Sunday, January 22, 2017

And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John #4

TozerWith this post we conclude our reading through the New Testament devotional book, And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John, by A. W. Tozer. This book is a meditation on the great truth and mystery that God became a human being. Here Tozer is especially concerned that we know God as He really is. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

The Eternal Christ is Both Judge and Savior John 5.22-29

In this section Tozer meditates on the fact that John presents Jesus as both judge and savior. Ultimately judgment is not made by society, government or even ourselves. It is made by Jesus Christ. He will judge with empathy because he is one of us and had been through what we have been through. He will also judge with full knowledge of us and with impartiality. His judgment of our deeds will be perfect. But, he is also our Savior and has taken our rightful judgment on Himself. Tozer closes with an plea to take Jesus as Savior rather than wait for Jesus to be our judge.

The basic concept of judgment is simply that human beings are morally accountable. The basis of this accountability is the fact that we have life derived from another and not from ourselves. Because our life has come from another, we have a moral responsibility to that one who gave us life. 155

For the judge to be the judge of humanity, He must be one of them. Jesus said, the Father hath given the Son power to execute judgment because He is a Son of man. Because He is a Son of man, He not only can be their advocate above, the Savior by the throne of love, but He can also be their judge to sit upon the throne. John 9.39, 164

For the Christ that we deal with has eyes as a flame of fire. And His feet are like burnished brass; and out of His mouth cometh a sharp two-edged sword (see Rev. 1:14–16). He will be the judge of humanity. You can leave your loved ones in His hands knowing that He Himself suffered, knowing that He knows all, no mistakes can be made, there can be no miscarriage of justice, because He knows all that can be known. 166

The Wonder and Mystery of the Eternal Christ Identifying with Man John 6.1-13

Tozer answers the great question, "Where is God?" with "God is with us." He is always involved with His creation. Jesus, the 2nd person of the Trinity, took on full humanity (without sin) and became one is us without diminishing His Deity in any way. He took our sin upon Himself and died for it; our choice is to die for our sin in Christ and rise with Him or die for our sins alone. God is with us through our "older brother" Jesus who seeks and saves his needy people.

When God made the heavens, He made the earth, and the same mark of God is on the earth that is in the heavens above. The God who made the world above made the world below; and though sin has entered and man fell and the shadow fell over the earth, there is still similarity, there are still some of the fingerprints of God all over His wonderful world. 173

The simple fact is there never was made a transfer of moral responsibility from one personality to another in atonement. But in Jesus Christ Himself, we became part of Him and He became part of us and took us up into Himself so that in one sense, when He died, as Paul said, we all died...The sinner dies alone and the Christian dies in Christ. But every man dies for his sins. He either dies by joining his heart to Jesus Christ, and is tucked up under the wings of Jesus and dies in the body of Christ, or else he dies alone in his sins. 181

The Bible says that He is the firstborn among many brethren (see Rom. 8:29). And the brethren were lost, and so the firstborn went and found them; or changing the figure, the shepherd was here for His sheep. 184

Living Victoriously in Two Kingdoms John 5.24

Tozer here laments the loss of emphasis on the supernatural in modern churches. He states that most Christians, though they would not call themselves materialists, live as materialists. We don't really believe in the spiritual world of angels, demons and other spiritual beings. We see faith as assent to a creed or a formula instead of deep belief. There is a danger that we will see assenting to certain doctrines and doing certain actions as what Christianity is all about when it is about a deep spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship must lead lead to the actions, etc. but is not the essence of Christianity. We need to return to that understanding the physical and spiritual world are very close together.

It is not what a church believes that matters so much as what that church believes enough to emphasize. It is not what a preacher will admit theologically when you pin him down and make him talk; it is what he believes with sufficient urgency to make it a living, constant part of his message. 187

I am an experientialist in that I believe that everything I hold as true should be mine in living, vibrant experience—what is really mine, that in which I have experience. Not that which I have believed strongly enough to write into a book of creed, but that which I have believed strongly enough to enter into and experience. 188

The kingdom of God coexists with the kingdom of man, and the two are together. One is inward and one is outward. One is internal and one is external. One is of the spirit; the other is of the flesh. 191

The Importance of a Proper Concept of God

Tozer closes this book with what is really the theme of most his writings: One must know God as He has revealed Himself in scripture. The climax of this revelation is the incarnation of Christ. "Christ is God acting like Himself." (212) Our view of God must always be controlled by what is revealed about Jesus Christ. If this is not the case our expression of faith will be deficient. The purpose of Christian faith is for us to become children of God by becoming more like Christ.

Personal faith cannot rise higher than a person’s concept of God. 205

Whoever knows Christ knows God. Whoever knows our Lord Jesus knows the Father, and whose eyes look upon Jesus look upon the Father. It may be said that whoever knows God can know God through Christ, and must know God through Christ. And it can be said that God does always act like Christ, and Christ always acts like God, because Christ is God walking among men. It may also be said with certainty that increasing knowledge of Christ means increasing knowledge of God. 212

Nobody ever comes around stoves when the fire’s gone out in them. Jesus had love in His heart, and love is always warm. Love is always attractive. People come to the churches where there is warmth. They come to Christians that are warm. 215

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Another Medical Update

WIN_20170121_06_43_07_ProJoyce and I went to see the hematologist today to get his evaluation of the medical tests I have been taking over the last couple weeks. We did get a diagnosis, and the bottom line is that I have a T-Cell Lymphoma in the skin. However, this is not a complete diagnosis so I have been referred to the specialists at Stanford. The reason is that I also have enlarged lymph nodes. The most likely explanation is that they are enlarged from fighting the skin lymphoma. But, there is the possibility that the lymphoma is now in the lymph nodes as well.  (He thinks I have had the skin lymphoma for some time.) So, next week we will find out when I will go to Stanford for a bone marrow biopsy and consultation on the next steps. My hematologist said he has seen this only twice in 20 years of his medical practice. This means Joyce and I will be in California for at least the month of February for this treatment.

How do I feel about this? Hmm. I am in God’s hands which is a good place to be, but I am still not very happy about it. Like Paul, I desire to stay in my fruitful ministry, but it is God’s ministry and he can relocate or terminate me at will. I trust in his love for me, and for the people Joyce and I have the privilege of working with, which gives me some confidence. There is no such thing as certainty in this life. We must walk by faith. We appreciate your prayers as we walk out into the next steps of this adventure.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Reading Through Zechariah

(NOTE: The waiting continues. I am two days away from my appointment with the hematologist and, hopefully, some clarification on what the blood and other tests show. I am still struggling with edema and need to stay horizontal. Meditating on the Trinity and the idea that God is both “three and one.” To fill my mind with that idea puts me in a different and better place.)

Ham HahlenZechariah is an apocalypse that encourages Jerusalem, that despite their difficult present situation, God has a glorious future planned for them. We will read through it accompanied by The Minor Prophets vol. 2, The College Press NIV Commentary, by Clay Ham and Mark Hahlen. I am posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual, quotes from the commentary are in blue below…

The book of Zechariah is written to a poor people, dominated by the Persian empire, and later the Greek empire. Zechariah encourages them that the nations who have oppressed them will be judged and removed and the promises of the previous prophets will be fulfilled. As they are faithful, God will live with them and bring them the promised blessing.

Zechariah calls the faithful to persevere and to live faithfully even if, at present, such action does not appear to be rewarded. Although the frustration of their earthly existence is very real, another reality exists. The supernatural reality and purposes of the King, the LORD Almighty (14:17), summon the readers to live as the people of Yahweh within and often in spite of their historical circumstances. Zechariah, 346

The first six chapters encourage the people to show their faithfulness by finishing the work they began on the temple. They are unlike their ancestors in that they have responded to Haggai's prophecy with  obedience. Zechariah's eight apocalyptic visions in 1.7-6.8 assure them that God knows their situation and is already working to deal with it. The promises of a great Davidic kingdom will be fulfilled some day but in the meantime God's Spirit will work in Zerubbabel and in the people to complete the temple. The Spirit will work among the nations to judge and remove Babylon through the Persians.

Likewise, Zechariah 4:6 asserts that human strength cannot accomplish the rebuilding of the temple, but its completion comes only through the Spirit of Yahweh. The oracular formula says the LORD Almighty further highlights the contrast between human and divine strength. Zechariah 4.6, 382

The picture of Yahweh’s Spirit at rest gives the people of Judah encouragement to continue their work of reconstruction without fear of outside interference. The former conflicts and tragedies associated with the land of the north have been resolved. The Persian policies that have subjugated Babylon and liberated the exiles manifest the sovereignty of Yahweh. Zechariah 1.7-6.8, 395

Zechariah 6.9 begins a transition to a new subject in Zechariah and concludes the previous one. The priest, Jehoiada is crowned and the crown left in the temple as a symbol that God will crown a "sprout" from the Davidic line to bring in His kingdom and set things right. Chapters 7 and 8 answer the people's question about continuing the fasts that remember the destruction of Jerusalem, now that the temple is almost rebuilt. The prophetic answer is that the people need to set their  hearts on seeking God and keeping the covenant stipulations about loving their neighbor and maintain a total devotion to God. God will then bring in His idyllic kingdom and turn their fasting and mourning into joyous celebration.

The magnificent promises in the preceding verses are contingent on Israel’s diligent obedience to Yahweh, an obedience enjoined upon Israel’s ancestors with the same or nearly identical verbal and syntactical construction (Exod 15:26; 19:5; 23:22; Deut 15:5; 28:1–2) but an obedience which they have failed to render (Josh 5:6; Judg 2:2; 2 Kgs 18:12). Zechariah 6.9-15, 401

Implied here is the notion that, if eating and drinking have no impact on Yahweh, then neither does fasting alone. The community has fasted for themselves just as they have feasted to themselves. Thus, in their fasting they have lamented their own personal loss and political humiliation rather than grieving over their own sin and abuse of the covenant relationship with Yahweh. Zechariah 7.4-7, 406

The prophet has recognized that the question essentially asks whether the community’s present is unalterably conditioned by its past. Although their past informs their present, they live in the present in light of their hopes for the future. If the people observe Yahweh’s commands, then Yahweh will bless them and cause the pain associated with the fasts to cease. Instead, the fasts are to be transformed into times of joy. Zechariah 8.18-19, 421

Zechariah 9 begins a final section of the book which contains two oracles (9-11, 12-14). In 9-11 God reassures the people that he will reverse the present oppressed situation in the future. He will judge and destroy the oppressive foreign powers. He will regather the people and give them back the fertile portions of their land. He will restore the Davidic king. However, he also warns the people that they must trust God alone, not their military or other gods, and be ready to accept his prophet and king when they come. They must quit oppressing and hurting one another. Sadly the nation will reject God's prophet and king (30 pieces of silver) and the blessing will be delayed again.

Zechariah 9–14 shows that Yahweh is transforming the leadership that oppresses the people and the situations that threaten their existence, by depicting the demise of Judah’s present leadership, the purification of the people through their present experiences, and the divine intervention that results in the universal recognition of Yahweh. Zechariah 9, 424

The choice of a donkey rather than a horse to portray the coming of the king also subverts militaristic notions. The horses and chariots that belong to Israel, Persia, or any other nation cannot secure for them the kingdom of Yahweh. Zechariah 9.9, 431

The lack of divine pity indicates that Yahweh holds responsible to some degree both the people (at least those who reject the prophet) and the leaders, a notion found also in verse 8. The flock experiences oppression from local circles (“neighbor”) and from the ruling class (“kings”). Zechariah 11.4-5, 449

The final oracle in 12-14 widens the prophecy to the nations. Jerusalem will be destroyed and its people exiled but God will then step in to defeat and judge the nations, purify Israel and unite the nations in the exclusive worship of YHWH as God.

Jeremiah uses māqôr to portray Yahweh as a fountain or spring of living water that has been forsaken by Judah (2:13; 17:13). The gravity of this image cannot be overemphasized, for this fountain cleanses even those who have pierced Yahweh. Zechariah 13.1, 468

Yahweh establishes once again with the people the covenant relationship articulated in the Torah and in covenant declarations found throughout the prophetic literature. The covenant language with which the passage ends is significant given the passage’s beginning; through the slaying the shepherd, Yahweh has effected a redefinition and refinement of the people. Zechariah 13.9, 475

Zechariah 14 challenges the reader to consider the eventual destruction of Jerusalem as part of Yahweh’s larger purpose and to act accordingly, assured that the victorious intervention of Yahweh results ultimately in the universal worship of Yahweh as king. Zechariah, 478

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Medical Update #2 (and grandkid pictures)

It has been about a week since I last posted an update on what has become a medical leave for me from my work on Guam. Pictures of that would be boring so I am also posting a couple of pictures of Joyce with some of our grandchildren.

DSC08879 (1024x768)I have now completed the first round of tests to determine what is causing my various and strange symptoms. These have included tests of various body fluids- some of which come out of the body and others which are supposed to stay in the body – including multiple blood tests. I also had a skin biopsy and a CT scan. I don’t have an explanation of the results as yet. My appointment with the hematologist is on the 20th and then with the GP on the 23rd. Hopefully, we will find out something then. Until then we must do what God has asked the faithful to do for thousands of years: We must wait!

A lot of people have asked two questions: “How do you feel?” and “Are you getting any better?” The answer to the first is, a bit bored but too tired to do anything about it. I am supposed to be laying down, completely horizontal with feet up, most of the day which precludes doing much of anything. It’s not so bad because I am sleeping 10-14 hours per day. This was better during the vacation time when football was on TV all day but it does get a bit tiresome now.

DSC08849 (1024x768)The answer to the 2nd question is “no.” I have not yet started any treatment except trying to get rid of the edema (only a symptom) and that is not working fast enough in my opinion (written with a bit of a smile). I am hoping that after the 20th the doctors will have a handle on what is wrong and treatment can begin. If not, I begin a 2nd round of testing that will be looking for the more nasty stuff. My prayer request is that the doctors can find something in that first round of testing and get me back on my feet again (literally). My other prayer request is that I can stay positive, despite the circumstances, and use this valuable sick time to cooperate with what the LORD is doing in my life right now. So again, we must wait!

Finally, nobody wants to see pictures of a sick person so I am posting some pictures of Joyce with our grandkids here. Missy and Leila came to visit us at Christmas at my parents’ house. Joyce also got to go down to San Diego for a few days and see Matt and his family. It was the first time she had seen Meika our newest grand-daughter.

And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John #3

TozerWith this post we continue reading through the New Testament devotional book, And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John, by A. W. Tozer. This book is a meditation on the great truth and mystery that God became a human being. Here Tozer is especially concerned about our response to this truth. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

What Really Matters to God John 3.16

What really matters to God are individual people. Though all are in sin, he loves each one enough to send His Son to take on the forces of evil and overcome the forces of death for each one. While God does have a kingdom agenda, it includes love and relationship with each individual too. The idea that God created some people just to send them to hell is not a biblical one. God has proved his love for all people through what He did for each one in Jesus Christ.

When I read those words “God so loved the world,” it means in personal terms that I mean something to God. God has His eyes upon me and is emotionally concerned about me. If this simple message could rise above the confusion of the religious world, it would offer hope to those who embrace it. 109

During His ministry, Jesus dealt in individuals, not in statistics. The Christian message reflects that. God does not love masses, He loves people; He loves them individually. 112

But no matter how bad or how far away from God you are or how often you have failed Him or how many lies you have told Him—how terrible you have been or how no good you feel you are—I have the word for you: You do matter. God is concerned; God is not happy about you; He says, “Come and let whoever hear it say come and whoever will let him come.” 120

The Personal Application of Christ's Coming Into the World John 3.17

Tozer calls John 3.17 the "proclamation extraordinary." The idea that God would enter his creation as a human being to save us, and not give us the judgment our rebellion deserves, should be the truth that provides the center and motivation for our lives. Sadly, most people, including church people, greet it with apathy and indifference. Jesus' does not want to condemn us. He wants to reclaim us for His Kingdom and make us what we were meant to be. He knows all about us and refuses to judge us. He won't coerce us, but calls us to come to Him.

The world is too much with us. We have wasted our powers in getting and spending. 129

The proclamation extraordinary is simply, He sent His Son into the world, but not to judge the world. That was not His purpose at all. He came that men might be saved. He did not come to condemn, but to reclaim. That was the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. He came to reclaim that which was rightfully His by creation. 133

Single yourself out, not somebody else, but you. Jesus Christ came not to condemn you but to save you, knowing your name, knowing all about you, knowing your weight right now, knowing your age, knowing what you do, knowing where you live, knowing what you ate for supper and what you will eat for breakfast, where you will sleep tonight, how much your clothing cost, who your parents were. He knows you individually as though there were not another person in the entire world. He died for you as certainly as if you had been the only lost one. He knows the worst about you and is the One who loves you the most. 136

Perfect Harmony and Unity in the Trinity John 5.17-26

In this section Tozer is teaching about the mystery of the relationship between the Three persons of the Trinity. He sees the unity of the One Godhead as being expressed in the three persons co-equally. Thus, when one honors the Father they  honor the Son and the Spirit. When one prays to the Father or in the Name of the Son they are praying to the whole Godhead.

The ancient mystic theologians taught that the Godhead goes back of and beneath any of the three persons of the Trinity. They teach that there is the underlying Godhead and that the Godhead expressed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in three personalities. That is what I believe. I believe that the Father is the ancient Godhead expressing Himself as the Father, and the Son is the ancient Godhead in expression as the Son, and the Holy Ghost is the ancient Godhead—all of one substance and of one eternity. One, without beginning and without creation. And so we have the triune God. 143

He never emptied Himself of any attributes of deity; rather, He emptied Himself of the accoutrements of deity. He emptied Himself of the evidences of the deity, covered the deity in a cloak of opaque flesh and walked among us as though He were a man. He was God in overalls, living on the earth, wearing the common denim of humanity and covering over His deity. 145

God knows that the most mature of us still need coddling sometimes, and so He is quick to overlook our ignorance, but He is never quick to overlook our sins. 150

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reading Through Zephaniah and Haggai

(NOTE: I am headed in to the lab today for a cat scan to take a look at my abdominal organs to check for damage. I am on the 6 hour fast before the scan and will be drinking the “barium oral suspension” in a couple hours to prepare for the scan. Some of you have been though this before. This should end my first round of testing and I am hoping and praying that it will reveal one of the less lethal possibilities for the origin of my symptoms. We are still at least a week away from getting any real answers on that.)

Ham HahlenZephaniah and Haggai are two short prophecies that encourage Jerusalem with God’s judgment and restoration. We will read through them accompanied by The Minor Prophets vol. 2, The College Press NIV Commentary, by Clay Ham and Mark Hahlen. Zephaniah looks ahead to the Day of the LORD as an undoing of creation to prepare for a new one. Haggai encourages the people, that despite their poverty and powerlessness, their service to God will have worldwide implications. I am posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual, quotes from the commentary are in blue below…


Zephaniah's theme is the Day of the LORD and he gives a more detailed description of it than any other writing prophet. He writes to the rebellious of Judah during the reign of Josiah. Zephaniah sees both the judgment of redemption of God going to all the nations and then to Judah. God's judgment and the nations' repentance are both motivation for Jerusalem's humble return to covenant with YHWH.

Zephaniah announces that Yahweh will act decisively in human history to implement aspects of the divine plan. In that day, Yahweh will judge the sin of the people and the nations, be victorious over enemies, and deliver the people. Yahweh must punish the sins of Judah, but this punishment is not simply punitive; it is redemptive. In spite of the onslaught of divine fury, Yahweh’s faithfulness and mercy to the remnant will prevail. The divine purpose in choosing Israel will not be frustrated by judgment, but it will be realized in an elect remnant. Zephaniah, 183–184

Zephaniah sees the Day of the LORD as an "undoing" of creation another version of Noah's flood. Creation will be undone in anticipation of a new one. Judah should respond with sincere repentance if they want to be part be part of God's redeemed people.

As a whole, Zephaniah 1:7–18 calls for the readers to prepare in silence and with lament for the unexpected yet inevitable consequence of their religious idolatry and economic corruption, a consequence Zephaniah calls the day of Yahweh. Zephaniah 1, 199

The nations are judged, and then redeemed, as an incentive to encourage the people to repent and accept Josiah's reforms wholeheartedly. The nations they fear, that oppress them will be overthrown. They need to trust God exclusively and quit combining true worship with idol worship.

The nations are no longer merely the recipients of divine judgment, since Zephaniah 2:11 describes their conversion and thereby possible inclusion in the remnant of Yahweh’s people (2:3, 7, 9); in chapter 3, the promise of salvation to the nations (3:9–10) actually precedes the promise to Israel (3:12–18). Zephaniah 2.12, 219

Two prophecies of restoration in 3.8-20 encourage Jerusalem to trust God now. Surprisingly the nations around Israel, who are judged severely, are now redeemed and Israel is invited to join them as God's redeemed people.

Here in Zephaniah, a rebellious and apostate Judah has been purified, leaving a meek and humble remnant that trusts in Yahweh and lives in obedience (2:3; 3:12–13). This transformed people are once again treasured by Yahweh and are honored among the nations. Zephaniah 3.20, 245


The prophet Haggai challenges the tiny, powerless post-exilic community of Judah to rebuild the temple, the symbol of God's presence and power under the Old Covenant. It provides reassurance that, despite the present circumstances, God has not forgotten the covenant, and the community's obedience in building this little insignificant building will have worldwide implications because the God who will occupy it will "shake" and re-order all the governments of the world.

Haggai challenges the early postexilic community of Judah to look beyond their meager resources and difficult circumstances in order to believe daringly the ancient promises of Yahweh. The rebuilding of the temple in the hope of Yahweh’s presence among them and of eschatological messianic blessing requires an act of faith. The community must not fear. They must be strong and give careful thought to the power of Yahweh Almighty whose glory will fill the temple in but a little while (2:4–7). Haggai, 268–269

The first chapter is a call from God to quit neglecting Him and rebuild the temple. The people are obedient and God begins to bless them with the productivity promised in the Mosaic covenant.

The purpose for building the temple is so that Yahweh might take delight in it and the presence of Yahweh might enter the temple...The particular verb form...may emphasize that Yahweh attains glory through the people’s obedience to Yahweh’s own command to rebuild the temple. Haggai 1, 283–284

Chapter 2 contains three prophecies that tell the people that God is renewing the Davidic covenant, and its blessings and  promises, and that what they are doing to obey God will have tremendous worldwide significance. God can make very small acts of obedience to Him have tremendous and far reaching results

Haggai reminds the people rebuilding the temple that the Spirit of Yahweh is present with them just as Yahweh has been present with their ancestors, with whom Yahweh made the covenant after bringing them out of Egypt, when they build the tabernacle...Haggai admonishes the people not to fear because Yahweh will cause a cosmic upheaval that will bring a greater glory to the present temple. Haggai 2.6–9, 295

The language of the section shows that Haggai likely sees Zerubbabel as a messianic figure, one who represents a hope for political independence under a restored Davidic dynasty and one who, like the Davidic monarchy, represents Yahweh the heavenly king on the earth. Haggai 2.20-23, 313

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John #2

(Note: I will be completing the first round of medical tests this week. On the 20th and the 23rd I will meet with my doctors and go over the tests. Won’t know much until then. Please keep praying.)

TozerWith this post we continue reading through the New Testament devotional book, And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John, by A. W. Tozer. This book is a meditation on the incarnation, the great truth and mystery that God became a human being, focused on the Gospel of John. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

The Tragic Side of Christ Becoming Flesh John 1.11

The most amazing thing that ever happened is summed up in the words of John 1.11, "He came." The Creator came into the world that He made and the creation sang for joy. The tragic thing is that the crown of that creation, the majority of humanity, did not welcome him. Tozer points out that we do the same thing today because receiving Jesus means we must change our priorities, habits, and life direction, and wholeheartedly trust Him to clean up our lives and provide our needs.

I cannot get away from the wonder of these words, “He came.” The story of pity and mercy and redeeming love are all here in two words: “He came.” All the pity that God is capable of feeling, all the mercy that He is capable of showing and all the redeeming grace that He could pour out of His heart are at least suggested here in two simple words: “He came.” All the hopes and longings and aspirations and dreams of immortality that lie in the human breast had their fulfillment in those two words. John 1.11, 62

Christ does not need our patronage and He needs no one to act as His public-relations man. He is not a guest, He is the host and we are the guests. We are here by His sufferance. We are here by His kindness. We are here because He has made us and brought us here. And this world is His world, and He can do what He will with His world, and no one can upbraid Him. He can do what He wills with life and death and nature. And He can do what He wills in that mighty cataclysmic time that we call judgment. 65

The world around us sang when He came and will sing again when He comes in glory, but our hard hearts say no. The tragedy is that we have rejected Him from our hearts because we want our own way. 75

The Mystery of the Word Made Flesh John 1.14

In this section Tozer looks at the mystery of the incarnation: that which was and is God became something that is created, human, not God, without ever losing the essence of being God. The infinite God became man and showed the glory of God in human form. The miracles, especially the resurrection, were an important part of this, but the real glory was seen as Jesus lived out the character of God in human flesh. The connection between human beings and God was made for all eternity.

What God thinks about a man is more important than what a man thinks about himself. As far as God is concerned, what a man is always is more important to God than what that man does. We judge a man by his performance, by what he can contribute. But God sees deeper inside and bores to the very core of what that man really is. God is looking for goodness. It is his character and personality that God looks for. God is never impressed by anything a man can do. 83–84

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, is the only medium in which God dispenses His benefits to His creation...Because Jesus is the eternal Son, because He is of the eternal generation and equal with the Father as pertaining to His substance, His eternity, His love, His power, His grace, His goodness and all the other attributes of deity, He is the channel. He is the medium through which God dispenses all His blessings, all His fullness of all that we receive. 85

The Old Testament Messiah versus the New Testament Messiah John 1.29-37

Tozer next makes the point that Jesus was Messiah predicted in the Old Testament. His identity was revealed to John the Baptist but it was also proven through Jesus' fulfillment of OT prophecy. Jesus was the fulfillment of the sacrificial lamb who completely removes the sin of the world. He has the power (he baptizes in the Holy Spirit) to change the sinful person/society into something new that is fit to enter His eternal kingdom and can being to live out the kingdom now.

God works silently, quietly and modestly and is turning a world over, for He does it so quietly that no one notices. 98

So the church of God on earth is simply a sample of the new race; that is all. If we are a redeemed people and samples of the new race, we ought to live like the new race and think like the new race and act like the new race of people. 104–105

The Lamb of God, the seed of Abraham, David’s greater son, the Lamb that was slain—He specializes in hard cases and He takes away sin—yours and mine. He forgiveth iniquity and pardoneth sin. You confess it; He forgives it. You name it; He destroys it. You expose it; He removes it. You own it; He takes it out. John 1.29, 106