In not a few instances the Scriptures possess both a literal and a mystical force: Example 3

The propriety of the apostle’s spiritual interpretation of Psalm 19:4, is at once apparent, and it supplies us with an invaluable key for the opening of what immediately follows. In the light of Messianic predictions it is quite clear that what is said in verses 5 and 6 is to be understood, ultimately, of Christ Himself, for in Malachi 4:2, He is expressly called “the Sun of righteousness,” who should “arise with healing in His wings.” As the sun is a celestial body, so the Savior is not a product of the earth (John 8:23), but is “the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47). Thus the Psalmist went on to say, “In them [the heavens] hath He set a tabernacle for the sun.” Attention is focused upon the central luminary in the firmament, all the lesser ones being as it were lost sight of. So it is in the Gospel: one central Object alone is set forth and magnified therein. As the heavens, particularly the sun, exhibit the natural glory of God, so the Gospel, in its revelation of the Son, makes manifest the moral glory of God. Most appropriately is the Gospel likened to a “tabernacle” or tent (rather than a fixed temple), for as Israel’s of old, so it both contains and yet veils Christ’s glory, and is designed to move freely from place to place, rather than be stationary.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The third kind of death is the consummation of the other two…..eternal death

The third kind of death is the consummation of the other two. It is eternal death. It is the execution of the legal sentence; it is the consummation of the spiritual death. Eternal death is the death of the soul, it takes place after the body has been laid in the grave, after the soul has departed from it. If legal death be terrible, it is because of its consequences; and if spiritual death be dreadful, it is because of that which shall succeed it. The two deaths of which we have spoken are the roots, and that death which is to come is the flower thereof. Oh! had I words that I might this morning attempt to depict to you what eternal death is. The soul has come before its Maker, the book has been opened, the sentence has been uttered; “Depart ye cursed” has shaken the universe, and made the very spheres dim with the frown of the Creator; the soul has departed to the depths where it is to dwell with others in eternal death. Oh! how horrible is its position now. Its bed is a bed of flame, the sights it sees are murdering ones that affright its spirit, the sounds it hears are shrieks, and wails, and moans, and groans; all that its body knows is the infliction of miserable pain! it has the possessor of unutterable woe, of unmitigated misery. The soul looks up. Hope is extinct-it is gone. It looks downward in dread and fear; remorse hath possessed its soul. It looks on the right hand-and the adamantine walls of fate keep it within its limits of torture. It looks on the left-and there the rampart of blazing fire forbids the sealing ladder of e’en a dreamy speculation of escape. It looks within and seeks for consolation there, but a gnawing worm hath entered into the soul. It looks about it-it has no friends to aid, no comforters, but tormentors in abundance. It knoweth nought of hope of deliverance; it hath heard the everlasting key of destiny turning in its awful wards, and it hath seen God take that key and hurl it down into the depth of eternity never to be formed again. It hopeth not; it knoweth no escape; it guesseth not of deliverance; it pants for death, but death is too much its foe to be there, it longs that non-existence would swallow it up, but this eternal death is worse than annihilation. It pants for extermination as the laborer for his Sabbath; it longs that it might be swallowed up in nothingness just as would the galley slave long for freedom, but it cometh not -it is eternally dead. When eternity shall have rolled round multitudes of its everlasting cycles it shall still be dead. For-ever knoweth no end; eternity cannot be spelled except in eternity. Still the soul seeth written o’er its head, “Thou art damned for ever.” It heareth howlings that are to be perpetual; it seeth flames which are unquenchable; it knoweth pains that are unmitigated; it hears a sentence that rolls not like the thunder of earth which soon is hushed-but onward, onward, onward, shaking the echoes of eternity-making thousands of years shake again with the horrid thunder of its dreadful sound-”Depart! depart! depart ye cursed!” This is the eternal death.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 20

20. Though a believer’s right to the use of the Lord’s Supper do immediately flow from Jesus Christ apprehended and received by faith; yet in as much as all things ought to be done not only decently, but also in order; I Cor. 14:40, and the word holds forth this order, that disciples should be baptized, Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38, and then be taught to observe all things (that is to say, all other things) that Christ commanded the Apostles, Matt. 28:20, and accordingly the Apostles first baptized disciples, and then admitted them to the use of the Supper; Acts 2:41,42, we therefore do not admit any to the use of the Supper, nor communicate with any in the use of this ordinance, but disciples baptized, lest we should have fellowship with them in their doing contrary to order.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 122

TO REV. A. A. REES

CLAPHAM, April 14.

MY DEAR FRIEND, —

Thanks for check £2 10s. and thanks also for your good word. Oh! For divine keeping evermore, for it is as you say — one turning aside, and a life-long testimony is marred. Yet it shall not be so seeing we abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Yours ever heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Duty of Gratitude for Divine Grace: Blessings of Grace: Sanctification- Book Seventh- Chapter 3- Section 5

Book Seventh

CHAPTER III.

SECTION V.–SANCTIFICATION.

THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTINUES TO SANCTIFY THOSE WHOM HE HAS REGENERATED, AND FINALLY PREPARES THEM FULLY FOR THE HOLY SERVICE AND ENJOYMENT OF HEAVEN.[160]

Regeneration is the beginning of sanctification, but the work is not completed at the outset. A new affection is produced in the heart, but it does not govern without opposition. The love of the world, the love of self, and all the carnal appetites and passions, have reigned in the heart; and the power of habit gives them a controlling influence, which is not readily yielded. Hence arises the warfare of which every regenerate man is conscious: the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.[161] In this struggle, the carnal propensities often threaten to prevail, and they would prevail, if God did not give a supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. “Without me,” said Jesus, “ye can do nothing.”[162] If severed from the living vine, the branches are sapless, fruitless, dead. But “he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit;”[163] and the Spirit of life from Christ, the head, flows through all the members of his body, and gives and preserves their vitality. This Spirit in them lusteth against the flesh, and enables them to carry on their warfare, and gives them final victory: “He that hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”[164]

As in the beginning, so in the progress of the work, the Holy Spirit operates by direct and by indirect influence. The indirect influence is by means of the truth. With reference to this, the Saviour prayed: “Sanctify them through thy truth;”[165] and, with reference to it, the Scriptures connect “belief of the truth,” with “sanctification of the Spirit;”[166] and speak of the heart being purified by faith.[167] The direct influence fixes the affections on the truth; or, in the language of Scripture, “writes the law in the heart.”[168] The mode in which this direct influence is exerted, we cannot explain; but the result is, that the truth produces its proper effect, which otherwise it would fail to accomplish, through the depravity of the heart. Our carnal affections tend to shut out the truth from the heart; hence Christ said; “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?”[169] While carnal affections tend to prevent the proper influence of the truth, the Spirit exercises an opposite influence, and “lusts against the flesh.” As this influence gives the word an efficacy which it would not otherwise possess, it is something superadded to the intrinsic power of the word. For this direct influence, the Psalmist prays: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law;”[170] and for this, the prayers recorded in the New Testament were offered: “Lord, increase our faith.”[171] “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”[172] This influence operated on the two disciples, when their understandings were opened, that they understood the Scriptures.[173] This influence is prayed for by every child of God, when, as he opens the Bible, he prays that what he is about to read, may be blessed to the good of his soul. And it is prayed for by the faithful minister of the gospel, and by every devout hearer, when at the beginning of a sermon, they ask God to make his truth effectual.

Besides the word of truth, the dispensations of Providence are used by the Holy Spirit, as means of sanctification. Afflictions are often blessed to the spiritual good of God’s people. David says: “Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word.”[174] These afflictions are chastisements which our heavenly Father employs, to make us partakers of his holiness.”[175] In themselves, afflictions have no sanctifying efficacy, and many who are tried by them, are incited to greater hatred of God; but the Holy Spirit accompanies them to the believer with a sanctifying power, and uses them to wean his affections from the world, and fix them on God. When outward things either cease to give him enjoyment, or produce positive grief and pain, he finds within him a source of happiness, in the exercise of faith and hope in God. Hence, in his darkest hours, as to worldly prosperity, the believer sometimes finds his prospects of heaven most clear, and his foretaste of future blessedness most delightful.

[160] 2 Thess. ii. 13; 1 Pet. i. 2; 1 Cor. vi. 11; 2 Cor. iii. 18; Mal. iii. 3; Eph. v. 26; Tit. ii. 14; Prov. iv. 18; Phil. i. 6; 1 John iii. 2.

[161] Gal. v. 17.

[162] John xv. 5.

[163] 1 Cor. vi. 17.

[164] Phil. i. 6.

[165] John xvii. 17.

[166] 2 Thess. ii. 13.

[167] Acts xv. 9.

[168] Heb. x. 16.

[169] John v. 44.

[170] Ps. cxix. 18.

[171] Luke xvii. 5.

[172] Mark ix. 24.

[173] Luke xxiv. 45.

[174] Ps. cxix. 67.

[175] Heb. xii. 10.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

In not a few instances the Scriptures possess both a literal and a mystical force: Example 2

Ministers of Christ are designated “stars” (Daniel 12:3; Revelation 1:20), for as the stars illumine all parts of the earth, so evangelical messengers scatter the rays of light and truth upon the darkness of an ungodly world. And as there is no speech or language where the voice of the celestial stars is not heard, for they are so many tongues proclaiming the glory of their Maker, so the ministers of Christ have, at different periods of history, heralded God’s good news in every human tongue. On the day of Pentecost men of many nations heard God’s servants speak in their own tongues the wonderful works of God, so that even then the line of the apostles’ testimony “went through all the earth” (Acts 2:9-11, and cf. Colossians 1:5, 6, 23).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Men by nature are spiritually dead

But, besides being legally dead, we are also spiritually dead. For not only did the sentence pass in the book but it passed in the heart; it entered the conscience; it operated on the soul, on the Judgment, on the imagination, and on everything. “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” was not only fulfilled by the sentence recorded, but by something which took place in Adam. Just as, in a certain moment, when this body shall die, the blood stops, the pulse ceases, the breath no longer comes from the lungs, so in the day that Adam did eat that fruit his soul died; his imagination lost its mighty power to climb into celestial things and see heaven his will lost its power always to choose that which is good, his judgment lost all ability to judge between right and wrong decidedly and infallibly, though something was retained in conscience, his memory became tainted, liable to hold evil things, and let righteous things glide away; every power of him ceased as to its moral vitality. Goodness was the vitality of his powers-that departed. Virtue, holiness, integrity, these were the life of man; but when these departed man became dead; and now, every man, so far as spiritual things are concerned, is “dead in trespasses and sins,” spiritually. Nor is the soul less dead in a carnal man, than the body is when committed to the grave, it is actually and positively dead-not by a metaphor, for Paul speaketh not in metaphor when he affirms, “You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” But my hearers, again, I would I could preach to your hearts concerning this subject. It was bad enough when I described death as having been recorded; but now I speak of it as having actually taken place in your hearts. Ye are not what ye once were; ye are not what ye were in Adam, not what ye were created. Man was made pure and holy. Ye are not the perfect creatures of which some boast; ye are altogether fallen, ye have gone out of the way, ye have become corrupt and filthy. Oh! listen not to the siren song of those who tell you of your moral dignity, and your mighty elevation in matters of salvation. You are not perfect; that great word, “ruin,” is written on your heart; and death is stamped upon your spirit. Do not conceive. O moral man that thou wilt be able to stand before God in thy morality, for thou art nothing but a carcase embalmed in legality, a corpse arrayed in some fine robes, but still corrupt in God’s sight. And think not, O thou possessor of natural religion! that thou mayest by thine own might and power make thyself acceptable to God. Why, man! thou art dead! and thou mayest array the dead as gloriously as thou pleasest, but still it would be a solemn mockery. There lieth queen Cleopatra-put the crown upon her head, deck her in royal robes, let her sit in state; but what a cold chill runs through you when you pass by her. She is fair now, even in her death-but how horrible it is to stand by the side even of a dead queen, celebrated for her majestic beauty! So you may be glorious in your beauty, hair, and amiable, and lovely, you put the crown of honesty upon your head, and wear about you all the garments of uprightness, but unless God has quickened thee, O man! unless the Spirit has had dealings with thy soul, thou art in God’s sight as obnoxious as the chilly corpse is to thyself: Thou wouldst not choose to live with a corpse sitting at thy table; nor doth God love that thou shouldst be in his sight. He is angry with thee every day, for thou art in sin -thou art in death. Oh! believe this, take it to thy soul, appropriate it, for it is most true that thou art dead, spiritually as well as legally.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855