In the 1600’s John Everard wrote the following:

      “My beloved, now that you are here gathered together in this place, I beseech you hearken diligently to what shall now be spoken. I will use no other preface than a word or two from that saying of our Saviour in the parallel place to this, Luke 14:35, from which He makes this conclusion: he that has ears to hear, let him hear! Let him now hear the word of Him by whom he shall be judged in that great day. Let him now hearken to that word which shall certainly one day, either sooner or later, rise up in judgment against him. Let him hearken to the word of Him who spoke as never man spoke; for His words are like the wine He made at Cana — there are no words like His words — for the best words that ever man spoke had somewhat of self and carnal ends in them. But in His words there is no tincture, no concourse of the creature, no allays of human weakness, but they are all words of grace, and peace, the words of spirit and life; insomuch that all who heard Him wondered at the gracious words that proceeded from His lips; who, in all His words never sought Himself, nor His own glory (as men do), but the glory of Him that sent Him.

      “No, hearken I pray you, to His word that could have spoken far beyond all that ever He has spoken, had He but had auditors fit to have heard and understood Him. I beseech you therefore, silence yourselves for a while, I mean your own wit and reason, and your own blind religious understandings, and let there be silence in heaven for half an hour, that all things may be still and quiet within you, that you may learn to know what it is to have salt in yourselves, that you may have salt in you, that you be not spit out of God’s mouth as unsavory and loathsome to His stomach. It were far better you never heard, than that those words should be unprofitable to you.

      “‘And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: for it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith shall ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another’” (Mk. 9:47-50)

      “The things that I intend to open to you and answer, are these three questions: (1) What is salt? (2) What is it to have salt? (3) What is it to have salt in ourselves?

      “What is salt? Christ says in my text, that everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. We must first find out what fire is, and then we shall know what salt is. This fire without any doubt is Christ Himself and that very properly, as you may see He is so called, ‘The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His holy one for a flame: and it shall burn and devour His thorns and His briars in one day’ (Isa. 10:17). In these words He, the holy one of Israel, is fire in three regards: (1) of burning (2) of heat (3) of light

      “First, the nature of fire is to burn. Fire cannot burn itself — take note of that — fire cannot burn fire, but all things else it will burn and consume. So does Christ! He is that fire that burns up all our works, all whatsoever that is of man’s building, and whatsoever is not of Himself and His own work in us. All else He consumes and annihilates. ‘The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His holy one for a flame: and it shall burn and devour His thorns and His briars in one day.’ Know this, the more sin and carnality, the more fire, the greater the burning; the more sin and carnality the more fuel, the more matter for this fire; the more sin and carnality the more treasuring up of wrath against that day, when the wrath of God shall be revealed by fire. ‘Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap’ (Mal. 3:2). Then Christ is this fire! And let me tell you, this burning and consuming is for your good; it is, that out of the ashes of the old man, which must be burnt up, you may have a new life, a divine resurrection!

      “Examine yourself, has this fire burnt up all your works, not only gross and external wickedness, but has it burnt up all your secret sins, all your beloved and darling desires? Has it cut off your hands and feet, and plucked out your eye? Has it consumed your young men, your own strength and zeal, as the prophet speaks? Ah, has it burnt up the old heavens and the old earth, so that you may enjoy a new heaven and a new earth? (II Pet. 3:10-13). Nay, further, let me ask you, have you thrown out all your gods into the fire? Has it burnt up all your idols? If it has, I tell you, this burning is not unto death, but unto life. But be sure, that as the Lord Jesus Christ burns up and destroys, so He remakes and raises up again; and as He wounds, so He heals and makes alive again!

      “Secondly, the work of fire is to heat. So Christ, after he has destroyed and burnt up all our actions, as they are ours and not His, then He breathes into us a gentle warmth and heat of His own Spirit to cherish and revive us again, so that we may no longer live our own lives, or live to ourselves, but live the life of Christ, to raise up His grace and glory in us.

      “Thirdly, the nature of fire is to give light. When that day once dawns to us, that Christ comes into the soul, we shall find that He brings light with Him, and this in scripture is called Christ’s Day, and this is a wonderful day indeed, a day of rejoicing even unto eternity. Our first day is our own day, man’s day, and when Christ comes to burn up our day it seems to us as a day of darkness, a day of gloominess and thick clouds (Joel 2:11). Indeed to flesh and blood the Day of the Lord is a terrible day, our flesh trembles for fear of Him; for who shall abide the day of His coming, or stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire! When Christ comes into the soul, He comes not only with light to discover, but like fire to burn up all that building that we have made to ourselves, that which we have raised by our own power, and then breathes warmly and gently by His Spirit His own life, until by degrees He brings a glorious light into the soul. He then turns us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:10).

       “Yes, He shines such a light of grace and glory, as makes ‘the light of the moon as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun seven times brighter’ (Isa. 30:26). As our own lives extinguish, so Christ’s life increases, just as the prophet Elisha did when he raised the Shunammite’s child. ‘He lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm…and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes…’ (II Kings 4:34-35). In the same manner we receive warmth from Christ, and are raised to life again, and are made partakers of His divine nature, even as a graft in a crab tree stock changes the whole nature of the old tree, both sap, leaves, bark, and fruit; so does Christ in union with our soul change our nature — He changes them into His own!

      “And thus you see in brief what fire is! ‘Our God is a consuming fire’ (Heb. 12:29). Christ is the fire! But now, what is the salt? I know it is taken and expounded in divers ways. Some take it be wisdom and discretion in speech, and for proof they cite that place of the apostle where he says, ‘Let your speech be always seasoned with salt’ (Col. 4:6). For so Solomon says, ‘A wise man may hold up his head before princes’ (Prov. 16:13; Eccl. 8:1). They give this reason, as salt preserves and keeps things from stinking, so does wisdom so salt, and season a man’s words, that they may not be unsavory to wise men, so that he is not laughed to scorn. We cannot deny that.

      “Others take salt to mean holiness and sincerity in life as our Saviour says, ‘Ye are the salt of the earth’ (Mat. 5:13). That is, they say, when by their living, and their speaking the truth in their words, and dealing justly and uprightly with men, and expressing holiness in all their actions towards God, this seasons their lives, this makes them savory before God and men, the salt of the earth seasoning all. So they interpret the words of our Saviour, ‘Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men’ (Mat. 5:13). When men live not as they profess, they are unsavory, and men tread and trample such men’s profession as dirty and loathsome. To make a show of that which is not, is hateful to God and men, but sincerity and integrity are savory to both; and therefore, say they, He admonishes them to strive for sound doctrine, integrity of life, constancy in suffering; for these things honor their profession, and this seasons them with salt, and makes them savory to God and men. Their interpretation is good, I reject it not.

      “But to be short, that we may come to the matter at hand, the fire and the salt are both one, ‘…for everyone shall be SALTED WITH FIRE.’ Christ Himself is the fire, as we have shown already, so therefore He is also the salt. Since every man shall be salted with fire Christ has to be both the salt and the fire! So Jesus Christ is the fire that salts every man; yea, HE IS BOTH!

      “Yet I confess that the apostles were also called salt, as Christ also said, ‘Ye are the salt of the earth.’ Not that they were salt within themselves or the salt indeed, but were those who lived the Christ-life, the life of Him who is salt. They were those which uttered the salt and lived the salt, which is Christ. Therefore they were not themselves the salt, but they were the instruments or ministers which Christ used to convey and impart to us the true salt which is Christ, and in no other regard were they the salt of the earth.

      “And again, Christ says (in the same sense), ‘Ye are the light of the world’ (Mat. 5:14). Yet John tells us plainly that ‘HE is the true light, which lightens every man that cometh into the world,’ and Jesus Himself says, ‘I am the light of the world’ (Jn. 8:12). So we are the light of the world only because He is the one who has lighted us and now shines through us as our light. So it is with Christ and us, we are only what He is in us and through us! He it was also who was typified in all the oblations and sacrifices under the law, and by all the relations, histories, and representations throughout the Old Testament; ‘tis HE that is set forth and intended, that He might be made known unto the sons of men. He was the true Paschal Lamb, He was the true sacrifice, He was that fire that always burned upon the altar (Lev. 6:13). He also was that salt commanded for the sacrifice, for the salt was never to be wanting just as the fire must always burn upon the altar of sacrifice. And so our Lord says, ‘For everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.’ HE was that salt which must never be wanting; HE seasons every oblation (Lev. 2:13). HE is the salt of the everlasting covenant unto you and your seed for ever’ (Num. 18:19). HE was that salt that Elisha threw into the waters; and those many waters are many people, as it is expressed in the book of Revelation. In sum, HE is the substance, the mind, and the meaning of the whole scriptures!

      “As He is the fire, by reason of burning, and because of heat and light; so also He is the salt that sweetens and savors everything. As He is the light that enlightens, so He is the salt that salts every man. So when His fire purifies you and His salt sweetens and savors you, your sacrifice is salted with fire and salted with salt. So apart from Christ men’s lives are unsavory, the Adamic man is unsavory as Job says, ‘Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt?’ (Job 6:6). It is not your salt, not the best duties you can perform will make you savory, except they be salted and seasoned by the Christ within” — end quote.

Those of us who walk in Agape Love are the salt of the earth!

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