“ORDER OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL REIGN”
We come to Part 10, which covers from page 350 to the middle of page 353.
Whilst the Lord is thus re-gathering Israel, and at the same time sending many judgments among the spared nations, who are to be broken before they are healed, He will introduce His saints into their heavenly mansions above, according to the promise “I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. In my Father’s house are many mansions.” This is the period of which it is said, that He who loved the Church and gave Himself for it, will present it unto Himself “a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” (Eph. v.) See also Rev. xix.
(There appears to be a considerable interval between the appearance of the Lord in destructive glory, and the period when He will be “inaugurated” on Zion, and introduce the peaceful glory of the millennium. There was a considerable interval between the destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts at the Red Sea, and the descent of God, as the manifested Legislator of Israel on Mount Sinai: and the conflict of Israel with Amalek intervened. So there will again intervene a period betwixt the destruction of Antichrist and his hosts, and the inauguration of Christ’s glory on Zion—in which interval Israel’s conflict with Gog and Magog and other enemies, will occur.. Christ’s glory, when He first appears to take His saints, and to deliver Israel, is symbolised by the Morning Star, which rises before the sun, whilst the earth is yet sunk in the deepest darkness of night. “The stars,” as not belonging to our system, are fit emblems of distant and unknown glory. But when the hour comes for the peaceful glory of the millennium to be brought in, then the Lord is represented as the Sun arising with healing on his wings. His glory will then be adapted to the condition of the earth and of men upon it, as when He was seen by human eyes on the Mount of Transfiguration. But when seen in the sphere of His unearthly glory, “even John fell at His feet as dead.” Flesh and blood can have no communion with His glory as the bright and morning star: but the changed saints will. “To him that overcometh will I give the morning star;” i.e. he shall be brought into the sphere of my own unearthly glory.)
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: because the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned. Let us be glad, and rejoice, and give glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife hath made herself ready. And it was given to her that she should be arrayed in fine linen bright and pure; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” (Rev. xix., Tregelles’ version.) The Church unitedly, and each believer individually, will recognise themselves to be perfect then, and the joy of each will be full. Christ will be known as their redemption, their righteousness and their life.
The value of the Atonement once perfected on the Cross will then be fully proved by them. The blood of the Holy One shed in death was at once the witness that the great Surety had fully borne the appointed wrath, and that He had fully perfected and sacrificially presented the appointed obedience. Whilst “made a curse” and bearing the veritable wrath of God in the stead of His believing people, He did at the same time give Himself for them, “an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” The sin-offering “burnt up” without the camp, and the burnt offering “burned” on the altar, present us with different aspects of Christ’s death, but they are both combined in the one sacrifice.
Although the sin-offering was itself “burnt up” without the camp, yet its fat was burnt for fragrance on the altar. “Jehovah smelled a sweet savour.” Thus the excellency of Christ’s obedience in life and in death, and the value of all that He was as the sin-bearing Sufferer, was sacrificially presented for us on the Cross as on an altar, and under the full value of the imputation thereof all believers stand. “By the obedience of One” we are “constituted righteous.” By working out a righteousness for us on earth, He hath become “the Lord our righteousness;” and the righteousness so provided is the ground of our acceptance and blessedness alike in time and in eternity. We are blessed not on the ground of any personal change wrought in us or on us, but solely on the ground of a righteousness provided for us by the obedience and suffering and death of another, even of Immanuel God manifest in the flesh. Hence in the offering of the Cross we find “redemption.”We are redeemed from wrath and redeemed unto God. There, too, we find “righteousness,” for all the claims of God have been met by the obedience consummated in the one finished oblation of the Cross.
Therefore God is able to recognise us as right in relation to the claims of His judicial Courts. We are found to be and pronounced to be “en règle” in relation to the requirements of those Courts. We find in the Cross “sanctification” also, for Christ having given Himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God of a “sweet-smelling savour,” the sanctity of that oblation is reckoned to us, so that we draw nigh into the Courts of God’s worship – His Temple Courts, under the imputation of the holiness of the oblation offered on the Cross. Incense fills the sanctuary, and we stand under its fragrance. Therefore we read, “sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus once,” “Sanctified by His blood.” Christ is made unto us wisdom from God, both “righteousness and sanctification, as well as redemption.”