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moral of such a truth as that, the Mother, on this occasion, is rebuked, and is left without the manifestation of that glory in which the Son could shine and did shine. Those, and those only, who were in the due place, the servants and the disciples, are let into the secret and get the vision; for they filled, morally, the very opposite place of the Mother. She was of the world, but they are nobody in the scene. The governor of the feast had his dignity, the bridegroom his joy, the guests their good cheer, and the Mother a mother's vanity and expectations; but the servants and the disciples are nothing, and seek for nothing beyond what service or discipleship called them to, and they learn the secret of His power, and behold the manifestation of His glory.
What a lesson for us in the midst of these discoveries of Him that was "God manifest in the flesh"! We must awake, we that are sleeping with the world, if we would get more of the light of the Lord.
The Epistle of Jude intimates the denial of the holiness of grace; Galatians the denial of the sufficiency of faith.
In the details of life, the troubles may be between us and God, or God between us and the troubles. In the one case, we break down like Job; in the other, we endure afflictions according to the power of God.
The question of old was, Where is thy God? Now it is the question, Is the Holy Ghost really among you ?
The Church came down plump when once the Apostles were gone. Witness the nonsense of the fathers. God permitted a marked line of distinction between the treasuries of wisdom and knowledge, and all man's thoughts about them,
The great question for which Israel was the witness upon earth, was the unity of God; but the Church is let into all the relationships of the Trinity. It would have been quite impossible for a Jew to understand “ the Father loveth the Son."* It is because the Holy Ghost, as a divine Person, was personally in the Church, that there could be fellowship with the Father and the Son,
No. XII. " THE CHANGE OF THE HEAVENS AND OF
THE EARTH WHICH NOW ARE.” The following remarks are intended as a reply to the questions put under the above title at page 350 of the fourth volume of “The Present Testimony''; and my object in communicating them is not merely to respond to the call of a brother, as the Lord may enable me, but also in the hope that the important and interesting subject thus opened by him may receive additions from that which the Lord has taught to others of His children, if so be that He in His grace may lead them to minister to their brethren of that which they have received of Him.
The principal query of the writer of the above-named article seems to be, “Is the change of the heavens not synchronous with that of the earth; or is the new Jerusalem let down into the present heavenlies-Satan and his powers being chased first out of them, and then out of the earth?” My answer would be in the affirmative to both
parts of this question; but, as a mere answer would be of little value, unless established by appeal to the word of God, I desire, in dependance on the Holy Spirit's teaching, to give a reason for that which I
advance. In thus
presenting the grounds of my own views in reference to this subject, I propose to consider somewhat in detail Rev. xxi. 1, to xxii. 5, and observe, that though I have confidence that the Lord has taught me, I would nevertheless walk humbly before Him, and wait upon Him for grace, that, if mistaken on any point, I may judge aright the statements of those whom he may make use of to correct my wanderings and lead me into His truth. Well has your correspondent said, " It is better to be an enquirer, than hastily or wrongly to decide, without the full support of the word of the Lord.”
Commencing with Rev. xxi. 9, to xxii. 5, the description of the HOLY JERUSALEM, as being first in order of
fulfilment, we have, in verses 24 to 27 (chap. xxi.), a glimpse, as it were, of the earth when it will stand in connection with this holy city: “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it; and the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there; and they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it; and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
Having thus glanced at the condition of the earth, let us consider the Holy Jerusalem. After the statement,
having the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" (xxi. 11), the first thing described is THE
“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel” (ver. 12); "and the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (v. 14). ticulars are given as to the position of the gates, and of the street, by which I understand the interior of the city. “The street of the city was of pure gold; as it were transparent glass" (ver. 21), whilst the “ Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are declared to be the Temple of it” (ver. 22). Of the glorious things here spoken of this City of God, I can say but little, feeling my own ignorance; but on the face of this description is stamped stability,-purity,-preciousness. In the wall, and the gates of it, I see the antitype of the Aaronic priesthood, connected as it was, dispensationally, with the ministry of angels (see Heb. ii.; Acts vii. 53). The Aaronic priesthood, for the time when it was exercised, constituted the way to God; and the ministry of angels in connection with it, the medium both of blessing and judgment, as proceeding from God to man. The wall set forth in vision that which in the millennial period of the earth's history will take the place of the latter; whilst
Further parthe gates set forth that which will take the place of the former. The wall of a city excludes evil, that is, evil from without (earthly cities have evil within; but in the Holy Jerusalem there will be none). The gates of a city also exclude evil; but, in addition, admit that which has "right to enter;"-the office of the sons of Aaron, in their dispensation, like the gates of a city, met both these requirements, they stood between the worshipper and God; they were to preserve the sanctity of the tabernacle and of the holy things—the “patterns of the the things in the heavens,” by excluding all that was unfit to approach-all that was unclean: it was by them that the offerings of the worshippers were offered, and except through them there was no approach to God; thus, as regarded the patterns of the things in the heavens, they were the gates. In the announcement that the city " had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel" (ver. 12), I see the future position of the nation of Israel the twelve tribes) when they shall become a kingdom of priests during the Lord's millennial reign (Deut.xix. 6; Is.Ixi.6); and in that of verse 14, “ The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb," the result of the labours of the twelve apostles, or a portion of it, manifested in the millennial state. It should be borne in mind, that the mission of the twelve apostles was strictly to Israel, though afterwards extended, by special revelation, to the gentiles (Acts x); and that, shortly after it was so extended, it
* The existence of evil upon the earth during the millennium is a point upon which few Christians seem to be well instructed. I believe it is generally admitted, that it will exist outside the holy city, but will of course be effectually excluded from it. Probably Rev. xxii. 15 may throw some light upon it. If that verse is to be understood as descriptive of the state of the earth after the descent of the city seen in chap. xxi. 10, the question is at an end. Compare chap. xxi. 24, 25 as to this. If ver. 15 relates to that period, i.e. the millennial period, then it presents a contrast to chap. xxi. 4, which shows, that after the creation of the new heavens and new earth, evil workers will have their portion in “ the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”
gave place to that dispensation which was committed to the apostle Paul; and that committed to the twelve being thus interrupted, still remains so, and will not be resumed until the present work of the Lord is completed; and when this is accomplished, the Lord's dealings in grace with Israel nationally will again proceed. It follows, that, at the commencement of the millennium, the fruits of the dispensation committed to the twelve apostles, to say the least, may, and I believe will, consist of two classes, i.e., those who shall have passed through death and have become partakers of resurrection, and those who, having "endured to the end" of the great tribulation, shall be saved, and become partakers of earthly blessing. To the minds of some, it may appear inconsistent to suppose that the nation of Israel, in blessing on the earth, will be the gates ; and the fruits of the dispensation of the twelve apostles in resurrection glory, and blessing, will form the wall of the city, or a part of it; to me, however,
it does not
inasmuch as I ceive that office is that which is more especially pointed at here—the ministry of each when happily the heavens and the earth shall be thus connected together. But this may appear more clear presently.
In the passage under consideration, there seems to be maintained a marked distinction between the city and the wall. Compare ver. 10 with ver. 12, and see ver. 15, etc. A disregard of this distinction has led some to think that the city, the “ bride” (Rev. xxi.), has an Israelitish character,-in fact, to doubt whether it is the Church in glory. A more scrupulous regard to the letter of the word would show that it is the wall alone, and not the city, which has this Israelitish character; and the undoubted future position of the nation of Israel, as a kingdom of priests, seems to confirm this view of the matter. This difference between the city and the wall will be found worthy of prayerful attention.
But to return. It has already been said that it is one property of the wall of a city to exclude evil; and that this was effected of old by the ministry of angels: “ The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear Him, and delivereth them” (Ps. xxxiv. 7). “God sent an angel VOL.V.PT.II.