MESSIAH’S MILLENNIAL TEMPLE AND KINGDOM

 

 

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PART I

 

[The following history, - from the back pages of a Bible - (the American Standard Version, by High Village Publishing) -

is used as a suitable

 

INTRODUCTION]

 

 

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Abraham

 

 

Abraham set out from Mesopotamia on his great journey to the Promised Land.  God promised that through him all people would be blessed (Genesis 12-25).  He was given a son, Isaac, in his old age (Genesis 25-35).

 

 

Isaac’s son Jacob was forced by famine to go down to Egypt; his people settled there, and, years later, were forced into slavery (Genesis 37-50)

 

 

Moses

 

 

Moses led the Hebrew people, Abraham’s descendants, out of Egypt (Exodus 1-12).  In the wilderness they were given the Ten Commandments.  Eventually, after the death of Moses, the Israelites entered the Promised Land and occupied it (Joshua 1-12).

 

 

Judges and kings

 

 

As the nation of Israel developed, they were led first by Judges (Judges 3-16, 1 Samuel 1-8) and then by a succession of kings (1 Samuel 9-31; 2 Samuel; 1 Kings 1-11).  After the death of Solomon, the kingdom divided into Israel and Judah (1 Kings 12-22; 2 Kings 1-25). 

 

 

Captivity

 

 

When the Assyrian Empire rose to power, Israel was threatened with invasion.  Despite God’s warnings to his [redeemed]* people through the prophets, the northern kingdom (Israel) was taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 B.C., and the southern kingdom (Judah) by Babylon in 587 B.C., (2 Kings 17, 25).

 

[* NOTE. Words inside blue square brackets are not part of the author’s writing.]

 

 

When the Assyrian Empire rose to power, Israel was threatened with invasion.  Despite God’s warnings to his people through the prophets, the northern kingdom (Israel) was taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 B.C., and the southern kingdom (Judah) by Babylon in 587 B.C., (2 Kings 17, 25.)

 

 

Return

 

 

The Jews only returned from exile in Babylon to Palestine by stages, to set about reclaiming their land and rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple (Ezra 1-6; Nehemiah 1-7).  Many of the Jews did not make this journey back to Palestine.

 

 

The Promised Land

 

 

Not until Moses had died, and Joshua took over as leader, did the Israelites finally enter the Promised Land and settle it among the different tribes.

 

 

The book of Joshua records three campaigns: a central thrust through Jericho, a southern campaign and a northern campaign (Joshua 5-6, 10-11).

 

 

Although the Israelites won many victories, the Philistines still controlled the coastal cities, and the Canaanites many inland towns.  After they entered the Promised Land, the Israelites faced the choice of serving God or the Canaanite gods.

 

 

The Israelites set up six cities of refuge, which served as places of asylum for people who committed unintentional manslaughter (Numbers 35: 6-25).

 

 

God’s Anointed

 

SAUL, DAVID & SOLOMON

 

 

Although God had given his people a land of their own, they turned their backs on God, and tried to become like the surrounding nations.  The Israelites thought that if, instead of relying on God’s rule, they had a king they could see, they would conquer their enemies.  King Saul was [chosen by God (1 Sam. 10: 24) and] anointed by Samuel to be the first king of Israel.  But he openly disobeyed God, and died at the battle of Gilboa (1 Samuel 9-31).

 

 

King David

 

 

Samuel also anointed David, Jesse’s youngest son.  God promised that a descendant of David would be a king who reigned forever.  David failed many times, but always loved God and returned to him (1 Samuel 16-30, 2 Samuel 1-24).

 

 

King Solomon

 

 

Under David’s son, Solomon, the kingdom prospered.  Solomon became renowned for his wisdom, and during his reign the great [1st.] Temple was finally built in Jerusalem.  Yet Solomon, too, turned away from God, and built temples to foreign gods (1 Kings 1-11).

 

 

The Divided Kingdom

 

 

Israel

 

 

After Solomon’s death, the ten northern tribes rebelled and set up a separate kingdom of Israel, ruled by Jeroboam, with its capital at Shechem and worship centres at Dan and Bethel (1 Kings 12).  Omri, a ninth-century king of Israel, founded a new capital called Samaria (1 Kings 16: 24).  Omri was succeeded by such kings as Ahab and Jehu (1 Kings 15: 25-22: 40, 22: 51-53; 2 Kings 1-8: 15, 9: 1-13: 25, 14: 23-29, 15: 8-31, 17).

 

 

Judah

 

 

David’s successors continued to rule the southern kingdom of Judah from the capital, Jerusalem (1 Kings 14: 21-31, 15: 1-24, 22: 41-50; 2 Kings 8: 16-29, 11: 1-12: 21, 14: 1-22; 15: 1-7, 15: 32-16: 20, 18-25).  This division continued until the Exile.

 

 

The Tabernacle

OF GOD’S PRESENCE

 

 

While they were wandering in the desert, the Israelites built the Tabernacle, a special tent where they worshipped God.  Each time they halted, they erected the Tabernacle in the middle of the camp, to show that God was [dwelling with them (Exodus 29: 45, 46), and] at the centre of the nation’ life.

 

 

The tent

 

 

The Tabernacle had a framework of acacia wood, covered by four layers of metal, decorated linen curtains inside, and waterproof skins outside (Exodus 26).

 

 

Inside the tent

 

 

Inside the tent were two rooms.  The small, inner room was the Holiest Place, entered only by the High priest, only once a year.  Here stood the Ark of the Covenant, containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a pot of manna and Aaron’s rod (Exodus 25: 10-22; Hebrews 9: 4).

 

 

The Holy Place

 

 

In the Holy Place, the outer room, stood the altar of incense, a seven-branched candlestick, and the table of showbread (Exodus 25: 23-40, 30: 1-10).

 

 

The sacred enclosure

 

 

The Tabernacle itself was surrounded by a curtained enclosure which could be entered only by priests and Levites.  In front of the Tabernacle stood the bronze laver, where the priests ritually washed themselves, and the altar where the animals were sacrificed (Exodus 27).

 

 

God’s House

KING SOLOMON’S TEMPLE

 

 

Following the conquest of Canaan, the Israelites stopped carrying the Tabernacle wherever they went.  Finally, when the monarchy was established, King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, planning to build a temple there (2 Samuel 6).  But it was his son Solomon who actually built the first Temple.

 

 

Like the Tabernacle

 

 

Built of stone, the Temple was similar in its ground-plan to the Tabernacle, but much larger.  It was panelled inside with cedar wood imported from Lebanon. Like the Tabernacle, the Temple housed the altar of incense, the table of showbread, lampstands and, in the Holiest Place, the Ark of the Covenant (1 Kings 5-7).

 

 

Not a church*

 

[* See NOTE 16 at the end.]

 

The Temple was not a meeting-place for God’s [redeemed] people, like a modern church [building]; only priests were permitted inside it to perform the ritual sacrifices and other duties.

 

 

Solomon’s temple was destroyed when the Babylonian’s captures Jerusalem in 587 BC (2 Chronacles 36: 15-19).**

 

[** NOTE.  In these writings no mention is made of God’s 2nd. Temple built by Zerrubabel!  See Ezra.]

 

 

HEROD’S TEMPLE

 

 

Around 20 B.C., Herod the Great embarked on reconstruction the [3rd.] Temple in Jerusalem.  First, the Temple Mount area on which the Temple stood was doubled in size in a huge earth-moving operation.

 

 

The new Temple was magnificent, constructed in white marble and decorated in gold.  Its plan was similar to Solomon’s Temple, with the Holy Place and the Holiest Place within, the latter only visited once a year, only by the high priest.   Although anyone could enter the outer Court of the Gentiles, only Jewish people were allowed inside the inner courtyards.  The Court of the Gentiles was a market-place, where visitors bought and sold, and changed their money into special coins needed for offerings and for temple tax (Mark 11: 15-17).

 

 

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The spirits of the prophets are subject to the control of the prophets.  For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” … “If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you as the Lord’s command.  If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.  Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy…” (1 Coronthians 14: 32- 33, 37- 39a, N.I.V.).

 

 

 

Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming [Gk. ‘presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him, to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord* is just at hand; let no man beguile you an any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God:” (2 Thessalonians 2: 1-4, R.V.)

 

[* See 2 Pet. 3: 8. cf. Rev. 20: 1-5, R.V,.]

 

 

The following writings, based on the prophetic Word of God above, states that a 4th. Temple will be built before Messiah’s Second Advent.

 

 

Today, it is believed by the vast majority of Jews, Christians and others, that this 4th Temple will be built in Jerusalem and on the same site where: Two Moslem mosques - the Dome of the Rock (the Mosque of Omar, built in the seventh century over the site where Moslems believe Abraham offered Ishmael and Mohammed ascended to heaven), and the Al Aksa Mosque built at a later date:” (A. L. Chitwood.)

 

 

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ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES IN THE TEMPLE

By Professor H. GRAETZ

Antiochus left Egypt with rich spoils (169 B.C.) perhaps for the purpose of raising new troops.  Having heard of the occurrences in Jerusalem, his anger was roused against the Judaeans, and the Covenant of Judaism; his wicked, inhuman nature broke forth against the people.  He suddenly attacked Jerusalem and massacred the inhabitants, sparing neither age, youth, nor sex, and making no difference between friend and foe.  He forced his way into the Temple, and as a mark of contempt for the God who was worshipped there, desecrated by his presence the Holy of Holies, removing the golden altar, candelabra and table, in fact, all the treasures which still remained.  Menelaus, the High Priest, guided him in this act of spoliation;* he impudently blasphemed the God of Israel, whose omnipotence was sung by his followers, but whom he scorned, because He did not interfere with these sacrilegious actions.

* If Judas is the False Prophet, Menelaus seems to forecast an ingrained tendency of things.  The apostate Jew aids and abets the Gentile Anti-God, and persuades and compels to the worship of his Image.  It is significant that Napoleon’s chief helper was Talleyrand, an apostate bishop.  Hell’s best tool is a traitor. - D. M. PANTON.

Solitude soon became unbearable to Menelaus, the original instigator of all these horrors.  He was frightened at the mere echo of his own voice.  To free himself from this painful position he invented a new and infamous plan.  Judaism, with its laws and customs, was to be suspended, and its followers were to be compelled to adopt the Greek faith.  Antiochus, full of hatred and anger against both the Judaeans and their religion, acceded to Menelaus’ plan, and had it carried out with his usual tenacity.  The Judaeans were to become Hellenized, and thereby reduced to obedience, or, if they opposed his will, they were doomed to death.  He not only wished to become master of the Judaean people, but to prove to them the impotence of the God they served so faithfully.  He, who disdained the gods of his ancestors, considered it a mockery that the Judaeans should still hope that their God would destroy him, the proud blasphemer, and he determined to challenge and defeat the God of Israel.

Thereupon, Antiochus issued a decree, which was sent forth to all the towns of Judaea, commanding the people to renounce the laws of their God, and to offer sacrifice only to the Greek gods.  Altars and idols were to be erected everywhere for that purpose and, in order to strike an effectual blow at Judaism, Antiochus ordained that unclean animals, particularly swine, should be used at the sacrifices.  He forbade, under severe penalty, three religious rites which outwardly distinguished the Judaeans from the heathen, namely, circumcision, the keeping of the Sabbath and the festivals, and the abstinence from unclean food.  Officials were appointed to see that his orders were carefully carried out, and these officials were hard-hearted men who punished with death any person infringing the royal commands.

The Temple was first desecrated, and Antiochus himself sent a noble Antiochian there to dedicate the Sanctuary to Jupiter.  A swine was sacrificed on the altar in the forecourt, and its blood was sprinkled in the Holy of Holies, on the stone which Antiochus had imagined to be Moses’ statue; the flesh was cooked, and its juice spilt over the leaves of the Holy Scriptures.  The so-called high priest Menelaus and the other Judaean Hellenists were compelled to eat of the swine’s flesh.  The roll of the Law, which was found in the Temple, was not only bespattered, but burnt, because, though it taught purity and humanity, Antiochus maintained that it inculcated hatred of mankind.  This was its first baptism of fire.  The statue of Jupiter was then placed on the altar, the abomination of destruction,” to whom sacrifices were now to be offered (17 Tammuz, July, 168).  Thus the Temple in Jerusalem, the only holy place on earth, was thoroughly desecrated, and the God of Israel was apparently driven away by the Greek Jupiter.

Antiochus was greatly irritated by the resistance the Jews offered, and he issued command upon command to enforce his orders with the utmost cruelty upon the disobedient people.  The officials therefore continued their persecutions with redoubled zeal.  They tore and burnt the rolls of the Law whenever they found them, and killed the few survivors who sought strength and consolation in their perusal.  They destroyed all houses of worship and education, and if they found poor weak women, just recovering from their confinements, who, in the absence of their husbands, circumcised their sons themselves, these barbarians hanged them with their babes on the walls of the city.

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ANTICHRIST IN THE TEMPLE

 

 

By D. M. PANTON, B.A.

 

 

 

Had we all the facts before us which God has before Him, and had we the mind to master and collate them which God has, prophecy would be superfluous, since prophecy is only the supernatural disclosure of what the facts around us make as inevitable as mathematics: and therefore, as it is, to a mind trained in prophecy, as the oak is in the acorn, so the drama of the end is visibly forming in the facts of to-day.  Here is one.  In the magnificent chapel of the Tsar’s Palace in Livadia, in the Crimea,” says Mr. Stanley Perkins of Manchester. who describes what he saw, “the Altar has been dismantled, and in its place is a huge bust of Lenin.  It seemed a painful desecration of a most lovely building once dedicated to the worship of God.”  In that little cameo - THE IMAGE OF LENIN ON THE ALTAR - that is, an anti-God, as he is regarded in Russia, deliberately planted on the divinest spot known to a Russian mind - we have, actually, present in germ, the rapidly, approaching apex of human iniquity, the crowning sin of man.

 

 

THE HOLY OF HOLIES

 

 

There has been one spot in the world and one only, which is actually ground consecrated to Deity, where, alone on earth since the creation of the world, God has been resident.  When the Temple was completed Solomon cried – “Will God in very deed dwell on the earth?” and the response of Jehovah was immediate - When Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and THE GLORY OF THE LORD - the Shekinah Glory that never appears apart from the local presence of Deity - FILLED THE HOUSE” (2 Chron. 7: 1).  The Holy of Holies is the only plot of ground which the Godhead, untabernacled in flesh, has ever taken up prolonged residence: it was the earthly Palace of the King.

 

 

THE SACRILEGE

 

 

It follows therefore that no spot on earth could be more ideally chosen on which to challenge the Godhead, or on which to substitute a human deity, in a sacrilege the most amazing, the most, daring, and - if uncrushed - the most strategically successful conceivable.  This is the exact plan of Hell.  Where no man might enter without death, except the High Priest; where the High Priest could not enter without death except on one day of the year; where even the Lord Jesus, as the obedient Israelite, never entered:- the man of sin, the son of perdition, SITTETH - even as Jehovah reposed between the Cherubim - IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, setting himself forth as God” (2 Thess. 2: 4).  On the Mercy Seat, beneath the overshadowing Cherubim, is seated, for the worship of the world, the Arch-Rebel himself.

 

 

THE TEMPLE

 

 

Who exactly rebuilds the Temple - whether it is reconstructed internationally, or by Zionists, or by the Masons, of the world, or by the Mandatory Power - does not appear to be revealed, but since the sacrifices could be offered nowhere else, and Antichrist makes the sacrifices, which had been resumed, to cease (Dan. 9: 27), the Temple must be again in being for the final drama, and it is the Temple of God.  Our Lord regarded Herod’s Temple as My Father’s House’ (John 2: 16), though built by an actual forerunner of the Apostates (Psa. 2: 2; Acts 4: 25) who are to rebuild it again, and by a crucifier of the Messiah.  It is doubtful if a threat attached by Ezekiel to our Lord’s cleansings of that Temple has not yet to find a second and final fulfilment.  Because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have made my fury to rest upon thee” (Ezek. 24: 13)*

 

* See also, possibly, Psa. 74: 7, 8.

 

 

THE IMAGE

 

 

Now the drama begins by the Antichrist getting control of the Holy Land.  The assassination by his own hand of his only two opponents in the world, wielders of vast plague and judgment, leaves the Man of Sin master of the Holy City.  History is a forecast of prophecy.  The youth (Anleo Zamboin) who attempted the life of Mussolini, October 31, 1926, was not only lynched on the spot, but his corpse was left exposed for days in the streets of Bologna, to be gazed on by vast crowds: so the Two Witnesses - probably Enoch* and Elijah - lie as exposed corpses for three days and a half on the ‘broad place’ of Jerusalem, that is, the Haram area on which stands the Mosque of Omar; and then, mounting to heaven out of one of the great earthquakes of history, leave the Temple in the undisputed grip of the Antichrist.  He is now free to work his will.  He first suppresses the Sacrifices, as a denier of all blood-atonement; and then, probably bringing it from Rome, erects his speaking Image in the holy precincts - the desolating Idol, as the Saviour says (Mark 14: 13), “standing where it ought not.”** If we knew history better, we should doubt prophecy less.  In A.D. 40 Caligula, one of the worst of the Caesars, determined to set up a colossal statue of himself in the Temple at Jerusalem; and when this image of gold, cast in Sidon, had been intercepted by the passionate entreaties of the Jews, Caligula, enraged, planned another in Rome, to be taken secretly to the Temple so as to circumvent the Jews - a plot only defeated by his own sudden murder. *** Our Lord makes the erection of the Image the signal for the godly Israelite’s precipitous flight to the mountain range beyond which is Israel’s second sojourn in the Wilderness, a flight that abandons the Holy House to its last and awful desecration.

 

[* NOTE.  Many Christians believe Moses will accompany Elijah at this time.  Luke 9: 27, 30: cf. Matthew 17: 1, 3; Mark 9: 1, 4).]

 

**A thirty-foot image of Lenin over-shadows the Toniski Stadium in the suburbs of Moscow.  Antiochus Epiphanes, a king of Syria, actually set up a statue of Jupiter on the Altar of Burnt Offering a century and a half before the birth of Christ.

 

*** It is a curious and sinister forecast that Caligula habitually spoke to his Image in Rome cajoling or threatening it: so the Anti-God and his Image converse, and a spate of death-sentences (Rev. 13: 15) flows from the lips of the speaking Idol.  Satan’s wisdom ever lies in the imitation of Jehovah:- within, an invisible God; without, ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col. 1: 15).

 

 

WORSHIP

 

 

So now we reach the final maturity of human sin.  He SITTETH - that is, in regular and habitual session - in the temple of God - in the inner shrine of Deity’s abode where to sit is an assumption of unique Godhead.  He does not shut out religion; he absorbs religion: so far from abolishing worship, he monopolizes worship: the last enemy is not irreligion, but religion.  So also while the Lord Jesus reveals infinite self-sacrifice, the counter-Christ incarnates infinite self-arrogance, and opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped.”  All other worship round the globe is rendered illegal.  The Man of Sin - the man of supreme sin - far exceeds the blaspheme, of Imperial Rome, for each Caesar claimed only to be a god, one god among (for example) other Caesars: here there is but one God, and no other; there is but one Idol, and no other: Deity is on the Mercy Seat, and his Image is in the outer courts, the exclusive Godhead of the universe.*

 

* Since Satan gives him his throne (Rev. 13: 4), which is super-angelic, the Beast must control the evil Principalities and Powers: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:” (Isa. 14: 13).  Stars, figuratively, are angels (Rev. 12: 4).

 

 

VENGEANCE

 

 

Antichrist in the Temple is not only the crowning iniquity, but the crowning deception, of all history, and a deception not only for mankind at large, but apparently for the man himself.  Caligula,” says the historian Philo,was so puffed up with conceit as not only to say that he was God, but to believe himself so.”  Overwhelmingly is it more so here.  God’s complete inaction, resulting in man’s complete deception, is one of the most terrible of all possible judgments, whereby He sends an energy of delusion that they should believe the Lie.* So also unparalled pride, a pride fortified by years of Satan-gifted miracle-working power, enormously strengthened by his successful murder of God’s Prophets, and seemingly justified to the whole world by an unchallenged session on the Mercy Seat, actually persuades him of his own godhead, and lures him to the most dangerous spot in the world - Olivet: so that he sitteth in the temple of God, SETTING HIMSELF FORTH AS - demonstrating, proving, showing in precise words that he is - GOD.”  But the unutterable wonder of the true Godhead finds its supreme glory in this, sin’s bitterest assault.  Exactly as mans crowning wickedness in a former age, Calvary, actually created mans redemption, so mans crowning iniquity at last suddenly precipitates mans golden age.  At last the Most High takes up the dread challenge.  His FEET SHALL STAND IN THAT DAY UPON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES” (Zech. 14: 4): “WHOM [the Lawless One] THE LORD JESUS SHALL SLAY WITH THE BREATH OF HIS MOUTH AND BRING TO NOUGHT [paralyze] BY THE MANIFESTATION OF HIS COMING [THE OUTBURST OF HIS PAROUSIA](2 Thess. 2: 8) “AND THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET WERE CAST ALIVE INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE” (Rev. 20: 19).**

 

[* NOTE. TheLie which regenerate believers are hearing and believing today, is that our Lord Jesus Christ will have no Millennial Temple or “Inheritance” upon this restored earth (Psa. 2: 8; Rom. 8: 19-21) after His Second Advent and during the “Age” (Lk. 20: 35, R.V. & N.I.V.) yet to come! 

 

There is therefore, as they mistakenly imagine, only one Temple of immense importance - the one which the inspired Apostle Paul referred to in one of his many severe warnings to “the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus in every place, their Lord and ours:” (1 Cor. 1: 2, R.V.). 

 

His recorded words are found in 1 Cor. 3: 10 and run thus:-

 

According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise master-builder I laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon.  But let each man” – [keep in mind, it is ‘the church of God’ which is being addressed] - “take heed how he buildeth thereon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; each man’s WORK shall be made manifest: for the DAY shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man’s WORK of what sort it is.  If any man’s WORK shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a REWARD.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire.  Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man destroyeth the temple of God” - [i.e., ‘destroyeth’ an indwelt Spirit-filled believer speaking the truth. See Acts 6: 5, 10; 7: 5, 57, 59.] - “him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, and such are ye.  Let no man deceive himself.  If any man thinketh that he is wise among you in this world [Gk. “age”: see Lk. 20: 35], let him become a fool, that he may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  For it is written, He that taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and again, The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise that they are vain:” (1 Cor. 3: 10-20).  See also NOTE 4]

 

 

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ISLAMIC TEACHING / THE TEMPLE MOUNT

 

 

By A. L. CHITWOOD

 

 

 

 

And Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to shew him the buildings of the temple.  But he answered and said unto them, See ye not ALL these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left HERE one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down:” (Matt. 24: 1, 2, R.V.).

 

 

 

The existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East forms a contradiction in Islamic teaching.  Islam teaches that (1) “Allah” has predetermined all things, and (2) “Allah” is through with the Jews.

 

 

Judaism (along with the Christian faith) is looked upon by Moslems as an older religion whose people strayed from the true path of “Allah.”  Resultingly, God is through with the Jews (and Christians as well); and since “Allah” has predetermined all things, for the land of Palestine and the holy sites to once again come under Jewish control is looked upon by Moslems as theologically impossible.

 

 

This belief then naturally gives rise to an unanswerable question: “How can a Jewish nation presently exist in the Middle East, especially in the land of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital?” This is the land God covenanted to Abraham and his posterity, which Moslems believe was to be inherited by Abraham’s descendants through Ishmael; and this is also the land which, for centuries, until modern times, had been under Islamic dominion and control - possessed by Moslems for “Allah,” but now possessed by the Jewish people.

 

 

Moslems attempt to answer the question about present Israeli dominion and control of this land, solving the problem for the moment, through simply refusing to recognize the existence of the nation of Israel.  This is why the Moslem nations have such a difficult time when it comes to any type dealings with Israel.  Such dealings, in their eyes, are with a people who have no right to exist and who form a nation which, according to Islamic teaching, actually, can’t (and, consequently, doesn’t) exist.  This is one problem which Antichrist will have to solve in order to bring about his covenant of peace.

 

 

The actions of Arab delegates at the United Nations assembly provide a case in point to illustrate Moslem thinking about the existence of the nation of Israel.  When an Israeli delegate gets up to speak, the Arab delegates (Moslem delegates) either ignore him or get up and leave.  They do neither within a framework of what might be called bad manners.  Their actions are governed strictly by reasoning within the Moslem way of thinking: “The Israeli delegate is a nobody, representing nothing, so why listen to a nobody saying something about nothing?”

 

 

Any negotiations with Israel by Moslems are not normally done directly (as in the case of Anwar Sadat’s dealings with Menachem Begin and others in Israel during the late 70s).  Rather, such dealings are normally carried out through a third party.  And this is possibly the way Antichrist will enact peace between the Moslems and the Jews.

 

 

At the heart of the problem today is the Jewish occupation and control of the old city of Jerusalem, the third most holy place in the world for the followers of Islam.  The Arabs occupied and controlled this part of Jerusalem from the time of the inception of the Jewish state in 1948 until the Six-Day War of 1967, but the Israelis have occupied and controlled all of Jerusalem (the new and old sections) since that time.  And in 1980, the Israeli Kenesset passed a law declaring Jerusalem to be “eternal and indivisible.”

 

 

It is the Temple Mount in the old city of Jerusalem which makes this city the third most holy place in the world for the followers of Islam.  This is the place Moslems believe Abraham offered Ishmael as a burnt offering (a corruption of Genesis 22), and this is the place where Moslems believe Mohammed bodily ascended to heaven and remained for a short time (he is buried in Medina).

 

 

The Temple Mount though is not sacred to just the Moslems.  It is sacred as well to the Jewish people.  And to them the Temple Mount is the most holy place in the world.  In the eyes of the Jewish people, there is nothing which can even remotely compare with the Temple Mount.  Moslems face toward Mecca when they pray, but religious Jews face toward the Temple Mount.  These Jews, facing toward this mount, pray for the coming of their Messiah and the rebuilding of their temple.

 

 

On [what is believed to be] the Temple Mount today there are two Moslem mosques: the Dome of the Rock (the Mosque of Omar, built in the seventh century over the site where Moslems believe Abraham offered Ishmael and Mohammed ascended to heaven), and the Al Aksa Mosque (built at a later date).  And it is on this mount that a Jewish temple will stand in the immediate future.

 

 

The temple must be built on the exact spot where the previous two temples stood; and from the best calculations of those who have studied the matter over the years (such as Rabbi Goren, Chief Rabbi for the Israeli armed forces when the Jews captured the old city of Jerusalem in 1967), conclusions are that the Jewish temple, in order to stand on this exact spot, must be built exactly where the Dome of the Rock now stands.

 

 

How can this be brought to pass?  No one seems to know.  Rabbi Goren answers the question by simply saying, it’s a big problem.”  But it is going to occur, and it will occur shortly after Antichrist establishes his covenant with the many in Israel.

 

 

For decades the Jews have been openly praying at the Wailing Wall for their temple to be rebuilt.  And the Moslems, knowing that the only place this temple can be rebuilt is where the Dome of the Rock now stands, have, over the years, expressed grave concern about the Jews praying after this fashion at this particular location.  Sometimes the matter breaks out into open, hostile actions, such as the much-publicized outbreak of violence which occurred October 8, 1990 when several thousand Moslems moved toward the Temple Mount to attack Jews praying at the Wailing Wall.

 

 

Thus, at the centre of the Arab-Israeli dispute over the old city of Jerusalem is the Temple Mount.  Possession and control of this one piece of real estate is at the centre of the intractable problem which exists concerning the old city of Jerusalem as a whole.  This is where the impasse is centred, which makes the Arab-Israeli dispute basically a religious problem.  And until this problem is resolved, very little in the overall dispute can change.

 

 

In one sense of the word though, it matters little what Moslems, Jews, or the nations at large do about the matter today, for, according to the Scriptures, during the first year of the Tribulation the Jews are going to build a temple on this mount (Dan. 8: 11-14).  The covenant (peace treaty) which Antichrist will establish between Israel and the Moslem nations will either have something directly to do with allowing Israel to rebuild her temple or it will provide conditions which will allow Israel to undertake this task apart from the actual terms of the covenant itself.

 

 

In either case, the covenant will be broken by Antichrist entering the temple on the Temple Mount, desecrating the temple, sitting in the Holy of Holies declaring himself to be God,” and - then destroying the temple (Dan. 9: 26; Matt. 24: 15; 2 Thess. 2: 3, 4).  The Moslem clerics will be exercising control over his military endeavours at this time; and, because of the importance of the Temple Mount to the Moslems and Jews alike, it will only be natural for a desecration and destruction of the Jewish temple to occupy a strategic part in Antichrist’s initial act of breaking his covenant.

 

 

Also, it is possible that the Jews gaining access to the Temple Mount to rebuild their temple will be the trigger-mechanism which brings Russia down into Israel during the first year of the Tribulation, seeking to help Moslem nations to the north and south of Israel do what the Moslems have been trying to do since May 14, 1948 - drive the Jews into the Mediterranean sea and reclaim the land of Palestine for Allah.”

 

 

After all, the temple must stand where the Dome of the Rock now stands, something unthinkable within the framework of the current status of events in the Middle East.  And any move by Israel toward the Temple Mount today, with a view to building a Jewish temple on the spot where the Dome of the Rock stands, would bring the wrath of the Moslem world down upon Israel.

 

 

A few years ago, the head of the Supreme Moslem Council in Jerusalem stated concerning the matter, “The Moslems are prepared to die for this place [a statement actually referring to the Temple Mount as a whole].”  And certain Moslem nations during the Tribulation (which will possibly not be among the nations having a part in the peace treaty with Israel) may very well look upon the matter after a similar fashion when Israel sets about to rebuild her temple, with Russia taking advantage of the situation at that time through direct military intervention.

 

 

Daniel reveals that Israel will rebuild the temple during the same year that Ezekiel reveals Russia will come down to help four Moslem nations destroy Israel - during the first year of the Tribulation.  The timing of both events is seemingly right for the events to be interrelated; but they may or may not be. Scripture is silent on this possible connection.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE

 

 

By HAROLD J. SHEPSTONE*

 

[* This writing is from D. M. Panton’s Dawn, (vol. 29. No.311, March, 1950.)]

 

 

Ezekiel’s vision of a restored jewish nation and a restored temple is significant when we recall what has happened to Palestine.  The country has passed to the Jews, and they have definitely announced their intention to build a temple in Jerusalem, and what is more, on [land which is believed to be] the original site.  The original Temple was reared in the comparatively short space of seven years.

 

 

Herod spent forty-six years in the building of his temple.  Over a century was spent in the erection of St. Peter’s in Rome, and nearly four and a half centuries were needed to complete the cathedral at Milan.  It took Sir Christopher Wren thirty-five years to build St. Paul’s Cathedral, and compared with the time expended upon other similar edifices it was a fairly rapid piece of work.

 

 

But before Solomon could erect his temple he had to prepare the site.  It adorns the rocky pinnacle of Mount Moriah, for Jerusalem is built on a series of hills.  It was necessary to construct a platform to carry the temple and its subsidiary buildings.  This stupendous base remains today.  It is some thirty-five acres in extent and was built in so substantial a manner that neither time nor the devastation of barbarian forces, nor even earthquake shocks, have been able to break it up.  Many of the stones of which it is composed are of massive proportions, some running to forty feet in length and weighing well over a hundred tons.  Engineers declare that the material used in filling in the valleys to create this necessary base is three times that requisitioned in building the Great Pyramid of Cheops.

 

 

With its outer buildings, which included the Judgment Hall, the King’s Palace, the House of the Forest of Lebanon, the spacious courts for the worshippers, cloisters, accommodation for the army of priests, and stables and stalls for the beasts used in connection with the sacrifices, Solomon’s temple, like that erected by Herod, covered the whole of the thirty-five acre platform.  The temple was not a single building, like a modern cathedral, but a system of concentric enclosures or courts, of which the temple proper, though the most splendid part of it, and lifted high above all the rest, was but a small part.  It was not only the first permanent worshipping place of the Israelites, but the first permanent edifice to be reared for the service of God.

 

 

Research would go to show that the total number of men called into requisition to erect this wonderful worshipping-place was no less than 180,000.  These men worked constantly for a period of three years. Today with modern methods of construction and up to date labour-saving devices, the number of workers could be reduced.  But the cost would still be enormous.

 

 

Those authorities who have studied the subject declare that the cost of building a temple today would be between $250,000,000 and $300,000,000.  This would be for a building after the pattern of that erected by Herod which was devoid of that lavish ornamentation of the precious metals which characterised Solomon’s building.  The Temple itself, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, was overlaid with gold.  The great seven-branched candlestick was of gold, as was also the table for the shewbread: while the two cherubims which stood ten feet high, and also the ark were covered with this costly metal.  Then the gold and silver basins, measures and censers totalled 850,000.  It is computed that Solomon used in the building and ornamentation of the temple 13,000,000 pounds troy weight of gold and 130,000,000 pounds of silver.  That quantity of the precious metals would not be available today; and some idea of what the cost would be, may be gauged when we remember that gold is quoted today at approximately $60.00 per ounce.  Thus the gold alone used by Solomon represented a value today of about one thousand million dollars!

 

 

The Jews declare that the temple will be built on its original site.  This [is today is believed to be the] great thirty-five-acre platform [which now] belongs to the Moslems.  To them it is no less sacred than Mecca and Medina, for it was from here that their prophet Mohammed is said to have made his miraculous journey to Heaven.  Two buildings stand upon the temple area today, that graceful structure the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque el-Aksa.  There is ample space for the erection of other structures.  It may be possible now, or in the near future for Jew and Moslem to come to some arrangement by which the temple area is parcelled out between them.  Thus the erection of a Hebrew temple is quite feasible.  Ezekiel’s vision of a restored Jewish state and temple may not only be realised but become an accomplished fact sooner than we expect.

 

- The War Cry, Sep. 15, 1951.

 

*       *       *

 

 

But God’s Word through Ezekiel, speaks to us of a 5th Temple to be built at the same ‘place’, where Solomon’s, Zerubbabel’s, and Herod’s temples once stood:-

 

 

MESSIAH’S MILLENNIAL TEMPLE.

 

 

 

 

 

This Millennial Temple is the one mentioned so frequently throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.  It will be built after the Great Tribulation and on the same site where Solomon’s, Zerubbabel’s and Herod’s temples once stood.  This is not the temple where Antichrist had previously: “Exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped!” 

 

 

This millennial Temple, its occupants, and all who will be resurrected at ‘First Resurrection’, together with all living upon this earth at that time, will be seen:-

 

 

As we have heard so have we seen,

In the city of Jehovah of Hosts, in the city of our God,

God will establish her forever.  Selah.

We have thought of Thy loving kindness O God,

In the midst of Thy temple.

According to Thy name O God, so is Thy praise,

Unto the ends of the earth;

Thy right hand is full of righteousness.

Let Mount Zion be glad,

Let the daughters of Judah rejoice,

Because of Thy judgments.

Walk about Zion, yea, go round about her,

Count the towers thereof,

Consider her bulwarks, contemplate her places,

That ye may tell it to a later generation.

For this God is our God for ever and ever.

He will guide us even over death:” (Psalm 48: 8-14).

 

 

It is described in Zechariah 6: 12-15 and Zech. 8: 2, 3:-

 

 

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.  And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.  And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.” 

 

 

Again: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great fury.  Thus saith the Lord: I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called The city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts The holy mountain:” (Zech. 8: 2, 3, R.V.).*

 

 

[* See NOTE 9]

 

 

In his book ‘Temple,’ (pp. 153, 154), the author has commented on the Scriptural quotations above.  This is what he has written:-

 

The Bible literally shouts across the ages, that it is compulsory for the Millennial temple to be built in Zion, in the city of David at the Gihon.

 

 

The Branch in Zechariah 6 is obviously King Messiah and Zion is the designation of the city of David, which is the area of the Gihon Spring.  Again, the words “Holy Mountain” is the actual place of the temple in Zion.  So, it is King Messiah, the Branch, the living Christ and a former carpenter skilled in crafting wood who will build the true future Messianic temple which has been so clearly prophesied in Scripture.

 

From all around the world, people will come to help our Lord in this divinely ordained construction project, and it is from this Millennial temple that Jesus will rule and reign from His throne.” [Bold type, italics and underlining are mine. – Ed.]

 

- ROBERT CORNUKE.

 

 

 

All the following expositions have to do with this 5th. Temple.  It will be built upon the same site which God directed Solomon to built the 1st Temple: Even toward the place whereof thou hast said, My name shall be there:” (1 Kings 8: 29, R.V.).

 

 

This place is where Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, … began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God, helping them:” (Ezra 4: 2, R.V.).  Let the house be builded, the place where they offer sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid.” … “let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in its place.” … “Whosoever shall alter this word, let a beam be pulled out from his house, and let him be lifted up and fastened thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this: and the God that hath caused his name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples that shall put forth their hand to alter the same, to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem.” … And the elders of the Jews builded and prospered, through the prophecy of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.  And they builded and finished it, according to the commandment of the Gad of Israel, and according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.” (Ezra 6: 3, 7, 11-12, 14, R.V.).

 

 

History will most certainly repeat itself!  Therefore, no other place will be deemed suitable for the foundations to be laid for the construction and worship in God’s millennial Temple.  The millennial Temple, and this Temple only, will be that ‘house’ which will literally fulfil God’s prophetic word: and that is the primary reason why I believe the 4th. Temple, built by the Jews at Jerusalem, will be destroyed after Messiah’s Second Advent. 

 

 

If the ‘place’ is not the correct site for the temple building, then God’s word to Solomon will be broken: - an impossibility in One who cannot lie!  Therefore, it is certain that God will destroy any construction, for whatever purpose, if it be built on any other site!  Hence the construction of this 5th Temple is by Messiah Jesus after the Great tribulation.  See Nos. 6 & 11 below.

 

 

Come, behold the works of Jehovah, What desolations he hath made in the earth.  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariots in the fire.  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  Jehovah of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah:” (Psalm 46: 8-11, R.V.).

 

 

Oh send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me: let them bring me unto thy holy hill, And to thy tabernacles:” (Psalm 43: 3, R.V.).

 

 

-------

 

 

No. 1.And they came to Jerusalem: and he - [our Lord Jesus Christ/Messiah] - entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and them that bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; and he would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple.  And he taught, and said unto them, ‘Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?  But ye have made it a den of robbers.’  And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him, for all the multitude was astonished at his teaching:” (Mark 11: 15-18, R.V.).

 

 

No. 2.For thus saith Jehovah of the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and chose the things that please me, and hold fast by my covenant: ‘Unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.  And the strangers, that join themselves to the LORD, to minister unto him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast by my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrificies shall be accepted upon mine altar: for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.  The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, ‘Yet will I gather others to him, beside his own that are gathered:” (Isaiah 56: 4-7, R.V.).

 

 

No. 3.Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.  Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah are these.  For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbour; if ye oppress not the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your own hurt: then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even for evermore.  Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.  Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods that ye have not known, and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered; that ye may do all these abominations?  Is this house [or ‘temple’ (1 Kings 6: 17, R.V.)] which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?  Behold, I, even I, have seen it, saith Jehovah:’” (Jeremiah 7: 3-11, R.V.).

 

 

No. 4.But in the latter days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow into it. * And many nations shall go and say, ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.  For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem; and he will judge between many peoples, and will decide concerning strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Jehovah of hosts hath spoken it:’” (Micah 4: 1-4, R.V.).

 

[* See NOTE 3 on “Exalted Zion.”]

 

 

No. 5. “… Ye are they that have continued with me in my temptations [trials]; and I appoint [I covenant] unto you a kingdom, even as my Father appointed unto me [has covenanted for me], that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and ye shall sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel:” (Luke 22: 28-30, R.V., [and from the literal Greek translation.]).

 

 

No. 6. “…Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, ‘Behold, the man whose name is the Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne  And they that are afar off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.  And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God:” (Zechariah 6: 12, 13, 15, R.V.).*

 

[* See NOTE 5 Messiah’s Companions.]

 

 

No. 7. “‘Behold, the days come,’ saith the LORD, that I will perform that good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah.  In those days, and at that time, will I cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up onto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.  In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name whereby she shall be called, The LORD is our righteousness.’  For thus saith the LORD: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to burn oblations, and do sacrifice continually.’ Thus saith the LORD: ‘If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, so that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers:’” (Jeremiah 33: 14-18, 20, 21, R.V.).

 

 

No. 8.And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the SON of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:* and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end:” (Luke 1: 31-33, R.V.).

 

[* HISTORY WILL REPEAT ITSELF!  See NOTE 8]

 

 

No. 9.He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches:” (Rev. 3: 21, 22, R.V.).

 

 

No. 10.Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever.  Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people.  Your sacred cities have become a desert; even Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a desolation.  Our holy and glorious temple, where our fathers praised you, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins.  After all this, O Lord, will you hold yourself back?  Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure.” …

 

 

“‘I will not destroy them all.  I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess my mountains; by chosen people will INHERIT them, and there will my servants live.  Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for my people who seek me.” … “But as for you who forsake the Lord AND FORGET MY HOLY MOUNTAIN, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen.  You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.’” (Isa. 64: 9-12; 8b-11a, N.I.V.).

 

 

No. 11.And the glory of the LORD came into the house, by the way of the gate looking eastward.  And the Spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the house of the Lord was full of glory.  And I stood, and behold there was a voice out of the house of one speaking to me, and a man stood near me, and he said to me, ‘Son of man, thou hast seen - [in vision, given by the Holy Spirit] - the PLACE of the soles of my feet, in which my name shall dwell in the midst of the house of Israel forever; and the house of Israel shall no more profane my holy name, they and their princes, by their fornication, or by the murders of their princes in the midst of them:” (Ezekiel 43: 4-7, The Septuagint, LXX.).

 

 

No. 12. “…Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter; thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest.  Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him that hath ten talents.  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.  Any cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

 

But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, THEN shall he sit on the throne of his glory…:” (Matthew 25: 26-31, R.V.).  See NOTE 6

 

 

No. 13. I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.  He that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the TEMPLE of my God, and he shall go out thence no more…” (Rev. 3: 12, R.V.).  See NOTE 14

 

 

No. 14.But in the latter days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of [or R.V. margin,‘at the head of] the mountains,* and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow into it.  And many nations shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge between many peoples, and shall reprove strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mount of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it:” (Micah. 4: 1-4, R.V.). * NOTE.  A ‘Mountain,” in scripture, can also represent a ‘Kingdom’!  See Isa. 2: 2. cf. Dan. 2: 35.

 

[* NOTE.  (1) All the above scriptural quotations in bold italics, refer to future events which will take place, after Messiah’s Second Advent, “in the LAND”.  That is, upon this earth and in His restoredcreation,Rom. 8: 19-22,” R.V.

 

Gen. 1: 2 says: “the earth became waste and void, R.V.”; and at some unknown time afterward, - by the Holy Spirit’s movement at God’s command, - a first restoration took place.  See ver. 3.  This is what the False Prophets “willingly forget”, 2 Pet. 3: 4, 5!  After the Fall, in Gen. 3: 17, and the Flood, in Gen. 6, we have prophesied, in Rom. 8: 19-22 of another restoration: this will take place at Messiah’s Second Advent: a restoration which all Anti-millennialists deny!  All of these restorative works must happen before the existing “heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up:” (2 Pet. 3: 10, R.V.).

 

(2) When God describes and speaks about “the temple of the Lord” and “My house,” He is not describing the spiritual well-being of His people today, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit!  Furthermore, in the contexts above, “Zion,” “Jerusalem” and “the Land,” have nothing whatsoever to do with a heavenly Zion’ or ‘a heavenly Land,’ - as is often stated or implied by Anti-millennialist Bible teachers!

 

(3) When God places conditions on His yet future prophetic promises - as the one quoted in Zechariah 6: 15b above - He expects His redeemed people to fulfil the conditions by obeying His commands: and if His commands are wilfully neglected, misinterpreted, or misunderstood as having reference to something eternal instead of millennial, - then His conditional and future prophetic promises of an inheritance in “the land” during the “the coming age” (Heb. 6: 4-8), will not be realised, unless repentance is forthcoming!  See Num. 14: 22, 23. cf. 1 Cor. 10: 1-12; Heb. 12: 15-17, R.V. etc,.

 

Romans 8: 17 is also a case in point.  If our position as joint-heirs of Christ ‘in the Land’ and during ‘the age to come’ is conditional on our suffering with Him, what shall we say of those who bear the name ‘Christian,’ but who avoid the suffering, by not disclosing unfilled prophetical truths which He Himself taught His disciples, (e.g. Matt. 5: 3-12, 20, cf. Rom. 8: 17, R.V.: “… and [but] joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him:” R.V.)?  Will they be judged worthy of being with Him ‘in the Land’ at that time?  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him: if we shall deny Him, He also will deny us [the reign]: if we are faithless, He abideth faithful; for He cannot deny himself:” (2 Tim. 2: 12).  Messiah’s millennial “reign” of peace, ‘out of Zion’ and during an ‘Age’ yet to come, is what the prophets of God foretold; which many religious leaders mistakenly imagined would be established at His First Advent! (Rev. 20: 4; Lk. 20: 35; Jer. 30: 8, 9; Isa. 2: 2-4.).

 

Only after Israel’s national repentance, can the Holy Land be restored and given to the Jews - His Holy People.  Jehovah has made it clear for all time, (Deut. 29: 27, 28): and only through repentance and obedience to Christ’s commands can any of His “disciples” enjoy His promised inheritance (Psa. 2: 8), “in the land” and during “the age to come”! (Psa. 37: 9, 11, 22, 29, 34. cf. Matt. 5: 5; Heb. 6: 5, R.V.).

 

Another deadly error, made today in what is known as “Covenant Theology,” is that all of God’s promises to Jews throughout the Old Testament scriptures, are now transferred to ‘the Church’! and therefore ‘the Church’ is now to be understood as ‘the Kingdom’!  Hence the false interpretations existing amongst Anti-Millennialists, and those influenced by their false prophetic interpretations!  Understanding the word ‘Kingdom’ as they do, is something entirely different from what is described by God’s holy prophets!  Being in the ‘kingdom,’ is always perceived by them as being synonymous with God’s rule in the hearts of all regenerate believers!  See more of this in NOTES 4 & 12]

 

 

*       *       *

 

THE HOUSE OF GOD

By W. J. DALBY, M.A.

In the Old Testament days, under the Law, the Jews had a literal Temple: in the present New Testament epoch, under the Gospel, there is no literal Temple on earth, that at Jerusalem having been destroyed in A.D. 70 and never rebuilt.  In the Millennium there will be a temple at Jerusalem again fully recognized by God, as we learn from Ezekiel and other Scriptures.  These simple facts we must bear in mind if we re to understand aright the present aspect of the matter in our own experience in Gospel times.  In this dispensation the people of God have no literal Temple or House of God: in Scripture we never find a Christian place of worship so named.  Indeed the only word employed in this connection in the New Testament is synagogue’ (James 2: 2): and no Jew would dream of confusing a synagogue with the Temple.  Be it added that if we look upon our place of assembly as a technical Temple or House of God we are logically led to regard it as a sanctuary with a literal altar, sacrifices, and priests; and so we come at length to the sacerdotalism of Rome.  There is, however, a Temple of God now on earth - not a literal but a spiritual House, made up of living stones.  For ye [who believe] are the Temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6: 16); and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (1 Cor. 3: 16).  This is stated of Christians individually as well as collectively.  Know ye not that your body - in the singular - is the Temple of the Holy Ghost?” (1 Cor. 6: 19).  For the House of God now on earth is the Church, the members of which are living stones in the one spiritual Temple.

In the case of any temple the most important idea associated with it is that of the presence of God.  A literal temple is, in fact, a place where Deity is supposed to dwell in a special sense.  This conception was actually realized in the Temple at Jerusalem: in the Old Testament the Lord is described as sitting upon - or dwelling between - the Cherubim (2 Sam. 6: 2, etc.).  From this follows the blessed fact asserted in the New Testament that in us - and in each of us* - as God’s spiritual Temple there is a special spiritual presence of God, even the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.  At Pentecost the Third Person of the Trinity descended upon the Church and made it His dwelling for the present dispensation.  He is the One that restraineth now, until He be taken out the way” (2 Thess. 2: 7).

[* NOTE. The personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit in any regenerate soul is conditional upon their obedience, (Acts 5:32: this truth is clearly shown in both Testaments, (1 Samuel 16: 14; 18: 12; Judges 16: 20. cf. Psalm 51: 11, etc.) – Ed.]

The second thought which occurs to us in connection with a temple is that of sacrifice.  The sacrificial system of the Old Testament centred in the Temple at Jerusalem, which was the only place of sacrifice recognized by God once it had been built: and the only sacrifices acceptable to Him were those ordained by Himself and offered up there in the manner prescribed.  The sacrificial system of the Law has been superseded by Christ: but His followers as God’s spiritual Temple have spiritual sacrifices, which they are to offer up to Heaven from out of themselves - their hearts or innermost being even as the smoke of the offerings of old went up from the Temple precincts.  The New Testament mentions the sacrifice of praise’ (Heb. 13: 15); that of doing good (verse 16); and that of the body (Rom. 12: 1).  But when we remember the wrath of Jehovah against the sacrifices of the high places which He did not recognize, how clear it becomes that He will not receive the so-called service or self-sacrifice of those who are not His Temple, not indwelt by the [Holy] Spirit,* because never decided for Christ!

[* See Acts 5: 32, R.V. cf. Col. 3: 3, 25, R.V.]

We may now add a word about worship in general.  From the circumstance that the corporate religious life of Israel was so closely bound up with the Temple at Jerusalem, an idea has grown up that God can only be worshipped with any approach to adequacy in a building specially consecrated and ornamented, with a gorgeous ceremonial.  This springs from the error of regarding a Christian place of worship as technically a House of God.  For the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 17: 24).  Whatever may have been the case in the Old Testament days, He is not doing so now.  Thus the Saviour Himself foretold that in this dispensation the true worshippers would worship the Father, not at Jerusalem nor at any local shrine, but in spirit and in truth” (John 4: 21-23).  This follows naturally from what we have already noticed.  The worship must proceed out of our hearts, but the material place matters not.  Being ourselves God’s Temple - [if we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit] - we take His House with us wherever we go.

We pass to another point.  In the literal Temple of the Jews was the Ark; and in it the two tables of stone with the Ten Commandments inscribed, the tables of the Old Covenant of the Law.  Through Jeremiah it was foretold that one day God would make a New Covenant, concerning which He said, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts (Jer. 31: 33).  In Hebrews 8, the prophecy is quoted as having received a fulfilment in the New Covenant of the Gospel which Christ introduced through His redeeming work.  In the literal Temple God’s Law was literally inscribed on literal tables of stone: in the spiritual Temple His Law is spiritually inscribed - written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Cor. 3: 3).  What a picture of the consecration to the Commandments of God - for us supremely the teaching of the Saviour and His Apostles - expected of every [regenerate] believer!  And remember that the tables of stone were called the Testimony” (Exod. 25: 16 etc.): they were a witness that Israel was pledged to keep God’s Law.  So Paul says:- Ye [who believe] are our epistle,” known and read of all men” (2 Cor. 3: 2).  Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ (verse 3).  By the extent of our obedience do many who seldom open their Bibles judge of the Christian Faith.

A further train of thought arises here.  In the Temple of old the chief characteristic was holiness: not without cause were the two principal portions called the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.  And when unholiness and corruption defiled His House God caused it to be overthrown - yet so as to be subsequently restored.  The Temple of Solomon was burnt by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., but rebuilt 70 years.  The Temple of Herod was burnt by the Romans in A.D.70, but there will be a restoration hereafter.  In these circumstances may be found warning for every child of God.  For the Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3: 17.)  If any man destroyeth the Temple of God, him shall God destroy (ibid.).  The Greek word rendered destroy can also mean corrupt.’  If any man corrupteth” - spiritually, morally, or physically - the Temple of God- that is, himself or a fellow believer, spirit, soul, and body - him shall God corrupt - God shall cause him to see corruption.  It is highly significant that in this very context (verse 13) we read:- If any man’s work shall be burned he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”  For even as the literal Temple of the Jews is now absent from the earth, having been burnt in the beginning of this dispensation owing to the unholiness found therein, but is destined to be rebuilt on a more magnificent scale than ever in the next dispensation - the Millennium - so is there many a spiritual Temple of God - many a believer - destined by reason of an unholy and un-separated life to be absent from the earth in the time of the coming Millennial Kingdom - the next dispensation to us - though as saved by grace he will shine as a star in the eternity beyond.

Our last lesson is drawn from the two pillars of the Temple, which were named Jachin (“He shall establish”) and Boaz (“In it is strength”) (1 Kings 7: 21).  The Temple was the earthly centre of the religion of Israel - the rallying ground of Judaism: and while it existed the importance of its witness to the true God and His worship among the nations round about was scarcely less than that of the Old Testament itself.  In the New Testament we learn the bearing of these matters upon ourselves as God’s spiritual Temple under the Gospel.  In 1 Timothy 3: 15 were we read of the House of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground (or, stay) of the Truth.”  And here is a personal message for us all: in the best sense we should strive each one to be pillars of the Church.’  The spiritual power of each Assembly depends on its individual members: and our Lord has graciously promised, Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of My God and he shall go no more out(Rev. 3: 12).

To Whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ(1 Pet. 2: 4-5).

*       *       *

THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE OF EZEKIEL’S PROPHECY

 

 

By JAMES PAYNE

 

 [Published by:THE SOVEREIGN GRACE ADVENT TESTIMONY. ]

 

 

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Introduction

[Page 2]

 

Ezekiel commenced his prophetic ministry in the fifth year of the captivity of King Jehoiachin (in some places called Jeconiah).  The expression the thirtieth year in chapter 1, verse 1, is a little obscure, but probably refers to the thirtieth year of Ezekiel’s life.  Ezekiel was a priest and if our supposition is correct then the Lord called him to the prophetic ministry at the same time as he would normally have entered upon his priestly office.  Whatever the meaning of this expression, however, the time referred to is rendered perfectly, clear by the expression in verse 2 to which we have already referred.

 

 

Each of Ezekiel’s thirteen prophecies are dated from the year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity.  He prophesied in the fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, twenty-fifth and twenty-seventh years from that event.  Only two prophecies in the book are placed out of chronological order - one in the tenth year and the other in the twenty-seventh.  The reason for this is obviously to bring all the prophecies relating to Egypt together.  The vision concerning the Temple and City was given, he says, in the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, ... the fourteenth year after the city was smitten.”  This shows that Ezekiel was also taken captive with King Jehoiachin and thus was in captivity five years before his ministry began.  Jehoiachin reigned only, a few months, and Zedekiah, who succeeded him, being the last king, reigned eleven Years; and fourteen plus eleven equals twenty-five.

 

 

What was the purpose of this last vision given to Ezekiel?  It has been said that the Lord intended to give Israel one more opportunity, to return wholeheartedly to Himself, and that had they done so this new order of things would have been established forthwith in Jerusalem.  As, however, they did not return to Him, the promise of so glorious a Temple became null and void and the whole narrative therefore ceases to be of any practical interest.

 

 

Such a conclusion, however, is obviously ill-considered.  If the Lord had, at that time, brought Israel into the order of things portrayed by Ezekiel, then the whole of the Levitical law would have been rendered obsolete. But there is not the slightest indication anywhere that this was intended until such law had found its completion in Christ.  Indeed, as we shall hereafter show, the institutions of Ezekiel’s Temple could find their proper place only in an ‘age’ of grace [yet to come*].

 

[*Though, being a Son, learned obedience from what He suffered; and having been perfected He (i.e., Messiah / Christ) became to all those obeying him a cause of salvation age-lasting:” (Heb. 5: 8, 9, lit. Greek.)  See also Lk. 20: 35, R.V.]

 

 

A very, cursory, comparison between Ezekiel’s Temple and the records of Ezra and Nehemiah will serve to show that it is clearly not Zerubbabel’s Temple that is here described.

 

 

Some have suggested that the spiritual Temple of Christ’s Church in its eternal glory is here set forth in the symbols of an earthly building and that nothing more is intended.  The wealth of detail, however, employed in the minute description of every part of the building precludes such an idea.  Certain parts of these chapters, such as the issuing of the living waters from under the threshold or the entrance into the House of the Glory of the Lord, have been taken by some and so spiritualized, perhaps with some profit to the hearers, but no man has yet ventured to spiritualize every detail of description and measurement found in the record of this vision.  It would be extremely difficult, for example, without being highly fanciful, to find any spiritual counterpart to the division of the land among the tribes or the order in which the tribes appear in the land.  The same may be said of the numbers of arches, chambers and pillars with their detailed measurements and many, other such things.  And unless the whole description can be shown to be merely symbolic of spiritual things, it is manifestly improper so to regard some particular portions thereof just according to one’s fancy.

 

 

To the honest and unbiased reader, the record given is the plain and simple description in great detail of a literal Temple, with a city in close proximity, yet to be built in a particular place in the Holy Land,* to the north and south of which the tribes of Israel are to have equal inheritance in a manner entirely different from that which has obtained in the previous history of the nation.  The Temple, moreover, is to be filled with the Glory of Jehovah, who is to have His Throne there, while holiness is to be the law of the House and abundance the characteristic of the [coming millennial] Kingdom.

 

[* See Robert Cornuke’s latest book: “Temple.”]

 

[Page 5]

First Tour of the Temple

 

 

The Jewish standard measure was the cubit.  Two measures are used in the description of the Temple - the cubit, and the reed, which was six cubits.  The cubit measure used here, however, is the great cubit - a cubit and an hand breadth (ch. 40: 5) - which is approximately twenty-two inches.  The measuring rod used by the guiding angel who accompanied Ezekiel was one reed long.  Wherever numbers are given without the measure, the measure to be understood is obviously the cubit.  Wherever measurements are given in reeds, that fact is always indicated.

 

 

The angel commences the first tour, giving his explanatory description of the Temple buildings, at the great wall forming a square around the Temple area at some distance from the Temple itself; to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.”  This wall was foursquare - one reed high and one reed broad; that is about eleven feet each way.* Thence he takes Ezekiel into the outer court of the Temple (the court of the people) by the eastern gate, giving him a detailed description of the gate, its chambers, arches, etc., and then observes that a gate leading into the second court (the court of the Levites) stands right opposite this gate.  They then proceed round the outer court to the northern gate and notice that in all its measurements it is an exact replica of the gate facing the east.  It is further observed here that a gate leading to the second court stands opposite this gate.  The two then return round the outer court and journey on to the southern gate and find that this gate also, in every detail, resembles the other two in the same court.  Moreover, there is also opposite this gate another leading into the second court.

[* NOTE.  Perhaps the most distressing blunder of inserting Reeds instead of Cubits is that The Temple is shifted away from Jerusalem, to, Samaria. The Scriptures, with one unanimous voice, say that Jerusalem is the place where God has placed his name and where, his house would be.  If the temple is to be shifted to Samaria, then the Woman of Samaria was right in her contention that Samaria was the right place for God’s temple, see John 4: 20.  If we insert Cubits, then the temple will be at Jerusalem where all temples were.  We could overcrowd this article with texts proving that the coming temple will be at Jerusalem.  Christ clearly taught that the Abomination of Desolation, spoken by Daniel, the Prophet, would stand in a temple at Jerusalem at the end of the age.  See Matt. 24: 15.”]

Through this gate they enter and observe in doing so the one difference which distinguishes the gate in the Levites’ court from the gate in the outer court.  Whereas the gates in the outer court have seven steps, the gates in the second court have eight steps.  As there are no steps at the entrances to the altar court, the total number of steps from the exterior to the altar court is fifteen, agreeing with the fifteen Psalms of Degrees (Pss. 120-134) or Psalms of Ascents which were sung by the Levites when the Tribes went up, the Tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel and which will doubtless again be sung in that day* when many nations shall say, ‘Come and let us go up to the House of the God of Jacob’” (Micah 4: 2).

 

[* See 2 Pet. 3: 8, R.V.]

 

 

From the south gate of the Levites’ court the angel conducts Ezekiel to the east gate and shows him that this is constructed on the same pattern.  They then proceed to the north gate and observe that this also is of similar design but has certain additions which do not appear at any of the other gates.  On either side of this gate there is an additional chamber, separate from the rest.  These chambers are for the washing of the offerings. Moreover, on either side of this gate are four low tables or blocks (eight in all) only one cubit (approximately twenty-two inches) high.  On these the animals offered in sacrifice are to be slain.

 

 

Ezekiel is now shown into the altar court (the court of the priests) via the entrance which faces cast, and as they pass the angel draws attention to the chambers built into and upon the wall of the court and explains that these chambers are for the singers.  The angel does not at this juncture refer to the altar, but draws attention to two chambers - one on either side of the altar, to the north and south.  The entrances to these chambers face the altar, and the one on the north is for the use of the ministers of the Temple, while the one on the south is for the use of the ministers at the altar.

 

 

Ezekiel is then conducted to the Temple, which stands on a raised platform, access to which is gained via a flight of steps.  The number of steps, however, is not given.  On this platform the angel describes in detail the porch, the posts of the porch and the posts of the Temple.  He then leads Ezekiel within, describing the folding doors through which they pass.  There is, apparently, only one piece of furniture in the Temple; that is in the position of the altar of incense and is spoken of as the Table that is before the Lord.”  The guiding angel then describes the doors leading to the Holy of Holies.  There is, of course, no veil; nor is there anything mentioned as being within the Holy of Holies.  The reason for this is seen later.

 

 

The carved work upon the walls of the Temple is also described, in which palm trees and cherubim alternate; the one indicative of victory and the other of the holy service of the Redeemed.  Palm trees indeed figure in many places in the Temple area, being portrayed upon the posts of both the outer courts and upon the porch of the Temple.  Everything, in fact, savours of victory.

 

 

Before leaving the Temple the angel describes the chambers which are built against the Temple walls.  These are very similar to those in Solomon’s Temple, the chambers being in three stories and increasing in breadth from the lowest to the highest, the wall of the Temple itself becoming narrower to allow for the increasing breadth of the chambers.  In each “shoulder” of the Temple building there is a spiral staircase giving access to the second and third stories of the chambers.

 

 

The angel then leads Ezekiel out into the Levites’ court by the opening towards the north and shows him the chambers built into the wall of the Temple court both on the north side and on the south side.  These also are in three stories but, like those in the altar court, they taper upward, the chambers in the highest story being the smallest in width.  The reason for this is that there are no pillars to give the necessary stability to the building as with the chambers in the walls of the other courts where, in each story, they are of similar size.  These chambers in the walls of the Temple court are for the use of the priests, where they are to eat the sacrifices and where they are to lay up their garments which have to be changed on entry into and exit from the Temple buildings.

 

 

Ezekiel is then conducted from the court of the Levites via the eastern gates back to the great wall from whence the tour commenced.  The angel then describes the area enclosed by the great wall - 500 reeds by 500 reeds, that is about a square mile.  The outer court of the Temple is 500 cubits by 500 cubits; that is one-thirty-sixth of the area within the great wall.  The size of the altar court is given and the distance between the walls of the courts is given: this enables us to calculate the size of the other courts.  This completes Ezekiel’s first tour of the Temple area.

 

 

Second Tour of the Temple

 

 

The second tour commences by his being brought again to the eastern gate of the outer court, and as he stands there the Glory of Jehovah appears from the east and enters into the Temple by the eastern gates.  This was the same glory that Ezekiel had earlier seen, in vision, depart from the Temple and which he describes in some detail in chapters one and ten.  This glory centred in a Person - the Man upon the Sapphire Throne who is, very clearly, the Lord Jesus Christ - Kabod Jehovah: the Glory of the Lord.

 

 

The Spirit then takes Ezekiel and sets him down by the door of the Temple and the Glory of Jehovah fills the Temple, out from which there comes a voice saying, Son of Man!  The place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the Children of Israel for ever.”*  This, then, is none other than the voice of Jesus, the Son of God, Israel’s Messiah, and He declares that this Temple, seen by Ezekiel in vision, is the place of His Throne.  This explains why Ezekiel saw no ark in the Holy of Holies.  The Ark of Jehovah’s Covenant is now supplanted by the Throne of Jehovah’s Glory.  In accordance with this Jeremiah prophesied, saying (chapter 3: 16, 17), “It shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind. ... At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah and all nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.’”  Jesus, moreover, is not only to reign but also to walk and to dwell among the Children of Israel.  The earthly Jerusalem will not, of course, be His only dwelling.  Of the heavenly Jerusalem it is said, The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it.”  And again, The Lamb is the Light thereof.”  Moreover, the Lord’s principal residence is in the bosom of the Father (John 1: 18).  An earthly king usually has many palaces in which he dwells from time to time.  How much more then, the King of Kings.  Indeed He says, In my Father’s house are many dwelling places.”

 

[* See NOTE 1.]

 

 

The Throne established by Jehovah on Mount Zion and occupied by David and Solomon and those who succeeded them was Jehovah’s Throne (see 1 Chron. 29: 23).  And so He says prophetically, I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion” (Psalm 2).* This is His beloved Son.  Because of the sins of His people the Lord, in process of time, overturned the Throne until He should come whose right it is - then it was to be given Him (Ezek. 21: 27).  So when Jesus was born it was said, “The Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David.”  This Ezekiel, in vision, sees fulfilled [during the coming millennium].

 

[* See in NOTE 2 - SELECTED EXPOSITIONS FROM PSALM 2 by A. C. Gaebelein and J. B. Rotherham.]

 

 

Ezekiel’s attention is now directed to the altar of sacrifice.  Different this from any altar commanded under the Levitical law.  This structure was composed of four square blocks superimposed one upon another - the largest at the bottom.  Thus it was foursquare in four squares,” and it was approached by a flight of steps.  This last characteristic was definitely forbidden under the law (see Ezek. 20: 26).  This altar was situated right in the centre of the whole Temple structure and was to be both a symbol and a memorial of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who bore away the sin of the world.

 

 

Thus, when the Son of Man shall reign over the house of Israel upon the Throne of His Glory, Mount Zion will be the centre of the world, whither all nations shall go up to keep the feasts of Jehovah; and the altar - the memorial of Calvary - will be the centre of the Temple structure.  As now, the central theme of worship will be the Atonement once made and worshippers will still glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Their united praises will be Unto Him that hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”

 

 

From the altar Ezekiel passes to the eastern gate of the court of the Levites and notes that the gate is shut.  This, the angel explains, is because the glory of Jehovah has entered via that gate.  That therefore is to be reserved for the exclusive use of the Prince.”  When he enters by that gate on the Sabbath, it shall remain open till the close of the day.  When, however, on other occasions, he enters to offer sacrifice, it is to be closed immediately afterwards.  As for the people, those coming in by the north gate are to go out via the south gate and vice versa.

 

 

The angel then gives to Ezekiel a somewhat detailed account of the sacrifices which are to be offered and of the feasts which are to be kept unto the Lord.  He then takes him to the two western corners of the Levites’ court and shows him that in each corner there is a smaller court which, he says, are for boiling places of the sacrifices for the priests.  He then takes him into the outer court and shows him that in all four corners of this court there are smaller courts.  And these are for boiling places where the Levites shall boil the sacrifices of the people.  Thus ends Ezekiel’s second tour of the Temple area.

 

 

Third Tour of the Temple

 

 

There is still one thing, however, that Ezekiel has not seen.  The angel brings him back therefore into the altar court and shows him a spring of water* coming up from under the threshold of the house, occupying a position similar to that of the brazen sea in Solomon’s Temple.  Ezekiel is then conducted via the north gate into the outer court and then round to the eastern gate of that court, and outside of that gate the waters reappear and flow in an ever widening and deepening stream onwards to the Dead Sea.  The waters are of a healing character and in the sea whence they come a multitude of fish will be sustained.  Trees adorn the banks of the river, yielding fruit for food and leaves for medicine.

 

[* Compare this with the description given of “a new earth” (Rev. 21: 1, R.V.), when “The first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more.”]

 

 

It is evident that medicine will be needed in the time of our Lord’s [millennial] reign upon [this restored] earth.  While the people of Israel themselves will probably be miraculously preserved from bodily weakness and ailments as when they came out of Egypt (see Psalm 105: 37), it will be their privilege to minister medicine to the nations, where sickness will still persist although probably of much less frequent occurrence than now. Satan will certainly not be free to afflict as he was in the case of Job (see Rev. 20: 2 and 3).

 

 

The prophet Zechariah speaks of these waters (chapter 14).  He says that in the latter days the Lord’s feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives (the mount from which He ascended) and the mountain shall cleave asunder in the midst, half moving to the north and half to the south, thus leaving a chasm extending east and west.*  He says also that, in that day, there shall be living waters go out from Jerusalem, half toward the former sea (the Mediterranean) and half toward the hinder sea (the Dead Sea).”  It seems therefore that the waters seen in Ezekiel’s vision are those which flow eastwards through the chasm made in Mount Olivet at the Lord’s return in glory.  His g1orious entry into the Temple will, as we have seen, be made from the east - presumably therefore from Mount Olivet.

 

[* See NOTE 3 EXALTED ZION.]

 

 

Position of the Temple in the Land

 

 

Ezekiel’s conducted tours of the Temple area are thus completed.  Much more is revealed to him, however, concerning the Temple and the City and the Land of Palestine, and a few points command our further attention. Let us first consider the precise position, in the Land, of the Temple structure.  The Land is to be divided among the Tribes by means of parallel strips of land extending from the coast inward, of approximately similar area.  As, however, the Land is broader in the south than in the north, the strips of land become gradually narrower from north to south.  They are to be allotted in the following order:

 

 

Dan

 

Asher

 

Naphtali

 

Manasseh

 

Ephraim

 

Reuben

 

Judah

 

Benjamin

 

Simeon

 

Issachar

 

Zebulun

 

Gad

 

 

There is no portion for the Tribe of Levi, but between the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin there is to be a slightly narrower portion dedicated to Jehovah.  In the centre of this portion a square is to be set apart as an oblation, the land on either side thereof belonging to the Prince.”  The oblation is to be divided into three parts, two of equal size and one half that size.  The northern portion is to be for the Temple structure, and outside of that dwelling places for the priests.  The middle portion is to comprise twenty chambers or villages for the Levites, while the southern portion is to contain the City, and outside the City produce is to be grown for the City dwellers.

 

 

The distance from the Temple to the centre of the City would be about four miles, and while the Temple would correspond approximately with the ancient site of Mount Zion, the City would likewise correspond with the site of Bethlehem.  This, however, must not be stated too dogmatically as there will obviously be considerable changes in the topography of the country as a result of the cleavage in the Mount of Olives.

 

 

The Chambers of the Temple

 

 

Let us now further consider the chambers of the Sanctuary.  On either side of each gate in the outer court there are fifteen chambers in three stories, making a total of ninety.  In the wall of the Levites’ court there are also ninety chambers similarly placed.  In each case these are strengthened by two pillars, one on either side of the gate.  At the eastern entrance to the altar court there are thirty chambers in three stories (fifteen on either side of the entrance) and in the north and south walls of the Temple court there are thirty chambers in three stories, again making a total of ninety.  Built against the Temple itself on either side there are forty-five chambers in three stories, also making a total of ninety.  The total number of chambers in or against the walls is therefore 360.  Inside of each of the six gates in the two outer courts there are six chambers; each set of three being connected by arches, making a total of 36.  The two additional chambers at the north gate of the court of the Levites, and the two chambers on either side of the altar bring the grand total to 400 chambers.

 

 

We have already seen that the chambers in the Temple court are for the priests and those in the altar court for the singers.  It seems reasonable to suppose therefore that those in the Levites’ court are for the Levites and those in the people’s court for the use of the people.  There remain those in the Temple itself; and one wonders whether these will be reserved for the rise of the heavenly visitors, the attendants of the King of kings Himself, whose throne is established in the inner Sanctuary.

 

 

The Table and the Sacrifices

 

 

It has been previously noticed that in the Temple itself the only piece of furniture referred to is the table of the Lord (chapter 44: 16).  Now this is the expression used by Paul to denote the communion table at which we partake of the Lord’s Supper.  Moreover, in the twenty-second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, our Lord said to His disciples, I appoint unto you a kingdom as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  Shortly afterwards He said, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”  It would seem, therefore, that the table which replaces the incense altar in the future Temple will be the place where the Lord Jesus will drink the new wine of the Kingdom with His disciples.

 

 

In this connection it is interesting to notice that while the blood of the sacrifices slain in the Temple of Ezekiel was to be put upon the horns, settle and border of the sacrificial altar and upon the posts of the House,” there is no mention of any blood taken into the Temple.  While therefore the ritual of the Temple courts is concerned with sacrifices and blood, the ritual of the Temple itself would seem to be confined to bread and wine.  So the Old Testament order and the New Testament order are beautifully brought together in the [millennial] Temple of Jehovah when our Lord shall reign manifestly in the midst of His people.  Then, the service of the courts as well as the service of the Temple will be memorials of the one all-sufficient sacrifice for sins offered upon Calvary’s Cross.

 

 

The offerings enjoined upon the nation in connection with this Temple afford ample proof that the institution was intended for an age of grace and not to be operated under the law.  Two of the three great Jewish feasts only are preserved under Ezekiel’s order of things, viz. the Feast of the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.  In addition to the offerings on these occasions there are the daily, weekly and monthly sacrifices.  All these, however, are different from those prescribed under the Levitical law.  All sacrifices in Ezekiel’s Temple are to be provided by the Prince.  Hence, at the Passover, in place of the customary lamb for each household there is to be one bullock for the whole nation.

 

 

Under the law, the firstborn of all cattle and a yearly tithe of all increase were to be dedicated to the Lord, together with numerous other sacrifices and oblations.  In the coming [millennial] age, however, such will be Israel’s abundant fruitfulness that the Lord will require of the people only one-sixtieth of corn produce, one-hundredth of the oil and one in 200 of cattle.  Moreover, all these things are to be given by the people to the Prince to supply, him with the wherewithal to provide the national sacrifices.  The sacrifices will be offered by the priests and the priests will partake thereof.

 

 

The question naturally arises, How will this Temple be built?  It seems clear that the topographical preparation [and site]* for the building and the appearance of the living waters will take place on the Lord’s first contact with the earth at His coming.  That He is the Builder of the Temple there can be no doubt, for Zechariah says of Him, He shall build the Temple of the Lord and He shall bear the glory.”  It seems equally clear, however, that others - even those that are far off - will assist in the building (Zech. 6: 12-15).  This being so, the building will obviously take time, though perhaps not so long as we might suppose.

 

[* See Robert Cornuke’s latest book: “Temple.”]

 

 

Between our Lord’s descent upon Olivet and His triumphal entry into the new Temple several things must occur [beforehand], e.g. the treading of the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Godand the judgment of the nations (Matt. 24).  Whether, however, during all the intervening period He will be here in person or whether He will at any time withdraw, with the glorified saints, into the heavenly city, or into heaven itself, the event must be left to reveal.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

Another question which arises is, Who is the Prince?  It is said that he will give his sons their inheritance out of his own portion of the land and shall not take away from the tribes their possessions.  It would seem therefore that he is an ordinary, mortal man, whom, [after the time of his resurrection (Acts 2: 34, R.V.)] the Lord will appoint over His people at that time (see Luke 20: 34-36).*

 

[* See also Jer. 12: 15; 15: 19; 30: 9, R.V., etc.]

 

 

The term oblation is sometimes applied to the area covering the Temple and the priests’ portion and sometimes includes the Levites’ portion.  And on one occasion it refers to the whole square, including the City, and the City gardens.  The term varies in meaning according to the particular connection in which it is used.  Even the priests’ portion is spoken of as a profane place when contrasted with the Temple buildings, which are holy.”  The whole square of the oblation (including both Temple and City) is evidently taken together as indicating the earthly dwelling place of the Son of God; for the name of the City is Jehovah Sammah - Jehovah is there.

 

 

The Temple itself evidently stands upon the summit of a mountain, for the Lord said to Ezekiel: Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy.  Behold! this is the law of the house” (chapter 43: 12).

 

 

It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, ‘Come ye, and let its go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.’  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more:” (Isaiah 2: 2-4).

 

 

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NOTE 1

 

 

LEOLAM.  FOREVER.

 

[From NATHANIEL WEST’S The Thousand Years’.]]

 

In the extract from Schroeder, quoted above, it was said that the term “Leolam,” “forever,” Ezek. 37: 25, 26, 28, applied to the duration of the times of Israel in the kingdom, in future days, “can be interpreted by the Chilia Ete, or ‘The Thousand Years,’ in Rev. 20: 1-7.”  This is exegetically true as it is theologically important, and rests upon the Biblical use of the term itself.  It refutes the vain charge that Chiliasm denies the “everlasting” character of Messiah’s kingdom, because it asserts its temporal form in a Millennial Age.

 

A better knowledge of the usus loquendi, and of the term “forever,” would render this, like many other similar objections, impossible.  The kingdom of Messiah is, as the Scriptures everywhere declare, everlasting in its essence and existence.  It has “no end.”  Isa. 9: 7; Heb. 1: 8-12.  Messiah’s throne is “forever.”  Ps. 89: 4, 29, 36; Heb. 1: 8; 72: 77.  Throughout its several forms of dispensations, it is an everlasting kingdom also, but yet to each of these forms there is an “end.”  Matt. 24: 14; Heb. 9: 26; 1 Cor. 15: 24.  It is olamic aeonian in both, but in a different sense; in the first, absolutely so; in the second, relatively so; unlimited as to its essence, limited as to its forms.  As to its essence, no external event can limit it.  As to its form, external events do limit it.  Viewed in its essence it is eternal only.  Viewed in its essence and form, together, it is both temporal and eternal, yet called eternal in its relative sense, that is, “age-abiding.”  Essentially it is one, and endures forever in an absolute sense.  Circumstantially, or dispensationally, it is many, its forms evanescent, though each is age-abiding.  This rests upon the nature of the case, and the Biblical expression is accommodated to the fact.  The wise man tells us God has sent “Olam,” “eternity,” in the heart of man, and he knows “that whatever God doeth it should be Leolam, forever.” Eccl. 3: 11, 14.  No man can find, out the work of God from its beginning, or in its end, no man can conceive an absolute beginning or an absolute end, for no man can conceive an absolute beginning or an absolute end, because “God has set Olam in the heart of man.”  Eternity transcends human thought, and yet it is the innermost core of man’s spiritual constitution, writes vanity on all things perishable, and bespeaks man’s immorality.  In spite of the world’s fading fashion which attracts and the eternal state, will differ as greatly from its previous form in the millennial state, as that millennial form will differ from our present form, and as ours again differs from the old Mosaic, or as that did from the patriarchal tent.

 

Schroeder is right, therefore, as are Kliefoth, Oehler, Kuper, and many others, when saying that Ezekiel’s Leolam, Forever, in 37: 25, 26, 28, is the equivalent of John’s Chilia Ete, or “one thousand years,” in Rev. 20: 1-7.  Isaiah’s everlasting age concealed in its bosom all the relative ages of the great development, and their termini, even as Joel’s prophecy was “generic” and contained the two judgments of the double end, the judgment on antichrist and the nations, and the judgment on Gog.  And in the whole development, all things are connected with temporal and terrestrial relations.  From first to last, even in the New Testament, the ages and the kingdom of the heavens are associated with our planet.  Nowhere in the Old Testament, as nowhere in the New, can our popular idea of “an end to the world,” as the terminus where Time and Eternity meet, or Time passes into Eternity, and “our planet is no more,” to be found.  Such conceptions are unbiblical, Manichean, Origenistic, Shakesperean and pessimistic.  The “hills of Olam” abide for ever and forever.  Materiality is glorified, not annihilated, in God’s Kingdom.  The creation is recreated.  A new heaven and earth supplant the old, and this begins with the “many days,” “the one thousand years.” …

 

And what we find further, is that no prophet of the Old Testament gives a complete, but only a partial picture of the End-Time, even as neither Christ, nor any Apostle does, but that the work of John, under the guidance of the Spirit of Prophecy, was to combine the Eschata of Joel, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah; in short, the Eschata of all the prophets, and arrange them in their temporal order and succession, supplementing by one prophet the partial picture of the End drawn by another, until all the Eschata fall into their places, as they shall occur in history, so furnishing to us one grand tableau of the End Time.  This is what the Holy Ghost did with the seer in the “isle that is called Patmos.”  Nothing is clearer than that “the 1,000 years” of John are found in the Old Testament prophets, and that Hosea’s “Third Day,” Isaiah’s “Multitude of Days,” Ezekiel’s “Many Days,” bounded by two resurrections, two conflagrations, and two judgments, each distinguished from one another, and between which the Millennial Kingdom lies.  The New Testament Apocalypse answers herein, to the Old, as face answers to face in water, and it belongs to the shame and reproach due to the superficial knowledge of so many in our day, who pretend to greater things, that they have not recognized this fact, in their study of the Scriptures, but still keep harping on the old and timeless string that “the Millennium is found in only one passage of the Bible, and that in a very obscure book called the Apocalypse!” a boast and a blindness which have happened in part of many Gentile interpreters who inform us that Israel of Old Testament Prophecy, “Daniel’s People” brought out of Egypt, and to whom a future so glorious is reserved, after a punishment so great, means believers in Christ, the Old and the New Testament “Church,” from the “first man Adam,” down to the “Second Adam, the Lord from heaven,” a grand spiritual company gathered not only from Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia, but from Greeks, Turks, Germans, Saxons, Romans, Arabs, Frenchmen, Esquimaux and Indians.  What a perversion, or as Delitzsch calls it, a “destruction and negatation of the prophecies not effected!  Or what is more humiliating to a scholar than the allegorizing “Anglo-Israelism” of some of our times!  On the Contrary, if we only let God speak for Himself - allowing Israel to “abide” Israel, till the Lord comes, that “Genea” not passing away, how bright the unclouded Apocalypses of Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah and John!  How clear the Millennial age following the Advent!  How false the common view entertained by [many within] the Church, and blindly advocated by so many of her teachers!

 

The word “Olam,” “Ever,” does not, of itself, and by fixed necessity, always denote the annihilation of time, but as frequently, in Hebrew usage, denotes simply unbroken continuance up to a special epoch in history, or to a certain natural termination.  It has a relative as well as an absolute sense, a finite as well as an infinite length.  It means “Here” as well as “Beyond,” and applies to a kingdom that comes to “an End,” as well as to one that has “no End.”  For this reason, a great World-Period, or Age, are called “Olam,” and in World-Periods, or Ages, are called “Olammim,” and in order to express infinite time, the reduplication is used, “Ages of Ages,” “Olammim Olammim.”  It is therefore a false conclusion to say that because the term “Le Olam,” “Forever,” is applied to the Messianic kingdom, therefore the Hebrews contradicted themselves, when they assigned to it limits at the same time.  Messiah’s kingdom is Temporal and also Eternal, and in both senses, Olamic.  The bondsman’s free covenant to serve his master lasted “forever,” but that only meant “till Jubilee.”  The Levitical economy was established to be “forever,” but that only meant till “the time of reformation.”  The Christian Church is “forever,” in its present form, but that only means “till He comes.”  True to this view, the Jewish Teachers ever held to a Temporal Kingdom of glory on earth, in the “World to Come,” this side the Eternal State in the final New Heaven and Earth.  Therefore we read in Fourth Ezra (Second Esdras in the English Apocrypha) that Messiah’s kingdom is restrained “to 400 years,”* while in the Apocalypse of Baruch – both these productions written in the time of the Apostle John, - it is said to “stand forever,” yet only “until the corruptible world is ended.” ** All this instructs us in the flexible, as well as fixed, character of the tern “forever.”

 

*4th Ezra, VII. 48  **Baruch, XLVIII.

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NOTE 2

 

SELECTED EXPOSITIONS FROM PSALM 2

 

1

 

This Psalm is the first great outstanding prophecy concerning Christ in this book.  Its prophetic Messianic meaning is confirmed in the New Testament.  Like every other prophecy which deals with the work and the glory of Christ, this priphecy also remains in greater part unfulfilled and can only be fulfilled at the second advent.

 

We behold Him in this Psalm as King, rejected, but in God’s own time to be enthroned upon the hill of holiness, Zion, to rule over the nations and to possess the uttermost parts of the earth.  The perfect Man and the glorious King is the theme of the first and second Psalms, and between stands His rejection by His own and the nations of the earth.  And what a majestic, sublime prophecy it is! The Psalm has no inscription, but David is the author of it.  This we learn from Acts 4: 25.  In that passage this Psalm is quoted as well as in Acts 13: 33; Hebrews 1: 5 & 5: 5.  Other passages in which this Psalm is referred to, are Revelations 2: 27-28; 12: 5; 19: 15.  The Messianic interpretation among the Jews was the only interpretation up to the tenth and eleventh century.  Then, to contradict the Christian exposition, the Jews limited the meaning of the Psalm to David.  This view is now fully shared by the destructive critics.  The Jews reject the Messianic prophetic meaning because they want to deny Jesus as their promised Messiah; and the Modernists, with the full light thrown upon this Psalm in the New Testament, also reject Christ, when they side with the comparatively modern Jewish view.

 

The heavens are still silent to all the blasphemies which are spoken against Christ.  God says nothing now to all the dishonours which are peaped upon the head of His blessed Son.  But He will not keep silence forever.  He has waited and is still waiting in infinite patience upon His Father’s throne, till at last by God’s own power, by His personal return, His enemies shall be made His footstool.  Jehovah laughs at man’s opposition and has them in derision.  While now He speaks in love through and in His Son, in the blessed Gospel of Grace, He will then speak in His anger and in His wrath He will terrify those who are His enemies.  A day of vengeance, a day of wrath is surely coming and dreadful it will be when it bursts in all its fury upon a world, which dreams of progress, peace, and safety; and which seamingly has gotten rid of the bands and cords.  The Son of God is dishonoured and disowned as to His own Person.  Can God keep silence much longer?  Will He not soon speak in vindication of His own Son so shamefully rejected and neglected?  Yet that day of the Lord’s wrath and God’s wrath will not come till the final, great apostasy is fully matured, and till it has run its appointed course.*  The faithful testimony of God’s believing children makes the complete apostasy still impossible; but when their testimony is ended, and the true Church leaves this earth to be with Him, who is the exalted Head, all will rush into lawlessness and a complete rejection of Christ, and that will be followed by wrath from heaven.  Then God gives honour and glory to His Son Jesus Christ, who so fully glorified Him on the cross.  Upon Zion, the hill of holiness, will He be established as God’s anointed King.  This does not mean a spiritual rule, nor a spiritual Zion, but a literal Kingdom with its centre in the earthly Jerusalem.  Zion will be the seat of His dominion.  Jerusalem will then be the capital city of the great King.   - ARNO C. GAEBELEIN on Psalm 2.

[* NOTE.  These overwhelming and destroying judgments, however, will not continue after the glory of Christ has been fixed on Zion and after Israel has been fully gathered under its shelter.  After the inauguration of Christ’s glory on Zion the order of the millennial government, both in heaven and earth, will be fully established.  Israel will begin to ‘blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit,’ and evil will hide its head until for a brief moment it raises it again, without result, save in its own extinction, at the close of the millennial age.

The sixth verse, which thus reveals the fixed purpose of Jehovah in establishing the glory and power of Christ ‘Upon Zion, His holy mountain,’ is appropriately followed by the address of Christ, as King, to those kings and governors who are spared after the termination of those judgments which usher in the millennium, and under which Antichrist will perish.

From the seventh verse onward, the words are the words of Christ as the Messiah-King.  He first recites what Jehovah had said unto Him at the time of His resurrection from the dead.  Jehovah SAID unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.  Ask of Me and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.  Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron: Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’  Such were the words addressed unto the Son by the Father at the time of His resurrection.  See Acts 13: 33.

As yet, seeing that the time of longsuffering and grace towards the nations is not past, He hath not ‘asked’ to be invested with this power.  But when the time shall come for Christ to use the words of this Psalm, He will have ‘asked, and He will have been brought before the Ancient of Days as described in Daniel 7 and have been invested with the power of earth, and have begun to exercise it.

On the fact of His having assumed this power, is grounded His exhortation to the kings and rulers that will have been spared.  NOW, therefore, O ye kings, be wise; be instructed ye judges of the earth; serve Jehovah with fear and rejoice with reverence.  Do homage to the Son, lest ye perish from the way when His wrath is kindled yea, but a little.  They to whom these words will be addressed, will have seen how Antichrist and others who have rebelled against Jehovah and His Christ have perished; and at last they will learn wisdom.  The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.  Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him’ (Psalm. 72:10-11).  Universal outward homage will thus be paid to the King Whom Jehovah has inaugurated on Zion.” - B. W. NEWTON  (See “The Nations In Relation To Christ As In The Second Psalm.”)]

2

 

In the psalms, Zion means Zion - the earthly Zion, a part of and frequently synonymous with the historically city of Jerusalem.  It is on the strength of this assumption that, in the second psalm, it could be supposed that the same rebels as were aware of the Messiah’s heavenly reign on the throne of the Father, and so had come under the allegiance to Jehovah and his Anointedm – in that sense and to that degree, - were at the same time and up to that moment unaware that Jehovah had now recently installed his Christ on his holy hill of Zion.  It is the absolute difference between the two enthronements which renders it possible for men to have been rendering nominal homage to the one, and yet be in absolute ignorance of the other.  It is the sudden announcement of the earthly enthronement, which renders their conspiracy an object of Divine derision.  Accustomed to do as they pleased in governing or misgoverning their subjects, fearless of [millennial] and eternal issues to be tried before an invisible throne, they are suddenly confronted by a counter Divine movement, evidently and utterly subversive of their rebellious schemes, with the prospect of them being [excluded from His coming Kingdom (Matt. 5: 20; 18: 3), or by being] called to account by this newly installed monarch who wields an iron sceptre and holds a commission where necessary to dash his enemies in pieces like a potter’ vessel.  In like manner, the same assumption - that Zion in the Old Testament means the earthly Zion - is vital to our exegesis of Psalm 110.  It is that, and that only, which resolves verse 1 of that psalm into an invitation to the Messiah to come out of the midst of his earthly enemies; and verse 2 into a commission to rteturn into their midst, for the purpose of demanding their submission.

 

 

Under these circumstances, it is manifestly desirable that each reader should confront this question for himself, and if possible once for all settle it:- Is the Zion of the Psalms practically identical with the historical city of Jerusalem?  The highest court of appeal is the usage of the name in the very book we are seeking to interpret.  The name “Zion” occurs in the following places in the Psalter, namely:- 2: 6; 9: 11, 14; 14: 7; 20: 2; 48: 2, 11, 12; 50: 2; 51: 18; 53: 6; 65: 1; 69: 35; 74: 2; 76: 2; 78: 68; 84: 7; 87: 2, 5; 97: 8; 99: 2; 102: 13, 16, 21; 110: 2; 125: 1; 126: 1; 128: 5; 129: 5; 132: 13; 133: 3; 134: 3; 135: 21; 137: 1, 3; 146: 10; 147: 12; 149: 2.  It would be unreasonable to expect that all these examples should be demonstrative as to the point at issue: it will suffice, to render the appeal conclusive, that (a) there should be no instances where plainly “Zion” cannot be identical with the earthly Jerusalem; and (b) that there should be a large number in which an alleged reference to a heavenly Zion would bring the [Holy Spirit, and therefore the] Holy Scriptures into ridicule.  This reference to a “heavenly” Jerusalem is suggested by a few allusions in the New Testament which name a Jerusalem which is so distinguished: as to which it is obvious to remark that the very term “heavenlypresupposes an earthly Jerusalem to which a contrastive allusion is made; and further that such qualifying term is never found in the Old Testament.  The Psalms, in particular, know nothing of a Zion or a Jerusalem in heaven.  It would seem like an insult to readers of ordinary intelligence to remind them of such decisive phrases as “Go about Zion,” “wherein thou didst make thy habitation,” “and  his lair in Zion hath been placed,” “Zion heard and was glad,” “Thou wilt arise and have compassion upon Zion,” “Jehovah hath built up Zion,” “turned the fortress of Zion.”  Plainly it is the earthly Zion that is intended; and it is fearlessly submitted that there is nothing demonstrative on the other side. *  - J. B. ROTHERHAM on Psalm 2.

 

* NOTE.  All the sweet singers of Israel, from David to Ezra, pre-celebrate the same future for Israel.  They sing in concert with Moses.  The ‘Set Time’ to favour Zion, as it stands in the prophetic outlook, Psalm 102: 13-22, is demonstrably the ‘End Time’ when the Angel of Jehovah, the Lord Himself, throned on the ‘Clouds,’ comes with His holy ‘Angels’ to ‘appear in His glory and build up Zion,’ to ‘judge the people, the world, the earth, in righteousness,’ to give the righteous ‘dominion in the morning,’ to cause them to ‘wake in His likeness,’ to ‘send the rod of His strength out of Zion,’ ‘rule in the midst of His enemies,’ ‘smite kings in the Day of His wrath,’ ‘redeem Israel,’ ‘make known His Salvation in the eyes of all nations,’ and ‘fill the earth with His glory.’  It is all eschatological.  Those marvellous Psalms, 102, 97, 18, 96, 49, 110, 72, show this at once.  The expression ‘His Days’ in Psalm 72: 7, denotes plainly the days of Messianic or Millennial glory on earth, foretold by the prophets, and as following the ‘Seven Times’ of Moses.  These ‘Days’ are the ‘Third Day’ of Hosea, the ‘Many Days’ of Isaiah and Ezekiel, and the ‘Thousand Years’ of John.  Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets, all sing the same thing concerning Israel and Messiah, both as to their sufferings and glory, all idealizing critics to the contrary notwithstanding.  A pre-advent Millennium is unknown to the Psalter.  That bright constellation of five Psalms closing with the 100th Psalm, is a chorus of Second Adnent songs.  Delitzsch calls them ‘Apocalyptic Psalms.’  Prof. Binnie of Aberdeen styles them ‘Songs of the Millennium.’  Herder named them a ‘Group of Millennial Psalms.’  Tholuck adorned them with the title ‘Millennial Anthems.’  What is it they celebrate?  The Glorious kingdom of the Messiah, the kingdom restored to Israel, after the Second Coming, or personal Self- Revelation of Jehovah, to judge the world.  Like so many others, they teach as the Prophets do, the pre-millennial Advent of Christ, and the ‘Shower Seasons,’ or ‘Times of Reviving following, when ‘He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth;’ the very ‘times of refreshing’ of which Peter spoke, when the first Christian Pentecost, their pledge, was fully come.  Paul tells the Hebrews in his first chapter that the 97th Psalm relates to the Second Advent when the First-Born Heir of all things is publicly installed in His inheritance amid the homage of all angels.  The Old Hundredth Psalm is simply an anticipation of the Millennial Age when ‘All the people that on earth do dwell’ unite to praise the Lord.  What is the 45th Psalm but an ‘Advent Hymn’ as the great Crusius called it, ‘Celebrating the victories of the Bridegroom-Warrior coming to His kingdom?’”   - From writings by NATHANIEL WEST.

 

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NOTE 3

 

 

EXALTED ZION

 

[From NATHANIEL WEST’S The Thousand Years’.]

 

DELITZSCH, ORELLI, AND LISTER, ON EXALTED ZION.

 

[1] DELITZSCH ON ISAIAH 2: 2

The expression the ‘Last Days,’ i. e. the ‘End of the Days,’ ‘Acharith Hayyamin,’ which does not occur anywhere else in Isaiah, is always used in an eschatological sense.  It never refers to the course of history immediately following the time being, but invariably indicates the farthest point in the history of this life; - the point that lies on the outermost limit of the speaker’s horizon.  This horizon was a very fluctuating one.  The history of prophecy is just the history of the gradual extension of this horizon, and of the filling up of the intermediate spaces.  In Jacob’s blessing (Gen. 49) the Conquest of Canaan stood in the foreground of the Acharith Hayyamim and the perspective was regulated accordingly.  But, here, in Isaiah, the Acharith contained no such mixing together of events belonging to the more immediate and far distant future.  It was, therefore, the Last Time, in its most literal and purest sense, commencing with the beginning of the New Testament Age, and terminating at its close.  Compare Heb. 1: 1; 1 Pet. 1: 20.  The prophet here predicted that the ‘Mountain’ which bore the temple of Jehovah, and therefore, was already in dignity, the most exalted of all mountains, would, one day, tower in actual height above all the high places of the land.  The basaltic mountains of Bashan which rose up in bold peaks and columns might now indeed look down with scorn and contempt upon the small limestone hill which Jehovah had chosen (Psa. 68: 16, 17), but this was an incongruity which the Last Days would remove, by making the outward correspond to the inward, the appearance to the reality and intrinsic worth.  That this is the prophet’s meaning is confirmed by Ezekiel 40: 2, where the Temple-Mountain stands gigantic to the prophet, and also by Zechariah 14: 10, were all Jerusalem is described as towering above the country round about, which would, one day, become a plain.  The question how this can possibly take place, in time, since it presupposes a complete subversion of the whole of the existing order of the earth’s surface, is easily answered.  The prophet saw the New Jerusalem of the Last Days on this side, and the New Jerusalem of the New Earth on the other side of the End, blended together, as it were, in one.  Whilst, however, we thus avoid all unwarrantable spiritualizing, it still remains a question what meaning the prophet attached to the word, B’rosh,’ ‘at the Top.’  Did he mean that Moriah would one day stand ‘upon the top’ of the mountains that surrounded it (as in Psa. 72: 16), or that it would stand at the head’ of them (as in 1 Kings 21: 9, 12; Amos 6: 7; Jer. 31: 7)?  The former is Hofmann’s view, who says ‘the prophet does not mean that the mountains would be piled up, one upon another, and the temple mountain ‘upon the top,’ but that the temple mountain wouldappear to float upon the summit of the others.’  But inasmuch as the expression ‘will be set’ does not favour this apparently romantic exaltation, and since B’rosh occurs oftener in the sense of ‘at the head’ than of ‘upon the top,’ I decide, for my own part, in favour of the second view,* although I agree with Hofmann so far, viz., That is not merely an exaltation of the Temple Mountain in the mere esteem of the nations that is predicted, the divinely chosen mountain would become the rendezvous and centre of unity for all nations.  They would ‘flow into it’ as a river.  It is Jehovah’s Temple which, being thus rendered visible to nations afar off, exerts such magnetic attraction, and with such success.  Just as, at a former period, men had been separated and estranged from each other in the plains of Shinar, and thus different nations had arisen, so, at a future period, would the nations assemble together on the Mountain of the Lord’s House, and there, as members of one family, live together in unity again.  Compare Isa. 25: 6-9; 24: 23; Isa. 40: 4.

* So Orelli, Drechsler, Cheyne, Van Oosterzee, Caspari, Riehm, Hitzig, Nägelsbach, etc., etc., “at the head.” N. West.

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[2] ORELLI ON ISAIAH 2: 2

The question whether Isaiah 2: 2 is to be understood physically and topographically, so that the territory itself and its relations shall undergo a mighty transformation, in order that Zion, now encircled by mountains higher than itself, may tower above them all, - or whether it is meant only in a spiritual sense - is an idle one.  The Seer actually saw Mount Zion, the site of the Temple, standing higher than all the rest, just as he saw, in fact, the nations journeying to this middle-point of the world under divine rule, and beheld Zion over-decked with the fiery Glory-Cloud of God. Isa. 4: 5, 6.  It was not his business to twist such concrete intuitions into abstract thoughts.  Aware of the spiritual import which is the essential thing according to our Christian consciousness, yet the Revelation of God [in bodily form and visible to all around] dwelling on Mount Zion must be acknowledged by all the nations, and the world’s whole physiognomy, even in its literal outward aspect, be transfigured into harmony with its subjection to Jehovah.*

* Orelli Die alttest. Weisag. 287.

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[3] LISTER ON ISAIAH 2: 2

In this passage, as in others, - Zech. 14: 3-5, 10; Jer. 31: 38-40; Joel 3: 18-21; Ezek. 47: 1-12; Psa. 97: 5; Isa. 64: 3; Judges 5: 5; Exod. 19: 18; Psa. 114: 7; Isa. 64: 1; Hagg. 2: 6; Heb. 12: 26, etc., there is nothing whatever to favour an allegorical interpretation, but everything to support a literal one.  The prophet looks forward to the Last Days and points to great changes to be wrought in the land of Palestine, at the time of the Second Coming of the Lord.  The events predicted in this, and other cognate passages are all physical phenomena.  They may, indeed, for the most part be termed geological phenomena.  They are matters with which Geologists are perfectly familiar.  There is not a region on the globe in which they have not occurred again and again.  They will consist in the upheaval of some parts of the land, and the depression and dislocation of others.  There is nothing with which that science has made us acquainted that comes more frequently under our notice than phenomena of this kind.  The terms, even, by which they are expressed have become as familiar as household words.  Compare Isa. 2: 2, with Zech. 14: 10.  What we have here is called ‘Elevation,’ or an ‘Upheaval’ of the strata below, by some cosmic force.  Every mountain, and mountain chain, throughout the world, owe their origin to it.  All lands and continents of the present day have been again and again subjected to an action of this kind, and also, on the other hand, to one of ‘Depression,’ or Subsidence,’ as they have successively become ‘sea and dry land,’ (Hagg. 2: 6), which has been the case again and again.  And the process is still going on.  Instances of Elevation and Depression are perpetually occurring.  Three times, in the course of the present century, 1822, 1835, 1837, the coast of Chili has been permanently elevated, the last time the bottom of the sea being raised more than 8 feet, the area over which the elevation extended being more than 100,000 square miles.  In the destruction of Lisbon, 1755, we have a case of depression or subsidence, during the six minutes of whose action the new quay, built of marble, at enormous expense, sank beneath the waters, one hundred fathoms.  These are cases of sudden and convulsive action.  There are other cases of gradual action, such as the coast of Sweden raised four feet in the present century, and the coast of Greenland now sinking gradually, for a space of more than 600 miles.  If we apply to the text referred to, the facts thus ascertained, there is not the slightest reason, from the nature of the case, why the things foretold in them should not be literally fulfilled.  What is predicted is neither impossible nor improbable.  It is only what has occurred again and again.  The Mount of Olives, and indeed the whole of Palestine have been already ‘exalted,’ and ‘lifted up.’  They consist, for the most part, of aqueous or stratified rocks, which were originally deposited at the bottom of the sea, and have since been raised to their present level.  The phenomena have been those of ‘Elevation.’  Why, then, seeing that this has occurred before, should we think it strange, if told that it should occur again?  Is it more improbable in the Future than in the Past?  The process now going on is gradual, but if seen that when the things foretold occur, it will be convulsive.  Still this is nothing new, for this also has occurred within our own time.  Why should it not occur again?  All the passages referred to have the character of literality about them.  We must, therefore, receive them as the Lord has set them before us. He hath said it, and shall He not bring it to pass?’ ‘The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.’

The passage in Isa. 2: 2, is a case of Elevation.  In Zech. 14: 10 it a case of both Elevation and Depression.  In Zech. 14: 4, 5, it is a case of what is called, ‘Disruption,’ ‘Fissure,’ or ‘Fault.’  Without pretending to indicate the exact mode by which the Mount of Olives will be divided, and a Valley formed through the midst of it, it is enough to know that the phenomenon foretold is one that is fully understood as a fact of frequent occurrence in the history of our globe.  We have case innumerable of Elevation, Subsidence, and Lateral Pressure, the strata fractured in the process of the movement, and what is called a ‘Fault’ has been produced.  The disruption of the Mount of Olives may be produced by any of the above processes; and it would seem more than probable that by the ‘Mountains’ in Isa. 64: 1-4, and Mic. 1: 3, 4, we are to understand those in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives, especially.  This is rendered the more probable from a comparison of Mic. 1: 3, with verse 5, the latter being explanatory of the former.  In verse 3 we read of the ‘High Places of the Land,’ and, in reference to these it is asked in verse 5, ‘What are the High Places of Judah?  Are they not Jerusalem?’  Again, verse 4, ‘the Valleys shall be cleft,’ pointing, no doubt, to the convulsion foretold by Zechariah, where lie the valleys of Jehoshaphat and Hinnom.  And, again, it must be remembered that Isa. 2: 2, distinctly shows that a great disturbance and dislocation of the strata must necessarily take place in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem at this period, viz., the Second Advent.  We have, therefore, good grounds for connecting all passages above referred to together, and for regarding them as all relating to the same period, and most of them, to the same locality.  Isa. 64: 1-3, and Mic. 1: 3, 4, are undoubtedly connected, and relate to the same great event, viz., the Descent of the Lord Jesus to Earth at His Second Advent.  In the former there is a prayer that He would do this; in the latter there is a prediction that He will do this.” (N. West.)

It is clear, from a comparison of the Scripture passages, that the event predicted in Isa. 2: 2, and Mic. 9: 1, viz., the ‘Elevation’ of Mount Zion, the Temple-Mountain, is the same event as that predicted in Zech. 14: 10.  Viz., the Depressions of the hills of Judah, and the ‘Elevation’ of Jerusalem; and which Ezekiel sees accomplished, Ezek. 40: 2; and with which the transformations in Jer. 31: 38-40; Joel; 3: 17, 18; Ezek. 47: 1-12, are associated, viz., the Temple-Waters streaming through the Acacia-Vale, and emptying into the Mediterranean and Dead Seas; as also producing monthly fruit-bearing trees.  It is utter folly to spiritualize this as Hengstenberg, Keil, Wright, Alexander, (W. L.) and others do.  The objections to the literal interpretation, such as that “natural waters could not flow in all directions at once, from the same point,” (R. W. Alexander) and “the whole land would be submerged by the waters of the Mediterranean, were such a depression literal,” (Wright, C. H. H. ) are misunderstandings of the text, and afford only too open a flank to keen critics like Kuenen and Graf.  We hold the Hofmann, Smend, Neumann, Delitzsch, and many more, that the predictions will be literally accomplished, notwithstanding the unbelief of believers.  What Isaiah says is that ‘Mount Zion shall be exalted above the hills.’  What Zechariah says is that ‘the whole land (not earth, but land of Judah).  So Ewald, Umbreit, Hitzig, Kohler, Kliefoth, Pressel, and even R. W. Alexander and C. H. H. Wright) shall become as a Plain (not the plain, as Kliefoth, R. W. Alexander, etc.; but a plain, as Ewald, Bunsen, Wright, Maurer, Lange, Keil, notwithstanding Baer’s retention of the definite article) from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, and SHE (Jerusalem) SHALL BE LIFTED high, and shall abide in her place, from the gate of Benjamin to the place of the outermost gate, even the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel to the King’s wine-presses.’  And all this in connection with the cleaving of ‘the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the East.’  And what Joel and Ezekiel say is, that perennial waters shall flow, both sides, from the Temple Rock, and immortalize the land and sea together.  Keil thinks this is “a figurative representation of the spiritual elevation and glory the City will receive by the gospel,” and Hengstenberg imagines it means “the spiritual elevation and transformation of the church,” while Wright is convinced that “high dignity” and “rivers of grace” are here signified.  Others think the splitting of the Olivet means spiritually, “a broken and contrite heart,” which Bunyan keenly corrects by saying “The prophet saith that the mountain is ‘before Jerusalem, on the East!’”  Still others idealize the prophecy, counting out the “husk” as “mere external,” and the “details” as “non-essential!”

Against such liberties, we hold to the text, as it reads.  What we are told is that Palestine will be transfigured when the Lord comes.  When He renovates Israel for Himself, He renovates their City and their Land.  The New-Born Tenant has a New-Built Home.  When the Daughter of Zion is married to her Lord, it is not in the old ruin they keep house!  Exalted above the hills and crowned with the streaming light of the Glory-Cloud, will be her special dwelling-place.  The territory of Judah will become like the ‘Arabah,’ or Ghor, which stretches from the slopes of Hermon or Sea of Tiberias, to the Red Sea or Elanitic Gulf.  It is a case of ‘Depression’ of the mountains and hills, an ‘Elevation’ of the valleys, but not a sinking of the territory itself; certainly not of Jerusalem.  The land is elevated while yet its irregularities and inequalities are smoothed, and it becomes a plain.  The errors of the commentators here, are many.  It is not said that Judah’s territory shall be depressed, but only that the mountainous region shall be levelled like the Ghor, while the City and the Temple are exalted.  Isaiah has taught the same truth. ‘Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill be brought low, the crooked place shall be made straight and the rough place plain and the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together, for Jehovah’s mouth hath spoken it.’ Isa. 40: 4. The delimitation of the boundary of the territory is sufficiently clear.  It is that of the royal tribute and kingdom of Judah, the central glory of millennial times.  It is from ‘Geba to Beersheba,’ the whole extent of Judah’s domain (2 Kings 23: 8).  The entire hilly region shall become like the ‘Great Plain,’ and ‘Jerusalem shall be lifted high.’  The total City shall be elevated.  If we trace the delimitation of the City itself, it is even more precise.  From East to West, the boundary line runs from Benjamin’s Gate to the Corner Gate, while it stretches North and South, from the Tower of Hananeel to the royal gardens at the junction of the valleys of Jehoshaphat and Hinnom. Zech. 14: 10; Jer. 31: 38-40.  This particularly is intentional, on the part of the Spirit of prophecy.  But, it is a false inference, from this, to conclude that only this portion of the Land of Canaan is the subject of cosmical transformation.  Dr. Robertson Smith’s sneer at the idea of “the Kingdom of God reduced to the petty limits of the territory of Judah,” rests upon his own ignorance of the prophetic word, and is a sneer at the prophetic word itself.  Elsewhere we read, clearly, - and long ago, as Justin Martyr emphasized it, - that the entire land, and the city, will be “broadened, enlarged and adorned,” according to the prophets.  It has been a misfortune that our English Version, like others equally defective, has obscured for us the sense in many passages.  In the clearest manner, the prophet Isaiah, looking forward to Israel’s glory accomplished at Messiah’s Coming, says, ‘Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou art glorified; thou hast extended wide the borders of the land.” Isa. 26: 15.  It is a prediction of increased population, both by restoration, and resurrection, and an enlargement of the limits of the land.  So the promise is given, ‘Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty, and the land of breadths,’ or ‘far-stretching land.’  The same is true as to the enlargement of the City, in future times.  The magnificence of the kingdom is elsewhere foretold in terms unmistakable.  In the 72nd. Psalm, it is described as ‘from Sea to Sea, and from the River to the ends of the Earth.” Psa. 72: 7.  Does all this seem too marvelous?  Neum Yehovah!’  It is the utterance of Jehovah, Doer of these things!’  How blessed this Planet of ours one day will be, by reason of the Coming of the Lord from Heaven!  How blessed the Holy Land!  And Jerusalem lifted up!  And Zion exalted!  And Israel redeemed!  And the Nations converted!  And the holy sleepers waked into the image of Christ!  How stupendous the change!  What a different Age from ours!  Come Lord Jesus!

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And the kingdom, and the dominion [Sultanate], and the greatness of the kingdom underneath all heavens, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions [sultanates] shall serve and obey Him” (Dan. 7: 27).

Here, the “kingdom” is set up on [this] earth by the “God of Heaven,” at the second coming of the Son of Man in the clouds, to destroy the last Antichrist, and demolish all Gentile politics and power.  Here is found the much despised “Chiliasm” (Pre- millennialism), indestructible as the truth and throne of God!  As face answers to face in water so Dan. 7: 27 answers to Dan. 2: 44, an invulnerable demonstration that the millennial kingdom of Christ cannot come to victory, nor “God’s will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” until the Second Advent of the Son of Man.  He who denies this denies the text of the prophet, the Word of God, spoken and interpreted by an angel of God, a vision and interpretation written by inspired hands at the time they were given (7: 1), and like all else in God’s Book, authenticated as the Word of Truth, a light and lesson for the “wise” in the “time of the end.” (12: 4, 9, 10.)

Nowhere has the Scripture assigned to the church universal triumph in this [evil] age, before the Lord comes.  On the contrary, the law of apostasy and degeneration runs parallel with the law of advance, and only by conclusive overthrow,” in the final crisis, is the antagonism solved.  Such is the Bible teaching.  The Apostle Peter has discussed and determined conclusively the whole question in 2 Pet. 3: 2-15.  For a teacher of the truth to be oblivious of this, is calamity as great as for a minister of state not to know the constitution of his country.

May the prophet’s word be a stimulus to work and pray for Israel’s conversion and restoration, and the hastening of that day when, through “convulsive overthrow,” an “Endwill be put to the Gentile politics and power that disgrace our present age!  May the “Kingdom” soon come in victory, and God’s will “be done on earth as it is in heaven!” – NATHANIEL WEST.

 

*       *       *

 

THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE

 

 

By NATHANIEL WEST, D.D.

 

 

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Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple and Jerusalem does not belong to the final glorified New Earth, although it adumbrates the same.  The Temple Ezekiel describes is that of the Millennial Age, the 1000 years of John; located in historic Palestine regenerate and reconstructed at Christ’s Appearing.  The transformation of the Holy Land is not the final new creation which extends to the entire Planet, but only the first step in the great cosmical process of renewal which culminates through a last catastrophe, in the remotest End.  So Crusius, Lange, Christlieb, Rothe, Karsten, Van Oosterzee, Delitzsch, Orelli, and many more.  Strongly realistic, the prophet locates the realities this side the final glorified New Heaven and Earth.  This is clear from the geographical points named in Chapters 47: 10, 15, 19, 20 and 48: 1, the Mediterranean Sea,” 47: 10, 15-20, the river Jordan47: 18, the Desert,” 47: 8, the mountain,” i.e. Zion 44: 12, and to the “borders of the land of Israel given to the patriarchs in covenant, 40: 2; 45: 4, 8; 47: 13, 14.  Such designations find no place in John’s picture of the glorified New Earth.  The marked Differences between the two pictures of Ezekiel and John show clearly that Ezekiel’s vision is that of the kingdom of the 1000 years this side the final New Jerusalem.  Ezekiel describes a Temple.  John says, I saw no Temple therein.”  Rev. 21: 22.  Ezekiel’s land is bounded by the sea.”  In John’s territory there is no more sea,” 21: 1.  Ezekiel speaks of the land of Israel.”  John speaks of a New Earth,” [Rev.] 21: 1.  In Ezekiel, the Holy Cityis built up from the ground and lifted high.”  In John, the Holy City is seen descending from God out of heaven,” 21: 2, 10, and is the redeemed Bride.”  Furthermore, the measures in Ezekiel are insignificant, diminutive, compared with the colossal magnitudes in John.  In Ezekiel, the Glory dwells in the Temple.  In John it lightens the whole City with its over-streaming splendour.  Yet more.  The vision of the living waters,” in Ezekiel 47: 1-12, is precisely that in Zechariah, 14: 8, and Joel 3: 18, realized at Messiah’s Second Coming, and connected with the physical changes in the territory of Judah, Zech. 14: 4-13; Jer. 32: 38-40.  They flow East and West, summer and winter, out from Jerusalem elevated, and pass through the Acacia-Valley, Joel 3: 18, imparting life everywhere, and empty into the Dead and Mediterranean seas.  It is, evidently, the commencement of that cosmical regeneration and glorification of which Paul speaks, when the creature itself is freed from the bondage of corruption,” and passes, under the glorifying Spirit, into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God,” Rom. 8: 21, and embraces the whole land of Palestine, and Judah especially, in whose midst the mountain of the Lord’s house stands exalted,” Isa. 2: 2; Mic. 4: 1; Zech. 14: 16.  This, however, is not the universal regenesis of the Planet, but the preparation of its theocratic middle-point for the glorious kingdom of the 1000 years, in which Israel stands pre-eminent.  The moral process of development has already passed over into the material, through the resurrection from the dead, and where the children of the resurrection are, there nature shares their liberty and glory.  Even the neighbouring Desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose,” Isa. 35: 1, and be like Eden,  the Garden of the Lord,” Isa. 51: 3, while above the City and over all, the Glory shall be a covering,” Isa. 4: 5.  But, entrancing as this vision is, it is not John’s vision of the Bride,” the Holy City” after the close of the 1000 years, but the vision of a state of things before that close, and in which the Beloved City,” Rev. 20: 9, appears as the metropolis of an earthly kingdom whose overthrow is sought by Satan let loose, and by Gog and Magog, in expedition impossible on the final New Earth.

 

 

The argument, therefore, of the post-millennialists, that because Isaiah introduces his picture of the Millennial Age with the announcement of a New Heavens and Earth,” Isa. 65: 17, therefore, his description following that must be that of John’s New Jerusalem, or else John’s New Jerusalem must be that of the Millennial Age, and Joel, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and John picture only one Age the 1000 years being the time of the final New Heaven and Earth, - falls to the ground.  We cannot identify the 1000 years with the Eternal State.  This is set aside (1) By the manifold Differences between the pictures themselves; (2) By the law of prophetic perspective; (3) By the common use of the same terms to express different stages of the one great development of the one Kingdom of God; and in its different aspects, moral and material, spiritual and cosmical, down to the final consummation.  All this Hofmann, Delitzsch, Rothe, Luthardt, Lange, Volck, and Koch, have set forth in the most convincing manner.  The Millennial Age, and the final New Heaven and Earth, are the Two Great Phases of the wide and Total End, as seen, far off, by the prophets [of God], and un-discriminated, because blended in perspective, yet clearly out-rolled, and separated in John’s Apocalypse, intimations of which are, however, already given, even in the prophets themselves, and in the Apostles.  And thus the problem is resolved, and presented to faith and hope, precisely as the consummation will declare it.  The Order of the Eschata is the same in both Ezekiel and John; (1) Israel in their land, sealed, and delivered from the rage of their last oppressor, Israel brought back from the sword.  (2) The Resurrection from the dead.  (3) The Many Days,” or 1000 years, of the priestly Kingdom.  (4) Gog’s destruction.  And, if we supplement the Eschata, from Isaiah, we shall find the Order still the same, (1) Israel restored and Antichrist destroyed; (2) The Resurrection [out] from the dead; (3) The Multitude of Days, or 1000 years; (4) The New Heaven and Earth, of which the Millennial Age was the mirror and the type transient and imperfect.  On the basis of Similarities John develops the final glorious picture of the New Jerusalem, and heightens it to special clearness and particularity, free from the temporal limitations.

 

 

The “Symbolical Interpretation” of Chapters 40-48, and in fact of Ezekiel’s whole Apocalypse, Chapters 37-48, is the name given, to their favourite mode of exposition, by the allegorizers and spiritualizers of these sections.  As already said, these chapters are apocalyptic and eschatological, like the visions of Daniel, Zechariah, and Isaiah.  They are a Vision.”  But to assert that it is only a Symbol, and “One Vast Symbol of the Church,” is simply to assume the spiritualistic interpretation,” and beg the whole question.  Moreover, what a symbol vision is, we know.  It is like the vision of the 4 Beasts in Daniel, or of the Monarchy-Image Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream.  How, also, to interpret these we know.  But what the symbolic interpretation of a symbol is, what the figure of a figure is, it might be interesting to inquire, if, the evaporation did not soon elude our grasp.  It seems to be something volatile and airy,” like the idea of the Absolute which has no existence,” but only being,” and gets into being somehow, by its self-becoming.”  At best it is merely an abstraction, or quid ignotum which Agnostics might admire, and reminds one seriously of Cicero’s famed definition of God, aliquid immensum infinitumque!” Such is ideal and symbolic Israel, their Temple, City, and Land.  It is something in which the concrete real has disappeared.  This view goes back to the days of the platonizing Origin and Augustine, both men of grandeur and renown, who, confounding the Churchwith the Kingdom,” idealized Israel out of his rights and place in future history.  It became the mediaeval creed, and, naturally enough, influenced the Reformers, not wholly escaped from Rome’s traditions, and lacking the time to study Eschatology, yet rebuking a false Chiliasm, and opening the door to the true.  It is held my many noble men who see in the Psalms of Davidonly the Church whenever “Israel,” “Jacob,” “Zion,” or Jerusalem are named.  Our Christian Hymnology, so beautiful, also supports the same exegesis as it stands in Jordan’s stormy banks.”  The habit of allegorizing becomes a part of devotion, and the result is that Ideal Israel emerges in the consciousness of believers as the only Israel known to faith and prophecy!  In addition to this, the Higher Criticism helps the same cogitation.  The main thing in prophecy is said to be the inner thought,” the Idea Underneath; not the words.  There is no verbal inspiration.  The [inspired] words of God are human, the chaff to the wheat, the waist-bands and ruffles, or the outer-clothing on the body, the “non-essential details,” “generous expression,” “Oriental figure,” in short, the rough rind of a sacred bulb,” to be peeled and thrown away, or an old bottle onto which new wine,” when poured - the wine of spiritual interpretation, - explodes the leathern flask.  The only remark, necessary here, is this, viz.: That the whole trouble with this mode of interpretation is, that every interpreter fixes the amount of details to suit himself, either rejecting them as mere form,” or sublimating them into absurdities go grotesque as to destroy respect for both the interpreter and the interpretation, if not for the thing interpreted.  It retains or remits, binds or looses, ad libitum, until most, if not all, of the vision has faded away.

 

 

In opposition to all this, the Bible speaks with a clear-ringing sound.  Israel abides Israel, and the Millennial Kingdom, of which Israel restored is the stunning centre, and of which these Chapters of Ezekiel are a glowing picture, follows Israel’s national and personal resurrection [and restoration] at the Second Coming of the Lord.  To that glorious End the eyes of the exiles were directed, a Redemption they deemed due, indeed, at their return from Babylonian Exile, but which the [divinely inspired] prophet Daniel was assured could only [fully] accrue at the end of the 70th week.  And in this [divine prophecy] we rest, our own eyes turned thither also.  What Ezekiel did was to impress upon despairing Israel, scattered everywhere, and dead, like the bones in the valley, the absolute certainty of God’s omnipotence, faithfulness, and compassion, in the End of the Days, and that nothing could ever cause Him to forget His covenant, or alter the thing that had gone out of His lips.  Dead Israel shall yet awake.  Broken Israel shall be reunited.  Down-trodden Jerusalem shall yet arise.  The Temple, laid in ruins, shall [again] be rebuilt.  The Outcasts shall be gathered to their home.  The blindness shall be taken from their eyes, and reproach no more afflict their name.  A new, a holy, royal, priestly, nation they shall be.  As once Israel formed the nucleus of the “Church,” - [nay, they were always part of “the Church” - that is, “the Church of the Firstborn” - those called out from the redeemed by the Holy Spirit, to be God’s Firstborn sons] - so again Israel shall form the nucleus of the [coming millennial] Kingdom.”  In that kingdom, and its glory, we Gentiles - [who will be judged by Christ Jesus as - or as not - “accounted worthy to attain to that Age” (Luke 20: 35) *] - shall have a share; and, with Abraham and the patriarchs, Ezekiel and the prophets, David and the pious kings of Judah; and yet more, with Christ and His Apostles, with Martyrs, Confessors, Reformers, and saints of all ages, enter in, recount the conflict and the victory, the danger and the faith, renew our study of God’s word, hold converse with the Lord Himself, and, blended in one fellowship, unite to sing one song - the song of Moses and the Lamb.”  Does this appear too wonderful?  Neum Yehovah!  It is the utterance of Jehovah, Doer of these things!”

 

 

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THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE

 

 

By

 

 

G. H. LANG.

 

 

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I

 

THE DIVINE PREDICTIONS

 

 

The All-seeing and Fore-seeing has no afterthoughts, but works all things according to the purpose and after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1: 11).  Therefore He can announce in advance what He intends to do.

 

 

1

 

2 Chronicles 7: 15, 16.

 

 

As soon as the first house to His name at Jerusalem had been consecrated He said:  Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent, unto the prayer that is made in this place.  For now have I chosen and hallowed this house, that my name may be there forever; and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually”.

 

 

This affirmed an everlasting and perpetual regard, yea, a heart interest, of God in that house.  Yet it is followed in verse 20 by the seeming contradiction that, upon Israel worshipping idols, this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples”.  This had a fulfilment about three hundred and fifty years later.

 

 

The manner in which God purposed to fulfil both statements, and to have perpetual regard to that house while on occasion destroying it, can be learned from statements He made during the period that house stood before its first destruction.

 

 

2 

 

Psalm 66

 

 

The psalm preceding this is millennial, for all flesh shall come, to God in Zion as the Hearer of prayer (1, 2): at the time in view He is the confidence of all the ends of the earth” (5); for He has stilled the tumult of the peoples” (7), and all nature has been made exceeding fruitful (9-13).  The psalm following is also millennial; pointing to an era when all the peoples and nations will be glad and sing for joy, because God will be Judge and Governor; He will have blessed Israel and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.

 

 

The intervening psalm (66) is likewise millennial.  All the earth is joyful and is singing God’s praise (1, 2, 8).  He has completed His terrible but purifying works upon mankind at large (5-7); He has brought Israel through tribulation into a wealthy place, into overlooking refreshingas Darby’s German gives it (Zu uberstromender Erquickung) (8-12): whereupon the psalmist says: I will come into thy house with burnt-offerings; I will pay thee my vows, which my lips uttered, and my mouth spake, when I was in distress.  I will offer unto thee burnt-offerings of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats” (13-15).

 

 

This contemplates that at the period of Israel’s restoration there will be a house, with burnt offerings, free-will offerings in payment of vows, incense, and with sin offerings, for the goat was used chiefly as the sin offering (see Lev. 4: 24; c. 16: etc, etc).

 

 

3

 

Isaiah 19

 

 

Isaiah prophesied in full view of his people’s apostasy and their consequent rejection by God, but also of their full and permanent restoration.  This chapter predicts a period when, first, Judah shall become a terror unto Egypt, and when thereafter Assyria, Israel, and Egypt shall be simultaneously revived and be co-jointly the people of Jehovah, and a blessing in the midst of the earth (23-25).  These things never have been.  They show the prophecy to be millennial.  At that time Jehovah shall make himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day; yea, they shall worship with sacrifice and oblation, and shall vow a vow unto Jehovah and shall perform it ... and the Egyptians shall worship with the Assyrians” (21, 23).  Here again is international worship of God foretold, and has to be accompanied by sacrifice, oblation, and vows.

 

 

4

 

Isaiah Chapters 24 to 27

 

 

This whole section of Isaiah is millennial.  From the uttermost parts of the earth songs are heard, “Glory to the righteous” (24: 16): Jehovah is reigning in Zion (24: 23): death is swallowed up for ever (25: 8: compare 1 Cor. 15: 54): God is a strong city for the righteous (26: 1): the godly of Israel have been raised from the dead (26: 19): and the glorious prophecy concludes on the high note that Israel’s outcasts have been gathered and shall worship Jehovah in the holy mountain at Jerusalem (27: 13).  Thus is Jerusalem to be again the centre of worship on earth.

 

 

5

 

Isaiah 66: 20-23

 

 

It is upon this same high note that Israel’s seraphic strains conclude.  All the nations shall honour the God of Israel by facilitating that return of His people unto the house of Jehovah at His holy mountain Jerusalem, and weekly and monthly all flesh shall come to worship Jehovah there.  Thus in millennial times there is to be at Jerusalem a house of God, with priests and Levites, offering oblations, and with weekly and monthly festivals.

 

 

6

 

Jeremiah 33: 14-22.

 

 

This passage also is millennial, for the Branch of righteousness has grown up in the house of David and is executing justice and righteousness in the land; Judah has been saved and Jerusalem dwells safely; her name is Jehovah our righteousness; David’s throne is established (though at the time of this prophecy it was tottering to its fall): and, concludes the prediction, as certainly as that David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel (the fulfilment of the everlasting covenant with David: 2 Sam. 7: 16; Psa. 89: 19-37); neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before Me to offer burnt-offerings, and to burn meal offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.

 

 

Priests, Levites, sacrifices are all contemplated, implying a house and an altar.  If these things are not to be, as some affirm, then as certainly must the covenant with David fail and his son, Messiah, not rule.  [All anti-millennialists and] They who get rid of the altar must get rid of the throne, as indeed they do, denying a national future to Israel.

 

 

7

 

Ezekiel Chapters 40 to 48

 

 

This portion of Holy Writ is fully to the same effect.  The prophecy follows that of the destruction upon the mountains of Israel of their last enemy, Antichrist (chapters 38, 39), and of the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the nation (chapter 39: 29), in fulfilment of chapter 37, the dry bones being made alive.  Jerusalem is then known by the name Jehovah Shammah, Jehovah is there (48: 35) which never since Ezekiel’s day has been the case.  All the features mark the period as millennial.  The details of the land, the city, and the temple are so elaborate, minute, and multiplied as simply to defy any sense whatever but the literal.  If they are not to be taken literally it is wholly idle that they are given.  For the conveying of merely general ideas, general statements, which might carry a non-literal meaning, would have been more to the purpose and would have sufficed.

 

 

The plain sense of the whole vision shows the people of Israel in their own land, with a new temple, with priests of the family of Zadok (48: 11), and Levites (chapter 44), offering on the altar sin, trespass, meal, peace, and burnt-offerings with oblations of firstfruits, and with sprinkling of the blood. (chapters 43 to 45).

 

 

8

 

Haggai 2

 

 

At the time the second temple was being built God said to the people: Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory?” (verse 3).  To encourage them to press forward the erecting of what seemed so insignificant in comparison with Solomon’s temple the promise was added:  Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land, and I will shake all nations, and the desirable (or precious) things of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah of hosts.  The silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith Jehovah of hosts.  The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, saith Jehovah of hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith Jehovah of hosts” (6-9).

 

 

It is plain that these promises and those in 20-23, are millennial.  The throne that has exercised lordship over kingdoms, namely, that of Antichrist, is to be overthrown, and his armies destroyed (22).  The riches of the kingdoms are to go to Jerusalem and to contribute to the glory of the house of God there.  Nothing of all stated has yet had fulfilment.  But it must do so: Jehovah of hosts has guaranteed it by the solemn sevenfold use of His own great name in these five verses (6-9, 23).  A most impressive that by the use of the pronoun this He connects the second temple with both the first and the one yet to come: Who among you saw this house in its former glory?” andI will fill this house with glory”.  In the reckoning of God they are all one and the same house.  It is a usage which carries the same force among men.  A nobleman might say: My family has dwelt in this house for eight hundred years; though the mansion may have been rebuilt more than once.  The expression marks continuity and identity. 

 

 

9

 

Zechariah 6: 12, 13.

 

 

Zech. 6: 12, 13 reads: “Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, saying, Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build the temple of Jehovah; even he shall build the temple of Jehovah; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne”.

 

 

This gives the specific particulars that Messiah shall be the Builder of that final temple, that His throne shall be there, and that He shall be Priest-King.  It is this last feature that is elaborated in Heb. 7, treating of Christ Jesus as the priest-king after the order of Melchidezek.

 

 

10

 

Zechariah 14: 9

 

 

Zechariah 14: 9 extends this kingship of Messiah to the whole earth, thus showing incontrovertibly that the period is the millennium.  This is emphasized by verse 11 stating that “there shall be no more curse, but Jerusalem shall dwell safely” Comp. Rev. 22: 3.

 

 

Verses 16-21 repeat Isaiah’s prophecy (see no. 5 above) that Jerusalem shall be the centre of world worship of Jehovah.  Penalties are denounced against refusal of this worship.  It is asserted three times that the feast of tabernacles will be kept.  The pots and bowls of Jehovah’s house are particularized, and it is declared that these pots shall be used for the boiling of sacrifices.  All is millennial, as the earlier part of the chapter makes plain; for Messiah shall have descended to the Mount of Olives, and no loophole is left for “spiritualizing” this, for the detail is added that this mount is before Jerusalem on the east” (verse 4).  The armies attacking Jerusalem shall have been destroyed.  So wholly sanctified will be the people in their life that the very bells on the horses shall be inscribed Holy unto Jehovah, that is, shall be sanctified as was the dress of the high priest, whose head-band was so inscribed; and the common vessels of every house shall be as holy and consecrated as the vessels kept for use in the temple.

 

 

11

 

Malachi 3

 

 

This chapter is millennial, for the Lord did not at His former coming to Jerusalem, in the days of His flesh, fulfil this prophecy.  Whatever searching effect His presence had upon a few who were Israelites indeed, it is certain that the sons of Levi were not purified and refined, nor did they learn to offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness.  On the contrary, Christ abandoned to them the temple, and forty years later they and it were destroyed by the judgments of God.  It therefore remains that the Lord will come suddenly to His temple (verse 1), and will deal effectively and permanently with all wickedness (5, 6), and then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah.

 

 

All this asserts a temple, priests, and offerings at that period.

 

 

12

 

Malachi 4: 4

 

 

Mal. 4: 4 suggests that this re-instituting of Mosaic ceremonies will be but part of a general divine intention to restore the Mosaic legislation.  Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, even statutes and ordinances.  Elijah will return and will renew his labours as the restorer of the ancient economy.  This is to be set at the era when the Sun of righteousness shall arise for the healing of the devout and the destruction of the impious (1-4).  Isaiah 56 is to the same effect.  At the period when God’s salvation is near to come” (verse 1), and therefore not yet come, and when all the peoples are invited to share in the sure mercies of David on the basis of an everlasting covenant (55: 4, 5), it is shown that the law of the sabbath will be in force and be a divine test of fidelity (56: 4, 6).  In harmony with this, Christ, referring to the days immediately before His coming, said, Pray that your flight be not ... on the sabbath” (Matt. 24: 20).

 

 

It would seem impossible that the law of Moses - a single all-inclusive term - could be re-imposed and not include that large and dominant part thereof which intermingled religious exercises with every phase and detail of life in Israel and made the house of God the heart and centre of it all.

 

 

Surely there can be no reasonable meaning to all this testimony of the Old Testament save the plain and first sense of the statements, that Messiah is to build at Jerusalem a final temple, to be the world-centre of worship and rule, that priests and Levites will officiate, that feasts will be observed and sacrifices will be offered, all according to the law given at Sinai.

 

 

It is definitely made impossible to treat this body of prophecy as only an earthly parable of things heavenly by this fact if by no other, that in Rev. 21: 22 it is stated explicitly that in the heavenly Jerusalem there will be no temple, whereas in the scriptures cited [previously,] as to the [unfulfilled prophetical conditions which will then exist upon this] earth, the temple is mentioned equally explicitly and is wholly essential to the situation described.

 

 

13

 

 

For the completeness of study and clearness of understanding it is necessary to observe that Messiah’s temple will not be the one in view in Rev. 11, for the latter is already there in the time of the Beast, before the coming of Messiah.  That a prior temple will be built is plain from Dan. 8: 9-14; 9: 27; 12: 11; Joel 2: 15-27; Matt 24: 15; and Rev. 11.  This last place intimates that there will be an altar, implying that sacrifices will be resumed, and that there will be worshippers.

 

 

John was directed to measure the temple (Rev. 11: 1).  When a surveyor receives instructions to measure-up a long-neglected property it may be presumed that the owner is about to renew active interest in it.  Thus when Zechariah saw the vision of Jerusalem being measured, it was because the time had arrived  for Jehovah to return to dwell there (chapter 2).  And when Ezekiel in vision (chapters 40-42) witnessed the measuring of the temple it was because the glory of God was about to return thither.  This meaning of the measuring intimates that it is the real city and temple that all three visions are connected, and events have shown that the fulfilment was far distant from the time when John lived.  It is still future today, for Jehovah has not yet returned to Zion, nor since John’s day has there been any temple to be measured.  The end of this [evil] age is in view.

 

 

It should be further noticed from Rev. 11: 1 that God will own this pre-Messianic temple as His, for it is styled the temple of God, and it has an altar, worshippers, and sacrifices (Dan. 8: 11-13): How should God not own it seeing that among the worshippers of that era will be Two Witnesses specially sent by Him to maintain His rights there at that time?

 

 

This divine acknowledgment of that temple is in exact harmony with which Paul’s teaching in

 

 

14

 

2 Thessalonians 2: 3, 4.

 

 

2 Thess. 2: 3, 4, which states that immediately before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ the man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is an object of worship; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.  Upon the godly resisting this profane worship the final persecution will set in fiercely, and the altar and sanctuary will be cast down.  This will necessitate that before-noticed building of a [5th] temple by Messiah, when He shall have set up His [millennial] kingdom shortly thereafter.

 

 

-------

 

 

II

 

 

THE CHIEF DIFFICULTY

 

 

The boldest ought to hesitate to deny or to emasculate this weighty and consentient testimony.  It was announced by the Spirit of truth while the first temple was standing, was renewed while the second temple was being built and after, was confirmed through Paul while the third temple (that of Herod) still stood, and was finally repeated in the Revelation after this last temple had been destroyed.  It involves utterances by God Himself to Solomon and by the Son of God when here, and further statements by the Spirit of truth through twelve of His inspired messengers.

 

 

Nor do we know but one serious difficulty urged against the taking of this testimony in its plain sense.  This is what the re-instituting of the sin-offering appears to conflict with the teaching of Hebrews 9 that the offering of Christ on the cross annulled that sin-offering.

 

 

Allowing the surface reality of the difficulty, and even assuming that it were beyond solution, there will nevertheless apply here the sound cannon that if a belief be once established by adequate evidence no objection can overthrow it, because in such case the belief is founded on our knowledge but the objection on our ignorance.

 

 

The belief in question is founded upon the plain sense of the many scriptures cited; the objection is founded upon the ignorance as to how to reconcile these scriptures with another scripture.  Were Hebrews not before us probably no one would question the evident meaning of the former passages, or at least it would be irrational to do so.  Moreover, where is the believer so conceited as to affirm that because he cannot resolve a problem therefore it is beyond solution?  The modest schoolboy does not question the well-attested fact that one and one make two, even though he cannot solve a problem to which that fact leads the way.  The devout might leave the matter here, assured that no divine statements can be really in conflict and that there must be a solution of the supposed disharmony.

 

 

Let us look at the question.  It may be well approached through the statement in Rom. 10: 4 that Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth”.  This does not say that Christ the end of the law, that is, absolutely, completely, so as to bar the continuance of or the re-imposing of the law.  This limitation is clear from the fact that the whole and fundamental part of the law of Moses which we term the moral law is of perpetual validity.  The atonement of Calvary has not cancelled the duty not to steal.  Our passage says only that Christ is the end of the law for one particular purpose, namely, unto righteousness, that is, for the purpose of a condemned sinner acquiring a righteous standing - [through faith alone, and by the imputed righteousness of Another] -  before a holy Judge.  This does not bar that reviving of the law of Moses in the End Days of which Isaiah and Malachi had before spoken.  It would only conflict therewith if that reviving were a directing the sinner to the law as the ground of righteousness before the Holy One; but there is not a word to this effect in any of the passages concerned.  The temple and its ordinances are set forth as for worship,” “prayer”, “thanksgiving”, “paying of vows”, “oblations and freewill offerings.  All these suppose the offerer to be already justified as to his standing before God, for even of old under the law they were never a ground of justifying the ungodly; and therefore the reviving of them hereafter will not infringe the truth that only through the cross of Christ is a sinner justified.

 

 

There are three passages in Ezekiel which may be thought to contradict this.  In these, sacrifices, including sin-offerings, are said to be for acceptance” (43: 27), for cleansing” (45: 18), and for atonement” (45: 17, 20).  But there is no real divergence.

 

 

The first of these passages has to do with the cleansing of the altar, not of the worshippers (43: 18-27).  The altar being  on a yet defiled earth, made of earthly materials, and being built by still imperfect men, (for the millennial era and persons will not be perfect), partakes of that defilement and imperfection, and must be ceremonially cleansed, as a humble acknowledgment by men of this situation as felt by God.  This having been effected, then it is said that the priests shall make your burnt-offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord Jehovah”.  Here again it must be noted that burnt and peace offerings are accepted only from the already justified.

 

 

The third passage (45: 18-20) is of similar but wider scope; it has to do with the cleansing of the sanctuary entire: thou shalt cleanse the sanctuary ... so shall ye make atonement for the house”.  The same considerations apply here; and not only once, as at the initial dedication of the altar, but perpetually, for this atonement must be made annually.  But this is because of the defiling of the house by two specified classes, the erring and the simple.  The exact parallel is Heb. 5: 2: the high priest can bear gently with the ignorant and erring”.  It is to be the revival in the future of the great day of atonement (Lev. 16), only in the first month instead of the seventh.  But that day of old had no connection with the justifying of an ungodly transgressor.  It was for the benefit of the ignorant and erring, that is, for the covering of the unrecognized failures of the people of God, who sought indeed to walk with Him according to His law, but, like ourselves, did not do so perfectly, according to God’s character and estimates.  The present parallel to this is 1 John 1: 6, 7.  He who knowingly walks in darkness derives no benefit from the work of Christ (verse 6), but if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanseth us from all sin”.  The emphasis is upon the word all,” including sins through error, simplicity, ignorance.  But this implies prior justification, prior attainment of a standing before God through grace and atoning blood.  The unjustified is not in the light and cannot walk in the light.  It is if we [John and fellow-saints] walk in the light that this cleansing avails.

 

 

This shows the force of the immediately preceding passage (Ezek. 45: 13-17).  It is similar and entirely corporate aspect of atonement that is contemplated, not that of an individual transgressor seeking justification.  All the people of the land are to present an united and stated oblation unto the prince, out of which he is to provide the necessary sacrifices in all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel ... to make atonement for the house of Israel.  There is corporate and accumulated defilement, and this is dealt with by corporate acknowledgment by the whole people, in giving needed materials for sacrifice, and by the official civil head of the whole people presenting these as ordered.  He could not thus act for one individual.

 

 

Concerning all earthly persons and their worship, both of old and now and in the millennial era, it is to be remembered that there is iniquity in holy gifts” (Ex. 28: 38), in the sanctuary, and in the priesthood (Num. 18: 1).  This iniquity must be purged, not only that of the unjustified when first approaching God, and this it is that the presented by the Word of God in connection with that coming [millennial] temple and its sacrifices for sin.  This may be gathered from Isa. 60: 21.  Speaking of Israel in that era when the Lord shall be their everlasting light and the days of their mourning shall be ended, it is declared: My people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever [leolam]*, the branch of My planting, that I may be glorified.  As, then, they are righteous the sacrifices cannot be a means of making them so.  These must have that purpose and effect which applied to the already justified, as above indicated, and therefore they are in harmony with Rom. 10: 4 that Christ is the end of the law for the justification of the ungodly.  For the very little remnant of Israel then in question will have repented toward God and have exercised faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, which repentance and faith will then, as now, assure justification.

 

[* See NOTE 1 above.]

 

Hebrews

 

 

As far as the teaching of this Epistle is an expansion of the teaching stated in Rom. 10: 4, what has been said above will apply thereto; but some particular observations may be helpful and confirmatory.

 

 

The whole epistle proceeds upon the opening acknowledgment of a certain status in those addressed.  All its reasonings and exhortations are based on the fact of this status.  It is set forth (1) that a man, Jesus the Son of God, is crowned with glory and honour in the heavens to be the Ruler of the universe; and (2) that God has in view to bring many others, also of the status of sons to Himself, that they may share that [coming] glory and rule of the Son, He and they being alike from one Source, the Father, as the Son acknowledges by calling them His brethren” (2: 5-13)...

 

 

But grant that there is to be an earthly people of God, Israel, and other saved nations on earth, it does not follow that for such persons an earthly sanctuary, priesthood, and sacrifices will be out of order and hurtful.  As well might it be argued that the earthly territory, political economy, and dignities were out of order.  Where the whole order is earthly, visible, material it will be part of that order that religion shall bear the corresponding aspect.  The public organization would seem structurally incomplete without public and organized religion.  A world association of saved nations will as much require a centre of worship as of government, and the wisdom of God has designed both for the coming era, as the scriptures here considered show.  This is the basic principle of a state church; but, it is true that the former religious economy, associated with the law and centred in the tabernacle, made no worship perfect, as to the conscience or relationship with God: it is equally certain that no future visible arrangements will do so of themselves.  The former covenant, made at Sinai, displayed this ineffectiveness; the law could not in practice be anything but weak and unprofitable, for the reason given in Rom. 8: 3, that it was weak through the bad material, the flesh, on which it had to work.  But the future relations of man to God will be on the basis of a new covenant and will include regeneration, which feature is stressed in Heb. 8, quoting from God’s advance promise this in Jer. 31.  Under the new conditions of renewed human nature, cannot the law be as helpful as before it was helpless?  This goes far to account for it being re-imposed.

 

 

Moreover, even under the former imperfect conditions the law could and did help faith by pointing it forward to Christ, and to His sacrifice, and to the good things to come.  It was a tutor to direct to Christ (Gal. 3: 23-29).  In the same way the temple and ceremonies of the future will direct hearts to Christ, and the more fully that it will be known that they are pictures, no longer of events yet to be but of facts of history.  And this knowledge of Christ and His perfect sacrifice cannot but operate to prevent any view of the sacrifices on the altar other than that they are memorials; even as the same knowledge by Christians of this age forbids that the bread and wine on the table of the Lord be thought of as more than memorials.  The arguments used against a future altar of God can as well be used against the present table of the Lord.

 

 

And it would seem that there will be real need at that time of such a picture-book instruction, especially for the Gentile peoples.  For the light of both Christian and Jewish witness will have been all but extinguished by the Beast and his Prophet; paganism will be dominant, and darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples” (Isa. 60: 2) which ... agrees with Christ’s significant question, When the Son of man cometh shall He find the faith on the earth?” (Luke. 18.)

 

 

This was the state of Israel Godward when He come down to redeem them from Egypt.  Moses was aware that they did not know even the name of the God of their fathers (Ex. 3: 13).  And Joshua reminded the next generation that in Egypt their fathers had served the gods of that benighted land (Josh. 24: 14).  To meet this spiritual ignorance and infantile incapacity God in grace gave types and symbols, not only direct instruction.  It will but be in harmony with that grace that He will hereafter repeat the same method of instruction to meet the same ignorance.

 

 

Thus with an earthly economy, marked by visible glory, a visible and noble sanctuary will be harmonious and helpful.  There will be nothing to challenge the solitary efficacy of the cross of Christ’s acceptance with God, but, on the contrary, all will illustrate its usefulness and power.  Especially will the ceremonies teach the means of maintaining that fellowship with God into which justification introduces the believer.*

 

[* NOTE. This may be of some help those who believe a Temple may well be built for worship in the millennial Age, but not a Jewish Temple or one in which sacrifices will be made by its priests. – Ed.]

 

*        *       *

 

 

THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE

By E. BENDOR SAMUEL*

 

[* Read his EXPOSITION of PSALM 72 in NOTE 10.]

In chapter 37 the prophet Ezekiel predicts Israel’s restoration and conversion when their Messiah and David shall be King over the united nation, who shall walk in God’s ordinances, keep His statutes and do them.  He holds out to them the gracious promise Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them and multiply them and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for ever.  Yea, My covenant shall be with them and I will be their God, and they shall be My people, and the nations shall know that I, Jehovah, sanctify Israel when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for ever.”

That the building of the Temple is meant to be plain literal statement is evident from the words of the angelic messenger who imparted the instruction to the prophet -

Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears and set thy heart upon all that I shall show thee, for in order that it might be shown thee art thou brought hither.  Declare thus to the house of Israel all that thou seest” (40: 4).

The shape and size and all the particulars of the building and its furniture were shown him and he was commanded to give all the details of them to his people, that realizing God’s gracious purpose with them they may be ashamed of their iniquities.  He was to show them the form of the house and its fashion, and its goings out and its comings in, and all the ordinances, and all its forms, and all its laws, and write it all before them that they may keep the whole form thereof and all the statutes thereof and do them” (43: 10, 11).

The Man Who disappeared together with the cherubim from the temple that was about to be destroyed now reappears with the Glory of the Lord in the rebuilt temple nevermore to depart from His people.

That the Temple of Ezekiel does not refer to that of Zerubbabel, nor of Herod, is clear from the fact that it differed from them in its structure and observances:-

(a) The one described by Ezekiel is larger than the earlier ones, but its altar is smaller, for while the earlier ones were the centre of worship for Israel only, Ezekiel’s, is to be for worshippers of all nations.  As we have already noticed Isaiah predicted that all nations shall flow (incessantly as the waters of a river) unto it (Isa. 2: 2, 3).  Zechariah predicts that “All that are left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”  It will then be a house of prayer for all nations.”

(b) The altar is smaller than that of Solomon’s as the great antitypical sacrifice was already offered and those in the future Temple will only be commemorative.

(c) For the same reason the Day of Atonement is not mentioned by Ezekiel as full atonement has already been made by Christ for all who believe in Him.  This is in accordance with Heb. 10: 14, 18.

(d) It is remarkable that Ezekiel does not mention the paschal lamb; he speaks of the Passover as the feast of seven days, and says that the Prince shall prepare for himself and for all the people a bullock for a sin offering. Christ completely fulfilled, first, the command regarding it by taking part of the meal on the Passover night with His disciples; and secondly, its type, when He died on the cross on the very day that the paschal lamb was offered according to the Jewish way of reckoning, that is, the day being from sunset to sunset.  The command is From even to even shall ye celebrate your sabbaths.”

The Feast of Passover is to be observed as it sets forth not only Israel’s redemption from Egypt, but also their greater redemption, national and spiritual, on Christ’s return, and the redemption of men and women of all nationalities, not only from temporal bondage, but from spiritual thraldom which will have full effect during the Millennium.

According to Zech. 14: 16, the Feast of Tabernacles will also be kept.  It was the feast of ingathering and represents the completion of the ingathering of the nations.

(e) The Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, is not mentioned as that is connected with this age of the Spirit (1 John 14: 11, 17; 15: 26; Acts 2: 23), Who is with us in a special sense during the bodily absence of the Lord Jesus.

(f) There will also be a change in the offering of the sacrifices suitable to the times.  The burnt offering, for instance, will only be offered in the mornings (46: 13-15), and not in the evenings also.

(g) In harmony with Jer. 3: 16, there will be no Ark in the future Temple.  And it shall be when ye are multiplied and become fruitful in the land in those days, saith Jehovah, they shall say no more The Ark of the covenant of Jehovah; neither shall it come into the mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they make it.”

And as we have see, the Divine Man will be in the Holy of Holies where the Ark used to be.

The Jewish Rabbis say that the Ark and its mercy seat, the heavenly Fire, the Shechinah and the Urim and Thummim that were in Solomon’s Temple were all lacking in the second Temple.

(h) Ezekiel does not say anything about the Veil, or Shewbread, or Candelabra.  There is good reason for the omission.  The Veil that was rent asunder by invisible hands at the death of our Saviour will probably never be restored, because it has opened for the saved ones the way to the presence of God where Christ as our High Priest Himself has entered and the way will ever remain open to us.  The Presence of our Lord will far outshine any light that all the candelabra could give us (as will be the case in the heavenly City, Rev. 21: 23).  The house of Jacob will then walk in the light of Jehovah (Isa. 2: 5), and in their turn will shine for Him, according to the declaration of the prophet.

Arise, shine, for thy light is come and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee.  For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but Jehovah will arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee” (ibid. 60: 1, 2).

The Shewbread, or more literally, the Bread of the Presence, being placed before Jehovah, set forth Christ in His human perfection together with His redeemed people, the twelve loaves also representing the twelve tribes of Israel, but the Lord Jesus in His human form being Himself present in the midst of the entire nation of Israel, it will, perhaps, be one amongst other symbols no more necessary in the Millennium.

(i) The arrangement of the Israel tribes in the land will also be different from what it was formerly.  The Levitical tribe is placed round the Sanctuary and is no longer dispersed among the other tribes.  Israel’s intimate relationship with Jehovah is beautifully expressed in two brief sentences, I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever” (43: 7), and I will accept you, saith the Lord Jehovah” (43: 27).

There is a remarkable verse in Isaiah 53 which reads:

All we, like sheep, have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, but Jehovah hath caused to meet on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Hiphgia Caused to meet,” that is the literal translation.  The picture is graphic.  Christ in the centre of God’s purpose of salvation; the sins travelling from all points of the compass, North and South, East and West, and from all points of time, before Christ and after Christ, meeting upon Him as their focal point.  In harmony with this would be the system of sacrifices, those offered by the ancients looking forward and those offered in the Millennium looking back upon Christ as the centre.

This is further indicated by the fact that the centre of the Temple area, indeed the centre of the entire sanctified oblation as described by Ezekiel, is not the Holy of Holies, but the Altar representing the cross.

The Temple service in the Millennium will not be for the Church.  It will be for the Jewish people who have not yet realized the full purport of the divinely instituted Temple service, and have not fulfilled the grand purpose for which it was established.  In the Millennium the Jews will enter into the full meaning of the Levitical economy and will instruct by it the unconverted nations in the wonderful plan of salvation through Christ.

When God first chose Israel it was with the intention of making them a “Kingdom of priests, an holy nation” (Exod. 19: 6).  Alas! Israel failed in their high calling, but God’s purpose will not be frustrated, and, in spite of themselves, the Jewish people will yet be made the instrument of blessing to mankind.  Looking on to that blessed time the prophet predicts, Ye shall be named the priests of Jehovah, men shall call you the ministers of our God” (Isa. 61: 6).

The Israelites will probably set forth in all harmonious parts the outward beauty and inward sanctity of the Temple service which in their earliest days of old they had never exhibited in its full perfection.  Thus Christ's word shall be fulfilled, that till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled.’ The full excellence and antitypical perfection of all the parts of the ancient Temple service, which, from ignorance of its hidden meaning, seemed cumbersome and unintelligible to the worshippers, shall then be fully understood and become a delightful service of love.

To set forth this and not to invalidate the principles of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that after Christ’s perfect sacrifice no further propitiation is needed, is probably one object of the future Temple liturgy.  Israel’s province will be to exhibit in the minutest details of sacrifice the essential unity of the Law and the Gospel which now seem opposed” (A. R. Fausset).

When the Tabernacle was erected we are told that A cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle” (Exod. 40: 34).

Likewise at the completion of the Temple we read, The glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah” (1 Kings 8: 11).

Alas! that glory, the visible emblem of the invisible presence of God, was seen by Ezekiel to disappear slowly and reluctantly, from the gate that looketh toward the east.  And first from the Cherub unto the threshold of the house (Ezek. 9: 3), then from the threshold of the house unto the door of the gate (10: 11, 19).  Finally, the prophet saw it disappearing from the midst of Jerusalem to the mountain east of that city (11: 23).  In the vision of the Millennial Temple the prophet sees it returning from the same direction that he saw it disappearing.

And he brought me unto the gate, and behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and His voice was like the sound of many waters and the earth shined with His glory. ... And the glory of Jehovah came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east, And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and behold the glory of Jehovah filled the house:” (Ezek. 43: 1-5).

This will surpass anything that took place in the Tabernacle or former temples because the Glory will not be merely symbolic as was formerly the case, but will be the accompaniment of the personal [bodily] presence of Jehovah, for the prophet continues

And I hear one speaking with me out of the house; and a man was standing by me, And he said unto me, Son of man, This is the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever” (Ibid. 43: 6, 7).

The Millennial age will likewise foreshadow and prepare the way for the perfect state.  In the former God’s presence will be in the midst of Israel (43: 7), in the new earth God will tabernacle with men generally (Rev. 22: 3).  In Ezekiel’s vision the life-giving waters flow from under the threshold of the Temple.  In John’s vision the life-giving waters flow from under the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Both in the heavenly and earthly Jerusalem the trees of life are introduced, in the former there will be miry places and marsh land, in the latter these disappear, for there shall be no more curse.”

In the earthly city the names of the twelve tribes are on the twelve gates; in the heavenly city there are also twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, but in addition are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In Ezekiel the configuration of the [present] earth is to be changed, in the Apocalyptic vision there is a new earth.

In Ezekiel’s vision the chief part is the Temple, in the new state there will be no temple because it will be all temple, the glory of God will fill the whole earth; there will be no sacrifice as there will be no sin.

In Ezekiel’s Temple there is no candelabrum.  In the eternal state there will not even be needed the light of the sun, as the glory of God and of the Lamb will enlighten it.

 

*        *       *

 

NOTE 4

THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST

[From writings by D. M. PANTON.]

The rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem is delayed until God’s appointed time.  Dr. Timothy Richard asked a thoughtful heathen, a Chinese philanthropist, if he had read the New Testament.  Three times,” he answered. “And what impressed you most?” the Doctor asked.  Pausing, the Chinaman replied:-I think the most wonderful thing to me in the whole Book is this, that it is possible for men to become temples of the Holy Ghost.”* The indwelling of the Godhead in the human is not only one of the profoundest of all mysteries, a dignity conferred on the human body quite inconceivable, but, in the deep-down root of it, it is the only solution, and the perfect solution, of all human problems.

[* NOTE. Those who teach contrary to what we read throughout Scripture concerning unfulfilled prophetic events, cause nothing but confusion about the Bible as the sole authority on these matters!  Are those Christians who do not understand these doctrines being led astray by the clever use of words by people deceived into believing Messiah has only one Kingdom! (Luke 22: 29, 30; Rev. 3: 21)?  Are Anti-millennialists correct when they read in Ezekiel 39: 21-29, and imply Messiah Jesus will have notemple in Jerusalem” and no glory among the nations” during His millennial reign (Rev. 20: 4-6)?  Are they correct in saying the Jews will have no earthly inheritance with Him at that time (Psa. 2: 8), because God has now transferred all their promises to Christians?  Are Bible teachers correct when they say “the Land” of Canaan, which God promised as an inheritance to Abraham (Gen. 17: 8. cf. Acts 7: 5), has nothing to do with this earth: it is “a heavenly land”!  Or, should we conclude that those who say “the Landis  Heaven,” are spiritually alive?  These are important questions, for every regenerate believer who accepts “Replacement Theology,” to ask of themselves!]

The central aim of a temple, and its innermost shrine, are not, primarily, for worship, but for the residence of a god.  Jehovah said to David:-Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?” (2 Sam. 7: 5).  All the materials of the Temple were of ordinary wood and gold and brass: the solitary wonder that made it a unique building on earth was a fire-hearted cloud in the innermost Shrine: it was not the magnificence of the structure nor the costliness of the materials, nor the solemn ritual, that made the Temple so awful, but the actual presence of Deity.  So also, but with a far more moving emphasis, the wonder of the new [human] temple is the same.  The poorest, meanest-clad, least-educated of God; the common members with which once we sinned; the weary limbs, the hungry bodies, the sleepless frames, the heart in the sick room almost too tired to beat:- “Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 6: 19).  For the [regenerate] Christian is made on the pattern of Christ.  Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  He spake of the temple of his body:” (John 2: 19).

Now the whole Temple foreshadowed the truth which the prophet Ezekiel had foretold.  I will put my Spirit within you” - not upon you, in miraculous gifts, or around you, in guarding power; but ‘WITHIN you,’ like the main-spring of a watch, or the dynamo of a motor - “and cause you” - in consequence of the indwelling – “to walk in my statutes, and do them” (Ezek. 36: 27).  Out of the indwelt soul the Most High launches the Amazon - or what in a sanctified life can be an Amazon - of active goodness: “it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2: 13).  For God does not (first of all) give us a model; nor does He begin by inculcating prohibitions and negations: He puts Himself into the human; He enters as the resident main-spring which keeps all the wheels, pivots, axles accomplishing the purpose for which the human was made.  For we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and WALK in them (2 Cor. 6: 16).  God not only dwells, but walks, in the believer whose life thus becomes (so far as he lets it) a transcript of the Divine.  It is the momentous, profound, eternal, and only principle on which God solves all problems in a fallen world.

So then the humblest believer is exalted to a dignity above earth’s highest thrones.  For there is more of God manifest in a Christian than anywhere else in the world: a sanctified, obedient believer is the sole spot on earth in which He is resident.  And the body of the believer is as sacred to God as the Temple was.  Mine eyes and my heart,” He says, “shall be there perpetually” (1 Kings 9: 3).  And the potentiality of this truth is utterly incalculable. “We have not power enough,” someone once said to Evan Roberts. “My brother,” Mr. Roberts answered, “power is a Person, and we have [or have not] got the Holy Ghost.”* All holiness, all truth, all life, all power reside in the Holy Ghost; and The Holy Ghost resides in us: therefore all power is ours - dormant it may be, but latent - to be and to do all that God desires.  And the temple’s completion is as certain as its foundation.  Solomon began, and Solomon finished, the first Temple: of Zerubbabel God said:- his “hands have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it” (Zech. 4: 9): so Christ, starting the human temple in regeneration, will complete it in resurrection.**

[* See “The Personal Indwelling of the Holy Spirit” by G. H. LANG.  Also Acts 5: 35, R.V.: “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”  cf. 1 Samuel 28: 16-18a, R.V.: “And Samuel said, ‘Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing Jehovah is departed from thee, and become thine adversary?  And Jehovah hath done unto thee, as he spake by me: and Jehovah hath rent the Kingdom [not eternal life] out of thy hand because thou obeyest not the voice of Jehovah…’”. Again: “And he [Samson] awoke out of his sleep, and said, ‘I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free.’  But he knew not that Jehovah was departed from him:” (Judges 16: 20, R.V.).]

** Our Lord’s words - “destroy this temple” (John 2: 19) - a temple which, in fact, was not even decomposed, prove afresh that God’s action on the lost - “destroy both body and soul in hell [i.e., ‘Gehenna]” (Matt. 10: 28) - is no annihilation, but simply a putting out of use, a destruction of function.

But no transcendent privilege is unattached to a corresponding gravity of responsibility, and a menace of misuse.  Therefore the Spirit adds :-If any [regenerate believer] defileth the temple of God, him shall God defile*; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye” - and not unbelievers – “are (1 Cor. 3: 17).  We believers who degrade our bodies are guilty of sacrilege; and such sacrilege, with its unutterably solemn consequence, has been remarkably foreshadowed in the old Temple.  The censers with which Korah and his associates - all people of God, all drinking of the Rock offered strange fire before Jehovah, so defiling the Sacred Courts, were beaten into plates to cover the Altar (Num. 16: 38), as ‘vessels of dishonour,’ for ever marking the judgment of God.**  So Paul says:- “Some vessels [are] unto honour, and some unto dishonour: if a man therefore purge himself from these [sins], he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, meet for the master's use:” (2 Tim. 2: 20).

* It is the same word in both clauses: and it can hardly mean ‘destroy,’ for it is not possible to destroy what has already been destroyed; but it is very possible for that to be defiled with Divine degradation which has already been defiled by human sin. 

** Impurity of every kind, drug addiction, contraceptives, excess in wine or food - one of the most gifted evangelists we ever knew (a teetotaller) was wrecked by gluttony - all such are degradations of the body which, if un-abandoned, will bring bodily degradation at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Luke 12: 47); and the kindest thing we can do to each other is to state this truth quite plainly, and keep it steadily before the Church of God.

Defiled is the temple, its beauty laid low;

On God’s holy altar the embers faint glow:

By love yet rekindled, a flame may be fann’d;

O quench not the Spirit, the Lord is at hand!

So we get an instantaneous photograph of human need in the fearful picture of a godless temple. “Wouldest thou pray in the temple?” Augustine asks; “then pray within thyself; but first become a temple.”  The natural man has no ‘Divine-spark’ within: he is the workmanship of God, and bears the imprint of His fingers; but, so far as indwelling Deity is concerned, he is a dark and empty shrine.  All deification of man is Antichrist’s exact negative of the truth.* “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His (Rom. 8: 9): he is “WITHOUT GOD in the world” (Eph. 2: 12).**

* “Antichrist’s theological system may he summed up in the three following theses: 1. There is no personal God without and above the Universe. 2. Man is himself his own god - the god of this world.  3. I am the representative of humanity; by worshipping me humanity worships itself”: (Godet).

It is the first massive foundation laid by our Lord on which He rears the entire superstructure of His revelation of God's mind:- “Except a man be begotten from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God; ye must be begotten FROM ABOVE (John 3: 3, 7).  A godless temple must meet a godless doom.

[** In the temple of the body, at the time of one’s regeneration, the descent of the Shekinah Glory is manifestly the descent of the Holy Spirit into the new-born individual believer: in the collective temple of all the saints (Eph. 2: 21), the descent of the Shekinah is as manifestly the Holy Spirit’s descent into the new-born Church at Pentecost, in miracle and inspiration.]

So we reach the grand climax.  Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have” - not, as you have your human spirit, from your parents; but - “FROM GOD.”* All men are temple buildings, though empty; the structure for God’s indwelling is already there and no* preparation is needed for His entrance: all that is necessary is the invocation of the Shekinah Glory.  Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord, and spread forth his hands, and said, Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength [Christ]: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation: O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine Anointed!  Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and the glory of the Lord FILLED THE HOUSE” (2 Chron. 6: 12, 41; 7: 1).**  It is one of the kindest, the most utterly wonderful of all the promises of Christ:- “If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT TO THEM THAT ASK HIM” (Luke 11: 1).***

* The entrance of any other spirit into the human body (through wilful sin and disobedience as in Spiritualistic mediumship) is the introduction of strange fire into the Temple, or such idolatrous icons as Ezekiel saw (8: 10) upon the Temple walls.

** Thus the invocation is full of Christ: for the Ark (a type of Christ) enters with the Shekinah; and He is directly referred to as ‘Thy Anointed.'  No heart is saved except the heart in which the Lamb of God - the blood-sprinkled Mercy Seat - is enthroned.

[*** Though the end days, as they are described in Scripture, are not yet come, they are nearer than they were. At any rate, the present time is perilous enough to spiritual and moral life to require a far more powerful stimulus to devotion and warning against defection than has been provided by the view of the future so long dominant.  In the tranquil period some can remember it was easy enough to talk smoothly about ‘perilous times’ and ‘end days’ and ‘great tribulation,’ and for teachers to assure their souls and their hearers that there was not the least ground for personal concern, because the church entire was certain to be removed to heaven before those dread days could set in. But this complacent outlook does not stir the soul into flame, nor brace the nerves to faithfulness and suffering in a period of world upheaval. With nations full of foreboding, and of consequent suspicion against each other, with military service sternly compulsory in most lands, with governments more and more first regulating and then suppressing pure Christianity, some more powerful and deep-acting tonic is required.

What the Church of God now needs imperatively is men able to show fearlessly what the Word of God teaches as to the future that will guide life through difficulties and dangers, perplexities and perils; also how to gain strength to be faithful and holy, and what will be the heavenly recompense; and able to show also what will be the sorrowful penalties the Christian must face if unfaithful to Christ and the word of His patience. But this demands close scrutiny of the Word of truth free from the bias and fetters of preconceived schemes of interpretation. It calls for zeal and courage, and the making known of the results demands liberty of utterance, if saints are to profit by it…” G. H. LANG.]

It is a tremendous truth.  In Carlisle, in Pennsylvania, on the death of a young Christian man, much loved in his home and college, a large concourse assembled at the funeral.  Finding the entry of the chapel blocked, his father, a well-known preacher, cried to the pall-bearers, “Young men, tread lightly! tread lightly! ye bear the temple of the Holy Ghost.”  These simple but startling words fell like an electric shock on the hearers, and a revival swept through the college and the town.

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NOTE 5

Messiah’s Companions. (Heb. 3: 14).*

[*From writings by G. H. LANG.]

 

Moses had his personal attendant, Joshua.  David had the “king’s friend,” Hushai (1 Chron. 27: 33). Rehoboam had “the young men that were grown up with him, that stood before him” (2 Chron. 10: 8).  The Lord in His kingdom will have those who “walk about with Him in white,” arrayed thus in white garments then because they overcame now in the battle with sin and did not defile their garments here (Rev. 3: 4, 5).  They are “the called and chosen and faithful (Rev. 17: 14).  It is faithfulness that matters.

To the little band who, in spite of failings and failures, had gone through with their Teacher and Lord to the end, He said: “I come again, and will receive you unto Myself, that where I am ye may be also” (John 14: 3).  He had said before: “If Me any one serve, Me let him follow; and where I am there shall also My servant be: if any one serve Me, him will the Father honour” (John 12: 26).  Complacency makes this to read, If any one believes on Christ as Saviour, he shall be with Christ and be honoured by the Father.  But the Lord said that companionship with Himself, and being honoured by the Father, results from serving and following.  And the context is that following Christ involves being a corn of wheat that dies to itself that it may live in others.  Therefore let the believer ask: Whose interests am I serving: Christ’s or my own, Christ’s or those of this world?  Whose maxims, whose example, whose ambitions and ends do I follow: those of Christ or of others?  In the nature of the case only one who does literally follow the steps of another can arrive where that other arrives.  Another path will lead to another place.

The summit of the Christian’s true ambition is the immediate presence and continual company of the Son of God in glory.  The honour and the bliss of this is otherwise pictured as the mutual joy of bridegroom and bride.

He and I in that bright glory

One great joy shall share;

Mine to be for ever with Him,

His that I am there.”

Elsewhere this dignity is set forth as sitting with the King on the royal dais at a banquet (Luke 22: 30), and again, as sharing His throne (Rev. 3: 21).  In all such relationships the dominant thought is that of sharing habitually the personal company of the Lord.  And this is the distinctive element in the word companions, i.e. being habitually in the company of one another; and it is equally the distinctive thought of the word thus translated metochos.

To his translation of Heb. 3: 1, where this word is found (partakers of a heavenly calling”), Darby adds the note: “Here metochoi, who have been made, called to be, partakers of it.  They had been koinonoi of Israel’s rights.”  These two words are indeed so similar in meaning as both to be rendered Partakers and Partners.  But one may be a “sleeping” partner, and never be seen at the business; but the metochoi would be habitually together conducting affairs in common.  The word is used in the LXX at Eccles. 4: 10, and Ps. 45: 7 before considered.

Too many Christians are content to have a share in the “common salvation,” and show little desire or care to enjoy the company of the Lord or of their fellow-partners.  How shall such indifference here lead to intimacy there?  No; ch. 1: 9, using the same word, speaks of the Lord having companions; our present (verse 3: 14) declares that “companions [emphatic] of the Christ [the Messiah] we have become if at least [eanper] the beginning of the assurance unto the end steadfast we may hold.”  We have become” such companions as regards the calling and purpose of God, and we may enjoy this privilege already in heart fellowship with Christ: we shall become such in outward and visible and glorified reality IF we are steadfast unto the end of our course.  It is reaching well the end of the race that matters as to gaining the prize.  He who fails in staying power, and does not reach the goal, does not lose his life, but he does lose the prize.  It will be much to be in the kingdom of the saved: it will be far, far more to be a companion of the King.  Ponder this second IF!

Note on eanper, if.  It comes here and at 6: 3 only in the New Testament.  It is not found in LXX, but Grimm-Thayer here is wrong in stating it is not in the Old Testament Apocrypha.  It is in 2 Macc. 3: 38, and the passage distinctly shows its emphatic sense.  Heliodorous had been sent by the king of Syria to rob the temple at Jerusalem.  Angels had appeared and flogged him nearly to death, his life being spared only at the intercession of the high priest.  Upon the king asking him who should next be sent on the errand he answered: “If thou hast any enemy or conspirator against the State, send him thither, and thou shalt receive him back well scourged, if he even escape with his life” (eanper kai diasotheie).

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NOTE 6

Reaching Canaan. They were not able to enter in (3: 19).

[*From writings by G. H. LANG.]

 

Nothing is clearer than that every redeemed Israelite that left Egypt had a right to enter Canaan.  The purpose and promise of God were universal to them as sons of Abraham.  Their title was beyond question.  Yet nothing is plainer than that of the 600,000 adult men who left Egypt only two, Joshua and Caleb, did in fact enter Canaan.  The histories of this failure are narrated with significant fulness (Num. 13 and 14).  The grounds of failure and of success are stated with unmistakable distinctness.  The later references to it are striking and solemn. Ps. 95 impressed it upon Israel; Heb. 3 and 4 impress it upon us, and the detail use of the failure in 1 Cor. 10 emphasizes that the warning is as fully applicable to Gentile Christians as to converts from Judaism.

That Canaan must be won is as certain as that it may be lost.  That the promised power of God was adequate and available to enable them all to take possession was no guarantee that they would get possession.  In the cases of the few who did so the praise belonged to their God of grace  Who gave them the victory (Ps. 44: 3).  That the majority did not reach the land was, as we are here told, because of unbelief and disobedience.

What is the antitype of Canaan for the Christian?  Whatever it is will have three dominant features.  (1) It will be a gift of covenant grace, and therefore undeserved.  (2) It must be won by conflict.  No more is possessed than the warrior sets his foot upon (Josh. 1: 3).  (3) It may be lost by distrust of God and disobedience to His commands.

The two last particulars show that neither justification nor eternal life is in view, for these are described plainly as “free” gifts (Rom. 3: 24; 6: 23, R.V.).  Free” (dorean, charisma) means free of conditions, what is termed in law an absolute gift, as distinct from a conditional gift [or ‘prize]; a gift which therefore can neither be withdrawn by the donor nor forfeited by the receiver.

What, then, does Canaan represent to-day?  A careful examination of the records will show that the whole national history of Israel, from redemption in Egypt to Solomon, is one continuous type.  Parts of this type have been treated helpfully, especially the tabernacle; but it needs an Andrew Jukes to expound this subject as comprehensively, as spiritually, as profitably as in his Types of Genesis he dealt with the long history from Adam to Joseph.

Slavery in Egypt is Rom. 1 and 2: redemption by blood is Rom. 3 to 5: freedom from Egypt, by passing through the Red Sea, is Rom. 6, baptism into fellowship with Christ in His death and risen life: the wilderness is Rom. 7: the crossing the Jordan is Rom. 8: 1-17, experimental transference from being “in flesh” (the wilderness) to being “in spirit” (the land of promise), and thus becoming free from bondage and its fear, even as Israel lost the reproach of having been a slave race by being circumcised at Gilgal, at the entrance of the land.  This leads to Rom. 8: 15, 16, the joy of adoption and communion, so as to become heirs of the goodly land thus reached.  This in turn involves suffering with Christ (Rom. 8: 17, 18), as Israel in the land shared with Joshua the sufferings of the wars of possession.  The history of judges pictures the groaning and travailing of the church of God not yet perfected (Rom. 8: 22, 23), in which experiences there develop the still remaining weaknesses and failures of our mortal state, and in which the power of the hope of perfect possession and rest supports the godly (Rom. 8: 24, 25).

For the Christian this hope is to be realized at [the ‘First Resurrection’ and] the “redemption of the body” (Rom. 8: 23).  Thus the sequence of thought has reached the second coming of our Lord.  Now His own final word as to that His advent is that He will come as “the root and offspring of David (Rev. 22: 16); that is to say, that David in his rejection, hardships, and wars was a type of Christ now rejected and hidden, but whose public appearing will secure victory over Satan, with liberation for the earth, and [millennial] glory for those who fought and suffered with Him.  Thus did David’s return to public life free Palestine from the Philistine oppression and bring to glory in his kingdom the men who had shared his rejection.

But Rom. 8: 19-21 adds the material feature that at that revelation of our now absent Lord, with the many sons who by then will have been brought unto glory, there is to be a releasing of creation itself from its pains and groans.  Previous prophecies had foretold this, as Ps. 72: 16; Isa. 11: 6-9; 30: 23-26; 55: 12, 13; etc.  In other words the period we have now reached in this line of thought is the millennial reign of Christ, the Prince of peace, the foreshadowing of which was the earlier part of Solomon's reign of peace and glory.  But failure marked the close of that period, and failure will mark the close of the Millennium (Rev. 20: 7-10); whereupon will follow a final judgment and final reconstruction of heaven and earth, a new and eternal order.

Thus Canaan as a type does not extend beyond the days of Solomon, and therefore is not a picture of things eternal, but of two things: (1) of the present era of spiritual conflict as in Joshua and Judges and in Eph. 6.  In this experience rich knowledge is gained of the power and goodness of God. but it is accompanied with groaning: but (2), and more fully, Canaan prefigured that millennial period, the era upon which hope is called to fix itself, even upon “the favour that is being brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1: 13).

Seeing that failure and sorrow marked Canaan through the whole past it cannot be a type of the eternal ages, for these will never be marred by failure.  It follows that it is the millennial glory which must be won and may be lost, won by faith that obeys, lost by distrust [disbelief] and disobedience.  To this there is no alternative except the forfeiture of eternal life and salvation entire, which meaning has been based upon our present chapters but which we think unscriptural.

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NOTE 7

 

[From writings by JAMES PAYNE.]

Because of Thy temple at Jerusalem Kings shall bring presents unto Thee” (Psa. 68: 29. R.V.)   Now we beseech you, brethern, touching the coming [Gk. ‘presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him; to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of our Lord is now present: let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God” (2 Thess. 2: 1-4).

“It is extraordinarily significant that the Government of Israel already plan to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.  The Evangelical Christian quotes from a writer in Palestine:-There is even a Talmudic Seminary in Jerusalem where the rites of animal sacrifices are studied in great and earnest secrecy, in the hope that the Solomonic Temple will soon be rebuilt on its ancient site.  It can be said without exaggeration that if the orthodox party had their way the State of Israel would regress to the condition of life before the fall of Jerusalem in the first century, A.D.It is in this Temple that the Antichrist will proclaim himself to be God.” - DAWN No. 299, March 1949.

Ezekiel commenced his prophetic ministry in “the fifth year of the captivity of King Jehoiachin” (in some places called “Jeconiah”).  The expression “the thirtieth year” in chapter 1, verse 1, is a little obscure, but probably refers to the thirtieth year of Ezekiel’s life.  Ezekiel was a priest and if our supposition is correct then the Lord called him to the prophetic ministry at the same time as he would normally have entered upon his priestly office.  Whatever the meaning of this expression, however, the time referred to is rendered perfectly clear by the expression in verse 2 to which we have already referred.

Each of Ezekiel’s thirteen prophecies are dated from the year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity.  He prophesied in the fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, twenty-fifth and twenty-seventh years from that event.  Only two prophecies in the book are placed out of chronological order - one in the tenth year and the other in the twenty-seventh.  The reason for this is obviously to bring all the prophecies relating to Egypt together.  The vision concerning the Temple and City was given, he says, “in the twenty-fifth year of our captivity ... the fourteenth year after the city was smitten.”  This shows that Ezekiel was also taken captive with King Jehoiachin and thus was in captivity five years before his ministry began.  Jehoiachin reigned only a few months, and Zedekiah, who succeeded him, being the last king, reigned eleven years; and fourteen plus eleven equals twenty-five.

What was the purpose of this last vision given to Ezekiel?  It has been said that the Lord intended to give Israel one more opportunity to return wholeheartedly to Himself, and that had they done so this new order of things would have been established forthwith in Jerusalem.  As, however, they did not return to Him, the promise of so glorious a Temple became null and void and the whole narrative therefore ceases to be of any practical interest.

Such a conclusion, however, is obviously ill-considered.  If the Lord had, at that time, brought Israel into the order of things portrayed by Ezekiel, then the whole of the Levitical law would have been rendered obsolete.  But there is not the slightest indication anywhere that this was intended until such law had found its completion in Christ.  Indeed, as we shall hereafter show, the institutions of Ezekiel’s Temple could find their proper place only in an ‘age’ of grace [which is yet to come.]

A very cursory comparison between Ezekiel’s Temple and the records of Ezra and Nehemiah will serve to show that it is clearly not Zerubbabel’s Temple that is here described.

Some have suggested that the spiritual Temple of Christ’s Church in its eternal glory is here set forth in the symbols of an earthly building and that nothing more is intended.  The wealth of detail, however, employed in the minute description of every part of the building precludes such an idea.  Certain parts of these chapters, such as the issuing of the living waters from under the threshold or the entrance into the House of the Glory of the Lord, have been taken by some and so spiritualized, perhaps with some profit to the hearers, but no man has yet ventured to spiritualize every detail of description and measurement found in the record of this vision.  It would be extremely, difficult, for example, without being highly fanciful, to find any spiritual counterpart to the division of the land among the tribes or the order in which the tribes appear in the land.  The same may be said of the numbers of arches, chambers aria pillars with their detailed measurements and many other such things.  And unless the whole description can be shown to be merely symbolic of spiritual things, it is manifestly improper so to regard some particular portions thereof just according to one’s fancy.

To the honest and unbiased reader, the record given is the plain and simple description in great detail of a literal Temple, with a city in close proximity, yet to be built in a particular place in the Holy Land, to the north and south of which the tribes of Israel are to have equal inheritance in a manner entirely different from that which has obtained in the previous history of the nation.  The Temple moreover, is to be filled with the Glory of Jehovah, who is to have His Throne there, while holiness is to be the law of the House and abundance the characteristic of the [His millennial] Kingdom.

The Temple itself evidently stands upon the summit of a mountain, for the Lord said to Ezekiel, “Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy.  Behold! this is the law of the house” (chapter 43: 12).

It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.  And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more:” (Isaiah 2: 2-4).

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NOTE 8

 

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF IN THE BIBLICAL TYPES:

 

Solomon’s Temple is typical of Messiah’s Millennial Temple.*

 

 

[* From writings by ANDREW BONAR.]

 

The rites here, detailed were typical; and every type was designed and intended by God to bear resemblance to some spiritual truth.  The likeness between type and antitype is never accidental.  The very excellency of these rites consists in their being chosen by God for the end of shadowing forth “good things to come” (Heb. 10: 1).  As it is not a mere accidental resemblance to the Lord’s body and blood that obtains in the bread and wine used in the Lord’s supper, but on the contrary, a likeness that made the symbols suitable to be selected for that end; so is it in the case of every Levitical type.  Much of our satisfaction and edification in tracing the correspondence between type and antitype will depend on the firmness with which we hold this principle.

 

If it be asked why a typical mode of showing forth truth was adopted to such an extent in those early days, it may be difficult to give a precise answer.  It is plain such a method of instruction may answer many purposes.  It may not only meet the end of simplifying the truth, it may also open the mind to comprehend more, while it deepens present impressions of things known.  The existence of a type does not always argue that the thing typified is obscurely seen, or imperfectly known.  On the contrary, there was a type in the Garden of Eden - the tree of life, - while life, in all its meaning, was fully comprehended by Adam.  In all probability, there will be typical objects in the millennial age; for there is to be a river which shall flow from Jerusalem to water the valley of Shittim (Joel 3: 8), the same of which Ezekiel (47: 1) and Zechariah (14: 8) speak.  This river is said to be the healing of the Dead Sea, while on its banks grow majestic trees, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.  No doubt a spiritual significance lies hid in these visible signs; the visible symbol seems to be a broad seal and sign of a particular truth manifested in these days, viz., the overflowing stream of the Holy Spirit (who shall be poured out at Jerusalem on the house of David first), winding its course over earth to convey saving health to all nations.  Certain it is that types do not necessarily imply that the antitype is dimly known.  The Lord may use them as he uses Gospel ordinances at present, to convey light to us, and leave more indelible impressions. …

 

… And, if we may throw out a conjecture on a subject where Millenarians and Anti-millenarians are alike at sea - is it not possible that some, such end as this may be answered by the temple which Ezekiel foretells as yet to be built (chap. 40., &c.)?  Believing nations may frequent that temple in order to get understanding in these types and shadows.  They may go up to the mountain of the Lord’s house, to be there taught his ways. (Isa. 2: 3.)  In that temple they may learn how not one tittle of the law has failed.  As they look on the sons of Zadok ministering in that peculiar sanctuary, they may learn portions of truth with new impressiveness and fulness.  Indeed, the very fact that the order of arrangement in Ezekiel entirely differs from the order observed in either tabernacle or temple, and that the edifice, itself is reared on a plan varying from every former sanctuary, is sufficient to suggest the idea that it is meant to cast light on former types and shadows.  Many Levitical rites appear to us unmeaning; but they would not do so if presented in a new relation.  As it is said of the rigid features of a marble statue, that they may be made to move and vary their expression so as even to smile, when a skilful hand knows how to move a bright light before it; so may it be with these apparently lifeless figures, in the light of that bright Millennial Day.  At all events, it is probably then that this much-neglected Book of Leviticus shall be fully appreciated.  Israel - the good Olive-tree - shall again yield its fatness to the nations round. (Rom. 11: 17.)  Their ancient ritual may then be more fully understood, and blessed truth found beaming forth from lone, obscurity.  When Jesus, the High Priest, comes forth from the holiest, there may be here fountains of living water to which he shall lead us - himself seen to be the glorious Antitype, the Alpha and the Omega!

 

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THE SABBATIC YEAR AND YEAR OF JUBILEE.

 

All men shall know that the Lord has loved them,

when I give authority over the nations:” (Rev. 2: 26, R.V.).

 

 

Verses 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55.  And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: after that he is sold he way be re deemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or, if he be able, he may redeem himself.  And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him.  If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.  And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubilee, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption.  And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigor over him in thy sight.  And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, both he and his children with him.  For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

 

Here is comfort for all Israel in hope of the jubilee.

 

The case is supposed of a rich foreigner purchasing for his bondman one of the poor of Israel who had fallen into decay.  The Lord states the case, and shows his desire that this Israelite should not so continue.  It is the duty of friends to redeem them (vers. 48, 49).  At all events, no stranger shall hold him in bondage beyond the jubilee.

 

Here is the Lord’s determination to exalt his peculiar people, saving them from all oppressors, even when they have, through their own sin, fallen into decay.  The times of the Gentiles shall end; and Israel shall “return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.”  But here, also, is the Lord’s determination regarding Christ’s own, whom he redeems, to deliver them from external oppression and sorrow.  The whole family of God shall be freed from weeping and sorrow; for their Redeemer is mighty.

 

God’s Israel have no room left for despair.  All is bright hope for the future, if there is not present joy (ver. 54); for the jubilee is near.  Each believer must, meanwhile, wipe away the other’s tears and bear his brother’s burdens (ver. 48); while all fix an eager eye on the coming day of God - “the year of the redeemed.”

Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe,

Or to a young hart, upon the mountain of spices.”

                                                                                                                                                                Song 8: 14.

 

We may here stay a little to observe the fact, that in the description of millennial days given in this chapter, the negative nature of the blessedness is chiefly insisted on: that is, that there shall be no toil, no hard labour, no regrets for lost possessions, no bondage, no oppression, no poverty, no want.

 

Now, somewhat of the blessedness of these times is spoken of under the typical history of Israel in chap. 26. But, distinct from historical types, we conjecture that the positive nature of the blessedness of these days is reserved for description in the types exhibited by Solomon’s temple.  It appears that the tabernacle worship has intended chiefly to exhibit Christ’s person and his work, in dying, rising, ascending, interceding.  The temple,* besides exhibiting the same, adds Christ coming again and reigning.

 

* See 1 Kings 6., 7., and 2 Chron. 3., 4.

 

Let us glance at this difference.  The ark, from the days of Moses till it was fixed on Mount Zion by David. represents Christ, weary, wandering among men, until he ascended to his Father’s right hand.  The ark, removed from its rest on Zion to the magnificent temple, represents Christ leaving the Father’s right hand to take his abode in the new [restored] earth - his temple and kingdom - when he appears as Solomon, “Prince of Peace.”  And then in that temple every type receives some expansion, or some change to a more splendid shape - all done by express Divine direction, as we find declared in 2 Chron. 3: 3, and other places.  The brazen altar was greatly enlarged.  Instead of one laver, there were ten.  Instead of one candlestick, there were ten and also there were ten tables for the show-bread, as we saw above.  The golden altar he made of cedar and covered it with gold. (1 Kings 6: 20.)  He made two additional cherubim, very, large and beautiful; and put figures of cherubim on the great veil.  Besides all this, there was added to this temple two pillars, of finest workmanship, and the sea of brass, with its ten bases that wheeled along the temple floor, conveying the water easily to any spot.* Many chambers, too, were built and occupied, all around the courts; and the floor of The Holy and Most Holy was of pure gold, like the streets of new Jerusalem.

 

* The laver, made of the mirror brass, held pure water, which was the type of the Holy Spirit.  In our very nature, which in our hands serves only the purposes of sin and vanity, the Redeemer exhibited purity – the very purity of the Holy Ghost, who dwelt in him without measure!  He took the brass from the woman of Israel. (Exod. 38: 8.)  He took the true nature from the womb of the Virgin; and, assuming it to himself, thereby made it holy.  And so it became a holy vessel for the Spirit to fill.  Here, then, is Jesus made unto us of God “sanctification” as well as “righteousness.”  And even when the “see of brass” appears in Solomon’s temple, it seems to be still Christ, who was in the likeness of sinful flesh, the source of the world’s holiness.

 

The temple was finished in the seventh year, and in the seventh month, at harvest-time - the time of joy.  Is there not here a shadowing forth of millennial fulness of glory?   Is not the scene different in many respects from that of the tabernacle?  1. These tall, palm-like pillars, with their rich and various, ornaments.  Do not the names “Jachin, and Boaz” declare that Jehovah’s strength shall establish this place forever? (Compare Psalm 88: 1, 5.)  And are they not placed in these courts as trophies of victory?  They may be reckoned to be trophies erected to show that all war is ended, and the Prince of Peace is triumphant.  2. That gold, shining everywhere, and these precious stones, and these harps and psalleries, made of the algum-trees, such as were never seen before in the land of Judah.  Is not this an indication of new Jerusalem times?  For brass, he has brought gold, and for iron silver.” (Isa. 60: 17.)  And these instruments of music send forth bursts of joy, such as are heard only from Zion’s “harpers, harping with their harps.” (Rev. 14: 2)  3. Yonder sea of brass, full to the brim, standing on oxen that look north, and south, and east, and west; its full water, clear and pure, having a border that is set with lilies.  Is this not the emblem of the Holy Spirit, showing Christ to north, south, east, and west, filling the earth “as the waters cover the sea?” (Isa. 11: 9.)  Here are flowers and oxen; and the ten bases that stand by are bordered with lions, oxen, palm-trees, and cherubim.  Is this not an emblem of redeemed men, amid the trees of Eden restored, with lions and oxen in harmonious fellowship at their feet, as Isa. 11: 6, 7, 8, foretells? 4. These cherubim on the walls, and on the great veil.  Is this not the type of the redeemed Church dwelling in the Lord’s presence, revelling, so to speak, in the mysteries of God?  There were, it appears, cherubim on the veil on its inward side, to indicate redeemed men freely entering into the holiest of all.* 5. These chambers all around.  The “many mansions” are here.  6. These ten candlesticks, ten lavers, ten show-bread tables, ten tables for the slain sacrifices.  All these intimate that in those days of millennial glory, much that is new shall be discovered, ten-fold light will be cast on many a truth.  Yet still, the present truths are the elements of those discoveries to be made then.  Truth revealed now shall then be opened more fully on the view; grace given now shall then be given in far, far richer measure.  Oh! blessed times! andthe Greater than Solomon” in the midst, “telling plainly of the Father” (John 16: 25), and declaring to his redeemed, “Thou art all fair; there is no spot in thee. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse.”  Who shall be able to stand under the weight of such bliss?  The Queen of Sheba represents some of the overwhelming effects; not one remnant of self-complacency left, not one thought of self at all, except in the form of shame and abasement.

 

* We fully agree with those who consider the cherubim everywhere to be symbols of the redeemed Church. They stand on the ark, i.e., Christ; their feet touching the blood sprinkled; while the glory of God is over them, and they see it reflected in the golden mercy-seat, as they bend under the glory.  See Candlish on Genesis; and Fairbairn’s Typology. So again; there were cherubim on the veil (Exod. 26: 31; 2 Chron. 3: 14): and the veil represented Christ’s body (Heb. 10: 20), to typify, “He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.”  And when the veil was rent, the cherubim were rent, thereby showing that when Christ died, all he stood for also died (2 Cor. 5: 14).  They were “crucified with Christ.”

 

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” Prepare these eyes for seeing the King in his beauty; these ears for hearing the sound of blessed voices and golden harps; these feet for the golden streets, these hands for the palms of victory, this brow (often wet with the sweat of the curse) for the crown of righteousness; and above all, this heart for loving thee who lovedst me and gayest thyself for me!  In that day, “the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly,” while with all saints they ever speak of the King, on whom they gaze, and into whose image they are changed.  And only then shall every faculty find itself satisfied always, and yet ever bewildered in the blessed attempt to understand the “breadth and length, and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge.”  Hallelujah!

 

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NOTE 9

 

Zion’s King shall Reign Victorious.

 

[An EXPOSITION of Psalm 48 by E. BENDOR SAMUEL.]

 

The Glory of the Messiah.

 

In this lovely little Psalm we get a picture of the holy city during our Lord’s reign.

 

We have noted Messiah’s victory in Psa. 46, His coronation in Psa. 47.  In Psa. 48 we get a glimpse of the beauty of Jerusalem - the seat of His Kingdom glorified by His presence.

 

The first verse gives the key to it.  Jehovah is great and exceedingly* to be praised, “in the city of our God, His holy mountain.”

 

Our hearts rejoice as we think of the glory that shall be given to our Lord. The place that witnessed His humiliation will now witness His exaltation. In place of a shameful cross He will have a glorious throne; instead of the cry, “Crucify Him”, will be heard the glad shout of Hosanna to the Son of David; the brow that once wore the crown of thorns will now be adorned with many diadems; the hands that held the rod with which they smote Him will now hold the sceptre with which He will sway the universe. No longer will He wear purple robes in mockery, but His royal robes will have written on them “King of kings and Lord of lords.” This exaltation of our Lord will first take place at Jerusalem, the city of our God, His holy mountain. The scene here takes us back to the glorious prediction of Isaiah 2: 2, 3 and Micah 4: 1-3, “In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

 

* The Hebrew word translated greatly is meod, and describes intensity. It is translated “with all thy might in Deut. 6: 5. It is not of the same root word that is translated great in the same verse.

 

These and many other passages of Scripture make it clear that the literal Zion is meant, Jerusalem will then be called “the throne of Jehovah” (Jer. 3: 17), or as here, “The city of the great King” (ver. 2), “The city of Jehovah of Hosts” and “the city of our God” (ver. 8).

 

It is the presence of the Lord that will make Jerusalem so glorious and so attractive, “Beautiful for elevation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion.” Through the prophet Zechariah (2: 10, 11), God encourages His people similarly, “Sing and rejoice O daughter of Zion, for lo! I come and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith Jehovah. And many nations, shall be joined to Jehovah in that day, and shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee.”*

 

* See also Isa. 12: 6; Zeph. 3: 15-17.  These predictions are quite literal.

 

Jerusalem has experienced a great many battles and sieges, she has been laid waste many times, but now Jehovah will be in her palaces for a refuge, the destructive wars will be at an end, and she will enjoy peace and security. “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; because they say unto thee, Thou land art a devourer of men, and a bereaver of thy nations, therefore thou shalt devour men no more neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord Jehovah” (Ezek. 36: 13, 14).

Effect of Messiah’s Greatness.

 

Having mentioned that God is in the midst of the city for a refuge, the Psalmist next gives a striking description of the effect God’s presence has on the hostile forces that come up against her.

The kings assembled themselves,

They passed by together,

They saw it so they were amazed,

They were dismayed, they hasted away,

Trembling took hold on them there,

Pangs as of a woman in travail.

 

As the Egyptians of old they will say, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for Jehovah fighteth for them” (Exod. 14: 25). Ver. 7 shows that their fears were well founded, “With an east wind thou didst break the ships of Tarshish.” In contrast to this the Psalmist tells us of the impression it will make on Israel’s friends who will say, “As we have heard so have we seen in the city of Jehovah of Hosts, in the city of our God” (ver. 8). The marvellous reports of Christ’s triumphs and greatness that will be spread abroad everywhere will be fully realised by those who, like the Queen of Sheba, will come to see for themselves; indeed they will find as she found, that what they see far surpasses their highest expectations.

 

Jerusalem is here called “The city of Jehovah of Hosts.” She is identified with Him because she is His Divine creation. “God will establish her for ever.” He will be in her palaces, the name of that city will therefore be Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is there” (Ezek. 48: 35).

 

A still more remarkable prophecy is found in Jeremiah 33. 16, where the name of Jehovah Tsidkenu, “The Lord our righteousness,” is given to Jerusalem. According to Jeremiah 23: 5, 6, this is the title of the Lord Jesus Christ, but so close will evidently be the link between the Lord and the people of that city that He graciously imparts to her His attributes and characteristics, and indicates this by giving her the same picture name that sets forth His Divine righteousness. What wondrous condescension! What marvellous grace! No wonder that the prophet speaks of it as “the good thing” promised unto the House of Israel; and what comfort this should bring to the children of God, who see in it a pleasing illustration of their intimate relationship with their Divine Head, and of the fact that by His favour they are made sharers with Him of His own virtues and graces!

 

Verse 9 gives us a picture of the strangers from afar standing in the temple and devoutly meditating on God’s loving kindness. It is not only the grandeur of the place that engages their thoughts but also God’s tender mercies to Israel and the world, that are so strikingly exhibited before them, and after all is there not a beauty in holiness that is real and enduring?

 

Messiah’s Influence and Dominion.

 

Christ’s fame will reach to the uttermost parts of the world and wherever His name will be mentioned He will be worshipped and adored, “As thy name O God so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth” (ver. 10).  His dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Zech. 9: 10), and everywhere men will acknowledge the justice of His [millennial] rule, “Thy right hand is full of righteousness.”  In Judea especially will there be joy and gladness because of His judgments (ver. 11).

 

Solomon’s wise sentence concerning the mother and child called forth the admiration of a satisfied people, but the righteous judgment of Christ will call forth the adoring wonder of the whole world: it will especially cause joy and gladness to the sons and daughters of Judah, for to them it will mean emancipation, safety and peace, and a thousand other national and spiritual blessings.

 

In verses 12 and 13, the friends of Zion are bidden to walk around the city, and to note well its strength and its beauty, that they may be able to record to generations following that all this was done for them by their God; for the greatness of the people and splendour of the land will show forth the magnificence of Christ, Who will be the cause of it all.

 

This God is our God, for ever and ever” (ver. 14).  This is first an avowal of their faith; He, Whom they have for so long despised and rejected, is now acknowledged to be their God, for ever and ever.

 

Secondly, it is a claim of an intimate relationship with God, OUR GOD, with all that that can mean to a person or a people.

 

Thirdly, it is a glorying in God, not in their own wisdom, or strength, or riches, but in understanding and knowing God, Who exercises loving kindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth (Jer. 9: 23, 24).

 

Fourthly, it is a holy resolution that by His grace, God shall be their God for ever and ever; and an expression of trust that He Who has done so much for them in the past, will continue to guide them to the end and will give them the victory over death.

 

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*       *       *       *       *       *       *

 

 

PART II

THE GOLDEN AGE

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

And he [Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Messiah/the Christ] said to them [two of His disciples], O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Behoved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory?  And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. …

 

 

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do reasonings arise in your heart?

 

 

And he said unto them, These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, how that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their mind that they might understand the scriptures…:” (Luke 24: 25-27, 38, 44-45, R.V.).

 

 

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Clement (96 A.D., Bishop of Rome, mentioned in Phil. 4: 3 -

Let us every hour expect the Kingdom of Godwe know not the day.”

 

 

Polycarp (108 A. D.), Bishop of Smyrna, the pupil of John the apostle who leaned upon Jesus’ breast -

He will rise us from the deadwe shallreign with Him.”

 

 

Ignatius (108 A. D.) Bishop of Antioch, whom the historian Eusebius says was the Apostle Peter’s successor - Consider the times and expect Him.”

 

 

Papias (116 A. D.), Bishop of Hierapolis, whom Irenaeus said saw and heard John -

There will be one thousand years when the reign of Christ personally will be established on earth.”

 

 

Justin Martyr (150 A. D.) -

I and all others who are orthodox Christians, on all points,

know there will bea thousand years in Jerusalemas Isaiah and Ezekiel declare.”

 

Irenaeus (175 A. D.), Bishop of Lyons, companion of Polycarp, John’s pupil,

commenting of Jesus’ promise to drink again of the fruit of the vine in His Father’s Kingdom argues -

That thiscan only be fulfilled upon our Lord’s personal return on earth.”

 

 

Tertullian (200 A. D.), -

We do indeed confess that a Kingdom is promised on earth.”

 

 

Nepos (262 A. D.), Bishop of Egypt, proclaimed the second coming and millennial kingdom.  His writings reveal that Dionysius, opposing the second coming, declared that John never wrote Revelation

and that the book could not be understood.  Opponents of second coming truth

have continued this argument until today and still so argue.

 

 

Lactantius (300 A. D.) –

The righteous deadand reign with them on earthfor a thousand years.”

 

 

In 325 A. D., bishops from all parts of the earth, gathered at Nicea, declared -

We expect a new heaven and earth … at the appearing of the great God and our Lord Jesus Christ,

and then, as Daniel says, the saints of the Most High shall take the Kingdom.”

 

 

Historical writers bear witness of the early church’s belief in Jesus’ return to and reign upon the earth.

 

 

Eusebius admits that the most of the ecclesiastics of his day

believed in Christ’s coming before the millennium.

 

 

Giesseler, “Church History,” vol. 1, p. 166 -

Millenarianism became the general belief of the time.”

 

 

Dr. Bonar in “Prophetic Land-Marks” writes -

Millenarianism prevailed universally during the first three centuries.”

 

 

Luther, commenting on John 10: 19 -

Let us not think that the coming of Christ is far off.”

 

 

Calvin, in the third book of his “Institutes,” chapter 25 -

Scripture uniformally enjoins us to look with expectation for the advent of Christ.”

 

 

John Knox of Scotland, Latimer, the English reformer, John Bunyan, Samuel Rutherford, John Milton, all expressed belief in the pre-millennial second coming of Christ.

 

 

-------

 

O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here,

Until the Son of God appear,

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free

Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;

From depths of hell [Gk. ‘Hades] Thy people save,*

And give them victory o’er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer

Our spirits by Thine Advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 

O come, Thou Key of David, come,

And open wide our heavenly home;

Make safe the way that leads on high,

And close the path to misery.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 

O come, O come, Thou Lord of Might,

Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height,

In ancient times didst give the law

In cloud and majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 

                                                                         - SELECTED.

 

[* See NOTE 10 on “Hades.”]

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

THE REIGN OF CHRIST

ON [THIS] EARTH

 

By D. M. PANTON, B.A.

 

 

 

The sudden defection of so able and godly a teacher as Mr. Phillip Mauro from Millenarian truth - an abandonment, after decades of conviction, of belief in our Lord’s thousand summers on earth, and on the grave ground that it is anti-Scriptural*- is a sharp challenge to all who hold it.  For if a coming [millennial] Kingdom of God breaking in miraculously upon the present order is a myth, and a downward plunge of the world to Armageddon an illusion - as far the larger section of the Church, though not Mr. Mauro, contend; and the denial of an earthly Reign and the refusal of a physical Advent are two views which naturally and usually coalesce - the paralysis of all political and social action which such an error must engender, when every nerve should be strained so to Christianize the world as to make the Church triumphant, can be nothing short of an immeasurable disaster, and an error profoundly displeasing to God.  It is a challenge extraordinarly practical and of the first magnitude.

 

* For so we understand Mr. Mauro. “As regards the period given as ‘a thousand years,” he says, “we should seek the spiritual and symbolical meaning of the term” (Patmos Visions, P. 502).  In the “new dispensationalism which contradicts the Word of God,” he places, as a leading tenet, “that all mankind will enjoy uninterrupted peace, plenty, and every earthly gratification for a thousand years” (The Gospel of the Kingdom, P. 215).  Earth is destroyed in the moment of the Advent (Ib. P. 207).  The Great Tribulation is past, Israel is lost beyond all hope, the Saviour will never be crowned where He was crucified, the Millennium is a dream.  Mr. Mauro’s defection is a grave reminder that we are all treading a glacier, and that we do well to walk humbly with our God.  Ille hodie, ego cras.

 

 

THE KINGDOM

 

 

Now to Daniel it was given supremely to see and foretell the crumpling up of all earthly empire in the inauguration of the Kingdom of God; and in Daniel the solution of the problem is immediately to our hand.  In the days of those kings - earth’s final monarchies - shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom; it shall BREAK IN PIECES- therefore coming into actual, physical collision with the world-kingdoms - and consumeso to replace, physically, actual kingdoms which it annihilates - all these kingdoms - earth’s entire catalogue of empire - and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2: 44).  The earthly sphere of this final Empire of God is as explicit as language can make it:- no place was found for them - earth’s vanished empires; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, AND FILLED THE WHOLE EARTH” (Dan. 2: 35).  So the Bible begins, as it closes, with an earthly Reign of God: for the kingdom of the world is [to] become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11: 15).

 

EARTHLY EMPIRE

 

Now the origin and nature of this Kingdom, as revealed by Daniel, could not be more sharply defined.  Our Lord said :- “My kingdom is not from hence” (John 18: 36): so here, a Kingdom in the form of a descending Stone, hewn by no earthly hands, is launched like a torpedo from an aeroplane.  It is the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance (2 Thess. 1: 7).* It is exclusively a kingdom from on high: its abrupt collision with world-powers is no gradual permeation, but sharp military overthrow: the vacuum it creates, it fills - therefore the Kingdom is as literal and earthly as the kingdoms which it supplants: it is earth’s final royalty imperishable, unchanging, divine.  It reigns in the sense they reigned.  Mineral replaces mineral.  Imagery is a falsehood, and language is meaningless, if the Smashing Stone is not a catastropic Advent, followed by a literal Empire.  Behold there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto the son of man; and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, THAT ALL THE PEOPLES, NATIONS, AND LANGUAGES SHOULD SERVE HIM” (Dan. 7: 13).

 

* Protestant controversialists on the Temporal Power constantly misquote our Lord.  Jesus said:- “My kingdom is not from (ek) this world”: He never said:- “My kingdom is not of this world.”  The Stone descends from heaven, but it is earth which it fills.

 

 

THE NATIONS

 

 

So our Lord shows us the actual descent of the Stone:- When the Son of Man shall come in his glory - that is, as He has already once been on earth, on the Mount of Transfiguration - and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all the nations (Matt. 25: 31).  It is manifest from the thronging Angels that it is the descent of the Lord at the Second Advent, which the Saviour had just indicated:- then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and they shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and with great glory” (Matt. 24: 30).  It is a judgment of nations - therefore not of the dead, among whom there are no nations; as the final judgment is of the dead alone (Rev. 20: 2), so this judgment is of the living alone; resurrection is never once named; and it is pre-millennial, for the Judge says, - Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom” (Matt. 25: 34).  Finally conclusive are our Saviour’s word to the Apostles: - I appoint unto you a kingdom; and ye shall sit on thrones JUDGING THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL” (Luke 22: 29).  That is, the kingdom,’ according to our Lord, is the epoch of the re-emergence of the Twelve Tribes; and so, manifestly, a fulfilment of the word which follows the prediction of His descent on Olivet, when the Lord shall be KING OVER ALL THE EARTH” (Zech. 14: 9).

 

 

RESURRECTION

 

 

So now we arrive at the Kingdom itself as revealed in a passage the peculiar value of which lies in its unique revelation of the Kingdom’s duration.  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and they lived- that is, [returned from ‘Hades’ - the place of the dead ‘in the heart of the earth’ (Acts 2: 31, 34; Matt. 12: 40, R.V.)]  came to life, they ceased to be the dead - and REIGNED with Christ - whose literal return to earth has been recorded in the preceding chapter - A THOUSAND YEARS: this is the first resurrection” (Rev. 20: 4).  It has been universally presumed, with almost unbroken unanimity, that the dead who stand, at the close of the Thousand Years, before the Great White Throne (Rev. 20: 11) are a resurrection: the conclusion therefore is inexorable that the first resurrection, preceding it, and ushering in the Thousand Years, is no less literal.  The thousand years are mentioned not less than six times: this intentional, emphatic repetition shows that real importance is attached to the number (Hengstenberg).  The Kingdom, as Dr. Lange says, is an aeon, and specifically the transition-aeon between this present world and the world to come.”  It is peculiarly and exclusively the Kingdom of the Messiah, and so it is four times named in the Apocalypse as the Kingdom of the Christ.  For he that overcometh,” Jesus promises, I will give to him to sit down with me in My throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3: 21): two distinct thrones; the Lord being now seated on His Father’s, but then on His own: while the Throne of Eternity, beyond, is the joint throne of God and the Lamb”.* And most startlingly is the nature of the Kingdom depicted, not as a permeating leaven, or a mystical rule, but as a smashing enforcement of righteousness; for he that overcometh, to him will I give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are BROKEN TO SHIVERS” (Rev. 2: 26).

 

* Since no man can share the present Throne of God, and equally no man can share the eternal Throne of God and the Lamb, the Throne to which Christ invites fellow-occupants, and which He makes dependent on overcoming grace, can only be the Millennial.

 

 

FALSE PROPHECY

 

 

For the grave truth is that golden predictions of earth’s future, apart from the physical Advent [of our Lord Jesus Christ], are not merely a denial of God’s forecasts, but, actually constituting false prophecy, reveal an attitude of acute danger.  For if the world is to be conquered for Christ by the Church, the spending of all our energies on the Gospel alone when God meant those energies to reform the world is a wrenching of Niagara from its bed in a gigantic miscarriage; but, on the other hand, if earth’s iniquity is heading it for Armageddon, and only the catastrophic miracle of the Advent can save the world, the situation is exactly reversed.  It must be one or the other.  For what would a cheerful optimism in man’s future have betrayed while the Ark rose plank over plank? or the angels’ wings quivered above Sodom? or the Roman legions struck camp for the Holy City?  It would have proved a total inability to gauge the moral condition of society as a whole; a complete disbelief in the warnings and judgments of God, prophecy becoming either misleading metaphor or else purely fictitious apocalyptic; a constructive policy (political and social) roofing a volcano; persistent refusal of the only and fundamental Divine remedies which would avert the judgments; and an acute personal peril of the approaching wrath.  No man does his fellows or himself a more cruel wrong than the false prophet.*

 

* It is of the utmost gravity that far the major portion of the truly regenerate are thus denying the [millennial] Kingdom as revealed by the Scriptures.  The [regenerate] believer who shares in a measure of the world’s unbeliel must share in an exactly commensurate measure of the world’s judgment.  All of Israel who denied [their inheritance in] the Holy Land missed it.  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord” - however vitally (1 Cor. 12: 3), much less hypocritically (Matt. 7: 22, 23) - shall enter into the kngdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father” (Matt. 7: 21).  Doing the Father’s will is a large demand far exceeding simple, saving faith, or a backslidden or carnal life.  The Crown of righteousness Paul confines to those who love His appearing.

 

 

THE PRIZE OF OUR CALLING

 

 

So the closer that the great event approaches, the more urgent and crucial becomes the problem of the co-kings of the Christ.  Dr. E. R. Craven gives the conflicting solutions of the problem that are offered:- Some hold that they are all the saints; others that they are only the martyrs; others still, that they are the specially faithful, including the martyrs.”  With such scholars as Lange and Stier; such students of prophecy as Govett and Pember; such saintly souls as Fletcher of Madeley, and Robert Chapman; such God-used missionaries as Hudson Taylor, and evangelists as Paul Rader:- we share the profound conviction that in the third solution all Scriptures fit as cogs into a wheel.  It is extremely suggestive that the main objections to a literal Thousand Years Dr. Barnes finds in the assumption that all the saints reign with Christ.  He says:- “(1) Every other description of the resurrection and glory of the saints as such catholic in its character, while this is limited: (2) none but the wicked would remain to be judged in the last judgment, which is inconsistent with the implication of the opening of the Book of Life: (3) to tell us that saints risen from the dead, and reigning in glorified bodies with Christ, are holy, seems to me very superfluous.”  These difficulties die at once under the third solution.  The overwhelming predominance of the martyrs - they compose three out of the four classes named - makes it virtually impossible to suppose that the Kingdom is shared by all believers, irrespective of suffering or fidelity, and obviously implies that it is the epoch of recompense for fiery trial; while the beatitude - blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection - carefully indualizes the reward, and isolates the victor in a peculiar sanctity, and devotes him to an appropriate joy.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

The Glorious Appearing

And Millennial Reign*

 

 

By  SYDNEY W. WHITE

 

 

[* This message was given at a Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony Conference on March 27th, 1930.]

 

 

History has revealed the absolute inefficiency and insufficiency of human rule.  Popes and priests, princes and politicians each have illustrated this fact.  Are we not seeing on every hand that neither dictators nor democracies have the ability to rule aright?  They strive for power, but when power is placed within their hands they become drunken with it and only disaster follows.  They pay lip service to universal peace, yet continue to forge their weapons of war.

 

 

We were very much interested in reading, some little while ago, words that were uttered by the late French President, in which he stated that he had lived to see the desire of his life, he had lived to see that which he had preached, brought to fruition.  He had lived to see democracy in the saddle.  Yet he said I am a disappointed man.’  Why?  Because he could see that democracy does not know how to rule.  But blessed be God, we know

 

 

There is One Coming Whose Right it is to Reign.

 

 

He is King of kings and Lord of lords.”  And at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (see Philippians 2: 10-11).  We bless God for the truth contained in the hymn we often sing and yet do not realise the true inwardness of the writer’s words -

 

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun

doth his successive journeys run.’

 

 

The failure of man to rule is evident, and is preparing the way for the coming of the King, preceded as that will be, by the reign of Antichrist, the Devil’s king, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2: 9).

 

 

The coming of the Lord will be before the millennium.  Read again those words contained in Revelation 20: 1-6, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.  And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.  This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

 

 

Take this in conjunction with 1 Corinthians 15: 22-28, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.  Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For He hath put all things under His feet.  But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.’

 

 

This read in connection with Acts 3: 19-21 gives us to see very clearly that the coming of our Lord is prior to the millennium.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

 

 

The great purpose of God in the dispensation of the fullness of times is that He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him and the restitution of all things.  The words of Peter just quoted direct us to the consideration of the Old Testament Scriptures, because he tells us that the times of restitution of all things God hath spoken about by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began.”

 

 

Now in searching these prophecies two things have astonished us - (1) the multitude of references to the blessings in store for this sin-stricken earth, and (2) the loose way in which many preachers handle these prophecies: appropriating all the blessings to the Church and relegating all the curses to Israel, overlooking the fact that primarily and prophetically, they belong to God’s ancient people.  We readily admit that there is a spiritual application, but as preachers, we should be very careful to first point out the primary and prophetical meaning.

 

 

Look at Psalm 46 - often called Luther’s Psalm because it was a means of great comfort and blessing to the great reformer.  And it has been to myriads of God’s tried children.  But we feel as we read the Psalm in the light of other prophecies that here is presented to us a wonderful picture of the times of restitution.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations He hath made in the earth.  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.’

 

 

His Coming is with Power and Great Glory

 

 

His first advent was in shame, suffering and humility.  His second advent will be sudden, startling, signalled, seen!  He shall come and be invested with power.  Psalm 2 speaks to us very clearly of this glorious event. Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.  Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.  Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion.  I will declare the decree; the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.  Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.”

 

 

We find that the Apostle Paul describes the coming of Christ as of the coming of a great and mighty potentate - Which in His times He shall shew, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6: 15).

 

 

He Shall Reign in Person

 

 

There are many who assent to the doctrine of the second advent, but who dissent when it is asserted that He is to reign on the earth.  They in effect say, Will God in very deed reign on the earth?”  Do you remember the question that Pilate put to our blessed Lord at His trial? Art Thou a king then?  Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king.  To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (John 18: 37).

 

 

We believe that in the new [restored, sin-cursed] creation* He reigns and dwells among men; we know that in the days of His flesh He moved amongst men; then why not during the period of the millennium?  We know that He reigns now as Prophet, Priest, and King over His Church and people.  We know that all power is given unto Him in heaven and in earth.”  He rules despite the awful powers of darkness that are abroad.  Unseen, silent, He rules and over-rules in the affairs of men, but the day is drawing near when He is to reign on the earth.

 

[* See Gen. 3: 17, 18; Rom. 8: 19-22; 2 Pet. 3: 8.]

 

 

Does not the prayer of the dying thief have some reference to that time?  Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom” (Luke 23: 42).  In all probability he had heard the Lord Jesus Christ preach about that time [after His resurrection out from amongst the dead] when He should come to reign.  We feel that the Lord gave him more than he prayed for, And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise’ (Luke 23: 43).*

 

[* Note.  The ‘paradise’ mentioned here, is not the ‘paradise of Godafter the time of Resurrection. 

 

He most certainly did receive ‘more than he prayed for’; immediately after the time of death in the ‘bosom of Abraham,’ (Luke 16: 23, 31)!  That is where Jesus said he would be on that ‘dayActs 2: 27: and that is where he presently is after judgment (Heb. 9: 27), awaiting the time of his resurrection. (Rev. 6: 9-11. cf. Heb. 11: 40; Acts 2: 34).]

 

 

Yes, He will reign in Person!  Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9: 7).  Thus wrote Isaiah, the evangelical prophet, concerning the first and second advents.

 

 

It will be a Reign of Peace

 

 

We cannot but rejoice in the desire that is manifest among the nations of men for international peace, but we feel that that great object is not going to be accomplished by Leagues of Nations, Peace Pacts, nor by Naval Conferences.  What is gained by scrapping obsolete war weapons, when the more terrible arms of defence and offence are left untouched?  Peace will not be procured or perpetuated by compacts or contracts entered into by statesmen, for, after all, when testing time comes, when the passions of men are stirred, or the lust for power predominates, they prove to be but scraps of paper.  Indeed, we sometimes think that these very things just lull men into a false sense of security; a resting in a false peace.

 

 

The peace that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will bring when He comes will be a lasting peace, He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2: 4).  The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11: 6).  The millennial reign will be a reign of universal peace.

 

 

It will be a Reign of Prosperity

 

 

The nations of men today are face to face with great financial problems.  Economically, not only Britain but the nations at large, are in a bad way.  What with exhausted exchequers, colossal national debts, waning credit, millions of unemployed, over-production, and lack of purchasing power, the nations seem to be drifting steadily toward a time of industrial and commercial distress and poverty.  Neither Free Trade, Protection, United Empires, Socialism nor Communism will solve the problem.  It can be truly written of the rulers of men in these days that their hearts fail them for fear.  They know not which way to turn, nor what to do to handle the difficult problems of the hour.  This is all preparing the way for the manifestation of that dictator, the man of sin,” who will profess to lead men into the path of peace and prosperity, only to fail.  When Jesus comes to reign He will bring in an era of abounding prosperity.

 

 

Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (Isaiah 65: 18-22).

 

 

It may be said, That refers only to Israel.’  True, but are we not justified in applying the words of the Apostle Paul in this respect?  Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?” (Romans 11: 12).  The whole earth shall share the prosperity of the millennial reign.

 

 

It will be a Reign of Power

 

 

One writer has very beautifully said God in the purposes of His love and grace, with steady steps has been marching through the ages, working His counsel, doing His will, which shall be brought to a glorious fruition in the restitution of all things.”  The sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow both have their scene upon the earth.  He was despised and rejected of men but He comes back with power.  That power is manifest now in the regeneration of the soul; then in the regeneration of the body by resurrection, and the regeneration of the earth by regenesis.  These three - the regeneration of the soul, the regeneration of the body [being then reunited to the soul*], and the regenesis of the earth - cover the whole purpose of God in grace, government and glory.

 

[* NOTE. This Biblical doctrine of the Intermediate place and state of the soul in ‘Hades,’ immediately after the time of Death, which Christ and His apostles taught; has now, over a period of time, been carelessly cast aside and replaced by the vast majority of Christians with a false, religious, traditional belief!  We cannot ascend into Heaven without a glorified, immortal body: and that cannot come to pass until the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to resurrect the holy dead and establish His millennial Kingdom: (1 Thess. 4: 16; Rev. 20: 4; Rom. 8: 23, R.V.).  See also Matt. 12: 40; 16: 18; Luke 16: 22-31; 23: 42, 43; Rev. 5: 9-11. cf. Heb. 11: 13, 35, 40.]

 

In the reign of Christ upon earth that power will be abundantly manifest.  Satan will be bound.  There will be a universal outpouring of the [Holy] Spirit.  There will be the great Hallelujah Chorus resounding from pole to pole. Alleluiah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19: 6).

 

 

It will be a Reign of Partnership

 

 

What will be the place and position of the Church [of the firstborn (see Heb. 12: