By Elder Larry Wise

    We sometimes make promises with full intentions of keeping them, but through circumstances or fleshly weakness we may not fulfill them.  However, God is quite the opposite as He never makes a promise which He will not fulfill.  The Bible tells us, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”  (II Cor. 1:20).  His promises are not yea and nay but are yea and Amen. Amen finishes a prayer, and it finishes the promises of God; it finishes His promises in that they will be performed without fail.

We sometimes are discontent with our lives and through fleshly weakness become quite covetous in our earthly lives, but this ignores the promise of God which states, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  (Heb. 13:5).  Our conversation (deportment, character, manner of living) when lived out in a scriptural manner should be without any form of covetousness because of this precious promise of God.  The God of heaven sees every sparrow when it falls, but we are told not to fear because we are of more value than many sparrows.  He has provided something for us as His children that He hasn’t provided for sparrows.  He has provided the Lord Jesus as our Saviour who redeemed us and will one day take us home to heaven.  He will never utterly and eternally forsake His children.

There were sacrifices of many animals under the Levitical Priesthood but they could never take away sins.  Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, but it was not the blood of animals; it was the precious blood of Christ which took away the sins of God’s family never to be remembered; those sins are taken away as far as the east is from the west.  Jesus arose from the dead, having satisfied God’s Divine law, and sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high; it was He (by Himself) that purged our sins.  He will never need to make that sacrifice again because that one sinless offering was enough to perfect the saints.  “For by one offering he  hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”  (Heb. 10:14).  The sanctified (set apart) are perfected because Jesus Christ has completed or accomplished the work of redemption.  He finished the work the Father gave Him to do.

We don’t have to worry about the redeemed family of God, of which we hope to be a part, failing to be there at the right hand of God and inheriting the kingdom prepared for them before the foundation of the world.  Jesus declares, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”  (John 10:27-28).  Jesus promises, “…because I live, ye shall live also.”  (John 14:19).  These sheep do not all follow Him in discipleship, but they do all follow Him in regeneration when He calls them forth, and they will also follow Him when He calls them from the grave to their ultimate destiny to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

There is a kingdom in heaven prepared before the foundation of the world, but there is also a kingdom here in the world prepared for the benefit of the redeemed while on earth.  It was promised long ago, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”  (Dan. 2:44).  There may have been times that it seemed like there was no light as it was in the Dark Ages, but this kingdom was promised never to be destroyed; the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  Zion is the city of our solemnities; it is a quiet habitation; a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed; neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.  (See Isa. 33:20).

Contrast God’s promises with the promises of sinful man and we find Peter as a classic example.  When Jesus told the disciples that all of them would be offended because of Him before the night was out, Peter spoke up and said, “…Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” (Matt. 26:33).  Peter was confronted on three different occasions as he warmed himself by the fires of the wicked and declared each and every time that He did not know Jesus of Nazareth.  The third time He denied the Lord He heard the cock crow and went out and wept bitter tears because this had happened just exactly as Jesus said it would happen.  Peter did not fulfill his promise to never be offended.  However, Jesus (God made manifest in the flesh) would fulfill His promise to never leave or forsake Peter.  The promise of Peter was truly yea and nay, but the promises of God are in Him yea and Amen!