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by Dr. John Thomas
In other words, he must believe "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ"; follow the example of the Samaritans and the baptized into the name of Jesus Christ; and thenceforth perfect his faith by his works, as Abraham did.
He will then be a lamp, well oiled and trimmed, and fit to shine forth as a glorious light at the marriage of the Lamb.
A community of such persons in a city, constitutes the Lamb's wife there, prepared for the coming of the Lord.
She is arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen represents the righteousness of the saints; who have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb".
Therefore they will be "before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple (or kingdom): and he that sitteth upon the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes".
The representative number of their aggregate is 144,000; and their representative measure 144 cubits.
"These are they who (in the days of their flesh) were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
These are they who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God, and to the Lamb.
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God".
At present they are the "holy city trodden under foot of the Gentiles"; but when changed and raised from the dead, and exalted to meet the Lord in the aerial, and seen descending there as Zion, they are "the great city, the new and holy Jerusalem, having the glory of God".
This, then, is the great desideratum of the age -- namely, the preparation of a people for the Lord; a people whose character shall answer to the testimonies adduced.
"The churches" do not contain such a people, neither can their pulpit ministrations produce them.
In fact, "the churches" are precisely what college divinity is alone competent to create.
"The truth as it is in Jesus" is not taught in the schools.
They are mere nurseries of pride, professional religion, and conceit; and "the droppings of the sanctuary" which their nurslings are appointed to distil, wear away the intelligence of the people, and leave them irresponsive to "the testimony of God".
Nothing short of this, unmixed with the traditions of men, can make people what they must be if they would inherit His kingdom.
Other gospels will make other kinds of Christians than those who believe the gospel the apostles preached.
We must forsake the pulpits, and devote the time usually spent in dozing over their mar-text expositions, to the Berean scrutiny of the scriptures for ourselves.
These alone are able to make us wise unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Heating "sermons" is not "hearing the word".