The City of Our Refuge
By Elder M. A. Norman Oden, Ark.

"That as sin hath reigned unto death even so shall grace reign unto eternal life". Exactly as sin reigned unto death, so shall grace reign.

How did we become members of the race of Adam? By acquiring, by achieving or by believing? No. We are natives of Adam by birth. "Even so" we become natives of heaven. Just as we become heirs of Adam by birth, we become heirs to grace and glory by birth of the spirit. "Not of works lest any man should boast". Did we get the first birth by believing our way into Adam? Did we have to believe and accept something to get the first birth?

Remember as we get one "even so" we get the other. If w e g e t the first birth by believing, then "even so" would we get the new birth. But as the first birth is wholly unconditional on our part, "even so" is the birth of the Spirit wholly unconditional on our part. We were passive in both.

Now let us take cognizance of the street in which the "simple" young men were journeying. The eye of the King was upon these boys. And they were safe inside Jerusalem. (And if that harlot should deceive them it would not take them out of the city).

Some people say when you are born of God that you will sail along on flower? beds of ease. But this is not true.

In this "street" there were storms, there was "violent agitations". "Tempest tossed". "Troubled". "I am a poor wayfaring stranger". Not withstanding the infallible state of these people of God in Christ, they are in a "street" or state of bitter agitation. In a place where they are tempest tossed.

Notwithstanding, the sorrows, the conflicts, the heavy cross, the' h e a r t a c h e s, the blinding tears, all in this street are pilgrims journeying to a country far above this vale of sorrow to a city, "Whose builder and maker is God".

According to one of the best authorities this "street is crowded", According to Smith this "street was a great wide way' And it is "crowded". By one of the best, authorities, or that I consider best, there was an "influx of blood" that covered the inhabitants of this street.

It caused a mighty "rushing current", that "draws", that rescues and that finally "delivers," at the end of this street or journey. This mighty "current" that "rushes" shall certainly and surely and safely take all in this "crowded street" to home sweet home.

Paul was inside this street. Some say it means narrow and difficult. But it was a wide street. Straight means on the "level", or "true".

T h o s e in this street were "on the level with God". Or square with God. They were born of God. Hence on a "level" with God. They are an "elevated people".

This great street was not the "straight and narrow way", that leads to life in the church here on this earth.

The people in this broad way, or large and crowded street of Jerusalem, are the only ones interested in the things the true mother has to offer, "Wisdom hath builded her house ".

This house is in this great street. It has comforts, it shelters us from the agitating storms that sweeps through this street.

There is bread and meat in her house. It is a place of rest for the weary. "He that is simple let him turn in hither".

How blest is Gods child who dwells in this house. But cursed is the ones who dwell in the house of the harlot, Not eternally but timely. "Her guests are in the depths of hell', This is not an eternal hell.

"Wisdom hath builded her house", This is the house of the true mother, She has her tables set replete with the best of food ever served to Gods hungry people. It is not only delicious, but is very nourishing.

It gives strength to Gods people. It comforts them in their sorrows, strengthens them in their weakness, and gives to them sweet rest.

Yes, here the bed of Solomon awaits you. It gives you rest and warmth. Gods people fare well in here if they behave themselves. I want to dwell in this house as long as I struggle here in this life.

God's people in the harlots house are in trouble. They are partakers of the "plagues of Babylon".

Remember child of grace that the fair daughters of men are not your friends. "Go home to thy friends"

Suppose a little mourning child of God should go to old Babylon, and tell them, "that I am so vile so prone to sin". What would they get. They would not pour oil in the wounds. They would tell them, "If you were born of God you would not be feeling that way".

No don't lust after her carnal beauties. "Her house is the way to hells going down to the chambers of death". --Solomon. Remember the strong man Sampson.

He was a valiant: soldier. He fought many battles, gained many victories for his people. But not withstanding he was led from the true Mother.

He married a Philistine flirt. And he followed her to a sightless life of bondage.

In following her he lost his eye sight and his liberty and finally wound up grinding at the mill.

Still it seemed that he loved his native land. I know of some Old Baptists or were old Baptist that have lost their sight and are grinding in the mills of Arminianism.

Oh, if we do not wish to lose our eye sight and be to where we can not view the beauty of the Kings then we better not lust after her gorgeous beauty. Listen not to her enticing words, incline not your heart after her. Do not listen to her deceptive "peace offerings".

She will tell you that unless you accept of her peace offerings that you will go to hell. Remember that Jesus made the one and only peace offering for those in that Street. "Oh, thou afflicted", storm tossed pilgrims. Remember at the end of this great "Freeway" this way of storms and trials, the great blood propelled mighty current of redeeming love, the sovereign irresistible whirlwind of grace shall take us all in its mighty power and carry us like it did Elijah home to heaven.

There to praise Jesus forever.

M. A. Norman Oden, Ark. ... Article from The Banner of Love

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