THE HAND OF THE SON
In verse 28 the Lord kept saying, “And no one shall snatch them out of My hand.” This speaks of the Lord’s hand. His hand indicates the keeping power of the divine life.
In the New Testament the divine power, the divine strength, is related to grace. When Paul prayed for the removal of the thorn, the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). This indicates clearly that, according to the New Testament, strength is equal to grace. As we have mentioned a number of times, grace is God in Christ as our enjoyment. This powerful grace is the hand that holds us and preserves us. Therefore, the hand of Christ is actually the grace of Christ. We are upheld by Christ’s grace.
Many Christians know from reading John 10:28 that they are held by Christ’s hand, but they may not realize what this hand is. Some may say, “The Lord is almighty, and He is able to preserve us in all circumstances.” Yes, the Lord is almighty, but sometimes it seems that His hand does not keep us from certain things. For example, the Lord’s hand may not keep a sister from spending too much time in shopping, or keep a brother from participating in a certain form of worldly entertainment. How can we be preserved from such things? Actually, we are preserved not by the mighty Christ, but by the Christ of grace. This grace is the Christ who is the life we enjoy. This means that if we enjoy the Lord’s shepherding in life, in this life there will be a power to keep us from being snatched away by Satan.
Many of us would admit that in the past it seemed that we were kept away from the Lord by certain things. When we examine our experience, we shall realize that we were kept away from the Lord whenever we were not enjoying Christ as our life supply. Whenever we fail to enjoy Christ inwardly as our life supply, in a practical way we are not in the Lord’s keeping hand. Then the subtle one comes in and keeps us away. But when we enjoy Christ as life and are under His shepherding in life as we lie in the pasture and feed on the rich Christ, we are protected in the Lord’s hand of grace. Then nothing can snatch us away. We are preserved not by the almighty God; we are preserved by Christ, the life-giving Spirit, who is our life. As we enjoy Him and remain under His shepherding, we are kept in His hand.
THE HAND OF THE FATHER
In verse 29 the Lord speaks concerning the Father’s hand: “My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” The hand of the Father, who is greater than all, signifies the keeping power of the divine love.
Elsewhere we have pointed out that grace and love are not two separate matters, but are two aspects of one thing. Love is in the Father. When this love reaches us in the Son, it becomes grace. When through grace we return to the Father, we enjoy His love.
Both grace and love are a matter of the Triune God being our life and enjoyment. As we enjoy Christ as our grace, we need to come to the Father, whose love is the source of grace. When we enjoy Christ as our grace, and then through this grace we contact God the Father as the source of grace, we experience love. The Father with His love is also the source of life, and the Son is the course of life. We may enjoy both the source and the course, for we may enjoy both the love of the Father and the grace of Christ.
Both the Son’s hand of grace and the Father’s hand of love are of the divine life. In the Father the divine life is the source, and in the Son this life is the course. In the Father the divine life is love, and in the Son the divine life is grace. Because we enjoy both the Son and the Father, we enjoy both grace and love. Therefore, we are in the course, and we are also touching the source. The result is that we are preserved, and nothing can snatch us out of these two hands, out of the Son’s hand of grace and the Father’s hand of love.
We sometimes sing of the glorious church life. However, for some of the saints the church life may be glorious at certain times, and at other times their church life may be gloomy. The reason is that these saints do not adequately enjoy Christ as life to be their door, their Shepherd, and their life supply. Because they do not have sufficient enjoyment of Christ in the way of life, they do not always have the Lord’s hand of grace and the Father’s hand of love upholding them in a practical way. If we do not enjoy Christ as grace, we shall not be able to go to the Father and touch Him as love. Then in our experience we shall be deprived of both the Son’s hand and the Father’s hand. As a result, it will be easy for us to be kept away by the enemy.
We all need to be protected in the hand of Christ’s grace and the hand of the Father’s love. When we are kept in grace and in love, nothing can snatch us away.
Chapter ten of the Gospel of John reveals that Christ must be everything to us. We should not have anything religious in our daily walk. On the contrary, we need to be wholly out of religion. As the blind man was cast out of Judaism, we need to be completely away from the elements of religion. To the blind man Christ became everything. Christ was his door, his Shepherd, his pasture, and the hand that preserved him.
THE FEAST OF DEDICATION
John 10:22 says, “At that time the feast of the Dedication occurred in Jerusalem, and it was winter.” In the foregoing message we pointed out that the feast of Dedication, also known as the feast of lights, commemorated the restoration and purification of the temple. During this feast, lamps were lighted in the temple and in the homes of the Jewish people. The feast of Dedication signifies Christ as the cleanser of God’s temple (see John 2:14-16; Matt. 21:12-13) and the light (John 9:5) of God’s people. If we would have Christ as the One who cleanses the temple and as the light of God’s people, we need to have Him as our life.
We all are temples of God (1 Cor. 6:19). However, because there is still some defilement in us, we need to be purified. The One who cleanses God’s people is the Christ who is life to us. If we experience Christ as life, we shall have Him as light and also as the purifier of God’s temple. Then in our experience He will purify us from all pollution and defilement, and we shall become a purified temple for God’s expression.
If we are enlightened as we read and pray-read John 10, we shall see that nothing religious is useful in serving a spiritual purpose. We need the living One, Jesus Christ, to be our life in every way. If we have Him as life, He will be our door, our Shepherd, and our pasture. If we have Him as life, we shall also have the keeping hands of the Son and the Father. Then we shall remain in Him and enjoy Him as everything. We shall have light, and we shall be purified to be God’s temple for His expression in His light. This is the revelation in chapter ten. We need to enjoy all these matters through pray-reading the Word with our spirit so that we may be fully released from the fold and from every element of religion and enjoy Christ as life in every way. Then we shall be full of light, and we shall be cleansed to be a temple for God’s expression.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 28, by Witness Lee)