For that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born (begotten) of the Spirit is Spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again !”
The Jews claimed to be the Covenant people of God, and as a nation prided themselves in the idea that they were the chosen of heaven, yet many among them did not know God . . . for this is Life eternal, that they mighty know Thee . . . (John 17:3). They had been taught as a nation to look for the Redeemer. Holy men of God had spoken to them as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. In type and shadow and symbol they had been instructed concerning spiritual things, yet many had not understood the import of what had been revealed. A vail seemed to be before their faces, and they did not discern the glory of the dispensation of types and shadows.
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail, untaken away in the reading of the old testament (covenant); which vail is done away in Christ . . . !” II Corinthians 3:14
They needed to have a spiritual teacher always with them, to instruct them in regard to the significance of their rites, to show them the spiritual import of types and shadows. The spiritual worshiper alone was able to do this . . . for God is a Spirit, and they that worship (serve) Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth ! . . . for spiritual things are spiritually discerned ! . . . (John 4:24 & I Corinthians 2:14). There was much that was obscure to the minds of the prophets and teachers.
Peter says, “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when It testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel (Glad Tidings) unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
I Peter 1:12
In Jesus Christ type met antitype (Substance met shadow). He was the One of whom Moses, in the law and the prophets, did write. He was the manifestation of the Father’s love, the brightness of His glory, the express image (likeness) of His person. Christ was the Author of Truth; not a gem of thought, not a jewel of truth, but He originated. He saw the precious Truth . . . Thy Word is Truth (Verily So !) . . . buried under a mass of superstition and traditions of men, and He came to rescue Truth from its connection with error. He came to rebuild the structure of Truth. Fallen man was to be raised from his low estate, lost man was to be recovered, sin was to be pardoned, the sinner saved, and the world was to see in Christ a representation of the Father’s love. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father), full of grace and Truth.” John 1:14 & 17:17
“And He shall be for a Sanctuary; but for a Stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel . . . !” Isaiah 8:14
“Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up . . . But this He spake of the Temple of His body !”
John 2:19-21 & I Corinthians 3:16-17
Step by step the angels followed the world’s Redeemer as He unfolded His divine wisdom in the Truths He restored to humanity; but with amazement they saw that the Jewish priests and rulers, filled with their own self-righteousness, did not wish to be disturbed, and saw nothing desirable in a higher wisdom than they possessed. They had false ideas of God, and were deceived in themselves. They set themselves in resistance of Christ, and after once having taken the step, they were too proud to acknowledge their error, confess their sin, and retrace their steps. As they did not desire to repent and confess that they had erred, they continually beset the steps of Christ, acting as spies, and seeking to catch something from His lips, that they could turn against Him, and thereby secure His condemnation.
The field was the unsearchable riches of Christ. But the Lord presented these treasures to the Jewish nation in vain. Their own ideas and opinions, their own false sentiments and traditions, were of more value in their eyes than anything that Jesus could offer. They preferred the commandments of men to the commandments of God.
How gladly would Jesus have poured into these bottles the new wine (freshly pressed fruit of the vine); but it would have been of no use. The only way in which they could receive His teaching was to see and hear Him without prejudice . . .”Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the Words of My mouth. For My doctrine (teaching) shall drop as the Rain, My speech shall distil as the dew, as the small Rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass ! . . .” but unless they were converted, they could not do this; for they were filled with their own righteousness, and were relying on their own works as a means of Salvation.They did not desire that a new element should be brought into their religion. Heaven looked with amazement to see the nation (denomination) that had been blessed with so much Light, which had been favored with so many advantages, refusing the precious treasure of Truth.
Patriarchs and prophets had foretold that the Jewish nation would not accept the Covenant of Grace (the Promise of the Divine Influence upon the heart) ; for they had closed their eyes to the Truth, and because of their ignorance of the real meaning of God’s Word, they added injunction to injunction from their own human knowledge. Because of the pride of their heart, the blindness of their mind, they closed the door to Christ. The good-will of God to men they did not accept as a thing apart from themselves. They connected it with their own merit, because of their good works.
They trample under foot the Son of God, and count the blood of the Covenant (Oath, Promise) wherewith he was sanctified as an unholy thing. Jesus could give alone security to God; for He was equal with God. He alone could be a mediator between God and man; for He possessed Divinity and humanity. Jesus could thus give security (the pledge of righteousness) to both parties for the fulfillment of the prescribed conditions.
As the Son of God He gives security to God in our behalf, and as the Eternal Word, as One equal with the Father, He assures us of the Father’s love to us-ward who believe His pledged Word. When God would assure us of His immutable Counsel of Peace (ref: Zechariah 6:12-13), He gives His Only Begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature as a pledge that God will fulfill His Word !
– RH, April 3, 1894 par. 13}