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8.  How Christ Abides with Believers to the End of the Age, and Whether He Abides with Them After that Consummation.

Some may very likely and not unreasonably ask, whether, when all the days of this age are over, there will no longer be any one to say, “Lo, I am with you,” with those, namely, who received Him till the fulfilment of the age, for the “until” seems to indicate a certain limit of time.  To this we must say that the phrase, “I am with you,” is not the same as “I am in you.”  We might say more properly that the Saviour was not in His disciples but with them, so 386long as they had not arrived in their minds at the consummation of the age.  But when they see to be at hand, as far as their effort is concerned, the consummation of the world which is crucified to them, then Jesus will be no longer with them, but in them, and they will say, “It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me,”50135013    Gal. ii. 20. and “If ye seek a proof of Christ that speaketh in me.”50145014    2 Cor. xiii. 3.  In saying this we are keeping for our part also to the ordinary interpretation which makes the “always” the time down to the consummation of the age, and are not asking more than is attainable to human nature as it is here.  That interpretation may be adhered to and justice yet be done to the “I.”  He who is with His disciples who are sent out to teach all the nations, until the consummation, may be He who emptied Himself and took the form of a servant, and yet afterwards may be another in point of state; afterwards He may be such as He was before He emptied Himself, until all His enemies are made by His Father the footstool of His feet; and after this, when the Son has delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, it may be the Father who says to them, “Behold, I am with you.”  But whether it is “all the days” up to that time, or simply “all the days,” or not “all days” but “every day,” any one may consider that likes.  Our plan does not allow us at present to digress so far.


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