Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
1 Pet. 4: 19; 1 John 1: 9. Every one of the above passages proves Him to be faithful in general. A second set of passages follows, which proves Him to be faithful to truth and righteousness: Deut. 32: 4; Ps. 18: 30; 19: 9; 31: 5; 33: 4; 100: 5; 117: 2; 132: 11; 146: 6; Is. 25: 1; 51: 6, 8. The following set of passages shows that God is faithful to His covenants and promises: Gen. 9: 15, 16, 18; Ex. 6: 4, 5; 12: 41; Lev. 26: 45; Deut. 4: 31; 9: 5; 2 Sam. 7: 28; 23: 5; 2 Kings 13: 23; Ps. 89: 34; 105: 8; 111: 5, 7-9; Is. 54: 9, 10; Luke 1: 70, 72, 73; Rom. 11: 29; 15: 8; 2 Cor. 1: 20; 2 Tim. 2: 14; Heb. 6: 13-19; 2 Pet. 3: 9. And, finally, a fourth set of passages shows that God is faithful to those to whom He has obligated Himself: Gen. 24: 1, 27; 28: 15; 32: 10; Lev. 26: 44; Deut. 7: 8; Josh. 23: 14; 1 Sam. 12: 22; 1 Kings 8: 23, 24, 56; 2 Kings 8: 19; 1 Chron. 28: 20; Ezra 9: 9; Neh. 9: 7, 8; Ps. 9: 10; 25: 10; 37: 28; 94: 14; 103: 17; 121: 3, 4; Is. 44: 21; 49: 16; Jer. 31: 36, 37; 32: 40; 33: 14, 20; 51: 5; Ezek. 16: 60, 62; Dan. 9: 4; Mic. 7: 20; Hag. 2: 5; Luke 1: 54, 55, 68, 69; Acts 13: 32; Rom. 11: 2; Heb. 6: 10. These four lists of passages prove that God is faithful and prove that our definition of faithfulness for Him and others is correct.
Faithfulness is perhaps God's most widely applicable quality. Its scope seems to be universal, that is, it underlies and pervades all His thoughts, motives, words and acts. In vain would we search a thought, motive, word or act of Jehovah to find it devoid of this quality. Next to faithfulness God's self-control, patience and perseverance, are His most universal qualities; but since His faithfulness backs and projects His self-control and patience in all their activities, it is even more universal in its scope of activity than they. Certainly, this is an encouraging and comforting thought to us; and, held in our hearts and minds in our times of trial and difficulty, it will arm us with double strength, since it gives us the assurance of His
support, protection and guidance. Blessed be our God that He is faithful in all His works and ways toward truth and righteousness, toward His covenants and promises and toward those to whom He has condescendingly obligated Himself.
The Scriptures abound in examples of God's faithfulness. The above-cited passages give a partial proof of this proposition. Loyalty to truth and righteousness are manifested in His creation of angels and humans perfect in organ and disposition, in His trial of Adam and Eve for life and in His sentencing them to death and in executing that sentence upon them and the race in Adam's loins; for wisdom, justice, love and power in the interests of truth and righteousness required this. This becomes clear when we remember His design with the permission of evil in view of the ransom to give the race a more favorable opportunity of gaining life in the Millennium than Adam had. In permitting righteous Abel to suffer for righteousness at Cain's hands, and Cain to become a protected outcast therefore, we again see God's faithfulness to truth and righteousness, inasmuch as Abel's sufferings prepared him for Millennial rulership, and Cain's prepared him for Millennial reformation. From many standpoints God's judgments on the antediluvians and His rescue of Noah and his family show God's faithfulness to truth and righteousness; for certainly temporarily to blot out those who were increasingly depraving themselves and others, and to preserve those whose influence was morally and religiously elevating, were in the interests of truth and righteousness. The same remark in principle applies to the confounding of languages and the scattering of the nations; for this limited evil and furthered righteousness by segregating the evil and the righteous. The destruction of the cities of the plain with their inhabitants and the rescue of Lot was in the same sense in the interests of truth and righteousness as God's acts in connection with the
deluge. The same remark applies to God's judgments on the Egyptians and Pharaoh and His deliverance of Israel, His punishment of the unbelieving and blessing of the believing Israelites in the wilderness, His destruction of the nations of Canaan and giving their land to Israel, His punishment of wayward and blessing of repentant and obedient Israel and His judgments and blessings on the then Gentile nations.
The same principles apply in the history of Christendom, especially along the lines of spiritual punishments and rewards meted out to the pertinent classes. God's dealings with cast-off fleshly Israel and accepted spiritual Israel, viewed from the standpoint of His present and Millennial purposes with these two Israels, show God's faithfulness to truth and righteousness. Of course, the selection of the Ancient Worthies, the Little Flock, the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies, to develop them first in every good word and work, and afterward to use them to bless others with the same kind of a development, markedly manifests God's faithfulness to truth and righteousness. His rewarding these four elect classes according to their character development and loyalty to Him shows the same faithfulness, as also does every step that He has taken in their preparation for such rewards. Every one of His covenant arrangements for these four classes proves His faithfulness to truth and righteousness. Thus everything about His dealings with the four elect classes reveals God's faithfulness to truth and righteousness. When we contemplate His Millennial arrangements for the restitution of the world—the helpers that He has provided for them, the cancellation of the death sentence from, and the return of, the race from death, the world's Millennial environment as conducive to righteousness and inconducive to unrighteousness, the favorable trial amid corrections that He has arranged for them to have, the adaptation of all the helps to the varying needs of
the race, the requirement of obedience only according to ability, the giving correctly of the teachings of truth and righteousness to the world, the striping of the recalcitrant for reformation, the destruction of the incorrigible after 100 years of wasted and misspent opportunities for reformation and the rewarding of the responsive—all of these being calculated to suppress wrong and spread truth and righteousness—one and all show that all of God's Millennial arrangements are due to His faithfulness to truth and righteousness.
So, too, will God's post-millennial arrangements and works be an outflow of His faithfulness to truth and righteousness. That He will then require a final trial in harmony with truth and righteousness proves His faithfulness to these. That all will be required to act perfectly in harmony with perfect truth and righteousness, if they would gain life, shows His faithfulness to these principles. That those who fail to maintain loyalty to these principles must be blotted out so as to prevent the eternal continuance of sin and error, evidences God's faithfulness to truth and righteousness. And that those who maintain loyalty to truth and righteousness will be given everlasting life, to be spent in harmony with truth and righteousness, again proves that God is faithful to these principles. That God will forever surround the elect and the non-elect with conditions of truth and righteousness, in harmony with which they will remain, proves His loyalty to these principles. And that from the beginning of creation God has had these results steadfastly in mind, and that He perseveringly worked these thousands of years to realize them, prove that all along He has been loyal to truth and righteousness and He will so remain.
Not only do the above-cited examples of the Scriptures prove God's faithfulness to truth and righteousness; but many Scriptural examples prove His faithfulness to His covenants and promises. The first express covenants into which God entered bound Him no
more to destroy society by a flood (Gen. 9: 8-17). This covenant was made to every living thing on earth, as well as to man, and is one of the unilateral covenants—not one that is contractual, pledging two parties to certain conditions whose fulfillment gives each party to the covenant certain blessings, but one that is a simple promise, binding only one party to do certain things to others. The Abrahamic covenant is also such a unilateral covenant. So, too, are the covenants to the Seed and our covenant of consecration to God. The covenant to Noah has been kept by God. He has never since permitted a flood to destroy human society; and this proves His faithfulness to that covenant. While the Abrahamic, the Sarah and the rest of the parts of the Oath-bound Covenant to the various classes of "the Seed" (Gen. 12: 2—14; 22: 16-18) have not yet been fulfilled in their entirety, certain features of them being yet future, the parts of them that have already been due have been fulfilled and certain others of them are being fulfilled. Certainly, to the Ancient Worthies the parts of the Oath-bound Covenant due in their day were fulfilled, i.e., they were developed in character by God for fitness for Millennial princeship and were given victory over all enemies to such development. So to Abraham God in the past gave part and is giving now the rest of the Seed that is to do the blessing. During the Gospel Age God has completed the selection of the Christ class, part of the Seed, and is at work completing the development of the Great Company and Youthful Worthies, also parts of the Seed. And this proves His faithfulness in carrying out these covenants, even if they have not yet been completely carried out. The progressive and continued working out of their fulfillment is a pledge of their complete fulfillment in due time, and thus is a proof also of God's faithfulness.
There are especially two conditional covenants revealed in the Scriptures: the Old Covenant (the Law Covenant)
and the New Covenant. Both of these are between God and Israel, the second of them not yet having been sealed, and therefore not yet operative, it belonging to the Millennial and post-millennial Ages. Both of these covenants are conditional, God in each of them promising Israel everlasting life on condition of perfect obedience to the law of these covenants. God stood ready to keep His part of the Old Covenant to any Israelite who obeyed it, and gave such eternal life to the only Israelite who kept it—our Lord Jesus—and at the same time made Him the Heir of the Sarah Covenant, whose inheritance He obtained by His fulfilling His covenant of sacrifice. Thus God's faithfulness in giving Him everlasting life through His obedience to the Law is manifest and is not at all set aside by our Lord's giving up that life sacrificially; for thereby He not only gained the power to redeem all from the Adamic sentence, but additionally to save Israel from the added condemnation of the Law Covenant. And even to Law-violating Israel God showed much grace and mercy in addition to faithfulness in encouraging and helping them to the best conditions conducive to reformation for keeping the Law, and compatible with fallen men's being under the curse. Therefore, during their trial period, the Jewish Age, He gave them the best laws and conditions on earth, gave them the best land and prosperity on earth, sent them the best teachers and teachings, surrounded them with the best providences, freely and perseveringly forgave them and reinstated them from their backslidings on their repentance and, finally, sent them His Son to offer them fitness for transference to the Sarah Covenant. In these acts He not only showed Himself faithful in keeping His part of the Law Covenant, but He additionally added grace and mercy to which He was not obligated by His part of the Law Covenant. And His faithfulness to truth and righteousness and to His past covenant engagements are a guarantee that
He will be faithful to fulfill His part of the New Covenant when it is set into operation.
Again, God has also been faithful to His promises. For the most part, these have been simply an elaboration of the general promises implied in His covenants. Isaac, as promised, was given to Abraham and Sarah, even though a miracle was necessary to work on the sterile parents to effect it. Expatriated Jacob realized God's promise to restore him to the promised land. God's promise, after 400 years (Gen. 15: 13), to deliver Abraham's descendants from Egypt's oppression, was fulfilled, and that to the very day. His promise to sustain Moses in the work of deliverance was fulfilled. His promise to give Israel the land promised their forefathers was fulfilled. His promises of victory over their enemies as long as they were obedient were always fulfilled whenever they exercised such obedience, as is evidenced in their victories over the Amalekites, Arad, Sihon, Og and the Midianites during their wilderness journey, over the seven nations of Canaan under Joshua and over their oppressors during the period of the judges under Othniel, Ehud, Barak, Shamgar, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson and Samuel. During the times of the Kings they were likewise victorious as long as they obeyed, as certain experiences in the lives of Saul, David, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, etc., show. The deliverances that God wrought for David, the prophets, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, Mordecai, Esther, Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah, all prove the faithfulness of God to His promises to deliver those faithful to Him. Well could Joshua (Josh. 23: 14) and Solomon (1 Kings 8: 56) glory in God for not having failed in any particular to fulfill His good promises.
During the Gospel Age such faithfulness to His promises has characterized God's course. Every promise that He made to Jesus was fulfilled as due. The Apostles in their experiences found that His promises
were not yea and nay, but yea; for every one of them was kept. So have all the others of God's people in this Age learned by experience. Did He promise to raise up for them the Messiah? He kept His word (Acts 13: 22). Did He confirm the promises to them? He did so by Christ's ministry (Rom. 15: 8). Did He promise them fellowship— partnership with His Son? He has given it to them in its Gospel-Age aspects (1 Cor. 1: 9). Did He promise not to suffer them to be tempted above their ability? He keeps His promise (1 Cor. 10: 13). Did He offer them a genuine invitation to the high calling? He has realized the promise in their experiences (1 Thes. 5: 24). Did He offer them opportunity of gaining life? He has fulfilled it to the responsive (Tit. 1: 2). Did He promise to remember their good works and their labor of love? He has kept the promise (Heb. 6: 10). Did He promise to support them in life's storms? The promise has been fulfilled (Heb. 6: 1719). Did He promise to stand by them in their sufferings? He has redeemed His promise (1 Pet. 4: 19). Did He promise them forgiveness and cleansing? He has performed His word (1 John 1: 9). In a word, has He as due fulfilled all His promises? We answer, Yes (2 Cor. 1: 20; Heb. 10: 24). Have any of His promises failed? We answer, No. We know by thousands of our personal experiences that none have failed us; and we have never heard a faithful Christian say anything to the contrary in connection with his experiences; but, on the other hand, every one of them, that we have ever heard or heard of, as touching this point, has testified that He has ever been faithful and never once has broken to them a promise of His.
Confidence in God's faithfulness has given unconquerable strength to God's people; and they have always found Him loyal to them. The heroes of faith cited by St. Paul in Heb. 11 were empowered to do, to dare, to suffer and to achieve by their confidence
in God's faithfulness. How otherwise would Abel have endured martyrdom, Noah braved the mockery of the antediluvians for at least 120 years, Abraham left native land and kindred and offered Isaac, Joseph borne his calamities, Moses endured as seeing Him that is invisible, and performed the onerous labor of leading Israel from Egypt to Canaan, Joshua conquered Canaan, Gideon defeated Midian, Amalek and the children of the East, Jephthah overthrown Ammon and Ephraim, Shamgar and Samson slaughtered the Philistines, David freed Israel from all their enemies, Jehoshaphat dispersed by the temple music the Ethiopian host, Hezekiah obtained deliverance from the Assyrians, Meshach, Shadrach and Abed-nego quenched the heat of the fiery furnace and Daniel stopped the lions' mouths? How otherwise would our Lord have faced Gethsemane, Gabbatha, Golgotha and the tomb, the Apostles their labors, hardships, sufferings and deaths, the confessors the dread examination of persecutors, the martyrs their tortures and deaths, the isolated dark-age witnesses have faced their papal opponents, the reformers met and defeated Rome's ablest defenders, the harvesters done their reaping work and the Epiphany saints endured the breaking of tenderest ties amidst all kinds of misrepresentation and misunderstanding? In a word, how could any one of the four classes of the elective Seed have made and carried out a more or less intelligent consecration, which means death to their humanity, unless they had full confidence in God's faithfulness to truth, righteousness, His covenants, His promises and His people? How could any of them carry out such a consecration faithfully unto death, amid the most taxing of trials, temptations and difficulties, unless they strongly trusted in God's faithfulness? It would be impossible. And they have consciously and confidently, amid the most harrowing experiences, walked up to and into the jaws of death, with the peace of God ruling their
hearts and minds, fully assured that God was faithful to them as His very own. If it were not for such a faith, they would all have gone to pieces amid the experiences that faith in His faithfulness called upon them to undergo. And their victories have been due to God's faithfulness to His people in their exercise of such a faith. And this confidence gave them the necessary peace, comfort and even joy to undergo these experiences to the glory of God, their own profit and the blessing of others. Hence they gloried in God as faithful and risked their all on His faithfulness; and He never left, forsook nor failed them.
To us, therefore, the thought of God's faithfulness should be exceedingly precious. It should prompt us, if not consecrated, to consecrate ourselves unreservedly to Him; and, if consecrated, faithfully to carry out our consecration. It will give us every mercy and every help in every time of need. It will relieve us when wearied, sustain us when faltering, energize us when faint, encourage us when fearful, quiet us when worried, cheer us when distressed, comfort us when bereaved, embolden us when attacked, make us victorious in our battles and, finally, bring us off more than conquerors when we reach the end of our warfare. Well may we rely upon God's faithfulness. It has never faltered and will never falter. No difficulties can overcome it; no obstacles can impede it; no foes can put it to flight; no combination can make it waver; and nothing ever has or ever will undo it. It is as eternal as eternity; as changeless as unchangeableness, as constant as constancy, as incorruptible as incorruptibility and, therefore, is as dependable as God, because it is the all-pervasive quality of His character, which, because of its perfection in all good attributes, is the glory of God and the magnet that draws all responsive hearts to devotion, praise, worship, adoration and service of the God of all grace and all faithfulness. Let us, therefore, bring devotion, praise, worship,
adoration and service to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus; for He is worthy of these, and that in a higher degree than we are able to render them to Him.
Surely our study of God's attributes of being and character should greatly enhance Him to our faith, hope, love and obedience; for it presents to us a God who is glorious in His person, holy in His character, wondrous in His plan and great in His works. And as we devoutly contemplate Him from these standpoints, such contemplation greatly enhances Him to our minds and hearts and thus effectively draws out toward Him our faith, hope, love and obedience, and blessed are those who permit and encourage these results by engaging in such contemplation! All things are theirs—God and Christ, the present and future with all their promises and fruitions are theirs!
My God, the Spring of all my joys,
The Source of my delights,
The Glory of my brightest days,
And Comfort of my nights!
In darkest shades, if Thou appear,
My dawning is begun;
Thou art my soul's bright Morning Star,
And Thou my rising Sun.
The opening heavens around me shine
With beams of sacred bliss;
And all these holy beams combine
My longing soul to bless.
First and Last of faith's receiving,
Source and End of man's believing,
God, whose might is all-potential,
God, whose Truth is Truth's essential,
Good supreme in Thy subsisting,
Good in all Thy works existing;
Over all things, all things' Wonder,
Touching all, from all asunder;
Center Thou, but not included,
Compassing and not intruded;
Over all, and not ascending,
Helping all, but not depending;
Over all, the world ordaining,
Over all, the world sustaining;
All without and all surrounding,
All within, in grace abounding;
Believed, yet not comprehended,
Stationed firm, and not extended;
Over, yet on nothing founded,
Inner, but by that unbounded;
Omnipresent, yet indwelling,
Self-impelled, the world impelling;
Force, nor thy predestination
Sways Thee to one alteration;
Ours to-day, Thyself's forever,
Not commencing, ending never;
Past with Thee had no beginning,
Present all the future winning;
For Thy counsel's first ordaining
Comes Thy counsel's last attaining;
Thou creation's work first starting,
At last perfection imparting.