“ORDER OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL REIGN”
We come to Part 6, which covers from the top of page 332 to the end of the ‘note’ on page 336.
The spiritual blessings of each individual Israelite, and of every other Believer who lives during the Millennium, will be essentially the same as ours in this present Dispensation :— our distinction being, that we are “first-fruits,” (Rom. xi.) — those who have first trusted in Christ”. Indeed we may give as the description of our Dispensation, that it forestalls the spiritual blessings of Israel in the Millennium—we having those blessings in the midst of tribulation and sorrow, whereas they will have them when all the outward circumstances of life around them will be circumstances of tranquility, peace, and joy—Satan being bound, and the Prince of Peace reigning. We have already been brought under that New Covenant, which will then be made with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah. It is a covenant of grace, primarily designed for them, which they for a season have despised ; but we, through abounding mercy, have already been brought under its provisions. Every blessing that we receive as saints, we owe to the being graffed into their olive tree, from which they, for a season, have been broken off. But they are again to be graffed in, to receive in more unhindered power than we, of the freshness of its sap, and of the riches of its fullness. Every vessel of the Tabernacle that typified to them the blessings of redemption, is a type already fulfilled to us. From the Altar to the Mercyseat, all is ours. But it will be equally theirs. Often therefore, from the language of their future thanksgiving, we borrow the expressions of our present joy.
Israel in the Millennium will still be in bodies of flesh and blood, still having experimentally to prove that in the flesh “dwelleth no good thing.” The removal of Satan and his temptations will not change the inherent evil of man’s nature : and if, when the stimulus of Satan’s temptations is removed, and the external order of human life regulated according to God, the flesh be still found to lust against the Spirit, the inveteracy of its evil will only be the more consciously proved, and the more painfully felt. The nearness of the glory and holiness of Christ, the visible presence of saints and angels, the possession of every outward blessing abundantly poured upon creation and themselves, will make them the more acutely sensible of the presence of an evil principle within themselves, still opposed to holiness, and to God — something that “is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” None therefore, will have more occasion to say, “His blood is drink indeed:” none will more need to think of Him, who will be “the Lord their Righteousness,” and whose priesthood will sustain them in the presence of God. They will require, and will receive the grace of that same Spirit — the Spirit of the Father and the Son, who now indwells in the people of God. In them, He will be still the Spirit of hope, for they will look forward with joy, to the hour of their resurrection, when they shall be changed into the likeness of Him with whom they will be united in life ; and join the rest of the redeemed in “New Heavens and a New Earth,” where fallen flesh will no longer be, but where all shall be perfect in the likeness of Christ.
There are certain truths, dependent on the immutable character of God, and on the nature of evil in man, which no circumstances can alter, no variation of Dispensations change. The great truths of redemption, and the arrangements of God consequent thereon, as made known in the New Testament, must be as true in the Millennium, as now. It is an unchangeable truth, that without shedding of blood is no remission : that if any one be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature : that he that is in the flesh, cannot please God : that every one, who through faith “receives abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness,” shall finally “reign in life.”
These and such like blessings pertain necessarily to all the redeemed, and by considering them, we gain clear and certain knowledge of the condition of the Millennial saints as to all that affects their essential and eternal relations to God. The Epistles reveal their spiritual — the Prophets their outward blessings. By combining the descriptions of both, their condition is given with a minuteness, that leaves little to be desired.*
* It is almost impossible to estimate the amount of evil that has arisen from representing the spiritual blessings of Israel in the Millennium, as different from ours. Many have been hindered thereby, from considering millennial doctrines at all; for they have not unreasonably asked, whether they are expected to believe, that the doctrines of Christianity are mutable, and that saintship in the Millennium, is something essentially different from saintship now. They have consequently refused, and rightly so, to lend any ear to statements which involve such consequences.
There are few parts of Scripture, which believers are accustomed to read with more comfort, than those parts of the Psalms and Prophets, which speak of the spiritual blessings of Israel after they are brought under the New Covenant. But those who maintain the system of which I speak, instead of teaching us to distinguish between the spiritual and the outward blessings of Israel, and to appropriate to ourselves the former without the latter ; refuse to us the application of millennial Scripture altogether, and represent the Christianity of the Millennium as something essentially different, both as to its condition, and as to its final prospects, from Christianity now.
Millennial Israel will be sons of God (Hosea i. 10 and Jer. iii. 19) — so are we.
They will be under the Mediatorship, Sacrifice and Priesthood of the New Covenant (Jer, xxxi, 31) — so are we. (Heb. ix.)
They will be circumcised by the circumcision made without hands : i. e. by the death and resurrection of Christ (Col. ii.) — so are we.
They will “please God,” and therefore, must have been brought into living union with Christ, through the Spirit, even as we, for “they that are in the flesh” ( i.e. they who are unregenerate) “cannot please God.” (Rom. viii. 8.)
They say to Him, “The Lord our Righteousness” — so do we.
They will be raised in His likeness, at the last resurrection, in virtue of being IN Him — we are similarly raised at the first resurrection, in virtue of being IN Him.
(See 1 Cor. xv. throughout.)
They will look forward to New Heavens, and a New Earth, (Isaiah lxv.) — so do we. (2 Peter iii.)