“ORDER OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL REIGN”
We come to Part 8, which covers from the top of page 342 to the end of the ‘note’ on page 345.
The great distinctive characteristic however of Zion, will be, not so much in the glory that is on it, as in the glory which is above it. “Ye shall see,” said the Lord Jesus, “heaven opened.” The heavens were not opened in peaceful blessing over Sinai. Sinai was the claim of God’s unsatisfied holiness and it ended in the heavens being as brass, and the earth as iron. But Zion will be the witness, that the claim of holiness has been satisfied, and that the sweet savour of peace, through the one accepted sacrifice, has ascended into the heavens. The heavenly places therefore, not made with hands, shall be opened towards Zion and the earth, and the Heavenly City of the saints made manifest, in token, that God has by ONE, even by Immanuel, the Son of His bosom, been glorified in the earth, and that He thenceforward designs to give according to the value of that which He hath received. It will be· the hour of descending blessing.
The truths that pertain to Israel (for to them belong the promises and the covenants)* have not been inoperative during the time that the nation of Israel has been scorning them.
* “To whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Rom. ix. 5.)
They have reached, quickened, and comforted multitudes, who have found in them, the cause of their sufferings, and the subject-matter of their service through dark and troubled hours of conflict and of sorrow. But where will the suffering children of the truth be when the hour of the promised glory comes? They will belong to no earthly city. Their blessings will be in a new creation — in the city of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem. But they are not only to be blessed themselves; they are to be employed, and made a blessing to others. They, and the Heavenly City in which they dwell, will be among the gifts bestowed on those, who will have been made heirs of salvation in the earth below.
After the blessings received in the Person, redemption, and offices of the Son of God, there are probably none at which converted Israel will marvel more than in the provision made for them in the risen saints, and in the heavenly City. The “Sons of Aaron the Priests” were accustomed of old to enter on behalf of Israel into the tabernacle of God.
The risen saints will be the antitypical priesthood; but they will minister in no Temple made with hands. The Heavenly City, and Heaven, will answer respectively to the Holy Place, and to the Holy of Holies in Israel’s ancient Temple. In both of these, the risen Saints will act for Israel. But they are not a Priesthood only; they are a Royal Priesthood — Priests and Kings, and as such will come forth in kingly power, to teach and to guide those in the earth beneath. Israel, softened by grace, humbled by affliction, and humbled by mercy, will be no longer too proud to receive the guidance of heavenly wisdom. The character of “the Saints of the High Places,” who will then watch over Israel, is taught in the symbols by which God has been pleased to indicate the excellency of the Heavenly City in which they dwell.
The varied lustre of the precious stones which adorn it — the purity of the pearl gates, on which were written the names of the twelve Tribes of Israel — the transparency of its golden streets, well suited to the feet of those, who are represented as standing on a sea of crystal — are all symbols of a heavenly excellency, which will, by them who possess it, be necessarily communicated in measure to those who are morally fashioned under their care. Accordingly, the earthly Jerusalem will be made, in some degree, to answer to its heavenly pattern. There too, we read of stones of fair colours being found.
“Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Such are the effects of the heavenly agency directed towards the Beloved City. It becomes in measure, the counterpart of the city that is above, and forms as it were, another court of the same Holy Temple.*
The Courts of the Temple appear to have been the intended type of the millennial arrangements-Heaven itself being the anti-type of the Holy of Holies-the Heavenly Jerusalem answering to the Holy Place. Both these Courts were covered, and were therefore invisible to the worshippers without. . . . . .
The inner courts could only be entered by Aaron and his sons, who typify the Church of the First-born in their millennial relation to Israel. (See. Lev, ix.) The veil being rent between these two courts, the heavenly Priesthood have access into both.
The earthly Jerusalem will answer to the external court where Israel worshipped; and exterior to this was the court of the Gentiles; for the Gentiles also will become worshippers in the Millennium.
In the arrangements for the worship of Israel of old, the offerings of those who were not personally permitted to enter the Holy places were brought by them no further than the outer court: nevertheless the honour of the gift was regarded as rendered to the Holy Places, and to Him who dwelt there. So will it be in the Millennium. The Kings of the earth ·will not be able personally to enter into the heavenly City; (nor indeed any who yet continue in bodies of flesh and blood,) but they will bring their glory and honour unto it, mediately through the earthly City, which will be the external court of the One Temple.