REMOVED duplicated with book of same name.
"A Witness and A Testimony" magazines 1969,
Volumes 47-4 & 47-5
"I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear;
but now mine eye seeth thee" (Job 42:5).
This verse sums up the whole book of Job, for it is the
deep explanation underlying Job's life. This book takes a
patriarchal character and shows us, in a wonderful way,
God's dealings with that man in relation to Christ.
Christ takes a very large place in the book of Job;
indeed, He is the object in view in all that is happening
This verse, then, sums up the whole book of Job and shows
us a tremendous transaction which is taking place in the
life of this man. Concerning his past life Job said:
"I had heard of thee by the hearing of the
ear", so that his relationship to God had only been
by the hearing of the ear. Then came these tremendous
experiences that he went through. He went down into the
depth of sorrow, and this resulted in an altogether
different relationship to God: "But now mine eye
seeth thee." From hearing he went to seeing, and
that is no small thing. It marks a revolution in a life.
Where do we begin with Job? First there are three marks
which we must consider:
At the beginning of his life we find Job in a state of
fullness. He was a wealthy man. He had a large estate,
with every kind of comfort, and a prosperous, happy
family. He was highly esteemed, a man who was taken
account of and who held a position of influence. His life
was marked by fullness.
Job was a good man. God Himself challenged Satan as to
Job, saying: "Hast thou considered my servant Job?
for there is none like him in the earth, perfect and an
upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from
evil." So we see that Job was a good man; but the
statement is made with certain reservations, and is not
absolute. However, as amongst men, Job was a good man;
that is, he was not wicked and God had a high estimate of
We see clearly that Job was quite satisfied with himself.
He knew no trouble in his relationship to God, neither
did his spiritual state cause him anxiety.
That is where we begin with Job, but what comes out
As to goodness, we have to look more intently and we find
that it was an outward and legal goodness, not inward and
spiritual. His knowledge of God was more an objective
knowledge. There was no question for him as to the
reality of the existence of God, but to him God was
something outward, someone up in His heaven while he was
on this earth. He had just HEARD about God, and he
adjusted his life according to the light he had, but it
was all outward. Job's righteousness was based upon his
works. He argued with his friends about that. When they
said to him that his sin was the cause of his suffering,
he gave a whole catalogue of all his good works. So his
righteousness was rather of works than of faith.
Thus we see in Job fullness, outward goodness and
Now let us
turn to the beginning of Job's transition:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to
present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also
among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest
thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going
to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in
it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my
servant Job? for there is none like him in the
But Satan challenges God, and says:
"Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made
an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all
that he hath, on every side?" In effect, Satan
is saying that Job does it because it is for his own
benefit. It is easy to be good when you are protected
from suffering! "But put forth thine hand now,
and touch all that he hath, and he will renounce thee to
God accepts Satan's challenge and gives him permission to
touch Job, except that he may not touch his life. And
Satan goes, and does his work. All Job's outward wealth
falls under Satan's power: his home, his children, his
herds, everything is destroyed. Then Job is touched in
his body, and finally his wife and his friends turn
against him. And at last he suffers from the stroke of
Satan. (We will touch that later.)
Gathering all these difficulties and needs of Job
together, we have the spectacle of a man whose life had
been very full on this earth. He had had friends, earthly
means, a home, a family, a standing amongst men,
influence, and a sphere of usefulness. He was not a bad
man. But now he is broken and utterly emptied, until he
reaches the very bottom of himself. He is emptied of all
he possessed, he is broken in spirit, broken in soul,
broken in body, and brought down to the very bottom - and
at the bottom he meets God on a basis of pure grace. He
has learned the lesson of his own nothingness. It often
takes a tremendous amount to bring people to that place
of recognising their nothingness! Job's knowledge of God
had not been an inward knowledge, a knowing Him in his
own heart, but something from the outside, and therefore,
as there was no true knowledge of God, there was a
corresponding ignorance of his own heart. This is always
so! So Job did not, at the beginning, know his own heart.
"I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but
now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and
repent in dust and ashes."
This is the transition stage! But what was it all unto?
On the one hand, fullness and goodness, a great measure
of self-righteousness, and on the other hand, brokenness,
emptiness, everything gone - and all that by God's
We must remember that Satan was God's instrument and he
was not doing this independently of God. After the first
blow, when Job's possessions and family were destroyed,
Satan went back to God and challenged Him a second time.
Again God asked him: "Hast thou considered my
servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth...
and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou
movedst me against him." GOD did it
through Satan, but why did He do all this? We can never
say when some trouble comes into our life: 'This is
absolutely from the devil!' It may be from the devil, but
there is the Lord's meaning behind it. What was all this
We have the all-inclusive answer in this verse:
"...but now mine eye seeth thee." What does
that mean? It is Christ who comes into view again and
again. Job is in quest of God in a new way. He knew Him -
"I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear"
- but now he cries: "O that I knew where I might
find him!" Job is crying out to find God, for God is
not in him. He is crying for a personal inward knowledge
of God, and why does he seek after a personal, inward and
spiritual union with God? Because this is the only thing
which can save him now. One of his friends says to him:
"Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at
peace," but Job says: 'It is easy to say:
"Acquaint now thyself with God!", but that is
just my difficulty. I cannot find Him, so how can I get
to know Him? Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that
I might come even to His seat!' That personal, inward
knowledge of God has been the quest of men throughout the
ages, and Christ is the answer to that cry.
"Oh, that I knew where I might find him!"
"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father";
"Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the
world"; "If a man love me, he will keep my
word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto
him, and make our abode with him." God is found in
Christ, and in Christ the Holy Spirit becomes an inward
reality. But first all our own righteousness and fullness
and self-satisfaction have to go and Christ has to be our
righteousness our fullness and our satisfaction.
Then we see
another thing in Job's life, and that is the matter of
victory over death. Job came face to face with death.
This had not caused him any difficulty before, because
the sin question had not been dealt with, but now he had
questions about himself. He was shaken and his soul was
torn through fear of death. He was not sure about himself
and his relationship to God, and he asks: "If a man
die shall he live again?" There must be an
explanation, or is life only a dream? Is there no answer,
no vindication? He had lost all, yet he had believed in
God. Is that all now? Is God a myth and life a tragedy?
If a man die, is that all, or shall he live again?
Let us turn to the Gospel of John to find the answer to
this acute question: "Jesus said unto her, I am the
resurrection and the life: he that believeth on me,
though he die, yet shall he live."
Job wanted the resurrection and the life, and Christ is
the answer to his need. Christ governs everything. Job
came to see that there is life beyond, a life triumphant
over death, and now he is at rest. In the forty-second
chapter we find Job as a man who has come through the
storms. His heart is at rest and his problems are solved:
"Now mine eye seeth thee."
is another point. Job's friends were accusing him of sin;
Satan, through those friends, was acting as the accuser.
In himself Job was not sure and he longed for assurance.
On the other hand, it looked as if God had a controversy
with him, as if something had gone wrong. His friends
could not help him, and Job cried for a daysman to stand
between the opposing sides, for such a man who could come
in between to see that both sides had fair play and that
all got their rights: a man who had no personal
interests, neither on one side nor on the other.
We know our New Testament well enough to see that Jesus
Christ has become that great Daysman. He is the great
mediator. In 1 Timothy 2:5 we read: "For there is
one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself
and man, Christ Jesus." Christ answers Job's need
and is the One who will see that there is fair play on
thing more for now. Job needed a redeemer. He needed to
be redeemed from SIN, redeemed from SATAN,
redeemed from the POWER OF DEATH, and redeemed
from the corruption of his own FLESH. He cried for
this redemption; then, towards the end of God's dealings
with him, there came a flash into his heart - only a
flash - but in that flash he saw some One and he cried:
"I know that my Redeemer liveth!" And then
"He is able to save to the uttermost them that draw
near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). That is what
we need - redemption to the uttermost! Here Job saw his
Redeemer for a moment and knew that HE lives. And because
He lives - "He ever liveth" - He can save to
What we want to emphasise is that the great transition of
Job was A TRANSITION FROM HIMSELF TO CHRIST. God
thought it worthwhile to lead him through the depths, to
empty him and to break him completely in order to bring
him to an inward knowledge of Christ. God finds it far
more important that we should know Him in a deep personal
way than to do a great many good works.
Perhaps God has led us that way of taking certain things
away from us - our reputation, or the estimation of our
friends. Perhaps those who are near to us have lost their
confidence in us. We may have known a certain sphere of
fullness, many a door has been open to us and we had many
friends - and then God has laid His hand upon that and it
has all gone. Perhaps we are increasingly conscious of
our own nothingness, and we are coming to the place where
we do not think we are as good as we thought we were. Our
heart, perhaps, is not quite sure about our spiritual
state, and it may be that our relationship to God is not
quite what it should be. Perhaps friends say to us that
we are going wrong and are mistaken. But that through
which we are now going may be the way into something much
larger, and we may get to know the Lord in a much deeper
way. In Philippians 3 Paul speaks of himself and of the
law. He possessed much by birth, through education and
teaching, and was much esteemed by others. But then
Christ came into his life, and all these things had to go
in order that he might win Christ; yet the knowledge of
Christ was far more to him than what he had possessed
We are speaking of the momentousness, the tremendous
significance of Christ, but it is only through experience
that we enter into these things - not through hearing
about them, nor by studying the Bible, nor by going to
church. Those are not the ways which will bring us there.
Only by being emptied and broken do we come into the
fullness of Christ. But the end justifies all: the great
place which Christ has in us. It is worth everything to
know Christ in fullness! A good man is broken and loses
everything in order to find more of Christ. The floodtide
of God is Christ. May we be filled unto all His fullness!
The Momentousness of Jesus Christ
has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in
righteousness by (in) the (a) man whom he hath ordained,
whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he
hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
"For neither doth the Father judge any man, but
he hath given all judgment unto the Son... and he gave
him authority to execute judgment because he is the (a)
Son of man" (John 5:22,27).
Here we have a comprehensive and emphatic statement
concerning the place that the Lord Jesus occupies by the
appointment of God His Father. That place is shown to be
inclusive and exclusive. That means that:
1. God has summed up all things in Christ. Ultimately
there will be nothing outside of Christ, and all that
eventually is found to be outside of Christ will be
removed from God's domain.
2. Nothing of God can be had outside of Christ.
In the Bible we have two revelations: one of man outside
of Christ and the other of man in Christ. The emphasis is
upon the word MAN. The Scripture above says that
the final judgment of the world is in a MAN; a
God-ordained, God-horizoned man. And it is not BY,
but IN that Man. What is in that Man in the matter
of righteousness will be the criterion of judgment.
Outside of Christ
not only by the statements of the Bible, but in our own
hearts that man is marred and spoilt by sin. It is an
ugly word, hated by all, refused acknowledgment by many,
excused by many more, but, apart from those in Christ,
not confessed or allowed recognition. In this connection
it is very significant that, in a time of moral landslide
and increasing depravity, there is a great revival of
humanism - the theory of man's inherent goodness and
moral greatness: the total dismissal of the fact of sin AS
SIN. It is called by any other name, even good in the
making. It is not difficult to see through this artifice
of the devil. It is to construct a humanity which, IN
ITSELF, is its own saviour, and to wholly dispose of
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. This is almost
the last word in human blindness. It is blindness to
history. It is blindness to the moral DEvolution
of recent times. It does not allow that the last decades
have uncovered a depth of iniquity, wickedness, and
"man's inhumanity to man", beyond description, and
that in the areas which have had more education,
scientific research, discovery, and "culture"
(?) than anywhere else on the earth. Such is the
master-deception of the devil! "The god of this
world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving",
says the Word of God. We must ever remember that Satan's
rebellion against God was on the decision of God to make MAN.
He knew that the intention of God was to give dominion
over the world to man, and THAT dominion he -
Satan - both coveted and usurped by the deception of man.
This is all very clearly implied in the titles given to
Satan in the Bible as "The prince of this
world", "the god of this age", "the
world-ruler of this darkness", etc. Hence the double
issue of man's deception, seduction, and ruin: man's
separation from God: and the defeat of God's intention.
Man, out of Christ, is such a man, even at what he - man
- thinks to be the highest levels of intelligence,
"culture" and "progress". The Bible
says much about the sinister nature of "the wisdom
of this world", and even foretells that apostasy
will go hand-in-hand with the increase of knowledge. The
subtlety of sin is that to try and eliminate its
malevolence it has to be called by other names. The Bible
does not hide the fact of man's sinful nature, not even
to omit mention of the sins of the greatest of its men of
God: Abraham, Moses, David, etc.
It is now possible to discern the momentousness of
Christ. For this we have to go a long way back, even to a
cosmic event before man's creation, when, the Bible tells
us explicitly, God appointed His Son "Heir of all
things". That was the point of cosmic controversy
then, and has been ever since. The focal point of the
conflict of the ages is the predestined place of Christ
as Son of Man, the humanity according to God's intention,
of which Jesus the Christ is the "Firstborn",
Progenitor, "Pioneer" and "Head".
Countless are the ways and means pursued to prevent,
frustrate, and defeat Christ from coming into His own in
a humanity conformed to His image. In other words, (a)
to discredit and displace Christ; and (b) to
prevent there coming into being a people truly, by new
birth, coming "into Christ". THE great
revelation of the New Testament is what is represented by
that phrase "In Christ". The "fall"
was not only a fall in level, from one higher level to a
lower; it was a fall OUT OF GOD! The momentousness
of Jesus Christ is in His reversal of that, and in
Himself restoring man 'into God', his right place.
This is the meaning of that darkest and deepest eternal
moment at the end of the Cross when Jesus went out from
God - "Forsaken"; out into the direst distress;
OUT, that in 'lostness' He might find us just
where we are in God's knowledge and bring us back into
God. "Christ died once, the just for the unjust,
that he might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). His
body broken was the reality of which the veil of the
tabernacle and temple was the type. Its rending, as
between heaven and earth, man and God, opened a
fast-closed way back into the realm of God. Surely that
was a momentous moment: a momentous act!
Every aspect of Christ's person and work, and every
aspect of the Gospel has to do with this. Moreover, every
activity of the evil powers upon the Christian is with
the object of cutting in between him - or her - and the
Lord by weakening or damaging the one tie of that union,
Hence Christ's imperative "Abide in me". Satan
"abode not in God" and see the consequences!
Hence the momentousness of being in, and abiding in
Christ, which is in God.
We return to where we began. God binds Himself up with
His Son for man. All judgment is, and will be, on the
basis of what Christ is and whether man is in Him or not.
The whole Christian life, if it is true and under the
government of the Holy Spirit, is a lifelong education as
to the significance of Christ; the knowledge of Christ,
and, seeing that it is not merely theoretical, doctrinal,
theological knowledge, but very practical, wrought on the
anvil and by the fires of deep experiences, it is
knowledge which is a part of our being, our constitution.
It is knowledge which represents something that has taken
place in us. We ARE that knowledge.
When we first come back to God through Christ we have
only a more-or-less understanding of the depth, the cost,
the momentousness of what we have come into. But as we go
on, the dealings of God with us bring us to an
ever-deepening realisation and appreciation of what
Christ is and has done. On the one side, the depth of our
worthlessness becomes more terrible to our awareness.
This is not for our desolation as the end, but to make us
"KNOW" how great is the meaning of
Christ from God TO us, and to God FOR us.
The ultimate vision of the redeemed multitude is that of
a WORSHIPPING people attributing everything to the