What Are You Seeking?

THE WORLD SPEAKS of one who is following a hope that he will never be able to realize as trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But the Christian expects to realize his hope, and he knows that there is a ‘pot of gold’ at the end of his ‘rainbow.’ The Apostle Paul describes his hope in these words, “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.”—Rom. 2:7


When one who is humble hears this call, he staggers at the thought of such a boundless interest and love on the part of God for him. Of what does this glory consist? It is a glory of nature and a glory of character. The Christian is promised the same nature that God has, the Divine nature, which is the highest of all spirit natures. No wonder that Peter, when referring to these, calls them “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these,” he says, “ye might be partakers of the divine nature.”—II Pet. 1:4

The Christian who fully submits himself to the Father’s will day by day, coming to him in prayer for grace to help in every time of need, keeping his mind filled with the Scriptures, finds that “the love of God is [being] shed abroad” in his heart “by the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 5:5) When this transforming work of the Holy Spirit is completed and the Christian awakes in the first resurrection with the Divine nature, the character developed on this side of the veil will be transferred to the new body, as Jude 24 says, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”

The honor mentioned in Romans 2:7 is pictured by the high priest on the Day of Atonement, as described in Leviticus 16, changing from the garments of sacrifice to the garments of glory and beauty. (Lev. 16:23,24; See also Lev. 9:23) Jesus, the Head, and the church his body, will be kings and priests and judges to the world of mankind as they minister restitution blessings to them. This is in harmony with Revelation 20:6: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

The Apostle Paul says that we are seeking for immortality. Only the Divine nature is immortal. It is a life which is death-proof and not dependent on other sources for continuance. Jesus describes it in John 5:26: “As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” In I John 3:2 we read, “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.” Just as Jesus is now immortal, so also his followers will have immortality when they awake in his likeness.

There is a famous painting which is called, “The End of the Trail.” It shows an Indian slumping on a tired horse. Those who are of this church class, and are faithful in carrying out their consecration, will receive eternal life, as mentioned in Romans 2:7. In Hebrews 7:16, Paul speaks of Jesus as having the “power of an endless life.” What a blessing it will be to have full possession of one’s faculties forever, and never be slowed by old age or illness!


How do we seek for the blessings of glory and honor and immortality? The apostle tells us that it is by ‘well doing.’ This well doing consists of faithfulness in harmony with Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

But this well doing, we are told, should be with patient endurance. In Hebrews 12:1, Paul gives us the illustration of a racer. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Such a runner does not run uncertainly, but steadily.

When many run in a race, near the end some look weary; others look strong and vigorous. In our spiritual racecourse there are some who grow weary in well doing and lose their first love and zeal, while others are active and alert, seeking ways and means to serve the Lord to the very end.


Foot runners lay aside every weight so that they can run and have nothing to hinder them in running as fast as possible. The weights could represent besetting sins which we could throw off if we only put forth the effort to do so. This reminds us of the story involving Agag, the king of the Amalekites, recorded in I Samuel 15:9,13,14, and 17: “Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?”

The Amalekites well represent the sins of the flesh—all of which are doomed to destruction—also some pleasures, not sinful of themselves, but interfering with our compliance with our consecration. There may be one which is choice and desirable to the flesh and there is a temptation to spare it for the time being with the excuse that later on, of course, it will be destroyed. This is pictured by Saul sparing Agag because he liked him so much. He was willing to destroy the other Amalekites, and the poor of the animals, but the choice things he wanted to save for his enjoyment. This is a lesson for us that we are to make a complete destruction of the evil thoughts and deeds of the body as far as we are able! Samuel could hear the bleating of the sheep, and so if we hold back from full consecration the Lord will know of these pet sins we are trying to retain.


In Romans 8:13 we read, “If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” In the exercising of the new mind, the New Creature, the Spirit is to mortify, deaden, the gratification of the fleshly desires whenever, and wherever, they conflict with our consecration vow.

When we made our covenant of sacrifice the old will was reckoned dead, but there is a constant desire on the part of the old creature to arise from this condition of reckoned deadness and to reassert itself. This requires continual watchfulness on the part of the New Creature, and hence the Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 9:27: “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Paul names some of these deeds of the flesh in Colossians 3:8, saying, “Now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

This means a slow, lingering death for the old creature as explained by Paul in Galatians 5:24: “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” In II Corinthians 7:1, Paul uses another figure of speech and refers to this mortifying of the deeds of the body as a continual cleansing work, saying, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

It is true that so far as the evil tendencies of the body are concerned, the Spirit is to mortify these. On the other hand, so far as using the various members of the body in the service of God is concerned, the Spirit is to stimulate these—as we read, “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”—Rom.8:11

The old creature is reckoned dead, but the New Creature is reckoned as living a figuratively resurrected life. Our aims and hopes and ambitions are now directed toward heavenly, righteous objectives, and in every act of life we are seeking to do God’s will. Paul wrote, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”—Col. 3:1,2


If the new mind is to quicken the mortal body in the service of the Lord, we will find it necessary to ‘redeem’ the time. “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” (Col. 4:5) We are given twenty-four hours to live each day. A certain amount we must spend in sleeping, eating, taking care of our personal appearance, working in an office or shop, and taking care of our homes. But how much of this time that remains do we carefully apply in worthwhile efforts to develop our characters, to worship our God, to serve the brethren and witness to the Lord’s plan? It is surprising how much time we can redeem, if we really plan to do so.

We can make the mistake of trying to accomplish too much. We can plan for more work, more meetings, more witness efforts and more studying of the Word of God than our physical strength will allow. Then we can get discouraged because we are exhausted before we can accomplish all the things we had planned. A man who has a vineyard is always careful not to have too many bunches of grapes on a single branch, because he knows that while there will be many grapes on the branch they will be small and green. The branch cannot bring that many bunches of grapes to full maturity. He knows that it is better to have fewer grapes and have them all mature in ripeness. So he prunes off some of the bunches of grapes to get better results. The lesson for us is not to plan to do too much. It is better to do fewer things, and do them well, than to do too many and only half do them.

Our business associates sometimes ask us why we are always so happy. The reason is that we are walking in the way of consecration, and in that path there is fullness of joy. We have much happiness doing what the world thinks is foolishness. At a Bible Student convention one of the officials at the college where the convention was being held, said, “I never saw so many people so happy about nothing as these people are.” But to us the spiritual things are not ‘nothing,’ but are real blessings from the Lord. Therefore, we bend every effort to fellowship with the brethren and study God’s Word so that we can the better please him.


Those who are seeking for ‘glory, honour and immortality’ are instructed by the Scriptures to watch their thoughts and words and doings, and correct them when they are out of harmony with the admonitions of God’s Word. When we were justified to life, we were given, figuratively speaking, the robe of Christ’s righteousness picturing justification to life through faith in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. The Apostle James said, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”—James 1:27

Spots on the robe of righteousness would represent sins due to carelessness, not willful sins. The unavoidable Adamic sins are covered with the robe of righteousness, but the sins which are partly willful in that the new mind was not as alert as it should have been, or because it had failed to go to the throne of grace for help in overcoming, are partly covered by the robe—that part which is due to Adamic weakness. But the part which is due to thoughtlessness shows up as a spot on the robe.

For these partly willful sins, we are to go to the Lord and ask his special forgiveness. We thus remove the spots from our robes. We should be quick to go to the throne of grace to keep under the body, and in our hearts to grow in love, humility and sympathy.

Failures become stepping-stones in developing Christian character. This is in harmony with I Corinthians 11:31, where we are told, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” We should continually scrutinize our thoughts, words and doings, and correct our own faults and shortcomings so far as we are able. The Lord then will not have to give us special chastisements. We will be quick to observe the Lord’s leadings and to conform ourselves to his will in the little things as well as in the big things of life.

We are glad that the Lord is judging us according to our inner heart intentions, because it is our earnest desire to do his will in all of our affairs. When David was selected to be anointed as king, the Lord said to Samuel, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him [Eliab]: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (I Sam. 16:7) David’s heart was right with the Lord.

Others cannot read our hearts, but the Lord can. At a science museum there is a box containing an interesting display, but it is in a dark corner where the objects in the display box can be only dimly seen. But there is an electric switch which guests at the museum may push. The electric light in the box then lights up. Everything in the box can then be clearly seen. Likewise, the Lord can push a figurative button and see clearly all the inner motives of our hearts.

Let us seek to have our words unctuous at all times. This we can do if we continually seek to keep our hearts pure and continually bridle our tongues, as the Apostle James admonishes us to do. If we are not watchful, the old creature yielding to the tendencies of malice and hatred, reasserts itself in unkind words.

It is a great comfort, as we are seeking for glory and honor and immortality by patient continuance in well doing, to realize that God’s blessing is with us in our battlings with the world, the flesh and the Devil. We read in Psalm 17:8: “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” We know how quick we are to protect our eyes from possible injury. How good it is to know that the Lord, in the same way, is ready to protect us from spiritual injury, to watch all of our affairs and to overrule them for our eternal welfare.


We read about the warm friendship which existed between Jonathan and David. “It came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (I Sam. 18:1) This is a good picture of the warm friendship which exists among God’s people at the present time. The word ‘knit’ reminds us of how a sweater is made of wool, woven together by needles. So God’s people are closely bound together in the bonds of love.

In Hebrews 13:20,21 the apostle refers to the way in which we are knit together. The 21st verse reads, “make you perfect.” Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott translates this verse “knit you together.” We can, therefore, read this text as follows: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, knit you together in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.”

It is because we have the same hope, and are walking in the same narrow way, that we delight to come together in our meetings. We delight to speak about the things which knit us together. Malachi 3:16 reads, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.”

In the next verse the Lord says, “They shall be mine … in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” The Lord’s people are precious to him and he delights to have fellowship with them. We have also learned that the Lord’s people are like jewels. Jewels are scarce, and are required to be searched for, and to be washed from the mire before being prepared to refract the light. When they are polished they beautifully reflect the light shown upon them. And so we find in the brethren the noblest sentiments. They are continually reflecting the light of Christian love shown on them by means of the Holy Spirit, as a result of their living close to the Lord. If we have so much pleasure now in fellowshipping with the saints of God on this side of the veil, O what joy it will be to spend eternity with them and the Lord Jesus, while we are engaged in the great millennial work of lavishing blessings upon the world of mankind!

Jesus prayed often to his Heavenly Father. It was from these seasons of secret communion with God that he drew spiritual strength, consolation, and comfort. They were seasons of precious communion when he could open up his heart to the Father as to no one else; when he could tell him all his sorrows and burdens and fears; and when the Father manifested himself to him in tokens of loving approval and sustaining grace.

He is our example. Like Jesus we will learn obedience under adverse circumstances, through suffering. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Thus we know that we have a High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. In submitting ourselves wholly to this High Priest, we have the fullest assurance of his love, of his superior wisdom and grace, and his readiness to help. We know that the love of God for us, his children, is so great that he will be with us in very trial.

Thus, with the sympathetic and understanding help of our great High Priest, we can continue on in the narrow way—that way which leads to the glorious prize we so much desire, and are so earnestly seeking—the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. Relying on the Lord’s help, we need not become weary in well doing, but, instead, through patient continuance in well doing, we will at last—in the Lord’s own due time—obtain “glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.”—Rom. 2:7

Dawn Bible Students Association
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