Volume 11


J. N. Darby

Page: 206


What I would desire to bring before you is, the coming of the Lord as the proper hope of the church, and to shew you that it is constantly, increasingly brought before it as such by the Spirit of God. When once the foundation is laid of His first coming as that which brings personally peace and salvation (and even before it, so far as it is a means of awakening the conscience), the one thing the saints were taught to look for was the coming of the Lord. No doubt the first thing the soul needs to know is the ground of its salvation. When this is known, the Lord Himself becomes precious to the believer; and when the church was in a healthy state, we shall find that the hearts of the saints were altogether set upon Him, and looking for His coming. And now our hearts should understand (as I shall shew you from Scripture was the case then) that the coming of Christ is not some strange speculation, or the advanced idea of a few, but was set before the church as elementary and foundation truth, and formed a part of all their habits and feelings, and mingled itself with every thought. It was and is the keystone of all that keeps up the heart in this solitary place (looking at it as journeying through the wilderness). Thus with a heart full of love for God, and the desire to see Christ, we can appreciate the apostle's prayer for us -- "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting+ for Christ." We have not long to wait; and it is worth being patient for.

We shall find, too, that the teaching of Scripture as to Christ's second coming casts wonderful light on the value of His first coming. For His second coming, as it concerns the saints, is to complete as regards their bodies (so bringing them into the full result of salvation) that work of life-giving power Christ has already wrought in their souls, founded on the complete title in righteousness which He has effected for them on the cross. He comes to receive them to Himself, that where He is there they may be also -- to change their vile bodies and fashion them like His glorious body. For the saints the resurrection is a resurrection of life, not of judgment. It is a raising in glory, or changing into it by the Lord's power, those that are already quickened and justified. When people, Christian people too, are looking for judgment, and saying with Martha, "I know he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day," they forget the judgment of the quick -- that then is the judgment of this world. They are to be all caught eating and drinking. "Sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape." People do not like that. They put off God's judgment to a vague and indefinite period, when they hope all will be well. They think that then will be decided their final state, they trust, for blessing. There is surely a judgment; but all their thoughts about it are a mistake. The matter is decided now: "He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already."

+Properly, "the patience of Christ," who is also waiting.

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If we receive the statements of Scripture, all is as simple as possible: that the first coming of Christ to do His Father's will was so complete in its efficacy that they who belong to that first coming, who have part in its efficacy by faith, are forgiven, cleansed, justified, by its virtue; and that when He comes the second time, He comes to bring them to glory. The moment I get hold of the truth that the coming is, for believers, to receive them to Himself, the moment I see that His coming the second time is to bring in the glory -- to change us into His own likeness and to have us with Him, it affects everything, instead of being an unimportant thing.

I believe death is the most blessed thing that can happen to a Christian; but it is not the thing I am looking for. I am looking to see Him. He might come to-morrow, or tonight, or now. Do you not think it would spoil all your plans? Suppose you thought He might come, would it not make a difference in your thoughts? You know it would. Suppose a wife expects her husband to return from a journey, do you not think there would be an effort to have everything ready?

Another thing I have found to be specially blessed is, that it connects me with Christ so nearly that I do not think merely of going to heaven and being happy -- a vague thought this. Of course, I shall be perfectly happy: surely we shall. The divine presence will shed sure and endless blessing around. But one is coming whom I know, who loves me, who has given Himself for me, whom I have learned to love: and I shall be with Him for ever. Christ becomes personally more in view, more the object of our thoughts. Nothing is so powerful as Scripture for everything. It deals with the soul in the power of divine light. It reveals Christ, bringing the heart's judgment into His presence. It convicts every thought of the heart, shewing what it is in truth.

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There are three ways in which Christ is pointed to in Scripture: on the cross at His first coming; He is sitting on the right hand of God; and He is coming again. In the first, He has laid the foundation of that which I have in Him: the foundation was on the cross. And now that He is sitting on the right hand of God, He has sent us the Holy Ghost the Comforter while awaiting His return, giving to those in whom He dwells the full certainty of faith as to the efficacy of His work and their own redemption. God's love and their own adoption thus lead them to desire with ardent hope His coming again.

Having thus given a general idea of the place Christ's coming holds in Scripture, I will take a few passages in different parts of the word, without going fully into them now, to shew that it is the great truth of Scripture hope, and that all the thoughts, feelings, hopes, interests of God's children are connected with it -- that not only it is not a false idea, but that it is not rare or strange, but enters into the whole structure of Christian feeling.

Thus 1 Thessalonians 1: 9, 10, "For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." Here we find that the world was talking about this expectation of the Christians: so sure was their expectation and so strong the influence which it exercised on their conduct. They (the disciples) were looking for God's Son from heaven; it formed a part of that to which the heathen were converted -- to the present waiting for God's Son from heaven -- so that the world took notice of it. In chapter 2: 18, 19, "For what is our hope, our joy, or crown of rejoicing?" Most beautiful here to see the affection of Paul for the saints; but to what did his heart look as the time when these affections would be satisfied in their blessing? The coming of Christ. Again, as regards holiness, we see exactly the same thing in chapter 3: 12, 13, "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." The coming of Christ (and His coming with all the saints, so that it can confer but one thing) was so near to his spirit that he looks at their being found perfect then as the object his heart desired. And in chapter 4: 13-18, "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

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We find that, instead of the Lord's coming being a strange doctrine, while he could not look for the Christian's dying without his going to heaven, yet the comfort he gives is not that, but their return with Jesus. Death did not deprive them of this; God would have them with Him. First note, beloved friends, the full assurance expressed here for living and dead saints alike. How do people persist in saying it is impossible to tell on this side the grave? The apostle does tell for both. The first coming of Christ has so finished redemption and the putting away of sin, that His second is glory and being with Him, for the dead and living saints. But see how present the coming of the Lord was to their minds. If I were to comfort the friends of a departed saint by saying that God would bring him with Jesus when He came again, what would they think of me? That I was mad or wild. Yet such is the comfort Paul gives to the Thessalonians, and no other, though he plainly teaches elsewhere that the soul of the saint will go to be with Christ when he dies.

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But these examples shew how the coming of the Lord mixed itself with every thought and feeling of Christianity then. So in his wish for Christians in chapter 5: 23, "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." But the world rejects this news, and the church becomes worldly -- has lost her value for it. Not so the first disciples: their hearts were attached to their Master; and they desired to see Him to be like Him. They waited as a present condition of soul for God's Son from heaven. I have gone through these passages, not merely to prove the doctrine, but to shew the way in which it connected itself with the whole of the Christian's life.

We will turn back now to see the universal testimony of Scripture to the truth of this doctrine and the various aspects it takes; and first Matthew 24: 30, 31, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." When the disciples ask Him the time when these things are to be, He tells them to watch; and in verse 44, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." But the Lord goes farther in the following parables, which apply to Christians. The mark of the evil servant given there is that he says in his heart "my lord delayeth his coming," and thereupon begins to eat and drink with the drunken. They lost the expectation of Christ and sank down into hierarchical power and into the world, into comfort and pleasure. But the Bridegroom did tarry, and the church lost the present expectation of Christ and the blessed fruit of it on their souls. Matthew 25: 1, "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the Bridegroom." There is the essence of the church's calling. They went forth, but while the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept -- saints as well as professors, no exception They all lost the sense of what they had gone out to, and gave up watching. And what is it that aroused them from the sleepy state into which they had fallen? "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet him" (verse 6). They had to be called out again; they had got into the world, into some place to sleep more comfortably (just where the professing church is now), eating and drinking with the drunken, and the cry is, I trust, again going forth, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh." And what made the church depart from the sense of what they had been called out to was, saying (just what people, and Christian people too, are saying now) "The Lord delayeth his coming." They do not say He will not come, but He delays it; we are not to expect Him.

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I will pass over Mark, not that there are not plenty of passages there, but that what we find there is substantially the same as what we find in Matthew. I will go on therefore to Luke 12: 35-38, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching; verily, I say unto you, that he shall gird himself and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants." Remark here that the waiting for the coming of Christ is what characterises the Christian according to the mind of Christ. Men speak of death, but death is not "my lord."

We find the same truth pressed on men in Luke (chapter 17: 22-37), where this passage does not warn people as to sin, but as to the unholy thought that the world may go on indefinitely. As soon as Noah entered into the ark, the flood came and destroyed them all. As soon as the church is taken up, Satan having filled men's hearts with lies, judgment will come. And as in the days of Noah and of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, planted and builded, even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. Remark here how impossible it is to apply this to the great white throne. When He sits on the great white throne, the heavens and the earth flee away; there is a total destruction of everything. Men will not then be eating, drinking, planting, building. Now look at chapter 21: 26-36. People apply this to the destruction of Jerusalem, but this is spoken of in verses 20, 21 of this chapter: "Then let them which are in Jerusalem flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto." But then, after that, Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles till the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled (the time running on now till the last beast's wickedness is filled up). Then come the signs and the Son of man is revealed.

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John 14: 1, 2, 3. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Such is the promise left us, the comfort Christ gave to His disciples when He was leaving them: He comes to receive them to Himself.

Acts 1: 10, 11. "And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." This too, though it be Christ coming in the clouds, is not the great white throne: but it is striking here that they are losing Christ; and what is the angel's word to them? Why are ye looking up into heaven? He will come again in the same way. What the angels brought before them, to comfort them, when Jesus left them, was that He would come again; and that to which Scripture points people's hearts to comfort and strengthen them is, that He is coming again.

It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment. That is the allotted portion of the seed of the first Adam; but as that is man's portion, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation; Hebrews 9: 27, 28. And Christ is waiting only till the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. We are not even all to die. We shall not all die; 1 Corinthians 15: 51. Romans 11: 25: "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." When the church is formed, its last member being brought in; when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, Israel will be saved as a nation, and the Deliverer come out of Zion. Christ will appear for their deliverance. Again, turn to 1 Corinthians 1: 6, 7. "Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift: waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." All the promises of the prophets will be fulfilled at that coming.

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Turn back to Acts 3: 19, 20, 21. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when [read "so that"]

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" -- as had been before preached to them; but it is the same Jesus that had been spoken of to them. We cannot apply it to the Holy Ghost; for it was the Holy Ghost then come down who spoke by Peter and declared that He should come whom the heavens had then received. In Acts 17: 30, 31, the apostle is testifying that though God winked at the times of their ignorance, He now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world (i.e., this habitable earth) in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.

The distinctive resurrection of the saints will be at His coming. 1 Corinthians 15: 23. "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."

Ephesians and Galatians are the only two books in the New Testament in which you do not find the coming of the Lord. The Galatians had got off the foundation of faith -- absolute justification by faith in Christ; and Paul was obliged to return to the first principles of justification. The epistle to the Ephesians takes the opposite extreme, and you see the church in Christ in heaven, so that it cannot speak of Christ coming to receive it. It is viewed as now united to Him there. But we shall find constant reference to it in the other epistles that it is a point kept before the mind for present practical effect.

Philippians 3: 19, 20, 21. "Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. For our conversation is in heaven, from when also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."

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Colossians 3: 1-4. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

In the Thessalonians it is the main subject of both epistles. In the first epistle, except the warning in chapter 5, it is the blessedness of it to the saints; in the second epistle, the judicial character, though the glory of the saints is included in it (for when He executes judgment on the living, we shall appear with Him in glory).

1 Timothy 6: 14. "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." The apostle exhorts Timothy to go on diligently and faithfully looking for the appearing. When the word of God is speaking of joy to the saints, it is the coming. The moment he speaks of responsibility to the world or to the saints, it is always His appearing. What would have been the use of his saying to Timothy to keep the commandment until His appearing, if it were not practically a present expectation? and then, how mighty its power on the conscience (not the very highest motive, but one we need)! And if through grace the Lord has delayed His coming, not willing that any should perish, those who have acted on that expectation will have lost no fruit of their fidelity: it will find its recompense in that day.

2 Timothy 4: 8. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." "Love!" -- do you love, can you love, that which will put a stop to everything that is pleasant in the world? it asks the heart. How does this mark a spirit entirely in contrast with that of the world!

Hebrews 2: 5, 6. "For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?" The world to come is the habitable earth. Christ is now at God's right hand till God puts all things under His feet. In chapter 9: 24, "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." There was a state of probation before man was turned out of paradise. Since then man has indeed been tried up to the death of Christ, whether law or prophets or the mission of God's Son could win him back, but in vain. What man finds out now is, that he is lost; but then, that when man's sin was complete, God's work began, and redemption is by the cross on which man crucified the Lord. Sin was complete then: but He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. That work is completed, and those who through grace believe and have part in it await the same Saviour to come again for their final deliverance.

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James 5: 8. "Be ye also patient: stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." Here again we see how it is presented as a present motive for patience and to be looked for in daily life as sustaining the soul in patience, yet as that which was to change the whole state of the world.

In 1 Peter we have a remarkable testimony to the order of God's ways in this respect. First are the prophets, who learned, in studying their own prophecies, that what they testified was not to be fulfilled in their day. Next is the gospel, but this not the fulfilment: in it the things are reported with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. The saints are called on to be sober and hope to the end for the grace to be brought to them at the appearing of Jesus Christ, "whom, having not seen, we love." The time of the saints' receiving the promise is the appearing of Christ; 1 Peter 1: 10-13.

In 2 Peter you may remark that he makes the slighting this promise, the calling it in question because the world was going on as it had, to be the sign of the scoffers of the last days.

In 1 John it is mentioned in chapter 2: 28 for the conscience as ground of warning, but in chapter 3: 1-3 we have it amply used for the heart and walk of the saints. Now are we sons of God. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is: and everyone that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Our blessed and assured hope is to be like Christ Himself: this we shall be when He appears. The present effect of this special hope is that the saint purifies himself even as He is pure, seeks to be as like Him now as possible, takes his part with Himself at His appearing as his motive and standard of walk.

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Jude 14. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." The epistle is striking in this; it shews the decline of the church -- the false brethren coming in unawares, who in character designated the state of the professing church in the last days and the object of the judgment of the Lord when He would appear.

The whole book of Revelation refers to this; it is an account of the preparatory judgment of God on to chapter 19, when the Lord comes forth to execute judgment. He has accomplished the work of salvation, and is sitting at the right hand of God, and then comes to set all things right. This makes His coming (besides the righteous display of His own glory, of God's eternal Son as man the centre of all things) of such importance. It alone actually makes good the plans and counsels of God.

Glory is founded on His first coming. That, morally speaking, surpasses all glory. It is the absolute display of what God is, when evil is come in. But only at His second coming will the actual result be made manifest. He comes to receive the church to Himself, the witness of sovereign grace, and to order the world (subject to Him in the power of His kingdom) in blessing, and so display the government of God. Till He comes neither can take place. We enjoy the full revelation of Him from whom all that blessing flows, and enjoy it here in a nature suited to it and flowing from it; but we wait for the results for ourselves and for this burdened world. We love His appearing. How is it with you? Are you linked with the world He subverts when He comes, or with Him who brings the fulness of blessing, though with judgment on what hindered it? Were He to come now, would it be your awaited joy and delight, or does it alarm and try your hearts? The Lord give you to answer before His face!

I have sought this evening to shew you how it forms the constant topic of Scripture, and enters as a present expectation into the whole structure of the habits of thought of those who were taught by the apostles -- by the Spirit of God Himself; and how its loss was the sign of the church's decline, sinking into worldliness and the world. I leave it to the blessed Spirit of God to bring this divine teaching home to all our consciences. To wait truly for Christ, we must have our consciences purged by His first coming, and our hearts fixed on Him that is to come.

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At the last lecture I mentioned that the two epistles in which the second coming of the Lord is not spoken of are the Galatians and the Ephesians. It may seem strange that, this being the case, I should have selected on this occasion the chapter we have just read. But I have done so (and shall refer to other passages with the same intention, desiring to found all I say upon Scripture) because that chapter gives us a general view of the whole scene and plan that will be fully accomplished at the second coming of our Lord. It does not speak of the fact of Christ's coming, but it does tell of the purpose which God has, and that will then be accomplished. And not only that, but it shews us the way in which the church of God (I mean all true saints gathered to Christ by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven) at the coming of Christ have a portion or part in it -- what their place in this great plan of God is, that plan having necessarily for its centre the exaltation of the Son, "the brightness of God's glory." He was humbled to be exalted.

The way in which God has dealt with us, beloved friends, is this -- He has brought us completely to Himself, having respect to the whole value of Christ's work; and, in doing that, He has given us a place with Christ. He makes us like Christ; and, having thus made us near to Himself, He then unfolds to us all His plans. It is not merely being made safe, but, being brought as children to God: "all things are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." But then, having done this, He treats you -- as His expression is to Abraham, and as Christ's expression is to His disciples -- as friends. The Lord says, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?" And what He then told Him was not merely that he personally was in His favour -- that He told him long before. He does not merely shew him the promises which belonged to him and his seed: but He told him too what concerned the world, and did not immediately concern himself. This was the special mark of friendship .

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If I am dealing with a man with whom I am on good terms, but not on terms of friendship, I tell him whatever is needed with regard to the business between us, according to the common courtesies of life; and there it ends. But if I have a friend, I tell him what is in my heart. This is what God does with His children -- as Christ said to His disciples, "Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

And there is not a greater proof of the extent to which the church has lost its conscious identity with Christ, than its giving up its expectation of the coming of Christ. And why is that, but because there are so many whose hearts do not enter into this thought, that God has brought them so near to Himself that they are considered as having been taken into His family? "Sons and daughters," the expression is, and sons and daughters too of full age. That was not their position under the law. Therefore it is said that "the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant though he be lord of all. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father." And, because you have the Spirit, because you have an unction from the Holy One, you know all things, having the consciousness of being sons of God, sons of full age, so as to possess the confidence of the Father.

And the same Spirit, who is the Spirit of adoption, unfolds to us all the things which are freely given to us of God. "It is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." And there people generally stop; whereas the apostle goes on to say, in order to shew the difference between that and our state, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God ... . Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God," 1 Corinthians 2: 9-12. Now is it not a strange things that people should quote that passage which declares that man's heart hath not conceived the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him, and should pass over the declaration which follows, and which contrasts the position of Christians, saying God had revealed them unto them, and given them the Spirit to enable them to understand them? And is it not a sorrowful thing, when the Lord hath put us in such a place that He confides to us (poor creatures as we are), in a certain sense the glory of Christ, having confided to us all His thoughts about Christ, that we should say, "Oh! we cannot pretend to such things as that?" I will not say it is ingratitude -- it is worse; it is dishonouring the love God has shewn to us. Suppose a child were to say, "I do not pretend to the confidence of my father; I do not want that; I am simply willing to obey him." I would say to such a one, "You are a very unhappy child, extremely unhappy; you do not know what a child's place is."

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It is just that which the apostle brings out in this chapter. He first speaks (although I do not dwell upon that now -- not that it is not precious: I thought, while reading, how sweet it was), in the early part of the chapter, of the place in which we are set before God -- "that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved; in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins." You are brought into God's likeness of righteousness and holiness before God -- "holy and without blame before him in love." You are brought into the place of sons, having the adoption of children, and you have got the forgiveness of your sins and are accepted in the beloved Himself. That is the place you are brought into: there is no other place for a Christian. And now, says the Lord, having put you there, I am going to tell you what my plan is for Christ's glory and your glory along with Him. He says, "Wherein" -- that is, "in the riches of his grace" -- "he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself; that in the dispensation of the fulness of times" -- He hath not only given us this redemption, so that we know where we are in our relationship to God, but, being in this relationship, has shewn us all this of His plan -- "that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him."

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Mark where we are connected with it, "in whom also we have obtained an inheritance." We are heirs, as the apostle says to the Romans -- "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." That is, God says, I am going to give all to Christ; I am to gather together in one all things which are in heaven and on earth in Him; and with Him you are joint-heirs -- with Him you have got the inheritance. That is the way in which the chapter presents to us the purpose and thought of God.

Now just look at various passages which shew how He brings this about, and the way in which, beloved friends, He will take us to put us into the inheritance. For it is for this we are waiting. We are not waiting to be heirs, but we are waiting for the inheritance. We are not waiting to be sons -- we are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus; but we are waiting to get what belongs to the sons. Poor earthen vessels that we are here, in the wilderness, we are waiting for that. He has given us "the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." That is, the glory of His grace we have got -- the redemption; but the glory we have not got -- this we are waiting for.

Such is the order of his prayer withal: our calling, our nearness to God; our inheritance, that is, everything of which we are heirs along with Christ; and, then, there is the power which brings us into it. That is, the very same power which raised Christ from the dead has raised every believer out of his state of death in sin to the same place with Christ. And, having brought them into one, at the end he shews us the place to which Christ is raised -- "at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

This enables us to see a little of the way in which God accomplishes His plan; and it was to shew what that plan is that I read this chapter -- "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth" -- under Christ as the Head. But when Christ takes this place as man (of course as God He is over all always; but when He takes this place as man), we take the inheritance along with Him. We are joint-heirs -- "in whom also we have obtained an inheritance." And, again in Romans, "if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."

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Now the principle of that is what many Christians are sadly unmindful of, having lost the consciousness of the way in which they have been brought by God into the same place as Christ, who became a man on purpose to bring us into the same place with Himself. "The glory which thou gavest me I have given them." If He is a Son, so are we. He is our life, our righteousness; and we share His glory, the fruit of righteousness. When He was transfigured, Moses and Elias appeared in the same glory, talking familiarly with Him. And we should consider that the Lord has come down in lowliness and humiliation amongst us, that our hearts might get near enough to Him to understand that.

Having got the plan then, we shall now go through some passages of scripture to shew how the Lord brings it about. If you will turn to Psalm 2, you will see the way in which the Lord was first presented on earth to have the earthly dominion, and was rejected:+ we shall see immediately how the two things are connected. "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." This is quoted by Peter with reference to Herod and Pilate, etc. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision." That is, Christ Himself shall have them in derision. "Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure." This is not come yet. "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion" -- in spite of all this rejection -- "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. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." These judgments, of course, are not come yet.

+The words are quoted in the New Testament, but do not give our portion of the inheritance at all.

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And now, as confirmatory of what I have just said, let me ask you to turn to the book of Revelation, at the end of chapter 2 to shew the way in which we are connected with Christ. "He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of my Father." I refer to this now for the purpose of shewing that even in such things the saints are connected with Christ, although these, of course, are not the most blessed things in which they are connected with Him. It is said immediately afterwards, "and I will give him the morning star" -- Christ Himself; and this is infinitely more precious. But still He associates them with Himself in all His glory. He receives these heathen for His inheritance and breaks them in pieces; and so shall you with Him if you are faithful.

It is strange to see how the church of God has lost the sense of all things; and I refer to these passages to shew how the saints are associated with Christ, even with reference to those extreme cases. "Do ye not know," says Paul to the Corinthians, "that the saints shall judge the world?" He tells them just to think of that, and then to consider whether they were not worthy "to judge the smallest matter" (speaking of saints going to law with one another). Are you not able, any of you, to settle the commonest things between yourselves? "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" It was necessary to tell them this, because they had not got hold of a right understanding of the place in which Christ has put the saints, because they did not see their association with Christ in all the fulness of its meaning. I have referred to this association with Christ in judgment, not at all because it is the most blessed part of it, but as confirmatory of what I have said about the association of the saints with Christ.

Observe that Psalm 2 speaks of Christ's coming and being rejected. Peter quotes it in that view, and Paul also the words, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." And, being rejected, the Lord (that is, Christ) is there represented as laughing -- which is, of course, a figure -- at all the raging of the nations; and it is said that the time will come when He will sit in Zion in spite of them all, and have all the world given Him for His inheritance. This, however, does not present Him in the place in which the New Testament largely represents Him. Here He is only connected with the fate of the Jews, and the judgment of the heathen and rebels at the time of the end.

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At His first coming, He was rejected as Christ, the Messiah the Anointed. And mark what light this throws even upon the gospel. We find Christ charging His disciples strictly that they should no more say He was the Christ, because He was to be rejected, for "the Son of man," He says, "shall suffer many things." It was, as if He had said, "I am not now to take my place as King of Zion. I come in another way. I come to be the suffering Son of man, in order that I may afterwards take a far higher place of glory." You find accordingly, in Luke and the other gospels, that He strictly charges His disciples not to say that He was the Christ, because that was really over in consequence of His being rejected. Now take Psalm 8 -- "O Jehovah, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger." This, you know, was fulfilled when He rode upon the ass's colt into Jerusalem. "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the Son of man that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things under his feet." It is there intimated that, though as Christ He was rejected, the consequence of His being rejected was that He takes His place as Son of man, in which He was to have everything put under His feet. You will see how the apostle reasons on that in the New Testament.

These two Psalms shew His coming among the Jews and being rejected, and yet His taking His place over these rebels in spite of them at the end. But the present consequence of His rejection is that He takes the place (which He always gives Himself in the gospels) of being the Son of man. Coming to the New Testament, I have just read from the Ephesians, "He hath put all things under his feet," and, being in that place, "gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body." The church is His body, making the complete man, and is therefore said to be "the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Christ is a divine Person, though a man, and fills all things; but it is the church which makes Him as the Son of man complete -- makes up what is called the mystical Christ, of which He is the Head, all the members of the church making up His body.

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The church, therefore, is as closely associated with Him as a man's own flesh is with himself. This is the comparison employed in Ephesians 5, "No man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church; for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." And in this body there being but one Spirit, the church is associated with Christ as taking the headship over everything. We see Christ, the Son of man, in the counsels of God set over everything in heaven and on earth; and we, as being close to Him, His redeemed ones, His brethren, joint-heirs, and members of His body, are completely identified with Him in His place of headship. You thus see the connection of the church with Christ's glory at His second coming.

You find the same thing in Hebrews 2, where the apostle, citing Psalm 8, shews how far it is accomplished. "But one, in a certain place, testified, saying, What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the Son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him." That time is not yet come. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." Mark what we have got here. Here is God's purpose of putting everything in subjection under Christ without any exception -- there is nothing excepted that is not put under Him. In fact He created it all, and therefore is heir of it all. But the point is this, that what He created as God He takes for an inheritance as Man, in order that we might take it with Him; but that time is not come yet. We do not see all things put under Him; but we do see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honour; we see that half accomplished, but not the other half; we do not see all things put under Him. This is what the apostle states, and the reason of it we get in Psalm 110, which the apostle also quotes in the Hebrews, and to which the Lord Himself appealed in reasoning with the Pharisees on this very matter. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." And therefore in Hebrews 10 the apostle says, "He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" -- that is, the work of their redemption -- "from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool," till they are all put under His feet by God.

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I shall have another opportunity of referring to that. But I am speaking now of the blessed assurance it is to the saints, that Christ is sitting at the right hand of God until -- and expecting till -- His enemies are made His footstool. They are not made His footstool yet: if they were, He would not allow matters to go on in the world as they do now. It is another thing which God is doing now. He is gathering out His joint-heirs, and, having this purpose, He says, Sit thou at my right hand until the time when thine enemies shall be made thy footstool. As to the question when that time shall be. Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." But it is said to the Son, Sit thou at my right hand till that time is revealed.

We have the plan then as clearly set forth as language can put it. We see Jesus, when He has by Himself purged our sins, "set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens," and then by the gospel gathering out the joint-heirs. And we are associated with Him while He is there at the right hand of God -- associated with Him as united to Him by the one Spirit.

If you will turn now to another passage, 1 Corinthians 15, you will see the way in which we get this place of glory at the resurrection, all things being under His feet. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" -- those that are His heirs, they and nobody else. "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." That is, God the Father is not put under Him, but that very exception proves in the strongest way that everything else is -- God the Father being alone excepted.

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But it is said we do not see that yet. Do you think that all the oppression and wars and wickedness and horrors, which now mark the history of the earth, would go on if everything were put under Him? It is Satan, and not Christ, who is now the prince and god of this world. It is strange how many people fancy that the cross put an end to that; it was exactly the contrary. The cross was the one grand demonstration -- and there never was such a demonstration before -- that Satan is the prince and god of this world. "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me," said our Saviour. Until Christ had been rejected, Satan was never called the prince of this world. Before that, Jehovah was on the earth, and in the temple was the Shekinah of glory. But when at last He came into this world in the Person of Christ, and the world rejected Him, then from that time Satan is the prince of this world. And it is after this that the apostle says, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not." When the Lord comes again, He will be the Prince of the world; but till He comes again, Satan is that prince.

If you will now look to Luke 19, you will see how the Lord Himself puts it, when He speaks of going into a far country to get the kingdom, and there receiving it, and then returning and executing the judgments to which He refers. "As they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." They were looking for this, and fancied that, instead of His being rejected as He was, they would get the kingdom with Him in an earthly way directly. "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come." This is the service of Christians, while the Lord is away. He has gone away to receive the kingdom, and has not returned yet. Then He judged the servants when He came back. "And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him," and begins to take account of their service. And then, that being finished, he says, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." This is after He has received the kingdom and come back again.

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He does not judge while He is away. It is said, "The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father." But, if He were to begin to judge now, He would have to close the time of grace and the gathering in of the church. The Father judges the saints, but it is in the way of discipline -- "If ye call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man's work." But, as regards definite judgment, it is said in John, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." When the Son returns, He will take notice of His enemies and execute judgment upon them. But meanwhile He has gone away to receive the kingdom, and has not returned. When He does, He will not allow all this wickedness which we now see to go on. But for the present, this is the time when we must watch in faithfulness, occupying till He comes, and trading properly with those talents, the spiritual gifts He has given us.

You will find this remarkably brought out if you turn to Colossians 1. I wish to dwell a little on this, that we may get to as full an understanding as possible of the thoughts and scope and plan of God, which seem to me to be very plainly set forth in Scripture. Begin at verse 12, which shews where we (I mean all believers) are: "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet." He has made us meet -- that is all settled. You will always find this in Scripture; you will not find anything there about growing to be meet; it speaks about growing up to Christ in everything, but this is a different thing. "Which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, for by him" -- this is the reason why He is set over all things -- "by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him." He is to take them all under subjection, but not in this state of wickedness in which they are now. "We see not yet all things put under him."

And how does He take them? He takes them as Man -- "whom he hath appointed heir of all things" (Hebrews 1: 2): and we are appointed joint-heirs with Him, as the scripture tells us. You will see, therefore, how the second part comes in. "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" -- that is, because He is a divine Person -- "And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." He has this double headship, which is also brought together in the chapter of Ephesians I was reading -- head over all things, and head to the church. "By him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, in the body of his flesh through death." He has reconciled -- it is always 'hath' as regards the saints. It is not said 'He will reconcile,' but "hath reconciled."

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But the reconciliation of all things in heaven and earth is future, because Satan is not yet bound. Even Christianity itself has been corrupted in the most awful way, because Satan is not bound; and the corruptest thing in the whole universe is corrupted Christianity. The apostle says, "By him to reconcile all things unto himself, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven"; or, as it is in the Ephesians, "to gather together in one all things in Christ"; but he does not say he has done this yet. Nor does he speak at all of those who are under the earth. When he talks of subjection, of everything bowing to Him, it is said, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth." Of these things he does not say 'reconcile' but "bow"; "but you," he says, "hath he reconciled."

You thus see the truth about the double headship of Christ -- His being Head of the church, and His being Head over all things; and then the double reconciliation, the present reconciliation and redemption of the church through grace, and then the reconciliation of all things in heaven and in earth. Now we see not yet all things put under Him, but we see Him by faith, sitting at the right hand of God, until His enemies are made His footstool. And when that time comes, and they are all put under Him, He will take possession, according to the character given to God in the appellation used by Melchisedec when he came out to bless Abraham -- "The most high God, possessor of heaven and earth." Thus, when Christ becomes in all its fulness the King and Priest upon His throne, God will have that title.

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We come then to the next thing, which I will just state -- I do not know how far we may be able to go through it this evening. Taking these two statements, that He is to reconcile everything in heaven and earth, and again, that He is to gather together in one, all things which are both in heaven and on earth; we also see, in several of the passages which I have quoted, that the church, or the saints who compose it, are joint-heirs with Him. What I have been seeking to shew you is, that the church of God (all the saints whom in this present time God is gathering by His grace in the gospel) are being associated with Christ, as the centre of blessing; that they get the central place with Himself, under whom all possible existences are to be placed. But the time for this which the scripture speaks of is when Christ receives the kingdom and returns, when the dispensation of the fulness of times comes. Then everything will be brought into order and blessedness under the authority of Christ. When God the Father has put everything under His feet, He will bring everything into order, and will then deliver up His kingdom. But the central thing during the dispensation of the fulness of times in the heavenly places will be the church, and the central thing in earthly places will be the Jews.

This brings in what are the two great subjects of holy Scripture, after personal redemption. The church is that in which He displays sovereign grace, bringing its members to share the glory of Christ. The Jews are those in whom He reveals as a centre the government of this world. These are the two great subjects in Scripture after personal salvation. The Scripture speaks of the church of God as those who are associated with Christ, who are the heirs of Christ's glory. But the moment we say this, we cannot but think how wondrous it is that poor wretched creatures like us should be brought into the same glory with Christ -- should be brought into the same place with Himself. And the work of reconciliation is to embrace all things in heaven and on earth.

This world is not to remain for ever the sporting-place and playground of the devil. That will not be allowed for ever. The Son of David will yet have His place in it, and His glory too, as its ruler, and the world will then be altered. "None shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain." There is a time coming when Christ will be the Prince of peace. He has declared positively that this is not at the present time. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother," etc That is, this is the time when the bringing in the light awakens the passions of men; and until Christ's second coming puts them down, they continue their raging.

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And Christians now have to take up the cross and follow Him. Do you think if Christ were reigning, His followers would only have the cross? Why, they would have the crown. We are positively told that our part is the cross. We must now take it up every day. But, when Christ reigns, that will not be the part of His people. He will "come to be glorified in his saints"; and a glorious place they will get, when He comes to reign.

When this time comes to gather together all things in one, the church of God will be the centre of all things in heavenly places, and the Jews the centre of all things on earth, Christ being the Head over all. This is what we find stated in the chapter of Ephesians which we have read -- "That ye may know what ... is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" -- the time namely of which we are speaking -- "and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body".

It is the same power which raises the saints, and so, in the next chapter, he says, speaking of it now as already got spiritually, "and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." God, in setting us over angels and principalities and powers in the world to come, is shewing the exceeding riches of His grace in the place He has given to us, in His kindness towards us. This, beloved friends, is what I have been anxious to shew you, by bringing before you these various passages, that thus in the ages to come God is going to shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward you. Angels are going to learn the immense riches of God's grace; and how? By our being made partakers of the glory of Christ, in God's kindness to us through Christ Jesus; so that, when they see Mary Magdalene, the thief on the cross, the woman of the city that was a sinner, any one of us, in the same place of glory with Christ, they may admire the exceeding riches of His grace. Laying hold of this now even by faith in the teaching of God's Spirit, although we have not got all the fruits of it as yet, we may find our present place very profitable in the way of discipline, and exercise, and spiritual education; still its full development is in the future, when God's kindness to us shall be shewn to the angels.

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And now let me try to shew you a little the way in which the Lord brings us into this place of association with Himself. And first I will refer you to the passage in John 17, where the Saviour states the fact, that the saints share with Him His glory and the love of the Father. A wonderful passage it is, as shewing that love of Christ which passeth knowledge. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." This refers to the present time, or, at least, to what ought to be the case in the present time. And then He goes on to the time to come: "And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may [not believe, but may]

now that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." All the glory thou hast given me, He says -- that is, the glory He takes as man, for s a divine Person, His glory was eternal -- I have given them, and this, that the world, when they see My people like Me, and having the same glory as Myself, may know that thou hast sent Me. It is not "believe": this is spoken with reference to the present time. Saints should be one now, as a testimony that there is a power in the Spirit of God which overcomes all fleshly differences. Alas! that is not so. This, too, is a precious subject; but I must pass it over just now, confirming myself to the one I am more immediately dealing with. Of the present time it is said, "that the world may believe"; of the future, "that the world may know." "The glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that the world may know that thou hast sent me." They will know it plainly enough for their condemnation -- for the condemnation of those who are rebels -- when they see those whom they have been accustomed to despise coming with Christ in glory.

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Now do you believe this, beloved friends? Our hearts ought to know and recognise that love -- not fathom it, for this they cannot do, but confide in it, and to that extent know it, although it passes knowledge. And, as you see, the time is coming when the world too will know that love of God to us. We pass on to verse 25 -- "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." That is the present good we enjoy -- that the love wherewith Christ is loved should be in us -- that we should have it in our souls. No one can fathom it: it passes knowledge; but still we are to have it and to know it, and that by Christ being in us. I am not to wait till the world sees I am with Christ in glory, to know it myself; for the Father now loves me as He has loved Christ.

If you turn again to 1 Corinthians 15, you will see this same truth brought out in its relation to the resurrection. The point I am now to impress upon you is, that Scripture shews us these two things -- that we are to be like Him, completely like Him, save that He is a divine Person; and that the time we shall be like Him is when we shall be raised from the dead. It is then we shall appear with Him. We are not of the world now, but it is said that the world will only know that we have been loved as Christ was loved, when they see us in the same place of glory with Him, when the Lord takes us up to be with Him and to put us in this glory; so that when He appears to the world, we shall appear along with Him in the same glory.

The fact that it is so, that we shall so appear with Him in the same glory, we have seen already from various passages which I quoted on the last occasion; but I shall refer you to some more particularly. At verse 47 of 1 Corinthians 15, it is said, "the first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they- also that are earthy" -- all like to their father Adam; and, "as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly," that is, like what Christ is, not speaking of His divinity; "and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." We shall be like Him, we shall be just the same as Himself. He does not say merely that we shall be there, in heaven, but like Him. But first, "as is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy" -- that is, like Adam, poor wretched sinners, mortal creatures, like him; whereas, "as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." This is the full absolute statement of the fact. Then he adds, with respect to the fact of the glory -- putting it, of course, as in the future, not having yet come -- "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly"; and he goes on, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." As it is said before, "it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory."

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Now let us refer to some of the passages which shew how Christ receives us to Himself. I follow the teachings of Scripture throughout, that we may get solidly grounded in what Christ communicates to us. He says, "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." He has gone into His Father's house, but He will come again and receive us to Himself, that where He is, there we may be also. He was going up then with a body, going up glorious, not as yet having all things under His feet, but crowned with glory and honour; and He says to His disciples, You must wait and occupy till I come again. But now, before He comes, we see what He is to do with us who are in the same glory -- "I will come again and receive you unto myself"; as He said in the previous chapter, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." It was as if He had said, I cannot stay with you, as King and Messiah now, but I am washing you that ye may be fit to reign with Me when I come again. I am, therefore, still your servant in the sense of intercession and the like, and by My all-prevailing intercession I will wash you daily, because, if you are to have part with Me in My kingdom, you must be made like Myself

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In like manner we get what may be called the public announcement of this in 1 Thessalonians 4 -- "Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord," etc. See how the apostle constantly expected the coming of the Lord. Some people have boldly dared to say that Paul made a mistake in expecting the coming of the Lord in his day. It is they who are making an awful mistake. It was never revealed when Christ would come, and Paul did not pretend to know it. But he knew that that time had come when we should always be expecting Him (instead of saying, My Lord delayeth His coming, and beginning therefore to eat and drink with the drunken, and to beat the men-servants and the maid-servants). It was, therefore, that Paul put himself in this class, "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord." And what was the effect of that? He lived like a man who expected Christ every day; and when Christ comes, he will get the fruit of that, while those people who put off the expectation of Christ's coming, and do not wait for it, allowing their hearts to go out after covetousness and such like things, will also get the fruit of their so doing.

The time of the second coming of Christ is declared not to be revealed. Paul got a revelation that he should soon die, and he knew it. Peter also got a revelation that he must shortly put off this tabernacle, and of course knew it. But it was not revealed to them when Christ should come. Therefore Paul says, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed," Christ having overcome death. We may all die before Christ's coming -- no one knows the moment of it; still we may use the language, "we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord." It is said of the man who thinks Christ is delaying His coming, that he turns to what is bad, smiting his fellow-servants, and eating and drinking with the drunken. And it is said, that while the Bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept, the wise virgins as well as the foolish; that is, the church lost a sense of the present expectation of Christ. Even the wise servants had to be waked up again; and it was a mercy to them to rouse them up in time, because to His people Christ is ever faithful. But it is the characteristic of the faithful servant that he is expecting. The church of Philadelphia was expecting the coming of Christ, and it is called the word of His patience, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience."

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The passage in Thessalonians goes on -- "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first" -- nobody else. I shall dwell upon that at another time, but I just notice it now in passing. The shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, are not to be taken as the voice of God to all the world to raise the righteous and the wicked. "The shout" is a military term; whatever the precise term now equivalent to it, it is that which follows "Stand at ease." It was first used with reference to calling rowers in the trireme, and afterwards as a military term. When soldiers are left to go about their at ease, and are then all suddenly called back into the ranks, it is the command given them for that purpose, to which the word "shout" here used is equivalent. But the only persons who hear it are "the dead in Christ," Christ being represented as in this way gathering together His own troops. "The dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Here, then, we have the details of it. The Lord has declared that He will come and receive us unto Himself; and now the apostle, by the revelation given unto him, explains how it will be. He will come and call us up to meet the Lord in the air. The passage in 1 Corinthians, which I have already read, refers to the same thing, when it says, "afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits." The specific thing here is that it is not a resurrection of the dead, but a resurrection from among the dead. The raising of Christ was not a resurrection "of the dead" simply, but a resurrection "from among the dead." This was its whole character -- a taking up from among the dead; and why? Because the Father's delight was in Him. And why are we in like manner taken up from among the dead? Because His delight is in us. And therefore at the proper time the Lord comes (it is not said, appears) and calls us up to be for ever with the Lord, to take our place associated with Christ, partaking of that glory which you have already seen referred to in the words "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."

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But what we are called to expect is, not to die -- we may die, and a blessed thing it is too, to die; but what we are to look for and expect is, as it is expressed in 2 Corinthians 5, "Not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." That Christ's power over death may be fully shewn, He takes to Himself mortal men, whether alive or dead: if alive, He changes them into glory without dying; if they are dead, He raises them. This is the first thing He does. He raises the dead first, and then the living are changed; and they go to meet the Lord in the air. He has predestinated us "to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren." And, as we have seen, "the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them." This then is our portion of heavenly things.

And if you turn to Colossians 3 you will see that when Christ appears, we shall appear in this glory along with Himself and be like Him. He will have already come and taken us up to Himself; and then He comes manifesting Himself to the world, and we appear with Him. You will remember what I have before quoted, that the glory which was given Him, He has given to us, that the world might know, etc. Now, turn to Colossians 3, and you will see how thoroughly the apostle identifies us with Christ. Look first at chapter 2: 20, "If ye be dead with Christ." Then, at the beginning of chapter 3, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." He is hid in God; He is your life, and your life therefore is hid there. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." When He appears, we shall appear with Him. There can be no separation. If He is hid in God, our life is hid in God. If He appears, we appear. If He appears in glory, we must appear in glory with Him. We are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

You will see the same thing in the first epistle of John: only the same truth comes out in different shapes -- "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" -- this, that we should get Christ's own name! (what a wonder of love is this that we should get Christ's own title of relationship!) "therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not," shewing that we have got the same place with Him. He says, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." I have accomplished your redemption, and the effect of this is, that I have put you in the same place with Myself. "I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." "Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." It is no wonder that it does not recognise us, if it did not recognise Him. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God" -- this is the present time, "and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

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Further, as to this appearing with Him, I shall now refer to the book of Revelation; but, before doing that, you may turn for a moment to Zechariah 14, where it is said the Lord shall come and all His saints with Him, and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives. This is referred to by s the angel, when, after Christ's ascension from Mount Olivet, he said to the disciples, "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Again, in verse 14 of the epistle of Jude, you find "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all." Here they are associated with Christ in the executing of judgments. "The Lord cometh with ten thousands" -- properly myriads, that is, an I immense number -- "of his saints to execute judgment." This shews how entirely we are associated with Christ. And what a place does not that put us in! Yet Scripture is so simple and plain upon the point, that it cannot be misinterpreted.

You will find the same truth in 2 Thessalonians 1. I prefer quoting many passages to enlarging upon them, that our faith may stand, not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. The Thessalonians were suffering dreadful persecutions; and the apostle told them, "We glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure; which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer; seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe." He comes with these ten thousands or myriads of His saints.

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You find a distinct statement of their coming given in figure in the Revelation. At chapter 17 it is said, "These shall make war with the Lamb." All the kings of the earth shall be found, not in blessing, joined with Christ, but in open war with the Lamb, joined with the beast. "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." Other passages shew us that angels will be with Him, but it is not angels that are here spoken of as being with Him. The angels may be described as "faithful" and "chosen," because the scripture speaks of the "elect" angels; but these that are with Him are the "called," and it is the saints who are called by the grace of God. These "called" persons then who are with Him are the saints. Having seen who they are, turn now to chapter 19, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."

You have seen all through that He is coming to judge the wicked on the earth -- a thing greatly forgotten, that there is a judgment of the quick as well as the dead. "As in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not, until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." "His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" -- which, he says elsewhere, is the righteousness of the saints. I close now, as regards the quotation of passages.

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On the last occasion we found, running through the whole series of passages quoted, that the Lord's coming was the one thing kept before the church as its hope in the Scripture, that it connected itself with every kind of thought and feeling the saints had, that they were even looked upon as being converted to wait for the Son of God, that every other doctrine of Scripture was connected with it, that what marked a decaying church was the thought that "the Lord delayeth his coming," and that what woke them up was the cry, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh."

Then tonight we have found that the Lord reveals to us with wisdom and prudence His plan, namely, "that he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth" -- reconciling them all in Christ -- not merely for their own selfish good, but as a plan for Christ's glory. And with this view He has associated us with Christ in the place He takes as Head over all, so that, being associated with Him as heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ, we have the inheritance with Him; that, when He takes it, we shall have it with Him; that, when He comes, we shall come with Him; that, whereas He was presented to the earth among the Jews according to the promise of God, and they would not have Him, He then took another place -- that of Son of man. That place He will take in His resurrection and in His glory, and will raise us up to have it with Him when the time comes; and not we alone, but all saints will have it with Him. Thus we see not yet all things put under Him, but we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honour, and are waiting, as He is, till His enemies are made His footstool. But when that time comes -- when it will be, nobody knows; God has not revealed it -- the first thing He will do will be to have His body; He is not to be Head without the body, but will catch us up to meet Him in the air; then, if dead, He will raise us; if alive, He will change us, and take us up to meet the Lord in the air. He will come and take us to His Father's house; for this is our place; and He will have everything there in order for us -- only He must have His heirs with Him; for He cannot take a step in entering on the possession of His inheritance, without having His heirs, His body, His bride with Him.

In the Revelation you first have the marriage of the Lamb, and then you see the Lamb coming out with His armies following Him. They are the bride -- that is what they are; for the Lamb must have an associate with Him, a help-meet to share His inheritance. He has not yet taken to Himself His great power and reigned. We see not yet all things put under Him. But when He comes, He will take us up to be with Him, because we are perfectly associated with Him. When He appears, we shall appear with Him. When He executes judgment, we shall accompany Him -- that is, when He executes judgment on the world, breaking them with a rod of iron, and dashing them in pieces like a potter's vessel. That is anything but the blessedest part of our sharing His inheritance. The blessedest part is being with Him. But when He does appear, the world will see us with Him. He comes to raise the dead saints, and take them up to be with Himself: then when He appears we shall all appear with Him, and "shall bear the image of the heavenly, as we have borne the image of the earthy."

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But meantime, while Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, He has sent down the Holy Ghost to gather His heirs together. They must now carry the cross: when the kingdom comes, they will have the kingdom and the glory. But until that time, while He is sitting at the right hand of God, His people must bear the cross, and it is only by the power of the Spirit of God that anyone will follow Him. Whatever glory He has, in the time of glory He associates us in it with Himself, and, as a consequence, we shall reign with Him -- we who are now reconciled in Him. And when He comes again, He comes, but not to judgment as regards us. "As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation."

And now, beloved friends, I would only ask, With whom are you associated? Are you associated with Christ, rejected by the world, and now sitting at the right hand of God? Are you by the Holy Ghost in spirit associated with Christ? or are you associated with the world which He is coming again to judge, and all His saints with Him? With which are you associated, while Christ is away? Having been rejected, He says, Occupy till I come, having gone to receive a kingdom and a glory far better than that from which He was rejected. With whom are you associated? You have to go through the world, you must go through it: do you really believe that Satan is the prince and god of this world, which has rejected Christ? and do you really live as if you believed this? Do you believe that Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, and that He will come again to receive you to Himself, to share with Him the same blessings as Himself in His Father's house, to witness His Father's glory, and to share His love? Are we doing anything to recommend Him? Is there that in our hearts which is like the confiding love of a child to his father, that which shews we are sons by adoption? Is there anything in us which identifies us with those who are the heirs of that blessedness and glory? The world knew Him not; the world knows us not. Can we say this? Are we like Him in our place in the world? When Christ was in the world, they saw no beauty in Him that they should desire Him. How is it with us? Is it the things that are not seen, or the things that are seen, that have power in our hearts? Christ is not seen; does He dwell in our hearts by faith, so as to be our portion? If He does, then, when He appears, we shall appear with Him in glory; and, better than that, shall be taken up to be for ever with Him. The Lord give us to be able to wait for Him, and to be ever saying, "Even so come, Lord Jesus." May we have all our treasure, and heart, and portion, associated and identified with Himself. A little while, yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. He only knows how long the gathering of the saints to be with Him will last.

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What I intend speaking of this evening, and the idea of which is given in this chapter in allegorical expressions, is, first, the gathering up of the church of God, the heavenly saints, to be with Christ; and then, secondly, if the time allows, the promises which we have, and thereby the infallible certainty of the restoration of the Jews to their place as a nation upon the earth. Both connect themselves -- otherwise it would be impossible to go into the whole subject this evening -- with the manifestation of judgments in this world: only that the taking up of the saints is the taking them out of the way of those judgments. On the contrary, the Jews who are to remain on the earth, and other Gentiles also, when they come to those judgments, must pass through them, as Lot passed through, and from all that happened to Sodom, making his escape, yet so as by fire, while Abraham looked on upon the judgments that fell on the guilty cities of the plain. So also Noah was saved, passing through the flood, while Enoch was taken up to heaven. Those two cases are spoken of as analogous to what shall be at the coming of the Son of man. We have in these two cases the two things of which I have spoken -- the one class of persons out of the reach and out of the way altogether of the judgments that are coming, and the other class passing through those judgments which destroyed the great body of men, and thus escaping them. I have said that this class consists of the Jews and some Gentiles also; but I do not enter into details on that point at present -- I wish now merely to present the general thought.

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We saw, last evening, that the church forms the centre of the heavenly glory -- under Christ, of course, who is the centre of everything -- and that the Jews are the centre of the earthly dominion, the earthly blessings. This is what gives their importance to the two points on which, if time allow, I shall dwell this evening -- that is, the taking the saints in the last time to be with the Lord Himself in heaven, and their sharing His own glory and blessedness; and then the Jews brought into blessing with this earth, as reigned over by Christ, and not reigning with Him, but still a great nation on the earth. These two facts are the two great centres of God's ways.

In the chapter we have read you have first Christ Himself and the church figured in the man-child; and then, in the woman which flees from persecution for twelve hundred and sixty days, you have the Jewish remnant -- those who are spared in the time of judgment but are not yet brought into glory. It thus brings before you the two subjects of which I have spoken. And I add this, that the consideration of the blessing of the church will lead us necessarily to another point; and that is, that what is called a general resurrection, common to all together -- and I state it now that we may get fast hold of the idea at once -- is a thing entirely unknown to Scripture.

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I do not deny that it was the notion entertained among the Jews, at least by the Pharisees, that all Jews at all events (as for the Gentiles they looked upon them as dogs) would rise again together; but our Lord corrected this notion. A right conception on this point is necessarily connected with our understanding the taking up of the church to heaven, because those saints who are dead must be raised for that. When I say "saints," I mean all the saints, those of the Old Testament, as well as those under the New Testament, dispensation.

And I mention another point for those persons who are not familiar with these subjects, and that is, that God is not now dealing with this world -- providentially of course, He governs all; but that He is not dealing with this world as He afterwards will, at this time while Christ is sitting at His right hand in heaven, and while He is gathering the joint-heirs of Christ to reign with Him when He takes the inheritance. He alone knows at what moment this will be fulfilled. Then, when He hath put Christ's foes under His footstool, Christ will rise up from His Father's throne, and take His own throne. But, while Christ sits on His Father's throne, the Holy Ghost having been sent down, consequent on His ascension, He is gathering out of the world a people for His name, to be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

This lapse of time, this parenthesis in the ways of God, is brought in, in the most distinct way, at the end of Daniel 9; and I refer to it because we should never understand God's dealings with mankind, unless we get hold of this. At the end of Daniel 9 you find the Spirit of God shewing a certain period which was to elapse before Jerusalem got its full blessing; and you will see the reference that is made to what I was calling the parenthesis, or lapse of time, during which the Jews were all set aside. At verse 24 it is said, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." That took place: you know it was forty and six years going on. "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off" -- the threescore and two weeks, with the other seven, making sixty-nine -- "but not for himself"; or rather, instead of this, take what is in the margin, which is undoubtedly the true sense, "and shall have nothing." He did not take the kingdom at all; He was cut off and got nothing; in heaven He got all the glory, but He got nothing as regards what we are speaking of. "And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." That is -- what almost everyone is familiar with -- Titus coming and destroying the city, until there was not left one stone upon another that was not thrown down.

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But there is still a week left -- we have only had sixty-nine weeks; and here, without entering into details, is the great principle I want you to get hold of. We have the sixty-nine weeks, and then there is a lapse. Messiah comes, is rejected, and is cut off, does not get the kingdom at all, gets nothing -- He gets the cross it is true, but that is all He gets. He ascends to heaven, and therefore our hearts must follow Him up to heaven, while He is there. Then comes the time of the end.

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." For remark what was said before, "unto the end of the war desolations are determined." As to the time all is left vague; these desolations are to go on for no one knows how long after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Messiah having gone and taken nothing. "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations" -- that is, idolatry: "abominations" mean idolatry in the Old Testament -- "he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

There then we get this simple but very important fact as to the interpretation of prophecy -- that there was a term of seventy weeks, which would come upon the holy city -- upon the Gentiles too, but specially the Jews -- until all prophecy about them was to be accomplished; but when the sixty-nine weeks had elapsed, Messiah comes, is cut off -- that is actually fulfilled -- and takes nothing; and there go on wars, etc., and the city is destroyed; and then there run on the times of the Gentiles; and blindness in part, according to Romans 11, has happened unto Israel, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

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So again our Saviour, in Luke's gospel, after speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, says that Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Now that is what is still going on. Jerusalem is still trodden down. Christ has not taken to Him His great power and reign, spoken of in a chapter of the Revelation, preceding that which we have read. Jerusalem is still desolate, and the times of the Gentiles are still running on -- I doubt not, running close unto their completion, but still running on; and Christ is sitting on the right hand of God the Father, according to that word, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool." But while He sits there, the Holy Ghost comes down from heaven to declare that, if man had rejected Him, heaven had accepted Him, and that (redemption having been accomplished, and the grace appeared that brings salvation) He sits there to associate with Himself the joint-heirs of whom we have been speaking.

But in the meantime the Jews are set aside, and the times of the Gentiles are running on, and nothing is fulfilled or brought to an accomplishment, because what He is doing is gathering the heavenly saints. Now those heavenly saints, as we saw in the last lecture, are completely identified with Christ Himself. He is not ashamed to call them brethren. He is the Firstborn among many brethren, who have been conformed to the image of God's Son, and are "members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." For it is said, "no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones." And the saints too are the bride of Christ. What Eve was to Adam, that is the place the church of God fills in reference to Christ. And what He is doing now is gathering the saints to fill this place. It is not the fulfilling of God's dealings with the earth, but the gathering of saints for heaven; and while He is gathering saints for heaven, Christ sits at His right hand until His enemies be made His footstool. As the apostle expresses it in Hebrews 2, referring to Psalm 8, "but now we see not yet all things put under him; but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour."

There is an extremely beautiful thought connected with this, which we cannot dwell on now, and that is, that if you look for the church in the Old Testament, you can only find Christ, but when you find the blessedness and glory which belongs to Christ, the church is the sharer of it. So that what we have to see in connection with the fulfilment of the prophecies of God is, that previous to this the church is to be taken out of the scene altogether, because He cannot begin these dealings with the Gentiles in the last week until the gathering of the saints to be heirs with Christ is over. Until He has got the heirs, Christ cannot take the inheritance; and therefore, all the dealings of God (or of Christ, if you please who is the power of God) -- all these dealings of God with the world -- we do not speak of His providence, of course, for not a sparrow falleth to the ground without Him -- but all the direct dealings of God with the world through the Jews are suspended until the church is taken up.

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But you never find in prophecy, until the end of Revelation -- you never find the church revealed in prophecy, except in connection with Christ. I may give you some instances of this. For example, I have no doubt that the "man-child" spoken of in the chapter that we have been reading, includes the church as well as Christ. But it is Christ that is principally meant; for the church would be nothing without Christ, it would be a body without a head. It is Christ who has been caught up, but the church is included; for whenever He begins to act publicly (even as regards the casting down of Satan), He must have His body, His bride with Him; He must have His brethren, His joint-heirs. If you examine what we find here, you will see that the church is certainly included. You read "And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God and to his throne." The man-child is to rule all nations with a rod of Iron, but there is an interruption. And as we have seen that Christ came to this earth, was cut off, and took nothing, we get the other side of the picture here. He takes nothing, but is caught up to God and His throne, and sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.

This sitting at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens belongs personally to Christ, but when it comes to ruling the nations with a rod of iron, the saints are associated with Him The quotation is from Psalm 2, where it is said "Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession: thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." That is not asked yet. And He has prayed for the saints, not for the world -- "I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me." He only intercedes for the world when He asks for dominion over them, and, of course, it will be given Him -- it is in God's counsels that it will; and He will take judgment in hand, the rod of iron. But then the saints will judge the world too; that is positively revealed, "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" And not only is this stated in the general, but in the detail, especially as to the rod of iron. At the end of Revelation 2 you will find that this is given to the church, exactly as it is given to Christ. "He that overcometh, and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of my Father." And the same thing is said in Daniel 7, "Until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High" (the saints who will be in the heavenly places with Christ, when Christ comes) -- the "rod of iron" being there spoken of as "judgment." That is not the most blessed part: the blessed part is to be with Him; but it is true, and it is part of what we have to look for. And so in Revelation 20, where this time is spoken of, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them."

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How sadly has the sense of this blessedness and glory of the saints been lost! I was speaking of it on the last occasion -- their identification with Christ, their being joint-heirs, members of His body, His bride. The sense of all this has dropped away from the church. It is common to say that it is enough to lie at the foot of the cross. Now to me it is a blessed thing to see a person coming to the foot of the cross; but it is dreadful to stay there, because for a person to do so is the same as saying that he does not own that the whole thing is accomplished. It is a want of boldness "to enter into the holiest, through the veil, that is to say, Christ's flesh." It is the same as saying that he is unfit to pass through the veil to be a priest in the holy place. He says, "No; I must stay outside." I say that is a very wretched condition to be in. He must come to the cross in order to get in; that is perfectly true. And it is blessed to see a person who has been careless so coming; he can never get in any other way. But always to stay outside -- always to say "I am staying at the foot of the cross, and do not know whether I have the right to enter in or not" -- that is a great mistake. If you say, you cannot tell whether you are redeemed or not, how then can you call yourself a Christian? Christians are redeemed, of course. Why then do you take the name of Christians, and yet remain unable to say whether you are redeemed?

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In this chapter of Revelation which we have read, you have it positively revealed that it is finished with the saints, as regards all their trials and all their accusations, before the time that the trial of the Jewish people begins in the last half-week of Daniel. In the first six verses of the chapter, you have the statement of those who are concerned in these last days. First, you have the "woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." This, I have no doubt, is the Jewish people, nothing else; because Christ is not born of the church, but looked at as reigning and glorious in the world, was born of the Jews, "of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came." There is no kind of sense in the idea of Christ's being born of the church. Being "clothed with the sun" is being clothed with supreme authority. She has the moon -- all her previous reflected state -- under her feet: "and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." Twelve is the number always used to indicate power -- the power of God's administration among men. You have the twelve apostles sitting on twelve thrones -- the city built on twelve foundations, and having twelve gates, etc., the number being used to express administrative power -- God's administrative power over man. Well, Christ was to be born. "And she being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." And so the Jews say, in Isaiah 9, "To us a son is born." The church cannot say that at all. We can say that we believe He is the Son of God; but we do not say He is born to us. As concerning the flesh, He was born into Israel.

Then you come to the opposing power -- the power of Satan -- exercised through the Roman Empire. "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." That is the power of Satan resisting Christ, and seeking to put an end to His power. He could not, of course, but he seemed to have done it for a while.

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"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron" -- clearly Christ -- "and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." He did not take the power -- He took nothing, but was caught up to God.

Then, having seen who are the persons engaged, you get the woman's place, "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand, two hundred and three-score days." You will see now the reason why I referred to the gap, with regard to all God's dealings with the world, which there always is in prophecy -- without, however, giving any dates at all-between the time that Christ is taken up, and the time that the church is taken up; and they are both united together. As I have said, it is not merely a notion of men, but it is positively revealed, as God's own order in Daniel 9, that Messiah was to be revealed, and cut off, and take nothing; that blindness in part happens to Israel till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled; and that then the Jews would be brought to repentance, as Jesus Christ says in the gospel of Matthew, "Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

Thus we get the church, united with Christ, taken up to God, and the woman fled into the wilderness. Now we come to the progress of events, not as regards the church at all, but as regards Israel and the world. "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." The whole power of Satan will then be cast out. That is in direct contrast with the result of the church's warfare: "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." This is the conflict we have to wage as to our title to sit in heavenly places with Christ; and the result of this spiritual conflict is, that the power of Satan is cast out. In the prophecy we are considering this is all over, and you see the joy there is in consequence among the dwellers in heaven, the heavenly saints.

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"And the great dragon was cast out -- that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!"

We find here, that while all the heavenly people, that is, the church of God (because our conversation is in heaven and we are one with Christ in heaven) are called upon to rejoice that the accuser of the brethren is cast down -- that they have overcome him -- at this very moment when these heavenly saints have overcome, it is just the time when Satan comes down to earth, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time. Thus we get entire rejoicing in what is heavenly, and at the same time most desperate woe in what is earthly. This makes the contrast very distinct and definite between these heavenly ones and the dwellers on earth, who, all through the Revelation, are contrasted with those persons who are heirs of heaven, whose citizenship is in heaven.

"Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child." We see here very clearly that by the woman it is not the church of God that is meant, because the church of God is called upon to rejoice on account of all their afflictions being over, and the accusations against them past. They are called upon to rejoice because they have overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. But this woman is in a different position, all the rage of Satan being now directed against her. The church of God has been taken out of the way, and Satan has another object for his great wrath, namely, the Jewish people. This is for them the time of great tribulation that is elsewhere spoken of. Christ said to the Jews, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive." If they would not take the true Christ, they must have a false Christ.

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I have read this chapter of the Revelation, in order to shew that while one class of persons -- those associated with Christ -- are caught up to God, and there is triumph and rejoicing and gladness amongst them when Satan is cast down, that is the very time when tribulation begins on the earth. "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." There in the wilderness, in this time of tribulation, God takes care of her. She makes her escape from the tribulation, the figure being employed that she receives this great power of flight, as if the wings of an eagle: and God secures her, not as He did Abraham who saw the destruction of Sodom from the top of the mount, but as He secured Lot who was saved by flight. The people in heaven rejoicing are like Abraham on the top of the mount; while the woman upon the earth is like Lot, saved by God giving her the great wings of an eagle to escape while all this great rage and power of Satan is being displayed. "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." That is, providential means were used for the purpose of saving the Jews from the violent assaults made upon them. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

I shall now refer to a more literal prophecy, which will help us to understand this same interval, these times of the Gentiles, so far as they are going on now -- because I have no doubt that they began in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Turn to Isaiah 8, where, after the circumstances of the moment having been spoken of as leading to it, it is said, "Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself" -- a blessed testimony to the deity of the Lord Jesus as Jehovah -- "and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken." The Lord, you know, spoke of His being a stumbling-stone, and said that whosoever should fall on that stone should be broken "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples And I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me." This, you remember, is quoted in Hebrews 2. Although God is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, Christ says, "I will wait upon the Lord"; or, as the Septuagint has it, "I have put my trust in the Lord." And again, "Behold I and the children whom the Lord hath given me." These are the disciples of Christ in all ages.

And then, in chapter 9, you have the close of all that -- "For that hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. 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 establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth, even for ever."

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Here, then, we have the fact of Christ's coming and being a stone of stumbling, and He says, "I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Jacob." Then follows a period of dreadful sorrow for Israel, "They shall look unto the earth, and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness." And then comes -- what? A dreadful battle; only it has the fire of God's judgment in it -- "this shall be with burning and fuel of fire" -- which is a figure of God's judgment. And then it is said, "Unto us a child is born." Christ is this child that was born; but when He comes back, it shall be said of Him, as in Isaiah 53, "we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

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What I refer to the passage now for is, the revelation it gives of the same fact of Christ's coming and being rejected; His waiting upon the Lord that hides His face from the house of Jacob; and of the fact that at last He goes forth in glorious power, in this terrible battle of God's judgment, "In righteousness doth he judge and make war." And then it is said, "unto us a child is born, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the mighty God," and the like, and He sits upon the throne of David to give peace upon the earth. All this comes after the time that He had been waiting. His waiting was consequent on His rejection, while God was hiding His face from the house of Jacob, as He is doing now. But that is not for ever. I refer to it that if possible our souls may get hold of the ways of God, the framework as it were of His plan: that is, that Christ comes, is rejected, and is caught up to God; and then He sits on His Father's throne, but He does not yet take to Him His great power and reign. Meanwhile the times of the Gentiles are running on. God hath hidden His face from the house of Jacob, and Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And, while that is going on, while there is that parenthesis in God's ways as regards the government of the world, Christ, having sent down the Holy Ghost, is gathering His joint-heirs to be associated with Him when He does take His great power.

Now let us turn to the accomplishment of this, as regards the church, that is, its being taken up to be associated with Christ; and then, if time permits, we shall turn to the other part, the accomplishment as regards the Jews. My object will be to shew that the resurrection of the saints is a thing, in nature, time, and character, entirely apart from, and (except in the fact of its being a resurrection) in every particular the opposite of, the resurrection of the wicked -- that the resurrection of the saints is a special favour of God, such as was manifested in Christ's own resurrection, because they are saved already, because they have got eternal life, because they are the delight of God, not as they are in themselves, but as they are in Christ -- that they are taken up and dealt with apart, by themselves, as not belonging to this world's government, except in so far as they are kings of it; whereas the wicked (while it is quite true that they are raised, for Christ will raise everybody) are raised, not however, because they are the delight of God, but because the contrary is the case -- not because they have life in Christ, for they have not -- but they are raised for judgment, which is nothing but condemnation. This is another part of the subject and a very solemn part of it, which I cannot dwell upon now, that the judgment of the nations and of the earth is for condemnation.

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I purpose now to go through all the passages which speak of the resurrection, and to shew you that the resurrection of the saints is an entirely distinct thing in nature, time, character, and everything else -- that it is the consequence of redemption, so that now we can look for it, because we are saved -- that it will happen when Christ comes, whereas, when the wicked are raised, Christ will not come at all; but that when He comes He will raise the saints, and the saints only, to be with Him in blessedness and glory. Mark, beloved friends, how solemn and practical this is for all of us -- that the distinction is so clearly made, that, where the life of Christ is, where we have a part in the redemption of Christ, when Christ comes, He will take us up into glory with Himself -- that we who are redeemed and have eternal life shall appear with Him in glory; whereas, where there is not repentance and a receiving of Christ into the heart, this will not be the case; but when the time comes, those who are in that condition will be raised solely for judgment, and that while all are to appear before Christ, wherever a person has to do with judgment, he is infallibly condemned.

Hence you find the words which are familiar to all of you, "Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight shall no flesh living be justified." Beloved friends, you can feel how important this is. It applies the subject we are now considering directly to the state of our souls. There is no judgment without condemnation. No man with whom God enters into judgment can be saved; for sentence has been pronounced already, as plainly as God can pronounce it -- "There is none righteous, no, not one." I do not know what the great white throne can say plainer than that. Such is the declaration which is brought home to our hearts; but before the day of judgment which shall execute the wrath, the wrath to come, Christ comes to deliver us from it, and wherever He is received into the heart we are delivered from it, and are placed with Himself -- He is our righteousness, our life, everything.

Before referring to the passages which speak of the resurrection, I will only add in passing that in the very nature of things the judgment of God can never be anything else than condemnation. I speak of the judgment upon men, not the rebel angels, although it is true of them also. We have made a judge of God -- and how? By sin. God could not judge Adam, if he remained as God created him; for if He judged the thing that He created, He would be judging Himself. He could not judge him unless he sinned. Suppose I made this desk, and I began to judge it, I should be judging myself, the workman who made it. God made Adam such as he was, and saw him to be very good; and while Adam remained such, God could not judge him. What brought him into judgment was, that Adam left God, listened to the devil, and turned to sin. What then can judgment be but condemnation? God may save us out of it through Christ -- that is another thing; but our prayer must be "Enter not into judgment with us, for there is none righteous, no, not one."

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Now the resurrection of the saints is the fruit and final power of Christ's deliverance; whereas the other resurrection is the righteous execution of judgment against those who have hardened their necks against God's mercy in Christ, treasuring up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. First, then, as to the nature and character of the resurrection of the saints, turn to Romans 8: 11 -- "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you" -- that is, if you are Christians (for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His), "He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." This is not true of the wicked. The reasons why they and we, if we are saints, are raised, are totally different; for we are raised in virtue of the Holy Ghost dwelling in us -- that is, because we are saved and sealed by the Spirit of God already. There, then, we get the principle.

Now turn to John 5 and see how strongly it brings this out. It says nothing as to time, which is comparatively immaterial; but it is a most solemn and instructive passage with regard to the point we are considering. Christ says, at verse 21 -- "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." They both quicken; but the Father does not judge: all judgment is committed to the Son, "that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father" -- even the wicked themselves, they cannot help doing so. "He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life." You see that after He had said the Father and Son quicken, but judgment is given to the Son, He puts it to us which we are to have. Am I to be the subject of judgment? That is what He is asking us here.

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"He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life" (it is given to him), "and shall not come into condemnation" (the same word in the Greek as stands for judgment), "but is passed from death unto life." Christ has exercised His life-giving power, and is not going to deny it by bringing into judgment those upon whom it has been exercised. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live" -- by which, no doubt, is meant spiritual quickening. "For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" -- which is the same word ("judgment") again.

I do not want to insist on the word "damnation." It is damnation no doubt, but I do not insist upon that word, because the point all through is that it is 'judgment'; it is a resurrection of life, and a resurrection of judgment. How far they may be apart is another point, which has nothing to do with this fact, that there is a resurrection of life, and a resurrection of judgment. Where there has been spiritual quickening, where they have everlasting life, they shall not come into judgment, but have passed from death unto life; but then, if dead as to their bodies, they must be raised up to make that life complete, because they must have bodies in unison and in harmony with the state into which they enter. And on the other hand, they that have done evil shall come forth unto the resurrection of judgment.

It is said, "The hour is coming, in the which," etc.; but this is really nothing as to the two things being at the same time. It is no more than if I were to say, "the hour of Napoleon's greatness," meaning the period during which he was great, as contrasted with the period of his fall and littleness. So here, when it is said, "the hour is coming and now is," we know that it has already lasted since Christ spoke of it, for more than eighteen hundred years. The real intention of the expression is, to contrast the time of Christ's life with the time since; it is the same as saying there is a time for quickening and a time for judgment, and therefore a time for raising up. Here, then, are two distinct characters of Christ's power -- His giving life, and His executing judgment; those to whom life is given (gracious, spiritual life) have part in the resurrection of life; those to whom it is not given have part in the resurrection of judgment or condemnation.

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You thus have the great principle that is involved, and I now turn to other passages which illustrate other parts of the subject. In Luke 20 the Sadducees put the case that, according to the law of Moses, if a man, having a wife, died without children, his brother should take the wife; and they supposed the case of seven brothers marrying her, and asked whose wife should she be in the resurrection. It was a quibble they raised, tempting the Lord; and Jesus answered them, "The children of this world marry and are given in marriage. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead," etc. Now what is the meaning of this -- "accounted worthy to obtain the resurrection from the dead?" You see it is accounted a special favour. If you only get the resurrection from the dead, you will be "equal unto the angels." It cannot be meant that, if people are raised to be condemned, they are equal to the angels. But it is said, If you get the resurrection, you will be equal to the angels -- "And are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." It is quite impossible that this can be said of those who are raised only to condemnation.

Again if you turn to 1 Corinthians 15, you will find that nothing can be more plainly set forth than this is. At verse 22 it is said, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order." Then we get the order of the resurrection, and this is just what we want. Let us see then if it is to be a common thing, in which all classes are to go up together. "Every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." Nothing can be more plain. "Then cometh the end." There comes another time when others shall be raised, but it is they who are Christ's at His coming.

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And what I affirm is, that not merely can this be proved from Scripture, but that there never is the slightest appearance of anything else -- that this fact I am speaking about is linked up with the very foundation truths of redemption. Many have redemption who do not see it -- I admit this fully; but nevertheless it is the effect of redemption, and you can see the light that is thus thrown on the fact of my not coming into judgment, because I have passed from death unto life, as stated in John 5, and what the church has lost by losing sight of that.

Again, in Philippians 3, the apostle speaks of it as his own hope, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection" -- that is a present thing you see -- "and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." Now what is it to which so much importance is attached, that the apostle desires to be made like Christ, if by any means he may attain something very special -- the resurrection of the dead? When the apostle uses such language, is it possible that all, both the wicked and the righteous, should be jostled up together in the resurrection, leaving it to be found out afterwards which are the righteous and which are the wicked? The truth is, it is a word used by the apostle in a new sense, in which it is not used in classical Greek, to express a being raised up from among the dead, on purpose to distinguish the raising of the saints from out of or among the dead, from the raising of the wicked.

I do not like to deal in critical points, but the fact is that in a number of passages the power is lost, because the word is translated "resurrection of the dead," instead of "resurrection from among the dead." This was the character of Christ's resurrection, when He was declared to be the Son of God with power by being raised from among the dead. And we shall be like Christ, in that He will raise us up from among the dead, because we have got the Spirit of Christ, and life from Christ.

The reason why I dwell on this is, because it goes right to the root of the question of our redemption. Nothing can be so absurd -- forgive me for saying so -- than the idea of what is called the general judgment. Not that we shall not all appear before Christ -- this of course is true. Take Paul himself. He has been in heaven one thousand eight hundred years, absent from the body and present with the Lord; are you going to judge him after that? He is in heaven because he was entitled to go there; and to speak of judgment after that is absurd on the face of it. To do so only shews that the church of God, even true saints, have lost the sense of being redeemed already. If Christ's dying has put away my sins, and given me a place with Himself; if, having received the Holy Ghost, I am joined to the Lord as one spirit; am I, thus joined to Christ, still to be judged? To say so is to forget the true place which we hold.

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I turn now to the proof of this. Look back for a moment to 1 Corinthians 15, where, having got the order, to shew further how entirely and distinctly it is saints and none else who are raised, we find, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory." How can you apply that to a general resurrection? "Raised in glory" -- can you apply that to the wicked? It is impossible to read one sentence about the resurrection without seeing -- not that the others will not be raised, but -- that it is distinctly and definitely the resurrection of the saints that is spoken of, because they are redeemed and have life in Christ.

Take again 1 Thessalonians 4 which we quoted another evening with reference to the Lord's coming, and now with reference to which we have already seen, that it is "they who are Christ's at his coming." At verse 16 it is said, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first" -- and no one else. This is the plain language uniformly held. It is indeed the capital truth of the New Testament, that as Christ, by resurrection from the dead was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, so we through grace are (not like Christ in Person but by adoption) also declared to be the sons of God, by attaining, when the time comes, the resurrection of the body.

The only point that I refer to the Revelation for is, that there will be a thousand years between the two resurrections. But, whether it be a thousand years or a thousand days, the point which I feel it to be important to insist upon is, that they are two totally distinct things -- that the resurrection of the saints is God's taking those He delights in, who are already redeemed and quickened by the Spirit, because His Spirit dwells in them His taking them to be with Christ in glory; whereas the other, whether a thousand days or a thousand years after, is the resurrection to judgment -- quite a different thing.

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There is one passage more I will refer you to, in order to shew how the same truth is everywhere affirmed -- to John 14. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." That is the way in which Christ takes us up. He will take us up to be with Himself at His coming. He comes again, and receives us to Himself, that where He is, there we may be also.

There is one passage which people quote to prove the erroneous notion about a general resurrection. They cannot apply to that purpose any of the passages which speak of the resurrection; but they quote Matthew 25 where the division between the sheep and the goats is spoken of. Now there is not a single syllable there about the resurrection. In chapter 24 our Lord has been speaking of the dealings with the Jewish people until Christ comes. Afterwards, in three parables, He describes His dealings with the saints; and then lastly He describes His dealings with the nations; and then He speaks of the time when He comes in His glory to sit upon the throne of His glory, and to gather all nations -- the Gentiles, if you please, for it is the same word -- before Him to judge them. And this is the judgment, whose existence people have strangely forgotten -- that there is a judgment of the quick as well as of the dead -- a judgment of the living (and a terrible judgment it is too).

I now refer to the passage which speaks of the thousand years. I went over the other passage first, because people are apt to think that this "first resurrection" is merely the explanation of some symbolical ideas which we find in the Revelation; but, as I have shewn you, there is no passage in Scripture referring to the resurrection, which does not shew that there is a first resurrection of the saints. Turn, then, now to Revelation 20.

But remark, that in the preceding chapters you find that Babylon has been destroyed -- she in whom "was found the blood of prophets and of saints." Then you have the judgment of the wicked on the earth, which I do not enter into now; and then the marriage of the saints and the Lamb, and their coming with Him when He comes to destroy the beast. "The armies which were in heaven followed him." Whenever Christ comes, His heavenly saints will come along with Him, as it is said, "the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee"; and "the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints"; and "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory." Here, in Revelation, they are seen in figurative language, coming forth, clothed in white garments, which is the righteousnesses of the saints. I refer to this merely to shew the place they hold. Then Christ comes forth as King of kings, and Lord of lords, with His saints, and the beast and false prophet are taken and destroyed.

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Then Satan is bound, and then John says, "I saw thrones, and they 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." There we find the saints, those to whom judgment is given, and not only so but who execute judgment, sitting on thrones, and reigning 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." Mark how the whole statement shews the perfect absurdity -- and it is a sad and solemn thing, the influence which this delusion exercises on people's minds -- the perfect absurdity of what is called the spiritual millennium. Not that the Holy Ghost will not be there, for He will; but you see now, before all this, the marriage of the Lamb is come with the church, the bride of Christ; the whole as regards the church is complete; and Christ comes forth to execute judgment on the beast and the false prophet, accompanied by the armies of the saints, the bride having made herself ready, and the marriage of the Lamb having taken place before that.

And yet people are looking for the millennium as a state of the church down here! I admit that it is presented in a figure; but this is certain, that if the bride is gone up, and the marriage of the Lamb is come, it is not the state of the church down here that is meant. For we read also that Satan is to be bound then; whereas the character given to us while down here is that we are to overcome Satan. "Satan will be bruised under your feet shortly." Our place here is that we have to wrestle, not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual wickedness in heavenly places; whereas when the Lamb comes out with His saints, Satan is bound, and then begins the period of a thousand years.

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I wish to refer you to the connection of the passage in 1 Corinthians 15 with Isaiah 25, because the connection of these two things -- the resurrection of the saints, and the restoration of Israel -- will thereby be strongly brought out The apostle says that "when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." If you turn to Isaiah 25, you will see that this takes place at the time which we call the millennium, when, the Jews being restored to their place on the earth, there is that era of blessedness among the nations which is commonly called the millennium. It is there said, "Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud; the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low. And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory." That is at the time the resurrection takes place; for it is said in Corinthians, "Then shall come to pass the saying which is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." And thus it appears that the time when the resurrection takes place is the time when the Lord restores Israel, when He establishes Israel's place in Zion, and takes away the veil from off the face of all nations.

It is said, "Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." This is the condition of the earth when this time of which I am speaking comes -- "They shall labour in the very fire and shall weary themselves for very vanity." Again, it is said, "Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them." We thus see that, though favour is shewn to the wicked, they will not learn righteousness. But "when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

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I am adding these few texts to shew that the millennium is not spiritual in the sense in which it is often understood. Whenever God speaks of the earth being full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, and the like, it is always in connection with judgment. You find this in Numbers, when God said He would destroy Israel, that in connection with that it is written "All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord"; and you find the same thing in the passage from Habakkuk, which I have quoted. You never find the idea presented of the gospel going forth and bringing all nations under its influence. In Romans 11 the apostle puts it in this way, "For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved." That is, he treats that expectation of the church not being cut off, as being wise in their own conceit.

Again, in another passage it is declared that what gathers together to battle the kings of the earth and of the whole world will be three unclean spirits that come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. I do not now go into the details of that; but this must be evident to you, that when it is stated that these three unclean spirits go forth to gather the earth and the whole world to the battle of that great day of God Almighty, it cannot be the gathering of the saints that is spoken of -- it is a gathering of the powers of Satan.

I have now gone through all the passages in the New Testament, which, so far as I am aware, speak of the resurrection; and I think it must be as plain to you as anything could possibly be, that all those passages shew very distinctly that the resurrection of the saints is an entirely distinct thing from the resurrection of the wicked, being founded on their redemption and their having received life from Christ, the power of which is shewn by the resurrection of their bodies; that that resurrection of life is definitely distinguished from the resurrection of judgment by a thousand years elapsing between the two; and that, while the first is the fruit of redemption, the other is the fruit of the rejection of redemption.

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Time will not allow me to enter on the subject of the restoration of the Jews. But let me just return, in a few words of application, to these solemn truths, that, before judgment comes, Christ has come to save; that, if He entered into judgment, nobody could be saved; that, whenever He enters into judgment, no flesh living can be justified, because there is none righteous, no, not one; but that, because this is true, the Lord has sent a perfect salvation in order that we might escape the judgment -- a salvation that delivers us from the wrath to come; that there is wrath coming, but that there is deliverance from it; and that when God interferes in this way to deliver us from that wrath to come, He does not merely save us from wrath, but gives us a place with His own Son. Thus not merely are our sins forgiven, but we are united to Christ by the one Spirit, Christ being the Firstborn among many brethren, who are the members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones; so that He nourisheth the church as a man nourisheth and cherisheth His own flesh, and prays, "Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am"; so that when He appears, we also shall appear with Him; and if He is the Judge, the saints too shall sit with Him on thrones, and judgment shall be given to them; for, says the apostle, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?"

Now is that the thought, beloved friends, which you have of redemption? Have your souls believed that this world is a condemned world? I know that the world will not bear this, but it must bear, when it rises to judgment, to hear that it is a condemned world. Individual souls are tried, but it is not true that the world is in a state of probation. Christ came to seek and to save that which is lost; and a man that is lost is not in a state of probation. When we are judged, we are judged of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. That is all a settled thing with the world.

How do your hearts take this up, that all this busy scene, in the midst of which you live, is a condemned world; that this is the world which said, "This is the heir, come, let us kill him"; that this world has rejected Christ, and that Christ has said, "Now is the judgment of this world"? He says, "The world seeth me no more"; and "when the Comforter is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment -- of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more," etc.

265 But, because the world is thus condemned, there is offered to us redemption, a new life, a Second Adam instead of the first; and all the promises of God are in Him. There are no promises to men; but all the promises of God in Him are Yea, and in Him, Amen. When Adam sinned, the promise was not given to Adam -- there was no promise given to Adam -- it was to the Seed of the woman, that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. That is, the promise was given to the Second Adam, not to the first. And then, in Christ, we have not merely forgiveness, but glory. We are one with Christ, the bride of Christ, and have our place, not according to the demerits of the first Adam, but according to the merits of the Second Adam. Do you take hold of that blessed truth? The Lord give you to feel more deeply than you have ever felt before what it is to be in a world which has rejected the Lord; and then to know, with joyful hearts, that you yourselves have bowed and received Him as your Saviour, who in unspeakable love suffered and died for us.

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Of the two great subjects, besides our individual salvation, of which the Scriptures treat, as already stated (namely, the church and the government of the world), the latter leads us at once to the Jewish as its centre, as the church is of the heavenly glory under Christ; under whom as their head all things in heaven and earth are to be gathered together in one. That government will extend over the whole earth, but the royal nation and seat and centre of government will be the Jewish people. To Jerusalem, as the centre alike of worship and government, all nations will flow. So it was ordained from the beginning, as we learn from this remarkable passage, "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance," Deuteronomy 32: 8, 9.

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The difficulty we have to meet in men's minds on this point is this: that that people having been set aside for their sins -- first, idolatry, secondly, the rejection of the Lord Jesus -- and the church and kingdom of heaven having been established, it is supposed they will not be restored, but merge in the profession of Christianity. But this sets aside alike the prophecies of the Old and the declarations of the New Testament.

I will refer to this last first, as correcting this very mistake; and this will make way for the direct and positive testimonies of the Old which concern this people of God's election. In Romans 11 this question is treated: "I say then," is the question with which it begins, "Hath God cast away his people? God forbid ... . God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew." Then the case is put of their rejection, and the apostle argues that the casting of them away was the reconciling of the world, and proceeds, "for if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead? ... And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree, boast not against the branches: but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree," etc.

Then he warns the Gentile Christians against the very notion to which I refer, assuring them that they are in danger of being cut off in their turn, as we shall see more fully when we treat that subject. In verse 25 he adds, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, ... that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." They are partially set aside till the church be called, and then a deliverer, Christ, shall, after all the church is brought in, come out of Sion and turn away their ungodliness. This is not by the gospel as now preached, for he adds, "As concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sakes," the Gentiles being thus let in; "but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Here we have God's ways towards them clearly set forth: partial blindness for a time, during which the church, the fulness of the Gentiles, is called; when that is closed, their Deliverer comes out of Sion. Our gospel is not the means: they are as a nation enemies as respects that; but they have not ceased to be beloved for the fathers' sakes. That is a matter of God's election, and as to His gifts and dealings He does not change His mind.+

+Verse 31 should be translated, "even so these have now not believed in your mercy that they might be objects of mercy" The Gentiles clearly were, but the Jews had promises; but, having rejected the grace of the gospel, they became objects of mere mercy like the Gentiles. This calls forth the apostle's admiration of God's ways.

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Thus it is certain that God maintains His purpose as to them as a people, and that it is not by the gospel as now preached they will be called in. As to that they are enemies. So the Lord at the close of Matthew 24, when declaring the judgment coming upon them, says, their house should be desolate till they say, accomplishing Psalm 118, "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord." And He carries on their history till His coming again, consequent on which He will gather together the elect among them from the four winds; nor should they cease to subsist as a distinct class till all was fulfilled. Compare Deuteronomy 32: 5-20. Then the Lord gives His ways with His servants meanwhile, and afterwards with the Gentile nations when He returns.

Thus we learn distinctly the teaching of the New Testament, of the Lord, and the apostle, as to the plan and ways of God in respect of His ancient and elect people. If we compare Deuteronomy 32: 26, 27, and what follows, we shall find this abundantly confirmed. In the end the Lord will judge His people, and repent Himself concerning His servants, and the nations will be called to rejoice with them,+ and Jehovah will be merciful to His land and to His people.

+The apostle Paul quotes this to prove as a principle that God will bless the Gentiles. But the accomplishment is clearly yet to come. The smallest attention to the passage makes this clear.

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I may now turn to the direct declarations of the prophets, which leave no shadow of doubt on their restoration and blessing; and that as a people, with Jerusalem for the centre of their dominion and glory. That these prophecies have never been accomplished the passages themselves will prove; but there are certain general considerations that affect this question, which I will here notice. That Israel as a people were not brought into their promised blessings when Christ first came, is evident. It was the time of their casting away, and the grafting in of the Gentiles -- the reconciling the world; and their receiving again is set in contrast with it. Jerusalem was destroyed, not rebuilt; the people scattered, not gathered.

Their restoration after the Babylonish captivity is sometimes alleged to be the fulfilment of these promises; but it was far indeed from accomplishing them. Their blessings are to be under the new covenant; but the new covenant was not established then. They are to be under Messiah, but Messiah was not then. The Jews were still in captivity, so that Nehemiah speaks thus: "Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it. And it yieldeth much increase to the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins. Also they have dominion over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress."

Further, when Christianity was introduced, not only was Jerusalem destroyed in judgment, but the Gentiles were in full glory and triumph. When the Jews are re-established according to prophecy, they are judged and brought under.

I will now quote the prophecies which predict this establishment of the people. You will see its connection with Christ, with the judgment of the Gentiles, with the new covenant, and even with the resurrection. It will be the sparing of a remnant, in the first instance, which will become a great nation. I first quote Isaiah, who furnishes us with some very remarkable prophecies on this subject. After describing the universal evil and the judgment of this nation, he closes his introductory prophecy thus, "In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain," chapter 4: 2-6.

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Thus the glory will be restored to Zion when the Lord shall have purged away her guilt by judgment. Two causes of judgment are there stated: the unfaithfulness of Israel to her first calling; and their unfitness to meet the glory of the Lord when He appears. In this last (chapter 6) that judgment which the Lord recalls is pronounced, "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." The prophet then enquires, "How long?" The answer is, "Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land." Then it is added, "But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they have cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof." Nothing could more strikingly depict the long winter of Israel's desolation; but here God would in the remnant give a principle of restoration and blessing, as Paul shews in Romans 11.

This point is more historically prophesied of in Isaiah 8 and 9, where the rejection of Christ is definitely spoken of, verses 14-18; and His manifestation in glory in favour of Israel, yet in judgment, in chapter 9: 5-7.+ Chapters 11 and 12, the closing ones of this series, largely declare the restoration of Israel, terminating thus, chapter 12: 6: "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."

+Verse 3 should be read "Thou hast multiplied the nation, hast increased its joy; they joy, etc."

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In chapters 24 and 25, which form the close of the next series of prophecies, the testimony of God is carried on to the utter desolation of the earth. "The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, ... and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fail and not rise again"; that is, it is its definite and final judgment as the earth of man's power. It is added, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth ... . Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." Here, therefore, again we find judgment on the earth, and the Jewish people brought to the enjoyment of Jehovah's presence and blessing. But there is more than this. In chapter 25 universal blessing comes on the Gentiles then: "And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations." At this time also it is that the resurrection takes place, verse 8: "He will swallow up death in victory: and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces: and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." In the mountain of Zion is the awaited blessing and power that sets aside all that is hostile. In chapter 26 all is celebrated in a prophetic song. In chapter 27 Satan's power is destroyed, and God's dealings with Israel reviewed.

In taking up these closing chapters of the two series of prophecies (chapters 5-12 and 24-27), the first, God's dealings with Israel as in the land, the second with the Gentiles, I have passed over a remarkable chapter in the midst of the Gentile series, to which I must now return, chapter 18, difficult in expression, but very plain in its purpose. Messengers are sent by a mighty protecting power to a nation scattered and feeble -- a nation wonderful from the beginning. The Lord summons all the inhabitants of the world to attend. He holds Himself aloof in His dwelling. The Jews come back, looking for full national blessing in a carnal way; just as it seemed blooming they are cut down again, and the beasts of the field, the Gentiles, summer and winter on them. Still at that time a present is brought of this people to the Lord, and then from them to Him in the mount of Zion. We learn thus their return by some political movement, their subsequent desolation in their land; yet they are brought to the Lord, and they themselves bring their offering to Jehovah in Zion.

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You will find in chapter 29, and remarkably in chapter 32, and largely in chapters 34 and 35, the Spirit's testimony to the final restoration of Israel. You may compare chapters 54, 62, 65, and 66 for enlarged testimonies of the restoration of Jerusalem in the glory. The prophecies of Isaiah have the character of a general revelation of the ways of God, having the Jews for their centre, including their guilt in separating from Jehovah, and in rejecting Christ; Babylon, their scourge when disowned, and the Assyrian when they were owned.

But Jeremiah lived when the house of David had completed its guilt, and Jerusalem was about to be given up to the captivity of Babylon. Hence, while pleading with them as to their sins, he enters into specific detail as to the restoration of the Jews and Jerusalem, announcing (as the other prophets) the judgment of the haughty Gentiles. To his prophecies I will now return. The whole of the chapters from 30 to 34 are worthy of your fullest attention. I can only quote the most striking passages.

In chapter 30 the prophet speaks of that day of Jacob's trouble which there is none like, of which the Lord speaks in Matthew 24, but declares he shall be delivered out of it -- a declaration which, as we know, was not accomplished at the first destruction of Jerusalem by Titus; and he adds that in that day the Lord of hosts would break the yoke from off his neck, and strangers should no more serve themselves of him, takes notice of the utter desolation of Jerusalem, but declares He would bring back the captivity, and the city should be built on its own heap, and the palace remain after the manner thereof; and then announces the utter judgment of the wicked when Israel should be His people: it would be in the latter days.

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Both families (chapter 31) should be His people. This shews at once it was not the restoration from Babylon merely. It is declared that His love is an everlasting love. Jacob was redeemed (verse 11); they would come and sing in the height of Zion. This is declared (verse 31) to be founded in establishing the new covenant, and the chapter closes with these remarkable words: "Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name: if those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse-gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the Lord; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever."

In chapter 32 Jeremiah is commanded to redeem land at Anathoth; and the chapter closes thus: The Lord declares, He will gather them and they will be His people, and He will be their God. "And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart, and with my whole soul. For thus saith the Lord, Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.' And, returning to the occasion of the prophecy, "Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth; for the right of redemption is thine to buy it. So Hanameel, mine uncle's son, came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. And I bought the field of Hanameel, my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver." The promises are renewed in chapter 33, and God declares David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel. "If ye can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night, and 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. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured; so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying, Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. Thus saith the Lord, If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them."

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Nothing can be more positive than these promises. The Lord takes the ground of His unchangeable faithfulness, refers to all the evil man has been guilty of, and declares He will not cast him off for it, but put the law in his heart, gives local details as to the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and says that as He had pulled down and destroyed them He would build them up again; so that it is impossible to apply it to any others.

We get details as to their restoration, which passing on to Ezekiel leads us to. In chapter 20 of that prophet we are told that, as regards the ten tribes, they will be brought out of the countries, and as in the days of leaving Egypt the rebels fell in the wilderness, so now they would pass under the rod like a flock told by the shepherd, and the rebels would not enter into the land (verse 34-38). This is not so with the two tribes: they will return in unbelief, a remnant only being faithful; Daniel's 'wise ones,' and two thirds will be cut off in the land and the third part pass through the fire and be refined as silver is refined. See Zechariah 13: 8, 9.

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But I must quote some other passages of Ezekiel. In chapter 34 God judges the shepherds. He there declares He will take the flock into His own care (verse 11-22) He then, in verse 23, passes on in unsymbolical language to say what He will do in the latter days. "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God."

In chapter 36 we have the well known passage in which being born again is declared to be the work which God will accomplish in them that they may enjoy their land before Him. "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses; and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen." Then the heathen would know that this restoration was Jehovah's doing. This last point, which we find more than once in Ezekiel, is an important element in the re-establishment of Israel, and (like the others, and especially their occurrence at the same time) has never yet been fulfilled.

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In chapter 37 we see a further point insisted on. The dry bones of Israel would be clothed with flesh, and the people brought to life again, and placed (verse 14) in their own land. But when this takes place in the last days, the long separated ten tribes will be reunited to Judah, and have one head, never to be divided again (verse 19, 20). David (the beloved), that is, "Christ," is to be king over them; God's tabernacle will be amongst them; He, Jehovah will be their God and they His people; and the heathen will know that Jehovah sanctifies Israel when His sanctuary is in the midst of them for evermore. This dwelling of Jehovah in their midst has never been, if not by the presence of Christ whom they rejected, since the Babylonish captivity.

Ezekiel wholly passes over the times of the Gentiles, and introduces Jehovah again in their midst in the land. Connected with this is the account of the inroad of Gog, in the two following chapters. When restored to the land, and appearing outwardly to be restored to blessing, Gog comes up against them; God pleads against him and sanctifies Himself in this judgment. Gog falls on the mountains of Israel, and God makes His holy name known in the midst of Israel; He allows them no more to pollute His name: and the heathen shall know that He, Jehovah, is the Holy One in Israel. "Behold," it is added in remarkable language, "it is come and it is done, saith the Lord God. This is the day whereof I have spoken." The prophecy is closed by these words: "Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen, but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God," Ezekiel 39.

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Thus the revelation of the full restoration of Israel in both parts of the divided kingdom, reunited in one under Christ, and of the new covenant -- connected with the judgment of the heathen, and their learning that Jehovah is in the midst of Israel, Jerusalem being rebuilt and glorified, as in Isaiah 40 -- is made as plain as words can well make it. I will confirm this, however, by some remarkable testimonies of the minor prophets.

Turn to Hosea 3: 4, 5, "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days." You will remark that the blessing of Jehovah and the often mentioned David are spoken of in the latter days; meanwhile, they have not the true God, and they have not false gods -- no sacrifice, but no image either. Thus they abide many days, and thus have abode. In the latter days it shall be otherwise.

In Joel 3 we have again the judgment of the Gentiles summoned to awake up and come to the great day of God to the valley of Jehoshaphat (the judgment of God). There, says Jehovah, will I sit to judge all the heathen round about, and the harvest, separating judgment, and the vintage, judgment of pure vengeance, arrive. Of the Jews it is said (verse 20, 21), "But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation, for I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed, for the Lord dwelleth in Zion."

See Amos 9: 14, 15;. Here we get what has clearly never yet been fulfilled, while it applies to temporal blessing in the land: "They shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." It is here a question, which is not one for faith, whether God's word will be fulfilled.

In Micah we have a beautiful description of what Israel will be in the world in that day under Christ. They will not be added to the church one by one, and merged as blessed in it; they will be gathered as Israel; chapter 5: 3. Then Christ will be their strength against the Assyrian their foe, when owned in the land. Then they become as dew in the world, the freely flowing blessing of God, but as a lion among the beasts of the forest to all that oppose them and the counsels of God in them (verse 8), while all evil is purged out from them and the heathen judged, as we have never seen (verse 9-15).

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In Zephaniah 3 we have another passage full of instruction as to the Lord's ways with this people. First, Jehovah's long and gracious, but useless, patience (verse 7). So the godly ones had to wait till judgment came on the nations, would subdue them, and bring in blessing. In Israel there would be a poor and afflicted and sanctified remnant (verse 12, 13), but peace should be their portion. Then Zion, Israel, and Jerusalem are called to rejoice with all their heart; Jehovah was in their midst: they would not see evil any more. God would rest in His love -- the blessing so great that His love would be satisfied and in repose. Blessed thought! still more blessedly true of us when Jesus shall see the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. Then all that afflict Israel will be undone, and the people made a praise among all peoples of the earth (verse 14-20).

In Zechariah, the whole of chapter 10 describes the restoration of Israel in the latter days, speaking of each division of the people, Judah and Ephraim; then chapter 11 tells of Christ's rejection; and in chapter 12 all the nations gathered against Jerusalem are judged, and she becomes a burdensome stone for them (so that it has no application to past events), and there is a detailed account of how Jehovah will save the people: "In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah." Then there is the mourning over Christ's rejection, and they look on Him whom they have pierced. They are sifted (chapter 13: 9), and two thirds cut off, and the third part pass through the fire. The last chapter (14) closes this striking history with full details of what shall take place. The Lord comes. His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives. At evening time, when men would expect darkness, it will be light. Living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem. Jehovah shall be King over all the earth; He alone shall be owned. Jerusalem shall be inhabited in her place; there shall be no more utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

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The testimonies I have cited are amply sufficient to shew, to every one who receives the testimony of God's word as true, the certainty of the restoration of Israel to their own land to be blessed under Christ and the new covenant. The circumstances of the return of Israel and Judah are distinguished. Of the former, the rebels are cut off outside the land, which they never enter; of the latter, in the land: the residue of these last passing through the fire. This involves the history of Antichrist and the Gentiles, which will be spoken of when the prophecies as to them are considered. But Israel and Judah are united under one head. Further, in the series of events which usher in the blessing, the Gentiles are gathered against Israel and are judged, and afterwards blessed in connection with, and subordinate to, that people. Jehovah is King over all the earth. It is noticed, too, that these events take place at the epoch at which the resurrection does. Peace reigns, and the curse is removed: Jerusalem is never defiled any more, nor does Israel lose its blessing.

Such is the establishment of the divine government of the world at the close. Of this government Israel is the centre, according to the fixed purpose and unchangeable calling of God. They reject now the gospel, but are beloved for the fathers' sake: they will believe when they see. We have brighter blessings, because we believe without seeing; and this is one thing which renders the understanding of the prophecies, as to the Jews, important. Not only is it precious to us as a part of Christ's glory, but our clear apprehension of the application of prophecy to them hinders our misapplying it to the church. T his takes its own heavenly character. It is witness of sovereign grace, giving it a place with Christ where no promise was; Israel, the testimony to God's faithfulness to His promises -- Jehovah, who was and is to come. Israel will, indeed, be the royal people, the centre of Christ's earthly power and dominion, but they will be reigned over. We, by pure grace, shall reign with Him, suffering first with Him. The church has its place with Him, Israel its own blessing under Him according to His promises of old.

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The part of the subject which will occupy us this evening, beloved friends, in treating of the coming again of our beloved Lord, is the sorrowful side of it. What we had before us in the previous lectures was the blessings and joys of the saints, founded on the sure promise of Christ Himself that He would come again; and we found that their looking for the fulfilment of that promise was connected with their every thought and action. But it is of the greatest importance that we should look at this sorrowful side as well as the other, that man may see the consequence and effect of his responsibility.

The coming of Christ has a double aspect. As regards the professing church, and the world at large too, Scripture speaks of His appearing; because then it is that the result of their responsibility is manifested. As regards the body of Christ, it speaks of His coming, and our taking up to Himself. It is one thing to own the church as a responsible body in the world -- another thing to look at it as one with Him. When we turn to that which has been set by God as a system down here, and see the failure of it, it is to be judged in respect of that failure as every system set up by God has been (each having been first established on the footing of man's responsibility).

There is never anything else but failure exhibited in man. Look all through the Scripture, where we have man's history from the very beginning of creation, and we find nothing but failure. Adam most signally failed in what God had entrusted him with. And then when law was given, even before Moses came down from the mount, man had made the golden calf to worship it. So when Aaron and his sons were consecrated, on the eighth day -- the first day of their service -- they offered strange fire; and, as a consequence, the free and constant entrance of Aaron into the holy place was stopped. Solomon, the son of David, was given glory and riches by God, but his heart was turned from Him by strange wives, and he fell into idolatry, and the kingdom was divided. God trusts Nebuchadnezzar with power, and he is the head of gold among the Gentiles: he gets into pride, and throws the saints into the fire; he loses his reason and senses for seven years (a figure of the Gentile empires), and eats grass like an ox. So with everything. So it is with the church, and man cannot mend it. Grievous wolves, says Paul, will come in after my decease; and there will be a falling away, and then Antichrist be fully revealed. The church itself as a system, trusted to man's responsibility, has been all a failure.

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All was set up in the first Adam, who has failed. All will be made good in the second Man, who is perfect, and has overcome. But it is hard to get saints to lay hold of the entirely new position in which all is set by redemption, and by the resurrection of Christ. The first Adam failed, and was cast out; the last Adam, perfect, is come into a better paradise. So of everything. In the same way, law, which man broke will be written on his heart. Christ will be the true Son of David. Christ will rise to reign over the Gentiles. So, as the church has failed, He will yet be glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe. In each position in which God has tried man, what Scripture teaches us is, that man has failed in his responsibility, and that God's plans will go on in His patient mercy till all is fulfilled in Christ.

If we now turn to this responsibility, we shall find there are two subjects before us as engaged in it; the professing church is one; power in the earth, shewn in the beasts, is the other. Both are found corrupt, or at open enmity with God that which is called the church will be utterly rejected of God -- spued out. The thing which Scripture teaches us is, not that we shall fill the world with blessing, but entirely the contrary The evil introduced by Satan, where Christianity had been planted, will never be remedied until the harvest. Such a thought is humbling, but gives no ground for discouragement, for Christ is ever faithful. It is the occasion, dear friends, for those who have the grace of God to walk more in accordance with it. But it is a solemn thing, if what we have to look forward to is the cutting off of the professing church.

Geographically speaking, Christianity was more widely spread in the sixth century than now; the world as then known was more acquainted with the gospel than it is now. Whatever man may say about progress and the like, a great part of what was then the Christian world had heard of Christ, but is now overrun by Mohammedanism or Popery; and, where that is not so, how far have infidelity and Puseyism prevailed! But it is this very thing that calls for earnestness in those who have the Spirit of God. He is surely working very specially in these days; and in the tide of evil we have the strongest possible motive for energy and activity. It is always right, but the inroad of evil specially calls for it, as in the days of Noah, in the sense of approaching judgment. The false idea of converting the world may give a stimulus for a time, but it destroys the solemn sense of what God is, and enfeebles the authority of God's word, which gives no such hope. When it is gradually found, too, that evil is growing up, and that the world is not converted, the reaction tends to subvert the faith, and cast into infidelity.

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The evil which works now was declared from the beginning, and will continue its course (such is the declaration of Scripture) till God interferes -- will not be remedied until the harvest. Such is the clear teaching of the parable I have read to you (verse 24-30). It is a similitude of the kingdom of heaven.

People very often take the kingdom of heaven as if it were the same thing as the church of God; but this is in no way the case, though those who compose the church are in the kingdom. Supposing for a moment that Christ had not been rejected, the kingdom would have been set up on earth. It could not be so, no doubt, but it shews the difference between the kingdom and the church. As it was, the kingdom of God was there in the Person of Christ, the King. Only as He was on earth, it was not the kingdom of heaven. But Christ being rejected, He could not take it outwardly then, but ascended on high. Thus the sphere of the rule of Christ is in heaven. The heavens rule, and the kingdom is always the kingdom of heaven, because the King is in heaven; only at the end it will be subdivided, so to speak, into the kingdom of our Father, the heavenly part; and the kingdom of the Son of man, the earthly part. If we understand the kingdom of heaven as the rule of Christ when the King is in heaven, it is very simple. If Christ had set up a kingdom when He was with the Jews, it would not have been the kingdom of heaven, because He was not in heaven. Hence, it is said, "the kingdom of God is among you," but "the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The gospel is the only means we have of gathering souls into the kingdom, and such are properly the children of the kingdom; but, within its limits, Satan works and sows tares, and they are in the kingdom. Take Popery, Mohammedanism, all manner of heretics: these are tares which have been sown where the good seed had been. Church means, or is rather, simply an assembly -- an idea which has nothing to do with the thought of a kingdom. The parable I did not read, where we have Christ sowing the good seed, is not a similitude of the kingdom of heaven. A kingdom is a sphere where one rules as king. Christ is simply there sowing the word in men's hearts. It does not describe the kingdom of heaven, nor even the kingdom begun by the King being on earth; it is individual in its character.

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The moment He comes to this and the two following parables, we have a similitude of the kingdom of heaven. They describe the outward result in this world of the fact of Christ the King's being in heaven. You will remark that these are spoken to the multitude; the last three, and the explanation of the tares and wheat, to the disciples, shewing the mind and purpose of God -- what divine intelligence knows and does, not mere public result in the world. The tares and wheat shew the outward result, in the world, of the gospel. In the next, it becomes a great tree -- a great tree, in Scripture, signifying great power. That is what Christianity became in the world from a little seed -- a great political power, like the kingdoms of the world. The next shews it as a doctrine pervading a mass of measured extent, as a little leaven penetrates through the lump of dough.

Then the Lord goes into the house, and explains God's mind about these things (verse 36). "Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house, and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field." The servants enquire if they should gather the tares up. They are forbidden to do it. Our part is not judgment or excision in this world. We have not to root evil out of the world by persecution. We have seen often that the wheat was rooted up. They must grow in the field (that is in the world) till harvest. "But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest." We learn from this, not only that Christianity does not spread everywhere, but that where it does spread it becomes corrupted. And, if we look at the state of Christendom, we cannot but see that this is the case. We see how the tares have been sown and sprung up, how false doctrines have crept in, Popery, and all kinds of errors. Then our Lord, having sent the multitude away, and gone into the house, explained the parable to His disciples.

You will now remark that, as I have said, in these parables, with the explanation of the first, you have two distinct things -- the outward result, and the unfolding of God's design in it. Thus, with regard to the grain of mustard seed, you have the outward result -- it becomes a great tree, which, in Scripture, is simply a great public power. The king of Assyria is represented as a great tree. So Pharaoh is represented as a great tree. And Nebuchadnezzar was a great tree, which was hewn down, but whose stump and roots were left in the earth. In a word, it means simply a great power. And that was what Christianity became in the world -- the greatest power in it. The figure in the parable does not raise the question whether it was good or bad, but simply represents that it was a great public power in the world. The little seed of the truth, sown at the first, took root, and grew up to be a great tree. So in the case of the leaven, working within a certain sphere, represented by three measures of meal -- it worked there until the whole was leavened. The doctrines of Christendom penetrate through the whole. But no reference is there made to godliness or sanctity. Christianity is represented as a public outward thing, making its way in the world. But, having sent the multitude away, the Lord takes up an entirely different thing, and explains, not the outward effect, but God's mind in the transactions represented by these parables. And He begins by explaining the parable of the tares of the field. Verse 34: "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables ... . Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man: the field is the world."

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Mark how perfectly absurd it is to think, as some do, that it is the church which is here spoken of. The Son of man comes to sow the gospel, the word of God, in the world -- not in the church. The church has received it already. The church is composed of those who professedly or really, as the case may be, have already received the good seed. He does not sow it in the church, which would be repeating what had been done before, but in the world. "The field is the world"; and nothing can be more absurd than to apply this to the church, or to bring it up in connection with any church question.

"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." It is not that the wheat is spoiled. The Lord will gather that and have it in His garner. But the crop is spoiled. Christianity, as an outward thing in the world, has been corrupted through the prevalence of all kinds of error and wickedness. "The enemy that sowed them is the devil: the harvest is the end of the world" (that is, "of the age"). It is not the end of the world, in the ordinary sense, that is spoken of; it is "the end of the age": there is no dispute about that for anyone acquainted with the original: "And the reapers are the angels. As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world" -- of this age. "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." That is, the mischief which Satan has done will go on until the Lord executes righteous judgment on the world. The corruption of Christianity, the spoiling of the crop -- not of the wheat, because God takes care of that, and gathers it into His garner, but of the crop (the public outward thing, which Satan has set himself to corrupt and spoil) -- will go on until the harvest.

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And indeed on this point we get a little more precise information. The first thing, we learn, will be the gathering together of the tares (those who have grown up as the fruit of the corrupt principles, sown by Satan where the gospel had been planted) in bundles to be burned. And then He gathers His wheat into His garner -- takes His saints to be with Himself. This is all the parable states. The explanation goes farther, and gives the manifested result when Jesus shall appear, "Then shall the righteous shine forth" -- they have been gathered already -- "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father"; as the wicked are cast into a furnace of fire, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. We have first, then, the tares growing till harvest; and then the Lord gathers out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. There is much instruction here, but I will not detain you now with entering into more than the general idea. We have this, however, very distinctly brought before us, that while the Lord gets His own wheat in the garner, yet the crop sown in the world is spoiled; while men slept, the devil comes and spoils the plan by sowing false principles of Judaism or legalism, and immorality or Antinomianism, and false doctrines about Christ. By all these things the crop is spoiled, and this is never mended in the world until judgment comes.

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You will now see, by comparing other passages, that the church, having a certain responsibility entrusted to her in the earth, has not fulfilled what that responsibility made incumbent upon her, and comes under judgment. Turn to Romans 11 and you will see distinctly this principle laid down: as to the facts we shall refer to other passages. There, after speaking of the cutting off of the Jews, the apostle says, "Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off; and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off ... . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." It is exactly through being wise in its own conceit that the professing church has fallen. It has looked on the Jews as entirely set aside, forgetting that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" -- that He never changes His mind -- that, though He can create and then destroy, He never sets aside His own design and purpose; and that, God having called the Jews as a nation, He never will lay aside that purpose. But the church has been wise in their own conceits, thinking that the Jews are set aside, and that the church never can be.

But we shall find exactly fulfilled, as regards the church as an outward thing in the world, what is stated in this chapter, that, if it continue not in God's goodness, it will be cut off. This is the specific instruction contained in this passage, with reference to those brought in by faith, after the natural branches were broken off, that is, Christendom, that they are placed on this ground; that, if they do not continue in God's goodness, they will be cut off like the Jews. The only question is, how long forbearance may be extended to them. "Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off that I might be graffed in." Quite true, the apostle replies, but "because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God," etc. Now, what I ask is this: Has the professing church continued in God's goodness? Do we not see Popery and Mohammedanism prevalent where Christianity was originally planted? Have they continued, then, in God's goodness? There is nothing said about being restored. This will not do: what is required is to "continue." It is the same as when a man who has broken law, says, "I will do right for the future." This does not meet the law's claims; he has not "continued in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."

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And I ask, Has the church continued in God's goodness? Is that which we now see in Christendom what God set up in His church in the beginning, or anything like it? Has not the professing church turned to ceremonies and sacraments, and all kinds of things other than Christ, in order to be saved by them? They have not continued in God's goodness. You can see that most plainly. Our own consciousness testifies to it. But, if they continue not in God's goodness, the whole of Christendom, the apostle says, will be cut off, and the Jews will be graffed in again. There cannot be the least doubt of that. "And they also, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be graffed in; for God is able to graff them in again" ... "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." As soon as the Lord has gathered the real church of God, and taken them up to heaven, He sets up the Jews again.

Turn now to the positive testimony. What I have been reading is conditional; it shews what will take place if they continue not in God's goodness. We shall see now if they have continued. You will find that Jude brings it out in a very striking way, because he takes up the whole history of Christianity from beginning to end. "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called" -- that is, the true saints -- "Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." That is, I would have written in order that you may be built up in the truth, but through the coming in of evil I am obliged to exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

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We see, then, the cause of the falling away -- that already in Jude's time these men had crept in unawares into the church of God, and were bringing in corruption. And he warns them that the same thing had happened in the case of Israel, when brought out of Egypt, and had caused them to fall in the wilderness: they had not maintained faithfulness. He refers them also to the case of the angels who kept not their first estate, because the principle of apostasy crept in. And mark the way in which he speaks of these men that had crept in unawares -- of these tares that Satan had sown. Look at verse 14: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all; and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

That is, under the inspiration of the prophetic Spirit of God, he sees the mischief and evil done by these persons, and sees that it was to grow and ripen up to judgment, as we shall soon see appears elsewhere. And he tells the saints that the mischief has begun, and therefore he warns them that they "should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." And the Lord executes judgment, because, instead of the world becoming filled with the blessedness of the gospel, the church has got corrupted. That it is prophesied that the filling the world with blessedness is to be brought about by Israel and not by the church, you will see, and that very distinctly indeed, when we come to other passages. But here we get a remarkable prophecy, shewing that (as in Romans 11 was declared that, if they did not continue in God's goodness, they should be cut off) they will not continue in God's goodness; and it gives us the history of the church in the world from the beginning to the end of it, when the Lord shall come with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment. It is as plain and distinct a declaration as it possibly could be; and you will find that the whole testimony of Scripture concurs, as of course it must concur, in the same truth.

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Turn now to Habakkuk, where you have one of those passages which are constantly in people's minds, as shewing that the gospel is to go on and spread until it fills the world. I refer to them merely for the negative purpose of pointing out that they shew nothing of the kind. Habakkuk 2: 12: "Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity. Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." The people are all labouring in the fire, and wearying themselves for very vanity, and then the glory comes and fills the earth.

Turn now to other passages, where it is not stated conditionally, or in a general prophetic manner, but where distinct details are given of that which would come about. Turn to 2 Thessalonians, and you will find there the connected details of the course of that of which Jude has already given us the beginning. But the general fact we also have stated in the Philippians, where the apostle says, "I have no man likeminded; for all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." That surely was an early period in the history of the church to say that Christians were in a state of such decline and decay that they were not seeking the things of Jesus Christ, but their own interest. When we return to the second epistle to the Thessalonians we get this very distinctly brought out. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ [rather of the Lord]

is [not "at hand," but]

here." The expression "at hand" makes it almost impossible to get at the sense of the passage; it means "here or present," the same word being used as when things "present" are contrasted with things "to come."

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The whole point of the apostle's statement rests on this, that the Thessalonians thought that the day of the Lord was "here" -- that it had already come -- that their having got into so much dreadful tribulation and persecution proved that it had come. The expression "the day of the Lord is at hand" is often made use of as occurring in this passage, while in fact there is nothing of the kind in it. The Thessalonians thought, not that it was at hand, but that it had come, and therefore the apostle says, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except there come the falling away first" -- that is, the not continuing in God's goodness.

Therefore, as the apostle had stated that, if they did not continue in God's goodness, they would be cut off, we have here the positive revelation or prophecy that they would not continue in God's goodness, that there would come the falling away, and that the day of the Lord cannot come until that falling away or apostasy takes place. So it is plain on the face of it that, in place of the church continuing in God's goodness, the distinctly opposite is the case. The apostle shews how the declension goes on: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work." That is the important point here, that already, as to its general principles, it was going on in the apostle's day. Even then the enemy was at work, sowing tares. Only it was a mystery; it was going on secretly, in a hidden way. There was Judaism, and Antinomianism, making high professions of grace with a corrupt practice, and various other forms of heresy, as the denial that Christ was a real man, etc., all of which are mentioned in Scripture -- we do not require to go to church history at all to find them. They denied the humanity, quite as soon as they did the divinity, of the Lord.

We find then that this mystery of iniquity was already at work in the time of the apostle, and it was then only hindered from going on; it was not to be set aside. The time will come when it will be set aside, when Babylon will be destroyed, but not by the word. I may first refer for a moment to this point. In the book of Revelation (chapter 17) you find that it is the ten horns and the beast which shall destroy the great whore, and burn her with fire, and then men will be given up to even still greater evil -- giving their power to the beast; and then judgment.

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Returning to the passage in Thessalonians, we find the apostle says, "The mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." We get here this very important truth, as regards the responsibility of the church, that what was working to corrupt it in the time of the apostle himself would go on until what hindered the full development of iniquity was removed, and then that wicked would be revealed, etc. This, as I have said, is the very opposite of continuing in God's goodness. It is intimated to us, that what was mysteriously working then would ripen and mature up to the open revelation of the man of sin, whom the Lord will consume and destroy -- "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." That is the way in which the professing church will be dealt with. Having refused to retain the truth -- the real truth of God, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie -- "that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

The Lord then comes and destroys the wicked, the evil being open and evident; it is no longer a mystery. This is for us a very solemn view of God's dealings. It is not the pleasant and bright side. The pleasant bright side is the blessedness the saints will have at the coming of the Lord Jesus, in being gathered together to Him. The apostle says to the saints, You will all be taken up to meet the Lord in the air, and therefore you cannot think that the day of the Lord is here, for that day will not find you here at all. That day is the execution of judgment on ungodly men. It is as if a rebellion were going on at Toronto, and the Queen were to say, I will have all my loyal subjects with me at Montreal first, and then judgment will be executed. And so long as you were not at Montreal, it would be evident that that day of judgment had not arrived yet. That is the reason why, when it is said Lo here and Lo there, we know it does not apply to us. To a Jew it is different. If you say to a Jew who is expecting Christ, Lo here or Lo there, it is a snare to him. But if it is said to us, we can only answer, It is impossible, for we are going up to meet the Lord in the air, not to find Him here; and I am not there yet. So he beseeches them by our gathering together to Him not to be troubled as if the day was come.

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In this passage then which I have read you have the positive declaration, that what had begun in the apostle's time goes on, until Christ comes to execute judgment; and you find another distinct and definite declaration of this kind in 1 Timothy 4. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron."

Then, in 2 Timothy 3, we have very definitely and distinctly stated what the last days will be: "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come" -- not that the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (that is a blessed time), but that "in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." That is the character of the last days. There will be a great form of godliness, much superstitious worship, but a denial of the power of godliness. That is not a continuing in God's goodness, when the professing church in the last days, with a great form of godliness, denies the power thereof.

It is a remarkable proof of the power of Satan, that in the face of these passages, men, wise in their own conceits, will bring reasoning to prove that they are to go on and fill the whole world with the gospel -- that, at the very time that judgments are hastening upon them, men will cherish the expectation of the earth being filled with a widespread blessedness -- is the strongest possible evidence of the power of that delusion of which the apostle speaks. It is not that God is not working, and turning men from darkness to light. It was the same before the destruction of Jerusalem; three thousand were converted in a day. If we had three thousand converted in a day now, would it be a proof that the millennium was coming? No, but rather that it was judgment which was coming. It was because the judgment was coming that this happened. It was the Lord's gathering out His saints before the judgment, and adding to the church such as should be saved. And, if He is now working in a special manner to gather out souls, it is not because the gospel is to fill the world, but because judgment is coming upon the professing church.

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The apostle shews that the declension will go on, that it will not be set aside. For "evil men and seducers," he says, "shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." And then he gives the resource under such circumstances. "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus." It is as much as to say, You cannot trust the church, which will have but a form of godliness, denying the power; your resource must be the holy scriptures of truth.

You will find, again, how this mystery of iniquity began to work at the very outset, by turning to 1 John 2, where this very question is treated of. "Little children, it is the last time." It seems a remarkable thing for the apostle to speak of the very time when Christianity commenced to be diffused as the last time. God's patience has nevertheless continued to go on from that time to this day; for with Him one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. "And as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists." It is not the Antichrist whom he speaks of, but he says that already there were many antichrists -- already the mystery of iniquity, the spirit of evil, was working -- "whereby we know that it is the last time." We have seen that the last days are a perilous time; and here we see that the apostle knows it to be the last time, because there are many Antichrists. Is it possible then that the last time will be a time when the whole world will be filled with such blessedness as some speak of? The whole testimony of Scripture is as plain as can be to the contrary: "Whereby we know it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." They adopt false principles: their Christianity becomes corrupted; and they go out.

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Turn now to Luke 18, which occurs to my mind in connection with this, shewing how far the professing church is from continuing in God's goodness (verse 6): "And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" That is not like having the world full of the gospel. He puts the question, Will there be some individuals Still expecting His interference and intervention? but He does not say there will be. The church will be gone, and the question is, Will there be any looking for His interference? will there by anyone expecting the Lord to descend on the earth?

It may be well now perhaps to turn to a few passages -- because they rest in people's minds, in looking at this subject -- about the gospel being preached to all nations and the like. I believe that this ought to have been done from the beginning by those to whom God has given grace. But that is not the question. The question is, whether there has not been a failure on the part of the church, as to the discharge of its responsibility. It is not a question whether they ought to diffuse the gospel -- of course they ought. In the sixth century, Christianity was the all but national religion of China, and there are fragments of it there still. The limits of nominal Christendom are now very much contracted from what they were in former times. Formerly they embraced all the north of Africa, and in a measure all Asia. Now they are almost confined to Europe, except that in these modern times they include also the scattered populations in America.

Let us turn then to the passages which speak of the prevalence of the gospel. That in Matthew 24 is one of them. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then" -- not the millennium, but -- "shall the end come." There is nothing here about filling the world with blessedness. But the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached for a witness to all nations, and then will come the end -- the judgment, the end of this age. It is not said that the world is to be filled with blessing. To suppose so is being wise in your own conceit. It is said that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the world, but it is not said that the gospel will; although men, fancying that they have the power to bring it about, speak as if it were the gospel that was to do this.

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If you look at Revelation 14 you will find this brought out still more distinctly and clearly, that the end comes when the gospel is sent for a witness to all nations. You often hear the passage quoted to shew that the gospel is to be preached to all nations, which is no doubt a blessed truth in its place. But, to see the effect of it, we must take the whole passage: verse 6, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people, saying, with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come." It is almost a miracle how people read Scripture without understanding it. Whoever has been in the habit of frequenting public meetings, and listening to speakers from public platforms, must have heard that passage quoted hundreds of times, as if it meant that the gospel is so to be preached to all nations that it is to fill the whole world with light, while a moment's consideration would shew that this preaching of the gospel is a precursor of judgments. I shall now refer to the passages which speak of the knowledge of the Lord covering the earth as the waters cover the sea.

But, before doing that, let me just quote one passage in Isaiah (chapter 26), where you will see that this is brought, not by the gospel, but by judgments. Verse 9: "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; for, when thy judgments are in the earth" (not the gospel, but judgments) "the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favour" (that is, grace, or the gospel) "be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness." There must be judgment; the time of harvest must come, as in the parable of the tares. "In the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Lord, when thy hand is lifted up" (when He is just going to strike), "they will not see; but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them."

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Turn now to Habakkuk, where you have one of these passages which are constantly in people's minds, as shewing that the gospel is to go on and spread until it fills the world. I refer to them merely for the negative purpose of pointing out that they shew nothing of the kind. Habakkuk 2: 12: "Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity! Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." The people are all labouring in the fire, and wearying themselves for very vanity; and then the glory comes and fills the earth.

Turn now to Numbers -- another of the only three passages in which what I am now referring to is spoken of in that way; and in chapter 14 you will find what the Lord means by filling the earth with His glory. When the people had sinned against the Lord and murmured against Moses, God said He would destroy them, and Moses then interceded for them. "Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: but as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice, surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it." That, of course, is judgment; and the filling of the earth with God's glory here has nothing to do with the gospel. The Lord will have the whole earth full of His glory, but He does not use the gospel for that purpose. He does send the gospel, and urges it upon men with infinite patience and goodness; but they reject it; and then comes judgment.

In one other passage the expression occurs. You will find it in Isaiah 11: "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb ... . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" -- that is, when God smites the earth, and slays the wicked. "And," the prophecy goes on, "in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria and from Egypt," etc. That is, the Lord gathers the Jews, and slays the wicked; and it is then the earth is full of the knowledge of Jehovah. "And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together," and so on -- shewing that there is to be an execution of judgment in the earth.

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Turn now to Isaiah 66, where the glory of the Lord is also spoken of. And, in referring to these passages which are so constantly quoted, it is always an excellent plan to read the context. In this passage the glory of the Lord is brought in by fire and by sword. Verse 15: "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many ... . For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see my glory." The glory of the Lord here comes with the execution of judgment; there is nothing of the gospel at all.

You see, then, these three points. First, you have the statement that, after God had sown the good seed, the enemy came and sowed the evil. Then you have the conditional declaration, that the professing church, if it did not continue in God's goodness, would, as an outward thing, be cut off. Then, further, you have the declaration that that evil which had begun in the time of the apostles would go on to the end, the Lord only restraining the public manifestation of it until the time of judgment approached at Christ's coming, the fulness of the Gentiles being come in, and then that wicked would be cut off; also that in the last days perilous times would come, and Antichrist would come. We have seen also that the passages referring to the earth being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, and the like, are all connected with judgment; and that when favour is shewed to the wicked, as in the gospel, he will not learn righteousness.

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If you turn to the Revelation, you will get a little more of detail about the falling away, and about what the character of that evil is which is at work. But before we quote from the Revelation, let me remark that the two great characters of evil from the beginning have been corruption and violence. Before the deluge, the earth was corrupt before God and filled with violence. And in the Revelation, "Babylon" is the expression of corruption, while the "beast" is the expression of violence. I cannot, this evening, enter into details as to this part of the subject, but I wish to shew you how the one runs into the other. In chapter 17 the expression "the great whore" indicates the power of corruption. At verse 15 it is said, "The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" -- the reference here is to the influence over the nations which a corrupt Christianity has exercised. "And the ten horns which thou sawest, and [not on]

the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." Of course, that is not the gospel; it is violence putting an end to corruption. "For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast."

It is not when Babylon is destroyed that the kingdom is given to the Son of man. It is given then to the beast. The effect of the destruction of all this corrupt influence of outward nominal Christianity, of the awful corruption of the Papal system, which was the centre of it all, that "mother of abominations of the earth" -- the effect of the destruction of that, through the hatred and disgust of those connected with it, and disgusted and wearied with it, will be to put the power of the world into the hands of the beast. There is nothing at all here about the gospel. It is the violence of man refusing longer to submit to priestly power. When one reads Scripture, simply desiring to learn what it teaches, he cannot but be surprised how people form from it the systems they do. They take hold of some abstract principle, and following it out succeed in finding it in Scripture according to their expectations. In studying the Scriptures, they settle first what the Scriptures should teach, instead of being content to take simply what they do actually state.

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Turn now to chapter 16, and you will find more about the time when judgment shall be executed upon Babylon, although we cannot now enter into the various details of it. "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet." These are the powers of evil. "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief." It is the devil who gathers the whole world to that great battle. People may discuss what is meant by the dragon, and the beast, and the false prophet. I have very little doubt on that point; and I may just say, without entering into the details, that the dragon is the power of Satan, that the beast is the Roman Empire, and that the false prophet is the false Messiah at the time of the end.

I do not dwell upon this; but at all events it is perfectly clear that the three unclean spirits, which gather the nations to the battle of the great day of God Almighty, are not the gospel. It is the battle which in Isaiah is said to be with burning and fuel of fire. The nations are gathered to Armageddon, and then comes the judgment. I he beast and its horns destroy Babylon, that great corrupt system, and then the beast and the kings of the earth are gathered by evil spirits against the power of Christ, Satan being cast down from heaven.

In Revelation 19, we read that there comes forth on the white horse He who has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords; that the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies are gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army: "and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image: these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone; and the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse." Thus we get here very distinctly that there is an execution of judgment. And after that -- after the execution of judgment -- Satan is bound.

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Then we have a passage, which is the only ground we have for saying that there is to be a millennium -- a thousand years of blessedness. We have seen the general statements that the world will be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, and that this is to be by judgment. But the only proof we have that the period of blessedness is to last a thousand years -- the only evidence for this particular character of the glory which is coming -- is found in Revelation 20. We have plenty of testimony that there will be a time of blessedness, but this specific character of it is only found here, and that is after the Lord has come as King of kings, and Lord of lords, and executed judgment, and Satan is bound. Satan has been corrupting everything; but, when he is bound, he can no longer do so; and then come the thousand years, and thrones and judgment are given to us. The saints shall judge the world, for so God has revealed in His word.

Are there not many professing Christians who, if you were to say to them, "Do you know you are to judge angels?" would think you were mad? And yet it was to the Corinthians (who were very far from being the most perfect of Christians, for they were, indeed, going on very badly) that this was said. The full import of the connection of the church with Christ has been almost wholly forgotten. People talk of their hopes of being saved, and of living godly; but the connection of the church with the Second Adam is practically forgotten. The power of redemption, and the high privileges connected with it, are overlooked.

Let us revert for a moment to Revelation 17 to see how intimately the saints are associated with Christ in that day. We read that the beast and the kings of the earth shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings; "and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." That description does not apply to angels. No doubt He will come with the holy angels; but the expression -- "called, and chosen, and faithful" -- applies to the saints, who come "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white," which "is the righteousness of saints." So arrayed, they come with the Lord. We shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; and when He appears, we shall also appear with Him in glory.

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There is another point I wish to shew you, although I cannot go into details. I can only touch upon the great principles bearing on the subject we are considering, and pass over them very rapidly. You will remember a passage of sacred history in the time of Elijah, recorded in the Kings. God had seen that there were seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, although Elijah had fancied that he only was left, and they sought his life to take it away. Acting under God's authority, Elijah raised the question whether Baal was God, or Jehovah was God, and proceeded to test it by a public demonstration in the face of all the people. And he proposed to test it in this way, that he who answered by fire should be acknowledged as God. Sacrifices accordingly were prepared, and the priests of Baal cried aloud from morning until noon, "O Baal, hear us!" And Elijah mocked them, and said, "Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked." And they cried aloud, and cut themselves with knives, until evening; but there was no answer. And then Elijah built an altar, and laid on it the sacrifice, and filled the trench about it with water, and called upon the Lord; and the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood, and licked up the water that was in the trench; and when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, "The Lord [Jehovah]

he is the God; the Lord he is the God."

Now we find in the Revelation, that the false prophet brings down fire from heaven in the sight of men. It is all lies, of course; but he does it in such a way as to deceive men. The very thing which Elijah did to prove that Jehovah was the true God, the false prophet, or false Messiah, also appears to do -- bringing down in the sight of men the very thing which proved Jehovah to be God; and that he succeeds by it in deceiving men, shews that they are given up to strong delusion to believe a lie. This refers to the government of the world, so far as the Jews are concerned.

If you turn to 2 Thessalonians, you will see the same, where Christianity is concerned, in connection with the apostasy: "Then shall that Wicked be revealed ... even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders." Of course they are all "lying," but still they are "powers, and signs, and wonders" -- words verbally identical in the original with those used by Peter when he preached of "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs." That is, Antichrist does the same things -- lying, of course, but the same as regards men's apprehension of them -- which proved Jesus to be the Christ, and the same things that proved Jehovah to be the true God. By these means he blinds and deceives the people, and leads them away to worship the dragon and the beast. He does this by bringing down fire from heaven and leads them to recognise the false Christ as the true one, by doing the same things -- falsely, of course -- as Christ had done. You cannot conceive a more awful and solemn thing, than that men should thus be given up to strong delusion, to believe a lie, and to be subject to the power of him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders; and it is not surprising that the apostle should be so impressive in his warning, when he says, "This know, that in the last days perilous times shall come."

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Now, beloved friends, the more you search the Scriptures, the more you will find these great leading principles clearly brought out. But the professing church refuses to see them; and this is connected with what I pointed out at the outset, that everything which in God's great scheme is trusted to man is a failure. It was while men slept, that the enemy came and sowed the tares, and then we have the positive revelation that the church, not continuing in God's goodness, will be cut off. Therefore the notion that the outward church of God, after having become corrupt, will again be set right, is an entire delusion -- I say outward church of God; for, as regards individuals, what is revealed on this point is only a reason for greater faithfulness on their part. That is another question altogether.

As regards the duty of individuals, Scripture gives plenty of directions about that, even when speaking of the last days, when there shall be a form of godliness and a denial of the power thereof. From such, says the Spirit, turn away. It will be with the saints as with Elijah -- there never will be a time when individually they will have a greater consciousness of the power of Christ, than in the time of general declension.

That, however, is not the point; the question is as to the outward manifestation and outward effect in the world. Men have comforted themselves with the thought of an invisible church, forgetting that it is said, "Ye are the light of the world." Of what value is an invisible light? It is said, "let your light so shine before men"; that is, let your profession of Christianity be so distinct "that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

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And now, beloved friends, take this lesson with you, that, during this time of God's forbearance, until He comes forth to execute judgment, a deep responsibility is laid upon each of us. Let each man take heed how and what he believes. Keep in mind that it is by false doctrines that Satan has corrupted the church -- by Judaism, by the worship of saints, and by all sorts of errors. We have not time to enumerate them all; but it is by the introduction of these false and heretical doctrines that Satan has succeeded in corrupting Christianity: so much so, that, if you wished to look for really the darkest characters of evil, you would have to go among Christians to find it -- of course Christians merely in name I mean, but yet those who boast that theirs is the only true Christianity in the world.

I only add now this thought -- how important it is, if we are approaching these scenes of judgment, that we should understand correctly what is the destiny of the church, instead of imagining that all is to go on rightly until the whole world is filled with blessedness! How important it is that we should understand that this mystery of iniquity, already at work in the apostle's days, is to go on until God leaves the bridle loose, as it were, for the whole power of evil to do its worst; that the evil is working until the saints are taken up to meet the Lord in the air, and then the power of Satan will begin to work! This surely is a solemn thought for me, if I care for the church, how I have discharged my own responsibility, when the question is put, as in Jeremiah, "Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? what wilt thou say when he shall punish thee?" Read the Acts, and see what Christendom is now, and say what likeness there is. Ask not only, Is there the doctrine? but Where is the practice now? Yet the Lord is faithful. And, when judgment comes, the Lord, having bought the field, has got the treasure safe, and He has kept it safe all the while.

We shall afterwards take up that part of our subject which connects God's dealings with the world, more particularly with the Jews. But, meanwhile, the Lord give us to lay this to heart -- the difference between what is called the church, the outward thing, and what the church really ought to be. And let us see what our own characters are, if there is anything in us which is an adequate fruit of the travail of the Son of God, and of the coming down of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter and Sanctifier. It is best always, in making application of these truths, to begin with ourselves. Let us see, then, whether in our hearts we love and care for Christ, and about the condition in which the church of God is, or whether we are deceiving ourselves by imagining that it is in a proper condition to set the world right. I do not doubt that the Holy Ghost is remarkably working now. From the first time these things broke in upon my mind I have always expected that the Spirit of God would work; and I bless God that He is doing so much at this time. Yet I feel assured, from what I find in the Scriptures, that it is by judgment that this working is to be followed.

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LECTURE 6 -- DANIEL 2: 19-49; DANIEL 7

I have to read this chapter, dear friends, because it gives an outline of a part of prophecy of which other parts of Scripture are the detail. We began with the church's having a sure and certain hope, through the never changing promise of God, of being caught up to be for ever with Christ before He comes to judge the world; and we saw that the looking and longing (where the heart is truly for Christ) for His coming again is the bright and cheering influence of the Christian's path. Last evening we saw the professing church looked at as in the world (that which is called the church) to be at last utterly rejected of God, fearfully judged for its corruption, or spued out of Christ's mouth as nauseous.

When we turn to the ways of God on the earth, we have seen that His direct government had always been exercised with the Jews as a centre. Providential government He always exercises. He makes all things work together for good to those that love Him. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him who is our Father. But when we come to direct government, the immediate dealings with men on the earth according to their conduct, and the direct public interference of God to shew His ways on earth, then the Jews come on the scene and are the pivot round which those ways turn. But they, when fully displayed, extend necessarily to the Gentiles, who surround them and fill the earth, the great body of whom have now long oppressed them. Hence, the same passages which refer to the Jews refer to the Gentiles also, as those who come up before God when He begins that government in which the Jews have the first and principal place on earth. These passages I will now refer to, some of which, by reason of what I have just noticed, have already been quoted in reference to the Jews.

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But, before doing so, I must point out two classes of Gentiles to which they refer, in respect of whom there are two very distinct classes of prophecy in Scripture: that which refers to those who were enemies of the Jews when God was there with them on the earth -- when He owned them, or will hereafter again own them as His people; and that which refers to those who oppress them when they are not -- when God has written on them Lo-ammi, "not my people," and the times of the Gentiles have begun. These are entirely distinct. We get certain powers dealt with which are outside Israel, and are their enemies when the presence of God and His throne are still in the midst of that people, and the representatives of whom will be found in the latter days, when God has taken Israel up again. But after the Jews turned to idolatry, and, whatever had been God's patience, rising up early and sending His prophets till there was no remedy, He was obliged to give them up to judgment; He then set up Nebuchadnezzar, and the times of the Gentiles began; and they are still running on. The empire passed from Babylon to Persia, and Persia to Greece; and the Jews were slaves to the Romans when Christ came -- slaves to the Gentiles. Their ecclesiastical polity was allowed to exist, but the civil power was in the hands of their oppressors. These times of the Gentiles run on, until Christ executes judgment, until those who were the oppressors of God's people when He does not own them shall be destroyed, and those who are their enemies outside these oppressors shall be brought to nought at a time when they think they have got it all their own way; and then the Jew is set free.

In a word, Scripture shews us that the Jews are the centre of God's earthly dealings; and that as regards the Gentiles there are two classes or prophecy, one referring to the enemies of God's people when He owns them, and the other to their oppressors when they are turned off and He does not own them. Deuteronomy 32 lays the prophetic ground, at the very origin of their whole history, of all that is to come to pass. In verse 8, as we have seen when speaking of the Jews, they are shewn to be the centre of His ways. "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people [peoples]

according to the number of the children of Israel." Just connect it now with the general judgment of the Gentiles. The prophet first states that after his decease Israel would corrupt themselves; then he goes on in verse 21 to the wickedness, the fruit of which is going on now. In verse 27 He rises above the wickedness so as not to destroy them, to shew that He is God. Then he goes on to the time of His rising up to judgment, leading us to that of which we are speaking. When Israel is brought utterly low, He will indeed judge His people, but He will also repent Himself concerning His servants. His hand, as it is expressed, takes hold on judgment, rendering vengeance to His enemies; for such the Gentile powers are found to be, and apostate Jews too. He makes His arrows drunk with blood, and His sword devours flesh. Yet this it is brings in the millennial blessings, when the nations will rejoice with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants (a thing we have not yet accomplished) -- will render vengeance to His adversaries, and, mark the expression, be merciful to His land and to His people. Thus we have His people judged, His servants avenged, His adversaries brought under vengeance, yet His land and people Israel coming into mercy, and the Gentiles rejoicing with them -- in a word, judgment, the Lord's adversaries destroyed, Gentiles and apostate Jews, His servants avenged, Israel restored, and the nations blessed with them, but Israel His people.

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I will now turn, before distinguishing the enemies of Israel owned of God, and their oppressors when given up, to the general testimony of the judgment of the nations, and then shew you the two distinct. Turn to Isaiah 66: 15, "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire; for by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh." We have the great-general fact of the judgment of the nations; and, if you turn to verses 6-14, you will see the Jews set up again. "For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her [Jerusalem]

like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream" (verse 12). Then you get the ungodly Jews in verse 17, and thence to verse 24 the manifestation of Jehovah's glory, those that escape the judgment that accompanies it going off to the nations and announcing the appearing of that glory, and bringing back the scattered Jews to Jerusalem. I get, then, thus the great fact that the Lord comes to judge all flesh; and those He finds interfering with Israel He cuts off.

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Now turn to Psalms 9 and 10. They celebrate the judgment and destruction of the enemies of Israel in the land. The Psalmist introduces the whole subject in verses 4 and 5, "For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever ... that I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God" (verse 14-17). "The Lord is king for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land," Psalm 10: 16. These are the two psalms which, after speaking of the rejection of Christ as King in Zion, and His taking the character of universal headship as Son of man in Psalm 8, bring in the whole testimony of the Psalms, the state and feelings of the remnant of Israel in the last days, and the judgment which God executes upon the Gentiles.

Hence, remark, it is that we find in the Psalms these appeals to judgment, and demands for it, which have often stumbled Christians, when urged by the enemies of Christianity. They are not the expression of Christian feelings. We leave the world and go to heaven. In no sense have we to demand the destruction of our enemies in order to pass into glory. But Israel cannot have their rest on earth until the wicked are destroyed; and therefore they do demand this righteous judgment, and this is the way they will be delivered.

To pursue our subject: turn to Jeremiah 25. This is a remarkable chapter; but first I will give you a few verses from the end of Isaiah 24: 16: to shew the connection with Israel I will read from verse 13: "When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree: and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done: they shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea. From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly." There you get the world reeling like a drunkard under the terrible judgment of God, and (verse 21, 22) we see the judgment of the powers of evil on high, the prince of the power of the air and his angels, and of the kings of the earth on the earth; and then the Lord reigning in Zion and before His ancients gloriously.

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Now turn to Jeremiah 25: 15, "For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me: Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it." He speaks of the various nations in that way, and then goes on from verse 29 to 33 to declare the universal judgment of the heathen, describing the terrible coming down of Jehovah in judgment upon them.

Turn now to Micah 5: 15. "And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard." But then, too, Israel is blessed and re-established in power in verses 7, 8, and that through Christ, great to the ends of the earth (verse 4, 5). "And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds and eight principal men."

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Turn to Joel 3: 9-17. "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; prepare war, wake up the mighty men; let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat [Jehoshaphat means judgment of Jehovah]

: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more."

What makes this passage additionally important is, that Jerusalem is brought back to blessing and never to be trodden down again, no strangers shall pass through her any more, but the Gentiles who helped on her affliction are destroyed for ever. In the time of Nebuchadnezzar, when Jerusalem was in trouble, and again when Titus besieged and took it, the Gentiles were not destroyed at all. When Cyrus sent back a remnant to Jerusalem, they remained captive, and strangers are yet in Jerusalem. Again we find here all the nations gathered together, the Gentiles destroyed, and the Jews set up.

Zephaniah 3: 3 to end: Jehovah's determination is to gather all the nations. They are to be devoured by the fire of His jealousy. Here again, too, we find that Israel will never be cast out again. He will bring back their captivity and make them the praise among all the people. He will cast out their enemy. They will not see evil any more. Jehovah is in the midst of Jerusalem, God will rest in His love. I will turn to one more passage before I shew the difference between the two classes of enemies to Israel.

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Haggai 2: 5-9: "According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the Lord 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 desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house [properly, the latter glory of this house]

shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." The apostle quotes this passage in the epistle to the Hebrews, shewing that it has not yet come. "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven." He is urging them not to rest on earthly and created things, shewing that that time of universal shaking of the first and changeable creation was yet to come, declaring that all would be shaken and pass away.

Let us now take a review of scripture as to the two classes of Israel's enemies of which I have spoken. The chief enemy of Israel, while Israel was still owned of God before the captivity of Babylon, was the Assyrian. There had been others, as Syria, but Syria succumbed to the Assyrian. Egypt then sought to fill the scene of the world, and came up, conquered Judea, and met the power of Babylon at Carchemish; but its power was broken, and Nebuchadnezzar became the head of gold over the whole earth, and the times of the Gentiles began, which are still running on, and will till the Lord takes His great power and reigns. No doubt the Jews came back, or a small remnant of them, from Babylon, to present Messiah to them. But they were so wicked and perversely idolatrous that God had given them up to captivity, and, even when in their land on their return, they were subject to the Gentiles. God's glory and His throne were no longer amongst them. When they came back, they never got the Shekinah (the Shekinah was the cloud that manifested the presence of God). They had no longer the ark, or the Urim and Thummim. What constituted the witness of God's presence was gone, and these things were never restored. There are the times of the Gentiles still; the four beasts constituted the times of the Gentiles. And this, as to the earth, was of the last possible importance. The throne of God ceased to be on the earth.

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Prophecy, indeed, remained till the outward order was restored; but it is remarkable that the post-captivity prophets never set aside the judgment pronounced in Hosea -- "Ye are not my people." They never call the Jews God's people in their then standing, doing so only when they prophesy of that future day when they will be restored to the divine favour, which is yet to come. Finally, when Christ came, He was rejected, and sat down on His Father's throne, and the divine power and glory is wholly above, the object of faith to the believing soul. The people whom God had called, and who had God's throne among them, were wholly cut off, though preserved.

Well, the throne of God had ceased on the earth at the beginning of these times of the Gentiles; and therefore, in Daniel you never get the God of the earth, but the God of heaven, because He was not there with them. The departure of God from the direct government of the earth with Israel for the centre, His throne being in their midst, sitting between the cherubim, as it is said, and His return to the government of the earth, are of immense importance.

In Ezekiel we see His judgment on Jerusalem. God comes (Nebuchadnezzar being the instrument), God comes on the cherubim in the way of providence (those wheels which were so high -- they were dreadful), spares His own whom He has marked and gives up the rest to destruction. He executes judgment, leaves them, and goes into heaven. The Gentiles are left to rule, subject to God's providence and final judgment; Israel, with God's throne in their midst, is set aside.

Four great empires arise successively -- Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The Roman Empire, while devastating everywhere, does not succeed in getting all nations under its power, but continues the great power of the world till the judgment, though in a special form.

Then the Assyrian comes on the scene again at the close; that is, geographically what is now Turkey in Asia and part of Persia, but in the last days Assyria will appear on the scene in the Russian power, according to the testimony of Ezekiel 38 and 39 (a passage applied to this power one hundred and fifty years ago by the elder Lowth, before the present question arose). And the world, as connected with Israel and God's ultimate purposes on the earth, is divided into Western Europe and the basin of the Mediterranean, the Roman Empire, and Eastern Europe or the Russian. These two are never confounded in Scripture. The Assyrian was the power that warred against Israel when God owned them, and the other the power that oppressed and held them captive when they were not owned.

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Now in Isaiah and the pre-captivity prophets you get the Assyrian all through, the beast being scarcely mentioned (once "the king," so as to complete the scene; and even that, I apprehend, as a subordinate ally of the beast). Whereas in Daniel you do not get the Assyrian, unless, possibly, obscurely in one chapter, and then not as such, the same thing being true of Zechariah, save that all nations are mentioned in both in a general way, brought as sheaves to the floor when rising up against Jerusalem. Thus far I have been speaking of the general judgment. Now, having distinguished between the beasts and the Assyrian power of the latter day, we have to cite those which apply to them distinctively.

Turning to Daniel, you get fully the beasts, but not the Assyrian. Let us examine first the chapter I read. Here we have Nebuchadnezzar the head of gold, the Persian Empire denoted by silver, the Grecian by brass, the Roman by iron (while the iron and clay represent the present state of things). Then after these last were formed, a stone is cut out without hands (God's sovereign work), smites the image, when all becomes as the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and no place is found for them; and then the stone that smote the image became a great mountain which filled the whole earth.

There is not here, remark, a trace of influence exercised over the previous component parts of the image so as to produce a change of character. The notion is that Christianity will spread and pervade these countries. Now the stone does not grow at all till they are entirely destroyed. There is no influence exercised, no modification takes place, no change at all is spoken of here. The little stone destroys all before it increases. It is the stone which has smitten the image, which grows.

What we have got here is the coming of Christ's kingdom in judgment, and a total destruction of the empires which preceded its action. That action was on the last, and more particularly on the toes of iron and clay -- the last form which this image took, looked at in its geographical distribution on earth, and in the condition of its parts, partly strong, partly broken. What gives its specific character to the figure is, that the stone does not grow at all until it has done all these things, and after it has finished its work of judgment and destruction, it grows to be a great mountain.

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What is going on now is not this. Christ has ascended up on high and He waits, in the spirit of grace, sitting on the right hand of His Father's throne, while the saints, His co-heirs, the church, is gathering out of the world; until, at the moment known to God alone, He rises up from the Father's throne, then to take to Him His great power and reign, His enemies being now put under His feet.

Turn now to the interpretation itself, which is perfectly clear on this point. Power in the world is entrusted to man in the person of Nebuchadnezzar; three empires succeed his, and at the end, though there be a strength in the last which breaks in pieces and subdues all around it, yet a conflict of principles characterises its latter form (I have little doubt the Teutonic and Latin elements); and it is partly strong and partly broken. But then the close comes, verse 44: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."

You will remember, beloved friends, that on the last evening we saw the general outline of God's dealings with the Gentiles in connection with His chosen earthly people, the Jews (they being the centre of all God's earthly dealings). First, that at the restoration of the Jews there would be the judgment of the Gentiles, the nations being divided into two classes, those that were enemies to God's people when God owned them and had His throne in their midst, and those who led them captive and oppressed them when God did not own them. Both will be cast out from the seat of power. It is evident that, as regards the world, it is an all-important fact, God's taking His throne from it. When that took place, He was no longer the God of the earth, though He over-rules all things providentially, but does not exercise direct government as in Israel when His throne was there. Hence Daniel calls Him the God of heaven, and it is not until He comes to judge the world that He takes His name of God of the earth, Lord of the whole earth. (See Zechariah 14.) The time during which God gives up His throne on the earth is called "the times of the Gentiles." During these times the Jews, who were taken captive and made slaves to Nebuchadnezzar, have ceased to be God's people as a present position, and are always subject to the Gentiles, and the times of the Gentiles run on till He comes to take vengeance. Then He takes them up again, casting out (as we saw before) those who oppressed them when they were not owned, and those who were enemies when they were owned and His throne was in their midst.

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The distinction of these two classes is important to us because we are in the times of the Gentiles. In the prophecies there is never the slightest confusion between the two. The Assyrian, and finally Gog, is the great enemy of Israel when the people is owned, the four beasts or Gentile empires their oppressors when they are not. The prophets up to the captivity and Ezekiel speak of the former, Daniel and Zechariah of the latter, to which (when we come to the New Testament) we must add Revelation. The whole New Testament history is under the last beast.

The first, fullest, and most general account of these is in chapter 7 of Daniel, which we have read. If we turn to it now for a moment, we shall see that it is divided into portions by the terms "I saw in the night visions." First, we have, verses 1-6, the fact of the four great empires and a brief account of three; the next division, beginning with verses 7-12, a particular description of the fourth beast, and then a throne set up and judgment. Verse 13 begins another division, in which the kingdom is given to the Son of man. After this we have the explanation given to Daniel by the angel, in which the condition of the saints under the beasts and particularly the last beast, and, finally under the Son of man, is given. They are beasts as having lost their intelligence towards God, not owning Him, and doing their own will in ravening power as far as they can. Of this the madness of Nebuchadnezzar was a figure.

The first three great empires are, Babylon (the head of gold); the bear, Persia (silver); the leopard, Grecian (brass). On these I do not dwell: they are past. The fourth beast, described as we have seen apart more particularly, is the Roman; you find him represented as fierce and powerful, tearing and devouring -- not simple conquest, but putting all down under it, treading down what it did not devour; and where has not Western Europe sought to place its power? But, which is far more important still, we find direct antagonism to God.

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Verses 7, 8: "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots, and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." You will remark that there is a special power here (a horn, the symbol of power or a kingdom); before it three of the kingdoms fall. Its general character is given here. We shall see the details farther on. It has eyes of man: eyes here mean intelligence, insight into things. His mouth speaks great things, saying, Who is Lord over us? Nor is this all -- that his lips are his own, as the psalm speaks; but he will not allow of God.

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down [here with the LXX and best judges we must read "set," which falls in with the. sense indeed of the whole passage]

, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." The first three powers, you may remark, had their dominion taken away (their power was destroyed), but subsisted afterwards as subject kingdoms; whereas, when the Roman Empire is put an end to, it is destroyed utterly.

To this we must now turn. It has an importance which none of the others have, though Babylon has a special character. It was the Roman Empire that was in power when Christ was born and took part in His rejection through Pilate, and hereafter they will join Antichrist when he comes. The prophet regards till the thrones are set and the Ancient of days sits. The Roman Empire will then subsist, and, whatever its form or its apparent subversion, is not supplanted by any other beast till the judgment comes. The prophet beholds till the thrones are set and the Ancient of days sits. This is an important element in the fourth beast's history; the consequence is, that it is utterly destroyed when it ceases to be an empire.

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Remark, too, the clear proof we have of what I drew your attention to as so important in speaking of chapter 2, namely, that the kingdom is not assumed by the Son of man till the judgment is executed. He may and will destroy the beast by His power; but it is only when it is destroyed that His own kingdom is established. It cannot be along with evil. This is the question of the expectant and suffering Jew in Psalm 94: 20. It is not now, but after the judgment, that the growth of Christ's kingdom takes place. He is sitting at the right hand of God, but comes thence to take the kingdom with glory and power; He is gathering in now the joint-heirs.

Next, we find here that what is brought out as the cause of this judgment is the great words of blasphemy of the little horn. There cannot be a more definite statement that the glory and kingdom of Christ is consequent on the judgment. I insist upon this, because it bears upon everything we are treating of, and determines our whole view of the nature of Christ's kingdom. There is no change in the principle of sin, in the first Adam, but it goes on to the end. It was lawless at the beginning, breaking law when law was given, rose up against the Lord in hatred to God when He was made flesh and dwelt among us; and, Satan having throughout corrupted the church as we have seen, his power is allowed to unfold itself in the beasts, and in the last beast ripens to a head, and leads the kings of this earth to make war with the Lamb (the lawless one, the man of sin, being then openly revealed). Our portion, as we have seen, is in the Lord, nor will the fruitful power of His grace towards us cease till we shall be like Himself.

But though the kings of the earth stand up together, and the rulers take counsel together, yet God will set His King upon His holy hill of Zion. Here, however, the aspect of His power is somewhat different, He is seen as Son of man, a term of wider dominion than Son of David, in which Psalm 2 views Him; but even there the heathen are given to Him for an inheritance, and He breaks them in pieces like a potter's vessel. The difference is this, that here the kingdom is given and possessed as a dominion, in Psalm 2 it is established by judicial power.

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We now come to the interpretation in which this very judgment is spoken of, some immensely important truths besides being brought out. In the prophecy nothing had been said of the saints, heavenly or earthly: here we shall find both -- I do not say the church, but still heavenly saints. Indeed, when God's mind is thus given, and not merely the outward facts, the connection of these events with the saints is the principal point. Verse 17, "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." The saints will do it, not the Son of man only. Verse 21, "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."

Here you will first remark the extremely important point that the Ancient of days Himself comes. For though Christ, as man, is gone to receive a kingdom and to return; yet the Son of man is the Ancient of days. So it is said in Timothy that the King of kings and the Lord of lords would shew Christ in glory. But in the Revelation Christ comes as King of kings and Lord of lords: and I may add, in another relationship, the traits of the Ancient of days in Daniel are found in the Son of man who walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks. He is there distinctly both -- Son over His own house who built all things.

Another term calls for remark here -- the saints of the Most High; or, as in the margin, heavenly places, which we find again in Ephesians as the place of the saints; yet it is immediately connected with the name God takes as possessor of heaven and earth. It is not here the church, but all the saints who have their dwelling in heavenly places in connection with the kingdom, yet in a state of eternal glory. God took the name of God Almighty in relationship with Abraham, of Jehovah with Israel, of Father, in grace, with us. Thus Abraham was to be perfect, walking before God Almighty: Israel was to be perfect with Jehovah their God. We are called to be perfect as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. We are before God as Christ; but as He is in us, we are called to display the divine nature, to be imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love as Christ loved us. But the name of Most High is the expression of God's sovereign dominion, above all that is called God, the Supreme. So, when Abraham returned from the slaughter of the kings (figure of Israel's deliverance and final victory in the latter day), Melchizedek (the figure of Christ as King and Priest, Priest upon His throne in the world to come, King of righteousness, King of peace) comes forward and blesses Abraham on the part of the Most High God possessor of heaven and earth, and blesses the Most High in Abraham's name. In our chapter the saints have their name in connection with this; and indeed it is applied to God (with the difference then of being singular, instead of plural).

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Meanwhile tribulation and trial is the portion of those on earth. The little blasphemous horn who speaks such great things makes war with the saints. This is the general character. Of course they must be down here. Those on high he can only blaspheme. I do not believe this little horn to be Antichrist; the source of persecution is ever the traditional religious power. Antichrist will be in direct association with him and urges him to it: of this hereafter. But this is the last active power of evil in the Roman Empire or beast whose names of blasphemy are on it: of this also farther on. This persecution will continue till God's power interferes. This is stated in a very important verse: he prevails till the Ancient of days came (here we see that the Son of man is the Ancient of days, for we know that the Son of man comes); and thus a total change takes place, judgment is given to the saints of the high places, and the time is come that the saints possess the kingdom. He does not say saints of the Most High here, for on earth and in blessing the earthly saints will possess the kingdom, as in Matthew 25; but judgment is given only to the saints of the Most High. The Ancient of days then comes, judgment is given to the heavenly saints (compare Revelation 20: 4, where we read that judgment was given unto them, and they live and reign with Christ a thousand years), and the saints possess the kingdom.

When will Christians learn their place? He is never called our King, but He is the King of the nations, of the world. We reign with Him. Nothing is so hard as to get the saints to accept the place they have in Christ -- to know that in Him, through the price of His own most precious blood, they are one with Him in God's sight and purpose now, and (after having been caught up to Him in the clouds, as we have already seen in a previous lecture) will come with Him when He comes to judge the nations.

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But I pursue the explanation. Verse 24, "And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise, and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Most High, the first time it is mentioned here, is God Himself. "Times and laws" refer to Jews entirely; the words are terms which refer to their statutes and ordinances. These (not the saints) are given into his hands. God never gives His saints into their enemies' hands, though He may use these as a rod.

When that time comes, the beast at first makes his covenant with Israel, according to Daniel 9: 27 -- first joins with them, then breaks with them, and makes the sacrifice and oblation to cease. All the Jewish order which had been set up in pride will be completely upset, as in Isaiah 18: "They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them." They are brought into such trouble as never was since there was a nation, no, nor ever will be. It is the time, times, and half a time -- the great tribulation. The verse gives in few words, but precisely, the state of things when the little horn is wearing out the saints of God.+ Satan will be cast out of heaven and have come down, as we have seen, in great rage, having but a short time. Before that period everything is given into the power of the beast. Then the Lord, the Ancient of days, who is come, takes all into His hands. "A short work will the Lord make upon the earth." For the judgment shall sit; the kingdom shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High -- that is, to the Jewish people, now brought into connection with the rule of heaven, and secured by it.

+"The saints of the Most High" here, I do not doubt, are specially those spoken of in the last part of Revelation 20: 4, who, refusing to worship the beast, will, being killed, have their place on high.

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In order to get that clear a little, we turn to the Revelation, for there we find the history of this beast unfolded in chapter 13. I shall refer to it fully farther on; here, only to notice its character and what it is. It is the Roman beast, with seven heads and ten horns. It receives its power from the dragon, blasphemes God and those in heaven, and makes war with the saints. It is ministered to spiritually by the deceitful power of Satan. It is the instrument of Satan's power in the earth when he is cast out of heaven. Already, as the dragon, the Romans had joined in rejecting Christ. The Roman beast is the only one which has done it in the person of Pilate. But then Christ owned the power as of God, as it was. He said "Thou couldest have no power at all against me except it were given thee from above" (John 19: 11), though Satan's influence, as prince of this world, was guiding the use of that power. Then judgment was on one side, perfect righteousness on the other. When Christ comes again, judgment will return to righteousness. They will be reconciled in one, as it is in Psalm 94: "The Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgment shall return unto righteousness, and all the upright in heart shall follow it." Till then the saints must not expect it. God may hold the reins and control to His own purposes the powers that be whom He has ordained -- may give thus all quietness, as we surely experience it and have to thank Him for; but we must not expect the motives of government to be righteousness as God sees it. It is the time to do well, suffer for it, and take it patiently, as Jesus did; and when God looses the reins to evil, when Satan is come to the earth, then the full true character of evil power from Satan will be manifested. "The dragon gave him his power, and his seat and great authority," Revelation 13: 2. Such is the Roman beast in its final state during the time, times, and half a time.

The distinct and definite place and character of this period become as plain as possible if we consult the end of Daniel 9. The prophet receives from the heavenly messenger the assurance that the Jews will be restored. "Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times: and after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off and shall have nothing," as in margin; "not 'for himself'" is not the sense. "And he shall confirm covenant with the many for one week, and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." First, seven weeks, during which time Jerusalem is rebuilt, then sixty-two weeks -- making sixty-nine weeks -- Messiah was cut off; but there was a week or part of one left. After the close of the sixty-ninth week Messiah was cut off, and He took nothing. Thereupon the Jewish nation, instead of being restored, was completely subverted. So we find in Luke, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

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The last week thus remains. In the first half indeed Messiah was there, but rejected by the nation and owned only by the remnant. At the end Antichrist is owned by the nation, rejected by the remnant. The beast makes a covenant with the Jews for that week, but breaks it in the midst of the week, the half-week remains unaccomplished. You get then three and a half years that remain to be accomplished, when abominations (i.e., idolatry) will overspread the Jewish people, the times and laws will be changed. At that very time Satan is come down (in chapter 12 of Revelation), and the woman, the true remnant in Jerusalem, flees into the wilderness for a time, times, and half a time. This is Daniel's half-week. You get it thus perfectly clear. The remnant owned Christ, but the Jews did not. You get the sixty-nine weeks, and then a long parenthesis in which Christ is set aside and the Jews on the earth, "desolations being determined," which goes on until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. During this period the church, the heavenly thing, is called.

Thus the time we are in is not reckoned at all. So the prophets (who do not speak of the times of the Gentiles as Daniel does) pass it over altogether and connect Christ's second coming to earth with His first. We have a very remarkable proof of this from the Lord Himself, when quoting from Isaiah 61: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." The prophet adds, "and the day of vengeance of our God." This Christ does not read, though in the same sentence, but stops short in the midst of a sentence, when He had read as far as "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord," and then ceased. "He closed the book, and sat down," because the remaining part of the prophecy extended beyond the period in which they then were, and in which we still are, to a time which is yet to come -- the time of vengeance of the Lord.

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All this time the interval in the midst of Daniel's week runs on without being counted. We do not count by time in heaven, and this is the time of the heavenly calling. This is evident from the passage in Daniel 9, for the weeks go on to sixty-nine; then all is vague to the one week at the end; but as soon as ever God takes the Jews up again, Daniel's week begins again. If you apply therefore the time, times, and half a time, or the forty-two months, or the twelve hundred and sixty days (which are precisely the same time, three hundred and sixty days being counted to a year, and the five intercalary days or next days being left out), to the intervening epoch, you are necessarily on false ground. I believe there is an analogy, as there are many Antichrists though they are not the Antichrist, proving in a moral sense we have been in the last days since the apostle's time. But the moment you come to be precise, it all falls to the ground, although there is an analogy. The counting of time belongs entirely to the Jews, and the three years and a half begin to run when they are again on the scene, when Satan has been cast down, and the beast has assumed a diabolical character -- is come up out of the abyss.

If you take Revelation 13 you get the details of this beast. "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (verse 2). There I get the direct authority of Satan. The saints of the Most High did not take the kingdom then: we shall be caught up and be entirely out of the way of that power of evil. "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast" (verse 3). I do not doubt that we get here the imperial head once destroyed but now revived. "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" (verse 4). That is, the direct power of Satan, as dominant, is publicly owned, and the Roman Imperial beast thus restored carries all the world enthusiastically after it. "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven" (verse 5, 6). Mark here, he cannot touch them in heaven, but he blasphemes them. Satan had been cast out, he was no longer an accuser, and those above he can only blaspheme. There will be some who will have a place in heaven, and whose hearts are weaned from earth, whom he will injure. Those whom he can hurt and kill will be taken up, or they would have lost earthly blessings by their faithfulness, and not get heavenly ones. Such there will be, who refuse to worship him. But this is a detail into which I do not enter here, as our subject is the Gentile powers and their judgment. But "all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain" (verse 8 -- for such I have no doubt is the true force of the passage). Complete power (only God preserves a remnant) is in the hands of Satan and his instruments.

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But, connected with this, we have now another power coming out of the earth. "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." In this, I have no doubt, we have the Antichrist, or false Messiah, the direct exercise of Satan's falsehood on earth; he is not a priest, or anti-priest, here; that he exercised in heaven. He is a false prophet (compare chapter 19: 20), and he has two horns like a lamb. Horns are the power of a kingdom; and he sets up to have that like the Lamb. He pretends to the power of Messiah's kingdom and to be the hoped for king; but when his voice was heard, it was evidently Satan's. Antichrist denies the Father and the Son (i.e., Christianity); he openly denies its truths, and he openly denies that Jesus is the Christ; the first, so to speak, the Jewish form of Christianity, though ever, of course true, but what a Jew was and will be called on to own. "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound r was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men" (verse 12, 13).

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How solemn this, as the power of delusion, remark. It was the proof Elijah gave that Jehovah was the true God, not Baal. Here this active power of Satan is shewing by the same sign that his witness is to be received, and that they are to own the beast and worship him, and they are so given up that they do believe the lie. We have seen elsewhere that he did falsely what Christ did to prove His mission. He leads them thus further to open denial of Christ, denies Christianity altogether, and says he is Christ himself; but, at the same time, leads them by these means into idolatry, and to make an image to the restored beast, "and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live: and he had power to give [not life, none can do that but God, but]

breath unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads" (verse 14-16): that is, he forces them to be his avowed slaves, and make an open profession of his service.

In sum, we have a second beast, using diabolical spiritual energy, and playing into the hands of the beast who held his throne from Satan. You get a kind of trinity of evil and resurrection. The dragon gives the throne to the beast, as the Father to Christ; and the second beast exercises in spiritual energy the power of the first beast in his presence, as the Holy Ghost with Christ. This is the fruit of the falling away -- the apostasy of Christianity. So the first beast was slain and his deadly wound is healed.

In chapter 17 we have other aspects of the beast, or Gentile power. The empire is given, but it will ascend out of the bottomless pit, become definitely diabolical, and go into perdition. "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings [forms of power]

, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition" (verse 9-11). That is, five forms of government were fallen in the apostle's time; and one was the imperial; a sixth was to come and abide a short time; and the last, who is of the seven, as a form I suppose imperial, but is an eighth. In this last form he comes out of the bottomless pit -- as a diabolical character. It will be a Roman emperor; he is the eighth head, and is the beast (that is, concentrates all the power in his own person). After him the world, save only the elect, will go, seeing the long-lost form of power revived in his eighth head. It is Rome; for the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits: of her anon. But another important element is added, "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast" (verse 12).

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"One hour with the beast" -- mark this, because it is the definite evidence that it had not been going on since the fall of the Roman Empire through the inroad of the northern nations. Those nations broke up, and, for the time, destroyed the beast -- gave it its deadly wound. These receive power one hour with the beast: therefore the beast must come up again. It existed at the first without these kings. Then these kings existed without it, and you have the ten kings without the beast. At the end you get the ten kings with the beast. Men form schemes; but the moment I get scripture, I can surely say we have not the beast in this form yet. What is presented here is subsisting kingdoms, but kingdoms which have given their power, without ceasing to be kingdoms, to one head, who leads all as a whole. "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful." This beast, with his subordinate kingdoms, rises up in open hostility against the authority of Christ; while Christ comes with His armies to judge and destroy them all. God's mighty ones come down, the saints come with Christ. "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (verse 15, 16).

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This introduces us to the judgment of Babylon, of Rome, of the great whore, the mother of harlots and abominations. We see, not a spiritual change, but her utter destruction by the beast and the ten kings -- the ruin of priestcraft. They pull it all to pieces and devour its wealth and destroy it utterly, wearied with its dominion and falseness. It had deserved it. But it is not the power of good. "For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled." It is a perfect riddle how people who profess to receive the Scripture have invented all sorts of notions as to the course of events connected with Christianity in this world. The moment I come to Scripture, they are all gone. Men may talk as they like about the steady growth of religion in the world, and the way in which God's word will remove the power of evil from it. It is directly stated, that when the beast and the horns destroy the corrupt power which had long ruled them and made the nations drunk with her fornications, they give their kingdom to the beast. You will find at the end of chapter 19 God's dealings with the beast (verse 14-20), "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun: and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." And the false prophet, which is the second beast. Verse 21, "And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth, and all the fowls were filled with their flesh" -- a strong figure, drawn from Ezekiel, of judgment and destruction. There we see that power has come, not the influence of the word, whether law or gospel; but power has come in which puts down evil power.

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In chapter 20 We have a full development of what we read in Daniel 7. We get in the Revelation the history of the last beast more fully developed (that is, of the Roman Empire, which had already rejected Christ when on earth in conjunction with the Jews). Consequent on the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God, the Jews being set aside as a nation, the church was formed. She does not belong to the world, but is the bride of Christ in heavenly places. Then when the church is caught up, the beast which seemed to have been destroyed is found in a new form -- still as such -- its deadly wound being healed; and as he had joined in rejecting Christ, he is now in the closest connection with Antichrist. At the first he deals with the Jews, makes a covenant with them, but in the last half week of Daniel turns against them, persecutes them, changes times and laws, makes the sacrifice and oblation to cease. The king, the Antichrist, establishes idolatry, and divides their land. You read his character in this point of view in Daniel 11: 36: "And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done." In a word, in Daniel, as in the part of Revelation I have referred to, is the testimony of the beast, the last form of the power which oppresses Israel when they are captive, and does so until the Lord comes and delivers, though He judges them. Now another power, the Assyrian, comes before us, Israel's great enemy when God owns them, and who will also appear on the scene in his last form in the last days, thinking, when the beast is destroyed, to possess all, but he comes to his end. In Isaiah 10: 5 we read, "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation." After giving the various instruments which God has used to chasten Israel, he comes to the last and terrible invader. That was God's indignation against the rebellious people (the indignation describing the last terrible visitation of God). Compare Isaiah 26: 20, 21 with Daniel 11: 36, the last words of which are also a technical expression for the short work which God will, at the end, make on the earth, as in Daniel 9: 27, and this chapter -- Isaiah 10: 23. (Compare Isaiah 28: 22.) If you look now at verse 25, you will see what will make the force of it quite clear, "For yet a very little while and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction." That is, the whole judgment of God on Israel -- His indignation -- is closed in the destruction of the Assyrian.

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Now, beloved friends, we will turn to Isaiah 30; but before we do so, let us, just in passing, look at the passage I have referred to in chapter 28: 14-16, "Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement, when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." That is, they made, as we have seen, a covenant with the power of evil, but to no purpose. But the remnant who trusted the Lord and counted on His promise, though not yet delivered or knowing redemption as we do, yet looking, through the testimony then given, to the Son of man, the Branch whom Jehovah had made so strong for Himself (at any rate the wise ones of Daniel and all true-hearted ones resting on such testimonies as this and Isaiah 8) did not make haste or join the Antichrist, while as to the mass, the hopes they had put in him and the beast are confounded, and the scourge of this invader flows through. Afterwards at the end, as we see in the following chapter (293, it is exactly the opposite (verse 4-7); the enemies who were ready to devour are destroyed.

Now look at the end of chapter 30, and you will find this enemy and his end: "For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king [or, as I believe, "also for the king"]

it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it." The grounded staff is God's decreed rod. When this is laid on the Assyrian, it is the source of joy and triumph because of deliverance -- the end of the indignation.

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Turn now to Micah 5, where we shall see the connection of Christ with the judgment of the Assyrian and the subsequent blessing of Israel. Nothing so laid hold of a Rabbi I was conversing with as this passage. Verses 1-9: "Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us; they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies-shall be cut off."

The rejected Christ is now to be great to the ends of the earth. He is the peace, secures the peace of Israel, when the Assyrian (their last rod whose destruction puts an end to the indignation) is in the land. He will at first tread in Israel's palaces; but at the end Messiah's power destroys him; and Israel will be as a lion among the Gentiles, though as the dew of divine blessing also. The enemies of the Lord will be cut off. He will judge fully rebellious Israel, indeed, but execute vengeance and fury upon the heathen such as they have not heard. At this time, remark, the Jews are owned, seen in their land, and judged as the people of God there.

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Daniel, we have seen, is occupied with the Gentiles when Israel is in captivity, and Jerusalem and the land desolate. He brings all these powers to an end, but never takes up the consequent blessing. His subject is the times of the Gentiles.

Ezekiel does exactly the contrary. He goes, himself a captive, up to the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and goes then right over to the end, when Israel would be restored and the enemies go up against them in their land. We shall turn now to his prophecy, where you will find largely developed this other great power. Chapter 38: 1, 2, "And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him." The chief prince of Meshech is properly interpreted prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal;+ and then follow the names of countries which agree with the names of those of the present day under the influence of Rosh (Russia). You will remark that, in the two preceding chapters, 36 and 37, you have the restoration of the people and divine revival of Israel. Now, when restored and quiet in the land, Gog comes up against them (chapter 38: 8) to plunder and possess the land; but it is that the heathen may know Jehovah when He is sanctified in Gog before their eyes (verse 16). They will then know by His judgments that He is Jehovah (verse 23). In chapter 39 God leaves a sixth part of them, and when judgment is thus executed, God's holy name is known in the midst of His people Israel. He will not let them pollute His holy name any more, "And the heathen shall know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel." He then calls on all the fowls of the air to come and feast on the slaughtered victims whom He has slain for a sacrifice; so many are they that it is seven months before the land is clean. This also is the one of whom He has spoken in old times by His servants the prophets, the Assyrian of the last days, in whom, as these passages plainly shew, the indignation ceases.

Chapter 38: 14-20: "Therefore, son of man prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God, In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army. And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land. It shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord God, Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence; and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground."

+This translation, of the correctness of which I have no doubt, is that of the elder Lowth, some hundred and fifty years ago, before these prophetic views were mooted.

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Chapter 39: 1-8: "Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel. And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God: this is the day whereof I have spoken." "And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward" (verse 21, 22). "Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God" (verse 28, 29).

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I get here this other fundamental principle: When Israel is restored, then the heathen themselves -- judged that it may be so -- understand that Jehovah, the God of Israel, is the Most High over all the earth, and submit to Him. You will see how Psalm 8 expresses this: "O Jehovah our Lord," says Israel, when Christ is set up, not simply as Son of David, according to Psalm 2, which will indeed now be accomplished, but as Son of man, "how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" This is the prayer of Psalm 67. I should multiply quotations too much were I to quote all the Psalms which speak of this. I will allude to a remarkable series -- Psalms 94-100. Psalm 94 calls for judgment; Psalm 95 summons Israel to repentance; Psalm 96 the heathen are called to own Jehovah, for He is coming to judge the world in righteousness; in Psalm 97 He is actually coming in clouds; in Psalm 98 the Lord is come and has made known His salvation; in Psalm 99 He is known upon the earth again, and is sitting between the cherubim; and Psalm 100 calls on all nations to come and worship Him now that His throne is set up on earth for blessing. The cry for vengeance and deliverance is the cry of the remnant, from the time of God's bringing back the people till His sitting on the throne of judgment. He will send deliverance by power. The throne of iniquity will not share the power with Him. Now, grace calls souls from the evil, to come to God and go to heaven, and grace characterises the Christian, though he knows vengeance will come.

I have now gone through the passages which give us the history of the beast, and a sufficient number of those which speak of the Assyrian, to have a distinct idea of these two powers, now concentrated in Western and Eastern Europe. Zechariah never speaks of the Assyrian. He belonged to the captivity of Israel, though the Jews were restored that Messiah might be presented to them. But the post-captivity prophets do not call the Jews God's people, unless speaking of their future; and the other prophets, those before the captivity, never speak of the beast as such, because Israel was owned, God's throne still there. Ezekiel, we have seen, goes over from Babylon to Israel again in the land. We have more directly to say to the beast because the time is going on in which they rule: only that in result it becomes open rebellion. There is a raising up of the beast from a seemingly fatal wound in an utterly diabolical character. God has put into the hearts of a little remnant of the Jews then to look to Him. But the nation blossoms and buds, and seems as if it were beginning a time of full prosperity in its own land. But then it is browsed and eaten down, the resort of beasts and birds of prey. These are judged and Israel is received and blessed. And if, says the apostle, the falling away of them be the riches of the Gentiles, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead to the world?

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All this calls our hearts, beloved, to a far more divine apprehension that our portion is in heaven while Christ is rejected; and that, Christ having been rejected, Christians are; and that, Christ being in heaven, their conversation or citizenship is there also. No living here any more, though we pass through it as pilgrims and strangers. What I have to do is to convince the world that there is a power which delivers from it, to manifest Christ and Christ's motives in it. "If ye do well and suffer for it, and take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." The danger for the saints now is that, instead of seeing evil going on and rising up to a head against the Lord, man is thinking of improving the world and bringing in good. What is before us is, that in the last days perilous times shall come. But men are wise in their own conceits, and fancy they will do better than Christ and the apostles -- not make Christians for God, but improve the earth. The testimony of God is, that the professing church and the world are both ripening up to evil, and that the Lord is coming, to receive us to Himself, and to judge the habitable earth in righteousness, and reign for its blessing, and primarily over the restored Jewish people.

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I have, in the lectures delivered at Toronto, stated my views at length as to the Lord's coming, and the divine purposes and plans in connection with that great event. I do not repeat them here, merely summing up in a sentence or two the whole scheme. But since I delivered those lectures, Dr. Brown's "Second Advent" has been put into my hands as a kind of unanswerable text-book of those who oppose Christ's pre-millennial advent. My object therefore here has been to shew the utter untenableness of his views, and unscriptural character of his arguments. I have been as brief as possible, answering a book of nearly five hundred pages in a not very long tract, but I do not think I have omitted anything very material. I have found difficulties greater than those he has alleged, and I believe have solved them, and by a principle Dr. B. admits, so that I have not gone into them in detail here. The direct proofs of Christ's second advent I believe to be irrefragable for one taught of God -- His advent to judge the world and bless it before the end. I have not thought it necessary to follow Dr. B. in all his comments on men's views. It sufficed to take up those of Scripture.

Two great subjects, after our personal salvation, fill up Scripture -- the government of the world; and the church, the special fruit of sovereign grace. Prophecy treats of the former, and, as Paul -- who alone in the epistles speaks at all of the church or even names it+ -- declares, never speaks at all of the church. It was a mystery hid in God, could not be revealed; for it was founded on the breaking down of the middle wall of partition, on the maintenance of which the Jewish system was founded.

+John speaks of a particular church; but elsewhere none but Paul even employs the word.

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Now the true pre-millennial view is that God's purpose is to gather together all things in heaven and earth under one head, Christ. The church is the centre after Christ of the heavenly system, the Jews of the earthly. The church is caught up, when He comes, to take her place with Him there, as are all raised saints with her; and then He comes with them to establish peace and blessing on the earth. For the world (Greek -- the habitable earth) to come -- to come, mark, after Christianity was set up in the world -- is not subjected to angels, but to man. We have a heavenly place, nor does Christ give up His heavenly place because He takes the earth to bless it. He holds both under His power -- only His agents are glorified saints, who certainly appear with Him (Colossians 3), and to whom He has given His glory, that the world may know (not believe) that they are loved as He was, proving distinctly the existence of the heavenly visible glory of the saints while the world and men subsist -- not the angels, though these ever minister to His glory. Such is the express testimony of Scripture. See Psalm 8, Hebrews 2. He waits at the right hand of God till the time comes for Him to take His power and reign. Psalm 110 and Hebrews 10). Such is the statement of Scripture. (See Ephesians 1 and Colossians 1.)

Now I agree with Dr. B. that this, while leaving orthodox foundations where they are, changes the whole nature and character of Christianity. Salvation remains the same, but all the thoughts and relationship of the saved are different. "Pre-millennialism is no barren speculation -- useless though true, and innocuous though false. It is a school of scripture interpretation; it impinges upon and affects some of the most commanding points of the Christian faith, and when suffered to work its unimpeded way, it stops not till it has pervaded with its own genius the entire system of one's theology, and the whole tone of his spiritual character, constructing, I had almost said, a world of its own; so that, holding the same faith and cherishing the same fundamental hopes as other Christians, he yet sees things through a medium of his own, and finds everything instinct with the life which this doctrine has generated within him," page 6.+ This is thoroughly true, and shews how necessary it is, in all grace and patience, to see where the truth lies. Above all, Christ's Person, and our being with Him, acquires special importance in the heart of him who holds it. The bride looks for the Bridegroom as a present hope; Christ is coming again to receive us to Himself, not to judge us, though we shall surely be manifested before His "Bema," but already glorified; for we are raised in glory.

+The numbers inclosed thus denote the pages referred to in Dr. B.'s book. New York Edition, Robert Carter, 1856.

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The post-millennial Christian may, nay must, love His appearing as an abstract idea; but it is no present hope: he looks to the gospel spreading and filling the whole earth (I do not say desires -- that abstractedly every saint would say Amen to), and thinks it must be so. He can therefore love the appearing though it has no practical reality for him, but he could not say "We which are alive and remain" (the remainers, the apostle putting himself in the class, without fixing a day) "unto the coming of the Lord." He could not place himself in such a class at all. He could not seek to be kept without rebuke in service till the appearing, nor say of the dead, as Paul in Thessalonians 4, 'Weep not, he will be brought with Jesus when He appears, for, raised or changed, we are going to meet Him.' Such a comfort no saint thinks of now. A present hope it cannot be. It is not that he cannot morally love it (though the making the earth blessed by it he does not believe); but he must look for it across at least a thousand years, and hence (though not altogether with Dr. B., yet even he speaks of a perfect analogy) we constantly see death take the place, as an equivalent, of the Lord's coming -- a thing unknown to Scripture, blessed as death is for the saint.

But this catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air and be for ever with Him, and His appearing, and the day of the Lord, are all confounded by these theologians. They all abide His appearing to be judged -- a senseless thing for those already centuries in heaven. Then Dr. B. says the Redeemer's second appearing is the very pole star of the church (page 14). It is not so at all. It is His coming to receive her to Himself, that where He is, she may be also. It is expressly revealed that when He appears, she will appear with Him. This mixture of hope with judgment leads him to quote its terror for sinners as a part of this hope. Now as no apostle speaks of the church, so no apostle speaks of its rapture, but Paul. He was minister of the church to complete the word of God. But he never confounds the appearing with the rapture. Joy of grace belongs to this last; all responsibility is referred to His appearing. The general thought of His coming runs through all as gladness and joy to saints. The class of texts which present a difficulty are those which speak in a general way of judgment But, as Dr. B. says, the church is seen as a whole from beginning to end. This is true: and not only so; often the principle of judgment, applied as it was to come on those then on the earth, as 2 Thessalonians 1, as the Lord says, "to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return" + (the whole space now of one thousand years being taken as no time because the principle only was in question); this goes yet farther. Judgment is spoken of morally without reference to time or circumstances. "He that confesseth me before men, him will I confess before the angels of God." It does not speak of when. So judgment-day is used as characteristic, not as a point of time -- "more tolerable for Sodom in judgment-day than for that city." It may be a point of time. In this case I suppose it will, but it is not the point which is before the Lord. The result of judgment is given, not the circumstances of it.

+It is a mistake of Dr. B.'s to suppose Matthew 25 corresponds with Luke 19. It certainly was at another time.

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Before treating of details, I would notice the way in which traditional theology obscures the truth and complicates men's thoughts as to it. Christ is spoken of in Scripture as Prophet, Priest, and King. Nothing can be simpler. But, having got hold of these three official positions, everything must come under them. Now these titles grow from Jewish analogies, and the full gospel light is dropped by this. He is King -- king to save, they say, to give life, and the like.

All this is unscriptural. He was the great Prophet on earth. He is Priest in heaven. He is in title, and will be in fact, King of Israel, and over the nations. Scripture never speaks of His being King of the church, nor of His saving in the spiritual sense of salvation as king. The whole system of thought is narrow, and, if Scripture be simply received, it is much simpler. He is Son of God, and gives life as such -- quickens whom He will. He has suffered as Son of man, and will be head over all things as such. He is Advocate with the Father. He is Head of the body, the church, His bride -- the firstborn, too, among many brethren. I only notice these as examples to point out the narrowness of the system and the far greater simplicity and richness of Scripture.

I proceed to my examination of Dr. B.'s proofs. The first question Dr. B. puts on this subject of judgment, which I take first as the only one having any difficulty for my reader, shews how tradition usurps the place of Scripture. He enquires (page 261), speaking of judging -- ruling and governing being admitted to be a scriptural sense of the word, "Are these the senses in which Christ will come to judge at the great day?" Now this is the traditional assumption that the great day of judgment -- the great white throne -- is the great day. Now the great day is never used in Scripture for this -- save in Jude as to the angels, which does not apply to the judgment of men at all -- but for a terrible day on the earth; for Jacob's trouble, Jeremiah 30: 7; the day of Jezreel, Hosea 1: 11; again, Joel 2: 11-31, quoted Acts 2: 20, shewing clearly it is on earth. Those who call on the name of the Lord are saved in it (Zephaniah 1: 14), where it is unquestionably on the earth; Malachi 4: 5, where smiting the earth is in question. Does the New Testament help us further? Jude 6: here we have the judgment of fallen angels, as to which we have no further light in Scripture. The expression is general. There is not the smallest hint that it is before the "great white throne"; but the contrary. The dead only appear there. As far as there is any intimation of scripture, it is not there; for we read (1 Corinthians 6) that we are to judge angels, so that the character of the judgment is quite different; nor is it a judgment of details of conscience. The devil, not necessarily included in Jude's words, is cast into the lake of fire, as an adversary, before the great white throne is set up. Revelation 6: 17, and 16: 14, both expressly speak of a terrible day on earth. To begin with, therefore, the great day is not a general day of judgment of the dead. That thought is the fruit of tradition, not of Scripture. The dead will surely be judged; but that is not called the great day in Scripture. The terrible time of God's judgment on earth is so called. The fallen angels are reserved for it; but we judge them.

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I now occupy myself with the passages. Matthew 10: 32, 33: Dr. B. (page 269) very culpably, I think, adds a passage in Mark -- words certainly not spoken at the same time, but which adds "when he cometh" -- which is not in Matthew 10. In Mark 8: 38 there are not two classes at all; the passage merely states that, when Christ comes in glory, He will be ashamed of those ashamed of Him in His humiliation. It is the contrast of state. Matthew 10: 32, 33, which refers to both classes, does not say a word of His coming. It is said, without any reference to time at all, He will confess or deny before His Father. The statement of Dr. B. is positively and totally false. He says, "Here the acknowledging of the one class, and the disowning of the other are expressly said to take place at the same time, namely, when Christ comes in His glory." This is false, and it is a disgraceful way of dealing with Scripture. When Christ's coming is spoken of, there are not two classes; when two classes are spoken of, His coming is not alluded to.

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As to Revelation 21: 7, 8; chapter 22: 12-15, one is in the eternal state of the new heavens and new earth, and at that time Christ does not come at all. He had come at a preceding epoch, when the time of restoring grace was over, and the things which were shortly to come to pass had come to their climax. Nor does "every man" include necessarily the coming dispensation, though there is nothing at all in pre-millennial views to hinder anyone thinking so; for, according to these and Scripture, the judicial period, as Dr. B. says, is contrasted with this present time. Christ is to judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. This general application of judgment in contrast with the time of responsibility is universal in the Lord's teaching, where details are not gone into at all. There is a time of responsibility; another time when actions are weighed.

Here the quotation, however, is unfortunate; for it is closed by a reference to the transfiguration, which in every one of the three gospels follows these words, as in Mark 8: 38, and is declared by Peter to be an exhibition of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Son of man coming in His kingdom, where we have the excellent glory of the Shechinah, into which the saints enter -- the Father's house -- the Lord and His saints displayed in glory on earth, and living saints witnesses of it. Hence we learn that when He speaks of rewarding every man according to his works, He refers specially to the coming in His kingdom, not to the final state, though surely the judgment will endure then.

Matthew 7: 21-23. The question is of those fit, not to enter into heaven, but into the kingdom of heaven; and it speaks of their then existing dispositions, as the whole sermon on the mount does, while Christ was on the way with them. Their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, or they could not enter, etc. Christians are in the kingdom of heaven. That is clear. All Christ adds is, that those who have made a profession, and wielded spiritual power, if not godly, will be rejected, which is very clear, in that day -- the day He judges in (the epoch being left in perfect obscurity). The truth is, the kingdom of heaven was coming in a wholly unexpected way (as shewn in chapter 13), as to which the Lord does not lift the veil here.

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The virgins are still more plainly the opposite of what Dr. B. says. The Christian epoch is, as he admits, looked at as one whole, and as if no one would die, as the parables of the servant (chapter 24) and of the talents prove. But none are spoken of but Christians here -- those of the kingdom of heaven -- shewing that, while He tarried, all would forget His coming. They are both classes; but certainly not, as Dr. B. asserts, of every age. The judgment refers solely to Christians, real or bearing the name. It proves the contrary to what Dr. B. says, but only gives the principle and the true character of Christians: they have gone out to meet Christ; shewing how His coming was to be their present expectation and hope, what characterised them and their faithfulness -- not a distant thing, but a present expectation; no thought touching on the resurrection, and the principle applicable solely to this time in connection with the coming of Christ. The discourse refers to the Jews in chapter 24: 1-31; to Christians to chapter 25: 31; to the nations on earth then to the end. The great white throne does not appear at all. Matthew 25 is thus made as plain as possible; it is the judgment of the nations of the earth.

Matthew 13 refers to the end of this age; and there is avowedly an age to come -- a habitable world to come (Hebrews 2) subjected to man. Here we find the work of Satan on earth when the good seed had been sown; it is mingled with tares, and the crop spoiled, and this must continue so till harvest; so that a millennium is impossible till judgment comes, and the saints are in glory. First, the evil doers are gathered together on earth providentially; then the wheat taken to heaven; then the wicked are cast into hell, and the righteous are like Christ in the Father's kingdom. But this, which is the end of this age, applies only to Christendom, save so far as the explanation declares that Christ clears His kingdom as Son of man, that is, the earth; for there were the things that offended, and the field embraced the world, though it is not said all of it was sown. This parable wholly sets aside Dr. B.'s system. It is a judgment of Christendom to purge the field, when the wheat is taken to heaven and shines as the sun; when Christ does not give up the kingdom, but takes His power (left in abeyance till then).

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As to John 5, "The hour is coming," Dr. B. admits, gives no argument from the word "hour." It is stated there is a resurrection to life, and a resurrection to judgment. There are "no multifarious and broken transactions" at all. There is a resurrection to life, and a resurrection to judgment quite distinct. How long apart, the passage does not say Dr. B. admits their entirely mutually exclusive character.

Acts 17: 31. Dr. B. cannot have looked at the Greek, in which this passage is a very strong proof of the falseness of his system. It is this habitable world which is judged. There are no fragmentary judgments, but there is a judgment of this "habitable world," which is not the judgment of the dead at all. Then, according to Hebrews 2, we look for a world to come, "habitable world to come."

Romans 2: 5-16. Here Dr. B. has most culpably changed by leaving out, as before by adding; nor has he even noted it here. Verses 11-15 are left out, and verses 10 and 16 put together as if they were connected. The direct connection is not with verse 10; but with verse 12 (verses 13-15 being parenthetical as marked in every Bible I can lay my hand upon), so that it applies only to sinners, and teaches no general judgment day; while no one will deny that the general term "that day" may apply vaguely to all judgment. It is only in the vagueness of such language that Dr. B. has the smallest ground to stand upon. "That day" is used all through the prophets, as a Concordance will shew, to signify the judgments which are to burst forth when Messiah comes; and as His first and second comings opened out when He came, so through this present time it is used in the same general way to signify coming judgment. Yet herein revelation opens out a further vista of heavenly glory, and an age and habitable earth to come before the end. This the opposers of the hope of the Lord's coming seek to obliterate, and take refuge in the vague term, as the Jew does, in the one coming of Christ. "Last day" and "last days" are similarly used, and "last time," so that John could say in his day it was "the last time." This vagueness might cast obscurity on the subject. I have therefore examined the passages in detail: one or two remain.

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The reader will see the direct arguments of Dr. B. examined in what follows: 2 Corinthians 5: 10, 11 is quoted. We must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ. Some have taken this to apply to believers only; I believe it applies to all, and simply believe it. We must all give an account of ourselves to God: of the time, manner, or anything else, the passage says nothing.

1 Corinthians 4: 3. Certainly the Lord will make bare the secrets of men's hearts, of all hearts. No one doubts it. Here, however, the apostle is not thinking of the unjust, though it be most surely true of them, but of Christians judging their fellow Christians. God's praise is what they had better be looking for, man's day was little matter. Nothing can be more general than the truth referred to, however solemn.

2 Thessalonians 1: 6-10 refers to an immediately expected coming, looking only to those on earth, and gives its character. The saints were troubled now by sinners; when Christ comes that will not be so. The tables, as men speak, will be turned. The following chapter proves the impossibility of an intervening millennium. But this dwells on the character of the coming, and that character it will surely have. It did not concern the Thessalonians to explain the great white throne. This is sessional judgment, not the coming in power for every eye to see Him and the saints with Him. They thought the day was then: the apostle shews that the character of the day made that impossible. The wicked were to be punished then-so they will be.

1 Corinthians 3: 12-15 is merely a judgment of Christian labour in a figure. It has nothing to do with the Christian's works. If even it had, they will surely be judged at Christ's coming, and each get his place accordingly. Colossians 1: 23; Hebrews 13: 17; 1 Thessalonians 2: 19, 20, call for no remark at all, nor 1 John 2: 28, which is again the workman, nor chapter 4: 17.

As to Revelation 3: 5; 1 Timothy 5: 24, 25; Romans 14: 10, 12, we have simply to believe them as they stand. They offer no difficulty nor question. 2 Peter 3: 7, 10, 12 might. I have noticed it elsewhere; I only say here that it is the day in the which, etc.; and with others I am fully persuaded from other passages, it is at the end of the day. Peter (rather the Spirit of God) takes care to add that God does not count a day as we do. Into this Dr. B. does not enter. I have spoken of this and other texts further on.

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I now enter on Dr. B.'s general proofs of his views. I would remark in passing, the day-star arising in their hearts is not to be waited for till the end. It was desirable for the apostolic Christians. They did well to look at the prophecies which shewed the judgment of the world, till Christ Himself, their own proper hope to receive them to Himself as His bride, became a brighter and better power in their hearts: Christ, before the day of the Lord, is the day-star; the prophecies a candle in the dark.

The writer has borrowed enormously from Millenarians, and partly admits the good they have done, but even so cannot really enter into what they say, or rather what Scripture says. Thus, he says death is a perfect analogy with the Lord's coming, as it is the saints' summons to appear before the judgment-seat. But death is not resurrection. We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of God's Son, not when He was dead. When He shall appear, we shall be like Him. Surely death is gain (this too Dr. B. does not reach), for we are absent from the body and present with the Lord. But they are forced to admit the importance of the Lord's coming, and blame the opposers of it, and learn the language of those who hold it -- but they speak the language as foreigners. It is not even necessary that we should die: we shall not all sleep. Mortality can be swallowed up of life, and Paul (2 Corinthians 5) was looking for this in contrast with death, and puts himself in this category (1 Thessalonians 4) -- a thing impossible if the thousand years were to come first; and (page 27) no confusion as to its beginning or ending, or comments on watching or waiting, can alter this. The notice of it is only throwing dust in people's eyes. Men may love His appearing who never thought of the time -- perfectly true; but they could not speak as Paul did, if they put a thousand years between.

Dr. B.'s statements as to the mystery of the kingdom are entirely mistaken (pages 34, 333). It is not said, the field was to be sown; nay, there is plain prophetic proof it would not. The kingdom title reaches over the world. There is not a word of the tree's overshadowing the world, nor of Christianity leavening the mass of human society. All these statements, which are the very pith of Dr. B.'s argument on this point, are not in Scripture. It is said Satan would spoil the crop where it was sown; this Paul looked at as a present time, and so did John, and so did Jude, and dealt with as a then immediate evil. The great tree is merely a great power in the world -- Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, the Assyrian. The three measures are not all human society. Paul speaks of it as in principle, "come into all the world."

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The times of the Gentiles being fulfilled was as uncertain as the Lord's coming. Men's speculations as to this are not scripture, and I believe wholly false. The measure is Daniel's seventy weeks; and sixty-nine and a half (or at any rate sixty-nine) were fulfilled in the apostle's time; when the seventieth would begin to run, no one could nor can tell. If the apostles were to be witnesses to the end of the earth (page 34), they gave it up; and Paul went to the Gentiles, and says it had come into all the world.

The passages Dr. B. quoted (pages 36, 37) as to the degeneracy of the church, he admits, might be in no long time. His answer is simply his own addition to the parables. But that degeneracy is of all importance; because, if it took place according to Romans 11, the whole system would be cut off, instead of bringing in a millennium. Apostasy or falling away (2 Thessalonians 2) is not continuing in God's goodness. As to Acts 3: 20, 21 (page 37), the simple answer is, It is a proposal to the Jews, founded on Christ's intercession on the cross, for His present return, cut short by the chief priests.

Dr. B. quotes Luke 19 the parable of the pounds as correcting any speedy expectation of Christ (page 39). They thought it was then and there to appear on earth. Christ teaches them it would not be, and that He must go away, and the Jews thereon refuse to have Him as king, which they did; Acts 3 and 7. If it is said in Matthew 25 that the bridegroom would tarry, the effect is not to be the spreading of the gospel, but the going to sleep of the saints; and what awoke them was the cry of His coming pressed on them. The present order of things contrasted with a then earthly kingdom was taught by the Lord; so was the delay parabolically; but then the opposite to a millennium of blessing was declared to be the effect -- sleep, till they were awakened by the cry of His coming, which made it too late for those not ready to prepare. They were asleep till thus awoke. He teaches us we ought to watch; and He teaches us the church did not when He tarried, but lost the sense of His coming and fell asleep. Note, too, when it said, "My Lord delayeth his coming," as Dr. B. does, it became worldly and hierarchical, and was treated as a hypocrite.

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I do not believe the importunate widow is the church, which is never widowed, but the Jewish people, which is. The connection shews it; and Christ's coming may be expected at any time: the last days were come in the apostle's time.

Next I turn to 2 Thessalonians (page 42). All Dr. B.'s statements are wrong. Paul insinuates nothing: he refers to false means employed to say, not that the day was at hand or imminent, but then come. The word is always used in the New Testament for 'present,' or 'come' -- twice for "things present" in contrast with "things to come." The Thessalonians, excessively pressed by tribulation, were tempted to believe "the day" there -- an expression always used for a time of trouble, of darkness and not of light. In chapter I the apostle urges it could not be the day of the Lord; for then His people would have rest, not tribulation, and their enemies the trouble; and then he urges them, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, not to be shaken in mind, as if the day were there. We are to be gathered to Christ first, and before the day of the judgment of evil comes. Next the evil must be there to be judged. The passage therefore largely confirms our thoughts, because we are to be caught up before the Lord appears to bring in the day; and events refer to the day, not to our rapture. Of all this Dr. B. is ignorant. He always confounds the day and Christ's coming for us -- which, whatever the interval, are certainly distinct; for when He appears, we shall appear with Him, and thus must be with Him before.

When the twelve hundred and sixty days are made years of (save as a general possible analogy) all is false. The three times and a half are the half week of the seventy weeks of Daniel. The days are already years. There have been analogies, as there were many Antichrists (not the Antichrist); but there is no proper date but Daniel's weeks; when it begins is nowhere stated. The church is a heavenly timeless gap in the world's history, while it is said, Sit at my right hand, till -- when God puts Christ's enemies under His feet, earth's history, and the Jews, and computation of time, begin again.

Chapter 4, Dr. B. insists that the mystical body is complete when Christ comes. Hence, he concludes that it must be at the utmost end of the world. The mystical body is complete: this is clear; and I fully admit it. It is exactly what makes the subject clear. His reasoning is the effect of judging new truth by old traditions. He assumes that all that are to be saved are the church, which is totally unscriptural. The church, or God's assembly, Christ's body, what He builds on earth, is solely what is His between Pentecost and His coming. There was the congregation of Israel before, the vast majority of whom were not saved at all; and before the exodus there was no congregation at all. There could not be the body before the Head was in heaven. The baptism of the Spirit, by which the one body was formed, as Scripture expressly states, took place on the day of Pentecost; and whatever the millennium is, the marriage of the Lamb takes place before it. (See Revelation 19 and 20.) 1 Corinthians 15 proves nothing good or bad. It does not even comprehend some of the church, for in the verse referred to, and up to verse 51, it speaks only of resurrection, and thousands, it may be millions, of the church, will not die at all, but be changed.

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Hence, his whole argument fails, because those that are Christ's do not comprise all, but only those that are His who are dead; 1 Corinthians 15: 22, 23. I simply believe, however, that the church is complete; Scripture leaves no doubt of it. 2 Thessalonians 1: 10 proves He will be admired in all them that believe, i.e., who believe the gospel. Paul speaks only of Christians, though I doubt not He will in those who believed before He came; but Paul is speaking only of Christians. All that Dr. B. says here is nothing to the purpose. So Colossians 1: 22 is confined to Christians reconciled through the death of Christ, once alienated Gentiles; i.e., Christians and the gospel; though, I doubt not, from other passages, Old Testament saints come it. But against the thesis I have no objection, I accept it fully. But I deny that saints before Christ's first coming, or after His second, are part of the church. The Head of the church is Christ, once dead, exalted above every principality and power, the body [consists] of those united to Him by the Holy Ghost. Dr. B.'s efforts to get rid of Zechariah 14: 5: "The Lord my God shall come, and all his saints with thee," are pitiable. They that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Angels will come, but these cannot be angels. Angels are not called.

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I do not admit the last two chapters of Revelation to be the everlasting state (Gentiles are not to be healed then) but only chapter 21: 1-8; and "as a bride adorned for her husband" is a mere description of the beauty of ornament, not the time of marriage. There is not a word of presentation to one another of Christ and the bride there, as Dr. B. states. There is a great difference: before, she was in the heavens; now, descended, whatever follows thereon, the kingdom being given up. The quotation of Hebrews 12: 23 (page 64) is a blunder; it is not our gathering together to Him at all. Next, "the general assembly" and the "church of the firstborn" are wrongly connected. The first in Greek refers to the general assembly of all the Grecian States, and is used here for the whole heavenly host, the innumerable company of angels, the general assembly. Then, "the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven"; and besides this, there are the Old Testament saints, "the spirits of just men made perfect"; and the new covenant saints, yet another class, alluded to. The divisions of subject in the text are by "and." I leave all the reasonings of men. All Dr. B.'s argument is founded on the church's comprising all the saved, which is wholly unscriptural.

The difference of the millennium on earth Dr. B. has not laid hold of at all. Now there are a faithful few, Satan being the prince and god of this world, going against the stream. Then Christ will be the prince of this world, and Satan bound, and obedience will be paid to Christ's manifested power even when men are not converted. When this obedience is not paid, excision takes place, so that all is peaceful and happy. It is a perfect government of the earth made good everywhere. When Satan is let loose and temptation comes again, those not kept by grace follow him. I have an impression that piety will decline in the millennium; but it is founded on a figure (Numbers 28 and 29), so that I do not insist on it; but the rest of what I have said is revealed. That men should fall when tempted, however sad, is nothing but what is very simple. It is the last effort of Satan. Dr. B.'s reply (page 73) to its being only such as have lived up to the millennium is only abuse. Besides, I have already answered it.

The assertion that His mystical body is the universal family of the redeemed, is unscriptural; all the declaration is founded on this gross and unscriptural error, that all the saved belong to the church. Before Christ's exaltation there was no Head for them to be united to, though, as Son of God, doubtless He was the source of life to them. But life is not union. The scripture expressly reveals that the church was not formed, nor the Holy Ghost who formed it given, till Christ was glorified. See John 7: 39; Ephesians 2: 20-23; Matthew 16: 18; 1 Corinthians 12: 12, 13; John 1: 33; Acts 1: 5. Men's reasonings about it I cannot give heed to, nor the inconsistencies of men who do not at all know what the church is. Bickersteth (page 82) has stated it justly as far as he goes. Only he talks of union with Christ as if it were something else than the church, leaning on tradition, and so lays himself open to Dr. B. Union is by the Spirit and belongs to Christ's body, the church, only. The Duke of Manchester had learned it with "Brethren."

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To this, accordingly, Dr. B. gives no answer, because he has none, except that it is founded on most untenable and dangerous views of the difference of Old and New Testament dispensations. Of course, as Dr. B. is ignorant of what the church is, he cannot tell what this difference is. But he might have known that the disciples were far before the Old Testament saints, for Christ says so: yet, that it was expedient that they should lose that, in order to get the Comforter. And, to say nothing of the church, the least in the kingdom is greater than the greatest born of woman. I suppose then there is a difference. There is no church of God under both dispensations, as Dr. B. and tradition say. If there is let it be shewn. Could Abraham say, I am united by the Holy Spirit to a Man in heaven? Is this nothing? Is it nothing to know that we are in Christ and Christ in us? This is by the Comforter. Surely they will be made perfect with us or we with them; that is, we shall have resurrection together; but God, that passage says, had reserved some better thing for us. What is that? The child then differed nothing from a servant. We have the Spirit of adoption consequent on redemption. The Old Testament saints could not even talk of flesh and spirit. This degrading the effect of known redemption, a Man at God's right hand, and the consequent coming of the Comforter, is deplorable.

And just see the maze Dr. B. gets into. "They without us could not be made perfect, that is, without Christ and the Spirit [!!!], whose proper economy ours certainly is" (pages 86, 87). And this in a sentence which says, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us, etc. They will not be excluded from the glory; but that does not make them the church. On this, which is the whole point he has to meet, Dr. B. has utterly broken down. But if this be so, the completing of the bride for Christ's coming, which he brings forward to disprove it, is the pregnant proof that the millennial saints are another class.

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Dr. B. (page 90) says, "united to him by faith as a man" -- all this is traditional language. We are never said to be united to Christ by faith. It is wholly unscriptural. All this is unproved by Scripture. All Dr. B., wholly destitute of the word, can say is, "Who ever doubted?" I am satisfied his order of thought dates from Augustine only. His reasoning from John 17: 2, 24, is wholly without force. John never speaks of the church, but of life, of individuals -- another truth equally precious. "All the elect get eternal life from Christ's hands" -- an ugly expression; but what it means is fully admitted -- Will any get less, Dr. B. asks, can any get more? Now this proves distinctly only one thing: that the idea of the body and bride of Christ has never entered into Dr. B.'s mind at all. By life we are sons with the Father, Christ the firstborn among many brethren. Infinite privilege and blessing! But by union with Christ we are the body and the bride of our ascended Head, the Man Christ Jesus. The very existence of this as a distinct truth does not cross Dr. B.'s mind. See Ephesians 1.

His reasoning on Romans 8 is the only passage that affords the semblance of an argument. But it really proves the contrary; for Paul is speaking all through of the saints of the present day, now delivered from the law, their first husband, and married to Christ risen from the dead, the saints knowing the effect of Christ's resurrection, set free by the death of Christ, God having sent forth His Son to do what the law could not do, and having, as a sacrifice for sin, in Christ condemned sin in the flesh. He is speaking of those who know it, who had received the firstfruits of the Spirit. If it be used (though as a present thing, we only are spoken of, those whom the Holy Ghost calls "we") to prove as a consequence that the millennial saints will be finally glorified too, since they are elect: I have nothing against it. It proves nothing at all as to their state and circumstances in the millennial period, which may or may not be (as far as this goes) the same as ours. Paul is speaking of those who have the Spirit of God as come down from heaven, consequent on redemption. Whether with that he uses general terms which, as to what is said in them, go farther, is a question whose solution does not touch the point we are upon. "Whosoever" Paul uses to bring in the Gentiles. This is spoken of those for whom Christ intercedes now, while at the right hand of God. Whether general terms apply to others, when God's purposes are accomplished, is a question on one side of our argument. The deliverance of the creature from the bondage of corruption when we have the liberty of glory, which does not take place in the liberty of grace, proves that there will be a deliverance of the present creation system when those who have the firstfruits of the Spirit are glorified and find this deliverance themselves.

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I am aware in page 11 this is said to be a new earth after its melting with fervent heat. But I ask if all being burned up with the fire of judgment (for such it is according to Peter) is not a singular deliverance of the creature into the liberty of the glory of God's children from the bondage of corruption. I admit sufferers with Christ mean all true Christians; but what then? It does distinguish (not martyrs -- they suffer for Him, but) those who live in the time of Christ's rejection and share in it, and those who live when He reigns and do not suffer with Him at all. Those who suffer with Him will be glorified with Him; those who do not will not, but enjoy the full blessing of His reign. There is glory celestial and glory terrestrial: and this difference of a present Christ and an absent Christ is an immense one. Dr. B. calls these differences in external circumstances contrasted with inward and spiritual ones. I have already shewn that his view of the internal ones is wholly unfounded in Scripture, but Christ has too small a place in his mind here. "Thomas, because thou hast seen, thou hast believed: blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed." This is the stated difference. Finally the kings of the earth do not bring their glory into it, but unto it-own it as the source of power. Finally, saintship is the same thing for all; but union or membership of the body is not the portion of all saints.

Dr. B. makes a great handle of the pre-millennialists having nothing to say as to the saints of the one thousand years. They have something to say, but not more than Scripture does. That Dr. B. omits, and concludes against plain full statements because of what he says must be. The-Scripture states that after the destruction of Gog and Magog -- as to which Dr. B.'s statements are the wildest fancy and nothing else -- there is the judgment of the dead (of which hereafter), the heavens and the earth pass away, and there is a new heaven and a new earth, and no more sea, and that then the tabernacle of God (nothing more being said of the Lamb, as being in a distinct mediatorial office) is with men, and men are His people. Now here the tabernacle, the bride, the Lamb's wife, is distinguished from men, when the kingdom has been given up and all things made new. I am not aware, save general principles, that anything is said of the transmutation. It is not only positively said, "As the days of a tree shall be the days of my people"; but it is said "he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Death is not yet destroyed; but I do not see why they should die during the millennium. God has told the church what is to happen to the church. He has not indulged curiosity: only we know corruption cannot inherit incorruption. This may shew that they will be changed into an incorruptible state, though the passage speaks only of the saints of this time. Where nothing is said I respect the silence of Scripture; as I receive implicitly what is distinctly and fully revealed. God shall be all in all, the kingdom be delivered up to the Father. The tabernacle of God is with men, this Scripture tells us. Can Dr. B. tell us more? If so, let him produce the passage. His reasonings as to passages that speak of Christ's coming, we have or will examine. His telling what must be is of no avail; he must tell us what will be according to Scripture. This is very plain indeed as regards the church: we openly avow that we dare not go beyond Scripture, and are content to be silent. Scripture does say that the Lord is to be glorified in the church for ever, and that this tabernacle of God will be with men. This prophetical distinction of the church we believe. How the millennial saints are transformed, Scripture does not say; nor do we therefore pretend to know. But we will shew that the scriptures as to the Lord's coming are so plain that they cannot be set aside, as Dr. B. wishes.

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We have next to deal with the cessation of the means of grace, chapters 5 and 6. Dr. B. argues that all the means of grace absolutely cease at Christ's coming: hence none can be converted after, as pre-millennialists allege (page 100). This reasoning is singularly futile, and shews the effect of traditionary teaching as contrasted with Scripture. For if they could not be saved without our means of grace, neither could the saints before Christ. Special means of grace are to be contrasted with the work of grace. That this last is needed no Christian doubts; but to reason from this to the means is to the last degree idle. It is perfectly clear that if the Lord Jesus is manifested in glory, there must be a change as to the means and ordinances of grace. His death and the Spirit's work remain the unchangeable way of salvation; but the forms of presenting it, of course, must be different. The word will have lost none of its value. The Old Testament is far more valuable for us than for a Jew, though in a different way. We have the divine key to connect it. "The Lord is that Spirit": the true and pure mind of the Spirit in it; not as Dr. B. says, because it was an opening out and carrying forward of the former, for the law was given by Moses, and grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. The church was a mystery wholly hidden, hidden from ages and generations, hid in God. It required the breaking down of the Jewish system entirely to set it up. The middle wall of partition, required by the one to be maintained, must be broken down to allow the other to exist. Judaism had its existence by maintaining what the church had its existence by throwing down.

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I have no doubt the New Testament will be the source of the deepest instruction to saints in the millennium, a door into the knowledge of the heavenlies, where they are not, and to the understanding of the infinite grace of God which led there. The direct connection between the millennium and the Old Testament is much closer than ours. It is the fulfilment of the new covenant there promised, the presence of the Messiah there foretold, and the scene of peace and blessing, of the restoring of all things of which the prophets spoke. That people cannot expect Christ when He is come, nor suffer with Him when He is reigning, needed no sagacity to discover. But I cannot, with the Old Testament saints, look in patient hope to His first coming, or the sufferings of Christ. Have they, or the testimonies as to them, therefore lost their value?

As to the sacraments, they will not have, surely, such as we have. What then? If this proves there cannot be salvation, there could not have been among the Jews, for they had not the same; nor the patriarchs, for they had not either. All this is of a futility tedious to reply to. Ministry, in its present form, is peculiar to this, as a distinct priesthood was to the Jewish time. But a certain ministry is spoken of, at any rate, at the beginning of the millennium; otherwise its distinctive revealed character is: "They shall not say, Know the Lord." Does Dr. B. object to this, when he says that as to the sacraments, passages so implicate the grace conveyed with the means of conveying it, that both disappear together? It is as rash as it is false to say that the communication of grace from Christ is dependent on these means. That the form is suited to the time is certain. It will be in the millennium. It was in Judaism: it is in Christendom. What then? Grace in all has effect according to the wisdom of God's ways.

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As regards the priesthood, I deny entirely that priesthood is for conversion. We have to deal with great ignorance of Scripture in all this class of theologians. Priesthood, save the finished act of sacrifice, maintains reconciled men at the height of their calling and relationship to God, in spite of the actual weakness in which they walk, or restores them to the enjoyment of it. But it supposes man in relationship with God. Our place is in heaven, our priest is there. In the millennium, Christ will be a Priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between Him and Jehovah. It is another order of priesthood suited to the time. Christ has taken this as to the power of an endless life already; but He exercises it after the pattern of Aaron in the heavenlies now, then as Melchisedec on His own throne.

The statement, that "the old order of things which Christ's coming is to supersede (page 114) includes not only the present means of grace but the grace itself conveyed by them," is of a character so monstrous as to shew where Dr. B. is. It is tying up the possibility of God's grace to the outward ordinances of the Christian system, and denying all grace before Christ's coming, when their ordinances and means certainly did not exist. When he talks of a revelation, he forgets that Christ Himself is there revealed, and that grace so works that it will not then be said, "Know the Lord." Those who are militant now will reign, not merely be saved. T hose who, because Christ reigns and Satan is bound, are not militant may be saved, but will not reign. So utterly blind is Dr. B. to the force of this fact of his argument, that he insists that the agencies of salvation cease, and takes as a first proof Christ's intercession. "When intercession is done, salvation is done" (page 119), he maintains; yet he says, it stands intermediate between His first and second coming (page 116). None, therefore, were saved before His first, if they cannot be after His second. Christ's priesthood in heaven is confined to His being as man in the holiest. Be it so; for we have access there, boldness to enter into the holiest. While the first tabernacle had its standing, the way there was not made manifest. As I have already said, In the millennium He is Priest on His throne.

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As regards the work of the Spirit (page 119), Dr. B. equally admits that this is consequent on Christ's exaltation. This work of the Comforter ceases at the Lord's coming. Now the passages he quotes shew the sending of the Comforter (page 120), consequent on Christ's going away. Hence, if this were needed for salvation, none were saved before. He has confounded the work of the Spirit and the sending of the Comforter. This last was consequent on Christ's being glorified. All direct work on the creature is by the Holy Ghost, yea, even creation. There is no divine work in the soul but thus wrought. But this is not the sending of the Comforter. However, I do not doubt from Scripture that there will be not a sending of the Comforter, but the latter rain of the Spirit. Dr. B.'s "continued effusion" (page 120) of the Spirit is wholly unscriptural: the Comforter came and was to abide for ever with the disciples. He acts continually and as He will. The whole reasoning is simple ignorance of Scripture, and inattention to the force even of what he himself says.

We have now to treat of the kingdom and offices of Christ, and to rescue plain Scripture statements from the garbage of theology. As regards the comments of men who mingle both, I have little to do with them; but Dr. B. is not just in his comments even on them. In the first place, the Duke of Manchester is wholly opposed in his views to nearly all the others. He holds that Christ's kingdom is now, and that He gives it up in the millennium; the others exactly the contrary. These, though there may be confusion in their views, because they mix up traditional theology with the word of God, and do not see what the church is as essentially one, are practically right. They hold that it is a kingdom now, but one of which the proper power is not in exercise, but will be in the millennium; and this is what Scripture teaches.

Speaking of Christ as prophet, priest, and king, and reducing all saving grace to these offices, is a very poor and confused way of considering the Lord's grace. The Son of God quickens whom He will, and with the Father (John 5) is by the Spirit the one source of life to whosoever receives it: He is the one only accomplisher of redemption by which any are delivered and saved. But to make Him always prophet, priest, and king for this, is theology and confusion. He is the Truth. It was by His Spirit any prophet spoke. But to say He was always prophet is only making confusion. God declares by Moses, that a Prophet should the Lord their God raise up unto them. This Peter assures Israel God had done: though all testimony of truth flowed from Him by the Spirit, He was a prophet when God raised Him up in the midst of Israel according to promise. He became a priest after He was made like to His brethren in all things. In other words, He became a man that He might be a priest. But even this, though laying the ground for it in the sacrifice of Himself as the high priest representing His people on the great day of atonement, He did not exercise, the apostle tells us, till on high in heaven. He was King in title when He became incarnate, but did not exercise His royalty.

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It is not a question of the efficacy of His sacrifice reaching backward and forward in God's mind, no Christian doubts it, or rather there is no backward and forward there -- nor if the love of God be the source of life. It is a question of special positions, taken in time, and which attach themselves to His manhood, and are exercised in it: Christ was a King when a man on earth. He witnessed a good confession to it before Pontius Pilate. But He did not take His kingdom; He sat on no throne; He was accomplishing a far more important work. And after having, as necessarily faithful to promise, presented Himself to Israel, a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, He forbids His disciples to say He was the Christ (saying, "the Son of man," a much larger title, in which He passes from Psalm 2 to Psalm 8, "must suffer"), and so, riding in on the ass, passes from that to the cross. Remark here how He shews that, in the literal interpretation of the prophecies as to the kingdom, the Jews did not deceive themselves. He is King as to His title now, but He has not taken His kingdom; He is not sitting on His own throne, but on His Father's; and He Himself makes the difference. To him that overcometh will I give to sit down on My throne, as I have overcome, and am set down on My Father's throne. To Him alone, the Son, it appertains in righteousness to sit on His Father's throne. It would be blasphemy to set us there. He glorified God His Father and is glorified with Him; we with Himself when He takes the kingdom. He is gone to receive the kingdom and to return.

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To say the Father's throne is David's throne, is nonsense. God was to raise up one of David's seed to sit on David's throne, and that means, they tell us, the Father's (page 139). Cannot a child see the perversity of such an interpretation? The royalty is not, and is never said to be, to save (page 186 and following), unless in outward deliverance by power. If it be, let Dr. B. quote the passage. He saves, in giving life as Son of God, in redeeming by His precious blood, in the exercise of His priesthood, from weaknesses. But salvation of souls is not attributed to His royalty, nor is He King over His church. On the contrary, Scripture declares that when He reigns, we shall reign with Him. It is in vain to use large words about it. There are those who must have Scripture testimony for what they believe. Nor does a teaching which makes the Father's throne David's throne, commend itself to those who have received their teaching from Scripture. Neither the apostles nor the Lord seek to overthrow the prophecies of the kingdom. They give something better. The Lord sanctions the expectations of His disciples when they speak of restoring the kingdom to Israel. They ask, Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? What is His answer? "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." Is that the times and the seasons for not doing it at all, or for doing it? It is impossible that a child could not see that it is to be done, but that the time was not revealed, and that the Lord gives them another work to do now. But He explicitly sanctions their expectations. So Paul declares that the restoration of Israel will be by the Redeemer going forth out of Zion. The object of the New Testament is not the kingdom in Israel; but a rejected glorified Christ and the church, and our present condition. But the prophecies of the Old Testament are expressly sanctioned. "Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

When once the place of the church is seen, and its place with Christ in heavenly glory, all falls into its scriptural place, and the church itself is not reduced to an improved Judaism, as it is by these teachers. But it is important to notice here that the kingdom is not everything, but the lower part of the glory, the glory terrestrial. Moreover Scripture carefully distinguishes Christ's headship over all things and His headship to the church. God will gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, in Him, in whom we have obtained an inheritance; Ephesians 1. We are joint-heirs with Christ. As Son of man He is set over all the works of God's hands, His own creation. All things, the Father excepted, are put under Him. They are not yet actually so (Hebrews 2), and He sits on His Father's throne till they are -- till His enemies are made His footstool. They are not so yet. Thus He has not taken the exercise of His kingly power to reign, though owned of God and believers as King. But He is given to be Head over all things to the church which is His body.

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But though all things are not reconciled, believers are, marking the difference between the heirs and the inheritance, see Colossians 1. He is the firstborn of every creature for He created them: there is one pre-eminence. He is the firstborn from the dead, the Head of the body, the church: there is another. God is to reconcile all things in heaven and earth by Him. "You [the saints] hath he reconciled." Thus, His universal supremacy, supremacy given to Him as man, is distinguished from His headship to the church. Compare Ephesians 1: 22, and Hebrews 2: 6-9, commenting on Psalm 8: see also 1 Corinthians 15: 25-28.

As to the passages quoted by Dr. B. to prove His personal sitting on the throne of David now and His kingly rule, it is striking that not one speaks of His being King, or of sitting on David's throne. David had prophesied (Acts 2: 25-36) that God would raise up Christ to sit on His throne, and in view of this, that His mercies might be sure, tells of His resurrection: they are sustained according to the power of that. The fact, Christ's resurrection, Peter testifies to, and we all believe it. He then explains, not the kingdom, but the point contrasted by Christ in Acts 1: 6, 7, with the kingdom as a distinct and different thing, and shews that Christ had been exalted by God the Father. Dr. B. then leaves out a material point, namely, that David was not ascended into the heavens, not a word being said of his throne or kingdom. It shews that Christ was to sit as Lord on God's right hand, according to Psalm 110, when His enemies were not made His footstool, i.e., it contrasts Christ's heavenly headship with His royal power exercised against His enemies, and solemnly declares that God has thus made Jesus Lord. That is, that He has the exaltation He was to have till His enemies were made His footstool, an exaltation contrasted with the exercise of His royal power which He was to exercise when He left His Father's throne; and, this being left out, the passage is used to shew He is King in fulfilment of a previous part of the passage. Is this quite honest? Dr. B. leaves out what Peter insists on in express terms, and applies what he says to another part which is in contrast with it (page 138).

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As to Zechariah, it seems to me as plain as can be that it is the reign of Christ on His throne, not on the Father's. He is to re-establish Jerusalem blessings, for that is the question and the only question there.

As to Revelation 5: 6, it is not the Father's throne nor Christ sitting on it, nor a throne of grace at all, but Elohim-Jehovah-Shaddai's throne -- a throne of judgment with the Lamb in the midst of it -- a throne where, if intercession be used, it brings in judgment, not the gospel -- the throne, not of the kingdom indeed, but which establishes the kingdom by power. Such it must be evident to all is the book of Revelation. Not one word of the gospel is in it save the everlasting gospel which declares that the hour of God's judgment is come. And it leads, in Dr. B.'s rapturous hallelujahs, to the conclusion that they will reign over (not on) the earth; i.e., the reign is not come, Christ is not seen building the temple of the Lord. There is nothing about a benign sway (page 142), but judgment, ever more and more terrible, till He come to smite with a rod of iron. Is a rod of iron Dr. B.'s idea of what he would call the gospel kingdom? When Christ is king in Zion, that is His sceptre to break in pieces the nations as a potter's vessel. He that sits on the throne is carefully distinguished from the Lamb in Revelation. Nor is there a hint on the seven Spirits of God of any gospel service.

Nor is this all. Christ's dealing with the church was complete in chapters 2 and 3, and this is what is to come afterwards, "after these." The question was the opening of the book, not the gospel of salvation. The seven Spirits of God are not the description of the Holy Ghost as Comforter in the church, and the strength of gospel witness in those sent to proclaim it: of this there is not a word here.

As to the key of David, it is used figuratively as one who has a right to shut and open. But Dr. B. has forgotten that, while Christ surely exercises this power, the key of David was not in the king's hand, neither Shebna nor Eliakim was king or David's son. No Christian denies Christ is Lord; none that He has all power in heaven and in earth. But while having the personal title to be king, they say that Scripture shews He has not taken the proper power of the kingdom: of this further on. I notice now a remaining text -- Isaiah 9: 6, 7. A very short answer suffices. The reader has only to consult the passage, and he will find that the increase of Christ's government is consequent on the great battle day of God's judgment.

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The next quotation proves only one thing -- the extreme weakness of Dr. B.'s cause, and the desperate condition he is reduced to. It is said God has glorified His Son Jesus, that is, that Christ is glorified. Dr. B. adds, Ye have killed the Prince of life. This, says he, proves His princedom. Does killing the Prince of life prove that Christ is reigning -- is king? This I may leave.

Next (page 147), a time of restoring all things of which the prophets have spoken (Acts 3: 21), is spoken of, and it is said that the heavens must receive Him till then -- till the time of restoring takes place, and that then He will be sent. The Jews must repent, the apostle tells them, that this time of refreshing may arrive: till then the heavens must receive Him. This proves, we are told, He must be reigning now and come to put an end to all. The prophets speak of Messiah's kingdom, and that blessed time when all, subjected to Him, shall be set in order (which, being accomplished, we learn in the New Testament that He will give up the kingdom). Till He is sent for this exercise of royal power, the heavens receive Him. He must be sent for its accomplishment. This, we are told, proves that the restoring cannot take place after He comes! The new birth of souls has nothing to do with this restoring. That has been going on from Abel, whereas this time does not come till the end of Christ's present sojourn in heaven as a man at the right hand of God, and it is the time of restoring all things spoken of by the prophets. It is really tedious to reply to such reasoning.

The quotation (page 150) of the comment on Psalm 2 in Acts 4 by Dr. B. as a proof Christ is now a king, is curious. Peter declares that the rulers, etc., had combined to accomplish God's counsel, that is, in the death of Christ. This, we are told, was to overthrow the gracious rule of Christ. But if this is it, He was a king ruling on earth, and they succeeded; for they did not rise up against Christ in heaven, but on earth. Not only so, but the psalm does not speak of a gracious rule, but God's mocking at men's efforts, and Christ's rule set up in Zion; and there He rules them with a rod of iron, and breaks them in pieces like a potter's vessel -- a singular description of a gracious rule, and, moreover, one which the church is to possess in glory with Him when He comes, according to the promise made to the overcomers in Thyatira. As to Acts 5: 29, 31, it is not said at all that Christ is a king, but Leader, nor even prince at all, but a Saviour to give repentance. Christ is called the Author of faith in Hebrews 11. A Saviour Prince is simply a false interpretation.

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On Psalm 110 I have commented. It is the declaration that Christ is made Lord, but would not have royal power over His enemies during the present period. The passage is important. Dr. B.'s reasoning is simply from the assumption that His sitting at God's right hand is His own throne and kingdom; but that is just what he has to prove -- the time, he says (page 153), of this glorious session and enthronisation, for they are both one. My answer is, The passage is to shew that the session is to continue till His enemies are put by God under His feet, then He begins to subdue them by His own power; and when all is complete, He gives up the kingdom. Now the epistle expressly contrasts the glorification and the putting of things under Him. But now we see not yet all things put under Him, but we see Him crowned with glory and honour. That is, though Jesus personally has the heavenly glory of a crown, the rest of the psalm is not fulfilled, is not the same thing. Therefore He has the glory, but all things are not put under Him. He sits at the right hand of God till God makes His enemies His footstool. He does not, and as to God's counsels cannot, touch them till that -- the present time -- is past. Indeed, Dr. B. admits it (page 153). "He is in the attitude of tranquil expectancy till the enemies of His regal authority be made His footstool." He has royal title in the believer's eyes, but He is expecting the exercise of the power, and must till another, God, even His Father, makes His foes His footstool. Then, "He rises up to the prey" (page 154). One thing is clear beyond all controversy (for it is the object of the passage to state it), that the time of subduing His enemies with His royal power does not come till the time of His session on the Father's throne has closed. Christ contrasts that throne with His own.

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Let us add here that Mr. Gipps' distinction of the Greek eita being short, and epeita long, is a mere fable (one is "then," the other "consequent on"). The reader has only to consult 1 Corinthians 15: 5, and following, and 1 Corinthians 12: 28, where these words are interchanged, to see that there is not the smallest possible ground for such a notion. Eita is the common word where one is used; epeita for a euphonious succession when there are many things succeeding.

The notion of Christ "giving an account of His stewardship" of the kingdom to the Father (page 160) is as unscriptural as it is incorrect. It is very bad indeed. That Christ remains eternally mediator (page 162) as to His Person, as man, I do not doubt; but official mediation is over when the kingdom is given up.

I now turn to some notices of the kingdom, which shew how it is not now His kingdom, properly speaking. He reveals to His disciples that it is a kingdom which is not one. And the Scripture is more full on this than is supposed. The kingdom of God is the general idea of the king of God's power, and the rule of God's principles. Hence, Jesus could say, "the kingdom of God is among you," "come nigh to you": for He was there. He could not then call it "the kingdom of heaven," because the kingdom was on earth, not in the heavens. This was only at hand. Matthew alone uses the expression, "kingdom of heaven." But what, when it comes, is its character? A kingdom is the government of a king over his sphere of rule. A great tree, three measures of leavened flour, a field sown with tares and wheat, and the like -- these are the characters the kingdom takes, the mysteries of the kingdom; because the king took no direct rule. Secretly, He orders all things with divine power; but as the Christ He lets all go on without direct intervention of His power: so the Lord teaches in Mark. "It is as if a man should cast seed into the ground -- that Christ did personally -- and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how ... . But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come." Christ acted personally at the beginning, then leaves it to-spring up without interfering (though secretly ministering grace), and at the harvest acts personally again. He is sitting hid in God, though seen by faith, in the holiest during all this time.

I turn to another character of passage relating to the kingdom (page 334). Whatever Joseph Mede's version, one thing is simply certain: that the stone never grew at all, nor exercised the smallest influence on any part of the image till it destroyed it utterly. Judgment was its first act. The kingdom of the Stone is a pure invention. Not a trace of it is in the vision or the interpretation. The first act of the stone is to smite the image in the very last divided state of it, and then it becomes a mountain which fills the whole earth. No statement could more distinctly shew that the proper kingdom of Christ does not yet exist. The language is as remarkable as Mede's is inconsistent with its tenor. Daniel sees the image on to the toes of iron and clay. He then sees till a stone is cut out without hands, which smites the image on the toes. Of course it is in the days of these kings that God sets up a kingdom; for it destroys them all in order to its setting up. They were there together, for the one destroyed the others. But the statement is distinct that the whole image, toes and all, was there before the stone, and that the first act of the stone was the destruction of the image by smiting the toes, and that there was no growth of the stone till afterwards, no action or influence before. It could not therefore be Christianity, for this had taken possession of imperial power before the toes existed at all. The toes destroyed its then existing power. To such straits is Dr. B. reduced here that he declares, "as kingdoms simply -- as a mere succession of civil monarchies -- the vision has nothing to do with them [!]. The mission of the church is, not to supplant, but to impregnate and pervade it [civil government] with a religious character, and render it subservient to the glory of God" (page 340). The former, Christianity had done before the toes existed; whether the latter, some may question.

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But let the reader only consult Daniel 2 and see if it is possible more to contradict what is definitely said. They were "broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away that no place was found for them." This is impregnating them and leaving them to subsist! If this last be Christianity, it is clear Daniel does not describe it. I do not see how the infatuation of tradition could go farther.

As to Daniel 7, Dr. B. tells us it means substantially the same (page 342). Quite true. Taking and possessing the kingdom is the same, he says, as the stone smiting the image. It is rather the effect; but I admit it is the same epoch practically. But we are told by Dr. B., the second (the latter of these chapters) has the additional character of a judicial assize (page 345); yet, solemn as all the imagery is, nothing more is meant than "to intimate to us how righteous will be the destruction of that wicked instrument."+ Let us, after seeing the kind of comment Dr. B. gives us, which needs none to be made on it, remark the real character of this scene, which is analogous to that of chapter 2. The judgment sits, and the beast is destroyed and given to the burning flame, and then the kingdom is given to the Son of man. That is, the Son of man does not get His kingdom in possession till the judgment is executed. His power is exercised in the destruction of the enemy. To use the language of the Revelation, "in righteousness he judges and makes war." Thus the adversary is destroyed and the kingdom set up.

+Compare remarks (page 266) on Matthew 25, where a far less solemn description, we are told, forbids its being used but for the great final judgment.

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It is urged that the Son of man comes to receive the kingdom from the Ancient of days. The remark is just; but it has been overlooked that the horn made war with the saints, and prevailed till the Ancient of days came. For Christ who comes is Jehovah; as He who is shewn by the only Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords, is found, when He comes, to be (Revelation 19) King of kings and Lord of lords Himself.

I do not know why Dr. B. leaves out a part of the passage (page 343): "He shall think to change times and laws." This it is precedes the words, "and they shall be delivered into his hands." It is not the saints (long as it has been so interpreted) who are delivered into his hands, but the times and laws, the regular words for the Jews' periodical ordinances. God may allow His saints to suffer, but He never delivers them into Satan's hands.

As to Dr. B.'s interpretation of its being ecclesiastical Rome, etc., whatever analogies there may have been, I deny wholly the application of it to Pagan or Papal Rome. Bad and horrible as this last, this Babylon, may be, she is not the beast whom she rides. The horns and the beast subsist together, which has not taken place yet, and Babylon is yet another thing.

We have come to Dr. B.'s statements as to the first resurrection. He profits by the timidity of the advocates of pre-millennialism who are shackled by conventional views. It is alleged on the authority of Mr. Birks that Revelation 20 is the only passage which speaks directly of it (page 220): I have never quoted this as any proof of a first resurrection, till I had shewn that a common resurrection of all is wholly unknown to Scripture. But even Dr. B. is forced to admit that the resurrection of the just is a thing wholly distinct, peculiar to believers, exclusively theirs (page 195): only priority in time is not to be alleged. Now this of itself is all important, the time comparatively immaterial; for it refers more to the duration of the reign consequent on the resurrection of the saints. But if all Scripture, which is the case, presents the resurrection of believers as exclusively theirs, we have made an immense step: a common resurrection, a coming up as one set to judgment, is false.

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Let us examine where in the distinction lies. It is exclusively of the children of God (Luke 20: 35, 36): such alone are counted worthy to attain the resurrection from the dead and that world. They are raised on a different principle -- by (or because of) the Spirit of God which dwells in them (Romans 8: 11) -- with a different object; it is a resurrection of life in contrast with a resurrection of judgment (John 5: 29) -- a class whose righteousness is already wholly established and clear; it is a resurrection of the just; Luke 14: 14. It is not together with the wicked in point of time; they that are Christ's only rise at His coming; 1 Corinthians 15: 23. The end comes afterwards, whatever the interval: the Greek signifies a distinction in time. I have already said (page 360) that the difference of eita and epeita is a mere blunder. Here is the proof -- 1 Corinthians 15: 6. Then (eita) of the twelve; then (epeita) to above five hundred brethren; then (epeita) to James, then (eita) to all the apostles. So 1 Corinthian 12: 28: first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, then (epeita) miracles, then (eita) gifts of healing. The excellent Mr. Gipps must have been singularly prejudiced by his views to make the observation. A qualm of conscience as to it, perhaps, made Dr. B. put the passages in a note. Further, these possessors of life who rise do not come into judgment. Christ shews His power in grace in giving life: His power against the wicked in judgment, that all may honour Him; John 5: 24. This resurrection is in glory, heavenly glory like Christ; 1 Corinthians 15: 42, 49.

Such is the teaching of Scripture as to the resurrection, without looking at the Revelation. A common resurrection is a wholly unscriptural thought -- one which has flowed from the loss of the knowledge of redemption. The saints are raised, because they have life, because they are the just, because they have the Spirit dwelling in them, because they are the children of God, and are consequently raised in glory, not to come into judgment, though to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ and receive their reward, giving an account of themselves. It is late to judge a man when he is glorified, when Christ has come to receive him to Himself, that where He is the saint may be also, before the saint gives an account of himself: when he does, it is certain from Scripture he will be like the Judge (1 John 3); conformed to His image (Romans 8); transformed into the image of His glorious body, Himself, His righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1). All this is certain by positive texts of scripture, is indeed but the quotation of them. See 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3; 1 Corinthians 1; John 14. If the gospel is obscure, the first resurrection is obscure; and this is the case with these evangelical teachers. And if the first resurrection is not seen, the gospel is obscure. Men have to be judged after they are saved -- men who have been even centuries in heaven. I insist on this point because it is a vital one.

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I have not quoted Revelation. My readers will judge how far this is the only text. It teaches us one point, namely, that they who have part in this first resurrection will live and reign with Christ a thousand years. That is all. It adds the duration of the reign over the earth, which itself is amply revealed elsewhere; the duration alone is exclusively found here. Instead then of Revelation 20 being the only passage, it merely adds the length of reign over the earth to a doctrine uniformly taught in the New Testament.

As regards the expression "from among the dead," I must beg also to differ from Dr. B. He says, If the Greek bears it out, it would have weight, but it will not bear an hour's examination (page 198). He never loses anything by want of boldness; but boldness, as with Peter, may bring us into a scrape it cannot bring us out of. But, whatever he may think of Greek, or whatever the force of Mr. Elliott's silence, I affirm that Scripture never confounds resurrection of and resurrection out of the dead.

It is a very important doctrine that there is a resurrection of the dead. For a heathen that is the urgent point; it distinguishes the Pharisee and Sadducee. Martha could believe that, just as Dr. B. does: for in this point Dr. B. goes no farther than an orthodox Jew -- a position he seems to dread. A resurrection "from among" or "out of the dead" is a special doctrine for a Christian, the essential character of privilege belonging to his resurrection -- what makes it like Christ's resurrection and gives it all its peculiar importance. A resurrection of the dead is as true of the wicked as of the just. A resurrection out of or from amongst the dead is a divine favour which separates the accepted ones out from among those who have entered into the place where sin has brought us. Christ was raised from among the dead by the glory of the Father. All that is in that name and relationship was righteously and necessarily in exercise in raising Him, and is so in raising us as in Him. God's delight was in Him. He does not leave Him among the dead. In His case it could not be. He is called up out from amongst them. Is this nothing? Is it nothing that we have part in it?

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I shall take the passages referred to by Dr. B. himself, and shew that this difference always has place (page 198). Acts 24: 15. Here a resurrection of the dead both just and unjust makes it impossible to say out of, and it is not found.

Acts 17: 31, 32. In speaking of Christ, as proof that God will judge this habitable earth by that man, the apostle says He raised Him out of -- from among -- the dead. Whereas the Athenians, hearing of the resurrection of the dead, mock. The fact of the resurrection of dead people, not any particular favour shewn to Christ, was the subject of their ridicule.

1 Corinthians 15: 12. Christ is preached that He rose out of, from among, the dead; the evil-taught Corinthians denied a resurrection -- a resurrection of the dead, not merely a special resurrection. Such an evil would have been quite a different thing. Dr. B. denies a resurrection from among the dead. No one charges him with denying the resurrection of the dead. So by man comes the resurrection of the dead -- the great fact, as death came by man. Resurrection "from among" would be wholly out of place here (page 42); "resurrection of the dead" is its character. It is not here their being taken out from among others, but what the resurrection is as to the change that takes place in it.

Mark 9: 9, 10 is very marked. They were not to tell the vision till the Son of man was risen from among the dead. They wonder, enquiring among themselves what this rising from among the dead should mean. Now they certainly had Martha's faith, or Dr. B.'s, that men would rise in the resurrection at the last day. They were not Sadducees. They had the common faith of Jews. They were familiar with the resurrection of all; but a resurrection from among the dead -- this they could not understand at all. They enquire what it should mean. Could we have a clearer proof that a resurrection from among the dead with a distinct and definite idea?

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Acts 10: 41 is, as others have noticed, Christ's rising from among the dead. As to Acts 13: 34, it is Christ's distinctive resurrection out from among the dead to assure the mercies of David.

Acts 26: 23 is of more doubtful signification, but not on this point. The translation in English cannot be sustained. I suppose it is "he first, through resurrection (of the dead) should shew light to the people, and to the nations." That is, the doctrine of resurrection was the starting point of this light to them. Hence we must have it general.

So in Romans 1: 4, it is just the same. He is determined Son of God with power by resurrection, not by a special deliverance from amongst them, but by the great fact of resurrection -- His own, ours, yea even that of the wicked. It is by resurrection.

Thus I have examined all the passages quoted; and they amply bear out the difference and prove it. Philippians 3, Dr. B. is obliged to admit, points unequivocally to a distinct resurrection. The word is unique, formed to express it, a resurrection out from among others. Many add another Greek preposition, but the important point here is that the apostle was willing to suffer anything to obtain this resurrection out from among others, to which he gives emphasis by putting the Greek preposition ek (if it be not repeated) to the beginning of the word itself. This resurrection he was looking for was a resurrection out from amongst. The force of the Greek word is therefore evident.

The first resurrection does not then offer a trial to the faith, as Mr. Birk says, but blessedly brightens the hope of him who trusts Scripture. He believes in the redemption which will give him a place in it, in the power which will accomplish it, if he be not here to be changed into the glory of his Master, and in the truth of His word who has promised it. He does not look to being called into judgment (though giving an account of himself to God) in a common resurrection; because he believes that he will be changed, or raised in Christ's own glory, before he can come before the judgment-seat, for the word of God tells him so.

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Dr. B. is surprised at the use of Isaiah 25, and that we should apply the taking the veil of the covering off to men here in the flesh, and swallowing up death in victory to others who are raised. As to the last, Paul is he who is guilty of it in 1 Corinthians 15. He declares it is accomplished in the resurrection of the saints. Clearly it does not extend to the wicked. We have only to enquire if Isaiah 25 refers to blessing to men on the earth. This Dr. B. holds himself (page 426). "The dark places of the earth to be irradiated by the beams of the Sun of righteousness." For this I only ask the reader to read through the chapter and the following, or, better indeed still, to the end of chapter 28, which is incontrovertibly one prophecy, and see if there be not the most unequivocal prophecy that can possibly be of the blessing of Israel, and of the Gentiles -- the whole world with them. That is the burden of the prophecy and nothing else. What is destroying the veil that is over the nations? Is it not bringing the Gentiles into the full light of blessing? The whole prophecy is clear as possibly can be. The iniquity of Jacob is purged; they are gathered one by one. He smites them only as discipline. Peace is ordained for them; the rebuke of His people will He take away from all the earth, etc., but another great event will take place at the same time -- death will be swallowed up of victory. This the apostle tells us is resurrection. But if this be so (and that it is no one subject to the word will deny), all Dr. B.'s system is false, and what he denies is true. For the passage describes the filling the earth with the knowledge of the Lord; yet, if Paul is to be believed, the resurrection of the saints takes place then.

How Dr. B. can appeal to the reader of the Bible, if any one ever saw the distinction of celestial and terrestrial glory, is hard to tell. 1 Corinthians 15 plainly tells us there is this difference of glory celestial and glory terrestrial. Ephesians I gives, as the proper and peculiar knowledge given to the saints, that God is going to gather under one Head, Christ, all things in heaven and on earth. Colossians 1 teaches the same thing. That we shall rule over the earth is equally clearly taught. If we suffer, we shall reign with Him; and what is celebrated in Revelation 5 is that the heavenly ones will reign over the earth.

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As regards Daniel 12: 2 (pages 199, 201), it is clear that it has nothing to do with a literal resurrection, for it is said, "Many of them which sleep," which it is impossible to apply to the resurrection. It would be a partial resurrection of wicked and saints. It applies to the land of which the Lord Jesus speaks, referring only to the Jewish people distinctly. Verse 1 refers to the great tribulation which comes on then in the land of which the Lord Jesus speaks, referring formally to this chapter; verse 2 shews that this reawakening of Judaism will extend to those lost among the Gentiles. Sleeping or dwelling in the dust is a figure of common use to express utter ruin and abasement. I am not aware that it is ever used for death, literally speaking; I believe not. (Compare Isaiah 26: 19-21 and verse 14 of the same chapter. If we take the English, Nahum 3: 18.)

As regards the resurrection being necessarily continuous in John 5 (page 203), because the quickening of souls is, if we take an hour in each to mean an epoch, there is no ground for it whatever. It is a matter of revelation. "Hour" in one case we know to have been eighteen hundred and sixty years or more. "Hour" in the other is an analogous period; but as to what is done in it, or how, is a pure matter of revelation. Souls are quickened in one period, bodies in another; at what epoch or how far successive, we must enquire from Scripture. It does not speak of a first quickening of souls, and then another; it does of bodies.

As regards the expression "dead, small and great" necessarily including all (pages 210, 211), I reply, clearly all the dead. But, as the beginning of the chapter had been assiduously shewing that a large and blessed class lived and reigned, it as clearly does not include those carefully stated to be alive. Dr. B.'s argument destroys his own thesis. "They that fear thy name small and great" gives that class universally. No doubt, but as evidently to the exclusion of those who do not fear it. So "the dead, small and great" gives the dead, as he says, universally or indiscriminately (page 212). Clearly, but to the exclusion of those who were alive: nothing is more simple. "Now, in the passage before us," are his words, "the only party to whom the 'small and great' belong, as far as appears, is 'the dead.'" Of course, hence not to the living who had been spoken of in the beginning of the chapter -- not, even on his own shewing, to the living changed when Christ comes. On his principles what will he do with them?

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As to reigning with Christ only a thousand years, the reason is as simple as possible -- Christ gives up the kingdom at the end of this period; of course they do not reign afterwards save in the general sense of the glory. It is expressly said, they "shall reign over the earth": this being kings and priests is expressly referred to Revelation 20: 6.

As to Revelation 20: 4 being all exclusively a martyr scene (page 244), I deny it. The promise to overcoming saints, and to all redeemed saints, in the Revelation is to reign with Christ. In Daniel, and in 1 Corinthians, judgment is given to all saints. This is here fulfilled. "I saw thrones, and sitters on them, and those who had been beheaded, and those who had not worshipped." These might seem to have missed all, as the Thessalonians thought in a similar case, and hence are specially named.+

Dr. B. complains of there being none but the wicked in the last judgment. I answer, If God enters into judgment with any one, he is certainly condemned. John 5: 24 carefully tells us that having everlasting life we shall not come into judgment (krisis all through the passage), but are passed from death unto life. Think of bringing Paul after living eighteen hundred years in heaven to be judged with the wicked! I repeat, we shall give an account of ourselves all; but the bringing of the saints into judgment is wholly unscriptural. Christ has put away sin for us. He is our righteousness. We shall then be like Him who is the Judge.

Dr. B. connects the expression, "rest of the dead," Revelation 20: 5, with those slain, chapter 19: 21. The smallest attention to the passage shews the absurdity of this; "the rest of the dead" contrasts with some dead who had been made alive. Now these are expressly spoken of in chapter 20: 4. These lived and reigned; the rest of the dead did not. The words, "rest of the dead," cannot apply to chapter 19: 21, unless some of these had been raised. I recognise fully that the end of Revelation 20: 4 refers to the martyrs of chapter 6 and those they were to await (page 246). But, save by a general analogy, which I admit in the sense in which there were many Antichrists (and such an analogy I believe exists, and is intended by the Holy Ghost), I wholly deny they are pagan and papal sufferers. The conclusion drawn from this reference is without force, because the first part of the verse takes in the whole company of saints, who, according to Paul, are to judge the world.

+If the church was gone before they suffered, as I do not doubt, they would have seemed to have lost the heavenly place as too late, the earthly as being killed. Hence the gracious Lord takes care to shew they had part in the first resurrection.

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Dr. B. urges the difficulty that the saints judging means their being avenged, and that consequently their individual persecutors must be raised. This is every way wrong. The judging by the saints goes much further; as is evident, they reign in judgment. But even as to avenging, it is a mistake. If they sought vengeance against their persecutors individually, it would be evil and sinful. It is not so. They are avenged on the class of the wicked, those that dwell on earth, when these are righteously judged. So the apostles on Babylon, where all the blood of the earth is found. There is no sense in the objection. Dr. B. does not believe in it. He knows it is the power of evil, and those who there wield it, which is to be judged.

As to Matthew 25 (page 263) nothing can be simpler. There is no resurrection at all. It is a continuation from Matthew 24: 31, of what follows on Christ's coming, the intermediate verses being warning to Christians. When the Lord has taken His seat on the throne of glory, having restored the Jews, He will judge the nations. It is the judgment of the quick, and of course, a final judgment. There was a judgment in war. This closes by the binding of Satan: then a sessional judgment. The saints are seen with Christ in both, Revelation 19 and 20: not so on the great white throne. There Christ does not come at all. Dr. B. says it is implied, He has just come. This is a mere invention. In Matthew 25 there are more than two classes. There are sheep, and goats, and brethren, who had been Christ's messengers to promulgate the kingdom.

As to 2 Timothy 4: 1 (page 286), when once God's ways as plainly revealed in Scripture are seen, that there is an accepted time, a time of grace, and a time of government and judgment, this passage is as simple and clear as possible. He says nothing of the when in that latter period, but that when that kingdom comes, He will judge both quick and dead. Now He judges no man; then He will judge all. Two things may be remarked: that the living and the dead cannot be judged together. The dead -- small and great -- stand before God, and earth and heaven flee away before the face of Him who sits on the throne. The living are not there; the living are judged on the earth where they live, and judged as living. This judgment of the living has been quite lost sight of by the anti-millenarians. The Jews knew that much better than the judgment of the dead. Next, if the period of the kingdom had not been needed for the judgment, the apostle had not said His appearing and His kingdom. But He shall judge at His appearing and His kingdom. His appearing did not suffice to tell the truth He would teach. Nothing can be simpler or clearer. It is certain that Christ will judge the quick at His appearing. The Lord will plead with all flesh. Details are given. The majority of the Jews will be cut off in the land; Zechariah 13. Those of the ten tribes will never get into it; Ezekiel 20. The beast's armies will be destroyed, not a sixth part left of Gog's. He will send a fire on them also who dwell carelessly in the isles; He will sit, as it is stated, to judge all the heathen round about. This is at His appearing. Now when He appears, it is equally certain we appear with Him. The judgment of the dead is certainly a thousand years after we have appeared with Him, for the armies in heaven follow Him clothed in the righteousness of the saints. They that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Nor are judgment and war ever confounded with sessional judgment. But it is a mistake of Dr. B. to say that there is no individual judgment. The day of the appearing of the Son of man is a day like that of Lot and Noe, a sudden and sweeping day of judgment on the earth; yet two shall be in one bed, the one taken the other left; two at one mill, the one taken and the other left. Sweeping, earthly, and sudden as it is, judging the living, yet two associated as closely as to lie in one bed, will be severed one from the other by it. It is better to give heed to Scripture than to speculate on what can be. I am perfectly aware that this is applied to the destruction of Jerusalem. Whatever analogies there may have been, it is impossible. Let any one do what the Lord tells us to do -- read Daniel 12, and, Dr. B. himself being judge, he must see it is the day of judgment come. Further, take days or years, what is stated in that prophecy has had no fulfilment whatever. Further, the destruction of Jerusalem cannot be the Lord coming, in Matthew 24, for the Lord comes after the tribulation is over. I know it is said, the destruction of Jerusalem is His coming as there spoken of; but here the tribulation is over, and concludes by a subversion of all orderly authorities, and then the Son of man comes.

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Luke does speak of the siege of Jerusalem, and consequently says nothing of the abomination of desolation, but does of Jerusalem being trodden down till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. As to the generation not passing away, a reference to Deuteronomy 32: 5, 20, will give the plain and sure sense of it, and that in reference to this very subject. The mere common use of the word is a class of persons, as, the generation of the wicked, not the period of a man's life.

It is curious enough Dr. B.'s insisting that the solemnity of the scene in Matthew 25 requires one general judgment (page 266), the setting of the throne in Daniel with the judgment set and the books open, nothing of the kind. The arbitrariness of this shews an object in interpretation not a simple reception of the truth. Daniel 7, for Dr. B., is a mere conflict of interests, in which Christianity triumphs (page 341, 342), religion shall be uppermost in the world (page 438).

Dr. B. asks, in his summary (page 288), how remnants can be spared and converted by occasion of the millennial judgments on the Antichristian nation. The answer is, Every scriptural statement of such judgment declares some will be spared, as Zechariah 13, Ezekiel 20, 38, Isaiah 66, Daniel 12, Isaiah 18, and Isaiah 26. It is expressly stated, "when thy judgments are on the earth, the inhabitants of the world shall learn righteousness." That they will be the means of converting others at the beginning of that epoch has nothing I suppose wild in it. The wise will instruct many, says Daniel; the sheep had had brethren whom they had received; the everlasting gospel will be preached; and, when the Lord has appeared, messengers at least will go out to announce it to the nations who had not seen it yet. And I know of no proof that the warlike judgment is a final judgment, save as to the beast and false prophet. The sessional one as in Matthew 25 clearly is. We make the judgment of Revelation 20, that of one class only, namely, of the dead, for the simplest reason that it speaks of that class exclusively.

As to the believers in the millennium -- believers have not to be judged at all in the proper sense of the word. Every knee shall bow to Christ, and every soul give an account of itself to God. The wicked will do this before the great white throne. Of the saints who have not died in the millennium, if any have, giving an account of themselves, we have no detail in Scripture.

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As to the conflagration, Dr. B. says (page 293), 2 Peter 3, Revelation 20: 11; chapter 21: 1, "describe a conflagration to take place when Christ appears the second time." The simple answer is, None of them say a word of Christ's appearing. As to Revelation, Dr. B. is rather bold to affirm such a thing, because there is a long description of Christ's appearing the second time and the saints with Him (page 19), and there is no other account of His coming at all in Revelation; and the passages Dr. B. cites are confessedly a thousand years after this and something more. I am aware Dr. B. explains away Christ's coming, as King of king, and Lord of lords. But there is no other coming in Revelation. As to 2 Peter 3, there is nothing of the coming of Christ save the scoffs of the unbeliever, and then the apostle urges how everything the scoffer trusts in will be destroyed in the day of the Lord, but says nothing of His coming. And this suits the subject of Peter's epistles. His subject, after laying the foundation of the gospel, is the government of God, and the path of the saint in connection with it; in the first epistle in favour of the saints; in the second, as against the wicked. Hence he follows out this government to its final close, the melting of the elements with fervent heat, shewing the folly of the wicked in reckoning on the continuance of earthly things, and what the saints ought to be, seeing all earthly things were destined to be burned. He does not say that this would be at Christ's coming, but in the day of the Lord, i.e., the time of His judgment, and so it will.

As regards the state of the millennium (part 2), Dr. B. has no apprehension of the great leading truths as to it at all; he loses himself in details, finding differences in teachers; cannot, as it is said, see the wood for the trees. Nor does he see the force of the argument as to the subsistence of evil up to the time of Christ's coming, and the distinctness of the character of the millennium. He looks at it as a question of how many tares+ and the like (page 325 and following). It is one of God's relationship with men, and His ways of government with them.

Up to the death of Christ man was under probation in every form -- innocent, without law (promises being given to Abraham), under law, the priesthood given, royalty in Israel, imperial power among the Gentiles, prophets, and at last God's Son. As to all man failed wholly and irremediably. The mind of the flesh was found to be enmity against God. This was one great scene -- the display of the relationship of God with man, when man was tried and found wanting, tried in every way, and by all God could win him by, saying, "I have yet one Son, it may be they will reverence my Son" -- not only proved failure, when innocent and departing from God; but when God, in perfect grace, sought him when he had failed and where he was, irreclaimable. Man was lost, and had rejected, as far as his act went, Him that had come to save him. Before then God set up His glory publicly in the second Adam, in whom every one of the failing forms of relationship are fully and perfectly established: He calls a people to be joint-heirs with this second Adam -- to be in a special place of association with Him, His bride, His body, the church, composed of children of God, conscious -- through the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven -- of their relationship of sons with the Father. These are heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ. Their union in one body, with Christ head over all things, was a mystery hidden from ages and generations, and only now that Christ was gone up revealed to the sons of men. God's purpose is to gather together in one all things in heaven and earth under Christ. Called to be in the same relationship to God and the Father as Christ Himself, who is gone to His Father and our Father, His God and our God; we are joint-heirs with Him of this inheritance of all things. (Compare Romans 8, Ephesians 1: 11, Colossians 1.) When the gathering of these is complete, Christ receives them to Himself; and then, setting aside by power, the power and reign of evil, establishes peace and order on the earth, and reduces everything into subjection (everything having been put under Him, as Man, by the Father); and, when all is subjected, delivers up the kingdom to the Father. The mediatorial kingdom of man ceases, though surely not the personal glory of Christ.

+It is revealed that the spared ones of Israel at least, and the nations at large, are all righteous (Isaiah 60: 21; Matthew 25); but it is not said of the multitudes afterwards born.

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All this divine scheme is set aside by Dr. B.'s millennium, and his confounding the fact of efficient grace and salvation with the ways of God on the earth for the revelation of Himself and the instruction of men. From Adam to the end of time no one was or will be saved but by the redemption and the work of the Spirit. But this does not make promise law, nor law gospel, nor any of them God's government of the world.

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Thus, promises apart, before Christ, God's way of dealing with men (after His leaving them to themselves, though not without testimony, had closed) was that of definite responsibility by a law, and man's bearing the consequences. "This do, and thou shalt live"; "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law." After redemption was accomplished, it was the revelation of sovereign grace saving the lost, Jew or Gentile, the middle wall of partition being broken down. In the age to come -- for that there is one is declared in Scripture -- God's power in the government of this world will be displayed, setting aside the power of evil, according to the clearest prophecies. Now, by grace and the power of the Holy Ghost, saints make their way in patience against the prevailing power of the god and prince of this world. Then, the power of Christ will have set aside and bound down the power of evil. In all, people are saved in the same way.

But the destruction of Babylon and the marriage of the Lamb, the church being complete, are not small things in their nature, though they are not individual salvation. And it is beyond controversy that this, and the destruction of the beast by Christ's coming, and, note, the saints' coming with Him, precede the millennium; while, as I have already stated, on the setting up of the great white throne and the judgment of the dead, Christ does not come at all.

To make the working of grace and the execution of judgment and wrath on a whole system like Babylon the same, as Dr. B. does (page 353), is really monstrous. And to call the public destruction of Christ's enemies by power, contrasted with gracious influence, carnal, is as irreverent as it is unsound. "Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; yea, when thy hand is lifted up they will not see, but they shall see and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them." Thus grace and judgment are definitely contrasted, and it is stated that it is not by grace but by judgments that righteousness will be introduced into the world. The references in this part of Dr. B.'s book to Daniel I have fully answered.

As regards Dr. B.'s views of Satan's power, I can see nothing but the same ignorance of scripture truth as to what the character of that power is. He says, If unregenerate and regenerate still continue, the doctrine which supposes a cessation of Satan's influence must be erroneous. All this is a mistake, and besides that, leaves the true question untouched. When Adam was innocent there was no distinction; he was neither, but Satan's influence was shewn. When the Lord was tempted by the devil, when his power returned to try Him after having left Him for a season, it had nothing to do with regenerate and unregenerate. Christ bound the strong man and spoiled his goods even in this world. Dr. B. confounds the state of a soul with Satan's action. When the Lord prospectively, as Dr. B. justly says, saw Satan fall from heaven, it had nothing to do with the whole conquests of his people (page 419), but with casting out devils, the power (miracles) of the world to come when he will be wholly cast out. I have already said that the binding the strong man was first between Satan and Christ in person. When he had failed in tempting the Lord, the Lord removed here below the whole power of the enemy, as manifested wherever He met it -- diseases, want, possession, death. But he had departed from Him only "for a season," because another difficulty, the carnal mind, enmity against God when He is displayed in goodness, had to be met. Hence he returns at the end. "The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me." Still it was Satan's hour and the power of darkness; yet that the Lord might triumph over him, accomplishing the work of redemption.

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All this is not merely a conflict of interest on earth (page 420). It is a change in the whole condition of the world, and the relationship in which it stands with God, the world's condition. Satan was not yet cast down from heaven by power and victory in conflict carried on there. The promised Messiah present in Person had been rejected, and with wicked hands crucified and slain. Was this simply a battle between Christ's truth and the devil's lies, in the persons of their respective adherents among men? (page 409). That battle there was, and Christ's adherents, fled, and then -- God's purposes were accomplished surely, in the deepest personal humiliation of Christ, self-humiliation (blessed be God it was so!) but in which, an event to which none is parallel, took place by the public power of Satan, we can thank God -- the destruction of his power in a total change of everything. And He who was humbled will be glorified, and the head of him who bruised the Lord's heel will be itself bruised.

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I will now go through the passages Dr. B. refers to, to shew how monstrous his glosses are; because, once this setting aside of Satan's power by power, as contrasted with overcoming his temptations by grace, is made clear, the whole question is settled between us. In the passages referred to we shall find the proof of that judicial destruction of the public power of Satan, which Dr. B., by a fatal mistake, confounds with the victory of the heart over him by grace, when his power subsists. For this reason I do not insist on the proofs of that destruction now. The discussion of the passages will provide it.

Dr. B. first refers to Revelation 20: 1-3, 7. His first objection is that it is found nowhere else: but this is a mistake. He must be aware, or ought to be, that, with the exception of Job and Zechariah, Satan is not mentioned by name in the Old Testament, save in Chronicles 21: 1, Satan provoked David to number Israel, and Psalm 109 -- both as an adversary. In Job we see Satan as an accuser, raising a storm to destroy Job's sons, smiting Job with diseases. He is only seen to excite lusts in urging Chaldeans and Sabeans to plunder; and in no case of lies and truth in any persons. In Zechariah he is seen in a vision resisting the high priest, as an accuser. So, in Psalm 109: 6, it is a judgment on a wicked man to have Satan at his right hand.

The truth is, till the true light came, neither the opposition of flesh and Spirit nor the deceitful working of Satan formed part of the public teaching or experience of the saints. But where the coming of the Lord in the judgment of this world is spoken of (Isaiah 24), introducing the millennial state, even as Dr. B. admits, then we are told He shall punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. (Compare chapter 32: 1.) I do not doubt that the flesh was at work, nor that the devil tempted and deceived them; but it is not the subject of Old Testament teaching, nor the acting of Satan's power in the world, nor is its destruction. Satan is never recognised as prince of this world, till he was able to lead the world, Jew and Gentile, against Christ. He could not, while Jehovah ruled in His personal presence in Israel; and till Messiah came, God kept up that system more or less. The rejection of Christ marked out Satan as the prince of this world, yet the rejected One was to bruise his head. This was not done by Christianity nor individuals overcoming while Satan held his power. We wrestle against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places -- there where our promises are; as Israel against flesh and blood where their promises were.

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The possession of the Holy Ghost and the true light has shewn us the spring and power of evil -- the devil and Satan; and we see the Father opposed to the world, the Son to Satan and the Spirit to the flesh. In Isaiah we have seen a distinct reference to the casting down of these powers on high at the renewal of the world: in the New Testament, this being his place of power, his falling from heaven -- his being cast out of heaven, on which ensues a total change of governmental order, while to heaven he never returns. It is declared he shall be bruised under our feet shortly. That is, Scripture clearly contemplates the closing of the exercise of his power. The order of the setting aside of his power is stated. There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought, and the devil fought and his angels; and the place of these last was no more found in heaven. According to Dr. B. this is Constantine.

Let us see how this hangs together. The accuser+ of the brethren is cast down. Did this cease in Constantine's time? If so, the whole condition of the Christian was changed. But no: this only means "he lost his party" at court (page 406); and the court, I suppose, was to rejoice, and on the earth (the lower orders, says Dr. B.) woe (those who wished to be pagans: who can tell why?). He has great rage, knowing his time to be short -- just twelve hundred and sixty days. But rage against whom? On this, or on what the woman is, total and convenient silence. The woman flees into the wilderness. I suppose we must hop over to Popery here. But that will not do, because those who follow this system say that commenced two or three hundred years later; and at any rate, if all is joy by the triumph of Christianity, how comes the same epoch to be the time of the woman's flight? Was there ever a lamer interpretation, or one more calculated to bring scripture interpretation into contempt?

+This cessation of the heavenly accusing power is collaterally confirmed by the fact that in chapter 13 the first beast only blasphemes those that dwell in heaven -- cannot touch or injure them; and the second beast, Satan's active power, is false prophet and false king, as a lamb with two horns, but has no pretension to be an anti-priest now.

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Is it not evident that here a display of divine power in heavenly places has cast down Satan from the place where we, it is expressly said, have to wrestle with him? While he was there, he accused the brethren; while he did, they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and their testimony. This accusation had ceased. Satan could no more enter heaven, as in Job, to do it. The dwellers in heaven could rejoice; their trial in this way was over. The rage of Satan was now to vent itself on earth. The woman, the Jewish people as God's people, became his object. Satan could be no longer an accuser. That salvation, strength, the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ, was come, meant, we are told, that it had taken a glorious start. That it is "the progress of what had been for centuries finding it hard, in the heat of continual persecution, to keep its ground" (page 406). Yet, strange to say, the chapter tells us that the change was to the great rage of Satan and persecution, so that the woman had to flee entirely out of the scene. Only Christianity was well at court. His being cast out to the earth is his seeking to create a party among the people (page 407), which, note, he had before.

Dr. B. says the expulsion was brought about by the Christians overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. But the chapter states that they overcame him while he was the accuser, and in heaven in this way. His overthrow was by the exercise of power in Michael and the angelic host. In every case it is not a victory of faithfulness, but a judicial destruction of power, which brought about a new state of things. It was not adherents to Christ's cause victorious over the influence of Satan's lies, but a judicial action of God overthrowing Satan's royal power in their favour. It is not a battle "between Christ's truth and the devil's lies in the persons of their respective adherents amongst men" (page 409 or page 417), "just the Christians, or Christ in them, believing men sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb undaunted in witnessing for Jesus, as become pardoned men, and ready to go as sheep to the slaughter for his name's sake. "Thus is the devil represented as cast out of the pagan world by the instrumentality of believing men." This is Michael and his angels fighting in heaven, and Satan and his angels cast out, so that he accused the brethren no more there, but persecuted them with relentless rage on the earth -- the Christianising of the empire, that is! (page 405). Afterwards, when the twelve hundred and sixty days are finished, during which the blaspheming beast had his power, the precise period of Satan being on the earth when cast out of heaven, but which is the Christianising the empire, if we are to believe Dr. B., then the beast makes war against the Lamb (the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet having gathered the kings of the earth for the final struggle). The beast is taken, and then Satan, who had raged the three years and a half, is bound in the bottomless pit. Such is the progress of the exercise of the Lord's power against Satan, not of the saints' overcoming.

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But there is a statement of this book just alluded to which shews the more than absurdity of this whole system of interpretation. The coming of the kingdom and salvation of God, and the power of His Christ, is Constantine's accession to the throne, we are told. Thereupon, says the passage, the three years and a half of Satan's great rage and the persecution of the woman begin; but this three years and a half is the time of the reign of the blasphemous beast out of the bottomless pit; so that the coming of salvation, power, and the kingdom, is, according to Dr. B.'s system, the setting up of the power of the blasphemous beast, who is worshipped, and has every one killed he can, who does not do so. Can absurdity of a system go farther?

Now take the chapter simply. The woman is the Jewish system. Satan, the prince of the power of the air, is really cast out from his place of heavenly power, where the church had to contend with him when he was the accuser of the brethren. He is victoriously expelled thence by angelic power. And he thereupon comes down to earth, but raging at his defeat and casting down, to remain yet three years and a half on earth. He then persecutes the woman -- the Jewish people, faithful to God; but they are preserved by God -- setting up the last blasphemous state of the Roman Empire. At the end of this period (the same as that stated in Daniel 12, to which the Lord refers in connection with Jerusalem) the Lord comes as King of kings, and Lord of lords, the persecuting beast or blasphemous empire is destroyed, and Satan bound, so as not to deceive the nations till a thousand years are over. It is not grace given to overcome his wiles, as is expressly said to be the Christian position, and that in its most advanced state as in the epistle to the Ephesians; but Satan not allowed to exercise his wiles. Power external to man, divine power, figuratively represented by an angel with a great chain, binds the adversary and hinders his attempts to deceive the nations.

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It is evident that grace given to overcome is different from the putting down the power, so that it is not there to be overcome. God has taken to Him great power and reigns (Revelation 11), and the worldly kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ is come. It was not come before as God's taking to Him His power and reigning. The saints were in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. Christ is now expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. Then He will trample on them. But He has not them now to trample on: He is sitting on the right hand of the Father, expecting that time. Nothing, it seems to me, can be simpler, and proved by, or rather stated from, concurrent passages from various parts of the Scripture.

The difference of interpretation arises from this: Dr. B. judges of what must be from his own notions of what ought to be; the statement I have made is taken from Scripture itself. He says (page 411), speaking of the binding of Satan, "Has the church, in all time before, come to the help of the Lord against the mighty? and has the Lord, reversing all His former methods, come now to the help of the church against the mighty? I think not. It is Christ's doing, doubtless; but it is His doing in and by His church."

He then refers to Revelation 19: 20; and says the church will do both (page 411). I believe the church will have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air; but let that pass. The Lord does reverse His former methods. Up to this, Christ was expecting till His enemies were made His footstool. Now they are made such, and the Lord takes to Him His great power and reigns. Satan, heretofore an accuser in heaven, is now cast down; the salvation and kingdom of God is come, and the power of His Christ, and Satan is bound who before was not bound, and no longer allowed to deceive the nations which hitherto he had done. This is a total change in the state of things. "I think not" is no answer to scriptural statement such as this.

The other passages quoted by Dr. B. hardly need a comment. He quotes 1 John 3: 8-10, and pretends that no one can sin unless actuated by Satan in all the sin which he cherishes and commits (page 399). Now that this is the case I do not deny, though most clearly lust exists, and therefore sin, without the present action of Satan. That is fundamental truth. But the apostle has given altogether another explanation of what he says (not what Dr. B. says); the reasoning plainly is, "For the devil sinneth from the beginning." The sinner has the same character; consequently, by the universal Hebrew idiom they are called his children. There is not a word of being actuated by him in the passage. The reason given as to good is not that God actuates the saint, true as that is, but that he is born of Him -- has His nature. The great subject of John in his epistle is life and nature, not the power of the Holy Ghost, which he only refers to as a proof of dwelling in God. There is no ground for what Dr. B. says at all, important as the subject is in its place and far too much forgotten.

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The next is Hebrews 2: 14, 15. To this I have nothing to say. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed. What then? It is not destroyed till death and hades give up their prey. But how does that hinder Satan, who has the immediate power of it, being bound for a thousand years? Christ can surely, if He see fit, cut off the wicked out of the land. He has the keys of hades and of death, and this scripture speaks of, not of the saints dying at all. These He would not cut off; Psalm 101, Isaiah 65. He quotes Romans 16: 20, alluding surely to the old promise. But it is a fatal mistake, which shewed itself in a previous passage less closely, to suppose that Satan being set aside "is equivalent to the complete destruction of all that stands in the way of our salvation." It is a fatal lie against the truth. There is our own sinful nature besides. How it acts when temptation is not there, men may have foolishly speculated on. But Dr. B. is utterly and fundamentally wrong. It is even false to say he actuates us in hell. There is no scripture for it at all. He is the most grievously punished there -- has no power. All this argument is a total failure. That sin cannot exist without Satan's presence and tribulation, he has no ground for whatever. That they go together constantly now in us is true, not necessarily always. But there is temptation without sin being yet there, as in Adam, who fell under it, and Christ, who did not; there is temptation and sin as in our case; and there may be a sinful nature without temptation, for it certainly subsists now without it and before it. It is there already when temptation is applied to it. Dr. B. sees only a moral internal state in Satan's power, not external power, of which scripture largely speaks. "Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you." So the cases of possession, and Job's history to which I have referred.

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He refers further to Revelation 2 (Satan's throne being in Pergamos), and says it "certainly refers to the powerful party which Satan had in the place." Why? A throne is not a party, and no way of expressing it, but the contrary. Satan is the prince and god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the ruler of the darkness of this world. He has the throne. His having a party is a miserably false gloss.

I have only now to notice Dr. B.'s description of the millennium, which requires little remark, because he applies the same passages to it I should, and our controversy is as to how it is brought in (i.e., whether by Christ's coming again or not), which he does not here speak of, and we have considered it already. But I must object to this constant tendency to set aside Christ's personal glory and its display. Thus Dr. B.'s view of the millennium is founded on 1 Peter 1: 11, the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow. Here he takes glories for no personal glories of Christ at all, but "the glorious results of the sufferings" (page 424). Now that tells the tale of the system. It is one which excludes Christ's Person and personal glory, to substitute results in man for them. I love the view I have, just because it brings in Christ personally. He quotes Isaiah 11: 9 (page 425). It is diffusion of revealed truth! Isaiah says the knowledge of Jehovah (as elsewhere the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah), which is not revealed truth as known by the revelation of the Father in the Son, the Holy Ghost declaring it. Otherwise, of course, we expect the earth to be full of the knowledge of Jehovah. Isaiah 25: 7: he speaks of the progress of fulfilment; the passage, of destroying a covering at a particular time. The rod of Christ's strength out of Zion is assumed to be the gospel. Why so? We have already seen it is the time of the resurrection of the saints, if Paul is to be believed. The serpent's power is to be destroyed, judgment executed on the earth. Let the reader only read Isaiah 24 and 27 and see if it be the gospel.

But a few words more precisely as to the quotation: "The rod of thy power out of Zion." It is from Psalm 110, where the time of Christ's sitting on God's right hand, that is, the present time of the gospel, is explicitly contrasted with the time of the rod of Christ's power. He is to sit there till God makes His enemies His footstool, and then rule in their midst in the day of His power, the rod being sent out of Zion which had rejected Him, smiting through kings in the day of His wrath. Is that the gospel? It is easy to quote the passages to which theological tradition has given an interpretation Reading the passages always dispels these.

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Again, Dr. B. quotes Psalm 2: 7; but what follows was too plain, and he omits it. It is this: "Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Is this the gospel too? Let the reader consult the promise to Thyatira in Revelation 2, and he will see that this promise is reserved for the overcomers also, when Christ comes. Till then, Christ sits at God's right hand, and His saints go to heaven. In Isaiah 2, also quoted, He judges among the nations, arises to shake terribly the earth; the day of the Lord of hosts is on everything exalted for judgment, so that they would hide themselves in caves of the earth. How ridiculous it is to quote this for the gospel! In Isaiah 66 the Lord comes with fire to render His anger with fury, and His rebukes with flames of fire, and pleads with all flesh, judging and destroying the wicked. This, for Dr. B., is the gospel. He is bold enough to quote Zechariah 14: 9, where the Lord gathers all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, goes forth and destroys them, and His feet stand on the Mount of Olives, and then the Lord is King over all the earth. To quote this for the spread of the gospel is infatuation. A person may say, I do not understand it; but to quote it for the gospel is presuming on carelessness or folly in the reader. The examination of the other passages would shew rather that they had nothing to do with the matter, or that they prove the contrary.

A time of peace (page 428) it will be. But Israel will be definitely owned as God's people (Isaiah 11), which cannot be while the gospel endures -- a fact which, of itself, suffices to overthrow Dr. B.'s system. Isaiah 2 I have examined. Micah 4 equally refers to Israel in the most explicit way, and judgment and vengeance on the heathen "such as they have not heard," and Christ's presence in Israel after Israel had been given up for rejecting Him. Its application to the last days is as plain as language can make it. Dr. B. says that the millennium will be distinguished by much spiritual power and glory (page 431), and to prove it, quotes the revival at Northampton under President Edwards. He afterwards quotes Isaiah 56 and 60, both referring exclusively and expressly to Jerusalem and the Jews: the former insisting on the judgment of the Gentiles, the latter, as we have seen, of all flesh.

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To quote Romans 11: 26-29 is more than boldness. It is adduced as a description of the millennium, as it surely is, and declares that then there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Nor is that all. It is explicitly contrasted with the gospel, "as concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sakes." So far from Israel being brought in by the gospel, they were enemies as regards that; yet as a nation (as which they cannot possibly come into the church, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile) they are beloved for the fathers' sake -- a principle which can have no place at all in the gospel as we possess it. And in quoting Zechariah, Dr. B. is obliged to add "by faith": "they look [by faith] on him." What right has he to change the express text of Scripture? "Thomas, because thou hast seen, thou hast believed; blessed are they who have not seen who have believed." Hence there are those who believe not having seen, and those who believe when they see. And in Revelation we find "behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they who pierced him." And in the passage itself (the next preceding verse), the Lord destroys the nations which come against Jerusalem (all the people of the earth being gathered together against it). It is the day of the Lord, we further read, and His feet stand on Mount Olivet. Is it not as clear as daylight in all these passages that it is a time of judgment and display of the Lord's power, as different from the gospel as one thing can be from another?

The last character is the ascendancy of truth and righteousness on the earth (page 437). Why not of Christ? No, this must not be. What is the proof given of that ascendancy? "I saw one like unto the Son of man." When the judgment of the Ancient of days was set, and the beast destroyed, and his body given to the burning flame -- "and he was brought near before him. And there was given to him dominion, glory, and a kingdom." Why is Christ carefully excluded by Dr. B. from the fulfilment of this, and the thought changed into the ascendancy of truth? Christ's personal glory they will not have. Are not all things in heaven and earth to be brought under Him as Man? Is it not the special purpose of God to put all things under man's feet as man? to reconcile things to Himself in heaven and earth (not the infernal things, compare Philippians 2), and that contrasted with the reconciliation of the church? (Colossians 1). Not only so, but in Daniel 7 the Ancient of days comes. Temporal prosperity there will be; I need not insist on it. But if it be the life of faith still, it is only a great danger, not a blessing.

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All own this happy state will end in a final rebellion when Satan is let loose. I believe there will be a decline, as I have said, but this is not Satan's being let loose. He did not deceive the nations then. He is let loose, and does it afterwards. Dr. B. tells us it cannot be an immediate change from piety to impiety -- from the hypocritical form of piety to impiety it is, so as to form a complete and definite separation of the good and the evil. They are deceived and gathered together to battle, and the saints crowded into their own camp. There is no description of a decay of love, nor cry of saints, nor failure of faith as to the Son of man's coming. He does not come at all. There is not a hint of it, but a plain description of His coming a thousand years before, after the marriage of the Lamb, which Dr. B. says is not His coming. Now fire comes down from heaven and destroys them; and then, without any coming, the great white throne is set up, and the dead judged.

I have done: if Scripture is to be believed, Dr. B.'s system cannot stand. It is founded on tradition, not on the word. Difficulties of detail there may be: we may expect them. Human additions of theologians, Dr. B. may array in antagonism one to another; but no one can read the scripture with intelligence, and not see the difference between the gospel gathering the saints as Christ's joint-heirs and bride, while He is sitting on the right hand of God, and His judging this world when He takes to Him His power (God having put His enemies under His feet). These Dr. B. everywhere confounds, mixing up the judgment of the quick with that of the dead, and making the redemption of the church uncertain by bringing it into the same judgment as the wicked; whilst the plainest statements and language of scripture are explained away, so as to leave the personal glory of Christ out of the scene, where the word of God says it will be displayed.

As much excitement has been caused by the question, as to whether Louis Napoleon is the Antichrist or not, I add that I have not the smallest doubt that he is the great agent of the formation of the Latin or ten-horned beast at present, and that his operations distinctly mark the rapid approach of the final scenes. Blessed be God! But firstly, I do not think that beast to be the Antichrist, but that a false Christ in Judea, who will minister to his power and deceive the nations, will be. Secondly, the saints will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before Antichrist is revealed. And, thirdly, the computation of dates is all unfounded. There are general analogies, I have no doubt, as there have been many Antichrists who were not the Antichrist. But the precise computation of time begins again with Daniel's last week (or, more accurately, half-week), when the abomination of desolation is placed in the holy place, and then the computation is by literal days, God's short work on the earth. In a word, exact computations are by literal days, though general statements and analogies may be by years. It is to be feared England will be dragged into the vortex of the ten kingdoms: God knows.

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At any rate, for the Christian, his place, and country, his citizenship, is in heaven always. There evils will not come, nor Satan's power. Even out of the created heavens he will be cast for the power of evil to begin on earth. We justly mourn over the progress of his delusions on earth, and how the wise men of this world are deceived by him. But he cannot touch our portion; and his progress only brings us nearer to it. "Now is your salvation nearer than when ye believed." May we have our hearts delivered from this present evil world! I think Louis Napoleon a sign of prophetical progress towards the close; but I earnestly desire that the hearts of the saints may be in heaven, where evil or its signs cannot come. I may add that, though events have made progress, the view of the position of Louis Napoleon falls in entirely with Faber's view of the first Napoleon, that he was the seventh head of the beast who was to continue for a short time; indeed, it was that of others too.