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His Only Gift

A Testimony

by Wayne C. Bent (1987)

INTRODUCTION

Many religions today offer a way to salvation. Some propose a method of working one's way to the kingdom of God. Others propose that the way is by learning how not to sin. Still, others are just waiting around to see what will happen. They believe that when the Messiah comes He will get the worldly "mess" all straightened out. This book is the proposition that God has already straightened it out.

The coming of Christ, many centuries ago, provided the human race with a most wonderful gift. There are those who have received this gift through the centuries. There are many who do live the life He provided. Today, some are calling this gift the "spurious gift" and, in so doing, lose their own way as well as the way of all those who enter into their doubt.

Christ has given us something. He did not give us "trying" or "falling on occasion." No, He gave us victory and His own perfect obedience to His Father. I would like to invite the reader to enter into the pages of this book without resistance and objection. As you read this book, consider that this may be something you would like to consider. "Let it be" for the few hours it takes to read and digest the contents.

If you have considered that it may be dangerous to read this book, I would like to assure you that it is very dangerous. It may very well serve to destroy all the false ideas and dangerous heresies you have accepted through the years. It may very well liberate you from the pain and suffering with which you have so long lived. For those who love failure and sin, this book is not recommended. For those who would like to come into the light of Christ's own experience, this book will greatly benefit you.

The "spurious gift", in reality, is living in failure and sin on occasion. The "spurious gift" is the one that does not give you the life of Jesus, but only a life of trying and repenting while never fully realizing the power provided by a loving Savior. If you were hungry, would you like a wax apple or the genuine article? Many, today, provide a wax savior. Whenever these individuals taste to see if He is good, they cannot enjoy Him. Those who have tasted of this good gift "the genuine article" have no doubt that He is good. Come! Taste and see!

CHAPTER ONE

For thousands of years nothing has changed upon planet earth but the facade. I remember, as a young boy, looking forward to the future with so much hope. I imagined the wonderful things the future might bring. The flowers were so pungent and the blue skies excited my soul to the very depths. Simply lying on the grass watching the fluffy, white clouds pass overhead brought such ecstasy to me that I wondered how anything could be better. So it is and has been for generations that nature so easily pleases young return to those earlier carefree days. We long for the time when it was easier, before the light went out of those quiet, sensitive minds.

What is it that seems new and different as we hear of wars and rumors of wars? It is only new to us, for the battle fields were filled with the blood of generations long before our young heads came upon the scene. We grow up listening to the stories of great troubles and trials, disasters and conflicts which remain only the things of story books--until the day we feel the pain that tells us something is wrong indeed. "I hurt," and so deeply we do hurt. What is this thing that makes the scent of flower and field drift into the past in a distant memory never more to be quite as wonderful as those early days?

As disappointments come and suffering takes its toll upon our senses, we look for ways in which we might return to those earlier carefree days. We long for the timewhen it was easier, before the light went out of those quiet sensitive times. Indeed, for some, those times of joy may have never existed, for their suffering began from the beginning. With others it seems the light never did go out. But in the quiet of their closet they know all things are not right within. Their hope is still that they might find something. The irony is that we have made the world as it is and humans work to guarantee a world such as this. Men even hire preachers to preach this kind of world to them. "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" (Jeremiah 5:31.)

The World Loves To Fight

The world belies the hope of peace. Whoever listens to the news or opens a newspaper cannot help but see the truth regarding the condition of the earthly mind. It is as if suffering were the goal. It seems some view suffering as their purpose and if they could only suffer then their life would be worthwhile. Why is it we worship the disaster of man to such a degree? Why is it the human family loves to talk and read of disaster seemingly hoping for its appearance? In fact, they put forth every effort to insure its happening. Why is it men speak of getting better and hoping to get better but, in reality, never move a muscle to accomplish the fact? Yes, it seems this is the condition of the natural man. He is always hoping, always trying and ever slipping further into the culmination of his own destruction.

Mankind continues to build castles that someday, perhaps in the future or a future life, they will get better. Others see themselves as God working out karma and when that is over then things will be better. Still others cease thinking of these things as they bury themselves in parties, drugs, alcohol or other emotion-altering mechanisms to escape their reality. Anyone who must alter his emotions with some device gives evidence his life is not working and the "happiness" story is only a story. When people are unhappy and their lives cannot produce that peace they desire, they opt for the illusion as second best to cope until things get better. Humanity seems to try so hard for earthly glory. They hold this up as their badge of worth. The irony is that when these pass from the scene their bodies lie naked and dead as the man who had no glory and lies naked and dead. Death--the great equalizer. All men are made equal once the worms begin to make work of the carcass. Great wealth and honor are only imagined for a moment of time, for all men return to the dust with no more in their hand than that with which they came. The final blow to the human ego is that when we leave the scene of action few remember us on any practical level. They may look through the pictures one day, or remember that we were once on the scene, but it is only a fleeting memory. Think for a moment, do those who have passed from this earth really take that much of your daily thought? Does not the world go on much as it did before? Does the world really care?

God Has Given A Gift

God has seen our woes that we have made for ourselves on this celestial ball and given us a gift far too precious to put into words. Anything that could be said would not tell the whole truth of His sacrifice and intercession for us. Truly all those pains, sufferings and failures have been dealt with in this gift of heaven. His only gift is the gift of His own life. This subject may be far too wonderful for any of us to comprehend fully, but if we will but take a moment and look, we may see far more than we could have previously imagined. This is the purpose of this book. As you understand His only gift you will see the purpose of your past life and the glory of your future.

Men have tried religion for generations to make things seem better but, at last, mere religion is the culprit and designer of the destruction of man. The gift of God transcends the works of men in their religious pomp and ceremony. To some, the greatest thing that can be said of their religion is that they go to church. Going to church has been the great counterfeit of the age. Some suppose that this is the extent of religious experience. I want to assure you that the gift of God is not only more than that--it is different than that.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16. When I started going to church as a young boy this was the first verse I learned from the Bible. This was the most often quoted verse I heard for many years, but I did not know what it meant for a generation. How is it that what has been called Christianity has done such an efficient job of making this verse so meaningless?

The only hope for earthly men is to understand and claim the truth of this verse for themselves. The only way we will ever give ourselves the meaning of life we want is to make the truth of this verse a reality in our own experience. Only then will we find the answer to the beauty of nature and the joy of life once again. Life may not be as it was when we were children, but when we understand this verse, it will be better than it was. There is an answer to all our heart's desires, but it can be seen that the world's methods of attaining these desires do not work. Money cannot attain it, neither can war finally end all of life's threats. But these lessons are never learned by earthly-minded men, for they go on building engines of their own destruction just as before. Never before in the history of the world have men had such destructive capability. If history proves anything, it is that man never learns the lessons of his own futility, but goes on as if bigger bombs were the answer. Mankind thinks the reason bombs didn't work to end all war before is that our bombs were too small. Man cannot see that the end of it all is to destroy every living being. Some imagine they would survive and be the undisputed rulers of the planet. The only problem with that is, the survivors would once again make enemies of each other and would battle until there would only be one lonely soul who would commit suicide as a result of his loneliness. It is true that the problem would be solved but, then, there would be no reason now to have the problem solved. Is it not much better to love one's brother whatever his nationality? This is only possible with God's only gift.

God Loves

"For God so loved the world...." Surely everyone must have heard that from the earliest times of his life. Someone must have said that to us at some time or other, but not one who builds bombs to destroy humanity knows that. Not one who yells at his wife or her husband knows that. No one who loses patience with their young children knows that. No one who has ill feelings against his employer for some supposed mistreatment understands that God loves the world. "For God so loved the world...." There is only a remnant of human beings who believe this in any practical way. If one would take an hour each day and contemplate that he is truly loved by God, it would significantly change his ideas as to the nature of his own persecution. He would also find the strength to treat others in a far different way than he does. Being loved is the answer to loving.

His Only Born Son

"He gave His own begotten Son." God's Son is His only gift. This Son speaks of Himself in Proverbs 8:22-26: "The Lord made me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old; I was poured out from ages past, from the beginning, before the earth was. When there were no depths, I was born; when there were no springs abundantly flowing; before the mountains settled down. I was brought forth before the hills; when the earth and the field were yet unmade as well as the first dust particles of the world." (RBV). Obviously, this birth was not an earthly one according to His own words. The Son speaks of being born before anything created. Even the particles of dust came after this great happening. This Son, born of the family of God, inherited a better name (God).

This Son of God had many names in Scripture, one of which is Wisdom. (1 Cor. 1:24). This Wisdom of God (His Son) tells of the love of the world that He has. "My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my increase than choice silver. In the way of righteousness I walk firmly in the midst of the paths of justice, in order to bestow real substance upon those loving me, and I will fill their treasuries." Proverbs 8:19-21 (RBV). His great work is to bring salvation and abundance to the children of men. This only begotten (born) Son of God has riches in His hands and loving kindness to bestow upon all those who will receive it. It will not be the destroyers of the earth who receive this gift. It will not be those who strive to be the greatest till all lie dead upon the earth. It will be those who submit to the loving rule of the Son--God's only begotten gift of God.

Whoever Believes

"That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Proverbs 8:32-36 goes on to bring to light the benefits of this everlasting life. "Therefore now, O sons, listen to me; for happy are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction, be wise, and do not refuse it. Happy is the man listening to me, watching daily at my gates, keeping watch at my doorposts. For the one finding me finds life, and wins approval from the Lord. But the one missing me does violence to his own soul; all those hating me love death." The only ones who can truly love life are those who love the Son. This One born of God is the great gift sought after by many but found by few. The masses simply hope and look for something better one day. God's only Son (His only gift) is presented to us as the only life there is. This life, this eternal life has been offered to us as a gift. It cannot be worked up, it cannot be tried, no one can go to church for it. It has to be received. There is no other way. When it is received we live the very life of the Son of God. While living this life a man cannot sin, he cannot fall, he cannot fail, for victory is His only gift.

The discouragement of man and the falling of man has been felt with keen sensitivity by the Son. Our welfare has been the great object of His attention. Since we had failed in this life and polluted this planet with our own designs, He came to save us and deliver us. Almost two thousand years ago this Son was born again into earthly flesh. He was born of woman with the human nature we all are born with. He had come to conquer the evil that beset our race. This gift of God given for us would provide the necessities of humanity. He would give us His own victory. If Jesus would have wanted a mere worship of Himself as God, He would have come in glory, but that would not have given us salvation. It would have merely created an assent to Him.

Was Jesus Really Like Us?

The Son took the name Jesus, "For He shall save His people from their sins." Matt. 1:21. Jesus (Savior) came to bring us back to the harmony of God's perfect universe. There are those who say Jesus was not born like us but, instead, He had a special body. (They say His body was a kind of super body and this idea Scripture defines as antichrist. See 2 John 7). Yes, Jesus came in the flesh. He came to gain the victory in our flesh and give that victory to us so that we might live His life in the flesh. Jesus did not give us the victory that a man with a super body has or the victory a god has, but the victory a man has while living in the flesh trusting in God. God's own everlasting life is given to all who receive it. This is not part-time life. It is not part life. No, this is God's own life and His only gift to us. If we receive that, believe in that, trust in that, then it is ours.

God has seen our trials and He has seen the only solution. The solution to our trials and suffering is not a political one. It will not come if we get the right leader in government. It will not come if we join the right church. Neither will it come if we pass the right laws. The biggest bomb will not secure it. This joy and peace will only come with His life. It will only come with His gift. It will only come in our being restored to harmony with the laws of God. These laws are the very nature of God and these laws are the Wisdom of God. There is provision for all life's sorrows and difficulties. The choice belongs to man alone, for the Gift has already been provided.

Yes, we lose some of the newness of nature we may have had as a young child. We are not as aware of the smells and colors of those early years, but the gift of God gives us a far greater appreciation in far more meaningful ways. I have received this gift and I want to share with you that these are no idle tales. God is who He said He is and His gift is what He said it was. God has given us His only born Son and His Son has given His everlasting life to all who will receive it.


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