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Written by R. Anna Phillips   


 
CHAPTER XIX—CORRESPONDING WITNESSES

It was a satisfaction--a strengthening satisfaction--to understand, to this extent, the weakness of a risen soul; and also to what it was risen in Christ; and as the intermediate link between body and spirit as serving in the sanctuary--itself the intermediate department in the temple--I could the clearer see its assigned duties and responsibilities. So also in regard to the body and spirit. And I was the better enabled to run with patience and diligence the race set before me. And after understood this to this extent, every day I deserved a benefit; and every day could feel in force of personal application, that, as corresponding to the three-one man, “there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one.” And I knew and felt that this agreement was in spirit. that all the witnesses must assimilate to spirit to be accepted of God as a one spiritual offering or worship, which alone he seeks or accepts. For “it is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth,” the spirit receiving appropriating to a unity with itself the other two, so as becoming as of itself the infallible testimony.

The three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, water and blood: the Spirit is the spirit of life of Christ given to a renewed soul. It is truth--it is Christ--it is the infallible element in a Christian, the true witness in earth: and hence the necessity of being the one in which the others agree. The soul, as said, though born again, is still weak and infirm in parts, by organic connection with the flesh: while its spirit of life is divine. The body also is in producing a witness equally weak and infirm, from being, not only the passive agent, or subordinate member of the soul, but the constant abode of lusts, and all subtle workings of the carnal mind. So both of these, being fallible, must be brought to a standard test, other than themselves.

Water and blood we know are figurative terms. Faith, as springing from a risen soul, is witness; and answers to “the blood.” Works, as springing from the body as adopted, is witness, and answers to “the water.” The Spirit of Christ, pervading all, answers to “the spirit.” But, in all things connected with the way. of salvation, we must, turn to Jesus: he corresponds to all truth. Jesus “came by water and by blood;” not by water only, but by water and blood. That is, Jesus came by gospel works, and by faith, representing body and soul. And it is added in connection, “And it is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth.” As the Son of man, Jesus “was made like unto his brethren:” they are commanded to follow him, not without the elementary parts and capacity to do so. The three witnesses agreeing in one, must spring from three bearing parts agreeing in one, But the fallibility of the water and blood indicate the fallibility of the body and soul; and that in accordance with the testimony of Jesus himself, in himself. He says, “The Son can do nothing of himself: but what he seeth the Father do: my Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 4: 17. But those who believe a Christian is all divine, believe that Jesus was so, of course. But had he been, there would have been no disagreement in his (nor yet in a Christian’s), will, and the divine Will: but he says “I came not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me;” “of mine own self I can do nothing;” “I seek not mine own will, but the will of my Father,” (divine), hence, in bearing witness, he says, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” “It is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth.”

As the Son of man the humanity cried, “O my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass; nevertheless [the spirit gaining ascendancy], not my will, but thine be done.” As a man he died, and from his side ran out blood and water; these belong to humanity “a spirit hath not blood;” nor could divinity die; nor yet be forsaken of itself--”my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Who denies the humanity of Jesus denies redemption to man; for none other than “a man that is mine fellow” could redeem man. Thus it behooved him to be made; it was absolutely essential and necessary to meet the demands of the case; the nature of angels (divine) would not do, he must be man made of a woman. Brethren in Christ, like you, Jesus was a man; yet “God gave not the spirit by measure unto him” (John 3:34), and by this he resisted sin and was without sin: not because he was entirely divine, but because he resisted sin unto blood. He was tempted; but “God cannot be tempted with evil.” Nor could Jesus have been had he been entirely divine. And then, never could he have been “touched with a feeling of our infirmities,” never, as in “all things,” whether nature of consequent feeling and failing, as made by us, could it be said: “For in that he suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them which are tempted.” Heb. 2:17.

I told you every system connected with salvation was triune. There were the Patriarchal, legal and gospel dispensations. Jesus died between the legal and gospel--two transgressors. The soul is the central principle between body and spirit of life. Jesus died’ as the sinning soul--ruling element of the church. The Mosaic dispensation, and the body, hold to works and the curse of death. The gospel elements, by death and resurrection, are spiritual, and have a heavenly place in Christ. The spiritual at once follows--as the penitent thief--and is this day with him in paradise, the other is still under the curse.

Here then was body and soul presented, “through [agreement in] the eternal spirit,” not by his own will--no soul willingly suffers the pangs of condemnation and death--but by (the spirit given causing to consent), the will of the Father, “by the which will we are sanctified through the offering.” “And he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one” body, soul and spirit.

But that he came by water and by blood, his works and faith--as Christians must--answer as witnesses. But so perfect and prevailing was his (Jesus’) faith, that, perhaps some have scarcely thought whether he had it or not--not that it would be regarded as a lack, but not a need in him. But by the inviolable oneness of Jesus and the church, if she, as joint heir with him, receive faith of the divine inheritance, he shared it;--she “lives by the faith of the Son of God;” and “keeps the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus;” Jesus said of the Father “I do always those things which please him.” “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” God said of Jesus “with whom I am well pleased.” This is the witness of his faith that he pleased God.

But “one witness shall not, testify;” there must be “two or three” to establish a thing. And the thing to be established is ever that borne record to in heaven--the salvation of the church in Jesus Christ --to which end the Father dwelt in him bodily; and must dwell in all his, bodily. We have that of the blood; now let us look to the water.

“Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the work. Believe me, that I am in the Father and the Father in me, for the very work’s sake.” Though I bear record of myself (as God) my record is true,--”if I bear witness of myself [as man] my witness is not true.” “I have greater witness than John, for the works which the Father hath given me to finish--the same works that I do, bear witness of me”--”believe the works that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me; and the Father himself beareth witness of me.”

Here are the two witnesses of Jesus’ soul and body. That they found agreement in the spirit as resolving into one, as the one spiritual worship or offering, God himself testifies in pleasure and reception.

The water and the blood, as corresponding witnesses in Christians, are also figurative: and must find like representation in the principle to which they respectively apply. When the term “water” is used in connection with salvation, it always applies to the body, and works always spring in answer as a witness. When blood is used in the same, it always applies to the soul, and faith always springs in answer as a witness. And just as body and soul, by agreement in the spirit of natural life. by their own organic functions properly harmonizing, become one living witness of a living man. So must works and faith in organic conjunction be lawfully presented; and thus finding legal agreement in spirit, witness, as Jesus of the Father, I in you, and you in me, and three in one.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2006 )
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