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The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Strangers to the Heavenly Trade

Reasons to Pursue the Heavenly Trade

The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages}


Weigh the indescribable gain that will surely accrue to you if you set up this trade of godliness. I have already shown in the demonstration of this point the great profit that this heavenly trade will produce for all who deal thoroughly in it. I advise you to review the subchapters just above and the proof that the heavenly trade is the best trade. And now, consider three or four more points so you may convince yourselves that Christianity is of great worth by reason of your greatest personal advantage. For:


Christianity Will Support You in the Hardest Times

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Strangers to the Heavenly Trade

Reasons to Pursue the Heavenly Trade

The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages

Christianity Will Support You in the Hardest Times}


Christianity will support you during the hardest times; no other trade will do this. There may be seasons when earthly employment will be without profit. You have heard that, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4 ESV). Some of you have known times when those who worked could scarcely eat. But God’s work is food and drink when daily bread fails. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work’” (John 4:34 NASB). “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8 NKJV). “The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10 ESV). God will surely provide for whoever is needy and He has given His Word for it.448 For those who are Christ’s by choice, all things are theirs by [Christ’s] purchase. “That is,” said Piscator, “all earthly things are designed by God for your use and the furtherance of your salvation.” It is not as though the saints have a right to other people’s possessions. “The apostle does not speak here,” said Pareus, “of civil possessions, but of that divine order in which all things ought to serve the good and advantage of the Church of God. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1).449 Everything is given into Christ’s hands for the good of His people. “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22 NASB). The whole earth is just God’s kitchen for the maintenance of His household, and if He will feed His servants and slaves, how much more His children. “The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:15–16 NKJV). How much more will He care for and give necessary food to His inhabitants of Jerusalem.450 Indeed, believers are not of this world, and therefore do not have their portions in this world. They are the heirs of Heaven and have no promise of more on earth than will comfortably carry them home and will suffice to enable them to carry out the work God has assigned to them to do here. It is the servants, not the heirs who carry the luggage on the journey; those of the grand aristocracy carry only what they are using. Surely, if earthly treasures were good for Heaven-born [born again / born from above] souls, He who gives better things would not deny them. But God knows that enough is as good as a feast, and that is what the saints will have during their journey home. Nobody sends servants on a journey without giving them enough for the entire trip; God will likewise do for His servants. If He provides for the aged and enemies,451 how much more will He feed His faithful servants and laborers. He has promised to supply all their needs (Philippians 4:19),452 and He is able to keep His promise. If God does not think it too much to give them a crown, He will not deny them crumbs. If God did not meet the needs of His workers, His work would cease.453 His own interest, as well as His promise, impel Him to look after His workers. It is important with respect to His love, truth, glory, and all His attributes, that He provide for His people in His work. Therefore, there is nothing more sure than daily bread and sufficient supply in all things to those who serve and obey Him.


Godliness Will Secure You in Dangerous Times

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Strangers to the Heavenly Trade

Reasons to Pursue the Heavenly Trade

The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages

Godliness Will Secure You in Dangerous Times}


Godliness will secure you in dangerous times. “Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught” (Proverbs 3:23–26 NKJV). The way of duty is the way of safety. Whatever people may think, the greatest security is in the boldest ventures for God (if according to His Word). Wherever His sun guides you, His shadow will cover you. “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?” (1 Peter 3:13 NKJV). People may threaten you, but cannot [spiritually] injure you. They may plunder your goods or imprison your bodies, but cannot do you any real harm. While people keep close to God, God will abide [stay] with them, His presence will guard them, His favor will shield them, His angels will camp around them, and all His attributes454 will guard and secure them. Those of God’s people who cling to Him in duty are as the Hebrews in Goshen,455 as Israel in the wilderness,456 and as Noah in the ark.457 They alone are safe from ruining evils when others are exposed to destroying judgments.




Holiness Will Enrich You in the Impoverishing Times

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Strangers to the Heavenly Trade

Reasons to Pursue the Heavenly Trade

The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages

Holiness Will Enrich You in Impoverishing Times}


Holiness will not only support and secure you, but it will also enrich you and fill you with the best treasures: true riches (Luke 16:11),458 the tried gold that cannot be corrupted or stolen (Matthew 6:20).459 It will furnish you with the unsearchable riches of Christ. The world has its treasures, and likewise, Christ has His precious substance to bestow on all who trade with and for Him, as has already been proven.


Piety Will Cheer You during Your Greatest Distress

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Strangers to the Heavenly Trade

Reasons to Pursue the Heavenly Trade

The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages

Piety Will Cheer You during Your Greatest Distress}


Piety will cheer and delight you; there are no comforts like those have who walk with God in truth. This was Hezekiah’s cordial when he was under a sentence of death. “And [Hezekiah] said, ‘Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly” (Isaiah 38:3 NASB). And, Paul rejoiced, “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you” (2 Corinthians 1:12 NKJV). The purest pleasures flow down from [God’s] throne, and stream in through sanctuary-waters into the soul. Alas! What are those dross-polluted comforts that run through the world’s channels that leave only slime behind and then empty themselves into the dead sea of perdition, while perishing as they are used (Colossians 2:22).460 Carnal mirth has a pleasant entrance, but an ill farewell. “Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief” (Proverbs 14:13 NKJV). But Christianity breeds the best contentment and most satisfying pleasures. “They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights” (Psalm 36:8 NASB).


Wisdom’s Trade Will Make You Truly Honorable

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Strangers to the Heavenly Trade

Reasons to Pursue the Heavenly Trade

The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages

Wisdom’s Trade Will Make You Truly Honorable}


Finally, wisdom’s trade will make you truly great and honorable and give you a place to walk among those who stand in God’s temple. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here” (Zechariah 3:7 ESV). “That is,” says Junius, “I will place you in the same dignity that the angels of God enjoy in Heaven and you will dwell in the same Church among the countless number.” “Exalt her [Wisdom], and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you” (Proverbs 4:8–9 NKJV). However contemptuously the world looks on the ways of godliness and those who adhere to these ways, all true greatness is on the side of piety. All the world’s glory is just fancy theater and a mere show of honor compared to that which is on the head of every true believer. Saints have the noblest lineage: they are born [again] from God, the highest dignity, and are kings and priests to God (Revelation 1:5–6).461And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel” (Exodus 19:6 NASB). The saints are clothed with the richest ornaments that are made perfect through divine comeliness (Ezekiel 16:10–14).462 They are appointed to a kingdom that is everlasting and assured of thrones and crowns with Christ forever. “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21 NASB). All believers will have a sure throne in Heaven, as certainly as Christ is now seated on His Father’s throne, and they will have the same [kind of] throne that the Father gives to Christ, though not to the same degree as Christ. Believers will have crowns fitted to their heads. Although we cannot wear the crown of Christ, for He is the Redeemer, and we the redeemed, our crown will be made of the same glory. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24 NKJV). “If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12 NASB). Oh, blessed glory and greatly to be longed for; its measure is incomprehensible and its duration eternal.


448We all too often forget, especially in the midst of severe suffering, that what we think we need is not always actually what we really need, as determined by God’s infinite and perfect knowledge and wisdom.

449The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1 NKJV).

450In this context, Jerusalem is a metaphor for believers, about whom God said, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4–6 ESV).

451aged and enemies: people from whom God does not expect substantial service, the aged due to disability, and enemies due to their disdain for God.

452And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NASB).

453This is true only in light of God’s decision to use humans to do His work; He not only does not need us in an absolute sense, but we are also unprofitable servants, that is, He puts into us far more than He gets from us.

454attributes: personal characteristics such as love, power, wisdom, long-suffering, grace, mercy, and so on.

455The hail struck all that was in the field through all the land of Egypt, both man and beast; the hail also struck every plant of the field and shattered every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail” (Exodus 9:25–26 NASB).

456The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place” (Deuteronomy 1:30–31 NASB).

457And [God] did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5 NKJV).

458If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” (Luke 16:11 ESV).

459But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matthew 6:20 NASB). Note: Gold, being a noble metal, does not corrode easily. But in biblical times, gold refining was not as good as modern methods, leaving impurities that could not only corrode themselves, but which could foster galvanic corrosion. (Even today, gold corrosion is poorly understood in some aspects.)

460“…(referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?” (Colossians 2:22 ESV).

461“…and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5–6 NKJV).

462I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you, declares the Lord God” (Ezekiel 16:10–14 NASB).

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