From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry of Richard D Swift publishing the sermons of Rev Reed A Swift (1899-1973), a holiness preacher
The following sermon was preached in the Free Methodist Churches of Yale, Ball, Buel, Port Huron, Sarvia, Midland, Carsonville, Elmer, and Caro Michigan (1929-'33); 1st FM Church of LA, Hermon, and Glendale, California (1933-'35); Cottage Grove, Indiana; W.LosAngeles, and W Hollywood, California (1935-'38); Santa Monica, California; Phoenix, Arizona (1938-'39); and Lydiaville and Jonesville, Lousiana (1943-'44).
Cross Bearing for Us
"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up."
Introduction: We might say as Moses exalted [lifted up] the serpent so it could be seen, so must Christ be exalted thru death. The biting of the Israelites by the serpents (Numbers 21:1-9) naturally represents the effects of sin that torments the conscience and inflames the soul with the apprehension or thought of future judgement. And the erecting upon a pole of a brazen serpent that had the figure and not the poison of those serpents does in a living manner represent the lifting up of Jesus Christ upon the cross, who only had the similitude of sinful flesh, but knew no sin.
The looking toward the brazen serpent is a fit resemblance of believing in Christ crucified for our salvation. The sight of the eye was the only means to derive virtue from it; and the faith of the heart is the only means by which sovereign efficacy of our Redeemer is conveyed.
John 6:40- "This is the will of Him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life."
As the poison was shooting thru the veins of the rebellious Israelites, so is the poison of sin shooting thru the veins of rebellious professors and sinners today. And as the brazen serpent was without poison, so Jesus looking like a man and yet without the poison of sin in His veins is able to save you.
To look and believe in either case is stumbling to human reasoning. The brazen serpent was an offence to some of the Israelites no doubt as the cross is to people of today.
Jesus gave Himself on the cross that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.
Tried, refined, free from deceit.
People don't want to be purified or don't like the purifying. I don't mind dealing with a backslider, but it is hard to deal with a hypocrite.
1. Gold that doesn't have the ring or won't stand the test. It is natural to be good when free from dross as it is natural to be devilish when not free.
2. Silver must be purged. The silversmith and his image at the mint. The coin is circulated and becomes a blessing if used properly.
3. Pottery or dishes, put in the kiln hand painted, must stand the test. Almost melt. The second time they shine.
4. Iron ore is melted and refined for pig iron. Pig iron is melted for steel, and if it won't stand the test, it is scrapped.
In the temple there are vessels of gold, silver, wood, clay, etc. Some to honor and some some to dishonor. Some gold vessels to dishonor while wood or clay to honor. Cut glass may be hid away while a tin cup may be for honor though battered and worn. God will not look us over as church members or learned but if pure and serviceable; not for sheepskins and diplomas but for scars in the battle.
In the pool of Siloam, when the waters were troubled, whosoever got in could be cured of whatsoever disease they had. Whosever takes me in; whatsoever takes in whatever ails me.
Richard D Swift