And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God—Rev. 20: 4.
Although this beheading is figurative and not literal, it nevertheless has a deep significance. … It signifies, not only death to self-will but also to be cut off from all other heads, governments and law-givers, and to recognize no "Head" but Jesus, whom God has appointed to be the Head of the Church, which is His Body—the Head of every member of it. It means not only to be cut off from institutional heads and authorities but also to cease to have heads and wills of our own, and to accept, instead, the Headship, the will, of our Lord Jesus. It is the same thought that is drawn to our attention by the Apostle in Rom. 6: 3, where he declares that the Little Flock have been baptized into the Body of Christ, as members of that Body, under the one Head, Christ, by being baptized into His death—a full consecration of the wills, and a full laying down of the lives, faithfully unto death.
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The beheading here meant cannot refer to a literal beheading; for that would exclude Jesus, Peter, Stephen, John and Thomas from the Little Flock, of whom we have inspired evidence that they overcame. Doubtless it would exclude many others from it who are of it. It must, therefore, be a symbolic beheading, i.e., a giving up of natural hearts, minds and wills, so that Jesus can be taken in His heart, mind and will as the Head. We undergo and maintain this beheading on account of our allegiance to the Truth, which describes God and Christ in relation to our and the world's salvation.
Parallel passages: Matt. 13: 44-46; Rom. 6: 3-11, 16, 19; 12: 1-5; 2Cor. 8: 12; Matt. 7: 21-23; Mark 10: 35-39; 12: 42, 43; Acts 18: 5; Rom. 10: 9-11; 1John 1: 6; Rev. 6: 11.
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? What were the circumstances and results?
"IN DUE TIME"
IN Thy due time, our Heavenly Father, shall be
Thy gracious plan, which now is hid
Except unto thy saints alone.
O glorious day, when Thine All-wisdom, justice,
power and love,
The whole creation shall approve!
In His due time, O blessed Jesus, Thou shalt see
The travail of Thy soul, and shalt
Be satisfied eternally;
Thine agony on Calvary,—the price that Thou didst
Shall cause the dead again to live!
In God's due time, O pilgrim on the "narrow way,"
Thy painful journey ended, darkest
Night shall turn to brightest day;
Thine every trial, then, thine every tear, shall prove
To beautify thy diadem!
In His due time, O weary, groaning, sin-cursed Earth,
The Lord will wipe away thy tears,
And bring the promised "second birth;"
And there shall be no pain, nor any death in that
When sin and sorrow flee away!
In His due time angelic choirs shall sing again
In grander strain that heavenly message,
"Peace on earth, good will toward men!"
And every knee shall bow, and every loving heart
The Christ who comes to reign and bless!
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