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Let Us Draw Near

IX.

Let Us Draw Near

X.—22. Wherefore, brethren, let us draw near.

"we have studied the four great blessings of the new worship, as the motives and encouragements for us to draw nigh. They are—the Holiest opened up, Boldness through the blood, the New and living way, and the Great Priest over the house of God. And we have considered the four great marks of the true worshipper— A true heart, Fulness of faith, The heart sprinkled, and The body cleansed. We now come to the four injunctions which come to us out of the opened sanctuary—and specially to the first—Let us draw near. Both in speaking of the entering in of Christ, and the power of His blood in chap, ix., and in the exposition of our context, we have had abundant occasion to point out what is meant by this entering in, and what is needed for it. And yet it may be well to gather up all we have said, and in the very simplest way possible, once again, by the grace of God, to throw open the door, and to help each honest-hearted child of God to enter in, and take his place for life, in the home the Father has prepared for him.

And first of all I would say: Believe that a life in the Holiest of All, a life of continual abiding in God's presence, is most certainly your duty and within your power. As long as this appears a vague uncertainty, the study of our Epistle must be in vain. Its whole teaching has been to prove that the wonderful priesthood of Christ, in which He does everything in the power of an endless life, and is therefore able to save completely; that His having opened a way through the rent veil into the Holiest, and entered in with His blood; that His sitting on the throne in heavenly power, as Minister of the sanctuary and Mediator of the covenant; that all this means nothing if it does not mean—the Holiest is open for us. We may, we must, and we can live there. What is the meaning of this summing up of all, Wherefore, brethren, having boldness to enter— let us draw near, if a real entrance into and abode in the Holiest is not for us 1 No, beloved Christian, do believe, it can bo. Say: God really means me to enter and dwell, and spend my whole life, in the conscious enjoyment of His immediate presence. Let no thought of thy weakness and unfaithfulness hold thee back. Begin to look at God, who has set the door open and calls thee in; at the blood that has prevailed over sin and death, and given thee a boldness that nothing can hinder; at Christ the almighty and most loving High Priest, who is to bring thee in and keep thee in; and believe: Yes, such a life is meant for me; it is possible; it is my duty.; God calls me to it; and say then, whether thy heart would not desire and long to enter into this blessed rest, the home of God's love.

The second step is the surrender to Christ, by Him to be brought into this life of abiding fellowship with God. This surrender implies an entire giving up of the life of nature and of self; an entire separation from the world and its spirit; an entire death to my own will, and acceptance of God's will to command my life, in all things, down to the very least. To some this surrender comes as the being convicted of a number of things which they thought harmless, and which they now see to have been in the will of the flesh and of man. To others it comes as a call to part with some single doubtful thing, or some sin against which they have hopelessly struggled. The surrender of all becomes only possible when the soul sees how truly and entirely Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, has undertaken for all, and engages to put His own delight in God's law into the heart, to give the will and the strength to live in all God's will. That faith gives the courage to place oneself before Christ and to say —Lord, here am I, ready to be led by Thee in the new and living way of death to my will, and a life in God's will alone: I give up all to Thee.

Then comes, accompanying this surrender, the faith that Jesus does now accept and undertake for all. The more general faith in His power, which led to the surrender, becomes a personal appropriation. I know that I cannot lift or force myself into the Holiest. I trust Jesus, as my almighty and ever-living Priest on the throne, even now, at this moment, to take mo in within the veil, to take charge of me there, and enable me to walk up and down before the face of the living God, and serve Him. However high and impossible such a life appears, I cannot doubt but that He who with His blood opened the Holiest for me will -take me in; and that He who sits on the throne as my great High Priest is able and faithful to keep me in God's presence. Apart from any feeling or experience of a change, I believe He takes me in, and I say: Thank God, I am in the Holiest. Let us draw near in fulness of faith.

And then follows, the life of faith in the Holiest, holding fast my confidence and the glorying of hope firm to the end. I believe Jesus takes me in to the fulfilment and the experience of all the new covenant blessings, and makes-me inherit all the promises. I look to Him day by day to seal my faith with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven in my heart The disciples, when their Lord ascended tho throne, kept waiting, praising, praying, till the Spirit came as the witness and the revealer within their hearts of the glory of Jesus at the right hand of God. It was on the day of Pentecost that they truly entered within the veil, to which the Forerunner had drawn their longing hearts. They entered upon a state of life in which they were dead to their own will, and alive to God's will; in which Christ dwelling in their hearts by the Holy Spirit kept them in the presence and love of God. In this state of life we too can be kept. As sure as Christ Jesus is wholly ours, each one of us is called to live in the full enjoyment of the pentecostal blessing. The soul that gives itself over to a life within the veil, in full surrender and in simple faith, can count upon this most surely, that, in the power of the eternal, the pentecostal Spirit in the heart, faith will become experience, and the joy unspeakable be its abiding portion. Wherefore, brethren, let us draw near 1

7. Having boldness to enter in is the summary of the doctrinal teaching of the first half of the Epistle; let us draw nigh, the summary of Vie life and practice which the second half expounds.

2. The faith that appropriates the blessing; Jesus now takes me in and gives me my place and my life In the Father's presence; is but a beginning. Faith must now count upon the Holy Spirit, in His pentecostal power, bringing down the kingdom of heaven to us, to make It a personal experience. Until this comes, faith must In patience wait till It obtains the promise, In accordance with the teaching we have: "Cast not away therefore your boldness. For ye have need of patience, that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise."