Greetings MOL Family!
Today, we begin a new series – Beautiful Way! What is God’s beautiful way for His beloved children, you ask? Join us, in this 14-lesson study, as we seek to understand more about His heavenly standards for having a happy and beautiful Christian life!
To Be Like Jesus
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. – 1 John 3:2
When Jesus comes, we will be what? Like Him – like Jesus! Could it be possible that you and I will ever be like Jesus? John says we know it! Oh, what a wonderful assurance. We are going to be like Jesus when He comes! I wonder if we will be like Him any before He comes? You remember in Revelation 22:11-12, the announcement is made a bit before the Saviour appears, “Behold I come quickly”:
And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: And he that is holy, let him be holy still. – Revelation 22:11
That decree marks the close of what? Probation. And at that time, God has some people who are righteous. They reflect the image of Jesus. Is that right? Yes. Early Writings, page 71 says that those who receive the seal and are protected in the Time of Trouble reflect the image of Jesus fully.
So, while we look forward to the coming of Jesus as the time when we are like Him, we are to reflect His image even before He comes. Is that right? And if Jesus’ coming is near, the close of probation is nearer still. Is that right? Oh, friends, I want to enter into those glorious Latter Rain, Loud Cry experiences that immediately precede the close of probation, don’t you?
And I want to be one of those who reflect the image of Jesus, and stand to vindicate His character during the great Time of Trouble, don’t you? I want to look up and see Him as He comes in the sky, and see His smile of welcome. All that is for us. We shall be like Him.
Who Is Like Unto Thee?
Now let us see what God is like. Turn to the 45th Psalm. You know this is an interesting psalm. It is a psalm of love. In fact, that is what the opening line of the psalm says – A song of love. It is the love between Christ and His church represented in the marriage of a king with his bride. And the same theme here is found in the Song of Solomon. The king here really is King Messiah – Jesus our Lord:
My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips. – Psalm 45:1-2
This is a picture, I say, of Jesus. He is the fairest One in all the world. How many hymns of praise to our Lord have been written? Some of them based on this very psalm. In our [old*] church hymnal, number 159, is one I love. Put it down in your notes:
Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon the Saviour’s brow;
His head with radiant light is crowned,
His lips with grace o’erflow.
No mortal can with Him compare,
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair
That fill the heavenly train.
Yes, dear friends, He is the One altogether lovely. Solomon sings of Him in that wonderful Song of Songs, that song that presents love between husband and wife, bridegroom and bride, and through it all symbolizes and illustrates the wonderful love between Christ and His church. In that beautiful song, the bride sings of her bridegroom. He is altogether lovely, the chiefest among ten thousand. Yes, this is Jesus, the One we are looking at.
Our opening text says that we are to be what? Like Him. Well, I wonder how in the world can we ugly folks ever be that beautiful? Well, GOD HAS A PLAN!!!
The Beauty of the Plan …
Now, I want you to turn over to 2 Corinthians 3:18, and we will see the plan. It is a wonderful plan. And if we will cooperate, it will work out; and we shall be like Him and reflect His image fully:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 3:18
Who changes us? The Spirit of the Lord. We can never make this change ourselves, dear friends. That is why all religions of human works are failures. They may produce a certain outward behavior, but they cannot change the heart. And sooner or later, the inward corruption appears. Only the Holy Spirit can work this miracle and make us like Jesus. But He does this changing as we what? As we behold. We look, and He changes. And we are changed into what? The same image from glory to glory. Isn’t that nice? Well, then, if we look at Him, we will become what? Like Him. And He is beautiful. Yes, He is this “Beautiful Way,” for in John 14:6, He tells us:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. – John 14:6
He is beautiful; He is the beautiful way! And if we will behold Him, we will become like Him!
You know, no matter how long we study these things, there are more references, more beautiful thoughts coming.
In the One ‘altogether lovely’ we behold Him, of whom all beauty of earth and heaven is but a dim reflection. – Education, pg. 192
Isn’t that nice? Oh, He is beauty personified. He is beautiful and we, if we will look, will become like Him.
So, dear friends, these beautiful love songs of the 45th Psalm and the Song of Solomon, present not only the beauty of Jesus, but they present the beauty of His church. Turn back, please, to that 45th Psalm, and I want you to see this. For the heart of Christ is set upon seeing in His church the reflection of Himself. Thank God, it is going to come to pass!
Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. – Psalm 45:10-11
Not only the Bridegroom is beautiful, the bride is beautiful; so beautiful that it says, the king greatly desires her beauty. Oh, can it be, friends, that people from this world, ugly through generations of sin, can be so changed, so transformed that there is a beauty in their lives which makes them the object of the desire of Jesus? Isn’t that wonderful? Oh, yes:
The king’s daughter is all glorious within. – Psalm 45:13
Yes, it is a beauty of character shining out. And then in the Song of Solomon, you can put down in your notes:
As the lily among the thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters. – Song of Solomon 2:2
This world is a bramble patch, friends, but the church appears to Jesus as a lily among all those thorns:
Who is this that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun. – Song of Solomon 6:10
That is the picture of the church (so applied in Testimonies to the Church, Volume 5, page 81) in her closing work of revealing Jesus during the glorious Loud Cry and Latter Rain days. I want a part in that demonstration. What do you say?
The beautiful life of Jesus is to be revealed in His people. But HOW is this revelation displayed?
Invite a friend, and we will look at ten ways in which Christ wants to reveal His beauty in each one of us!
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
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- The Christian Home
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.