The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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Shadows of Heaven Things
By Al Stoner

 

“For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off” (Isa. 56:4-5).
Oftentimes the language of the old covenant dispensation is foreshadowing some better thing that God would later be providing, but had not yet come in its fullness, and therefore, it was necessary to say it the best way that it could be said at the time that it was spoken.  Such is the case with regard to this promise made by God to Israel of a name and place better than of sons and of daughters.  Those living in those former times were unable to frame to comprehend the excellencies of the things which God has laid up for them that wait for Him. In every age believing men have been called upon to “stretch forward”, as it were, in order to comprehend somewhat of the blessedness that “wait for Him”.  “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (I Cor. 2:9; cf. 8:3).
The Sabbath was, and is, “a shadow of heavenly things” (Heb. 8:5).  If we only think of keeping the Sabbath as a mere legal observance, that is, something that God has imposed upon men, then we have failed to comprehend the significance for which it was given. “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mk. 2:27). “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” (Col 2:16-17), [but the substance belongs to Christ, NASB]. 
From the very beginning, the Sabbath was directly associated with God Himself resting, and also with God’s rest (cf. Gen. 2:1-2).  It was associated with works of God that were finished, even finished from the foundation of the world.  The sabbath was summoning men to be identified with works of God that are finished, that is, finished by God Himself. 
Incidentally, the shadows and corresponding substantive realities, of which we speak, are those things which are specifically identified as such by Christ and the Apostles.  We are not at liberty to come up with our own inventions in these matters. 
The Sabbath.  The Sabbath, as a shadow of heavenly things served its purpose well, as well as the severity and solemnity by which it was sanctified and hallowed by God Himself.  Such words as are found in Genesis 2, Psalm 95, Hebrews 4, and Colossians 2 instruct us that the Sabbath involves much more than a legal observance imposed upon men.  It is a shadow of heavenly things, namely, of God’s rest, of living unto God by faith, and of believing men entering into His rest.
In Hebrews 4:1-11 the consideration of the day of rest (v. 4) and the land of rest (v. 8) are wonderfully joined together with that of God Himself resting and with men entering into His rest (v. 10)  The day of rest, the Sabbath, speaks of a time, and the land of rest, Canaan, speaks of a place. 
They are joined together with men ceasing from their own works as God did from His.  They are joined together with men believing in God and believing on Christ, and laboring earnestly to enter into God’s rest.
Eunuchs. Taken literally, these are men who, for one reason or another, are unable to marry, and bear children.  If we take the word literally, this is going to limit this wonderful promise to a very small class of men, and even excluding women altogether.
Thus, if we consider the eunuchs to be those who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of God’s sake, as the Lord Jesus said, then we can all identify with this.  If any man will come after Me, Jesus said, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
And if, in the time of the New Covenant, we reckon not polluting the sabbath (Isa. 56:6) to be not polluting the justifying work that God has already abundantly wrought through the sufferings of His Christ and the glory which has followed, we can all identify with this as well.  It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He has saved us through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
But, on an occasion when the subject of the seriousness of marriage and divorce came up, the disciples said to Jesus, “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry . . . He said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.  And then He went on to speak about eunuchs.
He said, “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it” (Mt. 19:9-12).
And it is this latter sense of the word eunuch to which we would like to draw attention here.  This is the sense with which all men are able to identify.  And it is a sense that all men must identify with, at least to some degree, if they would enter into life. --Editor


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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).