Brethren Archive


by Inglis Fleming

1 “The Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God” (John 16:27).

2. “The Spirit Himself maketh intercession . . . for the saints according to God” (Romans 8:26).

3. “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

In these and other passages the position of the word translated “Himself,” is at the beginning of the utterance in the original Greek, in order to lend emphasis to the statement of the truth—and so, to engage our thoughts with the Person presented in the communication.

Let us consider these three passages briefly, showing as they do that the whole Trinity of the Godhead is deeply interested in our welfare.

John 16:27 is a remarkable utterance and it stands in remarkable association in its context.

The Lord Jesus was about to leave His loved ones and in view of so doing, comforts them with His ministry concerning the coming and abiding presence of the other Comforter. But,—to their astonishment, surely,—He says, “I say unto you, that I shall pray the Father for you.”

He does not say that He will not do so, but He does say that He will not pledge Himself thus to intercede on their behalf. We can understand the surprise for the moment, which might be theirs at such a pronouncement. But the further words that fell from their Master’s lips must have relieved their fears, as He added, “For the Father Himself”—


loveth you.” He would have them in the joy of that deep, rich, especial love. He desired that its warmth might be known by them. Thus He would not pledge Himself to act as a go-between them and the Father. He would have them enter into the inmost sanctuary of the Father’s affection. They were the objects of the Father’s esteem in a special way because they loved the Son and had believed that He came out from God.

Blessed indeed is our portion if we have believed on Him. We share in the Father’s love—the love of the Father Himself. And that love is measured only by the love of the Father to the Son. “That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (17:26). That love is now our home, our rest for ever. But it is to be known even in the midst of a world where the Father and the Son are alike unknown, and where we are opposed by “the flesh” within and by “the world” around, and tempted by the prince of the world—the devil.

With this in view happy it is to know that the other Comforter, now here, is within our hearts to lead us into the same peace and joy which our Lord knew. And “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” We need not yield an inch of our ground, nor give up one iota of the truth. Though we remain in, and part of, a groaning creation, His strength is all-sufficient for us. Walking in the Spirit we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh, we shall overcome the world, we shall keep ourselves so that the wicked one touch us not. And He,


intercedes for us, making intercession according to God. He knows the difficulties we have to encounter, He is aware of every twist and turn of the road. And He having come to take care of us on behalf of Christ, and being able to estimate perfectly the need in which we stand day by day,

“Prays the prayers within us,

We cannot ask or think,

The deep unspoken language,

Known only to that love

That fathoms the heart’s mysteries

From the heights of heaven above.”

Himself—the Holy Spirit—within us. How wonderful! Our bodies His temple, now to be used to display something of Christ, that that which came out in Him in all its fullness may be seen in some measure in us in our lives while here.

To this end He sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts, is the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” “the Spirit of Sonship.”

He is enough for all our pathway through the world, and amid the gathering darkness of apostasy we may be strong in the Lord and in the might of His strength, and so be overcomers here where Christ has been and is refused.

Happy thought for us who are “strangers and pilgrims” now that our Lord is coming again. And “He that comes will come and will not delay.” We hear His promise in John 14, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” He desires the presence of His own in the Father’s house. And He will return to secure that gracious and glorious end. And it is He who will come for them.


will descend into the air and with His assembling shout summons them into His presence to be for ever with Himself.

For this in His love He died for us—“that we might live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:10). This glorious consummation we await.

A servant being sent to meet a little niece of his master’s, and having done so, said, “If the master had loved his niece very much he would have gone himself, and not sent a servant for her.”

Such is our Master’s love that no servant—no man or angel or archangel may be sent to bring His loved ones home; He, Himself, will come for them. His love will allow of nothing less. And as we hear Him say, “Yea, I come quickly,” responsively, we say, “Yea, come Lord Jesus.”

And until He comes He will order everything for our good and blessing. Wonderful, indeed, is our portion as believers. The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit all for us. Well may we exclaim, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” and rejoice in the intimacy of His concern on our behalf. Thus shall we be kept in quietness amidst the turmoil of the passing age, Himself the Lord giving us peace always by all means” (2 Thess. 3:16).


S.T. 1932

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