We continue with our extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 14 —
“ORDER OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL REIGN”
We come to Part 7, which covers from the top of page 336 to the end of page 341.
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The distinctive spiritual characteristics of Christianity, therefore, will not alter in the Millennium : on the contrary, it will be the sphere in which they will be exhibited more perfectly than they ever have been.
In this present Dispensation, the corporate testimony of Christianity early failed. The Church at Jerusalem was scattered — the Gentile Churches retained not their separateness-the corporate testimony of Christianity ceased to bear witness for God — and that of individual Christians has been isolated and feeble in the midst of abounding evil. “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of the greater part shall wax cold.” But when the corporate testimony of Christianity has been transferred to Israel, it will never again fail, or be dishonoured. Christ, as the Head of Israel, will discipline and sustain them. They shall have “teachers who shall not be removed into a corner any more” — “their eye shall behold them” — “the Spirit shall be poured out upon them from on high” — they shall hear a voice, that shall say, “this is the way, walk ye in it.” Their Church-position is symbolised in the Scripture, by one golden candlestick fed perpetually by golden oil — a candlestick never to be removed. (Zech. iv.)
A nation, thus made the depository of Christ’s Truth is the nation through which, instrumentally, the whole earth is to be ordered. “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” They are not only to be “a golden candlestick” — they are also to be “a royal diadem in the hand of their God” — a royal, as well as a priestly nation. “Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” (Isa. lxii.) Christ also, the Head of Israel, is to sit as a Priest upon His Throne. There will be no discrepancy then, between the Truth of God and the governmental arrangements of the nations. The Temple is to be sustained by Him who occupies the Throne.
But the Person of Christ is heavenly; His glory heavenly; His home, Heaven; and it will continue to be so, even when He is administering the government of Israel and the earth. When God legislated for Israel of old, He really descended on Sinai; but He did not relinquish the Throne of His glory in the heavens. When Moses and Elias appeared in glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, they actually stood upon an earthly mountain, and were seen by earthly eyes ; but their home was in the clouds of glory into which they ascended. And thus in the day of Christ’s manifested glory, the saints who are associated under Him, and with Him in it, are distinctly called, “the Saints of the High Places;” and the Kingdom is called, “the Kingdom of Heaven,” because it is administered by heavenly hands.
The mention in Ezekiel of the visible glory of the Lord returning to Jerusalem — the Psalm which says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” THERE are set the Thrones of the house of David” — the promise to the Apostles that they “shall sit on thrones, judging the twelve Tribes of Israel” — are all evidences, that the seat of Christ’s administrative government in the Earth, will be established in Jerusalem, no less truly and visibly, than God was manifested on Sinai. “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem.” (Isa. iii. 17.) “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a KING shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. xxiii. 5, 6.) “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom. . . . . . The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah ix. 7.) The Temple at Jerusalem is also expressly spoken of in Ezekiel, as one of the places of Divine Glory. “Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: and behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory ….. And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east …. and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house …. And He said unto me, Son of man, the place of my Throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever.” (Ezekiel xliii. 1.) This is the period of which it is said in the Psalms, “Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.” (Psalm lxviii. 29.)
But in the prophecies which speak of the future glory of Jerusalem, Mount Zion is peculiarly spoken of as the hill or mountain of God’s glory. Thus the sixty-eighth Psalm, speaking of Zion, says, “The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan ; an high hill as the hill of Bashan, Why leap ye, ye high hills ? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.”
The two mountains of power brought into connexion with Israel, are Sinai and Zion: Sinai — the place of righteousness according to Law; Zion — of righteousness according to grace. The relation of Israel and Jerusalem to Zion, by and by, will be as real and as visible, as the relation of Israel to Sinai of old. The glory of God was seen on Sinai. The glory of God will as truly be seen on Zion. Israel was gathered around Sinai, and thence received care and legislation from God. Israel will be gathered around Zion, and receive care and legislation. At Sinai, were the terrors of unsatisfied holiness. At Zion, there will be grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be found “Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant, and the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” At Sinai, if a beast touched the mountain, it was to be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: but the sides of Zion shall be a vision of peace. The cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, they shall not hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain. “And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night : for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm, and from rain.” (Isaiah iv. 5.)
Thus the sides of Zion will be the scene of peace, glory, and miraculous protection. But “the height of Zion,” is the place, where that heavenly power is fixed, from which this protection, and these blessings flow. “They shall come, it is said, and sing before the Lord in the height of Zion.” The glory of God was in the height of Sinai; whilst the Camp of Israel, the Tabernacle, the cloudy Pillar, and the virtually royal seat of Moses (for he was King in Jeshurun) were all at the foot of the mountain below. Zion is twice mentioned in the New Testament — once in the Hebrews, and once in the Revelation, as the place of Divine Glory, and of the glory of risen Saints, in which flesh and blood could not share. On Zion were seen standing, those who were redeemed from the earth — able to learn the song that was sung before the throne above — able also to follow the Lamb whithersoever He went. In other words, they were able to do the will of God in earth, AS it is done in heaven. This can only be true of those, in whom mortality is swallowed up of life — and therefore, to such, the government of earth is committed — “Saints of the High Places.” “They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.” (Psalm lxxxiv. 7.) Zion being the centre of the earth’s government, it is the place in which they might be expected to appear.