THE UNCHANGEABLE CHRIST, a Devotion for 17 November in the Year of our Lord the 2016th
“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today and forever.”
6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Mal 3:5-6 (KJV)
1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
Psalms 15:1-4 (KJV)
There is in our day a growing herd mentality. In my considered opinion, there is an empirical difference between the “Little Flock of Christ” and the great herds of humanity that are lost to light and love. Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary renders the meaning of ‘herd’ to mean, among other things, “a congregation of gregarious animals kept under human control,” or as the “undistinguished masses” in human terms. I would far rather be a sheep led by the Good Shepherd who leads me to green pastures than a goat led by a ten-horned dictator whose destination is the slaughter house.
God is Immutable in His Nature, in His Law, in His Character, and in His Whole Being. If God were capable of change, into what would He change? Of course that is a totally hypothetical proposition since God cannot change into that which He is not; and anything other than what God is now (and forever HAS been) would render Him something other than God.
All sorts of spiritual error has grown from the dispensationalism that is being propagated abroad in modern denominations which suggests that the God of Abraham has somehow changed in His approach to those of our own time. That would necessarily presume that Abraham would not be Christian in the sense that we today are Christian – that he was saved by some other means than the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In a certain, limited sense (not that of the dispensationalists) that would be correct since the difference in Abraham’s salvation was a fervent faith in the unseen, but anchored in the Promise of Christ nonetheless. Christ had not yet died to redeem Abraham’s soul as He has done for you and me. So Abraham’s faith was a tremendous faith in a Promise God had made ere it was ever realized in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. We today, on the other hand, have the privilege to have faith in a promise already fulfilled at Calvary. That is the ONLY difference. God did not change in the process – He gave His promise, and He fulfilled that promise.
All that happened in the Old Testament Law and Prophets pointed to the need and imminent fulfillment of a Redeemer in our Lord Jesus Christ. The God of Eden is precisely the same in Nature and in Disposition as the God and Father of our Lord. The promise was even made, in veiled shadow, in Eden to Adam and Eve, of a Redeemer to come.
We do have a Friend that is closer to our bosom’s cherished heart than any blood brother – the Lord Jesus Christ! As a matter of fact, our Lord Jesus Christ is far more a blood relative – if we are born anew of the Spirit – than any other earthly relative. It is His Blood that has cleansed us and no other. It is His sinless Blood that redeemed us on the cross at Calvary. So those who hear His voice and follow Him are truly His family – His mother, His brother, His sister, His child. He gives us that principle in the Gospels: “46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matt 12:46-50 (KJV) There seems to be some evidence that His mother, Mary, and His brothers, were not close spiritual followers of their close relative until after the evidence of His Lordship was demonstrated at Calvary and the Garden Tomb. They did not seem to follow after Him to hear His teaching as multitudes of others did do.
We have all had, I believe unless we are very fortunate, friends whom we held close in love and who have later betrayed our trust and turned against us. Or we have at least had friends who have avoided our glance among certain company whose loyalties may not be in conformity with our own. Political correctness has existed since Adam, and was evidenced by the cowardly Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate, who found no fault in Jesus, but nonetheless sentenced Him to be crucified to please the crowd.
An old friend of mine who died approximately 150 years ago (any of my teachers is a friend), William Arnot, compares the Lord and those who are either drawn, or repulsed to Him, as two bar magnets. The metal (iron) is the same in both just as Jesus came in the flesh to be like us in physical form. The two magnets have force fields that are both similar. Are we not made in the image of God? When our magnet is aligned with the force-field of God, we are inalterably drawn to Him so closely that there is no daylight between. But if our poles (wills) are turned in the opposite direction away from the Great Magnet which is God, we are repulsed at His approach. But He is always properly aligned in truth and righteousness and not subject to any magnetic variation. It is the nature of the elect to be drawn to God by way of their magnetic poles being aligned with His perfect will and purpose. If we are simply iron without magnetic natures, then we may become magnetized with His will by close association with His metal and truth. One cannot resist the draw of God’s Magnet (Jesus Christ) when we have known Him in intimate love and faith.
A cloud is incapable of becoming a stone – an object of a totally different property. Neither is Jesus Christ capable of sinning because that would change the nature of who He is. He is God. God cannot sin! When we become One with Christ, we also become One with God the Father because Christ is One with the Father. If we are in one circle that is located within another circle, we are also in that circle, or one with it.
When I was younger, I used to teach navigation to Army and Allied Flight Students. Whether the navigation was visual or instrument, a map was essential to navigation. A map is necessary as well for navigation in driving. You may object, “But I use a GPS.” Maybe so, but the GPS system is based upon land and sea features that constitute a map. In land navigation, if the map displays a mountain pass that is easily recognizable, we may use that feature as a landmark, or a waypoint, for our navigation. If suddenly the mountain pass no longer exists, every other consideration of our navigation is called into question because the mountain pass has ALWAYS been there since Eden. It simply could not happen, and we would have made a terrible mistake in the plotting of our journey. God is a Great Mountain that never moves else we would have no sure means of navigation in faith and trust. “1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1-2 (KJV) The Mountain of God stands inviolate to the shifting winds and sands of man’s carnal nature. He is a Mountain that cannot be moved. If we will have the benefit of that Mountain and its Vantage Point of Truth, we must come to the Mountain. It will not remove to the wilderness of sin in which we bask. The Great Rock from that Mountain came once to us while we were yet sinners, and smashed to smithereens all of the inferior dust heaps of man. But it never truly moved from its natural place of righteousness and truth. It is a solid Foundation that cannot be moved. If we become stones removed from that Rock, we will bear His image and likeness, and cannot be moved from the Way that the Holy Map (BIBLE) has plotted for us. “8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. ( a prophetic reference to our Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection on the third day – more than three days was generally considered a time when bodily decomposition and decay set in)11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalms 16:8-11 (KJV)
What is your course in life? Have you plotted your own way in the Wilderness of Life; or have you placed your trust and faith in the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE which Jesus Christ is to the Believer? He is the only WAY that we can navigate to Eternal Life with Him!