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    November 29, 1899

    “The Seed-sowing of the Gospel” The Signs of the Times, 25, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    By E. J. Waggoner, Editor “Present Truth,” London, Eng.

    “And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the oar, But when the fruit is ripe, immediately be putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Mark 4:26-29, margin.SITI November 29, 1899, page 769.1

    The seed-sowing contains not only the promise of the harvest, but it determines what the harvest will be. The harvest is really present in the seed sown. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:6, 7, 8.SITI November 29, 1899, page 769.2

    The Word of God tells us that “all flash is grass.” Isaiah 40:6. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to men by the power of the Spirit, “that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 40:6. “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before alI the nations. Isaiah 61:11. Therefore in the growth of plants from the seed we have a perfect picture of the Christian’s growth in grace, or of the growth of the kingdom of God in the heart of men.SITI November 29, 1899, page 769.3

    The first lesson is given by the Lord, and is found in John 12:24, 25. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”SITI November 29, 1899, page 769.4

    Nothing in nature exists for itself. The son shines to give light and warmth to the world. The grass and trees grow only for the purpose of pleasing the eyes of men, and of supplying life to all creatures. To give up and to utterly abandon self, is the law of the universe. “Even Christ pleased not Himself.” Romans 15:8. “That which thou thyself sowest is not quickened, except to die; and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind; but God giveth it a body even as it pleased Him, and to each seed a body of its own.” 1 Corinthians 15:36-38. If a farmer should say, “I have but one bushel of wheat, and propose to keep it; I will not waste it by throwing it upon the ground,” everybody would call him a foolish fellow. The only way to have it increase thirty, sixty, or a hundred-fold, is to cast it into the earth, knowing that he will never see those grains again. The same thing holds good with the grain that is eaten; we cannot get the life from it without destroying it as grain. The grain that is “preserved’ is never of any use. What is the seed whence all things come?—“The seed is the Word at God.” Luke 13:11. This is true from the very beginning. When the waters were gathered together unto one place, and the dry land appeared, the earth was empty. It could not produce a single thing. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so.” Genesis 1:11. What was the seed which God cast into the ground, from which everything sprouted?—It was nothing other than the Word of God. The Word became grass and trees, just as afterwards it became flesh.SITI November 29, 1899, page 769.5

    Christ is the Word of God, the Word of Life, which was in the beginning, and from which everything proceeded. John 1:1-3; 1 John 1:1, 2. He is the Seed whence spring not only the plants of the field, but also the “trees of righteousness.” It was as true of Him as of the corn of wheat, that He could not bring forth fruit without yielding up His life. That which the chief priests and scribes and elders said mockingly, as a reproach, was His glory: “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” Matthew 27:41, 42. If He had thought about Himself, and had been intent on saving Himself, He could not have saved anybody else, for without the shedding of blood, the giving of life, there is no remission. Hebrews 9:23. Nay, He would even have lost His own life if He had attempted to save it; for, having come into this wicked and lost world, there; was no possible way out except the way of the cross.SITI November 29, 1899, page 769.6

    But the sacrifice of Christ goes back of this present world. He was foreordained as a ransom “before the foundation of the world.” 1 Peter 1:20. In order to become a quickening Spirit, He died. Through death He destroys death and the one who had the power of it. Revelation 2:14. He is not a useless seed; He died-emptied Himself-that He might bring forth much fruit.SITI November 29, 1899, page 769.7

    “That which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be but a bare grain: ... but God giveth it a body.” Therefore when Christ, the true Seed, came into the world, He saith, “A body hast Thou prepared Me.” Hebrews 10:5. The sacrifice was complete. Never again does He have the form that He had before coming to this earth; He was made in the likeness of men, and it was as the Son of man that He suffered the death of the cross, and was in consequence highly exalted, receiving a name that is above every name. The work is still going on, for He is continually giving Himself for mankind; or, rather, the sacrifice, which is made once for all, is eternally efficacious and active. Everything in the universe exists, and will continue to exist, only because His life flows out to it and through it.SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.1

    The seed dies, and produces others of the same nature. From a single grain of corn a hundred others may come, and each one of the hundred will have the same life, and as much of it as the original seed. So it is that “unto every one of us is given to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:7 “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16. “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9); and when He dwells in our hearts by faith,—when the seed springs up in us,—we also are “filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19). Every believer receives all the fulness of the life of Christ, the true Seed.SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.2

    “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17. This necessarily follows from being born of His death. So the children of the kingdom are the good seed. Matthew 13:38. The life of the only begotten Son, who emptied Himself, passes into the Seed of the woman, the Son of man; but not merely into the Man Jesus of Nazareth, but into so many as received Him. He is the “first born among many brethren.” All who receive Him have the power given them to become the sons of God, and that power is the power of the resurrection; for it was the resurrection from the dead that proved Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. Romans 1:1-4. The seed by which we are born again is incorruptible, even the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (1 Peter 1:23); and when that Word abides in us, it gives strength, victory over the wicked one, and preserves from sin (1 John 2:14; 3:9).SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.3

    So Jesus Christ was but the Model Man. He is, in fact, “the Man Christ Jesus.” There is no other man, for He makes all who believe and makes them in Himself “one new man.” Ephesians 2:15. It is only in Christ that we become “a perfect man.” Ephesians 4:13. The seed that is sown produces other goods, endued with the same life, that they may in turn be producers of life. So all who believe are here on earth in Christ’s stead, to carry on, in His name and by the power of His life, the work begun by Him. He calls all to come to Him and drink the water of life; but He adds, “Let him that heareth say, Come.” And, in order that their call may not be in vain, that none may came to them for life and be disappointed, He says, “He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38.SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.4

    Not unto the angels, but unto men, has God put in subjection the world to come. Hebrews 2:1-8. The work of the Gospel, by which men are to be made new creatures, and a new earth prepared for a suitable dwelling for them, is committed to men. God “hath put in us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19, margin), by which men are born into the kingdom of God. The Word abiding in us transforms us, so that we have its nature, and are, in Christ, also the Word of God; so that if any man speak, he will “speak as the oracles of God.” 1 Peter 4:11.SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.5

    “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.” Psalm 33:6. By the same word the heavens and earth are to be made new; but the Word that creates anew is to be in the mouths and hearts of men. God says: “I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people.” Isaiah 2:16. The Word of God, the Seed that is to beget children for the kingdom, and also to prepare the kingdom for them, is to be spoken by men. But it will be by men who have died with Christ, giving up their lives, never to take them again, and whose lives are nothing but God’s Word incarnate. When they speak they will speak with authority, for they will speak just what they are, yet not of themselves.SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.6

    What a glorious prospect and privilege! The greatest glory of “the Word of Truth, the Gospel of our salvation,” is not that it saves sinners, barely drawing them into the city of refuge, but that it makes saved sinners saviours of others. God sent Christ into the world to save the world (John 3:17), and He says to all who are willing to be made conformable to His death, “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). Who would count his life dear, in view of such a high calling, especially since the life which we impart to others is the eternal life that abides in us and saves us?SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.7

    “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not: but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2.SITI November 29, 1899, page 770.8

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