Who Is on the Lord's Side?
The above question was asked by Moses after the Israelites had worshipped the golden calf (Exo. 32:26). It is a question which every person should seriously consider with respect to his own status now. Are we really on the Lord's side?
The question itself implies the possibility of being on a side other than the Lord's. The other side, of course, is the side of Satan. All responsible beings are on one or the other of these two sides. Though many try to "play both sides right down the middle" such cannot really be done. The Lord declared, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matt. 6:24). He further said, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Matt. 12:30). Notice the word "with" in the above statement! The original language signifies "to be with one i.e. on one's side" (Thayer, p. 403). Often we have heard people say, "I am for the Lord," or "I am for God's people." But many who make such statements are not really with the Lord in the sense of being on His side, nor are they really with God's people in the sense of actually participating with them in the work of God and the fight for truth. When will people learn that it is not enough to stand apart from the battle or the work and merely say, "I am for the Lord"? Friend, which of these two words correctly represents you--"FOR" or "WITH"? Are ~0u really on the Lord's side? Really with Him, or merely for Him?
To be on the Lord's side, it is necessary that one leave (be delivered from.} the kingdom of Satan. The idea of being a loyal subject of Christ while one's citizenship is in Satan's kingdom is ridiculous! Writing to the Colossians Paul said, "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:12, 13). Peter told the Christians of his day that they had been called "out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9). This involved the purifying of their souls in obeying the truth, "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word: of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Pet. 1:22, 23). Those who have not done this are not yet on the Lord's side!
Being on the Lord's side also necessitates doing those things which are demanded of the Lord's people. The Lord said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Lk.9:23) He instructs us to take His yoke upon us (Matt. l1:28-30), meaning that we are ,to perform whatever service He demands. Note that the cross bearing is a daily affair. Those who think they can play the Devil's side during the week, and switch to the Lord's side on Sunday and go to heaven in the world to come are woefully deceived! Note also that the Lord demands that we FOLLOW Him--not RUN BEFORE Him in presumptuous deeds. Those on the Lord's side do not go beyond, but abide in the doctrine of Christ (See 2 Jno.9).
The question asked in one of the songs we sing is truly important: "Who will follow Jesus? Who will make reply, I AM ON THE LORD'S SIDE, MASTER HERE AM I?" What answer--by deed and life--are we giving???
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 14, p. 13
February 12, 1970