“ORDER OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL REIGN”
We come to Part 12, which covers from page the middle of 356 to almost the bottom of page 360.
Its relation to Heaven and to the Earth during the Millennium, is analogous to that which the Holy Place occupied in the Temple. It was situate intermediately between the Holy of Holies and the external court where Israel worshipped. The Holy Place was the place of Priestly service, the place of intercession, the place where the golden Candlestick was set-the type of Christ, in that pure, perfect, unchanging heavenly light, wherewith, whether in Earth or Heaven, He hath shone and ever shineth for His people. All this, and more, the Heavenly City will be. Thence the regulations of God’s government, as well as the instructions of His grace, will reach Israel and the earth. “The nations shall walk by means of the light thereof, and the Kings of the Earth shall bring their glory and honour unto it.” There, also, remedial means will be provided for meeting the exigencies of mortal life below. In the vision of the City were seen Trees of Life; and “the leaves of the Trees were for the healing of the nations.”
The connexion of the power and glory of the New Creation with the circumstances of a fallen Earth, will thus be the great secret of Millennial blessing. This, indeed, is not a new principle in the works of God. The present condition of His saints affords an analogous example. Without changing their old natures, but allowing their flesh to remain flesh, He has been pleased to connect therewith that which is new — “the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;” which also He sustains by the indwelling power of His own blessed Spirit. Hence, the repression of the evil that would otherwise be dominant in us, and the production of fruits of heavenly origin, where otherwise, all would be earthiness and corruption. But God, in bestowing blessing, is not satisfied with the mere repression of evil. All that is of the first Adam in us, whether in body, soul, or spirit, is finally to pass away; and all is to be made new. Everything that is outward and everything inward in us, is to be brought into the likeness of Christ, according to the power of the new creation of God.
Throughout the Millennium, the frame-work of this lower world remains essentially unchanged. Although creation will no longer groan as now in the bondage of corruption, yet corruptibility and death will still remain in plants, and animals, and men. In men there will also be the presence of indwelling sin. But there will be a power of life operating from above — from Heaven, and from the Heavenly City, whereby the working of corruption, whether physical or moral, will be restrained, and the Earth be caused to teem with living blessing. This will especially be the case in the Land of Israel, which will then “be the joy of all lands.”* (* Extending then from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates.)
“Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken : neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate : but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah : for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.” It would be impossible to quote all the passages, which speak of the fulness of blessing manifested, when once Israel and the Earth are regarded by God as taken possession of by the Lord Jesus in the title of redemption. All the Prophets and Psalms abound with descriptions of that hour.
Nor are these descriptions limited to outward blessings. The Psalms describe also, the peace, humility, and inward grace which will characterise Israel then. See, for example, such Psalms as the 131st : “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters or in things too high for me: . . . my soul is even as a weaned child.” And again, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity; it is …. as the dew of Hermon, which descendeth on the mountains of Zion, for there Jehovah hath commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Then, too, they will say with deeper feeling than we, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” ( ciii.) And again, “I will extol thee, my God, 0 King, and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee, and I will praise thy name for ever and ever …. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever.” (cxlv.)
The imprisonment of Satan and his angels, the presence of the visible glory of Christ and His saints, the investiture of the Son of Man with the sovereignty of earth, the establishment of Jerusalem in a Church-position, as the pillar and ground of truth, its establishment also as the centre of governmental influence throughout the earth, the release of creation from its groan, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh — these and other like things, will give to the millennial age a character, as contrasted with that of the ages that have preceded it, as the works of Christ are contrasted with the works of Satan. Christianity, although still militant, will cease to occupy the place of suffering and reproach. It will be no longer needful to go without the gate, bearing His reproach, because the city itself will be the place of righteousness and truth. The Church of the present Dispensation quits the wilderness, leaning, as one weak and exhausted, on the arm of the Beloved : but she is succeeded in her place of service and of testimony by another, who “looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” Israel will succeed into our place of testimony; but it will be a place no longer marked by weakness. Truth will be sustained by power, and surrounded by circumstances worthy of its essential excellency. Nevertheless, the servants of the truth, who yet remain in the flesh, will not be without their dangers. The pride and vain glory of man’s nature will still remain in all except those who are glorified in heaven; and past experience teaches us, that hearts that have stood well through hours of adversity, have failed when brought under the sunshine of prosperity and joy. The preservation, therefore, of the saints of the coming dispensation, when surrounded by circumstances of dignity, and rest, and glory, will be another instance of the manifold grace of God which is alike able to manifest its protective, preserving power whether they who are its objects be in lowliness, or in exaltation, in tribulation, or in triumph.