“Walk In Newness of Life”

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him” (Isa 64:4).

What is it that Isaiah tells us? It is that no man apart from divine revelation can understand what God has in store for His people in times to come. That was true in Old Testament days; but when we come to the New Testament since God has revealed Himself in the person of His Son and given this new revelation of the new covenant in the Gospels and in the Epistles, we must not stop with the verse in Isaiah. We must not be content to take for granted that we are still where they were in the Old Testament days,* for that is the very thing the Apostle Paul tells us is not the case (see 1Cor 2:9, 10).

“But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” In other words, the Old Testament speaks of times when there were great and wonderful mysteries which were kept hidden from all men; even the prophets themselves, as enlightened as they were, knew nothing of the special truths of this present dispensation, but God has made them known now.

Read the books of the Old Testament, read the Psalms for instance, which give you the highest inspiration of the saints before the veil was rent, and you get no inkling of the heavenly calling or of believers entering through the veil into the very presence of the Father without an officiating priest between. You get nothing of Christ exalted at God’s right hand and of believers linked with Him so that we can say, “He hath raised us up together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6):

The Old Testament gives us the preparation time. There we have God’s people as children going to school, learning through symbols and types and shadows, but with no realization of the wonderful truths now made known, and therefore Isaiah could say, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

But all that has changed today. Now our eyes do see, our ears do hear, and our hearts should be able to comprehend the wonderful things which God has prepared for those in union with Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ. “God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit,” and so we still need the Old Testament, for the things written there were for our learning.

We go back in the Old Testament and see the exercises of the people of God in years gone by, but we do not stay there; we learn wondrous lessons, but we move on to the full and glorious revelation that God has given in the new dispensation. It is here our souls revel in the precious truths now made known.

Christians sometimes imaging that if they come to God in worship, for instance in singing, in the very words of the Holy Scripture, like some of our friends who sing the Psalms, their worship takes on a higher character than that of Christians using what they can “man-made hymns.” And yet what is the fact?

We might gather together and sing the Psalms week after week, and year after year, and always be conscious of the fact that we are singing the very words of Scripture, but there would not be a syllable that would give us our place within the holiest, accepted in the Beloved; and you will find that where Christians are content thus to approach God in worship, they have no realization of the fullness of the Christian’s position.

It could not be, because the Psalms as all other Old Testament Scripture leads us up to the door, but they do not carry us inside into the fullest blessing. Therefore, you will generally find people who are wedded to the Psalms, precious as they are, a legal people, knowing very little of the fullness of grace, and most of them are content to go through life thinking it is altogether too much to believe that a man can be saved and know it in this life – just let them go on trusting and hoping, and perhaps God will give them dying grace at last.

You may have heard of the good old Scotch woman who said, “We will not sing any of these man-made hymns, we will sing just the Psalms of David to the tunes that David wrote!” The fact is that a Spirit-taught Christian today can enjoy in a hymn precious and wonderful truths which would have been amazing to David, truths of which he knew absolutely nothing. What a wonderful thing it is to think we live in the dispensation of the grace of God!

– H.A.I.

Poster’s Notes:

* “the Old Testament days:” Many within Christendom today have not understood that Scripture leads believers in Christ to learn of the “schoolmaster” and move onward to that which it revealed (but not intended to deliver—Heb 7:19) through “figure” (typology) and “shadow” (Col 2:17; Heb 8:5; 9:9; 10:1), which is faith in Christ (Gal 3:24, 25).

Faith is before and after, but not in the Law, for “the law is not of faith” (Gal 3:12), that is, the Law does not reveal faith but rather works, thus the two are in diverse dispensations of God’s work (i.e. one can base a false rightness with God by what they do, or a true rightness by what Christ did). “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to completion” (Heb 6:1).