Job received 10 more children:  seven sons and three daughters, the exact number that he had had before.  And there is no indication in the passage that Job was remarried, that this was a new or different wife.  So, Job, having a family with his wife, obviously included reconciliation to her. 

        We remember the godliness of Job’s first ten children and the dedication of Job and his prayers and his intercessions for them and for their spiritual well-being.  Now God gives to Job and his wife the privilege and the joy of raising ten more godly children.  And so, Job’s family is restored to him.

        Friendships, fortunes, family, and also his future.

        In receiving ten more children, Job has children who will inherit his land and possessions and who will continue his family name.  This was very important in the Old Testament.  Abraham lived right around the same time as Job and we remember the grief of Abraham and Sarah at being childless.  Having children was an indication of one’s place with the promised people of God, as a part of the seed of the woman that lived in expectation of the birth of the Savior.  And having an inheritance and passing that on to one’s children was a sign of one’s place and participation, in his generations, in the promise. 

        Now we see that God also restored Job’s future by giving him another one hundred and forty years of health, so that Job saw, not just his grandchildren, but his great-grandchildren and their children as well.  Covenant blessings and joy were a part of what God restored to Job so that finally, when he died, he could reflect on God’s goodness to him and rejoice with his children and grandchildren and their future blessing in their generations.  What a blessing to Job.  Psalm 127:  “Children are an heritage  of the Lord:  and the fruit of the womb is his reward....  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”  This was the height of Job’s earthly joy in his restoration. 

        So God restored to Job his friendships, his fortunes, his family, and his future.  But all of this, we should see, is written not just to show us that Job’s earthly life ended happily, that Job was vindicated and blessed as a person, but rather, this is written as a wonderful promise from God to us concerning our future hope as believers, the future hope of God’s people.  And it is written to give us this hope in the midst of our lives that are often filled with pain and suffering, much like Job’s was. 

        So, what is the promise here?  What is the substance and content of the promise for us in the book of Job?

        We begin answering that question by saying that the promise is not a life of health and prosperity here on this earth.  There are false teachers today, the advocates of what is called the health and wealth gospel, who construe and twist the book of Job this way so that all the book of Job means is this, that if you have enough faith, God will bless you with earthly health and prosperity.  This, they say, is how we are to understand the end of this book—that God, finally, blessed Job here because now Job had a strong enough faith. 

        There are problems with that.  The first is this, that it is exactly the teaching of Job’s friends, which God, in this book, soundly condemns.  The second is that this is outrageous and unrealistic.  It is not real to Job’s life and it is not real to our lives.  In this world, God’s people can expect trials and poverty and sickness and death.  God does not promise to deliver us from these things during our earthly life.  His promises are not earthly and material, but heavenly and spiritual and eternal.  Our future hope as God’s people is heaven.  We await an incomparable glory, which eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has ever entered into the heart of man to conceive. 

        Then, the third problem with this thinking is that it fails to see the place that the book of Job has in the Bible.  As probably the first written book in the Bible, Job belongs to the Old Testament, which is a time when God spoke symbolically, in pictures, in types, and in shadows concerning our salvation and eternal hope.  Some of that symbolism is very clear here at the end of the book of Job.  And seeing it is key to understanding this passage and the content of God’s promise here for us so that we learn to lift our eyes heavenward and to look for our vindication and blessing not here on the earth, but in our heavenly future.

        So, I want to note here some of the indications in this passage itself that point us to God’s eternal and future and heavenly promises.

        The first indication we have already pointed to.  It is this, that Job received double what he had before.  Job did not receive the same as he had before or more than he had before, but he received exactly double what he had before.  Now, do you not think that that gave Job reason to pause and to think, and is this not something for us to stop and think about, too?  Here we mention, in the words of the prophet Isaiah in chapter 61:7, where he speaks with promise to God’s people:  “For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion:  therefore in their land they shall possess the double:  everlasting joy shall be unto them.”  You will note there the reference to a double portion.  And, in connection with that, there are two things that we have to point to that help us to understand what Isaiah is saying.  Isaiah has in mind the New Testament church.  In the surrounding verses he talks of the time when the Gentiles will be gathered into the church.  And Isaiah speaks here not of temporal and earthly joys when he speaks of a double portion, but he speaks of everlasting joy that shall be unto them.

        And so, Job’s double portion is a sign of the everlasting joy that comes through Jesus Christ to the New Testament church gathered from all the nations of the earth.

        A second indication in Job 42 that this speaks of our heavenly blessing and future is that while God doubled to Job all his material possessions, He did not do this with his children.  Job received exactly the same number of children that he had before—ten.  Why is that?  As anyone who has lost a child knows, you cannot replace children.  If you have a camel or a cow or a pet and it dies, you can replace it.  And soon you get over your loss.  But with people, and now, with children, that is different.  Why is that?  It is because people have souls.  When they die, they really do not die completely.  Their souls live on.  And the souls of God’s people live on with Him in heaven.  That is part of the reason that Job received the same number of children he had before.  Even though there were only ten, that was still twice as many as he had before because, in reality, he never lost the first ten.  No, they lived on in the presence of God in heaven.  And is that not the hope that Job expressed in chapter 19 when he said, “Though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God”?  And if Job had that hope for himself, then certainly he had that hope also for his children who had died.  Job did not need a doubling of his children because the first ten were already enjoying their eternal reward.

        And then, there is a third interesting and unusual thing recorded here that should get our attention.  It is this, that Job’s three daughters are named here, whereas his seven sons are not.  Their names are Jemima, Kezia, and Kerenhappuch.  And all these point to their distinct beauty.  And then, too, mention is made here of the fact that these girls received an inheritance along with their brothers.  That should grab our attention because it is very unusual, in the Old Testament, that the women should be mentioned and not the men, and that the women should receive an inheritance along with the men.  Here, again, God is pointing us ahead to the New Testament church, to the final and everlasting kingdom of heaven in which there will be no marrying with the woman taking her husband’s name and inheritance, and in which, as the New Testament tells us in Galatians 3, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, but we are all one in Christ Jesus; and all of us are heirs together according to the promise.  So you see that in Job’s daughters.  This is looking forward to the New Testament and to heaven.

        And then, in this passage, you also have this, that Job lived another one hundred forty years.  That is the number 70 doubled.  And 70 is a multiple of 7 and 10.  In the Bible, those two numbers are used to express a fullness and completeness.  And now, they are doubled, probably indicating that at the time of his troubles, Job was seventy or so years old.  And then God restored double that to him in his remaining days.  The fullness of Job’s age here points to the fullness of life that we will have with God in eternity.  A rich reward and an eternity of days. 

        Now these things, this symbolism, is all right here in this chapter.  And it is not by accident.  Maybe Job did not understand it all, but looking at the rest of Scripture, we can safely conclude that the symbolism here means something.  It calls us to look beyond Job’s earthly blessings and to see that God is promising something far better to us.  What is He promising?  Here we need to take into account the whole flow of the book of Job and see the parallels of that flow of the book of Job to the flow of the entire Bible.  In Job we have, as it were, a microcosm of the entire Scriptures.  Satan is there at the beginning to tempt God’s people.  God gives Satan a measure of authority to do so.  That reminds us of what happened in the first chapters of Genesis in the creation and the fall of man.  But God, you see, is sovereign, and Satan serves His purposes.  So even though Job must suffer, much as there is suffering throughout history for God’s people, through it all God brings a great good by sending His Son as Redeemer, something that Job did understand would happen, and through that redemption, God brings many sons to glory. 

        So, what we have here at the end of this book is the promise of Christ’s return that will be the day of vindication for God and His people and the day when, in the new heavens and new earth, we will receive our eternal reward.  There is eschatology here in symbols.  The Holy Spirit is telling us here that there is something higher and much more glorious for God’s people than what they know in this life.  The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us hereafter.  Someday, in heaven, we will look back on our lives here on earth and we will be able to see how our trials served to bring us to glory.  And we will count them as nothing compared with the glory and the eternal inheritance that we will have in the presence of God. 

        In that day, too, Satan will no longer taunt the people of God.  That really is a part of the message of the book of Job.  In the beginning, Satan has a presence, and Satan has power.  But at the end he is not just silenced, but he is gone from the scene.  And that is a part of what we hope for in heaven.  Satan will be banished.  His power will be broken, and we will be delivered forever from sin and its destruction and consequences. 

        And so we see that these Old Testament experiences and realities in the life of Job are written to point beyond themselves to something far better that awaits us as God’s children. 

        That brings us to the end of this marvelous book of the Bible.  I want to conclude with just one thought, one lesson, that I hope we all have learned.  This:  That in the midst of the troubles of life, we ought to fix our eyes on God and His Son Jesus Christ, believing His promises, trusting His power, hoping for the day when He will come again, when we will see Him face to face, and when we will be made like Him and enjoy the riches and glories of heaven forever.  The book of Job teaches us that, though we cannot always understand the reason for our suffering, we do have a God who can be trusted, who is Lord over all, and who works all things for our good to bring us to that future day of glory and vindication.  And so we pray:  “Come, Lord Jesus.”

        Let us pray.

        Father, help us in the troubles of life not only to remember Job and his example for us for patience, but also to remember the greater truth of this book:  Thy sovereign rule over all things, even over Satan, and Thy purposes that are to bring us to our eternal inheritance.  We look forward to that day.  Help us, Lord, to live in the light of that day, even here and now.  We ask it for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

r.kleyn@prca.org (Kleyn, Rodney) Reformed Witness Hour Sermons in Print Sat, 31 May 2014 08:23:21 -0400
July Messages on the Reformed Witness Hour http://www.prca.org/theme/current/news/churches/usa-canada/first-prc-grand-rapids-mi/item/3663-july-messages-on-the-reformed-witness-hour http://www.prca.org/theme/current/news/churches/usa-canada/first-prc-grand-rapids-mi/item/3663-july-messages-on-the-reformed-witness-hour

haak smallFirst PRC, Grand Rapids and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for July 2014 on the RWH program. Rev.Carl Haak, pastor of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, will begin a series on the OT prophecy of Jonah.

Below is the schedule of messages, which you will also find attached in pdf form.


July 2014 Flyer Page 1

cjterpstra@sbcglobal.net (Terpstra, Charles J.) First PRC Grand Rapids, MI Fri, 04 Jul 2014 15:58:24 -0400