The age in which we presently live is inundated with “technological” advancements which would have staggered the imaginations of folks who died in the age of dial telephones and black and white TVs. Not to even mention those who lived in the years before even these lowly inventions had come upon the scene. The scripture describes man’s “advancements” in the vision of Daniel, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Dan 12:4) This is the unfolding of the LORD’s purpose in the earth. Men boast of their “accomplishments” and take pride in the various “discoveries” that they think they have made. Yet all the while the LORD has turned this world over to a reprobate mind and all of these “advancements” are but a sure sign of approaching judgement. Daily HE is “fattening up” the men of this world, who despise HIS sovereign rule and do not believe HIS record to the day of slaughter.
Those who love this world take delight in it and consider themselves much more enlightened than their forefathers. Many religious men think they have discovered better ways to worship and consider that their methods of gaining “converts”, are surely an improvement over the ways of the past. They think that “technology” enhances the work of the SPIRIT of GOD. Yet, HE who called Abram out of pagan darkness in “Ur of the Chaldees” is same ONE who must call HIS sheep even as HE did in that day. “The sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. --- the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” (John 10:3-4)
The “inventions” of men are in themselves not evil, but the manner in which men regard them and use them most surely leads to evil. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov 16:18) Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians is as appropriate (perhaps more so) today as it was then, “And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1Cor 7:31) There is a proper “use” of this world for those who are found in CHRIST, but there is no place of affection here for them. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1John 2:15-17)
Back in the “olden times” as I was growing up, listening to the music of the day was a cherished pastime. The manner in which this was done was to turn on the radio or to use a device called “a record player”. Upon this antiquated piece of machinery was placed a round piece of vinyl which was called a “record”. The value of this “record” was not in the plastic, which probably only cost a few cents to produce, but rather in the “music” which was embedded in its grooves. Our delight was not in watching the disc turn but it hearing the sound which was produced.
The scriptures speak of a “record”, which is of much greater delight to the sons of GOD, than any sound which could be produced by any of man’s devices or technology. This is an ancient record which actually predates the dawn of time and the creation of the world. It is a very simple and straight-forward record which is at one and the same time the most profound truth which men have been privileged to “hear”.
The Greek word which is, here in the book of John, translated as “record”, occurs 37 times in the New Testament. It simply means “the evidence given, a witness, a testimony or a trustworthy report.” This “record” is not new since the saints in all ages have relied upon it, even those who could only dimly see the unfolding of that testimony. We read of them in the book of Hebrews in which a whole chapter (eleven) is devoted to chronicling their reliance upon that “record”. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Heb 11:13) The chapter then concludes with, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb 11:39-40)
It is impossible to overstate the great privilege that has been bestowed upon the saints here and now in the “end of the world”,(see Heb.9:26) in being given eyes to see with clear vision the manifestation of the redemptive work of CHRIST. Though we yet see through a glass darkly, we behold HIM who is the SAVIOR of sinners and all questions which have arisen over the years concerning this “report” are now fully answered in this declaration given by John, “And this is the record that GOD hath given us ETERNAL LIFE and this LIFE is in HIS SON.”
We believe this testimony because we have this “WITNESS” in ourselves. We have this “WITNESS” because it has pleased the LORD to give us the Kingdom, and HE has sent HIM to be our COMFORTER and GUIDE into all TRUTH. Those who are the called according to HIS purpose cannot “not believe”. Peter confessed this very truth when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69) Faith “is the gift of GOD, not of works, lest any man should boast.”
This ONE who is a FAITHFUL WITNESS, does not speak of HIMSELF, but glorifies the SON of GOD. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13-14) Thus HE shall only declare this “record” that John most blessedly recounts.
To preach anything other than “JESUS CHRIST and HIM crucified”, is to deny that “record”, which says “GOD hath given to us ETERNAL LIFE”. The only SOURCE of LIFE in all the universe is HE who is “THE LIFE”. HE is “THE WORD”, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) HIS primary purpose in dwelling among men in flesh and blood was to lay down HIS LIFE as an atonement for the sins of those whom HE has loved. “for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:20-21)
John the Baptizer, testified of HIS coming among men, but he was not enabled to see the work which HE was to perform in its fulness. (see Mat.11:2,3) Thus the LORD said, “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Mat 11:11) The fulness of understanding of that which CHRIST came to perform can only be seen by those who are witnesses of HIS resurrection. This resurrection testifies that HE has triumphed over the foes of HIS people, making a show of them openly. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” (Isa 63:1)
Those who do not worship this ONE who has laid down HIS life for HIS sheep, spit in the face of GOD and say that HE is a liar, for they believe not the “record” which HE has given. They shall perish in their sin, having no life except that which must return to the dust. “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev 1:17-18) This is the record.