The Present Hope of the Church

J N Darby (1800-82), a leading interpreter of biblical prophecy, laid the basis of dispensational and premillennial and pre-trib teaching in his lectures on the Present Hope of the Church.

‘After These Things’SECTION 4 – SIMPLIFIED SUMMARIES OF THE 1840 GENEVA LECTURES

From our book ‘After These Things – Summaries of John Nelson Darby’s Papers on Prophecy – and more…’ Compiled by Daniel Roberts. For more about this book click on the picture or CLICK HERE

 

The Present Hope of the Church –

Introduction

J N Darby gave a series of eleven significant lectures in Geneva in 1840 on the Present Hope of the Church (L’attente actuelle de l’église). These established his reputation as a leading interpreter of biblical prophecy, and the basis of dispensational and pre-millennial tribulation (or ‘pre-trib’) teaching.  Central to this is the Rapture – Christ’s coming momentarily to call His own who are alive on the earth when the dead in Christ are raised.  This is clearly described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

JND said as to prophecy: ‘In going through the more general features of prophecy, we shall examine these three great subjects: the church; the nations; and the Jews.’ (J N Darby Collected Writings vol 2, Prophetic 1, page 281).  God made Himself known as ‘Jehovah’ (or more literally ‘Yahweh’) to the Jews, though many Jews consider this name too holy to pronounce.   Jesus is presented as the Messiah, the centre of God’s promises and blessings to the Jewish nation.  However, God presents Himself as ‘Father’ to the Church while Jesus is presented as the ‘Son of God’.  We are His brethren – children of God and members of His family.  He, the Firstborn, is the expression of all the glory of the Father.

‘…We also have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’    ( 2 Peter 1:19-21.)

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Summary of Lectures

  1. The Present Hope of the Church
  2. The Church and its Glory
  3. The Second Coming of Christ
  4. The First Resurrection – or The Resurrection of the Just
  5. The Judgment of Evil
  6. Ecclesiastical Apostasy and Civil Apostasy
  7. The Judgment of the Nations
  8. God’s Promises to Israel
  9. What God in His Goodness will yet do for Israel – and what it Means for Us
  10. The Remnant of Israel
  11. The Importance of Prophecy

JN Darby’s Lecture 1 on The Hope of the Church of God

The Christian’s Assurance as to Prophecy

Every Christian should not only be sure of his salvation in Christ, but also know its results.  He should not only know he is in the Father’s house with all its privileges but be happy there too.  In prophecy, God treats us as His friends, and reveals the things He is occupied with.  As our hearts are associated with Him, they realise His love and confidence and are coloured by the expectation of what is to come.  With this holy knowledge we are strangers and pilgrims here.

We need to distinguish between that which applies to the Jews, relating to the earth, and that which applies to the Church.  Being free of human objects, cares and distractions we can be dependent on the One who knows the end from the beginning.

Whilst prophecy proves the divine source of the Bible, that is not its main purpose.  Prophecy belongs to the Church now and the Jewish remnant in a future day, as a light or torch before things take place.  God tells us the truth; Satan does not.  Do we doubt God?  Surely we do not need witnesses to persuade us that God is telling the truth.

Satan has deceived many by introducing the thought that partially fulfilled prophecies, were in fact complete.   Most, if not all prophecy is to be fulfilled after the end of this dispensation.  Then it will be too late to be convinced as to the truth.  Those left behind will experience terrible judgment.  But as I read God’s word, I am restful.  I am enlightened as I cleave to Him instead of my own understanding.  As things unfold I see the purposes of the Most High, opening up His character – His faithfulness, justice, long-suffering.  But He will certainly judge proud iniquity and execute vengeance on these who corrupt the earth, in order for His government to be established in peace and blessing.

The judgment of God will come upon the nations; the church is informed of this; and, thanks to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, understands it, believes it, and escapes the things which are coming.

 

The Sceptic as to Prophecy

The sceptic views prophecy as merely speculative, vague and uninfluential, the imaginations and vainglory of proud hearts.  The sceptic’s own thoughts are the most speculative.  How Satan deceives!  But prophecy reveals God’s thoughts as to things to come. And the Christian rejoices that “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14).  And God will show how.

Communion with God as to Prophecy

Through communion, which is eternal, God comforts and sanctifies us to prevent our hopes being vague.  Thank God “we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with him in the holy mount.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:16-21)

 

 

A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible – Psalms

In the Psalms we have the Spirit of Christ working and developing itself in the remnant of Israel in the latter day. They are divided into five books.

In the Psalms we have the Spirit of Christ working and developing itself in the remnant of Israel in the latter day.   It shows His personal relationship,  taken, whether in laying the ground for them, or in exercising sympathy with them.  The Psalms continue up to the border of the millennium, but do not enter it except prophetically. They are divided into five books.

Lightly edited by Sosthenes, May 2014

What God in His Goodness will yet do for Israel – and what it Means for Us

The restoration of the Jews is founded upon the unconditional promises that God made to Abraham. However, their fall is a result of their having undertaken to obey God in their own strength. After God had exercised His patience in every possible way “until there was no remedy,” (2 Chron. 36:16) judgment came upon them only after extraordinary patience. But God keeps His promises.

We have a similar history. No sooner does God place us in a position than we fail. But behind our failure there is strength, that is to say, the revelation of the counsels of God, and consequentially His unconditional promises.

‘After These Things’ Chapter 4.9– What God in His Goodness will yet do for Israel – and what it Means for us

From our book ‘After These Things – Summaries of John Nelson Darby’s Papers on Prophecy – and more…’ Compiled by Daniel Roberts. For more about this book click on the picture or CLICK HERE

A summary of the Ninth Lecture by J N Darby on the Present Hope of the Church – Geneva 1840 entitled Israel’s Failure and Dispersion; Promises of Restoration.

 

AFTER THESE THINGS

4.9  What God in His Goodness will yet do for Israel – and what it Means for us

The Restoration of the Jews and God’s Promises to Israel

The History of Israel

The Promises which sustained a faithful Remnant

Happy Times for Israel

Israel must be renewed in heart to receive the promises of Canaan.

Is Zion the Church?

Our Blessings

Conclusion

 

 

The Restoration of the Jews and God’s Promises to Israel

Ezekiel 37 shows us forcibly what God in His goodness will yet do in Israel’s favour.

Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live … and ye shall know that I am the LORD.  …  Take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:  and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. …  So shall they be my people, and I will be their God.  And David my servant shall be king over them’. 

The restoration of the Jews is founded upon the unconditional promises that God made to Abraham.  But we have also seen how Israel undertook to obey in their own strength, taking on the promises under the covenant made in the wilderness.  Notwithstanding their miserable failure, thanks to the mediation of Moses, God was able to bless the people.  Israel again failed after they had been given the land.  He raised prophets to convict them of the sin into which they had fallen, bearing with His people ‘until there was no remedy’  (2 Chron. 36:16).  Thence severe judgment came upon them.   God executed judgment only after extraordinary patience.

 

The prophets also showed the faithful ones that the counsels of God towards Israel would not be put aside. God would accomplish everything that He had spoken about through the Messiah.  It was when Israel failed, that the promises of their re-establishment became precious to the faithful remnant of the people since the unfaithful majority would come under judgment.

The History of Israel

Joshua had said to the people, ‘Ye cannot serve the Lord’,  but the people insisted, ‘Nay, but we will serve the Lord’ (Joshua 24:19,21)    They had been led into the land of promise, enjoyed the fruits of grace, and now they were undertaking to obey the Lord in their strength.

 

Judges 2 summarises their complete failure.  The children of Israel made alliances with the people of the land, so God said, ‘I will not drive out your enemies from before you, but they shall be as thorns in your sides.  Then the cycle started:

 

The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. . .  they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. (v. 11,13)

 

The anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, . . . and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. (v. 14)

 

Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.  (v 15)

 

They would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: (v 16)

 

When the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. (v 18)

 

When the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way (v 19)

 

So the cycle continued: always the same – kindness on the part of God, ingratitude on the part of man.   This constant distaste of man’s heart for God is an unhappy subject to dwell on.

 

Eli was the high priest, the judge and head of Israel.   However, the glory of Israel had been cast down to the ground: ‘The ark of God taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.’   Eli himself died, and his dying daughter-in-law named her child, Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory is departed from Israel’ (1 Samuel 4:11,21)

 

Samuel was raised up of God.  When the people said they wanted a king like the rest of the nations, God showed that He had been rejected: 1 Sam. 8:6, 7. ‘And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.’   Saul failed: Israel had failed under prophet, priest and king,

 

David and Solomon  – God gave David, a type of Christ to Israel, as he is the father of Christ according to the flesh.  Under Solomon, Israel becomes rich and glorious.  But the people transgressed under both these two princes.  ‘The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel.’ (1 Kings 11:9).  Royalty, raised up by God Himself, failed and judgment passed upon it – though it was not executed until the reign of Zedekiah

 

Ahaz and Manasseh  – The ten tribes were unfaithful.   In the apostasy of Ahaz, who took the heathen altar from Damascus to Jerusalem, the hope of Israel failed.  Only God’s promises remained.

 

And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers… but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy’ (2 Chron. 36:15, 16).  That was the end of their existence in the land of Canaan. The name of Lo-ammi (not my people – see Hosea 1:9) is at last written upon them, and they were deported to Babylon.  These tribes were lost – at least as far as their identity is concerned.

 

The Promises which sustained a faithful Remnant

This is the promise: ‘I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more as beforetime  … I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will establish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.’  (2 Samuel 7:10,13).   In Hebrews 1:5,  these words apply to Christ – ‘For unto which of the angels said he … I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?’   All the promises made to Abraham and to his seed are placed in the safekeeping, and gathered together in the Person, of Jesus, the Son of David.

 

‘In that day (time of great trouble) 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.’ (Isaiah 4:2-4).  Judah and Israel will be reunited, and the nations will be assembled to the throne of God.  Isaiah gives so many references to Christ and the blessings of Israel from its Messiah. 

 

 

 

Happy Times for Israel

 

Happy times for Israel have not yet been realised.   They certainly were not realised at the time of the return from Babylon, or since[1].

 

Ezekiel 37 gives the future re-establishment of Israel – the joining together of the two parts of the nation and their return into the land. This is yet to come.  God is their God; their King is present, and the nations knowing that Israel’s God is Jehovah. His sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.  God will never hide His face from his people again.

 

There is a touching passage as to the thoughts of the Lord concerning His people in Jeremiah 32:37-42.   Having given them the promises of blessing in grace, and assured them that He would be their God, the Lord says, ‘And I will plant them in this land assuredly, with my whole heart and with my whole soul. For 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’.

 

God gives a new heart to the Remnant, the nucleus of the future nation.

 

Israel must be renewed in heart to receive the promises of Canaan.

Israel must be born again to enjoy those terrestrial promises which belong to her.   God must cause them to walk in His statutes by giving them a new heart, and then, but only then, they will enjoy the blessings foretold for them.

 

The Lord spoke to Nicodemus about the need of being born anew[2] – of water and of the Spirit in order to enter into the kingdom of God.  He was speaking of the Jews,  and Nicodemus should have known what God had said through Ezekiel: ‘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’ (ch 36:26).

 

That is why He says, ‘If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?’ (John3:12)  – about the glory of Christ exalted in heaven, and the church, His companion.

 

Is Zion the Church?

These scriptures apply to Israel. Some misapply them to the Church, particularly in Ezekiel 35 onwards. They assert that in these chapters, Zion refers to the church. But this is impossible.  We read, ‘Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me.’  (Isaiah 48:14).   The Church will be with Christ.  Were Zion the church, how could it be forsaken?

 

When it says, ‘All the nations shall be gathered unto it.’ it does not refer to the return from Babylon, because it goes on, ‘In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together . . . to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.’ (Jeremiah 3:17-18).  This scripture cannot refer to the Church, nor to the present time when the ten tribes are not found.

 

Who is it that the Lord has broken down, thrown down, and destroyed? The same that He will build and plant.’ (Jeremiah 31:28).   It seems it has been asserted, that in these chapters Zion refers to the Church. It would be unreasonable to apply all the judgments to Israel, and all the blessings concerning the same persons to the Church!

 

We have the Holy Spirit; Israel will have the Branch.   The word of God never presents the Holy Spirit as the Branch of David.

 

Our Blessings

We participate in the blessings of the good olive-tree, but our joy has not dispossessed the Jew (the natural branch) of that which belongs to him.  We have been grafted into Christ.  If we are Christ’s, we are Abraham’s children, and partake of all that is spiritual.   The church has only one Father, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  As Moses was the mediator for Israel (the type), we have the mediation and the presence of Jesus.  In Him, the promises are accomplished.

 

Now all these things happened to them as types, and have been written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.’  (1 Corinthians 10:11 Darby)  On one hand, the heart of man always fails, and on the other hand, there is the faithfulness of God who never fails.  He will fulfil all His promises, providing strength to surmount all the power of Satan and the wickedness of man.

 

We have seen the history Israel sinning under the law: but we can see the same in every one of our hearts.   No sooner does God place us in a position of responsibility than we fail.  But behind our failure, there is strength in the revelation of the counsels of God, and in His unconditional promises.  If we place ourselves before God, we recognise that it is only His grace that sustains us and relieves us from the situation we find ourselves in because of sin.

 

As to us Gentiles, the execution of God’s judgment has been suspended for about 2,000 years.  God is still drawing upon all the eternal resources of His grace to find those who will listen to His testimony of salvation.

 

In all this, we see the revelation of the character of Jehovah.   Israel is the theatre upon which God has displayed His perfect character. Though these things have happened (or will happen) to Israel, they are for our benefit.  We should think not only of the failure of Israel but also of the goodness of God – our God.   Were God to fail in His gifts towards Israel, He could fail in His contributions towards us.

 

Conclusion

 

JND Concludes, ‘Admirable patience! Infinite grace of Him who interests Himself in us, even after our rebellion and iniquity! To Him be all the glory!’

 

In all this, we see the revelation of the character of Jehovah.   Israel is the theatre upon which God has displayed His perfect character. Though these things have happened (or will happen) to Israel, they are for our benefit. God in His goodness will never fail in His gifts towards Israel: He will not fail us either.

 

[1] It is important to note that even if Jews have repopulated the land and the Israeli state established in 1948 (though not the area of the land, which was a subject of the six-day war in 1967 and remains a contentious issue now.  A Jew who understands God’s thoughts (though he/she may be in unbelief as regards their Messiah, cannot countenance the ‘West Bank’ as part of a ‘Palestinian (Philistine) state. A true Christian however can leave it all in God’s hands.  God will see to it that Israel gets the full land (a bit extended for the Millennium), and that sites needed – especially that currently occupied by the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the site of the temple, the threshing floor of Oman (or Araunah).

 

[2] Again, a frequent misapplication.  ‘New birth’ applies to the whole nation of Israel and is contained in prophesy.  Here it does not relate to the sovereign work of the Spirit of God in the soul.

 

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God’s Promises to Israel

In Romans 9 Paul explains how God has acted towards both the Jews and the Gentiles; (vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles – v23-24). Now chapter 11 starts with the question, “Hath God cast away his people?”

As we study the history of both the church and the four beasts, we see that the Jews are put aside. The gospel has appeared in the world to save sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, in order to reveal the hidden mystery of a heavenly people. Hence, “unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known, by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” (Ephesians 3:10)

‘After These Things’ Chapter 4.8 – God’s Promises to Israel

From our book ‘After These Things – Summaries of John Nelson Darby’s Papers on Prophecy – and more…’ Compiled by Daniel Roberts. For more about this book click on the picture or CLICK HERE

A summary of the Eighth Lecture by J N Darby on the Present Hope of the Church – Geneva 1840 entitled ‘Israel’s First Entry into the Land was the Result of Promise’

After These Things

4.8  God’s Promises to Israel

Israel Remains God’s People

Israel and the Church

Replacement Theology or Supersessionism

Adam and Noah

Idolatry and the Call of Abraham

Promises to Abraham and Israel

Israel’s Relationship with God

Law and the Promises to Abraham

The Promised Land

 

 

Israel Remains God’s People

 

After dealing with God’s relationships with men in the first eight chapters of Romans, Paul, a Jew, turns his attention in the next three chapters to Israel.  He asks the question, ‘Hath God cast away his people?’  The answer ‘God forbid’ (Romans 11:1)[1]

In Romans 9  Paul explained how God acted towards both the Jews and the Gentiles;  (vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles – v23-24).

As we study the history of the church and also the four Gentile empires (Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome), typified in the four beasts of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (see Daniel 2), we see that the Jews are set aside nationally.  The gospel has appeared in the world to save sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, to reveal the hidden mystery of a heavenly people.  Hence, ‘unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known, by the church the manifold wisdom of God.’  (Ephesians 3:10)

Although the Jews are enemies as to the gospel, the nation remains God’s people according to the flesh, and beloved on account of the fathers. (See Romans 11:28). God has not rejected His people.  ‘The gifts and calling of God are without repentance’.  (v.29)

 

Israel and the Church

In the present dispensation, we have the calling of a heavenly people.  Consequentially, God puts aside His earthly people, the Jews.  The Jewish nation never enters into the church, though of course, many individual Jewish people do so.  Indeed,  ‘Blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in’ (v.25).  This will be until the addition to the Church of the last of the children of God.

Replacement Theology or Supersessionism

Many Christian denominations espouse what has come to be called ‘replacement theology’.  That is the teaching:[2]

  • That the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan.
  • The many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian church, not in Israel.
  • The restoration of Israel to the Promised Land is not physical, but spiritualised or allegorised promises of God’s blessing for the church.
  • The New Covenant through Jesus Christ supersedes the Old Covenant, which was made exclusively with the Jewish people, and that the New Covenant applies to the Church.

This lecture countered this erroneous teaching.

Adam and Noah

God chose Abraham and his family according to the flesh.  Among Abraham’s descendants, Israel serves as the depositary of God’s promises demonstrating God’s choice.  Nevertheless, to understand the root of the promises, we must look at the preceding dispensations.

Adam – Man left to himself after the fall.  The world was full of violence and corruption, and

Noah – God makes a covenant with Noah and with the creation; and gives the rainbow as a witness. ‘The Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground’ (Gen. 8:21).  This covenant was given immediately after Noah’s sacrifice – typically the sacrifice of Christ.  But Noah failed when he became drunk.

Every dispensation has ended in the failure of man.  What is lost through human folly is recovered at the end in Christ, whether it be blessing to the earth, prosperity to the Jews, or the glory of the church.

Idolatry and the Call of Abraham

Satan presents himself as God and makes himself the god of this earth.  It is written, ‘The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God’ (Deuteronomy 32:17).  The Lord reminded the Israelites,  Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the river in old time . . . and they served other gods.’ (Joshua 24:2 Darby and others).  This is the first time that we find God marking the existence of idolatry.

However, the true God separated a people to preserve the truth.   All the ways of God towards men turn upon God’s calling of Abraham and his posterity to be the depositary of this one great truth: ‘There are none other gods but one’ (Deuteronomy 4:35).

Promises to Abraham and Israel

The promises that God made to Abraham were without condition.  In Genesis 12 and 15, Abraham received both earthly and spiritual blessings.   He received an unconditional covenant, an absolute gift of the land.

We are told, ‘Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed’ Genesis 12:1-3.

God reconfirmed it in chapter 15.

God told Abraham that he was going to have a numerous posterity: ‘Look now toward the heavens, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them. And he said to him, So shall thy seed be!’ (v. 5).  He was even given the exact limits of the country.  Abraham believed God. God renewed His promise in Chapter 17, and re-confirmed it to Isaac (Genesis 26:3) and Jacob (Genesis 35:12).

Thus, God made Himself ‘the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob’, (Exodus 3:15), and His people became the heirs of the promises, pilgrims upon the earth, but God’s boast. The faithful in Israel were to find their confidence in that.

Israel’s Relationship with God

Until Exodus 19 the promise had been unconditional.  However, Israel placed themselves in relationship with God in the opposite way, that is based on their own righteousness on the principle of the law.    They acknowledged obedience to God and undertook to obey the law in their own strength.  Therefore, the covenant at Sinai was founded on the principle of obedience.

In this covenant, we have an ‘If…’. ‘If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation’ (Exodus 19:6).

The Israelites should have said instead, ‘It is true, most gracious God, we ought to obey Thee; but we have failed so often, that we dare not receive the promises under such a condition.’ Instead of this, they said ‘All the words that the Lord hath said, will we do.’ (Exodus 19:8).  They rashly bound themselves to fulfil everything that Jehovah had commanded they received the promises under the condition of perfect obedience.  We all know what happened: The Children of Israel had made the golden calf before Moses had even come down from the mount.

Like Israel, we fail at the first hurdle, and we realise that we are lost because we have violated the covenant.  If as sinners, we engage ourselves to obey God, we forfeit the blessing if we fail.  Our answer should always be, ‘We are lost’.  That is the answer that grace expects.  That is why Paul said, ‘A mediator is not a mediator of one.’ (Galatians 3:20-21).  If there is a mediator, there must be two parties – God and man.  Moses mediated in the wilderness; Christ is our Mediator now.  We see the sovereignty of grace.  Had God not been sovereign, He would have to have destroyed the people.

Law and the Promises to Abraham

The law did NOT annul the promises made to Abraham (Gen 12-15) and confirmed to Isaac (Gen 26) and Jacob (Gen 35).

  • Numerous posterity.
  • The land.
  • Earthly blessings to Israel.
  • Blessing to the nations.

In Exodus 32:13, we see how the promises made before the law were never repealed. Aaron and the people had made the golden calf.  Moses interceded with ‘Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.’

In Leviticus 26:27-31, there is the threat of all the chastisements which were to follow the unfaithfulness of Israel. ‘And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.  And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.  And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.  And I will make your cities waste . . . (v. 27-31).  However, in v. 42: ‘Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham; . . . and I will remember the land.’.  God returns to His promises made unconditionally long before the law.

God’s promises here have never changed: they are valid now (despite Israel being set aside), and will continue to the last days.

The Promised Land

Thus, we get the principle on which they entered into the land of Canaan.  Before the law, God had unconditionally promised the land to Israel for a perpetual possession.  God promised, Moses mediated, Israel was spared and at last enjoyed the land.

Israel failed in the promised land and ultimately fell.  First, the ten tribes were taken into captivity and lost.  Then Judah[3]  was taken captive seventy years, but in God’s providential ways, their identity was preserved.

We now await the re-establishment of all the promises made to Abraham.  Although the people had failed in every possible way towards God, the prophets show us clearly that God  promised to re-establish them in their land, under the Lord Jesus Christ as their King.  Every promise made in the prophets will be fulfilled.  Knowing this, it is small wonder that the disciples asked the Lord following His resurrection, ‘Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ (Acts 1:6).

 

[1] In the Greek the answer is ‘μὴ γένοιτο/me genoito’ – ‘Never may it be!’ – (Strong’s translation).

[2] The Wikipedia article on ‘Supersessionism’ gives the position of various denominations on this subject.

[3] With the tribe Benjamin and the Levites who were among them.

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The Judgment of the Nations

Evil reaches its height in the eighth head of the beast, which goes down to destruction in the apostasy of the civil power of the fourth monarchy. He goes along with the false prophet, who, having seduced the world to do homage to the beast and to take his mark, is destroyed with him.

‘After These Things’ Chapter 4.7 – The Judgment of the Nations

From our book ‘After These Things – Summaries of John Nelson Darby’s Papers on Prophecy – and more…’ Compiled by Daniel Roberts. For more about this book click on the picture or CLICK HERE

A summary of the Seventh Lecture by J N Darby on the Present Hope of the Church – Geneva 1840 entitled The Judgment of the Nations, which become the Inheritance of Christ and of the Church

4.7 The Judgment of the Nations

Evil reaches its Height

The Judge

His Judgment

The Lord’s Ru

Evil will reach its height in the eighth head of the beast,  the fourth (Rome) monarchy.  It will go to destruction along with the false prophet who seduced the world to do homage to the beast and take his mark.

The scene is now extended.  God will have judged the Antichristian beast and the evil nations, making His power felt:  it is the moment of His wrath.

All that is high and lifted up will be brought low by the power and glory of God, so that God, in full blessing, may enjoy the kingdom, and may have the inheritance of all nations – ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

The Judge

At the birth of Christ, Herod showed his fury at the least thing that could challenge his royalty. He tried to get rid of Him by slaying the infants in Bethlehem.  Thirty-three years later, the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the true King over the whole earth, was presented to the Gentiles (in the person of Pontius Pilate), and to the Jews (in the person of the High Priest Caiaphas).  Both rejected Him.

Now we have the Son anointed, King upon Zion, God’s holy hill.  Zion is His throne; the (heathen) nations are His inheritance.  ‘Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession’ (Psalm 2:8).

Will the nations then, at last, listen to the invitation made to them to submit themselves?   No! – So God can, and will, judge them.

His Judgment

Christ will be Judge, but this is not the last or general judgment (or the Great White Throne, or judgment of the dead).  Everybody existing on the earth at the end of this time (seven years) will be either subject to Christ, and therefore saved and sent to life eternal, or in rebellion and condemned to eternal punishment.   It is the judgment of the living nations on this earth: those who will people the earth during the Millennium.  The dead will be raised for judgment after Christ’s millennial reign.  ‘Before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.’ (Matthew 25:32).  The judgment of the living (or ‘quick’ -as in KJV) is as certain as that of the dead.

How God deals with the nations is entirely different from the gospel: Thou shalt break them with a sceptre of iron’  (Psalm 2:9 – Darby).  In the gospel, the sceptre of Christ is a rod of goodness and love, sweet and powerful.  The gospel is not a sceptre of iron.

The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands’ (Psalm 9:16).  This is not the language of the gospel; it is the righteous demand for justice.   Christians who do not understand the difference between the dispensations often find these scriptures challenging.  In the gospel, the grace of God is presented to the wicked, and God calls for repentance.  Once the gospel has run its course, Christ will demand righteous judgment[1].

Christ invites the kings of the earth to submit themselves to Him. However, they follow their own ways; their policy settled according to the wisdom of man.  Hence, if God were not to execute judgment, evil would only grow worse and worse without any consolation for the faithful.  It is the time of judgment, and Christ is the Judge. ‘The Lord is King for ever and ever; the heathen are perished out of his land.’ (Psalm 10:15, 16)  and Thou hast rebuked the heathen; thou hast destroyed the wicked; thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.’ (v.5).  JND notes that the ‘wicked’ refers to the Antichrist.

God will assemble the nations, and pour upon them His indignation: ‘Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms to pour upon them mine indignation’ (Zephaniah 3:8).  The Lord will manifest Himself in this act of power in Israel[2].

The next verse (verse 9) tells us ‘For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD’.  This blessing, when the earth will be full of the knowledge of God, will come to pass only after He has executed judgment and put away the evildoers.  This passage is a very explicit revelation.  It is judgment, not grace.

The Lord’s Rule

Having accomplished this, Jesus sits down at the right hand of God the Father: ‘The LORD (Jehovah) said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ (Psalm 110:1).  After that come the words, ‘Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.’ (v.2) The Lord will now start to exercise His power on earth.  This, of course, begins the Millennium.

[1] Christians are sheltered from the approaching storm.  The church’s place is with Christ, accompanying Him.  The church has the privilege and glory of union with the Lord Jesus Christ.   It comprises a single body of both Jews and Gentiles. It was not revealed in the Old Testament.  Hence, it is not in Zion that we are to look for the church because the church has the same portion as Christ, being His body:  if we seek it, we will find Christ Himself.

The church’s place is not in the midst of the nations that are to be broken in pieces, but to be united to Christ, enjoying the same privileges as Christ.  There is nothing true, as regards Christ, in the glory which He has taken as Man, which is not also true of the church.  It is a precious thing for us to understand our place, that of joint-heirs with Christ. And the more we think of this, the more our strength will be increased, and the more our minds will be detached from this world, which is under judgment.  The world comes under judgment because it has rejected Christ, The Saviour.  ’Righteous Father, the world hath not known thee(John 17:25).  Just as unbelief separates men entirely for all eternity from Christ, grace by faith has united us wholly and forever to Him; and we ought to bless God for it.

[2] We should note\:

It is at Jerusalem principally that all this disaster will take place; secondly, God has named in His word all the nations who will participate in it. We shall see all the descendants of Noah, of whom we have the catalogue in Genesis 10, reappear on the scene at the moment of this judgment of God

We shall find nearly all of them under the beast or under Gog (See Ezekiel 38) – essentially, they are the children of Japheth.

Darby drew on William Hale’s Analysis of Chronology, republished 2012 by Nabu Press, available from Amazon

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The Second Coming of Christ

Acts 1, The promise of the Lord’s return is set forth as the only hope of the church. The disciples desired to know when and how God would restore the kingdom of Israel, but the answer was going to be hidden in God, as times and seasons belonged to the Father who had put them in His own power.

Additionally, the Holy Spirit was about to come, and because of that, they were to expect the return of Christ. So Christ’s return ruled the intelligence, sustained the hope and inspired the conduct, of the apostles.

‘After These Things’ Chapter 4.3 – The Second Coming of Christ

From our book ‘After These Things – Summaries of John Nelson Darby’s Papers on Prophecy – and more…’ Compiled by Daniel Roberts. For more about this book click on the picture or CLICK HERE

A summary of the Third Lecture by J N Darby on the Present Hope of the Church – Geneva 1840 entitled ‘The Second Coming of Christ’

4.3  The Second Coming of Christ

In Acts 1,

The Lord will return to the Earth

The State of the Church

The Joy of the departed Soul

God will gather together all things in Christ

We (the Church) will come with the Lord

Asleep in Jesus

The Mystery of Iniquity

An Appeal – Darby’s own Words

 

In Acts 1,

  1. The Holy Spirit was about to come.
  2. The Lord was going to return.
  3. The kingdom of Israel would be restored to Israel, but the answer as to when going to be hidden in God. Times and seasons belonged to the Father who had put them in His power.

The promise of the Lord’s return is the hope of the Church.   Christ’s return ruled the intelligence, sustained the hope and inspired the conduct, of the apostles.  Sadly, the expectation of the Saviour’s return has been lost sight of in the church. Hence the public position has declined spiritually.

The Lord will return to the Earth

Most of Old Testament prophecy, and therefore the disciples understanding, centred around the Lord’s actual return to earth and the redemption of Israel.  It is not surprising, therefore, that this was the question that they asked the Lord after the resurrection.

According to Matthew 24:30, His coming will be a great public event.

  • The Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
  • The tribes of the earth shall mourn.
  • The Jews ‘shall look on him whom they pierced’ (John 19:37; see also Zachariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7).

In one of the first preachings, Peter said, ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord … whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things’ (Acts 3:19-21). Both the initial preaching of Peter and the Lord’s words in Matthew 24 and 25 (correspondingly in the other synoptic gospels) relate to Israel.  Darby makes this clear in his ‘Synopsis[1]’, though in his ministry he applied it to the poor state of Christendom.

The State of the Church

Let us now see how both the Lord Himself first, then the Holy Spirit, have continuously directed our attention to His return.

The degree of expectation of the Lord’s return is gauged (as with a thermometer, so to speak) as an indicator of the life of the Church.  In Matthew 24, the evil servant was not prepared for the Lord to return. ‘My lord delayeth his coming;  And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites’ (v. 49-51).  ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh’ (v. 44).

After appeals at the start of the church period, Stephen, the first martyr had to tell the religious leaders that they would not repent and continued to resist the Holy Spirit; See Acts 7:51.

All the virgins in Matthew 25 were in the same state; the wise ones (the true saints) as well as the foolish ones, who lacked the oil of the Holy Spirit, slept and forgot the immediate return of Christ. What woke them up was the midnight cry that He was coming[2].

Christendom is in a state worse than that of the Jews or pagans, in that it has had more advantages.  The evil which Satan has caused by heresies, false doctrines and false religions, continues to increase, and ripen.

The Joy of the departed Soul

This is seen in four scriptures:

  1. ‘To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.’  (Luke 23:43).
  2. ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’; (Acts 7:59)
  3. ‘To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord’ (2 Corinthians 5:8).
  4. ‘For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better’ (Philippians. 1:22, 23).

It is far better to expect the glory and to be present with Christ, than to remain here below[3]:

The Lord says, ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself.’ He, Himself will come for His church, so that the church may be there, where He is.

God will gather together all things in Christ

In the early preaching, Peter said, ‘He [God] may send Jesus Christ … whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.’ (Acts 3:20-21)   The work of the Holy Spirit is not to re-establish all things here below, to rebuild creation (which sadly many Christians are trying to do) but to announce the return of Jesus, to whom every knee must bow.

We (the Church) will come with the Lord

‘For our commonwealth has its existence in the heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to his body of glory’ (Philippians 3:20, 21 Darby).  This scripture demonstrates that our relationship with the Lord is in heaven – that is where our citizenship is.  We are aliens here. I have added this.

‘When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’ (Colossians 3:4.) – Obviously, in order to come with Him, we shall have had already to have been taken to be with Him.

The two epistles to the Thessalonians focus on the coming of Christ.  It is remarkable that this church, one of the most flourishing of those to which Paul wrote, should be the one to which the Lord chose to reveal, with the most detail, the circumstances of His coming. ‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.’ (Psalm 25:14.).  Such was the faith of the Thessalonians that it was spoken of in all the world.  They expected the Lord from heaven.  May we have this same faith that the Thessalonians had!

We, pre-millennialists, expect the Lord before the thousand years.  If Paul had not been a pre-millennialist too, and had expected a Millennium of the Holy Spirit before the coming of Jesus, how could he ever have said, ‘We who remain until the coming of Christ’?  There was, then, in his soul, a continual expectation of the coming of Christ.  He did not know the moment, but he expected it imminently.

The believers in Thessalonica (modern Thessaloniki) had the hope of the return of Christ to such a degree that they did not think of dying before that event; and when one of them departed, his friends were afraid that he would not be present at that happy moment.  Paul reassures them by asserting that those who sleep in Jesus will be brought back with Him.

Asleep in Jesus

In passing, we should note that when somebody is taken, we often hear it said, ‘He/she has gone to glory’.  Paul did not see it that way.  The person was ‘asleep in Jesus’ or ‘With Christ’.  Our outlook is to be with Him if we are taken before the Rapture.  It is not to ‘go to heaven when we die’.

Therefore we are always confident; knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 5:6) .  I have already the life of Christ: if I depart, I shall be with Him.  Paul will enjoy the fruits of his waiting.

The Mystery of Iniquity

The mystery of iniquity, which was already working in the time of Paul, was to go on until the manifestation of the man of sin.  He will be destroyed at the glorious Appearing of Christ Himself[4].

The Appearing of Christ is not at the end, for at the end, He will have delivered up the kingdom.  In reality, the kingdom takes place at His Appearing.

We shall only be like Him when He appears for us (i.e. at the Rapture), not before[5].  ‘But we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.   And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.’  (1 John 3:2)     A heart that is full of this hope conducts himself accordingly – he purifies himself.  Knowing that when Jesus appears, I shall be like Him. I ought to like Him now.

An Appeal – Darby’s own Words

‘May the Lord apply these truths to our hearts, on one side, to detach us from the things of the world, and, on the other, to attach us to His coming – to Himself in Person; and we shall purify ourselves even as He is pure.  There is nothing more practical, nothing more powerful to disentangle us from a world that is to be judged, and to knit us to the One who will come to judge it.

Certainly, there is nothing that can serve better to show us where our purification comes from.  There is nothing which can console us, invigorate us, and identify us more with the One who has suffered so that we might reign with Him, co-heirs in glory.  Surely, if we were expecting the Lord any day, there would be seen in us a self-renunciation rarely seen among the Christians of the present age.  May none of us be found saying, ‘My Lord delayeth his coming’! (Matthew 24:4).

 

 

[1] IN the Synopsis on Matthew 24, Darby writes as to verse 30, ‘The Lord gives the history of the testimony in Israel, and that of the people themselves, from the moment of His departure until His return; but the length of time, during which there should be neither people nor temple nor city, is not specified. It is this which gives importance to the capture of Jerusalem. It is not here spoken of in direct terms the Lord does not describe it; but it put an end to that order of things to which His discourse applies, and this application is not resumed until Jerusalem and the Jews are again brought forward’.

 

[2] Note that Darby makes it clear that this applies to the Lord’s second coming (the Appearing).  It is not:

Death (that is not the Bridegroom),

The coming of the Spirit (not the Bridegroom either).

The aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 (The Bridegroom did not come then).

 

[3] Really our expectation is to be with Him. We are out of the reach of sin, and we enjoy the Lord apart from it.

 

[4] Now, in such a state of things where is the place for such a post-tribulation Millennium?  Indeed, where is the scriptural justification for suggesting that the church will still be here when the man of sin is revealed?

[5] Note that we are not told what a body of glory will be like (See also Philippians 3:21).  Scripture is not to satisfy our curiosity.

 

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The Present Hope of the Church

J N Darby gave a series of eleven significant lectures in Geneva in 1840 on the Hope of the Church (L’attente actuelle de l’église). These established his reputation as a leading interpreter of biblical prophecy, and the basis of dispensational and premillennial and pre-trib teaching. The beliefs he disseminated then are still being propagated (in various forms) at such places as Dallas Theological Seminary and by authors and preachers such as Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

To download a DRAFT version of this series in .pdf, Apple or Kindle format please click here.

 Lecture 1   –  The Hope of the Church of God

The Present Hope of the Church – An easy-to-read Summary

new-jerusalem-2s

J N Darby gave a series of eleven significant lectures in Geneva in 1840 on the Present Hope of the Church (L’attente actuelle de l’église). These established his reputation as a leading interpreter of biblical prophecy, and the basis of dispensational and pre-millennial tribulation (or ‘pre-trib’) teaching.  Central to this is the rapture – Chriist’s coming momentarily to call His own who  are alive on the earth, when the dead in Christ are raised.  This is clearly described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 , and   The beliefs he disseminated then are still being propagated (in various forms) at such places as Dallas Theological Seminary and by authors and preachers such as Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

JND said as to prophecy: “In going through the more general features of prophecy, we shall examine these three great subjects: the church; the nations; and the Jews.” (JN Darby Collected Writings vol 2 Prophetic 1 page 281).  God made Himself known as Jehovah to the Jews.  The prophets showed God’s character as Jehovah.  Jesus is presented as the Messiah, the centre of God’s promises and blessings to the Jewish nation.  To the Church, God presents Himself as ‘Father’ and Jesus as the ‘Son of God’.  We are His brethren – children of God and members of His family.  He, the Firstborn, is the expression of all the glory of the Father.

In the dispensation of the fullness of times, when God will gather together all things in Christ, that name under which He has been celebrated by Melchisedec (a type of the Royal Priest), God will be known as “the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.” (Gen 14:19)

‘…We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’    (  2 Peter 1:19-21.)

Summary of Lectures

  1. The Present Hope of the Church
  2. The Church and its Glory
  3. The Second Coming of Christ
  4. The First Resurrection – or The Resurrection of the Just
  5. The Judgment of Evil
  6. Ecclesiastical Apostasy and Civil Apostasy
  7. The Judgment of the Nations
  8. God’s Promises to Israel
  9. What God in His Goodness will yet do for Israel – and what it Means for Us
  10. The Remnant of Israel
  11. The Importance of Prophecy

The Christian’s Assurance as to Prophecy

Every Christian should not only be sure of his salvation in Christ, but also know its results.  He should not only know he is in the Father’s house with all its privileges but be happy there too.  In prophecy God treats us as His friends, and reveals the things He is occupied with.  As our hearts are associated with Him, they realise His love and confidence.  Our lives therefore are coloured by the expectation of what is to come.  With this holy knowledge they would be strangers and pilgrims here.  Being free of human objects, cares and distractions we can be dependent on the One who knows the end from the beginning.

We need to distinguish between that which applies to the Jews, relating to the earth, and that which applies to the Church.

 

 

Whilst prophecy proves the divine source of the Bible, that is not its main purpose.  Prophecy belongs to the Church now and the Remnant in a future day, as a light or torch before things take place.  God tells us the truth; Satan does not.  Do we doubt  God?  Surely we do not need witnesses to persuade us that God is telling the truth.

 

Satan has deceived many by introducing the thought that partially fulfilled prophecies, were in fact complete.  They miss — no scope of prophecy.

 

Most, if not all prophecy is to be fulfilled after the end of this dispensation.  Then it will be too late to be convinced as to the truth.  Those left will experience terrible judgment.  But I read God’s word am restful.  I am enlightened as I cleave to Him instead of my own understanding.  As things unfold I seethe purposes of the most High, opening up His character – His faithfulness, justice, long-suffering.  But He will certainly judge proud iniquity and execute vengeance on these who corrupt the earth, so that His government may be established in peace and blessing.

The judgment of God is to come upon the nations; the church is informed of this; and, thanks to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, understands it, believes it, and escapes the things which are coming.

The Skeptic as to Prophecy

The skeptic views prophecy as merely speculative, vague and uninfluential, the imaginations and vainglory of proud hearts.  The skeptic’s own thoughts are the most speculative.  How Satan deceives!  But prophecy reveals God’s thoughts as to things to come. And the Christian rejoices that “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14).  And God will show how.

Communion with God as to Prophecy

Through communion, which is eternal, God comforts and sanctifies us to prevent our hopes being vague.  Thank God “we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:16-21)

 

 

The Purpose of God – The Church and the Jews – the Respective Centres of the Heavenly Glory and of the Earthly Glory in Christ

he Church’s domain

Centre of heavenly glory in Christ

Heaven

Earth

The Church’s domain

Centre of heavenly glory in Christ

The sun in the heavens – “set a tabernacle for the sun” (Ps. 19:4)

The church, angels, principalities, and powers

The Jews domainCentre of earthly glory in Christ

the nations will walk in the light of the sun. It will be manifested on the earth, and the earth will enjoy its blessings.

the people of Israel and the nations belong to the earth.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth

it was on the earth and among men that the divine and wonderful work of redemption was to be displayed; and this subject is revealed to us in all its fulness.

 Common
The Son Himself, who is the image and glory of God, will be their common centre, and the sun which will enlighten them both.